Monday, December 24, 2012

Not another Blah Blah Post on the Year of Mobile

This has been asked since 2008. It drives me bonkers. Like how the Ad Industry discusses the Ad Agency of the Future every year...since 1975! Instead of a dumb Infographic filled with false claims. Instead of a bunch of hokey stats that mean nothing. Just some easy thoughts to ponder.

So let's look at the state of mobile:

Large smart phone penetration over 50%.

People use their phones for many things these days including shopping.

But depending on your business will determine the value of mobile. 

Small business? Make sure your business is mobile searchable as well as your site mobile formatted.

QR Codes? Great idea but usually I get taken to sites not mobile formatted! And with Siri and Google Voice Search scanning a code could take longer than other methods of finding things.

You sell online? You should make sure you can sell on phones. Tablets btw are just like Laptops you are already set. I bought a gift on Etsy while standing at a Supermarket Deli Counter!

You sell in a store? Make sure you have a response ready when someone says 'I can get this on Amazon cheaper' or make sure your offerings are unique so you have no worries.

Location Based Services? Check-Ins are dead. But hey still be on FourSquare and Yelp! Let people who wish to check in do so and share it. There are other options but I think Auto-Checkins, Geo-Fences, and Push Ads to phones are bad for business if not set up properly.

But people use location enhancements all the time! When I drive using Google GPS I have it set up so I see places to eat along the way. Make sure your business shows up in GPS applications.

Mobile Advertising? People do not click banner ads very often on Mobile. But if you have a reason to show people you exist they aren't a bad way.

Big Brand? Depends on the Brand. What does Mobile do for Coke? Nothing really.A big retailer? Maybe incorporate mobile into a loyalty program so a customer announces they are in the store with their phone so you can customize offers?

Want to build an App? Remember people use maybe 10-30 regularly. Why should they use yours? How can they find yours out of hundreds of thousands? What is the value to the user?

Media Company? Your year of mobile was 2010 when your content via Apps was readable, viewable, watchable, and sharable. Make sure your content is even more easily sharable.

So where does this leave us? Mobile will continue to evolve. Remember the non-marketing use of Smart Phones is what we use phones for. We don't use them to see ads or search for deals as the primary function. We shop, consume media, search, entertain. and guess what the service providers and the phone handset folks don't care about mobile advertising. They just care about you paying a high price for the gear and services.

3 Things Edition 13!

Once again back with 3 incredible reads and thoughts on them (my opinion) from the lovely Gini Dietrich, the dashing Michael Schechter and me....

Inbox Intentions — Shawn Blanc  

Michael on Scaling Back. I’m yet to write this up, but one of the best things I’ve done this month (and likely this year) is assess and adjust my digital usage. I’ve been scaling back and realigning the way I use tools such as email and social media to better fit my life. While I plan to talk more about my approach and where I ended, all I can tell you is that the process has helped me remember what I love most about both. For those who may want to take a moment at the end of the year to determine where things such as email might fit into your own life, Shawn Blanc has assembled the thoughts of several great thinkers while adding a few of his own. Recommended reading for anyone who’s starting to feel the weight of an overloaded inbox and a bloated digital presence. 

Anonymous Hacks the Westboro Baptist Church 

Howie on Internet Power. I find it fascinating groups such as WikiLeaks and Anonymous exist. That the Internet allows the average person or hacker to form groups to balance the power of governments. It is the media's fault hate groups such as Westboro Baptist are known in the world. They don't shoot or steal. They just picket. They have freedom of speech. We all know that for every Westboro or Rush Limbaugh there are 1,000 hate groups or racists. It is great to see people power coming together using the Internet as forces of good (my opinion) who fight for transparency or fairness. Otherwise we are at the mercy of forces beyond us as individuals to do anything to fight the good fight.  

Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me with Martha Stewart  

Gini on Comebacks. No matter how you feel about Martha Stewart, you have to respect the fact that she built an empire around crafts and recipes and homemaker-y things, went to jail for insider trading, and came back to build even more net worth. This is one of the best interviews I've ever heard and it's on Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me so you know it's really good (and funny). When she talks about how to get pomegranate seeds out of a pomegranate, you will laugh out loud. 

Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, or article you think we need to see?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tactics are a Dime a Dozen, Strategy is Priceless

What has really got me blogging again is working with a fairly new client that has unique challenges, but one who has very big potential to be a national powerhouse in their industry. And I like blogging about real life marketing challenges. Look for my guest post on building a Facebook Community coming out soon at Waxing Unlyrical, which also is based on working with this client.

Every business is unique and has their own goals and challenges. My friend Kaarina who is really sharp (read her blog!), did a guest post about Marketing Strategy which really hit home. Most Agencies and Marketers sell you on Tactics. TV advertising is a tactic. A Facebook Page or buying Facebook Ads is a tactic. But having a coherent strategy is what makes a marketer special. It is what brands and Businesses pay big bucks for. You will not find this expertise in a book you pay $10, $20, $30 for or in a Webinar. You can get ideas and you can learn tactics, but is hard to figure out the big picture. Not a lot of people have a big picture view of the world, never mind business.

If you ask me what is a human, I will tell you it is trillions of human and non-human individual cells that combined make your body. Each living in their own world with no idea what the sun or grass or water is like. They all work together so that you can be you. And somehow the electrical currents and nerves allow us to eat, breathe, walk, learn....just like a computer chip operates but at several magnitudes more complex. 

Strategy is choosing the right marketing channels that not only fit your goals but budget. Strategy is timing, when do you execute. Strategy is research and discovery. Strategy is living entity where you try things and sometimes they don't work and you need to change tactics. Strategy is message and coherence. Are all the efforts in all the channels working together. Strategy is matching goals, with tactics, expectations, and budgets. 

Want to know why there are crickets when you ask a Marketer to show you a successful stand alone Social Media Campaign? Because only a handful exist. And you will hear the same ones from a few years back. And they aren't repeatable. Ask though for a Marketing Campaign where Social Media played a valuable supporting role? There are a lot of them.

Finding someone or an Agency that can provide that is priceless. Finding someone or an Agency that can spend your money on tactics? A dime a dozen.