MIMA – Embracing Mobile Marketing: Generating ROI with the Integrated Approach

As usually, very informative event,  wonderful resource for future  educational opportunities,  excellent chance to meet old and new friends, and… have I mentioned the food?  🙂

A few notes from Michael Becker’s presentation that were especially interesting, new to me, or so much loved that I can not refrain from reiterating them again:

  • Developing countries are achieving very high (up to 100%) penetration of mobile – much higher penetration than  PCs
  • Because mobile reqires permission, other channels need to be involved (a web site or DM to collect opt-ins, etc.)
  • Mobile has a role in every stage of the customer’s life cycle
  • We are managing not brands, but “brand clouds” created with customers’ participation
  • Why are we talking about mobile marketing now? Because it works… 39% in US no longer have land line phone (this percentage is higher in other countries)
  • Mobile penetration excides Internet
  • Mobile is not just a phone:  text 60%, e-mail 21%, video 3%, web 21% (but 90% for iPhone)
  • Age affect use of the mobile device
  • Only 17% have smartphones, iPhone is 3.5% of the market
  • Ethnicity is important: Hispanics often have high-end mobile devices, blacks don’t have this tendency. This is a very interesting (and new for me) point, though I also heard that blacks have more interest to ring tones than whites.
  • Some subsections of the market are completely addicted to mobile 😉

Three approaches to mobile marketing:

  1. Mobile as direct (Mobile is a personal media and “we all are becoming direct marketers”)
  2. Mobile-enabled cross-media marketing (most likely our beloved integrated campaigns ~Vanessa)
  3. Mobile as a product or service (mobile banking, mobile apps, etc.)

What is working in mobile marketing:

  • Getting information from your customers on their mobile use and adjust marketing programs accordingly
  • Text messaging-based loyalty programs
  • Mobile coupons (redemption of paper capons increases if there is a reference to mobile)
  • If no mobile shopping method is available for the business “click to call” can be successfully used
  • Augmented reality integration (superimposing bars to the camera image)
  • Generally: voice, SMS, Mobile Web – the rest is niche market
  • Important: companies that get ROI from mobile integrate mobile efforts into general marketing strategy
  • B-to-B is not as active as B-to-C; all known efforts concentrated on communication during conferences
  • Mobile is developing quickly in health care; good resources to investigate are mHealth  Alliance and mHealth Initiative


iLoop Mobile – Mr. Becker is VP Mobile Strategies for iLoop Mobile, the industry’s leading mobile marketing solutions provider and winner of the 2007 MMA Innovation of the Year Award.  The company also sponsors College of Mobile Marketing

College of Mobile Marketing – great resources of free resources, classes, and other information useful for mobile marketers; sponsored by iLoop Mobile

Mobile Marketer – I have been subscribing for Mobile Marketing Daily – the newsletter associated with Mobile Marketer and found it quite useful.  The newsletter has rather detailed descriptions of some mobile campaigns invaluable for marketers new to the medium.

MMA – Mobile Marketing Association – I must admit I found this association about three years ago and was receiving a newsletter for a while. Unfortunately, the organization does not have a local group, and membership seem to be targeted to companies rather than individuals.

Mobile Twin Cities – a free to attend local group dedicated to mobile. I am still planning to attend an event in person, but hope this group will grow into a place where mobile marketers can come together.  The group welcomes non-technical attendees.

mHealth Alliance –  UN Foundation  “The Alliance will act as an umbrella organization to complement, draw together and expand upon the mHealth initiatives of multiple organizations around the world. ”

mHealth Initiative –  mHealth Initiative Inc (mHI), a not-for-profit organization incorporated in Massachusetts, USA, envisions the emerging mHealth Revolution.

Recommended book:  Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media: Cellphone, cameraphone, iPhone, smartphone by Tomi Ahonen If you are not familiar with the book’s author, his presentation Mobile Phones: The Next 4 Billion with Tomi Ahonen is available for review – very insightful and engaging!  The presentation highlights mobile differences and explains why the rate of adoption of mobile devices will be wider and faster than the rate of adoption of computers. I probably already twitted too much about it 😉

And have I mentioned the food?  Excellent event and a delicious snack!

Did I forget any mobile marketing resources while taking full advantage of this fruit extravaganza?

MIMA – Obama Online – Design View

obamaEven if a presidential campaign can not be compared with normal marketing operations, its lessons are extremely valuable. Last MIMA event  was a great opportunity to hear perspective of Scott Thomas  on the Obama campaign – a perspective from a design standpoint. The campaign truly accomplished its goal to “go where the people are.”

The most interesting ideas from my perspective:

  • “Killing the fold” on the home page. The designers decided not to limit themselves by the attempt to fit all important information “above the fold” of the home page and linked it to other portions of the site. Too much of the information was important; the links would be too small and difficult to click. The designers gave more “space” to the information, but abandoned the fold. However, the home page of the site was designed to hint that something exist below, encouraging people to scroll. Site visitors scrolled.
  • Importance of collaboration. Designers worked with developers; designers worked with web analysts. The decisions on which web initiatives received more attention were based on traffic analysis.
  • At the point when the goal was to encourage people to register to vote, Obama branding became unimportant for the task. The goal was registration, not choice of the candidate at that point.
  • The campaign had surprising level of trust… The campaign hired passionate people who were experts in their field and allowed them to do their job without intruding into minor details. The designers, in their own turn, allowed other designers to participate in their efforts – they posted necessary files for local organizations to create their own materials.
  • Analytics and testing. The designers tested everything possibly (buttons shapes, colors, wording etc.) and based design decisions on the results of the site use that came from the analysts.
  • To succeed, the site should be constantly evolving…

MIMA – Web analytics for people who hate web analytics

picActually, the event attracted those who love web analytics and everything related to it… and sometimes struggle to show others the beauty behind the data.

The insights that Chris Wexler and Kristen Findley shared were…  “actionable.”  🙂  Though as an analytics enthusiast I was ready to scream “yes!!” after almost every statement, some ideas were refreshing.

New insights (or better arguments to achieve our perpetual objectives):

  • Share analysis with designers… they rarely receive the information how their creations work
  •  How to approach a designer: “I have something that will help you to do cool things”
  •  How can analytics help
    • Executive: help to decide where you should spend budget
    • Designer: where to apply your creative expertise
  • Questions to get business goals from stakeholders:
    • What do you want people to do? (works!! My favorite 😉  )
    • What would it be if we succeed?
    • What would it be if we don’t succeed?

 To attribute costs better, different conversion points can have different values (visit – 1; creating and uploading a video – 10,000)

Web analytics term is too narrow – we should be channel agnostic – “interactive analytics”  is a better term

Chris Wexler demonstrated a wonderful image to illustrate the difference of insight v. data.


Data can sing…

Era of analytics “post” is changing of analytics “pre,” but as before, we can over-rely on analytics.

MIMA – Living in the Post-Advertising World

bigspaceshipMichael Lebowitz, CEO of Big Spaceship, addressed the change that brands and agencies experiencing now and offered a few interesting suggestions during May MIMA event. He suggested to “never waste a good crisis” and experiment with new tools and possibilities.

Interesting points from the presentation:

Full service interactive agency may not exist – there are too many services and it is not possible to specialize enough in all of them to perform each service well.

Traditional advertising model is broken – consumer is in control. Advertising is competing not with other advertising but with the life itself; brands need to understand how brand can make consumer life better.

Penguin-DatingExample: Penguin Dating
Instead of creating a totally separate dating web site for book lovers, Penguin   formed a partnership with Match.com what became Penguin Dating.

Strategy is needed; marketers should be aware of “shiny object syndrome” when a particular new technology is used for the sake of the technology itself. Any technology needs to contribute to the business goals of the company.

Thinking about strategies, plan to adapt. Too much change and too many unknown parts that need to be considered.

Recommendations for agencies:

  • don’t concentrate on metrics only
  • focus on culture
  • build things (don’t outsource craft)
  • stay flat (allow some chaos)
  • experiment constantly (not only for clients)

Approach to a projectall functions need to be involved at the beginning to allow collaboration and use of new opportunities. This approach is also helpful for “adopting on the fly.”


Experiment. Try something and see if it works. If it does not, drop it. If it does work, optimize and improve.

QuaptureExample: Qapture  an aggregator of most popular links on Twitter in three categories. Qapture was built in a day and a half by Big Spaceship unrelated to any client requirements.

MN AMA and MIMA – Search 101

azul7It was wonderful to see a mixed crowd of AMA and MIMA. The event presented by Azul 7 concentrated on basics of search engine marketing; however, it still had a couple of nuggets that I would like to mention.

Universal search is a known phenomenon, but it was interesting to research Wolfram Alpha (expected to launch in May) and its approach to universal search. Alpha separates the screen into results categories. I wonder how the new categories can be added (when they unexpectedly appear) and how category priority can be managed… I am a little cloudy on PPC opportunity 😉


Search perspective: big brands should not have just one Web site. Yes, I was advocating this approach for a few years, but it was a pleasure to hear much more educated opinion than my own. Different audiences and needs demand different web sites for specific products or services. While the corporate site can certainly serve as a hub, searching and optimizing happens based on clearly defined needs of the target audience. The goal is not demonstrating a company to the world; but making as easy as possible for a qualified prospect to find the solution/information the company provides.

Content optimization – one idea per page.

Creation of pages for specific market/vertical. Somehow I limited this approach to landing pages (PPC or display), but did not think about SEO. It makes perfect sense!

Social Media Breakfast – Personal Branding

smbMykl Roventine  gave a wonderful overview of personal branding.  Oh, yes, I will be busy after this presentation… defining and correcting my personal brand online. Now I have an excellent ever-changing “instruction,” but – what is more important – an understanding of the “big picture…” Social Media Breakfast is “must attend” event from my perspective.

Personal brand is important:

  • You want to stand out of the crowd
  • Is your digital footprint exactly what you want to portray?
  • Now is the window of opportunity
  • Yes, you are a brand!

Examples to check:

So, what should you do to build your personal brand?

1. Identify your personal brand

“You are not defined by your job title, and you are not confined by your job description.”  Brand is authentic – what makes you different

  • Goals?
  • Audience?
  • Value of you to others? (if not clear – ask others)

Create a brand statement.

2. How are you branded?  Chose the name (better real name; be consistent)

3. Change all your accounts to the name

4. Change your photos  to one consistent image (that hopefully recognizable)  – get Gravatar

5. Create your brand story

Create a story, which would be easy to add to different accounts and social networks

  • super short
  • short
  • long (a few paragraphs)

Might make sense to ask for proofreading help. Then go back to social media sites and fill out all information (it should be consistent).

6. Create a destination

  • Decide on a destination. Most logical “About” page on your blog.
  • Point everything to this page.
  • Long version of your story should include links to your other networks
  • Make sure that you have simple contact information
  • Fill out your Google profile 

7. Tie is all together – link everything to your destination. Be consistent.

8. Share.

Comment using you first and last name, link to your destination. Thank commenters on your blog.

9. Monitor your brand

Your personal brand is always evolving.

The video from the event was posted on ning.

MIMA – User Experience Utopia

A few notes from another MIMA event – a conversation about user experience presented by Nick Finck.

Facets of the User Experience  (Peter Morville)

The article explains facets in quite a few details.

We looked at the example where animation was used heavily on non-essential elements of the site – the animation did not help the user experience, but hindered it. The example was quite typical – the animation was used for its own sake – rather than to help the user achieve the goal.

User Experience Treasure Map (Peter Morville)


I guess it is one more variation on the web site creation process – the discipline that is changing daily. It is interesting to watch the changes in the industry and marketers’ attempts to understand them…

… what leads to WaSP Interact – a living training course that tries not to capture a constant change, but to adapt to it…


Technology is changing

We are no longer building for the specific device, we don’t know what we are building for…

What is important?  Coming together – it is about the user.

MIMA – Your Brand Is Not My Friend

alanAnother exciting event for the interactive Community. I must admit that Alan Wolk challenged some of my assumptions, destroyed a couple of myths, and actually supported one view that I held for some time already.

Supported view: an agency’s role in social media is helping the client with establishing content strategy, training the client how to use the tool, setting the tool, and explaining best practices. No blog or Twitter ghost-writing or any other “imposter” activities on behalf of the client.

Great points from the presentation:

  • Our world changed from Ad > Purchase…  to Ad > Google > Purchase. Implications: Advertising has to be honest. Advertising now need to get people to Google.
  • Some brands are “prom kings” and everybody want to be their friend, but 99% of brands are not in this category. 99% of “non-prom king” brands need to behave differently.

How to use social media correctly for one of 99% of “non-prom king” brands:

  1. Identify a need of your customers with which you can help
  2. Give something to the customers (a coupon – something useful)
  3. Approach the process as a sales person (not to pretend to be something different)
  4. Use Twitter for customer service or to share news. Don’t use it to sell.
  5. Don’t push it. In social media the more unobtrusive you can be the better

Whole Foods “does Facebook right.” The company connects each channel to the web site and also connects the web site to each channel. It provides useful information without attempting to sell on social media channels. You can place the same information (promote a coupon or contest) on every channel – repetition is totally accepted.


More points:

  • Thought leadership in a specific area – setup Delicious link collection and connect it to Facebook page
  • LinkedIn is a place to be for b-to-b

Agency hints

  • Most agencies are not setup to handle social mediamima
  • Digital part of the agencies can be treated as a stepchild – traditional media is “converted” into something to be used within social media – what does not fit
  • Clients are ahead of the agencies
  • PR is ahead of the game
  • Recommendation for an agency to have a PR function, combine user experience with strategy, have people who are on the top of changing technology
  • Marketers should become interdisciplinary proficient
  • Start small: don’t do anything: look, listen…
  • Social media is a huge opportunity for advertisers, but they should not take a “usual” approach.

As usually, it was a pleasure to meet a great group of people… who even helped me to verify an iPhone question I answered at work a couple of hours earlier…