Cole Mercer

Sr. Director, Growth & Mobile Acquisition

Q&A with Cole

Cole Mercer is Sr. Director, Growth & Mobile Acquisition at NortonLifeLock (acquired by Symantec) in San Francisco. He specializes in growing mobile apps using social media, paid, and organic user acquisition techniques. To Cole, marketing isn’t just about finding new customers, it’s making sure they’re happy customers for life.

How did you get into mobile marketing?

I was on the founding team of Lemon Wallet and when we decided we would only offer the product through mobile, we had no choice but to learn what the app ecosystem was all about.

What do you like most about mobile marketing?

I love the opportunity to collaborate with the product team. You can’t be successful marketing your app without full buy in from your product team. Its all about fighting for acquisition optimizations in the battle for product roadmap priorities.

What is the biggest mistake you made as a mobile marketer?

At Lemon, we bought a ton of incentivized installs on Android right out of the gate and Google made it clear that we had made a mistake because we were halted in the rankings until we deleted the app and launched a fresh version. Oops.

What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?

Great partners. The space is evolving so quickly that it is essential to engage with great partners that live in the mobile universe and aren’t only focused on one product.

What does a quality mobile user look like to you?

Someone who gives us productive feedback on a channel where we can have a little back and forth. I’m looking at you, ‘1-star App Store reviewer!’

What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?

Clearly presenting the most simple use case during the first user experience. There is usually one very clear reason people come back to the app, but sometimes they need to be reminded. Getting an email address doesn’t hurt either.

What is your biggest challenge in marketing LifeLock?

We sell a premium product in a category with growing awareness, so there is often a lot of research and consideration that goes into choosing LifeLock. Making sure our message is consistent across all of our ad sizes, videos, landing pages, stores, etc. as to not confuse a prospect no matter where they are in the funnel is the key to turning that casual installer into a LifeLock customer for life.

How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?

I surround myself with people a lot smarter than myself, namely partners like Liftoff. Unpaid plug.

How important are the holidays to your business and what season is the biggest time for you?

The holidays are important because people realize that they are often sharing a lot more personally identifiable information with retailers during this time. However, the real boost in awareness and consideration happens when people realize that their data has been compromised because of a data breach. These breach events are terrible, but inevitable, and LifeLock can help so we make sure our message is front and center after these events occur.


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