We have added custom commercial support to our IT services. What has it shown after 6 months?
IT companies selling B2B services are offering tips to their clients since… well, since ever. Usually, this is done through blog posts, YouTube videos, maybe some webinars. The idea is to offer more or less general tips which a bigger number of users could use to improve efficiency with the product.
Our company is developing a mobile app platform, focused on media and sports organizations. This platform is being expanded all the time, so our partners can use new modules as we develop them, without additional payment. Because our platform is ready, the partners don’t have to pay high launch costs and it is guaranteed that our app will be kept fresh. However, our business model depends on long-term relations with our partners. If we don’t make our cooperation a long-term success, we lose money.
We learned that enthusiasm doesn’t last. People set up a “new app project” with big ambitions.
They are most often precise about their goals and sometimes they also know what the steps towards success are. If they are not, we help them with their first steps. Despite that, months into the cooperation, things might change. Of course, days are always too short for everything that needs to be done, new projects are being launched all the time and what we start with enthusiasm, could be overrun by daily tasks.
Blog posts and YouTube videos are of no help here. These people don’t have time, so how could we expect them to read texts that are long as this one?
In 2021, we tried something new. We created a new function within our team – Creative Associate.
The Creative Associate is the person who works with our existing clients on very specific steps designed to improve the success of their app.
Usually, it starts with simple steps for the initial promotion – where to set the banners, how to improve search results, and reminding them to keep posting to their social media. One small thing, like a smart banner, which pops up on the users’ mobile website once a week, to remind them about the app, can make a big difference in the launch phase.
After that, we follow up with biweekly reports on the app usage. We look into the number of new users and actual users in this period – how many people opened the app every day, how many are using it once a week, and how many once a month. We also take notice of the time people spend in the app…
In short, we observe what was done in one period and how it has affected the numbers.
After we are done with these initial ideas, we move on to more custom ones, depending on the partner’s goals. Some of them would like to increase interaction or build relationships with their end-users, while others might want a quick income increase. We can also cooperate with them on their business model, pass ideas such as what organizations similar to them are working on. Also, we can help them create a poll, a simple game inside the app, or find out what kind of content works and what is the optimal time to send push notifications.
The initial thought was to collect the ideas, see what has worked, and then go through the list to see what could be passed to each of our partners. Now, we believe we have to go deeper than that. We need to discuss their targets and goals more specifically and learn about their business if we want to be of long-term help. Maybe it’s no longer enough for IT companies to focus solely on a good IT product?
Has it worked so far? Well, the jury is out there. We offered this service to our clients for a free, 3-month trial. After 3 months, the idea is to charge the service at a low cost. The only thing we cover is the price of the work of the people in the projects. Some of our partners have immediately jumped onto the offer and are now working with us twice a month. ON the other hand, others have delayed with the start of using our service.
As it has been proven many times – today it is difficult to ‘’sell’’ things, even when they are free.