American Marketer


6 steps to optimize mobile holiday shopping campaigns

October 21, 2015

Jennifer Shambroom is chief marketing officer of YouAppi Jennifer Shambroom is chief marketing officer of YouAppi


By Jennifer Shambroom

With consumers spending more time on their mobile phones, mobile marketing will be the driver for all marketing in 2015 and beyond – not just digital marketing.

From in-store beacons to in-application marketing and bar code scanning to showrooming, the mobile phone provides a 24/7 personalized shopping experience. Mobile is no longer just a channel – it is omnipresent.

Are you finalizing your upcoming holiday campaigns? Here are some recommendations for marketers to maximize the time and energy they are spending on their mobile marketing holiday campaigns:

1. Think beyond the holidays for longer-term customers: Everyone is focused on this holiday season and fourth-quarter revenue, but marketing ROI improves when you focus on winning longer-term customers who will generate a greater customer lifetime value.

By analyzing data from the existing purchase funnel, tracking the original source through the revenue they generate, marketers will be able to uncover the traffic sources and tactics that deliver customers with the greatest Lifetime Value.

Like app marketers who are overly focused on generating the install, markets need to turn their attention to post-install event analytics to understand the usage and engagement patterns of their customers.

From this data, marketers will then be able to understand who to find and keep the customers who will generate the greatest revenue and lifetime value.

2. It is in the data: Marketers need to analyze their post-install event analytics data to understand the patterns exhibited by their most profitable customers. What actions are the users taking? With what frequency? Are they revenue-generating actions?

But customers change and so does the data.

It is important for marketers to study their customer data over time to understand the actions, the changes in actions and even the market –perhaps a competitor changed its price point or launched a new service –to continuously update its marketing.

Mobile is no longer just a channel. Marketers need to analyze cross-channel data to obtain a better understanding of where customers are using mobile and how best to optimize mobile across the customer's journey.

3. Historical analysis: What worked last year? As we head towards December, it is important to study all historical data, but specifically the performance of last year's holiday campaigns.

Which of last year's holiday campaigns ended up generating the most profits now, 10 months later?

Some campaigns look promising because they generated clicks and store visits, but ultimately converted less or converted with lower-valued shopping carts. That is why historical data is so important.

4. Mobile–offline integration: With beacons increasingly being implemented across retail, one of the breakout trends this holiday season will be in-app beacon integrations.

The opportunity to bring together mobile and in-store will create some exciting opportunities for marketers to provide their customers with the right offer at the right time.

Offline integration via beacons will be particularly interesting for retail apps.

These integrations will uncover new opportunities to access cross-channel data to offer a better, more targeted shopping experience.

For ecommerce customers, the mobile–offline integration triggered by an in-app message when the consumer enters a store might encourage mobile browsing while resulting in an in-store purchase and a newly minted omnichannel customer.

5. Call-to-action analysis: There is more to landing holiday shoppers than offering free shipping: With commerce becoming omnichannel, a consumer's purchase funnel might involve more than one channel.

That is why marketers need to make sure that calls-to-actions are personalized and optimized according to each user's preferences.

So, standard ecommerce calls-to-action might be less relevant in-app. App call-to-action data must be analyzed and optimized to help drive the shopper through the purchase funnel.

Beacon integration invites customers to touch and feel a product that they recently browsed.

I shop on apps on my phone or from my laptop, but I have friends who insist on shopping from their tablets.

Retailers today have enough user information to know how to offer the right calls-to-action for each user regardless of their channel.

6. Beware of changes in the marketing landscape: Though ad blocking software has been around since the 1990s, it has only become a challenge for marketers and publishers in the last year or so.

THERE IS a lot to consider as marketers optimize their mobile holiday campaigns.

By focusing on achieving long-term goals and using historical, cross-channel data and new mobile technologies, marketers will rest more easily come Dec. 25.

Jennifer Shambroom is chief marketing officer of YouAppi, a New York-based provider of data-driven mobile customer acquisition services.

Jennifer Shambroom is chief marketing officer of YouAppi, New York. Reach her at