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Mobile marketing: The ultimate push provider scorecard

One in five consumers will purchase via a smartphone or tablet this year, according to eMarketer. And if the mobile shopping behaviors of this past holiday season are any indication, when Thanksgiving 2014 rolls around, we could see that number spike to 30 or 40 percent of purchases.

With consumers so attached to their mobile devices, marketers must increasingly take a mobile-first approach to their overall marketing efforts. In fact, research conducted late last year by Responsys found that nearly a third (28 percent) of consumers have subscribed to a mobile marketing communication from a brand and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) who have subscribed indicated that they have made a purchase as a result of receiving a highly relevant mobile message.

Furthermore, the study also found that the types of mobile offers most likely to trigger consumer action are pricing-based (66 percent), time-sensitive (52 percent), and location-based (50 percent) alerts. These results are strong and once again place a spotlight on the growing importance of delivering timely (if not real-time) and relevant messages to consumers. With this as a goal, a medium not to be overlooked is push notifications.

In fact, the same Responsys survey found that 68 percent of consumers that have downloaded brand apps have enabled the app's push notifications. Among those consumers responding, 70 percent or more of them found all types of push communications, including order updates and location-based notifications, to be valuable. No surprise then that Forrester Research recently reported that marketers witness 50 percent higher open rates on push notifications versus email, with click-through rates up to twice as high as well.

In November, I shared the must-haves when looking at incorporating push notifications into a brand's digital marketing strategy. While my recommendations focused on picking a provider with robust personalization and data capabilities, it also honed in on the importance of location and marketing orchestration to create the ultimate wish list for sophisticated mobile marketing.

But, as we all know, seldom does one size fit all and we as marketers are in a constant state of evolution. However, the most diligent among us often consider building a road map that also considers future needs. So with that in mind, I've created the ultimate Push Provider Scorecard that not only helps marketers determine which provider may be the right fit for them today, but also allows them to change and adapt the scoring over time as the market and the respective providers evolve.

Scorecard Components:

The scorecard is divided into six major sections, including:
1. Campaign Management,
2. Platform/OS Support,
3. Location
4. Reporting/Data
5. Other Functionality/Services
6. Overall Tool/Company

A set of features are included in each section giving marketers the ability to weigh the importance of each feature within each category based on their specific needs/priorities. The core features I outlined in my November column are also highlighted and given additional weighting in order to future proof your selection. For each of the features, marketers can then score the strength of that feature based on their own review or evaluation. Scoring here is based on the feature's perceived strength -- from 1 (weak) to 5 (strong).

Weighting for specific categories is also included to dial up or down the weighting of each category in the overall score, and a comments column is included for specific notations to be made and referenced. Best of all, the template allows marketers to add as many vendors as they wish and make specific adjustments, including additions or deletions based on their organization's specific needs.

Again -- the scorecard is meant as a baseline that can be customized. However, the real power of the scorecard lies in its ability to allow multiple team members and departments to compare scoring and to open up a dialogue and discussion around strategy, needs, and technology partnerships. Last but not least, use it wisely -- it is a tool and only that.

Spend time with the team and go beyond the scores to create a long-lasting relationship with your partner of choice. Hopefully this will enable you to expedite the process as your mobile consumers anxiously await and (let's say) demand timely, relevant push notifications and inbox alerts from your brand.

Download the Push Provider Scorecard

Source: ClickZ

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