Archive for January, 2017
The first month of the new year is traditionally a time when most of us renew our commitments to ticking off those items on our ‘To Do’ lists that have been lingering since a half gig of mobile data cost R999!
Since procrastination is the enemy of business people everywhere, let’s take a moment to focus on some typical action points that seem to escape our attention year after year. Let’s also make a renewed commitment to tick them in 2017.
Social Media Profiles
Let’s be honest – 20% of us are in love with our social media presence, keep it shiny, glowing and updated more often than we should, and the other 80% of us think LinkedIN and its copycats are a huge drag. Let’s carry on being honest – it doesn’t matter what we think, social media works and our excuses should end right there. Sit down this weekend at whatever coffee shop is flavour of the month and update those profiles so the next time you get Googled, your potential client isn’t reading about your proficiency in MS Office.
It’s great that you made an email signature out of forward slashes and fullstops while having a drink during the Mexico and South Africa game in 2010, but it really is time now to hire someone to freshen things up. In fact, this really is the year to tick this one off because none of us have the excuse of having to use pricey graphic designers anymore. A simple Google search will reveal a staggering array of free online tools that will allow you to create your own corporate ID, all smartened up for the coming year.
Related to the above, first online booking technology made your travel agent redundant now it looks like your tax guy and the casual delivery driver who’s always everywhere but near are going to get the boot as well. Make 2017 the year when you truly discover just how brilliant the web is for decimating time spent on nonsense tasks. We also know about queuing services but have we truly discovered what’s out there just waiting to make our lives more productive?
All of the Above – Made for Mobile…
Finally, and here’s the long-awaited point of today’s blog, you need to align completing your To Do list tasks with mobile. All this really means is whenever you’re planning, designing or implementing anything to do with your business’s public presence, make sure it views wonderfully across all mobile devices. Does my updated social media presence look good on a 7-inch mobile screen, can Gmail users reading my emails on their Samsung cellphones view my new logo designed in a call centre in Mumbai? Those are the practical questions you need to ask. It simply has to look great on mobile in 2017 or it just doesn’t count as a ‘To Do’ list tick.
A recent news article stated that while mining’s share of the economy continues to decline, tourism’s is on the up and up with the sector making a 3% direct contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). That’s not as insignificant as one first thinks if one considers there are dozens of commercial and industrial sectors spread across the primary, second and tertiary spheres of the economy. So for one sector to claim a 3% slice of the overall pie, well that’s indeed something. I digress.
Tourism seeks to showcase everything that both local and foreign tourists desire. In the mayor of Joburg’s words this is: “jaw-dropping landscapes, the Big Five, rich urban heritage, the best shopping in Africa,” and so on. Mobile marketing is the supreme ‘showcaser’ of products and services. Considering we’re currently in the midst of tourism season in South Africa, let’s take a few moments to consider the potential mobile marketing holds for the tourism industry. We’ve spoken at length before of mobile marketing for SMEs, NGOs, large corporates and others, but we’ve never quite addressed tourism which, in this season, seems imperative.
Let’s start out strong – the new normal is very simple: Smartphones, the holy grail of mobile marketing, are used at every stage of the travel and tourism process. From initial exploratory investigations, to actual booking and paying for trips, right through to rating hotel meals and airlines experienced on the return trip home.
According to one travel and tourism commentator, a 2014 research study commissioned by Expedia has shown that 94% of leisure travelers travel with a smartphone. It gets better. A whopping 97% of business travelers bring at least one device on every trip. “Mobile devices effectively serve as a concierge, guide and companion for travellers, who rely on smartphones and other mobile devices at every stage of their journey,” says this industry commentator.
As Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia, says: “Travelers are not only researching and booking trips on mobile, but they’re also complimenting their meals and complaining to providers” on their cellphones. There are a staggering number of opportunities that mobile can offer businesses aiming to connect with travellers.
A great case study of how this can be achieved is John Lennon International Airport in Liverpool where the approach has been one of ‘digital transformation’. The airport switched its marketing approach to a digital and mobile-first focus and this meant getting staff at every level involved in the social media conversation surrounding the airport. The aim was build closer relationships with passengers, engaging them and driving loyalty – all using mobile!
It is no doubt with great excitement that 2017 kicks off across the length and breadth of mobile marketing land!
Here at Imaginatrix we have already spent much of this past November and December giving you a taste of what’s likely in store for us “app aficionados” this year. We’ve looked at the hottest upcoming trends such as rewarded video and how mobile video ads will soon be the fastest-growing digital ad segment.
We breached the big picture and mentioned that global ad spending on mobile will increase 3.6% in 2017. We saw how 2016 was the first year where mobile overtook desktop during the annual Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping extravaganza.
Now that the foundations have been laid, let’s start building the house! For those regular blog readers that took our advice and started contemplating their mobile strategies during the December holiday break, you’ll already have some idea of where you want to go on Mobile Route 66. For those readers who haven’t yet given some thought to their 2017 mobile strategies, you can rest assured that Imaginatrix has done the thinking for you. Come and see us and we’ll de-clutter the mobile space for you by telling you what your top three should be.
First off, it’s not good enough to leave your mobile strategy in the bush, berg or beach. You need to write it down and get everyone to buy into this written version of your big mobile idea. It is only by committing plans to paper that you can be sure everyone is working towards the same vision because they have clarity on your mobile objectives.
Secondly, you need to create mobile-friendly versions of every mobile marketing platform you own that interfaces with the consumer. Personally testing what’s out there already is a great first step because brand owners are best suited to identifying gaping holes in the mobile strategy better than anyone else.
Finally, you need to get with the times and prioritise mobile spending over other media. Be bold and allocate 60% of your media buying spend to mobile properties and 40% to everything else. Seriously, make 2017 the first year where the lion’s share goes to mobile. You’ll be in step with trends globally and ahead of the curve locally.
When deciding what hot new topic to write about for today’s blog, I wanted the focus to be on the basics – as regular readers would have noticed, we’ve covered a lot of 2017 predications here over the past couple of weeks. So, I thought it was time to take another look at the fundamentals of mobile marketing that transcend the latest trends.
Then I came across some content about mobile video that I thought was really interesting. We’ve spoken before about the great and growing potential of mobile video but we haven’t yet addressed the hot topic of rewarded video ads in mobile.
According to PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report, mobile video ads will be the fastest-growing digital ad segment in the next five years. The report says, “They will easily surpass desktop Internet video ad revenues.” That’s all fine and well, but what caught my eye was the concept of ‘rewarded’ mobile video ads. What does that mean exactly?
In a nutshell, rewarded video ads are the incentivised version of video ads, allowing mobile users to receive some particular in-app perk or privilege in exchange for the simple act of watching an ad. They can be tied in nicely to mobile campaigns that have gaming as a central element because many game players have come to rely on rewarded video ads to earn points, coins or extra lives. So they’re used to the concept. For advertisers, goodwill is created through incentives and this sets the stage for the mobile user’s undivided attention.
Finally, it is worth remembering that the ultimate fate of your brand’s mobile campaign is in the hands of mobile users who expect to be entertained, delighted, respected and rewarded for their loyalty. Mobile video enables you to achieve the first two, and in-app mobile video that rewards enables you to accomplish the latter two.
I like entrepreneurs. Start-ups are one of my favourite kind of clients. Someone who is launching a business on the slimmest of budgets doesn’t have time to beat around the bush. Entrepreneurs bring us back to the true nature of business. It’s all about the cash: selling something and getting paid in the most efficient way possible.
This is why I like reading Entrepreneur magazine and the excellent contributions from people like AJ Agrawal, the well-known tech entrepreneur and ‘growth marketer’, as he also now calls himself. AJ is known for getting right down to it. For example, forget all the long-windedness, he reduces all the advice for 2017 currently coming out of all the usual learned centres to just four points.
Marketers looking to build the consumer relationship have to get on board with the digital age and the best ways to do this are to make a ton of mobile coupons available to cellular users, make mobile payments available and finally, get on board with mobile-only social.
These four simple points acknowledge a fundamental truth in the economy today and that is consumers are turning on smartphones, tablets and even smartwatches to consume information. They’re abandoning laptops almost to the same degree as desktops. The usage of the latter has long since given up the ghost except in the most time-warped of very large organisations.
I loved what AJ had to say about mobile friendly sites: “few consumers want to pinch and zoom their way to a purchase”. I think we can all identity with having a process a transaction on the move, being found with only our smartphone on us, and then having to deal with a website probably built for the large desktop-wielding organisation mentioned above.
In summary, mobile marketing is no longer just one option amongst many it once was. Today, if your marketing strategy has either “achievement”, “success” or “win” on its 2017 agenda, these four mobile-marketing tips will be key.
Despite the pervasiveness of the technology that enables mobile marketing, many mobile marketers still find it incredibly difficult to explain in simple terms what it is specialist firms like Imaginatrix actually do. It seems a bit odd that over 35 million adults in South Africa can be cellular users and yet the vast majority don’t understand what mobile marketing is. Mobile marketing is defined by the likes of Wikipedia and others as “marketing on, or to, mobile devices.” Well, that’s not very helpful at first glance, is it?
Let’s go back to those 35 million mobile adults. For the vast majority of us, our most common exposure to mobile marketing campaigns comes not from such often-quoted examples of the technology in action like banner ads (very yesteryear!) but through mobile campaigns centered on System Messaging. Now there’s a term most of us would not be familiar with and yet us 35 million interact with System Messaging alerts practically every day. System Messaging includes network notifications such as Please Call Me, Missed Call Alert and Sponsored Calls.
The great thing about System Messaging is that it perfectly lends itself to mobile campaigns in a discrete way that does not elicit unfavorable responses to the brand from the cellular consumer. Almost all of us would have received a Please Call Me message by now from some hapless friend, relative or employee who has run out of airtime and who needs a phone call from you. Very few mobile consumers mind the fact that tagged at the end of Please Call Me messages are commercial text tags promoting some product or service. These text tags are discrete, simple and yet, hugely noticeable. All of this adds up to a mobile marketing dream with very little downside.
Imaginatrix’s founder helped commercialise the Please Call Me service when it was the forerunner of all System Messaging applications practically on the whole continent, and indeed, the world. We’ve been intimately associated with the System Messaging business plan across a range of African networks for a very long time and remain the go-to point for brands and their ad agencies wanting to tap into the massive potential of 35 000 000 potential Please Call Me text tag recipients.
MobileMarketingLand.com is very forthright about what’s in store for us in 2017. “Brace yourself” and “fiercely competitive” are four simple words this mobile news platform uses in relation to the dawning new year.
So the fact we’re set for a competitive 2017 on the mobile marketing front shouldn’t scare us too much. After all, our competitive streak is why we became marketers. Right? Exactamundo. We all know that Seth Godin (“the world’s best marketer”) is spot on when he describes marketing as “a contest for people’s attention”. And you and I are more than happy to compete in that contest!
It’s going to be an exciting one in 2017 as more and more marketers, their clients, generalist ad agencies, and specialist mobile agencies like Imaginatrix, continue to spend on mobile advertising. According to numbers firm Magna, global ad spending on mobile will increase 3.6% in 2017. That may sound trivial, but that’s an awful lot of additional ad spend money making its way to the small screen. By the way, few people realise that globally, at least, mobile now receives more spend than TV.
Continued confidence in the mobile market is driving up competition in that marker and this is why you should immediately start preparing your mobile strategy for peak performance. Don’t wait until the customary ‘back to work’ second week of January to start laying 2017’s mobile foundations. You really need to start this week to get the jump on everyone else.
Perhaps it would be helpful to start on the usual low-hanging fruit. There is a massive shift towards in-app mobile advertising and that is great news for app publishers and developers, and a trend that advertisers can’t afford to miss. So, as you try relax on the beach or in the berg, stealing a few more hours of down time before the 2017 rush, try and devote some thinking time to in-app purchases.
Think specifically of how you’re going to build relationships with publishers in 2017. Ask yourself questions about how you’re going to choose a reputable mobile advertising partner that is vigilant about detecting and preventing ad fraud. As MobileMarketingLand.com says “A responsible ad network partner will be vigilant about ensuring you get what you paid for.”
We introduced our previous blog post with a mention of the fundamentals or mobile marketing that transcend the latest trends. Because much of what has been written about mobile marketing recently, both here and on other platforms, has been around the hottest mobile trends for 2017, it’s a good time to refocus on the building blocks of our discipline. These foundations remain true year after campaign year.
We spent the early part of 2016 mentioning several times how mobile’s strong suite is the fact that it perfectly lends itself to personalisation because it can be made to deliver relevant, time-sensitive information to the cellular user, depending on their location. You just can’t beat that with a billboard. Or TV, or radio, and especially not print. However, we also learnt that all the different marketing mediums are complementary to each other – print, for example, is perfect for reminding the public about the correct short codes, USSD strings, and the like, for particular mobile campaigns.
One basic brands and their agencies really need to keep top of mind during mobile campaigns is the need to respect mobile users. Mobile, because of its highly-relevant nature, has the potential to invade privacy with all sorts of nasty consequences for brands and consumers alike. Do not risk disturbing users with the overuse of pop-up ads, videos that auto-play at inopportune moments, or ill-fitted ads that cover important screen space.
When we go back to basics, we remember the mobile ad formats that users actually appreciate. For instance, native ads are gaining the recognition they deserve, because “native” is the ad-placement strategy that ensures ads fit into their mobile app environment in the most non-disruptive manner. These ads do what marketing should be doing all the time – bending into an app’s look and feel while still standing out so that they appeal to to users who are genuinely interested in the promoted product or service.
Let’s leave it at that for now: remember not to annoy mobile users, and promote your products using tasteful ads that aren’t too loud. Stick to those two mobile marketing pillars and you should do OK during 2017.