"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Danielle Levitas, senior vice president of research and professional services at App Annie.
As consumers increasingly spend time in apps for their everyday needs, apps are becoming the primary and dominant channel. They allow businesses to directly engage with customers in a personal, relevant and always-on way that’s unparalleled to any other strategy.
When it comes to building a comprehensive digital strategy, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to apps. It’s important to recognize that each industry, and even each individual business, will have unique goals and therefore require different app strategies to succeed.
Marketers must clearly define their app’s mission and prioritize corresponding goals to innovate, emulate and differentiate from other competing and best-in-class apps. The mobile app goal type may be unique to specific categories.
For companies in gaming, music and retail categories, a central goal for their app is to generate revenue by offering a seamless way to purchase products, media or services. App marketers in these industries must focus on making purchases easier than ever by incorporating advanced technology, such as mobile payment systems, and prioritizing a great user experience.
Companies that rely on apps to drive consumer spending need to carefully consider how their app’s user experience can enhance the entire customer journey. This covers everything from making their app easy to navigate, designing their app to complement other channels, such as retail locations, and reducing friction at the time of purchase to drive higher conversions.
Retaining And Engaging Users
Other apps, like those in social and health and fitness categories, are more focused on retaining and re-engaging users. These apps place a higher value on attracting users to re-engage on a regular cadence, striving for a high monthly active user number.
Rather than marketing to new audiences, their mobile app investments and goals must be geared toward creating immersive, user-friendly and enjoyable experiences that keep users wanting more. Apps in these categories should prioritize features like social sharing or push notifications to help re-engage users and boost retention.
However, it is important that these engagement efforts don’t come at the cost of alienating users due to their frequency, timing or tone. These app marketers need to keep an eye on retention, number of sessions per user and churn rates to ensure their efforts to drive engagement are also driving positive outcomes.
Enhancing Customer Service
Providing superior customer service is a top goal for apps in the banking, finance and hospitality categories. App marketers with customer service as a leading strategy should focus on providing users with a personalized app experience. Specific features, such as welcoming users by name when they enter an app or texting them with updates on their service, can drastically enhance an app’s customer service and generate a more loyal user base. Providing relevant content and answers to frequently asked questions can also help and delight users.
Ultimately, marketers with goals aligned with customer service should focus on users’ likelihood of recommending the app as their measure of success. By monitoring the app’s ratings and reviews, they’ll be right on track.
No two apps are alike. As marketers prioritize mobile, they need to identify specific app strategies and goals that support their core business. Brands need to recognize apps as not just a facet of their overall strategy, but as a central channel to success in our increasingly digital world.