According to research, 97% of interviewed users say that their online shopping experience is greatly influenced by what they read and hear online.
These are the same qualities that we experience in real world shopping as well. Of major interest, however, is that research also shows that 72% look more favorable on companies and websites if they own and use one of their branded applications. If you are trying to build a strong brand using mobile apps, this is extremely encouraging and proves that branded apps not only enhance loyalty but also boost the users overall opinion of the company.
In addition to these benefits, in a survey conducted by TG Media, research found that mobile users that use branded apps have significantly increased in 2012 (due to inexpensive tablets, android phones, and affordable laptops).
The IT industry estimates that by the year 2015, mobile users and owners of branded apps will reach 108 million from its current level of 55 million. With this in mind, branded apps are becoming even more appealing as companies use them to enhance their overall marketing strategy.
If you’re interested in branding your company with a mobile application, now is the time to create it. In 2011, 1.2 billion mobile apps were successfully downloaded and this number is expected to increase in 2012. By acting soon, your chance of standing out among the 60,000+ monthly new apps is extremely high. In addition, the cost to entry is relatively low with most companies spending about $10,000 for the initial app development cost and netting a profit of $15,000 or more. By creating an app that is unique or simply improving upon existing apps, your success rate improves. In
addition, if you act soon, you can potentially establish yourself as a leader in the industry.
Focus on The Big Eight
Kristi Carter wrote in adotas.com that in order to make your branded app successful, there are 8 key features that you must focus on:
- User Friendliness
- Intuit iveness
- Compatibi li ty
- Marketing Angle
- Free Upgrades
- Recur rent Value
- Excellent Customer Service
Your app should be high quality, affordable, work with the majority of platforms (iOS or Android depending on your target market). It should be easy for your targeted demographics to use. It should enable users to complete tasks that they can’t do online, be entertaining or extremely useful.
Offer freebies (like upgrades or special offers). Use an impressive marketing strategy. Finally, have professional customer service and technical support.
Before you create your app, think about the app from a marketing angle and how it will enhance the user experience while building your brand. By focusing on your target market and app and then creating one that will compliment and help your users, you’ll be more likely to have success.
One point has to be stressed: Never over-promise the app. Don’t promise users that it will do something that it cannot do. This will not only prove negative for the app’s future, it will also affect the public’s poor perception of your company.
Branded apps can potentially enhance customer loyalty and their overall opinion of the company. However, you must make it valuable and user friendly, compatible with various platforms, use creative marketing, free updates and provide excellent customer service. Once you do, your branded
app will pay for itself many times over.
We really do live in a new DNAge.
In planning your marketing communications plan…Think MOBILEFirst.
Lance Hanish is Co-Founding Partner in CNA | Sophis Integrated Marketing Communications.
He can be reached at:
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