Mobile devices have eclipsed desktops, laptops and other devices, becoming our primary method for engaging with the digital world. For the first time, smartphones in 2015 accounted for over half of all hours US adults spent viewing digital media.
Not only have smartphones become central to our daily lives, they are our most intimate devices. Recent surveys show that for the vast majority of millennials their smartphone never leaves their side, day or night; and it’s the first thing they reach for in the morning (87% and 80% respectively). It’s no surprise then that businesses need to reach their customers on mobile, where they’re spending most of their time. And with smartphone users spending 4-8x more time in mobile apps than mobile web, their preference for apps is clear.
While being at the center of our digital lives presents unmatched opportunities for businesses – and the customers that patronize them – there are also challenges. Mobile devices present a smaller form factor, vertical vs. horizontal orientation, and different input methods. Any design or user experience (UX) detriment is amplified; thus mobile apps must be well-designed. If a user can’t quickly access the information they’re seeking or accomplish their intended task, they will find another app that can. Businesses’ mobile apps must deliver the right, well-designed experience to the right user at the right time.
At the same time, marketers are faced with mastering this new platform. Mobile’s appeal extends beyond being the place where their customers spend most of their digital time. The ever-present, constantly-connected nature of mobile devices allows businesses to reach customers nearly anytime, but requires a different mindset. It’s no longer about keeping eyeballs on your site. Rather marketers must understand and then engage customers at opportune times to help them satisfy their need. This distills down to getting the right message to the right customer at the right time.
When you put all of this together, a new type of solution is needed that works across the entire lifecycle of mobile users. Design and UX options must be tested and their tradeoffs understood. Personalized experiences within the app are needed to delight users and help them quickly accomplish what they need to. Users receive tailored messages at their time of need, instilling additional delight and illustrating how businesses can satisfy their need. Lastly, advanced analytics are required to drive all of these – because you can’t optimize what you can’t measure.
We found a remarkable team delivering such a solution to their customers. This is why we invested in Leanplum.
Leanplum provides an enterprise SaaS platform for mobile lifecycle marketing, driving engagement and results across the full customer journey. It spans personalized messaging, UX optimization, A/B testing and analytics. In web, each of these areas has given rise to material companies, so you would expect a startup tackling them all would face quite a challenge. To our surprise we found Leanplum excelled in each, even compared to other solutions focused on only one. It turns out there is a reason for this: there is a synergy between the functional pillars. To optimize user experience – both in determining the best approach (A/B testing) and ongoing personalization – you need a robust analytical ability to understand users and tradeoffs among different approaches. Armed with this analytical ability, a natural extension is to use this information to optimize the user experience outside of the app – to inform and engage users through targeted, personalized messages.
We’re all delighted by quicker, easier mobile experiences and expect such from the products and services we consume. Businesses offering these products and services need to get the right message – and well-designed experience – to the right customer at the right time. An outstanding team at Leanplum is empowering businesses to engage and delight mobile users across the entire customer journey. This is marketing reimagined for our most used and personal device.
Michael Abbott and Creighton Hicks are partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.