Achieve Digital Results with Experiential Activity
“You have developed an amazing new app for your digital product or service and now you need to get the word out and encourage people to download it, use it – and more importantly – keep using it. Where do you begin? With so many channels available, an experiential approach to marketing may not seem the obvious choice; however, in terms of conversion rates, customer retention and maximising the return on your marketing investment, there are plenty of reasons why it should be.”
The market for apps is enormous. Android users have around 3.8 million to choose from, while Apple users have around 2 million competing for their attention. With such a saturated market, app developers and digital service providers have to work hard make themselves and their products stand out from the rest. By default, many of them have traditionally taken a digital approach to their marketing: after all, if your product is digital, doesn’t it make sense for your marketing to be digital as well? Not necessarily.
An all-digital approach to marketing may have made sense in the early days of apps, but today’s market is a very different place: there are many times more apps, and users have become more discerning and fickle. Digital marketing is undoubtedly an excellent way of raising brand awareness and reaching a large and targeted audience quickly; however, it is extremely poor at helping less-certain prospects across the line. Perhaps a user has been convinced by the marketing, but doesn’t have time to download your app immediately. Perhaps they have questions about the product and want clarification before they commit to installing anything on their smartphone. In either case, these potential customers are likely to be lost because an all-digital solution cannot address their very human concerns.
Even if digital marketing alone is sufficient to convince a potential customer to download an app, there is no guarantee that they will actually keep it. A 2018 survey of 37,000 apps, conducted by the app and digital analytics company Localytics, found that 21 percent of users abandon an app after only one use. There are many reasons for app user churn, but one of the biggest, according to Ashley Tate, Head of Content at Apptentive, is user-confusion during the onboarding process. If a user struggles to understand how an app works or is unsure about how to use it, they are likely to give up on it.
Experiential marketing offers an elegant solution to both these problems, while also delivering vital on-the-ground intelligence about how the brand and its app are being received by end-users. Brand Ambassadors can look your potential customers in the eye, answer their questions and guide them through the process of installing and using your app. They can even assist less digitally minded users by installing your app for them and demonstrating how it works. Customers benefit because they feel helped and valued, they have more trust in your brand and they feel comfortable using your app; your brand benefits from increased recognition on the street or at events, as well as more app downloads, and improved user retention. What’s more, your Brand Ambassadors will analyse the feedback they receive during the campaign to produce detailed reports. You can then apply this valuable insight to further developing your product and enhancing the user experience.
Digital companies are already recognising and reaping the benefits of experiential marketing. For example, the growing betting app PredictaBet has used experiential marketing during the World Cup season to reach football fans and encourage them to install their app and bet on the outcome of matches. World Cup ambassador teams were given the task of visiting places where matches were being screened and win over fans with some football banter. Once they established a rapport, they then sold them the benefits of the PredictaBet app. The final stage of the process was to ask whether the fans would like the app downloaded on their device. At this point the ambassador would ask for the user’s device and download the app for them there and then, while the user was happily watching the football action on screen. By making the process of downloading the app and onboarding the user easier, the Brand Ambassador team were not only able to sign up more users, but also reduce the risk of churn because they could answer each user’s questions and concerns directly.
The campaign was a success because – regardless of whether your product is a consumable, a piece of software or groceries – people buy people and experiential marketing can deliver the human element that will turn a lead into a sale.
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