ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Mobile Marketer site for the latest mobile marketing news.

What to do when a mobile campaign is struggling

While marketers may have an elaborate mobile campaign ? whether it includes mobile advertising, SMS, applications or QR codes ? it might not always garner the engagement and results expected.

Many campaigns may not get the expected click-throughs or opt-ins they initially anticipated. However, it is never too late to refresh an idea.

?Mobile is experiencing explosive growth and is a new and exciting way to reach consumers at the moment when their intent to purchase is strongest,? said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston.

?As such, few of the old rules apply,? he said. ?Outdated CPM or CPC models might suffice for generalist branding campaigns, but smart mobile marketers are linking mobile campaigns to actionable, commerce-enabled mobile pages where success can be measured by lift and increased revenue.

Rethink mobile
According to Mr. Kerr, it is essential that marketers rethink their goals.

It is important for marketers to see who they are looking to target and find out more about their user.

Additionally, testing is key and helps marketers see what works and what does not.

?Try some things in a limited way, to learn,? Mr. Kerr said. ?Are you prepared for NFC? Tried QR codes? Location to push ads to shoppers? 

?There is real value in learning and gaining experience in this space, as mobile continues to grow and evolve,? he said. ?Mobile consumers want to act, they do not want to surf off to some Web page and read a lot of branding messaging on their smartphone.

?Ask yourself how easy it is for a mobile consumer to complete an action, then tweak the campaign.?

For example, if a company is running a mobile advertising campaign, it is important to link the campaign to mobile-optimized landing pages where an action can occur, as well as be able to track the lift.

?No mobile campaign can succeed if the mobile consumer lands on a page not formatted for mobile,? Mr. Kerr said. ?Also, target mobile ads for max effectiveness by using mobile-specific variables like realtime proximity to your locations as a prequalification. 

?Consider proposing a revshare arrangement with ad networks, where they share the tracked upside, in exchange for tweaking the campaign for max effectiveness,? he said.

All about SMS
Currently, many marketers are dabbling in SMS.

However, a SMS campaign might not get enough sign-ups or opt-ins that are expected.

Sending messages to consumers can help build a dialogue between the brand and the customer.

However, bombarding them with messages or sending them texts that are not relevant can help diminish that relationship. 

?Messaging campaigns fail for a variety of reasons,? said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket + Augme Technologies, Kirkland, WA.

?One is a lack of strong call to action ? the mobile subscriber needs to be incented to do something and the CTA must be prominent or it will be lost,? he said.

?A second is poor execution ? it took more than five hours for me to get a bounceback message after I responded to the NFL?s Super Bowl spot call to action.?

Mobile subscribers are all about instant gratification, per Mr. Hasen.

To succeed, marketers should start by mapping a strategy for their business goals.

According to the executive, several best practices include working with a provider that offers technology with strategy and creative, testing before diving in fully and providing multiple ways for consumers to engage.

?Hipcricket client Macy?s does this extremely well,? Mr. Hasen said. ?For instance, its Backstage Pass program has elements including a QR code, SMS, mobile Web and MMS.?

Many marketers are also using QR codes in their campaigns to drive user engagement.

However, consumers are still not educated on what a QR code is or what they need to scan it with - therefore, they are not getting the scans they had expected. 

?With any digital marketing tool, it is critical to measure your results and adjust your approach if it is not meeting objectives," said Mike Wehrs, CEO of Scanbuy, New York. "QR Codes should follow the same rules.  

"Create your codes with a tracking tool so you can look at the performance on scan rates and engagement," he said. "If your campaign is not getting the scans you expected, you may want to rethink where the code is being placed and revise the call to action around the code to be more direct about why to scan.  

"Both of those are critical to create relevance and value for the consumer. If you are not seeing engagement results, then you need to ensure you are doing the basics like delivering mobile optimized content that gives the user a compelling experience. Think about what that user would want at the time they scan your code and deep link them into the best possible experience.?

Where to start
According to Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, marketers should use mobile as an A/B testing ground.

?If a campaign is not getting enough lift, try a different approach with the same campaign, change the order of the action item, move a click-through to the top and add another action item for two in one,? she said. 

?Just because one campaign is not getting the proper amount of lift does not mean that the mobile application itself is a failure, it simply means a different approach should be taken.?

If a campaign is not performing well, Ms. Troutman suggests that marketers either revise the campaign with a different approach or start fresh. 

?The revising of a campaign shows an A/B testing that can be valuable for future campaigns as they move forward,? Ms. Troutman said.

?For example, if a campaign has one action item and there is a scroll on the micro site or landing page, and it is not extremely intuitive what the action is, then taking that same campaign and moving some of the pieces around to change this campaign could make a difference, and if it does, it gives valuable insight into the next campaign that is sent out as to where and how the action should be displayed,? she said.

The executive also says that marketers should never feel intimidated about launching a campaign.

?If you keep it back and over analyze, you will never learn what works and what does not work,? Ms. Troutman said. ?You only learn which campaigns will be effective by creating and sending these out.?