Monthly Archives: April 2015

Embrace the Opportunities Created with Mobile Marketing

The business world has changed in tremendous ways over the past couple decades. It has become increasingly more and more high-tech and high-touch. This technology has allowed for a new focus utilizing data in ways that were only imagined a decade ago. Businesses are now able to connect with the consumers at the beginning of supply chains and create high quality personalized experiences throughout.

With the changes in technology, businesses have an tremendous opportunity to transform and increase their market share. But be careful not to think change is a luxury, business is changing and those businesses that don’t adapt will be left behind. Whether you are actively altering your strategy to meet changes with consumers and technology or are dragging your feet and making changes begrudgingly, you will need to understand and address these issues or you will be left to watch your forward thinking competitors increase their market share.

Mobile applications allow businesses to address the needs of modern consumers

Take advantage of technology to address the needs of modern consumers | Photo: Jason Howie (Flickr)

First the Internet, and then smart phones, gave consumers increasing amounts of accessibility to brands and product information. Over time consumers have come to demand quicker and easier access to products, as well increasing amounts of information about the goods or services, which items are available and help choosing between them.

In fact, brands must now understand that it is their consumers who are dictating what a company must do in order to receive their business. The old school model of cutting prices to entice consumers had evolved as modern brands now use data to understand their consumer’s preferences and deliver exceptional, personalized shopping experiences based on what their consumers want.

Mobile applications are a perfect medium to deliver personalized shopping experiences to your customers. Before you start your iPhone application development project or your Android application development project. make sure you understand what modern consumers are looking for and incorporate these features into your applications.


At one time people sought to ‘fit in’ with their peers, but times have changes and more and more we see that the cool is now days based on individual style. The modern consumers is partial to exclusivity. Businesses must understand this and design their mobile applications in a way that allows consumers to account for personal preferences. There are a couple ways to do this, the first is to offer customizable products to you customers. This may not always be feasible, nor may it be the right approach for your business. Another way that you can offer customization to your customers is through targeted marketing strategies and options for users to customize their shopping experience. A simple change like giving your customers options to control push notifications can result in a big improvements in engagement. But don’t stop there, industry leading apps offer curated choices for users and smart navigation that can transform a mobile device into a powerful shopping tool. Mobile apps can be programmed to learn the preferences of users over time and then customize product suggestions to each user’s preferences.

New and Now

Consumers no longer just want something new, they want something new right now. Businesses now must offer fast and faster delivery as consumers are not just looking to buy something new, they want it to arrive immediately after they make the purchase. The Internet and smart phones are perfect tools to cater to your customer’s desire for instant gratification as you can either deliver content instantly to their mobile device or you can give them real time updates on shipping or their product to keep them involved in the process.

The Line Between Regular Life and Work has Blurred

We are seeing lines between work hours and personal time eroding as smart phones allow people to work anytime and anyplace. The Internet and mobile devices gives people the option to spend work traditional hours at leisure and to opportunity to address work issues in the hours normally thought of as being for personal time. Our lives is becoming more integrated, which creates new opportunities for marketers in determining ways to make contact with consumers and their changing lifestyles.

Savvy businesses are embracing the opportunities this technology present and their ability address the needs of the modern consumer.

While mobile marketing is relatively new, it has advanced by leaps and bounds in just a few short years. In the near future expect to see tremendous growth in this area including items such as mobile point-of-sale promotions and other in-store strategies leveraging the strengths of data and mobile devices.

Information has always been important in business and no time more so than now.  Businesses need to be as informed as possible about their consumers to be able to target marketing strategies that will appeal to them. The more specific and personal that businesses can be with these strategies, the better the results will be.

Many brands are yet to capture the data available through their customers mobile shopping experiences and to utilize it to improve their users experiences, but as mobile marketing continues to mature the businesses that do not adapt to their customers will be left behind more strategic and forward thinking competition.


How to Improve the Stickiness of Your Mobile Application

It is not enough to merely have a mobile app for your business. Just as with your web site and other aspects of your business, you want your mobile applications to get results.

One of the key metrics of success with mobile applications is “stickiness” and according to a recent study by Localytics, stickiness is improving for apps across the board due to improvements in engagement.

App stickiness is the average of the percent of frequent users and the percent of users who return within three months after using the app.  According to Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics, “app engagement is at an all-time high and is likely to only continue increasing.”

But how do you increase stickiness for your application?

Place a Premium on User Experience

Place a Premium on User Experience

Place a Premium on User Experience | Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flickr)

Key to mobile application stickiness is its user experience. Since mobile devices are smaller, applications have less screen to work with and space is at a premium. When you combine smaller screens with the fact that app users usually download applications on impulse, user interfaces become even more important.

Make sure you don’t rush the design phase of your project and don’t be afraid to contact a mobile user interface specialist that can help you get the results you want. Minimalistic UI design works well in the mobile environment and is what end users expect in 2015. Resist the urges to add irrelevant 3D images with textures, shadows and beveled edges, rather, follow what works and suggest a minimal UI design to your mobile application developer.

Today’s mobile users want apps that are easy to use and not packed with clutter on the screens. Beyond being easier to use, minimal design makes content easier for users to read and retain.

But simple, intuitive design on its own is not a guarantee for success.

Have a Strategy to Engage Your Users

One of the best ways to do that is to give them a little reminder that your application is there once in a while. Push notifications are a perfect way to do this and if you pay attention you will see that successful apps focus on engagement strategies utilizing tools such as personalized push messaging.

It’s no surprise why so many successful apps use this tool. On mobile applications where users enable push notifications there are an average of 88% more launches than by the users who disable push notifications (Localytics). Additionally, a very solid 62% of users who enable push notifications return to the app the month after installation if messaged (compared with 32% for users who have disabled notifications).

When it comes to push notifications, you want to take the time to craft your messages so your users will find them valuable. How often you send them out will depend on your audience and applications purpose, but be careful not to send them out too often or for no good reason or you will find your users will uninstall your app.

Create Engaging Content

While users are within your application, engaging content is an important aspect of not only developing a following but creating more regular usage of your app.  Engaging content can draw your users in.

When developing a content strategy for your application, remember that the goal is to match the right message to your visitor’s intent while simultaneously meeting your business goals. From there it is important to consider the smaller format of mobile devices and usage patterns of your customers.

People like to digest mobile content in nice easy, bite-size pieces. Research has shown that people tend to be task oriented on their mobile phones. Keep this in mind as you format your content. Make it easy on your visitor’s by using big fonts that are easy to read. You will also want to give your audience the most important pieces of information first and use bullet points and sub-headers so they can scan your content.

Finally don’t be afraid to use plain language. Most businesses are shifting to a conversational tone for their mobile communications. A conversational tone is simply writing like you speak. Keep your sentences short and work in those action verbs and you will find audiences more likely to engage.


It’s Time for a Mobile First Approach

Every year we see stories about how mobile marketing is the next big thing. It’s time for businesses to realize that mobile is here and that it should be the first part of your advertising program that you look at rather than being an afterthought.

A strategy to leverage the power of mobile applications is critical

A strategy to leverage the power of mobile applications is critical | Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flickr)

If you need convincing just take a look at the people around you and watch how often they look at their mobile phone – or these days, watch and see if they stop looking at their smart phones.  Smart phones and tablets are a way of life now, as users spend much of their time on mobile applications and the mobile web.

According to eMarketer the average American spends more time on digital media than any other format. That same study points out that an astounding 5+ hours per day is spent by Americans on digital devices with the majority of that time spent on mobile devices. Of the time spent on mobile devices, the bulk of that is spent on mobile applications (80% according to Flurry).

Clearly developing a strategy for how to leverage the power of mobile applications is critical to most businesses and there are many fine iPhone application developers and Android application developers that can help you do that.

But how do you take a mobile first approach and succeed?

You must start with a mobile strategy.

Crucial to that strategy is a plan for a great UX (user experience). If you don’t understand why user experience is important to your mobile application strategy then your application will be headed nowhere.

Don’t inflate your application down with unnecessary features. You should understand the goals of your software and eliminate unneeded features that just get in the way of a good UX. Unnecessary features only serve to  confuse users and you will end up with an app that is quickly deleted by users.

One thing that is common to all of the highly popular apps is that they all offer great UX. These popular apps do more than just accomplish their goal, they allow users to do it in a way that is intuitive and doesn’t require guessing. UX is about creating a highly functional layout where each item is placed exactly where it should be in a way that allows the user to naturally flow through the app.

Once you have developed a strategy you must be able to translate it into an interface with which users interact with your application.

When it comes to user interface design, make sure you understand the industry trends.

You can’t design a great app if you don’t know what is going on in the industry. Pay attention to the trends you see and what users are looking for in applications. Users get used to doing things in a certain way and you should take advantage their muscle memory in your mobile application rather than trying to fight it.

Design is of paramount importance with mobile user interfaces (UI) and a focus should be on letting a user easily find immediate solutions on a smaller screen.

If you adopt an approach where you create your applications specifically for the mobile environment that utilize the strengths of the environment, rather than trying to shoe horn in your web site or print materials, your mobile applications can help you see the results so many others are enjoying from this medium.


The Future Of Marketing: Mobile

If you think about all the devices you own, none of them is more personal than your smart phone.  According to the Daily Mail we now pick up our phone more than 1,500 times a week to check emails, play games,  post to social media and more.

According to Nielson 90% of our time spent in our phone is spent on iPhone applications or Android applications and not using web browsers. Compared to desktops and other none mobile devices, mobile has pushed its way into the dominant positions with mobile applications making up a majority of total digital media engagement at 52%.

Allow your users to personalize their mobile application experience

Allow your users to personalize their mobile application experience | Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flickr)

In fact its now not odd for mobile devices to be the first and only computing device people own. If you look at the fact that over 65% of email gets opened on a mobile device [US Consumer Device Preference Report], mobile is looking more and more like the first medium businesses should be considering when evaluating their marketing program.

Building a mobile application is an investment and should be done wisely. There are many iPhone application developers and Android application developers that can help guide you through the process. But before you begin make sure you have a strategy for your program that takes advantage of the strengths of mobile.

First of all, make sure you look at ways to include Geo-Location into your mobile marketing program.  All smartphones have GPS functionality and  some of the most powerful marketing opportunities with mobile are based on location related possibilities.

Second, since no device is more personal than our smartphone, make sure the experience you offer your users is Personalized as well. Give your users a way to personalized notifications as a first step and keep in mind that this kind of customization is easy to do in mobile applications. Mobile app users are ready and willing to interact if you give them the experience they want. Personalized content and offers speak to your audience and will bring your users back.

Mobile applications that allow for personalization will hook directly into the part of our mind that wants to be unique. Personalized interaction creates a higher level of engagement, drawing us back.