News

Mobile Marketing’s Impact

Mobile Marketing: The Future Is Here

 

mobile marketing future

Mobile marketing has created an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to target consumers.  Over 80% of all smartphone users search for local businesses on mobile devices.  Furthermore, Google reports that 88% of all “near me” searches are done on mobile phones.

Mobile phones create an opportunity to engage consumers in-store and turn lookers into actual buyers.  In a separate study, Google reports that 82% of smartphone users consult their mobile phones while in-store before finalizing a buying decision.

An effective mobile marketing campaign will hyper-target a radius around your brick-and-mortar location.  Start by targeting your current marketing lists such as email subscribers and previous buyers.  Once an effective strategy has been developed, you’ll want to expand your campaign to a broader audience.

Secondary Conversions

The primary goal of mobile marketing conversion is to get the user to take a specific action.  But achieving the primary goal is not always possible.  He or she simply may not be ready to purchase.  Or they may feel uneasy about completing the process over the phone.  In that case, always try to achieve a secondary conversion.

The secondary conversion should offer the consumer something of value and build additional interest in your brand. And it should give you an opportunity to get something of value in return – such as an email address.

The ultimate goal the secondary conversion is to keep the conversation going with your customer.

Make Conversions Seamless and Easy

Converting on a mobile phone can be cumbersome.  Be aware of the number of pages that users must load, the placement of your CTA’s (calls to action), the ease of navigation and difficulty of using buttons.  

Make allowance for the unique features of the mobile phone.  Badly designed forms can have a devastating effect on page optimization.

Special attention must be given to the logistics involved in filling out mobile forms.For example, are the fields visible when typing and not hidden by the keyboard?

Adjust to Customer’s Preferences

It’s important that you determine which conversion methods your customers prefer.

Not every business can handle every conversion types well.  It’s important to adjust if needed.  For example, you may need to create the infrastructure for handling calls – hiring additional staff possibly partnering with an external call center.

Don’t fall into the trap of pushing customers to a certain conversion method because it’s convenient for you.  Align your mobile marketing strategy to customer preferences.  It potentially could lead to impressive ROI gains.

Cross-Device Conversions

Google reports that 40% of consumers who do research on a smartphone will later make a purchase a desktop or laptop.  This highlights the increased importance in cross-device conversions.  Plus it shows the importance of engaging consumers as they enter the sales funnel.   

Enter mobile contacts into your CRM as soon as possible.  It helps facilitate conversions and makes future engagement more convenient for both you and the consumer.

Your efforts might not result in an immediate sale, but sales are not always immediate.  Your goal is to build a long-term relationship.

Analytics

Tracking your mobile consumers’ actions is a must!  Analytics will help you determine which of your mobile strategies are effective and which ones underperform.

Tracking consumer engagements will help you determine your ROI and other important metrics – allowing you to prioritize limited resources and create the most effective mobile strategies going forward.

Measuring your mobile marketing efforts should not be left to chance and it doesn’t need to be difficult or mysterious.

Metrics let you refine your site, application or strategy and create a superior user experience.  Better user experience translate into more engagement and ultimately more sales.

Tracking indicators such as store locations, directions and business hours can provide some context around intent.  Coupon downloads and redemptions can be used to connect your online and offline sales.

Tracking in-store visits through software and beacons are valuable options for retailers that drive a significant volume of traffic through stores.

Growth in Mobile

It’s inevitable that consumers use of mobile devices will continue to grow at an astounding rate.  As result, it’s inevitable that mobile marketing budgets will increase to keep pace.  Businesses that develop effective marketing strategies to include mobile with intelligent campaigns will capture the future.

Mobile Wallets: Changing Consumer Spending Habits

Mobile Wallets Continue to Gain Consumer Acceptance

mobile wallets and consumers

Mobile wallets in some form have existed for nearly as long as smartphones. Recently there has been a tremendous increase in the number of mobile wallets available to the consumers as the payment technologies has heated up.

Confusion about mobile wallets and how they work abounds. Here is a quick guide to help you navigate the maze.

What is a Mobile Wallet?

A mobile wallet is a mobile-based virtual wallet. Money is preloaded into an account that the consumer created with a service provider. It can then be spent online or offline at any merchant listed with the mobile wallet service provider.

Transactions You Can Make

You can use a mobile wallet to pay for just about anything – from utility bills to offline retail payments. In today’s world, most of your daily financial transactions can now be performed using a mobile wallet.

Mobile Wallet Technologies

There are two primary technologies being used to create mobile wallets. They are:

Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) are two-dimensional machine-readable codes usually consisting of a matrix of black and white squares. The matrix that can store short pieces of information such as text or a link to a web address. The data can be read and displayed by a smartphone.

A QR code must be printed on each product. An app is required on the mobile phone in order to read the code. Users link the app to their bank account or load a certain amount of money onto the app.

Near Field Communication (NFC) exchanges data between devices using close-proximity radio communication. Tags can be scanned without a direct line of sight and therefore can be integrated within products and/or hidden from view.

NFC-enabled mobile phones do not require any additional software and can work be a substitutes for payment cards. Applications securely store the consumer’s payment information from a credit card, PayPal, debit card, etc. in a certified environment.

NFC technology offers an unprecedented opportunity for brands to convey a tech-savvy image while delivering valuable offers and collecting vital consumer insights.

Both NFC and QR codes link the physical with the digital worlds and trigger the payment process by identifying the shopper and his/her payment information, a certain product or application. Although using different approaches, both technologies can be used in similar settings.

NFC technology was slower to catch on than QR codes. But many analysts believe that NFC technology is poised to replace QR codes as the mobile wallet tool of choice because of their ease of use. QR codes can require several steps by the user. NFC codes only require any that the user bring the device into close proximity to the tag.

QR codes got a huge head-start over NFC, mainly due to the fact that Apple not embraced NFC technology and continues to use QR technology.

But other tech giants like Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, Paypal, CurrentC, and SoftCard have opted to use NFC technology in their mobile wallets.

Pros and Cons for Your Business

Adapting a mobile POS payment system may come with upfront expenses to your business. Older system hardware and/or software may not accommodate near-field communication or QR codes. Fortunately, there are low-cost cloud-based POS systems available that can reduce the impact.

But now for the positives for your business:

  1. Consumers want more convenient ways to spend money
  2. Reduced fraud as mobile wallets are hard to steal or duplicate
  3. Decreased payment times
  4. Lower processing than fees traditional cards
  5. Builds customer loyalty through sales & incentives sent directly to smartphones
  6. Provide additional ways for customer payments
  7. Makes payment process more convenient
  8. Gives additional payment choices
  9. Makes your business more welcoming than the competition
  10. Transfer additional info to customers in real time

Is This The Year?

Is 2016 the year you adopt a mobile wallet system for your business? Industry analysts predict that by 2017 over 1.5 billion smartphones will be sold globally by 2017 and mobile payments in US to be $90B. So what’s the hold up? Shouldn’t we be rushing into this brave new world?

Predictive Analytics Transforming Marketing

Predictive Analytics and Marketing

Predictive Analytics Marketing and Sales

Predictive analytics has become one of the newest marketing buzzwords in 2016. However it’s more than the latest catch phrase. It’s the wave of the future in a myriad of disciplines. The use of predictive analytics in marketing and sales has become one of its most valuable business applications.

 

What is predictive analytics?

Many in the business world still don’t know what predictive analytics is or how it works and often fail to understand its full potential as a marketing model.

It the use of data, statistical algorithms and machine-learning to predict future outcomes. It is a multi-step process consisting of the following:

– Collection

– Analysis

– Interpretation

– Implementation

A key goal is to intelligently automate communications.

 

How Does Predictive Analytics Work?

Data is collected behaviors and actions of consumers and potential consumers from a from a variety of sources. This data is then combined with profile data about consumer characteristics.

The data is distilled and interpreted by sophisticated algorithms. Based on the analysis relevant communications and/or offers are made to likely consumers. Predictive analytics goes beyond descriptive statistics and reports on what happened in the past to provide a best assessment on what is likely to happen in the future. This streamlines decision-making and produces new insights that lead to better actions.

The ultimate goal is to apply mathematical models to predict the probability of an outcome.

 

The New Marketing Model

In a predictive analytics marketing model, relevant actions are carried out based on your collected and interpreted data. Predictions are made and the optimum marketing message is then delivered to current and potential customers via their most relevant and preferred marketing channel – and at the optimum time. The result is the improved likelihood of achieving higher engagement and greater sales.

As always, you decide what your marketing goals are and the predictive analytic algorithms determine the optimum way of achieving it. And with the advent of big data, you’ll be able to leverage even more diverse data and further optimize your marketing focus and spending.

Early surveys of companies using a predictive analytics model have shown great promise. They include:

– An in depth survey of 123 financial services companies by research firm the Aberdeen Group. They found that the companies utilizing a predictive analytics model achieved an 11 per cent increase in the number of clients over the previous 12 month period.

– A Forbes survey of 306 companies with $20 million or more in annual revenue found that those using predictive marketing initiatives for at least 2 years increased return on investment 86% as a result.

 

Looking to 2016 and Beyond

For 2016 and beyond, we’ll see the continued dramatic growth of predictive analytics marketing. As the design and price barrier lower, more  small and medium sized businesses will enter the world of predictive analysis marketing.

Your competition has, or soon will have, predictive analytics models to attract, retain and grow the most profitable customers and maximize their marketing spending. If your marketing model does not yet include an anlytics model to forecast, determine customer responses, purchases and promote cross-sell opportunities, you’re in danger of falling behind.

Social Media Marketing Expands Your Reach

Does Your Corporate Strategy Include Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing SMM

Social media marketing is the word-of-mouth that drives customer perceptions and purchasing decisions. Today, any effective corporate strategy requires that you need to be actively involved in the conversation. Here are a few essential points to think about if your company’s not already immersed in social media marketing:

– Most adults in the U. S. use social media. The social media explosion is far from over. Future growth is expected to come from duration or total time spent interacting via social media sites. In other words, your clients are already using social media and will do so at an even greater rate in the future.

– Social media impacts other organic search results. Social media is increasingly used to rank other forms of online content ranging from a website to blogs. Google and other search engines place great relevancy on sites that engage users in a meaningful manner.

– Social media is already part of the corporate strategy of most businesses. Sit on the sidelines and you run the risk of surrendering a meaningful market share to your competition.

– Social media expands your reach. The possibilities for growth are limitless. No other marketing medium compares to social media’s ability to connect with the vast network of user friends and family.

– Reaching new clients through social media costs less. Finding new clients can be expensive. Numerous studies show that social media marketing tends to cost less per new client – and substantially less for existing clients, than traditional methods.

– Social media is timely. Today’s pace of news and information is measured in hours or even minutes and seconds. Are your marketing efforts able to keep up? For businesses effectively using social media, the answer is “YES.” Advertising and marketing campaigns can be created as soon as a hot trend is spotted – leading to increased insight, active participation and sales.

A well-planned corporate social media marketing strategy allows you to focus on existing clients while, at the same time, target new customers. Social media marketing is allowing businesses to expand into new areas and reach new audiences that were totally unanticipated just a few years ago.

Project Milestones Help Monitor Project Health

Project Management Needs Project Milestones

Project Management Milestones

Project milestones are special events that signify the completion of a promised deliverable. No project lasts forever; each has a defined beginning and an end. Because each project has a unique outcome (as opposed to business as usual), each must be managed with its own set of unique milestones built in.

Project milestones not only help project managers accurately determine whether or not the project is on schedule, they add significant value to project scheduling.

Managers and clients love project milestones because they provide an opportunity to validate the current state of the project against the overall schedule, since each milestone signifies some set of underlying work has been completed.

If a milestone date is missed, everyone knows immediately that the project is behind schedule.  Clients don’t need to know the individual status of all the activities in the work plan; he/she just needs to keep track of the status of the milestones to know if a project is on schedule or not.

Each project has a distinctive scope and set of goals. Project milestones provide a means to measure the inputs and the outputs of the project against the work plan. They also provide a great way to take a step back and validate the overall health of the project.

All successful projects have milestones, created at the beginning of the project and regularly reviewed and updated as the project continues. To insure the success of your endeavor take note of the following:

– Before the project begins, make sure that the client has approved the scope and goals, required inputs (time, money and resources), processes (planning, project management, analysis, testing and implementation) and outputs (project milestones and key deliverables) of the project.

– At each milestone, check the work plan to make sure that you and your client understand where the project is and re-validate the activities required for completion of the project.

– Evaluate what’s been accomplished and the effort, duration and cost estimates for the remaining work. Are your remaining estimates accurate? If not, modify the work plan. If it appears that your budget or deadline will not be met or if there are other potential problems, raise the issue and resolve the problem now.

– Issue a formal status update and make any other communications specified in the work plan.

Project milestone dates provide a great time to validate where you are, make any needed adjustments and get prepared to charge ahead.