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Mobile Marketing: Tackling the Odds

By Sean Patrick Rossi, Senior Marketing Director US Mobile, Samsung Electronics America

Sean Patrick Rossi, Senior Marketing Director US Mobile, Samsung Electronics America

What are the recent trends and the pain points you have witnessed in the mobile marketing landscape?

I think for many the evergreen challenge is to reach the target audience effectively and efficienctly. In the era of digital technology and the onset of machine learning, reaching the target audience has become easier than ever before. But the real challenge lies not in reaching but engaging them. With the overuse of social platforms and the increasing number of players every single day, it is definitely becoming a challenge to grab the attention of the targeted customers. Grabbing the attention pays off only when it complements the content strategy and value proposition of the brand. Therefore the key challenge lies in finding the right platform and bringing the right content to the table, which can keep the customers engaged as well as drive them into the sales funnel. So it’s about having the right Who, Where, What and When. According to my observation, the more successful brands are those who provide value without asking anything in return. They understand the potential customer base wants and desires, initiate a relevant conversation that provides value to them upfront and therefore able to present their value proposition in a way that can be appreciated and eventually translate into a return. This whole new approach is bringing in a paradigm shift in the business philosophy

What are some of the best ways to measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, especially when it relates to mobile marketing?

A successful marketing campaign starts with a clear idea of what success looks like. I think that is the aspect that most people fail to visualize; they either take the most standardized approach or KPI sets to measure results. Time and time again we see that the more is invested into defining what exactly we want to achieve the better focused a campaign becomes and better suited for ongoing optimization. It is important to remember that the key to success lies in looking through the lens of the customer. What brand promise can you effectively communicate and what is expected outcome and action are some of the points you need to consider. So the more time spent researching the needs of the customer, the easier it becomes to define the success of the campaign. It is essential to adopt the right channels and the right tools to take you closer towards your goal. You should be able to define the relationship between sales and the marketing policies clearly. It becomes more complicated when looking to establish a brand, but the timeline between driving the awareness and the conversion requires a little bit more patience. And this starts with getting a clear idea of what you want to achieve first and choosing the right KPI accordingly.

"We can make enormous advancements in some areas only if we stick to our basics instead of following the trends now and then"

Talking about achievements, what according to you are examples of some KPIs?

KPIs are functional to what you want to achieve in terms of organizational goals.

From a funnel perspective, you might have an awareness challenge and you need perhaps to create a customer base. In this context then the biggest setback that many face is scaling reach / awareness at efficient costs and with the right audience. Most

It is not always about the audience, rather the quality and relevancy of content that can rightfully engage the audience to drive consideration. This stage represents different challenges for different type of business models. In the context of digital activation we like to see click through rates (CTR) and View through Rates (VTR) as early indicator of engagement and consideration but ultimately conversion is king. Measuring conversion becomes a bigger challenge the further removed we are looking from a digital store, but partnering with the right vendor can bridge the gap for attributing impact.

Many are using cross combination of KPIs and methods to measure digital marketing effectiveness. While tempting to measure everything under the sun, it pays of to be selective and choiceful to empower real action ability behind the insights.

What are the factors that help you to make the right choice of partners or solution providers in the marketplace?

You can identify a promising partner by the way they invest time to understand your business, its challenges, and how they talk about strategizing changes instead of going for a cold pitch. We usually link with a partner on a “test and learn” basis where they would charge you fairly that proves their strong confidence in their product or expertise in their field. Once the company manages to prove their worth, most probably we will continue working with them. At the same time, many reputable companies, having spent time with you, are quite proactive in suggesting themselves as the right partner after going through the challenges.

In some scenarios, it also takes some quality effort from the client’s side to ensure that the right ingredients go into the test and let the results speak for themselves.

Could you provide an example where you’ve applied strategic marketing into action, and what was the outcome?

Going through the marketing journey and internalizing the learning process helped us in bringing the expertise in-house. The data derived through this process proved to be crucial and was used to obtain better insights into the marketing strategy.

There was a time when we have been managing our campaign through external resources, and the internal team was only responsible for proper execution. But later we tried to manage our campaign within the company because we are the best ones to understand our products. Initially, internalization needs a lot of learning and investment in hiring professionals and may not yield outstanding results but is beneficial in the long-run. Factors like technical relation from a media perspective and the way the digital content is served make perfect sense once we look at it from the business perspective. Prioritization of audiences, as opposed to the business priority, became the much-needed step towards success. By merely adding to the perspective, we were able to have improved results on the campaign incrementally.

The second step was the internalization of this data, elaborating marketing hypothesis, and starting to test them with a partner. And eventually, we reach a point where we work side by side with a partner on the design of the plan to the point till the partner just becomes a tool enabler.

This resulted in prioritizing the business and making the execution seamless by allowing everything to be done with just a click. And the internalization process also helped in fertilizing the digital culture by bridging the cultural gap in the organization.

We learned a lot from an execution standpoint which helped in creating a significant impact on the overall business.

What will the future of mobile marketing look like in terms of technology as well as strategy?

The landscape can look pretty different depending on the vantage point you have in terms of marketing and where are you getting at. We can make enormous advancements in some areas only if we stick to our basics instead of following the trends now and then. As some say, the best way to predict the future is to create – so for me that is simply about challenging oneself to keep doing better, inventing new ways but always with the purpose of serving your consumers and customers first.

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