The war between I-Phone and Android has officially begun. Each side has a healthy argument as to why their product is better than the other. Mac-heads are arguing the point of reputation and loyalty to the brand, while Android users are boasting faster internet speeds, multiple app functionaly and a wider variety of apps now being produced strictly for the new technology. All this is well and good for the basic end user. What the consumer sees, is a plethora of options for convenience and on-the-go computing. What advertising and marketing companies see, are dollar signs! Apps are now being developed with customizable banners, in and around the application screens. This opens the door for Apple and Andriod to sell ad space around their most popular apps. The way it works is quite simple. The end user opens up the app in their device and before the content they requested has opened, they are bombarded by sponsorship advertising. Once that sponsroship ad has cleared away, the app runs with scrolling banners either above, below, or off to the sides of the content window. And the best part…It doesn’t go away! Even for the most advanced hacker, there is simply no way to undo the developers software to remove any kind of element that is added into the user interface. Captive audience? Absolutley! This new form of media is revolutionizing the industry in a mad rush of opportunity. Keep in mind, this is not for everyone. Although it might be a great idea for a traffic ticket attorney to plaster their message all over the “Need for Speed” app, other Professional Services businesses should consider an advertising form a little more conservative. On the other hand, this is a great opportunity for retail businesses that have an on-line presence. Since there are apps for everythiing under the sun, the possibility to attract new market is endless. The sponsoship banners are interactive and clickable, and can even be made into miniature games of their own. Essentially, this will provide a new road of traffic into your website and forever be tagged with, “Hey your that attorney I saw on my Need For Speed app on my phone!”
There are a few important details that need to be mentioned here. I am always harping on the importance of SEO and SMO. This will, in no way, take the place of a solid linking and social media campaign. The banners redirect consumers to your website, but cannot be tracked by search engines, nor are they recognized by hit-traffic programs. Until Apple and Android figure out a way of overcomng that hurdle, the ad space is sold strictly on a sponsorship level. The only testement to visibility comes with the number of apps that are sold. Apple has done a pretty good job of advertising some of their most popular apps that can render them the most profit. They have also limited the promotional space to be included in only the FREE apps. This is great for their advertisers in the sence that it promotes exclusivity, but in the end, can result in a very costly ad campaign. Android technology is still too new for this tactic. They have emphasized their abundant app catalogue in such an aggesive fashion, that developers have overcrowded the inventory to claim their space among their competition. For the end user, it creates variety. But for a potential advertiser, It creates the opposite effect. It would be like to trying to find that single straw of hay in a stack of needles! Advertising will be obviously less expensive than Apple’s offer, but exposure will certainly be an issue in this case. Until Android starts to clean-up their inventory of less popular apps, the ability to formulate a solid app banner campaign with somewhat proven results, advertisers would just be buying into a branding risk.
These are certainly exciting times when it comes to all the interactive marketing available today. But before you go investing thousands of dollars of your budget, keep a few things in mind. Each of these companies will wage their battle on what they can boast over the other. What we have to remember, as potential advertisers, is to do some research before taking that leap into the unknown. Hiring a reputable advertising agency that emphasises on internactive marketing campaings, should be your first route to success. Make sure that they can provide you with up-to-date research that will show if your product is marketable within this new media. If the outcome is favorable, make sure that you have a budget to negotiate and that you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.