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3 successful ways brands are using mobile apps for marketing

3 successful ways brands are using mobile apps for marketing

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Contemporary brands are using mobile apps for marketing with great success. These programs help get the word out about new products, offer increased advertisement viewing, and provide an opportunity to boost results in the store. Mobile presents the option to highly target specific individuals when they’re most likely to make a purchase. Such strategies make them invaluable for any company in a competitive market segment, including CPG brands.

Mobile app marketing is all about flexibility. As more consumers shift their browsing behavior to mobile options, brands must find ways to connect with them no matter where they’re viewing content. While there are many examples of brands successfully using mobile apps for marketing, here are three with reliable results that brands can emulate when developing their marketing campaigns.

#1: Bacardi Leverages Original Video Content in a New Product Launch

Mobile video marketing is a highly effective option as many consumers prefer video over any other kind of media. By 2022, about 82% of all global IP traffic will come from video. As such, brands must find ways to add this type of marketing to their mix to stay competitive in the future. This isn’t all about advertising, either. Instead, it’s about creating original content with the potential to grab the attention of many viewers.

When Bacardi wanted to drive interest in its new premium collection, the company rolled out an advertising campaign that provided users with a unique look inside their business. The Angels Share was a short informative film that shared the legacy of Bacardi, as well as a unique phenomenon in rum-making where liquid evaporates during the aging process. The Bacardi premium rum line loses more of that share than any other spirit. It’s aged in the Caribbean sun, which improves the result by concentrating its flavor. In the short film, three different individuals and members of the Bacardi family shared their views on the phenomenon while promoting the new product. The company leveraged a few tactics in this commercial which helped to make it a success:
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They went digital first.

One big focus of this campaign was ensuring it was digitally optimized to allow consumers to view it easily on popular online platforms. This expanded the reach of the marketing message.

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They established themselves as industry experts.

The campaign didn’t center on hard sales but instead on sharing unique information about the creation and aging of the company’s premium rum line, discussing the process of liquor evaporation and how it can improve spirits.

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They leveraged celebrity recognition.

The film was co-directed by actor and filmmaker Michael B. Jordan and Emmy-nominated director Paul Hunter, ensuring there was enough name recognition to get fans of the two interested in the advertisement.

Overall, Bacardi’s campaign helped them make consumers aware of a new product and leveraged the audiences of famous directors and actors to improve viewing. The use of a highly engaging commercial presented this line as a luxury liquor, making it ideal for targeting consumers in the premium market. Brands should consider how they can create their own informational mobile content to share their knowledge and intrigue consumers. Partnering with the right influencers in their market can help brands reach a larger audience and increase product awareness.

#2.: The NFL Boosts Advertising Results With a Mobile-Enabled Ecosystem

The purpose of creating branded content isn’t always about advertising. Occasionally, it’s the primary focus of a brand. In the case of the NFL, their content, or their sporting events, is the brand’s primary product. But down the road, the NFL introduced additional products, like merchandise and memorabilia. On the other hand, sometimes a company will evolve from a single initial product into one whose primary purpose is content. For example, Red Bull began with its signature energy drink, but eventually created its own channel through its extreme sports focus. In either case, mobile is the vehicle that delivers content to the masses.

The NFL recently underwent a major digital initiative due to the prevalence of multiscreen viewers. Multiscreen viewers are those who might watch a sporting event, but at the same time, check their phones for additional information. By focusing heavily on improved digital access to their games, the NFL saw strong results. Overall, they saw a 147% increase in mobile viewership.  
This move also provides an additional opportunity for advertisers. Current figures indicate that it costs $5 million to run a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, digital ads delivered through the NFL’s mobile platforms reach the same number of viewers—if not more. After all, the average Super Bowl viewer is going to save commercial time for bathroom breaks or snack runs, rather than sitting in front of the TV waiting for the game to start again. Meanwhile, someone searching the NFL’s mobile app during the game will be engaged with their phone, which makes them more likely to view advertisements. There are many things the NFL did right with their digital campaign, including:
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Catering to multi-screen viewers:

Just about everyone today uses their smartphones to pass the time when their favorite TV show lags or goes to commercial break. By offering an additional mobile option, the NFL kept viewers within their brand’s ecosystem, allowing them to view information from their partners and advertisers.

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Reaching out to millennials:

Millennials currently watch more online content than they do traditional television. This viewership shift is essential to account for in advertising as it sets the path for future viewing patterns. By ensuring their content is viewable by the audience most likely to drive consumerism over the next decade, the NFL aligns their brand with them and improves marketing efforts.

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Offering added value:

The NFL app isn’t just a smaller version of what’s available on TV. Consumers can gain greater insight on player stats, watch instant replays, and even play NFL branded games. This strategy ensures users aren’t facing an either-or scenario when dealing with the app. They’re using the app to enhance the customer experience.

All brands, even ones that aren’t strictly content focused—like CPG brands—need to understand how consumer viewing behavior has shifted. It’s far more likely consumers will discover and remember a brand’s products via a popular mobile app, rather than through a simple television commercial. As such, now is the time to take a mobile-first approach to marketing.

#3. Purina Improves Sales Using Mobile Apps for Marketing in the Store

Mobile marketing apps can help boost sales in the store by providing consumers with timely notifications based on their location. This strategy is ideal for CPG brands that must contend with significant competition in the aisle. After all, much of that competition includes value and white label brands that can easily undercut prices and steal away their market share. Brands must find a way to direct consumers to their products to stand out among both discounted brands and other big industry names. Mobile apps that provide rewards for interacting with products can ensure that brands gain the attention they need to drive in-store sales.  

This was a strategy Shopkick implemented through a partnership with Purina when the pet food brand wanted to expand sales during the holiday season. Their goal was to increase sales across several products and encourage consumers to try out items for the first time. Shopkick created a campaign for Purina specific to Target locations. Consumers would initially see Purina content when in the app, which familiarized them with the brand. On arrival at participating locations, they received a notification from Purina that increased top-of-mind awareness. Finally, consumers were encouraged to seek out the products in-aisle, and scan their UPCs with their camera phones to obtain kicks (aka rewards points). The campaign helped to drive awareness, as 36% of consumers reported the content introduced them toproducts they weren’t aware of before. It also improved sales, as 85% of those who made purchases said Shopkick drove their decision to buy. Purina chose to contact Shopkick because their mobile app provides several sales driving benefits, including:
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Proximity marketing:

By using the consumer’s location to trigger messages, Purina was able to connect with consumers as they shopped. Targeting consumers based on proximity is especially useful as it allows brands to reach those in the best position to make a purchase. It also will enable brands to scale their campaigns more efficiently, as they’re paying for marketing based on potential sales prospects rather than using more expensive mass media delivered to consumers regardless of their location.

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Incentivized engagement:

Priming consumers for sale is critical for driving purchases, but it can be challenging to get them to interact with products in the shopping aisle. With Shopkick, consumers receive an incentive which encourages them to handle the product to scan its UPC, which increases the likelihood of purchase.

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Rewards over discounts:

One problem brands may have with discounts is that they don’t typically drive long term sales. Once the product’s price returns to normal, the discount-driven consumers choose a lower cost competitor. Meanwhile, rewards programs don’t require discounts, meaning that the brand sees no immediate loss on the campaign. Consumers often see rewards as having a higher value than their simple dollar amount due to the emotional return from receiving the rewards points.

Third-party shopping apps can be a significant benefit for CPG brands that want to stand out in the shopping aisle. They can help minimize the distractions consumers face from other competitors, while also making the brand’s products top-of-mind during their trip. Also, these third-party apps provide a way for brands to take advantage of mobile advertising without the high expense of creating their own in-house programs. Brands should consider partnering with multiple mobile app marketing platforms to drive product awareness and increase sales.
Using mobile apps for marketing is a smart move for brands that want to increase product awareness in the digital space and drive sales in the shopping aisle. These apps travel with consumers, making them ideal for increasing top-of-mind awareness of products when it matters most. Brands leverage shopping apps, mobile video, and entire mobile ecosystems because of the effectiveness of campaigns that travel. Those wishing to increase their market share and enhance the customer experience should consider how mobile marketing can be a critical component of their marketing mix.  
Shopkick assists our partners using mobile apps for marketing by supplementing their programs with our unique, engaging shopping app. To learn more about how our program improves in-store conversion, review some of our success stories.

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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.