To conclude my monthly series “Thoughts on the iPad” where I previously discussed future audience trends in Where Will Your Audience Be Next Year? and developing eCommerce trends with mobile apps in Cracking the Code to Web Revenue? I wanted to discuss the web marketing potential of mobile apps. With all signs pointing toward a shift in user adoption with mobile devices and eCommerce trends highlighting an increase in mobile app consumption, the natural questions are “How is this relevant to me? ” and “How can the potential of mobile apps be realized?” The answer to these questions are most certainly subjective, but here is my take.
How are mobile apps relevant to me?
The earliest adopters of mobile applications (service & content publishers) have by and large been larger brands with deeper pockets or small tech companies looking to capture the attention of early adopters with novel products & services. For some mobile apps have been a way to establish an image of hip or cool, a means to create PR buzz or to push the envelope establishing a new business model. As it relates to small business owners, such as photographers, the question inevitably arises how is this new platform relevant to me?
Mobile apps provide a very interesting solution to a challenge faced by all businesses regardless of size, namely generating revenue online. Don’t get me wrong there are multiple approaches to generating revenue online including straight sales (ex. books, prints, ebooks, etc), freemium (ex. MailChimp, my email marketing service of choice, offers limited free service with expanded services costing money), advertising, subscription, etc. Each of these business models can be accomplished outside of the realm of mobile applications through a standard website. Unlike the standard website mobile applications excel in revenue generation because:
- There is an understood expectation that apps at some point cost money
- They’re mobile and your audience can make a purchase virtually anywhere
- They facilitate instant sharing of online testimonials between customers and prospective customers via social media & email
- Transaction conversion rates by app customers are trending higher than standard web customers
- They can unify existing web properties (marketing and commerce) into a powerful sales tool
Realizing the Potential of Mobile Apps
Depending on your business model there are numerous ways to realize the potential of mobile applications. I can’t claim to know the exact answer for everyone, but the clues to finding the right answer for you are in the list above. Personally I feel the most novel aspect of mobile apps is the ability to hone marketing and sales efforts into a razor sharp tool. Utilizing a mobile app to act as a lens that focuses ones online presence is an incredible opportunity. Such an approach not only pulls together disparate online efforts it reinforces brand, messaging and product/service offerings.
On that note, look out for my next post later today for an exciting announcement that will show how I’m applying such theory to my business online.
[tags]technology, mobile, app, application, photography, iPad[/tags]