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Friday Five: Mobile Marketing Magnification and Mishaps

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Whenever communications professionals are presented with a new vehicle to reach their target audiences there is bound to be an industry-wide learning curve. With the quick adaptation of mobile marketing and the rapid expansion of smart phone usage, public relations practitioners are excited for the opportunity to communicate with the public and reach large audiences. The numbers don’t lie – mobile marketing and mobile commerce are both here to stay

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary — we take a look at some mobile slip ups, consumer use of mobile devices over the holidays and new statistics on mobile adoption globally and domestically. We will also discuss how communicators can help generate brand loyalty with the right mobile campaign.

What Mobile Marketers Can Learn From The Papa John’s Lawsuit (Forbes.com)

Forbes.com contributor Steve Olenski explores the $250 million law suit against Papa John’s for spamming their customers with illegal text messages through a mobile marketing campaign. Olenski consulted with Michael Della Penna, SVP of Emerging Channels at Responsys who offered these tips to communicators looking to start a mobile marketing campaign:

  • Design and build a mobile experience
  • Ask for permission, confirm and approve
  • Grow engagement and conversation
  • Timing is everything
  • Make technology your friend and build a dialogue/create loyalty

The article also indicates that communicators new to mobile marketing should be familiar with industry best practices and follow guidelines from organizations like the Mobile Marketing Association.

PayPal Nearly Tripled Mobile Payment Volume on Cyber Monday (Mashable.com)

Consumer public relations professionals should forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday – mobile commerce is the new trend that’s here to stay. According to Christopher Mims of Mashable, Cyber Monday purchases via mobile devices went up 190% against the same day in 2011. Here are a few trends from Cyber Monday:

  • Cyber Monday 2012 bested Black Friday 2012 by 44% for total (not just mobile) online payments.
  • From noon until 1 p.m. EST was the busiest shopping hour across all devices, including PCs—lunchtime shopping, evidently—but mobile-only shopping peaked an hour later, from 1 to 2 p.m.
  • 166% more people shopped via mobile devices than last year.
  • Houston, Miami and Los Angeles residents shopped the most from their phones

Opera Maps Global Mobile Social Network Usage: Facebook Most Frequently Visited On Phones In Macau, Twitter In Paraguay (TechCrunch.com)

Mobile browser maker Opera released its 2012 State of the Mobile Web report, measuring social network popularity across the world. By using the browser’s data compression, Opera was able to build up a picture of the mobile social web across approximately 190 countries.

Surprisingly, according to the report, Macau is the top-ranking Facebook territory. In Macau more than 90 percent of all Opera Mini users visit Facebook at least once per month. By comparison, in the United States the figure is 49.54 percent.

According to Opera’s report, Facebook tops the list of the most popular social networks globally. “Opera notes that most countries have ‘one extremely dominant social network’ but its data also shows certain countries have a more diverse spread of social-networking activity. It singles out European high-tech hub Estonia as having ‘remarkable’ diversity compared to most other nations.”

A Journalist’s Quick Primer on Who Uses Cell Phones (and How) (MediaBistro.com)

Media Bistro reports on the new research on cell phone usage and demographic statistics by the Pew Internet and American Life project. While the article is geared towards journalists, it delves deeply into how people actually use their mobile devices.

Mobile marketing may be expanding rapidly, but the statistics show that not everyone is using their mobile device for the Internet and it is important to research your target audience before embarking on a mobile project. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 85 percent of American adults own a cell phone.
  • 82 percent of American cell phone owners use their cell phone to take pictures.
  • 56 percent of American cell phone owners use their cell phone to access the internet. (That means only 47.6 percent of American adults use their phone to do anything online)
  • 43 percent of American cell phone owners use their phone to download apps. (If the data holds up, that means a little fewer than 37 percent of the American public use apps on their phone)

Mobile Marketing: How To Generate Loyalty On The Go (Forbes.com)

Matt Howland, Vice President of TIBCO’s Loyalty Lab, features brands that have used mobile apps to encourage customer engagement. According to the article, mobile gives communicators the opportunity to “rethink engagement, redefine the experience, and rediscover the relationship with our customers.” Howland notes, however, that the key to loyalty is building trust. Here are a few companies Howland highlights:

  • Valpak– App is an example of convenience and value. Integrated with Apple’s Passbook and allows consumers to download store coupons directly to their phones.
  • Safeway– “Just For U” app notifies consumers of specials at their local store, creating familiarity with customers.
  • Starbucks– Lets consumers “earn a star” when making a purchase using their Passbook-stored Starbucks card. Gives regulars status-based personalization when dealing with baristas.

About the author

Rosanne Mottola, APR

Rosanne Mottola, APR

Rosanne Mottola, APR, is public relations manager for the Public Relations Society of America. She is an adjunct professor of public relations at St. John’s University, Staten Island. Mottola obtained a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications from New York University in 2010. You can connect with her on Twitter @RoeMoPR or on LinkedIn.

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