Category Archives: digital marketing

Mobile coupons and digital marketing

The biggest reason for mobile success is due to our personal connection with the device: Mobile devices are an extension of oneself. Mobiles are successful because human beings “see” a mobile as being a part of them. Mobile coupons are also popular. How can you make coupons even more successful?

  • 47% of mobile customers want retailers to send coupons to their devices if they are near the store*
  • 34% of smartphone shoppers use their devices for mobile coupons*

*Statistics taken from (Factbrowser) who also found that 23% of mobile shoppers used direct retailer coupons moreso than deal sites, such as, GroupOn, for example.

Pros and cons of mobile marketing

There are 4 main advantages to mobile digital marketing: convenience, there is no need to cut out a mobile coupon and take it with you; locality, further enhances information; relevancy; and timeliness. Mobile coupons can be significantly improved, in terms of redemption, if coupons are relevant and timely.

Perceived risk, what a customer’s loss might be, is the sole disadvantage of mobile coupons and they include: financial; physical; product; performance; and transactional. If we, for example, examine a product’s price and think it is too expensive (a perceived risk) then we are not likely to buy that product. However, if this high priced product is marketed to be useful and, for instance, easy to use then we are likely to re-examine the price. If financially possible the client will pay the higher rate only if they see the product as being useful and easy to use.

Mobile coupons are redeemed 10 times more than traditional, paper based, coupons.

Advantages of online retailers directly selling to customers

Communication, the first advantage of a company directly selling to a customer, easily occurs because information is quickly exchanged. Transactional, for example sales, secondly, improves visibility and creates a larger customer base, increasing profits. Distribution, thirdly, refers to the exchange of products, shortens the supply chain. eCommerce web sites should consider selling to the general public because the advantages are strong.

Distribution can be further enhanced by using just in time (JIT) systems. JIT orders products in smaller batches which reduces storage costs and, for example, rent. JIT systems cannot take advantage of economies of scale, the ability to buy bulk products at a much cheaper rate, or cheaper production costs if the company manufactures their own product.

Mobile phones

Old and new mobile phone. Copyright reused, unedited, from Wikipedia.

The key to making mobile coupons successful is to positively impact a customer’s attitude towards a product because attitude directly influences perceived control, such as, the fear of spam or invasion of privacy. How can mobile coupons attitude be positively increased? The first aspect is to offer an opt-in or opt-out clause any time. Secondly, protect privacy and communicate this message clearly to the customer, for example, by precisely outlining what data you collect and for what purpose. You should also be aware of the laws within your jurisdiction. In the UK, for instance, the Data Protection Act (1990) protects any personal and sensitive information. Do you also protect any personal and sensitive information? Explain how you do this to the client in simple English.

Since this post identified the Data Protection Act (DPA) it is worth noting that, since the publication date of this post, the DPA is moving towards a unified General Data Protection Regulation law which means that the DPA law will be reviewed and agreed, possibly within the next year or two, for the whole European Union. Protecting personal information is not only a legal requirement but good practice to follow since it puts the user at the forefront of what you do. Furthermore, you increase your brand’s privacy.

Have you used a mobile coupon recently? Tweet Gerald.

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  1. Dickinger, A. and Kleijen, M. (2008) Coupons going wireless: Determinants of consumer intentions to redeem mobile coupons. Journal of Interactive Marketing. 22(3) pp. 23-39.
  2. Factbrowser. (no date) Facts Tagged With Mobile coupons.
  3. Im, H. and Ha, Y. (2013) Enablers and inhibitors of permission-based marketing: A case of mobile coupons. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. [Volume and issue numbers did not print out properly] pp. 1–9
  4. Kiang, M.Y. Raghu, T.S. and Shang, K.H. (1999) Marketing on the Internet — who can benefit from an online marketing approach? Decision Support Systems. 27(2000) pp. 383–393

Marketing: Product information

Product information is essential online. We can’t feel and hold physical products online. This post analyses how you can market product information to increase a customer’s knowledge. After all, knowledgeable consumers feel powerful.

Product information and marketing

Marketing product information is vital because your customers get to find out what a product is and does. The 6 tips below will help empower your audience with knowledge:

  1. Product language. Don’t use generic words like “large”. Instead give specific information, for example 10mm or 1 inch, to build knowledge.
  2. Photos, a specific element of UX, are processed quicker than text and help browser’s build quicker product insight. Use fast loading, web saved, photos. Take clever and up-close snaps, perhaps, with a zoom function. Including attractive facial photos get more attention — especially for first time visitors.
  3. UX. People first, purchaser’s second. Colour contrast, typography, language and resized photos are great places to start.
  4. Showcase your expertise. Use product information to illustrate your product’s expertise. What does it do? How does it do it differently? What special features does [product-y] have?
  5. The marketing mix, and for the purposes of this post solely, includes, for example, product and price. You cannot and should not write an excellent product information for a poor product. Product information and price are crucial because most of us have budgets and prices in mind. Match your product’s information with the product and price.
  6. Web psychology. Product information sells your product but you can enhance this selling process by, for instance, getting customer reviews and product ratings. Web psychology builds trust, persuasion and therefore influences whether or not a person will purchase a product.

This summative list needs to be researched further in order to fully implement the suggestions. Researching pricing and pricing strategies, for example premium pricing, skimming or penetration is key to marketing. Setting a good price requires strategy, and therefore, researching pricing is vital.

Fake photo of eCommerce.

Shopping has evolved. Copyright of Gareth Saunders. No changes made.

eCommerce information

There are different types of online shoppers. Marketing campaigns should take this into account in, for instance, user personas and strategy building techniques.

It is useful to improve eCommerce web sites’ trust and professionalism, such as, including privacy statements and order tracking. You should also make your site information rich: Information architecture, linking to social media accounts, researched content, usability and functionality all help provide an information rich site.

Do you work in marketing? What is your best piece of advice for creating product information? Tweet Gerald or comment below.

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  • Grocock, A. (2008) Foucauldian principles and issues of homelessness. In Occasional Working Paper Series. 1(1) pp. 1 — 22.
  • Murphy, G. (2013) 4 ways to improve eCommerce sites.

Viral email campaigns

The broader your digital marketing campaign is the more successful your company will be. Viral marketing, introduced by Steve Jurvetson and Tim Draper in 1997, is the quickest way to increase awareness, sales or profit.

Components of viral campaigns

Analysing the negative emotions of passed along emails allows marketers to improve the ‘viralability‘ and success of email campaigns.

  1. Make sure the message is relevant to the recipient
  2. Increase trust by allowing recipients to be easily taken off email lists
  3. Make email messages as personal as possible. Names and locations are a great place to start.
  4. Keep messages simple. Simplicity is complex enough.

Each paragraph needs to be written critically and make sense in its own right. Keep critical writing interesting by, for example, including interesting points and questions within the body of text.

Depending upon the email campaign it may be appropriate for a company to complete a good deed to further increase email campaign success: Good deed emails have the highest percentage of email forwarding.

Formats and viral campaigns

Any format can go viral. Text viralability, for example, is possible so long as the text and message is clear. Textual tweets are one of the most effective examples of virability because a short message, with a clear focus, can receive lots of favourites and retweets. Emotional and thought provoking text goes hand-in-hand with viral campaigns because the impact is so great it makes you think and act.

Using other formats allows you to have more control of emotional and intellectual high and lows. Videos, for instance, allow you to control what someone sees and does not see because videos are watched sequentially: We watch videos in the order they are shown rather than skipping a paragraph to find out where a plot is going. Recently videos are incorporating short, mouse over, previews but most of us watch videos in the order they are shown.

Photo of receiving emails on mobile devices

Mobile emails. Copyright of Digitpedia Com.

HTML emails can get even more attention because of visual stimulants. Even if you are not creating viral email campaigns it is a good idea to include email signatures to your web 2.0 accounts. You are indirectly allowing the recipient to choose more than 1 communication medium to respond to you.

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  • Knight, C. (1999) Viral Marketing. Boardwatch Magazine.
  • Phelps, J. Lewis, R. Mobilio, L. Perry, D. and Raman, N. (2004) Viral Marketing or Electonic Word-of-Mouth Advertising: Examing Consumer Responses and Motivation to Pass Along Email. Journal of Advertising Research. pp. 333 — 348

Why is SEO about quality, content and design?

Search engine optimisation, SEO, makes web sites visible on the massive web. Being visible on search engines increases popularity and, depending upon the organisation, profits, awareness or sales. SEO is a fundamental service.

Why quality SEO?

At its best search is a conversation. Good web searches are comprised of several search queries. The window of opportunity is limited so excellent interfaces, quality content and a fantastic user experience is fundamental to command a searcher’s attention. SEO is all about quality because great web sites quickly gain attention.

User satisfaction, the state of a user’s emotional or intellectual head, determines how we interact with web technology. If we visit sites from search engines and we do not have an emotional connection or an intellectual thought, for instance thinking a website is a quality information source, then we will simply leave a website. SEO is all about content and designs because we need a rich experience to convert and interact with a site.

Effective information retrieval systems will match results to a user’s query. SEO may be beginning to move away from keywords, because search engines are encrypting searches which means keyword data cannot be collected, but SEO is still about keywords because keyword searching is a fundamental aspect of web searching.

Content and usability are important for SEO.

Content is king. Usability is queen. Copyright of Daniel Waisberg.

Mood and search

There are different types of search behaviour. Pogosticking, for example, indicates poor design because a user jumps repeatedly from SERP to web sites. Behaviour influences how we think and feel. Thoughts and feelings impact user actions. Annoyed searchers are unlikely to convert on websites. SEO is all about knowing your target audience and keeping them satisfied.

Search is emotionally charged. At the point of search our conscious mind will be focused on formulating keywords for a specific information need but subconsciously our brain processes web designs as either positive, neutral or negative designs. We feel emotions depending upon how our brain processes web designs. SEO is all about emotions, emotional designs and emotional search behaviours.

SEO: Why quality, content and design?

  • SEO is about quality because emotional connections and intellectual thoughts are activated to command a search engine user’s attention.
  • Quality content allows web sites to be about specific keywords. Without content web sites would be useless so SEO focuses strongly on content.
  • Each of us experiences online behaviours and emotional connections with designs. SEO is all about designs because digital marketers want to capture a user’s attention. Emotional designs are the most effective way of doing this since thoughts, feelings and actions are interlinked with emotions.
  • It is also important to capture your audience by traditional disciplines, for example, information architecture, usability testing and coding in W3C validated semantic HTML.

What do you think SEO is about? Tweet Gerald or comment below.

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  1. Morgan, C. (1996). The search is on — finding the right tools and using them properly can shed light on your web search eff€orts. Windows Magazine. [Volume number missin] (711)
  2. Morville, P. and Callender, J. (2010) Search Patterns: Design for discovery. Sebastopol, California: O’Reilly Media Inc.
  3. Tenebaum, J.M. (2005) Al meets web 2.0: Building the Web of Tomorrow, Today. CommerceNet Labs Technical Report 05–07.

Social media: Identity

Social media use mobile and apps to create highly interactive platforms. Social media allows users to: share; co-create; discuss and modify content. Social media members have, intentional or unintentional, online identities.

Identity on social media

Essentially we use social media to broadcast who we are, what we believe in, as well as, displaying elements of our personality. Motives cause social media use. LinkedIn, for example, is usually set up by users with the motive to promote oneself. Twitter user’s are largely motivated by communication.

Indirectly social media communicates to other users. Age, race and gender can all be indirectly gathered from a LinkedIn portrait photo. Many social media identities are indirectly communicated.

Social media identity can be explicit through, say, user profiles, or implicitly expressed by sharing personal tweets. Social media identity is influenced by the choice of media. LinkedIn, for example, influences real life names rather than encouraging nick names on Tumblr or a blog.

Marketer Michiel Gaasterland looks at the social media affect. Social media is like touching still water and developing ripples from contact. Seeing a newspaper article, for example, means a story will be seen by lots of unique visitors. This story, if catchy and interesting, will be blogged about by popular blogs who will also have their article blogged about by smaller bloggers. Another ripple could be people sharing a headline on Twitter, for instance. These shares will get likes and retweets which allows other people to spread articles.

Viral marketing uses the social media affect to spread a message to a lot of people on social media websites within a specified time frame.

In a social network the nodes are the individuals and the links correspond to relationships — who is talking to whom, who is communicating with whom on a regular basis.
(Papacharissi 2011)

All approved, or unapproved, online data can be collected. Writing about yourself and your life and sharing this information as an uploaded picture, for instance, defines you for many people. Active social media users create online identities.

The affect of social media on small businesses.

Social media and small business. Source: Dean Meyers.

Social media demographic tools*

Social Report
Social Report’s paid analytical program can help you gather a range of social media demogrphic data including, for instance, gender; education level and employment. You can also compare data between social media accounts to spot interesting differences and find out how you can maximise different social media accounts by knowing your audience.
A dashboard-led interface allows paying user’s to monitor and examine historical data. Cyfe can help understand your social media users.
Google Analytics
Setting up Google Analytic goals allows you to monitor social media activity and conversions. This is useful if you want to evaluate the success of a social media special promotion campaign, for example.

*Modified from Hines (2013: online) who also states that social media analytic tools can also improve engagement, marketing decisions and bottom line profits. Social media identity is very powerful.

Social media and identity

  • Why social media use apps? Mobile apps increase interactivity.
  • Our identity depends upon the actual social media account created. This explains why LinkedIn users are different from, say, Google+ or Facebook users.
  • The social media affect influences social media buzz’s.
  • All social media data can be collected and analysed. This is why person’s can be brought into a legal court for breaking national laws.
  • There are some paid for social media tools that allow users to know and understand their audience.

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  1. Claypoole, T. and Payton, T. (2012) Protecting your internet identity: Are you naked online? Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc: Plymouth, United Kingdom.
  2. Hines, K. (2013) 4 tools that improve your social media analytics. [Online] [Accessed on 31st October 2013]
  3. Kietzmann, J.H. Hermkens, K. McCartney, I.P. and Silvestre, B.S. (2011) Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons. 2011(54) pp. 241 — 251
  4. Papacharissi, Z. (2011) A networked self: Identity, community, and culture on social network sites. Routledge: New York.
  5. Turner, J. and Oakes, P. (1986) The significance of the social identity concept for social psychology with reference to individualism, interactionism and social influence. British Journal of Social Psychology. 25 (3): 237–252.

Teenager’s digital marketing campaigns

74% of adults and 93% of teenagers go online. Teenagers are more connected because of higher internet penetration, due to statutory bodies’ internet use, so digital marketing can reach a largely engaged audience.

Teenagers and digital marketing

Digital marketing uses technology to convey a message, using the web as a communication medium, to existing and potential customers. If, however, you are hoping to gain young customers then digital marketing is much more effective than traditional marketing. Mobile digital marketing, furthermore, is a basic requirement if your target group is teenagers.

When using search engines teenagers have different user behaviour than adults. Teenager’s use up-to-date slang so think about linguistics and slang terminology for your campaign.

A fun, teenager friendly campaign

Fanta launched a fun digital marketing campaign. Maximising positive emotions by using, for example the word “play”, online games and excellent use of colours, Fanta’s campaign was a great fit for a teenage market.

A word cloud on marketing terms

Marketing word cloud. Source: David Erickson.

Keep it cool and fresh

Look at how quickly the fashion industry moves and you will see that being fresh simply pays off. Young people not only like fresh and new things but they are more likely to place more interest on cool campaigns. Outstanding videos, funny content and, for instance, engaging mobile apps with a fresh look all add to the coolness of a digital marketing campaign.

Depending upon who and where your niche market is, thinking outside the box with creative ideas helps boost your coolness. Do not overdo it though. Young people have different attention spans and a busy webpage can be off putting.

Coca Cola are an effective teen marketing example. Simple adverts, a memorable product and clear communication all contribute to Coca Cola’s marketing success. Coca Cola is also a cool product and, more recently, Coca Cola kept fresh by personalising popular names on cans. Keeping a fresh and cool brand is key to marketing success.

Think social media

A Morgan Stanley report found that teenagers use a bigger variety of social media compared to adults. Using a range of social media is key to successful campaigns.

If you are going to launch campaigns as part of your teenage digital marketing campaign it is worth implementing market research for your market. What sports are popular in your area? What is your ideal target age group?

What to include in a teenage digital marketing campaign?

  • Carry out market research to know your audience;
  • Research relevant slang and focus on linguistics;
  • Use positive emotional designs;
  • Be fresh. Be cool;
  • Engage your young audience. Get a mobile app too;
  • Use clear communication;
  • Be on and use a wide range of social media;
  • Make your campaign mobile. Don’t just rely on digital.

Enhance your campaign by using the above points. A connected audience will help boost your digital trust and authority, for example, by having a lot of views or by gaining a lot of mentions and retweets.

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  1. Doeller, R.J. (2010) Marketing God to Teens: Branding Without Dismantling. Xlibris Corporation: USA.
  2. Pew Research Center. (no date) Teen and Young Adult Internet Use. [Online] [Accessed on: 25th November 2013]
  3. Plant, S. (2006) On the mobile: The effects of mobile telephones on social and individual life. [PDF]

5 reasons to do mobile marketing

Mobile marketing occurs on easily transported devices, for example, smartphones or graphic tablets. Personalised campaigns are time and location specific. Mobile marketing is a personal experience.

Mobile marketing benefits

  1. Communication and promotion are almost instant on mobiles. Avert sharing is like endorsements between friends. If one friend “likes” and sends a promotion to another friend they might approve of this promotion too. Successful campaigns can spread virally.
  2. Mobile audiences are constantly growing. Mobile marketing simply taps into this packed market to promote your goods / services.
  3. Using mobile marketing keeps you up-to-date with your audience. Simply by being within date means your whole campaign is likely to be influenced by the latest, often coolest, developments.
  4. Mobiles are a popular channel so brands can be promoted quickly to a lot of active users.
  5. Mass mobile markets can easily turn a promotion into an online transaction. Well-designed e-commerce websites convert browsers into buyers through effortless browsing.
Mobile marketing integrates various applications.

Mobile marketing integrates various applications. From gstatic.

Ofcom identified that 94 per cent of adults own or use a mobile phone. This means that running marketing campaigns on these devices is more important than ever before. Even if you gain more browsers than usual your brand is increasing: brand awareness and the likelihood of browsers bookmarking your website for future reference.

Mobile marketing and search engines

Search engines allow your audience to find your website after seeing a mobile marketing campaign. A well-designed campaign, though, should include a link to your website, as well as, a catchy tagline or memorable video, for instance, because a marketing campaign which is remembered is more successful.

Mobile marketing is a powerful channel because smartphones are beginning to reshape social behaviours, for example, by looking at a website to get a precise fact for a real-time, and real life, conversation. Mobiles are also seen as a companion so mobile marketing allows well-executed campaigns to be less intrusive.

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  • Chang, K. (2013) ‘Like’ This Article Online? Your Friends Will Probably Approve, Too, Scientists Say. [Online] [Accessed on 08th October 2013]
  • Leppäniemi, Matti, “Mobile marketing communications in consumer markets”, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Marketing, University of Oulu, 2008, p. 21.
  • Ofcom. (2011) A nation addicted to smartphones. [Online] [Accessed on 08th October 2013]
  • Shankar, V. Venkatesh, A. Hofacjer, C. and Nail, P. (2010) Mobile Marketing in the Retailing Environment: Current Insights and Future Avenues. Journal of Interactive Marketing. 24 [issue number missing] pp. 111 — 120