It's the Ads on their smart phones that people dislike. It's the tiny message that you can't seem to quite read, let alone digest and respond to the call-to-action. Which car company was that? Who cares?
Let's face it. Those tiny ads just aren't working. Very few people click on them, some even accidentally, and surveys show that 4 out of 5 dislike them. According to a recent study done by Azullo, an Ad solution company, only 21% of people even remember seeing an Ad on their phone in the last six months. And, of those who did remember, only 14% said it made them want to buy what was displayed. That said, mobile accounts for 10% of people's time spent on media and that percentage is only going to grow because mobile devices are always-available, instantly-on. There's no login screen, no lengthy boot cycles, or taking your computer out of your briefcase. Smart marketers know this but are still struggling to figure out how best to use this channel for their brands.
In the view of Sunil Gupta, Professor of Business at Harvard Business School, among others, the future of mobile is in Apps not Ads. Observe how people use their smart phones. A lot of time on these devices is spent on calling, emailing, texting and browsing and yes also on apps for games and entertainment, social networks, utilities, discovery and brands. Games and entertainment and social networks account for 73% of the time spent on one's phone. That doesn't leave much air-time for other categories which includes brands.
So the key is to create Apps that stand out just the way an Ad has to stand out on television or radio. The list of ways to do this revolves around strategies that deliver convenience, unique value, social value, offer and entertainment. And that is where the holy grail for your brand is i.e. to create the right combination of these strategies into an App that fits the product category and delivers the brand's value proposition. Brands like Nike (Nike+ Running, Nike+ FuelBand, Nike+ Basketball, etc.) and Coke (Coke Drink, Coca-Cola Freestyle) are already doing it but the list is small and non-existent in many product categories.
At the end of the day it's about relevant content presented in an engaging manner that smart phone users go back to again and again.
So, what will you bet on? Apps or Ads? Give us your feedback here or join the conversation on our Facebook page.
How can you keep your email marketing relevant this year?
The rise of mobile and social media has changed the way consumers view content. It has also elevated our users' expectations. Just like marketing tools have adapted to the way consumers view and receive content, email marketing will make way for an increasingly mobile and more personal user experience.
Let's start with the facts:
Over 80% of people are using their smartphones to read and send email (Google 2011).
In the second half of 2012, 40% of emails were opened on a smartphone or mobile device (Knotice).
Two-thirds of businesses will integrate social media and email marketing this year (Strongmail).
Increasing subscriber engagement was considered the top email marketing initiative by 50% of businesses.
It's clear that email is becoming an increasingly mobile experience. It is also a tool for marketers to engage their readers and build relationships via social media integration.
Here are four keys to forward focused marketing:
- Email marketing should be MOBILE friendly
Because of mobility, content should be USABLE
To increase engagement, content should be PERSONAL
The user experience should be SIMPLE
It is likely that your customer's relationship with your company will not only evolve online but also through mobile. Mobile content should create a positive experience for the user every time they interact with your brand.
For email, layouts should be optimized for mobile reading. Send emails that are device agnostic and responsive to screen size. Mobile also means time sensitive. Create concentrated content, allowing users to hone in on key aspects of your message and easily engage in calls to action.
Because of mobility, email should also be highly usable. Create links that are designed for touch screen capabilities (larger buttons, larger font). If the email is linked to other websites or landing pages, ensure that those destinations are also optimized for mobile.
The email should not be fully dependent on graphics or outside links. There is often a lag time between opening the email and the images loading.
Provide more than an email personalized with a name. With the rise of social media, users are searching for a company that can deliver messages more personal and relevent to them.
Tailor the message to targeted segments. Make use of data that provides information on who your readers are and what they are interested in. Use these insights to create content that is meaningful, relevant and informative.
Don't let the impact of social media overshadow your efforts, but use it to your advantage. Integrate social media into your emails, including social links and create opportunities to share content using chicklets or widgets. This allows users to connect with you on their preferred channels while expanding your reach.
To paraphrase, "A designer has achieved perfection when there is nothing left to take away."
We love things that make life simple. Keep your message clear. Keep the call to action obvious and minimize distractions.
Nothing like seeing good practice in action, check out these 10 Simply Awesome Examples of Email Marketing from the Hubspot Inbound Marketing Blog.
Responsive website design is more than just delivering pretty eye candy. It's creating an experience that delivers maximum usability agnostic of the device that the user is consuming your content with. Learn why responsive design is important.
Does this sound familiar?
While searching on your phone Something Interesting! shows up and you decide to click on it. This leads to a minuscule website requiring a combination of creative mobile gestures (press and zoom, swipe, drag, tilting the phone a different way) to help you sift through content. You zoom in, "No, that's too close." You move up, "Argh, that's too far up." After a while you have already forgotten what the Something Interesting! was and an incoming text message reclaims your attention, leaving the hard-to-navigate website in the dust.
This is where responsive design comes in.
Responsive design is an adaptation to the way we use devices. It presents users with a consistent experience whether they are viewing content on a laptop, smartphone or tablet.
A website featuring responsive design will adapt to the appropriate size and layout depending on the device being used. While apps provide a way for companies to produce mobile-focused content, responsive design offers an optimum browsing experience on each device. Instead of having to download an app, or come up with creative gestures, you get instant access to highly usable content.
Why is Responsive Design Necessary?
Why is this important? Consumers are buying a variety of devices and using these devices to access online content.
As of January 2013, 87 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone, 45 percent own a smartphone and 31 percent own tablets. (Pew Research Center)
Tablet sales are expected to reach 100 million by the end of this year and eventually exceed notebook sales by 2016. (NPD)
Tablet shipments are predicted to have a compound annual growth rate of 28% over the next five years.
Consumers are also using their mobile devices as they would a notebook or desktop computer.
Close to 60% of tablet owners prefer to read news articles on the web rather than through an app. (Pew Research)
31% of mobile phone owners go online almost exclusively with their mobile devices.
Mobile internet traffic makes up 13 percent of all global internet traffic. (KPCB)
When searching on a PC, the difference between a responsive site and a non-responsive site can be seen when adjusting the size of the browser. Here is a comparison of Mashable's responsive site and The Wall Street Journal. We adjusted the browser to fit the screen resolution of a laptop, tablet and mobile screen.
From the Mashable website you can see that content adjusts as the shape changes. The narrow mobile model has an entirely different layout, so a user can browse by clicking a pull down menu and view article previews by swiping.
The Wall Street Journal site simply cuts off content when the size and shape of the browser window changes. Only a corner of the website shows up on the mobile model. And if opened on an actual phone, the site shows up as a tiny - less usable version.
We live in a world where people want to access information on any device, at any time, from anywhere. The purpose of a responsive design is to create a seamless transition between these devices. Having a responsive site will ensure that your content keeps people engaged via a device of their choosing.
Want to test the limits of responsive design for yourself? Check out some of our favorite responsive sites.
The folks from Google (Anthony Phalen and Michael Hawkins) recently shared some very interesting data around mobile (audience, devices, behavior, usage, etc) at the 2012 NEDMA Marketing & Technology Summit that furthered my knowledge and cemented my understanding of the mobile platform, devices and landscape.
Mobile is already here and is the future of marketing. That's where some of your customer interactions are taking place now, more will take place in the next 2 years and most will take place 5 years from now. Considering that Apple has almost a MILLION apps in the App Store and Google is activating almost a million Android devices on a daily basis it is almost certain that mobile is where you will first interact and engage with your customer in the (very) near future. It will be a huge (and rude I might add!) wake up call for anyone who thinks or says otherwise.
I'll use a bunch of infographic-style graphs that will do the "talking" for me. BTW, I am always happy to talk/discuss/brainstorm and share ideas around this topic as I am personally extremely passionate about it. So, feel free to ping me (@BOSMarketer or @nirmalp) or join the conversation here. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Here's a neat little ticker that tracks the # of Android devices in the world! PS: Doesn't work in Firefox. Sorry.
Starbucks Coffee - Dude! You’re buying an Apple product. Dunkin Donuts ain’t gonna make the cut.
Any Apple product - iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac. You certainly don’t want to be seen with a Samsung Galaxy running Android!
Toiletries - Do everyone else a favor. Stock up before you hit the lines. And, use often & generously.
A comfy "camp" chair - since you will be camping out. A one with a footrest is recommended.
Soup - Any soup will do. Unfortunately, you’ll have to go cold turkey on this.
A place to temporarily call home - It’s either a tent or find someone who rents one on Airbnb.
A portable "throne" - Unless you have a really (really!) large bladder get one of these. You could charge the guy next to you. He isn’t moving either.
Classic PB (J optional) sandwich. Insist on Pepperidge Farm. Store brands won’t cut it unless its from Whole Foods.
Some Benjamins - A couple of these should come in handy. The more the merrier.
Portable heater - Unless you live in Phoenix or Apple exclusively launches its products in El Azizia, you’re gonna need one.
"Steve Jobs" himself - Sorry. No Kindle. Paperback only.
- QR Codes were created back in 1994 by Toyota
- Americans scanned 14 million QR Codes (as of July 2011)
- 46% of the users scan QR Codes to get discounts
- Their usage was up a whopping 4,589% from 2010 – 2011
- 68% of QR Codes are scanned using an iPhone
For more information on how to create and use QR codes read QRious About QReating QR Codes?
So, we've all been curious about the little black and white squares that seem to pop up almost everywhere we turn our heads these days. They are on milk containers, subway trains, coupons, for-sale house signs, magazines, blogs, newsletters, everywhere!
What is a QR Code?
QR codes are 2 dimensional bar codes. They are capable encoding more information than your typical 1 dimensional bar code that you find on most products. They were created back in 1994 but have recently gained in popularity because of the various applications and due to the rapid adoption of mobile phones. Most QR codes appear as black squares on a white background, although it is possible to add a different background color as demonstrated in the examples that follow.
What information can you encode in a QR Code?
Almost anything! For most practical uses and applications its important to know that it can store (with certain limitations and exceptions)
Numeric = 7,089 characters max.
Alphanumeric = 4,296 characters max.
You can store things like Alphanumeric values, Email, Phone Number, vCard or a Website URL.
How do I generate a QR code?
Well…there’s software and websites for that as well. We generated the above codes using http://qrcode.littleidiot.be but you can generate one using http://bit.ly as well. Just add ".qr" at the end of your bit.ly URL and voila, you have a QR code!
What can I use to scan a QR code?
To scan a QR code you’ll need a phone equipped with a camera and software or an app that is able to read/parse the QR codes. Don’t worry, there are tons of free apps on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android phones that are capable of scanning these QR codes e.g. i-nigma, QR Reader, QR Scanner, 2D Sense, etc. to name a few.
Little known facts about QR codes...
- QR codes were invented by a subsidiary of Toyota back in 1994!
- QR Codes can be customized to include your logo, as long as it doesn’t interfere or alter the embedded information. Otherwise, it won’t scan. Click here for a an example of a branded QR code!
- QR codes are available without a license!! Go ahead, use them at will.
- The world’s largest QR code is on the rooftop of a scrap yard in Charlotte, NC. No kidding!! It’s almost 10,000 sq. ft.