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Banners, Beacons, and Bites: Why 2015 Will Be the Year of Mobile

In 2014, mobile moved quickly – Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and the phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus joining the ranks of fellow phablet sellers like Microsoft, Android and Samsung therefore s...

In 2014, mobile moved quickly – Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and the phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus joining the ranks of fellow phablet sellers like Microsoft, Android and Samsung therefore solidifying the “bigger the screen, the better” trend. According to Flurry Analytics, apps commanded about 86 percent of U.S. consumers’ mobile time with the average U.S. consumer spending 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on mobile devices. For the first time ever, mobile devices accounted for 55 percent of Internet usage in the US, with mobile apps making up 47 percent of that total, surpassing PCs; and last month’s Cyber Monday recorded $40 billion in e-commerce revenue, up 15.4 percent from 2013.

As the year quickly comes to an end, we’re expecting mobile in 2015 to not only keep up with 2014, but actually outpace it. For many years now, marketers and publishers have been proclaiming each year as “This is the year of mobile.” But until now, these proclamations haven’t come to fruition. Expect that to finally change: 2015 will be the year of mobile, really and brands need to be ready to embrace their mobile moments.

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The Apple iPhone 6 Plus, the latest and most popular phablet-sized smartphone to join the pack, has a 5.5-inch LED-backlit widescreen and multi-touch display. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a 5.7-inch HD display. Microsoft’s Nokia Lumia 1520 has a 6-inch IPS LCD display. So what do these upgraded features mean for marketers?

Clearly: Bigger screens = more mobile real estate. And this means new opportunities to provide branded content.

According to mobile analytics firm, Localytics, bigger mobile screens are “doing something tablet-like” with owners spending 13 percent longer in apps and opening apps 11 percent more frequently on these larger devices. Additionally, users of phablet-sized phones return to a mobile app 38 percent more often and stay in-app 10 percent longer than owners of smaller mobile screens. Brands should capitalize on this by looking beyond conventional banners and standard ad units to embrace digital through online video, entertaining short and long-form content, blog feeds, and social platform engagement. These larger screens provide the optimal vehicle to create unique in-app mobile content marketing experiences – experiences that will entertain, inform, delight and retain consumers. After all, today’s consumer only wants to interact with engaging content, and it’s the job of the brand to provide just that.

iBeacons and Geo-Targeting that Enable Relevant Content Will Influence Purchasing

Brands will continue testing iBeacons and geo-targeting to provide new opportunities to target consumers and provide relevant content. According to Adobe's U.S. Mobile Benchmark Report, 18 percent of mobile marketers already use Apple iBeacons, and 49 percent of marketers already use device positioning to deliver content, with 37 percent planning to add it over the next 12 months. In 2014, brands that employed geo-targeting methods, combined with mobile content marketing, were ahead of the curve.

As it relates to mobile commerce, branded apps that utilize the power of mobile content marketing and data to personalize content and connect with their customers in more meaningful and engaging ways will triumph. Branded apps are well suited to utilizing mobile content hubs because they merge utility and content. Via mobile Content Hubs, brands can power targeted content that will keep users coming back and most importantly, continue buying.

Mobile Consumption in 2015: Bytes now Bites

The mobile platform has significantly impacted the way we ingest and interact with content. Our consumption of content has dramatically changed the human landscape and altered not only how we communicate with each other, but also the methods in which we do so. Content consumption has become snackable, with bytes delivered in bites to be easily and quickly indulged, saved and/or socially shared. Reading a text, skimming your Twitter feed, listening to a TED talk on NPR, watching a six second mashup on Vine – all of this is evidence of the emerging “bite-sized” content culture on mobile.

In 2015, we anticipate emerging technology companies to embrace this unprecedented business opportunity by providing vehicles like mobile Content Hubs within mobile apps, which give consumers on demand access to the most relevant, interesting and custom tailored content.

2015: The Year of the Mobile Moment

Mobile is moving at warp speed and shows no signs of slowing down. Screens are getting bigger, standard banner ads are getting boring, content is crowned king, and sharing behavior is progressing towards a more personalized experience. So what does this rapid shift of consumption and behavior mean for mobile content marketers? According to the Content Marketing Institute, 74 percent of content marketers aim to create a better mobile strategy in 2015. With numbers that staggering, it’s imperative that you avoid being in the 26 percent. All eyes continue to be on mobile and next year will not see this pace slow down – 2015 will be the year of mobile. Really.

Catch the full scoop here on WIRED.

Why Mobile First Means Content First In 2015

Consumer consumption of content has undergone a revolution because of mobile. As a result, brands must develop and maintain personalized relationships with their target audiences. The mo...

Consumer consumption of content has undergone a revolution because of mobile. As a result, brands must develop and maintain personalized relationships with their target audiences.

The mobile platform bridges the physical and digital worlds by providing access to desired content during every hour of every day and every night. According to Nielson research, U.S. adults spend nearly two full days per month using apps or Web browsers on their phones.

That’s roughly 2,880 minutes a month, 720 minutes a week, and 103 minutes a day. One thing is certain: Mobile usage has tipped, and mobile is the future. In order to survive and stay ahead of competition in 2015, brands and marketers must realize that the way we make, share, communicate, purchase, and sell has completely changed.

As we quickly move into 2015, we’ll continue to see mobile taking the front seat of every marketing/advertising initiative. If you’re not thinking mobile, you’re severely missing the boat. Here’s why:

The Web is swiftly being replaced by mobile apps: So quickly that 86% of all time spent on iOS/Android devices is in apps, leaving a mere 14% of users’ time spent in mobile Web browsers, according to Flurry Analytics. It’s imperative brands shift their marketing strategies away from mobile Web and toward new platforms, like mobile content hubs, which maintain the convenient interface, but increase accessibility, usability, and consumer engagement.

This will be the year that brands truly embrace the mobile first mind-set: Accompanying this trend, mobile content marketing spending will continue to increase as brands experience the value of engaging the opted-in consumer with relevant content marketing.

In fact, mobile ad spending in the US will hit $19 billion this year and $58 billion by 2018, according to eMarketer. Global mobile spend is projected to jump 85% to $32.71 billion this year. Additionally, as noted by Adweek, mobile sales figures at both Facebook and Twitter are soaring, with each enjoying double-digit gains per quarter.

Meanwhile, the process and ability to effectively advertise on mobile devices may have gotten even easier with Facebook’s launch of Atlas, which allows marketers to track campaigns across platforms (smartphones, tablets, and desktops). Even Nielson is taking a large piece of the mobile pie by developing tools for TV networks that will align mobile views with TV ratings. It’s only a matter of time before tech giants like Google enter the equation.

Mobile beacons will leave cookies in the dust, so brands must develop a local mobile strategy: According to a recent Forrester survey of digital executives with responsibility for mobile within their companies, 4% are using beacons already, but an astounding 30% plan to use beacons in 2015. Corporations from retailers and hotels to restaurants and banks will place beacons in their physical locations so that they know who is in their store, airport, branch, and restaurant so they can personalize the experience. According to the data, 23 percent of online consumers expect their mobile experience to change based on location.

With the introduction of any technology, it’s always best that brands are transparent in order to gain consumer trust and provide insight on the value of the technology in an effort to avoid creeping out consumers like brands originally did when they introduced cookies online.

Personally, I am ready to embrace this innovation when presented with the appropriate content and personalization strategy. If I were already in a store looking to buy some jeans, why wouldn’t I want a 25% off coupon? It’s not only a great incentive to purchase from the retail perspective, but it also establishes brand loyalty, as I’ll be more inclined to return to the same store based on my positive experience. Beacons are really a win-win.

Looking Ahead While it’s uncertain exactly what 2015 will bring in terms of technological advancements, one thing is sure: Brands, publishers, marketers, and advertisers are all betting big on mobile and all innovations associated with mobile devices. From phone calls creating content hubs to text messages, social media, apps, games, etc., the mobile device is one of the single most important and powerful computing devices--and 2015 will continue to showcase the power of mobile.

Read this predictions peice by Marla Schimke, Zumobi's VP of Marketing here on Content Marketing Insider.

SEASON'S GREETINGS From All Your Friends at ZUMOBI

As we warmly welcome the new year we wish to share some of our favorite Merry Mobile Moments. From looking for reindeer over Mt. Baker, to a Camano Island Oyster Haul, a Crafty Carousel,...

As we warmly welcome the new year we wish to share some of our favorite Merry Mobile Moments. From looking for reindeer over Mt. Baker, to a Camano Island Oyster Haul, a Crafty Carousel, Santa, Jubilees, Pups and Tannenbaum 2014. Click here to view our festive collection of videos.

Five Ways To Fast-Track Your Mobile Content Marketing Strategy in 2015

In October 2013, Forbes published “The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014.” The most compelling part of this piece was prediction #3: Mobile content marketing strategi...

In October 2013, Forbes published “The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014.” The most compelling part of this piece was prediction #3: Mobile content marketing strategies will separate winners from the rest of the pack.In 2014, we have made a lot of progress on mobile, but 2015 is truly the time to embrace the mobile screen first. Marketers from companies of all sizes are working hard to create quality content at staggering rates. So the question remains: Why is none of this content in their apps? Here are five ways to fast-track your mobile content marketing strategy in 2015:

If you don’t have a mobile content marketing strategy, it’s time to develop one. According to comScore, 50% of all time spent online is now spent on a mobile device. Thanks to 11 Mark, we know that 75% of Americans have admitted to bringing their phones with them to the bathroom. Too much information? Maybe. The point: Brands can connect with consumers anywhere, so they should strive to capitalize on this new wave of perpetual, uninterrupted access.

Keep it creative. Keep it constant. And automate your mobile content marketing efforts. Consumer are bombarded with irrelevant marketing messages on a daily basis. In order for brands to stand out from the masses, they must either create quality content or align themselves with content that is highly relevant and meaningful to the consumer, perhaps through a mobile content platform.

Make 2015 a banner year by going beyond banner ads. As most of us know, Apple recently unveiled the iPhone 6 Plus -- a sleek, sophisticated phablet-sized smartphone. With Apple joining the ranks of fellow phablet sellers like Google, Android and Samsung, this “bigger the screen, the better” trend is here to stay.

According to mobile analytics firm Localytics, bigger mobile screens are “doing something tablet-like,” with owners spending 13% longer in apps and opening apps 11% more frequently on these larger devices. Marketers should take advantage of this new real estate by looking beyond conventional banners and standard ad units, using the entire mobile screen to provide lush content via optimized interfaces.

YouTube is for you, too. Mobile video must become a core part of your mobile content marketing strategy. According to a BI Intelligence report, about 50 million people in the U.S. now watch video on their mobile phones. Two years ago, 6% of YouTube’s traffic came from mobile; last year, that number jumped to 25%; this year, 40% of YouTube viewers are using a mobile device. In 2015, that number will continue to grow at an astounding rate.

Outlets like YouTube, Vine and Tumblr can be used as mobile marketing outlets with brands leveraging existing content to engage and re-engage their consumers. In this manner, brands can continually inject new dynamic content into their branded mobile apps without spending the time and effort to create original content.

Tell a story and tell it well. Trademark sayings like M&M’s “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand” or Nike’s “Just Do It” kept brands afloat and relevant for decades. Today, brands no longer have to think of that one catchy idea; they have to think of a thousand real-time catchy ideas.

When you develop a mobile content marketing strategy, keep in mind that it is ALL about the consumer, who needs to be entertained, moved, and understood. Rudyard Kipling wrote, “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Brands must find their unique story and tell it to their consumers effectively enough that it’s memorable.

Read the full article here on Content Marketing Insider.

Mobile Will Revive and Redefine Content Marketing

Brand publishing isn't in decline. It's in a golden age. Some think that the brand-as-publisher trend has reached its peak, when in reality it's just getting started. A mere five years a...

Brand publishing isn't in decline. It's in a golden age.

Some think that the brand-as-publisher trend has reached its peak, when in reality it's just getting started. A mere five years ago, Red Bull was an energy drink, not a global media company. Chipotle was hard at work wrapping burritos, not shooting award-winning video shorts. Social media was in its infancy, and branded content consisted of things like trade brochures gathering dust on a shelf.

Today, content marketing encompasses a huge array of media platforms, social tools and influencers. As part of this sea change, brands have increasingly become the creators of the new, bite-size content for the mobile-first generation.

Since the dawn of the digital age, brands have recognized that success depends on their ability to build rich relationships with consumers hungry for engaging content and personalized experience. Nearly three decades later, mobile and in turn, mobile marketing, has the capacity to do just that: engage the consumer personally in real time with targeted, relevant context. Still, running digitized content on mobile without thoughtfully taking into consideration the complexity of the mobile platform will not instantly catalyze consumer engagement.

Successful content marketing models must integrate and elevate the experience of the consumer while on a mobile device. Brands must present something valuable to get something valuable in return.

In 2014, U.S. adults spent 23 percent more time on mobile during an average day than in 2013, according to eMarketer. This surge in adoption leads to mobile cannibalizing time spent with just about every other device and screen, and the shift toward ubiquity has reinvigorated the value of mobile advertising for brands. But to date, the majority of marketing has, to paraphrase Apple founder Steve Jobs, pretty much sucked.

Indeed, the real challenge for mobile marketers is not only to provide something compelling to view, but also to engage and re-engage with established audiences—79 percent of whom have their smartphones with them a whopping 22 hours per day—and transforming these mobile consumers into dedicated brand loyalists via evocative brand content delivered to their closely held, and heavily relied upon, phone.

Take Ford Motor Company, for example. Ford's agency, Team Detroit, partnered with extreme sports stuntman and YouTube sensation Devin "Supertramp" Graham to co-create a series of compelling videos permitting Graham to do what he does best—capture adrenaline-fueled acts on camera like insane BASE (bridge, antenna, span, Earth) jumping off of structures and out of hot air balloons.

In teaming up with Graham to provide strategic, noninvasive product placements, Ford was able to create the #onetankadventure video series that tapped into Graham’s existing audience of nearly 2 million YouTube channel subscribers, making them a potential new audience—and customer base—for Ford. By publishing strategic content marketing on YouTube, Ford was able to offer its epic programming alongside other extreme sports and stunt-centric videos to provide a thrilling new viewing experience to a targeted audience on mobile.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, brands are 36 percent more confident about the ROI on content marketing in 2013 than they were in 2012. That’s because brands as publishers are breaking the traditional mold to appeal to new audiences via mobile they never thought reachable and have become active participants in the daily lives of consumers and no longer interruptive voices.

Red Bull gave its brand wings in the wildly successful feature film, The Art of Flight. In cities throughout the U.S., Chipotle took its brand to the stage, sponsoring the Cultivate Festival, mixing rock bands like the Neon Trees with guacamole and chips. Ford decided to take its brand BASE jumping.

All three are great examples of mobile-centric brand publishing. What will your brand's epic mobile publishing moment be? Catch the full story here on Adweek.

Shake Up Your Mobile Strategy for 2015

With Americans now spending more time on mobile devices than on desktops or laptops, brands need a marketing strategy that embraces mobile. And yet, many brands are struggling to find a c...

With Americans now spending more time on mobile devices than on desktops or laptops, brands need a marketing strategy that embraces mobile. And yet, many brands are struggling to find a coherent mobile strategy. One mobile media company says that brands that don't "get mobile" must overhaul their marketing strategy in 2015 or risk becoming as obsolete as a flip phone. Companies can no longer create a responsive website and claim that they have a mobile strategy.

Smartphones and tablets are very personal devices. People carry them everywhere, unlike desktops or even laptops, so marketing needs to be tailored to how people use their devices. "Indiscriminant push notifications, irrelevant brand messages, and clumsy and complicated mobile interfaces do not impress consumers," says Marla Schimke, VP of marketing at Zumobi, a provider of integrated app content and advertising experiences on smartphones and connected devices. "Understand mobile content marketing is all about the consumer."

"Brands are beginning to understand that mobile content marketing strategy is not a sprint, but a marathon," Schimke says. And yet, the marathon is comprised of countless sprints, as brands can no longer rely on a catchy saying ("A diamond is forever.") or jingle ("Have a Coke and a Smile.") to be the tent pole of their marketing strategy, according to Schimke.

"The advent of mobile as a media platform has thrown a proverbial wrench into branding and marketing teams' creative processes, as they no longer have to think of that one catchy idea-they have to think of 1,000 catchy ideas," says Schimke. "Additionally, they have to think about where and how they will appear and ways to keep their consumers connected to their brand."

However, a complete overhaul of a company's marketing strategy may not be necessary if its business model and marketing initiatives are aligned, says Michael Blumenfeld, managing consultant for financial services at Maxymiser, a provider of cloud-based testing, personalization, and cross-channel optimization solutions. "The business model and goals dictate the outcome of the strategy," Blumenfeld says. A major marketing redo would only be necessary if a company doesn't have a mobile strategy yet or if its "current mobile strategy supports X and you're looking to support Y," Blumenfeld says.

According to a recent IBM survey, most enterprises understand that getting mobile right is a key part of their marketing strategy. "84% of CIOs rate mobile solutions as a critical investment to get closer to customers, while 94% of CMOs ranked mobile apps as crucial to their digital marketing plans," says Michael Gilfix, director of enterprise mobile product management at IBM.

"Based on the innovations in the mobile space over the past 10 months, I am going to say that days of mobile being an ‘afterthought' within a corporate strategy are coming to an end," Gilfix says. "Major corporations are rolling out new apps to enhance their customers' online experience."

Gilfix points out that apps such as QuickPay and Popmoney are making it easy to pay restaurant bills, for example, and Dominos' allows voice ordering. "More companies should be challenging themselves to emulate and improve upon innovations like these, turning mobile strategy into a competitive advantage for their business," he says.

Despite the progress, experts say that there's much work to be done if companies are to capitalize on mobile's promise. Take apps, for example. IBM says that 80% of apps (see graphic) are used only one time and then deleted. Gilfix says that Gartner, Inc.'s research shows that only 1 in 10,000 mobile apps "will be considered financial successes by their developers through 2018."

Creating a more engaging and personalized app experience could "represent significant opportunities in terms of loyalty and revenue," Gilfix says. "For example, 75% of mobile shoppers take action after receiving a location-based message. By designing for mobile from the ground up, organizations can provide targeted, cloud-based push notification technologies to maximize mobile customer engagement and drive a consistent brand experience through multiple channels."

Blumenfeld agrees that the mobile experience is not where it needs to be. "Many people continue to feel that responsive design websites are the end all, be all," he says. "That statement is only true when a corporation has an understanding of what their client is doing across devices."

He sees several challenges that prevent widespread adoption of mobile strategies, including:

• "Very few organizations have the foundation in place to capitalize on the power of mobile as part of a holistic business strategy, instead treating mobile as a siloed communications channel."

• Companies are finding that mobile security is a serious concern and can slow down and even prevent adoption of a mobile strategy.

• "Apps and devices must be integrated with core business processes, workflow, and back-end data and analytics in order to bring the power of mobile to the individual." Apps must be built "from the ground up" to solve complex problems for customers, he says.

2015 will be a challenging year as brands continue to react to consumers' rapid embrace of mobile. The experts interviewed for this article were full of predictions for mobile in 2015. Here are a few:

• Mobile will be embraced. "2015 will be the year that brands truly embrace the ‘mobile first' mindset," says Schimke. "Accompanying this trend, mobile content marketing spend will continue to increase as brands experience the value of engaging the opted-in consumer with relevant content marketing."

• There will be more sophisticated apps. "Developers will create more sophisticated apps that rely on analytics and cognitive computing capabilities to better engage users," says Gilfix. "Developers will be able to better access and store data generated by the apps and make better sense of that data to improve the user experience. Increased use of cognitive technologies like [IBM's] Watson will lead to the development of apps that ‘learn as they go' and use data to help shape entirely new markets."

• Mobile payments will catch on. "Mobile payments opportunities in developed markets will continue to rise, with merchants increasing use of technologies including geolocation and analytics to create greater value propositions for consumers-before and after the transaction-in order to increase consumer interaction and influence changes in purchase behavior and loyalty," Gilfix says.

• There will be beautiful storytelling. "As brands embrace marketing on a mobile device, great content creation and beautiful storytelling will become an integral part of brands' mobile marketing strategies," Schimke says.

• Video advertising's growth will continue, according to Schimke

• "Content will become as important as data in the marketing mix," says Schimke.

Read the full article by Robert Springer here on EContent.

3 Creative Digital Ads Sure to Impress

Digital marketers have their work cut out for them when it comes to creating compelling, personalized ads that drive clicks – and conversions – on the various channels consumers frequent....

Digital marketers have their work cut out for them when it comes to creating compelling, personalized ads that drive clicks – and conversions – on the various channels consumers frequent. Marketers are, however, up for the challenge. According to IAB’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report released in Oct. 2014, Internet ad spending climbed to a historic high of $23 billion for the first half of this year, marking an impressive 15 percent rise over 2013’s first-half ad revenues.

To ensure a return on their investment, brands must know which ads are currently catching the attention of today’s modern – and often distracted – online consumer. Here are such ads.

The CONTENT JOURNEY & Sauza Tequila

NBC is not alone when it comes to looking for innovative ways to drive brand engagement and loyalty. Targeting a female audience over the age of 21, Sauza Tequila enlisted the help of mobile media company Zumobi, Starcom MediaVest Group, Microsoft and Beam, Inc., to provide a fun new way for women with a proclivity for popular culture and social media to plan their next social gathering.

The result was the Sauza Party Planner, which takes tech-savvy party enthusiasts on a Sauza Tequila content journey. An in-app auto-expanding banner ad, which saw a 5 percent click-through rate, sets up the experience (see Image C). Once clicked, users are required to enter a birthdate (to pass the “age gate”) and are then taken to a branded, visually appealing quiz (or they can tab straight through to branded drink recipes) that gives them a tailored result set within a group of four categories (décor, food, drinks, music), plus one custom category. The types of questions users are asked in order to personalize their results range from, “What kind of cocktail or drink would you like to serve?” to “If I could describe my group of girlfriends in one word it would be:”.

Marla Schimke, VP of marketing at Zumobi, believes this type of experience – where people engage with a branded module on a content page that sets up the experience (e.g. “Plan Your Girls Night”) - serves as a best practices guide for brands wanting to utilize mobile to increase brand affinity and user engagement. What’s more, the content marketing experience’s 74 percent return rate serves as proof that consumers enjoyed the ad experience enough to re-engage with it. Zumobi’s “Content Hub” feature helped encourage users to return to the content, as it could be saved on their mobile home screen for continued use and social sharing.

Read the full article by Amberly Dressler with all 3 Creative Digital Ads Sure to Impress here on Website Magazine.

How mobile is changing customer relationships

Just ten short years ago, the volume of content either consumed or created on a mobile device was shockingly little. Today, the superphone has become the primary medium via which brands e...

Just ten short years ago, the volume of content either consumed or created on a mobile device was shockingly little. Today, the superphone has become the primary medium via which brands engage with users - including a broad spectrum of console-quality videogames, many channels for high-quality video, and a wide range of social media channels.

Kristina: How has the landscape of the human narrative transformed because of mobile devices?

John Sangiovanni, Co-Founder and Vice President, Product Design, Zumobi: With the exception of an occasional BlackBerry email, MMS'd low-res photo, or simplistic J2ME game - users, brands, and publishers did not view mobile devices as a core content platform. With the rapid and enduring curve of iOS, Android, App Stores, YouTube, social media, phablets, and more, this perspective has changed dramatically. In the future history of human communication, it's hard to think of a more suitable label for this past decade than "The Age of the Superphone."

Kristina: How has the shift to the mobile platform and the perpetually engaged and expectant consumer led to new branded opportunities, targeting, beacons, geo-local opps., etc.?

John: Historically, media was planned and programmed based on very few factors: Audience, time-of-day and perhaps, gross location (as in geo/metro or city). The wars of media programming were fought over the precious primetime slots attracting the largest audience, or tailored content designed to attract a specific demographic of interest to advertisers. Mobile devices now enable us to add a dizzying array of new pivots to this equation... in addition to time and audience, we can add precise location (within mere FEET, in the case of iBeacons), device, installed apps, purchase intent, and even content affinity. These new targeting capabilities have given rise to highly thoughtful media strategies that endeavor to reach a consumer at the precise nanosecond when they're most likely to engage, participate, or purchase.

Read the expert Q&A facilitated by Kristina Knight here on BizReport.