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How top brands are using mobile apps to promote their services

Posted by Ben Dickson on Aug 23, 2016 12:00:00 PM
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Brands are always looking for new, innovative ways to create more efficient ads and improve conversion rates. Trends quickly shift and what works today might no longer be effective tomorrow. For instance, at their dawn, banner ads were one of the most effective advertising mediums. Today, they’re one of the most invasive types of ads with the lowest click through rate.

Presently, mobile advertising is on the rise. Brands and companies are increasingly embracing mobile marketing campaigns. This is especially important since more than half the total internet traffic comes from mobile devices, a figure that is slated to rise in the future.

Today, about 49 percent of digital ad spending is allocated to mobile ads, and by 2019, the figure will rise to 72 percent. With trends leaning toward mobile advertisement, companies are learning to use the personalized experience and unique features of mobile apps to create marketing campaigns that are engaging for their audience and generate better return on investment.

Here are four successful examples of how mobile apps are changing the marketing landscape.

audi's start-stop app

Automobile manufacturer Audi promoted its brand on mobile with something that doesn’t even look like a marketing tool, and has nothing to do with its cars: an app that improves mobile device efficiency. Called Start-Stop, the app detects which open apps aren’t being used and notifies to user to close them in order to improve device processing power and save battery life.

The app clearly helps make mobile devices more efficient and doesn’t even feel like an ad. But what it also cleverly does is to promote Audi’s start-stop technology, which automatically turns off the car’s engine when stationary. It also associates Audi’s brand with the efficiency and energy saving in consumers’ minds, which has helped the car manufacturer to up its sales.

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Sun lotion vendor Nivea used a combination of gadget and app to promote its brand in a very brilliant manner. Called “The protection Ad,” Nivea’s Protege app (Android, iOS) helps parents control their kids’ movements and prevent them from wandering into unwanted locations.

The app links with a wristband that came along ads in magazines, which is strapped around a child’s arm when the family is out. Parents set a geo-fence through the app, which then tracks the bracelet and generates notifications and alerts when it goes beyond the determined limits.

The Protection Ad is part of Nivea’s marketing campaign for its Nivea Sun Kids range of products. This is another example of out-of-the-box marketing using the unique features of apps. It helped Nivea present itself as a reliable partner to protect children, be it from harm or the sun.

As expected, the results were stunning: The campaign generated a lot of excitement, won awards, and a year later, the company is still receiving requests for child protection wrist bands.

ikea's augmented reality app

Furniture retail giant IKEA created a mobile app version of its catalogue for Androidand iOS, then used the unique features of mobile apps to turn it into something else: an interactive platform. By integrating augmented reality technology into its app, IKEA enables users to use their smartphone camera to virtually place store items in their homes and see the end result before considering to purchase the actual product.

This interactive experience was so effective that it helped the retailer to generate 6.2 million downloads for their app, turning it to the no. 1 marketing app for a brand. Analytics show that users spend an average of 8 minutes in the augmented reality feature, compared to the 3 minutes spent in the catalogue.

halifax home finder app

Halifax’s Home Finder app, a research tool for property hunters, helped the company to engage customers by offering them a very useful service that wasn’t in direct relation to the financial services it offers.

The app used data from Zoopla, a British property website that covers the residential property market, plus augmented reality features and a mortgage calculator in order to create an immersive experience. Users could point their camera in different directions and find data on property that are for sale in their vicinity or have been previously sold.

Home Finder was a sensation and earned the title of “some kind of property-related Swiss Army Knife” by the Guardian. It helped Halifax reach over to more than 20 million users, a loyal audience to which it later showcased its mortgage products. Again, the brand reached its marketing goal in a circumspect and indirect manner, taking full advantage of the personalized experience of mobile apps.

what's the take?

These were a few examples of how companies are leveraging the power of mobile apps to promote their brands and carry out more effective marketing campaigns. What all of them have in common is that instead of displaying intrusive ads, they’re engaging their customers by offering them something useful that generates a positive experience toward the brand in general

The lesson to take is that marketing isn’t all about displaying your wares and expecting customers to flock to your store and buy your products. You often have to give in order to get. And mobile apps provide an exceptional experience that can be tailored to the needs of your audience.

Users are looking for new ideas. Be creative, think outside the box and do something that can exclusively be done with mobile devices. The possibilities are virtually unlimited and the payoff is great.

Do you have any brilliant ideas or experience to share? Please leave us a comment.

Topics: App promotion, App marketing

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