Mobile Marketing

What is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing is the method used by marketers to offer special deals, coupons, and interact with their audience through mobile devices by using a variety of different techniques including:

  • Mobile Websites
  • Mobile Apps
  • Geofencing – Location-based advertising
  • QR Codes
Why is Mobile Marketing Important?

According to The 60 Second Marketer there are 6.8 billion people on the planet and 4.0 billion of all those people own a mobile phone.  I know this is hard to believe, but there are actually more people who own a mobile device than who own a toothbrush!

People typically have some type of mobile device on them at all times whether it is a smartphone, iPhone, or tablet. In fact, 79% of people who own smartphones use them to help with locating deals and locations for shopping.  Out of those people, 35% actually use their smartphones to do their shopping online. When was the last time you left home without your mobile phone or some type of mobile device?

What are the Benefits of Mobile Marketing?

One of the biggest benefits is that mobile marketing is an opportunity just waiting for businesses to grab a hold of.  According to the video, “Smartphone – Google Mobile Marketing Stats”, there are currently 79% of businesses who are NOT even using a mobile friendly website.  I predict that once this trend catches on, there is going to be a great amount of growth with mobile marketing in the near future.

Another benefit is that mobile marketing typically results in higher ROI.  This is because currently mobile marketing costs far less than other mainstream marketing methods.

With anything, there are challenges that businesses must face when considering a mobile marketing campaign.  For instance, when using geofencing (location-based marketing), one of the challenges is how to know if your message is being seen by your target market while they are still in the location.  How can a business be sure the consumer will see the advertisement before they are out of the general location?

Another concern for businesses utilizing mobile marketing techniques is knowing, at what point, they are becoming intrusive and invading consumers privacy?  How much is too much?  How often is too often?  These are all questions that businesses are still trying to find the answers to.

Who’s Using Mobile Marketing?

I have to say that Domino’s Pizza has a good handle on their mobile marketing strategies.  To begin with, as soon as I went on the site with my smartphone, I noticed it was easy to ready, very user-friendly, and I had quick access to the key information I wanted – how to order, coupons and special deals going on, and even a way to track what stage of delivery my order was in.  With their mobile friendly site, I can see all the specials, place my order, pay for it, and schedule a delivery without ever having to make a phone call.

Domino’s has managed to stay ahead of its competitors in the mobile marketing department.  According to Top Businesses That Use Mobile Marketing, Domino’s Pizza has had well over 6 million downloads of its mobile app, which has contributed to 35% of its sales – just from the mobile app!

This is just the beginning of the mobile marketing trend, and there has been a clear benefit to those businesses who have already made mobile marketing a part of their marketing plan.  Smartphones and mobile devices are here to stay.  With that being said, we can expect to see a burst of mobile media marketing in the near future as more businesses begin to understand the importance of this opportunity.

Sources:

The 60 second Marketer: What is mobile marketing

Smartphone – Google Mobile Marketing Stats – Video

Forbes: Message To Marketers: Location-Based Marketing At Its Best Is A Two-Way Street

Top Businesses That Use Mobile Marketing, MarshallBell – October 24, 2013, March 6, 2014

Twitter

3 Ways Marketers Can Use Twitter for Business

1.  Engage the Audience

This may be one of the most important reasons for a marketer to use Twitter for business.  There are so many rewards for businesses who engage well with their audience.  Some of the benefits are increasing their fan base, gathering new product ideas, and increasing brand recognition – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

A great example of this is the Twitter page for Jimmy Fallon.  I noticed one tweet right away that is asking his audience to “share an embarrassing email mistake”, and then he gave them a special hashtag to include.  This was a great way for him to get his audience actively engaged, and who knows, maybe he will use some of the that on his show.

2.  Promote Events

Another great way for a business to use Twitter is for promoting upcoming events.  Let’s look at a more local example of a business that really embraces promotion on Twitter, Summerfest.  This music festival runs only 2 weeks out of the year in the summer, but they are promoting their upcoming events well in advance.  In fact, as of this moment I am scroll down the page and looking at musician after musician who will be performing there this year.

Some of the many benefits that come along with using twitter to promote events is the business can create excitement about the event, it can reach more people, target the audience it wants to reach by using some of the promotional tools offered by Twitter, and in this case it gives the opportunity to sell more advance tickets.

3.  Increase Website Traffic

How many times have you looked at a tweet that you wanted more information about, but in order to do that you had to click on the link?  How often did you find yourself then re-directed to a website?  This is a great way for businesses to get more traffic to their website.

I am going to take another local business to use for this example.  Let’s take a look at Fox 47 Madison.  They really took this concept and ran with it.  In fact, it is difficult to scroll down the page without having to click on a link to their website to view the full content.  Just think about how much more web traffic they get when their tweets are re-tweeted!  Just imagine if this was a business selling products, the same concept applies.  All they need to do is write a short catchy phrase, adding a picture is helpful to draw attention, and link it back to the website where they want the consumers to be.

2 Best Practices for Using Twitter

1.  Tweeting Behind the Scenes

This is the perfect way for businesses to really build a relationship with their audience.  Using “behind the scenes” footage can be used in any facet of business to engage people and make your message personal.

One place you’re probably most familiar with this activity is in the entertainment and sports industries.  We have all seen the “behind the scenes” footage of the actors in movies, or with athletes off the field.  This activity can be just as powerful a tool for any business who is trying to build relationships, and get their audience excited about what they are offering.

2.  Tweeting Relevant Information

By keeping information relevant and interesting, a business has a better chance of keeping the attention of their audience, and growing their audience. When you find interesting or information or funny contents, you want to share it with people you know, right?

I want to point out an excellent example of this on Tony Robbins Twitter page.  If you look on there, you will see that there is a theme with the information he tweets and retweets; there are posts about financial wealth, positive quotes, etc.  This content is effective because it is relevant to his message – and I am sure you noticed the book pictured on the top of his page too.

Who’s Rockin’ Twitter? 

I’m going to have to cast my vote for Jimmy Fallon.  The first thing I noticed about his page is that he has 21.9 Million followers!  So what is his goal? He wants to grow his following to sell his show, his new brand of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and he’s looking for material to keep his show fresh.

I noticed that Jimmy Fallon uses a variety of techniques to accomplish this.  If you look on his page (Jimmy Fallon) you are going to find a variety of videos and posts previewing his next guests.  This is a great way to get people excited about his upcoming shows.  Another technique you will see is, on his posts, he is tagging other celebrities.  This will help him build his following by increasing the amount of people viewing his post.

My favorite technique though is the “Hashtag game” that he has frequent posts about.  This is a great way for Jimmy Fallon to get new material to keep his show fresh and current, and to build relationships with his audience.  There was one post in particular that is a good example to support my observation.  Jimmy wrote, “Hashtag game!  Tweet out a funny or embarrassing reason why you’re single and tag with #WhyImSingle.  Could be on our show!”  This post has 796 retweets and 2.4k favorites from his fans!  By telling his audience he might use their material on his show is creating that relationship with them; it’s making them feel special and important.

This Twitter page is interactive and fun and he is creating content consistently and frequently.  If I had to recommend improvements in any area, I would recommend he do more retweeting.  Overall though, it’s a solid Twitter page from a marketing standpoint.  Nice work Jimmy Fallon!

How are Businesses Using Vine?

Before I close my blog for the week, I briefly want to address how different organizations are using Vines 6-second video for marketing products and services.  Vine really is the perfect way for a business to send a brief, informative and/or entertaining message to its audience.

Some of the different ways you may see Vine being used is to show a behind-the-scenes look at how a product is developed, or a quick how-to video, or to send followers a strong message.  A good example of a business using Vine is Home Depot.  They are using their Vine account to show new project ideas, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes of employees and customers, and they also use it to promote products.  This is a great asset to businesses that want to send a message in this current “instant gratification” society we are in.

Best Facebook Page

  GIBSON GUITARS

What makes this the best Facebook page from a marketing perspective?

From the moment I laid eyes on this page, I knew I was looking at one of the best Facebook pages out there.  It was immediately clear to me that this company has a well-defined set of goals and an excellent online marketing plan in place.

Let’s talk about their goals for a moment, after all goals are the starting point to any great marketing plan, right?  So what are Gibsons’ goals?  Let’s explore a few of those goals and what they are doing to obtain them.

1.  Reach a specific target market 

Gibson wants a specific market of people who are looking for quality guitars and equipment and can afford high-end guitars like what Gibson offers.

How are they targeting this market?  If you take a moment and scroll through some of the content on Gibson Guitars Facebook fan page, you will see that they frequently spotlight different well-known musicians like Green Day, The Script, Sheryl Crow, ACDC, and Lenny Kravitz to name a few.  All these musicians target the group of adults around the ages of 30-55 who have been listening to these bands for many years, and who typically are more established with a secure income – which makes them a prime audience for Gibson.

2.  Engage their audience

One of the most powerful ways to promote your business on Facebook is to engage your audience.  This can be done in a number of ways from contests to posing questions to asking them to share your content.  I didn’t have to scroll for very long to find a few examples of how Gibson is engaging their audience.

How are they engaging their audience?  Gibson uses a variety of techniques to engage their audience.  On one post I saw them pose this question, “What name would you give the finish on this Gibson Les Paul Standard VOS figured?”  What benefit did this have for Gibson?  This post had over 1200 shares, over 14,000 likes, and more than 2100 comments.  All the friends of the people who liked, shared or commented on this post were exposed to this content as well.

Another technique I noticed was on another post that simply said, “post photos of your Gibson on our wall!”  Then, they took one of the photos and posted it as “Photo of the Day”.  Not only is Gibson engaging their audience, but they are also personalizing it by posting one of those pictures sent in.  I think that is a great way to win your audiences loyalty!

3.  Build their audience

Looking at this page, it is also easy to see that Gibson is putting thought and effort into how they can build their audience.

How are they building their audience?  The above example could also apply here as well, when you think about it Facebook likes and shares are as good as word of mouth.  The fact that someone you know and trust is liking content from Gibson, that must mean they are good, right?

Another example I found of Gibson attempting to build their audience was within the content they were posting.  Whenever they posted about a musician or band, they tagged that artists Facebook page as well.  That way, the content from that post would not only show up on Gibson’s page, but it also appeared on the page of the artist they had posted content about.  This gives Gibson’s post instant access to a whole new audience via the artists page.

4.  Increase sales

I think one of the main goals of any business is always going to be to increase sales.  The big question is how.  In reality, all the efforts involved in the first three goals have been leading up to this goal.

How are they attempting to increase sales?  In conjunction with all the other efforts mentioned above, Gibson has also made navigating through their Facebook page easy, and a majority of the content they are posting has a link to one of their specific product Facebook pages or their website.  You can also find apps on their Facebook page for the Gibson store where you can purchase a selection of items grouped by feature products, current top sellers, and new products, without ever leaving Facebook.

Gibson Guitars on Instagram

I also want to point out what a great job Gibson Guitars does on Instagram.  Now you might think it has to be pretty much the same thing as their Facebook page, but you couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Yes, there are similarities since both pages are promoting the same type of products, but the approach is slightly different.  Here’s why I also think the Gibson Guitar Instagram page is top-notch:

1.  Simplicity

Unlike their Facebook page, Gibson takes the simpler approach with Instagram.  You won’t see as much of a variety of content where they are spotlighting specific artists, or asking questions.  The content on Instagram is mostly pictures of their product – guitars.  Scrolling through their pictures you see guitar after guitar.  They don’t show a lot of pictures of guitars in groups, popular musicians aren’t highlighted very much, and it isn’t often you see a picture of a person playing the guitar – it is a simple, yet beautiful, picture of a guitar.

2.  Written Content

Along with the guitar theme, the written content is also slightly different in that it is short and to the point.  You won’t typically see more than a short description of what model guitar they are displaying.  On occasion you might see a live shot of an artist on stage, or an occasional post that isn’t describing the guitar in the picture; one post in particular that I saw, they posted, “A little something for those Monday blues.”  I think this is a great way to be consistent with what you are posting, and add a little something different into the mix.  I should mention, the post about the Monday blues had over 9000 likes on it.

3.  Hashtags

One of the things I noticed that Gibson was doing on their Instagram page, that I didn’t see on the Facebook page, is hashtags.  In some cases, there were more hashtags than written content.  On average I found about 6 different hashtags on each post, and a most of them were referencing Gibson.  A few examples of what I found were  #gibson, #lespaul, #gibsoncustom.

The best part of the hashtags though is that is wasn’t just Gibson hashtags.  They were also using general hashtags like #beautiful, #yesplease, and #heaven.  In some cases there were specific pictures and hashtags posted for holidays.  The fact that they are using non-brand hashtags is going to make their product visible to those who may not directly be looking for Gibson products or who don’t follow Gibson; it is a great way for them to reach new audiences.

I can tell you that, in the world of musicians and guitar players, Gibson is considered the “Cadillac” of guitars.  After spending some time reviewing their Facebook and Instagram pages from a marketing perspective, it is abundantly clear how Gibson continues to stand out above the rest.  I encourage you to visit both the Gibson Guitar Facebook page and the Gibson Guitar Instagram page to see for yourself why I nominated them for best pages.  Congratulations Gibson Guitars!

Sources:

Gibson Guitar Facebook page

Gibson Guitar Instagram page

The Legal and Ethical Issues of Social Media

Just like there are policies for employees to inform them of the expectations for things like dress codes, phone usage, and call-in procedures – there should also be a policy stating a companies clear expectations of social media use, but to the point of violating employee rights. It was well stated in the 2012 report by the National Labor Relations Board:

“Employer policies should not be so sweeping that they prohibit the kinds of activity protected by federal labor law, such as the discussion of wages or working conditions among employees.”

Some of the key points that should be outlined in a companies social media policy are:

  • Disclosure of confidential information
  • Protecting Co-workers privacy
  • Restrictions on pictures taken in the workplace
  • Disciplinary action that will be implemented

Companies have a lot to loose when employees use poor judgement.  Something as simple as a 6-second vine video can destroy that image over night.  Companies need to be aware of the ever changing social media platforms and sites like Vine to stay one step ahead of employee’s and put policies in place before any damage can be done.  For instance, a picture of a Taco Bell employee licking a stack of taco shells was posted on Facebook and ended up going viral.  No matter how much “damage control” Taco Bell tries to do now, that image is stuck in the minds of consumers.  Had there been stricter policies about using camera’s in production areas, they may have been able to prevent, or limit this type of bad exposure.

When employee’s are not at work, they have every right to voice their opinions about work on their private social media sites without concern of termination.  In one case, a bartender posted a comment on her Facebook page about her displeasure with the tipping practices at the bar she worked at.  The only person engaged in the conversation with her was one of her relatives.  Shortly after that post, she was told she was being terminated because of what she posted on social media.  The National Labor Relations Board concluded that since no other employee was involved, it was not seen as a legitimate termination.

Sources:

http://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/acting-general-counsel-releases-report-social-media-cases

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-media-in-the-workplace-infographic/75125?red=st

http://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/acting-general-counsel-issues-second-social-media-report

Best of Social Media

My vote for the “Best of Social Media” award goes to Burger King and their “Motel King 2014 social media campaign.  In this campaign, Burger King created a hotel that its existing customers could check into, with three of their friends, to “cheat” on the Whopper by sampling the new Chicken Tendercrisp burger in a private setting.

This campaign was a huge success.  Burger King had over 800 guests check into the hotel during the five days they ran the campaign, and from those guests, they managed to extend their reach to over 2 million people via social networking sites.  Burger King not only reached their objectives, but exceeded them when the Chicken Tendercrisp burgers outsold the Whopper.

Burger King did not “accidentally” stumble across a winning campaign like this one, there was a strategy involved with creating this successful social media campaign.

Here are 5 reasons this proved to be a successful social media campaign:

#1 – It shows a well-defined objective – Burger King had one goal, or objective, they were trying to reach; that goal was to create a movement that would encourage existing customers, who were fans of the Whopper, to try the new Chicken Tendercrisp burger.

#2 – Good use of timing strategy – The night before they launched the campaign, Burger King invited celebrities to come in and “cheat” on the Whopper.  Then, they secretly took photos of the celebrities that Burger King leaked onto a spectrum of social media platforms.

#3: Social media tools across the platforms were utilized – Burger King encouraged people to use their social media platforms on multiple occasions:

  • Consumers were required to post their reservation request online in one of the Burger King social media posts, and tag three of their friends.
  • Consumers had to check into the hotel through use of a social media tool.
  • Consumers were encouraged to post photos and comments about their experience during their visit.
  • Consumers were asked to use the same hashtag, #motelbk, and thus grouping all of the Motel King posts in one convenient location for others to easily view.

#4:  Defined their target market – Burger King utilized its current market of loyal consumers to come in and “cheat” on the Whopper.  Because these are already loyal consumers, they are more likely to quickly spread the word about the new Chicken Tendercrisp burger to everyone they know, including new potential consumers.

#5:  Top-notch creative strategy – Burger King took an already existing hotel and re-designed it completely. They used the Burger King brand on everything.  They thought of every last detail including; branding the towels, robes, pens and paper, the hotel sign, and much more.

As a marketer, I will tell you that this campaign was a success because Burger King took time to develop specific objectives. Then they utilized social media tools across the board, got the campaign off the ground quickly by inviting the celebrities to stay there the night before they launched the campaign – and then leaked out the celebrity photos they had taken while celebrities were staying there.  Burger King was creative in developing this campaign by putting their brand on everything in the hotel – including branding the hashtag #motelbk, and most of all,  because they had consumers completely engaged in “spreading the word” on social media sites.  My hat’s off to Burger King!

Pros and Cons of Corporate Business Blogging

Social media platforms and blogging has become a major tool in the world of corporate marketing. Looking at this from an organizational marketing perspective, it is important to understand the pros and cons of blogging and how it can affect your business.

PROS

Builds Customer Trust – What better way to personalize your B2C relationship and reach out to your customers than through blogs. This is a wonderful opportunity to share information with them about your products and/or services, and it allows them the opportunity to ask questions and comment back.

• Develops your Brand – Blogging is an excellent platform companies can use to create a competitive edge over their competition by perfecting their brand and making their product or service more memorable than any of their competitors.

CONS

• Potential Negative Feedback – Allowing your customers to interact by commenting on your blog posts, you do need to be prepared for the possibility of negative feedback from them too.  Negative comments on social media are more harmful than helpful for a business.

• Time Commitment – As a business, if you want people to take you, your blog and your business seriously, you have to commit the time to both research and keep up with your blog. If you cannot commit the time and you only post a blog here or there, customers may get the impression you are unreliable and turn their attention to your competitors.

There are a lot of things that can be done to have a successful blog, but if I had to narrow it down and give just 3 tips of blogging success to marketers who are developing and maintaining corporate blogs, I would suggest:

1. Keep it Interesting – This is going to require you to do research on your topics and make sure that you are presenting information your readers want to know more about, and that you are presenting it in a way that is interesting and fun to read.

2. Post Frequently – When you post frequently, it reminds your readers that you are still there, and it continues to keep your business into their memory.

3. Promote Your Blog – This may be, by far, the most important success tip I can share. You can write the most amazing blogs with all the best information that people would enjoy, and it will not mean anything if people do not know your blog exists. Promote, Promote, Promote; Each and Every Blog!!!

Dell is a great example of a corporate blog that I feel is a very effective blog page.  Since Dell is diversified in its products and services, it requires a bit more organization to keep the information flowing smoothly.  Their blog page (located at Dell Blogs) combines and organizes, all the different blogs related to the products, services and technology they offer.  I also love the fact that they have a search button to locate information specific blogs.

Dell also continues to brand their name into our memories through this page of blogs.  A person, who may not even be looking for anything specifically related to Dell, but happened to be searching out a topic that is covered on one of the blogs on Dells page.  That is an effective way to draw in new customers and keep the name Dell fresh in our memories.

Remember, a blog can be a huge asset to any business if it is developed and maintained properly.  Happy blogging!