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Mobile Marketing – How to Start Big and Why

Best Practices

Mobile Marketing – How to Start Big and Why

Ben Roodman February 14, 2013

A question often asked is how big do you need to be to before you have can attract meaningful advertiser attention and get big brand partnerships for your mobile startup or product? Is it 100,000 users, 1 million users, 10 million users, or do you have to be the next Facebook?

Google mobile marketing or research on Quora, and there is little information available on mobile internet marketing. It’s a variant of factors on how to start big in mobile, and a lot has to do with positioning. Ignore your mobile analytics for a moment, as a startup you can find a launch sponsor and have zero users. You could have big names behind you or your VCs have deep connections. If an investor can make 3 phone calls and get you 3 deals, then you’re fairly golden, but there are free mobile marketing alternatives if that’s not your situation.

If you want sustainable ad revenue, you might estimate starting out at $1 eCPMs through ad networks, but also still not a profitable startup. As a startup, you can optimize ad networks to no end, trying every single network to squeeze out eCPM performance and Cost Per Install rates, but it’s not where you want to spend your product focus. A rough approximations on the orders of magnitude of audience on the web, you will need a minimum of 750,000 monthly page views to have a representative agency consider you.

As an example, say you want to partner with Groupon or LivingSocial as a new social location mobile technology startup for location based offers. Without meaningful audience or size, a business development deal is not going to happen. Larger brands will often point you to their affiliate program purgatory. They will deflect to say, “show us meaningful conversions numbers and we’ll talk.” Even after marketing buzz, Groupon quietly then cancelled their relationship with Foursquare after it was found ineffective. Busy corporate culture wants to protect their time to avoid what’s not going to move the meter, let alone partner with an unknown startup. Who wants to give a customer a deal when they are checked-in through the door already?

Do any one of the following to break out  to attract influential brand sponsorships:

  • 1) Be the associated marketing leader for a single mobile trend. I.E. TechCrunch compares other startups to you when competitors announce press releases.
  • 2) Leverage growth. If you’re THE rocketship startup with any sort of buzz or social viral hack, as such, you can also open doors. This path requires investing in business development at an early stage and a consensus on wanting to be a revenue generating startup from the beginning
  • 3) Find a partner or network of complimentary professionals that has the relationships, the knowledge, and the resource pool to help you find success. It’s extremely difficult doing business development at the early stages. Start today building trusted effective long-term relationships that will walk you into untapped outlets and broker deals that you can’t get elsewhere.

Maximum any of the previous options as a mobile first startup and you will have the opportunity make a compelling pitch to any major brand you want.

Ben Roodman

Benjamin Roodman
Senior Contributing Editor
Benjamin Roodman is an advocate for getting to the truth of what converts in mobile. Well versed in mobile advertising platforms with a notable aptitude and passion for analytics, he's currently putting deals together as head of partnerships at a mobile data startup. Benjamin has previously held Business Development positions at AOL Advertising and helped establish several funded location-based consumer startups.
Follow me on twitter @BRoodman

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