Friday, January 4, 2013

Add "Snapchat" to Your Marketing Lexicon

If you're above the age of 16, you probably aren't familiar with Snapchat. But some experts are speculating the application could be the next big thing in mobile marketing.

Snapchat is a mobile messaging service that allows you to send fellow Snapchat users photo messages that self-destruct after a period of 10 seconds or less. The service has gained major traction since its initial launch in September 2011, and the app receives approximately 50 million snaps a day. It even inspired Facebook to launch a copy-cat app a few weeks ago.

Snapchat's popularity amongst a younger, mobile savvy demographic has recently attracted the attention of marketers. New York frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles made headlines this week as the first brand to conduct a marketing campaign through the service.

Their "Snappy New Year" campaign encouraged the company's Facebook fans to send a Snapchat photo of their frozen yogurt purchase while in the store to the company's Snapchat account. In exchange, participants immediately received a coupon for 16 to 100% off via Snapchat which could then be redeemed at the register. So far the company has shared more than 1,4000 snaps with those engaging with the campaign, according to Ad Age.

Digital media pundits have responded to the campaign with mixed reviews. Some applaud 16 Handles for an effort to connect authentically with its target using a new form of media, while others offer criticism for leveraging the program in its infancy.

Regardless of the app's potential for future growth, I think the 16 handles campaign showed sound strategy in that it reached the company's target at an ideal consumer aperture moment. Snapchat's unique functionality also required immediate action from the user, depriving customers of the opportunity to use the coupon at a later time and therefore delay the purchase.

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