Marketing Student Views

Perspectives by GMU Internet Marketing Students


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Why mobile marketing is important

Blogger: Mir Hussain

Mobile marketing is connecting to consumers through mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets etc.  70% Mobile searches are acted upon 1 hour of the search and most of the time the searches are local.  Mobile marketing has to be quick, fast and has to have location services.  Word press touch, responsive design, and using codes to redirect to mobile webpages for the website as a work around.  There are a lot of reasons that mobile marketing is important and few of the highlights are:

  • 75 percent of consumers often choose a restaurant to dine at based on search results.
  • According to Google and Nielsen, 73 percent of mobile searches trigger additional action and conversion.
  • 97 percent of consumers go online to research products or services in their local area.
  • 49 percent of searches for local businesses occur without a specific business in mind.
  • 70 percent of those consumers who run local mobile searches act on their search within an hour.

Jamie Turner is considered to be an expert in mobile marketing who appears as a guest for CNN and other media outlets on a regular basis. He is the CEO and founder of the 60 second marketer which is an organization that provides tools, tips and tutorials on social media and mobile marketing.  Jamie says that most crucial tool a business can have is a mobile website before anything else like an app or so on.  Consumers are looking for products through mobile devices and want to connect with a business.  Google search, QR code scan, mobile banner ads, and ad SMS are just a few ways consumers and companies engage each other.

I personally see mobile marketing being the most crucial part of a marketing campaign because of the amount of people that have mobile devices.  I use apps on my phone to look for new restaurants for date night with my girlfriend. .  I looked up a fine dining Italian restaurant in DC called Palena for our anniversary.  I found while I was looking for upscale restaurants in yelp.  They had a 5 star rating and 4 $ signs to show how expensive they were.  These types of apps which allow you to read reviews and also book a reservation through a simple click enhances the experiences of the consumer.   Apps such as yelp, foursquare, Google Chrome etc.   Everybody is researching a product or service on a mobile device most of the time because of the convenience.  Mobile devices are easier to access than desktops which are becoming obsolete,  and know some cases a laptop.   I work at Verizon and the specs that some of these phones that come in are just as good as some laptops.  Right now I have the LG G2 which has a 2.26ghz, quad core processor.  The things you can do like having having access to sites and mobile apps help companies a lot to market their products and services.  Also a lot of restaurants are on Groupon and living social which are coupon based apps help market particular restaurants.  Nowadays a lot of people including myself will go to restaurants if we find a deal and then research the restaurant in yelp or another review site/app to see how good the service and food is at the particular restaurant.  The companies are connected to the consumers directly through their mobile sites and apps and also third party apps and sites which increases their exposure.

As we were talking in class with our mini project of a food truck, our group decided on the idea of making a app that keeps track of amount of times a customer came in to eat and they would receive the 10th meal free.  Having links to Facebook to make a quick profile which is a deeper connection to the customer promoting the product and service of our food truck.  Also having QR codes on the side of the truck to give out deals to customer so with a scan with their mobile devices they would be able to get instant deals.  Mobile apps have made everyone’s life easier when you look at all the things that can be accomplished such as managing your finances with apps from the credit card companies like Amex, also managing your social media pages like Facebook and Twitter, and keeping up with news and information whether is international to domestic or sports. If companies don’t take advantage of having a presence in mobile marketing, they are already a step behind the competition.


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Mobile Marketing: Why is it important?

Blogger: Trevon D. Jones

Mobile Marketing is extremely important in today’s society. According to an article from Business West.com entitled, “Your Customers Have Gone Mobile,” research shows that more than 50% of cell phones are now smartphones along with the increasing use of tablets. An estimation was made that the number of mobile internet users will exceed those of PC internet users by next year.

With our society now currently having that “on-the-go” lifestyle, we tend to prefer convenience and efficiency above anything else. The use of the smartphone allows us to access the internet, download different apps of our choice (some of which could already be a part of the package such as Facebook), utilize the Global Positioning System (GPS) for directions, and not to mention, to call, text, and leave voicemails. With us able to do all of these different activities via a smartphone, something small and light that we can easily carry around, we tend to prefer to use those over a PC. However, it is important to note too that due to the growth of the mobile marketing trend, companies need to, if they haven’t already, adjust their websites accordingly. As we discussed in class, companies with websites need to have a responsive website which the site itself would essentially adjust itself according to the length and width of the current screen it is being displayed on. So for instance, if a viewer accesses your site via a mobile phone/smart-phone, they should be able to view your site without having to do extra zooming or scrolling to read the content.

Another reason why mobile marketing is so important is because it is seen as an opportunity for companies to have essentially an effective marketing strategy. For instance, companies can use mobile marketing as an integrated content delivery, a direct response vehicle, a cross-media driver, or essentially a form of marketing communications according to the article “Mobile Marketing: Its Time Has Come.” Additionally, the article states that with the improvement of technology and reporting, companies can now follow their audiences. Not to mention either, the cost to do such marketing is relatively cheap. The Mobile Marketing article points out this example: “From local retail stores to amateur garage bands, it is now possible to design and implement campaigns to connect with customers and fans alike, with little effort and money.”

STEVENS, TINA. “Your Customers Have Gone Mobile.” Businesswest 30.3 (2013): 18. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2013

Westlund, Richard. “Mobile Marketing: Its Time Has Come” Adweek (2008): 6. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2013


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PPC

Blogger: Alexa Filipek

The first article I read: PPC for brand impact explained the benefits and advantages of companies using the PPC campaign to brand and rebrand their products and services. “Paid search marketing is the process of gaining traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. It is sometimes referred to as CPC (cost-per-click) or PPC (pay-per-click) marketing” (Shuen). The added bonus is companies only pay for actual advertising results, when someone clicks on your add and visits your website. Not all companies can afford to spend money on fancy campaigns to promote their brand, so the PPC campaign is a cost effective alternative.

Every successful business has a webpage, and in this day in age customers, and clients rely on that webpage for important information, and companies rely on their webpage gaining a lot of traffic. With internet marketing being such a useful tool, PPC can help your company gain more traffic and generate more clients for your business.

“For something that has been around for a few years, PPC has become an established part of online marketing for many companies” (Shuen). One of the main advantages of PPC is that it can be very effective for branding, and rebranding awareness of a product or service.  For example, ServiceMagic was a company who was looking to rebrand after using their name for over a dozen years. The new brand name is now HomeAdvisor, and this company used the PPC approach to learn and test traffic impact. The company was simply looking for a way to increase the number of clicks, as well as increase web traffic, and using the PPC campaign was able to accomplish just that, and this method proved to be a success for the company.

The second article I read, Why PPC ads will always work, Cunnignham provides three specific advantages and benefits of using PPC.

  1. “Speed (PPC works on a bidding system, you can competitively bid so more people see your ad. This means if you put up an ad today you can gain traffic today from that ad, no waiting).”
  2. “Target (With PPC you can target certain types of people with certain interests with your advertising, and not have to pay for people who don’t care to see your ads).”
  3. “Results (No internet marketing tool brings more immediate results).”

 

“The typical click through rate (CTR) for a decent ad campaign is anywhere from 1-5% (the ratio of people who see your ad to those who click through). The good news, is you aren’t paying for the 5,000 people who don’t click on your company’s ad, but you pay for the 50 who do click on it. “Depending on the exact targeting of your ad, you will probably begin paying about $1-2 per click, and if you’re good or have good people working for you, they will half that cost in a few weeks by optimizing your campaign, so in the beginning you’ll be paying $50-100 per sale or new lead; in the end about $25-$50” (Cuningham).

With results and benefits mentioned previously, it is hard to see why companies wouldn’t want to spend time creating a PPC campaign for their company. It has proved in many situations to be successful and help companies promote their products and services, by targeting their specific audience efficiently and effectively.

Article #1 http://socialmediatoday.com/sookie-shuen/473076/death-pay-click-advertising-ppc

Article #2 http://www.cowleyweb.com/blog/why-ppc-pay-click-ads-will-always-work


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(SEO) Search Engine Optimization

Blogger: Brandon Hayes

Search Engine Optimization is about how to get traffic to your website through keyword searches and how to have your business show up on the first page of results, in a natural or organic way, instead of having to use a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns. According to the Finadabilitly Formula, a book dedicated to assist businesses in their marketing techniques, after determining the keywords, then the website must be redesigned “that requires carefully crafted customized content, specific linking strategies… to get and keep your site highly ranked in Page One results”. To a specific air conditioning business, searching an HVAC system would seem logical, but a normal consumer would not search for that, they would search for air conditioner. Using the correct keywords are crucial because they are what the consumer will search for, not what a business would search for.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, Did Edward Snowden Kill the Search Engine Optimization Industry, they state that it is becoming much harder to have optimal results through search engine optimization. Over the past decade, Google has implemented updates that allow related results, not just results that included the keyword. For instance, if someone was searching, “The Great Wall of China”, and then searched, “How Long is the Great Wall of China?” the new updates would now recognize that both articles share the same intent. So, its making the modifications to your website, social media, blogs etc., that allow your company to show up not just if they use the keyword, but also if it is related to the topic that was being searched.

In an article published on Entrepeneur.com, Google’s New Secure Search Means More Work for Online Business Owners, they indicate that with these new changes to Google, “this means that business owners who track keyword data provided by Google on search traffic are now out of luck…”. Almost 75%  of websites are not tracked by keywords anymore, simply making it harder and harder for the retailer or company to tune in to what people are really searching for. Now, it does indicate that if you are running ads on Google, you can obtain the keywords consumers are searching, but of course that costs extra money and ultimately you are paying for a PPC just to find out how consumers find you. In this article they do suggest that since keywords are being phased out, a new way to obtain data is to start focusing more on conversion rate optimization. In a sense, this means that it will cause businesses to “focus more on the right things, individual landing pages, instead of individual entry keywords for each landing page”. Conversion Rate Optimization will give the company real time data updates for the changes they are making, for instance to their website. This new technique will really help while working with new updates and algorithms from search engines.

Both SEO and Conversion Rate Optimization will cost a business financially, because unlike PPC where you pay to run an ad, to keep updates on your website and analyzing data, you have to pay someone to do that for you. There is no way around the cost, however, there are other ways, other than using PPC, to have your business show up in the first page of results through a search engine, like SEO and Conversion Rate Optimization.

 

Resources Used

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chad-pollitt/did-edward-snowden-kill-t_b_4012531.html

Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228561

The Findability Formula

 


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Search Engine Optimization: “Meet Them Where They’re At”

Blogger: Topher Hall

In the marketing world, it’s a tried and true (albeit extremely played out) strategic philosophy: “Meet them where they’re at.”  The phrase implores marketers to put and keep their product or service in plain view of their target audience.  It suggests that the marketer’s job is not to prod people into changing their mind about a particular product or service, but rather it’s to be in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.  Online, the right place is on the very first results page on Google, Yahoo or MSN search.  The right time is the instant a member from your target audience submits a keyword string related to your product or service.  If you sell little black handbags for tweens, and a young consumer types in “black purse” into Google’s search bar, your company had better be in front of her seconds later. How is this accomplished? Even after years of continuous innovation online, the answer has largely remained the same.

Get optimized. Stay optimized.

“Organic search still continues to be the number one way people find content and websites,” according to C3 search industry conference host, Conductor. (D’Amico) This search conference, held in New York City, explores the trends, challenges and opportunities that exist in the web search field.  Even with all the advances in Pay Per Click advertising and social media presence building, the moral of the story at the end of the conference was, SEO is not declining in importance. Organic search engine optimization, and relevant destination content makes a successful web presence.

If digging into your site to surgically place keywords into lines of metadata seems like a lot to handle for business owners, it is.  But there are now thousands of specialist that can help optimize a website in iterative steps, to allow small businesses to play with the big boys on search. While some companies spend thousands of dollars and hours of manpower on SEO, there is room for smart marketers to pinpoint their target audience and work with SEO specialists to make a site visible.

In Aubrey Beck’s article about hiring a specialist, she suggests asking three questions in an interview with the potential SEO partner. Beck tells us to ask SEO specialists if they use “White Hat” organic techniques. This is important. Black hat operations (cramming in tons of repetitive keywords, or other means of cheating the system) are looked down upon. They will eventually get you in trouble with the search engines.  Don’t hire someone that may use those techniques. Stick with one who uses above board activities like link-building, clever keyword use and establishing great site architecture.

Beck also says to ask, “Are they technical and creative?” (Beck) Technical expertise is fine, but if your specialist can’t think outside the box, you’ll be steps behind your competitors. Lastly, Beck would have us ask our SEO specialist, “Do you use analytics-based approach for running ROI-focused campaigns around concrete earnings models?” (Beck) In other words, is he or she tracking success of keywords? Is a he or she monitoring search success throughout different steps of the customer’s path to purchase? Will there be an established baseline on which to measure traffic, rankings and linkbacks? Measurement is key. Without great measurement practices, it’s difficult to tell what’s working and what’s not.

Know these important focal points of good SEO. Also know that SEO is here to stay. PPC and social media presence building are viable online activities, and they certainly have their place in your integrated marketing, but stay on top of the best practices of SEO and keep your site in plain view of your target audience. This is acquisition marketing. This is your conversion plan. SEO is how the consumer finds you, assesses you and buys what you’re selling. Make their experience effortless.

As stated by Christie Nichols of Performance Solutions, we want to make sure we give customers what they need, at the right time on their journey through the brand eco-system.”