Decoding Digital Marketing Jargon

By Kimberlee Morrison Comment


Every industry has its share of jargon. As new marketing technology and strategies emerge, new buzzwords arise. The challenge is making sense of it all to determine which approach is the best fit for your business.

According to Momchil Kyurkchiev, CEO and co-founder of Leanplum, an integrated marketing optimization solution for mobile apps, the jargon is rampant in digital marketing, and it comes with a lot of false promises and misconceptions.

Omni-channel is one of the biggest buzzwords that really just refers to a strategy that uses a multichannel approach to deliver a seamless customer experience. And while omni-channel strategies have been around for a long time, the misconception is that omni-channel means integration of mobile and desktop.

On the contrary, Kyurkchiev said mobile is not a channel, but a device, and all of the channels including email, web and apps are all available on mobile devices. In this way, mobile is becoming the hub of marketing and customer relationships.

He added:

What omni-channel [means now] is being mobile first. A lot of companies are starting to realize that 80-to-90 percent of their customers are only interacting with them on a mobile device, and they need to shift their strategy so mobile becomes that center of hub of relationships and communication.

Kyurkchiev also recommended watching out for the web/hybrid app, which isn’t really an app at all. Instead, it’s a website made to look like an app but doesn’t have the same data collection capabilities. He says the question is whether to build a web app that’s just a “wrapper” or to invest in the resources to build native experiences specific to iOS or Android platforms.

He noted:

The advantage of building a web app is that you can build it once and it works across both platforms. So the cost to building a hybrid—or web app—is significantly lower.

Unfortunately, the lower investment isn’t always the best option. According to Kyurchiev, only five of the top 100 lifestyle apps are hybrids. This means that ultimately consumers prefer native apps over hybrids, and it really comes down to functionality. Users want experiences that feel natural to whatever operating system they’re using with native functions such as location data, access to contacts and push notifications.

While Kyurkchiev said there are legitimate use cases for a hybrid app, which includes retailers that aren’t in the top 100 and don’t have the resources or brand recognition to invest in native apps. Still, he noted:

If you really want to delight the customer with a mobile app that’s going to provide a great user experience and you should definitely invest in a native app.

Finally, Kyurkchiev warned marketers to watch out for predictive analytics, which are often “wildly overstated and not very predictive.” While he thinks predictive analytics and machine learning are important for the future of marketing, Kyurkchiev also said it’s important for marketers to use the insights to drive campaign optimization.

He pointed to a case study where the gaming mobile company Pixowl used Leanplum’s predictive “Optimal Time” algorithm to discover that timing for push notifications really matters and optimize those notifications on a individual level. For some people, the optimal time was during morning commute hours, for others it was the lunch break. The result was an increase in open rates on push notifications by 60 percent and overall revenue by 17 percent.

The challenge with analytics, however, is being able to trust the data. And this is where A/B testing can be valuable. For example, Pixowl was able to validate the optimal time algorithm by testing it against a control group that received the push notification at 9:00 a.m.

My recommendation is to always use data to prove out that you’re actually bringing real [value] to the end user.

Readers: Which digital marketing buzzword is your least favorite?