Keith Wichman

Director of Acquisition Marketing at CBS Sports Digital
cbs-sports-logo

Q&A with Keith


Read Keith’s blog post about optimizing user retention in the CBS Sports App


Keith Wichman is the Director of Acquisition Marketing for CBS Sports Digital in New York. His extensive background in performance-based marketing led him to start his own mobile agency before deciding to go in-house with CBS Sports in 2015.

How did you get into mobile marketing?

I started my own company a few years ago by becoming a mobile affiliate. Once I learned the ins and outs of the industry, I built out a mobile affiliate network working with both the publishers and advertisers directly.

What do you like most about mobile marketing?

I love how the technology is always evolving and there’s still so much more to come in the future. Mobile doesn’t have the same tools as desktop… Yet!

What is the biggest mistake you made as a mobile marketer?

I did some incentivized campaign ad buys to increase my app’s rank in the store and didn’t know that a high uninstall rate from these users can actually hurt your ranks. Lesson learned!

What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?

To be successful in mobile you can’t be afraid to test new ideas, channels, marketing messages, even if they fail. You can’t be complacent – marketers must always be willing to always try and improve their performance.

What does a quality mobile user look like to you?

To CBS Sports, a quality user is a sports fan who continues to open and engage with our app to get score updates, fantasy news or watch live sports. Our success is based on long-term users, not just app installs.

What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?

Making sure to deep link users based on their origin is extremely important. Someone who converts from a CBS Sports baseball ad should open the app and be directed to the baseball section instead of, say, the football section. Users who have a great initial experience with the app tend to be more engaged in the long term, and providing a great user experience starts with marketing. You also need to have a strong SEM campaign because users who are already looking for you usually have a strong LTV.

What is the biggest challenge in marketing the CBS Sports app?

Getting millennial users to install our app vs. our competitors. It’s a very competitive market in sports and we’re fighting for app engagement against other big brands like ESPN, MLB, NBA and the NFL.

How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?

I frequently read popular tech blogs to keep track of emerging trends in the industry. I also try to stay in touch with industry colleagues at events and meetups to share ideas and what’s working. It’s always helpful to get new perspectives from other marketers who face similar challenges.

How important is diversifying user acquisition outside of Facebook?

We’re very active and aggressive when it comes to diversifying our channels outside of Facebook. Everyone loves Facebook because of all the targeting options but we still find a good number of users from search, affiliates, display buys and other content related sites we partner with.

How important are the holidays to your business and what season is the biggest time for you?

Being focused on big sport events, it’s more important for us to drive installs around events like NFL kickoff week and March Madness. Our biggest time of the year is easily March Madness, which is essentially the holiday season for basketball junkies.