Build apps your customers can’t live without

While social media and gaming brands have been quick to produce apps for tablet devices, Marketing Week’s latest research shows that business and finance brands could benefit the most from creating an app.

Jo Roberts

It’s the apps that help people in everyday life that are proving most popular. You might think that those owners of such devices would be more inclined to use them to check their Facebook page or spend half an hour playing Angry Birds but it’s actually the more practical apps that are appreciated.

Business, finance and entertainment apps are used every day by around 60% of tablet owners, whereas only 32% check social networking sites, according to a study by Lightspeed Research.

This should motivate marketers who are in charge of brands covering business, finance and entertainment, to create an app on smartphones or tablet devices if they don’t already have one. Although current tablet owners are early adopters, rather than the masses, if you can get your app to be a ‘can’t live without’ app then that’s surely a pretty good step to ensuring your brand is part of people’s lives.

Not only can branded apps become part of everyday life, they can change your audience too. James Frost, marketing director at loyalty scheme Nectar, says that its app has encouraged younger users to become cardholders. Traditionally the scheme has appealed to families but the ability to produce personalised offers on cardholder’s smartphones is making sure the next generation of Nectar collectors are being hooked in to the scheme.

A lot of thought has gone into the Nectar app that other marketers could learn from. The creators have asked the most important question before investing money in an app: how can we make life easier for our customers?

People can browse through the different types of offers and select the ones they want. When they use their Nectar card in store, those offers are taken into account at the till, without the fuss of scanning a barcode.

Those that decide to invest in apps will get return on investment if they think like Nectar. And you never know, it might even give you a brand new type of customer. And that’s surely a motivation to get on the app bandwagon.

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