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What Is Appvertising ؟

When we think Internet, we mean mobile, and vice-versa.Years ago, we had to connect through dial-up and cable.

Today we have full access to the World Wide Web from smartphones, tablets and other WiFi-enabled devices – meaning individuals and companies are not dependant anymore on their laptop or desktop computer to enter the cyberspace. Mobiles are a lightning fast growing industry.

As of 2010, there were 5 billion mobile phone connections worldwide, more than a billion being added in just 18 months, according to Wireless Intelligence. Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, said for BBC

“Five billion phones means there are more than three times as many phones as personal computers”

And a (2010) Morgan Stanley study report predicts that by 2015 more users will connect online via mobile devices than desktop PCs owners.

We see the stats and we recognize the power of mobile marketing, so how can businesses leverage this platform and get the most out of it – that is the question. In other words, how can a company attract the right target audience, and sell more products and services through mobile channels, delivering greater ROI.

Well one big Answer: appvertising, or mobile application advertising.

We are living in the  mobile app decade

We cannot run marketing campaigns the same old way and expect different results. Nowadays, professionals are looking for new ways of reaching customers, and appvertising looks promising.

Like with any new medium, you have to firstly understand how it works, and run some trials.However, principles remain, so one cannot neglect facts, nor overlook consumer psychology:

If YouTube transformed TV, mobile apps will completely shift the way we sell and market online, and how users interact with content and information.

Appvertising enables advertisers to promote their product (or whatever offer they are marketing) inside phone applications through video ads, banners, surveys, and so forth. Apple’s iAds have tried to tap into this opportunity, but has not capitalized yet.

What are the numbers?

If you take this mobile advertising route, then you need to know the stats. Because the question that follows is: what type of apps should I advertise in?

In the Morgan Stanley report we cited earlier we also find that most people prefer to download games apps on Facebook or from the iPhone store. Games also total about 20% out of all applications.

Should you advertise in games?

It depends on your brand, offer and target audience. However, what appvertisers should keep in mind is to avoid interrupting users; it is better in terms of conversion and profit to contextualize the ad/offer within the app.

In other words, blend it inside the specific application, and make it as a natural part of the game for example. The same way Google Adsense users blend in ads on their website content/page.

Consider that an app, the mobile platform, how often a user engages the app, what time of year they use it, and phone model itself can all influence the demographic you may be targeting. There are many levels of targeting options and more apps being created every day as new channels for these ads. If I had to share one last piece of advice, I would add this: the secret to success with Appvertising is to:

1.    Know the app/game and its rules

2.    Keep in mind the facts, and understand consumer psychology, not the message YOU want to push

3.    Never interrupt the app user, but blend your ad within the context

4.    Target your audience right, or everything else will fail

Facebook and games apps are running the leaderboard on mobile phones, while Groupon is king when it comes to online deal making. Think of how to tie in the facts with your offer/product and create a winning ad.

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Cult Brands are masters at building meaningful, long-term relationships with their customers.

Understanding the strategies behind these businesses with raving fan communities enables you to apply the same principles to your business, and build sustainable growth.

Here are four ways to give your best customers a VIP experience:

1: Surprise Them

Connect your brand promise with customer rewards to delight your biggest fans.

MasterCard made their brand promise a reality by surprising customers with “priceless” moments: VIP tickets to the Grammys, jam sessions with Justin Timberlake, and acting lessons with Hugh Jackman.

What can you do to surprise and delight your customers?

2: Give First Access

In 2014, pop sensation Taylor Swift searched the Internet to find fans across the US and UK to invite them to a secret gathering. The unsuspecting fans were joined by Swift at private listening parties for her album “1989” a month ahead of the release. Swift’s brand lovers—her Swifties—were rewarded with first access to her music and personal time with their idol. Swift took the opportunity to connect with her best customers on a human level. The “top secret” sessions generated 2 million views and Swift sold 1.2 million albums in the first week.

First access to a product or service can drive loyalty and create positive word of mouth towards your brand.

What are some new products or services that you have in the works that your brand lovers can experience first?

3: Break Bread

Friends who eat together, stay together.

Inviting your best customers over for dinner is a great way to create genuine friendships. These moments are ideal for listening to customers’ needs and finding out why they love doing business with you. It also allows your employees to meet the people they are serving and create positive memories with them.

With time, customers can even consider you a part of the family.

Try creating an event where your team shares their favorite foods with some of your best customers.

4: Care About Them

Connecting on a human level with a customer makes them feel like a VIP. Support their cause. Send them flowers when they are sick or celebrating. Congratulate them when they reach important milestones in life. Show them that you care about what they care about.

What do your customers care about?

Customer satisfaction is just the start.

When you make your customers feel very important, you unlock the power of your brand.

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Keeping these rules in mind makes it easier to decide how to grow your business and foster loyalty.

1: Differentiate

Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead summed up the challenge facing today’s marketers: “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

Your customers are driven by two simultaneous desires that appear to be diametrically opposed to each other. They want to stand out from the crowd and be a unique individual while simultaneously wanting (and needing) to be part of the crowd, receiving the social support and approval of like-minded individuals.

How do people meet these opposing needs?

By belonging to a group they identify as being unique, often outside of mainstream society.

If you’ve got a home, you need furniture. The community of people who need furniture is considerable. But the community of people who need furniture with minimalist charm and serious organizational capacity (and enjoy quirky Swedish names) is smaller and distinct—just different enough to make IKEA irresistible to legions of their fans.

Your customers want to be part of a group that’s different. It’s that simple.

2: Be Courageous

Even in the face of doubters and critics, Cult Brands dare to be different—and succeed. Cult Brands are successful because they are wholly unlike every other company in the marketplace.

Cult Brands believe in themselves, their products and services, and their customers. They want to challenge conventional wisdom and transform it when given the chance. Willing to take significant risks, the people behind Cult Brands are fighters and leaders, not quitters or followers.

When Whole Foods started in 1980, there were less than six natural foods supermarkets in the United States. Today, the natural and organic foods market is estimated at more than $28.6 billion.

Cult Brands, however, don’t waste their time or energy worrying about who is following them.

Their attention is focused on how to better serve their customers.

3: Promote a Lifestyle

Cult Brands sell more than a product or a service. Customers want more than just things; they are seeking experiences.

Experiential purchases are more meaningful than material purchases. As such, all Cult Brands sell lifestyles. They develop and sell “the tools” that help their customers pursue their dreams and celebrate distinct lifestyles.

Cult Brands remove barriers for their customers. Apple promotes a creative lifestyle that facilitate self expression. Jimmy Buffett celebrates life as a party. The Life is good Company promotes a laid back weekend BBQ with friends.

Your customers have aspirations. Those aspirations are powered by emotions. If you can support your customers in the realization of their aspirations, they will associate their positive emotions with your business.

4: Listen to Your Customers

Cult Brands focus on serving the wants and needs of the customers they have. They have the ability to listen to their customers’ discontent and create solutions that build strong, enduring loyalty.

By listening, discovered that the high cost of shipping interfered with how often their customers made purchases. In response, they launched Amazon Prime in 2005, a program in which members enjoy unlimited free two-day shipping in exchange for a yearly fee.

It’s an initiative that has been more successful than anyone could have ever imagined. Over 40 million people are Amazon Prime members. The typical Amazon Prime member buys as much as 150 percent more than non-Prime members. It’s a powerful example of the results of listening.

Respect your choir. Listen to them. Value their opinions. Reward them. Never ignore an enthusiastic follower of your business. Remember that core followers all want to believe, but first they need to see miracles in the form of unexpected gifts and surprises.

Do extraordinary things for your choir and they’ll become incredible brand evangelists.

5: Support Customer Communities

Cult Brands know how to start a cult. They build strong, ongoing relationships with their customers by developing and supporting customer communities.

Cult Brands aren’t afraid to use today’s profits to support customer communities to generate powerful, long-term goodwill for their businesses and their brands.

When possible, they establish social events that reflect their missions. MINI created their annual Take the State tour. Life is good puts on their popular Music Festival each year.  Harley supports HOG Rallies worldwide.

Rule #6: Be Open, Inviting and Inclusive

You don’t have to earn your way into a Cult Brand by proving you’re cool enough. Cult Brands take it as a given that you’re already cool enough.

Cult Brands welcome customers of all ages, races, creeds, and socioeconomic backgrounds with open arms. They don’t discriminate against anyone who doesn’t fit into an idealized customer profile. Everyone is welcome.

Cult Brands prove to their customers that they are indeed open and inclusive by helping to fulfill the deep human needs that we all share, including belonging and self-esteem.

7: Promote Personal Freedom

Deep inside every human being on this planet is a need for freedom.

According to Abraham Maslow, the feeling of freedom is a bridge to self-actualization: we want to be able to grow and express our own unique identity and worldview without fear of consequences.

Harley promotes freedom on the open road. Vans promotes freedom from convention. Linux promotes freedom of information. Apple promotes creativity and self-expression.

Cult Brands are empowering and expansive. When customers engage with a Cult Brand, they come away feeling like they can do more, and do it more effectively.

Tapping into the Forces Behind Customer Loyalty

Integrating the Seven Rules of Cult Brands into your operations expands the number of ways you can tap into the forces of customer loyalty.

Consistent application of these principles will strengthen the bond you have with your existing all-star customers, while simultaneously creating new customers.

As your customers deepen their emotional connection with you, their loyalty will grow. Your organization will become stronger, more resilient, and distinct.

By BJ Bueno & Scott Jeffrey

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