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Lead Gen and Mobile

Lead generation on mobile is still somewhat a mythical form of advertising. Some are buying lots of cheap inventory and driving lots of leads. I consider this the brute force method. People don’t like filling out lengthy forms on their phones but they will if they have to.

The other issue is that form filling on a mobile phone just doesn’t make sense. Why ask someone to fill out a tiny form when they are ready to talk right now and have a phone in their hands? Mobile advertising should really be focused on click to call campaigns to generate inbound leads.

There will always be varying opinions of what is right and wrong within mobile marketing but our perceptions can be refined by knowing exactly what the does on their phone during the course of a day.

In a recent IAB report, which can be found here, it highlights what users actually do online during the course of the day. The report is fascinating and shows many of the hurdles that mobile advertisers have to overcome. It also shows why slow or lengthy forms are not the way to go into the future of lead gen.

Here are the highlights:

1) Mobile use is highly time sensitive

Mobile usage spikes during commuting times and decreases during work hours. This is the opposite of many display buys that lead generators have done in the past. We used to buy during work hours, this gives us another medium to explore after the person has left work.

2) Mobile is often seen as a tool for price comparison, especially in store.

People on mobile search are much further down the decision path and ready to commit especially with physical goods. Finding a better price can take the consumer out of the store to complete the purchase with an online retailer.

3) Mobile is often used during another activity like watching TV.

61% of mobile commerce happens in the living room/TV room. 49% of people are watching TV at the same time they are using their mobile phone. Speed is a huge issue with mobile offers. If you can’t complete your lead gen process within 30 seconds, you risk a TV commercial or some other media actually taking the user’s attention away. Focusing on getting the person deep into the conversion flow or on the phone can help break them away from the other media.

Another issue with mobile commerce is the issue of “push notifications” which can pop up frequently during a flow and interup the conversion process. Once again speed becomes the biggest advantage.

4) Boredom is a major reason why people are on their phones

People are waiting at stop lights, in line, for something to download, for a commercial, etc. When people are waiting or bored of the primary task they often use their mobile phone to fill the gap in productivity.  From an advertiser perspective it is necessary to understand that people fill boredom with impulse buys. Focusing on low cost, compelling offers, and easy purchase flows can create more success in the mobile marketing arena. Large purchases can be more enticing if there is a special limited time offer or if there is an obvious incentive to engage right now.

5) Mobile is local

The term “SoLoMo” has become a buzz word since it reflects how many people use their phone throughout the day. It is seen as a tool to help them explore their local community, find restaurants, find a tow truck, find movie times, etc. Small local tasks seem to be a major use model for mobile. The social aspect does not seem to be a major factor in motivating a user yet, but this is partially because the number of social local mobile services is fairly small at the moment. I expect that to change in the coming 6-12 months.

6) Re-targeting may be the key to mobile.

Now here is the golden nugget. If users go to an offer on their notebook or desktop, massive value can be derived if the user is “followed” to their mobile device. For instance the user visits a car insurance website on their computer, and doesn’t fill out anything. They get a retargetting pixel which follows them on to their phones through browser synchronization.  When the user is browsing or searching on their mobile phone they will see ads from that same car insurance company, perhaps with a personalized message of sorts.  This model may even work in the TV realm, imagine watching a Geico commercial, your phone is “aware” or “listening” and then starts showing you more Geico ads.

That will be the holy grail of mobile advertising.

Lots of interesting things to come out of mobile advertising in the near future. Understanding more of what people do on their phones will be key to creating successful marketing campaigns in this market.




HTML 5 and the effects on Apps

For the past 3 years our tech economy has been smitten with the concept of monetized apps being distributed via the Apple AppStore and the Android MarketPlace.

Some people have monetized the apps on the front end with a purchase to download and some have monetized in the app via banner ads.

However for the user, our smart phones have become cluttered messes with apps being closed off experiences. Arguably many apps should not be apps at all.  In many cases the app version of the data does not offer any additional functionality or any functionality that is optimized for the device screen or input interface.

There are some apps like games which are unique experiences and really leverage a closed off experience.

With the rise of HTML 5, there is potential that the idea of an App may soon disappear. HTML5 has the ability to detect device type, OS, screen size etc and deliver a new experience based on that information.

In other words you get all the functionality of a app on a regular website through HTML 5. This may also allow for greater revenue generation by the publisher and potentially lower cost to get the site/app to market.

In a recent report by VisionMobile they stated that the average app costs between $10-50k to develop. However, there are major benefits being associated with an App market place like the App Store – such as marketing time is reduced and overall cash flow is faster.

The great thing about HTML 5 is that it is a universal standard that all phones can use. For developers this means they don’t have to build two versions of the application for iOS and Android. This means less maintenance, faster time to market and a more uniform experience for consumers.

I personally hope that HTML 5 evolves fast and allows for developers to stop building applications within silos. It will be exciting to see the next generation of technology come out, the age old battle of Mac vs. PC or iOS vs. Android will cease to exist since we will all be working on the same standard.