“Time spent on mobile is skyrocketing,” says Thomas Husson, analyst, Forrester Research.
Since about 80% of that time is spent on apps, Husson believes many marketing leaders have quickly jumped to the conclusion that the only way to reach and engage their customers is through their own branded apps.
“Wrong,” he claims. “Here are five, often ignored, good reasons for marketing leaders to broaden their mobile approach beyond their own apps.”
1. Branded apps are relevant
“Yes, some of them (Starbucks, Nike, and many others) are success stories,” Husson claims. “But more often than not, branded apps don’t deliver real mobile benefits and engage only a small subset of customers.
“It's about time marketers connect their apps to their marketing and CRM systems to personalise and contextualise the brand experience. Marketers should launch fewer but smarter apps.”
2. Apps offer real engagement opportunities
Yes, acknowledges Husson, but only for a minority of apps, according to Forrester’s App Engagement Index.
Husson believes that several of the most engaging apps - Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and WhatsApp - either don’t have or only recently introduced mobile advertising offerings.
“Marketers must identify the overlap between the most engaging apps and the most popular apps among their brand’s customer base,” he says.
“Then they have to mix content and context to tell a story that is relevant to customers in their mobile moments.
“It will not be about ads but about sparking a conversation instead of broadcasting a marketing message. Marketers should select the most promising partners evolving their apps as marketing platforms.”