Mobile phones have become ubiquitous — always on, everywhere. With two-thirds of the world’s population on mobile, these devices have become the most personal and powerful digital channel for people to interact with each other and directly with brands. Users are turning to their devices to search for information, purchase goods and services, and even boost productivity, communication and connectivity, both at home and work. On average, Americans spend more than three and a half hours on their devices per day.
This explosion in mobile has created a crowded market heightening the competition for brands looking to engage with mobile users and win their loyalty for the long term. Engagement and retention are arguably just as or even more important than user acquisition. The key to loyalty is engaging users with the right information at the right moments when the content is most valuable.
As company leaders, CEOs play a pivotal role in the success of a mobile marketing strategy by ensuring the role of the mobile app in the business/marketing mix is clear and well understood by everyone in the organization and that the app experience and value matches – or even better surpasses – consumers’ expectations. Two key metrics you can use to determine how successful your company’s mobile application marketing strategy are: engagement and retention rates and how well integrated the app is with other channels.
Staying engaged and rising above the noise
Studies show that mobile users want to engage with apps that enhance their everyday lives, while respecting their privacy. This can be a challenge for brands who often do not have clear insight that connects all of the important factors within user context, including location, behavior patterns and weather, yet this is critical for them to successfully analyze, segment and engage their audiences. The human-centric experience ensures not only continued user engagement but also competitive advantage. Using this approach will allow brands to find exactly the right moment to engage with users, keep the application relevant and personalize communication for a richer user experience.
As you’re building a mobile application strategy, leveraging context to create these unique customer experiences will ensure your application – and brand – stands out in an oversaturated market. Enhancing the mobile app experience with personalized information and notifications, saves time, inspires discovery and even encourages people to take more useful action. Understanding the user’s journey and patterns helps create meaningful moments between the app and the user. It’s important to ensure the application answers a real need and offers a perfect and seamless user interface.
Integrating the app with many channels
Businesses use many channels to reach customers – website, blog, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram. Each channel uses different types and styles of content and reports differently about customer information. The mobile app is your constant presence close to prospects and customers, and apps should integrate with multiple platforms to simplify peoples’ engagement. The messaging and content should be consistent across each of these channels for easy brand recognition. For example, a Starbucks rewards customer might receive an email about new drinks with a coupon around the time that person might typically purchase a coffee. When the user clicks on the email, it will trigger the app to open for the user to place a mobile order. Integrating the app across the channels can not only help you be where the customers are to encourage action and engagement, but it will also help consolidate the collection of customer data to fuel future campaigns.
A word about privacy
When granted access to the information that makes context-driven mobile app marketing successful, companies assume the responsibility of protecting user information. The recent Connecthings survey, “State of Mobile Application Usage,” found that regardless of age, gender or environment, data privacy is a big concern to the majority of users. More than two thirds of all respondents said that mobile apps should not share their data with third parties. And considering how many major news stories have highlighted an industry-wide disregard for user privacy, this is no surprise. Users will move toward more authentic relationships with other people, products and brands that are privacy-focused. As CEO, you must foster a culture that uses customer data responsibly. All employees must understand and respect user beliefs regarding privacy, and develop ways to use personal information, such as location and behavioral data, to enhance user experiences without compromising these values.
We live in a mobile, on-demand economy, and mobile apps are transforming businesses and consumer preferences. Combining mobile intelligence – i.e. context and behavior recognition – with strategies to ensure engagement, retention and privacy at the core of their user/customer relationship management strategy will differentiate brands against their competition. Context enhances a company’s ability to segment and deliver marketing strategies by making a message, service or experience more relevant to individual users. Those who incorporate mobile into smart, multi-channel marketing strategies will create high impact experiences in a constantly competitive app landscape to improve brand loyalty, and ultimately, increase revenue.
Written by Laetitia Gazel Anthoine, founder, CEO of Connecthings.
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