How to Evolve Your Mobile Strategy in 2018

At the beginning of the 21st century, people had no idea how complex and clunky Blackberry devices were. This was the “gestation phase” for smartphones — when the platform was new, expensive, incomplete and difficult to use. Then, Apple and Google came along, leapfrogged everyone and drove massive adoption of smartphones.

Ten years ago, we didn’t know how big of a disruption smartphones would be, but just look what we’ve learned in a decade. The last 10 years created a mobile marketing revolution that helped brands reach audiences wherever they were, collect loads of critical data, and use that data to create real-time interactive experiences with their users.

In the last year alone, we’ve seen huge growth in location-based marketing, voice-activated apps, rich push notifications and mobile payments. It seems each year brings about new innovations and new opportunities to better engage with mobile users. And, as we launch into another new year, it’s important to take stock of how you can continue to evolve your mobile strategy.

Below are some trends to track and start implementing as you move forward with your mobile campaigns in 2018 and beyond.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is computers making data-driven decisions at a rate humans can’t compete with. For mobile, this means personalizing experiences for individual users rather than for a vast, generic audience. To take advantage of AI, you need a platform in place that collects data. After all, AI relies on vast user insights to continually adapt and personalize content.

When you have the data platform, you can use AI to drive everything from push notification campaigns to inbox messaging campaigns. This way you’re driving personalization at scale across many different mobile communication channels.

Since AI “listens” to all of your user data — behavior profiles, actions taken in the app, actions taken across other digital platforms, etc — it can build smart messaging campaigns that are highly relevant to the end user.

The sky’s the limit with AI, but here are a few examples of how AI can optimize your campaigns:

  • Target messages based on a user’s in-app behavior
  • Serve up relevant in-app content based on a user’s behavior
  • Understand the right and most effective time of day to send a message
  • Know the best words to use to boost open rate

Personalization

AI is just one way to personalize content and messaging. An alternative way to approach personalization is to ask users for information up front as part of the registration process. This way you can create a completely tailored app experience based on their unique interests and eliminate any guesswork.

A brand doing this very well is Baby Center. They get all the relevant details about their users’ pregnancy so they can serve up relevant content for nine months and never miss a beat. This creates an engaging experience for users who can check back daily to see information like how large their baby is.

Another way to approach personalization is with in-app behavior. For instance, if a user views a content tagged with a certain keyword, the app can serve up more content with those tags. With AI currently in practice, this approach is becoming outdated. However, it’s still effective for brands that haven’t started integrating AI into their app yet.

“Cross-Everything” Messaging

Who owns messaging and comms at your company? From talking with our customers at Localytics, we’ve learned that, at most companies, it’s a mix of many different teams. For example, marketing will own all promotional messaging but customer success will own functional messaging (software updates, outages, etc.).

This structure is concerning because, oftentimes, these two groups don’t interact to sync up on timing and branding. All messages, regardless of the nature of their content, should feel part of a cohesive brand experience. Mobile is certainly no exception to this rule.

There needs to be one core team responsible with representatives from each part of the organization that sends messages via your app. This way, you can ensure that you’re not hitting users with multiple messages at the same time and that all communication with customers is consistent.

Evolve in 2018

As a mobile app marketer, it’s your responsibility to stay ahead of the curve in terms of industry trends. Tinkering with artificial intelligence, thinking of ways to personalize your app in the place of AI, and working with different departments on comms will set your team up for success in 2018.

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Robert Gibb

Robert Gibb

Grow tech startups (linkedin.com/in/gibbiv/). Love movies (scenelift.com). Live from a van (myvanyear.com). Help peeps work remotely (theremotejobcourse.com)

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