The average consumer’s attachment to their mobile device is becoming more apparent, according to separate studies from eMarketer and Experian Marketing Services, respectively.
U.S. consumers will spend $27.44 billion in 2013 on retail purchases via their personal devices – up 13.72 billion from last year, according to eMarketer. Mobile shoppers as a whole will increase in 24% this year, and by 2016 roughly 8 out of 10 digital shoppers will also be mobile shoppers.
The trend doesn’t just apply to consumers. Experian’s data shows that 44% of email opens occur on mobile devices. This is an important fact to consider when deploying email communication.
We’ve truly become a digital society. That fact is reflected in both some staggering digital metrics from last year, and the forecast for this year.
According to Nielson, in 2012 –
• Google and Facebook were the two largest websites, averaging 172 million and 153 million unique monthly visitors, respectively
• YouTube & Hulu were the top viewing sites, averaging 15 billion and 833 million video views a month
• iOS and Android smartphone users were drawn to practical maps and integrated them into their lifestyle, with Google Search, Maps, Weather, Email and stocks dominating the list of apps downloaded.
It will soon become passé to even call digital marketing by its full name; it’s practically overcome all other aspects and should be a given in all strategies. According to Media Post, 89% of businesses polled will increase their marketing spend this year, with 56% devoted to email, 52% to social media, 43% to mobile and 40% to search.
The integration of these methods ranked as a high priority as well – 65% plan to merge email with social media, and 52% with mobile.
The holiday shopping season isn’t coming. It’s already here. Is your business ready?
The National Retail Federation reported that 2 out of 5 web users began their holiday shopping last month, with another 2/5 preparing to begin within the next few weeks – well before “Black Friday.”
Many businesses have already taken note – 38.5% of online retailers began their marketing campaigns at the same time, with another quarter beginning in early November. The early start has merit; Rackpace Hosting says U.S. Retailers will make 25% of their holiday sales online, and holiday sales in general are slated to hit 54.47 billion, up 16.8% from last year.
Businesses are also learning how to better leverage mobile marketing in the months to come. 43% of respondents to a Bronto survey said they are devoting more resources to improving mobile websites and their customers’ mobile experience. Mobile purchases are expected to rise 11% in 2012, while 4 out of 5 shoppers are planning to use their smartphones in some capacity while shopping, whether it is in shopping for deals, comparing prices or staying up to date on special offers or promotions.
Though relatively new and unique, mobile media still shares several distinct elements with other forms of marketing – among them is to listen to your audience.
According to a study by the CMO Council, businesses are treating mobile marketing simply as another marketing channel, instead of an opportunity to expand upon a relationship with their consumers. They’re getting mixed results; only 18% of respondents from classified their efforts as successful. More than a quarter of those polled said their results were at best inconsistent.
Part of deepening that relationship is simply giving consumers what they want – a separate study by Smith Geiger and Sterling Research revealed the most common mobile searches from customers involved a finding directions and business hours. This goes in line with the customer-service related initiatives many businesses haven’t incorporated, leaning more toward content delivering and promoting special offers.
Which is not to suggest those efforts have not been in vain; 2/3 of respondents of the Sterling study said they were more likely to buy a product from a mobile site, and 75% polled said they would be more likely, at the very least, to visit the site again.
The bottom line: mobile marketing may have many facets and can be implemented in various ways, but it’s important to take note of what consumers’ expectations are with the medium and act accordingly.
Savvy retailers are already preparing for the most important sales period of the year. The holiday shopping season is only about two months away, and eMarketer is forecasting an increase in online sales of nearly 17%, the fourth consecutive year of growth. Nearly a quarter of 2012’s expected 224.2 billion in ecommerce sales will come this November & December.
The exponential rise of sales this time of year, even during times of economic uncertainty, are a testament to the power of email, social media & mobile tactics, when one surveys the way businesses put them to use. Customers are searching for the best deals at the best times, and they know social networks and smart phone apps make it easier for them to do so. Whatever the hot gift items are this year, consumers are likely compare prices online, and search for deals or promotions on Facebook or Twitter.
If you haven’t established a mobile or social media strategy yet, this is the strongest evidence yet to do so. BSMG can help.
A mother’s influence can play a huge role in the makeup of the average American family. Marketers and businesses have known that for decades and targeted them accordingly, but it’s worth bringing up for the simple reason that moms are taking to today’s technology, particularly blogs & social media, at an impressive rate.
99% of moms polled by eMarketer regularly use a laptop or desktop computer. 56% own a tablet and 49% own an eReader. With parents and grandparents being much more plugged in than years past, blog engagement is on the rise, as over two-thirds of the moms polled said it was their most trusted source of information or advice.
The following percentages of moms polled said they made a specific decision based on a blog they read:
60% read a specific book
56% purchased a food product
54% watched a TV program
45% purchased a toy
Moms are interacting with social media, with 64% trusting Facebook, 30% trusting Twitter and 22% trusting Instagram for parenting advice or guidance.
The numbers prove it – not just in terms of social media, but in terms of the key demographics to target. Remember – mother knows best.
Separately, a business’ social media strategy and mobile strategy have their shares of benefits & opportunities in addition to challenges or limitations, like any well-founded initiative. When woven together, the impact of social and mobile can be even stronger.
Nearly 38% of U.S. consumers polled have accessed a social site or blog on their mobile device in 2012, while the use of downloaded applications (apps) has increased by 5% over a three-month period, according to MarketingCharts. This trend opens up opportunities for both consumers and advertisers.
Mobile users use the integration of social media and mobile devices to their advantage when it comes to seeking out coupons or deals. 25% of those polled said they were willing to sign up for an email newsletter or like a page on Facebook to get access to a deal, while 17% said they would tweet or re-tweet a deal. The average consumer saves $31 doing so.
Meanwhile, advertisers can use the slick integration and seamless customer experience of promoted tweets or social ads to disseminate their message even further. Twitter and Facebook alone will earn over $200 million alone in 2012 with mobile revenue. Mobile advertising is expected to reach 2.61 billion in 2012, with Google taking over 54% of that net revenue.
As smartphone engagement increases, it’s only natural for smartphone advertisement to increase as well. Mobile ad click through rates are roughly 75% higher than for standard banners or rich media viewed on desktops or laptops, according to an analysis from digital solutions company MediaMind.
These aren’t just empty stats, either. 59% of U.S. smartphone users say mobile ads directly influence their spending habits on a regular basis, two percent higher than television ads, according to InMobi. In a separate study by OPA & Frank N. Magid Associates, 79% of those polled had made a purchase based on a mobile ad at some point and 24% of those polled made a purchase in store as a result of a mobile ad they viewed.
According to InMobi, 71% of U.S. mobile consumers use mobile search and 64% use the mobile internet, often while they’re relaxing in their homes or waiting for something. 53% of those polled said they had been introduced to something new via their smart phones.
It isn’t difficult to determine the reasoning; the average mobile user has their device with them on a regular basis, creating more opportunities to casually surf the web. Among the most pivotal group of consumers were content buyers, who hold differing opinions on mobile ads than traditional consumers.
More so than other consumers, content buyers are:
11% more likely to be motivated to buy an item based on a mobile ad
25% more likely to research a product based on an ad
10% more likely to view smartphone ads the same as internet ads
16% more likely to describe smartphone ads as harder to ignore
12% more likely to describe the ads as eye-catching
11% more likely to describe the ads as relevant, unique or interesting
If more engaged mobile consumers lead to higher click through rates for mobile ads, it should stand to reason that those higher click through rates lead to increased mobile ad budgets. eMarketer expects mobile ad spending to reach 2.61 billion this year. Learn more about BSMG’s mobile advertising opportunities
Even as the importance of having a mobile strategy and social media strategy becomes clearer, never forget one of the first elements introduced of the digital age: email. It might be easy to dismiss it as archaic or irrelevant when consumers are spending more time checking their phones and newsfeeds, but if utilized properly, not only is email still vital, but it can serve as a great compliment to the aforementioned digital elements.
A recent study by eMarketer indicates that email usage will increase by nearly three percent over the next four years, and will reach total saturation of 96% by 2016.
Email’s growth can be largely attributed to the rise of smart phones; 36% of consumers viewed emails on their phones. In a separate study by Forrester Consulting, 32% of smart phone users who were polled said they had made a purchase directly from a promotional message they received from their phone, with email leading the pack over SMG or in-app messaging.
The relationship extends to social media, as well. “If you’re doing [customer relationship management] work today, social goes hand-in-hand with email as a CRM tool,” said MediaWhiz president Ed Kats in a recent interview with eMarketer. “Email is a big driver of the beginning of the customer conversation, and social media is a natural channel for following up and continuing that conversation.”
Don’t forget about email’s advantages over other traditional media channels, like TV or radio, either. A recent Harvard Business review blog post by Arthur Middleton Hughes highlights this. It’s significantly easier to track all the variables associated with an email campaign, like which consumers opened and clicked what, and therefore better determine which aspects are working and which are not. They’re also much more conducive for users to expand their knowledge and views of your brand on their own via outbound links and related online content. And while it cannot always tracked, email is a quick and easy way to create awareness for a brand or product, that might pay offer later if a consumer buys in-store or visits your website at a later date.
Digital marketing is heading in a lot of exciting directions, but one of its cornerstones, email, remains integral as ever.
A new study sponsored by Tribune Interactive has showcased the rising advertising possibilities tablets provide.
72% of tablet owners remembered seeing an advertisement on their device, and more than half said they clicked it, according to the “The Accelerating Mobile Landscape” – compared to the 40% of smart phone users who have done so. 60% of the 1,500 consumers polled said they preferred their tablet over other devices.
These facts shouldn’t undercut the importance of mobile marketing, but they should illuminate the difference between the two, and hence help marketers carve out their strategy. Tablet owners tend to be in the comfort of their own homes when using their devices, and more likely to engage with content like videos, e-books, social media and shopping sites. This permits advertisers to make ads more immersive, as opposed to the more timely messages in mobile advertising.
More businesses and marketers are catching up to this fact – a separate study by the Yankee Group shows that 53% of all advertising will be via tablets by 2014, and it is expected to reach 60% by 2016.