Even in the time of the Internet of Things, the globalization of information systems, and the reduction of human knowledge to a series of 1’s and 0’s, the fundamental basic principle of marketing remains true. People buy what they need when (they think) they need it. Marketing processes look for the moments in time when consumers are open to influence – when they are in need of something, or confused by a situation and are looking for answers. Like a funnel, all available options are at the wide end, with the decision to purchase at the narrow end. Marketing tools gradually reduce the number of options to retain those closest to the need and eventually eliminates all but one option, which is then deemed the perfect solution. Throughout time, this was how shoppers eventually made selections in an open marketplace.
The internet and its exponential permutations on this theme have added significant complexity to the process. Available options can now number in the thousands, are offered from across the globe, and are all easily found through a simple Internet search. Product information is no longer one-way (from supplier to buyer), but instead can come from the varied ‘shared’ sources that proliferate the sidebars of websites (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). The potential fickleness of existing customers also contributes challenges to today’s marketplace, as they have not just an interest in changing brands, they also have the market-based evidence that justifies the switch.
Fundamentally, the marketing directives for today’s economy and digital world are clear: marketing strategies must link all aspects of the marketing process (strategy, marketing investment spending, presentation management and message) to the experience of the potential purchaser, to stimulate the targeted response (a purchase) and retain consumer loyalty.
Of course, the pressure to get it right – to trigger a positive response from a consumer – is compounded exponentially by the use of mobile technology. Just as newspapers and magazines are being shucked for digital screens, so are coupons, sales information, and competitor prices more easily accessible through a hand-held device that tracks the data and directs the buyer to a newly chosen supplier. The “on-demand” economy requires that purveyors of everything – goods, services, and information – are available at all times. The opportunities now available at the wide end of the funnel are potentially limitless.
Because the competition in today’s’ marketplace is so fierce, it is imperative that the digital presence of marketable goods is placed at the mouth of the wide end of the funnel right from the start of the search, and then kept there through the buying decision process. A properly designed, proprietary business app can be the exact tool necessary to accomplish this goal.
Designing a proprietary app for a unique business is both a technical and artistic endeavor. Each app should be comprehensive in the services it will provide: an accurate reflection of the personality and identity of the enterprise (history, culture, uniqueness); an accurate and clearly presented statement of the product or service that entices the viewer to explore more; information for the potential buyer of the superiority of the goods and services as compared to other products.
At the same time, the app should be easy to access, and the user interface should be as intuitive as possible. The goal is for the user to connect easily with the business through the app, and just as easily share it (and its information) with other people in the community.
Finding an app developer that can professionally and effectively code the app to these parameters is not as easy as an internet search, however. Courses on computer coding are available to the masses. Just because a person has the capability to create an app doesn’t mean they also have the capacity to create the highly sought after artistic and technical platform expected for business purposes. Asking the right questions ensures that the enterprise selects the best app development company for its needs and budget.
1. Understand the Workforce: Like many technology enterprises these days, labor for computer coding can be outsourced to a local sub-contractor or an international coding factory. Usually, off-shore sourcing is less expensive than local or in-house labor, but it comes with challenges. Language, time zones, and quality expectations may contribute to confusion and delay release of the end product. For results that are most likely to respond accurately to enterprise expectations, an in-house coder is optimal. They are available for discussions, understand the language (verbal and computer) and should be familiar with the expectations of the job.
2. Understand the Work: Companies that offer app development frequently have references or examples of work that is similar to that being requested. Great information can be gained by contacting former (or current) customers and evaluating their experiences and the effectiveness of their app. Because many common features appear across various apps, nuances that have educated the developer in one arena can be very informative for projects developed in similar arenas.
3. Define the Optimal Outcome: Getting the product and service information into app format is not the end of the process. The app can also capture viewer data, track overall sales and sales of individual items, and create a database upon which other company decisions can be based. Ensuring its ‘share-ability’ is important as well, so its capacity to connect with social media sites should be explored.
4. Envision the Future: The Internet of Things means that technological devices will have sensor systems included, allowing devices to communicate with each other with no human interference. While making the current investment in technology, investigate the opportunity to be prepared for this (almost certain) future. It would be another opportunity to keep the business poised over the wide end of the funnel.
No matter the product or service offered, humans make purchasing decisions based on emotions and perceptions of immediate needs. Because of the internet, purveyors of goods and services are challenged by an infinite variety of competitors. Positioning their wares as optimally as possible will ensure that consumers will see them, investigate their offerings and gain the knowledge and confidence to choose them. A well designed, proprietary corporate app is the best modern tool to accomplish this goal. To start the process today, contact us.