Sunday, September 30, 2012

Does my business need a mobile app ?

There’s no doubt that consumers are using their mobile phones to buy more and with increased frequency on their mobile phones.
Recently Time Magazine – The Wireless Issue dedicated a whole issue to the launch of their own app and an explanation of how the mobile phone has changed how we communicate, explore, do business and pay for items we want.
The business question is should you rely on a mobile optimised website, or should you be considering a mobile app?
The answer appears to be that more users will probably uninstall your app than will use it if it does not meet their needs.
Currently the most prevalent retail mobile apps are Amazon and eBay and those being used by major chain restaurants like Domino’s and others to check on the delivery of your order.
Other apps used regularly by small and midsized business are vouches/discount sites, journey planning, and booking apps. Smartphone users are likely to find their way with Google Maps, check plane times on their mobiles and read the news so what will your app offer?
Who will use your app? 
Nearly 40 percent of American mobile subscribers accessed downloaded apps in June 2012. And, according to a consumer survey conducted earlier this year by MTV Networks, 91 percent of respondents said apps expose them to new things; 77 percent compared apps to personal assistants; and 83 percent of daily mobile app users reported believing they're "addicted" to apps ( Gamers and highly evolved hand held users)
Whatever your company does online, can also be done on smart phones, which adds portability, location targeting and other cutting-edge technological enhancements to the mix. The potential of mobile apps extends far beyond marketing.
Sure, companies can leverage applications to promote their products and services, reaching on-the-go consumers looking for compelling places to shop or grab lunch. But mobile apps can also support online purchase transactions, customer loyalty programs, turn-by-turn directions and social media interactions.
As a business owner what should I do?
All businesses looking at apps need to plan carefully. They should plan a budget and a road map. Knowing what you want the app to do and which consumer segments you wish to reach. This can pose a bigger challenge.
Things to look at before you move ahead with an app:
             Know what message you want to send
             Understand your audience
             Clarify what you want your app to achieve
In a recent interview with Ben Duckworth of Duckworth Consultants in Kelowna for this article Duckworth said “Business owners need a plan and what we do at Duckworth Consultants is offer a mobile app solution that is completely customizable, so you can design your app specifically around your business, what your business goals are and how you want your customers to interact with you."
When speaking about their own customers Duckworth pointed out: “What customers like about our app’s is that our platform is unique to apps in that each feature can be changed, turned on or off and even added to when the app is live.”
How will an app help me increase my business sales?
That’s the big question right now. People tend to think of mobile apps as novelties and games or small utility apps for people to use for tasks and calendars.
Here is what you need to consider for why your business needs its own app:
  1. You put Your Business in your Client or Prospects Pocket!
  2. You can add mobile value by including content and functionality that are time sensitive
  3.  Provide content that adds value to client’s and prospect’s daily lives
  4. Your app will become a part of a person’s daily life and become indispensable
  5. It’s about convenience for your clients and prospects.
  6. You can use the App to drive traffic to your brick and mortar store with a Push “Call to Action”
  7.  Announce “Specials” to your app subscribers (online shoppers love a bargain)
  8. You can announce an “Event” and have the app user keep it in their calendar so they don’t forget. If it’s a ticketed event, tell them how to get tickets or give them links to purchase tickets, or have a cart system to purchase tickets in the app
  9. The mobile internet market is growing at a much faster rate than fixed internet
  10.  It will differentiate you from your competition
  11. You create deeper engagement through a device.  Statistics show people are within 15 feet of their mobile Smartphone 24 hours a day
  12. Drive more loyalty to your brand by engaging people with the devices they are so addicted to
  13. You are constantly branding your business on your customers phones
  14. Your business is provided with great feedback through mobile app two way conversations
  15. It is going to drive more revenue and ultimately more profits with its ability to “Push” information to app users instead of waiting for them to “Pull" information like a website
  16. It enables easy social sharing of your content between mobile users with in-app sharing features
  17.  Reduce costs to your business through automation. With a mobile app that has back end software you can change the information yourself.
So when considering an app for your business or any other  marketing tool  it’s easy to forget what your really  trying to achieve because sometimes we get so focused on the look and feel of the marketing piece.
The best marketing tools not only look good but they actually help solve a problem for your clients and that will   Build Your Business.
If you need help with your  Social Media Strategies or Internet Marketing Strategies contact:
Donald Robichaud
Floodlight Business Solutions Group
Build Your Business

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Increase your Productivity – Emails and cell phones can be productivity Time Wasters

In the last couple of weeks I have been reading many books and one in particular has struck a key note with me. 
Daily I deal with clients and friends who are slaves to technology, specifically emails, cell phones and their own struggles with time management.The book “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss is about how to radically change your lifestyle or go from ‘living to work’ to working (as little, but effectively as possible) and making life as big as possible.

Here is a summary from chapter seven (Interrupting Interruption and the Art of Refusal) that is focused on step-changing one’s personal efficiency. With these tips you can get 15 times as much done in a normal workweek”.
The key is to do things quicker, faster better and to enjoy the things that are really important in life. Interested?
Donald Robichaud- FloodLight Consulting
Eliminate time wasters:
  • Severely limit e-mail consumption and production
  • Turn off the audible alert if you’re on Outlook or a similar program
  • Turn off automatic send/receive (which delivers e-mail to your in-box as soon as someone sends them)
  • Check e-mail only twice per day, once at 12:00 noon and again at 4:00 pm.
  • Never check e-mail first thing in the morning…instead, complete your most important task before 11:00 am to avoid using lunch or reading e-mail as a postponement excuse.
  • Before implementing the twice-daily routine, you must create an e-mail auto-response that will train your boss, co-workers, suppliers, and clients to be more effective
  • Suggested e-mail template: “Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12:00 noon (PST) and 4:00 pm (PST). If you require urgent assistance that cannot wait until either 12:00 or 4:00, please contact me via telephone @ 626-321-4107. Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and effectiveness. It helps me to accomplish more and serve you better.”
  • Do the same type of template with your phone voicemail.
Create systems to limit your availability via e-mail and phone and deflect inappropriate contact:
  • Get the auto-response and voicemail script in place now, and master the various methods of evasion.
  • Replace the habit of greeting “How are you?” with “How can I help you?”
  • Get specific and remember – no stories
  • Focus on immediate actions and practice interruption-killing policies.
  • Batch activities to limit set-up cost. Where in my life can I create a routine in my life by batching?
  • What tasks (like laundry, groceries, mail, payments, sales reporting, etc.) can I allot to specific times each day, week, or month so I don’t squander time repeating them more often than necessary?
Need Help?
FloodLight Consulting provides objective feedback about what you need to do to get your business on track. A healthy business coach relationship provides you honest ongoing assessment of your Business Development Activities, assisting you to focus your efforts in the areas that will have the greatest long term positive impact on your business and your life. If you need help creating your goal-plan Click here!!
Donald Robichaud – FloodLight Consulting
Floodlight – Build Your Business
Kelowna. Kamloops, Calgary, Edmonton. Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto Moncton, Halifax and across Canada

Monday, September 10, 2012

Build Your Business with LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

As a business coach and marketing consultant I am always looking for the next new social media tool to give my clients the edge in their marketing.

Recently I decided to spend a little more time on an older Social Media tool called LinkedIn which is a social tool for businesses to business decision makers.

LinkedIn is a place where you’d keep things pretty buttoned-up and formal. No need to mention your vacation in Las Vegas on LinkedIn.

But that white paper you wrote? This is just perfect for LinkedIn.

My past sales training and business experience has always guided me to the highest level position in any organization when negotiating or making a sale. And on LinkedIn, this is where the decision makers preside in the rarefied air of top management.

If I am going to spend my time and money on marketing to search out leads only to be told no to my business proposition ......I’d rather that it come from a top decision maker than a lower level bureaucrat.
Here is the reason I make that statement:
  • LinkedIn - known as the network for professionals is a very powerful network that is quickly growing in popularity with 120-million worldwide users.
  • LinkedIn users attract a much older and typically more educated user base. Many users find it difficult to learn the network at first, due to its professional atmosphere and intimidating user base.  CEO, s CFO, s Presidents, Vice Presidents and Senior Managers.
  • LinkedIn has an excellent reach to the decision makers of companies because of its professional setup. Below is additional information on the typical LinkedIn user:
    • Average Age: 43 (as of end 2010)
    • Average Annual Income: $109k
    • Average # of Friends: 63 plus
In the last while I have concentrated my social marketing activities to focus more on LinkedIn and specifically to joining groups that are relevant to the services of Floodlight.

I also joined groups that had larger followings.  The larger the group meant that the information within the group must be more relevant or the association was more predominant for one reason or another.

In total I joined 30 plus groups and extended my reach to over 40 thousand people!!!!
Over the four week period I posted 8 articles to LinkedIn and the results to my overall business were amazing.

The different approach to LinkedIn caused a 12% increase to my website with 178 visitors directly from LinkedIn spending more than one minute on my site.

My posts were commented on 15 different times with relevant comments and interaction.

The best of all was that Floodlight received a qualified lead and a large sale was closed.

Since it is largely focused on B-to-B connections, LinkedIn should be a big part of your social media 
marketing strategy to help Build Your Business.
If you need help with your LinkedIn Social Media Strategies contact:
Donald Robichaud
FloodLight Consulting
Top dog Social Media LinkedIn Specialist  Melonie Dodaro