Sales advice

by Andrea Maioli on 04/24/2013

This week I’d like to slip into Giovanni’s shoes and tell you about an article by Joe Floyd on customer acquisition strategies for mobile business applications: Virality Is The X-Factor Of Mobile-First Business Apps.

We’re all aware that developing a well-made business app is just the beginning. The real challenge is to convince a sufficient number of users to use it in order to build a sustainable business model.

For consumer applications, the established strategies are based on a high number of potential users: searches in the app stores, internet advertising, and cross promotions with other apps. Unfortunately none of these can be applied to a business application because in this case, the set of target users is very restricted, and it’s difficult to reach them using an undifferentiated approach.

Floyd points out a possible solution: design the application to generate word of mouth simply by using it, meaning injecting the virality factor into the way the app works.

I find it significant that marketing for an application no longer begins once it’s finished. It comes into play from the beginning, starting with defining the specifications. In my opinion this change of attitude is a crucial to surviving as a software producer in the next decade.

The article illustrates a few techniques and concrete examples to achieve this goal: triggers, incentives, and workflow. I don’t want to get into the merits of these, so I’ll just let you read Joe’s article.

I’ll wrap up with this consideration: a while ago we said that we needed to abolish user manuals and create applications that can explain themselves on their own. Now, we have to get to the point that the applications sell themselves on their own.

A new type of marketing is being born.

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