Tag Archives: internet

Misunderstanding Messaging

Something I’ve been noticing lately is a mistake that many business, news organizations and marketers make when publishing content: They don’t understand that messages need to be different depending on the medium that is being used.

I’ve seen newspapers that publish stories in print and then transfer the exact same version of the print content onto the Web version of the newspaper. This is a big mistake. People who get their news on the Web aren’t looking for the same experience that they would typically look for when reading the print newspaper. People who take the time to sit down and read a newspaper are interested in reading long, narrative-style articles, while people who get their news online want quick, concise content.

Jakob Nielson, who is considered a guru of Web usability, discovered that 79 percent of Web users scan a new page they came across, while only 16 percent read word-for-word.

Nielson suggests that content on the web employ scannable text by using the following:

  • Highlighted keywords (hyperlinks, typeface or color variations)
  • Meaningful sub-headings
  • Bulleted lists
  • One idea per paragraph
  • The inverted pyramid style— starting with the most important information first
  • Half the word count than traditional writing

Take advantage of the capabilities of the Web such as adding interactive slideshows, infographics, videos and links—things you can’t put in print.

The same goes for all other media including mobile and social—the messages need to be catered specifically for each medium.

On mobile, it’s a totally different experience people are looking for. When consumers download apps, they’re using them to get something different that they can’t necessarily get just by browsing a website online.

With QR codes, part of the reason they have been so poorly received is because they are not being implemented correctly. When people scan a QR code they don’t want to be directed to the organization’s website unless there’s something there that provides them with value—maybe a coupon, a sweepstakes, a quiz, or a new company announcement.

Failing to understand the importance of tailoring messaging is a huge mistake that occurs far too often, but those who get it right will surely see much better feedback and improved results.

Forrester: B2B Interactive Marketing Spend Forecast Lower

Forrester Research recently published a study that forecasts interactive marketing spend over the next five years, showing differences by industry.

Interactive marketing budgets are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% over the next five years, but not all industries will invest at the same pace, according to a new report by Forrester Research.

Overall, marketers across all industries are expected to spend nearly $77 billion, or 26% of all ad dollars, on interactive marketing by 2016.

Companies in the financial services sector are expected to spend the most on interactive marketing, whereas automotive and consumer goods businesses will record the steepest growth over the five-year forecast period. B2B interactive marketing budgets are expected to remain relatively small and grow at lower rates through 2016.

Below, additional projections from the US Interactive Marketing Forecast by Industry, 2011 to 2016, issued by Forrester Research:

  • B2B interactive marketing (search marketing, display advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing, and social media) spending is expected to grow at a 14.4% CAGR, to 5.7 billion in 2016. Despite the relatively low growth, B2B is projected to boost mobile marketing investments, from $129 million in 2011, to $639 million in 2016—a 38% CAGR over the next five years.
  • Financial Services is forecast to spend the most on interactive marketing, growing at a 17.0% CAGR over the next five years, to $15.0 billion by 2016.
  • Technology interactive marketing is expected to grow at a 13.0% CAGR over the next five years, to $4.2 billion in 2016.
  • Big offline spenders—the automotive, healthcare, and consumer goods industries—are projected to grow their interactive spend the most. For example, automotive interactive marketing is expected to grow at a 24.5% CAGR over the next five years, to $6.2 billion in 2016.
  • Consumer goods interactive spending is forecast to hit $5.3 billion in five years, pacing at a 23.9% CAGR.

Original Article

Should Online Retailers Embrace SMS Marketing?

Sure, we know mobile marketing can help increase sales and drive foot traffic to restaurants, salons, and tons of other businesses. But can SMS drive site traffic to online retailers, too?

Texting ads and promotions to customers is an excellent way to announce sales and drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, service providers, and restaurants. But can text messaging drive site traffic to online retailers, too?

Dutch Bros. is a regional, drive-through coffee shop chain in the Western United States. The franchise store in Caldwell, Idaho has built a significant following by sending out one or two text message ads each month offering a deep discount to customers on their short message service (SMS) list.

On a recent morning Dutch Bros. announced via text that all lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, coffees, and the like were just $1 regardless of size. The result was a traffic jam with dozens of vehicles waiting to take advantage of the special. Although Dutch Bros. was probably not making a lot of money selling $5 drinks for $1, it was rewarding loyal customers and building the kind of relationship that will lead to long-term growth.

The SMS Marketing Opportunity

SMS is the technical protocol for sending a text message to and from a mobile handset or similar communications device. Anyone familiar with texting is familiar with SMS. As far as marketing is concerned, SMS uses a model similar to email. Customers opt to receive discounts or other communications via text message, and marketers send messages as promised. The customers should be given a clear opportunity to opt out at any time too.

According to a July 2010 Pew Internet & American Life Project report, 72 percent of mobile phone users in the United States send or receive SMS, text messages. Given estimates of about 234 million American mobile phone users, it may be the case that there are nearly 170 million Americans texting. The size of this audience makes SMS a significant marketing channel.

SMS is actually even more popular outside of the United States, with some estimates stating that there are 2.4 billion active users worldwide.

Ecommerce’s Particular Opportunity

Mobile handsets are also changing, as increasingly consumers are choosing smartphones like any of the Android-based devices or the iconic iPhone, which are capable of voice, SMS, and Internet-based communications.

In fact, a Merrill Lynch report cited by Smaato, stated that in just two years, smartphones would replace personal computers as the most common means of Internet access worldwide.

The relationship between SMS capabilities and Internet capabilities in these devices creates a particular opportunity for ecommerce merchants who can send SMS messages to interested consumers with a link that those consumers may act on. In fact, Todd Davenport writing on the iMobile Marketing Direct blog said that “over the past two years, Sears and eBay have adopted SMS text messages to promote their sites via the URL embedded within text messages, thus driving customers back to abandoned mobile shopping carts.”

Separately, a published report said that 34 percent of consumers who have opted to receive SMS marketing would, in fact, respond.

Getting Started with SMS Marketing

In most respects, SMS lists can be built in the same way as email lists. Online merchants will want to include opt-in offers on-site and encourage shoppers to join by offering discounts, special offers, or even rewards. For example, when a shopper is checking out, a store may offer a $1 off coupon code for joining an SMS list. The customer enters a valid mobile phone number, and the coupon code is sent via text messages for use on the current purchase.

In general, SMS marketing will likely take one of three common forms: coupons or discounts, surveys, or reminders.

  • Coupons or discounts. Text message coupons are simply offers that shoppers receive on their mobile phones as SMS messages. The coupon may be a reward for joining the SMS list by texting something like “join” to a specific number or as a motivation to get shoppers to visit the site. The message should include the coupon code and a link to a landing page.
  • Surveys. Surveys are a direct way to get feedback from shoppers.
  • Reminders. Reminders come in many forms. For example, a merchant that sells gift baskets could offer a texting reminder service that notified customers of upcoming birthday, anniversaries, or similar.

Summing Up

SMS marketing is relatively unproven for ecommerce but the size of the potential audience, the ease of clicking on a link in a text message, and the various way to engage shoppers, seems to make SMS an intriguing channel for ecommerce marketers.

Original article found at: http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/2805-Should-Online-Retailers-Embrace-SMS-Marketing-

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