Wednesday, February 24, 2010

MarketingProfs Articles : Move Over, Night Rider

We like to emphasize that mobile is probably the most personalized technology available so far in the 21st century. And these days, finding ways to incorporate yourself into users' daily rituals is crucial to maximizing brand exposure on their up-close-and-personal handhelds. That's one reason for taking a look at GM's new OnStar mobile app for the Chevy Volt. Although the media of late present few reasons to love GM, this is one: The logic behind this saucy new tool is right on.

Here's why: The Chevy Volt is capable of running up to 40 miles on electricity alone before tapping into its gas reserves. The Onstar app lets users track the car's battery life, displaying voltage (120V or 240V), miles per gallon, electric-only miles and odometer readings.

Cooler still, you can actually control aspects of the Volt with your phone: Set it to "charge" mode when electricity rates are low, or remotely start the engine so the interior is at your temperature of choice well before you climb in. Owners also have the option of receiving email/text notifications for when the car needs charging!

Director of Marketing for the Volt Maria Rohrer says the application is tailored to "a very tech-savvy early-adopter, someone who revels in telling their friends how to use technology, an educator who has energy and the income to spend on high technology."

The Volt OnStar mobile application is available for the iPhone, BlackBerry Storm and Motorola Droid. You can also use it from a browser if your phone is Internet-ready.

Marketers note: We suspect that electric-car drivers also tend to be smartphone users, making this the perfect marriage of practical usability and cool-factor. It's a match made in Detroit!

The Po!nt: Fit a toy to a trend. Dig deep into your demo to spot intersections of interest crying out for a new app. Then design away!

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