Phunware http://www.phunware.com Everything you need to succeed on mobile. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 23:24:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Why Mobile Technology Is a “Great Opportunity” for Airports http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-technology-great-opportunity-airports/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mobile-technology-great-opportunity-airports http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-technology-great-opportunity-airports/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:55:40 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=15974 Frequent flyers want to use smartphones to maintain control over their journey at all times, new research shows. But are airports ready to meet the needs of today’s connected travelers? Nearly all travelers today carry a phone, and usually, it’s a smartphone loaded with travel apps, according to the 2014 SITA/Air Transport World survey. Of […]

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Mobile Tech for Airports Blog

Frequent flyers want to use smartphones to maintain control over their journey at all times, new research shows. But are airports ready to meet the needs of today’s connected travelers?

Nearly all travelers today carry a phone, and usually, it’s a smartphone loaded with travel apps, according to the 2014 SITA/Air Transport World survey. Of travelers with smartphones, 76 percent use airline apps, and 43 percent of those travelers said the mobile apps “made a definite improvement to their travel.”

“A Great Opportunity”

Mobile technologies “present a great opportunity for airlines and airports to engage directly with their passengers to provide efficient services throughout the journey,” according to SITA’s Chief Executive Officer Francesco Violante.

Many airports are awakening to the opportunity by swiftly ramping investments in mobile app development, beacons, Near Field Communication (NFC) and other technologies to assist their travelers.

Another SITA study, the 2014 Airport IT Trends survey, reveals:

  • 60 percent of airports will offer geo-location by 2017, providing turn-by-turn navigation so travelers can easily find the terminals, shops, restaurants, and airport services they need;
  • 49 percent of airports are considering supporting NFC by 2017, which could make it a snap for travelers to purchase goods and services using their smartphones throughout the airport;
  • 33 percent of airports plan to deploy Apple iBeacons within three years, to serve relevant information and offers to travelers based on their current location at the airport;
  • A whopping 86 percent of airports will invest in self-service processes by 2017, such as multi-service kiosks, self-baggage drop and self-boarding.

A Native Mobile App Can Help You Help Passengers

A native, location-aware mobile app, combined with technologies such as geo-fencing, Wi-Fi, and beacons, can help airports keep travelers more informed and less stressed. And when travelers are less stressed, they have more time and energy to visit restaurants, shops, and services. That’s good for passengers—and it’s good for the airport’s bottom line.

For example, an airport’s custom, location-aware app can help arriving passengers easily find available parking spots, while wayfinding capabilities can give travelers turn-by-turn directions to an airport restaurant that offers healthful food options.

Such sophisticated, native mobile apps are more affordable and easier to develop, deploy and update than ever before. See our white paper on Redefining the Airport Experience for more information.

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Mobile Advertising: What Is eCPM? http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-advertising-ecpm/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mobile-advertising-ecpm http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-advertising-ecpm/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:39:47 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=15875 Like so many acronyms flying around the business world today, eCPM means different things to different people. It is frequently confused with similar terms in the publishing, media-buying and advertising network worlds. Here are a few acronyms in the same family of ideas: CPC = Cost per click Under a CPC model, the advertiser pays […]

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Mobile Advertising: What Is eCPM?

Or, “Nobody Told Me There Would Be a Math Quiz!”

eCPM-BlogLike so many acronyms flying around the business world today, eCPM means different things to different people. It is frequently confused with similar terms in the publishing, media-buying and advertising network worlds. Here are a few acronyms in the same family of ideas:

CPC = Cost per click

Under a CPC model, the advertiser pays for each valid click-through, usually associated with a specific call to action, or CTA.

CPA = Cost per action

(also called PPA, or pay per action; also cost per conversion)

In cost-per-action advertising, advertisers only pay when a transaction takes place as a direct result of the ad placement.

CTR = Click-through rate

This metric measures the relative efficiency of an ad by showing the percentage of clicks per impression.

CPM = Cost per mille

(also called RPM, or revenue per mille)

Cost per mille, or cost per thousand, refers to the price a network charges for one thousand ad impressions. Impressions are just opportunities for people to see the ad, with or without any type of action or conversion taking place. The advertiser is essentially paying for eyeballs on the ad.

What Is the Difference between CPM and eCPM?

CPM can be a bit misleading since there are often exceptions that make the actual cost per thousand impressions different from the set price for one thousand views. For example, a niche company may get fewer than one thousand impressions but still have to pay in increments of a thousand. Or a very large brand might end up paying for one million impressions but actually get 1.3 million views without paying extra.

eCPM, which stands for “effective cost per mille,” accounts for such discrepancies so that advertisers can know what their real return on their advertising investment is and make more informed decisions about future ad buys. Think of CPM as the price on an invoice, while eCPM is a comparative metric.

Here’s where the math quiz comes in. Don’t worry, though; it’s not hard. To calculate eCPM, simply divide the total earnings from a particular campaign by the total impressions and multiply the result by one thousand.

eCPM-Calc-Blog

Here is an example that illustrates the difference between CPM and eCPM:

  • Gizmo Galaxy buys one million impressions for $3,000.00 on Network A. The company’s CPM is $3.00. Simple and straightforward. Also, not very helpful.
  • It turns out that Network A was fine-tuning the campaign at the beginning and delivered an extra 200,000 impressions (a.k.a. bonus impressions). So Gizmo Galaxy actually got 1.2 million views for its $3,000.00 media buy. Using the eCPM formula, Gizmo Galaxy’s Director of Marketing can see that the real cost was $2.50 per thousand impressions. This is a more meaningful number upon which to base future ad purchasing decisions than CPM would be.
  • As a test, Gizmo Galaxy ran a separate campaign on Network B under the same criteria: one million impressions at a $3.00 CPM. At the end of the campaign, the network had delivered exactly one million impressions. Since there were not any bonus impressions, the eCPM was $3.00.

When we at Phunware refer to eCPM, this is what we mean. It’s one of the tools we use to evaluate mobile ad networks, including our own. It’s a good starting point for comparing and contrasting the effectiveness of a campaign. Used in conjunction with other metrics, research and statistics, eCPM can help advertisers make informed decisions and get the best bang for their advertising buck.

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Mobile’s Impact on In-Store Shoppers: Challenging the Top 3 Myths http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobiles-impact-store-shoppers-challenging-top-3-myths/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mobiles-impact-store-shoppers-challenging-top-3-myths http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobiles-impact-store-shoppers-challenging-top-3-myths/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 17:00:57 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=15833 Myth or reality? When in-store shoppers take out their smartphones, it means you’ve lost their interest. If you answered “reality,” Google has news for you. In an article recently published in Google’s Think online newsletter, the search giant discloses the truths, based on its research, behind the top three myths surrounding mobile’s impact on brick-and-mortar retail. […]

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Myths-Facts-Blog

Myth or reality? When in-store shoppers take out their smartphones, it means you’ve lost their interest.

If you answered “reality,” Google has news for you. In an article recently published in Google’s Think online newsletter, the search giant discloses the truths, based on its research, behind the top three myths surrounding mobile’s impact on brick-and-mortar retail.

Here are Google’s top digital/in-store shopping myths and realities—plus Phunware’s take on what it means for you, the retailer.

MYTH NUMBER 1:

Search results only send consumers to e-commerce sites.

Reality: Search results can actually drive consumers into stores.

Three out of four shoppers who receive information about local stores through search results are more likely to visit those stores, says Google.

What this means for you: The more information you make available to consumers that will enable their buying process, the more traffic you can drive into your stores.

  • With a website: Ensure your inventory system is connected to your website. Give shoppers the option to find and purchase what they want from your physical store.
  • With a mobile app: Make inventory information available as with a website. Also, use wayfinding technology to get consumers not only into your store, but to the exact location of the item they’re looking for.

MYTH NUMBER 2:

When in-store shoppers look at their smartphones, you’ve lost their interest.

Reality: Forty-two percent of in-store shoppers search for information online while in-store. Nearly 50 percent of them ultimately go to the retailer’s website or app.

What this means for you: You have a golden opportunity to connect with in-store shoppers and keep them from going to a competitor by helping them become more informed.

  • With a website: Provide weekly or daily deals, a look at which items are most popular, and product ratings/reviews. (Sixty-four percent of consumers are more likely to shop in stores that provide specific recommendations, Google says.)
  • With a mobile app: Provide highly targeted information to shoppers, enabling them to learn about your products in compelling new ways. Example: A home/kitchen retailer might offer shoppers a brief video about how a new blender works—while they’re standing in the blender department.

MYTH NUMBER 3:

Internet-savvy shoppers are extremely well informed before entering a store.

As a result, they only go to stores for a specific transaction (such as picking up an item ordered online).

Reality: According to Google, 32 percent of shoppers visit stores at the beginning of the decision/buying cycle, and 33 percent do their research in stores to learn more about a product.

What this means for you: With mobile technology, you can impress and engage shoppers early in their buying process and use customized offers to transform their interest into action.

  • With a website: Motivate shoppers early in the buying process through exclusive deals and promotions.
  • With a mobile app: More deeply engage shoppers with contextually relevant coupons and promotions based on their previous purchases and/or their geolocation in the store. For example, offer your returning customers a deal on previously purchased items as they arrive at your doorstep. Display relevant ads from the makers of products you sell—providing shoppers with more offers they’re likely to want while also providing your store with another revenue stream.

Inform. Engage. Motivate.

Google’s research shows that retailers must impress shoppers wherever they are, both online and offline. At a minimum, you need a mobile website to answer their questions and provide product information and buying options. Taking it a step further with a mobile app will help you more deeply inform, engage and motivate your in-store shoppers in ways not possible before.

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Phunware Ranked Number 4 Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte’s 2014 Technology Fast 500™ http://www.phunware.com/press-releases/phunware-ranked-number-4-fastest-growing-company-north-america-deloittes-2014-technology-fast-500/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=phunware-ranked-number-4-fastest-growing-company-north-america-deloittes-2014-technology-fast-500 http://www.phunware.com/press-releases/phunware-ranked-number-4-fastest-growing-company-north-america-deloittes-2014-technology-fast-500/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 20:17:43 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=15789 Attributes 17,716 Percent Revenue Growth to Full-Stack Multiscreen Platform and Tidal Shift to Mobile Austin, TX – November 17, 2014 – Phunware, the pioneer of Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS), the first fully integrated customer engagement platform that enables brands to engage, manage and monetize their anytime anywhere users worldwide, today announced it ranked No. […]

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pw_awards

Attributes 17,716 Percent Revenue Growth to Full-Stack Multiscreen Platform and Tidal Shift to Mobile

Austin, TX – November 17, 2014 Phunware, the pioneer of Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS), the first fully integrated customer engagement platform that enables brands to engage, manage and monetize their anytime anywhere users worldwide, today announced it ranked No. 4 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. From 2009–2013, Phunware grew its revenues 17,716 percent, crediting its full-stack multiscreen customer engagement platform offering and the tidal shift from desktop to mobile as core drivers for its performance.

“Phunware’s vision is to reach every human being on every device through every application on every screen in the world—whether created by Phunware or not,” said Alan S. Knitowski, Chairman and CEO of Phunware. “A few years ago, many believed that such a vision was either overly ambitious or completely insane. However, as the market continues to speak loudly and vote with its dollars, the global adoption of our MaaS customer engagement platform and our associated financial performance and growth continue to acclerate. We view these results as proof that our mobile-first, native-first and fully-integrated-first market approach and philosophy have been proven commercially and that Phunware continues to remain at the forefront of the global mobile revolution.”

The Phunware MaaS customer engagement platform makes it easy for any brand to add multiscreen application support for content management, location based services, advertising, alerts and notifications and business intelligence and analytics through the use of a single login on a single platform with a single partner. This unique and comprehensive solutions-based approach reduces both the cost and complexity that brands have been forced to tolerate historically with an ecosystem filled with fragmented, incomplete and non-integrated point products. MaaS currently remains the world’s only comprehensive customer engagement platform for multiscreen application environments and intends to reach each of the 50 billion connected devices expected to compose The Internet of Things by 2020.

“The companies ranked on the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 continue to set the bar for their industry higher each year,” said Eric Openshaw, Vice Chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. technology, media and telecommunications leader. “There are so many exciting products and smart thought leaders driving this list. We congratulate the Fast 500 companies and look forward to seeing them continue their momentum into 2015.”

“For 20 years, the Deloitte Fast 500 rankings have honored the innovation that is part of these companies’ DNA,” added Jim Atwell, National Managing Partner of the emerging growth company practice, Deloitte & Touche LLP. “We’re glad to be serving these high-growth companies, and helping the technology sector recognize the great strides and transformation these companies are making in their respective areas.”

About Deloitte’s 2014 Technology Fast 500™

Technology Fast 500, conducted by Deloitte LLP, provides a ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies – both public and private – in North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2009 to 2013.

In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500 recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company’s operating revenues. Companies must have base-year operating revenues of at least $50,000 USD or CD, and current-year operating revenues of at least $5 million USD or CD. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of five years and be headquartered within North America.

About Phunware

Phunware is the pioneer of Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS), the first fully integrated customer engagement platform that enables brands to engage, manage and monetize their anytime anywhere users worldwide. Phunware, The Software of Things™, has introduced category-defining experiences that challenge the outer limits of the most advanced connected devices for the world’s most respected brands and develops next-generation products and solutions that transform how the world interacts with and uses these connected devices. Phunware has a 5-year percentage growth of 17,716% and is a back-to-back Top 100 award winner on the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies. The company is currently ranked # 4 on the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and # 36 on the 2014 Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies. For more information about how Phunware provides Everything You Need to Succeed on Mobile™, please visit www.phunware.com and follow us on Twitter @phunware.

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Freemium, Paidmium, What-mium? The Latest Pricing Strategies for Mobile Apps http://www.phunware.com/marketing/freemium-paidmium-mium-latest-pricing-strategies-mobile-apps/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=freemium-paidmium-mium-latest-pricing-strategies-mobile-apps http://www.phunware.com/marketing/freemium-paidmium-mium-latest-pricing-strategies-mobile-apps/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 23:15:20 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=15754 Making money with a mobile app isn’t the easiest thing. Gartner predicts that through 2018, less than 0.1 percent of consumer mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their developers. You don’t want that. That’s why, even before you develop your app, you need to consider your pricing strategy. What Is Pricing Strategy? […]

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Pricing-Strategy-Phone

Making money with a mobile app isn’t the easiest thing. Gartner predicts that through 2018, less than 0.1 percent of consumer mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their developers.

You don’t want that. That’s why, even before you develop your app, you need to consider your pricing strategy.

What Is Pricing Strategy?

Pricing strategy is the fundamental way you’ll make money from your app. If you’re not planning to make money from your app, then you can put this post down and move on to something else. But, since most developers like money, let’s explore ways to make it.

There are four major pricing strategies: free, freemium, paid and paidmium.

Free

It may seem counterintuitive to think about making money from a free app, but many businesses use free apps to drive interest and traffic to their websites and stores. There’s no way to make purchases or directly generate revenue from the app, but by providing in-store coupons, sale notices, or localized information, the app can become a part of a wider revenue-generation strategy.

So if you’re developing an app with the ultimate goal of guiding consumers to making a purchase elsewhere—free isn’t a bad approach.

Freemium

Under freemium (today’s most common model), the app itself is free, but there are in-app purchase opportunities. In seven of the App Store’s ten largest categories, the majority of revenue comes from in-app purchases in free apps.

One type of freemium is a two-tiered approach, where there’s a free app with limited features or ad support, and a premium version that costs money, but has extra features or no ads.

Another freemium model is common in games, where the game is free, but levels, features and in-app currency all cost real money.

Freemium can boost user engagement if you use it wisely. But freemium can also be tricky. If you’ve ever downloaded a game that forces an in-app purchase every couple of levels, you know how frustrating and costly freemium can become. Freemium can also place a burden on the developer, who’s regularly required to tweak in-app purchases, turn off old ones and turn on new ones.

Many app developers swear by freemium, but if you have a productivity app or an education app, freemium may not be your best choice. Consider the next two strategies instead.

Paid (Direct Sale)

Purchasing an app for a one-time fee is the most obvious pricing strategy. Unfortunately, for most kinds of apps, it’s also the least effective approach. In 2013, only about 10 percent of mobile apps in the App Store were paid, and that percentage has been declining for years. If you’re publishing a game, a news app or a social networking app—stay away from paid. There are already tons of competitors giving that kind of content away for free.

For certain applications, however, paid is still powerful.

If you have thousands of loyal customers, an established brand, or something very desirable and special, paid apps can work well. Niche B2B apps (medical or legal apps, for example) can work well as paid apps. Many navigation, business and education apps are paid and generate good revenue for their developers.

Paidmium (Direct Sale with In-App Purchases)

Paidmium is an emerging strategy. It’s not very common yet, but it has the potential to unlock significant new revenue streams for apps that already work well as paid apps.

Basically, paidmium (or paymium) combines the strengths of a paid app with an in-app purchase strategy. This could be a feature unlock, a subscription model (paying for new content), or simply paying to remove ads. This approach forces you to continually provide new reasons for your users to make a purchase, but it can also help you generate an ongoing revenue stream.

Per Mashable’s revenue review (linked above), paidmium is working for music apps, navigation apps and social networking apps. Again, if you have proprietary content in your B2B app, you can probably charge for updates and still keep your customers happy.

Suggestions

You MUST pick your pricing strategy as early as possible. Don’t force-fit an app into a particular strategy because you think it’s the best way to make money.

If you’re still uncertain, it’s worth considering launching your app in the paid or paidmium categories, seeing what happens, and then you’ll have a same path to freemium if that’s your ultimate goal.

Pricing is a huge topic and there’s always more to learn, but this has hopefully given you a few ideas. Talk to us in the comments – we have lots of strategy devised from developing successful apps and great ideas to help you move forward.

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The CW Network: Embracing the Multiscreen Video Trend http://www.phunware.com/sports-and-entertainment/cw-network-embracing-multiscreen-video-trend/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cw-network-embracing-multiscreen-video-trend http://www.phunware.com/sports-and-entertainment/cw-network-embracing-multiscreen-video-trend/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:20:08 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=15651 The CW Network: Embracing the Multiscreen Video Trend Today’s television audience consumes content at their convenience and on multiple devices. A large percentage of viewers across age groups prefer to watch programming on demand, but Millennials stand out with over 46 percent choosing to view original programming after it has aired.1 Consumers are also viewing […]

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The CW Case Study

The CW Network: Embracing the Multiscreen Video Trend

Today’s television audience consumes content at their convenience and on multiple devices. A large percentage of viewers across age groups prefer to watch programming on demand, but Millennials stand out with over 46 percent choosing to view original programming after it has aired.1

Consumers are also viewing content on multiple devices. Over 30 percent of US mobile users report viewing video on their smartphone at least once per day; while television viewing has stayed consistent with only 9 percent reporting decreased viewing time.2 This data points to the larger trend of simultaneous device use. When viewers actually sit down to watch TV, they are also using another device 77 percent of the time.3

Don’t Buck the Trend—Embrace It!

Trends in mobile device usage create major cross-promotional opportunities for content providers like TV networks. Viewers are often engaged in multi-tasking when using multiple devices: They may watch a video on a tablet and search for an actor’s bio on their smartphone, or start following a show on social media from their tablet while watching an episode on TV. Content providers must capture viewers’ complete attention or risk losing it to the multitude of distractions at their fingertips. Full-function, cross-platform mobile applications can help keep viewers entertained and provide deeper engagement.

The CW Network’s viewer demographics made embracing (and leveraging) this trend a requirement. The network’s original mobile application helped set the standard for fan interaction across devices. The CW App is one of the highest-rated video applications available, boasting a 4.5-star rating for iOS and 4 stars for Android. The network achieved this success by delivering content and features with a focus on its audience.

User Experience Is the Key

Other networks can take a cue from The CW’s success. Here are the five key features that help set The CW App apart.

  1. The CW App ScreensOffer full episodes on demand. The CW application provides full episodes of current season programming on demand, starting a week after the original airing. Many networks force viewers to log into a cable account before providing access to the full episode feature. Understandably, many viewers are turned off by the prospect of needing a cable contract to view “free” broadcast television programming.
  2. Send customized push notifications. The CW application lets viewers select the content they care about and set alerts for live broadcast or in-app availability. Users love this feature because they can “set it and forget it.” Their smartphone will alert them as soon as the content is available.
  3. Provide special fan content. The CW knows their viewers have a strong connection to the stories and the characters. The application is designed to help deepen this connection by providing special content including, extended videos, previews for upcoming episodes, behind-the-scenes extras, cast interviews, and extensive photo galleries for episodic and publicity stills.
  4. Enable series cross-promotion and discovery tools. Once a network has loyal viewers for one show, how does it expose them to other shows in its portfolio? The CW App uses its on-demand viewing feature to cross-promote other CW programming and increase fan engagement.
  5. Deliver exclusive digital content (“CW Seed”). Viewers who engage through an application are true fans, primed for engagement with even more content. The CW provides exclusive digital programming to users of its application, creating increased brand awareness and advocacy.

The CW’s fans are accustomed to outstanding device experiences and The CW team is committed to delivering the best experience on mobile. To that end, the Phunware-built CW App is undergoing a reboot. This new release boasts a gorgeous, updated look and feel and several new features. Check out the case study for full details or download the application and try it out.

CW App iOS

Download for iOS from the App Store

CW App Google Play

Download for Android from the Google Play Store

CW App Google Play

Download for Android from the Windows Store

1comScore, Inc., The US Total Video Report, 2014.
2The Nielsen Company, The Mobile Consumer: A Global Snapshot, 2013.
3Google, Inc., The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior, 2012.

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Phunware Retail Mobile App Solution Video http://www.phunware.com/videos/video-phunware-retail/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=video-phunware-retail http://www.phunware.com/videos/video-phunware-retail/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 19:22:52 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/videos/video-phunware-everything-need-succeed-mobile-2/ Now within reach: The Ultimate Shopper Experience. Phunware’s Retail Solution drives traffic, customer loyalty and revenue.

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Now within reach: The Ultimate Shopper Experience. Phunware’s Retail Solution drives traffic, customer loyalty and revenue.

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20 Most Promising Retail Tech Solution Providers: Phunware Inc. http://www.phunware.com/blog/20-promising-retail-tech-solution-providers-phunware-inc/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=20-promising-retail-tech-solution-providers-phunware-inc http://www.phunware.com/blog/20-promising-retail-tech-solution-providers-phunware-inc/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 00:02:06 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=15484 CIO Review | October 22, 2014 Alan S. Knitowski, a former U.S. Army Air Assault and Ranger Captain, finds an interesting parallel between the battlefield and maneuvering his mobile-focused development company, Phunware. “The common threads that connect serving the Army and maintaining a business are the chaos and rapidly changing situations that need to be managed […]

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CIO Review | October 22, 2014

Providing Retailers with “Multiscreen as a Service”

CIO Review Article - Phunware

Alan S. Knitowski, a former U.S. Army Air Assault and Ranger Captain, finds an interesting parallel between the battlefield and maneuvering his mobile-focused development company, Phunware. “The common threads that connect serving the Army and maintaining a business are the chaos and rapidly changing situations that need to be managed through discipline and dedication. In the constantly changing retail landscape, a new genre of competition has taken shape, like a raging new war to be the best,” says Knitowski.

Amid immense complexities in the evolving retail landscape, Phunware provides rich and groundbreaking solutions for retailers. “Now we have innovations like high-density Wi-Fi and beacon technology, but the question now is how a retailer can adapt these technologies and bring to life the most amazing shopping experience. These tools make the customer feel engaged, and result in more in-store spending,” adds Knitowski. Phunware’s Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS) solutions help make the shopping experience easy and interesting for consumers.

MaaS is a fully integrated, cloud-based mobile services platform that creates immersive mobile experiences for Apple iOS and Google Android devices. “We can build and manage custom applications for our clients and help them make money with those apps. We provide a single platform with multiple solutions, so you do not need to utilize multiple vendors. You only need Phunware,” says Knitowski.

For retailers, Phunware’s engageME solution utilizes the latest location technology such as iBeacon, high-density indoor Wi-Fi and GPS to enable marketers to delight their users with highly interactive location-based experiences. These cutting-edge technologies are not without challenges, as Knitowski explains: “We have to reassure shoppers that beacons are just a way to connect with them, and can help them get discount coupons, loyalty points and new updates from their favorite brands. All of these communications are to the shoppers’ benefit.”

Phunware solutions have been utilized by companies such as NASCAR, REVOLT TV, Airmail, ESPN, NBC and AT&T, among others. When one of Phunware’s first brick-and-mortar retail customers wanted to introduce a unique shopping experience for Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, Phunware rose to the challenge. The specialty retailer requested that Phunware think along the lines of geo-conquesting and wanted to make sure their customers had the best options for a perfect shopping experience in their stores.

Phunware set up a location-based marketing automation campaign in 50 of the retailer’s locations across the U.S. and activated an outbound alert system to announce Black Friday specials. After sending out the notifications, the read rate was 20 percent at competitive locations and one out of five people effectively redirected themselves to the specialty retailer versus the competitor store. “Campaigns like these have added over half a million dollars of incremental mobile commerce in a day,” adds Knitowski.

Knitowski believes that thinking out of the box helps grab consumers’ attention and attracts them to stores. “We want to extend our expertise to places outside the U.S. where the consumer market is growing. We have to remember that our success lies in the success of the client. It’s like in serving the Army, where the country’s victory is yours.”

We build fully-integrated, native and mobile-first solutions that make it easy for retailers to engage, manage and monetize their consumers at just the right time and place.

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What Is Cost-Per-Install Advertising? http://www.phunware.com/blog/what-is-cost-per-install-advertising/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-is-cost-per-install-advertising http://www.phunware.com/blog/what-is-cost-per-install-advertising/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 15:01:04 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=15474 Picture this: It took you months to conceive of, design, build and launch your mobile application. This application is going to connect you directly to your most loyal customers, allowing you to engage more deeply with them and make your brand an integral part of their daily life. This labor of love is going to […]

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Picture this: It took you months to conceive of, design, build and launch your mobile application. This application is going to connect you directly to your most loyal customers, allowing you to engage more deeply with them and make your brand an integral part of their daily life. This labor of love is going to take your business to the next level.

But Where Are Your Users?

app Install CPIThe unfortunate truth is that your work is not done after your app launches. The next challenge is to make people who fit your target profile aware of your app—and then to convince them to download it. App publishers like you have access to a range of methods to promote their apps and drive users to install them.

One of the most effective is advertising your app inside of other apps and on mobile websites that are used by people similar to your target audience. There are several different performance-based shapes this arrangement can take:

  • Cost-per-mille (CPM)
  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Cost-per-install (CPI)

Each method can result in new installs; the difference is in how the publisher is billed for the advertisement. When considering mobile advertising to drive installs, you need a clear understanding of how to measure the success and cost of each campaign.

Digital Advertising Primer

Digital advertising began with CPM, which is a traditional advertising term with roots in print. It is a cost model based on the number of impressions served, and it’s great for building awareness of a brand or an application. Brands pay the ad network for every mille—1000 times—the advertisement is displayed to a user on a mobile platform.

CPC is a more performance-based method of advertising than CPM because brands only pay the network if users click (or tap) on their advertisements. This method of advertising is effective because the ad network has skin in the game. It’s in the network’s own best interest to run the ads where they’re most likely to see engagement—that’s how the network gets paid.

And finally, CPI campaigns are specific to mobile applications. In a cost-per-install campaign, publishers place digital ads across a range of media in an effort to drive installation of the advertised application. The brand is charged a fixed or bid rate only when the application is installed.

Go Out and Find Your Users!

In addition to mobile advertising, brands have the ability to drive awareness and installations through the more traditional methods of print, radio and outdoor advertising. Mobile users are sophisticated and driven to have “the next great app.” Effectively generating awareness of your app can lead to users search for, find and install it.

How you drive that awareness is up to you—but performance-based advertising ensures that you’re not in it alone.

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How Will Beacon Technology Affect Retail Holiday 2014? http://www.phunware.com/technology/will-beacon-technology-affect-retail-holiday-2014/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=will-beacon-technology-affect-retail-holiday-2014 http://www.phunware.com/technology/will-beacon-technology-affect-retail-holiday-2014/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:53:19 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=15466 Though the holidays may bring happiness and cheer, those qualities are rarely unaccompanied by a high dose of stress. One of the main culprits for a yuletide-induced ulcer? Holiday shopping and the time-consuming crowds and bargain-hunting that come with it. Luckily, this year, retailers have the opportunity to be the antidote to the frazzled shopper’s […]

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Holiday Retail Beacon Mobile

Though the holidays may bring happiness and cheer, those qualities are rarely unaccompanied by a high dose of stress. One of the main culprits for a yuletide-induced ulcer? Holiday shopping and the time-consuming crowds and bargain-hunting that come with it.

Luckily, this year, retailers have the opportunity to be the antidote to the frazzled shopper’s frenzy by providing customized and streamlined shopping experiences. Never before has the climate been more primed for—and accepting of—mobile marketing and innovation.

A rising tide lifts all boats—and this is certainly the case in the retail industry, which continues to rebound from the Recession. With a healthier industry comes a natural increase in eCommerce sales, a growing portion of which is projected to come from mobile (otherwise known as mCommerce). eMarketer projects that 20 million more people will buy on mobile this year compared to 2013, meaning retail mCommerce will grow 37% by the close of 2014.

If you haven’t already begun marketing to your customers this holiday season (and yes, it’s already started), it would behoove you to build a mobile strategy that creates a uniquely personalized journey with your brand and through your store. That means you need a combination of location-aware technology, timing and context—and constant evaluation of user analytics.

Beacon Technology and Analytics

“It’s the hottest retail technology of 2014 in a lot of ways,” David Heinzinger of iMarket says of beacon technology. Beacons are small devices that unobtrusively affix to a wall or end cap within a retail location. They emit low-energy Bluetooth signals to detect an app user’s location and proximity in real time, and are touted as the most accurate location-aware technology currently on the market.

(A comparison crash-course: GPS requires line of sight to the sky, which isn’t usually available in a retail setting; Wi-Fi is limited in that it functions differently on Android and iOS operating systems; and cell tower triangulation is the least precise technology for mobile location detection).

For shoppers who have your store’s app installed on their devices, beacons trigger marketing initiatives, such as push notifications or customer service inquiries, when a user is within the beacon’s transmission radius.

These marketing initiatives can provide value to your shoppers (special offers, product information, ratings and reviews, etc.), but the real gravy is the data your app collects as users engage with it. This information, quite simply, is what will make your holiday marketing plan gangbusters.

When a customer uses your mobile app, they give you layer upon layer of insight into their shopping habits, preferences and needs. Where proximity to a beacon determines when the app’s server will push messages to users, the analytics you cull will help inform which message to deliver based on user habits.

And the cherry on top? You can—and must, really—optimize regularly based on the results you see.

Your hyper-connected customers expect your brand to be familiar with their wants and needs, and your app’s ability to deliver highly targeted contextual information and offers during the stressful shopping season will further affirm their loyalty and make their experience a painless one. In fact, shoppers who receive location-based beacon messages are 19 times more likely to interact with the advertised product than those who did not receive a beacon message, according to a recent report from inMarket.

While eMarketer reports it expects to see expanded experiments with beacons this holiday season, the direct effect on retail industry holiday sales is forecasted as limited since the use of the technology is not yet widespread enough.

It’s the Journey, Not the Destination

Today’s intrepid shoppers are looking for a bargain, and they will put in 15 or more hours of research to find it. Though 92 percent of shoppers will check online for a better price, most of these purchases will happen in-store, according to the 2013 Google/Nielsen study on the Mobile Path to Purchase. A mobile app combined with relevant contextual ads will keep your brand top of mind throughout the research period and, eventually, while in-store.

Shoppers have very little patience for a poor consumer experience during the holiday season, when time and resources are limited. Jay Henderson, strategy director at IBM Smarter Commerce, explains that mobile should be used to identify customer struggles and resolve problems on-site. Does your salesperson notice an app user is lingering for a longer time than usual in a certain aisle? Thanks to beacon technology, staff can be alerted to offer help.

“To enhance the visitor experience, well-prepared marketers are improving site navigation, providing useful content like how-to guides and user forums, as well as ensuring a consistent brand image across channels,” Henderson adds.

Point being: The mobile app is not just about the end sale. Since the majority of those take place in-store, retailers ought to deliver a smooth experience each step of the way in order to secure that purchase.

What Industry Stalwarts Suggest

Whereas eCommerce once undercut retailers’ in-store revenue, mCommerce is actually reversing the practice of “showrooming”—the consumer habit of seeing something in-store, then going home to search online for a better price and make the purchase.

Research suggests that “reverse-showrooming” (also known as “webrooming”) has the potential to bring sales back to the brick-and-mortar. Add in mCommerce holiday coupons and other highly relevant cross-selling initiatives delivered to the right customers at the right time, and mobile is not so much a threat to retailers as it is an opportunity to enhance sales across all channels.

The June 2014 FitForCommerce study goes so far as to say that the retail industry would benefit from a “mobile-first approach:” “By placing mobile at the center of the omni-channel strategy, retailers and brands will enable a new level of interaction, engagement, conversation and loyalty. And revenue.”

When the retailer and the consumer both benefit from a single marketing initiative—and during the holiday season, to boot—divine equilibrium is achieved.

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