Whether it’s for email, social networking, search or online shopping, people simply can’t get away from their mobile devices. For marketers, this presents both a steep challenge and an incredible opportunity. How do you engage the right audience, with the right message, at the right time when people have so much control over the information they take in?

Implementing a flawless mobile marketing strategy is no simple task, but these 19 facts should help get you thinking about where to start.

  1. 31% of cell internet users “mostly” access the internet via mobile devices. (Pew)
  2. 75% of people favor mobile-friendly websites. (SnapHop)
  3. Mobile internet usage is expected to surpass desktop internet usage by 2014. (Microsoft)
  4. Mobile is responsible for 50% of local searches. (Microsoft)
  5. 86% of mobile users are on their devices while watching television. (Yahoo)
  6. More than 80% of mobile users claim a fast and reliable experience plays a role in how often they access a mobile website. (Gomez)
  7. 24% of users expect a mobile website to load in 3 seconds or less. (Gomez)
  8. 13% of mobile users say that they would never return to a mobile app if it did not work the first time. (Gomez)
  9. Between 2010 and 2012, there was a 69% increase in mobile share of web traffic in North America. In Asia, there was a 192.46% increase. (Pingdom)
  10. 21% of US tablet owners user their tablets to shop more than once a week. (emarketer)
  11. 88% of people use their mobile phone to check email daily. (Return Path)
  12. If all US mobile Internet time was condensed into one hour, 25 minutes would be spent on email. (Return Path)
  13. 63% of Americans would close/delete an email that is not mobile-optimized. (Return Path)
  14. Over half of US consumers who have purchased something using a smartphone have done so in response to a marketing message delivered by mobile email. (Return Path)
  15. Mobile subscriptions will surpass World Population this year. (MarketingProfs)
  16. The average American spends almost 3 hours per day socializing on his/her mobile device. (Microsoft)
  17. More than 33% of Facebook users are on Facebook Mobile. (Microsoft)
  18. Half of all Twitter users are on Twitter Mobile. (Microsoft)
  19. US mobile ad spend is estimated to reach $10.83 billion in 2016. (Mobile Marketer)

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An Advertising Age piece titled “What to Know About the Promise and Perils of Mobile Metrics” joined a chorus of media that has been focused on the subject of mobile measurement. Or, more accurately, the continuing perception of the complexity of mobile measurement.

The Ad Age piece by Primary Impact chief of insights Kathryn Koegel was, of course, preceded by some important research undertaken by entities such as Forrester Research, eMarketer, Interactive Advertising Bureau and Aberdeen Research. The research all focused on the nascent state of mobile program measurement and the challenges this presents to marketers who are tasked to drive strategy and demonstrate program ROI from this critically important medium.

All these pieces share a few common threads and they are:

Measuring mobile effectively is hard work: It involves breaking down many of the distinct mobile data silos that exist – SMS, mobile Web, applications and QR codes – and finding a solution capable of measuring all those key channels effectively.

Mobile marketers are flying blind: Mobile largely is not currently being measured by most brands. And where it is, brands and agency partners are struggling to effectively demonstrate ROI because they lack the data to do so.

Mobile is an experiment: Brands continue to treat mobile as experimental despite the fact that it has become a far more critical part of most programs today and will be even more so going forward.

What mobile strategy?: Mobile data is not being used to drive strategy and prioritize spend – though it absolutely should be.

More mobile, more problems: The mobile measurement problem will only grow larger as smartphones and tablets continue their explosive growth and new generations of mobile enterprise applications spur even greater mobile data consumption.

Interestingly enough, the Ad Age piece highlighted the fact that mobile is arguably the most measureable of all mediums, and yet marketers have not begun to embrace it in that fashion.

Most marketers remain fearful of the complexity that exists with regard to mobile metrics, or are failing to treat it with the same level of rigor and sophistication they apply to all other digital programs such as search, display, site, email and social.

Fortunately, there are strong indications that these attitudes are beginning to change.

Posting progress
The first and most obvious signs are the efforts underway at the IAB and Mobile Marketing Association to advance the issue of measurement.

The MMA launched a mobile analytics committee that includes executives from mobile brands and thought leaders such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft, AOL, Research In Motion, Expedia, Jumptap, comScore, Merkle, Wunderman, Zumobi and Groundtruth.

Each company committed itself to advancing the cause of effective measurement because they recognize that trustworthy, meaningful measurement is crucially important to the future of this industry.

The second indication was Mediapost’s recent Mobile Insiders Summit.

At the event earlier this month, mobile measurement – or, lack thereof – became the subject du-jour.

Brands such as Century 21, OfficeMax, Travelocity, Kayak, Chipotle and countless others revealed that solving mobile measurement was their single greatest frustration and opportunity rolled into one.

If visibility, consensus and support to elevate the importance of a given issue are leading indicators, I think we can all expect brands, agencies and technology partners to really begin addressing this subject in a meaningful manner going forward.

That means nothing but good things for anyone that lives within the mobile ecosystem because, as everyone recognizes, there are massive opportunities that reside in understanding the insights that flow from this key data source.

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geoffWith so much dependent upon staff to represent the brand, the product and the overall services of a business, employees must be at the top of their game. The keys to the success of a loyalty system are the proper promotion and clearly explained value to the customer. To effectively get staff to take ownership of your loyalty system and engage with customers about its value, they have to be convinced of its value first.

A loyalty system will supplement what employees should already be doing: showing value and developing relationships with their customers. Staff should see this system as a tool to help make their lives easier and more scalable.

  • Service = value to the customer
  • With great value comes great appreciation and loyalty to a brand
  • With loyalty comes greater tips and profits for the staff and the business!

Employees’ actions directly affect the value and overall frequency of a customer.

With every smile and gesture made, customers are being won over as loyal.  Take time to educate staff about how a properly promoted loyalty system continues to build the relationships they have already worked so hard to cultivate.

Mobile marketing is one of the newest types of marketing, yet it actually incorporates elements of some of the oldest and well proven methods. Many of the same rules that apply to other kinds of marketing will apply to mobile marketing too. However, there are some noteworthy differences. This article presents some solid advice on getting the best from this brilliant advertising medium.

If you put maps that are friendly to mobile phones on your site, you can attract local visitors. If a customer want to find you, a mobile map is helpful. Sometimes with so much business being done on the web, it is easy to forget that some people like to go to an actual store.

TIP! Keep your marketing up-to-date and useful. In your zealousness to implement the latest mobile technologies, don’t forget your business is at stake.

Offer something to your customers, and make it worth their while. One way of giving back to your customers is to offer incentives during a mobile marketing campaign. These can be basic things like weather or local events. Coupons can help you increase participation by the consumers in your campaign increasing the value of your marketing efforts.

Social media reigns supreme on the mobile devices of most users, so it is essential to make it a part of your marketing plan. Rewarding customers who share a TwitPic or who forward deals to friends is a great way to expand your customer base. This is a wonderful way to reach clients who haven’t heard of you yet.

When you are gearing your website towards mobile users, remember brevity is a virtue. Mobile device screens are small, so droning on and on about a product just to get more keywords in is annoying to readers. You have to get right to the point and make it short when using mobile marketing.

Qr Codes

Customers love to use QR codes in order to interact with their favorite brands, so include them in your campaigns. These QR codes are an excellent way to expand and entice your customers by offering coupons and discounts. They are quite user friendly and simple to capture on cell phone. QR codes allow you to reach out to your customers in an efficient manner, and give them relevant information in a simple way.

Provide content that will be considered valuable by the sorts of customer you’re looking for. Your target audience will expect you to send messages aimed at their needs. If your messages are being targeted towards business owners, you might want to submit vouchers or coupons to nice eateries. If your audience is the middle class family, you would want to send something that is family related.

TIP! Make sure that you add mobile friendly directions and maps to your website. It is becoming more common for people to use their mobiles to find directions.

Work for your target market. To succeed in mobile marketing you need to know the likes and dislikes of your target audience. If you cannot determine what your customers want, you won’t make any profit from them. The key to successful marketing is that you must figure out the basic attributes of your customer; who they are and what they want.

Remember that people who are using a mobile device to see your website will have a harder time navigating. Keep your mobile campaign uncomplicated. This might make it appear simple if you’re using a computer, but the format will be ideal for mobile devices.

Try to make it as easy as possible. Keep it user friendly by keeping the clicks required to a minimum. The keypad on most mobile devices is very small, which makes extensive typing a chore. Keep your campaign to the point.

TIP! Using Multimedia Messaging Service, otherwise known as MMS, you can send out coupons or customer loyalty rewards. Send coupons that contain promotional codes.

While mobile marketing can be a perfect way to get more customers to your business, you need to know that it will cross different platforms in order to make it successful. If your marketing efforts don’t work on all the popular devices, you could lose customers due to technical issues.

You can gain an advantage by keeping an eye on what your competitors have been doing. You need to stand apart from the competition.

No customer base every really changes unless the entire market dictates the change, but remember that mobile customers can come or go due to influences outside of your market. Make sure you are always ahead of technology; it changes quickly. You will be more competitive if your technology is advanced.

TIP! Never randomly message your customers. You should only message them with useful information.

Make it effortless for recipients of your marketing ad to send on and they perhaps they will. Before you publish your promotions, assure they are easy to forward. If you give incentive to forward you will have even bigger returns on your mobile advertising investment.

Try to get as much market intelligence as possible about your target audience, so you can cater to their needs and wants. This will increase the likelihood that your recipients will actually read your message.

Offer relevant information. Remember that your mobile marketing efforts need to be meaningful and have purpose. Make sure the information you give to customers and potential buyers is relevant. Fill the needs and wants of your customers to ensure that they stick with you and continue to buy your products.

TIP! You can develop a mobile application as a part of your mobile marketing plan. The app should contain pertinent information about your niche, and should be set up in a manner that entices people to want it on their phones.

Mobile apps that deliver valuable, targeted information to your customers will boost your mobile marketing efforts. People like apps that provide relevant and useful information. Use the app to advertise your business through links. You can also profit from selling your app to others.

Viewed Easily

Make sure that your emails can be viewed easily from most mobile devices. This increases the success you have with your mobile marketing campaign. Instead of using links to access content, allow users to select phone numbers. If you do use links, you must be sure that the target page can be viewed easily on mobile devices. Checking email from a phone is becoming increasingly common, so any emails you send out need to take this into account.

TIP! Before formally launching your mobile marketing campaign, conduct thorough usability tests among your target market. The purpose of a particular campaign will be ineffective if you use messages that don’t work.

You can effectively market your business with mobile marketing, so long as you don’t overuse it. With what you learned today you should formulate your new and unique strategy when it comes to mobile marketing. Resulting in your efforts will be a larger clientele.

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Mobile marketing involves much more than big budgets and a mobile-optimized website.

In particular, as social and location intelligence technologies mature, integrating marketing data from these sources in to the mobile marketing mix becomes incredibly important.

As brands build the sophistication of their mobile marketing efforts, there are three things brands should focus on getting right.

It is no secret that mobile has taken over. In fact, by 2016, research firm Portio predicts that three out of four adults in the UK will own a smartphone, which means the rate of smartphone penetration in the UK will surpass the rate in the United States.

For brands and marketers, this has resulted in a bigger emphasis (budget) on reaching customers via mobile channels and devices: in 2012, UK marketers spent more per mobile web user than any other country and, more recently, an Econsultancy report showed that more than half of companies now have mobile-optimized websites.

Mobile marketing involves much more than big budgets and a mobile-optimized website. These are the three things brands should focus on getting right:

1. Master your data to customize your content

Mail, phone and email will remain important channels for a long time, which means that contacting customers on the mobile channel may not be appropriate for all interactions – and, moreover, it may not be the customers’ preferred channel!

Data about customers’ preferences for channel, type of content, buying habits and more must be understood to determine how and when to connect via mobile.

Additionally, analysis of buying habits and customer history can help marketers figure out which piece of content should be offered to which customer and at which time.

Mobile is perhaps the platform that allows the most diverse array of content types to be consumed – video, short-form, long form, graphics, etc. Therefore deciding what to offer customers and when is very important.

2. Think like a customer

We’re all consumers, and we can all remember a time when we received a poor offer from a brand that was off-base or unwelcome. Customers are even more sensitive to this on the mobile channel because mobile devices are highly personal possessions.

One of the most important general marketing aspects to apply to mobile is maintaining consistency across channels. Customers expect brands to ‘remember’ every interaction they have had on every channel and the stakes are even higher on mobile.

Synching up all channels with mobile to create a relevant experience is paramount.

Location is also a key factor in mobile. Consumers basically never let their mobile devices out of their sight, so using location-based services to offer something truly customer centric presents a large opportunity.

At the same time, though, customers have a comfort zone. With a smartphone, customers can access their social, email, voice, web, and any other channel from one point. The last thing they want is to get brand overload on every one of them!

Because of mobile devices’ personal nature, a ‘less is more’ approach is generally best, and it may also be wise to let that dictate the volume and flow of communications on other channels, too.

3. Not everyone uses an iPhone

HTML5 is increasingly viewed as the de-facto web and mobile programming “standard”, and creating mobile technologies, websites and applications that enable the rich interaction experiences customers want using HTML5 will ensure the ability to reach customers across an array of different devices and operating systems.

However, an interesting statistic from Econsultancy’s recent survey was that only 33% of companies say they built their mobile products (websites, applications, etc.) using HTML5.

Although it sometimes cannot be avoided, it is important not to exclude customers because of their choice of mobile device.

Balancing personalization and privacy in mobile marketing is one of the biggest challenges marketers will face in the coming years. Marshaling data of various types and working to create a culture that can take a considered approach to customers’ preferences will be the difference between creating a banished brand and a mobile master.

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20 under 40 headshot - 2013I’ve been in the technology business all my life, so watching the evolution of the Internet has always been a part of my world. I can remember back in the mid 90’s when I couldn’t give a website away. When merchants would ask me, “Why do I need the internet when I have a fax machine already?” Wow, yeah…that happened. But I also remember (quite fondly), when the internet revolution began and we couldn’t sell websites fast enough. Do you think that merchant still uses his fax machine? My kids don’t even know what a fax machine is, but they tell me all the time to “post that on Facebook, Daddy.”

When I went to my first mobile marketing conference in 2008, my attention shifted almost entirely to mobile. It was the wild west, uncharted territory, with abundant opportunities. One thing I learned long ago from my experience in the web business is that a good idea only needs time before it catches on. Mobile is a foregone conclusion — it’s big, and going to get much bigger.

The greatest challenge to mobile has been visibility into the trends. It’s highly fragmented, being pioneered largely by early adopters and tech nerds, so we don’t ‘feel’ the movement in the industry like you would a more consumer-centric shift, like DVD players or iPhones. Nonetheless, the shift is happening; more and more consumers are receiving messages to their mobile devices from local businesses, and more businesses are acknowledging that mobile must be a component of their marketing strategy.

So now what? The opportunity is almost overwhelming…where do we start? By creating a culture of passionate, educated early-adopters who can cultivate a mobile mindset into their communities. USE, SHOW, TEACH… REPEAT. We don’t know exactly where mobile is going, but we know the early adopters should be innovating every step of the way.

20 under 40 headshot - 2013The other day I was on a phone call with a friend of mine. We marveled at the money people dump into traditional media. Thousands for radio, TV, direct mail, yellow pages… the list goes on and on. But the return those businesses are seeing on that traditional marketing is so minimal, is it really worth the money?

Marketing has a lot to do with the status quo. People know traditional marketing. They can see it, feel it, touch it. They understand how to utilize it, and they know since it’s been around so long their customers will know what they’re seeing, feeling and touching as well. The problem is that just because something is familiar and “traditional” doesn’t always mean it’s the best option for your business.

Small business owners have a bad habit of obsessing over new customers. That’s really why they use traditional marketing; it’s broad spectrum. Small business owners rely on mass marketing to hopefully entice a few customers who see their message to come into their store. But did you know that a current, loyal customer could be more valuable to your business?

Roughly 12-15% of customers are loyal to a single retailer. Doesn’t seem like a big number yet, does it? But that 12-15% of your customers typically represent between 55-70% of your sales. Now those customers seem a lot more valuable to you, don’t they?

So what I have a hard time understanding is why businesses choose to spend an incredibly large amount of time and money on marketing that’s aimed at such a broad audience. It costs 5-7 times more to find a new customer than to retain one. Implementing a loyalty solution and utilizing mobile marketing can mean the difference between keeping those most loyal customers and trying to rush as many new people through the door as possible.

Mobile marketing is a highly targeted form of advertising, geared toward those customers you know like and buy your product. When you thank a customer for being loyal to you, by offering them an incentive or reward, you show them they mean something to you. That you understand their business is what keeps you making money. And this targeted advertising, because it’s something new, exciting and high-tech, makes small business owners nervous. They don’t see how valuable it could be to their business.

People know there should be a better way to market to consumers in 2013. Savvy merchants are in the market for new, exciting technology that can help them implement better marketing solutions. And they will be a start of a much larger ground swell.

According to the findings of a new report from Econsultancy, the overwhelming majority of marketers are falling short of delivering a highly personalized marketing experience for the masses, especially when it comes to mobile.

“Mobile marketing platforms have the ability to deliver personalized experience well beyond the web and directly in a customer’s pocket,” writes Roy Morejon on Social Media Today.

Included in the report was a new infographic that offers up some powerful insight into the current state of personalization and how marketers can do a better job of personalizing their campaigns.

info Infographic: How to Make Mobile Marketing More Personal

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Mobile marketing is like the game Operation. If you’re spot-on, you make a vital connection with your consumer. If you miss, even by a little, the buzzer goes off, your customer lights up and you lose, not only for this transaction, but maybe for the life of the consumer.

While sitting at home for dinner recently, I got an alert on my phone from my American Express App telling me I’m right near an Italian restaurant in town. Naturally, I think, “why does American Express care? I’m already a loyal customer to their cards.” But I move on and decide to turn off that function. Well, after ten minutes of searching in notifications and other settings, I come to the conclusion that there is no way to turn off the notice. The difficulty in opting out coupled with the fact that I never said I wanted them to notify me could only lead to one thing: I deleted the app.

With mobile usage at an all time high, stories like this one are happening every day, making it a tricky channel for marketers and increasing the need to get it right when it comes to mobile engagement. Here are some questions to ask yourself while you’re developing your mobile strategy:

Did the customer ask to be notified? Whether it’s through an opt-in or an app download, make sure you’re reaching out to customers who are eager to hear from you.

Is my message relevant for that consumer/persona? Using data to drive your messaging will help you hit the target in a timely, meaningful way. A message about a nearby restaurant is less impactful when I’m at home than if I’m at a meeting across town just before lunchtime.

Is there a way within the notification or via text to turn off or limit notifications? If you’re successfully optimizing the mobile channel, it’s not likely customers will want to silence you but customers like to be in control, especially in a space as personal as mobile, so give them some freedom to decide how often they want to hear from you.

Are you creeping out your customers? Beware of automation! Does your offer make sense? Is it well-timed? Mobile is sacred ground for consumers. Tread lightly.

Marketers are scrambling to establish best practices for mobile, particularly when it comes to loyalty. This is a prominent channel but with high risk attached to it. That is, if you’re going to ping customers in the most present, targeted way to reach them, your messaging better be spot on and, most of all, of value to them. And moreover, the consumer needs to feel in control of the engagement process.

Without a carefully thought out strategy that is segmented based on the consumer type, lifestyle, and their technology adoption, more firms are going to find their apps being deleted.  The result? Creating more distance between the consumer and the brand in a space that has the potential to greatly increase engagement.

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When we talk about digital marketing, it’s not just social network marketing, this infographic suggests. Digital marketing also includes mobile marketing and content marketing.

If people who have been following Social Barrel and our articles have not been entirely convinced that social network marketing is something that needs to be given attention too in today’s digital marketing, let us give you more reasons.

As noted by this infographic, social media produces almost twice the marketing leads that trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC do.

Furthermore, social media conversion rates are 13 percent higher than average lead conversion rates.

According to the infographic, 46 percent of online users rely on social media when making purchase decisions. In addition to this, 63 percent of companies say posting valuale content on social media has increased marketing effectiveness.

Nonetheless, social media marketing is only one of the facets of digital marketing in 2013 as suggested by the infographic. Learn more, but more importantly, take action after reading the digital marketing infographic below from SlickText.

Digital marketing, social network marketing, mobile marketing, content marketing,

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