Mobile marketing: Shiny object or game changer?

The mobile environment represents a further blurring of the lines between consumer and business marketing and advertising.

The mobile environment represents a further blurring of the lines between consumer and business marketing and advertising.

There is considerable content being generated on the topic of mobile marketing. Data suggests that by 2016 there will be over 196 million smart phone users (60% of the population) in North America. eMarketer is predicting $67 billion in digital ad spending, of which $40 billion will go towards mobile internet ad spending. Obviously these are sizable numbers but we should not lose sight of the total ad spend which is close to $200 billion, with traditional (broadcast and print) representing $132 billion.

As with any projection, the numbers serve the needs of the presenter. Therefore, one must consider the source and take a rational viewpoint concerning the size of the mobile marketing environment.

People-to-People marketing and the mobile marketing environment

The mobile marketing environment represents a further blurring of the lines between consumer and business marketing and advertising. Because the emphasis is on connecting with individuals, a strong case can be made that this is a transformational shift to People-to-People marketing.

People-to-People marketing shifts the conversation from companies to individuals as the workplace is deconstructed and mobile devices become the primary business platform. Mobile technologies such as Apps and mobile web are becoming part of the marketing mix as smart phone and tablet users adopt direct brand interaction, from ordering a pizza, to tracking health trends, to mobile banking.

Preparing B-to-B brands for mobile marketing

B-to-B brands would be wise to adopt a People-to-People marketing strategy and tactical implementation as they enter into the mobile marketing fray.

First, make sure your website is ”fully responsive” for viewing on different mobile devices. One way to check this is through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test site. This test site will analyze the URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design. Google is also in the process of optimizing their search engine results to favor mobile-friendly sites.

Advertising is also an option for reaching mobile users. As individuals uncouple from the traditional office environment, mobile devices become their primary business platform. Mobile programmatic advertising placement is becoming prevalent, with a host of real time bidding scenarios for placing advertising on mobile networks.

Marketers should also consider developing Apps if the cost is justified by the contribution the App makes to the revenue stream.

App development can cost between $50 and $150 thousand depending on the complexity of the App and the number of operation system platforms it is designed to run on. Think desktop, tablet, smartphone, running on IOS, Android, Unix, Windows, etc.

Once the App is built, the challenge of getting users to download and place it on their device comes into play. This can be accomplished via App stores or by direct download.

Then there’s the maintenance side of the App equation. Once it has been introduced, it must be maintained with updates as the operating system environments are upgraded and new releases become available.

Additional articles you may find of interest on this topic:

Why Business-to-Business Marketing is Transforming to People-to-People Marketing

People-to-People Marketing and “Small Data”

5 reasons why aviation manufacturers need to embrace People-to-People Marketing

Please leave your comments or thoughts below.

Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

Social media: Media channel or purchasing influence?

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The ad revenue model is blurring the lines between social media and advertising

In the early days of social media it was hailed as the replacement for advertising. The interruption model of advertising was so twentieth century and the permission model of social media was the darling of the new millennium.

Brands that were early adopters were especially excited because they viewed social media as a non-commercial marketing channel. Instead of renting space in magazines or commercial time on broadcast networks, social media offered the hope of connecting with purchasers on a one-to-one basis for less cost. Brands flocked to Facebook populating their pages with helpful hints, events and special deals for those who “Like” their brand.

As social media platforms matured, it became apparent that in order to sustain their business they needed a monetization model to pay the bills.  Google figured this out early. Ad Words (the purchase of key word search terms) made Google extremely profitable and allowed the search engine to continue to provide a free service.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn had lots of users but struggled with developing a monetization model. The one thing they did have were copious amounts of data about their users. Access to this data was attractive to the advertising community. It held the promise of being able to target advertising to an individual user based on their profile, interest and browsing habits.

Social media channel?

As the social media platforms grew the sheer number of users dictated that brands develop a social media strategy instead of just maintaining a presence.

Social media platforms responded by offering sponsored advertising.  Sponsored advertising solved several problems:

  • Now the social media platforms had a monetization model leveraging their vast proprietary database.
  • Brands could better target their advertising based on the users profile.
  • Digital analytics provided a rear looking ROI measurement.

So what began as a non-commercial peer-to-peer network is transforming into a branded media channel.

Using social media to influence purchasing

The premise of social media is word-of-mouth advertising. Brands understand that a negative comment or a positive review can affect brand perception ultimately influencing the purchasing decision. Many brands have adopted social media as an inbound marketing channel.

For example:

  • Airlines producing their pre-departure safety videos to become branded forms of communication.
  • Firms like GE have dedicated social media pages about locomotive and jet engine engineering and production.
  • Dell computer uses social media to answer customer questions and solve technical problems.

All of these strategies have one thing in a common – to connect, engage and influence the purchasing decision.

Additional articles you may find of interest on this topic:

Using social media to gain customer insight

Finding the sweet spot for social marketing

Social marketing begins with the correct strategy

 Please leave your comments or thoughts below.

What’s your brand’s point-of-view?

Brand recognition for thought leadership takes stepping into the spot light.

Brand recognition for thought leadership takes stepping into the spot light.

Point-of-view marketing involves communicating your brand story through thoughts, deeds, and actions on how the industry should be served.  One avenue to achieve this is through social engagement marketing tactics. When your brand provides authoritative content, supported by experience or scientific facts, it is demonstrating thought leadership.

Sometimes it calls for taking a calculated risk and commenting on or providing content for a hot button topic. Controversial topics breed readership. The more the readership, the more the brand can play a role in educating and shaping public opinion.

Participating with organizations, associations, and publications

Depending on where your brand is connected with the industry, there are a myriad of associations and publications devoted to producing content for every industry segment.

Unfortunately, a lot of the content is opinion based on faulty thinking drawn from incomplete facts. Any hot button topic has its share of detractors and advocates. Wading into the fray takes fortitude and a willingness to listen to the opposition, understand their fears and insecurities, and acknowledge there is a place in the world for conflicting viewpoints.

The opportunity for thought leadership recognition comes from participation and providing a point-of-view substantiated by experience and facts. Brands that take the risk to step into the spotlight are rewarded with recognition for setting the story straight.

Brands that look for safe haven and to avoid controversy become one of many and relinquish their position of thought leadership.

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo

As an example, take a look the big search, social, and tech companies. When the National Security Agency (NSA) ran amuck over our constitutional right to privacy, they stepped into the spotlight and offered a detailed look at the NSA’s activities based on experience and facts. National security is a hot topic with millions of detractors and advocates. They could have played it safe and said nothing, worrying more about their stock price instead of their social responsibility. Instead, they came forward, injecting themselves into the conversation and offering thought leadership on how to serve both the nation’s security interest and the privacy right of their customers.

Leadership brands understand the value of participating in the conversation that helps form policy.

Additional articles you may find of interest on this topic:

Finding your voice

How to gain influence through understanding

 Defining your brand’s personality

 Please leave your comments or thoughts below.

Aviation Marketing: How mobile application development drives people-to-people marketing

Blog_65_How mobile application development drives people-to-people marketingBrands are starting to realize how mobile apps can improve the brand experience.

Enterprise mobile development, the strategy and integration of mobile applications based on devise capabilities and user expectations, is becoming part of brand strategy. Applications that aid us in doing our work are providing a brand experience outside of the workplace environment.

In the aviation industry, airports, airlines and hospitality companies will benefit from understanding the when, where, and how of creating engagement and deployment apps that increase customer loyalty.

The tale of two apps – QR codes disrupted by NFC

Not long ago, QR (quick response) codes held the promise of integrating print advertising with the online experience. Large consumer brands jumped to add QR codes on packaging and point-of-sale materials. The strategy was based extending the engagement leading to an action or a monetary transaction.

B2B companies also started to add QR codes to their advertising but failed to consider the amount of time and resources needed to create meaningful content on the back end of the QR code transaction.

In the aviation industry, adoption of this technology has been slow due to the following:

  • No technology standardization
  • Users unaware of QR code technology and reader apps
  • Limited mobile bandwidth
  • Small size and low-resolution screens of mobile devices
  • Inferior camera software and lenses
  • Difficult keyboard response
  • Immature mobile operating systems

All of this resulted in a hit-and-miss user experience.

Contrast this with the emergence of NFC (near field communication) chips that are being embedded in Samsung smart phones running Google’s Android operating system. NFC technology is a communication protocol and data exchange format that is based on existing radio-frequency identification (RFID) standards. NFC builds upon RFID by allowing two-way communication between app and NCF tag.

Samsung TecTileTM is an app that lets you read and write programmable NFC tags.  TecTiles are the NFC tags that can be programmed for multiple actions such as:

  • Change phone setting
  • Launch apps
  • Check into places
  • Update social status
  • Make calls or send text messages

All these are done by swiping your smart phone in close proximity over the TecTiles.

This is a disruptive technology for QR codes based on standardization of application and chip contained in an open source operating system for mobile devices.

Airports, airlines, and the hospitality industry should consider implementing NFC branding in situations where TecTiles are in close proximity to customers. This technology holds the potential to enhance the user’s experience, increase brand loyalty, and extend the functionality of the brand outside of the intended workplace.

For more information on NFC, click on the following links:

Samsung TecTilesTM

Wikipedia Near Field Communication

Aviation Marketing: 10 ways to build a following for your blog

Share your post on social networks

Aviation marketers can use social networks and key word optimization to increase their blog following.

Blogging with no followers is like the sound of one hand clapping. Building a following can be time consuming and resource intensive. Below are 10 tactics for gaining traction and building a solid community of followers.

10 tactics to increase your blog following:

    1. Be an expert in your subject: make sure your core topic has not been extensively covered elsewhere on the web.
    2. Create a professional presence: first impressions and functionality contribute to the users’ experience. If you are not familiar with landing page design, find someone who is.
    3. Have content ready to go: being under the gun to produce content leads to writer’s block and uninteresting subject matter. Have at least 30 blogs ready to publish before launching your blog site.
    4. Keyword optimization is essential: search engine optimization for keywords helps drive traffic. Invest time and resources in learning Google-friendly optimization. When in doubt, seek professional advice.
    5. Use social networks: make a point of tweeting about every post and sharing it on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Join relevant LinkedIn groups and post to their discussion boards.
    6. Use your contacts: review your email list and address book for followers. Send an email to them with a link to your blog post.
    7. Add the blog link to your email signature: give more people the opportunity to find your blog site.
    8. Use social sharing: post your blog posts to Stumble Upon and Mashable to increase the reach of your postings.
    9. Comment on other people’s blogs and articles:

seek out people that are writing about similar subjects, and comment with a link back to your blog.

  1. Monitor your analytics: monitoring your analytics will tell you what’s working and what’s not resonating with your audience. Blog posts with higher analytics numbers indicate topics your readers are interested in.

I’m interested in hearing from my fellow aviation marketers. What has been your best tactic to increase blog readership? Please share your experiences and most successful tactics in the comment section below.

Why internet advertising matters to aviation marketing

IAB internet advertising report 2011

The line between digital and traditional advertising has disappeared.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) released its annual report conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP on interactive advertising.  The results are considered to be the most accurate measurement of internet/online/mobile advertising. Here are some of their key findings along with my insights for aviation marketers.

In 2011 internet advertising revenue in the United States totaled $31.7 billion surpassing cable television, confirming interactive advertising as a valid media outlet only second to broadcast television.

Digital ad formats – search and display – continue as category leaders with mobile emerging as a relevant category.

  • Search accounted for $14.8 billion or 47% of advertising revenue
  • Display and banner ads accounted for $11.1 billion or 38% of advertising revenue
  • Mobile advertising emerged with $1.6 billion or 5% of advertising revenues

With interactive advertising displaying robust growth, aviation marketers should no longer look at web-based advertising as an experiment. Leading aviation marketers are allocating a larger share of media dollars towards interactive advertising supported with the necessary resources for producing web content.

Interactive advertising craves a steady diet of new content.

When interactive advertising fails to produce the desired results, one should review the content at the other side of the click through. Delivering stale content, hard-to-navigate landing pages or content not formatted for mobile devices kills any hope of turning an interest into a conversation. Successful interactive advertising delivers content that is relevant, and encourages the viewer to take the next step to find out more or receive something from the advertisers for the time invested.

Target audiences and interactive advertising

Aviation companies that operate in the retail environment – airlines, charter services, fractional sharing, flight schools – are receiving the benefits of interactive by having their ads appear to viewers that have shown an interest in these categories. This is achieved through advertising networks that target ads to viewers through data collection.

Aviation component and system manufacturers have been slow to adopt interactive advertising because of the belief that their target audience and decision influencers spend little time surfing the web and interacting with social media sites.

However the $14.8 billion spent in the United States on search seems to contradict this belief. When projected globally, just consider Google’s 2011 global advertising revenue of $36,531 billion.

Clearly, customers and prospects turn to the web first when determining suitable solutions and new suppliers for their needs.  The financial facts alone should serve as a testimonial to the relevance of interactive advertising.

To view the complete IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report click on the following link: http://bit.ly/NJjZvG

Aviation Marketing: Delivering the goods for visual storytelling

Source: generalelectric.tumblr.com via GE on Pinterest

How aviation manufacturers are using content sharing sites to tell their brand story and deliver on the brand promise.

Aviation manufacturers are active participants on content sharing sites. Whether by design or happenstance, photos of their products are shared, commented on, and liked by people that are passionate about aviation.

These sites present a ready-made inbound marketing opportunity for brands to gain a competitive advantage by creating an emotional connection with the viewers and present their brand story through visual storytelling.

8 content sites to watch:

  1. You Tube – A subsidiary of Google.  A free video sharing site where videos  can be uploaded, viewed, and shared .
  2. Twitter – an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets.”
  3. Facebook – the 800-pound gorilla of social networking sites.Facebook has more than 845 million active users.
  4. Flickr – a subsidiary of Yahoo. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media.
  5. Pinterest – Hyper growth social content sharing site. Users of Pinterest curate themed boards, populating them with media found online using the “Pin It” button, or uploaded from their computers.
  6. Instagram – a free photo sharing application that allows users to take a photos and apply a digital filter, then share them on a wide variety of social networking services, including its own.
  7. Tumblr.com – a microblogging service and social networking website that allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-formed blog, called a tubmlelog.
  8. Google+ – Google’s latest effort to take on Facebook. The site integrates social services such as Google profiles and Google Buss, and introduces new services identified as Circles, Hangouts, and Sparks.

How aviation and airframe manufacturers use these sites:

  • General Electric recognized early on that social media held great potential as an internal and external communication tool. Visual storytelling reinforces their positioning. Check out their Pinterest board: Badass Machines .
  • Gulf Stream Aerospace taps into social networks to showcase their latest über luxury jets as they travel around the globe. Their page on Facebook tells their brand story through an innovation timeline starting in 1959.
  • Cirrus Aircraft, recognized as the most advanced single engine aircraft on the market today, uses their Pinterest boards to tell their brand story through cockpit images of advanced avionics and exterior images of the airframe parachute system of their new personal jet.