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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.

Mobile

  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)

Social

  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?

Local

  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 WARC.com

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 RetailMeNot.com, 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

Phablets going the way of the netbook? Please stop talking into your shoe.

August 21, 2014 Mobile, News Leave a comment

Phablet
Remember last year when you’d see some folks speaking into their 7 inch phablets?  Phablets defined here as a mobile device with a screen of 7 inches or more.  It sort reminded me of  Steve Carell speaking into his shoe phone in the movie Get Smart.  Or maybe you could add a smartwatch to that Phablet and really get a whole secret agent, superhero thing going on.

As with netbooks a lot of technology fads start and end in Asia.  If you have a Phablet that’s great. just know it looks kind of funny when you hold it up to your ear.

Read more about the Phablet in Asia.

Phablet role challenged in Asia

 21 August 2014  via www.Warc.com

SINGAPORE: There are signs that the rise of the phablet in Asia may be short-lived as new data indicates a nascent trend to the use of tablets with cellular voice capabilities.

A year ago, International Data Corporation (IDC) was reporting that sales of phablets in the region had doubled and stood at the same level as tablets – devices with a screen size of seven inches or more – and laptops combined.

But it has now found that tablets which have voice calling built in are taking an increasing share of shipments to Asia Pacific (excluding Japan).

According to its Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report, some 13.8m tablets were shipped in the region in the second quarter of 2014. Of these, almost 25% included a voice calling option as standard. IDC said that this was equivalent to 60% growth on a year-on-year basis in unit terms for this category of tablets.

The surge in terms of both shipments and vendors since the beginning of this year, has been particularly noteworthy in some markets, including India and Indonesia, where shipments of voice-calling enabled tablets are approaching a 50% share.

The concept is not actually new, noted Avinash K. Sundaram, Senior Market Analyst IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team, as earlier Samsung devices offered the option via a Bluetooth headset.

But he thought the shift being observed presaged a new development, as consumers in emerging markets were increasingly interested in having a single mobile device for all their needs, “be it watching movies and soap operas, taking pictures, texting or making calls, even if the device has a huge 7″ screen on it”.

That raised an image of users almost having to use two hands to hold a device to their face when making a call.

“It also helps that these devices are quite affordable, playing in the entry-to-mainstream price bands in most markets,” Sundaram added.

That combination of addressing a need and offering a competitive price means that IDC believes this trend shift will continue to gain momentum.

A final point to note is that these devices are currently all Android-based. It remains to be seen whether devices based on other operating systems follow this route.

Data sourced from IDC; additional content by Warc staff

The next trend?  The rebirth of the tiny phone.

tiny phone

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

Mobile store Info searches rise to 73% – Take control of your customers mobile experience.

October 3, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

iphonezuser

By Brad Beckstrom

You’ve seen them. Teens in Best Buy or shoppers at Target madly scrolling through their smartphone, often walking straight into your shopping cart. A new study shows there’s a pretty good chance they’re not on Twitter or Facebook. They are checking competitive prices, product info, reviews, special offers and more.

Consumers who use their smart phones for product pricing and info research at retail has risen from 34% in 2012 to 73% in 2013, according to a recent study by Local Corporation.

An even higher percentage of consumers (79%) use their smartphone to access information about a local store or restaurant they’d like to visit. These same consumers agree that their smartphone is great for accessing special offers and coupons from retailers.

The study included additional stats, but the key numbers in answers to all questions including, product reviews, competitive pricing, checking for sales and specials, and online orders, had engagement levels among mobile consumers, above 60%.

Retailers, restaurants and all small businesses need to put their customers’ mobile experience first. Step one is making sure your mobile website adapts to different devices and loads quickly. Many consumers are in their cars and are often on slower devices or slow networks.  Step two is to get them the information they’re looking for. Having your menu on Yelp next to some flaky customer reviews won’t cut it. You need to start with a well-designed mobile landing page or responsive web site with your business’ basic information.

Once this is in place, you want to make sure all of your business pages on Yelp, Facebook, Yahoo, Google+ include your website link with device detection so that mobile users can find you and get the the info they are searching for.

When you have the basics covered, then you can start adding bells and whistles like mobile optimized menus, email and text message opt-ins, social sharing, photos and product information. The goal is to make sure that you’re in control of your customers mobile experience. If you search for your business and Yelp, Twitter or Facebook show up as the first or second results. that means they are most likely controlling your customer experience on mobile.

 

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.

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 10.09.46 AM

 

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

73% of mobile searches trigger additional actions and conversions

July 16, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

by Brad Beckstrom

When consumers are searching on their smart phone there’s a very good chance that they’re ready to take action. A recent joint study from Google and Nielsen demonstrated that 73% of mobile searches result in additional actions.  This is most important for retailers as 17% of  searchers visited a store and another 7% called the business. The most important finding is that 25% visited a retailer’s website on their smartphone. It’s essential that your website be responsive and easy to navigate for mobile visitors if you want them to take action. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does our website load quickly on a wide variety of mobile devices and is it responsive to  large and small tablets
  2. Is it free of clutter and easy to read with click to call and quick access to store location information
  3. Do you have a mobile coupon strategy to drive traffic, this could be as simple as a reward for visitors who opt into your SMS or email lists
  4. Can consumers quickly login and share with Facebook as an option to creating a password and entering their email address

free mobile report

You’ll notice that in the study 36% of mobile searches resulted in continued research. This generally means they didn’t find what they were looking for. They may have clicked on a website that took more than 7 seconds to load or was not mobile friendly or was confusing and hard to navigate. Those are the customers that are up for grabs if you can do mobile right. Try this quick test. Search for “Frank and Oak”  on your mobile phone. Click on the first result. That’s how mobile should be done and if you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer your business is being disrupted.

Click here to request a copy of the full mobile marketing report

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.

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