This is a slightly different approach to the weeks topic on Social media marketing on smartphones.
An app that Virtually walks you home! Is it marketing? Decide for yourself!
The Companion app was originally designed to assist students walking home across university campuses in the US. The application for smartphones is currently being used as a safety measure not only to create a personal bond between the university and their students but the app also helps assist them in every day life, and making sure they are safe on university grounds.
As shown in the video, the app enables users to request a family or friend to keep them company an track their journey home, via GPS or an online map. If anything were to happen, such as if the user navigates of the track, or starts running, an “OK” button will appear on the phone that the user will have to push within 15 seconds to confirm their safety. If they were to not push this button, the security at the school will be notified as well as the police with the exact location of the user. However in order for it to be able to work in operation with the security department of he students university the schools need to be signed up with Companion. The app as mentioned can be used by universities to create a safer environment for their students, it is a way of continuing to market their product (school) as safe as well as attracting new consumers by gaining a great reputation as being a safe place to live and study. This has been greatly appreciated by the students parents as well as the students themselves through feedback. The app has has such a great success and it now requested by schools in several countries around the world.
Like Kapler stated, organisations (in this case university) needs to focus on customising their messages, s that it fits the individual user, which this app has done so well by applying its features to the consumers exact whereabouts. The app is highly relevant and have been created thereafter and is not found annoying or nuisance by its users but in fact the opposite. The consumer are constantly engaging with the app, by having to put in details in the GPS as well as confirming their whereabouts and safety. I have used the app myself, and found it very appealing and also easy to use.
Back in the days you would have had to call someone and speak to them for the entire walk home in order to get the same type of feeling of safety, however now you simply just access the app on your smartphone and you are good to go!
I think this app is a great example of a marketing tool, that is disguised by being so relevant, necessary creating a sort of child – parent relationship between the consumer and brand. I know if I was a parent I would want my child to study somewhere were safety was high priority.
What do you guys think? Is this app as an effective marketing tool as it is a safety tool?