This article was not to be about mobile technology. It was supposed to be about how to use mobile technology. This article was not for businesses “thinking” about mobile technology. This article was supposed to be about business that know it’s a smart move to make and are looking for ways to get it done. This article was supposed to be about businesses that can see the future clearly and realize that for an investment which is comparatively small in contrast to what they currently spend on more costly yet less effective forms of advertising, that they could effectively put a stranglehold on their local market. This article was supposed to be about businesses that have the desire to break ranks from their “me too” advertising practices which formerly have only been exercises in “doing what the other guy is doing” and getting not much reward. This article was supposed to be about what business that want to know how, with very little effort, they can neutralize their competitors advertising efforts, make them spend more to get less and do it right under their noses leaving them without a single clue as to why their customers are not coming around they way they used to. This article was supposed to be about businesses who spend thousands on billboard advertising but don’t have a website ( with an actual case study of one that is doing so) and why this is absolutely insane if not a sure recipe for insolvency. This article article was supposed to be about how not to be a business that puts up a social media page with no clue of how to make it work, then complains about how social media doesn’t work or is a waste of time. When I was in college, my comp prof taught me that I should always directly address my audience and in such a way as to make my words resonate with my audience’s desires. I am a technology marketing consultant. I have some clients and I want more; but recalling just now, that college lesson, and getting very few calls tells me I don’t have a very large audience to address so it’s probably not worth it to write this article at all. About The author: Bryan Jackson is a mobile technology consultant, web developer and owner of Local Touch Mobile a mobile marketing, web design and social media positioning company. He is currently building and promoting his new brand which allows small local businesses to inexpensively retain and acquire new customers through digital coupon marketing.
It’s astounding! The “app” craze is now in full effect and has reached fever pitch.
Ask any small business owner who has been approached by a application development firm and they’ll tell you that they are thinking apps, but unbeknownst to them, they are not being told the full story. A disclosure which would give them the ability to see and fully understand the total picture.
Considering the hyper numbers that are being tossed about concerning mobile app usage and downloads, it’s easy to see how a small business owner can quickly become enamoured with the idea that the implementation of a mobile application is indeed a fast track to greater reach, branding and profits.
The concept of throngs of users dying to download their app and the prospect of soaring profits that dances in their heads have been carefully placed in their minds by application developers, whose eyes are clearly are on profits, ahead of client benefits.
When we speak of applications, their use and implementation, there are a few things a business should (MUST) consider.
Unless you have your own “in-house” team, expect to pay around $26,000. That’s for a simple app with turn around of 4-8 weeks to create. And that’s just the a cost for a single platform like Android.
And if you plan on not leaving out iOS users, Windows Phone users and Blackberry users, expect to shell out even more.
It should be painfully obvious that few small businesses can afford an expenditure of this magnitude . Especially when there is no guarantee that the campaign will generate even a break even ROI. And if you think your app will be the media darling that gets downloaded by thousands, think again.
Next up, on going maintenance cost.
Yes you’re going to have to maintain your app and the cost of doing so is not cheap.
Consider the industry standard for software maintenance averages 15 to 20 percent of development costs and it will become very evident that you’re facing some very hard numbers.
As in the above example, if your app cost $26,000 (again, a very low estimate) to build, expect to pay about $5200.00 per year, per platform to maintain. If you’re still excited about acquiring an app for your business at this point, you may not be a big business but you’re certainly a very rich one.
App vs. Mobile Site: An Irrelevant (and silly) Comparison
We hear it consistently and constantly. In the forums and on the posts of countless sites dedicated to helping small businesses grow into big ones, “Should we have an app or a mobile site?”
We haven’t touched on the subject of mobile site development costs, redesign or recoding current sites to perform properly across multiple devices but there should really be no debate. In fact, if you were to base that decision on cost alone, mobile site implementation becomes a forgone conclusion.
Barring that element of the process, what you really need is an offer. A standing offer designed for one purpose and one purpose only which is to get customers off the couch and into your establishment, money in hand and ready to spend.
And while that effort can more realistically be achieved with an online platform that works well across multiple devices, be it your own website or a service based solution, offering current and potential new customers something they need (because of your well crafted standing offer) and want, a well designed mobile optimized website or offer delivery service would fit the bill nicely, to say nothing of significantly lower cost.
If the truth be told, there are many types of businesses that do not need or require an a full blown website, mobile optimized site let alone an app. And while your business may fall into this category, there is no question that the first order of business should be to develop your offer with the emphasis on delivery platform coming in a very close second.
There are many platforms that can assist small local businesses in presenting that all important and unique offer for little or no cost. A few that come to mind are 8Coupons, RetailMeNot and SaveLocalNow to name just a few.
All the above mentioned services offer businesses a easy to use platform upon which to create and deliver a strong offer to their respective audiences but and in spite of some of their names which profess “local reach”, they lack what is most desperately needed by small businesses, true local flavor.
There’s just no getting around human nature – People love to get great deals and save money and it doesn’t matter if they come by those great deals through a website, mobile site, app or even a local newspaper. People just want deals and love it when they find them.
When we look at the trends, we clearly see that more and more people are searching for businesses that “offer” what they’re looking for and finding by way of mobile devices.
That said, it stands to reason that for your business to grow, putting your offer where people are looking every day just makes good (smart marketing) sense.
It has already been mentioned that there are plenty of services that offer an inexpensive services that allow you to go where your customers are instead of obsessing over the best way get your marketing message out.
When you combine the time tested and proven method of discount coupons with the marvel of modern technology that is today’s smartphone, you have an unbeatable , cost effective “one-two- puch that can take your small local business to total local market domination.
Want to reach your local market with time tested drawing power of coupons combined with mobile technology?..
On most weekends, he manages to get my coupons to at least within 30 feet of my door. This Sunday, I wasn’t so lucky.
After opening my door and curiously looking from side to side, my normally reliable Sunday delivery of coupons and discount offers was seemingly nowhere to be found.
That was until as I began to close the door my upward gaze revealed what looked to be a slim, milk white object positioned just off center in the road.
“What’s that?” I wondered to myself. No way! Yes way. There laying in the middle of the street, soaked in water and sporting the black tread patterned stripe of someone’s Goodyear radials pressed into the plastic was my bag of coupons. Now wet and ruined yet flawlessly displaying a perfect tire impression everywhere on the bag except the part that has the hole in ti meant for hanging on my door.
I guess I can understand it. You’re 17 and being paid next to nothing to deliver a few hundred of these little plastic bags filled with offers from local merchants that you don’t even frequent or care about.
On top of that, you had to stop playing Halo (or whatever teens do at that hour if not sleeping) and deliver them.
Not much incentive to be sure but none of that really matters to me because all I know is, this weekend I won’t be getting my coupons unless I want to stoop to sneaking over to the neighbors to snatch up their delivery.
Personally, I think it’s time that someone steps up here and just states the obvious.
Wouldn’t it just be easier if you could get coupons from local merchants without having to wait for them to show up in the mail or at your door, having to clip them out or if you’ve used digital coupons before, having to download multiple apps from each individual business in town you deal with just to save money?
Imagine if local merchants in your area simply offered their coupons in digital form, made them available for redemption on your smartphone and didn’t require you to download their app just to get them.
Wouldn’t that save time, paper waste and at the same time, save my smartphone memory for important apps like Dot’s or Clash of Clans?
And with all that taken into account, there’s the fact it would probably encourage more people to shop locally.
The first problem is that local merchants who offer paper coupons don’t understand that technology has made it more convenient for you to get and use coupons when they are offered in digital form.
The second problem is that while there is an abundance of coupon sites on the internet, even if they do offer you digital coupons, they are seldom if ever from local merchants and even if they are, they still require either downloading yet another app or printing them out neither of which is an answer to the question of paper waste or “app” bulge!
Luckily there is a better and more sensible alternative that solves both problems at the same time and puts local businesses squarely into the digital coupon marketplace where they should have been 4 years ago.
A new company has taken precise aim at the problem and come up with a simple solution that not only removes cost hurdle barriers to small businesses but also makes the sense for consumers to use because they need not be bothered with having to cram app after app on to their phone from every local store in town.
I like my coupons. I like the savings and I like the convenience of having them handy yet taking up no more space than any other of the sites I have bookmarked.
According to the founder, the reason the company was started in the first place wa s to simplify and eliminate the need for constant downloading of space hogging apps. I like where noApddeals is going because their focus seems to be on driving their marketing efforts toward a better mobile experience for both small businesses and consumers.
Just like the Sunday coupon bag I now won’t be getting until next weekend, I realize that a company like noAppdeals is really long overdue.
About the author –
DeLinda Vreeland is Marketing Director and owner of Rescomm Group Mobile Marketing.