5 posts categorized "Weblogs"


Mobile Predictions for the Year Ahead



The New Year has finally arrived, and many are wondering what we can expect with regard to mobile. Plenty of industry experts have made predictions, including how mobile is set to override newspapers as the main news source. Let’s check out a few of these mobile predictions for 2016 and see if they don’t provide advice for your own business:  


The Voice of the Consumer

According to eMarketer, the voice of the consumer will be louder than ever in 2016. Smartphone use has increased inbound call numbers to businesses, as has voice-activated search. The number of smartwatches and connected home devices in use has also increased, and marketers must subsequently optimize speech-based searches this year, not just keyword-based searches. 


Internet Advertising Will Surpass Print Ads

Print ad spending will continue to decline this year, something it’s done since 2008. According to ZenithOptimedia, print ad spending will decrease by about 4.9% a year through 2017, while mobile Internet advertising’s share of the global ad market will increase “from 5.7% in 2014 to 15.0% in 2017.” 


Data Security: More Important Than Ever

Businesses of every size must pay greater attention to data security in the New Year, with an increase in cloud-based services resulting in a greater need for cybersecurity. This year has been called the “cloud generation” in regards to startups, and any major SaaS data breaches would have serious repercussions for small and medium-sized businesses that rely heavily, if not completely, on the cloud. 


Messaging Apps Mean Marketers Are Joining the Conversation

Facebook and WhatsApp are on a direct path to obtaining 1 billion monthly active users around the world, and this year Facebook will add more marketing options and services to businesses. Such offerings will likely be far from traditional based on what Facebook higher-ups have remarked about messaging app advertising. 


Mobile Payments Will Become the Norm

Mobile payments are likely to become standard in 2016, as an increasing number of retailers are accepting payments from systems such as Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Coupons, loyalty programs, and other rewards will fuel this shift, as changing decades of paying via cash and credit isn’t going to change overnight. 


Facebook=Entirely Mobile

Another prediction for 2016 is that Facebook will become an entirely mobile app. Q3 2015 saw the social media giant earning 78% of its $4.3 billion in ad revenue worldwide due to mobile, and it’s used in app form now more than ever. For example, in Q3 2015, 727 million of Facebook’s 1.55 billion MAUs were mobile-only, which is equal to 47% of users who have never used with Facebook via desktop computers. Compare that to the same period in 2014, where just 34% of users were mobile-only.


The Human Connection

Despite the many advances in mobile and other technologies, the human connection remains vital in terms of brand loyalty. This is regarded as the key to repeat business, and more and more brands will scramble to demonstrate that each visit/transaction with customers matters, and that said customers are “important beyond the sale.” 




Gif: The Unlikeliest Comeback Kid


If you’ve noticed more GIFs floating around the internet, that’s because in the last few months social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have tweaked their platforms to make room for more short-form video.

In particular, brands are looking to these looping clips as a way to communicate with consumers using only visuals—like the popular use of emojis and memes. Some video clip enthusiasts even believe GIFs offer a new kind of communication, which merges content with culture to generate new ideas.    

Adam Leibsohn, Giphy’s chief operating officer said, “They’re [consumers] not using words anymore…there’s an opportunity for that culture to come from a brand.” 

Companies like Giphy and Tumbler are taking advantage of this idea—providing today’s holy grail of content to marketers, while larger agencies are expanding production studios and in-house talent.  

Paramount Picture, for example, brought Giphy’s team in to work exclusively on branded content leading up to the summer release of the latest Terminator movie. But not all GIF content works singularly across the board says Megan Wahtera, a marketer from Paramount Pictures 

"In terms of the animated GIF, we pay close attention to what content works on which platforms,” said Wahtera. “It's not as simple as throwing a 30 or 15 second spot up or even a quick video edit.” 

Some companies like Paramount Pictures have enlisted help; while others have built internal structures to more easily jump on opportunities that work best for the budding content category. In fact, owning the GIF-making process is ideal for companies that can afford it, said Brian Chen, digital associate and creative director and Innocean. 

"It's a potentially fleeting moment," said Chen. "The quicker you can get with the quality and output of these GIFs, the better." 

Just six months ago, Resource/Ammirati had little GIF work to do. Today, animated loops make up 10 to 15 percent of the agency’s social work for brands like DiGiorno Pizza and Tidy Cats. DiGiorno Pizza has seen considerable increases in engagement across their social media platforms. 

"We typically get a few hundred retweets and favorites,” said Luke Oppliger, director of social content at Resource/Ammirati, “but we are seeing GIFs in the thousands."

One of the only challenges posed by GIF content is the investment of time and resources it takes to produce the short videos. Some studios are recommending paid media content behind branded GIFs to ensure companies get a better return on the investment.   

Although GIFs have been around for years, current trends foreshadow and even larger comeback—with growing potential across nearly ever platform. 



5 Summer Mobile Marketing Ideas


Summer is a unique opportunity and creative challenge for marketers. While there’s a tremendous amount of competition during these warmer months, summer is also a great time to explore new campaign methods, experiment with marketing and reach new clients. 

In particular, text marketing is the tool of choice for savvy summer marketers for two reasons: it’s fast and effective delivery speed builds greater brand awareness; and it’s been proven to convert interest into purchases over short periods of time.  Here is a list creative summer tips to help implement text marketing into your summer repertoire. 


Creative Themes 

Summer is a great time to distinguish a campaign using iconography, images and messaging that speaks specifically to the time of year. Compliment what people are talking about or already doing by delivering marketing that speaks directly to those ideas and actions. Use a strong summer theme to offer discounts on appropriate products or services that will benefit customers most. 


Create Urgency  

Create more demand for products or services in the summer by offering limited time discounts. Stress the savings your customers will achieve if they purchase during this time; make it apparent that summer deals are the best time of year to get the products they want at the best price. 


Strategic Partnerships 

Partnering up with another brand for a packaged deal/bargain is a great way to help customers stretch their buck, as well as push more exclusive offers during the summer. In addition to benefiting from another brand’s existing public awareness, you can also create more urgency around a packaged deal by limiting the amount of time it’s available. 


Very Important People 

Summer is a great time to thank loyal customers. By offering segments of your customers special rates, discounts or VIP packages, you can effectively improve your relationship with customers all year long—reminding all customers that summer is a time to be rewarded for purchasing products or services throughout the year. 


Family Value 

With the kids out of school for the summer, it’s a great time to be a kid and often a challenge for adults. Reach new markets and people by branching out specifically to families. Offer special packages, deals or discounts to create summer solutions for families on a budget. 

Targeting people with the right message is the most important technique when implementing one or several of these summer campaign tactics. Summer isn’t the only time to use these methods, but it’s a great time to try if you’ve never done so before. 



Has Texting Really Replaced Talking?


Text messaging has many advantages over talking. It’s quick, private and permanent and allows you to express a simple idea in a clear way. It also appears to be the preferred method of communication for the majority of people. For Millennials, SMS messaging vastly outperforms phone calls and emails – which is as good an indication of the way the wind is blowing as you can get.

According to Time Magazine, Americans aged 18-29 send and receive around 88 text messages per day, versus 17 phone calls. Nearly half of all teenagers say SMS messaging is the primary reason they own a mobile phone. Even the over-65s text more than they call.  

So what’s behind this paradigm shift in the way we communicate? Why do we prefer text? Well, it’s not as simple as preference. All dialogues are a two-way street. The medium through which the dialogue is conducted requires tacit agreement from both parties. A phone call achieves nothing if the other person doesn’t reply, whereas a text message conveys information irrespective of whether there is a response. It has already had a degree of success the moment it’s sent.

And as any worried parent of teenagers will tell you, placing a phone call in no way guarantees starting a conversation. Despite what they might think, it’s not always a case of simply ignoring the call. Teens – and the rest of us – often prefer to communicate via text because it gives them time to prepare a response. It also levels the playing field in terms of power, as all SMS look alike and can’t shout at you (save for capitalized entreaties!). For kids, who are used to adults looming over them and telling them what’s what, a text message looks pretty much the same whether from friend or father.

Of course, there are numerous advantages talking face-to-face has over texting. Everyone’s been on the receiving end of auto-corrected text messages that make no sense, and are not always spotted by the sender. That slows the conversation down, as does the very act of typing - few texters (except perhaps record breakers) can convey as much information in a short space of time as they would having a conversation.

SMS messaging is not appropriate for every kind of communique. An apology will seem more heartfelt delivered in person, and bad news should never be texted. But for chatting with friends, sending urgent short pieces of information that you want to be seen quickly and for interacting with brands and organizations, the text message is perfect. 

So has texting replaced talking? Of course not. It’s not an either-or situation. We live in an age of multi-tasking. Need to convey large volumes of complicated text to an individual? Send an email. Want to display videos in an open public forum? Start a website. Trying to break up with a partner? Do it face to face. 

But if you’ve just realized you’ve gone to the wrong pub to meet a friend and you want to let them know you’ll be 20 minutes late - it’s a text message all the way.





5 Mobile Security Tips


As smartphones and tablets become increasingly essential to users, the risk of hacking rises. Rather than allowing your smartphone or other mobile device to flap in the proverbial wind, check out five security tips to employ in the new year: 


Lock It Up

The first thing you should do in terms of mobile security is lock your device up. Andrew Jaquith, a former Forrester Research analyst and current chief technology officer for Perimeter E-Security recommends creating an easy-to-type password as your “first line of defense” if your device contains sensitive data you’d rather not share with everyone. However, it’s important passwords are long enough so "you can pair it with an auto-destruct policy--fail eight times to enter the right password and it deletes the data on the phone--to be sure your data will be safe," says Jaquith.  

Create a strong password, i.e. one that’s not easily “cracked.” Experts recommend 15-character passwords, which are 90 times harder to decipher than 14-character passwords. “Characters” in this case refers to the use of numbers as well as letters to make a strong password. 


Accept Patches 

As with PCs, mobile phones require frequent patching to remove any vulnerabilities that cropped up following the device’s release. Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer for mobile security firm Lookout, says users should always accept updates.

"When you are prompted on Android, update," he notes. "For iPhone users, it's a bit more complex. You need to plug in and update your apps." 


Steer Clear Of Questionable Apps

DroidDream, the most successful malicious app currently in existence, infected a quarter million Android phones in one month by posing as a real application. Avoid infecting your phone by downloading apps from trusted app stores. Using the most popular apps is also a way to avoid problems, as well as those with a considerable number of reviews and comments. 


Don’t “Jailbreak”

Security experts say it’s very important to avoid “jailbreaking” your phone, even if it is, uh, tempting. The vast majority of a phone’s security is directly linked to code signing and software sandboxing, so jailbreaking, or removing removing the digital-rights management that locks it to a certain carrier, is a way to easily weaken your device’s security. Installing antivirus software is also considered unnecessary, as such software doesn’t do much to protect the entire phone. 


Back It Up 

Finally, it’s necessary to back up your data, which luckily is not a difficult feat on mobile devices. Doing so regularly makes it much less likely to lose data. 

"Now that there is over-the-air syncing and updates, it's really easy to restore your phone," says Michael Sutton, vice president of research for cloud security firm Zscaler. "If your phone gets taken or the data deleted, it takes 30 minutes and your phone is back to normal."