How to Create Mobile Marketing As Unique As Your Users


Your users are unique, so your mobile marketing should be, too. Indeed, since mobile consumers expect a curated and individualized experience, your mobile marketing should be perfectly personalized in order to truly engage them.

You can do this with information provided by consumers over mobile. Most of us check our phones over a hundred times a day, and the data generated from these interactions is a treasure trove of information about who we are, what we do, and what we like.

It’s time to harness the power of this data and become the brand your users want to hear from. Read on for three easy ways to personalize all your mobile marketing efforts.

But, first, your messages are only as powerful as the data you have to work with. While tons of data are generated on the web and across mobile devices, it is crucial to link all these channels to one comprehensive user profile in order to get the most out of your data.

Tools like KISSmetrics help you translate data into insights about real people. Isolated data is just a collection of arbitrary numbers, whereas meaningfully personalized marketing derives from a genuine understanding of your users across multiple channels.

What kind of data should you collect to fuel your personalized marketing? Think about crafting a narrative about your users with the data you collect in order to treat your users like people instead of numbers. Consider what questions you want to answer.

Use data and segmentation to send your users customized mobile messages, so that no two messages are alike. Here are three questions you should be asking about your users to get you thinking about personalization on mobile based on who your users are, what they do, and what they like:

1. Attributes – Who are your users?

You need to know who your users are on a personal level. This data is relatively straightforward and can often be captured when users initially sign up for your service. What is their name? How old are they? Where are they located? What is their gender identification? What devices do they use?

Think about main buyer personas you want to target with your mobile communications strategy. What are their demographics? What are their personalities like? Build out these profiles and create specific segments that correspond to them. That way, you can truly understand their motivations before you start to send them mobile communications via push notifications and in-app messages.

For example, consider a major fashion brand’s target demographics for a summer dress sale. The brand might want to create a segment with females age 18-24 who live in warm climates. These individuals share similar motivations and can be effectively targeted as a group. To engage this demographic, send a personalized push notification or in-app message that says, “Hey [first name], celebrate the beautiful weather in [user location] with our summer dress sale.”

2. Engagement – What do your users do?

Capture data about what your users do, on web and especially within your native app. Track the flow of their actions to understand which features they are most excited about, and which features they do not engage with. This information is critical in initial user onboarding, so you can message new users if they do not use a key feature.

Be sure to track what time of day your users interact with your app the most so that you can communicate with every user at the time they are most likely to engage.

Understanding how users interact with your brand is critical to messaging them appropriately; different messages will be appropriate for new users, dormant users, passers-by users, or engaged users. These segments, also known as engagement states, allow you to group your users based on their real-time engagement level with your brand.

Identify the key behaviors that make someone a top user, and know the warning signs when users are about to drop off. If you can directly target your most vulnerable users, you can significantly reduce user churn.

Recency is also a great way to engage users with personally relevant information. You might send a push notification stating: “Enjoy a meal from [last restaurant viewed] or one of your other favorites. Only two days left to redeem your welcome promo!” Referring to items or features they have recently interacted with can remind them about their favorite parts of your app, and can drive them to convert.

3. Affinity – What do your users like?

By learning about your users’ behavior, you can discover their preferences. What was the last item they viewed? Have they used a particular feature over and over? Are there any trends in the content they are engaging with? What category have they viewed or added to their cart the most? These are indicators of preference and can greatly inform your personalized marketing efforts.

You can make the most of user preferences with personalized mobile marketing. For example, if you’re having a sale on Gucci handbags, it helps to know which users have indicated interest in Gucci so you can speak directly to their affinities.

The same principle is used in the push notification below. ThredUP is a clothing marketplace, and G&J is a seller on the service. The user who received the push notification viewed G&J’s items previously, and thus received a push notification directly referring to this affinity.

Netflix has been doing a great job with personalized push notifications. Using data on what a user has viewed, they send push notifications that are guaranteed to get the mobile user excited about watching a recently added show on Netflix.

Affinity segments are useful on their own, but they become incredibly powerful when combined with Attribute and Engagement segments. For the fashion brand example from earlier, you could target females age 18-24 who have engaged with the app in the last week and who have visited the dresses category in the app over 5 times. This segment is incredibly focused, and you have a far higher likelihood of motivating them to convert by sending them a message on mobile.

Go a step further by customizing the message copy so that no two messages are alike. For example, you can send a personalized message based on a user’s favorite clothing category to inspire a “fear of missing out” and get them personally engaged with the message.

Think about sending them: “Hey [first name]! New styles by [most viewed designer] are going fast. Use code FAVEDESIGN now to get 10% off.” Adding information about a user’s specific size and favorite style make a message even more interesting to them.


In order to succeed in the exciting future of mobile, it is imperative that you get your mobile marketing efforts perfect with highly personalized push and in-app messages. Here are some of the main points for how to delight your mobile users:

  • You need to understand people across channels to effectively engage with them on mobile. And we mean really understand them.
  • Data is more than just numbers; it’s a way to tell stories about real people.
  • First, collect data across channels. Next, segment users. Then, personalize your mobile marketing messages.
  • Personalize based on who your users are, what they do, and what they like. Every message should be unique.
  • Sending personalized push notifications and in-app messages that speak directly can help drive engagement and build brand loyalty.

Today’s mobile consumers expect personalized, thoughtful, informative, and relevant mobile communications. It’s time to live up to their expectations and delight your mobile audience.

About the Author: Adam Marchick is the CEO and co-founder of Kahuna, a mobile marketing automation company based in Palo Alto, CA. Before Kahuna, Adam was an early member of the growth team at Facebook and funded mobile enterprise companies at Menlo Ventures and Bain Capital Ventures. As a 15 year mobile veteran, Adam serves as an advisor to Heads of Mobile around growth, engagement and revenue.

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