Engaging and Keeping Your Most Valuable Mobile Customers


According to WhaTech, some 80-90% of apps downloaded from app stores are only opened once before being uninstalled. This has been the norm for years. That’s quite the endorsement for a proper preload with the business requirement that the user cannot remove the app. Facebook has found only about 6% of apps it works with are still being used 30 days post install. KISSmetrics found that it can be up to 7x more expensive to acquire a new user than retain a current user. Acquisition campaigns are structured with retention in mind. This requires a keen understanding of the lifetime value (LTV) of one’s customer segments.

Who are your avid consumers? Which customers consistently purchases your higher tier content? Who consistently subscribes to your services? You can use Synaptik to segment these buckets. Over the course of the next three years, programatic will likely become the only way to engage them. Firms like Element Wave focus on user engagement and retention via real time, precision targeting at key moments during games or app navigation. They utilize native messaging and well timed push messages to drive users back to the app with incentives and contextual information such as how many persons in a geo-fenced region are placing a bet or attempting to bid on an item. Whether it’s gaming or non-gaming apps on Android or iOS, the latest study by Localytics shows Facebook is still the most valuable platform for targeting.

“Retention has transcended to becoming a highly objective metric to measure how users find your product or service,” says WhaTech. “Market research suggests that even a 5 percent increase in customer retention can lead to increasing profits by 25 percent to 125 percent.”

Customer Acquisition Cost

How much is your firm spending on acquisition costs for mobile ad campaigns? You need to look at cost per install and cost per registration as well as what your conversion rate is to get a customer to go from installing your app to registering to be a user. There’s a big drop off point here in mobileUX, which is why single sign on is huge. As a mobile product manager, I found that best way to convert installs to purchases was to deliver the experience of the application as a deferred sign-on without requiring initial registration. I often find myself deleting apps if the path to use is too cumbersome and requires too many fields to be filled out.

Obviously, the total cost per acquisition is a key figure, but we just want to make sure it’s less than the life time value of that acquisition. You decide what your margin needs to be. What’s your model look like for 2017? Let us know if we can be of assistance with the development of your mobile app or website. Do you need some help in getting your app to market or finding a way to get it preloaded onto the newest mobile handsets and tablets? Reach out. True Interaction has a team of mobile experts. At True Interaction, we stay ahead of the curve and help you do the same.

by David Sheihan Hunter Lindez


Forget Your Development Team – is Your Business Agile?


In my last article, I interviewed business strategy consultant Michael Farmer of Farmer & Company regarding his new book, Madison Avenue Manslaughter, which details the plight of advertising agencies and their deteriorating situation today brought about by several paradigm shifts, including the shift from commissions to fees, brand globalization, the rise of holding companies, client obsession with shareholder value, and the digital and Internet revolutions. In the interview, I touched upon a quote by Albert Einstein:

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

While Einstein’s words most definitely apply to the trend in advertising agencies as detailed in Mr. Farmers book, let’s put away the magnifying glass, pull back for a moment, and explore business at large.

First of all, the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company has decreased from 61 years in 1958 to 27 years in 1980, to just 18 years now, and that number is diminishing as I write this. On average, an S&P 500 company is now being replaced about once every two weeks. And the churn rate of companies has been accelerating over time.

Comparing 1955 Fortune 500 companies to 2015 Fortune 500 (ranked by total revenues), there are only 61 companies that appear on both lists. Nearly 88% of the companies from 1955 have either gone bankrupt, merged with (or were acquired by) another firm, or they still exist but have fallen from the top 500. In other words, only 12.2% of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 were still on the list 60 years later in 2015. Most of the 1955 companies on the list are unrecognizable today: Armstrong Rubber, Cone Mills, Hines Lumber, Pacific Vegetable Oil, and Riegel Textile. Today, successful companies need to explore new products, markets, and business models more frequently in order to continuously renew their advantage. According to BCG Perspectives,

“…companies face circumstances that change more rapidly and unpredictably than ever before because of technological advances and other factors. As a result, companies need to constantly renew their advantage, increasing the speed at which they shift resources among products and business units. Second, market share is no longer a direct predictor of sustained performance.”


Defined by reduced time between innovation and adoption, increased market unpredictability, and reduced importance of market share, our modern business era has unveiled new drivers of competitive advantage – one of the most important being: the ability to adapt to changing circumstances or to shape them. This echoes Disney CEO Bob Iger’s famous quote: “The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.” In a recent study of more than 900 business leaders, 93% responded that they “have completed, are planning, or are in the midst of a business transformation”. Really, what we are seeing is that “business transformation” isn’t something that is undergone once or even periodically – business transformation is becoming a continuous process.

Indeed today, businesses at large – not just their creative and development silos – benefit from operating in an Agile manner, most importantly in the area of responding to change over following a plan. Consider the words of Christa Carone, chief marketing officer for Xerox:

“Where we are right now as an enterprise, we would actually say there is no start and stop because the market is changing, evolving so rapidly. We always have to be aligning our business model with those realities in the marketplace.”


The situation in business today inevitably begs the question: “Where will your business be in 20 or even 10 years? Statistically, 9 of 10 people who are reading this are working for an organization that will NOT stand the test of time. But the good news that I’ve blogged about in the past is that progressive businesses that take the technology leap and invest in the future will reap tremendous gains over their less progressive peers. With that in mind, ALL SMBs should take the time to reassess the value of their business processes and technology solutions as soon as possible.

Need help determining the right solution? Consider these 9 criteria:

1. How easy and intuitive is the user interface?

– Affordance Visually, the UI has clues that indicate what it is going to do. Users don’t have to experiment or deduce the interaction. The affordances are based on real-world experiences or standard UI conventions.

– Expectation Functionally, the UI delivers the expected, predictable results, with no surprises. Users don’t have to experiment or deduce the effect. The expectations are based on labels, real-world experiences, or standard UI conventions.

-Efficiency The UI enables users to perform an action with a minimum amount of effort. If the intention is clear, the UI delivers the expected results the first time so that users don’t have to repeat the action (perhaps with variations) to get what they want.

-Responsiveness The UI gives clear, immediate feedback to indicate that the action is happening, and was either successful or unsuccessful.

-Forgiveness If users make a mistake, either the right thing happens anyway or they can fix or undo the action with ease.

-Explorability Users can navigate throughout the UI without fear of penalty or unintended consequences, or of getting lost.
No frustration emotionally, users are satisfied with the interaction

2. How quickly and easily can the solution be implemented?

Does the solution offer an accelerated implementation approach to minimize demands on your resources? Rapid implementation techniques can reduce costs by more than 50 percent – again, this takes us back to the subject of Agile methodology.

3. How easily can the solution integrate with your supply chain, product development, and business processes?

No system operates in a vacuum, and it delivers the most value when embedded in the business! Your solution should have multiple points of integration, so that all business processes are outfitted with historical data in order to discern insights and take action.

4. Can the solution easily scale as your business grows?

Change. The only thing that remains constant. Take into account not only number of users, but also specific roles and functions and the need to support end-to-end business processes, which are constantly changing.

5. Is the business solution available as SaaS or subscription?

You can’t always anticipate your future, so being fiscally conservative is important. On-demand business solutions are often available on a subscription basis, virtually eliminating the traditional upfront investments. Alternately, if cash is a major issue, your solution provider should offer you some flexibility in billing, payment, intellectual property, and ownership – allowing you to keep your cash working while you get the benefits of the newest business technology solutions.

6. Does the solution offer you company-wide visibility into your business processes?

Link up with a solution provider who understands business process management. The right solution can help you gain a HUGE competitive advantage through increased visibility into critical business functions, superior reporting, integrated processes, and even increased customer loyalty/retention, more in-depth customer insights, and an accelerated product time to market.

7. Are there ample resources to assist you with your implementation and ongoing support?

Look for business partners with both long-term business experience and support services, as well as expertise with cross-functional, strategic, technology and software solutions.

8. Is industry-specific expertise built into the product?

The best business solutions are not plain vanilla.Your solution provider should understand your industry as well as you, and address any industry-specific needs, support roles, and functions unique to your vertical markets.

9. Does it provide you with any real-time monitoring and analytics?

by Michael Davison


5 Criteria for Prioritizing Business Optimization Projects in the Digital Space

“Going digital” – the globally pervasive term for the vague process of improving elements of your business with the fruit of new technology, such as advanced cloud-based analytics and machine learning solutions. Wireless communication is common these days, while cheap sensors, mobile devices, and other hardware enable businesses to direct and process oceans of data, manage people and equipment remotely, and boost the efficiency of field service personnel.

Clearly, digital can reshape any aspect of modern enterprise. Consider QM, an iPad application that True Interaction built for Lifetime Brands. QM enables organizations to oversee and manage Quality Control Inspections in real time, regardless of where factories, product lots, or distribution points are located. QM conducts multiple inspection types, including factories, products, and social compliance, powered by SAP cloud data.

I’ve written before regarding the huge gains reaped by progressive businesses in the digital space. The race is on, but where should you start? What aspect of the business should come first? Sales? Customer Service? Logistics? Procurement? Planning? Production? More importantly, how can business leaders prioritize their company’s improvement in the digital space?

Evaluation Criteria

Obviously, companies should select the most relevant and useful “digital solution” that creates the most value and/or best addresses gaps in productivity or performance, but this isn’t always clearly indicated. I have gathered 5 criteria that any “digital solution” should be evaluated against in order to aid you in establishing the priority of what needs to be done:

1. Business Case

Every idea on the table for implementation should have a well-developed business case – a justification for the proposed project or undertaking on the basis of its expected commercial benefit – such as the potential boost in sales and decrease in costs or inventory, for example. Prioritize the opportunities that seem the most realistic, relevant, and financially rewarding.

2. Pain Points Addressed

Describe and list every pain point that each solution will address. Evaluate the respective pain points from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective.

3. Technological Feasibility

Assess the economic competitiveness of all of your proposed tech solutions by evaluating their implementation costs for improving a process, as compared to the costs incurred by the current technology.

4. Ease of Implementation

Some ideas may have potential to make a significant improvement to your business, however there may be associated roadblocks and hindrances, such as significant capital investment, or approval requirements from a board or external parties. In cases like this, the improvement cycle may be delayed, or the spirit of the implementers broken as the improvement activity becomes too difficult to implement. Likewise, if there are improvement opportunities which are easy to implement but don’t really make a difference, then team members may see the process as not providing much benefit, and once again could lose interest in the process.

5. Time to Impact

Some solutions have significant impact on your business as soon as the “flip is switched” – such as mobile productivity apps and cloud-based repositories. Other solutions may require a significant ramp-up time before their impact on your business is tangible. For example, certain Machine Learning algorithms require a considerable dataset in place before they become effective. It’s important to take this into consideration when evaluating your solution.

If you take the time to thoroughly evaluate all of your organization’s ideas and technology solutions across the same spectrum of criteria, you will find that prioritizing what needs to be done becomes much less of a headache. You will also reap other benefits as well, such as having the ammunition at hand to wrangle consensus from your organization’s key stakeholders on what the next best digital step will be. Good luck!

By Michael Davison


Is Your IT Department Ready for the Digital Age?

If you are smiling to yourself about the title of this post, and the quaint term “Digital Age,” and how it’s 2016 already, and the “Digital Age” has been upon us for years now, you may want to stack your SMB up against a few eye-opening metrics regarding the state of technology in small-to-medium businesses today.

Big data is upon us, and available to every enterprise, including small businesses – but it’s what you do with it that counts. The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts a 44-fold increase in data volumes between 2009 and 2020. Despite this cambrian explosion of data, SMBs still appear to be behind when it comes to their IT capability. IDC projects a 40% growth in global data per year vs. just 5% growth in global IT spending in the future; furthermore, the organization noted that a shocking 68% of companies do not have a stated Business Intelligence / Analytics Strategy, and 79% of SMBs still use manual integration such as manual Excel files, or custom code.

Companies are no longer suffering from a lack of data—they’re suffering from a lack of the right data. Business leaders need the right big data to effectively define the strategic direction of the enterprise. The current generation of software was designed for functionality, but the next generation must also be designed for analytics. ~ Accenture Business Technology Trends Report

Right now amongst progressive SMBs, the race is on to develop and realize a true digital business ecosphere. Progressive SMBs are 55% more likely to have fully integrated business applications. Where does your organization stand in this contest? IDC predicts that by 2017, the transfer of cloud, social and big data investments from IT to line-of-business budgets will require 60% of CIOs to focus the IT budget on business innovation and value. This metric jibes with the results from Accenture’s Technology Vision survey, polling more than 2,000 business and technology executives across nine countries and 10 industries. According to the survey, 62% of SMBs are currently investing in digital technologies, and 35 percent are comprehensively investing in digital as part of their overall business strategy. In a recent article, Laurie McCabe, Partner at tech industry research masterminds SMB Group, points out that that these progressive SMBs are well positioned to tap into new customer requirements, improve customer engagement and experience, and enter new markets. “As progressive SMBs move forward,” she notes, “they will continue to outpace their peers and reshape the SMB market.”

How will the market be reshaped? Accenture notes that 81 percent of companies believe that “in the future, industry boundaries will dramatically blur as platforms reshape industries into interconnected ecosystems”. Progressive SMBs that continue to invest in IT capability will reap tremendous gains; those that bring up the rear will be behind by orders of magnitude. Furthermore, being progressive leads directly to revenue: For instance, according to SMB Group, 75% of the Progressive medium businesses (who increased technology spending) anticipated revenue gains in 2012, compared to just 17% of medium businesses that decreased IT spending.

Naturally, some SMBs don’t have the budget or staff to “flip the switch” and implement a bottom-up overhaul of their entire business process to create a fully integrated digital solution. But that is OK. By working with a capable digital business enterprise development vendor, SMBs can commence an incremental, but still integrated approach to business management solutions. Companies can begin, for example, with a financials module, and then continue to add integrated modules as required and when able, to manage other functions such as manufacturing, distribution, project accounting, or sales and marketing, at their own pace. The important part is to get moving, and to take the time to honestly assess how your organization is using technology today.

True Interaction produces custom full-stack end-to-end custom secure and compliant technology solutions across web, desktop and mobile – integrating data sources from e-commerce, enterprise resource planning, customer service, document inventory management, spend, performance… whatever data your business requires. From legacy systems to open source, we can determine the most optimal means to achieve operational perfection, devising and implementing the right tech stack to fit your business. We routinely pull together disparate data sources, fuse together disconnected silos, and do exactly what it takes for organizations to operate with tight tolerances, making your business engine hum.

Are you ready for the Digital Age? For real, this time? Let’s go!

By Michael Davison