An AdWords Agency – Mobile Marketing
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Mobile is changing the AdWords World

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in adwords expert, Mobile Marketing

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Burn-BobI propose that it is impossible to scale the web experience from desktop to mobile or the other way around with today’s tools. I am sure that hordes of web designers are gathering to burn me in effigy for uttering such heresy. After all, everyone knows that responsive design and CSS fixed all these problems. This is sadly, “Not True.”

I am not arguing that responsive design does not work because technically, it does. However, technically scaling the content does not cure the communication challenge. The audience expectations and needs are different on a mobile device compared to a desktop. I propose that mobile users are looking for short copy that delivers the content they want quickly. They want the phone number and address at the top with the phone number active to a click to call feature. Mobile devices are not designed as a reading device for long reflective research. Desktop users are often after all the details and while long and short copy is still a debate in the industry, there is little doubt that long copy belongs in desktop and short on mobile.

Getting your design to pass a mobile friendly test is only the first step in the process of adapting your content for the mobile world. The web experience that happens after a click on your ad, is how clicks convert into business value. So here is the second big shocker: “Size Matters!” There is a big difference between mobile and desktop audiences, and trying to use one set of content for both is going to result in a compromise somewhere. You have to rethink your audience and design the communications for them.

Google is in the throes of converting AdWords Design from Desktop First to Mobile First. We propose that both of these are important and each has its own issues. It’s not as simple as what goes first. Going mobile fixes some things and breaks others. Different audiences respond differently. I know a lot of people and I know their needs, wants, and expectations are different when they are working at their desktop compared to their phone. In many cases, the desktop user is more reflective and more likely to be in research mode looking for deep levels of information. The mobile user is often looking at much less content that is very direct and to the point so their goals are often to find a phone number, address, or other very short information. The massive amounts of data that the desktop values are a barrier to the information mobile users seek. For many audiences, especially mobile audiences, a small direct to the point website in mobile is what they want. The complexity of this goes beyond desktop and mobile because there is at least one more dimension to consider. Are they operating as a consumer or a business?

Did you know that the marketing industry has been debating this very issue for generations? It’s true, because all we did was change the words that describe the problem. In the olden days, before the internet was part of our everyday lives, marketing debated the short versus long copy and the debate continues today. What has changed, is our ability to interact and modify our behavior based on user input.

Maybe this could be as simple as asking the visitor what they want. Do you want a short and to the point answer or do you want all the details? The other alternative would be to give them the short version with a connection to the long copy on a section, by section basis. The bottom line here is that our world is changing and our methods of communication have to keep up.
I like to close all my articles with some actionable items that our readers can use today to make their account better. This topic is resistant to a short-fix actionable item so what I hope is that you will rethink your audiences and find a way to deliver the right type of copy to the right audience.

Are You Ready for the Mobile Explosion?

Posted by Rob Dumouchel in Mobile Marketing

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Do me a favor… grab your phone and open your business’ website. Don’t have a web capable phone? Go find one, they’re everywhere. Then make other people in the office do it as well. What do you see? The results may surprise you. You could get anything from a blank screen to your whole site just smaller, and it can vary greatly from phone to phone. As more people do their web surfing from their phones this little exercise is going to become more and more important, especially if you’re paying for traffic!

Designing for desktop and mobile are two very different things. Simply displaying your desktop site on a mobile phone is often a huge mistake. The interface and design standards and the goals of the visitor are very different.  This is why we are seeing an entirely new generation of Mobile Content Management Systems specifically built for mobile design.   Within these systems you can rapidly create a mobile website and bring it online with all the functions that most people expect on their phone.

We have one client in a local service business with 12 offices in the mid-west that created mobile sites in just a few days using GetGoMobi.com. Some designers think that forcing mobile devices to mobile sites is a good idea, we think not. The desktop version of the site often has functionality not in the mobile site that the person may want to access. Conceptually we like to think of the mobile site as not a replacement for the desktop site but a supplement designed specifically for the needs of the mobile user.

The thing you have to realize when it comes to smart phones is that they’re taking over many people’s casual web usage. Need to look up an address, settle a bet, decide what’s for dinner, Google someone you just met, kill time while waiting for something? The smart phone is going to be a “go to” tool for that. I have some friends that aren’t super heavy internet users who have dropped conventional internet services at home completely because their iPhone or Android device fills that gap. I realize that may seem a bit extreme, but these people are out there and if you’re not looking forward for a way to make your web content more compatible with smartphones then you’re going to be in trouble as this trend gets more pervasive.

In the AdWords World we can clearly see this shift and its happening fast.  So far this year we have seen dozens of accounts where the mobile traffic has grown by more than 100% in just the first 9 months of this year. In some industries we are seeing more than 10% of traffic is now mobile.  In the good news category AdWords gives you control over how your mobile traffic is handled. You can configure the mobile traffic to go to a page designed for the mobile device or if your site is a mobile-wreck you can turn that traffic off and quit paying to embarrass yourself. The key here is you have to think about this because the default in the system is to engage the mobile traffic. You have to turn it off if you are not yet ready to handle it properly.

For a quick example here’s the website for Marc Ecko, a popular clothing designer, as viewed on my PC:

It’s a pretty fantastic an engaging all flash display of creative genius. Here’s Marc’s website when displayed on my iPhone:

See the problem? Although the desktop experience is excellent, the mobile visitor misses out completely. If your site has a similar problem I encourage you to go open your Adwords account and turn off mobile devices in your Adwords campaign settings. No use in paying for visitors that can’t use your site.

Now the “what to do” becomes a little trickier. You need to think about how people interact with your site and what they want. Are they after basic information like your phone number or address? Are they shopping? Making reservations? Reading? Researching? Some of these may sound odd to you but they’re not that uncommon. I’ve done searches for hippopotamus facts in a bar to solve an argument and paid my bills while waiting for flights to take off.

If you’re a localized business that provides a service or is somewhere that one would have to physically go to spend money your two big mobile needs are your address and your phone number. These are the two things people are most likely to be looking for from their phone and you need to make that information easily and immediately accessible. You could either design your page to be easily read even on a small screen, or you could create a mobile only site that visitors are redirected to when they visit with a smartphone. People like GetGoMobi can help you set these types of things up for not a whole lot of money.  (Full disclosure, GetGoMobi is a client of ours).

The bottom line here is that mobile is happening and it’s happening fast. So get your team together and design a plan to deal with it.

Mobile Marketing

Posted by Rob Dumouchel in Mobile Marketing

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Smart Phones are changing how marketing will be done in the future and in case you’re curious the future is today. If you have not been paying attention to trends in marketing for the last decade the process has shifted from product presentation to a strategy of engage and educate. This change in basic strategy results in a shift in where your marketing dollars are invested in engaging content rather than slick ads. Mobile marketing takes this evolution to the next level.

Everyone I know is trying to figure out how mobile marketing will impact their business and I believe that it will force a higher percentage of your marketing investment to be put into the material creation rather than the delivery vehicle. We will pay less for the ad delivery but much more for the creation of the content we deliver. In mobile marketing all of the old world product pitches are simply considered spam and mobile marketing will be driven by the opt-in list and very few will subscribe to your list if all you do is pitch your product. You have to give them meaningful value that is of interest to them or you will find that they have a very short attention span and a low tolerance for your message.

It’s the list stupid!

Mobile marketing is all about the list. How you gain new subscribers and how you develop your relationships with them are the critical success factors. For most small businesses the infrastructure of mobile marketing will be an SMS service provider. These businesses make it possible for small businesses to use this marketing channel without the huge overhead involved in short codes. Short codes and keywords are the gateway to the SMS process and setting this up is not cheap or easy. Just to get started a short code costs $1,500 per quarter and if you want a special vanity code the cost increases to $3,000 per quarter and this is a long way from delivering your first message. The SMS service providers leverage this by providing a shared short code from which they sell specific keywords. This is how texting a specific word to a short code gets you on the SMS list you want. The big advantage here is that without getting into all the technical challenges and costs a low cost relationship with a SMS service provider you can get your mobile marketing up and running in just hours.

The challenge to all of this is to get people on your list and then treat them so they value the relationship enough that you keep the permission to communicate that they granted you. You do this by clearly articulating the value they will receive and then deliver that value to them. Beyond this you have to get that message out into the market. And of course you have to perform this magic with 140 charters or less.

Talk to those who care about your message

Opt-in marketing has at its core the concept of talking to people that care about your message and quit trying to interrupt people who frankly do not care. People are understandably concerned with the messages that they receive because text messages are an interruption so what you say has to have value or your list will shrink and quickly die. Value is not just a routine discount for the day or a rehash of your print coupon. It needs to be something special that the person is likely to be interested in. Different audiences are going to value messages in different ways but the bottom line is they, not you, need to value the message.

Use QR Codes to Make Subscriptions Easier

The typical subscription process is a small word sent to a short code but even that can be a barrier for people and to the rescue in this is the QR Code. These are the square codes that you are starting to see in the market that look like this. The person simply uses their phone to scan this code and it sends the word and short code. When done like this the length of the keyword and the short code are no longer an important part of the process because it is all contained within the code and the person never has to interact with it.
There are several competing technologies to provide this functionality to the user but so far the QR Code appears to be the leader. Within these codes there are all sorts of interesting things you can do such as embed the identification of the source of the subscription by using different keywords. QR Codes can be used to connect to a web site, send a text message, dial a phone number, or just enter text.

Caution: Not everything works in all combinations

Mobile is rapidly evolving and like any newer technology there are consistency problems. Not everything works in all the combinations of apps, phones, and services. In our testing the code above worked on some combinations but not others. The iPhone failed to handle this properly with 3 of 4 apps we tested, but it finally did work with one. The DroidX worked the first time and we have no clue if we just got lucky picking the right reader or if the phone is just more open. What we are sure of is that the URL coding seems to be 100% supported but when you get into the other processes your success rate is at risk. Failing to set up the SMS message is either a program bug or a security feature depending on your perspective. The technology has the ability, but delivery may be inconsistent.

Opt-In or Spam – There is No Middle of the Road
“Consumers must ‘Opt-in’ to a short code program from their mobile device before they can be sent anything. Even an initial message that asks for permission is considered SPAM.” Unlike email the carriers have no problem identifying the senders of spam and taking immediate and decisive action for a rule violation.
In mobile marketing you either get them to opt-in or you are a spammer. There are lots of services that will rent out lists that were built in many different ways including contests and other offers. The key is they did not opt-in to hear from you so you better make sure that the value promised matches your message value or you will get a very negative response. If the list was built by offering discount meal coupons and you are going to offer a discount meal coupon then the list is golden. If however the list was built by a win a free trip offer and your offer is a discount for an oil change you need to run not walk away from that list. People do not just dislike being off message, they HATE it, and they can transfer that hate to the business that interrupted them with a message they did not want. Getting people to opt-in to your list is hard work and keeping them is even harder but it is the only way you can play this game.

Deliver Value or Die

I have already said this several times but it is worth repeating. If you want a relationship that allows you to communicate with your market you need to treat them with respect and talk about what they are interested in.

How this relates to Adwords

Building subscriptions is a common goal for Adwords and a subscription offer is a great way to get the relationship started with a low impact transaction. Lowering the commitment level of your conversions almost always increases the percentage of response and is an excellent way to find people interested in what you have to say.