Mobile Marketing – 2011 and Beyond

There are various reasons why mobile marketing will continue to rise in the next few years (the Mobile Marketing Association predicts mobile marketing spend will rise 124% from 2010 to 2011):

• Smartphone Hardware / software. Improvements in the hardware / software of the smartphone itself (i.e. faster processers, more memory, better operating systems, more apps – allowing for more functionality and better user experience).
• Smartphone Users. Many more people will be using smartphones (Nielson predicts that by the end of 2011, there will be more smartphones than feature phones in the US – a jump from making up about 10% of mobile devices in general in 2008 to about 50% in 2011).
• Social media environment. Mobile is well suited to social media
• Mobile technology/platforms/channels. Certain mobile technologies/platforms/channels will come of age / just continue to grow in importance. See below.

Location-based Marketing
In location-based marketing, marketers are able to reach mobile phone users via GPS and location-based technology – basing their marketing efforts on the location of mobile users. Not only that, but they can refine what they communicate based on knowledge they already have on the user. This all leads to: relevant marketing, on-the-spot marketing opportunities, as well as various creative possibilities in which to communicate to audiences.
We’ve already seen the success of location-based social network sites such as Foursquare and Gowalla. On top of this, Facebook has introduced its location-based Places, Twitter has introduced geolocation, Apple has introduced its iAd (that includes the ability to target users based on location), Google has acquired AdMob (that includes location-based advertising capability), and more. Lastly, the Mobile Marketing Association has published the results of a survey in which “26 percent of that group has used a “map, navigation or some other mobile phone service that automatically determines your current location.”
Looks like geo-location marketing is going to big.

Augmented Reality
In augmented reality, an image of reality is modified in some way to create an altered image. Depending on the creative team behind a campaign using augmented reality, augmented reality can be used in a variety of ways. Nike used it with great success in their treasure hunt campaign to promote the launch of the sportswear giant’s T90 soccer shoe in 2008. Geoffrey Handley of The Hyperfactory (mobile marketing agency), Hong Kong wrote after the huge success of this campaign: “The 3D augmented reality is really taking mobile a step further. .. With all this digital and 3D stuff, you get this little sticker that unlocks a journey into this augmented world, It wasn’t all about selling a shoe. It’s making Nike an innovative brand, unusual and different.” More recently (2010), there have been successes such as: Stella Artois Le Bar Guide, Layar Browser, We Are Autobots, and more. Looks like augmented reality is going to increase in importance, and a particularly useful tool for people in branding.

Apps
Apps are playing a key role in the success of the mobile industry in general. Gartner predicts the mobile app market will increase from $6.8 million in 2010 to $29.5 billion by 2013. IDC believes Apple’s iPhone will have 300,000 apps will have available by year-end.
But apps are, also, important in mobile marketing. Firstly, advertising within apps. Advertising within apps is predicted to be worth $0.6 billion, worldwide, in 2010. And, secondly, branding (i.e. brand-sponsored apps). Many brands have had great success with brand apps. However, increasingly, companies are considering mobile websites instead of apps (unless they have the marketing budget for both). There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Certainly, branded apps will remain important in certain situations i.e. for enhancing user experience of the brand – but success, here, will depend very much on the creative and marketing thinking behind the app.

Barcodes / QR Codes
Mobile (2D) bar codes contain information that can be picked up by mobile phones. The information can be used for a range of marketing purposes (promotions, to activate downloads, discount vouchers, and more). Bar codes can be strategically placed in public areas adding an extra dimension to existing marketing channels i.e. product display, promotions display, adverts, and so on).
QR Codes are the most popular kind of mobile barcode.

SMS
Text message advertising has been around for a while. It’s always, potentially, been attractive to marketers because of its various marketing purposes (promotions, alerts, voting, coupons, and more), can be relatively cheap with relatively good ROI (compared with emails, for example), and more, and has a less spammy reputation than email because of the tight anti-spam regulations in the mobile industry.

SMS Shortcodes. SMS Short Code numbers are short and easy-to-remember SMS Text numbers. They are displayed on many different types of media. This enables marketers to provide product information, promote products, send audiences a link to a mobile site and more.

Spotlight Idea

http://spotlightideas.co.uk/?p=4219

Branding

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.

Therefore it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.

The objectives that a good brand will achieve include:

  • Delivers the message clearly
  • Confirms your credibility
  • Connects your target prospects emotionally
  • Motivates the buyer
  • Concretes User Loyalty

To succeed in branding you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. You do this by integrating your brand strategies through your company at every point of public contact.

Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions, some of which you can influence, and some that you cannot.

A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. It’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer. It’s a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.

Laura Lake

http://marketing.about.com/cs/brandmktg/a/whatisbranding.htm

Ten Steps to Doubling Print Advertising ROI With Digital Marketing

Advertise With Greater Confidence Knowing You’re Maximizing Your Response Rates

“Half my advertising money is wasted. The problem is that I don’t know which half”, said William Lever, founder of Lever Soap Company back in 1886. Sadly, well over a century later, it’s estimated that 50 percent of advertising budgets are still wasted on programs that don’t produce a meaningful response. Yet, marketing executives are being held increasingly accountable to deliver greater, more predictable, and measurable returns on investment from their advertising spend, according to Forrester Research.

While some marketers grow increasingly frustrated with declines in response rates to their traditional print advertising and shifting their focus to digital channels, others have discovered how to “crack the code” and are achieving new highs in response rates and returns on investment through properly integrating the offline and online channels. This guide aims to provide the practical, yet frequently overlooked, tips and critical action steps to dramatically increase the response rates and maximize the returns on investment from print advertisements.

1. With so many distractions today, capturing customers’ attention with an ad has become as much science as art. While a great picture can tell a thousand words, studies show that wondering eyes automatically gravitate more towards pictures than words. Use a relevant, high contrast image that supports your core message. So don’t make your audience “work” – read more than is absolutely necessary. Use a picture whenever possible to enhance your offer. Pictures of people and smiling faces are very  effective.

2. If your image succeeds in capturing your readers’ attention, the rest of your ad copy must gain and keep their interest – that’s where your headline plays a pivotal role. Think of your headline as “an ad for your ad”. Its sole purpose is to captivate your audience and “sell” them on reading the rest of your ad copy. Eyes automatically gravitate towards large, bold text. Therefore, be sure your headline stands out from the rest of the ad copy. Focus on your offer’s key benefits. Most readers are “skimmers” and will make a split-second decision about whether or not to keep reading. A “skimmer” should be able to get the “gist” of what the ad is about by the picture and headline (and subtitles if applicable). Books have been written on the topic of writing effective headlines. Refer to a few and them by your side for creative inspiration.

3. Readers are “skimmers”. Avoid long, small-type paragraphs. Instead, bullet out your offer’s benefits whenever possible. Newspapers like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are written at an 8th grade level to make the content easier to consume. So present your offer’s benefits in an easy-to-digest manner. Use color and call-outs to deliver the most relevant points.

4. If your ad succeeds at capturing your audience’s attention and interest, be sure to provide a clear, concise call-to-action; tell them what to do next. Don’t leave it up to them to guess what they should do next. If you want them to call a phone number or visit a website, say so. And be sure to include the benefit of doing so. An extra incentive  can instantly increase response rates. For example  by applying an expiration date to your CTA, you can instill a sense of urgency and further increase response. If you’re selling flowers, for example, your CTA might be to visit your website and offer a coupon code with an expiration date.

5. Providing readers multiple options to respond to your ad can not only dramatically increase your overall response rates but also increase the value of your response. A Direct Marketing Association study found that customers who buy from two channels (vs. just one) are between 20 and 60% more valuable, while triple-channel buyers are 60-125% more valuable. Ads that provide readers the option to respond by calling a phone number or by visiting a web page tend to get higher responses than identical ads that offer only a single option.

6. Displaying your main company phone number in your ad is sure-fire way to keep yourself guessing about the performance of your ad. Instead, use unique phone numbers with call tracking. By assigning a unique number to each of your ads, you can accurately test and measure which ads generate the best response. You can view reports to analyze the data and adjust your advertising to increase the overall ROI. This is critically important for new ad campaigns.

7. Most advertisers today already get it. Displaying a website address in a print ad increases response rates. But where many ads fall short is by display the link to their website home page. For better results you can measure and repeat, drive customers to a unique web page, specifically designed to complement your ad, also known as a “landing page” or “micro site” using a personalized URL, or “PURL”. This method is proven to provide a better user experience and increase conversion rates. Sending customers to your home page and making them hunt through your website for the offer they’re interested in is a sure way to aggravate them and lose sales.

8. Studies have shown that the majority of prospects don’t convert into customers the first time they’re exposed to a brand, product or service. Conversions increase over time as prospects are repeatedly exposed to an offer. Since the majority of visitors to your landing page won’t immediately convert, provide an incentive that gains you their contact information.

8. Assuming 5 percent of visitors to your landing page immediately convert and another 10% take advantage of an incentive and share their contact information, you’re building a highly valuable database of prospects and customers. Nurturing those prospects with routine email offers further increases conversions over time – effectively increasing the ROI from your print ad.

9. The saying, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” doesn’t ring more true when it comes to direct response advertising. Create variations of your offer using live A/B tests to determine the best response. You might determine mid-campaign that one version of your landing page is clearly outperforming the other and redirect all traffic to the winner to maximize conversions. To make all this possible you must, of course, properly install and configure a web analytics program and understand how to interpret the data. Using PURLs, you can clearly see how visitors behave; how long they stay, where they click, how many convert, etc.  – providing you the hard data you need to eliminate the guess work.

10. Properly analyzing the data contained in web analytics and performance reports will clearly indicate how visitors respond to a given offer and interact with the content. This valuable insight can then be confidently applied to the design of future print ads to incrementally improve response rates and maximize advertising ROI.

While any one of the above tactics can produce immediate measurable results, you can expect the greatest positive impact from a comprehensive approach. I hope you’ll gain value from this guide and that you’ll advertise with greater confidence.

AIS Media Feb 10 2011

http://www.aismedia.com/press/10-steps-to-doubling-print-advertising-roi-with-digital-marketing/

Why Does My Website Need to Minimize Flash ?

With over 25 million iPads sold since its launch in January of 2010 the demand for the iPad continues to nearly exceed supply. Never before, had any a product hit the 1 million unit mark so quickly. Another Apple product, the iPhone, has sold 109 million units since the device’s inception in 2007.

Nevertheless, an alarming number of web applications and content do not work on Apple’s  iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Despite Adobe Flash being a popular platform used for adding multimedia to web pages, Apple continues not to support Flash on any of it’s i-branded products.

A 3rd party survey of 3.5 million web pages revealed that approximately 30-40% of websites contained elements that were driven by Flash. So, what happens when any of the 125+ million users try to access a Flash website on one of these devices (not to mention other non-Apple mobile devices that do not support flash)? Instead of the website, or the content within, they see an error message. In other words, all Flash content is invisible to these users.

So how does the growth of iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch users and the lack of support for Flash on these products impact your business? If your website was developed in Flash or has Flash elements, your customers and prospects will have a disappointing online experience. Many consumers are unaware of the technical issues between Apple and Adobe Flash and will assume the website is broken.

As US mobile internet usage increases (to over 134 million users by 2013) and number of Apple i-products and other non-flash supporting mobile devices grows, it will be progressively important for companies to update their websites and make them compatible with these devices or risk alienating their customers.

The advent of competitive products from Blackberry, Samsung and others, that do in fact support Flash are out there now.  However 25 Million iPad units and 108 million iphone users is nothing to sneeze at.