Is mobile app marketing something that agencies should consider for their clients?
US adults spend 88% of their time on mobile devices using apps.
Mobile app revenue and time spent using apps continue to increase year over year across various industries. The State of Mobile 2022 report found that time spent on apps increased 18% year over year.
From checking the news and shopping to learning about services, mobile apps can be a powerful tool for brands of all sizes. Apps can help businesses educate potential customers, generate leads, drive sales, and deepen relationships with loyal customers.
As a result, many bigger businesses hire top app marketing agencies and/or dedicated, in-house mobile app marketers to build and optimize custom Google Play and Apple App Store apps to stay competitive and retain customers. However, deciding whether to pursue a mobile app marketing strategy can be difficult for agencies that work with small to medium-sized businesses, which often have clients with limited marketing budgets and have no dedicated internal resources for routine app store optimization.
Nevertheless, the studies show that mobile marketing is only getting more important for agencies if they want to retain their businesses and help them to stay top of mind for their target audience.
In this post, we will examine why agencies that mostly serve medium to small businesses (SMBs) don’t provide mobile apps to their clients and some reasons why they should start.
What Are Some Reasons Why Agencies Choose Not To Introduce Mobile App Marketing To Their Clients?
When determining whether to pursue an app, marketing agencies need to decide:
- The purpose or goal of the mobile app
- Whether the mobile app is practical/useful for their clients
- Will the app improve client retention and engagement?
Then, marketing agencies will need to consider the time and cost required to market the app effectively so it stands out among their client’s competitors and helps them to attract new leads.
This leads us to three of the most common reasons why marketing agencies may decide not to pursue mobile app marketing:
1. The Cost of Mobile Apps
Developing an app costs money. Most agencies don’t have the budget to hire a developer in-house and will need to hire an external app developer or development agency. The latter is more affordable but can still come at a huge cost.
While companies don’t necessarily “need” to spend a lot of money on app development and maintenance, they will want to ensure they’re creating a quality app and experience which does come at a significant cost. Customers won’t use an app they don’t love so that makes making any subpar mobile app, pointless.
For instance, a survey by The Manifest found that 34% of small businesses who reported feeling dissatisfied with their app had spent less than $5,000 on its development. This doesn’t account for the cost of effectively marketing the app.
Agencies also feel the constant need to focus on services that “pay the bills” and their SMB clients will want to feel confident that they are spending their marketing money wisely. For many agencies, the costs to develop the app, maintain it, and then market it to their clients can feel like too much, especially if they aren’t sure whether their client base will become mobile app users.
So for agencies that service SMBs with a limited marketing budget, pursuing a mobile app for their clients tends to fall by the wayside.
Another factor for marketing agencies to consider is the amount of time needed to develop the app, test it, and get it to market. Time-to-Market (TTM) is a key measurement that companies need to assess when deciding whether to develop an app.
The amount of TTM can vary depending on how simple or complex the app is, the app requirements, and the types of functioning the app needs.
According to mDevelopers, building an app can take between 4 to 9 months, or even more for complex apps.
This timeline doesn’t include the time necessary for a successful app launch either. You need a good mobile app marketing strategy from day one if you want to drive enough app downloads and get enough active mobile users to make this endeavor worthwhile.
3. Mobile Apps Are Typically Not A Priority
Companies have many effective options available when marketing a business.
As mentioned earlier, many marketing agencies may decide to focus on other strategies instead of making mobile app marketing a priority, especially for those with clients on smaller retainers.
For instance, instead of focusing resources and time on app development and marketing, an agency may determine that pursuing email, video, or social marketing may be more efficient and cost-effective and have a better-perceived value.
Marketing agencies also deal with a lot of churn and are steadily saying goodbye to one client while welcoming and onboarding others. These new clients just getting started usually want to focus on things like building a new website, getting a blog established, or on social media marketing in the earlier stages.
The Hurdles: Why Agencies Should Reconsider Mobile App Marketing
With all that’s been said about why mobile apps not being cost-efficient or practically lucrative, what are some reasons why agencies should take another look into mobile app marketing for their clients?
The Big Problem: Unsticky Clients
Client retention is a significant struggle for agencies, especially when dealing with small businesses.
Often, these businesses don’t have budgets large enough to keep agencies on for very long. The result is many of them choose to get the benefit of a few services, keep the tools prescribed to them by their former agency and then attempt to do the work on their own.
So why don’t these clients “stick” around? One of the main reasons is the marketing agency’s efforts often take time and the value for the client is not always readily apparent which places the agency “out of sight, out of mind”.
To combat this, agencies have brought their clients onto marketing platforms like HighLevel where a variety of different services can be visualized and automated, helping them to see the value right before their eyes.
Kudos to them. But think about it, how many times are roofers and electricians going to sit at their desks and interact with these platforms when most of the demands of their business are not met in some air-conditioned office. So what happens? Platform usage drops and so does perceived value.
So what is the solution?
The team at HighLevel has been running some numbers and have found that by getting clients to download a mobile app, the usage of their marketing platforms goes up 91%.
That’s great for the agency.
We have also found out that 61% more leads are generated after a mobile app is introduced and installed.
That’s great for the client.
Stickiness is one of the biggest hurdles agencies have to deal with and because with mobile apps and mobile app marketing, agencies can be more engaged with their clients and can help them produce more leads.
87-90% of these agencies doing mobile app marketing have seen retention rates increase by 30%!
What About The Cost?
Even though the cost of building a mobile app has come down, it is still a monster item for many SMBs.
For example, The Manifest survey found that about a third of small businesses created an effective, quality app for $10,000 or less. Additionally, 52% reported spending less than $30,000. That’s better but still out of reach for many businesses.
At HighLevel we allow clients to use the LeadConnector app that can be white-labeled with an agency’s brand which saves on app development costs. If agencies want more robust functionality and features then they can upgrade their plans to use the HighLevel app that can also be white-labeled. With either, agencies can bypass the expense and headache of having to build and manage their own app solving one of the biggest hurdles to effective mobile app creation, and utilization.
What About Time-To-Market?
Getting your app developed and available to your customers quickly is an important factor. This strategy can help a business get ahead of the competition, increase lead generation, and help increase the business’s return on investment in the mobile app.
Since both the LeadConnector and HighLevel apps are already approved for both Google and Apple stores then the long wait to launch is not an issue. Agencies can have a customized mobile app in a fraction of the time, and can quickly create a campaign inside the HighLevel platform to let their clients know about its release.
What About Prioritization?
The mobile app market continues to increase, with global revenue from mobile apps increasing to over 318 billion dollars in 2020. With cost and TTV hurdles removed, agencies and their SMB clients can take advantage!
Mobile apps are being used effectively across various industries to grow and retain customers, including restaurants, retailers, service providers, hairdressers, and more. This means agencies and consultants can offer more extensive packages and expand their clientele.
The overall growth and popularity of mobile apps can be an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to stand out among their competitors, making mobile app marketing more of a priority.
Mobile App Marketing Agencies Stay Better Connected With Their Clients
A mobile app can make it easier for businesses to maintain a real-time connection with customers, allowing mobile app users to efficiently look up business hours, directions, view merchandise, or find out about sales.
Additionally, having the flexibility of offering these services will allow agencies to provide their customers with more marketing strategies. This can help agencies retain existing clients and attract new leads, reducing churn.
The Benefits: Why Mobile App Marketing Is An Opportunity For SMB Clients
Here are 6 ways mobile app marketing can help a marketing agency’s clients.
1. Shorter Lead Response Time
A company’s response time can cause them to make or lose a sale. But, responding fast to leads can keep their interest high.
Fortunately, mobile apps can provide an effective way to maintain fast and easy communication between businesses and customers.
Making purchases with a mobile app is also typically faster than navigating a website on a mobile device or logging into a computer. Rapid purchase and conversion rates equal more leads.
2. Competitive Edge
Small to medium businesses can sometimes struggle to stand out among their competitors.
An app can help level the playing field for smaller businesses that are competing with larger companies and help them stand out among their peers.
SMBs competing with large companies can use their apps to ensure they’re offering customers the same level of convenience and experiences.
For example, small coffee shops and restaurants with apps can offer mobile order-ahead services like larger chains. Smaller businesses can also use their app to offer loyalty programs similar to many larger companies. Loyalty programs can be an effective way to retain customers and also get their loyal base to tell others about them.
In an article posted by business turnaround artist Bridgette Chambers, references a study published in September 2015 in the Journal of Interactive Marketing that showed that over the course of three months, customers who downloaded a branded mobile app increased spending by 19 percent to 48 percent.
“It could be a total game changer if a company provides an app that’s well functioning and offers some consumers benefit,” noted the study’s lead author, Su Jung Kim of Iowa State University.
3. Enhanced Data Collection
Mobile apps also provide another way for businesses to learn about their customers — their shopping behavior, interests, and more.
Mobile data collection apps allow you to collect relevant details from customers directly, or through your staff in the field, by using specially designed forms, surveys, subscriptions or payments. This valuable information provides an instant overview of your customer-base data, from which you can spot trends and make strategic, and cost-effective decisions to grow your business.
Of course deciding what type of app metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track will depend on the business and what part of the user journey they want to evaluate.
For instance, if a business wants to learn more about user acquisition, they can gather information on the cost per install (CPI), app store CVR (conversion rate), or return on ad spend (ROAS).
Regardless of the type of data being evaluated, the app metrics will give businesses a greater understanding of how well their marketing campaigns are performing and can provide insights into what their audience wants.
4. Better Brand Image
Having an app can also be an opportunity for customers to see the care and level of commitment a brand has for its customers. An app store-optimized mobile app means that every time your customer unlocks his or her phone or tablet, your logo is going to be there on the screen. This is a very effective way to boost your brand’s visibility and increases your customer base.
Additionally, mobile apps and mobile app marketing allow businesses to provide additional options and value to customers, which can enhance their image.
4b. Better Brand Trust
As customers continue to use a business’s app, this can also help increase their trust. Building trust and brand awareness can also help boost sales and retain customers.
Brands can also use the mobile app to make it easier to gather customers’ feedback. This step can help them build rapport with their audience and learn more about the needs and experiences of their customers.
5. Improved Customer Experience
An app that’s designed to meet the needs of the customer can improve the customer’s overall experience and increase engagement.
Businesses will want to consider what features will provide customers with ease of use, save them time, and also what types of features they expect.
For instance, apps can make it easier for customers to stay connected with a business. One effective strategy is to offer push notifications. These notifications can make it easy for customers to learn about new products or services, offers, sales, or company updates.
Other examples of how apps can improve customers’ experiences include:
- Streamlining payment by paying directly from the app and making direct card/cash free transactions (like Apple has done with Apple Pay and Amazon has done with their Amazon Go Stores).
- Ability to order and pay in advance
- Making it easy to schedule appointments in the app, so they don’t have to call
- Allowing customers to save their payments and deliver information and not have to enter it over and over again.
The easier and more intuitive the app is to use, the more likely customers will keep returning to the app. They’ll also be more likely to tell people they know about the business’s app, providing word-of-mouth marketing.
Also, the businesses don’t need to worry about spending additional marketing dollars to retain these customers, since the mobile app users will continue to use and stay in contact with the business thanks to the app.
6. Enhanced Scalability
A well-designed app can scale with a business’s growth, helping them save money on post-launch maintenance. An app with scalability will also increase the functioning and performance of the app, providing a more consistent, positive experience for the target users.
The Future of Mobile App Marketing
HighLevel recently released its v.2.4.202 making it even easier for agencies and consultants to use the power of mobile apps to boost client retention, lead generation and platform/service use.
On mobile, every second matters. If you have slow load times, people will bounce. That’s why we’re continuing our never-ending quest to make Mobile App the Fastest CRM app in the market!
- We have dropped load times on conversations from 3 seconds to 0 seconds.
- You can now move from one location to another instantly without any wait times. And recent activity is now in real-time too.
- Blazing fast location switching experience when a user has <=150 locations access
Mobile App Invoicing
You can also create and send invoices through the mobile app, along with the following:
- Add a product from Global Products
- Select a tax configured in the Tax Settings
- Add discounts to the invoice
- Add Terms and Conditions for each invoice
- View the list of invoices in various states like – Draft, Sent, Paid, Overdue
- Search by invoice creation date
- Filter by various invoice states
- Send a test invoice email
- Try out invoices in Test payment mode prior to their release.
White Label Mobile App Customization
The app you create can be 100% branded with your logo, name, colors, design, etc. In fact, you can enable clients to download your app from the Google and Apple app stores directly.
The best part is that you don’t need to hire expensive app developers either. With our fully white-label app, this means that you need to have the ability to freely update your design. Some additional features in our newest release include:
- Robust customization options
- The ability to set the app in dark mode
- Reordering the icon tray
- A bunch of enhancements to the review requests and recent activities.
Bottom Line: Offering Mobile App Marketing Can Help Agencies And Entrepreneurs Serving Small Businesses
We have made mobile app marketing accessible for every agency and their clients. A mobile app and mobile app marketing strategy can benefit many SMBs across a variety of industries helping them to attain faster lead response times and increased bookings which is what marketers are ultimately paid to do!
Marketers can enjoy serving these sticky clients longer which helps them scale faster.
Everyone wins. 📲👏🙌
Ready to explore the idea of adding mobile app marketing to your agency? Schedule a free white label app strategy call