CompanyJune 17, 2022

What I learned at MAU Vegas 2022

I had the chance to attend MAU Vegas 2022 and gather insights from a variety of mobile marketing experts. Here's what I learned.

mau-vegas-2022

I had the chance to spend a couple days at MAU in Las Vegas last week. It was my first time in Vegas, so it was quite an experience. But I’ll save those thoughts for another blog post.

It was also my first time back at a major conference since before the pandemic, and I found it extremely exciting to get back together with customers, partners, and prospective customers and learn about what they’re working on. There were many in the industry that weren’t able to make it to MAU 2022 for one reason or another, so I wanted to share some of my takeaways to keep you up-to-date and (hopefully) reduce any fomo.

Building meaningful customer relationships with users is key

To kick off the main stage presentations, Eric Seufert, mobile industry analyst and founder of Mobile Dev Memo hosted a panel, “The State of Mobile Growth” featuring Arthur Querou, Co-Founder & CEO of vibe.co, Ramsey Kail, Senior Director of Technical Services at Airship, and Barron Ernst, VP of Product Management at Zenly. Eric began the conversation with an enticingly open question: “What is the state of mobile growth today?” 

Arthur, Ramsey, and Barron each had their own thoughts on the question, but a general notion was shared by each of the panelists: Customer relationships must be meaningful, and they must be built on trust. Paid acquisition is becoming more expensive, and advertising budgets will likely contract as we head into increasing economic uncertainty. Furthermore, Apple’s ATT and general privacy narrative has prompted users to take more control of how their mobile data is collected and used. These shifts mean that fostering long-term customer relationships that are built on trust is critical for mobile teams today. 

Ramsey Kale, in particular, explained that “brands need to be able to own their own data and rely on zero- and first-party data strategy,” and must be able to use that data to deliver valuable customer experiences. Break customer trust and the consequences are immediate. As Ramsey noted, “they’ll let you know on Twitter!”

In a later session, “How Route Deployed a Data-Backed Growth Strategy to Accelerate the Business,” Route Head of Growth Nick Warner shared a similar sentiment, emphasizing that managing customer data privacy was key to winning customer trust. To do so, "you need a Data Protection Officer that is going to steer you in the right direction” he described. “Just having five people in a room managing data subject requests is not scalable."

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Jillian Burnett, SVP of Customer Success at mParticle, presenting alongside Nick Warner, Head of Growth at Route.

Timing is important

But given that the mobile data landscape has changed, what kind of experiences can you deliver to increase customer lifetime value today? 

For Robert Setlight, Vice President & Head of Connected Experience at TD Bank, the key to personalization is timing, as he explained in the session “No Limits: Driving Customer Connected and Conversion.” Users move through the customer journey quickly, and interests can change from minute to minute, even second to second. This is particularly pertinent in the world of mobile marketing, as mobile users are typically engaging while on-the-move. 

Robert explained that a TD Bank customer’s needs may change depending on whether they’re entering a branch, leaving a branch, or performing a banking action while in-transit. "What's better than communication?” Robert posed, “it's communication done quickly." For mobile brands, timely communication requires the ability to collect mobile behavioral data, tie that data to a customer profile, and activate that data to deliver something that is relevant to a customer, such as a push notification, all in real time. 

For an example, here’s a case study of how Burger King leveraged real-time, personalized mobile messaging to power their Whopper Detour campaign, which ultimately drove 6M app downloads and a 300% increase in mobile order value.  

Customer data is a driver of growth. But if you’re not careful, it can get messy

Given the two takeaways above, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and declare that simply having customer data is the key to growth. But this is a mistake, and unfortunately an all-to-common one. 

It was evident from numerous sessions that few mobile teams are having trouble collecting customer data. Many teams, however, are still struggling to actually use data to improve customer satisfaction and grow the business. Part of the challenge is due to the fact that when collecting a bunch of customer data into a bunch of different systems, it’s very easy for data to become inconsistent, incomplete, and siloed in disparate systems. And when major platform shifts such as Apple ATT are introduced, entire implementations can be made redundant overnight. 

Nick Warner of Route explained, "Sometimes you get into a state where you're collecting customer data that just becomes noise.”  Soon, you end up with a vast swamp of customer data that no one knows how to use, a state that Nick describes as “data paralysis.” To prevent this, Nick emphasized that “you need to take a step back, get the right Product folks in the same room as your Data Engineers, and figure out what needs to be tracked.” Only by treating data as a team sport can you be sure that data consuming teams, such as marketing and product, are getting access to the data they need, in the format they need it in, where and when they need to use it.

There was an incredible amount of information, best practices, and tips shared throughout the conference, and though I was bouncing around there’s no doubt I missed some talking points. I’d encourage you to check out #MAUVEGAS2022 on Twitter for more coverage of the event, and also https://mauvegas.com/ for more information and resources.

If you were there and didn’t get a chance to chat with mParticle, feel free to shoot us a note and say hi! 

As it was my first time in Sin City, I did pick up this incredible hat at the Las Vegas airport which I’ll be sure to wear here in London when (if) the sun comes out!

vegas-hat

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