CMOs: Identify mobile customer engagement metrics your C-suite cares about

By Elisa Silverman

These days, the ample opportunities to collect mobile customer engagement metrics seem to suggest that CMOs ought to be able to test and tweak any app into success. Yet that same range of available analytics can create distractions for an enterprise’s marketing arm. Given the breadth of information available, how do CMOs know which metrics to focus on, or which data will interest and persuade the rest of the C-suite of an app’s potential?

CMOs know that their fellow C-suite executives aren’t content to wonder whether the company’s marketing and engagement strategy works. Given the data available, CEOs and CFOs expect to be presented with more than a theory about which apps will play well in the marketplace: They expect results.

According to a Fournaise study of 1,200 CEOs worldwide, 80 percent of CEOs are disinclined to trust their CMO, whom they view as disconnected from the goals and financial realities of the company. That means an uphill battle for marketing executives, who rely upon getting the rest of the C-suite on board with new ventures — CEOs and CFOs can either continue to provide resources and support for an app, or decide to pull the plug for lack of foreseeable results.

Here’s how CMOs can work with their C-suite to identify mutual priorities in tracking customer metrics.

Tell Them What Matters

As the app experts, it is marketing’s role to guide the C-suite through tracking metrics. Keep your colleagues engaged by learning to distinguish between success metrics and tactical indicators: Generally speaking, the C-suite just wants to hear data that demonstrates the business impact of the marketing spend.

A good rule of thumb is to start with the obvious metric: Mobile customer engagement, which the bottom line relies upon. Highly engaged customers represent, on average, a 23 percent premium in terms of revenue, profitability and growth when compared to an average customer, according to Gallup. Numbers like that are sure to interest those who control the company’s purse strings.

It is equally important to leave out what won’t interest the rest of the C-suite. Acquisition numbers, for example, are valuable for CMOs and their teams because they are leading indicators; marketing may also find it useful to track daily and monthly active users (DAU and MAU), as well as metrics such as session length, interval and time spent in-app. But those metrics may be best kept to internal marketing discussions. Instead of giving your colleagues information that will not directly apply to them, keep CEOs and CFOs interested by sharing metrics such as annual revenue per user (ARPU) and lifetime value (LTV) — numbers that directly relate to their work.

Focus on Results, Not Costs

Perception is reality. You need to know your cost per install (CPI) and cost per loyal user (CPLU), but displaying them as distinct metrics in a C-suite dashboard emphasizes the costs of the app. Sharing information such as profitability metrics, which necessarily take into account cost metrics, keeps the focus on results while still conveying key information.

Don’t shy away from creating a custom rolled-up metric that represents a number of tactical metrics. A rolled-up activity metric may be comprised of lower-level engagement metrics such as opt-ins and opt-outs (how often are people signing up, declining or removing app alerts) session time; responses to push notifications; or how many screens users visit per session.

Sharing each individual metric with the C-suite may make their eyes blur, but creating a single engagement metric to present user activity provides information without boring the audience or enforcing the misperception that marketing lacks business focus.

Bring the C-Suite in Early

No new app is made in a silo; at least, it shouldn’t be. An app’s objectives should be laid out during the concept stage, and the entire C-suite should contribute at that point in the process. Three key decisions can ensure that success-measuring metrics are tracked in the future:

  • Determine the revenue model (fee-for-download, subscription, in-app sales, etc.)
  • Agree upon the app’s purpose (increased brand awareness, driving users to physical stores, encouraging in-app purchases, identifying qualified prospects, etc.)
  • Identify which user action is considered a success (a sale, sharing the app, creating a shopping list, allowing location tracking, scheduling a sales call, etc.)

C-suite collaboration at an early stage establishes mutual visioning and prevents misunderstanding down the line.

Market Your Marketing

The C-suite is a critical market judging the value of your apps, so approach them the way you would approach any of your target markets. Bring them into the process to make sure you’re identifying their priorities and concerns. Then use the mobile customer engagement metrics to speak to them in their language.

Written By

Elisa Silverman

Technology Writer

Elisa Silverman is a freelance writer, with a professional background in law and technology. She writes for technology companies and professional service firms. In addition, Elisa writes other types of B2B marketing content that help them establish authority and foster relationships…

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