Tag: Digital Marketing

Mobile Marketing – The Future Of Digital Marketing

August 25, 20110 Comments

Since their launch in the 1980s, mobile phones have come a long way, to such an extent that mobile marketing is increasingly becoming seen as the future of digital marketing and it’s most important area. This would not have been possible if mobile phone useage had not become so widespread and the phones themselves so sophisticated and flexible.

Users now come from every part of the demographic spectrum; from teenagers to senior citizens and from new employeees to senior managers and business owners. Increasingly what is termed Mobile Commerce or “m-commerce” is taking over from Electronic Commerce or “e-commerce” as the preferred choice of purchase for consumers. Research by eBay has revealed that mobile shopping could receive a £4.5bn boost in the UK alone by 2016, rising to as much as £19bn by 2021.

This research also revealed that m-commerce is on the verge of a potential four-fold increase, increasing to £6bn over the next five years, as consumers become more accustomed to shopping from their portable devices.

Consumers in the USA check their emails more from their mobile phones than from their laptop or PC. The UK, Europe and Australia are increasingly set to follow suit. The infrastructure for mobile marketing already exists, as does consumer demand for it, so m-commerce must surely continue to expand exponentially.

Mobile phones are the most direct way to communicate, more so than land lines, laptops or computers, for reasons that speak for themselves. Surprisingly, at least to older commentators, mobile users also consider that mobiles are non-intrusive. Mobile marketing is 100 per cent opt-in, so consumers do not regard mobile communications as being pushed on them.

One in five smartphone owners now use mobile apps to shop and more and more businesses are launching fully optimised mobile sites. The profitability of this sector can only continue to expand. Spending on mobile advertising more than doubled in 2010.

Mobile vouchers have a much higher redemption rate than printable ones. They can be targeted to be more relevant to consumers. Marketing that makes use of “Geo-targeting” will become increasingly possible thanks to the tracking technology now available – many people never leave home without their phone – so different offers and content based on the location can be made available to phone users as they go online via their mobiles. This can be used to offer short-term deals, maybe only for a few hours, based on where a user is visiting and delivered directly via their mobile and personalised to take account of the user’s buying and search history online. This will be able to lead to a higher level of engagement with the user and bring a much better chance of more click-throughs and sales.

Surveys reveal that apps are the most popular m-commerce purchase online with almost 40 per cent of shoppers recently buying one, followed by music (30 per cent), clothes (25 per cent) and e-books (23 per cent). Men are more likely to buy apps or take-away meals from their mobile and women are more likely to buy clothes. Older people tended to buy e-books, younger people apps (especially in the 18 to 34 range) and music.

When asked why they had used their mobile over other purchasing choices, over 50 per cent said they did so as it was the most convenient. For the mobile marketer, this reinforces the notion of the “always-on” consumer. There’s no need to wait for users to check emails, log into Facebook or Twitter, pick up the landline or open their post, the mobile gives a direct route to the pocket!

The full effects of this mobile revolution on the digital world remains to be seen. As the technology evolves, the mobile will become increasingly pervasive and marketers seeking to maximise their revenue and maintain their competitive edge will have to evolve with it. All that remains is for marketers to utilise the technology that will be available or be left behind.


Email Digital Marketing – Do’s and Don’ts (by Jason Acar)

May 25, 20112 Comments

Email, like all online marketing has a distinction from the old fashioned method of paper marketing such as junk mail or posting the details of a promotion in a newspaper / magazine.

What’s the difference?

Simply put, your target market can block you permanently with little more than a thought, and this means that you’re only going to get one chance to make a lasting impression and build trust, as well as interest. This means that rushing in without sufficient preparation will not only fail to get you the deal, but it will permanently damage your future earning potential.

Now that you understand the severity of getting your email campaign right the first time, let’s examine some important do’s and don’t when preparing your email promotion.

Do: Create the heading of your ad campaign with painstaking care and intelligence. These few words will determine whether your target audience deem your email worthy of opening or not, so make it something catchy which doesn’t sound like standard advertising. Don’t: Use an inappropriate email address. By this we don’t mean one with inappropriate words in it, which goes without saying, but rather one which will pass standard filters without appearing as spam and landing you in the Blacklisted column.

Do: Make use of standard HTML rather than plain text based messages. There are several reasons for this but it comes down to a matter of quality and versatility – which will allow you to make your point more effectively. Don’t: Use things like animated material, Java Script or anything too advanced either. The reason for this is that some of your target market may not be using the latest upgrades and will therefore not be able to see large sections of your content. This would not only make it a waste of time but also annoying to the once potential client, which may lead to your being blocked in the future.

Do: Craft your targeted emails in an ‘email friendly’ format. This may seem overly obvious but what too many marketers forget is that simply because it appears pleasing on their screen, does not necessarily mean that it will be that way on older versions of Outlook, for example. This ties in with the previous point but one way of ensuring this is to aim to fit an area of 600 pixels by 400 pixels deep.

These are just a few simple points and your research period should see you uncovering a great deal more before you attempt to put that new knowledge into practise, but if properly done – your digital marketing campaign should reward you greatly for your professional efforts.


Jason Acar is a professional writer who has written on a wide range of subjects from enterprise architecture design and enterprise architecture services to travelling the world on your own. He also has a passion for writing helpful articles for people working in their respective industries.


Sleepwalking Into Financial Slavery

February 17, 201112 Comments

As the father of children approaching what could be termed “university age” and having naturally come into contact with the parents of their friends over the years, I am struck by how the “system” is geared up to emasculating them in a significant form of financial bondage that will influence them for most of their lives.

Their years at school are naturally geared towards learning core skills and values to equip them through their lives, eg developing their reading, writing, speaking and numeracy skills and hopefully passing examinations which will be universally recognised when they apply for employment etc.

Beyond that however, I can’t help but think that the education system is no more than a conveyor belt towards a cycle of financial slavery that few have the imagination to breakout from. This is because the whole emphasis in their final years at school or college is based on going to university. Little debate takes place on why they should go to university or what it will achieve for them. They get caught up in an atmosphere that they must go to university because that’s what their friends are doing and also all their teachers would have gone to university so they must do the same. Either that, or they don’t yet know what they want to do in the long-term so the easy way to put off that decision is to go to university.

This has also been accelerated by a shift towards university based training for many vocations such as nursing, business and public administration and journalism. These callings may have had a university level entry option in the past but the majority of entrants would have entered at “shop floor” level either as school-leavers or after a career change. In many areas this option is no longer available due to the qualification levels required or a mentality where an employer doesn’t look at an applicant unless they have a degree.

At no time do young people seem to be encouraged to stand back from this before it’s too late and to ask important questions such as “Do I need to go to university?” and “What do I aim to achieve by going to University?” There is no consideration of alternative options such as starting a small business at a time when individuals have little to lose, before they’ve also been drawn into long-term commitments like mortgages and bringing up a family.

The opportunity to start a business instantly has never been easier. The tools for starting one are right at your fingertips in the form of a laptop and an internet connection. Never has it been easier for an individual to make a good living from their passion. If your passion is “Bodybuilding” why not start a blog, write some articles and monetise it with some Adsense and relevant affiliate links. Better still, build a list of contacts and subscribers and develop or rebrand a product about it. You would then be on your way to an alternative and far more enjoyable and rewarding lifestyle. It can all be largely automated without the need for buying and storing expensive stock funded by business loans, franchise fees or paying for ridiculously expensive and unproductive forms of conventional advertising.

Despite the economic troubles affecting the world there has been little sign of it stifling the phenomenal growth of the internet. If anything, studies suggest these problems are actually contributing to accelerating that growth!

Without wishing to be critical of many well meaning and dedicated individuals, aspiring students need to be aware that the education system is an industry. It depends on large numbers going to university or further education colleges (the target in the UK is 50 per cent of all school leavers), so that these institutions can get the funding they need and the work for their lecturers to remain on the payroll.

This may not have been particularly harmful in the past era of student grants, but the financial consequences in this new era of student loans are profound. Student fees in the UK are scheduled to rise from £3,000 per year to £9,000 per year from 2012. Additionally, the typical cost of university accommodation is £900 per year (based on 3 terms of £300 per term). A typical student will therefore walk away from university with a debt of £29,700 after a three year undergraduate degree course and that is before any consideration of living costs and subsistence over those three years.

This is just the start of this cycle of a lifetime of being locked into debt. The first temptation of anyone with a low level of cashflow is to boost it by using easily available credit cards. In 2008  the UK average credit card and other personal debt (such as car loans) per household was over £8,700. (In the USA the average credit card debt per household with credit card debt was $14,750).

The next norm in the UK after finding some form of long-term employment is to buy a house. This is typically financed by means of a mortgage, usually lasting 25 years. “Google” the details and it will show average household UK mortgage debt standing at around £140,000. If that £140,000 has been borrowed at an average rate of 6% over those 25 years on a repayment mortgage, it will cost £902 a month, £270,500 in total and £130,500 in interest.

So there you have it. Two major planks of society, the education system and the financial institutions depend on this mentality of debt. It will lock individuals into clinging onto jobs they think they cannot afford to lose for fear of failing to support their families, losing their homes and having County Court Judgements against them for failing to keep up their debt repayments. With much consumer spending financed on debt, the whole system hinges on borrowing. As individuals will typically spend all of their available income regardless of its level, never has it been more appropriate to describe a job as standing for “Just Over Broke”.


Every Aspiring Information / Internet Marketer Should Try To View This Programme

February 10, 20114 Comments

There was a programme on TV in the UK during January (2011) called “Dream Lives For Sale” where each week a couple who want to move aboard, start a business and find a new lifestyle are shown 5 potential businesses, and given the chance to work in them. The costs are then broken down including the investment to buy the business and the potential profits.

I HIGHLY recommend that anyone interested in Internet or Information Marketing, or attempting to establish an Online Business watches at least one episode and pays close attention to the cost of the businesses and the returns they offer, compared to the costs involved in setting up and effectively operating an online business.

The programmes already broadcasted have included businesses on offer typically for £500k+ with an annual return of £70k down to an investment of £80k (ish) for an annual return of £16k.

These businesses have also required extremely hard graft whether in a restaurant, out in an olive grove or in one case, running dog kennels!

One of the great advantages of Information Marketing businesses is that you DON’T have to invest tens or even hundreds of thousands to get started, BUT that has also been one of the down sides.

This is because, as there’s usually very little investment required, most people don’t take it very seriously, and jump from one opportunity to another when the going gets tough or if a new bright shiny object comes along. Additionally, its all too easy to get distracted or show insufficient discipline to your business just because it can be operated from anywhere if you have a laptop and an internet connection. If tens of thousands had to be paid upfront as in the businesses featured in “Dream Lives For Sale”, I’m certain there would be a very different attitude!

The people featured in “Dream Lives For Sale” have typically had to sell their homes to raise the capital for these businesses, borrowed vast sums from their Bank with all the accompanying interest charges, arrangement fees etc, etc or they’ve tied up vast proportions of their savings. In return they are then locked into their commitment, often having to carry out quite menial tasks over many hours per day and await anxiously for sufficient customers to meet their overheads.

In comparison, if you wish to start an Online Business, a Domain Name often costs little more than $10 (even for a dot.com domain) and webhosting little more than $10 per month with the option of adding further websites to your hosting account. Other costs, such as an AutoResponder system are also quite minimal.

Today it’s easier than ever before to start and grow your own online business, provided its treated exactly as that, a serious business requiring commitment and attention. If you do that, then you’ll see your business grow into what you want it to be.

Compare this with the businesses on this programme (you’ll be able to find them on SkyPlayer depending where you  live) and you’ll soon realise that there really is no better opportunity for a great return on a small investment than with information/internet marketing.


21st Century Business Entrepreneur

February 9, 20117 Comments

Patrick Clarke – 21st Century Business Entrepreneur

Let me explain the title “21st Century Business Entrepreneur”.

Commerce has changed drastically, just witness the boom in online trading and the success of online businesses such as Amazon and eBay, then set it against the decline and increasing closures of traditional High Street shops and stores (even well-established ones of many years such as Kodak and Woolworths). Why waste time sitting in a queue of vehicles or pay penal charges to park, when far more choice and better value is available at the touch of a button?

Further, skillful use of Social Media and online marketing strategies such as Google Local and SEO are proving far more effective and much better value than expensive newspaper, television and other traditional forms of advertising which re in clear decline. More and more it is becoming increasingly evident that the Internet and Social Media are revolutionising the way that people, businesses and organisations of all kinds operate. There are far more and far easier opportunities for everybody to follow their passion, their interests, their causes, their trade or profession and, if they wish, to monetise it.

Internet Marketing is empowering more and more people to take control of their own lives instead of being locked into traditional time-consuming and expensive business methods.

No longer is there a need to store your own stock in a warehouse or shop, to organise the printing of a newsletter or magazine, to pay vast sums to a franchiser for the privilege of starting a time consuming business with often negligible profits and expensive overheads.

It can all be done with minimal expense at the touch of a button. I have progressed from offline business interests (some of which I still retain) to monetised online businesses. That is my passion and my primary business focus.

If you are looking for assistance in progressing your business online through Social Media networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook or want to capitalize on the advance of Google Local, then get in touch. I would be pleased to assist. The results might astonish you!

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