Q&A with Vivian
Vivian Chang was formerly Director of Digital Marketing at RetailMeNot in Austin, TX. Her extensive background in paid search marketing led Vivian to dive into the rapidly evolving world of mobile marketing where she’s proven herself to be an expert in growing mobile businesses.
How did you get into mobile marketing?
I have a search marketing background, so I enjoy having hands-on optimization and access to data to quickly evaluate performance and run tests. Since the launch of RetailMeNot’s iOS and Android apps in late 2012, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to learn the industry while helping to shape our mobile acquisition strategy.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
I love that at its core, mobile marketing is fast-paced and presents the challenge of how to drive response and awareness on a small screen size. The industry has gotten much more complex over the years, but also really interesting as consumer behaviors shift and new marketing channels develop. Increasingly, what used to be siloed as mobile marketing is becoming synonymous with marketing. Who would’ve thought we’d find it normal to see celebrities in TV commercials endorsing mobile games?
What is the biggest mistake you made as a mobile marketer?
The mobile space can still be the Wild West when it comes to prevalence of mobile fraud. One of my biggest frustrations is the lack of tools and how manual it is for marketers trying to stay on top of it.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
- Be data-oriented and have a clear view of all your KPIs to measure success.
- Get creative in the ad messaging/design, and even the channels utilized.
- Always be testing.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
Qualitatively for RetailMeNot, the user is a savvy shopper using our full suite of savings tools and checks the app every time that the user is shopping. We look at signals like frequency of app launches and engagement with multiple app events to help inform quality through the metrics.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
We see success leveraging push notifications and email to deliver personalized content and reinforcing the relevant deals content a user can find in the app through social channels, especially on Facebook. Of course, the other key component is delivering a great user experience in the app product itself. Ultimately the best predictor of someone becoming an engaged user is successfully saving money and experiencing the ease and convenience of the app first-hand.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing RetailMeNot?
Because RetailMeNot is a marketplace for digital savings, the goal is for users to engage with the breadth of content we offer across many retailers and brands. There isn’t one user funnel; instead there are multiple app actions and paths a user can take for their shopping needs. This is a challenge when marketing the app since the metrics are not as clear cut as something like X cost per engagement for networks to optimize towards. It’s an ongoing dialogue with the networks on the quality of installs each is driving.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
I regularly read newsletters like MobileDevMo, PocketGamer, and GamingInsiders as well as keeping up with the Liftoff, adjust, and Apsalar blogs. On top of that, I ask lots of questions with my reps at the ad networks and tool providers I work with. They see across a broad swatch of clients and industries, so talking with them keeps me up on the latest trends and helps me find technology to test. Finally, I make an effort to build relationships with other mobile marketers by attending conferences and events. This is a constantly evolving industry and I find everyone more than happy to share his or her experiences.
How important is diversifying user acquisition outside of Facebook?
It’s critical for RetailMeNot. As competition on Facebook increases – especially with the influx of brand dollars – costs continue rising while volume declines. When RetailMeNot is pushing for increased volume or lower acquisition costs, having an established, strong base of installs from various non-Facebook sources allows me to maintain a balanced portfolio.
How important are the holidays to your business and what season is the biggest time for you?
RetailMeNot facilitated $4.8 billion in global sales in 2015, and is one of top 5 places users start their shopping journeys so as you can imagine, the holiday shopping season is our biggest time of year. What’s interesting is that every year the holiday shopping season begins earlier and earlier, and traditional in-store shopping days like Black Friday drive tons of mobile shoppers as well.