That’s the mantra for latest Next Big Thing out of Googledom.
Google Wallet (simple explanatory video here) aims to replace your traditional leather wallet with a free Android app that allows you to pay for your goods and services, and redeem coupons, by simply tapping your smartphone against any point-of-sale pad that shows the logo.
(Interesting insight shared by our recent mobile marketing guest speaker Simon Salt: you don’t actually have to tap your device against the pay pad. Your device will use Near Field Communication (NFC) – wireless date transmission technology – to communicate with the pad. The tap is useless and entirely to make users feel comfortable that the transaction has actually been initiated!)
During this softish-launch period, Google Wallet is only compatible with the Nexus S 4G device available on Sprint, and only supports two kinds of credit cards: Citi PayPass eligible MasterCards and the Google Prepaid card. But this is all going to change in a flurry.
Ok so that’s the lay of the land. Will the thing take off?
You bet your sweet bippy.
The ubiquity of the smartphone in our lives makes this technology certain of success. The only barrier I can see is the immediate heating up of competitive offerings which will create confusion in the consumer’s mind before the technology has even been fully understood or embraced.
But the hunger for ways to further empower our smartphones is apparently insatiable.
Google claims they have the security all sorted out and that uptake is brisk.
One thing to note before you throw out your old wallet in favour of Google’s: if your smartphone battery runs out, you are hooped and can’t pay for anything until it’s recharged.
So what do you think?
Ok, now here’s George Costanza getting the big picture.
There are so many rapid-fire changes taking place in the mobile landscape that platforms, ideas and best practices can become old in a finger-snap.
During the course of writing this book, Facebook Places arrived on the scene, forcing the author to go back and revise sections that had been locked down as good-to-go by the publisher. Then last month Places was scrapped, only months after the book was finally published!
Despite all the swirling changes, and maybe even because of them, Social Location Marketing is a must read: a pioneering book for anyone who wants a grounding in location-based mobile marketing and sees the wisdom in applying the tools to their business.
Simon brings you along incrementally. He moves from the background of social location sharing and why anyone would want to use it in the first place, to an introduction to the main app players (Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp etc.), to business tactic (like games, competitions and time-sensitive offers) and onto specific case examples.
Having read the book, I feel I could successfully master-mind a mobile campaign and not screw it up. I would not have said that two weeks ago when I picked Social Location Marketing up.
There are innumerable observations scattered throughout the book, which alone would make it worth reading, like:
Incorporating customer information capture should always be a part of the strategic thinking that goes into the design of a social location marketing campaign. While the outward appearance of the campaign may well be to provide a fun experience for your customers and potential customers, don’t forget the business aspects of the campaign and miss the opportunity to carry the engagement beyond just the initial contact.
Social location marketing is coming at us like a speeding train. Simon’s book gets you up to speed so you can grab a rung and jump on without losing your arm.
When we were casting about for a mobile marketing heavyweight to come and speak with Copeland and other Canadian ad agencies in our T-CAAN West alliance, I asked previous guest Jay Baer for a recommendation.
He pointed me in the direction of Simon Salt, CEO of Texas agency IncSlingers and author of the recently published Social Location Marketing.
It immediately became clear that Simon was the ideal candidate to up our skill level. So we booked him to do a seminar and workshop September 22, with a Tweet-up for Victoria’s social media crowd to follow.
In advance of his visit, he was good enough to answer some of our burning questions.
Q. Mobile marketing seems to have really taken off in some markets and not in others. India for example is exploding. Where’s North America at?
It is true to say that the emerging markets, typified by countries like India and China, are experience a huge boom in mobile usage. However, it is worth noting that this is primarily in the feature phone space and not the smart phone space. Therefore the type of mobile marketing/advertising is very different than that of North America. The main reason for this is the popularity of pre-paid services in those countries. In the US, contracted phones form the bulk of the market. The introduction at the end of this year of the pre-paid iPhone is likely to have a dramatic shift on the US market demographic for smart phone owners. It is estimated that by the end of 2011 50% of the US population will be smart phone owners.
Q. Has this penetration reached a point where positive ROIs from mobile advertising are being realized? Any examples?
As mentioned, smart phone penetration is at almost 50% in the US and so mobile advertising and mobile marketing in general is achieving much greater penetration. The use of smart phones has led to a shift in how people are consuming digital information. In countries like the US, social media forms 25% of the data consumption on smart phones. That means sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and photo sharing sites are accounting for a lot of the data. This provides advertisers with definite keys into where ad placement is going to be most effective. Energizer Batteries ran a very successful mobile advertising campaign in conjunction with Toy Story 3. This campaign was app based and targeted mothers. Nearly 14 million impressions were delivered in support of the Energizer Toy Story 3 promotion campaign. Display advertising averaged a .49% click‐thru‐rate. The mobile web destination site visits and mobile application downloads together yielded a large number of impressions.
Q. What area of mobile marketing do you think is currently driving the greatest revenue for ad agencies?
Mobile marketing can effectively be divided into two distinct technology sets – SMS and application. In terms of cross-platform delivery SMS is definitely the more effective as all mobile phones, whether feature phones or smart phones, are capable of receiving and sending SMS messages. However, in-app and in-game advertising can achieve higher levels of engagement because of the nature of the user’s engagement with those platforms. For example, a user playing a game on their smart phone is likely to be spending more time doing that than a user reading text messages – especially if they are ads. However, getting attention and gaining action are two very different things. For an ad to drive a user from one activity – playing a game for example – to doing something else like downloading a new app or clicking on a banner, the messaging has to be both sophisticated and in tune with that user.
Q. What aspect of mobile marketing do you expect to increase in use? In-app advertising? Location-based? In-game advertising?
With the increasing ownership of smart phones I think we will see an increase in application-based advertising. This will also increase the demands on advertisers to become smarter about both their messaging and the payoff for having distracted the user from their initial activity.
Q. There must be resistance from consumers who don’t want to see advertising on their phones. How are smart marketers dealing with this?
The main way smart marketers are dealing with this is ensuring very good targeting. Un-targeted messages have always been a problem for advertisers. The data that is available from smart phones ensures that marketers should be delivering valuable, timely and appropriate messaging. One platform – Tooyoou – actually pays users to view ads – it is early stages to see if this approach will be successful but it certainly seems to have potential.
Q. What’s something about mobile marketing that I wouldn’t know?
86% of mobile Internet users are using their mobile devices while watching TV.
Copeland will be hosting the Victoria Tweet-up for Simon at the Parkside Victoria on September 22, from 6-8 pm.
Sometimes the most obvious are the most overlooked. I wondered how the simple truths we all take for granted about mobile devices would affect the way we market to users. So here goes:
Mobile devices are portable. So that means a mobile consumer is closer to the point of purchase than a Mac/PC user. Smart marketers are therefore designing their mobile sites to keep the content focused around a user’s location. For example, restaurants let consumers opt in for their exclusive mobile deal clubs and help them easily access information about restaurant locations and nutritional facts about their food. I’ll have that To Go thanks.
“The restaurant industry is in the midst of being shaped by the convergence of the mobile, always connected, consumer.” sums up this Published Facts writer.
They’re always on. And so are their users. Traditional electronic media metrics that measure the most effective hours to advertise are replaced by grossly more flexible scheduling that prompts according to the user’s activity. When they use an app they are targeted; when they check-in for dinner, bingo. Sleep offers little haven as users increasingly wake during the night to check their messages. Can’t get back to sleep? There’s an ad for that.
The mobile customer is different. Yay. We’re different! And so are our expectations. Mobile audiences want brands to be instant, portable and personalized. Advertisers should ensure that marketing programs are designed for this medium and are not just whittled down versions of traditional advertising. What’s true for websites is equally so for ad content. A smaller screen demands different treatment with more focus on the offer and the call to action. Creatives may lament the loss of opportunity with the smaller screen, but c’mon: the smaller box has always inspired big thinking.
There is not just one type of mobile customer. Not everybody with a handheld device is into checking-in on FourSquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places. The strategies you use have to allow for that disparity in activity and go broader. Woo your audience with rich media, applications, in-game advertising or even mobile coupons. And don’t stop there.
Next up on Mobile: A guest post by Mobile Marketing champion Simon Salt.
Does spying a man dressed in a chicken suit, jumping from foot to foot and waving an Uncle Earl’s Chicken House! sign at you from the curb make you think of the savoury aroma of a golden-skinned, grilled chicken crackling on a skewer over an open flame?
You bet it does.
That dancing chicken catches your eye and you start thinking DAYUM, I GOTTA GIT ME SOME OF THAT!
Your attention diverted, you drive your car into the cement truck that has come to stop at the red light you were about to drive through. But – and how wonderful is this – your last thought will be of the juices of a perfectly basted and broiled chicken running down your chin.
All because of the man in the chicken suit.
On the other hand.
If you refuse to look at the dancing chicken and instead pull your car over to the side of the road, whip out your mobile phone and consult Yelp for the best reviewed grilled chicken restaurant within a 500m radius, you will avoid driving into that cement truck, your life will be spared and you will doubtless have a superior chicken dinner experience because of it.