Mobile Marketing 101: Running Successful Campaigns

Maxime Toulliou

Todd was Branch’s Content Marketing Manager from 2016 to 2017. During this time, he was in charge of creating content for Branch’s blog, managing social media accounts, and running webinars.

May 27, 2016


This is a guest post from Somo, a mobile marketing solution that helps customers increase sales, customer engagement, and productivity.

Running an effective and successful mobile marketing campaign is not always as difficult as it may seem. All it takes is some clever planning and a team with relevant experience, know-how, and a keen understanding of the industry. The methodology is often similar from campaign to campaign, with only a few factors or techniques changing. However, this does not mean that everyone gets it right or that it is easy to execute. At Somo, we’ve been planning and executing successful mobile campaigns for the last seven years. Given our expertise in the matter, we’ve decided to share a few tips to set you up for success.

Setting the Right Measure of Success

Before even thinking about the strategies that you are going to employ to run your mobile marketing campaign, it is essential to have a clear understanding of how you are going to measure the campaign’s success. This is usually referred to as a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and it will enable you, as a marketer, to determine an objective and then measure yourself against said objective as time passes.

The KPI(s) will change for mobile campaigns depending on the type of business for which you are working, the vertical it is operating in, or even the specific campaign that is being run. For example, a mobile app with a business model focused around subscriptions will not measure the success of its campaign the same way a mobile game or retailer would.

Finding the right KPI for your campaign and business is vital, as optimizing towards the wrong KPI will inevitably lead to failure. What we define as the true business KPI is the goal that your business is trying to accomplish, no matter the channel. For a retailer it would be sales, and for a gambling company it would be deposits/bets being placed. Here at Somo, we always begin by identifying our clients’ objectives and how to measure success, before actually starting to think about what media strategies will be employed.

However, it is quite common for companies running mobile campaigns to solely focus on the number of installs in order to determine the success of their activity. This number cannot be a complete measure of success for a mobile marketing campaign when looked at in isolation. This number will only give you an indication of how many people have installed your application but does not take into account retention rates, conversion rates, and frequency of purchase.  These are the things that will eventually enable you to benchmark your activity, partner against partner or channel against channel. These metrics will enable you to justify further investment into your activity. By simply displaying a number of sales or a return on investment, the measure of success becomes much more robust as compared to merely a number of users who have installed your app.

Campaign Optimization is a Continuous Workflow

Once you know how your campaign will be measured and you have launched it, how do you optimize? First of all, optimization starts long before the actual launch of a campaign. There are various processes that can be put in place in order to facilitate the correct execution of your campaign once it’s live. Giving your partners the right targeting and campaign information, understanding their capabilities to pick the best formats, buying point, targeting options, and delivery schedule will do wonders for your campaign.

Once you have a clear plan of what you want to achieve and how you want to execute it, optimization becomes much clearer. You will be able to start comparing the different partners and looking at the different formats or banner design iterations you are running. Investigating partner capabilities through different tactics will increase the level of granularity at which you optimize and will provide further optimization opportunities.

Campaigns Should Always Be Monitored But Not Always Optimized

Sometimes, media buyers and marketers tend to “over-optimize” their campaigns. By “over-optimize,” we are not referring to going too granular in terms of optimization and utilizing too many of the opportunities they have available. Instead, we are referring to optimizing too quickly whenever a trend or difference is spotted.

In order to maximize the benefits of any optimization, it is necessary to wait a sufficient amount of time before applying the optimization. This ensures that the data being analyzed for optimization are statistically relevant and that trends transform into facts. Often the first days of a campaign do not provide sufficient enough numbers to then base the entire campaign around. Whether or not numbers are statistically relevant will always depend on the size and budget of your campaign. And applying optimization tactics within the first few of days of a campaign is not usually suggested.

Effectively Ramping up Your Mobile Campaign

Once we have a clear idea of how the campaign is being measured, we can begin to uncover the best plan of action. So, how do we take our current campaign or test campaign to the next level by optimizing without losing efficiency?

In order to successfully ramp up a campaign, two elements are critical: communication & planning.

The first thing you need to find out is whether or not you actually have the ability to ramp up the component of the campaign that you would like to ramp up. It is possible that through optimizations, you have restricted yourself too much in terms of what you are running on, and you will have to expand your campaign to areas that didn’t previously work. Clear communication with your partners will enable you to have a better understanding as to whether or not this will be possible and under which condition.

Proper planning the ramp up is also necessary. The best way to execute your mobile campaign ramp up is creating a step-by-step guide rather than simply aggressively increasing your investment. Smoothly increasing your investment with a partner or on a specific channel will allow you to find the point of diminishing return and will also give you the opportunity to avoid any big mistakes, as you have more time to spot the potential issues that you may face. Giving yourself more time to identify potential problems also provides you with more time to figure out their solutions.

There is no one recipe for success, but having the right preparation, processes, and communication as you plan, execute, and optimise your mobile marketing campaign is always necessary. Despite the fact that it’s always different depending on the advertisers, as well as the vertical and business model, once you have found a successful workflow, the methodology can quite easily be replicated.

To learn more about Somo, visit or get in touch at

Maxime Toulliou

Todd was Branch’s Content Marketing Manager from 2016 to 2017. During this time, he was in charge of creating content for Branch’s blog, managing social media accounts, and running webinars.

May 27, 2016

Branch provides the industry's leading mobile linking and measurement platforms, offering solutions that unify user experience and attribution across devices and channels. Branch has been selected by over 100,000 apps since 2014 including Adobe, BuzzFeed, Yelp, and many more, improving experiences for more than 3 billion monthly users across the globe. Learn more about Branch or contact sales today.


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