Mobile Apps...An Essential Part of the Digital Marketing Plan!
The use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is increasing tremendously every year. Users around the world are gaining access to the Internet and to mobile devices everyday. Mobile devices are becoming an essential part of many people’s lives, serving as a watch, an alarm clock, a GPS, a digital music player, and a camera. Every year these devices become more advanced and are capable of doing more. Google and Apple are both making strides in developing a digital wallet integrated into mobile devices, so how much longer will we need to carry wallets around for? The usefulness and dominance of mobile devices is undoubted growing at a tremendous rate, so it is essential for companies to include this in their marketing strategy.
Mobile apps, video, and social media are three platforms that can be used by marketers to get their message across to customers. Apps are designed for various purposes for companies. Many times, it will be used as a way to keep track of some customer loyalty programs or a way to notify customers about promotions. Companies frequently use video to promote new products and campaigns. They will set up YouTube channels and upload videos about campaigns or commercials and they will share them across their other mobile channels, such as social media. YouTube can also be used effectively because companies can strategically target a specific audience based on what videos they choose to run ads on. If they are trying to sell something to a teenage audience, they could run ads on videos about popular music, sports, or video games. Social media is another useful tool for companies to use in terms of marketing. Other than promotional uses, companies can use the convenience of social media to easily be in contact with their customers. They can use this opportunity to build their brand as what they say on social media and how they present themselves should reflect that image they want people to see and think of them as.
Apps are an aspect of mobile marketing that can be very different or interesting because it opens up a large number of things a company can do. There are apps for both iOS and Android for pretty much anything you can think of. During the rise of the iPhone, Apple constantly used the phrase “there’s an app for that,” to show the diverse functionality of Apple’s App Store. An app provides access to a phone’s camera, photos, GPS, and other various things that can help a developer improve functionality when designing the app.
One app which I have personal experience with that utilizes these features is the Nike + Running app. This app uses the GPS technology in the phone to track you on your runs to measure distance, keep track of your time, and log all of this information in one place. You can choose music from your phone to play at specific parts of your run, and well as post information from the app to Facebook and Twitter to share with your friends. The app works extremely well and offers an easy to use experience for you while running. Here is Nike’s video promotion of the app.
IKEA’s Catalog app uses something called augmented reality to take furniture shopping to a different level. Using an IKEA catalog, you can scan any piece of furniture with your phone, and then using your camera can make it virtually appear on your screen. This gives the consumer an actual view of what their room would look like with a new piece of IKEA furniture. The commercial focuses on the usefulness of the technology but also recognizes that it is something people are bound to joke around and have with, as they show children lifting small couches and a family joking and having a good time. This enhances IKEA’s identity as a brand by being family oriented, approachable, and fun. You can view the IKEA commercial here.
The innovation and development of strategic marketing through apps is only going to grow as technology does. Companies will become more clever and creative and they will continue to make apps that people want to use. However, this is not something that only tech-savvy or large companies should do, it is going to be an essential marketing tool for every level of business.