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The Short Version: As evidenced by the dramatic rise in the popularity of dating apps over the past decade, technology has changed the way people are connecting. The company responsible for the technology behind many of those apps, Smith Micro, is in another kind of relationship-building business — linking companies with their customers. For more than 30 years, Smith Micro has been helping businesses optimize engagement with their target markets through personalized marketing and app development. According to the company’s CMO, Carla Fitzgerald, businesses need to listen to their customers to create mobile relationships, and that’s just what Smith Micro empowers them to do.
The cellular phone has become a staple in the lives of everyday Americans. We are now able to pay bills, shop, and connect with others through our mobile apps.
New technologies have given us the ability to accept real-time promotional offers while shopping in our favorite stores. And the personalized experience custom apps provide while attending events grants greater ease in scanning tickets, mapping event locations, and obtaining discounts on concessions.
Modern consumers have come to expect to quickly receive information tailored to their personal interests. But many don’t see what goes on behind the scenes to make that happen.
Smith Micro, the company responsible for the technology powering many of these apps, helps businesses enhance everyday mobile experiences for their customers. The company is used by some of the biggest organizations in the world to engage with consumers.
Smith Micro’s flagship personalized marketing product, NetWise Captivate, harnesses the power of contextual mobile engagement to reach customers when they are making purchasing decisions. This, coupled with its offering of full lifecycle app development, has businesses turning to Smith Micro to help them create their mobile touchpoints and reach targeted audiences.
It all began in 1982 when Smith Micro created software to download stock quotes. Starting with analog modems in the ’80s, the company instinctively knew the next big thing in tech would be remote connectivity.
Fast-forward a few years to the early ’90s, and Smith Micro introduced QuickLink — its remote connectivity software solution — to a burgeoning market. In no time, tech giants, such as IBM, AT&T, Motorola, and US Robotics, were using QuickLink. The company then presented its initial public offering on the NASDAQ in 1995.
The next logical move was into wireless and mobile applications. By 2001, with a solution in hand, Smith Micro lead its first significant mobile deployment with cellular service giant Verizon. After that success, Smith Micro continued its focus on innovation by diversifying offerings to include mobile device management, mobile media management, VPN security, network traffic management, video streaming, and visual voicemail, among others. Soon after, the company developed consumer offerings with a variety of productivity and graphics products like Moho (formerly Anime Studio) and Poser.
Today, Smith Micro is a leader in mobile tech applications. The company’s technologies are helping businesses personalize messages to consumers through smart devices, connecting with them through voice, video, and social sharing services.
Smith Micro’s flagship personalized marketing product, NetWise Captivate, has changed how businesses are able to reach consumers. The company understands how mobile phones have become a fixture in our lives and developed technology to help businesses tailor messages to the audiences they want to get in front of.
Smith Micro’s marketing software harnesses the power of contextual mobile engagement to reach customers when they are making purchasing decisions. The software personalizes customer interactions with mobile touchpoints to increase the chances customers will buy. This is done by analyzing their location, the time of day, and by tracking metrics on their behavior and intent.
NetWise Captivate is more than just banner ads based on search history. The software measures a number of “trigger” behaviors that tell the story of how customers are engaging and pumps out tailored messages to them based on that information.
For example, if a consumer walks into a jewelry store, the software registers how long he or she is in the store and if they have a purchase history there. If they do, an intent-based promotion may be sent to the consumer to encourage them to buy.
Enterprise-level companies are using this to ensure their promotions are falling on interested eyes instead of deaf ears. Others use it to measure traditionally hard-to-gather data like how many people visit their store daily, how long they are staying, and what demographic they fall into.
Netwise Captivate can be used to offer a service to welcome consumers into stores, provide assistance, and guide them to relevant products, all without waiting on a salesperson.
Smith Micro also offers a versatile mobile app design and development software that gets apps to market faster. With custom designs end users love, 4D App Studio can help companies deploy popular apps that work to meet business goals.
The diversity possible with 4D App Studio is seen by looking at its varied client base. For instance, San Francisco’s “Creative City — San Francisco” figuratively hands users the keys to the city. This iPhone app boasts an animated map of the city, videos and facts about art, architecture, and history, and it has postcards featuring several cultural sites. This fun, interactive application is a creative way to motivate tourism and give visitors a reason to keep coming back.
“Rock in Rio,” one of the world’s largest music festivals, used 4D App Studio to create a complete mobile experience for attendees. On the app, users can check out bands, purchases tickets, and get up-to-the-minute news about the festival.
Through 4D App Studio, Skyuber developed a mobile gathering place for those wishing to flight-share. Users can find empty seats on private planes simply by pulling up the app on their Apple or Android phone.
The aim behind all of these apps is the same — to provide optimal user experiences so customers can seamlessly interact with businesses. This works to drive brand loyalty and boost revenue.
Smith Micro is so successful because it does one thing very well — it helps businesses listen. CMO Carla Fitzgerald recently wrote an article for VentureBeat discussing the challenges of mobile engagement. In it, she acknowledges different industries have differing challenges, but the major area where businesses get it wrong is deploying before considering the long-term impact on customer experience.
“To create a mobile relationship, just like any other relationship, you need to listen,” she said. “That means gathering intelligence about your customer that isn’t just based on historical behavior; it includes the here and now. By detecting and acting upon contextual mobile ‘cues’ from each customer in real-time, such as proximity, dwell-time, device activity, and apps in use, businesses can deliver a personalized, and therefore memorable, mobile experience.”
Carla recognizes one factor alone will not create a healthy business-consumer relationship. But close attention to the details of your customer is essential to building long-lasting and meaningful connections.
Building relationships gives customers a personal feel and makes them more prone to exhibit qualities, such as brand loyalty, in this very competitive and saturated market. Smith Micro has created a suite of products to help consumers and businesses connect in meaningful and enriching ways.
The company continues to upgrade products, like the award-winning 2D animation tool Moho, and build them into dynamic experiences with major partnerships that produce tools like the Microsoft Surface Studio.
As Carla said in her article, “If you are treating mobile as a ‘channel,’ you’re getting it all wrong.” Smith Micro proves this with their new offerings and updates designed to give consumers and businesses the mobile experience they should be having — an intimate and fulfilling one.