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As mobile apps form a key place for brands in India

With the rise in smartphone penetration in Indian and the number of mobile internet users reaching 173 million by the end of December 2014, marketing through mobile apps can play a crucial role in complementing the overall marketing of a brand and driving sales. As the consumer is integrating the experience of workplace with home through his mobile phone, it is the responsibility of the marketer to ensure that this transition is seamless and the experience across all platforms is similar.

Dedicated and customised app for brands work more effectively over messages on social media or conventional platforms like newspaper and television as the leakages in case of mobile app is miniscule given that the brand gets consumers’ undivided attention.

According to Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner and Chief Operation Officer at Bang In The Middle, “Dedicated apps of a brand serves as a convenient medium for the consumer to buy a product online. This strategy works more effectively than marketing on social media.”

Consequently, app discovery has become highly important for brands to drive sales of a product and this is where social media platforms come into play. “WeChat can become a platform of app discovery on Google Play Store. Social media platforms solve the problem of discovery of a service,” said Nilay Arora, Country Head of WeChat India.

Market experts say that the level of engagement with the consumer through a mobile application is much higher in comparison to the website of the brand accessed through web.
Further, ecommerce players are also taking steps to ensure the use of their application. Amazon had introduced its marketing campaign ‘appiness day sale’ earlier this month where consumers were offered attractive discounts if they made a purchase via Amazon’s mobile application.

“At present, nearly 50 per cent traffic comes through mobiles and there is a sharp increase in customers as well as quantum of shopping on our apps. Additionally, the repeat rate of customers is very healthy indicating a good shopping experience. We hosted the Amazon Appiness Day as we wanted to create a special day for our shopping app and reward app users,” spokesperson at Amazon India pointed.

“Our Appiness Day received a fabulous response from customers. Early trends indicate that traffic through the app jumped four times as compared to the same day last week and the app adoption was quite significant,” the spokesperson added.

For the brand, there are several advantages attached to mobile app marketing. It opens new gateways for several marketing possibilities, the marketers can include features such as interactive media and other innovative techniques for the consumer accessing the mobile application. The brand also earns positive marketing through word of mouth as consumers will start talking about a distinctive mobile app.

It is however one thing to get a consumer to download the app, and a different thing altogether to keep him engaged. Brands have to make an effort to draw consumers even during the lean period by launching campaigns, offers or some value that makes the app more frequently used. It is important the consumer is constantly hooked on to the mobile application that will eventually drive sales.

Various brands in India, across categories such as paints, banking and finance amongst others have acknowledged this trend and are creating apps as a key part of their digital marketing strategy. In the current scenario, apps are emerging to be a very effective tool for user engagement and its importance is expected to grow as the mobile marketing industry in India matures.