Advertising and Entertainment

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Mobile Marketing

The industry is buzzing about mobile again; your team is open to try the new channel. And you are wondering if it is worthwhile “to go mobile or not to go”. However, before you embark on a mobile marketing journey, here are top 10 things you should check against to make a better decision whether to add a mobile campaign to your marketing mix or develop a mobile app store.

 1. Is your audience mobile-savvy?  Does your customer actually use mobile beyond making phone calls? Does your research support the fact that your customers interact with any other brands, using their phones? If your audience is there, and savvy enough to have access to mobile web and is used to some opt-in interaction, you have a first pass checkmark. Alternatively, if your customer is also open to education in this area and does have mobile phones with data plans in possession most of the time; you can still have a chance of introducing this method of engagement.

 2.  What is the context/potential use case scenario for your customers to want to consume information or make a buy via mobile?  You know your customers and how they interact with your product (or might interact if it is new), when they buy and how they arrive at those purchasing decisions. Is mobile a good way to speed up their buyer cycle? Can your customer make a decision based on very limited information at that point while on the go? This is a very important step that has to do with a mobile user experience that differs from the desktop due to limitations of the small screen and the amount of information that can be communicated and perhaps customer’s ability to engage with the device using only one hand, while doing something else (telecommuting and drinking coffee, holding a bag and moving elsewhere, sitting in the wait room and so on). Also, considering that people’s behavior on mobile web is different from the desktop: no one is spending hours searching and surfing (as there is not a whole a lot to see and not so much fun clicking on and on). When it comes to mobile, people are at the “buy point” already and they need the info now and ability to make a transaction preferably within 1 or 2 clicks. This, in its turn, makes mobile the perfect channel to interact with the existing customers!

3. What is the value you can provide to your customers? You cannot simply throw your message at your customers. Mobile is a very personal channel as your audience is virtually available to you most of the time. People carry their phones and devices everywhere and accessible to them at times when other channels like desktop/web is out of the picture. And any message that you decide to communicate to your audience, must be within the context of mobile device and your product usage. It must be either of each:

a) location-based (it provides an address and a phone number to your business);
b) time-sensitive information (a new item in stock arrived that a customer was waiting for, or a limited duration sale is up);
c) making life/usage of your product/service easier information (ability for your customers to check-in into the flight while in route to the airport);
d) financial incentive (a free latte on Mondays);
e) affiliation/community/social popularity aspect (ability for your customers to share their product experience with like-minded people and being part of a bigger circle);
f) or at last, deliver some entertainment value (to kill the time on a commute, in line).

4. What are the legal implications, conditions that I should be aware of?  The U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 very much applies to sending unsolicited messages to people’s phones. This also logically leads to point 5 below. Other precautions include all other familiar suspects: copyright, trademark, right of publicity and privacy, misleading advertising, cases of what is “free” and “disclosed only in fine print.” Plus, all network carriers are very protective of their customers and have full control over the livelihood of your campaigns.

5. You cannot buy mobile phone lists and start marketing. Particularly, due to the anti spam law above and the issue of privacy. Thus, you will have to build those from scratch and invite your customers to participate via other channels, gradually but surely.

6. You will have no benchmarks. Mobile marketing is still emerging and only a few players already tasted its benefits and pitfalls. In addition, there are a lot of variables to make those benchmarks comparable if they were to exist (a.k.a variations in industry, consumer behavior, devices, networks).

7. You must integrate your mobile advertising or commerce into other channels for it to succeed. Yes, you need to promote this new channel and tell your customers about this option elsewhere: on the web, on your social networking apps, your billboards, TV, online videos, etc.

8. How to be seen/presented on mobile web? If you are a brand manufacturer, or a local small-business you might think of mobile site creation to represent your products, which implies deciding on whether and/how to build your mobile site, how to name it, or re-use (miniaturize) your current site. If you are an online merchant, you might think of creating an application for the most popular smart phones (iPhone and Android, for at least today’s date). Plenty of decisions here, since no matter where you go, the experience might not be the same for all users due to differences in how various devices and carriers render the code. 

9. Mobile search experience is different from the desktop. Mostly due to differences in what users choose to use to do the search: the pre-installed carrier cataloged pages or mobile search tools from Google and Yahoo. Even, if your audience decides to use Google, the results displayed are not the same and as controlled as the ones on the desktop. Different SEO and SEM strategies apply here.  More coverage on mobile SEO can be found here.

10. What is the right mobile marketing/commerce tool to use? The new channel comes with a pleasant assortment of tools that you can consider: voice, text, mobile search, mobile widget (entertainment, commerce, information or social network-based). The process of choosing the best or a mix of those requires a closer look at pros and cons of each kind. Once you discover what works for your product, do not forget to integrate your mobile marketing into other channels to start enjoy its benefits!

Craving more mobile? Check the insights from Kim Dushinski on her mobile marketing blog; she even has a handbook on that to expand on all the 10 points in extensive detail and more. Or review some of the best practices shared by Cindi Krum in her freshly released mobile marketing book (I got my copy today!). Also, if you are more inclined to consume the latest developments in mobile anything from the technical perspective, there is mobiForge for that too!

“Advertising Does Not Work”…Yes, It Does. If It Is Relevant.

Advertising is as old as human beings. In very simple terms, it is a form of communication to consume a product, that is available in abundance in possession by the selling party. When ads are done right, they do work and make a sale. However, the complexity of measuring advertising effectiveness brought this notion – “Ads do not work”. Perhaps, do not work for you (as an individual) or at this time (you are not considering this purchase). But, generally speaking when ads done right – they are still effective and they work – even in our noisy and information “overflown” world.

One of the key requirements for the ads to work is their relevance to the target audience. The potential buyer should be able to relate to the message and situation communicated by the ad. Just getting the attention by loud music, wild colors and odd situations or unrelated juxtaposition can help to break through the clutter. The question is – will it sell the product? Will it place the check mark into the consideration set of the consumer to take the next step? Most of the time, it will not. Relevance is important, as we need shortcuts to make decisions and being placed in the situation when the needs arise, works best to trigger our response.

My top favorites for the last two months are the following TV ads, that simply illustrate the ad relevance factor, in addition to the usage of humor and methaphor:
1) Ladders.com Campaign “When You Let Everyone Play…Nobody Wins.”
Every job seeker can relate to this experience of looking for jobs at major online sites. Tennis metaphor makes it even more vivid and helps to visualize the emotions and confusion every job seeker experienced in the process of online job search.



2)
Axe Deodorant Campaign “Axe Dark Temptation: Chocolate Man”.
This ad mixes two perceptual worlds – male and female. Though, focused on men’s desire to be “desired”, this ad adds love for chocolate that all women can relate to! What an appetizing hybrid!

3) Campbell Soup Campaign “Dragging Yourself to Eat Low Sodium Soup”.
This ad mixes the contemporary lifestyle choice to eat less salt with the “not-so-psyched- attitude” we have when we think of any low sodium food choice. This emotional conflict and “that feeling” we oblige to follow the “healthy choice” very well depicted in the dragging motion. Funny too!

So, make your ads relevant. Referencing the meaning of the word “relevance” in Webster, can be a good start: “the ability (as of an information retrieval system) to retrieve material that satisfies the needs of the user’!

Creative Brand Awareness Campaign for a Good Product

When an existing product is revived by a new use case – miracles happen! Tide-To-Go exemplifies a stellar product already – it cleans the spots when you need it – right at the moment when they happen.  The product has been in the market for approximately two years if not more (according to my own discovery of it in 2006). However, it is only now that its powerful benefit will be known to the masses!

The new campaign – “Silence the Stain” illustrates good quality, creative marketing. It surely brings the product benefits to life in a humorous yet persuasive manner: a dirty spot becomes so distractive as it almost comes to life.  Brilliant theme and consistent messaging of this campaign are the standards to adopt while practicing the power of marketing! Check the ads for yourself and see which one speaks to you. My favorite – is the job interview clip.

Silence the Stain – Job Interview

Or the the marriage proposal:

or the date:

next one is a stop by police:

Top Five Ads That Deliver the Message and Entertain Greatly

The key to a good ad is to reach the right audience at the right medium at the right time and deliver the right message with an emotional impact. Entertainment is omnipotent element of advertising that makes it a joy to produce it. Here are the top five favs that I am noticing these days:

1) Career Builder presents a common feeling that office folks experience these days in the corporate America, the ad speaks to the point, makes you laugh and connects to audience’s experience. I think – it is money well spent.

2) Cadbery creates a fun suspense with an always working gorrilla image! Who does not relate to those creatures? We all do. Remember the last time you visited the ZOO and its apes’ section – You always watch them closely, they watch you and the more you watch – the more you see your own reflection! I do. Loved this passionate drummer.

3) Herbal Essence skillfully involves reality and paradox in a fun enjoyable twist.

4) Jack Links Jerky’s campaign “Messing with the Sasquatch” deserves a place in the best ad humor panel. Some of the epizods are a bit crude, some are irresistably funny. My favorite is the one with the fire: loved the stone – it made a Sasquatch a here in my eyes!

5) Geico Caveman pieces are also the best. Always, hits the spot.

Why This BluFly Ad is Different from Others

Using sex appeal in ads always works and we all see it for various products. Clothes advertisers always have that reference. However, I think this ad captivates not only with a catchy episode, but a nice closure – copy ” a new way to change your clothes”. Every time when advertising can actually make a difference and change consumer behavior is when its persuasive power is exercised. The last sentence is strong enough in context and in the way it appeals to modern women. It works well and I would say, nurtures the self esteem of any woman. It makes us think…yes..why not use blufly.com? Why not get new clothes like that every day? It made me go and check the site and actually browse through some items. I wish they deliver clothes like pizza = fast, not within 1-2 business days but in a few hours. Hmmm, maybe in 2010…if so, imagine that you can have your favorite styles that always work and you order as you travel. But this is all dreams for now!

Missed Oscar’s Night Ads? Catch up with the NYT Article

I am catching up on the Oscar night, watching E!, doing research and simply catching up on the Google Reader that simply serves a role of a TiVo for me. No matter if I got busy with the offline = real life, I can always catch stuff later. The most enjoyable item was the article from NYT on the ads shown on Oscar’s night. Go and feed your great ads cravings, especially when the presentation is so appropriate, in Oscar’s style! And of course, cannot get enough of Fergie’s song! Turn it on every morning to start a day with a smile!

The Truth About Ad Agencies Parody Video from Seth Godin and B.L. Ochman

Catching up and scanning my RSS marketing library this week, I saw a great video that B.L. Ocham posted on his blog. Seth Godin has comments on it. I am sure if you watch it, you might have a de ja vu feeling. Most agency presentations have some elements that are “hyperbolized” in this video. Very amusing and worth passing around. Perhaps, agency folks can get a bigger kick out of it rather than the client side compatriots. My favorite part are the actual presentation: “inflated numbers and…so on”

Ads that Make a Difference

With the whole Super Bowl fever, which is a greatest time to see all the good work of advertisers, I went to old videos and some of them were funny, some were histerical, and some were truly thought – provoking and awakening. One of those was “Children see. Children do.” Very true, even though I do not have my own kids yet, it made me pause and think. All of us do not choose our parents, but we can choose what kind of parents we can be for our children. Seeing this type of ad is a good exercise to be able to understand other people around us.

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