GrowCommerce 2015: Mobile Engagement on The Rise

By: Kahuna | August 5, 2015 | Mobile Marketing
GrowCommerce: Mobile Engagement

The mobile-first world means major changes for how brands reach consumers. Kahuna CEO Adam Marchick and Brock Strasbourger, Head of Business at Fancy, covered this topic at GrowCommerce 2015 last week in New York, during their panel “Making Money on Mobile.” The pair discussed how mobile engagement strategies are changing the way business is done on mobile and delivering major results for e-commerce brands.

Adam pointed to SeatGeek, the world’s largest ticket search engine, as an example of a brand that’s doing a great job of marketing by engagement state. SeatGeek’s mobile marketing strategies are built around three core goals: inspire, engage, and convert. Instead of blasting a “buy tickets now” message to its entire user base, SeatGeek first sends out low-pressure mobile messages which aim to inspire the user to check out nearby events.

Once it has inspired users to browse and favorite events, SeatGeek learns what the user is interested in. Do they like Taylor Swift? Do they like the New York Yankees? Do they like both? If so, do they like the Yankees more than Taylor Swift? This person-centric data is critical for personalizing messages that will resonate with users.

Once SeatGeek has successfully gotten the user to engage, it sends personalized, relevant messages to get the user to convert. This could be sending a purchase reminder for Yankees versus Red Sox tickets at a time when SeatGeek knows the user is likely to be engaged with the app. This mobile messaging strategy built on inspiring, engaging, and converting has led to much higher conversion rates for SeatGeek.

Email is increasingly becoming a mobile-first activity, as more than half of emails are now opened on a mobile device. Brock said Fancy is seeing success with its email newsletter driving users to its mobile properties. Fancy is putting a lot of time and effort into choosing which communication channel delivers the best value for users.

That’s somewhat of a change from industry orthodoxy, said Adam, because many brands will think hard about what’s worthy of a push notification, but they have no problem sending a deluge of emails. Adam said many brands believe, “it’s totally cool to spam your users on email but not on push.”

Part of this is because of the newness of push notification—which Adam compared to “Hotmail in 1999”—and brands need to embrace the notion that all communications matter. In other words, it’s better to send fewer, better messages than to rely on a volume approach.

Brock said Fancy is seeing interesting results with its in-app messaging strategy because these are users who are already engaged. Adam said in-app messaging can best be used as a guide for the user. To kick it up a notch, brands can combine in-app messaging with in-app A/B testing from the likes of Optimizely to shepherd users.

“A good way to think about in-app messaging … is that it’s a way to take a user flow from six clicks to two clicks,” Adam said.

When it comes to what types of tools marketers should be looking for, Brock said he wanted an “automated way but with enough controls so that we can manage it and mitigate the issues.”

Adam recalled his time on the Facebook growth team where they’d had up to 1,000 campaigns running at time. The only possible way for it to work was through automation and optimization. He advised marketers looking for a solution to find something that does the heavy lifting when it comes to optimizing for copy, device, and delivery. Basically, you want a tool where you “see and control everything, but you don’t have to tweak anything.”

The full panel discussion can be found below, and you can follow Adam on Twitter @AdamMStanford and Brock @brockstras.