Mobile Cause Marketing

My friends at Davidoff Communications asked me to help them with a newsletter article on how not for profits can use mobile apps to connect with their target market.  I am copying the article written by Jay Nash for you to view below.

“Evolutions in technology spur revolutions in the way people communicate information, relate to one another and the world, and perceive and relate to brands in the marketplace. For a brand to stay relevant and stay in the conversation with customers and supporters, it must continually invest in emerging technology platforms.

Nowhere can this concept be demonstrated more clearly than in the explosion of the mobile marketing industry. A recent study by Morgan Stanley found that one out of every three cell phone owners in the United States has a subscription to a 3G network. This increase in online mobile connectivity and the sale of smart phones has correspondingly resulted in an increase in the development and popularity of a variety of mobile marketing strategies including texting campaigns and, more recently, mobile applications. A study by the internet market researcher Emarketer says that mobile advertising within the United States will grow to $539 million, a 43% increase over 2009. While for-profit companies have definitely taken the lead in leveraging the mobile medium, nonprofits are increasingly finding ways to utilize mobile apps in their own marketing strategies to drive membership, increase donations and raise cause awareness.

One example of an effective mobile marketing campaign is the Note to Haiti application that was developed to support the efforts of the Red Cross after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti . Capitalizing on global response and the desire to help, the Note to Haiti application acted as a platform where people could unite to express their feelings, share prayers and make donations. In collaboration with the text message donation campaign, the Note to Haiti campaign helped the Red Cross to raise over $10 million in relief support.

Another example of smart usage of smart phone applications can be seen in the BNB (Be Nice to Bunnies) mobile application that was launched last year by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)*. The BNB application allows PETA supporters to search brands, manufacturers and products to determine whether they have animal-friendly policies. PETA benefits by receiving 15% of sales on the $1.99 application, in addition to extending its brand and providing consumers with an easy, convenient way to support its mission.

Mobile application developer Marci Chapman, of Davidoff partner Fig1, attests to the benefits of mobile applications: “The use of mobile applications is beneficial to cause marketers because it enables them to cement their relationship with interested consumers.” Having a mobile application icon also strengthens brand recognition and supporter allegiance. Chapman underlined this, saying, “The application icon serves as a constant reminder for consumers that they are dedicated to the organization. They always see the icon on their phone which acts as a constant reminder that they are part of something.”

As mobile applications continue to grow in popularity, cause marketers should recognize the potential benefits of implementing mobile applications. Marci Chapman gives the three core aspects of mobile application strategy:

1. Work with an established mobile application development organization.

2. Thoroughly plan your strategy before any design takes place.

3. Make sure the design is user-friendly. If it is not, no one will want to use it.

“Mobile applications are a necessity because people are spending more of their time on their mobile phones. As more and more consumers convert to smart phones, that’s where you have to be,” Marci says.

Written by Jay Nash

(*PETA is a client of Davidoff Communications.)

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