Worldwide Mobile Phone Market To Grow 7.3 Percent in 2013 Due to Strong Smartphone Demand

idc-logo1The worldwide mobile phone market is projected to grow 7.3 percent year-over-year in 2013, up from the nearly flat 1.2 percent growth experienced in 2012 and higher than the 5.8 percent originally forecast for 2013, due to the strong demand for smartphones across all geographies, which is forecast to cause smartphone shipments to surpass one billion units for the first time in a single year, according to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) report. The Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker also expects the overall mobile phone market to grow faster than previously forecast due to strong gains in emerging markets and the sub-$200 smartphone segment causing a better than expected first half of the year.

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Use Physical Addresses Online to Drive Offline Transactions, Numero Uno Says

Numero Uno Web Solutions, a global Internet marketing firm that caters to small- and mid-size business-to-consumer companies, has unveiled its top online tips for driving offline transactions. Despite having a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place, many small- and medium-sized businesses continue to struggle to effectively merge their online and offline presences.

Digital technology, and with it the explosive growth of mobile devices, has provided smaller businesses that operate a traditional brick-and-mortar store with a number of great opportunities to integrate their offline presence with their digital, or online, presence.

“Unfortunately, many small- and medium-sized businesses are failing to connect with potential in-store customers, because they are not taking full advantage of the proliferation of mobile devices and optimizing their online sites for local traffic,” says Andy Wu, business development manager at Numero Uno. “For example, only 63 percent of businesses include information about offline locations, contact details, and opening hours on their web sites.”

That means 37% of companies are missing a chance to direct customers to offline locations. As Wu explains, by including contact information about the traditional brick-and-mortar store, brands can push online visitors to engage with the brand offline. Adding local information can also help sites rank higher on local search engine results pages.

“According to econsultancy.com, as much as 40% of all mobile search queries are aimed locally, says Andy Wu, business development manager at Numero Uno Web Solutions. “By integrating both digital and physical experiences, smaller businesses can target on-the-go consumers looking to spend money,” Wu adds.

G2Market Inside Scoop: “All politics is local,” former House Speaker Tip O’Neill once said. That may be doubly true in the digital marketing arena. In today’s multichannel retail environment, businesses simply can’t afford the Chinese Wall between online and offline activity.

(For more information visit Numero Uno Web Solutions, http://www.numerounoweb.com/).

- Carl Cooper
G2Market

The LinkedIn Mobile App for B2B Content Marketing

Content marketing & social media became a little more aligned this month with the launch of LinkedIn’s redesigned mobile interface with a new B2B content marketing app.

LinkedIn redesigned its mobile app interface to bring content front and center. The largest B2B social platform recognized that the average workday extends beyond the traditional nine-to-fiverr, and professionals use their portable devices to continuously look for ways to gain an edge over the competition. LinkedIn decided to focus on industry-relevant content as a way to provide users with actionable business resources. Along with re-design, LinkedIn’s mobile application features some powerful new tools for B2B marketers too.

The new app is designed for use on all mobile platforms to enable professionals to keep up with interactions that are taking place across LinkedIn. Some of the features include:

  • A more tailored member stream that highlights timely updates of news, blog posts, and chatter from Influencers for easy viewing, providing greater exposure for an estimated 81 percent of B2B companies and more than half of B2C companies using LinkedIn for branded content distribution.
  • A new customizable navigation page that allows members to preload features that matter most to them.
  • New search capabilities and personalized updates designed to help improve the overall user experience and bring members back to the site for all things industry related.
  • LinkedIn Groups will be improved to provide more lead generation opportunities and enable marketers can make sure their streams never miss an update.
  • LinkedIn promised in its official blog announcement that more mobile features are on their way.

G2Market Inside Scoop: While content marketers in the B2C space find it relatively easy to connect to customers by leveraging social media to facilitate content marketing efforts, that nut has been a little harder to crack for many B2B-focused organizations. LinkedIn already has street cred with B2B audiences, and the ability to deliver tailored media streams is a natural way to help business professionals get in on the chatter without getting swamped by the clutter.

- Carl Cooper
G2Market

Mobile Social Advertising Gives Big Brands Big Engagement

While mobile advertising is still in its infancy on social networks, marketers are closely monitoring this emerging channel. “Mobile Social Advertising Fights To Win Over CMOs,” a new report from Yankee Group, sheds light on why mobile social advertising is back on chief marketing officers’ (CMOs’) agendas and how it will fit in the mobile marketing mix.

Highlights from the report include:
 Social networks are waking up to mobile advertising. During its January 2013 earnings call, Facebook reported that mobile accounted for 23 percent of its ad revenues in the final quarter of 2012. Twitter got serious about advertising last year as well.
 Big brands are responding to the level of engagement social media provides with mobile customers. CMOs are overcoming distrust of social media and reorganizing marketing operations to become faster to respond and more flexible on measurement. Brands across major verticals are following retailers’ lead by using mobile social advertising to drive brand awareness and specific promotions.
 Social networks must understand each vertical’s advertising requirements. Social networks will be in fierce competition to win ad dollars in 2013. The winners will invest in building ad sales operations aimed at gaining deep understanding and awareness of each industry vertical.

“Mobile advertising on social networks will remain in its adolescence until current format preferences evolve,” said Jason Armitage , Yankee Group Principal Analyst and author of the report. “The role of display ads on social networks is contentious, and CMO skepticism of social advertising’s value is even more marked when it comes to small screens. Future investment will focus on utilizing social recommendations and content marketing to drive awareness and advocacy for brands.”

G2Market Inside Scoop: The good news: mobile advertising on social media networks is an exciting emerging opportunity for content marketers to tackle. The bad news: there are still a lot of bugs to work out before brands can cash in. One thing is clear, however: relying on digital ads simply won’t cut it – and that truth opens the door to creative use of value-added content to engage the audience. Successful content marketing strategies must include a focus on what is “”format-friendly” to a broad mix of mobile devices.

(For more information, visit www.yankeegroup.com.)

- Carl Cooper
G2Market

PR Newswire: Three Mobile Marketing Strategy Tips for Small Businesses

There are three content strategies (single-thread, double-thread and triple-thread) that are necessary for small businesses to best attract and retain mobile traffic, according to a recent article from Christina Zila, Textbroker director of communications. The article, published in PR Newswire’s PR Toolkit, explains the differences between a single-thread, double-thread and triple-thread mobile marketing strategy and why refining these strategies based on your visitors’ needs may lead to increased traffic and e-commerce opportunities.

“Your site isn’t just seen on a desktop anymore,” Zila said. “About a quarter of all time spent online is spent on a mobile device, according to the research company GfK. That’s traffic that you can’t afford to miss. How do you best attract and retain this mobile traffic? Just as with a regular website, you need to have pertinent content displayed in a format that fits the device. Mobile visitors show different behaviors and search query types than desktop users, and there are further differences between smartphone and tablet users. A recent study by comScore showed that nearly three quarters of tablet users use search, whereas just over half of smartphone users do.

“About 40 percent of smartphone users searched for local business information, but only about 20 percent of tablet users did,” she continued. “To paint with broad strokes, smartphone users are looking to fulfill an immediate need on the go. Tablet users, on the other hand, are looking to be entertained; reading news and content, watching videos and playing games are popular tablet activities. Depending on the traffic volume you see for your site from different device categories, you can adapt your strategy to cater to these general search behaviors. As you see how your specific audience reacts, you can refine your strategy. Since there are three audiences that could possibly have different behaviors, you could have three different content strategies: single, double or triple thread content strategies.”

  • Single-Thread Strategy: This strategy uses the exact same content for all versions of a site. It works well with responsive design, which adapts display elements and font sizes to the dimensions of a device on the fly. It also is a practical solution for sites with a single focus and straightforward layout. A local dry cleaner, for example, may be able to keep a single thread of content.
  • Double-Thread Strategy: This strategy plans a specific set of content, different from the content for desktops, specifically for smartphones or for mobile devices in general, depending on audience needs and device usage. Here, a souvenir store may have a full product description for each item in its content for desktops and tablets but just a bullet list of features for smartphones to allow more room for a product photo.
  •  Triple-Thread Content Strategy: This strategy assumes that each device type, i.e. desktop, tablet and mobile, needs separate content. This strategy may be the most pertinent for large companies, but done right, it can help increase traffic and conversions for smaller players. It may even become a strength, since the majority of users that experience a badly optimized site will leave for a competitor. A variation on this strategy is to write content in sections. Each thread then shows only the sections of the full content that make sense for the audience.

G2Market Inside Track: In today’s device-agnostic content marketing environment, Triple-Thread is a triple threat. The strategy is a common-sense revival of the browser-agnostic website development that many companies embarked upon in the early days of Internet commerce. Like it or not, your digital content is likely the first – and only – business card your audience will ever see, and your content needs to be optimized for the variety of ways your potential customers want to consume it.

(For additional information contact: PR Newswire, www.prnewswire.com; Textbroker, www.textbroker.com.)

- Carl Cooper
G2Market