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Is mobile marketing working for direct marketers?

By Josh Herman

There is a piece of logic that has been missing for why so many consumer eyeballs can be found rapt to mobile screens of all shapes, sizes, and operating systems, but the proportion of marketing and advertising spend does not correspond to that huge volume of pupils and wallets. Why is that?

What is the stricture that is keeping advertisers and their agencies from spending in proportion to the mobile reach and all the other advantages mobile marketing has?

Directing response
The solution has been sitting with the decision-making luxury found in one of the oldest marketing channels ever, and mobile publishers have figured it out. The mobile and direct marketing landscape will be forever changed because of it.

The answer lies with the corollary question, ?Why does the chief marketing officer and the chief financial officer continue to spend, collectively, billions of dollars each year in direct marketing with confidence??

To put that into perspective, the Direct Marketing Association cites $168 billion is spent nationwide on direct marketing each year. And here is why: the luxury that direct marketers have is knowing, with great accuracy, exactly who is getting their offer and who responded.

This allows the CMO to spend with great confidence, even with a mature channel such as the United States Postal Service.

The control over targeting intelligence and the empirical evidence that the direct targeted campaigns create make it easy for the CMO to ?defend-the-spend? and predict how well a campaign will perform and how much value will be delivered.

The largest mobile publishers and mobile ad networks have figured out that every marketer is in love with its own data, especially database marketers.

There is nothing more satisfying than controlling the definition of its own targets for a campaign.

By enabling the permissible use of their own database marketing intelligence for targeting, mobile publishers and mobile ad networks are making it possible to defend-the-spend in mobile marketing and advertising.

But with billions of dollars at stake, plus your job, is it a giant assumption that the same tools and techniques employed in database marketing for decades can predict the performance of a mobile marketing campaign?

Well, you cannot defend-the-spend with assumptions, so here is one example to help deliver confidence that database targeting in mobile will pay off.

Model performance
Below is a database model performance curve from a campaign of more than 91 million impressions and 1 million-plus click-throughs. This curve is for a predictive model using the advertiser?s own data, couple of sources of third-party data, and mobile impression data.

The top 4 four deciles of the model would reach 90 percent of the mobile CTR population. And that is only one way to define, predict and measure when you have the luxury of targeting in mobile using your database intelligence.

So back to the original question, is mobile marketing working for direct marketers?

Direct marketers know they have to market to where the consumer eyeballs are and they can still reliably get to those eyeballs at least once a day at the USPS mail box.

But now that the confidence and accuracy of target marketing using database intelligence is possible in the largest mobile publishers and ad networks, the mobile direct marketing channel is poised to receive the migration of budget dollars it deserves.

Compared to the dominant direct marketing channel, mobile:
? Gets multiple visits a day; not just once to the mailbox
? Is Interactive and has immediate impulse-gratification for offers you want
? Linger time far beyond the mailbox
? Source for curated entertainment never to be found in a mailbox
? Immediate ability to share news or offers you just received
? Is with you everywhere; not nailed down to your house or a post at the end of your driveway

Mobile marketing is now ready to work for direct marketers.

Josh Herman is vice president of global product innovation and strategy at Acxiom Corp., Washington. Reach him at .