April 2, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Considering an app to market to moms? A recent study found that 97% of moms made a purchase on their tablet in the last month and they’re spending significantly more time on their tablets than laptops. There’s a huge opportunity for brands to provide value for moms on their tablets.
One way to make the most of moms on tablets is by developing an app for your brand. However, developing an app, especially for the first time, is not an easy task. It requires a big budget, skilled engineers, and dedicated marketers to build a useful, powerful app.
So before you begin, there are 4 key things to keep in mind when planning to develop a new app:
App functionality – In order to be truly effective, apps must be smart, innovative, and provide value to the customer. Know when your customers will be downloading the app and why they need it at that moment. Determine the use case scenario and keep it top of mind throughout all stages of development. Also know that you don’t have to include all potential features in the first release of the app. Prioritize the essential elements and add additional functionality in future releases.
Operating systems – You don’t need to develop an app for all platforms to be successful. Rather, understand the devices before choosing one or a few. First, narrow down your options by knowing which device your target audience uses. For example, about 51% of moms own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod, compared to 52% of teenagers owning an Android. Second, understand the pros and cons of the various platforms. Windows is known for its flexibility and provides a great user experience. Apple has fewer models and screen sizes so testing is easier. However, a rejection from Apple’s App Store means more time and money to make improvements. With Android, though, it’s easier to get apps into the Google Play store. On the down side, there are many Android models and testing on all of them is nearly impossible. Finally, testing on various devices requires lots of Quality Assurance (QA), not only for the first release but also to maintain the app as devices update their operating systems. Don’t forget to budget for ongoing QA as you develop your plan.
Pricing model – Will the app support your core business or will it be the sole revenue stream? If your business has other revenue sources, you may offer the app for free because it builds mobile presence and authority for your brand. If this will be your main revenue source, the app itself might be free but perhaps it will generate revenue through an eCommerce engine or paid membership. While some paid apps are very successful, tablet users have been shown to prefer free apps with ads to paid apps. Paid apps accounted for only 23% of all tablet app downloads in 2012. Does your app offer something that customers will pay for or does it offer another value to your business?
Download strategies – Marketing your app and getting customers to download it provides a huge challenge. Make sure your app is searchable within the app store. You can do this by choosing the most relevant keywords. What will customers be looking for when you want them to find your app? Find out and use those keywords. Note, you are limited a specific number of characters for keywords. For Apple, keywords must be less than 100 characters. Another download strategy is through email marketing. Email your existing customers and include a direct link to the app store so they can download the app immediately. Make it easy for them to find and download. Also consider integrating a social sharing element into your app so users market the app for you.
Creating an app may or may not be worth it for your business, but after thinking through each of these topics you should have a better idea of your approach and strategy. For more insights on the habits of moms on tablets and how to build the best app strategy for your brand, download the white paper, “Tablets 101: A Primer for Mom-Focused Brands.”
This guest post is by Katie Petrillo. She is the B2B Marketing Manager at Punchbowl, where she writes about marketing to moms for the Punchbowl Trends blog. Follow her on Twitter @PunchbowlTrends and find her on Google+.
March 20, 2013 § 2 Comments
Can you imagine a time when brick and mortar stores are just window shopping venues for online shoppers? Some retail experts are prognosticating a time in the not-too-distant future when stores will become glorified showrooms because of the rise in internet commerce.
Actually, some online-only stores are actually experimenting with opening retail operations. Among those famous online names are EBay and Etsy who are testing temporary stores, while Piperlime, the Gap Inc. unit that was online-only for six years, opened a SoHo store last fall. Bonobos plans to keep opening stores, and Warby Parker, the eyeglass brand, will soon open a physical location. These companies see these showrooms as catering to consumers who like the social nature of shopping – and need to touch and feel items before they purchase them.
Back to the experts – some say the way of the future will be smaller stores, carrying little or no inventory, with an efficient showroom model. Consumers will see the product, make a selection and have it shipped to them the next day. Some of these stores are testing the water now.
Today’s Showrooming and Sale Surfing
Today, showrooming refers to consumers that look at a product in store and then buy it online for a cheaper price. A recent study found out that the top retailers at risk for showrooming (read buy it online or at another discounter) are Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, ToysRUs, Best Buy and Sears. Target seemed to do a little bit better.
Research shows that when shoppers were asked how many products they researched while in the retail store with their mobile device within the past 3 months, 80% indicated that they had researched at least 3 products with 43% had researched 5 or more products.
For all those showroomers, there are many shoppers that stay home, start online and purchase online.
Will Brand Loyalty Survive?
According to a new study from InContact and Harris Interactive, 56% of consumers said they would be at least somewhat likely to switch brands based on customer service options, and a quarter do not feel any loyalty to any type of brand. These value shoppers are actually looking for more than price. One of the value factors is customer service contact points and flexible timing for customer service. Brands will need online, offline, social, and 24-hour hotlines to endear consumers.
March 20, 2013 § 1 Comment
The idea of “lean in” is not a new one. Lean in means to press forward like leaning in to the wind so you won’t be blown over – or leaning in because you are more than interested, involved – all in. In the past few weeks, you need to have been in a cloistered retreat to miss all the hoopla over Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” Sheryl Sandberg is an amazing woman who tells an engaging story about the workplace today and women’s own responsibility in moving up in business.
But marketers need to “lean in” as well. Marketers need to recognize the power and influence of the women in the consumer arena and to greet that knowledge with more intuitive marketing that allows today’s women to see themselves in marketing. Marketers need to be “all in” on the importance of women as consumers.
Here are just a few facts that support marketers “leaning in” on the subject of women and their purchasing behavior.
1. One-third of Women are Single and Independent. This is a growing group of women who think being independent is their most important life goal. They have more disposable income than other women. They are well educated, growing in management and happy to be single.
2. Breadwinner wives are the highest wage earners in 40% of marriages. From 2007 to 2011, women’s contribution to household income grew from 44% to 47%. Male dominated jobs suffered the most in the past recession and women were more stable in their jobs. Women now compose half of the workforce and are moving up the ladder.
3. Women don’t think marketers understand them. Women make 85% of all consumer purchases and yet, 91% of women don’t think marketeres understand them. Women want authenticity, transparency, honesty and accurate portrayal. Families are not longer nuclear, and women don’t measure success by how clean their laundry is. It’s no surprise that only 3% of advertising agency creative directors are women.
4. Marketers need to embrace women’s tools – social media and smartphones. The newest figures out on social media usage from Pew show that the percentage of female internet users exceeds that of men (75% vs. 63%, respectively). A new study by Weber Shanadwick provides richer insight on this social usage. Here are some facts you can’t ignore -
- 86% have a social media account/profile with 2.2 accounts on average
- 81% Facebook is by far the most prevalent social media account
- Women spend an average of 12 hours per week using social media (nearly 2 hours/day)
- 19% say some of their best friends they know only through Facebook or Twitter
And why is this important? Well, social women are social and have influence with friends. They tell friends about products and services at a higher rate, they like or recommend services online, and they post comments and write reviews about products and services online. And they post pictures or images online.
Oh, and smartphones are the most important tools in women’s handbags. 50.9% of smartphone users are women and we are using smartphones to stay in touch with our families and friends, interact on social media, and shop, shop, SHOP!! If women can’t easily find you on their mobile phone or if you are not competitive, she will move on to another source. Moms are on their phones six hours daily and readily admit that their smartphones are more important than sex!
5. Women buy based on emotion and facts. Okay, everyone does. But marketers don’t seem to understand that in many arenas. In purchasing decisions, 83 percent are willing to spend more on a product or service if they feel a personal connection to the company. One fifth of respondents said they would pay 50 percent or more if they felt the company put the customer first. And yes, we have crushes on companies. Who are those companies? Think about your own list. Mine includes Apple (oh, yes even if Samsung is making competitive products), Amazon (I smile when I see a box), Nordstrom’s (even my husband knows this is my brand), and Costco (a Saturday shopping pleasure).
So what’s a marketer to do? Portray women accurately, don’t talk down to us, appeal to our emotional side, allow us to discover things about your brand, surprise us once in awhile, lavish us with great information and advice and like any good marriage – communicate, communicate, communicate.
February 24, 2013 § 1 Comment
One of the most interesting articles I read this week was Why the Chinese Love Logos. Trust me, it has something to do with marketing and branding. The Chinese are hardwired to appreciate the strength of a logo because it is basic to their thought process because they read in pictures, ideograms. Each Chinese character originally was a picture.
In today’s world, a logo creates the visual vocabulary for brands. Logos are ideograms because they carry more message with them that just the image. A logo is a visual shortcut that should engender all the properties and associations of the brand. Take all the great logos that communicate more than just a name – Nike, Mercedes, Apple, Coca Cola, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Target, Ralph Lauren, Chanel - and you will see that they share some common elements.
Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer, says that four things make for a great logo: uniqueness, adaptable in various mediums, appropriate to the brand, and a timeless nature. A great logo is a communication game so above all else a logo must be memorable! And usually that means it must be simple. Logos can change over time. That’s why Betty Crocker is younger looking now and even the Pillsbury doughboy has lost a few pounds. Your logo is not your brand, but it is the flag you wave. Logos that appeal to women typically appeal to everyone.
Here’s an interesting comparison of a timeless logo.