Mobile Marketing Will Generate $400 Billion in Sales by 2015

If you sell directly to U.S. customers or provide marketing services to clients who do, pay attention. A recent report says a growing mobile market is already generating billions in U.S. sales. And businesses are also spending billions to market to customers via mobile channels.

The Mobile Marketing Association, a global trade association for the mobile marketing industry, says those numbers are only going to increase.

Consider that last year mobile marketing generated an estimated $139 billion in U.S. sales. This figure takes into account both business to business and business to consumer sales.

The association claims the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” released last month, is the first comprehensive study of U.S. economic performance across the mobile marketing industry.

Huge Growth Projected

Most impressive is that this amount is expected to grow by more than half during the next two years. The report says sales generated through mobile marketing will top $400 billion by 2015, an amazing 52 percent rise.

But it’s not just sales that are increasing. The MMA study suggests the amount U.S. companies are willing to spend on mobile marketing is increasing too.

For example, in 2012 the study estimates retailers and marketers spent $6.7 billion to reach customers via mobile channels. That’s considerably less than the amount generated by mobile sales, but still represents a huge opportunity for businesses providing mobile marketing services.

The study projected that amount would also increase, reaching $19.8 billion by 2015.

Mobile advertising, mobile direct response or enhanced traditional media and mobile customer relationship management were all considered in that expenditure.

What it Means to You

While the MMA study was aimed at demonstrating the economic stimulus and job creation potential of mobile marketing, there is a clear message here for small businesses and entrepreneurs as well.

USA Today reported recently on how small businesses are already putting mobile marketing to work to generate additional sales.

We’ve reported previously on the importance of mobile technology to small business operations.

But the MMA study demonstrates the importance of mobile technology for growing your business too.

For many small businesses, this could include focusing on making sure you have a mobile friendly presence. It could also include focusing more attention on social media marketing, much of which is accessed via mobile devices by your customers.

You could also focus on developing mobile apps for your business. And, of course, if you provide marketing services to other business clients, it also means you should consider including mobile marketing services among your other offerings.

How is your business using mobile marketing to reach customers?

Mobile Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Mobile Marketing Will Generate $400 Billion in Sales by 2015

If you sell directly to U.S. customers or provide marketing services to clients who do, pay attention. A recent report says a growing mobile market is already generating billions in U.S. sales. And businesses are also spending billions to market to customers via mobile channels.

The Mobile Marketing Association, a global trade association for the mobile marketing industry, says those numbers are only going to increase.

Consider that last year mobile marketing generated an estimated $139 billion in U.S. sales. This figure takes into account both business to business and business to consumer sales.

The association claims the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” released last month, is the first comprehensive study of U.S. economic performance across the mobile marketing industry.

Huge Growth Projected

Most impressive is that this amount is expected to grow by more than half during the next two years. The report says sales generated through mobile marketing will top $400 billion by 2015, an amazing 52 percent rise.

But it’s not just sales that are increasing. The MMA study suggests the amount U.S. companies are willing to spend on mobile marketing is increasing too.

For example, in 2012 the study estimates retailers and marketers spent $6.7 billion to reach customers via mobile channels. That’s considerably less than the amount generated by mobile sales, but still represents a huge opportunity for businesses providing mobile marketing services.

The study projected that amount would also increase, reaching $19.8 billion by 2015.

Mobile advertising, mobile direct response or enhanced traditional media and mobile customer relationship management were all considered in that expenditure.

What it Means to You

While the MMA study was aimed at demonstrating the economic stimulus and job creation potential of mobile marketing, there is a clear message here for small businesses and entrepreneurs as well.

USA Today reported recently on how small businesses are already putting mobile marketing to work to generate additional sales.

We’ve reported previously on the importance of mobile technology to small business operations.

But the MMA study demonstrates the importance of mobile technology for growing your business too.

For many small businesses, this could include focusing on making sure you have a mobile friendly presence. It could also include focusing more attention on social media marketing, much of which is accessed via mobile devices by your customers.

You could also focus on developing mobile apps for your business. And, of course, if you provide marketing services to other business clients, it also means you should consider including mobile marketing services among your other offerings.

How is your business using mobile marketing to reach customers?

Mobile Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

25 Tips When Looking for a Business App Developer Nov 5, 2015 by Annie Pilon In Marketing Tips 7

App DevelopmentEDIT

Mobile apps are changing the way businesses communicate and market to their customers. Having a well designed and useful mobile app for your business can be a huge asset. But you need to find the right professionals to create it.

If you’re looking at hiring a business app developer to create a dedicated mobile app for your business, take a look at these tips first.

Hiring a Business App Developer

Make Sure You Actually Need an App

Having an app for your business may sound like a fun idea. But if it’s not going to be useful to customers, it can be an expensive mistake. So before hiring a business app developer, consider whether simply having a mobile friendly site might be sufficient for your needs.

Jon-Mikel Bailey of Wood Street, Inc. said in an email to Small Business Trends, “At Wood Street, we spend more time talking people out of apps than into them. Not because we don’t want to design apps but because we don’t build to build something that our client does not need.”

Make Sure Your Customers Will Use It

If you’re not sure whether or not your customers would actually use the app you have in mind, it can be a good idea to do some market research first. By talking to customers, you can also potentially get some ideas for what they want in an app, should they think it’s necessary. And that could impact what kind of developer you choose to hire as well.

Consult Experts in Web Development

Experts in Web design and user experience can also help guide your decision. Even if you haven’t decided on a business app developer yet, talk to a few people or to your web development team to see if they think a mobile app is necessary. Bailey says, “Designing an app for the sake of saying your business has an app is a waste of time and money. An expert will be better equipped to get you to some sort of return on investment — whether that be money made, market share, or brand awareness.”

Make Sure Your App Solves a Problem for Customers

If people are going to actually use your app, you need to give them a reason to do so. What can your app offer that your website can’t, and that no other company is doing as well as you? Having a main purpose for your app in mind before hiring someone to create it can help the process tremendously.

Create Something That Complements Your Website

Since an app is similar to a website, but just built for a specific mobile platform, it should be something that complements or works with your main site.

Try Your Web Developer First

For that reason, it can be beneficial to go right to the people who put together your website in the first place. They’re familiar with your company and your site. And if you were happy with the experience of working with them on that project, you’re likely to be equally satisfied when working with them to build an app. Just make sure that app development is something they actually offer and have experience in.

Be Wary of Directories

There are some online directories of app developers out there if you don’t know where to start your search. But being listed on one of these directories doesn’t necessarily mean that the developer is reputable. So do your research if you’re going to go that route. Bailey says, “I’m sure there are reputable directories and listing sites out there but you still don’t know whether the companies on their list have been truly vetted.”

Seek Out Referrals

Instead, Bailey thinks a better route would be to reach out to other business owners and see if they have suggestions for a business app developer they’ve used and been happy with. He says, “Reach out on places like LinkedIn to see if anyone would recommend an app designer and why. A referral is still one of the best and most trusted resources for finding quality vendors, as long as you trust the source.”

Build for the Platform(s) Your Customers Use

Of course, any business app developer you hire should have experience building for the platform that you want to use for your app. If you know that most of your customers use Android phones, that’s probably the type of developer you need. If you want something built for both Android and iOS, find a developer that works with both.

Understand the User Experience

A good designer should be able to understand the experience that you want to create for your users. But they should also be well versed in creating that type of user experience.

Decide on the App’s Main Purpose

Part of creating that experience is focusing on the one thing that your app does better than anything else. What is the thing that your customers are most likely to do with your app? That should be the main focus. If your developer understands that and has shown the ability to do that in other apps, you’ve likely found a good one. Bailey says, “The app designer needs to understand that a good app must do one thing very well instead of a bunch of things okay.”

Don’t Try to Add in Too Many Features

Once you’ve found the one feature that your app should focus on, allow the rest to fall to the background. That doesn’t mean that your app can’t have other features, but they don’t all need to be visible on the main screen. A phone screen doesn’t have too much room for clutter.

Always Review Your Developer’s Research

You should also look into your developer’s history with researching apps. If they are going to be able to create something truly unique for you, they have to be able to figure out what else is out there in your industry. Bailey says, “They need to be able to see what the competition is for your app idea and if, after identifying that, it is still a worthwhile endeavor to build the app.”

Always Check Your Developer’s References

To find out if previous clients have been happy with a developer’s work, you should check their references. See if they have testimonials listed on their site or just ask them for some past clients you can contact.

Ask About Their Previous Successes

You can also learn a lot from speaking to the developers themselves. Find out about the apps they feel have been most successful and why. If they bring up things like user experience and researching competitors, you’ve likely found someone who will work for you.

Look at Examples of Their Work

Aside from just finding out if clients were happy with a developer, you should also look at the work itself. Is it similar in style to what you see for your brand? Is the work of the quality that you would expect?

Don’t Get Hung Up on Visual Details

While visuals are important, it’s something that can be easily changed and customized for each client. So when looking at a developer’s portfolio, don’t necessarily write them off because the colors or other design elements aren’t your taste, since that was likely just what that particular client wanted. Instead, focus more on the usability and overall experience.

Look at Apps They’ve Designed Within Your Industry

You could put a little more weight onto the apps that are relevant to your industry or major app function though. If a designer has shown that they can successfully build an app that’s at least somewhat similar to what you’re looking for, that’s a positive step. Bailey says, “A good app designer should be able to develop any type of app. That said, it’s a good idea to see examples of their designs. Also, ask to see if they have clients in your industry, even if they were not app clients and were web design or development clients.”

Find a Developer with Whom You Communicate Well

Communication is also another important part in the process. You’ll almost certainly need to go back and forth with ideas and revisions. So you need to find a developer that hears you and communicates their own points effectively with you as well. Your initial contact with each business app developer should give you some kind of idea if you’ll be a good match.

Have an Idea How You Would Like the Process to Go

You should also think about how you’d like the process to go and how you’ll best work with a developer. Do you like being able to just email ideas over whenever you think of something or would you rather set up specific meetings to discuss those things? Figure out what process works best for you and find a developer that is comfortable with that.

But Ask About Their Process As Well

Alternatively, you might want to hire a developer based on their work and other factors and just allow them to work however they get the most done. Just find out about their process first and make sure it’s something that you’re comfortable with.

Consider Your Time Frame

You’ll also need to think about the time frame that you have for creating your app. If you have a specific release date in mind, like one that would coincide with a major launch date, you’ll need to find a developer that will work with that deadline.

Don’t Always Look for the Lowest Price

Price should be a consideration, as it is with most things in business. But good app developers charge what they do for a reason. If you go with a low-budget option, that could show to your customers who use the app.

Be Sure to Discuss Ownership of the App

Before agreeing to work with any particular business app developer, you should have a clear contract that states the ownership of the app once it’s completed. If you want your business to be in full control, have that clearly spelled out.

Make Sure the Finished Product is an Essential Resource

Overall, a good business app developer should be someone who has a clear vision for your company’s app. Successful apps are those that people come back to again and again. So always keep that in mind when hiring an app developer. Bailey says, “A successful website needs to be a resource for the target audience. An app is no different. You want your app to be something the user will pin to their home screen and access regularly. Will yours be that app? If not, you might want to go back to the drawing board.”

App photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

World Cup 2015: Daniel Vettori Island Stint Yields Windies’ Insights

Daniel Vettori spin

Wellington: New Zealand’s Dan Vettori said on Wednesday that he had inside knowledge about the West Indies and had warned his teammates not to focus solely on dangerman Chris Gayle in their World Cup quarter-final.

Vettori played Twenty20 alongside Gayle in last year’s Caribbean Premier League, saying his time in the islands had shown him there was no shortage of match-winners in the West Indies squad.

“There’s a lot of guys who played in the CPL last year so I’ve got some knowledge of a lot of their players and I’m trying to relay that to the rest of the team,” he said.

“They’re a pretty dangerous side all the way through, so we’re definitely not focusing on one guy. They’re a very good team and they’ve got lots of guys who can be destructive.”

Vettori said the co-hosts were “real casual” ahead of their first knockout match in Wellington on Saturday, maintaining the laid-back approach that delivered six victories in pool play.

“We want to just keep it as simple as possible, as consistent as we have been and real casual,” he said.

“That’s probably not that appropriate a word, but that’s how we’ve been building up over the last six or seven weeks and it’s really worked for us.”

The 36-year old said the team could not dwell on the pressure from home fans desperate for success at the tournament after six semi-final appearances.

“There’s a real excitement around New Zealand, that’s probably something I haven’t seen (before),” he said.

“Having a World Cup at home, people are so excited about that and the fact that we’re playing well. People are really supporting us and I think there’s a little bit extra because of that.”

Vettori, who took his 300th one-day international wicket earlier in the tournament, was also avoiding thoughts that a loss on Saturday could potentially spell the end of a career stretching back 18 years.

“Those things may dawn on me a little bit closer to the time but it’s all about the team at this stage,” he said, adding he preferred to stay “in the moment”.

[“source-ndtv”]