E-Centric recently talked with Mark Wachen, CEO of New York-based Optimost. The Web optimization company recently introduced new functionality to help track and target users by browser, operating system and type of device, including mobile phones and gaming consoles. We asked Wachen for his thoughts on the expanding mobile marketplace.
E-CENTRIC: What does this sort of increased tracking capability mean for marketers? For example, how is targeting type of operating system beneficial?
WACHEN: There are certain nuances from Apple versus Windows from a cosmetic and functionality standpoint, for example, which might lead you to display things differently. If you were selling electronics, you might change what you promote to users based on what operating system they come in on. If you’re a computer store, and the user is coming in on an older Apple operating system, you might want to promote a new version.
E-CENTRIC: Are you seeing a lot of customer interest, specific to targeting users of mobile devices like the iPhone?
WACHEN: There is excitement there and that’s why we’re rolling out that functionality. There’s a difference between designing out a Web page for a 14-inch computer monitor or a two-inch Treo screen. It’s kind of like performing a Broadway production on a cocktail table. It’s just not the same experience. You have to figure out how to adapt your Web page and messaging to fit the canvas. As usage increases, it is becoming more and more important to optimize based on those devices.
E-CENTRIC: Are clients starting to create campaigns specifically for customers browsing on mobile devices? Is it worth the effort at this point?
WACHEN: In certain industries, yes. Imagine if you were in a travel business and somebody is booking a trip on a cell phone or an iPhone. They’re potentially at an airport and they want to change their flight or check the status. This is something that is an immediate decision, as opposed to if they’re coming in on a Web page or PC, when they might be doing a bunch of things.
Booking the trip might still be important but they might also be interested in looking at different vacation packages. It might make sense to promote things that are more intensive, and require more thoughtful decision making, like a whole vacation. On a mobile device, its more likely they’re dealing with an immediate issue, so you want to cut right to the chase and highlight the functionality of how to book or change a flight, as opposed to how to join a frequent flyer program.