Mobile Apps, the key to connecting consumers and brands

The growing trend and massive use of mobile devices by users and consumers have aroused a genuine interest in companies and brands to reach their audience anytime, anywhere. Mobility is the result of a technological evolution that offers us new possibilities and new ways of establishing channels of promotion and communication beyond simple advertising.

Mobile Apps, the key to connecting consumers and brandsAnd it is that the thin red line that separates Marketing from Mobile Advertising, becomes greater as brands innovate to achieve this type of channels, while they know more deeply the preferences, interests and habits of the consumers. Those who have already made it clear that they do not want an invasion of their space and devices that make this wonderful invention an battlefield of advertising with all kinds of annoying and intrusive ads.

However, the other side of the coin reveals another exciting reality that both brands and companies can take advantage of to get that proximity to connect with their consumers, users or potential customers. It is the age of mobile applications.

Some recent studies such as the one developed by Ymedia, already left evidence of all this when highlighting the rapid growth of the market of mobile applications that by 2016 will move 240,000 million euros and with a market of 12 million active users in our country.

The growth of tablets and smartphones has led to a continuous increase in the number of apps and updates of existing ones. Although the free ones are the most demanded, also the low-cost apps grow. However, within the different segments of this market, that of branded applications seems to respond to a novel formula with an excellent potential for all types of businesses and companies.

Apps serving the customer experience

Definitely, mobile technology is expanding the possibilities of offering experiences, which serve as extensions of the brand and can serve to reinforce brand values, consumer attributes, improve the point of sale experience, …

From Apple’s classic APP Store, which has marked a bit the trend of how mobile technology can serve to improve the point of sale experience, reinforcing customer service, technological orientation and brand differential, and creates a new emotional bridge between the customer and the physical points of sale.

There are already many companies that have launched the adventure of the market of mobile applications brand. Starbucks, McDonald’s, Telepizza, Toys ‘R’ us, Dotiros, La Caixa Mastercard or Ikea among others are some examples of big companies and companies that have joined this new trend squeezing all potential of the applications and mobile devices.

An opportunity for emotional engagement

The result, stated in the report “Mobile in the Consumer Journey”, made it clear that until now, the applications and promotions developed through the mobile are directed only to the rational part of the consumer. According to this study, the mobile is an emotional device, and therefore, is missing a unique opportunity to achieve engagement in that sense.

At the present time the brands try to improve the engagement by addressing the rational part of the consumer, through coupons or applications to compare prices. However, the relationship that the consumer has with their Smartphone or mobile device provides a unique opportunity to address the emotional side.

In its rational approach, advertisers and distributors are focused, above all, on price experiences. Emotional focus would provide added value and provide richer shopping experiences through increased connection. The goal is for cohesion between Head Shopping (which could be related to reason, education, satisfaction or focus), and Heart Shopping (more linked to pleasure, emotion and feeling).

While the first provides promotions, offers and information, the second shows the product innovations and their unique benefits, offers support through expert opinions that help the consumer in their choice, and provides channels that allow you to interact.

Apps and websites, increasingly relevant to the connoisseurs when making their purchases

Faced with the difficulties of the economic crisis, consumers are looking for new ways of saving day after day. 33% of them, for example, use digital resources to plan their purchases of the week.

Planning is key and that is where applications and websites make their game. While paper advertising continues to be the main source of information, 33% of respondents said that they use applications and websites to chart the buying plan. They mostly use these fonts to find coupons, but they also use applications to create shopping lists and other promotions or information.

Mobile devices are those that increasingly help the consumer to make their daily purchases in the supermarket. In fact, in markets where there is greater penetration, such as Japan or Korea, it is so embedded in the routine of home furnishing, that one-third of supermarket coupons and discount vouchers are obtained through this or through branded applications.

Taking advantage of the ‘pull’ of Christmas to launch applications

According to a study made last year by madvertise, 70% of advertisers take advantage of the ‘pull’ of the holiday season and their emotional connection to make a strong advertising campaign. In this sense, the general director of madvertise Spain, Ruth Bareño, points out that “more than half of the companies obtain most of their income with the Christmas campaigns.” Since mobile marketing has been the discovery of the year for its effectiveness , it is not surprising that advertisers opt for the applications as a safe way to give prominence and benefits to their brand.

Only a year later, the market for mobile and branded applications seems to have exploded, from being an eternal promise to a true reality. Data such as Apple’s App Store, the leader in the market for online applications stores, show that it is expected to close 2012 with 21 billion downloads, an increase of 74% compared to 2011.

The Future of Mobile Marketing

The reasons that applications are the future of mobile marketing are obvious. There has been an exponential increase in the number and use of Smartphones, consumers use their phones to make purchases and mobile applications on Smartphones not only serve to generate a greater brand impact but also lead to purchases.

According to the Mobile Dependence Day survey, 31% of US Smartphone owners who make a purchase do so as a result of their experience through a mobile marketing application. In addition as a relevant fact highlight the fact that mobile consumers spend more time making use of mobile applications than connected to the network.

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