Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Mobile’

Evidence-based Marketing: This blog post will not solve your most pressing marketing challenges…yet

June 23rd, 2011

Here at MECLABS, we have a pretty singular focus – to help you optimize your sales and marketing funnel. Or as I like to say in every email I write: Our job is to help you do your job better.

But, as Tom Cruise said to Katie Holmes (or maybe it was Cuba Gooding, Jr.), “Help me, help you.”

So evidence-based marketers, on what topic do you need more evidence? Evidence to help you understand what your peers are doing. Evidence to help you understand what really works. Evidence to do a little internal marketing to your business leaders (or for the agency folks out there, your clients)?

Below are a few key topics you’ve been telling us you want to learn more about. We’re trying to decide on the topic for our next MarketingSherpa Benchmark Report. In which topic should we invest 5 months of a research manager’s time digging into to discover the evidence you need.

Please take 7 seconds and rank them in order of importance in the poll below. Or if we missed a topic entirely, please tell us in the comments section below.

In no particular order, the nominees are…

  • Analytics – Using analytics and metrics to drive business decisions from which products to launch to which landing page works best to which content is most relevant to your audience.
  • Mobile – Mobile tactics can vary slightly or widely from traditional approaches, so how are marketers developing and implementing wireless strategies? How are marketers planning their budgets and measuring their results? And, for the love of all that is holy, when on Earth will I be able to view Flash on my iPad? OK, maybe not that last one. But seriously Steve, it would be nice.
  • E-commerce – What do direct sale sites view as the top opportunities for the upcoming year? Are they investing in site speed enhancement, conversion optimization, or both? And is social media impacting purchases?
  • Agency and vendor selection and management – What factors play into how marketers choose and compensate agencies? How do marketers determine if they need a software platform in a specific space? And if so, do they buy, go with open source, or attempt something homegrown? How do you get IT’s support in choosing a vendor? And then, more importantly, how do you get IT to stop talking about “Star Trek: The Next Generation” already?
  • Salary survey – How much does Bill make?  He hasn’t had a good idea since 1993. And his tuna salad lunches stink up the office. OK, if not Bill, then what about the rest of your peers. Are you being fairly compensated? And what should you pay your team?
  • Lead generation – Which information do marketers view as most valuable? How do they keep their databases updated and clean? Do marketers find third-party lists effective? And in an age of social media, do marketers value a big email list as much?
  • Content marketing and lead nurturing – Do my peers outsource content creation or do it in-house? If so, how? Do they have their own teams? Or just beg, borrow, and steal from other departments?

Interactive Print Ads via Mobile

September 8th, 2010

Offline ads are likely to get a refreshing breath of relevance as 2D barcode technology becomes more prevalent in mobile phones. The pixelated images can be added to magazine and billboard ads, for example, and scanned by mobiles phones to pull up various media, such as a product videos or landing pages.

Smartphone users who have the technology or who download and install the software simply have to point their phone’s camera and at one of the barcodes. The software then communicates with a server to send the user to a registration page, video, app download, or whatever the desired media may be.

Although less efficient, feature-phone users can take a picture of a code and send it via MMS to a specified phone number to load the desired media.

“There’s really nothing the end-user needs to know other than how to turn on their camera for this to work,” says Mike Wehrs, CEO, Scanbuy.

Scanbuy creates technology to enable cell phones to read barcodes, and also runs a backend system for renting 2D codes to businesses. Marketers can purchase one or a handful of codes and a set number of “scans,” or impressions. Then it’s as simple as defining what you want a phone to load after scanning a barcode, and adding the code to marketing materials.

“Done appropriately with the right kind of support and end-user prompting, you can get enormous positive results from the inclusion of a barcode,” Wehrs says.

Wehrs cites his team’s work with Verizon. Advertisements in Verizon stores encouraged new Android smartphone owners to scan 2D barcodes to instantly download new apps (samples of the ads). The team achieved 175,000 app downloads in the first month, Wehrs says.

Wehrs can rattle off many marketing opportunities the codes present. The codes, for example, can have the media they load changed over time. Products can have codes permanently applied to them, and when scanned, offer a new piece of media every month, creating on-going customer engagement.

There are many 2D barcode standards. Google has embraced the QR standard, which Scanbuy’s technology supports along with several other popular ones, Wehrs says. Take a look if you think your offline ads could benefit from offering mobile consumers deeper interaction.

Testing Mobile Pages — Simpler Than Thought

August 25th, 2010

Many marketers have yet to explore mobile webpages as a marketing opportunity. If you are putting off tests because you think they are too complicated, take a look at this case study on mobile page testing we published today.

Mike Brown, VP, Internet Optimization, Vegas.com, and his team tested if catering to a mobile audience could improve site performance. The team showed mobile visitors a homepage and category pages designed for their devices. The test was a proof-of-concept on whether to invest in an end-to-end mobile experience for Vegas.com.

The tests successfully improved site metrics such as bounce rate and conversion rate (see the case study for details), and Brown’s team plans to rollout more mobile pages this fall.

Brown said these tests were easier than his team anticipated. From our conversation, I understood two criteria the team met to successfully run them:

– Mobile traffic present

Testing mobile pages only makes sense if your website receives mobile traffic. The team looked at its site analytics and noticed mobile visitors accounted for 7% of traffic, and growing rapidly.

– Testing and page design expertise

The team had extensive testing experience with Brown as the head of Internet Optimization. Also, the team used SiteSpect‘s multivariate and A/B testing tool to run tests. SiteSpect team members helped Brown’s team learn to create mobile pages, which Brown noted was surprisingly easy.

So if your team has capable developers, some mobile traffic and good testing experience, there should be little preventing you from running similar tests. And remember: you don’t have to dive in with a full investment. Brown’s team only dipped its toe and is now comfortably moving forward.

Rich Media Mobile Ads

March 10th, 2010

As the mobile market continues to grow, mobile advertising opportunities are growing right along with it. The capabilities of the ads, too, are quickly expanding.

This week the Mobile Marketing Association released a Rich Media Mobile Advertising whitepaper. You can take a look at the free six-page guide to get a quick introduction to the types of rich mobile ads in the market (not including apps or games).

While mobile display advertising mimics some aspects of online display advertising, there is one key difference I noticed from the whitepaper’s examples. Mobile ads are more likely to expand into a full-screen experience—which is not a common feature in online display ads.

“As highly interactive and feature-rich smartphones continue to dominate new mobile device sales, rich media mobile ad units will comprise an ever-growing portion of the mobile advertisement display market in the U.S. and around the world,” according to the MMA’s whitepaper.

In the fourth quarter of 2009, an average of 19% of mobile advertisers used rich media mobile ad units, according to the whitepaper. These ads include:
o Ads with video, sound or interactive features
o Expandable ads
o Animated ads
o Floating ads

Take a look at the report for great examples from promotions involving The Weather Channel, Alice in Wonderland and Lincoln. The examples include high-quality screenshots and brief descriptions of the ads’ functionality.

If you’re interested in rich mobile advertising, the report can give you a few examples for inspiration, and a few guidelines around sizing, functionality, and why you should give users “close” and “skip” buttons in the ads.

Are you buying these types of ads? If so, let us know what you think of them in the comments…

Integrate SMS and Social Marketing

January 13th, 2010

Two of the latest marketing trends–social networking and SMS messaging–are becoming routine for some marketers, and their roles are becoming more clearly defined.

Chad Hallert, Director, Ecommerce, Eldorado Hotel Casino, and his team have experimented with building and promoting to a list of SMS subscribers since early 2009. In some ways, the team uses SMS similarly to how they use Facebook and Twitter. However, they’ve found SMS messages attract more immediate attention to promotions.

The team’s tried sending channel-specific promotions to SMS subscribers and social followers, but without fantastic results, Hallert says.

“We tried stand alone offers with mobile, social and email…when you break them up to pieces, nothing really competes with email, and the other two don’t look as valuable as they are.”

Instead, the real value of SMS and social are their ability to improve the results of an integrated campaign, Hallert says. He’s seen results improved by 5% to 8% by adding an SMS alert and Facebook updates to campaigns that already included website, paid search and email promotion.

This is due in part, Hallert says, to customers subscribing to more than one promotional outlet. A person who receives a text message and email about an offer is more likely to convert than a person who receives only one of the two.

The marketing power of the team’s SMS subscribers and social followers is likely to improve as the lists grow in size in relation to the team’s email subscribers. Currently, their SMS list is about 10% of their email list in size, Hallert says.

For now, the team is seeing social and mobile marketing add more value to integrated campaigns than the channels could generate by themselves. Watch our consumer marketing newsletter for a case study describing how Hallert’s team leveraged the immediacy of SMS to take advantage of the weather’s impact on hotel bookings.

GPS Ads Drive Store Traffic

October 30th, 2009

Marketers have increased response by segmenting online consumers by location, especially with paid search marketing. These strategies often use IP addresses to target online ads to visitors from specific regions or cities.

Now GPS is being added to mobile devices. The coordinates are accurate within a matter of feet, rather than miles. This is opening an opportunity for much sharper location-based advertising.

GPS-based location-driven ads have the potential to be very effective, according to a survey by Marketing Research Services Inc., on behalf of NAVTEQ. NAVTEQ provides digital mapping services to companies including Garmin and BMW.

MRSI sampled 757 users of NAVTEQ ad-enabled GPS devices who were 18 and older with an average household income over $50,000. They found:

o 72% viewed the ads as acceptable to the navigation experience

o At least 50% of respondents recalled seeing an ad for each of the advertised brands (aided and unaided)

o 19% of people who recalled seeing a specific ad clicked through for more information

o Up to 6% visited a business location because of seeing an ad on their navigation device

The release describing the survey lacks some important details, such as what the ads look like, if they included offers and what “up to 6%” really means. However, I do not dispute the validity of the data. I expect that GPS-targeted ads will become very popular and effective in the mobile advertising world.

Branded Value via Mobile

July 7th, 2009

Getting your target audience to have a positive experience with your brand is, of course, beneficial. However, not enough marketers are providing real value to their audiences, says Steve Rubel, SVP and Director of Insights, Edelman Digital. More marketers should strive to create a positive and useful experience in a branded context, he says.

Rubel is responsible for keeping Edelman Digital and its clients “ahead of the curve” with the latest ways to effectively manage public relations and marketing. He is also the author of the popular Micro Persuasion blog and maintains a personal Twitter feed with over 27,000 followers. Edelman is the largest independent PR firm in the world with 3,300 employees in 50 offices worldwide, Rubel says.

Rubel cited two companies that are providing useful, branded experiences via the iPhone:

1. Kraft’s iFood Assistant – this app sells for $0.99 in Apple’s iPhone store. It has the following features:
o Recipe browsing
o Recipe of the day
o Shopping lists
o Directions to nearby markets
o How-to cooking videos

2. Tylenol PM’s Sleep Tracker – this app is free and has the following features:
o Log your sleep hours and moods
o View your sleep and mood history over time
o Create a sleep journal
o Get tips for better sleeping

Of course, the iPhone is not the only channel for providing a valuable, branded experience. I am currently working on a Sherpa article that describes how marketers for a cable television channel created a series of SMS alerts that provided valuable, relevant tips alongside a reminder to tune in to a weekly show. The team was able to take a weekly reminder and make it more attractive by adding useful information.

Categories: Channel Marketing, Mobile Tags: , ,

Consumers’ Mobile Shopping Preferences

May 27th, 2009

Billing Revolution released some results today from a survey it commissioned on consumers’ mobile shopping preferences. Harris Interactive conducted the survey and queried 2,029 US adults, ages 18 and older, from April 29 to May 1 of this year.

Of adults who receive bills from cell phone and credit card companies, 57% said they trust card companies more than cell phone companies for accurate billing. Here’s a pie chart with more results (you can click it for a larger version):

consumer-sentiment_safety_final

Of mobile users, more younger users (59%; ages 18 to 34) thought it was at least somewhat safe to purchase through a mobile phone than older users (34%; ages 55+). More male mobile users thought it was at least somewhat safe (50%) than female users (39%).

Of those willing to make purchases:
o 75% would be willing to buy entertainment items, such as:
– Event/movie tickets (58%)
– Music (41%)
– Games (34%)
– Mobile video or TV content (24%)

o 68% would be willing to purchase food or drink items, such as:
– Pizza (59%)
– Fast food (42%)
– Coffee (25%)

o 43% would be willing to purchase hotel rooms
o 40% would be willing to purchase travel tickets

types-of-purchases_broken-into-categories

Mobile Campaigns for Luxury Cars

April 2nd, 2009

When browsing the Web today, I came across a report of a mobile marketing campaign by a luxury auto brand—not unlike the mobile case study from BMW we published in our B2C newsletter today. Mobile Marketing Magazine covered the campaign well last year, and I want to pass along a few choice bits from their report.

Jaguar Cars created a WAP site in 2007 to promote its new luxury car, the Jaguar XF. The site included:
– Images of the car
– High- and low-res videos
– Downloadable wallpapers
– Jaguar dealer locator
– Email submission form to request a brochure
– Performance stats, innovation info
– Quotes from the press

The site was launched in November to coincide with the Los Angeles Motor show, and was promoted solely through mobile banner ads on sites such as MSN Mobile and Yahoo! Mobile. The ads generated:
– Over 15 million ad impressions
– Over 85,000 UVs to the WAP site
– About a .6% CTR

Results seen on the WAP site include:
– 12,000 video downloads
– 16,000 wallpaper downloads
– Users clicking beyond the homepage stayed for about 2 minutes, 12 seconds, on average
– 1.2% of users submitted their email address for a brochure
– 2.6% of users located their nearest dealer

BMW and Jaguar are not the only auto brands dabbling in the mobile space. A San Diego-based Cadillac dealership ran an SMS campaign in January, and Kia launched a mobile site last year to promote its car Soul. It looks as if high performance, luxury auto brands–brands consumers associate with cutting edge innovation–are delivering campaigns in one of the newest, fastest growing platforms.

Three Conclusions From AMC, Mad Men/Twitter Flap

December 15th, 2008

I am a huge fan of the AMC television series Mad Men — a drama about the ad men and women of Madison Avenue in the 1960s. That’s why a blog post about the shutdown of Mad Men Twitter feeds caught my eye.

Apparently, fans were posing as Mad Men characters, creating Twitter profiles for them, and posting regular Twitter updates. AMC asked Twitter to shut down the feeds, which angered fans. Read more…