Mobile developers and publishers sent somewhere north of a trillion push notifications in 2014 alone. But with turn-off rates approaching 60 percent, developers are having to dig deeper to reach users who already have their apps.

One solution that’s working for some? Deep engagement in every part of the app.

Kim KardashianThe challenge, of course, is that app developers are continually pushing two heavy boulders up the mountain of mobile success: user acquisition and mobile engagement.

Get users and you have a shot at engaging them. Engage them and you have a shot at monetizing them. Monetize them, and you might be the new king of the new hill. The new Candy Crush or Clash of Clans. Or Big Fish Casino, Kim Kardashian Hollywood, or even the venerable Zynga Poker.

So what’s new?

Mobile marketing automation — a sort of CRM for both known and unknown mobile users. It includes smart personalization that’s driven by both big and small data. And it incorporates a new set of functionality that both mobile gaming companies and the biggest of big established enterprises require, if they want to engage with users — customers — on a one-to-one basis.


Sign up for the free webinar:
Mobile Marketing Automation: Going beyond push notifications


“Machine learning based automation enables our clients to engage with the right person, at the right time, with the right message,” said Tanuj Mendiratta, cofounder of mobile marketing automation solution Appiterate, which was acquired by Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart in April of this year. That kind of capability has extremely significant potential, particularly when paired with real-time personalizable engagement with users.

The promise?

“LTV and engagement segment forecasting with 90 percent-plus accuracy,” Andrew Turner of game analytics and marketing platform DeltaDNA said boldly.

Some of the larger mobile marketing automation vendors

Above: Some of the larger mobile marketing automation vendors

Image Credit: VB

That sounds very mobile gaming-centric. (And it is.) But the reality is that it applies just as much to enterprise.

Because the future, Turner continued, is customer power.

“The only way to make money is through customer satisfaction, and for that, app designers need the power to know their customers and the power to deliver personalized experiences based on how they engage with the app.”

That’s music to the ears of mobile app developers and publishers, sure, but it’s also singing to the favorite song sheet of enterprise players who are entering mobile and delivering contextualized and personalized experiences for existing customers on their most personal of devices.

google-car-prototype-picInsurance agencies like Allianz, for instance, have created new types of policies that are more customized to their customers’ actual patterns of driving and living. And they’ve connected customers to notifications about weather and other risks that can help customers avoid problems in the first place — minimizing payouts for the company, plus reducing deductibles and hassle for the customer.

And that’s the reason why you might want to have your insurance agents’ app in your pocket:

“This is a new kind of service that the insurance industry has created, because you don’t want to open your insurance app every day,” Samir Addamine said. He’s the CEO of another mobile marketing automation vendor, FollowAnalytics.

Not shockingly, what’s good for a customer is also good for the company.

“There’s a rule in the insurance world: once you have three contracts (perhaps car, home, or life insurance) they know with experience that they have you as a customer for life,” Addamine said. “So imagine what will they do when you have two contracts … and they’re going to use mobile to do that.”

Automobile manufacturers are rapidly following suit, as are travel companies, big retailers, and more. It’s a space we’re increasingly studying in VB’s research division.

The reality is that as a result of our massive and rapid shift to mobile as the default way of interacting with the world, understanding and engaging customers via mobile is rapidly becoming the forefront of customer experience for both tiny mobile-only startups and massive 100-year-old enterprises — more so than email, phone, or in-person experiences.

We’ll discuss more about how that’s actually happening in a free webinar this week: Mobile Marketing Automation: Going beyond push notifications.

The webinar is Wednesday, June 24, at 1 p.m. EDT, 10 a.m. PDT. Sign up here.