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Victoria?s Secret bets on apps to bolster loyalty strategy

A new Victoria?s Secret mobile ad campaign focused on driving application downloads is actually a move on the part of the brand to increase and cultivate loyalists.

The company is running the mobile ads within Pandora. When consumers click on the mobile ads they are redirected to Apple?s App Store where they can download the app.

?There are several schools of thought on whether marketing to a landing page to push the download of an app is effective or not,? said Marci Troutman, CEO of Site Minis, Atlanta. 

?In the retail space it gets a little tricky for consumers to download an app for every retailer they shop,? she said. ?If you?re looking for the best deal on a product you?re more likely as a consumer to download an app that provides a shopping comparison tool versus downloading the apps for each and every retailer.?

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Victoria?s Secret. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Victoria?s Secret did not respond to press inquiries.

App interactions
Victoria?s Secret is running full page and expandable mobile ads within Pandora.

The full page ad reads ?Get the New Pink iPhone App. Download our free app for games, goodies and sweet Pink exclusives.?

The expandable ads reads ?Free Fashion Show Panty. Download our app for your freebie.?

Consumers can click on the mobile ad to download the app

When consumers tap on the ad, they are redirected to download the app.

?The fact, that they are using ad space to drive traffic to the app could mean one of two things,? Ms. Troutman said. ?One, the usage of the app isn?t producing the ROI they expected to cover the cost of the build and upkeep, and they are determining worth of the app store costs.

?And two, the app is a great download for dedicated customers and they are going after a larger reach for the holiday season to capture as many of their best customers as possible during this hot season for shopping,? she said.

Growing list
When consumers download the app, they are also encouraged to join the company?s mailing list and sign up for future offers.

Consumers can also shop for products and share them with friends and family via the app.

Running a mobile ad campaign such as this is an effective way to build a relationship between the brand and the customer.

Additionally, offering an incentive for downloading the app is encouraging for the user.

?Either way, I and quite a few others do believe that apps are an augment to a mobile Web experience, and if your mobile Web site is built in the same way and delivering the same content as the app there really isn?t a need for an app,? Ms. Troutman said. 

?Apps should be carefully thought out, and have something included that makes the consumer that downloads this to their phone feel special, like they are one of their best customers,? she said.  

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York