App Marketing Personlization – How to Do it RIGHT.
App Marketing Personlization - How to NOT Blow it.
While most smart marketers have known for at least half a dozen years that personalization is something they need to get a handle on. It hasn't been until just the last few years where similar successful practices would be considered to apply in mobile. Well today, with some great new data points from Localytics we're here to show you how much of a difference it can make if you take app marketing personlization seriously.
Let's get into it.
While a surprising 94% of companies believe they "know their users" the percentage of users who feel the apps they use "know them" is far, far less. Contrary to popular belief, users ARE willing to share more data if it means a more contextually rich experience whilst using your app. This of course equates to greater retention, engagement and lower churn. (All things you should always be aiming to improve)
In the Information Age - We ALL have ADD.
With more than 3.2 million apps across iOS and Google Play (according to Statista) users certainly have a plethora of options in almost any category or interest you can fathom. So what's the secret sauce to keeping your users after 30-days despite the fact that 25% of apps are only used once, 58% of users will churn in he first 30-days, and 75% will stop using the app (likely uninstall) within the first 3-months?
I'm about to tell you, but keep it on the "DL"..
App marketing personalization certainly has SOMETHING to do with it, but it doesn't have EVERYTHING to do with it. Let's be honest, there are those of us who have really high expectations (likely work in tech) and those of us who have low expectations (likely don't) for the latter case, the user just expects the app to work how its been marketed to them. Before I elaborate on this and go into detail about a FEW of the things I believe go into making an app that doesn't have to worry about: churn, retention or engagement; let's look at the data. After-all, in world where we have the ability to efficiently pre-optimize campaigns for the FIRST TIME in half a decade, it's important to take note of.
Most Popular Apps
As you can see from the images above, Social Networking comes out on top. This is of no surprise to be given that socializing is a primitive act in human nature. It's instinctual. While some of us are certainly better at it than others ;), there's one thing we can all admit which is that: being able to effectively articulate an idea to another human being regardless of the medium being used is quite gratifying. In doing so however, we can only ever be responsible for clearly communicating our ideas (not if the other person understands them) BUT! if you have even the slightest doubt that your users WON'T understand something in your app, then you need to fix that - pronto.
App User Churn
We live in times where people are consuming information at a rate that's unprecedented. Unfortunately most of it is in the form of cat videos, but I digress. People are busy; and because of this your app needs to trigger something in your users that will make them feel the need to come back. Whether that's a consequence of the amount of time / data they've accumulated in your app or the gratification they will get from returning. If you can achieve both, that's ideal! This is important because users are more fickle these days, only using an app 4.5x on average before deciding to uninstall.
This next set of data is quite the insightful one if you REALLY take the time to think about it. Let's go through each of them as opposed to a summation. I'll give you personal examples which will hopefully resonate better.
The Top 5 Reasons People Stop Using Apps
#1 "I don't need the app anymore"
I just found this GREAT APP called: Unroll.Me. It basically allows you to unsubscribe to email subscriptions in a similar manner to how you would select if you "like" someone on Tinder. "Swipe Left - Swipe Right" I have to say, I TRULY LOVE THIS APP. I was able to un-subscribe from over 100 subscriptions in a matter of a few minutes. Now instead of having to go through hundreds of emails every day, I can rest at ease knowing I won't have a mountain in my inbox when I wake up.
Unfortunately, now that it's provided me with exactly what I expected it to, I no longer have the need to keep it. I've been debating un-installing it simply because of that fact alone.
#2 "I got bored of the app"
I expect this remark to be most common and relevant when it comes to Gaming Apps. You play a great game on your phone, but after a while.. it does get boring. I downloaded a great one about 6 months ago called: Galaxy on Fire 2. FANTASTIC game. Great graphics, lore, etc. Unfortunately, since I beat it and don't feel like purchasing additional stories (smart monetization strategy however) I don't really play it anymore, because well - I'm bored with it.. I will say however, it IS still on my phone; just-in-case.
#3 "I found a better app"
This is not un-common for apps that provide true utilitarian value. Let's face it, you'll never see someone say: "I found an ephermal messaging app that's better than Snap Chat". Why? because "better" is subjective unless the value provides isn't. A more likely scenario would be if my parking app: Pay By Phone wasn't cutting it anymore, and someone told me about a better one that didn't crash all the time or have issues processing my transactions when paying for the parking meters here in SF. I'd be more keen to check that one out.
I have no investment in Pay by Phone, nor does it give me any "reward" for coming back to it. It doesn't trigger any emotional response; it's an app that delivers real world value but has low or no emotional hooks.
#4 "Technical problems"
I'm sure we've all had our fair share. Most users will un-install your app before telling you it's broken. This is also true for mobile web sites. If it takes longer than 4-seconds to load the page, you may want to call your web developer to fix that. Trust me.
#4a "I need more storage on my device"
#5 "I forgot about the app"
Moving on, I hope the above examples made sense as they relate to the top 5 reasons people stop using apps.
Number of-Smartphone Apps Used Regularly
The 4th image, "Number of Smartphone Apps Used Regularly" is also quite insightful.
It just goes to show how on a daily basis, we really only care about " a few" key-apps that affect our lives. If I were to guess what those categories were I'd say..
- Social (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.)
Music (Pandora, Spotify, Songza, etc.)
Banking (BoA, Chase, etc.)
Entertainment (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu)
GPS (Google Maps)
While that WOULD be my guess - however, I happen to know for a fact that the top 5 apps (on iOS) are mostly social; and 4 of them are owned by Facebook. Yeah, IN ORDER: Facebook Messenger
I personally find it a little amusing that Facebook is the #1 company across both Google and iOS for non-game apps, with only 61 apps vs Google's 210. Any way, where were we..
57% of people see themselves using Apps MORE in the future. That doesn't necessarily mean "more apps" it means, "using apps more" don't mis-read it ;). 35% feel the same, and 8% say less.
The #1 thing people want the most from "apps in the future" is to provide "more functionality" AHAH, so this is a rather interesting data point considering that up UNTIL NOW; Good Apps have aimed to create products that provide singular solutions with secondary features. Personally, I don't feel that users quite understand that if an app had every feature, it would be called an Operating System.
The 2nd thing(s) however are more understandable in that, they want their apps to "seemlessly connect with my online and real-world experiences (easier said than done)" and "Present content that is personalized to my preferences / needs / location" (more contextually relevant. If I were to choose one, I would go for the latter of #2.
Lastly, people want their apps to remember their preferences. Kind of like your tempuredic mattress, they want to ease back into their own groove. They also expect: "the app to know the last action I took in the app and factors that into content displayed or in push messages sent to me". Again, easier said than done, but do-able. The 3rd and 4th requests for "Most Requested Forms of Personalization" are also good ones to take note.
All in all, it looks like I go into what I was going to talk about originally this is going to turn into a second novel. Of course you can purchase my first one, The App Launch Blueprint - here. I hope even an iota of insight was impressed upon you in relation to App marketing personlization.
Contact me if your company could use some help with any of the items mentioned above.