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Be valuable to consumers with a comprehensive app strategy: Forrester

NEW YORK ? A Forrester research analyst at Mobile Marketer's Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2016 urged marketers to create a comprehensive strategy to better compete for consumers? mobile moments with an application and a toolbox of mobile tactics.  

During the session, "Your Customer Won?t Download Your App," the research analyst explained that brands and retailers need to build an app for marketers? most loyal customers, but it takes an army of mobile tools to grab the attention of today?s audience. With so many other marketers and content vying for users? attention, it is important for brands to build tools for an omnichannel existence, automation system, messaging, fragments, ecosystem, data, services and products. 

"You do need to build an app," said Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. "That is the best way to own mobile moments, and the best way to manufacture mobile moments."

"However, you cannot just build an app or just have a mobile Web site, you need to do more," she said. 

Apps and beyond
It is important for marketers to build an app to provide an immersive experience for their best customers. The most loyal customer will download the app, opt in for messages and location services and will continually return. 
However, this is only a small portion of a brand?s audience, and the connection to that super fan is not unbreakable and can diminish over time. To get the most out of mobile, marketers need to create an omnichannel presence that travels with their customer, and provides users reasons to engage with your brand. 

For instance, United Airlines provides users with a bevy of tools that they cannot receive anywhere else. Customers can access their boarding passes and change flights directly within the app, a incredibly helpful tool which users are happy to leverage. 

It is also difficult to create hard and fast rules on when to do certain pushes on mobile, not everything will work for everyone at all times. Marketers should create an automated system to incite specific experiences based off of consumer behavior and data. 

Another important tactic is to not only include messaging within an app, but ones that are highly relevant and useful to the consumer. For instance, if a wearable device is running low on battery, a push notification to users that brings this to their attention is helpful to their overall experience. 

Web of marketers
Marketers also need to be receptive that consumers are spending a lot of time on other platforms, and they do not want to keep jump from app to app completing different tasks. So brands should be partnering with third-party apps to help drive that consumer relationship through other channels. 
It is also vital to gain insights on the consumer and a brand?s specific audience to better serve them on an experience they want. Marketers need to create a strategy on how to grab data and how to best interpret it. 

Also, while connected devices and the Internet of Things are growing, marketers need to think about where they stand within all this innovation, whether it means producing their on smart device or partnering with others. For instance, Oral-B has created a connected toothbrush, which analyzes a user?s brushing habits and provides a tailored experience to his or her needs. 

"Although a handful of players are amassing your customers' mobile moments at a frantic pace on mobile device, they do not own all the touch points that you have with your customers," Ms. Ask said. "So what you need to do is that you have to use mobile to transform the overall customer experience. 

"You have to make mobile an essential part of the customer experience that you have with them," she said.