Phunware http://www.phunware.com Everything you need to succeed on mobile. Fri, 22 May 2015 20:57:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Mobile Indoor Wayfinding in Healthcare: A Test Drive at French Hospital Medical Center http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-indoor-wayfinding-in-healthcare-a-test-drive-at-french-hospital-medical-center/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mobile-indoor-wayfinding-in-healthcare-a-test-drive-at-french-hospital-medical-center http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-indoor-wayfinding-in-healthcare-a-test-drive-at-french-hospital-medical-center/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 17:36:18 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19721 Leslie Wolke is a nationally recognized wayfinding technology consultant. From wayfinding websites to apps and touch screens, she has developed innovative solutions in collaboration with a number of large institutional clients, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, New York University Langone Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center and more. We asked Leslie to test our healthcare […]

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Leslie Wolke is a nationally recognized wayfinding technology consultant. From wayfinding websites to apps and touch screens, she has developed innovative solutions in collaboration with a number of large institutional clients, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, New York University Langone Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center and more.

We asked Leslie to test our healthcare mobile app solutions and provide feedback on our FrenchWay app. Her thoughts are below.

Can Smartphones Improve Hospital Visits?

blog-frenchway-screen-1The smartphone in our pocket gives us superpowers. It endows us with access to all of human knowledge and provides constant communication with our loved ones. But can it make an anxiety-ridden visit to a hospital a little easier?

To find out, I test-drove Phunware’s new app for French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, California. French Hospital is a leader in cardiac care on the central coast of California and is part of the Dignity Health system. The fifth-largest network of healthcare facilities in the country, Dignity Health is piloting the app to evaluate a potential rollout to its 39 hospitals in California, Nevada and Arizona.

Known as “FrenchWay,” the app was designed to serve as a personal guide for hospital visitors throughout their entire journey to and from the hospital. Turn-by-turn navigation gets you from any location to the medical center, then indoor wayfinding and navigation guide you right to your chosen destination. The app is available for Android and iOS.

Currently, French Hospital is undergoing massive construction, with renovations to existing facilities and the addition of two new wings. Short-term signs direct to temporary entrances and construction equipment is everywhere. This makes navigating the facility even more difficult.

I decided to simulate a common common trip to the hospital—visiting a loved one. Here’s how everything worked.

My Indoor Wayfinding Experience with FrenchWay

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  1. I found the app easily on the French Hospital website. When I launched the app for the first time, a tutorial showed me how to get turn-by-turn directions from any location to the medical center. It also explained how to use the built-in interactive hospital map to get indoor directions to my final destination.
  2. For street directions to the hospital, the app links to your default mapping app (Apple Maps or Google Maps). The trip from my hotel to the hospital was easy—I just followed the audio directions, which were similar to those you get from an in-car or mobile GPS system.
  3. When I arrived at French Hospital, the FrenchWay icon appeared on my iPhone lock screen, with a reminder to return to the app to use the indoor interactive map.
  4. Since the content on the app can be updated as needed, the app’s map already reflected that the Main Entrance was closed due to construction. I entered the complex at the suggested alternate entrance. From there, I searched on the map for the Med/Surg Nurses’ Station. A blue line appeared on the map, tracing my suggested route.
  5. A label stating “Start Here,” was punctuated by the pulsating blue dot—the same “you are here” dot we see on all the most common navigation apps. As I followed the route, the map re-oriented to show me a “heads-up” view, with the top of the map pointed toward my line of sight.
  6. When I walked past the cafeteria, a notification popped up with the daily specials. Phunware’s technology allows the hospital staff to add messages that are transmitted through the app to visitors at specific locations.
  7. I arrived at the Med/Surg Nurses Station with only a few hesitations along the way and no wrong turns. Success!

New Possibilities with Indoor Positioning

blog-frenchway-screen-3Indoor positioning technology—the ability to locate a smartphone in an environment and provide specific information to it like the “blue dot” or a promotional message—is a relatively young field. Different vendors are pursuing various networking protocols to support their efforts. Phunware apps can use either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi access points to provide “indoor GPS.”

Since indoor wayfinding is new, so is the experience of walking within a building and following a blue dot on a smartphone screen. It took some getting used to, especially at decision points where I needed to glance at the app to orient myself and decide where to go. I believe that the app’s performance can be attributed to the positioning of the beacons and the responsiveness of Phunware’s platform.

A “real” visitor may also make use of FrenchWay’s other features: a directory of departments (with phone numbers), plus links to the hospital’s patient web portal and “find a doctor” referral service.

After spending a few hours at French Hospital and using the app on iPhone and Android devices, I believe Phunware is on the right path toward making our journeys to and within hospitals easier to navigate.

If you’re curious about the FrenchWay app and wayfinding with Phunware, download the recording of my May 13 webinar on The Future of Connected Health. I presented with Marie Garrison, Phunware’s healthcare Product Marketing Manager. We discussed this pilot program, our top 10 takeaways from HIMSS and a lot more.

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App Retention: 5 Tips for Built-in Stickiness   http://www.phunware.com/blog/app-retention-5-tips-for-built-in-stickiness/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=app-retention-5-tips-for-built-in-stickiness http://www.phunware.com/blog/app-retention-5-tips-for-built-in-stickiness/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 18:28:19 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19637 How many apps do you have on your smartphone? Now, how many of them do you use on a regular basis? Daily? Once a month? Once in a blue moon? And how many have you downloaded and later deleted? Thought so. Retention is a real issue for all kinds of app developers and owners. We’ve […]

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How many apps do you have on your smartphone? Now, how many of them do you use on a regular basis? Daily? Once a month? Once in a blue moon? And how many have you downloaded and later deleted? Thought so. Retention is a real issue for all kinds of app developers and owners.

We’ve talked before about using push notifications to keep app users engaged. However, strong user communications can’t solve all your problems. A solid app retention strategy also requires smart design and ongoing content development. That’s what we’re going to talk about today—how to build in stickiness at the design and content level.

First: Ask yourself what you’re really trying to do.

Ultimately, building an app means creating an experience to surround what you want people to do or buy, and also creating engagement or utility that leads to that action.

The experience you build may be primarily geared for content consumption (news, entertainment), utility (weather, wayfinding), commerce (hotel, retail), or gaming. It may be a hybrid of those things. But keep in mind that brands often go wrong by trying to be everything to everybody. Your audience may just want to shop. Or they might just need wayfinding. From the outset, know what you’re trying to do, for whom, and why.

5 starter tips for built-in stickiness

1. Good apps are good guides.

As you go along, a good app shows you new things, gives you smart advice, offers unique benefits because of who you are or your level of activity, and makes everything easy. ITTT’s Do app is a great example of using explicit and implicit instructions to help users familiarize themselves with the interface and start using the app right away.

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Do’s explicit instructions (“Quickly email yourself a note”) and implicit instructions (gray boxes suggest new items and actions).

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Tips like these lessen the learning curve.

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Do gets your first task started for you, reducing the barrier to adoption.

2. Above all, be useful.

Apple’s App Store will reject purely marketing-based submissions—your app must provide some kind of value. We recommend reviewing the App Store review guidelines, but here are a couple of examples from those guidelines:

  • “Apps that are not very useful, unique, are simply web sites bundled as Apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected.”
  • “Apps that are primarily marketing materials or advertisements will be rejected.”

Apple is definitely not kidding around here. So what sort of value are we talking about? It might be:

  • Discovery — ex: showcasing cool products so I don’t have to look for them
  • Promotional —  ex: offering coupons and special deals
  • Entertainment — ex: live-streaming video from a sporting or media event
  • Utility — make it easy to pay, show me how much money I’m saving

Of course, it’s also important to make sure that the value you are offering is actually relevant to your audience. If your prospective users are primarily seniors, for example, in-app payments might be completely outside their comfort zone and therefore pretty useless..

(NOTE: The Google Play store for Android-based apps has less stringent requirements, but it’s still a good idea to review them.)

3. Tell people where to look and what to do.

People generally don’t like to dig very deep into apps, so it makes sense to incorporate a social media-style feed to surface content from different areas of the app and move it forward.

Tell people what to do. When you’re trying to capitalize on your users’ limited time and attention, push forward the actions you want them to take next. Many apps have adopted notification centers for this purpose. Here’s an example from Waze:

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The Waze notification center for new users…

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…and after the app has gotten to know you.

4. Keep it fresh.

It’s a good idea to update your content at least once a day. Bear in mind, these content updates don’t have to be huge forklifts of information. Think like Facebook or Twitter—add snackable bits of news or timely reminders to your feed. Most platforms make it easy for marketers and other stakeholders to keep things fresh. Yahoo News Digest provides regular updates and has built-in design features that let you know how long it will be until the next update, and it gives you an interesting (and socially-sharable) quote when you consume all of the content in your digest.

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This simple countdown tells me when to expect the next update.

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Fascinating!

5. Give them the VIP treatment.

People who download your app are often your most interested and loyal customers. They’re showing a certain level of commitment, so reward them with the VIP treatment through personalization.

Here are some examples:

  • Tailor the newsfeed to her interests and in-app behavior—surface things she wants to see.
  • Personalize the greeting and images to her location and the time of year.
  • Change the app behavior based on her location. When she walks into your store, for example, the app could present her shopping list with a map leading directly to items on the list, and links to those products on the website.
  • Use rewards to keep users coming back—this can be anything from special discounts or loyalty program points to simply showing a fun animation during the greeting.

For more on this, check out The Personalization Blind Spot.

The truth is, a solid app retention strategy is an ongoing, multifaceted process that starts with initial design and never really ends. You can no longer put up a website and just leave it there, unchanged, for the next five years. The same is true for apps—users must be nurtured (they’re worth it) and your content and features must be continually refreshed (also worth it).

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Top 5 Takeaways from HIMSS http://www.phunware.com/blog/top-5-takeaways-from-himss/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-5-takeaways-from-himss http://www.phunware.com/blog/top-5-takeaways-from-himss/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 22:37:03 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19662 From the HIMSS conference floor to informal breakouts, there was lots to learn and think about. The following are a few themes that bubbled to the top for us: 1. Indoor wayfinding sure would’ve been helpful! There were more than 42,000 people at HIMSS, checking out more than 1,400 booths across three floors in two different buildings. A simple indoor wayfinding […]

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From the HIMSS conference floor to informal breakouts, there was lots to learn and think about. The following are a few themes that bubbled to the top for us:

1. Indoor wayfinding sure would’ve been helpful!

There were more than 42,000 people at HIMSS, checking out more than 1,400 booths across three floors in two different buildings. A simple indoor wayfinding app would’ve reduced frustration for attendees and exhibitors by making it easy for people to find where they needed to go and get there on time. And our feet would have felt a lot nicer at the end of the day.

2. Omnichannel marketing is coming to healthcare sooner rather than later.

Omnichannel marketing means providing a consistent brand experience across all channels and devices—from your website to your social media accounts to your mobile app…every single touchpoint. It requires true integration across every channel on the back end. Here’s an example: with omnichannel integration, a patient could use a hospital mobile app to check in for an appointment, linking directly to the physician’s administrator as well as a dialysis attendant who would ensure the proper systems were ready and waiting.

Omnichannel marketing is already taking over the retail industry. As far back as 2012, omnichannel holiday shoppers were expected to spend 71% more than their single-channel counterparts. And according to a 2015 study by the International Data Corporation, omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel. If that’s what’s happening in retail, imagine the possibilities for treatment plan compliance, health class attendance, or hospital fundraising. Could omnichannel create a boost of even 5%? How would that affect health and the hospital bottom line?

3. There’s a lot of disagreement about who owns patient engagement.

According to a HIMSS collaborative study (3 Perspectives on Patient Engagement), CIOs think patient engagement is largely about technology, so it’s in their wheelhouse. For providers and patients, engagement is all about relationships—yet providers think patients need to take more responsibility for their care and outcomes, and patients just want providers to spend more time with them.

Only a handful of those surveyed had a plan around patient engagement. That means there’s a significant opportunity for marketers to lead patient engagement collaboratively across multiple departments.

4. Technology solutions may be more patient-centric than you think.

People may be more comfortable providing personal health data through technology, rather than face-to-face. In person, they might be afraid of disappointing or being admonished by the physician. All you can do is ask—you may be surprised what patients are willing to share.

At the same time, consumers have already adopted smartphones and tablets, and more shops and restaurants are using web-based payment systems. Getting patients to adopt technology similar to what they already use may be surprisingly easy. According to a  2015 HIMSS presentation, Cook Children’s Healthcare System in Fort Worth, Texas has rolled out a hugely successful multi-format patient kiosk system. So far, their kiosks have processed more than 100,000 patient check-ins and greater than $1,000,000 in payment collections by Year 2.

5. Patient satisfaction is the top healthcare business concern—not profitability.

In the 2015 HIMSS Leadership Survey, respondents ranked “improve patient satisfaction” and “improve patient care / quality of care” as their top business objectives, both at 87 percent. “Sustain financial viability,” was ranked at 85 percent. Clearly, with the pressure that healthcare reform has placed on patient satisfaction, hospitals are paying attention.

The Harvard Business Review says that the customer’s end-to-end journey is far more important than any individual touchpoint. “In our research and consulting on customer journeys, we’ve found that organizations able to skillfully manage the entire experience reap enormous rewards: enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue, and greater employee satisfaction.”

In the end, “a scalpel is just a knife but it saves lives.”

This was a point made at HIMSS, refuting claims that “an app is just an app and can’t solve any problems.” At Phunware, we know that a carefully designed mobile app can help hospitals improve the patient experience, deepen relationships and run more efficiently.

Want to learn more? You can download the audio from my recent MM&M webinar with wayfinding expert Leslie Wolke, The Future of Connected Health. You can also check out our white paper, A Surprising Rx for the Ailing Patient Experience. Or just give us a call.

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What the Cool Kids Know: 4 Mobile Marketing Secrets from Popular Apps http://www.phunware.com/blog/what-the-cool-kids-know-4-mobile-marketing-secrets-from-popular-apps/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-the-cool-kids-know-4-mobile-marketing-secrets-from-popular-apps http://www.phunware.com/blog/what-the-cool-kids-know-4-mobile-marketing-secrets-from-popular-apps/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 21:12:25 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19608 When you stop and think about it, you can learn a lot about mobile marketing from your very own smartphone. Next time, instead of diving into the Facebook or Starbucks or Amazon apps for the usual reasons, go in with a learner’s mind. What are they doing right? What could they do better? What can […]

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Important digital VP talks on iPhone 6 Plus, adjusts Apple Watch, wears power bandana, drinks beer.

Important digital VP talks on iPhone 6 Plus, adjusts Apple Watch, wears power bandana, drinks beer.

When you stop and think about it, you can learn a lot about mobile marketing from your very own smartphone. Next time, instead of diving into the Facebook or Starbucks or Amazon apps for the usual reasons, go in with a learner’s mind. What are they doing right? What could they do better? What can you learn from them that you can take to your company’s app?

I recently sat down with Eric Moujaes, Phunware’s VP – Platform Evangelism, and just asked him about some of his favorite apps. Here’s what I learned.

1. Look for every opportunity to give users more things to do.

The Dark Sky weather app is known for beautiful minimal design, and especially for its gorgeous weather animations. When a user taps to open the search field, the app suggests an interesting storm to go look at on the animation map. Dark Sky makes it easy to check the temperature where you are AND to explore cool storms wherever they’re happening. That’s a smart way to keep weather nerds like me checking Dark Sky, even when the skies are clear in my area.

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2. Make users aware of relevant activity within the app.

On the Airbnb app, the news feed contains popular destinations like San Francisco and New York, but it also presents me with content about stays in a home designed by a famous modern architect, fancy yachts (#beyonce), and picturesque shepherd huts (sheep optional, I presume).

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3. Customize simple features for maximum utility and relevance.

Walgreens has a fantastic app. The home screen is filled with simple icons leading me to various features, making me feel like the app is just packed with functionality. And it is. Most of it simple, but very useful. There’s a pill reminder that combines calendaring with a bar code reader for prescription information, and password protection for personal privacy. Simple, but it takes care of an annoying need for patients—and gives them a reason to keep using the app.

Another interesting feature is Balance Rewards for healthy choices™, which combines the Walgreens loyalty program with gamification and fitness tracking. Users can earn badges as well as Balance Rewards points for healthy behaviors. From gold stars in kindergarten to in-app rewards as a grown-up, gamification has always worked on me.

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4. Own the experience.

Uber does this really well. The app doesn’t try to be all things to all people. Instead, it’s built around owning the car-share experience by adding engagement opportunities and features from ride request to the final destination. To serve this goal, Uber keeps adding really smart features like the ability to split payments with a friend, share your Spotify list, share your ETA and more.

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This welcome message tells you what to do when you arrive and helps you use what Uber has to offer.

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Uber spoon-feeds you options that inform you about their other products and services.

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They bring seasonal promotions to the front in a non-intrusive way.

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Choose your music and manage your own trip experience.

If you want to talk about cool apps, come sit next to Eric. Seen anything amazing lately? Let us know in the comments below or @phunware #coolappseric.

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My Phirst Week at Phunware http://www.phunware.com/blog/my-phirst-week-at-phunware/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=my-phirst-week-at-phunware http://www.phunware.com/blog/my-phirst-week-at-phunware/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 16:10:13 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19595 Someone knocks on my desk and tells me to come to the garage on the other side of the office. “C’mon!” they said, “It’s Cinco de Mayo!” What followed was quite an introduction to my new workplace and my Phunware Phamily. My name is David, and Friday, May 8 marks my fifth day working on […]

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That’s me in the middle, post-flauta.

Someone knocks on my desk and tells me to come to the garage on the other side of the office. “C’mon!” they said, “It’s Cinco de Mayo!” What followed was quite an introduction to my new workplace and my Phunware Phamily.

My name is David, and Friday, May 8 marks my fifth day working on social media here at Phunware. It’s been a unique time, to say the least. Between photo booths and flautas at Cinco de Mayo, to Tiff’s Treats* and ice cream at our CEO Alan’s surprise birthday party, it’s been a new office experience for me. But with this team, I think I could get used to it.

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It hasn’t been only queso and cookies. The Phunware team has already challenged me in ways I haven’t been challenged in quite a while, but it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ve met with most if not all of the staff in the Austin office and everyone has been helpful, insightful, thoughtful and excited about what we do. Everyone has gone out of their way to make me feel like I’m a part of the team, which has made this week extraordinary and a great introduction to this weird and wonderful place.

In my short time here, I’ve found the team at Phunware to be a group of people who are excited to get to work in the morning. They’re all united by an interest in making great things with great people. And I’m proud to say I’m part of it now. After my first week, I can tell this position is going to be challenging, I can tell it’s going to be difficult, but I’ve got a good feeling it’s going to be phun. (I’m going to get so much mileage out of that joke.)

*For those of you not fortunate enough to know, Tiff’s Treats is a local Austin bakery that DELIVERS WARM COOKIES AND MILK TO YOU.

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Have You Recovered from HIMSS Yet? http://www.phunware.com/blog/have-you-recovered-from-himss-yet/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=have-you-recovered-from-himss-yet http://www.phunware.com/blog/have-you-recovered-from-himss-yet/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 17:13:19 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19477 It has been three weeks since HIMSS and we are still wrapping our heads around all of the great information learned and just how huge of a show it was. I thought Chicago was a great host (thank goodness for this Texas girl it wasn’t too cold!), and we further verified that patient wayfinding is […]

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It has been three weeks since HIMSS and we are still wrapping our heads around all of the great information learned and just how huge of a show it was. I thought Chicago was a great host (thank goodness for this Texas girl it wasn’t too cold!), and we further verified that patient wayfinding is a hot topic.

Here are a few key lessons and observations I came home with from this year’s event (along with some questions to get you thinking):

  • Patient engagement and experience has people talking, but only 46% of hospitals have a formal plan to address it. How do you engage with patients on demand?
  • There is an absolute willingness to use technology, even from the senior age group. What are you doing to create a positive patient and visitor experience for all ages?
  • You have to find a way to reach out to your patients when 99% of the time they are on their own and out of the doctor’s office. Aside from phone calls and appointment reminder postcards, how are you keeping your facility top of mind for patients? 

Like I said before, McCormick Center is HUGE and it wasn’t the easiest to navigate…if only there were some way to use your phone’s mapping and navigation capabilities indoors:)

Find out more takeaways from HIMSS and how they relate to the future of connected health in our upcoming webinar next week on 5/13. You can learn more and register here.

What surprised you the most from HIMSS? Let us know in the comments below!

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Newsphlash: Phunware Appointed to Mobile Marketing’s Mobile Leaders Network http://www.phunware.com/blog/newsphlash-phunware-appointed-to-mobile-marketings-mobile-leaders-network/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=newsphlash-phunware-appointed-to-mobile-marketings-mobile-leaders-network http://www.phunware.com/blog/newsphlash-phunware-appointed-to-mobile-marketings-mobile-leaders-network/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 15:00:17 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19464 Guess what? Mobile Marketing Magazine has announced the launch of the Mobile Leaders Network (MLN), and we are very pleased to be a founding member! As part of the MLN, Phunware Advertising will act as an informal advisor to the magazine, commenting on major news stories, writing opinion pieces, and generally bringing our unique platform […]

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Guess what? Mobile Marketing Magazine has announced the launch of the Mobile Leaders Network (MLN), and we are very pleased to be a founding member! As part of the MLN, Phunware Advertising will act as an informal advisor to the magazine, commenting on major news stories, writing opinion pieces, and generally bringing our unique platform perspective to the magazine.

Our chief advertising evangelist Jon Hook reports his excitement from London:

“We are proud to have been invited to join Mobile Marketing‘s Mobile Leaders Network. Although mobile is still in its infancy compared to other marketing channels, it is already established as an intrinsic part of the daily lives of consumers.

As a result, we are seeing huge demand from businesses and brands to help drive the next evolution of mobile advertising and create “mobile as a service”—personalised and contextually-aware consumer mobile experiences. We have deep expertise in creating these experiences, from activating live events in stadiums to enhancing the patient experience in healthcare, to powering the next generation of media and entertainment mobile applications.

All of these experiences generate significant volumes of first-party data that we drive into our DMP to then refine, optimise and drive our mobile media campaigns. The conversation is now much more focused on building audiences and layering individual consumer profiles with rich contextual data. The richer the profile, the better we can engage the user across the myriad mobile exchanges and our own direct publishers.

We very much look forward to helping shape the future of the mobile advertising industry alongside our peers and the Mobile Marketing team.”

Check out this page to learn more, or access a full list of the founding members of the Mobile Leaders Network here.

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Why Your Customer Retention Strategy Needs Mobile http://www.phunware.com/blog/why-your-customer-retention-strategy-needs-mobile/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-your-customer-retention-strategy-needs-mobile http://www.phunware.com/blog/why-your-customer-retention-strategy-needs-mobile/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 19:26:45 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19263 Last year, an eConsultancy survey asked nearly 1,000 digital marketers and eCommerce professionals, “Is your company more focused on acquisition or retention marketing?” Only 15 percent of respondents chose retention. Interestingly, the vast majority of marketers in that survey (82 percent) agreed that retention is cheaper than acquisition, but only 44 percent reported tailoring their mobile apps for […]

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Blog-Customer-Retention

Last year, an eConsultancy survey asked nearly 1,000 digital marketers and eCommerce professionals, “Is your company more focused on acquisition or retention marketing?” Only 15 percent of respondents chose retention.

Interestingly, the vast majority of marketers in that survey (82 percent) agreed that retention is cheaper than acquisition, but only 44 percent reported tailoring their mobile apps for retention. This is a tremendous oversight—apps can help you build revenue efficiently and sustainably.

5 Reasons Apps Retain Customers

A mobile app puts your brand right into your customers’ daily lives. Done right, it can be a powerful touchpoint you can use to turn customers into evangelists for your brand. Here’s why:

  1. Mobile apps enable you to meet your customers where they are, rather than asking them to come to you. Who doesn’t walk around with a smartphone in their purse or pocket these days?
  2. Customers prefer apps to mobile websites. As far back as 2012, consumers were reporting that apps are more convenient (55 percent), faster (48 percent) and easier to browse (40 percent).
  3. People spend more time with apps than websites. On average, smartphone users spend 13 minutes at a time when using an app, while tablet users spend 24 minutes. That’s 3-4 times longer than the average website browsing session.
  4. Consumers use smartphone apps more than twice as often as web. And combined app usage is roughly 100 minutes more per month than mobile web use.
  5. Perhaps most importantly: if you don’t have a branded mobile app, you could be losing existing customers to companies that do.

Mobile Apps Deliver Customer Data You Can’t Get Anywhere Else

As Jerry Jao, founder of Retention Marketing, wrote for Forbes.com: “The key to figuring out what [your customers] want lies in interpreting the trail of data they leave behind.” With a branded mobile app, that trail of data winds throughout the online environment and the real world.

Like a website, an app can collect information about the user’s identity, usage habits and content preferences. The amazing part is that mobile apps can also provide insight into user locations and movement patterns, thanks to the location technologies built into smartphones and tablets. For example, a marketer can use a mobile app to understand how frequently a user shops at a specific brick-and-mortar store, how long he stays, and even which part of the store he lingers longest in.

By tracking location and movement within any relevant geographic area, you can uncover deep, real-world insights into shopping habits, travel patterns and much more. You can weave these insights back into your CRM systems to enrich your customer profiles and make every interaction more engaging—online, mobile, by phone, or in person.

5 Ways to Use Your App for Retention

When they download your app, users show their interest in and commitment to your brand. App holders can be some of your most valuable customers. But merely having an app isn’t going to move the needle on customer retention. It’s what you do with this highly personal touchpoint that matters.

Leveraging mobile insights and back-end customer data, you can personalize the mobile experience to a fine degree—creating, in essence, a VIP-like home for the relationship between your brand and each app user.

Here are some quick tips for creating a personalized, customer-retaining experience with your app:

  1. Offer exclusive content not available to casual web shoppers like special deals or app-only product offerings.
  2. Provide uniquely valuable functionality, such as point-to-point navigation or contextually relevant information within your physical locations.
  3. Integrate with your eCommerce systems to ensure shopping-cart carryover and other conveniences.
  4. Connect user locations and behaviors to rewards and incentives, such as a special offer for app users after X visits to your store.
  5. Use mobile insights and back-end customer information to deliver personalized greetings and content within your app.

Competition for new customers (and for consumer attention) is always going to be high. Apps can and should be tailored for maximum value to your customer as well as your organization. Keep checking our blog or sign up for our newsletter for more retention strategies.

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What Can You Do with Location-Based Marketing? http://www.phunware.com/blog/what-can-you-do-with-location-based-marketing/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-can-you-do-with-location-based-marketing http://www.phunware.com/blog/what-can-you-do-with-location-based-marketing/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:24:59 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19196 Marketing has always been about sending the right message to the right person, at the right place and time. The digital world opened up new possibilities that marketers have been quick to pounce on—such as targeting customers based on where they are online, and personalizing through browsing context as well as back-end business intelligence. With […]

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Location-Based Marketing

Marketing has always been about sending the right message to the right person, at the right place and time. The digital world opened up new possibilities that marketers have been quick to pounce on—such as targeting customers based on where they are online, and personalizing through browsing context as well as back-end business intelligence.

With location-based marketing (LBM), your brand can take targeting and personalization to a whole new level, leveraging consumer behavior and smartphone capabilities out in the real world.

What sorts of goals can you achieve with location-based marketing?

  • Driving new and repeat foot traffic
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Boosting the value of your mobile app
  • Encouraging loyalty program sign-up
  • Pushing sales with coupons and promotions
  • Promoting an event, such as a store celebration, charity event, or a sponsored community event such as a 5K or carnival
  • Enhancing the customer experience and relationship

How does location-based marketing work?

Essentially, you build a strategic message plan around specific information about where your mobile app users are and what they are doing. By taking advantage of built-in technologies on the user’s smartphone—as well as intelligent analytics—you can understand your users better and reach them more effectively.

  • Location-aware technologies such as geo-fencing, beacons, and GPS can tell you where your mobile app users are—whether that’s your store, your competitors, or anywhere that might be relevant to your brand
  • Push notifications send relevant messages right to the lock screen on the app user’s phone
  • Analytics provide a wealth of data about customer behavior, such as:
    • When they visit a specific location (your store, the competition, etc.)
    • How long they stay
    • Where they go before and after
    • How frequently they visit and at what intervals

By combining location insights with your back-end customer information systems, you unlock a deeper understanding of your customer than ever before. You can use this understanding to personalize very specifically—you can even target just a single person with a highly specific message. This gives your marketing much more relevance and a stronger chance to succeed.

More and more consumers are demanding a personalized experience—online, in-store, and on mobile. “Consumers want more than just an experience—we want a personal connection that identifies with who we are, our interests, expectations and abilities.” (CMSWire)  Location-based marketing personalization can help make your app super-important to your users, even as it makes their shopping experience more pleasurable and useful. And all of that helps increase customer loyalty and sales.

Want to learn more about specific use cases for location-based marketing? Download our infographic now.

Download Infographic

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Three Reasons Marketers Love Mobile App-Install Advertising http://www.phunware.com/blog/three-reasons-marketers-love-mobile-app-install-advertising/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=three-reasons-marketers-love-mobile-app-install-advertising http://www.phunware.com/blog/three-reasons-marketers-love-mobile-app-install-advertising/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 22:36:55 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19017 When it comes to mobile, there’s always good news and bad news. The good news is that mobile offers ample opportunities for brands to make money. In 2014, we passed the tipping point: mobile users outnumbered desktop internet access points for the first time. In other words, there’s no shortage of potential users for your […]

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Blog-App-Install-AdvertisingWhen it comes to mobile, there’s always good news and bad news.

The good news is that mobile offers ample opportunities for brands to make money. In 2014, we passed the tipping point: mobile users outnumbered desktop internet access points for the first time. In other words, there’s no shortage of potential users for your app.

The bad news is that there’s no shortage of potential users for anyone’s app. Competition is fierce, and it’s incredibly hard to stand out. In each of the two leading app marketplaces (Apple and Android), there are over a million apps—with more being added each day.

It’s hard to get attention, it’s hard to get interest, and it’s especially hard to get installs.

What’s a brand to do?

If you’re looking for a quick way to increase your install rates (and hopefully drive monetization from an expanded user base), one tactic can be your best friend: app-install advertising, AKA performance campaigns or cost-per-install (CPI) advertising.

What is it? It’s simple: an app-install ad runs inside other apps (or on the mobile web) and encourages users to install your app. According to Business Insider, it’s seeing a massive increase in popularity—revenue from install campaigns is expected to exceed $4.6 billion in 2015 alone.

Why is it growing like crazy? Because it has three traits brands and marketers LOVE to see.

Trait #1: You only pay for success.

With many other forms of mobile advertising, you’re paying for something that’s not exactly the result you may want. Advertisers often pay impressions—i.e. they pay to get the ad is in front of users, but there’s not always a result beyond that.

App-install advertising is different. You’re signing up for a cost-per-action model (usually cost per install). That means you only pay when a user installs your app. You get exactly the result you want—more users—and the ad network has skin in the game, too. They don’t get paid unless they deliver.

(Note: If you’re paying for installs, you’ll need a monetization strategy to make money from your app. Check out our posts for useful tactics and strategies—if you’re paying $5 for an install, you need to know how to make more than $5 from that user!)

Trait #2: App-install ads entice action.

App-install advertising drives behavior. You don’t pay for impressions; you pay for action. And action is easy to see and measurable—which marketers love.

Tracking whether a user took the desired action is simple. Just answer this simple question:

Did someone tap on your install ad and install your app?

  1. NO: No conversion to attribute.
  2. YES: You can attribute that conversion directly to that ad.

Trait #3: ROI is easy to measure.

App marketers often struggle to prove the effectiveness of their efforts. It can be hard to attribute conversions to ad impressions. That’s not to say that impressions aren’t valuable—they create brand awareness and can help you communicate important brand messages. But if someone ends up buying your product or service in part because of brand awareness built through ad impressions, it can be tricky to prove that attribution.

Unlike other forms of advertising, app-install campaign ROI is easy to figure out—because app-install conversions are easy to measure.

With a good mobile advertising partner, you can leverage install data in ways that boost your ROI over the long term. You’ll have the capacity to not only track downloads, but more importantly measure opens and active users. Your partner should absorb and utilize that data to optimize campaigns over the long term, so that your ROI improves as you go.

Summary

The key benefits of CPI advertising are that you:

  • Grow your app installed base
  • Have more installs, which equals app store ranking improvements
  • Boost the number of ad views within your application (if you run ads inside your app)
  • Raise the overall potential for in-app purchases

With the right support and expertise, app-install campaigns are an essential tool for developers and brands.

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Google’s New Mobile-Friendly Algorithm: Will You Survive Mobilegeddon? http://www.phunware.com/blog/googles-new-mobile-friendly-algorithm-will-you-survive-mobilegeddon/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=googles-new-mobile-friendly-algorithm-will-you-survive-mobilegeddon http://www.phunware.com/blog/googles-new-mobile-friendly-algorithm-will-you-survive-mobilegeddon/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 21:53:34 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=19156 What Is Mobilegeddon? Big news for businesses: Google has begun implementing a major change that will favor mobile-friendly sites in searches performed on smartphones. This change is good news for us all as mobile consumers: it will push businesses to make their sites more usable and quick to load, with easy-to-read text, large link buttons […]

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Blog-Mobilegeddon

What Is Mobilegeddon?

Big news for businesses: Google has begun implementing a major change that will favor mobile-friendly sites in searches performed on smartphones. This change is good news for us all as mobile consumers: it will push businesses to make their sites more usable and quick to load, with easy-to-read text, large link buttons and pages that adjust perfectly to smaller smartphone screens.

But what does it mean for us as marketers and brand owners? The new algorithm represents the most significant change to Google search in a long time—and its impact is being compared to the end of days. While blood isn’t raining down from the sky yet, the impact of “mobilegeddon” is going to be pretty far-reaching.

In fact, in one preliminary test of 25,000 top sites (including Drugstore.com and the Department of Homeland Security), 40% failed. That is, they were not considered mobile-friendly by Google—and may be downgraded in search rankings as a result. If Google considers big-budget sites like these to be mobile-unfriendly, imagine the risk to the rest of us—particularly small businesses.

In the coming days and weeks, you’ll probably notice changes to your site’s traffic, specifically if you’re used to receiving hits from Google’s mobile search site. In theory, your site’s mobile search ranking will go up if it’s optimized for mobile, and down if it isn’t. Of course, it will take some time for the data to start pouring in, and then we’ll know for sure which sites were affected and by how much.

Is Mobilegeddon Really the End of Days?

Well…yes and no. Google controls two-thirds of the US search market and will certainly drive some changes, but “mobile-friendly” criteria are not the only factor that impacts searches. And FYI: the algorithm tweak only impacts smartphones and is not applicable to tablets and desktop searches.

Mobile devices now account for 60% of all web traffic, so marketers have a unique opportunity to take control of their own destiny with this algorithm change. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly presence, it’s time to get down to business and reevaluate your digital strategy. Revamping your website and developing a mobile app can ensure that you’re able to engage your customers now—and as future changes skew the playing field even more strongly toward mobile.

According to Google’s Mobile Path to Purchasing Report, up to 48% of users start their search engine research using a mobile device and 26% of them start the search on branded apps. Your job is to make sure both groups can find you.

What are you waiting for?

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Phunware Advertising Takes a Shot at (or in) Los Angeles http://www.phunware.com/blog/phunware-advertising-takes-a-shot-at-or-in-los-angeles/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=phunware-advertising-takes-a-shot-at-or-in-los-angeles http://www.phunware.com/blog/phunware-advertising-takes-a-shot-at-or-in-los-angeles/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 22:34:30 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18928 Last Thursday, the Phunware Advertising team took MLA Live! Los Angeles by storm. The event, put on by the Mobile Leaders Alliance, gave us a chance to mix and mingle with the mobile ad industry’s movers and shakers. Brands like 1-800-DENTIST, Moviefone and Fox were in attendance. A cross-section of agencies and vendors filled up the […]

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PWA-Los-Angeles

Last Thursday, the Phunware Advertising team took MLA Live! Los Angeles by storm. The event, put on by the Mobile Leaders Alliance, gave us a chance to mix and mingle with the mobile ad industry’s movers and shakers. Brands like 1-800-DENTIST, Moviefone and Fox were in attendance.

A cross-section of agencies and vendors filled up the V Lounge (with bottle service for VIPs and tequila-filled Phunware shot glasses), and everyone danced the night away. By closing time, everyone had had their fill of great music, a little bit of business and a lot of mingling to bring together the growing LA mobile community.

What is the Mobile Leaders Alliance?

The MLA helps mobile professionals meet each other and continue their mobile education through local events, newsletters and social media. Its goal is to create common ground for thought leaders to share ideas, technologies, news and more.

What did we do at MLA Live! Los Angeles?

The event allowed us to meet many potential customers and get to know others in the mobile industry—including our competitors. Los Angeles is a very small market that places a premium on making connections. As anyone in Hollywood will tell you, it’s a relationship town.

What did we get out of it?

While we can neither confirm nor deny that we may have gotten a tequila-induced hangover out of it…we also made some great connections and major headway in growing the Phunware Advertising brand presence. Check out our shining faces in the slideshow below!
 

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Live-Streaming Mobile Apps: What We’ve Learned Working with the World’s Biggest Media and Sports Properties http://www.phunware.com/sports-and-entertainment/live-streaming-mobile-apps-what-weve-learned/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=live-streaming-mobile-apps-what-weve-learned http://www.phunware.com/sports-and-entertainment/live-streaming-mobile-apps-what-weve-learned/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:17:26 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18768 People in media, sports, and entertainment get awfully excited about the idea of live-streaming with their own branded mobile app. After all, if you’re in the business of creating and distributing content, it shouldn’t be that hard to grab hold of those streams and let ‘er rip, right? Not so fast. Here’s the problem: You’re […]

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PW-pheature-banner-mobileLive-Streaming Apps

People in media, sports, and entertainment get awfully excited about the idea of live-streaming with their own branded mobile app. After all, if you’re in the business of creating and distributing content, it shouldn’t be that hard to grab hold of those streams and let ‘er rip, right? Not so fast.

Here’s the problem: You’re not in the business of building and scaling mobile apps. Neither is your IT department—they have plenty of other issues to address.

What usually happens: mobile app mishmash

Many live-streaming mobile apps are simply cobbled together with in-house content, along with streams from various live stream, media on demand, live replay and highlights vendors. The problem is, these solutions generally don’t perform to the organization’s standards—or the audience’s expectations.

  • 1. Scalability capabilities and cost
  • The scalability issues come down to capabilities and cost. The fundamental challenge is that scaling streaming content simply isn’t a core competency for most vendors—or for most media / sports / entertainment companies either. Most do not have the necessary expertise, architecture, resources and infrastructure stability. In many cases, they’ve never actually done it before. Launching a streaming mobile app isn’t the time to “try things out,” with fingers crossed that everything works as promised.
  • Plus, when you ask multiple vendors to scale for you, you pay multiple vendors to scale for you. Therefore, your costs spike exponentially. For example, let’s say your app home page features five different streams in a carousel. In this case, a simple “get home page” request translates to five different requests—one for each feed vendor. One million requests X five vendors X the cost per request = your budget goes out the window.
  • 2. Poor fault tolerance
  • In our cobbled-together scenario, whenever a vendor changes something in its code—such as the object structure or rules in a single replay stream—the app is likely to fail. This change actually requires a change in the app’s code, which means the developers will have to submit updates to the app marketplaces (the App Store, Google Play, etc.). Then, you either have to hope that people download the update or force them to update in order to continue using the app (a last resort which generally irritates users). There is no built-in failsafe to prevent small issues from becoming big ones.
  • 3. Too much client-side burden
  • When you develop a live-streaming app with multiple different data sources, there’s no standardization in the meta-data about the video. Each vendor does it differently. Handling all of this variation demands a lot of client-side logic. That’s okay when you’re dealing with a multi-core personal computer or digital TV, but mobile devices are not designed for heavy logic processing. Performance will suffer.
  • 4. No centralized manageability
  • When you’re wrangling multiple stream vendors, each vendor has its own approach to management. To edit which content appears within a home page carousel, for example, you might have to log into each different vendor’s management interface, make changes, and then make the related changes to your own content. In other words, one change can be multiplied by the number of vendors.
  • All of these manual steps are exceedingly painful, time-consuming and inefficient. Your team has to be trained on every different interface and management approach, and they must remember what to do each time. Plus, the more steps involved, the more opportunities there are for someone to make a mistake.

The solution? Get it all together.

For maximum results (and minimum pain), turn to an expert development team that has deep experience with live streaming. At Phunware, we’ve learned a lot from working with the world’s largest media and sports properties. Our unique approach eliminates the challenges of dealing with multiple vendor streams by integrating and regularly caching everything in the cloud. Essentially, the Phunware platform makes multiple disparate content sources play nice with each other and with mobile devices. It transforms all of the inputs into one consistent normalized format, available to the app from a single cloud-based source.

Phunware’s approach delivers:

  • 1. Affordable, proven scalability
  • Our platform was built specifically for scalability, with all the necessary infrastructure and resources. It has proven successful across worldwide streaming apps with millions of requests.
  • And because the Phunware cloud integration layer acts as a proxy user, our live streaming apps make significantly fewer requests to the different vendors, thereby dramatically reducing cost.
  • 2. Maximum fault tolerance
  • Live event delivery systems can and will fail from time to time. With Phunware’s integration layer in place, this failure does not have to break the app. In the case of failure, an automatic alert is sent to the appropriate people who can fix it. In the meantime, the app simply serves the most current functioning stream as a fallback. The user would never even know there was a problem. One of our most successful worldwide sporting event apps experienced 99.9 percent uptime, even with different live feeds failing roughly ten times per day.
  • 3. Minimum client-side burden.
  • Phunware’s cloud-based approach enables our apps to be much thinner in terms of logic by removing the need to maintain state and knowledge of upstream service layers. For example, in the event that a configuration or structure changes in a critical service, our cloud solutions allow that change to be absorbed by the middle tier and not introduce breaking changes to the client layer. In not so many words, the middle tier acts as a levee for the application from the many upstream services. When issues arise that would normally have resulted in a client-side failure and an app update, all of that can be handled at the service layer in a graceful manner that is invisible to the end user.
  • 4. Robust, user-friendly, centralized manageability
  • Again, thanks to Phunware’s integration layer, all of the different content feed can be managed with one workflow. Our team can also build customized management interfaces with a convenient dashboard, automated processes, and point-and-click simplicity.

Predictions indicate that video content will make up two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic by 2018. Now’s the time to develop a clear and comprehensive strategy for mobile live-streaming—so you won’t get left behind.

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Brace Yourself: April Is a Phunware Healthcare Extravaganza! http://www.phunware.com/blog/brace-yourself-april-is-a-phunware-healthcare-extravaganza/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=brace-yourself-april-is-a-phunware-healthcare-extravaganza http://www.phunware.com/blog/brace-yourself-april-is-a-phunware-healthcare-extravaganza/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 11:17:48 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18843 Notable things that happen in April: April Fool’s Day, Easter, Passover, Stress Awareness Month (Ed. note: Isn’t that every month??), Earth Day, Phunware healthcare extravaganza!! As you can tell, we are pretty excited about the next thirty days, and we want to share our plans with you. Here’s what we have coming up:

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Notable things that happen in April:

  • April Fool’s Day
  • Easter
  • Passover
  • Stress Awareness Month (Ed. note: Isn’t that every month??)
  • Earth Day
  • Phunware healthcare extravaganza!!

As you can tell, we are pretty excited about the next thirty days, and we want to share our plans with you. Here’s what we have coming up:

WEBINAR: Mobile Apps Relieve Confusion for all Hospital-Goers (Yes, Even Grandpa)

March 31 (technically not April, but close enough!)
2pm EST | 11am PST

In this webinar, we’ll discuss:

  • The future of mobile health and its impact on the patient journey
  • Use cases from US hospitals
  • How seniors and their caregivers are adopting mobile
  • How mobile can be integrated into your overall facility wayfinding strategy
  • Which demographics are most likely to miss appointments and how mobile can help
  • Strategies for getting patients and visitors to use your app

CONFERENCE: HIMSS 2015 Conference | Booth 8246

April 12-15 | Chicago, IL

Phunware’s healthcare team will be at #HIMSS15 with over 1,200 exhibitors and 38,000 healthcare and IT pro attendees. At our booth (#8246), we’ll be demonstrating how mobile apps can solve hospital wayfinding challenges and help create a positive patient experience. We’ll also have a super-phun photo station, 1:1 live app demos, and lots of patient engagement expertise to share.

Even better: complete a demo with us for a chance to win an Apple Watch! Can’t attend? Go here to request a healthcare solution demo (and enter to win!). Visit the HIMSS Conference website for more information.

WEBINAR: May 13: Save the date!

Stay tuned for details…and more great tools and tips for transforming the patient experience.

…and since you made it this far, you might as well check out how Dignity Health is using Phunware technology to transform French Hospital Medical Center in California.

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HIMSS 2015 – April 12-15, 2015 http://www.phunware.com/event-articles/himss-2015-april-12-15-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=himss-2015-april-12-15-2015 http://www.phunware.com/event-articles/himss-2015-april-12-15-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:55:39 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/event-articles/lmbas-retailloco-at-sxsw-march-15-2015-2/ Phunware’s healthcare team will be at #HIMSS15 with over 1,200 exhibitors and 38,000 healthcare and IT pro attendees. At our booth #8246, we’ll be demonstrating how mobile apps can solve hospital wayfinding challenges and help create a positive patient experience. Event Information April 12-16 Chicago, IL McCormick Place Booth 8246 Stop by and see us! […]

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himss-banner

Phunware’s healthcare team will be at #HIMSS15 with over 1,200 exhibitors and 38,000 healthcare and IT pro attendees. At our booth #8246, we’ll be demonstrating how mobile apps can solve hospital wayfinding challenges and help create a positive patient experience.

Event Information
April 12-16
Chicago, IL
McCormick Place
Booth 8246

Stop by and see us! We’ll have a super-phun photo station, 1:1 live app demos, and lots of patient engagement expertise to share. Even better: complete a demo with us for a chance to win an Apple Watch! Can’t attend? Go here to request a healthcare solution demo (and enter to win!).

Request A Healthcare Solution Demo
Visit the HIMSS Conference Site

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Keep It Simple, Stupid: Phunware at MWC 2015 http://www.phunware.com/videos/keep-it-simple-stupid-phunware-at-mwc-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=keep-it-simple-stupid-phunware-at-mwc-2015 http://www.phunware.com/videos/keep-it-simple-stupid-phunware-at-mwc-2015/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 20:17:41 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18672 The Phunware Advertising team recently returned from an action-packed week in beautiful Barcelona with some of the best and brightest in mobile, media and ad tech. In other words, we attended Mobile World Congress 2015. Aside from kicking off the MWC conference as the official guest blogger for M&M global, our own Jon Hook is […]

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The Phunware Advertising team recently returned from an action-packed week in beautiful Barcelona with some of the best and brightest in mobile, media and ad tech. In other words, we attended Mobile World Congress 2015. Aside from kicking off the MWC conference as the official guest blogger for M&M global, our own Jon Hook is featured in this video discussing how the explosion of connected devices will affect brands, agencies and ad tech companies.

  • How can brands and agencies sift through and evaluate different mobile and ad tech vendors?
  • How will the internet of things affect vendors like third-party ad exchanges?
  • Where does Phunware fit into it all?

As we get farther down the road into the internet of things, the real takeaway for brands will be to cut out the noise and keep it simple. Their challenge will be finding a holistic solution that empowers them to reach customers on any device that’s part of the connected ecosystem.

Want to join the conversation? Come see Phunware at one of our upcoming events!

View Video on Vimeo Here

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Finding Rich Rewards through Rich Media Mobile Advertising http://www.phunware.com/blog/finding-rich-rewards-through-rich-media-mobile-advertising/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=finding-rich-rewards-through-rich-media-mobile-advertising http://www.phunware.com/blog/finding-rich-rewards-through-rich-media-mobile-advertising/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 22:11:58 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18582 Are you a mobile advertising expert? Most people aren’t, especially because approaches and tactics evolve over time—what worked two years ago might be hopelessly out of date today. But mobile advertising is one of the best tactics you can utilize to accelerate your success, so you need to stay in touch with approaches that work while […]

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Are you a mobile advertising expert? Most people aren’t, especially because approaches and tactics evolve over time—what worked two years ago might be hopelessly out of date today.

But mobile advertising is one of the best tactics you can utilize to accelerate your success, so you need to stay in touch with approaches that work while avoiding approaches the ones that don’t.

And what’s the best leading-edge tactic within mobile advertising? Today, it’s probably rich media. So let’s spend a few minutes understanding its benefits and opportunities.

What Is Rich Media?

We’re all familiar with the old-fashioned static banner ad. We’ve seen it on the web, we’ve seen it on mobile websites, and we see it in mobile applications.

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They’re common, so they must work well…right?

In the beginning, sure. But today, many consumers (me included) suffer from “banner blindness”: we’re tired of boring, irrelevant banner ads, so we tune them out.

Additionally—and critically—banner ads are falling by the wayside because the web is falling by the wayside. Consumers are spending an increasing amount of their time in apps that look nicer and perform better than websites—especially on their smartphones. And many are willing to pay for the ad-free app experience (the freemium model).

In response, mobile advertising has had to evolve to become more engaging. Enter rich media.

Simply put, rich media is advertising that isnt static. It contains images or video and involves some kind of user interaction (because typically the ad is in motion). Ads can move, expand, shrink, float, peel down, etc. They can show video or animation. Often built in HTML5 or Flash, rich media mobile ads can offer multiple touch-throughs, polling, send-to-a-friend, and other special features.

Phunware Rich Media-Animated Intro

We created a rich media ad with an animated intro to bring this badass action movie to life.

Typical actions include:

  • Embed a video
  • Embed audio
  • Play animations
  • Integrate touch interactions
  • Add an event to the user’s calendar
  • Send a SMS message
  • Call a phone number
  • Save a picture
  • Resize, move, hide or expand a creative
  • And more…

Why Should You Care?

For one, mobile advertising is a very impactful tactic for mobile app monetization. If you aren’t using mobile advertising, you’re not making as much money as you can.

Rich media ads work well for five major reasons:

  • Larger space = more content. Banner ads are small. Rich media ads are typically larger, with more space to display photos, offer more calls to action and engage users.
  • Video. Video is fast becoming the most important form of online communication. Potential customers have been trained for over 60 years to consume video. Rich media ads are a great way to gain engagement through new or repurposed video.
  • More substantial tracking. Rich media ads offer more measurable statistics about your consumers. For example, with video ads, you can see how many people watched a video, or the percentage of videos viewed, or which click-through the prospect followed. You can then cross-reference all of this information by platform, carrier, geography and other metrics. You can poll users directly through the mobile ad creative, or simply identify the length of time that a user interacted with the creative.
  • Control. If you choose rich media, you aren’t restricted to basic display ad sizing requirements and others. Rich media formats offer advertisers total control of how their ads are styled and displayed on mobile devices, providing them a platform to deliver their messaging and value proposition precisely.
  • Fraud prevention. A significant proportion of web traffic is bot-driven, and that’s especially true in mobile advertising. While it’s easy for fraudsters to program bots to rack up false impressions and clicks, it’s virtually impossible to make bots that can exploit the more sophisticated interactivity found in rich media ads. Thanks to that, rich media helps advertisers identify suspicious activity: if publishers are delivering tons of clicks to your display ad, but no engagement with the rich media layer, something’s wrong.
Phunware Rich Media-Animated Intro

This panoramic rich media ad lets users tilt and pan to explore Middle-earth.

What Are the Results?

To put it simply, increased interaction rates and reduced annoyance.

Because rich media ads offer video, movement and other engaging features to increase potential customer attention and interaction, they’re harder to overlook. Rich media ads also can include various interaction points, including gamification, calls-to-action, links to your social media outlets, contact forms and landing pages.

These capabilities lead to improved user interaction and conversion rates. Research has shown that rich media ads offer up to a 6x post-ad site visit lift vs. a standard banner ad.

Rich media advertising also reduces annoyance. Let’s face it: advertising can be annoying, and for long-term engagement, you have to strike a balance between advertising and user engagement. Rich media ads are more engaging, more attractive and more interesting than static ads. Using rich media gives you a better chance of not alienating your users.

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Omnichannel Marketing for Retailers: Yes, It’s Within Reach. http://www.phunware.com/blog/omnichannel-marketing-for-retailers-yes-its-within-reach/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=omnichannel-marketing-for-retailers-yes-its-within-reach http://www.phunware.com/blog/omnichannel-marketing-for-retailers-yes-its-within-reach/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 21:20:31 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18648 Today, an unprecedented number of shoppers are using mobile devices while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. They use their smartphones for wayfinding, comparison-shopping, checking in, leaving feedback and much more. They send photos of what they’re considering buying to their friends and loved ones. They open store apps and websites to see if there are any […]

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Today, an unprecedented number of shoppers are using mobile devices while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. They use their smartphones for wayfinding, comparison-shopping, checking in, leaving feedback and much more. They send photos of what they’re considering buying to their friends and loved ones. They open store apps and websites to see if there are any coupons or deals that day. They share their shopping experiences with friends on social media. In other words, the digital experience is becoming inextricable from the physical. This is what marketers refer to as OMNICHANNEL marketing.

People are digital-dependent in almost everything they do, and that’s not much of an exaggeration. If you have brick-and-mortar stores and you do nothing to tap into digital experience capabilities, you risk losing market share.

Perhaps you’re already offering digital experiences to your brick-and-mortar shoppers, like email-based promotions or a mobile-optimized website. That’s multichannel marketing, and you’re on the right track.

The next step is to move toward omnichannel marketing, which focuses not only on accessibility via any channel consumers might use, but on offering a seamless experience for customers. There should be as little separation as possible between shoppers’ activity in your online store, on your branded app, and inside one of your physical store locations. If a shopper was looking at a particular coffee maker in your online store but didn’t buy it, you can prompt that shopper with a promotional offer on that coffee maker the next time he enters one of your locations—a seamless digital/mobile/physical transition that is entirely personalized to that shopper and highly effective as a sales tool.

How do we reach shoppers in so many ways?

Short answer: mobile apps and location-enabled marketing tools. By tapping into location technology such as GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, you can target customers using geo-fencing near your business locations and inside your stores. You can even know when customers who use your app go to competitors’ stores or visit nearby partners, which can be invaluable data for future campaign planning.

We made an infographic that shows how the omnichannel purchase cycle might play out for a customer in your store. Take a look to follow along with Sue’s interactions with a retailer like you.

Download Infographic Here

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Location Marketing in Action: Phunware’s Beacon-Enabled Scavenger Hunt App at SXSW http://www.phunware.com/blog/location-marketing-in-action-phunwares-beacon-enabled-scavenger-hunt-app-at-sxsw/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=location-marketing-in-action-phunwares-beacon-enabled-scavenger-hunt-app-at-sxsw http://www.phunware.com/blog/location-marketing-in-action-phunwares-beacon-enabled-scavenger-hunt-app-at-sxsw/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:19:37 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18499 Install Scavenger App Now The BBQ is smoking. Guitars are being tuned. The drinks are iced. And most importantly, tech leaders from all over the world are making their way to Austin, TX for the annual SXSW Interactive conference. If you’re a SXSW veteran, you already know it can get a little overwhelming. Event after […]

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Install Scavenger App Now

The BBQ is smoking. Guitars are being tuned. The drinks are iced. And most importantly, tech leaders from all over the world are making their way to Austin, TX for the annual SXSW Interactive conference.

If you’re a SXSW veteran, you already know it can get a little overwhelming. Event after event and product pitch after product pitch. How can you understand the value of technology in such little time?

Phunware has decided to change things up a bit this year. We’ve made it easy for you to evaluate the same technology that powers mobile experiences for some of the top retail brands in the U.S.

Did I mention one lucky person will win an Apple Watch?

Here’s how it works:

  1. Click here to install the Phunware Scavenger iOS app.
  2. Go about your business at SXSW and unlock the three scavenger hunt tasks.
  3. Find out if you’re the winner on March 27!

Scavenger leverages beacons, GPS geo-fences, and other location marketing technology to drive engagement and foot traffic through mobile. We created the app to show how simple and non-intrusive location marketing can be. Test-drive it yourself and enter to win!

*Disclaimers: Prize watch may not match pictured watch exactly. Scavenger hunt app only available for use on iOS. No purchase necessary to enter. Scavenger hunt application use and entry limited to Austin, Texas March 12-25, 2015. Must complete the scavenger hunt and submit contact information to be entered to win. The scavenger hunt will end March 22, 2015 (the final day of SXSW).  A single winner will be drawn at random on March 27th, 2015. Phunware is not in any way affiliated with Apple and expressly disclaims any responsibility for, and makes no representations or warranties regarding the Apple Watch. Apple Watch delivery date will depend upon Watch availability.

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LMBA’s RetailLoco at SXSW – March 15, 2015 http://www.phunware.com/event-articles/lmbas-retailloco-at-sxsw-march-15-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lmbas-retailloco-at-sxsw-march-15-2015 http://www.phunware.com/event-articles/lmbas-retailloco-at-sxsw-march-15-2015/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 19:55:39 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18542 Come see us at SXSW! Our VP – Product Evangelism, Eric Moujaes, will be on a panel at the LBMA’s RetailLoco event discussing the role connected cars, drones and robots will play in the future of retail. Hosted by the Location Based Marketing Association, RetailLoco is a one-day event that will deliver insights on the […]

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Come see us at SXSW! Our VP – Product Evangelism, Eric Moujaes, will be on a panel at the LBMA’s RetailLoco event discussing the role connected cars, drones and robots will play in the future of retail.

Hosted by the Location Based Marketing Association, RetailLoco is a one-day event that will deliver insights on the latest in mobile and location-based tools and techniques for retailers.

Event Information
Sunday, March 15 (all day)
Panel 6: Connected Cars, Robots & Drones – 2:45pm
Capital Factory
701 Brazos Street, Suite #1601
Austin, Texas 78701

Check out the RetailLoco website for more information, including the panel agenda. And join the #SXSW conversation on Twitter!

We look forward to seeing you! In the meantime, email sxsw@phunware.com with questions.

View the LMBA RetailLoco Site

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Now That You Have an App, How Will You Drive User Engagement? http://www.phunware.com/blog/now-that-you-have-an-app-how-will-you-drive-user-engagement/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=now-that-you-have-an-app-how-will-you-drive-user-engagement http://www.phunware.com/blog/now-that-you-have-an-app-how-will-you-drive-user-engagement/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:21:20 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18328 So you did it. You created a branded app for your business, and it rocks. Congratulations! Now what? You’re not finished when the app is launched. Now you need to get users to download it. And then, since 20 percent of all apps are deleted after one use, you’ll also have to work to keep […]

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Now That You Have an App, How Will You Drive User Engagement?

See How Crescent Heights® Promotes Its Luxury Residential Real Estate App

So you did it. You created a branded app for your business, and it rocks. Congratulations!

Now what?

You’re not finished when the app is launched.

Now you need to get users to download it. And then, since 20 percent of all apps are deleted after one use, you’ll also have to work to keep users engaged and coming back. To get your app on users’ top screens and keep it there, you have to offer clear ongoing value, whether you’re a retailer, a medical facility or a residential community. You also have to make people aware of the app in the first place.

Check out how one real estate brand is promoting its app.

Crescent Heights® is a leading luxury residential real estate developer in Miami, Florida. They recently partnered with Phunware to develop an app for residents of their communities: the Crescent Heights Inspirational Living Resident App. The app gives residents the ability to:

  • Browse and reserve amenities
  • Take advantage of concierge and valet services
  • Receive discount offers from nearby businesses
  • Pay rent and make maintenance requests
  • See local transportation schedules
  • Manage an authorized visitor list
  • Communicate easily with the property’s management office, and more

The range and inherent value of the app’s tool set is enough to keep many residents engaged and using the app regularly once they download it. But to spread awareness of the app’s availability and get new users on board, Crescent Heights created this great video promo:

View video on Youtube

Lots of brands wrestle with the idea of creating a mobile app out of concern over how to market it. A video like this one is easy to create and easy to share (like in this blog post!). It facilitates word-of-mouth marketing by giving property managers and residents alike a simple tool to help neighbors see the app’s genuine usefulness and appeal.

Of course, there are many other ways to drive awareness and downloads of your app. Performance-based mobile advertising is climbing in popularity because it drives real, measurable results (app downloads, for example), and the brand doesn’t pay a penny unless those results are achieved. The mobile ad company has skin in the game, too.

Remember, no matter how fantastic your app is and how hard you worked to make it a wonderful resource for your customers, it won’t matter if you don’t attract and retain users.

How are you promoting your app?

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Mobile at the Shelf http://www.phunware.com/blog/retail-mobile-at-the-shelf/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=retail-mobile-at-the-shelf http://www.phunware.com/blog/retail-mobile-at-the-shelf/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 22:34:31 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18253 Who owns marketing to the consumer: the brand or the retailer? Does the brand running the digital campaign own the retail transaction data? How does mobile / digital marketing differ between large and challenger brands? These are just a few of the questions addressed on the “Mobile at the Shelf” panel at the first Mobile […]

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Who owns marketing to the consumer: the brand or the retailer? Does the brand running the digital campaign own the retail transaction data? How does mobile / digital marketing differ between large and challenger brands?

These are just a few of the questions addressed on the “Mobile at the Shelf” panel at the first Mobile Ventures Summit held in Los Angeles on January 27. Eric Moujaes, Phunware’s VP – Platform Evangelist, moderated a panel exploring mobile trends in retail. Panelists included: Mark Pontrelli, Director, Digital Education P&G; Molly Garris, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing, Neutrogena; Pamela Naumes, Senior Director, Brand Engagement, Bolthouse Farms; and Jonathan Weiner, SVP of Marketing Strategy, Insight & Activation, Big Heart Pet Brands.

Although each brand had different approaches to mobile, the panelists honed in on some key themes:

  • Real-time attribution by channel
  • The evolving relationship between brands and retailers
  • The need for deeper and faster data and analytics
  • The role mobile plays in consumer engagement

Every participating brand acknowledged that while there’s no single way consumers use and engage with mobile technology, they are accustomed to mobile accessibility from the brands they care about. That means mobile has to be part of each brand’s marketing mix, but the size of that part differed from panelist to panelist.

What Success Are You Seeing with Mobile Campaigns?

Pamela Naumes of Bolthouse Farms, a mission-based brand, doesn’t follow the traditional path to purchase. The company operates more like a technology start-up than an established brand and makes its employees accountable for keeping up with the latest digital trends. The Bolthouse focus on a “fresh revolution” is reflected in its content, and especially on its homepage. Without a big-brand media budget, Bolthouse gets creative with Coupons.com and Instagram.

Pamela described a trial campaign utilizing product recognition technology and hashtags, where Bolthouse was able to determine when pictures of its products were posted to Instagram. Through its API, Bolthouse then sent real-time coupons to consumers featuring the campaign hashtag. By encouraging mobile sharing and rewarding efforts with a coupon, the campaign drove trials and engagement.

Challenger brands like Bolthouse stay on top of new technologies; and unlike more established consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs), Bolthouse doesn’t plan its marketing campaigns too far in advance. Shorter planning cycles allow the company to be (and stay) nimble.

Jonathan Weiner, SVP of Marketing Strategy, Big Heart Pet Brands (Milkbone, etc.) utilizes mobile to build awareness and to drive conversions—wherever or whenever the company’s target consumer engages with the brand via mobile. “We want to build relationships from mobile moments—when consumers are on some part of the path to purchase. There isn’t a trusted content source for consumers to make pet food purchase decisions—so in the aisle, consumers use their mobile devices to research/understand the products.”

Mobile also plays a critical role for brands that have more of a B2B focus. Mark Pontrelli, Director of Digital Education at P&G, has created an internal culture around developing tools for the company’s professional users. P&G has seen tremendous results via Instagram—in fact, Pontrelli stated that his Instagram campaigns “outpace Facebook 2 to 1.”

Molly Garris, the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Neutrogena, clarified that while she was fairly new to her role, she fully recognized that she was trying to understand if and how consumers use mobile devices in-store to make a CPG purchase decision. “We activated against a new sunscreen. Mom is busy and forgets to buy it—so the media agency used geo-targeting near stores where the sun was out, and our firm reported a lift in purchase intent.”

Garris acknowledged the challenges Neutrogena faces in reacting to the ever-changing digital and mobile landscape. “Our TV is planned during the upfronts and digital is planned for the year, so no big projects are going to get launched. You have to sneak in pilots to get test-and-learns.”

How is the Role Between Brands and Retailers Evolving?

When asked about how retail technology is evolving, Naumes stated that the lack of a unified mobile payments system has forced customers to print coupons at home, stating, “Mobile scanners at every location must be enabled to scan coupons.” Naumes also noted that Bolthouse’s attribution model needs more development. “We know the ROI on a 30-second [TV] spot. But [calculating] the ROI on digital, specifically mobile, is hard. We challenge our agency partners to come up with something creative—no paid media plans in mobile.”

Naumes says that Bolthouse is focused mainly on driving engaging mobile experiences and opportunities, and that data and analytics are the critical missing piece. “We own the customer, but retailers bridge the data. Research firm Dunnhumby kind of gets us there, but not completely. This is a key focus for us.”

Although Big Heart Pet Brands plans media about ten months in advance, Weiner says that the company is “getting out of the upfronts.” He commented, “I’d rather put money into mobile or Shopkick or even a PlaceIQ test. We want Milk-Bone to be the brand in front of the consumer; we don’t want a payment or beacon provider to be the consumer-facing brand promotion.” Unlike Weiner, Pontrelli stated that P&G is “excited to build content for beacon technology” and bridge the gap between consumer and mobile user engagement.

Neutrogena relies heavily on its retailers to build technology infrastructure. According to Garris, “We’ll promote and educate on programs and product, but retailers must figure this out. We know that consumers want mobile offers, but for us, attribution models are key…We are fighting retailers for shelf space, as in many cases they are competing with us by developing their own brands of store-brand products. They want us to bring foot traffic. If we can do that, we are more strategic to them. And we want to know how this effort drives sales for us.”

Closing Thoughts

For consumers to have a seamless, value-driven purchase experience, retailers must invest in technology that measures the effectiveness of and return on brands’ campaigns. Mobile and digital technologies can enhance the symbiotic relationship between brands and retailers, but there are few real-time, cross-platform attribution platforms on the market today. These platforms must be able to support multichannel (digital / social / mobile) promotions and provide real-time, first-party analytics to the brands. Only through effective digital platforms can retailers and brands truly partner in the digital era.

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Intrigued by Mobile Patient Wayfinding? A “Clinical Trial” May Be Your Best Bet http://www.phunware.com/blog/intrigued-by-mobile-patient-wayfinding-a-clinical-trial-may-be-your-best-bet/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=intrigued-by-mobile-patient-wayfinding-a-clinical-trial-may-be-your-best-bet http://www.phunware.com/blog/intrigued-by-mobile-patient-wayfinding-a-clinical-trial-may-be-your-best-bet/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:37:49 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18167 Innovations in mobile wayfinding are transforming the patient experience at hospitals across the country. Using the latest smartphone and tablet capabilities, branded hospital mobile apps can help improve patient satisfaction, reduce late arrivals and missed appointments, and empower hospital staff to work more efficiently. A “clinical trial” is the easiest and most affordable way to […]

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Innovations in mobile wayfinding are transforming the patient experience at hospitals across the country. Using the latest smartphone and tablet capabilities, branded hospital mobile apps can help improve patient satisfaction, reduce late arrivals and missed appointments, and empower hospital staff to work more efficiently.

A “clinical trial” is the easiest and most affordable way to evaluate the potential of mobile wayfinding for your facilities—as Dignity Health is finding out. The fifth-largest health system in the U.S., Dignity Health serves communities in 21 states. Last week, Dignity Health’s French Hospital Medical Center launched a free patient wayfinding app for patients in San Luis Obispo, California. The new app (called FrenchWay) is part of a 90-day pilot program for Dignity Health.

A Mobile App “Clinical Trial” Lets You Test Key Features

The FrenchWay app offers patients and visitors:

  • Instant directions from home or office, right to the hospital
  • Navigational tools, including an indoor GPS to guide patients within the facility
  • Information on French Hospital physicians and department services
  • “Find a physician” capabilities
  • A link to the patient portal to check appointments and medical history
  • Up-to-date news, events, and promotional information—with built-in alerts
  • Construction and modernization updates
  • Special discounts and promotions at the hospital gift shop and cafeteria

Because each hospital in the Dignity Health system has its own identity, the pilot app is branded as “FrenchWay,” with French Hospital branding overlaid on the Dignity Health app.

Here’s an overview of the app’s functionality from the French Medical Center website (where you can also download and test out the app):

Blog-Frenchwayapp

French Hospital Execs See Real Promise in Mobility

According to Alan Iftiniuk, French Hospital President/CEO, “The addition of the FrenchWay app here at French Hospital provides another resource with which we can continue to improve our patient and visitor experience. This app will not only make navigating the hospital easier, it will also ensure our patients and visitors have access to the latest French Hospital news, information on services, and even the newest promotions in our gift shop.”

Developed by Phunware, the FrenchWay pilot program offers a strategic and cost-effective way for Dignity Health to explore mobile wayfinding. Working closely with Phunware’s expert Solutions Architects and Software Engineers, Dignity Health can also optimize the pilot app for eventual rollout across all facilities in the system. Patient and visitor feedback is captured via simple surveys within the app. As Carla Adams, French Hospital COO and Chief Nurse Executive, says: “We definitely have a very savvy community and we feel that this is something that will benefit (it), but we need to know that, we need to validate that, so the feedback we get will be incredibly helpful.”

Interested in Discussing Your Own “Clinical Trial”?

Contact us to set one up.

Check out this video and article from KEYT.com about the Dignity Health Mobile FrenchWay App:

View video on Youtube

View Full Article On KEYT

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Apple Indoor Maps and Positioning: A Primer http://www.phunware.com/blog/apple-indoor-maps-and-positioning-a-primer/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=apple-indoor-maps-and-positioning-a-primer http://www.phunware.com/blog/apple-indoor-maps-and-positioning-a-primer/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:00:24 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18007 Phunware Pheature is a new series highlighting the perspective and expertise of our in-house team. We’re kicking it off with a piece by Andy Greff, our VP and GM of Product. There is a lot of noise around mobile indoor positioning these days. It seems like everyone is rolling out a mechanism to identify a device’s […]

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PW-pheature-banner-mobileBlog-Apple-Indoor-MapsPhunware Pheature is a new series highlighting the perspective and expertise of our in-house team. We’re kicking it off with a piece by Andy Greff, our VP and GM of Product.

There is a lot of noise around mobile indoor positioning these days. It seems like everyone is rolling out a mechanism to identify a device’s position indoors, whether it’s Wi-Fi, GPS or even the Earth’s magnetic forces.

For example, let’s take a look at Apple’s Indoor Positioning functionality.  Apple has updated iOS 8 to provide indoor latitude, longitude and floor level via API. To utilize Indoor Positioning in their own app, facility owners will need to survey their facility using Apple tools and upload a map to the Maps Indoor interface. Once that is done, the technology can be incorporated into the facility’s app.

How Can Businesses Implement Apple Indoor Maps and Positioning?

For a facility to use Apple’s Indoor Positioning, it must:

  • Be accessible to the general public.
  • Have annual visitors in excess of 1 million.
  • Have complete reference maps available.
  • Have enabled Wi-Fi throughout.
  • Have an associated app authorized by the facility owner.

Once a facility fulfills these requirements and generates a custom map, a couple of questions naturally follow:

  • Q: Will that custom map appear in Apple Maps?
  • A: Unfortunately, no.
  • Q: Will Apple Maps show a user’s indoor position (blue dot) inside the Apple Maps app? 
  • A: Kind of.  It will show a blue dot on top of the standard Apple Maps display, but without noting the floor you’re on or displaying your custom map.

How Does Apple Indoor Positioning Work?

Here are some important details:

  • Position Update Interval: Apple states that a device’s position updates at least once per second.
  • Position Accuracy: 5-10 meters.  Basically, Apple can tell if you are in front of a store, but wouldn’t be able to tell you which door you are standing near.
  • Location Calculation: Apple derives your position through its core location APIs, and all calculations are done on your device. It uses the available GPS signal, Wi-Fi signal and facility physical “texture” (walls, for example) or RF Parametric data to determine the location of your device. It also leverages some of the motion sensors in the device’s M7 chip. More “texture” and stronger Wi-Fi lead to more location accuracy.
  • Required Hardware: Since Apple’s solution takes advantage of existing Wi-Fi signals, no additional hardware is necessary if there is enough Wi-Fi coverage in the required areas. That means that if you already have Wi-Fi throughout your facility, there are no additional hardware or software costs from Apple. To use Apple Indoor Positioning, a device does not have to be connected to the Wi-Fi network.
  • Total Addressable Market: Everyone with iOS 8, iPhone 4S or greater and iPad 2 and newer. iPhone 5 or better is recommended.  The functionality does not work on Android (or any non-iOS) devices.

Who Should Use Apple Indoor Positioning?

Based on the above criteria, Apple’s solution seems to be very strong for many facilities that want to leverage indoor positioning.  An app developer for a facility (mall, airport, hospital, etc.) can include their custom map in their branded iOS app and can make the appropriate iOS API call (via Core Location Manager API) to determine a device’s location if inside the facility. However, because Apple only provides latitude, longitude and floor level, everything else must be provided by the developer. This includes:

  • iOS App
  • Custom map
  • Routing algorithms and interface if the facility wants to provide the user with a routing path to a point of interest (POI)
  • Smoothing algorithms to blend the location data with the selected route
  • Management of all the map meta-data

Here is the introduction video from WWDC 2014 intended for technical and non-technical viewers.

So How Do I Roll This Out to My Customers / Visitors?

Apple Indoor Positioning has the potential to be a game-changer for companies that have access to the resources listed above. It’s the first free, widely available tool that can tell you your position indoors, without requiring costly hardware. Time will tell if it’s robust enough (or comes with enough user support) to be a feasible solution for the majority of businesses.

Rolling out a comprehensive mobile indoor positioning system takes more than just knowing the latitude, longitude and floor. With Phunware’s Mapping, Navigation and Wayfinding and Blue Dot solutions, developers can quickly implement indoor mapping and positioning into their app. They can also take advantage of one of our pre-built vertical solutions if they don’t yet have an app of their own.

Because Phunware’s ultimate goal is to deliver the best possible user experience, our mapping and blue dot functionality is technology-agnostic. We have productized SDK location provider integrations such as OS (iOS and Android) for GPS, Wi-Fi (server-side), Wi-Fi (client-side), chipset / processor and BLE beacons. And we now support Apple Indoor Positioning, too.

Choosing an indoor location provider can be daunting and confusing. Let Phunware make it easy for you.

Contact Us

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The Personalization Blind Spot: What Most Digital Marketers Are Missing http://www.phunware.com/blog/the-personalization-blind-spot-what-most-digital-marketers-are-missing/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-personalization-blind-spot-what-most-digital-marketers-are-missing http://www.phunware.com/blog/the-personalization-blind-spot-what-most-digital-marketers-are-missing/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:05:52 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=18115 If you invited a group of digital marketers out for coffee, the topic of personalization would bubble up well before anybody’s latté cooled off. Everybody’s talking about it, debating best practices, and getting dreamy-eyed about data. In fact, according to a recent global survey, Nearly four out of five companies (78 percent) claim they are […]

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Blog-Blind-Spot

If you invited a group of digital marketers out for coffee, the topic of personalization would bubble up well before anybody’s latté cooled off. Everybody’s talking about it, debating best practices, and getting dreamy-eyed about data.

In fact, according to a recent global survey,

  • Nearly four out of five companies (78 percent) claim they are personalizing their email
  • 69 percent are personalizing their website
  • But only 36 percent are now personalizing the mobile experience

Mobile is clearly a blind spot for these marketers—and they’re missing a tremendous opportunity. People are more attached to their smartphones and tablets than ever. They’re also more likely to download mobile apps from their favorite brands, businesses, and community organizations like hospitals, airports and residential properties.

Here’s why mobile is so important in personalization:

  • In May of 2014, mobile platforms—smartphones and tablets—combined to account for 60 percent of total digital media time spent. That’s a 10 percent rise over 2013. And perhaps more impressively, mobile apps accounted for more than half of all digital media time spent.
  • Mobile devices are inherently personal. People don’t like to be separated from them—whether at home or at work. Nearly one-third of employees would rather lose their wallet than lose their personal mobile devices.
  • The average app downloader has roughly 42 apps on his or her smartphone.
  • Consumers use apps during their downtime, which gives marketers a chance to reach them when they’re otherwise unoccupied.
  • Consumers increasingly demand personalized experiences. “Consumers want more than just an experience—we want a personal connection that identifies with who we are, our interests, expectations and abilities.” (CMSWire)

A personalization framework should embrace all relevant customer touchpoints and devices, and not one or two channels in isolation.” —Mark Phibbs, Vice President, EMEA Marketing, Adobe

Mobile delivers marketers more personalized data.

Web cookies can only contain the data that the website has access to, such as usernames or anything the user enters. With a mobile app, marketers can gain far deeper real-world insights—which can be used to personalize both online and mobile experiences.

Mobile marketers can leverage built-in smartphone technologies to identify user locations and track user behavior within a store, business or anywhere at all. They can also gather information about user identity, app usage, and real-life behavior (shopping patterns, etc.). Combined with data collected via other channels and contained in back-end CRM systems, mobile insights give marketers the power to personalize at unprecedented levels.

Personalized apps deliver a better experience to your most valuable customers.

Within the mobile experience, marketers can use personalization to engage more meaningfully with their most loyal customers, while working to influence shopping and purchasing behaviors.

As this infographic illustrates, personalized mobile engagement through an app can:

Click above to download the full infographic

Click above to download the full infographic.

  • Drive traffic into retail stores using geo-targeted push notifications—for example, sending a special offer when a user is near your store or a competitor’s (this is known as “geo-conquesting”).
  • Serve as a personal guide to any location, with turn-by-turn navigation both indoors and out. This has applicability across a wide range of industries—including travel, real estate, healthcare, sports / entertainment and more.
  • Finely segment alerts and notifications according to geographic location, user action and much more.
  • Enhance conversion by offering the right content at the right moment in the purchasing decision.

If outcomes like these are possible, why aren’t more companies taking advantage of the opportunity? Why aren’t you?

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