Over the past two years, we’ve had the privilege of helping over 25,000 brands grow their Facebook fan bases, drive more engagement, and increase their social ROI using our suite of powerfully simple Facebook apps. Businesses of all sizes from every industry imaginable have used North Social promotional apps to distribute millions of digital coupons, capture millions of email addresses, and reward throngs of lucky sweepstakes winners with everything from salty snacks to concert tickets to family vacations to sports cars.
While serving up a nice desktop promotional experience is applaudable, we at North Social are not ones to cling to our past successes. We demand more. Our customers demand more. Their mobile-phone carrying consumers expect more.
Listen, mobile is no longer a “nice-to-have” support medium. It has quickly become THE medium. Over two-thirds of Facebook and Twitter traffic is already coming from mobile devices (let me guess, you’re probably reading this post on your smartphone). This fundamental shift demands a new innovative approach. Without your brand promotions being accessible from any device (smartphone, tablet, or PC), you’re failing to reach 60-70% of just your social media users.
Not having a smart mobile strategy for your brand is no longer an option. It’s paramount. If you fail to pivot towards the mobile wave of opportunity now, your consumers will happily rush off to spend quality time with your more mobile-friendly competitor. This is not a bold prediction. This is the harsh reality. In fact, it’s why our team of cape-wearing developers have spent every waking hour in the last half of 2012 to build the world’s only app platform to work seamlessly across mobile, tablet, and desktop.
That means brand marketers should begin carving out budget and devoting even more resources to reach and engage the on-the-go consumer. Quit bucketing marketing spend by medium or device. It’s time to divvy up those dollars based on consumer behavior. Throw last year’s plan out the window, it’s time to adapt and evolve to this new marketing climate. Because if you don’t, like the Woolly Mammoth, your brand will soon become extinct.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” – Charles Darwin
Okay, if you’re still not convinced mobile is the NOW and FUTURE (or need to feed even more rationale to your Razr phone carrying boss), here are 9 Reasons Why Marketers Must Adopt A More Mobile Mindset in 2013.
1. The Stats Don’t Lie
To see how big of an opportunity the mobile market is, we must take a deeper look at the actual numbers:
• There are 7 billion people on Earth. 5.1 billion own a cell phone. 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. (Mobile Marketing Association Asia, 2011)
• 91% of all smartphone users have their phone within arm’s reach 24/7 – (Morgan Stanley, 2012)
• 60% of Facebook’s 1 Billion users access Facebook on their phones. These people are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users (Facebook, 2012)
• Mobile marketing will account for 15.2% of global online ad spend by 2016. (Berg Insight, 2012)
2. More Access = More Engagement
The mobile phone is by far the the dominant way consumers access websites, Facebook, and Twitter. Don’t believe the hype? The average American spends 94 minutes per day utilizing mobile apps vs. 72 minutes of web-based consumption? It’s just a matter of time until mobile surpasses television as the King access point of ALL media. Take that Howard Stern.
3. Social Is Mobile
I previously mentioned that 60% of Facebook’s traffic is mobile and increasing rapidly. But up until now, the only way to reach your Facebook fans on their phones (with an optimized experience) was via the news feed.
Then there’s Twitter, whose sizable user base is almost entirely mobile. Wouldn’t it be great if you could launch the same user experience across social, mobile, and PCs? (strong hint: with North Social web apps desktop users will get the same Facebook app experience they already love. While mobile users will get a promotional experience tailored to their phone or tablet).
4. Mobile Advertising Has Matured
By now you all know that brand promotions don’t just go viral on their own – online or off. Before you’re able to brag to about your ROI on your next campaign, you must first put some wind at your promotion’s back by generating some meaningful and measurable awareness. The good news? The mobile ad market has grown out of puberty, and is starting to flex its new muscles. Brand marketers now have a large inventory of more mature tools at their disposal to hyper target and connect their messages to their on-the-go consumer. Facebook has gone all in. They grew their mobile ad revenue from a flat zero in 2011 to nearly $340 million in 2012, and are projected to pull in around $850 million for mobile ads in 2013.
So whether you’re looking to drive more brand awareness, consideration, sales, or consumer loyalty, you should be trying out a number of the available tools to optimize user engagement from mobile ad clicks. Get to it. Test > Measure > Modify. Practice won’t make perfect, but it will help you stay ahead of your competition and in front of your key consumers.
5. Frictionless Entry
The most successful promotions are usually the ones that have the least friction to enter. You never want to jump through too many hoops in order to participate in a brand experience. I know what you’re thinking, what about the QR code? First off, this technology was originally created for industrial purposes as a way to keep track of inventory NOT for giving consumer’s access to a website. Any brand marketer that believes QR codes are the answer to quick and effortless entry into a consumer experience need to have their head examined. They may look good in concept or a sexy pitch deck to a client, but the user experience is not inviting to say the least.
Let me break it down. Before scanning their first QR code (friction point #1), one has to download a scanning app manually (try to browse the app store and not get distracted) and then figure out how to use it (friction point #2). Then the consumer has has to wait for their camera to ready itself to take a photo (friction point #3), they then have to get the right distance away and shoot a well lit, in focus photo of the code (friction point #4), Then, each time there’s a QR code to scan, they have to be sure they’re using the correct scanning app for the right QR code (friction point #5). Yes, QR codes are a giant pain in the ass.
The goal is to get prospective consumers to spend time with your brand, not the actual technology that is powering your brand promotion. Consumers are about convenience, so make participation easy for them. Here’s a brilliantly basic thought; how about asking your short-on-time and patience consumers to just type in a straightforward URL on their phone or tablet? (ahem: North Social’s new device-agnostic web apps enable your consumers to enter sweepstakes or photo contests without ever having to power on their PC, connect to their favorite social network, or download and use a complicated app…).
6. Instant Reward and Follow Through
Smart mobile apps allow you to collect customer data and hit your customers back with instant response emails that include coupons, links, and more. Sure, there are a small (and shrinking) pool of brands that ask consumers to save proofs of purchase from their favorite cereal brand and mail them in to claim their $1.00 off coupon, but it’s clearly time to adjust. Sure people still like to save money. Who doesn’t? But the distribution and redemption game has changed. Because consumer behavior has changed. Fact: mobile coupons are now redeemed 10 times more than traditional coupons (my apologies to Cap’n Crunch). But the more challenging brands continue to make it for consumers to access the content they want, the sooner they will jump ship and find another more accommodating brand to support.
7. Mobile Puts The “R” in Retail
For brands that have an offline presence, mobile is the perfect companion to an in-store promotional campaign. The goal has always been to connect with customers when they are contemplating a purchase. Now with mobile optimized apps, you can enable instant digital coupons and rewards right at the point of sale. Tag your in-store marketing communications (table tents, coasters, signage, danglers, decals) with a mobile-friendly URL and you’ve now elevated your consumer’s in-store buying experience. Tip: if you’re a clothing brand, you should think about putting up some POS with a motivating mobile call to action in the dressing room to push them one step closer to your desired destination, the checkout counter.
8. Real-Time Consumer Feedback
Successful brands are constantly asking their consumers exactly what they want and what they can do better as a business. The problem, to fully get large numbers of consumer to participate in such initiatives you must 1) properly incent them; and 2) make it convenient for them to provide quick feedback (blasting their in-box only works so well). Well, a mobile survey is a lot more convenient and can help you quickly gain valuable insights to: a) understand your target; b) get product feedback; c) measure customer awareness; and d) learn more about customer buying habits. Whether you’re a hotel, airline, or restaurant, printing a mobile-optimized URL on a piece of POS and asking your consumer to give you instant feedback in order to receive a discount on their next purchase will outperform a traditional survey sent via email every time.
9. It’s Called A Smartphone For A Reason
The mobile phone is essentially the brain of your customer. Outside of communication, they use mobile phones for virtually everything from entertainment to education to exercise to yes, researching potential purchases.
Did you know that 71% of mobile consumers do research on their smartphones after being served a captivating television or mobile ad? What about B2B? Well, more than 59% of B2B purchase decision makers and influencers turn to their smartphones to gather intel when purchasing products or services.
If you’re freaking out that you’re late to the mobile party, don’t worry. The North Social team has your back. We’ve created new web apps to help you better reach and instantly reward your target consumers no matter where they are or what device they happen to be using. Yep, your next brand promotion can now be as smart as your phone.
To learn even more about how to get your consumers to flex their thumbs, please visit www.thumbprize.com or sign up for a demo below.