Salt spoke with Marina Engelvuori who heads up marketing for HQ Mobile. She provided invaluable advice about launching mobile services in an age where spotting your competition can be a game of Where’s Wally.
Tech marketing is becoming far more honest and conversational, rather than imposing messages and hard-core selling.
Social media has equipped both consumers and businesses with a loudspeaker to voice their views. Consumers, especially millennials, follow brands that have a close affiliation to their lifestyle and values. And business brands are leaning more and more towards consumer brand expectations. The gap between B2B and B2C is narrowing.
With the digital revolution, now no longer a revolution, but a way of life, app businesses offering a service, have to step up the creative game up and appeal to consumers and businesses alike.
1. A marketer’s job begins before one can even talk about the product/ app. Reach those potential consumers and get to know them by starting a blog about lifestyle and advice that is relevant to your target audience. Make it useful – but also fun! Collaborate with relevant partners to do this; they could potentially be your allies the whole way through the process.
2. “Touch base with your network and get them involved in the “dry-run” – trying out and giving feedback on your app. They should be a mixing pot of industry experts, developers, business people and friendly users”, says Marina.
3. Resist the urge to find the nearest proverbial digital megaphone once the development is almost complete. Be mindful of the release date. According to Engelvuori, “There are no hard rules about the right timing, it comes down to how many tweaks are needed and unexpected surprises you come across during the dry-run.”
4.Find brand and business partners, who think alike and share the same target audience with you. Go to market with an appealing offer specific to the followers of each brand partner – that addresses their unique need and requirements.
5. Don’t reveal too much about your app too early, the big boys could leave you at the starting line by copying your ideas before you have a chance to scale out.
6. Be wary of app anticipation fading quickly. Create a momentum of desire by spreading teasers on social networks. For example, entertaining videos to show consumers how to use the app/service. This should bring in early adopters to the sign up line.
7. Create a momentum of desire by spreading teasers on social networks. You should create entertaining videos to show consumers how to use the app/service. This should bring in early adopters to the pre-sign up line. Ensure you have a model for creating a reliable feedback loop. The longevity of your app can depend on how attentively you listen to customer feedback and incorporate resulting changes to future releases.
8. Marina also points out, “Marketers should ensure the final app is hosted on web pages that are search engine optimised based on keywords relevant to both the app and your target audience.”
9. To encourage continued use of the app and growing followers, try creating fun, tongue-in-cheek viral campaigns that reward for usage and referral.
10. Don’t forget to tell your great app story to the relevant press – start your story from your customer, what’s the problem you’re going to solve for them, and why.
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She launched the Ubuntu operating system for phones – it was top ten trending on twitter at launch, and the “Ubuntu Edge” crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo broke all industry records. She has helped to get HQ into O2/Telefonica’s start-up program, Wayra – only 1.6% of startups get accepted. She is a business-minded leader who has managed diverse talent, local and regional teams in both small fast-moving and blue-chip businesses. Marina shares her time between the start-up HQ (www.hqtheapp.com) and tefficient.com, a consulting business.
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