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Mobile Marketing to drive special offers and events seen as essential for brick-and-mortar retailers.

August 22, 2014 Mobile Leave a comment

59 million US smartphone owners will use digital coupons this year. That’s a 37.5% increase over 2013. in addition redeeming digital coupons on a PC still remains the most popular option  with 33% of all PC users redeeming offer codes online.

An additional  27% of these same users made a trip to a store to redeem these  offers retrieved on-line.

For retailers, restaurants and service businesses with brick-and-mortar locations putting a strategic customer engagement plan in place is essential.  We believe the plan should encompass three core elements Mobile, Social and Local. Here are 11 questions to ask.


  1. Are your offers mobile friendly, if a potential customer finds your coupon online can they quickly send it to their phone?
  2. Are you making it easy for consumers to opt in to your future offers via text message or email?
  3. Are the offers easy to redeem in-store with QR codes or short offer codes
  4. Are you giving away too much of your offer to companies like Groupon or Living Social? There are much less expensive ways for getting in front of loyal customers. (see local)


  1. If a customer finds your offer via social media can they quickly share it with friends or send to their phone via text message.
  2. Are you using low-cost highly visual social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter to opt in loyal customers for future events and special offers
  3. Are you going beyond just coupons and tying your special offers to events like exclusive tastings or new  product previews
  4. On a long-term customer joins your list  and shares their personal mobile number or email is there any additional incentive for them like text to win contests for free entrées or special event invites?


  1. Did you know your offers could reach local consumers through over 50 mapping directory and social networks with 0% of the offer going to coupon sites like Groupon or Living Social?
  2. Are you taking advantage of new technology like RFID, QR codes, iBeocons to engage  your customers in new and interesting ways?
  3. Do your offers show up on mapping apps for mobile apps like Yelp and Foursquare?

Contact ApolloBravo for a free Mobile, Social, Local  readiness evaluation.

Supporting Forrester Research data via

22 August 2014

NEW YORK: Four in ten US smartphone owners will use that device to redeem a coupon during 2014 according to digital intelligence business eMarketer.

Its estimated that a total of 59.2m US adult smartphone users would do so over the course of the year, representing a 37.5% increase on 2013, and said these mobile coupons were being used for both online and offline shopping.

Separately, Forrester Consulting recently carried out in-depth surveys with 500 digital coupon users for, the digital coupon site, and found that most redeemed a digital coupon code within three days of receiving it, and nearly one-third redeemed it immediately.

The most common method of redeeming digital coupons was by purchasing something on a computer (33%), but over one quarter (27%) made a trip to a store for this purpose. Some 25% used a smartphone and 14% a tablet.

The primary source of coupons was passive receipt via an email from retailers, cited by 57% of respondents, but this was only just ahead of the 55% who actively sought them out using search engines on their smartphones. And around one third relied on coupon-related apps or emails from a coupon company.

apollo bravo creative

Forrester also said that younger shoppers were leading the way, with fully 60% of consumers under 35 ultimately redeeming a coupon on their phone. “This points to a new emerging future of shopping, with mobile at the center of the experience,” said the report.

Customers were also found to be inclined to spend more than anticipated in-store when using coupons, making customer service an important part of the overall process.

“Easy redemption, mobile-formatted coupons, and a balanced marketing plan will drive users to the store and online properties which, in turn, provides opportunities for conversion and increased spend by consumers,” the report concluded. Data sourced from eMarketer, Forrester Consulting; additional content by Warc staff

Mobile payments are inevitable, so can we please make this happen.

August 20, 2014 Mobile Leave a comment

Here’s the deal. Someday I’d like to walk into a store with no money, no credit cards, no shoes in a soaking wet bathing suit and wave my waterproof iPhone at a POS machine and pay for a cold soda. The details of the transaction including the actual name of the store the date time cost and product name would appear instantly on my screen as a receipt that I could save or delete. At the end of the month I would know exactly how much I spent in convenience stores without having to download or look up anything.

The mobile technology is here. The POS machines you can wave things at are everywhere. I was waving my Mobile Speed Pass at gas pumps in 1999.

Can you guys please get together and figure this out. I promise you everyone will benefit, lots of jobs will be created and people will learn to manage their money better.

Also you may want to call the guys over at #uber they have already figured out how to do this in taxicabs.

Thank you.

20 August 2014 via
PHILADELPHIA, PA: Mobile payments will be as unremarkable within ten years as credit card payments are today, according to two leading academics who warned retailers to heed the technology’s increasing popularity among millennials.

Responding to the findings of a PwC study that suggested consumers were reluctant to store money in a mobile wallet because of concerns about security and privacy, Wharton marketing professor David Reibstein argued that this was simply another manifestation of people’s “paranoia to things that are new”.

Consumers were no longer worried about credit card companies knowing what they were buying for example. Similarly, restricting liability to $50 in the event of fraud had alleviated security worries.

“It’s just a matter of people making an adjustment,” Reibstein said. “I think 10 years from now, we’ll look back at it and say, ‘Hasn’t this always been here?’”

His colleague John Zhang highlighted the take-up of mobile payment technology by millennials, who are using mobile wallets to transfer funds between friends and to store tickets for events.

“In fact, you can combine mobile payments with social networks,” he said, with apps such as Venmo enabling peer-to-peer transfers – ideal for splitting the check in restaurants, for example.

For a demographic that has grown up with social media, this is quite natural behaviour. Bloomberg even remarked on how, among the younger age group, Venmo was on the way to becoming a verb – ‘venmo me’ – in the same way that people talk of ‘googling’ or ‘tweeting’.

While consumers generally have been slow to adopt the mobile wallet – partly because of engrained habits, partly because of the confusion of proprietary technologies available and partly because of security – consulting firm Accenture said that it could “mend the seams of consumers’ disjointed omni-channel experiences”.

Apollo Bravo

And with millennials already embracing the technology, the only choice retailers face is effectively one of timing – when do they step up to the plate and offer the service.

As Zhang pointed out: “If you don’t [accept mobile payments], you’re going to be passé. You’re going to lose lots of your [future] customers.”

Data sourced from Knowledgte@Wharton, Bloomberg, Accenture; additional content by Warc staff

Over one third of mobile phone owners using the device as their primary means of internet access.

September 18, 2013 Mobile, Social 1 Comment

A 2013 study from PEW Internet found that 63% of  mobile phone owners use their device to access the Internet. More importantly, 34% of those users stated it was their primary means of access to the Internet. Many of these users are following links shared on social media, apps and email (still the most popular app on smartphones).  With the proliferation of free Wi-Fi and all-you-can-eat data plans the average smartphone user has many options for accessing the web and working remotely.  Because 91% of Americans now own a cell phone, this number will only continue to increase. Device manufacturers like Apple and Samsung continually up the game with the quality of the browsing experience and the speed of the device. Apple’s new iPhone 5S is more powerful than many laptops and certainly more convenient for quick access to information.

mobile internet 2013













What to do with this data? Seriously consider taking a mobile first approach to web design, advertising and consumer promotion. Instead of designing a website or digital campaign for traditional browsers consider first what it will look like on a smartphone. Using this approach it’s easier to then make the campaign or website responsive so that it opens up and breathes when viewed on a traditional browser.  Another option is to use mobile redirection for a fully custom experience.

40% of SMBs Now Accept Payments with Mobile Credit Card Readers. Engage customers with mobile receipt delivery.

August 9, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Brad Beckstrom

mobile commerce

A new report from The Local Commerce Monitor. BIA/Kelsey’s ongoing study of the advertising behaviors of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), indicates that there’s a steady increase in SMB’s that are going mobile.

The segment with the largest increase are SMBs that accept payments at the point-of-sale with a mobile credit card reader.  Small credit card readers like square plugged into iPhones are becoming a ubiquitous payment option from small food trucks to growing retail locations. The study showed that 40% of SMBs are using some sort of credit card reader attached to a smartphone or tablet. Another 16% plan to add this capability in the next 12 months.

The study pointed out that 32% of these same SMBs are using some form of mobile advertising to promote their business. The recent jump in Facebook revenue reflects the rapid SMB adoption of mobile ads with the social network.

There is an opportunity for SMBs and major retailers to opt in consumers for future offers by allowing consumer to receive a copy of the receipt via email.  The key is not to ask for too much information or go through some complex app authorization screen. Just capture the email address “only” to deliver the receipt. With the receipt you can include “an option” for the recipient to opt in to surveys, receive future discounts and special offers.

Take your cues from much larger businesses like Apple Stores that do a good job at this. If you opt in to receive your receipt via email that that’s what you get “ just the receipt.”  However, at the top of the receipt you will notice a link with a “tell us about your experience” survey. Within that survey, or directly on the receipt, you can include an opt in for future offers, social links, and promotions. Apple takes it one step further with a survey that helps them better define the future needs of any small business.

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If the customer uses the survey link just to complain or does not opt in to other offers you have still provided a useful service and you’ve learned something about your business. You have the option to bring that customer back into the fold with a quick response, solution and/or special offer

Once your list starts to grow make sure your survey, emails and links to coupons and websites are mobile optimized more responsive to multiple device sizes. It consumers are going to use these offers at your retail location they are going to be on a mobile device.

Contact us for mobile commerce options and a free mobile readiness evaluation.


TV no longer commands viewers’ full attention

July 31, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Mobile commerce TV viewers

By Brad Beckstrom.

You’re watching a show and you can’t remember the actor’s name so you grab your smart phone and visit IMDb. A sport’s stat on ESPN prompts a friendly disagreement and the smartphones come out in search of the truth.  Or, if you’re like me, you may not even be using the TV to watch a show at all.  You may be using it to stream music through Pandora while running a slideshow through Flickr so  you can get back to that book on your iPad.

A recent study released by Google noted that 77% of TV viewers use another device while watching TV in a typical day. So you’re not alone in your ADD.  These simultaneous activities can often be complementary usage, for example “doing a quick price check on a product being advertised” versus multitasking, ”clearing out some old emails while watching a rerun.”

In either case, the vast majority of these TV viewers will be visiting your site on a mobile device. There are two other things, TV viewers will be distracted, and they won’t stay long.  If you want their attention, it’s very important to assure they land on a page with a great call to action and free of clutter.

There are several options here, the first is to make your entire site responsive to mobile devices, especially smartphones. This way you’ll be sure to present a page that is acceptable to a mobile user and easy to navigate.  Another option is to use code that detects mobile devices and sends them to a landing page on your website designed specifically for those users.

To come up with the best solution for your business, blog or website you should think about how users may come across links to your site. Do you include links to your site in emails? Is your product advertised or promoted on TV? Have you thought about using Google AdWords for mobile or Facebook mobile ads to promote your product or service? All of these will have an immediate impact on the number of mobile visitors to your site.  You should also install and use Google Analytics on your site to get a feel for the current number of visitors arriving via mobile devices.   Don’t depend on analytics alone as it often shows you what users are working with on your site versus what they want.  Reach out to us if you need help coming up with the full picture.


Online activity now starts with smartphones

July 24, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

ApolloBravo Mobile commerce

Most online activities start with a smartphone. Think about it, you see an ad or review for the latest gadget and you pull out your current gadget to get a quick price. You may bookmark it or send it to Evernote to check it out later, but you’ve started the online activity.  A new study released by Google shows that smartphones are now the most common starting place for online activities. This is not just about search but includes shopping at 65%, travel at 47% and social networking at a whopping 66%.  This number includes mobile browsers as well as native and web apps. The eye-opener of the bunch was online finance at 59%!

So, if users are coming to your website via search, social media, browsing or shopping, there’s a very distinct possibility that they are using a mobile device. Modern companies need to automatically redirect mobile users to an optimized mobile site or take the next step and create a fully responsive website that automatically detects and adapts to the visitor’s device.

Which option you choose depends on your business. Businesses with a lot of content may choose to offer a mobile site that only pulls specific information from their main website. This is often done to optimize important elements like load times and navigation. If you’re a restaurant or small business and your site is fairly lean to begin with, a responsive option may be best for you.

Once you’ve gotten this off your checklist, you can experiment with many of the new ways to drive visitors to your mobile site and not worry which device they are using. These include QR codes, links in SMS or email campaigns in app promotion and advertising.

If you’re not sure which to choose, we’d be glad to help you weigh the options.

Brad Beckstrom

Users now expect a mobile experience

June 21, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

By Brad Beckstrom

In mobile it’s all about the destination.

apollobravo mobile study

 A recent study released by Google and Nielsen noted that  52% of consumers are less likely to engage with company or product that has a bad mobile experience. Open any magazine and you’ll see QR Codes. They are fairly easy to create and many advertisers are simply dropping them into ads without really considering the destination. In mobile “it’s all about the destination” whether a visitor scanned a QR code, searched on their mobile phone or received a special offer via email.  The most popular mobile app is still email which means mobile users are linking from email campaigns and in many cases are arriving at a landing page that has not been optimized for mobile.

When the mobile visitor arrives you should be ready regardless of what type of device, app, link they are using to get there.

Food and beverage brands lead on Twitter

March 7, 2013 Mobile, News, Social Leave a comment

Twitter Brand Use A recent UK study shows brand mentions for food and beverages more prominent than music, celebrities or news updates. This points to a great opportunity for brands to develop and invest in growing their presence on Twitter. Mentions can be further enhanced by running photo contests and prompting consumers to use hashtags to be automatically entered in sweepstakes. It’s much easier to engage a brand this way then filling out a form online or even worse a mail-in sweepstakes. When integrated with mobile marketing, analytics and contest management tools Twitter can make a great primary means of entry for your next promotion or sweepstakes.

Via WARC Brands in the food and beverage, clothing and retail sectors generate the highest number of direct mentions among Twitter users in the UK, according to a report.

Drawing on a sample of 10,000 tweets made by 1,000 members of Twitter, the social media monitoring firm BrandWatch revealed that 3.6% of posts referred to a brand by name.

“This made brand names almost as prominent as television, film and sport, and more prominent than music, celebrities or news updates,” the firm’s study said.

Members of the food and drinks category yielded 32% of these messages. McDonald’s and Nando’s, the restaurant chains, Tesco, the supermarket giant, and Cadbury, the confectioner, led the charts here.

The technology sector was the subject of 11% of tweets referencing brands. Apple, and its iPhone handset, topped the category rankings, with Samsung, Microsoft and Orange following next.

While 80% of content about technology brands was generated by men, women were behind 89% of tweets in the clothing category and 73% for food and drink.

“Equal numbers of products and services were mentioned, suggesting an even split between secondary and tertiary sectors,” the study said.

“Brands ranged from large, established names including Amazon and Ford to smaller companies such as Azendi and Micro Scooters.”

Looking more broadly, the analysis showed that 38% of posts were “solo tweets”, where the user did not link with other Twitter members using tagging or a direct exchange.

A further 36% were replies to messages, while 22% were retweets, the analysis added.

Data sourced from; additional content by Warc staff, 7 March 2013 

Digital media leads in emerging markets

March 6, 2013 News, Social Leave a comment

 Looking to promote your product in emerging markets? A recent study shows that mobile and social media are far more influential in these markets than in North America or the UK.

LONDON: The digital channels are more important for marketers than traditional media when it comes to connecting with consumers in emerging markets, new analysis shows.

The Discovery Brand Index of GlobalWebIndex, is based on the results of more than 150,000 Internet users in 31 countries, creating a single measure of the ease with which consumers can find brand messages.

It found, for example, that social media are six times more important for brands in markets such as Indonesia and Thailand than in Japan or the UK.

To highlight the difference in attitudes, consumers in the Netherlands are seven times more likely to learn about new brands and products that social media ads.

Another important digital channel is mobile, and campaigns in countries like Thailand and Vietnam are about four times more efficient than in developed markets such as the UK and the Netherlands.

Developed Internet markets, however, have different characteristics. In Japan and the United Kingdom, for example, the search is twice as important for brands in consumer buying trip digital.

Established brands also exert more power in these markets. In Japan, the brand loyal consumers outnumber those “adventurous brand” by two to one: a bit of stick from 58% to a brand once they find one they like, while 27% always like to try new products.

By contrast, consumers in emerging markets are much less fixed in selecting brand: 73% of Filipino Internet users like to try new products.

“With brands increasingly investing in digital and social media, it is critical to understand how all channels to work together, with individual metrics that cover all communications, whether they are online or not,” said Tom Smith, GlobalWebIndex founder.

Among other findings of the study are that consumers in Hong Kong are more likely to trust the price comparison and consumer review sites in the search for online information products.

And Sweden produced the lowest score online BDI, indicating that the Swedes are the least likely of any nationality to use the Internet to interact with brands or product search.

The data comes from GlobalWebIndex, additional content by WARC staff, March 6, 2013

More Americans are dual screening

March 5, 2013 Mobile Leave a comment

Recent studies indicate that more and more Americans are dual screening, primarily using their tablet or  smart phone while watching TV.  More viewers we are engaged with content in multiple ways. This could include the sports fan checking out-of-town scores on his smart phone while watching the game on TV.  The couple checking IMDb on a tablet to settle a bet over what year a movie was released.  And sadly, more often than not workers clearing out some old emails on their laptop while watching Modern Family.  Advertisers should explore more opportunities to reach dual screeners.   Interacting with televised content by uploading photos sharing tweets or Facebook posts  is growing in popularity especially among affluent consumers as the study here suggests.

SAN FRANCISCO: Most wealthy Americans use laptops, smartphones and tablets at the same time as watching television, research has found

The latest Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer surveyed 1,055 affluent adults, defined as those who claim an income of at least $ 100,000, and included 192 high net worth consumers with an income of at least $ 250,000.

The Barometer established that 64% of Americans were dual screening on a regular basis. Most preferred to use his laptop (63%), but nearly as many smartphones used (58%) and tablets (53%).

“The technology is truly integrated into [consumers] lives to the point they find it difficult to stop using a device, even when they are engaged with one or two others,” said Steve Kraus, chief research and insights officer for Ipsos MediaCT, luxury Daily.

Just over half the sample used social media platforms while watching TV, with Facebook twice as likely to be used as any other network.

“The widespread media multitasking puts a higher premium on the involvement of consumers,” said Kraus. That means that “really reach them with messages that attract attention of consumers and talk to important consumer values.”

When asked what media channel that would be hard to live without, fully 70% of respondents said they would be your laptop.

Two-thirds could not live without your smart phone, but only one-third described their tablet.

The survey also found that affluent consumers are more optimistic about the state of the economy and their personal perspectives from which the merely affluent.

As a result, luxury marketers must “continue to focus on higher-end, ultra-rich consumers,” said Kraus.

“Luxury projections for growth are modest to affluent as a whole, and we currently see no signs of a return to widespread aspirational luxury shopping behavior that characterized pre-recession America,” he added.

Data supplied by Luxury Daily, additional content by WARC staff, March 5, 2013

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