I spent the last couple of months interviewing marketers and vendors to understand how brands integrate push notifications and in-app messages in their marketing strategy.

Even though my research was primarily focused on mobile apps, I was convinced that there was much more at play. In fact, brands that can harness the power of contextual data to consistently deliver customer value will deliver compelling brand experiences that will build brand preference and, ultimately, loyalty.

Even with the emergence of connected objects that send notifications, smartphones will remain the primary interface in which consumers will personalize their digital experiences. Smartphones will become the hub for most interactions between a brand and its customers. In the next five to 10 years, consumers will use smartphone apps to define and control the communication environment in which brands can interact with them. In particular, we see that:

  • Mobile will become the primary touchpoint for brands to engage consumers. Mobile traffic has already overtaken desktop traffic in five major countries: Nigeria, India, South Africa, Indonesia, and Poland.No doubt this will happen across the globe in the next couple of years. B2C marketers will become smarter in engaging customers via mobile, maturing their approach and moving progressively to the holy grail of one-to-one marketing.
  • Consumers will take control of the brand relationship via their smartphones. Today, the term “push” associated with notifications creates the illusion that marketers are only promoting their offerings. As consumers start valuing privacy, they will demand control.Consumers will use their app settings to decide which kind of interactions they want to receive from brands and when. They will be able to select if they want to receive catalogs at their mailing addresses, email newsletters, instant promotions when they enter their preferred mall, and notifications from their connected fridges, cars, and other connected objects.
  • Consumers will pay for a service that aggregates and manages all of their notifications. As the primary interface and the hub of consumers’ connected life, mobile will become the remote control of the relationship consumers have with brands across all channels. People will increasingly use trusted intermediary brands as customer gatekeepers to mediate and curate their relationship with brands.

Clients can read this report to discover the 10 best practices that B2C marketers should follow to maximize mobile engagement with push notifications and in-app messaging.