ICEnet Campaign Plan
Genevieve Shaffer, Katlyn Simmons, Edward Smith, Maddy Tighe
ICEnet is a location-sharing app that offers safety without any unwanted loss of your privacy. Currently, the company is looking to increase its public outreach and bring in more users for its app.
We have two goals for ICEnet in this campaign; to create a positive sentiment as well as a sense of safety synonymous with ICEnet’s name and their product, and to raise awareness of the ICEnet app within the local area.
To help complete these goals, we’ve created four objectives to accomplish during this campaign:
Increase the number of ICEnet app downloads by 15 by January 30, 2017.
Receive five customer reviews on the iOS App Store by January 1, 2017.
Use Facebook advertising to drive traffic to the ICEnet website by January 1, 2017.
Increase ICEnet’s social media outreach on Facebook and receive 50 likes on their Facebook page by January 30, 2017
Throughout the campaign, we will implement blogger reviews, in-app messages, Facebook advertisements, and new content for the ICEnet Facebook page. We will reach out to multiple mommy bloggers (i.e., Katie Sexton, Mommy Katie) to write reviews of the app. We will implement pop-up messages into the ICEnet app asking users to review the product. Then we’ll use Facebook to reach new users with targeted advertisements and regularly posted content, such as safety tips for life. The full campaign is below including the materials you, ICEnet, can use to implement the ideas we have put forth in this campaign.
Genevieve Shaffer, Katlyn Simmons, Edward Smith, Maddy Tighe
ICEnet is a location-sharing app that exists to provide personal security. It is a safe and secure method of sharing your location privately with friends and family, so that only those who need it can see it. It was developed to help people communicate and share their location in case of a bad situation. ICEnet’s target audience is mainly women and college-aged persons.
When we met with the client, they did not have a set mission statement. By evaluating the information collected, we developed a mission statement for them. It is:
ICEnet’s mission is to keep family members safe and connected via their app’s quick and private location sharing abilities.
ICEnet provides the opportunity for quick and private location sharing with only those who need it. The company aims to improve their application by analyzing what their strengths and weaknesses are, understanding who their competitors are and what they’re doing, and determining if cost affects the desire to use the application. In addition to this, ICEnet currently markets to multiple audiences, so a goal would be to narrow this down to a primary target audience. These goals are the reason why ICEnet brought our team in as consultants.
ICEnet was first thought of during a family Christmas gathering; and after five years of hard work, the app was published on the iOS App Store in 2015. In its early stages, ICEnet was used by co-founder Mary Burns to help keep track of her daughter during a tour across Europe. Although the app has been available to the public for a year as of September 17, 2016, it hasn’t received any reviews on the iOS App Store. There are multiple options in terms of pricing for this app. The free option of this app allows the user to “create single-point check-ins, send push notification alerts, receive alerts from friends and family, and create and customize up to 3 groups.” (ICEnet) There are then three more plans that users can choose from. ICEnet pro allows all of the free options plus the ability to “send SMS alerts to non-ICEnet contacts, unlimited live tracking alerts and to create up to 10 groups.” (ICEnet) For now, ICEnet is only available for the iPhone and for iPads with a data plan.
The Issue as Defined by Client
Upon speaking with the Client, we discovered the issues with the app, from the client’s point of view. These issues consisted of lack of customer base, due to little or no internet presence, in terms of public relations and social media for the app. It was also discussed that pricing could be a factor in the success of the app due to the lack of a successful pricing plan. Individualized and personalized plans, including ones free of charge for access to a few of the app’s features, is a helpful suggestion to an app that is just beginning. The inability to get the app for Android was also an issue although the cost to build the app in order to make it compatible for Android was past the company’s budget.
Communication Audit of Current Communication Efforts
The communication app ICEnet has solely been focused on extending information through their website and through the App Store. In terms of any specific social media efforts, the team ICEnet has not produced any social media content although they have a presence on Facebook; they have no posts and only 4 people have liked the page. With that being said, no other social media outlets have been put into place nor have they tried to extend their app through promotional efforts such as ads.
Effectiveness of Past Communication
In the past, ICEnet has had very limited social media presence and public relations efforts. ICEnet has a Facebook page, but due to lack of use, there is minimal content and very few individuals who have viewed and liked the page. The client has shared app with her friends and family via her personal Facebook account, as well. The organization has a website, and it explains what the app does fairly clearly. However, it does not make the mission or target audience clear at all. The past communication efforts have been ineffective towards the success of the app, which can be due to a number of factors, including but not limited to: the underdeveloped social media presence of the organization and the reliance on word-of-mouth through personal accounts.
Demographic/Psychographic Characteristics of each Key Public
Upon determining that the initial target public, college-aged individuals, is not likely to pay the pricing options for this app, we have re-focused on an audience with greater financial resources. Our group’s target audience for this campaign is parents with children that are currently in middle school. ICEnet is an app that is based on location sharing to allow those connected to feel an increase in security through the apps safe and secure location sharing services. In this case parents are a public with a concern regarding the safety and location of their loved ones. Based on the survey, in which we surveyed 47 parents, (see Appendix A) a large majority of our audience consists of married parents (61.7%) with some single parents (12.8%) and divorced or separated parents (6.4%) that would be considered secondary audiences since they still have children in middle school, but are not the within the majority. This is not our only audience, however, as parents and caretakers are but half of the app’s consumers. Appealing to the kids and making them want to use ICEnet is a vital part in a successful marketing plan, because the audience in its entirety needs to be considered, and not just one demographic of the marketing plan. The fact, however, cannot be ignored that while students and kids make up fifty percent the consumer basis, parents and guardians are the ones to purchase the app. Most of these parents are employed full-time (59.6%) while an equal amount is only employed part-time or self-employed (12.8%). The typical household for our target audience more than likely has two or more children based on our survey because 57.4% of the parents responded stating that they have two children, 10.6% have three children, and 8.5% have four or more children. Only 19.1% reported that they only have one child. In order to fully understand our audience and their needs, we had to determine how they feel and their stance on being able to know where their child was and the ability to check on them. We discovered that 19.4% felt very safe in their community while 34% did not feel very safe, but also didn’t feel very unsafe. This data leads us to believe that this sample of our target audience typically lives in safer communities that have a lower rate of crime. However, the data from the survey also revealed that most parents felt that an app that allows location sharing from their child is positive with 34.8% that strongly like it, 52.2% liking it, and only 10.9% unsure about it. This shows that the audience that our team is targeting is already perceptive to services like our client’s app.
Relationship with Organization
Currently, our organization has a weak relationship with its target audience. Since the app has not been advertised, the audience effectively knows nothing about it. But, according to our recent surveys, our target audience does like the idea of an app that lets parents track their children. 87% of our respondents liked the idea of a tracking app, and of that percent, 34.8% strongly liked the idea of the app. But only 42.5% said that they would be likely to use a tracking app, leaving 10.6% unsure about it and 46.8% who aren’t likely to use the app, although this is subject to change with increased awareness and persuasion.
During the same survey, we found that approximately 72.3% of respondents leaned towards being unlikely to paying for any tracking app, even if it had premium features. Considering ICEnet’s free version of the app is much weaker when compared to other apps such as FUMA, whose service is completely free and equivalent to ICEnet’s most expensive subscription plan. Our organization might want to look into finding a way to make the app cheaper, if not completely free. If they chose to make the app’s premium services free, the organization could still make a profit by integrating advertising into the ICEnet app.
Characteristics of communication exhibited in present day, are much different than ones found across platforms in even the past ten years. Social media, instant news access, and things like iMessage, have made means of communication held to a higher/speedier standard. People are accustomed to quick replies, and being able to get in touch with another person almost instantly. This expectation is especially high within communication between parents and their children. Most parents want the ability to know their child’s whereabouts within a matter of minutes, because of the protective nature of parents’ relationship to their children. In the same manner, in an emergency, a child wants the ability to get into contact with their parents. Social media users make up larger percentage of parents than we think; meaning parents are already accustomed to immediate contact.
In order to understand the best way to market ICEnet we created a survey to look into the opinions of our public as well as their needs and wants. The results were as follows.
Our target audience does like the idea of an app that lets parents track their children. 87% of our respondents liked the idea of a tracking app, and of that percent, 34.8% strongly liked the idea of the app. But only 42.5% said that they would be likely to use a tracking app, leaving 10.6% unsure about it and 46.8% who aren’t likely to use the app.
61% of parents asked said that their child does have a cellphone compared to the 38.3% that said that their child does not have a cellphone. This information is important as the app will not be used by a child that does not have a cellphone, although this app could potentially be a reason a parent may acquire one for their child.
A common theme was that parents would like to be in touch via app with their child and know their whereabouts quickly and easily, as 34.8% said they would strongly like this app and 52.2% of the parents said they would like the app. This shows that 86.6% of those who took the survey have a positive sentiment towards this idea.
Those surveyed also showed to be, not very likely if at all to pay a subscription fee for a tracking app with premium features. About 72.3% of those surveyed were on the lower end of the spectrum saying they were less likely if not likely at all to pay.
In terms of the features that our public would like to see, the data shows as follows:
90.9% would like to be able to contact 911 immediately in an emergency, 72.7% would like the ability to monitor photos taken or saved as well as have automatic check-in areas, 54.5% would like the ability to monitor teens driving and receive speeding alerts, 40.9% said they would like real-time tracking of family and the ability to monitor phone contacts,36.4% said they would like to monitor phone battery percentage as well as monitor data usage and 31.8% saved location history.
Benefits The Organization Stands to Offer the Audience
Since our target audience is parents that have children that are in middle school, there are a few benefits that the organization has to offer the audience. The main benefit being the ability to track their child and check in on what they are doing/where they are. This was shown as being a concern of parents through our survey and means that the app could be very beneficial to parents. In addition to this benefit, a benefit that is tied to this is peace of mind that comes from being assured of the safety of your loved ones and the knowledge that that’d be a quick notification if there was something wrong. In terms of what the organization could offer the audience, there are a few additional features that we found would be looked at favorably, such as the ability to contact 911, if the organization were able to update the app with them.
FUNA is an app that allows family members and/or close friends to share their locations and personal phone information with each other. They offer real-time tracking with family members you’ve added to your group, the ability to view family members’ cell service, Wi-Fi availability, remaining battery life, offers members a quick SOS alert that will warn other family members immediately, and offers alerts for whenever members arrive/departure specified areas.
FUNA’s target audience includes ours, but it doesn’t stop there. They also advertise towards close friends who want ways to keep each other safe while traveling or in case of emergencies. They also offer service overseas at no additional charge, increasing their potential audience. They have multiple strengths to help them reach all of their audiences. Since FUNA’s service is completely free, they are targeting users who are looking to save money or just don’t want to pay for a tracking app. Since they offer the app on both the Android and iOS app stores, they can reach more potential users from their large target audience (they are still leaving out anyone using a Windows phone). FUNA also keeps an updated Facebook page to keep in touch with their potential audiences. This is important because 72% of adults in the U.S. use Facebook as of 2015 (Duggan, The Demographics of Social Media Users). Most importantly, the app is completely free, so there’s no money-barrier for anyone thinking about using the app.
FUNA differs from ICEnet mostly in the level of online presence. Both apps have Facebook pages, but ICEnet’s page only has their logo and nothing else. On the other hand, FUNA’s Facebook profile has their logo, a banner picture, information about the app, a link to their website, highlighted reviews, and you can see people talking about the app on the page. They also update their page with at least one post each week.
FUNA has three strong strengths over ICEnet; price, availability, and social media presence. FUNA offers the same features as ICEnet (and then a few more) and the app is completely free, unlike ICEnet, which has a minimal free version but requires one of three subscription plans to gain access to more features (plans range from $2.99-$9.99 a month). On the other hand, ICEnet has something that FUNA doesn’t. ICEnet was built by brother and sister, making it a family-owned app. This could be used when reaching out to our target audience to help make the company more friendly and relatable for people.
Audit of Competitor’s Communication
FUNA is currently present on Facebook. The consistency of Facebook posts varies, but they always have at least one or two posts a week. Most of their posts consist of animated GIFs made to celebrate current events (i.e. the Rio Olympics this year) and even more niche events (i.e. “Happy Malaysia Day” post). They also post statuses highlighting features and updates for the app; the most recent being a post celebrating reaching 500,000 downloads. Currently, they have 28,370 likes on Facebook.
FUNA’s website is a very simple layout where viewers can either scroll down through the overviews of different sections or open a specific section for a more detailed pages. The website features pictures of happy families, informative videos, download links for both Android and iOS devices, a FAQ and contact page. The website also features links to both user reviews as well as links to different bloggers who have reviewed the app.
Family Orbit is an app that can be used by families to track each other and watch over each other. This app contains various features to serve your needs such as: the ability to see where members of your family have been throughout the day, a geofence, around a specific location such as home, which alert someone when a family member leaves that location, alerts can be received when a family member checks into the app, and you can share photos with family members as well as message family members for free. The app does have both a free and premium plan. The free plan offers “up to 3 members, a family locator on a real-time map, check in / panic / request pick-ups, offers up to 3 geo-fence areas, speeding alerts, device information, the ability to monitor apps installed (Android only), and a family Photo Album with 100 MB space.” (Family Orbit) In comparison the premium plan offers all of these features but for $4.95 a month you can have “up to 10 members, monitor all photos clicked, monitor contacts and calendar, monitor data bandwidth usage, monitor call & SMS stats (Android only), location history up to 30 days and 5GB cloud space” (Family Orbit).
The target audience for Family Orbit, although it could vary, seems to be parents of teens or tweens. This is the public our client, ICEnet, needs to target rather than the original audience. Original ICEnet wanted to target college women. We believe this audience will not be as responsive as parents of teens or tweens. The target audience for Family Orbit, parents of teens and tweens, have so many capabilities with this app in regards to keeping their loved ones safe. They offer the ability to monitor their kids’ phones and activities such as, new drivers and their speed limit, monitoring data usage, keeping track of photos that their kids may take, send and receive, as well as any contacts in their address book.
The niche Family Orbit has is their target toward parents that have teens or tweens, mostly ages during which a child is beginning to drive and may be in need of assurance, in terms of their child’s safety and well-being. An advantage that Family Orbit definitely has, is the versatility in terms of access to the app via both the app store and the play store; therefore, it is available for both Apple and Android phones.
Family Orbit allows the user to contact 911 at any point in time. The strengths come with these capabilities of the app including the ability to see the speed in which your child is driving, and the geofencing.
From the start you can see how the organization behind Family Orbit is completely different from our organization, ICEnet. The lack of a mission statement and large following as well as public relations and social media attached, ICEnet is certainly in the dark when compared to Family Orbit. The Family Orbit app being available on both Android and Apple is most definitely an advantage that this app has over ICEnet. The organization and mission statements that are presented in the Family Orbit app surpass that of ICEnet. Upon meeting with the client for ICEnet it was found that the audience as well as the mission for the app were unclear at the time, something we have to strengthen, as other apps have the upper hand.
Audit of Competitor’s Communication
The web and social media of Family Orbit are rather active, although some social media seems to be more active and if it has anything to do with the age of our audience it makes sense. The Family Orbit has a Twitter, Facebook and blog that are all connected in terms of content shared. Upon analyzing both the content and the social media outlet of choice we have concluded that our target audience consists of people with children.
The Family Orbit Facebook page gets the most feedback in terms of likes, comments and shares, whereas twitter has very little if any traffic at all. Their blog posts consist of family safety information. Their blog doesn’t seem to receive any feedback at all from their target audience but with the content being the same on Facebook, it is still being viewed and read on another channel. Besides the blog the information on the website is advertising and marketing to parents as well as providing user support.
Situation/Problem The Campaign Will Address
ICEnet is a location tracking app that requires a better marketing plan including effective public relations and a defined public to market the product to. The campaign goals are to do just that, develop a strategy to advertise this app and to update the app with the functions in which the public using it wishes to see.
Internal: Strengths, Weaknesses:
One strength that could help ICEnet, though it is not a major player in the game, is that it’s family owned and operated. Something like this may stick in consumers’ minds as they purchase this app to stay in contact with their own families. Having this type of employee base, helps to give the app credibility that they, among their own, also have your family in mind. This can speak volumes for a consumer base whose main goal in purchasing this app, is to keep families connected.
Another strength that this ICEnet has, is a noble cause. People are less willing to put money into a game or shopping app, but would be more willing to try ICEnet since it promotes strong family communication. Among these, the app has great features like the ability to share your location quickly, customize who is in which group, timely updates, keep track of what has been done within the app, and a great/manageable design.
Among the weaknesses that this app has, one of the major ones is that it is only accessible on iPhones. This alone brings the marketing numbers down significantly, as less than twenty percent of cellphone users also use an iPhone. Expanding their software to be accessible for all smartphone users, will open up their consumer base as well. This expansion onto other devices would be determined after analyzing the success it has on Apple. Aside from this, the app creates a false perception for the consumers by highlighting the free download of the app itself, but failing to mention that the features of ICEnet are only available with payment. In this way, ICEnet needs to make sure to be completely transparent to the public, so the public won’t feel deceived. There are numerous apps doing the same thing as ICEnet, but offering service to more systems and offering it for free.
Another weakness noticed, was the lack of organization that the app has. The representatives pitch the company’s app, are not fully informed and don’t know how to answer vital questions. It makes the company appear disorganized and not clear about even their own goals.
External: Opportunities, Threats:
ICEnet has problems to overcome and there are various factors that cause these problems such as, lack of use due to other apps in existence, location of the startup, stakeholders and their needs and wants as well as some laws and regulations getting in the way of certain app features.
ICEnet has various competitors, and those competing apps have a much larger presence via social media. The competitors also have features that ICEnet has yet to acquire, a simple one being extending the app availability to the android app. The location of ICEnet and its outreach has primarily been in a small location. Until meeting with the client we had not heard of this app, and trying to start it up in a small tight-knit community is not the best environment to implement an app that bases its success on making those in unsafe environments feel safe. There is then a lack of communication between the creators of the app and the stakeholders. This comes from the internal issue that there is no mission statement available and an undefined audience. There are laws and regulations that come with allowing the app to have 911. This means that there are certain hoops to jump through in order to acquire the ability to immediately contact 911 through an app and this was something our client was not willing to do at the time, due to the legalities.
Based on the SWOT analysis of the organization that our team conducted, we have decided to make use of the Weakness – Threat strategy. Since there are a number of weaknesses and threats that the organization is currently facing, we believe that by addressing them we can help ICEnet achieve more success. The idea here is to avoid the threats and minimize the weaknesses which will improve efficiently and help the organization grow and find success with the app.
Goals & Objectives:
Our goals for this campaign are as follows:
Create positive sentiment and sense of safety around ICEnet.
Raise awareness of ICEnet in the local areas.
Increase customer downloads of app by 15 users by January 30, 2017.
Receive 5 customer reviews on the iOS App Store by January 1, 2017.
Drive traffic to ICEnet Website via Facebook ads by January 1, 2017.
Increase outreach on social media by 50 likes on Facebook by January 30, 2017.
Title: Freedom for Kids. Peace of Mind for Parents.
Theme: No more late night worrying
Public: Middle School Students
Freedom for kids, peace of mind for parents
Middle schoolers want to start earning some independence, and ICEnet offers a way to check in that isn’t overbearing or intrusive. The kids will be more open to the app since it’s less intrusive than some of its competitors
Quick communication so you can get back to life
Kids don’t want to call their parents constantly to let them know where they are. With ICEnet, kids can check in with their parents quickly and discreetly, letting them get back to having fun with their friends.
Freedom for kids, peace of mind for parents
ICEnet offers parents a way to keep an eye on their kids, without being overbearing or over-intrusive. This means that parents won’t have to be worried about their children since kids will be more open to using this app.
Immediate safety, in your pocket with the touch of a button
Safe and Secure. Your child can quickly alert you if they are in trouble and you can alert your family if you are in trouble. Safety is closer than ever with an app that is safe and secure that can update you to where your child is located or alert you if there is trouble.
Channels & Opinion Leaders
For the ICEnet campaign, we are going to use Facebook as well as multiple bloggers to reach out to our target audiences. Using Facebook as a channel will allow us to control the messages being released online. We will use Facebook advertisements and original content being posted regularly as forms of native advertising. To help us reach a wider audience, we will collaborate with three bloggers whose main audience is mothers. We will reach out to each blogger and offer them a month of the full ICEnet app subscription for free in return for an honest review of the product on their blogs.
Our first blogger, Katie Sexton, shares family-friendly products and writes reviews for her blog, Mommy Katie. Top Mommy Blogs currently ranks Mommy Katie as the number one blog for family life and as eighth in the overall category. Sexton has gathered 5,011 likes on Facebook, 31,600 followers on Twitter, and 3,810 followers on Instagram. She also as YouTube channel that currently has 1,171 subscribers. Her reviews are very open and honest, so her readers trust her judgment.
Our second blogger, Not Your Average Mom, a blogger who has seven kids and claims that she’s always “attempting to maintain order and sanity.” Not Your Average Mom is rated as the second best mommy blog according to Top Mommy Blogs, and currently has 19,537 likes on her Facebook page, 11,200 followers on Twitter, and 1,401 followers on Instagram. The blog features a regularly updated list, “My Favorite Things,” where she reviews multiple products that she loves. If the product impresses her enough, she will feature it on that list and her loyal followers will be more likely to try our app instead of one of our competitors.
Our last blogger will be Vivienne Scarlet of Chronicles of a Young Mother, a 22-year-old mother of two who reviews a variety of different products for mothers. Vivienne’s blog is aimed at a younger parent who will be more likely to use different apps on their phone, like ICEnet. Vivienne currently has 1,683 likes on the Chronicles of a Young Mother Facebook page, 2,980 followers on her personal Twitter, and 8,356 followers on her personal Instagram. Her blog is rated as the sixth best blog on Top Mommy Blogs.
Strategies & Tactics:
Objective 1: Increase customer downloads of app by 15 users by January 30, 2017.
Strategy: To be reviewed on blogs for mothers
Find mom blogs we could post potential info on and identify the bloggers that have children
Give bloggers the app to test for free and review honestly
Discuss with the leaders of the blogs the benefits
Share the blog posts with our followers to increase traffic to the blog websites in which the reviews were written
Objective 2: Receive 5 customer reviews on the iOS App Store by January 1, 2017.
Strategy: Ask ICEnet users to review the app on the iOS App Store.
Add pop up message in app asking users to go rate the app. (See Appendix B)
Encourage new users to try the app and rate their experience through Facebook ads/posts.
Offer discounts for reviews
Objective 3: Drive traffic to the ICEnet website with Facebook ads by January 1, 2017.
Strategy: To create Facebook Ads.
Identify the audience and the number of them on Facebook
Publish targeted ads
Objective 4: Increase outreach on social media by 50 likes on Facebook January 30, 2017.
Strategy: To create Facebook content to be posted regularly.
- Safety tips and facts.
Helpful ways to use ICEnet app (See Implementation Materials )
Objective 1: Increase customer downloads of app by 15 users by January 30, 2017.
The effectiveness of this objective can be measured by gathering data from the App Store to determine how many times the app has been downloaded by January 20, 2017. After implementing the campaign, ICEnet can measure how effective all the strategies and tactics were by the increase in customer downloads of the app.
Objective 2: Receive 5 customer reviews on the iOS App Store by January 1, 2017.
The effectiveness of this objective can be measured by the number of reviews left on the App Store by customers regarding ICEnet. Throughout the campaign, ICEnet will engage customers who have downloaded the app by encouraging them to leave reviews and offering discounts as an incentive to do so.
If ICEnet does not receive the customer reviews on the App Store, the pop up message should be reevaluated along with the discount offers to determine how they can be improved or if there is a better strategy.
Objective 3: Drive traffic to ICEnet Website via Facebook ads by January 1, 2017.
The effectiveness of this objective can be measured through the analyzing the metrics of ICEnet’s website. The amount of traffic and page views can be analyzed to determine if there is a higher volume of traffic to the website after establishing Facebook ads that have circulated for a period of time.
If the amount of traffic driven to the website does not increase, then ICEnet should analyze the audience that the ads are targeted towards to determine if it needs to be broadened or narrowed.
Objective 4: Increase outreach on social media by 50 likes on Facebook by January 30, 2017.
In order to establish an online social media presence for ICEnet, our group created a mock Facebook page as an example as to how to set up a page and created a guide for how to post with sample posts. The success of this objective can be measured by the number of likes on the Facebook page. This can be measured under the weekly page updates that detail the number of likes, page views, and traffic to the page.
If this objective is not effective, then ICEnet should consider paying to have the page promoted as an ad on timelines in order to ensure that it is being seen by the target audience.
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