May 17, 2010

there’s an app for that.

Becoming almost ubiquitous, the ‘app’ for iPhone or other smart communication device has revolutionized the B2C market, allowing retailers and restaurants to know who you are, where you are (and have been) and when you are usually there. Scary, but definitely a future you can’t avoid. So what’s available for the B2B marketplace?

Not a lot, really. But there is a new trend toward ‘information on demand’ that may supersede your website, your Facebook ‘fan’ page, and certainly will make your brochure obsolete. I recently saw a cool (for its potential) app for a company called “Saint Consulting Group” available on iTunes (and other platforms), created by Mobile Roadie.

Saint specializes in working with real estate developers and building owners who run into the ever-challenging “Not in My Back Yard” (NIMBY) syndrome. They work as a liaison and help identify objections and build consensus to see projects move forward; sort of a lobbyist at street level. The Saint app provides an overview of their services, links to their new book, “The NIMBY Wars,” and connections to learn more. I think this is a very simple, very deceptive piece of great marketing.

Why? Because if what they post through their app is viewed as cheaper (ie, ‘free’), better (‘perfect’), and more timely (‘now’) than other more tedious ways to get pertinent information and engage with a proven advisor, they will have a strong barrier-to-entry for their services in their market.

Rather than go through the typical consultant selection RFQ cycle of qualifications, dog-and-pony presentations, and ‘lowest price wins’ negotiations, they provide almost immediate access to relevant information that puts them metaphorically and figuratively in the pocket of the customer.

So as you plan your next marketing campaign, you might ask what information you can provide ‘freely’ that has high value and think about developing an ‘app for that!’

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