Seizing Your Mobile App Strategy — What Trendsetters Can Teach Us

by Lahary Ravuri

posted on 05-17-2017

“We are in the business of selling experiences. The actual items that are advertised, marketed, and purchased are just along for the ride.” ~ Brad Rencher, executive vice president and general manager for Digital Marketing, Adobe

In an era when mobile apps can predict what music you’ll love, offer a coupon to invite you into a shop you’re passing, or provide directions to your seat in a stadium, mobile app customers don’t just want frictionless, relevant, and engaging experiences every time they log in — they expect them. Consider this:

This means that your mobile app must not only deliver a five-star experience from the moment it is first downloaded, but also remain consistently great even as you’re getting to know your new customers’ wants and needs.

Shift Your Mobile Mindset and Create a Mobile-App Marketing Strategy.
No longer an afterthought, we know mobile must be your first thought. But, with mobile usage having surpassed desktop, the question is no longer mobile vs. desktop but mobile web vs. mobile app. At this point, an overwhelming 90 percent of mobile usage occurs in apps as opposed to mobile web. Still, 51 percent of companies have no mobile app strategy in place. This means that companies are being left behind. If you’re not convinced that your mobile strategy is working for you, it may be time to shift your mindset by creating a long-term mobile app strategy. Here are six ways to optimize your mobile app strategy to provide truly exceptional experiences that can drive your business forward.

1. Begin With the Big Picture.
Make it a companywide responsibility beyond marketing and get executive buy-in to break down organizational silos. Develop mobile-specific key performance indicators (KPIs) — such as app downloads, installs and opens; app usage; repeat visitors; and revenue from the app — for each campaign and tap expertise from procurement, sales, customer support, IT, and others to ensure that everyone — from production to design — adds something for the customer to the app experience. When these things are in place, it’s much easier to cut back development time, optimize budgets, and ensure a sustained effort that resonates with audiences and produces a solid ROI over time.

DuPont created a long-term mobile app strategy that focused on expanding the geographic reach of their apps and incorporating new features. Developing a country-to-country model enabled them to create external-facing content for one country in a central repository and feed content from that repository to country-specific sales-enablement apps in their global markets. Then, they applied this same model to their customer-facing apps. As they continue branching out to other countries, they achieve success by addressing the needs of their customers and their salesforce through customer-facing and employee-facing apps that deliver up-to-date and relevant information at users’ fingertips and in real-time.

2. Approach App Development With the Right Tools — and Keep an Eye on the Future.
Mobile app mastery requires the continuous delivery of new and relevant content that both delights customers and consistently enables employees to be ultra-efficient. But, without the right tools, even simple tasks — like refreshing content or delivering minor updates — can be complex, cumbersome, and costly. Being fast and flexible is key — allowing you to focus on building that all-important culture of experimentation. While you may not always get it right the first time, being agile will enable you to continually evolve. Investing in technology — such as delivering content to your mobile apps from a content management system — can help you quickly iterate and achieve higher mobile adoption.

3. Use Mobile Analytics to Drive Insight — and Act on It.
Only 46 percent of businesses say they use mobile analytics to learn what resonates with their users. A solid mobile-analytics foundation is essential for driving insights into both customer and employee behaviors and guiding adjustments that will draw your customers and employees closer to your brand — and to a purchase. Learn who is using your app and why, where they are spending their time, what content they love, what content isn’t working, and what makes them decide to take action or abandon the app altogether.

Major League Baseball (MLB) used mobile analytics to identify the type of content their fans wanted. They discovered that most fans (75 percent) enjoyed watching video highlights, but even more fans (84 percent) were checking scores of other games. They used this information to give fans the content they wanted faster, improving the experience overall.

4. Focus on Content That Knows the Customer and Deliver in the Moment.
Brands that offer coupons, personalized reminders, or special offers on mobile at the right time are more relevant to their customers. Whether they’re wandering around a museum or shopping for a new pair of sunglasses, delivering what they need in the moment they need it is key. For employees, having access to a mobile app that can provide quick answers to customers’ inquiries helps them do their jobs better and faster.

Customers expect to receive visible value in their mobile moments wherever they are, and they’re frustrated when brands don’t deliver. Tapping into location, sensor data, or other user activities helps identify the immediate needs and locations of consumers and employees to deploy interactive push notifications and in-app messaging, driving sales and conversion rates.

5. Blur the Lines Between the Digital and Physical Worlds.
Consumers often rely on their mobile experiences to guide their digital ones. Further, there is heightened focus on brands using geolocation technology to bridge the gaps between their digital experiences and their physical ones in brick-and-mortar stores. Brands are using beacon technology in mobile apps to learn where their customers are, target them more effectively, increase open rates on messages, and drive deeper engagement.

But, geolocation technology isn’t limited to retailers. The National History Museum in London uses Wi-Fi signal information to pinpoint where visitors are standing in the museum and identify what they are looking at so they can deliver contextual information about displays. Through these technologies, the museum is providing richer, more rewarding experiences for its customers.

6. Manage Mobile App Content Like a Master.
Lastly, with the right set of tools, it’s possible to manage mobile app content like a pro. Leverage existing content from a content management system ( CMS) or product database and use built-in marketing services and analytics to help you measure and optimize effortlessly.

DuPont benefits from a CMS that allows them to store all their content in a centralized location and then easily push out mobile-customized information to their apps in real time. Using the same content, Adobe Experience Manager helps brands adjust content automatically to all their devices, including their apps, without having to create new assets or update each device or screen manually.

For example, DuPont wanted to use a CMS to ensure that their sales representatives could leverage their sales presentations on the field in their Brazil app. Using Adobe Experience Manager, they stored their presentations in one centralized location, then easily adapted the presentations to create app-friendly slides their representatives could use on any device. Now, when updates are made to the presentations, they’re also updated on all app slides, allowing sales representatives to have fresh, up-to-date content at their fingertips so they can perform their jobs well.

Top Brands Secure Their Leads With Forward-Thinking Mobile App Strategies.
Companies that thrive in today’s demanding landscape are continually optimizing their mobile app strategies to deliver winning customer experiences. They are getting their entire companies involved in investing in the right tools; using analytics to learn what works and what doesn’t; delivering unquestionable customer value based on those insights; and providing seamless, frictionless experiences that are consistent with all digital and physical brand touchpoints. Then, via a centralized CMS, they are delivering great customer experiences — directly into the palms of their customers’ hands at the right time every time.

With mobile devices within customers’ reaches 24/7, a well-managed mobile app strategy will help ensure your brand remains relevant. Big disruptions — such as the mobile app movement — offer more than opportunities. They offer moments that simply must be seized — so, seize away! Because the brands that don’t will soon discover that the cost of catching up is no longer affordable.

To learn more about optimizing your mobile app strategy to provide exceptional experiences, download the full white paper.

Topics: Digital Transformation