Going further down the line of thought about the implications of mobile in ministry, we would do well to pay attention to some of the lessons that are being unveiled on the side of mobile marketing initiatives. One of my favorite points of research and insight comes from Mobile Groove (formerly, MSearchGroove). In one of their recent published pieces, they go into two aspects of engaging people with mobile and driving the experience into something that can be better monetized. Here’s a snippet of the article:
…Whether you are an individual app developer poised to take your good idea to greater heights, or a company mapping out a more comprehensive engagement strategy with mobile apps at the center, it’s both exciting and terrifying to think about the opportunities ahead. But don’t limit yourself to strategies that drive, measure and monetize app installs. There are also huge opportunities around app re-engagement.
Don’t think this is just for the benefit of your customer. There is also a hard-nosed business model at play here because campaigns that only count app installs are on the way out…
Remember how we talked about that mobile is made up of three parts: devices, services, and experiences. Its in the last piece experiences where you gain the sticky that mobile becomes. Its much, much more than having a library of content – seriously, if the content is only addressable to a small audience, you are carrying essentially a lot of dead weight. Its more than having something shiny that has the same features of a market leader, but your own twist on it. Whatever device accessory, application, or service you develop needs to also have the experience of what it means for someone to come back to it.
I’ll use Bible Bloom as an example. They have a pretty Bible reading app, and in that core it offers nothing more than other Bible readers (there are literally thousands of Bible readers out there). One of the ways they separate themselves from the rest is in using the Notification’s component of Apple’s iOS to give you a verse if you’ve not opened the app in some pre-set time (1 or 2 days, or a week). They activate the application at a point of relevancy (“are you meditating on the Scripture?” Joshua 1:8), and then opening it is the conversation you take with their application/service.
I know that some of you have been long into the business of creating content and then marketing to people. With mobile you have to get used to talking to them. Are you ready for that kind of reality with faith in this space?