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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : November 11, 2015

Brands: How disconnected apps reduce engagement

Marketers always want more - more data, more engagement, more content, more return on investment. That's why the lifetime value of a customer is so important, but did you know new technology can create a disconnect where it should create a more secure connection?

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Are marketers satisfied with their current technologies? Why/why not?

Matt Shanahan, CMO, Azuqua: Marketers are "content" with current technologies, but are always wanting more data - especially from existing customers, who are the key to recurring revenue and long term growth. As a result, repeat purchase and customer lifetime value have become as valuable as acquisition, and getting real-time customer data from across all of a brand's channel is the key to improving targeting and personalization. That's where satisfaction breaks down. Marketers are inundated with disparate systems to solve these niche problems. Meanwhile, they're trying to track a customer's journey with their product and brand across web, social, marketing campaigns, initial sales, and so much more. They might be happy with a given solution that is solving one or two small problems, but they're dissatisfied that the solution can't do everything. They want their applications to share information, work together, or to get their apps talking.

Kristina: What are the warning signs that your apps aren't as connected as you think they are?

Matt: When your marketers testing and optimization tools start seeing diminishing returns on optimization, you know there is a problem with your data. The other sign of a problem is that conversion rates of customer campaigns are about the same as new customer acquisition - low single digit conversions. In today's world, we know customer data is exploding, as should the number of optimized targeting and personalization segments from multivariate or A/B testing. Marketers should be focused on creating finer grained targeting and personalization in order to increase performance.

Kristina: How do disconnected apps impact campaign performance?

Matt: Disconnected apps reduce the amount of customer data that can be used for targeting and personalization. For instance, without survey data, how does marketing know which customers have high Net Promoter Scores and which ones don't? The less data there is, the fewer segments that can be created. This means that optimal segments for targeting and personalization go untapped while conversion performance plateaus. The consequence is your revenue per marketing dollar hits a wall. To break through this barrier, leading marketers are tapping into data from applications across the company not just their own marketing database.

Kristina: What are the new marketing opportunities that connected apps provide?

Matt: Customer success is the new opportunity for marketers, triggered by the cloud and accelerated by the subscription business model. Customer success focuses on making customers for life, meaning eliminating churn and maximizing retention. Customer success requires targeting and personalization at each step in the customer journey, an impossible feat without accurate customer data at every step. Marketing has the opportunity to maximize customer lifetime value and improving the customer journey by leveraging the status of the customer across all the systems of engagement. For instance, if a customer currently has a broken product, don't offer an extended warranty.

Kristina: What are best practices/next steps you can give readers for how to get their apps talking?

Matt: Map the customer journey across your applications such as support, services, online community, social, and mobile. Each department has likely setup their application to manage customer engagement. How does each application represent customer status or health? Document these statuses and implement application integration to include them in your marketing data. If you know these various statuses and what they imply, as a marketer you'll be able to include them in your segmentation for improved lift throughout the customer journey.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: appvertising, Azuqua, branded apps, mobile ads, mobile apps, mobile marketing

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