When Dennis Mink, Chief Marketing Officer of Liftoff, talks about how clients have reacted to Liftoff’s Mobile Heroes program—a platform to showcase the mobile marketing industry’s brightest players—he reveals the value of investing in clients’ careers: “There was a deeper relationship that we built with them, and they really valued the time and effort we invested in helping build them into a celebrity within the industry.” How much do they value it? Clients with a Mobile Heroes commendation retain with Liftoff three times longer than those without.
In this episode of CleverTap Engage—our podcast and video interview series spotlighting marketing leaders who are achieving meaningful and memorable customer engagement—our co-hosts, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier, speak with Dennis Mink about how he’s reinvigorating the tired B2B marketing model to be both fun and profitable, while building a surprising amount of client loyalty within the volatile, low-retention adtech sector.
As CMO at Liftoff, a leading performance-based mobile user acquisition and re-engagement company based in Redwood City, California, Mink directs the company’s marketing and PR activities. Prior to joining Liftoff, he was CMO at Appoxee, a mobile marketing automation platform for app publishers, and Duda, a SaaS-based mobile website platform for SMBs. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.A. in Psychology from Connecticut College.
When Mink first arrived at Liftoff, he engaged in extensive conversations with mobile marketers in the non-gaming space. He found there was a void in the industry: a deep need to create a genuine marketing community. So, in 2015, he and Liftoff launched Mobile Heroes, a knowledge-sharing platform in which top mobile app marketers could gather and highlight their stories and expertise.
Not long after launch, “something very interesting happened,” Mink explains. The first group of marketers to be designated Mobile Heroes “all got new jobs, or got promoted. They were getting invited to speak at conferences. We’re doing such a good job of building their personal brand that it’s turning into accelerated career growth.” For Liftoff, these career-boosting efforts became “priority number one. Priority number two was to build the community.”
Mink advises marketing colleagues to consider similar programming that builds up customers individually and as a community. Doing so, however, requires getting out of one’s comfort zone. “If your marketing is 100% ROI-driven, this is not for you,” he says. “If you want to break out of the box, it all begins and ends with understanding your community, your customer, your prospect, your audience’s needs. Look at them as human beings. Don’t just think about the product or service that you have to offer to them.”
The ultimate payoff can be tremendous. To quantify the impact that the Mobile Heroes program was having on his own business, Mink requested an analysis from Liftoff’s BI team. The data revealed that in “the accounts where we make our marketer a Mobile Hero, the retention rate was three times as long [as] an account where we don’t make them a Mobile Hero.”
During the pandemic, Mink stepped up Mobile Heroes’ online offerings to maintain a human connection among marketers. “Within three weeks of quarantine, we launched Mobile Heroes Lunch Clubs,” he says. “We’ll have 200-plus marketers getting together [virtually] with colleagues once a week for four weeks. It’s not a lecture; they get to learn from one another. They get to build relationships.” The benefit for Liftoff: “Having hosted Lunch Clubs over a two-year period, we generated and assisted on tens of millions of dollars in new revenue.”
Mink says that this kind of success comes by staying “true to the spirit of creating something that will bring value to their lives. If it translates into growth and opportunity for us, great.”
For more about how Dennis Mink drives retention by delivering personal value to customers—along with his insights on the rebranding process, and how his psychology degree plays into his marketing philosophy—listen to the entire episode.