Sunday, May 16, 2010

Utilizing mobile banners ads? Do you have a mobile ready destination?

As having a line item for mobile in the media plan is becoming more and more common/required by the management, it is very important to have an end to end mobile experience. It is a very bad user experience if the banners appearing on mobile phones are being used to drive users to a desktop website.

One thing that is for sure is that your site will experience a very high bounce rate (users will leave the site as soon as they land). OR if you still notice that the users are taking actions, be assured that if you update your destination website to a mobile based website, you will see a huge jump in performance.

Driving users to a desktop based application will also take a long time to load the website, which can be frustrating as well.

All the issues mentioned above, will not only lead to bad user experience but can also lead to a negative impact on your brand. Essentially, users click on banners to get more information about your brand but due the website not optimized for the mobile they will not be able to get any information that they are seeking.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mobile Applications vs. the Mobile Web

The question of using mobile applications vs. the mobile web is getting a lot of attention recently. One of the key questions that need to be answered is – “Is there a fundamental difference in how the users make use of these two sub-channels within mobile devices?”
Based on my knowledge from industry trends, newsletters, talking with experts – the mobile applications are utilized by users who know exactly what they need to do. Example: Paying bills, making a purchase from Amazon, ordering tacos from Chipotle, connecting with a friend on Facebook, looking for recipes, playing music for your toddler etc. On the other end, users utilize the mobile web to search for new things. Example: finding a FAO Schwarz store in NYC, trying to learn more about a new product, trying to find a customer service number.
Thus, net net – Mobile web is more useful for searching the web vs. the Mobile Applications are used by used when they know exactly what they need to do.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Launching an Mobile App and Keeping it alive

Most of the major marketers already have a mobile device app or are working on getting one live soon. The marketers should think very seriously on why they want to launch an application on the mobile devices. Does it fit the overall strategy of the campaign, brand. How will they be able to maintain it?

Most of the successful applications like Fandango, Facebook, Chipotle, and Amazon have provided a medium for users to utilize the mobile web in their day to day life. For example: Fandango, Chipotle and Amazon have made e-commerce easy. They have literally provided transactions on users fingertips. This shows how mobile devices are helping drive mobile commerce or mobile retailing. Facebook, as most of you know has exploded in terms of the user base with the mobile technology – revolution in social networking.

One more important point to think about before launching an application is how the application will survive in this world of new applications launching every day. Like any other marketing program – the mobile application also needs to be kept upto date, refreshed with new features, content etc. If the user is going to go through the exact same experience multiple times, the chances of the user re-visiting the application are slim. Even if it is a mobile commerce application, the user feedback needs to be addressed in a very pro-active fashion.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Use of bloggers for social media: Social Influencers

Many advertisers are starting to use bloggers to write specific articles about their company to help increase the awareness or product advocacy. But the key question is how to find these bloggers.

There are a few key common rules that should be followed to find relevant social influencers for your brand:

  1. Read what he/she writes about – A blogger will typically not change his/her topic, if he/she doesn't write regarding your brand or industry, move on.
  2. Make initial contacts: Post comments/links of their blog to catch their attention
  3. Reach out to the person for advice or questions on how you can improve your business
  4. Provide incentives example: Free visit to your plant, samples of your new product etc

Also, please don't feel that a marketer needs to connect with each and every blogger who writes relevant posts. A blogger with a very small following and who doesn't update often is not that important vs. a blogger who has a huge following and provides update every often. These bloggers are similar to the media companies. Consider being close, connected to the bigger companies or bloggers who have the biggest impact.