Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Salesforce says in-app ads to join the physical and digital (theaustralian.com.au)

THE digital marketing arm of CRM specialist Salesforce.com, is offering marketers the ability to follow customers into stores, into the gym and even into the mobile games they play in order to ping them marketing messages.
The company has launched a product that allows brands to send marketing messages to people within the apps on their mobile devices, including wearables, and manage them as part of a centralised marketing software suite.
The new capability enables brands to “create windows to push content into the application”, according to Derek Laney, regional head of product marketing for the digital marketing division.
“I can do things inside the application, for example while you’re working out or while you’re browsing in an online store,” Mr Laney said.
“It’s not just about advertising,” he said. “It’s going to be relevant information. It might be of a service nature,” he said.
“Apps are now a much more important part of the marketing cloud because of the richness of data that comes with them and the connectivity with wearables,” he said.
According to the company, the product closes the loop between marketing in the physical and the digital world.
Mr Laney cited the example of Fitbit wearable devices that analyse the wearer’s personal physical data, which could be used to trigger communications messages.
“If your heart rate reaches 120 that could be another trigger. From there I want to communicate that you’re doing well.
“This data given off by the devices allows a conversation with the customer right through this process.”
The new capability has been added to the company’s suite of digital marketing software, enabling marketers to manage email, online, social and mobile communications from a single point.
Sony PlayStation CRM manager Sabine Vanin said the gaming company was using it to “analyse in-game data to deliver personalised content across digital channels and connect with gamers in entirely new ways”.
There are 2.2 million apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, and last year, they were downloaded a total of 80 billion times — a number that is tipped to double by 2017, according to research firm eMarketer.
“Organisations that haven’t been able to have a relationship with customers are now able to identify who they are,” Mr Laney said.
“The vision for this is it comes together and we have one platform regardless of whether it’s a sales, service or marketing function,” he said.
The company also announced an alliance with global advertising group Omnicom to use its marketing cloud software to help manage their brands’ interactions with their customers.
“This is the first customer relationship management alliance that enables Omnicom to have a single customer journey platform,” he said

Latest Fiksu Indexes Reflect Impact of iPhone 6 Launch on App Use and Marketing Spend in August (marketwired.com)

Data Indicates Now Is a Great Time for Marketing to Android Users
BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Sep 26, 2014) - According to the latest app competition and marketing cost Indexes from Fiksu, August was a month of "wait and see" reflected by lowered app install activity for both Android and iOS users and lower marketing spends. Summer holiday slowdowns, along with anticipation for Apple's new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices and iOS 8, resulted in a decrease in app marketing costs, with the Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) Index at $1.86, down 6 percent month-over-month and 2 percent year-over-year. 
The net effect of the reduction in marketing activity was most visible on Android. Fiksu's Cost per Launch (CPL) Index, which tracks the costs of driving engagement from mobile users, dropped to $.09 on Android, down 23 percent month-over-month and 21 percent year-over-year. Android Cost Per Install (CPI) dropped as well, to $.88, down 31 percent month-over-month and 26 percent year-over-year, both a result of decreased competition. The data indicates now is a good time for app marketers to focus on Android, as costs will inevitably rise again in advance of the holidays.
On the flip side, iOS CPL continued to climb, up $.23 for a 23 percent increase month-over-month and 49 percent year-over-year. CPI dropped 5 percent from July to $1.16, but was still up 40 percent year-over-year. This indicates marketers are spending less, which decreases CPIs, while users were less active with apps in August, causing CPLs to climb.
Fiksu's Competitive Index, which measures aggregate daily download volume among the top 200 ranked iOS apps, showed the clear impact of the pre- iOS 8 holding pattern with month-over-month volume dropping 15 percent while year-over-year volume saw a 10 percent deficit. As in years past, we expect this to rebound significantly in the months ahead as marketers first ramp up their spend to re-engage with and target users with new iPhones, and then as we approach the holiday season.
"As we've seen in past years, anticipation for new Apple devices always curtails mobile marketing spend and app installs as users and app marketers eagerly await the new smartphones," said Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu. "While all eyes are focused on the user experience and functionality of the new iPhones and iOS, marketers shouldn't lose sight of the valuable opportunity to market to loyal Android users at this precise time of year." 
For Fiksu's full August Index analysis, visit http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes#analysis.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Excessive use of in-store beacon technology decreases app use (bizreport.com)

The overuse of beacons in-store can lead to a significant drop in app use, according to a new report from mobile platform firm inMarket.

by Helen Leggatt

When more than one beacon message per location is delivered to a shopper, app use has been shown to drop significantly - 313% according to inMarket. The study, which involved the study of 1,500 consumers, shows there's an art to the delivery of beacon messaging and over-use is off-putting.
"Honoring the user experience with polite help at the perfect moment activates a user base better than anything we have ever seen in mobile. On the flip side, subjecting users to the equivalent of real world pop-ups can lead to disaster for a brand," said Todd Dipaola, CEO of inMarket.
Deployed sensitively, delivering helpful features to shoppers, beacons prove extremely effective with interactions rising 500%, according to the report. Furthermore, those shoppers that receive helpful and relevant messages while in-store are 7.5X more likely to seek out that product compared with those who receive no message.
Those who receive iBeacon notifications are also 6.4X more likely to retain an app on their mobile phone, found an inMarket study earlier this year. Previous surveys have shown that many mobile users tend to download an app, use it once or twice, and then discard it.

Why digital marketers should be excited about Apple Pay (fortune.com)

The service creates an instant audience for new mobile marketing and customer loyalty apps, like those used by automotive retailer Pep Boys to steer campaigns.

During the first weekend of its existence, Apple’s iPhone 6 found its way into the hands of 10 million people—creating an instant audience for its forthcoming mobile payments service, Apple Pay. The numbers will be higher the instant I publish this.

That makes digital marketing expert Jack Philbin downright gleeful. “This is like the moment I remember from 2003 when ‘American Idol’ put text messaging on the map,” he says, referring to the reality show’s decision to let fans vote singers on or off the show via SMS. “Apple Pay is that moment when marketers really have to pay attention to mobile.”

That’s because the new service should draw attention to an app that a far larger number of iPhone owners already have on their smartphones, Passbook. Apple’s  AAPL -1.57% mobile wallet lets someone save and organize airplane boarding passes, movie tickets or gift cards that can be scanned for redemption. Payments are usually tied to credit- or debit-card accounts. While few brands exploit its features today, the mobile payments discussion is prompting them to reconsider Passbook’s potential for reaching consumers with promotional offers or loyalty apps.

“No one wants to carry 30 loyalty cards in their wallet,” Philbin says. “Everyone wants to take it digital.”

As co-founder and CEO of marketing technology company Vibes (and chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association in North America), he’s got a vested interest in that point of view. Its platform helps the likes of Allstate, Bloomingdale’s, Gap and Sears create and broadcast mobile campaigns. Historically this has been done using SMS, but now Vibes helps brands do the same within Passbook or Google Wallet (a similar concept for Android mobile devices). “They become a living, breathing loyalty card,” Philbin says.

For an example of how this works, consider Vibes’ work with Pep Boys. The automotive service and retail chain uses is mobile wallet application to (among other things) remind someone about when it’s time for an oil change or some other sort of maintenance. Notifications can be scheduled or triggered by proximity. Early results suggest that about one-quarter of customers who received a promotion sent to Passbook opted to save it; 30% of offers added to either Passbook or Google Wallet were redeemed in store.

So far, Vibes has managed at least 300 campaigns of this nature. Its seminar focused on the new Passbook features (held in mid-September) attracted almost 1,000 people, Philbin says.

Still skeptical about the prospects? Sure, near-field communications technology (the “tap to pay” approach that Apple Pay will use) accounts for just 2.5% of mobile payments. But that’s still almost $8.2 billion this year, and using a smartphone for transactions is something some of us do every day: close to 15% of all Starbucks transactions in the U.S. are now made with its app (that’s an average of 6 million per week). “For some, it’s becoming a learned behavior,” Philbin says.

Which One Is Better At Making Money With Apps, Freemium or Paid? (appdevelopermagazine.com)

Which One Is Better At Making Money With Apps, Freemium or Paid?
Recently, a startup company approached ComboApp to discuss the marketing strategy for their app portfolio. One of the most urgent questions they had was “Is 5% of the sales conversion the maximum I should expect to earn with a freemium model app?”

This is currently one of the hottest questions in the mobile app development ecosystem. Everyone is scratching their heads at the answer and asking “Are you f-ing serious?” And, as the paid app model is on its’ way to oblivion, this is a doozy of a question to consider: How exactly can freemium (free app with optional in-app purchases) expect to compete with getting cold, hard cash upfront for a one-time purchase upon download?

Kind of seems like this is the demise of profitable app development, right?

Well, when you take a closer look the switch from paid to freemium isn’t actually that catastrophic:

The first thing to realize is that app stores - for the most part the iTunes App Store and Google Play - have changed software end user expectations. The freemium model is a damping one, which was well adopted by app developers due to the high competition in the marketplace. The majority of app developers don't want to have to do serious marketing and build a sales team in order to see a profit from their app. They want to be in the business of creating apps, which will sell themselves somehow without any added work. 

Unrealistic, but true.

Whereas, the paid model only works when the app publisher builds a sales department and deploys a solid marketing strategy designed to sell the app. In an ecosystem where there are over 1 million apps available on iOS alone, it is impossible for an app to experience “organic” sales.

Which means, the freemium model works for the “lazy” app developer who doesn’t have the time or budget for sales and marketing. With freemium these developers and owners can create and launch lots of different apps and inevitably one or two of them will gain traction and bring in a profit of some kind. 

A recent study by Statista shows that the majority of iOS and Android apps are currently built using the freemium model. The app end user expects to be able to download and use an app for free, but then be bombarded by prompts to pay $ .99 -to- $2 extra for added features (like a fire extinguisher on levels 61-85 in TwoDots) or to get rid of in-app advertising (which frequently prevents us from leveling up in Candy Crush.)

While it is true that freemium is the best choice for mass market apps (like games and music), it is not the best choice for some other categories like medicine and finance. It is possible to make up to $200 in profits for each app install in these categories. Though, the price tag for developing and marketing these types of apps is high and usually only undertaken by large corporations who can afford to outlay a large sum of money to develop a mobile app.

What you have to remember with high ticket apps is that neither iTunes nor Google Play are capable of generating app installs. You’ll only be able to sell as many copies of your app as you are able to invest -via time and capital- into marketing said app. With high ticket apps, you must think of the app store as a “payment solution” for your product’s end user rather than a marketplace in which to sell it to passers by.

Let’s go back to the original question of the conversion ratio on freemium apps: 5% profit in a freemium app is considered successful sales with this type of product. The way you find your conversion (profit) percentage is by dividing the amount of in-app purchases by the total number of downloads. But, once an app finds its niche in the market, it begins to bring in a profit and the conversion ratio doesn’t matter.  

Because this is the exact type of self-sustaining app that developers dream of, with no investments or extra time required, the actual conversion number eventually becomes completely irrelevant. BECAUSE: The profit from the first app goes to develop another app and the profit for that app builds a third app, all while the first two apps are continuing to bring in money. MEANING: Constant self generating cash and no need to bother with building a sales team to sell enough apps so we can develop another one. Score!

Though there are companies that create huge apps portfolios, (like Chillingo, Zynga and other gaming developers), they have their own sales team because they have a huge amount of cheap mobile traffic at their disposal within their own app portfolio.

The bottom line is if you decide to build your app with a paid model strategy, you need to have a clear understanding of what your source of getting profit will be. Incentivized mobile traffic isn’t effective for this model. You're going to  need to focus on long term PR campaigns, app reviews on high profile media outlets, community building and paying attention to every single customer your app has. Only then will all those actions as a whole will bring you success and a real profit.

Really, the only alternative to this is if you - the app developer - bring a real innovation to the market. Something that’s never been seen before and is a game changer. Only then will you get “organic” attention which will drive downloads via media inclusions, like press interviews. 

But, even in that situation there is a warning you should heed: Your innovative app will make you money until the first quality imitation app is built on the freemium model and smashes your innovative paid app to pieces, much like you will smash the candy in Candy Crush as soon as you finish reading this article (face it, we’re all addicted to those dumb games! And, thank goodness or most of us would be out of jobs!)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

iBeacon: Just One Piece Of Your Retail Marketing Puzzle (forbes.com)

By Sam Bahreini
No doubt, iBeacon is creating a marketing revolution.
With this technology, you can understand exactly where customers are in your store. This gives you the opportunity to send them relevant, contextual advertisements, offers and alerts in real time. Just imagine communicating with customers as they pass through your front door — from a simple welcome message to a quick reminder that they’re out of bread. Pretty cool, right?
As more retailers are adding iBeacon to their stores, it’s enticing to leave your traditional marketing tactics behind. But it’s crucial to see iBeacon as a supplementary marketing method — not the end-all-be-all solution.
Five Potential Hurdles For iBeacon
While iBeacon has the potential to actively engage consumers in a way that traditional marketing can’t, it still requires a number of factors to match up before it can be fully effective.
Here are five hurdles that iBeacon faces and how to overcome them:

1. The user’s Bluetooth is turned off.
Typically, users are instructed to turn off Bluetooth to preserve battery life. But iBeacon uses Bluetooth low energy, which means this practice is no longer necessary. However, breaking this resilient habit is easier said than done.
Your store should have visible instructional signs outlining the useful benefits of iBeacon. Include a reminder for customers to turn on their Bluetooth settings and accept notifications from the app. The need for this will likely diminish as BLE becomes commonplace, but for now, customers need reminders.

2. The user doesn’t pay attention.
iBeacon notifications only work if the customer is looking for them. Ideally, the phone is in-hand while the customer is shopping, but at the very least, he needs to be tuned in to discover valuable notifications.
Your app should clearly explain the importance of having push notifications turned on. Have a splash screen telling users why they should click “OK” when prompted to allow push notifications.
There should also be a compelling reason to use your app. For instance, it could include a grocery-list feature or a search function that allows customers to find the product they’re looking for in-store. When your customers are already using their phones, it’s that much easier to interact with them.

3. The user hasn’t downloaded your app.
In addition to making sure Bluetooth is turned on, if a customer isn’t interacting with your app or doesn’t have it installed at all, then iBeacon is rendered useless.
Start interactive ad campaigns that prompt users to download your app. Include QR codes that link to the App Store or special discounts for first-time users — something to entice reluctant users to add your app to their iPhone arsenal.
4. The signal-to-noise ratio is off.
This isn’t a problem yet, but as more retailers implement iBeacon, it has the potential to be. If too many notifications from various retailers bombard your users at once, they’ll likely become overwhelmed or annoyed and turn everything off.
Make sure your notifications are relevant and useful to your customers. Including too many notifications or irrelevant ads will only provoke them to delete your app.

5. Your users don’t have iPhones.
This is the biggest thing to remember when it comes to implementing an iBeacon strategy in your store: It currently only works with Apple AAPL +0.01% software.
Don’t rely exclusively on iBeacon to market to customers. NFC or GPS solutions can add to your tech arsenal, but sometimes, print ads are just as effective. At the end of the day, iBeacon should be only one of the many ways you interact with customers in your store.
IBeacon has the potential to revolutionize how we market to consumers — but only in specific ways. It certainly won’t replace traditional advertising, and it isn’t the final solution for everyone. Use it to complement what’s already in place to make your customer experience exceptional, and you’ll see the positive results.

Real-Time Marketing Isn’t What You Think It Is (evergage.com)

Every couple of years there seems to a new marketing darling, innovated by big brands, that will change the face of marketing forever. Today’s belle of the ball is real-time marketing.
The definition of “real-time marketing” seems be similar across the board amongst the major marketing media outlets, big brands, and the agencies that serve them both.
In short, they portray real-time marketing as the practice of brands engaging their audience via content, advertising, and product placement that is relevant to a specific current event or cultural happening. The content is most often in the form of a “meme” or graphic advertisement shared through social media channels.
Some brands have had great success with their real time marketing efforts, with thousands of consumers sharing their content. While others are missing the boat. Resulting in the recent barrage of media coverage, and the rise of pundits on the subject.

The Initial Problem with Any Marketing Craze

The beginning of any marketing craze is fraught with insta-experts that rush to be a thought-leader and resource on the subject. You see this often when new technologies launch, and within days experts are already providing in-depth advice and best practices for success.
Thus, definitions and best practices start to form well before most businesses jump in. All based on the successes (and failures) of a few big brands that can afford such marketing experimentation. With most experts likely not having executed on the strategy themselves at all.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this trend. People are interested in learning whatever they can, and writers do their best to provide valuable advice with the limited data available.
The marketing strategy eventually starts truly taking shape as everyday businesses start putting those early ideas into practice. They discover what actually works for them in driving business value. Practical use cases arise, and the best practices of yesterday often turn into the myths and misconceptions of today.
A similar trend is occurring with the term “real-time marketing”.
Before we go about definitively defining what real-time marketing is all about, let’s take the time to break it down, review some history, and get a gauge for what most marketers really think about the term.

The Definition of Real-Time Marketing Over the Years

Real-time marketing may seem like a brand new marketing phenomena, but that is only really the case in it’s current media defined definition.
The first burst of discussion for the term “real-time marketing” happened at the beginning of 2005. The Google Trends graph below can go as far back as 2004, but 2005 is when the term first comes up.
 “real-time marketing”

The first thought that came to my mind to explain the initial big spike in conversations around real-time marketing was the emergence of social media marketing happening around this time. Social media marketing was the first major channel for brands to monitor and engage in real-time conversations after all.
But, when I add “social media marketing” (in red below) into Google Trends next to the term “real-time marketing” (still in blue), there isn’t much of a correlation. In fact, “real-time marketing” sprung up in marketing nomenclature before “social media marketing” was starting to be used heavily in 2006.
 “real-time marketing” “social media marketing”

So, if there was talk about real-time marketing well before social media marketing even prominently existed, then what could it have been talking about?
Put today’s popular media definition of real-time marketing aside, and you would probably think of real time marketing as marketing that happens in real-time. That is, instantly. Not potentially hours or days later on social media.
What topic of discussion sprung up in 2005 that fits this criteria? Web personalization is what.
As shown below, there is strong correlation between the (first) rise of real-time marketing and the rise of the term “web personalization”.
 “real-time marketing” “web personalization”

The chart shows how both real-time marketing and web personalization decreased in hype quickly after 2005, with web personalization continuing to decrease over time for the most part, and real-time marketing gaining it’s second wind in 2013 under the definition promoted today.
Why didn’t web personalization and real-time marketing remain synonymous in the media?
A few thoughts that could explain…
  • Web personalization in 2005 was mostly hype.
    While big brands were starting to offer personalized website experiences, powerful software was not yet available for the mass market to utilize. The idea of marketing to website users in real-time was a hot topic. There just wasn’t a way for most of the market to put the idea into practice without serious technical resources or by spending enterprise-level dollars on a solution that wasn’t even all that powerful yet (or actually real-time).
  • “Real-time analytics” entered the fray.
    As “web personalization” started to lose it’s popularity in the media, “real-time analytics” started to gain popularity. Real-time analytics was a big step in the right direction in helping marketers get data quicker so they can act on data quicker. 
  • 2real4
  • “real-time marketing” “web personalization” “real-time analytics”
  • Real-time analytics providers started popping up, at reasonable prices, and with well-documented implementation. Once again, people used the term “real-time marketing” as a way to describe this new technology. When Google rolled out their real-time analytics in 2011, and as real-time A/B testing became more and more popular, real-time analytics earned a name of it’s own. “Real-time marketing” was again up for grabs.
  • David Meerman Scott wrote the book, “Real-Time Marketing and PR”.
  • The other points I made above at least show correlation data with Google Trends. This point is more of a hunch. The book I continue to see quoted in articles talking about real-time marketing today is “Real-Time Marketing & PR” by David Meerman Scott. First published in 2011.
  •  From my research, this book is the first time real-time marketing was thoroughly discussed in the context of the definition widely used today in the media.
    The book showcases multiple case studies from brands that quickly react to external current events and cultural happenings, finding a way to inject their brand into the conversation. It’s possible that as this practice started to become more prevalent, this book was the best resource to reference to help explain the phenomena, and learn from.
    David Meerman Scott isn’t the originating reason why brands started marketing this way, but he may be a huge influence as to why this practice is being called “real-time marketing”.

What Marketers Actually Think Real-Time Marketing Is

While real-time marketing has been getting a ton of press as of late with a very specific definition, the meaning of real-time marketing in the mind’s of most marketers today is actually very different than what is being promoted. Even with big brand marketers.
Neolane and the Direct Marketing Association recently released a study of 235 North American marketers. 16% of the participants work for an enterprise with over $1Billion in revenue, with 53% from companies with under $99 Million in yearly revenue.
Here’s what they think real-time marketing means.
  • The majority of the participants (43%) think of real-time marketing as “dynamic, personalized content delivered across channels.”
  • 64% of participants believe real-time marketing revolves around some kind of dynamic personalization.
  • Only 23% believe real-time marketing is about making quick responses to mainstream events or injecting your business in social media conversations.
The study further breaks down the concerns marketers have with real-time marketing and where real-time marketing really matters.
  • Only 49% of the participants believe providing real-time marketing within social media channels is highly important.
  • While 69% believe that providing dynamic, personalized content is highly important on the web channel.
While the term “real-time marketing” has had multiple different meanings over time in the media, marketers still think of web personalization for the most part.
Marketers are mostly concerned with how they can increase business metrics like customer retention (43% of respondents say this is their biggest marketing challenge, 3rd in votes) and conversion rates (57%, 2nd in votes). Not how they can improve brand sentiment, or how they can inject themselves in external, cultural conversations.
It just so happens they believe real-time marketing is the potential cure to these challenges. Stating that real-time marketing’s greatest benefits are “marketing effectiveness” (higher conversion), and customer satisfaction and retention.
Why then aren’t marketers implementing dynamic, personalized content in droves?
Why is “real-time marketing” being used to describe clever content creation and product placement, when most marketers believe real-time marketing actually means marketing to your audience in real-time with dynamically personalized content and offers?
It’s the same reason why the term “web personalization” initially started to decline in the first place.
The media and the majority of the market have yet to discover a tangible web personalization solution that most marketers can easily start using.
Web personalization solutions have historically been difficult to use, priced only for the enterprise, and lack in capability and power. Many may personalize content for website visitors, but only on the next visit, not in real-time while the visitor is engaged on the website. Others only personalize basic elements on a marketing website, but do not allow personalization within modern Software-as-a-Service products or secure consumer web applications.
What use is writing about web personalization as “real-time marketing” if most businesses still see personalization as a major challenge (getting 60% of the vote in the aforementioned study as their organization’s top marketing challenge) and there not being a tangible solution available?
It’s time web personalization gets an upgrade so that marketers from businesses of all sizes can reap the benefits of (the real) real-time marketing, and prompt the press to reconsider their recently popular definition.
Well, it has…

Introducing Real-Time Web Personalization, True Real-Time Marketing

Evergage has created the first and only real-time web personalization platform that covers every point that marketers have been waiting for in a web personalization solution:
  • Real-time analytics. Tracks website visitors, signed-in users, and entire accounts in real-time. A complete view of customer engagement in the past and the now.
  • Real-time response. That means responding to who people are, what they have done with your business and what they are doing in the moment, instantly. Finally, making big data actionable in real-time.
  • Captures attention and drives action. Personalize inline content, and trigger dynamic on site messages such as header bars, popups, tooltips, and task lists. All based on user behavior.
  • Ridiculously easy implementation. The Evergage point-and-click Visual Editor allows anyone to use personalize their site or web app in minutes, without coding.
  • Works throughout the customer lifecycle. Nurture anonymous website visitors to free trials, convert free trials to paying customers, guide customers to success, and create brand advocate.
Some could consider this blog post as real-time marketing. We saw the overwhelming conversation about real-time marketing and felt compelled to share our take on the subject, while the conversation was popular in the media. The term is trending, and we saw an opportunity to inject our brand into the conversation.
But, we don’t believe that is real-time marketing. We believe that is simply opportunistic content marketing and advertising. We believe that truly relevant, compelling engagement happens when you take into account the full picture of who someone is (past and current behavior) specifically with your business (not with what’s currently on TV). That is real-time marketing.

Monday, 22 September 2014

$100K revenue via 1 in-app message? Mobile app marketing automation is taking off (venturebeat.com)

$100K revenue via 1 in-app message? Mobile app marketing automation is taking off

How does your mobile app pull in $100,000 with a single in-app message?
Well naturally, it helps to have a massive audience. But increasingly, it also depends on being able to segment and target that massive audience in real time with relevant multichannel messaging and customized offers.
apps“One of our larger customers found a segment of users that had never made a purchase but were engaged — they came to the app but never bought anything,” Appboy’s Mark Ghermezian told me last week. “They communicated with them only via in-app messaging and saw two percent of them add their credit cards … generating $100,000 of additional revenue with this one message.”
Not every app publisher will have the millions of users that it likely takes to pull of that feat.
But more and more developers are signing up for platforms that allow them to market to their users — and even personalize their apps, rewards, and offers for individual users — in just the same way that more traditional marketers have done for years with tools like CRM, marketing automation, and conversion-testing platforms such as Optimizely.
“About 50 percent of the top Asian apps use this kind of functionality,” a Nudge VP told me at GamesBeat 2014, stressing it was a rough estimate. “Perhaps only 10 percent of apps here do, however.”
The functionality goes by many different names: mobile marketing automation, live ops, engagement engines, and more. The key players include Upsight (formerly Kontagent), DeltaDNA, Kahuna, Appboy, Nudge, Urban Airship, and perhaps Playfab and Playnomics (now part of Unity).
It’s not just about push notifications sent to your phone.
Ghermezian isn’t impressed, for instance, with mobile push provider Urban Airship, saying that push is a commodity that anyone can do (although Urban Airship also offers audience segmentation and mobile marketing automation solutions).
lottery-gaming-apps.jpgRather, it’s about combining multiple channels of messaging — push notifications, in-app messaging, even email — with precise targeting. And then layering on multivariate testing to optimize conversions. Higher-order solutions also add the capability to customize game-play or app behavior, making a game easier for weaker players, providing power-ups for someone who is continually failing to pass a level boss, or providing some printing credits in a photo app, for instance, to convert a user to a paying customer.
Some marketing automation tools even add other out-of-app marketing options, in some cases, such as retargeted ads.
“For instance, we can create one segment, then test 18 different messages for it, and then layer retargeting options on top of that,” Ghermezian told me. “For any given segment, we can then retarget based on their behavior … for example whether they’ve opened your email or not.”
The multi-channel messaging is important, he says, because 50-70 percent of users are turning off push notifications on their phones. Using different channels and messaging allows app publishers to reach more of their base, potentially up to 100 percent.
apps - iphoneThe results are clear, Ghermezian says, citing clients such as Urban Outfitters, Shutterfly, and the Glide video messaging app, who are all able to specifically target very narrow segments of users and market to each of them. For example, Shutterfly can target users who haven’t uploaded any pictures at all or users who have uploaded over 1,000 pictures but never printed anything.
Or, app makers can target users who have turned off push and reach them via other channels.
“Our premise is that we first build the most robust platform for the backend for marketers,” Ghermezian told me. “Then we allow them to create as many segments as they like, provide every channel that they need to talk to that customer, then layer over multivariate testing, and finally optimal time messaging … the most optimal time to communication across push, email, or in-app messaging.”
It’s a market the big boys of marketing automation haven’t really started to touch, and as mobile increasingly becomes the new normal in the tech world as well as everyday life, it reveals a big gap. I asked Ghermezian about potential acquisitions — the IBMs, Adobes, SAPs, and other giants of marketing clouds and marketing automation have been active in picking up companies over the past few years.
“I can’t comment on that,” he answered predictably. “The big players in the industry … don’t have a mobile product. They’ll try to build one, but just having a push product doesn’t work.”

Consumers love mobile, so how can marketers keep up? (mobilepaymentstoday.com)

By Jeff Zwelling, CEO of Convertro
In 1994, somebody wanted a pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese. And instead of walking to his or her neighborhood shop, that hungry person ordered from Pizza Hut's website, marking one of the first e-commerce purchases ever.
Since then, e-commerce has evolved far, far beyond pizza pies. Just about everyone makes e-commerce purchases without giving it a second thought; it's hardly a novelty the way it was in 1994. Now, more consumers are making purchases from their mobile devices. M-commerce sales hit $4.7 billion in Q3 of 2013 and are showing no signs of slowing down, so retailers and marketers need to keep up.
The problem
Knowing how to effectively use mobile can be daunting for marketers. Mobile is still a relatively new advertising platform, and many marketers get caught up in statistics about how half of customers are "always addressable" via mobile devices, so they inundate those channels with advertisements around the clock. It's an understandable reaction. Targeting the channels customers use most should, in theory, result in more brand exposure and consumer interactions. But in practice, it doesn't always work that way.
Instead of just buying mobile ads and hoping they do the trick, marketers need to use real, data-driven insights to ensure the success of their mobile campaigns. Just as advertisers meticulously assess which TV channels and print publications are best suited to their messaging and goals, they need to do the same with mobile. Ignoring such information in favor of blanket targeting of all mobile devices is inefficient and ultimately wasteful for marketers and their budgets. "Mobile" is not a channel; it's a medium onto which all channels, such as display, search and video, are slowly but surely moving.
The solution
Marketers should use data to understand which mobile channels will be most effective for their brands. Multi-touch attribution and optimization technology monitors a customer throughout his entire sales journey, providing marketers with the granular insights they need to determine the wisest use of advertising spend. To go back to the previous example, a marketer using attribution could know, for example, if Laura saw a brand's ad on TV, then did research on her cell phone and finally made a purchase on her computer. With that data, he could come up with the perfect mixture of channels and devices to target, ensuring that customers like Laura not only see but also act upon the brand's ads.
More than anything, attribution shows that mobile marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach. One company might see that the bulk of its customers are making purchases on tablets, while another might find that good ol' TV advertising is yielding the best results. Those two companies would, hopefully, make drastically different mobile spending decisions. Without monitoring a brand's campaigns, a marketer would never have access to insights like those and would likely continue to churn out ineffective ads.

Mobile is the new kid on the block, and there's no denying that it's as exciting as it is popular. With that trend comes changes in customers' media consumption and purchasing habits; retailers and marketers can't ignore those shifts if they want to stay relevant. That said, there's a happy medium between assuming that mobile-everything is the way to go and staying stuck on old-fashioned methods. Before going all-in on mobile channels, marketers should take a step back and see how their customers are actually spending their time and, more importantly, their money. Only then will the conversions and sales figures be worthy of the ad spend.

Amazon, Lowe’s, E*Trade reduce mcommerce friction with Touch ID (mobilecommercedaily.com)

Brands including Amazon, Lowe’s and E*Trade have embraced iOS 8′s Touch ID in recognition of mcommerce’s unrealized potential as mobile app usage continues to grow.
Touch ID 185Touch ID caters to users’ desire to have secure yet easy access to financial information on apps. With credit card information, investments and trades available at the press of a fingertip, many brands and retailers are hoping it will drive mcommerce sales upwards.
“We are hyper-focused on enabling world-class customer experiences and a core pillar of that philosophy is implementing emerging technologies when they enhance the customer’s interaction with our digital properties,” said Sean Bartlett, director of digital experience, product, and omni-channel integration at Lowe’s. “When Touch ID was announced, we immediately recognized the utility it would provide in reducing friction when signing into the MyLowe’s section of our iPhone App and expediting the checkout process.”
Enticing brandsTop brands and retailers including Lowe’s, Amazon and E*Trade have integrated Touch ID into their iOS applications.
“The new iOS 8 features help customers more efficiently interact with us and then go back to their daily life,” said Kunal Vaed, vice president of E*Trade Financial. “Our goal is to make our experiences secure, seamless and hassle-free for traders and investors.
“We believe the home screen widget and Touch ID fingerprint technology deliver on this goal – and yes we believe smart new features like these are key to increasing customer engagement and satisfaction.”
Meanwhile, Amazon’s new iOS app allows users to log into their accounts via the Touch ID sensor. Customers are now more likely to complete impulse purchases, or simply purchase through mobile over desktop due to the convenience.
Experts expect to see many other brands and retailers adopt Touch ID on the heels of Amazon, Lowe’s and E*Trade.
touch id 400
Innovative technologyApple developed Touch ID’s biometric authentication technology. Also available on mobile devices following iPhone 5, Touch ID enables users to place their fingertip on the iPhone’s home button, which activates a high-resolution scanner.
The image is converted into a formula, encrypted and then sent to a secure enclave. Once the fingerprint image is recognized, the phone or application receives a “yes” token and opens.
Touch ID was invented to circumvent lost passcodes and convenience users with a simple log-in system. It also allows for more than one fingerprint to be registered in case of a shared mobile device, and for sets of fingerprints to be deleted just as easily.
Marketers are finding Touch ID to be an optimal tool for driving mcommerce sales. Consumers are becoming increasingly more secure in using their phones for payment purposes, and brands are building on this mindset with more digital wallets and streamlined mobile payment options.
“It makes sense for retailers to employ Touch ID for two reasons, simplifying the data entry process and most importantly security,” said Dirk Rients, vice president of Mobile Majority. “Consumers already trust Apple with their data and will quickly see the ease of use and benefit of enabling Touch ID for account log in and payment.”
“One of the biggest issues consumers have expressed when buying on mobile is the checkout process.  Apple has fixed this problem with the combination of Touch ID and Apple Pay, allowing customers to simply verify their current credit card information already on file or add a new one to purchase products with one touch using their device.”

Want People To Download Your App? Translate It Into Chinese (forbes.com)

5 Ways to Get Personal with Real Time Marketing Tools (cmswire.com)

Digital marketers have an evolving arsenal of tools and technologies at their disposal to glean business intelligence, create targeted messages and produce stellar digital experiences — whether online or in a retail outlet.
Biometric facial recognition, digital signage and customized displayed information are being used to better define the needs of customers, personalize the customer experience and increase brand awareness, loyalty and sales.
If done right, real time marketing can create an integrated experience across online, mobile and in-person channels as well as allow for a more personalized customer experience based on business intelligence. It can also educate and assist customers to make more informed purchasing decisions.

1. Create a high value self-service model

Banks, airports, public transportation and other industries understand the value of giving patrons or customers access to a free mobile hot-spot. This is a high value service that gives the organization additional intelligence on the individual that has logged onto the network and also makes that person a viable candidate for real time marketing, whether through targeted ads on their mobile device or dynamic digital displays that surround the area where the WiFi network is accessed.
2. Use geotargeting
Mobile devices have completely transformed how marketers across all industries collect data on and engage with their audience for more targeted marketing initiatives. BLE-beacons now allow marketers to deliver specific content to any individual for a personalized, one-to-one experience.
recent report from Business Insider Intelligence showed that in store retail and offline payments are in the first wave of beacon applications. Being able to communicate directly with customers based on their geographic proximity is a pretty powerful real time marketing tool. Tapping into the power of geomarketing, which requires customers or patrons to have the mobile app on their phone, should be a key strategy for marketers. The first step would be a push for adoption of their mobile app to enable related strategies.

3. Integrate business intelligence into the visual experience

Marketers can use business intelligence gleaned from their CRM systems to tailor the experience in store and create a more personalized experience on mobile devices while waiting in line or on digital signage displays throughout the store triggered by beacons.
More targeted information will help customers make more informed purchasing decisions and create a personalized experience based on demographic intelligence that is consistent and cohesive across all digital channels. A 2014 survey of more than 2,500 digital marketing executives by ExactTarget found that their two top priorities are driving increased conversion rates (47 percent) and increasing and improving brand awareness (46 percent).

4. Demonstrate your value proposition

Digital natives will eventually become the majority of the population, and marketers need to understand now how to engage them. Paper does not register with digital natives. Privacy concerns related to information sharing and use of GPS information are not a concern for this generation as long as there is a strong enough value to be gained for the trade-off. That is the key — create a value proposition — use the information you have to create a more targeted customer experience.
Walmart recently found that, on average, its customers spend more than 20 minutes in its stores each time they visit. This is great. But the study also revealed that most of the time they leave without getting all the items on their shopping lists — because they can’t find them. Walmart now has a mobile app that provides indoor search and navigation to help recoup those lost sales. Macy’s, Walgreens, and Home Depot have introduced similar solutions.”
Now that’s valuable.

5. Enhance the experience

While it may seem obvious, don’t forget that the customer experience is about creating a memorable and positive experience. Will biometric facial recognition make the customer experience better? Probably not, if it’s just gathering data that’s not being used for any purpose or end goal.
However, if that data is being used with a very specific type of customer experience in mind, for example, to greet a highly-valued customer by name when they enter a boutique store or to educate a sales representative that someone who is expecting a package has arrived, then the customer experience can really be impacted. Marketers must always keep the end goal of the experience they want to create in mind and then work from there to determine the business intelligence and the tools needed to create it.

Using real time marketing tools

In an increasingly digital world, marketers face a great challenge when it comes to tapping into the hearts, minds and wallets of their customers. However, by using the data available to them, they can begin to create a more intelligent, targeted and exceptional customer experience that will set their brand, their product or their offering apart from the rest. 

There will always be a new technology to learn, but marketers who embrace and effectively use these tools will successfully create a superior experience for their customers.