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


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.



Understanding the Mobile Consumer

Newly released data from Google and market research company Ipsos supports what you already know: the burgeoning landscape of mobile marketing is poised to explode as consumers increasingly rely on their smartphones for entertainment, to shop, and to search online.

According to Google’s Our Mobile Planet research, smartphone penetration increased 13% over last year, with 44% of the U.S. population now owning a smartphone with 66% accessing the Internet on a daily basis. That smartphone stat doesn’t put the U.S. in the top tier globally, though. Australia, the U.K., Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and UAE all have smartphone uptake rates over 50%.

The recent flak service providers like Verizon and Sprint caught with capping dubiously titled “unlimited data” plans hasn’t seemed to slow consumers’ fervor for utilizing their smartphones to shop, with an overwhelming 96% claiming to have researched a product or service on their phone and 57% conducting general searches everyday.

Among the other stats: 89% of smartphone users notice mobile ads and 66% visit a business online or in-store after a local search.

Marketers should keep in mind, however, that much like searching on a traditional computer, SEO still plays a crucial role as 61% of smartphone users only look at the first page of results. That being said, fleeting attention spans can be channeled into successful campaigns by capitalizing on the fact that 86% of people use their smartphone while consuming other media: 52% watching TV, 51% listening to music on their smartphone, and 34% watching movies.

See more in the infographic here and the Our Mobile Planet site.

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Why Mobile Marketing is so effective and cannot be overlooked…

To adequately prepare for the mobile marketing explosion, you need to know why mobile marketing is so effective. What are the reasons it dwarfs other forms of marketing in effectiveness, ROI and efficiency?

Mobile marketing is effective because it shortens the lead cycle in an almost incomprehensible way. It compresses everything. In a traditional marketing-to-sales process, the ‘sales funnel’ is weeks, or months long. Mobile marketing cuts that time exponentially. (Buyers find you and call you in minutes, not months). Someone can search for a product or service on their smartphone and then, immediately and with one finger tap, call you.

The entire lead process, the entire sales funnel, takes mere seconds.

Additionally, mobile marketing is effective because smartphone users have a love affair with their phone. In fact, 91% of smartphone users have their mobile phone within arm’s reach 24/7. (Source: Morgan Stanley)

No other form of marketing can claim to have access to a potential customer 91% of the time. Mobile marketing effective, in part, because we are obsessed with our smartphones.

There ya go!

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Mobile Is The New Face Of Engagement…Says Forrester Research.

In just four years, one billion people will own smartphones, many of whom will be professionals taking these devices to work, says Forrester, a research company. And because of that, businesses need to think big about how to use mobile products to engage with customers, the company says.

Forrester on Monday published a 28-page report forecasting the growing impact of mobile in the world of business, based on its survey of 3,534 business decision-makers, like chief information officers or I.T. technicians, around the world, among other measures.

It estimated that by 2016, 350 million workers will use smartphones — 200 million of whom will take their own devices to the workplace. By that year, consumer spending in the mobile app market will amount to $56 billion, and business spending on mobile projects will have doubled, the study found.

With the explosive growth of mobile use among consumers, businesses need to think beyond making versions of their Web sites for small smartphone screens, said Ted Schadler, a principal analyst at Forrester and an author of the study. When making mobile products, businesses should strategize about how they can take advantage of the data they can gather from smartphones — like location information and spending habits — to create a richer experience, he said.

“Mobile is the new face of engagement,” Mr. Schadler said. “Businesses should stop thinking about it as a small Web site on a tiny computer, and start thinking about mobile as being deeply embedded systems of engagement. That turns out to have huge implications.”

Take, for example, Target, the retail store. If a customer walks into Target and has bought baseball gear in the past, the ideal Target mobile app will know when he is standing in the sporting goods section and will be able to tell him about a discount on a new baseball mitt, Mr. Schadler said. That’s more customized and engaging than a mobile version of the Target Web site.

Giving customers a good mobile experience requires a lot more than simply designing a cool-looking app with some nifty tricks. Businesses must strategize about how to invest properly in the back end, or the servers and employees necessary to maintain services so they run smoothly even when the number of customers using an app grows, the research report said.

Security will be tricky, too. I.T. departments will have to expand security measures to go beyond protecting the business itself and protect user data gathered from mobile apps. Then, of course, companies must evaluate how to respect user privacy, and take advantage only of the information that customers willfully share.

John McCarthy, an analyst at Forrester and another co-author of the study, said: “How do you interact with somebody in their moment of decision? How do you take advantage of their permission they’re giving you to be in their pocket, if you can be right there alongside somebody in their daily life and their daily work? It’s up to you to do this respectably, without invading privacy.”

Developing a strong mobile business strategy hardly sounds easy, but it could pay off big. The research study lists Walgreen as an example of a business that has greatly benefited from its app. The pharmacy company said that 25 percent of its transactions came from its one-year-old mobile app, where the most active customers are tapping through to shop, order prescription refills or find nearby stores to get flu shots.

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How Do Consumers Feel About Freemium Apps? by Elaine Hirsch

Prosumer. Frenemy. Bromance. Portmanteaus are all the rage, but the one on the tip of everyone’s tongue is Freemium. Today, this mashup of Free and Premium has gone from buzzword to business model. Judging by how often the media has used the word in articles and conversations, the freemium model is beloved by technology writers and creators. But how do consumers feel about freemium apps?

Going by the numbers alone, consumers are already strongly responding to freemium apps, with 48% of revenue on Apple’s App Store coming from free apps that are supported by in-app purchases. If you include paid apps supported by in-app purchases, some of which have a nominal 99-cent base price, the amount jumps to 72%. The proportion is only slightly smaller on the Android Marketplace, where apps with in-app purchases account for 65% of the 25 top grossing titles. Whether the app is an online school platform where additional courses must be paid for or just a game where buying tokens cost real money, freemium models are certainly here to stay.

What’s more, according to IHS Screen Digest, the trend toward freemium apps will only gain momentum in 2012. “Smartphone users overwhelmingly prefer free apps to paid apps, as we estimate 96 percent of all smartphone apps were downloaded for free in 2011,” says IHS senior analyst Jack Kent. “In 2012, it will become increasingly difficult for app stores and developers to justify charging an upfront fee for their products… Instead, the apps industry must fully embrace the freemium model and monetize content through in-app purchases.” The most successful methods of monetization identified by the IHS study were virtual currencies, such as additional chips for poker, redeemable points, or in-game “gold.”. These virtual currencies reflected 63% of in-app purchases on the U.S. App Store at the end of the third quarter, according to IHS estimates.

Although the freemium model has been largely pioneered by free to play (F2P) games with optional paid currency and items, IHS suggests that “companies building other types of smartphone apps must adopt this strategy if they are to maximize their mobile app revenues.”

Wired’s Editor-In-Chief Chris Anderson explained why the freemium model is not only attractive to consumers, but profitable for producers in a 2009 talk at Y Combinator’s Startup School. In his estimation, free users aren’t freeloaders at all and it’s okay to let the minority of paid users subsidize the majority paying nothing. In a market based on social bonds, free users publicize the app more effectively than any advertiser by recommending it to their friends.

To hear it from the experts, freemium is a business model that can’t miss. However, a large cohort of would-be millionaires whose freemium apps were released to a chorus of one-star reviews on the App Store would disagree. What many developers fail to realize is that they need to make users fall in love with their freemium app, or at least see some value in it before they demand payment via in-app microtransactions or a paid “Pro” version of the app.

A quick perusal of some of the top grossing freemium apps on iTunes and their reviews reveals the not-so secret formula for a freemium app that charms customers instead of frustrating them: give first timers enough virtual currency to explore the game, allow the game to be fully enjoyed without in-app purchases, and don’t overwhelm users with intrusive or irrelevant ads. The more time they spend enjoying the app, the more likely customers are to pay a few bucks to skip the tedious parts or explore new add-ons.

Elaine Hirsch is kind of a jack-of-all-interests, from education to technology to public policy, so she is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about all these things instead.


Who’s really talking and who’s actually texting on their mobile phones?

Although it may seem as if everyone in American now has a cellular phone – and a good many do – a report from NielsenWire indicates that some consumers are talking, some are texting and some do a little of everything.

So, who is talking the most? African Americans. According to the NielsenWire report African Americans consume more than 1,300 mobile minutes each month. Comparatively, Hispanic consumers talk about 826 minutes and Asian/Pacific Island consumers talk about 692 minutes each month. Caucasian consumers talk about 647 minutes per month.

What about texters? Turns out African Americans are also texting the most, sending and receiving about 780 messages each month. Hispanic consumers send and receive about 767 messages and Caucasian consumers text about 566 times per month. Asian/Pacific Island consumers text about 384 times per month.

The report also indicates:
• Women talk for more than 850 minutes (monthly)
• Women send or receive texts more than 600 times per month
• Men talk for roughly 665 minutes (monthly)
• Men about 447 times per month
• Teens text more than adults, sending/receiving nearly 3,000 messages per month
• Southern and Mid-Western states, along with New York are more apt to talk via mobile
• Pennsylvania, Ohio, Alabama, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming and Utah consumers are most likely to text

Although most Americans are talking and texting, many still find texting ‘instrusive’. According to a recent report from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Lift Project, 72% of US adults are texting but more than 85% find it rude when other people text or check their mobiles while holding a conversation.

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bizM3 Talks Mobile at SIMA And BRA’s Second Annual Industry Boot Camp In Huntington Beach CA

By Kailee Bradstreet

SIMA and BRA hosted the second annual Industry Boot Camp at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach Monday, November 8, and Tuesday, November 9, featuring a strong line up of experts in a myriad of fields both within and outside the industry. The panel and guest speaker seminars touched on a wide range of topics including sourcing trends, mobile commerce, print advertising, and buyer and rep relationships.

“Our goal is to create a meaningful forum for both manufacturers and retailers consisting of education and inspiration,” says SIMA President Doug Palladini.

Photo Credit: Brent Hilleman, courtesy SIMA

Highlights from Monday’s seminars included a keynote speech from industry veteran Tommy Knapp, who outlined some of the key things to remember when starting a brand, such as establishing credibility and authenticity by not giving away free product, identifying the end customer as the specialty retailer, and finding a point of differentiation from other products in the market. Other presentations included detailed tips on e-commerce from Sage Island and Warehouse Skateboards owner Mike Duncan, and a look at specialty retail product collaborations in the form of four case studies from Reef, DC shoes, Vestal and Element.

Day one wrapped up with an industry dinner party at Sol Cocina in Newport Beach drawing retailers, brands and other industry members out to network and catch up after what BRA President Mike Duncan and SIMA Executive Director Sean Smith acknowledge during their Boot Camp opening address as a tough past week in Action Sports.

Tuesday followed a similarly stacked line up of knowledgeable speakers, including Mandi Dossin, partner and general manager for DGWB Advertising and Communications, who discussed the importance of print advertising in a rapidly evolving media landscape. While publications must evolve and adapt to developing technology such as the iPad, mobile apps and online subscription models, print magazines still remain an important part of the equation according to a study cited by Dossin that said 93% of adults still read magazines and 66% of U.S. consumers said magazine ads influenced their decision to make a purchase.

Hank Mondaca, Sales & Marketing Strategist at bizM3’s addressed the opportunity to reach our industry’s target demographic through mobile marketing. He stressed that the need to create a mobile database is important to reach to engage this audience with brands and direct sales. He also mentioned that with more and more people accessing social media through the mobile phone, a mobile strategy should strongly be considered.

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