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Still Time To Optimise For Mobile

We quote so many facts and statistics with foreign origins in this blog that it’s a refreshing and positive change to have some local stats to highlight. The 2017 South African Mobile Report, by PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC), reveals that nearly half of the respondents use their mobile phones for two and a half hours per day. That was particularly interesting for me as I read this very morning that a study by UK firm TextLocal found that young mobile users in that country use their phones for an average of five hours a day. With relatively few SA mobile users having work or home access to a desktop or laptop computer, I doubt UK mobile users really do use their phones twice as much as their local counterparts. The difference in the two figures is most possibly due to differences in study methodology. An additional interesting local mobile-related statistic has to do with SA cell users using their mobiles for web access. Fully 40% of respondents said they use their handsets for Internet usage and the latter typically amounts to paying bills and engaging in other types of mobile commerce. If fully 4 out of 10 SA cellphone users are well-versed in m-commerce then doesn’t it make sense for your firm to be well-versed in mobile marketing? Of course it does and InTarget can show you what to do. The first thing your business needs to do to get m-ready is to take steps to optimise your operations for mobile. With mobile, new opportunities arise to communicate with your customers but this means you need to make a commitment to...

Meet The Web Team To Boost Mobile Conversion Rates

Mobile’s the best thing since sliced bread, the wheel and democracy! So the conventional wisdom goes. When one realises that the 40 million mobile user milestone is fast approaching in South Africa, we at InTarget couldn’t agree more. However, why is it then that mobile conversion rates in E-commerce are so low? Some sources have the average rate at which online shoppers eventually actually purchase via their mobile devices at just over half a percent. While it is obvious that the mobile form factor has inherent disadvantages related to size that are not going to go away any time soon, the fact remains that consumers are leaving desktop in droves. So it seems to us that the onus is on the mobile marketer to identify any roadblocks that exist in mobile E-commerce and overcome them with a view to boosting conversion rates. Let’s be mobile optimists and plough on with some practical things we can do with regards to the above. Desktop users have greater freedom to switch between various websites. It’s just way easier on desktop to play around with tabs. Recognising that online buyers tend to check multiple product reviews across different pages before making a purchase, this is a potential issue that needs definite attention from the mobile marketer. We need to impress upon clients that they need to make it a lot easier for mobile users to check product reviews on the brand’s E-commerce platform. Don’t shy away from reviews, encourage them, and don’t let potential buyers exit your platform to read product reviews – they need to stay on the page! Typing in crucial...

Three Must-have Mobile Marketing Practices

We’ve said before that mobile marketing runs on numbers. What also true is that words grease the wheels of business – and specifically, quotes. Businesspeople the world over do seem to love a wise word or two, and especially when it’s delivered in the form of quotable quotes. A particularly quotable quote that I came across this morning while researching the topic of today’s blog is this one that I just love from Entrepreneur Magazine: “If you’re not being smart about reaching your customers via mobile, you’re leaving a ton of money on the table.” Toby Nwazor, a consumer goods marketer, came up with this one. It’s great because it states in no uncertain terms that we’re dealing with money here – real cash that’s being completely thrown away if you’re ignoring mobile marketing. There are three ‘must have’ mobile marketing practices that companies absolutely must adopt if they’re not to go the way of that venerable, 160 year old soon-to-be-extinct retail store, Stuttafords. InTarget can advise on all of these, so while we won’t go into detail here, you’re welcome to discuss them with us in much greater detail over really great coffee: 1. Location-based marketing is truly here. We can help you send notifications to current and potential customers via text and other mobile technologies who live or work within a certain radius  of the locations relevant to your brand. 2. In-app marketing offers the most personalised engagement possible with consumers. This drives retention, loyalty and lifetime value. This one is fantastic because you’ve already captured the customer and simply need to deepen the engagement. 3. SMS...

Three On-target Mobile Video Tips From Intarget

Mobile Marketing Watch says we’ll be spending a fairly significant 47 minutes a day watching online videos by the end of 2017. I found this statistic particularly interesting because one would have thought that it would be higher by now. Still, it does go to show what we’ve said many times before on this blog: video is huge, it’s growing, and it’s an area that absolutely demands attention from mobile marketers. The often-quoted statistic is that adding video to mobile marketing messages boosts engagement by customers by upwards of 30%. That alone is a compelling reason to add video to the mobile marketing mix. However, before you rush out there and go wild with the camcorder app, consider this sage advice about video in mobile marketing: Mobile technology has led to a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour that requires businesses to tell an emotional story quickly. The best way to do this is to lead with video because it produces the best conversion and engagement rates. Therefore, video tip number one is to “create to convert”. Video thumbnails, or small details of a video, can make or break your video’s chances of getting clicks. So make sure your video thumbnail attracts people to click on it while also sticking around to watch the entire video. You can use YouTube to improve your video’s SEO. YouTube offers excellent SEO potential, provided you can optimise your video description. To do this, you can insert a link where you want to send your traffic at the top of the description. You can also use target keywords. However, ensure they show up in...

Intarget’s Advice For Encouraging Consumer Buying

Sometimes, a clear invitation to action is not always clear in traditional mass media advertising. The television viewer, for example, is often left wondering: “What exactly do they want from me?”. My advertising industry colleagues will tell me this vague, non-existent call to action type of advertising is, in fact, ‘brand building’. Other people would venture it’s art created to win awards and has little commercial merit. Things are quite different in the mobile advertising space. We’ve spoken before in these pages of the need for mobile marketers to be bold when it comes to asking for a product or service purchases from the cellular consumer. Because mobile marketing is about supporting consumer behaviour in ways that are personalised and relevant to the individual shopper in their time of need, we’re not afraid to talk about the rands and cents. After all, the pursuit of real purchasing behaviour is why we are all in business. Commerce and industry is nothing without actual buying. Forget schooling clients on ‘brand building’ and other intangible, nice-to-have aspects of traditional advertising, mobile marketers have a responsibility to advise their clients on the best and most cost-effective ways of chasing that money. Here at InTarget we’ve come up with some practical ways to encourage consumer buying: By motivating current and potential customers to check-in at your business using social media like Facebook, Yelp and other platforms; one could combine that with mobile-based coupons sent via SMS or bluetooth. This could be very visibly promoted throughout your bricks and mortar store, helping the digital and real world realms to seamlessly converge. Couponing is directly related...

Mobile Marketing’s Future Is Bright, Rosy And…. Fast!

Forbes Magazine says it is “difficult to overstate” the importance of mobile marketing. The obvious reason for this is the fact there are a whopping 35 million mobile users in South Africa alone, with another 900 million or so throughout the rest of the continent’s 54 recognised countries. That’s a heck of a market and its becoming more accessible. People can use their cellphones for more than just calling and texting: mobile data prices have declined from about R700 for half a gigabyte of cellular data in 2005 to just over R150 a gigabyte (on Telkom Mobile, for example) today. The wide availability of quality smartphones, new from leading retailers, is also boosting the total audience for mobile campaigns. A lesser-known reason why mobile marketing in South Africa is set for continued stellar growth is the recent limited commercial launch of a brand spanking new nationwide LTE-A wireless network. LTE-Advanced represents a major enhancement of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile communications standard. Owner Multisource has already invited a small number of clients to trial the new LTE-A network and, interestingly, for the local mobile marketing sector, its already public knowledge that Vodacom has concluded an agreement to roam on the new super-fast network. It’s great news that local mobile networks are increasing capacity through smart roaming agreements as companies like InTarget Mobile Advertising work with clients to develop ever more engaging and data-intensive campaigns. All of this is in response to facts like the fact that social media and other posts that include video and images produce 650% more engagement than text-only...

Slow Off The Mark Could Yield Fast Dividends

As we come to the end of June and the halfway point of what just a few months ago still felt like a new year, its natural to wonder what has been accomplished thus far. On the mobile marketing front, we are reminded that our chosen discipline is roughly comprised of two primary segments, so to speak. We have the planning phase and we have implementation. Of course, there’s also the highly-detailed reporting that mobile marketing is famous for. There’s no other area of marketing specialisation where one can drill down into the numbers quite as spectacularly as in mobile – but another time for that! So by this halfway point in the year, brand owners and their agencies should ideally have completed the planning phase involved in executing an effective mobile campaign. I say ‘ideally’ because, as we are about to find out, all is not lost if there’s been no movement whatsoever on the mobile marketing front within your organisation. Being slow off the starting blocks is not a great position to be in, but sometimes it just happens – perhaps there’s been an internal restructuring in this difficult economic climate, perhaps your RFP became a much more lengthy document that you intended. The important thing is that any position can be salvaged. There are some great advantages to only starting the planning phase of a mobile strategy halfway through the year: 1. You get to gather some fantastic market intelligence about what works and what doesn’t, all without having to spend a cent. True, your competitors might have scored big with their early riser mobile campaigns....

Few Marketers Know How To Capitalise On Mobile, Let Us Show You How

As we kick-off a brand new working week, it’s apt that we get right to the point of this brand new installment of our blog: new research by Oracle indicates that despite all the numbers showing that smartphone use is now ubiquitous amongst consumers, the data indicates that few marketers know how to capitalise on this new consumer reality. Essentially, marketers have been unable to clear away the fog of hype to be able to make the appropriate investments in mobile marketing. However, the same cannot be said of marketers who partner with mobile advertising and marketing specialists like InTarget. A specialist is always better than a generalist and we have almost two decades experience of conceptualising, building and implementing effective mobile campaigns. So what is it we actually do, you may ask, to capitalise on the continent’s growing mobile base? We serve two billion mobile ads mentioning our clients’ brands every month! InTarget’s flagship mobile marketing product, so to speak, is the ‘Please Call Me’ series of text tag ads and is responsible for the lion’s share of ads served. Related to this, InTarget is a well-known designer of mobile campaigns centered on mobile network operator (MNO) System Messaging alerts. System Messaging includes network notifications such as Please Call Me, Missed Call Alert and Sponsored Calls. We love centering campaigns around these because the consumer receives loads of them, and doesn’t view them as intrusive because they simultaneously convey useful network information. More information on our specific client services are available on this website. However, we’d like to add in closing that it is vitally important for marketers...

Mobile Marketing – What Clients Need To Know

It occurred to me that so much of what mobile marketers says is directed to other marketers. Whether it’s presenting at the annual mix of industry conferences, or writing on business-related blogs, often the mobile marketer’s audience is other mobile marketers. It is with this thought in mind that today’s blog topic is aimed squarely at the mobile marketer’s raison d’être: our clients. Most clients new to mobile marketing tend to equate mobile campaigns with SMS and that’s perfectly acceptable. The text message was the original mobile marketing tactical instrument and with SMS coupon redemption rates as high as 30% to 50%, it remains a vital part of any mobile marketer’s arsenal. So clients are familiar with SMS, and no doubt it’s cousin the wildly-popular Please Call Me text tag ad, but what else do they need to know about mobile? Possibly the most important thing clients need to know about mobile is that it’s not the future, it’s already arrived! If brand managers and owners haven’t already embarked on a mobile strategy, they’re already trailing behind the competition. The mere fact that the number of people accessing the web via mobile devices overtook people accessing the web via desktop many months ago, means clients need to get serious about mobile. The world’s changing fast and you risk being responsible for your company’s demise within the next 24 months if you don’t get with mobile within the next 24 hours. The next thing clients need to know – and this one may seem obvious – is that mobile is not just about marketing on a cellphone. Other mobile devices...

Video looks rosy in SA

Recent media coverage suggests that things are not that rosy in our neck of the woods. Challenges there may be, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the many advantages of living in South Africa. So many things work well with the homegrown mobile industry being an excellent example of something world class that we get to enjoy every day. News that the telecoms watchdog in Ireland has received so many consumer complaints that a formal review of the sector is being planned had me thinking about how fortunate are as local cellular users. Apparently, the quality of mobile phone handsets being sold in Ireland is less than satisfactory in many instances. In addition, a country many times smaller than South Africa suffers from patchy cellular coverage that results in dropped calls, weak signals and slow data speeds. Of course, things are not always as clear-cut as they seem. A major reason Irish cellular users are suffering from slow data speeds, apparently, is in fact related to something positive. It’s because video streaming is becoming so huge in developed mobile markets. We’ve mentioned the growing importance of video in mobile marketing several times in this blog. It’s clear that we’ve been on the right track because what happens in overseas mobile markets is sure to make an appearance locally very soon. It’s gone the other way, as well, with prepaid being the best example of a local trend that originated here first. It’s great news that local mobile networks are constantly increasing capacity as companies like InTarget Mobile Advertising work with clients to develop ever more engaging and data-intensive campaigns....

Mobile Marketing Is Superhuman

Those of us who were watching TV in the 1980s probably remember sci-fi shows about bionic humans with all sorts of awesome appendages. From microchips underneath the skin to titanium limbs, the human of the future was indeed a sight to behold. You might say that time has already come! Except, future ideas of arms made of precious metals have been replaced by the current reality of hands holding rose gold cellphones. The mobile phone really has become a superhuman bodily extension that enables us to overreach the limitations of our earthly bodies. So what exactly on the mobile phone enables us to do so much more today than yesterday? One could argue it was initially the phone’s early voice capabilities, followed by email and web functionality that suddenly enabled us to work from anywhere, make travel arrangements on the fly and all the while access Internet banking in a flash to make sure we could pay for our new connected lifestyles! However, mobile browsers are becoming seriously old school as apps built by mobile specialists like InTarget and its partners become the new superhuman, standout feature of the cellphone. A recent survey by eMarketer found that in 2017 most connected adults in developed economies will use mobile apps on their cellphones for at least 2 hours per day. That’s a healthy 10 plus percent increase over last year. Interestingly, what’s also true is that while mobile app usage is increasing, and that’s good news for mobile marketers, the number of apps people tend to use is declining. For anyone who has ever opened a shiny new Android or...

Consumers Still Transacting On Desktop, But Sms Gets Them Interested

Many regular blog readers will know that a couple of years ago, Google updated its search algorithms to account for the growing number of people accessing the web from their mobile devices. Essentially, mobile-friendly websites now receive higher rankings that those sites not optimised for the small screen. Investments in mobile make sense, that’s for sure. However, what’s interesting and what’s emerging now – according to recent research – is that we shouldn’t assume mobile users make purchases in the same way they surf the web. Huh? Research documented on US platform Smart Insights indicates that consumers are still making their purchases, for the most part, from computers and not via their smartphones. The numbers seem to suggest that users are happy to use their mobile phones to browse and do basic purchasing research, but many of us are still reverting to our desktops and laptops to seal the deal. So it seems that while users do indeed access the web via Chrome, Safari and other mobile browsers, it is not with the express intent to buy anything. Now, that’s not as scary as it seems for us mobile marketers. This is because this same research referred to above also found that “if you want to capture a mobile market, messaging is still going to be the best way to reach [it] because most people open their text messages…” As we have said before, the beauty of messaging is that messages can be personalised, automated and sent at prescheduled times to literally millions of smartphone and feature phone users. However, the challenge is in composing short SMS or MMS...

Mobile & The Future Of Location-based Games

“Pokemon GO gave us a glimpse of the future.” That’s according to the GM for Innovation at leading US mobile firm, Verve. For mobile marketers, the message is that the way Pokemon GO exploded onto the global stage, literally overnight, taught us about mobile users’ willingness to try transacting in the real world based on events in the gaming world. Last year was about coming to grips with the early learnings for marketers inherent in augmented-reality experiences. More knowledge will continue to emerge following the Pokemon GO ‘case study’ of 2016. There is clear consumer interest here and the focus must now be on inventing ways where the industry can leverage what Verve calls “game ad-units”. We need to figure out how virtual gaming experiences that matter to consumers who encounter them in stores and on their screens, can be monetised to the advantage of brands and their agencies. Mobile marketing is ideally-positioned to take advantage of this new phenomenon of the merging of virtual experiences with real-world transactions. This is because we’ve already spent the last few years getting to grips with enabling technologies such as geofencing and the rise of beacons. If we’re talking about the real world, let’s look at a real-world gaming / mobile marketing example. Imagine buying a soft drink when in proximity to a display and a drink brand could prompt the purchasing consumer’s device by rewarding them with a power-up in a game they already play. That’s a tiny taste, or sip, of the potential highly-effective marriage of mobile marketing and gaming. Let’s see how it all unfolds during...

App Personalisation Boosts Mobile Engagement

In this blog, we’ve often written about what could be called the ‘core’ of mobile marketing: personalisation. Mobile marketing both enables greater personalisation of consumer-focused messages, and it is also key to a successful mobile campaign. It is interesting to note, then, an article this week in business bible, Forbes. It says that after analysing millions of mobile interactions, one marketing firm found that “personalised content inside push notifications boosts engagement four times.” This alludes to something mobile marketers are discovering to their great excitement and that is the modern app is smarter than its ancestors. After several years of evolving and fine-tuning, it is now able to effectively personalise content down to the individual user rather than the broad segments that used to form the foundation of marketing theory. With all of the above in mind, here are the top three predictions from Forbes for why 2017 will be the year of the smart app – they make for interesting reading: 1. Smart Apps Will Showcase Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics will enable apps to anticipate and react to a user’s desires before they’re even expressed. 2. Smart Apps Will Make Chatbots Ubiquitous: In 2017, more brands will be able to serve consumers using conversational interfaces across the app. 3. Smart Apps Will Usher In Mass Adoption Of Automation: Mass blasting your users with generic content is a tired tactic. Instead, forward-thinking marketers are beginning to look at automation in a new light. The final word today belongs to Forbes: “With (personalised) intelligence, mobile-savvy brands can communicate more effectively with...

Three Tips For Better Lead Conversations

The fact that we are clearly, and very deeply, in the mobile era can seen from a casual observation of the people around us – and ourselves! It’s not just that so many people have their mobile phones right in their hands and the rest have them within arm’s length, it’s that it is acceptable. In decades past, one was frowned upon for not paying adequate attention to the person directly in front of your eyes. Now, that person has become secondary. We seem to respond faster and interact more with people behind our cellphone screens. While the overall societal implications of all of this may be up for debate, what’s not debatable is the wonderfully positive contribution mobile technology has made to marketing. Mobile might be bad for conversation but for conversion, it’s a fantastically strong tool! We’ve said before in this blog that mobile marketers should not be afraid to directly ask mobile consumers for their business. While television might be renowned for ‘brand building’ where there’s no clear call to action but the viewer is left with a warm and fuzzy positive impression of the advertised brand, in mobile things are a little more competitive. Mobile marketers simply do need to get down to business and prioritise converting eyes on screens to rands and cents transactions. Let’s look at three mobile marketing tips for acquiring outstanding leads that are very likely to result in cash conversions. Firstly, don’t treat all mobile users as if they are at the same point in their purchasing lifecycle. As always, mobile marketing is about personalisation and you need to take...

Intarget On Top With Widest Mobile Reach

Many blog readers will be familiar with the fact that InTarget is entrusted with the achievement of the mobile marketing objectives of some of Africa’s most valuable brands. Whether venerable finance houses, large footprint retailers, critical fuel companies or state-of-the-art start ups, InTarget regularly gets the call to design bespoke mobile campaigns that deliver on overarching strategic objectives. Some readers, however, might not be entirely clear on why exactly InTarget is most often selected as the preferred mobile marketing partner of leading organisations across two continents. We’re one of the Top 25 African & Middle Eastern Mobile Ad Networks because we have the unique ability to offer short codes in over 41 African markets and commercial SMS delivery capability to over 200 countries globally. In essence, InTarget can take your great mobile campaign idea and turn it into a commercial reality faster than anyone else. In addition to providing ever-popular SMS short code plug-and-play solutions, InTarget is also the preferred partner for multinationals looking for fast, reliable and affordable VAS aggregation services across Africa. For example, we can offer brands a single USSD integration that taps into the awesome potential of tens of millions of potential customers across nine leading African mobile territories. Our solid relationships with dozens of mobile operators have been cemented over 15 years and this radically reduces the amount of time it takes to get your message to consumers. InTarget is today a trusted provider of mobile marketing and advertising solutions with a 33-country African and Middle East footprint and we look forward to providing your brand with unparalleled mobile flexibility and speed of...

Mobile’s Already The Next Big Thing

The shiny new year of 2017 has kicked off and judging by the flurry of predictions streaming in, it’s going to be a grand one for mobile! We were just getting to grips with the exciting news that mobile overtook desktop for the first time globally in 2016. That is to say, for the first time in the history of the human race (not to sound overly dramatic), there were more consumers globally accessing purchasing-enabling browsers from mobile devices like handsets and tablets. That really speaks to a workforce and a society on the move and our industry is perfectly-positioned to tap into the move to mobile. Our own Mobile Marketing Association confirmed in April last year that mobile has also “outstripped growth in desktop adoption and is now driving internet access in South Africa”. This was according to the MMA SA’s Mobile Report for 2016. We eagerly await the 2017 installment of what InTarget Mobile Advertising is hoping will become a regular feature on the local mobile marketing calendar. Smartphones will continue to be the dominant access device in South Africa and the world and that’s great news for marketers as we can really let our creativity test the limits of cellular functionality. Just this month, respected ad rag Advertising Age is using phrases like “mobile marketing’s awesome potential” when referring to likely trends in 2017. They’re backing up their glowing and possibly new-found respect for mobile with stats like this: research firm BIA/Kelsey predicts that mobile-ad spend will exceed $40 billion. Because we’ve just come to the tail-end of another December / January holiday season, this time...

Video-watching Consumers Stay On Mobile Sites Longer

A new working year has commenced. Along with the new year comes the usual and necessary review of the year that was, and predictions of the coming year. When it comes to taking stock of 2016, we have to mention that the stand-out biggest thing for mobile marketing was the news that the tipping point had finally been reached. Or, desktop’s superiority was finally breached! For the first time ever, the number of human beings accessing the worldwide web via mobile devices exceeded the number of clearly late adopters accessing the Internet via desktop computers. With a fixed / mobile development that significant, it’s almost appropriate to simply disregard whatever else happened in mobile’s 2016. So speaking of earth-shattering developments, what’s the biggest thing mobile marketers and brand owners can expect in 2017? Here at InTarget, we’re big into video and believe in the potential video formats have for mobile marketing. This is especially true when it comes to boosting brands’ goodwill amongst consumers. Everyone loves sharing a warm and fuzzy moving picture with a brand name tastefully tagged to it. US Marketers agree that videos bring the highest ROI and in that market, well over 70 percent of all traffic is already video. We believe that South Africa will reach a video tipping point in 2016 that will see the lion’s share of mobile traffic going video in 2017. Not only are social platforms like Facebook helping to grow the adoption of video by optimising feeds to improve the viewing experience, one must remember that Google owns YouTube. The implications of this are obvious: having more videos improves...

More Love From Chatbots In 2017

Sometimes, Intarget and our clients are so eager to hear about what’s likely to be new on the mobile marketing stage for the next 12 months, we forget to analyse what went down during the current year. So many mobile marketing predictions are made annually, it’s difficult to determine which ones came true and which ones remained proverbial “pie in the sky”. For me, one mobile marketing prediction for 2016 that kept coming up was related to the ability, as Mark Zuckerberg says, “to be able to message a business in the same way you message a friend”. That’s quite an interesting concept and “conversational commerce” as it is increasingly being called is a brand new opportunity for mobile marketers and one that they grasped with both hands in 2016. Chatbot technology has already been integrated into Facebook Messenger and it is InTarget’s belief that it will spell big news for mobile marketers and their brand clients over this coming year. If you didn’t already know, chatbots are designed to replicate human interaction using algorithms and are very similar to digital assistants like Apple’s Siri. The idea is that the consumer is able to interact with a chatbot just as they would a contact centre. Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows the chatbot to change the subject, suggest related topics, and even demonstrate humour and emotion to the customer. The relevance for mobile marketers, of course, comes in because the numbers tell us that this interaction is more than likely to be taking place on a mobile handset. Leading South African insurance firms, financial institutions, airlines and others realised the potential...

Lean Smes Always Ahead Of The Curve

Small business is the engine of the South African economy with over 60 percent of jobs being generated by SMEs. Recognising the power of small, medium and micro-enterprises to make progress towards the country’s developmental goals, government fairly recently established a small business ministry for the first time, while SMEs are receiving more attention in successive State of the Nation Addresses. It’s not just government, but business, too, seems to be customising products, services and tools towards the needs of SMEs. Today, any would-be business owner with limited funds and a great idea can register a co.zadomain and build a website in 15 minutes for just R80. Banks are offering ridiculously cheap SME accounts for the equivalent of a cup of coffee. Mobile marketing tools also represent a highly-affordable way for start-ups to get their businesses going in a flash – for little cash. Bearing all of this in mind, let’s take a look at some expected mobile marketing trends for 2017 that are particularly relevant for small business. These days, it is not enough to just be “mobile friendly”. Because the number of consumers accessing the web via mobile devices now outweighs desktop users, your SME definitely needs to be visible via mobile search in 2017. Simply confirming that your SME’s website is “mobile responsive” (automatically adjusts to the device being viewed on) will immediately help your rankings with Google, ensuring you don’t lose potential customers by not appearing in Search results. SMEs should identify key mobile word searches relevant to their industry. It is imperative to figure out what potential customers are typing into their mobile searches,...

Mobile Marketers Have Golden Opportunity To Give Consumers What They Want

Live chat is becoming the new next big thing in customer service. And, judging by some recent informal polling conducted over dinner, South African consumers seem to love it. It’s easy to see why if one considers how we like to communicate these days. Text is king. Few of us relish dialing into a call centre for reasons as simple as the fact that most local consumers do from our cellphones and mobile calls to customer care centres still aren’t toll free. Aside from how we communicate in 2016, let’s also look at when we communicate. The explosive recent growth in free Wi-Fi hotspots means many South Africans are doing their admin in coffee shops and other semi-public areas. This, of course, means few of us are comfortable dialing a contact centre and having a very public and loud spat with whatever large corporation is annoying us that week. Even if hundreds of thousands of us do still work in traditional office environments with desk phones, the ever-popular open plan design again means text-based communication with call centre agents is preferred for privacy reasons. How utterly convenient to be able to engage in written customer communication while one’s furious keyboard typing is mistaken for work by impressed colleagues. When it has become so obvious what connected people prefer, it’s disappointing to read that over 70% of online retailers do not care enough about their customers to properly address their communication preferences, according to OpenMarket research after polling a selection of online retail operations. The eye-opening research revealed that 64% of consumers prefer texting vs a voice call for customer...

The Right Brand Experience At The Right Time

When last did you buy something the way your parents used to? We’re talking of course, ‘the traditional way’ of buying goods and services. In case you’ve forgotten, this usually entails having some idea of what goods and services you already want and then conducting an old fashioned cash or credit card transaction within a bricks and mortar retail store. If you didn’t exactly know what goods you wanted, you used the traditional four-walled shopping environment to make that final decision after some time browsing. Today, many people do still shop this way, but I’d hazard a guess that this type of shopping is mostly done for pleasure and the people involved make an outing out of it. For routine or semi-routine purchases, a third of people now use only their mobile to make a purchasing decision, according to recent research from location based marketing company xAd. The challenge for the mobile marketer, of course, is to enable consumers to easily go that extra step from purchasing decision to actual transactional behaviour using their mobile devices. So why exactly has mobiles’ role in purchasing decisions becoming more prominent? It’s clear that today’s consumer not only wants choice when it comes to product attributes like colour, size and so on, they want access to additional choices that simply weren’t available to your parents, or even you, just a few years ago. We now want choice to extend to when we make purchasing decisions, and where. With more choice than ever in terms of price, location and personalisation, consumers are now best placed to buy at a time that suits them,...

Start Small In The Quest For Personalisation

It is becoming something of a corporate cliche to quote Gartner when making a point. However, what always seems like the businessperson’s favourite research house really does produce some quality research. This is equally so in the world of mobile marketing. For instance, a recent statistic from Gartner revealed that in 2016, 89% of marketers expect to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience delivered by their brand, product and service. What that’s really saying is forget corporate history, throw away brand pedigree and all the nice-to-have activities that have polished your brand over the years, what really matters is the here and now of customer service. I believe that the post-recession years have meant consumers are counting every cent and brands are only as good as the last time they impressed the consumer during a direct interaction. And it appears Gartner’s research agrees with this view. What this means for the mobile marketers is that direct, personal and upfront is where’s it’s at. Consumers are no longer impressed by a 100 foot billboard in the distance. The days of blasting out uniform advertising to consumers are finished. Today’s mobile users want personalised marketing and companies need to respect this by building relationships with their customers. Fortunately, mobile marketing technology offered by knowledgeable specialists like InTarget allow us to connect with individual mobile users in new cost-effective and powerful ways. Central to all of this is the collection of the data that makes personalisation possible. Brands simply have to collect data if they are to propose more relevant offers to individual consumers. Today’s blog is not the...

Mobile Should Close The Product Offering Loop

Sometimes, we’re so focused on the amazing tools of our trade that we forget mobile marketing is about moving products and services. When you’re dealing with such powerful mobile platforms as InTarget’s ‘Please Call Me’ text tags which literally tens of millions of people interact with each day, then it’s easy to be underwhelmed by what you’re trying to push. I had this thought recently while watching an advert for pizza. The marketer had put together a fantastic selection of options on its mobile and web platforms where customers could essentially build their own meal. People had come up with some amazing combinations. It all looked so high-tech until you realise it still means some guy on a fossil-fuel-eating motorbike has to bring it to you. If you really think about it, it’s a strange product mix because you’re buying the delivery service as well which hasn’t changed for decades. Perhaps our role as mobile marketers to is attempt to get our clients – and their clients – to implement mobile right across the product offering and not just within the core product. In the example above, what was missing was a mobile extension that completed the circle. For customers wanting to collect the order they built on their handset’s mobile browser, perhaps a location-based mobile service tells the retail restaurant the client is waiting in their car? McDonald’s had a different issue recently, compared to not closing the loop with mobile. It built a microsite that was central to a “Create Your Taste” promotion. This online burger customisation tool led to a barrage of offensive results. While word...
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