The following is a guest post from Mary Meeker, friend to the firm.
by Mary Meeker, Morgan Stanley – “Top Mobile Internet Trends” (Feb. 2011)
No doubt you are hearing from your field about mobile. The fact is nearly half of your distributors — and everyone they meet — are on a smartphone. App usage now actually exceeds web usage for the first time ever. Let’s say Joe is standing in line for a latte, and his phone buzzes telling him Mary in his downline is one sign-up away from a fabulous cruise. Think Joe might hit the “Call Mary” button if it’s right there in front of him? Of course, he will! And, if a significant number of the field does the same, it doesn’t take long to realize the growth just a few actions a day could mean for your company.
With that in mind, here are the Top 7 Reasons you must go mobile now:
1. Increase production: If your active distributors were able to easily increase their daily activity to two additional actions — a call here, a quick encouraging text there — what would that do for your revenue and retention? A well-designed mobile app can help distributors take effective action quickly. An app can tell them what to do NOW, in the moment. Hot leads get acted on more quickly, decisions can be acted on immediately through in-app sign-ups, and presentations can be simplified and duplicated. When you do the math, it’s really a no-brainer.
2. Increase retention: The holy grail. A good app can prevent new reps from slipping through the cracks, by alerting and reminding super busy upline leaders who often don’t even know they can act at that moment. By helping leaders better support their new people and by giving new recruits simple tools that keep them focused and un-confused, we can encourage them to stick around longer.
3. Improve onboarding: The ability to ramp up new recruits can be streamlined with the smart application of video and training systems to the small screen and can sharply reduce the learning curve. Videos, podcasts and presentations directly to the user’s screen, wherever they are.
4. Direct and indirect revenue: Your app could become a major source of revenue itself. A few dollars per distributor could mean a very lucrative non-commissionable revenue stream for the company. Prefer not to add another tool for the field to buy? If added to your premium website package, the indirect revenue from a significant increase in adoption could pay for the mobile initiative many times over. Even if you’d never sell tools to your field, chances are you will see an nice payoff of your investment fairly quickly in production alone.
5. Overcome GenY barriers: If you covet a younger audience, your business must be on mobile; they simply will not join if they can’t manage their business on the go. Many make their decisions to start when they see the tools that make them become confident, they can succeed. Mobile is a powerful way to communicate your sophistication as well as support to the field.
6. Leverage the Google and Apple Brands: There is no doubt that your company can realize significant lift in branding just by offering apps through Apple and Google. Mobile is a great way to leverage billions of marketing dollars for your direct selling brand. The average consumer inherently trusts the apps that come from these great brands and this trust can transfer to your brand by association.
7. Going mobile does the right thing by your field: By bringing what the field wants, you are being responsive. And isn’t that what we’re all here for?
Over the past several months we’ve spent a lot of time looking at mobile apps for direct selling companies as well as mobile statistics and trends. In this time, we’ve tested nearly every distributor-focused mobile app available for utility, design and effectiveness. We have seen the good the bad and the very ugly.
Our conclusion? You must go mobile, and soon. Mike Edwards, Director of Digital Marketing at Amway, states the company’s reasons for going mobile: “Mobile commerce is the future, pretty much any consumer trend information you read today is pointing to the power of mobile.” ‘Nuff said.