Green Mountain Digital (GMD) created the Audubon Guides iPhone apps, a collection of programs for the iPhone and iPod Touch that help users identify flora and fauna throughout North America. GMD came to Brandthropology with a problem: They had a great product, but needed a cost effective way to garner attention for their apps in Apple’s iTunes Store, a significant undertaking considering the store has more than 100,000 applications and is dominated by Apple’s closed-marketing system. Additionally, the app was released with a meager marketing budget during the high-stakes 4th quarter, when many competitors increase their marketing budgets.
Brandthropology determined that the most cost-efficient marketing strategy was to segment out the different marketing targets and create tailored marketing communications customized for each segment. We identified 8 in total: birders, wildflowers, trees, mammals, educators, conservationists, outdoor recreationist, and iPhone users. For each market segment, we developed a unique message and identified nodes, or places of online congregation for each market segment. Since we were operating under a limited budget, we decided to focus our efforts in paid online advertising and public relations, where we saw that we could get the most return on our marketing dollars.
For the paid portion of our execution we tapped into multiple online advertising venues to maximize product awareness. We used Google AdWords to build a list of over 10,000 keywords, dived into 8 campaigns based on our strategic segmentation, further divided into 144 ad groups to ensure that we constructed the most targeted, efficient Google AdWords effort possible. We constantly reviewed our efforts on a macro-marketing and micro-marketing basis to ensure that we were balancing a low cost-per-click (CPC) with a high click-through-rate (CTR), all while staying under our established budget. Our Facebook marketing effort was similarly segmented into 8 campaigns, each with 7-10 multivariate ads that we optimized for efficiency. We created AdGroups that were targeted by the Facebook user’s interests, location, age, and other profile variables that we tested to ensure we were delivering the most efficient ads possible. Understanding that our product was limited to the iPhone, we identified resources that would allow us to advertise exclusively on iPhones, giving us 100% efficiency. Through usage of AdMob and NYTimes Mobile, we created targeted mobile ads that would lead the user to a custom mobile landing page, allowing iPhone users to get an optimum user experience. We also ran banner ads on sites we identified as nodes, or where our market segments congregated. Many of these targeted sites were significantly cheaper and more efficient than blindly buying web real estate, allowing us to speak to a captive audience. Our other approach was through public relations efforts. We developed a segmented PR plan to target influential media outlets in print, radio, television, and online media. To achieve this, we created custom press releases, fact sheets, post cards, and informational packets for each app with thematic language that spoke directly to the intended constituency. After mailing the information, we followed up with over 500 phone calls to high influence individuals and 20,000+ emails to ensure our message was not overlooked.
From paid interactive marketing efforts, we generated more than 86 million impressions and 140,000 clicks to the landing page for Audubon Guides. That’s a lot of eyes. On the PR side, we built an online presence with over 50,000 Google results for the search “Audubon Guides Go Mobile.” Additionally, we generated more than 100,000 impressions through our PR and BusinessWire efforts. Our phone calls led us to coverage in publishing in the L.A. Times Tech blog, Chicago Tribune, Tech Republic, USA Today, iPhone Buzz, CNBC, Technorati, and CNET. Most importantly, though, our paid marketing and PR efforts led to the Audubon Guides apps landing at #1 and #2 in the app store reference section.