As digital vehicles have moved from a supporting to a starring role in brand experience, expectations about the quality and richness of these experiences have grown dramatically. While once digital played primarily a DR role for most brands, these days brands expect digital media and experiences to carry a great deal of the water when it comes to protecting and enhancing the brand itself.
Apps now represent fully half of connected customer time in the US, and even more in other parts of the world. The meteoric growth in mobile time spent has caught a large number of marketers off guard. As app developers and app publishers come to grips with the starring role that their creations now playin brand experience, we need to make a big shift in the way that we approach app marketing and app marketing strategy.
Specifically, we need to stop thinking about what happens in apps as a discrete experience, and recognize that in-app experiences are now powerful parts of an integrated, customer-centered brand experience.
Consumers don’t think about a brand’s messages in one medium as somehow separate from brand experiences that take place in another. Whether they are visiting your page on the app store, reviewing messages in social media, viewing pieces of mobile app marketing, or having analog or real-world brand experiences, people think about a brand as a single entity.
We should actually thank our lucky stars for that, because the huge number of digital marketing options has led to a Balkanization of media, with channel experts creating what are often distinct consumer touch points, with insufficient regard paid to the whole brand experience. OK, on some level that sentence makes it sound worse than it is, because marketers instinctively work toward building a brand even if all of the components of a marketing program are not overtly coordinated.
As we create new app concepts for mobile devices, and explore new ways to meet consumer needs with apps, we need to take the long view – one that thinks about brand experience holistically, and apps as integral tools that help guide customers through their marketing journey.
Now, lots of mobile apps are the alpha and omega of their brands – games, for example, often live only in the app realm. But lots of other apps have been developed by brands that connect with consumers in a myriad of different ways. We need to develop marketing plans and mobile marketing strategies that carefully consider all of the ways that an app could fit into the larger customer experience. Not just view them as alternative estores but rather as tools that serve a broad range of purposes for users.
In terms of measurement, Apsalar is leading in helping marketers integrate the insights that they get from all channels. We have pre-built integrations with more than two dozen marketing platforms, so that:
- Marketers can add marketing platforms to their mix without integrating new SDKs, if they wish
- App data can be integrated into broader BI systems
- Cross-channel marketing automation tools can deliver tailored messages based on the actions people take in apps and other media
In our view, app information is most useful when it can be combined with other data sets, and when it can be made immediately actionable in the platforms you already use and love. Get more information by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.