When exploring how to increase consumer engagement, brands should consider mobile marketing as it presents a unique opportunity to connect with consumers in a meaningful way, wherever they may be. Smart devices work to trigger certain psychological behaviors that improve the likelihood of purchase in the shopping aisle. Mobile apps can deliver content to shoppers while establishing an emotional impact through social proof, incentivization, and novelty.
Mobile apps are the best way to deliver these experiences because this is where most of consumer viewing time occurs. Of the average time spent per day (three hours and 43 minutes) viewing mobile content in the U.S., about three of those hours are spent using mobile apps. Combining these powerful mobile apps with common consumer purchase triggers can improve customer experiences and increase sales.
How to Increase Consumer Engagement Using Psychological Triggers
Many effective marketing tactics are based on creating psychological cues in consumers that build interest in a product or brand. Opportunities to do this have grown in the digital age, with marketers using mobile apps to:
- Engage consumers through novelty: The exposure to a new and unique product drives consumer interest. This is why brands must periodically update their packaging and products, as visual fatigue with the same sights will lead to dwindling interest. However, updates to packages and products aren’t needed when using novelty as a tactic in mobile marketing, as mobile marketing itself can become the novelty. Augmented reality serves as a great example. Consider Walmart’s 2018 holiday campaign. The retailer worked with a mobile app developer to create mobile-enabled, holiday-themed overlays which consumers could view in the store. Walmart partnered with multiple brands like Pepsi, Clorox, and General Mills to offer branded experiences that directed consumers to specific products and enhanced their in-store experience.
- Reward sales funnel progress: Rewards drive almost all human interaction, as people perform most activities for the purpose of a positive return. When shopping, individuals can gain this positive return by getting great deals, finding new products and obtaining rewards points. When properly leveraged, those rewards points can even drive consumers down the path to purchase. It was for this reason that a leading supplemental brand chose to contact Shopkick when trying to improve sales of a specific product. Kicks (aka rewards points) were offered at different stages along the path to purchase to guide consumers through the sales funnel. The strategy started with an informative and engaging in-app video campaign, which helped consumers understand the benefits of the company’s B-12 vitamin. Then, consumers could seek out the product in the store and scan its UPC code to gain kicks via a scavenger hunt. Finally, after purchase, additional kicks were awarded when the consumers scanned and uploaded their receipt. This multi-stage strategy boosted awareness along the entire path to purchase, and helped the brand see over 36 million campaign impressions and a 42% incremental sales lift.
- Leverage social proof: Social proof is the influence consumers hold over other individuals and vice versa. In essence, people will assume the behavior of others in an attempt to fit into the social setting. This is a powerful marketing tool as it can be used to drive brand awareness and affinity. There are many types of social proof, including expert opinions, celebrity endorsements, and professional certifications, but probably the strongest form of social proof for CPG brands comes from family and friends, as individuals trust the opinions of those close to them. This strategy is easiest to leverage on social media, where consumers share their recommendations and favorite products with friends and family. Red Bull serves as a great example of a brand that leverages social proof in marketing. The company maintains an active fan page with more than 48 million followers. On this page, the brand shares exciting videos, photos of events and celebrity interviews that drive users to engage with the brand. They also consistently respond to comments to create a back and forth dialog. This builds brand affinity which makes it more likely that followers will share content from their brand, which will ultimately improve reach.
By using mobile apps to trigger psychological cues, brands stand a better chance of connecting with consumers as they’re in a buying mindset. Messages reach consumers in the moments when they’re closest to products, which increases sales.
Using Multiple Mobile Apps to Maximize Consumer Engagement
Using mobile apps for marketing does have one limitation, and that’s user permission. Brands may have trouble reaching consumers who don’t have a specific mobile app downloaded on their phone and haven’t opted in to receive messages. However, with the average consumer having more than 80 apps on their phone, there are many opportunities to reach them.
Brands and retailers must use a diversified strategy in their mobile app campaigns. Having proprietary apps can help brands reach existing customers while third-party shopping apps expose their products to new audiences. A strong social media presence will improve product awareness and mobile video platforms can drive product interest. A mobile strategy which encompasses these various options will reach the widest consumer base.
Brands and retailers must use a diversified strategy in their mobile app campaigns.
Mobile apps can trigger important psychological cues and can play a key role when looking to increase consumer engagement and improve sales. Many brands have successfully used proprietary and third-party apps to implement such strategies. A combination of apps that provide rewards, encourage social interaction, and create novel experiences will enhance brand affinity and overall sales.
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