Mobile applications have matured into a significant channel allowing users to interact with entertainment, information and more generally the world around them. And as more and more consumers access their preferred content through a variety of media channels, devices and searches – mobile applications with their distilled and dedicated content are providing users with clarity and focus.
And importantly for brands, apps provide the opportunity to merge their diverse marketing channels, resulting in a united and measureable view of success. Equally, mobile apps present a unique opportunity for brands to reach their audience and convey their message through a personalised, time and location relevant format.
Mobile apps have fast become synonymous with innovative, brief and enjoyable interactions, and brands evolving their messaging into useful solutions for users are achieving great success. Unlike traditional digital marketing, apps take advantage of multiple channels for awareness including offline, web, social and increasingly the app store ecosystem itself.
App stores present a new frontier for marketers looking to reach their mainstream audience in a channel significantly less complicated than the web, and with much higher click through rates than search or banner ads.
And as apps continue to evolve, progressive brands are replacing fun; throw away apps, with business critical solutions that provide new and improved services for their audience. Interestingly, these apps are being funded through business operations budgets rather than marketing budgets and are considered an extension of the business capable of driving additional interactions and sales.
When considering mobile applications, iPhone apps are often front-of-mind. However, it’s important to first define audiences and objectives, in order to determine whether projects are best suited to mobile web or apps.
For example, if a user journey is dominated by spontaneous interactions such as Google searches, a mobile web site is required. However, if the required solution includes regular interactions with Facebook, or native functions like the camera or offline use, then an app is ideal.
Arriving at these outcomes begins with asking the question: where does the audiences’ mobile use intersect with my brand? And to answer this question, Deepend review when, where and what an audience is doing on mobile relevant to a brand.
For example, alcohol brands will find that their mobile audience is most active in the early evening with a short secondary peak around 9pm – as audiences begin populating drinking venues and using their mobile to find locations, events and to connect with friends through social, messaging and camera.
Therefore successful marketing strategies will include mobile media targeting this activity, allowing users to download an app that enhances their ability to source locations, events and connect with friends. And successful apps will capitalise on the functions unique to the device – camera, GPS and movement – and use these to enhance user experience rather than clutter it.
There are currently over 650,000 apps in the Apple app store and creating success within this crowded environment requires a range of services beyond the simple development of a great app. This includes analysis and reporting, strategy, pre and post marketing awareness and ongoing optimisation.
Developing a marketing plan that commences well in advance of a new app release and evolves in line with the app success post launch is critical to success. Beyond pre awareness media and PR, brands can incorporate simple things like a sign up for users requesting that they be advised upon launch – ensuring a new app has a large amount of initial downloads, improving its rankings and simultaneously its awareness.
While the app market is recognised today as one of the most successful channels for brands, it’s important to remember that it’s only been active for a few years, and marketers are still developing skill sets in order to capitalise on a market with a higher demand than inventory. So brands looking to evolve their presence through mobile applications need to align themselves with teams that can demonstrate innovation, audience communication, ROI and app store success.
To see how Deepend have achieved this, take a look at the mobile applications we’ve created for our clients.