Engaging customers on a variety channels has become critical for not only retention marketing – staying top of mind or for repeat purchase -- but equally important for brand marketing. How you engage customers says more about a brand than a logo. Customer engagement is an expression of brand: What your brand means to customers and why it is sustainable.
Are Apps Marketing?
An app is the most accessible and straightforward approach to customer engagement. Mobile is intimate, scales for audiences of any size, and provides a platform for content, offers and discounts. The key is to deliver value for the customer via the mobile app. By the way, value is not limited to cost-savings or discounts; convenience is a significant perk for today’s customer. Simplify a transaction, or provide a service that saves the customer time, and you have delivered value.
An app is not a traditional “campaign.” It is an ongoing interaction, with fresh content and new experiences delivered in concert with customer preferences. “Campaigns,” traditionally defined as discrete, time-limited efforts where a brand “broadcasts” the importance of the offer, have been replaced by ongoing, multi-themed, iterative digital outreach where consumers contribute importance or value of the product. Don’t think of an app as just another campaign; it is a brand experience. Done right, apps enhance the customer’s perception of your brand and what it means to be your customer.
For Beginners: The Dunkin' Donuts App
Dunkin Donuts has a best-in-class mobile engagement that is worth examining. While not full of bells-and-whistles, it meets the criteria for delivering an experience and value.
The app, available in both the Apple App Store or Google’s Play Store, lists menu and nutritional information; has a store locator; offers discounts and mobile-delivered gift cards. In addition, the app has a mobile payment component. Customers can load up their account and simply present the phone to a cashier for scanning and check-out.
The app entices customers with content, and then makes it easy to buy with the payment option (not to mention quickening the check-out process so wait-times decrease, another improvement to the customer experience!).
While pricing for developing mobile apps become more affordable, be sure that the app functions without a glitch and delivers its value proposition.
A Mobile App Checklist
All in all, a mobile app should:
- Present compelling content that the customer wouldn’t have access to without the app
- Create value – by saving the customer time or money
- Be worthy to share with others in a personal network (via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Keep them coming back for more. Up-sell, cross-sell and second purchase should be baked into the offers.
...and provide a comprehensive, mobile-specific brand experience.