It’s been an info-packed 8 weeks, friends, and now you’ve almost earned your Mobile Bad Assery. Let’s take a quick review of what we’ve learned and then a look ahead to what’s next.
Course Review: Understanding and Harnessing the Mobile App Lifecycle
As smartphones and mobile app usage have reached maturity in the U.S. consumer’s world, brands have lagged behind, treating mobile as an afterthought rather than the centerpiece of their entire operations. Mature marketers understand that this has to change. The organizations that will succeed in the future are mobile-first in all things, and marketing results will depend on taking a lifecycle approach. Making the shift requires understanding that mobile is a hybrid of physical and digital, customer experience and business solution. It also demands a commitment to harnessing the daily digital trail through steadfast data collection and analysis in order to optimize every phase of the lifecycle.
The mobile app lifecycle consists of four repeating phases:
Strategize: Defining the mobile initiative, setting goals and target audience, and planning ahead for the unique considerations involved in a mobile project.
Create: Developing your mobile app or new feature, either in-house or with a third-party development partner (possibly streamlined through licensing).
Launch: Preparing your app for launch, going through the review process, optimizing for the app stores and then building an audience through performance marketing.
Engage and Monetize: Keeping users engaged with your app and with your brand (particularly via rewards programs and mobile marketing automation) and monetizing your efforts through advertising as well as other tactics.
Next Steps: Rinse and Repeat
Like it says on the old shampoo bottle, it’s not enough to just work your way through the phases of the mobile app lifecycle and stop. There is no finish line. Thanks to the daily digital trail, mobile user data is a rich source of contextual understanding you can use to refine and reframe every move you make—on mobile and across all of your other marketing platforms, even into business operations.
With a mobile app, you have access to:
- What people do when they’re in an app you own
- What other apps they use on the same device
- Which types of content they read, listen to and engage with
- Where they are, in specific latitude / longitude coordinates, thanks to their Wi-Fi connections, check-ins, GPS and app location services
- Precisely where they are within certain physical environments, thanks to sensor technologies (like beacons)
When you run mobile ad campaigns, you can access more insights about your users as well as other target audiences. With a partner like Phunware, you can access even more meaningful user data from the apps we’ve built and those within our ad network, as well as first-party data we collect with help from our platform partners. The Phunware platform touches about one in every ten mobile consumers globally and over 800 million devices and every month. Our platform registers more than 70 types of mobile events, totaling 40 billion mobile user events every month. (Events include opening one of our apps, tapping on an ad, appearing around certain locations, etc.) These insights provide an ever-more detailed picture of your audience as well as your potential target audiences, which you can use to fine-tune every aspect of your marketing game—and even optimize business operations.
Armed with such rich contextual data, you can understand what your users want now, anticipate what they might want next and continue to engage with them on an ever-more meaningful level. And so the lifecycle continues to… well, cycle on.