MMA Forum: Urban Airship CMO Throws Support Behind Apple Passbook

Chief marketing officer of Urban Airship Brent Hieggelke heralded the marketing potential of the Passbook iOS app at a presentation at this year’s Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Forum.

Passbook is an app built into Apple’s mobile iOS that allows consumers to store coupons, boarding passes, and forms of mobile payments. Hieggelke preached that Passbook is a great mobile marketing option for those who are unsure if they want to create their own mobile app.

“There may be some companies that can’t create a great app. [Passbook] allows companies that have not made an app to test the waters,” Hieggelke said during a presentation at the MMA Forum.

Hieggelke says that Passbook allows companies to create “mini apps.” By using the built-in Apple app Hieggelke says users can easily create coupons and deals that can be sent out to consumers using Passbook.

Urban Airship recently started to heavily invest in Passbook. The firm bought marketing firm Tello last year. Tello is the creator of a platform called PassTools that allows companies to create a Passbook pass without having to write code.

The company’s chief marketing officer believes that Passbook can rejuvenate the coupon marketing strategy. In his presentation he called out coupons as one of the least effective forms of marketing. He based that belief on the manual nature of coupons.

Hieggelke specifically pointed out to the cutting out and carrying around a paper coupon as a barrier to use. However, Hieggelke said Passbook offers remove that barrier by letting consumers carry the coupon inside their mobile phone.

“These are like living breathing documents, so you can update the app without the consumer doing anything,” continued Hieggelke.

During the presentation Hieggelke touted the app’s ability to let businesses update the look and deals found in coupons sent through Passbook. As an example, he said companies can update information like deal expiration dates, offers, and color schemes.

While he sees much potential in Passbook, he also warns that it’s still early days for the app. During his presentation he said companies are still not fully adopting the tool. He said, however, that that will change in the future.

“We expect to see a massive influx in millions of dollars into this channel. This is going to represent a massive change in the experience for businesses and marketer,” said Hieggelke.

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