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Future of Mobile Marketing: 8 Companies on the Front Lines

  • 13 August 2017
  • Dean Schmid

Like handkerchiefs up a magician’s sleeve, there are endless studies supporting that we now use our phone more than our computers.

What does this mean?

Well, at the risk of pointing out the obvious, phones are different from computers. Brands can’t just create desktop strategies and expect them to work on a mobile device. We have to shift the entire user experience to make our funnels mobile friendly.

Mobile stats vs desktop-users-global

With the widespread adoptions of phones, it can seem like they have been living in our pockets forever, but the iPhone only came out in 2007, and the first commercial Android phone hit shelves in 2008. Less than a decade since rudimental smartphones, so yes, it is still early days, but the brands that have gone on to create quality mobile experiences are already household names, innovators in their space, and great turners of profits.

Future of Mobile Marketing: 10 Companies on the Front Lines

1. Donde

Optimizing for mobile isn’t just about making buttons easy to press on a small screen, phones have sensors, GPS, and access to the internet on the go. This functionality lets startups like Donde create innovative mobile marketing platforms, in this case, a platform for foot traffic.

Through localized leads, Donde serves geotargeted mobile landing pages, and creatives, to nearby users. The startup was acquired by Canadian e-commerce site Mobify to better service geo-targeted discounts and ads to shoppers.

Image result for google chromes push technology

Among other things, Mobify has combined Donde with Google Chrome’s push notifications to alert shoppers to sales and promotions in their area.

2. Tenjin

Analytics, or lack thereof, has always held mobile marketing back, but recent developments like Tenjin are automating and streamlining data collection across mobile platforms, so companies can get actionable data from their efforts.

Campaign data is shown from a dashboard so developers can compare what is and isn’t working side by side.

The software can also segment audiences into their lookalikes, analyze keyword ROI, and manage complicated mobile analytics like AdWords growth data.

Mobile applications are fiercely competitive, and tools like Tenjin help us sort out what is and isn’t working and more importantly try to decode why.

3. AppSee

AppSee is a mobile analytics tool that takes a very literal approach to monitoring user activity. AppSee records what users are doing on, where they click, how long they spend in each part of the app.

AppSee creates a heat map type report of where users are clicking.

Touch Heatmaps V2

It also shows where users clicked and how long they spent on each page.

By letting developers see their apps through the user’s eyes, AppSee provides analytics that you don’t need a background in data science to understand, and developers need to get the user experience right.

A recent Gartner survey on the role of marketing in customer experience found that, by 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago.”

4. Twilio

Twilio is a platform as a service company based out of San Francisco jumping on the server-less hype-train. With APIs, developers can build apps that programmatically receive and send phone calls and SMSs.

Image result for twilio cloud

It is used by companies like Uber, Airbnb, and open table. Rather than chew through your phone credit calling your Uber driver you can use cheaper mobile data or call over Wi-Fi from within the app. Developers pay per use, and they don’t need extensive coding knowledge to implement it.
Image result for twilio uber

Making a cloud-based communication API that any developer can just come along and plug into their web app does wonder for the mobile experience. Twilio was ranked 8th on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017 list.

5. ReplyYes

ReplyYes are calling themselves conversational commerce for their app’s ability to make ecommerce transactions within a mobile messenger application. It is a chatbot with a difference. Rather than mull around a help page providing a customer, ReplyYes sends personalized product recommendations to drive sales.

Customers can make a purchase by replying yes, or personalize future picks by replying with like or dislike.

ReplyYes leverages AI to optimize recommendations and in theory improve conversion rates. It is a very short funnel, and customers aren’t given much information to fuel their purchasing decision, but the targeted product recommendation and the innovative customer experience was convincing enough for this startup to get the backing of Universal Music Group and 6.5 million in equity funding from investors.

Image result for replyyes records

6. Waze

Waze helps people outsmart traffic together. It is a social navigation app that lets users report, traffic accidents, and impasses. Now it has over 20 million users and geotargeted advertising.

With geotargeting, the app can show drivers promotions and deals around them. Another example of the functionality and portability of mobile devices diversifying marketing.

A  Technavio report recently predicted that the location-based advertising and marketing sector will grow 39 percent annually between now and 2020

Image result for Geo targeting

7. Kahuna

Kahuna is a startup tackling the difficulties of implementing personalization at scale on mobile devices. Bringing a unique experience to every user, visitor, lead, and prospect, s the ultimate goal of the inbound methodology and a sure way to increase all meaningful engagement metrics and conversions.

The holdup is that it takes a lot of data to do this effectively.

Kahuna builds unique personas based on behavioral ques. This lets us marketers target them with relevant offers, promotion, and content that matter to them.

Sending timely, relevant push notifications can have a profound impact on retention for your mobile marketing strategy.
Image result for Kahuna marketing

Personalization is a trend in digital marketing. With companies competing solely on customer experience, it isn’t enough to just market to demographics and buyer personas, you need to target real people. Push notifications are a simple way you can do that.

8. Passworks

Passworks is an end-to-end mobile platform that enables brands to create promotions for mobile wallets. Digital coupons, entry passes, loyalty coupons, and memberships cards are just a few forms Passworks’ mobile content can take. Once a brand has created their Passworks creative, they can add it to their campaign and promote it to users, who download a lasting impression of the brand onto their phone.

Brands can market their Passbooks wallet promotions on their existing channels.

noticed the pass campaign

And push promotions will reengage users with the promotion or inform them about other promotions and branded content.

receives push-notifications & updates

Because the pass downloads directly into existing mobile wallets like Apple Wallet, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, marketers aren’t competing against app fatigue.

About Dean Schmid