As mobile devices and apps occupy more of our time, how do you as a brand effectively reach the right people in all instances? How do you find, attract and retain customers through mobile channels?
To find out, we recently co-hosted a panel with Leanplum featuring IMVU and SmartNews at The Sequoia in San Francisco. It was a fun and insightful event, bringing together some of the brightest minds in the mobile advertising and marketing space. Here are our top six takeaways from the event:
1) Use data wisely to support user engagement
Lomit Patel, VP of Growth at IMVU and one of the evening’s featured speakers, defines mobile CRM as the “hooks” that ensure people are actually engaged and interested in your product and service. The data you have should help you better understand your customers and what they care about. In addition, extensive A/B testing allows you to fine tune your data and gain an ever deeper understanding of your customer base.
2) Don’t let acquisition distract from retention
Many marketers can get really bogged down in user growth, focusing heavily on acquisition. But what good is that if all the people you acquire aren’t using your app? It was sobering to hear that only around one in four people open an app more than once, and just two percent of everyone who downloads an app will still be using it 90 days later.
3) Be smart about casting a wide net for potential new customers
While the time people spend in apps is growing dramatically, a small handful of apps – think Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. – have come to dominate the market. However, reaching out to people through these big players only is not ideal, noted Beatrice Olivas, InMobi’s VP of North America Sales. Casting a wide net in terms of number of apps included in ad and marketing campaigns ensures you are touching as many potential customers as possible.
Of course, this should be done intelligently, leveraging data to determine precisely where and how to talk to the right people – and then retargeting them when necessary across apps. In fact, Beatrice noted that three out of every four businesses that tap InMobi to help with user acquisition utilize retargeting.
4) Transparency is key to fighting ad fraud
One of the biggest questions of the night from those in the audience was in relation to fraud. A lot of studies have come out in recent months highlighting problems related to ad fraud. All three panelists were in agreement on how to fight ad fraud today though: Be fully transparent with all players in the ecosystem by pooling together available data to more intelligently spot, fight and move past fraud.
5) Think about what humans actually want and need, and then develop journeys and creatives
In the rush to collect and then pour over data, it can be too easy to forget about the people behind the scenes. What do these humans really want and need, and how do you connect with them in a meaningful way? IMVU’s Lomit Patel noted that the data should be used to create meaningful user journeys that guide people to see your products and services in a clear way that makes sense for them.
For example, Lomit said they use data from Leanplum to optimize in-app engagement. But, if push notifications prove ineffective, then they will retarget these former users with help from InMobi. This kind of partnership highlights how publishers can use data to inform their human-centric practices.
This thinking should extend to creatives too, as the visuals and voiceovers are so critical to the customer journey. Beatrice from InMobi commented that 90 percent of the time, creatives developed for a particular kind of person and for specific formats do better than something out of the box.
6) Align KPIs with business goals
Fabien-Pierre Nicolas, Head of Growth Marketing at SmartNews and another speaker on the panel, recommended being more thoughtful about the key performance indicators tracked. To determine the true impact of an in-app advertising and marketing campaign, he especially recommended tracking return on advertising spend (RoAS) and time spent (engaged with the brand).
“We define success by living up to our company vision to provide the world with quality information,” Nicolas said. “In the U.S., this translates by providing our users with ‘news that matters’ to them. The average time per user/month, and percent of medium-heavy users using us between 75-100 percent in a 28-day period, are our key metrics.”
We had an enjoyable evening at The Sequoia, and a big thanks go out to Leanplum and everyone else who attended, asked great questions and learned tons about the future of mobile marketing and advertising.
This article first appeared on INMOBI.