Marketing: There’s an App for That

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Since smartphones have practically become an extension of our hands, it is no wonder that businesses are looking to mobile marketing as a way to increase sales. Before the advent of smartphone technology, phones were merely glorified walkie-talkies, but now younger generations have been carrying around devices that fit into their pockets since elementary school.

Higher Expectations Require a Different Approach

Today, consumers demand phones that allow users to simultaneously talk on the phone while texting about things like posts they saw in Instagram newsfeeds or YouTube videos they recently watched.  Standards for mobile phones are constantly rising and with that, so are users’ expectations of marketing through mobile media platforms.

This mass movement from desktop to laptop, and now to smartphones shows that consumers want immediate answers. Businesses are now realizing the power of content marketing, and providing those answers to consumers through a mobile application is a highly effective way to reach them.

Customized apps allow businesses to create content that offers value to their customers. It also enables them to target their audience anywhere instead of waiting until they are in front of their computers. The App Store for iOS users and Google Play for Android users are the first places people search for those answers. According to Andrew Gazdecki, CEO of Bizness Apps, nearly 50% of app downloads were the result of a proactive search as opposed to waiting for them to be presented. Such high statistics indicate that mobile apps will play an increasingly integral role in allowing marketers and businesses to stay relevant in the minds of consumers.

Apps Foster Consumer Loyalty

Mobile apps can range from health monitors such as the fitbit © app, to mindless games like Candy Crush ©. Apps have real estate on consumers’ phones, which makes them constantly present in our lives. Businesses can capitalize on this to foster more consumer loyalty, and improve their content marketing strategies. Bush’s baked bean’s released an app that doesn’t discuss recipes, or how to use their beans. Instead the app is merely a game that Bush’s is encouraging you to play. The Bush’s Bean Dash app has become an excellent example of an interactive marketing strategy. It creates more positive brand association, which is always better for a company.

One of the biggest advantages to having an app for your brand is that consumers will turn to your app for answers, which shows them that your brand is reliable and informative. For instance, the fit bit app walks customers through a fitness regime and helps them stay on track. Customers are relying on the makers of fitbit © to have accurate technology that totals the caloric values of their food and exercise.

There is also the added opportunity to learn more about your consumer. Some apps such as SHO (Showtime Network) give customers incentives such as extended network access for filling out polls or surveys. Understanding your target audience will allow you to increase the value of the good or service you provide.

Giving the Consumer What They Want

Two things we covet most are time and money. If a company can provide a service through an app which saves both time and money, then it will generate more customer loyalty and positive feedback. For instance, The Time’s app (Time Magazine) allows you to curate your articles to where you only receive notifications for subjects you are interested in, and at a lower price than purchasing the entire magazine. This is also faster than combing through the whole magazine just to find information that is interesting to the reader.

Consumers respond more positively to helpful content as opposed to strict ad sales. For example, the Betty Crocker app features recipes to cook any kind of food not just those featuring Betty Crocker merchandise. Additionally, the Betty Crocker app saves time for consumers by offering a variety of recipes conveniently on their phone, eliminating the need to search for recipes across different sources. The app also features a tool that allows consumers to make a grocery list of the recipe. This creates more efficiency when consumers are trying to quickly get a meal together. This interaction creates an experience around the information the company provides which strengthens the bond between the company and consumer.

Cost Effective Way to Reach a Target Audience

Apps are also more cost-efficient for companies. Apps can identify their target audience more specifically. This is particularly useful for companies that might spend a lot of money for ad space on TV but only reach a small group of the viewership, thus giving a low return on investment. Instead, a company like Home Depot can be confident that the audience downloading their App will definitely be people doing home projects.

Mobile apps can be highly influential in the marketing game, but only if marketers can break through the clutter of over 1 million apps. By creating an experience that involves users ranging from incentives on Showtime to guidance on a do-it-yourself project at Home Depot, marketing has the opportunity to succeed in going mobile.

 

Caroline ClarkeContent Creator

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