Why Mobile Marketing needs to be a part of your mix – Now.

If it’s not currently a part of your company’s marketing mix, start now. Start thinking about how you will stay ahead of your competitors by reaching the increasing number of smartphones & tablets being carried by your target audience. Is your website optimized for mobile? How about your blog? Is there a customized application you could develop that would provide additional value? How can mobile marketing be integrated into your existing marketing mix?

“Consumers are 25% more likely to respond to advertising, (print, billboards, bus shelters, etc) if they are able to do so via a mobile response” ~ BusinessWorld

“Based on 74 campaigns during Q4 2009, and with a huge 69,854 respondents, the research revealed that on average, 22% were aware of a mobile advert — leading to a purchase intent rate of 5.4%” ~ Brandchannel

Together, these two data points indicate that consumers are not only responding favourably to mobile advertising from an awareness standpoint, but that this technology is translating into genuine purchase intent and sales. It comes down to making it easy for your customers to buy your product/service. Each step in between your customer and that customer purchasing your product decreases the likelihood that they will buy from you.

So, what can you do now to improve your mobile marketing efforts and increase your conversion rates in print and traditional advertising? Try playing to a person’s curiosity by adding a QR code to your ad. Link it to a customized mobile landing page. Provide them with a means of discovering what makes your product or services, awesome. QR Codes are very robust and can be used to store links to websites, videos, audio files, images and even SMS messages, so think about how you could integrate these into your existing advertisements.

Recently, we ran a small, local promotion designed to raise awareness for QR codes, local businesses and most importantly, to have some fun with mobile marketing & communications! Over the course of 5 days, we hid prize baskets at 5 different businesses across the city. Using social media (Twitter, facebook and a customized blog), we shared a QR Code clue as to where the prize basket was hiding that day. The first person to arrive at the secret location, claimed the prize. We also installed ‘digital ballot boxes’ at each location in order to reward subsequent visitors for playing along. This ballot entered them into a draw to win some amazing grand prizes including, VISA gift cards and a Blu-Ray player.

After the promotion, we analyzed the data and developed a report that outlined the success of the mobile campaign and how similar campaigns could work in the future. Here are the results of the case study:

QR code

QR Code Project

We learned that not only is awareness for QR codes high, integrating them into existing marketing and advertising activities is an excellent way to add a layer of interactivity on top of your ads.

Adoption of smartphones will increase exponentially in the next few years so you need to begin allocating resources to mobile marketing. Email me: matt@oryxadvertising.com to chat about how we can work together to develop a successful mobile marketing strategy for your business. For starters:

  • K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, SIMPLE. It’s not just about making a QR code link to your Web page or your Facebook page. Even if those pages are optimized for mobile, chances are the content isn’t. Mobile content needs to be easy to access, to appreciate and to easy to share. If it fails the user on any one of those counts, it won’t create the reaction you’re hoping for.
  • See. Scan. See you later. I’m a big fan of integrating QR Codes into existing activities because taking a picture is faster and easier than looking up a twitter handle or keying in a URL into your mobile browser. Other technologies will arrive making things even easier (See NFC), but right now, QR Codes are king as they’re readily available & easy to use.
  • Let context dictate content. Make sure your mobile content is useful to consumers in the same location you expect them to experience it in. Don’t offer them videos in a location where they won’t be able to watch them right away.
  • We’re still early in the cycle. People won’t buy anything or fill out long-winded forms via your mobile site. It’s just another touch point in a series of consumer touch points designed to keep your message consistent. Great mobile sites serve up awesome content and create a means for your customers to connect with your brand through their desired platform – later if they wish. Your mobile site is a powerful medium for you to wow your audience, raise awareness and keep your brand top of mind for when your customers are ready to buy.

Content from list derived from “How to blend mobile marketing with Social Media” article. Credit: Jesse Stanchak, June 15, 2011

Interesting Data on Tablet Usage, Demographics and Mobile Marketing

June 7, 2011 11 comments

If I told you 14 months ago that there’s a market out there that doesn’t exist yet, but will be worth approximately $35 Billion by 2012, what would you say?

Last year, you may have said it’s impossible but that is exactly what the tablet market is estimated to be valued at by next year.

It’s no secret that Apple created this space with the launch of the iPad in 2010. Since then, there have been dozens of competitors enter the market hoping to capitalize on this newly developed category while trying to erode Apple’s marketshare strangle hold of nearly 90% of all tablets. Recently, these and other interesting usage statistics from 1st generation tablet users were revealed at the OMMA Tablet Revolution Conference in New York on June 6, 2011. I have collected this information below, please provide your feedback and thoughts.

Tablet Market

Tablet Devices in Market

I have had my BlackBerry Playbook for just over two weeks now and I’m finding i’m using it as a quick resource to the internet, browsing, games, youtube, music and movies. In addition to the Playbook, there is the iPad2, Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy tab, Motorola Xoom, HP Slate, among others. So, how are people currently using their tablet today? What opportunities do tablets bring to advertisers and marketers with respect to mobile marketing? A panel that included David Gill , VP, Mobile Media and Marketing , The Nielsen Company, provided this insight:

  • UM research says 3 iPad owner mindsets – simplicity craver, on demand lifestyle, the family enabler
  • Tablet owners skews male, median age 38, Median HHI $142K, married w/ kids
  • Tablet owners download an average of 18 apps.
  • 65% want magazines on their tablet
  • Tablets are being used for fun, learning and to pass the time, but NOT so much to connect with friends as of yet
  • Interestingly, men aged 25-34 and women aged 45-54 use tablets the most
  • Holding up iPad – “This our new yard sign” – says Michael Fischer, CMo Coldwell Banker
  • Free apps are still the norm; must drive ways to get people to pay for apps
  • Consumers did not like ads that played music automatically when they engage (just like online)
  • Interactive ad features are a must, with videos being liked the most (75%)
  • Most tab users are NOT using their tabs to connect — more about content now
  • 56% of tablet users say they use it several times a day. 63% share their tablet with 2 or more people
  • The mobility of the tablet can help increase the validity of other channels, such as TV
  • Tablets are the “slouch” device. Lean back consumption & entertainment. Quickly becoming preferred web device while watching tv
  • Jeremy Lockhorn, Razorfish “tablets are not a replacement device, they are a media complementary device
  • What makes tablet different isn’t touch, but its form factor and inherent sharing
  • While there are challenges in this space, it’s a magical device with opportunities for everyone

Do you own a tablet? If so, which tablet do you own?

How To: Transfer Files over Home WiFi Network From PC to Playbook

June 2, 2011 13 comments

I’ve had my BlackBerry Playbook up and running for just over a week now and I continue to discover new things about it every day.

One of my favourite features thus far I sort of found by accident: Transferring files (music and movies) from my PC – Playbook over-the-air using my home WiFi network. 

One of the most overlooked benefits of BlackBerry in comparison to other devices is the ability to drag and drop media files from your computer through USB (or a wifi app) without having to use a proprietary music service such as iTunes.

Transferring music, videos and pictures to the playbook is easy. In fact, I discovered it’s even easier than I had expected. After connecting the tablet to my PC with the USB cable, here’s what I found when locating the directories I wanted to open:

Network Settings

That’s right! I Immediately noticed that the playbook was registering as a device on my wifi network! Curiously, I clicked on the playbook icon and it opened up sub directory files…and eventually… the location of where media and music would be stored on the device:

Playbook Folders

From here, all you need to do is select the folder where you would like the respective media file to live. In order to accomplish all of this, you need to ensure that you have network sharing enabled on your PC as well as enabling file & Wifi sharing on your playbook. Which is also super simple to do. Here’s how you enable file sharing on your playbook:

Enable File Sharing on Playbook

You can transfer any type of file from PC to Playbook using this method. Even work documents such as: presentations, client creative, invoices, spreadsheets, word documents, press releases, flash documents – whatever you need to customize your tablet experience.

This activity really highlighted the multi-tasking ability of the playbook for me as well. As I was pushing nearly 4GB of files to the Playbook over my wifi network, my wife was busy playing Papa’s Burgeria and also had the browser (Youtube), appworld, camera application, a stock video and facebook running in the background. There was no degradation of performance and she had no idea that I was uploading those files to the device.

NFC – How Near-Field Communications Will Change Marketing & Mobile Commerce

May 27, 2011 4 comments

UPDATE: June 3, 2011 – check out the Digital Marketing Lounge Podcast where we discuss NFC, mobile commerce and the Global Smartphone market.

I wanted to write a post about mobile commerce because I think that this is something that will explode over the next two years with Near Field Communication platforms and the introduction of new NFC applications such as Square, Google Wallet & Google Offers.

If you’re not familiar with NFC – it’s a set of short-range wireless technologies, typically requiring a distance of 4 cm or less. NFC always involves an initiator and a target; the initiator actively generates an RF field that can power a passive target. This enables NFC targets to take very simple form factors such as tags, stickers, key fobs, or cards that do not require batteries. What this means is you can basically ‘tap’ your smartphone on an NFC enabled tag to access information, make payments, access loyalty cards, send money to your friend, visit a website, and so much more.

What I find interesting and exciting are the potential uses for NFC & the opportunities to revolutionize point of sale marketing and mobile commerce that are on the horizon.

Mobile Commerce:

Yesterday, Google announced Google Wallet. In partnership with Mastercard, Sprint, Citi and First Data, Google Wallet will allow you to effectively make your phone your wallet. It will store your existing plastic cards (Loyalty cards, debit cards, credit cards, driver’s licenses, etc.) securely, privately and wirelessly on your NFC enabled smartphone.

Example:

You have just finished an incredible meal at a restaurant you frequent that accepts Airmiles. The server brings your bill to the table which looks like a regular cheque. You notice the NFC logo on the bottom of the receipt There is an NFC sticker on the bill that will make it recognizable by your smartphone. Near Field Communication Logo

You tap the logo with your smartphone and a payment application is launched that allows you select how you would like to pay. You select your MasterCard and your Google Wallet also identifies that this restaurant not only accepts Airmiles, but that you also have a loyalty card that will save you 10% off of your bill. You confirm your method of payment and the use of your Airmiles and loyalty cards, add a tip and your done.

Point of Sale Marketing:

When NFC is used at point of sale, consumers will be able to tap a product with their smartphone and access information, take part in promotions, contests, ‘like’ the product on facebook, view reviews and testimonials and access product videos. You’ll find NFC tags in print, on posters, POS, on products, transit shelters and so much more. Everything will be instantly trackable and measurable. Opt-ins to newsletters, promotions and adding leads to back end systems will happen in real time. Most of all, consumers will be able to check-in at merchant retailers, access coupons, sign up for newsletters, donate a dollar to a charity – all through an NFC enabled smartphone.

For merchants, businesses will deploy NFC technologies to accept payments, make it easy for their customers to browse, compare and buy products while in store and offer loyalty discounts and rewards.

Other Exciting Uses for Near Field Communication

  • NFC tags on bus shelters that display bus schedules in real-time when tapped
  • Boarding passes for mass transit (Air travel, train, bus, etc.)
  • Mobile ticketing – Check-in to concerts and sporting events by tapping your smartphone
  • Audio tours of museums or historical walking tours of cities
  • Keyless entry for your vehicle or home
  • Exchanging business cards & contact information by tapping two NFC enabled smartphones together
  • Exchanging money between people (Shawn, you still owe me $20).
The way you interact with retail brands is about to change and your smartphone is fast becoming the #1 thing that you can’t leave your home without. What are your thoughts on NFC, Google Wallet and mobile commerce?

SO you’ve un-boxed your Playbook. Now what?

May 25, 2011 5 comments

Following is a review of my first few hours with my new BlackBerry Playbook.

What are you going to use that thing for?

It’s a common question from my wife in regards to anything technology-based. Since I like shiny new pieces of tech, I usually come up with a really geeky response. The truth is – I’m not really sure just yet.

Based on what I know about tablets the moment I un-boxed my PlayBook, I made the following assumptions of what I would use it for:

For Fun: Movies & HDMI out, Twitter, browsing, writing entries in my blog, music, pictures, downloaded/YouTube/recorded videos.

For Business: Client presentations (go completely paperless), creative approvals and meetings.

Arguably, you can do all of this with a laptop – and that’s completely true. But what a laptop cannot do is offer all of this with the level of portability that BlackBerry can.

I have had my Playbook working for less than 12-hours at the time of writing this post. After un-boxing it, updating the software and registering the device, I started using it immediately and pushing it pretty hard to see what it was capable of. Here’s what I can tell you so far:

What makes it AWESOME: 

  1. Flash: It may be a small point to some, but there’s something to be said for experiencing the Internet as it was intended. I can watch episodes of Fringe (big fan) online, in HD..on my Playbook because it runs Flash.
  2. File Transfer. Transferring files wirelessly over WiFi. This is as easy as drag n’ drop into a folder from my PC to PlayBook.
  3. Power: I was pushing almost 4GB of files over WiFi to the device, running YouTube in the background, ESPN.com on the browser, the Facebook App, AppWorld and my wife was playing Sudoku. There was no degradation of performance & she had no idea I was uploading files to the device.
  4. WiFi: With Playbook, you don’t need a separate data plan. Great for consumers, bad for carriers. It also works really well on WiFi or through BlackBerry Bridge.
  5. BlackBerry Bridge: Without a native Calendar or Email App, the BlackBerry Bridge makes it possible to have both on your PlayBook. It was easy to setup and these applications work very well on the Playbook.
  6. Screen Shots: Ability to take screen grabs of the device’s screen (found this by accident).

What I won’t use it for/What I didn’t like:

  1. Writing long messages (emails, blog posts). Unless you have a bluetooth keyboard, I wouldn’t recommend this. I found even Twitter posts to be challenging.
  2. Facebook & Twitter. These two Apps need work for the Playbook. If you try to open them in the browser, they default to mobile sites which aren’t as feature-rich. One way to get around this is to open up Hootsuite or Tweetdeck in the browser as these seem to work fine. I wanted to see how close these two platforms were to a true browser experience. There is also no native spell-check which is a problem for me as I seem to have breakfast sausages for fingers. Also, when in the photo application, you cannot automatically send pictures to twitter. You need to add them in Hootsuite or with plixi/Lockers which is a little annoying.
  3. Search Sensitivity of AppWorld: This is NOT a PlayBook issue but an AppWorld issue that I’ll address here. I spent some time searching for PaperPlane, which is a very popular game on the Playbook. I tried variations – Paper Planes, Paper Airplanes but I couldn’t find it in AppWorld. Finally, I googled it – and noticed that it was actually called, “PaperPlane”. Tried the search again in AppWorld and it came up right away.
  4. BBM: Not a huge deal to me, but when evaluating the overall experience, I wanted to see if BBM would work. With the new software update – it’s supposed to, but I haven’t been able to get it to work through the BlackBerry Bridge yet. UPDATE: Installed new version of AppWorld and upgrade to BBM. Now works perfectly!
  5. MyWorld Apps: If you have BlackBerry Apps that you’ve already downloaded and paid for, chances are they will not be available for Playbook. I found this frustrating.
Also, if you’ve just un-boxed your Playbook, you’re probably wondering what to do with it. Try these to get you started:
  1. If you have a blackberry, connect with the blackberry bridge. Use your calendar app, contacts, mail and browser.
  2. Visit your favourite flash website. try: www.espn.com
  3. Enable Video chat on the device & call someone you know with a playbook.
  4. Play Need for Speed!
  5. Turn on file sharing to transfer music/movies over wifi from you PC (Settings – top right > Storage & Sharing > File Sharing ON)
  6. Try watching streaming flash video. Here’s fringe: http://www.watch-fringe-online.net/
What’s exciting about the playbook is it’s sheer power and sexiness. The accelerometer is very responsive, multi-touch on the screen is amazing and it feels great in your hands. The high resolution display makes watching videos/movies and viewing photos amazing and it’s incredibly intuitive. I also like the HDMI out, although I haven’t used it yet. You can shoot in HD, and watch in HD on your TV. There is also a lot of potential with the QNX browser and the most exciting applications are likely the ones that have not been released or invented yet. I’m really looking forward to discovering new uses for my Playbook each day from a business and personal perspective.
Although it’s lightweight and portable, it’s not durable or practical enough to take it out during a concert to shoot HD video or take it mountain biking with you. But you can say this about any tablet – or laptop.  Even though I’ve only had the device in my hands for a short while, I’d have to say that if someone asks me if they should buy a Playbook – I would definitely say yes.

Virtual Insanity – Augmented Reality

May 6, 2011 6 comments

Updated June 8, 2011:

Remember when AR was all about little black-and-white codes that made pretty little animations play on your webcam? It seemed like a fun trick back then, and a few brands (Lego, best of all, and maybe Ray-Ban for an honorable mention) used it to create new ways to digest their products or play simple games.

Actually, there was very little ‘reality’ being augmented with those. But now that the concept has matured, we’re starting to see a very different AR come to life. With your phone’s camera becoming the input device, apps are popping up that let you view a building in your city and find out if there is available office space for rent in it, make newspapers, magazines and outdoor imagery come to life, get translation on the fly or see a person’s social profile as they pass you on the street.

~Why Augmented Reality is Poised to Change Marketing, Sam Ewen, mashable, June 8, 2011

If the term ‘Augmented Reality’ causes you to raise your left eyebrow, fear not. I’ll provide you with quick definition of this technology, discuss where it all began, how it’s being used now, and discuss some futuristic thoughts on how it might evolve over the next 12-36 months.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented bycomputer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.

AR is not new, but it is in it’s infancy. In its’ simplest form, AR can be representative of the last time you google’d a product while standing in an isle of a store. It’s also seen in sports – AR is displayed as the yellow first down line that you see on your TV when watching your favourite NFL team play football.

First Down Line

Augmented reality has appeared in Advertising as well. Holding this Mini ad up to your computer or smartphone’s webcam/camera which activates a 3D augmented reality image of the actual vehicle adding an cool and innovative dynamic to traditional print advertising.

Mini Augmented Reality

There are also some very cool Augmented Reality overlays that you can experience using your smartphone’s browser & camera application. This example from layer shows information from hotels, restaurants and coffee shops that have ‘simply’ overlayed information on top of a map application:

Finally, the future. Some argue (with good reason) that we are in the ‘1994 of the internet’ in terms of the potential of Augmented Reality as a source of augmented commerce and information. I would like to agree. The greatest barriers to mass adoption of Augmented Reality are the killer applications that don’t yet exist. It could represent an entire media channel, advertising platform and information resource for anyone willing to invest. Think about standing on the balcony of your friend’s condo in downtown Toronto armed with your AR equipped smartphone. You pan over the skyline and information about those buildings is being displayed on your smartphone’s screen in real time. Hotel logos, rates, links to websites become visible across the landscape. An airplane enters your view – and AR relays the flight data, carrier information, destination, TOA directly to your screen. You pan across the landscape to a hole in the ground for a new condo development and a 3D image of what that building will look like when complete is transposed directly on your screen. Finally, you pan your view to over the Rogers Center and immediately, you find out that the Jays are playing right now, leading the Yankees 7-2 in the bottom of the 8th inning with Jose Bautista at the plate.

Sound far fetched? It’s not. It’s on the horizon. RIM for example, just announced two new BlackBerry devices this week that will ship with Augmented Reality capabilities built in. They also announced ‘Wikitudes’ – an Augmented reality browser that comes preloaded on these devices.

This will be the trend in the next 12-months for hardware manufacturers. Keep an eye on companies like Layar, a Dutch-based Augmented Reality software leader. They have prototyped some very cool concepts for Augmented Reality, showcasing how you and I could interact, play games, shop and learn using Augmented Reality.

This technology will become more widely adopted. New concepts will be created that will help you access your digital world in ways you have never imagined and never thought possible.

Canada 3.0: Creating Engagement and Collaborating With Digital Tools

During this week’s Canada 3.0 conference in Stratford, I was asked for my thoughts on how ORYX uses digital tools to collaborate with other individuals across our company as well as how we use these tools to engage our external audience. I’m not sure if it was simply a lack of preparedness on the topics or the on-the-spot nature of the video interview, but I feel like I gave a terrible interview – Hopefully it doesn’t make it off of the cutting room floor! I’m going to provide additional thoughts around these questions since I don’t feel that I was able to articulate my thoughts clearly and the possibility of you seeing my performance in this video worries me.

How does your company use digital tools to collaborate and share information?
With offices in Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo, and clients from Vancouver to Miami, connectivity and collaboration are two important keys to ensuring our projects are kept on track and our clients are kept informed. We use Skype’s Video chat feature to hold weekly status meetings between offices to discuss current projects and deliverables. We also use Skype to hold regular update meetings with clients who are out of province or out of country. With gas prices soaring higher each day, Skype not only enables us to feel like we are meeting face-to-face, it also helps us control our travel expenses.

ORYX has deployed Salesforce.com internally as well. We use this cloud-based solution to stay on top of our new business leads, opportunities and to manage all of the contacts that flow into our business. Salesforce mobile enables us to keep a finger on the pulse of our sales pipeline and the stages that our clients are in within our sales cycle on the go. We have access to more timely information and can assign specific tasks to individuals across our organization no matter where we are.

At ORYX, we are also very heavy users of Google Docs. Google docs help us to collaborate on client projects, create and work inside project workflow documents in real time, create status updates and more. With Google docs, we not only feel like we are more connected on specific projects, it also helps us to keep on top of document versions, update in real-time and reduce our paper usage.

How does your company engage external audiences using digital tools?

The point I was trying to get across here during my video interview is that we are huge advocates of using social media platforms to engage our external audience. Through our personal and company blog and twitter accounts, we extend the marketing and advertising conversation to a wider audience, listen and respond to individuals who have questions or are looking for information on specific communications topics. As a company, our goal is to engage in conversations on twitter with at least one new person per day, and responding quickly to those who have questions for us individually, or as a company. The net result of this level of engagement has been increased awareness for our company, referrals, leads and even new business. Comments and questions on our blog have even resulted great conversations, and have led us to explore new segments of the market that were identified as being under-served.

How does your company use digital tools to collaborate across your organization and what tools do you use to engage your external audience? Keep the conversation going and visit our blog and Twitter accounts:

Matt Duench’s blog: mduench.wordpress.com

Matt Duench on Twitter: @mduench

ORYX Advertising on Twitter: @ORYXadvertising

ORYX Blog: oryxblog.com

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