Look before you strategize & strategize before you leap

By Sanjeev Ahuja

"There's gold in them there hills," echoed from America's west to east coast during the California Gold Rush of 1848-1855. Today, "There's gold in them there apps" can be heard around the world as companies scramble to board the band(width)wagon in search of a big-app payoff.

Although businesses are spending money on the mobility trend, research conducted by Robert Half Technology this past spring revealed 28% of US companies lack a mobile technology strategy. Of the 2,300 CIOs who were surveyed, one in four admitted their company of 100+ employees didn't have any mobile technology strategy despite nearly half expressing the need to become more agile (47%) and more competitive (46%).

Findings across the pond are similar as research conducted by Intrinsic and Vanson Bourne showed 28% of mid-market UK businesses also lack a mobile strategy even though mobile ranked ahead of security (70%) and cloud (48%) as the top priorities of business according to 70% of the companies surveyed.

With 90% of UK respondents predicting their investment in mobile technology will go up in the next two years, it's clear the rush to find mobile gold is on. However, spending money on technology without a strategy in place is about as likely to unearth success as gold miners heading west without a map. In either scenario, wannabe millionaires are apt to find themselves going in circles.

A major factor behind our decision to work closely with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite is to help their clients programmatically drive app downloads and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Without accurately tracking what campaigns are working and what efforts are not, one cannot develop a successful strategy. And without that, you'll be digging for app gold without a shovel.

To calculate your return on marketing investment and view real time reporting, click here.

Drawing Readers to Your Publication Apps on iTunes and Google

By Eileen Kessler

In the coming months, thousands of print publications will become digital apps on iTunes and Google Play. With billions of downloads per year from the iTunes store alone, publishers face many challenges as they try to draw attention and new readers to their apps. Along with efforts to boost subscribers, publishers need dependable ways to measure reader activity.

Mag+, which designers use to transform Adobe InDesign files to app-ready formats for smartphones and tablets, recently added Oplytic as a "best-in-class" add-on to their popular software. Oplytic helps publishers track and measure promotion campaigns for their apps from emails to Facebook posts and digital ads managed by advertising networks.

What Sets Oplytic Apart from Other App Tools?

I spoke to Oplytic CEO, Sanjeev Ahuja about the trends he sees in app marketing and how his software fits into the mix of tools available to publishers.

"How does a publisher know if the $3.00 he spent on a web banner ad resulted in an app download and a subscription purchase in the App store or not? Sanjeev offered as an example. "Our tool is the only one of its kind to make the connection between marketing sources and app downloads and sales."

Before Oplytic launched about two years ago, Sanjeev said that publishers did not have a way to accomplish three important objectives within one software platform:

1. Track People from Individual Campaigns to Specific Outcomes
Oplytic can follow a person from the point of clicking an email link through the touch points of a publication, including opening the app, reading an article, and purchasing a subscription. Publishers with more than one title can also cross promote and track activity between apps.

2. Building Incentives to Draw Readers to Your App
Oplytic can develop ad campaigns that include incentives. For example, Oplytic can tie Facebook ads or web landing pages to gift offers such as Apple iTunes rewards to encourage audiences to download and purchase subscriptions.

3. Connecting with Media Networks
Oplytic has relationships with more than 100 ad networks, such as Millennialmedia and Mobpartner. Sanjeev said his team works with publishers to determine the best network for their target audience. For example, Oplytic runs limited test placements with several networks to see which ones perform best. Then after networks are selected, publishers can run campaigns and compare performance using the analytics reporting feature. Oplytic's clients have a private dashboard that gives them up-to-the-minute reports of their campaign activities.

Oplytic features include:

  • Smart app banner tracking
  • Custom URL and deep link tracking
  • Push notification tracking
  • CRM integration
  • Desktop and mobile user tracking
  • Affiliate network tracking
  • Agency account integration
  • Media placement services
  • In-app conversion activity
  • Tracking from all social media channels

With a client list that includes the top publishers in the US and Europe , such as Meredith, Bonnier, and AMI, Oplytic is constantly improving the usefulness of its platform.

While Oplytic works smoothly with Adobe DPS, Mag+'s affiliation with Oplytic offers publishers a more affordable way to create their apps. Both provide an immediate way to begin measuring and promoting publications on the iTunes and Google Play stores where 85% of all apps are downloaded.

As I mentioned in a recent blog, Mag+ provides public interest organizations associations, non-profits and government agencies a way to tap into the same opportunities as commercial publishers, using a platform that is reasonably priced and proven with top magazines such as Popular Science and MacWorld.