It’s a Mobile World

Mobile marketing is the act of targeting customers through their mobile devices. This is an important channel for marketers to pursue because mobile usage has recently surpassed desktop usage. Consumers currently use their smartphones to do research: they’re “show-rooming” at department stores to compare prices and they’re looking up local businesses while they’re on the go. Everything is being done in real time to yield the best money and time saving opportunities. Considering the importance consumers place on their mobile devices, marketers should see the value in utilizing this channel to enhance brand awareness and grow their market share.

Mobile is becoming one of the most direct and easiest ways to reach out to consumers. The majority of smartphone users are within reach of their devices 24/7. With the surge of mobile usage, marketers have the opportunity to appeal to broader audiences in a more cost effective manner. Mobile marketing can also help companies gain new customers, get existing buyers to return more often, and improve profit margins. It is a good channel that has the power to differentiate brands and improve ROI (return on investment). Overall, mobile offers marketers a way to simplify mass communication to a broader audience than traditional marketing channels.

There are some downsides to using mobile marketing. The biggest issue facing marketers is privacy issues. Marketers need to make sure that they obtain consent to advertise (email, SMS, etc.) to consumers as well as logging their stats. How often and when should marketers contact consumers? These questions should be carefully evaluated on the mobile platform because “spamming” people can develop negative sentiments towards a brand. Also, mobile can be a hard channel to make user friendly. Navigating on smaller screens can be a headache for some consumers. Marketers need to make sure to go the extra mile to make their mobile sites friendly for all devices. Even though there are some hoops to jump through, the pros of mobile marketing far outweigh the cons.

An example of a business doing a successful job with their mobile marketing is Redbox. Their red kiosk boxes provide movie rentals to consumers at various locations (generally local supermarkets and fast-food restaurants). Redbox runs a couple campaigns but they do a good job with mobile SMS. The company asks consumers to opt-in to receive text messages from them. After accepting, Redbox sends personalized SMS messages to users. The information shared varies from new releases to promotional offers. Redbox also attempts to gain an idea about their customer base by requesting demographic information (asking for time zone, zip code, etc.). The company can track customer interaction by logging the usage of promotional codes. Redbox also has an email club, however, the SMS campaign gives customers an immediate call to action, which encourages customers to spend more money and rent more often. SMS messaging is a great way to target all mobile consumers, not just those with smartphones. Because of this, I think that any company looking to improve their marketing ROI should experiment with an SMS mobile campaign.



From Sending Tweets to Posting Loops: Enhance Your Marketing Strategy with Twitter, Vine and Periscope

Twitter can be a great marketing tool for businesses by enhancing their SEO, improving conversion rates, and developing brand awareness. The social media site fosters rapid fire, concise information sharing, making it an easy way to interact with a broad variety of people. The more profiles and websites a business is on, their SEO improves. Businesses can use Twitter to communicate with their clients. It is a valuable tool that can enhance customer service because brands can monitor what people are saying about them as well as ward off any negative brand awareness. Negative experiences with products or services can be addressed on Twitter and the two parties can work towards a solution. Lastly, Twitter proves to be a great place to create buzz about a brand and grow its awareness. Because of the vast user base, the site promotes relationships. If your business wants to gain new leads, a Twitter account can help earn some acknowledgement and develop potential sales. Overall, if your business isn’t on Twitter, you’re missing out on a valuable social media channel that has expansive possibilities.

When maintaining a Twitter account for your business, it is important to use a casual, friendly tone in all tweets and not just give information. The best Twitter accounts are about people, not organizations. They become popular by providing excellent customer service as well as sharing interesting articles and links. Target has a great Twitter account. They are actively posting fun links and sharing current promotions. Music fans can rejoice because Target pairs up with a lot of artists to provide customers with exclusive content. Recently, Target partnered with One Direction and offered a limited edition cover of their latest album. The band tweeted to followers “US! Head to @Target to grab your limited edition covers of the boys & complete your collection! ..then show you did!” This is a great way to collaborate and engage customers on a new level.

Visit Target’s Twitter Account Here

In addition to using Twitter to develop their brand awareness; they use their Twitter account to foster customer relations by giving followers an inside look at special releases and they go a step further by re-tweeting and sharing real consumer photos and hash tags. On Target’s Twitter homepage, their bio includes a direct way to contact them with guest service questions. This shows that they truly care about their consumers and they want to hear feedback and concerns. With all of the holiday shopping going on, they urged followers to tweet photos of their Black Friday trips and hashtag #TargetHaul and #BlackFriday.

The only pitfall of Target’s Twitter strategy is that they seem to be trying to sell products a little too much in their feed. I’m aware that they post these things to attract people to their store for exclusive products and savings, but Target is so much more than just a department store. They give money to schools and non-profits all the time. Target often donates product or gift certificates to guests on Ellen DeGeneres show so why not bring those aspects to the Twitter feed? I would enjoy seeing how they give back to the community in 140 characters or less. I think that they could easily share some highlights of their involvement and truly show the world that they truly care about people, not just products and sales.

Another growing social media platform is Vine, a 6 second video sharing website. It is a rapidly growing network that has a young demographic (most users are 13 to 25 years old). Vine can be used by marketers to share unique content with consumers. By posting short, creative DIY videos about their products they can gain potential customers and create more awareness about their brand. Marketers can also focus on developing “behind the scenes” clips to show the public what their business is really about.

AirBNB is doing a great job using Vine to share the core beliefs of their company. They love travel and they want to help people get out there and see the world. AirBNB developed a four-minute film composed of various six-second videos that was actually featured in the 2013 Sundance Festival. Some of the clips were submitted from real AirBNB users.

Visit AirBNB’s Vine Account Here

The newest social media platform is Periscope. It acts like a “live TV station” allowing users to broadcast content anywhere in the entire world on a live stream to others. With the current direction of social media, video is king. This fast growing format is a great place for marketers to share new product releases as well as host live Q&A sessions. Periscope is very new but it has already proved itself to be an invaluable asset to broadcast information to prospects and customers. Quora, an answer generating website, shares some great examples of businesses that are currently using Periscope to their advantage. They mention that Madden, a video games series, is using behind the scenes clips of sports players and sharing them with fans via Periscope. This is a really smart business move for the video game company because it shows that they really care about the players and want to make their product more interactive. Their periscope account shows an authentic approach to their marketing efforts and is sure to draw more awareness for their brand.