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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : June 13, 2011

4 Questions with Ad:60's Alex Matjanec

To app or not to app? That is the question facing brands intent on entering the mobile space. Although mobile is booming, many brands aren't sure if mobile advertising is better than app development or vice versa. Alex Matjanec with Ad:60 offers insight into how brands can make that tough decision.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What should brands consider when thinking about developing an app?

Alex Matjanec, Ad:60: (1) Does the app add value or solve a problem. With over 350,000 apps in the Apple app store, to stand out means you need to distinguish yourself. (2) What platform does your audience use, meaning can your app work on iPhone, iPad, Black Berry or is it unique to one device. (3) Are you committed to always updating your app. Like today's websites, nothing should be stagnant for a couple a months. Constant updates are needed to keep your audience engaged. (4) Can the app fulfill companies' objectives? For example, grow social followers, sell products or grow brand awareness.

Kristina: Is it more effective to build and app or advertise in the mobile space?

Alex: in the mobile space is a booming business. The Mobile Marketing Associations, projects the US market will generate as much as $5 billion in media dollars by 2015. This is a sign that the market is quickly becoming saturated and breaking through the clutter will only get more expensive. In the mobile space, advertising should be used to introduce an opportunity that can be solved with the brand's app. The brand's app should be used to complete the objective set out when building the app.

Kristina: How do you recommend your clients tackle cross platforms (iPhone, iPad, Android)?

Alex: Hands down, one of the least enjoyable steps in developing an online experience is making the site work on each browser - thanks to multiple mobile platforms, this challenge has been amplified tenfold. As with any good strategy, do your research and, based on where your audience is, see where your best opportunity lies. Then look at ways of implementing features unique to each platform. One example is the iPhone's ability to generate 3-D maps, as an iPhone user, I may expect these unique experiences. more than 50 percent of smartphone users downloading apps, capturing a customer before your competitor does often becomes a feature versus content competition. Yahoo recognized this when it last updated its Yahoo Messenger app. The update introduces Video Chat across Wi-Fi and 3G, and was rolled out to the iPhone first because of the ease of developing for a single platform and device. We as marketers need to look for ways to create experiences that utilize each device and the features of each platform.

Kristina: Should brands charge for apps?

Alex: Whenever a client asks us if they should charge for the app, the first response we ask them, is would they pay for it. The most interesting part about mobile apps is the client is living it. Having paid for apps and downloaded others for free, they understand what is worth paying for. When Kraft launched iFood Assistant back in 2008, they knew they had an app that was worth $0.99. Here is an app created by a brand that heavily promotes its own products, but cracked the App's Store Top 100 most popular paid apps list. The reason, iFood both added value and solved a problem.

Tags: Ad:60, apps, appvertising, branded apps, mobile apps, mobile marketing

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