by Mike McGuire | January 18, 2013 | Comments Off
My esteemed colleague Jake Sorofman made the trek to NYC this week to partake of the MobileFirst 2013 conference. He does a great job (here) of distilling the essentials from the conference. Check it out!
I’m particularly fond of the Citi’s exec’s pithy maxim.
Category: Digital Marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, Mobile Marketing
by Mike McGuire | January 7, 2013 | 2 Comments
As mobile marketers develop and tend to their mobile strategies and day-to-day tactics, the tectonic plates upon which those strategies and tactics ride — mobile OSs and development platforms — will continue to collide, driving shifts in the marketplace which must be monitored. One important subduction zone (where the plates meet and younger, less-dense rides over the top of the other) according to some will be maps and mobile search. (FYI — I’m a native Californian, so earthquake-related metaphors come naturally.)
As noted in this WSJ story (subscription required), Apple’s recent Maps problems have put it in the difficult strategic position of having to play catch-up to Google in the all-important race to monetize locations and location information.
Having giants battle over a core technology can drive industry standards while providing healthy competitive alternatives for mobile markets. But Apple’s in a position they haven’t often been in the past few years of having to follow somebody else in the development of what is sure to be a cornerstone of any successful device-software-service ecosystem: location. With the Maps stumble, and the subsequent decision to allow an updated version of Google Maps into the Apple App Store, Apple might have assuaged its user base but the strategic cost was steep: the company is essentially back to where it was prior to launching their own mapping product — having their biggest ecosystem competitor controlling an all important app that drives significant revenue opportunities.
For Apple, the strategic calculus boils down to two key options. First, continue to invest in building up Apple’s own Maps product to the point where it is competitive with Google which probably means signficant financial and headcount investments. Second, without using the word “cede”, Apple could cede the maps market to Google, and focusing on location-enabled apps and transaction “experiences” that can ride on top of any mapping infrastructure.
For mobile marketers, this particular fight between giants affects your native apps and/or browser-based app strategies for the individual OSs (Android and iOS) and browsers (Chrome and Safari). Over the long-term, assuming Apple continues to fight to establish its own location toolkit, it is likely to result in a few opportunities to play the two platforms off of each other in terms of pricing and terms of service for specific location-enabled campaigns or tactics.
To be sure, Apple must come up with an approach to maps and location-aware transactions that tells mobile marketers which of the two approaches ( mentioned in the previous ‘graph) the company is going to take. I would argue for the latter — build transaction experiences that feed into the Apple ecosystem e.g. iTunes that ride on top of Google’s Map ecosystem. Right now, mobile marketers need to see something clear, concise and compelling from Apple before they split off any of their location-enabled budgets from Google.
Are we placing too much emphasis on the importance of location? What do you think?
Category: Digital Marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by Mike McGuire | January 3, 2013 | 5 Comments
It’s a new year and for many Gartner analysts, it usually means a flurry of inquiries about the Predicts documents we worked on and published in December. And sometimes, a news item pops up during the Christmas-to-New-Year’s break that coincides nicely with a recently published prediction.
This story about Apple’s rumored expansion of Passbook capabilities to include near-field-communications (NFC) including redemption and payment, definitely links to a prediction we published. In the document, “Predicts 2013: Marketing Executives Assume a More Strategic Role” Gene Alvarez and I published the following: “By 2017, 90% of social selling activities globally will be contextually delivered via mobile devices.”
While the Mashable story notes that Apple’s patent application includes a number of items that may or may not make into future versions of Passbook, the story and the application describe scenarios that are spot-on examples of how context will affect marketing and sales via mobile devices.
Passbook is currently billed by as Apple as an app that lets a user store and manage mobile coupons, e-tickets etc., but as noted in “Apple’s Passbook Has Subtle but Powerful Influence,” Gartner noted that “Passbook will be among the first real context-aware technology experiences many consumers will have. “
If you play out the Apple-Passbook-NFC theory by extrapolating from what’s hinted at in the story about the patent, and consider how the role the iTunes store and software play in Apple’s overall strategy, it starts to paint a pretty interesting picture. Content purchases or rentals from the iTunes store, along with purchases made at Apple stores (physical stores or online) can form useful targeting information the company could use to maintain its relationships with customers.
What do you think? Is this scenario something unique to Apple or do you expect other ecosystem players will deliver similar capabilities? Check out the rest of our predictions in the 2013 document to see how they fit into your views (or plans) for the future.
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by Mike McGuire | December 18, 2012 | Comments Off
Update: Well, at least the folks at Instagram are listening. The company did a reasonable job of explaining the intent of the change in policies and made clear they aren’t looking to sell users photos. However, I think the lessons I mentioned are still worth considering.
So many teaching moments wrapped up in the news that Instagram’s terms of service which includes what some view as a bit of a bombshell – that Instagram can license/sell to third parties users photos without the user/photographer having any say in the matter.
Here are a couple lessons I took away from reading the cNet story:
- Try not to violate what trust you’ve built with consumers: suddenly deciding that you can make money off of your users creative output – without really even asking — would seem to be a really dumb idea.
- OK, but I get that Instagram is expected to drive revenue for Facebook. Why wouldn’t Instagram have tried a “want to make money off your images?” offer? Would the administrative costs, the contracts, the payments been so costly as to eliminate any profit? There are so many ways to develop a relatively automated process to do many of these tasks. The first step? Ask your users if they’re interested, maybe?
- I mean, really. Given the popularity of Facebook and Instagram, nobody thought that there wouldn’t be potential in actually encouraging Instagram users to allow their photos to be used commercially? Wait, I already have a name for the contest: “Take a Shot at Fame (and maybe some $) with Your Shots.” Instagram, you can have that for free.
- The worst thing you, as an online service provider/aggregator can is surpsise, and I mean in a bad way, your users. Try really, really hard to not do that. What Instagram just did? Don’t do that.
- This new policy violates my “Grandma test.” The “Grandma test” is would your Grandma being embarrassed by your business decision? Encouraging users to share their memories, to share with millions what they consider to be a creative work with the promise that they’ll always be able to access those images and control who views them. Suddenly, (as far as the users are concerned) you decide you can can take some of those images and license them to the highest bidder without giving a slice of the revenue pie to the person who had the inspiration, dumb luck or presence of mind to capture that image? Seems, well, selfish. My grandma would be very, very disappointed in me if I did that.
Category: Digital Marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, Digital media, online media
by Mike McGuire | December 12, 2012 | Comments Off
Perhaps some folks might be surprised to see the news that ad inventory for the stream of the upcoming Super Bowl (and I like the 49ers chances of being in that game, by the way) are nearly sold out.
Why? Advertisers are wising up to the fact that consumers are using those second-screen apps we’ve heard about. Despite the lack of citation to support the claim that second-screen app use by consumers has jumped ”exponentially” since last year’s Super Bowl (the first to be streamed live), I think we can agree there has been a surge in usage of second-screen or companion apps with a growing number of consumers in the U.S. Actually, some data from comScore’s blog gives us some actual numbers to support the notion that consumers are augmenting their TV consumption with mobile devices.
What mobile marketers need to look beyond the TV-industry economics angle of this story and focus more on what this kind of shift in consumer behavior means for the future of content consumption on mobile devices.
In particular, the notion of “ensemble” or multiscreen interactions is gaining traction. For the mobile marketer, this concept presents some interesting options. First, would be to look for opportunities to extend the engagement of a broadcast advertisement to a viewer’s mobile device. Second, would be to acquire audience data from second-screen apps to look for context cues about audience demographics. Methinks that more than a few of these second-screen app users would find the ability to defer or extend an offer made on the TV or second-screen to their smartphones — when they might be out and about and willing to head to a store or location (for an event) — conveniently compelling.
Anybody seeing any compelling examples second-screen apps that are extending into a truly mobile experience?
Category: Digital Marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, Mobile Marketing, online media
by Mike McGuire | November 29, 2012 | 3 Comments
Disruption, thy names are smartphones and media tablets. Just because saying consumer adoption of smartphones and media tablets is disrupting multiple markets and business models is this year’s understatement, doesn’t mean I can’t repeat it.
My colleagues Andrew Frank and Stephanie Baghdassarian have updated Gartner’s worldwide mobile advertising forecast this year to reflect that disruption. Check it out here.
Top-line take-aways: mobile advertising global revenue is expected to grow close to 90% from $5.2 billion in 2011 to $9.8 billion in 2012, and most of that revenue is coming at the expense of incumbent channels such as print (local newspapers in particular).
Category: Digital Marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, Mobile Advertising
by Mike McGuire | October 19, 2012 | 2 Comments
So you’re a mobile marketer and you know the mobile opportunity is big . Really big. But maybe you’re running into doubters or just executives who want some numbers to support the strategic bet you’re asking them to make. You and I know mobile marketing must be an extension of your company’s overall digital marketing strategy. What that mobile strategy needs to be depends entirely on the product or service you sell. Mobile marketing techniques that work for the seller of coffee, or fast food, will by definition differ greatly from, say, Subaru dealers.
But when dealing with doubters or the uninitiated, especially when we’re talking about something as challenging as mobile marketing, giving them a sense of the scale of the mobile opportunity and the velocity of the change in directly related areas — mobile advertising and m-commerce, for example — can help frame the discussion. The following links can give you some of the data points to help frame that discussion.
Here are some numbers that should help in those situations where somebody wants a bit more quantification than your intuition that “it’s big.”
In particular, the IAB’s report showing mobile notched a 95% growth in mobile advertising revenue between the first half of 2011 and the first half of 2012, is a pretty solid nugget for any CMO to latch onto, given the relationship between marketing and advertising.
Now, having said all of that, and provided you with these exciting links, it’s important not to develop your own reality distortion field. (As far as I know, Steve Jobs was the only person who could really create and maintain such a thing.) Will all strategic marketing initiatives for all products and service require a specific mobile marketing strategy? Nope.
Developing engaging and useful mobile marketing techniques requires deft deployment of apps and offers that create, for you and your brand, a locus of convenience for each and every one of those customers and prospects out there. So your customers might not buy Subarus from their Android-based smartphones (yet), but they are very likely checking www.subaru.com from their smartphones or media tablets. If you are a B2B marketers, perhaps selling computer chips, time- and location-based sensitivity probably are not crucial elements of your marketing plans because the folks on your sales teams are focused on deep relationship selling. Getting on a PC OEM’s bill-of-materials involves a long, sustained sales and marketing effort, not a deal of the day coupon or “buy-now-and-get-10%-off” SMS message.
Yet, the data points I’ve highlighted describe the scale of the opportunity, but they serve as a starting point. How you use those to frame your strategic discussions for your B2B or B2C opportunities is where the real work begins. I suggest starting with answering the question how you can use mobile to create a locus of convenience for your prospects and existing customers, whether they’re buying coffee, Subarus or computer chips.
Category: Digital Marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, Mobile Marketing
by Mike McGuire | October 6, 2012 | Comments Off
Smartphone-toting consumers are the bright shiny embodiment of the potential for commerce everywhere.
Why? As one research firm has noted, it’s because for many consumers, especially young adults, the smartphone is their “remote control of life.” Constant communications, always-on media consumption are the hallmarks of today’s young consumer, and not a few tech-savvy old goats like me (let’s just say I’ve passed the half-century mark). And a lot of consumers are using their smartphones to be smarter buyers. So boat loads of awesome, am I right?
In two words, yes but. . . One of the fastest ways to create tension in budding marketer-buyer relationships or one that’s been established? Trying to take control of that “remote control of life” for these consumers.
Making the consumer aware of deals because they’ve opted-in to receive mobile messages? Well, yes, but as Vibes, a mobile-marketing technology company, noted in recent surveys they conducted, there’s a not-so-obvious line mobile marketers and aspiring commerce-everywhere providers have to keep in mind: the fastest way to get somebody to churn-off your contact list is to “send too many messages.”
This is why investing in context-aware capabilities is going to be hugely important over the long haul for digital and mobile marketers. But starting now, creating opt-in opportunities — which once achieved gives the mobile markerter a chance to query about context information — is crucial.
As a mobile marketer, you have to build that mobile link to commerce everywhere — use it judiciously.
Category: Digital Marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, Mobile Marketing
by Mike McGuire | September 17, 2012 | 1 Comment
I was able to make it to the Mobile Marketer’s Mobile Marketing Summit in Manhattan on Thursday — the theme was gearing up for the Holidays — and came away with some interesting bits o’ information.
By the mid-point of the day, we’d already had one bit of significant news and that was that Kraft Foods disclosed that the company will move 10 percent of its media budget to mobile. While a total figure was not disclosed, the executive, Melissa Laux, made clear they were pulling the budget dollars from TV, print, out-of-home and digital.
Laux’s presentation set the tone for the rest of the day, noting that mobile marketing is still immature but companies will have to move fast to develop mobile strategies and tactics. Why? Because the mobile channel is where the consumers are congregating and because they are wanting to create and develop.
While Laux didn’t disclose specifics of the allocation of the increased budget, she indicated mobile would be used in multiple ways. But the underlying theme of her presentation, and several others, was the inevitability of mobile marketing’s ascendancy.
At times the tone of these conferences, and their presenters, can be unbridled enthusiasm bordering on irrational exuberance, there were some important warnings about the challenges facing the mobile marketer.
In particular, the CEO of Vibes, a Chicago-based mobile marketing and technology company, underscored the very thin line that mobile marketers walk every day. In a survey conducted earlier this year of more than 1000 mobile phone users in the U.S., that found that 86 percent said they unsubscribed from a mobile list due to “receiving too many message, while another 73% said they unsubscribed because the information to them “wasn’t relevant.”
Look for me to push out a bit more on some of the other findings I pulled from the event in the next blog post.
Category: Digital Marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, mobile marketing Chester
by Mike McGuire | September 5, 2012 | 1 Comment
You and I, dear reader, know the power of social media — it’s everywhere. Even the murky world of political campaigns knows the power of social, as evidenced in recent press coverage coming out of the Republican and Democratic conventions convention in Tampa, FL, and Charlotte, NC, respectively.
One thing I see missing from this coverage is any discussion of mobile’s impact. Certainly the power of mobile devices has been felt by social stalwarts such as Facebook (and their less-than-effective efforts to monetize the increasing mobile traffic to Facebook has been well documented — a couple of examples here and here). When you look at various stories discussing the role of social in efforts like political campaigns, the coverage focuses on the distinctions between gross audience numbers — number of “friends” on Facebook, or the number of Twitter followers, tweets-per-second – and engagement. Politicians, like brands, are focusing on engagement as much as they are focusing on the engagement metrics.
Which strikes me as kind of weird given that I’d read somewhere in the past — perhaps it was a poli-sci class in college? — that campaigns are really waged for the hearts/minds/votes of the undecided voters. It that’s true, then what we’re seeing with politics is that the engagements — say, on a FB page for a candidate or on Twitter — is mostly skirmishing among “decideds” — those individuals who have already settled on a candidate. I haven’t seen it yet, let me know if you have, but I was thinking if the campaigns really want to extend the engagement beyond the conventions? I mean, if they’re really trying to do something with these social tools beyond getting lots of tweets and re-tweets out of an event at a fixed time and place in the physical world (the conventions) that might help achieve a specific result at a fixed time in the future (election day), where’s the call to action? Perhaps a tactic could be things like creating Facebook- or Twitter-delivered calendar reminder linked to the voter’s time zone, that reminds them to get the pols on election day? Or put another way, giving them the call to action that moves them through the consideration phase of the Funnel to the conversion.
For digital and mobile marketers, who are probably keeping their eyes on how the campaigns utilize social media, it’s worth considering how they use social media and social networking with their base, their existing customers. For the mobile marketer, who is charged with simultaneously keeping existing customers engaged (and primed for a new product or service offering) as well as recruiting new customers, keeping an eye out for usage metrics in the post-convention follow-ups will likely offer up some interesting tidbits. Undoubtedly, we’ll get some examples of how the tactical operatives of the campaigns worked closely with the campaign equivalents of the CIO’s team. Perhaps some take-aways for the topic of how CIOs and CMOs are going to need to team up in the future?
I know I’ll be looking out for those mobile-specific items.
Category: Digital Marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing, Mobile Marketing, mobile marketing Chester