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How to Identify and engage MVP customers for your mobile app

26 Jul. 17
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The user experience of your mobile app is a critical factor in making or breaking your relation with your app users. Research suggests that if new users face issues, they might never return, ever. Simply investing in a mobile app development is not enough; the mobile app has to fit in the company’s overall goals while running parallel with its brand image, and it must be backed by a strong product and marketing strategy.

The Apple App store boasts close to 2 million of these apps while Google play has over 2.2 million Apps as of 2017. – Statista

Your job isn’t accomplished with mobile application development or launching your mobile app. In fact, your work just starts then. Companies & App owners need to have a marketing strategy ready, to align with the actual launch schedules on app stores. Sustained user engagement is one of the factor that leads to a success of your mobile app. There’s even a popular theory by KK Org, which states that companies only need to identify 1,000 MVP customers to make their business successful. MVPs are the key to growth. The question is how will you identify them?

Identify your MVPs

Asking the following questions to identify your customers in order to eventually pull out the MVPs:

  • What’s the profile of customers using our mobile app, and how do we currently segment them?
  • What are the most valuable in-app actions our customers take?
  • How do we define “customer loyalty” and what makes a customer loyal?
  • How many new customers do we adding in a given period? How many customers do we lose in the same time period?

There will always be a mixed breed of customers that will be using your mobile app. IF you can identify and differentiate them according to the demographics of the users it will be helpful to layout the MVPs. You should consider capturing the following mobile customer data points:

  • Mobile customers broken down by tier or loyalty level
  • Number of iOS and Android customers
  • High-level in-app activities or engagement points
  • Demographic data (e.g. industry, location, age, gender, etc.)

Pull out MVPs

As mentioned above, MVPs take actions that set them aside from your general customer base. Although the profile of an MVP looks different at every organization, there are three major areas MVPs typically stand out across all industries:

  • Registration: MVPs that sign up for a newsletter, download content, sign up for free trials, join loyalty program, etc.
  • Engagement frequency: The higher the frequency, the better the chances of the customer is to be an MVP
  • Advocacy: When a customer takes a brand advocate action like sharing positively on social, referring friends, etc.

If a customer follows these three steps it is likely that they will turn into your mobile MVP segment. If they register for a high volume engagement points, interacts with your company and advocates for your brand throughout the social circles, their chances are higher to turn into your MVP.

Ascertaining Sentiments

There are many behaviors and criteria that make up a mobile app MVP segment, but the most important metric of all is sentiment.

Sentiment is the emotion behind customer engagement. When you monitor sentiment, you try to measure the tone, context, and feeling from customer actions. Whether a customer completes a purchase, leaves a review, or mentions your company socially, there is always an emotional state connected to their action. Customer sentiment can range anywhere from pleased or loving to neutral or angry, and no matter where your customers fall on the sentiment spectrum, it’s imperative you understand not only what their emotional state is, but what’s driving it.

Understanding sentiment is crucial to identifying your mobile MVPs. The more positive a customer feels about their experience with your app, the better they’ll feel about your brand, and the likelier they are to share that experience with their communities. Word-of-mouth marketing is still the holy

grail in the digital age, and nothing is a better indicator of how far your referrals can go than sentiment.

What to track if your are looking at sentiment metrics specific to mobile?
  • Willingness to recommend your mobile app: Will the customer give your company a word-of-mouth recommendation?
  • In-app ratings and reviews: What feedback are customers leaving you through the app stores?
  • Social monitoring: What do customers say about your brand across their social channels?
  • Direct customer feedback: What thoughts and feedback do customers share directly with your company?

Sentiment analysis will help you early on to learn about your mobile MVPs, and would make it easier to interact with them one-on-one.

Activate Your MVPs

After you have identified your mobile app MVPs, it’s time to activate them. MVP customers look different for every company, but there are a few common strategies to implement in order to encourage engagement, feedback, and ultimately, loyalty.

Targeting

Targeting helps you interact intelligently with the right customers, at the right place, and at the right time. Treating customers with a personal touch is important to growing any customer segment, but it’s especially important to activate and nurture your MVPs.

  • Who: The first decision you must make is who should be targeted. You can make this decision based on a number of attributes, including custom person and device data, actions people have taken within the app.
  • Where: Once you determine who should be eligible for a particular interaction, you need to choose the place at which customers will see the interaction. Interactions should never disrupt the customer from using the app for its intended purpose, so it’s important to be cognizant of customer behavior when engaging in-app.
  • How often: Lastly, you must consider how often to display the interaction. The frequency in which you engage with customers in-app should be dependent on the interaction as well as the customer receiving it.

Asking who, where, and how often will help guide you to the best locations to place your interactions in order to encourage maximum engagement from your customers.

Personalized messaging

Personalized messaging, like one-to-one marketing, is the manifestation of how we incorporate everything we know about our customers’ loves, likes, and dislikes into their specific app experience. Using customer insights, mobile analytics, and customer journey mapping, we can design a marketing strategy that puts our customers first.

Special access

Nothing makes a customer feel loved than getting special access to your product and company! And when it comes to MVPs, these customers deserve the royal treatment in every way possible.

  • If you provide a software, give your mobile MVPs access to beta releases or new features, and be sure to get their feedback on further enhancements.
  • Let your mobile MVPs “cut in line” by being able to order ahead, expedite their shipping, or speeding up another part of your product delivery process. For example, Nordstrom allows its loyalty members to access their annual sales a day before the rest of their shoppers. Talk about a win-win!
  • Celebrate with them! Your customers are human, and there’s no better way to make connections than by celebrating person to person. Remember to say happy birthday, celebrate customer “anniversaries,” and reach out around the holidays.
Get feedback

Customers who leave feedback drive your business forward, and every piece of feedback whether it is praise or criticism should be valued, and then validated. Feedback from every customer is important, but feedback from your MVPs is especially important. The more you can let this group of customers know they have been heard and that their suggestion (especially the time it took to give it!) was appreciated, the happier they’ll be.

Responding to MVP customer feedback:
  • Always respond with a “thank you,” even if the feedback was negative or it was something you have heard a million times.
  • Always be sure to follow up with your customers after they leave feedback with another thank you, the status of their request, etc. For customers who may have had a larger issue, consider giving them something for free for their time.
  • If a customer leaves feedback around an issue that can’t be fixed or is a low priority, be honest and tell them why.
  • When there are updates or changes made to the app, give credit where credit is due by thanking your customers who drew your attention to the issue in the update notes. Customers who get their problems solved become some of your biggest fans, growing your MVP segment!

What next?

Identifying and activating your mobile MVP customers may seem like a challenge, but it’s more within reach than you may think. For further queries, write to us at info@letsnurture.com.

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