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10 (+5) Best Business Apps To Improve Your Marketing Strategy

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Take a look at the app stores. Today, there is quite an abundance of tools that promise to help marketers and entrepreneurs in taking better - and timely - decisions. We have all come to rely on mobile devices to manage daily tasks and increase the quality of our output.

Since the smartphone has become the privileged companion of our private and professional life, mobile business apps represent the essential compendium to stay connected 24/7 with what matters most: your brand and your customers.

Mobile technology has not only shaped the ecosystem we all live in; it has also contributed to the dawn of a new category of clients, the digital customers. In the last few months, the smartphone has officially achieved the ‘first-screen’ status:

  • Mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches in 2015;
  • Apps account for 86% of total time spent on mobile devices.

Digital marketers find themselves in the dual position of publishers and customers. The question is simple: In a world where customers are betting heavily on mobile, why shouldn’t marketing professionals do it? You would do well to focus on native apps, investing time and money in optimization practices to better your strategy and improve efficiency.

When you get a glimpse of the productivity apps around the web, it’s easy to see that there's no shortage of tools for digital marketers. Whatever is your specific need - social media, SEO, advertising, project organization, time management - you can easily find the proper tool with a few taps.

Long gone are the days when the most popular utilities were only available to geek scanners, as desktop software applications. Productivity apps have conquered the stores in the name of ‘omni-channel’ and cloud, so much that it is sometimes difficult to choose between dozens of options.

The search for the best business app - the one that will help you optimize your time - can be extremely time-consuming. A paradox we want to solve, to pick up 10 of the best mobile business apps that really deliver on the promise to make your life easier and help you organize your daily routine and tasks more effectively.

POCKET

The Internet is full of juicy contents if you are looking for insights to improve your marketing skills or develop an amazing customer experience. You are constantly under the risk of content overdose, and that’s where Pocket comes into play, allowing you to save the best articles online to read them later, on any device.

EXPENSIFY

On the official website, Expensify is described as the “hassle-free expense reporting built for employees and loved by admins”. And that’s true. Whenever you need to track your business expenses, you can count on this helpful app, that makes capturing receipts, tracking mileage, business travel and creating expense reports quick and easy.

SLACK

If you work within a team, you know how hard it is to keep track of all the tasks assigned to different members. Slack is a team communication platform - integrated with other apps like Dropbox, Drive, and Asana. You can channel for various topics, and fill them with contents so that everybody is on the same page.

BASECAMP

Apps have disrupted many business silos, and project organization and management is surely one of those. Basecamp allows you to organize the whole project and assign tasks to people, managing workflow and keeping everyone communicating with one another. It is fully integrated with the desktop version, and it’s completely free.

TODOIST

If your daily agenda is so full that sometimes you can't make sense of your meetings and things to do, Todoist is the answer to your problems. It is a productivity app that allows you to stay on top of your personal tasks, across all devices. You can organize your list with tags and categories, so you know what you need to do, and when.

GO TO MEETING

How can you manage your meetings when you’re out of office or on a business trip? GoToMeeting is one of the best services to join meetings and call with clients and colleagues. The perfect addition to the web version, the app facilitate collaborations from anywhere, including your mobile. You only need a mobile connection.

IFTTT

Automation is becoming the standard in all things marketing. How can you automate your content strategy? By setting actions that trigger reactions. IFTTT (If This Than That) does exactly this, by connecting the most-used services, and automating with ‘recipes’ many of the routine operations you used to do by hand.

BUFFER

Do you want to reply to your customers in real-time? Do you want to schedule a post on the brand official page while on mobility? If you haven’t set-up a social media platform yet, Buffer can be your best mobile app solution. You won’t need a desktop computer to manage your social accounts, review analytics or create a long-term media plan.

GOOGLE ADWORDS

Search engine marketing today revolves around Google AdWords. The newly-launched official app lets you check your campaign status and statistics; update ads, bids, and budgets; get real-time alerts. AdWords is essential if you're running a pay-per-click campaign on Google. If you’re a small business, you can use AdWords Express instead.

GOOGLE ANALYTICS

In the era of Big Data, analytics is the new business, differentiator. Predictive analysis studies past behaviors to anticipate future. Google Analytics (also for iOS) is the main source to understand your customers’ online and mobile behaviors. With the official app, you can access all of your reporting profiles from your smartphone/tablet, leveraging data to deliver the best customer experience.

 

Honorable Mentions:

STREAK

If you own a small business and you use Google Apps (and Gmail above all), Streak is one solution to your sales problems. It is a pocket-sized CRM that lets you keep track of your contacts, and manage where you are in your relationship with them. The good thing? For personal use it is completely free.

NIMBLE

We all know that social media can be - and should be - used for sales purposes, but how can you manage the neverending stream of data coming from Facebook & Co.? Nimble is the answer, a social sales and marketing CRM suitable for all businesses. The pricing starts at 25 dollars per user/month.

SQUARE 

"The POS software that's simple, powerful and simple." The claim sounds interesting, and Square Register does not go back on the promise. If you are a small business with point of sale, just plug in the small card-reader to your smartphone or tablet, and you can swipe credit cards and process payments without hassle and at a low price.

RESCUE TIME

Timing is everything in business. With Rescue Time you will learn to avoid the distraction of the digital life, improving your time management and finding a better work-life balance. The app, in fact, automatically tracks the time you have spent on appa and websites, and sends you detailed reports based on your activity.

SKYPE FOR BUSINESS

When it comes to video-conference, Skype is the standard. We all know the basic version but Skype For Business has many perks that could appeal marketers. In example, it is now fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365, and can manage meeting with up to 250 attendees. Plus, it adds a security layer to all your business accounts, just in case. 

Now it's your turn. Tell us what are your favorite business apps, the ones that you can't live without.

 

Download The Mobile Engagement Playbook, a collection of relevant insights that'll help you to overcome the challenges of the digital transformation and grow your business exponentially.

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Topics: Digital Customer Experience iOS Project Management Android Mobile

WWDC 2016 - macOS, iOS 10, tvOS: Everything Apple Announced

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On the same day in which Microsoft has announced the acquisition of LinkedIn, Apple claimed the attention of the entire tech world with the WWDC 2016.

As usual, Apple’s developers’ conference arrives few weeks after the Google I/O, renewing the eternal rivalry for the heart (and wallet) of the customers. How did it go? Did Cupertino overshadow Mountain View? Here’s everything you need to know about the WWDC 2016.

The first impression we get, scrolling down the list of the announcements, is that Apple is rapidly moving toward a seamless integration of its family of devices. This will allow the users to switch from one device to another more easily. Just to name two examples, Siri is coming to desktop computers, and so Apple Pay, that will soon work on Safari.

Besides the big changes, however, we have also seen a bunch of incremental updates and redesigns, from the new notifications and lock screen interactions for iOS to an Apple Maps that eerily looks like Google Maps.

The list of changes and improvements coming to Apple's operating systems and devices is rather long, but Tim Cook broke the keynote down into four areas: iOS, OSX, watchOS, and tvOS. Developers will get access to the previews right away, while mere mortals will have to wait till fall.

APPLE WATCH

The arrival of the watchOS 3 will bring the Apple Watch to a whole new level as it will load the apps seven times faster than before, thanks to background refreshing and a massive use of the memory. Customers will also see two other very welcome updates: the new “Dock” interface to jump from one running app to the other; and “Scribble”, a new way to respond to a message, simply drawing the letters with a fingertip instead of using a traditional keyboard.

APPLE TV

With the launch of the new tvOS, the Apple TV will also grow up, thanks to new features that will expand its range and better integrate the TV with the entire Apple’s ecosystem. One example: if you download an app on your iPhone, and that app has an AppleTV version, it will download automatically. More, you will be able to access the different apps with a “Single Sign On”, and you could use Siri voice search to find content, even within third party apps. Last but not least, with the new OS the iPhone will become an improved remote control.

MACOS

After fifteen years as OS X, the OS for Mac simply becomes macOS. The first macOS in Apple’s history will be called Sierra, will hit the shelves next fall, and bring a slew of new stuff. Few examples:

  • Your Mac will recognize you when you are sitting in front of it and automatically unlock.
  • You will copy something on your computer and paste it on your iPhone or iPad and vice versa.
  • Siri will move to the macOS following the Chatbots mania, and will help you carry out your daily activities or execute complex duties.
  • Apple Pay will not be confined to the mobile world anymore, and you could use it to make purchases via Safari browser.
  • The macOS will help you free up space on your hard drive, automatically backing up and removing copies of the data you have not used in a long time.

IOS 10

Apple’s smartphone will also debut a new OS, simply called iOS 10 and presented as “the biggest iOS release for users ever.” Is it really? Here are the main features:

  • The redesigned lock screen will have rich notifications, quick interaction with apps, and expanded 3D touch.
  • Siri will get the long-awaited integration with third party apps so that you could ask her for a Uber lift asap.
  • QuickType will become more smart and contextual, to understand what you really want to say.
  • VoIP apps will hook directly in the phone app to create a unified and less annoying experience.
  • Apple’s Maps will move in the predictive direction, improving suggestions and eerily resembling Google Maps.
  • Apple Music and Apple News will get a fresh new look, in hopes of attracting more customers and investors.
  • HomeKit, Apple’s standard for all things home automation and IoT, has not been abandoned and will get an ‘aggregator app’ - called Home - that will bring all the devices into one smart hub.

These and many more updates will reach your device in the next months. Apple’s purpose is to change (once again) how people connect with technology, and ultimately build a more meaningful and seamless customer experience. Which WWDC 2016 announcement excites you the most?

The Verge has compressed the entire 2-hours conference into a 10-minutes video. Check it out:

 

Download The Mobile Engagement Playbook, a collection of relevant insights that'll help you to overcome the challenges of the digital transformation and grow your business exponentially.

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Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation iOS Mobile Apple

Chatbots: The Real Deal For The Future Of Customer Experience?

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They live among us; they have conversations with us; they help us in many ways, and can even anticipate our dreams. Yet, they are not humans. We call them Chatbots (a.k.a. Chatterbots), and they might be the real deal for companies wanting to improve the customer experience.

We hear a lot about Chabots these days. "It is technology that is inevitable", with the very words of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Is it really? Why is everyone obsessed with bots?

First of all, what are Chatbots? Simply said, they are artificial entities designed to automate the tasks you would usually do on your own (making a dinner reservation, scheduling an appointment). Today, they are mostly used to maintain an intelligent conversation with human users, while constantly learning from the context. We have already seen them in the form of softwares (SmarterChild) and integrated assistants (Cortana, Siri). They will soon become something more.

There is no doubt that Machine Intelligence is already a major trend, one of those that will define the boundaries of business in the years to come. To quote the speech by Pedro Domingos, the author of The Master Algorithm, at the SXSW 2016: “Artificial Intelligence is not so scary as it seems when it translates into artificial smartness.

Well, Chatbots are exactly heading towards that smartness. It is the nature of things: Just like human beings evolve, as a consequence of the changes in the social and technological environments, so do bots. They become more refined and proactive right before our eyes.

Of course, some ‘futurists’ have already announced that, in the next decades, we are going to live in a dystopian nightmare where you cannot say what is human and what is not. Sure, Philip K. Dick would have gladly used a character like Microsoft’s Tay - the A.I. powered bot that has turned Twitter upside down with nazist and obscene comments.

Said that Tay is set to come back online after an accurate review and various adjustments, Microsoft’s epic fail does not indicate the failure of bots. It rather demonstrate that even the most intelligent machine needs protection against human behaviors.

While technology is neither good nor evil, engineers have a responsibility to make sure it is not designed in a way that will reflect back the worst of humanity.” (TechCrunch)

Put together virtual entities and experiments like the Scarlett Johansson robot, and you may think that we are close to fully realize what Jean Baudrillard prospected in 1981: the arrival of the third order of simulacra, where the distinction between reality and representation vanishes.

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THE HISTORY OF BOTS

Things, of course, are quite more complex. We have learned from the success of virtual and augmented reality that the real world is not enough to fulfill the dreams and desires of digital customers. We do not go online, we live online. Every single activity we carry on in the digital world has effects on the physical reality.

Actually, computer programs which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods are not exactly newborn. Since Alan Turing introduced the renowned ‘Turing Test’ -  a criterion to distinguish real humans from computers mimicking human behaviors - scientists have tried to fool the test using conversational programs.

ELIZA, created in 1966 by Joseph Weizenbaum, can be considered the first in-embryo example of an artificial intelligence able to move a conversation forward. It wasn’t really ‘smart’ but laid the foundations for the future developments, from the chatterbots that filled the chat rooms and instant messaging softwares (Windows Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger) straight to IBM’s Watson and the infamous Tay.

Bots (as we know them) date back to the dawn of the Internet era. One of the first examples was Bartender, a service which suggested drinks to its users. Then AOL’s Instant Messenger, a pioneer in the messaging services, introduced SmarterChild, an early version of a virtual assistant. And, of course, who can forget Clippy, The Office Assistant?

Moving from desktop computer to mobile devices, Chatbots have found a brand new life in the so-called personal assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and - last but not least - Google Now. These are interesting warning signs of what was about to happen.

The spread of the smartphone and mobile apps leads us to the point where Chatbots can be more than useful for simple requests. It is in the mobile ecosystem that this technology will ultimately go from a series of experiments to a real business tool.

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THE FUTURE OF BOTS

In the time span that separates SmarterChild from Tay, chatterbots have not gone lost. They were only waiting for better days to come. Many companies have invested in the improvement of services based on artificial intelligence, trying to find a way to bridge the gap between machines and users.

It is no wonder, then, that Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the main focus for the F8 conference this year will be bots. It is the natural consequence of what the founder of Facebook already promised last year: namely, to convert Facebook Messenger from a random messaging app into a powerful business channel to improve the relationship with customers.

One important thing: Not all Chatbots are the same. Some are smart, some are not. Some are useful, some just play with you. Some work in complete autonomy, some still rely on human intervention. But the path is evident: the evolution of bots will make them smarter and totally independent.

Here lies the gap between what Facebook wants and where it is right now: MoneyPenny, the all-in-one virtual assistant, is today still powered by humans. On the contrary, Pana, an online travel agency, is an example of a bot which relies on both automation and humans, to turn text messages into bookings.

BOTS AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Will bots really define the future of customer experience? The idea is to create a bot that can assist, find the right answer and help customers without any external intervention. How? Using the apps to go beyond the apps as they are today.

The ultimate goal is to create something that will - finally - make customers’ life easier. Instead of wasting time switching manually from one app to the other, the user will just have to ask his question and his full time personal assistant will do the whole work.

You want to know what will be the temperature next weekend? You can ask a Chatbot and it will tell you. No need to open the browser or the weather app. In this terms, “Chatbots are the latest, greatest attempt to improve a user experience without having to hire legions of hand holding customer service operatives.

There is already a long list of ways businesses try to connect with customers; the essential difference is that Chatbots “give the human the illusion that they are communicating with an entity that understands and can generate sentences that make sense.” (Marketplace)

Chatterbots seem to set a win-win situation, both for developers and clients:

  • On the one side we have developers betting on the success of conversational marketplaces. They create new smarter bots and eventually launch selling platforms (Telegram and Kik have already launched that bots platform and store that Facebook is rumored to be building).
  • On the other side we have organizations, perfectly aware that people live online and offline at the same time. They have new tools but the same old business problem: learn how to engage and monetize their customers, delivering meaningful experiences across all channels.

Analysts think that bots might be the next evolution of making something more natural. We think they could represent an invaluable opportunity for brands (above all retail brands) to align the offline/store experience with the persistent online life of their customers.

Connect Chatbots, predictive analytics, eye-tracking and behavioral studies, and you will start to recognize the scenario. To say it with Kik's CEO Ted Livingston, "Over time where we see the killer application for bots is in the offline world."

While we wait to understand what Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and other players have in store, we leave you with a question: Will bots eventually replace humans?

 

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Future Innovation iOS Android Mobile customer engagement

5 Common Myths About App Store Optimization

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Apps are dead. Apps will rule the world. Despite the amount of analysis and hypothesis, the future of mobile apps is clearly still uncertain. What is evident is that, right now, we are talking about a global market estimated to grow to 143 billion dollars by 2016.

As opportunities rise, so does competition. The only way to respond to the app store competition is to get better at it. You do not just need to know what to do; you also must understand what ‘not’ to do. Here we highlight the most common myths about the app store optimization (ASO). Mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.

In the recent years, apps have replaced desktop computers and mobile browsers as the main tool to access the Internet. We have reached one billion smartphones in the whole world; that means apps have become a critical touch point in the digital customer journey.

Be it smartphone, tablet, smartwatch or wearable technology, people are downloading apps; people are buying apps; people are using apps. Just think about your average day. You rely on them to:

  • Check the weather forecasts;
  • Track & measure your morning fitness activities;
  • Verify your meetings in the calendar;
  • Control the email box;
  • Find the fastest way to the office;
  • Receive discounts and buy your favorite products;
  • Reserve a table at a restaurant and then review the experience;
  • Get back home using someone else’s car;
  • Post your daily thoughts and pictures on social networks;
  • Chat with your friends.

Users evidently prefer free apps, but they also gladly spend their money if they get in exchange apps that increase productivity or offer something new and different. You can have the best app in the world but, if you do not know how to market it, you will not gain any consent.

With in-apps purchases and advertising, in fact, the mobile applications ecosystem cannot be considered a closed box anymore. What we have here is a broader market with huge investments and revenues (both for developers and other related industries).

Competing with over 3 million mobile apps available for the major mobile operating systems - iOS, Android, Windows Phone - how can you overcome the others and get customers’ attention? To make money on apps, your app needs to be seen. Here is where app store optimization comes in handy.

Said that the mere number of downloads is swiftly losing all its weight when measuring the success of a mobile app strategy, that is still the first thing that managers would see. The potential to drive large amounts of downloads at no cost, therefore, is still enticing to any developer.

While still overlooked, app store optimization is an incredibly important opportunity. Just like search engine optimization, though, ASO is a marketing science that requires time and devotion. It has specific rules, tips, and threats. In a few words, it demands a knowledge of what you are doing.

Searching is still the most popular way to discover apps: roughly 65% of app purchasers search, discover and purchase apps browsing the app store. Without the right approach, your app could get lost in the crowd. The right approach involves the ability to deploy best practices and to avoid common mistakes.

A couple of weeks ago we talked about the best practices in app store optimization, and how you can leverage the store to make it an integral part of the digital customer experience. Here we are going to bust the many misconceptions that might misguide you in your path to mobile marketing success.

1. YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR TITLE OFTEN

As stated by Ankit Jain, head of Google Play search, the title is the most important metadata in the store optimization. That said, you do not really need to change the title every once in a while to reach higher rankings. Adding keywords, mixing keywords or even changing the name of the product will not ensure you any advantage. On the contrary, it may harm your strategy.

Pick a title and stick to it. The title is your best tool in the app store optimization, make sure it is short, unique and memorable; and ultimately include all relevant keywords, without stuffing keywords in it.

2. IT IS ALL ABOUT THE KEYWORDS

We do not want to deny the importance of keywords, still one of the foundational elements of online - and mobile - optimization. What we want to point out is that keywords alone will not help you reach the first places in the ‘most downloaded’ list. If you just developed a great gaming app, just putting the ‘game’ keyword everywhere can’t be called optimization.

App stores have the same dynamics of traditional search engines, so you always need to work on your relevant keywords. However, you should never force them. Focus on the customer experience, be sure they are relevant and make sense in the context.

3. IT IS ALL ABOUT DOWNLOADS & RATINGS

Judging from ads and press releases, you might be misled to think that ratings and the number of downloads are the two key performance indicators you need to track to measure success. Ratings, of course, are a good signal of how customers consider your efforts; the download number is a signal of short term success. However, then?

Then you need a long-term digital strategy that involves all aspects of app publishing and distribution. Ratings do impact on user’s perception; they do not affect app store rankings. Five stars make a good impression; they do not make your ranking.

4. DESCRIPTION IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT

When you try to sell something, the first thing you do is to describe the value of your product, the uniqueness of its features. Easy, not? Well, not for many developers that still believe the description is an ‘extra’, not a mandatory element of the app store presence. This is a dangerous myth, and it can kill your efforts, leaving you app into oblivion.

Description is probably the second major element in ASO, right after the title. While not directly linked with rankings, it has a great role in the store algorithm. Don’t try to stuff it with keywords, just focus on the natural incorporation of keywords in what you are describing. Moreover, remember that apps now show up in Google’s result pages too.

5. BEING ON THE APP STORE IS ENOUGH

This is a die-hard myth: now that you are on the app store, hidden somewhere, you do not really need other work. Everything will happen as a some sort of magic, and downloads will flow as a mere consequence of you being there. Some still believe that as long as your app is there, people will find it. You do not need to advertise it; you do not even need to update it.

The truth is, with millions of apps available, it will take much collateral work to avoid failure. ASO is just one piece of the puzzle, and the competition is so fierce that you will need more ‘traditional’ marketing methods to sell it (from social media marketing to content marketing, advertising and PR).

And one last thing: do not abandon your app on the store. When you do it, your customers will do it too. So it will fade away.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 5 Mobile App Marketing Insights To Improve Customer Engagement

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist





Topics: Digital Customer Experience Neosperience Apps iOS Android Mobile Apple

5 Common App Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

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There’s an app for that.” Five years later, the slogan used by Apple to launch the iPhone 3GS is still more than true. Apps are now so important that mobile app development has become a very steady competition.

Apps are a whole new form of engagement; the challenge is to remain relevant and create meaningful experiences for customers. It is vital that you learn how to avoid the most common app marketing mistakes, which often lead to overspending and disappointing results.

With the evolution of mobile devices - last, but not least, the smartwatch - it is now clear that mobile apps are more than just a trend. The prediction that apps would make mobile browsers useless has proved true, as they account now for 86% of the entire time spent on mobile.

Having replaced browsers as the main door to access the Internet, apps show unique capabilities in enabling brands to build relevant connections with digital customers. And they are here to stay.

One the one hand, mobile technology has created a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, allowing a complete customer experience. On the other hand, it has fragmented life into a continuous sequence of micro moments, mediated by digital screens and driven by specific intents.

As a consequence of both forces, the landscape of content consumption and the patterns of purchase behaviors have changed. So deeply that many marketers still can’t give a sense to this transformation.

In a few short years apps have become our favorite tool for all activities: reading the news, watching a video, sharing experiences and opinions on social media, finding the best deals and buying our favorite products.

Simply put, stores are so crowded that there is an app for everything. But mobile marketing is still far from being used to the full potential. It is the old story: customers evolve faster than brands do.

While omnichannel, cross-device and digital-first are not arcane and obscure terms anymore, too many businesses still don’t get the point of app marketing. They feel they need an app to complete their mobile strategy, but they lack a clear vision.

Just developing a mobile app will not automatically guarantee you success. And even having it downloaded and installed on users’ phones means nothing, if they don’t use it. Remember that the average app user has 36 apps installed, and 25% of apps are never used.

As a marketer, mobile is a very powerful opportunity for you to connect with your customers and foster engagement. However, since few apps get the highest share of attention (only 26% are used daily), mistakes can be overly harmful.

Here we have tracked down the 5 most common app marketing mistakes, to understand how you can avoid them and recover from troubles.

BUILD WITHOUT A MARKETING PLAN

This is mistake ‘level zero’. In 2017, app downloads will hit 108 billion, but this number doesn’t mean you will reach thousands like magic. How can you be sure that your app will survive the competition? By developing a proper marketing plan to launch it and assist it across all stages of its evolution.

Find a strong reason people should download and use your app. Create a distribution plan, and make it easy to find it online (stores, landing page, advertising, social media). Build a monetization strategy (subscriptions, in-app purchase, ads, freemium).

TREAT MOBILE LIKE DESKTOP

Too many companies develop a mobile experience that is, in fact, a revised (and resized) version of the desktop experience. If you think that you can handle a mobile app this way, then you are on the road to failure. An app is something completely different, in terms of functionalities, UX and customer journey.

Desktop and mobile are distinct marketing tools, distinct worlds. Don’t try to shrink a website down to the small screen of the smartphone, but focus on shaping a great experience. The key to success is to create an app that makes customer’s life easier, with a consistent user experience.

USE THE WEBSITE AS AN APP

One of the worst things you could do is to submit to the stores an app that is not an app at all. It may seem nonsense, but it is something that happens more often than you think; for example in the case of apps that are mere launchers for the mobile version of the branded website. The best way to tell the world that you know nothing about mobile.

App stores are so full of alternatives that customers don’t really need your app. A native app experience is a must-have, not just an option. Publishing an app that has nothing more than webviews communicates that you are there ‘just because’, without a strong reason.

TAKE CUSTOMERS FOR GRANTED

Do you still believe that the number of downloads is the KPI that defines the success of your mobile campaign? Years ago, getting your app installed could have been a great accomplishment in itself. Not now. Today, the download is just the beginning of the story, and taking customers for granted is a risky move you want to avoid at all costs.

One number says it all: Nearly 90% of users discard and uninstall an app because the brand fail to engage them. Never assume that people will come back just because it’s you. Even strong brands fail in the mobile game if they don’t develop a customer engagement plan to improve retention in the medium/long term.

IGNORE CUSTOMER BEHAVIOR

Even when users give you a chance, install your app and use it repeatedly, there is still one link you can’t miss. A branded app is a unique opportunity to listen to your customers, study their behavior and engage them in a two-way communication. And you could never do it if you forget to implement feedback system and analytics dashboard.

We are at the dawn of a new era, marked by the relevance of predictive analytics for marketing purposes. If you understand what people want from your app, you can keep them coming back over and over. How they use your app, and how they navigate it, will tell you whether your customers feel engaged or not.

Mobile apps are an incredibly powerful way to improve customer experience, connect with digital customers and drive your value. To be successful, however, it’s important to plan your marketing efforts carefully so that you can take full advantage of the mobile mind shift.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Top 10 KPIs To Measure Mobile App Development Success

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience iOS Analytics Android Content Marketing Mobile

5 Mobile App Marketing Insights To Improve Customer Engagement

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What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Before even drinking coffee, you more than likely pick up your smartphone to read the emails, check Facebook updates or look for promotions and special offers on your favorite products. Surfing from one app to another.

Apps are now an integral part of our daily life as human beings and customers. Mobile app marketing, thus, becomes fundamental for your brand to understand where (and how) to invest to improve customer engagement and boost revenue.

The main reference for the realization of this article is a recent research on consumer app acquisition and usage behaviors, conducted by Google in partnership with Ipsos MediaCT, with the aim of understanding the drivers behind app discovery and engagement.

Apps market is still a field full of opportunities but, as the number of competitors continues to grow, the real challenge is to prevent that your app simply disappears in the ocean. Sure, app store optimization is the first mandatory step to ensure that customers can find you; but even a well-conducted optimization process is not enough.

You need something more: even when your app gets downloaded and installed in your customer’s phone, it doesn’t mean you are hitting the target by delivering a great customer experience. Downloads might be an eye-catching key performance indicator but they rarely tell the truth about the success of your app.

To move on, let's take a step forward. Why should you invest on branded app development in the first place? Easy: apps now account for 86% of the time spent on mobile devices, replacing web browsers as the main entrance to the Internet. In a marketing perspective, that means a unique opportunity to build deeper relationships with customers.

In the era of Micro Moments, apps play a key role in what Google has called the ‘I want’ moments, driven by specific intents and decisive for online and offline purchases: I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy.

Mobile app marketing should not be confined into the online ecosystem, as it has extended consequences on your traditional marketing strategy, influencing the offline retail customer experience. Mobile devices help you bridge the gap that separates the physical and digital worlds, connecting with customers/prospects to enhance their loyalty.

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To understand the boundaries of the apps battlefield, just take a look at the following stats:

  • Users spend an average of 30 hours per month in apps ;
  • The average app user has 36 apps installed on the smartphone;
  • Only 26% of installed smartphone apps are used daily;
  • 25% of installed apps are never used;
  • Only 19% of daily used apps are retail related;
  • Nearly 90% of users discard an app if the brand fail to engage them.

In the best case scenario, customers open your app once in a while and devote less than one hour per month to it, if you’re not Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. With few apps getting the highest share of attention, you definitely need to learn the rules of mobile app marketing to stand out and encourage long-term user retention.

APP DISCOVERY

When you plan your mobile marketing strategy, you might be led to believe that the app store is the main source to find new apps. Data show instead that apps are often discovered outside the store: 52% of customers becomes aware of an app thanks to the opinion of friends, family or colleagues. Only 40% actually browse apps on the store, 24% directly goes on the official website, while an interesting 27% bump into them while looking for information on a search engine.

APP DOWNLOAD

The connection between search engines and app discovery is probably the most useful insight of the entire report. Search is especially effective for technology (43%), travel (35%), and local business (34%) apps. If the organic search leads 1 in 4 downloads, you can also rely on search engine marketing to increase the adoption rate: search ads have become the main driver of app download (50%), followed by social advertising (49%). Be sure to be reachable wherever customers are looking to discover apps relevant to their interests.

APP PRICE

The top reasons why users decide to download and install an app are recommendations by their trusted circle of friends/family and the perceived level of fun/interest. But the actual decision is mostly influenced by price: 82% of users indicate prices as the main factor, followed by description and reviews (60%). How much are they willing to pay? Not that much: 3 in 4 actually expect that your app is free; they are willing to pay only for technology, financial and local apps (and no more than 3 dollars anyway).

APP BEHAVIOR

What makes one app successful and another one nonperforming? The ability to make customer’s life easier. This is the key attribute of frequently used apps (63%), together with clear instructions (63%), appealing design (57%) and consistent user experience across devices (57%). You should focus on these features to increase app spending: 50% of customers use the app to help make purchase decisions, scanning for information (49%) to actually buy in-app virtual goods or in-store products/services (29%).

APP ENGAGEMENT

Even when your app effectively responds to customers needs (let’s say a purchase), it could be abandoned after few sessions. 38% of users are likely to download an app when it’s required to complete an action, but 50% of those will uninstall it right after action is performed. More, 25% of installed apps are never used because of a sudden loss of interest. There’s a huge opportunity here, if you know how to maintain engagement: discounts, bonus contents, exclusive features. Only incentives will foster customer engagement and prompt renewed app usage.

A customer-facing app is critical if you want to reach - and exceed - your business goals in an era defined by mobile technology. But if you just throw a badly-shaped application to the stores you will only prepare the ground for inevitable failure. Maximize your presence and keep customers engaged: the app is a piece of the customer journey, not the final purpose of your marketing strategy.

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:
Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Gamification Facebook iOS Android Mobile

3 Mobile SEO Best Practices To Improve Customer Experience

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How much traffic will I lose due to the recent updates in Google’s search engine algorithm? Any single entrepreneur has asked - at least once - this question to his SEO specialist. The Mobilegeddon brought us all into the SEO-pocalypse.

Despite what a lot of people have been saying recently, search engine optimization is not dead. You still have to adopt best practices; just you need to refocus your efforts towards mobile optimization: mobile SEO is critical to improve customer experience.

Released on April 21th, the mobile-friendly update is already affecting results page, starting from the online searches. Sudden panic is now unnecessary; we knew those changes were coming. Google’s focus on mobile search comes with no surprise, as it is a mere reflection of social and technological changes. Digital transformation is primarily a mobile transformation.

Think about it: the ultimate goal of any search engine is to offer the best content related to specific keywords, so that users can have all useful information to take decision or action. Every update, therefore, has inevitable consequences on the way brands plan their digital customer experience and create relationships with clients.

And the last mobile-friendly update is shaking this connection like nothing else before. Year after year, we spend more and more time using mobile devices. We mostly don't have time for long searches on a desktop computer; everything we need and we want is right there in our palm. Our life gets fragmented into a constant sequence of micro moments, real-time sessions driven by a specific intent.

The most important micro moments always happen within the framework a mobile device. It's pure instinct: the first thing we do, when we need information, is to pick up the smartphone. 60% of the entire traffic on Google already comes from mobile searches, and 80% of users admit that the smartphone is their favorite device to search the Internet (affecting especially local businesses).

The rise of mobile searches presents marketers with a considerable challenge: build an optimized identity on digital properties to increase opportunities and sales. The smartwatch and wearable technology will only accelerate this evolution, making it mandatory for everyone (even traditional retail & consumer products firms) to upgrade digital presence in the name of mobile friendliness.

Google’s algorithm, after all, does nothing more than respond to the impact of the smartphone on the way empowered customers decide what and where to buy. They want everything and they want it now, easy and seamlessly. And they will ultimately reward websites (and brands) that are fully optimized for mobile with higher rankings in their personal 'mind list'.

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If you don’t show up in the first pages when they do searches on Google using ‘your’ keywords, it's like you don’t exist at all for them. Digital transformation can only be achieved through constant optimization, the key to be sure you are delivering an amazing customer experience.

When your competitors are optimizing their presence effectively and you are not, then you will perform poorly, with an harmful impact on everything from traffic to conversions to revenues.

Do you think SEO is dead? Well, think again. 

What’s really surprising is that so many brands, despite the Google-Paranoia, have yet to begin optimizing their website, social media presence, content marketing, app development and general practices. While your traffic may not have disappeared overnight, it doesn’t guarantee you actually survived the Mobilegeddon.

The mobile-friendly algorithm is not just one of many updates. It’s a complete shift in the search dynamics. As more customers rely on their smartphones to find the information they’re seeking, your company will slowly be left behind and disappear.

What should you do to avoid this unpleasant fate? Stop considering SEO as a mere technical aspect of your business; incorporate optimization into your mobile marketing strategy. To deal with the challenges of digital transformation follow these mobile SEO tips, suggested by Brian Honigman, CEO of Honigman Media, in an article for The Next Web.

FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE

Mobile optimization is not just a responsive website. When you set your On-Page SEO priorities, you will have to take in mind that not all customers access your digital properties using cutting edge smartphones combined with fast connection. The key is to find the perfect balance between quality and performance, to ensure that your website operates smoothly for every uses and device.

DESIGN FOR THE EXPERIENCE

A well-designed website is just one piece of your digital cake. Social media pages; mobile app, e-mail & newsletters, e-commerce store: all these elements actively contribute to define the success of your business. More and more frequently, the tipping point of the customer experience is not the branded website. Being innovative means design for the omni-channel experience across all touch points.

OPTIMIZE FOR LOCAL SEARCH

Local businesses, together with online retailers, are the ones most likely to be hurt by badly optimized sites and pages. Why? Studies shows that up to 56% of mobile searches have local intent, and 78% of local mobile searches then result in an offline purchase. Customers mostly use the smartphone for local searches (stores, restaurants or services): "if your business has any local elements, it’s important to leverage these search habits and optimize your site accordingly."

There’s still so much confusion about what mobile optimization really means, that companies are often caught in frenzy and groundless fear.

Search engine optimization is not about looking for tricks to cheat the machine; it is about improving yourself to offer the best user experience to human beings.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 3 Trends Linking Digital Marketing Strategy To Mobile Technology

To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation iOS Android Content Marketing Mobile Apple

Top 10 KPIs To Measure Mobile App Development Success

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The mobile app market is expected to reach 36.7 billion dollars in revenues by the end of 2015. With so much at stake, competition is rapidly evolving into a fierce battle to conquer users’ attention.

With app stores rapidly becoming crowded, how can you measure the success of your efforts? Mobile app development is not just a matter of downloads anymore. You need more specific KPIs to understand what’s going on.

Obviously, downloads are the first and most eye-catching key performance metric any company will analyze. They tell you how many people have chosen your app and whether or not your launch strategy was really effective. Like all other marketing-related fields, though, a single number means nothing without context.

Many years ago, when app stores were much less competitive, getting your app installed could be considered a great accomplishment in itself. Today, it is just the first step of the mobile customer journey, and it does not guarantee success in the long term. Too many users install apps that immediately fall by the wayside, forgotten and neglected.

A business development plan for the Age of the Customer can’t do without a customer-facing app, to bridge the online and mobile experiences. That said, the number of downloads does not indicate whether or not a mobile app campaign has been successful.

Yet marketers often still focus this KPI, spending all their budget in huge one-shot advertising campaigns (maybe even on traditional media) rather than planning a long-term customer engagement strategy.

According to a new research from eMarketer, mobile ad spending will reach 28.72 billion dollars in the United States in 2015; 3 billion will come from mobile application install ads, up 80 percent from 2014.

Considered in a broader digital marketing perspective, a well-designed app is a unique opportunity to add value to your strategy and instill the idea of a cutting edge brand, unlocking the power of a truly amazing digital customer experience.

While a mobile-friendly website is still considered the most important business card, in many respects it is not the top priority anymore. Apps now account for 86% of the time spent on mobile devices, replacing web browsers as the primary door to access the Internet.

In a world where the smartphone has become an extension of the body (particularly for younger users, the so-called millennials), an app should be never treated as a simple porting of the official website.

Your brand will be in the hands of users practically 24/7; your products and services will be one tap away in the purchase moment. This is an opportunity you should not waste. To ensure success, your app should bring something fresh and exciting to the table, enhancing the mobile customer experience and stimulate emotional connection with the brand.

With the launch of other disruptive mobile devices (i.e. the smartwatch, with Apple Watch and Android Wear already battling), and the connectivity of cars, objects, houses and stores, new apps will invade big and small digital screens.

This trend forces developers and marketers to adapt their output to the needs of tech-savvy customers. The number of downloads, needless to say, is totally inadequate when considered as the only KPI to measure engagement and loyalty.

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To optimize the reach of your app, you need something more. What? More specific and dedicated KPIs. Every app is different, and there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution, a set of key performance indicators working with no distinctions.

You need to pick the ones that fit your app. The ones that fit your business goals. And measure them in a given period of time. Here we share the top 10 KPIs to measure mobile app development success, according to Neosperience.

ACTIVE USERS

To download an app (specially when free) it’s the easiest thing in the world. What happens next is critical: how many of those that have installed your app actually use it? Monthly and daily active users tell you the truth about how much the world loves your app.

VISIT FREQUENCY

How many times users open the app and interact with your contents? The fact that they have the app installed in their smartphone is useless if they just open it once and for all. Hold frequency in check; the usage during the first week is a plausible signal of what will happen in the future.

SESSION TIME

The length of a single session is a performance indicator you should always consider in correlation with the number of active users in a given time and the depth of visit. This is even more true for gaming apps or section dedicated to the gamification dynamics.

DEPTH OF VISIT

This is an important engagement metric. The depth of visit is the number of screens or pages visited in one session. This information gives you two critical insights: how engaging and useful your content is; and how seamless and smooth is the experience you actually deliver.

CONVERSIONS

When the primary objective of your app is to sell or convert (i.e. retail app, fashion branded app and e-commerce), you should measure conversions in a given time. A conversion can be a purchase, a subscription or registration, depending on who you are. But remember that lifetime value is always more than a one-shot sale.

REVENUE PER USER

The potential of a loyal user base is pictured by a metric too often overlooked: revenue per user. This number indicates the overall value of an individual to your app business; not just in-app purchases (the Holy Grail of mobile marketing these days), but the app spending across all other digital channels.

SOCIAL SHARES

If your app is content oriented, in-app purchases are not the only KPI you might want to monitor. Mobile customers, more often than not, connect the app they install with their social media account. Social shares indicate interest in the content you deliver, and are perfect to increase word-of-mouth and build a trustful community.

RETENTION RATE

When you plan a loyalty strategy, one sale is nothing compared to repeat sales. Customer retention is cheaper than acquisition but harder to achieve. In a mobile market where a roughly 65% of users stop using an app no more than three months after install, retention rate in a given time is perfect to tell you how much your customers are engaged.

ACQUISITION COST

To know what’s the cost of customer acquisition, you need to understand where existing users found your app. App stores, in fact, are just one of many channels to promote your app. Search engine advertising, organic search, in-app referrals or social networks: different tools with different costs. This metric shows you the most efficient way to reach your potential audience.

USER EXPERIENCE

You can have the hottest app in the whole Internet, but it’s customer happiness that ultimately proclaims your success. And happiness is strictly connected with the user experience. Defective UI, bugs and crashes keep users away. Always check reviews and ratings to understand what customers think and what needs a fine tuning.

Success is marked by having loyal users that are regularly engaging with the app: spending their time to visit the different sections, converting, making purchases, playing with it. In the race to mobile engagement the app install is only the opening sprint. Find the right partner and develop a long-term omni-channel customer experience strategy.

 

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:
Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Neosperience Apps iOS Analytics Android Mobile developers Apple

WWDC 2015: El Capitan, iOS 9, Apple Music, Everything Apple Announced

wwdc_2015

The battle rages on. The WWDC 2015 sounded like a prompt answer to Google I/O. Apple tried to overshadow the eternal rival in the race to the future of technology. Did Apple settle the score?

From the stage of the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled the details of everything coming soon to iOS, OSX, Apple Watch. With a juicy ‘one more thing’: Apple Music.

No doubt that the last months of 2014 were all about Apple new product launches:

  • Apple Watch - a single product to bring the wearables and smartwatch industry back to life after decades;
  • Apple Pay - a one-touch secure payment method to disrupt the banking customer experience and change the way we pay and make purchases;
  • HealthKit - a platform, connected with iOS 8 and other devices, to collect and aggregate health data for medical purposes.

But 2015, till now, has seen nothing but Google: with the I/O keynote, the Big G has taken a critical step to become way more than your favorite search engine. With Android ruling the market of operating systems, the company aims at becoming the main reference for everything you do in your daily life.

Android M, Android Pay, Project Brillo and the Internet of Things, Google Now on Tap, Jump and the virtual reality: all the announcements looked like a direct challenge to Apple, and there was no doubt that people at Cupertino would steadily reply.

While Google I/O was a mainstream event after all, the WWDC did not betray its very nature of a meeting for developers. Two hours of low-key - yet solid - changes and evolutions to Apple's products, from the new versions of OS X and iOS to the update of Siri and Watch software.

Except for that controversial ‘one more thing’, there were no real fireworks. Nonetheless, we have the feeling that both Apple and Google have just warmed up the engine with skirmish keynotes to prepare for the real war. That will change the mobile market and revolutionize digital customer experience

If you didn’t sit through the keynote and missed the announcements, here’s a recap of the highlights of the annual WWDC conference for software developers.

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OS X 10.11

The kickoff of the keynote focused on the newest update for the Mac operating system, OS X 10.11, also known as El Capitan. Don’t expect a revolution or a redesign of the whole interface; the new release is more about tweaking the actual experience and improving behind-the-scenes performance.

Here's what you need to know:

  • The new OS X will use 'San Francisco' font developed for the Apple Watch as default.

  • You will finally have the ability to snap windows or split the screen with two windows.

  • Safari will try to challenge Chrome and Firefox with minor improvements (i.e. the ability to mute individual tabs).

  • The Metal 3D graphics SDK will improve gaming features and accelerate app launches.

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iOS 9

The keyword to understand the improvements in the mobile operating system is ‘intelligence’. Apple will transform your iPhone into the essential companion for everything you do in our daily life. As a consequence, Siri becomes the heart of iOS 9.

  • Siri - proactive and able to offer contextual reminders and advice about what you are doing or planning to do. It will also suggest apps to launch or people to contact, based on previous usage behavior (just like Google Now On Tap does).

  • Apple News - the rebranding of Newsstand brings in a Flipboard flavor to your smartphone. This is a whole new app that enters a crowded competition and uses your preferences to create custom glossy magazines.

  • HomeKit, Carplay and HealthKit - all major features announced in the previous months will get a new life, with the ability to control everything with a tap, from smart objects in your home to in-car connections and health measurements.

  • Apple Pay - despite the warm reception, the new mobile payment system is struggling, due to the lack of commitment from business and financial partners. Soon users will be able to add their credit and debit cards into Wallet (the former Passbook), and buy things on Pinterest with a tap. Also new and compelling loyalty features, already being tested to become part of the upcoming Neosperience Gamification features.

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APPLE WATCH

Now that Google has promised 7 new models of Android Wear, combined with 4000+ new apps, Cupertino answers back with the new version of the operating system for the best seller Apple Watch. Soon, there will be several improvements and tweaks:

  • Third-party apps - developers can have their software work entirely off the Watch, with better performance and native integration;

  • Watch faces - you can now include the ones that use your own photos;

  • Time travel - if you turn the crown you can jump ahead in time and view your calendar, predicted temperatures, schedule meetings or flights;

  • Digital Touch - you can draw and send coloured sketches;

  • Nightstand mode - finally the chance to turn the Apple Watch into an alarm clock.

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APPLE MUSIC

Here we are at the long awaited ‘one more thing’ of the WWDC 2015. Apple Music comes from the awareness that streaming is replacing download (legal and illegal) for music fruition. The growing success of Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music forces Apple to rethink iTunes.

Apple Music, coming next June 30, is a cross-platform music streaming service powered by iTunes and filled with plenty of options that could make it the first choice for iPhone users (priced 9.99 dollars/month, 50% more for a whole up-to-6-members family). In a single app you will be able to:

  • Access the complete Apple music library and stream it on demand (including the music you already have ripped from cd’s or downloaded from iTunes).
  • Receive suggestions based on what you usually listen, with the For You tab and even human-curated personalized playlists.
  • Listen to Beats 1, a live radio station dedicated entirely to music and music culture and broadcasted 24 hours a day.
  • Browse the Hot Tracks, Recent Releases, and Top Charts, connecting with your favorite artists through the Apple Music Connect option.

One piece was missing in this year's edition of the WWDC: Apple's plans for the TV (Google just revamped Android TV)Except for this, the conference echoed Google I/O. The enemies are both building a wide, smarter, responsive ecosystem to connect everything from your home to your wrist, from your smartphone to your car. Who do you think will win?

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Why iPhone 6 and iOS 8 Will Change Your Digital Customer Experience

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

 

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation iOS Automotive Android Wearable Mobile Internet of Things Apple

5 Reasons You Really Need a Mobile Friendly Website

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April 21th, 2015: ready, set, go! Google is ready to launch the ill-famed mobile friendly update, the new algorithm that will change the destiny of all brands and businesses involved in the mobile space.

The so-called ‘Mobilegeddon’ will make it mandatory to optimize your online presence for mobile users. And if you’re not mobile-savvy, you will likely fall down and become untraceable for customers. 

Google is the number one player in the search engine arena, with over 75% of all worldwide searches coming from the Big G box. Actually, you don't really need any other reason than this, to go mobile-firstThe new algorithm will review the overall search engine indexing mechanism (starting from online searches) and will ultimately reward websites that are fully optimised for mobile with higher rankings in the results page.

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It is widely accepted that 2015 will see mobile search reach the tipping point, that is the stage at which the majority of organic traffic and paid clicks will come from smartphones and tablets, finally surpassing desktop and laptop computers. Three statistics help us understand where both markets and customers are headed:

  • 80% users say the smartphone is their favorite device to search the Internet (Global Web Index);

  • 48% of all online searches now start from the search engines, making them the most common starting point for mobile research (Google Think Insights);

  • Tablet and iPad show a higher conversion rate and visit share than desktop computers, and even the smartphone (thanks to bigger screens) is rapidly bridging the gap (Monetate).

Add that 60% of all traffic for Google already comes from mobile devices, and you’ll understand why people at Mountain View is pressing for a change in the search rules. The final aim is to make search engine even more useful to people, whether they use their smartphone or their laptop (and soon their smartwatch). How? By training Googlebot to search like humans would do and reproduce their user experience.

To understand why the new algorithm is critical, you need to go back to the basic question of marketing for the Age of the Customer: "Who am I doing it for?". Are you building your mobile presence for mobile's sake, just because everybody is doing it? Or - way better - because you're well-aware that the customer today is the core of business? Just think about it: a mobile friendly website is just the level zero of a revolutionary new paradigm centered on customer-facing apps.

Semantic search has been around for a while now, and the future will bring a more restricting algorithm for companies that offer a faulty experience to mobile customers. The next steps are so evident they hurt: Google is outlawing non responsive design (or at least adaptive), text too small to read, links too close together to tap, and software that is not common on mobile devices (did you say Flash?).

As offline and online blend to create an omni-channel journey, the smartphone becomes integral part of the customer experience. Thereby, the only answer for all companies, even the small ones (mobile devices are the first tool to search for local business), is to adapt their online identity for the new era. Starting from the calling card, the website.

In a world where everything runs fast, customers hate to waste time and competitors are willing to fill all open holes. Just think about this: roughly 57% of all mobile users readily leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load; 30% will stop a transaction if E-Commerce shopping cart is not optimized for mobile devices. Obviously, this means that you will be hurting yourself if you don’t optimize for mobile-friendliness.

So, here’s why you should invest in mobile friendly optimization immediately:

  1. Be customer-centric: the first and most critical factor. If you offer a good customer experience across all devices, bots and crawlers will love you too;

  2. Get qualified traffic: people use mobile devices wherever they are, to look for product/service info. Conversion rates for mobile users are skyrocketing.

  3. Convert more leads: you can have the best products and unmissable deals, but if your page is not optimized for mobile and your call to action hard to find, you won’t convert easy leads.

  4. Improve ranking: there is no doubt at all that mobile is the future of search. Rankings will be increasingly determined by the mobile factor. If your site is not optimized, your ranking will suffer, and so will your brand quality perception.

  5. Shrink bounce rate: one of the key analytics metrics, bounce is the rate at which visitors leave your website. It mostly happens when the page is not optimized. When that happens, you are giving away customers to your competitors.

The new algorithm may not show its consequences immediately, but don't make the mistake of neglecting the mobile area of digital marketing. In the Google era, the naked truth can be summed up in one single sentence: if you disappear from search engine results pages, you will - more than likely - soon also disappear from customers’ mind. Do you really wish to face this unpleasant fate?

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Mobile optimization is a major duty for companies aiming at connecting with people of the Age of the Customer. To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Future iOS Android Content Marketing Mobile