|10/21/2014 - 10/22/2014||Chicago IL|
|10/26/2014 - 10/28/2014||Stone Mountain Georgia|
|10/28/2014 - 10/29/2014||New York NY|
|11/11/2014||San Jose CA|
|11/18/2014 - 11/20/2014||San Jose CA|
|12/07/2014 - 12/10/2014||TBA|
|12/07/2014 - 12/10/2014||Bonita Springs FL|
|12/10/2014 - 12/13/2014||Deer Valley UT|
October is here and, simply put, if your holiday marketing plans are not finalized and ready to be executed, you are sunk.
That said, it seems that every year marketers let the same small details fall through the cracks. With that in mind, we’ve put together a checklist for companies as they run down their last minute planning for mobile campaigns — an area that still seems to be hit or miss for many retailers.
Remember — email marketing messages can be opened on mobile devices.Often they are only opened on mobile devices. Make sure messages are optimized for smartphones and during the holiday season especially, make the headline simple and short — and easily searchable. Consumers pull up their messages looking for offers while actually shopping and needless to say, their inboxes are bulging this time of year.
Optimize your mobile site. Why, oh why, retailers, are you ignoring the biggest subtrend in e-commerce, which is mobile commerce? Too many retail sites are still not optimized for mobile devices, a process that often requires an entirely new ground up development project but is well worth it in the end. Web optimization company Yottaa found that many of the top 500 e-tailers use unique m-dot sites, according to MobileCommerceDaily. These URLs redirect users an average 3.03 times before taking them to the right site, resulting in a poor user experiences and ultimately, lost retail sales. As MobileCommercialDaily noted, research has found that just a one-second delay in site response time can reduce conversions by 7 percent. Another data point is provided by The Search Agency, which reports in its latest quarterly report, “The Mobile Experience Scorecard — Restaurants & Catering” that the top 50 restaurant and catering companies’ mobile sites were very slow to load (on average over 70 seconds) and 40 percent don’t have a button to click to order or reserve. Some 32 percent of the sites analyzed use Responsive Web Design — Google’s recommended format — but no site serving the updated format were able to pass the page speed test, with average page load time over one minute, according to The Search Agency.
Designing email newsletter templates and email promotions for mobile devices has never been more important.
Mobile email design is a hot topic as the usage of mobile devices increases. After researching the topic in depth, I’ve come to some elements of mobile email design that should be considered in the development stage. Whether you’re sending an email newsletter or promoting a product or event, your email design needs to be optimized for mobile if your audience is viewing your content on the go. With the number of mobile users increasing, it’s very likely that a significant portion of your audience is using mobile. Here are a few tips for mobile email design.
Mobile Email Design Element #1: Font size - Font for mobile emails needs to be larger than that of standard emails. Apple will automatically increase small font to be the minimum of 13 pixels. On Android devices, 16-18 scale-independent pixels are considered medium and large text sizes. Many designers recommend a minimum of 14 pixel font for body text and minimum of 22 pixel font for headlines.
Mobile Email Design Element #2: Concise headlines – I’m taking a note from app design tips for this one. Try working with a 35-character limit on headlines, and put your most important words up front.
Mobile Email Design Element #3: Design – Single and double column design tend to work the best in mobile, with single being favored by developers looking for complete simplicity. A double column design could work for an email newsletter with a full-text featured article. A single column design would increase clarity for snippet-based email newsletters.
Mobile Email Design Element #4: Proper Separation – Do not put clickable images or links side-by-side or your audience may have trouble clicking the desired link.
The Economist has introduced new mobile advertising analytics that focus on user attention to measure campaign success as the call grows louder for measurement standards addressing the unique qualities of smartphone engagement better than impressions served and click-through rates.
The need for different data sets to measure mobile advertising is supported by a new report from xAd, which reveals that click-through rates on mobile are a poor indicator of whether or not someone will engage in post-click activities or visit a store. The Economist sees offering new metrics as a way to help its clients run more successful mobile ad campaigns.
“We’re offering TimeGuarantee and ViewGuarantee, and highlighting attention metrics more generally with clients, because we think it is a much better performance indicator for brand campaigns than just impressions and clicks,” said Audra Martin, vice president of digital advertising at The Economist.
The biggest test for the company’s biggest phone
When Apple CEO Tim Cook took one of many regular trips to Beijing in January, he wasn’t surveying the company’s many Chinese factories or hobnobbing with government officials. He was at a China Mobile retail store to mark the launch of the iPhone on the world’s largest wireless carrier. The two companies were joining forces to “deliver the best experience in the world,” Cook said.
The iPhone 6 will test how interested Chinese consumers are in the Apple experience. The newly announced phone, along with its big brother the iPhone 6 Plus, has already crashed the servers of Apple’s online store and are on back order for multiple wireless carriers in the U.S. But the launch of the devices is being delayed in China, and it’s not yet clear how the new iPhones will compete with a cadre of homegrown competitors which have rapidly gained market share over the last year.
Whatever size screen Apple is selling this year, they’re in the ballpark. Mobile screens, small and bigger, are where the viewers are headed, fast.
According to Ooyala’s Q2 Video Index being released today, viewing via mobile devices is destined to make up more than half of all video views by 2016. That’s a little more than just 15 months away.
Mobile — smartphones and tablets — made up 27% of online viewing in June, up from 21%, in February. In the past year, mobile viewing has doubled to become 25% of the total.
Ooyala is not alone in its predictions. Earlier, Cisco predicted (and Ooyala noted) that by 2018, mobile video traffic could make up 69% of the world’s Internet traffic.
This latest Ooyala report amplifies other recent data that show small-screen video is growing big — and not just for short-length content, although that is its dominant use.
All that go-go should keep going, it says, because of the oxymoronic trend toward larger small screens — like the new Apple iPhone 6 and others — that make video viewing on mobile devices better.
Oolyala also points out that there’s just more video available, and faster 4G phone service is more widely available. TV Everywhere service is becoming available, well, everywhere to everyone. Ooyala says in the U.S., it’s estimated that 90% of pay-TVers can access TVE, however, as other mind-blowing stats seem to indicate that you can lead basic cable subscribers to TV Everywhere, but you can’t make them use it.
Google just took an important step toward cementing its dominance over the world with its Android mobile operating system.
In the wee hours of the morning on Monday, almost 8,000 miles away from its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Google launched its Android One initiative in New Delhi, India. The project, originally announced at the company’s I/O conference in June, is essentially a way for Google to guide handset manufacturers in bringing affordable smartphones to emerging markets.
The initiative is designed both to reduce the ultimate price tag of Android smartphones, giving more budget-conscious consumers a chance to try out the devices, and to bring a more consistent Android experience, ensuring that those consumers are using Google services. That the Internet giant is making so much noise out of Android One underscores the importance of those markets, which are a critical source of future user growth — and where Google isn’t the only company looking to plant its flag.
Android One is first rolling out in India, then in Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia by the end of the year. For the launch, Google has partnered with three Indian device makers — Micromax, Karbonn and Spice — to create three $100 smartphones, as well as teamed up with the wireless provider Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile carrier in India, with 40 percent of smartphone users in the country on that network.
Phones made under the Android One rubric will also run “stock” Android, an unmodified version of the software, without the technical and user interface flourishes that manufacturers such as Samsung or HTC typically add to make their smartphones stand out from the competition. The company has already designed its most current version of Android, called KitKat, to run on low-cost hardware.
Like a great many people, I’m planning to pre-order one of the new iPhones on Friday –which you could call both very early Friday morning or very late Thursday night since Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint will all begin taking pre-orders at or just after midnight Pacific a.k.a. 3 a.m. Eastern
I’m still on the fence about whether to order an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.
I didn’t expect to be on the fence. With so many details known well in advance of Tuesday’s announcement, I’d already written the larger iPhone off as too bulky and ungainly to carry around. Even the size of the iPhone 6 seemed big to me after years with mostly four-inch smartphones. As I wrote earlier this year, I’d developed distinct use cases for my iPhone 5 and iPad mini and presumed two devices that really met my different needs was the way to go.
Then Apple did something unexpected (besides mucking up its live stream of the event). It delivered differing functionality between the two devices. Although most of the specs are the same — the iPad Plus has better camera hardware and, being bigger, sports a bigger battery — the user experience wasn’t.
Some features like Reachability — the ability to have content slide down with a double tap of the home button for easy one-handed operation — extended to both devices. But Apple has also developed ways for the iPhone 6 Plus to make better use of its extra screen real estate. Apple’s built-in apps display more information or content in landscape orientation. The homescreen rotates like on an iPad. Although both devices have a larger keyboard with added buttons for enhanced functionality, the iPhone 6 Plus has more of those added buttons.
Put simply, there is a user interface and user experience difference between the two and I was intrigued enough about the added perks of the iPhone 6 Plus to begin considering it.
Since I wasn’t at Apple’s event and haven’t seen or either device in person, I realized all the photos in the world wouldn’t really give me an accurate idea of how big each of them are. Going a little old school, I decided to get as close as I could to finding out. Taking the dimensions of each device from Apple’s website, I used a rule and pencil to trace out their outline on a piece of paper.
I was genuinely surprised by the result. When I put my iPhone 5 next to it in the Speck case it’s been in since I got it, it was actually wider than the iPhone 6 and just millimeters shorter. The size difference wasn’t much different when I popped it out of the case, particularly the width. There was a much more noticeable difference between the 5 (in or out of case) and the iPhone 6 Plus, but it wasn’t as significant as I would’ve expected. I realized I could use either device comfortably even one-handed for the most part. I also realized that the iPhone 6 Plus would fit into most, but not all, of my pants or jeans pockets. Instead of clarifying the decision, the experience muddied it.
Next year will be my twentieth in digital news. From the start, I had an underlying disposition that digital news consumers — sports or otherwise — wanted their content easily digestible: brief, formatted, convenient.
Five years in, that was the inspiration for the Daily Quickie, my column on ESPN.com. Ten years later, that was the soul of Quickish — a startup built around a quick-hit stream of editor-curated “money quotes” on the biggest news topics.
That was my biggest bet yet that news was reaching a terminal velocity of format — the “atomic unit of content” in the form of, say, a tweet (or, as Quartz’s Zach Seward has put it, a Thing.)
I misjudged — I didn’t think nearly radically enough. The quick-hit stream of Twitter or the Facebook News Feed is giving way to a largely agnostic, mostly opt-in “notification layer” on top of the phone screen.
And yet even that notification layer feels larded in the context of the single-most-interesting media-industry detail from yesterday’s Apple presentation: We are about to enter the era of “glance journalism.”
“Glance” is the name of the feature of the Apple Watch that let Watch-wearers skim through a series of not-quite-notifications. Maybe they are notifications, but only as a subset of a new class of ultra-brief news.
“Atomic unit” was a helpful metaphor, but we’re now talking about the proton/neutron level. Glance journalism makes tweets look like longform, typical news notifications (and even innovative atomized news apps) look like endless scroll, and Seward’s list of essential Things (chart, gif, quote, stat) look unresponsive.
For the past few years, marketers have focused on pushing incredible amounts of content to their consumers and prospects to fit the mold of content marketing, having been told that is the future of their industry. This isn’t entirely false. Marketers need content to communicate with their consumers. However, many don’t know the context in which the consumer is engaging with that content, making it impossible to deliver the most relevant information to the right person at the right time. Today, consumers expect an optimal experience when interacting with any brand. They are accustomed to on-demand, personalized information and want marketers to understand their preferences before they buy. Because of these heightened expectations, marketers have to recognize who they are talking to and accept that context, not content, is now king. What should marketers today consider when developing a contextual marketing strategy? Here’s a start:
Continuous profile development
In order to effectively communicate with a consumer and determine the context in which they are consuming content, marketers should be continuously building a profile of each individual that touches their brand. Points to consider are consumer value score, age, location, gender, etc. Once a profile of an individual begins to develop, the process of communication becomes easier and more natural. Consider this: you meet a friend of a friend at a cocktail party and have a 30-minute conversation. The next week, you run into that same person at the supermarket. You wouldn’t start the relationship over by re-introducing yourself. You have the history of the previous conversation, and you would pick up from where you left off. The same holds true when a consumer engages with a brand – the context from previous engagements is key to making the current conversation relevant and more likely to result in a positive outcome.
The mobile conundrum – a blessing and a curse
The definition of “location” has shifted as consumers now have the opportunity to interact with a brand from anywhere in the world without stepping into a physical store. This anywhere, anytime access makes it challenging to recognize each consumer as they move across multiple channels and locations during the path to purchase. As individuals increasingly adopt tablets, social media, mobile phones and other technology, the marketing approach must shift to provide an optimal experience based on that specific consumer’s location, meaning in-store or out, inbound or outbound.
Mobility has given marketers the chance to keep track of every consumer inside and outside store walls. This has the potential to be a great opportunity, but can make it challenging for a brand to identify where a consumer is located and serve them appropriate content. With the rise of geo-fencing and iBeacon technologies, as well as advanced consumer engagement systems, brands are learning to embrace mobility and use it to their advantage. Targeting a consumer with a relevant piece of content—be it an in-app offer, automated email or tailored website material—when they are in the location most appropriate can result in a powerful touch point.
Bridging the online-offline communication gap
Marketers think contextual marketing is easy, largely because many people are talking about its value in the online world. In reality, most companies are struggling to turn that vision into practice because context is only fully valuable when all touch points – online and off – can be linked and a complete profile of a user’s engagement with a brand can be built continuously. Many retailers, for example, are missing the full power of context because they are often unable to connect consumers’ in-store experience to those they have online—such as understanding which products they may have purchased in store in the past, or how many times they have stepped in and out of a location. The key is for the marketer to be aware of every touch point regardless of where and how it happens, which cutting-edge technology can help to track. As more and more consumers begin to blend their online and offline engagements with a brand and technologies continue to evolve, it will be important for marketers to facilitate an omnichannel experience, understanding a consumer’s full profile and targeting them in the context that makes the most sense. For instance, if a consumer was researching a sports car on an auto maker’s website or app, they should be directed immediately to that model (or others like it) when they visit the showroom (and vice versa), acknowledging their past preferences and therefore strengthening the bond between brand and consumer.
Marketers do have the ability to buy consumer profiles and derive context from third-party media channels. This route doesn’t have the same, immediate timeline idea and it doesn’t translate into an effective contextual marketing strategy. Furthermore, the information is not always related specifically to a consumer’s interaction with the specific brand and rarely is it detailed at the individual level. Taken out of context and with a lag in time, a brand misses a lot of the consumer’s story, and marketers can only take context into account if they know all of it—not just bits and pieces—and can act quickly to leverage it.
If a company doesn’t have inside intelligence on its own consumer, they’re coming in last in today’s data-driven, personalized world.
Brands need to recognize that context is critical to starting a conversation with their consumers and maintaining that dialogue throughout the customer journey. Brand loyalty and repeat purchases are results of a series of positive engagement—each linking to the one before. By aligning content with context, marketers can make educated decisions on how to proceed with communication by helping and guiding consumers along the buying journey. As a result, consumers get what they really want in a way that makes sense to them and ultimately drives them to purchase while simultaneously improving their experience across channels.
For more blogs and research from IDG Connect, click here