Mobile technology’s increasing reach amongst consumers is astounding.
Need proof? Recently, the Phoenix Suns announced a first-of-its-kind promotion, when the team partnered with Verizon to give away data to fans.
Yes, you read that right: The days of bobble-head giveaways and the t-shirt toss are slowly being replaced. In turn, fans are receiving what they really want and use every day: Smartphone data.
If you think about it, this should come as no surprise. More than ever, people rely on their smartphones. In turn, as consumers become more tethered to mobile, they are moving away from their computers.
Smartphone sales in the U.S. have skyrocketed in recent years. In 2011, only 35-percent of American adults owned a smartphone. In 2015, that number officially jumped to 64-percent. And I think this is low. Who do you know without a smartphone? It’s not 36% of my friends and family.
Recently, my 80 year old father called to tell me he bought an iPhone. I asked him why? And he cited 2 reasons: He was embarrassed to show his flip phone (can’t blame him) and he wanted to text with his grandkids. I went over to help him with the setup only to learn that he really bought an Android…close enough. Wired magazine projects that by 2017, most people will rely on their smartphone as their only computing device.
Recognizing that consumers are moving away from the desktop and laptop, companies must tailor their digital marketing strategy toward consumers’ new computing preferences. It’s time to move away from the over-crowded email marketing platforms and boring mobile websites and instead, begin focusing on compelling app development.
How should clubs/brands approach smartphone app development? The answer is simple: Win where you can.
Research shows that consumers spend the bulk of the time they spend using smartphone apps on communication and social media mainstays like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Chances are that your app isn’t the next big thing in social media. Thus, in terms of crafting a mobile app strategy, it’s important to carve out your own niche to find success in the area where your brand actually competes. In the club space, this boils down to the member experience and saving time.
If the technology leads to an enhanced experience, it stays sticky and you’ve won. This creates the WOW factor and the byproduct is an elevated differentiation in your market. In the end, your members want to feel special; your app is the key to making that happen consistently.
As the Suns recognized, smartphone data is king to the sports fan. So reaching them through free data is the reason for the Suns download. Once you have identified your compelling reason your brand lives on their device, then your members subscribe to you. The question you need to ask is what makes for a captivating digital experience at your club? Let’s brainstorm together…that’s the first step to innovation.