Best PracticesDealership Marketing

Mobile App Promotion – No Longer Optional!

mobile app madness
mobile app madness

5 Ways to Promote Your Dealers Mobile App

Mobile app promotion was easy in 2008. App developers could submit their application to Apple app store and compete amongst the thousands of other apps for user’s attention. “Thousands” being 10,000. End of 2008 – five months after the mobile app store launch only 10,000 total iPhone apps existed. If an applilcation was popular, it would make the top 25 list in multiple categories and enjoy front row promotion to users around the world.

Today, over 500,000 apps exist on Apple’s store alone. Complex and large dollar promotional strategies back new attempts to crack the top 25 category – even for a day. Companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for faux downloads, contracting “incentivized install” companies that use virtual and real currency to pay users a fee to download the app. If enough downloads can be driven for a particular app, it has a chance to crack the top 25 of a given category.

This leaves a hole for quality mobile applications targeted at a smaller audience. How do we compete with the launch strategy for the next Angry Birds release? How will our customer find us amongst a sea of “other apps”? The answer is they won’t. Not in the app store.

Dealer mobile app promotion “for the rest of us” centers outside the app store. Creating an effective strategy requires leveraging many of your existing channels and creating new ones.

Top 5 ways to get your app into customer’s hands…

1. App Option Code

This is the #1 way your customer should find your app. You spend thousands each month promoting your URL, driving your customers to your website. A simple install of detect code will allow any customer on a smartphone visiting your site the option of downloading your dealer app.

No searching through an app store. Visit your site. Click OK. Download app.

Try it here by visiting on your iPhone or Android.

2. QR Codes

example dealer QR CodeA quick scan of a QR code by your customer gives them access to your dealer’s mobile app. Despite the controversy – Use QR codes on window stickers, print brochures, and marketing materials to get the app to your customer fast. Use the digital QR code version for newsletters, email signatures, and online banner advertising.

Click here to view an example of a dealer using QR codes on print brochures

3. Post-sale Install

Make sure your mobile app is installed on your customer’s phone after the sale. Show them how quickly they can access roadside assistance, schedule service, and get contact information for the dealership.

RO’s are a great place to feature your app’s QR code. Train your staff to suggest an install after the sale.

facebook icon4. Facebook Promotion

Let your customers know you’re mobile friendly. Use links, images, and video to get your app to your network quickly. Promote on a recurring basis. Some of our most successful dealers tie facebook promotions, such as giveaways or specials, with their mobile app launch.

Click here to see a great facebook giveaway example.

5. On-site Advertising

Use links, images, and video on your standard HTML and mobile sites to let your customer know they can communicate with you on the go. Place QR codes on your standard HTML site (they can be scanned on screen with a mobile device) and direct links on your mobi site.

Click here to see an example

Questions: What are you doing to effectively promote your dealer mobile app? What’s worked? What hasn’t?

Did your mobile app developer help you launch and promote your dealer app?

Ben Anderson - AKA "hair model Ben" is the President of AutoMotion, a leader in mobile apps for dealers. Ben is a regular speaker on mobile for many i...
In my mind, the service drive is THE place to promote.  First, when people drop off the car.  Second with POS materials in the waiting room area.  Finally, with the receptionist and on the actual RO/Receipt.   The most useful engagement with the app is going to be related to post-sale maintenance of the vehicle and this is where you need to promote it! 
 @Glen Garvin I agree with you Glen.  This is most effective way to tell your existing customers.  An app provides a better experience for someone to engage with your dealership.  The app can also be a marketing tool for the dealership and help bring in new customers by advertising on your website, facebook, twitter, etc.  Why not do both?  Existing customers are the people that will most utilize it and this will increase customer retention.  If a non-customer downloads the app that may lead to them browsing your inventory, asking a question, and untimely walking in the door and buying a car.