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Friday, March 16, 2012

Picking a Mobile CRM Partner is like Playing Poker

3Seventy has been in the mobile business for the past four years, and in that time, we've seen  a lot of mobile companies come and go. Someone every day asks, “Have you heard of “XYZ Company”? Typically, this is a new mobile company that just came on the scene.

There is a ton of money being invested in mobile technology and it’s very hard for a brand to know which mobile company is best for their specific needs. In many ways, picking the right mobile partner is like playing poker, knowing when someone is bluffing and when it's time to go all in. 

Our founder and CEO, Carrie Chitsey, is a successful entrepreneur and avid poker player, and often sees similarities between the two. She often puts herself  in the shoes of our clients, prospects and folks we talk to on a daily basis. After doing this, several things have become clear about brands that are looking to get into mobile: 

  •  Most are in “research” mode, basing their needs on what they’ve read or seen from competitors.
  • Someone has sold them on a specific or limited approach to mobile, often falling flat on promises and leaving a bad taste in the mouth of brand decision makers.
  • Many brand managers focus on mobile on a campaign-by-campaign basis, rather than stepping back and looking at the big picture to develop a mobile strategy. 
  • Most decision makers are so focused on keeping up, or beating, the competition with mobile that the mobile database they are trying to build is really an afterthought and not a primary focus.
5.       And if they’ve tried mobile before, they now know what they want this time, have goals and want a good partner, not just a technology.  

We love the second time folks; they know a good mobile partner when they see one. These are great marriages. 

So how does mobile strategy remind Carrie of poker? It’s easy, and told straight from the source.

·         Picking your table is key, if you end up or stay too long at a bad table, you lose all your money. The same is true with mobile; if you pick a bad partner, not only will you be unsuccessful, it leaves a bad taste and often waste most of your money.

·         In the world of poker, it’s ok to switch tables if you know you sat down to a bad table. The same holds true in finding a mobile partner. If you aren’t seeing performance, technology is not what it cracked up to be and you aren’t getting mobile strategy and results….. move on, time is of the essence in mobile. You can’t wait 12 months to get a good mobile partner.

·         The guy who wins the most hands is not the guy that wins the most money. Mobile is test and learn, and not everything you do is going to be a huge success.  Test, learn, and repeat the good stuff while throwing out the bad. Don't be afraid to recognize what isn't working.  You need to build a foundation for success, anyone can win one jackpot but try hitting multiple without strategy and skill.

·         Don’t play games you don’t understand even if you see others winning by luck. There will always be something new and shiny in mobile. Innovation is good, but you have to learn the basics first. Going from not doing anything mobile to moving straight to an iPhone or Augmented Reality application is not a good move.  

·         Learn by playing the game. Reading, watching others, and learning theory are great but nothing replaces actual experience. Get going, pick a great mobile partner, and throw in some chips. After all, you don’t have to go “all-in" on your first hand.