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  • Mobile App PromotionsIf your business has been working hard to create the next great mobile app, you know it’s no walk in the park to go from startup to launch. Mobile app development takes time, know-how, lots of testing and good old-fashioned hard work. Once you’ve worked out the kinks, and it’s time to tell the world about it, you should have a solid plan in place to promote it.

    1. Make sure your app has a home base. Creating a unique landing page or website that focuses solely on your app is critical to your marketing efforts. This is the place to tell your story and share tips and tools that pertain to the app. This is especially important pre-launch, when you want to build interest in your product, since you need to drive traffic to one main hub.

    2. Tell everyone you personally know about it. Sounds pretty obvious, right? But you need to be organized about telling your story and should create a list of contacts from day one. Add new people to the list as you think of them. To make sure your app stays top of mind, keep people apprised of your progress.

    3. Reach out to influencers to tell your story. Early in the launch process (or even pre-launch) contact thought leaders in your niche and ask for their feedback. If you can persuade bloggers and other influencers to try your app and tell their followers and communities about it you’ll be ahead of the game.

    4. Promote and link to your app on existing sites. If you have an existing website and social sites put your new app launch announcement front and center and talk about it frequently (tweet about it and post to Facebook, LinkedIn, your blog, etc.). Use social ads as well as promoted posts and tweets to bring brand awareness to your target market. Upload tutorial videos on YouTube and promote to your target audience through paid ads.

    5. Create new social sites. As an offshoot of your core social sites, set up pages that specifically promote your new mobile app. (Then see No. 4 above.)

    6. Run mobile ads. Promoting your mobile app directly on smartphones and tablets, where the app will be used, can reap huge rewards (and downloads) and will probably get you more bang for your buck than other advertising methods.  Apple iAds, Google AdMob and ValueClicks Greystripe offer a variety of ad styles and solutions that work on the many different devices, platforms and carriers that come into the mix. Earlier this year, Google launched the more intuitive App Promotion Ad that is available to AdWords Enhanced Campaigns subscribers. It is easy to use and will only promote your ad on the platforms you support.

    7. Create a How-To Guide on SnapGuide. KISSmetrics recently ran a post on this up and coming platform that caters to the creation of, well, how-to guides, and why it’s a good fit for mobile app developers. Snapguides are designed to be short and sweet and are easy to share. Read the full KISSmetrics post about using Snapguide to promote your mobile app here.

    8. Take advantage of mobile app tools. MobileDevHQ is a tool that is designed to “Drive High Quality Downloads through App Store Optimization” (like SEO, but for mobile apps), help with keyword selection so you get found in the App Store and Google Play, plus it can provide rankings vs. your competition. Flurry is another mobile analytics option that can help you target your ads and give you intelligence to help identify key behaviors and habits to fine tune and more efficiently use your ad spend.

    These are just a few ways you can get the word out and do it wisely. If you’re looking for help getting your mobile app development off the ground, Infovision can help. We offer a wide variety of technology solutions to help your business maintain its competitive edge.


    How to Use Snapguide to Promote Your Mobile App

    The 5-Step Plan to Promote Your Mobile App

    How AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Can Be Used to Promote Your Mobile App

  • 5-13-13 Readying your organization for mobile CRMAs CRM spending continues to increase among business organizations, mobile CRM apps continue to gain popularity among companies that need to equip field or remote employees with a high level of mobility. Gartner Research reports that mobile CRM apps will grow a whopping 500 percent by 2014. The report goes on to say that there are 200 mobile CRM apps currently in app stores, but by 2014, there will be 1,200. The rise in demand may be explained in part by Gartner’s findings that, “worldwide PC shipments totaled 79.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, an 11.2. percent decline from the first quarter of 2012. Global PC shipments went below 80 million units for the first time since the second quarter of 2009.”

    By being able to access customer data from anywhere on just about any mobile device, employees can do everything they would typically do from their desktops or laptops. When done right, mobile CRM solutions can benefit organizations through increased productivity and effectiveness throughout an entire sales process including productivity, lead generation, follow-up and conversions. Mobile CRM should effectively streamline the entire process for field employees and improve the entire experience for the customer.

    Choosing the right solution

    It’s important to note that mobile CRM apps should not be a simple carbon copy of a desktop program. It should be optimized to fit the specific mobile device being used and a custom user experience should be generated that takes full advantage of that device’s functionality.

    Choosing the right mobile CRM solution also involves making sure it fits your organization’s specific needs. How many users will need the application and what functionality is required to do the job well are both important questions that will help determine what solution is best for you. Also, knowing what security measures should be in place and how manageable it will be for your organization is key. You don’t want a solution that requires a great deal of IT support and that ultimately adds more work for your team.

    Obtaining buy-in from employees who will be using the app is essential. Find out from them how they need the CRM solution to function in order for it to improve the way they work. You’ll also want to know before selecting a solution how quickly and easily it can be up and running within your organization. A smooth, efficient deployment process will help the solution get off to a good start within your company.

    As with any good app, mobile CRM apps should be intuitive and seamless in its integration with other applications your organization uses to get work done. If the app is clunky or complicated then it’s very likely that no one will use it. Make sure you find a vendor that is willing to conduct thorough training to get all your users up to speed.

    With the right mobile CRM solution, you can revolutionize the way your employees meet your customer needs. Starting with a strong planning, vetting and implementation program will ensure that you get off to a strong start with your new mobile CRM solution.

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    Information Sources

    Mobile CRM Apps to grow 500%

    Mobile CRM projected to boom by 2014

  • Every November, IDC’s lead analyst for business software, Michael Fauscette, publishes an annual list of predictions for enterprise applications trends during the next year.  Then, early in the New Year, he publishes a report that shows how well his team did the year before.  The analysts haven’t always had a great track record when it comes to predicting enterprise application support and enterprise application management trends.

    In 2011, for example, IDC predicted that 2012 would be the year when businesses would start the move from enterprise applications eats hosted in the data center to the public cloud, via IaaS (infrastructure as a service).  In January of this year, Fauscette gave his team an “A” grade for their prediction that 2.4% of enterprise application seats would move to the public cloud by the end of 2012.

    Then he stepped up the prediction for 2013, with a prediction that 2013 will see more than half of all new enterprise application licenses coming from public cloud-based services. While that seems like a very rapid adoption rate, consumer applications and employee expectations on enterprise application support and management are fueling the move to the Cloud.

    Thanks to the success of consumer applications, employees have come to expect the same high level of functionality and ease of use in business applications. Of course, it takes more than user-friendly interfaces to deliver an enterprise application that can be managed securely and supported cost-effectively.


    Lessons from the App Store

    The biggest lesson in enterprise application management learned from the billions of app store downloads is that the success of any new application depends on usability. It isn’t enough that the applications look good.  They have to offer a clear business benefit that drives productivity and enforces processes and security procedures. Without built-in procedures and processes as well as ease-of-use, employees will struggle to adopt the new tools, and will by-pass procedures to find the easiest way of completing a task.

    One lesson that enterprise application management teams can take from consumer applications is that ergonomics have to be front and center in the product’s design, especially for mobile applications.  Commands, navigation, and scrolling have to suit the way that users intuitively use mobile devices with one or two fingers.  Learning to “think mobile” and eliminate the number of drop-down menus and complex navigation options is critical when designing or evaluating a new enterprise application, since it’s a near-certainty that the application will be accessed by an increasing number of mobile devices.

    Limiting the number of steps required to complete a task is another lesson from the app store.  If users have to go through more than a couple of screens for a simple task – say submitting an expense report, or submitting a new order – then it’s too complex compared to the consumer applications users are accustomed to using.

    Limiting the number of screens required to complete a task sounds like common sense, doesn’t it?  But it makes a huge change in how enterprise application support works after the application is deployed, simplifying everything from training to troubleshooting and help desk follow-up.  Think about the process of submitting a new order.  Here are the typical steps in a traditional enterprise application:

    • Verify information from a CRM system (terms, credit limits, delivery details, required approvals, etc.).
    • Enter the order information for the ERP (purchase order, specifications, budget).
    • Submit the order for credit or manufacturing approval.
    • Generate confirmations, invoices, ordering, shipping, etc.

    Once upon a time, creating and supporting an application that required data from that many different databases and resources would have involved a number of drop-down menus, or multiple screens. Today, users simply won’t accept a cumbersome design.  “Light and fast” applications that allow users to complete a single task, not monolithic applications that try to manage an entire business process, are the rule.

    Reducing Enterprise Application Support Costs

    Luckily, catering to the user’s preference for simple applications has several important side benefits.  Improving employee satisfaction and productivity also helps to reduce security risks, and cuts enterprise application support costs.

    Reducing security risks starts with a coordinated suite of technical- and policy-based solutions that are consistently applied.  Processes for device and network access controls, local and remote data wipe, device configuration, data encryption, patching and updating, authentication, device partitioning, security and appropriate use monitoring, and the like can be built into new applications, especially if BYOD policies are in place.

    It’s also important to manage user compliance by developing user agreements and training users to understand mobile security risks, their responsibilities, acceptable use policies, prerequisites for connecting any device to the network, inappropriate use, and so on. Cloud-based applications make it possible to implement processes that notifying users when they are out of compliance and explain why they are out of compliance, while listing the steps they must take to become compliant before they can access applications or network resources.

    Reducing enterprise application support costs happens when applications are simpler, and device management is centralized. MDM (Mobile Device Management) tools install an agent on the device, allowing IT to monitor it for status and configuration settings, and push applications, configuration settings, and software patches as necessary.

  • mobile device appsFew would dispute that mobile application development is a top concern for enterprises. According to the 2012 Gartner CIO Survey, 61% of respondents plan to enhance their mobility capability during the next three years, and 48% believe they will become leaders in their industries by fully adopting innovative mobility solutions. Gartner expects a quarter of enterprises to operate their own mobile enterprise application stores by 2017.

    But while it’s clear that mobile enterprise application development is crucial, it’s less clear whether the best mobile enterprise application path is to create a mobile app from scratch, use an app that requires customization, or purchase an app from a commercial app store. Read more

  • android appFor many businesses thinking about adopting tablets as part of a corporate mobile device strategy, the iPad has been the default choice.  End users love it, but enterprise IT managers have worried about security, enterprise application management, and costs.

    So you’d think that Android tablets, which are almost universally less expensive than iPads, would be a logical alternative for the enterprise.  Yet, until now, enterprise adoption of Android tablets has lagged significantly behind iPad adoption.  That may be about to change, thanks to the rollout of a new technology called Samsung Knox.

    Knox is a feature that is part of Samsung’s SAFE program.  SAFE stands for Samsung for Enterprises.  What Knox does is to allow users to divide their phone or Android tablet into two halves – one for work, one for your personal life.

    The IT department can control the work side of the device, dictating apps and adding all the security features and controls required to keep the enterprise network safe and functional.  The device owner or end user controls the personal side. Read more