How does Mobile Marketing Automation differ from Marketing Automation?

The Explosion of Marketing Automation (on the web)

Marketing automation software has exploded in the last few years with solutions integrating with websites and email. Its hard to walk down the streets of San Francisco without tripping over another Marketing Automation startup!

But this explosion has run parallel to the growth of mobile. When it comes to mobile there is three (at least) competing approaches:

  1. Mobile Communications via SMS campaigns
  2. Mobile Web (often a poor cousin)
  3. Mobile Apps

#1 The SMS approach feels like a 1990’s approach but people are still doing it – I still get an SMS for a Vitamin store about their Tuesday specials once per month. Do I go in? Nope. I think this approach will die because people now expect a much richer experience.

#2 Many “older” companies modify their website to display for an iPhone and then hope to capture the users email again.

#3 Mobile Apps are really becoming the future for engagement with existing customers – this is where “Mobile Relationship Management” or “Mobile Engagement Automation” differs from standard marketing automation. StreetHawk’s platform targets these 2 approaches.

Acquisition or Retention

Most Marketing Automation are built to capture traffic, put them in “funnels”, convert them to leads by grabbing email and sequencing communication to get to a purchase event or a deeper interaction. One thing that StreetHawk educates App Developers is that on Mobile the user already is a customer – they’ve taken time to download and open your App at least once – they have opted into the relationship – therefore Mobile Marketing Automation is really about engagement of this existing customer. [I have written blog posts and whitepapers on this elsewhere]

Evolution of Marketing Automation

The Big Difference – Mobile Telemetry

Mobile Apps tell you more about how a user than web clicks – its an order of magnitude difference what you can understand and how you can help your users:

1. Location engagement now becomes possible, not only are you able use geofences, iBeacons, .QR Codes, Checkin to trigger in physical locations, but you can dynamically change the content in the application based on a user’s interests, location, demographics and how they use the App.

2. Push Notifications – we think push will change from being an interruption to an enabler – on Android you can already see the quick buttons that allow a user short cuts in the context of the application.

3. Real-time engagement – Traditional Marketing Automation is about sending email. With Mobile Engagement more lightweight interaction occurs when a user completes an activity in the App

4. Segmentation based on App usage – who are the power users, who is disengaged, who uses your App but never purchases. How should you treat all these segments and how can you make it a 1-to-1 relationship

The Big Summary – realtime segments

In a few years with the application of so-called “big-data” all user segments will be realtime. Marketers won’t do CSV exports, they will use solutions that are inherently turning their CRM inside out to make customer data you have actionable at the time that is best to the user.

Add to that the role of wearables and the new kinds of telemetry emerging, we have a pretty exciting time in how engagement will be redefined. I’d argue that Marketing Automation will be replaced with Engagement Automation – the customer value is at the centre.


Why do users stop using my App?

If you’re asking this question, then you are not alone.  With Most Apps experiencing 70% disengagement in 3months. Most App developers and marketers are asking the same question.

The Answer….

….is contained in these simple diagrams…


Click to enlarge

Here you get a snapshot of YOUR USERS automatically grouped into ENGAGEMENT SEGMENTS this view alerts you to your high risk segments (bubbles) and how effectively you are Keeping users in your App. For example, if you see:

  • Zombies bubble getting larger
  • Disengaged bubble getting larger
  • Tiny Power User segment

These are all sure signs that you are losing your users attention and you need to engage them before you lose them permanently.


How to understand who your users are (Part 1)

How to understand who your users are

(HINT: Its not getting their email address)

Its a common problem that most App developers launch and hope that the usage just “hockey sticks”. The reality is that never happens and it takes a lot of learning to get scale/traction/growth.

As a basis for the post, I’ll start with 3 myths:

3 myths about Mobile App users

Everyone will love my App You release your App with a backlog of assumptions. The constraints of Apple beta testing capabilities and market speed means you have virtually zero data about how users respond to your App. My first few Apps were ridiculously complex and assumed people will love it.The worst assumption is not targeting a specific user audience – thinking “Everyone will love my App” compromises design decisions into vanilla, bland choices.
Users who stop using my App are losers Wrong.They are your most valuable source of information as to how you can make your app more relevant.
Users MUST login to know them As they say in the classics, “the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one”.
Its a fact that only profiling users who have a login is examining the smallest part of your retention funnel.- myth about what “who” means
- don’t need a login
- behaviour matters not demographics

Why myth #3 is a killer

Have you had the experience when you go into a shop to buy a bottle or water and at the cash register person asks if you’d like to join the loyalty program?

Once I said “yes” and they dragged out a clipboard with a long form to fill out with lots of personal stuff. I then said “no”. Its an insult to waste someone’s time to drag information out of them and forgets a most important reality.

Actions speak louder than words

When an App demands upfront that the user logs in when they start to use it they are asking the user to surrender something personal even before they’ve gotten to know the App.

This is ridiculous…the user should be able to play around with the App, get some value from its utility and then (if they like it) create an account to keep their data or preferences.

The problem is that hugely funded or already hugely popular Apps perpetuate this belief that “first lets grab their email address” (what they say) is more important than letting them use the App.

On a phone your App does not need the email address initially, the install of the App IS a unique identifier. You can then understand (anonymously) a lot about that user (what they do)

So: “Actions speak louder than words” becomes:

How they use the App is more important than who is using the App

How to start to understand

By not demanding a login, you now have more users to measure and understand – FANTASTIC. Using the “install ID” you can capture data against the phone until such time the user registers and logs in. This lays the foundation for Segmentation.


Two Basic Segments

“The Unregistered Segment” and “The Registered Segment” are two distinct groups that might behave differently.

Four Basic Segments

Now lets say you have an on boarding tutorial that people can OPTIONALLY view. Now you have four segments:

Registered Un-registered
Viewed Tutorial 7% 36%
Did not View Tutorial 9% 48%


So you already have valuable insights into 4 SEGMENTS of users. Now is is possible to statistically
track which of these segments results in more ACTIVE or RETAINED users?

Next time we’ll dig into how to combine these segments with other important segments like Power Users, Zombies or Whales.

We’ll also talk about how you might have a segment like “Left Handed Squash Players who Drive Yellow Fords in SOMA”** who are actually your most active and virally helpful users.


*** Thanks Mick!

Get Users Back Into Your App! – Retention, Churn and Engagement

This presentation gets plenty of hits on slides are each week so takes look if segmenting, targeting and engaging users is important to you! (Yep that’s everyone)

The key points are points relate to the size of the App market and the incredible competition on many fronts (acquisition, social, features, Appstore Optimisation and of course Customer Engagement).

Not much of this is quantifiable on the backend systems and none of it is actionable with Google Analytics. So we show how to engage and iterate in a rapid and resource efficient manner.

From a marketers or product managers perspective, this being able to test user responses to communication without the ball-and-chain of the product release cycle. Let marketing be agile too!

A/B testing guide for your mobile marketing message

You know that some experiments just won’t work:

Double toilets at sochi

Take your pick

But for Right Time Marketing, it is about finding that perfect balance of person, time, intention and location to provide the most effective offer or message. So what is that perfect balance? And how do you match it with the most effective call to action?

These questions are not just answered once. In order to learn and improve conversion rates you need to combine experimentation with effective tracking.

The simplest method for doing this is A/B testing.

Continue reading

How to increase App installs through managing your star rating

With now over a million active Apps in both the App Store and Google Play, it’s more vital than ever to rank highly on search results. So vital, in fact, there is rising demand for a new field of App Store Optimisation (ASO), the App equivalent of SEO. But just as web search engines are becoming more and more sophisticated, so are the ranking algorithms for Apps which is great news for good quality Apps.

Traditionally, the popularity of an App was simply attributed to downloads, by volume and velocity. Unfortunately, this system was easily manipulated. Anomalies like thousands of downloads without opens could be frequently attributed to bots. Besides buying downloads being terrible for App retention, the App Store added ratings to the list of ranking factors in July 2013 to combat this.
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Segmentation to speed customers along their journey

Most Apps treat user segmentation as an after-thought. But smart marketers know that personalization is key. After all, consider the effect of an offer so well placed it is seen as a reward, compared to being blasted with generic spam. Personalisation brings extra value to the user so that increased Lifetime Value (LTV) comes naturally.

BUT the problem with personalisation is that its….well….personal. It takes a long time and a lot of money to build the smart recommendation systems that Facebook or Google uses – but the good news is that you don’t need that.
Continue reading

Mobile download time OK

Kissmetrics has released a report which tells us what we suspected. Mobile users are happy to wait a little longer for their webpages to load.

We stress at StreetHawk about download times, esp. as we have so many pics in our app. It’s always good to have a reality check about what people’s expectations really are, esp. with some of the networks in this country having such poor coverage.

This doesn’t mean we stop trying to make our apps and webpages faster and better. This last paragraph is very encouraging:

‘By providing a satisfactory mobile experience retailers pave the way for shoppers to go on to purchase via other channels, found research by ForeSee Results (2011). Their survey of shoppers found that those who were satisfied with a mobile experience were 32% more likely to go on to purchase from that retailer online and 31% were more likely to buy offline.’

Mobile users will wait a little longer for mobile webpages to load

A wait of 2-3 seconds for a website to load on a PC is long enough, say consumers, but when browsing the web on their mobile phone many allow a little more time before abandoning the website, according to recent figures from Kissmetrics.

by Helen Leggatt

BizReport : Internet : February 20, 2012

kissmetrics logo.pngI don’t know about you, but when I’m browsing the Internet on my mobile device I am rather more forgiving of page load times than if I were sat at my PC. But am I in the minority? According to Kissmetrics I’m fairly normal. Continue reading

What does Privacy mean now?

I wish I had more time to blog. It is a great way to distill your thoughts about everything you read every day, especially around complex areas (which is what I do on my commute, via my iPhone). Alas, I am just trying to move a ball forward every day and kicks some goals for StreetHawk.

There is a lot in the press about privacy at the moment, and some great commentary about what this actually means in the new ‘social’  world.  The discussion exploded after  a number of apps were ‘discovered’ accessing users entire address books and even uploading it to their servers without the users permission. I find this shocking. What I also find shocking is the amount of information Facebook (FB) gives StreetHawk as a company for the benefit of letting users login to StreetHawk with their FB ID.

I am a FB user. I don’t regularly go in and check the Privacy Statement – I mean, who really does. When I login to my Airbnb app using my FB login, do I know what information I am imparting to the Airbnb? It is certainly NOT in their permission box, nor is it in many others. They, like us, ask for the minimum amount of data from FB, but what this gives us as a company is everything in their profile, their friends and even their email address.

I read a great article recently – wish I could find it – about the fact that there are many dubious practices around privacy, but the fact is that even with lots of lobby and government groups jumping up and down, nothing is being done about it. The writer made the statement that this might be because people don’t really care. Or that the downsides of having their privacy invaded aren’t really very bad, and at most, incredibly unlikely?

Our home address for example is held by many organisations and individuals.  It is really not that hard to find someone if you want to. If we’re going to have a stalker, it’s likely to be an ex-partner and they already know where you live and hang out.

And of course I have to mention the whole cookie advertising discussion here as well. OK, I think that tracking what people do, where they go, with permission and as long as it is anonymous, is a good thing. It means that everyone in the advertising eco-system is happier (what consumer really wants irrelevant advertising?). But, when Google just gets trickier and trickier, it takes the whole cause back. Read this from Business Insider today.

As a company navigating this, you know that you have to abide by the law, but some of the practices of what is happening sail pretty close to the line, feel unethical, but actually make you uncompetitive if you don’t use the same tactics as your competitors. I mean, somewhere in the FB Privacy Policy permissions around using your FB login for 3rd parties will be somewhere…. but I would make a bet and say that less than 5% of FB users have read it.

I follow with an article by Graham Spencer from Mac Stories on what it means to over-compensate on permissions. If you use location-based services on your iPhone, you are probably as annoyed as I am every time I get asked my permission for something that is integral to using the app.

We start treating these permissions like wallpaper, undoing the good that was intended. Graham makes some great suggestions so hopefully someone from Apple is listening.

We have to keep talking about these issues as a business community. We  have to navigate very new waters. It is complex, I think ‘consumer’ views and technology has the ability to capture more information than ever before.

Now I must get back to that ball.

The iOS Permission Dialog Dilemma

by Graham Spencer

For anyone who used Windows Vista, you will be well aware of the frustration that UAC (User Account Control) caused. That permission dialog popped up far too frequently, constantly asking the user for permission to execute a particular task. In theory, it was a good idea: give the user more control over what was allowed to run. The problem was that because the dialog box popped up far too often, people quickly learned to ignore it and blindly click “Allow” whenever it appeared - nullifying any of the security benefits of UAC. Thankfully Microsoft relaxed the pervasiveness of UAC in Windows 7 and it is now a far more useful security tool.

Why did I just spend a paragraph talking about UAC? Because to a certain degree, Apple is facing a similar dilemma with iOS and its permission dialogs. It recently faced scrutiny after it was revealed that a number of apps were accessing a user’s entire address book and even uploading it to their servers – without any user approval. Apple has now pushed back and announced it will soon require user permission for apps to access a user’s Contacts. But will it resemble yet another blue dialog box, just like access to Location, Push Notifications and Twitter already do? If so a user will face a barrage of those dialog boxes, asking for permission, one on top of the other.

It’s after reading Marco Arment’s thoughts on this issue earlier today that I thought I would weigh into the discussion and suggest one idea that may (or may not) be a potential ‘solution’. While there can never be a single solution that will be perfect for everyone (what may be overly cautious for one user may be overly lenient for another) the goal as I see it is to arrive at a solution somewhere in the middle ground; one that achieves an acceptable mix of precaution and freedom.

Essentially, my suggestion is that rather than let users face a stacked barrage of blue permission dialogs, is to flatten them all out on one clear screen when they first launch an app after installation. Users would see a list of what the app would like permission to access and the user would be able to (with one tap) allow all, or individually deny permission for the various databases. Furthermore, with one tap, a user could see a short justification from the developer for why the app is requesting that particular access – giving a little bit more control and peace of mind to the user. If a developer lied on this page it would almost certainly be grounds for expulsion from the App Store. The one final goal of my proposal is that it would also inform the user that these options can be changed the Settings, something many users may not be aware of at the moment.

I myself am not sure this is the best option, because there is one critical weakness. With my design, an app would have to upfront ask for permissions for whatever it might want to access in the future – but as Marco points out, some apps (like Instapaper) require access to something like Location for a minor feature that not everyone would even use (in that case it is to determine if it’s night at the users location, in which case it can switch automatically to dark mode).

If I asked most careful people if Instapaper could have their location, they’d refuse, because there’s no obvious good reason. But if the app asks right when they enable a location-based setting from a screen that shows why it’s asking for their location, they can make a more educated decision. Similarly, if an app doesn’t seem to have a good reason when it asks for Contacts, a skeptical person can decline.

Although to counter that point, I would note that not only can a user choose to individually deny Instapaper access to their location, but if they were curious as to why Instapaper would need access to their location, they could quickly read Marco’s explanation with one tap. Furthermore, my suggestion wouldn’t entirely remove the blue permissions dialog, as an app could ask again for permission later on if access was initially denied but a user is trying to use a feature that requires permission — in that case, the app could trigger the dialog to ask the user permission again.

Accompanying my suggestion would be something similar to Rene Ritchie’s app permission sheet in Settings. It would list all apps that have asked for permissions and you could dive in and edit those original options from when you first installed the app. As for allowing an app to send push notifications, I would probably keep that separate, as its own blue dialog box. My permissions “screen” would be solely dedicated to access permissions, to information that is privately stored on your device. One big benefit of such a permissions screen of course is that Apple could theoretically add more things that require permission to be accessed by apps, without a user becoming too overwhelmed, because such a layout is far better than stacking dialog boxes. Think about access to NFC or perhaps your music library.







BAM and online shopping blurs this season

Great article on further blurring of the lines between online and BAM shopping – and how to make it work effectively using shoppers current habits.

Shoppers are really leading the way, it is just up to retailers to listen, take note and action what might already be working for them.

Thanks to Mike Farely for forwarding this article to me.

Customers may shop online while in store

By Jayne O’Donnell and Laura Petrecca, USA TODAY

By Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images, Updated 11/24/2011 8:18 PM

A tablet-toting Macy’s salesperson ordering a diamond necklace with a app — for a customer standing in a Macy’s store.

Walmart shoppers pulling up maps of their neighborhood store online — so they can better navigate the aisles to grab the best in-store Black Friday deals.

Toy-seeking parents ordering Lets Rock Elmo from — yet heading to the physical store to pick the gift up.

The boundaries separating online and in-store shopping are fast dissolving.

Consumers are increasingly doing online research before they head out for holiday gifts. When they get to stores, they’re pulling out smartphones and tablets to compare prices and read reviews.

For their part, retailers are both pushing people to their websites — so they can cut back on in-store stock expenses — and using Web-based initiatives, such as free Wi-Fi, to keep shoppers in their stores.

Online and offline experimentation will be omnipresent this holiday season, as retailers and consumers both try to figure out the most effective way to shop.

“One of our major strategies is to let (multiple shopping channels) blend together,” says Martine Reardon, Macy’s executive vice president of marketing and advertising. “My challenge is to give shoppers that great experience from every channel.”

There is much at stake for the retailer who can’t figure out how to integrate online and in-store shopping. Those who have slow-to-load websites, don’t offer helpful apps or aren’t optimized for digital and mobile devices could lose customers this season, experts say.

Underscoring the importance of retail websites: Thanksgiving Day online sales were up by about 20% over 2010 by noon PT, according to the Web analytics company IBM Coremetrics. Also, shoppers were using mobile devices more often to visit — but not necessarily buy from — a retailer’s website Thursday, Coremetrics said. The share of consumers using mobile devices to visit a store’s site was up from 4% to 16%, Coremetrics said. But the percentage using their mobile devices to make a purchase was unchanged at 10%.

Many retailers are dawdling, some even stumbling, when it comes to courting increasingly tech-savvy shoppers, based on new data from Web analytics firm Compuware Gomez.

Less than half of the top 30 retailers have iPad apps, and none have websites that are specifically optimized for the iPad. Three-fourths of the top U.S. retailers are not meeting shoppers’ expectations that mobile Web pages should load in five seconds or less, according to Compuware.

“Retailers don’t appear to be investing enough to capture that market,” says Steve Tack, Compuware’s chief technology officer for application and Web performance.

Dissatisfied consumers could quickly move on to competitors at a time digital sales are one of the few bright spots in holiday retailing, Tack says.

November and December online sales (excluding travel) are expected to grow 16.8% from last year to $46.7 billion, research company eMarketer says.

Yet, overall holiday spending, including in-store purchases, is expected to be tepid, rising 2.5% to 3.5% from last year, according to industry predictions tracked by eMarketer.

Technology shifts behavior

The day after Thanksgiving should be renamed “Cyber Friday” instead of “Black Friday,” given the growing influence of shopping on computers and mobile devices, say researchers at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“Technology is quickly making new norms possible,” says Richard Wilson, a marketing professor and a director of the Kellogg Center for Global Marketing Practice. “Pervasive digital data plans and in-store Wi-Fi are enabling shoppers to do it all at once, to combine off-line and online excursions together.”

One in four consumers “frequently” or “always” use a mobile device to compare prices while shopping in a store, a new Kellogg study shows. Nearly two-thirds said they do so at least “occasionally.”

Nearly half of smartphone and tablet users plan to make holiday purchases with a mobile device this year, according to a study conducted by Ipsos for PayPal.

The uptick in online shopping is good news for retailers: The holiday shopper who uses multiple channels — such as online, mobile and in-store — will spend 22% more than people who shop only in stores, says NRF spokeswoman Ellen Davis.

There are several factors affecting the increase, Davis says, including more merchandise options available through multiple channels and the convenience of online shopping.

Online sales for Black Friday 2010 were $648 million — a 9% rise from Black Friday 2009, according to Web tracking company ComScore.

The trend will ramp up on Monday, traditionally dubbed “Cyber Monday” for online deals offered to holiday shoppers. More than 90% of Web retailers planned to offer special promotions over the Thanksgiving weekend and nearly 80% will have deals on Monday, NRF says.

Online sales broke the $1 billion mark for the first time on Cyber Monday 2010, which was up 16% from Cyber Monday 2009, ComScore says.

Channel surfing

Most people don’t solely shop online or only shop in a store, Reardon says. They pick and choose the channels based on what fits in their lives.

Her goal: to let shoppers know that Macy’s can meet their holiday needs, whether it’s in physical stores, at, on a Macy’s app or another Macy’s-branded avenue.

“All I care about is that they (consumers) are engaging with the Macy’s brand — whether they choose to do that online, on the desktop or on their mobile device while walking the store,” she says.

Walmart has a similar stance. Its holiday plan is to provide a “seamless experience” for the online, mobile and in-store shopper, spokesman Ravi Jariwala says. With its range of initiatives — which include new tablet apps and giving users sneak peeks of in-store specials — “customers can shop Walmart when, where and how they choose,” he says.

Macy’s is increasingly giving tablets to clerks to search online inventories through a app. Customers can view and order merchandise that may be out-of-stock or not sold at a local Macy’s.

On Tuesday, Scott Parent, a Macy’s manager in the Burlington, Mass., store showed customer Terri Pecorelli a coffee maker via the tablet app. That same day, Parent used his tablet to pull up details on Macy’s Black Friday deals for customer Michelle Mabardy.

Sears and Home Depot are handing out tablets to their staffs, too. Employees at about 450 Sears stores have been equipped with tablets to help bolster customer service. Those employees are able to easily check online product availability and to show videos that demonstrate how certain products work.

Home Depot has distributed 30,000 Motorola mobile computers, with bar-code scanners and cameras, to sales staff in its nearly 2,000 stores. Cara Kinzey, Home Depot’s information technology chief, says the devices let clerks check inventory, provide product information, print labels, communicate with other associates, even check out customers with debit or credit cards from anywhere in the store.

“It not only makes us more efficient, but also enables us to take our customer service to the next level,” Kinzey says.

Other ways retailers are merging online and offline:

•Providing free Wi-Fi. Retailers including Sears, Macy’s and Nordstrom have rolled out free in-store wireless. Through that service, iPad and other digital-device-wielding shoppers can easily check online product reviews and compare prices at other stores.

•Allowing online orders with in-store pickup. Retailers such as Walmart, Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us let shoppers select products online, then pick up the goods at a local store.

•Offering similar online and in-store deals. A shopper doesn’t have to feel left out by not getting up at 4 a.m. to hit a local store for specials. Some retailers, such as Toys R Us, are offering the same Black Friday deals both online and in-store. Shoppers can pick whatever shopping method best suits their needs, Chief Marketing Officer Greg Ahearn says.

Savvy strategy for stores

While consumers are clamoring for more digital shopping options, retailers’ efforts to merge online and offline worlds are about more than customer satisfaction, retailing experts say. It’s more efficient for retailers to limit the inventory they keep in stores, says retail branding and design expert Ken Nisch. Distribution centers allow retailers to ship directly to stores or to online customers. That reduces the need for markdowns at stores where products didn’t sell, as well as the cost of shipping products between stores.

“Online is not a default mechanism for the failure of bricks-and-mortar stores to satisfy the customer, but a complement,” Nisch says.

It will soon be part of the expected shopping behavior to have receipts e-mailed and to book appointments with retailers online, says Nisch, chairman of retail branding and design company JGA.

Stores also hope to be able to remove a lot of signs in favor of QR codes that can be read with mobile devices and quickly translated into multiple languages, says Nisch.

While digital shopping has many benefits, Macy’s Reardon says, “I think the customer loves both experiences — loves to shop online and absolutely loves to come in the store. You want to feel the energy of the holidays.”

Contributing: Hadley Malcolm