Have you gotten into your car after work when an instant traffic report for your commute home suddenly pops up on your phone? If this is not a phenomenon you’ve experienced yet, look for useful insights like these and many others to start showing up on your mobile device out of the blue.
It’s called geofencing, and studies show that this locally optimized approach to reaching customers boasts double the click through rate of normal mobile advertising. If you are a small business owner, you need to get on board with this marketing marvel right away. It’s an easy and affordable solution to engage your customers and grow your bottom line.
Why You Should Adopt a Geofencing Marketing Approach
First of all, with any new and emerging technology, you need to see the evidence to support the hype. Data drives decisions, and in this case, the numbers speak volumes.
60% of consumers look for local information on their mobile devices.
40% of consumers look for information while on the go.
70% of consumers are willing to share their location with you for something in return.
Secondary Action Rates–meaning people visit a store or take some other additional action after seeing an ad–are more than 2x as likely to occur with location-based marketing.
Home and trade services rank among the industries that receive the highest secondary action rates.
How Can This Location Data Help Me?
How can you use this exciting and versatile technology in your business? There are many ways you can use geofencing to help increase customer interactions, employee productivity, accountability, and profits, as well as keep your property and assets safe.
The first step is to develop a mobile app that supports this technology. From there, the possibilities are endless. Just look at what ground-breaking steps are being made within businesses who have begun to use geofencing.
North Face Uses Geofencing to Boost Sales with Creative Alerts
North Face is one of the big guns when it comes to outdoor apparel. One of the reasons the brand is so successful is because it’s not afraid to experiment with new technology.
The company recently experimented with geofencing as a means to lure customers to their stores by using push notifications about the weather. Their weather-based geofenced alerts have been quite successful. The company boasts a 79% increase in store visits from customers who receive the alerts, and 65% of those customers make purchases.
There’s a lot you can learn from the marketing team over at the North Face—even if your business is on a much smaller scale. First of all, studies suggest that when a user isn’t surfing the web on his or her phone, he or she is likely to spend 86% of smartphone time using apps.
Pay attention to how the big guys are playing the mobile game—there’s a lot to learn, and in a digital world, your small business can compete. More importantly, don’t ignore a powerful resource because you don’t understand it—learn what’s new, and learn how to apply it to your business.
BMW Uses Geofencing to Offer Quality Customer Service
BMW has also employed geofencing into their mobile business plan—in a rather different manner than most. Where most companies are using geofencing as a tool for garnering consumer attention with flashy promotions, BMW’s use is a little more pragmatic.
BMW incorporates geofencing in their BMW Trackstar and BMW Trackstar Advance services. After the activation of this service, your car’s position is pinpointed every 20 seconds. If the car is moved without the use of its keys, and the car moves out of a designated geofence, it will notify BMW who will then reach out to the car’s owner.
Again, as a small business owner, you can learn a lot from BMW with regard to the customer service potentials of a geofence. You may not have the theft of an expensive car to worry about in your business, but you do have customers who need product protection, communication, and reliability. With about 90% of customers expecting some sort of self-service customer support, investing in the right solution will place your brand in your customers’ good graces.
Walgreens Uses Geofencing as a Means of Customer Retention
Walgreens is using mobile marketing as a way to build trust and eventually promote brand loyalty in its customers through geofencing. Whenever a customer pulls into a fenced location a notification allows the user to open the app without having to look for it. After that, customers can scroll through their account details or view promotional offers.
Clearly the data shows that loyalty programs are a must for today’s consumers. Your business can mirror Walgreen’s direction when you add a geofence to your mobile app.
This specific approach to mobile marketing gives the user an experience of exactly “what they want when they want it” which is a hard feat to achieve in marketing. Service without interruption promotes customer loyalty.
Uber Uses Geofencing for Proactivity
Following the lead of tech-giants around the world, Uber has also delved into using geofences. Uber uses geofences at Los Angeles International airport so that when users arrive at the airport they are notified about the number of cars available to meet their needs. This allows geofences to serve as a means of providing proactive customer services.
If you are in the travel niche, you can learn a lot from Uber’s proactive approach to catering to potential consumers. But, even if you are not in the travel businesses, thinking about ways to let your customers know you have what they need when they need it most is a great way to use the geofencing capabilities of your business’ mobile app.
It’s important to note that 82% of businesses see quality information as the most important component of a customer’s experience. That means that your competitors are looking for ways to provide clients with the information they need. You need to stay competitive, and a lesson from Uber’s proactive geofences can certainly put you ahead of your competitors.
Honeywell’s Geofencing Approach to Going Green
Honeywell’s Lyric is a smart thermostat that uses geofencing to detect the presence of people in the room. It turns the heat on and off depending upon the presence of people in an area so that power can be saved.
People want to make the world a better place. There’s no better way to bring your brand into the limelight than aligning it with a noble cause that does just that—especially since 95% of students say they are less likely to ignore ads or promotions that show a brand’s relationship with a good cause.
If you can set up a geofence to bolster your cause, your business is certain to reap the marketing benefits—and so will your cause.
American Eagle’s Geofencing Marketing Endeavors
American Eagle set its sights on foot traffic to boost sales at its outlet stores. The clothing giant sent customers who entered geofenced outlet mall parking lot notifications and promotions. The incentives led customers into the door of American Eagle vs. its competitors. The result was a threefold increase in purchases.
As a business owner, you can learn from American Eagle’s success in sending push notifications. If you own a brick in mortar store, an incentive when people are in the vicinity is certain to remind them of something they need or want–let them know you have it when they are close. If American Eagle’s efforts show you anything, it is that paired with the right location, technology can minimize marketing legwork while maximizing customers’ responses—thus making marketing campaigns that much more effective.
Simply put, use the data to track your users’ behaviors. Then, build the right type of geofenced marketing campaign, and let your app do the work for you. The data shows it works.
Taco Bell Reaches the Right Crowd with Its Geofence
Taco Bell’s app is a crucial tool in their geofencing marketing plan. Its mobile ordering feature entices users to download it. With the app in place, hungry customers can order from their phones and then simply go pick up their food—no wait.
After consumers have downloaded the app, the restaurant utilizes geofencing as a way of targeting people under 30 years old with push notifications whenever they are in the vicinity of a Taco Bell. A quick reminder that they can order food from their phone and pick it up two miles down the road was a great way to appeal to the “Want it Now” generation.
Marketing to the right crowd is business 101. With the right tools, your small business can send notifications to your customers without breaking the bank. All you need is a mobile app with geofencing capabilities.
In order to keep up with the times, the History Channel has also begun to utilize geofencing in its Foursquare Campaign. This ground breaking idea gives history buffs something they yearn for—historical facts. In order to connect with its viewers, the History Channel setup geofences, so when any user checks into a particular historical location on Foursquare – say the White House of the Eiffel Tower – he or she gets historical facts about the place. The campaign generated a surprising 400 million check-ins.
Again the brainiacs at the History Channel can teach you a lot more than history. As a business owner, you can copy their thinking and use geofences to provide strong competition to similar nearby businesses and attract their consumer base. You can setup your fences so that users going towards your competitors are notified about your businesses promotions so that you can lure customers away from the competition.
It is safe to say that geofencing is powerful and affordable way to reach consumers. As an SMB, your growing business can easily learn to keep up with the big brand competition. Simply paying attention to how their marketing gurus are adopting geofencing into their mobile marketing plans can give you great insights to what your business is capable of achieving.
Any affordable option is worth exploring, and when you build an app equipped with geofencing capabilities, you are setting yourself up to stay current and competitive.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “app”? Do you think of a game? Something you can’t live without? Or simply a cool gadget on your phone?
Small business owners often shut down when they hear the word “app” being pitched. They, understandably, think there is no money or time to invest in an app ⎼ especially if they don’t even have any other online presence set up yet. Small businesses might see apps as just a gimmicky addition to their marketing portfolio.
But here’s the thing: an app might actually be the one thing that can help the business significantly grow. Why? Because an app is not just a mobile application; an app is a complete mobile marketing solution. If it is executed correctly, a small business will see a significant increase in revenue and customer engagement. Ultimately, this tool won’t be an extra expense, it will save the business a lot of money. How? An app, or mobile solution, can rethink a small business’ social presence, local presence, and mobile presence, as well as turn its best customers into marketers.
Busting The Myth
We have labeled it “ReThink”. More specifically, the Rethink Strategy redefines the way you think about customer experience, customer loyalty, customer advocacy and company ranking. This strategy will also allow small business owners to understand the benefits of a mobile solution.
The first step of the Rethink Strategy is to analyse which experiences would be better facilitated through a mobile solution. In other words, how can the customer experience be improved at a particular business?
Traditionally, companies have emphasized “touchpoints”, referring to the critical moments when customers interact with a brand during their purchasing process. However, a shift is taking place as successful companies focus on the customer journey in its entirety. According to Harvard Business Review’s research, “organizations able to skillfully manage the entire experience reap enormous rewards: enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue, and greater employee satisfaction”. A mobile solution allows any business to move away from mere touch points and start addressing this customer journey as a whole.
For instance, a local restaurant might implement mobile food ordering. Customers now have the option to place an order with the tap of a button through an app. This translates into not having to wait in line, not having to make a phone call, and not needing to go through the hassle of paying at the establishment. As a result, the patrons are provided with a more pleasurable and convenient experience at the restaurant. So, instead of merely improving the “sales touchpoint” at the cash register, the small business is able to improve the entire encounter starting with the purchase process.
An improved customer experience, then, builds loyalty. The better the experience at the establishment, the more likely people are to return. And the way a small business deals with loyalty can also be rethought with a mobile solution.
Every business, whether a mom-and-pop shop or a global company, relies on loyal customers for success. Loyal customers account for 20% of a company’s customers. While that might not seem impressive at first glance, that 20% drives 80% of a business’s total revenue and 72% of total visits to the establishment. This data clearly shows that it is more profitable for businesses to go after customer retention than customer acquisition – however, many do the exact opposite. In fact, it costs 500% more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones.
For example, a salon can implement a mobile stamp card, rewarding customers with a free haircut when it’s complete. For the customer, this means no longer losing a physical punch card and carrying around 20 different rewards cards. Customers now feel that every purchase they make amounts to something bigger. This, again, contributes to a positive customer journey. As a result, rethinking (or implementing) the mobile loyalty strategy can increase repeat business.
Now that a loyal following has been built, a small business should empower their customers to spread the word. Through an app, customers can easily be prompted to share their opinion on social media, produce online reviews or send a referral.
We all know that people love to talk about things they love (and hate). So if they are a loyal and happy customer, it is important to make it as easy as possible for them to share their thoughts with others. Think of traditional word-of-mouth, as a happy customers tells two people about their experience, and those two people each tell another two people. According to Entrepreneur, word-of-mouth is triggered when a customer experiences something far beyond what was expected. A mobile solution can help in doing so – by rethinking experience (as was mentioned above). In addition, Nielsen states that 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising – 10 times more effective to be exact. Word-Of-Mouth Marketing, then, is the most powerful form of advertising a small business can have, as each happy customer can steer dozens of new ones their way.
A gym might send out a push notification to its members, for example, asking them to rate the establishment. Members who frequently go to that gym will be encouraged to leave a positive review or share on social media. Now potential customers will come across these reviews when researching gyms online, making a strong case for the small business.
This stronger online presence will lead to the final stage of the ReThink Strategy, namely Reach. More reviews allow you to rank higher on directory websites like Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Zomato, making sure local businesses are found.
Reviews have a direct impact on local search rankings, so small business should make acquiring them a priority. Businesses who want to appear in Google’s local 3-pack need to have a high volume of good reviews. A better online ranking will increase exposure and bring in new customers who, in turn, can become advocates for the business.
Imagine you are in the mood for an acai bowl (we love those here in San Diego), but you don’t know where to get one. You’ll most likely conduct an online search, perhaps by typing in “acai bowl in San Diego”. What will pop up are Google’s 3 local listings, showing the most popular places to get this snack. Below that will probably be the yelp list for “best acai bowls in San Diego”. You will most likely eat an acai bowl at one of these places, not going beyond those search results. A mobile solution will help a small business rank for these desirable positions by acquiring an abundance of reviews.
This brings the Rethink Strategy full circle, with new customers coming through (online) word-of-mouth marketing and embarking on the ReThink journey themselves. Not only does each stage of the mobile model improve the experience, it ultimately grows the entire business:
A 1-star increase on Yelp has been proven to translate to a 5-9% increase in revenue.
A 5% increase in customer retention will increase profitability by 25%.
Adopting a mobile solution can save a business an average cost of $5,000 annually.
So, we definitely busted that myth! An app is not just an app. An app can be a mobile solution that redefines the entire customer journey and brings about significant growth. A mobile solution has real tangible results, often making them an integral part of the business. The data suggests small businesses are building apps to increase sales (55%), improve customer experience (50%) and to become competitors in a specific market (50%). According to recent studies, nearly half of small businesses are expected to adopt a mobile app by 2017. The features that an app can have (e.g. mobile food ordering, reservations, loyalty programs) are more than add-ons, each of these are benefits of a complete mobile solution that can help a company save or make money. It’s time for local owners to welcome a mobile solution into their small business.
How has an app transformed your small businesses or the local businesses in your area? Share your experiences in the comments!
The marketing challenge of the future: how to get people to download your app. You might be facing these struggles with your company’s app too. There are many strategies to increase app downloads, including pre-launch marketing, active blogging and gaining endorsement. While these are great long-term projects, you can start small.
Facebook has a new button! You can now add a “Use App” button to your Facebook business page, and link it directly to your app. Your Facebook visitors will be just one click away from downloading and using your app!
This button, and its purpose, is what marketers define as the Call to Action (CTA). In the online sense, a call to action is a region of the screen that drives the visitor to click-through to engage further with a brand. In a broader sense, virtually any type of content can (and should) include a call to action. CTAs have proven to be effective in telling your users what actions to take. So how persuasive are CTAs? We’ll let the stats do the talking:
This post is not about just any call to action, it’s about getting people to download your app.
And here’s how you do it:
1. Log on to your Facebook business page
2. Click on Add a Button
3. Select Use our App from the Choose a Button drop-down menu
4. Enter your app URL in the website field
5. Click Save Changes, and admire your new button!
That’s it, piece of cake. Now any visitor who comes to your Facebook page will see the call to action “Use App”. You are literally telling your customers what their next step is, with regards to your brand. Once they click on that button, they’ll be taken directly to your app. So don’t miss out on this easy (and free) way to connect with your customers and market your app!
P.S. This button is not only for adding an app to your Facebook page. If you want your “button” to say and do something else (i.e. contain a different CTA), simply pick another option from the drop-down menu.
Mobile App Helped Local Italian Restaurant Grow 33% Every Year
A local and upscale Italian restaurant, needed a way to build customer loyalty and brand engagement. A mobile app provided a way to engage customers beyond the confines of the establishment through push notifications and a gratifying loyalty program. Now, the restaurant has dramatically increased customer retention, as well as revenue and year-over-year growth.
Build Customer Loyalty & Engagement
The Local Restaurant was already successful, but they wanted to build loyalty and engage customers – also outside of the establishment. The owner previously used email campaigns; his forte was writing strong emails that gave rise to his list of 47,000 subscribers. Adding an app to his marketing repertoire would increase engagement even more and add to the restaurant’s success.
Exciting Loyalty Program & Push Notifications
The mobile strategy was simple: focus on the loyalty program and push notifications, and do these right. If a restaurant is more pricey than usual, a customer might think twice about dining there (even if it is their favorite place). Benedetto’s created a loyalty program that overcame this initial barrier by providing customers with a generous reward – a completed mobile punch card can be redeemed for $50. In addition, the owner uses his persuasive writing skills to send out push notifications to these loyal customers.
“The fishmonger brought fresh stone crab to the backdoor one evening, so Chef Ben sent out a push notification letting everyone know about his catch of the day. The message went out 5pm and he was sold out of crab by 7pm!”
Increase in ROI & Customers Retention
By adding a mobile app to the marketing portfolio, Benedetto’s was able to grow the business with 33% every year, for the last 3 years. The simultaneous marketing endeavors, including quality emails, powerful push notifications, and an exciting loyalty program, have allowed Benedetto’s to dramatically increase customer retention and engagement. The restaurant also has over a 1000 loyal customers actively using the loyalty program on a regular basis.
2,800+ Downloads 1,000+ Loyalty Users 33% Growth Every Year
KEY SUCCESS FACTORS:
Zeroing in on the key value you can provide to customers and translating that into an app.
Using the KISS approach (= Keep it Simple, Stupid) to determine app features and executing them perfectly.
Mobile App Helped Local Italian Restaurant Grow 33% Every Year
Smartphones are our best friends. We make sure to keep them with us everywhere we go. They allow us access to nearly anything we can think of, the world at our fingertips. It’s not just information that makes smartphones so important, they also allow us to become more productive in our daily lives.
We’ve listed the best apps for increasing productivity.
Microsoft have always dominated desktop when it comes to productivity and their mobile version of Word, Excel and Powerpoint are exactly what you’d expect. Available on Android and iOS, the app offers exceptional file compatibility so that your work is in sync with the desktop version. Users can easily edit and view documents, plus cloud support makes it great for sharing and collaborative working. The free version allows basic functions to be carried out but the paid subscription offers more features.
Previously known as Kingsoft Office, the app offers an all-in-one functionality for word processing, presentations and slideshows. It works with a number of different file formats and its features enable the viewing and modifying of documents. There’s also a tab feature that makes it simple for you to work on a number of documents at the same time. Cloud support is also available for Google Drive, Dropbox and other services.
The Outlook app from Microsoft is the full package—emails, attachments and contacts are easily accessible. The app brings important emails to your attention based on communications and it works with Exchange, Office 365, Outlook.com and many other email accounts.
Workflow is an iOS exclusive that allows you to consolidate phone tasks and apps that monopolize your time. You can organize a ride for your next calendar appointment, save images from a webpage and upload photos to your cloud storage. Create workflows and then open them in the app or create iOS Action Extensions. It allows you to carry out over 200 actions using a number of apps and users can share their creations.
Feedly is a news reading tool that brings together a number of interfaces allowing you to browse news stories quickly and efficiently. You can have topical updates delivered from blogs and websites or add customer subscriptions form sources such as RSS. The app also allows articles to be saved so they can be viewed offline.
Paper by 53
Originally a drawing and notebook app, Paper offers checklists, note-taking and a photo annotation function. It still retains the drawing engine that made it so popular and users can bring checklists, notes and photographs into a notebook system that provides simple organization. Work can be exported in a number of different formats as well.
Quip adds something different to the mobile office sector. It incorporates messaging and collaborative editing into its app so that you can import, create and share documents. As a group you can edit them and the sidebar allows you to speak to colleagues or friends. Importing documents is simple using multiple cloud services and exporting documents in many different formats is also available.
This bulletin board app is easily customizable and helps you and your team create to-do lists, notes and much more. Lists are created and are filled with cards, which are tasks, ideas and/or images that can be dragged and dropped between steps. Sharing with other users is simple and they can add their own comments and assign tasks.
Possibly the most popular cloud storage service, Dropbox’s app offers sharing and storage solutions (of course it does). It allows you to store your files online and they can be accessed from anywhere. Files can be shared for collaborative working and new files can be uploaded anytime, and they will sync with other devices.