With Mobile, Are You In or Out?

Companies and brands need to be mindful of servicing consumers through their mobile devices.  It just makes sense as 5.1 billion people on Planet Earth own a cell phone according to Jason Wells of ViralBlog.  That is an enormous opportunity for marketers to reach their intended target market because there is a 72.8% chance that your particular target audience owns a cell phone.  The market potential is there as long as the willingness to take advantage of that potential is there as well.  The growth potential is clearly identified with some of the graphics here and here.  Wells has some other good statistics that should convince marketers to get mobile right away.  See the comprehensive list below.

  • It takes 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email. It takes 90 seconds for the average person to respond to a text message. (CTIA.org, 2011)
  • Mobile coupons get 10 times the redemption rate of traditional coupons. (Mobile Marketer, 2012)
  • 91% of all smart phone users have their phone within arm’s reach 24/7 – (Morgan Stanley, 2012)
  • 44% of Facebook’s 900 million monthly users access Facebook on their phones. These people are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users (Facebook, 2012)
  • Mobile marketing will account for 15.2% of global online ad spend by 2016. (Berg Insight, 2012)
  • It takes 26 hours for the average person to report a lost wallet. It takes 68 minutes for them to report a lost phone. (Unisys, 2012)
  • 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour. 70% of online searches result in action in one month. (Mobile Marketer, 2012)
  • 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase. (Search Engine Land, 2012)
  • 61% of local searches on a mobile phone result in a phone call. (Google, 2012) 52% of all mobile ads result in a phone call. (xAd, 2012)

These statistics should get marketers excited about the possibilities to reach their audience, engage with them on a two-way basis and guide them to making purchases before the competition gets wind of what’s going on.  Wells has some interesting things to say in this blog post but the most profound is that he mentions that resources should be substantial to reach consumers in a highly-targeted, highly-responsive manner.  Consumers are demanding that brand extend their figurative hands to them wherever they happen to be.  Wells’ point is highly valid, are you in or are you out?  If you’re in, dive head first like you’re swimming for gold at the Olympics.  But if you’re out, the race will be over before you get off the starting block.

What’s your thought?  Leave me a comment below.

Online Advertisers Need In-store Customers

The growth of online marketing is lead partly by the retail marketplace. Consumers perceptions online versus in-store shopping are leading to those consumers not only researching expensive electronics online but also everyday items like diapers and detergents.  The chart below explains this phenomenon.

Accenture Online v In Store Prices Nov2012 Online vs. In Store Price Perceptions, November 2012 [CHART]

According to Ellen Byron “a fifth of consumers research online for food and beverages, a third on pet food, and 39% on baby products however they tend to buy those products in stores. Retailers and brands are now targeting customers by using social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) however, this does not connect with their customers’ in-store visits. Online advertising firms such as SiteScout are teaming up with Aislelabs to reconnect with in- store consumers. SiteScout is the world’s largest self-serve advertising platform for buying ad space. Aislelabs provides store customer analytics and mobile marketing automation. The partnerships can help retailers figure out customer’s in-store behavior instead of solely focusing on consumer’s online behavior. Retailers use Aislelabs Engage with its mobile app to understand in-store behavior and SiteScout to re-target the same customer on the web, smart device, or on social networks. Retailers can also customize ads to fit the needs of the consumers in real time.

The CEO of Aislelabs Nick Koudas said ” the vision is connect online and offline customer behavior.” Retailers can retarget in-store visitors once they’re online which will fill in the gap in marketing.

Retailers such as Procter & Gamble Co. have used this concept of in-store marketing. In 2010, CoverGirl Smoky Eye Look sparked buzz with live demonstrations and print ads with Wal-Mart stores. Customers were asked to write product reviews of the product on Facebook, which spread the word to consumers looking online for makeup products.

In today’s technological age, retailers have multiple ways to reach it customers; which can be a blessing and a curse. Finding the right balance between online and offline marketing has become a challenge. Companies like SiteScout are trying to fill the gap as consumer behavior changes.

Full Screen Websites: A Natural Progression

Full screen websites seem to fit in with today’s overall movement toward bigger screens.  It seems that these full screen websites are a natural progression in today’s bigger is better world of mobile, computer and entertainment devices.  Bigger screen resolutions are becoming more and more popular each and every month, so having a website utilize that same thought by using the entire page as a medium for visitors makes a lot of sense.

Consumers are becoming more accustomed to having bigger devices to accommodate their desire to see more without a lot of pinching, zooming and scrolling through the page.  This has become such an inevitability that Apple, Inc. had to join the fray by offering larger screen iPhones with their next phone offering; the iPhone 6.  The graph below from 9 to 5 Mac shows how Apple internalized the need to make bigger offerings to their consumers.

Why-bigger-iphones

In order for any website to capitalize on the mobile fray, their website should be optimized in a manner that accommodates the bigger is better phenomenon.  Janelle Monae’s personal website is a great example of the future of websites on a full screen scale.  Her site is a full screen page with large tiles that link to various items on her site.  The site takes advantage of the users device size to allow for maximum viewing capabilities.

Just from Feb. 2014 through May 2014, there has been a 26%-28% share of devices utilizing one of the higher resolution screens on various electronic devices.

The next step for new website designs is to take full advantage of the screen size to fully convey the brand message.  Full Screen websites are the next step in what consumers are looking for in the marketplace.  First larger devices, then larger screen sizes.  Who knows what will follow next?

Are African Americans Missing in the Technology Realm?

Silicon Valley, the Hollywood for the tech world, is a major hub for media giants such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  However, African Americans have only played a consumer role in technology.  With over $900 billion in consumer buying power, African-American play a large role in technological purchases.  However, there may be some notions that racial bias could be a factor for lack of technological innovations.  Business investors use pattern matching to decide the success of internet businesses.  This includes the founder’s tract record, personality type and alma mater.  Usually, Caucasian computer science graduates from elite schools produce successful tech founders due to university’s status and its preparation of the students.  African Americans are least likely to attend universities such as Stanford due to lack of quality high school education, finances, etc.

Some will say big internet businesses such as Google, Facebook, and Apple hiring practices statistically show that they are lacking in diversity. Another cause could be the African American community not encouraging it’s youth to pursue an interest in technology.  However, the benefits of a diverse background can be long lasting.  Google provided a very candid report about its company, their company make up and how it can lead to greater innovation.

Soledad O’Brien quoted an entrepreneur’s thought about how they feel that there is a notion that no one will give you money to build a web company.

The question then becomes, where is the fundamental cause?  It can lie in multiple places.  Each answer is a possibility.