Marketing on the move: The 6 principles of engaging mobile consumers

Author

Joanna Sammartino Bailey and Growmobile

March 1, 2016

This sponsored post is produced by Growmobile.


It makes sense when you think about it: Customers are on the move, and in order to reach them, marketers need to be on the move too.

Settling down into a staid, predictable routine seems to be the death knell for any mobile marketing strategy. That was the takeaway from a panel I was part of at VB’s Marketing.FWD summit earlier this week, entitled “How to structure your technology, and your marketing strategy, to win in a mobile world.”

Joined by Kim Feil from Bizhive, Erica Seidal from The Connective Good, and Rishi Dave from Dun & Bradstreet, we discussed challenges and opportunities in mobile marketing — and how marketers can get the most out of their campaigns by being agile, adaptable, and creative. For me, it boiled down to these six essential principles if you’re going to succeed in our mobile-dominant world.

1. Adopt a ‘live for change’ motto

In order to acquire and engage as many quality users as possible, mobile marketers need to be nimble and proficient with a wide variety of sources and formats, to optimize and revise, to respond to changes in inventory and user habits — and, above all, to refine their approach and stay on the move.

One important point we discussed was how creating a marketing campaign is not — and cannot be — a “once and done” proposition. The key to successful mobile marketing is to stay agile and versatile and not become too reliant on one format of ads, or invest too heavily in a single traffic source.

2. Diversify your traffic sources

Regardless of what you may have read, there is no “one” ideal way to source traffic. Social media, programmatic and non-programmatic advertising, and real-time bidding all have their respective advantages and drawbacks. Diversifying your traffic sources is crucial, as is constantly engaging with users you’ve acquired, and measuring engagement is key to discovering what works for you.

Likewise, while it can be tempting to rely entirely on video and display ads, since those are tried-and-true and are chiefly the formats that marketers use, there’s a vast field of other tactics — such as native, playable, and text-based — that provide untapped opportunities for marketers willing to roll up their sleeves and get creative.

3. Monitor, optimize, and monitor again

With all these possibilities available, it is essential to constantly monitor performance and optimize your campaigns. Even in optimization, though, too many companies can get locked into the routines of using familiar creatives and traffic sources without diving deep and taking advantage of a myriad of other ways to improve performance on mobile.

As the mobile marketing landscape evolves, other effective optimization methods will become more useful including whitelisting and blacklisting sub-publishers based on who delivers the best traffic; optimizing to ROI by looking at in-app purchases to calculate ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) and identify the most profitable users; and utilizing real-time optimization to automatically update campaigns based on their performance.

4. Personalize or die

When it comes to engaging users, there can be no one-size-fits-all model. Personalization with laser precision is the name of the game. Mobile usage unlocks untold reams of data about the customer’s habits, preferences, likes, and dislikes. It is incumbent upon marketers to leverage this glut of information to deliver ads at the right times, through the right channels, in the right formats, and at the right frequencies.

5. Know that automation is your friend

Placing such a high emphasis on optimization does not mean that mobile marketing has to become a labor drain. There are several automation tools available to help marketers and app-makers streamline their campaign creation and optimization process, so that they can focus on what counts — and not be bogged down by the distractions of minute-by-minute operations.

Embracing automation allows you to redirect human energy where it needs to be: on constantly learning about the changing marketplaces and applying those lessons to creating new and better strategies. A successful strategist is never satisfied. Marketers must be committed to testing, experimenting, and reiterating elements of their campaign; it’s not a matter of achieving the perfect method, but of finding that frictionless alignment between your marketing practices and your business goals as the two develop in tandem.

6. Hire those with mobile brains

As to that human energy I mentioned, what steps can you take when building your team to make sure that it is prepared to meet the challenges of marketing to consumers on the move? In practice, this might mean keeping an open mind for potential team-members who lack the management experience of more seasoned candidates but have grown up in a mobile environment and are more attuned to its nuances and more open-minded to embracing new ideas and taking things in new directions. It’s far more important that you find that crucial balance between — and combination of — old experience and new savvy, rather than relying on traditional hierarchy structures.

The field is ever changing, and branching out in new creative directions — in other words, it’s pretty mobile.

Joanna Sammartino Bailey is Chief Revenue Officer at Growmobile by Perion. Check out Growmobile’s new resource center for more on how to improve your mobile marketing strategy and success stories.


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