We exhibited and spoke at Berlin’s CityCube for Apps World Germany this week, one of Europe’s key tech events. A gathering of attendees across the mobile ecosystem, Apps World brings mobile innovators, developers and entrepreneurs together for insightful discussions and debates on the latest in mobile technology.
Not surprisingly, personalization, omni-channel marketing, app development, the internet of things and creating great digital experiences through mobile were hot topics. We’ve pulled together some key trends for those who couldn’t attend. (Also, follow us on Periscope for on-the-ground insights from all our events.)
Trend 1. Always Be Retaining
Why it matters: Big brands are borrowing from growth hacking startups who value retention as critical to growing business. Analytics are no longer a nice-to-have. The brands currently winning in mobile start with retaining the users they’ve acquired, and build an ongoing relationship based on data. Data powers optimized experiences, insights into the mindset and behaviors of your users and long term growth.
Trend 2. Bot or Not?
Why it matters: Facebook’s F8 brought messenger bots to the attention of marketers as a new channel to engage with and sell into Facebook’s 900M active user base. Bots are at the intersection of mobile, messaging, artificial intelligence as well as on-demand services and commerce. Some reasons why bots might take over the world: the standard, simple user interface provides ease-of-use; 1:1 or 1:many communications; and they lower barriers to entry for customers interacting with your brand. Messaging also promises lower development cost than apps, putting mobile engagement in reach for a much wider market.
Trend 3. User Experience: More Than U & I
Why it matters: Speakers from Strava, Lumind, ithlete, Runtastic and Vinaya emphasized that great user experience is more than just the user interface. Design, ease-of-use and engagement mechanisms of a wearable device all matter to adoption. Lumind has created an elegant connected device and mobile app that visually remind diabetics to check glucose levels. Through great design, and subtle clues, diabetes management can now be less of a chore.
Zalando’s “Age of Touch” keynote reiterated this theme: frictionless shopping, intuitive user experiences and the quirkiness of the human experience (as demonstrated by Zalando and TopShop’s campaign with Cara Delevigne) are at the heart of an engaging digital experience.
Trend 4. Let’s Get Phigital: Physical World, Digital Experiences
Why it matters: Many brands haven’t sorted out omni-channel communications, nor how those digital experiences connect with the physical world. IKEA has been focusing on this journey by using beacons to tie your shopping list to the in-store experience. The IKEA home delivery app lets you know when your shopping won't fit in your car & offers free home delivery.
Trend 5. Big Data, Big Business
Why it matters: Data is powering personalization, richer experiences and smarter marketing spend. Examples included Coke’s personalized video campaign and Zalando’s app, Fleek, which takes things one step further; suggesting matching clothes for the day based on the user’s location and the current time. Day one’s closing panel discussion in the Mobile Marketing track covered retargeting using omni-channel data; a digital mandate for modern marketers.
Trend 6. Mobile: Your Remote Control to the IoT
Why it matters: The control of connected devices frequently resides in the mobile experience.
As the number of connected devices in the world increases from an estimated 4.2B today to an astounding 3x-5x that by 2020, smartphones and tablets will be the primary way of interacting with and controlling the world around you. This trend is firmly in place today, and mobile engagement platforms are giving brands a big leg up in rolling out great customer experiences involving the IoT. (See presentation below on IoT.)
Urban Airship’s Product Manager Greg Weinger and I both spoke at the event. We’ve embedded our presentations, if you’d like to take a look.
To better understand shifts in mobile marketing that can impact your initiatives, contact a strategic services expert today.