There are numerous apps that we encounter every day. In most scenarios, they tend to help us in simplifying tasks and snipping a step or two.
But how do apps help marketers?
As marketers, we’ve known its pros. From bringing in awareness, to brand building and increasing sales (both offline and In-app) an app has a tremendous potential to tap and win users.
In a time when most users are mobile, apps have given a new lease of life to brands, and an innovative platform for them to connect with their users. However, sometimes this may not be enough. To keep app users appeased, marketers need to evolve and constantly offer something unique to their users.
That’s when app marketing campaigns come to the rescue. App marketing campaigns aren’t new to marketers, and very often such campaigns are used to leverage user attention – both within the app as well as outside.
In doing so, most app marketers aim at bringing novelty to the table, however, not all succeed in their attempts.
By conceptualizing unique mobile marketing strategies, marketers can win the attention of app users across their mobile marketing funnel.
In this article, we will analyze a few of the popular campaigns that used an app as a marketing channel to reach the desired marketing objective. In the second half of the article, we would share tips on making the most from such campaigns and how you could create the same for your app users.
The Starbucks Instant Revenue Mocha!
Adoption of a mobile app platform isn’t new for Starbucks. It has already dabbled in mobile payments using QR codes and mobile loyalty programs. It recently launched ‘mobile order and pay’ for its users. A post published in FastCompany states that:
In its financial quarter ending December 28th, Starbucks had in excess of 13 million mobile app users in the United States—representing an increase of 1 million from the 12 million using the service the previous quarter. In total, this resulted in a massive 16% of the company’s total transactions.
We’ve all had our share of Mocha’s and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s, and we love Starbucks for it. Clearly, brand recognition wasn’t the aim for Starbucks when they launched their app. Starbucks’ mobile payment app was a way for the brand to add a value proposition and increase the convenience for its users. Given the surge in mobile app and lack of time, this campaign has been a hit with its users.
Left. Right. Done-Tinder’s Unique Feature
As an adult, I envy people who use Tinder. Not because of the freewill to date, but the simplicity of the platform to take a decision. I constantly wish everything was as simple as ‘right swipe’ or ‘left swipe’. It is this noteworthy feature that has given rise to various campaigns, using an app as a medium. Brands like Dominoes used Tinder’s interface to plug in their own content and brand it in an exciting new way. A few others include daily soaps such as the Mindy Project and Suits.
While Tinder has revolutionized an app feature, it still signals at innovation. A closer look at these campaigns hints at the element of delight and surprise for the app users, which is a huge precursor for app installs and word-of-mouth. It’s true that not all apps can bank on a feature like this, but they can always work towards creating an element of delight for its users. A successful marketing campaign needs to be memorable and involve users, and there are numerous ways to do so.
Taxi Stockholm -Playing To Your Strength
As tourists, we tend to stick to a mode of transport that we are comfortable with, this includes taxi services as well. Taxi Stockholm (a company set in 1899) had two challenges in front of them. Firstly, to attract more users visiting Stockholm and secondly to offer them a local experience. All this when this company was surrounded by stiff competition from technology backed giants like UBER.
Taxi Stockholm developed a unique app that followed the trails of locals and created a unique guide for tourists!
There’s a lot that can be done with a mobile app. What’s more critical is playing to your strengths in developing a robust strategy around it.
Increasing Awareness- The McDonald’s Way
Most brands that we know today, offer a service or a product that still requires a user to visit their doorstep. Mobile apps help such brands in cutting the friction and bringing in awareness about a specific product or service-just like in the case of Starbucks.
It requires a lot of logical thinking and planning for brands that want to bring apps into their marketing plan in cases like these.McDonald’s seems to have mastered this art by redefining the way an app can connect with its users and winning them.
For example, McDonald’s tied up with Rovio and developed a specific Angry Bird game that could only be played in a McDonald’s outlet.This app not only brought in loyalists but also attracted other users to the app as well as the store.
Another instance where McDonald’s hit the mark with its app users was when it introduced a location-based mobile campaign in the UK. Mc Donald’s realized that most of its customers were travelers or shift workers and thus chose to extend their business hours. The idea was to make users aware of this extension using a mobile app. Mc Donald’s also used mobile banner ads on websites that attracted a lot of late night traffic.
This campaign using a mobile app, helped McDonald’s with over 5,30,000 visits and doubled revenue.
Coca-Cola- Staying Relevant To Its Users
We’ve all known a few apps that didn’t meet the mark. Most often than not, lack of clear understanding of the target audience is the reason for their debacle. Coca-Cola has led us into believing that when creativity is mixed with an app platform, numerous things can be achieved.
For Coca-Cola, it’s about innovation and not about user acquisition per se. Apps are a way for this brand to stay relevant to its users and increase its brand identity. Consumption of energy drinks is highest within teens and young adults, making them the right target audience for a brand. Coca-Cola used these statistics as a base and launched an impressive campaign in Hong Kong in line with a TVC. The campaign is highlighted below:
The campaign earned Coca-Cola an enormous viral edge. The app ranked no 1 in the local app store and was downloaded over 3,80,000 times in a month. Coca-Cola’s app marketing campaign in this case not only attracted and deepened its brand loyalty, but it also set the pace for other brands to follow suit.
Airbnb’s In-App Marketing Campaign
While app marketing campaigns that work from outside the app are a huge way to attract users. However, given the surge in mobile apps, more marketers are experimenting and getting comfortable with In-app marketing campaigns. One of the finest examples of this was when Airbnb launched its In-app referral marketing campaign.
This campaign let app users refer the Airbnb app to their friends and in turn earn referral credits. In-app campaigns like this have brought back attention to mobile apps in a big way. For Airbnb, it brought huge app downloads and over 25% increase in their bookings.
By now, you’ll be convinced that app marketing campaigns can add a lot of value to both an app and its users. A lot of app marketers worry at the outcome and the budgets involved with app marketing campaigns. However, with proper planning and thought, one can replicate the success that’s unique to them. We’ve listed a few things to remember before you dive deep in planning a campaign for your app.
Things To Remember While Crafting An App Marketing Campaign
Whether it is a campaign that is meant to elevate your product via an app or an app that elevates your business, a few pointers will help you in getting the most out of it.
Understand your app users– By knowing their users, app marketers will have clarity on what appeals to them . This way it would be easy for them to weave it in an app marketing campaign, thereby ensuring success.
Add value to your users– An app marketing campaign has to address a cause or add value to your app users to be relevant. Take, for example, the Mc Donald’s app marketing strategy that we discussed above.
Play with options– There are numerous ways of exciting your app users and it’s best to experiment and play with the available options. For a few brands going the whole nine yards may make sense, for some In-app marketing campaigns may bring out the best results.
Seek word-of-mouth– Most of the campaigns stated above excelled due to the word-of-mouth it brought to the brand. An app marketing strategy thus should be one that sets the ball rolling. Word-of-mouth brings a troop of users, thereby ensuring higher app downloads.
Test & Test more– Any marketing campaign needs to be tested both before and after. The same applies to campaigns that concern your app as well.
By 2017, we would have witnessed over 268.69 billion app downloads. Having a mobile app for your business is a no-brainer today, and no business would want to opt out of having one in their kitty. However, it is innovative app marketing campaigns that keep app users hooked and coming back for more.
What’s your favorite app marketing campaign? How have you used app marketing campaigns to bring business and users to your app?