The 7 most innovative mobile partners for retailers and publishers

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Presented by Sailthru


While AR and VR are forecast to be the future of mobile, most retailers and publishers are still struggling with the basics. Yes, there are standouts like the oft-cited Sephora, T-Mobile, and now Target, which have amassed significant engaged mobile app audiences, but for most brands, we’re still at square one.

To start getting ahead, it pays to bring in the experts. Finding the right partner is critical to making sure that mobile initiatives fulfill their promise. But the range of agencies, technologies, development shops, and boutiques working with both large companies and ambitious startups to get the mobile experience right is beyond impressive — it’s overwhelming.

At Sailthru, we work with a full range of integration partners and agencies, and we’ve seen first-hand that each has something different, and unique, to offer. There’s no single partner or agency that’s going to be best for every single brand or project. That being said, there are a handful that we’ve seen consistently rise above the rest–the ones that have developed technologies that accelerate mobile revenue generation; the ones that produce great work, on time and on budget, and most important, leave a trail of satisfied customers in their wake.

These are the partners we’d turn to for strategy, inspiration, analytics, data management, messaging automation, or practically anything else.

Best data management layer: mParticle and Segment

When it comes to data management, the excellence of two particular firms demanded that we call a tie. Both mParticle and Segment are devoted to helping mobile marketers and technologists better consolidate and actually use their data. Segment and mParticle each provide a single API that can coordinate a company’s entire marketing stack, making it easier for marketers to add new partners and saving them from having to integrate multiple SDKs. Both Segment and mParticle have managed more than 100 integrations to date. No matter what providers you’re using, the chances are that mParticle and Segment are working to make your work better together.

mParticle customer portfolio: Bleacher Report, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Seat Geek

Follow on twitter: @mParticles

Segment customer portfolio: Trunk Club, Breather, New Relic

Follow on twitter: @segment

Best mobile messaging and push notification platform: Carnival.io

Carnival.io’s mobile marketing suite includes push notifications, in-app messaging, and a rich customizable message center that allows marketers to incorporate customer behavior, location, and demographic data into their messaging. Sailthru acquired and fully integrated Carnival into it’s multichannel campaign suite because it’s the most marketer-friendly mobile platform around, decreasing reliance on technical resources for your mobile projects, while giving you the ability to easily connect your mobile app experience to email and web. Carnival works with the globe’s biggest brands with customers such as Sephora, BP, Six Flags, Penguin Random House, and more.

Customer portfolio: Air New Zealand, Oreo, Swish

Follow on twitter: @carnivalio

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Best mobile app strategy and development: Prolific

Prolific thinks big-picture and develops solutions neatly tailored to each client. That’s at least partly because founders Eric Weber and Bobak Emanian decided early on that they wanted their agency to be one of the best in the world, not the state or the region. The company, now based in Brooklyn, is uniquely focused on business outcomes, achieving them by using lean, cross-disciplinary teams and maintaining a focus on sustainability.

Customer portfolio: SoulCycle, Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, Old Navy

Follow on twitter: @weareprolific

Best deep linking between apps: Button

Button is designed to help apps integrate and play nicely together. It worked with Foursquare and Uber, for example, to allow someone browsing restaurants and clubs on Foursquare to tap an Uber button that would automatically call a car to bring them to their chosen location. The goal is to create a new platform, beyond Facebook and Google, that will help merchants acquire and quickly convert mobile-loving customers.

Customer portfolio: AirBnB, OpenTable, Uber

Follow on twitter: @button

Best attribution tracking: Appsflyer

For us, Appsflyer is the first choice in attribution tracking, helping marketers know which messages did the most to spur customers on to a buying decision. Appsflyer uses data such as the time of the ad interaction and the percentage of customers who saw a particular marketing message, to help figure out the relative importance of various messages, and to help marketers spend more on activities that actually bring in the best users.

Customer portfolio: Telefonica, Jet.com, ThredUp

Follow on twitter: @AppsFlyer

Best mobile analytics: Amplitude

Amplitude is at the forefront of a new wave of mobile analytics players. Amplitude offers a plethora of real-time charts and dashboards, cross-platform tracking, and plenty of scalability even for the largest customers. All of these tools can be made available across an organization, enabling business leaders and marketers to derive important insights without relying on already-overburdened analysts.

Customer portfolio: Square, Change.org, Instacart

Follow on twitter: @amplitudemobile


Jason Grunberg is VP of Marketing at Sailthru.


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