Palm Of Your Hand: The Mobile Website Revolution

Lou Cimaglia
Posted on in General
iPhone

As we lurch ever further into the second decade of the new millennium, our personal lives become more and more dependent on mobile technology – namely our smartphones and tablets.

As consumers change, so do the businesses that service them. There has been a consistent uptick in corporate mobile websites over the past few years, however it is far from being a comprehensive switch. A Google study from 2012 showed that while about two-thirds of companies surveyed had a mobile site, one-third of those did not allow for transactions.

Small businesses and industry observers alike are understanding the importance of a mobile site that allows for functional interaction as well as a pleasant navigation.

NetWaiter, a firm that provides online ordering capabilities to restaurants, has built itself within the framework of the mobile landscape. Tim Sunderland, a marketer for the company, spoke to the mobile revolution in the restaurant industry.

“This has been a quickly growing segment of the restaurant market for several years now and mobile phones are the quickest growing subset of this market,” said Sunderland. “Customers can access a restaurant’s menu online via their desktop, laptop or mobile phone, place an order and even pay for it using this technology. The orders are delivered to the restaurant through any of several different methods and are ready for pick-up or delivery.”

Understanding the importance of a mobile presence is only the genesis, however, for most brands. Making a decision about a mobile-specific site or responsive web is another crucial decision.

nuphoriq, a partner with Inc.com and a site specializing in branding for catering and event planning companies, weighed in on responsive web.

“Businesses need to have a mobile presence and responsive design is here to stay,” said Michael Larson, a web designer and developer for nuphoriq. “There are advantages to both the responsive and mobile specific approaches, so businesses must choose a method based on the requirements of the site and the needs of its users.”

Jenny DeGraff, a web and graphic designer at Search Mojo also addressed the decision-making process tied to mobile and responsive web.

“There is no hard and fast rule to whether a separate mobile site or a responsive design site is better for your business,” said Jenny, who went on to talk about user-experience, SEO and cost as determining factors.

“If you’re building a website from scratch, responsive design can usually be integrated into the development without significantly increasing the overall cost. However, retrofitting a large website can be time consuming and cost-prohibitive. Either way, once completed your site will respond to any device size used.”

John Barnes, a marketing blogger for TheCMOSite.com and author of 30 published books noted that, “the key to a B2B mobile site is that it has to do something better than the customer can do it by  any other way.  It has to enable them to do a minor annoying task in lunch line that would otherwise have eaten up precious concentration at the desk.

“And the one thing nobody needs done better is to be shouted at to buy something, so if all you have is ‘Buy our stuff’, you’ve got more thinking to do before going to mobile.  For B2B, if it’s not interactive, on the client’s feet, and urgent, you’re not done thinking.”

For more information on building mobile sites, learn more about iFlyMobi. For information on responsive web, visit our friends at Grow Socially.

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The Big Game and Mobile Marketing

Lou Cimaglia
Posted on in News
Football

A recent article on Mobile Marketer offered a fantastic quote on mobile marketing during the Super Bowl. The quote, offered by Dave Martin, senior VP at Ignited, spoke to the importance of continuing a conversation with commercial-watchers during the Big Game.

“The second screen strategy can turn a 30-second spot into a five-minute engagement if you deliver value to the consumer,” Mr. Martin said.

“That five-minute engagement could have a big impact on attitudinal metrics like awareness and intent,” he said. “But at the same time, your phone and tablet are great devices for making transactions.

“We saw an enormous lift in mobile purchases over the holidays, so I expect to see some Super Bowl advertisers trying to take advantage of this new behavior with discounts and offers that might, for example, expire before the end of the game.”

This is a somewhat significant shift. For years, the Super Bowl was a beacon of traditional media – the Mecca for advertising as we have come to know it.

Now, it is adapting the new technologies that have changed our daily lives – i.e. social and mobile. The “second-screen strategy” that Martin alludes to is the desire for marketers to present themselves to audiences on multiple platforms. The hope is that someone who watches a commercial on TV will willingly join a conversation on a separate platform – preferably mobile.

Marketers are operating on the assumption that mobile is inherently social. The article explained this idea further.

“For real-time events such as the Super Bowl, consumers take to social media to talk to their friends and families. A significant amount of this takes place on smartphones and tablets when consumers are likely not near a desktop.

As long as the messaging is contextually relevant to the game, mobile gives brands a great opportunity to inject themselves into social media conversations.”

Will you be participating in multi-screen conversation?

Twitter vs. Facebook – The Mobile Marketing Race

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in News
Race

In early 2012, both Twitter and Facebook announced their plans for mobile advertising. For Facebook mobile users, that means they will see sponsored ads appearing in their news feeds. And to keep it from looking / feeling too obtrusive, Facebook keeps the ads looking like they fit right in. Giving mobile viewers the ability to like and comment, just as with other tidbits in the Facebook news feed. Twitter went with the same idea. Including ads within the user’s mobile timeline, looking like any other tweet.

vs.


It seems like a no brainer that Facebook would win the mobile marketing race hands-down, right? Clearly, they have more users. Hundreds of millions of more users. Earlier in 2012 it was reported that Facebook had the highest mobile engagement just after Google. So it stands to reason that Facebook would likely do well in the world of mobile marketing and mobile ad revenue.

But, interestingly, Twitter recently made huge headway and surprised many in the mobile marketing world. According to a forecast by eMarketer, in the U.S., Twitter will earn almost double the amount that Facebook will – just over $129 million compared to just under $73 million for U.S. Facebook.

What does this mean for you? It’s a good reminder that not everything is clear-cut. You can’t just make assumptions that the audience is there and that everything will fall into place. For example, there are still other companies that are in the race for having the mass of mobile users check them out.

 

For example, Instagram had more daily engaged visitors than Twitter in August 2012, according to ComScore. Sounds exciting for Instagram (and for Facebook, which acquired Instagram), and it is. But like many numbers, they tell stories different than what you might expect at face value. Instagram did not have more mobile visitors than Twitter in August. But the visitors to Instagram were more interactive and engaged than they were with Twitter.

How does this translate for you, the marketer? Again, it means that you probably shouldn’t place all your mobile marketing advertising eggs into one basket. Choosing Facebook merely because it has a lot of engaged users may mean you miss out on some serious opportunities you can find in other social media platforms such as Twitter.

You may want to do some testing of your own to see which platform is the better place to spend those advertising dollars. And it also is a good reminder of balancing your social media time not in just one place, but across platforms, so you can reach the bulk of your audience wherever they are.

 

Mobile Payment Technology Showdown

Tom Barry
Posted on in News

Square revolutionized the way consumers shop and interact with businesses by introducing a new technology for mobile payments. This little device plugs right into a mobile device and is accompanied by an app that allows transactions to happen at the point of purchase with a credit card. Some other brands have also entered the mobile payment fray within the last year. The question remains – which of these is the best for your business?

PayPal Here, Intuit’s GoPayment, Pay Anywhere by North American Bancard and more are all players in this market. When looking at these three in particular, as well as Square, many similarities become apparent, while distinguishable qualities also surface. The graph below shows a competitive breakdown of the four applications.

How do you think these applications match up? Which one provides your business with the most utility? Who reigns supreme? Sound off below or at our Twitter handle, @iflymobi!

Using Military Tactics To Win The Mobile Marketing Battle

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in General
Flags

Does mobile marketing sometimes feel like a constant battle? That wouldn’t be too surprising. You are battling against not only your competition, but against technology, your audience’s expectations and misconceptions and even your own shortcomings. It’s not as easy a situation as being able to pinpoint one “enemy” and then trying to figure out how to conquer that enemy. It’s a lot more convoluted.

But in the end, when it comes to mobile marketing, you know winning the “battle” is important. Winning means you turn prospects into customers. And one-time customers into long-term customers. And you want to win.

It’s easy to end up scattering your resources and failing to overcome obstacles, especially if you lose sight of your overall goals. But if you keep in mind some basic military tactics, you can stay on course and make headway as you march forward with your mobile marketing goals.

First off, you need to maintain your position and stay in control. This is not a time to implement a major overhaul of your brand, or change up all of your other marketing methods. Mobile marketing should help you expand your reach and further develop your relationship with your audience. It should not be divisive to your overall goals. Nor should it replace or eliminate other marketing strategies.

This is a time to figure out how to incorporate mobile marketing into your total strategy. You want to integrate it so as to make your position stronger. You want to stay in control of all of your marketing endeavors.

Next, you need to use natural cover and do some serious reconnaissance. What is your competition up to? How are they penetrating the mobile market? Check out their social media accounts and see how they are engaging the target market. Look at their offerings and how they are presenting them in order to build relationships. Try out their QR codes and check out their mobile apps. You should be evaluating all of their mobile marketing efforts in order to not only see what your “enemy” is up to, but to discern any flaws that you might be able to exploit. What weaknesses do you spot in their mobile marketing efforts that you can work to your advantage?

Using knowledge you gather through reconnaissance will allow you to secure your position. But be aware that just as technology has changed warfare over time, so has it changed the landscape of marketing. And mobile marketing is evolving at seemingly breakneck speeds. You need to stay on top of the technology in order to best use it for your advantage so you can win the mobile marketing battle. Thankfully, there are a lot of allies out there to help you stay on top of the technology part, and this includes iFlyMobi.com.

You can also use the element of surprise by introducing some fun or slightly different (different than your typical methods of operation) marketing messages into the mix. It’s important to not lose sight of your overall goal or to stray from your brand, but surprise can definitely help you gain some ground in your mobile marketing campaign. Contests, discounts, fun surveys and more can all be integrated into your goals to surprise your audience.

One military tactic that you should definitely steer clear of is deception. At no point is deception helpful to you in a marketing sense. It can only cause a severe blow to your reputation and you will have to battle hard and long to gain back trust with your audience.

Incorporating certain military tactics into your overall mobile marketing plans can help you gain ground over the competition and move forward toward your end game. Think strategically, secure your position and don’t over-do it with the element of surprise and you will find yourself reaching your mobile marketing goals.

 

 

Truvia and Swarm Marketing

Tom Barry
Posted on in Inspiration

When you check in on Foursquare to a location that has 50 or more people, you will notified of a “swarm.” As a sales and marketing person, I absolutely love this. This tells me that there are 50 or more people at this particular location, and they all took the initiative to check in. They are interested and engaged.

So as a marketer, how do you capitalize on this? We are tasked with developing a campaign that gets the word out in a big way, without being intrusive or overbearing. There are brands that have taken to this idea and not only found a solid customer base, but have cultivated a highly loyal following. Like bees on honey, they swarm.

If you have an idea that would benefit from being marketed to a large amount of people with the same geographic characteristics, why wouldn’t you?

A recent campaign that has utilized “swarm marketing” is a product by the name of Truvia®, a sugar substitute. It is currently running a campaign called, “Turn Your Town Truvia.” At the moment, the campaign is in the discovery and education phase. Fans can nominate their favorite eatery to carry the product, which is touted as a natural, healthy alternative to sugar. This campaign is using top radio talent in different cities to drive folks to engage. The incentive is the chance to win prizes up to $5,000. All of these drive traffic to an easy to use Facebook app.

They collect small amounts of data from each participant, and encourage them to share with friends. Their strategy is working because not only did I remember it, I felt the need to write a blog about it. The multichannel approach drives people to one place that offers incentives and spreads awareness. This is truly swarm marketing.

Give the bees something sweet to buzz about, and they’ll swarm. Now find a way to capture them and develop a relationship.

Now a question for readers. Is marketing to the swarm a smart way to approach a new or developing niche or will it be too invasive, and turn people away from your product or service? Sound off in the comments or on Twitter, @iflymobi!

Learn more about mobile marketing best practices here.

Mobile Minute: Holiday Shopping

Lou Cimaglia
Posted on in News

Trevor Foley, fresh off his first semester as a college freshmen, marks his triumphant return to 21 Concord Street by sitting down with our Sales Executive, Tom Barry.

As you can tell, Tom is very excited to have Trevor back.

 

Here are some more holiday stats for your viewing pleasure.

A Mobile Success: FX Doing It Right

Tom Barry
Posted on in Inspiration

So what, exactly, is the purpose of a mobile website? Mobile is such an amazing medium because it changes the way we live personally and the way we do business as marketers.

Mobile should be fresh, relevant, and brief. When someone visits your mobile website, they probably know exactly what they are looking for. It might be a phone number to call you, or just hours of operation.

I was just talking with the CEO, John Foley, Jr., and he summed it up perfectly. “People are looking for that one stop shop, instant gratification and quick experience – that’s what mobile is all about.”

 

With that said, I have to give credit to FX for their fantastic mobile strategy. Their mobile sites provide exactly what you need right on the home screen, with the opportunity to access more if you would like. I accessed two of their sites recently, “Always Sunny In Philadelphia” and “Sons Of Anarchy.”

Having never seen their mobile sites, I was going in as a full-time user looking for one thing. I was looking for the air dates of “Always Sunny,” after seeing an ad during an episode of “Sons,” which is my favorite show.

A quick search led me to a fantastic mobile presence. Not only was the pertinent information very visible, it offered a select number of tabs and social networks. Information is great – but give me too much and I might not see anything you actually want me to see.

I then proceeded to the “Sons” site, which was also very well done. One feature I enjoyed was the ability to download mobile wallpapers right from the site. My iPhone now has a lock screen and background image from “Sons Of Anarchy,” I feel like I am practically in the club! Now THAT is what I call a mobile experience.

You may not have the resources of FX to create such a highly customized presence, but never overlook the functionality and best practices they employ. Provide your audience what they want on a mobile device and make it easy for them to consume it.

The more you focus on this approach, the better the sentiment you will receive from your customers.

Follow me on Twitter and sign up for my webinar!

Webinar Announcement: 5 Inbound Marketing Best Practices

Lou Cimaglia
Posted on in News

On Thursday, December 13, at 2:00 pm EST, Tom Barry and myself (Lou Cimaglia) will be hosting a webinar entitled, “5 Best Practices of Inbound Marketing – And How Grow Socially Can Help.”


 

Register today!

Holiday Shopping With Mobile – Crazy Statistics

Lou Cimaglia
Posted on in News
Gift

iMobiTrax recently posted a blog titled, “19 Crazy Stats Showing Holiday Shoppers Are Going Insanely Mobile.” Some of the stats really impressed us over here, and we had to share some of our favorites.

  • “42 Percent of people this year are checking for deals and specials on their mobile device”

  • “37 Percent of people are browsing stores online via their mobile device for products of interest”

  • “33 Percent of mobile device users are search for product ratings and reviews”

  • “With 10% more people buying mobile devices this year for Christmas, it doesn’t come as any surprise that more than half of all consumers want a tablet.”

  • “63 Percent of people want and iPad 3 or iPad this Christmas”

  • “87 Percent of people are purchasing from tablets because of consumer product reviews”

  • “41 Percent of people on mobile devices are checking Amazon for competitive pricing”

There are plenty more, check here to see the rest!

For more mobile news, follow iFlyMobi on Twitter.

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