The Mobile Marketer

Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub but also the bridge to the physical world. That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations — it will transform your entire business

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Venture Capitalists Now Have New Investment Opportunities: “Mobile App Graveyards”

WITHIN THE OMNICHANNEL world, some retailers are moving away from using mobile apps as ad warehouses or purchase points and are instead using them to engage consumers with a personalized brand story. BBDO’s Drew Panayiotou says retailers should ponder: “How does the mobile device make the shopping better in the stores and at home? How does it become a shopping tool? It’s different than serving you an ad,” he says.  graveyard-191938-640x480

To that end, a few retailers are dabbling in augmented reality. Ikea, for one,rolled out a new app in late July that helps consumers see how specific furniture fits in their homes, including a 360-degree perspective on the item. Macy’s has a similar furniture-related offering for tablets, with which consumers can see how items look in a room of specific dimensions.

Moosejaw Mountaineering has an app called X-Ray that has received 4 million downloads; by holding a phone or tablet over the Moosejaw print catalog, X-Ray users can see through the model’s apparel to his or her underwear. Moosejaw is looking into a new appthat will focus on engaging with customers on a weekly and daily basis between purchases, while linking to its reward program, according to Eoin Comerford, CEO, Moosejaw. “E-commerce apps just don’t work for smaller retailers,” he says. “For us, we’re gear and higher-end outerwear. Average order time is about once a year. For someone to download [an app] and only use it once a year, it’s not sticky enough.”

Razorfish’s Jason Goldberg concurs.If retailers targeted apps to the top 1% of consumers who “really love you and would do what you say,” it would likely be a more fruitful use of apps. Mobile apps“ aren’t sexy until that consumer makes use of it every day,” he says.

Retailers have been obsessed with apps, says Forrester’s Peter Sheldon,“when they should have been invested in mobile web.” Consumers are far more likely to use a mobile website, he says,because even if they install an app, often they forget it’s there amid the numerous other apps they have.“

The vast majority of retailers today have created mobile applications that optimize on-device commerce over in-store experience. Our data shows that this is a fundamental miss in terms of priorities,” Deloitte Digital reports.

Some very large companies will be able to have effective mobile apps, but other retailers will need to focus on optimizing the website experience from devices, meaning responsive website design. “That is a must-do to really understanding where your traffic is coming from,” says Elana Anderson, senior VP-worldwide marketing at Demandware.

Indeed, agrees Goldberg, consumers are likely to buy six times more often if browsing on their laptops. And tablet’s are gaining steam as a go-to device for shopping, in part because the screen is bigger than mobile phones and they are more portable than computers.

Download Advertising Age Omnichannel Retail Whitepaper Here


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Mobile Shopping On The Rise As Holidays Approach

Apple iOS smartphone and tablet users are 89% more likely to buy directly from their devices than Android users at 85%, per a study released Tuesday.

Whether on an iOS or Android device, 47% of consumers participating in the study prefer to use a smartphone when shopping, with just 32% opting for a tablet. mobileshopping_xsRoApR

Analyzing responses based on mobile platform ownership and use between Apple and Android, the findings suggest that 51% of Android users prefer mobile shopping on a smartphone, compared with 48% of Apple users. Some 86% of Apple owners vs. 80% of Android owners are more likely to spend the same amount or more on holiday presents this year.

Among those who own a mobile device, 73% plan to use them for holiday shopping, 97% to find the best deals, 96% to compare prices, 96% to research products, 92% to access coupons, 89% to find stores, and 85% to buy direct from the device.

Retale, a mobile platform that connects shoppers with their favorite retailers locally, commissioned independent group Toluna Research to survey 1,000 U.S. consumers between Oct. 20 and 27, 2014 on how they use mobile devices to shop during the holidays. The study also looks at holiday season spending.

Optimizing Web sites for location and directions has become equally important. Some 26% of survey participants will use their mobile device to find a store location.

When asked where they would do their shopping, 22% said online only, 24% said brick-and-mortar retail stores only, and 54% said they would shop both online and in-store.

For those who haven’t noticed, consumers plan to get an early start on shopping this year. Some 25% began by deciding to shop year round, while 60% wait until November. About 31% start shopping around Nov. 1, with 29% waiting until the day after Thanksgiving, and 15% still wait for the last minute, per the study.

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What exactly is the value in SMS marketing?

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Adam Groff - Aug 26, 2014

Just about anywhere you turn, you’re likely to see a least one person interacting with their smartphone. This gives your management team a unique opportunity in the form of text message (SMS) marketing.

When it comes to on the go promotions, here are just a few reasons why your marketing management team needs SMS (Short Messaging Service) marketing in order to really reach out to customers:

Short Message Service Statistics

As mentioned before, just about everyone and their mother carries a smartphone with them wherever they go. This, of course, provides your marketing team a huge opportunity to reach a mobile audience who’s already extremely receptive to the idea of mobile promotions.

As a marketing manager, you’ve probably seen all of the facts and infographics surrounding SMS marketing. In order to cut through the clutter, here are some cold hard facts: A recent Nielsen study reports that 40 percent of mobile phones in the U.S. are SMS capable smartphones.

In addition, more than 50 percent of smartphone users in America respond positively to text message advertising. With numbers like this, your marketing department can’t afford not to jump on the SMS bandwagon.

Benefits of SMS

SMS marketing comes with numerous built-in benefits that are sure to take your marketing to new mobile heights. Whether your management team needs a small-scale or large-scale marketing approach, SMS fits just about any marketing strategy.

In a previous article “What’s so great about SMS marketing?” shows, here are a few benefits that’ll more than answer that question:

  • Opt In or Out in a Flash – Everything about SMS marketing is fast, including opting in and out of marketing texts. If a customer wants to take advantage of your business’s promotion, they simply respond to your SMS short code and your message is delivered instantly. That’s it.
  • Ever-Growing Market – The smartphone market is a bustling one and with millions of people taking to texting every day, SMS marketing’s consumer base has nowhere to go but up.
  • Personal and Direct – Because SMS marketing requires the customer’s permission; it gives your marketing management team the opportunity to make personal, direct campaigns focused on niche audiences. Likewise, if you’re marketing to a wider, more diverse audience, SMS also allows you to create multiple campaigns for different customer niches.
  • Lead Generation – You can advertise your SMS short code and marketing message via your websites, in print advertisements, or in your storefront. This kind of interactive visibility creates more leads for your business than traditional marketing.
  • Short Messages – Arguably the biggest advantage of SMS marketing is the fact that the messages you send are short and sweet, which means your audience is more likely to respond.

Asking Your Customers for Permission

Because sending an SMS text to a customer requires permission, your marketing management team has to tread the promotional waters lightly. This means campaigning in a way that doesn’t seem too demanding or spammy.

Storefront SMS advertisements such as “text blank to receive blank” are usually easier to pull off because the customer is already familiar with the business involved. However, if your marketing management team really wants to find success in all promotional platforms, then a straightforward approach like the one mentioned above is best. Besides, if you let the customer know exactly what they’re getting from your SMS short code, everyone will walk away happy.

If your management team is looking for a new marketing approach, give SMS a chance – you’ll be glad you did.

Read Adam’s original post here

Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including mobile marketing and technology.

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Mobile customer service: Your customers now prefer SMS.

We’re in the age of on-demand. Everything from hailing a cab, to booking a hotel, and making restaurant reservations is a click of a button away. Customers expect the same level of ease and immediacy when it comes to customer service, but often have to jump through hoops just to get help. In a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of OneReach, a cloud based communications platform, customers made it clear that they’d rather text for help than call.

Of the 2,000 people surveyed, over half said that they would rather have the freedom of contacting customer service via text rather than over the phone or computer. The two common problems customers face is waiting for a support agent, or being tied to their computer while receiving support help. For a mobile and immediate solution, 64% of people surveyed say they’d prefer text.

Adding a text-based channel of support not only helps customers get service faster, it helps businesses cut down on the cost of phone based support lines. Imagine the cost savings for a company if they could convert almost half of their voice interactions to text, which costs about 25 percent less per interaction.

If you want to attract and retain customers, you need to provide and excellent customer experience. Part of delivering that experience is enabling your customers to connect with you using their preferred communication method.

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Is your call center allowing your customers to communicate via text?…Why not?

Immediately reduce your call center cost by 25% and increase customer satisfaction by 65%

Business man and woman text messaging

According to a recent Forrester and Oracle report, the cost of the average phone call is increasing each year, up to $6 – 20 per call in 2012. While automated IVR solutions can significantly lower that cost, 93% of them actually decrease customer satisfaction. Thus it is no surprise that many businesses are forsaking the billion-dollar “phone only” strategy and looking to other channels to help solve customer service needs. Forester reports that the last three years has seen a 12% rise in web self-service, a 24% rise in web chat usage and a 25% increase in community-driven customer support. Pivot strategies are becoming the key to seeing ROI from customer service investments, as many organizations have begun guiding customers to different channels based on the complexity and urgency of their needs.

With so many channels gaining ground in the customer service field, it is surprising how often text messaging is overlooked. According to Pew Research, text messaging is the most common function currently performed on phones, outranking even voice calls. Another study shows that young adults not only prefer text messaging over voice, they would also prefer to text message companies to resolve simple customer service issues. Despite this, many companies are slow to see the solution “texting a company” can offer.

Here’s a common scenario: a customer needs to reset her password or check on her account, but she’s in line at a crowded restaurant or walking along a busy street. The robot IVR can’t understand her verbal commands with all the background noise, and she doesn’t want to search for and download an app just for this rare situation. With text messaging, voice recognition and app dependency becomes unnecessary, allowing the customer to easily resolve her issue either via automation or by connecting her texts to a web chat session with a live agent.

SMS solutions make it easy and cost-effective to address customer issues just like that. The text messaging channel allows for automated interactions, providing some of the same self-service solutions that IVR systems, web sites and mobile apps provide, as well as one-on-one support with a customer support representative. Many solutions also allow for integrations with existing systems, such as hooking live text-to-chat into established agent chat tools or pulling customer data from the company’s records for self-service issues.

Innovative organizations are already seeing the value in “texting” customer support. Companies like Comcast will begin piloting text messaging solutions this year, expecting to see a significant decrease in cost for their customer service sessions. Others have found that adding a menu option to their IVR for switching a voice call to text (“press * to continue this call in SMS”) has improved conversion rates by as much as 25%. Those customers that continue on to a text-to-chat interaction help bring the cost for the company down to $1-4 per session.

Companies looking to improve their service options in the following year need to consider seriously the benefits of adding text messaging as a channel. Customers are asking for it, and solutions are available to integrate it easily into a company’s established infrastructure. Not only do early-adopters differentiate themselves in a saturated market, but they maximize the ROI of their customer service investment. Text messaging is poised to explode as the channel of choice between customers and businesses. Companies shouldn’t overlook it, as their competitors won’t.

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