Monthly Archives - April 2016

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.