An innovative brand will always think outside the box and ask “What can I do that my competitor IS NOT doing?” In this post I will introduce you to the concept of accessibility and the type of customer you would never think to target in your marketing plan. More importantly, your competitors aren’t aware of these accessible mobile apps, so YOU get to generate and attract the type of leads that they don’t know about.
Accessibility and inclusion is a key component to building that solid foundation that enables EVERYONE to access your product, service or platform. Accessibility isn’t a trend therefore it never goes away and will always be needed. Apps and accessibility go hand in hand since many people are using apps to enhance their mobile experience. These five mobile accessible apps are structured for people with disabilities that have BUYING power. These are people are literally looking for a restaurant to eat, a video to watch or instructions to buying a coffee. That means guaranteed sales which means KA-CHING for your business and a big golden star to your marketing team. And maybe a raise? But then you owe me dinner.
Here are the five mobile accessible apps:
” MagnusCards is a free app that combines a proven method of instruction (Social Stories) with elements of game design to help people learn life skills. With Magnus as your guide, you can collect and create digital Card Decks, which provide step-by-step instructions for various social interactions, situations, behaviours, and activities. For example: grocery shopping, doing laundry, and taking the bus.”
It’s a cool app right? But what use is it to your business? Well if it wasn’t for Tim Hortons innovative idea I probably wouldn’t know either. Just a little background, this app allows you to create customized cards that you enter in to a larger database which ANY user with this app can access. Here is what Tim Hortons did, “Tim Hortons Card Decks include step-by-step details for completing Tim Hortons related tasks (including ordering food, buying take home products, and cleaning up after yourself). The cards include text descriptions with pictures, and audio.”I think its so inspiring that 1) Tim Hortons got involved with an app that helps people with cognitive, developmental or other disabilities but 2) it leads to BETTER BUSINESS because now these people are granted the independence to be their own consumers. CIBC, Rogers and CAMH are some companies in Ontario that are using this app to market their services and products.
“Use our app or web site to find accessible places in your area. Browse for restaurants, or whatever. Let others know how accessible places are by rating them with a few clicks. Share places that are accessible or let friends know what places aren’t accessible through Facebook or Twitter.”
If you’re brand has an office, brick and mortar store or both you should do a survey of the office and determine its level of accessibility. Can a wheel chair user get through the front door? Is there room inside this space for a wheel chair user to easily navigate themselves? If your space is inaccessible then it will deter people from doing business with your brand if they aren’t able to get through the front door. Users have a strong voice in this app which is quickly growing internationally. You can rate your own space yourself so that other people know your brand is committed to providing an inclusive space or you can encourage people to rate your space on AXS map and receive feedback. This app is popular because it allows users to quickly search for nearby businesses such as restaurants, hotels or bars.
“We use crowdsourcing to pin-point the accessibility status of locations on an interactive map. Search for specific places or browse to see what is nearby with the accessibility features you need. If info isn’t already on our map, you can add it yourself and contribute to our worldwide community.”
This app is similar to AXS map but its more concentrated in Toronto. If your space is accessible then list your space on this app to certify that you are committed to collaborating with people of all abilities.
Google Accessibility Scanner
“Accessibility Scanner is a tool that suggests accessibility improvements for Android apps without requiring technical skills. Just open the app you want to scan, then tap the Accessibility Scanner button to find items in the app that might benefit from accessibility improvements.”
Google has changed their algorithm to penalize websites that aren’t mobile. According to CBC news over 28 million Canadians have a mobile device. Going mobile is key to success in the digital world. So how do you merge the mobile world and accessibility? This app is great because it does exactly that. It scans your mobile platform and provides easy to understand issues that you can fix. This results in overall higher search engine rankings for your business. However, this app is currently works on mobile devices with the latest android operating system.
Thats right. Youtube. Youtube has got a great feature that can automatically add subtitles to your videos so that people with hearing disabilities can access your videos. Of the 600 million people in the world with a hearing loss 96% do NOT wear any hearing aids. Canadian Hearing Society reported that 10% of Canadians have hearing loss or are deaf. Using subtitles means that everyone can access your content = leads. The link above leads you to a page that explains how to easily add subtitles that user can opt to view OR the user can turn off the subtitles.
Kudos to you for caring about growing your business in an inclusive manner. Putting your customer first leads to repeat & loyal customers. Share this article with friends and colleagues! Comment or contact me if you know any other apps that can help businesses.