Not only has it been a great year for mobile – it has been one with many firsts. For example, by the end of 2014, for the first time U.S. adults will have spent more time with their tablets and smartphones than with their desktop computers or laptops — an estimated 2 hours and 51 minutes per day on mobile, compared to an estimated 2 hours and 12 minutes spent on desktop, according to eMarketer.
Another groundbreaking development is that mobile advertising budgets have exceeded those of newspapers, magazine and radio. Mobile advertising is the fastest-growing segment of the ad budget.
U.S. advertisers this year will have spent $8 billion more on mobile ad spending, but if I could make one wish for 2015, it would be that more companies would direct as much attention to their mobile marketing strategies as they do toward mobile ad budgets. Many businesses still fail to optimize their Web sites for mobile or simply throw an app out and hope it will catch on.
Here are a few things to remember when your company gets serious about mobile marketing:
Use Data To Inform Your Mobile Strategy
It’s true that we don’t have cookies to rely on in the mobile world, which makes it somewhat trickier to retarget users as marketers do online. But tying a mobile ID with other sources of mobile data can open up opportunities not available to online marketers.
The beauty of mobile is that there is a plethora of rich, real-time data to draw on. The most obvious is location-based. We can send relevant messages over various channels, from in-app messages to push notifications within an app. Data can also give you insights about the demographic you are targeting.
It’s All About Seamless
Part of your mobile marketing strategy comes in the app or mobile Web site design process. Mobile users are extremely directed when they search and don’t have time and patience to navigate complicated menu options.
If you don’t offer a simple, seamless way to access the information or offer you present, you will lose your audience. Some of the best mobile apps out there today get this. KickStarter, for example, has a nearly one-step process that enables users to contribute to campaigns. Banking apps from Chase and Bank of America allow users to easily check accounts, withdraw money and even upload a deposit on mobile with only a few clicks.
Of course the seamlessness of an app can continually be refined. Messaging app Viber, for instance, recently added interactive notifications that allow iOS 8 users to easily take actions right from within a banner.
And recently Starbucks even made the in store ordering process more seamless via its app, announcing a new mobile order and pay feature that will lets users place their coffee orders in advance for pick up. Now that’s creative thinking.
Have a Post-Install Strategy
Getting users to download a mobile app is only the tip of the iceberg. Do you have a strategy in place for continued engagement? You’ve already invested dollars per user developing an app. Now add features that keep them coming back – for only pennies per user.
A thorough on-boarding process that makes new users feel welcome and encourages them to come back to the app is a must. Segmenting them by usage — first-timers, frequent users or those that downloaded and then rarely used the app — helps you tailor messages to the right person. Put some thought into how you can keep the conversation going with these users.
Decide what kind of content you want to deliver to app users, then decide on delivery methods: an in-app message, a push notification or even a News Feed card.
By thinking of your app development as part of an overall mobile marketing strategy and refining accordingly, your company should be well placed in 2015 and beyond.