The top 5 mobile marketing challenges

Mobile marketing is a critical priority for today’s digital marketer. According to a Pew Research Center report, “46% of smartphone owners say their smartphone is something ‘they couldn’t live without.’” (A) A mobile-first approach is vital, but it also presents some unique mobile marketing challenges.

  1. Design and content need to be optimised for mobile marketing, not one or the other. It’s common to read about responsive design and layout best practices for different devices, but it’s equally important to ensure that your content being displayed within your responsive designs is also optimised for viewing on mobile devices. Just because a font is larger doesn’t mean a mobile visitor will stick around to the end of a long piece of content. It is safe to assume that someone reading on their mobile device will be more easily distracted and less likely to read for as long as someone who is accessing a page via their computer. Also, email previews are shorter on phones, so it pays to plan the all-important email subject line around that shorter amount of characters.
  2. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Balancing what you send via SMS or push notifications versus respecting the consumer’s time and preferences is important. Relevance is the key to ensuring you’re resourceful and not intrusive. Use data gathered with your marketing automation platform to fine tune your segmentation and personalisation efforts within your website and mobile marketing campaigns.
  3. How to track one customer across multiple mobile devices. Compiling a unified view of each customer has become more complicated now that so many people access information from a variety of mobile devices. In order to track that customer behaviour across different mobile devices you need to integrate data from every device together. Your marketing automation software should integrate with your website and mobile application which should both contribute to your centralised customer database. One way to accomplish this is by using a mobile data management platform to monitor, organise and integrate data. “A customer’s experience on one channel is directly impacted by their experience on another, and today’s customers want to be able to switch between channels seamlessly. As a result, to offer a successful mobile experience, businesses must ensure it is fully integrated to what they also offer online, in store or on the phone.” (B)
  4. Getting opt-in for SMS and push notifications “Consumers should be able to control the type of information or promotions they receive and how often.” (C) Opt-ins are important because they are the legally correct way to send SMS and push notifications. Since you need to allow customers to opt-in to your mobile marketing communications, you should be cognisant of the best practices around your opt-in message. Keep it brief but informative, and make sure you include the legally required “Message and data rates may apply” piece. Also, just like with your newsletter you want to let the customer know what you will communicate, how often, and what’s in it for them. Explaining all of this succinctly ensures people aren’t surprised or turned off by the frequency or content of your mobile marketing messaging.
  5. How to determine which method of communication is best. This is related to challenge number two above. Determining the best way to communicate with a customer is a balance between being resourceful and being intrusive. Even though there is more data than ever before, determining a customer’s preferred form of communication can be difficult. While you can ask for user preferences with a form, doing so is not always possible or the best use of a form field. How, then, do you determine whether you should use SMS or a push notification or an email to send information?

    To determine the best mobile marketing method to use, think of your needs and goals for the content you are sending. If the information is time-sensitive and the person is expecting it then SMS might be a good choice. Password confirmations, shipping notifications and payment reminders are good examples of messaging that would be appropriate for a text message. Keep in mind that any SMS or push notifications should be short and concise. If your content is longer than a couple sentences then email is your best option. Is there a link you want people to click on? If that link isn’t optimised for mobile then you shouldn’t plan to send it via SMS or push notification. Similarly, if someone might need to reference this content later then an email is the smartest choice because they are better organised and easier to keep track of.

Mobile marketing does present some challenges, but with the amount of people using mobile devices increasing each day, ignoring this effective method of communication is not an option. If you would like help with addressing your mobile marketing challenges contact us today.

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How to assign $ value to the ROI of marketing automation in your first year

Marketing Automation isn’t just a suite of software tools, it’s an entirely different approach to marketing and sales. Yes, it can measure the success of a specific campaign by tracking behavioural data, but the true return on investment (ROI) is best realised over time and with far more useful metrics than conversion rates. This blog provides five measurements to calculate when preparing a business case for marketing automation.

1. Quality instead of quantity

B2B marketers say the #1 benefit of marketing automation as the ability to generate more and better leads. – Pepper Global Marketing Automation Trends Report 2014

One of the primary ways marketing automation technology improves revenue is through the way it helps filter out poor quality leads. Notice I didn’t say eliminate. Less desirable leads will always exist, even as you improve your marketing messaging, but with a marketing automation platform (MAP) you can make sure those leads don’t waste the time of your salespeople. Instead, any leads who aren’t likely or ready to close can be automatically enrolled in nurture campaigns that help progress them to the point where they are a good quality lead. Meanwhile, your sales team can focus their efforts where they’re needed most. With automated behavioural monitoring, behaviour-triggered actions and lead scoring prospects can be managed in a scalable, accurate way so you not only “react” in real-time but you also prioritise the higher quality leads.

2. Workflow efficiencies

“Automation” isn’t part of the technology’s name for nothing. While the software doesn’t replace a marketing team, it will make it more efficient. Through integrations and automated workflows you can automate manual tasks and facilitate interaction, alignment and insight gleaning across different teams (especially marketing, sales and IT). Campaign enrolment, lead score adjustment and email follow ups are all examples of common, repetitive tasks that are easily automated. These efficiencies enable you to leverage more of the most valuable employee skills, such as creative and strategic thinking.

Increased relevance and engagement

These two go hand-in-hand. As you integrate behaviour-based marketing into your overall strategy, the software can respond to specific behaviours in real-time with the most relevant messaging for each individual. That’s powerful and effective. People engage more when something is relevant and interesting to them, so tracking engagement (whether via social media, campaign reaction or direct inquiries) is a good indicator of increased relevance.

Funnel velocity

How quickly do leads/prospective customers go from becoming aware of you to purchasing from you? This is a metric that companies with longer sales cycles are constantly trying to improve, and marketing automation excels at exactly that. Not only can you accurately monitor how many leads are in each stage based on their behaviour, but you can also proactively incentivise progression through the buying cycle with advanced nurture campaigns. Things like pricing sheet views and buying package evaluation can trigger an alert that gets your sales team in contact immediately.

Beyond revenue Marketing automation is a modern technology designed to address critical business needs. Rather than being one tool, it serves as a connected platform of tools and knowledge. This unique combination gets results. The software contributes to the top line by drawing in more leads as well as the bottom line by doing it more effectively and efficiently. This holistic approach ensures your ROI is composed of stronger metrics and healthier lead flow.

Assigning a dollar figure to your ROI

To begin assigning a dollar value to the ROI in the first year, it is important that you are firstly clear on the benefits you want to see from switching or implementing a MAP (ie process improvement, more quality leads, customer engagement etc). Secondly, it’s a good idea to define your current marketing performance metrics so you can benchmark to these. If you would like to find out more about calculating ROI, contact us today.

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engage digital now a MicroChannel Company

Today I am incredibly excited to share the news that engage digital will today become part of the MicroChannel Group.

When engage digital first began in 2009, it was with a belief that email and marketing automation technologies would become critical business applications. Today, if you talk to any analyst or business leader you will quickly hear this is reality.

In 2009, my co-founder Antony Dutton and I brought Silverpop, the industry leading email marketing and marketing automation company, to Australia and began the journey. Since then there has been an incredible amount of change in this industry and the way we work and what we do. It’s continued to be fast, highly competitive and innovative but a few fundamentals have stayed the same. We’ve always believed in having strong values and ethics, delivering worthwhile projects,and being genuine in our approach. We hope that the people we’ve worked with as clients and partners experienced these qualities.

Recently, we have looked at ways to accelerate our success and how we can further support our clients and partners. We are pleased that with MicroChannel we can realise this. We share those same values and a deep passion for people and technology. We share a vision around providing truly end-to-end technologies, that not only positively impact our clients bottom line but improve how they work.

The future for us is to find ways to deliver amazing customer experiences for our clients at the front end, and efficiently and effectively manage the back end so everything works the way it was designed. Combining the value of three or four business-critical applications such as Marketing Automation, CRM and ERP solutions into an integrated offering with value added services and support, is something that will be our new reality and a reality for our clients.

MicroChannel is a multi-award winning regional technology provider across the Asia-Pacific with over 20 years of heritage and 250+ dedicated team members. With a focus on superior solutions, dependable service, delivering measurable value and committed people, we believe we can provide additional value and service to our clients, and reciprocate this for the many MicroChannel clients.

For our clients, in many ways most things will remain the same. Engage Digital will operate as a subsidiary of MicroChannel for everything marketing technology and services related. In due course we hope to demonstrate the new value we can bring to all clients and partners.

For our technology partners such as IBM, it means expanded opportunities and capabilities to deliver.

For our team and those who have been with us on this journey, both Antony and myself would like to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all your efforts and commitment. Our vision is not yet realised and we believe the future looks incredibly bright for our team.

Personally, I could not be more excited to play a continued leadership role with Engage Digital as part of the MicroChannel Group. Most importantly I look forward to building on the vision with our team that we started many years ago with MicroChannel and our valued clients and partners.

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How to calculate the cost of a marketing automation platform in year one

Marketing automation is a long-term business investment characterised by features that lead to organisational growth and stronger revenue performance, but the cost of this revolutionary technology is more than just the licensing or subscription fee. How, then, is one supposed to accurately budget for this critical purchase?A good rule of thumb is for every dollar spent, one quarter of it should be spent on the technology itself while the remaining three quarters will be spent on the services needed to use the software effectively. In this post I’ll outline the primary associated costs necessary to realise success with marketing automation. Use this as a guide so you can approach this software with the knowledge you need to garner executive support and allocate your budget appropriately.


It takes some time to learn how to use marketing automation software. All the major platforms know this, so vendors usually offer onboarding and training sessions to help you get started and quickly gain proficiency. You often have the option to do this onsite or virtually, and during the onboarding process you can create real or example workflows and campaigns that can be referenced or saved over in the future. Sometimes these programs are free to a certain point, other times they can be quite expensive, but they’re a smart way to ensure you start off on the right foot and see results sooner.


One huge strength of marketing automation software is its ability to integrate many different technologies together into one, unified platform and data source. Many integrations are already available, but if your organisation needs an integration that doesn’t already exist, it will need to be developed and customised for your needs. Be prepared to pay a considerable amount if you require a custom integration. The alternative involves choosing a marketing automation platform that already offers the integration you need, changing the tool that doesn’t integrate for a competing tool that does, or not having the integration.

In general, you get the most out of the software when you leverage the integrations it offers. For this reason, when choosing a platform we recommend prioritising the systems you absolutely need to integrate with and finding a marketing automation platform that can accommodate them. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and E-commerce systems are good examples of existing tools you likely already use that you would definitely want to integrate with to deliver quick wins. To counter that example, integrations with less commonly used social media platforms are not as critical.

You will likely be made aware of integration costs, but a potential hidden cost is the preparatory work needed beforehand. Databases can contain a significant amount of obsolete data, so eliminate any cold, dead or old leads from your CRM system before the integration to save both time and money.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: marketing automation isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it solution. It takes constant upkeep and development. Once you begin using the software you will start to realise the true extent of its capabilities, which will inevitably lead to a task you do not know how to tackle with the software. This is where support comes in. Support is arguably the most valuable part of a vendor’s offerings because you will likely need it when you least expect it and you want to be able to access it on demand. Things like after hours support, multilingual support and heavy usage of support will all cost extra so there are often different tiers to select from based on your need. Read support-related reviews and testimonials before committing to a specific vendor, or plan to work with experts who have familiarity with the platform you purchase.

Strategic Guidance

Marketing automation isn’t new, but it can be difficult to find skilled employees who have the experience and knowledge to use the technology effectively. For some organisations, managing this technology in-house isn’t realistic or is only possible in a limited capacity. This shouldn’t be a reason not to implement the software though. Strategic guidance and outsourced partnerships are a cost-effective way to bridge any skill gaps you have and still utilise this powerful technology. Whether you need a few campaigns, a content library, strategic advice, hiring advice or buyer persona development, there is help available. Digital marketing practices like ourselves, freelancers and consultants are valuable experts who can be hired for everything from a temporary project to a long-term agreement.

Commit to Success

Marketing automation works, but you need to commit the time and resources needed to support and run the software, create content, engage socially, monitor performance, etc. Plan for success by anticipating these related service costs – they’re the bulk of the investment you will make as you begin using this revolutionary technology. Contact us to get a better understanding of potential costs in year one.

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Marketing technology is now a business-critical purchase

Marketing automation is not an optional investment anymore; it is now considered a critical business investment for the majority of organisations.

58% of top-performing companies; where marketing contributes more than half of the sales pipeline, have adopted marketing automation. – Forrester Research “Gauging Your Progress and Success” (2013)

Moving forward, businesses will need an automated platform that manages the complexities of customer communication efficiently and effectively. People expect communication to be personalised and catered to them as an individual. In the same way it is unacceptable to have a website that isn’t responsive, it is also unacceptable to address an email to ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ or to send a consumer unrelated suggested purchases. The future of marketing is a matter of keeping pace with customer expectations.

In one study of millennials, 41% of participants expected brands to create engaging digital content, 38% expected a brand to provide instant communication with customer service and 37% expected brands to use technology to include consumer feedback in product development.

Organisations need to be able to respond to buyer behaviour and understand the needs of each individual based on the actions they take. Many marketers are already seeking to have more authentic and tailored communications with their customers, although to deliver this, much of the work is still manual with cumbersome processes. Marketing automation makes personalised communication possible and scalable.

Benefits & efficiencies

A marketing automation platform is a powerful tool because it provides a single location for integrating with other technology tools, database insights, marketing tasks, sales intelligence and performance monitoring, creating efficient workflows and building opportunities for team alignment. With thorough online behavioural tracking it is now possible to correctly attribute direct contributions from creative efforts to revenue performance – in a timely manner. This hasn’t always been possible.

Through features like lead scoring and lead nurturing, the pipeline can be managed in a more relevant and efficient way. Behaviour can be automatically be captured and responded to in real-time. Reports can be generated automatically based on data points that were never available before. Social posts can be scheduled and associated with purchase behaviour. Content can change dynamically on each landing page so it is specific to an individual buyer profile. Emails can change mid-campaign if nobody reads them. This is just a small set of capabilities marketing automation enables. It isn’t just a software tool, it’s a new marketing approach, an integrated platform and a business-critical purchase.

Recognising the value

Investing in marketing automation is no longer about being progressive, it’s about keeping up, focusing on organisational efficiencies and staying relevant to ensure future growth. Committing to this involves a shift to an inbound marketing approach and a different set of skills. Start by creating content that is focused on buyer needs and being resourceful. From there, identify organisational challenges that can be addressed with the software – lead management, lead quality, advanced campaigns, etc. Use those existing struggles to recognise where the software can have immediate effects and focus there first. By phasing your marketing automation implementation, you can realise both immediate and long-term benefits.

Nearly 70% of businesses are using a marketing automation platform (MAP) or currently implementing one. Aberdeen Group “State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce” (2014)

When developing a business case to support switching or implementing marketing automation technology, many benefits can be monetised. Whether you’re looking at return on investment, lead quality, reporting accuracy or advanced capabilities, marketing automation software is the answer to reducing costs and increasing revenue. This is technology that works and it is technology that you can’t afford to ignore. If you need assistance in preparing a business case for marketing automation, or advice on industry-leading marketing automation solutions, contact us.

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    14/213 Miller St North Sydney
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