The Kurogo 2016 Mega Post

Hello superfans!

Once again, here’s my Kurogo conference mega post. ¬†My notes are perhaps not quite as detailed as last year, due to my involvement in organizing the venue this year. ¬†If you’ve never helped to organize a multi-day event like this, believe me the devil is COMPLETELY in the details ūüôā ¬†As always, any errors, omissions or inaccuracies are all mine. ¬†If there’s anything you see you’d like me to update / edit, please hit me up via twitter @paulschantz. ¬†I hope you find my notes helpful!

Thursday, March 24

Wednesday, March 23

Tuesday, March 22



End User Personalization


  • Marty Johnson, Georgetown University
  • Adam Smeets, Dominican University

A look into the crystal ball on the future of personalized mobile experiences.

Marty: ¬†Small bite-sized data that can be subscribed to or delivered directly to me without me asking for it. ¬†In my email client, wouldn’t it be great if I could update contact info based on incoming email? ¬†Google makes recommendations to me based on my preferences and it’s a little creepy but it works well. ¬†Our students are asking for a lot of this kind of predictive functionality.

Adam: ¬†“trust capital,” how do we think about the privacy of our users? ¬†In IT, we frequently jam a bunch of data and features together, but we don’t often think about the ethical considerations of doing so. ¬†Emergency management is something we’ve been considering, i.e. “mustering.”


  • What happens when things don’t work? ¬†MARTY: ¬†depends on the thing, i.e. is it just a free salad? ¬†Probably not a problem. ¬†ADAM: ¬†unless it’s 20,000 students wanting a free salad! ¬†MARTY: ¬†sometimes getting accurate info from faculty is not easy. ¬†ADAM: ¬†we had an issue with Peoplesoft data where a few students did not have enough credits to graduate, now THAT’S a major error.
  • Is there a point of diminishing returns for personalization? ¬†MARTY: ¬†if you can build a platform that’s cost-effective, then it makes sense. ¬†ADAM: ¬†what’s the goal, and how does your strategy meet that goal? ¬†You have to be able to measure this in a way that shows you’re driving value.
  • Should students be required to purchase modern smartphones? ¬†MARTY: ¬†out of 1,800 admitted students, only 30 did not have a smartphone. ¬†The overall cost for subsidizing is relatively small, but provide ways for students to get them for themselves. ¬†ADAM: ¬†no, it should not be a requirement.

Using Beacon Technology to Enhance Communication


  • Matt Willmore, University of Notre Dame
  • Kris Rogers, Indiana State University

Are Beacons the future of messaging? How can you incorporate them on your campus to enhance the university experience?

Indiana State University

  • We use three different types of beacons: ¬†Radbeacon Dot, X2, USB
  • Shared a map of the areas they’re covering: ¬†Career Center, Quad, Book Store, USU
  • Many of our partners downtown are working with us to strengthen relationships with our student body

Notre Dame University

  • You need a BlueTooth 4.0 standard device (same tech used for FitBit, AppleWatch, and increasing amount of consumer devices.
  • The largest housing Radius makes takes 4 AA batteries, and the vast majority of the size is taken up by the batteries.
  • Low-cost, low-power one-way transmitter; transmits between 1 and 10 times per second; every transmission is the same: “I’m a beacon with the UUID [X], major identifier [Y] and minor identifier [Z]
  • Can also do ranging, i.e. the phone can estimate how far away it is from the beacon.
  • UUID: Universally Unique Identifier; a generated alphanumeric string that you assign to beacons to uniquely identify them.
  • Major/minor identifiers: numbers to designate which beacon is transmitting.

CampaignKit is the brains behind the signaling and messaging

  • 3 elements: ¬†places (beacons & geofences), content (the message), and campaigns

What do you need?

  • Kurogo app with Radius SDK installed
  • Beacons!
  • Active campaigns
  • Users need device with Bluetooth 4, app installed, bluetooth enabled, notifications enabled for your app

Beacon Placement

  • As close to traffic as possible while being out of the way
  • Under tables or where people tend to congregate
  • Consider weatherproof beacons for outdoor applications
  • We label our beacons, with a spreadsheet to track them all

Beacons at Notre Dame

  • Passive data collection (to find out how many people we could have reached in a given location over a give period of time)
  • Targeted notifications at retail locations: ¬†food & bookstore

Future Opportunities

  • Athletic venues
  • Events like alumni reunion
  • Line monitoring (presence monitoring for line length)
  • Room availability
  • Indoor navigation


  • Can you opt-out of specific messaging? ¬†Not yet on the Kurogo platform.

Marketing and Promoting Your Mobile App


  • Kate Hash, University of North Carolina
  • Marieanne Quiroz, Cal State Northridge

Marketing your app to users is just as important as developing it. Learn best practices for maximizing adoption of your app.

Kate:  our app is a true partnership with our students.

  • Development and platform management is in my office
  • Students are responsible for all the content.

Timeline of CarolinaGO

  • Launched in 2014 as
  • Native app went live October, 2014
  • 13,000 total downloads
  • We did brochures and QR codes

Why does the app exist?

  • One stop shopping for students: ¬†LMS, Bus finders, gym / dining schedules, events
  • We were missing was an “anchor store” like a shopping center
  • What pain points are we solving/can we solve? ¬†Peoplesoft mobile could serve as the anchor

Summer 2015

  • Peoplesoft mobile soft launch in mid-June
  • Redesign launched in early August
  • Quietly promoting app to new students
  • Promotion to new students via engagement with orientation leaders, signage at laptop distribution
  • The big bang August 14: ¬†tweet, article in the Daily Tar Heel.
  • No real action…until: ¬†formal notice to ALL¬†students. ¬†This gave us 8,000 new downloads.

Coming Soon

  • Extensive in-person outreach: ¬†Fall Fest, Student Government, Greek Organizations
  • Push Notifications
  • First Year Student Summer Orientations: ¬†mobile device setup room, communications designed for parents, educated orientation staff
  • Bus Ads

Key Lessons Learned

  • Tie promo efforts to positive app changes
  • ID pain points, fix them, advertise them
  • Work closely with students to understand how to reach them
  • Partner with other departments and collaborators
  • We do lots of in-person events

Marieanne:  Marketing & Promoting Your App

  • We have no permanent funding for marketing our app
  • We have a Portal/Mobile App Committee, which has representation from most areas on campus.
  • Our Student Marketing & Communications team is in our Outreach and Communications department; we have in-house writers and graphic designers.
  • We do a number of surveys: ¬†annual IT survey, 1st time freshmen and 1st time transfers, feedback button on the app.
  • Focus groups: ¬†push notification, CSUN mobile app; analytics, observations
  • Developed strategic marketing / communications plan: ¬†content students want vs. what the university feels they need; develop timelines for additional content and develop marketing plans that correspond.
  • Our students love YouTube videos! ¬†We produce these instead of how-to written materials…nobody reads those.
  • We have a “CSUN Navigators” program the first few days of class, where we have tents set up across campus, manned by people who help guide students¬†(including how to download and use the app).
  • We do a lot of promotion during New Student Orientation
  • We do portal announcements and push notifications (there’s a “My Announcements” pagelet in the portal. ¬†Students want deadline information, ticketing info
  • We also push the app in our prospective students portal (Hobsons); we also use our digital screens which are across campus and free for us to advertise on.

Future Marketing Efforts

  • KCSN Radio
  • More function-based marketing
  • Continued and expanded outreach to prospective students
  • Outreach to new students
  • Expanded use of analytics and data analysis
  • Expanded use of push notifications
  • Email campaign with use of updated videos


  • Have you used Social Media to promote your apps? ¬†KATE: ¬†we tweet things out, but more often we forward things to our Social Media Director for further outreach. ¬†MARIEANNE: ¬†yes, we do use a number of Social Media networks, and involve our Advancement team in a big way as well.
  • Where do recommendations from your governance group go? ¬†MARIEANNE: ¬†primarily IT and SM&C make the recommendations, and we review things.
  • Is there anything you wish the central department would know / should do? ¬†KATE: ¬†projects coming out of IT are generally not glamorous, so we’ve spent a lot of time working with our social media director and collaborating with other areas. ¬†Knowing where your app is at the moment is super-important. ¬†MARIEANNE: ¬†we work collaboratively with our partners in Advancement and with branding & communications.



Keynote: Past, Present and Future of Mobile


  • Andrew Yu, Modo labs

The Mobile Born Generation

  • Andrew shared photos of his two young sons (2 years and 4 months) playing with mobile devices

The Changing Environment

  • In 2007 MiT worked on building their mobile web. ¬†At the time, their CIO cautioned that “the iPhone can’t do it all.”
  • There was no app store for the iPhone until 2008
  • In 2008 everything we did was mobile web; only 1% of the traffic to the web site was from mobile.
  • 1st Gen: ¬†Transit Module
  • 1st Gen: ¬†Mobile Analytics
  • Student Reactions to our first app at MiT were very positive!
  • There’s often a BIG¬†difference between what people are looking for on a university web site versus what’s actually there
  • First mobile app class was a big success, but joining with the Sloan Business school the second year made it sustainable and brought big and positive changes.
  • MiT president saw Stanford’s “iStanford” app and told us: ¬†“we need an app”
  • We need to deliver an iPhone app 1/2010
  • We set up push notifications for transit
  • We set up a lot of custom features!
  • Covering all the bases at that time was not easy; smartphone penetration was only about 30% . ¬†So, we had to use methods like shortcodes for SMS messaging to reach people with non-smartphones.
  • Target: ¬†Mobile Experience in 2010 – you could not know if the product you were looking for was in stock locally. ¬†Today, not only can you access stock “in-app,” it’ll tell you where it’s located in the store.¬† Target now has “you are here” signs up all over the store.
  • We’re very close to a “walletless” experience, where you can use your mobile phone for pretty much everything.
  • Video broadcasting anything: ¬†Periscope, VR, short-form video like Vine
  • Snapchat: ¬†gesture based UI; use of¬†QR codes for reporting maintenance / housekeeping issues
  • 2014: ¬†“Mobile is Dead” ¬†Matias Duarte¬†
  • The concept of easy needs to translate into everything that we do with mobile: ¬†i.e. get info without opening the app (widgets, live tiles, etc.).


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