Headlining the last day of the Interact 2013 conference was the Sponsor Panel by ReturnPath, mBlox, and Liveclicker. While one might see few stragglers wandering in to attend morning sessions on the last day of other conferences, the Sponsor Panel was almost as well attended as the ISP Panel and yielded just as many insights. Here are some of the highlights from the panel.
Kent Ragen, Vice President, Channels, ReturnPath on Big Data
Kent observed that marketers were spending more on the content side and trying to expand data sources to make better decisions that would move email programs in the right direction. Increasingly, ReturnPath has been telling clients to send more to people who are engaged with the brand so as to maximize mindshare. The most effective marketers are using multi-channel and real-time data sets, as well as implementing well thought out streams that are based on buyer personas. In fact, there are thousands of successful and unsuccessful loyalty programs to look at and learn from. Kent also brought up the problem of phishing as a marketing problem that affects deliverability adversely. The solution? Team up with the IT team and ensure the DMARC standard is in place.
Stacy Adams, VP of Marketing, mBlox on Mobile & Push Messaging
Stacy observed that the issue with big data is siloed marketing organizations where different people own different parts of the puzzle. It is difficult to get all the data into backend systems for all the different departments to utilize, which is critical to get a complete picture of the mobile ecosystem in large brands.
Stacy suggested using email to get to people on a different device such as through a call-to-action to sign up for SMS alerts. SMS is the lowest common denominator as all phones can use SMS. Aside from one’s wallet, the most important personal item for most people is the phone. Only 56% of the population has smart phones at present – so for the other 44%, mobile messaging is exclusively about text messaging. Not surprisingly, there has been enormous growth in transactional notification through SMS. Additionally, consumers are very open to receiving SMS and push messages if the content is relevant and personalized. With push, the consumer has downloaded the app and indicated that they want push notifications – they are an opted-in user. It is rare for someone to delete an app because they receive too many push notifications. On the other hand, apps lacking push capabilities register far lower engagement rates than those that do. Ultimately, Stacy advised marketers not to give up on mobile if it does not work at first – just keep using the channel to see what works best.
Justin Foster, Co-founder of Liveclicker on Video in Email
Justin talked about how reducing friction between the content that people want to see and what they have to do to get it is important. Mobile devices do not allow videos to play automatically, and there are many buttons to press.
However, 30-40% more people watch videos if they are embedded, and this is something that can be achieved with the right tools and the right technique. Embedded videos play with a single tap. Shorter clips work better and the best video length is 23 seconds. Currently, there is a content production roadblock, and a need to provide enough relevant content. Marketers can engage with their database by providing advice on best practices with video, subject lines etc.
While the panelists each had specific areas of expertise which they spoke about at length during the panel discussions and debate, they all agreed on one point: responsive design is the next big thing.
What do we at Message Systems think the next big thing is? Why ensuring that you have a unified messaging platform in place for an effective and cost-efficient mobile engagement strategy of course! Find out more in our webinar, Your Mobile Customer Is Ready To Engage. Are You?