MLB.com Strengthens Mobile Fan Engagement with Adobe Marketing Cloud
Mobile has long been compared to a modern-day gold rush. With big projections of user adoption, brands moved quickly to build out their mobile channels. We see it in the number of apps that flooded the market; on iOS alone, the number of apps available grew from 225,000 in June 2010 to 1.5 million in June 2015.
However, the end goal here is not to have an app. The goal is to build an audience that not only downloads, but keeps on coming back.
This is the biggest challenge facing mobile brands today, as evidenced by the numbers. In a recent survey of over 4,000 consumers conducted by Adobe, respondents shared that they downloaded a relatively low number of new apps within a timeframe of three months. 31 percent report between three to five, and as much as 21 percent report none at all. That only speaks to acquisition.
Once an app is downloaded, the data around engagement is troubling. Data from Adobe Digital Index show that apps have a half-life of about 5 to 6 months, and many apps are used only a couple times before they are abandoned (13.5 times in the retail category, for instance). It’s not only becoming more difficult to acquire users; they are leaving almost as quickly as they showed up.
Different from gold panning in the 1800s however, is that today we’re able to rely on more than just luck. For starters, consider the amount of data that mobile devices are producing. Consumers are spending over 37 hours a month on mobile, and 92 percent of millennials see smartphones being their primary device. There is a mountain of data here. The obstacle is that as this continues to grow, the more daunting it becomes to make sense of.
Luckily, we have the technology available to address this. Data analytics, combined with an intuitive targeting platform, is the key to drive action from the numbers and deliver a mobile experience that the audience resonates with. Everything from push messaging to the user interface can be informed with good analytics.
MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) is a great example of a developer that’s been an early adopter of mobile marketing technologies to strengthen fan engagement. MLB.com At Bat, the official app of Major League Baseball (MLB), was the first and only sports app to debut when the App Store launched in 2008 and has been the most successful sports app since, delivering interactive experiences around live MLB games to millions of fans around the world. To further enhance the app experience, MLBAM recently saw an opportunity to use in-app messaging to encourage user feedback through App Store comments and ratings and to increase discovery of, and subscriptions to, its premium features within the app.
MLBAM used intelligent message delivery through Adobe Analytics to accomplish this. The internal analytics team at MLBAM leveraged data including device type, operating system, paid users, and even whether the app recently crashed for the user to trigger targeted, automated messages. MLBAM received valuable feedback about the app while also seeing its App Store rating reach 4.5 stars. Interactivity within At Bat’s premium features also increased as a result as well as in-app purchases and new app downloads.
Building engaging mobile experiences is a combination of both art and science. Instead of following gut instinct alone, we have tools available to us that when leveraged intuitively, provides a very accurate snapshot of what’s happening on the ground. The more brands know, the better they can match their consumer desires with the mobile app experience.