Mobile set to power this Black Friday

Mobile marketing really is coming into its own – and what a relief for our currently underperforming economy. Not only is mobile powering the beleaguered retail sector but now we hear that experts predict the upcoming US Black Friday weekend is set to be the biggest ever. And they attribute the expected weekend sales records to the growth of mobile marketing in that economy. With South African mobile users now having solidly surpassed the 35 million mobile user mark, and the proportion of smartphone users growing very nicely over the past decade, there is very expectation that we’ll similarly experience a stellar Black Friday weekend driven by mobile technology. There is no doubt that retailers that incorporate mobile marketing into their overall sales strategies will reap the benefits of the millions of consumers who have transitioned from simply using their mobiles as communication devices to fully-fledged purchasing tools. From researching to actioning mobile-based purchases, the cellphone has become a 360-degree purchase enabler. The growing importance of mobile is supported by figures from Google that show that 70% of customers purchasing in-store used their smart phones for research before the purchase and that mobiles have overtaken desktops and tablets as devices used for e-commerce, now accounting for 60% of all e-commerce visits. Sadly, despite these encouraging findings, just about half of businesses are purported to be using such basic mobile marketing tools as SMS marketing as part of their marketing plans. SMS is the go-to mobile marketing tool for so many leading corporates and SMEs – it can be used by retailers to increase loyalty, boost online sales, and even...

Forget the clutter, content continues as king in 2018

As we steam ever faster towards 2018, it seems there have never before been so many tools, technologies and platforms competing for our ad spend. Many of the CMOs that have today risen to their top of their profession can no doubt remember a time early on in their careers when it seemed like the only choice the corporate marketer had to make was what ad agency to hire and which editor to take out to lunch. Now, as marketers put together their strategies for next year, things have got decidedly confusing and, at times, the options can appear overwhelming. Never mind the ‘Four Ps’ that were a mainstay of every traditional marketing education, now we have the ‘Four Es’ (Experience, Exchange, Everyplace, Evangelism) and the ‘Four Cs’ (Consumer, Cost, Convenience, Communication). We like the latter. The former’s a bit of a stretch of the imagination! Perhaps the overriding thing for the CMO to consider today is that technologies that have hitherto been considered emerging are now beginning to peak as real, tangible options for any marketing budget. Think Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and voice search. Our message is that CMOs should continue to keep their eye on such watchwords as they may indeed be peaking in the developed world, but they still have some time to go in South Africa. Learn about them at conferences, be inspired by what they mean for the future, but if there’s one thing you should prioritise in the local environment for 2018, it remains content! Brands in South Africa are learning but they really need to double-down on creating smart, purposeful...

MOBILE TELLS TODAY’S BRAND STORIES

Traditional media has always placed a premium on storytelling. From the early days of purely being a sales-focused discipline, advertising emerged as something of a commercial art devoted to telling the story of a client’s brand. And then along came digital, and later still, mobile. Mobile marketing has had a profound effect on advertising as we have know it. To put a fine point on it, the era of advertising and brand storytelling, has gone by the wayside. Don’t take InTarget’s word for it. This is according to Mastercard Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Raja Rajamannar, who explained the shift in this past October’s Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando, USA. He pointed out the obvious fact that there’s always been something of a conflict between what audiences want from their media consumption, and what advertising want – in a summary, brands want more consumer engagement, consumers want less brand engagement. Essentially, we’ve always just wanted to kick back and enjoy our favorite shows without the darn ads. That being said, give us a freebie and we’re happy to watch a few ads – see: E-TV. Today, however, consumers are thwarting the traditional ad guys’ attempts to tell their brands’ stories in a big way. We’re demanding uninterrupted experiences with media, and going to great lengths to get them. Says Raja. In 2016, there were 200 million daily active users of ad-blocking software. And the figure’s rising. “When consumers are telling you so loudly, ‘I don’t want your stupid ads! I care about my experience,’ holding on to the old paradigm and saying, ‘let’s put...

More seamless collaboration between real and virtual worlds in 2018

Mobile’s awesome potential continues to inspire. First, we had the news a year or two back that there are now more people accessing the worldwide web via mobile than via desktop devices. Today, the latest mobile news is that Pizza Hut is pairing extra cheese with emojis in a customer giveaway campaign! Jokes aside, that really is big news. Just when you thought the real and virtual worlds’ collision stopped at Pokemon Go, mobile’s emojis and the fast food industry’s mainstay of melted cheese have been combined into one amazing offering sure to go down well with consumers. No doubt we will see more of this seamless consumerism that so cleverly taps into our love affair with mobile. So what else will we see next year, in mobile year 2018? Julie Bernard, writing in the US’s ‘Advertising Age’, believes that we’ll see a spectrum of in-store, traditional e-commerce, website and mobile combinations – just like in the Pizza Hit example given above. “For the mobile customer, the playing field is wide open,” she writes. For mobile marketers, this purchase-boundary shift represents a special opportunity to innovate, marrying the best of both the physical and digital worlds. According to people like Bernard, the way mobile marketers will take this transformation forward is to intensify our commitment to “seamless, location-informed, and positive brand experiences … wherever and whenever the consumer engages.” Bring on...

TWO CRUCIAL TIPS FOR MOBILE VIDEO IN 2018

With about 60 days left of 2017 many mobile marketers, agencies, clients and brands are surely wondering what’s in store for the coming year. In a nutshell, we expect it to be more of the same – but better! The science and art of mobile marketing will continue to make progress as specialist mobile practitioners like InTarget hone their craft. One area that’s surely set for refining is the art of producing video fit for mobile. We’ve mentioned many times in these pages how video is becoming the premier mobile medium with many brands gauging their mobile success based on how any viral video shares they receive. Forget all the other complicated metrics, we’ve encountered brand managers who measure success solely by the views they see after logging onto such video-based platforms as Vimeo, Vine, YouTube and others. With video being the yardstick according to which many mobile marketers measure campaign success, what’s important here? We believe it’s crucial for brands to customise mobile marketing videos not only for different segments but also according to length. Some audiences are demanding video clips as short as a few seconds. Short form video, for example, used to mean anything under a few minutes in length. Today, short form in the mobile marketing community is starting to mean clips about as long as a GIF. There’s a whole science devoted to producing these ultra-short clips and, amazingly, you need significant artistry and creative talent to capture a brand’s entire message in just a fleeting moment in time. It’s InTarget’s view that the days of 90-second, award-winning commercials featuring a wizened old fellow...

Mobile is central to your future business

With the remnants of Halloween still lurking around neighborhoods across the length and breadth of the country, it’s tempting to come up with a few scary facts about mobile marketing in today’s blog. This is not to say mobile is scary. What’s really scary is the fact that even though you are highly-likely to be reading this post on a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone, a whopping 32% of companies have NOT integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy (salesforce.com says 68% have). Indeed, what keeps the folks at InTarget up at night are more shockers like 29% of marketers believe mobile is not central to their business and 42% of companies do NOT have a dedicated mobile marketing team. Forget the monsters hiding under the bed, they’re in boardrooms across the country with their eyes shut and their brains closed to mobile marketing’s potential. Let’s not dwell on the mobile spooky and rather focus on the mobile positive today. In this regard, InTarget would like to share three mobile tips with those of us who have recognised the awesome power and potential of mobile marketing. These are originally fromSmallBizTrends.com, and tweaked by us for local readers: Once you’ve made the decision to go mobile, decide to also implement a mobile customer loyalty scheme. You’ll need to do some Googling but there are many different ideas for different industries that you can replicate. For example, a restaurant reservation app might offer some kind of dining rewards program. Secondly, research what local mobile directories your business can join. For South African firms, Google Local and Yelp are well-used...
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