When “Nothing Is Organic,” How Do You Track Mobile Marketing ROI?
Editor’s Note: This newest installment of the “Marketer Spotlight” series features Matt Hrushka, mobile marketing lead at Rosetta Stone. This week, he’s tackling the daily challenge of tracking ROI, the opportunities in testing, and whether anything, in today’s mobile world, can really be called an organic conversion.
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Q: Describe a typical day in as much or as little detail as you like.
As much as I’d like to think there’s a typical day, there isn’t one at all. The most important aspect of each day is being dynamic in workflow and pivoting to solve problems. Of course, I do have a normal routine, but that might only account for a small portion of the day. As for most marketers, spend/return is the most important aspect of my position. I’m always asking myself: “How much am I spending? Is it being spent most effectively in terms of downstream events, conversions, etc.? What other elements in the customer journey can I test?” Additionally, with changing industry and markets, it’s important to stay up with new vendor products/solutions and how they can provide me with a competitive edge.
Q: What is your greatest challenge and opportunity as a retention marketer?
The greatest challenge and opportunity is one and the same—testing. For example, an execution that I think will work from an event conversion perspective might fail miserably. Whereas something that is unexpected to succeed, may do exactly that—succeed. This isn’t based on the lack of my knowledge of our users but rather a reflection that mobile users and their habits are still evolving. Year after year, industry reports show that “this year is the year of mobile,” but the ways that we consume content or absorb media/ads/etc. change with every article or app we download. So maybe the better question is, “is every year the year of mobile?” Mobile users become smarter, which keeps marketers like me on my toes.
Q: What skills are most important to succeed in retention marketing?
The most important aspect is segmentation and behavior. Appboy’s platform gives me all the tools needed to understand why a user was driven to make a purchase or uninstall based on campaign/experience exposure. The segmentation being gathered from a user level allows us to be dynamic in messaging and personalize each user’s experience. In addition, leveraging third party integrations allows us to understand the media spend and user behavior based on the type of users being purchased, either indicating they are “highly qualified” or the opposite.
Q: What is unique about your approach to retention marketing and how does mobile fit into that?
Appboy allows us to fully customize our retention efforts within the application. We’re able to customize messages from name, language, response, and the list goes on. In terms of push, one of the most helpful tools is reaching users based on optimized time, which is calculated based on historic user session data. I have countless installed applications that push me the same message at the same time of the day over and over. To quote Albert Einstein, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” I say, “Be different, be dynamic!”
Q: What tools and technologies do you most rely on to do your job?
The two tools I work with primarily are Kochava, our attribution partner, and Appboy for push and in-app messaging. Alone the platforms are powerful, but when integrated on an IDFA level, insights are robust. As a marketer, this really allows me to understand how to optimize, communicate, and/or monitor lifetime value at a more granular (campaign) level. The more data the better, but it’s easy to get lost in it; focusing on the path to purchase from beginning to end and all touch points in between is what matters.
Q: Which teams within and outside marketing do you most work with?
Since we just re-launched our iOS application in the end of Q2, the answer is product and development. After any launch, having an open line of communication is key in making sure we’re reaching our internal KPIs and continuing to move our mobile program forward. With the industry changing so quickly, it’s paramount to stay up with new vendor SDK configurations/features or creative new ways to influence the path to purchase.
Q: What’s your marketing mantra?
Be relevant and simplistic. It’s extremely easy to not abide by these two items and see a reverse effect in your marketing strategy and executions.
Q: Aside from your own, what brand’s marketing campaigns or messages do you love most, and why?
Domino’s does a great job with their push notification primer (shout out to Appboy). These types of prompts or value-adds really make a seamless user experience. Another app, LetGo, does the same type of prompting for push and location. Push prompts in the industry are becoming more common but in my opinion, location prompts aren’t. Mobile tracks much more information than any device to date so it’s natural that consumers might be hesitant. Providing value, such as push prompting, is key to communicating with users and creating a robust experience.
Q: What are some of the most important drivers for the campaigns you make—are they based around customer events, purchase behavior, seasonal promotions, new store openings… or what else?
It’s all about customer events laid into our SDK configuration. Once you have those specific buckets of audiences, the drill down from there is key. For example, in addition to this bucket of users being categorized as “Free Trial,” what else do they have in common? What’s their average purchase window? How can I set up a campaign to urge them to continue their language learning or purchase based on previous user data? Understanding your users and working backwards, keeping the overall picture in mind, is what I strive to do daily.
Q: What gut checks do you go through when designing a campaign, from ideation to launch?
I always ask myself:
- “How would I react to seeing this type or creative or messaging?”
- “Does this have a clear Call to Action?”
- “Does it cause urgency?”
From there, I triple check everything from spend, frequency, etc. My worst fear is not setting a daily cap when running programmatic campaigns or over-messaging users and causing mass uninstalls or ruining a user experience. Just for the record—this has never happened (knock on wood).
Q: What is a major pain point you wish could be solved as soon as possible?
From an overall digital perspective, multi-touch attribution models. In this day and age, nothing is organic. At some point, a user that installed and purchased Russian for Rosetta Stone had some type of exposure to our marketing. Connecting multiple customer events throughout multiple channels (digital, traditional, etc.) in the journey leading up to the purchase is where the issue lies. We have invested in the proper tools to help solve for this, but in a mobile first world, the issue remains for many legacy consumer businesses. If there is a digital marketer out there that has the answer, I’d love to hear from them!