Tag Archives: Mobile Marketing

Geolocation-Based Marketing in 2017: The Impact on Businesses

The ongoing use of mobile devices by consumers means that companies have a much better way of tracking where their customers are going. Knowing where they are thanks to geolocation technology means that a new marketing opportunity has emerged that can maximize the return you invest in marketing. Now, companies can leverage geolocation-based marketing to reach out with personalized, local messaging, promotions, and other strategies designed to raise leads and encourage impulse purchases.

A New Language

The marketing language has changed with the introduction of geolocation. First, there is geosocial networking. Consumers commonly use this to check in from their current location on social media sites like Facebook or Foursquare. Second, there are location-based services. Consumers leverage this service to learn what is nearby like a restaurant, shop, or gas station. Also, marketers can offer promotions or messages at just the right time. That's because they have each mobile device's geographic position.

Then, there is what's known as geofencing. This is a marketing tactic that involves putting a virtual perimeter out there. When people enter that with their mobile devices, they then receive specific alerts, messages, or promotions.

Who is Using Geolocation-Based Marketing?

The Location Based Marketing Association generated an infographic from research conducted by The Pew Center that illustrated just how widespread this type of marketing has become due to the increased use of mobile and social location services among consumers. Their findings included the fact that 58% of adults with smartphones have used location-based services while 55% of these have used it for directions or recommendations.

With the majority of adults now using smartphones, there is the potential that more people of all ages and backgrounds will adopt some type of location service or feature. Companies and consumers all over the world use geolocation services. Therefore, this means more opportunities for marketers.

Geolocation: An Evolving Marketing Process

It is also important to understand how technology furthers geolocation services. Sensors are an integral component. This includes Bluetooth Low Energy beacons, microchips, and sensors and microchips that power near-field communications (NFC). It's this technology that also enables mobile payments. There are also geofences, which incorporate technology like GPS, WiFi, electromagnetic fields or RFID.

Beyond technology, marketers still have to be aware of other factors if they want the technology to be effective. That means understanding where your customers are coming from and where they are headed. You'll also need to figure out what gets their attention and admiration. All the technology in the world identifying where a customer does not matter unless the marketer has the context for the various types of experiences that customers go through, it won't yield results. As the technology evolves, a marketer must still be that human point of context that can integrate that very necessary perspective about behavior and customer expectations. An Immediate Impact

The real impact is in the benefits that this marketing strategy is providing to companies of all sizes and across multiple industries. Here are some of the key ways you can gain an advantage quickly:

  • Social media sites offer location-based searches that allow you to find prospects by city, region, or country. This is ideal when you have a physical location and want to draw customers to your business. Targeted marketing messages are sent to these prospects. These include a special or promotion as an incentive.
  • You can receive an alert when customers are in a certain area. This allows you to interact with them. Customers like to know that you are interested in what they are doing. This can quickly increase the engagement level with them, especially if you can tie some reward to it. When they are walking into your store, use a geolocation alert you and send them a greeting with timed promotions or a coupon to increase the chances of them buying while there. Even beyond a purchase then, it can also encourage them to come back again in the future.
Long-Term Benefits Then, there are advantages that can be achieved over time:
  • While the ability to incite impulse decisions is a great benefit, the results don't have to always be immediate to get your ROI. For example, the geolocation data leads to a profile of buying habits. This profile shapes future marketing campaigns. This profile can also include dates so that you know when to follow-up with certain customers. An analytics platform assists with developing this profile.
  • Other information that comes from the geolocation data an tell you where they went in your store and how long they stayed. This also can impact other marketing endeavors, including store layout, in-store promotions, and product placement. This approach improves their experience. 
Things to Remember

When it comes to geolocation-based marketing, you still must proceed with caution. While customers like the engagement and attention, they are also very concerned about their privacy and maintaining some distance. That means finding the right balance between respecting those boundaries and taking the available data to do something that enhances customer experiences. A best practice is to use an opt-in arrangement for location-based services. That way, users can choose to agree with this sharing or not. For those that do connect with your business this way, you can target even more precisely as well as engage in new and exciting ways. It also delivers a win-win for a sustained relationship.

When you can personalize the customer experience across channels, you can provide a unique experience that increases customer loyalty and satisfaction. But in order to do that successfully, you'll need to know how. Download the Personalization Playbook for more information on how to make it happen.

Personalization Playbook

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When It Comes To Cross Channel Marketing, Mobile Is Not A Channel

Ok you may be thinking, based on the title: "This guy is crazy, of course mobile is a channel!." Yes, of course mobile is a channel. But marketers need to realize that is more than. Much more than that. 

Mobile is a way of life. And no that is not hyperbole. Not by a long shot. It is fact. 

Once you realize that mobile is a way of life you can then begin to think about incorporating mobile into consistent and personalized cross-channel experiences to drive more engagement and revenue.

A New Way of Life 

Picking up your Smartphone as soon as you wake up is a habit of most people  today. Relying on our phones has truly become our new way of life. Smartphones have changed the way we think, the way we behave and the way we shop.

Wal-Mart CEO, Doug McMillon said about their Mobile App in June; “Consumers have a remote control in their hands and they want brands to provide utility, allowing them to interact with the brand over mobile seamlessly and at their convenience.”

Retail marketers need to break away from the notion that Mobile is just another new messaging channel and embrace the power Mobile has in driving the overall brand experience. Location awareness inside and outside of the store empowers you to weave a relevant, custom brand experience for your Mobile enabled customers.

Elevated Expectations

Mobile innovations have elevated consumer expectations faster than mobile marketers could rise to meet them; technology, budget, and expertise limitations prevented marketers from engaging with mobile customers well. Now, it’s possible for marketers to fully incorporate mobile into their
cross-channel marketing strategy and interact with customers whenever and wherever they are.

Since mobile customers are easily distracted and incredibly diverse, each with different preferences, mobile marketers must be able to not only understand which customer segments prefer which mobile experiences, but also deliver those experiences expeditiously.

However, in order for marketers to build a personalized experience around the customers, they need to employ data-driven marketing strategies by gaining customer insights across the other digital channels.

Cross Channel Orchestration Helps Increase Open Rates

Today’s customers frequently interact with brands across multiple channels and devices leaving a trail of identifiers (like email addresses, loyalty accounts, browser cookies, and mobile device IDs) littered amongst the various technologies that power those customer interactions. 

Watch this brief video to see how Adidas uses Oracle Marketing Cloud to orchestrate cross-channel marketing to increase email open rates by 2X and boost conversions by 50% with a new customer experience.

Image source: Pexels




Mobile Marketing to a New Generation

Marketers have long tracked the habits of various generations of consumers, understanding that each generation has developed its own preferences and tastes based on the environment in which they were raised. We've gone from Baby Boomers to Gen Xers to Millennials and a few in-between.

Now, we have arrived at a new generation set to attract marketers' attention: Generation Z. That means further customization strategies in order to prove to this new generation that brands get them and have what they want.

Defining GenZers

Gen Zers were born from 1995 onwards. They are set to grow in volume, far out populating all previous generations—even the current largest group known as Millennials. That makes them pretty important to marketers since their power will grow over previous generations. Getting their attention needs to start now and that can't happen if we assume they are similar to Millennials.

Their traits illustrate that they are their own generation. They have some of the shortest attention spans (of which are getting shorter by the minute). They prefer to use symbols (a.k.a., emojis) and images to communicate and express themselves.

Despite being so young, they have already learned the fine art of consumerism thanks to their connectedness and being weaned on mobile devices. However, they want to be in control of when they feel like being a consumer and when they want to be anything but. That makes their technology settings and preferences like gold to them.

Gen Z is not necessarily loyal to a brand like past generations. Instead, they are not as picky about what brand they use just as long as it does what they are looking for and is priced well. This generation is frugal given the fact that they were raised during the last major recession.

Gen Z and Mobile

Mobile is life to this generation because they are considered true natives to technology. They have been connected to some type of technology since birth and have high expectations about instantaneous results from search engines and great trust in online tools and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This connection to their phones runs deep almost as though the mobile device was part of them.

Because of spending their lives on these devices, they even think spatially and are used to zooming and swiping in high-definition and surround sound. They also fear missing out and why the features like self-destructing chats on SnapChat and limited videos on Instagram have worked so well with this generation.

Mobile Marketing Strategies to Gen Z

Mobile is a central part of the strategy to reach Gen Z, but other screens cannot be left out, including computer, TV, wearables, and tablets. In fact, they are often using multiple devices at once, including watching TV, looking at their phones, and playing a game on a tablet. When providing your brand story to this generation, you also need to use different delivery methods besides the all popular video content chosen by Millennials. That's because Gen Z also likes to get content via live streaming, instant messaging, and chat.

Provide your content to them as a snackable—that means to deliver it in small portions that they can digest individually before receiving more of those bite-sized content messages. This works well with those short-attention spans and their ability to process more information at a faster rate than the previous generations.

Without overusing it or in an unauthentic manner, mobile marketing can also use emojis, stickers, and memes, if appropriate, to grab the attention of this audience. To ensure the proper amount, it is even a good idea to encourage Gen Z users to submit their own content, which is something they really like to do. And, when people they admire are involved and interactive with them, that engagement intensifies.

Include mobile marketing approaches in a way you could not do with previous generations, which did not use mobile as exclusively as Gen Z does.

In need of more concrete examples of brands that are using these techniques? Click to download our 7th Annual Lookbook to see how big name brands are using Oracle to create personalized customer experiences across all marketing channels.

7th Annual Lookbook

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The iOS 11 Update Gives Mobile Marketers a Chance for a Do-Over

The iOS 11 Update Gives Mobile Marketers a Chance for a Do-Over

With the exception of social network sites and messaging platforms, brands are up against big challenges when it comes to mobile. Consumers are becoming increasingly selective when it comes to apps, and the extent to which this is happening may surprise some people.

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Email Marketing and the Mystery of the Valid – Invalid Address

As marketers, we often take for granted the technical complexities that take place when sending an email from one address to another. We are so accustomed to pressing a button and having thousands, if not millions, of emails sent to their intended destination, with no questions asked.

If we do have issues in delivering those messages, we are often told (typically by yours truly) that the reason for non-delivery is reputation related, and that there is work to be done on the sender’s behalf in order to improve. However, there are times (albeit it rare) that the non-delivery of an address has more to do with the ISP than it does the sender. This is typically where the mystery of the valid/invalid address comes into play.

Domains Will Let Us Know

Determining when an address is valid or not all goes back to the bounce code that ESPs get back from the receiving domain. Those domains will almost always let us know if the message was delivered or not, and if the message was not delivered, they typically tell us why.

When the ESP receives a message that includes a specific “5xx” type error, coupled with a description such as “User Not Found”, “User does not exist” etc. that’s how we know that the address itself is no longer reachable, or doesn’t exist. The platform then considers this a Hard Bounceback, and as a result, we mark the domain as invalid.

As a brief refresher, the reason we mark that address as invalid, is to prevent further harm to a sender’s reputation when mailing to that domain. Sending mail to addresses that no longer exist is a big time no-no in the eyes of ISPs.

Therefore, taking away the ability for a sender to mail to those addresses moving forward, is a proactive way of protecting that sender’s reputation over the long haul. If they were to continue mailing to a wide array of those types of addresses, reputation and ultimately inbox placement would suffer immensely.

Domains Do Make Mistakes

The issue here is that sometimes domains do make mistakes in terms of what they are telling us within the bounceback message. This is where we run into the scenario, where valid addresses are marked as invalid by the platform that is sending them mail. Essentially, all domains/ISPs are recommended to adhere to RFC guidelines outlining how SMTP error codes are handled during sending/receiving of email.  

Those guidelines are outlined here. These guidelines clearly define how mail systems should be sending bounces back over the internet. Domains who choose not to follow these defined best practices will continue to cause these types of mis-categorization issues. In other words if a domain sends an ESP back an error that looks like a Hard Bounce, then the ESP has no choice but to process that as a Hard Bounce and mark that address as invalid.

If the ESP did not, it then runs the risk of letting its sender’s mail to a high number of invalid addresses, which would completely ruin their sender reputation. The risk of doing that far outweighs the reward of salvaging just a few valid addresses.

Case Closed

So now that the mystery is solved as to why these addresses get marked invalid when they are in fact valid, let’s focus on what you as a sender can do about it in order to protect that customer experience that is so valuable to a successful email marketing program.  First, it is important to understand where this scenario is most likely to occur.

Typically, we see this take place when mailing to smaller, private, domains such as businesses, .edu, .gov, etc. This is because those domains simply don’t have the same type of buttoned up infrastructures like the Gmail’s, Yahoo!’s, and Hotmail’s of the world. If you see this take place at one of these smaller domains, your best bet as a sender is to get confirmation that the address in question is in fact valid, and then reset their Deliverability status to valid within your platform’s UI. 

If you as a sender are in direct communication with the customers who were accidentally marked as invalid (they do often report this into a call center to complain they are not receiving emails), we recommend reaching out proactively to these customers and advising them to raise these issues to their internal IT teams. This way those teams can work internally to prevent this issue from happening again in the future. 

This will show that you as a sender are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that the individual’s customer experience is a good one, which will only strengthen your relationship with that customer moving forward.

Bigger Problems?

Another item to point out is that even though that address bounced and was classified incorrectly, the fact of the matter is that the address is still bouncing in the first place. This means that there are likely bigger problems going on at the domain you are experiencing this issue at.

There is likely a reputation based block taking place, and it will be important to adhere to all relevant best practices moving forward when mailing to that domain. Doing so should decrease the extent of the bouncing, and prevent the problem of the Valid Invalid address from occurring in the first place.

At the end of the day, a few valid addresses being marked as invalid at smaller domains, is going to happen from time to time. Senders who ensure they are following best practices when sending out their daily marketing campaigns, will minimize this quite a bit.

However, if reputation is already an issue, a few addresses being marked incorrectly is more of warning of a bigger issue that is taking place and impacting deliverability. Doing your due diligence as a sender to resolve those larger issues to prevent smaller ones should always be top priority!

Mystery solved.

More Mobile All the Time

According to research over half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. Unfortunately, all the work we do to ensure our emails render flawlessly on the desktop doesn’t take into consideration how these same emails will show up on a smaller screen. 

Download the Mobile Email Guide to learn how to improve the mobile marketing experience for your customers.

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To Successfully Personalize Marketing Communications Across Mobile Devices, Brands Need To Do This

Today, more than 2 billion smartphones are in use globally and continue to become an integral part of people’s daily life.

The proliferation of mobile devices that consumers use on a daily basis creates an enormous challenge for marketers trying to orchestrate a seamless cross-channel customer experience.  When consumers reach out, marketers need to be adaptive and create the best possible experience.

Winning and retaining the customer is a challenging puzzle that brands are trying to solve. In a perfect world, marketers could have a 360-degree profile that accounts for a full spectrum of customer behaviors and data. Conversations with customers would be influenced by the context of all previous conversations, allowing for the best possible customer experience.  

However, to accomplish this type of high-value customer relationship from a technology perspective, brands need to marry anonymous with known customer profiles and make sure they are consistent across each touch point.  

Connect Identities Across Disparate Marketing Channels 

Mobile can fit seamlessly within the broader overall marketing strategy through a connected approach. 

In order to successfully personalize marketing communications across mobile devices, brands need to target the customer and device through device identifiers and a large data network. 

Marketers have valuable data inside of their CRM, email marketing and marketing automation tools from their proprietary marketing platform that they can pull together to connect identities across disparate marketing channels and devices to one customer. This is done by seamlessly pulling together the many IDs across marketing channels and devices that comprise of a given person, enabling marketers to tie their interactions to an actionable customer profile.  

Get Better Cross-Channel Orchestration

Mobile can no longer be considered as a separate platform, but rather as the glue that ties other parts of the customer experience together. Mobile marketing needs to have a foundation in unified data and behavior. By having a consolidated view of their customers, marketers can access all of their marketing data to build and refine key target audiences for numerous campaign scenarios.

Through integrations with media providers, marketers can deliver paid media, search, social and display advertising to those customers that’s more aligned with the emails sent to those customers.

Marketers need an adaptive marketing platform that recognizes customer behavior, preferences and interests that evolves instantly based on those factors. This is done through marketing orchestration. 

When done correctly, experiences are not only determined based on binary forks in the road, such as whether someone purchased a product or opened a push notification. The experience adapts based on the totality of behaviors the customer might perform, such as engagement with specific content or activities that happen offline. 

Join us at Mobile World Congress to hear about how the Oracle Marketing Cloud powers the customer experience for global brands. Swing by our booth to speak with one of our marketing experts and see how marketers can easily create engagement, connect relevant data, and orchestrate individual experiences with the Oracle Marketing Cloud. 

Testing, 1, 2...

As you likely know, mobile testing is the art and science of building, running, and analyzing optimization tests for mobile customer experiences. What you may not know, like many marketers, is how to do mobile testing really well. It starts with a solid mobile marketing strategy and ends with an effective mobile experience.

Download the Mobile Testing Guide For Modern Marketers to learn more. 

Behold the Ongoing B2B Mobile Marketing Disconnect

I don't know about you but I've heard the phrase "B2B marketers want to be more like B2C marketers" quite a few times in my career. 

Now, it may not have been those exact words per se but you get the point. My presumption is that what this means is B2B marketers look across the aisle and see their B2C counterparts doing cool things and trying out new technologies while they seem to be stuck in the year 2005.

Chasing the Ever More Mobile Buyer

That's the title of a recently release report from eMarketer on the state of B2B marketing and advertising for 2017. In their report, eMarketer shares the findings of various research done on the subject of mobile marketing and B2B marketers, which I'll get to in a second. 

The operative words of the title are "ever more" as in more B2B buyers, AKA human beings, are using their mobile devices more and more. 

I say human beings because I believe, still, far too many B2B marketers don't get that there's another human on the other end of the line; that they're marketing to real life people. 

The opening two sentences of the report lay out the problem at hand in a nutshell.

"Many business-to-business (B2B) buyers use their mobile devices as an extension of their desktop.They expect their journey across all devices to be seamless. In order to meet this evolution in device behavior, B2B companies must reframe the mobile experience across marketing and advertising channels along the path to purchase."

Now tell me, when you hear words like "seamless" and "path to purchase" you think of B2C, right? C'mon admit it, you know you do. 

But this all goes back to the fact that B2B marketers need to remember who they are marketing to: People. And what are most people on most of the given day? That's right kids, a mobile device. 

Houston, We Have A Disconnect

So if we can agree on the fact that a great number of us are on our mobile devices a whole heck of a lot during a given day including B2B buyers...

... then how do you explain this?

Or this?

Why is NOT every B2B website mobile friendly and why are not 100% B2B marketers investing in responsive design? 

All Is Not Lost

It would appear that the tide is starting to turn when it comes to B2B marketers and their realizing just how vital mobile is. 

As the report indicated "n 2015, only 8% of B2B marketing executives worldwide said mobile marketing was one of the marketing initiatives that had the greatest effect on their business. But in 2016, that percentage jumped to 25%." 

That's an increase of over 212%. Encouraging for sure, however clearly not enough. 

It is important to note, too that for ANY mobile marketing endeavor, testing is vital for success. Mobile testing is the art and science of building, running, and analyzing optimization tests for mobile customer experiences. What you may not know, like many marketers, is how to do mobile testing really well. It starts with a solid mobile marketing strategy and ends with an effective mobile experience.

Download the Mobile Testing Guide For Modern Marketers for the best advice from analysts, engineers, and thought leaders on how to help mobile-minded businesses master the non-desktop landscape.

Why Beacons and Virtual Reality Should Be Part of Every Marketer’s Toolbox

Why Beacons and Virtual Reality Should Be Part of Every Marketer's Toolbox

It’s official — brands have lost the battle for control to users.  That doesn't mean brands have no chance to take control of their narrative and experience, but they are certainly feeling the pressure. In a 2015 poll for Lithium by Harris Poll, six in 10 corporate executives worldwide

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