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Rebel Yell: How to not be obnoxious when advertising on mobile  
 Banner ads, coupons, and interstitials are becoming a thing of the past for many leading mobile brands. At this week’s  Shopper Marketing Summit outside Chicago , Manuel Rosso, CEO of Food on the Table, said, “Nobody clicks on mobile banners, it’s a terrible message medium.”    Banners were once touted as a key tool for app promotion and monetization  because they were easy to set up and wouldn’t distract users from the app they were using. But with newer apps that meticulously utilize every inch of screen real estate, many app developers are finding that sacrificing the lower-third (or full screen) of their app to an advertiser disrupts the experience for their users.  
  In addition, brand experts point out that banners (and coupons) tend to be poor drivers of brand engagement and loyalty.  While they increase the brand’s presence, tappable in-app ads tend to encourage the wrong type of consumer behavior. Bryan Leach, founder and CEO of Ibotta, said, “Digitizing coupons is a poor investment” because “it reinforces a transactional relationship with the consumer.” It’s better to encourage consumers to engage than to transact. 
  The hard part for developers and brands is that creating engagement doesn’t follow a simple formula.  Some brands have sought to tell stories or build games in order to encourage brand loyalty and trigger rewards. Target and Starbucks are two such brands that have steered their mobile apps towards engagement and rewards, and away from transaction (although they both offer in-app transaction capabilities). Both have seen significant increases in mobile adoption and sales.   Messaging is still an important part of the mobile brand toolset, but it needs to be selective, relevant, and timely.  Selectivity  means messages need to be delivered for special purposes, such as to announce a sale or event.  Relevance  means messages need to be sent to the right audience segments, i.e. the ones most likely to be interested in the content of the message.  Timeliness  means that messages need to be delivered at times when users are most likely to read them and take action.    Following these three rules will help any brand put together an effective mobile messaging strategy, but this is still secondary to the function of the app itself.  Brands that want to benefit from mobile need to develop concepts about how to offer non-transactional value to customers. Whether this is done through storytelling, design, user experience, gameification, rewards, or some other method doesn’t matter so much; what matters is that the mobile app gets users interested in the brand apart from merely offering ways to buy. Interest breeds brand appreciation, which increases the likelihood of consumers to transact, which in turn helps to boost sales.

Rebel Yell: How to not be obnoxious when advertising on mobile

Banner ads, coupons, and interstitials are becoming a thing of the past for many leading mobile brands. At this week’s Shopper Marketing Summit outside Chicago, Manuel Rosso, CEO of Food on the Table, said, “Nobody clicks on mobile banners, it’s a terrible message medium.” 

Banners were once touted as a key tool for app promotion and monetization because they were easy to set up and wouldn’t distract users from the app they were using. But with newer apps that meticulously utilize every inch of screen real estate, many app developers are finding that sacrificing the lower-third (or full screen) of their app to an advertiser disrupts the experience for their users. 

In addition, brand experts point out that banners (and coupons) tend to be poor drivers of brand engagement and loyalty. While they increase the brand’s presence, tappable in-app ads tend to encourage the wrong type of consumer behavior. Bryan Leach, founder and CEO of Ibotta, said, “Digitizing coupons is a poor investment” because “it reinforces a transactional relationship with the consumer.” It’s better to encourage consumers to engage than to transact.

The hard part for developers and brands is that creating engagement doesn’t follow a simple formula. Some brands have sought to tell stories or build games in order to encourage brand loyalty and trigger rewards. Target and Starbucks are two such brands that have steered their mobile apps towards engagement and rewards, and away from transaction (although they both offer in-app transaction capabilities). Both have seen significant increases in mobile adoption and sales. 

Messaging is still an important part of the mobile brand toolset, but it needs to be selective, relevant, and timely. Selectivity means messages need to be delivered for special purposes, such as to announce a sale or event. Relevance means messages need to be sent to the right audience segments, i.e. the ones most likely to be interested in the content of the message. Timeliness means that messages need to be delivered at times when users are most likely to read them and take action. 

Following these three rules will help any brand put together an effective mobile messaging strategy, but this is still secondary to the function of the app itself. Brands that want to benefit from mobile need to develop concepts about how to offer non-transactional value to customers. Whether this is done through storytelling, design, user experience, gameification, rewards, or some other method doesn’t matter so much; what matters is that the mobile app gets users interested in the brand apart from merely offering ways to buy. Interest breeds brand appreciation, which increases the likelihood of consumers to transact, which in turn helps to boost sales.

Gold Nuggets of SXSW 2014: From Socially-Driven Brand Leaders  
 At   OysterLabs  , we collaborate with our clients as partners, brought together for a common goal - to grow their business through informed, strategic mobile entry. While we design and build mobile apps and platforms, we always keep in mind how mobile can  empower  their customers and workforce.  
  Originally published on   Social Media Today  , below is my recap of the first panel of SXSWi 2014, which speaks to the importance of having your internal team adopt critical tools and behaviors to help evangelize your brand.  
   SXSW Interactive   started with a bang thanks to Social Media Today’s #SocBizShakeUp breakfast event at the W Austin. 
 A fantastic panel led by SMT CEO  Robin Carey  included  Michael Stenberg , VP, Web & Infrastructure at Siemens ( @stenmic );  Sandy Carter , General Manager, Ecosystems & Social Business Evangelism at IBM ( @Sandy_Carter );  Natanya Anderson , Social Media & Digital Marketing Coordinator at Whole Foods ( @NatanyaP ); and  Andrew Bowins , SVP, External Communications at MasterCard ( @MasterCardAndy ). 
 Panelists discussed how to build a socially-engaged workforce today, utilize big data, and empower employees through relationship-building tools. Here are a few highlights from the panelists. 
  Michael Stenberg, VP, Web & Infrastructure at Siemens ( @stenmic )  
  On building a socially-engaged workforce:  Companies have to adapt to the change that has happened. There is huge potential for B2B when social becomes a key element of the sales funnel – they turn more digital. 60% of sales funnels are taking place in the digital place. 
 It takes four elements to get a socially-engaged workforce: 
 (1) access (2) training (3) creating an environment (of content provided by the company where employees can start commenting, sharing and build an ecosystem) (4) starting at the top and getting CEO engagement 
  On the importance of leadership taking part:  
 Enable top management: other employees will see them as an example and adopt their behavior. Avoid having a middle manager who doesn’t understand social relationships and tools. 
  On the importance of big data:  
 Does the corporation actually want to listen to this data? There are often many opinions, but if you ritualize learning from data, it fundamentally changes how decisions are made. 
  Sandy Carter, General Manager, Ecosystems & Social Business Evangelism at IBM ( @Sandy_Carter )  
  On building a socially-engaged workforce:  
 Make your own employees socially-capable - create a digital brand army to represent your company and brand. 
 
   “You really can’t engage your customers if you don’t have engaged employees. IBM has approached it from a people perspective – social doesn’t change your culture, it reveals it. We embed it as part of our business process.”   
 
  On the intersection of big data and social:  
 I am fascinated by how we use and distribute the data. In our research division we’ve been looking at social profiles and we can assess 52 different personality traits based on tweets – that enables us to understand what consumers value. IBM ran 500,000 people through this process and really nailed personality and values. Instead of looking at what consumers bought previously, you can assess personality traits and leverage the data in a different way. It gives you a 40-45% higher likelihood that cross-selling and up-selling will work. This will change the way companies sell, recommend, and even assign employees to tasks.   
   
  My IBM SystemU Assessment from SXSW 2014    
  On innovation of internal tools to drive a socially-engaged workforce:  
 BlueTube (IBM’s internal take on YouTube) is used to learn and train employees. Digital IBMer helps build the digital eminence of all IBMers - IBM wants employees to be socially-engaged and out in the blogosphere. 
  On the importance of social influence data:   
 Klout score will become the new SAT score as social influence becomes increasingly more important. IBM has its own internal version of Klout for employees to be rated by. IBM worked with MIT and found that an employee who is connected socially (with a potential client or executive) brings in anywhere from $700-$1700 of added value. 
  On the next big data trend:   
 Here at SXSW, IBM’s Watson Food truck makes culinary recommendations based on personal preference data. Health care is a great example of cognitive technology insight – for example, Watson can consume all that data, then advise a doctor on the right potential treatment based on data. This translates to retail, as Watson thinks about how you want to shop and makes smart recommendations. Cognitive technology is the next big data trend.  
  Natanya Anderson, Social Media & Digital Marketing Coordinator at Whole Foods ( @NatanyaP )  
  On building a socially-engaged workforce:  
 Social needs to be integrated into employees’ everyday lives, so it’s not disruptive and makes sense for the flow of their day. With 600+ social media accounts and 1000+ employees creating social content for Whole Foods, social  is  our culture. The best marketing we have are team members on the floor, talking to our customers. 
  On cohesion amongst customers and their values:  
 We are so mission-driven, this is part of everything we do. We have a shared value set with our customers; some customers connect on sustainability, some love great food experiences – so we now ask, how do we filter that down to the local level? The things that are important to customers downtown versus in suburbia are different – we need to teach our local stores what those customers care about. We’re looking at hyper local analytics, which help drive conversations. Social gives us the broader insight. 
  Andrew Bowins, SVP, External Communications at MasterCard ( @MasterCardAndy )    On the impact of social today:  
 Paying for promoted tweets and holding that up as brand isn’t taking advantage of what social is. MasterCard has built an ecosystem, in 42 markets and 26 languages, that is entirely tied to social insights. Rather than standardizing buzz metrics, the conversation should center around trend and insight. Tell me something that helps my business – focus on how social and digital shapes the P&L. 
  On inspiring employees around a mission:  
 MasterCard is a technology company – we’re an enabler of payments worldwide. You have to give people a reason to believe, rally and be empowered. We want to continually encourage our 7,200 employees around the world. IBM’s Smarter Planet is one of the best social programs ever done. 
  On brands understanding what social really means:  
 Brands have a self-inflated sense that people want to hear from us and we know what they want to talk about. If you use big data to know what people want to engage in, you’re informed, rather than guessing. I’m a big advocate of curated content - 70% of our content is curated, which is how we authentically connect and participate with our customers. 
 Upon adopting this approach, we saw a 400% increase in engagement, had over 200 direct conversations, which created 500,000 unique conversation streams over time. Our addressable audience is 1.2 billion people. We’ve moved away from content pollution and now we’re earning trust; we see the data and build a story that is compelling and ultimately helps our business goals. 
  Written by Mary Elise Chavez, Creative Director of   OysterLabs

Gold Nuggets of SXSW 2014: From Socially-Driven Brand Leaders

At OysterLabs, we collaborate with our clients as partners, brought together for a common goal - to grow their business through informed, strategic mobile entry. While we design and build mobile apps and platforms, we always keep in mind how mobile can empower their customers and workforce. 

Originally published on Social Media Today, below is my recap of the first panel of SXSWi 2014, which speaks to the importance of having your internal team adopt critical tools and behaviors to help evangelize your brand.

SXSW Interactive started with a bang thanks to Social Media Today’s #SocBizShakeUp breakfast event at the W Austin.

A fantastic panel led by SMT CEO Robin Carey included Michael Stenberg, VP, Web & Infrastructure at Siemens (@stenmic); Sandy Carter, General Manager, Ecosystems & Social Business Evangelism at IBM (@Sandy_Carter); Natanya Anderson, Social Media & Digital Marketing Coordinator at Whole Foods (@NatanyaP); and Andrew Bowins, SVP, External Communications at MasterCard (@MasterCardAndy).

Panelists discussed how to build a socially-engaged workforce today, utilize big data, and empower employees through relationship-building tools. Here are a few highlights from the panelists.

Michael Stenberg, VP, Web & Infrastructure at Siemens (@stenmic)

On building a socially-engaged workforce:
Companies have to adapt to the change that has happened. There is huge potential for B2B when social becomes a key element of the sales funnel – they turn more digital. 60% of sales funnels are taking place in the digital place.

It takes four elements to get a socially-engaged workforce:

(1) access
(2) training
(3) creating an environment (of content provided by the company where employees can start commenting, sharing and build an ecosystem)
(4) starting at the top and getting CEO engagement

On the importance of leadership taking part:

Enable top management: other employees will see them as an example and adopt their behavior. Avoid having a middle manager who doesn’t understand social relationships and tools.

On the importance of big data:

Does the corporation actually want to listen to this data? There are often many opinions, but if you ritualize learning from data, it fundamentally changes how decisions are made.

Sandy Carter, General Manager, Ecosystems & Social Business Evangelism at IBM (@Sandy_Carter)

On building a socially-engaged workforce:

Make your own employees socially-capable - create a digital brand army to represent your company and brand.

“You really can’t engage your customers if you don’t have engaged employees. IBM has approached it from a people perspective – social doesn’t change your culture, it reveals it. We embed it as part of our business process.”

On the intersection of big data and social:

I am fascinated by how we use and distribute the data. In our research division we’ve been looking at social profiles and we can assess 52 different personality traits based on tweets – that enables us to understand what consumers value. IBM ran 500,000 people through this process and really nailed personality and values. Instead of looking at what consumers bought previously, you can assess personality traits and leverage the data in a different way. It gives you a 40-45% higher likelihood that cross-selling and up-selling will work. This will change the way companies sell, recommend, and even assign employees to tasks.

Mary Elise Chavez - IBM SystemU Graph

My IBM SystemU Assessment from SXSW 2014

On innovation of internal tools to drive a socially-engaged workforce:

BlueTube (IBM’s internal take on YouTube) is used to learn and train employees. Digital IBMer helps build the digital eminence of all IBMers - IBM wants employees to be socially-engaged and out in the blogosphere.

On the importance of social influence data: 

Klout score will become the new SAT score as social influence becomes increasingly more important. IBM has its own internal version of Klout for employees to be rated by. IBM worked with MIT and found that an employee who is connected socially (with a potential client or executive) brings in anywhere from $700-$1700 of added value.

On the next big data trend: 

Here at SXSW, IBM’s Watson Food truck makes culinary recommendations based on personal preference data. Health care is a great example of cognitive technology insight – for example, Watson can consume all that data, then advise a doctor on the right potential treatment based on data. This translates to retail, as Watson thinks about how you want to shop and makes smart recommendations.Cognitive technology is the next big data trend.

Natanya Anderson, Social Media & Digital Marketing Coordinator at Whole Foods (@NatanyaP)

On building a socially-engaged workforce:

Social needs to be integrated into employees’ everyday lives, so it’s not disruptive and makes sense for the flow of their day. With 600+ social media accounts and 1000+ employees creating social content for Whole Foods, social is our culture. The best marketing we have are team members on the floor, talking to our customers.

On cohesion amongst customers and their values:

We are so mission-driven, this is part of everything we do. We have a shared value set with our customers; some customers connect on sustainability, some love great food experiences – so we now ask, how do we filter that down to the local level? The things that are important to customers downtown versus in suburbia are different – we need to teach our local stores what those customers care about. We’re looking at hyper local analytics, which help drive conversations. Social gives us the broader insight.

Andrew Bowins, SVP, External Communications at MasterCard (@MasterCardAndy)

On the impact of social today:

Paying for promoted tweets and holding that up as brand isn’t taking advantage of what social is. MasterCard has built an ecosystem, in 42 markets and 26 languages, that is entirely tied to social insights. Rather than standardizing buzz metrics, the conversation should center around trend and insight. Tell me something that helps my business – focus on how social and digital shapes the P&L.

On inspiring employees around a mission:

MasterCard is a technology company – we’re an enabler of payments worldwide. You have to give people a reason to believe, rally and be empowered. We want to continually encourage our 7,200 employees around the world. IBM’s Smarter Planet is one of the best social programs ever done.

On brands understanding what social really means:

Brands have a self-inflated sense that people want to hear from us and we know what they want to talk about. If you use big data to know what people want to engage in, you’re informed, rather than guessing. I’m a big advocate of curated content - 70% of our content is curated, which is how we authentically connect and participate with our customers.

Upon adopting this approach, we saw a 400% increase in engagement, had over 200 direct conversations, which created 500,000 unique conversation streams over time. Our addressable audience is 1.2 billion people. We’ve moved away from content pollution and now we’re earning trust; we see the data and build a story that is compelling and ultimately helps our business goals.

Written by Mary Elise Chavez, Creative Director of OysterLabs

How messaging apps like Whatsapp are changing the Mobile Marketing Landscape  
 Since Facebook’s $19B acquisition of Whatsapp last week there has been increased speculation about the role of messaging services in allowing brands to expand their marketing reach. Shortly after Facebook announced the deal, the Japanese online retailer,  Rakuten, said that it would be buying Viber  — an internet calling service similar to Skype that reports close to 300 million users — for $900M. Meanwhile, WeChat, a Chinese-based messaging service, is also said to be  closing in on 300 million users  and may become the next major acquisition target.  
  Deals such as these signal the potential for messaging apps   to evolve into platforms with continuously monetizable users.  Whatsapp serves some 500 million users, mostly in emerging markets, roughly 70% of whom use the app on a daily basis. A recent report from Deloitte predicts that in 2014 an average of  50 billion messages will be delivered each day  across these types of messaging services. For many brands, such numbers indicate the opportunity to reach a global audience with immediacy and precision. 
  For Facebook, the Whatsapp deal will help to cement  the company’s involvement with messaging and voice calling .  But it may also help Facebook attract interest from advertisers looking to make inroads with consumers in emerging markets. Facebook has struggled to gain traction in Asia  against a lineup of competitor networks , but with the acquisition of a half billion active users there it can now focus on boosting mobile user activity in Asian markets, which may enable the company to start charging advertisers more aggressive rates without stifling demand. Plus, with the unique demographic-targeting options that Facebook offers, the company may be primed to gain a competitive advantage as a distribution platform.  
 The gain in users may also allow Facebook to start bringing revenue into line with investor expectations. Since its 2012 public debut the social networking giant’s  price-earnings ratio has hovered above 100 , indicating a discrepancy between the company’s perceived worth and current earnings. But such an influx of users in high-interest markets may help to boost advertiser interest and earnings.   
  The rise of Whatsapp and other messaging apps may also underscore a key feature of the new marketing landscape : with the explosion of smartphone and tablet usage across the globe, brands need tools that provide both precision and reach on mobile. Marketers increasingly gauge ROI in terms of the ability to reach mobile audiences with strategic timing and differentiated messaging, both of which Facebook is now better equipped to provide.  OysterLabs’ AQUA  – a combined mobile CRM+Analytics platform – offers such capabilities at highly competitive rates, and is a critical tool in the arsenal of any mobile marketer.

How messaging apps like Whatsapp are changing the Mobile Marketing Landscape

Since Facebook’s $19B acquisition of Whatsapp last week there has been increased speculation about the role of messaging services in allowing brands to expand their marketing reach. Shortly after Facebook announced the deal, the Japanese online retailer, Rakuten, said that it would be buying Viber — an internet calling service similar to Skype that reports close to 300 million users — for $900M. Meanwhile, WeChat, a Chinese-based messaging service, is also said to be closing in on 300 million users and may become the next major acquisition target. 

Deals such as these signal the potential for messaging apps to evolve into platforms with continuously monetizable users. Whatsapp serves some 500 million users, mostly in emerging markets, roughly 70% of whom use the app on a daily basis. A recent report from Deloitte predicts that in 2014 an average of 50 billion messages will be delivered each day across these types of messaging services. For many brands, such numbers indicate the opportunity to reach a global audience with immediacy and precision.

For Facebook, the Whatsapp deal will help to cement the company’s involvement with messaging and voice calling. But it may also help Facebook attract interest from advertisers looking to make inroads with consumers in emerging markets. Facebook has struggled to gain traction in Asia against a lineup of competitor networks, but with the acquisition of a half billion active users there it can now focus on boosting mobile user activity in Asian markets, which may enable the company to start charging advertisers more aggressive rates without stifling demand. Plus, with the unique demographic-targeting options that Facebook offers, the company may be primed to gain a competitive advantage as a distribution platform. 

The gain in users may also allow Facebook to start bringing revenue into line with investor expectations. Since its 2012 public debut the social networking giant’s price-earnings ratio has hovered above 100, indicating a discrepancy between the company’s perceived worth and current earnings. But such an influx of users in high-interest markets may help to boost advertiser interest and earnings.  

The rise of Whatsapp and other messaging apps may also underscore a key feature of the new marketing landscape: with the explosion of smartphone and tablet usage across the globe, brands need tools that provide both precision and reach on mobile. Marketers increasingly gauge ROI in terms of the ability to reach mobile audiences with strategic timing and differentiated messaging, both of which Facebook is now better equipped to provide. OysterLabs’ AQUA – a combined mobile CRM+Analytics platform – offers such capabilities at highly competitive rates, and is a critical tool in the arsenal of any mobile marketer.

How to Choose a Platform for your Mobile App   
 Whether you’re a Fortune-100 brand or a one-person business, choosing which platforms your mobile app will support can be a confusing process. The past few years have seen the rise of Windows and Blackberry app markets, but for most businesses looking to build a mobile presence the choice comes down to the two major platforms: Android and iOS.  
 This morning I had a  Twitter exchange with Charles Nutter  after he tweeted: 
 
  “Am I crazy, or is it madness to release mobile apps with no support for Android devices now? And to have no plans to ever support them?”  
 
 The question is a good one since many businesses out there are wondering the same thing. My reply was: “Yes it’s madness.”  
  To clarify: if you are just breaking into mobile,  it may not be madness to begin by only supporting iOS even though it controls  just 15% of the global market  as compared to Android’s 78%. But to rule out Android support completely is to ignore a huge potential source of users and revenue.  
 The key question to ask yourself is how much you plan to charge for your app. Despite Android’s huge lead in global market share,  Apple pulls in an estimated $5.1M a day in App Store revenue , compared to Google’s daily $1.1M from Google Play. That means that the average iOS user spends roughly 25x as much on apps (and in-app purchases) as the average Android user. So if you plan to release a paid app, it may make sense to start by allocating your development resources to a quality iOS release rather than splitting your budget between parallel iOS and Android builds. 
 At  OysterLabs  we’ve worked with many clients who went that route and then re-invested a portion of their iOS app earnings into a follow-up Android release. For cash-strapped businesses and startups in particular, this is a time-tested approach that may not yield huge revenue right off the bat but almost certainly won’t break the bank.  
  Not everyone is interested in the paid app model, though.  Businesses whose apps rely on in-app purchases, ads, and/or incentivized downloads for revenue may see Android as the priority platform given its much larger user base. If your app’s revenue model relies on many users downloading and using your app – what industry insiders sometimes call “eyeball potential” – then it makes sense to prioritize support for the platform with more users.   
 But that raises a secondary question about how to get those eyeballs focused on your app. Big brands can rely on their marketing budgets to drive installs and impressions, but less well-endowed developers often must resort to clever usage of social media and paid distribution channels. Google Play offers an advantage to the small guys here with its superior search capabilities that enable users to find apps even when they misspell keywords. 
  Final Thoughts   
Your decision-making about mobile platform support should be driven by your app’s revenue model and available budget for development and distribution. The ideal scenario is to support both iOS and Android, but that may not be a reality for every business at the start.
  If you’re thinking about developing an app, give us a shout at  Hello@OysterLabs.com  and we’ll help you develop a mobile strategy that meets your business’ goals and requirements. 
 View the full infographic at   Beutler Ink

How to Choose a Platform for your Mobile App 

Whether you’re a Fortune-100 brand or a one-person business, choosing which platforms your mobile app will support can be a confusing process. The past few years have seen the rise of Windows and Blackberry app markets, but for most businesses looking to build a mobile presence the choice comes down to the two major platforms: Android and iOS. 

This morning I had a Twitter exchange with Charles Nutter after he tweeted:

“Am I crazy, or is it madness to release mobile apps with no support for Android devices now? And to have no plans to ever support them?”

The question is a good one since many businesses out there are wondering the same thing. My reply was: “Yes it’s madness.” 

To clarify: if you are just breaking into mobile, it may not be madness to begin by only supporting iOS even though it controls just 15% of the global market as compared to Android’s 78%. But to rule out Android support completely is to ignore a huge potential source of users and revenue. 

The key question to ask yourself is how much you plan to charge for your app. Despite Android’s huge lead in global market share, Apple pulls in an estimated $5.1M a day in App Store revenue, compared to Google’s daily $1.1M from Google Play. That means that the average iOS user spends roughly 25x as much on apps (and in-app purchases) as the average Android user. So if you plan to release a paid app, it may make sense to start by allocating your development resources to a quality iOS release rather than splitting your budget between parallel iOS and Android builds.

At OysterLabs we’ve worked with many clients who went that route and then re-invested a portion of their iOS app earnings into a follow-up Android release. For cash-strapped businesses and startups in particular, this is a time-tested approach that may not yield huge revenue right off the bat but almost certainly won’t break the bank. 

Not everyone is interested in the paid app model, though. Businesses whose apps rely on in-app purchases, ads, and/or incentivized downloads for revenue may see Android as the priority platform given its much larger user base. If your app’s revenue model relies on many users downloading and using your app – what industry insiders sometimes call “eyeball potential” – then it makes sense to prioritize support for the platform with more users.  

But that raises a secondary question about how to get those eyeballs focused on your app. Big brands can rely on their marketing budgets to drive installs and impressions, but less well-endowed developers often must resort to clever usage of social media and paid distribution channels. Google Play offers an advantage to the small guys here with its superior search capabilities that enable users to find apps even when they misspell keywords.

Final Thoughts

Your decision-making about mobile platform support should be driven by your app’s revenue model and available budget for development and distribution. The ideal scenario is to support both iOS and Android, but that may not be a reality for every business at the start.

If you’re thinking about developing an app, give us a shout at Hello@OysterLabs.com and we’ll help you develop a mobile strategy that meets your business’ goals and requirements.

View the full infographic at Beutler Ink

Mobile and the NBA    
 Something’s brewing in the NBA between Sacramento Kings owner, Vivek Ranadive, and Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban. No, it’s not about King James and the MVP Race or David Stern’s retirement. Believe it or not, they’re bickering about the use of mobile technology during live NBA games. 
 Ranadive, who purchased the Kings in May 2013, believes that mobile will  enhance the experience  of being in an arena during a live NBA game. He noted,  
 
  “The future is about giving people an extremely contextual experience…people love to play games and they love to participate.”   
 
   
 Ranadive believes an in-game app, like the one at the  Barclays Center  in Brooklyn, enhances the experience, rather than disrupts it. The Barclays Center’s new mobile Wi-Fi system allows fans to access game information, with future versions including the ability to order concessions from your phone. Ranadive said, 
 
  “I completely reject the notion that a fan looking at his mobile device is not an engaged fan…I want to know play-by-play, I want to know every metric.”  
 
 On the other side of this debate is longtime Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban. Cuban wants nothing more than to see fans put their phones away and become immersed in the game. Cuban said, 
 
  “No question people use their phones and devices at games…but they use them when they are bored. They don’t want more reasons to use them. They want fewer.”      
 
  A new study on stadium Wi-Fi habits , commissioned by the NFL, discovered that the busiest period of mobile use during a game comes at the beginning and mobile use slowly decreases during the game.  Most of that mobile activity is not looking at the play-by-play or statistics; rather, it’s photo uploading through Facebook.  Maybe Cuban is right. But then again, mobile apps catered to the in-game experience are not widely available yet and the lack of in-game use may be due to a lack of availability. 
 I do know that when I’m at home, watching the game, I’m using multiple devices at the same time. But, when I’m at a live NBA game, I rarely take my phone out. Why would I? I just paid a ridiculous price for a ticket. 
  Final Thoughts  In reality, both owners are right. NBA fans are a diverse group of people. Some would love the extra features of being able to look up stats and figures related to the game. Others would find it distracting, and would prefer to keep the phone in their pocket. The real key here is giving those fans who prefer the mobile experience, a great app that meets their needs. Cuban needs to step into the 21 st  century and reach out to Mavericks fans that fall into this group.  
 Regardless, I’m a Knicks fan; so I’d rather not look at the game anyway…

Mobile and the NBA 

Something’s brewing in the NBA between Sacramento Kings owner, Vivek Ranadive, and Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban. No, it’s not about King James and the MVP Race or David Stern’s retirement. Believe it or not, they’re bickering about the use of mobile technology during live NBA games.

Ranadive, who purchased the Kings in May 2013, believes that mobile will enhance the experience of being in an arena during a live NBA game. He noted,

“The future is about giving people an extremely contextual experience…people love to play games and they love to participate.”

Ranadive believes an in-game app, like the one at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, enhances the experience, rather than disrupts it. The Barclays Center’s new mobile Wi-Fi system allows fans to access game information, with future versions including the ability to order concessions from your phone. Ranadive said,

“I completely reject the notion that a fan looking at his mobile device is not an engaged fan…I want to know play-by-play, I want to know every metric.”

On the other side of this debate is longtime Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban. Cuban wants nothing more than to see fans put their phones away and become immersed in the game. Cuban said,

“No question people use their phones and devices at games…but they use them when they are bored. They don’t want more reasons to use them. They want fewer.”  

A new study on stadium Wi-Fi habits, commissioned by the NFL, discovered that the busiest period of mobile use during a game comes at the beginning and mobile use slowly decreases during the game.  Most of that mobile activity is not looking at the play-by-play or statistics; rather, it’s photo uploading through Facebook.  Maybe Cuban is right. But then again, mobile apps catered to the in-game experience are not widely available yet and the lack of in-game use may be due to a lack of availability.

I do know that when I’m at home, watching the game, I’m using multiple devices at the same time. But, when I’m at a live NBA game, I rarely take my phone out. Why would I? I just paid a ridiculous price for a ticket.

Final Thoughts
In reality, both owners are right. NBA fans are a diverse group of people. Some would love the extra features of being able to look up stats and figures related to the game. Others would find it distracting, and would prefer to keep the phone in their pocket. The real key here is giving those fans who prefer the mobile experience, a great app that meets their needs. Cuban needs to step into the 21st century and reach out to Mavericks fans that fall into this group. 

Regardless, I’m a Knicks fan; so I’d rather not look at the game anyway…

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Starbucks Mobile Innovation 

The forefront of the mobile revolution is taking place on the corner of your street, at your friendly, neighborhood coffee shop: Starbucks.  Business Insider reported recently that Starbucks has racked in more than $1 billion in 2013 from its mobile sales, a figure that can be attributed to its ten million active users.  

The staggering results from their mobile strategy come from multiple pioneering marketing campaigns during Q4 of 2013. Their Twitter campaign—aptly named “Tweet-a-Coffee”—lets coffee lovers tweet a hashtag that’s linked to a credit card, and friends and family can redeem them through the Starbucks mobile app.

Starbucks patrons can use the app for card payments and direct purchasing of beverages and food. Once downloaded, users can unlock free drinks and food after reaching a certain number of purchases in the app. The app is very much like a game.  It’s fun, it’s unique, it’s interactive, and it’s convenient.

I write about this app because…well…I use it—almost everyday, actually. No other eCommerce app has done what Starbucks has done, which is, quite simply, create an app that’s habit forming. Every morning I go into Starbucks and without thinking, take out my phone, not my wallet.  

Starbucks’ newest mobile venture will come in the form of pre-ordering on your phone. They want to change the ever-growing line at it’s locations by allowing costumers to order and pay from the app upon arrival or beforehand.

Starbucks continues to be at the forefront of mobile innovation and I implore all of you to download the app, even if you aren’t a fan of the brand.  Flip through it, study it, and ponder what the future of mobile may look like.  The Starbucks app is a wonderful case study of how mobile can positively impact overall brand strategy.   

I’ll leave you with a quote on Starbucks innovation…

And I think once again the Starbucks… mobile transaction platform is still in its nascent stage. And we believe there is an opportunity to extend that value to our customers in ways that we have not yet shared with you.

—Howard Schultz, CEO

Download the Starbucks App

The new Lexus 3D AR mobile app allows users to explore 3D images of Lexus car models on their mobile device.

Augmented reality (AR), which continues to gain relevance in the mobile app space, lets brands showcase their products in interactive environments that don’t just build interest, but convey key information and provide organic methods of engagement. Rather than simply displaying products, augmented reality allows for an immersive experience that can be supplemented by any combination of video, audio, graphics, and data. 

AR applications have already begun to disrupt the traditional approach to mobile product marketing – to drive consumers into a transaction funnel in hopes of achieving continuously higher conversion rates. With the onset of rich AR apps and devices that can support graphics-intensive operations, more brands are beginning to see the benefits of mobile as a means to immersion and brand building.

The takeaway is that branded mobile apps should offer more than just browsing and purchasing capabilities; they should allow for a level of engagement that fosters appreciation for a specific product or class of products, which in turn should boost conversion rates over time.