In an age when apps have become a key utility, ensuring yours is being fully utilised as a brand hub is critical.
In our last article, we introduced a framework for marketers and digital practitioners to help you achieve just that. The more customers can do with your app, the more you can stand out in the crowd. Successfully operationalising your marketing technology across mobile comes down to three key areas:
- Ecosystem and
These are the core functions needed to drive a personalised customer experience, founded on the bedrock of data and cross-channel integration.
Over a series of articles, we’ll dive into each of these elements and break them down one by one. Let’s start with Experience.
Customer experience is imperative. More brands are thinking about how to get into a consumer’s pocket, not just their inbox. Mobile can be the differentiating factor for overall customer experience, with savvy brands standing out.
Three layers of experience make up your customers’ mobile journey:
1) The experience within the app.
2) The experience supporting it.
3) The experience around it.
Within the app.
Brands are operating in a space where there’s a multitude of authentication options available. From gated apps that enforce logins, to apps that don’t require logins, through to those that only require login on purchase. Regardless of the brand’s offering, consumers now expect:
- Dynamic provision of offers, content, or information.
- Experiences that are organic and use gestures natural to the device.
- Experiences personalised to their usage and engagement behaviour.
Swrve’s Vice President APAC, Scott Mirabello, explains, “Mobile apps have become totally utilitarian — they solve an immediate need. And in this context, receiving a promotional offer from a brand whilst a consumer is mid-task, will not work as a monetization strategy — it serves only as an interruption. This means brands need to be better about messaging their users and find better, more contextual ways of communicating that do not interrupt the user experience, but instead add to it”.
However, this can be easier said than done, especially for brands with millions of monthly active users.
Competition is fierce within the app ecosystem and that’s without even considering direct competitors. Customers typically have around 35 apps installed on their mobile phone, with 9 apps being used on a consistent basis. Customers need to see the value they just downloaded and, more importantly, value in the experience that supports it.
Supporting the app.
As you look at your app, there should be one goal: Delivering dynamic and focused experiences that predict a customer’s needs and achieve their goals.
Delivering a message that has little to no context can disrupt, distract, and negatively affect the customer experience by merely adding to the noise. To create context you need to know, listen to, and understand your customers. Understanding customer behaviour inside an app is critical, from what flights they are searching for, or which data-pack upgrades they are buying, to how many points they have available.
“For many brands, content is key to establishing a valuable relationship with your customers, but it’s not everything. Overwhelming users with choice and difficult navigation through those choices can put consumers on a fast track to churn. Using sophisticated targeting and triggering to alert your customers to content that is relevant to them based on their previous preferences and behaviours in the app will help increase engagement and reduce churn” says Mirabello.
Understanding behaviour translates to a brand’s ability to track actionable events. This behaviour can be used to understand not only intent but also immediate context, context, i.e., what they are trying to achieve at that moment.
From here, it’s about understanding the right medium to provide the experience. For many, experiences start and end with a push notification, but this is just one opportunity.
- Push notifications are important for timely, brief callouts that the user needs to understand and take action.
- Rich push provides the ability to increase the level of content to entice engagement.
- In-app messaging is perfect for reminders, education, saying thank you, and retargeting.
- In-app two-way conversations for frictionless customer service.
- In-app partial overlays for nudges, prompts, reminders, and retargeting.
- Embedded experiences for content that is native to the app and does not interrupt the user experience.
The average consumer has their phone with them from morning to night. While it’s great to know that messages can be received at any time, brands need to be more aware of the best time in the customer’s moment of need and not deviate from that. The customer has given you permission to be a part of their digital life, be mindful of that. The experience supporting the app should almost have a higher value exchange than the experience within it.
Around your app.
The experiences that surround an app, and how it interfaces with other mediums are crucial. Brands in telecom and entertainment, such as streaming media, have seen massive growth in the last year. But, as ever, the market is saturated, making retention a challenge.
Mirabello explains “Customers don’t see channels — they see one coherent brand experience. Brands that continue to treat channels as single points of customer contact will inevitably deliver an experience that is broken and inconsistent. To combat this, brands need to put the customer first, and deliver experiences that consider data from all channels — email, web, mobile, and TV — to deliver truly contextual and relevant experiences”.
To start, brands should consider:
1) What do you want to achieve? E.g., Create a service-based experience.
2) What action are you wanting the consumer to take? E.g., Make a purchase, change a booking, etc.
3) How can we make it easier for them? E.g., Customer is taken via deep link to the item’s purchase page.
When our goal is to drive growth and accelerate engagement via a device that is with many people more often than their partner, the experience needs to heighten the brand value proposition.
No app is an island. The capability to deliver this heightened experience is underpinned by the ecosystem’s ability to support a connected strategy.
We believe that connected experiences across channels and devices using dynamic user properties to add personal, relevant, and contextual content is the best way to create meaningful relationships with customers at scale. We want everyone to leverage the power of experiences that don’t interrupt the user experience, but instead add value and deepen relationships by being genuinely relevant and contextual in precise moments of need.
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