Our lives are becoming increasingly digital. With mobile now accounting for approximately 10% of our media consumption, our phones are occupying a more central role in our lives. In response to the steady rise of mobile usage, marketers are allocating more of their marketing budgets to mobile.
Whilst it is certainly true that mobile is a marketing gold mine, many marketers fall into the trap of assuming that mobile marketing is limited to display ads and text messaging ads. This is simply not the case. I personally find display ads and text messaging ads to be intrusive, disruptive and uninteresting. The moment I see an unwanted text from a brand, I automatically switch off and lose interest. What many marketers have yet to realize is that the true potential of mobile marketing lies in apps, not ads.
The beauty of branded apps lies in the fact that consumers don’t perceive them to be advertising. People use apps for a variety of reasons – for entertainment, functional, or social purposes. Whatever the reason is, one thing remains certain – apps add value to consumers’ lives. Understanding this is key. Brands should ask themselves “How can we add value to our consumer’s life?” rather than “How can we shove a branded message in front of our consumers face?”
Kraft is a brand that got it right. In 2008, Kraft launched its iFood Assistant app. According to Ed Kaczmarek, Director of Innovation at Kraft, “People’s lives are becoming increasingly complex and they’re looking for relevant content and solutions to make their lives easier.” Indeed, the iFood Assistant app is useful and makes customers’ lives easier.
The app allows users to browse recipes by category or occasion, stores their favorite recipes in a recipe box, displays how-to videos and offers a built-in shopping list. Since its launch in 2008, the app has reached the 2nd spot in iTunes’ lifestyle section and has since been included in iTunes’ list of top 100 paid apps. The reason for its success? The app is useful to its target market. By offering a variety of useful services and functions to the user, they are providing users with reasons to use the app, thus enhancing long-term engagement with the Kraft brand.
Not only is the app functional and useful, it is also user friendly. The app is organized and easy for users to navigate. Users can browse recipes according to the meal eg. breakfast, lunch or dinner etc. Additionally, if the user has a specific recipe in mind they want to learn, they can use the built in search engine to directly find what they are looking for. In terms of aesthetics, the app is soothing to the eye. The app uses a dark brown wooden background that is calming and pleasant. Moreover, each recipe available in the app is accompanied by an enticing photograph of the dish.
Kraft is a brand that truly understands what mobile marketing is all about. The success of the iFood assistant app has taught us that apps should provide value to the consumer, because ultimately value will drive brand engagement and loyalty. Lastly, you should always look for the “sweet spot” of what your brand can offer consumers.