There are more and more marketers talking about “mobile marketing clouds” these days. We thought we’d take a few minutes to outline what we mean by a mobile marketing cloud, and how it can be valuable for app marketers seeking to drive better results through data-driven marketing.
What is a Marketing Cloud?
There are almost as many definitions of marketing clouds as there are cloud marketing solutions. But most have a few key things in common.
At their core, marketing clouds are all about using data and digital technology to architect more effective customer journeys. By understanding each user or customer at an individual level, we can formulate programs tailored specifically to the wants and needs of the individual.
Cloud solutions integrate multiple capabilities into a unified platform designed to enable these sorts of customized experiences. For Apsalar, the four key capabilities we’ve united in our mobile marketing cloud are:
- Premium Mobile Attribution: A toolset to measure marketing program performance and capture the in-app actions of individual users and customers. All of that data is then organized into rich user profiles that can be analyzed – individually or in groups.
- Business and User Analytics: This is all about the capability of understanding critical business metrics – things like average customer lifetime value (LTV), return on ad spend (ROAS) and the like. By digging into the long-term health of the business, as well as individual user relationships, marketers can uncover critical insights to power more effective marketing programs that improve customer journeys.
- Precision Audience Segmentation: Building on the foundation of attribution data and business analytics, our segmentation tools enable marketers to segment their users into high-performing audiences that share common and actionable characteristics. This segmentation enables us to deliver custom marketing experiences to each individual while simultaneously capitalizing on economies of scale through finding commonalities across large groups of users.
- Secure Audience Distribution: Once you have defined audiences, you need a way to share them. Our platform offers prebuilt integrations and other approaches that make it easy to distribute your high-performing audiences to YOUR CHOICE of platforms and partners.
Marketing clouds centralize all of these technologies and benefits in a single platform – a suite of functions that are fully integrated with one another for maximum performance and minimal complexity.
The essential concept here is insight + actionability. Data-driven learning coupled with ways to put all that new knowledge to work.
What is a Mobile Marketing Cloud?
Simply put, a Mobile Marketing Cloud is one that has been purpose-built for mobile consumer interactions. Historically, marketing clouds were built for the PC-web, where cookies are among the most common ways that brands try to interpret consumer signals about their wants and needs.
PC web was at the center of such legacy systems because many of these platforms were built before mobile became the dominant screen through which consumers interact digitally.
Today, the cookie-based systems are hard at work expanding their mobile capabilities, with varying levels of readiness and success.
For app-centric brands, though, it’s important to have a marketing cloud built on a foundation of mobile app attribution data from across all media partners. One that isn’t built on cookies but rather on rich marketing and in-app data from a robust app tracking platform. One that recognizes that apps offer unique data challenges – the solutions for which should be at the center of data collection and analytics.
That’s how a mobile marketing cloud differs from many of the marketing clouds that you may have heard of before.
Why is integration of all of these capabilities important/valuable?
Many companies have third-party or home-built solutions for one or even some of the tasks performed by a mobile marketing cloud. Or they may rely on partner companies to automatically perform some of these services, like campaign optimization.
But having all of these capabilities in a single suite offers a series of advantages that are increasingly important to marketers at both large and small organizations. These include:
- Staying in control of your first-party data and learnings
- Protecting against oversharing and data leakage by limiting information sharing on a “need to know” basis
- The simplicity and time savings from having campaign data, spend information and user analytics all in one place
- The ability to put valuable business learnings to use across every element of a marketing plan, not just those delivered by a single platform or provider.
- Elimination of the hassles associated with cobbling disparate platforms together into an integrated insights and actioning stack.
Why is the sort of data-driven, audience-based marketing enabled by Mobile Marketing Clouds so important in the app space?
Data-driven marketing is rapidly becoming the norm in all sectors of marketing. But the app space has specific characteristics that make audience-based marketing even more valuable:
- Apps tend to lose most of their users in the first months after an install. Some estimates show that as many of 95 out of 100 daily users are lost in the first 90 days after an install. At the same time, we know that proactive marketing in the first hours and days after an install can dramatically improve user retention.
- For ecommerce, large numbers of app users will place items in shopping carts that they abandon before completing purchases. Reducing abandons even modestly has a huge impact on app revenue and profitability.
- Proactively reaching out to users who have completed (or not completed) specific actions in an app can be an effective way to increase their engagement and commitment to an app. Getting a new user to return to an app. Getting someone who has searched for an item to transact. Getting a past purchaser to buy again. Even getting a lapsed user to relaunch the app. All of these types of actions can have a profoundly positive impact on an app business.
With all of this potential business impact at stake, it makes sense for app marketers to pursue marketing cloud technology aggressively.
How do I know if I am ready for a Mobile Marketing Cloud?
The best way to know if you’re “ready” is to think about your KPIs. If you are primarily judged on the extent to which you drive incremental app revenue and create profitable user relationships, then a marketing cloud is likely to be very relevant to you. That’s because there’s no better way to deliver incremental engagement and revenue than via targeted, customized marketing to audiences of “like” users. Talk to an Apsalar team member on how we can make the Mobile Marketing Cloud fit you and your business needs.
Learn more about the Apsalar Mobile Marketing Cloud and its suite of services here.