Conquesting can be extremely effective in capturing more of the market share, but tactics like the ones described in this column can likewise be great tools for reminding your existing customers why they should choose you again and again.
More and more marketers are talking about conquesting — and making it a part of their mobile arsenals. This is an emerging practice I’ve talked about here in the past, because when done properly, conquesting is a powerful method for reaching new customers.
However, I find most marketers are contemplating only the most primitive version of conquesting. Yet, at its best, conquesting represents a truly advanced approach to using audience behaviors to target and engage your best possible prospects, in a competitive scenario. To help you realize the full potential of conquesting, you need to understand the range of possibilities. To that end, I’ll provide a quick synopsis of some of the evolving options along with a set of key questions for marketers or agencies to ask when evaluating partners to support your mobile conquest.
Defining the Primitive Version
At an entry level, there is the simple geo-fence to conquest, which is serving mobile ads to competitive locations, when an audience is physically at that location. This is an improvement over its desktop predecessor, which most likely served ads to a browser that had visited a competitive website. As with all things mobile, given the personal nature of the mobile device, you have a much higher likelihood of reaching your intended individual target, versus someone in the family who may or may not have been the user browsing a competitor.
How you map your geo-fence is also important. At the simplest level, and as often executed, this involves plotting a point on a map and a radius around that point, so it is by definition imprecise. More advanced providers follow a methodology I advocate, and draw a precise shape representing the boundaries of a target location.
A More Advanced Range
If you take conquesting a step further, imagine being able to identify and serve ads to users who have been to competitive locations in the past, and essentially retargeting them at the time they are most likely to engage. This may be later that day, the following week, when they are relaxing at home, or doing weekend shopping. By understanding much more about the user than simply their current location — their interests, present mindset, or typical activities — you are able to retarget at precisely the right moment capitalizing on that consumer’s current mindset.
Taking it to yet another level, we can engage our audience with competitive audience data conquesting. This is serving ads to users identified by purchase history data indicating a competitive association. For example, a maker of luxury vehicles can identify consumers who have purchased a competitive make and model, including insight into how long ago they made that purchase, whether or not they are in-market for a new vehicle, and even the likelihood they would defect to a new brand. By leveraging this data alone, or in conjunction with location, advertisers have an exponentially powerful tool for reaching the most valuable prospects. We're seeing a great deal of success with this right now in select industry categories, such as auto and anticipate similar success in retail and travel.
Know You’re Getting Advanced Conquesting Support — a How-to Primer
Clearly a provider or partner has to have the appropriate data technology capability to support a more advanced conquesting approach. Geo-fencing alone does not make for a complete methodology. In order to evaluate whether a potential provider or partner is equipped to execute advanced conquesting, a marketer should ask the following questions. Think of this as a primer to assist your process of vetting potential partners and their capabilities.
In addition to evaluating and identifying the right approach, technology, and partners, the conquesting marketer would be well served to evaluate their own strategy and intent. Is your motive, "I’m going to steal away my competitors’ customers?" Or is it, "I believe my product is something in which my competitors’ customers would have benefit or interest?" The closer you are to the latter (my ongoing mantra — are you standing in the customer’s shoes?), the more likely you are to develop an effective conquesting strategy. Consumers don’t like to play into the hands of the marketer’s self interest — but they do like to be informed about new things that will meet their needs or desires.
As a closing thought, conquesting is not only for prospecting new customers. It can be an effective tool for nurturing lifetime value in your existing customer base. As much as marketers like to talk about loyalty, consumers are, as a general rule, not all that loyal.
Conquesting tactics like those described above are likewise great tools for continuously reminding your existing customers why they should choose you again and again — effectively capturing market share from your competitors.
Image via Shutterstock.
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Writing on mobile and mobile insights, Shannon E. Denison brings a blended background of time spent providing data analytics services to Fortune 500 companies, and on the client side as a frequent user of data analytics systems. Her background combines consumer psychology, statistics, and marketing - including graduate research in advertising effectiveness, along with 20 years of experience leveraging research and data to evaluate consumer behavior and solve business challenges.
She now serves as VP Product and Insights for Voltari, a provider of data-driven solutions for smart marketing and advertising. For more than a decade, Voltari has empowered brands and agencies to maximize their advertising dollars through smart mobile marketing and advertising solutions. Voltari's real-time, machine-learning optimization delivers content and messaging to people who are most interested in it, when they are most likely to interact, through an integrated and scalable, managed service platform. Voltari's patent pending mobile ad recommendation engine enables clients' campaigns to gain performance efficiencies that improve over time. The company is dedicated to providing the most advanced audience targeting and optimization products to its marketers and agencies - and continually delivering insights. The Insights group Denison oversees focuses on the distillation and dissemination of campaign performance and consumer insights. She writes from this vantage point.
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