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

Millennials still prefer SMS to communicate with businesses. What more proof do you need to offer this medium?

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Today’s Mobile Movement Update

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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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Mobile Outlook for Business in 2016

Mobile Research For Your 2016 Marketing Plans

I’ve got one word for your 2016 marketing:Mobile.

Ignore mobile at your peril.

Mobile isn’t about you, your product or your brand.

Mobile is about reaching your prospects, customers and audience where, when and how they want to interact with you. This isn’t a new message, I’ve been trying to tell you this for 5 years now…. 

Mobile marketing success requires contextual relevance. Specifically your audience expects to get easy-to-find, useful-to-current-need-and-location content fast. They want instant information gratification.

2016 Mobile Marketing Trends

woman with smartphone-1

1. 2016 Mobile usage

Mobile, specifically smartphones, is our constant companion. It’s where your audience spends its time.

  • 73% of people always have their mobile device with them (October 2015 Facebook research).
  • People pick up their mobile devices 150 to 200 times a day. Result: Almost 30 billion US mobile moments per day total. (Forrester)
  • Mobile sessions average 1 minute 10 seconds or 177 minutes per day.(2014 Google data)

Before you integrate this research into your 2016 mobile marketing strategy, let’s put that into global perspective:

  • 4.8 billion people globally will use mobile phones in 2016 (Forrester Research).
  • 75% of Internet users went online via a mobile device at the end of 2015. In 2016, mobile devices aren’t only the most popular or commonly owned device, but also they’re starting to overtake all other devices in terms of time spent online (GlobalWebIndex).

Mobile Internet Access

US adults engage in a variety of mobile activities including video, radio (including Pandora) and social media (including Facebook).

US Adult time spent on mobile

                        US Adult time spent on mobile

16 to 24 year olds spend an average of 3.25+ hours per day online on a mobile. Younger demographic mobile usage has grown at a faster rate than older ones.

Mobile Time Spent Online By Age-Chart-3Q2015


Online mobile usage is growing fastest in areas where there’s lower Internet penetration, namely Latin America and the Middle East/Africa.

Mobile Time Spent Online By Global Region- Chart-3Q2015

BUT, India breaks the mobile mold.

  • 85% of India’s digital population access the Internet via mobile, an increase of 30 percent since 2Q2012. During this period, Internet access via PCs/laptops remained stable.
  • Average mobile time doubled to 3 hour per day in 3Q2015 from 1.5 hours per day in 2Q2012.
  • 40% of mobile web users share their handset with someone else. This trend differs from any other market (GlobalWebIndex).
  • 11% of India’s Internet users live in rural areas yet represent 70% of India’s population.
  • No brand dominates the Indian mobile market. Samsung (40%) has the largest market share.

Indian Internet Penetration - 3Q2015 - Chart

Indian Mobile Device Sharing - Chart- 3Q2015

Indian Smartphone Market - 3Q2015- Chart

Bottom line: We’re approaching a Mobile Tipping Point when mobile usage exceeds that of all other devices combined. Global Web Index predicts this will happen in 2018.

Your mobile connected and savvy customer (B2B or B2C) demands a quality mobile customer experience.

  • Roughly 50% of US consumers expect to find the information they want or need based on their context on their mobile device.
  • Only 14% of companies Forrester surveyed use mobile to transform their customer experiences. Examples include Apple Pay, Starbuck order-ahead, mobile boarding passes.

Make marketing mobile first to reach your maximum potential audience.

  • Only 25% of companies will fully integrate mobile into their overall business strategies to transform their customer experience (Forrester Research).

Actionable 2016 mobile marketing tactics:

  1. Focus on people, your target audience in particular. Reach them when and where they’re ready to engage with you. Concentrate your marketing on your audience not devices or channels. You need a seamless process. Be prepared to track and attribute customer interactions cross channels.
  2. Understand your customer’s buying process. With a variety of devices and channels available, most prospects no longer go from initial connection to purchase. Research and shopping often occurs across devices or channels.
  3. Plan for thumb action. Appreciate how your various potential audiences will use their mobile device to find, research and purchase your product.


2. 2016 Mobile marketing

Be present on mobile so people can find you when and where they’re ready to engage with you.

  • Have mobile websites (65%) and mobile apps (65%), the top B2B marketing mobile tactics.

Mobile Marketing Charts Used By B2B Marketers - Chart

  • Anticipate your prospects’ mobile needs and provide appropriate information.
  • 29% of visitors immediately switch to another site if they don’t get what they need. Every second counts!!!

Mobile Speed Needed –2015 Google-1-1

  • Reduce steps. Mobile owners may use voice search or have trouble with a small screen. Also, offer other options such as phone.
  • Make calls-to-action easy-to-see and respond to. Think fat fingers.

Mobile up, website down

Actionable 2016 mobile marketing tactics:

  • Talk to your prospects and customers to understand how and when they want your information on a smartphone device. Don’t guess–ask!!!
  • Think mobile first. Include mobile in your overall marketing plans.
  • Give customers a reason to buy in your store. Offer them a special deal or other incentive.

3. 2016 Mobile apps

Marketers must make their app critical to their audience’s regular activities or tap into larger third party providers (like Google or Facebook) where their audience already spends their time.

  • 84% of US consumer mobile time per month is in 5 or less apps. Of this, retailers, banks and travel apps collectively receive less than 10-15% of mobile moments measured in minutes (Forrester Research).

Total 15 US Mobile Apps in 2015 - comScore - Chart

Actionable 2016 mobile marketing tactics:

  • Plan for placement on third-party mobile apps. This may require budget just like advertising or content placement. Even if you have your own mobile app, you’ll probably still need the additional reach.

4. 2016 Mobile email

Email can be a filler activity. Translation: Employees read email and other content during their daily commute or other non-work hours.

53.5% was the mobile open share for 3Q2015 US marketing emails. Specifically, email click-to-open rates for 3Q2015 US marketing emails (Yesmail) were:

  • 2015 mobile click-to-open rates were 13.7% up 1.6 percentage points from 3Q2014.
  • 2015 desktop click-to-open rates were 18.0%, down 3.8 percentage points from 3Q2014.

Email opens by device - 2015 Chart

Email opens by device – 2015 Chart

Similarly, 48% of all emails were opened on computers, 40% were opened on mobile phones and e-readers, and 12% were opened on tablets according to 2Q2015 Experian data.

Customers check your email based on use:

  • Business emails were opened most on computers.
  • Multi-channel retailers were opened most on smartphones.
  • Travel emails were opened most on tablets.

Email opens by business type and device -2Q2015-Chart

Actionable 2016 mobile marketing tactics:

  • Check email readability and rendering on mobile devices. Often this depends on your email provider. Unlike other aspects of your 2016 mobile marketing, this service shouldn’t require additional work on your part.

5. 2016 Mobile search

Mobile search supports and improves your other marketing goals.

  • 46% improvement in unaided brand awareness through mobile search.
  • 51% of people find new companies via mobile search (Google).
  • 53% of smartphone owners feel more favorable to businesses providing instructional videos. Don’t forget that you can use YouTube to help you.

Mobile search supports sales - Google

Location matters for mobile

Location data matters. It has an impact on your marketing and results.

Location data types - Graphic

Voice mobile search

Voice mobile search continues to gain traction as smartphones improve and owners get used to it. Only 13% of users have NEVER used this function. 

Mobile Voice Search-16-34 year olds-International-Chart-3Q2015-GlobalWebIndex-1

Mobile Voice Search - GraphicMobile Voice Search – Graphic

Actionable 2016 mobile marketing tactics:

  • Include a separate budget for mobile search. Make sure your phone number, address and email appear in results.
  • Claim your location on maps. 
  • Be visible on search alternatives like Yelp and TripAdvisor. 

6. 2016 Mobile commerce (or Mcommerce)

Mcommerce defined

Mobile commerce is the process of making a purchase transaction using a handheld device. More broadly mcommerce includes pre-purchase research through post-purchase support. You must streamline your buying process as much as possible to reduce steps and time. 

Mobile commerce transactions are expected to reach $115 billion in 2015 and $142 billion in 2016. Mobile commerce accounts for 35% of ecommerce. By 2020, mcommerce will account for 49% of ecommerce ($252 billion) due to its 17% compound annual growth rate. (Forrester).

  • 82% of people consult their phone regarding a purchase they’re about to make in a store. (Google)

Most mobile sales follow into 3 categories:

  • Apparel
  • Consumer electronics
  • Media 

US Mobile Commerce - 2015 to 2020 - Forrester Chart

Mobile Commerce-Chart-3Q2015-GlobalWebIndex-1

In 2014, retailers spent $1.2 million on smartphone investments and $550,000 on tablet investments (Forrester). Invest your marketing budget in:

  • Making checkout easier. Consider the phone speed.
  • Optimizing emails for smartphones
  • Increasing product reviews.
  • Getting prospects to visit your retail location.

As a marketer be prepared to respond to each step of the mobile purchase journey.  Location matters.

  • Make online purchase.
  • Make in-store purchase.
  • Get customer service or make appointment.
  • Get directions to physical location.
  • Tell others.

Mobile purchase interactions

 Shifting mobile purchase behavior

The number of people making mobile purchase transactions steadily increased to 30% in 4Q2015 (24% on a phone and 6% on a tablet) (Facebook IQ).The frequency of mobile purchases increased 35%.

  • Translation: More people bought on a smartphone and they purchased more often.

Mcommerce increase - Chart

 Cross-channel shopping

Cross-channel shoppers used computers over smartphones or tablets to purchase for these reasons (Facebook):

  • 54% of respondents thought bigger screens were easier to use for transactions.
  • 54% of respondents liked seeing all available products on a larger screen.
  • 26% of respondents found getting sufficient purchase information and product/retailer comparison difficult on a small screen.
  • 26% of respondents had trouble entering their data on a smartphone.

Mobile shopper's journey - Research data

Younger demographics are more likely to purchase via smartphones. Also, in regions like the Middle East where there’s better cellular than Internet service, mcommerce is used more often.

Customers use both computers and smartphones to research products but they’re more comfortable purchasing via a computer. This is particularly true of expensive, high-consideration products like cars and insurance.

Mobile Commerce - Research vs Purchase chart

For less important purchases, customers use their smartphone to research products and make choices while purchasing on a computer or at retail.

GlobalWebIndex points out that some mcommerce requires smartphone owners to have a payment app installed and to be willing to use it to make purchases. Current services include Google Wallet, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay.

Apple Pay Chart

This research didn’t include the growing use of products like Square where the seller handles the purchase process. For example, my hairdresser uses Square to handle transactions and I get an email to track my purchases.

It’s still early in the mobile payment adoption process. Therefore people are more likely to use their mobile device to make small regular or impulse purchases rather than expensive, high consideration purchases.

Multi-screen attribution matters.

  • 40% of businesses use first or last touch attribution. Remember you have customers, regardless of which device they use. (Google)
  • 90% of people use multiple devices for purchase related activities.(Google)
  • 40% of people who research purchase via a smartphone buy via a computer. (Google)

Cross device data increases mobile conversions across categories. (Google)But understand that this is a major hurdle for many businesses.

Cross device data improves results - Chart

Actionable 2016 mobile marketing tactics:

  • Incorporate ways to track mobile research and purchase into your marketing. 

7. Wearables

The Internet of Things (aka IoT) has been on the radar for several years. It includes wearables, your home, your television and your car. To increase adoption, people must see its value to their lives.

Given the extreme speed of smartphone growth, wearables have lost some of their edge. People view these products as accessories, not for core enduser experiences. Many use targeted smartphone apps to accomplish the same functionality as a wearable.

  • 5 million US adults 18+ used wearables, including smartwatches and fitness trackers in 2015, up 57.7% over 2014. People wear these accessories or clothing at least once per month embedded with Internet-connected electronics and exchange data with a manufacturer or other connected device.
  • 7 million US adults are expected to own wearables by 2018 (eMarketer). Older Americans are expected to drive wearable growth when wearable health monitoring devices are available. Wearables will become a fashion statement as price decrease.
  • 74% of respondents plan to purchase a wearable device within the next year. Fitness is the key reason: 30% will purchase a fitness app and 27% will purchase afitness wearable. Smartwatches tend to be owned by younger, more affluent demographics. The challenge is still increased functionality.

US Adult Wearable Usage-2015 data-Chart- eMarketer

Wearable Usage By Age-2015-Chart - eMarketer

Wearables Consumers Plan to Buy-2015-Chart - eMarketer-1

The analysis overlooks the issue of tiny screen size for older demographics. Perhaps a smartwatch with voice activation may be better adapted to this market’s needs.

Context is key to 2016 mobile marketing

Where have you heard this before? (Again, for the last 5 years!)

Unlike PCs, your 2016 mobile marketing must be dynamic. It depends on where and what your audience is doing at that specific time and location. Their content matters. You need to deliver the right message at the right time based on your audience’s location and needs.

To tap into the 30 billion US mobile moments per day, Integrate your mobile and desktop marketing plans to respond to your audience on their terms, not yours.



A special thank you to my colleague Heide Cohen for putting this information together from the Forrester 2016 Mobile And App Marketing Trends Report. Heidi can be found here: 

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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Do You Offer WiFi in Your Store? Should You?


Any business owner will tell you that offering free Wi-Fi for guests is never free. 

Like all other monthly expenses that plague a business’s profit, Internet is too costly a resource to just give away. There are ways to generate a return on the monthly investment of providing Internet for your guests, such as collecting info through Wi-Fi sign-ons for your marketing database. You can also prompt them to follow/like/check-in on your company’s social media pages or submit a review using Yelp. These tactics are known as Wi-Fi marketing, as they assist your marketing strategy using the power of Wi-Fi.

Connect with Social Wi-Fi

Did you know that 77% of consumers spend more time in venues with Wi-Fi and 63% spend more money? Turnstyle transforms your Wi-Fi network into a powerful marketing asset that builds your customer database, promotes your business and collects valuable insights.

Engage with Campaigns

Location-based marketing is quickly becoming an essential part of every retailer’s business strategy. 72% of consumers are more likely to respond to marketing messages when they are received within sight of the retailer.

Measure with Analytics

“What gets measured, gets managed”, holds true for any organization. Our analytics feature takes the guess work out of determining the success of your marketing campaigns, while also giving you deep customer insights.

Retail Segment Average Sales Increase (%) Average EBITA %

Revenue Before WiFi/Mobile

Average EBITA %

Revenue After WiFi/Mobile

% Increase in EBITA
Overall 5.4% 5.5% 6.4% 17.3%
General Merchandise 6.5% 6.2% 8.2% 32.1%
Food, Drug, C-Stores 0.9% 4.8% 5.1% 5.8%
Hospitality 5.2% 6.1% 7.2% 17.4%

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It’s Not about Social OR Mobile, It’s about Social AND Mobile

Eighty-four percent of mobile owners say they use their devices while watching TV to socialize with friends and surf the Web. Of those, more than one million a day use Twitter to comment on the programs they’re watching.

What does this point to? It points to the fact that the days of considering social and mobile as two separate items are over. There is no social or mobile. There’s only social and mobile.

Here’s another fact worth considering: Facebook has nearly a billion users who access the platform via a mobile device. Even more amazing is that the majority of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile ads. That’s right – Facebook makes more money off of mobile than they do off of desktop. 

So, how can you use mobile to connect with your prospects and customers? mobile-social-media

The starting point is to wrap your mind around mobile marketing in general. By understanding the fundamentals of mobile marketing, it’ll be easier to see how to use social and mobile to connect with your prospects and customers.

Let’s start with a key fact-we’re a nation of multi screeners. In other words, we don’t simply use TVs or computers or smartphones or tablets to gather information about products or services. Instead, we use TVs and computers and smartphones and tablets to gather information.

Given that, it’s important that any mobile campaign integrate seamlessly into a larger marketing program. Traditionally, this meant that a mobile campaign would be reverse-engineered to fit back into the larger marketing program. In other words, businesses would develop their marketing campaigns and then insert a mobile marketing campaign into the larger program.

But a more sophisticated approach is to actually think mobile first. After all, in the very near future, the primary way your consumer will connect with your brand will be via mobile device. In other words, mobile should be thefoundation of your marketing program, not an afterthought.

It’s important to consider the environment your prospect will be in while using their mobile device. Will they be entering a restaurant and using their smartphone to check in on Facebook? Will they be using a tablet to tweet to friends while watching TV? Or will they be uploading a photo to Instagram while on vacation?

The likely result is that they’ll use their mobile devices in all of the aforementioned scenarios and many, many more. After all, part of what makes mobile relevant is that people have their mobile devices with them virtually all of the time. That includes while they’re at the store, while they’re watching TV, and while they’re in the office.

So, it’s your job as a marketer to engage them with your brand in a contextually relevant manner. In other words, it’s your job to provide them with information about your brand that takes into consideration where they are at the time they’re receiving your messages.

One of the biggest challenges for many marketers is that they don’t have a sense of the tools that are part of the mobile toolbox.

They might understand what a mobile website is and might even understand how it differs from a mobile app, but they still haven’t had a chance to see all the tools at one time. In other words, they haven’t explored each element to see how it might work with the other tools available to them.

Although new mobile tools are coming online with relative frequency, several are particularly important. What follows is a brief summary of each:

  • Mobile websites – This is a simplified and streamlined version of your desktop website that has been designed to appeal to a mobile visitor who is using their smartphone or a tablet to connect with your brand. If someone reads a Facebook post from their smartphone and clicks through on the link, you want them to land on a mobile-optimized web page, not a desktop web page, so the starting point for any effective social/mobile campaign is a mobile-optimized website
  • SMS and MMS – Short Message Service and Multimedia Message Service are systems that enable brands to send texts or rich media (graphics, video, audio) to prospects and customers.
  • Mobile apps – Not to be confused with mobile websites, these mini software programs reside in the smartphone or tablet and can be used by brands to provide information or e-commerce with prospects or customers. All of the major social media platforms have mobile apps. And some of them, such as Snapchat and Foursquare, are mobile-only social/mobile platforms.
  • QR codes – These are small checkered square icons you see on posters, ads, and other printed materials. Only 19 percent of the U.S. population has scanned a QR code, so they’ve never really gained widespread adoption. Even so, some companies still use them quite effectively.
  • Mobile display ads – These are also known as mobile banner ads and are a great way to drive new prospects to a mobile website. The CTR on mobile display ads is often 5 to 10 times greater than the CTR on desktop display ads.
  • Mobile paid search – Identical to desktop paid search, except for the fact that it’s customized for mobile. The largest and best known players in this field are Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

Action steps for you.

Here are some immediate action steps to help you dive in to social/mobile. For detailed descriptions or for customized solutions to fit your own goals and objectives, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Here goes:

  1. Start using social/mobile. You’d be surprised how many people have never clicked through on a mobile display ad, updated their Facebook page from a smartphone, or used Instagram to connect with friends. You won’t fully understand social/mobile until you use social/mobile.
  2. Run a kick-off campaign. Running a native ad campaign on Facebook has never been easier. And, of course, using Foursquare, Yelp, or some other social/mobile platform is a piece of cake. Just dive in!
  3. Test your way to success. Because all social/mobile platforms are digital, it’s easy to track your results. By doing so, you’ll be able to see which platforms work best for your business. Just remember to give your campaigns enough time to get some statistically viable information. (For example, running a campaign for one week probably isn’t enough time to get an accurate read — unless it’s a total failure. A more appropriate time is anywhere from one to three months.)

The above post is an excerpt from my good friend Jamie Turner in his book How to Make Money with Social Media