A guest post by Allison Ulrich
The world is becoming increasingly more mobile and tech based. More people are relying on smartphones just to function in their everyday lives. According to Synovate, 42 percent of Americans say they cannot live without their cellular phone.
Even businesses are jumping on the mobile craze and developing mobile and Web apps for their tech-addicted customers. Borrell Associates estimates that 80 percent of small and medium-sized businesses invest in mobile marketing.
“Developing mobile and Web-based applications can increase your company’s brand recognition and enhance your customers’ experience,” said Ben Lyne, president of InternetApplications.com.
There are a variety of apps out there developed by businesses. Here are some useful and creative ones companies have built for both business and personal use:
Planning a trip to one of Disney’s theme parks soon? Then this app is for you. Disney developed the app with the theme park patron in mind so visitors could have the best Disney experience possible. The app not only includes a park map and activity schedule, but also tells you the wait times for the park’s rides. It makes planning your Disney-filled day that much easier.
Salesforce.com offers a variety of cloud-based services to assist businesses in day-to-day operations. The Sales Cloud performs functions including: contact/lead management, analytics, file storage and social media insights. Salesforce.com even offers a mobile app so your business information is at the tip of your fingers at all times. Users pay for access to the app and the most popular version costs about $125 per month.
Price: $2 to $200
Let’s face it, refilling prescriptions can be a pain, especially if you’re filling multiple prescriptions each month. Walgreens makes life easier with its mobile pharmacy app. This app gives Walgreens customers the ability to scan prescription labels and schedule pickups at their local Walgreens pharmacy. The app also features pill reminders, photo printing and coupons.
This app allows future parents to read about and see the development of their unborn child week by week. You can share your baby’s development information with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. The app also includes a link to the Pampers “Welcome to Parenthood” YouTube series.
If you do business internationally or have clients who speak different languages, this app can help you in a pinch. The mobile app allows you to either type phrases or speak into the microphone and have it translated into more than 60 languages.
While these apps were developed by corporations, Lyne said you don’t need a huge budget to get into the mobile marketing game. Typically firms like InternetApplications.com could develop business apps for as low as $500.
“Small businesses can benefit from app development,” Lyne said. “It can be an excellent marketing vehicle, especially if your app is creative and offers consumers something of value, like the Disney Mobile Magic or Walgreens mobile apps do.”
Nielson Wire estimates that nearly half of all Americans own a smartphone.
“There’s a whole new market out there that many small businesses are ignoring,” Lyne said. “Mobile devices are not going away anytime soon, you best optimize your business to keep up with the mobile revolution or risk falling behind.”
Name: Ivana S. Taylor
About: Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com – an online marketing publication that provides marketing strategies that help entrepreneurs and business owners get and keep profitable customers. She is the DIY Marketing expert and book editor for Small Business Trends and a contributing author to AMEX Open Forum. Her strategic consulting firm, Third Force specializes in helping companies find their best customers and be the one they choose – regardless of price. Ivana is the co-author of Excel for Marketing Managers. You can find her on Twitter as @DIYMarketers.