Category Archives: Mobile

4 Reasons Your Social Strategy Is Incomplete Without Mobile

It finally happened.  Last year social and mobile tied the knot in a private ceremony and now they’re having kids.  With smartphone adoption in the U.S. surging to new heights and social networking surpassing pornography as the #1 online activity, business as usual is obsolete.  Interactive strategies must now solve for social experiences on a mobile device and mobile content consumed socially.  Anything less is simply insufficient.

At Intuit, we’ve taken this task to heart.  Our CEO Brad Smith is bullish about reimagining our products and services to fully realize the fruits of a social, mobile and global world.  For my team, this means our social and mobile marketing strategies live within the same group and we plan activities simultaneously with collaboration from our web and product partners.  It’s not an easy journey but it is a necessary one.  I believe there are 4 reasons to begin building out a true SoMo (social/mobile) approach to business.

4 Reasons Your Social Strategy is Incomplete Without Mobile

1. A social-only strategy is a job half-done
Brand have an obligation to stay social in a mobile world.  As consumer usage shifts from online/desktop toward mobile, everything has changed.  And nothing has changed.  In Intuit’s accounting professional division, 70% of our accounting and tax professionals are on a smartphone, and about 30% of those professionals are using a tablet.  We’ve evolved our approach to serve customers in their channel of choice.  Users can access software, training, social information and content as easily from a mobile device as they can from their desktop. Concurrently, if you see product information on LinkedIn, a blog or a forum, we’ll also provide that info via email or a representative’s phone call.

Our goal is to “leave no desktop behind.”  We’re still going to support our desktop software users who are more comfortable and confident in that environment.  Meanwhile, we continue to build up capability for the future.  It’s no longer enough to have one page, one language or one mobile device.  The most powerful word-of-mouth marketing tool is a great product experience.  A focus on delighting costumers begins and ends with great product, with marketing being the gracious host.

2. Consumer connections are the offspring of social and mobile getting hitched
Social and mobile proliferation creates limitless opportunity for us to connect with real people.  Customers are engaging on their mobile device or via a social channel long before they visit Intuit.com, call a sales representative or interact with a retail worker.  For Intuit’s accounting professionals division, we now have a virtual seat at that table when customers are having the conversations about our brand. Then we can observe, influence and respond in real-time. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with users in ways that weren’t possible two years ago.  For instance, a tax professional can now do their client’s taxes while they’re on their iPad, sitting on the beach.  A CPA can get trained and certified in QuickBooks Online on their iPhone while they’re waiting in an airport.  After completion, they can even share progress across social channels and tell their clients that they are certified with one click of a button to their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.  All made possible by the marriage of SoMo.

3. Technology will only continue to shrink the world, raise the bar and stretch our boundaries
Brands must now be trilingual, with complete mastery of social, mobile and global best practices because customers expect it.  Once you shift to a social, mobile-first mindset, you’re automatically  global because conversations take place anywhere across the world.  No longer is there a barrier.  We recently launched global-ready training that can be viewed on any mobile device across the board, whether it’s Windows, iOS or Android.  We’re exploring global-ready experiences on YouTube page that auto-detect location and adjust language and content settings.  Being device and geography agnostic requires organizational commitments.  For global corporations, it’s inadequate to have one web experience, one language or one mobile device.  Relevancy requires having a portfolio mindset.

4. Brands cannot live by Facebook tabs alone
When I started in social media three-plus years ago, every campaign was centered on a gorgeous Facebook tab with a promotional call to action.  It was a creative extension of your traditional marketing campaign. These days, you need robust photos, video, text and content on the timeline that really create authentic engagement.  It’s no longer enough to build out a core tab function.  Facebook is doing a lot of work to really integrate more of those functions into the mobile dialogue, but for the most part, users are in their newsfeed – wanting to hear from their friends and family.  Not only does it provide a barrier for brands, but also it requires we earn our way into the conversation. Simply put, it’s sink or swim time.

As always, perfection is elusive so the focus should be on progressing your efforts year over year.  Would love to hear your thoughts on how social and mobile intersect to impact how you go-to-market, or not.

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Filed under Learnings & Insight, Mobile, Social Media

The State of Location Based Marketing

Yesterday’s Explore conference was a great opportunity to ignite my appreciation for smart people doing cool things in digital.  Jason Falls‘ signature event was well attended, well catered and included several social power-houses from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  I’m not only a social practitioner, I’m also a fan of good thinking.

Aaron pontificates. Adrian preaches.

Aaron Strout, who literally wrote the book on location based marketing, invited me to speak during his session, The State of Location Based Marketing.

Though I was 1 week into a new job and knee-deep in to-dos, I’m glad I didn’t decline.  We chatted it up about several developments, perspectives and predictions in location technology.

Aaron was kind enough to post a list of resources on WCG’s blog so I highly encourage a click over to that.  Below are some of the high points of our conversation:

Starting a Location Program

When we started the inaugural location marketing program at RadioShack, there wasn’t a big appetite for embracing this unproven tactic.  This created the perfect petri dish for a digital experiment because no one cared if we succeeded or failed, as long as we didn’t lose money.  This low bar made the phenomenal results even more noteworthy.  Through iterative campaigns with foursquare, MyTown, Google Places and Gowalla, we were able to prototype a social/mobile/local campaign (SoMoLo) that yielded positive business results.

The key to starting was just that, starting.  Perhaps the biggest hurdle was ensuring store compliance with the check-in offers and proper tracking of the transactions.  These were executional items solved by education.  Simply starting a test is the best way to exercise a company’s SoMoLo muscles and assessing whether or not you’re ready for the big time.

Pitfalls to Watch

When Aaron asked about potential pitfalls agencies and brands should watch out for when developing a location marketing plan, I immediately thought of two that plague many a social souls:

  1. Crossing SignalsRelatively few mobile users are broadcasting their activities via location based applications.  The overwhelming majority actually access geo-location services on their cell phones to receive information like directions, price comparisons, reviews and other data that enhances a physical activity.  Contrary to popular opinion, not every one is a social butterfly.  Brands must become butlers and serve consumers information on their terms.  The way to add the most value is not by merely broadcasting marketing messages, but by creating content consumers can receive when they’re ready.  Check your signal.
  2. Shortsighted Thinking – Can you imagine if people were texting and Tweeting during the O.J. Simpson trial?  Me either.  Because in 1995 the average cell phone sent a measly .4 text messages per day and Twitter was an unborn idea inside the skull of a NYU college student.  Fast-forward to the present and the average texter sends or receives 41.5 messages per day!  Why should brands care?  Why will I care?  Because as smartphone adoption increases, location based tools will become the norm.  Don’t make the mistake of taking a short-term view of today’s emerging technology.  Instead, test the applications that are right for your business and make your mistakes now.  Think long term.

SoMoLo at Intuit

More than 40% of the nation’s tax filings this year will flow through Intuit software.  The very DNA of our brand is about delighting customers with service, ease and convenience.  As a software company this means we lack one critical component of a location based marketing plan – locations.

Or do we?

Enabling consumers with software and services doesn’t require a physical location, it simply requires a connection.  In my new role, I’m looking forward to cracking the code on how we leverage SoMoLo to enable our clients.  Targeting small business owners, accountants and consumers via a location offer on foursquare or Google Places is highly efficient.  Or how about empowering individuals to find financial help and resources via social and local recommendations?  Better yet, why not offer 1-click access on smartphones for downloading tax incentives and guides that are customized to your specific area?  I have work to do, can’t wait.

Tweet of Wisdom

In closing, Aaron asked me to offer a final, Twitter-sized pearl of wisdom in 140 characters or less.  Let me know what you think:

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Filed under Interactive Marketing, Location Based Marketing, Mobile