Mobile TV

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November 07, 2014

How to Reach Millenials with Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

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In the world of mobile marketing, much hay is made of millennials and how to reach them. They’re supposed to be wily, committed to free content and spendthrifts. They spend a lot of time online – but not so much money. But is this demographic really so mysterious and elusive? Are there really 12 types of millennial that you must identify and target at all costs in order to thrive?!

At this point, a group of 22-year-olds grimace, roll their eyes and go back to texting their twelve types of friend about how baby boomers ‘just don’t get it.’ The problem for boomers and Gen-Xers is that millennials have grown up in a connected world. They’ve never known anything else. Their interactions with the online world are more sophisticated and diverse than any of us can understand. There’s no point scanning the latest research paper on how long those 22-year-olds spend on their tablet. It’s more complex than that.

The ‘amount of time spent’ is such a common metric that many mobile marketing campaign managers have ceased questioning it’s validity. For millennials in particular, the amount of time spent on a specific device is far less important than what they are doing on that device. Let’s break it down:

Laptop

Millennials stand alone among the generations in their preference for laptops over desktop computers. According to Pew research from 2011, 70% own a laptop, compared with 57% who own a desktop. The laptop is their primary portal for shopping, web browsing and watching movies and TV shows.

Tablet

The tablet unites all demographics under the age of 65. Though only 4% of adults own one, that statistic remains constant for people of all generations. For millennials, it’s a luxury item used primarily for entertainment purposes – and often in conjunction with other activities, such as watching television. 

Television

Ah, yes, television. Lest we forget, young people still watch traditional television sets in huge numbers. The rise of prestige TV, in conjunction with an increasingly diverse array of options, may have heralded the end of the family viewing experience, but individually we’re watching more than ever. And instead of uniting the nuclear family, TV shows are uniting people of the same age. If you’ve got the budget, don’t make the mistake of ignoring traditional television advertising. The millennials have been dubbed Gen FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), an indication of the power of multimedia as a social glue.

Smartphone

The smartphone is like a fifth limb for Gen Yers. They’ll just as happily use an iPhone to watch a YouTube video, and the market is awash with apps aimed squarely at young people. There’s nothing they don’t use smartphones for, but the commonest activity – by far – is the humble text message. Time Magazine recently suggested that the average American aged 18-29 sends 88 text messages per day. For anyone devising a mobile marketing strategy aimed at millennials, that statistic is a mouth-watering one.

Millennials are by far the most likely group to own more devices and to use more functions on them. From a marketer’s perspective, there’s little point just blithely shifting budgets to digital. In order to reach millennials, you need to understand how they engage with the digital world, and recognize that they are calling the shots.

August 11, 2014

Mobile Brings 1:1 Marketing Full Circle

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Mobile marketing is the modern face of advertising. Sophisticated tools like geo-location software and mobile apps are stripping away the barriers between business and consumer, affording even the most modestly-budgeted mobile marketing campaign to foster precise, personalized relationships with an audience that never stays still, but for whom smartphones are a constant companion.

If the technology is cutting edge, the concept of one-to-one marketing is anything but. It dominated the commercial landscape until the middle of the 20th Century. Before radio, television and print media were widely available, the romantic image of the door-to-door salesperson selling his wares directly to customers was very much a reality. ‘The user experience’ – as nobody called it then – was top notch: a sales rep came to your home, demonstrated the worthiness of their product and, perhaps most importantly of all, put a face to the brand.

This marketing strategy provided accountability, intimacy and transparency, but was ultimately put to bed by the rise of mass broadcasting technology. Instead of reaching a few thousand people by sending out a hundred reps to knock on doors, businesses could reach millions in one go via a television commercial. For much of the post-war 20th Century, big advertising meant big networks and big money. Corporate muscle (devoid of accountability, intimacy and transparency) ruled the roost and the little guy was out in the cold. Who could compete?

The advent of cable television dealt the first blow to this monolithic, monopolized marketing culture. By appealing to niche markets on specialized channels, the company message might reach fewer people, but the percentage of conversions would be higher. Slowly but surely, broadcasting was superseded by narrowcasting.

Narrowcasting allows marketers to:

  • Disseminate messages to different demographics and adjust each message accordingly
  • Make sure content is only available to specific groups
  • Provide high levels of relevance to the recipient

The trend started by cable television went stratospheric with the arrival of the internet, an ultra-targeted information portal that didn’t have to predict what people wanted; you could find exactly what you needed by filtering out everything else. Direct marketing wasn’t just back in business – it was business.

But the web solution also presented a problem: market fragmentation. One of the earliest constituents of the internet lexicon to take root in the public imagination was ‘SPAM’ – and it wasn’t because people liked it. In addition to filtering the information they wanted via search engines, people were ignoring the information they didn’t want by automatically trashing unsolicited emails from businesses. As soon as every business was shouting from the same platform, the public simply turned the volume down. By the mid-noughties, online marketing was threatening to become white noise for all but the richest of traders, who could afford to roll out costly SEO campaigns and buy space on premium web real estate. 

Just when it looked like marketing power would once again be predicated on deep pockets, SMS messaging stepped into the breach with a more refined approach. Ironically, commercial texting’s wilderness years were brought to an end with the rise of the smartphone. Mobile devices are no longer simply convenient portable versions of landline phones. They are indispensable hi-tech appendages, the use of which is beginning to overtake desktop as people’s primary point of access to the web.

This increased focus on handheld devices has done wonders for SMS messaging. While consumers continue to spam filter emails, more than 90% of text messages are opened and read within minutes. Long before the humble text became a mobile marketing strategy, it was used primarily for personal communication. As such, it is a trusted channel, and mobile marketing campaign managers have cleverly reciprocated that trust by building opt-in only contact lists. In 2014, the holy grail of mobile marketing tactics is to transmit a unique message to individuals who want it, tailored to their wants and needs.

This new, consent-driven iteration of 1:1 marketing is allowing companies to reach customers on their own terms, and to offer preference-based special offers. Personalized marketing is back – and you don’t even need to leave the office to do it.

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 23, 2013

The 7 Shades of Mobile

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AOL Consumer Research Studies recently published a paper titled “The 7 Shades of Mobile”. In it, they attempt to understand how mobile devices are used, and what the main drivers behind consumer motivations concerning apps and websites really are.

The research asked one thousand smartphone users to record three touch points – or ‘mobile moments’ – that formed the bulk of their usage. The team studied how users engaged with content; what they were trying to accomplish; their location – and a number of other metrics that helped them better understand mobile habits. The results offer some interesting insights that may prove invaluable to businesses running mobile marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at “The 7 Shades of Mobile” and how these elements can feed into your mobile marketing strategies.

  1. Accomplish. This refers to activities that give users a feeling of accomplishment. In most industries, the aim of the game is to provide a service that the customer is unable to provide themselves. If you can do this in such a way that gives your customers a sense of accomplishment, you’ll have touched on the first ‘mobile moment’. It might be allowing users to build their own meal using a neat interactive graphic. It might be giving them a quiz or game that could lead to a prize. Find your own way to provide that wonderful sense of accomplishment that’s appropriate to your industry.
  2. Socialize. People love to express themselves, and smartphones are the conduit for self-expression. Encourage users to share content, comment on your latest product or take part in a contest. Become part of their circle of friends – that way lies true brand loyalty.
  3. Prepare. Mobile users say they use their phones to prepare for upcoming events or situations. Give them what they need by sharing statistics, studies, information, news – anything that can help them prepare for future scenarios.
  4. Me Time. This refers to time spent entertaining oneself online. Games, photos, articles – anything that’s all about the user rather than your business. Free content is one of the most compelling mobile marketing trends in recent years. Ignore it at your peril.
  5. Discover. Smartphones are perfect for learning something new during downtime. Whether you’re on a bus or waiting at a bar for a friend, it’s very tempting to educate yourself on the latest scientific discovery so you can wow your tardy buddy with your knowledge. Businesses can prise their way into this downtime and educate consumers, even on something only tangentially related to their product.
  6. Shop. Unsurprisingly, shopping is one of the biggest uses of mobile devices. If possible, make sure your service or product is available to order online, and push it with a series of cunning mobile marketing campaigns such as coupons and discounts.
  7. Express Myself. Smartphone users frequently use their device to do nothing more than share their ire about the latest political event, or their enthusiasm about a sporting victory. You can turn this compulsion into a list of potential customers by offering users a voting form so they can participate in product development. They are more likely to buy your brand if they feel they were involved in the process.
 

July 15, 2009

DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket Coming To Your iPhone

If you subscribe to DirecTV's Sunday Ticket package of NFL games and you own an iPhone you're in luck:

Fans hoping to watch NFL games outside of their local TV market can now plug right into the action on Apple Inc.’s iPhone. According to the company, a wi-fi link or access to a 3G network is required.

With commercial advertisers losing money hand over fist through conventional broadcast means, the new emphasis on mobile coverage for DirecTV is likely just the first step of a greater mobile presence for the future of satellite television service.

Read more @ Mobile Marketing Watch