‘Tis The Season Of Stress: How To Market Apps To An Anxious Customer

Three Shopping Days Before Christmas, by Persis Robertson


Ask yourself this question. “What’s the more powerful emotion: pleasure or relief?”

Marketers and product managers love working somewhere along this axis, but I bet most prefer the “pleasure” pole. That’s because it’s in our natures to seek out the positive about our products and services, e.g. it’s better, it’s more fun, it will make you smarter or more attractive.

Now think about the times you’ve been the first to jump from a long, slow-moving checkout line when a new cashier opens up or talked your way out of a traffic violation. Sometimes relief feels pretty spectacular, doesn’t it?

Not surprisingly, it can be pretty fruitful to show how your product or service solves a problem.

This time of year, pleasure and anxiety mingle as liberally as guests at a Christmas party. As this study from BeFrugal.com shows, anxiety and stress lurk in the shadows during the holidays. At exactly the time we should be celebrating, we worry. According to this study, the holidays cause stress in more than 80 percent of Americans. Of those stressed, nearly two-thirds find shopping crowds stressful. More than half get stressed about parking and battling traffic. Forty percent get stressed about their budgets. (All these holiday headaches make carols like this one so funny.)

We download apps when we’re lonely and bored, but when our checkbooks are depleted, we’re dwelling on potentially awkward family encounters, and girding ourselves for long lines at the toll booth or airport security lines, we seek solutions to our problems. Shopping, mapping, livery, and banking apps: I’m looking in your direction.

Even if your app falls outside these categories, though, think about how to position your app as a solution to a consumer’s problem. To help you get started, ask yourself these questions:

  • What problem does my app solve?
  • How does this make my customers’ lives easier?
  • How can my customer save time by using my app?
  • How does my app help customers keep more of their money?
  • Does my app help people get more stuff done?

Do your screenshots show these life-empowering features? Does your app description include comforting words such as “easy,” “fast,” and “time-saving?” Does your app promotion, social and traditional media outreach emphasize the ways in which your app solves problems, and are you updating your marketing during these busy times to remind your customers that you’re there to help?

Thanks to all of you for reading. I wish you a very happy holiday.


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