Growth5 Blog

Thursday, May 14, 2009

iPhone Apps: A Viable Marketing Platform

The iPhone is a phone, music player, camera (barely), mini-computer, app store, etc... This Fast Company article points out that the app store has become a viable marketing platform. Even if your firm doesn't have a specific functional iPhone app solution to augment what your site/software does, you should consider putting together an iPhone app for marketing purposes.

From Fast Company:
1. The Wall Street Journal reports industry execs expect the iPhone to push overall mobile-ad spending to $200 million this year (doubling last year's $100 million), excluding search ads and ads sent via text. Remove search and text, and essentially apps are where the money is, at least if you're Madison Avenue.

2. Several companies are now offering ads thinly disguised as apps (what iPhone user doesn't have the Virtual Zippo Lighter?) that go beyond a simple brand message by adding some kind of amusing function. Burger King launched a full-screen, interactive Valentine's-themed ad in February that had a mini-game embedded, and users interacted with the ad 14% of the time, compared with the average 1% for a Web banner ad.

3. Lionsgate Entertainment recently bought the rights to a popular app called Stun-o-matic and hired media-strategy firm Initiative to retool the game to tie in with the release of Crank: High Voltage. The result: 2 million downloads and 800,000 trailer views from an app that took less than a month to redesign.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to getting the right brand in front of the right people and delivering something they want. As you're developing your marketing strategy, consider an iPhone app as one of your channels. If the idea of developing an iPhone app scares you, click on the Growth5 link to the right of this post and shoot us an email, we'll point you in the right direction.

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