Follow the Rules of Engagement on Mobile with Push

Mobile marketers: You may have missed the great piece on Mashable the other day about The Rules of Engagement on Mobile.  As Carla Paschke rightly points out, many brands today are missing out on the opportunities presented by mobile by adopting a “telemarketing” approach instead of a user-focused approach.

“Consumers no longer passively participate in campaigns. Instead, they respond in real time, influencing both the scope and direction of promotions. It’s a two-way conversation. It’s not enough to release a sparkly new mobile app. Innovative applications are important, of course, but brands have to do more. Brands have to motivate people to act by designing campaigns as dynamic and flexible as the mobile market… and they need a deep understanding of how mobile apps can drive views, downloads and checkins, and how to schedule specific calls-to-action.”

Mobile is about engagement, not noise. With this we cannot agree more.  Companies need sparkly new ways to communicate through that “sparkly new mobile app” and they need to communicate with customers, not to them. Push notifications are the most effective way to increase mobile engagement and engage consumers with ongoing conversations with your brand. But marketers must be smart about how they adopt push. Users simply do not want to be interrupted with pleas from apps to “open me!” They want compelling, relevant reasons to return to and engage with their apps.

Successful companies use push notifications to provide a positive experience for their customers. A smart strategy for push is to respond to what users reasonably expect from their app. For example, some of our most popular — and successful — customers engage with users via push on a daily basis. Users of apps such as dictionary.com, Groupon or LivingSocial opt-in for push notifications announcing the word or “deal” of the day. So for these brands, the expected schedule for engagement is “daily.” These users did not install their daily shopping app to be treated to unsolicited communications from that brand. Companies that violate the expectations of their users are set up to fail.

Paschke also discusses the importance of looking at usage data to understand user behavior and engagement:

“It’s now possible for marketers to assemble a subtle and detailed picture of consumer behavior, one that also takes into account the shifting personas of consumers… Relevancy is both the challenge and the opportunity of the revolutionary data-collection capabilities of smartphones.”

Smart marketers can use their app data to develop hyper-targeted communications strategies, by batching messages to specific groups using sophisticated tagging, for example. To be effective, brands must have insight into how their mobile users interact with apps. Urban Airship recently made its Reports product generally available to help marketers develop the insight they need to understand consumer behavior, as well as how mobile apps can drive usage and strengthen engagement.

Take our new marketer tools out for a spin with a 45-day free trial of Reports and Push Composer, a powerful combination of tools designed for marketers. Try it out now.