App-etite: WWF delivers the news

Via its latest app, the conservation organization is making it easier for Canadians to stay informed.

WWF Canada is reaching out to its base, and beyond, with a new app released this week.

After finding mobile success earlier this year when its Earth Hour app, which was only available to BlackBerry users, was downloaded by 45,000 people, the conservation organization decided to make its news feeds, blog posts and social media updates available on smartphones.

The app, which is being rolled out across several platforms through the week, was produced by Toronto’s Polar Mobile.

Jeremy Marten, director of marketing, WWF Canada, tells MiC why the organization decided to expand its mobile strategy.

What does your app do and why did you develop it?

What it’s really doing is getting WWF news out there, whether that be our blog feeds, our Twitter feeds, or different media outlets and how they’re talking about work WWF is involved in. It’s really a place where people can come and see the most up-to-date conversations and messaging as it relates to our organization…We’ve kept the focus very singular. We wanted to keep it very focused as a doorway in which you can stay up to date with the news from WWF.

Who is your target demographic?

We currently have, through, people in our existing donor base who are very active in coming to our site and hearing the news. What the app enables us to do is get our brand out into a new space and potentially target some new audiences. The mobile arena is growing so quickly and being used in so many different and interesting ways by consumers, that, I think, people are now starting to experience new brands for the first time through a mobile device. So to have our brand out there, it might prompt them to say, ‘this is an interesting topic,’ and they might visit the site for the first time and have a deeper experience.

Why did you think an app was the best way to reach your target audience?

It allows people to stay connected to our brand and the most current news information and conversations that are going on, and it allows them to do it on their time. Allowing them to experience that through the mobile device was key for us, as opposed to forcing them to come to our site. The application is the best way to reach out to them in the space in which they’re looking to consume information.

How do you see this app evolving?

One of the things we’re working on with Polar Mobile is the ability to deliver video. We have lots of powerful imagery as an organization that we are keen to get to this app.

Do you see it being used for fundraising?
The whole mobile space for not-for-profits is an interesting one, and we’re always keen to find new and interesting ways to allow people to financially support the work that we do, but how that evolves, we’re not quite sure yet. If people get to a point where they want to make a financial contribution, we need to enable that experience as easily as possible.

The WWF app is free, and is available for the BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and WP7 devices.