CPG Brands Go Mobile with Content Marketing Apps

Everyone’s going mobile. With laptops replacing desktops and (before you know it) tablets replacing laptops, consumer packaged good brands are adapting their content marketing strategies to accommodate such on-the-go trends. We’ve seen CPG brands incorporate responsive web design (a website that recognizes the device the visitor is using and formats itself accordingly) with Pepsi Next’s mobile responsive microsite. Some CPG brands turn to SMS marketing—like when Schick ran a promotion and a text entitled you to a free sample. But when it comes to really dominating the mobile space and bringing content marketing strategies to smartphones and tablets, mobile applications are a relatively new way for CPG brands to engage with consumers and increase brand affinity. Let’s take a look at some examples of how CPG brands are capitalizing on this opportunity.

Partnering with Third-Party Apps

An easy way to make the initial transition into mobile apps is by leveraging a relationship with an already well-established app that has proven to be successful and popular among users. A 2012 Nielsen study reported that nearly 40% of Americans use their mobile devices while watching television, and we can only assume that number has since gone up. Clean Rewards Clorox collaborated with the Viggle app, an app that allows you to check in to your favorite television shows and earn rewards for watching. Clorox recognized the opportunity here: the rise of the second-screen experience, the likelihood of The Bachelorette viewers to be using Viggle and the easy call-to-action. Viewers voted on the most cringe-worthy, or “bleachable,” moments throughout the show and were taken to Clorox’s mobile-ready sweepstakes website. Clorox kept the experience interactive, entertaining and exciting for consumers—all the components of a well-executed marketing campaign. Tapping Into a New Tune Shazam, a wildly popular music (and now television) identification app, has been a hit with mobile device users. Procter and Gamble incorporated the app into one of their ads. The commercial, featuring the company’s line of Future Friendly products, had the Shazam logo featured so that viewers could open the app and identify the song in the commercial, as well as consume custom content. In 2012, P&G incorporated the app into another commercial, which promoted Tide Pods and aired during the Academy Awards. Tide Pods were a new concept at the time, so the product was exciting and Shazamers would get a free download of the song (Pop Goes the World, a remake of Savoir Adore’s Men Without Hats), as well as content explaining the benefits of Tide Pods.

CPG Brands Create Their Own Apps

CPG brands develop their own apps for special promotions, loyalty programs and coupons, product information and customer relationship management. But the tricky part is creating an app that people will want to use more than just a few times. How do brands create something that will encourage users to continue  tapping that icon on their screen? Next Level Spic and Span While Clorox had partnered with Viggle, they’ve also employed a few apps of their own. Clorox myStain is an app that provides tips and tricks on how to remove stains—a topic extremely relevant to the brand and consumers’ lifestyle. It’s easy to share on Facebook, it’s fun and simple to navigate, and the tips don’t always feature Clorox products. Clorox PottyBlox is a Bejeweled-like timed matching game. Instead of jewels, there are toilets and toilet cleaners. The app would benefit from prominent calls to action (and a link that actually works), but the concept is genius: a highly addictive game app that’s not obnoxiously branded. And it’s kind of funny, too. Making Food Play (Even More) Fun We’ve seen games and puzzles on cereal boxes for years, and this time around General Mills is mobilizing the same concept with interactive game apps Crazy Squares and Chase for the Charms. This is a strategic move for the brand as the actual consumers for these cereals are children. What better way to engage children than through games? They’ve even got the big kids covered with the Betty Crocker Mobile Cookbook. Users can browse through recipes and create shopping lists on this well organized app. Recipes feature at least one General Mills product, for which consumers can receive coupons within the app. GM has recognized the need for simplicity, and they’ve created the app so that you can add your frequent shopper grocery cards, save coupons and have everything on your device when you hit the checkout line. While the call to action isn’t exactly in your face, it’s easy for consumers to pick out the GM products they need to make the recipe—and head to the grocery store to score some deals. General Mills isn’t the only CPG brand to explore the recipe realm of mobile apps. Kraft has its own recipe-finder app, iFood Assistant. It’s got the same concept as the Betty Crocker app, but there are no coupons—a missed opportunity for Kraft to extend the mobile experience to the shopping routine.

A Learning Experience for CPG Brands

Before developing an app, CPG brands need to first figure out what they’d like to accomplish. Do they want to spark a viral campaign, encourage consumers to purchase products within the app, or are they simply wanting consumers to engage with the brand and offer feedback on the product? Here are some quick tips to remember:
  • Mobile apps need to be entertaining, relevant and engaging while avoiding the temptation to be too sales-driven.
  • They should work seamlessly with in-app purchasing and other calls to action, or consumers will uninstall the app and potentially forget about your brand.
  • Social sharing is another component to incorporate into the app—word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing, and social media is the most efficient form of such communication.
  • Make sure everything in the app is working, or you could miss out on opportunities. Don’t have your app backfire on your strategy due to malfunction.
Have you seen any CPG brands implementing mobile applications into their content marketing strategies? Share great examples of CPG apps you use in the comments below.
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