Mobile notifications, at least as far as I’ve experienced, are used to keep a user current with their usage of the app creating the notification. Anyone who has ever used a smartphone understands this. Facebook gives me a notification when someone messages me, which catches my attention and sends me into the Facebook app. Notifications, whether mobile, SMS, or email, are all meant as a catalyst for usage of an app. More usage of Facebook means more ads served and more brand awareness, leading to more revenues.
Yet I’ve never seen mobile notifications used for more general marketing messages. For example, the Facebook app has never told me about a new feature that might be cool, or about their new Messenger app that hardly anyone has heard of. I see no good reason for not using mobile notifications for marketing messages, to cross sell other products, outline new features, what have you. Just as I can tell Facebook to never email me, I should also be able to tell it to never send me marketing messages via mobile notifications.
There will come a day when I have a mobile app with users. When this day comes, I will experiment with mobile notification marketing messages. I’ll be sure to report back my findings ;).
The whole tech world is talking about the extended EC2 failure today, and all the chat is happening on Twitter, ‘EC2′ and ‘AWS’ are both trending. The marketing team at Storm took this opportunity to run a promoted tweet on the ‘EC2′ Twitter search, promoting their competing cloud offering. Take a look:
Storm’s strategy here is totally brilliant. Everyone is talking about how EC2 is totally failing right now, a moment when customer emotions are perhaps the highest they’ll ever be. And Storm is the first brand being put in front of these angry customers’ eyes, clearly distinguishing themselves as a competitor in the elastic hosting market.
If you have a competitor that goes down and Twitter is talking about it a lot, buy a promoted tweet for that search. I’ll bet this is one of the best ways to capitalize on competitor failure, especially when you’re in a market where uptime is a key competitive distinction.
Update: now SoftLayer has joined the mix with a funny promoted tweet about SkyNet:
I switched to marketing to learn. And learn I have! I just concluded a marketing advice series on the Atlassian blog meant for startups and small teams. If anything this series was a great excuse for me to interview the Atlassian marketing team and synthesize those interviews into advice for engineers. So if you’re an engineer and interested in learning about marketing, read my conclusion post that wraps up all the advice I’ve written about marketing for engineers and startups.
Working in marketing has opened my eyes to the way we latch onto fun advertising, charismatic presentations, and any other form of marketing. When I find myself dissecting brilliant marketing–advertisements, presentations, websites, whatever–I find the anatomy is always a compelling, relatable story. Sure, charisma, design, and humor play a big part, too. But what matters more is the story. Stories engage us, they make us forget about our current state, taking us away from the current moment and into a new place where our imagination can take us into the moment of the story.
Communicate and market by telling a story. Make it compelling. Make it relatable. Make it engaging. Use humor, charisma, design, and anything else as tools. Interact with the audience, asking if they’ve experienced parts of your stories. But always tell a story. Your audience will always want to know what happens next.
If you’ve followed this blog since my college days you’ll know that I’ve had many a project that saw little to no usage and adoption. Cellarspot, if I recall correctly, never got above 100 users, and Timedex never had more than 10 users. Helpd may have had 25 users. However, Shibby, the little app that maps your Facebook friends, saw over a hundred users the first day I announced it! Cool, right?! You should have seen the smile on my face. ”Holy shit people are using this thing!”
Earlier today I published a post on the Atlassian blog about lead generation, providing guidance for how a company can drive more traffic to their website. I thought I’d share this post with you all, seeing as how I know many of you have little personal projects of your own. Maybe you too can experience that scary feeling when people actually use the code you’ve written :).