Mobile apps are numerous but are they smart enough?
Mobile is taking over the world by storm. In the US alone, 48% smartphone users have confessed that they discover brands through apps. This makes a staggering 1.5 billion users in the US for whom mobile apps are the number one source for advertising [Source: Our Mobile Planet]. With the majority of consumers on the move, brands are making creative strategies to use this medium to get their message across to their target audience. One of the ways of engaging your mobile audience is to develop smartphone applications.
Businesses need to research and find out where their target audience is centered and what trends they are following. Websites such as Google’s Our Mobile Planet, Local Vox, and StatCounter can help you figure out statistics by region, lifestyles and usage. Find your niche and target your consumers directly. Since mobile is a very personal medium, the more direct your message will be, the more ripples it will create.
iPhones and Android phones are moving more and more towards making the mobile an “experience” for the consumer. Mobile is no longer just a device for calls and messages. Infact, it has evolved into a communication medium that works by detecting touch and voice commands. Your mobile applications should be closer to human nature and should interact with them.
Take Coca Cola’s recent campaign for example. Coke’s “Chok! Chok! Chok!” campaign for Hong Kong has been a tremendous success. Coke created a mobile application where teenagers could virtually catch bottle caps tumbling on the screen. Once downloaded, the app activated by sound when the Chok! TVC aired at 10PM everyday. Users could then ‘chok’ or swing their phone to catch bottle caps and win instant prizes.
It is important for brands to realise that mobile is a medium in itself. It shouldn’t be used to duplicate the content you are already presenting through your website or television commercials. Value addition is crucial. Your mobile apps should be able to uniquely tap into the consumer mindset while still maintaining the personality of the brand. Think of it as the same history lesson taught in a more interactive way.
Sara Jenkins’ mobile app called “New Italian Pantry” is a great example of a brand understanding its consumers’ needs on the go. The application is developed so that it can create recipes for you based on the ingredients you already have or what you’re about to buy from the grocery store. So while standing in line for shopping, you can decide what to put on the dinner table tonight!
Mobile applications don’t work too well as stand-alone marketing tools, according to Tom Daly, group director of global connections at Coca-Cola. They work best when the integrate your entire brand promise across different platforms and connect them all together. You should use each medium to support a basic marketing strategy that shows across all platforms, including smartphone apps.
Disney’s movie “Wreck It Ralph” received great reviews for its creative execution and plot. Disney has launched an application that allows kids to re-watch the movie in the palm of their hands with interactive features that let them bake their own kart and race down the Sugar Rush track. The app smoothly connects the movie with interactive features for the mobile audience and creates a recall for the brand.
Simplicity is what grabs a consumer’s attention immediately. Keep your applications simple and develop user-friendly interfaces so the user feels welcome to your app. If there are complex statistics to be shown, break them down into chunks and use infographics to get your point across. Divide the information into small steps so your user digests it one step at a time.
Honeywell, a home security company, has launched its “Total Connect Remote Services” app that lets you control your security system, receive alerts and even view live video, event-driven video clips and pictures on your smartphone. The application adds another connection point for Honeywell’s consumers and gives virtual control a new meaning. Although it may sound a little hectic, the application’s sleek design and interface has all the features just a tap away!
If your brand is still debating on whether you should dive into the mobile app market or not, here are some statistics that might help you reach a decision:
With the number of smartphone users growing everyday, the mobile app market is booming proportionately. Your business needs to be omnipresent in today’s world to make a favourable change on the buying behaviour of your consumers while they are being bombarded with ads from competitors. If you need help with creating your next app, let us know and we’d be happy to help!