Push messaging is a feature that is available through a native mobile application (NATIVE = an app that is downloaded rather than viewed through a browser) that offers marketers an incredible amount of functionality. Since native apps require users to download an app, the user has invited marketers into their pocket, living room, office and basically wherever the user brings their smartphone. Therefore marketers can capitalize on contextual messaging to deliver sales promotions, product awareness messaging and other direct marketing tactics.
Geo-fencing or GPS Alerts
Due to the mass adoption of mobile and smartphone technology, users have begun to demand tailored messaging that meets their needs and objectives. GPS has become an incredible feature for marketers, because it allows them to deliver contextual messaging to their customers and prospective customers.
Interested in mobile statistics and mobile marketing? You may also like: Charts: Worldwide Smartphone Market Share and Trends, What is Push Messaging and why is it so Powerful?, 6 Things to Consider when Building a Mobile App
I am going to use a big box store as an example. A user watching television notices a big box store, they frequently shop at, has a mobile application. They download the application because they were made aware that the app offers deals, sales and other benefits such as a store locator and hours of operation.
Upon download the user is asked a brief set of questions to determine their preferences.
- What are the departments you shop in most (secondary and tertiary as well)
- What are your favorite brands?
- What type of products would you like to receive alerts about
- Where are your favorite stores (GPS based through a store locator)
Upon completion of an initial customer assessment, the user is telling the mobile application their preferences. Therefore since they have set their favorite departments, brands, products and stores, marketers are able to deliver relevant messages.
Let’s go through the purchase decisions, involvement steps and channel relationships
1. The user/customer wakes ups in the morning and decides they would like to go to a big box store
2. They get in their car and drive to the store, not expecting to buy more than one new product
3. Since they have preset their preferences (favorite stores, products, brands, departments) and they have downloaded the app, as soon as they walk into the store push messaging, is sent to their smartphone with contextual content
4. The user opens and views the contextual content and puts their phone back in their pocket
5. Since preferences have been set, geo-fencing can provide messaging when a customer walks by one of their favorite brands, departments, products etc.
6. The user puts items in their cart that they may not have noticed and checks out
7. The application stimulates buying and improves sales and ultimately channel relationships because the big box store is making more purchase orders through their suppliers
8. Not only, does the app provide increased sales and channel relationships, but it also provides data about consumers who own smartphones and what they are looking for while at the point of purchase. Therefore retailers are able to improve their supply chain through demand metrics.Read More
GPS and Geo-Location
Geo-location has become an integral part of native mobile application development. Tourism boards can utilize GPS to provide an immersive experience where users can locate and get turn by turn directions to area points of interest. Since a native application is utilizing the capabilities of the device, the experience is quicker, more efficient and leaves the user with a positive brand image.
For Example, A Tourism Board can provide a map view and locations of all of the point of interest
- Nature Trails
- Night Life
- Local Theater, Sports, and Events
Camera API and Photo Upload
Tourists love to take pictures. Therefore incorporating a camera function within a tourism based application can be very powerful. Tourism boards can run contests and engage users simply by incorporating an existing function into a branded application.
For example, a visitor is in town for a wildlife adventure, and suddenly comes across a unique animal; the user snaps a picture using the camera function within the application or the application provided by the device. The user can upload the picture to the mobile application and “photostamp” the bottom right corner of the image with a catch phrase and logo i.e. “Saw this in the Yukon…YUKON TOURISM”. The user can then upload the photo directly to their social networks.
THAT IS A VERY POWERFUL MARKETING TOOL!!!!!!!
The user visits a destination and downloads a tourism mobile application. They had a great time but they return home to their job and day to day routine. Fortunately, since the user downloaded the application, they invited the tourism board into their pocket, living room and workplace because the application is running off their device. The Tourism Board marketing team can now have a direct mobile marketing opportunity.
For Example, The Tourism Board can send push notifications to users of the application that update them about upcoming events. The push message could have a question embedded, such as “Are you attending the Jazz Festival this June?” The Tourism Board can than pull information and obtain data from users of the application
Native apps provide a more powerful ad delivery system than web based apps. When clicked, banner ads offer a rich user experience. Essentially, native based ads are separate apps that run in the background of native mobile apps. Therefore, native based ads provide audio, video and visual feedback that far surpasses web based ads. The aforementioned capabilities provide an excellent platform to promote local businesses and points of interest, which stimulates economic development.Read More
What are Native Mobile Apps and Mobile Web Apps?
- A software application developed specifically to run on the architecture of a mobile device, and which is downloaded, purchased, and upgraded through a central distribution portal (such as the App Store).
- Uses web browser technology on the Internet to display a mobile URL on a device, often with a different appearance than the corresponding desktop website.
In the Beginning
The mobile revolution started with basic cell phones that had features such as browser, calendar, calculator, contacts and other functions, which allowed users to utilize tools to organize their content and solve basic problems. The aforementioned applications that were provided by device manufacturers were the beginning of native based apps. The iPhone revolutionized apps by allowing developers to create custom mobile applications based on the iPhone’s existing technology and Apple provided a distribution hub for developers, which allowed iPhone users to download third party mobile applications. Eventually, mobile browsers (a native app… remember that for later) began to evolve, which allowed web apps that could thrive in a browser environment.
Mobile Web Apps Serve a Purpose
Although I work for a mobile development firm that specializes in native development (we can also do complex and custom web apps), I still believe that mobile web apps serve a purpose. As a sole form of mobile media, they are great for basic information, local retail/restaurants and small business. Unfortunately, they lack functionality when it comes to extensive problem solving. For example, many enterprise organizations have existing software infrastructure, therefore developers must integrate software with browser based technology, which can be done but can have its hurdles.
I like to compare integrating existing software systems (API’s) into browser based mobile apps to making salad dressing. Think of existing software as oil and browser based web apps as vinegar. When you make salad dressing you mix oil with vinegar and they come together nicely. After you dress your salad the oil and vinegar separate. Although they are separated they can still be used when shaken up again, but in order to have oil and vinegar become one you must spend time and resources emulsifying the two. Even if they become emulsified, it is still possible they could separate.
Integrating existing software systems into a native based mobile application is similar to mixing sparkling water and orange juice. You pour the orange juice and sparkling water into a cup, give it a stir and you have a very refreshing beverage. If you make a very big jug of sparkling water and orange juice (a large mobile integration project) it is possible you may need to give the jug a stir every once in a while (maintenance). Generally the sparkling water and orange juice integrate fairly well.
What Type of Mobile Applications are going to Solve Problems? Native or Web?
Many types of problems can be solved with mobile technology. The mHealth (mobile health) market is beginning to breakthrough and has the ability to solve world issues. Marketers are beginning to use creative solutions to engage consumers through push messaging and direct mobile marketing. These are only 2 of many problems that are being solved with mobile technology.
“Browser based web apps are reliant on mobile browsers to innovate. Therefore browser based web apps rely on the innovation of native app developers”
The mobile browser is considered a native based application. Therefore in order for browser based web apps to increase functionality they are reliant on a native app. All major device manufacturers and operating systems are aligning their strategy towards native based apps. Apple is not adding extended functionality to Safari (Apple’s mobile browser), considering they recently revamped the entire app store and In July “Apple announced that there are over 650,000 apps on the Apple App Store, up from 600K in April of this year.” (Crook, 2012). Apple is not the only company aligning their strategy toward native based apps. Google announced in June that is had over 600,000 app available in Google Market, Blackberry announced that they have over 99,500 apps in App world and Microsoft announced that they have over 100,000 apps to choose from.
The Bottom Line
A mobile strategy includes a deep integration of all forms of mobile media.Read More
Source: Niobium Labs
Providing doctors with regular readings for chronic illnesses
Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road, making it difficult for them to visit their doctors – even though they are expected to be in excellent health. 50 year old David Jesse was a truck driver who’s newly recurring headaches finally pushed him into seeing a doctor. He discovered that the headaches were due to high blood pressure, which can be treated with medication. However, medication for high blood pressure are tailored to the individual, which requires regular visits to the doctor. As a truck driver, Jesse could not do that. So, he used mobile technology to measure his blood pressure and to update his doctor periodically — all while he was on the go. This way, his doctor could remotely monitor his response to the medicine.
Assessing physical damage to athletes while they’re at a game
Concussions, depending on the severity, may lead to death. At a football game, a doctor was able to assess an athlete after possible concussion by strapping an iPad to him. A concussion is defined as a swaying at the hips of more than 30 degrees. The accelerometer feature in the iPad native app provided an objective measure of the athlete’s hip sway, reducing false positive diagnoses, but also allowing them to catch hidden concussions as well.
Real-time remote care
Dr. John Halamka is a toxicologist specializing in mushroom poisoning. No matter where he is around the world, he can be contacted to consult on a case. With the use of his iPhone, he can quickly identify the species, and send a treatment plan.
Park, A. (2012, August 16). How to carry your doctor in your pocket. Retrieved from http://techland.time.com/2012/08/16/how-to-carry-your-doctor-in-your-pocket/
Pickert, K. (2012, August 16). TIME’s mobile tech issue: Better care delivered by iPad, M.D.. Retrieved from http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/16/doctors-using-ipads/
Our previous post about the benefits of native apps clearly outlines the ways in which they can be better than web-based apps. Here are some types of apps to anticipate for 2012, made possible through native-app attributes.
- Mobile Social Networking
According to Peters (2012), the attraction on social networking lies in allowing people to share information in real-time, whether it be their interests, the restaurant at which they are currently enjoying dinner, or photos of their surroundings, the people they are conversing with, the drink they’re recommending. Built-in smartphone features such as cameras and GPS streamlines this sharing process. (Stats for mobile usage for social networking)
“It’s all about context, frictionless sharing and push-notification-driven user interfaces. The best apps won’t tell you about every random person or restaurant that you walk by; just the ones that will trulymatter.”
-— Brett Martin, Co-founder and CEO, Sonar
- Location-Based Services
Location information provided through a smartphone’s built in GPS allows native apps to cater information and advertisements to a user’s location (restaurants, libraries, other users, etc).
“We are really starting to see location-based services ‘come of age’. People are realising that sharing their location often offers some kind of reward in terms of a discount or deal. It is the combination of time and context – directing people towards a deal when they can easily redeem it – that unlocks a powerful tool for marketers to develop precise targeting approaches”
– James Fergusson, Global Director, TNS
- Context-Aware Service
Related to location-based services are context-aware services. These services take into account a user’s smartphone history use, interests, activities, schedule, preferences, amongst other things, to provide the user with information and advertisements customized to be relevant to them.
Object-Recognition technology is becoming more and more developed. It relies on a smartphone’s built-in camera and other sensors to recognize various items in a user’s surroundings, and then to provide to the user information related to the object. Imagine using your smartphone’s camera to view the CN Tower, and getting information about its hours of operation, admission fees, and whether anyone in your contacts list is currently in the tower!
- Mobile Instant Messaging
Mobile instant messaging services such as Trillian, BBM, and Google Talk allows users to talk to their friends from what used to be just desktop messaging services. Johnson (2011) predicts that mobile instant messaging usage will triple by 2016, but will never replace SMS.
“SMS is less socially intruding because users don’t feel the need to respond the messages instantly. [...] On the other hand, desktop-based apps have a sense of urgency and timeliness to them that makes users feel like they have to keep responding – similar to an actual conversation.
– Daniel Ashdown, Research Analyst, Juniper Research
Instead, it is predicted that smartphone users will use both SMS and mobile instant messaging to fulfil their needs (Johnson, 2011).
- Mobile Commerce
Mobile commerce thus far is, in its most basic sense, an extension of eCommerce. However, mCommerce is expected to have unique mobile features such as checking in to a store (allowing retailers to know you are present), and adding products to a shopping cart by using object-recognition or bar code scanning technology. Here are interesting infographics on retail mobile apps usage,mCommerce strategies, and mCommerce stats for the United States.
- Mobile Payment
Near Field Communication payment systems is not predicted to be widely used until 2015. Before that can happen, however, payment solution providers (Interac, PayPal, etc) will have to address issues such as ease-of-use and implementation while maintaining a high level of security, as well as service coverage and user awareness.
- Johnson, L. (2011, June 22). Mobile instant messaging usage expected to triple by 2016: Study. Retrieved from http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/10266.html
- Peters, M. (2012, May 5). Why the future of social is in the palm of your hand. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/05/05/future-social-mobile/
- Pettey, C., and Gousduff, L. (2011, February 10). Gartner identifies 10 consumer mobile applications to watch in 2012. Retrieved from http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1544815
- Russell, J. (2012, April 24). Location-based services have huge untapped potential worldwide. Retrieved from http://thenextweb.com/mobile/2012/04/24/report-location-based-mobile-services-have-huge-untapped-potential-worldwide/
- Shroeder, S. (2009, July 10). The future of the iPhone: Intelligent object recognition. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2009/07/10/iphone-object-recognition/