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The Drum Awards Mobile Verve

The future of a mobile app in the next decade


By Dani Gibson, Senior Writer

April 17, 2018 | 9 min read

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The average UK consumer has 36 apps on their device. Yet, there is a harsh reality that many apps get removed after first use, which can often be down to poor user experience and latency issues. The Drum spoke with Ian James, international general manager, Verve Mobile, to talk about how voice assistants are now creating innovative ways for brands to have direct relationships with consumers.

So, what is in store over the next decade? The following 10 years of apps will see artificial intelligence working in collaboration with consumers, paving way for more trust between the user and their device.

What will apps look like with streaming/non-downloads/voice interface/AR/VR?

Technology, in all its forms, will continue to enhance our experiences. As 5G seeps into our small screens, the ability to stream and download video content will rise in speed, waving goodbye to the spinning wheel of frustration.

As Siri and Google Assistant reach their potential, eventually everything will respond to voice commands. This will open up more doors for both publisher apps and marketers to communicate with their consumers in a more personal manner.

Where is it going?

The future of apps lies within three core areas:

  • Speed and efficiency: Mobile app environments work inherently faster, in comparison to mobile web. This speed ensures consumers can access content quicker, which augments to the overall experience in providing the right message, at the right time. 62% of millennials prefer to shop and browse via app, due to the personalised environments and speed of purchase.
  • Precision and yield: Apps have spurred on the growth of features such as location accuracy and voice search. Apps create a kind of ‘pin-board’ of interests; a depiction of a consumer’s personality, through what they like, where they go and what they do, all within a trusted environment. This ‘pin-board’ of interests, generates accurate and precise insights that can be drawn on to benefit the user experience and improve the publisher app itself. In fact 72% of media sellers who provide precise data to brands, have seen inventory yield increase by more than 50%.
  • Trusted access: Consumers download the apps they love on their devices which in turn gives them access to content that is relevant and useful. This type of bespoke in-app experience has led to consumers citing they are more willing to share their data, in exchange for more personalised experiences.

Is it sustainable?

Consumers spend 85% of their time on smartphones, within apps, but only five apps see heavy use. Some may say this isn’t a sustainable future for apps. However, app revenue is rapidly increasing and is expected to only continue on the same upward trend in future.

In order to keep up with fast-paced digital growth, publishers must ensure that when they develop their apps they focus even more on consumer demands and take note of all upcoming developments in tech. Consumers are now expecting experiences to be completely personalised and customised to their location.

Apps are best placed to optimise these opportunities through the smart use of technology and data services:

  • Location based services is a fast-growing category that offers localized, relevant advertising in trusted app environments. Defining where we go, behavioural patterns and places of interest, turning our demographic data into invaluable insights for marketers.
  • Mobile wallet technology is also on the rise, enabling quick and efficient transactions to take place ‘on the go’.
  • Voice technology - The industry will witness a rise of the voice marketer, within the app ecosystem. A closer bond, between brand, app, content and consumer will improve sustainability of the mobile app.

How do people help creation/discovery process?

Consumer insight is one of the most powerful tools marketers and publishers can hold. Discovering where your audiences are, and their interests and habits can not only allow you to talk to them in the right manner, with the right message, but it can provide the golden ticket to understanding context, engagement and inspire future innovation.

Is it worthwhile for brands to create apps as many go unused?

Before developing an app, a robust strategy and objective must be set. There are many apps out there that provide news to a loyal customer base; celebrity news, music updates, health and fitness fads and local news. Yet, they have no data offerings to localise their news content.

It’s imperative to define your purpose, and create a long-tail strategy; are you driving content engagement, increasing brand awareness, or do you want your digital audiences to make physical attributions?

How can apps be used to influence consumer purchase behaviour?

Mobile applications are transforming the way in which brand marketers are connecting with consumers. Research Verve ran with Wildness, revealed 95% of in-store purchases were influenced by a mobile ad; whether that be a direct engagement with the ad, or simply an exposure that prompted the consumer to act.

The generations that have never lived in a world without mobile, are demanding interactive apps and advertisements. The push towards relevancy and personalisation is key. Recent research conducted by Verve and Censuswide, found that consumers are twice as likely to react on mobile ads based on their location, versus a generic ad.

  • Make a Good Impression: It boils back down to having a robust strategy and objective, to ensure you’re providing your audiences with the most relevant and timey content possible, from the very first impression.
  • Own That Data: As a publisher within a mobile app environment, you have the potential to sit on a wealth of quality data. Publisher apps have access to device movements which can have powerful results for inventory yield. This can attract premium brands to advertise on your app, through the smart use of first party, consented data.
  • Think Audiences. Be Creative: Good creative truly does matter. There’s no use in having a slick app environment, utilizing 1st party, quality data and then serving intrusive, ill-targeted advertising. Publishers need to work in collaboration with experts from the data intelligence and creativity sectors, to ensure their user experience is fully optimised.

How can GPS beacons, in retail, use data to retarget ads and send vouchers?

Beacon technology, and other mar-tech data sets, open up huge opportunities for brands and marketers, when providing clever targeting to both new and existing consumers.

Consider this.

A consumer browses a favourite app at their office desk, whilst contemplating where to go on their lunch break. A high-street retailer serves an ad, localised to the device, and in a relevant creative format for that user. The consumer taps on the ad and sees that coat that they have been meaning to purchase for a while now. In two minds, the consumer scrolls down the creative ad format, and is presented with a map, that reveals the store is in fact only a three-minute walk. The consumer heads out of the office, GPS location signals track the device’s movements and enables the consumer to navigate efficiently to the store. The consumer enters, and bluetooth beacon technology tracks that device in store.

The retailer now knows that the ad served has not only influenced the consumer to act, but has enabled the consumer to navigate directly to the store. As a result, the retailer can now extract insight from location data signals, and beacon technology to confidentially place that consumer instore at that precise moment.

The consumer heads to the coat aisle and in-aisle beacon technology tracks the consumers in-store movements by continuously communicating with the device. The consumer grabs the coat, and heads to the cashier to pay. The customer hands over their brand loyalty card to gain points from their purchase. CRM data has now been captured at the exact time of that purchase, which can then communicate to the customer’s device, enabling a brand to make a precise and accurate assumption that a physical, in-store transaction has been made.

And there you have it. A real-world attribution, influenced by a locally driven, personalised ad, presented within a trusted, premium app environment.

The opportunities are huge.

Verve are a sponsor for The Drum Marketing on Mobile Awards. The nominations have now been announced and you can see a full list of finalists here.

Tables are available to book online now for the awards ceremony at The Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel, London on May 17.

The Drum Awards Mobile Verve

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