Professionals Extend Expertise & Marketing Through iPhone Apps

Apps are going professional! International law firm Morrison and Foerster recently released its iPhone app to critical acclaim… from fellow professionals!

“It’s nice. It’s designed to catch your attention…,” said Jeff Richardson, a New Orleans attorney who blogs at iPhoneJD (reproduced from New Orleans City Business – June 24, 2010)

Not only have legal professionals jumped onboard the App train like “Houston Lawyer” Gregg Harrison PLLC, but take a look at these app purveyors:

Designers – Donna Karan and Diane von Furstenberg

Singers – Kenney Chesney and Taylor Swift

Icons – Dolly Parton and Madonna

Politicians – Derek Wyatt

Plastic Surgeons – Dr. Steven Denenberg

Notably, the Houston legal market has taken to Apps quite extensively with market segmentation along the lines of business, immigration, criminal, accident and dwi, all with dedicated apps!

Admittedly and understandably, a lawyer knows that their app will be hard to isolate from the hundreds of thousands of apps available from the iTunes Store, but that type of marketing essentially misses the point. The law firms and other professionals use their iPhone apps to leverage existing marketing and professional awareness by:

1) Extending the reach of their marketing into the hands and pockets of prospective clients, especially those that have need of the professional’s information while on the move or with others

2) Exponentially increasing the possibility and probability of business development through word of mouth sharing and referrals, that can be built into an app’s functionality and internal connectivity with prevailing social networks Facebook and Twitter

3) Using the release and availability of the app as a PR event to support traditional media outreach

“We’ve definitely gotten a lot of publicity and it’s brought attention to our law practice,” summarized Michelle May O’Neil, a Dallas family law attorney, in the New Orleans City Business article. In her instance the apps served a specific function. Yet it can easily be said that getting information sought by prospective clients into their hands, where and when they can consume such content, is itself a function that can only be uniquely addressed by an app. It’s this information availability, with connectivity to the professional to make an appointment for specific expertise, that gets the professional’s foot in the door with prospective new clients – essentially the iPhone app is a lead generation device.

In addition, given that the demographics of app users and reach of an app is becoming accepted as distinctive from those reached by traditional media, a professional’s app has the potential to extend their field of influence into these developing markets.

The average age of the iPhone user is 37 years old according to Admob’s Mobile Metrics Report of 2010 – which is a perfect market for consumption of many professional services – and when the gender split of just over half of device users being male is taken into account, the potential market is extensive.

Where competition amongst professionals is reaching new heights, the iPhone App is a new and impactful tool for practice client development – one with reach, engagement, and most important, two way communicability – for which other traditional forms of marketing are becoming less effective and at which the iPhone App is particularly adept.