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Despite all the tech, media, and commerce advances happening around us, sometimes the most effective channels are the tried and true. That continues to be the case with email marketing, messaging, and push notifications. The latter is where Airship — formerly Urban Airship — hangs its hat.

In fact, the company has been innovating around push notifications for more than a decade, a lifetime in internet years. Airship SVP of Marketing Mike Stone, the latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast, broke down the company’s approach to the mobile marketing business.

“There are two dimensions. One is the proliferation of devices and the channels that are attached to them, but there’s also that much more difficult thing of what consumers are willing to do,” said Stone. “The devices are one thing, but it’s also, once they’re there, where’s that line of creepy versus helpful.”

Airship has expanded into various channels beyond what we typically think of as “push notifications.” In addition to lock-screen notifications at the mobile OS level, there is an expanding set of opportune push channels, such as in-app messages, wallet apps, and Apple’s message center.

Success hinges on being thoughtful and strategic about when and how messages are sent. What’s the optimal frequency, tone, and time of day? Airship has been building this playbook for a decade, including variability across product verticals and other key factors that impact messaging effectiveness.

“To me, it’s all about being thoughtful about how you use it, and being clear to the customer about the value of that notification,” Stone said. “There’s a tremendous war for real estate on the phone and even more so now on the lock screen. … So, part of it is being thoughtful and guiding our customers to do that, but also being able to use different channels.”

Check out the episode above, and find out more about Heard on the Street and see our entire episode archive here.  Contact us if you’d like to sponsor an episode.

Mike Boland has been a tech & media analyst for the past two decades, specifically covering mobile, local, and emerging technologies. He has written for Street Fight since 2011. More can be seen at