2010 was predicted as the year of the mobile for marketing.  We have seen hugh developments in the mobile app arena, app stores springing up across all major players but how have consumer brands marketers been able to take advantage of this consumer shift?

The short answer to this question is ‘no’ – the majority of the major consumer brands have not been able to utilise and keep up with the mobile developments of the year.  Mobile offers two main channels: mobile web and mobile applications.  Brands are now starting to utilise the mobile web channel as this is a relatively cheap, simple replication.  There was statement made at a mobile conference earlier in the year that said 90% of the top global brands do not have a mobile offering – I have seen the focus change over the last months and cross-device mobile platforms are springing up to service this need.  According to the same presentation a mobile brand site can cost as little as £5,000 to create – what are they waiting for?

Applications are another story – every brand wants a mobile application, usually an iPhone one, but often Brand Managers do not know why they want one – because having an app is the ‘done thing’ I guess.  I find that many of the applications created for consumer brands give no advantage for using them and make no use of the devices features.

This topic for me is going to evolve considerably throughout 2011 and beyond, but I wanted to take this opportunity to put down some guidelines for brand apps (that I will reference in later posts):

(Ordered in priority of importance)

  1. Does the app reward the user enough to ensure that they will use it multiple times?
  2. Is there a sufficient business case for creating the app – will it drive increased brand loyalty, market share or interaction with the brand?
  3. Does the app fit with the products brand key?

Remember not every brand need a mobile app!  Only a minority do if in my opinion; for many brands a Mobile Web offering is more than sufficient.  For example i’m never going to download a Heinz Beans application (as i’d use it once at best) – but i might look on their site for nutritional information.

To be revisited in 2011..

Chris (Home)