Evan Schwartz is the CEO and Founder of ActionX, the leading mobile customer acquisition and retargeting platform for retailers and subscription brands to drive mobile revenue. Evan founded the company in January of 2012, and was previously the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Clear Channel Communications. The Makegood recently spoke to Evan about ActionX’s new platform and its benefits.
The Makegood: Congratulations on the launch of your new platform, can you speak a bit on how it works and why companies should be climbing over each other to implement it?
Thanks, we are really excited about our launch and how we are making mobile ads work better for brands that want to drive transactions.
At a high level, we work with retailers, subscription media brands, travel brands and anyone who wants to drive mobile transactions to: 1) find high-value new customers 2) drive more revenue and engagement from their existing customers through mobile and tablet re-targeting and 3) connect the dots from the acquisition campaigns to the re-targeting campaigns to drive more high-value customers.
We have access to about 100B impressions/month and we optimize the media based on driving downloads and ultimately, lifetime value. On the engagement side, our platform enables brands to re-market to consumers based on anonymous behavioral data that is collected in mobile and tablet shopping sessions. Based on this data, we can show consumers ads for products, offers and services that they will actually want to see.
The initial results we have seen are fantastic and we are excited that we are driving real, measurable return on ad spend in the mobile channel.
The Makegood: How will ActionX’s new platform help companies grow their revenue in the short and long-term?
When a consumer downloads a new app, brands have a very limited time to show that they deserve a permanent place on the phone or tablet. If consumers are not engaging and transacting, it is highly likely the app will be deleted.
Using our platform, brands can reach new downloaders with relevant promotions and offers to ensure that consumers engage with the brand and see the value of the app.
Over the long term, our platform enables brands to increase the lifetime value of their users by automatically segmenting consumers and showing them relevant ads that drive transactions. It is hard to cut through all of the noise in other channels, but a highly targeted mobile ad can drive extremely high click-through and conversion rates. The trick is showing consumers a product or promotion they care about, and making it easy for them to move from click to purchasing on their device.
We optimize all of our campaigns based on return on ad spend across devices. Our only focus is on driving transactions and revenue.
The Makegood: What are the inherent challenges in trying to get customers to make purchases from their mobile devices?
One of the biggest issues is that many brands/developers have not implemented deep linking in their apps. This means that mobile ads, emails and other links cannot automatically open the app and link to a specific product or promotion page. This would be like if an Amazon ad for a specific LG TV pointed to the front page of Amazon vs. pointing directly to the product page. The conversion rate goes down substantially without a deep link. Luckily, deep linking is easy to implement and we work with all of our clients to make it happen.
The other challenge is getting consumers to open an account and type in their credit card. This is solved in many apps with the Apple and Google billing mechanisms, but it is a challenge for retail. The good news is most of our clients are multi-channel retailers, so many of their consumers have already created an account and saved a credit card when they were shopping on a PC. Our platform is able to optimize based on existing account holders as a way to solve this, but we are excited to see if any of the new “wallet” or “form-fill” initiatives take off in the coming year to help cut down on the steps to make a purchase.
The Makegood: Can you speak on your engagement with JackThreads? How have they served as an example of a successful partnership between ActionX and a consumer driven company?
JackThreads was one of our earliest partners on the new mobile re-targeting platform. We love working with them because they are such sophisticated marketers.
I can’t get too much into the details, but we are seeing great results with our JackThreads campaigns. Their consumers are always looking for the newest styles and the latest deals, and we are able to find their consumers in other apps and show them relevant products and promotions.
I think what makes our partnership with JackThreads so successful is they are open to trying new strategies and they have such a deep understanding of their consumers. With more than half of their revenue happening in mobile, they are truly a mobile commerce powerhouse.
The Makegood: What’s next? What direction do you see mobile advertising and commerce going and how will ActionX lead the way?
We are very excited about where things are going with mobile ads in the next 12 months and we want to be part of leading the way to delivering mobile ads that consumers want to see.
One of the things we are most excited about is the improvement in mobile ad units. Some of the big publishers are launching units that allow more space for creative that is engaging and dynamic.
We are also excited about retailers both big and small focusing a lot of resources on improving their mobile commerce experiences. A year ago, very few retailers were delivering awesome consumer experiences on mobile. Today, we are seeing amazing new apps and mobile web sites from retail brands launching on a daily basis. It makes our job easier to drive transactions when the mobile experience is optimized for the device and it is intuitive.
The most exciting thing for us is that consumers are going to start to see ads they care about. For the last few years, ads have been un-targeted and honestly annoying. How many times do we need to see the same ad about refinancing!
The Makegood, Thank you, Evan