Staying compliant with anti spam laws isn’t easy. Even if you’re a stringent i-dotting, t-crossing bureaucrat, existing legislation is complex and, due to the fast rate of technological evolution, always subject to change.
As tough as it is for marketers, it’s twice as bad for lawmakers, who must keep pace with a rapidly-shifting digital landscape from the context of traditional legal infrastructures (where change is typically glacial). Our capacity to pass new laws remains hobbled by a post-enlightenment attitude of checks and balances, where legal stability demanded slow, steady progress.
In the pre-globalisation era of unilateral regulation, this approach to corporate law made perfect sense. In the Internet Age, it makes virtually none. Legislative bodies all over the world are ill-equipped to tackle the borderless, international context of e-commerce.
So it is with great interest that the global community awaits the upcoming introduction of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL). It will take effect incrementally starting on July 1, 2014. Parts of the law will not take effect until July 2017.
The principal aim of the Canadian legislation is to clarify many of the grey areas that have dogged previous anti-spam measures. Consistent with new global practices for commercial email, the guiding principal here is “explicit consent”. Historically, implied consent was regarded as sufficient. The main requirements of CASL are as follows:
- Permission. Now, granting permission to communicate with potential customers requires explicit permission – although there are some exceptions, such as pre-existing business relationships.
- Private right of action. From the consumer’s point of view, this is one of the most important bits of legislation. Individuals can now bring a lawsuit against companies that breach the law; they have the right to apply for compensation. This piece of legislation will not take effect until 2017.
- Three year grace period for consent. Designed to streamline the legal process by preventing frivolous lawsuits, the grace period implies consent for three years, but requires explicit consent thereafter.
- Recorded proof of consent. Businesses must offer a clear unsubscribe option. They must also keep records of consent granted.
The legislation is of major significance for lawmakers across the world. It unites two existing strands of Canadian law relating to privacy and telecommunications. Up until now, the legal infrastructure has lacked a comprehensive framework for online commercial transactions and web marketing practices.
Compared with other G8 countries, Canada’s legislation is the harshest of its kind. The most radical elements of CASL are the extra-territorial limits placed on web communications, which will mean any electronic message sent from a Canadian IP address will be subject to the law, irrespective of its destination. The first legislation of its kind in the West, CASL does not limit its jurisdiction to fraudulent or deceitful messages – it applies to any commercial message issued without the recipient’s prior consent, effectively sounding the death knell for spam.
It remains to be seen whether other countries will adopt similar legislation. Some analysts believe the United States will wait to see how CASL plays out before changing their existing laws (known as CAN-SPAM). The crucial difference between CASL and CAN-SPAM is that the latter still works according to the opt-out method, whereby businesses have implied consent to communicate until recipients unsubscribe from the contact list. It is this single change of approach that threatens to forever change the way online marketing is conducted.
If mobile marketers can bring anything to the table, it is their experience in terms of adapting – and in some ways spearheading – the era of opt-in communications. Text marketers in the US were far ahead of the curve in this regard, and were well-primed for their own industry’s tightened regulations, which came about as part of last year’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The lesson to be learned from the way that particular transition was handled is that invention really is mothered by necessity. Mobile marketers were more than ready for the change in legislation. Web marketing enterprises across Canada will be hoping to emulate the US mobile industry when the first raft of CASL changes are introduced this year.
A brace of new studies suggest that text message programs can aid diabetics as they manage their condition. One major piece of research, published in Health Affairs, was prompted by the understanding that even patients with chronic conditions typically spend no more than a few hours annually in a health care setting, but their overall health was largely determined by the way their diabetes was managed at home.
Conducted by the University of Chicago Medicine, the research looked at one disease management program – mHealth – and its impact on adults with diabetes over the course of six months. The program uses automated text software to engage patients with their own healthcare, and to co-ordinate care efforts made on their behalf by nurses and physicians.
The research was conducted between May 2012 and February 2013. It observed a net cost saving of 8.8% among patients who used the technology, indicating that such programs can help reduce the per capita cost of healthcare. According to the study’s authors, the research provides evidence that text messaging can
“enable health care organizations to effectively support patients beyond the traditional healthcare setting and achieve the triple aim of better health, better health care, and lower costs."
The second study, published in the first 2014 edition of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, found that low-income Latino diabetes patients will accept text messages as a preferred form of behavioral intervention. The trial used a fully-automated text program designed to “increase knowledge, self-efficacy and subsequent disease management and glycemic control.”
In the JMIR research, five focus group interviews were conducted with 24 participants. Researchers sent personalized medication reminders and challenge messages to patients, and found the low-cost strategy to be effective at persuading patients to follow cues.
A similar program was run by the University of Minnesota. Their findings supported those published in the JMIR, indicating that Latino adolescent females – the fastest growing ethnic minority in the United States - were particularly responsive to text messages as a form of diabetes management and glycemic control.
The studies appear to support what the mobile marketing community has known for a long time: text messages work. As a widely available, low-cost technology, texting is fast becoming a vital tool when it comes to engaging patients and encouraging self-care in between doctor’s appointments.
Charity groups and non-profits are always on the lookout for new ways to raise money. There is a lot of competition for such finite resources as public goodwill and generosity, so it’s important to develop fundraising strategies that help you stand out from the crowd.
One of the most exciting emergent methods of engaging with potential donors is mobile fundraising. Quick and easy for users, text donations have a proven track record, despite having only been around for a scant few years.
One of the first major successes was the United Way text-to-give campaign, which first aired during the 2007 Super Bowl, appealing to viewers on behalf of the recent tsunami in Asia. Using text-to-donate technology, the commercial raised around $10,000 within seconds, and quickly piqued the interest of other fundraisers who saw the potential of mobile campaigning.
Another global cause to benefit from text-to-donate and mobile promotion was the Haiti relief effort. The Red Cross raised a staggering – and record-breaking - $32 million during the month following the earthquake. Observers put the success down to the simplicity of the donation process: donors could send $10 to the campaign by sending a brief text to a shortcode. The wave of public support for the cause extended to the corporate world, with numerous carriers waiving their usual messaging fees.
The growing popularity of text-to-donate shows that, in many cases, the only barriers to fundraising are time and convenience, and not generosity. Compared to sending a check, making a phone call, or even visiting a charity website, texting is almost hassle-free for donors. With smartphone penetration expanding rapidly, and the vast majority of the public owning a cell phone of some description, potential donors often have their device to hand when an appeal comes on the television; text-to-donate eliminates the ‘manana-effect’ of even the most well-intentioned citizen.
Let’s say you want to donate to The Red Cross. By sending ‘REDCROSS’ to ‘90999’ you can donate $10 to the organization. The amount is simply added to your next phone bill (or deducted from a prepaid balance on pay-as-you-go handsets). By typing just 13 characters, donors have helped a good cause – probably without even standing up.
Like all mobile campaigns, a key benefit of mobile fundraising is the interaction with a young audience that is statistically less likely to give money to charity. And once they’ve opted in to your contact list, they’re more likely to donate again in the future.
It’s important to be aware that not all mobile schemes are created equal. Charities don’t necessarily get 100% of the amount donated, and if the donation is deducted from a phone bill, it can take significantly longer to reach it’s destination than, say, a credit card payment made directly on a website. Inconsistencies in processing times notwithstanding, mobile fundraising works, attracting demographics who aren’t usually in the habit of giving money to good causes.
Done right, text-to-donate can help organizations develop long-term relationships with benefactors. And it’s as true for non-profits as it is for commercial enterprise: long-termer are more lucrative than one-timers.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has promised the company’s 763 million Chinese subscribers “great things” in response to repeated calls for larger display screens.
Cook made the promise at China Mobile’s flagship store in Beijing - but he wouldn't go into specifics about Apple's plans for developing a device aimed squarely at one market.
“We never talk about future things,” Cook said. “We have great things we are working on but we want to keep them secret. That way you will be so much happier when you see it.”
China Mobile is the world's largest carrier, and Apple hopes to tap their user-base in order dominate the country's smartphone market, which is currently led by Samsung. Three home-grown companies trail Samsung but outsell Apple.
China Mobile could shift 10 million iPhone units this year, according to estimates from industry analysts. According to China Mobile, pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone stood at around 1 million units on January 15th.
Apple's slow progress in China has largely been attributed to the relatively high cost of the device. Consumers are opting for smartphones costing as little as $100. Apple hopes to overturn that trend this year, but is facing a major challenge in the shape of their iPhone display, which Chinese consumers insist is too small. Standard practice in China is to use one large-screen device for emails, web browsing and watching video content. Every other fourth-generation smartphone offered by China Mobile boasts a display at least half an inch bigger than Apple's four inch iPhone screen.
Rumors abound over whether Apple will address those concerns specifically for one marketplace - albeit a huge marketplace. Some expect the company to introduce two larger-screen devices this year in order to pose a real threat to the big domestic hitters.
Last October, Instagram began phasing in advertising on their photo and video sharing platform. They began with sample ads placed directly in users' feeds, promoting a handful of trusted businesses that were already part of the Instagram community. Just ten brands were invited to participate. Additionally, Instagram promised not to incorporate any user content into ads.
Mobile marketing is still relatively young, and even big brands like Facebook, Google and Microsoft are figuring out their best practice for getting the most out of it. The search engine giant is leading the pack right now in terms of revenue, but Facebook is catching up fast, with the launch of FBX for mobile promising to revolutionize targeted advertising. With Instagram linked to Facebook, both companies stand to mutually benefit from new mobile strategies.
From the users perspective, Instagram’s refusal to share member photos and other content is great news. They are setting a new standard for sharing only relevant, shareable content.
Of course, this philosophy is a lot easier to bear out for what is essentially a visual platform. Creating images – even mediocre images – necessarily requires more work than creating mediocre text, so marketing departments will have to up their game if they want to avoid being spam filtered in Instagram’s new world. And with the recent addition of video capabilities to the site, users are experiencing ever-richer content.
It’s clear that we are entering a new era of mobile marketing. Some analysts predict that mobile will outstrip desktop by 2015. Whatever happens, mobile search and advertising is here to stay, and marketers ignore the changes at their peril.
Figuring out how to start an SMS campaign is not the easiest task for marketing managers. A great way to launch such campaigns is via the use of mobile coupons. There may be a specific offer relevant to your industry, or your might prefer to come up with targeted promotions for different groups of customers.
A Cellit survey recently indicated that buy-one-get-one coupons were considerably more popular amongst young consumers - around 68% of them prefer this type of coupon. A straight-up freebie with a purchase is more effective than a percentage discount.
Formatting the message in such a way that will engage your audience is a key part of any successful SMS campaign. Here are a few tips to help:
Keep it brief. When crafting your message ensure it is as succinct as can be, while still giving the customer all the instructions they need on how to use your coupon codes. Use personal language, avoid jargon. Slang, sales-speak, they both stand out - and not in a good way.
Lead the message with your brand name so recipients aren’t just reading (and probably spam filtering) another faceless ‘special offer’. Make sure the offer can be redeemed immediately. Remember, text coupons should reflect the demand for instant value to which smartphone users are becoming accustomed.
How the soapbox went digital.
Ethics change with technology. So says sci-fi author Larry Niven. It's quite a thought in these uncertain times, when politicians' credibility as harbingers of ethics hinges on their canny use – or shocking abuse – of technology. The scrutiny they are under is enabled by technology, too. Statesman makes moral blunder. Voters film it and post on youtube. Statesman tweets his apology. Voters tweet their disapproval back. It's a sophisticated game of ethics Pong.
Back when actual Pong was at the digital cutting edge, the marriage of modern technology and politics was very much in its honeymoon period. The televised debates between presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon are widely regarded as a watershed, the point at which public perception of politicians was based on the moving image, rather than the printed word.
But while television revolutionized personality politics, very little changed in the way technology was used to canvass opinion or harvest votes. Right up until Obama's 2008 nomination, the political campaign trail was paved with three-by-five index cards and soundtracked by the analogue click of phone banks calling potential voters. An index card would be created with the voter's details. A code denoting the voter's preferred candidate (or the direction they were leaning toward) would be added. Campaign organizers would be handed shoeboxes filled with cards that had been coded, and would call voters to rally support.
The index card system used in field organization seems so quaint now, but it engaged voters in the electoral system – and that's exactly what desktop and mobile marketing strategies are doing in the 21st Century. Now, if anything's the dinosaur it's television, a medium barely touched on by the first Obama campaign. It was even said by some commentators that Hillary Clinton acceded her Democratic nomination because she ran an old-fashioned campaign.
By contrast, Obama raised half a billion dollars in campaign funds online, and gathered vital data on the electorate that allowed him to appeal directly to them. The president's team was young enough and canny enough to see the way the tide was turning. A combination of social media, YouTube, Twitter, mobile advertising and traditional forms of marketing helped the campaign deliver a more personalized message to voters.
Some of the innovations developed and exploited by the Democratic presidential campaign were – and remain – at the forefront of mobile technology. A hyperlocal targeting app created specifically for Obama linked a google map to the neighbourhood in which campaign volunteers were working. Blue flags appeared on the map with targeted scripts that could be used to talk directly to voters about the issues affecting them. Mobile payments were also used to great effect, allowing supporters to contribute dollars via text message.
The Romney campaign tried similar strategies. One idea was a VP app that promised to inform supporters of the vice president pick before anyone else. In the end, traditional news media beat them to the punch. After the Obama victory, one Romney staffer said dejectedly: “We weren't even running the same race.”
After the Republican's disastrous attempts to flirt with new technologies in 2012, it's unlikely the GOP adopt anything other than a full-blown mobile marketing strategy for 2016. After all, an estimated 1.2 trillion text messages will be sent this year, and almost every single American voter will have received at least one of them.
The beauty of text messaging for political campaigns is that those who choose to receive SMS broadcasts have granted permission by opting-in. This is usually done by texting a keyword to a short code or local phone number. Why is opting-in so good? It protects you from accusations of spamming, as everyone on your list has requested you contact them by text. This way, you know that everything you send is heading towards someone who wants the information. Add to that the fact that more than nine out of ten texts are opened and read, and you have a pretty effective platform.
Political campaign managers are using text messaging in all sorts of innovative ways:
- Personally connecting with voters
- Running polls and surveys
- Announcing debates and party events, conferences and meetings
- Getting feedback on hot-button policy proposals
These dramatic changes in the political landscape are profound. As Larry Niven pointed out, the technology itself has an impact on the way people think. It might be used to manipulate people. It might be used to empower them (as with the much-lauded application of Twitter during the Arab Spring). Either way, it's here to stay, and the Obama 2012 campaign is a perfect model of how to conduct a mobile marketing campaign that works. You should try it some time.
Mobile marketing is a godsend for the restaurant business. Whether you’re running a franchise within a global chain of fast-food outlets, or trying to reach out to locals for a mom ‘n’ pop diner, leveraging the power of smartphones should be a central part of your marketing strategy. Here are the best applications of mobile technology for restaurants:
- Texting. This is the kicker. Cheap, fast, reliable – bulk texts can fulfill all sorts of dreams you may have for growing your business. You can use texting to send out menu updates, courtesy messages and reservation reminders. Set up an opt-in text list by offering promotions to customers who sign up. What’s the best way to do that? Read on…
- Mobile coupons. If you doubt the efficacy of this emerging form of discounting, think on this: mobile coupons have a redemption rate nearly 25% higher than printed internet coupons and around 10 times higher than mail or newspaper distributed coupons! Guess what else? They’re significantly cheaper than any other form of coupon, so if you’re considering getting into the coupon game, there really is no other option.
- Geo-fencing. This emergent technology uses GPS to define the geographical boundaries of a specific mobile device. It allows restaurants to trigger texts and emails to that device when it comes inside the boundaries. So if one of your customers is in the area, you can send them special offers based on their favorite dishes.
- Surveys and polls. Engage your customers directly by asking them what kinds of combination deals they might be interested in. For instance, would they prefer a lunch deal with two free sides or a starter and a dessert? Send out surveys to get feedback on customer service by asking for star ratings on your latest daily specials.
- QR codes. These are ideal for out-of-hours engagement. Set up sign on your store front with a QR code so if hungry customers are constantly walking by when you’re closed, you can think about the possibility of extending your opening hours.
Mobile marketing offers so many opportunities for localized, targeted customer engagement. For small restaurants, texting is an affordable way into the mobile marketing revolution, so if you’re hungry for customers, start changing the way you do business today.
The rapid adoption of smartphones and mobile media consumption has prompted analysts to put a projected value of more than $76 billion on the mobile marketing industry by 2018. A report from market research company Markets and Markets claims the current value of $15.13 billion will explode to $76.57 billion in five years, with an anticipated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 38.3%.
The market for mobile and cross-channel advertising is doubling year on year, according to the report, which analyzed data from all the major vendors of web advertising space, including Google, Apple, Jumptap, Yahoo, Microsoft Drawbridge.
The research looked at various regional markets, comparing mobile advertising trends in North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa and Latin America. It also broke down data according to solutions; services; devices; advertising types; verticals and organization size. The biggest growth region is expected to be Asia and the Pacific, with emerging digital economies in Africa and the Middle East not far behind. Cross-platform marketing is prising open the world economy for corners of the earth that were simply unable to compete on the global stage, even ten years ago.
The latest buzzword in digital marketing it may be, but ‘cross-platform advertising’ is really helping consumers break new ground in the way they work, rest and play. Multiscreen, multi-device access to cloud-based data has opened the door for advertisers to target customers on phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
Throw location-based marketing into the mix, and you have the potential to target the plugged-in, switched-on, youth demographic who are rarely without at least one device. Text messaging campaigns can send promotions to customers based on their preferences and locations, allowing for more personalized offers and greater engagement.
Whether it’s a small startup in Nairobi, or an international tech firm in Silicon Valley, the cross-platform market is booming. Retail. Food. Technology. Businesses of all stripes and nationalities are taking up these new marketing tools because they provide an affordable way to reach out to new business and loyal clients alike.
It’s an exciting time for any business currently planning their next big marketing push. There is a caveat in the Markets and Markets report, however. They sound a warning note regarding the challenges posed by cross-platform and location-based marketing, referring to privacy as one of the ‘major issues’ facing this new combination of technologies. The ability to track consumers using GPS places a much greater responsibility on companies to act ethically and with explicit customer consent. SMS marketing and web marketing firms should be alert to the need for opt-in checkboxes and easy opt-out options. For mobile marketers who launch their strategies from a point of mutual trust and clear consent, the future looks very bright indeed.
Madonna took a scolding and a ban from a movie theater for texting during a premiere. But which other famous faces have been outed as text villains?
A Texas movie theater chain has banned Madonna from their establishments after she was caught texting during a screening of 12 Years a Slave. Madge was apparently tapping away on her phone during the film’s premiere at the New York Film Festival last week and was sternly reprimanded by a patron who asked her to stop. According to reports, the star’s haughty response to the request was: “It’s for business… enslaver!”).
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain has a strict no-talking, no-texting policy in place, enforced by ejecting any movie-goer who violates it. The chain’s founder and CEO Time League later tweeted that Madonna would be unwelcome at Alamo theaters until she “apologizes to movie fans.”
The grande dame of pop is not the first celebrity to get in trouble over anti-social texting habits. Back in 2010, Jersey Shore star Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi landed herself in hot water after tweeting about the perils of gridlock from her car – just hours after she had struck a plea bargain to avoid jail time for disorderly conduct.
Snooki’s tweet – “Stuck in Newark traffic is no fun” – was soon followed by another in which she complained about using manual transmission, making it quite clear that she was behind the wheel at the time of writing. Although she avoided arrest, Newark Mayor Cory Brooker got wind of the tweets and reminded her via Twitter that she had committed a ticketable offense.
The same year saw the tragic death of celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan who was reportedly tweeting about his dog moments before his car plunged off a Malibu cliff. Best known for performing multiple surgeries on stars of The Hills Ryan’s accident prompted a wave of public awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.
The charge has been led by Oprah Winfrey, whose campaign to get fans to agree not to text while driving has received massive support from both the celebrity and earthling worlds. Oprah’s ‘No Phone Zone’ pledge has helped consolidate safe texting campaigners all over the United States, including Justin Bieber (who recently shot an advert for the Drive Safe organization) and Sharon Osbourne. Osbourne had her own text-related shunt in 2011, and has since vowed never to use her phone while driving again.
As the social – and legal – rules surrounding good texting practices evolve, mobile communications firms are stepping up to help people send time-critical SMS messages without risking their lives. Ez Texting has introduced a raft of features allowing users to take advantage of their services even if they’re on the road often. Bulk texts can be scheduled to go out at a pre-determined time, and drip campaigns send a timed series of messages to a specific group of contacts. Recurring texts allow users to compose a message that can be send out on a regular basis whether they’re up in the air, stuck in traffic, at a movie theater or otherwise away from their desk.
Between public campaigns, celebrity endorsements, government legislation and private enterprise, we are moving closer to putting an end to needless road death caused by texting. An end to movie theater nuisances – famous or otherwise - would be the icing on the cake.
An article over at MobileMarketingWatch.com discusses a new trend for mobile marketing in smartphone games. With the mobile gaming industry expected to soon surpass $12 billion in revenue, it makes sense for them to be an ideal marketing target.
“Games are media, and marketers need to think about it as such,” writes ClickZ‘s Matt Kapko. “Facebook’s head of games and other executives at CBS Interactive, IGN, PaeDae, and Scopely encouraged a room full of marketers yesterday to get serious about gaming as a media channel that is on the upswing and ripe for advertising opportunities.”
A challenge, however, is using the mobile gaming medium appropriately for advertising. Matching your ad to the game you choose as a platform, in addition to advertising in a way that can interrupt a gamer's play while still maintaining their interest in your product may been trickier than is seems.
“I think targeting within the games and these overall networks matters a lot and it’s not being done very well right now,” Emrich concludes. “Unfortunately the Internet as a whole and games in particular are still moving toward direct response, and unfortunately that’s still the lowest common denominator when it comes to advertising.”
Read more about this new trend at MobileMarketingWatch.com!
According to an article over at EnterpriseInnovation.net, new reports show that cross-border online shopping is on the rise.
Cross-border online shopping will be worth $105 billion this year, with 94 million consumers regularly buying from overseas websites, a new report released by PayPal and Nielsen showed. This is forecast to increase nearly 200 percent to $307 billion by 2018, with 130 million cross-border online shoppers.
This is likely to draw even more of a focus on web presence in retail, including mobile marketing presence. But for those who can handle the marketing challenges, catering to a more global market could be a blessing for retail sales.
David Marcus, President of PayPal, says “The emergence of these ‘modern spice routes’ is great news for businesses the world over. Our message to merchants is if you are looking for new ways to grow your sales, especially in an economic downturn, start selling directly to 94 million cross-border shoppers in these 6 markets and own a piece of this $105 billion market.
Will this create a marketing struggle for local, small businesses? Read more about this new trend at EnterpriseInnovation.net!
An interesting article over at MobleMarketingWatch.com reports that more U.K. users are beginning to opt-in for retail-related SMS.
More than 7 million people in the United Kingdom may opt-in to retail messaging on their mobile devices by 2015, marking growth of 38% over today.
Also, while women are more likely to opt-in for retail, men are still more open to receiving regular messages. One expert says:
“Consumers want to feel in control, not spammed in their personal space, so it’s up to retailers to make sure they truly understand how best to reach their followers with a view to turning them into regular shoppers."
Is this a sign for an upcoming U.S. trend? Read more about these new findings at MobileMarketingWatch.com!
According to MobileMarketing.com, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has announced new guidelines for mobile marketing:
With mobile advertising rapidly evolving, there is a critical need for standards and guidelines to unify the industry and maximize its potential for growth and development, the MMA said today in its announcement of the finalized guidelines.
With the growth of the mobile marketing, it's become increasingly important for the industry to develop a standardized set of guidelines across the board:
“Finalizing these guidelines is the culmination of a tremendous amount of effort and input from the industry leaders who are incredibly passionate about bringing a higher level of standardization and accountability to mobile advertising,” says Richy Glassberg, COO of Medialets.
Read more about the new guidelines at MobileMarketing.com!
An interesting article over at Mobile Commerce Daily points out that while mobile commerce can be a great tool for retailers, it also presents a bit of a double-edged sword. One Beverly Hills marketing director says :
“Marketers are learning that they need to create a proactive mobile engagement strategy in order to keep their shoppers using their phone to interact with them while in-store instead of performing a quick search to see if they can find the same product for cheaper.”
While this presents a challenge, there are still a number of opportunities for marketers:
Targeting parameters such as the language in which a phone is set in, the precise location of a user, and specific usage data have helped retailers place ads more efficiently and acquire new customers, per Ms. Lowy.
Then there is SMS marketing, which has consistently proved to be one of the most powerful remarketing tools and is often used by marketers to drive consumers in-store.
So, how do you use the tool most effectively while avoiding its challenges? Read more about this at MobileCommerceDaily.com!
Mobile advertising sales are expected to increase significantly in the coming years. The problem is that a lot of companies are still not completely sure how well their efforts are paying off. Without their confidence in the value of mobile marketing, how long will this trend hold up?
“The most significant issue for ad buyers,” reads a new report from MIT Technology Review, “is that they don’t know if the ads are working, like they do on desktop computers.” The report cites data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which indicates that all media depend critically upon reliable metrics for audience reach.
Marketers are desperately looking for a reliable way to keep track of exactly how profitable their mobile marketing efforts are priving out to be - and there may finally be a solution:
A full-service platform, AD-X Tracking monitors clicks, installs and in-app events to provide up-to-the minute intelligence regarding mobile app usage and engagement.
Read more about this breakthrough platform at MobileMarketingWatch.com!
If you've had any doubts about the effectiveness of mobile marketing, think again. According to recent studies, not only has mobile marketing already proven to show results, but sales are expected to jump by over 50% within the next 2 years alone.
Consider that last year mobile marketing generated an estimated $139 billion in U.S. sales. This figure takes into account both business to business and business to consumer sales.
The association claims the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” released last month, is the first comprehensive study of U.S. economic performance across the mobile marketing industry.
So, how can small business owners take advantage of this profitable opportunity?
For many small businesses, this could include focusing on making sure you have a mobile friendly presence. It could also include focusing more attention on social media marketing, much of which is accessed via mobile devices by your customers.
Read more about this at SmallBizTrends.com!
It's becoming increasingly important for businesses to get onboard when it comes to mobile marketing. With the consistent increase of those accessing the Internet using smartphones, it's just a matter of time before those without a solid mobile marketing strategy are left in the dust:
The year 2013 will see an increase in the number of people who only access the Internet through their mobile devices, whether tablets or on smartphones. It’s more convenient for people to use their mobile – it’s already switched on and is always with them. For businesses this opens up numerous opportunities for mobile commerce.
But it doesn't stop there:
Retailers will continue to incorporate mobile solutions into their sales strategy by offering special discounts, mobile coupons, mobile shopping etc. with targeted advertising. This trend will further grow in 2013 with retailers looking at new ways to attract and retain customers.
* Mobile Apps – The mobile apps have exploded in 2012 with app stores promoting thousands of different applications. This trend will continue in 2013. Mobile apps are very important for mobile marketers to target the type of applications based on the popularity of apps. The app Internet market was recently estimated to be worth $2.2 billion, according to Forrester Research, which also who predicted that the market will expand by 85 percent. Marketers will increase in-app advertising to generate more revenue in the coming year.
* Cloud – Cloud storage and cloud-based services will become more important in the 2013 and beyond, allowing users to access and share information anywhere. Users will be able to capture and edit data from multiple channels such as desktop, phones and tablets and any changes are automatically pushed to other devices. Consumers were the first adopters of this technology, and now it’s quickly being adopted by business.
To read more, visit Mobile Marketing News.
The taxi industry has been dragged into the 21st century by companies like Uber and Hailo, with their e-hailing apps. And now there's more. If you've ever been in the back of an NYC taxicab you're familiar with the video screens. A new program is going to up the ante for mobile marketers looking to engage there:
Taxi riders in New York, San Francisco and other cities will soon be able to use their smartphones to engage with brand content appearing on video screens inside the cabs using either NFC or QR code technology.
Passengers will see video or static messages on the enhanced media screens inside taxis and will be prompted to either tap their phone against the frame of the screen or point their phone at the screen. The program is will begin rolling out to taxis on June 1 and is expected to be available in 5,000 taxis by Sept. 1
Some key details:
Riders with an NFC-enabled smartphone will be able to tap their phone on the video screen’s frame to instantly download rich user content such as music, videos, mobile apps, promotional information, coupons, maps and tips. Users without an NFC-enabled phone will be able to snap a picture of the QR code that appears to access the same content. The content will be location-specific and users will be able to share the campaigns with friends through social media.
There's an interesting story over at The Altantic regarding how comfortable different groups of Americans are when it comes to communicating with their doctors via email and text message. The gist:
The average American writes a novel's worth of email every year. They also read a novel's worth of trend stories about how all we do is text -- how 15 million texts sent every minute are destroying the art of conversation, rotting our souls. Still, only about one in ten Americans has ever emailed or texted with their doctor. The formal in-office face-to-face patient-doctor dynamic is largely sacrosanct.
Here's an interesting chart breaking down the comfort-level by various demographics:
Let's dig a bit deeper:
Tech-savvy practices and hospitals are increasingly using remote access systems for patients, where they can log in to a website and get test results or leave messages for physicians, within a secure system, in a limited capacity. That's a good place to start. It keeps all interactions in one HIPAA-compliant place and keeps doctors' personal phones and emails from being overrun by concerned patients. If a busy primary care physician has 1,500 patients, even if each one only emailed him every six months, that would be eight emails 365 days a year.
But some doctors, especially specialists with a smaller patient base who manage fewer chronic conditions, have been able to integrate texting into their practice. There are HIPAA-compliant text and email platforms, and most major insurers are figuring out ways to cover "digital visits.