“2015 Canadian Social Media Voters’ Pulse”

2015 Canadian Social Media Voters’ Pulse2015

Download Report Now

Yesterday we published the results of the “2015 Canadian Social Media Voters’ Pulse” which analyzes several million conversations on social media related to the 2015 Canadian federal election. This analysis includes tracking of major issues, leader/party chatter levels, leader/party sentiment (negative vs. positive comments), etc.

For the 2015 election, there have been some very surprising results surrounding leader/party chatter levels, leader/party sentiment tracking (negative vs. positive comments), and peaks and valleys around several issues such the Trans-Pacific Parthership, taxes, niqab, middle class, Syrian refugees, crime, foreign policy, small business, economy/recession, Ukraine, strategic voting, environment/climate change, student debt, household debt, KPMG, etc. (We have also been able to compare these results to our data analysis from the last federal election in 2011.)
We discovered many surprising trends in this year’s analysis, but most importantly, several indicators point to a liberal majority.
I look forward to hearing your comments on these results. Media inquiries are welcome.

Top 10 Branding / Presales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Top 10 Branding/Presales Mobile Marketing Strategies

In this Chapter

  • The first Top 10 list focuses on strategies that will boost your brand visibility and raise awareness of your offerings:
  1. A1. Inbound Mobile Marketing
  2. A2. Mobile Social Media Marketing
  3. A3. Mobile Niche/Community Marketing
  4. A4. Mobile Viral Marketing
  5. A5. Outbound Mobile Marketing
  6. A6. Mobile Advertising
  7. A7. Augmented Reality Marketing (including QR Code Marketing)
  8. A8. Mobile Coupon Marketing
  9. A9. Freemium Marketing, and
  10. A10. Mobile Video Marketing.

A s you can see, there is a wide range of branding/presale strategies that companies can consider. The key is determining which ones make most sense for your organization. Although these strategies tend to be use for branding and presales, they can also achieve other objectives such as moving people through the sales cycle and closing the sale. Let’s view a visual representation of all ten branding/presale options, followed by a review of each strategy in detail including a world tour of examples.

( Click on the images to view )

1 TO 56 TO 10 

Figure 30: Top 10 Branding/Presales Mobile Marketing Strategies

There are several effective mobile strategies you can consider to brand your offerings and company, as well as move people through the sales cycle.

A1 Inbound Mobile Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Inbound Mobile Marketing refers to features, functions and content made available through a mobile website or mobile app. About 13 percent of all Internet traffic is now executed from a mobile device, but in some countries such as India, that number has surpassed 60 percent.[i]

Over 90 percent of brands now have their own mobile app, up from about 50 percent a year and a half ago.[ii] One research study suggests that U.S. consumers are now spending almost twice as much time on mobile apps than on the web. And the amount of time spent on mobile apps could soon surpass the amount of time spent watching TV.[iii] Forty-five billion apps were downloaded in 2012.[iv] Apple alone has surpassed 25 billion app downloads in 2012.[v]

But this doesn’t mean that apps are the only approach for reaching people on mobile devices. Creating a mobile website or mobile app both have merit since about the same proportion of people (50 percent) use their browser or apps.[vi] The advent of the HTML5 standard has really given a boost to providing functionality in any browser regardless of which mobile device your customers are using.[vii],[viii]

Experts suggest that there are pros and cons to both of these approaches and that the approach that makes sense for your organization will be determined by several factors: the target market you are trying to reach, user experience, which smartphone features you want to incorporate and whether or not monetization is a factor.[ix] In many instances, creating custom apps for different mobile platforms makes sense because of performance advantages and the ability to take advantage of built‑in features available on each platform.

But I believe the debate between whether to build a mobile app or a browser-based HTML5 website is now moot. Since 13 percent of all traffic is already coming from mobile devices and Forrester Research projects that number to surpass 20 percent in 2013, every company must now have a mobile-optimized HTML5 website.

Furthermore, given the importance of capturing real estate on these all-important new mobile platforms, building an app for all major platforms likely makes sense for every organization as well, since it opens up an entirely new channel to reach customers. The advent of middleware to enable developers to develop an app once and then immediately make it available on all major platforms has given this approach a boost.[x]

When first launching a mobile strategy, many companies are tempted to make all their products available via mobile. This strategy may be less than ideal due to the cumbersome navigation required to provide access to everything. As an alternative, companies could consider simply highlighting products and/or services more appealing to mobile users.

Target, a department store chain, has taken the approach of featuring select products on their mobile app based on the category, availability of discounts and user rankings. Target also decided to focus on other kinds of service offerings such as managing gift registries, buying gift cards and looking up store locations.[xi]

Creating a mobile strategy involves more than just building an app. Consider integrating your brand with other mobile apps or with mobile ad networks. For example, P&G supports a third-party app called Sit or Squat that can help people find the nearest public bathroom. And since P&G sells toilet paper under the brand name Charmin, the association with this fun app makes sense.[xii]

An important aspect of creating an effective inbound mobile marketing strategy is providing utility and convenience for your target audience in a way that is directly tied to your brand. In fact, 90 percent of consumers who have downloaded apps from large retailers rate them as “useful” or “very useful.”[xiii]

REI, a ski equipment manufacturer, created an app to provide customers with personalized Ski and Snow Reports. This provides great utility for skiers and paves the way for REI to hone in on target customers.[xiv] Domino’s app enables customers to track their pizza order using Domino’s Tracker, a great feature for those with hungry kids waiting for their dinner.[xv]

The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts in Las Vegas have enhanced the guest experience with their Pocket Concierge app which has a turn-by-turn navigation function to guide visitors to their hotel room as well as nearby stores, restaurants, restrooms, exits, ATMs, night clubs and other facilities.[xvi]

Purina’s Petometer app enables its target audience, pet owners, to set dog walk reminders, suggest dog exercises and track details about the walks with their pets. It even has a calendar to track grooming and vet appointments. Boondoggle’s Winter Wake‑Up app functions as an alarm clock, but with a unique twist. It monitors your local weather and if snowy or icy conditions occur during the night, the app actually wakes you up earlier to account for addition commute time.[xvii]

These apps all have one thing in common – they provide clear utility for target customers.[xviii] This is critical since 80 percent of apps never surpass 1,000 downloads and 26 percent of apps are opened once and then never opened again.[xix] Providing practical and helpful utility for customers should help overcome these dismal results.

Elmer’s Products sells school supplies to children and their parents. To provide utility, its first app simply helped customers decide which of its glues best suited the project at hand. Elmer’s then created a photo-sharing app called Elmer’s 1st Day to enable parents to store, format and create slideshows that capture the magic of their child’s first day back to school.[xx]

Enabling sharing via e‑mail and Facebook provides even more brand exposure, achieving top-of-mind brand awareness during the crucial back to school season. This is a clever strategy, since females, one of Elmer’s key target markets, rate photo-taking as their most important phone function. Teachers, another of Elmer’s target markets, can also use the app to share school photos with parents.[xxi]

The Nike+ Running app provides plenty of utility for runners: key statistics about progress, history of accomplishments, GPS‑enabled weather reports and access to music. A lot of consideration has gone into providing runners with everything they need to succeed. This has resulted in over seven million runners using this service, a competitive advantage and a market share increase for Nike.[xxii]

QR NIKE +Watch the Video: Mobile App Utility – Nike: The Nike+ Running App has several features that make it invaluable to runners.[xxiii] <goo.gl/FhFa0> (Duration: one minute)

Fancy Feast launched its new cat food line by immersing its brand in its prime target community – devoted pet owners. The MorningPurr alarm clock app lets cat lovers personalize it with an image of their cat and a recording of its meows to awaken them. This strategy works well, as most cat owners feed their cat first thing in the morning – an ideal time to reinforce the Fancy Feast brand.[xxiv]

In addition to creating a corporate mobile branded app for your organization, you could consider campaign-specific apps.[1] Craft brewer New Belgium created an app for its Joy Ride campaign where they gave away 2,500 bikes. To enter the contest, customers had to engage with its brand by taking a photo of a New Belgium product.

The app had a beer calculator that determined how many beers you earned based on how far you rode your bike and the BeerFinder then directed you to the nearest bar. To avoid its campaign apps from becoming obsolete, New Belgium combined all its campaign apps under a single app umbrella to increase the likelihood of long‑term usage.[xxv]

Creating apps to engage specific market segments for specific product offerings may also be compelling in some sectors. For example, many auto manufacturers are creating a separate custom app for each line of cars. For example, Audi has apps for its A6, A7 and A8 models and Mercedes-Benz has an app for each line as well.[xxvi]

Mobile Website/App Analytics

Analytics is one of the most important aspects of building an effective evolving mobile website and/or mobile app strategy. Imagine the ability to track every click, page view, app notification, app launch, download, order, pinch and zoom. Imagine what that might tell you about the effectiveness and usefulness of every page, paragraph, feature and attribute of your inbound marketing strategy. This would be more powerful than market research, since it is based on actual customer usage patterns. This provides tremendous value in determining what has worked, not worked and the best path forward. Technologies to achieve this goal already exist today – organizations should take advantage of them.[xxvii]

Value Proposition Tactical Tips

The success of your mobile app strategy will be determined by your ability to address three simple questions for your customers.

  1. How will it save me money?
  2. How will it save me time?
  3. What’s in it for me?

Inbound Mobile Marketing Best Practices

  •       Provide utility to your target market.
  •       Standardize the branding for your mobile-optimized site as “m.xyz.com” where xyz is your domain name. Alternatively, build intelligence into your site so that it can sense if someone accessing xyz.com is doing so from a mobile device, and automatically display a mobile-optimized site.
  •       Integrate smartphone features that will increase the usefulness of your app (e.g., GPS location, camera, accelerometer, etc.).
  •       Consider that most users are right-handed and therefore buttons such as buy and search may generate a better click rate if positioned on the lower right corner.
  •       Conduct user testing to determine if your website is easy to use or confusing, specifically for achieving certain user tasks.[xxviii],[xxix]
  •       Use tools such as heat maps to analyze and improve conversion rates, referrals, abandonment rates, etc.[xxx]
  •       Conduct A-B testing to determine which website designs are most effective.[xxxi]
  •       Conduct mobile app and website analytics to track user behavior and adjust your strategy accordingly.[xxxii]

QR MOBILE WEBSITE BEST PRATICESWatch the Video: Mobile Website Best Practices: Mobile Website Best Practices by Mobile Marketer.[xxxiii] <goo.gl/c5cJx> (Duration: three minutes)

QR GUIDE BY GOOGLEWatch the Video: Mobile Website Best Practices: Mobile Website Best Practices by Google.[xxxiv] <goo.gl/P3jK7> (Duration: 49 minutes)

Challenge Question

Mobile Utility Strategies: What features and functions could you provide via a mobile app or mobile website that would attract your target market, provide value and utility, have a positive impact on your brand and potentially move people through the sales cycle?

[1] For the remainder of this section I will refer generically to the term app, but the functionality discussed could be achieved either with an actual mobile app or a browser-based HTML5 website.

[i] Steven Musil. “Mobile Internet traffic gaining fast on desktop Internet traffic.” CNET. December 3, 2012. Accessed December 15, 2012. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57556943-93/mobile-internet-traffic-gaining-fast-on-desktop-internet-traffic/.

[ii] Jason Gurwin. “Building a Mobile App Is Not a Mobile Strategy.” Harvard Business Review. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/11/building.

[iii] Kim-Mai Cutler. “Time Spent In Mobile Apps Is Starting To Challenge Television, Flurry Says.” TechCrunch. December 5, 2012. Accessed December 8, 2012. http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/05/flurry-mobile-apps-television/.

[iv] Matt Holden. “Over 45 Billion Apps Downloaded This Year.” Online Casino Archives. September 17, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.onlinecasinoarchives.com/technology/2012/09/17/45-billion-apps-downloaded-year/.

[v] David Murphy. “Apple’s App Store Hits 25 Billion Downloads: How Many Per iPhone?” PCMAG.com. March 3, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401122,00.asp.

[vi] “comScore Reports June 2012 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share.” comScore, Inc. August 1, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2012/8/comScore_Reports_June_2012_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share.

[vii] “HTML5.” Wikipedia. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5.

[viii] “BII REPORT: HTML5 Is The Future Of Mobile Apps, But It Won’t Come Fast.” Business Insider. December 16, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.businessinsider.com/bii-report-html5-is-the-future-of-mobile-apps-but-it-wont-come-fast-2012-12.

[ix] Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry. “HTML5 Will Replace Native Apps – But It Will Take Longer Than You Think.” Business Insider. January 9, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-01-09/tech/30606532_1_android-app-store-html5.

[x] “IBM Worklight – Mobile Application Platform.” IBM Corporation. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www-01.ibm.com/software/mobile-solutions/worklight/.

[xi] Brendan Gibbons. “Mobile Commerce: Four Good Examples.” Practical Ecommerce. March 18, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/1740-Mobile-Commerce-Four-Good-Examples.

[xii] Jason Gurwin. “Building a Mobile App Is Not a Mobile Strategy.” Harvard Business Review. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/11/building.

[xiii] Bill Siwicki. “Shoppers would rather use smartphones to consult store associates, survey finds.” Internet Retailer. December 6, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.internetretailer.com/2010/12/06/shoppers-would-rather-use-smartphones-store-associates.

[xiv] Chantal Tode. “Nike+ expands mobile strategy with Android app.” Mobile Marketer. June 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13173.html.

[xv] Rimma Kats. “Domino’s Pizza heats up mobile ordering space with Kindle Fire app.” Mobile Commerce Daily. July 16, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/07/16/domino%E2%80%99s-pizza-heats-up-mobile-ordering-space-with-kindle-fire-app.

[xvi] Chantal Tode. “The Venetian, Palazzo launch on-site directions app to enhance visitor experience.” Mobile Commerce Daily. July 17, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/07/17/the-venetian-palazzo-launch-on-site-directions-app-to-enhance-visitor-experience.

[xvii] “Boondoggle Winter Wake-up app Casemovie.” YouTube. Uploaded by BoondoggleAgency on December 14, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkThJFKL1pk.

[xviii] Rimma Kats. “Purina engages pet owners via interactive mobile app.” Mobile Marketer. June 10, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/10156.html.

[xix] “First Impressions Matter! 26% of Apps Downloaded in 2010 Were Used Just Once.” Localytics. January 31, 2011. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.localytics.com/blog/2011/first-impressions-matter-26-percent-of-apps-downloaded-used-just-once/.

[xx] “1st day, A Celebration of the 1st Day of School.” Elmer’s. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.the1stday.com.

[xxi] Chantal Tode. “Elmer’s creates photo-sharing app to drive engagement beyond back-to-school shopping.” Mobile Marketer. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13243.html

[xxii] Chantal Tode. “Nike+ expands mobile strategy with Android app.” Mobile Marketer. June 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13173.html.

[xxiii] “The New Nike+ Running App.” YouTube. Uploaded by insidenikerunning on June 26, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/FhFa0 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46hEaFKa638.

[xxiv] Chantal Tode. “Fancy Feast supports new line launch with mobile app.” Mobile Marketer. June 27, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13191.html.

[xxv] Lauren Johnson. “New Belgium Brewery taps mobile for social media engagement.” Mobile Marketer. June 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/12981.html.

[xxvi] Rachel Lamb. “Should luxury marketers develop an app-per-line experience?” Luxury Daily. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/should-luxury-marketers-develop-an-app-per-line-experience/.

[xxvii] “Tealeaf CX Mobile – Discover What’s Working, What Isn’t, and Why.” Tealeaf, an IBM Company. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.tealeaf.com/products/mobile/cxmobile/index.php.

[xxviii] “UserTesting.com: Quick Tour.” YouTube. Uploaded by usertestingcom on March 12, 2012. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMyeAsHaq78.

[xxix] “cAPPtion: UsabilityHub Review.” YouTube. Uploaded by BarbaraEMac on June 9, 2011. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgb3TAZBxEA.

[xxx] “Crazy Egg Explainer Video.” YouTube. Uploaded by demoducky on February 13, 2012. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3f-2WG7ONc.

[xxxi] Optimizely A/B Testing Live Demo with Q&A.” YouTube. Uploaded by Optimizely on September 14, 2012. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHO8EOlNpjE.

[xxxii] “Tealeaf CX Mobile – Discover What’s Working, What Isn’t, and Why.” Tealeaf, an IBM Company. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.tealeaf.com/products/mobile/cxmobile/index.php.

[xxxiii] ”Making Mobile-Friendly Websites: Best Practices in Action.” YouTube. Uploaded by GoogleMobileAds on November 11, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/P3jK7 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCDW55gjbPc.

[xxxiv] ”Making Mobile-Friendly Websites: Best Practices in Action.” YouTube. Uploaded by GoogleMobileAds on November 11, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/P3jK7 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCDW55gjbPc.

A2 Mobile Social Media Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

( Click on the image to view )


Figure 31: Mobile Social Media Marketing

Combining social media with mobile marketing is like social media marketing on steroids – a very potent combination.

The year was 2009 and my daughter and I were driving home one evening. Unfortunately, I ran out of gas on the highway. My 11‑year old daughter was shocked to learn that our only (low‑cost) recourse was grabbing the gas can from the trunk and walking to the nearest gas station. She promptly posted a comment on Facebook with her iPhone, something to the effect that her dad was a loser.

Well, by the time we reached the gas station fifteen minutes later, she already had 17 likes on Facebook! In that moment, I was begrudgingly struck by the amazing power at our fingertips when combining mobile with social media. This changes everything.

Social media participation has skyrocketed in countries around the world and much of that is occurring on mobile.

  • Facebook has surpassed one billion users.[i]
  • Users spend over 12 billion hours per month on the site.
  • Over half a billion people are using Facebook from their mobile devices monthly.[ii]
  • Mobile users already account for 45 percent of Facebook traffic.[iii]
  • Over 140 million active Twitter users send over a billion tweets every three days.[iv]
  • Mobile users already account for 55 percent of Twitter traffic.[v]
  • People watch four billion videos per day on YouTube.
  • YouTube gets over 200 million video views from mobile devices daily.[vi
  • LinkedIn has over 190 million users.[vii]
  • LinkedIn mobile page views are up over 400 percent.[viii]
  • Qzone, China’s biggest social media site has over a half billion members that have uploaded 150 billion photos – “enough to encircle the earth and the moon 30 times if printed out”.[ix]
  • China’s QQ instant messaging service has over 700 million users.[x]
  • In Canada, 18 to 34‑year‑olds spend the equivalent of one month per year on social networks.[xi]
  • About half of these mobile users access social media sites daily from their smartphones.[xii]

We live in a social media intensive world and smartphones are fast becoming the doorway to that world.


Facebook is a potent branding tool that can no longer be ignored. People are now spending more than twice as much time on Facebook as on Yahoo! and the AOL Media Network; and more than three times as much time as on Google, MSN/WindowsLive/Bing or YouTube.[xiii]

One of the biggest focus areas to date in Facebook marketing is the creation of fan pages. Coca‑Cola became the first retail brand to surpass 50 million fans.[xiv] But an interesting aspect of fan page marketing is often ignored. Rather than simply focusing on marketing to fans, companies should focus on marketing to fans’ friends. Starbucks now has over 31 million fans, but the friends of those fans total more than 700 million. Therefore, through interactions such as fan check‑ins, the Starbucks brand becomes visible to friends of fans.[xv]


Facebook Likes: Another simple measure of branding visibility is the number of Facebook likes you can attain.

There’s no shortage of creative ways to get Facebook likes both online and in the real world. A Singapore TV channel has a reality show about customer service in restaurants. They set up a Tip Machine with 10,000 one‑dollar coins that people can release by providing a Facebook like. Coins released travel down a fun-to-watch path and the restaurant with the most tips wins the cash. Tippers get a chance to win a trip to Bangkok on the luxurious Eastern & Oriental Express train service and the TV station gets significant social media exposure on Facebook.[xvii]

Visa found an interesting approach to engage fans during the 2012 London Olympics. Visa’s Facebook campaign generated 28 million cheers from Olympics’ fans around the world wanting to inspire their favorite athletes. This resulted in great brand exposure for Visa.[xviii]

Social media sites like Facebook can be used to engage customers directly in decisions about a particular product or service. Mattel even asked Facebook users to vote on whether Barbie and Ken should get back together after a seven-year split from each other. Fans could place their votes on Ken or Barbie’s Facebook pages or at BarbieAndKen.com. Furthermore, all of this media hype was timed to occur by Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2011. The good news for fans is that the iconic couple got back together.[xix]

QR SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENTWatch the Video: Social Media Engagement Innovation – Mattel: Mattel used a social media strategy to generate buzz for its Barbie and Ken dolls.[xx] <goo.gl/H44xE> (Duration: one minute)

QR FB VIDEOSWatch the Videos: Facebook Marketing Tutorials: Facebook’s official site with several tutorials and webinars about how to market on Facebook.[xxi] <goo.gl/tFom8> (Durations vary)

USHUAIA HOTL QRWatch the Video: RFID/Facebook Marketing Innovation – Ushuaia Hotel: Ushuaia Hotel provides RFID wristbands to guests to enable them to automatically post photos or likes to their Facebook profile – a powerful social media marketing strategy.[xxii] <goo.gl/PudtS> (Duration: three minutes)

Facebook Analytics

ComScore has teamed up with Facebook to provide an analytical tool called Social Essentials which can analyze and quantify the marketing impact of your social media marketing activities.[xxiii] It is important to use analytics to understand your audience demographics, brand engagement, propensity to buy, purchasing frequency, reach and frequency of your marketing messages, etc.

Other Social Media Sites

Although Facebook is by far the most popular social media site, marketers cannot ignore Pinterest which is currently the fastest growing site with year-over-year growth of more than 4,000 percent.[xxiv] One reason for this growth is Pinterest’s focus on sharing content via mobile devices. Pinterest enables retailers to display product photos and Pinterest users can pin photos to create photo collections, potentially leading to brand exposure and viral marketing success.

A similar strategy can be implemented on Instagram, another fast growing mobile photo-sharing app. Those targeting a more technical audience may also want to consider Google+.

QR PINTEREST GUIDEWatch the Video: Pinterest Social Media Marketing: Pinterest can be used to augment your social media marketing strategy.[xxv] <goo.gl/z9Bca> (Duration: three minutes)

Social Media and QR Code Marketing Integration

Now imagine integrating social media marketing with QR code marketing. Glamour magazine ran a mobile barcode campaign with an integrated social media component that resulted in over half a million QR code scans. Readers were encouraged to scan QR codes that would automatically generate a Facebook like for various companies.

By liking the Gap, readers were rewarded with 40 percent off any regularly priced item. This resulted in the Gap and other advertisers generating 50,000 more followers. But an even bigger impact may be in reaching friends of friends. Almost one‑fifth of those that participated shared the deals with their friends.[xxvi]

Integration between a mobile strategy and social media strategy is critical for many different kinds of organizations, especially those in the B2C space. Bully Boy Distillers created an interesting mobile campaign and linked it to social media as well as physical locations. Clues for a private event invitation were placed on Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter. Thousands of QR codes were also placed on coasters in several bars and restaurants in Boston to link to event details on Facebook and a microsite.[xxvii]

Rewards as Incentives

Consumers seem to be more willing to make a visible social media connection with a brand when there is a reward involved. As an incentive for customers to engage with the Red Bull brand on various social media sites, it offered a free four‑pack of its energy drink. This achieved significant brand exposure for Red Bull.[xxviii]

The Melting Pot restaurant encouraged customers to take photos of their favorite meals and post them to social media sites to win prizes. The Melting Pot achieved its goals of raising brand awareness and driving more foot traffic to its restaurants.[xxix]

Marketers should consider how every mobile transaction can generate social media awareness and conversely how social media awareness could lead to a mobile transaction. This is especially true for luxury brands, since over 80 percent of consumers want to engage with these brands via mobile and social channels; consumers are open to showing an affiliation with luxury brands.[xxx]

Mobile Social Media Marketing Best Practices

  •       Consider how every one of your mobile marketing campaigns could have a social media spin.
  •       Encourage social media interactions by offering single click social media options such as liking you on Facebook, automatically generating a tweet, automatically pinning a photo on Pinterest, etc.
  •       Sign up for a Facebook business account to market and brand your offerings on Facebook.[xxxi]
  •       Sign up for and exploit other popular social media sites being used by your target market in your country.[xxxii]
  •       Specific tactics can double your social media interaction and response rates.
  • Post on weekday evenings (not Wednesdays) or weekends rather than during week days. This is dependent on the product; Thursday is best for clothing while Monday is best for general retail products.
  • Do not post content more than once or twice per day.
  • Use emoticons such as :D and :P.
  • Post photos, not videos or links to other content.
    • Encourage visitor interaction and engagement by challenging visitors to:
    • Think of a caption for your photo
    • Fill in the blank
    • Answer Yes/No or True/False questions
    • Like or share your post, and
    • Answer a question posed at the end of your post.[xxxiii]

Challenge Questions

Mobile Social Media Marketing Strategies: What social media sites are used by your target market? How could you integrate your mobile marketing and social media marketing strategies to achieve specific and measurable results?

[i] Darrell Etherington. “Facebook Tops 1 Billion Monthly Active Users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg Shares A Personal Note.” TechCrunch. October 4, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/04/facebook-tops-1-billion-monthly-users-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-shares-a-personal-note/.

[ii] Sherli Looi. “Facebook Now Great Value After IPO Flop, Flood Of Insider Selling.” Forbes. August 16, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2012/08/16/facebook-now-great-value-after-ipo-flop-flood-of-insider-selling/.

[iii] “Understand Mobile Trends and Consumer Behavior.” comScore, Inc. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Products_Services/Product_Index/MobiLens.

[iv] “What is Twitter?” Twitter for Business. Accessed November 4, 2012. https://business.twitter.com/basics/what-is-twitter/.

[v] “Understand Mobile Trends and Consumer Behavior.” MobiLens. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Products_Services/Product_Index/MobiLens.

[vi] “YouTube Marketing Tactics.” JoshRimer.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.joshrimer.com/.

[vii] “The Most Popular Countries on LinkedIn.” ZoomSphere. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.zoomsphere.com/charts/linkedin/countries/all.

[viii] Marissa McNaughton. “Social Network Stats of the Week: LinkedIn Mobile Pageviews Up 400%, #RLTM Scoreboard.” The Realtime Report. November 4, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://therealtimereport.com/2012/08/07/linkedin-reaches-174-million-members-revenue-up-89/.

[ix] Josh Ong. “Picture this: Chinese Internet giant Tencent’s Qzone social network now hosts over 150 billion photos.” The Next Web. August 9, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://thenextweb.com/asia/2012/08/09/picture-this-chinese-internet-giant-tencents-qzone-social-network-now-hosts-over-150-billion-photos/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheNextWeb+%28The+Next+Web+All+Stories%29.

[x] “Tencent QQ.” Wikipedia. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tencent_QQ.

[xi] “Newad reveals the results of a pan-Canadian survey on the habits of 18-to-34 year-old adults.” NewAd. July 6, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.newad.com/140-presse-room/newad-reveals-the-results-of-a-pan-canadian-survey-on-the-habits-of-18-to-34-year-old-adults.html.

[xii] “Understand Mobile Trends and Consumer Behavior.” comScore, Inc. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Products_Services/Product_Index/MobiLens.

[xiii] “July 2011 – Top US Web Brands.” NielsenWire. August 31, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/july-2011-top-us-web-brands.

[xiv] “Coca-Cola Is First Retail Brand to Pass 50 Million Facebook Fans.” Exposure by Design. September 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://exposurebydesign.com.au/coca-cola-is-first-retail-brand-to-pass-50-million-facebook-fans/#.

[xv] Gregory Ferenstein. “To Spread Your Brand On Facebook, Don’t Target Your Fans – Target Their Friends.” Fast Company. July 26, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.fastcompany.com/1769125/facebook-comscore-study-social-essentials.

[xvi] “How To Add Facebook Like Button to Blogger (Blogspot).” madTomato. March 12, 2011. Updated May 05, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.madtomatoe.com/how-to-add-facebook-like-button-to-blogger-blogspot/.

[xvii] Quinton O’Reilly. “Singapore’s biggest tip jar turns your likes into $1 tips.” SimplyZesty. August 24, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.simplyzesty.com/advertising-and-marketing/singapore%E2%80%99s-biggest-tip-jar-turns-your-likes-into-1-tips/.

[xviii] “Visa’s Go World Campaign Generates More Than 28 Million Cheers Prior to London 2012 Olympic Games in 11 Weeks.” Visa Inc. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://investor.visa.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=215693&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1719502&highlight=.

[xix] Erica Swallow. “How Barbie & Ken Were Reunited by Social Media.” Mashable. May 5, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://mashable.com/2011/05/05/barbie-ken-social-media/.

[xx] “Ken & Barbie Fate: Online Vote.” YouTube. Uploaded by foxprovidence on February 8, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/H44xE or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI4VPDMLw5Q.

[xxi] “Facebook Marketing.” Facebook. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/tFom8 or https://www.facebook.com/marketing.

[xxii] “Hotel connects Facebook with tech wristbands for social media crazy clubbers.” YouTube. Uploaded by tnooz on July 29, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/PudtS or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPnktJ0lKKE.

[xxiii] “Products & Services Overview.” comScore, Inc. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Products_Services.

[xxiv] Lauren Johnson. “How Pinterest is flipping the merchandising model for mobile retailers.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 28, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/28/how-pinterest-is-flipping-the-merchandising-model-for-mobile-retailers.

[xxv] “A Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest.” YouTube. Uploaded by MDGadvertising on April 19, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/z9Bca or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfyByLwiIe8&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL5CC6544695378DFF.

[xxvi] Rimma Kats. “Glamour sees 512,339 reader engagements via social, mobile bar code campaign.” Mobile Marketer. November 8, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/11437.html.

[xxvii] Lauren Johnson. “Bully Boy ties social media to mobile via out-of-home campaign.” Mobile Marketer. June 21, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/13144.html.

[xxviii] Lauren Johnson. “Red Bull leans on mobile advertising to drive summer sweepstakes entries.” Mobile Marketer. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/13242.html.

[xxix] Lauren Johnson. “The Melting Pot marries social and mobile via Foodspotting partnership.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 29, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/29/the-melting-pot-marries-social-and-mobile-via-foodspotting-partnership.

[xxx] Rachel Lamb. “82pc consumers want to engage retail brands via mobile: study.” Luxury Daily. July 18, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/82pc-consumers-want-to-engage-retail-brands-via-mobile-study/.

[xxxi] Zach Browne. “Set Up Your Company Facebook Page in 8 Easy Steps.” Facebook. May 17, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.facebook.com/notes/zach-browne/set-up-your-company-facebook-page-in-8-easy-steps/390097811748.

[xxxii] Melinda Emerson. “How a Diner Gets the Most Out of Social Media.” The New York Times. September 28, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/how-a-las-vegas-diner-gets-the-most-out-of-social-media/.

[xxxiii] Todd Wasserman. “Sorry, Marketers, You’re Doing Facebook Wrong.” Mashable. September 28, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://mashable.com/2012/09/28/marketers-facebook-wrong/.

A3 Mobile Niche / Community Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Community marketing involves the creation of, or participation in, online communities. The goal is to initiate and build relationships with your target market while providing exposure for your brand.

Proprietary Communities

One of the best examples of a mobile community marketing strategy is the Nike+ Running app, mentioned earlier. Runners can join a community of like-minded people locally or globally. This enables runners to connect with community members virtually or in the real world by finding runners in the same area with a similar schedule and skill level. Community members, friends and family can monitor your progress and even give you real‑time audio encouragement during your run – “Go Tom go!”[i]

QR NIKE APPWatch the Video: Community Marketing – Nike: The Nike+ Running App brings together a community of like‑minded runners.[ii] <goo.gl/16qK8> (Duration: one minute)

Harley-Davidson formed the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.®) with the tagline “Hit the road with nearly one million of your closest friends.”[iii] Harley was successful at forming 1,400 H.O.G.® community chapters around the world. Harley dealerships also create strong community ties to riders by inviting customers and prospects to opt in to a mobile text messaging club.

Customers receive text updates about community gatherings, rides, special sales, events and member-only deals. Following one mobile message campaign advertising a special sale, Central Texas Harley Davidson reported the best sales day in nine months.[iv]

Dole created an online community called the Salad Circle to provide exclusive offers and recipes to community members.[v] Prizes were used as an incentive for people to join the community.[vi]

Panera bread created an interesting strategy to try to build a community and engage with current and future customers. They actually create three branded radio stations on Pandora called “Cool it Down, Hot Summer Classics and Fresh Hits.”[vii] Such an interesting approach to building a community.

Another powerful approach to building communities is through the use of teleconference calls. Teleconference calls can be a great way to get people talking to each other – prospects, customers, employees and business partners. There are many free teleconference services that you can use to get started.[viii],[ix],[x]

Existing Established Communities

Many companies are capitalizing on existing community sites such as Craigslist[xi] or Kijiji[xii] that operate in cities around the world, or national community sites such as TradeMe in New Zealand “where Kiwis Buy and Sell.”[xiii] These community sites can be used to sell goods and services. Many other global, national and regional community sites exist for specific hobbies, interests, sports, product categories and demographic segments.

Mobile Niche/Community Marketing Step-by-Step Guidance

  1. Leverage existing community sites or create your own.
  2. Find communities relevant to your offerings and/or target market.
  3. Enlist your employees to play a leadership role in these communities.
  4. Participate as a valued community member and build your reputation and brand.

Mobile Niche/Community Marketing Best Practices

  •       Be authentic.
  •       Provide value to the community; don’t blatantly sell.
  •       Focus on meeting the needs of the community. Address this question for them – “What’s in it for me?”
  •       Focus on achieving objectives that make most sense for your organization such as education, generating donations for a cause, branding, moving people through the sales cycle, social media impact and sales.

Challenge Questions

Community Marketing Strategies: What niche communities could you build to position your organization as a leader with your target audience? What existing communities could you participate in to position your brand and offerings to gain visibility in the marketplace?

[i] Chantal Tode. “Nike+ expands mobile strategy with Android app.” Mobile Marketer. July 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13173.html.

[ii] “Nike Plus GPS App, Athleticshop.nl.” YouTube. Uploaded by SneakertomWEBSHOP on April 26, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/16qK8 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV0VhMXZuTI.

[iii] “Harley Owners Group.” Harley Davidson USA. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Content/Pages/HOG/HOG.html.

[v] “Dole Salads.” Dole. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://salads.dole.com.

[vi] Lauren Johnson. “Dole bolsters email database via mobile ads.” Mobile Marketer. February, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/12162.html.

[vii] Rimma Kats. “Panera Bread taps mobile ads to drive YouTube page viewership.” Mobile Marketer. June 20, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/13138.html.

[viii] “FreeConferencing.com.” FreeConferencing.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://freeconferencing.com.

[ix] “Free, High Definition Voice Conferencing.” FreeConferenceCallHD.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.freeconferencecallHD.com.

[x] “FreeConferenceCall.com.” FreeConferenceCall.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.freeconferencecall.com.

[xi] “Craigslist.” Craigslist. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.craigslist.com.

[xii] ”eBay Classifieds (Kijiji) – Post & Search Free Local Classified Ads.” eBay Classifieds. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.kijiji.com.

[xiii] “Buy online and sell with NZ’s #1 auction & classifieds site – Trade Me.” Trade Me. December 9, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.trademe.co.nz.

A4 Mobile Viral Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

The Mobile Social Media Gift Economy

Before crafting a viral marketing strategy, it’s important for you to understand the nature of the mobile social media gift economy. Many organizations offer free products or services online, and in many cases it’s just free information. The intent is to provide something for free with the expectation that it could lead to an actual sale in the future.

Offering something of value for free could have a number of benefits.

  •       Drive higher traffic levels to your blogs, websites, mobile apps or social media sites, fulfilling the basic marketing tenets of both reach (exposing the largest number of people to your products) and frequency (repeating the information often enough for them to assimilate your branding and marketing messages).
  •        Improve your brand presence in the marketplace and instill trust in potential           clients.
  •        Provide an opportunity for prospects to try out your product or service before deciding whether or not they want to buy it.[i]

For example, someone selling an online book might consider giving away a free chapter or a free summary article. Prospects that read the free chapter could then make an informed decision about purchasing the book. Effective strategies incorporate a close connection between the free offering and fee offering.[ii]

Fee Offering/Type of Firm

Potential Free Offering

Small business consulting service A ten‑minute free consultation
Research report Highlights of the research
Stock brokerage firm Investment newsletter
Automobile dealer Used car valuation service

These free offerings benefit both the consumer and the company. This initial touchpoint assists in laying the foundation of moving prospects through the sales cycle – awareness, liking, preference and product purchase. As part of your mobile marketing strategy, determine whether or not you could make free offers to achieve some of the objectives described above. This free offer could then be made available on your website, mobile website, social media sites and mobile app. Providing utility to your stakeholders is key.

Valuable Resource

Valuable Mobile Marketing and Commerce Resources: Subscribe to Mobile Marketer Daily[iii] to keep abreast of the latest mobile marketing trends and subscribe to Mobile Commerce Daily[iv] to keep abreast of the latest m-commerce trends – great examples of the gift economy in action.

There are many innovative examples of supporting the gift economy and the best examples are ones where there is a close tie between the freebie and the organization’s offering. A simple example mentioned earlier is an app that provides information on where the nearest public washroom is, brought to you of course by Charmin, the toilet paper people.

The key to a successful freebie is choosing something that helps to attract your target market. A simple example is a bank that offers a free mortgage calculator. Homeowners who are about to refinance their homes or first-time buyers who are about to purchase their first home will likely only use this calculator. This is a direct hit on the target market of the bank’s mortgage division.

Another example of a free offer could be in the form of a limited usage trial. For example, a translation service could offer free translations for up to one page of content, but anything more than that would have to be paid for. Making this type of a free offer has another advantage; customers get to sample your work and make an assessment of the quality of your work. The downside is potentially wasting time on work that does not lead to follow‑on paid work.

What types of free offers are not likely to be effective? Imagine a free offer of a t-shirt for everyone who downloads your mobile app. You will probably get thousands of people taking you up on your offer, but most of them will likely never become one of your paying customers. In this case you are attracting people that are not part of your target market, which doesn’t make sense.

Another free offer that is worth discussing was first mentioned in my book Strategic Internet Marketing published in the mid‑nineties.[v] It was an interesting free offer from Crestar Bank. They introduced a figure called Dr. Finance who would answer any question about mortgages, loans, investments, insurance and much more. There was absolutely no charge for Dr. Finance’s services.

In a recent search however, there appears to be no evidence of free help from Dr. Finance. The benefit they obtained from this free offer likely did not outweigh the costs, employee time and risk involved in providing this consultation service, not to mention queries from countries they didn’t even serve.

Perhaps Crestar would have been more successful if its experts wrote several articles for distribution as an electronic booklet to all that requested it. Although the initial workload may have been significant, the booklet could then be redistributed several thousand times with very little ongoing cost or effort required.

Gift Economy Tactical Tips

The examples above lead us to some specific tactics that will improve your likelihood of success. Select a free offer that:

  •       Will be of direct interest to your target market
  •       Will not be of any interest to people that are not part of your target market
  •       May require some effort up front, but minimal effort on an ongoing basis, and
  •       Can be provided to thousands or millions of people, but ideally with a zero incremental cost for each additional person that requests it.

This advice should help you select a free offer that will fit into the mobile social media gift economy and provide your company with business benefits on an ongoing basis.

Challenge Question

Gift Economy Strategies: Are there free giveaways that your company could offer – products, services or information – that would give you an innovative competitive edge and help you achieve your branding, marketing, sales and/or viral marketing objectives?

Mobile Viral Marketing

“Viral marketing, viral advertising or marketing buzz are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre‑existing social networks and other technologies to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses… It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks.[1]

Viral marketing may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, branded software, images, text messages, e‑mail messages or web pages… the creative nature of viral marketing enables ‘endless amount of potential forms and vehicles the messages can utilize for transmission’ including mobile devices.”[1]

Mobile marketing using techniques such as free offers via e‑mail, text and/or mobile apps can be used to achieve viral marketing impact. Let’s consider some examples to bring this concept to life.

IKEA uploaded furniture showroom photos on their Facebook page and gave away items to the first person who tagged himself/herself on any of the items in the photos. Photo tagging created a viral effect, reaching thousands of friends of friends who tagged the photos, all hoping to get free IKEA furniture.

Allure magazine partnered with its advertisers and ran a QR code marketing campaign. By offering up $725,000 in free merchandise they were able to generate viral marketing success with half a million scans, 25,000 registered customers and a great deal of branding visibility.[1]

QR code extrait 3Watch the Video: Viral Marketing Innovation – TNT: A great example from  Belgium – creating a staged event to generate viral marketing excitement.[1]   <goo.gl/FwaFg> (Duration: two minutes)


extrait 3 qr code 2Watch the Video: SMS Social Media Marketing: Integrating SMS text marketing with social media marketing can help you achieve viral marketing impact.[1] <goo.gl/kEVLa> (Duration: four minutes)

[i] Adapted from content written by Jay Linden for the book by Tom Vassos, Strategic Internet Marketing (Indianapolis: Macmillan Publishing, 1996).

[ii] Tom Vassos, Strategic Internet Marketing (Indianapolis: Macmillan Publishing, 1996).

[iii] “Subscribe to Mobile Marketer newsletters for free.” Mobile Marketer. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/newsletter.

[iv] Dan Butcher. “News Corp.’s Clear Channel, GE unveil mobile-optimized storefronts.” Mobile Commerce Daily. March 11, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/news.

[v] Tom Vassos, Strategic Internet Marketing (Indianapolis: Macmillan Publishing, 1996).

A5 Outbound Mobile Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Outbound Mobile Marketing involves obtaining opt‑in permission from customers and prospects and then proactively reaching out to them. This is also referred to as push marketing.  There are many different platforms that can be used to send out push notifications including SMS text, e-mail, in-app notifications, Apple Passport notifications, Twitter and social media messages.

Outbound marketing may be even more powerful than your Inbound mobile website and/or app strategy because you have more control over the frequency of communications and resulting brand impact. In fact, many apps only get used once or a few times for a few minutes and then never used again; not a great formula for long‑term success.

To create a successful outbound strategy, organizations must totally change their mindset from blasting messages to everyone on their list, to personalized messages tailored to individuals at the right place, in the right context, at the right time and for the right purpose. Furthermore, the term right, means right for the customer, not just right for the organization trying to sell something. It could be a timely reminder of something, a discount for something important, a valuable piece of information, etc.

Push notifications can be especially effective if they are customized to each individual and leverage the phone’s sensor input capabilities (e.g., GPS). Think of the power of receiving a smartphone coupon for Pampers® diapers, but only if you have a baby, and only when you are standing in the diaper isle at Walmart. Very powerful.

But more than any other strategy discussed in this book, a push notification strategy also carries the biggest risk of annoying customers and hurting your brand. Proceed with caution: opt-in is mandatory; simple opt-out is critical; transparency of the frequency and nature of the notification is important; and moderation is key.

The frequency of push notifications must not be overwhelming, but it really depends on their purpose. For example, most people would not typically want frequent notifications, but on the other hand, may be perfectly happy with frequent notifications from a fitness service such as Fitocracy to remind them to work out every day. Also, consider a quiet time so that you do not wake up customers with text messages or app alerts in the middle of the night.

The key is providing value for customers – not just focusing on blatant sales. Not only is it important to follow this advice, but Apple’s guidelines actually stipulate that “apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.”[i]

Learn from what’s working and adjust your strategy accordingly. When creating your outbound marketing strategy, consider the push method that is likely going to be the most effective to reach your target market. To help you prioritize your outbound marketing strategies, I have created the Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale.sm This scale varies considerably based upon your country, target market (e.g., B2C vs. B2B, age, etc.), marketing objectives and the price/margin characteristics of your offering.

The Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale is being presented here as a point of reference; you must determine which outbound method will work best for you. For example, LinkedIn may have a big impact reaching a business audience, but much less impact reaching a consumer audience. A personal voice call may be ideal for a high‑priced B2B item, but less practical for a low‑priced B2C item.[1]

It’s interesting to note however, that technology is enabling personalized voice conversations, even for many lower priced items. For example, some McDonald’s restaurants have outsourced their drive-thru order-taking function. When you drive up and place your order, you might actually be talking to someone at the other side of the country or on another continent. The completed order is then electronically transmitted to the pickup window.

Retailers are even experimenting with wireless speaker-equipped shopping carts that could instantly connect a customer with a call centre for shopping advice (e.g., find out which aisle a particular product is located in).[ii] The cost of this level of personalized support could be reduced by actually connecting customers with a remote call centre, anywhere from Bangalore, India to Halifax, Canada.

The following two impact scales consider the differences between the B2C and B2B markets. Both scales should also be viewed in the context of the sales cycle: branding, presales, closing the sale, executing m-commerce transactions and providing customer support. For example, a costly phone conversation may not make sense in the early branding stages, but could be critical during the commerce transaction phase. Strategies that have bigger potential for making a difference are listed higher on the Impact Scale.

The Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale

The B2B Outbound

Impact Scale

The B2C Outbound

Impact Scale

  1. Phone calls (i.e., voice)
  2. SMS text messages
  3. App alerts
  4. E‑mail messages
  5. LinkedIn messages
  6. Twitter tweets
  7. Facebook messages
  1. SMS text messages
  2. App alerts
  3. E‑mail messages to an adult audience
  4. Facebook messages
  5. Twitter tweets
  6. Phone calls (i.e., voice)
  7. E‑mail messages to a teen audience
  8. LinkedIn messages

Figure 32: The Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale

The Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale highlights the potential effectiveness of various proactive push mobile marketing approaches. SMS text marketing and alerts directly from mobile apps can be powerful approaches for reaching customers and prospects. Phone calls score high for B2B markets and high‑priced items. E‑mail marketing can reach both B2C and B2B markets, but its effectiveness depends upon the demographics of the market you are targeting. The key is determining which approaches make most sense for your organization.

Instant messaging has some interesting potential but a significant disadvantage – it requires knowledgeable employees able to engage in real‑time chat conversations with customers. An SMS text or e‑mail message however, can be sent to thousands of people at once.

As well, consider that posting to Facebook walls or tweeting may have much less impact than direct messages to friends and followers. For example, your Twitter impact may be greater by sending direct messages to followers, rather than public tweets that many followers are likely to miss. Let’s delve into SMS text and e‑mail marketing strategies in more detail.

SMS Text Marketing

An SMS text campaign can be one of the most powerful outbound marketing strategies because of the priority that people place on incoming text messages as well as the ubiquity of SMS.

There are a number of interesting facts about text messaging that support its potential importance as part of the marketing mix.

  • Over five billion smartphones and feature phones globally can send and receive SMS text messages.[iii]
  • Four trillion SMS messages were sent globally in the past year.[iv]
  • One and a half trillion texts were sent in America last year (tripled in four years).[v]
  • “18 to 34‑year‑olds now use text messaging (58 percent) as often as their mobile device’s telephone feature (55 percent).”[vi]
  • About 97 percent of text messages are opened.[vii]
  • 90 percent of text messages are opened within three minutes.[viii]
  • Many text messages get read often mere seconds after they are sent.
  • About 70 million Americans are frequent text users.
  • By 2016, usage of SMS text and mobile instant messaging apps is expected to triple.[ix]

Celebrity Cruises sends weekly text messages to opt‑in customers to encourage them to purchase a summer cruise deal, a simple example of text marketing.[x] Coca‑Cola understands the power of SMS marketing, dedicating 70 percent of its mobile marketing budget to this area versus just 20 percent to mobile web and ten percent to apps.[xi]

Politicians are even using text marketing campaigns to drive voter turnout and engage people in their election campaigns.[xii] But the future of these campaigns is even more interesting. Imagine the ability to send out a mobile political message on Election Day at the exact moment that a voter has entered within range of their polling station. Talk about the ability to deliver a message at the exact moment someone is about to make a purchase decision.[2]

A variation of an SMS text marketing campaign could be a live interactive instant messaging conversation with a customer. This has some interesting marketing potential but also has a significant disadvantage – it requires a knowledgeable employee able to engage in a chat conversation. Contrast that with an SMS text message which can be sent to thousands of people at once. Alternatively, an automated text message could be sent to a single customer once certain criteria have been met. For example, SMS text messages could be programmed to automatically be sent to customers on a particular date (e.g., their birthdates) or when they come with a certain distance from your retail store.

SMS Text Marketing Best Practices

  •       Consider a wide range of uses for SMS: discount coupons, commerce transactions, appointment reminders, delivery notifications, etc.
  •       Be sensitive to when your push notifications go out – some people actually sleep with their phone right beside them and your text message could wake them up – not good.
  •       Ensure that customers have agreed to opt in to receive your communications and coupons.
  •       Integrate your SMS text strategy with your web and app strategy.
  •       Ensure you are addressing your customer’s “What’s in it for me?” factor.
  •       Track the ROI of each of your campaigns.
  •      Conduct analytics to better understand what worked and what didn’t work and adjust your strategy accordingly.[xiii]

SMS TEXT MARKETING OVERVIEWWatch the Video: SMS Text Marketing Overview: General overview of the importance of SMS text marketing.[xiv] <goo.gl/nkqcn> (Duration: four minutes)

QR SUMOTEXTWatch the Video: SMS Text Marketing Scenario: SMS text marketing retail scenario with SumoText.[xv] <goo.gl/x8hEH> (Duration: four minutes)

QR RESTAURANTS MARKETINGWatch the Video: SMS Text Marketing – Restaurants: SMS text marketing can be a very effective way to reach out to your customers, especially for deals to drive instant traffic. Watch how restaurants are successfully using this strategy.[xvi] <goo.gl/uwmXJ> (Duration: four minutes)

E‑Mail Marketing

An outbound mobile e‑mail approach is also a very viable marketing strategy; especially if you are targeting an older demographic that is still very much inclined to using e‑mail. In fact, e‑mail open rates have increased in the past year. One important aspect of a mobile e‑mail marketing strategy is that you must consider the differences between receiving e‑mail on a mobile device vs. more traditional desktop or laptop environments.

Consider the use of e‑mails that are triggered by a customer’s action since they are 75 percent more likely to be opened and over 100 percent more likely to generate a click-through to other content. “Triggered e‑mails include welcome, thank you, abandoned shopping cart, anniversary, birthday, purchase confirmation and saved cart.”[xvii]

Mobile E‑Mail Marketing Best Practices

  •       Select a comprehensive, secure e‑mail publishing platform to manage your e‑mail subscription lists, newsletters, content for your autoresponders, social media integration, etc. (e.g., MailChimp, AWeber).[xviii]
  •       Double or triple the click-through rates on your e‑mail marketing campaigns by sending them from six to eight pm or after midnight.[xix]
  •       Ensure that customers have agreed to opt in to receive your communications.
  •       Follow up every abandoned shopping cart with an e‑mail to trigger a purchase transaction.

E-Mail Marketing Best PracticesWatch the Video: E-Mail Marketing Best Practices: Overview of e-mail marketing best practices.[xx] <goo.gl/SRIkG> (Duration: three minutes)

Personalized Marketing Communications Through Analytics

Personalizing mobile marketing messages can be a powerful way to build customer loyalty. It’s also a great alternative to offering price discounts and coupons. While many companies focus on distributing mobile discount coupons, more savvy retailers will send a mobile message about a new pair of “peep‑toe shoes that match perfectly with the cocktail dress you bought last week.”[xxi] Effectively executing this strategy requires sound data mining, market segmentation and personalized mobile campaign strategies.

Mobile Outbound Communication Best Practices

  •       Be opt‑in.
  •       Be net and to the point.
  •       Be consistent with your brand.
  •       Create and communicate your privacy policy.
  •       Don’t overwhelm the user with too many messages.
  •       Be tailored to your customer’s preferences and actions.
  •       Be designed correctly with good readability on multiple mobile devices.
  •       Absolutely ensure that your links point to mobile-optimized content rather than a website that must be pinched to zoom.

Outbound Mobile Marketing Best Practices

  •       Delight your customer with each interaction – each interruption is an opportunity for them to decide if they want to opt out.
  •       Select content and offers that address your customer’s “What’s in it for me?” factor.
  •       Make a persuasive and compelling call to action such as a deep discount, contest, new product launch, special event or freebie.
  •       Use micro segmentation or one-on-one personalization strategies rather than sending the same content, messages and offers to everyone.
  •       Combine customer behavior analytics from different sources to create a single view of your customer – from the web, in‑store, e‑commerce, mobile and even social media analytics.
  •       Integrate with social media to reach more people and achieve viral impact.
  •       Provide an incentive for customers to share your message with their friends, family and social network.
  •       Provide customers with complete control over the type and frequency of the information they receive – allowing them to select the specific city as well as categories of products they are interested in makes it more relevant to them.
  •       Use location-based information to make your outbound notifications even more compelling.
  •       Use analytics to target customers (e.g., a product offer that addresses a new customer need such as pregnancy-related products).
  •       Use analytics to make your targeted outbound marketing strategies even more powerful such as an accessory offer that matches a previous purchase (e.g., “a shoe retailer who has captured its best customers’ shoe sizes and favorite colors and then uses mobile to push that information to a female customer’s husband before Mother’s Day”).[xxii]
  •       Use A‑B testing for almost everything you do and dynamically react to learnings.[3]
  •      Track all campaign results including ROI, click-through rates, opt‑outs, sales, etc.[xxiii]

Challenge Questions

Outbound Marketing Strategies: What type of outbound marketing strategies could you apply to your business? What approach could you take to provide value to your customers to get them engaged with you for the long term?

[1] Most countries have Do Not Call (DNC) legislation in place. Ensure that you obey the DNC laws in all countries you are operating in.

[2] In many countries, advertising is not actually allowed on Election Day, so this may not be possible. However, other options may exist, such as supporters offering rides to other voters to encourage them to vote.

[3] A-B testing is the process of simultaneously making two different offers, measuring the results and then adopting the strategies that are more effective. Ongoing A-B testing can be used to continually improve your marketing impact and effectiveness.

[i] “App Store Review Guidelines.” Apple. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://maniacdev.com/2011/05/tutorial-ios-push-notification-services-for-beginners/.

[ii] Matt Richtel. “The Long-Distance Journey of a Fast-Food Order.” The New York Times. April 11, 2006. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/11/technology/11fast.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

[iii] Rimma Kats. “Paramount Pictures targets movie-goers with SMS campaign.” Mobile Marketer. June 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/messaging/13172.html.

[iv] Chantal Tode. “Coca-Cola SMS-enabled vending machine changing future of mobile payments.” Mobile Marketer. June 17, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/10231.html.

[v] “iZigg Mobile Marketing at it’s (sic) BEST!” YouTube. Uploaded by j3solutionsrock on June 26, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1bRj7JxOQI.

[vi] “Newad reveals the results of a pan-Canadian survey on the habits of 18-to-34 year-old adults.” NewAd. July 6, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.newad.com/140-presse-room/newad-reveals-the-results-of-a-pan-canadian-survey-on-the-habits-of-18-to-34-year-old-adults.html.

[vii] Gene Sigalov. “Fast Fingers: When It Comes to Marketing, Text Trumps Email.” The Small Business Playbook. Accessed December 24, 2012. http://www.thesmallbusinessplaybook.com/fast-fingers-when-it-comes-to-marketing-text-trumps-email/.

[viii] “Conversational Advertising.” MobileSquared. June, 2010. Accessed December 24, 2012. http://www.mobilesquared.co.uk/pdfs/singlepoint_june2011.pdf.

[ix] Lauren Johnson. “Mobile instant messaging usage expected to triple by 2016: study.” Mobile Marketer. June 22, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/10266.html.

[x] Tricia Carr. “How luxury brands can trigger mcommerce during summer sales.” Luxury Daily. June 22, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/how-luxury-brands-can-trigger-mcommerce-during-summer-sales/.

[xi] Steven van Zanen. “Making the case for SMS marketing over email.“ Mobile Marketer. July 18, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/13323.html.

[xii] Chantal Tode. “Romney campaign elects mobile to drive voter turnout.” Mobile Marketer. January 11, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/11866.html.

[xiii] Steven van Zanen. “Making the case for SMS marketing over email.“ Mobile Marketer. July 18, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/13323.html.

[xiv] “Inbound Mobile Marketing.” YouTube. Uploaded by BizInApp on July 1, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/nkqcn or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nxYhWuUPE4.

[xv] “SMS Marketing – SUMOTEXT.” YouTube. Uploaded by sumotext on March 4, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/x8hEH or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGYA8H5XgLs.

[xvi] “How Restaurants Make Money Using Text Message Marketing – iZigg Mobile Media Marketing.” YouTube. Uploaded by MobileMediaMktg on October 24, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/uwmXJ or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ_BrYKbsVs.

[xvii] Rachel Lamb. “Email abandonment rate up for lack of mobile-optimization: study.” Luxury Daily. June 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/email-abandonment-rate-up-for-lack-of-mobile-optimization-study/.

[xviii] “Email Marketing Software.” AWeber Communications. Accessed December 24, 2012. http://www.aweber.com/?411508 Disclaimer/disclosure: This if my affiliate link. (Note: Other free email management software is available, but often doesn’t include features such as autoresponders to automatically reply to subscriber queries. Do your research.)

[xix] “Email Open, Click Rates Seen Lowest During Work Hours.” MarketingCharts. July 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/email-open-click-rates-seen-lowest-during-work-hours-22731/mailermailer-email-click-rates-by-time-scheduled-in-2011-july2012png/.

[xx] “Internet Marketing Boston – eMail Best Practices.” YouTube. Uploaded by billenross on April 11, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/SRIkG or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CHRKItIQ-s.

[xxi] “Get ready for considerably higher mobile marketing budgets in 2012.” Mobile Marketer. January 13, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/strategy/11886.html.

[xxii] Dan Taylor. “Why A/B testing is essential to your startup’s campaigns.” The Next Web. August 4, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2012/08/04/why-ab-testing-is-essential-to-your-startups-campaigns/.

[xxiii] Dan Gesser. “Smart push notifications make for smarter mobile marketing.” Mobile Marketer. June 20, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/13129.html