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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

How to show your CMO the power of push notifications

Steve Olenski
Master Principal Sales Architect

[[Ed. Note: The following is a guest post written by Joe Pezzillo, Senior Director, Push Operations & Adoption for the Oracle Marketing Cloud]]

Mobile marketers know the value of push notifications, but getting the CMO on board isn’t as easy as telling him or her about the importance of a cross-channel marketing experience. That's why marketers often need to dig deep to convince their bosses that push is worthy of investment.

Today I will share with you two ways to help get your CMO on board.

The first way is by reading and sharing this article. The second is by joining myself and Thomas Husson
VP & Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, Inc.as we co-host a webinar aptly titled Push your mobile marketing strategy forward.

The webinar will be Wednesday, May 28 from 12 - 1 pm ET and will be an examination of how mobile apps and push technology can shape your mobile strategy now, as well as where they’re driving the future of marketing.

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Push notifications are the official way for brands to reach users through an app since the operating system, such as Apple or Google, doesn’t provide users' email addresses or phone numbers. Their ability to provide information to aid in personalization makes push notifications one of the most important tools in the marketing toolbox.

Logo_2013_Google

Segment and target

Based on individual preferences, brands can define categories to segment users and deliver highly relevant push messages. Imagine a restaurant wants to get greater insight into what each individual diner likes —who orders steak and who is a vegetarian, who orders beer and who orders soda, who orders dessert and who skips the sweets. By combining the preferences from past engagement, a restaurant can offer a deal for a steak, beer and dessert to users who would want and use that deal.

But it doesn’t stop there. A user’s mobile device provides powerful, automatic signals that can improve targeting. Here are a handful of opportunities to gain insight:

  • The type of device the customer is using (Android or iPhone)
  • The manufacturer (for iPhone, it’s Apple, but Android has Samsung, Motorola, LG and more)
  • The carrier (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.)
  • The time zone the phone is set to
  • The preferred language
  • The last time the customer opened the app

With this information, readily available to brands via our mobile push SDK, brands can nail down even more specific segments. Add the time zone, type of device and app use to the scenario, and the brand can target someone who likes steak, beer and dessert who is in the Pacific time zone, uses an iPhone and has used the app in the past week.

Whats holding CMOs back

There are several concerns that CMOs often have about investing in push —and there are ways to show that with the right push provider, those concerns can be overcome:

  1. Push costs too much to integrate push into the workflow and backend. Marketers should find a provider with an easy-to-implement SDK, which allows for rapid development, that uses technology to gather signals used for segmenting.
  2. Investing in an IT department wont deliver on return. Marketers are already focusing on delivering a cross-channel experience by integrating email, display and SMS. Using multiple channels including push picks up incremental lift. Multi-channel customer interactions are 30 percent more strongly correlated with business outcomes such as customer satisfaction and desire to recommend, when compared to uncoordinated efforts, according to McKinsey & Company.
  3. Users will be bombarded with messages. Some marketers fear that if they implement push notifications, users will feel overwhelmed, leading them to delete the app or turn push notifications off. To combat this, send relevant, personalized notifications by segmenting. Another way to interact with customers without sending spam push messages is through an app inbox. Even if users say they don’t want to get notifications on the lock screen, brands can send offers and promotions to their inbox, bypassing the push alerts. This feature is helpful for reaching users that opt out of notifications and for providing offers that last longer than just one day.

The value of push

While some companies are still skeptical about creating a brand app, apps deliver high engagement and are valuable to customers. Downloading an app is the most similar experience to a customer buying a product in a retail store. The user goes to the store, browses the options, makes a selection and purchases (even if it’s free). This process provides a sense of ownership for the user and a strong brand-customer bond that websites cannot provide.

Beyond segmenting and targeting users, push provides the ability to track the effectiveness of messages and display push conversions, signaling which of a customer's high-value activities occurred after opening a push message. Companies can tell whether the user responded to the call to action, whether that means watching a video, sharing socially, making an in-app purchase or any other key action they want to track.

With that nugget of knowledge, brands can modify messages based on what the customer is likely to do. For example, if a customer often shares socially, the message should include @ mentions and hashtags. On a day that the brand needs a revenue boost, a push notification can be sent to customers who make in-app purchases. All of these options are possible due to the power of customer information.

Push not only provides important information about how a customer is interacting with a brand on the go, it also opens up new opportunities to send offers and deliver highly relevant messages. Understanding how a user engages with the brand’s app is key to creating a positive customer-brand relationship. With the right push provider, mobile marketers can convince their CMOs of the value of push.

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Don't forget to register today for the webinar Push your mobile marketing strategy forward. After just 60 minutes, you’ll not only find yourself on the forefront of mobile expertise and be ready to lead your team into the future − you'll also be ready to show your CMO the power of push notifications.

Image source: By Google [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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