Category Archives: Insights

There is constant pressure on companies to come up with new product ideas. But the reality is that the journey from the initial idea to a successful product launch is difficult and paved with many complicated challenges.

Every year, 30,000 new products are introduced to the market, and 95 percent of them fail, according to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. What separates successful product launches from failures is very often a structured approach for creating a comprehensive product marketing strategy.

This article explains what goes into developing a successful product, highlighting the importance of pre-launch marketing.

1. The Journey Begins with In-Depth Market Research

The success of a product idea doesn’t depend only on its technical merits. If that were the case, Betamax would have defeated VHS, nobody would wear mechanical watches, and Apple products wouldn’t be nearly as popular as they are today.

For a product to become successful, it must—first and foremost—be a good fit for the target audience. The problem is that many companies never bother to validate their business ideas, analyze their competitors, or even identify target audiences before they waste millions of dollars trying to figure out how to market a product that nobody wants.

Market research as a part of pre-launch marketing

Sometimes, when marketing a new product, business owners dismiss developing an actual product marketing strategy and rely too strongly on their gut feeling and expertise, arguing that Steve Jobs never bothered with market research so why should they. What they don’t realize is that Steve Jobs launched numerous product failures because of his disdain for product idea validation, including the Apple Lisa, Macintosh TV, the Apple III, or the Power Mac G4 Cube.

Of course, it’s entirely possible to achieve great success by saying, “I have an idea for a product!” and throwing a large amount of money toward it, but this has been proven time and time again to be an inefficient waste of valuable resources.

“There are two ways to achieve product/market fit: adjust your product to fit what the market wants or move the market to align with your product. The former is a whole lot less expensive than the latter,” says Bret Waters CEO of Tivix. “No startup should build a product or develop a service without thoroughly testing its assumptions, given the tools available today and the low cost associated with gaining valuable insights. But entrepreneurs continue to overlook this important starting point—particularly when they have significant venture capital in their bank account,” he adds.

A good product development strategy always begins with in-depth market research and product validation to ensure that the right solution is being created. Is the product intended for an oversaturated market? Competitor analysis can reveal the answer. Are there some missing features that could make the target audience like the product even more? Target audience analysis can provide useful hints.

By establishing a partnership with a full-cycle digital marketing agency like ComboApp during the pre-launch stage, companies can clearly define the opportunity through market research and effectively position their products to meet the wants and needs of their target market.

2. Marketing and its Role in Developing a Product Strategy

A product strategy should be driven by the needs of real users—not assumptions as is often the case. “Assumptions are a double-edged sword. In some cases, they are those crucial eureka moments—sheer genius that strikes like a bolt from the blue. In other cases—as the product launch statistics indicate—such assumptions are dangerous indeed,” explains Neil Patel, the world’s leading online marketer and New York Times best-selling author.

Well-thought-out product strategy is like a map

A well-thought-out product strategy is like a map that guides each and every step of product development, from the very early stages, through the first product concept, to marketing. This map helps create alignment between marketing and product development teams, which is key because it allows the company to focus on the needs of its target market, instead of spreading itself too thin and achieving far worse results.

“Since markets have become increasingly global and complex, and the levels of competition have reached staggering heights, this outdated concept has, out of necessity, fallen by the wayside. It has become increasingly mandatory for marketing professionals to drive product development and product life cycle functions within the organization,” states Darrin C. Duber-Smith, M.S., MBA, is a senior lecturer at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s College of Business.

“Alignment between marketing and product development teams is the key because it allows the company to focus on the needs of its target market, instead of spreading itself too thin and achieving far worse results.”

Marketing a new product is always far easier if it has been developed with the target market in mind. Every business strategy should revolve around a clearly defined vision for the product. It’s the vision that helps the marketing team create engaging messaging and the development team to create marketable features. The vision should be described in a product roadmap, a high-level visual summary that maps out the vision and direction of the product over time.

How to market a product effectively

In addition to the vision, this roadmap should also include information about the target market (demographic, geographic, behavioral, and psychographic), describe where the product will fit into the current market, explain what the product does and what makes it unique, specify what value it brings to the consumer, set out key dates the company needs to hit for the release of the product, and outline the resources required.

3. Optimizing Before Launch with Focus Group Testing

According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, market research itself can be deceptive because consumers don’t go about their shopping by conforming to particular segments. “The fact that you’re 18 to 35 years old with a college degree does not cause you to buy a product,” he says.

“It may be correlated with the decision, but it doesn’t cause it. … We realized that the causal mechanism behind a purchase is, ‘Oh, I’ve got a job to be done.’ And it turns out that it’s really effective in allowing a company to build products that people want to buy.”

Conduct focus group testing before product launch

Focus group testing involves a group of users talking about their experiences and expectations as a way how to acquire feedback regarding new products. Focus group testing is best performed during the early stages of product development, when companies are trying to develop their product strategy and optimize their products before launch. When done correctly, focus group testing helps determine how to market a new product and generate as much interest in consumers as possible.

The story of Sir James Dyson is a great example of why optimizing before launch and understanding what it is that customers really think is so important. Before the famous British inventor created his first successful bagless vacuum cleaner, he went through 5,127 prototypes.

After the success of the DC01 upright and DC02 cylinder cleaner, Dyson, who believes that it can take a very long time to develop interesting products and get them right, wanted to maintain its market-leading position with more, innovative products. Market research quickly became the main drive behind product development at Dyson, and the rest is history.

By including customers in the development process with focus groups, surveys, and usability testing, Dyson not only discovered an extremely effective strategy how to market a new product, but the company single-handedly reinvented a mature market.

4. Creating Success with Pre-Launch Marketing (Landing Page, Content Strategy, Link Building, SEO)

Success creates more success—not only in life but also in business. Customers are influenced not only by marketing but also by the behavior and decisions of other customers. For example, the goal of pre-launch marketing is to tell your target audience that you have an idea for an app and make them excited about it. When the app is finally released (provided the pre-launch marketing was successful), customers will flock to it, increasing curiosity around the app and convincing even more customers to check it out.

“Those who underestimate the importance of marketing in product development and skip such important activities as pre-launch marketing may discover that customers are simply not interested in what they have to offer.”

Many pages have been dedicated to how to market an app before launch, and it boils down to these four components:

  • Creating a landing page: A landing page is an important part of pre-launch marketing because Studies show that marketers capture leads at a higher rate by sending them to dedicated landing pages, rather than sending traffic to the home page. Landing page testing (A/B testing) helps increase the effectiveness of a landing page and, consequently, the ROI of online advertising.
  • Coming up with a content strategy: 87 percent of visionaries and 81 percent of leaders keep content at the core of their marketing efforts because content marketing generates three times the leads per dollar spent over paid search marketing. There are many types of content to explore, from blog posts to podcasts to YouTube videos, each serving a slightly different purpose but all falling within the realm of content marketing.
  • Practicing link building: Link building can be seen as a by-product of a successful content marketing strategy. Even though links are no longer the most important Google ranking factor, they can still help spread the word about the product and drive engagement.
  • Implementing a cost-effective SEO strategy: SEO isn’t just about keywords. It’s about making a website accessible for real users and search engines alike. It reflects the fact that most users come from mobile devices and won’t recommend a business if their mobile website is poorly designed or unresponsive.

Develop SEO strategy for marketing a product

Pre-launch marketing, just like all other marketing efforts, should be driven by the overall product marketing strategy. Companies that would like to maintain sharp focus on product development instead of worrying about how to market a product a long time before it’s ready, can turn to a full-cycle digital marketing agency with extensive experience in developing, executing, analyzing and fine-tuning search engine optimization and providing content management solutions for both B2B and B2C clients, such as ComboApp.

5. The Journey Ends with a Marketing Feedback Loop

Since the dawn of our species, humans have been thriving on feedback. In fact, all biological systems operate on a mechanism of inputs and outputs called a feedback loop.

“Positive feedback loops enhance or amplify changes; this tends to move a system away from its equilibrium state and make it more unstable. Negative feedbacks tend to dampen or buffer changes; this tends to hold a system to some equilibrium state, making it more stable,” explains the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College.

Capture user feedback to adjust and optimize product roadmap

Feedback loops can also be incorporated in product development and marketing, allowing companies to continuously optimize their products after the launch by gathering and analyzing user feedback. For marketing feedback loops to work, companies must actively ask customers to leave feedback because that’s the only way how to get enough data.

As revealed by research from Apptentive, most brands hear from less than 1 percent of their customers. However, the number jumps to 70 percent when companies actively seek out customer feedback. Every post-launch marketing plan should include strategies on how to keep the target audience engaged and how to capture feedback to adjust and optimize product roadmap.

Once marketing feedback loops are in place, informed decisions can be made to better satisfy customers’ needs and create closer relationships with them.

Summary

It takes a lot of work to develop a successful product, but all the hard work can go to waste if the company behind it doesn’t know how to market a new product. Companies that have a marketing team on board from the very beginning and throughout the entire lifecycle of a product (regardless of whether it is a website, app, or something else entirely) have a much greater chance of achieving their goals and emerging as market leaders.

On the other hand, those who underestimate the importance of marketing in product development and skip such important activities as pre-launch marketing may discover that customers are simply not interested in what they have to offer. The good news is that all companies can effortlessly come up with an effective way how to market a product by partnering with an end-to-end digital solutions agency like ComboApp.

Simply call us at 773.305.0886 or click on the Contact Us button in the header of this site. We look forward to helping you become the next unicorn!

Mobile devices have now become a part of our daily routine. At one point in time, they were used strictly for phone calls, but now cell phones have evolved into computers in our pockets. So many of us keep a vast amount of personal and professional information on them, such as email addresses, credit card information, and even important company data. Thoughtful passwords can often help keep this information safe, but is that enough? Here are some mobile cyber security tips for keeping connected devices secure.

1. Check Your Privacy Settings

Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi when not in use

Smartphones can often come preset with privacy and security settings, but give you the option to modify the settings for better mobile device security. One can find these options in the settings app on your phone. These settings can help you limit the access outside networks have to data on your phone. For example, it can help protect your location, pictures, contacts, notes, and emails from your applications and connected Bluetooth or WiFi. This is one of the cyber security tips we often forget about because we are so used to allowing application access to our personal information, in order to properly use these apps.

2. Sign Out of Automatically Logged in Accounts

Sign out of automatically logged in accounts

Smartphones have heightened the accessibility to the internet, which means that we tend to use our cellphones as a secondary or for some, a primary connection online. This means for many of us, especially those of us who travel for work, are using our smartphones for business. Connecting not only our personal accounts but also our work accounts brings a new sense of convenience to the average employee. However, this can be problematic for those trying to keep personal and company information secure.

While it might be difficult to log in and out of accounts already on your phone, it will be more secure in the long run. If someone hacks or finds out your passcode, at least they won’t have direct access to your applications and accounts. For some mobile devices, it might be trickier to log in and out of your accounts on the applications, but in this case, you might want to consider using the browser instead. Even though it might not be as convenient, you’ll be happier knowing your accounts are safe.

3. Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi When Not in Use

Cyber security tips to keep mobile device safe

Bluetooth and WiFi have changed the world of hands-free technology over the years. Having the ability to connect a device to the car or walk into a building and automatically connect to its WiFi, has changed the way we use our devices for the better. However, leaving your personal or work devices available for connection with other devices can leave your data vulnerable. While it’s easy to leave your WiFi and Bluetooth settings on for convenience, it leaves your devices open for cybercriminals to misuse and possibly accesses everything on your device.

To keep things as safe as possible, remember to turn off your Bluetooth and WiFi when you’re not connecting. Some devices make it easy with a simple switch of a button. Many phones also have the option to have additional security levels to these features as well. Something as simple as a password to be able to connect to a Bluetooth or WiFi system could save you a lot of trouble when it comes to security.

4. Download a VPN

Download a VPN for mobile device security

Virtual private networks (VPN) can be cyber safety lifesavers. VPNs allow for privacy online by creating a private network from a public internet connection. By masking your internet protocol (IP) address, your online actions are untraceable. If you are connecting to a public WiFi, your device will be undetectable to anyone else on the network. So many cybercriminals are aware of how many unprotected personal and professional devices are connected to public WiFi networks and take advantage of them.

VPN’s are available for not only laptops and tablets, but also mobile devices as well. VPNs have the ability to hide your IP address, your location, your web activity, but most importantly your device in general. For those who use a smartphone for work, it would be a good idea to invest in this network going forward.

Harmful cybercriminals are on the lookout for those who are relaxed with their security. Not investing the time to research and implement cyber security processes could be the difference between a data breach and a safe network. So, taking the time to understand your security options is very important. These are a few cyber security tips and precautions you can easily take that will bring your mobile device security to the next level.

 

Data-driven marketing refers to the methodology of extracting actionable insights tied to consumer behavior from large data sets in order to predict consumer behavior in relation to new products, marketing positioning and users’ likelihood of interacting with a brand.

With the increase in popularity of Big Data, and the technological advancements that allow for massive amounts of information to be collected, organized and analyzed, data-driven marketing is emerging as the next generation strategy to effectively create personalized and relevant consumer experiences.

Modern marketers know that going on gut instinct is not enough in the digital world.

Clients have high expectations and want to see immediate results. Data-backed metrics can help marketers maximize success and transform the way business is conducted online.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the concept of data-driven marketing by looking at the history of data-driven challenges, the benefits of using this approach, and its limitations. We will also cover a few tangible examples of data-driven marketing and the results they produced.

 

Data-Driven Marketing: The Business Case

Facts about data-driven marketing

Here are some interesting facts about data-driven marketing.

A study by Forbes showed that 64% of executives “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing provides a competitive edge in deciding on how to compete with other companies in the same field.

According to Media Math, 53% of digital marketers said “a demand to deliver more relevant communications/be more ‘customer-centric’” is one of the top driving factors for companies who are investing in data-driven marketing.

Furthermore, eMarketer reports that 90.7% of US advertisers and marketers segment data to better target and engage with their customers. In fact, over half said that they were more advanced in that area than even five years ago. eMarketer also reports that 92.3% of organizations maintain databases to host information on customers or prospects, at least to some extent.

Finally, this report shows that marketing teams who regularly use integrated marketing technologies are  57% more effective and productive at delivering positive ROI through their work.

All these facts and figures are pointing in the same direction: data-driven marketing is the way forward and the key to satisfying and creating loyal customers now and into the future.

 

How Did It All Begin? The History of Data-driven Marketing

History of data-driven marketing

The humble beginning of a Data-driven marketing approach dates all the way back to the invention of the first Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. CRMs represent databases that are leveraged to gather, record and store customer information which can be leveraged to increase sales, up-sell or cross sell a specific product or service.

V12 data statistics show that 52% of consumers (and 65% of B2B buyers) say they’re likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize communications to them. CRMs are vital to the tracking, collecting and usage of data that can lead to personalized approaches to marketing.

For a full history of the CRM, there is a great article over at FinancesOnline but for the purposes of this piece, we’ll summarize it here.

The first CRM systems were first launched in the ‘70s, and the mass adoption of marketing techniques like sales force automation, consumer information records and hotline numbers. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but we’ve been harassed by unwanted calls from telemarketers for almost 50 years now!

By the 80s, database marketing started to become a thing. It was during this period that marketers realized that connecting on a personal level with their customers could lead to higher conversions. So instead of cold calling each potential consumer with the exact same message, marketers started to create different call scripts for different customer personas.

In the 90s, this evolved into sales force automation that became the first real CRM framework. One database which could manage a company’s contacts, leads and potential opportunities in a single platform. By the end of the century, the first mobile CRM was launched, however, mobile use was limited due to the constraints of technology at the time.

And of course, over the last two decades, with the rapid growth of social media platforms (remember hi5 and Myspace?), marketers adopted their strategies to better engage with consumers at a personal level.

Today, CRM is integral to social marketing so content can be sent straight to the correct targets – so much so that social analytics is becoming just as important as ‘standard’ analytics.

This slowly paved the path to personalization.

Automation and the introduction of cloud-based CRM systems accelerated the collection of relevant data, therefore paving the way to the emergence of data driven marketing techniques. Nowadays, marketers can easily devise new strategies to connect with customers at a personal level based on behavioral patterns shown in the data collected about current and potential clients.

 

The Current State of Data-Driven Marketing

Collection of relevant data

Today’s CRM is a significantly more powerful than at any point in the past (just think of the first generation iPhone versus an iPhone XR!). CRMs lie at the heart of business with the aim of engaging with customers with tailored messages.

Previously, marketing messages had one message for everyone. With the collection of relevant data, this approach changed dramatically.

With this came personalization and targeted advertisement techniques – the foundational value add behind data-driven marketing.

Nowadays, the best example of data-driven marketing is how consumers surfing the web or ‘chilling’ on social media see super-targeted ads that are relevant to them, and engage with new brands as a result of these relevant ads.

Here are some effects that data-driven marketing has had on marketers all over the world:

 

First Names In Emails

While this seems standard now, this personalization technique was not commonly used back in the day. Marketers need to be using their recipients’ first names in either the body or the subject line at the very least. This is because it instantly connects them with the content, making them more likely to purchase a product.

 

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation has helped tailor the customer experience for visitors as it gives them exactly what they are looking for at the right time. For example, automation software can be used to send specific emails based on where a customer is in the purchase funnel if they haven’t replied in 2 days, sending them a follow-up. The first marketing automation emails are believed to have been sent around 2001.

 

Content

Data-driven marketing also enables marketers to understand the type of content their audience is looking for, allowing for a more personalized service.

They can pinpoint the topics that each demographic requires and create a specific marketing campaign.

 

The Next Stage – Data-Driven Marketing Personalization

Data-driven marketing personalization

Personalization in data-driven marketing refers to  the combination of creative (the ad) media (the channel) and data (about the customer).

Systems have become more complex now with each of these three components becoming a collection of multiple sub-components, each informing ‘parallel-track’ marketing campaigns based on the specific traits of each demographic targeted by a marketing team.

 

What Are Data-Driven Creatives?

Data-driven creative uses insights and machine learning to create personalized ads to boost the return on investment for a specific media campaign. These ‘smart’ creatives provide actual value to the customer that leads them to take action.

At ComboApp, we use ‘smart’ creatives all the time.

Behavioral remarketing

The simplest example is this. Say we’re launching a new social media ad campaign against a specific demographic for a dating app.

We will launch the campaign against 30-40 different creatives where we test both images and text. Based on the engagement levels with these ads we see in our programmatic ad platforms, we remove all non-performing ads and focus on the ones that perform the best. Platforms like Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter all make it very easy for agencies to test, in real time, the effectiveness of their various campaigns and optimize them on the go.

Ultimately, the data we have about specific consumers and the creatives we create determine the types and number of creatives that we design.

A single creative can now come in multiple formats depending on the media and customer data. Let me show you how!

First, there’s behavior data.

Based on past campaigns or market research we conduct on a specific demographic, ComboApp targets a customer group based on their online activity and how they interact with ads.

For example, with the usage of browser-based cookies we collect anonymized information about page clicks, downloads and page level engaged. Then, with the help of tools like google Optimizely and Google Adwords, we can extend retargeting campaigns for users who visit other websites that support Google Adwords.

Additionally, some advertising platforms also tell us demographic data points about users, such as their age, location, interests and more.

So what do we do with all this data?

There are two ways that marketers can become more targeted and relevant with theirs ads: testing to optimize and testing to inform.

 

Testing To Optimize

A/B testing for optimization

Testing to optimize involves designing a test where the results can be used in a creative to drive performance.

For example, A/B testing is a form of optimization. Marketers wait for the data to come back from the experiment and analyze the results. Based on the data collected, we figure out which variation of an ad performs best and then we use that moving forward.

A very simple A/B test can have a tremendously positive impact on the creative’s performance. Font size, copy, images and more can all be A/B tested in a campaign – and then optimized accordingly.

 

Testing To Inform

Test how certain creatives are selling

Testing to inform is a method to add more value to the advertising budget.

It provides insight into the creative assets, as well as insights on the campaign as a whole.

For example, marketers may want to test how certain creative categories of products are selling, such as creative assets  containing the newest products or creatives containing sale products.

While there may be a lot of work to implement properly, there is great value for the marketing team. For example, if creative assets are performing better for the new products rather than the products on sale, the insight can be used and applied to other channels.

In a nutshell, data makes marketing more nuanced and complex, but with better results.

 

How Beneficial Is Data-Driven Marketing?

What is data driven marketing

 

Personalized Content And Campaigns

First and foremost, let’s go back to the common theme around data-driven marketing in this article: it’s all about personalization.

Data-driven marketing gives businesses the opportunity to reach the right people at the right time with the right message.

Marketers must be able to deliver content, products, and relevant recommendations  to customers that need it, rather than sending blanket information to the masses and expecting auto-magical conversions.

Personalized messaging is critical to creating valuable relationships with your customers. And the insights created from data-driven marketing methods can produce a holistic picture of every customer – both current and prospective.

 

Strategic Decision-making

The more actionable data available to marketers, the better insights they will get into their customer’s likes, dislikes, online behavior, engagement and more.

When marketers know their consumers at the individual level, they can predict how customers are going to react to a certain message as part of the campaign. As Brian Solis from the CMO Network expertly wrote: ‘extreme personalization is the new personalization.’

When you have actionable insights at your fingertips, as a marketer, you can make strategic decisions based on providing users with the best possible experience. Personalization should be smooth, hassle-free and offer one-to-one engagement.

With data-driven marketing, decisions can also be made faster, enabling marketers to discard what is not working and optimize what is.

 

Data-driven Marketing Informs Product Development

Businesses can develop relevant products that take into account what customers really want. It will reduce the chances that the product fails when it goes to market.

With actionable user data, you can easily define features and functionalities that would be loved by your customers. Be it a website or mobile app, data-driven marketing insights reframe the conversation around what users need from your brand – and how to best provide your customers what they want.

Again, it comes back to ensuring total customer satisfaction.

 

Real-Time Interactions

With data-driven marketing, customers can access information from a variety of sources while at home or on-the-go with their smartphones.

It’s important for marketers to understand where users hang out online so they can start connecting with them in real-time.

Advancements in machine learning capabilities can now scan through incredibly large data sets at a fraction of the time it would take for a human to do the same work.

This gives marketers the information they need to see where consumers are most likely to convert into a sale.

 

Data-driven Marketing Provides Consistency And Longevity

Data-driven marketing ensures that, in the event that there is a significant change, such as a valuable team member leaving the company, processes remain consistent.

When everyone understands the purpose of the data being collected, they can take the appropriate action. In turn, this helps with knowledge transfer and onboarding new marketers on a team.

 

Data-driven Marketing Has Its Own Challenges

Data driven marketing approach

So far, we’ve covered the benefits of taking a data-driven marketing approach to marketing. To be completely fair and transparent though, we should also examine some of the challenges and pitfalls tied to data-driven marketing.

 

Finding The Right Data

Businesses generate a lot of data every day.

However, this doesn’t mean that all of it is useful. As many have argued before, a lot of marketing data collected is a total mess and really difficult to turn into actionable insights.

Filtering the right data to make informed decisions is key to successful data-driven marketing. High-quality data is accurate and ‘clean’ (aka collerations and deductions can be made with a reasonable amount of confidence). When data is ‘clean’ it  allows decisions to be based on factual information rather than educated guesses or interpretations.

To make the most out of data-driven marketing, marketers need to create a process that prevents inconsistencies creeping in and keep data up-to-date.

 

Knowing What To Ask

Wrong questions lead to irrelevant answers, resulting in incorrect information used to make business decisions.

Businesses need to pay attention to the overall marketing goals behind a product and ask the right questions that will get them the data they really need.

Asking the right questions leads to the right insights.

 

Normalizing Data

No two people are the same and neither is their data.

The challenge here is unifying it to generate actionable insights.

This will require a lot of managing and analysis due to the constant advancements in the marketing industry.

Defining the right normalization data strategy is critical to creating relevant data sets.

 

Interpreting Data

While the collected data is great, knowing what it all means is just as important as finding the right data.

Analytics tools and services can help with this challenge, enabling businesses to make quick and informed decisions. They can also help to understand which marketing activities are having the greatest impacts on customers.

 

Linking Data

While technology can help, data is usually stored in a single location.

Integrated analytics tools are essential for linking data to create a cohesive picture. Big data gets increasingly bigger every day.

Ultimately, being able to bring everything together will determine how successful the campaign will be.

 

Unsuitable Technology

This is one of the most serious problems that data-driven marketing runs into.

Unsuitable technology can contribute to all of the challenges listed above, such as providing the wrong data and not transforming it into a digestible and actionable plan.

Marketers must find the right tools that will give them the results they need to meet department and business goals.

The Building Blocks Of Data-Driven Marketing – The Technology Stack

Data-driven marketing plan

The marketing technology stack focuses on measuring the impact of activities for more efficient processes.

With many marketing technologies available across an ever-growing number of industries, marketers need to stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of these solutions while they can.

At the same time, it is essential that marketing teams know which of technologies are best suited to their business or clients.

A standard data-driven marketing stack is made up of 3 foundational building-blocks:

1) Campaign management

2) Analytics and reporting

3) Attribution and optimization

 

Campaign Management

This technology refers to the creation of campaign groups targeting specific user types and tracking how effective different campaigns are at a given moment in time.

Send personalized content, reminders, updates, special offers, etc to the people that require each variation.

One of the most common forms of marketing is through email campaigns and there are lots of technologies that can help.

For example, MailChimp can be used to manage email marketing campaigns.

It allows marketers to sync data and content from third-party services and learn how each campaign is affecting the business. It will also provide tips for improving ongoing campaigns, as well as insights into their effectiveness.

Another useful campaign management tool is Aweber. A great feature of this technology is its autoresponder. Its analytics capabilities is one of the best around and overall, the tool is very easy to use.

 

Analytics And Reporting

Analytics tools for data-driven marketing

Analytics tools provide granular information about the groups targeted by various marketing campaigns, such as how users behave and how they interact with a specific campaign (likes, shares, sales, social shout-outs etc).

This information is useful to marketers because they can optimize the customer experience and develop relationships that last to create loyalty to the brand.

Robust analytics reporting creates a logical output of the data to enable marketers to make informed decisions. But it also helps with data visualization techniques which can be distributed among internal stakeholders via such as graphs, tables and pie charts. Standalone reporting solutions aggregate activity and performance into one place. For reference, reporting software is also referred to as marketing dashboards.

Again, there are a lot of analytics tools on the market.

Perhaps the most common analytics tool out there is Google Analytics. GA is free to use and can help businesses develop a better strategy through campaign tracking and customized data reports. GA also allows for goal settings and monitoring various funnels on a website/ mobile app.

Additionally, Google Analytics can be synced up to a lot of reporting software like Google Data Studio, as well as the campaign management tools like the aforementioned Aweber.

For businesses that are keen to utilize social media for their campaigns, it may be useful to leverage specialized marketing analytics tools like Sprout Social. This technology allows teams to see the keywords their brand is being linked with across various social channels, including data collected from the number of competitors on each platform.

 

Optimization

Optimization of data-driven digital marketing campaign

Once marketers have access to the right data, they can refine various marketing campaigns and make improvements over time. When a business understands the contributions to marketing activities, they can begin to deploy their budget more effectively.

For example, Jive is collaboration software that connects users and team members together. It is used to optimize engagement online and identify influencers.

Analytics services like Amplitude can be used by marketers to measure conversion rates and customer behavior.

One of Amplitude’s unique features is that it maps out the exact route that customers take to achieve specific conversion goals.

Another key feature Amplitude is famous for refers to a web analytics concept they pioneered: cohort analysis.

Amplitude was the first analytics provider which understood that different users behave differently on a website. And they provided the functionality to marketers and product leaders to define specific audiences which can be segmented and analyzed on their own. Through cohort analysis, marketers can make better decisions about their digital products and optimizing various digital campaigns over time.

 

Invest In SEO As Part of Your Data-Driven Marketing Campaign

SEO is a key strategy for increasing organic through search engines to the website. SEO works well with content marketing and there are many tools that can help with keyword research, such as Ahrefs, which we often use in our own SEO campaigns for our clients.

As we wrote in the past, SEO and content strategy are some of the most effective strategies to attract new customers, see how customers interact with your website or mobile app and test out various conversion campaigns on your platform.

 

Invest in A Robust Content Management System

A Content Management System (CMS) powers websites and blogs where marketers want to engage with their customers, such as WordPress, Hubspot or Sitecore.

A robust CMS allows for the easy creation and management of content which is why we consider it a pivotal data-driven marketing foundational building block.

 

Examples Of Data-Driven Marketing

Data driven marketing definition

Now that we know what data-driven marketing is, let’s review some tangible examples of how it is used today.

 

Data-Driven Email Marketing

 

We have already seen that email marketing is one of the most popular strategies. However, data-driven email marketing can take it to another level and tailor it to each and every customer, rather than just groups of customers.

Marketing teams can create content based on an individual’s preferences, making it the perfect way to build relationships.

On some of the most complex projects we’ve worked on, we’ve created up to 50 different variations of emails based on specific marketing personas identified for our clients. The more relevant an email becomes, the higher chances it has to convert a user.

 

Retargeting

Marketers can use retargeting to advertise to potential customers even if they leave your website or mobile app. Many online visitors tend to browse the internet for more than one reason so why not appeal to them after they leave your website?

This data-driven advertising method gives consumers a gentle reminder about the product or service they had previously looked at. It can be particularly effective across social media since 30% of all time spent online is on these platforms.

In addition, consider these amazing stats from Invesp about retargeting:

  • 4 in 5 consumers notice retargeting ads.
  • 1 in 5 marketers now has a budget dedicated to retargeting campaigns.
  • 46% of SEM professionals say retargeting is the most underused marketing technique.
  • The average clickthrough rate for regular ads is 0.07% versus retargeting ads which is 0.7% (a 900% increase in CTR!).
  • Retargeted customers are 3x more likely to click on your ad than those who see your ad for the first time.

Retargeting can also be combined with technologies to create hyper-specific marketing campaigns for certain customers.

For example, if a current customer purchased a cellphone, retargeting could be used to offer that customer, accessories like a case, screen protector or charger.

Retargeting is one of the most famous – and effective – data-driven marketing technique ever invented! And we have Google to thank to for that!

 

Data-Driven Advertising

Data-driven advertising can be used by marketers to reach their target audience, regardless of their location.

Data insights and automation technology can create personalized adverts that increase click-through rates and conversion rates.

Each individual has different needs. The data collected about these needs allows marketers to be really precise with their efforts by selecting content that will have the greatest impact. Actionable insights allows for targeting against specific buyer personas which, when combined with machine learning and other marketing technologies, can produce more effective advertising to drive better clicks and conversions.

Again, social media is a great channel to implement data-driven advertising, with Facebook proving to be effective for advertising in particular.

Facebook users are clicking on ads more and more every year, with data-driven ads being the primary driver behind this increase in engagement with Facebook ads.

 

Acting Based on Marketing Trends

Businesses can feel cautious testing new channels when an existing method is working well. After all, why take the risk?

Using marketing trends from various channels leads to building a more efficient and optimized marketing process. This is done by running PPC campaigns for a short amount of time until the keyword search volume is known.

PPC campaigns can also be used to determine if specific keywords have a  commercial intent. This gives marketers a better estimation if the keywords are worth going after. At ComboApp, we use the Ahrefs content explorer functionality.

But you can also use SEO marketing trends to decide on how to market specific demographics. Let’s look at how we used Ahrefs’ to determine writing this article on our blog.

Here’s a data extract about ‘data-driven marketing’ keyword. This is an amazing example of data-driven marketing in action!

Ahrefs content explorer functionality for data driven marketing

As you can see from the screenshot above, it was a no-brainer for us to write an article about data-driven marketing. The data collected by Ahrefs makes it super clear that we should take the time and create an article on this topic.

ComboApp is a marketing agency. Our clients are companies that need marketing services. Who other than professional marketers would ever look up ‘data driven marketing’? Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but let’s be serious here!

Secondly, we see a decent search interest. 1,300 searches in the US alone and 3,800 globally.

Third, we see a huge bidding war over this keyword. Competitors of ComboApp spend $18 dollars for each click they get via Google Ads (which is huge!). If they spend this much money, it means it’s worth it to attract new customers.

Lastly, we also see that despite companies spending $18 per click for this search term, the overwhelming majority of Google users DO NOT click on an ad. Over the last month, Ahrefs estimates that only 52 out of 1,300 users clicked on an ad.

When taking all these data points into account, it made sense for us to creating this ultimate guide to data-driven marketing!

 

All Is Not Great With Data-Driven Marketing

Data-driven marketing for optimized campaigns

While data is great, decisions should not be just made based on what customers do, they should also factor why customers do it. That is, the qualitative aspect of things.

There are some suggestions that data-driven marketing is not driven by data at all. This is because it’s based on the assumption that because something worked in the past, it is going to work now and in the future.

After all, the marketing and advertising industry know all too well that trends and customer preferences can change in the blink of an eye.

Furthermore, data-driven marketing is, in some ways, killing the creativity that fueled earlier generations of marketers. Fostering creativity can enable companies to make 10% more revenue than their peers.

But focusing on creatives doesn’t mean that businesses should ignore data altogether. The best marketing teams strike a balance between the science of data-driven marketing and the art of creativity to see optimal results.

Over 50% of marketing campaigns are attributed to the creative element. Businesses can have data of the highest quality but it will fail if it doesn’t resonate with the end consumer.

 

Summary

Data-driven marketing is here to stay.

Success will come from fine-tuning the data and getting creative on how to reach out to customers. The challenges need to be addressed first and a robust strategy created following that.

This article covered:

  • Where data-driven marketing came from and how it has evolved over time;
  • How marketers can take advantage of data-driven marketing;
  • The challenges marketing teams face;
  • Real-world examples of it being used.

 

For a limited time, ComboApp is offering free marketing audits to marketers interested in taking their SEO and content strategy to the next level. Interested? Let’s talk. Contact us to get started.

Digital marketing services for media brandsYears of experience in global communications and guiding digital innovation, paired with some of the top tech talent in the world, allow us to help firms with nearly any digital marketing challenge. From revamping and updating existing systems to creating captivating marketing campaigns, we supply some of the world’s most innovative firms with the talent they need to reach their goals. We like to believe that our reputation precedes us, but we are always excited to be recognized.

We are pleased to share that we are featured on Clutch, a ratings and reviews platform for B2B service providers. Clutch uses in depth research, including considerations for marketing presence, former clients, and client reviews. After evaluating thousands of agencies across the globe, Clutch listed ComboApp as amongst the best app marketing agencies in their 2019 research.

In addition to the research that they collect, Clutch analysts conduct extensive interviews with a firm’s clients to properly assess the quality of their work and their reliability as a partner. Two of our clients have shared their experiences working with us, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. Take a look:

“It’s always refreshing when a company delivers what they promise.” – Founder, Happy Diamond Music Studios

“They made sure we understood the full scope of the marketing campaign.” – Business Development Manager, Education Products Company

We take pride in supplying our clients with top talent and solutions that leverage the most recent technology, and we are grateful that our care is being recognized.

In addition to our recognition for our app development expertise, we have also been named one of the top PR firms in Chicago by Clutch’s sister-site, The Manifest. The Manifest provides industry insights, how-to guides, and recommendations of service providers to small and mid-sized firms. Although recognition from industry authorities bolsters our reputation, we prefer to let our work speak for itself. We have included a portfolio of some of our best work on Visual Objects, a site which allows firms to have clients view and compare the work of tech firms and digital marketing companies.

We leverage top tech talent and cutting edge technology to deliver nothing but the best solutions for our clients. We love what we do, and we love who we do it with; thank you to everyone who has helped us reach this point. Above the pride that we feel is gratitude for everything you have done for us.

You’ve built an app. Now you may think it’s going to just pick up overnight and be used, but that’s not true. The reality is there’s a LOT of work you need to do to promote your app effectively. After all, why design and develop a mobile app if no one will ever use it?

This is where mobile app marketing comes into place.

Mobile app marketing refers to the set of strategies and branding techniques deployed to attract, engage, and retain users with the primary purpose of increasing a user’s overall lifetime value. Mobile App Marketing impacts the end to end mobile funnel from downloading to installing and using a mobile app.

Every company launching a mobile product needs to have an app marketing strategy. Marketing an app needs to be aggressive, especially at the beginning. Here at ComboApp, we’ve helped almost 1,000 app owners successfully launch their products to market. We break down the top 20 actionable tips on how to market an app successfully.

Mobile app marketing agency

For your convenience, we have chunked down these tips into two broader categories:

1. Marketing tips for before you launch your mobile application

2. Marketing tips for the first 90 days after you launch your application

 

First Things First: Why Marketing an App is Crucial?

Building an awesome mobile product for your business is half the battle.

Yes, more than 70 percent of the people around the globe own a smartphone, and the future of marketing is certainly mobile apps.

But, get this: over 65 percent of small businesses and almost all big brand companies have already developed a mobile app. In fact, the global app development spend hit $25.1 billion in 2018, with the figure projected to reach nearly $30 billion in 2019.

That’s some serious competition in a market that is increasingly becoming saturated.

Depending on your product’s niche, you will face tough competition from hundreds and thousands of similarly positioned apps. And, as if that’s not bad enough, you only have a measly 8 seconds to grab the attention of an online user in order to encourage them to download your app.

So, how to promote your app when users have a sea of choice? Keep on reading; you’ll be glad you did.

 

(I) BEFORE You Launch Your App

Many, if not MOST, product owners in the world make this mistake. They wait till the last (i)responsible moment before thinking about their mobile app marketing efforts. However, any marketer that has even a modicum of experience will tell you this is absolutely wrong.

A mobile app marketing plan doesn’t just happen overnight.

The reality is that to have a successful launch at the exact moment your mobile product hits the App Store or Google Play, you need to develop mobile app marketing strategy and start executing on your marketing initiatives at least 60 days before the launch date.

This first section of the article covers the main activities that should be completed before you even know the exact release date.

So, let’s start with the obvious ones:

 

1. Build a Great Site and a Comprehensive Landing Page for your App

Landing page creation for mobile app

Having an informative site for your product is the first key step in any mobile app marketing plan. And literally 99% of developers don’t even think about it.

But here’s the deal: without a website, how else will potential users find out about your mobile app organically and download it? A well designed site is crucial for SEO purposes, and it’s best to make sure that it is up even before you write the first line of code. Also, we’ll talk about how to market an app on the App Store/ Google Play later in this article as well.

No matter how amazing you think your application might be, if no one has heard about it, cannot find it online, or you aren’t reaching its target users, then it will probably flop.

That’s why you need to build a website that will engage your product’s target audience right from the outset. You might want to include run-of-the-mill features like a blog, live chat, etc.

However, if you think your product doesn’t warrant a fully-fledged website, a comprehensive landing page can do just fine. Use the landing page to tell your app’s story, and explain to potential users what it brings to the table. Use cheap/ free tools like Wix, Unbounce or Leadpages to get off the ground quickly.

When it comes to creating a sound landing page, remember that the value of relevant keywords is critical to the overall success of your web efforts. Additionally, take advantage of website analytics tools (Google Analytics will do just fine for this purpose) to track its performance and adjust your mobile app marketing strategy and tactics accordingly.

When all’s said and done, however, it’s a no-brainer that your app website should be simple, easy to navigate, and optimized for mobile browsing.

Last but not least, your website should load in a snap.

 

2. Create a Robust SEO Strategy

SEO strategy creation for app promotion

You can’t do SEO for a native mobile app – that is understandable. But you can do SEO like a pro for your website that is designed to promote your app.

Creating a rock-hard SEO strategy starts with zeroing in on the right keywords. After all, how can you market a mobile app effectively without understanding the keywords that matter the most for your target audience?

In the app space, the ideal keywords would be terms often used by potential users to recognize what your product does. For some apps, the keywords might come to you naturally, but for others, they might not be as obvious. Either way, top-down keyword research is a must-do when developing any mobile app marketing strategy.

Not sure where to start? It’s easy – head over to Neil Patel’s FREE UberSuggest Tool and type in keywords that you think are most related to your application. The tool will give you traffic volume, difficulty levels to rank against specific keywords and derivative keywords (aka keywords you may not have thought about).

One more thing you need to know about SEO: It’s absolutely critical that you start your SEO efforts at least 60 days before the launch date because it usually takes 60 to 90 days until Google picks up your website and content. So the golden rule is to already rank for some keywords when you launch the app – and then you continue with this strategy during the growth phase too.

In the world of SEO, it’s no secret that content is king. As such, you need to generate attention-grabbing, original content that resonates well with the potential users. Make sure to leverage your content and rank for relevant keywords to get long term traffic to your app site. Also, don’t forget to do link building and cross-promotions; they are the best way to build organic buzz for your up-and-coming mobile product.

 

3. Recruit Influencers to Promote Your App

Influencer marketing to promote your app

Influencer marketing is all the rage right now, and it can surely help ramp up downloads and visibility.

In fact, 33 percent of users say they downloaded an application because it was recommended by people they trust or follow online. So, it pays to make social media and direct influencers part of your app marketing plan.

Perhaps the first step is to learn how to effectively pitch influencers:

– Make sure that the influencer is a good fit for your niche.

– It’s all about engagement, so make sure that the influencer has a ton of active followers, most of whom are your target users.

– Offer value to the influencers and their followers, including exclusive access to your product, discounts, and other enticing rewards.

– Commission credible influencers to provide a sneak peek to your application, and perhaps review it.

With that said, you need to find trustworthy influencers from across many digital channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, high-authority blogs, Medium, and YouTube, just to mention the top few. More importantly, you want to have a list of influencers ready to promote your app the day you launch and then increase the engagement after launch.

 

4. Create a Demo Video

Demo video creation

Chances are that your potential users don’t have a clue on how your digital product works and therefore can’t tell if it will benefit them. That’s why your mobile app marketing plan needs to include a 30-50 second demo video, which clearly and concisely highlights the value prop for your application.

When you get down to it, we are visual creatures. In fact, the human brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than it does text.

That said, it’s not enough to post the video inside the app.

Go ahead and upload it to YouTube, cross-promo sites, and other video sharing platforms across the web. Needless to say, the video should be on your site and ready for when your product goes live.

How do you make your demo video stand out?

– You can count on cute animated characters to capture the attention of your viewers.

– Keep it experiential, or make it look like a review.

– Try a live recording of your application in action.

– Make sure the overall look and feel of the video is sleek, modern and simply cool.

 

5. Create a Kickass Press Release to boost your mobile app marketing efforts

Press Release creation to boost marketing

Press releases are needed to send pitches to journalists who may be interested in covering your application (aka free publicity). Because of that, working on an awesome PR kit is absolutely key to marketing an app.

Here are some tips for how to create an amazing press kit before the app launch:

– Use tools like Cision to find a list of journalists likely to cover your product.

– Send your press release to journalists 2-3 weeks BEFORE the launch date.

– Include a review guide, preferably a PDF file that outlines your app idea, how it works, features, and anything important in between (keep it visual!).

– Incorporate high-quality screenshots of your application in action into the PR kit so you can make a great first impression and for readers to get a feel for it.

– Follow and interact with relevant journalists and tech bloggers on social media to get the conversation rolling.

– The subject line of the press release should spell out in black-and-white the value of your product.

– Get straight to the facts, and avoid blowing your own trumpet.

 

6. Post on Q&A and Social Platforms

Post on Q&A and social platforms

Social media platforms can do wonders for any app marketing strategy because you’re taking your campaigns to where your target users spend an average of 134 minutes every day.

So, it pays to post frequent blogs, videos, articles, case studies, white papers, links, and press releases on social media platforms, most notably Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Posting on Q&A platforms can also do the trick. On Quora, for instance, find threads that your application can be relevant to. However, don’t spam, but rather post informative and relevant comments for those online users seeking answers to a specific problem that your product can help solve.

When it comes to Reddit, it’s very important to find the right communities so you can engage and build rapport with your target audience. The same goes for Pinterest.

Last but not least, don’t forget that Slideshare can do wonders for app promotion and brand awareness. Make sure to create a short 5-6 slide presentation and share it with the world on Slideshare.

If your app site is already up and running, make sure to link all your posts to it to drive traffic, build buzz for your mobile product, and eventually boost downloads.

 

7. Join Linkedin and Facebook Groups Relevant to Your App

Join Linkedin and Facebook groups

Creating credibility and awareness for your upcoming product online can be daunting, but important part of the app promotion. That’s where LinkedIn and Facebook groups come into play. Join a number of these groups and communities that are relevant to your application.

Stay off by posting relevant content that’ll resonate well with group members. Here, think about tips, tutorials, industry insights, expert opinion, and other stuff that will help you build authority on the group. Also, post about your yet-to-be-launched product every so often to help build buzz before its actual launch.

The idea here is to become a valuable member of these groups BEFORE you launch your app. So then you don’t come off as spammy when you launch your product and post about it. And given that tens of thousands of apps are released every day, you don’t want yours to fall through the cracks.

Here are a few clever ways to leverage the power of Facebook and LinkedIn groups:

– Discuss or contribute to hot, current events and topics in the industry. This way, you’ll establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Ultimately, the community will also attach the same respect and authority to your application once it goes live.

– Provide value for members.

– Communicate with influencers, industry leaders, and brand advocates directly on the groups.

– Keep your conversations brief, lively, and to the point.

 

8. Create Social Media Profiles

Create social media profiles for your app

When deciding on how to market an app, consider that social media is the easiest and the most convenient way to get found online. And, consequently, one of the most valuable mobile app marketing strategies you can deploy for your digital product.

Unlike SEO, the springboard is already set for you: the platform itself. So, don’t slack off – be very active on your social media profiles. But, more importantly, create profiles across popular social media sites, including a Facebook page, Twitter handle, Instagram account, and YouTube channel.

Once the profiles are set up, make sure to invite everyone you know (including micro influencers) to like them. It’s worth noting that these social profiles should be live and buzzing with activity at least one month before the release date. This will give you plenty of time to build a community, generate pizzazz, and get people talking about your product before it hits the mobile app market.

– Plan ahead, especially when it comes to the content topic, type and style – what posts does your target audience wants to read?

– Leverage user-generated content to make your fans part of your mobile app promotion.

– Use a human tone in your posts, comments, and other pieces of content.

– Offer incentives to users who share your posts, visit your website, etc.

 

9. Make it Easy for People to Share And/or Refer Your App

Word-of-mouth marketing

Numbers don’t lie: 33 percent of app downloads usually come from referrals. Word-of-mouth marketing has always proven to work like a charm. After all, 92 percent of people say they trust recommendations from their friends and family. As such, a referral program should be a consideration when deciding on how to market an app.

But how can you incentivize users to invite their friends to download your application? First and foremost, make it super easy for them to share. Oftentimes that means making the sharing functionality embedded right in your product. Also, integrate with services that allow you to send the app over text messages: social platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, etc.

Another great way to gain referrals is to ask for reviews from current users.

– Use clear Call-To-Actions (CTAs) in your posts, app landing pages, and social media profiles.

– Give value-based incentives.

– Make sure your application is easy to use.

– Use personalized links in your email & social referral campaigns.

If you actually build your product with user referral techniques in mind, you are bound to set your mobile app marketing initiatives for success early on.

 

10. App Store Optimization is the foundational brick for your mobile app marketing efforts

App Store Optimization for marketing your app

Start off your App Store Optimization (ASO) with a short, but comprehensive app description. Optimizing for the right keywords is also important. Selecting the right category to file your product under, and doing a little keyword research to ensure that it gets discovered through search might seem like something trivial but nonetheless fundamental part of “how to market your app”.

– Understand your target user: the success of your ASO strategy hinges on having a deeper understanding of your typical customer. How would they describe your application?

– Maximize your keywords: When it comes to Apple’s App Store, make sure to use all of the allotted 100 characters to maximize the use of keywords. For Google Play, you can use keywords liberally, given that the character limit is set to 4000. Don’t forget to use the right keywords in the title because it can boost rankings by over 10 percent.

– Put your best foot forward with a unique, stand-out icon.

– Include Videos and Screenshots: The screenshots in the App Store/ Google Play are one of the most important mobile app promotion tools you have. Make sure the images are stunning, self-explanatory and with catchy captions.

– Make sure your app listing is localized as appropriate.

 

(II) AFTER You Launch Your App

So you’ve gotten so far. The launch day that you’ve been waiting for so long has come. Naturally, the first priority is to make sure your app is released without any issues or bugs. Once you’ve tested and launched it, you need to focus on your mobile application marketing efforts. Of course, if you’ve implemented all the recommended above tips and tricks during the previous 2-3 months before the launch date, now you’re in an amazing shape and position scale up quickly. Let’s see how!

 

11. Get Busy with your App-Install Campaigns

App-install campaigns to ensure organic growth

Now that your product is live, it’s time to find a fix for the empty room problem (no one has downloaded your application) with app-install campaigns. At this juncture, you might want to break out your big mobile app marketing guns, so to speak.

Spend on Facebook/ Twitter/ Adwords to get your first users. In the beginning, your app promotion should focus on getting at least a few hundred users, which are the easiest to get via paid social media campaigns. After that, you can expect some organic growth. Also, if you get a lot of downloads within a week of launching your product, it has a chance to get featured, which will get you a lot more installs. We wouldn’t recommend making getting featured a cornerstone of your mobile app marketing plan but look at it rather as a possible, and desirable, “bonus side effect” of your app promotion activities.

Tracking: Determine which ad channels drive the most installs. This way, you can focus your app promotion efforts and advertising dollars on them. Nonetheless, don’t forget about the little networks that have bigger potential for increasing your installs.

Organic growth: Before you spend a lot of money on ads to boost downloads, you might want to consider, observe and calculate the potential of organic growth first.

Use Creatives: Mobile app promotion should include the use of static and animated graphics, infographics, and videos. We usually start our user acquisition campaigns with 20-30 different creatives to test their effectiveness. In 72 hours we evaluate which images perform best and optimize the campaign accordingly.

 

12. Reach Out to Blog Owners That Rank High in Google

How to market a new app via bloggers

If you own a website or an online store, then you probably have a love-hate relationship with Google. But search remains hands down the best way to get heard and found online. That’s why you need to work with people who’ve been there and done that.

Marketing an app should involve reaching out to blog owners that rank high in SERPs (search engine result pages), preferably one of the top three on the 1st page. Pitch them sending your PR kit.

Tactically, just look up “app reviews in X”, where X is your industry. Then write a personal email to everyone you see in top 10 search results introducing your application and giving them reasons on why they should check out your product.

 

13. Get App Reviews

How to get app reviews

Quantity and tone of reviews can make or break your app marketing campaign. In fact, having fewer user reviews can do more harm than not-so-sterling feedback. Generally, you can get app reviews in the following ways:

1)    Create pop-up messages encouraging people to review the app. Most people do not like these pop-ups but they’re effective, 15% of people seeing them end up giving you a review.

2)    A mobile app marketing plan should include activities tasked to persuade users to review the app (emails, personal outreach, etc).

Of course, there are a ton of other things you can do to get more and better app reviews in no time:

– Ask users plainly and explicitly to review within the app. This is where a handy review plugin can be especially useful.

– Get a handle on your customer support. If you help and answer user queries in a breeze, they’ll definitely leave a good feedback.

– Give users an incentive to review your application. If you have a game, for instance; provide players with additional points or rewards for reviewing.

– Organize contests across several different forums, channels, and social platforms to encourage your fans to leave reviews.

– Rectify issues that most users are complaining about (and tell them about it in the comments section of your app listing). This will provide a platform where you can interact and eventually motivate the user to leave a positive feedback.

– Take advantage of updates, and release notes to boost reviews.

 

14. Submit Your Mobile App to Review Sites

How to market your app via app reviewer sites

Whereas # 13 is about organic reviews from people who use your product, marketing an app should also involve soliciting reviews from websites that review apps professionally. While there are myriads of app review websites, the following 8 are considered to be the creme de la creme:

TechCrunch – This site is a darling for techies, and listing your product on this site can do wonders for installs. It’s an ideal site for standout brands and apps.

ProductHunt – If your application ends up being reviewed on ProductHunt, you’ll put it in front of millions of tech enthusiasts across the globe. Just make sure to go over their best practices before submitting it for review.

Mashable – Here’s another amazing site that can build buzz for your product. With a huge audience, Mashable provides you with a great platform to showcase what value your application can offer its users.

AppAdvice – If you’ve built an iOS application, AppAdvice is a great place to get it reviewed professionally.

FeedMyApp – Your app gets reviewed and tagged. This platform caters to all app genres and OSs.

AppStorm – This review platform covers the entire OS gamut, including the not-so-popular Windows.

148Apps – Please note that 148Apps does only iPad and iPhone app reviews.

PreApps – at PreApps, you can get just about any kind of app reviewed, from productivity to games and every application in between.

 

15. Apply for Awards

Apply for awards as part of mobile app marketing plan

How can users trust your application enough to download it? Turns out, the best way is to get recognition. The good news is that there are lots of sites that accept applications for design/ feature awards. Marketing an app can be made easier by applying for the following awards to build reputation, credibility, and trust for your product:

Appy Awards – Organized by MediaPost, Appy Awards is an annual event that recognizes the best of the best apps for the year. Given that MediaPost has many publicity channels, you can easily get your application in front of millions of potential users.

Best App Ever Awards – This Award honors the best mobile games and apps in two categories: Best Android Apps and Best iOS Apps. It has proven quite effective for applications like Minecraft. Even better, this is an award organized by 148Apps.

Apple Design Awards – If you build iOS apps, you might want to enlist for Apple Design Awards. If nominated, your product will be light ahead of other applications in your niche. Make sure that the creativity of your app is up to Apple’s scratch.

Appsters Awards – The app review site also recognizes over 5000 app developers across many categories. So, if you think you did a bang-up job with your application, Appster Awards is for you.

The Webby Awards – Webby Awards is all about honoring the best of developers doing great things in the internet age. If you believe you’re a Webby material, your product will get a new lease on life.

Best Mobile App Awards – This award finds and recognizes people that make apps great. It’s sponsored and starred by big brands like NBC, Yahoo!, CNET, and ABC.

The bigger question is: why to apply for app awards? It’s simple. When you get awarded, you’ll build awareness & credibility for your application, and you’ll ultimately see an increase in the number of installs. Awareness is king for mobile app marketing purposes.

First, it’s free publicity – and who doesn’t like that?

Second, if you get any awards, go back to your app description and website and update both accordingly. Street Cred and public recognition are very powerful strategies to go viral!

 

16. Sponsor a Contest

Sponsor a contest to market your app

Mobile app promotion, depending on a type of an app and its intended target audience, can be augmented by a sponsored contest.

Find websites that sell complementary products to your application, whether its t-shirts, caps, mugs, subscriptions, vouchers, gift cards, and so on. Offer awards for your contest, for example, high quality t-shirts. The participants will need to download your application and complete specific tasks in order to qualify. Your options when it comes to running a contest/raffle are simply unlimited. For example, we’ve run multiple campaigns for our clients with custom apparel from ScreenPrintThis.

 

17. Post your app on Product Hunt / HackerNews

Post your app on Product Hunt

Product Hunt is one of the most influential platforms for new applications, software, and techs.

This online community is certainly one of the best sites to show off your product’s best features and appeal to tech enthusiasts. If your application is stellar enough, ProductHunt can be a great place to get noticed by potential investors, developers, and users alike. HackerNews is yet another incredible website that can take your app recognition to a whole new level.

Once your application is live, your app marketing plan should include reaching out to these sites to list your app. If you get lots of upvotes, it will be amazing for downloads. Of more importance is that websites like Product Hunt have strict product curation algorithms, which is why you need to read their best practices before you consider submitting your solution to them.

Once listed, go harass your influencers, online fans on social media and friends to upvote you on these platforms. That’s a free tactic on how to market an app which works every time!

 

18. Leverage Affiliate Marketing Programs

Leverage affiliate marketing programs

Whether you’re looking to increase app installs or boost revenue from your mobile app, affiliate marketing can be what the doctor prescribed.

Like influencer marketing, affiliate marketing makes use of external partners or collaborators to drive potential leads to action. In return, you will offer a commission to them for every install they encourage. It’s a win-win mobile app marketing model that has proven to be effective in the digital age.

You can offer rewards or free credit to affiliates when their referrals download your application. You can use a unique referral code to facilitate the whole process and ensure that your affiliates are satisfied with your reward system. Your mobile application marketing campaign might also want to take advantage of tools and networks like Apple App Store Affiliates.

 

19. Make Sure To Use Push Notifications to Engage With Users

Push notifications to engage with users

Push notifications are a big part of mobile app promotion and are opened way more often than emails (almost 3x higher open rates). Make sure you leverage this tool as part of your mobile app marketing mix so you can engage with your users at length when the product is live.

– Generate new content frequently to keep users using the app for long. Consider creating a captivating video, audio, blog posts, white papers, and other exciting creative content to keep users engaged.

– Don’t go overboard with push notifications, otherwise, users will turn off the feature. If your application is heavily used, limit notifications to one or two per day. In other cases, your mobile app marketing strategy should call for push notifications twice a week.

– Segment your users and tailor your notifications to make sure that the right message reaches the right person.

– Point notifications to messages that are easy to find and read.

 

20. Check the App Analytics/ User Feedback to Improve Your Mobile App Over Time

Mobile app marketing services

An app is not a one and done deal. Once it is released on a mobile app market, keep it fresh, relevant, engaging and continuously evolving. Make sure you use feedback from users and improve the product over time. Successful mobile app marketing strategies make heavy use of analytics.

According to Kyros Insights, using analytics like a pro and acting on insights is one of the best ways to improve your app loyalty metrics. And of course, as soon as you fix issues, leverage the mobile app marketing techniques above to inform your current customers of the improvements you’ve made.

 

Summary

Pre-launch and post-launch mobile application marketing is no picnic given that you’re going up against cut-throat competition from millions of other worthy apps. Leverage the 20 handy tips on how to market your app to improve its visibility, increase downloads, and stay ahead of the competition.

Not sure how to market your app? Don’t have time or resources to do all this by yourself? No worries.

ComboApp has been helping app developers and companies successfully market their mobile apps since 2009.

Simply call us at 773.305.0886 or click on the Contact Us button in the header of this site. We look forward to helping you become the next unicorn!

Mobile commerce grows rapidly as more users browse products and make purchases from mobile devices. Smartphone spending had increased on 96% during Q1 2016, according to eRetail Sales Index. While many retail companies hesitate to develop mobile apps, the trend is clear: Clutch survey shows that half of all surveyed businesses will have an app by the next year.

Having a great shopping app can help a retailer to reach consumers on mobile platforms, drive more sales, and increase brand recognition. However, you should make sure that your potential customers know about the app and will definitely use it. Placing links to the app on your website and QR-codes on offline promotions may attract some users, but to garner maximum reach, you should use more time-tested and effective marketing methods.

The app marketing agency Comboapp shares marketing tips for shopping apps that can be easily incorporated into a general promotion strategy.

1. Make sure the app provides real value to users

Marketing services for a retail app

Who is your target audience? What features will they find useful? If your consumers are mostly millenials, they will enjoy social engagement with the app. If they’re baby-boomers, put an emphasis on helpful information on the products your app offers. Make sure your promotional message will describe additional opportunities for app users, such as:

  • Customized push notifications about sales and discounts
  • Trackers for deliveries and packages
  • Creation and management of shopping and wish lists
  • Sharing product pics to social networks to get feedback
  • An interactive map to navigate through the store

To find more ideas, check out the strategies of successful retail apps such as Net-A-Porter and ASOS.

The secret here is to describe the advantages of the app’s features and translate this message consistently through all available channels (i.e. website, social media, emails, offline promo, app promo page).

2. Benefit from owned media

Social media channels for promoting a retail app

Websites, blogs, and social media accounts are the main channels for promoting an app. People visit them for additional information and insight. It won’t help to make links to your app download page that look like annoying ad banners. Instead, place them in a form of essential information and additional feature.

  • Create informative posts to describe all advantages of your shopping app, and share these posts across social media.
  • Add appealing screenshots of the app that will show off its functions and opportunities.
  • Always add relevant hashtags to social media posts for increased visibility.

3. Motivate users to market your app

Motivate users to market your app

First, add a little bit of virality. World of mouth works more effectively than advertising. Think of a referral network that increases viral sharing though customers. It can be additional features, discounts, or little offline incentives for those who invite users to install the app. Make it easy for users to spread information from the app in social networks through sharing buttons. Ideally, each new user invites one more user after an install, which leads the app into a viral cycle:

Then, ask speakers and exhibitors to share information on the event app through their social media outlets. In order to encourage installs, speakers can also add some key takeaways from their presentations into the app in advance.

4. Optimize the app download page

App Store Optimization for marketing your app 

Users may find your shopping app through an app store search. To increase your app’s visibility in search results, use ASO (app store optimization techniques):

  • The app title should contain the main keywords, which users will use in order to find the shopping app: brand name, product titles. Browse your competitors’ app descriptions and think about the most sought-after terms to include.
  • Use 3-4 keywords in the app description. Include information on the app’s functions and features. Add screenshots and a promo video if possible.
  • Optimize in-app content and promo-site texts. That way, users will be able to find your app through a simple search.

By optimizing your app’s presence on the app store, you will increase the chance for users to find it through search and download.

5. Increase user engagement

Increase user engagement for your retail app

App installs are only half the battle. A larger part of customers may never use the app after downloading it. Use reminders to encourage users to engage with the app in order to fully benefit from its features:

– Push notifications are a great method for re-engagement. However, this method is quite intrusive, so remember to keep the messages brief and informative. Do not send more than 1 push notification per day. Use pushes to make important announcements or provide customized reminders.

– Facebook Engagement Ads are a more delicate way of engaging existing or potential app users. An engagement ad in the Facebook news feed will be shown to users who have downloaded an app or liked the brand’s page.

Marketing a shopping app takes a great deal of time and effort, but it pays off with higher rates of customer engagement and brand loyalty. Be sure to test out all the different promotional methods and find which method works best for your niche and target audience.

Good luck!

Need some help with your mobile app marketing efforts?

ComboApp has been helping app developments and companies successfully market their mobile apps since 2009.

Simply call us at 773.305.0886 or click on the Contact Us button in the header of this site. We look forward to helping you become the next unicorn!

Acquiring users for free-to-play mobile game is hard, but keeping them engaged is even harder. A mobile game need to have an active and loyal user base in order to be successful and profitable.

How can you get your game discovered and bring it to a new level? The trick lies in finding a balance between acquisition and retention, tracking in-app analytics and using additional marketing methods.

We share 5 smart steps for growing mobile game user base on Appsflyer blog.

The key to MWC16 day four is a large cup of coffee (or two) and an extra pair of legs to walk endless exhibition halls. On the last day, we decided to visit the Gamelab Mobile event and take a look at the most curious projects. Once again we saw that mobile is everything. Mobile drives forward services, wearables, communication and fun.

A game you can … wear

This year Gamelab Mobile explores the innovation in gaming that changes the way we interact with games.

MadRat Games presented a Super Suit, which is a wearable gaming device for kids that consists of gloves and a vest. It works as laser tag now, but provides an open platform for any game development. This wearable should help with the problem of kids spending 8-12 hours in front of the TV, an iPhone, and/or tablet screens.

RoBoHoN from Sharp is a kind of smartphone robot that you can carry around and use as a virtual assistant. It will have an open platform by the time of release in Japan in a couple of months. Would anyone want to make calls using a tiny robot and carry this robot in your pocket? We’ll see.

A brave new world of smart devices

AT&T is now providing connectivity for Audi cars. We checked out the Audi r8 2017 and it felt (and looked) pretty good.

Nokia’s smart projector, beta-version, reminds us of the Minority Report movie:

Etisalat’s virtual mall allows users to interact with chosen stores and make purchases anywhere. For example, while you are waiting for the bus or navigating the subway. The idea is to make the online shopping experience easier and faster instead of scrolling through items on a website. You literally put products into a 3D shopping bag

After the success of PetCube, it became clear that animals could be a great inspiration for smart devices. LG presented a Rolling Bot that works as a sitter for your pet while you are not home. It works through the smartphone’s Bluetooth. You can keep an eye on the house with the camera and use the laser pointer to play with a pet. Isn’t that cute?

While watching various presentations and testing multiple devices was fun, it encourages us to form thoughts on the future of IoT and wearables and the role of mobile marketing in it. We are excited to be a part of this cutting-edge technology ecosystem and support innovative software that drives us forward into the connected future.

The MWC event is incredibly enormous and so is the potential of ideas and projects that people share at this event. You can see the wireless projector from SK that projects HD video on any surface, has a 2 hour battery life, and fits in your palm of your hand. You experience a Virtual Reality rollercoaster with Samsung’s ‘VR Feature with 4D’.

We were excited to visit the Wearable Technologies conference and confirm our expectations of how the smart and connected world of things is evolving. Below is what Comboapp liked most:

1) Smart watch revolution

Smartwatches are all over news titles and blog reviews and there is a good reason for it. This device becomes a main connector between the human body and monitors. It can track almost anything from sleep quality, like the app we worked with – MobileSleepDoc, to emotions.

MainTool says that smartwatches are supposed to be the next big thing. Geeksme claims that even love can be measured. Apart from fitness and sleep tracking, their watch is designed to track intensity, speed, quality of sexual activity, and help evaluate the way a person felt during sex. 

2) Fitness moves wearables forward

Sport and healthcare industries were always early adopters of new technologies. Now they inspire companies to create futuristic wearables.

Kinematix designed smart insoles that track a person’s movement. This is very valuable information for runners as this insoles show the behavior of both feet on the ground. With the information received, you can build a personalized running plan and avoid injuries from bad running technique. 

First V1sion presented Smart Jersey, an actual jersey that tracks sport activity. It weighs 300 grams and has a battery life of up to 2 hours with a full HD camera. Yes, a jersey with a camera! There are also different versions for each sport type, as fabric should vary depending on type of activity.

Talking about fabrics, one more curious device from ComfTech was the smart garment with sensors that are integrated into the fabric. As a result, you get an imperceptible and easy to care wearable that also serves as clothing.

3) Smart headphones for adults and unborn babies

IBM has displayed headphones with 4GB memory, a heart rate monitor, mic, and oxygen saturation sensor. These are basically microcomputers that lead us to the era of cognitive Internet of Things. 

We couldn’t ignore the presentation of the already famous Babypod. This is a device that helps broadcast music to an unborn baby. With positive reviews from BBC, Guardian and other major media sources, we expect it to be very popular.

4) One more time about connected everything

We talked about connectivity as a trend in a previous post, but when it comes to world-changing technologies, it’s never enough.

Atooma presented a cloud that lets you manage all of your devices, IoTs and apps. It claims that big companies, like Samsung, will create a global ecosystem where things will interact with different devices, connected cars and homes through apps.

According to PWC, the connected living market is estimated to be worth 1 trillion by 2020, connected cars will triple over the next 5 years and new digital players will enter traditional markets.

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