We recently chatted with Linda Keefe, CEO of Tech-Talk, about her experience building native mobile apps with MobiLoud.
Linda and her Co-Founder left Xerox 25 years ago to start Shared Results International.
Shared Results provide on-site training to large organisations like Brooklyn Public Library, New York Philharmonic, & the Department of Labor. They help non-techies to become proficient and confident using the internet and office suite in their day to day work.
Tech-Talk grew out of Shared Results as Linda explained.
“We created a product called tech talk, which combines technology, communication and leadership tips because they’re all integrated. Then for years, we had a database and and a weekly newsletter”
Recently, Linda decided it was time to add a new channel to Tech-Talk.
“After 23 years we decided that we needed a mobile app for people to access our content through as well. It really perks people’s ears up – ‘Oh, and you have a mobile app’. As a tech training company it’s important to have modern technology like native apps, so we stay current and on-trend”
It’s true – tech companies are expected to have apps by consumers these days.
Having that app store presence can be the difference between looking fresh and innovative and falling behind competitors in terms of branding. Linda realised that building native apps was a great way to make Tech-Talk stand out.
“More and more people are working on mobile whether they’re remote or not, they pick up their phone to look for the information they want. The app makes it immediately accessible to those people, especially millennials and the younger generation. It was a UX and a brand thing!”
Younger consumers are especially accustomed to doing everything through apps, if your strategy involves reaching them effectively apps are really a must!
But app development can be a complex and confusing area. What’s the best way to get your brand on the App Stores?
Linda began shopping around for the best way to build the Tech-Talk apps. She soon came across a common roadblock with traditional app development – the tremendous cost.
“The first time we decided to develop an app, we were talking to an app developer up in the Northern US somewhere. He was very knowledgeable and smart, but it was going to be $100K for the iOS app and another $70K for the Android. Then another $70K for the tablets. That’s one heck of a lot of money”
Building native apps from scratch is indeed a big financial investment that borders on prohibitive for small and medium sized businesses. It requires several developers working for months as budgets get stretched by unforeseen costs, and the work is never really done with ongoing maintenance and updates factored in.
Linda saw that the cost was prohibitive for native development, but wasn’t sure about the alternatives either – since she’d tried some non-native solutions and found them lacking.
“We started with GoodBarber. But again, then you have to start thinking – what categories do I want? How do I want it to look? You have to start designing everything again from the ground up. And that’s a major project”
With MobiLoud, this wasn’t an issue. Since we build apps from your existing site, there’s no need to rebuild anything. The apps mirror what you’ve already built on your website giving you the best of both worlds.
“With MobiLoud all of our thinking had already gone into our website, and because it mirrors the website, it was a no-brainer. We didn’t have to invest a whole lot of development time to get exactly what we wanted. It’s also so affordable”
We also are here to help you through every step of the process.
“The process was so smooth and the MobiLoud team were so instantly responsive and generous with their support. They explained every little bit of tweaking that we needed. It’s huge when a company does that, you want to stay partners with them forever”
We have self-serve, full service and custom plans where we build the apps for you entirely. On all our plans though, we take a hands-on approach to support and help you out with everything you need, including submission to the App Stores and ongoing maintenance and updates in the future.
“Every time there was a little glitch, MobiLoud would look in it at the code level and instantly fix it. We have nothing but positive memories of dealing with MobiLoud. That’s rare – I’m picky, so I can usually find fault with companies”
MobiLoud is a simple and efficient solution to build modern, feature-rich apps from your existing website.
You get iOS & Android apps live in just a few weeks, for 10% of the cost of native development. Linda and her team built great apps for Tech-Talk with MobiLoud in a matter of weeks.
Tech-Talk’s product has evolved over their many years in business, going from an 8 page print out, to an email newsletter, to a large database of tips and tutorials. What business results was Linda hoping to get from the Tech-Talk apps?
“The ease of selling a client. And I think that the app has significantly helped The cool thing is we have annual licenses and everybody renews. Okay, that’s wonderful. But converting people into subscribers was the hump – there is nothing that sexy about a technology training newsletter. When we added video to each of our articles, we saw a big bump in ease of selling and receptivity. But then when we added the app on top of that. Then it was like ‘Oh, okay, they’ve got an app too’. I can’t exactly quantify it, but I know without a doubt that if we gave up the app, it would be much harder to sell”
Having apps helps you to position your content as more “premium” and build app access into your value proposition to subscribers.
You can integrate any paywall or subscription solution you want into our apps, so it’s easy to make them subscriber-only if that fits your model. This will increase the perceived value of membership, and lead to more loyalty, higher conversion, and shorter sales cycles.
“It shortens the sales cycle, that first part of that sales cycle is getting someone willing to listen to the first place. When they hear that wen have an app as well – that differentiates us from other brands that they compare us to”
You can easily convey this value to potential subscribers on your site like Tech-Talk do, simply highlight the apps on your homepage, use Smart App Banners, and include the apps in your marketing messages promoting your packages.
The Tech-Talk apps have had more than 2,500 downloads, impressive for a niche B2B publisher. There have been some unexpected benefits too.
“We have clients who just buy it to get to the database. The database just sits there, unless people engage with it. These folks have to justify their expenses to their funders. What the app does is increases the number of log-ins into the database, which makes our subscribers happier because they can more fully justify their expenditure on the database side. That makes our subscribers very happy, which makes them far more likely to not have to struggle when it comes to renewal. It’s especially important to our subscribers to see the number of logins because logins indicate learning”
Linda and the Tech-Talk team are also making use of mobile push notifications through their MobiLoud apps, and plan to make more use of this channel in the future.
“The notifications go out when we upload a new tip into the database, I think we need to do more because it helps build habits around our content!”
This is exactly how you should use push notifications, to drive users back into the app whenever you have something new or engaging to offer them. As Linda said, push notifications are ideal for building habits around your brand.
We set you up with unlimited push notifications on iOS and Android that you can configure to go out manually or automatically. You can send them out right from your WordPress admin panel or through our simple dashboard if you use a different CMS.
Tech-Talk are approaching an amazing quarter of a Century in business, but they have no plans on slowing down.
“We’re going into our 25th year and we have been the best kept secret and everybody will tell you that, that knows about it. So we’re moving from the best kept secret to a global sensation”
They are thriving through the Covid-19 shutdown period and expanding their audience all over the world with the help of their apps. Linda and the Tech-Talk team have been making connections with library associations around the world, governments of countries like Sri Lanka and Sweden, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.
“We’ve been reaching out to all different kinds of library associations around the world. We have the parliaments of Sri Lanka and Sweden, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian – people in all of these different organizations around the world reaching out to us for our free learning. We tell them also that they can download the app and they put in their code for the free learning!”
We’re so happy to support businesses like Tech-Talk and help them to expand and grow their audience through the best possible mobile experience. We have no doubt that they will continue to thrive and make smart moves in their market.
Should you emulate Linda and the Tech-Talk team, and build mobile apps for your business?
According to Linda, every modern business should have apps, and the ease of building them with MobiLoud blew away other options.
“If you don’t have an app then I think you’re behind the times. Because MobiLoud is so affordable, so excellent at what it does, you don’t really have to develop anything. In a way we didn’t have to build an app, we just bought an app because MobiLoud takes care of almost all the building and work. I think it’s just a no-brainer!”
We make sure the process is smooth with fast and personalised service too. We never leave your side through the app building process, and continue to support you forever with ongoing updates, tweaks and maintenance.
“The experience with MobiLoud has been a dream. We’ve been in business for 25 years, and on the development side, it rarely goes as smoothly. Vitor is so instantly responsive, whether it’s through email or through a meeting, and he explains things so well and patiently. It really has been a 100% perfect transition. I just can’t say enough about it. If we had to rank you on a scale of 1-10 well we’d give you a 10 or 11!”
We’d like to say thank you to Linda and the Tech-Talk team for being such great customers, and we’re excited to keep supporting them on their path to becoming a “global sensation”.
We can do the same for your business, and get you a powerful App Store presence that will boost your brand and delight your audience. It’s a simple process and you can go from concept to published apps in just a few weeks – book a call with one of our app experts and let’s get started today!