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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No Joke, Mobilegeddon is 20 Days away. Is your site ready?

Google has announced it’s going to be adding Mobile-friendly and indexed apps to its search ranking algorithm, in what many SEO’s are affectionately referring to as Mobilegeddon. According to Google this will be the largest search algorithm update in terms of number of websites affected in a very long time. So what does this all mean and what you need to do to prepare? In this article we’ll be going over who this will affect and how to best ensure that your website is prepped and ready.

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Google was hard pressed to release any details on the specific number of queries affected but we do know that close to 60% of all Google searches are done through a mobile device. Odds are if you are at the upper end of the search spectrum, your site is already mobile optimized and you won’t get too much of a boost unless your direct competitor falls. The same is probably true for the site that already get very little traffic and doesn’t have a mobile friendly site (because they aren’t getting traffic from mobile anyway).

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Why Text Messaging is More Valuable than Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular social media platforms available – and yet, the efforts of companies to promote their product on either platform may just be wasting their time and money, according to a new report by market research firm Forrester Research. At the same time that social media advertising is on the decline, text message marketing efforts are on the rise.

So if you’re a marketer trying to decide where to allocate your budget for consumer engagement, read between the lines – or just more of this blog post – in order to understand what it is, exactly, about social media that doesn’t work, and what it is about text messaging, that does.

The decline of Facebook and Twitter

The Forrester report, titled “Social Relationship Strategies That Work,” explains that on Twitter and Facebook, posts from top brands reach only 2 percent of their followers. And the percentage of people who engage with those posts? An even smaller number: .07 percent of users. That small number includes targeted advertising and promoted content – in other words, the kind of content that brands think will engage people over social media.

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“It’s clear that Facebook and Twitter don’t offer the relationships that marketing leaders crave,” says Nate Elliott, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester. His suggestion? Stop making Facebook the center of your relationship marketing efforts.

Text messaging picks up the ball where social media drops it

Colorful Speech Bubble CopyspaceWhile social media advertising wanes, mobile marketing is stronger than ever. A 2015 Global Data-Driven Survey reported that the future of marketing is “all about getting personal”, which means that marketers should start trying to connect to consumers on the most intimate channel there is – text messaging. Text messaging, with its 100% delivery rate, instantaneous reach, and ability to segment and target users, is the perfect tool for marketers who are looking to take their company or product to the top.

90% of marketers say that individualized marketing (such as SMS campaigns) is a priority for them. Even beyond segmentation, they want to create one-to-one personalization in real time. The reason marketers prefer text messaging is because it is faster and more accurate than other channels. Text messages are delivered right to a person’s phone, speaking to them in the moment and connecting with them where they’re at.

Indeed, the psychology behind marketers wanting a more direct connection with consumers is easy to understand: in a world that is increasingly packed with information, people don’t have the time or inclination to scroll through ads that may or may not apply to them. They want to feel personally addressed and not just another face in the crowd, along with everyone else that your company is trying to reach.

Text messaging is the best platform to create value

白领8This is not to say that brands should stop using social media altogether. Twitter and Facebook are great places to build a brand identity, but social media is simply not where engagement happens. Text message marketing is where real relationships are built – and where the real value is.

The value of a “like” on Facebook is not the same as the value of somebody responding “yes” through the intimate, one-to-one channel that text messaging provides. A person who retweets a Twitter message does not have the same impact as a person who texts in a friend’s phone number as a personal recommendation for joining your mobile list. To put it simply, text messaging offers a one-to-one connection that cannot be beat – and that is where its real marketing power lies.

Read original article from Mobile Commons here

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Own These 5 Tips For A Successful Mobile Marketing Strategy In 2015

Mobility continues to drive major behavioral change in our day-to-day lives. Research has shown that 86% of Americans now use their mobile phones for what is called “just-in-time information”, opening up a world of on-the-go opportunities for creative marketers to sell their wares. So where should they be focusing their efforts?

1. Be Relevant palm-of-your-hand-300x242

Marketing organizations are quickly becoming savvy about the full range of capabilities of smartphones, such as geo-location, and motion and ambient noise detection. These tools enable marketers to surface offers to consumers at the right point in their purchasing process.

What you need to work out out in 2015 is: what are the myriad experiences of your end-users and how can you connect with them in the moment in a meaningful way?

2. Be Contextual 

While some organisations have dipped their toes in the contextual waters in the past year, full power will come when organisations look for relevance beyond their own doors.

Maribel Lopez, author of Right Time Experiences, says these contextual experiences will be delivered by native apps: “Contextual integrations with third party services will be big [in 2015]. For example, an airline app that connects to Uber for airport transportation and traffic data to figure out when to leave.”

This is a huge opportunity to provide value to your end-users beyond just your service.

3. Use in-store or near-store notifications

Many retailers will want to extend offers to potential customers either as they walk past their stores or once they are inside. Lopez explains: “A store will know if you’re in the building, but mobile can help pinpoint where and what content or experience should be surfaced.” The opportunity is to present information based on the exact location.

For example, if your end-user is the children’s department on the 2nd floor, it is a great time to present an offer for buy one, get one free on children’s shoes. It is probably a terrible time to blast them with an offer for power tools.

To improve the seamless experience even further, if your mobile experience includes some sort of rewards programme and you have user purchase history available to you, it is possible to create an experience that takes off from previous shopping experiences. You could also cross reference past history with other similar offers from partners that extends the current experience even further.

4. Make the most of new notification streams

Android and iOS are following in Facebook and Twitter’s footsteps by making data streams a central part of the user-experience. Apps will raise alerts, information, and offers to the notification stream of the mobile device. Users will be able to take actions directly from the interface. This is both an opportunity and a challenge for marketers in 2015.

It is an opportunity because users will be expecting brands to have a presence on the OS’ most prominent platform. The challenge is that there is very limited space to provide any meaningful experience. Marketers will have to get creative and learn how to really pare down their message without diluting its impact; think Twitter marketing 2.0.

5. Seek users’ permission

Next year offers lots of exciting opportunity for mobile marketing. But brands must be careful to not be too invasive. Get permission before extending information and offers to individuals.

Finally, don’t inundate your audience with messages. Remember you are just one part of their overall stream of information. Respect that, and you’ll reach your audience and your 2015 targets.

It’s 2015 and mobile 3.0 is here. Isn’t it time you dive in and own it?

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Why Your Mobile Marketing Strategy Should Always Start with SMS

As the number of people who own smartphones increases, so does the amount of money that companies are pouring into mobile marketing. A new report by Forrester Research, however, points out that marketing leaders are pouring money into the wrong sectors of mobile marketing.

What marketing leaders are doing wrong when it comes to mobile

As the Forrester report points out, marketers’ use of mobile technologies does not match customer behaviors – that “contrary to common belief, the savviest mobile users and heavy mobile app users continue to use SMS.” The mobile marketing boom is misguidedly leading companies to forego text messaging in lieu of building native mobile apps. The truth is, however, that these mobile apps don’t usually succeed. 80% of mobile apps in the Apple App store go unused – meaning most companies are losing money on their mobile marketing efforts.

If companies want to succeed in mobile, the report advises, they should focus on mobile marketing’s building blocks: SMS, mobile optimized websites, and mobile friendly web forms.

Starting your mobile marketing strategy with text messaging yields better results

The reasoning behind starting with text messaging is simple: people are “still ravenous” for SMS. Consider this: It’s the only technology used by the majority of phone users, and an overwhelming 74% of US adults send and receive a text message at least once weekly.

Starting with SMS means two things for companies. The first is that by using a tool that people are already comfortable with, companies can sidestep the high rate of abandonment and other issues that occur when customers don’t understand how to use, or even find, a mobile app.

Secondly, SMS allows you to engage in conversations with and data mine your customers. With text messaging, you can track their clicks, ask them for feedback, and gather information on their behavior to allow for a more thorough understanding of your audience so that you can achieve better results.

Mobile optimized web pages and forms should be a no-brainer

One easy way to engage consumers over text messaging is to send them links to mobile web pages. For any company interested in mobile marketing, mobile-optimized web pages and mobile friendly web forms should be a no-brainer. 21% of Americans use their phones to research physical products for purchase, and mobile-optimized web forms are useful for much more than just online shopping. Donations, sweepstakes entries, and RSVPs for events are just a few examples of when consumers need to type in and submit their information on a mobile phone.

Mobile marketing is a relatively new field with such rapid growth in the past five years that it’s easy to see why many companies jump the gun and focus on the most flashy parts of mobile marketing – mobile apps, QR codes, and the like – instead of starting with the basics of the field. But by slowing down and learning how to use SMS and optimizing your mobile website, your company has a much better chance of pulling ahead in the long run.

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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.

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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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5 Reasons Why SMS Marketing is Smart for Small Businesses

If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably no stranger to the vast array of digital resources at your disposal for connecting with current and prospective customers.

Unquestionably, the advent of smartphones and tablets has delivered what are now the most powerful tools in the marketing arsenal of many small businesses. Correspondingly, the value of SMS marketing has become equally as apparent.

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SMS, which stands for “short message service,” is regarded today as an indispensable resource within the mobile marketing ecosystem. And if you’re not yet tapping into this immensely valuable resource, there are (at least) 5 compelling reasons why you should get off the fence and into SMS marketing.

1. Your message will be read in minutes

With a 90% (or better) average open rate, text messages are far more effective than email notifications when communicating with customers, particularly when time is of the essence. Most text messages are read in fewer than 5 minutes after they’ve been received. As a result, you can count on text messaging to effectively deliver short, time sensitive communications, appointment alerts, or expiring promotional offers.

2. SMS marketing builds brand loyalty

Studies show that nearly three-quarters of smartphone users are now interested in loyalty programs accessible from their handsets. Since 95% of all mobile phones now have SMS capabilities, it’s understandable why so many businesses now view SMS marketing as being perfectly suited for engaging customers with loyalty program offers, rewards updates, or other relevant account details.

3. SMS marketing is surprisingly easy

Small businesses can quickly, easily, and economically implement mobile campaigns and “spin their database into gold.” With the right tools in place, anyone familiar with the basics of small business marketing is capable of orchestrating an effective SMS campaign.

4. SMS marketing is shockingly affordable

Compared to some of the relatively exorbitant expenditures that quickly erode marketing budgets often without a clear and inspiring ROI, a typical small business can plan and carry out an SMS marketing campaign for a fraction of the price tag that corresponds to other marketing efforts.

5. SMS marketing is targeted marketing at its best

The new age of device targeting has allowed marketers to reach mobile users via SMS with campaigns tailored specifically to a variety of interests and needs. With message relevance deemed critical to the effectiveness of a campaign, the availability and affordability of quality SMS marketing services have allowed businesses, entrepreneurs, and advertisers of all sizes to equally capitalize on this powerful resource.


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SMS Marketing is Now Standard for Brands

Mass text marketing has been standard practice for app developers and start-ups for a number of years, and canny small business owners with an eye on the future are also playing around with the possibilities of mobile. It has taken a little longer for big brands to climb on board.

That’s starting to change. Target and American Express are among the powerhouse corporations to have invested heavily in mobile advertising recently. The latter has gone a stage further, partnering with Zumobi to create a rich user experience for smartphones. Their self-described ‘personalized panorama’ draws on customer preferences for dining, travel, sports, electronics and entertainment, combining video and user-generated content to provide a more tailored experience.

In the last two years Samsung has doubled it’s mobile ad spend, and now routinely sends targeted messages to buyers of the latest iPhone offering them $300 to trade it in for a Samsung device. According to the firm’s marketing director, mobile ads cost one-seventh the amount of online ads and are twice as effective.

Those figures are no exaggeration, but it’s not simply a matter of cost-effectiveness. Brands big and small are attracted to the flexibility of mobile. Yes, there are the glitzy, rich media campaigns and sophisticated geo-targeting techniques, but mobile also allows advertisers to reach people via good old-fashioned SMS. Coca Cola, for instance, promotes restaurants offering deals on the beverage, printing limited edition bottle caps with a short code for people to text in order to win a prize.

SMS also holds the key to emerging markets in a way no other technology can compete with. The developing world has 4.5 billion mobile subscribers, and only a quarter of those have home Internet access. Text messages are capable of reaching the remotest corners of the planet, and only require recipients to have a working feature phone. Mobile is the way to go for companies trying to expand into foreign markets.

Small wonder that Merrill Lynch predicts the mobile advertising market in the United States to be worth more than $18 billion by the end of next year. It’s the early adopters who will benefit most. If you’re a small business looking to be ahead of the curve and save money on advertising, mobile is the smart move.

You don’t need a huge budget to succeed. All you need is a vision and a bulk text messaging platform capable of reaching thousands of customers simultaneously. Don’t let the big brands carve up the mobile space for themselves – get involved with mobile marketing now and gain an edge on your competition.

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