Archive

Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

Six Cool Trends I Think 2012 Will Bring Us

December 28, 2011 21 comments

2011 is coming to a close but before it does, I wanted to write down my thoughts on some cool trends I think 2012 will bring us from a marketing, mobile and technology perspective. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Near-Field Communication Becomes Mainstream

The biggest issue with NFC right now is the fact that we’re calling it NFC. This technology (RFID) has been around for years in fact, you likely already use it a few times a day to gain access to your condo, your office and even pay at the pump using your MasterCard Paypass. The introduction of Google Wallet in North America means that Google is helping to educate the mass market about NFC, but I think, as marketers, we need to simplify the message. Paying for everyday items is as easy as tapping your phone. Checking into foursquare will be as easy as tapping your phone. Sending someone your business card will be as easy as tapping your phones together. Accessing brand & product information, downloading music, videos, apps – will be as easy as tapping your phone. Just Tap It. Tap It. Simple.

The phones are here and the API & other applications are coming. Sales of NFC-enabled phones is set to hit 80Million globally in 2012. It’s a huge trend. Your wallet, loyalty cards, ID and gift cards could potentially live on your phone and this is going to really take flight this year. While this could be a scary concept for some, would you rather lose your wallet & have to replace all of your cards, or lose your phone and simply wipe it remotely and be able to restore all of your cards quickly and easily?

2. Diffusion of Engagement.
A marketing buzz word in 2011, companies everywhere were searching for ways to connect and create ‘engagement’ with their influential customers. The idea being that using services like Klout, Kred & others can help you reach the people who can ‘influence’ the purchase decisions of people within their respective networks. In 2012, customers will become increasingly savvy to this. We don’t like telemarketers interrupting us and we know what’s fake. We’ll sniff out that blogger that is only promoting a new brand or smartphone because they got a sample or got one for free. We’ll start to turn off the companies that are using social media like a megaphone to push their message out to people instead of truly connecting with and rewarding their loyal customers. At the end of the day, word of mouth needs to travel through trusted sources. People are more likely to buy something that one of their FRIENDS have recommended; not Justin Bieber.

3. A Mobile Advertising Platform for BlackBerry
If you are currently developing applications for iOS, Android or BlackBerry you know that iOS and Android come with many PAID methods of helping you gain distribution and promote your application to generate downloads an stimulate usage. ADMOB (Owned by Google) is likely the most efficient. It’s a Pay-per-click advertising platform for iOS and Android that allows you to target potential users through its mobile advertising platform (in-application) based on several user demographics. You can target on country, gender, age, even device & carrier network, set a daily budget and get a comprehensive report on how many impressions your ad generated as well as the number of click-thrus and downloads. If you’re familiar with Adwords, it works in much the same way but for mobile.

This is something that is really missing for BlackBerry. With over 75Million BlackBerry users worldwide; a mobile advertising platform whether in AppWorld or through free BlackBerry apps is important, relevant and realistic for two reasons. (1) It could be a potential source of mobile advertising revenue for RIM. (2) It presents a channel for the makers of the over 50,000 applications available in BlackBerry AppWorld to target and communicate to their base of users, gain feedback and offer increased value. Some find ads annoying, but for smaller application development companies – it’s a cost-effective way to reach potential users and is a great channel to gain and share information.

4. RIM’s Market share in the United States will climb aggressively.
This may seem like a #BeBold statement and is not intended to align with their current Bold campaign. I am still a firm believer in Research In Motion despite their 2011 blunders for a number of reasons:
1. They have over 75 Million subscribers world wide.
2. They are growing in other important markets (Asia)
3. They realized over $5B in Revenue last quarter
4. They are in a market that is only 3510% penetrated globally. We’re still in the early stages of mobile adoption.
5. They make a good product. The Playbook is a strong tablet & the Bold 9900 is the best device I’ve ever owned.
6. They have made a number of strategic acquisitions (TAT, Tungle, Gist, JayCut) that I feel will drive home the user experience and pull them back into the smartphone race.

Look, I get it. RIM has had some serious issues with leadership and execution. They have lost a few key people in key positions from downsizing and from attrition and I know the microscope is on them. They’re not going to zero, and in my opinion are not in a death spiral as the mainstream media would have you believe. Their developer channel is solid, they have great patents and IP, they make a great product and are growing in other international markets. As a PlayBook owner, I have a lot of confidence in the move to the QNX operating system. I think it will pave the way for some cool functionality and a reinvention of Blackberry as we know it.

5. Everything’s a game.
Gamification. Game Mechanics. Call it what you like, everything you touch in 2012 will have some sort of game component to it. Whether it’s checking in and earning points using Foursquare, or rewarding users for watching TV shows and shopping at certain retail stores – People will go crazier than ever before trying to outdo their friends and family by collecting rewards/badges/trophies and points for completing certain tasks and actions. Do we need another digital farm? Definitely not, but we’ve only just scratched the surface with respect to how the user experience can be integrated, ‘fun-ified’, changed and improved using competitive elements. Bigger trend – you’ll see many companies introducing rewards system for real world stuff. Points will become a form of virtual currency that you’ll be able to redeem for coupons, discounts and even purchase retail items. It’s not new (air miles/Petro points, Avion points), but it’s set to explode this year.

6. Experiential Marketing Comes to Retail
I recently purchased a pair of sunglasses from a sunglass retailer with over 2,000 stores around the world. This was a new location and it had been a while since I had been in this chain. I was surprised by the mediocre experience. Though the staff were helpful enough, the experience felt cheap. Glasses secured in closed display cases with the logos of brands scattered about, prices hand-written on tags attached to the glasses in blue pen. I had to write my name on a piece of paper to activate the warranty. Really? How does this get information get entered into their system? After begrudgingly shelling out nearly $300 for my new shades, the associate happily smiled and put my purchase in a little shopping bag. A cheap experience for an expensive purchase.

A good retail experience reduces buyer’s remorse. You feel valued. You feel special and you want to return to that store with your friends and family. It elevates and establishes your perception of that brand in your mind. I think starbucks does a phenomenal job of creating a great user experience. Being inside of a starbucks (The decor, the way the baristas speak to you, the ambiance) all makes me feel comfortable about shelling out $5 for a latte. It feels like a treat. They make you feel special even though at the end of the day, you’re just buying a coffee. I think 2012 will be the year that we see this happen at more stores – a greater focus on retail marketing. Companies will be further integrating their digital and social activities with retail locations. We’ll start to see individual stores reaching out to their customers to connect with them on a more personal level. Experiences will improve. We’ll see more integration with technology, more retail mobile payments and more linkages between the brand across retail, mobile and smartphones (Think Foursquare, NFC, Facebook like, Twitter, QR codes, SMS). The retail experience will be improved in 2012. At least, I hope so.

Advertisements

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

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

Have we Killed QR Codes?

March 25, 2011 3 comments

Microsoft Tags, QR Codes, Bokode, Aztec code, Data Matrix, CueCat, ShotCode, Touchatag…These are just a few of the many forms of scanable information barcodes available.  Full list: http://goo.gl/91Q3w

How many QR code reader applications do I need to load on my BlackBerry? Seriously folks, this is getting a bit ridiculous. Widely used in Asia, there needs to be some sort of standardization with QR codes or the platform itself runs the risk of never becoming mainstream in North America.

Why can’t there be a single reader that can decipher multiple formats across multiple platforms (Windows/BlackBerry/Android/Apple)? Is this a Beta/VHS or Blu-Ray/HDDVD thing? Are we trying to see what the winning platform will be? Have we already killed QR Codes?

QR Codes are powerful. They contain so much data and among other things, are great to include in marketing materials to generate responses. I get excited when I see one on a box, in marketing material or on a website. They spark curiosity and are becoming increasingly understood and accepted.

Currently, there are several different Mobile OS platforms that interpret QR codes differently and have native reader apps. There are codes that can only be deciphered by Apple products and likewise for BlackBerry, Android and WinMo phones. Creating a standardized platform would make it easier for developers (don’t have to develop several codes for the same message), app makers (can focus on a specific platform and deliver value) and ultimately, those who would end up actioning your QR code.

More on QR Codes: 

Create your own QR Codes: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

A list of QR code readers across platforms: http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/

My BlackBerry Barcode:

Matt_bbm_barcode.png

UPDATE: March 31, 2011 – QR Codes, Goodbye and Good Riddance

http://ca.gizmodo.com/5787427/qr-codes-goodbye-and-good-riddance?

%d bloggers like this: