October 10, 2018
The State (and Future) of Digital Marketplaces
The mobile era has created new opportunities and challenges for marketers. Today, it’s not enough for brands to push out creative campaigns, even to hyper-targeted groups of users. The modern customer expects more from these communications, and brands need a marketing strategy that incorporates the individual’s context to engage them with the most relevant and timely information. As a mobile marketer, it’s your job to create a mosaic of mobile moments that your customers will respond to and remember.
A great strategy creates an intelligent series of messages, delivered based on the unique behaviors and preferences of your users. Depending on how they feel about your brand in the moment and what actions they’ve taken in the past, you are ready with the perfect message that will resonate and add value to their day. A great mobile marketing automation strategy uses four different types of campaigns; these campaigns work together to engage users and drive them to conversion.
Lifecycle campaigns are the bread and butter of every mobile marketing automation strategy. They are programmatic messages, speaking to customers differently based on their current relationship or level of engagement with your brand. While the approach may differ across user engagement states, the goal of lifecycle campaigns is to prompt users to become increasingly engaged with your brand.
Lifecycle campaign strategy is analogous to the difference between acting as a seasoned sales associate and as a novice. The novice gives the same spiel to every customer, while the more knowledgeable salesperson tailors his approach based on what he can infer about the customer.
Here’s how lifecycle campaigns can be tailored to users within the four key engagement states:
New users have recently downloaded your app. For this group, the goal is to inspire habitual use, so that users make a ritual of using your app in their daily lives. In this case, your messages serve as external triggers for the user that will eventually turn into internal triggers. For example, a dating app might use a well-timed push asking users to rate a potential date at lunchtime, reminding them to complete this action when it’s convenient. At first, users engage with the app when reminded, but soon they are internally triggered by the time of day or the feeling of boredom.
Passerby users opened your app one time and have not used it since. You need to show passerby users the value of the your app, so that they don’t forget it amidst the multitude of installed apps on their devices. For example, a food delivery app might send users a push close to dinnertime, informing them that dinner can be just a few taps away. A contextual push like that can show users the convenience of engaging.
Dormant users have used your app in the past but have not been back in a while. For these users, you need to inspire re-engagement by prompting them to reconnect with your brand. It’s likely that you have more information about these users based on their past actions, so you can use what you know to encourage them to re-engage. For example, a mobile ticketing app can take a user’s known preference for a performer and send him a push about upcoming live events featuring that performer.
And finally, engaged users are actively using your app. It’s all about driving virtuous actions and increasing the lifetime value of these users. Once users are engaged, you want to make sure that they take the key actions that will get them more invested in your app and more likely to make future purchases. For example, an e-commerce brand might send a push to persuade people who have browsed items from a designer to sign up for sale alerts from that designer, knowing that the action of signing up leads to longer retention and more conversions.
Conversion campaigns are the monetization component to every mobile marketing automation strategy. They are programmatic messages, used to encourage engaged users to complete important actions like purchasing, sharing, registering and more. They are a real-time reminder to trigger a purchase or key action, if the user’s intent has not been fulfilled after a certain amount of time. For example, an e-commerce app can send a push to remind a user who has already put an item in a shopping cart to check out, and even sweeten the deal by offering a discount.
One-time campaigns supplement lifecycle and conversion campaign strategy by delivering one-off mobile moments that delight specific groups of users. By delivering information at an opportune time, one-time campaigns can be used to further inspire brand loyalty and habitual use. For example, a media app can send a breaking news alert about national politics, based on the user’s known history of reading articles in that category. These one-time campaigns anticipate what users want, add value to the user’s day, and make your brand relevant in their eyes.
Transactional campaigns deliver personal and time-sensitive information that’s extremely useful to your users, such as an alert about their taxi arriving or the time a utility bill is due. Instead of attempting any kind of brand promotion, they simply make people’s lives run better. In doing so, these messages powerfully demonstrate to users the value of the app—which increases user retention and engagement. For example, a financial services app might send a transactional message to a user when they are within $100 of their monthly spending limit.
Using these four types of campaigns, you can create a messaging strategy that addresses the many challenges of mobile engagement and monetization. Together, these campaigns nurture your users, inspiring them to become active members of your user community and driving them to complete the key valuable actions that increase user lifetime value and revenue. For the next few lessons in our series, we’ll show you how to create campaigns for specific groups of users based on their engagement states. ‘Til next week!