Marketers are spending increasing amounts of time and money crafting mobile marketing campaigns. But once the campaigns have gone out, the real work begins, says Brendan O’Kane, CEO at OtherLevels, which helps mobile marketers analyze their campaigns to ensure they are getting the maximum value out of their efforts. O’Kane spoke about mobile marketing with Marketing Daily.
Q: What are marketers doing wrong with their mobile marketing programs, and what can they do to fix them?
A: I’m not sure they’re doing anything wrong. What I see is a bit of an evolution. They’re still heavily focused on customer acquisition, and they’re looking at those techniques. They’re trying to bring traffic to a mobile Web site or to a mobile app. If you’re going to look at a mobile marketing program, you’re going to have to look at the big picture, which includes customer acquisition and retention. I think the evolution you’re going to see is a combination of acquisition and retention mobile marketing programs.
Q: How do you find the balance between acquisition and retention programs?
A: Acquisition is a point in time and retention is the long-tail activity. If you don’t retain your audience, you have to acquire them again. Get your acquisition right, [and you] make sure you don’t have to go through the cost of reacquiring those customers. The mobile device is very personal and, since everyone is targeting them, it’s about respecting the privacy of your audience on mobile. You have to be relevant, you have to be timely, and you have to be cautious. There’s plenty of evidence that too much exposure leads people to unsubscribe. Relevance is hugely important and so is timeliness. You’ve got to address those areas to have success or engagement.
Q: I'm sure you'll say that marketers need to define what it is they're looking for before they launch their campaigns in order to gauge measurement. I've heard this for years for every possible medium. Why is this message not getting through?
A: There’s too much data available on mobile. If you’re familiar with the mobile analytics tools, they can give you an avalanche of data. They can tell you the device and the operating system [a customer is using]. As a marketer, some things are more important than others: location, cost of acquisition, how you acquire them. I think the challenge for marketers is, there’s a huge amount that’s coming in, but they want more that’s relatable to their ROI. We all have to become more sophisticated as vendors. We have to provide better service and we have to provide more ROI with regards to the specific campaign.
Q: How can marketers define what their most important measurements are, and how can they track against them?
A: I think there’s some things you can do there. One of the things you need to do is start to link the analytics that are telling you what’s happening on the device to your campaign. If the analytics are telling you that a coupon was redeemed or viewed, if you’re finding any of that on the phone, you need to relate it back to your campaign. Because if you don’t, you’re not informing the campaign and you’re not giving yourself the best shot at retargeting that audience with a follow-up campaign.
Q: Marketers often say they have too much data available to them, and don't know how to sort through it all. What is your response to that, in regard to the mobile space?
A: I think to some extent marketers are going to look for pragmatic, practical solutions. We saw the rise of the email vendors. They weren’t doing anything that large corporations couldn’t do. Marketers were looking for solutions to direct [toward] their immediate needs. I think what marketers want is what they learned on e-mail. They want to have good pragmatic solutions that can help them get out into the solutions.