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Archive for Mobile Commerce

What are you doing with your unused marketing real estate?

February 4, 2014 Mobile, Social 1 Comment

Engage customers and add a new dimension to your packaging, POP, vehicles and promotional materials. 

by Brad Beckstrom

What is “marketing real estate”?  Any company that makes a product, or serves customers, has marketing real estate. By real estate, I mean the white space on things like packaging, mailings, point-of-purchase materials, vehicles, uniforms and sales materials.

McDonald’s serves 69 million people per day.  Let’s say that, based on this amazing number, they serve up about 60 million cups per day.  Based on the number, the space on those cups has some very valuable marketing real estate. What is that space worth to Coca-Cola? What would it be worth to Pepsi? How many people see that Coca-Cola logo a year on those cups?  Based on my back of the napkin tabulations, about 22 billion people in 181 countries.  That is some valuable marketing real estate.

So, a few years ago when McDonald’s decided to make their global packaging more consistent and use this space more efficiently, they put a lot of thought into it, including engaging a global advisory board in the process. They wanted packaging that was attractive, but could work in multiple countries and languages with many different types of promotions.

One of the top priorities was the ability to use this packaging to engage and communicate with customers instead of just sharing a logo or a web address.  After successful test case studies around the world, McDonald’s decided to add a third dimension to their packaging globally with a far reaching mobile web strategy —  incorporating QR Codes.


The QR codes drive smartphone users to a McDonald’s mobile website with product information, nutrition information special offers and promotions.  The QR Code destination, mobile websites, promotions and special URLs can be updated digitally without expensive changes to packaging. This helps  large companies avoid waste when packages containing special promotions, product information or nutrition information inevitably change.

Most importantly, it makes efficient use of valuable real estate on every cup, napkin, bag,  placemat, product package, point-of-purchase material in every McDonald’s worldwide.

You don’t have to be McDonald’s to make use of your valuable marketing real estate. QR codes and  mobile short codes can be used by any small business when creatively incorporated into your marketing real estate to engage your customers.  Here is one example of one incorporated into a coaster from Stanley Park Brewery.

Reach out to ApolloBravo for a free mobile marketing strategy consultation and advice on incorporating The Mobile Web, QR Codes and Mobile Short Codes into your valuable marketing real estate.


Brad Beckstrom ApolloBravo

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.

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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.


66% of users find mobile sites through a search engine. Is yours ready?

July 8, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Mobile Marketing trendsby Brad Beckstrom

More users than ever are finding websites through mobile search. This is especially true for retailers, restaurants and service companies. Think about what you search for on your smart phone. It could be through your mobile browser, built-in Google search or maps. It could  be a link from Yelp or Facebook or a Groupon that showed up in your email.  Regardless odds are you’re using your smart phone to search for things nearby more than you realize.

Businesses have several options when it comes to adapting to mobile search. One is to automatically redirect users to a mobile optimized landing page. This works especially well for businesses that just need to share items that they know mobile searchers are looking for. It can include your click to call phone number, address, menu or special events and offers. Less information helps your mobile site load quicker, which is very important to mobile users.

If you’d like all of your website content to be available, another option would be to create a responsive website, one that adapts to the device automatically, whether it be a tablet, smart phone or traditional browser.   While a responsive solution is often more expensive it does have the advantage of all of your content being updated in one place for consistency.

How to make native ads a big deal

May 22, 2013 Mobile, News, Social Leave a comment

Native Advertising

Earlier this week following Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr they announced that they would begin integrating native ads ” sponsored content” into news streams. This type of advertising fits naturally on sites where people can post anything. Think Twitter, Facebook, and now Tumblr, Flickr. It’s a great opportunity for brands, but the content needs to be much more than a banner.  This is especially true if a brand is sponsoring content to  appear in newsfeeds of people who aren’t already following them.  So here are some of my thoughts on native advertising.


  1. The content should be unique “think beautiful images captured with a Nikon camera” versus the traditional yellow banner ad
  2.  The content should fit the crowd, if animated gifs are popular on Tumblr then explore that opportunity with unique cinemagraph  images
  3.  Offer something of value, a free app download or Tumblr only clips from an upcoming episode or book sample
  4.  Ask for user content as part of a contest or sweepstakes, share examples
  5. Take advantage of the excellent targeting tools these sites offer

We also see these native ads to be ideal for mobile advertising as they are generally appearing in stream versus small banners.  These in stream ads have done well on Facebook to date and boosted mobile revenues significantly.

Recent poll : 71% of consumers would consider using a mobile coupon on a date!

April 30, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

When my wife and were  saving for a first home I remember going through a phase where I printed out coupons for free entrées in local restaurants.  These coupons and other discounts like the entertainment card would always raise eyebrows with the wait staff. It was especially fun when your coupon was rejected and had to be returned to you. ” Sorry sir this is only for our Plattsburgh location, you will need to pay the entire check” .  After a while I gave up on them as I am sure many restaurant goers did. But now as I pull out my iPhone 5  redeem a 50% off  Groupon at a  nice local seafood place  it just feels a lot like handing them your American Express card. In fact American Express has even built in some offers with foursquare. Waitstaff response “that’s cool”.

Our recent recession combined with rapid acceptance of smart phones has really changed this whole process from something very difficult to something so easy so that it’s just second nature for many people now. In fact a recent study has shown that only 9% of consumers believe using a coupon would label someone as “cheap”.  So here’s the big number – ApolloBravo mobile emailers71% would consider utilizing a coupon on a date and not attempt to hide it!  However I would most likely not recommend this on first dates.  see study below via Warc

US consumers rely on coupons

AUSTIN: Consumers in the US are spending less on meals at restaurants, new clothes and higher-priced groceries than five years ago, while relying more on discounts and coupons, a survey has found.

RetailMeNot, a digital coupon site, polled 1,101 consumers online for the financial literacy edition of its Shoppers Trend Report and found that more were actively saving money than before.

“Consumers are emerging from the Recession of 2008 having learned a valuable lesson, that saving money is a good thing,” said Trae Bodge, senior editor for RetailMeNot.

“Today’s consumers have higher expectations for what they can do with their hard-earned paychecks,” he added. “They also want more for their money and are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that they get it.”

Significant proportions of respondents had reduced their outlay on meals at restaurants (49%), expensive groceries (44%) and new apparel (46%).

At the same time, 51% of consumers who used coupons stated they used them more today than five years ago, while 37% said they used them more than a year ago.

Economic factors were the main reason for the increased usage of coupons, either because respondents’ personal finances had declined (43%) or because the recession had made them more conscious about the importance of saving (31%).

But 23% indicated that their increased use of coupons was simply because technology had made it easier to find and use them.

“Couponing as a necessity gave people a taste for savings, and consumers will continue to look for ways to get more for their money,” noted Bodge.

In general, coupons had a positive image, with 59% of respondents regarding people who used them as “savvy” while just 9% reached for the description “cheap”.

Interestingly, some 71% said they would consider using a coupon on a date and would not attempt to hide it.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff , 30 April 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

57% Facebook users go mobile. Now how to reach them.

January 21, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Excellent info-graphic courtesy of QWAYA via Social Media Today.

Facebook’s growth on mobile devices is a good indicator of how rapidly smart phone subscriptions are growing globally. Out of Facebook’s nearly 1,000,000,000 active monthly users 57% are accessing via mobile phone.  If you’ve developed a great mobile website or mobile promotion, The Facebook Newsfeed is a fantastic way to drive traffic there.



Explosive mini tablet growth to fuel m-commerce, and hasten PCs decline

January 15, 2013 Mobile, News Leave a comment

Here come the mini tablets. Or are they just big phones? With devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note its hard to tell. But if that size doesn’t work for you there’s many more like the iPad mini or Kindle fire HD.  The widespread availability and low cost of these new devices is accelerating the mobile impact on PC shipments, and the PCs role in e-commerce. Results from research firm Gartner indicate that PC shipments were down 4.9% to 90.3m units, a drop which it did not attribute solely to a weak economy. “Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, “not so much by ‘cannibalizing’ PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs.”

Additionally these mini tablets are highly portable and are being used more and more for impulse purchases.  Like a phone many have built-in 4G access, cameras with QR code scanners, and even NFC near field communication. Here’s a list of several hundred mobile devices that are NFC enabled.

So how does this all impact mobile commerce?  One example, at CES we saw a demo from the first chain of NFC supermarkets in Paris. So forget about 3-D or HD have just old-fashioned 2-D where consumers can quickly scan to purchase items and have them ready for pickup or delivery. So in fact you could have a C store display in a Metro station linked to a vending machine for a fast automated shopping experience. Read more about the NFC supermarket here

NFC and  QR code scanning is just the beginning. Engaging consumers in this way allows brands to opt in consumers for future offers, promotions, more product info.

Questions about m-commerce?  Reach out to ApolloBravo the consumer engagement experts.


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