How To Maximize Returns on Your Mobile Marketing Efforts

How To Maximize Returns on Your Mobile Marketing Efforts
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Jeff Hasen

Last updated October 12, 2017


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While many brands and marketers are making the switch to mobile marketing, many are also struggling to prove a return on investment (ROI) on their efforts. 

The results of a Forrester survey released in 2016 showed many marketers’ ineptitude when it comes to mobile ROI. The survey revealed that two-thirds of marketers were unable to gauge the success or failure of their mobile programs. More recently, IBM demonstrated that almost 50 percent of the largest companies that are investing in mobile marketing are operating on an ad hoc basis rather than in a strategic fashion.

Why is this happening? The most important reason is that large organizations don’t understand exactly what they should get out of mobile efforts, and sadly, many marketers and program owners have been spending money and time and getting a pass.

We simply have to do better. I’m not going to go to my CFO and ask for a larger budget when I can’t measure what I’m already doing, and neither should you.

4 Steps to Maximize Mobile Marketing ROI 

1. Establish business goals first. It’s clear that not enough marketers define the business objectives before executing mobile marketing campaigns. When objectives are defined first, marketers can work their way backward and develop programs that lead with or include a mobile strategy. Take a lesson from a wireless carrier that addressed a concerning churn problem by providing personal and timely mobile videos that brought transparency and comfort to individuals. The result was tens of millions of dollars in saved business. That’s mobile ROI.

2. Focus on results, not budget. At first blush, smaller businesses may look at the mobile dollars being spent by enterprises and think that they have nothing in common. In fact, according to the IBM study, the average number of mobile projects being done at enterprises is five, and the cost of each project is more than $2.4 million. The commonality in running successful mobile marketing campaigns from companies of all sizes is a commitment to engage users and key stakeholders to identify quick wins and impactful use cases.

3. Don’t cut corners. This should be a given, but judging by the evidence, it needs to be said. In all but rare exceptions, fast and cheap is dumb and dumber. An ice cream shop I visited as a child had a sign that said, “Good food is not cheap. Cheap food is not good.” All these years later, you can and should apply the same line of thinking to mobile. An example in mobile of cutting corners is foregoing strategic discussion and going straight to tactics. That is exacerbated when a low cost or no-cost “solution” is chosen without due diligence.

4. Invest in more mobile projects. The expectations of mobile users rise every year. Many people have little to no patience for slow mobile web pages, irrelevant messages, and experiences that are not intuitive. As a result, businesses of all sizes cannot afford to wait. In the IBM survey, 22 percent of companies plan to undertake 10 or more mobile initiatives in the next year, while another half of the group are planning between five to nine projects. Your numbers may not be the same, but the clear trend is that more projects are needed to remain competitive.

Relying on your gut or a guess isn’t going to cut it more than a decade into the smartphone era. By being strategic, you can not only prove that your efforts are working, you can catapult your business into a stronger leadership position. If you find that developing strategic projects doesn’t come easily to you and your marketing team, consider refreshing your skills with an Advanced Mobile Marketing course. Simplilearn’s advanced course provides B2B and B2C case studies and myriad practice projects so that you can apply the lessons to real, relatable scenarios. 

About the Author

Jeff Hasen is a two-time agency president who is the mobile strategist for POSSIBLE Mobile and the author of two books, The Art of Mobile Persuasion and Mobilized Marketing: Driving Sales, Engagement, and Loyalty Through Mobile Devices. He has also been named as one of the top Chief Marketing Officers on Twitter by Advertising Age.


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