Mobile Twin Cities – PickPointz Sports App Case Study

2020-marketingLoyalty Marketing has been used by marketers widely.  Mobile activities seem to be a useful tool in the loyalty marketer tool kit.

Typically, loyalty marketing is an activity that happens after transaction, and in most cases it is “passive” – mostly in the form of re-ordering.  Mobile can bring “active” loyalty.

“We did not start out to build an app”

Objective: transforming the sports viewing experience.  80% of people multitask while watching TV – loyalty marketing can give people something to do during downtime.

This is the only sports app that gives its users any tangible reward – the “points” can be redeemed for real products right from the app by “purchasing” the products with earned points.

  • pickpointzThere is no cost to play
  • Advertisement is integrated into the app
  • Fantastic ability to serve ads in different formats – generates high number of impressions
  • Animated ads seem to have higher CTR
  • Points are redeemed at the advertiser’s stores accessible directly from the app
  • 75% of people use iPhone
  • Fans stay at the app over 5 hours on Sunday
  • No need to create content – games themselves created content that is used by the users and the app
  • Billions are spent on sports ads – this is another way
  • No need to involve teams and leagues.  Typically, teams and leagues want their own app, and this is not quite the preference of the fans
  • People are using the app because they want rewards 🙂
  • Consumer Surveys receive many responses very quickly as filling out the survey results in earning more points 🙂   One brand survey received over 100% of participation (!!) – as completing it generated points, consumers were happy to do it on more than one device.
  • A user can realistically earn $25 in less than two months

From the loyalty marketing perspective: ideal approach is to create habitual daily activity that is based on something currently present.  To achieve frequency, you must leverage something that the target audience is already doing frequently.  Consumers will come to you if you connect them with their passions.

Many apps used just once…  This app is used very frequently.  However, it is very understandable – how many times will you use an augmented reality app?  Not many…

pp2Activity must be dynamic – consumers bore quickly.  Once logged in, always logged in…

Advertising challenges:

  • Possibility of ads testing is not always used enough…  if the ads are not working, they can be changed.  However, businesses did not always had capacity to produce enough ads and do it quickly.
  • Companies struggle to advertise differently to the mobile consumer.  There is no need to put exactly the same content into all channels – not everything that makes sense on a desktop makes sense on the mobile device.

Very interesting – there is lack of understanding of mobile advertisement and mobile marketing among marketers… In many cases, marketers believed that if the “have an app” – check box is checked and it is all the company needs to do.  Even if the app does not make sense for the business and does not have objectives (or does not achieve them).  There is also a perception that “oh, we spent so much money on that app – we need to make it work…”   Spent money are sank costs, and marketing is very different from app development.

The company, 2020 Marketing, conceived the business idea for the app, but did not build it – building was outsources to a different organization with deep development expertise.

Below is the video used to introduce the app to the consumers.

Mobile Twin Cities – Beyond Mobile

curtCurt gave one of his usually insightful presentations – thank you!!  His presentation took us  to the future – it is not clear how quickly this future will come, but most likely it will still catch up by surprise.

Curt’s main emphasis was on connected devices – not just mobile phone, but mobile device as a part of something else, more physical than virtual.  The presentation is available by texting ROMO to 75309.

I found a few points below particularly interesting.  Maybe it explains why that so much awaited “year of mobile” has not quite come yet…  Mobile is a part of something else, rather than a goal in itself.


One of the most interesting points from the Curt’s presentation is the fact that even if B-to-C devices are expected to popularize the concept, the B-to-B industries will benefit the most.  The ability to adjust lighting and heat remotely in somebody’s home does not have as much value as managing the same aspect of an office center or a shopping mall.


Another interesting point is the expectation of hardware-based revolution.  So far, most of the activities happened in the software engineering.  The next generation of the entrepreneurs could be engineers that create physical devices with the heart of mobile “computer” that is already available, understood, and can be added as a “command center” of the new tool or a toy.

Could it be the step in the direction of “pervasive sensing” and devices that take actions based on the sensor’s data?  Future is always interesting to watch.

A device allowing to evaluate content of the food with a sensor and a mobile phone


A device allowing to detect level of radiation with a sensor and a mobile phone


A “camera ball” – relatively simple device comparing to existing alternatives allowing to view situation in a dangerous or hazardous location


A variation on a “personal drone” with possible uses of photography and geographic explorations


An app for managing home appliances.  It is reasonably useful for individuals, but the industrial version of a piece of equipment (sensor) and an app is much more powerful application of the same idea.


Curt shared an interesting point: 3/4 of people on Black Friday made purchases from the mobile site rather than an app.   My guess, the main conclusion is the flexible state of current consumer/mobile/shopping evolution.

Curt also demonstrated a few interesting mobile approaches, which are fun, useful and innovative.

A useful application of augmented reality


A very interesting visual translation app


“Coin” an electronic container for many credit cards – actually, quite attractive…  when it will be widely used 😉

UXPA – Contextual Task Analysis for an Enterprise Mobile App

traneThis event worth the drive to the opposite side of the city in traffic 😉  Very insightful presentation – a wonderful overview of creation a usable app and considering customer and business needs.

A few points from the presentation:

  • trane-app-2One of the reasons for the creation of the app is pressure from the competition.  As apps became more common, system specifications included an app as a requirement and a company would not be considered in the selection process if this requirement would not be satisfied.  Interesting: the app is becoming a part of the product itself – an extension of the functionality rather than a promotional element.  The app increases the attractiveness of the product itself.
  • To be useful, the app requires a specific piece of equipment; so far there were more app downloads than equipment sold – it indicates the app popularity.
  • The company decided not to charge anything for the app – as it was technically the extension of the product and the objective was to sell the product itself.
  • trane-app-3The objective of the app was to make “something useful” so this element of the product will be in the specifications of the requirements during next purchase cycle.
  • Two opposite options existed – to create “alarm log” – a minimalist app from the feature perspective or to include into the app “everything the PC has” – the app already had a PC version.
  • The team used contextual task analysis:  observation of the users in the context of their work (the product already existed online so it was possible to see how users interacted with the existing product.
  • Mobile contexts (from Tapworthy):
    • tapworthyMicrotasking (became for focus)
    • I am local
    • I am bored

Enterprise microtasking:

    • frequently performed
    • time sensitive
    • come up when the operator is away from his desk

Task analysis:

    • Which tasks to support
    • What are desired steps involved
    • What is the environmental context
  • The researches wanted to observe an average customer – not the most proficient, not the worst, but an average.  Several buildings and customers were observed.
  • The researchers did not ask about mobile; the objective was to observe how the current online application was used and what the target audience did during their work day.  Only at the end of the observation the question about the app was asked – in some cases, a particular type of user noted that no app was needed.


  • Two types of system users were identified, which became micro-personas for the effort:
    • Perry – a person who wanted to automate everything , a person comfortable using all features of the system
    • Stan – a person who tend to control equipment manually.  From the perspective of the engineers, this approach might be considered “wrong,”  but it gave the use needed tools for the specific job.  For example, a concerned employee comes to Stan’s cube and asks to increase temperature in his/her location – Stan opens the application and increases the temperature by half of a degree.  Though there will be no effect on the temperature, the person who stopped at Stan’s desk will happily leave and assume that his/her surroundings became more comfortable.
  • Only building operators were targeted for the app, but if the app is easy to use, it would find other users.  At the end, sales people (an unintended audience) liked the app too and used it during the sales demonstrations.
  • Evaluation of the existing online app showed that not everything was understood and used on the main interface.  Equipment graphics were linked and used.
  • The app adapts to a specific building; graphic appears only in the landscape mode


  • Removing labels:  as much as possible labels were removed.  For example, just a word “occupied” was used and it was understandable what it was.  Different colors of font was used for current and desired temperature, and anything adjustable had obvious buttons to adjust the setting.  Removing labels allowed to remove clutter and add more useful data to the screen.
  • Unexpected: from the beginning of the project, adding schedules into the app was considered important.  However, because of scope creep of other essential features, the schedules were not added.  If the question about the schedules arise, the fact that schedule overrides are available eliminates any concerns. This is considered a right decision.

It was a wonderful event, and free coffee from Trane made my online marketing moment a little sweeter 😉