, 20 Aug 2014

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The latest in our series of video presentations covers the basics of location-based mobile advertising. This takes a 40K foot view of the trends impacting this opportune area.  For example, what’s driving the $4.5 billion spent annually on location targeted mobile ads?

Other Topics Covered:

– What usage patterns are having the most impact on location based advertising?
– What do we mean exactly when we say “location based mobile advertising” (examples)?
– What campaign tactics are producing the greatest results so far?
– mCommerce vs. offline shopping (spoiler: offline is where it’s at)

Check out the presentation below — a carbon copy of one I gave last week at LeadsCon. It contains streaming video of slides and voiceover. Consider it a “conversation starter” for deeper dives, and the topics at our upcoming SMB Digital Marketing conference.

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, 20 Aug 2014


This week in Boston’s seaport district the inaugural “Martech” event (aka “the marketing technology conference”) is taking place bringing together a range of brands, ad tech, martech, analysts, authors and developers into sort of an avant garde cultural exchange.  Technology, data science and consumer adoption of new patterns are fundamentally changing the marketplace and they way advertising and marketing need to work. Essentially, marketers need to get agile, get relevant or get lost.

Probably the key message from this event is that marketing has to be first and foremost centered around creating an enhanced and personalized customer experience. Technology, storytelling, big data, cross-channel media executions, creativity and a compelling, timely and targeted message are essential ingredients. The event sold-out.

Conference organizers addressed these five questions in the program:

1. What are the innovative technologies impacting marketing today – and tomorrow?
2. How do we support new marketing strategies with the right technology strategies?
3. How can technology transform our marketing operations and customer experiences?
4. What management practices do we need to govern this new breed of marketing?
5. How do we develop talent and culture to leverage marketing technology investments?

One thing marketing is successfully adopting from the software world is the practice of agile development methodology. There is a whole practice area around agile that BIA/Kelsey has been incorporating into its more recent client work. It makes a difference. For more information about agile marketing, see The Agile Marketing Manifesto which provides provides the core value statements and principles as well as a set of resources around this methodology.

Ultimately, it is not really about the technology it is about people and how we use technology to embrace and enhance the customer experience. On this point, I tweeted out one of my favorite quotes from this event when Gartner’s Laura McLellan (famous for her prediction that, “by 2017 the CMO will have a bigger tech budget than the CIO”) said that though she sees a huge future for martech, “”until algorithms & avatars get better we’ll still need people.”

Speaker decks when posted are available here.

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, 19 Aug 2014


As part of our ongoing coverage of call monetization, we’re holding a webcast next tuesday to further unpack some of our findings. We’ll also hear from bandwidth, a company positioned at the center of the call tracking and analytics opportunity.

This comes at an opportune time, when call monetization is gaining mainstream awareness in the smartphone age. High intent calls to businesses are conducive to mobile search, and businesses want phone leads. Google this week launched Website Call Conversions.

This also follows a white paper we did with bandwidth earlier this year. Next week’s webcast will drill down on the latest opportunities and best practices of driving phone leads to local businesses.  The webinar topics, themes and takeaways are all outlined below.

Register for the free webcast here.

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, 18 Aug 2014

Loyalty programs offering cash back or other rewards make a lot of sense for merchants – until it is 7:30 pm on Friday, and the loyalty program is still giving 20 percent back even though it is prime time for the restaurant. Mogl, the San Diego-based loyalty firm now working with over 1,000 restaurants in Southern California, San Francisco and Phoenix, thinks it has solved the problem.

Since June, the company — which has raised $25 million and set to initiate a new round — has been rolling out a new version that lets restaurants choose the amount of cash-back based on time of day. A 20 percent promotion at lunch can shrink to 1 percent for dinner, and go back to 10 percent for brunch – based on when the restaurant has seats to fill. Mogl calls this putting “butts in seats”.

How does it work? Restaurants log on to their dashboard on the Mogl website to program their cash-back offer by day and time. Mogl has established direct relationships with Visa, MasterCard and American Express providing users with a seamless, coupon-less, loyalty card-less way to redeem the real-time rewards if they just pay with any debit or credit card.

While several other loyalty providers also allow for time of day promotions — some even extending beyond restaurants to include hotels and other categories — CEO Jon Carder claims that MOGL is actually the first loyalty provider to get a live feed of card transactions. He asserts that other loyalty companies gain access to feeds from banks and payment processors that aren’t in real time. Moreover, these feeds only provide day of transaction data – which isn’t useful for executing time-based promotions, he argues.

Others, like FiveStars, get much closer to real time data – if consumers are willing to provide phone numbers or swipe dedicated loyalty cards though a restaurant’s POS. Carder feels this is a disadvantage. Mogl’s seamlessness is a major step up, he says, comparing it to what Uber did for the taxi industry (to us, this is an arguable point).

Regardless, MOGL’s new flexibility with promotions has also enabled it to pivot its business model. The company used to charge a flat 5 percent fee to restaurants across the board. But now – with rewards becoming variable – it has switched to a flat monthly fee of $199. The fee is refundable if restaurants don’t clear $199 in revenue a month from Mogl users These fees are on top of reward/jackpot fees, which the restaurant can now set for itself. The top three customers in a month at each restaurant win a jackpot bonus. The company allows customers to donate their cash-back to local food banks. More than 800,000 meals have been given away.

Mogl’s new model is also winning it some new customers – including some of the hottest restaurants that had shied away from flat, cash-back reward programs in the past because they weren’t able to change the amount based on time of day, says Carder. Even these establishments find themselves needing to fill their seats on weekday lunches.

We’ll have an extensive rundown of loyalty strategies and issues for SMBs at our Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing event Sept. 22-24 in New Orleans. Groupon’s Dan Roarty is keynoting, and our session includes executives from First Data, Mercury Payments and SignPost.. Register here.

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, 14 Aug 2014

Local radio and television stations are trying to understand their roles in the new digital media marketplace. Last week at the Texas Association of Broadcasters annual conference, we presented BIA/Kelsey’s latest information on the local media market and drilled into the issues of broadcasters and digital sales. To see the entire presentation, click now.

To effectively compete in this new marketplace, broadcasters must first discover the extent of this marketplace. Specifically, they need to know the size of the advertising spending that is moving to the digital advertising options. The latest BIA/Kelsey national advertising forecast predicts that by 2018 over a third of all local advertising will be digital. They also need to know locally what spending is moving to digital by different business categories, information that is available through BIA/Kelsey’s Media Ad View Plus forecast.

While a considerable amount of that increased digital spending is with pure-play online companies, radio and television stations are increasingly becoming a part of that spending. These local media outlets have the benefits of a local brand image, news and information on the local market, and, a local sales force – “boots on the ground.”

These advantages allow these local stations to move into new areas, and even go beyond just selling related online advertising on their station websites. Several broadcasters have moved into a “digital agency” role with their local businesses, providing needed guidance to local businesses who are overwhelmed with so many new and different choices. Of course, local broadcasters are not the only local media that are trying to fill this role, so these broadcasters need to have well-trained staffs knowledgeable about all of the opportunities out there.

In addition, these broadcasters need to insure that their social and mobile presence is strong. Many Texas broadcasters are doing just that with their on air personalities heavily involved and their news and information available on many different devices.

It was illuminating and encouraging at the same time presenting this information to these Texas broadcasters as many in the audience indicated that they were well on their way to transition their efforts to take advantage of these new opportunities.

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