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The chatbots are here, and while it remains to be seen whether they are a useful technology or merely a passing fad, many brands are already putting them to work.
Here are five examples.
While marketers are justifiably attracted to the Facebooks and Twitters of the world, stats from Radium One show that nearly 70% of global sharing activity takes place in dark social channels.
These are channels in which sharing activity takes place out of public view.
But just because dark social channels are harder to work and track doesn't mean that marketers should ignore them.
In fact, there are now a number of dark social channels that are just as big – and even bigger – than Facebook.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the term ‘dark social’ refers to some kind of demonic get-together during which attendees feast on blood to please their overlords.
While potentially irksome to social media managers, dark social is somewhat less sinister than the above.
It simply refers to social sharing that can’t be accurately tracked, i.e. the stuff that isn’t picked up by web analytics platforms.
When most publishers and marketers think of dark social, they think of email. But should they be paying more attention to SMS?
If data revealed by BuzzFeed, one of the web's most popular publishers, is any indication, the answer is a definitive yes.
Summer is the season for live events like concerts, baseball games, music festivals and more.
Previously seen as simply a one-way advertising opportunity, mobile’s ability to facilitate a conversation with consumers has transformed live events into a key component of cross-channel marketing efforts.
This allows for consumers to become part of the event - whether in person or watching it on television. However, just like any program, a campaign built around a live event requires preparation that identifies goals and key messages to ensure it’s a measurable success.
Arguably this summer’s most talked about sporting event is the World Cup.
And, according to a study conducted by Interactive Advertising Bureau on device usage, nearly half of soccer fans worldwide who own smartphones intend to follow the games via their phone.
What was the year? 2009? 2010? QR codes were 'the next big thing'. They had such great promise. Turn any print advertisement, packaging or promotional experience into a digital touchpoint.
Richer engagement. Richer analytics. But they never delivered. (Some people perpetually say 'next year' is the year for mass adoption).
But there is one technology that comes pre-installed on 100% of handsets and which can exceed both the engagement and analytics that QR codes promised.
Mobile apps help to attract new customers, increase engagement and drive conversions, but this often requires the user to keep coming back.
Some in-app offerings will be enough to keep the user returning, but other times the users might need a little reminder to send them back to the mobile apps they may not have opened in a while.
According to data from Localytics, 22% of people who download an app only use it once. This means that marketers really need to be thinking about how they can attract their customers back to their mobile apps.
This thinking should go beyond just app downloads and focus more on value and engagement. This can be done in a number of ways, in terms of marketing, these can include push notifications, location-based services, in-app messaging and SMS.
If you run an ecommerce site, you probably use email to announce sales, engage customers and drive repeat purchases.
But now that the vast majority of your customers use smartphones, you can follow the lead of most large ecommerce sites which are using SMS just like email to drive repeat visits and purchases.
If you collect mobile phone numbers and have permission to text them, include links in your SMS back to your site (also known as Smart SMS) and grow sales through one of the most direct and engaging marketing channels available.
This blog post isn't to convince you of the value of SMS for driving ecommerce sales, most smart businesses are doing it already. Our goal is to answer a key question: how do you measure the effectiveness of SMS and track the sales from each campaign?
Consumers use their mobile devices to comparison shop, get directions to a business, or make reservations at their favorite restaurant. But often the communication from brands stops there.
Businesses of all kinds should be better engaging via mobile with their customers. After all, engaged customers are your most valuable asset: optimising engagement can help you outperform the competition.
How much does it cost to send a text message?
It's often less than a cent if you're a marketer sending in bulk, but U.S. pizza chain Papa John's could be forced to pay $1,500 a pop for 500,000 text messages its franchisees sent in 2010.
With mobile usage skyrocketing, it's no surprise that large brands are increasingly investing in mobile ad campaigns. But what about small businesses?
If mobile is ever going to grow into the advertising behemoth some believe it's destined to become, small and local businesses will need to be on board too. And, according to a recent study, they are.
Obama’s fundraising campaign has debuted a new SMS tool that allows supporters to make a donation simply by texting the number of dollars they want to contribute.
Last week a text message was sent to tens of thousands of previous donors asking them to again open their wallets.
According to Time, the message told supporters to “just reply with the amount you want to give and we’ll charge your saved credit card.”