Make Way for Universal Paperless Coupons

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Make Way for Universal Paperless Coupons

Last month, Popwallet had the privilege of attending the annual conference of the Association of Coupon Professionals (ACP). A longstanding mainstay of the coupon industry, the conference is well attended by major retailers, manufacturers, clearinghouses and technology vendors. Popwallet was one of a host of new ACP members at the event, reflecting the fact that the coupon industry as a whole continues to thrive and, importantly, evolve.

The ACP acts as a bridging organization between an alphabet soup of industry groups, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Food Marketing Institute (FMI), GS1 (the standards body responsible for, among other things, the barcodes you see on printed manufacturer coupons today, and whose name I am reliably informed is not actually an acronym) and the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC). All of these play a crucial role in the way coupons work today.

The conference's theme, "Creating Harmony," reflected the need for all of these industry participants to collaborate on the opportunities ahead, not least of which is the work toward what is being labelled the "universal paperless coupon" standard. At present, there is no universally accepted digital equivalent of paper manufacturer coupons that can be redeemed at any retailer. The coupon industry is in many ways startlingly low-tech: once redeemed by consumers, paper coupons are collected by retailers and must be shipped to a clearinghouse for counting and processing before the retailer can be reimbursed for their face value. Because of this, there is no way for manufacturer coupons to be generically applied to online purchase transactions, a scenario which has led to many large retailers each requiring use of their own branded mobile apps that facilitate coupons valid only at their own stores.

The world of digital coupons is on a path toward rapid change, however. The JICC and GS1 are spearheading the effort to establish a new standard, a process that began in earnest last year with the announcement of a new Application Identifier for paperless coupons. An Application Identifier is the first step in defining a method that allows manufacturers and retailers to recognize a specific set of codes (in this case, codes starting with the numbers 8112) and agree on their meaning. Today's paper coupon barcodes (to use their full name, GS1 Databar Stacked), in contrast, use the 8110 Application Identifier. The new identifier will allow for not only the recognition and handling of paperless coupons -- including those to be used with mobile wallets -- but also a wide range of new functionality that is only possible in the paperless format.

While the announcement of the new Application Identifier has been greeted with enthusiasm, it is only the first step toward the implementation of a new standard. Work is in progress to fully define the data string for 8112, a process that is expected to be complete in Q3 2017. In existing paper coupons, the data string encodes important details like the specific product or product families that are applicable, the valid redemption dates of the coupon, and other business rules around the usage of the coupon. This encoding is a universal language that retailers' point of sale systems can recognize to help decide whether to accept a coupon. 8112 is expected to provide many of these same features as well as important extensions that serve to prevent fraud and enhance the consumer experience in the digital arena by leveraging real-time validation technology.

The JICC has urged industry participants not to think of 8112 as a new type of barcode, but rather the digital protocol whereby mobile devices -- most immediately, Apple and Android smartphones, but conceivably smartwatches, voice assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, loyalty programs and more -- can store coupon offers and communicate them during a purchase transaction. This communication could take a number of forms, including contactless NFC, a feature that is now prevalent on the majority of smartphones on the market.

Once the data string is finalized, the last remaining hurdle will be retailer implementation. This will, in most cases, require a software upgrade to the point of sale systems that connect each till to in-store systems. The time to roll out upgrades will vary for each retailer, so we would expect to see the universal paperless coupon standard begin to be phased in to major stores in 2018.

As this wave of new possibilities hits, expect to see a sea change in the way consumers interact directly with brands, driven by the built-in capabilities of mobile wallets like Apple Wallet, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. We are excited to be working with the coupon industry to bring these new standards to fruition.

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Can an early stage startup provide an innovation spark to marketing cloud giants?

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Can an early stage startup provide an innovation spark to marketing cloud giants?

I attended LendIt, a FinTech conference with over 5,500 attendees, last week. One of the remarks I heard stuck with me: “FinTech is becoming to banks what BioTech is to pharma.” Continuing this train of thought, would this statement also ring true for MarTech startups? Should early stage MarTech startups work directly with brands or are they better off helping to accelerate innovation with marketing cloud giants, so they can serve cutting-edge and holistic solutions to big brand marketers?  

Creating coherent customer engagement is a huge challenge today. Brand marketers are inundated with dozens of channels and a growing number of emerging tech solutions. Orchestrating a congruent brand experience, connecting disparate data sources and attributing ROI is no easy task. To make it even more challenging, there are tons of new MarTech startups eager to embark on pilot projects. Welcome to the world of a brand marketer in 2017.

One solution to manage this complex landscape is to deploy an integrated marketing suite provided by tech giants such as Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe, IBM, and others. Although an integrated solution is enticing it doesn’t fully solve for rapidly changing customer demands. Brand marketers are increasingly vocal demanding agility and solutions for new channels to meet their needs in reaching consumers on their terms. So marketing cloud giants are opening up to nimble MarTech startups to give their clients a product innovation edge.

One example: marketers have started to take notice of the growth of mobile wallets as a marketing channel. Effective Mobile Wallet marketing can be orchestrated amongst solutions like Email, SMS, and Push notification, providing a seamless consumer experience. A holistic and multi-channel solution enables brand marketer to test innovative solutions, measure and ultimately optimize consumer journeys. This is why Popwallet recently entered into partnerships with Oracle and IBM and will be announcing more over the coming months.

Regardless the choice on how to go-to-market for a nimble startup, giant marketing cloud company or a brand marketer, we all acknowledge marketing is changing at a dazzling speed. Scaling quickly, collaborating and being embedded in the entire marketing ecosystem is a prerequisite for all to survive and thrive.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how partners in the marketing ecosystem can grow better together. Please share in the comments or drop me a line at louise@popwallet.com.

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More New Popwallet Talent: Sampoorna Dasgupta

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More New Popwallet Talent: Sampoorna Dasgupta

Columbia University’s MBA program teamed up with ERA to provide their students real world experience in startups. Popwallet is happy to have welcomed not one, but two highly motivated interns helping us with corporate strategy and marketing until the summer.

Sampoorna Dasgupta brings a solid professional experience, working her way up to Assistant Vice President at Deutsche Bank in five years. She is very interested in analytics and data; a great match for us since Popwallet is busy building data products to optimize audience segmentation and dynamic offerings.

As an MBA student, what would you like to get out of an internship at an early stage startup? I have been focused on both Strategy and Technology in my MBA classes. Through this internship, I would like to be able to combine these lessons in a dynamic environment and get hands-on exposure to strategy and operations, understand the VC and funding model for early-stage companies and work with a dynamic team that has founded and sold companies before.

You have work experiences at corporates. What are your thoughts on how start-ups and corporates can work best together?  I think the exchange of ideas between start-ups and corporates is critical – often, corporates have needs that are not always met by their internal Technology teams and look for third-party vendor solutions. Start-ups can fill this gap easily and move the needle for corporates quickly. I have also seen corporates adopt some working practices from start-ups, like the Agile methodology and open, shared co-working spaces – this can also help them understand each other better as they work together.

What excites you most about Popwallet? I am most excited about learning and interacting with the various members of the Popwallet team, who bring very different backgrounds and perspectives to the table every day.

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New Popwallet Talent in the Spotlight: Joelle Mendal

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New Popwallet Talent in the Spotlight: Joelle Mendal

Being part of ERA comes with many benefits, including access to the brightest talent from the Columbia University MBA program. Popwallet is fortunate to have not one, but two highly motivated interns helping us with corporate strategy and marketing until the summer.

We sat down with Joelle Mendal. As a former analyst at JPMorgan Asset Management and Marketing Director at a global pet food company, she is passionate to take the next step in her career, working on the intersection of tech, strategy, and innovation.

As an MBA student, what would you like to get out of an internship at an early stage startup? Among the key takeaways from my time at my MBA, I’ve learned that launching a startup is much easier said than done. A co-founder of a reputable tech start-up recently shared the idea that starting a new venture is like agreeing to ride a long-term roller coaster; plenty of ups and downs, especially when you least expect it. With that said, I would take advantage of an opportunity to intern at an early stage startup to gain first-hand experience and understanding of how early stage companies truly operate; from obtaining financing to managing a limited budget, to proving a products’ innovation and long-term potential. I look forward to learning it all – both the pros and the cons!

You have work experiences at corporates. What are your thoughts on how start-ups and corporates can work best together? I worked in private banking for two years and while I have no regrets, my time there taught me how much I appreciate working in smaller work environments. My particular role felt somewhat routine at times and I came to realize how much I value having control of my own time and potential.

Because I’m passionate about creativity, I’d like to explore working for a start-up or in an entrepreneurial setting. I do however think that start-ups can learn from corporates in terms of structure, habits involving team cooperation and applying the practice of meeting metrics for reaching both short and long-term goals.

What excites you most about Popwallet?  I think Popwallet has managed to target an untapped niche in the mobile payments marketing space. As with all start-ups, it may take some time to prove its potential to brand managers and digital marketing agencies. Yet before we know it, credit cards will be an item of the past as will our physical wallets. Popwallet is well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity early on, as access to this new marketing channel is yet to be recognized. I love creativity and coming up with innovative solutions to an ongoing need or problem – and I think Popwallet does just that!

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Popwallet in the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator

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Popwallet in the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator

We’re thrilled to announce that Popwallet was accepted and is participating in the 12th cohort of the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA). The application process is very competitive with ERA filtering through about 1,000 applications with multiple rounds of interviews. We’re honored to be part of the final 12.

ERA counts alumni companies as diverse as TripleLift, CardFlight, Seamlessdocs, and even Dog Parker, a company that provides temperature controlled dog parking that you can pay for by the minute (what a world we live in!).

As a more traditional accelerator program, participation comes with a financial investment as well as free office space throughout the duration of the program, both of which are terrific for any startup looking to control expenses while growing at the same time. Even more valuable is the program structure, designed to focus on key operational metrics that indicate if we’re growing at the rate we should be, while introducing us to an extensive network of other entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders from the New York tech startup community.

Though we’re in the early stages of the program we’re already seeing some clear benefits. For example, another company in our cohort introduced us to a digital coupon company with whom we have some really interesting opportunities to collaborate. ERA staff also introduced us to the CEO of an exciting digital gift card company that’s a program alum and with whom we’re going to start working. Our platform will enable their customers to save gift cards into their mobile wallet where they’re more convenient for them to store and use. Once in their mobile wallet, they can be remarketed to in order to drive usage and ultimately the purchase of more gift cards. We also met with an experienced software designer who’s an ERA mentor and who spent time with us reimagining our user interface, really opening up new opportunities for us and our users. All of this has been thanks to the strong ERA community.

After a rigorous four months the program concludes with a Demo Day attended by over 700 investors from New York and the broader investment network. Talk about pressure! I can’t wait to watch my co-founders Wes and David present while I sit in the back of the room drinking coffee and taking pictures (they don’t know this part yet).

Here’s a short video showing what the Demo Day is experience is like: https://youtu.be/9XTN_jjJ-R0

Though we’ve only just started we’re excited to see what the next several months have in store and are confident that the experience will help us continue our growth. Thank you ERA for this wonderful opportunity!

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New Popwallet Talent in the Spotlight: Omar Bryan

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New Popwallet Talent in the Spotlight: Omar Bryan

We’re growing our team and love to introduce you to our new members. We sat down with Omar Bryan, who joined our team in January. As our new designer, he will take mobile wallet content design to the next level!

What made you go into graphic design?

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for the arts. Whether it be online or on paper, I have always been fascinated with the world of art. In my teenage years, I entered many art competitions to which I was always placed in the top three. As I grew older, this ignited my passion to take my artistry to another level and I became enamored with Adobe Creative Master Suite. Quickly I became self-taught graphic artist whose talents quickly grew that I was able to form an online graphic business with my older brother. To date, we serve a rapidly growing clientele and we have been fortunate enough to work with some very reputable companies and nonprofit organizations. These achievements ignited, my inward passion to continue with Graphic Design.

What do you love about your mobile device?

My mobile device like many others have become an intricate part to my daily activities, from planning events, to scheduling meetings for work, school and otherwise. It has become a vital part to the standard of life. However, what I really love the most as it relates to my mobile device is that it allows me to reconnect and connect with my loved ones and I’m able to reminisce about the good times I have had with them and create new ones.

What excites you the most about Popwallet?

Since my few weeks at Popwallet, I am amazed at the comradery the team members exhibit. Yes, they are a small startup company, but because of their work ethic they are quickly becoming individuals who are on the cutting edge of the mobile marketing industry. I’m excited to be working amongst outstanding individuals who all excel in their field. I’m learning quickly how to function in a multicultural environment which I love. 

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Popwallet in the FirstGrowthVC Accelerator

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Popwallet in the FirstGrowthVC Accelerator

As we kickoff 2017, Popwallet is happy to announce that we were accepted into the FirstGrowthVC Accelerator program run by Lowenstein Sandler.

FirstGrowthVC is not a traditional startup accelerator in that they don’t invest money, take equity, or have a demo day. As Pando Daily once wrote, “If anything, it’s more of a community than an accelerator, a way to keep a strong network of alumni, mentors and investors connected.” Program alumni include companies such as Venmo, Birchbox, BaubleBar, and Adaptly.

The program focuses specifically on company founders and the challenges we face when starting a company, and provides a safe place for us to ask questions, share ideas, and learn from our peers lessons both good and bad. Popwallet founder and CTO Wes Biggs is excited to join: “FirstGrowth has an impressive track record of not only spotting exciting young companies like Popwallet, but also building a powerful community of entrepreneurs, advisors and venture capital firms. These are resources that I'm confident will give us an advantage as we take on the rapidly growing adoption of and marketing demand for mobile wallet solutions.”

David Bustos, founder and head of engineering, is also looking forward to networking with engineering leads from program participants and sharing best practices that are unique to early stage technology companies like ours.

Popwallet is part of the “9th Vintage” of FirstGrowth companies, which is another way of saying that the fine people running the accelerator are huge wine geeks. Wine themes permeate the program and that’s just fine by us - after a long day of sessions, speakers, and panels when it’s time to mingle with VCs, there’s nothing better than to do so with a delicious Pinot Noir in hand.

Being accepted into FirstGrowthVC is a great endorsement for our company and we’re proud to work alongside some of New York’s best tech entrepreneurs and alumni through this program, and look forward to the opportunities it will provide in 2017 and beyond.

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Disrupting a $1 Trillion Market

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Disrupting a $1 Trillion Market

People are addicted to their mobile phones, yet a staggering 90% of retail commerce still happens in-store today. How to bridge this gap as a marketer? Mobile Wallet Marketing.

Apple Wallet and Android Pay are about quick and secure payments through your smart phone. Another, lesser known, feature are mobile wallet passes. Think of it as an app-lite version of branded content and information opening up a brand new marketing channel through mobile wallets.

You’re probably thinking: “Argh, another pitch from one of the 3,000+ MarTech startups.”  In full disclosure, I’m an advisor at mobile wallet startup Popwallet. We’ve talked to scores of marketers and their agencies about this in the past year. We’ve learned that brand and retail marketers are excited about mobile wallet marketing to boost brand affinity and loyalty. We’ve also learned that there's a need to explain better why mobile wallet marketing is such a powerful tool. So I thought it would be a good idea to write an article how mobile wallet passes can solve for big marketing and advertising industry challenges.

At Popwallet, we aim to disrupt a $1 trillion industry: Trade Promotion. Trade promotion includes coupons, offers, loyalty rewards, etc. Again, you’re probably thinking: “That doesn’t sound sexy”. Whether it’s sexy or not, I’ll leave to the pundits. What I find compelling is that CPG and retail brands on average spent 2.5x more on trade promotion than on advertising. Yet, a staggering two-thirds of trade promotions don’t even break even*.

Coupons are one of the key trade marketing tactics. Over 300B coupons are distributed annually by marketers in the U.S., yet less than 1% are redeemed. Not a great return, let alone it’s a substandard user experience of cutting coupons with scissors that hasn’t changed much over the last two decades.

Contrary to what you might think, the U.S. is a coupon-loving nation:

Imagine your favorite brands in your mobile wallet with offers tailored through location-based insights, while also getting rewarded for your brand affinity through offers, coupons, loyalty rewards and product information. All opt-in, designed around your needs, delivered through a mobile native experience.  

Merchants, brand and retail marketers can run programs to connect mobile with in-store. To name a few ideas:

  • Premium lines at cash registers for mobile wallet pass holders

  • In- or near store offers on consumers lock screen with instant and smart redemption

  • Imagine you are marketing hair coloring products. Currently a paper coupon of hair color products is $2. Perhaps $1 off might be good enough for certain folks? Redemption data from mobile brand passes can target audiences with real-time offers and dynamic coupon valuation, not only in-store but also at your hair salon.

It’s time shopping is improved for customers, brands and merchants. Smartphones can bridge the gap to create a better shopping experience before, during and after the moment of purchase. Mobile wallet passes are a low touch, high yield marketing tactic that works through its data play, opt-in nature and finally end-to-end attribution of marketing $ spent. Added bonus, you’ll be saving trees at the same time.

In this article we've focused on coupons as one of the use cases for mobile wallet passes. In the next article we'll go deeper into other compelling applications.

Louise Doorn is a marketing advisor for Popwallet. You can reach her at louise@popwallet.com

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Introducing Popwallet!

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Introducing Popwallet!

Why the new name?

We started one year ago as a programmatic advertising platform with a pragmatic focus on mobile and video, hence our original name Pragmadic. Shortly thereafter Android Pay, Apple Wallet, and Samsung Pay all launched and we came to recognize the potential of this new channel for brand and retail marketers that have long struggled with measurable mobile marketing. With mobile wallets projected to be used by 65% of U.S. consumers and 1 billion people globally by 2019, they present a brand-new and exciting mobile marketing channel with unique opportunities for highly effective marketing that connects the mobile and physical worlds.

Why Popwallet?

Pragmadic was a great name for us as a programmatic advertising platform. Now that we’ve evolved into a mobile wallet technology platform we want our name to speak to that. Our marketing solutions allow for consumers to “pop” branded, action oriented content right into their mobile wallet: Popwallet! Simple as that.

What is Popwallet?

Our SaaS platform allows clients to setup and manage end-to-end mobile marketing programs through mobile wallets. These programs provide for distribution of lightweight content that’s location aware, action oriented and dynamic, and resides in the wallet right at the point of purchase. Content types include coupons, loyalty cards, product and event information, customer and membership ID, and branded tickets. Mobile wallet content is easy to access and can complement or outright replace the need for a branded mobile app.

What does this means for you?

Business will operate as usual. You will still be working with the same outstanding team, and it should be a seamless transition from Pragmadic to Popwallet. If you are running mobile video or location based targeting campaigns, no worries: we will continue to serve you.

What's coming down the pike?

We are proud and excited about several big name retail and CPG clients that recently signed on for mobile wallet marketing campaigns. More and more mobile passes are being created and delivered to consumers. We are also are proud creators and sponsors of “Conference Cards” being used at AdExchanger Omni.Digital in Chicago September 7-8 and ExchangeWire ATS in London September 12, come say hi to our team if you’re there.

Want to learn more and pick our brain on what we can do for you?

We have an awesome rooftop terrace in the middle of the city, one block from Bryant Park. Come up for a refreshing drink! We're happy to brainstorm on how you and your clients can benefit from this exciting new mobile marketing channel.

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Are We Past Peak Physical Wallet?

Are We Past Peak Physical Wallet?

Mobile has always been about one-to-one experiences. As our primary device, it’s with us all the time, when we work, play, eat, travel and shop. Alongside our wallet it’s the one item most likely to be with us everywhere we go.

In fact, the similarity to wallets has been increasing over time. We are rapidly moving to a point in time when the mobile phone overtakes the wallet, replacing and enhancing its capabilities and characteristics. Are we past “Peak Physical Wallet”? And if so, what does that mean for the future?

As an analogy, I remember not so long ago the audacious social experiment where someone attempted to live only off of items they could order on the Internet -- no going out, no phone calls. Writing these words in 2016, I can hardly think of a less controversial premise. That the fundamental experience of shopping -- well, living in a consumer society -- has changed so much in a mere 20 or so years tells us that more changes are coming, and quickly. 

If we dissect the contents of a typical wallet, you can see how far we are down this road already:

Money: It’s taken for granted that we are moving toward a primarily cashless society. While paper money and coins continue to be useful for low value or low tech transactions, cash has become one of the least convenient payment methods for both buyers and sellers. When was the last time you aborted a store purchase because they only took cash and you didn’t have enough on you (and there wasn’t a convenient or free ATM in striking distance)? In contrast, services such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, once configured and linked to a credit or debit card, are always with us, and have reached the tipping point where they can be used at most major retailers and chains, with unparalleled ease of use.

Related to money and credit cards are all the things we use to help with our transactions, often tied to vendor promotions. These might be clipped coupons, discount cards or gift cards -- if you can manage to find the one you need at the right time! 

Identity: Our phones are certainly our memory vaults, where we carry our photos (and videos) of loved ones, much like the headshots kept in the wallets of yesteryear. They also increasingly carry our medical information, apps for health insurance, and so on, replacing stacks of wallet-size cards (how many people carry separate insurance cards for health, dental and vision everywhere they go?). Phones have already become the preferred means of carrying boarding passes and tickets for a variety of travel and entertainment occasions. They will soon replace transit passes in many metro areas. And as we fast-forward in time, governments are looking at how to issue purely digital driver licenses, library cards, passports, and more.

Affiliation: From club memberships to loyalty cards, our physical wallets told stories about who we interacted with, shopped with, and so on. All of these functions are being subsumed by mobile devices, whether in the form of installed applications or passes.

If we accept the premise of peak physical wallet, then the advantage lies with companies and services that can embrace the one-to-one nature of the mobile phone as it overtakes and supplants the previous contents of pockets and handbags worldwide. The common thread with all of the “old media” wallet contents above is their relative inefficiency when compared with what can be done on today’s mobile platforms.

Passes -- the technology enabled by Apple Wallet and Android Pay -- are an exciting part of this post-peak physical wallet story. Not only are they easier to load and use than apps, but they conveniently enable many of the features listed above, while enhancing aspects of attribution and security. A pass can be a loyalty card, or a discount coupon, or a boarding pass.

Picture yourself in a wallet-less world. Or better yet, picture your customers there. The customer of the future won’t put your coupons in their (physical) wallet, because they won’t have one. It’s a shift that’s likely to necessitate a change in thinking from the CMOs of the world on down to everyone involved in marketing and customer relationship management. It’s both a threat and an opportunity: the good news is, the unit economics of digital coupons can be much, much lower than printing and distributing physical ones, and early movers will reap the most advantage.

So how long will it be before we all live physical wallet-free lives? We may be closer than we think.

Next Generation Mobile Marketing

Next Generation Mobile Marketing

For the past several years mobile marketing has been all about apps. App installs, and then app re-engagement when the user you paid to install your app in the first place never opens it again. Retargeting through deep links within apps when a user has shown product level interest, despite challenges with conversions that seem to come so naturally on a desktop. Even branding users with in-app video ads when they move between game levels, scroll down a news feed, or watch mobile video content.

And why not? We've all seen the stats, mobile has surpassed every other medium in terms of attention and time spent, and 90% of mobile time spent is in apps. In fact, over half of all time spent online, whether mobile or desktop, is spent in mobile apps:

For brand marketers the numbers are compelling, especially when planning which channels to give the most attention to in order to achieve the greatest impact with their audiences. For app marketers, apps represent a rich canvas with which they can engage and delight users, communicating with them in interesting ways and relevant contexts, and delivering utility and value to them that just isn’t possible through web browsers or other media channels.

Apps are great, and if you’re a marketer that can get people to install and use your app, then those people are likely customers and possibly even brand enthusiasts and loyalists. But unless you’re Facebook, Google, and a few others, most people aren’t going to install your app. If they do, they’re not going to use it. Of the 90% of mobile time spent in apps, about one third of that time is spent in Facebook:

The fat tail of app usage is such that most people spend most of their time in just five apps, six if you count the mobile web browser as an individual app. Most likely mobile users will discover your products and services not by downloading and using your app, but rather by stumbling upon your mobile web site through search or from a social platform like Facebook or Twitter functioning as an in-app browser. In any case, mobile web sites lack the utility of mobile apps and are not optimal for converting casual visitors into paying customers.

The Mobile Watershed

Though mobile apps have dominated the mobile marketing conversation since the launch of the App Store in 2008, mobile wallets represent a paradigm shift for marketers and consumers alike. Starting with the consumer (as all great marketers do), behavior is already shifting to reflect the new world opportunity that mobile wallets present. Here in New York City when taking a taxi the fare can be paid quickly and securely with a few taps on the lock screen of your mobile device. A trip to the local drug store doesn’t require inserting your credit card and waiting 15-20 seconds for the terminal to read your chip, but rather another few taps will do it – again, quickly and securely. Even movie and other event tickets can be purchased in an app using the stored credentials of a credit card in your mobile wallet with a few taps, without the hassle of entering your credit card information and other payment details in the small mobile form fields, and with the convenience of being able to add your admission ticket directly to your mobile wallet from the point of purchase. Convenient when making the purchase, and convenient later when attending the event and simply holding up your mobile device to gain entry.

While payments have paved the way for mobile wallets, the ability for a brand to be present at the consumer point of purchase is compelling for a marketer. Mobile wallet passes for items like coupons and other offers, gift cards, loyalty programs, tickets, product information, and even customer identification provide marketers many of the same benefits that mobile apps provide, without the friction and expense of app user acquisition. These benefits include being able to update pass content and leverage the mobile operating system for notifications, including those triggered by various location signals when the consumer is in a relevant physical location. Also if properly implemented, pass usage and redemption can be measured with attribution to show ROI. Most importantly, since these metrics can be measured, they can be optimized, enabling the marketer to execute “always on” mobile marketing campaigns where customer lifetime value is proven to exceed customer acquisition costs.

The “app-lite” capabilities of mobile wallet passes and their positioning right at the consumer point of purchase present a massive opportunity for marketers, and enables the kind of next generation mobile marketing that will drive real world commerce for brands.