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Suggestions to market a mobile app targeted at Service companies (Payments, Inv, Time)?

I have a couple of mobile apps targeted at service companies that I need help marketing.

These are Payments, Mobile Inventory and Timecard type apps.

I have tried trade magazines a couple of times as well as direct sales.

I need to bump my numbers up and go national, I can no longer sell direct.

I have a very low budget.

Any suggestions?

6 Replies

Chris Carruth
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Chris Carruth Advisor
VP/Director. Strategy | Business Development | Operations | Product | Solutions
As with all other companies and individuals that are marketing apps, do you:

a) have a clear idea of what advantages your apps provide compared to leading apps already in the segments you are after?
b) does it provide value over and above other competing apps?
c) since you are targeting enterprises, have you framed how the app either saves money or makes money?
d) have you targeted a smaller enterprise as a trial partner to prove in your claims (a-c) that could be used as a reference account for larger companies?
e) is it priced to be competitive, and if not, how are you "selling" the rationale for premium pricing?
f) have you used the results of direct sell to rethink the app, the messaging, the segment, etc?

For a new company, with no brand, as with any other product, proof of traction is paramount, not just for funding but to prove viability and impact for other accounts.

Liam Carolan
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Liam Carolan Advisor
Marketing Technologist
Suggestions to market a mobile app targeted at Service companies (Payments, Inv, Time)?First - I suggest you address the issues with the App. 1. Minor Issue: The app's Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. Remove IPad or release an IPad version and change your search metrics in the App Store. It looks to me like Apple has decided that your apps will not appear in "IPad Only" search results - a common practice of Apple especially if you do not provide a release that fits the IPad spec. It's complicated... I know but this is why I and many others prefer to develop and release on IOS. Apple App Store release process is structured and organized better. 2. Major Issue: Read your reviews and sort by "most critical" - have you addressed the crashing? I would refrain from marketing this app to high-level duty until these issues are resolved. 3. Moving forward. App development / marketing is all about networking with real partners to get started. Engage with users and force your developer(s) to read their own reviews. 4. Don't ask to push messages or know users location at the begining ( I don't know why anyone does this anymore... users are sick of it) instead, let users "USE" and ask them these questions later - like in a week. This approach is also another great way to judge effectiveness of the app itself. If after some days or a week Users give permission for location and push messages... then you know you're on the right track. I am oversimplifying this because there are other factors for push/location questions that are related to time of day and 5 other things - but I hope you at least see my point about when to be invasive. If you can execute / deliver on the above, I can offer you some more suggestions that will help even more. -Liam
Chris Carruth
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Chris Carruth Advisor
VP/Director. Strategy | Business Development | Operations | Product | Solutions
Liam - great suggestions. However, the HOW won't matter if the WHAT is not providing sufficient reason to purchase. It may be that Thomas needs to look at both..

Only other question(s) would be around WHERE the target segments go to not only learn about enterprise apps, but vet the apps, as well as purchase the apps, all of which can be different. All should be understood and incorporated into the sales strategy, no?
Liam Carolan
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Liam Carolan Advisor
Marketing Technologist
Suggestions to market a mobile app targeted at Service companies (Payments, Inv, Time)?Sure - and yes. However, as a general rule I like to see performance issues resolved prior to formulation of marketing strategy. Reading the tea leaves / device metrics reporting needs to be understood - cold Poor results, long-term are far less likely if one eliminates every known reason first. These are little things that become big quickly as you may know. I played with the app and I immediately saw some issues that, if resolved would lift a burden or two from the user. These are before evaluating the useability, which seems to be as worthy as any regarding simple social connection requirements. -LFC
Thomas Jay
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Thomas Jay Entrepreneur
iOS / Server Architect / IoT / BLE / iBeacon / Apple Pay
My market is clear, small business owners that can not afford a huge solution, very focused on SMB. 2 - 50 employees.

Pricing is at $ 5.00 per month for subscription or $29.00 for app purchase (the most common).

I have hit a ceiling of about $200K per month of income and understand that I need help in many areas, the first may be marketing.

Customers love the ability to track the location of service workers and have an automated timecard app with inventory and mobile payments, once people have it in their hand they continue to use it. It beats anything that Square has and with multi-vehicle inventory it is very powerful for users.

I have been running this for the last 5 years part time and would love to take the next step to make this my full time job, I'm self funded so there is no concern for investment, I have no plan for that at this time. I have no employees and have only sent a few press releases for marketing but I'm sure there must be more to it then just this.


Rob Gropper
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Thomas, i can help you strategize if you want to DM me - robg at TuxedoTech dot com. SMB is hard to crack.Selling into SMB with a low transaction price is hard to sustain so you want the community to do the heavy lifting for you (nothing you don't already know i'm sure). I'd want to know how you arrived at your current pricing model and some other assumptions. Is this a mobile app only or also a web app? Off the cuff I would likely suggest going vertical to start (and likely very narrow). For example, if you are currently targeting small construction companies (just an example) then i would narrow it down to electrical contractors or HVAC contractors (again, just examples - dig through you current customer base to see who has the greatest pain that you can cure). If you can built a great reputation and expertise and penetrate a narrow market this will help you more quickly reach a point where members of that community start selling for you and generating reviews in trade publications/blogs/trade shows, etc. Often times if you simply use their common terminology and a landing page that they can relate to that's all the 'customization' that's needed if any. If you can get to a point where your customers start requiring their vendors/partners to use your solution then you have leverage andinertia. If there is a way to leverage others who already sell into this same narrow vertical that's something to work on too. After you get one vertical cooking then leveraging that magic in other verticals gets easier.
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