Archive for ‘Mobile Marketing’

November 25th, 2014

How to Differentiate Your Brand by Accepting Mobile Payments

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A study conducted by BIA Kelsey revealed that 40 percent of small businesses relied on mobile payments to facilitate customer transactions in 2013, and that an additional 16 percent planned to incorporate it into their operations this year.

Though accepting payments without investing in pricey point of sale equipment is a clear benefit to business owners, mobile payments can also serve as a tangible marketing message that differentiates your business and appeals to customers.

Here’s a look at how accepting mobile payments can be transformed into a marketing message your customers can embrace.

Mobile payments allow customers to pay with what’s in their wallet. Though much has been made of the so-called “interchange fees” merchants bear when accepting customer credit cards as a form of payment, part of serving customers is giving them the payment options they want to use, despite the potential costs of business it may include.

In fact, according to this infographic by Community Merchants USA, nearly 60 percent of small businesses are regularly asked if they accept credit cards by customers, and nearly 70 percent of customers ages 18 to 34 will only shop with merchants that take credit cards.

What’s the bottom line on all that? When you accept mobile payments, you communicate that customer convenience is a top priority.

Mobile payments showcase a seamless customer experience. Though Apple’s retail stores were among the first to demonstrate that a checkout experience didn’t have to include a fixed point-of-sale register (or a line), the idea hasn’t caught on to the benefit of consumers in mainstream retail. (In fact, some retail experts hypothesize that major retailers keep checkout lines long to increase the likelihood of impulse buys.)

But as researchers at Duke University have found, customers truly dislike checkout lines, particularly when they perceive them as slow moving, based on the amount of people waiting.

As a result, mobile payments are a competitive advantage for small business owners. By equipping every member of a small business’s staff with a mobile device that is ready to accept payments, consumers can complete their sale from anywhere in the store, as soon as they decide to purchase.

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Mobile payments take your business to the customer. When point-of-sale equipment is affixed at the counter, both business and customer are limited in the potential for a customer-oriented experience that delivers superior convenience and leads to an ongoing relationship.

By contrast, when a business accepts mobile payments, it becomes equipped to meet customers where they are, for a complete brand integration into customers’ daily lives, whether it includes a presence at local events, festivals, fundraisers, or expanding the reach of a physical storefront with strategically located pop-up shops.

Because mobile payments allow a business to process customer transactions at such locations by whatever payment method they choose, the experience ultimately results in one that is a benefit to the customer.

Mobile payments eliminate the need to track receipts. Major retailers have begun to tighten their return policies, reportedly in an effort to crack down on the multibillion-dollar problem of fraudulent returns.

Despite that, the policies are driven by a legitimate business reason — requiring a hard-copy receipt in order to return or exchange merchandise puts the burden on the honest customer.

When a business accepts mobile payments, customers choose to receive their transaction receipt by email or text message. Should they need to return an item, that same receipt is easily retrieved on the customer’s mobile device. In addition, the business can quickly retrieve the same mobile sales record, to process the return or exchange.

Thanks to the flexibility mobile payments allow, the entire experience can take place sans the wait in a customer service line.

Mobile payments allow you to leverage a tool customers trust. Javelin Strategy & Research recently reported mobile sales now exceed $60 billion, and that consumer purchases made on a mobile device have reached an all-time high. By accepting mobile payments, businesses can communicate a customer-centric service attitude and establish a sense of “sameness” and familiarity. In addition, it shows that you understand the tools your customers use, and have made it a business priority to deliver their preferred checkout experience when they interact with your brand.

Studies conducted by Consumer Reports and the Baymard Institute have shown that consumers are less likely to abandon online shopping carts and more willing to purchase from websites that feature familiar privacy and site security logos. By “piggybacking” on the trust consumers have already demonstrated by using their mobile devices for commerce, your mobile payment acceptance may facilitate a similar level of perceived trust.

About the Author: Kristen Gramigna, the Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, is constantly teaching business executives about the ease of mobile payments and also serves on its Board of Directors. She has more than 15 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.

 

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Archive for ‘Mobile Marketing’

July 14th, 2014

Make Mobile Work by Making it Personal

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Mobile usage has become an integral part of the path-to-purchase. Consumers are tapping into their smartphones at home, in store aisles, and on-the-go to read news, research products, compare prices, engage with brands and receive special offers and coupons.

Brands are finally realizing the potential of mobile marketing to produce business success. In Q1 2014 mobile commerce spending on smartphones and tablets was $7.3 billion up 23 percent vs. a year ago according to Comscore. It’s clear the way consumers engage and make purchases is changing and marketers and advertisers must find a way to interact with them in a personalized and relevant way.

Mobile has changed the game – its personal. Its no longer acceptable to be a bullhorn of a company, blasting out messages without taking in to consideration the consumers interests or what they have opt-in to. Content must be a two-way street. Marketing must start with relevancy as its first and last goals. Otherwise you’ll lose your customer.

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Fortunately, there are a handful of easy-to-implement tactics to personalize the mobile experience for customers. Understanding each will help brands market to their customers and monetize mobile more effectively.

1. Opt-ins are key

Perhaps this is obvious, but getting an opt-in opens up infinite possibilities for personalization. Be bold when encouraging customers to submit their phone number to receive mobile alerts, or authorize push notifications when downloading apps.

For brands used to direct mail, traditional advertising or digital retargeting, mobile presents a new realm of legal regulations that, if not followed, could cost you big time.

The most important guideline to follow is the “opt-in” regulation for text messages. Any text message you send can only be sent to a user who explicitly opted-in to your message service. Meaning, buying lists or automatically enrolling loyalty club members into your text message database is a big no-no. So brands should focus on getting their customers opt-in. Once that occurs brands can continue to build on the data they have collected to deliver increasingly personalized messages.

2. Understand your consumer’s complete mobile lifecycle

Effective mobile marketers take a cross-channel approach that integrates the various mobile channels, such as SMS, app, Web, and social.

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Value comes behind the scenes, as brands can learn tons of useful information from mobile interactions. For example, customers reveal their operating system when they download an app or open their Web browser. Smart marketers collate such data points into one centralized customer profile—an ideal asset to maximize personalization for mobile.

Companies just getting started with cross-channel mobile marketing should focus on small wins. True cross-channel takes time and optimization, so commit to integrating what makes sense over the short, medium, and long term instead of trying to do everything in parallel.

3. Location, location, location

Mobile devices go everywhere. Take advantage of how that information can create personalized experiences.

On SMS, marketers can request that customers share their ZIP code. As long as customers see the value in the call to action requesting location the message won’t come off as intrusive or pushy.

For those stuck on how to use location, start with four straightforward applications: time, weather, calendar, and geography. Messages like “Get an additional 20% before 5PM today,” “Beat the winter blues with this offer,” “Back to school special” or “Special deal for the summer,” messages will establish a stronger consumer/brand connection.

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4. Choice drives Engagement

Giving customers a choice about what they are opting in to allows for personalization through customization. For example, during the World Cup a major brand enabled its customers to select the types of alerts they want to receive to create their own mobile experience.

5. View mobile through a data lens

When most marketers approach mobile, they gravitate toward viewing the technology as a communication channel. Savvy marketers understand that mobile produces much more value as a data channel.

Analyze your data across channels to create and serve relevant content to your customers or potential customers. Build around your opt-in text message database. Once you have a person’s cell phone number, you can use that personal identifier to connect the dots with your CRM, loyalty programs and even users’ social media profiles. The more you know about your consumer’s buying habits and engagement, the better you can serve them pertinent and relevant information directly to their smartphone or tablet.

Personalizing mobile interaction will immediately increase consumer engagement and loyalty with your brand. Mobile marketing and advertising, done legally and relevantly, has tremendous potential to reach customers on devices that they always have within arm’s reach.

About the Author: Greg Hoy is a 12-year veteran of the mobile industry. He is currently the vice president of mobile solutions at Hipcricket (www.hipcricket.com), a mobile marketing and advertising company. 

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Archive for ‘Mobile Marketing’

July 7th, 2014

The Top 4 Mobile Marketing Mistakes

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With 90 percent of American adults owning a cell phone and almost 60 percent owning a smartphone, the mobile marketing field is a force to be reckoned with. This is about 240 million people marketers can reach through mobile marketing efforts. Smartphones allow people to be constantly connected through social media and apps, which makes marketing blunders and fails very fast-moving stories. Here are fou­r mobile marketing mistakes that you should always avoid:

1. Failing to Connect Your Mobile Platform to Sales

So you’ve heard how to make a great mobile site, but you don’t see what mobile sites have to do with your business. That can hurt you more than you know since IBM reported that online sales over the 2013 Cyber Monday rose 20 percent, with over 17 percent of all online sales coming from mobile devices. That’s an over 50 percent increase from 2012. In addition, a 2013 study from Google found that 84 percent of all smartphone users use their phones for shopping research, and that most of those shoppers do that research while they are physically in the store.

Failing to properly market your business and products or services on mobile platforms forces you out of a substantial marketing opportunity. With the majority of social media platforms being accessed via mobile devices, take up ad space on mobile platforms to maximize your return of investment. If you’re using Google’s mobile advertising – specifically AdWords – look into Full Value of Mobile to measure the cost and return of your marketing efforts.

Image via Flickr by Eileen M. Kane

Need more motivation to appreciate mobile marketing? Google’s Mobile Playbook, a guide for creating a better mobile experience, reported that almost 60 percent of smartphone users wouldn’t recommend a business with a frustrating mobile site, and 40 percent have turned to a competitor’s site because of it. So it is worth the investment to get a mobile site that makes it easy for a person on their LG smartphone to find what they are looking for.

2. Thinking Mobile and Desktop Platforms Are Identical

If you simply transfer your desktop website—with all its screen space—to a mobile platform, you’ll end up with a site that is cluttered with too much information that is too small to read. Instead, treat your mobile platform as an opportunity to pare down all your website content into only what is most valuable to customers. Essentially, it’s vital strip down the full website to what is most vital to your company’s conversion process. Include the essentials needed to convert that viewer into a customer. Why is it important? According to an ACM Transactions on the Web article, you only have six—or at the most eight—seconds before most users will lose interest and move on.

3. Overlooking Responsive Web Design

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Image via Flickr by axbom

Don’t have a mobile site or think that yours is too cluttered? One way to get a good-looking mobile site is to use a responsive web design for your website. This takes the work out of translating your website into a mobile site, as the site is set up to automatically redesign into a user-friendly page on any size screen.

Space Chimp Media has a good breakdown of when a responsive design is a good idea. For example, the responsive design makes it easy to update all platforms at once instead of going into each one. Why would you want to stay with the mobile site set up? Responsive design can be pricey if it means redesigning an already existing website. It can also create a mobile site that includes well-designed but lengthy pages, which in turn slow down loading time. Slower download times can mean fewer views.

4. Not Updating or Promoting an App after Launch

Now that you have the mobile site covered, it is time to think about apps. Don’t think you are done with an app once you’ve launched it. While there is a recognized rise and fall of activity on a downloaded app over 90 months, you can help or hurt your numbers by what you do with the app once it is on the market. First, nothing infuriates users more than an app with bugs, so don’t skip the beta testing and keep the updates coming whenever you find a bug.

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For promotion, you can drop the price of a paid app or make it free for a day to generate some buzz and get more people to try it out. And you still need to promote an app once it is out, and push notifications can be a great way to do this. Push notifications pop up in third party applications, which gives you the freedom and ability to market towards an even more targeted audience. A February survey by Responsys found that at least 68 percent of app users had enabled push notifications for the apps they use.

It’s very important not to be intimidated by the wave of mobile device usage, but to embrace it as another tool in your marketing efforts. If done correctly, you can multiply your conversion percentage by catering to the generation of handheld devices. How have you navigated through the world of mobile marketing? What was your biggest success? What do you think was your biggest failure?

 

This was a guest post submitted to the 60 Second Marketer by an outside resource. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of 60 Second Properties.

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Archive for ‘Mobile Marketing’

June 11th, 2014

New Study Says Mobile Display on the Rise While QR Codes Lose Steam

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We’ve just released the 2014 Mobile Marketing Research Report and Action Plan and it has plenty of fascinating information for businesspeople interested in learning more about mobile marketing.

The research was conducted by AWeber and the 60 Second Marketer over a 4 week period with more than 300 businesspeople from around the globe.

The full 30-page report, which can be downloaded here, provides a variety of new and interesting findings, some of which include the following:

  • Lead Generation is Top Priority: What’s the primary objective for a mobile marketing campaign? 66% of the marketers we surveyed said their main objective was to generate leads. Only 11% said their primary objective was to build brand awareness.
  • Marketers Find Mobile Confusing: If you find mobile marketing confusing, you’re not alone — our research indicates the number 1 reason marketers struggle to get started in mobile marketing is because the complexity of the platform. (For a solution to this, see the mobile marketing decision tree on the AWeber blog.)
  • Mobile Websites are Most Important Platform: 55% of those surveyed said a mobile optimized website was their most important mobile marketing platform. 12% said mobile display/banner ads were the most important and 10% said SMS and/or MMS was most important.
  • Calculating ROI Still a Mystery: Surprisingly, only 32% of those surveyed can calculate the ROI of their mobile marketing campaigns with any degree of certainty. 38% said they could not calculate the ROI of their mobile campaigns.
  • Mobile Websites and Display on the Rise, While QR Codes Lose Steam: When asked which mobile tools were likely to see an increase in usage in the future, mobile websites and mobile display were ranked #1 and #2 respectively. QR codes were the tools most likely to see a decrease in usage in the future.
  • Increased Web Traffic Seen as Key Benefit: 29% of those surveyed see an increase in web traffic as the single greatest benefit of mobile marketing. 25% reported that increased exposure was the single greatest benefit.
  • Marketers Thirst for Knowledge About Mobile: When asked which mobile marketing tools respondents wanted to know more about, responses can be summarized in one simple phrase: “all of them.”

If you’re interested in learning more about mobile marketing — and you should be — then you won’t want to miss out on this research, which includes a bonus report called “43 Ways to Grow Revenues with Mobile Marketing!

Enjoy!

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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Archive for ‘Mobile Marketing’

April 15th, 2014

Here’s the Only Tool You Need to Map Out Your Next Mobile Marketing Campaign

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Mobile is inevitable; that much is clear. Due to trends like the prevalence of smartphones and the rise of second-screen viewing, it’s foolish to ignore the impact that mobile marketing can have on your overall marketing success. Even content that isn’t intended for mobile is rendered so as people access it via their mobile devices.

And the capabilities of mobile marketing are incredible. The ways which your content can be viewed and the degree to which its delivery can be targeted is astonishing. But with so many options, where should you begin?

Well, AWeber and the 60 Second Marketer are here to help. Based on the same research that brought you this infographic about mobile marketing that we posted a couple weeks ago, this piece is even more practical. Use this decision tree to determine what your first (or next) step in mobile marketing should be, and gain insights on how to accomplish your mobile marketing goals. Remember, mobile is no longer an option. Use this tool to help you figure out how to approach it in the best way for your business.

Want to share this infographic on your blog? Feel free to grab it off our site or email Jamie Turner and he’ll send you a copy. Just remember to link back to the 60 Second Marketer when sharing the decision tree with your audience.

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About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.

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