Not Always App-propriate

Peter Craven is the joint managing director of Madhouse Associates, a Manchester based integrated marketing agency which boasts Toyota and Motorola amongst it’s enviable client list. In this guest blog post Peter gives his opinion on following the latest marketing trends.

The media landscape is constantly changing, particularly with the incessant growth of the digital realm, making this a truly exciting time to be in marketing. It’s no surprise then that a lot of clients approach agencies wanting to be part of the latest marketing trends, whether that be apps for iPads and smartphones or new social media outlets. We believe each of these channels is brilliant for targeting specific audiences (and we’re as addicted to Angry Birds as the next person); however, unless it’s relevant to your sector or your company, why waste time and budget simply jumping on the bandwagon?
Too often clients want to follow the zeitgeist after hearing stats such as ‘over 10 billion apps have been downloaded’*, without first considering whether it’s the right route for their brand or communications strategy. How well will these new channels help them achieve their business objectives? What is the strategy and insight informing their investment? And how they will measure the return on that investment?
In the light of this constant development of new channels, we’ve found ourselves asking what sort of agency is best placed to serve clients’ needs. The fact that we are an integrated agency – able to act as an extension of each client’s marketing team, introducing a wide range of skills and insights as required in response to every brief – is our answer. Among our many strengths is the fact that we lead with strategic planning, and then have the resources to fulfill our proposals.
Because we are an integrated agency, we can take a wider look at each client’s business through our planning department, which in turn allows for the brand to remain at the heart of any strategy. It’s this that allows us to move way beyond the instant app-happy digital showboating, and consider the very best strategy according to every client’s specific requirements.
Perhaps it is enough to simply remember this: next time a marketeer approaches you and says, “Let’s make an app???, no matter how many great examples they can quote, it might not be the right move for your business. You need to assess how it will benefit your company and meet your stated business goals. And if you’re unsure, feel free to pick up the phone and we’ll see if we can help.

*Since the launch of the Apple App Store in July 2008 (