Mobile marketing firm MobileBridge introduced new functionality into its content creation module to help app marketers use existing customer data to make user app engagement “contextual, fun and on a regular basis”.

New features include 360 degree imaging to enable marketers to integrate rotating product images into their in-app content; the ability to assign rewards based on in-app actions or locations (using beacon technology); and the capability of tying engagement with in-app usage patterns.

It gave the example of a retailer which used in-app scratch card games for a promotion with existing (opted-in) customers passing near a participating store. Of those receiving personalised messages, 72 per cent played the game, and of these 7.8 per cent converted and purchased a product – versus a 0.3 per cent traditional email conversion rate.

Mobile World Live spoke to the company’s CEO and founder, Eyal Oster, about the platform and his advice for app marketers.

MWL: What are some of the common mistakes made by app marketers?
EO: In 2015, with the mobile tipping point behind us, and as mobile time spend soars (to 3 hours per day per user) and with most of the customer mobile time spent in apps, almost every marketer has become an app marketer due to the huge potential of using applications to engage with their customers.

The main mistakes marketers make include:

1. Engaging with a substandard user experience: Push messages or non-native engagement (mostly web pages) offer a relatively poor user experience compared to the rich possibilities powerful smartphones allow such as rich polls and surveys, gamified engagement, videos, coupons and loyalty cards.

2. Not focusing on a personal and useful customer journey: This journey should and can be mobile or cross channel. It should be completely personal both from the content and the user experience point of view. It should be contextually relevant and should be engaging and fun.

3. Not measuring the engagement and not turning the measured data into action: If a customer has engaged, measure the result to determine the next part of the journey accordingly.

4. Not using marketing automation or using overly simplistic automation: For example, not using ibeacons to engage with an app customer who visits the marketer’s store.

Why is it important for brand apps to offer personalised and engaging content?
We all have had experiences with our favourite retail establishments where we walk in and the owner addresses us by name and asks us about the last product we bought. We remember those experiences fondly and tend to spend more money in stores like that.

We’re trying to replicate that experience digitally by offering users a more personalised experience.

We know how successful Amazon has been with ‘customers who viewed this item also viewed the following items’, and MobileBridge is attempting to make the mobile shopping experience more personal and engaging because it increases conversion rates while improving customer satisfaction.

How can developers and marketers offer more relevant app-based offers?
Integration with current CRM and loyalty systems as well as other typical back office systems enable marketers to provide their users with more relevant offers based on purchase and other customer data.

Couple that with contextually relevant app-based automated marketing offers based on user behavior, indoor and outdoor location, weather and preferences and users receive optimal offers which increase conversions while enhancing the user’s experience.

For example, let’s say you read the back cover of a best seller in a book retailer’s app. A few minutes later, you would receive a scratch card game which you play and win to earn a 20 per cent discount on the book available for the next 72 hours.

Two months later, when you walk into a physical store operated by that book retailer, a beacon recognizes you and offers a discount on your next purchase of a book which was purchased by readers who also purchased the book you reviewed in the app. Ten days later, you receive a survey about the book you purchased and are offered 50 loyalty points for completing the survey as part of your customer journey with engagement opportunities tailored to your interests.

What kind of apps can benefit from MobileBridge’s new functionalities?
We have customers from various verticals (automotive, travel, retail, publishers, broadcasters, FMCG, distributors, financial services and pharmaceuticals) though any app (B2B and B2C) can benefit from MobileBridge.

App marketers with a physical world experience – like a store, airport, mall, showroom, exhibition – will derive the greatest benefit from our app-based ‘Marketing Relationship Management’ solution with the new ‘Engaging Content Creation’ and ‘Integration’ functionality.

Customers that already have back office systems such as CRM and loyalty programs can extend these into the mobile domain (beyond push messaging) because they’ll have more data on which to base their contextual interactions, and more opportunities, both online and in-store, to engage with their users.

How will 360 degree imaging help improve in-app content?
It provides marketers with another way to simulate the in-store experience on a mobile phone. Think about taking a car for a ‘spin’ inside the app. Everything we do is done to enhance the relationships our clients have with their users, and providing an immersive visual experience is part of that process.

What are your thoughts on deep linking?
We support deep linking out of the box and in some cases, such as when combining the web, email and other out of mobile experiences with the app experience – deep linking enriches the overall user experience.

A good user experience is a key contributor in a successful mobile strategy.

What are MobileBridge’s future plans?
We’re experiencing 400 per cent growth thus far in 2015. Our company has doubled its size and we are growing rapidly.

Our future plans are to grow our business presence and sales in North America and Asia Pacific as well as in Europe, with a focus on retail, travel, automotive, financial services, consumer goods and business to business verticals.