The mobile opportunity looms large for marketers able to tap into the wealth of data available in a constantly connected consumer relationship. Yet marketers struggle to pull together a holistic view of a consumer who may connect across devices, at various points throughout the day, on a number of platforms.
This was largely the focus of Learn with Google at SES San Francisco, a full-day track that gave participants a chance to get up close and personal with a few of the brilliant minds at Google. Four sessions presented by Googlers throughout the day spanned advice and insight mobile apps and analytics, navigating SEM in a constantly connected world, engagement in mobile display and maximizing profit in AdWords campaigns.
Here are 10 mobile marketing tips from the Googlers at SES San Francisco:
1. Be 'Always There For Your Customers.
"Marketing is still viewed in an old-world way: as an expense, not an investment," said Matt Lawson, Director of Search Ads Marketing at Google. "The advent of search marketing is still in its early days, and we have a long way to go."
Our path needs to be that of a profit-driven marketer, says Lawson. He advocates three key principles in moving to a profitable mindset, the first of which is to be "always there." He recommends that marketer use bids, not an ever-increasing budget, to manage spend. Use bid adjustments for tuning performance according to location, time of day, mobile device, etc., to ensure you're reaching the right people, in the right place, at the right time.
2. Experiment With Higher CPA Targets and Make Profit Your Primary Success Metric
In order to maximize profits, marketers must understand the power of prime shelf space on the search results page, says Lawson. He demonstrated that even small changes in bids can drive large changes in volume.
Profit, not CPA, should be your primary metric in measuring success. Take advantage of real-time bidding and flexible bidding strategies, testing higher positions on an ongoing basis, to find the best balance.
3. Measure Everything
We've probably heard this a million and one times, yet few have mastered the ability to measure everything, then glean useful information from the mass of data available. "Constant connectivity is paving new paths between customers and conversions," Lawson said. "These changing consumer paths are upping the ante for marketers; we really need to understand the value of these new paths."
Lawson recommends using conversion imports to upload lifetime value data from a CRM to AdWords, in order to move towards this more holistic view of a customer and their relationship with your brand. The challenge, he says, is that there will always be gaps. We still need to do what we can to fill them.
4. Make it Easy to Buy Within Your App
For a great example of a user-friendly in-app e-commerce experience, Google Product Marketing Manager Adam Singer recommends marketers look to Amazon. In his Metrics for Success in the Mobile Apps Ecosystem session, he pointed to a huge opportunity for marketers to become leaders in their organizations by learning to measure apps.
"Fluency in measuring apps is an emerging skill," Singer said. He recommended that marketers build their own apps and start playing with analytics.
Understanding your customers and what they're doing within your app is a critical facet of monetization, he said. See Singer and fellow Googler Andrew Wales' recent Metrics for the Mobile App Ecosystem webinar for more.
5. Get Engagement With Your Mobile App Down First
App engagement is critical and the opportunity to connect with consumers through apps is massive, said Singer. Over 50 billion apps have been downloaded from Google Play, while 700,000 are available on Apple iTunes. The average smartphone user spends 667 minutes per month using apps.
Marketers realize the potential; a joint study between Google and ClickZ late last year found that 48 percent of marketers plan to increase engagement in mobile advertising through 2013. However, 59 percent of those surveyed consider themselves either novice or inexperienced in measuring mobile. Marketers need to design and optimize for engagement to build a base of loyal users, who can then become repeat buyers.
Create and track both micro (ie.: opening a screen) and macro (ie.: completing a purchase) conversions to better understand how customers and prospects interact with and move around within the app. Singer explained different types of conversions and the importance of tracking in a social context, as well, in an article for ClickZ: "Go beyond key performance indicators (KPIs) like followers and visitors, and even beyond macro conversions such as revenue and leads generated: assign a mix of macro and micro conversions that are aligned with favorable outcomes."
6. Make Sure Your Platforms Play Nice With the Tools That Run Your Business
"A single view of your customer only happens when you can see each channel they're touching," said Matthew Eichner, Managing Director at DoubleClick Search Americas for Google. The multi-device world means we really can't track conversion they way we used to, he reminded the audience.
Marketers need product feeds, their search platform, CRM software and all of their other tools and platforms to integrate seamlessly in order to capture a more complete picture of each customer's journey.
7. Break Through Marketing Speak and Translate Success Into Something Stakeholders Can Understand
Marketers need data to prove the value of their efforts to internal stakeholders, said Eichner. However, the ability to convey the meaning of that data is critical.
He suggests taking live data from DoubleClick, for example, to Excel, then using your own methods to break it down into points that are applicable and understandable for stakeholders. Explain the "why." Show solid results. Keep the marketing speak to a minimum and avoid overkill with the acronyms.
8. Focus on Strategy Rather Than Spinning Your Wheels in Tasks That Can be Automated
Cassandra Jones, account supervisor with Google partner iProspect, advocates for automation wherever possible. In order to make marketing more scalable and efficient, marketers must be able to spend time on strategy and analysis instead of getting bogged down in repetitive tasks.
This doesn't mean setting and forgetting elements like bid adjustments, however. Smartphone bid adjustments should be treated as an ongoing part of bid management, not a "set and forget" campaign element. Marketers must allocate time to review smartphone performance and update bid adjustments on a regular basis, working to find the right balance between automation and ongoing management.
9. Use a Mobile Bid Modifier for Mobile Remarketing, Even Without a Mobile-Optimized Site
Google wants marketers to be mobile-friendly – so much so that they launched their HowToGoMo initiative in November 2011. If you haven't optimized your site for mobile however, Google's Shilpi Verma said that you can still use mobile bid modifiers for mobile remarketing.
Marketers have 14 opportunities daily, she said, to connect with each online user in the world. Yet for every 1.5 hours spent on a mobile device, consumers only spend 5 minutes in search. Enhanced bidding features using time, location and device launched earlier this year and ClickZ's Jeremy Hull has some great advice on how to get the most from them.
10. Get to Know Google Mobile Ad Types to Better Connect When it Matters Most
Among their mobile ad types, Google offers click-to-download, mobile ad sitelinks, click-to-call in-app ads, and extensions for offers, calls, location, and more.
AdWords advertisers were migrated to enhanced campaigns on July 22nd, at which time SEW author Lisa Raehsler collected tips to manage these new formats from PPC experts. If you aren't yet up to speed, more information on each ad type is available on the Google Think Insights website.
Were you part of the Learn with Google class at SES? Share your best takeaways in the comments!