Mass proliferation of smartphone and tablet devices over the last few years can be directly attributed to consumers’ obsession with app experiences. If people just wanted a quicker way to access the Web, Blackberry wouldn’t be in an uncontrollable downward spiral—RIM market share has plummeted from 20 percent in 2009 to less than ten percent in Q4 2011 according to IDC, when overall smartphone adoption more than doubled.
Despite the over-populated and disorganized app stores of today, growth of app usage and exploration has not slowed. After an incredible holiday season for smartphone and tablet sales, Flurry Analytics expects app downloads to break a billion/week on a regular basis in early 2012.
Marketers should be scrambling to develop or improve their app strategies, but the rising bar of quality makes it tougher than ever to stand out. Google and Apple haven’t exactly made it easy to master the app discovery model, but solving the puzzle can position marketers to win big.
Brands that earn a spot on someone’s mobile device possibly secure the most valuable piece of marketing real estate available. Consumers keep smartphones within arm’s reach 24/7, literally: 61 percent of people sleep next to their phones, 75 percent their phones in the bathroom, 20 percent would rather lose their wallets than their phones, and 33 percent would rather give up sex. Ten percent have used them during sex!
This 24/7 use enables marketers to build relationships like never before by impacting, enhancing and influencing daily behaviors on consumers’ most trusted and adored assets.
Before driving downloads, marketers should consider these six tips to take app experiences to new heights.
The best apps balance device features with the consumer need being addressed. Marketers must consider how they will deliver value and enhance users’ daily experiences, and answering this question should dictate whether or not an app is even developed in the first place. As marketing moves away from pure one-way message delivery, brands should act as a service and, in some cases, a hero to consumers.
Charmin’s “Sit or Squat” app provides a great example. Sit or Squat addresses a need state that could only be accomplished via an app experience. It ties in the social element, based entirely on user reviews and tips. Imagine being stuck in NYC, desperately having to use the bathroom. Where does one find a public restroom? More importantly, where does one find one that is clean enough to use.