Coca-Cola, GM, Mercedes-Benz, McDonald's, Wal-Mart... These well-known brands around the world have launched their brand apps and launched a mobile marketing campaign. Some even believe that APP may be "one of the most effective marketing tools ever," because it not only motivates consumers to be interested in products, but also helps them to feel good about the brand.
The “World Brand Lab” announced the world's top 50 brands (excluding pure B2B brands and APP-based products), 96% of which created their own marketing app. In this era of mobile marketing bang, more and more advertisers began to try new marketing methods, trying to capture the pulse of the new era brand marketing.
APP devours the world
In 2012, global smartphone shipments exceeded 700 million, and tablets reached nearly 130 million. In 2013, these two figures exceeded 900 million and 190 million respectively. In addition, the hardware configuration of mobile devices is rapidly increasing, CPUs with more than 4 cores, cameras with more than 8 million pixels, and various sensors such as gravity sensing, electronic compass, gyroscope, GPS positioning, etc., become the standard configuration of mid-range mobile phones; near-field communication (NFC), fingerprint recognition and other technologies are also in the exploration of application popularization. All of this makes the mobile phone more and more powerful, creating excellent conditions for mobile app APP marketing.
At the audience level, a report released by Huayang Lianzhong Digital Marketing Research Institute recently revealed that from 2011 to 2013, the time spent by users using mobile devices on web browsing decreased from 27% to 13%. The proportion of APP time increased from 73% to 87%. This shows that the core application of the past, web browsing, has been transformed into a basic application, and consumers' eyes are turning more to other extended applications.
At the advertiser level, the results of a survey of 666 advertisers by marketing company Chief Marketer showed that 48% of respondents already own or plan to develop more than one APP, and another 31% of respondents in the past 12 months Increased mobile marketing budget. Brand mobile marketing represented by APP marketing is becoming a wave that cannot be ignored.
Huayang Lianzhong pointed out in his "Research on the Development of Brand Marketing APP": "Smart mobile phones, tablet PCs, smart glasses, smart watches and other emerging mobile devices, with more and more APPs integrated into consumer life, brand marketing If you reject the APP, does it mean rejecting the world?"
APP marketing time
At present, among the top 50 brands in the world, most brands try to use APP in marketing. Brands that do not release official apps account for 4%, only 1 brand of brands accounts for 12%, and 85% of brands have more than two apps. It can be seen that APP has been generally accepted by strong brands. From an industry perspective, automotive brands have the largest number of APPs, followed by academic education and telecommunications services.
Most of these marketing apps are designed as "tools" for consumers to solve specific problems. Other key functions are to provide information and to be seen as entertainment channels. Many brands offer apps that interact with consumers for certain marketing interactions.
However, the average lifetime of brand APP is not long. According to Huayang Lianzhong statistics, the average survival time of the world's top 50 marketing apps is about 6.5 quarters, indicating that most brands try APP for a short time. About three years ago, the marketing app ushered in the first small outbreak, and maintained a steady upward trend for the next year or so. In 2012, there was another explosive growth in the brand APP, and it returned to the rational thinking period at the beginning of 2013.
I have to admit that the marketing model APP of the world's top 50 brands is not a product of rational thinking. At present, the number of APPs that have been updated for more than one year accounts for 1/4 of the total. Although the update is stopped, it does not mean that these apps have lost their usefulness and are abandoned. However, it can be seen that a large number of APPs have assumed short-term marketing functions or are slowly losing their activity.
Correspondingly, the number of brand APPs that receive user ratings is lower. The score is an important performance of the user's recognition of the APP. From the World Top 50 APP scores, even if these world-class brands, their large number of APPs are not recognized by users: 65% have no score, 10% are at 3 stars and below. The number of apps with more than 4 stars only accounts for 24%.
"World's top 50 brands" APP marketing combat
What marketing function should the APP have? What problem should I solve? What role do you play? Throughout the world's top 50 marketing apps, you can find some commonalities.
1 Sales, service mobilization. This is the most common function of the marketing app. It connects the brand's sales and service links with the mobile environment, and uses the APP to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and collect data. For example, the chain of catering brands represented by KFC and the car brands represented by the public have launched similar functions. Consumers can browse product information through the app, participate in promotional activities, or place an order to purchase and make an appointment.
2 Product mobilization expansion. Chevrolet has launched an app that allows users to better understand and master the car's performance and driving methods. Consumers can test their driving styles, operating habits, and set daily goals to improve their driving skills. The APP is connected to the car and sends a lot of data of the vehicle, such as the vehicle ID number, mileage data, etc., to the designated database. After reaching the challenge goal set by APP, car owners can share their achievements with other car owners through Facebook and Twitter. Such apps surround the product and realize diversified function expansion. They can help users learn and understand products, disseminate knowledge and information, and combine products with mobile terminals such as mobile phones to have more functions and enhance the product experience.
3 Brand communication is mobile. The brand uses the APP to publish various information, and can maintain a good communication relationship with the followers, so that they can more and more understand the brand and help to form a deeper brand identity. For example, it is a typical practice to make an APP a brand mobile portal. Some brands or products will also use the mobile tool of APP to enhance the experience during the promotion process.
Menglong has launched such an app. In a product promotion campaign, the brand used augmented reality technology (AR) to host a competition game for searching for virtual chocolate candies on the streets of Amsterdam with the product “Dragon”. 150 virtual chocolate candies were set up in each of the 9 streets. Participants only need to run the app on the iPhone, point the phone camera at the street in front of them, and watch as they walk to the location where each chocolate candy is located. A virtual chocolate candy will appear in the real street scene displayed, which can be obtained by clicking on the screen. Winners who collect the most virtual chocolate candy can win a trip to New York. Simple games allow consumers to complete an interesting conversation with the brand.
4 Customer Management Mobility. In addition to pure marketing, APP can optimize more features, such as customer relationship management. At present, there are not many companies that use mobile means for customer relationship management. BMW has established a membership club for car owners and launched the My BMW Club APP on the mobile side as a mobile tool to support member services. Here, car owners can enjoy certain exclusive rights, use forums and other communication with other car owners, make friends, and interact with special guests and experts online.
5 Internal brand building is mobile. External communication is a very important part of corporate communication, but internal communication cannot be ignored. As many brands pay more attention to internal communication, APP has begun to show its talents. Coca-Cola launched the “Coca-Cola Ambassador” app, which provides soda knowledge, brand news and event information related to Coca-Cola, allowing employees and partners to view and understand on mobile phones at any time, encouraging employees to become “ambassadors” who spread the influence of Coca-Cola.
6 Product portfolio is mobile. This is a higher stage of APP development. At this time, APP is not just serving a product, but working with the product portfolio to coordinate and build a mobile environment for product portfolio.
Nike has come to the front of many brands in this respect. It is advancing the brand mobility transformation, combining its products, other people's products and users' mobile devices to provide more advantageous solutions.
A separate brand app Nike+ Running APP: Users can evaluate their movements by running on the iPhone.
Brand APP+ own physical products: Nike Fuel bracelet products can help users to measure whether their daily exercise volume meets the target. With Nike+ FuelBand APP, you can view and master various details at any time.
Brand APP+ Other Brand Products: Nike+ Kinect Training is a professional fitness course developed by Nike for the Microsoft XBox360 platform. Users can learn various sports skills under the guidance of professional fitness instructors at home. The mobile app that works with it provides relevant data and has information browsing and social sharing capabilities.
Brand APP challenges
For many brands, mobile marketing is a new field, and there is no model to learn from.
Brands can't avoid thinking about some key issues when developing their own apps, such as:
Positioning - What does the APP do? What kind of role is it?
Operations - How to keep APP users active, not rigid and boring?
Application - How to integrate the APP into marketing and play a bigger role?
1 Where does the brand APP start?
For strong brands, starting with an APP that strengthens brand communication is a conservative but acceptable option. If you further integrate your products with mobile devices (mobile phones or tablets) to help consumers better solve more problems, “product mobilization” may bring new opportunities to the brand. Of course, whether it is a strong brand or a general brand, if the introduction of the APP in the sales process can significantly enhance the consumer experience, then "sales mobileization" is a good entry point. If there is still the ability to manage the core customer base, the brand can use the APP as a mobile service and marketing tool for the member club.
However, no matter where you start, the creation of the brand APP is only a starting point. Only by continuously operating it, learning and exploring mobile marketing continuously can create opportunities and wealth for the brand.
2 Do an app, or do a bunch of apps?
An APP means that the functions that you want to provide to users are combined in one app, which is "big and full". A bunch of APPs means that each APP solves a relatively simple and unambiguous problem for the user, that is, solves a bunch of problems of the user with a bunch of APPs.
In general, an APP faces more difficulty than a bunch of apps. From the current general choice of the world's top 50 brands, it is also based on the choice of a bunch of APP. This is due to the fact that users are now using a lot of apps, time is fragmented and short-lived is usually used to complete a clear and single task. Therefore, the function of the brand APP must be precisely used to meet the needs, avoid redundant functions to cover the necessary functions, and interfere with the simplicity of operation.
3 Close to the use of the situation, create a better experience with new technology!
With the improvement of hardware and software configuration, the functions that mobile devices can support are constantly enriched, and new technologies that APP can import are also increasing. From the GPS and HD cameras that have been popular in the early years, to the recent NFC (Near Field Communication), WiFi Display (wireless display), and fingerprint recognition, we can create a fresher and more user-friendly experience for users.
Among the top 50 brands in the world, the most mature and widely used applications are geographical location and bar code, QR code scanning technology, and new technologies such as AR (Augmented Reality) have also created a bright spot for users. There are also brands that combine their products with mobile devices to enhance the user experience in their application scenarios.
4 APP is not limited to direct mass marketing!
When it comes to mobile marketing and apps, many marketers think of how to develop apps for consumers. This is not the case. In mobile marketing, APP can not only make a difference to the masses of consumers, but also help internal employees, partners, shareholders, brand followers and supporters to better spread their brands and promote sales. Of the world's top 50 brands, 58% try to develop different apps for people outside of consumers.