Taylor Kennedy

Mobile Interaction: Website or app? Optimize for both

January 20th, 2015

Over the past several years, marketers have often been faced with the conundrum of where to allocate funds in order to better compete in the mobile space. Should I focus my budget on the mobile app for my business, on making the website optimized for multiple device types (responsive or adaptive) or should I attempt to do both?

 

Take user behavior into account

While I feel like the question above has been well documented in other resources, I think one of the most important concepts to keep in mind is that whether you are focusing on a mobile app or on your website, user behavior should be considered first.

As the expectations of the billions of users with mobile devices continue to converge, the question should no longer focus on which medium (the mobile web or an app) you should focus on connecting with your users on, but instead on how you can most effectively connect with them no matter which medium you choose.

Luckily, there are numerous transferable principles between the world of app interaction and web design that can be applied with relatively little effort on your part.

 

Visual attention vs. interaction

Visual attention vs interaction

 

Don’t forget the classics. Despite the ever-expanding screen sizes of devices,  in most regions, people still start reading at the top left of their device. However, it is important to remember that on touch-reliant devices, interacting with content at the top of the screen with your thumb has become increasingly more difficult as screen sizes in mobile devices have grown.

Why do you think Apple implemented a new “Reachability” control on the iPhone 6 that brings content from the top of the screen down about a third of the phone?

This being said, whether you have an app or a mobile site, make sure you prioritize content you want read at the top of the screen, but be selective in placing content you want interacted with at the top of most screens.

For items such as buttons, filters, drop-downs, quick navigation, etc., consider utilizing real-estate toward the bottom of the screen instead of toward the top to make the user’s life easier. Menus and navigation are still generally better at the top of the screen as the menu “hamburger” (see screenshot below) now seems to be so ubiquitous that it has become web-standard for responsive sites  Techcrunch also offers a great article on mobile navigation and reasons to “kill the hamburger” here.

 

Website or app?

Website or app?

 

If an element is interactive and may require explanation, one key thing to remember is to ensure that an explanation is utilized in close proximity to the source of the element. Don’t assume that your visitor is going to intuitively “get it” right away.

In my own experience designing and developing apps, our team learned this lesson the hard way. Take a look at the screen-shot below.

The object the visitor interacts with is at the bottom of the screen. A vital piece of information for the visitors experience was easily missed at the top left of the screen because users were immediately opting to start playing.  Can you see the difference?

 

Not this, but this

 

The wind speed was critical to the overall user experience, and we placed it at the top of the screen, away from the object the visitor was interacting with.  Even worse, we chose a design aesthetic we thought looked great but actually obscured the wind speed even more.

Another tactic, is to offer visitors or users a tutorial on how to use the app or mobile site for the first time. This might be a good option for more complex apps or mobile websites.

Community

 

Whether you are creating an app or a responsive website, the basics of usability ring as true today as they have in 2011.

 

You might also like

B2B Web Optimization: 140% surge in mobile transactions through responsive design effort [MarketingSherpa case study]

Marketing Research Chart: Optimization of mobile efforts [MarketingSherpa chart]

B2C Marketing: Top takeaways of the year on mobile optimization, retargeting and behavior-based personalization [MarketingSherpa case study]

Mobile Marketing: Optimizing the evolving landscape of mobile email marketing [MarketingSherpa webinar archive]

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Daniel Burstein

Global Ecommerce: The $1.2 trillion opportunity outside North America

January 16th, 2015

According to eMarketer, a marketing research company, ecommerce sales are expected to hit $1.771 trillion this year — with $1.233 trillion of those sales coming from outside North America.

Keeping this figure in mind, I sat down with Don Davis, Editor-in-Chief, Internet Retailer, after his trip to Shanghai to get some tips and advice for you as you expand your ecommerce business internationally:

 

We talked about the similarities and differences to the U.S. market, challenges of fulfillment and the important of trust to the Chinese consumer.

For example, when discussing trust, Don said, “Ratings and reviews are really important in China, because there are still a lot of fakes.”

Read more…

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Categories: International Marketing, Marketing Tags: , , ,

Daniel Beulah

How to Market Your Nonprofit like a Space Program

January 13th, 2015

When I was young, my father worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., as a technician. One day, he brought my brother and I back into his lab, which was filled with guys in white lab coats looking very important, whirling around equally important-looking machines that permeated the room with an orchestra of electronic sounds and blinking red light bulb eyes.

From that moment on, I was enthralled with NASA, space and the very concept of putting something on a rocket and shooting it into the void. It was only till a lot later in life that I realized the rest of the world was not as interested in the space program as I was.

Example 1Two of the world’s greatest space programs were born in the late 1950s when the Soviet space program and NASA competed against each other in a variety of missions.

The intent was to project military power and to facilitate national pride.

But it was expensive.

In the 1960s, during the Apollo program, America at one point spent up to 4% of the national budget on NASA.

Fast forward to today and NASA, to many, is seen as a luxury program — unpopular with most people and overfunded for its results.

It’s lost some of the grandeur of the past and is disconnected from the people. Government agencies that aren’t vital to the survival of a nation are irrevocably linked to their popularity.

The more popular a program, the less likely it is that budget makers will cut its budget. Because of this, space agencies all over the world have started a major marketing media campaign to renew the 1960s passion of space exploration.

 

What space agencies can teach about improving your marketing

To re-inspire interest they have used a variety of techniques that the every marketer can use, especially those marketing single events or nonprofit organizations.

The ESA (European Space Agency) recently landed an unmanned lander on a comet. They used this event to gain brand awareness with a calculated marketing effort in traditional media and social media. To do so, they released data from the lander as it came in and held a live video conference as the lander landed.

This entailed flooding social media with updates on the landers progress and holding a video Q-and-A. They targeted potential “customers” — such as taxpayers and youth interested in space — with a strategic individualized marketing plan that began years before the event.

This was the fruit of years of effort of getting people involved and building a social web of interested individuals who would spread the awareness of ESA into nontraditional social circles. The greatest success comes through a detailed plan and the ESA’s plan has its roots in a 1998 paper written about how space organizations can market like nonprofits by Ph. Willekens and W.A. Peeters.

They conclude their paper with a very important message for marketers:

For nonprofit organisations, as for commercial companies, ‘marketing’ involves a mixture of elements, analogous to the ingredients for a cooking recipe. The marketing ‘strategy’ forms the key for the preparation of a set of actions directed towards a clearly defined customer or target group. The various target groups as far as the ESA is concerned are: the taxpayers (general public) as ESA’s main ‘end customer’, the youngsters as ESA’s future ‘end-customers’ …

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Taylor Kennedy

Mobile Marketing: How mobile impacts customer awareness

January 9th, 2015

I’ve always felt that the aphorism about true wisdom being a byproduct of first admitting you don’t know everything to be accurate.

When I attended the ClickZ Live conference in Chicago last October, I got the chance to be exposed to some great new content. However, I felt one of the stories still being told was something I’ve been hearing on repeat since 2011. The story I’m talking about is that of mobile marketing and how it is the “wave of the future.”

We here at Sherpa have been preaching the shift in marketing budgets to mobile for years as well — just take a look back at this chart from last April.

chartofweek-04-15-14

 

Taking a look at some of the mobile channel data

I don’t think there’s any argument on where the industry is going anymore. That being said, I do feel that some of the most convincing data about focus on mobile is being under-utilized by marketers, or even worse, it’s being used by marketers to justify decisions that are not in the best interest of their business — decisions that will not show the best ROI and could be spent more effectively in other channels.

Working on partnerships in different industries over the past several years, I have seen both the good side and bad side of the mobile revolution, while making plenty of mistakes along the way. Seeing just how terrible mobile conversion rates can be compared to other channels is often disheartening.

It’s not enough to just say “mobile is the future.” We need something more actionable. Marketers admitting as an industry that we don’t know everything is the first step.

Read more…

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Jessica Lorenz

Email Marketing: Creating a customer profile

January 6th, 2015

At IRCE 2014, Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS Institute, sat down with Pete Prestipino, Editor-in-Chief, Website Magazine, to discuss email marketing strategy in a constantly connected world.

“Customers are omnichannel,” Pete explained. “So retailers today … really need to focus on building a very rich profile of the user to understand exactly where they’re coming from at the exact time, and historically where they’ve spent their online consumptive behavior.”

When it comes to connecting via email, Pete recommended asking yourself three things:

 

1. How often will we be sending? How often do we need to send?

Determining how often your customers will hear from you is essential in developing a strategy. Pete indicated that all forms of email — including order confirmations — are included in this plan. All correspondence that necessarily comes on behalf of your company is included as a marketing email send.

 

2. How can email reflect the product?

“Selling a grand piano is a lot different from selling a pair of shoes,” Pete said. The product should indicate how often you should be in contact with your customers. Large or complex purchases may need more content, testimonials and consideration than a 10% off promotional email every three months.

 

3. What do we need to accomplish?

This question transcends the content and design aspects of your marketing emails and strikes right to the core of your message: Why? Closely linked to your value proposition, this question should be the crux of your campaign. Is this a complex sale, where you have to build trust or a rapport, or is it a simpler sales process?

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Paul Cheney

Copywriting: What software startup YNAB knows about creating compelling copy for a new product

January 2nd, 2015

New products make it incredibly difficult to write effective copy. Most of the time the customer coming to the page has no idea what the product is or how it works, but more importantly, they also have no idea why it matters for them.

To really help your customers understand why a product or service is relevant to them, your copy has to build a “problem.” Take this video for YNAB product that helps you budget in a new way:

 

I don’t know if you caught it or not, but they spend a full 43 seconds of their 1:52 second video building to the problem. Out of all the problems built in copywriting, video or otherwise, this one is one of the best.

So what do they do to build their problem?

 

1. They have a clear objective.

You can’t begin to build a problem without a map to the overall objective. The objective of this video is to introduce the product and get people poking around on the website.

Without an objective, you might just be building a problem that you’ll never be able to help your customers out of.

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Jessica Lorenz

Tweetables: Top 10 MarketingSherpa posts of 2014 (according to you)

December 30th, 2014

It seems like only a short time ago I was sitting at my desk, staring at a fresh new calendar in front of me — an act that spurred feelings of intimidation, daunt and excitement.

But that was 12 whole months ago.

Over the past year, our team of bloggers have written over 100 posts for the MarketingSherpa Blog alone. I’m pulling together the ones that you’ve shared the most over the past year with your friends and colleagues into a single tidy post.

Something that stood out as I sorted the top shares by category (content marketing, email marketing and social media) is that marketers are evolving their mindsets from company-focused messaging to customer-centric messaging.

 

Content Marketing

Although content marketing may no longer be considered shiny and new, marketers continue to learn how to harness their talents and abilities into this form. No longer are we only marketers, but we are also artists, authors and videographers who strive to reach customers in ways that were not possible only a few years before.

Bolstered by the rest of the categories covered in this post, content is now an essential lighthouse to guide your customer to conversion in a world of saturated and stormy information across the Web.

 

Posts you shared the most:

 

What your peers said:

Tweet 1
 

The above tweet is is reference to Content Marketing: 9 examples of transparent marketing.

  Read more…

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Jessica Lorenz

Essential Elements of Email Marketing: Experts interviewed from Email Summit 2014

December 26th, 2014

At Email Summit 2014, MarketingSherpa Reporter Allison Banko interviewed email marketing experts, asking, “What elements do you think are important to implement into your email campaigns this year?”

While responses to the question varied by industry and company size, experts remained keen on delivering constantly diversified experiences for customers.

Identifying elements of email that marketers can harness to see improvements in their campaigns captures the spirit of Email Summit. Leveraging experts that live, breathe and sweat email marketing to help attendees improve their email is a highlight marketers take back to the office.

The big takeaway: Find a way to break through the noise of the inbox.

“We’re going to continue to try to find ways to get close to our users so they feel like we understand them,” Ryan Blomberg, Director of Engineering, Eventful, answered when asked how he’s planning on improving his already award-winning personalization campaign.

Watch this compilation video below for more detailed tips on tactics that you can implement in your own email campaigns.

  Read more…

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Daniel Burstein

Ecommerce: Building online trust before customers click over to your competitors’ sites

December 23rd, 2014

All marketing is built on trust. Without trust, customers won’t subscribe to your email. They won’t open. They won’t click. And they certainly won’t buy.

Keeping this in mind, I interviewed Craig Spiezle, Executive Director and President, Online Trust Alliance, about security, privacy and consumer protection. I’ve also and provided tips on how you can build trust with your customers.

 

“Privacy policies were written by attorneys, for attorneys,” Craig joked. “And you need three attorneys to figure them out. It’s a great job enhancement thing for the legal profession. It does nothing for consumers.”

Read more…

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Jessica Lorenz

Paid Search: 3 things you should know while running a PPC campaign

December 19th, 2014

“You cannot sit down and wait for shoppers to get to your site,” said Victor Yacaman, Ecommerce Director, Leonisa. Leonisa is the No. 1 provider of underwear in Latin America, with 52% of sales generated from paid search.

With the ability to track and measure visitors, it’s no wonder PPC has continued to be widely used by retail marketers, “[which] means you can spend more dollars on the things that are working and less dollars on the things that aren’t working” said Timothy Seward, Founder and CEO, ROI Revolution.

Timothy referenced a recent study by Shop.org via Forrester, saying that, on average, “46% of [marketers’] online retail marketing budgets is spent on paid search.”

PPC ads offer a way of quickly determining ROI. “What you can measure, you can improve,” offered Seward, making the platform an easy way to optimize messaging and placement.

The analytics behind the campaign isn’t the only tool that PPC provides. In a world of big data, ad targeting can be remarkably precise.

“You can get every niche into very specific forms,” Yacaman stated, which is an interesting concept for underwear, if I do say so myself. The Leonisa team has a specific campaign for each type of product — whether it’s hosiery, shapewear or whitey tighties.

With such a variety of products and such a wide consumer base, Leonisa needed a targeted way to find its customers.

“Paid search was a solution for us because, through paid search, you can do bidding really heavily on those words where you have a really high conversion rate,” explained Yacaman.

When asked how marketers can improve their own PPC campaigns, the pair offered these three pieces of advice:

 

1. Identify your target customer and behavior patterns

By having “niche” ads for each product and each target audience, you’re helping the consumer find a solution that will serve them best. Having specialized campaigns contextualizes your ad in the mind of the customer and invites them to continue the conversation with you further in the buying funnel.

 

2. Determine the devices your customers use to access your site

“57% of customers in the U.S. are transacting with your website based on multiple devices,” said Seward. Customers don’t just browse on the family desktop in the living room anymore. They’re searching on their phone, reading reviews on their work computer and purchasing on their iPad later that night. Consumers have a volatile shopping experience, and your PPC ads need to accommodate their journey.

Read more…

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