In 2011, it’s predicted that half of all US cell phone sales will be smart phones. In the global market, that will happen by 2013. While Nokia is still the most dominant brand, iPhone obviously has been growing. I learned this and more during a Webinar sponsored by Aquent and the American Marketing Association.
Unfortunately, statistics also show that only 20% of free mobile apps were still in use after a week, and only 5 % were still in use a month later. So the question is – how do you build an app that truly engages your audience in an ongoing manner? Mobile success is not automatic – there needs to be serious effort put in to building your mobile presence.
Importantly, whatever you do or have built – look at key performance indicators that meet business objectives and analyze “high value tasks” in your mobile work – what do you want your customers doing/ what provides them with the most benefit. And make sure your reporting is automated as much as possible; otherwise much time will be spent compiling data before it can be analyzed.
Beyond these technical considerations, what are overall best practices for marketing via mobile? The Mobile Marketing Association has just released best practices for “cross-carrier mobile content services” to include “text messaging (SMS), multimedia messaging (MMS), shortcode programs, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and mobile Web.”
The Webinar was recorded and is still available online here.
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The public’s romance with Twitter is leaving its salad days, as H.I. McDunnough would say.
Twitter use and popularity likely peaked this summer when the world was giddy with the anticipation that the Iranian election protest might actually succeed in real change, but it has not come to pass – yet.
I read a very disturbing commentary on TechCrunch of how one soldier not only propegated incorrect information about what was happening at Ft. Hood last Thursday. This soldier thought she was doing the right thing by letting the entire world be voyeurs into the gruesome scene. If people know from whence the misinformation was coming, they will learn to mistrust this kind of instantaneous coverage – not necessarily a bad thing.
So does this mean that Twitter is on the wane? Probably not. It has captured the attention of many a mover and shaker, and the APIs help it integrate with other popular tools like Facebook. It is still a good tool for many organizations to communicate with their constituents, especially when events are happening more quickly than other media can handle, or where regular media can’t serve the needs of all potential audiences, such as during a hurricane or other emergency that effects tens of thousands of people across a wide geographic area. But we all still need respected and trusted commentators and investigators to uncover the real story.
Perhaps this post could also be called “in defense of journalism”?
I love this simple graphic, from Grist.org:
I knew about Net Neutrality but didn’t really have a sense of urgency about it until Iwatched this video presentation by Lawrence Lessig. It may seem like a boring subject, but Lessig does an excellent job, like your favorite professor (if you go to Stanford Law School, you can have him as your professor). If you do business on the Internet, you should watch this.
Below is a great example of some SEM gone bad, courtesy of the FailBlog. This week the tech world witnessed another fail (albeit not necessarily complete fail yet) in the premature launch of CUIL.com, a new search engine that purports to search by content, not popularity, and whose goal is to “break the Google.com monopoly.” Unfortunately, a test of CUIL.com, didn’t reveal much to inspire. Statesman.com blogger Omar Gallega (who’s also a friend on Twitter) said his search of “Texas Longhorns” came back with no results. No results! Something must have been broken…. but at least it didn’t return ads for hamburger meat (if you’re an Aggie fan you’ll get the joke)!
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I don’t think very many non-profits have caught on to the potential of search engine marketing. When I worked for Georgetown University, it didn’t really occur to me that this might be a good idea. We focused on the alumni in our existing database, or on alumni thinking “Hmmm, I wonder what the alumni association is doing?” or “When is reunion?” Of course, our Communications Office and the Admissions office for the various schools marketed themselves to the general population, but not us fundraisers so much.
Many non-profits, especially those focused on local issues, spend a lot of time thinking about those issues and responding to their current constituency. That might be perfectly fine in some cases. In the Austin area and similar areas that are experiencing transience and population growth, there are huge numbers of people who are not yet plugged in or educated about the community and its issues. These people are actively searching for information online and have a desire to go beyond their work or school environment. If you are an advocacy organization of any kind, you need to be reaching those newbies, and making sure your organization’s Web site shows up in the the first page of Google searches related to your issue should be a priority. If you need volunteers, ditto.
Of course, I’m not the first to think of this, and Beth’s Blog has some great information and resources in various Google Adwords posts.
I also am thinking to attending the SEMforSMB Conference next week to get myself up to speed on this.
Austin, my hometown, is an incredible place in many ways. Since I moved back recently, many of the people I see regularly are from the tech sector. I spend so much time with them, on Twitter and at Jelly! and elsewhere, that I had started to think everyone in Austin is a computer programmer, search engine marketing guru, web designer, or something like that. Fortunately, this past weekend’s Innovation Camp proved me (somewhat) wrong, with its diverse group of people, from community activists who didn’t know about Basecamp, to Linux experts, to old school PR people.
I attended several sessions, modeled on the BarCamp “unconference” method. The most exciting one (which I hadn’t really planned on attending) was hosted by Michelle Greer and Cole Crawford, about creating a social network/ social commerce site for open source developers and users. I learned a little bit more about the open source developer community and development methodology (or lack thereof). Essentially the site would be set up a bit like a mini-X prize, with many users contributing a small amount towards a bigger “bounty” for open source fixes and features.
The best thing about the idea (despite the fact that yes, maybe, it’s not completely original, as Michelle’s blog suggests) is the potential for the type of site we were discussing as a way of solving many types of problems, not just software ones. I may not have realized this “potential for potential” if it hadn’t been for others in the session bringing up the issue of users who can’t afford to pay anything for a fix or feature, or can’t get enough other people to “invest” in the development… in other words, what about the minority problems? Cole and Michelle and others said that the community could and would likely still do the work, especially if you made a good enough argument for the need. Maybe we just had some great altruistic people in the session, but why not allow people to request things for free and then actually do the work for free? I suppose that you wouldn’t want all of your projects to end up being free, especially if you’re planning to make this a viable business… but if this model could be built as a business and then merely replicated out for more community-benefit projects, that would be great.
Next on the agenda for tech geek/other people interaction is GardenCamp out in Aggie land. I can’t wait! I hope it’s something I can replant, so to speak, in Austin.