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Hi Tech & Alternative Energy: Future Thoughts I Learned from Salim Ismail

I like to think I’m an amateur futurist. I’m optimistic and involved with technology daily. I’m also on a team that creates tech solutions to marketing problems, so when I get a chance to hear someone speak about the future, I sign right up. That was the case this past month when my friends at Rokk3r Labs brought in Salim Ismail, author of Exponential Organizations, to talk about the future at a recent event at Miami Dade College’s Idea Center.

Here are a few things he said we can expect in the future:

(Note: Some of these don’t have sources, but are nuggets mentioned that I found interesting, thought provoking and inspiring.)

  • According to Salim, we won’t need to own cars. All cars will be provided by Uber-like services, so in the future, you won’t own one, you’ll just schedule a pick up.
  • The Google Self-Driving Car is so responsive and aware of its surroundings that it’s almost impossible for it to get in an accident. Here’s the Oatmeal’s take on riding in one.
  • DNA sequencing is getting cheaper. Currently, a full genome (complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genome a single time) is approaching $1000 per read. In ten years, it should cost about one penny. In the future, your toilet will be able to give you your full genetic read out.
  • We are two years away from writing DNA. There’s a team at Harvard University working to bring back extinct woolly mammoths. Jurassic Park anyone?
  • Remember the genetically modified glow in the dark cat? One of the issues with genetic modification is how to teach the next generation the ethical implications of the practice.
  • An artist creates faces from DNA left in public. More…
  • Xprize Foundation is creating a competition for an Artificial Intelligence app physician that you could access from your smartphone. The AI smartphone physician has to beat or meet the diagnosis of 10 board-certified physicians.
  • Solar power is doubling each year. In the near future, solar power will be cheaper than producing energy on the grid.
  • All of the energy created in the world (with oil, coal, gas, etc.) added together would only amount to 5 days of solar energy.
  • Germany is almost 50% solar powered. More…
  • Think of the potential for solar energy exports. Consider that some of the poorest countries in the world are also the sunniest.
  • Technology is eroding our privacy and 4th amendment rights (right to privacy). The constitution, much like software, could use an upgrade.
  • By the time you finish your master’s degree in technology, your knowledge will be out of date.
  • We are in the best and safest time to be alive in the history of mankind.
  • With all of the emoticons (emotion icons) or emojis being used in our writing and texting, linguists say we are better at expressing emotions in our (text) messages. At Momares “We ”
  • The first generation of internet companies stored data (Google). The second generation of internet companies shared data (Facebook). The third generation of internet companies will share, but not store data (Snapchat).
  • It took Starbucks and Nike 24 years to reach $1B. It took YouTube 1 year to reach $1B and it took Grand Theft Auto 5, the video game, only 72 hours to reach $1B in sales.
  • A farmer in Africa with a smartphone has more information in his hands than President Clinton had during his presidency.
  • There is music designed to stimulate you and help you focus and it might be better than caffeine. Try Focus @ Will, music scientifically optimized to boost concentration and focus. (I wrote this article listening to https://youtu.be/Fp78Yu1LYvo)
  • A BitCoin-style transaction authentication system may end the need for banks. The authentication system called blockchain is like a central ledger recording every transaction. Apple Pay?
  • There were 2 billion people online in 2010. By 2020, there will be 5 billion people online. That’s 3 billion more minds online.
  • We don’t know when robots will become self-aware.
  • Water will not be in short supply in the future. Desalination technology is becoming cheaper and faster.
  • It’s not the shortage of food, but the distribution of food that is the challenge.
  • New organizations are scaling as fast as technology.
  • TechShop facilities, a tool shop for rent, allows you to build anything using their tools.
  • The damage done to the environment is irreversible. This is one of the biggest challenges of our generation.

I hope the points above have inspired you to think forward or at the very least entertain you. I’d love to hear what you think, comment here or email me at marcos@momares.com

Summary of What the Mobile Marketing Experts Were Saying At the 2014 Mobile Media Summit in NYC

I traveled to New York to attend the 2014 Mobile Media Summit, billed as a “conference, that brings together the top brands, agencies, and advertisers from around the world to move the mobile industry forward,” to get an idea as to where the mobile marketing industry is going. What has been working and what’s the consensus on top strategies? It’s easy to get lost in day-to-day work and it’s important at times to look at what other professionals in the industry are doing or succeeding with. It’s an opportunity to compare my beliefs and experiences with theirs. It also helps generate new ideas for our clients and it’s nice to visit New York and be reminded of how lucky we are that we live in warm Florida.

Below is an outline of what I found most interesting from the information given by experts on the mobile marketing panels:

Mobile Design

  • Mobile banners are not the future of mobile advertising creative.

Apps

  • Apps have the highest engagement in mobile use time.
  • Apple’s app store 100 (100 top apps) are where consumers are spending their time. Anything outside the 100 top apps gets very little customer engagement.

Budgets

  • Brands are still hesitant about investing in mobile because of lack of measurement (ROI).

Strategy

  • Ad agencies are eliminating their mobile silos team and moving to a cross-screen brand approach led by data.
  • Brands talking to Millennials should focus on mobile-first strategies.
  • Mobile is “lean in” media. TV is a “lean back” media. What you tolerate on TV in terms of ads, you wouldn’t tolerate in ads on your phone.
  • Mobile and mobile data provides advertisers with less risk of messing up targeting and content relevance.
  • The right message, at the right time, is the way forward for mobile. This happens with customer analytics and insights.
  • Mobile will continue to grow because that’s where the eyeballs are.
  • There is someone in every major company who gets mobile. Give them the tools to execute mobile tactics.
  • Mobile should be baked into the whole marketing strategy, not on a mobile campaign by campaign basis.

Case Study

  • The Weather Channel and Pantene, via the Weather Channel’s app, recommended the shampoo of the day based on the weather. It was a super success that showed how data and creative mixed well for engagement.
  • The MTV Video Music Awards were created because Nabisco told MTV that if they wanted to make a show they would give MTV the money to do it.

Inside the Marketer’s Brain

  • Marketers are getting on board with mobile more now than ever before.
  • Clients are moving from “test and learn” to full-scale commitment.

Inside the Consumer’s Brain

  • The “mobile idle zone” is the moment when you are using your mobile to pass time, like waiting in line at the bank. This could be a golden moment for adverting.

Mobile Video

  • Content is more important than the size or the length of the video. If the content is good that creates the engagement.

ROI and Measurement

  • “Close the loop” (aka, show ROI) is one of the biggest reasons marketers have been hesitant to increase mobile marketing budgets.
  • Text message marketing (SMS marketing) has been one of the mobile channels that has been able to close the loop (track ROI) well.

Privacy and Data Collection

  • Can customers take back their data? All companies should have clear Privacy Policies and the user should know how their data is being used.
  • Device ID, instead of cookies, may be the future method to track cross-screen campaigns.
  • Data gathering is useful if it yields context.
  • Can we sell our personal profiles to advertisers in exchange for having them target us?

Mobile Websites

  • Brands lacking mobile optimized websites have problems advertising on mobile because they don’t have a place to send their prospects to when they click on the mobile banner ads (no mobile landing page).

Ad Agency Vendors

  • Ad agencies want mobile solutions for free or at least 50% off.

Ad Agencies Business Model

  • Ad agencies have problems with cash flow because they charge by percentage of ad placement and clients add or remove budgets based on how they are doing in the market. A better model would be to charge by project.

Sweepstakes Incentives

  • Customers respond better to small ticket prizes (Ten, $10 gift cards instead of one $100 gift cards). Customers think they have a better chance of winning if the prize is smaller.
  • For promotional engagement, Leaderboard style (shows who’s winning) of promotions work better than Sweepstakes because the element of competition adds engagement.

Text SMS Marketing

  • Text (SMS) is works well for customer communications and tracking marketing ROI.

U.S. Hispanic and Mobile

  • For U.S. Hispanics, the mobile phone is the one stop shop for social and commerce.
  • Social is big with U.S. Hispanics and they are big bargain hunters.
  • U.S. Hispanics use their mobile device more than any other ethnic group in the U.S. They are hyper users of the mobile phone.
  • U.S. Hispanics are a young audience. They have leapfrogged all other devices like the desktop or tablet.
  • The U.S. Hispanic population is growing in number and in household income.
  • U.S. Hispanics are consuming video and social media heavily.
  • 60% of U.S. Hispanics use mobile as their primary tool to access the web.

Ok folks, there you have it. A motley summary of a full day’s worth of listening to mobile marketing experts talk about mobile.

Do you agree with any of the thoughts above? Or do you disagree with some of the points? If so, I’d love to hear what you think about the state of mobile marketing.

5 Lessons from Ad Tech New York

I traveled to New York on Nov. 7th to attend Ad: Tech. a conference billed as the “largest digital marketing event worldwide.” Since I’m in technology and marketing, I decided to see what I could learn.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The main reason I attended Ad:Tech was to network and build business leads from the advertising agencies attending—our core clients. Ad:Tech was huge, more than 400 business booths and 10,000 attendees. With that volume I was sure I’d meet many NYC ad agencies…so I thought.

I soon realized there were only 12 “creative/ad agencies” and only 3 were actual full-service agencies. Not the large group I expected. Long story short, for business prospecting, I was in the wrong place. I had to formulate a new strategy on the go or assume a time and money loss, tuck my tail in, and fly back to Miami with nothing to show for the effort.

Once I realized this, I decided I was going to focus on talking to as many people as possible to learn what they did and see what I could learn. I would also go to all the keynotes and presentations. Instead of business development, I worked on strategic research.

Five Things I learned at Ad:Tech New York 2013

1. Why doesn’t the ultra premium Cristal Champagne (or other luxury brands) advertise to the hip-hop loving minority market? Hip-hop loves luxury items; they mention them in their lyrics and show them on their videos. One reason why large luxury brands don’t invest a lot of ad capital on marketing to minorities is because they represent a very small portion of the overall market. If brands are going to pay for ads, they may as well aim for the lion’s share of the market. The other reason I learned is that large luxury brands don’t want their products associated with minorities. Their belief is that if you associate your brand with one group, you will disassociate your brand from another group. But what I found more interesting is that none of these luxury brands have a problem accepting minority dollars for their products.

2. Translating a commercial into Spanish so it can “target” Hispanics is not Hispanic marketing. Brands that target minorities should ensure their message has an authentic feel that resonates with the minority target. This is key to engaging the minority customer (or any customer). The point is, don’t just translate your ads to the language the minority target speaks, this feels disingenuous and fabricated. Create ads that truly “speak” to them. Ads that acknowledge the cultural differences and reflect the current realities of their day-to-day lives. This will increase the odds that the target audience will relate to your message and the benefit of the product.

3. “We know who you are, where you shop, what you like and we’ll suggest what you should buy next.” Ad network technologies responsible for placing the ads you see online are far more advanced, intelligent and hyper targeting capable than most marketers realize, understand or invest their budgets on. For now, the advertising technology meal feels like a buffet for one. The benefits will get clearer for marketers as time passes and these new benefits are adopted.

4. According to Kevin Jonas, ex-member of the Jonas Brothers band turned marketer, Millennials only care about three things:

  • a. Looking good. Does your brand or product make me look cool? Does it improve what I think of myself or what others think of me? Think of brands like Oakley, American Apparel or Lrg.
  • b. Feeling good. Does your product or service make me feel good about my purchase? Does it improve my health or appearance? Think of brands like Kashi or Bolthouse Farms.
  • c. Doing good. Does your product support the causes I care about? Is it environmentally friendly? Does it support my local community? Think Toms, Patagonia or Warby Parker.

Mr. Kevin Jonas directed the marketing strategy for the Jonas Brothers band and he said Millennials did not like getting advertising pushed on them. They like to “discover” products and services. If they liked your product, the reward was that they would share it with their friends on their social networks. Powerful reward!

5. Orange pants. I wore a pair of orange slacks to Ad:Tech and thought nothing of it. It turns out that in a networking setting they became a great conversation starter. People just approached me and commented on the orange pants and that got us talking about business. If you can wear something that stands out like handkerchief, a pin, a hat or a parrot on your shoulder, people will approach you to talk about it and they will remember you for it.

Bottom line, what I think was the most important lesson here is that in business, as in life, the best-laid plans can go astray. What you do from that point on can turn an apparent failure into an opportunity.

 

What Do You Do? Answer Why Not What!

So what do you do? That’s pretty much the defacto opening line after meeting someone at a networking function or social gathering, even a kids’ birthday party, like the ones my wife has been forcing me to go to lately.

I go to the parties so my kids never accuse me later of having been an absent parent in an unhappy childhood. I’ll have video evidence so to speak.

Bored parents asking what
Those videos might also be evidence of the usual rituals we go through at these, unfortunately no-beer gatherings, where I get to field the “So what do you do?” line many times. We’re all just trying to gain relief from the boredom that’s interspersed with kid tantrums and bounce-house mishaps.

So now I’m using my parental sacrifices as a way to weave in the main topic of this article, which is how to answer when someone asks you what you do.

Advice from the Executive Safeguarding Your Future
I got good advice from my friend, professor and financial advisor Robert Bull, who’s title is Experienced International Executive Safeguarding Your Future (yes, that’s his real title). He said it’s not what you do that people care about, but why you do it.

The why engages others and helps them take an interest in what you do. In other words, answering what you do with why you do it is the best way to capture someone’s interest.

What’s the why?
“What do you do?” One answer might be, “I own a mattress store.” Ok, that says a lot and at the same time it doesn’t say much. But think about the “why” and you’ll get a much more interesting answer. One like, “I help people wake up feeling like a million bucks.” Now you’re thinking, “What? Tell me more!”

“What do you do?” The guy sitting next to you might say, “I sell insurance.” You might think “Ehh, not interested.” A better answer could be, “I help families protect themselves and their assets. So if something should happen to you, God forbid, I make sure your loved ones are taken care of financially.” You might get “Oh! How?”

“What do you do?” Instead of “I make mobile phone games,” a better and more business-oriented answer is, “I make games that kids can’t stop playing.” You might hear, “Wow, how do you do that and did you design Pong?”

“What do you do?” At one of the birthday parties, a guy wearing steel-toe boots answered, “I’m a contractor.” After inserting the “why,” the answer could have been “I build buildings that save electricity and are more eco-friendly.”

What’s your why?
My point is that what others care about is your value not your actual service. The value you bring to the relationship is what’s in it for your customers. That’s what they care about.

Answering the “why” and “what’s in it for them” applies to any situation, whether you’re meeting another bored parent at a mindless kid party or a prospective customer at an event. The “why” will guide the way.

For help with the “why,” I’ve found the Wow Pitch iPhone app from my friend and communications coach Anne Freedman to be a tremendous tool. It helped me find the “why” when presenting my mobile marketing services to others.

Do you have your “why”? I’d love to hear it. Comment below.