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Posts Tagged ‘mobile marketing’

By James Burchill

Trends on the Internet are fun to watch and move very quickly compared to some other markets. For instance, while the Web’s trends tend to go in cycles of one or two years, trends in food and restaurants tend to go in cycles of nearly a decade. So the fast-changing world of the Internet can be exciting.

The latest trend to be noted amongst those who watch such things is that social media is losing some of its lustre with some users. A visible decline has been seen starting in February of this year, denoting a possible plateau during the Christmas Holiday and now falling steadily.

The Trend Itself

The trend is a 10-day moving average in terms of number of tweets on Twitter using The Daily’s iPad application. The app’s usage peaked at about 220 tweets per day in early February, then dropped quickly and significantly down to about 85 per day by the end of the month.

It’s since shown steady usage with ups and downs until mid- to late-March, when it began to decline again though at a steadier pace. On about March 20, it had been averaging around 85 tweets per day, but at the end of the month had dropped to about 50 per day.

You’ve probably noticed two things about this data.

What It Really Means

The trend itself is not about social media at all, though that’s where most of the headlines discussing it have gone. The truth is, these numbers represent a drop in the user activity and interest in one of the newest news outlets – this one being The Daily, the iPad-specific news app.

Let’s face it, though: a headline saying that social media is dying gets a lot more reader interest than one that says The Daily is dying.

To be fair to the information’s collectors at Niemen Labs, though, the numbers of some other gadget-specific news outlets were also considered. They show roughly the same results, though not in as dramatic a way as those of The Daily.

What the data really seems to be saying is that current (paid or unpaid) applications for finding news using the iPad are lacking. Users seem to be dropping them, or at least not using them as often. The high point for The Daily was during the Holiday season and into the New Year when the app was brand new and was getting heavy publicity as part of Apple’s push for the release of the iPad 2.

Since then, users have complained about the app’s shortcomings and basically heard the “we’re working on it” line. In the fast-paced world of the Internet, “working on it” for more than a few days or even a week means losing users. The longer you take, the more you’ll lose and the harder it will be to win them back. The Daily seems to be missing that point.

The Future of The Daily

With the losses over time that The Daily appears to be sustaining, according to Niemen Labs’ information, it’s not likely that the app will survive without a major publicity effort. In their favor, though, Daily promoters can also note that Twitter itself is losing users as well. Many use it as a glorified RSS feed for their blogs and despite its best efforts, the Twitosphere has become inundated with spammers.

So where will The Daily go? If they’re smart, they’ll revamp their app to match user expectations and then they’ll make another huge marketing push. If they wait too much longer, though, they’ll have a tough row to hoe and may have waited too long.

JAMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By James Burchill

The term ‘mobile marketing’ is thrown around a lot these days, but many people are only vaguely familiar with what it actually is. It’s important to understand the fundamentals of what this new breed of marketing is, how it works, and why it’s important to begin utilizing it for your business.

Nearly every business can benefit from using mobile marketing and advertising methods. Whether your business is virtual, brick-and-mortar, or both, you can utilize this new and powerful marketing tool in some way.

Defining Mobile Marketing

To start with, let’s define the phrase ‘mobile marketing.’ The Mobile Marketing Association defines it as:

‘..a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.’

Broadly, this refers to mobile phones, smart phones, wireless handheld devices such as the iPad or ultra-portable netbooks, and so forth. Usually, the focus for mobile marketing is on mobile and smart phones, however. The term ‘wireless marketing’ is often used, though this is less descriptive.

Common Mobile Marketing Tools

Marketing to cellular phones didn’t really hit the main stream until about five or six years ago. This was due to the introduction and wide adoption of short message service (SMS) text messaging. At first, the methods were ad hoc with a lot of hit-and-miss attempts (and angry consumers). Since many wireless carriers were charging customers by the message, these customers would get angry when businesses sent them unwanted texts.

Eventually, as unlimited SMS plans became common and marketers became more savvy about opt-in methods, this smoothed out to the common practices used today. Today, most mobile marketing is opt-in and requires the potential customer to actively sign on to marketing lists. This is usually done by having them send a text to a corporate number (often a five- or six-digit number) to opt-in.

Systems have been built around this marketing to include opt-out options for the user (generally by sending a message to the corporate number again) and even allowing for surveys and interactive, automated communications.

Newer phones are capable of multimedia message service (MMS) interaction on top of SMS. This allows for images, short videos, audio and other media to be sent to the mobile phone. Most newer phones with a colour screen are MMS capable. This is the newest and hottest trend in mobile marketing right now. It otherwise works in the same way as SMS marketing and often uses the same systems.

How the Small Business Can Utilize Mobile Marketing

The SMS and MMS systems listed above are cost-prohibitive, of course, so many small business owners believe them to be out of reach. Third-party providers and services, however, are now proliferating the market and allowing greater access to small business.

Mobile Web marketing is another tool used by businesses looking to tap the portable market. This is basically the same as any other Web-based marketing, but is targeted towards mobile Web surfers rather than desktops or laptops.

Other services, not necessarily meant for mobile marketing, but becoming used for it, are also becoming highly popular. This is especially true of geo-location-based games such as Foursquare and Gowalla. Using these games, which are becoming very popular (and fast), businesses can leverage their ‘profiles’ and other advertising tools within the games to market themselves.

This geo-location marketing is currently the hottest, fastest-growing trend in mobile marketing. It’s simple to get involved with, costs little to utilize, and has a user base that is growing exponentially.

Any way you cut it, mobile is the future and, right now, has the least amount of competition for the most active (and interactive) users online. It’s expected that the money spent on mobile marketing will double every year for the next few years, getting into the tens of billions by 2015.

JAMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By James Burchill

Mobile marketing is a fast-growing, quickly-changing arena with a lot of promise to become of the largest advertising forums on the planet. Mobile search marketing is one of the leading subsets of this industry. Google introduced ‘Click-to-Call’ last year as part of its mobile search platform, allowing businesses to list phone numbers with their paid search results (AdWords ads).

Since its introduction, Click-to-Call has become hugely popular with ‘millions of calls every month’ initiated by the program, according to Google. These have become one of the largest of the targeted mobile campaign genres, and it’s paying off.

The ads and where they are used most often to place calls follows smart phone adoption. Currently, this means that most of the Click-to-Call action is happening in the major cities of the U.S., throughout Europe, and in Japan.

How Click-to-Call Ads Work

The ads are served whenever a phone user accesses the Internet and does a search through Google. Paid results are, as with PC-based searches, tied in with the search subject of the user. If the results include paid advertisements from mobile advertisers, then a Click-to-Call number will also be included. Users can click the number to call the business immediately.

When the user has GPS enabled, the search can get even more precise, showing the closest business to them with a Click-to-Call number.

Advertisers get themselves listed as a Click-to-Call result by participating in Google’s AdWords phone extensions program. Optionally, the business can also include a location extension to make themselves even more visible to more locally-targeted searchers.

These ‘hyper-local’ ads can often be the most productive for an advertiser, according to Google.

Since mobile users are statistically more prone to take immediate action when searching for something, advertising on this medium has become very productive. Hit-for-hit, mobile ads can consistently show a two or three times better click-through (or user action) rate than their desktop counterparts.

How Does It Pay Off?

One company says they’re seeing 200% increase in search results on their mobile platform as compared to their standard Google ads for desktops (comparing hit-for-hit). This means that for every hit they receive via mobile or desktop, they see a 200% higher click-through for mobile than they are seeing for desktops.

This is a national company. Local advertisers are seeing even greater results. A small, local shop says that their online search marketing has shown almost no measurable result in increased business. They started using mobile advertising through Google and have seen a 9-12% higher first-time-customer walk-in rate.

No matter how you look at it, mobile advertising is becoming the ‘next big thing’ in marketing. For businesses both local and national (or even international), it’s going to be one of the biggest marketing arenas out there. This will become even more true as smart phones continue their phenomenal growth rate and proliferation.

AMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By James Burchill

According to the Ad-ology 2011 Small Business Marketing Forecast, small business owners are increasingly optimistic overall, and 46% plan increased marketing spending in 2011, up from 29% who planned increases in 2010. Email marketing and company websites continue to be the most popular online marketing methods, but 45% plan to do more with online video and 35% said the same for mobile advertising.

Interest in using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks for business is up considerably over last year. While generating leads continues to be the top perceived benefit of social media, more businesses recognize the value of social media for improving the customer experience.

JAMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By James Burchill

Many marketing experts agree the future of marketing, especially local and regionally based marketing, will be on the mobile Web.  Now that phones outnumber computers accessing the Internet, they are the new frontier of advertising.

The mobile market is growing quickly and many companies are already taking advantage of the onslaught of mobile users.  Especially those businesses that can profit from regionally based or location-based advertising.

The Wynn Resort Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, for instance, has a robust and continually evolving advertising campaign aimed directly at mobile users and geo-location gamers in and around their premises.  By targeting these plugged-in users with ads specific to their mobile device, with offers only they can receive,  the hotel is finding its customer retention and feedback are higher and better.

Small businesses around the world are finding by tapping into mobile users, they can increase both word-of-mouth and online social networking advertising using the ‘cloud model.’  Simply put, they are giving great service to their customers and encouraging mobile users to ‘reach out’ via their devices to tell others about it.  This viral marketing strategy pays off well for many businesses and chains.

Types of mobile advertising

There are several types of mobile advertising taking place, of course.  Most are just mobilized versions of counterparts on the Web already, such as banner ads and links.  Text message (SMS) marketing has hit its stride as well, being the largest segment of mobile advertising today, but it requires users to sign on and has many of the same drawbacks email marketing does with spam accusations and potentially bad publicity.

MMS advertising is also taking flight as advertisers begin ‘product placements’ within games and videos meant for the mobile Web.  These take many different forms, such as splash screens before an application starts or specific in-game items with the brand’s name featured.  Energy drink and soda companies have been especially fast to adopt this form of advertising.

Upon the emergence of the mobile market, it didn’t take long for marketing companies to realize the Seventh Mass Media Channel (SMS) and begin devising ways to capitalize on it.  It’s largest advantage over other types of media is that it’s two-way and semi-personal.  It can also become viral as users forward messages and content to their friends and family through their phones.

The mobile media advertising boom

In 2007, mobile media was worth $2.2 billion of the $450 billion global advertising industry (about 0.5%).  In 2009, that number jumped to $8 billion of a $430 billion global advertising industry.  That’s a nearly four-fold increase in only two years.  Many believe that it will continue to grow at a similar rate for the next several years.

The types of mobile media advertising will change rapidly as the technology changes.  With the introduction this year of larger-screened devices such as the Apple iPad and other tablet computers slated to hit the market this year, other marketing options will merge.  With the popularity of the Amazon Kindle and other book reader devices, many publishers are considering embedding ads into electronic books as a way of lowering their costs to consumers while boosting revenues.

This and other new forms of advertising leveraging mobile are the future of marketing through technology.  Are you a part of that?

JAMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

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