That was the case with a recent MediaPost email I received. Buried at the bottom was this headline: “Smartphone sales up 80%.”
The piece itself was just a few short sentences, summarizing that first quarter sales of smartphones were spiked by the rush of new models. Overall, nearly 100 million units were sold in Q1, almost doubling the same quarter last year.
We also know that in that same quarter, Apple sold 18 million iPhones, which accounted for about one-fifth of these sales.
Holy crap! What goes up 80% these days? Not even gas prices. But that speaks to the ongoing meteoric growth that is occurring in the smartphone sector.
So what does this mean to those of us who are developing mobile strategies, and for those of you who have built and developed apps for your station or company?
First, think of these new smartphone owners as new cumers moving into your market. Radio programmers know the challenge of building new listeners, but in the case of smartphones, thousands of these consumers are showing up in your metro every month.
Second, they are excited about their new purchases and, in most cases, they can’t wait to “test drive” them, download apps, and find out what their friends and family members have been talking about.
Third, they are new to these devices, and may not have previously dealt with the app store experience. They may not totally “get” what an app is and what it does.
Fourth, they have probably forgotten that YOU have an app. That’s because you probably promoted it when the app first went live, but now you’ve likely replaced those promos with your 9-to-5 contest, your music festival, or your “Rock Girls” promotion.
Our jacAPPS division has now designed and built more than 425 apps generating upwards of 9 million downloads in less than three years. We track app downloads every month, and we can see the close relationship between stations that regularly market their apps on their air versus those who have moved on to talk about the morning show’s charity jello jump.
Stations that have a strategy for app promotion and marketing, connect the dots for listeners, and embrace the mobile technology have steadily rising app download metrics, which will in fact translate to better revenue generation as well as stronger engagement with listeners – most of whom appreciate that the station “gets it” by launching a mobile application.
But stations need to provide the basic A-B-C's of how to use and when to use apps. It's the same for streaming. Just because your audio is available via a stream doesn't mean that your audience has gotten the message about all the new locations and situations in which they can now access your content. So often, programmers take it for granted that listeners simply inherently know what to do. There is benefit in providing simple, helpful explanations.
One thing that we have learned as app developers is that not every brand has a radio station connected to it. When you think about it, radio truly has an advantage when it comes to getting the word out. At jacAPPS, we are also building applications for non-media brands – companies and entities that do not have a built-in megaphone. Not surprisingly, these businesses often struggle to get the word out about their apps, having only word of mouth and email marketing as promotion vehicles. When it comes to self-marketing, radio has it pretty good - if it uses its genetic assets strategically.
Radio’s powerful cume, brand equity, and trust via personalities and shows make the medium the perfect candidate to not just participate in the mobile experience but to thrive within it.