Marketing automation vendor Silverpop updated its mobile strategy this week at Dreamforce 2013 in San Francisco.
So yesterday, CMSWire.com caught up with Bryan Brown, Silverpop president of product strategy, to learn more about the Mobile Connector and its benefits.
A World Awash in Digital Signals
People around the world access the Internet with mobile devices in ever larger numbers. In some places, mobile devices are the only way to get online. That's why it's critical for organizations of all stripes to adapt to this disruptive technology — a reality marketing companies like Silverpop claim to understand better than anyone.
Both Silverpop and Salesforce announced updated mobile initiatives this week. Salesforce revealed Salesforce1 for its Dreamforce 2013 debuted mobile system. The software platform ties together Salesforce's various products in sales, marketing, customer service, as well as third-party apps. It's a huge offering we will continue to see progress on over the next few months.
Silverpop's offering, however, is more concrete. The Mobile Connector from Silverpop is a way for marketers to connect mobile apps directly into their marketing automation systems so they can gauge what customers are doing and use that data to better target the most receptive audiences.
"We've been doing marketing automation since 2007, and features like behavioral marketing that Salesforce is talking about bringing to its system are things we have been doing for years," Brown said in an interview. "We facilitate real time interaction so companies can personalize customer experiences, and mobile is the next step." An app user who abandons a shopping cart can be redirected to finish the purchase through a targeted email with the Mobile Connector.
Customer Engagement through Mobile Apps
Silverpop's Mobile Connector can be used to personalize mobile apps. That's a good way to increase engagement to an already sticky platform, Brown said.
"Apps are now more configurable, and they don't have to be reprovisioned or resubmitted to the App Store to make changes," he said.
That same principle underlies the Salesforce1 system, which is designed to bring all of Salesforce's technology to mobile devices. While both companies are focusing attention on mobile devices today, they are also cognizant of the connected device future, sometimes referred to as the Internet of Things.
Brown said his company is looking to connect more kinds of devices to its marketing automation system, a theme Salesforce is also grappling with in the Salesforce1 roll out. The two companies think alike on this issue — a good thing for customers because Silverpop integrates with Salesforce even though ExactTarget (recently acquired by Salesforce) is really a Silverpop competitor.
Even though many digital marketers still rely heavily on email, behavioral based marketing is also available to the more advanced Silverpop customers. That's one of the things that make the company competitive, Brown said. It's a hybrid system, he continued, and customers who still rely heavily on email can buy Silverpop via cost per thousand pricing (CPM), the longtime industry standard.
That standard shifted recently when Adobe Campaign, nee Neolane, abandoned CPM pricing in favor of charging by the number of profiles companies have stored in their databases.
"That's really great to see," Brown said. "We've been balancing CPM pricing with pricing based on database size, so we could see maybe making that switch in 2014."
The trick is not to alienate customers that are used to CPM pricing, he added. Silverpop has around 2,100 customers in the retail, B2B (high tech), media and publishing, travel and financial industries, Brown said, and there are nearly 65,000 Silverpop users.