This article was published on January 3, 2018

AI and machine learning necessitate a smarter app development and marketing playbook

As the AI and machine learning platform market balloons, developers must update their marketing tactics to compete

AI and machine learning necessitate a smarter app development and marketing playbook
Brian Solis
Story by

Brian Solis

Digital Anthropologist, Futurist, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker

This is a guest post by Brian Solis, a principal analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet company. He is globally recognized as one of the most promi This is a guest post by Brian Solis, a principal analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet company. He is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders, keynote speakers, and best-selling authors in innovation and digital transformation. His new book, Lifescale: How to Life a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life explores the dark side of digital distractions to help readers channel newfound creativity and unlock new opportunities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, teaches the art and science of digital experience design to help deliver more innovative and unforgettable customer experiences.

Build it and they will come. Those were the good ole days. It used to be good enough to design a great app. Add to that an engaging user experience (UX), positive feedback, a high ranking and word of mouth, and your app was ensured continued success. Nowadays however, mobile consumers are simply overwhelmed by choice. Did you know that if you add up all the apps in the Google Play and Apple App Store, there are 5.5 million apps competing for your user’s time and attention? And yet there’s only so much attention and time available. The reality is that most people only interact with nine apps per day and a total of 30 apps per month. So with millions of apps competing for people’s attention, how can your app best compete?

Success takes more than design, experience and creativity. To win takes understanding current technological and also behavioral trends to design and market apps people will find and love.

We’re witnessing the rapid rise of “smart” products and services everywhere. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are driving a new generation of experiences that reshape what people prefer and value. For instance, developers and marketers no longer just compete against other apps in a crowded marketplace. They also compete against smart apps and services that are delivering personalized and interactive experiences across all platforms. For example, Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Home and Assistant, set the bar for UI, UX, and customer experience. As a result, users are becoming more discerning, demanding and elusive. They’re also expecting more personalized and engaging experiences.

The smart playbook to app development and marketing

Success starts with re-imagining the entire app development and marketing playbook. It’s essential to  equip yourself with a modern toolkit to reach the right people, at the right time, on the right device, in the right channels–all with the right (personal) experience. In the same way smarter products are changing customer dynamics, the new app playbook and toolkit must now begin with AI and machine learning to drive more informed planning, development and promotion.

Smart marketing platforms powered by AI and machine learning are already ushering in a new genre of intelligently designed and marketed apps. These systems make guesswork obsolete and also ease the burden of poring through big data for insights to free up resources, produce targeted insights and guide the development of more relevant and engaging designs and user experiences. More so, machine learning also improves opportunities for reaching new audiences and enhancing overall usage and loyalty.

In a recent article by Google’s VP, Global Performance Solutions Jason Spero, he details how machine learning is changing the game for app marketers while also empowering them. For example, early adopters are already using machine learning to take their development and marketing to new levels. As a result, they’re able to streamline data, unlock user insights, and engage users in highly relevant ways. This all adds up to a more active and valuable user base.

Smart systems encourage intelligent and human development and marketing

Machine learning can offer competitive advantages by delivering more informed and relevant user experiences. Intelligent platforms analyze millions of user-provided data points in real time to improve and help drive app discovery usability and business performance. It does so by helping developers and marketers surface insights to improve and create innovative product experiences, personalized marketing campaigns and also personalized user experiences at scale.

Specifically, AI and machine learning can help app developers and marketers…

  • Identify desirable audiences/markets
  • Understand users, their behaviors, preferences and expectations
  • More effectively reach and connect with them
  • Better delight users and personalize experiences
  • Cultivate more loyal and profitable user engagement

But there’s also a human side to the future of app marketing. In an era of AI and machine learning, humans are still the most important part of the equation on all fronts. Machine learning can’t succeed without the input of important information and the strategic execution of insights at every step. This means that companies must have access to the right data, identify key business objectives, i.e. NPS and customer lifetime value, and most importantly, manage insights to continually improve the user’s end-to-end journey.

AI and machine learning will only continue to revolutionize the creation and marketing of innovative apps (and products and services in general). Developers and marketers must also revolutionize their playbooks to embed AI and machine learning at every step to guide development, marketing and continuous improvement. Those that do, will expand their reach and market share, improve user experiences and grow business value. Those that do not, will miss how customer tastes and behaviors are shifting away from their value proposition.

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