Revolutionary Measures

John Smith’s iPhone darts – not quite 180

Over the last year there’s been a flood of brands launching iPhone apps, with varying degrees of success. One of the latest is brewer John Smith’s, which has stepped up to the oche and unleashed a virtual darts game, in support of its forthcoming People’s Darts championship. This allows pub and club players the chance to throw their arrows alongside the professionals in the darts world championships.

It’s a neat tie-in and makes good use of the iPhone, but could be even better – it doesn’t make use of your location and point you in the direction of your nearest John Smith’s-serving local where you could enter the competition for real (and drink a pint or two).

This made me think about the five key things brands need to incorporate into their iPhone apps if they are to be more than just brochureware:

1                    Location – your customer is allowing you to know where you are. Use this information to provide targeted offers or information, a la VoucherCloud.

2                    Touch/motion/camera – the iPhone’s motion sensors make throwing darts easy (its just my technique I need to work on). The Amazon app that enables you to take photos of goods in a shop, upload it and then tells you the online price is another great example that uses the in-built features of the iPhone brilliantly.

3                    Easy to use – the iPhone screen isn’t big, so don’t put in the need to register or give huge amounts of personal details – no-one is going to type it out on the virtual keyboard. And make it quick to install – Ikea’s app is so large you can only download it using wifi.

4                    Integrated – simply punting an iPhone app into the ether will just be a flash in the pan. Integrate it with the rest of your marketing, like John Smith’s to maximise the impact.

5                    Fit it to your customers – many marketers want to do an iPhone app because its cool. But do your customers have iPhones? If not, then its an expensive waste of marketing budget to create a white elephant. I’m not convinced that John Smith’s drinkers are paid-up Apple aficionados for example.

By my reckoning John Smith’s hits 3 out of 5 here – hardly the 180 that they are looking for………….

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September 10, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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