Tag Archives: Digital Marketing

Growth in Mobile Advertising

Mobile Advertising

Once of the issues with mobile web advertising in the eyes of consumers is that there is currently a lower conversion rate on mobile sites than on desktop sites. People are getting to a certain point along the process and stopping. What we should explore is why this is happening.

One of the issues that is most likely the case with a number of sites is the lack of cross platform optimization. An unflattering user experience will turn a potential off from the possibility of continuing through the process rather quickly.

Another thing to consider is that people just don’t trust cell phones for follow through and purchases as much as they will trust their desktop. In the past consumers had to purchase in a physical location. This evolved into phone purchases and mail catalogs and eventually wound up on the internet. E-commerce is a booming industry and people trust it to an extent, but perhaps the trepidation associated with a mobile purchase stems from the same issues of trust that the internet and mail catalogs had before they became popular. It is an issue of maturity of buying process in society paired with the fact that mobile purchase has not crossed the chasm from early adopter to early majority. This will change, and mobile advertising will increase with it.

People in most age demographics are using their mobile devices increasingly more often to solve their minute to minute problems and questions. Mobile web browsing is used mainly for answer quicker, surface level questions (quick hits) while phone apps are used more for delving deeper into multi-layered content. The reason for this is the fact that apps are generally more user friendly because they have been designed for specific phone types and therefore can cater to different interfaces more effectively.

Mobile Ad Spending predictions

 

It is estimated that two-thirds of companies plan to increase their mobile advertising spending in the next year. Mobile advertising is a growing industry in which spending is expected to increase by 55% in the coming year to reach $11.4 billion. The 2017 prediction is estimated to be closer to $41.9 billion. This level of growth is expected due to change such as an increased ability of geo-targeting technologies, cookie tracking, consolidation of providers, and an increased interest in the creation of mobile by advertising agencies. More Here

Some things to think about

Some of the downsides to mobile advertising is that with such a small space, your advertisements become far more obnoxious and “in-your-face” than on a desktop. The lack of space offers a huge concern. In the future, when mobile advertising becomes more expensive, the amount of real estate to share is going to be considerably less, therefore pushing prices further upwards.

Also, recognizing the fact that people navigate mobile for far different reasons than they navigate desktop is an important distinction to make. Often times, companies try to make their mobile experience a duplicated (yet smaller) version of their desktop site. The reality is that people who are navigating desktop have different motives. Mobile users don’t need all of the information crammed into a single page. Having a smaller screen means you can focus only on the most important parts of your content. If a reader is interested in more information, the information should be easily accessible to them from that main screen so that they don’t have to go back and re-search anything.  Without the precision of a mouse clicker, it is best to make buttons larger and to use of eye catching colors.

Another thing to avoid is making an app without a plan to get people to use it. You must create a call to action for your customers to use the app integrated into your marketing plan. For example, a restaurant is rolling out their new rewards program application. They should begin adding content to their promotional materials that encourage patrons to download their app. Encouragement can also be done a point of purchase by offer them 20% off their purchase today if they download the application and make a profile.

There are also concerns about the ability of smartphones to run local advertisements. Despite skeptical views smartphones have geo-targeting capabilities that are arguably more versatile than a desktop. A desktop makes its connection to a local IP address, which means that the geo-targeting will establish the connection there. Smartphones are constantly on the go, and when a user decides to connect to the Wi-Fi that they are nearest to, the geo-targeting will recognize the new IP location and update your position meaning that your local advertisements will be more relevant to them.

Misspellings on mobile searches can be another problem. Advertisers will need to bid on a wider variety of keywords, including misspellings in order to get better search results. A way to remedy this is to simply bid on some shorter keywords, therefore there are fewer chances for mistake.

Finally, mobile is new, many companies haven’t had anything to do with it. How do we know where to start, or where to set our budget? Using a backing in method to creating the budget will resolve this issue. Start by establishing your goals (Reaching #1 in certain keyword searches), then establish your goals based on that. With mobile keyword, you must be either #1 or #2 in order to avoid being under the fold.

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Using Big Data: How are Companies Taking Advantage of Technical Marketing Tactics

How are companies using their customer data?

Companies are constantly trying to boost their online sales, and by crunching number and analyzing purchase patterns they are become more adept at predicting tastes and purchase habits in online consumers. This is another big step for the marketing profession because it means that we are moving towards more technical marketing practices rather than focusing only on traditional marketing methods. While a mix is still and always will be important, it is going to be interesting to see what the future holds for marketing jobs, and how the technical aspect will be reflected in the curriculum of marketing degrees in the years to come.

Determining pricing is another way that companies are using big data. By understanding which customers are willing to pay certain prices, companies will have a better idea about what they should be charging for their product, and adapting to this understanding.

Driving customers through their funnel has and always will be a main function of marketing. Coming into the more technical side, using a CRM system to manage all of your customers and prospects will be more effective than ever. With some of the CRM software available today, understanding where your customers are in the funnel becomes so much easier. For example companies such as Hubspot offer software such as Signals which helps monitor email campaign success rates.Image

In addition,  Prospects, which gives a marketing team the ability to track and categorize your prospects based on how deeply they have dove into your online content. Learn more about it by clicking the link. Image

Streamlining the user interface is another way to use big data. By analyzing where your customers are stopping along the purchase path, you are able to build hypothesis about why they are getting hung up on these areas, and why you are losing their attention. This opens the opportunity to try A/B testing in order to determine where that issue lies.

Examples of how companies are using data.

Starbucks introduced its loyalty rewards cards and has since seen 25% of their customers switch over to this method of purchasing. This is a golden opportunity for them because they are currently compiling hoards of data. So much in fact that they are puzzled at what exactly they want to do with it. What we will likely see with them is a reflection in their product offering based on what their core customers choose to purchase. You might also see the introduction of coupons catered to specified groups of consumers. For example, for customers who have been in within the last 5 months, however haven’t been in the last month, you offer them a free breakfast sandwich or 20% off coupon to get them into the store and hopefully turn them into more regular customers. These types of campaigns allow for the effective targeting of certain types of consumers and allows your company to differentiate between those who are higher in the purchase funnel, versus those who are farther along in the process. You will save money and see increases in effectiveness of your campaigns through the careful analysis and utilization of your data.

In coming years you will see a rise in the use of big data analysis to determine whether films will be blockbusters. The industry will begin analyzing things such as cast, budget, themes, genres, current events, and the use of special effects in order to determine how well movies will do. For example, if there is a trend associated with a current event, such as the election of a new president, creating movies about a presidential election would tend to fare better during those specific time periods. If George Clooney’s popularity has been on the rise, then adding him to your cast will help to drive sales. By analyzing these predictive statistics, studios will be more effective at predicting sales and weighing options for which films to make, and which films to drop.

Possibly the most interesting and successful use of big data was during the Obama campaign for presidency. 

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In a groundbreaking move, Obama’s campaign sent out seven unique versions of their email campaign to supporters inviting them to a $40,000 per plate dinner. The dinner took place at Sarah Jessica Parker’s home in New York (a location decided upon by the campaign’s use of data) but each of the seven emails were sent out to supporters depending on what they valued more in the experience. Emails focused on either the subjects of a second fundraiser with a Mariah Carey’s performance, and some mentioned that the editor of Vogue Magazine would be attending the dinner. His ability to effectively market to these individuals in the most relevant way possible opened up the floodgates and money began pouring in. Time’s reported an excess of $1 billion in funding which went on to finance the traditional marketing campaign and door to door efforts that won him the election.

Keep these tactics and examples in mind when considering whether to take advantage of data on your next project!

Examples of Ethically Grey Areas: Are these Practices Ethical?

Orbitz recently learned that Mac users are willing to pay up to 30% more for hotel rooms than PC users. They began showing rooms that are 30% more to Mac users because they know they can. Just to be clear, they were showing different rooms that are pricier, not charging more money for rooms and customers still had the option to categorize based on lowest price if they wished. Trends have shown that Mac users tend to be interested in more luxurious vacationing conditions and are willing to pay a higher price for them. While this initially comes off as ethically unsound, once you understand the reasoning behind it, it seems like it is more of an actual benefit to customers. Rather than focusing on price, they are actually seeing hotel rooms that are more relevant to their needs.

Another interesting example that I think is genius is Target’s use of big data to determine if a woman is pregnant. The idea came from a statistician who noticed trends in a number of woman’s’ purchasing patterns, which culminated in the purchasing of infant care items. The hypothesis was that a woman’s hormonal cycle as she enters the different stages of pregnancy can affect her purchase patterns to the point that Target in some cases could predict a woman was pregnant before there were any showing signs. Target then decided to put this to the test. They began offering coupons on pre-natal vitamins, maternity clothing, and diapers based on where big data predicted they were at in their pregnancy cycle. What were the results? IT WORKED. The coupons were being used up rapidly and the team was patting themselves on the back. Target soon found out that their fortune-teller like predictions brought in some issues. For example, a father came in yelling at the customer service representative because his 16 year old daughter had been receiving pregnancy coupons. He was in a rage and found this to be inappropriate. However, a couple months down the road he came in to apologize because his daughter was, in fact, pregnant.

The question is however, whether this constitutes an invasion of privacy into the intimate moments of their customer base. I don’t see it this way. As long as information is kept confidential, I see this more as a way for companies to provide the most relevant experience for their customers as they can. This is just the next iteration of understanding buyer behavior.

 

Earned, Owned, Paid

 

Defining Types of Media

Before discussing the benefits of the different types of media and how they come to mature over recent years, I think it would be a good idea to go over some definitions, and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Paid

We’ll start with the media that people are most familiar with. Paid media has been the traditional way of advertising for generations. It is structured around the fact that there is, and likely will always be the existence of high traffic customer channels that businesses want to use to reach their target audience. In the past this has been everything from print, to radio, to television. Since the development of the internet however, paid media practices have evolved significantly to include such channels as online video commercials, banner ads, paid search, etc.

Owned

Our owned media consists of anything that the company owns the right to, and therefore can continually be used to reach an audience, regardless of whether or not you are paying for coverage of it. The greatest examples of owned media are company websites. They are an asset that the company owns, continually develops, and that customers can engage with as frequently as they’d like. There are minimal additional costs to the business to keep a site up-to-date and functioning properly compared with traditional media costs through where price is based on audience and time-allotted.

Earned

Earned media is the most efficient media source out of the three. Essentially, any content that your users generate for you (UGC) becomes earned media for you. You are not hosting the content, paying for it, and you don’t even need to distribute it. Social networking does a pretty good job of that for you.  The best thing about this type of media is that it occurs so naturally. A customer is so involved with your brand that they are willing to give up a portion of their online presence to let others know about you. The trust that comes from a peer to peer word of mouth information transaction is invaluable to the future success of your business. Your goal should be to develop as many of these brand ambassadors as you can and make sure that they continue to feel appreciated, so that they continue to post about your business and continue generating awareness of your brand through word of mouth.

One issue that has come up on the owned media side of things is the use of cookies to track customer’s online behavior patterns. As most of you already know a cookie refers to a code that keeps track of which sites you visit, what your web searches consist of, etc. Now the issue with tracking cookies is that it can be seen as an invasion of privacy. People generally don’t like the idea that their movements are being tracked and the idea of someone watching their search history can seem malicious. The reality of the matter is that cookies are used by businesses to track your activity in order to create a more meaningful user experience for their customers or potential customers. Cookies help alleviate much of the dissatisfaction that individuals run into on websites because they are able to anticipate your actions and speed up the processes for you. Cookie tracking has become taboo lately and has even been outlawed in the European Union, where customers must now opt-in to cookies before businesses may begin tracking them. The upside to this is more privacy on the part of the user, and they feel more comfortable searching the web and navigating websites. The downside to this however is that many people don’t understand the positive effect that cookies will have on their user experience, and after opting-out of tracking, they will be more likely to have a negative experience on a website  and believe that the source of the problem is the company. I think this will hurt marketing efforts in the coming years and e-commerce in the EU will suffer because of it until the realization is made that cookies are not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t believe that the United States will implement any such law in the foreseeable future. They understand the nature of the e-commerce user experience and will resist change on that front.

Native Advertising

One thing that can help counteract the implementation of anti-cookie is the use of native advertising on your website. This is essentially catering your advertisements to the content that is being discussed on the website. This eliminates much of the need for cookies when attempting to cater your advertisements to the individual customers.

The sheer number of outlets available today can seem both exciting and intimidating at the same time. The duties of a marketing department have grown to involve a whole new spectrum of media outlets and tactics in a short period of time. Transparency and customer engagement are of utmost importance in the new age of owned and earned media. Customer voice becomes a huge influencer in brand strength and due to the visibility that a positive or negative review can have. This feature means that brands now actually have to be who they say they are. Those who don’t practice what they preach are exposed quickly, and the internet can be a cold and unforgiving place for them.