All posts in “Contextual Marketing”


Three out of Four Beacon Programs Will Fail: Here’s Why

Businesses of all kinds — from worldwide department stores to neighborhood shopping districts, international airports to baseball fields — are adopting beacons at a pretty incredible pace. From all-door rollouts to smaller test pilots, companies are very bullish on beacons. As they should be. The devices offer a way to connect with consumers unlike ever before in-store, when it’s relevant to their immediate location. To personally welcome individuals as they arrive. To disseminate important or motivating content. To gather unique insights into on-premise customer behavior. And the beacons themselves are available at such a low cost that adding multiple devices to hundreds of stores is not out of the question.

But, as with most shiny objects, beacons will be abused. In fact, I predict that three out of every four beacon programs will fail in 2015. Companies will get caught up in the hype, glitz and possibilities. Beacons will be treated as a hammer looking for a nail; marketers will try to fit beacons everywhere they can. The principles that should guide any marketing effort of this sort will be forgotten.

Here are the six biggest ways that beacons will be misused:

1. Not accounting for who a person is, beyond where they are standing. Most brands will not personalize any message beyond where a person is standing. For instance, if Nathan has paused in front of women’s perfume, he would get the offer enabled by the display’s beacon — completely missing out on the fact that he has no interest in purchasing a new fragrance. Contextualization (what is going on around someone and their intent) and personalization will be ignored in many first-generation beacon programs. Nathan should only get alerts for products he would be interested in buying today and in the departments he is likely to be shopping. Unless, that is, it’s the week of Valentine’s Day and he is shopping for his wife.

2. Creating yet another silo of customer data. Marketers are inundated with customer data from many divergent sources — email, transactional, CRM, social, mobile, etc. By implementing point solutions for beacons, marketers will create yet another silo of customer data. As personalization across the entire customer journey becomes critical to the consumer experience, brands must set up a system that breaks silos of customer data.

3. Not setting limits on frequency. As an increasing number of companies implement beacons, and larger stores place several around a store, limiting the number of messages a person receives will be key. Imagine walking through the mall or down 5th Avenue and getting pinged every five steps (no thanks). There will be a (short) time when people will be over-targeted. It’ll be brief because people will turn Bluetooth off immediately. Brands will need to set proper rules of engagement — for instance, only triggering an interaction if someone has been in front of a display for over a certain amount of time — and not just passing through. Multiple brands that are using the same core app, say multiple stores within a single mall, should implement a bidding system to target high spenders, while setting strict messaging limits.

4. Getting stuck in the perpetual offer cycle. Offers are not the only things that motivate consumers. And if beacons go the way of other marketing channels (i.e. email), I’m afraid they will fall flat. We all have Groupon-fatigue, no longer motivated by simply getting a “steal.” Unlike doing a mass deletion of the Google Promotions folder, consumers will simply opt-out if they are getting hit with 5%-off deals at every turn. Depending on the nature of the product and the customer herself, she might be motivated by the following: a celebrity endorsement, a scientific study, a most popular or trending status, an “as seen on TV” offer, peer reviews and rankings, media articles, etc. Tap into whatever earned media and resources you have to help people in their buying decisions in the moment as these may just be more motivating than a small discount.

5. Privacy concerns and a lack of transparency. As we recently saw with the secret placement of beacons on Manhattan’s payphones, many brands will not clearly communicate to their customers how they are using data they are collecting (which should only be for providing a better user experience). Being transparent is core to any digital marketing program, and beacons are no different. As a society, we have a growing paranoia of being tracked, and with a beacon pinging me based on where I am, this fear will certainly heighten unless consumers are properly educated, which leads me to my final point.

6. Lack of education. People have proven that they are willing to open their personal data floodgates in exchange for more personalized experiences or offers. While Bluetooth is automatically turned on in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, users of earlier version holders will have to manually turn on Bluetooth for beacons to interact with their devices. Marketers need to clearly explain what benefits consumers will get for opt-ing in to push alerts and turning/keeping on Bluetooth.

Beacons are an amazing technology and have the potential to eliminate friction in the customer journey and change the on-premise experience more than anything since the smartphone. However, there is a bit of a Gold Rush going on — with brands of all sizes eager to try beacons out. I applaud the innovation, but warn brands to not get ahead of themselves and ensure a cross-channel strategy is in place to provide an experience customers will not only appreciate, but seek out and talk about.


When Marketing Personalization Fails

Imagine a company that addressed single women about their pending nuptials or congratulated women on their first child even though they never have been pregnant. These are just a few of the marketing snafus in over recent months by big companies (Pinterest and Shutterfly, respectively).

All the hype in marketing these days is about personalization. The idea is making every interaction highly relevant and tailored to a specific individual, based on his or her online, social or app behavior, shopping history, preferences, tastes, family and lifestyle details.

The proliferation of mobile devices has accelerated the desire by companies to personalize marketing efforts, but with embarrassing gaffs happening — and consumers all too eager to share their experiences on social networks — marketers need to protect themselves. Here’s four ways to do so:

1. Cross-reference all data.
Integrate and cross-reference data from all available first-party data sources (email, customer-relationship management tools, apps and transactions) and second-party sources (social media). When dealing with subjects about which emotions run high (such as pregnancy or other life-changing events), companies should have a double-confirmation system.

Was there a status change on Facebook? Did the customer purchase related items? Did this customer change her status within a profile on the company’s site? Only when there is second nod of validation, should companies use certain criteria to target a customer for the purchase of a product.

In the Pinterest case, the social site sent out emails to users who had pinned any wedding-related content but these people weren’t necessarily engaged. Some women start dreaming about a wedding day as little girls. Teens might use sites like Pinterest to save inspiration ideas for a future wedding even without a suitor yet on the horizon. Just because a person shows interest in the topic of weddings does not mean she is tying the knot.

2. Always act in context.
To increase the chances of delivering a relevant message or experience, companies need to not only leverage the data that makes a message personal but also be sure to trigger it when it’s contextual or appropriate to a person’s immediate circumstance and intent.

The context surrounding a consumer is what’s trending around her and what’s viral among her peers. Using a variety of big-data tools, such as semantic and virality analysis, a company can better understand what a given person might want at a certain moment. Virality simply refers to how viral something is online, on social or other channels. This can be anything from parachute pants to Miley Cyrus.

Acting in context, a hotel would send to a 25-year-old guest in town with friends a message about an Oktoberfest beer event that’s trending on Instagram and issue an alert for a symphony concert in a park to a couple in town to celebrate an anniversary.

3. Learn from the past.
Create user segments based on customer behavior, interests, needs, demographics and psychographics. By segmenting and then analyzing the behavior of long-standing customers, a company can predict the actions led to certain profile attributes, such as recent marriage or being a new mother.

An over-the-counter allergy-medicine company could anticipate what additional allergies a person may experience based on long-standing customers’ shopping and in-app behavior and user-generated profiles. Thus, the company could predict that a person with a strong allergy to ragweed might be wrestling with a specific allergy rampant in a town she’s visiting and provide an offer or tip.

4. Monitor sentiment in real time.
By tracking real-time feedback and chatter about a company online and applying a sentiment analysis, employees will be able to see almost immediately if a mistake has been made, enabling them to stop further damage from being done and to apologize to those affected.

If a company makes a mistake, the worst thing it can do is ignore it. During Hurricane Sandy, for instance, companies like Gap and Urban Outfitters promoted free-shipping offers to those in affected areas. These tactics quickly blew up on Twitter with harsh criticism about insensitivity. Apologies followed.

These recent high-profile personalization flops should not deter marketers from personalizing their efforts. Tailoring experiences is not a nice-to-have item. It’s a must-have in today’s customer-centric society.

Luckily, technology systems are becoming more advanced to put safeguards in place so marketers can personalize with confidence.


Beacons: The Opportunity For Rich CRM

Beacons are all the rage, and for good reason. The small Bluetooth wireless transmitters that hide inconspicuously on doorways, shelves, checkout counters and more have the opportunity to completely revolutionize the consumer experience. Beacons bridge consumers’ digital and physical worlds like never before — and can facilitate rich, real-time, highly personalized interactions.

The biggest adopters to date have been retailers, which makes sense. They are the ones with physical locations — they own the shelves — so of course they should be the facilitators of beacon-enabled experiences, right? Not necessarily.

CPG companies can and should create their own beacon initiatives as an integral part of their larger omni-channel marketing programs. Imagine this: A health-conscious customer is standing in the vitamin aisle, looking for a daily supplement for her child. Instead of having to pull out her phone to search for reviews and information on your brand, a beacon pushes her the latest Consumer Reports recommendation. She will look for information herself — so a brand should streamline this process, providing the content that will make it easier for her to make her decision. Maybe throw in a coupon to sweeten the deal.

Contrary to popular belief, beacons don’t just work when a person has a company’s app on their phone. If a person has added an offer or saved a loyalty card to Passbook, a beacon will can also trigger an interaction.

As CPG companies start considering beacon programs in 2014 and beyond, they need to keep in mind the pillars below to ensure success.

Personalization and contextualization drive success. What will be the downfall for many companies in their beacon programs will be the lack of relevance to an individual. Every time a consumer is pinged by a beacon, a brand is encroaching in their personal space. If they are bombarded with irrelevant information, they will grow increasingly frustrated and disenchanted with your brand’s spam.

Reminding someone to buy detergent every time they’re shopping is not the way to engage with consumers. However, by integrating all customer data into a single viewpoint, such as buying history, loyalty program info, offer preferences and redemptions, etc. a brand could know that a specific consumer purchases Tide once every six weeks. A reminder message or offer would therefore only trigger when they are likely to be running low, subtly encouraging the sale when it’s relevant.

CPG companies also must tap into context signals beyond the precise location that beacons provide such as weather, traffic and environmental conditions to make every interaction more relevant. For example, an OTC allergy brand can alert a consumer to the unusually high pollen counts in the forecast for the weekend, prompting them to buy today.

Beyond offers, consumers want information. Beacons should not just be used to disseminate offers when someone if standing on the shelf. Rich media with videos, pictures, recipes, tips and other motivating content should be unlocked as consumers pass by. A pasta brand, for instance, could send the working mother a quick and easy menu for tonight’s dinner with a roadmap to where she can find the other ingredients in the store. Voila, dinner is decided.

Work in tandem with retailers. Partnering with retailers is the only way that CPG companies will run successful beacon programs in-store, as a retailer’s permission would be to be granted for a CPG brand to include the small devices on shelf and end-of-row displays or other marketing materials used.

As a consumer walks around a store, if she gets alerts from the retailer as well as various brands, it would be a pretty unpleasant experience, getting pinged every time she turns around. If a retailer has its own beacon program, CPG companies will need to ensure programs compliment each other, and multiple beacon messages are not on the same aisle, or section of the store. This may turn into a situation where brands purchase the rights to own beacons in a specific area for a time period – where the air space goes to the highest bidder.

On the other hand, many of the larger retailers are still hesitant about implementing their own programs and would likely welcome the opportunity to explore how beacons perform without taking on all of the risk. In this case, retailers would likely ask for some high-level reports on program success.

There is a great opportunity for CPG companies to engage with their consumers in highly motivating, personalized ways using beacons. CPG companies are in a sweet spot for beacon success with sweeping cohorts of loyal customers that would welcome the opportunity for rich, more engaging, contextual real-time experiences, content and offers. More than just building customer relationships, CPG brands can also leverage mobile and beacons to sign up customers for regular subscriptions delivered via a retailer of choice.

The remainder of this year and throughout the first few months of 2015, we will see CPG companies and retailers work through the growing pains and start implementing some really amazing experiences.

keeping the creepening out

Keeping the creepiness out of mobile marketing

A mobile marketing expert offers five tips to retailers on how to approach new marketing styles.

A sweater you looked at while shopping online shows up sandwiched between your friends’ status updates, alongside your searches and in your e-mail inbox. While there was hesitation from consumers surrounding online ads for years because of the Big Brother essence of personalization and retargeting, consumers now are more comfortable with the concept, or at least used to it.

But mobile makes things different. Our smartphones are with us as we travel about our daily lives, literally with us every second, everywhere we go, nestled protectively in our pockets or sitting on our desks or nightstands. They have become an extension of ourselves and, not surprisingly, this can conjure an entirely new level of creepiness (in other words, I don’t want anyone tracking my every move) when brands attempt to engage in our lives. Mobile provides contextual data that can help marketers understand in which circumstances consumers are acting; where they are, the weather around brand name cialis canada them, their emotional state, how fast they are traveling and more. Even their heart rate.

It’s a bit of the chicken and the egg. To market successfully on mobile, experiences, offers and

messages must be highly personalized, but consumers are suspicious of a company knowing where they are or what they are is cialis generic safe doing. The creepiness, however, can be overcome. Here are five ways marketers can personalize the mobile consumer experience without scaring shoppers:

  • Understand and act in context. Contextual marketing personalizes every message and experience by fusing the soft signal data from sensors that reveal a person’s physical situation (location, weather and traffic, etc.) and how fast or slow they are moving (in a car at 60 m.p.h., walking down a street leisurely, lounging at home, etc.), and hard customer profile data like past purchases and demographic information. Retailers can’t simply send a message every time a consumer shows up close to a store. Do they pass by on their way to work? Then they should not get a message inviting them to try on their items in a wish list when they pass during rush hour. On the other hand, when they are on a leisurely stroll on a Saturday afternoon, they are going to be much more receptive and likely to act.
  • Anticipate intent.Customer intent is the biggest factor in successful marketing and focuses simply on what your customer is trying to do. When you understand your users’ intent at a given moment, you can help them accomplish whatever they are trying to do. For instance, normally a married father should not get discounts on nearby products when he passes through the women’s department unless, that is, it is close to a holiday. In pay for viagra with paypal that case, he might well appreciate gift ideas for his wife, as that is what he is currently trying to accomplish. To start, predict needs based on personal and societal events and identify behavioral patterns (i.e., Courtney only purchases sale items when next season’s line is in).
  • Celebrate everyone’s differences.
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    Retailers need to integrate all data streams they have—CRM, social, transactional, etc.—to have a deeper understanding of individual consumers. Not only will this ensure a consistent experience for customers across channels, but it will also extract more value from your customer data. Creating a single customer view allows retailers to treat everyone as individuals, not a single mass. Your customer Sarah who follows celebrity fashion blogs would like to know if an A-lister was just spotted wearing this dress. On the other hand, Hannah, who has inquired into your fair trade policies, would rather know about a dress’ origins. Sarah and Hannah are motivated by different things and should be engaged differently.

  • Offer something of value. You have to give something to get something. While this is true, retailers don’t have to—and shouldn’t—rely simply on offers and discounts. Brands can “pay” consumers by removing friction from the process, like streamlining contactless payments, allowing shoppers to pre-select items to appear in their dressing rooms, or giving them the power to complete price or inventory checks through an app. As a result, consumers will see value in engaging with your app, and you will glean valuable insights to cialis online pharmacy inform future interactions.
  • Be transparent. While all is fair in love and war, the same doesn’t hold true for mobile commerce. Retailers must create relationships with their customers based on trust. Be
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    forthright with how you’ll use their data, which should first and foremost be online canadian pharmacy to enhance their shopping experience. From the initial contact and throughout your relationship, let them know you’ll only give them relevant marketing messages and inform them of upgrades, changes in policy, privacy settings, etc.

Mobile offers a truly unprecedented opportunity to treat every customer in a special, individualized way. But retailers need to thoroughly think through their strategy and approach because consumers’ hesitation to feeling that their behavior is tracked will not go away; they will instead invite only a few brands they trust into their lives. To find true success, anticipate their needs, leverage context to provide the right experience at the right time, help them accomplish something easily and remove friction from the process.


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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will be that much sweeter.


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.


Let’s Get Personal: The Next Step In The Evolution Of Mobile Target Marketing

Smartphones are inherently more personal than the more ancestral advertising channels. TV, radio, print, billboard and even PC have catered to mass communication, with advertisers hoping their brand messages will stick. Today’s always-on consumers have much different expectations with their mobile devices. C_TFIN52_66 Consumers want to interact with brands on a highly personalized level, receiving offers and

ads tailored and delivered to them when and where it is appropriate, and nothing else. To succeed on mobile, marketers need to get smarter about their mobile marketing strategies to be customer-centric and influence them at precise moments of decision making. Today, mobile targeting is based on peak points of mobile engagement, but to meet customer’s expectations and demands, mobile marketers will have to go beyond generalized peak point of engagement to contextually relevant ads. As mobile

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Understand secondary location data Technology needs to drive true relevance by being situationally-aware of a user’s surroundings, beyond just nearby places, events, etc. Marketers need to bring in secondary location-based real-time data that exists, such as weather, traffic conditions and economic factors, to provide a true hyper-local and 360-degree user experience and provide for instant actionability. Expand context beyond location Location has been the primary filter that advertisers are using today for contextually relevant mobile advertising. The opportunity to deliver a highly personalized experience goes much further than where a customer is. What are they feeling? What do their friends

and family like and respond to? By mining a customer’s social sphere and online communications to learn about them, mobile advertising will be much more hypertargeted and therefore effective. Provide value Deliver something of value to consumers. Mobile cannot be used as a soapbox to push marketing-centric messaging. Mobile is user-centric, and you need to deliver something that is interesting to consumers or gives them something, be it a deal, reward, information or entertainment. Tap the brakes Today’s tools make mobile advertising a playland for interactive marketers, with shiny new objects generating excitement everyday. It’s easy to want to connect with customers often because it’s fun and new. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you always should. Marketers need to carefully track the

frequency of their communication with their customers to ensure they are not intruding and interrupting on their lives too often. Build your mobile strategy on a foundation of trust with your customer, delivering targeted messages when customers want them. If you interrupt too much, they will be quick to abandon. Make Data Actionable Interactive marketers need to track data in real time and adjust their programs to ensure maximum success. Stale data that works for other advertising channels, which comes days or even weeks after a campaign, is not appropriate for mobile. Mobile marketers need to be nimble and if one mobile program is not performing with one audience segment, they need to quickly change it to ensure a high ROI. Mobile should not be treated in a silo, but should be part of an omni-channel marketing strategy. Consumers will interact with brands via apps, mobile and traditional Web, social media, and through various connected devices. We are on the verge of a major transformation in the advertising industry, one that will make the disruption of “traditional” digital advertising look trivial in comparison. The opportunity to make meaningful, personal connections between customers and brands is huge and, therefore, so is the opportunity to make real impacts on their business. MB6-700


The Future Of Content Is Context

“In the future,” Andy Warhol famously said, “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” Well, that future has already come and gone. We now live in the next future — the one where everyone pays attention for 15 seconds. Fortunately, today’s ultra-connected consumers are equipped with the perfect technology for on-the-go people who have short attention spans: mobile devices. Mobile devices that pack unbelievably strong sensors. Touchscreens, cameras, microphones, GPS, compass, gyroscope — and wireless Internet. Combine all that with speed, sleek handsets and always-on, running-in-the-background capabilities and what do you get? For starters, you get a new computing model. You

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media-cultural-social-economic atmosphere. t’s changing how we live. How we work. How we socialize. How we communicate. How we shop, learn, have fun, and even how we think and feel and perceive. The era of the four-hour, widescreen epic is over. The day (or nanosecond) of the “flash fact” presented on a handheld screen is here — whether it’s a tweet or an app or a digitally delivered news headline. Question: how can a “flash fact” possibly be

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worthwhile? And by consuming an endless series of flash facts on our mobile devices every day, are we just gorging ourselves on empty content, high-calorie candy — when we really should be consuming more long-form, deep-content vegetables? Actually, no. Flash facts can be just as nutritious as long-form media. Why? Because long-form media creates its own context. Today’s mobile media figures out what’s going on in your life and makes you the context. Let me explain. Do you know the difference between trivia and an important fact? You guess it: context. Suppose you’re in the middle of Times Square. Somebody remarks that you can make an improvised compass from a needle by magnetizing it. Who cares? It’s meaningless trivia. But if you’re lost in the woods and all you’ve got is a needle, suddenly that same fact becomes a lifesaver. It is

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extremely valuable information — “significa.” Popular mobile devices present bite-sized chunks of information. But great mobile platforms present those bites at just the right time, and just the right place, in just the right way to be useful to you, with your specific tastes, habits, preferences, friends, history and location. Rain expected later today in the Midwest? Who cares? But rain expected at 1:45 pm on the corner of 33rd and Madison, which is exactly where you’re going to be in 15 minutes? That’s useful information. The future of mobile media content is fun, friendly platforms, apps and programs that deliver situationally-aware, hyper-personalized, bite-sized facts (preferably watermelon work like viagra told in pictures) to individual consumers at precisely the right moment. Content is king. But context is queen.