Picking a Mobile Partner is like Playing Poker

As The Mobile Marketing Conference kicks off this week, we'll be featuring thoughts from some of our speakers, partners and attendees. This post is by Carrie Chitsey, CEO, 3Seventy.

Over the last four years of being in the mobile business, I’ve seen a lot of mobile companies come and go. Someone every day says, “Have you heard of “XYZ Company”?” There is a ton of money being invested in mobile technology and it’s very hard for a brand to know “who to go to the dance with”. Being an avid poker player I’ve come to realize that “picking a mobile partner is like playing poker”.

So I started to put myself in the shoes of our clients, prospects and folks we talk to on a daily basis. Several things have become very clear about brands that are looking to get into mobile:
1. They are in “research” mode and know what they’ve read or seen from competitors.
2. Someone has sold them or “tried” on whatever silohed solution they are selling.
3. A mobile strategy is rare and brand managers are usually tasked with a “mobile campaign”.
4. The 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 me of poker? It’s easy.

• Picking your table is key, if you end up or stay too long at a bad table, you lose all your money. Same is true with mobile, if you pick a bad partner, not only will you be unsuccessful, it leaves a bad taste.

• It’s ok to switch tables if you know you sat down to a bad table. 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, 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, not everything you do is going to be a huge success. Test, learn and repeat the good stuff. You need to build a foundation for success, anyone can win one jackpot but try hitting multiple.

• 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 and theory are great but nothing replaces actual experience. Get going, time is now, pick a great mobile partner and throw in some chips, you don’t have to go “all-in”.


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