Michael Sprague: Moments Are The Bridge To Mobile Marketing

Michael Sprague: Moments Are The Bridge To Mobile Marketing

What are the best strategies for acquiring new customers? Head of Marketing & Partnerships at Kiip shares his tips.

Michael Sprague
  • 10 april 2014

As marketers, it is our job to know what our customers want. Once we know this (or think we know this), our next job is to acquire new customers while keeping existing ones happy. If we’re any good at customer acquisition, we will reach our target audience at the right moments and convert them into customers.

Sometimes the process to acquiring a customer is long (ref. Auto purchase). Sometimes it happens fast (ref. Groupon flash sales). There is a funnel referred to here, which ultimately makes marketing about capitalizing moments of purchase intent.

Whether you’re trying to create purchase intent, harvest it, or convert intent into purchases, there will always be a person doing something and a marketer trying to reach that person with their message.

This post is about the bridge between a consumer and a marketer.

Marketing channels evolve over time. Marketers evolve too. They define new ways to connect with their audience and scale these practices across their marketing mix. Today, there is a rapid evolution towards mobile marketing. As advertisers become savvy to trends in mobile behavior, we begin to see a shift in focus and media budgets.

With each evolution, consumer behavior becomes a signal. At Kiip, we’ve defined these signals as “moments.” A moment is a natural pause, often an achievement, when a user has completed an action in a mobile app or game.

In mobile, moments are contextual, emotional and often carry intent.

●      Completing a 10K in Runkeeper — fitness apps.

●      Leveling up in a game — gaming apps.

●      Swiping to-do item — productivity apps.

●      Bookmarking a recipe — recipe apps.

But, moments exist everywhere.

●      Reading the Sunday newspaper — traditional print.

●      Driving to work on the freeway — billboard.

●      Watching the NFL Superbowl — classic tv.

●      Searching on Google for a new camera – SEO and SEM.

●      Tweeting about your new job promotion — social media.

From traditional media to the latest trends in mobile technology, moments have existed in every form of consumer activity since direct sales. There is always a person doing something and a marketer trying to reach that person with their message.

But not all moments deserve to be marketed to, in fact, a majority of the moments that occur everyday should not be marketed to. We need to respect moments and respect our consumers. To do this right, we should understand a few things about moment-based marketing.

1. Understand and Respect User Behavior

Moments exist in many different contexts, such as gaming, fitness, food, sports, music, productivity and more. By understanding what the user is doing, and who they are, we can effectively create campaigns that reach the right user.

e.g. Susan completes her first 10K using the RunKeeper fitness app and PowerBar rewards her with a free product sample.

2. Add Value

The second, is adding relevant value. Moments are not a new medium to place an ad. Moments are one of the most attentive opportunities a brand has to reach a consumer, engage them with content, and create a reciprocal connection that lasts beyond the moment. Rewards are an effective way to recognize users in the moments that matter most to your brand, while adding value in a delightful, respectful way.

e.g Snickers recognizes mobile users by rewarding them with in-game currency when the win or lose in mobile games.

3. Serendipity

An unexpected gift is greater than an unexpected disruption. Rewarding users on a variable schedule is much more effective than rewarding users on a fixed schedule. Consumers will respond stronger to your brand when a relevant reward is given to them at a moment they least expected it. When done right, the reward feels earned, it feels natural and complementary to the experience.

e.g. At Kiip our algorithms don’t reward every moment by design. Instead, we analyze billions of moments and find exactly which combination of users, apps and brands yield the highest engagement rates.

There is a tremendous amount of data we collect from moments. The intersection of mobile user data and brand engagement data produces powerful brand insights.


We also know which combination of moments create purchase intent.


In a later post, we will dive deeper into the data behind moments.

So, whether you’re trying to create purchase intent, harvest it, or convert intent into purchases, moments are a powerful medium to consider in your marketing mix.


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