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Digital Marketing: When Mobile Meets Email

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Mobile Application Development

Email campaigns have been a part of digital marketing for years, with companies of all shapes and sizes relying on mailing lists to get the word out to their existing and potential customers. The need to constantly send out offers, deals, and reminders to clients hasn’t changed, but the way people use the internet most definitely has. We are, of course, talking about mobile and everything that goes with it. Internet users now browse the web and receive their emails when they’re out and about, such as when they’re shopping in the high street. If your business really embraces the mobile platform – and all of the possibilities it offers – you could be reaching out to so many more potential customers. Here are just a few tips on how to make the most of mobile.

SMS & Email
Just because we’re focusing on the internet here doesn’t mean that you should forget about things like text messages. Using SMS as a form of marketing works better now that so many people own smartphones, and can click or call directly from a message to find out more information on a certain company or deal they’re offering. Text messages can, however, be a little limiting in terms of how many characters you have to work with. Emails are better in terms of being able to use text, images, and white space to create an attractive message that is easy to read and easy to click through to a website (just make sure your text and links are big enough to click on without being fiddly).

App Development
You should have a mobile-friendly website no matter what (look up responsive web design development for this), but it can also help to offer your customers the opportunity to download an app. Just make sure that your app is worth downloading – even if it’s free, users will want the application to offer them something they can’t get on your regular site. Gamification principles work really well on mobile apps – offer customers rewards or offers and incorporate fun games or missions in order to engage with potential clients. Just make sure all of your contact and other important details are included in the app as well.

Checking In
The fact that people take their phones everywhere with them is great news for businesses trying to market through mobiles, and the ability of users to ‘check in’ at their favourite places should be made the most of. Offer incentives for customers if they check in to your place of business, such as so much percent off the food bill or a free drink if they bring so many friends with them. Getting creative with ‘check ins’ is a fun way of marketing, and one that customers will definitely respond to.

If you’re still unsure about where or how to start, ask an expert in web design & development to give you some advice; there are a wide range of digital marketing specialists out there, from freelancers to entire web development teams. Some specialise in specific areas, whereas others will cover all forms of online marketing, so make sure you do your research before hiring anyone.

By Chelsey Evans

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Going Mobile: Things To Consider When Creating a Mobile Campaign

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Mobile Application Development

Smartphones and tablets are increasing in popularity seemingly every day. The world has gone mobile; people no longer wait until they’re in the office to check their emails or start that big report – they can do it on their phone or tablet on the commute, or in a café over their breakfast. Business is no longer confined to one or two places – it can be carried out anywhere, at any time. It therefore makes sense to incorporate a mobile campaign into your digital marketing strategy. But how do you know where to start?

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Tablets and smartphones are great ways of accessing the internet quickly and easily – as long as it actually is quick and easy. You need to make sure that your official business website is not only easy to find, but that it is also quick to load and simple to navigate. By using a responsive web layout, your site will be optimised to fit the screen dimensions of any tablet or phone, no matter what size. Make sure you don’t clutter your site with unnecessary images or videos that will slow down the load time, and include all of your main contact details in an easy-to-see place.

Create a Mobile App
When it comes to mobile marketing, it isn’t just your website you should be thinking about. By creating an app, you’ll be reaching out to many more people than your website possibly ever could. Include exclusive content or the opportunity to receive offers in the app, and you’ll soon get numerous downloads. A web development company can help you to create your mobile application.

Incorporate an SMS Campaign
Mobile marketing doesn’t just have to be internet-based. If you collect your customers’ mobile numbers, text them with special offers they might be interested in. Include your email address, website, and phone number in the text (the phone number is particularly useful as people with smartphones can then just click-to-call). Just make sure you don’t bombard them with messages – no one likes to be hassled, and if you do it too often, you could lose their custom altogether.

Think Outside The Box
QR codes are great at generating interest with potential clients. Add your code to your business cards and any other print media to integrate your offline marketing with your online marketing. People with smartphones can then take a photo of the QR code and be taken to a landing page, making it easy to analyse the traffic generated by the code.

Whether you like it or not, it looks like mobiles and tablets are the future in terms of connecting to the internet and conducting business while on the go. If you don’t embrace it and come up with a well-planned mobile marketing strategy now, you could lose out to your competitors in the future. Don’t get left behind – start marketing on mobile devices today!

By Chelsey Evans

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Amazon Apps Go Global: Distribution Expanded Internationally

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Mobile Application Development

It's been announced that Amazon will be expanding their Appstore to include app distribution in several new countries. The Amazon Appstore for Android launches have previously included the UK, Japan, France, Spain, Italy and Germany and, while already a huge market, almost 200 more countries will be added to the distribution list, meaning that developers will be able to submit their apps more or less globally, reaching a whole new group of international customers.

Which Countries Are Being Included And When?
Just under 200 countries are being included in the upgrade, with the most notable being Canada, Australia, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and South Korea. Even Vatican City is being included. While not available yet, these countries will benefit from Amazon apps when the new Appstore for Android launch is introduced internationally in the upcoming months. It will be an opportunity for web developers to embrace the monetizing potential of apps and games on Android devices and Kindle Fire on a bigger scale than ever before. Registered web developers can log on to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal as normal, and unless they ‘opt out’ of the system, their apps will be automatically available for download in the aforementioned countries.

Why Use Amazon?
As a global company, Amazon already has the ability to reach a huge user base, and with this new expansion, even more international customers will be included in their Appstore. Even without taking that into consideration, Amazon offers several features which actively encourage users to buy their products and use their services. Their 1-Click purchasing and recommendation system have both revolutionised the way people buy online, their Kindle Fire GameCircle is becoming more and more popular (even when compared to rivals such as Google Play), and other features such as

A/B Testing and APIs for In-App Purchasing (IAP) are keeping Amazon one step ahead of their competitors.

How Can This Help My Business?
If you already have an app related to your business – or if you are thinking of teaming up with a web development team to get one produced – these announced changes can help you in a number of ways. The first – and most obvious – point is that you will be able to reach a much higher number of users/potential customers. If you are already a global business dealing with international clients, you could start to see a higher conversion rate once your app is available in the newly-added countries.

With smartphones and tablets currently more popular than ever before, businesses of all shapes and sizes are starting to offer games and apps as part of their online marketing strategies. If you don’t already offer an app to your clients, it’s worth talking to a professional web development company to see how they could help your business, whether it’s with a game, a shopping app, or another application making use of gamification principles to attract new customers. With Amazon’s upcoming expansion, now is the time to find out about the advantages of having an app.

By Chelsey Evans

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What Mobile Marketing Will Look Like In The Future

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Mobile Application Development

Mobile marketing has been growing steadily over the past few years, and it’s getting to the point where – with approximately half of mobile users owning a smartphone – mobile technology is really coming into its own. With mobile apps growing in number and scope every day, the future of mobile marketing is looking brighter than ever. But what can we expect over the next few years?

It Will Make Life Easier
Simply put, users want their mobiles to work for them. As well as being a source of entertainment, people expect apps to be of use on a day-to-day basis. It’s all about making life easier, and in the future, life will be made much, much easier. In fact, normal lines of communication such as phone calls and texts won’t be needed as much, as the internet starts to offer cheaper, more interesting alternatives.

In fact, this has already started happening. With apps such as FourSquare and Facebook notifying users when their friends have checked into the vicinity, people no longer need to text each other to find out where they are. This can be great in large crowds at big events, and even better if you want to actively avoid bumping into certain people.

It Will Help Local Businesses
GPS will also be made use of more in terms of local businesses. People who are in the area can be offered special deals as a way to entice them in, and customers will be able to instantly review hotels, bars, cafes, and other businesses with the touch of a button.

Shopping will also be made much easier. Of course, there are already hundreds of apps out there that help users with their shopping, whether it be actual ecommerce applications or price comparison apps. In the future, however, we’ll start to see a whole new level of mobile shopping experience, from paying for products with apps or Bluetooth to using apps like Shazam to instantly buy an item when listening to an advert.

Augmented Reality
We’re rapidly heading towards a world of augmented reality (AR) when it comes to mobile marketing. With many people owning more than one internet-ready device, our reality relies on the ability to connect to the internet – in many ways, we use the internet to explore our surroundings. In the future, we’ll go beyond location-based apps and start to see things emerging that will actually help us in our day-to-day lives without any (or very little) input from us. Due to our preferences and past history on our mobiles, online sensors will be able to influence how we use our mobiles in the future.

Mobile applications can be a great investment: they can help your business to generate new customers, as well as keeping your existing clients engaged with your company.  If you don’t already have an in-house app developer, a web development company can work with you to create an app that works both for you and your customers. With the future of mobile marketing looking so fascinating, it’s a good idea to get in there and start creating an app right now.

By Chelsey Evans

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Survey suggests customer mobile adoption is still in its early stages

Published on December 10, 2012
Tags: Mobile Application Development

A recent report by MarketingSherpa found that many marketers’ understanding of how their business’s customers use their mobiles to generate sales is still in its early stages. 27% of respondents surveyed said that their organisation didn’t know the customers’ adoption rate, while only 8% thought that their organisation knew it very well.

Meanwhile 22% of respondents said they presumed that their customers would adopt mobile devices early on in the conversion path, but that they didn’t understand it very well. 17% claimed this wasn’t applicable or that they didn’t know, while 16% believed that mobile adoption could be used somewhat well.  Finally, 10% presumed that customers wouldn’t use mobile devices in the conversion path.

Overall, these figures suggest that organisations need to take the time to understand customer mobile adoption and how it can generate sales. This is particularly important as internet usage on mobile devices is increasing and by 2014, the estimated number of mobile users worldwide is set to overtake desktop internet users.

Why marketers will have to move fast in the mobile age

According to Torni Ahonen of Mobile Web Africa, “The average person looks at their phone 150 times a day, or once every six-and-a-half minutes of every waking hour.” Taking this into account, it’s vital that organisations learn how to expand their sales by keeping hold of their customers during this fast paced digital age.

As customers are increasingly using their mobiles to make more purchases, the organisations who stand out against their competitors are the ones which know how to optimise their web pages for fast and efficient transactions.

MarketingSherpa asked organisations which factors would prevent them from allocating more resources towards gathering this information, or whether a lack of internal resources is preventing marketers from understanding the mobile market. Does your organisation know how to collect data on customer mobile preferences for example?

Then there is the issue of updating your website to make it more mobile friendly. There are many tools you can use to optimise your web pages and make them easier for the average mobile user, but many organisations might not be aware they can do this.

Do you understand customer mobile adoption?

According to the MarketingSherpa report, of the 34% who did understand customer mobile adoption, only 8% claimed to have a strong understanding through internal data collection. While encouragingly, many within this category knew this topic ‘somewhat well’, which suggests they were using outside research to create a company mobile strategy.

Of the 10% of respondents who presumed customers wouldn’t use mobile devices to make sales, it could still be worth implementing some mobile tactics to see if it makes a difference to your conversion path. If it does, you can then start deciding if your organisation sees mobile sales becoming a big part of your sales strategy in the long term – which is looking likely given the future direction that information and sales are being directed.

By Chelsey Evans

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