Digital Marketing Insights from eBay, Under Armour and SmartNews: Recapping the “Mobile Meat-Up” event

By: Melissa Manser, Alyssa Meritt Urban Airship

Last month, we brought several leaders together to discuss digital engagement at The Mobile Growth House’s “Mobile Meat-Up” during SXSW 2018 where thought leaders from eBay, Under Armour and Smart News shared their perspectives with our very own Alyssa Meritt.

Here’s a recap of our favorite highlights, themes and more.

Interested in hearing other industry leaders share their thoughts? Stay on the lookout for one of our Digital Engagement Forums coming this year around the world.

Meeting App Users In the Moment

“On the eBay side of the house, if you still like the auction and the immediacy of auctions, push is very important there. Because if you’re watching an item and it’s about to expire, we’re gonna trigger something at like twenty minutes before to let you know ‘Hey come back, that item you’re watching is about to expire.’ If you’re bidding on something, and someone outbids you, we push messages to you to let you know ‘Jump back into the eBay app, your item, you’ve been out bid’ to make sure you still can be a player and potentially win that item. And then you can increase your bid right there on the fly.” — James Meeks, Head of Mobile at eBay

Why App Onboarding is Important — and How to Make It Successful

“Brands need that preference center to truly understand that behavior, because you don’t want to send someone a push and an email with the exact same content. If I know you’re an engaged push notifications user then maybe I don’t send you as many emails but then at the same time, maybe there are better times for me to engage with you via email, that I know you wouldn’t normally respond to a push. I think you have a strategy where they all talk to each other across multiple text points so you can know this customer does this at this time, so I’m gonna send them this type of message.” — James Meeks, Head of Mobile at eBay

Machine Learning Makes Delivering Relevant Content Smarter and Easier

Trigger Messaging for Smarter Engagement

“Behavioral triggers are absolutely helpful — you have to have those embedded in your experience to truly understand what your customers are doing. I think you also want to build a preference center, so customers can choose the type of messages or types of ways you can engage with them. At eBay, we’ve set up our app so you can opt into push notifications, but there’s a number of levers, which you can pull within push too — so if you’re not interested in selling, we’re not gonna encourage you to start selling if you don’t want to. We’re also connected across our digital properties: if we’re pushing you a message and we also have your SMS, your phone number, and we also have your email, if we reengaged you on one channel, we don’t want to spend money elsewhere knowing that we already got you via that first channel. You have to be smart and understand that your systems need to talk to each other.” — James Meeks, Head of Mobile at eBay

Creating an Omnichannel Experience with Orchestration

“I think that, that creating of a customer profile, what you choose to actually message on versus what you choose to have a wider view of the customer’s, such as multiple touch points across different preps, apps or properties is interesting and also what they prefer from their channel perspective. I think that we’re moving towards more of this omnichannel world.” — Angela Hawkins, Mobile Marketing Lead at Under Armour

Always Be Testing to Continually, Learn, Refine and Improve

“Don’t interpret data in vacuum with just the marketing team, or one person on the team. Make sure you share the data with other teams, like product. In our case, we share it with content — we try to have at least one 30 minute stand up every week to discuss data and different customer touchpoints.” — Fabien-Pierre Nicolas, Head of U.S. Marketing at SmartNews

“I definitely think you should test different strategies when it comes to messaging. A lot of times companies just go out the door with things and they stick with it. Test it, learn from it, see what the data says and really understand what the behaviors are of the customers after they’ve engaged with you. You have to look at more than just revenue. A lot of times people think “Well, if I send this message, how do I attribute it to revenue?” It’s not just revenue, you got to look at your opt out rates, people who uninstall the app, etc. It’s a full like all encompassing picture. The data’s truly going to tell the story.” — James Meeks, Head of Mobile at eBay

See the whole panel here:

Originally published at

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