Measuring Success

Mobile Strategy and ROI Calculation

When it comes to developing a successful mobile strategy, and building a long-lasting relationship with customers, a CMO is often faced with difficult considerations around the best way to measure success.

The process of creating an app and investing significant amounts of money acquiring users is no longer enough to remain on the ‘first screen’ of any given mobile device — which is where any organization ultimately needs to be. It’s become necessary for teams to focus their efforts on techniques and campaigns that won’t only secure installs, but will maintain loyal relationships with mobile users.

There has been ample research conducted on determining ROI on the vast amounts that businesses invest in acquisition. Now though, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the same attention should be given to money spent post-install as well.

Features of an engagement strategy such as push notification campaigns, in-app messaging, user-experience A/B testing, are all techniques you’ll need to invest in to help deliver successful mobile relationships. Now all you need to do is demonstrate that there is a greater need for money spent here rather than elsewhere…

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So, if you’re the CMO in this situation, how do you prove this effectiveness and need?

Well, after adopting some form of mobile marketing platform to handle this task, you would hope that your mobile analytics will change. You may see improvement in your engagement, retention, and ultimately, your revenue numbers. Perhaps obviously, this is the first and easiest way to consider ROI.

Once you get a grasp on it, and you begin to see these numbers change, calculating ROI is relatively easy. Think of it this way — if we grow a metric like average revenue per user (ARPU) from $5 to $10 using a marketing automation program, and we have 1 million monthly active users, then we can put $5 million per month into the credit column. If the total monthly spend on the program amounts to $100,000, then that will result in a very (very!) satisfactory 900% ROI.

Granted it won’t always be ARPU that we’re measuring, but in the vast majority of cases, there will be metrics with which we will measure mobile success, and once we add a quantifiable value to these, we’ll be able to establish decent ROI estimates.

The Campaign Level

Another, perhaps more reliable, way to measure ROI is to focus specifically on individual campaigns. Doing this will allow you to measure the effect of any changes within specific campaigns and sum them to provide a total benefit.

Assuming that you’re using a good marketing automation platform, you should get clear results from each individual campaign, against whichever metrics you choose to use, and compared to the control group in order to isolate for other variables. By combining these multiple campaigns, we have a cumulative benefit that can be used to calculate ROI on the overall spend. Of course this approach won’t necessarily enable you to take account of some benefits, such as the effect an overall improved experience can have on word-of-mouth – but it’s probably better to be conservative when calculating ROI anyway.

One thing that is vital to remember: don’t go looking for evidence of ‘good results’ after you’ve ran the campaign. Human nature being what it is, you’ll probably find some. The key is to first identify the metrics that you want to have an impact on, and the effect that you hope to have before you implement the campaign.