All posts in “Mobile Marketing Strategy”


Message to Marketers: Mobile Chat Is the Next Killer App

At the recent F8 conference, Facebook announced that its Messenger app has 600 million users, growing 50% last year, faster than its main app. This number doesn’t even consider the other similar apps, like Facebook-owned WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber and many others that collectively have three billion accounts.

Messaging apps are clearly the killer apps on mobile, but U.S. brands and retailers have not yet made themselves available via mobile chat. When you think about all the situations in which you have to call an airline, hotel, restaurant, insurance company, etc., the fact that you can’t instead message these companies on your smartphone for updates, to place an order or make changes to a reservation is shocking.

The user experience on mobile today primarily includes search and browse, both of which have their own place in the customer journey. But messaging as an interaction layer can no longer be ignored. Messaging is an organic interface for a customer to ask for what they want on-demand in a private, personal environment that truly replicates a concierge model — which was the original promise of mobile apps.

With an effective, omnipresent messaging experience, brands may finally be able to effectively leverage mobile, which has been the thorn in the side of marketers for years as apps and advertising have both failed. Consumers view downloading an app as a very high commitment and are very particular about what they keep on their home screen, so they typically only get apps that provide long-term value. Mobile advertising, on the other hand, has not delivered because it still severely lacks context.

For consumers, being able to interact with brands via messaging apps would provide obvious benefits: highly personal support instantly; all communication kept within a single thread; the elimination of phone calls and interaction via other customer support channels; and anytime, anywhere communication on the apps they are using every day. Brands could better nurture relationships, drive loyalty through better customer experiences and decrease operational costs if artificial intelligence is leveraged to automate most of the interaction. The biggest game-changer, however, is that messaging leverages on-demand explicit intent (i.e. the person is stating exactly what they want, when they want it) combined with implicit intent — if brands could carry context forward.

As brands begin to dip their toes into the messaging waters, here are five strategies to consider:

1. Tailor interaction to context. Understanding explicit intent will certainly change the direction of the conversation, but whenever possible, brands should also tap into other contextual factors — the time of day, day of week, user location and weather conditions — to further tailor interaction, product recommendations, offer images, etc. Marketers need to have an “intent model” in place that maps out various customer modes at any point in time and is able to predict what the customer mindset and needs might be in order to better tailor the conversation.

2. Exist across marketing, sales and service. The customer connection on messaging apps should exist across the complete customer journey. Seamless handoffs between various divisions within your company should exist to provide a cohesive experience to customers, while alerting internal teams of necessary customer behavior and insights.

3. Leverage human-assisted artificial intelligence. Consumers expect things on demand. If there is a sizeable lag before a brand responds to a message, consumers will quickly become disenchanted. Wherever possible, brands should leverage artificial intelligence to automate conversations, particularly with less-sensitive issues such as offer availability or order tracking. Some customer inquiries and conversations, though, are much better handled by a human. Elevate sensitive issues to customer service personnel for immediate response to things like payment issues, problems with an order, etc.

4. Extend engagement through personalized content. With messenger apps, people will be inviting brands into their personal space, and because of this, every conversation needs to be treated with respect via highly personalized content, much more so than an app push alert. If done well, a brand could reap huge rewards. Treating chat like an email inbox will not do you any good, but after asking a customer’s permission, sending relevant, personalized information and experiences via the chat thread can drive engagement. Map out scenarios in which you can organically participate in your customers’ lives, without being spammy.

5. Bring messaging functionality to many touchpoints. Messaging is the most successful user experience on mobile, and it needs to be further expanded across various interaction points. Brands that have audiences on apps and mobile web need to integrate a messaging feature within these channels as well. Furthermore, make the chat an inbox of sorts to store all push messages and other promotions, in addition to chats, in a single environment.

Consumers increasingly look to brands to get a job done, help them accomplish something or meet an immediate need, beyond providing a product or service. As brands work toward becoming trusted advisors to individuals, engaging consumers via the most prominent interaction channel in today’s world — messaging — is going to be essential.


6 mobile marketing strategies that need to die

When it comes to technology and innovation, the bandwagon mentality rarely works. By the time everyone is doing it or using it, it’s probably nearing the end of its natural lifecycle. That’s why the great innovators take a look at what everyone else is doing and then invent a new way to revolutionize technology.

Mobile marketing is currently experiencing a mad dash toward the familiar and predictable. Like kids scampering to collect the candy after the piñata bursts, mobile marketers are looking to scoop up strategies they think will help them market to their audience, but many of these strategies aren’t worth pursuing anymore.

Let’s take a look at six trategies that are sputtering, confusing and ineffective, or simply need to die:

1. Thinking of mobile channels solely as apps and mobile Web

Earning a coveted place on the app home screen – next to the likes of Tinder and Facebook – is an extremely difficult feat. Consumers also demand more context-aware experiences than mobile websites and advertisements provide. Companies must think beyond these traditional channels for customer connection on mobile and consider mobile wallet and Facebook’s new Messenger for Business.

Within a mobile wallet like Apple Passbook, people can store loyalty cards, offers, and more. For consumers, the psychological hurdle of saving something to a mobile wallet is much lower than downloading an app, and by eliminating friction from their daily lives (offer redemption, loyalty program rewards), the consumer is more inclined to engage. These saved passes can also trigger context-aware experiences based on a person’s location (geo-fence or beacon), similar to the in-the-moment marketing opportunities that apps provide.

Similarly, the new Messenger for Business is reimagining customer communication and support by enabling brands to engage with their customers privately within a private chat thread.

Companies must explore channels like wallet and Messenger that require less buy-in from consumers to opt-in.

2. Adopting new technologies that are not integrated into ‘one view of the customer’

With every new technology and emerging channel, companies are adding more and more silos of customer data (app, beacon, online marketing, email, CRM, social, etc.) none of which talks to the others. As a consumer, I might receive a personalized experience that reflects my loyalty to a brand online and an experience in-store that treats me like a stranger, even though I have spent hundreds of dollars with the company. Brands need to stop creating channel-specific databases with customer insights and instead work to create a single profile of every customer that incorporates data from all channels to create an omnichannel experience that fluidly moves between touchpoints.

3. Relying only on humans for customer support

The future is now and, unfortunately for technophobes, robots and automation are taking over. Companies should not rely solely on humans to power interactive chat or in-store support. Brands must centralize knowledge and rules of engagement in the cloud – instead of the heads of distracted, transitional sales associates and customer support employees. Lowe’s, for instance, recently piloted robots in stores to replace human associates for some shopper needs, like finding products in its massive aisles. While not every company will be able to afford actual robots, the smartphone can be used as the interactive channel for artificial intelligence-driven support that automates virtual responses to customer inquiries in and out of store, like product recommendations, product finder and availability, order status, etc.

4. Ignoring intent

Many marketers looking to contextualize user experiences rely on location – and completely ignore user implicit and explicit intent. What if a man walks through the women’s department? Should he get a message on his smartphone about a sale on lingerie? Unless it’s Valentine’s Day or a similarly appropriate holiday when he might be shopping for his wife, probably not. When a company is able to understand users’ intent at a given moment, it can help them accomplish whatever they are trying to do by providing the right experience, content, or functionality.

5. Collecting every piece of data you can [whether you use it or not]

Forget pocketing all of the candy. Just find the delicious pieces. Big data is a spectacular pool of information to pull from, but it must be mined, sorted, and distilled – and most importantly, protected. In a time when security breaches are on the rise, data minimization is more important than data maximization (collecting anything and everything). Companies should think about the information they are collecting and ask themselves whether they need it all, if the risks of collecting the data outweigh the benefits, and how that data is benefiting customers.

6. Taking advantage of every opportunity to interrupt

Like anyone trying to make a deep connection, mobile marketers must pick their spots. Everyone likes to receive a cheery text message from a friend, but an onslaught of ill-timed chirps can be distracting and ultimately a turn-off. Just because you have the power to instantly reach your customers anytime, anywhere doesn’t mean you should. Brands must show restraint. Do consumers really need to get a push alert with a 20 percent discount “TODAY ONLY” every time they pass your store? Show sophistication and discipline by only reaching out and engaging when it’s in the right context. Your customer will notice and you’ll be rewarded.

With billions of dollars in potential revenue up for grabs, mobile marketing efforts must focus on the complete customer journey and avoid the myriad crash-and-burn mobile gimmicks out there.


Robots For CPGs? Sort Of

The buzz about artificial intelligence is starting to tiptoe outside of tech circles. While some worry about robots eventually taking over the world, a more meaningful discussion is burgeoning within the marketing realm.

Companies like Lowes are piloting in-store robots, which are trained to greet customers and help them find products in their massive stores. The company is hoping to free up their store associates by having a bot assist with simple questions, like “where are the hammers?” — leaving humans to handle more complex customer requests. While incredibly cool, hardware AI solutions like robots are expensive and cannot scale. As a result, software-only AI tools are launching that use a consumer’s smartphone as the interaction touchpoint to help brands automate customer support, provide personalized interaction and lower operational costs. For most brands, AI will take the form of a “virtual brand assistant,” a bi-directional text-an-agent widget that is embedded on existing and emerging touchpoints.

For CPG brands, AI can open a new channel of two-way communication and automate consumer interactions at scale, empowering marketers to assist with in-the-moment needs, market relevant products and extend their role in consumers’ lives. AI will truly take off in marketing if brands are empowered to connect with consumers within the channels that they are using everyday, be it Facebook, mobile wallets, Twitter, etc. Here a few examples of how AI might take form for CPG products:

OTC Allergy Medicine: A consumer who is in the airport waiting to take off could ask her brand AI assistant what the pollen count is in her destination city. The brand would inform her of the expected conditions, provide relief tips if the environment differs greatly from her home city and any medicine she might want to take along. The consumer is armed with information that she could have found on her own, but has instead taken the opportunity to engage with the brand, deepening her loyalty.

Cooking Spice: While grocery shopping for tonight’s dinner (location known via beacons or geo-fence), a consumer would ask his AI brand assistant for recipe ideas. Taking into account the rain outside and the time of night (a late 7:30 p.m. instead of the normal 5 p.m. shopping trip), the spice brand suggests a simple, comforting recipe that is prepared in less than 15 minutes. Later, while the consumer is cooking, he asks the AI assistant about cooking technique, which is answered immediately.

Laundry Detergent: In the middle of doing her family’s laundry, a consumer comes across an unusual stain on her son’s soccer shorts. Unsure of what it is, she takes a photo and asks the AI assistant if it knows what the stain might be. After asking a few questions, the virtual assistant is able to decipher what it is and provide a recommended course of action. Without having to spend the time conducting a Web search to get advice on how to remove it, the consumer was able to quickly get an answer and move on with her day.

Baby Diapers: A price-sensitive father has a few retailers where he can pick up diapers. While he is out running errands, he asks his brand AI assistant which of his preferred retailers has the lowest cost today on the diapers. Without needing to spend time checking retailer websites, calling the stores or physically visiting them, he is empowered to make the best decision.

In all of the examples above, the AI assistant has propelled the brand to become the hero in consumers’ lives. The brand surfaces only the exact information that is being sought in real-time; there is no need to sift through irrelevant information or even use archaic search to get the information needed. AI technology also empowers the brand to take every opportunity to personally cross-sell and next-sell at times when the consumer would be most receptive: in-the-moment, based on his or her real-time intent

For brands, adopting software-only AI will be equivalent to hiring an army of highly knowledgeable customer service personnel who act as friends and brand experts who know are ready at a moment’s notice to offer advice and support. The level of unmatched personal support and attention that can be paid to every customer whenever and wherever they need it does not come close to rivaling anything that we have had access to before.


6 ways mobile will change how you market in 2015

More than in any other year, a customer-centric strategy will be the biggest driver of a successful marketing program in 2015.

With mobile now the first screen in consumers lives — and a primary channel for brands to connect with consumers — marketers must closely examine their 2015 programs through the lens of the consumer to ensure the consumer, not the product or brand, is the center of focus.

With the proliferation of mobile, consumers have taken the reins when it comes to brand interactions, dictating how, when, and where they want to be approached. And they have a diminishing tolerance for brands that act on their own terms.

So how does this affect how you shape your marketing initiatives? Here are six predictions of what we’ll see in 2015:

1. Beacons expand rapidly, but many programs will fail: Beacons will swiftly break out of retail and sports arenas and into hotels, real estate listings, restaurants, auto dealerships, and more as marketers aim to revolutionize the on-premises experience. However, beacons will quickly be abused, firing off messages and offers to everyone who happens to pass, regardless of how relevant those offers are to them. Instead of driving engagement, poor beacon strategy will drive consumers out of the store and into the arms of another brand. In 2015, a few brands (likely 1 out of 4) will deploy the right beacon strategy: integrating beacons into an omnichannel approach, ensuring every interaction is personalized and contextual, moving beyond simple offers to rich content and media that provide entertainment or a utility, and being transparent in terms of how customer data is used. As marketers rush to roll out beacons without the proper strategy to beat the next guy, the majority of beacon programs will flop.

2. Disenchantment with location marketing: As more budgets shift to mobile, many marketers will continue to obsess over location-based marketing, leading to a reality where consumers are targeted at every street corner. Consumers will tune out this irrelevant interruption (No, I don’t want to come in for lunch. I just ate…), marketers will be forced to realize that location alone shouldn’t be trigger an experience and will start anticipating a person’s intent and tapping into weather, news and events, traffic and transit, and other third-party data streams to drive true relevance.

3. Cross-channel data integration and artificial intelligence: As consumer touchpoints continue to multiply, brands will realize that the customer data they have been collecting results in incoherent experiences for customers (i.e., I am treated as a VIP online, but in-store the sales associates have no idea how loyal I am or my preferences). Brands will start to integrate their various silos (email, digital marketing, finance, social, mobile, CRM, etc.) to create a single view of their customers in order to provide a cohesive experience. Since this will be the first time marketers will have an orchestrated view into cross-channel data, they will start exploring and leveraging artificial intelligence to drive the consumer experience forward.

4. The Uber-ification of everything: Despite Uber’s recent executive’s PR fiasco and “God View” revelations, it is one of the hottest company success stories as it has completely disrupted its market for one simple reason: It has revolutionized its customers’ journey by removing friction in the process of getting from point A to point B.

In 2015, marketers will be inspired to look at the journeys that their customers are on to identify areas that can be streamlined, automated, and modernized. Perhaps the most top-of-mind way to eliminate friction is through contactless payments. The introduction of Apple Pay in October undeniably sparked reinvigorated interest and accelerated trial and adoption of mobile payments. Brands must not only work to streamline payments, but also to take a close look at the entire consumer purchasing process — loyalty programs, offers, social advocacy, CRM, etc.

5. Marketing through the Internet of things: The Internet of things market will continue to heat up, with new inventions hitting the market. While many larger smart appliances and home automation systems will still be too expensive for the average consumer, we will see continued adoption of some items, like the Nest thermostat, and an increasing desire for connected cars. As more attention is paid to design (i.e., Tory Burch for Fitbit line), the wearable market will continue on its growth path with the Apple Watch emerging as a favorite among consumers. Brands will start experimenting with marketing through these emerging screens, and unique partnerships will be formed between brands (i.e., a restaurant partnering with an activity tracker wearable that sends a message to a person that it’s okay to splurge on dessert following an intense workout).

6. Data breaches continue to haunt big brands: Following a few high-profile data breaches this year, there is a high chance for this devastating security trend to continue for payments data as well as personal customer data. Brands that have started collecting consumer data without putting the right checks and balances in place will be held hostage by hackers as we saw with Target, Home Depot, and others this year.

Many brands and agencies that I have spoken with this year have had a defeatist attitude when it comes to mobile or are comfortable staying with the “status quo,” but these mindsets are starting to shift as they recognize mobile’s role in building relationships. We’re starting to see a few brands break out as the marketing stars in our mobile-first world, and in 2015, we will all be pleasantly surprised by the innovative initiatives that marketers undertake to create some of the most powerful connections between brands and consumers ever.


The Biggest Opportunity For CPG Brands On Mobile: A Killer Loyalty Program

Mobile is the new first screen. On average, people check their phones 150 times per day. More than one-third of consumers are “mobile-only.” 

With stats like this coming out daily, we (should all) get it. Mobile plays an undeniably critical role in the customer journey, and brands without an engaging mobile strategy will continue to lose loyalty and revenue. But for CPG brands, mobile presents a harder challenge than most other consumer-facing industries. Retailers like Target are providing fun and engaging experiences to make the in-store experience thrilling — everything from in-door mapping to disseminating offers as a person moves about the store. Sports and entertainment arenas are using beacons to help people find their seats or nearby food or restrooms. Hotels are letting people unlock their rooms with smartphones.

Mobile innovation is all around us, except, that is, for most CPG brands. Apps draw the most engagement, but the go-to app for many CPGs thus far — a straight coupon distribution channel — fails. Without selling direct-to-consumer (online or physical), coming up with a creative enough utility app that people will use and talk about, like the Zyrtec AllergyCast App, is challenging.

The biggest opportunity for CPG brands on mobile lies with loyalty programs. Loyalty programs lend themselves perfectly to mobile because they focus on building customer relationships, and, with mobile’s ability to be real-time and context-aware, participation, engagement, and advocacy in loyalty programs will soar. Marketers can’t simply bring an existing loyalty program to mobile; a winning mobile loyalty program will follow the below rules:

Be Simple: Like us on Facebook. Check in at a partner retailer. Share this fun content. Watch a video. Take a picture of the proof-of-purchase. Mobile is about simplifying tasks, so whatever it is you’re asking your customer to do in exchange for rewards needs to be completed in a single step, swipe, or tab.

Have Creative CTAs: Consider how you can leverage the uniqueness of emerging channels to engage with your customers. A healthy snack, for instance, can reward people on steps tracked on a fitness-tracking bracelet. A sports drink could reward people when they check into a gym or stadium. Identify the scenarios in your customers’ lives where you can organically participate, and the brand will be top-of-mind throughout daily activities.

Be Context-Aware: Because mobile allows you to have an understanding of what is happening around a person, marketers have the opportunity to contextualize the experience by setting rules of engagement. Do you serve a different video when it’s raining versus sunny? Something as simple as tailoring the message to the time of day or complex as upping the offer value when the market takes a tumble will resonate more with the individual — driving conversions, engagement, and social conversations.

Provide a Frictionless Experience: Connect to the mobile wallet for seamless redemption of offers and points management. If an offer is about to expire or the deadline is approaching to redeem points for a reward, remind your users via push alerts. Similarly, if an offer is redeemable at a specific retailer, draw geo-fences around locations to target people as they come close, luring them inside to redeem the offer today.

Leverage the Coveted Place in the Mobile Wallet: Once a person has a loyalty card or offer saved in their Passbook, iBeacons can interact with the phone providing opportunity for engagement in the physical world. Partner with retailers that have beacon technology in their stores to remind people of offers in their Passbook or to disseminate product information or other specials as they move throughout the store.

As more CPGs explore ways to build and strengthen customer relationships on mobile, loyalty programs will be one of the primary strategies pursued. To break through the noise, CPG brands must be able to automate contextually aware programs by setting up rules of engagement that dictate how a person should be treated in a specific situation.


2015 Predictions: MobileROI

It’s the final day of 2014, and we’ve got just one more prediction piece for you, going up tomorrow.

In previous posts, we’ve looked at many of the opportunities of new technology; MobileROI CEO Puneet Mehta looks at the potential stumbling blocks that come along with them.

Fast forward 12 months and, as we reflect back on 2015, an almost universal theme in conference rooms will be, “we let the cart get before the horse.”

2014 was a very exciting year for mobile marketers. Innovations like beacons hit the main stage; mobile payments finally received a much-needed boost; and advancements in personalisation and contextualisation had marketers rethinking their approach to mass advertising. It was a year when it was easy to get your head in the clouds, but it’s easy for all of us to get ahead of ourselves, racing to be the first to take advantage of the latest technological advancements without thoroughly thinking through the right strategy.

Below are four things I see marketers getting tripped up on in 2015:

Beacons require a delicate touch
“Buy one sweater, get one free!” “Free gift with purchase!” “Five per cent off!” This will be the consumer experience walking down the street in 2015, as more brands roll out beacons, salivating at the possibilities of hyper-local targeting. This will be followed by a period of consumer pushback, as they are bombarded with messages which irrelevant except for their immediate location.

Marketers must personalise messages based on factors such as a person’s purchase history, loyalty status or current context – e.g., it’s raining outside so here’s a discount on umbrellas. Beacon programs must also move beyond offers and provide helpful, entertaining or interesting content. For instance, if Charlotte loves celebrity fashion, a retailer should point out the sunglasses that an A-lister is photographed in, while informing social-conscious Finn about the money donated to charity with every purchase of a product she is looking at.

Payments are only a piece of the mobile wallet
With Apple Pay making a big splash this year, the conversation centred around removing friction from transactions.

Brands must look at overhauling not only the payment processes, but the rest of their customers’ journey to extend the frictionless process to loyalty programs, in-store experiences, CRM and social advocacy. To close the loop for a true mobile wallet, consumers should be able to manage loyalty, rewards and interactive offers as well.

Consumer-focused is the pillar of mobile
The golden rule of mobile engagement is simple: It’s not about a brand or a product. With smaller screens, shorter attention spans and stricter demands for relevancy, mobile is all about the individual and what a brand can do for them at the moment of need.

The opportunity for true mobile engagement lies in brands’ ability to become the heroes in a person’s daily life by surprising or delighting customers with the right message or offering specific functionality at the precise moment they need it. In recent months, we have seen some brands step up their mobile offerings to reposition the experience around the consumer, instead of using it as an overt self-promotional channel.

Just in time for the holiday season, for instance, Target added in-store mapping to its app, helping people find the aisle of a product they are looking for. This is a perfect example of pinpointing a consumer need and providing a solution to improve the overall experience. Marketers need to map out their consumers’ mobile needs and strategise how to organically participate, before wasting more of the budget on unsuccessful apps.

There is no room for new silos
As the number of consumer touchpoints increases – with a surge coming from wearables next year – marketers need to create an optimised experience for every channel. Being available where consumers want to interact with you, however, is only part of the puzzle.

Consumers will increasingly demand fluidity between screens – a cohesive experience that takes into account what they were offered or actions they took on other touchpoints. An offer saved in passbook, for instance, should sync to an online or in-store purchase automatically. A message opened on an Apple Watch should also be accessible via a smartphone. If marketers continue to pile new experiences on top of each other – no matter how innovative they are – and not integrate them together, all efforts will be for naught.


This Season In The NFL: Mobile Is The Marketing MVP

This was certainly an active football season. Even those who usually tune out the sport couldn’t ignore the attention that Ray Rice and others brought.

But it was not all about plays on the field and scandals off. There was a lot happening throughout the league to transform the fan experience, both in the stadium and out. There has never been a better time to be a fan of the NFL if you seek interaction with the players and your peers, and immersion into the game. What’s the driving force behind this fan experience transformation? Mobile.

With 59% of ESPN’s unique users exclusively accessing content on smartphones and tablets, it’s no surprise that mobile took a leading position in the marketing and fan engagement strategy for the league, teams and publishers. Here are a few of the best plays of this season.


  • The In-Stadium Experience Gets a Makeover: In a bid to win over the 57 percent of fans who prefer to watch the game at home, teams made innovative upgrades to reinvigorate the in-stadium experience to be more interactive and engaging. This was the first year that the San Francisco 49ers played in the new high-tech Levi’s Stadium. The stadium, easily the most futuristic in the league, is outfitted with beacons that talk to its new app, helping folks check the lines at the bathroom and get directions to their seats. Fans can now order food and drinks without leaving their seats and in between beers and hotdogs, they can stream (at a very high speed) replays and access other stats.

    At the AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys fans used their smartphones to display their selfies and other pictures on large    LED screens. Through the AT&T stadium app, fans lit up the seats in unison with their phones lighting up with a strobe display. All of these features and capabilities drive engagement and participation from fans throughout the entire game.

  • Fantasy Football Leagues Cater to the Smartphone Generation: ESPN Fantasy Football, the most popular fantasy game, rolled out a redesigned cross-platform experience with mobile as the primary pillar, following 68 percent of its fantasy traffic in the 2013-14 season coming from mobile. Even if fans did not use the most popular platform for their fun, chances are they were still managing their dream teams via mobile. The also rebuilt a new fantasy football app this year keeping fans close to their team on the go. In the seasons ahead, we will see these apps get more personalized and contextual, such as surfacing unique content and experiences when the fan is in the stadium where one of their players is on the field.
  • Games, replays and other content available anywhere with near universal live streaming: Fans are a mobile breed — always on the go — and want a plethora of video content at their fingertips whenever and wherever they want it. This season, live streaming via mobile was on overdrive. The New York Jets, for instance, made available live pre- and postgame videos, press conferences and other team events via mobile. MSN expanded its real-time sports video coverage to mobile. And as the season’s high-pressure last few weeks approach, all playoff games are being streamed live via mobile ensuring no fan misses a play.
  • Traditional Brand Advertising Gets a Twist: In addition to multimillion-dollar TV spots and in-stadium signage, marketers this year sought to engage with captive football fans via mobile. In the Indianapolis Colts stadium, for instance, appliance, electronics and furniture retailer hhgregg embarked on a branding initiative via a mobile football game that had fans pitted against each other for prizes, gift cards and team merchandise. Fans started playing against each other on game days, and the matchups were displayed on iPads and an Xbox in the stadium to capture the attention of passersby, and the top three players are listed on the stadium’s leaderboard.

In the seasons to come, we are sure to see teams, publishers and stadiums take a much more mobile-first approach. As the cost of going to games increases, and the lure of watching it for free from your warm couch endures, introducing unique, stadium-only experiences will be essential for teams to get fans in the seats. Furthermore, the demand for personalized, real-time content on any screen that fans now demand — be it existing smartphones and tablets or emerging wearables like iWatches and Google Glass — will be a central focus for teams and publishers as they seek to engage fans and drive revenue.Enjoy the last few weeks of the season. It’s shaping up to be an exciting finish.



The Next Generation Of Mobile Notification-Driven Interfaces Require A New Strategy

With the promises of driving engagement of mobile apps, notifications have been around for years. While there are certainly success stories and a reinvigorated excitement with new interaction features with iOS8 (I’ll get to this in a minute), mobile notifications are at risk of going the way of email, or being perceived as spam 90 percent of the time, if one critical element does not change.

To turn failing mobile programs around and see any sort of meaningful ROI, any mobile notification sent must take into account a user’s current context. Any that do not will be as ignored as the hundreds of emails I receive in my Gmail Promotions folder everyday. More so, mobile presents marketers with an even graver challenge than being ignored – annoying the hell out of people on their highly personal devices with small (albeit growing) screens.

Contrary to popular belief, context is not location. Where I am standing at a given moment is only one chunk of the multi-part formula that makes something contextual and relevant (i.e., something that I would want and would motivate me to act). Derived from sensor data, ambient data and historical data, context involves everything from the customer’s identity, location, current activity and physical situation (weather, traffic, etc.), purchase history, movement patterns, cultural preferences, implicit and explicit intent signals and social graph. The only exception would be a notification with the highest immediacy requirements, such as a password reset request submitted or credit card being used outside the home country. These are messages that a person would want immediately even if they are standing with an umbrella in their hand on a street corner.

To start, marketers need to set and test what I call ‘Rules of Engagement,’ or the circumstances or limitations in which a consumer should be targeted. These should combine immediacy requirements and end-user context. As technology advances and options multiply, brands should also start categorizing notifications in various groups, which will help to both inspire creativity in mobile campaign planning but also ensure you are taking advantage of every possibility.

Before any brand considers sending notifications to their customers, they must have a smart, algorithm-driven notification system that takes into account the below considerations:

  • Notification trigger (or what automates a message to send). Triggers include things like a user action, an ambient data change derived from smartphone or other external sensors or a system event that includes pre-set time triggers. Personalization from historical data also needs to help define the Rules of Engagement in order to tailor to an individual’s tastes and preferences.

  • Immediacy needs / delivery mode: There are multiple deliver channels available today including push alerts (Local or Remote), in-app notifications and SMS (which works even if 4G LTE / data connection fails).

  • Call-to-action: With the new interactive notifications available in the iOS8 that allow a person to take action immediately without opening the push notification, the call to action becomes extremely important in planning mobile marketing campaigns. Call-to-action types include: information only, no response required; a response is required via a notification box; or a user is prompted to tap thru to the app to complete an action.

  • With a Rules of Engagement system in place, marketers can segment iOS8 users with non-iOS8 users to drive the best user experience.

  • Decay rules: While not available today, decay rules are something that future versions of iOS and Android will likely implement. Today, all notifications decay at the same rate; all are treated the same when the variety is infinite. Some notifications may stay relevant for two days while others might contain information that is relevant only for the next few hours… or minutes. The notification view should treat the longer-shelf life messages differently than the ‘breaking’ ones – by color, placement etc. The nature of other notifications might require a person’s attention longer or to take more in-depth actions (i.e., scheduling a doctor’s appointment) and should allow a person to put it on ‘snooze’ for a few hours or days after the first view.

  • Multi-screens: As Smart Watches, Google Glass and other wearables start to permeate consumer life and become important notification channels, a multi-screen approach to notifications will be required. Consumers may view a notification on one device but did not act on it. This should be shown, then, on their other screens (in a format that is optimized for the platform).

There is a gigantic opportunity to create the next generation user experience via interactive notifications but to take full advantage and generate ROI, brands need to be able to understand and act on context, respect immediacy needs and implement decay rules.

Companies’ system of engagement need to ultimately scale beyond smartphones and tablets into cars, airplane seat backs, TVs and all other screens we interact with today.

Brands need to challenge themselves to get consumers to act immediately beyond simply clicking through to a splash page to instead motivate specific behavior like booking a table for dinner or finding directions to a nearby store to try on items that I have saved on my wish list. But unless these messages are sent to me when I am hungry or have time and interest in shopping, these efforts – like so many other marketing efforts on mobile today — will all be in vain.


Agencies: It’s Time to Drive a Mobile-First Strategy for Brands

We’re at a watershed moment for brands. The smartphone is now the first screen in our lives, yet mobile has been a real challenge for marketers.

Rightly so, as consumers to date have been underwhelmed with brands’ attempts to engage on mobile. The mass marketing that has dominated the industry since its inception is not working, but attempts to replicate traditional marketing strategies on mobile are rampant. The new customer journey and consumer mindset require brands to take an entirely new approach to marketing: Engage in context, act on immediacy requirements and eliminate friction in the customer experience. So where is the industry falling short? There is a disconnect between brands and agencies when it comes to mobile.

Historically the drivers of forward-thinking strategies, agencies are uncharacteristically cautious when it comes to mobile-first programs. It’s in the agency DNA to continuously innovate and push boundaries. Today’s efforts, however, are not working, which is why the issues that we hear most often, such as, “It’s impossible to measure ROI on mobile” or “No one downloads our apps,” don’t come as a surprise. These are certainly hurdles that agencies can overcome and should not be reasons to shy away. On the other hand, the brands that traditionally lean on agencies to think outside the box are more keen — maybe desperate now — to innovate on mobile.

The divide may blossom from the same struggle happening internally at companies over who owns mobile and where the responsibility lies in an organization. Or perhaps it is because mobile is much more than a channel for consuming media, clicking on ads or performing transactions. It is the glue that ties together every digital and physical touchpoint — the entire customer journey. This game of hot potato of who “owns” mobile strategy and innovation needs to stop.

The first step is to change the dialogue

Mobile is not just a channel. It is not a silo. The best mobile strategies leverage mobile in concert with other digital and physical touchpoints to provide a cohesive experience across the entire customer journey. Mobile should be treated as an extension of ourselves that senses the world around us and responds to what’s happening.

Abiding by the new rules of engagement, a retail brand would not send out a geo-fenced offer just based on someone being close to a store; the chance of it being appropriate to their context is very small. Instead, a retailer would alert a shopper that her size of the dress she favorited online has just come in when she is around the corner on a Saturday afternoon. A CPG company would prompt a person to stop in her local pharmacy as she passes by, reminding her she is likely about to run out of her allergy medicine based on the time she last purchased, combined with unseasonably high pollen counts this summer. A hotel in Turks and Caicos would retarget a person who read and shared an article about the Caribbean Food and Wine Festival with a special rate. It’s about connecting the dots across earned, owned and paid media, anticipating wants and needs and generating loyalty and revenue by providing value and eliminating friction.

Agencies are in the sweet spot

Agencies are nestled in the perfect position to conceive and create the mobile programs that will drive business results for their clients. Look back to go forward. It was an agency that that gave us the iconic Volkswagen “Think Small” campaign, which was a breakpoint as it gave brands “permission to surprise, to defy and to engage the consumer without bludgeoning him.” And the “Pepsi-Cola hits the spot” radio campaign in the 1940s that, according to Ad Age, “embedded itself not so much in the nation’s psyche as in its very nerve endings.” Historically, it’s the agencies that have helped bring the consumer viewpoint to brands and have led the charge of defining the magical connection that a brand could have with its customers. Today, this magical connection relies on the same principles, but it has to be established beyond a one-way, mass-media push. Agencies need to help create strategies that follow today’s rules of engagement (personal, immediate, contextual, frictionless).

Mobile is a true game-changer, and will be the ubiquitous characteristic among the next generation of billion dollar companies. Starting today, agencies must think of how their clients can connect in context with customers at every touchpoint to capture people’s hearts — not rely on mass media to capture eyeballs. They need to challenge themselves and their clients to not take any interaction for granted, and instead marry the digital and physical worlds to treat every customer as an individual every time.


The Marketing Funnel: An Obituary

Introduced over a century ago, the marketing funnel — the model of how a person comes to ultimately make a purchase (awareness, opinion, research/consideration, decision, purchase) – has guided marketing strategies for brands of all sizes across every industry. Following years of losing the battle of relevance in a time of very complex customer behavior where no one followseldonvasa a linear path to purchase or loyalty and where a huge sphere of influence exists outside of a brand’s control — the marketing funnel has died. Our society is now one of perpetual connectivity, which opens the door for brands to have continual engagement with their customers. The paradigms that have shepherded strategies generations have to make way for ongoing relationship nurturing and customer advocacy development. As smartphones become more ingrained in our lives (people now check their phones 150 times per day), mobile allows marketers to engage in a two-way dialogue that takes a more human (read: effective) approach to nurturing relationships. When the marketing funnel was in its prime, the outlets and interaction models customers had with brands were limited. Today, a person receives customer service on Twitter, refers friends on Instagram and reads “expert” reviews on their favorite niche blogs. This evolved customer journey requires brands to take a more individualized approach to their customer relationships and build loyalty through amazing experiences no matter what journey each customer is on. The new strategies to guide brand/customer interaction are:

  • Omni-Channel Personalized Experiences: Regardless of what channel a consumer interacts with a brand, the experience must be consistent. One of the biggest struggles in the customer journey today is the irregularity in how a person is treated online versus in-store versus in-app. Brands need to have a single view of their customers, integrating all data and systems (CRM, email, social, etc.) to automatically serve personalized experiences every time at every digital and physical touchpoint. If I have spent a lot of money with a retailer online, but am not acknowledged as a loyal customer in-store by the sales associate, I will be less inclined to continue a relationship. Brands with a brick-and-mortar presence need to leverage emerging technologies like beacons to drive in-store engagement by delivering personalized deals based on micro-location as well as allowing for customer identification which empowers flight attendants, servers or other sales associates to provide experiences rooted in previous behavior and demonstrated preferences.
  • Be Immediately Available, Any Time: It sounds simple, but brands need to be there when their customers need them. No one follows the same path but will be expecting you at every turn. It’s not just about being there, though. To build up a bank of good will, marketers must provide people with the information, content or functionality they need the moment they need it, no matter the screen, channel or touchpoint. Brand interactions need to be highly personalized to the individual and automatically trigger based on factors related to their current situation, such as weather, location, time or intent.
  • Preemptively Intervene: Netflix and Amazon predict with high accuracy what movies or products we would like and we have started to take these
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    personalized recommendations for granted. At the very least, brands need to recommend products based on someone’s previous affinity to other products. The truly great experiences, though, will come from delighting customers with what they want in a situation before they even know they want it. If there is heavy traffic, does your brand know from past behavior and social media activity that your customer is likely to be in a bad mood? A brand can then share a special offer for a treat to brighten their day. The magic lies in the ability to subtly intervene with something that a customer would like when it’s incredibly personal and relevant, without recommending something for far-fetched situations.

  • Nurture a Community: Our society is one where people like to be involved – whether it is through sharing a picture of their meal or outfit they have curated from vintage shops to rating their drivers. We live in a time of a hyperactive exchange of opinions across people’s extensive social circles and on communities like Trip Advisor. Studies have demonstrated these peer reviews are among the most trusted in the customer decision journey. To provide for this fundamental part of today’s customer experience, marketers need to create their own communities where people can be active participants (like

    Sephora’s new platform) or cultivate sub-communities on existing sites like Facebook and encourage reviews on established sites.

To motivate consumers to act, marketers must focus on building relationships. Pre-purchase, what experiences, rich information and real-time interaction can you provide to surprise and delight customers? If an unexpected rain shower pops up, a retailer could push an offer for a new umbrella as someone passes a store. When a person is browsing (virtually or in-store) new spring styles, a brand can share a photo of a celebrity who was just snapped wearing something from the collection. It’s about understanding who your customer is, what they would respond to and serving up the experience when it’s relevant to them.The journey doesn’t end after a purchase, but requires a brand to ensure that the customer is satisfied with their decision and provide ongoing experiences. Nurturing your customers post-purchase is critical in building an army of advocates who are the ones that will shape the future purchase decisions of their peers. As brands move on from the marketing funnel era, they need to keep the individual customer as the focus of every effort. Marketers can’t promote a new product to the world and expect people to run out the door to pick it up. They must tell me how this would benefit me, why I might like it and only when it aligns with an immediate need of mine. We used to live in a world where the brand had complete control of the conversation – the message, the experience and time of interaction. Today, there are more touchpoints than ever before and purchasing behavior is driven not by brand promises, but by social conversations and ongoing brand experiences. RIP, marketing funnel. Welcome, real-time situationally-aware, consumer-driven experiences.


4 Ways Brands Can Be Mobile Heroes

Time spent on mobile is made up of millions of moments; Checking the weather. Reading the latest headlines. Locating a restaurant or store and discovering the best way to get there. Socializing and sharing.

The opportunity for true mobile engagement lies in brands’ ability to become the heroes in these order generic viagra online daily interactions by surprising or delighting customers with the right message or offering specific functionality at the precisekokosgallery moment they need it.

Marketers have rich customer data, behavioralelelepflege insights and an ability to have a real-time pulse on a person’s immediate surroundings unlike ever before. But for the most part, mobile marketing efforts tend to interrupt our lives instead of bringing any cheapest chemist for viagra sort of desired support.


golden rule of mobile engagement is simple: It’s not about a brand or a product. Mobile – where screens are smaller, attention spans are shorter and demands for relevancy are stricter – is about the individual and what a brand can do for them at the moment of need. It’s about providing the experience that’s personal enough to trigger a dinner table conversation.

Effective mobile marketing is born out of organic, value-add, contextual interactions. To start, brand marketers need to think about the moments their customers are having, how they can genuinely participate, and what new moments they can create. Below are the four pillars for brands to be the heroes of consumers’ mobile moments:

  • Aid and Abet…Organically: The simplest way to win over your customers is to help them accomplish something easily and creatively. Charmin, for example, has one of the most successful CPG mobile programs because its app doesn’t focus on its product or distribution. Instead, it has created a community centered on searching, rating and adding public bathrooms. It adds value to consumers in their moments of need in a way that is true to the brand without blatantly shoving marketing messages in people’s faces, resulting in ongoing engagement with its customers.
  • Become an Active Part of Customers’ Lives: Think about all of the customer needs you could help fulfill in an authentic way. The New York Daily News, for example, combined its editorial content with 30+ categories of city guide information, including restaurants, traffic and events. It become the single source of information that its readers need, giving them reasons to come back to the app beyond news.
  • Look into the Crystal Ball: Marketers now have the power to anticipate what their customers’ needs are before they even know them themselves. The magic lies in three things: the robustness of customer profiles, automating marketing efforts and integrating with a complete network of systems and data sources to provide richer experiences.

A coffee chain, for example, could recognize that the location of a meeting scheduled in a customer’s calendar means they will be across town when they normally come in for their afternoon caffeine fix. In anticipation of the moment that cialis side effects leg pain customer searches for a location near their meeting, the coffee chain could provide convenient store locations.

  • Mind Your Conversation Etiquette: How do you talk to your friends? Do you interrupt them as they are doing something, shout a few words about something cialis urine smell you want and walk away? Most of us realize that shouting is no way to get what we want, so why are so many marketers acting foolish on mobile? Consumers have trained themselves to ignore overt self-promotion and banner ads – even if they are blinking in an attempt to draw the eye’s attention.

The relationships in your “real” life blossom viagra normal dose out of mutual respect; you help each other and listen more than you speak. These fundamental drivers of real life relationships need to be the drivers of mobile relationships. Don’t interrupt. Help out.

Over the last few years, as mobile has become more entrenched in our every day, marketers have applied the same tactics from “traditional” digital channels. The results have been less than ideal click-through and conversion rates, and fairly dismal app download and engagement numbers.

The relationships between brands and their customers that can be nurtured on mobile are unlike any other because they can be highly organic, real-time and contextual. The brands that break through the noise will be the ones that understand their customers’ mobile lives and insert themselves authentically by providing value.

But remember, just because your customers

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are always on doesn’t mean you should always be trying to engage. Ensure the contextual relevance of push messages and interruptions. Personalize every interaction. Anticipate needs. And know when to tap the breaks, because the moments you choose to make

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The Sixth Sense That Will Change Customer Experiences Forever

Today’s “personalized” customer experiences are based on surface [shallow] level data — what someone has bought in the past; their gender or family situation; their hometown. While this certainly helps to tailor experiences to some level, the biggest driver of what makes something personal and relevant has been neglected — a person’s immediate context.Context involves everything from a person’s physical situation (location, weather and traffic, etc.) and how fast or slow they are moving (in

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a car at 60 mph, walking down a street in a leisurely manner, etc.) to their intent and emotional state. HP0-J73 Before the proliferation of smartphones, understanding a person’s real-time context was not possible. The growing number of sensors in our phones and other connected devices has since opened the door for brands to get a true glimpse into a person’s life. As a result, brands now have the power to engage with their customers in contextually relevant ways, tailoring interaction to their immediate situation.Pre-mobile, contextual marketing would not have even been necessary. What companies need to

realize quickly, however, is that it no longer is a “nice to have.” Real-time, contextual experiences are fast becoming a must-have to build lasting customer relationships.

For generations, consumer expectations in how they interact with brands have essentially remained the same — delayed, one-way, messaging for the masses — and that worked with the available touchpoints. Mobile has completely changed this… and at a very accelerated rate. Consumers now expect to be able to have a personalized, situationally appropriate interaction with a brand whenever and wherever they need it — and the brand is providing a utility or service — not serving an ad — that helps them with something they need right now or in the immediate future.Below are a few examples of how context will be used to make experiences truly magical.
  • The Airline That Knows You Are Going To Be Late: Let’s face it — traveling is not always a breeze, but if an airline could understand the pains you are suffering, they could get out in front of issues to enhance your experience. For example, if I am stuck in traffic my on way to the airport in a jam that will make me miss my flight, I will be automatically rebooked on the next available flight and receive a ticket directly to my phone. The airline’s systems have understood that I am not in the airport, so has checked current location, recognized my movement (or lack thereof), identified that there is a traffic backed up for 20 miles and predicted that I will therefore miss my flight to preemptively respond to a need of mine.
  • The Retailer That Ends the Aimless Search for A Gift: If I am meandering about in the women’s department of a store for more than a few minutes, a retailer would understand that I am likely looking for a gift for my wife, as tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. The brand could then make the experience better for me by pushing a few gift suggestions with an in-store locator to my phone. When I am passing the women’s section the following week, I would not get this same message, but instead an offer for those sunglasses that I have been eyeing.
  • CPG that Keeps Symptoms At Bay: A OTC brand that contextualizes customer interactions would recognize that as someone who has an aversion when the pollen count is above 7 and has not purchased medicine this season, I need to be alerted of the conditions when I visit an outdoor-friendly town.
  • A Fitness Brand Makes Sure You Don’t Overdo it: Say I am a runner training for a 10K race and I track my training via a fitness app. Based on the understanding of my distance goal for today’s workout (5 miles), the current humidity (high) and temperature (80 degrees), a fitness brand would suggest a route (less hilly) and alert me about when I may need to slow down based on how I have performed in such conditions in the past (poor).
  • Your Grocery Store Ensures You Get Everything You Need: I am not the primary food shopper in my family, but my wife has added items to a list that is saved within a grocery store’s app. As soon as I walk through the doors on a busy Saturday afternoon, the store would understand I probably don’t know my way around and want to get out of there as soon as possible. On my phone, I would receive the most efficient route to take to get everything I need based on real-time flow (I would be rerouted, for instance, when there’s a foot traffic jam in produce). Given what is

    on my list, the store would also infer the meal I am shopping for (BBQ) and suggest items I may be forgetting (Do you need buns?) or may want to add to my list (Corn on the cob pairs great with burgers!”).

Mobile does not lend itself to traditional brand interactions. The smaller screens and societal shift to one that is always-connected has ushered in the need for organic brand experiences that understand and anticipate a consumer’s context –reflecting both hard customer data and soft sensor data from the physical world. But a consumer’s context can change instantly, making the window of opportunity for brands to engage fleeting. In a world with contextual expectations, being able to automate these interactions will be a marketer’s best friend. 070-412


Flash-Forward: The 5 Biggest Mobility Trends of 2014

The Year of the Horse is upon us and according to ancient Chinese belief, people will take on “unremitting efforts

to improve themselves” in 2014.

As mobile-first consumers become more steadfast in their demands and expectations (read: personal, all about me, relevant at this precise moment), marketers should take a page from this Chinese tradition and spend 2014 significantly rethinking and improving their mobile initiatives. Marketers need to get a handle on the numerous, competing customer data streams to better bridge the online and offline worlds in more immediate, personalized and tangible ways. Once this happens, the customer journey will undergo dramatic changes that better align with the mobile-first world.

The biggest trends for the evolving customer experience in 2014 will be:

  • Consumers are “Compensated” for Data: Consumers are starting to understand the value in letting go of the tight grip they keep on their personal data – but they want something in return. While we will not see consumers get paid money for their data next year (although this is not too far off), consumers will be rewarded with more personalized experiences. Brands will also begin to explore partnerships to share opt-in customer data to provide multi-dimensional, highly relevant experiences. A weight loss program provider could partner with a retailer to provide a special offer when a set goal is reached (e.g. You’ve reached your goal weight! Enjoy 10% off those skinny jeans!).
  • iBeacon Technology Grows Up…Really Fast: More and more stores will adopt iBeacon technology for proximity marketing as a way to enhance the brick-and-mortar experience and to capture the imagination of online shoppers. Marketers will spend 2014 testing and refining indoor location programs in a small number of stores, experimenting with contextual triggers to deliver personalization, drive in-store traffic and enhance customer service. Bringing marketing automation to the physical world, businesses across a variety of industries will look to iBeacon technology as the next stage of real-time marketing.
  • Contextual-Awareness Actually Gets…Well Relevant: The primary ingredient for mobile marketing success is being relevant to a person’s immediate context. Location alone doesn’t make something relevant – In fact only 1% of the time would it drive a person to take an action. To drive true relevance and avoid interrupting consumers’ lives, marketers will start leveraging all sensors and secondary location data that exists, such as weather and traffic, as well as start anticipating a person’s intent to provide the right content at the right time to the right person.
  • The Smartphone Domino Effect: As devices increasingly become “smart” and the Internet of Things expands into new horizons, smartphones will stake their claim as the remote control to power this connected universe made up of everything from glasses and thermostats to autos and household appliances. Brands will develop omni-channel app strategies, allowing the individual to carry context forward with the smartphone automatically triggering actions appropriate to the screen and their current situation. (e.g. A dinner reservation is made on the smartphone, directions autopopulate in dashboard screen when the car is turned on and a person is prompted to review the restaurant when they power up their tablet that evening).
  • Predictions Make Way for Prescriptions: We will see the first round of mainstream apps and platforms leverage prescriptive analytics as the next round of ‘usable’ predictive analytics. As more companies start anticipating customer behavior
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    more accurately, prescriptive analytics will become adopted on a wider scale among the brands looking for actionable insights to drive revenue and deepen engagement.

This year will be a make-it-or-break-it one for brands on mobile. The marketers who stick with the status quo of boring initiatives that interrupt customers’ lives will lose their audience in droves. The marketers who integrate all data streams and systems into mobile-first experiences will be the ones

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who will not only capture — but keep — the attention of always-addressable consumers. Cheers to a year of true mobility.


The Great Divide: Five Industries Where Mobile Doesn’t Meet Our Expectations

There are some things in life that we just expect. Perhaps it’s because of how things have happened in the past or maybe it’s because we make correlations with other things in our lives. Whatever the reason, we have certain expectations. With all of the hype around how mobile is going to change everything, making daily activities more delightful and efficient, a lot of us have come to expect mobile-driven innovations in all aspects of our lives. Everything should know us (Welcome back, Ryan!). Remember our preferences (Last time you ordered ). And make spot-on recommendations (à la Netflix). 70-331 While some industries have embraced mobile innovation, there is still a large gap between what we expect and what is available in many others. Here are the five industries where the gap is the widest: · Dining and Nightlife: Every time a diner enters a restaurant, they have to reintroduce themselves to the server and rack their brains for what they ordered last time (Did the chicken meet my desire of spiciness?). Servers go to every table blindly; unaware of whether the person sitting in the section is a loyal customer, a social media influencer or a patron who follows a gluten-free diet. Diners should be able to seamlessly tap into their social networks for menu recommendations and pay the bill when they want via their mobile device. · Real Estate: In some markets, well-priced, coveted houses go under contract in days, if not hours. Real-time communication in real estate is key. While Trulia found that more than half of weekend traffic comes from mobile devices, agent’s mobile apps today only allow homebuyers to scan properties for sale and (sometimes) take

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and save photos. Agents need to be able to push new listings to buyers and have them react immediately (I am interested in seeing this right away). Context-aware marketing would make the home buying experience more relevant and personalized. A homebuyer, for instance, who has favorited a property would be pushed an alert if they drive by the home or notified of a nearby open house. Lastly, beacons placed strategically in open houses could point out specific features tailored to each person based on their preferences allowing for a much more personalized experience. · Retail: This one may seem surprising, but I am not talking about from a consumer standpoint, well directly anyway. Except for Apple’s retail stores and a few others, retailers have been slow to adopt mobile as a back-office and sales associate tool. Every floor employee needs to be armed with a device, allowing him or her to check stock in the back, custom order products for customers in real-time and facilitate payments. The use of strategically placed beacons could alert the manager if there is a high to low ratio of customers to employees in specific areas of the store, allowing them to message associates to better disperse or relieve long checkout lines. · Airlines and Hospitality: The shift towards travel research, planning and booking on mobile has been incredibly swift, but only one in four airlines accept mobile payments. We will soon get to a point when all tickets will be paperless. When the associate behind counters will know who is approaching. When travelers will not have to pull out their credit cards to purchase ancillary items, like food during a flight or a toothbrush from the hotel store. Once the hospitality industry leverages marketing automation, prediction and emerging

technologies like ibeacons, a traveler would be welcomed immediately as they arrive in the airport parking lot or hotel lobby, provided with all key information, and guided through their journey with personalized messages. Augmented reality will show personalized deals at airport terminal restaurants and shops, and travelers who wander off from the gate will get an alert when boarding starts. · Higher Education: College students are arguably one of the most digital generations — a recent survey found that 78 percent of students have a smartphone compared to 56 percent of American adults. This group has grown up with devices all around them; yet higher education has been slow to innovate. Paper check-in sheets still circulate through classrooms when beacons should be explored for automatic check-ins. Students spend up to $1,200 a year on hardcover textbooks a year, when digital versions accessed via laptops and tablets can cost up to 90 percent off. At a time when only 60 percent of students who enter a bachelor’s program graduate in six years and the cost of earning a degree continuing to increase, colleges and universities need to leverage technology like predictive analytics to alert professors which students are at risk of falling behind or not graduating. There are a growing number of sensors, screens and apps in our daily lives. As even the most mundane everyday activities like managing the thermostat are now exciting and mobile, we will start to increasingly except more mobile-driven innovation throughout all aspects of our lives, whether we are going to a restaurant, visiting an open house or checking into a hotel. Our phones will soon be our identity carriers, alerting servers, teachers, flight attendants and sales associates who we

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are so they can provide a highly personalized experience, unlike ever before.70-457


Giving Up on Mobile? You’re Not Alone: What Brands Can Learn from Uber

Mobile apps for brands have failed. This is the quite jarring — but not unsurprising — sentiment at many agencies and brands. Despite investments in the development and promotion of branded apps, very few, if any, can be considered a success. Download numbers are dismal and for the consumers who have taken the download bait, their attention span is comparable to that of a goldfish. I get it. The ROI that marketers are seeing is very discouraging. EX200 From a consumer’s point of view, there are a few reasons why I’m not engaging – or even using – branded apps. There is no efficiency increase, no real system of engagement and no true mobility add-ons. So how do brands move from unsuccessful mobile initiatives to results that are worth the investment? As one of the most successful

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mobile stories of the year, examining the five key characteristics of Uber is a great place to start:

  • Mobility: Uber was designed for the mobile-first world. It’s not just a ported version of an existing Web solution. Too often, brands simply replicate other digital solutions, offering no mobile add-ons. The apps that keep users engaged over the long-term will be built for the form factor, taking into account the small screen and leveraging all of the available sensors to provide a true mobile experience.
  • Integration: Uber connects with a network of systems and data sources to provide a comprehensive, seamless user experience throughout the entire customer journey – from discovery to payment to reviews. Apps cannot live in silos; they need to simplify the user experience as much as possible. For instance, a retailer app should allow for in-store contactless payments, connect with CRM systems and transaction records to allow for personalized deals.
  • Automation: Previously done manually, Uber automates the demand matching workflow for the taxicab industry. The nature of the “always-on” consumer requires automation technology to power marketing efforts. Marketers need to automatically trigger campaigns based on a variety of situational and behavioral factors for millions of individuals. To intervene in consumers’ lives at the right moment, mobile marketing campaigns must be agile, launching when it is relevant for the individual – not the brand.
  • Data: Uber figured out how to act on data in real-time. By analyzing the integrated data streams and anticipating customer demand, the company has introduced surge pricing to maintain optimal ratios. Marketers need to adopt predictive and prescriptive analytics to not only anticipate customer

    behavior but also make this information actionable. For example, a clothing brand could predict which items from the new spring line a customer would be interested in and know that a Free Shipping offer sent Friday afternoon is more likely to motivate a sale.

  • Community: Uber has created its own community; users are empowered to rate drivers and drivers can rate consumers. By allowing people to participate and connect with other users, they have a sense of ownership. Brands should find ways to let their users connect with each other, contribute content (in the forms of reviews, photos, etc.) and participate in decision-making, like voting on new app functions or products, such as a new seasonal holiday drink at a coffeehouse.

The customer journey no longer fits into the “funnel” that has guided marketing

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