Apps have helped all kinds of brands advance branding and interest.
From apps that help shoppers locate the appropriate Robitussin cold medication while they stand in the aisle to Val-pak apps that let users use their phone camera viewfinders to “see” coupon offers hanging over Valpak client merchants as they walk down the street to the Virtual Mini app that places an augmented reality version of the Mini Countryman vehicle in your driveway, your garage, that pint-sized compact parking space near the front door at work, or in fact on your breakfast toast.
The innovation in apps and what they bring to the consumer shopping experience has been an exhilarating technological advancement for marketers. Apps can be fun, creative, educational and engaging, and hopefully push consumers to a sale. But while most apps deliver branding and product information, Citi has just developed a Facebook app for its loyalty members that the company terms, “both a rewarding and social experience.”
The Citi ThankYou Point Sharing App allows ThankYou reward members who are Facebook friends to pool their points together and to use the collective value toward a shared goal or rewards, like a weekend getaway or charitable donation.
“As our ThankYou members imagine all the ways to use their points this year, this app extends the possibilities,” Ralph Andretta, head of co brands and loyalty at Citi Cards.
As an incentive to get members to download the app and participate in the program, Citi is giving the first 4,000 loyalty members to link the app to their personal Facebook pages before 11:59 ET on Feb. 3, 2,500 ThankYou points. Under the incentive, 10 million points will be distributed.
Members who want to participate visit the Citibank Facebook page, log in and go to the ThankYou Point Sharing tab to link the app to their ThankYou account. They can select a specific amount of points to contribute and invite any number of Facebook friends who are ThankYou members to join the pool. They can also share a Facebook wall post after creating a point pool to encourage friends to join and contribute. To view their progress, members track the point pool on the app, which displays a percentage of each goal reached.
“This new app is a first in the marketplace and a fun, flexible way to share points,” Andretta said.
As Citi advances its work in apps, this year, consumers will rely even more on their mobile devices in the various stages of a purchase decision—from consideration and research to price comparisons. The message for promotional marketing is clear: Promotional campaigns, including those to draw new loyalty members, will have to integrate with mobile devices or risk not reaching their full out-of-home audience.