Everyone accepts the ubiquity of mobile devices. In many markets today – particularly in the developing world – it’s not simply a case of mobile first but mobile only.
For marketers, the pandemic accelerated the move to digital at the same time as the ability to target users via third-party cookies is being phased out.
This means direct mobile channels are now even more important, though many brands are still stringing together siloed and disparate marketing campaigns that clumsily bridge the gap between traditional online and mobile first approaches.
There are many pain points, notably the lack of a consistent user ID across different platforms and channels. The end user often ends up being over-spammed, and the brand’s message ends up being inconsistent – or lost altogether.
Upstream developed its Grow mobile marketing platform in a bid to address these issues. It unveiled the platform just as the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down and made digital engagement a necessity rather than a luxury for most businesses.
So What Is Grow?
Let’s start with the basics. Grow is a digital marketing platform that enables organizations to deliver multi-channel customer engagement, predominantly through mobile devices, using channels such as mobile websites, SMS, RCS, device notifications and social networks. It is offered as a self-service platform for marketing automation. However, Upstream also has a managed service offering, which works well in situations where customers do not have the additional bandwidth or expertise to run sophisticated digital marketing campaigns.
The platform aims to be a one-stop-shop for brands. It brings together content creation, campaign automation, analytics, audience insights, ad fraud prevention and channel management capabilities into one platform.
- The first step is creation via the Campaign Studio where clients can create dynamic, multi-channel journeys, without any coding experience. It’s a very intuitive experience, using drag and drop to build, edit and preview every user experience.
- Next comes scale. The Marketing Automation tool allows organizations to automate marketing flows per customer to achieve customized purchase paths, so that marketing at scale can still feel relevant, contextually-aware and personal.
- The Audience Management allows businesses to source, manage, define, analyze and activate customer data for more accurate campaign execution that goes beyond basic data sets so budgets can be better allocated.
- And then there’s the Insights and Analytics features, which form the backbone of the Grow platform. By putting massive amounts of data to work, businesses can hone campaigns to make them increasingly efficient over time by gathering insights on performance, engagement, churn, revenue and more.
Protection from fraud comes via Secure-D, Upstream’s anti-fraud feature, which protects from ad fraud using built-in predictive ad blocking, behavioral pattern blocking, charge clearing process, infected device notifications, calibration, incident investigation and secure interface.
That’s how it all fits together. Now let’s take a look at how the platform is being used by forward-thinking brands.
With the demise of third-party cookies firmly on the horizon, a famous beer brand needed to start forging direct relationships with customers in one of its key markets – Brazil. In the face of such change the brand wanted to start building an arsenal of first-party data, so it could develop a more direct way of engaging audiences and promoting new offers – and better allocate its marketing budget.
By using the Grow platform, the brand was able to access the subscriber base of a major Brazilian mobile operator – offering 50MB of free mobile data in exchange for their details. Within a week, it had generated more than 100,000 leads. This gave it a large pool of prospects that it could engage with and send promotions and renewed its marketing potential in the region.
Another customer, a leading South Africa telecoms operator, needed to boost the flat take-up of its music streaming service in its local market. However, the operator was facing customer acquisitions and monetization issues as previous marketing campaigns had not performed well. Longer term, it needed the new service to compete head-to-head with Spotify and Apple Music and become a major music streaming service of choice in South Africa.
In the first three months of the campaign, the operator saw a staggering 4x increase in the active user base of its music streaming service. Over the course of the 8-month campaign, almost 2 million (1.8 million) new subscribers were delivered to the service. In just 8 months, the brand had transformed a high-quality – but underperforming – digital service into a robust source of recurring revenue and a market leader in the space.
In summary, Grow’s mission is to make mobile marketing great again, providing users with the greatest possible customer journey, tailored to their own personality and needs, bringing marketing efficiency to entirely new levels for businesses. The platform has been proven to provide 3x the conversation rates and 2x the engagement rates compared to a traditional digital campaign, with absolutely zero need for an upfront investment.
This is mobile marketing done right.
Upstream is a leading technology company in the field of mobile marketing in the most important emerging markets in the world. Its mobile marketing automation platform, Grow, unique in its kind, combines innovations in the field of marketing automation and data, security from online advertising fraud, and multi-channel digital communication aimed at creating personalized experiences for end consumers. With more than 4,000 successful mobile marketing campaigns, the Upstream team helps its customers, leading brands around the world, communicate more effectively with their customers, increase digital sales and boost their revenue. Upstream solutions are aimed at 1.2 billion consumers in more than 45 countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
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