Reaping the Rewards of Automation for Mobile Marketing Growth

While most mobile advertisers appreciate the value of automation, many have not yet realized the extent of its benefits. Mobile marketing automation facilitates the flexible scaling of mobile marketing campaigns allowing advertisers to easily modify their ad spend without restructuring their marketing team. 

Automation can enhance nearly every link in the mobile advertising chain, including creatives, bidding, budgeting, targeting, data and reporting. 

Where Does Automation Fit in the Mobile Marketing Landscape?

As mentioned above, the uses of mobile marketing automation are myriad. The most popular and effective include: 

  • The Refinement of Ad Creatives – As one of the primary tools for user acquisition, ad creatives should never be undervalued. Much like Facebook’s “Dynamic Creative Ads”, automation can streamline the rigorous experimentation and optimization required for their maximum impact.
  • Audience Testing – Segmentation and custom audiences remain as vital a component as ever in an effective ad strategy. The size of an audience is directly proportional to the effort required to test and manage them. For apps looking to scale, automated audience testing is essential. 
  • ROAS Reporting and Projection – While most analytics suites have built-in return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) estimations, automating this process creates actionable results that save time and prevent loss. Furthermore, as ROAS targets change, automated solutions circumvent the resource-heavy analysis work needed to reconfigure them.
  • Campaign Settings – Last but not least, the “meat” (or “bread and butter” for those looking for a more vegetarian-friendly idiom) of automation comes in the form of campaign setting experimentation. Automating bids, budgets, and campaign strategy is reliable, accurate, and extremely efficient. 

Automated mobile marketing has other distinct advantages including the personalization of engagements on a massive scale (such as using users’ first names); integrated data for cohesive multi-channel campaigns; proximity and geolocation based campaigns; and the ability to launch autonomous loyalty programs.

Different mobile advertisers apply varying levels of automation. The decision to integrate automation does not immediately need to be “all in”. However, considering the vast benefits it provides, advertisers should work towards a set-up where AI manages nearly all strategic, administrative, and recurring processes, thus providing marketers with the data and space to do what they do best: produce high quality, creative content.

While the AI and machine learning that powers automation has progressed in leaps and bounds, the tech (and its implications) is still evolving.

How to Effectively Integrate Mobile Marketing Automation

  • Map out all your marketing tasks then identify those that are most ripe for automation.

Top tip: It’s usually the ones your team finds mundane and/or repetitive.

  • Do your research before deciding on automation software (or create your own).

Top tip: Don’t choose a big brand just for the name recognition, mobile marketing automation should come from mobile specialists (not generalists).

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of each of the areas that you have automated. 

Top tip: Conduct periodic reviews on the impacts of automation on your KPIs, then adjust accordingly. 

  • Keep user-experience in mind throughout

Top tip: Create opportunities for customer feedback at every major touchpoint.

Mobile Programmatic Automation

The ultimate form of automation in mobile marketing is programmatic media buying; a practice which over the last decade has moved from buzzword to essential practice thanks to the savings it produces in capital, time and energy.  

Particularly mundane, duplicative tasks (which were never great for staff morale) such as bulk-uploads, creative tagging, audience classifications, and report building can now be handled in a fraction of the time. This helps mobile marketers to do much more with much less thereby freeing up their time for innovation and other business priorities that benefit from a human touch.

Affiliate Automation 

In affiliate marketing, automation can be used for: optimizing conversion rate (CR); automating clicks to ensure ad spend does not exceed budget; restricting campaigns to specific times; and automatically checking links to ensure they are not wasting traffic on inactive offers. Any affiliate marketing strategy that seeks scale will need to work with multiple publishers and campaigns simultaneously. By automating the management of these partners, advertisers can streamline traffic management, campaign management, and data transfer. 

A patent example is the creation of multiple tracking links for ad partners – which can be an arduous process (especially when swapping in macros and adding distinct parameters for each). Many mobile measurement partners (MMPs) provide API access that facilitates the automatic generation of tracking links. These interfaces not only simplify link creation but append custom parameters with tracking links available on just one page. 

The Human Touch

With automation solving so many of mobile advertisers’ needs, advertisers may be left asking “What is left for us to do?” Yet artificial intelligence and machine learning have not reached the stage where humans are redundant. Mobile advertising automation is not simply a one-off “Set it and then forget it” process, it is a constant process of collaboration between human and machine.

Automation frees up the user acquisition team for strategic and imaginative planning. This includes the “big picture” thinking that precedes campaign launch; the creative design of ad copy and the multiple iterations of it that automation will optimize; the discovery of new marketing sources and territories for expansion; and the on-the-ground product-driven marketing decisions that require that precious human interaction. In other words, the fun stuff. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Marcus Waters is based in Applift's HQ in Berlin and leads the Business Development team for Europe, India and MENA.