Quicken reaches money-managing, young consumers with iPhone app

Quicken wanted to reach the 25- to 35-year-old "paycheck-to-paycheck" demographic that is just learning to manage its money.

Company: Intuit
Campaign: Quicken Online Mobile iPhone launch
PR team: Intuit consumer team and OutCast Communications
Duration: May 1-ongoing
Budget: Less than $100,000

Quicken wanted to reach the 25- to 35-year-old “paycheck-to-paycheck” demographic that is just learning to manage its money. Because this age group has largely embraced mobile, Quicken opted to launch an iPhone application that was promoted through social media.

Strategy
The iPhone application market is increasingly crowded, so even a well-known brand like Quicken has to build buzz to get attention.

“We wanted to show that we were addressing the needs of this demographic,” says Scott Gulbransen, senior manager for corporate communications at Quicken. The team decided to showcase the application's capacity for forward budgeting, rather than just daily accounting.

Tactics
The team met with influential bloggers to demo the application. It also produced narrative-style videos that illustrated scenarios in which the application could be useful. Bloggers embedded the videos onto their Web site. “We also posted a link to the videos on Twitter,” Gulbransen notes. “We wanted hundreds of regular customers to also get a sneak peak.”

Product managers, engineers, the communications team, and the general manager of the Quicken business used Twitter to generate buzz. Depending on the subject matter of the inbound Tweets, an appropriate person would respond, Gulbransen adds. The team also reached out to tech media that cover iPhone applications.

Results
Quicken Online Mobile became the number-two finance application in the iTunes applications store, with most of the new customers downloading it within three days of the launch. It also generated 696 Tweets.

Future
Quicken continues to work with OutCast. This effort set the stage for Quicken to continue communicating with younger users through social media. “Quicken's world view and philosophy is that traditional media and social media shouldn't be separate endeavors,” adds Helena Maus, VP at OutCast.

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