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Walgreens targets MapMyFitness app users, sees 8.5pc engagement rate

Walgreens saw an 8.5 engagement rate with users of the MapMyFitness mobile application for a recent campaign touting the drugstore chain’s new Balance Rewards loyalty program.

Anyone who signs up for Balance Rewards can earn points for engaging in healthy activities such as walking or working out. Reaching MapMyFitness users enabled Walgreens to build awareness of the program with an audience that is already tracking their physical activities through mobile tools.

“The goal of this campaign was to put Walgreens Balance Rewards in front of the MapMyFitness audience and drive awareness of the program, drive sign ups [and] ultimately get more people using Balance Rewards and tracking their fitness activities within the program,” said Christopher Glode, general manager at MapMyFitness, Austin, TX.

Deeply integrated mobile ads
Walgreens has been focused on building a community around health and fitness for a couple of years.

These efforts evolved into the Balance Rewards program, giving members a way to earn points for their healthy activities that can be redeemed for any Walgreens product, including prescriptions.

MapMyFitness started out as a Web property for tracking physical activity, but has heavily focused on building up its mobile strategy over the past few years and now offers activity tracking apps across several mobile platforms, including iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

As part of its mobile strategy, MapMyFitness is focused on providing brands with deeply integrated visibility within its mobile apps.

“We are looking at new and unique ways to do that because we recognize that traditional display media on mobile is ineffective for a number of reasons for a number of different brands,” Mr. Glode said.

A collaborative effort
MapMyFitness and Walgreens began working together a year ago on developing a strategy to reach the former’s mobile audience. As a result of this collaboration, MapMyFitness developed a new advertising program called the Mobile Immersion Experience, which Walgreens was the first to pilot.

Typically, when users are in the middle of a workout, MapMyFitness provides audio alerts with information on what their pace is. Between April 10 and May 26, all iOS and Android users heard alerts that were sponsored by Walgreens at the first interval.

Then, at the end of the workout, users saw a full-screen takeover from Walgreens that was combined with an audio message encouraging users to sign up for Balance Rewards the next time they are inside a Walgreens store to earn points for their physical activities.

While Walgreens chose to reach all iOS and Android users, brands are able to target their efforts on MapMyFitness more specifically by age, gender or type of activity.

Relevant messaging
The results from the effort point to how compelling reaching mobile users with a relevant message can be, with 8.5 percent of the targeted audience clicking through or otherwise engaged with the program in more depth.

During the campaign period, MapMyFitness iOS and Android users logged 680,000 user workouts and there were 16 million registered users on the platform.

If Walgreens decides to move forward with the program, MapMyFitness wants to deliver a more streamlined approach for enrollment so that users can sign up for Balance Rewards from within the app with a minimum number of clicks. Also, MapMyFitness will look to integrate more deeply with Balance Rewards so that activities logged on MapMyFitness will automatically transfer over to the Balance Rewards program.

“We know that a lot of our users are using headphones, and audio is an important part of the value that they get from our application,” Mr. Glode said.

“The full-screen takeover gives the brand a lot of real estate to the get their message across and combined with the audio, we found that has been a really effective way to reach our user base,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York