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Make Sure Your App Marketing Isn't Crap Marketing

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Make Sure Your App Marketing Isn't Crap Marketing

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Apps have changed how we engage with customers and how they engage with their mobile devices. In fact, 85% of the time spent on mobile, is spent in apps. How does your app strategy impact these moments and advance one-on-one engagement beyond an install?

Touch points like push notifications and in-app messages deliver timely, personalized communications to drive the conversions you need. View this deck for:
The importance of personalized in-app messages and push notifications
Best practices for driving engagement and loyalty with your mobile app
Examples of successful push notifications and in-app messages

Apps have changed how we engage with customers and how they engage with their mobile devices. In fact, 85% of the time spent on mobile, is spent in apps. How does your app strategy impact these moments and advance one-on-one engagement beyond an install?

Touch points like push notifications and in-app messages deliver timely, personalized communications to drive the conversions you need. View this deck for:
The importance of personalized in-app messages and push notifications
Best practices for driving engagement and loyalty with your mobile app
Examples of successful push notifications and in-app messages


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Notas del editor

  • Him My name is Ashika Patel Balani and I am a Senior product marketing manager here at Marketo. I am excited about this topic because I spend a lot of my time trying to educate others on how Marketo enables you to reach customers at the right time in the right place. Striking a fine balance between marketing and discovery. I have spent a lot of my career building and creating processes, products, and solutions. Today my goal is to be able to help you build and create your own mobile marketing plan.
  • Before we get started, just wanted to run through a couple of housekeeping items.
    This webinar is being recorded, and the slides will be sent to you after the webinar!
    If you have questions, please enter them in the chat box in the bottom left and we will get to them after the webinar.
    Want to encourage you to post on social using #mktgnation

  • So, Before we dig in I want to step back and make sure everyone understands what we’re dealing with here. These six pictures resemble what I’m sure you have all heard about before. – a connected world!

    Everything at a very basic level is connected to the internet and gives you information that is relevant at the right time in the right place. Whether its your car, phone, watch, tablet, PC, or Television.

    So what is the most obvious thing these products all have in common and what enables them to be so connected with one another?
  • That’s right! Apps!

    Each and everyone of these, whether its called an App or not, has various applications.

    The phone being the most obvious.

    Many cars these days have digital touch screens that enable them to access various “applications” like maps, phone, radio, or even a SiriusXM app!

    Why am I telling you this?

    While I might be talking about mobile marketing strategy today, don’t forget to think about how your mobile marketing strategy should take account of all the other devices that you interact with on a daily basis. Many of the tactics we run through today can be applicable in more than just one place.

  • In fact! Having a seamless conversation amongst these devices is critical!

    Between 2014 and 2019 there is a expected growth of 35% in the Internet of things.

    When we think about mobile we need to think about it at a larger scale.

    We talk about internet of things all the time. But lets dig deeper. Take a look at the usage of internet of things to understand the importance of having a cohesive and seamless cross-channel experience, this includes the devices we know of today but think about what is coming by 2025.

    Wellness, retail, manufacturing, vehicles, city management will all grow at exponential rates. So lets make sure you keep this in mind and be a part of the change.

    If we think about todays media consumption we can find some interesting insights that will help drive your thinking about mobile relevancy.

    So, lets zoom in on media activity that is largely consumed through internet usage. Internet usage main peaks are at 8am and 7PM. App usage is known to kicks up in the morning around 7am, gradually building throughout the day before falling off its peak at 9pm.

    TV is clearly a leisure activity that happens when people are relaxing, with a huge peak between 7pm and 11pm.

    Studies show people engage with push more in the evening than they do during the day. This is likely because mobile is being used as a second screen. As you can see from the chart above – TV is being utilized during the leisure hours, spiking around 8pm. These people likely have their phones nearby and can easily catch up on apps.

    Something to take into consideration is text communications or mobile, which is one of the few media vehicles that is used consistently throughout the day.

    Additionally, Voice communication tends to be constrained to the day, while online comms (SMS/email) happens throughout the day.

    So what does this all tell me?

    Its telling you that you’re likely to get more responsive users later in the day for notifications vs. voice communication is likely going to be your best bet during the day.

    That being said, having direct communication with users throughout the day is a privilege. I cannot stress how important it is to make sure you get your mobile marketing right. Don’t lose the privilege of accessing your user throughout the day.

    There are many people competing for the the mindshare of the customer …
  • 2.2 million to be exact. There are 2.2Million apps in the Android app store and approximately 2million in the Apple app store. While they may be solving different use cases, be a different product, or may not be even in the same category, you should think about them as your competition.

    An average person has 42 apps installed on their phone. I personally had almost 100! Most of my apps I don’t even know where they are on my phone.

    The times I open up my apps are –

    one, when I actually need to complete that activity. Like order groceries, check email, message a friend, find movie times, etc.
    Or When a push notification pops up on my screen reminding me of something I need to complete.

    Know where you stand amongst these apps and think about what others are thinking when they are developing their mobile strategy. There is a fine balance of the right time and the right place that you need to capture.

    2.2 million apps in the Android App store
    2 mil in Apple app store
  • In fact there are many that haven’t put together a thoughtful process when sending push notifications, and they often result inuninstalls.

    Like here, where Fox news had breaking news almost every 20 minutes.

    Or HailCast felt the need to let their user know of three places that were going to have hail, within a 7 minute time frame.

    We won’t go through all the examples but you can see that personalization, relevance, and timing are extremely important in making sure you are not a part of this statistic.

    So how do we make sure this happens? Today I’m going to help you with this.
  • We’ll go through some best practices to drive mobile engagement, tactics that are used to successfully launch in-app messaging and push notifications. And I’ll even give you some really interesting famous examples.
  • First as always. Know your audience!

    I cannot stress this enough. Know the details of not just your customers but specifically your mobile customers. Poll your customers if you don’t have the information.

    Understanding basic demographics like age, gender, likes, dislikes, hobbies, buyer characteristics will make your mobile story stronger. Using this information you should be able to understand what their journey looks like, what is their day to day, and how do they interact with your app.

    With this information you can trigger messages based on things like behaviors, device types, demographics. This will make the message relevant to each individual person. Automation of the notifications based on these triggers will allow you to scale your notifications to customers without losing the personalized feel.

    A lot of times people are unsure on where to start in defining these customers. If you’re like me and want a top down approach I suggest you first bucket your audience in four specific buckets.
  • New, Active, Passive, and Dormant. This is a simplified version of your audience but you are likely to have users in all four of these buckets. It is your job to treat each one of these customers according to their journey.

    A marketer should think about the many touch points during a customer journey. Bridging the gap for each of those journeys by listening across channels and responding with the right marketing.

    A marketer is likely to have many different types of customers – they likely fit into these four types. Once you have identified the fit, tailor each message based on actions performed by each customer.

    Let me walkthrough the examples here.

    New Customer are users who are new to the app or who need to be introduced to the company or brand.
    For example: Jane just downloaded the app. This is a good time to educate Jane on the benefits of the app and possibly a good reason to complete her profile.

    Active Customer are users who regularly use the app and are high-value users you need to build a relationship with.
    For example, Jane is a active customer who was at a game recently. After the winning shot, she is sent a notification to buy tickets for the next game.

    Passive Customer are users who occasionally use the app and engage as needed.
    For example David missed the webinar he had signed up for. We send him a notification that a replay is available so that he can catch it on his own time.

    Dormant Customer are customers who have not used app in a long time and need to be reengaged
    In this case, we want to get them back to the app. Special offers or sweep stakes can help drive traffic to the app. So in this case we send a special deal just for the user to take advantage of.

    Starting with these groups is helpful to get things started and using detailed behaviors, actions, and demographic data will help you build deeper segmentation.

    And as promised… I am going to use some famous examples of how this has been done well! And of course I am talking about none other than….
  • The Kardashians! I had to use one of the most popular and highest grossing celebrity game apps out there as an example of someone who has done things right.

    As part of my research… yes just research  I’m clearly not a part of the key demographic!

    The Kardashian have really done a great job of understanding the demographic and catering to their demographic. Her messages as you’ll see throughout this webinar are relevant to the person and in context to whether they’re in the app, been away for an hour, at a specific level, etc.

    She’s catered the style and the usability to her teams. From providing ”exclusive” content to entice the user, to addressing each user by their first name. She also Integrates social elements throughout the app and her push notifications is key to create virality.

    Taking this all in. Stay in tuned to the audience and think about the overall experience when sending push notifications. In this app – you will be enticed with exclusive clothing that leads you to the app. You purchase the clothing and then you hit the town in your new exclusive outfit. Think about the customers overall journey and how your marketing helps glue together the many elements

    Our end goal is to make every user an active user.
  • Determining how you want to engage requires you not just know your audience but also know what type of app you have.

    A good place to start understanding your app is knowing your app goals and ensuring the right features are available to complete those actions. Think about it from a acquisition, engagement, conversion point of view:
    For an Acquisition candidate – your app has useful functionality, in exchange the user provides their contact info.
    For Engagement – you have activities and associated actions that drive the user to engage. Your goal is to build relationships and loyalty with the app.
    For Conversion – you are focused on driving conversion through a purchase, sharing your content, or completing a specific action to make the customer a loyal customer.

    Remember you can have a hybrid but figure out your primary purpose and work from there to ensure your app is covering the bases that are associated to your app and your customers goals.

    Identify what the end goal of your app is based on the audience, activity, or utility. This fits nicely into three different categories as shown here. – Productivity, commerce, retained engagement. Of course there are many apps that overlap across these three types.
  • Ensure you have the right product - market – fit. In simpler terms – match the app to the customer needs.

    Concurrently, identify the type of app you have or want to build.

    With Productivity apps – you’re helping consumers do exactly that – be more productive. Some examples of what you might use everyday are Google Maps or an add on feature for Dropcam to augment in-home video recording.
    Retained Engagement apps are apps that have the goal of achieving and retaining the attention of the user. They will support businesses that will have revenue derived from advertising or content focused apps. For example the Kim Kardashian West app focuses on current events and style. Social networks fall into this area as well – not just Facebook but any place you have a community talking amongst one another that is usually free.
    The most recognizable to most are Commerce apps – for those that decide to make a sale through their apps. Just like Yumi Yogurt where you can complete a purchase or store loyalty information.

    As always figure out the primary use case, keeping in mind you can fall into multiple categories. Pandora for example is a free service but offers you the opportunity to remove ads for a small fee.
  • By defining the target audience and the product you are able to find where your sweet spot is.

    Not only do you need to have the right content but you need to ensure the goals of your app and the needs of your customer match. Lay the right foundation to build on.
    Throughout the mobile app lifecycle you should take time to understand who your customer is and what stage of the buying lifecycle they’re in to ensure you engage with them with content that is relevant and valuable

    As you think about the customer and what they value don’t forget to think about – their preference for communication. Mobile and desktop marketing vary based on person, time, goal, and the stage they may be in their buying cycle.

    As you connect your marketing communication to the customer, review your app to ensure it enables your customers to engage.

    You’ve figured out this piece where the product and the market fit. Now what. Well let me give you a place to start and then continue to build on this with the details of your audience.
  • As a marketer thinks about personalizing a customers engagement level they need to think about how to personalize the message and drive a call to action.

    Types of Call-to-Action Messaging include
    1. Reminders: Event reminders, appointment reminders, app-specific reminders like sync your wearable fitness tracker.
    2. On-boarding: Completing profile, introducing to the brand, introducing the app.
    3. Promotional Alerts: Alerts about promotions such as a sale.
    4. App Functionality: Alerts for basic functions of the app; for example, an alert that you received a message from your stylist at the salon
    5. Traffic Drivers: Alerts that send users a clear call-to-action to drive traffic—to a survey, a sweepstakes, a free item, to a partner app, and so on.
    6. Personalized: Alerts that are tailored to specific users’  profile, offering him content or deals that are specific to his behaviors.

    These messages have to be consistent across channels in order to be most effective. Having a integrated platform will help every marketer drive action in a synchronized marketing program.
  • So back to my example of finding the right product market fit.

    The Kardashians have two types of apps. This app is focused on Commerce. Purchasing digital products but including personalized messaging along the way. They use in-app messaging to complete the digital purchases or even remove advertisements.

    They have used sale stickers to show the volume discounts. A younger population is likely cash constrained and therefore want to make sure they get the best value for their money.

    In summary:
    The goal of the app is commerce. The customer are value seeking. And the In-app message is tailored to reach both goals.
  • Kim has also created a different app which is a cross between Retained Engagement and Commerce. This app isn’t costly but its really a way to get access to her “brand” while making people feel a sense of exclusivity.

    The idea is to focus on her truly loyal fans.

    We will come back to the concept of branding later but I did want to show you how one brand, “the Kardashians” can culminate into different apps where the goals and the messaging needs align with overall app and market goals.

    So now we have what our audience and product goals are. We know how we want to engage our users. Lets now get into the details.

    First and foremost- you need to ensure you are sending relevant and timely messages.
  • Now you can see why having the right Product – Market fit is critical to success. If you don’t understand your customers journey and how your product fits in – then the in-app messages and push notifications are likely to land at completely the wrong time. Possibly costing you tons users.

    Trigger based on user interactions. Stay user and context relevant. Make the experience seamless – a natural extension of the app. Sync the timing of the message with the context

    Personalize the message to be relevant. Use tokens to include their name. Use location based triggers but don’t freak them out! Help guide your users.

    Find the right time and frequency to send messages. Don’t wake people up with your messages! Don’t over do it! This is their most personal device. Be Kind.

    Not only do you need to do this for the mobile channel but think about this from the holistic marketing channel. What I don’t want you to do is think about mobile marketing in a silo.

  • follow this framework Listen -> Think -> Speak.

    LISTEN for behaviors and non-behaviors.  Did they install or open the app, the time spent in an app or lack thereof.  Have they engaged with email or social.   Are they engaging better on one channel vs. others. Having this information and responding with the right marketing message and across the right vehicles is a critical component to sending relevant and timely messages.

    Let me show you an example of what a good and bad experience could look like.
  • Of course. We’re going to use my favorite Marketers out there again. The Kardashians.

    Except this time they really annoyed me. First and foremost They sent me a email at 11PM and then again at 1am!

    Not only that but they sent two more messages concurrently even after I didn’t respond the first time. What makes them think I needed two more reminders in the evening after not responding since I was likely sleeping. Lucky for them my notification sounds are off.

    Lastly they sent me the same message at 11 and at 1! That makes me feel like I am just part of their batch and blast campaign they set up.

    Yes you heard me right – batch and blast is not just something that happens in email. It happens across marketing channel, including mobile!

    The next day Kim definitely made a come back. She sent me a time sensitive offer to build a sense of urgency. She sent me a message at 9pm, which is exactly when I’m on my phone checking messages while watching TV. We talked about this earlier remember!

    And lastly – because they sent me a time sensitive offer and used the right language- I actually feel like this is an offer special to my circumstances!


    So as you can see – there are multiple opportunities to engage and multiple ways you can engage. But if the message isn’t relevant and timely – you’re likely to lose that user right away.

    So now we’ve identified the audience, found the right match of the product to the market, figured out when the right time and place is for the message. WE’re ready to launch!!


  • You have to think about the end to end app experience. There are a lot of opportunities to make changes but there is only one opportunity to make the first impression. Get your users to log-in so that you gather information at a holistic level from you customers. If you have mobile integrated into your marketing automation platform – having the user logged in will enable you to view the entire customers marketing journey at a holistic level through simple email matching.

    Enable the user to sign up with a very easy process and don’t forget to have them opt-in for the push notification process. Guide the customer through the process

    Listen for the results and optimize the content in your app. Continue to iterate with solid feedback.
  • Making the right first impression often dictates the entire relationship thus far.

    Although the official opt-in message on iOS is not customizable, you can create your own splash screen or use in-app messaging to speak to your users personally. Try to create a catchy and appealing message, using your best argument to tell users why they should opt-in to your push notifications. 

    Take a look at this app from Crossfader. They used in-app messages to introduce people to the app and allow the customer to understand the benefit of receiving push notifications. Once walking through the process a pop-up appears to enable push-notifications.

    Always Ask for Permission! – engaging with customers without asking for permission will prevent uninstalls and most of the time will give you access to an area you didn’t previously have access to

    This educational approach helps Crossfader achieve a 55% push enablement rate, significantly higher than the 44% industry average for News & Media apps.

    Now that you have the customer bought in and they understand the value prop. Get them to log in.
  • Be thoughtful about your sign-on experience.

    You can make it simple by using a touch ID or using social log-ins

    Incentivize users to fill out their profile. Here is the Kardashian game app in which they talk about the social element and free gifts.

    Make it seamless. Integrate it into the app. The Kardashian app allows people to develop a simple sign-on because they want people to understand the incentive for social sign-on. Once the user is ready – the ability to log in using facebook is in the experience and at their convenience they can include their social information.

    While we want people to complete profiles, we also don’t want to scare them off into badgering them about it.

    If you start on the right foot by explaining the value, you’re more likely to get the information you want.
  • Lastly, Ask for feedback from multiple avenues. While I’m talking to you about Push and in-app, I still want you to think about email, social, and any other channels you use.

    For the purposes of mobile, gather feedback on the app experience, their marketing experience, future desires. This will help give you an idea of where some fine tuning needs to happen.
  • As you optimize that app experience make sure you make the marketing consistent with your brand

    Optimize the location of the message, the way the message is dismissed, and what it connects to. For example theURL, deep link, etc.

    Take extra time on the copy Clear and concise copy messaging.

    Actionable language used for the CTA

    Be consistent – with tap actions, button placement, style

  • On to our last example of the Kardashians. What a brand they’ve built. They are consistent about the language, style, clothing, design,, imagery to the last detail.

    The app is updated with the same style photography and tones. The language used in the push and in-app notifications is tailored with their actual lives – including all the special lingo they use.

    They even update the game app to be parallel to their lives – from the next trip they are taking to the outfits they plan to wear to the next party.

    Coordination is key.

    Let me show you a few examples of how they did this with push notifications and in-app messages.

  • Take a look here.

    Push notifications have a specific Logo with clear and concise branding and copy.

    The In-app notification uses yellow to draw attention. The call to action is relevant to the exact social channel they are referring to. Tweet for sharing on twitter.

    The style is very consistent and the layout of the in-app notifications is consistent every time you see a message while playing the game.

    As you can See In-app messages are much more customizable than push notifications.

    For Push notifications using the right logo and most importantly the right copy is extremely important.

    With in-app there are many more opportunities to customize. Lets take a look at the Marketo In-App editor to give you an idea of what this looks should like.
  • You can use pre-built layouts that are customizable based on pop-ups or full screen.

    We talked about gathering feedback or educating the customer, you can use the full screen in-app message for this. Depending on the use case and the end goal – you should determine what fits best.
  • Here you can customize the CTA with special language, colors, font, all the way to the tap action.

    Further customize with the specific images you want to use.
  • And put the final touches on it by changing the background.

    This all comes together nicely and matches the brand to the Tee

  • Now that you’ve got the foundations don’t forget to set goals for yourself and define success early on.

    Define success and measure results to ensure you’re right on track!
    Identify the right campaign metrics as well as app metrics.

    There are a number of app metrics that are important here but remember to think about your marketing metrics as well.

    Engagement with push notifications and in-app messages and whether you’re tracking well amongst the benchmarks you’ve set for yourself is important.

    There is a lot of testing and learning that you can use to measure engagement. Iterate on your marketing just as often as you iterate on your app.
  • Here is an example of a dashboard where you can review the number of deployed messages vs displayed vs tapped. You want to understand both deliverability and receipt of the messge

    You can track the activity funnel and drill down to platform specific details over time.

    This not only gives you an idea of whether you sent an engaging message but also how long they take to respond. For example, you may want to send more time sensitive offers or include more urgency into your message to pull up the time to respond if people are taking too long.
  • In Summary……. (READ SLIDE)