Actually, I’m just kidding. In the midst of the whole “App” craze, I thought I’d play with the idea of having a Marketing With Teeth app for clients. But when I was honest with myself, that prospect just made me laugh.
So what’s the deal with huge popularity of apps? Don’t get me wrong, for marketers they’re great. And for customers, they work great when the app offers users something of value. I use about 8 to 10 of my smartphone apps on a regular basis. I’m glad they exist. But do I really need an app for deodorant? And what the hell is that Nascar app on my phone for? Somehow, I feel that if I get rid of the apps that came with my Smartphone (like that Nascar app), I’m somehow slighting myself and losing something that I received for free? If it’s free, it can’t exactly be bad, right?
Here’s my point. As a marketing guy, I think marketing sometimes gets a bad rap. A lot of folks still see “marketing” and “sales” as synonymous and often they both get a undeserved bad wrap. But marketing and sales, performed right, results in a mutual benefit for both company and client. There are however, times when I think the negative associations many consumers have with “sales” seem fitting. So when do marketers and sellers earn bad reputations? Well, how about when the marketing or sales being done is all about serving the company, and not about serving the customer?
The whole point behind Marketing With Teeth is really customization. Effective marketing is about mutual benefit. Marketing done well results in everyone being happy – in everyone gaining. So the end user wins, the client wins, and any involved agencies or partners win. But when apps don’t add value for customers, or when they’re largely just gimmicky, it just feels like shameless promotion of the organization driving the app. Doesn’t it?
So what am I asking for? Maybe there should be some kind of law requiring app applications to go through some kind of consumer or B2B review board which has to substantiate the app’s value for customers. If it passes, the app goes through. If it doesn’t – if they can’t prove true value for customers – then the company quietly goes back to the drawing board until they have something worth sticking on a phone. You’re probably thinking that doesn’t sound real feasible…and I’d agree.
Or maybe I’m just asking organizations to think about whether their apps are providing that mutual benefit. I’m not trying to get on a high horse here. I’m really not. Do whatever you want to do, I guess. But I’d just like to encourage you to think about it and think beyond yourselves. We marketers have a reputation at stake.-) And customers to serve. Besides, I encourage thinking across the board.
Oh, and look for that soon to be released MWT app.-D