Application Development Whitepaper
Application Development Whitepaper
Application Development: A Tool for Increased Customer Engagement
There was a time when having a website was a company’s only means of reaching a global audience. It was a time when few companies adopted digital advertising and marketing. In fact, companies with websites were more the exception to the rule than the rule. It was a time when the internet was in its infant stages and most companies were unaware of just how important the internet would become.
While companies may have dabbled a bit in online marketing, very few embraced it, let alone understood what an online marketing strategy entailed and or how it should be put together and measured. However, over time, more and more companies started to adopt the new medium. They started to understand how the internet could be used to locate new customers and grow market share.
These companies may not have fully understood all the benefits of having an online presence, but they understood that potential customers relied upon the internet to find goods and services. As such, it made sense to take part in online marketing even if these companies weren’t entirely sure how buyers and sellers were connected.
Everyone is Online Now
Nowadays every company has an online presence. In fact, most companies now see their website as their most important customer outreach tool and lead generator. They’ve moved away from outbound marketing and have diverted their marketing and advertising dollars towards online strategies, ones whose results are measured in real-time and whose costs of customer acquisition are much easier to define, much easier to manage and simpler to reduce. Online marketing is a more precise form of marketing and its steady ascension to the top will not end any time soon.
With the onset of social media, online marketing has become a brand and reputation management tool, one that allows companies to interact with customers in real-time, while simplifying how those companies gather critical “voice of customer” (VOC) data. This has fundamentally reshaped brand and reputation management by creating a codependent buyer-seller relationship.
It’s no longer about companies trying to define their brand or reputation by dictating that brand’s relevance. Instead, it’s about companies working alongside customers in order to redefine the company’s value assertion. Managing a company’s brand and reputation in today’s marketplace means the brand is never static, never stationary and constantly evolving.
Companies that lead today’s markets are ones who fully comprehend all the benefits that online marketing has to offer. These companies are proactive instead of reactive. They are aggressive in managing their online brand and reputation and they have done away with the passive, indifferent and outdated strategies of the past. These companies adopt a complete online solution; they know where their customers are and how to reach them in a mobile world.
Just Having a Website Isn’t Enough
Ultimately, just having a website is no longer enough. Something more is needed. Companies who want to remain ahead of their competition must provide a complete solution, one that engages their audience and keeps them incentivized no matter where they are or what they are doing. In this case, it’s about engaging customers all the time. That implies adopting mobile-friendly marketing strategies where customers are always able to access vital information about their favorite brands on their mobile devices.
It’s no longer just a question of having a website, adopting a social media presence and using a one-time pay-per-click (PPC) online marketing campaign. It’s about having a proactive social media strategy that drives visitors to a company’s website. It’s about reaching a mobile customer base by having a mobile-friendly and responsive website. Finally, it’s about having an application development strategy that simplifies how companies stay in touch with customers, ones who are constantly on the move and always connected.
Having that application development strategy is critical. An “app”, as its so often called, allows consumers to easily access vital company information via their mobile devices. They can access the company’s app on their cell and instantaneously get updates on everything the company has to offer. However, it’s not merely about providing information to customers. It’s ultimately about engaging them in real-time and working with them to ensure that the company stays ahead of its competition.
Why Your Company Needs an Application Development Strategy
So, why is having an application development strategy so critical? First, today’s consumer is always on the move and they rely upon their mobile devices and smartphones in order to stay in touch and connected at all times. In fact, according to some estimates, 1 billion of today’s 4 billion cell phones are actually smartphones.
These smartphones are mobile handheld computers, and most, if not all, include a global positioning system (GPS). A GPS is critical for customers looking to find their favorite store, restaurant or widely-recognized hotspot. It’s a tool that can help customers connect to companies in ways never seen before.
Second, more and more of today’s consumers are doing internet searches via their mobile devices. As of 2014, internet searches by mobile devices has overtaken internet searches on laptops and personal computers. Mobile devices accompany consumers everywhere they go and they are a vital part of a consumer’s everyday life. In fact, most consumers are essentially lost without one. Current estimates state that consumers spend upwards of 4 or more hours on their mobile devices a day as opposed to laptops where usage is typically around 1 hour a day.
Third, apps instantaneously connect companies with consumers. People rely upon their mobile devices because they do a number of things laptops simply can’t. For instance, mobile devices include those aforementioned GPS services. They also take photos, allowing individuals to either email or text them to other individuals. They can scan quick response (QR) codes, which simplifies online purchases. They are also options that allow users to process credit card payments and or pay by credit card for their own purchases. They include games, calendars and daily planners. People rely upon their smartphones because they are portable, easy-to-manage and just as easy-to-use.
Finally, apps are available whether there’s an internet connection or not. This means users always have access to vital company information. Apps are critical tools that increase customer retention and loyalty. Ultimately, whether it’s scanning a check and forwarding it on for payment, contacting friends and family members by text or email, or simply staying in touch with like-minded individuals through social media, today’s smartphones do it all and apps are just another extension of that functionality. Having an app for your company is an ideal way to remain in front of your customers and the surest way to keep them engaged.
Using Apps to Build Your Online Brand
Having an application development strategy can position your company as your customer’s only choice. However, it’s important to understand that developing an app is a different process for different mobile devices.
Apps need to be designed differently for an Apple, Blackberry or Samsung. As such, it’s important that a company work with a designer that understands how to navigate the complex world of designing apps for different platforms. However, despite the complexities, all of them can be managed by one network. So, what can having the right application development strategy accomplish for a company with respect to how it manages its customers? Better yet, why are apps needed?
Apps are Mobile-Friendly
Search engines are starting to rank mobile-friendly websites higher in search rankings. This means that companies must produce a website that is as easy-to-read on a mobile device as it is on a personal computer. A website on a mobile phone browser doesn’t look the way it should. An app removes this concern entirely. It provides your customer with a great user experience and simplifies how customers view your company’s information without having to pinch, squeeze and or zoom in on the smartphone’s screen.
Brand Management and Recognition
Building a brand is all about being in front of customers. An app positions your company directly onto your customer’s mobile phone. It’s there for them to see and rely upon. This builds instant rapport and improves your brand. Your company will literally be one tap away. This is an invaluable tool to building a company’s brand in its market.
Directions to Any Remote Location
Having an app is an absolute must for companies with multiple locations and outlets. An app can simplify how customers find these locations by providing ready-made directions and instructions on where to go and how to get there.
The Ultimate Voice of Customer (VOC) Data Tool
The key to growing market share is to be able to gather real-time data on all customer activities. A company’s application development strategy should continually feed the company with up-to-the-minute customer information. An app provides time-critical customer feedback.
The app can be used to gather data on everything market-related. Customers will provide invaluable information on purchases, quantities, interests, issues and concerns, in addition to providing valuable market segmentation information. All of this is accessible through a company’s application development strategy; customers will continually feed information through the app the more they use it.
Improving Customer Engagement
A company’s app can be used to gather customer usage information. This drastically improves customer engagement because it makes the customer feel part of the process. Their input can be used to improve the company’s products and services. This is an invaluable tool when launching new products, upgrading existing offerings and conducting vital market research.
The Ultimate Survey and Resource Tool
Customers will come to see their app as a resource, one full of pertinent and timely information. The app can be designed to provide guidance on how best to use a given product or service, instructions and input on best practices and emergency contact details should something unforeseen arise. Companies can treat the app as a means to provide customers with essential information. Surveys and questionnaires can be used to improve product offerings and or identify avenues for new markets, new products and new business opportunities.
Ultimately, it’s all about increasing revenue. An app can help a company do exactly that. First, customers can place orders through the app. Second, the app can be used to charge for purchases, thereby making it the ultimate point-of-sale (POS) system. Third, companies can charge customers for subscriptions and or downloads.
Apps not only help with brand and reputation management, but they are also excellent tools for increasing customer retention. Companies that run rebate and or reward programs through their apps are able to give their customers extra incentives to purchase more. Customers will want to find out what their latest accrued credit or rebate is on every purchase and they’ll be more inclined to redeem those points through the app on their smartphone.
Providing Insight Into Best Practices
Apps that are designed with the business professional in mind are excellent tools where they can gain insight into best business practices. Apps can be used to provide customers with insight into business finances, operations, supply chain management and manufacturing strategies. Additional information can be downloadable and easily-accessible for the business professional who is looking for insight into how best to manage their day-to-day activities.
Chakery.com is a full-service, turnkey online marketing solutions provider, one with the experience companies need when putting together a proactive and resourceful application development strategy. The company’s focus is to provide one all-inclusive platform, one that combines a well-designed and mobile-friendly website with a proactive online marketing strategy. The apps are the ultimate add-on and can be used alongside all the other online tools provided through Chakery.com.
When looking to catapult your company to the front of your market, take the time to work with a complete provider. Chakery.com’s application team will put together an engaging website that is both mobile-friendly and thought-provoking. They’ll then combine that design with an application development strategy that maximizes everything social media and your company has to offer. In the end, it’s about a complete solution and it’s provided through Chakery.
- Date March 27, 2016
- Tags Whitepaper