Domeinc DiMeglio CBSMobile.  It’s not just for the second-screen anymore.

In fact, today, mobile is the first order of business, according to Domenic DiMeglio, Vice President of Distribution and Operations, CBS Interactive, and speaker at the upcoming Mobile Marketing Day Conference.

DMA sat down with DiMeglio to hear how marketers can leverage a mobile-first approach to drive deeper customer engagement and boost their bottom lines.

What are some of the most important skills and mindsets that marketers need to develop in order to leverage emerging innovations in mobile?

The single most important mindset is to think of mobile-first marketing, or mobile as the first screen and not just as the second screen.  Certainly, there are a lot of use-cases for [users viewing mobile as a] second-screen while engaging with TV and other activities, but starting to think of mobile as the primary screen is a critical mindset.

Another key point is understanding the way people interact with content, as well as making sure that we’re providing the right contextual experiences on these devices.  And I think some of the advantages we’ve had in terms of specific tactics is the use of programmatic and the data that comes with it.  Applying these performance-based marketing efforts toward mobile is key, and it is a major focus for us this year.

Lastly, working closely with your product teams to make sure that you’re optimizing the experience is essential. If you’re putting a lot of effort into mobile marketing, and the experience you’re delivering — whether text-based or video — is not optimized for that user, you’re doing yourself a disservice.  With that in mind, we spent a lot of time over the last year or so making sure that all of our video is responsive, so that no matter where you’re clicking-through from, you’re able to find the video you are looking for.

What are some of the major trends in the mobile space that you have seen developing over the past 12-24 months, and how are these trends affecting marketers’ strategies?

The biggest trend, and one that’s well documented at this point, is the dramatic shift in people’s consumption patterns as they engage with mobile.  It’s not just that they are moving to more devices – it’s also that the amount of time spent on mobile has grown quite dramatically.  Obviously, that creates huge opportunity, both for content providers and marketers.

For us specifically, we’ve seen that shift take place in different ways, depending on the type of site involved.  For example, on the sports side, the utility approach of shorter mobile sessions, but much higher frequency of visits has been something for us to plan around and provide experiences for.  And on the entertainment and news side, we have been focused on how to deliver video in a way that works best for mobile – and we’re having success on both short and long form there.

As consumers’ habits evolve and change across screens, what challenges and opportunities are emerging for marketers in the year ahead and beyond? 

One of the emerging challenges is being able to understand your consumer across screens.  And the opportunity that comes with that is the ability to leverage data from ad tech partners and your own products to facilitate cross-device attribution to help segment your audience and better optimize your marketing mix and spend.

The goal is to develop more of a first-party relationship where you’re gathering data to understand who the users are, and how they interact with our properties across the different platforms.  This way, we can start to put together a picture of our audience — what behaviors are taking place, what times of day, and on which platforms — so we can better personalize not only the content, but the marketing messages to those platforms and points of engagement.

It’s also essential to understand which are the right levers to pull.  For example, as we’ve been producing live streaming for our news product CBSN, we’ve been leaning into the time-sensitive nature of serving news stories and breaking events.  To do this, we’ve focused on particular social channels and search to drive awareness and get people to tune in immediately.  This is something we’ve had initial success with, and will be looking to do more throughout the year.

Overall, our marketing focus in the coming year is ensuring that every campaign has a mobile component.  That’s step one.  Mobile presents unique opportunities and challenges, so it’s important to make sure that mobile tactics within each campaign are optimized for that experience.

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On March 12, during the 6th Annual Mobile Marketing Day, Domenic DiMeglio will present a keynote talk titled, “Maximizing Platforms: The Opportunities in Cross-Screen Video.”  For more information, and to register, please click here.