With the dawn of the personal computer age and global use of the internet, marketers restructured consumer outreach and built tools for the PC platform. In today’s environment, marketing focus has shifted again, and the mobile phone is king.
Marketing via the mobile platform can be complicated. Phone makers and app providers are constantly making changes that require brand marketers to keep pace.
“Each new platform creates opportunities for marketers to reach their consumers in new ways, but there is also new complexity to master those,” said Mike Nabasny (pictured), vice president of sales at Branch Metrics Inc. “Today, the platform that is at the top of the heap is the mobile phone. It’s where the attention is.”
Nabasny spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Lisa Martin in advance of the June 16 AWS Startup Showcase “MarTech Emerging Cloud-Scale Customer Experiences” event, an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Branch provides digital technologies for marketing to consumers and tools for measuring customer engagement. (* Disclosure below.)
Quest for attention and dollars
Branch has built its business around helping enterprises navigate the tricky waters that surround platform marketing. It offers a mobile linking platform to facilitate customer engagement and mobile measurement tools so that clients can understand what parts of their marketing strategy are working as they vie for consumer attention and consumer dollars.
“We want every link in the world to be a Branch link,” Nabasny said. “Why would that be helpful? It’s going to give the user the best experience, the fastest and most relevant experience.”
Having the fastest experience is a critical part of the digital marketing equation. Mobile users expect a seamless, rapid response when ordering services or downloading content, and a significant amount of revenue is at risk if the linking quality is poor.
“When we’re talking about mobile phones, tenths of seconds and hundredths of seconds matter,” Nabasny noted. “Data and studies show that if you get delays or friction, your conversion rate will plummet.”
Managing walled gardens
The core problem confronting marketers is that consumers interact with a host of walled gardens in the mobile phone environment, closed platforms where the carrier or service provider retains control over applications and media content. This makes it more difficult to control user engagement and the technology that powers it.
“How do you reach your consumer in those places and also ensure a consistent, amazing brand experience?” Nabasny asked. “In the deep technology of how these links work and how these walled gardens operate, they’re making changes, and all of those changes can cause breakage.”
Branch’s solution is to assess the mobile landscape and provide technology that can work reliably across multiple platforms. This has required the firm to capture as many edge cases as possible in a quest to remove friction and avoid the chance of a misdirected link.
“Within the mobile ecosystem, we’ve identified 6,000 edge cases,” Nabasny said. “These are 6,000 cases that you as a marketer should care about, but you don’t want your engineering team spending time staying up to date on all of those. We have very high accuracy across 700 ad networks, and we’re going to shield you from these systematic disruptions that happen in the digital space.”
Understanding the user experience
Since its founding in 2014, Branch has built an extensive list of brand customers seeking to foster customer engagement in a constantly changing platform environment. These range from Instacart, Chipotle and Sephora to Shopify, Buzzfeed and Yelp.
“We have a customer that sends music to tens of millions, hundreds of millions of phones worldwide,” Nabasny explained. “They care very deeply about having a delightful user experience in every single channel. Let’s say I share a playlist on my Instagram feed, and you click on it. What is that user experience like?”
In addition to ensuring a seamless link, Branch’s services include being able to measure engagement and the overall consumer experience. The firm uses tools for cohort analysis and touchpoint tracking to gain an accurate picture of a digital campaign’s true value.
“We think paid ads are very important,” Nabasny said. “You’re spending money with big networks, such as Google, Apple and Facebook. We enable you to get an insight into which network was truly the last touch, we enable you to assign credit as you see fit for future decisions.”
Branch makes a case that digital marketing should be viewed as a competitive differentiator. Its clients are encouraged to extend measurement and evaluation across multiple channels, because the more insight that can be gained, the more likely a company will tap into new markets.
“There are hundreds of other networks that you should be testing,” Nabasny said. “The competitive advantage for marketers is the ability to find valuable users where your competition is not. Branch enables you to test that with confidence.”
Here’s the complete video interview:
(* Disclosure: Branch Metrics Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Branch nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)