Category Archives: mobile marketing

Mobile & Samples in Hong Kong

In the world of food retailing marketers like Costco have found that samples can boost sales. Some products have seen increases of 2000% according to an Atlantic report by Joe Pinsker in 2014. Sampling in stores is effective because the product is available immediately from the display and customers can make the decision to purchase right away. 

What happens when companies give out samples on the street? This is a popular strategy exhibited in my neighborhood in Manhattan where there is a lot of foot traffic.  Usually the company reps simply hand out the samples without any knowledge of the recipients or any follow up. Strong marketing is built on the notion of knowing your target and building relationships. Handing out samples to an anonymous group limits the ability of a company to track the result. These days analytics are a requirement for any strategy, so why should companies rely on blind faith for their expensive sampling efforts? 

One option that seems to work well in Hong Kong is to give samples only to those who provide follow up information. This is now very easy to do with mobile. In these photos reps of BioEssence are giving products to those who log their email addresses so that the company can reach them later. Not only that, but the added step means that only motivated interested customers will take the time to participate. 

Sha Tin


New Book: Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategy

Coming in August 2016: Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategy from Oxford University Press by Dr. Randi Priluck


Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 12.49.55 PM

The practice of marketing has changed drastically in the past ten years and represents both challenges and opportunities for those who study the field. We are now firmly in the digital marketing era in which firms conduct business online and communicate with customers through a variety of digital and traditional media.

The new book Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategies takes our current knowledge of the field and applies the best ideas to the world of social media and mobile marketing. Effective marketing strategies begin by segmenting and targeting markets, researching the environment, and understanding consumer behavior, and that is why this book focuses heavily on planning the strategy prior to execution.

A social media and mobile communications strategy also requires that one establish a strong digital presence on the Web and through online marketing prior to executing any campaign. Therefore, this book emphasizes planning and executing communications strategies, while keeping a clear focus on measuring the outcomes using clearly established goals and metrics. Finally, because there are legal issues involved in many executions, the final chapter reviews the law as it relates to digital marketing.

Learn social media and mobile strategy for your business or teach the topic to students.

Click here for a link to the site and to order your review copy.   Oxford University Press


How do Social Media Influence Attitudes?

Dannon paris

What comes to mind when you think of Chobani?  Now, consider Dannon and what that brand means to you.  The associations you made could lead to different types of attitudinal and behavioral responses and responses in social media.  Perhaps you want a thick Turkish yogurt with clear bold flavors or a more traditional French yogurt?  Maybe you are feeling like a little Paris in your life today?

Encouraging consumers to develop brand associations can help your social media marketing strategy by actually reducing communications costs.  When people have a clear picture in their minds of what your brand represents you don’t have to spend as much time, effort and expense telling them. Not only that, but people may share their ideas and thoughts about your brand in social media matching the associations that are clear to them.  That’s great for your earned media strategy right?

So what is the science behind these attitudinal processes?  Basically it comes down to a type of learning called associative learning or classical conditioning. Market researchers have examined variations on Pavlov’s original research with dog saliva and applied it to consumer salivation.

When consumers develop associations between advertisements and brands two processes may take place: direct affect transfer or inferential belief formation. Direct affect transfer occurs when consumers feel positive about elements in an advertisement and transfer the feeling to the brand. Inferential belief formation is when consumers develop cognitive thoughts about a brand from a communication, which could arise from an association.

When the consumer actively considers the information presented to him or her through a process of elaboration, the person enters into the realm of cognition, the act of learning through thinking and reasoning. Marketers using social sites for engagement can attempt to influence customers through either direct affect transfer or inferential belief formation. Both types of learning and the subsequent attitude formation can take place through social media or mobile vehicles.

For example, Domino’s Pizza wanted to change consumer attitudes toward their product after discovering that people thought the pizza tasted like cardboard. After some soul searching and sincere focus groups with customers, Domino’s improved the product and released a YouTube video discussing their problem and highlighting their solution. The purpose of the video was to change people’s beliefs about Domino’s. On the other hand Coca-cola’s app contest resulted in “open happiness” a mobile app for iPhone, Android and Blackberry that generates positive feelings, but does not provide a specific brand message.

Brands Influencing Attitudes Through Social and Mobile

Attitudinal Response Example
Direct Affect Transfer Attitudes are developed when the individual pairs the positive stimuli in an ad with the brand. Coca-cola creates “open happiness” a mobile app to share positive feelings.
Inferential Belief Formation Attitudes are developed through active thinking and reasoning of the message in the ad. Domino’s pizza releases a YouTube video showing their improvements to the product following customer complaints.

coke happiness dominos

(not) Measuring Snapchat


This Friday I will be teaching metrics to my students.  We will talk about how to set goals, determine strategies, tag all efforts and evaluate the metrics.  There are many tools that provide metrics for the major social sites and you can track your posts on Google Analytics through Google’s URL builder to see how the content performs and leads to conversions.

However, what to do about Snapchat?  Brands can’t tag content to show up and even if they could, people could register a brand identification or message, but not link through to the site.

Right now the only metrics available to brands using Snapchat are those on the site, such as total views and screenshots taken.

Social Media Examiner provides some good advice for planning your Snapchat campaign so it can be more track-able.

  1. you can ask followers to take screenshots of snaps – a measurable metric.
  2. you can offer a discount code to those who take a screenshot and track those who redeem it.
  3. Give Snapchat users a unique landing page and track it with Google Analytics.

Of course I would expect Google to come up with a solution for tracking these campaigns.  In the meantime, it’s always good practice to make sure your strategy is working and whether the same goal could be achieved elsewhere more efficiently.

Ask yourself: Is Snapchat the best use of my marketing energy? Where can I get the most bang for my buck (and time) with my target audience?




Shaking it up with Multiple Media

Mixing Television, Social Media, Radio, Billboards, Cable, Mobile Apps, Websites, Bloggers, Merchandise etc.

Marketers can enhance communication strategies with social media or mobile marketing by broadening reach, increasing frequency, encouraging interaction or building relationships. A brand’s strategy can include multiple media vehicles each contributing a distinct element of the message or building upon one another to enhance the communication in some way.


There are some advantages to using multiple forms of media. In a highly cluttered environment it is difficult for a brand’s message to be noticed, so additional formats can lead to more views and increased attention for the brand. Changing the execution of a message can refresh the advertisement and limit potential wear out. A variety of media also provide different means of delivering the message under varying consumer mindsets and moods.

Brands also use multiple forms of media to generate broader reach so more people see the communication. These days target markets are engaging with many devices, programs, web sites, mobile sites and reading material. It is difficult for marketers to get a strong audience in any one place so they reach people using many forms of media. When the marketer does reach the same person again, the wear out effect might be reduced because the medium is different and the person may be less inclined to feel annoyance as the message in a new format doesn’t seem like exactly the same message…again.

Sometimes the target market may not see particular advertising executions because they have not viewed the media format. To broaden reach and increase frequency, brands can distribute their traditional media through social media outlets. For example, many companies upload their commercials to YouTube to increase the number of people who will see them. Marketers can also run versions of print ads on social media sites to build awareness or share news through social networks. Social media can also encourage customer interaction with a brand because of the two-way capabilities of the medium. Customers can ask questions, make complaints, offer suggestions and receive information and advice from brands – an opportunity that doesn’t exist in traditional media. Social media can also offer added value to customers through the sharing that takes place on the network when they interact with other customers. Each form of media has unique opportunities to increase a brand’s overall presence using social media.

Bloglette: Targeting in Mobile with Roomi

Promoting in Washington Square park this week was Roomi. This app had it right approaching young people in the park with Frisbees. Couldn’t help feeling a bit left out, but recognize a mom like me isn’t in the target. I’m really bad at Frisbee too.  

With $2 million in funding this company targets New Yorkers seeking compatible roommates. It launched as the first mobile-only service of its kind. There are over 3,000 rooms available and Roomi verifies users through Facebook.

Source: TechCrunch “Roomi Lands $2 Million To Pair You With The Perfect Roommate”

Posted Jun 9, 2015 by Jordan Crook (@jordanrcrook)

@Pathinteractive Customer Journey

I recently attended Path Interactive’s presentation on the customer journey at Google’s event space in the Chelsea Market.

Some interesting points that were covered:

1. Not all conversions are equal. If a conversion costs a lot of money, it’s less efficient than one that was less expensive.

2. Some conversions may result in customers who are more valuable in terms of the actions people take post conversion- such as those who share with others.

3. Search serves as bookends of a journey. People often initiate a journey with search and end the journey with a search. This makes keywords very important.

4. As customers go through the journey different types of communication may be necessary. Early on in a journey people search general info, later on more comparison data or customer specific information.

5. Marketers can use Google Analytics to integrate non digital data or data from other platforms.

6. In Google Analytics it helps to look at mobile sessions to determine what people are viewing on their mobile devices to tailor the experience.

7. It’s possible to benchmark within your industry using Google Analytics.

8. The presentation ended with a panel of Path Interactive’s clients.

Thanks @Pathinteractive and @Google for a great session.

Butterflies and Social

How can a small tourism business encourage sharing in social? First, the experience has to be enjoyable with either good quality or good value. A poor or mediocre tourist experience may be shared, but may hasten a downfall. Second, the activity or service should be unique and special so that people want to tell others about it. Something plain and everyday won’t get much attention.

I recently visited Butterfly Haven in El Valle Panama. The owner decided to pursue a “second childhood” by starting a butterfly farm and was actively promoting the business. The farm was listed in major guidebooks, noticeable signs were posted around town and there were cards with directions in local hotels and restaurants.

In addition in an attempt to leverage social media, the owner posted a sign asking people to share their experiences. See below.

How could Butterfly Haven increase the likelihood that visitors share? I would recommend setting up a unique photo opportunity with butterflies or caterpillars and a page on which to post the photos online, such as on Instagram. Along with the photo the farm should offer Wifi to travelers who may not have international data plans. This would give people the opportunity to post immediately and they would be more likely to do so in the moment.

A good, unique experience that can be shared immediately can generate positive buzz for a business. What can you create?


New Instagram Ad Opportunities

instagram ipad

This week Instagram announced they would expand paid advertising options for brands. Instagram will open its news feed to advertisers offering the opportunity to target by age, gender and interests – as on Facebook who owns the service.  In addition Instagram will test a click to buy button.  The New York Times article on the new advertising is here.

Though Instagram has run paid ads since November 2013, this will open the field up to many more potential advertisers leading to more clutter on the service.  Many brands have run Instagram photo contests to engage customers for free.  For example, Herschel Supply has encouraged fans to post pictures with the hashtags #WellTravelled and #CityLimitless. Now brands will have to pay for space to get noticed.

One question is what will the advertising do to Instagram’s young customer base? 90% of Instagram users are under 35 according to Business Insider.  Teens are a fickle bunch and move among social media sites showing little loyalty to any one site.  This is good news for new platforms, but difficult for developing strategy.

As a professor of social media the challenge is to teach students how to manage the ever changing landscape. Initially, it made sense for a brand to develop a social strategy on Facebook and Twitter because there was little clutter and the platforms were ‘free.’ Brands face a different social media space today.  Most sites now support paid advertising and those placements are favored over organic traffic.  Users who “like” a page on Facebook don’t even see most of the posts on their news feeds.  Therefore brands must use paid media to reach targets.

To teach social media these days it doesn’t make sense to focus on specific platforms. Instead, faculty should teach the integrated marketing communications process including: targeting, goal setting, user behavior, content development, search engine marketing, engagement and measurement.

It’s a complicated cluttered mess out there and focusing the strategy on targets and goals makes it manageable.