It’s an App, App world

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

It seems like there’s an app for almost everything. You can calm your nerves with Zen Garden to professional level services like taking your blood pressure. Though it’s a smaller part of your integrated marketing, apps can be leveraged to add an emotional factor to your image and brand, like making it cooler, convenient, or as a wow factor. I recently ran across an article by Kunur Patel and Abbey Klaassen. I would like to share the highlights with you.

How to succeed in the age of the app.

• People will pay for a good app – Apps like Kraft’s iFood Assistant has become a big hit with consumers. It also costs .99 and people are paying and downloading it like crazy. Zagat’s app charges $9.99 and is the 77th top-grossing paid app in the Apple App Store. Having a fee connected with your app signifies the content is premium. The biggest factor here is your app had better deliver value and keep it’s stated promise. There’s a very thin line between quirky cool and weird stupid. It’s very difficult to go from free to paid, but you can almost always go from paid to free.

• But free works to drive sales for your endemic product – Benjamin Moore’s app allows you to take a picture with your phone and it will match up the colors with a Benjamin Moore paint product. It inspires you to go to a store and buy the paint. Carl Minchew of Benjamin Moore knows that we have to drive traffic to the stores. He stated, “We haven’t accomplished anything until we sell paint.” Just getting downloads and clicks don’t matter. Sales do.

• If you do charge, make it easy for consumers to pay – The simple advice is to partner with people who already know how to collect money.

• This is not the wired web – Don’t force ads into every spot on your mobile app. That’s one mistake the internet companies have made. Measuring click through isn’t the only metric that matters. There’s nothing right now to measure pissed off.

• Make apps part of an integrated message – Integrating your app as a part of marketing campaigns instead of just one-offs is probably the best way to leverage the time, expense, and effort of developing an app. The Gap, Nike, and Smirnoff have sold apps as a part of a bigger integrated marketing campaign that has achieve marketing success.

• Pay attention to feedback and respond fast – People will point out your flaws. Adjust your app as quickly as possible and send everyone an update that is easily installed. Feedback is an asset, only if you pay attention to it and consider your next moves based on it.

• If something doesn’t work, people are not going to blame the phone – Though you may run into some technical challenge in working with phone manufacturers, remember, it’s going to be your fault if consumers feel your app doesn’t work as advertised. The burden is on you to be something of a magician to make it work.

• Use your own assets to market your app – Reach out to your customers to trial your app using your other channels of marketing and communications ( just as the point was made in “Make apps part of an integrated message”).

• Make your advertising targeted when promoting your app – One strategy is to do shorter, more frequent blitzes to your target audience. This creates surges in downloads and uses. Create specific marketing efforts to customers on various handsets.

• Don’t discount the iPod Touch – It’s a sleeping giant according to Kraft’s Mr. Kaczmarek. iPod Touch users download 16.4 free apps and 2 paid apps per month. iPhone users downloads 7.6 free and 2.6 paid apps.

The app can be a valuable tool. To get the best bang, it’s best to integrate it into a larger marketing campaign. This will allow you to weave your brand into your customer’s lives. Most one-offs don’t last very long. It’s the integrated marketing effort that is effective over the long haul.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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