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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How long will it take for digital marketer’s to utilize RCS?

What is RCS?

As a general overview, Rich Communication Services (RCS) is part of the new Advanced Messaging standard designed to greatly improve messaging functionality that comes installed on phones by default. Along with text messages, RCS will also allow for higher quality picture messaging up to 10MB in size, group chats, location sharing, and even video calls by default. The service also appears to support read receipts and typing indicators that you’re probably already familiar with from other services. Fortunately, RCS is being tied in with the GSMA’s Universal Profile. GSMA is a global association of network operators and companies that works on creating unified standards for the industry. The Universal Profile is a specification which outlines a set of Advanced Calling and Messaging features and how communication services are to be built to support these features.

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Unlike SMS, the new technology can be integrated with contact apps to see who else supports the service, as well as for sharing contacts and groups. RCS is also looking to go beyond the capabilities seen in many of today’s messaging apps. The standard can also be used to share media, location, and other information while you’re already in a telephone conversation.

However, to send and receive Rich Communications Services messages, both parties much be using a compatible messaging app and network, and support is not universal, yet. Fortunately, the system is designed to fall back to SMS or MMS when the recipient doesn’t support RCS.

In theory, the introduction of RCS will avoid the hassle of having to agree to a third party platform for group or video chat, as the service is tied to your mobile number and future phone owners will have these features out of the box. The aim is to provide a consistent interoperable messaging service across mobile device and networks. Well at least for Android, there doesn’t appear to be any work being done to bring RCS to iPhones. Plus Apple already has its popular iMessage service.

 

How does it different from regular ol’ SMS?

With RCS, you can see when others are typing, when your message gets delivered, and when the person on the other end is typing a reply. It also ups the ante on traditional MMS messaging by enabling you to send videos and photos up to 10MB.

Standard SMS doesn’t allow you to do any of that. It’s slower; there are file size limitations on attachments (MMS Messaging caps are currently set below 2MB, depending on your carrier); and there’s no way to tell if the person on the other end has seen your message.

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Do I need an app to use it?

Even if RCS is supported by your carrier, you need a compatible messaging app. The software update that T-Mobile will push to its users to enable Advanced Messaging will include a messaging app that supports it. Your favorite text messaging application might not yet support it, however, though that will likely change once more carriers get on board.

When can I starting using it?

RCS is actually already live now, sort of. T-Mobile and AT&T offer some of these Advanced Messaging features through their stock messaging apps on a selection of modern devices, but this deployment is based on pre-Universal Profiles. The latest development has seen Google introduce RCS support with its own Messenger 2.0 app, providing that users are on a supported network and have a compatible device (currently just the Pixel XL and Nexus 6P). Sprint has become the first carrier to partner with Google to bring the Messaging app to select LG and Nexus handset, and to begin installing Messenger as the default app on future handsets sold through its retail operations.

However, GSMA’s Universal Profile is not fully up and running, so we don’t have a single standardized version of RCS yet. The majority of fully certified devices and networks aren’t scheduled to launch until sometime in Q2 2017. Therefore the fully inter-operable system isn’t quite ready and so wide reaching compatibility and use of the full feature set cannot be guaranteed. Between now and then, network operators are encouraged to deploy mature systems and begin transitioning toward the full Universal Profile, as will OEM’s. This probably explains why Google has decided now is the time to start testing out these features on its network-agnostic Messenger app.

In other words, the first fully Universal Profile compatible devices and networks arrive until Q2 2017, but that isn’t stopping advanced messaging services from starting up. Much like the roll-out of 4G LTE, carriers and OEM are gradually moving towards realizing the full specification that will see a universal advanced messaging platform deployed across the Android ecosystem.

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Six tips for successful mobile advertising in 2017 (#1: START NOW!)

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on “what worked” with mobile advertising this year and to summarize the successful strategies you should be looking at in 2017.

Here are 5 top tips:

1. Respect the user

Mobile devices are highly personal. Mobile users want to decide where, when and how they interact with brands on their devices. So put the user in control. Mobile ads should be opt-in, so the user decides whether or not to engage with a brand’s message.

Crucially, mobile ads should be easy for users to dismiss, with a prominent ‘close’ box. Finally, if the ad unit covers some content on the page, design the ad so it disappears when a user scrolls and only reappears when the user stops scrolling.

2. Use mobile-friendly ad formats

While they can look fine on tablets, desktop ads don’t look good on small smartphone screens. Instead, use mobile-friendly ad formats such as the IAB Rising Star adhesion unit.

Adhesion units look great on any mobile device because they take up about 10% of the screen and are anchored at the bottom in either portrait or landscape mode. They also produce strong results.

3. Target the right audience

Strong results don’t matter if the wrong audience is responding. The best advertising solutions providers have robust behavioral data that can be targeted as well on mobile as on desktop.

Lookalike models can be built to target scalable audience segments most likely to be receptive to a brand’s message and respond favorably to it.

4. Keep users engaged

Once you’ve targeted the right audience with mobile-first ad formats and the audience is responding to your ad, you want to keep them engaged and spending as much time as possible with your brand’s message.

One great way to keep users engaged is to use video as the main act in the creative. Users increasingly watch video on mobile, with a trend for larger screens.

Showing multiple videos is even more effective. Combine video with interactivity – inviting users to explore a brand further via photo galleries, feature demonstrations, product showcases and maps with directions to the nearest store – and you have the perfect recipe for deep user engagement.

5. Measure the right things

The last thing you want to do with your highly interactive, video-centric mobile campaigns is track results that don’t truly reflect the positive impact on brand metrics and sales lift. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to use clicks as a key performance indicator since clicks have been shown to have little to no correlation with conversions.

On smartphones, in particular, a significant percentage of clicks are accidental. Instead, more advanced metrics such as engagement rate, interaction rate and time spent are much more indicative of users actively paying attention to a brand’s message and ultimately being influenced by it.

After all, it’s deep user engagement that causes consumers to know, love and buy a brand, not a single or series of emails.

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How Does Mobile Initiate Digital Conversation?

Mobile communication has rapidly evolved, as data technology helps us take it seriously. While we once somewhat playfully awaited “the year of mobile,” we now set our sights higher in light of some serious advancements in the mobile space. The bottom line is that sophisticated audience targeting, propensity modeling, and cross-channel execution are all now in play.

Go Mobile 56With the prevalence of mobile lifestyle and progress openly in play — as far as technology, infrastructure, data science, and the evolving tools set — we are very much living the maturation of mobile. As consumers, and as marketers, we are the mobile opportunity.

 


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FINALLY! Google’s new tool helps test your website’s speed and mobile-friendliness

Speed testing services seem to be the new thing tech companies are dabbing into on their free time – just weeks after Netflix launched Fast.com, Google has announced its own tool to help you measure your website’s speed and mobile-friendliness.

The site takes your URL and measures on a scale of 1-100 your mobile design and loading speed. It looks at things like CSS, HTML, scripts and images to see how long it takes for your website to load on both a desktop and mobile device.image5

Google says an average user leaves the site if it doesn’t load on mobile within three seconds, so if your site takes much longer than that, your lower will appear lower.

Ironically, it does take more than three seconds for Google’s tool to complete the test, but it’s worth finding out how your site fares. You can also click a button to see where you’ve failed specifically to find areas for improvement.image3“On average, people check their phones more than 150 times a day, and more searches occur on mobile phones than computers. But if a potential customer is on a phone, and a site isn’t easy to use, they’re five times more likely to leave,” Google wrote in a blog post announcing the tool, which was created in partnership with digital agency Huge.

Interestingly, Google didn’t exactly fare well in its own test.

If you need help though, Google links out to a handful of site builders it evidently approves of to help you make your site mobile-friendly and fast, including services like Wix, Duda, and Weebly. Big ouch for Squarespace and WordPress.

Try your site below and call me with your results…image2Test Your Site on Think With Google

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Mobile-First Marketing Unveiled

Any marketing effort should be driven by the fact consumers love their mobile devices. It’s of their most prized possessions. It’s their best friend, the object they always carry with them and most importantly, the device through which they will most likely access your service. As the mobile industry grows, brands appear to be showing a deeper understanding of this new reality and seem to be doing their very best to adjust.

However, while many brands understand the importance of a strong mobile presence, theymobile first do not necessarily know how to get there. In the process of figuring things out, it seems that everyone loves to throw around big words like “mobile first,” “context” and “personalization” but not enough people know what these terms actually mean. It’s time to drill down and find out how to actually implement a mobile-first marketing strategy and not just use these trendy slogans.

Kick personalization up a notch

Targeting potential users based on demographics and interests is great, but it’s not nearly enough to see concrete results. The primary difference between mobile ads and desktop ads is that users are exposed to mobile ads when they’re on the go and surrounded by other people, situations and events.

The best way to achieve results is to find out exactly what potential consumers are experiencing and to target them with a mobile ad that correlates to that specific experience. This can be done by gathering data using geo-location technologies and check-ins in public places.

Whereas 30-second TV advertisements can set a scene and then “hit” the viewer with the message when he or she is ready to absorb it, mobile ads don’t have that luxury. For that reason, “hitting” consumers with the right message when they are experiencing a relevant situation helps paint a more comprehensive picture of the product you’re trying to sell. For example, if you’re marketing a taxi app, chances are you’ll get more conversion from ads if you geo-target people who just stepped out of a huge concert (and are most likely looking for a ride home).

Reach and convert within seconds

A mobile-first approach understands that the goal is no longer to transmit a message that might resonate with consumers later on but rather to get them to act NOW. This is why knowing what the consumer needs and when they need it is crucial to achieving a higher conversion rate.

For instance, if you’re advertising a taxi app and trying to target a 30-year-old woman, you can first figure out where she is. If she’s on her way to work, and it’s currently pouring rain outside, chances are she’ll go out of her way to catch a taxi. This is the time to act! Not only will that woman want to download your app, she’ll register immediately and become a user in a matter of minutes.

Mobile ads, unlike other types of ads, allow marketers to turn potential consumers into users and immediately try out their product with just a few clicks. In order to utilize this benefit of mobile ads, brands should use a clear call-to-action and appropriate messaging to successfully attract users and get them to check out the product right away.

Personalize the product itself

Marketers: If you think your work is done after the download stage, think again. In-app events are just as important to ensure that people not only download the app (and don’t forget about it two days later) but become active, engaged users.

The most crucial step in ensuring that users continue from the download stage to registration is the onboarding stage. There are a few services out there that allow developers to create apps that adapt according to the user. These adaptations include everything from the screen flow to the messaging and color palette.

For instance, a music-streaming app could have a target audience that encompasses many different age groups and people of varied interests. While attracting these users can be done through using ad targeting, age-inappropriate in-app elements might scare them away. This sort of app could benefit from the service mentioned above and offer different users’ text and messaging that “speak” to them in their own language. A mobile first approach recognizes this challenge and harnesses the right tools to handle it.

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How to use mobile to enhance your brand and build audience development.

Success in brand publishing begins and ends with your audience, which you can define as anyone who comes into contact and engages with your content — not just your target demographic. In brand publishing, the problem you’re solving for is, “Where will incremental audience come from, and how can I maximize its value for my brand?” A combination of technology, partnerships, and experimentation will form the basis of your audience development plan. Here are a few places to start:

1.   Social Platforms — The pool of users who have opted to follow you over time make for a great initial surge of audience. Consider paid amplification for the content that yields the greatest value at your desired Cost Per Action (CPA). Think beyond just Facebook and Twitter! LinkedIn is rich in value for B2B engagement, while Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat or any platform utilizing video all merit serious consideration for B2C engagement.

2.   Search — Research the keywords that matter most to your target audience and optimize your content.

3.   Recommended Media — Mobile platforms can deliver massive audiences from premium publishers in just about every vertical you can think of.

4.   Partnerships — Partnering with traditional media publishers can be a great way to deliver audience to your content. Mobile is not a stand alone medium. It still needs traditional media to drive the calls to action.

5.   Mobile — This is no longer some strange sub-set of audience. All of the above is responsible for delivering your target audience on mobile