March 16, 2017

Managing a Sports App: Marketing Automation and Beyond

Managing a sports app is as easy as managing any other app. Moreover, if a team uses all the tools and technologies that sport apps offer, they will benefit from streamlined business operations, better fan experiences, higher revenues, and more. A sports app is an umbrella solution that empowers teams with marketing automation, user behaviour tracking, app usage statistics, and actionable analytics. Nevertheless, as baseball player and manager Casey Stengel pointed out, “Getting good players is easy. Getting them to play together is the hard part.” Considering software is a relatively new trend for the sports industry, we offer a few examples of how the aforementioned tools can be used to achieve business objectives.

Marketing Automation in Sports Apps

A sports app provides many effective fan engagement opportunities, but leveraging all of them  simultaneously can be a challenge. Thus, marketing automation is on the list of MVP features of every sports app. Marketing automation is realised through a well-developed back end that empowers the user with marketing tools in a clean and easy-to-use interface. Accessible from any internet-connected device, this interface can enable marketing managers to schedule push-notifications with in-stadium ads right at a meeting with an advertising agency. The managers can also create a plan for beacon-triggered notifications prior to a game, and quickly modify it if necessary. Thus, a well executed sports app can make marketing automation a simple, reliable, and effective feature that allows managers to control their in-app marketing from start to finish — during games or at any other time.

Actionable Analytics and App Statistics

A sports app allows teams to know their fans even better, providing app usage statistics, user behavior tracking, and actionable analytics. These tools allow the marketing team to consistently improve the fan experience.

For example, if the marketing team introduces AR-based features to the fans (like order-to-seat or viewing stats by pointing their mobile device at a running player), the user behaviour tracking functionality will let clearly show how many fans are enjoying and using this feature. This will give marketing managers the information they need to decide whether such features help them engage their fans. The end result is a branded mobile app that the fans will thoroughly enjoy, as it is built based on the preferences of the fans themselves.

Furthermore, analytics reveal how often fans use a team’s app, what the app’s peak usage times are, and how low engagement falls in periods with less or no games. This addresses one of the most challenging problems with mobile apps — quick app abandonment. According to Techcrunch, 1 in 4 people abandon an app after first usage, but with a robust analytics engine, managers will always stay up-to-date on the app usage, addressing usage drops by coming up with new ideas for fan engagement.

Finally, a sports app can help the team to effectively manage and leverage these statistics by presenting them as actionable analytics. App usage by month, the number of opened notifications before games, feature usage rates, the number of new team t-shirts bought in the app’s mobile store midseason — actionable analytics display information in simple, clean graphs and images. This gives marketing managers all the data they need to make timely, reliable decisions and quickly face unexpected challenges.