Since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013, the publication has become a sandbox for digital ideas that span a wide spectrum. I catch up with David Merrell, Manager of Product Development at The Washington Post, to discuss how the company is harnessing audio content, exploring voice interfaces, and preparing for the opportunities and challenges of storytelling on new platforms.
The first wave of banking and fintech apps got high marks for delivering features that allowed time-crunched users to tackle important tasks. But the next wave of personal finance apps is going one giant step better by not going it alone. Driven by the realization that there is real strength in numbers, smart fintech companies are pairing, partnering and joining forces to deliver apps that offer life solutions (not point solutions) aligned with users’ lifestyles, life stages and context at the magical “mobile moment” when they reach to their fiercely personal devices for seriously helpful assistance.
Consumer dependency on mobile apps for information and entertainment has shot into the stratosphere. Clearly, apps have become the new addiction. Consumers spend more time “in-app” than ever before. To address this opportunity, smart media companies and app marketers are evolving comprehensive strategies to connect with consumers in ways that enhance, not interrupt, the user experience.
Richard Bartle, Honorary Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Essex, is perhaps best known in the games industry for his research into the taxonomy of player types. He classified players into four categories: the Achievers, that like to act on the world around them; the Explorers who like to interact with the world around them; the Socialisers that like to interact with other players; and the Killers who like to spoil the fun for others in the game. But is this research into player behavior still relevant for today's mobile games market?
More apps mean more competition for users. This dynamic is driving user acquisition costs into the stratosphere. Companies have a choice: They can pay higher prices to acquire app users, or they can invest more effort in retaining high-value customers. Reams of recent research reveal a seismic shift to the latter as more app marketers sharpen their focus on approaches that emphasize “quality over quantity.” It’s all about keeping users loyal. App marketers are beginning to understand that the customer-centric rules of online, digital and physical marketing also apply in the App Economy.
App marketing is increasingly defined by a deep understanding of users personas and player types. User segmentation stereotypes (based on age, gender, location, and the times they interact with your app) limit your ability to understand and engage your audience. For the Big Picture, you’ll need to tap audience data based on how real people really interact with your app.
Mobile apps are where the real consumer engagement happens – provided companies and marketers add real value. While we have a sense of the features consumers care about most, it is essential to understand why they uninstall more than 3 of every 10 apps globally. We get some of the answers we need in a new report from mobile attribution company AppsFlyer.
On the heels of SXSW it's clear that SoLoMo is a fact, not a fad. I catch up with BJ Emerson , VP of Technology at Tasti D-Lite, the frozen treat chain with a cult following among health-conscious consumers as well as celebrities. The company doesn't just get So Lo Mo -- it has literally written the book on it, and will be releasing The Tasti D-Lite Way :Social Media Lessons for Building Loyalty and a Brand Customers Crave a bit later this year -- so watch this space.
BJ, a champion of SoLoMo and an authority on the ways companies can and should harness mobile and location to super-charge Social CRM, spoke at dozens of industry events in the last year, where he discussed the importance of moving beyond mobile integration of loyalty and rewards programs to really understanding the emotions consumers feel and want to express as they engage with brands on this deeply personal level.
The approach certainly delivers results. This last year went on record as the "greatest growth" year in the history of the 24-year old brand. The brand —whose popularity has grown largely by word of mouth — is a veteran when it comes to customer engagement and social media marketing. Beyond U.S. growth, Tasti D-Lite is also expanding internationally, opening locations in Mexico, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.