Friday, September 30, 2011

Marketing on smartphones

Before smartphones arrived, much of mobile advertising was limited to small text links on WAP sites, opt-in mobile messaging, or ad banners too small for the mobile user to read and much less be impressed by. Standardization was difficult or impossible becauce of the many different devices, and mobile advertising was subject to a scale problem much worse than the one experienced by web advertising in its early days. Not only because ad units couldn't be effectively standardized, but also because the technology used by each carrier was different -- further compounded by the notion that two handsets might have the same carrier, but might also have a completely different set of capabilities and enabling technologies fueling how they worked. On top of this, many people looked to their mobile phones primarily as interpersonal communication devices, not as content consumption devices.
So it's no wonder the mobile web wasn't the huge game-changer we thought it might be.

Smartphones arrived. Apple has half the market. I've had my iPhone 3G for several months now and still love it, even though it can't handle email as well as my BlackBerry did. With Apple holding 50 percent share in the smartphone market, we might see a scalable solution coming our way. The problem is that mass marketers won't likely understand that people still see phones largely as an interpersonal communication device, less so as a content consumption device.

Many iPhone apps are free. I do occasionally check the weather, the stock market, and use the Safari web browser to access content. More often, though, I'm using Twitterific to tweet from the road, using Facebook's mobile app to approve friend requests and upload mobile photos, or making use of location-based services like Loopt.

Many mass marketers would like to think that mobile devices will simply replace desktops and notebooks for web browsing, but that's not what is going to happen. If we are going to figure out a way to use smartphones as a marketing channel, we can't think it's just web advertising on a small screen. While it is true that mobile web browsing is on the rise, and that the iPhone can surf the web more elegantly than any mobile device that came before it, the truth of the matter is that mobile applications are increasingly being used to enable interpersonal communications rather than to provide brand platforms in the vein of mass media.

There's always room for mobile apps that provide content, but the ones that will scale quickly and will integrate more closely into the lives of people who download them will be the ones that provide utility and community, not straight content. So, if you're looking to make smartphones a viable channel for your brand, you need to branch out beyond content distribution and into mobile utility and community.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Go Mobile With your Marketing

Mobile advertising is growing fast. With the gradual introduction of sophisticated new technologies, marketers are beginning to track results and manage mobile metrics in ways similar to those used online. Opportunities abound for creating new channels of profitability when based on measurability and accountability.
Understanding the unique potential and the proven power of the mobile platform - as well as its limitations, can improve performance and allow mobile advertising to become a significant layer in the marketing mix.

What You Need to Know
There are a number of issues that should be considered once the decision has been made to begin advertising via mobile, in order to increase the success in mobile marketing. Here are a few things that result-based marketers should do when planning a mobile campaign.

There Is A Vast New Markets
There are global markets where mobile phones are commonplace and often used instead of landlines and where the amount of traffic is vast and rapidly growing. Marketers should take advantage of the reach and potential of these relatively untapped and unsaturated markets. Advertising costs are often significantly lower than in other parts of the world and, at the moment, there is considerably less competition.

The Process Should Be Short
Less time and less hassle translate into more conversions. This is especially true in the mobile realm, where campaign success depends on keeping the advertising process as short as possible. Unlike stationary PC users, mobile device users are constantly on the go. They can be exposed to an ad anywhere, at any time, in an endless variety of situations and occasions. Not less important, mobile screens are considerably smaller than PC screens.
Given these limitations, in order to successfully attract the user’s attention, messages (both on the creative and the landing pages) need to be short, precise and effective. The call-for-action should be instantly understood, delivered from a single landing page, and should employ a simple registration form. The form should include a minimum number of required fields that can be quickly and easily completed without the need for lengthy responses or multiple clicks

Multiple Landing Pages
The process should be optimized, from impression to conversion, in order to reach the campaign’s goals. The use of multiple landing pages for each product is critical for the success of the campaign, as is the use and testing of a variety of different banners. Multiple landing pages enable a quick determination of what works best, what turns users into buyers, and delivers the best results for the advertiser.

Text Links
Text Links are ideal for mobile advertising. They deliver excellent conversion rates for result-based advertisers, usually cost less than banners, can bring a higher CTR (Click-Through Rate), and often account for the majority of a campaign’s traffic.

Use Advanced Technologies
Result-based advertisers can benefit from the intelligent use of the latest campaign tracking and management technologies, which can make all the difference for mobile campaign success. Conversion Tracking enables a view of the entire process as well as ongoing measurement and optimization, thus allowing for continuous improvement of campaign results. By focusing on the total process, from impression through conversion.
Unified Reporting Capabilities consolidate campaign data from all relevant networks into a single, unified report. This facilitates the simple detection of campaign variations, strategy, and effectiveness including the relative performance of specific landing pages and network/landing page matches. Innovative new tools that enable the tracking of a campaign’s progress without requiring the advertiser to check each mobile ad network separately are critical for the success of mobile campaigns.

Extend Campaigns to the Widest Range of Devices
Marketers should match their campaigns and technology to the widest possible range of mobile devices including both feature phones, smart phones and tablets, in order to maximize effectiveness and expose the campaign to as much traffic as possible. When planning campaigns, it is particularly important to take into account the rapid growth in smart phone traffic

Campaign Partners (Publishers and Ad Networks) Keep Them Updated
Marketers should keep traffic sources continuously updated. Publishers and Ad Networks should be kept informed about the advertiser’s selected operators, and about the agreements signed with them. This avoids running campaigns via unsuitable operators and on ineffective traffic, and prevents running wasted campaigns.
Mobile Advertising has become an exceptional opportunity for result-based advertisers to increase their revenue sources as well as their reach. New marketing channels can be created and new markets can be tapped. Cutting-edge technologies can be utilized to develop smart, fully optimized campaigns that maximize conversion potential and deliver rapid ROI.