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Mobile marketing: Why push notifications are the marketer's new power tool

Take a minute to think about your best customers… Now take a minute to think about the customers who have downloaded your mobile app… Chances are, they’re one and the same.

What’s more, of those who download a brand’s mobile app, 68% opt-in to receiving push notifications from that app, according to Responsys research.

If you haven’t started developing a strategy to strengthen your customer relationships using push, now’s the time to start.

However, the opportunity for push notifications doesn’t start and end with mobile apps. While the bulk of push notifications today are delivered on mobile phones and tablets, they are quickly expanding to reach all kinds of new internet connected devices – such as desktops, e-readers, entertainment systems, and even cars. In fact, the world will have more connected devices than people - 75 billion devices connected to the “Internet of things” by 2020. 75 billion. Wow. This opens up a whole new range of possibilities for marketers.

internet of things

Now, think about this:

  • What if you could gather additional knowledge about your customers, from every interaction on their connected devices?
  • What if push technology wasn’t siloed from your other mobile marketing technologies like SMS and mobile display?
  • What if you could orchestrate your mobile communications not just on the mobile device, but with other channels like email and display?
  • What if push could be part of an orchestrated customer journey giving customers the information that they need, when they need it and on their device of choice?

The promise of push is very compelling, but when leveraged as part of a broader orchestrated mobile and marketing program, the possibilities are nearly limitless - which is why Responsys is strengthening its mobile investment with the acquisition of Push IO.

I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities this opens up for our customers, especially with so many interesting developments happening in the mobile industry, including:

More connected devices = bigger opportunity for push

The number of U.S. smartphone users reached 74 percent of total mobile users last year, according to eMarketer. But as we just saw at CES 2014, the tech industry's annual confab, smartphones and tablets aren't the only connected devices that marketers can use to deliver push notifications. Priceline, the online travel service, just announced a deal whereby General Motors will install Priceline's app on the navigation screen in some of its Chevy vehicles. Drivers can book a hotel or change a flight through the Priceline app, all before leaving their driveway for work. In return, Priceline gets the sale and invaluable customer data to inform future communications. Being where your customers are at their moment of need has never been more important in today’s increasingly connected world.

Chevy mobile marketing    Chevy mobile marketing

A bridge between the digital and physical worlds

Target and Wegman’s are among the retailers that have found ways to fuse the online and offline shopping experience with mobile apps. These apps help customers put together and track their shopping lists or navigate store aisles. Meanwhile, iBeacons placed in retail stores/aisles or near products also offer tremendous promise. When an iOS device running iOS7 is detected, users can receive information about a product or event based on their micro-locations – within 2 inches.  iBeacon signals may also be tied to apps and/or trigger messages on locked screens as you walk through the aisle allowing brands to share product alerts and/or information. Apps will increasingly redefine and enrich the in-store experiences that brands can create for their customers.

wegmans mobile marketing

The ability to collect and connect customer data 

Apigee reports that 85 percent of smartphone users would rather "give up drinking water" than delete their mobile apps. That kind of loyalty isn't lost on marketers, who rely on customer data to glean valuable insights into how mobile users prefer to interact with brands. For example, understanding activity at the individual level within an app can help marketers determine future offers and messaging for identified users across all channels.

New opportunities to reinforce messaging, influence and remind

Another exciting development is the ability to connect a customer record to Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Why? Access to the IDFA will provide the link necessary to find and target users via in-app mobile advertising – which accounts for the lion share of inventory across most mobile ad exchanges.  Big ad exchanges are already running remarketing campaigns using the IDFA and as I predicted in my annual ClickZ predictions – this will go mainstream in 2014.  More importantly, Responsys can do this today.  We are already integrated with AppNexus to support your orchestrated email and display programs and AppNexus’ expanded mobile capabilities now include the ability to purchase mobile inventory matched through IDFA.  Imagine the ability to orchestrate you targeted email, display and now mobile ads to customers.

Push is not just for apps

Available with the release of Apple OS X Mavericks, web push – the ability to push notifications to the desktop browser - is available now on the Safari browser. Responsys is once again leading the charge here will the ability to support this capability today. Expect to see other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer get more aggressive with their own web push notification efforts as adoption increases. Users opt-in, just like they do with iOS, but web push offers marketers yet another opportunity to connect and engage with users in a highly personalized way on the web.

web push

These are just a few of the many compelling reasons for this acquisition. Along with giving us the ability to connect the dots in a meaningful way for our customers, this acquisition brings to Responsys some of the best minds in the mobile industry – the Push IO team.  We found in them a partner who shares the vision and excitement we have for this space and its limitless possibilities.  We will remain focused on our continued efforts to innovate and stay tuned for more updates as we further integrate mobile and web push into the Interact Marketing Cloud.

To read more about our acquisition of Push IO, visit: http://responsys.com/land/responsys-acquires-push-io

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