smartphones

Five reasons VR skeptics are missing the point

I hate to start the year with such a passive aggressive headline, but I hope the reader doesn’t take it personally.

Throughout the course of 2015, I went from being ambivalent about virtual reality, thinking of it as tangential to marketing, to a state of full-on positivity and expectation.

Here’s why I think VR skeptics are missing the point.

How do US teens use online media? [Stats]

How much video do teens consume compared to music? How pervasive is social networking?

What devices are used for media consumption, and in what proportion? How much content creation is going on?

Common Sense, a US not-for-profit, has released its 2015 census of tween and teen media use.

The report highlights and full findings are well worth checking out, but I thought I’d collect my five favourite charts.

Facebook and the battle for mobile discovery

The bare numbers show how far Facebook has come and the size of the opportunity that still remains.

There are approximately 1.9bn smartphone users globally and 1.31bn of them are monthly active users of Facebook (June 30th, 2015). 

Facebook Lite was launched this year so users with poor or unstable connections can use a simplified version of the platform.

Mobile apps in retail: who needs them?

The lack of guidelines or general wisdom as to which retailers should actually have a mobile app and which shouldn’t can be confusing. 

In this post I’m going to start writing those guidelines myself, if you’ll stick with me.

There is definitely a burgeoning anti-app movement, fuelled in part by the move to adaptive or responsive websites. On top of this, the growth in app downloads is in sharp decline and we seem to be reaching market maturation for apps, in those countries that have highest smartphone adoption.

But what should retailers do? Should some still be entertaining the idea of a new app? There are certainly some great success stories out there. 

Some feel that the consumer has no interest in using many different retail apps, whereas others think the goal of consolidation is often unrealistic, with consumers happier using a range of options. 

Where should apps lie in a priority list of ecommerce to-dos? Which apps are succeeding and which aren’t? How do customer base, product range, internationalisation and other factors affect the decision whether to build an app? 

Well, these are the questions I’ve been attempting to answer. Read on to see what I dug up. If you make it to the end of my investigation, you’ll find my own criteria for apps in retail.

Lack of tracking and common metrics seen as main barriers to multiscreen ad campaigns: report

A quarter of marketers are yet to execute campaigns across multiple screens, with tracking apparently the main issue that’s holding people back. 

New research from Undertone found that 59% of marketers and 68% of agencies say that difficulty tracking people across devices is the main barrier to implementing a multiscreen campaign.

A lack of common performance metrics is also cited as a key barrier to deployment by 59% of marketers and agencies.

Responsive design is a potential remedy to this problem, however the research suggests that knowledge of the technology is still quite limited.

Three steps to mobile marketing mastery

Mobile marketing involves much more than big budgets and a mobile-optimised website.

In particular, as social and location intelligence technologies mature, integrating marketing data from these sources in to the mobile marketing mix becomes incredibly important.

As brands build the sophistication of their mobile marketing efforts, there are three things brands should focus on getting right.

Is it time to talk about tablet retail?

What does the word mobile mean? To many companies, including those in retail, mobile is used to describe any connected device that’s portable.

That makes some sense: despite the fact that there are differences between the growing number of connected devices that can fit in a pocket or bag, there are often enough similarities, at least on the surface, to justify putting them in the same bucket. But can and should the all-encompassing use of mobile translate to strategy?