In the run up to his session on Mobile Strategy & Marketing at Apps World North America, we managed to get a 1:1 interview with Localytics, CMO, Josh Todd.
Can you give us a brief history of how you got to where you are today?
I feel lucky to be able to lead such an accomplished team of amazing marketers here at Localytics. Prior to Localytics, I led the marketing organisation at Constant Contact, where I got to experience the company’s rapid growth and gain expertise in many disciplines as we scaled and eventually went public. Before that, I spent time working at Staples, Lycos and Kelloggs.
What is the key to effective innovation in mobile?
The key to effective innovation in mobile is using all the insights you have about your end-users to understand who they are and what engagement strategies are working. People are already providing the knowledge of what they want from their mobile experiences. Companies just need to make sense of the data being collected through apps and sensors to understand how users are interacting on mobile and what value they expect to get from your brand.
How significant do you think mobile developments in areas such as data analytics and push notifications will shape and affect the future of marketing?
Very significant. Mobile has given us the ability to know our audience on a deeper level than ever before and has provided new opportunities to engage with them in a very personal way. That’s only going to get more sophisticated as marketers grasp what mobile can really do for their business.
What’s the key to driving engagement with mobile marketing?
The key to mobile engagement is avoiding unintended consequences, which requires a deep understanding of your users to deliver a personalised experience to each and every individual, and then having the insight into the downstream impact on that customer relationship beyond the initial conversion.
Conversely, what are the main mistakes advertisers should avoid when using mobile?
The biggest mistake they make is limiting themselves to just be acquistion focused - mobile is more than advertising. The most progressive mobile marketers are already focusing more of their efforts on increasing LTV by reducing churn.
Are people taking full advantage of the marketing opportunities apps already offer?
No. In fact, at Localytics, we believe businesses are in a mobile engagement crisis because most companies aren’t meeting consumers’ expectations for what should be happening on mobile. You can’t take your web strategy and apply it to the mobile world and just hope for the best. It is a different world, and it requires new approaches.
Is mobile the new normal? If so how can one be cutting edge?
Mobile is not going anywhere. It will continue to evolve rapidly, but you need to embrace it before you are passed by your competitors. Cutting edge starts with the core - what does your company do better than anyone else and how can that value be delivered on the go, mid stream while your customers live their lives. To stay on the cutting edge, you need to stay close to the data. Your customers are telling you what they want and need with every interaction. The insights are in the data.
What topics do you think will dominate the agenda at this year’s Apps World North America?
As user churn becomes a bigger issue for companies, we’ve seen a shift in focus to retention, so churn and retention will be a hot topic of conversation. That means that there will also be a bigger discussion about engagement (and the right way to do engagement) as a means to turn unknown users into loyal fans who come back often rather than abandon your app altogether.