It’s undeniable that apps have had an immense impact on all of us and, with 26 million connected devices predicted by 2020, are here for the long-term.
Apple’s recent release of the Apple Watch and its decision to allow apps to be developed for this new device highlights the growing realization that apps will be pervasive across all manner of interactive accessories and not just confined to our smartphones. We are now truly at the dawn of the Internet of Things and apps look like they will be the preferred platform for brands communicating with their customers.
Marketeers are now in the driving seat for these new technologies. Organizations keen to monetize in these new frontiers are looking to their marketing departments to lead the way and generate return on investment. But with this great power, comes great responsibility. Marketeers are increasingly ‘responsible’ for apps, as they become crucial to brand identities and, alongside web, are at the forefront of a business’ marketing activities.
But there’s a problem. The mobile technology frontiers are not so welcoming. Businesses are frustrated by mobile technology’s inflexibility and seemingly chaotic lead times and costs. It is clear to us that marketeers do not have the support needed to take advantage of this phenomenon. Frankly, they are not able to monetize the technological frontiers quickly enough. This lack of support makes marketing mobile apps frustrating.
The marketing function is expected to deliver value for the business and but are frequently blocked from having meaningful oversight in the apps they are tasked with managing. Typically because it’s too expensive or their development team is too busy. This creates a frustration between marketing managers and the development teams.
In order to reduce this frustration, we need to ask: “What are the key technologies lacking from the current mobile marketing toolkit that will empower web marketeers?” And to answer this we can look at the most prominent marketing technologies available for the web.
We think the most important marketing tools are analytics and content management systems. These enable brand owners to firstly understand their users, by seeing what they are doing, and secondly to be able to do something about it.
Analytics are an important foundation for marketeers, because without analytics a business is effectively blind, and, furthermore they enable marketing efforts to be measured. Analytics have brought our industry a long way, powering major marketing decisions to be based on proof, rather than a mere hunch. They have also become the de facto instrument behind a whole range of marketing efforts, from identifying where users drop out of a sales funnel, to understanding how visitors arrive at your site.
But the key to really unlocking the strength of analytics is with a content management system. CMS technology has enabled marketing managers to make simple changes to their websites.
Whilst analytics alone give us the unique ability to see what are users are doing, marketeers’ hands are tied without a CMS in place. The CMS enables quick changes to be made, adapting to users’ behavior. Without this, learning from users becomes a long drawn out process and can mistakenly be perceived to be not worth the effort.
With these two basic technologies, marketeers are free to improve their website to increase signups and engagement. Furthermore these tools provide a platform for more advanced techniques such as promotional marketing, A/B testing and personalization.
The real power of the web tooling is that it gives marketing managers direct visibility and control over their website. And this is the problem for mobile. Visibility and control is exactly what’s lacking from the mobile space, and without these marketing departments are struggling. Struggling to both deliver their marketing efforts, and also measure their effect.
We need a radical shift in the mobile marketing technology space and this should be a call to action for new startups, who can profit by solving the challenges in our industry.
The good news is we are starting to see new companies operating in the space, bringing visibility and control to marketeers. We’re eager to see the progress of companies who are simplifying marketing for mobile apps.
Only by investing in the necessary services are we are likely to reduce the burdens on mobile marketeers, empowering them to deliver better marketing campaigns and deliver more value for their businesses.By Peter Nash, Air-Control.