Q&A with Drew
Drew currently leads the mobile marketing team for Sam’s Club overseeing Sam’s Wholesale app, as well as Scan & Go, their in-club shopping app. Prior to Sam’s Club, Drew worked alongside various business units at Wal-Mart Inc., including website monetization, advertiser relations, advertising technology, loyalty marketing & behavioral science, and mobile marketing.
In your own words, tell us about the app that you manage?
I manage 2 apps for Sam’s Club. The first is our Sam’s Club “Wholesale” app which has multiple features for club members, such as access to their digital membership card, creating shopping lists, refilling prescriptions, etc. I also manage our “Scan & Go” app which is our in-club (store) checkout app where members can complete their in-club transactions within the app.
What drove you to get started in mobile marketing?
Mobile is “what’s next”. Working in retail in the past, there’s been one question everyone was racing to answer, “How do we bring the digital and physical world together to create a better experience for the customer?” It sort of clicked for me. The answer to that question was the device you take with you everywhere. The mobile phone.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
The day to day is so dynamic – I’m continually looking for ways to innovate and improve our product and our marketing. You have to constantly stretch outside of your creative comfort zone while balancing the hard science of mobile user acquisition and retention. The thing I like most is that every day presents a new challenge and what works today may not work tomorrow.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
1. Analytically driven. You not only have to understand how to optimize your campaigns but also the impact those campaigns have on your product purchases, and vice versa.
2. Technically inclined (and patience). It’s easy to add every “bell and whistle” to your app. What’s hard is to step back, look at how customers are actually using the app, and evolve the app based upon need and usage.
3. Listen and learn. My team strongly believes in “GOO” or the Get Out of the Office principle. Talking to users in real time as they are naturally using the product is one of the most meaningful experiences a I’ve had as a marketer. And if you can believe it, users will actually tell you what they want from your app, and how they want to be talked to.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
For Sam’s Club, a quality user is someone who will login or “register” their membership within the app, then use the app to meet their needs on a regular cadence, i.e. refill their prescription, place a club pickup order, or ship something directly to their house.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
We consistently look at how Sam’s Club members (customers) are using our app, then create distinct user segments. This allows us to target users with messaging designed to move them further down the funnel convert them into more active users.
What have you done in the past year to help better monetize your app?
Always start with several versions of creative and be as flexible as possible. The creative you start with will very likely not be the creative that performs best.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing your apps?
Transparency. We have established accountability standards for our campaigns and require our partners to meet them.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
Read, listen, meet….repeat. I read everything I can, and my team is very supportive of sharing articles with each other. I learn a lot from the thought leaders in the industry and observe what they do. I also find that some of our partners are a great source of knowledge.
What do you see is the next big thing in mobile marketing?
I think there are two answers to this question. 1) Multi-touch attribution is an absolute necessity for marketers, and 2) Artificial intelligence, especially as it is applied to IoT devices.
Do you plan to run re-engagement campaigns in the next 12 months?
Yes. For us re-engagement is about keeping the line moving and learning more about our members. For example we will look at users who have installed but not logged, then users who have logged in but have not completed another high value activity within a set time frame for that activity.