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 31, 2013 § Leave a Comment
When looking at travel, women are the primary decision makers – making 80% of all decisions. And we women are going mobile. TripAdviser says some 40% of us use a mobile device to plan a trip.
A recently post on instant.ly identified two groups who are shaping mobile usage for tourism – Generation X and Digital Natives. Gen X are the ‘digital travellers’ making use of all technologies in all stages of the customer journey (mobile devices, tablets, desktop PCs etc.). The ‘digital natives’ (20th century kids) have grown up with technology and have interacted with digital technology from early stages in all lifetime situations.
According to Intrepid Travel, who booked over 100,00 US passengers for 2012, 63% were female (this is on par with the global figure of 64%). The majority of travellers were aged between 25 – 39 (46%). So female travelers between the ages of 25 and 39 are their biggest market. Some 24 percent of American women have taken a girlfriend getaway in the past three years, and 39 percent of American women plan on taking one in the next three years.
SoLoMo marketing is increasingly becoming a critical and pivotal tool for tourism marketing. It combines social media, location and context based marketing as well as mobile devices. Interactions are becoming digital real-time experiences at a physical location.
Top US Travel Apps / Sites
When looking at the top U.S. travel apps and sites, consumers seemingly prefer apps for guidance and the mobile Web for trip planning. Seven out of the top 10 Travel apps during June 2012 featured a map/navigation function, while the top mobile websites mostly included airlines and travel aggregators, such as TripAdvisor and Priceline.com. Interestingly, during a summer when gas prices were on the rise, GasBuddy, which lets users search for local gas prices, ranked as the number-two Travel app with nearly nine million users. Along with Google Maps, MapQuest and Southwest Airlines appeared on both lists but had more mobile Web users than app users.
March 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Easter is one of the holiest days of the Christian religion and yet research conducted by The Barna Group in 2010 found that only 42% of Americans could correctly identify the meaning of Easter as the resurrection of Christ.
So what is the significance of Easter today? Is it a celebration of resurrection or a Spring Holiday?
Most Americans consider Easter to be a religious holiday. Two out of every three Americans (67%) mention some type of religious connotation. Barna found responses included describing it as a Christian holiday, a celebration of God or Jesus, a celebration of Passover, a holy day, or a special time for church or worship attendance.
As you would expect, the persons most likely to identify it correctly are evangelicals (93%), attenders of large churches (86%), born again Christians (81%), and weekly churchgoers (77%). Age is another indicator of understanding of Easter. Baby Boomers (73%, ages 45 to 63) were among the most likely to describe Easter as a religious holiday for them, compared with two-thirds of Elders (66% of those ages 64-plus) and Busters (66%, ages 26 to 44). The youngest adult generation, Millennials (ages 18 to 25), were the least likely age group to say Easter is a religious holiday (58%), reflecting the increasingly secular mindset of young adults.
Who will be at church this Easter?
It’s not surprising that Easter attendance in churches is declining. While Easter is still the highest attendance day, it seems that the overall population is changing. When you look at the total population, 41% of Americans say they will be attending church and 39% will not.
A recent poll taken by LifeWay Research, a religion data tracking firm in Nashville, found that among self-identified Christians, just over half said they will attend Easter services this year. Protestants (58 percent) and Catholics (57 percent) are most likely to say they plan to go, followed by 45 percent of nondenominational Christians.
Churches are planning for bigger crowds this weekend. And, according to Barna, here are the people most likely to invite you to a service this weekend - women, parents of young children, evangelicals, Protestants, those who attend small churches (less than 100 adult attenders), and non-white adults.
How we are celebrating – Jelly Beans or Chocolate?
According to the National Retail Federation survey, about eight in 10 adults plan to celebrate Easter this year, spending an average of $145 on candy, decorations, apparel and food. The holiday is one of the busiest seasons behind Christmas and Thanksgiving.
The survey found much of our Easter spending will go towards food for a family brunch or dinner: 86.9 percent of those celebrating Easter will spend an average of $45.26 on items needed for their holiday meal. As a kickoff to Sping, many are purchasing new spring attire. Nearly half (48.4%) will purchase clothing this Easter, spending an average of $25.91 on bright new outfits for their children and even something new for themselves. And, most of us (90.5%) will stock up on Easter candy, spending an average of $20.66 on jelly beans, chocolate and more. (Read Cadbury eggs here.)
March 26, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Here are some of the results important for marketing to moms – and dads:
Men shop around too. An equal amount of Moms and Dads, 78% and 76% respectively, shop at more than one grocery store weekly. Most make the extra trip for the best sale prices.
Smartphones are the tool of choice. Almost 60% of moms have a smartphone, compared to 44% in 2011. It is certainly the primary organizer of life. The report shows Moms are playing games (64%), looking up stores/locations (58%) and finding nearby restaurants (50%).
Baby wants a smartphone and a laptop too! Of course, you know children won’t even know how to turn pages in a magazine or a book. 43% of Moms report their children start using a laptop or desktop at 3 – 6 years, and 25% of Moms say that’s when they start using a phone or tablet.
What are the trends behind these facts?
Multichannel Shopping. Consumers are challenging retailers and brands to keep up with their multichannel shopping behaviors. Two-thirds of all shoppers regularly use more than one channel to make purchases. While the Mom report is talking about physical grocery stores, many are shopping online, warehouse stores, farmers markets, specialty stores and grocery stores to fill their pantries. Some 70% still use bricks and mortar stores, but 47% are online. And all research begins online before those “reality” shopping trips.
Life on a Smartphone. We just feel smarter with a smartphone. Nielsen says in their 2013 Mobile Consumer Report that 61% of all adults have a smartphone and 94% have some type of mobile phone. Of course, we don’t actually talk on our phones. We send and receive an average of 764 text messages versus 164 calls sent/received on our phones. We use our phones for a variety of activities – email, music, shopping, location services and internet browsing.
Digital Children. Hilary DeCesare, a cyberbullying expert and CEO of kids’ social networking site Everloop, thinks in an increasingly digital world, it’s important to expose children to different technologies early so that they are prepared to adapt and thrive in more advanced professional settings. The digital expert thinks kids as young as 2 can benefit from tablet use, as long as the parent “is monitoring what [the] child is watching.”
March 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Sometimes we forget the basics. And sometimes the greatest insights come from the truly hard questions. Peter Drucker, the business guru you always meant to read, said “One does not begin with answers. One begins by asking, ‘What are our questions?’”
So here is my modest list of questions that all companies should ask of themselves.
1. Why are we here? As I counsel with companies, they spend a lot of time looking in the rear view mirror, rather than looking ahead. Some companies may have lost their curiosity about the world around them.
Are they still relevant? Pepsi obviously spent a lot of time working on a new bottle and label, but their true questions should be how do we continue to make beverages that are relevant to the younger generation. According to Keith Yamashita of design consultancy SYPartners, we’re coming off an era of “small-minded questions” geared to efficiency: How can we do it faster, cheaper, where can we cut? “But in order to innovate today,” Yamashita maintains, “companies must ask more expansive questions.”
2. What business are we in? Many times I hear the truth of what business companies are in from their clients. Recently, I was speaking to women about interior design. Their interior design professional did not sell them interior products; what they sell is personal confidence and status. The clients are buying an antidote to fear – fear of making an expensive or inappropriate mistake. Wonderbra says, “We do not sell underwear. We do not sell lingerie. What we sell is self-confidence for women.” Harley Davidson does not sell motorcycles. It sells the concept of freedom to middle-aged men. Xerox learned that they did not sell copies; they sold distribution of information. What is the truth of your business?
3. What are we doing, that our competition is not doing, that our customers want? It is the classic positioning question, but it is also the key relevance question. If all of a sudden, your clients feel that conspicuous consumption is not appropriate, you won’t be selling many obscenely lavish items. If your competition is providing a higher quality product at a lower price, the consumer will find out. The internet has made positioning more important than ever.
4. What are we willing to give up or do differently? Many companies are facing questions of ethics, technological change, generational issues and more that cause them to make really difficult decisions. Whole Foods makes decisions every day based on issues of animal welfare, human harvesting of seafood, organic agriculture, food safety and sustainability. They have a mission and are guided by it. Companies like Chipolte and Starbucks are willing to give up business practices to embrace their mission.
5. Where are we going? Maybe the toughest question of all. Because it implies that change is constant and that is a bummer for many. Creating a culture of innovation is important for today’s world. Take this example. Kate Spade (if you don’t know who she is you are not a woman) has a new store concept in Japan. Every Saturday, it releases an article of clothing you won’t find anywhere else. The goal is to make the store a weekly excursion for millennials who might otherwise be online shopping. To overcome the high cost of replacing signage on Saturdays, a group decided to make all the signage digital on iPads. Plus offer enough information to engage the millennials. The store makes back the cost of the technology investment in just two months. On the other side of the coin, online retailers like Warby Parker, eBay and Piperlime are trying out retail showrooms, still with an emphasis on online purchase.
Businesses moving from the 20th Century to the 21st Century have new and different challenges. Asking questions is the beginning of a new future.
- The 10 Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization (forbes.com)
- The 5 Questions Every Company Should Ask Itself (fastcodesign.com)