The Future of Mobile Marketing: Smartphones and Augmented Reality

With each new year, marketers continue to say that mobile marketing is going to be huge. Has the time already come, or are there more developments in mobile marketing and technology yet to be seen?

Mobile is one of the most innovative technology platforms out today, and with about 50% of mobile users (and 70% of affluent customers) owning a smartphone, the market for apps and further technological advancement is greater now than ever before.

The Future of Mobile Marketing

Smartphone users are expecting a deeper personalized engagement and assistance from their phones. Many people are dependent on their phone as their sole source of telecommunication, as well as a way to connect via social media and email. They also use it for entertainment and consuming content. This means that app and operating system developers need to fulfill a hefty order: To continue to make smartphones an integral part of user’s lives.

Facilitating Experiences

FourSquare and Yelp have released app updates in the last year that allow users to be notified when their friends have checked into the same location or are nearby. This type of GPS-location for a user’s social network is even further reducing the need to communicate directly with friends to find out where they are. This can be useful when attending large events, going out with new friends while running into some new ones or even avoiding an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife or boss.

Besides utilizing mobile to market locations as a place where a user’s friends are hanging out, mobile apps can also be used to market events or unique experiences. This includes secret concerts or performances for only certain app users or a special on hot air balloon rides that a user just happens to be a few blocks away from. Users like the gratification of having apps do the work for them. That way, they can focus more on their friends and the experience itself, rather than spending effort having to find it.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) continues to be the golden child in the minds of those thinking about the future of mobile marketing. Think of all the potential for local businesses – instant restaurant reviews (which Yelp has already been utilizing since 2009), hotel locations, online prices for products on shelves and more. Not to mention all the games and entertainment experiences that augmented reality can bring into users’ homes.

The potential of augmented reality is seemingly endless, especially because it is still in development and its potential remains vastly untapped. HowStuffWorks (who has a great video on AR) estimates that by 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet. This means that online sensors can influence how users see reality in relation to their individual preferences and past history.

Price Comparison

Mobile makes it easy to instantly check for product and service prices, as well as for coupons and discounts, from anywhere there is wifi access or cell phone service. While many mobile marketing apps, like CouponSherpa (available at Google Play and iTunes) and Apple’s passbook, have utilized this to create services based on a user’s location, search and available connected profiles, the future still remains wide for further possibilities.

For instance, what if a restaurant’s app noticed a user’s negative tweet about a competitor and instantly text them a lucrative coupon? Or if a user’s smart phone GPS says they are in the area, a business could pay to be part of an app that offers instant, unique deals personalized to that user, depending on where they are (Groupon is going down this road with their instant deals).

The future of mobile marketing will depend largely on apps reacting to the customer, instead of the customer initiating the request for information themselves. GPS location, as well as inter-connected social media APIs will make this second nature.

Interaction With the Outside World

In relation to augmented reality and mobile marketing based on a user’s behavior and location, mobile technology may also continue to make a user’s life easier by increasing their ability to interact with the outside world. Instances may include:

  • Using Shazam to listen to an infomercial to instantly buy the advertised product.
  • Ordering photos from Shutterfly directly from a user’s smart phone camera album.
  • Using apps or bluetooth to pay for purchases at a department store.
  • Scanning a piece of furniture’s barcode to search for tutorial videos on how to assemble it.

There are many instances where the Internet already makes smartphone users’ lives easier than ever, but the key to future development is fine-tuning what has already been done while also innovating further ways to streamline and make things more efficient.

While mobile marketing has already come quite far in just the past few years, the fact remains that there is much more that can still be done. With almost every electronic device available being built to connect to the Internet, smartphones and other gadgets alike will bring marketers and users together to create experiences, influence purchases and make life a little easier.

Mobile Future Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Mobile Marketing Will Generate $400 Billion in Sales by 2015

If you sell directly to U.S. customers or provide marketing services to clients who do, pay attention. A recent report says a growing mobile market is already generating billions in U.S. sales. And businesses are also spending billions to market to customers via mobile channels.

The Mobile Marketing Association, a global trade association for the mobile marketing industry, says those numbers are only going to increase.

Consider that last year mobile marketing generated an estimated $139 billion in U.S. sales. This figure takes into account both business to business and business to consumer sales.

The association claims the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” released last month, is the first comprehensive study of U.S. economic performance across the mobile marketing industry.

Huge Growth Projected

Most impressive is that this amount is expected to grow by more than half during the next two years. The report says sales generated through mobile marketing will top $400 billion by 2015, an amazing 52 percent rise.

But it’s not just sales that are increasing. The MMA study suggests the amount U.S. companies are willing to spend on mobile marketing is increasing too.

For example, in 2012 the study estimates retailers and marketers spent $6.7 billion to reach customers via mobile channels. That’s considerably less than the amount generated by mobile sales, but still represents a huge opportunity for businesses providing mobile marketing services.

The study projected that amount would also increase, reaching $19.8 billion by 2015.

Mobile advertising, mobile direct response or enhanced traditional media and mobile customer relationship management were all considered in that expenditure.

What it Means to You

While the MMA study was aimed at demonstrating the economic stimulus and job creation potential of mobile marketing, there is a clear message here for small businesses and entrepreneurs as well.

USA Today reported recently on how small businesses are already putting mobile marketing to work to generate additional sales.

We’ve reported previously on the importance of mobile technology to small business operations.

But the MMA study demonstrates the importance of mobile technology for growing your business too.

For many small businesses, this could include focusing on making sure you have a mobile friendly presence. It could also include focusing more attention on social media marketing, much of which is accessed via mobile devices by your customers.

You could also focus on developing mobile apps for your business. And, of course, if you provide marketing services to other business clients, it also means you should consider including mobile marketing services among your other offerings.

How is your business using mobile marketing to reach customers?

Mobile Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

LG Electronics India’s marketing head, Amit Gujral, sets a clear vision for 2017

LG Electronics India is going to celebrate this Republic Day with the launch of its #KarSalaam initiative, which is dedicated to the brave soldiers of the country. Through this initiative, LG aims to salute the soldiers’ spirit of selfless contribution and service towards the country. The brand plans to reach out to the citizens through radio, on-ground and digital communication to capture the wishes of the citizens of India for our soldiers. Taking this campaign forward, LG will be contributing a certain amount to every LG product purchased till 26th January towards the ‘India National Defence Fund’, which is dedicated to the welfare of soldiers.

Brand Equity caught up with Amit Gujral, head – corporate marketing, LG Electronics India, who recently joined the company, to have a chat about the idea behind #KarSalaam,
and LG’s plan for the year ahead. Take a look…

“#KarSalaam is not a marketing campaign”

This is Gujral’s first big initiative for the company, and there has been a lot of thought and vision attached to it. He says, “This campaign has been launched to capture the patriotic fervour of the season to establish itself as a brand that cares for Indians and their sentiments. We also took this initiative to bring together the citizens of India to express their gratitude to our soldiers. The selfless devotion our armed forces calls for adulation and what could be a better occasion than this Republic Day.”
The company also plans to invite people through social media platforms and encourage them to #KarSalaam (express their gratitude). All Indians are invited to post their wishes for soldiers on its dedicated website. LG also seeks participation from the families of the soldiers to send their heartwarming messages to their near and dear ones who brave all odds to protect the country.

While talking Gujral about the spends behind the #KarSalaam initiative, he said, “Honestly, it cannot be seen as a marketing campaign. #KarSalaam is a very noble, social and patriotic cause, which cannot be attributed as just a promotion campaign. We invite all citizens to pour their heart out and leave no barriers to reach out to soldiers.”

Amit Gujral
Amit Gujral

‘Life’s Good’ for LG and Gujral?

Consumer Electronics industry in India stands as a conducive market and 2016 has equally clocked growth for LG, informs Gujral. “We have seen a number of new entrants in the industry due to the growth opportunities the Indian market holds. The brand is driven by the philosophy “Life’s Good” and throughout the years we have ensured that we live up to it,” he adds.

For 2017, LG has already created a buzz with the announcement of a host of new products including signature TVs during CES. LG will soon bring those products to the Indian market this year.

When asked about the targets for 2017, Gujral optimistically mentions, “As a marketer, certainly revenue targets are essential to anything and everything we shall plan and do. Not just enhancing brand track indices but increasing revenue generation up by two digits percentage is set as a target for 2017.”

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Toronto Web Design Agency Launches “Refugee to Entrepreneur” Program to Offer Free Web Development and Marketing Services to Refugees

The program will help refugees who meet the minimum requirements stated on the company’s website, such as a good command of the English language (or French for those based in Quebec), proof of company registration (preferred but not necessary), education or proof of expertise in their field, proof of refugee status, a minimum of 2 references and certifications or accreditations if those apply. “We have limited resources so obviously we cannot help everyone, especially those that cannot speak the language or those without proper paperwork and education, but for those refugees that meet our criteria, this could be a great opportunity.”

“When refugees get to work, they win, and their community wins. Many refugees are highly educated and skilled people. Also some of them were already running successful businesses in their home country before war and political turmoil pushed them to leave everything behind and flee their homeland. It only makes sense to help them recreate their businesses here whenever possible,” said Ms. MacGillivray.

For refugees that meet the criteria, Little Dragon will offer a free package which includes:

  • Free website design (up to 5 static pages).
  • Free logo design.
  • Free web hosting for 1 year.
  • Free domain name for 1 year.
  • Free training on how to update site and use back-end features
  • Free Google My Business Account Setup & Optimization
  • Free Social Media Channels Setup (Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn).
  • Free Citation Profiles Creation & Optimization on 5 Local Directories (e.g. Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc…)

Amine Rahal, founder and CEO of the company, adds, “Giving back to the community is one of the core principles of our agency, and right now there is a huge need to help thousands of refugees settle and make a new life for themselves in this country. These people represent a tremendous workforce for our country if we give them the chance. Also, at the end of the day, we’re all newcomers. Whether you’re a 5th generation Scottish, 3rd generation Italian or 1st generation Syrian, it’s pretty much the same thing. This is the new world and opportunities are available for everyone. The inspiration behind our company’s name, Little Dragon, comes from Bruce Lee, who in China was called Xiao Long (Mandarin for “Little Dragon”). During a famous interview he did in the seventies, Bruce Lee was asked:  do you consider yourself Chinese or American, to which he answered: I consider myself a human being. Under the skies, under the heavens, we are but one family. It just so happens that we look different.”

For more details on the Little Dragon Media’s “Refugee to Entrepreneur” program, email [email protected], or contact Penny MacGillivray, 647-348-4995, [email protected]

[“source-smallbiztrends”]