Feb 04, 2010 at 06:53 PM
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Mobile Apps: Build vs. Sponsor

From Powerade's new ski report application to Mercedes-Benz Motor trend app, virtually every major brand is jumping into the social application fray. Lest you spend hundreds of thousands develoing a DOA app, it's smart to consider your core competency before diving into the still evolving environment of social media.

Steve Smith from the OMMA says many online marketers have forgotten about the "lost art of sponsorship." He writes:

"Be there and be of use" was an unstated maxim of simple promotions like these, but now the reigning maxim is "be in your face." The brand that shouts loudest wins.

Sometimes the best strategy is to partner with an existing app that is already seeing foot traffic, rather than recreate a duplicative environment simply so you can own it. It's a lot harder than you may think to build an audience so why not go where your crowd already is.

Be of use.

Then again, sometimes being of use is simply providing a paid service for free as Acura did with the WSJ... even if it just for a day.