How In-Plants Can Use Cross Media: Part II

Missed part I of this mini series? Please click here to read my previous post!

What cross media channels can my in-plant facility choose from?

The list of channels available today can be overwhelming. Before we get into the different channels available, a word of advice: choose a few key channels that you think will work best for your target audience, and build on them as you go. Trying to blast your message to all channels at once can spread your message too thin, so it gets lost in the marketing chatter consumers face every day.

CrossMediaLifecycleHere’s a brief breakdown of a few different types of channels you can use:

  • Traditional / Offline: This includes direct mail, signage and billboards, television, radio, and events. Just because all the cool kids are on social media these days doesn’t mean they’re not still consuming these traditional channels, so you shouldn’t drop them either.
  • Social Media: It’s the 900-lb. gorilla in the room, so let’s talk about it next. Social media is so crucial because your audience is likely to be using it on a daily basis. Twitter has more than 300 million active monthly users, generating more than 500 million tweets every day. Facebook is the bigger of the two giants, with more than a billion active users. And those users are more than happy to interact with their favorite brands on social media; Coca Cola’s Facebook page has more than 92 million followers. Imagine having the ear of that many potential customers!
  • Your Website (preferably optimized for mobile): It may seem obvious, but your website is another marketing channel. Optimize it for mobile (meaning your site displays nicely on smartphones and tablets), and you’ve got two channels in one.
  • Mobile: This includes mobile apps, which can take a number of different forms depending on your business and your customers’ needs.

Those are just a few of your choices; your final mix will depend on which channels your customers are likely to consume. More on that next:

How can we incorporate cross media into our marketing plan?

So you’re sold on cross media. Great! But…how do you get started? Probably the simplest way is to find places where you can incorporate it into your current marketing plan.

Sending a direct mail campaign? Use key elements from it on your social media platforms, and allow customers to respond to the campaign via social channels. For example, you could run a contest, advertise it via direct mail, and let customers tweet their entries on Twitter.

The most important thing to remember when using cross media is to keep your brand image consistent across channels. Use the same images, and adapt the same messages for different channels. You want your brand voice to sound the same no matter where your customers hear it.

Cross media marketing can be a powerful addition to your marketing toolkit. Keep your customers’ preferences and needs in mind, and your cross media campaign could give your profits and brand image a big boost.

I hope you enjoyed this two-part mini series on how in-plants can use cross media marketing to improve their results. Please comment below with any additional comments or feedback!

5 Ways to Use QR Codes to Improve Your Next Conference

The smartphone has become an ubiquitous part of business culture. So, why not integrate smartphone use into your organization’s next conference? It is a great way to increase participation in your company-wide event. It’s easy to setup and do with QR codes. QR codes can be read by any smartphone and are a great and effective way add some fun to your conference. Here are 5 simple ways to integrate QR codes into your next big event.

1. QR Code Scavenger Hunt

Clipboard with Checklist and Red PenAll you need is list of things that your attendees need to find, and QR codes attached to each object on the list. Group your attendees into teams and give each team a list of objects to find. Each team will find an item on the list, scan the QR code attached to them, and move on to the next item. At the end of the hunt, the team with the most QR codes scanned wins.

2. QR Quiz

This game requires a simple mobile website with a few pages setup with questions. Give your attendees an opening question and attach a QR code to the answer. When they scan the code on the answer, it will lead to your mobile website where the next question is located. This repeats until the last question. First team to find all of the answers wins.

3. QR Code Meet and Greet

This is a great way for people to get to know one another. Have each participant fill out a bio sheet with facts about themselves during pre-registration for the event and have that information put on a simple web page. Then, create QR codes that link to those pages and attach them to each attendant’s badge or name tag. During the social portion of the conference, you can have a contest to see who can meet the most people and name at least one fact about them. This is a good ice breaker and will make the conference attendees feel closer to everyone.

4. QR Codes for Door Gift Bags

If you plan on having door gift bags, a great way to hand them out is to use QR codes. Give each attendee a QR code at check-in. Have each code link to a picture of a prize. Then, each attendee just has to show the person in charge of distributing the gifts that code and the prize is theirs.

5. QR Codes for Voting

If you need an easy way to tally votes without tons of wasted paper and manual counting, you can use QR codes instead. Assign each measure on the ballot a QR code. Whenever it is scanned, it adds to the tally for that particular measure. Using QReate & Track’s tracking page, you can see which code got scanned the most.

Using QR codes can save you time and money by eliminating wasted paper and man hours while simultaneously adding something new and exciting to your next big conference.

5 Tips to Improve Your Mobile Marketing

Whether you’re in a large business or a small retail store, mobile marketing should play an important role in your marketing plan. With nearly 64% of American adults owning a smartphone of some kind, businesses are bound to take their marketing mobile. According to an eMarketer study, only five years ago, 2.1% of all digital search ad dollars were spent on mobile devices. That number increased to 22.1% in 2013, and is continually increasing, with expectations to be at 59% within the next two years. Making sure your business is up to date with the latest marketing trends is important, especially with the amount of competition in the marketplace. Below are five tips to help improve your mobile marketing.

  1. Responsive_Web_DesignMake sure your website is responsive. With the major increase in the use of smartphones over the last couples of years, making sure your website is accessible and responsive to the average user is necessary in the business world. With so many customers using smartphones to shop online, having a well-organized website results in more sales, increases your search engine optimization, and improves your company’s reputation.
  2. Don’t have irrelevant content. When customers visit your company’s website or social media page, they want to read information that’s engaging and relevant. When posting content, make sure that each time you have a purpose. Businesses need to make sure that they are creating and sharing content that is aligned with the customer’s needs. If you’re getting bored reading it, chances are, your customer will be too!
  3. Time your communication. When contacting anyone, especially a potential client, you need to make sure that you are sending information at an appropriate time. Notifying someone through a mobile device is great way to connect but it means nothing if they receive the message too late. Leave enough time in between when you actually send it and when you want the customer to make a move.
  4. Have a strong call-to-action. The purpose of having a mobile-friendly site is to make it easier and more accessible for the user. Having a designated spot on your site for someone to purchase a product, contact your company, or receive more information will make it more convenient. They need to be able to quickly press the CTA button, because the more time they spend looking for details, the less interested they become.
  5. Don’t forget about desktop! Though mobile marketing is continually growing, consumers are constantly switching between devices, making your desktop website just as important. Pay attention to all aspects when designing your site and content, as all laptops, mobile devices, and tablets play a key role in having a successful business.

The digital environment is continually growing, making marketing on any mobile device important in your company’s marketing plan. In order to reach your targeted audience, you have to adapt to their preferences, while delivering relevant content. By using these five tips to help guide you, your chances on becoming a more successful and well developed business will rise.

Take a Tip from Starbucks and Be More Mobile

Reaching out to mobile customers is more important than ever.

With global information experts Nielsen finding that adults in the US spend more hours browsing the internet on smartphones than on PCs, it’s clear that reaching mobile customers is vital.

Businesses like yours can take inspiration from brands like Starbucks, who have been using mobile marketing to a great effect.

What are companies like Starbucks doing to engage the mobile audience, and what can you learn from them?

MobileKeep It Simple

One of the secrets to Starbucks’ success is their mobile payment app.

Marketing has, of course, boosted use of the app as Starbucks customers use it to pay for their daily coffee fix.

The core of its success though, is its simplicity.

Customers don’t need to do anything complicated – using the app is as simple as displaying a barcode on their phones at the point of sale. One quick scan and the coffee is in their hand.

Mobile apps like Starbucks’ are growing in popularity, with Nielsen estimating that 86% of smartphone internet time is via apps.

When offering an app to your customers, make sure it is straightforward to use and adds real value to their mobile experience.

Use Multiple Channels

As the article “What You Can Learn From Starbucks’ Mobile Marketing Strategy” points out, one of the defining characteristics of Starbucks’ SMS campaigns is their integration with social media to help their message spread. Their Frappuccino Fun campaign was boosted by using Facebook to encourage customers to opt in to their mobile mailing list, for example.

From a Pinterest full of images to get customers in the mood for a little coffee culture, to a responsive Twitter channel, Starbucks understands how to use multiple channels to build interest and loyalty.

Carefully integrating your mobile marketing with social media and email will help you to reach more customers, and give you more space to get your message across in different ways.

Make It Personal

L’Oreal made things a little more personal for their mobile customers by targeting the advertisements they saw based on their hair color.

By harnessing in-image technology, L’Oreal analyzed the people spotted in editorial photos belonging to its advertising partners such as Hollywood.com.

It then created an ad campaign that showed the customer darker or lighter versions of its hair products, based on what it thought their preference was likely to be.

Customers are far more likely to respond to adverts that are relevant to them.

Properly segmenting your target market to ensure your mobile customers will only see ads that really matter to them will increase your chances of success, and give them a reason to keep following you.

Localize Your Marketing

Ford’s SMS marketing campaign showed how localizing your mobile marketing can bring success.

Customers were asked to text their location and the vehicle they were most interested in to a short code; this was then followed by three follow up messages to non-responders.

The result was that the most local dealerships could get in touch, already primed to talk about the customer’s preferred vehicle. The campaign was a success, with Ford reporting a 15.4% conversion rate.

If you have a physical premise, try some locally targeted marketing to increase your footfall.

From time-limited promotions to adding a local theme (such as a local festival or sporting event) to your mobile promotions, honing in on local customers will help you gain their business.

Take a leaf out of these global brands’ book and give your mobile marketing an overhaul today.

Your customers are already mobile.

By paying attention to your mobile marketing you can meet them there and build a strong, loyal relationship.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including branding, inbound marketing, mobile marketing and social media.

Moving From Mobile Friendly to Mobile First: Part II

The following is an excerpt from my book, “Untethered Marketing: The Role of the Cloud and Mobile Communication.” To read the full book, please visit JohnFoleyJr.com/Bookstore.

Missed part I of this excerpt? Please click here to read my previous post!

Responsive web design is the concept of developing a website in a style that allows the layout to change based on the user’s screen resolution. It is a completely different approach from traditional web design. For example, if the user accesses a website from a PC, they might see a four-column design, while the same site accessed from a smartphone might be automatically simplified into two columns or even a single column. User choices can vary from PC to tablet to mobile.

iPhoneThis is a mobile-first approach. From the outset, the design assumes the site will be accessed by some type of mobile device, but also leaves the door open for desktop/laptop access, serving the specific needs of all of these users.

Keep in mind that smartphone users are averse to complex navigation paths.  In addition, Flash is still not supported on Apple devices, so web designers should stay away from Flash, giving the preference to HTML 5, JavaScript, and CSS. Pages should also load quickly, regardless of the device. Content consumers are an impatient lot – some experts suggest that even a one second delay in a site loading can result in a 7% reduction in conversion.

Mobile content should also be prioritized. Think about what your customers are most likely to do from a smartphone or a tablet, and organize content accordingly. Continuing with the restaurant example, perhaps the first choice the user sees is, “make a reservation,” the second choice might be “view our menu.” Directions to the establishment and any daily specials or offers should also be readily accessible.

Also keep in mind that mobile users, whether tablet or smartphone, are more in tune with touch-and-swipe, while desktop and laptop users are usually point-and-click oriented. Your designs must take these differences into consideration.

The bottom line: mobile first means providing a consistent experience and brand image across all platforms, and understanding that mobile browsing is rapidly overtaking desktop browsing as the way in which consumers choose to interact with your brand, your product, and your company.

I hope you enjoyed this two part mini series on how the role of mobile marketing is continuing to change and affect the way we market our products and services. Please check out the full book by clicking here!

Moving from Mobile Friendly to Mobile First: Part I

The following is an excerpt from my book, “Untethered Marketing: The Role of the Cloud and Mobile Communication.” To read the full book, please visit JohnFoleyJr.com/Bookstore.

In today’s technology-centered world, it is simply not acceptable to consumers to have to access a standard website from a mobile device. They expect websites these days to be mobile friendly. But for many marketers, even mobile friendly is not enough. Many are rapidly moving towards mobile first.

iPhoneWhat do I mean by mobile first? First, let’s refresh our thoughts on mobile friendly. For many companies, this meant “dumbing down” their regular website, removing and resizing content to make it fit the screen. But that approach does not offer the opportunity to focus on what mobile users really want from a site. Nor does it do a good job of facilitating engagement. Sure, the information is there for those who are looking. The key difference between PC users and mobile users is that mobile users are focused. PC users are generally multitasking between work, play, and casual research. Mobile users are on the go and want fast answers. They are also usually transaction-oriented. They may be looking to buy a specific item, compare prices, or find a location nearby that carries something they are interested in – and they are not willing to dig through layers of web content to get that information. If your site doesn’t offer what they are looking for, a competitor’s surely does!

And, you also can’t assume that something designed for a mobile phone will also be appropriate for a tablet. Tablet users fall somewhere in between PC and smartphone users. They are focused in the sense that they are focused on the tablet experience, and the depth of rich content they can get via that medium. They are likely not multitasking as much as a PC user would be. But they are willing to take more time and gain a broader experience than the average smartphone user. So, perhaps they would like to see a video of your product, or watch a video interview of one of your executives or customers. If you are a restaurant owner, they might want to peruse your menu or wine list and get details about other offerings. A smartphone user is more likely to want to make a reservation, look up directions, or take a quick – one could say superficial – look at the menu.

So, what steps do you need to take to make the move from mobile friendly to mobile first? Click here to read Part II to learn more!