Mobile Marketing 101

Expert Interview Series: Neth Williams of Occam DM about How To Incorporate SMS Marketing Into Your Customer Engagement Strategy

Neth Williams is the Marketing Manager of Occam DM, where she oversees all the marketing communications of Occam DM.  

Occam-dm has over 20 years of customer engagement experience. How much have you seen the field grow and change, in that time? What's remained the same?

Occam- DM has seen a lot of changes in customer engagement. The Internet has changed considerably in recent years. Traditional media has been overtaken by the growing use of social media and digital technologies such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other Web platforms. The growing pressure on organisations to improve how they interact and engage with their customers have remained the same, just with added pressure on what digital channels they should use and the issues of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Occam DM works with organizations across the UK to help them tame and collate their data - which is a problem facing a lot of today's digital marketers. What are some of the risks of having untamed data, spread across multiple channels?

We have been working with data and building Single Customer View (SCV) solutions since the early 90’s. This means there isn't much we haven't seen; our people, processes and technology are highly optimized to help marketers achieve their data driven marketing goals by releasing the potential in their customer data. We work across Customer Insight, Campaign Services, Software Consultancy, Marketing Consultancy and Data Platform Migration and Production.

There are loads of risk to using multiple channels, which is why it is good to understand the information you currently hold. One of the main issues faced with businesses currently is the uncertainty of understanding GDPR, and how it effects the data the company holds presently.


A few years ago, everybody was hopping on the app bandwagon as the next big thing. Push notifications were a new and novel way for customer engagement - but over 50% of all iOS users opt out of receiving push notifications, and only 6% of push notifications lead to brand engagement. Why might some marketers want to consider switching their efforts to SMS marketing, for greater customer engagement?

Mobile marketing is becoming increasingly popular because the number of people using their mobile to search for products and services online is becoming greater.  SMS service is seen to be more effective than emails, because the tendency to read SMS is becoming greater than reading emails.  

SMS marketing is often preferable to other forms of marketing, as it requires users to opt-in to receive SMS updates. What are some different ways sales and marketing teams might entice customers to sign up to receive SMS updates?

Companies may use this to send notification about upcoming sales or events. Clearly the SMS must have one direct message and it should be short, at that. It is very important to have consent from the individual, as stressed by ICO.

One thing that's great about SMS marketing, but also challenging, is the short messages. Can you recommend some methods for a marketing team to squeeze their marketing messages into 160 characters or less?

Messages must be personal, relevant and have a clear call to action. You must spend time on what you want to address and convey before you send it. Making it personal adds that extra little touch, making your customers feel valued. Simply addressing their name in the message is a good start and will get you a better response. You must tell your customers how to respond, including how they get in touch with you. You can also add specific keywords into the content such as ‘Text MORE for more info’. This will indicate the recipient is interested and responsive to your SMS. It is also very important, like emails, to include a way to opt out of receiving SMS messages, e.g. Text OPT OUT to 34721. This will stop you wasting your time and money on individuals that aren’t interested.   


Occam DM are experts at targeting and segmenting potential customers. What are some different methods marketers can use to sort their data from other channels to make them more useful for SMS marketing? Where are some places marketers can source that data?

For over 20 years, Occam has delivered marketing technology solutions that turn data into the actionable insights that power better customer experiences.

Through its Single Customer View technology and expert data management services, Occam works with organizations across the UK to tame their data, helping them collate it, improve it and understand it, so they can create customer communications and experiences that are more relevant, more timely and better targeted. Part of the St Ives Group, Occam is one of the UK’s largest customer engagement agencies.  

According to Digital Marketing Magazine, people usually respond to text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. How can a company make use of return texts to further future marketing efforts?

Here's a very interesting article from Laura Varley, written over 3 years ago - technology has advanced immeasurably in that time. Certain companies could benefit from this, especially with the rise of integrated technology like smart phones, that allow you to view anything that your phone receives. She makes a great point about SMS loyalty programs, which I could see this working with superstores, with the right marketing consent from the individual.

This article from A destra.com  '10 Innovative Ways To Use SMS Marketing,' is a great read on how to make use of SMS marketing.

One of the reasons SMS marketing is so successful is that everyone is flooded and overwhelmed with marketing messages from all their other channels. Why is it important SMS marketers don't bombard your customers with too many messages? What might be an optimal amount, per week or monthly?

First off, SMS is unique in the sense that many companies don’t utilize this form of marketing, mostly due to costs. The only thing I’d stay clear of is bombarding individuals at the wrong time - no one likes receiving messages at work or first thing in the morning. It is a hard to answer that question without knowing the context. For instance, I can understand if an SMS is sent a day or two before an event, but general product/sales messages should be monthly. The more frequent the SMS are, the more likely the individual will opt out.  


Local marketing is increasingly important, as people realize that the Internet can't fulfill all their needs. What are some kinds of local businesses that could benefit from SMS marketing, if they're not using it already? How might non-local businesses still make use of SMS marketing, and in what ways?  

Companies that provide a service should utilize SMS, like local sports centers offering specific classes or special events. Then again a great example of SMS marketing is Dominoes, (yes, I am a massive pizza lover.) They produce the right content at the right time, sending special offers on that day- like two for Tuesdays. They are clever about it because they include the location.

Another great example is when the local dentist or doctors send you a SMS reminder of your appointment. Yes, they may not be pushing you to buy anything but they are reducing the time wasted from missed appointments at the same time making you feel valued.

Feeling valued creates good awareness and experience, this links back to Laura’s article about why businesses should use SMS as a customer loyalty offering.    

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Todd William of Reputation Rhino On The Importance Of Reputation Management And How To Use SMS Marketing Effectively

Todd William is the founder and CEO of Reputation Rhino and has over 15 years of experience providing a wide range of legal and strategic advisory services to Fortune 500 companies and financial institutions. Todd advises individuals and companies on online reputation management, public relations and digital marketing strategies.

What have been some of the most significant changes you've seen with reputation management over the past several years?

Reputation Management has gotten harder, takes longer and is more expensive. In the beginning, a few exact-match domains, a press release and a few social profiles and you could own Page 1 in two or three months. Now you need high authority content, strong links, powerful profiles and a little luck.

You have experience working with Fortune 500 companies, as well as small- to mid-sized businesses. What are some things you've learned, working with global corporations, that also applies to smaller companies, in regards to reputation management?

Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a startup in your parents' garage, reputation matters. Large companies have resources -- financial resources and human resources-- that small companies often lack. It is a blessing because a larger company can afford public relations and crisis communications professionals, lawyers, advertising/marketing agencies and other talent to help shape the conversation about a brand. It also means you have a larger target on your back.

One important lesson that can apply to smaller companies is the importance of monitoring the conversations about your brand online. You don't need to be obsessive, but you do need to be aware. Larger companies also tend to be conservative in how they respond to issues, knowing that any response will likely be analyzed and evaluated by a wide audience. This tempers a knee-jerk reaction that can turn a small problem into a big problem.

Responding quickly is one of the most important things, in regards to addressing negative opinions of a company or brand. Can you recommend any particularly useful resources or methods for social listening, to see what people are saying about a company, so they can respond as quickly as possible? What's an ideal turnaround time for responding?

There are great listening tools out there. Ranging from premium services like Sysomos to more affordable social media monitoring solutions like Hootsuite. Ideally, a company will try and respond in 60 minutes or less to urgent issues. 24 hours or less seems reasonable for ordinary queries.

Getting positive online reviews is one of the solutions you offer your clients. Can you recommend a few tactics to help encourage customers to leave positive online reviews for a business or service?

We don't exactly "get positive reviews" for our clients, but we do help our clients earn them by tracking and monitoring online reviews, responding to their customers in real-time, resolving issues quickly and converting negative experiences to positive experiences. It is also appropriate for companies to do a little introspection where there are recurring issues like shipping delays, product failures and other service issues that seem to keep popping up in negative reviews. The best way to get positive reviews is to run a customer-centered business and instill those values from the top-down.

Text message marketing is getting to be more and more prevalent as a viable marketing strategy. What are some reasons why SMS marketing is getting to be so popular, currently?

We are on our cell phones from the moment we wake up in the morning until we fall asleep, text messages connect us wherever we are.

According to Mobile Marketing Watch, text messages have an open rate of 98%, versus 20% with email marketing. Why is text message marketing so effective at getting people to read? Can you offer any advice on writing SMS messages that people will be eager to open?

Text messages tend to be short and to the point, marketing emails tend to be long, rambling and "salesy". I would recommend putting yourself in the shoes of your target customer when writing an SMS message, what does he or she want and how does your product or service fulfill that need and how can you communicate that message in a couple of sentences or less. Offering a special discount is also helpful.

SMS marketing also has a response rate of 45%, versus 6% with email marketing. What are some things marketers can do, to make the most of this higher response rate? Why is engagement so popular, for truly effective marketing?

Ask a question, solicit feedback, these are ways to promote and get the most of engagement.

Millennials are particularly prone to texting, sending an average of 67 text messages a day, according to Business Insider. What are a few ways marketers can optimize their SMS content for millennials, without being too obvious?

Authentic, organic content is most appealing to millennials. I would try to avoid selling and focus instead on content millennials may want to read and share.

SMS marketing is especially effective for local marketing. What are a few different SMS marketing strategies a company can use, to reach their local audience? Why is local search so important for marketing, these days?

Whether we are choosing a dry cleaners or a diner for dinner, we shop local. Messaging that is local is more personal and more effective.

Can you offer a few suggestions on how to get customers to opt in to receive SMS marketing? How is consensual marketing so much more effective than unsolicited messages, in a world where we're constantly being inundated with advertising?

The time will come where filters and spam blockers will limit SMS text messages to all but opt-in subscribers, just like what happened to email. Forward-thinking companies will try and develop their lists to anticipate this and focus on quality (opt-in subscribers) versus quantity.

Want to learn more about SMS Marketing, and how it can help your business? Sign up for free immediately!

Expert Interview Series: Erik Huberman of Hawke Media About Outsourcing Marketing Functions, Digital Marketing Techniques, and Mass Text Messaging


Erik Huberman is a top e-commerce and digital marketing expert and the founder of Hawke Media. We had a chance to speak with Erik about the state of e-commerce today and what it takes to run successful digital marketing campaigns.

Tell us a bit about your background. Why did you decide to start Hawke Media?

My background is in e-commerce. I got out of college in 2008, and I started in real estate three days before the entire banking industry collapsed. So I started looking for an alternative.

I had always liked computers and buying and selling stuff, so I started working on creating an online company. And that turned into my first of three e-commerce companies. After running three different e-commerce companies, I started consulting for a lot of big and small brands.

I saw that getting marketing help was a real big pain point because hiring in-house was near-impossible. And frankly, 95% of agencies have no idea what they're doing, so the other 5% tended to be either really expensive or on long contracts or have some other barrier they put up. It makes them hard to work with.

So I adopted my own system and hired my own team of seven people, and went back to all the companies I was working with and said, "Everything is a la carte, month to month, and cheaper than hiring in-house." Basically, we told them that we can set up a team that fits their needs based on a menu of services. That's how we started more than three years ago, and we're now up to about 70 people.

If someone were to say to you, "I don't have enough money to spend on outsourcing a chief marketing officer," how would you respond?

Usually, that person is not set up for success. If they're making decisions without all the information, then that's going to be a pretty good recipe for disaster. So when that does happen, I usually say, "OK," and walk away, because it's not going to be a good relationship.

I'm pretty straightforward. We start at $3,000 a month; so for outsourcing your marketing, if you can't afford $3,000 a month, you don't have a business yet. That's my view of it, because you can't hire anyone or any help for that. So if you can't afford those kinds of fees, then it really comes down to you needing to build your business yourself and have the wherewithal to do it yourself, or go raise money before you can really talk to anybody about hiring anyone.

What kinds of digital marketing mistakes can doom a startup or brand new business to fail?

It's not looking at the full funnel and understanding that there's a lot of moving parts, not just one thing. Like running Facebook ads without a good email campaign or a good website, or running email marketing without anything to drive in new emails. Just not understanding that there's a full funnel is probably the biggest thing I run into with companies of all sizes.

I see massive, multi-tens-of-millions-of-dollars-in-revenue companies not getting that they are missing a huge piece of their marketing, because they look at it as this vacuum. Like they say, "I hear Facebook is good" and not understanding it.

Which digital marketing techniques or tactics are today's companies relying too much on? Which ones are being underutilized?

As far as those that companies are relying too much on, I think social media management or posting on social media. If you have a big following or are a big company, social media can be a pretty valuable tool. But if you're a small company with a small audience, social media does not move the needle for you. It's not going to make you money, and people love to focus on what they're posting on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook while not paying attention to the fact that it's actually not drawing any business to them. It's a vanity method. I think people pay way too much attention to that.

As far as not those that are underutilized, I think it's email. I even hear people tell me that, "Oh, I thought email was dead." We work with hundreds of e-commerce companies, and we see that about 80% of their revenue comes through email marketing. So when people tell me that email is dead, it's a little bit laughable because it's such a big thing and a lot of people don't take advantage of it.

Other than conversions, what metrics are the most important to capture and analyze in order to get a clear picture of the success of a digital marketing campaign?

Lifetime value is an overlooked metric. It's not about that first purchase. It's about how much someone is spending with me over the course of a year and their lifetime. I like the value of a year, because if someone's going to buy from me again ten years from now, that doesn't mean a lot for the sustainability of my business. That's a little harder to bring in. But if I know that someone buys from me four times a year, that affects the way I look at marketing a little differently than just a one-time purchase. So I'd say that's a metric that's really important.

If you have a high-purchased item, your cost-per-acquisition is going to take a long time to discern. So if you get earlier indicators, it's really going back up the funnel. So looking at the cost-per-lead can help a lot, like figuring out how much it costs you to get an email address and then understanding how many of those email addresses over time convert to a sale.

What role can SMS or text message marketing play in a given digital marketing campaign?

It can work a lot for brick and mortar retailers. With digital and e-commerce, it tends to be a little too invasive. So you have to be really careful how you're using SMS. Because with most companies, it doesn't work well; and if you use it too often, it feels invasive.

Again, when it comes to local brick and mortar stores, it can work. When it comes to things that are happening that you can time correctly, it works - like if you know that they're coming into the store, or they're down the street, or whatever. But when you're in e-commerce, it's harder to make it work.

What types of businesses or organizations might benefit from SMS or text message marketing?

I'd say restaurants, bars - honestly, any type of service business where you have regular customers. So coffee shops are great, even hair salons, supermarkets - places where you know that your customers can come back quite a bit, and it's usually a local place. Because then you know that your marketing can actually draw them in more often.

As digital marketing continues to evolve, what will be the components of a successful digital marketing campaign in the years to come?

The components are going to always be how are you covering awareness, meaning:

  1. how do you actually gain new audience
  2. how are you covering nurturing that audience
  3. how you are building trust with that audience

Three different pieces. So how are you showing third-party validation or some kind of social proof so that you're not the only one saying you're great? How are you creating awareness so that you're actually reaching new people? And then how are you taking all of those new people that now have heard about you and converting those to new customers?

That's always going to be the root of marketing. It's going to be done in very different ways, and that I can't predict. But it's always going to have to cover those three things.

Can SMS marketing help your business? Sign up for free today and find out!

Expert Interview Series: Viveka von Rosen of Linked Into Business About Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your LinkedIn Account


Viveka von Rosen is internationally known as the "LinkedIn Expert" and is the author of 2 best-selling books on LinkedIn. We had a chance to chat with Viveka about how to make LinkedIn profiles more attractive and effective, and found out which premium LinkedIn features are worth the investment.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How and why did you become an expert on LinkedIn?

To be honest, I really lucked into my LinkedIn career. I was running a coworking space and had managed to double our membership through face-to-face networking. Since we had a lot of entrepreneurs at the business center, I invited my friend Laurie Macomber to come and speak to them about Web 2.0 (which shows you how long ago it was.) At the end of her speech, she mentioned a little network called LinkedIn that had 7 million members. I imagined how I could really make business explode with an audience of 7 million people.

By this time, it was 2007, and I was beginning to teach and train locally on LinkedIn. I got my first big break when ABCN (Alliance Business Centers Network) invited me to speak in the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom to their group of 500 millionaires and billionaires. That's when I realized that I had found what I wanted to do with my life.

I started doing a lot of virtual training and establishing myself in the LinkedIn space and social media in general, After about a year, I was able to quit my day job and focus solely on LinkedIn.

Why has LinkedIn remained so popular when compared to all other professional networking sites on the Internet?

I think LinkedIn has stayed pretty steady because it doesn't pretend to be anything other than it is: a social business networking site focused on the growth of its members' businesses. You know what you are getting with LinkedIn. It's not terribly sexy, but it works.

How can LinkedIn users easily improve their profiles?

I think because it's not as exciting as Facebook or Snapchat, people forget that it is still an important place to establish and promote your business brand. Doing simple things on a regular basis can make a world of difference, such as:

  • Add a background image to your profile to promote your brand and share contact info
  • Add rich media to demonstrate your product or service and prove your expertise
  • Share updates to stay top of mind and create (personal) brand awareness
  • Use LinkedIn Publisher to position yourself as a thought-leader

At what point should an individual consider purchasing one of LinkedIn's premium packages?

Some of LinkedIn's best features (Advanced Search, Saved Search, Tagging, and Notes) were just removed from LinkedIn's free account. So now more than ever, it is worth investing in the premium account - and not just any premium account, but Sales Navigator. And even though I have not, traditionally, been the biggest fan of Sales Nav., now that I have been forced into using it, I am really discovering value in its features. While it is not cheap, it only takes one new client to pay for it for the year.

Is an InMail message perceived to be more important by LinkedIn members than a regular email message? [What are other advantages of using InMail?]

One of the added benefits of Sales Nav are the 15+ inMails a month. (An InMail is simply a message to someone who you are not connected with.) InMails really give you the opportunity to reach out to anyone on LinkedIn. It's a pretty powerful tool.

The problem is that most people waste their InMails with a sales pitch. Like any sales transaction, you have to warm your prospect up a bit. Get to know them. Use your InMail to ask for a connection request, and use it to demonstrate that you have taken the time to research your prospect by referring to something in their profile or something they have shared on LinkedIn.

What types of traditional online marketing techniques can be effectively used for text message or SMS marketing? When crafting a marketing text or SMS message, what is it important to avoid doing?

Last year, LinkedIn switched from a traditional inbox to LinkedIn messenger (copying Facebook). It allows for more responsive and casual conversations on LinkedIn. While the responsiveness of this chat-like feature can certainly stimulate conversation, I would warn not to go "too casual" (or add too many emojis.) to your conversations. This is still LinkedIn after all, and the average user is 41 years old - not your kid's age.

Will LinkedIn continue to be one of the leading social media platforms in the coming years?

Time will tell as to whether LinkedIn will maintain its position as the premier business networking site. It was recently acquired by Microsoft, and my hope is that the resources MS brings to the platform will continue to help it to improve. My fear is that MS will try and monetize the platform to the extent where the average business person will no longer want to use it. This latest user interface make-over seems to suggest the latter. But since there really is no competition (for the time being,) it's most definitely worth investing your time (and maybe some business dollars) on LinkedIn.

See if text message marketing is a good fit for your business. Sign up for free today!

What Can Political Campaigns Learn From Obama's Use of Digital Marketing?

In 2008, the Obama digital marketing campaign revolutionized communications between politicians and the electorate. Using fifteen different social networks, Obama communicated the message “Change we can believe in” to five million supporters, and drove fifty million viewers to his YouTube channel.

The Obama digital marketing campaign was not only innovative, it was effective. The way in which the mobile marketing was structured allowed the brand to evolve while maintaining a clear call to action. The campaign listened, asked questions and built relationships.

In 2012, the Obama digital marketing campaign evolved to a new level. Taking advantage of “Click-to-Donate” group text messaging, 80% of the $639 million dollars raised towards Obama´s reelection campaign came from donations that were 20 dollars or less. 

New strategies were employed to humanize the President through iconic quotes and “Share with a Friend” images. Opt-in opportunities were maximized to increase campaign donations and supporters, while individual sub-campaigns were tailored to show how Obama was in touch with specific issues.

What Can Political Campaigns Learn from Obama´s Use of Digital Marketing?

Whereas the Obama digital marketing campaigns of 2008 and 2012 showed how to “do it right”, the primary White House candidates in 2016 made notable errors in their campaigns, or failed to take advantage of opportunities offered by group text messaging.

  • Republican nominee Ted Cruz invited supporters to text long keywords (“Constitution”) or keywords that were not yet paired with a short code (“Imagine”) to join his group text messaging service. By comparison, President Obama´s “Click-to-Donate” campaign used the keyword “Give” and was ready to receive donations.
  • The campaign team for Donald Trump reigned in its use of group text messaging after its unsolicited “Help Make America Great Again” text was send to millions of people who had not opted in to receive messages in support of the President-Elect. The campaign´s violation of consumer laws has resulted in a lawsuit being issued.
  • One of the reasons why Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic nomination was his failure to engage minority demographics. His cause was not helped by relying heavily on a smartphone app (“Hustle”) to drive his mobile marketing strategy - excluding potential voters that did not have access to a smartphone.
  • According to some voters subscribed to Hillary Clinton´s mobile marketing campaign, the overuse of group text messaging during the campaign was irritating. Although many found the “Texts from Hillary” meme amusing, some commentators observed that the frequent requests for donations were getting on people’s nerves.

Key Takeaways from the 2016 Presidential Election

Although the strong use of emerging media in the 2008 Obama digital marketing campaign has been credited with contributing to President Obama´s victory, it is unclear whether the use - or non-use - of group text messaging affected the outcome of the most recent Presidential election. There are certainly some key takeaways that politicians at all levels should heed:

Keep it Simple

Asking voters to text keywords that some may not be able to spell, or asking them to text a keyword to a short code with which it is not yet paired, are schoolboy marketing errors. As with all marketing to the masses, the KISS principal is always the best to use.

Keep it Legal

Group text messaging is a permission-based activity and has to comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) 1991. Failure to do so can result not only in legal action, but also in a suspension of the service and a loss of credibility.

Keep it SMS

Even though smartphone ownership in the US has doubled over the past five years, more than 30% of the population does not have access to Internet-enabled devices. Communicating via SMS group text messaging will ensure that everybody has access to your message.

Keep it Relevant

Whereas the Obama digital marketing campaign focused on President Obama, listened to voters, asked questions and built relationships, Hillary Clinton´s political text messaging campaign was too frequently used to ask for money. Furthermore, the campaign detracted from the issues that mattered to voters with the introductions of a “Literally Trump” webpage and a “Trump Text” bot - amusing to some, but irrelevant to many.

Get Professional Advice about Political Text Messaging Campaigns

The 2016 Presidential elections will undoubtedly be remembered for reasons other than the errors in text messaging campaigns and the failures to use group text messaging to its greatest effect. However, there are some lessons to be learned from what went wrong and the attempts to circumnavigate laws put in place to protect consumers.

With planning already underway for the 2018 midterm elections, it makes sense to seek professional advice about political text messaging campaigns to ensure the errors are not repeated and group text messaging is used correctly to engage voters and generate support. In this respect we invite political representatives and campaigners to contact us to discuss proposed political text messaging campaigns.

Our team of Client Success Managers has more than a decade of experience providing advice and help to organizations of all types and sizes. We are confident that we can help you engage voters and generate support using compliant group text messaging and the principals put in place by the successful Obama digital marketing campaign.

Cinco de Mayo Mobile Marketing Tactics


Cinco de Mayo offers businesses the chance to attract new customers while having a fabulous time with current ones, and with the the right  Cinco de Mayo mobile marketing tactics you can really increase your sales revenue. 

Cinco de Mayo, or May 5th, commemorates the Mexican defeat of French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Celebrated among Mexican communities in Mexico and the United States, it has become a drinking holiday. 

If you are devising a mobile marketing scheme in time for this holiday, check out these cool Cinco de Mayo mobile marketing tactics: 

 

Cinco de Mayo Mobile Marketing Tactics to Employ This Year

 

Fun With Hashtags

Why not create a hashtag campaign? Make one about a week or a few days before Cinco de Mayo encouraging consumers to take selfies with your merchandise, such as a Cinco de Mayo cup bearing your brand name. Feel free to create a competition out of it--think creative selfies featuring the cup and the appropropriate hashtag. Give out “awards” on Cinco de Mayo, such as sending coupons or discount information for free food, drinks, products, or services. Don’t feel limited to selfies--the hashtag campaign can include anything you want so long as it’s appropriate. 

 

Party, Party, Party 

Make loyal customers feel special by throwing an exclusive Cinco de Mayo shindig. Text a special VIP code to customers who have been with your brand for years, regularly purchase certain products or services, etc. The code could function as an invite to a private party of sorts--one that includes free food and beverages, deep discounts on certain items, free trials of services, and whatver else you want to feature. A fantastic way of thanking customers for their loyalty, it’s also a way to spread the word about your brand. After all, don’t happy customers enjoy talking about favorite products and special related benefits?

 

Sales Alerts

Throwing a huge Cinco de Mayo sale? Let customers know via text. You can also send customers exclusive sales codes that guarantee discounts on the holiday. Consumers never tire of exclusive coupons and promotions, and are that much more likely to patronize your business if they know they can get something for cheap if not free. 

 

Powerful Call to Action 

Don’t let your call-to-action ruin your Cinco de Mayo mobile marketing campaign. Opt for engaging, if somewhat personal, options such as “Start Your Adventure Here” and “Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With Us By [Doing X and Y].” Whatever you decide, keep it concise and creative, and never, ever use “Click Here” and similar statements. 

These are just some of the many ways to work Cinco de Mayo into your upcoming mobile marketing campaign...

Here's Why Your Web Development Should Start with Mobile


Responsible design goes way beyond pixel measurements and assorted limitations, as it’s about deciphering the behaviors and preferences of a target audience, and meeting their needs, whether through smartphones, tablets, or websites.  

Consumer habits and expectations change depending on the device they’re using, meaning content and information must be displayed in the right way. The best option for learning about a target demographic and testing their “commitment to proper responsive build” is starting with a “mobile-first” approach. And while mobile may be the smallest of frequently-used platforms, it is still the favorite. Let’s take a deeper look at starting web development with mobile: 

Content 

When developing a brand, quality content is key. However, working through large blocks of copy and trying to find the important points gets tough, making it essential to ask the following question: What is the point I’m trying to make? Once the key theme is identified, it’s time to cut out “filler” content so the resulting post easily fits on a mobile device screen. This not only looks much better, but also makes it more readable for consumers. 

The other benefit to resizing content for mobile screens is once you’ve made the post fit, sizing it for tablets and the like is quite simple. 

Form and Function

Yes, you’re working with a smaller screen when crafting content for mobile, but that doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be anything short of engaging. Think form followed by function, and go for attention-grabbing headers and titles, visually-stunning telegraphic iconography, concise messaging, and quick yet memorable, meaningful takeaways. Create phone, tablet, and desktop “experiences” that takes user mindset into account—again, begin with mobile and go from there.

A Prime Example

A common request marketing agencies receive from clients is creating a product gallery. In terms of mobile, the gallery must be easy to swipe through so one product per swipe is featured with minimal copy. This results in a more intimate browsing experience. Image pairings are possible for tablets and desktops, or showcasing the entire product page. 

Wrap-Up 

Don’t think of mobile as far better than the other options, as each offers its own benefits. Rather, view them as complimentary. On mobile, for example, it’s easy to focus on a given element, while desktops make it possible to display an entire product line and emphasize that the brand meets the needs of a whole range of customers. It’s also possible to group products “visually, physically, or factually” in light of varying market approaches. 

The ability to solve the same issue on different devices is one that cannot be discussed enough, as it makes the ability to change content according to platform easier in the future. It also helps significantly in terms of prioritizing per device, and creating responsive designs. 

5 Mobile Marketing Tactics You Should Avoid

When something becomes commonplace, the issue of predictability follows. This is true of mobile marketing, so rather than falling victim to increasingly-stale practices, check out five mobile marketing tactics you should avoid like an infectious disease: 

 

A ‘Narrow’ Approach

Thinking of mobile marketing solely in terms of apps and the mobile web is a big no-no. Earning a spot on the app home screen is something that takes time and a heck of a lot of strategy, as consumers are all about context-aware experiences rather than basic mobile websites or subsequent advertisements. “Mobile wallet” is a great example of being context-aware, as the mobile wallet that is Apple Passbook allows users to store loyalty cards, assorted offers, and more. Saving something to a mobile wallet is less stressful than waiting for an app to download, and by assisting the consumer in some way, said consumer is more likely to engage. 

The new Messenger for Business is another fine example, as it allows brands to communicate with consumers through private chat threads. 

 

Singular Profiles

Rather than creating channel-specific databases featuring customer insights, brands need to work on single profiles of customers that utilize data from all channels. This creates an “omnichannel experience” that seamlessly moves between various touchpoints. 

 

Robots, Not Humans 

Relying on people instead of robots or automated systems for in-store support and interactive chat has become an archaic practice. Human employees get distracted, or feel ill and therefore not up to proverbial snuff. Brands must therefore focus on centralizing the rules of engagement in the cloud for customer support. For example, Lowe’s recently replaced people with robots in their stores to assist in shopper needs, such as finding products, with great success. 

 

Implicit and Explicit Intent

While marketers are contextualizing user experiences by location, they’re completely missing user implicit and explicit intent. For example, just because a man is walking through a makeup boutique doesn’t mean he should be sent a coupon for $5 off select mascaras. Understanding user intent in any given moment is imperative, as it helps brands accomplish their goals, i.e. providing the correct experience, function, or content. 

 

Interruptions

Picking and choosing the right time to “strike” is another necessary component of mobile marketing. Just because people enjoy receiving texts from friends doesn’t mean they’ll find a constantly-chirping phone fun to deal with. Showing restraint is therefore essential, and brands must resist the urge to inundate customers with offers and deals, no matter how spectacular. What they must do is find the right times to “strike,” and enjoy the rewards that follow.

Keep checking our blog - we'll be featuring more mobile marketing tactics to avoid in order to make your mobile marketing campaign run more smoothly and effectively.

How Did Smartphones Become the Dominant Mobile Device?


Unless you’ve been living under a frightfully large rock, you know the impact smartphones have had on the digital industry. Unsurprisingly the devices now make up 75% of the mobile phone market, a 10% increase from a year ago and a 73% increase from 10 years ago, according to Internet analytics firm comScore. So what brought us here? How did smartphones become the dominant mobile device in a market that's not short of choice? 

Three-quarters of Americans aged 13 or older own smartphones, with the rest using basic cellphones, such as flip phones and TracFones. The percentage of people who don’t own a cellphone at all….well, that number is so low it’s not even worth discussing.  

“If you take a look at the big picture, it’s how mobile has taken over and become the dominant platform through which people engage in digital media,” said Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights at comScore.  

People are spending more and more time in front of digital screens despite the fact that desktop use has gone down the tubes. Still, people are glued to their screens practically all day and night, whether on their way to work, watching TV, or any other time thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and tablets.  

The positive side to this screen addiction is the ability to stay better informed and even learn a thing or two more quickly, noted Lipsman. The negative side is a bit more complicated, as new research recently released by digital technology firm Apigee in San Jose, CA and Stanford University’s Mobile Innovation Group, found a “deepening dependence” on smartphones in terms of social interaction. Dependency was most severe among smartphone users, who say they’re on their phones “nearly all the time,” including while at family dinners. 

Shockingly, 21% of smartphone users said they couldn’t sustain a relationship with a partner without their phone apps, and 19% of users said they could not make new friends without the the assistance of their devices. Younger Americans use smartphones the most (surprise, surprise), with at least 85% of citizens ages 13 to 44 owning one, according to comScore. 

The numbers decline with age: 76% of people ages 45 to 54 use smartphones, and 63% of those ages 55 to 64 use such devices. The percentage is 48% people ages 65 or older. 

Apple devices remain the most popular, as they make up 41% of the market. The company is followed by Samsung, LG, Motorola, and HTC at 29%, 8%, 5%, and 4% respectively. 

Wondering about the most popular smartphone apps? Facebook still rules them all with 70% of the market, followed by YouTube (55%), Google Play (52%), Google Search (52%), and Facebook Messenger (47%). 

What will become of the country’s addiction to mobile technology? Will smartphones continue to be the dominant mobile device of choice, or will larger screen tablets prove more suitable for the era of rich content? Only time will tell….

Mobile Marketing is Going Hyper-Local

Mobile marketing has taken huge strides towards fulfilling the potential of geo-targeting technology, allowing local businesses to make the most of their sphere of influence. The only way for geo-location techniques to go is inward, reaching ever-more specific parts of the local economy.

Mobile marketing is doing just that, placing an increasing emphasis on attracting foot traffic to brick and mortar retail outlets. The industry is now able to service international brands with bespoke campaigns in multiple locations using region-specific methods capable of targeting users to a single square foot. 

This ultimate refinement of mobile marketing tactics is a real game changer. A heady cocktail of beacons, GPS, location information gathered from existing interactions and other geolocaters is ushering in a new era of hyper-local mobile marketing so precise it’s hard to imagine how it could improve further.

Having such devastatingly effective mobile marketing tactics available at the local level is helping small businesses maximize their efficiency on tight budgets. For a relatively low cost, small businesses can quickly, reliably reach the widest audience they can serve, via a combination of in-app messaging, web ads, text messages, MMS and push notifications. 

So what next? With such sophistication already on display, where targeted mobile marketing could go now is anybody’s guess. Some mobile marketers are considering adjusting their services to allow for weather, which would let marketers better judge the prime time to pitch discounts. It might not be relevant to every business, but purveyors of ice cream or rooftop cocktails could really use knowing if it’s about to rain the moment they’ve sent their 50% discount coupon to hundreds of people. Other local data like traffic conditions may also begin to play a part in geo-location technology. 

The tools at our disposal allows imaginative approaches to marketing to flourish, unencumbered by technological limits. Nobody can say for certain what the next few years hold for mobile marketing - that’s why it’s so exciting. But if the rapid rate of change we’ve seen take place over the past decade continues, we can be confident that the mobile landscape of 2025 will look very different to the one we see today.

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