People are now checking their smartphone every six minutes on average, and 91% of those are within an arm’s reach all day and all night. During the day, most people spend about two hours on their phones, with 80% of that time in apps, not in their phones’ web browsers.
An incredible opportunity exists here for marketers looking for digital solutions to take advantage of the population’s smartphone addiction by creating branded apps. Increasingly, companies are starting to catch on.
So what makes mobile unique, and how can this be leveraged to create a great mobile-centric marketing campaign?
Well-crafted apps have been attracting tangible results for those companies brave enough to try them out, says Paul Lin, chief executive officer of Buuna.
“Many companies such as KFC (Snack! In the face), Coca-Cola (Happiness Cycle), and Virgin Mobile (Game of Phones) have created hugely successful mobile app-centric campaigns with success metrics that have vastly outperformed campaigns using traditional channels.”
Anyone interested in creating their own mobile app needs to realise that the mobile and web worlds are very different – people tend to spend less time in apps but access them more often than they do desktop websites. “Mobile app marketing campaigns need to be designed with simplicity and the short attention span limitation in mind,” Paul explains. “You can assume they will come back often, but you can’t assume they’ll have the patience to fill out a long form or watch a video.”
The ability to tap into the possibilities that come with GPS-enabled location functionality is just one of the unique benefits of mobile apps.
Virgin’s ‘Game of Phones’ took advantage of this by sending push-notifications to its users, making them chase each other on foot in order to win prizes, and reminding them when somebody had stolen their ‘prize’.
With KFC’s ‘Snack! In The Face’, users completed challenges at specified times in order to win prizes from the store. KFC wanted to increase sales of snacks between 2pm and 5pm, so people had to complete their challenge at that time to win mobile coupons and redeem their prizes in-store. The app gained KFC a 20% increase in sales over four weeks and the equivalent of 4.85 million TV commercial views.
Paul foresees that more of this kind of success with digital solutions is to come: “Mobile has not peaked in terms of the types of creative and interactive strategies it can pull off. If done properly with the correct mobile-orientated thinking, mobile-centric campaigns can easily generate results as-good-as or better than traditional channels.”