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TIPS FOR USING MOBILE MARKETING FOR YOUR BUSINESS September 3, 2012

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing.
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  • Realize that mobile marketing is just like any other marketing medium you will be using as part of your complete marketing strategy; fit your mobile marketing initiatives into the overall marketing strategy and set specific goals for the mobile marketing elements so their effectiveness can be measured, just as you would for every other medium being used.
  • Integrate the mobile ‘call-to-action’ across the marketing mix to ensure an integrated marketing strategy.
  • Understand that your use of mobile marketing legally requires you to get consumers to ‘opt-in’ and that a marketing strategy should provide an incentive for them to do so in order to maximize the effectiveness of the mobile medium.
  • Keep it simple! Think about ease-of-use for consumers; if it’s difficult to engage with your marketing strategy, they won’t. Mobile technology is very easy to use, but some marketers tend to over-complicate it for consumers. Remember to keep to the basics.
  • Be creative! Design the marketing campaign to maximize brand interaction, immersion and brand awareness; mobile marketing technologies provide a wide variety of options for encouraging consumer interaction with your brand.
  • Whenever possible, find ways to leverage the use of SMS (texting) since most mobile devices built in the last few years are text-enabled (and it doesn’t require the use of a higher-end smartphone) therefore it will maximize your ability to reach the largest possible target audience with your marketing message since virtually every phone can send and receive text messages.
  • Make sure to educate and prepare your customer-facing employees so they understand how the mobile campaign will work and they can effectively interact with customers; get your employees ‘buy-in’ by getting them excited about the mobile aspects of the campaign – employees love to be involved with ‘cool’ and progressive technologies.
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High-impact Marketing Strategies for Non-profits and Small Businesses September 18, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, Marketing Plan, marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Brian Prows, Director of New Media Marketing for MobileBeyond, on the topics of Mobile Marketing and Social Media for small business and non-profits.

When Brian contacted me about doing a podcast interview with him, we discussed a myriad of topics that we both deemed to be of great importance to our respective audiences.  In talking it through, we finally decided that if we focused the interview on small business and non-profit organizations, and strategies designed to help them grow, that we would be addressing a very large audience who would be able to find value in our discussion.

During the interview we discussed a wide range of marketing-related topics that will be beneficial to both non-profits and general small businesses; from marketing strategies, to marketing plan development, to social media marketing, location-based marketing, consumer review sites and mobile marketing.  A primary focus of the interview related to the need for small business owners to identify specific marketing strategies that are high-impact and cost-effective, and then to develop them into a comprehensive marketing plan which can be measured against to effectively track results.

I believe both small business owners and marketers, and non-profit organization management staff, will find valuable information within the podcast and I highly recommend that you have a listen.  The article and podcast can be found on MobileBeyond.  It can also be found on iTunes.

My thanks to Brian for the interview, and for helping to spread the message of Mobile and Social Media for small businesses.

Three mobile web marketing tips for the holiday shopping season August 27, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing.
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Bryce Marshall, Knotice

The ways shoppers make purchasing decisions in retail stores are undergoing a seismic shift. The shift is not driven by changes retailers are making to in-store promotions, store layout, retail design or packaging, however. It is driven by shoppers who have discovered that their mobile device offers a comprehensive tool set for making informed and confident decisions on what products to buy, which to pass on, or where else to make the purchase.

At the beginning of 2010 Motorola released the results of a fascinating study conducted during the 2009 holiday shopping season. Among the insights was one particularly interesting nugget: Worldwide, 51 percent of shoppers used their mobile device to help make an in-store purchase decision. The adoption rate of mobile devices generally — and smartphones specifically — continues to grow at a torrid pace. It’s common sense that mobile devices will be more vital to shoppers during the 2010 holiday season. In fact, using the mobile tool set to help make purchase decisions is no longer an emerging shopping behavior. It’s established shopping behavior.

Many of the most-trusted marketing tactics cannot adapt to the mandatory mobile contexts of time and place. And those trusty tactics cannot get down to specific increments of minutes and seconds — or meters and footsteps — like mobile interactions can. For consumers, the mobile Web unlocks the power to interact with, find, or demand the content they want at exactly the time and place they want it. The mobile Web fills the gap between layers of static, broadcast or stationary media. It fills the gap between the online and offline experience… and between Web stores and physical stores.

Here are three smart mobile Web tactics retailers can use now, and for the busy 2010 holiday shopping season. 

1. Provide the best of online in the store.

This is the clearest and most immediate opportunity for a lot of retailers, manufacturers and packaged goods providers. Consumers want the kind of detailed information found online to help make informed purchase decisions. For example, one large manufacturing company is making the great content from its website available to the in-store shopper via the mobile Web. The goal is easy access to the right amount and type of content. Not providing all of the information available on the product, just the right information to help a customer decide against a competitor’s product or prevent them from walking out of the store because of a lack of information.

The mobile Web, apps and SMS are great ways to get valuable content in the hands of in-store shoppers. Mobile solutions do not eat up valuable in-store shelf space and are more scalable and cost-effective than interactive solutions like kiosks, computers and video displays. Mobile solutions are perfect because the shopper provides the hardware.

2. Provide the tools to search, find, and motivate.

Right now consumers leverage mobile devices to search for information or make purchases while they are on-the-go. They seek convenience when busy or a diversion from boredom. They want smaller and smoother interactions. On-the-go shoppers have simple needs: Find a retailer, know what to buy, know it will be convenient, use a coupon. Apps and the mobile Web fill a potential gap in traditional media scenarios because with mobile search, location data, driving directions and coupon delivery, every shopper has the tools to locate and buy.

3. Embrace cross-channel behavior, don’t fight it.

A traditional failure by hybrid retailers, one that drives customers crazy, is the counter-intuitive division between online and physical retail operations. The organizational limitations of the retailer prevent a brand from embracing consumers’ cross-channel preferences. Right now many consumers use the traditional Web to research products, or create a shopping/wish list, all while intending to buy at a retail store. They use online tools but don’t buy online. Marketers can embrace this online-to-offline migration by creating mobile solutions that combine virtual and physical experiences in a consumer-centric mashup. For instance, allow online browsers to create a mobile cart or shopping list, then forward it to a mobile device via SMS, or access a shopping list via a personalized mobile Web page or app. Shoppers can quickly reference product information, SKUs, pricing and store location information — all of which ensures a seamless and profitable cross-channel retail experience.

On-the-go shoppers are looking for information right now. They are ready to make a purchase decision right now. They simply crave convenience, direction and purchase confidence. Deliver these experiences in every mobile interaction and your shoppers will be grateful now, and this winter when it counts the most.

Bryce Marshall is the director of strategic services for marketing firm Knotice.

Learn Why You Need a Mobile Strategy for Your Company May 7, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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Today, every company needs to have a mobile marketing strategy that integrates mobile with other marketing tools they are implementing; mobile tools might include:  a mobile website, text messaging (SMS), MMS, QR Codes, banner ads and more (learn more about each type of mobile marketing on our website).

A mobile strategy should thread through all avenues of marketing that are existing already within a company and should not be a separate entity, according to Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta in an article for Mobile Marketer Daily entitled, “Why Brands Must Have a 360-Degree Mobile Web Strategy“.   She further indicates that it’s most effective when mobile becomes an additional marketing channel threading though and linking to all existing channels, i.e., store signage, electronic media, print media, Internet and store associate training.

In the same article, Ran Farmer, managing director of Netbiscuits, Washington says, “Do not misunderstand mobile to be the little brother of the PC Web.  Mobile will very soon be much bigger than the PC Web.”

If you would like to learn more about how Mobile Marketing can help your business, please contact us at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com, visit our PC website or visit our mobile website on your cellphone at StrategicGrowthConcepts.mobi.  You can also text the word STRATEGIC to 244326 to join our Strategic Growth club and to become eligible for discounts on Mobile Marketing services for your company.

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The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting and training firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. She is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at linda@strategicgrowthconcepts.com and the company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

ComScore Study Shows Increasing Mobile Use by Consumers; Time for Business to Start Reaching Them Via Mobile May 6, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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comScore recently released its’ latest report about Mobile Phone subscribers; which phones they’re buying, which carriers they’re using, and which functions they are using on their phones.  Those firms who are still deciding whether or not they should be taking action to get a Mobile presence for their firms should find the study quite interesting.  Below, find an excerpt from the study regarding the use of phone functions.

In an average month during the January through March 2010 time period, 63.7 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 0.6 percentage points versus three months prior. Browsers were used by 30.1 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 2.6 percentage points), while subscribers who used downloaded applications made up 28.6 percent of the mobile audience (up 2.6 percentage points). Access of social networking sites or blogs continued to increase, posting gains of 2.8 percentage points to 18.7 percent of mobile subscribers.

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Mar. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Share (%) of U.S. Mobile Subscribers
Dec-09 Mar-10 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Sent text message to another phone 63.1% 63.7% 0.6
Used browser 27.5% 30.1% 2.6
Used downloaded apps 26.0% 28.6% 2.6
Played games 21.6% 21.8% 0.2
Accessed social networking site or blog 15.9% 18.7% 2.8
Listened to music on mobile phone 12.1% 13.2% 1.1

As the study indicates, text messaging is used by over 60% of subscribers, a web browser is used by over 30% of subscribers, and almost 20% are currently using their phone to access sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  And the numbers will only continue to rise!  The mobile phone is how consumers are communicating with each other, and in increasing numbers, with the firms they want to do business with.  To learn more, read the complete comScore March 2010 study.

Those who have not yet implemented a Mobile Marketing strategy for their business need to begin work on one right away – if you don’t, be assurred your competitor’s will be – and then they’ll have a significant advantage over your business!

Strategic Growth Concepts would like to assist you in assessing your Mobile Marketing needs and determining how best to incorporate Mobile into your existing marketing strategy.  The answers are not the same for every firm; for some, it might be text messaging and a mobile website; for others it might be developing a mobile application and a series of mobile banner ads.  We at strategic have the marketing experience and mobile knowledge to help you find the best solution for your firm.  If you would like to schedule a call to learn how Strategic can assist your firm with its Mobile Marketing initiatives, please contact us via our mobile website at www.StrategicGrowthConcepts.mobi, our Internet website, or email at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com .

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The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting and training firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. She is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at linda@strategicgrowthconcepts.com and the company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

Mobile Marketing – What’s All the Hype About? April 10, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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You’re hearing it a lot lately – on Facebook, Twitter, national business publications, and even in daily news media – Mobile Marketing is becoming THE way to advertise; it’s often touted as the best direct marketing method available today.  So now you’re wondering – “What exactly is mobile marketing?  Are they right? Should my business be using it?  Is it really as effective as they say it is?  Will my customers want to receive mobile messages?  Can I afford mobile marketing?  Where do I begin?”

So let’s answer those questions!

First, what exactly is mobile marketing? 

According to the Mobile Marketing Association, “Mobile Marketing is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”

And that communication and engagement is being implemented by marketers from the smallest ‘mom & pop shop’ to the largest multi-national corporations.  As the traditional marketing channels suffer various levels of decline, mobile marketing is experiencing triple-digit growth annually.

According to Jeff Hayzlett, Chief Marketing Officer / Vice-President, Eastman Kodak Company, mobile phones are “the most direct and personal of all media channels these days… They enable us to remain connected 24/7. No need to log onto the Internet or roam around town looking for a hot spot. Mobile devices are always hot. A marketer’s dream is to engage in meaningful two-way conversations with people who are truly interested in their brand, and mobile gives you that direct line of communication — constantly.

There are various types of mobile marketing, including:

  • SMS (short message service)
    • Also known as ‘texting’
  • MMS (multi-media message service)
    • Messages that contain multi-media objects such as images, video and audio
  • Mobile Web Applications 
    • Browser-based web services such as the World Wide Web using a mobile device
    • Utilizes WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) – an open, global specification that empowers mobile users with wireless devices to easily access and interact with information and services instantly
  • Bluetooth (short-range wireless technology; up to approx. 33 ft)
    • Also known as proximity marketing
    • The localized wireless distribution of advertising content associated with a particular place.  In other words, if you have a cell phone in the proximity of a marketing broadcast, you would be able to receive a message or advertisement
  • Location-Based Marketing
    • Delivers multi-media directly to the user of a mobile device dependent upon their location via GPS technology
  • QR Codes (quick-response barcodes)
    • Two-dimensional barcode
  • Voice
    • IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
      • a technology that automates interactions with telephone callers
    • Voice broadcasting calls numbers from a computer managed list and plays a pre-recorded message to the call recipient or answering machine
    • Pay-per-Call
    • ADC (Abbreviated Dialing Codes) dial the code to access voice content
  • Mobile Banner Ads
  • Mobile Website
    • A Mobile-optimized version of an Internet website providing an easy way for consumers to learn about your company ‘on-the-go’.

Next, Are they right, should your business be using Mobile Marketing?  Is it really as effective as they say it is?

According to the Director of Research at Nielsen Mobile, “People look at every text message they get”, and 97% of them do so within 15 minutes.  Can you think of any other advertising medium where you are almost guaranteed that every person targeted will see your message?

Kodak’s Hayzlett says, “Mobile marketing is quickly growing beyond the experimental and is showing tangible results. Two examples are Barack Obama’s unprecedented mobilization of supporters during his presidential campaign, and the incredibly successful American Idol reality show, where over 20 million mobile users text their votes each week.”  

An additional recent example of mobile’s results is the spectacular fundraising efforts for Haiti which were driven by mobile donations.  Almost $5 million dollars was raised in less than 48 hours via text message contributions, and to-date, more than $30 million has been raised via mobile.

Some industry statistics may help to clarify the effectiveness of Mobile Marketing for you:

  • According to industry estimates, by 2013 the U.S. will top 100% per capita penetration of mobile phone use
  • SMS is typically read within an average of 15 minutes after receipt, and responded to within 60 minutes
  • While 65% of e-mail is spam, less than 10% of SMS (texting) is spam
  • A survey of 2,400 moms reveals that the single most important tech gadget in their lives is the cell phone
  • A Nielsen study indicates more than half of mobile data subscribers (51%) who saw a mobile ad responded to it by sending a text-message, clicking on it, or calling a specific number.
  • In analyzing the mobile audience, Nielsen found that teens were the most likely to recall seeing some type of mobile ad (46%) compared to 29% of users overall.  Asian-Americans and African-Americans were among other demographic groups with high recall rates, at 42% and 40%, respectively.
  • 88% of all mobile subscribers have a text enabled phone. 51% have received SMS marketing messages, and 25% have opted in to marketing messaging from a brand.
  • 14% said they are already open to mobile advertising so long as it is relevant to their interests

Will my customers want to receive mobile messages?

A new survey published by Compete.com indicates smartphone owners are very receptive to mobile coupons.  The survey, which looked at the time of day most smartphone owners use their devices, as well as what mobile advertising concepts they’re most interested in, found that usage during commutes to work and while watching TV were the highest by far.

To find out their receptiveness, the survey asked smartphone owners how interested they were in receiving various types of mobile advertising.  The results were quite interesting, indicating consumers were most interested in receiving grocery coupons (36%), scanable barcodes (29%), offers to save and pursue at leisure (26%), movie theater offers (26%) and promotion/coupon ads (21%) via SMS (text) when passing by a retailer.*

Can I afford mobile marketing?

Absolutely!  Mobile marketing is an extremely cost-effective medium to use with an exceptional return-on-investment.  While some firms have achieved an ROI as high as 54% or 62%, typical results range between 7 – 15%; still quite high as compared with more traditional media such as Direct Mail which typically attains a 2 – 3% ROI.

And now, Mobile Marketing is very accessible for even the smallest of firms.  Small business owners can implement their own unlimited mobile advertising campaigns – within minutes – for as little as $25 per month, through a service now being offered by Strategic Growth Concepts – and, no contracts required!

Where do I begin?

If you would like to learn more about Mobile, please TEXT the word STRATEGIC to 244326.  This will opt you in to Strategic’s Mobile Club, and notify us to schedule you for a FREE demonstration.  Members of our Mobile Club will be eligible for future special offers, and will receive tips on using Mobile Marketing to benefit your business.  If you prefer not to join the Mobile Club but would still like to receive the FREE demonstration, you can contact us directly at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.

Sources: Babycenter.com, March 2008; Experian via Mobile Marketing Watch, Nielsen: Improved Recall, Comfort With Mobile Ads Study; Luth Research June 2009; *Smartphone Owners Want Mobile Coupons, Mobile Marketing Watch

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Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting and training firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. She is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at linda@strategicgrowthconcepts.com and the company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

Smartphone Owners Want Mobile Coupons March 12, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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by Mobile Marketing Watch

A new survey published by Compete.com indicates smartphone owners are very receptive to mobile coupons, especially when it comes to grocery coupons that are easily redeemable via barcodes scanned directly from the device.

The survey, which looked at the time of day most smartphone owners use their devices, as well as what mobile advertising concepts they’re most interested in, found that usage during commutes to work and while watching TV were the highest on the list by far.

To find out their receptiveness, the survey asked smartphone owners how interested they were in receiving various types of mobile advertising.  The results were quite interesting, indicating consumers were most interested in receiving grocery coupons (36%), scanable barcodes (29%), offers to save and pursue at leisure (26%), movie theater offers (26%) and ads via SMS when going by a retailer with a promotion / coupon (21%).

The fact that over 1 in 5 smartphone owners would be interested in these top-5 concepts is very promising for the mobile marketing industry, considering that it’s still in the early stages of mainstream adoption.  Given the nature of smartphones, adoption via this user-group will signal what works and what doesn’t- with concepts that do see mainstream adoption via smartphones making their way to feature phones eventually.

It’s not surprising that barcodes, coupons and other retail-oriented mobile technologies are the first to catch on with consumers.  It’s a concept that provides the most value to users, while not interfering with daily usage like some other concepts.

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Should you be interested in learning more about mobile coupons and how they can help grow your business, or mobile marketing in general, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Ten things you should know about Mobile Marketing February 24, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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by The Mobile Marketer

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) mobile council has produced a list of the top 10 things it believes markets absolutely have to know about mobile advertising at the moment.

It follows research from the IAB and PriceWaterhouseCoopers that mobile advertising is set to become part of the mainstream marketing mix over the next two years.

  1. It’s an always on medium: Consumers love their mobile phones so much that researchers found when they took peoples phones away for a day they claimed to feel a phantom ‘tingle’ in their pocket that normally proceeds the excitement of a text/call. Stephen Upstone, managing director of European business development, AdInfuse.
  2. Social media is driving growth: IAB research in 2009 found that updating social network sites via mobile handsets is increasing with 25% of all social networkers logging on to check or update their pages. 16 to 24 year olds are the biggest mobile social network fans with 44% saying they have updated via mobile, compared to 17% of over 55s. Amy Kean, senior PR and marketing manager, IAB.
  3. It provides immediate interaction: Mobile phones allow the consumers to interact immediately with advertising. Upon seeing an advert the consumer can text, call or download content instantly. It can help maximise the effectiveness of other media, a short code is a great example of this. Rachel Wright, business development director, Phonevalley.
  4. It’s got a lot to offer: Mobile Marketing is much more than banner adverts within internet content; a wide range of formats can be delivered as campaign components from text links in SMS messages through to full screen static or video display adverts within applications or mobile internet sites. Jeremy Copp, CEO, Rapid Mobile Media.
  5. Application crazy: iPhone users have downloaded over 1 billion applications worldwide to their handset since launch. Applications are not restricted to iPhone however; advertisers can create useful applications for consumers for the majority of handsets. David Fieldhouse, mobile manager, MediaCom.
  6. It’s popular: The number of mobile media users in the UK has reached the tipping point with over 30% of all UK adults accessing mobile media every month and a large proportion of those going online everyday according to ComScore. Stephen Upstone, managing director of European business development. AdInfuse
  7. Smartening up: Over the last 18 months the number of UK Smartphone users (iPhone, Nokia N96, T-Mobile G1 etc) has grown from 3.6m subscribers to 6.3m, a 73% increase, and these users are over three times more likely to browse for News and Information on their phones than non Smartphone users (Comscore/MMetrics). Tim Hussain, head of mobile advertising, Sky.
  8. It’s out of your hands: If you’re not sure if your brand should be on mobile, consumers have already made the choice for you. 0ver 4 million consumers are already using their mobiles to search for information on products and services and search volumes are growing 4 times faster than online. Jon Mew, head of mobile, IAB.
  9. It can reach you: Target through to point of purchase – no other medium allows such precise targeting, from location based services like local search through to in-store Bluetooth marketing you can reach consumers wherever they are and provide relevant and engaging advertising. Paul Lyonette, head of mobile advertising, Microsoft.
  10. Consumers like Mobile! The Orange Exposure study shows 70% of mobile media users find innovative ad formats appealing. In an ad funded games trial 89% said they liked or were neutral to advertisements appearing on the Orange World portal and 88% said they were happy to be exposed to advertising in exchange for free or discounted content. Alex Kozloff, media research manager, Orange.

NOTE FROM STRATEGIC GROWTH:  Worldwide sales of smartphones increased 24% to 172.4 million units in 2009 according to Gartner, Inc.  In the fourth quarter  of 2009 alone, smartphone sales surged 41% from the year-earlier period to 53.8 million devices.  The proportion of adult U.S. subscribers owning smartphones jumped to 17% last year from 11% in 2008 and 7% in 2007, according to new data from Forrester Research.  The number of total mobile phone subscriptions worldwide has reached 4.6 billion and is expected to increase to five billion in 2010, according to the U.N. telecommunications agency.

Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

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The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting and training firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. She is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at linda@strategicgrowthconcepts.com and the company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

What does Google’s $750M purchase of AdMob mean for mobile advertising? November 12, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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Every once in a while a business deal gets done that ‘those in the know’ believe will have major impact on business in America and possibly worldwide.  The Bank of America/Merrill Lynch merger was one, the AOL/Time Warner merger was thought to be one, AT&T/BellSouth was another, Kraft/Phillip Morris was one that worked, Sony/Columbia and Walt Disney/ABC also seem to have worked.  This week, another was announced; this one is anticipated to have impact worldwide – first in the advertising industry, and then in the industries which will be affected by those changes in the advertising industry.  This week’s announcement is the purchase of Admob by Google. 

Below is a detailed analysis by Mobile Marketer on the anticipated impact this purchase will have on advertising in general, mobile advertising specifically, and overall business.  Those of you who have read this blog on a regular basis are well aware of our contention that mobile marketing is the next big growth area in marketing/advertising.  To us, this announcement further confirms our thoughts on this issue.  Read the article to see if you believe the same, we would love to have your comments.

November 10, 2009, Mobile Marketer

mobile mktg typesGoogle now has three out of four bases covered Google Inc. has signed a game-changing agreement to acquire mobile ad network AdMob for $750 million in stock in a move that validates mobile advertising as an effective marketing medium.

Google is hoping that this acquisition will enhance its existing expertise and technology in mobile advertising, while also giving advertisers and publishers more choice in this fast-growing area. The deal will help Google in its efforts to develop more effective tools for creating, serving and analyzing emerging mobile ads formats and expand beyond its traditional focus on search advertising.

“We’ve been talking about the awesome opportunity that mobile marketing brings to the world,” said Mike Wehrs, president/CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, New York. “Some people understand that, and this deal shows that the largest and best-known advertising company—Google—understands the awesomeness of the opportunity, and they understand where this is going.

“If anything, it’s absolutely proof-positive of the value of the mobile channel and it encourages brands to take a very hard look at their priorities,” he said. “If they’re not already increasing their mobile spend, this is a wake-up call.

“It sets to rest any questions as to whether mobile ad networks had a sustainable, profitable business model, and this will cause people to pay attention, wow, there is significant large-player interest, so it spells opportunity.”

Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google is a top Web property in all major global markets, albeit largely monetarily successful in its search advertising business. It has recently made mobile an increasing focus of its business.

AdMob, San Mateo, CA, is one of the leading mobile ad networks specializing in banner ads for brands such as adidas, MTV, Land Rover and Toshiba that run on publisher sites such as CBS, AccuWeather, Cellufun, MovieTickets.com, Lonely Planet and Stitcher. These ads run across iPhone sites and applications, as well as those based on Google’s Android platform.

Founded in 2006, the 140-employee AdMob won $47 million in funding from investors such as venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.  AdMob and Google share a common investor in Sequoia Capital, a well-known Silicon Valley eminence.

Google’s rationale

Mobile advertising is a rapidly growing and competitive space, and Google and AdMob are currently specializing in different areas. Though Google offers many forms of mobile advertising, its focus to date has been on mobile search ads, while AdMob’s focus has been mobile display ads and in-application ads.

Google dubbed AdMob the quintessential Silicon Valley startup and claims that it is generating impressive year-on-year revenue growth. Both companies have approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions.

As this ecosystem continues to grow, the company expects these new marketing media to offer significant benefits. Google believes that advertisers will be better able to engage mobile users with AdMob’s ad formats. The deal will bring new innovation and competition to mobile advertising and will lead to more effective tools for creating, serving and analyzing emerging mobile ad formats, per Google.

The company claims that, by improving the performance of mobile advertising, publishers and developers will be able to monetize their content more effectively, which will hopefully have benefits for the wider mobile ecosystem. Google also claims that users will see more relevant ads and ultimately get access to more free or low-cost ad-supported content and applications, improving their mobile experience. The mobile advertising space will remain highly competitive, with more than a dozen mobile ad networks. The deal is similar to mobile advertising acquisitions that AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo have made in the past two years.

Analysts abuzz

Industry analysts are buzzing about the news of the acquisition, and many were eager to chime in with their thoughts about the potential impact of the deal. “This definitely puts Google in a good position—it really helps them with display ads,” said Tole Hart, Philadelphia-based research director of consumer services at Gartner. “AdMob is definitely a large ad network, and this is taking a large competitor out of the market, but there are still enough ad networks out there to make it a fairly competitive market. “There is less competition, but still some competition in the market, Yahoo in search, and other mobile ad networks such as Quattro Wireless, Millennial Media, Jumptap and a few others still in the market,” he said. “It’s still going to be competitive.”

Many analysts believe that mobile advertising has nowhere to go but up, so there will be plenty of room for multiple players in the space. This definitely helps Google position itself well for strategic growth in the ecosystem. “We think the mobile advertising market is going to grow a lot, and to me it seems like a pretty good deal,” Mr. Hart said. “If it’s going to help you in this market going forward, it’s money well spent—the current revenues aren’t going to add up, but if it gets you going and gives you some assurance that you’ll be a leader, it’s worth it. “Five years from now, everyone will have a smartphone or a really good feature phone, so there will be a lot of eyeballs and a lot of revenue,” he said.

Gartner projects that the worldwide revenue for mobile advertising will be $13.5 billion in 2013, up from around $500 million in 2008. This includes mobile banner ads, SMS, text links, search and maps, ads in applications and games, ads in videos and TV shown on a mobile phone. Up until now, Google has focused mainly on search advertising, but this deal signals that it has its sights set on other areas as well.

“This one move underscores Google’s ongoing insistence that their strategy is to look at mobile and be a big player there, and this gives them one more piece of that puzzle, one more tool to pursue that strategy,” said Neil Strother, analyst at Forrester Research, Kirkland, WA. “They do OK with AdSense for mobile already, and this gives them a platform to go into display more and play in the smartphone space, because AdMob has leveraged that pretty well.

“Mobile advertising is still a fairly small chunk of the interactive marketing spend, it’s still relatively early, but now Google can get in and marshal their resources, and they will become a major player,” he said. “It probably solidifies them as the leader in the mobile marketing ecosystem.

“The potential is rather high to reach more mainstream users, because even mid-tier phones come with browsers and more people are signing up for data plans that come with Web browsing, so they can search and discover things that are entertaining and can have advertising in some way.”

Some analysts focused on the potential for integrating AdMob with AdSense to some degree, and the various synergies the AdMob acquisition could create for Google. “First off, this is a big deal, both in deal size and what it could mean for Google,” said Michael Boland, San Francisco-based senior analyst and program director at BIA/Kelsey. “Google is clearly keen on replicating its online dominance to the mobile world as growing smartphone penetration drives the growth of the mobile Web.

“What it’s done so far has mostly been text advertising on Google searches and throughout its AdSense for mobile network mirroring its online strategy,” he said. What AdMob brings is an extensive network of display ad inventory on 15,000 mobile Web sites and applications for iPhone and Android, according to Mr. Boland.

“It’s been the largest ad network for in-app ad inventory on the iPhone, which has important implications for demographic targeting and audience segmentation,” Mr. Boland said. “With AdMob, Google can now reach incremental mobile users and beef up its ability to serve mobile display advertising. “This is a strong position if you combine it with the fact that Google has so many existing online advertisers,” he said. “It can transition many into mobile marketing with a one-stop-shop approach. “This has implications for many more advertisers entering AdMob’s network—otherwise ad networks rely on a combination of direct sales and some self service, so in that respect, Google’s front door to advertisers gives AdMob an advantage over other ad networks.”

Self-service mobile advertising will grow in usage, which suggests Google’s approach will position it well, according to Mr. Boland. “We could see more and more mobile distribution options integrate with its existing AdWords dashboard, again, a one-stop-shop approach,” Mr. Boland said. “If you think about it, this again mirrors Google’s online approach. “Other mobile ad networks have meanwhile begun to ad self-service tools to reach more mid-market and SMB long-tail advertisers,” he said. “This will be a growing source of mobile ad revenue as mobile marketing reaches these segments of the market, just like they did online.”

Focusing on display, search and messaging-based advertising, eMarketer predicts that U.S. mobile advertising spending will grow from $320 million last year to $416 million this year to more than $1.5 billion by 2013. “Google’s acquisition of AdMob obviously gives a lot of legitimacy to mobile marketing in general and mobile display advertising specifically,” said Noah Elkin, senior analyst at eMarketer, New York. “It signals, as on the desktop, that the combination of display and search are going to be what drives the advertising ecosystem, including mobile advertising. “I’m sure that all of the mobile ad networks have been thinking about a combination like this, they’ve all received quite a bit of venture capital money over the past few years, and they’ve been contemplating something like this as a potential exit strategy,” he said. “This deal could help accelerate that timetable. “Google putting a lot of money into the space speeds things up a bit.”

Mr. Elkin would not rule out the possibility that this deal could lead to an acquisition by Microsoft or another Google rival. “Microsoft getting involved is certainly possible—AOL bought Third Screen Media and merged that into Platform-A,” Mr. Elkin said. “Microsoft has invested pretty heavily in voice search with the TellMe acquisition a couple of years ago, and I’m sure they’re looking pretty closely at mobile display as well. “This is the beginning of a dance or musical chairs, with everyone looking for a partner,” he said. “It’s all leading mobile ad networks to cater to slightly different constituencies, there’s not a lot of overlapping reach, so they are viable acquisition targets—AdMob is very strong with iPhone users, while Quattro and Millennial have different user bases, so there are lots of ways into this market. “We’ve pointed to display and search as the two main components driving the market, increasing smartphone adoption and the increase in mobile Web surfing and applications usage is driving that.”

Open letter from Omar Hamoui, founder/CEO of AdMob, San Mateo, CA, to publishers, advertisers and visitors to AdMob.com

This morning we announced that AdMob has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Google. I’m obviously excited, and not only for our customers, partners, and employees. I’m excited because I believe this will be an important moment for everyone involved in producing, consuming, or monetizing engaging products on mobile. The truth is that the mobile industry has had no shortage of creative energy, amazing products, and talented entrepreneurs. But until now, it has always felt like those of us involved in this space played second fiddle to our online brethren. I believe that time is over.

I’ve been working in mobile for over 7 years now. Before AdMob, I founded two separate mobile startups that never got significant traction. It was so frustrating to build what I knew was an incredible service only to find myself unable to distribute or monetize the product without a carrier or handset deal. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one. Talk to any veteran in mobile and they will tell you just how hard it was to get things done only a few years ago. I remember we used to have a cynical saying that summarized both the promise that mobile possessed and the monumental barriers we could not cross: “Mobile is the future, and always will be.”

That frustration is what led me to found AdMob a few years ago while I was in grad school. Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to gather a tremendously talented group of employees. Together we’ve been a part of helping to create a healthy and vibrant environment where developers and publishers, small and large, can both promote their services as well as benefit from the attention and usage their products attract. In our early days we were focused primarily on the mobile web, and gained immense satisfaction from each new business that our service made possible within the mobile browser.

Then came the iPhone. Suddenly, Apple solved so many problems that had plagued mobile for so long. They showed all of us the way forward and their efforts have led to a landslide of rapid improvements in our space. We were so excited by the promise the iPhone represented that we shifted a significant portion of our attention to that device in its very early days. We launched the first iPhone ad units focused on the web and quickly added the capability to run ads in applications. Now with the addition of excellent devices from Palm, Nokia, RIM, and plethora of Android powered smartphones, we have all the preconditions necessary for what will be a tidal wave of mobile browsing and app usage. But let there be no mistake. Our business, and the mobile industry in general, owes Apple a debt of gratitude.

We now operate in an environment that is much more advanced than the one we entered into a few years ago. There are literally hundreds of competitors, small and large, with different areas of focus and expertise. Lately, it seems that almost every week we hear about a new idea or company in the mobile advertising space. This has led to rapid innovation, and we’re excited about the positive attention this deal will bring to mobile advertising. We have no doubt this will bring even more players into the space and accelerate all the innovation that is already taking place.

There are so many people to thank for getting us to this point. We’ve benefited from the advice and support of the best investors and advisers in the world. We’ve had tremendous publishers, advertisers, and partners. We’re very excited by all the very real benefits this will bring for them. Our ads will become more relevant, our products more robust, and our monetization capabilities more significant. Most importantly, I’ve had the honor of working with a team of people that were all, top to bottom, completely committed to our mission. I’ve never in my career seen such dedication, excellence, and passion. This is a group that is smart, fun, and very focused on building and launching amazing products. We’ve been able to keep the bar so high that I often tell people that I’m very lucky to have founded the company in the first place, as I am fairly certain I wouldn’t have made it through the interviews. So let me be plain: None of this would have this happened without the team at AdMob, and I will be forever in their debt.

The best part of all this is what’s next. We are not going away. After our deal with Google closes, we will work together to accelerate the pace of innovation in this area. Our product and engineering teams will keep building great products for all of our customers. Our business development team will keep working to maximize ad revenue for the more than 15,000 mobile Web sites and applications that make up AdMob’s publisher network. Our sales teams will keep working with our thousands advertisers to deliver successful campaigns and our marketing group will keep pushing to get the word out about mobile. It’s just that now we will be able to do an even better job for all of our customers.

I have one important thank you left and it is for Google. We’ve been blown away by their entrepreneurial attitude, their speed, and their insight. My management team and I have been lucky enough to spend time with some key people at Google, and we’ve always walked away excited about our shared values and similar cultures. In all of our interactions we’ve felt their passion for innovation and new ideas. Obviously this transaction represents only a part of their overall interest in mobile but all of us at AdMob are looking forward to working with them to make sure that the future of mobile is no longer so far away.

Mobile industry’s two cents

With the deal sending shockwaves through the industry, many competing mobile ad networks and other players in the mobile ecosystem were eager to share their views about the potential impact of Google’s acquisition of AdMob.

Here is what they had to say:

Andy Miller, CEO of Quattro Wireless, Waltham, MA

I think it has a huge impact. We’ve been hearing rumblings, and I was hoping that it would be Google. It’s a huge validation point for the industry, as Google is the most sophisticated mobile player, and it wanted to accelerate on this with a mobile ad specialist like AdMob. Google said that the mobile Web is different and we need to accelerate in this space. It’s an exciting development for Quattro, as well.

Agencies are the ones putting it on the table in front of brands, and a lot them are partners with Google, so this further validates the space for them. It’s further justification to present mobile plans to their clients. This ups everyone’s ante. Hopefully we’ll lead the way with our targeting. It’s a pretty robust ecosystem of folks trying to move the market, and this will accelerate it and move it forward by years.

This is the first big domino to fall. When Google comes out and said mobile is different and we want to dominate it, people will take notice.

Paul Palmieri, president/CEO of Millennial Media, Baltimore, MD

What happened today is astounding. Google’s perspective has always been that mobile is just the Internet. Today Google validated what many companies including Millennial have thought for years—that mobile is a different market with a huge potential for advertising, possibly a bigger opportunity than online media. As the clear leader in mobile brand advertising, we are happy to see a player like Google bring economies of scale to the performance advertising space in mobile.

Millennial Media has generated our substantial lead in the market by focusing on the advertiser, delivering results, and has been rewarded with the largest reach of any media company large or small. Reaching 80 percent of the U.S. mobile audience, we look forward to working alongside the Google/AdMob pairing to fully realize the vast potential of the mobile advertising market. Congratulations to Google and to AdMob.

Paran Johar, New York-based chief marketing officer of Jumptap

The announcement is causing tremendous excitement as it validates the enormous potential of mobile advertising. We predicted consolidation in the industry and AdMob’s broad high-volume business model is highly synergistic for Google.

The industry frontrunner will be determined by who can deliver the most advanced targeting capabilities for better ROI for advertisers and publishers.

Patrick Moorhead, director of emerging media at Razorfish, Chicago

It’s obviously super-exciting—it’s obviously a landmark deal, not only the scale of it, but the fact that it’s Google. It’s a sign that mobile is no longer emerging media, because they bought scale, they bought the leader in the space. I’m a huge fan of those guys, we do a lot of business with them and with Google, and this is good news for everyone in the industry.

What it means for other ad networks is that there is a future for their business and it’s growing—a rising tide floats all boats. Other players shouldn’t be thinking ‘game over,’ they should be thinking ‘game on.’

If you take the model that happened with our company (see story), Google picked up DoubleClick and Microsoft picked up aQuantive, this signals that Google played their cards, bought a leader and, based on precedent, it won’t be long before Microsoft looks around and says ‘wow, we have to make a move.’

Brands are the only people who aren’t playing effectively in the mobile space, and this is a wake-up call to clients who says mobile is not a real opportunity, because it is. Google doesn’t get involved in anything it doesn’t think has scale.

Michael Chang, CEO of Greystripe, San Francisco

This is an unprecedented validation of mobile advertising and demonstrates the value of rapidly growing a mobile-only advertising platform.

It is also a clear sign that Google understands the value of the mobile channel and brought in a company that has created a mobile-specific solution. We congratulate all of our industry colleges over at AdMob on their hard work.

Gib Bassett, director of marketing at Interactive Mediums, Chicago

Upon hearing this news today, my initial reaction was ‘validation for mobile advertising,’ but definitely not ‘game over for ad networks as a competitive segment.’ Given the high valuation placed on AdMob, Google clearly sees what AdMob has created as very compelling and a strategic fit with its pre-existing ad program, AdSense.

I think the value of ads displayed in rich apps, such as ones served by AdMob, may have more value than AdWords served on search results pages and sites across the AdSense network, simply because an app user has so much more invested in the experience and therefore is paying a lot more attention to what’s being displayed for them.

I thought the news was especially interesting given recent word that AOL was likely exiting the mobile ad business despite a lot of investment and an acquisition [of Third Screen Media]. So although mobile advertising is a relatively new category, it’s matured a lot in a short period of time, having seen large efforts like AOL’s come and go, and a giant like Google coming in and making a statement like it has buying AdMob.

I’d also say that this is another indicator of the ‘mobile customer experience’ driving the smart moves in the industry. Google knows that to provide the best mobile ad offering, it needs to consider all the ways ads can be most effectively served to consumers on mobile devices—across mobile-optimized Web-search results through rich smartphone applications. They have done that exactly and now have a stronger offering which blends AdSense and AdMob.

For other ad networks, there is still room to move, but they need to more clearly differentiate their offerings. As the nature of the mobile channel continues to morph and lines among disconnected categories like SMS text messaging, the mobile Web and applications start to blur, there should still be room for other ad networks to come up with innovative ways of helping marketers connect with their customers in the most timely and relevant manner possible.

Gary Schwartz, president/CEO of Impact Mobile, New York

AdMob has done a tremendous job globally of positioning mobile as extension of the digital buy. Although display advertising on mobile is still relatively embryonic, digital standards bodies like the Interactive Advertising Bureau are actively positioning mobile as an extension of the more mature online cousin. There is no doubt that this Google deal will further legitimize the mobile display buy with brands and agencies.

Eric Harber, president and chief operating officer of HipCricket, Kirkland, WA

Given that Google is the buyer and the size of the deal is so large, this is certainly a milestone moment for mobile advertising and marketing. It provides additional validation to our firm belief and experience that mobile marketing has moved beyond the test phase and now has a seat at the table when the brand’s marketing mix is developed and dollars are allocated. However, mobile advertising isn’t an end-all solution for brand managers seeking to reach consumers via mobile. Oftentimes, SMS is the gateway to engagement because of its ability to reach the great majority of mobile subscribers who have text messaging capabilities on their devices. Calls-to-action and the resulting activity by consumers have proven to drive sales and give brands a valuable, permission-based ongoing relationship with consumers looking for ongoing information and offers. This personalized loyalty and relationship marketing aspect is uniquely driven via SMS mobile marketing and is growing in importance.

Dave Gwozdz, CEO of Mojiva, New York

The news that Google acquired mobile advertising player AdMob for $750 million confirms the legitimacy of the mobile advertising industry, and overcomes any skepticism of whether small screens can offer big opportunities to reach mobile consumers.

The fact that Google has placed a premium on owning a mobile ad network is very notable. The market has definitely matured to the point where it makes sense for online behemoths to try to combine networks, analytics and delivery technologies in the hopes of capturing a share of this growing market.

Zohar Levkovitz, CEO of Amobee, Redwood City, CA

The recent marriage between Google and AdMob is a clear indicator that the mobile advertising industry has a bright future. Industry innovation will also stand to benefit from Google entering the competitive mix.

However, Google’s recent financial commitment also signals to operators developing their own mobile advertising offerings that there is no time for complacency. While operators still own the mobile market in terms of reach and the subscriber in terms of trust, billing relationships, user demographics and targeting information, it is undeniable that Google’s recent acquisition is a game-changer.

Nevertheless, there are still challenges to overcome and fragmentation continues to be a stumbling block. In order for mobile advertising to have a strong, viable future, we believe that the solution must be more centralized around the unbeatable assets of the mobile operators. Major brands and media buyers want a one-stop shop solution and access to the operator’s premium inventory. An operator-centric approach will play a key role in making this possible and further accelerate adoption.

Ken Willner, CEO of Zumobi, Seattle

AdMob is a Zumobi partner and this is a great validation of the potential of the mobile advertising space.

Zaw Thet, CEO of 4Info, San Mateo, CA

Beyond our obvious joy for Omar, Tony [Nethercutt, vice president of sales at AdMob], Jason [Spero, vice president of marketing at AdMob] and all our friends at AdMob, there’s much more to this story, such as:

  • Thus far, nobody has talked about what this means for Android/Droid – and whether this will hurt iPhone developers and/or help other mobile ad networks as Google influences AdMob to spend more time on Android.
  • We believe this is great news for the mobile industry as it indicates the momentum and growth we’ve experienced over the past two years. That said, the rumor we’ve heard has Apple also bidding for the business – maybe one reason the price was so good.
  • Lastly, we want to clear something up. It has been pointed out that 4Info’s primary short code [44636] is featured in the SMS ads picture on Google’s announcement page – this does not imply any kind of special relationship with Google or AdMob. We do work with both companies, but it does reinforce that SMS is a critical part of the industry, and that no mobile marketing/advertising program is complete without SMS. We also believe it speaks to our leadership position in the SMS space.

Susan Marshall, vice president of marketing at ChaCha Mobile, Indianapolis, IN

We think the acquisition validates the claim that we have all been saying: There is enormous opportunity in mobile advertising and we have just begun to see what’s possible.

There is plenty of room for innovation and competition in the mobile advertising space. Interestingly, AdMob only works well on less than 17 percent of the phones out there, including iPhones and BlackBerrys. So, there is big upside. SMS works on all phones, i.e. the overwhelming majority of 83 percent of the other phones out there.

In the end, it’s all about what the brand is trying to achieve with mobile advertising. We believe in a multichannel approach. Web, SMS and display make the most sense, with a heavy emphasis on conversational SMS when you are trying to reach youth.

Alec S. Andronikov, CEO of MoVoxx Inc., Los Angeles

I actually still think that when we come to mobile advertising, the industry is just starting to cross the “chasm” (per Geoff Moore’s analogy) between early adopters and not yet adopted by the early majority of advertisers. This acquisition allows AdMob to get into the “early majority” because of Google’s ad relationships.

I think it could potentially start what I call a second round of mobile “musical chairs,” as other big guys are going to start looking for acquisitions that give them similar capabilities but are cheaper plays, as not a lot of folks out there have nine figures to spend on mobile acquisitions.

Staff Reporter Dan Butcher covers ad networks, banking and payments, carrier networks, manufacturers, and software and technology Reach him at dan@mobilemarketer.com.

Mobile Marketing Now Aiding Non-profits in Fundraising August 5, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts, Web 2.0.
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Mobile Marketing strategies are now being put to work to help non-profit organizations provide information to their constituencies and also, to RECEIVE DONATIONS! 

A recent article by Mobile Marketer Daily reviews a new Mobile Marketing campaign being implemented by the ASPCA (American Society for the ASPCA graphicPrevention of Cruelty to Animals).  They will be utilizing mobile strategies to disseminate animal health tips, shelter locations, and to receive donations.  Obviously, this new campaign will also assist them in increasing their database of those interested in animal issues so they may refer to them for future programs as well.  They’re accomplishing a lot by the use of Mobile Marketing strategies, and setting the bar at a high level for those non-profits who are struggling because of today’s economic environment and want to follow in their footsteps.

If you would like to learn more about the ASPCA’s Mobile Marketing campaign to consider how your organization might apply similar strategies, click HERE to access the full article.

EDITOR’S ADDED NOTE:  An additional example of Mobile Marketing being used for non-profit fundraising is the Red Cross campaign to raise funds for Haiti.  SMS (text) messaging was the mobile vehicle utilized, and the Red Cross did a great job of integrating the mobile donation option into their entire marketing strategy – TV, print, social media, etc.  Within 48 hours, $5 million dollars were raised, to-date, over $40 million has been raised for this effort – all in $10 increments via text messaging!

A more recent example was the ‘Restore the Gulf’ campaign implemented by non-profit organization in New Orleans.  This campaign utilized a QR code which allowed supporters to access a video and online petition in support of the cause.   This celebrity-supported effort has made national headlines due to the unique nature of the campaign; results are not yet available.

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If you work for, or volunteer for, a non-profit and would like to explore the ways in which Mobile Marketing can be utilized to market your organization, we would be happy to assist you in developing a customized program to aid you in increasing donations and providing information to your constituencies.  Please feel free to contact us via our website or via email at linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com to schedule a FREE initial consultation.

Strategic Growth Concepts’ CEO Interviewed About Mobile Marketing for Small Business July 31, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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We would like to thank Justin Hong, host of the BlogTalkRadio show, ‘The Small Business MBA’ for inviting our firm’s CEO, Linda Daichendt, to be aBlogTalkRadio graphic guest on his show today for a discussion about ‘Mobile Marketing for Small Business’.  Topics discussed included:

  • the benefits of mobile marketing
  • explanations of the different types of mobile marketing
  • the Federal laws that affect a mobile marketing program
  • the results a small business can expect from a mobile marketing campaign
  • the costs of implementing a mobile marketing campaign
  • ways in which small businesses can use mobile marketing to promote their business and reach consumers

Be sure to listen to today’s broadcast by clicking HERE so you can take advantage of the special offer our CEO made available to the show’s listeners!

Mobile Marketing is Topic for Radio Guest Appearance by Strategic Growth Concepts CEO July 22, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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BlogTalkRadio graphicGiven the precarious state of today’s economy, small businesses are on ‘high alert’ for new ways of increasing revenue. While recent technology advances provide a variety of methodologies that can be useful in achieving this goal, there is one that has only recently come to the forefront of marketer’s awareness – Mobile Marketing. This will be topic of discussion during Strategic Growth Concepts CEO, Linda Daichendt’s upcoming guest appearance on the ‘Small Business MBA Show’ on BlogTalkRadio. This show will broadcast live on Friday, July 31, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Click HERE to learn the details about the program – and some interesting information about Mobile Marketing.

Time to Begin Planning Mobile Strategies to Aid Holiday Sales July 11, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Marketing Plan, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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By Mickey Alam Khan, July 6, 2009

It’s only three months before mobile can expect to play a significant role in searching and shopping for the holidays. Marketers, agencies and vendors should gear up for the traffic and the expectations.

As is customary, marketers are already working on lists for catalog, direct mail, insert media and email drops for the holidays, along with planning print, television, radio and online buys for those with the budget. Mobile should now be included in that media mix.

First it is key to understand mobile’s role in the holidays. It certainly won’t supplant ecommerce or the wired Web. It won’t take away from print, TV or radio’s branding strengths. And it won’t compete with the catalog, mailer, insert or email.

SMS msg on cell in hand - verticalInstead, mobile will give legs to those channels, through mobile advertising, mobile marketing and mobile commerce.

Long on short codes
Let’s start with catalogs.

Each catalog invites users to shop via phone, mail or by entering a SKU number on the brand’s Web site. Perhaps it would be wise to add a keyword and common short code on each catalog, inviting recipients to text and opt in to the loyalty program for alerts of new deals, shipping incentives or discounts during the holidays.

A similar effort with targeted direct mail and inserts – unique keyword and short code – can actually track the piece’s efficacy in case the customer or prospect responds to the call to action.

Mentioning a keyword and short code on marketing and retail email newsletters can also encourage enrollment into the overall loyalty program with the mobile number.

Adding SMS to print, TV and radio will help track the effectiveness of print and broadcast advertising at a time when the sales pitches are at their shrillest. After all, the holidays are the annual Olympics for retail and marketing.

It’s as simple as that: a keyword and short code. But start preparing now. Wireless carriers take their own sweet time approving SMS programs, and with new requirements in place, marketers have to provide every detail about their planned campaigns.

What the carriers don’t want – and certainly will prevent at all costs – is a collapse of their network due to a deluge of commercial SMS messages. Nor do they want to be accused of spam, even if it’s a perception issue.

At any rate, expect holidays 2009 to set a record for holiday-oriented SMS messages exchanged between brand and consumer.

Site to see
Another holiday marketing tool that requires immediate attention is a mobile or mobile-friendly Web site.

With the falling costs of creating a mobile site and the plethora of plug-and-play services out there, retailers and marketers have little excuse to dither on creating a mobile Web presence targeting consumers on the go.

What would consumers on the go like from their favorite brands’ mobile site? Several functionalities including a search engine for merchandise, store locator, gift-finder tool, list of best-sellers and prices, sales promotions, SMS signup, package tracker and, in some cases, the ability to buy from that site.

Smart mobile sites will also include the click-to-call functionality, linking the shopper to the pertinent store.

Obviously most of these functions would work well only on sites customized for smartphones. But it’s a necessary first step to create user-friendly mobile sites for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and more sophisticated HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia phone models.

A smart accompaniment to the mobile site is the mobile application incorporating some, if not all, the functionality available on the marketer or retailer’s mobile site.

Brands can use their store marketing or other channels such as mail, catalog, print, email or broadcast ads to urge consumers to download their app from the pertinent app store.

Make sure the app is compelling if it is not to be deleted within days of download. Occupying valuable screen real estate on, say, an iPhone, BlackBerry or Palm Pre, is a branding privilege that should not be abused.

Ads up
That takes care of the merchandising and mobile marketing sides of mobile. How about mobile advertising?

Well, now’s the time to make smart buys across leading media sites.

Brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Tiffany and Cartier as well as Walmart and Target should be locking up deals with trusted publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. They should lock in key positions for their ads to run on those publications’ mobile sites.

These brands can also strike deals with magazine publishers such as Time Inc. or Hearst to incorporate mobile into their multichannel media buys. Mobile ads can run not only with the publishers’ sites but also within their apps as part of sponsorship deals.

All mobile ads, once clicked on, will link to special landing pages with the desired call to action or to the mobile site. As simple as that. It’s been done on the wired Web and there’s no reason why it can’t be replicated on mobile.

Look, it’s very simple: When one in 10 working-age Americans is out of work, when the nation’s mood swings between optimism and pessimism, when the national savings rate is going up, the only way that marketers will get consumers to spend is through marketing and its desired end – creation of desire.

These ideas are basic and require little effort but consultation and working with the brand’s agency or mobile marketing firm. The time has come for brands to recognize that if they want the holiday merchandise to move, they must be as mobile as their customers and prospects. Call now.

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Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Popeye’s mobile campaign garners 54 percent opt-in July 3, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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By Giselle Tsirulnik, June 30, 2009

Popeyes chicken

Popeye’s mobile coupon campaign that promotes the fast food chain’s three-piece chicken dinner has achieved a 54 percent double opt-in.

Popeye'sCox Media is running television spots in Wichita, KS, encouraging consumers to text the keyword POPEYES to short code 74642. Ping Mobile powered the campaign. Already 750 consumers have texted and more than 50 percent have opted in for future communications from Popeye’s.

“This type of mobile advertising campaign was a perfect fit for the Popeye’s stores in Wichita,” said Mike Orr, account executive at Cox Media.

“With the ability to directly engage clients with coupons and offers that provide the client with detailed feedback of what day of the week as well as what time of day that a response was generated from a product placed ad is a tremendous validation of return on investment,” he said.

Consumers that texted in received a message that said, “Show this msg at Popeye’s Chicken & get a FREE 2PC DINNER with ur purchase of a 3 pc dinner & medium drink. Hurry into Popeye’s TODAY offer ends 7/31/09.”

Then consumers are asked whether they would like to join to receive future communications from Popeye’s.

The message says, “Reply YES to join the Popeye’s Chicken VIP Club! U’ll get MORE Xclusive offers just like this one right 2 ur phone! Mx3msg/mo. Std txt rts apply. Reply YES now!”

Consumers that join the Popeye’s mobile VIP Club get the following message, “Success! UR in! To quit txt STOP@anytime. Don’t keep the savings to yourself – tell your family and friends to get in on it too by texting POPEYES to 269411!”

“The strategy for this client was to find a unique and fresh way of promoting their three piece dinner- combining a great promotional offer, with a spontaneous and convenient method of redemption,” said Shira Simmonds, president of Popeye’s mobile service provider.

The results of this campaign show how positive an impact mobile marketing has had on the Popeye’s promotion.

Ms. Simmonds also said that the challenge for Popeye’s was using a newer medium while retaining the traditionalism and authenticity of its brand.

In addition, Popeye’s was faced with finding a way of integrating mobile into their redemption solutions.

Mobile was a perfect tool for the Popeye’s brand because it enabled them to reach out to their target demographic (families) via a medium that is not only accessible to them, but also one that is their most personal and convenient device.

Popeye’s also made sure that the offer was relevant and appealing to the target – a mobile coupon for a discount on dinner provides added-value to families in a time of economic uncertainty.

The fast food chain is distributing its mobile coupons via other avenues as well, including a mobile couponing campaign offering free two-piece chicken dinners (see story).

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While results of 54% opt-in are certainly not standard for mobile marketing, the results ARE typically much higher than most traditional forms of marketing.  Results of 10 – 15% are fairly standard, though many mobile campaigns have achieved a response rate as high as 30%, compared to direct mail which typically results in a 2 – 3% response rate.

Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Hispanics Online: Young, Mobile and Bilingual July 3, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Web 2.0.
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The US Hispanic Internet population is growing—in numbers, broadband connections and time spent online. eMarketer estimates that this year there will be nearly 23 million Hispanics online, over 50% of the US Hispanic population.The Hispanics Online report analyzes the trends driving the growth of this young, mobile and vibrant population.

Hispanics make up 12.3% of the US Internet population in 2009, and will increase to 13.9% in 2013.

Like its offline counterpart, this group of Internet users is young—63% are under age 35—and mobile. Some 81% of Hispanics own a cellphone, and for 25% of these adults, their mobile is their primary phone. They use phone features, including Internet access, at higher rates than other mobile subscribers.

Many marketers and online publishers are creating campaigns and Websites in English and Spanish, to reach an audience that switches between languages and cultures.