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White Paper: Increase the ROI of Branded Apps

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An increased number of consumers are using the mobile web and native apps on their smartphones to research products and make purchases, however many mobile marketing efforts miss key opportunities to …

An increased number of consumers are using the mobile web and native apps on their smartphones to research products and make purchases, however many mobile marketing efforts miss key opportunities to maximize their app ROI.

By focusing on a consumer-friendly app strategies, companies can increase their ROI, gain insight into consumers’ mobile behavior, and enhance their consumer appeal.

Download our white paper to learn more about how Gold Mobile can accelerate customer engagement, drive transactions, and reward your most loyal customers with our unique platform. Included are examples of how our platform has been utilized by other companies to help combat precise challenges and achieve specific goals.

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  • 1. 77 Brant Ave, Suite 210, Clark, NJ 07066 | Phone: 848.467.4560 | Fax: 848.480.0405 | Gold-Mobile.com 1April 1, 2013Making the Most of Mobile:IntroductionAs smartphones become the norm among Americans,consumers are increasingly turning to their mobilephones before making purchases.A recent survey of 2,000 smartphone ownersfound that 71% of respondents had used theirphone to research products before makinga purchase, additionally 42% had respondedthat they found better prices elsewhere, 19%were looking for coupons, and 16% werelooking for location based offers.Though more than half of adult mobile phone ownersuse those phones to make purchasing decisions,many consumers are frustrated with spam textmessages and unwanted sales and marketing calls.The right mobile experience can meet consumerswith sales and marketing messages they choose toreceive, when and where they want them.Aaron Smith, Janna Anderson, Lee Rainie, . “Main Findings: The Future of Money.” http://www.pewinternet.org. N.p., 17 Apr 2012. Web. 28 Mar 2013David, Moth . “32% of smartphone owners use mobile to research products every week.” http://econsultancy.com. N.p., 14 october 2012. Web. 28 Mar 2013.Jan Lauren Boyles, ,Lee Raine. “Mobile Phone Problems.” http://www.pewinternet.org. N.p., 02 Aug 2012. Web. 28 Mar 2013“Acquity Group Mobile Audit Reports 210% Increase in Retailers’ Deployment of Mobile Sites Over Past Year .” http://www.acquitygroup.com. N.p., 10 Oct 2011. Web. 28 Mar 2013.Olenski, Steve. “Mobile Marketing Too Large For Brands To Ignore.” http://www.forbes.com. N.p., 20 Sep 2012. Web. 28 Mar 2013.From small retail chains to international banks,companies are making mobile a centerpiece of theirmarketing strategies. This goes beyond a mobileoptimized website; sizable organizations in the B2Csector are expected to have a mobile app, andcompanies spend a considerable amount of time andmoney developing and launching mobile apps.At least one in four retailers has a mobile app,and companies are expected to allocate atotal of $8.2 billion dollars to mobile by 2016 .However, there is not always a clear relationshipbetween branded mobile apps, marketing goalsand the bottom line. As with any new marketingtactic, many companies have an unclear vision ofhow mcommerce and mobile marketing serves theconsumer and company in the long-term. But basedon consumers’ digital behavior, marketers are takinga risk by not making use of branded apps for theircompanies or clients.Nine Strategies for Increasingthe ROI of Branded Apps
  • 2. 77 Brant Ave, Suite 210, Clark, NJ 07066 | Phone: 848.467.4560 | Fax: 848.480.0405 | Gold-Mobile.com 2Though the nature of these strategies vary, oneprinciple underlies them: give the consumersa choice of where, when and how to shop, buyand engage with your brand. The success of anymobile marketing campaign must start first with anunderstanding of consumer behavior, specific to acompany’s unique customer base. Their needs driveconcise marketing goals. Finally, the type of mobilestrategies chosen must relate directly to those goals.This is why many companies are not seeing the ROIof their branded mobile apps in the first place; theyhave not tied the app to a particular marketing goal.Simply having a presence in the mobile space willnot produce results. One or several of the strategiesbelow can help a company meet its mobile marketinggoals, employing their apps to achieve those goals.Produce more sales by enablingin-the-moment transactionsDrive customer loyalty by enablingin-the-moment rewardsReduce acquisition costs by providingpersonalized incentives through appsReduce costs of owning the app by enablingadvanced engagement, transactions andrewards, even without custom developmentProvide metrics from initial engagementthrough purchase and rewards detailing acustomer’s entire lifecycleComplement social media campaigns bymoving fans from third-party socialnetworks into branded experiences onlyavailable within mobile appsIn 2012, the Pew Internet and American Lifeproject surveyed experts on Internet trendsand found most believed mobile transactionswould replace cash and credit cards in abouta decade.●●●●●●There are mcommerce and mobile marketingstrategies that can increase a company’s return oninvestment, while providing valuable insights intoconsumers’ mobile behavior. With these strategies,mobile apps can:This white paper will detail nine proven, alternativemobile engagement and purchase strategies thatcan help companies extend the reach of their mobileapps. It will also outline how mobile payment options,rewards programs and other mobile marketing andcommerce tools can be added through third-party,cloud-based tools to reduce overhead.Increasing the ROIof Branded AppsMobile transactionsAaron Smith, Janna Anderson, Lee Rainie, . “Main Findings: The Future of Money.” http://www.pewinternet.org. N.p., 17 Apr 2012. Web. 28 Mar 2013.
  • 3. 77 Brant Ave, Suite 210, Clark, NJ 07066 | Phone: 848.467.4560 | Fax: 848.480.0405 | Gold-Mobile.com 3Mobile transactions are not yet that ubiquitous, butconsumers are becoming increasingly comfortablewith the idea of using their phones to makepurchases.A branded mobile app can facilitate mobile paymentsto make customers buying experiences easier byavoiding long lines, automatic reloading of prepaidcards, and fewer keytags and store cards. Thisprovides convenient, in-the-moment engagement forcustomers. Mobile payments can be implementedcost effectively, even reducing the cost of transactionprocessing. The best mobile transaction systemsallow people to place orders across a range ofdevices and via SMS or near field communication(NFC) technology. With this cross-platform strategy,companies can track and analyze customer data inreal time.“active” posters and select their meals from theposter. The active poster then submits their order,texts a confirmation number for order pickup andnotifies the kitchen staff.The program also offers rewards to students forparticipating. Coupons, prizes and meal dealsencourage them to continue using the dining hallsand the other on-campus shops.The transactions and rewards depend on acombination of mcommerce tools. The posters arepowered by GoMo Tap & Go, and rewards arefacilitated by the GoMo Campaign.To facilitate both mobile and social transactions,companies can give app users the option of pre-loading money into their app for making purchases.That way, users have a mobile wallet stored in thecloud. Ideally, customers can prepay with a varietyof options, including credit, debit, payroll or ACHtransactions.Prepaid systems can be either open or closed loopsystems. Common closed loop prepaid systems arebranded gift cards and can only be used within thatbrand’s app or subsidiaries, as is common with large,multi-brand clothing retailers. An open loop prepaidsystem, also known as a companion card, is usuallyissued through a Visa or an American Expresscard-affiliated brand. This open loop system allowsthe consumer to redeem the card anywhere.Using NFC technology, studentsat a large Pennsylvaniauniversity are now able topre-order food from their dininghall using mobile transactions.This helps the school alleviate some of the long linesthat occur around peak times, and frees studentsfrom having to wait in those lines.Students who register for the program can participateone of two ways: with NFC enabled smartphones, or asticker with an embedded NFC chip, which they canattach to the back of non-NFC enable phones. Toorder, they simply swipe their phone over specialMobile Transactions: College DiningPrepaid accounts
  • 4. 77 Brant Ave, Suite 210, Clark, NJ 07066 | Phone: 848.467.4560 | Fax: 848.480.0405 | Gold-Mobile.com 4For example, many companies tie coupon codes,sweepstakes entries and other outbound marketingrewards to social media actions. This includesfollowing a brand on Twitter, liking a Facebook Page,sharing a YouTube video or checking into a storeevent through Four Square. Customers receivein-the-moment rewards, whether they are engagingfrom home, work or at a company’s branch or store.Rewards and loyalty integration with a mobile appfrees customers from carrying keytags andpunchcards by handling all reward pointmanagement. However, it also creates aself-managed loyalty framework, which puts thecustomer in control. That sense of controlencourages them to share content from their favoritebrands and opt-in to marketing messages.Incentives for app users to adopt a prepaid mobilewallet vary depending on brand implementation, butthey may include reduced wait time, avoiding bankfees or access to special products or services. Forcompanies, prepaid customer accounts reduce thecost of transactions and may help increase ordervolume.Companies can pair open prepaid cards (also knownas a companion cards) with apps. These reloadablecards function like a Visa debit card and consumerscan use the card anywhere credit or debit cards areaccepted. By combining the card with a rewards andincentives app the issuing company is helping theconsumer to track their rewards and manage theirbalance. For the company, this both increases theconsumer’s card balance and consumer spendingwithin the card’s app environment. For the consumerthey are receiving a reward system that is easilymanaged and readily available.With the rise of mobile and social transactions,marketers are moving towards a new rewardsparadigm. Historically, consumers were rewardedonly for transactions, tracked using tools like plasticloyalty cards. As consumers spend more timeonline—particularly on their phones—it is now justas simple to reward them for actions, not justtransactions. Furthermore, consumers expect brandsto demonstrate loyalty to them as valued customers.Using both a cross-platformrewards program and acompanion card, EZ Referral hasstreamlined the process ofrewarding sales referrals. The EZReferral Network allows salespeople at cardealerships to reward their friends, family andcustomers for referring new business. Participantsreceive a login and password, which they can usefrom a web browser or from the mobile app. Usingtraditional and mobile marketing collateral,participates can introduce potential referrals to theEZ Referral systems and send contact informationfor referrals to a salesperson. If that turns into asale, an EZ Referral administrator will authorize aRewards and Companion Cards: EZ ReferralRewards programs
  • 5. 77 Brant Ave, Suite 210, Clark, NJ 07066 | Phone: 848.467.4560 | Fax: 848.480.0405 | Gold-Mobile.com 5payment to the person who referred the newbusiness to the salesperson. They receive theirrewards on a companion card.For customers, the advantage is clear: cash rewardsfor simply telling someone about a positive car buyingexperience. However, it also streamlines the referralprocess for salespeople and gives them a powerfultool for promoting themselves and the dealership.At the same time, the dealership can track referralactivity and easily send referral payments online.In its first three months of operation, at a singledealership EZ Referral signed 17 sales peopleand 606 referral agents, generating 174 leadsand 31 sales.a family’s purchasing power. It also helps form brandloyalty in younger consumers.This is implemented at some universities as a meansof allowing parents to have some control over theirstudent’s spending. Students are given a card thatworks at university facilities and is paired with amobile app, which parents and students can reloadvia a mobile app. For the school, this means moneygets spent on campus. For parents, this means lessmoney inadvertently spent on beer. And for students,this means the freedom to spend their allowancebeyond the dining hall.Mobile allows people to share information moreeasily and faster than ever before. This can bedangerous when passwords, account numbers andPINs are the bits of information shared. Familycommerce tools make sharing accounts more securewhile retaining simplicity, which is a boon forfamilies who share purchasing and decision-makingresponsibilities.This means including the capability for an individualto give a family member access to an app for limiteduses. The primary account holder remains in control,and can also receive reporting of activities.Companies can allow this in conjunction with abranded mobile app, allowing them to retain more ofThough coupon codes have become just as commonas paper or print-out coupons, they do not alwaysintegrate well with retail point of sale (POS) systems.Sales staff may not know how to handle the codes,and marketing departments are not able to track thecodes for valuable data.To make the most of couponing, marketers caninclude in-app tools that will produce unique couponcodes tied to codes in the POS. This tracks consumerbehavior from app to POS and redemption, enhancingcustomer profiling and segmentation. Other potentialfeatures include automated emails informing themarketing team when coupon threshold is reached orthe ability to limit coupons to one per device.Family commercePOS Redeemablecouponing & tracking
  • 6. 77 Brant Ave, Suite 210, Clark, NJ 07066 | Phone: 848.467.4560 | Fax: 848.480.0405 | Gold-Mobile.com 6Mobile has made contests and sweepstakes morediverse tools for marketers looking to instill customerloyalty and reach new audiences. However, becauseof implementation risks, like laws that vary from stateto state and seamless scaling, this is a cumbersomefunctionality to include in a branded mobile app.Third-party tools are a valuable option.Just as they do for Facebook contests, marketers canwork with an outside company to create and managemultiple, simultaneous sweepstakes programs acrossapp users with various prize levels. Such a programwould choose winners and automate sweepstakes,which is a boon for organizations without adequatemanpower to administrate large contests.Sports teams run sweepstakes for fans attendinggames. For example, throughout a game, billboardsdisplay an SMS mobile number paired with akeyword. The fans text the keyword to the mobilenumber for a chance to win team gear and otherprizes. Sports franchises have found this increasestheir advertising and revenue opportunities byencouraging people to simultaneously opt-in topromotions and other marketing messages fromsponsors.provide content and promotions based on the time ofday. Targeted, in-the-moment marketing is one of thebiggest promises of mobile, but is sorelyunderutilized.When implemented properly, in-the-moment contentand promotions can address a business’s daily andhourly shifts and variables. It allows a brand toautomatically vary content and offers based on timeof day with targeted, timed promotions. This catchesconsumers at critical decision making moments,providing the inspiration for a purchase.A large food services vendor utilizes time of daycontent and promotions to help drive traffic tocorporate cafeterias before and during peak mealtimes. Diners opt-in to promotions through SMSkeyword, QR code or on the web. Timed messages,released through SMS and/or email, offer healthyeating tips, discounts, instant win sweepstakes andfrequent visitor reward reminders. This time-of-daystyle of promotions can change that day’s buyingdecisions for anyone on the messaging list.Consumers carry their phones with them at all times,which means there is an opportunity for marketers toAccording to a Pew survey,Although this may be discouraging to marketers, ithighlights an opportunity for using a branded mobileSweepstakesTime of day content& promotionsOutbound personalmessaging68% of cell owners were subjected tounwanted sales or marketing calls, and 69%received unwanted spam text messages.
  • 7. 77 Brant Ave, Suite 210, Clark, NJ 07066 | Phone: 848.467.4560 | Fax: 848.480.0405 | Gold-Mobile.com 7app. Marketers can best reach consumers withmessaging they receive how, where and when theywant it.Preference-based messaging provides a means for appusers to opt-in to automatic outbound messaging. Theapp then only pushes messages based on categories ofinterest to the app user. An effective notification andmessaging strategy includes in-app messages andmessages that come to the user without loading oraccessing the app. Some outbound personal messagingschemes provide flexibility to choose between SMS andemail; the most effective add multimedia content tomessages to increase conversion and responsivenessThis also saves money, while offering seeminglypremium features. A quality mobile marketing solutionwill conserve marketers’ budgets by requiring lesstesting and enabling quicker deployment, both ofwhich reduce the cost of going to market.Furthermore, promotions and coupons can bedelivered at a low cost, since they will not have to bedeveloped from scratch.The best mobile marketing tools also function as anunexpected risk management tool. They help mitigateseveral risks associate with app development:Time to market risk. Launch in less time, sincethe infrastructure is already built.Operations risk. For mobile transactions andrewards programs, there is often a lot ofnecessary defensive coding. By using a proventool, developers can avoid this extra work withoutworrying about concomitant risks.Financial risk. Marketers can avoid investingtoo much of their budget into a single venture.Business risk. It is not always clear that acustom app will fully scale; with ready-madesolutions, the scalability has already beendetermined.Central to all of this is the mitigation ofdevelopment risk, which is particularly importantfor marketers without access to an in-house appdeveloper. New software development needs alot of work, quality assurance and field testing.By using a trusted mobile marketing tool or set oftools, you avoid the brunt of this risk.Many marketers already recognize the value of offeringconsumers a more powerful mobile experience. Limitedresources, time and development capabilities hold themback. A cloud-based mobile marketing suite may offerthe right combination of affordability, features, ease ofuse and risk mitigation.A feature-rich cloud software tool enables a marketingteam to do more with less. For example, instead ofcoding an entire reward system with a set of businessrules, the marketing and app team can use a ready-madereward management infrastructure. This allows them tofocus on improving the app user interface as it relates tothe rewards program.Developing New Featuresfor Branded Apps●●●●Aaron Smith, Janna Anderson, Lee Rainie, . “Main Findings: The Future of Money.” http://www.pewinternet.org. N.p., 17 Apr 2012. Web. 28 Mar 2013.
  • 8. 77 Brant Ave, Suite 210, Clark, NJ 07066 | Phone: 848.467.4560 | Fax: 848.480.0405 | Gold-Mobile.com 8Marketers have been quick to see the promise inmobile apps, but have not fully leveraged this tool todeliver a real ROI. In conjunction with mcommercetools and a new loyalty paradigm, mobile apps cancreate more fully engaged customers and show realresults for companies.App-managed mobile transactions, companion cards,family commerce and more reduce transaction costsand produce more sales by making it easier and saferfor consumers to make purchases on their mobiledevices. Rewards tied to consumer behaviors andactions, as well as time-of-day promotions and socialsweepstakes, promote brand loyalty and reduce thecosts of owning the app, while providing metrics thattrack consumer from app to POS.Working with cloud-based mobile marketing solutionscan further drive down acquisition and operationcosts. These provide tools that can enhance theeffectiveness and ROI of an app, such as integratedmobile wallets and companion cards. Working with aproven tool also reduces risks related to development,testing and deployment of mobile apps.The question is no longer whether or not mobile willhave an impact on marketing and sales, but how.Companies that fully integrate branded mobile appswith mobile transactions and rewards programsstand a chance of leading the mcommerce pack.Gold Mobile marketing and commerce tools aredesigned to enhance mobile app ROI throughadvanced customer engagement and in-the-momenttransactions and rewards; thereby enabling an appto become a complete “card-less” loyalty system ata small fraction of the cost to launch and maintaincompared to traditional card-based loyalty systems.GoMo tools are delivered to our clients via a securecloud-based administrative control panel andreporting system; enabling the delivery of in-the-moment commerce and lifestyle engagement inmany industries including food service, retail andbrands, financial services, and healthcare. Clientsenhance their app by simply using either “off-the-shelf” configurable functions or use API/SDKfor more advanced custom app implementations.Functions and Modules include:The Bottom LineGoMo Rewards Wallet, a mobile transactionand rewards tool that enables customers to easilyorder and pay; supports prepaid/gift, credit, debit,and ACH. For those customers who do not haveyour app it serves as a companion system andenables transactions and rewards via SMS,mobile web or standard web.GoMo Tap & Go, a self-service interactivekiosk that provides consumers with a deviceagnostic NFC system for easy enrollment and timesaving incentives, rewards, and purchasing.●●The GoMo Platform
  • 9. 77 Brant Ave, Suite 210, Clark, NJ 07066 | Phone: 848.467.4560 | Fax: 848.480.0405 | Gold-Mobile.com 9To find out how GoMo tools can serve yourcompany, request a demo of our engagementand loyalty platform.GoMo Campaign, an engagement andincentive/promotion management platform thatallows administrators to create compellingin-the-moment lifestyle campaigns that build andengage your customers.GoMo Chat, a two-way enterprise scalableSMS messaging system connecting consumersand brands for in-the-moment text conversations;enables desktop/call centers to engage withcustomers/patients “in-the-moment” of decisionmaking and action; has a HIPAA secure versionfor healthcare.GoMo CMS, a high-powered, yet intuitivemobile web content management system thatallows even the least technical administrator todeploy and manage mobile websites; significantlyreduces cost of creation and ownership. Enablescreation of hundreds/thousands of location baseduser experiences.● ●●Contact Jason A. Howie at seeademo@gold-mobile.com.