Leveraging Mobile Marketing in 2014- Trends We can Expect to See

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It should come as no surprise that mobile marketing strategies are something that all companies should have on their radar as the number of consumers who use mobile devices (smart phone and tablets) only grows every year.  Consumers use these devices to listen to music, take photos and videos, talk on the photo, research and compare products many times right when they are about to make a purchase.  Literally giving them the ability to make well thought out and researched decisions conveniently.  Not surprising then that 2014 has been predicted to be an even bigger year for mobile use when it comes to purchases from smartphones and tablets.

Before diving into some of these trends I thought I would share some interesting Mobile Marketing Statistics with you all:

  • It take 26 hours for the average person to report a lost wallet, however, it only takes a little over an hour for them to report a lost cell phone
  • Out of the 6.8 billion people on the planet- 5.1 billion of them own a cell phone
  • The average person responds to an email in approximately 90 minutes however they respond to the average text message in 90 seconds
  • 70% of all mobile searches result in action being taken within 1 hour
  • Mobile coupons are redeemed 10x more often than traditional coupons
  • 91% of all U.S. citizens have their mobile device within arms reach in 24/7

With statistics like these it’s no wonder marketing strategies around mobile use is growing.

So what trends can we expect to see this year?

1.)  Increased Personalization and Customization of Messages

I’m sure we have all experienced this and not even noticed it.  How many of us have done a search on our app for a particular item and then seen other items recommended that would go along with it or that are needed with it.  This isn’t a coincidence, instead it’s all part of personalizing what we see based on what we happen to be searching for.

2.)  Location Targeting

This one is huge and in my opinion, one of the most convenient things about searching for something through your mobile phone.  I want to know where the nearest Starbucks is without having to punch in my current address, geo-targeting allows me the convenience of seeing my search results come up in order based on my location.

3.)  Micro-content

We are a very busy generation with short attention spans.  I don’t know about you but I want to communication to just get to the point.  This is something that consumers have started to become accustom to through Twitter and instagram (short messages and visuals as oppose to long drawn out communication).  We also see proof of this with platforms like Vine (an app that loops a 6 second max length video).  Brands will begin to utilize these platforms and create short videos that last on a consumers phone for no longer than a 24 hour time period.

Being that the 2014 year is half way over I can honestly say that I have noticed some of these trends starting to take action.

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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword- Blogs

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Have you ever wondered if brands follow what is said about them in blogs? Being that I am writing a blog I figured now would be a good time to dive into this topic.

I would assume that many consumers wouldn’t think that brands actually pay a lot of attention to bloggers.  They know that they spend a lot of time creating marketing strategies for social media marketing, mobile marketing, and even strategies on how to reach different demographics.   What a lot of us may not realize is a brand can benefit tremendously by effectively executing relationships with bloggers.   These benefits include:

Targeted Awareness

Of course we all know that not everyone reads or follows blogs. However, while the reach of a radio or TV campaign may be larger, the benefit of a blogger campaign is the ability for the brand to communicate to niche groups who are more likely to be in line with whom their target market is.   The benefit of this of course is that brands are able to reach those consumers who are most likely to be receptive to their brand messages.

Earned Credibility

In my opinion this is probably one of the biggest benefits.  It’s no secret that consumers don’t trust brands.  We are used to them putting marketing spins on things and trying to “sell us” on why they are better.  Unfortunately we don’t always have the benefit of a word of mouth recommendation from someone we trust.  The next best thing is turning to various platforms, which allows consumers to be able to “hear” first hand what someone else thought about a particular product. Of course, blogs are one of these platforms.

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Successful bloggers have a great number of loyal followers, which is of course something that all brands want.  When these bloggers write about their brands in their blogs the comments are remembered and will be easily found by Google later on.  This makes their reach even greater.

Increase Brand Visibility

Whether the blog is something run internally or externally a blog allows a brand to increase it’s visibility with consumers.  If the blog is internal then they can utilize this platform to help their consumers understand what their brand is about and what they have to offer them.  In addition to acting as a platform of information it can also allow brands to encourage readers to visit their websites more often.

Perhaps the most important thing for bloggers and brands to remember is that since these relationships take on a more “personal” level it isn’t something that they can simply do once and expect to have a long term effect.  On the contrary, these relationships need to be built (both w/ the blogger and their followers) from the beginning, ensuring that the brand is developing long lasting relationships that they will benefit from over time.

Advergaming – Bush’s Baked Beans

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I was unwinding from a busy week and was watching a little TV, I came across an interesting commercial that fell in line with some of our course studies.   The commercial was for Bush’s baked beans.  I’m not sure how many of you have seen it but it was very interesting to me because they combined the communication message of the commercial as well as promoting a mobile game that users can download onto their phones.  At first I thought it was just a marketing campaign because who would really want to play a video game based around baked beans but at the end of the commercial they even promote it further and encourage followers to download it.

This got me thinking, I can’t recall when I’ve seen another commercial promote their mobile app and encourage users to download these advergames.  What this says to me is that this is a perfect example of how marketing is changing and how brands are really trying to reach their consumers through various platforms.  The days of just TV commercials or radio advertisements is over.  Today we have social media, advergames, mobile marketing, etc.

For those of you who don’t know what advergaming is, let me explain– advergaming is the use of video games to advertise a product, organization or view point.  In other words, using it more as a promotional tool hidden within a game instead of games of the past that were created to truly just be a game.  Examples of advergaming can be seen my brands utilizing product placement, advertising in games that are downloaded for free, etc.  This actually got me thinking to when I was younger the teenage mutant ninja turtles video games would have Pizza Hut pizza in them.  Who would have thought that advergaming existed decades ago.

Smart phone technology, of course, has made advergaming more accessible to consumers through mobile marketing.  It is not mystery that we have our phones on us at all times.  This makes the ability for companies to be able to communicate to us literally be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The benefits of advergaming on a mobile platform is different than traditional advertisements.  Traditional advertisements on buses or billboards can not be targeted to a specific group.  However these apps can be targeted towards people who would but certain products.  For example, the person who would most likely be downloading Bush’s baked beans free advergame is probably someone who enjoys Bush’s baked beans.  Even if that is not the case and a child asked to download this free app on their parents phone it is still additional advertising for them.  Every time the parent looks through their phone they see the companies logo and advertisement.  It is putting the brand in a place of constant reminder and in turn will hopefully make their interest in the brand grow.

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I decided to take a look on Bush’s Facebook page to see if they were promoting there game app on social media as well as on their commercials and of course they were.  This proves that Bush’s understands the power of using all these media platforms to make the most of all of their marketing efforts.  That’s is the true power of emerging media.

 

The Power of Twitter

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Perhaps many of you are like me and find Twitter confusing. As someone who’s in my early 30’s I think it should be something that I’m more drawn to, however that hasn’t been the case. I can see the reasons why celebrities and businesses would have Twitter but I can’t see why someone would want to follow me and hear about my “average” day.

When I started diving into Twitter, it’s power and how it really allows people to engage with both celebrities and brands I started to understand a little bit more about why it’s so important for companies to you it.  For instance, I find it very interesting to see that people who use Twitter are 3 times more likely to follow a brand than those who use Facebook.  They are also more likely to recommend a brand and to purchase an time from a brand they follow.

So if you’re at all like me, allow me to share what I’ve found with you.

Today Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks as well as one of the fastest growing networks for the 55-65 year old demographic. A very important piece of information for those brands who are trying to engage with this target market.

So what is the key to getting a mentioned on Twitter? Basically, brands need to ask a question/make a statement that encourages people to engage back and start some sort of interaction.

What is the key to getting a retweet? Interesting and unique messages is the key. Basically think of the type of things that get shared on Facebook, the things people find humorous, that make some sort of statement, that they find moving or that they feel like deserve to be shared and heard by more people. The topics that get shared are the ones that relate to THEM not the ones that YOU find interesting or moving. For this reason, it is very important to know who your followers are and who your market is.

Is it better to share content via words or via pictures?
Personally, I don’t think there is a one size fits all. Some consumers are visual and have a need for short, concise messages. Other consumers prefer to read their communication in a quick real-time manner. For this reason brands need to be involved in more than just one platform. For write communication, Twitter is a real-time interaction, or customer service line if you will, where people can get quick and instant answers and solutions to their problems directly from the brands they follow. It’s a great way to create loyal customers and to keep them. For visual communication, Instagram is a great way to communicate to consumers who have a need of quick to the point interaction. While this media platform started with just photos, they have evolved to include videos. This is ideal for brands, allowing them to share short messages with their followers without them having any need to read any communication.

I don’t know about all of you but I am definitely looking forward to see what new social media platforms come out in the near future.

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“The Secret of …

“The Secret of Change is to Focus all of Your Energy, not on Fighting the Old, but on Building the New.” – Socrates

I read this quote today and I thought it fit perfectly into emerging media…. The changes in marketing, traditional vs. emerging media doesn’t mean you have to fight everything you’ve known to be true and right, it just means you take that knowledge with you and adapt it to make it something even better, more powerful and with greater reach.

My first hand professional experience with blogging

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I figured since I had a personal experience with the power of blogging I would share it with everyone.  A few weeks back, my company hosted a blogger event in NYC.  I work for a company called Amerock and we sell cabinet hardware and drapery hardware.  We also have a sponsorship with Eric Cohler, a Manhattan based interior designer.  We invited 7 well known bloggers in the design industry to attend our event.  It was a very interesting event for me to see especially being that I am currently taking an emerging media and the market class and writing my own blog.  These bloggers are well known in their trade and range from having 10’s of thousands of unique visitors each month to one even having over 400 thousand unique visitors a month on his blog.  It was great to see how small of a community these bloggers came from. As each one walked in and read the name cards around them, they each laughed and said out loud – “I KNOW THEM”, needless to say we were all shocked that literally everyone in the room knew at least two other people.  The bloggers asked great questions and took detailed notes.  They asked things like how to spell certain designers names or what a certain collection was called and what inspired it.  It was fascinating to see how they truly are a form journalism.

As each blogger started sharing their blog posts it was a surreal experience for me to see the things I had learned being applied first hand.  Each blogger called out how their posts were sponsored by Amerock.  They all had a similar tone and information heavy basis on the event itself, on Eric Cohler’s presentation about new trends and of course on Amerock product as a whole.  As a grad student, I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience such an event while taking this class.  I thought each of you would like to read first hand some of the blogs that we have gotten thus far.   Also, if you would like to see more pictures from our blogger event, please visit our Amerock Facebook page.

Blogs:

Decor Arts Now – By Lynn Byme

Ivy De Leon

MOD Design Guru

Life in Sketch

Digital Trends and Predictions for 2014

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I’ve always found articles that state what the upcoming trends to be very fascinating and I am always intrigued if these marketing professionals end up being accurate with their predictions.

One of the predictions made for this year is brands taking real-time marketing opportunities and tactics to a whole new level.  Marketers are seeking out these opportunities to be able to interact and connect with their consumers in “the moment.”  This is something that platforms like Facebook and Twitter have shown us, consumer like real-time feedback and interaction to the brands they follow.  More importantly however, brands benefit a great deal by creating these continuous forms of interaction with their consumers.  This allows them to communicate any important messages regarding their brand, new product launches or any negative marketing that they need to repair and communicate with their consumers.  Marketers have found that mobile and social media marketing allow for businesses to reach their audiences at the heart of their digital usage, in other words, where and how they spend the majority of their time online.   It’s no secret that smartphones and tablets have become the center of consumers’ multi-platform lives.  Due to this, marketers will begin to view these platforms less as a mobile device and instead more of “the new desktop.”  In essence this allows for brands to literally always be a click away from potential consumers.  As a result, marketers will need to continue to try and engage consumers to be loyal to their brands and make purchases whether is via a mobile platform or physical location.

In addition to these media platforms, images and videos have also become the go to tactic for brands wishing to go viral with a particular message or campaign.  The potential in this arena is really endless.  Visual influencers, visuals that are meant to influence and interact directly with consumers, is perhaps one of areas that we will continue to see the most growth in the coming years.  Evidence can be seen in the recent adaptation of Snapchat.  What was once an application meant to send images and videos to friends for an allotted period of time with minimal written communication has recently adapted their model to include messaging capabilities.  This adaptation allows this visual platform application to compete more effectively along site other messaging apps.   You can also see this trend with the growth of instagram and other visual application platforms.

Another trend that we can expect to see is marketers exploring new and creative ways to reach consumer who value their privacy.  As previously mentioned, applications like SnapChat are ideal for these consumers.  These applications allow messages to be transferred only for an allotted period of time.  Even their recently adapted messaging capability disappears from the users menu after a short time period.  This gives consumers a sense of privacy in regards to their communication tactics.

Hispanics and Emerging Media

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Let me start off this post by telling you a little bit of relevant information about myself.  While I was born and raised in Northern New Jersey, I am a second generation Hispanic.  Both my parents and also my oldest brother were born in Colombia, South America.  Being Colombian is not only what my heritage is but it is who I am to the core.  I couldn’t imagine what life would be like if I could not proudly proclaim that I am a Hispanic American.

As a second generation Hispanic I speak both English and Spanish fluently.  I feel quite fortunate that I grew up with this added skill that until I became an adult, I took for granted.  I never realized the doors it would open for me.  Early in my professional career I was asked to become part of a Hispanic Affinity group for Newell Rubbermaid.  I was a member of this group (both corporate and regional committees) for nearly 7 years.   It was as a member of these groups that I discovered my fascination for Hispanic marketing and understanding that demographic.  Perhaps it’s the connection I feel with them or because they are such a sought after demographic.  Whatever the reason, I know that anytime I can focus my attention to understanding them better, I always jump at the opportunity.

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With that notion in mind, I was excited to find out that Latinos are embracing social media.  Infact, NPR’s Tell me More with Michel Martin recently hosted a Google+ Hangout on air where they focused on Emerging Latinos and Innovations and went on to discuss Hispanics and the important roll social media plays with this demographic.  One of their main topics of discussion was that Latinos have become an emerging force with Hispanic adults being 25 percent more likely to follow a brand and 18 percent more likely to follow a celebrity than the general online population.  With statistics like this, it really makes it a no brainer that businesses should be attempting to reach this powerful demographic through social media marketing.  The discussion went on to suggest that social media may be the most powerful form of media that Latinos have that allows them to harness their growing strength socially, economically and politically.  If brands want to win with this demographic, then including them in their social media marketing strategies is a must.

More importantly, this demographic doesn’t seem to be slowing down.  On the contrary, at 33.5 million individuals, the U.S. Hispanic online market is growing at explosive rates.  What was most surprising to me however was that this demographic still remains a relatively untapped segment.  Are you as surprised at that fact as I was? That means there is HUGE potential being left on the table just waiting for the right brand to tap into this powerful market.  Like many other demographics, the internet has become central in the lives of millions of Latinos.  It is a viable way for companies to be able to connect and interact with this demographic in a cost-effective, quantifiable, constant and direct manner.   In short, if you aren’t communicating to Hispanics online then you really should start.  I mean, unless you like leaving money on the table for other brands to jump in and communicate to and take away potential costumers.  Then by all means, ignore the buying potential of Latinos and the need of including them in your online marketing communication plans.

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this subject matter.  Were you as surprised as I was to find out that Hispanics are a relatively untapped online segment?

Emerging Media – What is it and why does it matter?

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Well lets dive in shall we.  How exciting is it to think that emerging media is something that is ever evolving, improving and reinventing itself if you will.  It literally makes the way that you can discover things and learn about the world, products, services and ideas be something new and different each time.  There is no longer one go to source for gaining your information.  The same is true when you think about how you are going to market and publishing your content in hopes of reaching the desired audience.  All this information is available literally at a persons fingertips.  Instead of needing to leave the house to go to the store to pick up a paper or to wait for a specific hour to watch the news, information today is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  No matter where you are, what time it is or what day it is, holiday or not, if you can get online you become informed.

As someone in my early 30’s, I don’t have to think far back to when this wasn’t the case.  So the fact that even in the last 10 years since I received my undergrad degree things have changed so much fascinates me.  My undergrad was even in New Media Design and Imaging, but I can safely say the things I learned back then are in no way relevant to the things that are considered New Media today and haven’t been for quite some time.

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I recently read an interesting article that discussed the top 5 Emerging Business Social Media Marketing Trends for 2014.  Social Media is undeniably one of the fastest growing and most power ways for businesses to reach their consumers.  It allows for instant and constant access to consumers, allows businesses to fundraise, can help with sales and most importantly, it allows for consumers to gain the long sought after word of mouth communication they long for.

This article went on to state that the top 5 trends were

  1. Mobile Madness
  2. Online Video Advertising on the rise
  3. Is the daily deal dying
  4. Facebook in Transition
  5. The Rise of the social boomer.

The most interesting of these trends to me was the rise of the social boomer.  What this means is that the 55+ age group demographic is increasingly becoming the fastest growing group of social media users.  There could be various reasons as to why but most likely it’s because other demographic groups have already adopted to social networking in large numbers, basically meaning that this age group is a little late to the game but perhaps more importantly meaning that they are now accessible to business via social media.  If this age group is in your target market, hopefully you have become aware of this trend and have included this trend in your marketing communication strategies.