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44 posts categorized "Mobile Forecasts"

February 06, 2014

Is HTML5 the Future of Mobile Apps?

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Mobile app development is currently dominated by Android and Apple, who have roughly an equal share of more than two-thirds of the market. But as the range of mobile devices on offer increases, HTML5 apps that work on all devices are becoming more appealing, both to users and developers. Apple’s native apps are still out in front in terms of quality – but the gap is closing, as HTML5 apps constantly improve their user-friendliness and availability. So what’s the difference between native apps, like those offered by Apple and Android, and web apps? And how can HTML5 mobile app development help you improve your mobile marketing strategies?

Right now, the Apple App Store contains nearly three quarters of a million iPhone and iPad apps, all of which have to be completely re-coded to work on another device. Web apps are built using standard coding such as HTML5, which allows them to run on virtually any platform that uses a standards-compliant browser. They will work on iPhones, iPads, Androids, Kindles, Windows – and, importantly for start-ups, any new platform that may be launched in the future.

Not only do web apps work equally well on any platform, they are cheaper and quicker to produce than native apps. The only reason native apps are still overwhelmingly used is because Apple’s unstoppable development department stole a march on competitors very early on, and currently offer a superior experience to most similar HTML5 apps. This state of affairs won’t last for long.

One of the main reasons for mobile app development shifting towards HTML5 and other standards-based languages is the ease of open-source updates. Most iPhone users have experienced the frustration of being unable to update their app because they lack the latest iOS. Web apps, on the other hand, will practically never become outdated. Every time a user visits a website, they are loading the most recent version from the server. The simple action of visiting the site means you are viewing the latest version of that app.

There are still a number of hurdles to overcome before web apps present a realistic, mass-market alternative to native apps. Chief among them is the state-of-the-art hardware interfacing currently provided by (in particular) Apple. All iPhone apps are seamlessly integrated with the device’s hardware, allowing users to take advantage of the GPS, digital camera and accelerometer capabilities. Right now, web apps don’t have it so easy. Apple’s closed book isn’t likely to open itself to rival developers anytime soon, but as competitive pressure grows, most people expect that situation to change.

The other major feather in the Apple cap is the secure, easy payment process offered by the App Store. There are 400 million active iTunes accounts, each with stored credit card details, making consumer purchases extremely hassle-free. Web apps currently lack a similar consolidated payment system. Again, though, that is expected to change with time.

There’s little disagreement about the smoother, more polished look and feel of native apps. But there is also a consensus on some key advantages offered by web apps. The ever-changing nature of standards-based technology means that HTML6 is likely to do some significant catching up. Add to that the expense of building native apps, and the decreasing cost of developing web apps, and it’s easy to see how mobile marketing strategies will begin to gear themselves towards users that have jumped the mother ship Apple and are spreading their consumption across a wider range of smaller, more adaptive developers.

 

January 12, 2014

Growth in Mobile Spurs Growth in Mobile Search

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The expanding mobile device market has led to a dramatic increase in the number of web searches conducted on smartphones and tablets. According to Phil Harpur of Frost & Sullivan:

“Search results from mobile searches are becoming more distinct to fixed internet searches, with a high proportion of mobile searches optimized for location based material. Also, click-to-call features are becoming more prominent in mobile search advertising.”

Despite the growth in mobile-specific search, desktop searches have not decreased, which means search advertising as a whole is still booming. However, the search industry expects to continue leaving online directories for dust, and mobile search is increasingly coming to the fore, as mobile marketing strategies become more sophisticated and user-oriented. Google predicts that mobile search will overtake desktop during the next few years.

Countless studies and surveys support Google's prediction. Mobile search spending went up 132% year on year, according to a Covario report. On a global basis, mobile search advertising accounted for 16% of total spend in the second quarter of 2013, with 10% of that spending conducted on tablets, and 6% on smartphones.

Research from Telmetrics shows that 50% of mobile users in the United States use their device at the beginning of the search process, and 31% use it throughout the process. The same study found that one in three smartphone users search specifically for contact information, such as directions and phone numbers.

A comScore study found the total number of American searchers using mobile phones grew 26% between March 2012 and December 2012. One analytics company, BIA/Kelsey, echoed Google's prediction, claiming that mobile search queries will overtake desktop by 2015.

So what does it mean for the mobile advertising industry? Text message advertising  is harmonizing with mobile search to offer users a more localized, personalized experience. More than half of all conversions from mobile search take place within the hour, which suggests a more impulsive type of shopping experience, with users out and about, not prepared to mull over decisions in the same way they might on a desktop-only search.

Mobile marketing strategies have to adapt to this snap-decisive market by offering users an easy path to conversion. Marketers must use text message advertising to reach out to opted-in consumers with specialized, localized, time-sensitive offers. As the pace of consumer life quickens and becomes more mobile, marketing strategies must do the same in order to stay in touch with their audience.

 

Schools Find Creative Ways to Use SMS for Updates

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Too often, mobile marketing practices are associated solely with retailers and other businesses who use the types of service offered by the likes of Ez Texting to promote special offers and issue reminders. But SMS marketing can be used for more edifying purposes than mere commerce.

Local and national governments already rely on texting to communicate with staff and voters. SMS allows them to streamline their communication process and keep people tuned in to the latest events. Now, schools and colleges all over the world have followed suit. Educational institutions are signing up to mobile marketing programs that help them improve the lines of communication between students and staff. In the process, they are creating a new culture of applying cutting-edge technology to a civic context.

A typical application of SMS in schools is notifying parents of a school closure due to extreme weather. Another use is minimizing truancy by sending texts to the parents of absent children. Other schools are using mobile marketing strategies to inform pupils of upcoming events.

In Scotland, Fife Council recently introduced bulk SMS messaging across all schools in the area. Their system reaches out to supply teachers in a staffing emergency, sends closure notifications and notifies parents of upcoming events. The rollout was so successful, Fife has won several awards for their innovative use of mobile marketing technology.

Cash-strapped schools with small admin teams are, arguably, some of the most well-suited organizations for harnessing the power of text messages. Firms like Ez Texting, with their affordable SMS marketing plans, are opening up the possibilities of this technology to groups of people who are not in the profit-making game. The example set by Fife Council demonstrates that the latest mobile marketing trends are not just for business – they serve the common good as well.

 

January 09, 2014

Mobile Marketers Can Focus the Budget

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According to the Pew Research Center on American Life, more than 90% of American adults now own a mobile phone and over half of all adults own a smart phone. This is no surprise, considering that more than half the entire world currently uses mobile technology. As the mobile economy explodes, marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to compete for consumers’ attention. Creative, engaging content and innovative uses of mobile technology are at the forefront when developing mobile marketing strategies. Now more than ever, it’s important for companies not only to transition a large portion of the overall ad spend toward mobile marketing trends, but also to optimize their mobile marketing campaigns based on response analysis and focus their budgets accordingly. Unlike traditional media channels, mobile marketing strategies allow for detailed analytics and tracking, which becomes highly effective in deciding how and where to concentrate the marketing budget.

When considering the efficacy of mobile advertising compared to traditional mediums, and thus deciding how much ad spend to transition into mobile, here are some statistics to keep in mind:

Mobile Apps
A recent study by app advertising and analytics firm Flurry reports that smartphone users now spend more time on mobile apps than the average internet user spends online. But smartphone users are not only spending more time on apps, they are also extremely attractive to advertisers, as they are on average more highly educated and affluent than the typical American. And according to Pew Research, more than 50% of cell phone users download apps on their phones. These facts make it imperative for brands to start engaging the growing mobile market with evocative mobile apps, transitioning some of their overall marketing strategy from traditional to app development.

Mobile Advertising
Mobile advertising is also growing exponentially, as marketers are now figuring out the best formats in which to serve mobile ads. Based on a new forecast by JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth, for instance, over 50% of Facebook’s total ad revenue in Q4 2013 will be earned via mobile advertising, with projections to reach 60% of total ad revenue by 2014. Similarly, Twitter announced that roughly 70% of its Q3 revenue was from mobile advertising. With such top tech brands now seeing huge growth in mobile-driven revenue, it’s no wonder other companies are falling in line as well.

Text Marketing
According to a 2010 report by the Direct Marketing Association, SMS text marketing far exceeds the conversion rates of traditional mediums. Mass text campaigns convert at an average of 8.2%, while both email and direct mail conversion rates have traditionally leveled off at about 1.7%. Additionally, over 95% of texts are actually opened, which by far outperforms email open rates at around 10-20%, depending on the industry. These numbers aren’t so surprising, considering more than 80% of cell phone owners use their mobile phone to send and receive texts, per the Pew Research report on mobile use.

Taking a look at the above reports, with mobile apps, mobile advertising, and text message marketing growing at such impressive rates, it’s obvious that what matters most is the ability to improve the user experiences and the general lives of customers—and mobile does just this. Companies that focus marketing budgets into areas that make consumers’ lives more convenient, fun, and interesting will lead to greater brand awareness, loyalty, ands trust. Mobile marketing has become one of the most intimate ways of engaging with customers, and based on the growing mobile economy, it’s clear that consumers find it most convenient to engage, purchase, and search all through their phones. Hence, ask not what customers can do for you; ask what you can do for your customers…and in the end, they’ll reward you for it.

January 02, 2014

4 Mobile Marketing Trends that Matter – Tips for Targeted Campaigns

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“I need more ‘Me Time,’” is a resounding lament heard across the country. However, in the last several years advances in the mobile industry are putting “Me Time” at the tips of millions of fingers anytime, anywhere.

On average, each user spends 864 minutes of “Me Time” on their mobile devices per month, according to Arbitron Mobile.

That’s a lot of minutes, but what may or may not surprise you is that the time spent on your mobile device isn’t mobile at all. According to the study, 68% of this time is spent at home, and not necessarily to check email or to socialize. According to a new AOL/BBDO study, nearly half of all time spent on mobile/smart devices is when people are trying to relax or entertain themselves as an indulgence or to simply pass the time. These activities are most commonly watching funny videos, window shopping or playing games.

You would think all this “Me Time” is rife with opportunity for mobile marketing. According to AOL/BBDO, mobile advertising performs poorly on key ad effectiveness metrics because the majority of messages are not relevant to the use at that time, are easy to ignore or get in the way. Brands and marketers make the mistake of releasing content that is not geared specifically to mobile devices or the consumer.Here are a several ways to turn these mobile marketing trends around:

Think about mobile’s bigger picture. Move beyond the conventional surface view of mobile behaviors to align your mobile marketing campaign with the underlying motivators that propel mobile interactions.

According to SEO experts, to push mobile from its current high traffic/low conversion rates, marketers need to leverage big data insights in order to understand the impact of their activities and eliminate the “spinning wheel syndrome” many brands experience with mobile marketing.

Focus on "Me Time." Think about different mobile marketing strategies and how you can redirect mobile communications to help users indulge and enjoy themselves.

Another huge component of mobile success is creating interesting and engaging content, like images and video. Brands that use these tactics are ahead of the curve in overcoming the conversion challenge.

Recognize there are other mobile motivations. Targeting communications to capitalize on these motivators can increase engagement.

Engage users through entertainment or by asking for their opinions via media-centric advertising. Use text to drive to other social platforms like Facebook, or in support of other media used online, in print and on television during evening hours.

The sooner marketers become more creative and effective with their campaigns to accommodate and attract the mobile device user, the better because mobile accounts for one out of every three internet usage minutes.

Mobile is Here, Mobile is Now

Research shows that tablets are projected to outsell PCs during this Christmas buying season. By 2015, tablets will permanently outpace PC sales. With the popularity and shift to tablets, people are consuming more content. In fact, 43% of people are reading more magazines while 40% read more tech news.

But don’t forget the little guy. Smartphones are forecast to increasingly become the most popular type of mobile device, outstripping both tablets and PCs by taking nearly 71% of the market in 2015.

As long as you make sure your content is great, that you’ve carefully crafted your messages and properly share your content, you can become the next mobile maverick.

 

December 27, 2013

Mobile Marketing and TV Engagement Trends

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A recent Nielsen Cross-Platform Report has highlighted a move towards consumers using multiple devices simultaneously. According to the results, more than 39% of people use their smartphone at least once per day while watching television. Nearly two thirds of respondents said they do this more than once a week, with 84% saying they do it at least once a month.

The report also found that the average American spent more than 34 hours per week in front of the television during the second quarter of 2012. This included time spent playing games and watching DVDs (although most of the content viewed was delivered via cable or satellite broadcasts). Another five hours were spent at the computer. The smartphone has successfully gatecrashed this heady mix of stimuli – and the implications for mobile marketing campaigns are obvious.

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly indispensable to Americans, and people all across the developed world. They allow quick, convenient communication across oceans, genders, ethnicities and generations. Market penetration for smartphones is greater than 50%, and close to 20% of American homes have at least one tablet. This mobility is essential if we want to understand how mobile marketing strategies can cater to cross-platform audiences.

On the one hand, users may not be affording either task – television-watching or web-browsing – their full attention. On the other hand, their access is round-the-clock, allowing mobile marketing campaigns to take into account the multiple access points through which users are receiving content. And it’s not just the youth demographic. Far from it.

Consider this: nearly half of all respondents in the 55-64 age group use their tablets or smartphones to research the program they are currently watching. The same demographic are heavy surfers during commercial breaks. Mobile marketing strategies that take this into account can customize their targeted advertising for that audience during those peak times. For bigger companies, the two platforms can work in tandem, with mobile marketing campaigns feeding into current TV promotions, and vice versa.

Texting can play a huge role in pointing viewers to television commercials they might otherwise have switched off or muted. Imagine, you issue a text to your opt-in list of customers, telling them to ‘look at the tv’. Then you run an ad telling them to ‘look at your phone’. You’ve just created a fun game of electronic device tennis!

Ok, that might not be the best example. But whatever your strategy, the shift towards cross-platform device usage presents a thrilling scenario for marketing managers, who are constantly on the look out for ways to ‘join-up’ their strategies. As it turns out, users are doing a lot of the heavy lifting for them, and it’s proving to be one of the most powerful mobile marketing trends making waves.

 

December 17, 2013

Mobile and Social Trends Impact the Purchasing Decisions of Buyers

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There’s nothing shoppers dislike more than crowded parking lots at the mall, mile-long checkout lines and picked-over merchandise. In our fast-paced global society, time and money are precious commodities and consumers want to save more of both. Savvy shoppers are often choosing to forego the traditional mall experience, opting instead for the speedier functionality of making purchases online or with their mobile devices.

Emerging consumer trends provide an excellent opportunity for small business owners to rev up their mobile marketing efforts and engage with this new crop of tech-savvy shoppers. According to recent studies, mobile and social campaigns are influencing the purchasing decisions of users. Consumers say they are more likely to pick up an item they see posted on their social channels, and that they are more apt to consult new media for more information about a particular product or to compare relevant discounts prior to buying.

Here are some interesting statistics regarding new consumer behavior as reported by CMS Wire:

    • 68% of smartphone users plan to use mobile devices for holiday shopping.

 

    • 59% of consumers would be more likely to shop at a store with mobile self-checkout capabilities.

 

    • 56% search for store locations on their mobile devices.

 

    • 54% will check and compare prices via mobile.

 

    • 47% will obtain product info on the mobile phone or tablet.

Social media also plays a big part:

    • 81% say posts by friends on social media influences their buying decisions.

 

    • 30% of frequent online shoppers use Pinterest to discover new products.

 

    • 78% of consumers say posts made by companies influence their purchases.

A smart mobile marketing campaign takes these new purchasing trends into account. In order to boost revenue, ramp up customer engagement and build brand awareness, entrepreneurs can’t do business as usual. Brands must reach customers where they live with effective mobile marketing strategies.

Staying abreast of up-to-the-minute trends in technology can reposition your business. Enhance mobile marketing campaigns by implementing social media techniques to do outreach to this rapidly expanding demographic that relies on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Promote your product specials by tweeting about exclusive offers and discounts. Since more and more shoppers are consulting Pinterest for that perfect merchandise, you can start a board for your business that features free samples of your product and information on how to buy. Post pictures of your seasonal product on Facebook and encourage users to share.

Rapidly increasing mobile device use provides ample opportunity to take advantage of mobile marketing trends and to create innovative digital campaigns for ultimate customer engagement. Reach your revenue goals and watch business soar when you stay up to speed with this changing marketing game.

December 16, 2013

7 Projections for Mobile Marketing in 2014

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As 2013 winds to a close, retailers are looking for the next big thing on the digital horizon to expand their business and reposition their company in 2014. Perhaps you didn’t hit all of your revenue goals and your company simply broke even this year. Maybe you didn’t experience the growth you’d hoped for you and you ran out of exciting new ways to engage existing customers and attract new ones. Don’t despair. The coming year can be your best year yet.

Leading online mobile marketing network mobileFUSED recently published their list of the “Top Seven Projections for Mobile Marketing in 2014” and the article is getting a lot of buzz. By incorporating these tips into your text marketing campaign, you can empower your small business to grow and succeed.

  • Taming big data. In a nutshell, “big data” is a complex system of data sets that exceed the processing capacity of conventional database systems. Some examples include analysis of web behavior and social network interactions. MobileFUSED predicts that big data must be tamed in 2014 for an optimized mobile marketing experience. As a small business owner, reposition your company in 2014 and generate more leads by incorporating more targeted local advertising.
  • Return to content-relevant advertising. Mobile users are often bombarded with random ads on their devices and consider this an intrusive experience, which won’t lead to click-throughs. MobileFUSED sees a return to native advertising, which means providing content in the context of the shopper’s experience. For example, if you own a beauty supply business, you could take advantage of Sponsored Tweets on Twitter or Sponsored Ads on Facebook that pop up organically when the user is searching for certain beauty products.
  • Take advantage of explosive growth in mobile sales. Experts are predicting explosive growth during the holiday season as shoppers turn to their cell phones and tablets to make purchases as opposed to traditional brick-and-mortar shops. Savvy entrepreneurs will do outreach to their customers via mobile marketing campaigns, whether you’re promoting new items or alerting consumers about seasonal products that are on sale.
  • Location-based mobile marketing is the next big thing. Apps like iBeacon allow business owners to engage with customers in-store by offering information about nearby products and alerting them to items on sale. Location-based marketing allows retailers to track the shopping habits of customers and hit them with deals on the spot.
  • Adopt digital wallets for ease of shopping. If you’ve never heard of a digital wallet, it’s time to beef up your tech vocabulary. Also known as an e-wallet, a digital wallet works through an app on your smartphone. For instance, if you’re at a clothing store, you might wave your smart phone on a compatible register to pay instantly. E-wallet technology gives your customers greater flexibility and allows them to pay for purchases quickly.
  • Optimize your website for mobile. There’s nothing more frustrating for a user than visiting a site on a mobile device or tablet only to wait eons for the page to load. Slow-loading websites that aren’t optimized for mobile will cause your company to lose out on potential business. Make sure your site is enhanced with HTML5 responsive features for fastest mobile browsing.
  • Stay abreast of changing smartphone technology. MobileFUSED believes that advances in technology and hot new features will change how we do business on tablets and smartphones. Since smartphones are transforming the retail landscape, your mobile marketing strategies should incorporate ways to engage users in-store on their mobile devices.

How do you plan to jumpstart your business in the New Year? Write it in a comment.

December 05, 2013

How Mobile Messaging Can Impact Your Online Sales

ComScore recently reported that eCommerce sales through traditional online mediums still outweigh sales via mobile devices. eCommerce sales for Q3 2013 were at $47.5 billion—a 13% growth over last year’s Q3. eCommerce spending on smartphones and tablets was at $5.8 billion in Q3, indicating a 26% increase from last year. This steady growth is promising in both markets and evinces the importance of using mobile marketing strategies to augment but not replace traditional online sales tactics.

One effective way of using mobile to supplement eCommerce sales is by offering SMS online offers via mobile text marketing. Companies can always send text blasts to offer a discount when customers show their text message to the cashier at the time of purchase. However, text marketing offers certainly aren’t limited to in-person purchases. Text messages can of course contain a link, which allows customers to navigate directly to the mobile web site to make a purchase. Additionally, brands can get creative in using text marketing campaigns to help boost desktop sales. Text campaigns may contain a product code to enter into the web site for an exclusive product or service, offered only to marketing list subscribers; or texts may disclose a special promo code to plug in during web checkout for a discount. Text marketing is a simple but highly effective and personal way of communicating with a consumer base; hence, it is a fantastic way to drive more customers to the web site by incentivizing special offers and VIP treatment.

In the growing mobile economy, while still considering how significant desktop spending remains, brands must find innovative and effective ways to integrate their various purchasing platforms to both support and bolster sales across channels. Continuity in branding, ease-of-use, entertaining content, special incentives, and valuable information are all aspects to consider when building a cross-channel marketing strategy.

comScore once again projects that growth in online spending will far exceed that in brick-and-mortar stores. For most brands, that means the Q4 holiday rush will require robust online and mobile marketing strategies—offering intriguing content and valued products and services that stand out among the crowd of competing brands. The companies that will stay ahead of the curve are focusing on where people now tend to do most of their shopping: their phones and computers. That’s why it’s crucial now more than ever to get mobile and desktop working together to maximize online revenue.

December 03, 2013

Weather.com’s Innovative Mobile Ads Are Growing Faster Than Google’s

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“If you look at Google’s recent mobile numbers, they reported 28 percent revenue growth. We’re growing faster than that,” reports Curt Hecht, chief global revenue officer at Weather.com during an interview with AdWeek. The reason? Weather.com has moved beyond commonplace mobile advertising banners, which can be too small to take sufficient effect for advertisers, and have instead incorporated branded backgrounds into the Weather app. In other words, Weather’s advertisers have their brand placed in the entire background of the app interface. This mobile advertising strategy has shown great effect and negates the notion that mobile marketing has been primarily “apps advertising other apps.”

The branded backgrounds aren’t just branded logos either; they’re custom ads in the context of weather and mobile, which make for a highly optimized mobile advertising tactic. “If you look at a media publisher,” says Hecht, “we crush anybody out there. This idea that mobile ads are hard to see ... we’re giving you the whole screen and it's six inches from your face. They’re not overly interruptive. And it’s creative married to context.” Such innovative thinking is yet another example of how early adopters to changing technology can get a head start on the rest of their competitors, and how mobile technologies continue to advance, making mobile marketing strategies essential to any digital marketing strategy.

Mobile technology is rapidly evolving. The most successful brands are developing new, engaging, and visually stimulating ways to connect with customers, ways that are specifically design for mobile devices. The more focused a brand becomes on the particular medium through which it is marketing, the more opportunity it has to optimize conversion rates and user experiences. Mobile advertising innovators, like those at Weather, are setting new mobile marketing trends. Who will be the next trend-setters? Start brainstorming… It could be you!