Saturday, January 19, 2013

"The Mobile Advertising Market took off even faster than we expected...."

Posted: 18 Jan 2013 09:26 AM PST

Gartner Points to Mobile Ad Revenue Spike Today Not Just Tomorrow 300x224 Gartner Points to Mobile Ad Revenue Spike Today, Not Just TomorrowAt MMW, we see no shortage of reports, projections, surveys, and analysis pointing to tomorrow’s growth in mobile advertising. That is, billions in additional annual revenue will be generated in two years, four years, six years, etc.

A new report from Gartner, however, is drawing attention to the present. And the findings are just as interesting and potentially inspiring for those in the business of mobile advertising.
According to the venerable research giant, worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to reach $11.4 billion in 2013, which is up from $9.6 billion in 2012.

Long term estimates, naturally, are still presented in the report. Looking ahead, Gartner says worldwide revenue will reach $24.5 billion in 2016.

The impact of this growth will be the widespread creation of new opportunities for app developers, ad networks, mobile platform providers, specialty agencies and even communications service providers in certain regions.

“The mobile advertising market took off even faster than we expected due to an increased uptake in smartphones and tablets, as well as the merger of consumer behaviors on computers and mobile devices,” said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. “Growth in mobile advertising comes in part at the expense of print formats, especially local newspapers, which currently face much lower ad yields as a result of mobile publishing initiatives.”

To learn more about where mobile advertising is headed this year and beyond, check out the report from Gartner’s newsroom.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

“There are so many reasons why text message marketing is a perfect fit for today’s marketers,”

Are SMS campaigns too intrusive, or not invasive enough?

SMS has been around for 20 years
Marketers are continually finding new ways to get consumers to opt-in to their databases. However, it seems many companies are either not sending enough messages or bombarding users constantly instead of finding a happy medium.
SMS is a great way for marketers to build an ongoing dialogue with consumers. Brands such as Target, Macy’s and Starbucks are continually looking at new ways to build their SMS databases.
“When I tell friends that I that I work in mobile marketing the most common response I get is ‘So you’re the one that sends me those annoying text messages about refinancing my house or getting cash,’ said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile.

“The SMS industry has come a long way in diminishing spam and improving relevancy, however, we all still bare the scars of a dark past time when unsolicited and intrusive text messages were rampant in the kingdom of mobile,” she said.

“Marketers engaging in SMS marketing now have to begin their consumer dialogue with clear instructions on how to opt out as well as information about message charges, frequency of messages, and information on how to get further assistance. Opt-in consent that is received via non-mobile portals need to be confirmed via mobile and premium SMS campaigns need to exercise a double opt-in process.”
Marketing target
With a clear opt-in process, consumers are only sent messages that they expressly want to receive from brands that they would like to hear from.
Through SMS, marketers can build a strong relationship of mutual interest between the brand and consumer.
However, with SMS there are many challenges.
Nowadays, it seems that many marketers are sending out too many SMS messages.
According to many industry experts, it is customary to send three to four messages per month.
Many companies are exceeding that number.
Moreover, there are also marketers who are sending less than three messages per month. This may cause a rift in the brand-consumer relationship because they are not top of mind.
“Marketers must remember that the goal is not to dangle a piece of candy in front of consumers and then trap them into a mobile relationship prison,” Ms. Lowy said. “Instead the goal is to invite consumers in to engage with your brand through mobile and make sure to offer compelling content to keep the consumer interested and strengthen that relationship, but always leave the door open should they wish to leave.
“Accordingly, it is highly recommended to exercise a double opt-in process on standard campaigns – even though that is not required – and from time to time close your messages with a closing restatement of how users can opt out,” she said.
“The second most important strategy tip to create a powerful SMS experience is to ensure that your text messages don’t repeat information that consumers already know. Do not send consumers the same content via email, social media, and mobile. Your marketing channels should work together and weave into a multi-faceted brand relationship.”
SMS is a simple channel to use and is quite effective.
According to Ms. Lowy, more than 97 percent of SMS messages are read almost all of which are read within minutes of receipt.
“In 2013 we will start seeing small businesses adopting SMS marketing,” Ms. Lowy said. “SMS marketing has already been used by large brands for years; those brands are already moving on to more complex forms of mobile marketing which are propelling the smartphone era.
“However, small businesses are still very new to mobile and SMS is the most sensible place for them to dip their toes in the mobile marketing pool,” she said.
“Small B2C facing businesses have a lot to gain from SMS and we will see them starting to adopt it as a marketing tool in 2013.”
Ideal channel
Properly run SMS programs are not intrusive, per Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer at Hipcricket.
“On the contrary, they provide relevant information sought by the mobile subscriber,” Mr. Hasen said. “Wise marketers don't abuse the privilege of an opt-in — they send as few messages as possible to provide value to the subscriber.
"SMS remains the reach mechanism for marketers because nearly every phone has the capability and 75 percent of American subscribers text on a regular basis,” he said. “"It also is a terrific way to take a one-time activity – a response to a call to action – and make it an engagement through an opt-in.
"In 2013, I see SMS being as criticized as ever. With that said, I see it being used more and more by marketers at businesses of all sizes. Often the best programs use SMS and other products to give consumers choice on how to engage."

Great SMS campaigns can be intrusive in a valuable way to the consumer.
As long as the message is relevant, consumers will not feel bombarded by the brand. However, marketers must remember to personalize the message, as well as offer consumers an incentive, such as a discount or video link which can lead to engagement.
“I’m totally fine being intruded if the content is something I value at that point in time,” said Alex Campbell, co-founder/chief innovation officer of Vibes. “In fact, I actually want you to interrupt me if it means I don’t miss out on something I want or need.
“An example of a valuable mobile experience is if I’m walking past a store and a retailer sends me a message about redeeming an in-store coupon,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to miss out on such a timely and relevant opportunity.

When it comes to SMS, there are many important aspects to consider, such as time, location and interaction.
Companies must thing about when a person is going to receive the message and where they will be.
“SMS is the only media channel where you know the person will read your message,” Mr. Campbell said. “It’s also a very personal way for a marketer to communicate with a customer.
“People text with their friends, and if you as a marketer are let into that circle, you’ve really earned someone’s trust,” he said. “Once you build trusting relationships, that’s a powerful – and winning – connection for you and your customer, which often leads to brand loyalty.

“While SMS will remain an important message delivery channel, push and other forms of IP messaging will become more important for marketers. I also think we’re going to see a few new messaging clients from carriers that add a little more functionality into standard SMS, for example, group messaging and delivery receipts. The carriers know they’re losing traffic to IP-based solutions, such as Whatsapp, and I think they’ll start to respond with ways to redeem lost traffic.”
Key tactics
One of the elements of SMS marketing that many marketers forget is that SMS and MMS marketing is permissions based marketing. 
“This means that the customer must opt-in in order to receive brand message,” said James Citron, co-founder/CEO of Mogreet. “This ensures the customers only receive the information that they want, but it also provides the brand with a list of super fans.
“After all, given how personal mobile phones are to their owners, consumers only opt-in to programs they want,” he said. 
To entice consumers to join a program, brands must be create unique content. It is important to not repurpose content found other places on the Web.
It is also important to use multimedia in SMS campaigns to build deeper brand relationships.
Including brand logos, product images or even how to videos increase the ROI of text message marketing tenfold.
“You should promote your SMS/MMS campaigns everywhere,” Mr. Citron said. “Text marketing successes increase as one’s database increases.
“Integrate social sharing within your text marketing program,” he said. “Dramatically increase impact and word of mouth marketing, allow your super fans to share your content out across their own social channels.
“Don’t forget that your mobile database is a long-term marketing tool – don’t create short-term strategies.”
Marketers must remember to not spam.
Users get agitated quite easily and if bombarded with messages, they may choose to opt out of the program.
At the same time, companies must not go silent.
SMS is a real-time action channel that works best with ongoing messaging.
“There are so many reasons why text message marketing is a perfect fit for today’s marketers,” Mr. Citron said. “First, it is ubiquitous. 
“In addition, most phone plans now include unlimited text messaging,” he said. “Other tools such as apps or QR require smartphones and data plans – not to mention discovery – to engage with consumers.
“2013 is not the year of SMS. 2013 is the year of MMS – the addition of mobile coupons and video.  As more and more consumers being to take part in the content creation cycle, the more they are used to and expecting to see multimedia programming.  Marketers who are seeing strong results now with SMS are moving towards MMS to increase the impact of their programming as well as overall ROI.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

How are you connecting with consumers?

comScore: Three Quarters of Mobile Subscribers Now Text

comScore Three Quarters of Mobile Subscribers Now Text 300x220 comScore: Three Quarters of Mobile Subscribers Now TextWith each passing quarter, text messaging becomes an even bigger part of the typical mobile consumer’s daily life. In fact, according to the latest industry data, Americans are using text messaging services at a record pace.
Last week, the newest data from the comScore MobiLens service was published showing the stellar growth achieved in late 2012 by mobile operating system heavyweights iOS and Android, as well as the rapid expansion of manufacturing of hardware by today’s top smartphone makers.
But one morsel of information that largely went beneath the radar was the continued explosion in text messaging use among U.S. mobile consumers. As of the most recent data available, 75.9 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device in the three-month average period ending in November. That’s up 0.3 percentage points since the last report.
Downloaded applications were used by 54.2 percent of subscribers (up 0.8 percentage points), while browsers were used by 52.1 percent (up 0.1 percentage points).
In fact, apart from actually talking on their phones, mobile subscribers did nothing more frequently with their phones than using them for texting purposes.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mobile Ad Spend: 400% Growth in 4 Years!

Global Mobile Ad Spend: 400% Growth in 4 Years

Mobile Ad Spend 400 Growth in 4 Years 300x285 Global Mobile Ad Spend: 400% Growth in 4 YearsIf elected officials could do as much in four years as the mobile advertising industry is projected to do over the same length of time, voters would likely be much happier with their political representatives.
You can almost hear the chant for “four more years” as eMarketer published its latest estimates this week for mobile advertising spending through 2016.
eMarketer projects that global mobile ad spending will bounce 400% in the next four years — from $8.4 billion in 2012 to nearly $37 billion in 2016. Helping to fuel that growth will be strong smartphone and tablet sales.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Transaction World Magazine/ Jan Article (Text BANKCARD to 44544)

MARKETING Transaction World Magazine | January 2013

Increase Sales and Maintain Customers with Mobile Text Marketing

by Jeff Krupnick

   Let’s face it, competition in the bankcard processing world today is fierce. Every day, merchants are inundated by sales reps offering them lower rates. We all know that time is money in today’s world and most merchants have completely “tuned-out” bankcard sales representatives that have nothing new to offer. They are simply tired of the same old sales pitch of free equipment, gift cards, loyalty cards and reward perks.
  Merchants are looking for more “value” from their processors. What else can you do for them that they can capitalize on? If they are going to invest in you and your product recommendations, then you really should present a product that yields them a higher ROI. Offering to lower their “swipe” rate is not the main focus anymore! And seriously, its really difficult to compete only on price and still survive in this challenging economy.
 marketing graphic  

  Well folks, it’s definitely time to start having a little more fun again in the field by adding a new and very much desired service know as “mobile text marketing!” Now is the time to get those field agents fired-up again. Put that excitement back into selling processing, create the infectious energy of something new and give your team that incredible competitive edge before your competition does. It’s time to offer merchants a product that they will actually want to hear about and want to implement.

  Mobile text marketing is so exciting and so easy to set-up. A user-friendly interface gives the merchant instant gratification along with instant revenue. Mobile text marketing is lucrative for everyone, and more importantly, the market for this product is completely untapped. How many times have you said “If only I got into… and offered that product before anyone else, I’d be rich by now.” I can’t predict the future, but I do believe we are at the very beginning of an incredible mobile-crazed market and it’s starting to happen all around us.
  Mobile text marketing is not an app, so you’re not competing with the millions of new apps being developed every month. As of now, only 52% of consumers have a smartphone, so apps immediately eliminate half of all mobile phone owners. Text messaging capability, however, exists on 99% of all mobile phones. And since people rarely change their cell phone numbers, the value for businesses to be able to market directly to an opt-in consumer base via their mobile phones is huge.
  Look around and ask yourself or the person next to you if you have ever “opted-in” to receive text specials or alerts from a favorite restaurant, your children’s school, your utility company, a favorite sports team, etc. Or, how about a parking meter that will send a text to your phone, alerting you that you have 5 minutes to add more money or suffer the consequences.

   Over 5 billion text messages are sent daily and every year this number increases. As cell phone users rely more and more on text message communication, this creates a tremendous opportunity for ISOs. Why wouldn’t you want to collect residuals from every single text your merchant generates as long as they process with you?

    We all know that businesses prefer to do new business with those they already do business with, so here’s an opportunity to capitalize on your existing merchant base. Recent studies show 80% of merchants are currently looking for mobile marketing and yet only 15% have a successful program now. Your merchants may be actively looking for mobile text marketing and the first place they’ll likely turn for a solution is the Internet, which means you may already be losing lucrative text residuals from your existing portfolio. So, why give them that option at all? Arm your sales agents with mobile text marketing tools that they can bring directly to your merchants.
Here are a few things to consider when looking into a mobile text marketing vendor.

• A simple user-friendly platform for you and the end-user.
• Multiple campaign platforms.
• Data capture, social integration.
• Bi-lingual options.
• Future enhancements and updates.
• Detailed reporting for the merchant.
• Commission and residual breakdowns.
• Automatic billing.
• Quota reporting.

    Basically, look for a partner with a value platform designed for massive growth, easy management and future services that can be easily applied. Merchants want more value and more benefits from innovative products so they can continue to build their mobile solutions for the long-term. Because of the value of customers’ data, they are certainly willing to pay for it.

    So, the next time you see or hear the phrase “text SAMPLE to 12345 for STUFF,” you will know another lucrative mobile residual is being enjoyed by someone else. That person could be you!

   In my 20 years in the bankcard world, I’ve always looked for the next big thing to differentiate my offerings from those of my competition. After years of researching, interviewing and testing many different programs and platforms, I finally found the answer: mobile text marketing.

Jeff Krupnick is the President & CEO Opt4, Inc., a next-generation mobile sms platform including custom integration with social/pos/crm/geo systems. He can be reached 804.536.5965 or via email

"SMS is at the Heart of the Coffee Giant’s My Starbucks Rewards..."

Starbucks is 2012 Mobile Marketer of the Year

Starbucks Corp. is 2012 Mobile Marketer of the Year, the highest accolade in mobile advertising, marketing and media. The honor tops the Mobile Marketer Awards handed out each year for outstanding work that moved the mobile needle for brands and marketers.
There is no doubt Starbucks is a leader and one to watch out for in the mobile space. Instead of following in the steps of competitors, the coffee giant has implemented its own mobile-first strategy that is unlike any other and features the latest technology such as QR codes and augmented reality, as well as traditional channels including SMS, mobile advertising and applications.
“One word sums up Starbucks’ work in mobile: sophistication,” said Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Mobile Marketer, New York. “For Starbucks to be named Mobile Marketer of the Year twice in three years is no mean feat,” he said.
“It shows Starbucks’ understanding that mobile is not just the future of marketing, but also retail.”
The Mobile Marketer of the Year award is the most prestigious honor for smart, strategic and creative mobile marketing. Team Obama won the honor in 2008, Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. in 2009, Starbucks Coffee Co. in 2010 and Macy’s in 2011.
What makes Starbucks a clear winner is the company’s comprehensive, 360-degree mobile marketing strategy that offers a number of different functions and creates an ongoing relationship between the brand and its customers. Instead of putting its focus on one single channel, Starbucks makes sure it has a presence on each and every one.
Take SMS, for example, which is arguably one of the most effective channels marketers can use to build an ongoing dialogue with consumers and drive brand engagement. Over the past year, Starbucks has used SMS quite a bit, not only to build its My Starbucks Rewards program, but also to keep opted-in consumers in-the-know about the latest offers and discounts.
SMS is at the heart of the coffee giant’s My Starbucks Rewards. To participate, consumers are encouraged to text the keyword GOLD to the short code 697289. 
Furthermore, to drive as many opt-ins as possible, Starbucks has relied on in-store signage and email to help ramp up its SMS program efforts. Through the My Starbucks Rewards program, consumers can earn rewards when they pay with their Starbucks Card. Free drinks and refills are one of the perks of the program.
In addition to SMS, Starbucks has used QR codes heavily.
The company’s approach to QR codes is quite different than other marketers. Instead of placing them on anything and everything, Starbucks strategically positioned the mobile bar codes where they would be visible to consumers.
To promote its Blonde, Medium and Dark roasts earlier this year, Starbucks placed QR codes on bookmark fliers that were handed out to consumers. When scanned, the mobile bar codes took coffee lovers to the company’s mobile-optimized site where they were able to watch a video and learn more about the company’s coffee.
Most recently, Starbucks used QR codes to help spread the word out about its Verismo products, as well as let consumers buy the products via their smartphones after they scanned the mobile bar code.
Instead of simply using one interactive technology, such as QR codes, to drive consumer engagement, Starbucks also dipped its toes in augmented reality.
Last year, Starbucks introduced an augmented reality app to bring its holiday red cups to life. The company continued its push on Valentine’s Day to once again, bring its limited-edition hot cups to life.
The initiative was a smart move on Starbucks’ part because it let consumers interact with their coffee cups in a new and interesting way. Another factor that sets Starbucks apart from other marketers is the company’s involvement in mobile payments. The coffee giant is one of the biggest players in mobile commerce.
Starbucks unveiled its mobile payments and loyalty application in 2010.
Using the Starbucks Card mobile app, consumers can check their balance, reload their card and view transactions. Initially, the program started with 16 select Starbucks stores in Silicon Valley and Seattle and at any U.S. Target Starbucks store and expanded to 6,800 company-operated stores a year later.
As of November, Howard Schultz, president/CEO of Starbucks, announced the company is seeing more than 2 million mobile payment transactions occur every week.
With its integration in Apple’s Passbook, Starbucks has no doubt proved that it is a leader in the mobile payments space and competitors such as Dunkin’ Donuts are following in its footsteps and rolling out their own mobile payments app.
Mobile advertising and mobile apps round out the company’s comprehensive, 360-degree strategy.
For every holiday, occasion and new product, Starbucks uses mobile advertising. The coffee shop chain realizes the potential of the channel and continues to turn to it to drive in-store traffic, sales and awareness of new products. 
Moreover, the Starbucks has mobile apps on a variety of platforms such as iPhone, iPad and Google Play, which are continuously refreshed to keep consumers up-to-date.