Establishing A Mobile Marketing Automation Strategy For Your Business

The following is a guest contributed post to MMW from Shawn Arora, the founder of LaunchSpark, a Toronto-based explainer video agency with a focus on ROI.

Marketing automation is a billion dollar business opportunity. But despite the rising share of mobile systems in the ecosystem, mobile marketing automation remains a fledgling part of it. Most of the leading marketing automation systems in the market today, including Pardot, HubSpot, Marketo and Eloqua, position themselves based on their expertise in various capabilities such as lead generation, email marketing and sales alignment. While mobile is an integral part of this automation strategy, it’s yet to be viewed as a product in itself. A GetResponse article from 2015 claims that only 1.5 percent of the MMA market is penetrated, although the proliferation is expected to have grown exponentially since then.

So how exactly is MMA different from traditional marketing automation strategies? Technically, mobile is simply a subset of marketing automation, and an organization should bring together leads generated from all platforms and sources under one roof while devising a strategy. A lead procured through a mobile app should be nurtured over email, and vice versa. What’s unique to mobile marketing automation is the specific advantage that the platform provides.

Location targeting is a big part of mobile marketing. Geofencing, a strategy that involves targeting prospective customers who are in a very targeted geolocation (as opposed to targeting them by their IP address) is being increasingly viewed as an effective automated retargeting mechanism, especially among brick and mortar businesses. This is because unlike retargeting, which promotes a business to customers even when they’re not actively looking to buy, geofencing may be specifically targeted at customers who are looking to spend. A prospective customer who’s hanging out at a mall that your store is located in is more likely to check your products than one who visited your website a couple of weeks back.

The other aspect of mobile that can be attractive to businesses is app notifications. According to a Tapjoy study, the average open rate of push notifications are anywhere from 2.60% to 3.06% depending on the day of the week. Although this is significantly lower than open rates for SMS or email marketing, the truth is also that push notifications, at least at present, are less bounded by government regulations. At the same time, it’s easier for users to permanently block apps that send annoying messages. Mobile marketing automation is incomplete without an app notification strategy, but it can only be implemented after carefully considering what users want and how it can be delivered with minimal annoyance.

Establishing an MMA strategy

As noted earlier in this article, mobile marketing automation needs to be looked at in the larger context of marketing automation strategies, including:

Lead capture – Geolocation is a technique used by marketers to identify the location of a prospect by sending them an email or SMS. Broadcast marketing campaigns are used to initiate contact with prospects that fall within the geographical area marked by the campaign parameters. These prospects are then captured and channeled into the marketing pipeline.

Sales alignment – It takes anywhere from six to eight touches to generate a viable sales lead. The mobile medium can contribute two to three of these touches, including ones through a SMS, an app notification or a sales call. But given the fact that users are increasingly migrating to mobile, even email and retargeting banners are delivered through mobile phones for a growing number of users.

Segmentation – An important component of marketing automation involves segmenting users based on their demographics and other buyer characteristics. Using this information, marketers can deploy a marketing strategy that aligns with their needs and expectations. Mobile-based outreach provides the marketer with a number of qualifiers like the OS being used, what type of mobile device the prospect uses as well as what apps they use and where they’re located. These data points help create a more precise segmentation process that helps increase conversions.