Corporate Eye

Marketing Branded Mobile Apps

Mobile is here to stay and brands need to be represented on mobile devices to stay competitive in the future. That means your brand needs a mobile website and a mobile app might be a good idea, too. However, developing a mobile app for your brand is just the beginning. You need to market your branded mobile app to ensure people know about it, download it, use it, keep it, and tell other people about it, too.

In other words, you can’t look at your branded mobile app just as a tool to market your brand. You also need to look at it as a product unto itself, which needs to be marketed. The 4 Ps matter when it comes to marketing a mobile app, so make sure your price, place, product, and promotion are right or your mobile app won’t help you meet your overall brand and business goals at all.

To that end, let’s talk about promoting your branded mobile app. Simply getting it in the iTunes App Store or Android Market isn’t enough. According to research from MTV Networks, the vast majority of mobile apps that people download and try are chosen based on friends or acquaintances’ recommendations or based on user reviews and recommendations published online.

Another important finding in the MTV Networks study reveals that consumers are fickle when it comes to mobile apps. They’ll quickly replace one app with another that does the same thing but is newer or offers better features. There is very little loyalty when it comes to mobile apps and even favorite apps are replaceable to mobile audiences.

The MTV study focused primarily on entertainment apps, so it’s highly possible that business-oriented apps have longer lifespans on consumers’ mobile devices. However, the fickle behavior of mobile customers is likely to permeate through most consumer segments. This is a fast-moving audience that wants access to information quickly and easily. They’re very willing to try the next great thing, so brands need to continually research their competitors in the mobile space and make sure their mobile apps continue to deliver the features and functionality that consumers want. There is no time to “wait and see” in the mobile market.

Bottom-line, app users listen to other app users, and they’re always looking for the next app that will make their lives even better. Social media and content marketing can help you listen to the online buzz and jumpstart conversations about your own apps to ensure they’re meeting consumer needs and beating the competition at all times.

Are you marketing your branded mobile apps? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: stock.xchng

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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