In the old times, the relationship between a company and its customers was dominated by the “Mad Men” style of advertising. They chose the best copy, the best ad creative and media. Their work was inspired by creativity and intuition – less by numbers, metrics and analytics.
Today’s marketing requires much more than great copy, and a marketer’s day to day work is made of an ever-widening attention to content, creative and many analytical and quantitative metrics. Audiences are spread across multiple different channels, and different rules must be applied.
I experienced the marketing automation revolution first-hand – the ability to closely target and segment audiences, personalize content, and measure (almost) everything became a huge benefit.
Yet, as exciting as the introduction of marketing automation was, mobile apps are harboring an even greater revolution for marketers. The dominance of mobile apps will make a marketer’s job much different and inject yet another discipline that requires mastery and diligence in order to succeed.
Getting personalized with your app users
“Classic” marketing automation supports audience segmentation, email management and the personalization of content for site visitors. It also helps track traffic sources and anything related to interacting with users in the digital realm.
Now that mobile apps have come into the picture, marketers must learn how to perform an entirely different type of marketing automation – specifically, mobile marketing automation (or, in other words, mobile engagement).
The mobile channel requires a higher level of personalization since app users expect more from their mobile apps in terms of ease of use and the overall user experience. Not only do users expect apps to respond to their level of interest (whether they were active recently or not), but also to provide them with real-time context based on their interests, their feedback, and their current session actions, as well as their past interactions.
That means that all forms of app engagement, be it push notifications, in-app messages, coupons, banners and others can’t be launched indiscriminately when the app opens or in a random page in the app. The more specific and personal you get, the better the user experience will be, and the more conversion and retention you will see.
On a broader note, you should also understand the user’s entire journey across other channels. The marketing actions you perform in the app need to be aligned with your other marketing channels.
All of this is easier said than done, but they are skills you will inevitably have to master in order to achieve success in the mobile marketing realm.
Mobile Engagement Casts a Wider Net
You want to make sure people are using your app in the best possible way. You need to help users understand the full extent of your app functionality and take advantage of its various features. Even more importantly, users should become loyal to your app.
But how can you do all that?
You have to use various engagement features to increase user participation, such as surveys, upgrade reminders, and videos, among others.
These tools enable marketers to manage the entire user’s journey in the app – not only offer coupons or send reminder messages. User onboarding, retention and conversions are all affected by mobile marketing.
While the engagement feature set that comes with a mobile engagement platform is quite broad, marketers need to learn how to use it effectively. Timing and context are crucial, but you also have to listen to your users’ feedback (using surveys, short forms or quizzes). Make sure you respond appropriately, and address the details provided by the users.
Moreover, you should use engagement features in a sequential order to provide an even richer user experience. For example, display a video followed by an open question related to the content, and then analyze the overall impact of this ‘flow’ to gain actionable insights.
Mobile marketers must bond with product management
For marketers to trigger the ideal engagement features with the relevant messaging at the precise moment when a user is most likely to engage, they must work hand in hand with the app product owner and develop a deeper understanding of UX matters.
Mobile engagement is often used to bridge gaps that exist in live apps, such as directing users to features they have missed, onboarding and getting users to register. Filling these gaps requires the marketer’s connection with product management to be very close, as marketing on mobile has a significant impact on the core value of the app – on the product, itself. Thus, mobile marketers and product managers should work together to achieve the app’s short-term business goals.
Mobile engagement comes from the same roots as marketing automation, but the discipline is much wider and deeper. It requires marketers to use different tools, acquire new skills and cover new intellectual bases. This may be challenging at times, but it certainly makes for a much more exciting role in marketing.