By Almeda Brook

A 2016 survey by eMarketer revealed that American mobile users spend most of their mobile time on apps, averaging at 3:23 hours each day, with only 50 minutes spent on mobile web. Clearly, if you want your mobile marketing to have real impact, you need to do it on an app. An app is the most personal form of mobile communication. After all, Cisco predicts that by 2020, more people will have mobile phones than running water and electricity!

Small businesses often have limited resources and are wary of anyone pitching them a new app. However, the ‘right’ app isn’t just a fancy app with a clever interface to do things a website does anyway. A good mobile app is really a complete suite of mobile marketing solutions that can help you take your business to the one thing your customers are constantly glued to – their phones.

So let’s take a look at six ways a mobile app takes care of your mobile marketing like no one else, making it the ultimate mobile marketing solution.

1. An App Makes You a Mobile Marketing Expert

An app basically lets you defragment your mobile marketing campaign and provide different services on the app alone. Special offers and seasonal discounts? Right there on the app. Instructions, tutorials and user manuals? Right there. Troubleshooting, customer service and chat support? It’s all right there on the app. Push notifications trump emails and SMSs, flash sales, limited edition products, great deals and bargains – everything is accessible to the customers directly and immediately.

Customers get to make use of the right service at the right time, and you get a direct marketing channel, all in one place. Consequently, an app brings in more revenue and does a remarkable job of branding for your business.

2. An App Puts You in the Customer’s Memory 24/7

Once a customer downloads your app, you earn a highly coveted spot on their favorite gadget. You will now be able to send personalized push notifications designed to make that customer happy. You will be visible to the customer every time they check their phone, which could be as much as 46 times a day. In fact, 61% of people check their phone first thing in the morning, so you stand a chance at gaining visibility at the very start of their day. Clearly when the time comes to buy a product you offer, you will be their first choice.

3. An App Is the Ultimate Branding Strategy

An app is a blank canvas that is entirely your own, and you can express yourself – or your business – in any way you like. You do not have to be limited by browser or platform limitations and can truly establish a brand and personality that appeals to your audience. You can be bold, funny, calm or erratic. But you get to be unique. You can use UX design that enthralls your users and drives unforeseen engagement. You can gamify your app, add features, functions and services that add value and can set yourself apart from the competition. An app can do wonders for your branding.

4. An App Offers Extremely Precise, Advanced Analytics

One of the most useful things about an app is that it lets you understand your customers in a way nothing else does. Apps offer some of the most advanced analytics like how many users used your app after installing, how often they used it, what time of the day did they use it most, which pages they spent most time on, what products they like more than the others, what areas did most people face trouble with and a hundred other such answers.

Advanced analytics like touch heatmaps and eye-tracking let you take analytics to the next level if you are really looking for nuanced answers. On the whole, app analytics allow for a high-precision consumer profiling to help pin point your marketing strategy.

5. An App Lets You Personalize Your Offerings like No One Else

So now that you have vital information about your customers, you can truly proffer highly personalized solutions to each individual user. You can create programs customized not just to a segment but to every single customer. Someone who shows interest but abandons at the last minute can be nudged forward with a special discount. Those who use your app actively can be rewarded for their loyalty, turning them into brand advocates and marketers for you. Those who don’t use the app at all can be contacted personally to find out what is discouraging them. You can then offer to go the extra mile to solve their problem and re-engage them. Feedback from such users can help you solve some key problems.

When every customer receives such personal attention, your value as a customer-centric business goes up and that is undoubtedly the holy grail of business success.

6. An App Drives Superior Customer Experience and Fosters Loyalty

When a customer is able to solve most of their problems with you by simply opening an app, their life becomes just a little bit easier. This kind of ease and convenience is what wins them over. A Customers 2020 report predicts that by 2020, customer experience will be a bigger differentiator than price and product quality, which means that customers will choose a business that offers them efficient service, faster responses and value for their time. Apps let you do just that by being the one stop shop for all their needs from buying to troubleshooting to easily returning.

Wrapping Up

If you are a small business, striving to make a place in your customers’ hearts, and take home a good ROI, don’t look at an app as an added expense but as a vital mobile marketing strategy. In fact, an app is a consolidated mobile marketing solution giving you as well as your customers everything they need in one place. Developing an app could potentially be the most profitable decision you make for your business.

So do you already have an app or are you planning to build one soon? Do share with us in the comments.