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5 Things CEOs Need to Know Before Investing in Mobile Marketing

It’s critical to conduct the same type of rigorous due diligence that you would for an M&A transaction. In other words, don’t let a shiny new tech toy blind you into making a bad decision.

GettyImages-476547173-compressor“Sure, all marketers can eventually benefit from data and analytics solutions, but not all marketing organizations are ready for them yet,” says Andrew Moravick, senior research associate, marketing effectiveness and strategy, at Aberdeen Group. Before taking the plunge, consider these 5 issues.

1. A “BIG BROTHER” BACKLASH. Consumer privacy is a big deal; once breached, it can result in painful litigation and reputational damage. “Predictive analytics is based on analyzing consumer data, but there are very strict rules in terms of how markets get this data and what they do with it,” says Pat Spenner, strategic initiatives leader at CEB, a best practice insights and technology company. What to do? Ask the mobile marketing vendor for all documents related to consumer privacy and permissible use of data, and have a corporate attorney vet the small print for financial exposures.

“Just because a marketing tool has done all the legwork targeting consumers that fit your customer profile doesn’t mean you should send them a mobile marketing message.”

2. BEWARE VENDORS KNOWN FOR NON-STOP INSTA-MESSAGING. Ever watch a TV movie and see the same commercial over and over? The same thing can happen with mobile  marketing messages, to the point of abusing a consumer. “What’s even worse is that in 70 percent of cases, the analytics is simply making a guess you’re interested in a product,” says Spenner, who co-authored the book, “The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results.” “If the tool keeps blasting the same message, all that does is make a consumer determined never to buy from you.” The solution? Have the vendor sign off on how frequently a message will be broadcast. Three strikes, you’re out.

3. CONSUMERS AREN’T STUPID. Just because a marketing tool has done all the legwork targeting consumers that fit your customer profile doesn’t mean you should send them a mobile marketing message. A case in point is someone looking to buy an automobile. “If the tool indicates Joe appears to be in the market for a car, make sure the messaging takes into account that Joe has probably done all the necessary research online and knows what he’s looking for,” says Spenner. “The model may tell you to hit him up on price, when he’s really interested in quality. Hammering him with discounts will make him look elsewhere.” The solution? Know where someone is in the buying cycle before sending a message.

4. TOO DEEP, TOO FAR, TOO SOON. Nobody jumps into an ocean’s wild waves without first learning to swim. The same applies to using a marketing tool promising increased revenue at reduced cost. “Rather than slowly learning about a tool, marketers often jump in too deep too fast,” says Aberdeen’s Moravick. “Bad marketing habits emerge, but they’ve now become muscle memory.” The solution? Test the waters. Leverage A/B testing principles, comparing the current mobile app to another incorporating the marketing tool. If it does what it claims to do, then roll it out slowly with one product or in one region.

5. DON’T BE AFRAID. While you want to allow time for proper due diligence, wait too long and you’ll miss your window. “Many companies don’t know where to start and then don’t try,” Moravick says. “You don’t want to wait so long that you miss out altogether. Sure, there are vendors with silver bullet solutions you should avid. But, there are many others interested in real and informed conversations with you. They’re eager to show you exactly how their products work and how they can help you succeed.” The solution? Due diligence followed by diligent selection.

Read more: Marketing in Milliseconds: Can Mobile Marketing Deliver on its Promise?


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