So realistically, how should you approach researching and selecting the best mobile marketing platforms?
First, you must narrow the number of “options” to consider. To get from 317,000,000 options on Google to under 40, use Lumascape (see social advertising platform). To get from 40 to 1, select the best technical fit for you based on the proceeding criteria and questions.
Technical capabilities are by far the most important decision making factors for large-scale advertisers, and therefore where you should focus during the evaluation stage. At the highest level, break out optimization and attribution from analytics and go more in depth on each, as these are critical to vendor decision-making and campaign success.
Second, ask all about the technology. A sample list of questions is as follows:
- Custom integration examples ?
- Frequency of product updates? (continuous, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.)
- Number of alpha or betas participated in in the last year?
- Stability of the platform to digest large amounts of real-time data and turn them into actionable insights?
- Platform downtime metrics?
- Number of targeting combinations?
- Support for real-time bidding?
- Support for retargeting?
- Extent of testing automation?
- A/B testing at scale, including revenue based?
- Automated multivariate testing at scale?
- Confidence calculator to ensure statistical significance of tests
- Is there revenue tracking? – if so, is it immediate, first purchase event or over the lifetime of the customer?
- Number of reporting metrics available to advertisers?
- Flexibility of platform to provide a wide range of reporting against industry wide KPIs?
- Ability to create custom reports?
Bidding and optimization
This dictates campaign performance, so advertisers with goals beyond awareness to drive sales and ROI are keenly interested to get in the weeds on details here:
- Is optimization automated, and if so to what extent?
- Is automated optimization based on real-time data?
- Are optimization algorithms static or machine learning based?
- Does the platform support weighted optimization to multiple marketer goals?
- Are optimization algorithms flexible to different definitions of value and value-modeling?
- Do bidding algorithms support predicted value?
- Number of optimization algorithms?
- Frequency of updates to algorithms?
- Support for advanced optimization – revenue optimization, ROI optimization, lifetime ROI optimization?
- What volume / type of data is leveraged for optimization?
- Do algorithms support portfolio optimization? (ie, not just how much to bid and budget on an individual ad to a specific audience, but also based on the volume of spend the marketer plans to spend)
- Attribution granularity and depth? (eg, some may attribute value at a macro campaign level, but not at a micro level to an individual audience or specific ad placement level)
- Attribution options? – eg, view-based attribution, click based attribution, windowed attribution
- Number of points in the conversion funnel supported? (eg, registration, email subscribe, return visit, add-to-cart, purchase event, etc.)
- Flexibility of pixel technology / ease of use for advertisers to incorporate pixels on their owned properties? (major pain point for advertisers)
Third, confirm the vendor is the right choice for you. Ask about the service, which should include:
- Account director
- Campaign manager
- Client services manager
- Weekly campaign reviews
- Quarterly business reviews
- Data scientist consultative meetings
- Pre-training documentation and content
- WebEx training
- In-person training
- Email support system
- Tech ops specific support system
- Analytics & platform certification
- Automated revenue performance reports
- Creative analysis
- Access to reporting API
Well folks, that’s it! While this may appear to be a lot of questions to think about, selecting the wrong platform and not going through a proper evaluation will have yourself constantly switching from platform to platform every 6-12 months due to unsuccessful initiatives. So as you think about your current vendor or are considering working with a new platform like Nanigans be sure to have these questions handy!