Mobile Marketing – Smartphones vs. Computers

I recently stumbled across the Youtube channel for Google Mobile Ads, and it is mind-blowing how much we use our smartphones! Some of the more shocking stats of 2011 include:

  • 33% of smart phone users use smartphones while watching TV
  • 1 in 3 people would give up chocolate in order to keep their smartphone
  • 39% of users use it while going to the bathroom
We are seriously obsessed.
smart phone mobile marketing

It's time to turn off your phone now.

It is an undisputed fact that smartphones are the newest competitor vying for our screen time, which means e-marketers are paying much more attention to it.

Featured as an exemplary case study on Google’s instructional mobile marketing website How to Go Mo, Ticketmaster’s subsidiary TicketsNow saw an opportunity for growth when it saw that 25% of ticket sales take place on a mobile device. But they made the conscious decision to build a mobile-device friendly website rather than an App. It seems like everyone has an App today. But TicketsNow recognized that although everyone is jumping on the mobile device bandwagon, internet and PC browsing isn’t dead yet and it generates a lot more sales than mobile devices right now. I will be shocked to see the day when we no longer use computers and do everything on our smart phone. TicketsNow did a smart thing by accomodating the early technology adopters rather than catering to only them. We can’t all keep up with the digital leaps, now, can we?

On that note: Will the evolution of the smart phone mean the death of the computer? 

Ponderingly yours,

Shiv 🙂

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Market YOURSELF on the Internet

Ever tried Googling yourself? Embarrassed with what pops up? If you are, that is a major problem –  chances are a potential employer (or two, or every single one) has done the same thing. Welcome to the modern world. Everyone has some form of a digital imprint, and the savvy student knows exactly how to put your best digital foot forward 🙂

So how else can you promote yourself online? Well, let’s use the basic principle of marketing and apply them here. A quick situational analysis, like a Porter’s 5, should work nicely.

**Quick caveat: These are generalizations, that definitely depend on industry, personal work experience, and the positions that you are applying for.

1. Bargaining Power of Customers: HIGH. If you are selling yourself, then the buyer would be employers. Here are some questions to ask: Are there many employers looking for your qualifications? In the current economic crisis there are generally fewer positions than applicants, meaning bargaining power is high. In this case, it’s necessary to do everything possible in order to make yourself visible and memorable – that means not just creating an account on all the online channels, but regularly tweeting, responding to people, researching and learning about your specific industry.

2. Bargaining Power of Suppliers: MEDIUM.

In this case, you are selling the skills you got from whoever taught them to you. One way I interpret this is : how much clout does your school have? Or your teachers? If it’s not too much, than you would hope to get jobs that give you excellent experience to make up for it. On the other hand, whoever supplied your education will most likely have resources to help you find a job: Look for alumni networks, ask your peers how they got where they are, and connect with your favourite professors. The internet is a beautiful tool to accomplish all these connections 🙂

3. Threat of New Entrants: HIGH.

How many people are going to learn what you know in the future? This is a worry for people in growing industries, like Sustainability for example. Best way to address this is to constantly improve on your professional skills and take advantage of the extra time you’ve been playing the game before them.

4. Threat of Existing Competition and 5. Threat of Substitutes: HIGH.

How many people do what you do? Probably quite a few. But don’t be discouraged by the number of competitors! Every person IS different from another, and no one else will have the same combination of natural ability, life and work skills as you! It is imperative to broadcast how you differ from your competition if you want to be remembered by potential employers. This goes for the interview, as well as your online profiles.

Takeaways: So how do you use the internet to work to your advantage?

There are two major advantages I see to having an online presence:

1. Exposure. By having an online presence, people who are in different parts of Vancouver, Canada and elsewhere have a way to connect to you. You never know who is surfing the internet looking for candidates just like you.

2. Ability to communicate with all types of players. This is a dismally overlooked part of job searching and establishing an online presence in general. Being online doesn’t just mean that potential employers can find you online; it means you have a way to connect with your fellow job-seeking peers, you can research and keep track of companies that interest you, and even discover positions you never even knew about. Speaking of which…

3. Shows you possibilities you never even knew about. About a year ago, I started up my Twitter account and dutifully started following companies in my favourite industries: Food and Tourism. Little did I know, but there is such thing as ‘Food Tourism’ and it’s a big industry in Vancouver. You can only imagine how blown my mind was. The point of this anecdote is to demonstrate that the more you research, the more knowledge you obtain and the closer you come to finding those perfect-fit jobs.

Happy hunting!

Shiv 🙂

Yes, Twitter can help small local business promote themselves.

It kills me when small, local business don’t believe Twitter could help their business other than as a promotional tool. As an avid tweeter with my marketing glasses on, here are the…

Biggest Pitfalls that Small Businesses Face when they get on Twitter:

1. Not knowing how the hell it works, and getting fed up with it quickly.

Fix: Find the online discussions of people in your industry (#naturalhair for hair professionals, and #ttot for travel bloggers for example) and ask the pros! Twitter isn’t just a way to promote your business, but a way to learn more about your competitors and your target market.

2. Only pushing the products and not taking the time to use Twitter what it’s for.

Fix: Know that the point of Twitter is to start conversations. If you keep this in mind, it makes sense that you should say interesting things, respond to questions and comments coming your way, and not just talking about yourself. Offer content about the industry your in, review other people’s tweets, say hi to your new followers.

3. Taking Twitter too seriously.

Fix: Make jokes, tweet cool quotes you come across, or just comment on people’s tweets that have nothing to do with your product. Yes, your followers follow you to learn more about your business, but that’s not always the best conversation starter. Loosen up!

Here are some local businesses success stories on Twitter that I love to follow & why they win at life.

@banff_squirrel: Unlikely Spokes-Squirrel of Banff and Lake Louise Tourism in Banff National Park

I discovered Banff Squirrel while he was tweeting up a storm on the online travel discussions I frequent, #ttot (Travel Talk on Twitter) and #tni (Thursday Nights In). This personality is hilarious! He perfectly balances the push of the product with consumer interaction. Banff Squirrel takes business seriously and tweets about things like how much snow there is in the Rockies, promo events at Lake Louise. But makes great jokes, stays in character 100% of the time, and won over 10000 followers. An amazing success story for a small tourist attraction in Alberta!

@ChambarWine, the wine sommelier at the prestigious Chambar restaurant in Vancouver.

Robert Stelmachuk is clearly a professional wine connoisseur, tweeting great wine articles he is interested in, liquor law issues in BC, and my favourite tweets of all: describing wine flavours in the best ways. “El Linze- the Spanish gallion of treasure! Like sitting on a saddle dipped in bakers chocolate, smokin’ a cherry cigar,” and “SLW ‘Ne Cede Malis’ Petite Syrah-a mythical creature feasting on your darkest fantasies. A ballerina w/ leather whips.” I love it.

I hope my slice of insight is..insightful!

Shiv 🙂