App Owners: Engage with Customers at their "Halo" Moments

Jul 20, 2015   

Posted by Ashley Osgood

Lat. 42.351994 Long. -71.047663

At MobileBeat this year, there was a great deal of talk around mastering growth through mobile. With one of the biggest transformations in consumer behavior in decades now upon us, MobileBeat set out to help attendees capitalize on its opportunities. From customer acquisition to hyper-personalization, high-profile speakers (from Sephora, Zillow, Pandora, and Home Depot, to name a few) dove into key strategies and next-gen technology disrupting the mobile and app industries today.

Skyhook’s VP of Marketing, Mike Schneider (Schneidermike) was invited to speak on the breakout session Finding your ”Halo” moments. How can you engage with customer at uplifting moments? Fellow panelists also included Mark Kirschner, CMO of eBay enterprise and Tara-Nicholle Nelson, VP of Marketing at MyFitnessPal.

 

For those who weren’t able to attend the session this year, here’s a deeper dive into some of the key points we made on the topic of “Halo” moments:

1) Starbucks’ early jump into the app race gave it differentiation, but how long can it stay top of mind when the average consumer has 18 loyalty memberships?

Consumers are likely to get more selective, and so they’re looking for “instant gratification” from their loyalty and other app experiences. App and other mobile publishers need to generate “halo moments,” or positive experiences that generate strong brand affiliation with customers, and thus better results over time.

We strongly believe that designing apps for place with appticipation will help them differentiate. Don’t underestimate the value of how user context around venues and locations can be used to dramatically alter mobile user experiences by place. It is the solution for differentiating apps, reducing friction, getting more engagement, monetization, and getting to the user’s home screen.

In-store modes that help users navigate retail stores or find their favorite items in stock are much more useful to users after they arrive at the retailer — and we are already seeing it happen in forward-looking apps today. The element of place will fundamentally change mobile app design for the better.

In fact, precise location data has quickly become essential to providing richer insights into your users’ behavior and interests. Armed with this kind of contextual data on your users, you can understand how to make your app a vital part of your user’s daily life. Take the findings from your analysis and apply them towards your existing app features, which will help you to better categorize and personify your user. We call this process “appticipation.”

Appticipation is the ability for a mobile application to think ahead and know what a user will want to do. It’s done to increase engagement with the application, increase session time, and make the experience more meaningful.

2) Let's define "halo moment" - what does that mean to you?

For apps, imagine delivering exactly the content your users need at exactly the moment they need it. Companies like Skyhook empower app owners to dramatically improve user engagement by anticipating users’ needs and intentions. This can also help apps bolster their direct advertising offering and strengthen offline brick and mortar partnerships - which gives apps the ability to deliver more targeted content, sending notifications to users when they visit offline partner locations.

For brands, the delivery of the most relevant content possible to these precise Persona segments results in a higher probability that users will engage - as it no longer feels like annoying advertising, but vital information that they want and need.

Skyhook’s Context Accelerator drastically simplifies giving app users the right features in the right place at the right time. We do this with our Infinite Geofences and Personas to build dynamic user experiences.

3) How is location-based data changing the course of business?

Precision location has the capability to dramatically change the course of business, as advertisers and apps no longer have to guess where their target audiences are. Having this kind of historical contextual information in the form of Personas allows developers to anticipate user behavior in a way they never could before.

Businesses have four elements to consider when targeting their customers: content, person, place and time. In the past, they were only able to focus on content - that is, pointing the message to the customer at the places they thought they might be - because the other elements were unclear. Now, instead of this high-volume approach, what was fuzzy in the past has now become clear with precise location. Location is the key to helping businesses find the right person at the right place and time.

4) Where is location-enabled functionality going in the future?

While there is some sensitivity around user location today, we believe enabling location will be an accepted reality in the future in order for people to be able to do what they want to do. How location is positioned today - in apps specifically - is very nebulous: they are using their app, then presented with what we call the “location screen of death”, in which they are asked to turn on location. More often than not, we don’t tend to turn location on in response to this screen. Unless the use of location is inherently obvious (like checking in on Yelp or Facebook, for example), we as users question why this app needs to know our location. It freaks people out.

But once apps get better about building up to the benefits that enabling location can do for the user - in the First Time User Experience, for example - we believe that users will better understand the value and the exchange of information will be more acceptable, tolerated, and expected to provide the best app experience possible. variety_shot-5

New Case Study on increasing app engagement with skyhook context accelerator

Topics: Apps