Mobile Masterclass


The Best of Mobile Matters

Our guests on Mobile Matters have shared hours of great insights, advice, and best practices and we’ve compiled our top takeaways from each one. Think of it as your mobile masterclass from some of the top marketing and tech leaders in the world.

Stephanie Cox
Host of the Mobile Matters Podcast

It’s Time for a Mobile-first Mindset

  1. Transitioning to a mobile-first mindset requires a lot of work and a complete transformation of mindset within your company.
  2. Marketers who aren’t including SMS or another messaging app in their mobile marketing efforts are missing out big time. 
  3. Focus on engagement metrics for your app–think: how often do users come back to your app, how long do they spend in your app, what is your email open rate on mobile, what’s your mobile CTR, etc.

"You really just have to be agile enough to work with good partners and figure out how to get your message out there in a meaningful way, and it can’t really be the interruption-based model that we saw for years. It’s really got to be additive to the user’s experience, or else you’re getting it blocked or ignored."

Patrick Flanagan of Simon Malls

How to Make Multichannel Marketing Work in Your Company

  1. We need to start designing for mobile first and then thinking about how it scales up for desktop second.
  2. Whether you call it multichannel or omnichannel marketing, you need to be doing it and you have to keep your customer at the center of it.
  3. It’s hard to purge subscribers and purposefully choose to decrease your subscriber list across any channel, but it’s something that will benefit you in the long run.

"When I think about some of our most successful campaigns, they’ve been SMS campaigns that include a URL that leads to a mobile landing page that is designed and personalized to the customer. Combining some of these channels and technologies is really the way to personalize and engage with the customer more effectively."

Marsha Villasenor of Merkle

Why Your Mobile App Needs to Be in the Top 5

  1. If your mobile app isn’t providing users with real value on a regular basis then they’re likely going to abandon it. Constant iteration is so crucial to repeat engagement!
  2. We’re so focused on getting reviews for our products and services that sometimes we overlook the power of actual referrals.
  3. Rich communication service (RCS) is about to transform messaging for consumers. It’s what marketers hoped MMS might be plus so much more.

"One of the things about being an innovator is you’re talking about things that aren’t mainstream yet. You have to be patient, you have to explain that this is where the market is going, and find innovative companies to join you on that journey."

Dave Galante of Mobivity

The Impact 5G Will Have on Your Company

  1. 5G is bringing speeds that will completely transform what we’re able to do on a mobile device, which means consumer expectations are going to increase once again.
  2. If video isn’t a strategic component of your marketing strategy, then it’s time to put together a plan of how to significantly accelerate your video efforts.
  3. 5G may be the catalyst that many companies have needed to take to their Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives to the next level.

"The innovation is really going to come from the products and services that don’t yet exist because the network capabilities haven’t been there in the past. And that’s why we try to surface these next generation products and services and ideas, because we’re really bullish on what kinds of innovation these 5G networks are going to help give life to."

Bill Soards of AT&T Indiana

Why You Need to Have a Mobile Strategy

  1. You need to have your mobile strategy outlined (and preferably documented!) before you start collecting a single mobile number. 
  2. Make sure you’re keeping a pulse on your opt-out rates. How often are you truly diving into your opt-out numbers to figure out what’s really driving them?
  3. It’s time to make friends with legal and compliance and start involving them earlier in your mobile marketing efforts.

"If you’ve launched a successful mobile strategy, help others understand and learn what to do and what not to do on mobile."

Guidla Hilaire of Aetna

Trends Impacting How Brands Engage with Consumers on Mobile

  1. When it comes to your IoT efforts, you can’t solely focus on connecting your products to the cloud and then overlook how users will engage with them. It has to be intuitive.
  2. Augmented Reality (AR) is more than just a “wow” factor that’s used for promotion.
  3. Your mobile strategy is more than just apps–it’s how consumers are going to access your content on a variety of devices such as smartphones, tablets, watches, and more.

"Don’t be smitten with technology for technology’s sake. It is just a tool. And what’s important is how you implement the tool."

Rob Martens of Allegion

Why the Traditional Marketing Funnel is Actually Broken

  1. We’re living in a multi-device world and this is making digital marketing more challenging. It means that we have to be everywhere our customers are at all times.
  2. Attribution is an ongoing problem that most of us haven’t solved yet, and we need to think about which channels have the biggest impact on customer lifetime value.
  3. We have to take the dynamic customer journey into account when thinking about delivering the right offer to the right person at the right place, so let’s ditch the old marketing funnel.

"The truth is it’s not mobile first, and there isn’t a shift from desktop to mobile. It’s a tectonic shift to multi-device, meaning customers are still using their desktops and laptops, but in addition to that they’re now using their mobile phones, tablets, and wearables. So you have to be everywhere they are."

Shawn Schwegman of DemandJump

NFC: The Power Behind a Tap of Your Mobile Device

  1. Near-field Communication (NFC) is much more prevalent than you might think–brands like Apple, LEGO, and Nike use it to power payments, launch content, and more.
  2. NFC provides an unique way for brands to leverage technology to easily distinguish between authentic and counterfeit products.
  3. Context and personalization is crucial in NFC-enabled mobile experiences. Actually, consider it a requirement.

"Every campaign should be able to save me time, save me money, and make me smile. It’s easy to do–make it cool, make it fun."

Tim Daly of NXP

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Iteration

  1. Small iterations can end up having a big result. Keep tweaking until you see what pays off, then take note and plan a wider roll-out. 
  2. Sometimes it’s easy to get enamored by new tech or innovative ideas that other companies are doing, but make sure they would actually work for your customers before implementing them. 
  3. The struggle between deciding what goes on your website versus native mobile app is REAL. 

"You don’t want to go so far out that they aren’t already embracing the technology and using it in its full capacity. You have to gut check–are we going too far ahead? Or do we need to sit on this technology for a while and actually let it bake? In our industry, sometimes it’s good to be the first out, but in some cases there’s very little to gain from it, and you don’t want to leave anybody out in that situation."

Taylor Webster of Lowes

Progressive Web Apps: The Future of Mobile Web

  1. Don’t get so enamored with the technology that you overlook the user experience. Make sure you take into consideration what you’re trying to achieve from a business perspective and how you can accomplish that while delighting the user.
  2. The original concept for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) came about in 2012. Listen in for the PWA origin story, right from the godfather of PWAs himself!
  3. There is more functionality coming to PWAs in the very near future and Alex shares a snapshot of what we should expect. Consider this your PWA spoiler alert.

"This is how all of this stuff works–it’s a set of individuals who are looking to the left and looking to the right and trying to build a larger community of folks who have problems and need solutions to work together to do it. The key thing is to pin our hopes on is this idea that it’s a combination of people who work on browsers who–we like to say–can ship bits that change the world."

Alex Russell of Google

Key to Driving Results with Your Mobile Campaigns

  1. Don’t overthink your mobile campaigns. The best ones are often taking a concept that’s worked for you in the past and putting a completely new spin on how you execute it.
  2. Everyone on your marketing team needs to be a mobile expert, because mobile should be part of every marketing campaign.
  3. Your mobile messaging must be authentic to your brand voice and include at least one aspect of personalization.

"Mobile can’t be this separate thing that just exists as a completely fragmented experience–it really needs to be integrated into the brand and into that larger message that you’re trying to communicate to your customer."

Spencer Burke of Braze

The Drone Takeover Is Here

  1. Make sure you’re not just talking about being mobile-first, but actually implementing this type of mindset within your organization.
  2. The voice of customer process shouldn’t be just contained to marketing, customer success, and product management–find ways to get everybody involved in the feedback loop.
  3. Don’t forget that your QA process needs to be reflective of the actual environment where your mobile experience will be used.

"A lot of people have said that one of the worst things that you can do is as a product team is develop exactly what your customers are asking for. If you don’t dig a little bit deeper with the customer, you’ll likely end up developing the wrong thing."

Eric Hauser of Drone Deploy

The Intersection of Marketing, Technology, and Management

  1. We need to stop posting pictures of our tech stack on LinkedIn without providing any context around why we’re using each piece of software and how we’re using it in our strategy.
  2. Your marketing team needs the ability to move fast and feel safe enough to fail.
  3. The customer journey mapping process might need an overhaul to align with how consumers actually behave in today’s digital world.

"When you look at the tools a particular company is using, you’re only seeing a tiny sliver of what’s actually happening there. What you don’t get there is that sense of how they’re actually incorporating this into the customer experience and to the way they’re delivering marketing programs and managing these different touchpoints."

Scott Brinker of HubSpot

Bringing the Web and App Space Together

  1. Progressive Web Apps are more than a hot topic right now–Microsoft has made them a strategic part of their overall strategy.
  2. Even if you’re adamant on having an app in the app store, then you have options with PWAs, since both Microsoft and Google plan to add them to their app stores.
  3. Make sure you take your business goals into consideration before you start building your first PWA. 

"When a developer asks me why should I build a PWA, one of the things that I try to take them back to are the foundations of the PWA. I kind of take them back through the process of the different pieces that build a Progressive Web App rather than just saying, 'Hey, you should have a Progressive Web App because then you get X, Y, and Z'."

Jeff Burtoft of Microsoft

From Progressive Enhancement to Progressive Web Apps

  1. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are an evolution of multiple technologies and one of the influencing factors was the concept of progressive enhancement.
  2. Since PWAs are delivered on the web, there is a significantly larger talent pool than what exists with native mobile app developers.
  3. If you haven’t already created a PWA, then it’s time to build one. 

"Progressive enhancement is sort of a rejection of lazy developing, because it’s not about you as a developer, it’s about actually thinking about the real people that are accessing our content, and making sure that we provide good experiences."

Aaron Gustafson of Microsoft

How to Figure Out Which Channels Actually Work for You

  1. No click search is having a major impact on numerous businesses, but few marketers understand the significance of it.
  2. One email address is more valuable today than 1,000 Facebook fans and our strategy needs to reflect this change.
  3. Don’t assume that what your competitors are doing will automatically work for your business.

"You shouldn’t optimize for speed just because Google makes it a small ranking factor or not–you should be optimizing for speed because users care about it a ton. And I think that’s the much more important piece."

Rand Fishkin of SparkToro

Stop Celebrating the Launch. It’s Only the Beginning.

  1. Don’t think you need to sacrifice design thinking for speed. It’s possible to do both effectively.
  2. Consider a design system your “True North” that can rapidly accelerate your design work.
  3. Make sure you’re setting goals before your digital property launches so you can accurately track performance.

"It’s important to understand that things don’t have to work perfectly when they’re launched. It’s an ongoing effort to make them as good as they can be, and it’s OK if it’s not as good as you thought it would be. Be willing to change quickly. And then after, go spend time watching users use it, and look at the app store reviews–it’s a reality check."

Dan Laughlin of IBMix

Email is NOT Dead. Stop Asking.

  1. Email is NOT dead. It’s merely a clickbait headline. Email is very much alive and driving a 38-to-1 ROI.
  2. Mobile has truly transformed email marketing, but many marketers aren’t making their emails mobile-friendly.
  3. It’s time to stop thinking about campaign metrics to measure email marketing effectiveness and looking at individual subscriber lifetime value instead.

"I can’t tell you how many emails I see in my own inbox where the email is responsive but the email isn’t mobile-friendly. There is a big difference. I still see in my inbox text that is too small. I still see in my inbox links and buttons that are too close together to be accurately tapped without frustration. It seems really basic, but I think that’s where we’re just not putting ourselves in our subscribers’ and our users’ shoes."

Chad White of Oracle

Balancing a Historic Brand and Digital

  1. It’s no longer acceptable to constantly bombard consumers with irrelevant messages that don’t provide value.
  2. The challenge of screen time is real and it impacts both adults and children. If you’re providing a digital experience then you must make sure users feel good about using it.
  3. Messaging to multiple different target audiences can be challenging, but it’s possible if you take a strategic approach from the very beginning.

"The mission is always our True North; Crayola is never going to go out there and do any sort of mindless gaming. But what we want to do is help kids evolve in their creativity and learn through play. And that’s really where the brand’s sweet spot is going to be."

Josh Kroo of Crayola

Fail Fast and Pivot

  1. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a strong partner network. They can provide invaluable guidance.
  2. Failure is okay when you’re testing out new concepts. You shouldn’t expect everything to always work.
  3. Shiny objects are often both a distraction and a potential benefit. The secret is figuring out which one before investing a lot of time.

"The truth is it’s not mobile first, and there isn’t a shift from desktop to mobile. It’s a tectonic shift to multi-device, meaning customers are still using their desktops and laptops, but in addition to that they’re now using their mobile phones, tablets, and wearables. So you have to be everywhere they are."

Rochele Hartigan of GE Lighting

It’s Time for Marketers to Raise the Bar

  1. Perhaps it’s time for digital marketing to just be called what it really is…marketing.
  2. Don’t miss out on opportunities for innovation because you’re only focused on what has worked in the past.
  3. All of us need to raise the bar in our marketing efforts and stop making others regulate our behavior.

"You really just have to be agile enough to work with good partners and figure out how to get your message out there in a meaningful way, and it can’t really be the interruption based model that we saw for years. It’s really got to be additive to the user’s experience, or else you’re getting it blocked or ignored."

Brent Bouldin of Choice Hotels International

What It Means to Be a Modern Marketer

  1. Modern marketers have to be curious, passionate, and resilent.
  2. Don’t assume that you need a voice strategy because it’s a hot topic. You need to figure out whether it makes sense for your brand before making the decision to invest in voice.
  3. We need to be constantly learning. It doesn’t matter whether that’s through reading books, listening to podcasts, networking with people, etc., as long as you’re pushing yourself every day to learn more.

"A modern marketer needs to be a conductor of an orchestra, and use the subject matter experts around him as his instruments. So he doesn’t need to know the in-depth workings of SEO, for example. What he or she needs to understand is how SEO can help their overall engagement with the consumer, or how it can offset other costs that they can redistribute into other channels."

Matt Pritchard of Campbell Soup Company

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