In advance of Acceleration, the premiere one-day event for the mobile ecosystem, we’re doing a brief Q&A with a handful of our esteemed speakers and moderators.
First up, meet Austin Hay, a Mobile Growth Consultant whose clients include Walmart, Jet, Strava, Postmates, and Airbnb (all brands that will be participating in Acceleration). Prior to starting his own consulting business, Austin was the fourth employee of Branch Metrics.
mParticle: What are the most common accelerators of mobile growth you’ve seen among some of the major brands you’ve worked with?
Austin Hay: Lots of interesting theories out there about what helps drive growth. What I’ve seen work across most of the companies I work with isn’t rocket science: collecting, analyzing and applying customer feedback.
Too many people like to cook up product ideas in a laboratory or a silo. When it comes to building a product that will grow organically, the best thing you can do for yourself is institute a polished feedback collection system. Gather feedback from app store ratings, institute a clean, clear, and effective feature to gather feedback in the app and at different customer touch points, as well as by conducting focus groups. Then, tie all this data together in a single-source and don’t treat product BI as ad hoc – there should be a dedicated person who spends all her time sifting through feedback and customer data to unify trends.
And don’t make product decisions with a bunch of product managers all alone in a room.
mP: How can a brand successfully bridge the gap between physical and digital?
AH: Physical spaces are all about experiences. Millennials are coming of age and we are all sitting here thinking, “I spend way too much time on my phone.” Every week there’s a scientific study on the benefits of
disconnecting. Disconnecting naturally takes us to physical spaces where we are interested in seeing, hearing, feeling, and enjoying what’s around us. It’s about the act of being present somewhere else, offline.
This creates a unique challenge – how does a brand provide such an experience while simultaneously trying to deliver value and keep a customer engaged and purposed? It requires a special kind of thoughtfulness about detecting and respecting people in physical spaces.
For a company like Whole Foods, it’s understanding your customer’s shopping patterns. Perhaps monitoring location in-store and providing coupons or value at checkout, rather than blasting a push notification as it might not actually be the most effective pathways to customer happiness because it disrupts the experience.
People are catching on to notifications. Older generations just ignore them and younger generations turn off ALL notifications in an attempt to stay focused.
Incenting customers at the right time and with their experience in mind is so important in bridging physical to digital. It’s part and parcel to retailers strategy as well where last-mile shipping constitutes the majority of delivery costs. Brick and mortars are turning to their physical presence in-store as a way to serve people’s yearning to disconnect, and in the process, they can compete by cutting costs and allowing people to pick up in store.
As a side note: Apple has been offering in-store pickup for almost a decade, which is a bit funny that giant eComm is just now catching on.
mP: What are some of your 2017 initiatives and future goals?
AH: My work focuses on technical product & growth implementation. I like to help people catch up on the mobile growth curve. This takes getting your hands dirty and doing the work that nobody else wants to.
Hard work and execution is an inescapable reality in building a good business or product. There is lots of great growth theory out there and a lot less growth execution. I’m looking forward to changing that paradigm in 2017.
mP: What are you most looking forward to at Acceleration this year?
AH: The people of course! The best part of Acceleration and any good conference is the people it brings together. This year is going to be amazing, and the lineup of brands and brains is something I don’t think NYC has ever seen. It’s going to be a fun time, and a great time to learn.
Don’t miss Austin Hay’s panel at Acceleration, taking place Thursday, May 25th in NYC at Spring Studios.
Visit Acceleration2017.com to learn more and get your tickets today!