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Personalized mobile apps for marketing

As mobile banking apps become more prevalent, institutions need to take advantage of the mobile platform as a marketing opportunity. The best way to do this is by producing an app that delivers a useful, personalized experience. And that means going beyond delivering generic push notifications.

For example, if you know that a customer is looking to buy a new car, your app could send them a notification about a great low-interest-rate loan offer shortly after they walk out of a geo-fence or past a beacon as they leave the car dealership. You could further customize the messaging based on things like the customer’s age (the messaging could pertain to a sportier car or a luxury car) and whether the customer has a family (your content could focus on a minivan as opposed to a coupe).

Here are three elements you need for a personalized, customer-centric experience that will make your app invaluable to users:

Know your customers. Use every available avenue to make meaningful connections with your customers. Leverage data to develop profiles of your users based on demographics and usage patterns. This will enable you to build features customers will use and target them with exactly the right product or message at exactly the right time. Your development team could spend months coming up with a brilliant, flashy new function for your app only to realize that customers don’t want to use it.

By looking at Bank of America’s app interface, it becomes obvious that BofA is an institution that knows its customers. The app caters to time-crunched users by allowing them to access information quickly and efficiently; they can check multiple accounts and accomplish almost any task via the app’s home screen. The app is useful, so it will be used. And if it’s being used, it represents a great opportunity to communicate with customers.

Focus on the individualized experience. Personalization is a rising trend in the marketing field, and customers are especially loyal to companies that make an effort to uniquely meet their needs. Use customer data to create efficient and personalized services that make banking a breeze. Simple is a great example of a company that excels at this. It enables customers to set savings goals and offers a Safe-to-Spend feature that predicts what their available balances will be after they pay their monthly bills. These types of features are highly appealing to users who need help budgeting.

Engage customers through content marketing. Producing and distributing content is the best way to speak directly to your users. Content marketing allows you to educate them about your offers, establish your brand’s voice, build genuine relationships and learn exactly what your customers want. All of these perks enable you to personalize and differentiate your services and promote your mobile app.

Within your app, you can serve up content in the form of text, video, audio, etc. The access, use and visibility of this content can be targeted by segments and triggered by any event mapped to the system. For example, customers could view a unique offer tailored to their needs while they’re in the bank. The offer would be generated based on current and past transactions or the products they purchased.

If you combine all three of these elements and reach beyond standard messaging, your banking app will deliver a customer-centric experience that provides useful information while allowing you to tailor your messaging.

Mr. Barbeau is the co-founder and CEO of Kansas City, Missouri-based Moblico, a mobile engagement tool that drives more transactions through the individualization of content and communication. He can be reached at [email protected].