There are several apps available that offer features that can assist in marketing a product launch. Whether you’re considering an augmented reality campaign or a mobile video strategy, apps offer a wide range of opportunities. With them, you can grow awareness of your brand, incentivize sales, and increase market share.
Third-party mobile app options are numerous, as just about any category of apps can be leveraged for marketing. However, there are some categories of apps that offer higher sales potential than others. To make it easier to evaluate, here is a condensed listing of the most important apps for marketers to think about adding to their campaigns.
Marketing a Product Launch With Augmented Reality
Augmented reality—where apps blur the line between the digital and physical worlds—is an emerging option for many brands. These apps provide an opportunity for brands to bring a product to the consumer’s physical space. This AR strategy is something we saw with the release of Target’s browser-based furniture feature.
Online furniture sales are often slow due to consumers wanting to interact with the product physically. They want to get a good idea of how a certain product will look in their space. Target provides this through the “See It In Your Space” option, which allows consumers to view select items in their living space via their mobile devices using AR. They can then purchase the product online and have it shipped to them, or available for pickup at their local store. This option eliminates consumer concern over proper furniture fit by bringing the in-store experience to the consumer.
Entertaining Consumers With Content
Entertainment apps—like those designed to deliver news, sports or televised content—often provide the opportunity to buy ad space. Marketers can choose to buy this space before, during or after video content, or as impressions in the sidebar of these sites. Of course, the concern here is the reputation of the site itself and if the mobile advertising company managing it has taken steps to combat ad fraud.
Ad fraud is a serious concern for marketers as it often results in a false impression of a marketing campaign’s reach. Impressions, views, or clicks may be machine-generated, causing marketers to lose money on fraudulent leads. To ensure you’re working with the best agencies for ad placement, seek out agencies that are Verified by TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group) with audits completed via MRC compliance standards. These companies have shown themselves to be serious about combatting ad fraud through establishing and following industry standards for traffic measurement.
Growing Engagement With Gaming Apps
Games are by far the most popular consumer apps. While it’s possible to buy ad space for in-game rewards, it’s also possible to add gamified features to an existing app. By gamifying an existing process, brands can improve engagement with consumers. Campbell’s did this through their Campbell’s Alphabet Soup app. With it, the consumers can use the letters in their bowl of alphabet soup as a word game. The app is fun, and it encourages interaction with the product. It also has the added benefit of being educational, making parents more likely to approve of the gamified component.
Gaming apps don’t have to be complex and can even be used to improve an existing, not-so-fun process. Most interfaces to programs are gamified in a way that encourages engagement, with clickable buttons and other tools designed around the customer’s experience. This gamification improves brand perception, as the consumers associate the brand with something fun even if their products aren’t necessarily exciting, like in the case of Campbell’s Soup.
Using Proximity Marketing to Reach Traveling Consumers
One great strategy for consumer brands it to take advantage of proximity marketing apps. These apps provide restaurants with an opportunity to reach out to consumers when they’re near a location. For CPG brands, the use of these apps can become a way to direct consumers to products in the shopping aisle.
One great strategy for consumer brands it to take advantage of proximity marketing apps.
Proximity marketing uses beacons or other geo-location technology to pinpoint a consumer’s location and encourage them to seek out a product or enter a store. They can also notify consumers of deals or events near them, further encouraging them to visit. Proximity marketing often works in conjunction with a rewards program, like the one available through Shopkick.
Shopping Apps Improve In-Store Engagement
Shopkick works in conjunction with a specific company to improve engagement by incentivizing engagement and sales. Consumers engage in purchasing and picking up products through the app. It works as follows:
- With the shopping app running, the consumer enters a location and collects rewards points—or in Shopkick’s case, kicks—for entering.
- They view participating products and seek those products out in the store.
- They locate the product and scan its UPC, gaining additional kicks.
- They purchase a participating product and gain even more kicks by scanning their receipt.
The simple act of picking up a product while in the store increases the likelihood that the consumer will purchase it. Shopkick uses this strategy to encourage in-store engagement, which boosts sales and drives awareness of new products.
Video Advertising With High Conversion
Video is the most popular medium for consumers, so using an app that leverages video is critical. Video content can take several forms. It can be strict advertising, where brands purchase ad space before, during, or after primary content. It can also be an opportunity where brands share information or entertaining content as the primary content itself. There’s a wide range of video app platforms to choose from, and often, video is available as part of an existing app.
Many of the apps listed in this condensed listing are not standalone apps but are designed to work with a series of features. Shopping apps often incorporate proximity marketing, video advertising, gamification, and entertainment to improve the customer experience. When marketing a product launch, it’s wise to partner with an app that offers as many of these features as possible for the best results.
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