Mobile Advertising FAQs: 4 Local Geofencing Features You Need to Know| By |Louisa Karam

rawpixel / Pixabay

With 75% of smartphone users relying on location for their search results on the internet, it’s no wonder why has already begun using location-based advertising. Geofencing is a hyper-local mobile advertising technology that can help you reach more consumers when they’re out and about. But, what exactly is geofencing, and how you can use it to your advantage? Read our FAQs about geofencing below.

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing is use of a virtual perimeter using Wi-Fi, GPS, or RFID (radio frequency identification) to trigger a response on a mobile device, like targeting consumers for advertising. In advertising, when a mobile device enters this “virtual fence,” the technology can be used to automatically trigger display ads or SMS messages, directly to the user’s smartphone via apps. And, you can define an amount of time, usually up to 30 days, after a prospect enters your geofence to target them with mobile advertisements.

How Does One Create a “Geofence,” Exactly?

With geofencing technology, a map is used to draw a boundary around the area(s) you want to target consumers in, such as your own business, a competitor’s business, a common area like a park or shopping center, or even a specific event. Using the geofence platform, shapes are created around the areas you wish to target to create your geofences.

How Does the GeoFence Reach Your Consumers?

When someone enters and leaves your targeted perimeter, an action is triggered, like an ad that draws consumers to click on your ad or walk into your business.

For example, a donut shop sets up a geofence around a police station to advertise their tempting coffee and donuts to its target consumers. The technology can now display ads to the people in the police station, like a buy one get one free coupon, to encourage them to buy breakfast for the whole station.

What are the Benefits of Using Geofencing Ads?

By using geofencing to advertise your business, you are able to target your audience based on their proximity to your business and reach local consumers when they’re on their smartphones. This helps you spread the name of your company and its services to consumers near your business. While consumers may not initially react to your ads, you are still building your brand with potential customers in a specified area, and they may remember your business next time they’re in the market for your specific products or services.

Why Should I Use Geofencing?

If you just look at the stats, you can see how mobile advertising using geofencing can be beneficial to your business. Americans spend up to 10 hours per day on their phones. This is a very significant chunk of a person’s day that you could be targeting by using geofencing.

Geofencing is an effective way to target consumers at a hyperlocal level and increase brand awareness and conversions in your area. Learn more about geofencing by downloading our free, on-demand webinar 5 Ways to Target Your Audience Online.

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How Many Mobile Apps are Actually Used?| By |Sean Hopwood

Mobile apps flood the market today and are developed for various functions, such as entertainment, food delivery, taxi service, photo editing, learning, language translation, communication, shopping, videos, games, music, news, weather, and a lot more.

Apps for smartphones and other devices come out all the time, but how many are actually used by the average smartphone owner? Today’s post explores.

Mobile app usage and retention

Research Now conducted a survey in October 2015. They reported that 49% of smartphone app users in the United States use between 6 and 10 apps per week.

The following month, Pew Research Center released a report on the same subject. Based on their report, 30% of smartphone app downloaders in the U.S. had between 1 and 10 apps installed on their phone, and 32% had 11 to 20 apps. According to a 2017 article from Techcrunch, owners of smartphones use an average of nine apps a day and accessing around 30 apps a month. The data came from the new research done by App Annie.

App Annie data

In 2016, a Localytics survey on three month app retention and churn showed the following statistics:

Localytics data

This goes to show that all app users, across all industries, 80% do not use the apps they have downloaded after three months.

To illustrate further, based on the 2016 data from Localytics, the retention rate of apps downloaded differ by industry, with media and entertainment getting retained past the three-month period.

Three month user retention

Despite the number of apps being downloaded to smartphones, most of them are not retained for 24 hours, according to AppsFlyer. From their research, 29.1% of Android phone users downloaded apps and allowed them to remain on their phones for about a day. The number is a bit higher for users of iOS-based devices, at 25.5%. Checking the retention after a 30-day period, only 3.2% of iOS apps and 3.3% of Android apps were still actively used. Localytics also had a similar survey in 2016. It showed that 23% of users abandoned the app they downloaded after only one use. In 2014 only about 20% were abandoning their user-installed apps.

What became apparent was that retention was higher for apps that were installed for organic reasons, compared to those paid apps that were installed due to ads. Within a 30-day period, continued use of an organic app install was 156% more likely to happen on Android phones.

In 2015, the average number of apps used by smartphone owners in the U.S., tracked over four years, was 27. It went down further in 2016. According to eMarketer, smartphone users in the U.S. used about 21 apps per month on the average in 2016. By 2019, that number is expected to go down.

eMarketer data

Compare the previous U.S. stats to the latest research findings of App Annie for the first quarter of 2017 that includes other countries.

Average number of apps used per day

In the same report of eMarketer, it notes that although the mobile apps market went down, users are spending more time using the apps they themselves installed and those that are organically installed on their smartphones. The number of time spent depend on the app they are using.

An average U.S. adult is likely to spend about 2.25 hours a day on mobile app in 2017. Overall, we will see an increase of usage of around 19.9% daily for the year. Based on Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends report, the number of hours smartphone owners in the U.S. use their phones connected to the Internet per day in 2016 is three hours.

Average mobile internet use per day

Availability of apps has changed

While there are proprietary apps that offer more features and options, millions more are available for free. Based on a Statista report from March 2017, the Apple App Store had 2.2 million apps while Google Play offered 2.8 million. Amazon App Store offered 600,000 while Windows Phone Store had 669,000 available apps. This is a staggering amount and most of them are free and available for immediate download.

Businesses are riding on the bandwagon and developing many useful apps for their clients, business partners, staff and customers. Because of the international audience, most businesses also have to avail of websites and mobile apps localization to better serve their target markets.

So, how do people really use their apps?

Smartphone users download mobile apps that they think will be useful to them. Oftentimes though, many of these apps never get used. Based on a Nielsen study released in 2015, an average smartphone owner uses about 25 to 30 mobile apps.

Monthly app usage by men is higher than female users, but not by much: 27.2% for men and 26.3% for women. However, women spend about 38 hours a month on mobile apps compared to almost 37 hours for men. In terms of ethnicities, African-Americans are the heaviest apps users, followed by Hispanics and Asian-Americans.

On the average, a smartphone owner spends 85% of their time on their native install smartphone apps. They may have an additional 25 to 30 apps installed, but only five of those are heavily used. The five non-native apps vary from user to user, according to Techcrunch. Some are engaged in social media and communication while others are into entertainment apps, such as YouTube and Netflix.

Dominant among the apps are Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, and Microsoft. Email, navigation, and shopping apps are also popular. For instant messaging, WhatsApp is dominant in the U.S., while globally, enjoying tremendous usage are Line, KakaoTalk, and WeChat.

Conclusion

It’s definite that the trend of consuming digital media using mobile devices such as smartphones will continue. Technological advancements make smartphones almost at par with the features and capability of laptop and desktop computers. These innovations make users almost inseparable to their handheld mobile devices.

With the pace of life we as a society live at today, mobile apps, especially those for entertainment and social networking, help us cope. Peering closer, most users worldwide prefer the same type of apps to others, as they are available in their own language. We may all only use a handful of apps, and the more engrained into our lives they are, the stickier they become. At that rate, maybe only using a handful of apps is enough.

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5 Lesser-Known Ways Cyber Attacks Can Destroy Your Business| By |Mahesh Jain

typographyimages / Pixabay

According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, 46% of all UK businesses with over 99 employees saw at least one cyber attack during the last 12 months. The number rises to 72% when it comes to US firms, according to Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report. Statistics also suggest that most business leaders view cyber security as a top priority, but a majority have not taken any concrete steps to implement a cyber security policy.

This is alarming when you consider the severity of the damage that a cyber attack can deal. Some of the examples that jump to mind are:

  • An employee stealing the information of over 350,000 clients from Morgan Stanley
  • The hacking of Ashley Madison and the stealing of data belonging to its 37 million users
  • The hacking of Democratic National Convention servers
  • The data breach at Yahoo that compromised the data of over 1 billion users
  • North Korea’s alleged cyber attack on Sony Pictures

Are you aware of the risks posed by cyber attacks?

It is not easy for business leaders to measure the impact of a cyber attack. Usually, the costs of cyber attacks are measured in terms of the money spent on technical investigations, implementation of stronger cyber security measures, compliance costs, and customer notifications. However, there are many other costs that your business may face as a direct or indirect result of cyber attacks or online frauds. The effect of the below factors can last over a much longer period compared to the initial fallout of the cyber attack.

  1. Erosion of customer trust: If your business loses data that belongs to a customer or client, there is a strong chance that you will see an increase in customer attrition. At the same time, the task of getting new customers or clients onboard becomes doubly difficult.
  2. Loss of business or profits: Often, companies that fail to protect the data of their clients end up losing contracts. In the face of indignant customer or clients who are angry at your business for failing to protect their data, your business may have to offer steep discounts to persuade the customers or clients to stay with you.
  3. Disruption in operations: In case you are attacked by malware or any other kind of sophisticated virus, there is a strong chance that many of your systems will be rendered unusable, leading to a disruption in operations.
  4. Loss of IP: Information related to your customer or your banking details is not the only sensitive information that can be stolen. For businesses that hold Intellectual Property (IP), the loss of information related to the IP can lead to a steep depreciation in its value. For small product companies or software development companies, the loss of IP can often be a death blow.
  5. Rise in insurance costs: Cyber attack premiums across the world have risen after a spate of high-profile attacks over the last decade. For businesses that are perceived to be at a higher risk (especially businesses that have been successfully targeted previously), the insurance premiums have skyrocketed.

Is your business ready to combat cybercrime and other types of fraud?

Training your staff in fraud detection and prevention methods, and putting an information security policy in place are the keys to combating cyber-attacks and attempts at online fraud.

For expert information on what your business can do to prevent fraud, please join our cyber security expert, Amit Simon, on 26 June 2017 in the webinar:

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Coming Our Way — Creative, Disruptive Innovation| By |Colleen McKenna

I talk about the need for businesses to change all the time; to almost anyone who will listen. From Rochester, New York to Houston, Texas, I spoke about this very subject several times last week. The companies, big or small, who do not look to disrupt will be disrupted. Move in or move over. Join the parade or sit on the sidelines. However you want to describe it, it’s real, unrelenting, and fast. Saturday’s Wall Street Journal was filled with commentary, and analyses about Amazon possibly acquiring Whole Foods, and other stories of company acquisitions and new companies that are determined to disrupt the status quo. Christopher Mims detailed this shift and it’s eventual impact in his article, Tech Companies Spread Their Tentacles (at the time of this post, this is a gated article unless you are a WSJ subscriber, apologies).

Existing businesses that can’t respond by becoming tech companies themselves are going to get bought or bulldozed, and power and wealth will be concentrated into the hands of a few companies in a way not seen since the Gilded Age.

The Wall Street Journal and other publications have become real-time textbooks for business innovation, mergers, acquisitions, and yes, even the demise of iconic brands. Every day it’s a new story and it challenges the way we think, buy, engage, evangelize and even forget companies.

A client of ours calls it disruptive innovation. Our client is a mature business in a mature industry but they are leading the way; they are encouraging their clients to join them in thinking boldly, acting wisely and sharing new ideas and service offerings to expand their reach and turn customers into raving fans.

I like the term disruptive innovation. It calls us to something new and positive with a sense of hope and guided adventure and risk. I’ve worked in mature industries and for people who said they believed in change and then at the last minute couldn’t take the brakes off. I get it. I sometimes feel that way myself. I force myself to think bigger and ask myself the hard questions about what I am willing to try and how I will continue to position our business. Change is not for the faint of heart. However, it is the only thing that is constant.

Whether a solopreneur or a global organization, many of the questions are the same: Are you willing to disrupt yourself and your entire company to do something bold and set a new course? What’s the worst that can happen? Where’s the vision? What do your clients need? How do they want to engage with you?

The companies that show their agility and brave the unknown with purpose and grit will be fine. In fact, I think they will thrive. And that is why, I am excited about the future. So check back in with us over the next couple of days for an announcement. It’s our version of creative, disruptive innovation.

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How App Gamification Boosts Engagement (And 5 Examples of Apps Doing It Right)| By |Kevin Cain

When it comes to getting people to do the things that you want, engagement is critical. You have to capture their attention and give them both the motivation and means to take whatever action you want them to. Gamification provides a simple path to fostering that kind of engagement. By making things fun, and appealing to people’s competitive nature, you can get them to do all sorts of things, from exercising and sharing old photos to completing seemingly mundane tasks.

Gamification is a particularly effective tactic to use with apps. In fact, app gamification is often a sure-fire way to not only attract people to your app, but also ensure that they come back to it time and again. Below are five examples of apps that are using gamification successfully to do just that.

1. Fitocracy

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Named one of the top fitness apps of 2014 by Men’s Health, Fitocracy is an all-in-one app for getting in shape. In addition to giving you access to a personal coach, it will assess your health, set you up on a personalized nutrition plan, and create the custom workouts you need to meet your fitness goals. The gamification aspect of the app comes in when Fitocracy encourages you to complete various fitness levels, awards you badges when you’re successful, and pits you against others users to draw out your competitive edge.

2.Timehop

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Timehop is an app designed to help people see the best moments from their past. It does this by showing you photos and status updates that you shared on the same date at some point in the past. So, for example, if you went surfing for the first time with friends three years ago today, it will notify you and encourage you to re-share your post. If you were on an exotic beach sipping a cocktail this time last year, it will remind you of that too. In Timehop’s case, the gamification part comes in the form of letting you know how many consecutive days you’ve shared a memory. The more days, the bigger your sharing streak. Amazingly people’s desire not to break their streak proves incredibly effective at keeping them coming back to share more.

3. Snapchat

snapchat.jpg

With 160 million daily users, Snapchat is becoming an increasingly popular platform for sharing stories photos consisting of videos, photos, and messages, often with quirky overlays and filters. Two things have made Snapchat an extremely popular app. The first is the fact that all of the content you share on it disappears almost immediately after being viewed, which goes a long way toward helping ensure users’ privacy. The second is the fact that the more you use the app, the higher a score you earn and the more trophies you’re awarded. While a high score or a raft of trophies won’t actually get you anything other than bragging rights among fellow users, it’s enough to help keep many people engaged and coming back to the app over and over.

5.Todoist

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Want to get more done in your day? Todoist might be just what you need. As a productivity app, it’s designed to help you manage all of the tasks and projects you’re working on in your daily life, whether that’s at the office, at home, or at school. To make jobs like raking the leaves, completing all of the steps necessary to prepare for a big meeting, or finishing a school project fun, Todoist uses gamification. As you complete the tasks that you’ve assigned yourself you accrue positive karma. Conversely, if you fail to meet your deadlines or don’t do something that you were supposed to you get negative karma. It’s a straightforward concept, but it makes getting stuff done a lot more fun.

App Gamification: Simple, But Effective

When it comes to getting users engaged with your apps, gamification is a very effective approach. As we’ve seen, even taking very small steps to either turn using your app into a competition or to reward users for doing what you want them to goes a long way toward helping drive their ongoing use. That’s something important to keep in mind for your own apps.

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3 Android Utilities That Can Survive Until 2020| By |Andy Donovan

krapalm / Pixabay

The Android app industry is evolving so fast that the scope of trendy applications is changing faster than ever.

This inevitably leaves fewer opportunities for developers to join the race for user attention – what might have come out as a handy app yesterday, may not be that useful for customers next month, let alone next year.

However, when it comes to Android utilities, the future looks a little less discouraging, at least in a short-term perspective. In fact, some apps in this niche are demonstrating persistent growth, in terms of their user acquisition and retention.

Here’re the 3 Android utility apps that will probably survive Until 2020:

  • Notetaking app

Whilst Google Drive has obviously covered the document/spreadsheet editing and management segment on Android devices by now, taking notes in a separate app is still relatively more common among users.

Quite naturally, a potential best choice among notetaking apps must meet the following core requirements:

  • Light app weight
  • Low CPU|RAM usage
  • Clean app design
  • Intuitive UX/UI & navigation
  • Instant note export|sharing

Personal choice: ColorNote Notepad Notes (avg. Google Play rating: 4.6 out of 5).

  • Ringtone cutter

Since even the most high-end Android phones rarely offer a good ringtone selection by default, cutting a ringtone oneself remains one of the most obvious alternatives for users by now.

Clearly, a potential winner or at least a runner up in this sub-category must cover the following:

  • Light app weight
  • Low CPU|RAM usage
  • Intuitive UX/UI & navigation
  • Instant ringtone preview
  • One-tap saving/assignment to contacts

Personal choice: Ringtone Maker Wiz (avg. Google Play rating: 4.6 out of 5).

  • Ebook reader

The gradual increase of an average Android phone screen over the past few years led to one drastic change in users’ preferences: a separate device for reading books has now become somewhat an old-school habit.

Obviously, a high-quality app for reading documents and ebooks directly on one’s smartphone must cover a wide range of design/functionality requirements. Among those:

  • Light app weight
  • Low CPU|RAM usage
  • Intuitive UX/UI & navigation
  • Auto-detection of ebooks on device
  • Support of all ebook/document formats (including PDF, MS Office)
  • Customizable reading modes
  • In-text search

Personal choice: 4Book Reader – PDF, EPUB, DOC (avg. Google Play rating: 4.5 out of 5).

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5 Pieces of Advice for Navigating the Security Culture Shift| By |Natalie Walsh

Security Culture Shift Blog Banner.png

As security threats become a bigger part of the day-to-day concerns at all types of organizations, it has become vital to inculcate and promote a “culture of security.” Yes, security is everyone’s responsibility — but it requires a shift in culture for people to begin accepting that responsibility.

Triggering this shift can be harder than it sounds on the surface. Why? Well, for one thing, most people in the organization don’t have their success measured on security. When the marketing team gets a performance review, no one brings up security. When a direct reward or consequence isn’t on the line, it can be more difficult to get people to buy in to their responsibility to help keep the company secure.

That said, it’s not impossible by any means. It just requires focused and sustained effort to change the culture. As with any culture shift, it won’t necessarily be easy or linear, but it is achievable. Here are a few steps you can take to help your team more security-minded.

1. Recognize That it Takes Time

Culture shifts don’t happen overnight. So it’s a good idea to be realistic about the time it will take to get certain people on board. For example, it took 5–10 years for DevOps to fully catch on (and in some circles it is still a work in progress) — so recognize that it will take some time for DevOps to embrace SecOps, and for the rest of the organization to see security as part of their jobs.

Don’t get frustrated if your first security lunch-and-learn doesn’t result in an overnight obsession with all things security at your organization. After all, it’s not the most thrilling topic on the planet — and it’s certainly hard to prove every time you avoided getting breached. But keep at it! Remind your people why security is vital to the organization through an ongoing security awareness program. (If you don’t have one in place yet, here are some tips on how to build one.)

2. Identify Cultural Resistance Factors

Let’s be serious for a minute. We love security, and many of us are security geeks through and through. But there’s a certain attitude that often comes with working in security. When your day-in, day-out work involves catching bad actors and slapping employees on the wrist, it can erode trust. Security’s business objective is to reduce risk — which often falsely appears to be at odds with the velocity of the rest of the business.

Part of getting past this is being honest about it. Sometimes security people may feel like the “bad guys,” and sometimes DevOps will intentionally go around them or ignore them because security makes their jobs harder. That won’t fly if your organization wants to truly take security seriously.

It’s up to both sides (and all the other parts of the organization) to build conversations and trust with the people they need buy-in from in order to do their jobs. And it’s a good idea to recognize that each can learn from other perspectives. Be open-minded and recognize that, at the end of the day, everyone has the same macro goal: to help the organization succeed.

3. Break Down Silos

Sometimes we get into patterns where one team is throwing requests over a wall to another. “Hey DevOps, you need to develop a tighter permissioning policy.” “Hey security, can you review this release?” If you really want security to be an integral part of your organization, you can’t just throw tasks over the wall. You need to break down silos.

How? Start by integrating teams, tools, and processes. If you need another team to do something to make your job easier, then make it easy to do that. Show them how to use any new tools, or find ways to integrate security protocols into the tools they already use.

It’s a good idea to implement this in a physical way, too. If your company allows it, have ops, engineering, and security co-located in the same office and ideally the same area of the office. This way, they will communicate more with one another, and hopefully share each others’ goals, ethos, and way of working — reducing friction and increasing their ability to work together. Security and DevOps both need to have a clear understanding of what the other is doing, what they’re focused on, and why.

4. Implement Tools That Support Security Culture

The best security tools will actually support the transition to a security culture by forcing DevOps and security to work together.

5. Leverage Automation

Automation is a key component of a modern approach to IT and can be a huge help in making sure that security becomes a seamless and natural part of your organization’s culture. The more that security teams can automate, the easier it will be for both them and the people they need to work with (e.g., ops and engineering) to get things done.

When security doesn’t feel like a giant mountain to climb, other teams are more likely offer their support. For example, Threat Stack integrates with Slack for distributed alerting. This way, non-security folks can receive an alert when something they touch causes a potential security concern. They can quickly confirm that it was them who did it and check whether it was a mistake or just a routine process that shouldn’t throw up any red flags. This process makes it easier for security to open the lines of communication with other teams, so others can do their jobs without security slowing them down.

Final Words . . .

It may take some time to get your team fully bought into the value of having a security mindset, but getting there is well worth the effort. Security teams need to understand that part of their responsibility is to educate and to make security easier for everyone. And everyone else needs to recognize that security isn’t just a tax they must pay, but a vital aspect of a healthy business.

Taking the steps above should help increase your organization’s security maturity by making the cultural transition smoother.

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