FREE TICKET TO SEE ANTHONY ROBBINS!!! I have a ticket to see Tony Robbins and Mark Borris next week for 2 day seminar (Bris). Do you want it? All you have to do is say something nice to the Voupons Monster on our wall and you go in the DRAW! WED – THUR next week.
Joe: “We are looking for a really good Social Media expert. This is a great article if you are looking to use Social Media to promote your business. Voupons uses SMS and Smart Phone apps to promote your offers”The Complete Guide To Finding and Hiring A Social Media Manager A proven guide to ensuring you attract the very best social media managers, while saving your company valuable time and resources
When hiring someone to be in charge of your company’s social media presence, there are things that you can teach, and things you can’t.
The key is knowing the difference between the two and hiring someone that has the potential to be a rock star for your company’s entire online presence from the get-go.
In other words, don’t try and fit a square peg into a round hole.
In this post I’m going to show you the same step-by-step process we use at Biquitous to attract the very best talent that will completely eliminate your frustration with finding and hiring the right social media manager for your company.Step 1: Start With A Top Down Approach
Before this process begins, you need to first understand the fundamental issue that speaks to the essence of not only what social media is, but the core of every single person working for your organization.
Essentially there are things that you can teach and things that you can’t.
What we have learned in our time hiring, training and utilizing various social media managers is that there are traits that certain positions must have that are naturally hard-wired only within certain people.
From a fundamental level, it’s probably not wise for your introverted CFO, your tech-averse product manager, or someone on your outside sales team, to be the face of your social media presence if it’s simply not in their DNA.
So, for a social media manager you should look for someone who is:
- Social ONLINE: sometimes very different than being social OFFLINE
- Accountable: task driven, goal oriented, a bit OCD
- Creative: asks thoughtful, provoking questions and always seems to be ahead of the curve in their thinking about a particular task
- Knows the temperature of the room: understands boundaries, appropriateness, timing and sensitivity
- Passionate: about your niche, or similar niches; excited to learn what they don’t know
- Enjoys writing and interacting with your audience: has a dynamic online presence – aka: “voice” – and/or personality traits suited to your company’s objectives and marketplace
- Understands social media on a deep level: has one or more social/blogging accounts personally across multiple channels
- Learns and adapts quickly: e.g. how to use tools like HootSuite, nuances of posting to Google+, timing/frequency of interactions, etc.
You’ll hear me say this often, but it is not important that a potential hire know all the technical stuff, procedures or your company-specific nuances.
These types of “procedural” tasks can be taught.
However, what IS important and what cannot be taught, is that the candidate “get” social media, is already steeped in the culture, understands what you will want with little to no explanation and – just as importantly – has accountability in their DNA.Step 2: Find Your Ideal Candidate
Now that you understand what you should be looking for and how this individual will fit within your organization, where do you find these highly passionate and qualified social media gurus-in-waiting?
Here are some ways to find amazing talent in order of preference:
- Internally: Your best candidate could be right under your nose either already working for you, or someone you know personally or professionally. Recognize your best internal candidates before looking outside your organization.
- Evangelists: You know what the next best thing is to someone internal? Brand aficionados! The folks that comment and evangelize your products, always leave amazing comments on your blog or social media pages, or some of your best customers.
Sometimes finding a great social media manager is a matter of looking for, and reaching out to, your most passionate advocates – seriously! A great example is the Macalope.
The Macalope is a fictitious being that describes himself humorously as part man, part Mac, part antelope, and writes for Macworld as well as his own blog, while culling together a loyal following.
His humor, irreverence and sarcasm are contagious and pitch perfect for the target audience of Apple fanboys.
- Word of Mouth/Recommendations/Contacts: Another way to find talent is to mine previous contacts of people that have impressed you in the past, solicit recommendations from colleagues you respect, and put initial feelers out to trusted individuals that can spread the word for your company.
- Social Media: Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to get the message out that you’re hiring. This is a great way to tap into your brand evangelists while also leveraging word of mouth.
- Internships: There are always hungry, savvy people looking for internships – whether they are starting a new career, or college students looking for a summer gig or full-time internship that could become their next career. Some great sites and places to find interns are: craigslist.org, your local online college job boards, Internships.com and InternSushi.com
- Freelance and Job Posting Sites: Some of these options include: LinkedIn Jobs, Elance.com, Guru.com, Craigslist.org, Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com and other related job posting sites.
How to craft your social media manager position to attract the right candidate:
I want to mention that no matter what route you take, your position has to be congruent with your company’s expectations, goals, values, culture and vision.
It also has to attract the right person.
When you craft the description of the type of social media manager you’re looking for and their responsibilities – by the way, you better take at LEAST a good hour or two to do this – you also need to carefully convey the benefits to the candidate of considering your company for their next career stop.
This is critical.
If you craft a boring, staid or quickly-put-together traditional job posting, guess what you’ll attract?
Job seekers that won’t even read it and simply dump their resume in your lap.
Think about it this way:
Would you want to work for a company that seems dull or boring, and didn’t take the time to sell you on how awesome it is working with them on a daily basis?
Or perhaps how cool it is interacting with their loyal, passionate clients and customers, or their fantastic products and services?
Don’t think that quickly slapping together a job posting will bring hoards of amazing candidates to you – especially if you are a small company!
Sure Google, Facebook, Apple or other large companies can get away with that sort of thing and still attract high-end talent, but if you happen not to be a Fortune 1000 company, then you’ve got to sell the benefits of working for your organization to a hot, prospective social media rock star that doesn’t want to work for Google, Facebook or Apple!Step 3: Pre-Screening Your Ideal Candidate
Now comes the “fun” part…
I say “fun” facetiously because no matter what, you’re likely going to get bombarded by a lot of pure “job” seekers and those that didn’t read the position description and are clearly neither qualified, nor appropriate for the position.
This is where a carefully implemented pre-screening process can save you countless time and resources, while delivering pre-qualified candidates that are hungry to be a part of your team.
There are 2 phases to the pre-screening process to help you weed out unqualified candidates – assuming you’ve already taken at least 1-2 hours to carefully craft an enticing and thorough social media manager description.
Phase 1: Start with your listing
In your listing, you must do two things that will virtually eliminate 50-60% of all candidates right off the bat:
- First, ask for a specific subject line when they apply: This is so simple and effective it’s incredible. I’ve used this tactic to weed out those that are just copying and pasting resumes and emailing them out to every listing.
What you do is ask for a specific subject line that cannot be guessed and is completely unrelated to the job opening.
One of my favorites?
I have asked candidates to put the word “Elephant” – and nothing else –in the subject of their email or else we wouldn’t even consider their application.
The moment you get any other subject line, press the “delete” button.
Think of it this way: Do you honestly want a social media “strategist” working for your company that didn’t take the time, and isn’t thorough enough, to at least fully READ your instructions before applying for the position?
Tip: If you use a job posting site that let’s applicants apply directly through the website, simply state in your description that an email must be sent in lieu of applying through the website. If you get applications through the website, it means they didn’t thoroughly read the instructions and you can delete their information.
Bonus Tip: Burry these instructions within your listing (preferably in the middle of a non-related paragraph of text), so it is not easily found by scanning the page!
- Second, ask the candidate to answer 3 – 5 questions: This is another great way to weed out candidates right off the bat.
If they did happen to see your subject line requirements, another subset of candidates will drop off the hunt once they see there is actual work involved to even be considered for the position.
What types of questions do you ask? The type that let them stand out from the crowd and be expressive.
After all, you are hiring a SOCIAL media manger right?
Some examples that we’ve used:
- In 100 words or less, tell me why you’re the social media manager we’re looking for? (Tip: Make sure you count the words! Highlight the text in Microsoft Word, click on “Tools” » “Word Count”)
- What 3 things are you most passionate about? Explain each.
- Tell me about and show me something you worked on or created over the last 6 months that was difficult to accomplish that you are proud of.
- Show me 3 social media campaigns you’ve worked on and explain what results you achieved for each – not the WORK you did, but RESULTS you achieved.
- Assume that money is no object and you are financially independent. What does your typical day look like?
- Explain which is most important to you: Getting it right or explaining it right? Why?
- Give me an example of how you overcame adversity in your life.
- Choose ONE company you respect. Explain to me why you respect them and then tell me 5 things they must do immediately to dramatically improve their social media presence.
As you can see, some of these questions are open-ended and a bit interpretive, but that’s the point.
You want to see the candidate’s thought process and how they react to strange or open-ended questions while also allowing you a chance to really get to know them on a deeper level as they explain some of their passions in life, what they value, and how they interact with the world around them.
This process will weed out those that aren’t really serious about joining your team, are to lazy to fill out the required information, or those that answered in such a way that you can immediately exclude them from future consideration.
Bonus Tip: Add one more layer to weed candidates out further by having them print, sign and scan/fax back a document to you with their signature asserting the following:
“I have read and understand the requirements for this position and certify that I meet all the requirements in the skills required section. Furthermore I agree to an in-person interview with (Company) if required before any decision is made, and will send my answers to the questions posed earlier in the position listing.”
Name _______________________ Date ____________________________
Phase 2: Next is a phone pre-screen and task list
After the preliminary pre-screening requirements you’ve implemented, you’re likely now left with some very special people that you are interested in talking to that are skilled, passionate, detail-oriented and accountable.
Now let’s take that one step further with a preliminary phone screen and task list to make finding your ideal social media expert even easier.
Here’s what you do:
- Set up a 30 – 60 minute phone screen with the candidate
- Use this time to get to know them using their answers to your initial questions as a guide
- Then ask very important details about their skill set, experience and the requirements of the position
- Make sure you also tell them about your company, your culture and your expectations
- If you like what you hear and the candidate seems to be a good fit for both the position (skills, passion, readiness) and your company (culture, fit, expectations), then have the candidate complete 3-5 tasks in 24 hours, for further consideration
These tasks should be a mix of challenging items that they are likely never to have done before, combined with some that they should already know how to do.
It isn’t important if they complete the tasks with 100% accuracy.
Always remember that you can teach technical stuff that someone might not know, as well as your internal systems and procedures.
What IS important, however, is to see their thought process and their accountability in action.
Did they give up or keep trying? Did they admit if they couldn’t figure something out? Did they find the information they needed to complete the task? Did they try their best? Was there heart, soul and polish in their work?
Finally, these tasks should also show the candidate’s ability to problem solve without being told how to do something – a very important skill to have in the rapidly changing world of social media!
MORE»Other valuable resources on this topic:
Everyone always THINKS they know what will improve a company’s bottom line: higher search engine rankings, higher levels of website traffic, more social media outreach, more products, more blog posts and on and on.
But what if I told you that just by focusing on how users interact with and “use” your website to achieve their goals – what is often referred to as usability – by making it easier, friendlier and more intuitive, you could increase sales and conversions much faster and with less time and money spent than almost ANY other “traffic” generating initiative?
So what is “website usability” and how can it be used (no pun intended) to spruce up your company’s current website to immediately convert a higher number of visitors into sales?
I’m glad you asked…What is Website Usability?
Website usability is defined by Jakob Nielsen as:
“The ease with which users learn to use a web site, how efficient they are when using it, how easy it is for them to remember how to use it and how satisfied they are when they use it “
Now look at the words in bold.
Usability is concerned with users learning, their efficiency, their ability to remember how to use it if they visit the same website again, and their satisfaction when using that website.
If you read between the lines, this perfectly ties in with your website and company objectives.
A usable website that satisfies users and enables them to achieve their objectives in an efficient manner will lead to longer visits, repeat visitors, referrals from satisfied visitors, backlinks, positive reviews and higher goal conversions.A Practical Example of Usability In the Real World
In a second, I’m going to go into a more detailed explanation with examples of good and bad website usability on various websites.
But I first wanted to show you a quick example of usability in something as simple as a mobile phone application.
The screenshots below show changes implemented on the TripAdvisor mobile application after usability testing.
Not only is the new design cleaner, less cluttered and simpler to understand, but more importantly, the entire experience now revolves around the user – rather than what TripAdvisor WANTED the user to do.
For instance, the company now gives more prominence to tabs that inevitably address the user’s top reasons for using the app in the first place: finding hotels, restaurants and fun things to do.
The use of thumbnails now enhances the user’s experience and the selection of a tab – a hotel in this case – now shows the rating and price range, which was missing in the previous version.
Thus, with one simple look, the user can browse and select an accommodation that is to their liking, quickly and easily using a very intuitive interface.
As a result of this redesign, do you think TripAdvisor is seeing an increase in bookings and with it revenue?Why Website Usability is Vital To Your Company’s Bottom Line
On the web, the only point of contact that a company has with a potential prospect or lead is its website.
Thus, your web presence is one of the main ways – and for some companies the ONLY way – you can achieve your online goals and company objectives, be they commercial, information or otherwise.
Most websites are terribly designed, hard to use and were created to satisfy the owner or upper level management and NOT the end user.
Things like links, colors, image placement, white space and conventional usability attributes like a search box in an expected location, all contribute to the overall usability of a website.
Some quick examples you are probably familiar with include:
- Links: Having links that indicate clickability: (i.e. blue, underlined, change color on hover and after visiting). Links must also be descriptive enough that a user would already know what they would expect to find even before clicking a link. Therefore, links such as “read more”, “find now” etc. are not as usable as other more descriptive terms.
- Search Box: Having a search box on all your website’s pages ideally at the top right hand corner and consisting of a text box and a button labelled “search”.
- Fonts: Using a font that is large enough to be read, well spaced, and that contrasts sharply with its background. Additionally, it should be easy to understand what information on the page is content, in addition to different degrees of headings.
Research shows that usable websites increase user satisfaction which leads to increased time spent on the website and more leads and sales generated as a result.
Conversely, research conducted by Montero et.al. indicates that websites which violate usability conventions confuse users and result in a loss of revenue for the companies that operate them.
In fact, poor usability was one of the reasons many online companies went bankrupt in the infamous dot-com bust (1995-2000). Here’s an article that talks about this in more detail.
Another interesting fact stemming from research, is that the importance of website usability positively correlates with the competition of the environment it is operating in.
This means that a web site operating in the very competitive e-commerce environment is more likely to lose a potential customer due to poor usability (often to a competing web site) than a web site that operates in a less competitive environment such as Meteorology research.
It’s quite simple really.
All you have to do is put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
When you visit a website, immediate subconscious judgments are made as to the trustworthiness, authority and likelihood of doing business with the company that created it.
A usable website will enable users to achieve their goals, which in turn allows you to achieve yours – and remember, your company’s website is NOT about you, only about your customers and their needs!
By ensuring that your website is streamlined, easy to use and fits within the parameters that I outlined above in Jakob’s definition of usability, you can easily increase leads, conversions and ultimately, sales.
This in turn actively contributes towards the company achieving its own goals.How To Make Your Website Usable
Now I will warn you ahead of time, website usability is NOT a sexy term…not even close.
In fact, when you present this to the decision-makers within your company or if you are already biased as the CEO or owner of your company, it will often fall short of “instant” gratification techniques like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Social Media Marketing (SMM) – don’t let your organization fall into that trap!
As with any website optimization or traffic generating field, prioritizing your website usability issues is a must.
If potential clients and customers are leaving your website because they can’t find what they need, are confused or don’t trust your company, you’ve got bigger problems than trying to get MORE visitors to your site!
In fact, wasting time on traffic generating initiatives will prove fruitless if once that traffic arrives, they immediately leave, or worse, post something negative about your company as a result of your poor user experience.
Resources – human, financial and time-based – are always scarce and must be invested in a way that yields the highest Return On Investment (ROI).
Therefore, it is important to focus – at the very least – on core usability aspects that yield the highest contribution towards making your website a place people want to engage with, before you worry about bringing in more traffic.
Once those minimum areas are optimized then you can focus on other areas of usability that will yield you even more of an edge against your competition.
In their book “Prioritizing Website Usability”, Nielsen and Loranger rank the highest usability problem areas as follows:
This essentially means that if you focus your efforts on just 4 areas, you will address 68% of your usability problems.
Yes, you might argue that these statistics are from 2006, but – unlike most areas in the IT world – many usability guidelines, like this one, still hold today!
Human beings evolve at a far slower rate than technology.
Remember, usability is all about the user.
Small, crammed fonts on a low contrast background without adequate character and line spacing won’t be legible on the your 1920×1080 HD monitor!
So with that being said, let’s take a look at each of the above areas that will yield you the biggest bang for your buck:
Joe: The marketing techniques are ineffective or too expensive. Marketing is essential to expanding and maintaining your customer base. If a business owner’s current marketing techniques are not bringing in customers or if they are putting a great deal of strain on the operating budget, then they should be re-evaluated. Small business owners who do not have the time or knowhow to effectively market their business should hire someone else to do it.
Small businesses are not using readily available business tools and technology. These days small businesses have access to a wide range of savvy, low-cost business tools, software packages and services, and technology that is giving them a leg up on even their big competitors. Small business owners who wait too long to embrace it may be making a costly mistake.Common Mistakes Made By Small Business Owners
Many new small business owners get caught up in these common pitfalls. Learn what mistakes to avoid and increase your chances of running a successful business venture.
According to the Small Business Association (SBA), the majority of new small businesses will shut down within the first five years of operation. Though circumstances may vary from one company to another, this high failure rate is generally attributed to several common factors. The business owner who is aware of these pitfalls can avoid making costly mistakes and is thus in a better position to run a successful venture.Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail
The following are a few common factors that can bring a small business’ operations to a screeching halt:
1. Business owners have unrealistic expectations or choose ventures that are inappropriate for their personalities, lifestyles, or experiences. Before starting their ventures, aspiring entrepreneurs must make sure that they are clear and realistic about what they want to get out of their businesses and what they have to offer in terms of time, commitment, and experience.
2. Business owners are unfamiliar with the basics of business management. Many small business owners lack a formal business education and have never experienced running a small business. They may therefore be unaware of some basic tools and guidelines for effective business management. The good news is that there are numerous free or low-cost guides, articles, and tutorials available online that can fill in this information gap. (For starters, check out the websites of the SBA, SCORE, and the National Federation of Independent Business)
3. There is a lack of effective planning. Business planning is a continual process of setting goals, developing plans, and working every day to achieve them. Proper business planning spans all areas of the business including budgeting, tax planning, and marketing, as well as growth and development.
4. Business owners fail to consistently and effectively monitor their businesses. Planning means nothing if business owners are not monitoring how well their businesses are operating so they can make any necessary adjustments. Business owners should pay attention in particular to the daily cash flow, to the business’ sales and productivity, and to the movement of products and supplies through the business.
5. Small businesses lack the necessary capital for operation and growth. One of the biggest reasons why small businesses fail is that they are unable to get the funding they need when they need it. When a business loan is hard to come by (which is pretty common these days), many business owners in desperation or in ignorance make the mistake of choosing a method of financing that is either inappropriate or detrimental to the health of their businesses. For example, they apply for high-interest, sub-prime loans or payday loans, or they rely too heavily on their business credit cards. Business owners should be aware that there are several, relatively safe financing methods available such as SBA micro loans, invoice factoring, vendor financing, and merchant cash advances.
- Start a Successful Small Business
- Five Common Reasons Why So Many Small Businesses Fail
- Why Small Businesses Fail and Trends in Small Business
6. The marketing techniques are ineffective or too expensive. Marketing is essential to expanding and maintaining your customer base. If a business owner’s current marketing techniques are not bringing in customers or if they are putting a great deal of strain on the operating budget, then they should be re-evaluated. Small business owners who do not have the time or knowhow to effectively market their business should hire someone else to do it.
7. Business owners ignore their competition. The success of a small business depends on how effectively owners can differentiate their products, services, and solutions from those offered by their competition. A small business’ unique selling point is its greatest asset. In order to maintain a competitive edge, business owners must stay in touch with the current market trends and be aware of what their competition is doing.
In the past, people usually would travel long distances to purchase their necessities and for things they’d want to buy. If it wasn’t available in their nearest supermarket, they would have to travel farther until they find their needed item in stock or arrive home disappointed. Because sales aren’t able to be announced properly, most people would be going back to the supermarket to see if there are any new deals on items they need or want. But now, things have changed. Today, shops, supermarkets, and even restaurants, have their own website for you to browse through for deals and packages.
With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to check out all daily deals available for your convenience. Not only will you be able to check websites for available sales, but you’ll also be able to print out cash vouchers to save even more money. Just search online for your favorite store and its cash vouchers and save money by presenting these vouchers when shopping. You can also share it all with friends and family. The only thing you’ll need is a computer with an internet connection and you can browse through sales and discount coupons.
Not only will you be able to save money, you’ll also save a lot of time. Instead of looking for sales around your mall and spending a lot of gas if you find nothing suitable for you, you’ll be able to find the things you need and want online, right in the comforts of your home. You won’t spend but a few minutes searching for the deal of the day in your computer. Coupons and sales are made in order for the business to gain more exposure and sales by encouraging people to buy their items in a cheaper price. Instead of throwing away items that weren’t sold, businesses would be able to sell them with a discounted price in order to gain money while getting rid of old merchandise. It’s also used for introducing new products, too. Not only are discounts advantageous to the consumer, but the businesses would be able to gain something out of it too.
Deals and discounts aren’t only applicable in a certain state or country. It’s found everywhere. Today, everyone is able to search for discounts and sales online without having to spend countless of hours searching in supermarkets or shops for deals. A lot of businesses are now taking advantage of the internet in order to promote their items and sales for them to gain more money out of it. Some stores would also provide shipment to your home so you won’t need to waste more time purchasing your item in the mall. In a few clicks, you’ll be able to purchase an item and have it delivered in less than a week.
If you are looking for sales near your home, in your favorite store or restaurant, you’ll be able to search for what you’ll need online and smile at the little time you’ve spent.
How to get the best results from Voupons
Voupons marketing is almost a case of set and forget. Almost.
- As with all marketing strategies, the more effort and thought you put into your promotions, the better your results.
- It is recommended to choose a promotion and run that promotion for 12 months to see the best results possible.
- Or you can choose to run a series of promotions over 12 months.
- Once your promotion is live, you will get a steady number of qualified new customers contacting your business to engage your services.
So how do I maximise results?
Voupons interface allows your business to tailor your strategy in any number of ways. Simply LOG IN with your email address and password, and SPEND the TIME required to fully understand the capabilities of your business interface. Only you know the best way to integrate your business promotions with Voupons concept.
As a general rule, it is highly recommended that you renew an existing promotion-or create a new promotion-monthly.
This will ensure your business rotates to the top of the list on a regular basis.
You can also choose to increase your SMS send value, which will automatically keep your promotion at the top of the list, thereby increasing your exposure to new customers.
Or you can choose to do both.
This LINK takes you to a demonstration video on how to upload and create your promotion, as well as tips on getting the most from the comprehensive features of the upload interface.
How to Track my Statistics and Redemption Rates
Once you log in, click on the statistics link in the blue bar at the top of the page. The statistics page allows you to track the response to your promotions in real time. This means you do not need to wait until the end of a campaign to assess the response to your promotion. With this unique feature, you are also able to track the redemption rates at the point of sale. All staff need to be aware that when a new customer contacts your business with a Voupon, they will have a Voupon code specific to a particular promotion. Logging these codes at your point of sale will allow you to assess the redemption rate.
Businesses which have taken the time and the effort to implement these measures are reporting redemption rates of up to 60%, and attainment of new customers anywhere between 50c and $2.00. When compared to traditional marketing strategies targeting new customers, we have yet to find a comparable ROI.
So welcome aboard and the Voupons team is always on hand to answer questions and help you get the best results for your business.
With mobile penetration of 110 percent and good 3G coverage, Australia is a country of great potential for mobile marketers. For the inside track on Australia, we turned to Aussie mobile specialist TigerSpike.
With mobile penetration of 110 percent (source: Telsyte) and good 3G coverage, Australia is a country of great potential for the mobile Internet. Many of the top online publishers such as Bigpond (Telstra), Yahoo!7, NineMSN, News Digital Media are seeing their mobile sites grow at 89 percent per year (source: Australian Interactive Media Industry Association). Plenty of mobile specific sites have also sprung up, such as OZmobi.mobi (a mobile guide to Australia).
For the inside track on Australia, we turned to TigerSpike’s Alex Burke, general manager Asia and Alex Hall, chief operations officer. TigerSpike is an Australian mobile specialist with offices in Sydney, London and New York, with clients that include Pepsi, Fairfax Digital, Virgin Australia, Vodafone Australia, FOXTEL and Telstra.
Q1: How big or advanced is mobile web in Australia v rest of world? What is the potential?
The Australian market is relatively small in size, but has strong potential, with a history as a test bed for technical innovation.
The adoption of the mobile Web is dependent on three things: 3G infrastructure, carrier pricing models and consumer propensity to adopt new technology:
- A reasonable infrastructure is in place in Australia, with the Telstra, the biggest Telco, being pretty aggressive in the roll out of its 3G network across the country;
- Australian operators are doing their best to reduce the costly data plans that have been the main barrier to adoption;
- By nature Australians are willing to try things out, and consumers and companies have proven to be early adopters when it comes to mobile technologies.
The mobile Web has been growing year on year, but it really came of age in 2008, with more and more people browsing content on their phones, particularly on the back of the launch of the iPhone from the middle of 2008. Mobile sites receive millions of page impressions a month, which encourages more brands, advertisers and sponsors to invest in mobile, making the business model for mobile a reality.
Q2: What is driving growth? What is holding it up?
Consumers are changing their lifestyle habits, consuming content in different ways. As it becomes habit for people to use their phones to get content, demand for mobile Web services increases. Media companies are leading the way in meeting this demand, but significant growth will only happen when other industries begin to understand how best to leverage the technology – this will come with education.
Q3: Which industries/sectors have shown the most interest? Is interest from local or international companies?
Telecoms and media businesses – in particular Telstra and Fairfax (the Australian newspaper giant) – led the way in making their content available on the mobile Web. This makes sense as the heavy users of their news, sport, weather and mapping services online are likely to be technology-savvy, and will want to access them on the mobile phone as well.
With more advanced devices, with better navigation now available and more consumers becoming mobile Web literate, mainstream consumer brands have started to show interest. In most sectors, international brands have been the earliest adopters.
Q4: Which brands are the most innovative and which spend the most on mobile marketing? Who isn’t interested that should be?
The leaders within specific industry verticals include Toyota, Nike, Coca-Cola and Fosters. These are brands have become synonymous with innovation and have always looked to push the boundaries across every marketing channel.
There’s a strong case to be made for almost every brand to use mobile marketing, but those that target younger males are missing out the most, by not getting involved.
Q5: What are they doing – mobile Web site, banner ads, text campaigns?
Between them the brands mentioned above have covered the full spectrum: from the mobile call to action with traditional media; through mobile as a communication channel in its own right; to mobile content in terms of mobile Web sites, mobile-specific applications, banner advertising and user-generated content. In order to hit the right target, they’re also using all the delivery methods at their disposal, be it SMS, MMS, Bluetooth, WAP or QR codes.
Q6: Are these long-term or short-term campaigns; who is integrating site, ads and text; and who is integrating with other media such as billboard, TV, press campaigns?
It is a mixture. Most of the traditional brands look to launch short-term campaigns on the back of a promotion; however increasingly we find that companies are now looking to integrate mobile into their core offering, which is making mobile more of a long-term proposition. We believe this trend will continue through 2009.
Q7: What are the best mobile sites in Australia? What makes them stand out?
A great mobile site combines an understanding of three things:
- The limitations of the screen size – i.e. what is feasible on each and every handset screen;
- What content is relevant to the consumer – i.e. people who access the mobile Web usually have a specific need and/or a short viewing window;
- Usability – i.e. how easily can a particular piece of information by found.
The Fairfax sites are great examples of where the information is easy to find. Another good one is Mobile FOXTEL on the Telstra platform. Launched nearly two years ago, FOXTEL is a subscription-based service with over 30 channels of live streamed video content – a dozen of these are specifically made for mobile.
Q8: What type of site is most popular with a) consumers and b) business customers?
The most popular content with consumers is news, sport, entertainment, weather and maps. Mobile social networking is becoming a popular way to keep up to speed with friends. It really does just take the touch of a button to update your location, what you’re doing and to see what everyone else is up to at the same time.
The business market is still in its infancy; however we should see some growth in 2009.
Q9: Who are the most innovative / powerful players on the supply side: a) creative agencies b) advertising networks. And who are the gurus?
To date traditional agencies have struggled to adapt their creative expertise to suit the mobile consumer. Also with so many different handsets out there, technical delivery is pretty complex. This has opened the door for mobile specialists able to handle both the creative and technical sides of mobile marketing – in Australia, agencies such as TigerSpike and m.Net.
Q10: What is the most exciting thing about mobile?
There are so many exciting possibilities in mobile, but mobile banking looks to be particularly interesting. This will really take off as consumers start to feel comfortable about using their phone as a mode of payment.
Q11: What do you do better in Australia than the rest of the mobile marketing world does?
One key advantage is the adventurous nature of Australians – the willingness to give new things a go. This is critical for a new medium like mobile, as growth stems from both the brand’s willingness to innovate with mobile marketing and consumer acceptance of the new channel. Due to the size of the market, Australia a great test bed to gauge likely success of mobile campaigns in other larger markets.
There’s more information on TigerSpike and the Australian and International campaigns here.
Comment below or email editor (at) mobiThinking.com.
Joe says: “Mobile marketing is on the rise. We’ve been collecting some of the latest mobile marketing statistics that reflect the growth and importance of mobile as a channel for reaching people”Mobile Marketing Statistics 2012
Mobile marketing is on the rise. We’ve been collecting some of the latest mobile marketing statistics that reflect the growth and importance of mobile as a channel for reaching people.Have cool mobile marketing statistics? A correction to a source listing? Send it over: firstname.lastname@example.orgMobile Usage Statistics
In 2011, there were 835 million smartphone users, 5.6 billion feature phone users (Mary Meeker, Kleiner Perkins, Morgan Stanley Research via Business Insider)
Global internet usage will more than double by 2015, and most of these users will be mobile (Boston Consulting Group, Mary Meeker, Kleiner Perkins, Morgan Stanley Research, Berg Insight via Business Insider)
64% of mobile phone time is spent on apps (Nielsen 2012)
13.4% texting, 11.1% browser, 5.5% social networking apps, 5.4% dialer, 5.3% email/IM, 2.3% music/video, 1.1% camera, 55.8% other apps (Nielsen 2012)
Adults spend more media time on mobile than newspapers and magazines combined (eMarketer December 2011)
On average, it takes 90 minutes to respond to an email, but 90 seconds to respond to a text message (CTIA)
At the end of 2011, nearly 1 in 5 smartphone users scanned product barcodes and nearly 1 in 8 compared prices on their phones while in a store (comScore 2012)
In 2012, the U.S. saw a 55% increase in smartphone subscriptions to make for 98 million smartphone subscribers, representing nearly 42% of all U.S. mobile users. (comScore 2012)
In the U.S. alone, there were more than 400 smartphone devices on the market at the end of 2011 (comScore 2012)
In 2011, smartphone adoption increased 99% among 6-person households, 98% among those making less than $25,000, and 92% among retirees (comScore 2012)
Apple and Android represent more than 75% of the smartphone market (comScore 2012)
QR code scans increased 300% in 2011 over 2010 (ScanLife)
QR code usage jumped 617% from January to December 2011 in top 100 magazines (Nellymoser)
Mobile email opens increased 34% while opens on webmail and PCs decreased by 11% and 9.5% from April to September 2011 (Return Path)Local Search
61% of smartphone users make local searches from a device (Localeze/15miles Fifth Annual comScore Local Search Usage Study February 2012)
49% of mobile and tablet users conduct local business searches on apps (Localeze/15miles Fifth Annual comScore Local Search Usage Study February 2012)
Mentioning a location in an ad or search result can increase click-through rates up to 200% (ThinkNear 2012 via MediaPost)
20% of telecom, 30% of restaurant, and 25% of movie searches are mobile (Google)Mobile Web vs. Mobile Apps
127.6 million mobile users in the U.S. and 108 million users in Europe consumed mobile media through their mobile browser or application in 2011, about a 30% increase over 2010 (comScore 2012)
In December 2011, 47.6% of the total mobile audience in the U.S. used apps, 47.5% used mobile browsers; in Europe, 38.2% of the total mobile audience accessed mobile media via application, 38.1% used browsers (comScore 2012)
81% of users prefer mobile sites to apps for price research, 79% for product reviews, 63% for purchasing (Adobe Mobile Experience Survey & eMarketer 2011 via SearchEngineLand)Mobile Marketing Strategies
Top mobile marketing objective: increase customer engagement (52% of surveyed; Forrester July 2010)Mobile Marketing Revenue
U.S. mobile & social media revenue – including consumer and business access, content, advertising and marketing – increased 30.2% to $45.38 billion in 2011. (PQ Media via Mobile Marketing Watch)
Mobile content and access had revenues of $39.17 billion in 2011, up 27.8% from 2010. Of that $39.17 billion, business accounted for 58% of the total and consumer for 42%. (PQ Media January 2012 via MarketingProfs)
Online social media was the smallest sector of mobile and social media during the year, reaching $2.83 billion in revenues, but the category grew at a very strong 42.1% year over year. Within the online social media category, social networking was the largest and fastest-growing segment by far, increasing 45.9%, to $2.28 billion in 2011. (PQ Media January 2012 via MarketingProfs)
Total US mobile and social media revenues-including business and consumer content, access, and advertising and marketing-reached $45.38 billion in 2011, up 30.2% from a year earlier (PQ Media January 2012 via MarketingProfs)Mobile Commerce
More than half of the U.S. smartphone population used their phone to perform retail research while inside a store in 2011 (comScore 2012)
79% of smartphone users use their phones to help with shopping and 74% make a purchase as a result (Google/Ipsos 2010)
More than half (52%) of adult cell phone owners used their devices while in a store to get help with purchasing decisions. (Pew 2011 via MediaPost)
It takes over 10 sessions with an app for 44% of eventual buyers to make their first purchase. Only a third (33%) buy in 2 to 9 uses of an app. And only 22% actually accept an upsell opportunity the first time in the door (Localytics via MediaPost January 2012)
Overall, about a third of cell phone owners used their phone within the past 30 days to look up either product reviews or prices online while in the store. Of them, 35% decided to purchase the item in the store, while 19% decided to purchase the product online and 37% opted not to purchase the product at all. (Pew Research Center via MediaPost)
Mobile payments are expected to quadruple to $630 billion by 2014 (Juniper Research)
42% of mobile users browsed products, 32% read online reviews, and 23% purchased products on mobile in the last 30 days (Nielsen Smartphone Analytics December 2011)
39% of store walkouts, where consumers leave without buying, were influenced by smartphones (Motorola Solutions)Mobile and Travel
Mobile was responsible for US $2.6 billion in travel booking value in 2011. By 2013, than number is projected to exceed $8 billion, representing 2.6% of all U.S. travel bookings and 6.5% of the total online travel market. (PhoCusWright January 2012)Mobile Marketing Growth
Total US mobile and social media revenues-including consumer and business access, content, advertising and marketing-is expected to grow 30.8% year over year in 2012 (PQ Media January 2012 via MarketingProfs)
Mobile advertising and marketing was the fastest-growing sector in 2011, expanding 53.7% year over year to $3.39 billion with the ad segment soaring 60.9% and the marketing segment expanding 46.2% during the year (PQ Media January 2012 via MarketingProfs)(Mobile) Advertising
Facebook delivers 1 of every 4 online display ads (comScore 2012)
The global mobile ad market will grow from $3.4 billion in 2010 to $22.0 billion in 2016 (Berg Insight via B2B)
40% of males ages 18 to 29 like mobile ads “somewhat” or “very much” (eMarketer)
US mobile ad spend to reach $2.6B in 2012 (eMarketer)
Tablet owners more likely to purchase from online ads than smartphone owners, also more likely to request coupons from merchant (Nielsen)
Text message and online display ads have the lowest consumer trust (26% and 27%, respectively), while websites and TV have the highest (52% and 46%, respectively). (Nielsen)Social Media & General Marketing
36% of tweets are worth reading, 39% are mediocre, and 25% are not worth reading at all (MarketingProfs March 2012)
21% of Pinterest users purchased a product after seeing a picture on Pinterest (PriceGrabber 2012 via MediaPost)
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In the fast moving and highly competitive world of electronic “daily deals”, Joe Brown has almost reinvented the wheel.
His Voupons venture has enlisted dozens of businesses on the Gold Coast and offered hundreds of deals to potential customers in a new take on e-marketing and group buying.
The 34 year old says Voupons is different from a string of other popular daily deal buying programs as it doesn’t take a cut of any merchant profits and is free for the shoppers.
“We have positioned ourselves as an alternative to the other Daily deals” says Brown.
“shoppers only pay when they buy the product and business don’t have to hand over a % of their profits”
Brown concedes the daily deals market is crowded.
Well-known American based operations like Living Social and Groupons churn millions of dollars of potential sales leads each month.
But the industry also is weathering a backlash from some traders and patrons who have begun to question the effectiveness of some e-marketing campaigns promoted by some daily deals sites.
Billy Tuckers, former CEO of Australian group buying website Cudo, recently warned business about the lack of control in daily deals marketing.
He cited the example of a small Australia resort that signed up to a promotion deal as was overwhelmed when three million responses flooded in from around the world. The resort was unable to honour the published offer to the majority of interested parties.
Brown, who has been working on his project for four years, insists the Voupons system is different and simple.
He says if customers looking on the Voupons website see a deal they like, they can request an SMS message be sent to their phone, which they take to the store to claim the deal. Businesses pay for the service by buying SMS credits.
Brown has also developed an iPhone application for Voupons that went live about three months ago. The system as gathered in excess of 600 download.
He is now working on a add-on that will activate a beeping noise on the phone if a customer walks within a certain radius of a Voupons affiliated shop.
Brown wants to take Voupons Australia wide, but knows establishing a solid base on the Gold Coast is imperative before expanding too fast.
“ We want to focus on getting results for our customers here. Once we get those results we will look to expand,” he says.
Voupons client Leighton Breen from Govs Coffee in Miami says Voupons provide good value to his business. “I looked at using the daily deal sites but I didn’t want to give away half my profit,” says Breen.
“I hear that there are so many deals and they don’t get much repeat business as the consumer just moved on to the next deal, with Voupons the clients pay me direct.
“This means I don’t need as many sales and make more profit”
Everyday deals is the latest strategy in web advertising and online marketing. Groupon is the pioneer in this industry and indeed has been successful. However, there are lots of new imitators exist today. One of them is Woot – another daily-deal startup which was snapped up by Amazon.com for around $100 million.
For those who are not familiar with daily-deals, here’s a summary: a business enterprise provides a deal everyday through internet offering big discounts on merchandise – usually 50% off. There is a minimum number of clients who are willing to get the deal and pay for upfront then they obtain coupons that they will present for the business. If there is no enough number of clients for the deal, it will then be canceled.
Professor Utpal Dholakia, an associate professor of Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Small Business had done some research regarding daily-deals. He asked 150 companies that has been Groupon’s clients previous year. The result is surprisingly unsatisfactory. The respondents said they are unhappy of the deals and the offers are not profitable.
Forty percent of them reported that they will not get any offers from Groupon anymore. The researcher also observed that the clients are just one- time visitors and do not repeat anymore or does not become regular clients.
The researcher suggested that Groupons should improve their services through:
- Ensuring that the deals will hit the market and satisfy the needs of the consumers.
- Designing deals that will not cannibalize the sale to current clients but also encourage the interest of new shoppers.
- Determining if the company will best suited and benefit from daily-deals. The researcher found out that education and restaurants benefit less while spas and salons benefited a lot.
- Offering deals on merchandise that you are looking to discharge or underutilize the services you want to improve.
- Designing deals that will help build better relationship between the company and the clients. For example, offer a 20% discount so that the clients will visit three times rather than offering 60% off all at once.
- Do not offer too much discount for you may lose control of your overall budget. You may end up losing your suppose to be ‘profit’.
Groupons may have went through a lot of hardships, but it is still looking for new ways that will satisfy their client’s needs and bring quality service to the consumers.