This is an interview with Leslie Albertson, Sr. Mobile Marketing Manager for Mosaic by Mixbook. She is scheduled to be a panelist at our upcoming Postback event, July 17-18.
To kick things off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m lucky enough to be at the forefront of the fastest changing, most dynamic consumer behavior since the dawn of the Internet – mobile. I landed a marketing internship at a large mobile messaging company straight out of college, in the second ‘year of mobile,’ and quickly realized this was what I was meant to do. I’ve developed mobile marketing strategies across social, messaging and mcommerce apps over the last five years focusing on both scale and revenue.
Fundamentally, I believe mobile goes beyond a technology, it’s truly a consumer behavior, and I obsess about understanding what drives that behavior.
Currently, I head marketing for Mosaic, a beautifully designed photobook app for iOS and Android. I focus on driving growth through a variety of channels – from user acquisition and engagement, to identifying influencers and product marketing. Working in a series of mobile startups has allowed me to be the jack-of-all trades and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What unique benefits does mobile marketing provide to your industry that you may not get with traditional advertising mediums?
Mobile is contextual, highly personal and its always with you. Consumers spend more time on their mobile device than with any other medium, with more than 80% of that time in apps. Mobile provides a way to reach a consumer at nearly any given moment, driving engagement and action in real-time. For example, we can send event-based push notifications based on a particular behavior to help drive conversion at the moment the user decided to abandon their shopping cart, or deliver tailored messaging based on their last purchase directly to their device to drive action. Relevance and context is incredibly unique to mobile and that is critical to driving engagement in any app.
In what ways have you seen mobile marketing evolve over the past year? Did anything surprise you?
Mobile never ceases to surprise me. We are still defining many aspects of the space – from targeting to tracking – so it has a bit of the wild, wild, west feel sometimes. The biggest change I’ve seen is the maturing of tools to better manage, track and scale mobile marketing efforts. The tools for app store optimization, mobile attribution tracking, push notifications, A/B testing and analytics tools are getting better and better. This makes marketing more effective and efficient to really increase the rate of growth.
It feels like mobile has matured from that teenage where-am-I-going-with-my-life to the young adult who’s finally coming into its own. I think from here we’re going to see some consolidation across platforms and tools, where as marketers we can leverage fewer providers to manage, track and scale campaigns. It’s still pretty fragmented right now.
In terms of driving user engagement, what types of campaigns have you seen be particularly successful?
In short, it depends. It’s not a one size fits all approach. Testing is the most important thing you can do everyday to discover what works for your product or service. In my personal experience, I’ve seen push notifications be a key driver in engagement and they’ve been an essential method in increasing referrals. Email marketing is a core part of Mosaic and we’ve seen dramatic increases in revenue since launching more segmented, interest based content that is highly relevant to each audience. Also, leveraging seasonal holidays both before and after, have been successful. You can’t be afraid to reach out to your users. If you are providing them with valuable and relevant content, then they will appreciate it, not feel spammed. (I hear this a lot – ‘We don’t want to spam our users with push and email’). Provide content that adds value and discovery to your app and its utility.
In-app marketing is an effective way to drive users through the funnel – you can provide incentives, rewards or just a friendly ‘thank-you.’ Again, its all about context and relevance.
I also do user acquisition with ad networks. The best approach here is to really understand your KPIs and keep testing partners until you find one that meets, or exceeds, them. In my current role, I’m less focused on CPI pricing and more focused on my ROAS (Return On Ad Spend). Many marketers feel they need to optimize towards a set CPI price because, well, that’s what everyone else does. In reality, if your objective is to drive revenue, not just volume, than you may be surprised that you have some wiggle room to bid up. Every mobile marketer should know the LTV of their users (organic and paid) to be able to define what their targets are.
What tips do you have for companies looking to experiment with mobile marketing for the first time?
Understand your audience. Build for mobile, don’t replicate the web experience. If you can’t build a GREAT app, then hire someone who can. Leverage tools to help you create, manage and track mobile efforts.
What are some short- and/or long-term challenges facing mobile marketing and how can these be overcome?
Targeting in advertising is still a challenge. Beyond Facebook, you kind of make assumptions based on publisher inventory and types of apps, but you don’t have the same level of granularity around interests and behavior. Also, tracking of organic users is a big challenge. Being able to better understand, and attribute, where these users come from will be incredibly valuable to any mobile marketer. Long term, I see some consolidation across offerings – more unified solutions to track spend and revenue in one dashboard, or leverage one tool for push, A/B testing and analytics. There are a few providers out there, but I’ve yet to find one tool that does it all really, really well.
What gets you excited about the future of marketing?
We’re creating it so it will be whatever we make it. That’s incredibly exciting. Mobile will go as far as we want it to.
This year’s Postback event will be held July 17th & 18th in Seattle, WA. Featuring keynote addresses from Twitter and Google, 10 panel sessions with discussion from 25+ industry experts, and training for HasOffers and MobileAppTracking products, Postback is a can’t miss event for all serious marketers. The event also includes a rooftop happy hour, boat cruise along the Seattle waterfront, and a private concert, giving you plenty of opportunity to connect with other professionals in the industry. To register or learn more, visit the Postback website.
Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.