The following is a guest contributed post from Tom Farrell, VP of Marketing at Swrve.

Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves in order to remember that the smartphone is little more than 10 years old. From the simple act of meeting up with someone at a specific time and place, to how we perform any multitude of tasks, or simply while away the hours–smartphones have altered almost every aspect of our lives.

It has taken time for some businesses to understand how those changes have transformed the rules for success. Mobile is not just a change in the way in which we interact and communicate; it often changes the nature of products or services themselves. We do everything from book trips to play games to sell clothing totally differently than we used to, so the old ways of measuring what makes a product ‘good’ don’t apply anymore. If you’re still using traditional metrics in the age of mobile, you might be falling behind.

The Games Industry – A Parable

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, computer games used to be sold in a box for $50 or so. Designing games was a craft–an ‘art’ even–and one way to tell that your art was successful was long play sessions, which would be measured in hours, in an ideal world. Fast forward to today, and things are very different.

Games are now primarily delivered via smart devices, and revenue is driven by in-app purchases and advertising. Most importantly, these titles now compete with a range of alternatives (social media, email, traditional media, etc.) for the user’s attention at any moment in time, and those moments may be short: the length of time it takes to wait for a cup of coffee. In this world, long play sessions are a decidedly mixed blessing, and it is certainly true that optimizing solely on that basis would be a mistake. Games need to be meaningfully playable in one or two minutes.

So the very definition of a ‘good’ game has changed, and in turn products have changed to meet that new requirement. And while the gaming industry has largely learned this lesson, that isn’t necessarily the case for many other mobile businesses.

When Too Much ‘Engagement’ Is A Bad Thing

Along the same lines, consider the metric of Engagement, or in plain English, the amount of time each specific user spends in your app. More time is better, right? Well…actually,no. In fact, in many cases it is a very bad thing, and if you unthinkingly prioritize an increase in engagement, the chances are that you may be making a very grave mistake.

To understand why this is the case, consider the fact that the vast majority of mobile businesses fit into one of two categories:

  • The first type depends on attention, and sells advertising on that basis. Think Facebook and other social platforms, traditional and modern media outlets, and the games companies mentioned above.
  • The second type depends on helping individuals get things done. Think Uber for rides, Trivago for booking travel, or Venmo for giving money to a friend. We don’t use these apps to kill time, and in fact we have a reasonable expectation that killing our time is precisely what they won’t do.

If your app is in the second category, ‘better’ engagement is usually a bad thing. You’ll still want to check that too many users do not ‘bounce’ out of the app because it confuses them, but in general you want users to achieve their goals quickly and painlessly.

In most cases, you will want your business to be in the second category. The first, as indicated by the examples given, is dominated by some of the world’s largest and most successful companies. Needless to say, competing with companies like Facebook, EA and CNN is a challenge.

The second option, however, is not so dominated by established players, and only requires that mobile businesses do one job well. The challenge here is to ‘become a verb’ (think Google), and be the go-to brand for a particular task or user requirement.

To succeed at that, you’ll need to design for the native mobile audience. That requires making the process as simple, intuitive and quick as possible. You will need to build native mobile interfaces. And you’ll certainly need to ensure you’re really optimizing for the right metrics.

The post Opinion: Why You Have Your Mobile Metrics Wrong appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Chalk it up as another first for Adobe.

Adobe has announced the launch of its global “Experience Business” campaign, the largest cross-media ad campaign to be implemented solely through a programmatic platform.

According to a provided release:

The campaign emphasizes Adobe’s belief that deep intelligence and amazing design are fundamental to creating compelling experiences that help brands stand out. Participating brands include Caesar’s Entertainment, Carnival Corporation, Franke Group, Holland America Line, Pandora, Princess Cruises, Sydney Opera House, UBS and T-Mobile. The initial rollout is planned for the U.S., U.K. and Germany starting November 13.

Adobe’s “Experience Business” campaign will be bought 100 percent programmatically through Adobe Advertising Cloud, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, and will bring to bear the full power of the industry’s most transparent, cross-channel advertising management platform.

“Today’s most successful brands focus their energy on delivering a consistent, unified experience through many different channels,” said Alex Amado, vice president, Experience Marketing, Adobe. “We’re using this all-programmatic approach because we can now effectively target this audience by analyzing their behaviors and actions online to deliver a more relevant, personalized experience across every touchpoint.”

The post Adobe Launches Industry’s First 100 Percent Programmatic Ad Campaign appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

The rise of the mobile internet is changing the way consumers interact with advertising and content.

Today’s digital marketplace is characterized by a generation that expects to browse and shop online at any time, in any place, on any device. It is this new paradigm that has more mobile marketers investing in mobile carrier targeting through Digital Element, the global geolocation data and services provider.

As one of the 59+ parameters offered through the company’s flagship NetAcuity® solution suite, mobile carrier data allows mobile marketers to perfect audience segmentation and targeting capabilities by further defining and/or analyzing mobile traffic.

While the majority of Digital Element’s customers using mobile carrier targeting come from the advertising space, the company has seen an increase in demand from businesses in retail, gaming and digital rights management (DRM) industries.

“Marketing in today’s multiscreen age of portability means helping craft compelling customer journeys through the delivery of meaningful advertising and content,” said Rob Friedman, executive vice president, Digital Element. “NetAcuity provides a simple one-source solution to enable companies to combine mobile carrier data with location as well as other information such as connection type and speed to create carefully crafted advertising and content that reaches consumers at the most relevant point in time across their customer journeys―delivered in the right context optimized for their devices.”

To learn more about Digital Element, click here.

The post First Look: Digital Element Sees Steady Increase in Advertisers’ Demands for Mobile Carrier Targeting appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

The following is a guest contributed post from Todd Crawford, Co-Founder and VP of Strategic Initiatives at Impact Radius.

Nearly all brands are now looking to affiliate marketing as a viable and cost-effective channel not only to close, but grow sales. Traditionally, players in the performance marketing ecosystem are paid on a cost-per-action basis and receive a commission for every sale or lead that’s driven to a brand’s  site. This means that brands don’t pay anything until a sale is made or an action is taken.

As a channel, affiliate marketing is extremely accountable — platforms offer advertisers a way to track, report, optimize, and pay partners or whoever runs a website, blog, or presence on any social channel for their contribution to a sale or conversion.  Affiliate marketing programs typically have a higher return on ad spend than other marketing channels, because the advertiser determines it upfront. In the U.S., Forrester Research estimates spending on affiliate marketing will hit $6.8 billion by 2020. But as the channel matures and evolves, there are changes afoot.

Here are five predictions for the affiliate marketing space in 2018:

Prediction #1: The affiliate marketing category will broaden into a partner marketing channel that encompasses all types of mutually beneficial relationships. Unlike the world of programmatic media and paid search advertising, partner marketing goes beyond the media buy to offer tangible benefits for both partners. In partner marketing, there is human to human interaction and these interactions often result in exciting strategic partnerships between brands.  In 2018, we’ll see the partner marketing channel become the umbrella category in which performance marketing is a component, and affiliate marketing and influencer marketing are slices of that pie.

Prediction #2: Marketers will increasingly rely on cross-channel contribution analysis to optimize and reward partnerships. They will no longer be able to get by on legacy data and metrics to optimize their affiliate programs. By understanding inter-partner and inter-channel contributions, marketers will be in a better position to know the true value of each partner even when they’re not the winning click. To retain and grow these partnerships they must be compensated fairly for the true value that they’re driving and contributing. Further, marketers can no longer rely on siloed data to manage any channel, but in particular, a partner channel where many are paid solely on a performance basis. The bottom line: Cross-channel involvement must be recognized in order to grow the partner marketing channel.

Prediction #3: Marketers will need to monitor their vendors and partners for compliance with the General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR). Vetting relationships will be extremely important, as well as ensuring that each party and your company have the appropriate consents and disclosures concerning collection, tracking, and processing personal data of your customers. Intelligent tools will be key for monitoring the types and treatment of covered data. As 2018 nears, it is essential to ask your vendors and partners whether they are or will be compliant by the May deadline, and to provide supporting details concerning their compliance efforts.

Prediction #4: Mobile becomes the most important element in the partner marketing channel. If you’re involved in partner marketing, you must make mobile conversions a top priority. For some brands, the majority of their traffic is already mobile. The question is how will they evolve their partner marketing strategy to account for mobile. Looking for partners that are already strong in the mobile space will be a key strategy for 2018.

Prediction #5: Brand marketers will recognize that they need to use the partner marketing channel to incorporate or increase influencer activity. While PR teams and specialized agencies typically manage high-profile influencers, don’t let small and medium influencers fall by the wayside. In order to grow and diversify your partner marketing channel, you’ll want to work with as many different partners as possible. Influencers bring a unique set of capabilities and nuances to the mix vs. traditional affiliate partners.

Overall, partner marketing will continue to grow in importance as a channel and deliver strong returns for brands. There’s more than enough new, and high quality content coming across the transom to fuel brands’ partner marketing efforts.

The post OPINION: 5 Predictions for Affiliate Marketing in 2018 appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Mobilize.Net, provider of leading modernization solutions and Syncfusion, the developer solutions company of choice, today announced an alliance to improve developer productivity by driving better business intelligence (BI) for modernized applications.

With Syncfusion, developers can move beyond simply coding applications to delivering business innovation. Syncfusion’s Dashboard Platform can be easily added to Mobilize.Net modernized code to enable developers to view their apps and data in new and more intelligent ways.

“Business intelligence, AI and machine learning are fueling digital transformation,” said Tom Button, CEO of Mobilize.Net. “This partnership enables our joint customers to gain value faster, by using Mobilize’s automated modernization tools and Syncfusion’s BI tools to move to new platforms and be immediately productive.”

“Our updated Dashboard Platform combined with modern code from Mobilize will provide our joint customers with additional visibility into applications and improve the customer experience,” said Daniel Jebaraj, Vice President for Syncfusion. “Our partnership with Mobilize.Net allows us to further extend our reach to developers and provide them with the most innovative solutions to meet their growing data needs.”

Shawn Nandi, Senior Director, Cloud App Dev and Data Marketing for Microsoft Corp. added, “Mobilize and Syncfusion have been great Microsoft partners for many years. We appreciate the solutions they’ve developed to support Microsoft developer tools and their continued work to help customers bring applications forward to a mobile and cloud-driven world.”

Developers can learn more about using Syncfusion Dashboard Platform and Mobilize modernization tools here.

The post Mobilize.Net, Syncfusion Partner to Deliver ‘Greater Productivity’ to Developers appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.