April 30, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I love Mother’s Day. Of course, I do. I am a mother. I love spending time with my son and daughter. I love silly cards, I love sweet cards. I love flowers. I love handmade things. I love hugs and kisses. Seems I am not too different from others. A gift is good but love is best.
Market researcher NPD found that of the more than 2,000 moms of kids 18 and younger it surveyed, a handmade gift from their child was on the top of the list, chosen by 14.6%. In the study commissioned by Child’s Play Communications, the second most popular gift was a day off entirely for herself (13.6%), closely followed by a spa day (12.9%). Only 1.3% say they want breakfast in bed.
In a different study, National Retail Federation’s Mother’s Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, consumers indicated they will spend an average of $168.94 on mom, up 11 percent from last year’s $152.52. The survey found 14.1 percent of shoppers – the highest in the survey’s history – will spend more than $2.3 billion on electronics, treating Mom to a tablet or smartphone. And more than one-third (34.4%) of gift givers will buy jewelry, spending a total of $4.2 billion. That’s a lot of glitz! Also setting a record is the fact that nearly three in 10 (28.5%) Americans will buy their gifts online, up from 25.6 percent last year. Mother’s Day can mean purchasing gifts for their wife, daughter, grandmother, sister, mother or stepmother. If you are marketing to women, don’t forget that many of these women are guiding or actually doing the purchasing of these items.
That Takes the Cake! The History of Mother’s Day
Seems honoring Mother has long been a tradition. In 16th century England a celebration called “Mothering Sunday” was held annually—a Sunday set aside for visiting one’s mother. The eldest son or daughter would bring a “mothering cake,” which would be cut and shared by the entire family. Family reunions were the order of the day, with sons and daughters assuming all household duties and preparing a special dinner in honor of their mother. Sometime during the day the mother would attend special church services with her family.
Here in the US, the day was first celebrated on May 10, 1908, when a special Mother’s Day service was held in a church in West Virginia, at the insistence of Anna Jarvis. She campaigned heavily to have the day observed first in West Virginia, then finally the U.S. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill designating the second Sunday in May as a legal holiday to be called “Mother’s Day”—dedicated “to the best mother in the world, your mother.”
April 25, 2013 § 1 Comment
It is becoming hard to say travel without talking about mobile devices today. By 2014, smartphones and tablets are on track to capture nearly one in five travel dollars. And those who are marketing travel to women should take note of some of the opportunities and challenges.
Travel Decisions Made by Women
Some 80% of all travel decisions are made by women and 40% of travel is planned using a mobile device. The tablet is the preferred device for planning travel and the smartphone is the choice for booking trips while on the go. In fact, three-quarters (76%) of us reach for the smartphone when booking travel on the go.
Poor Mobile Experiences
So you know the drill – you are traveling and something happens to cause you to change your airline reservations. You go to your handy app. But you have a hard time loading the information, it gets confusing and then, you just call the airlines or the hotel or the car rental or the restaurant because it was a hassle figuring it out on that handy app. It’s happened to me before – and apparently, lots of others. A ResearchNow study released by Mobiquity shows the top negatives:
- 60% of smartphone owners, 52% of tablet owners found mobile travel sites slow to load
- 51% of tablet owners rated search and selection options on travel apps as complicated
- 20% of tablet owners were disappointed the apps were not integrated with their loyalty programs
Poor mobile experiences can cause travelers to take an alternative course and could result in decreased revenue for travel brands. More than a third (35%) of connected travelers would be less likely to book again with the travel brand after a slow, confusing of non-optimized experience when research or booking travel on a mobile device. Some of the issues in addition to slow load time are complicated search and selection, poor navigation, not linked to loyalty programs or not designed.
Top Mobile Travel Apps
The top mobile websites mostly include airlines and travel aggregators, such as TripAdvisor and Priceline.com. Of the 8% of iPhone users that use travel apps, the top airline apps are:
United Airlines (1.6%)
Southwest Airlines (1.5%)
Fly Delta (1.3%)
American Airlines (1.3%)
Some of the other popular apps for travel are included in the following infographic:
- Travel fragmentation is extending to mobile (tnooz.com)
April 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Smartphones now comprise 57% of the mobile market in the United States. By next year, there will be more mobile devices than there are people in the world and more mobile phones than desktop PCs.
With all that mobile action, why then is mobile advertising not growing as fast as smartphone adoption? According to IAB, some 53% of agencies say they don’t have experience in mobile advertising. And 70% say they would purchase more if clients understood it better. Translation: Agencies and clients need to go to school on mobile.
The Google Factor
So here’s a tip for all the late adopters: Mobile ads work! Or at least that’s what Google says. Mobile ads appear to be the most effective paid method of driving page likes, and Google reports that smartphone users are unusually responsive to advertising. Forty-two percent of users click on mobile ads they like, found the Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users survey. Of those, 49 percent go on to make a purchase, while 35 percent visit the advertiser’s site, and 27 percent call the business in question. A lot of that clicking is on local sites; 95% of people look for local info on their smartphone.
All that smartphone usage leads to smartphone shopping. While strolling the aisles, 49% of us compare prices, 44 percent read reviews of stuff while we shop, and 34 percent are using their phones to check the store’s inventory.
Gender differences in shopping: In a new study by Millennial Media and comScore, findings show men are more likely to use phones to check product availability, compare prices, find deals or make online purchases. Women are more likely than men to use phones in stores to text or call friends about products, send pictures of products, or research product features.
Mobile-Optimized Sites and Apps Necessary
Those that will win in mobile will have sites that are responsive and won’t have roadblocks like Flash. I was working with a client recently, and I tried to view her website on my iPad. Because her site was built in Flash, it was not at all accessible on any Apple devices.
Right now, people spend more time on apps than mobile websites. Tablets seem to be the online shopping tool of choice. Important features include side-by-side product comparison, 360-degree zoom, customer ratings, and an easy checkout process are most important to shoppers.
So let’s go mobile!
April 2, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Considering an app to market to moms? A recent study found that 97% of moms made a purchase on their tablet in the last month and they’re spending significantly more time on their tablets than laptops. There’s a huge opportunity for brands to provide value for moms on their tablets.
One way to make the most of moms on tablets is by developing an app for your brand. However, developing an app, especially for the first time, is not an easy task. It requires a big budget, skilled engineers, and dedicated marketers to build a useful, powerful app.
So before you begin, there are 4 key things to keep in mind when planning to develop a new app:
App functionality – In order to be truly effective, apps must be smart, innovative, and provide value to the customer. Know when your customers will be downloading the app and why they need it at that moment. Determine the use case scenario and keep it top of mind throughout all stages of development. Also know that you don’t have to include all potential features in the first release of the app. Prioritize the essential elements and add additional functionality in future releases.
Operating systems – You don’t need to develop an app for all platforms to be successful. Rather, understand the devices before choosing one or a few. First, narrow down your options by knowing which device your target audience uses. For example, about 51% of moms own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod, compared to 52% of teenagers owning an Android. Second, understand the pros and cons of the various platforms. Windows is known for its flexibility and provides a great user experience. Apple has fewer models and screen sizes so testing is easier. However, a rejection from Apple’s App Store means more time and money to make improvements. With Android, though, it’s easier to get apps into the Google Play store. On the down side, there are many Android models and testing on all of them is nearly impossible. Finally, testing on various devices requires lots of Quality Assurance (QA), not only for the first release but also to maintain the app as devices update their operating systems. Don’t forget to budget for ongoing QA as you develop your plan.
Pricing model – Will the app support your core business or will it be the sole revenue stream? If your business has other revenue sources, you may offer the app for free because it builds mobile presence and authority for your brand. If this will be your main revenue source, the app itself might be free but perhaps it will generate revenue through an eCommerce engine or paid membership. While some paid apps are very successful, tablet users have been shown to prefer free apps with ads to paid apps. Paid apps accounted for only 23% of all tablet app downloads in 2012. Does your app offer something that customers will pay for or does it offer another value to your business?
Download strategies – Marketing your app and getting customers to download it provides a huge challenge. Make sure your app is searchable within the app store. You can do this by choosing the most relevant keywords. What will customers be looking for when you want them to find your app? Find out and use those keywords. Note, you are limited a specific number of characters for keywords. For Apple, keywords must be less than 100 characters. Another download strategy is through email marketing. Email your existing customers and include a direct link to the app store so they can download the app immediately. Make it easy for them to find and download. Also consider integrating a social sharing element into your app so users market the app for you.
Creating an app may or may not be worth it for your business, but after thinking through each of these topics you should have a better idea of your approach and strategy. For more insights on the habits of moms on tablets and how to build the best app strategy for your brand, download the white paper, “Tablets 101: A Primer for Mom-Focused Brands.”
This guest post is by Katie Petrillo. She is the B2B Marketing Manager at Punchbowl, where she writes about marketing to moms for the Punchbowl Trends blog. Follow her on Twitter @PunchbowlTrends and find her on Google+.
March 31, 2013 § Leave a Comment
When looking at travel, women are the primary decision makers – making 80% of all decisions. And we women are going mobile. TripAdviser says some 40% of us use a mobile device to plan a trip.
A recently post on instant.ly identified two groups who are shaping mobile usage for tourism – Generation X and Digital Natives. Gen X are the ‘digital travellers’ making use of all technologies in all stages of the customer journey (mobile devices, tablets, desktop PCs etc.). The ‘digital natives’ (20th century kids) have grown up with technology and have interacted with digital technology from early stages in all lifetime situations.
According to Intrepid Travel, who booked over 100,00 US passengers for 2012, 63% were female (this is on par with the global figure of 64%). The majority of travellers were aged between 25 – 39 (46%). So female travelers between the ages of 25 and 39 are their biggest market. Some 24 percent of American women have taken a girlfriend getaway in the past three years, and 39 percent of American women plan on taking one in the next three years.
SoLoMo marketing is increasingly becoming a critical and pivotal tool for tourism marketing. It combines social media, location and context based marketing as well as mobile devices. Interactions are becoming digital real-time experiences at a physical location.
Top US Travel Apps / Sites
When looking at the top U.S. travel apps and sites, consumers seemingly prefer apps for guidance and the mobile Web for trip planning. Seven out of the top 10 Travel apps during June 2012 featured a map/navigation function, while the top mobile websites mostly included airlines and travel aggregators, such as TripAdvisor and Priceline.com. Interestingly, during a summer when gas prices were on the rise, GasBuddy, which lets users search for local gas prices, ranked as the number-two Travel app with nearly nine million users. Along with Google Maps, MapQuest and Southwest Airlines appeared on both lists but had more mobile Web users than app users.