Push Notifications: New Marketing Strategy?

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I remember first learning and experiencing location based push notifications. As a person who has the worst sense of direction and a short term memory, I can easily say that Google Maps and push notifications combining is one of my favorite conveniences about my iPhone.

It’s no secret that these push notifications make our daily FourSquare check in simple, our weekly Facebook location tag easy, and our drive to a family friend’s lake house a piece of cake. The convenience of it all may be the source of location based push notifications’ potential utopia and according to Brett Relander and his article, 5 Rules for Using Push Technology to Your Advantage, 68 percent of consumers are likely to activate push notifications for every app that they download.

Not only can push notifications lead you out of a wrong turn, but British Airways recently introduced its newest updated app, which allows flyers to check the status of their flight. Things like when passengers may board and gate openings are connected to the app’s notifications.

However, push notifications aren’t always the most welcomed amongst smart phone users. Often times apps send badges, banners, and reminders that seem like a desperate cry for consumers to not forget their app still exists on their phones. I’ve personally received notifications from Pandora endorsing its latest playlist or from the game 4 Pics 1 Word, which constantly sends me hints to complete the next level. Neither of these examples are notifications I want to read that ultimately flood my phone.

Like Relander explains in his article above, some companies are beginning to use push notifications as a marketing tool. He states, “An app’s average lifespan is just 30 days, a very short time span,” but when used to its potential, “push notifications enable you to extend the expiration date on your app, thus encouraging your users to keep returning.”

Although this may seem like a great way to market to consumers, maybe it’ll just get lost and translate to noise like the many other advertisements on TV, radio, and through email. Will push notification marketing become as obsolete as traditional advertisements?

Christine Chu


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