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4 mobile marketing lessons that big brands can learn from startups

Every brand would like to believe that under its corporate exterior beats the heart of a startup. And yet the difference between the two becomes vividly clear when working with both promising startups and established brands.

As the founder and CEO of Moburst, a mobile-marketing agency, I often meet large brands that work hard to maintain their innovative edge but fail to include their mobile strategy in the process. And so, to make things easier, here are a few ways to inject your brand’s mobile-marketing approach with a shot of startup spirit.

1. Stay updated.

I’m actually not referring to keeping up with current trends and technologies (which I assume you know you should be doing), but instead to updating your app version on a regular basis.

Startups speak innovation and are all about getting new versions out there. And for good reason. There is serious value in constant updates, and Apple, for instance, is known for boosting the ranking of apps that do so.

There’s a lot you can do including technical updates, seasonal designs and special offers. From my experience, the best way to make this happen is to set a concrete recurring deadline and stick to it no matter what. Send your app in for an app store check-up every three months and you’ll thank me later.

2. Keep it inside.

Treating your business’s app as a valuable product is the startup thing to do, but too many brands fail to do so and outsource their developing efforts, thinking that it will save them serious bucks. But this could be a costly mistake. An in-house developer will care about your code in ways that outsourced developer could never compete with (mainly because they are not even trying in the first place). Know this: a great app requires constant maintenance. You need a developer you can count on and you simply can’t waste time getting a new one in the loop for every version update.

3. Take it outside.

Unlike mobile development, marketing is a job that requires the involvement of external experts. Mobile marketing calls for minds that are very different than those already on board at most brands. You need gamification, optimization and user-experience experts to fill you in on the latest tools and techniques available, a solid media team to get you better deals and above all: a fresh point of view. Marketing is a term used to describe an entire spectrum of solutions your brand should use, but it’s the unique synergy between them that creates real magic. These are the kind of people you normally wouldn’t hire to work for your brand but desperately need to make things more startup-ish.

4. Cut the red tape.

When people describe the difference between startups and corporations, they are right to highlight the exhausting bureaucracy that takes place in large companies. Long and tedious approval procedures prevent things from actually happening and keep everything just as it was. Startups wait for no one, and neither does mobile marketing. A great lesson to learn from startups is to allow people to take ownership and execute their ideas.

There is no doubt that reaching the right balance of brand-startup behavior is no easy task, but it is worthwhile. Very few things can compare to that exhilarating feeling of being part of a team that is building something together. Bringing the same spirit to your brand could prevent it from becoming boring and predictable and make all the difference.