Meet Bob. Bob lives in Toronto, has a girlfriend whose birthday is coming up soon, but the catch is he’s too busy to go out and find her the perfect gift. This is where local inbound marketing saves Bob’s day.While on a break from work he can easily research what he needs to buy. For such a personal gift, however, he’ll need to really handpick the item. Luckily, using just his smartphone, he can search for local stores and shops throughout Toronto so he can drop by one on his way home. Any businesses or establishments that can offer Bob the best gift for his girlfriend BUT don’t implement good local inbound marketing for Toronto will miss out – they’ll never even reach their ideal target market.Local inbound marketing is huge for small to mid-sized businesses, as Bob’s story shows. It’s common sense to focus on your local market, but in the global, digital environment sometimes business owners fail to do so.You see, local inbound marketing leverages proximity, scale, and user experience to business owners’ advantage. [Read more…]
Just walking around Toronto, how many people can you see using some kind of mobile device?
It’s no secret that mobile use is becoming increasingly widespread. This also means that if you want your entire inbound marketing strategy to work, you need to ensure that your target market’s experience is not hampered by your website being incompatible to mobile devices.
In this arena, two competing formats can be considered: mobile versions or responsive design.
Mobile Vs. Responsive Design
Essentially, a mobile version of your website is a version specifically suited to mobile devices. When users access your website through desktop PCs, they’ll get the usual design. When they access it through mobile devices, they’ll get the mobile version.
That’s simple enough, but what about responsive design?
I went to the unveiling today of the Mobile Personas research project co-sponsored by BrandSpark International, tapped mobile and app promo this morning. The project, the largest of its kind, surveyed 5,000 Canadians coast to coast about their behaviour relating to mobile devices and mobile marketing. Here are some key take-aways: [Read more…]
I’m at Mesh 2011, “Canada’s Web Conference” at The Allstream Centre in Toronto on Wednesday and Thursday May 25 and 26. I’ll be posting updates periodically over the course of the conference.
Regardless of how you feel about porn, the industry has long been at the leading edge of the technology curve. It was one of the first to ummm… embrace the VCR, it was one of the first to extensively use digital media.
Online porn pioneer Pink Visual’s Allison Vivas says, “most of us are looking at code and statistics and financial performance, not looking at the content.”
The adult industry is grappling with the impact of user generated content and piracy. Hard to convince people to pay for something they’re used to getting for free. Sound familiar? It does to every media company exec out there.
Facebook COO Cheryl Sandberg’s speech at this week’s Nielsen 360 conference is getting a lot of attention for her observation that email is dead because only 11% of teens check their email daily.
But is it?
Our friends at Usability Sciences have been doing a lot of research on Mobile eCommerce (that’s shopping on your iPhone or Blackberry or what have you). What they’re finding should give eCommerce companies that haven’t optimized their sites for mobile pause — lot’s of people in key demographics are shopping online using their phones:
Looking at age, here is the breakdown of those who purchased through their phone in the last 6 months:
Clearly, if your target demographic is in the 25-44 age range you want to have your site mobile optimized.
Now, methodologically, there is some room for doubt here — the sample group is self-selected and that group may skew towards people who are more likely than average to do stuff like shop with their phones.
I’ve got a MiFi 2372 from Bell. It’s a cool little device that I’ve been recommending to almost everyone… until a couple of weeks ago. What the device does is this: it connects to Bell’s wireless data service and acts as a wifi router, allowing you to use 3G wireless Internet to access the Internet with laptops, non-3G iPads and other devices that don’t have 3G natively on board (hello hi speed at the cottage!)… until a couple of weeks ago.
On May 3 Bell disabled all MiFis on its network because of an issue with the MiFi’s battery. It sucks, but these things happen.
What really sucks, though, is that many Bell customers found out about this the hard way — by trying to get online (in my case in a mission critical situation), finding it didn’t work and trying to solve the problem.
And what sucks even more is that it’s really hard to get a straight answer about what Bell’s going to do about the problem. A recorded message on 310-BELL said to take the unit back to point of sale; retail said to wait for a replacement (or maybe some other non-equivalent wireless product) in the mail; call center said replacement would happen by mail but couldn’t confirm whether or not they’d actually be replacing the MiFis with MiFi’s or not.
It’s unfortunate. It would be so easy for Bell to communicate with all stakeholders in a way that clears up all the confusion and that keeps the recall in the “bummer” category and out of the “fiasco” category. Here are three ways Bell, and especially their Bell.ca Web site, could stop failing at customer service:
- Be fast and be proactive — communicate early and often with customers about what’s happening with the recall
- Leverage online channels — use email and the Bell.ca Web site to keep customers up to date about the recall process. They’ve got my email address and an online portal that knows I’ve got a MiFi 2372 — why not use those to talk to me about what’s going on?
- Be transparent — put up a public recall page on Bell.ca that can provide consistent information to call center staff, retail staff and consumers about what the recall process is. Show consumers that you’re customer service-focused and take the risk that a recall may make you look bad (it won’t)
According to eMarketer’s latest report, “Mobile Banking: Financial Services Firms Look to Cash In.”
Several forecasts predict that by 2015, 50% or more of US mobile users will be conducting transactions from their mobile devices.
You’d have to assume that Canadian adoption numbers would be even higher than in the US, which traditionally lags us in consumer banking technologies.
The full report, “Mobile Banking: Financial Services Firms Look to Cash In,” also answers these key questions:
- How many consumers already use mobile banking? How many are interested in trying it?
- How many financial institutions are using the mobile channel? What is the extent of their mobile offerings?
- What are the opportunities and challenges in mobile banking?
iPhones and other touch-screen based mobile devices provide a slew of challenges for user experience designers, and it’s not just the size of the screen:
Web designers will have to wrestle with several issues when considering touch computers. For one thing, touch interfaces don’t give users the fine-grained control that they have with a mouse.
roll-over interactions are common on many websites, but these don’t work on touch devices. Other common tricks, such as hovering over a link to see the connected URL in the status bar, have to be adjusted before a user can perform the same function
Given that within the year there will easily be over 100 million touch screen devices in the wild, this is a potentially serious issue for businesses looking to connect with their users’ evolving needs. Some sites will need complete make-overs, others will need some subtle tweaks and other sites will need new mobile/touch screen versions.
There will also be a whole new range of opportunities to take advantage of mobile and touch-screen-specific capabilities to reach markets in new ways.
We’ve launched a new mobile-friendly version of our blog. If you’re accessing the site on your iPhone, Android, Blackberry (only some models) or other mobile device you’ll automatically be able to read and comment on all posts via a user experience that’s optimized for the small screen. You’ll also be able to tweet pages using your choice of the Twitter clients that are installed on your phone, post links using popular services like delicious, and email posts to your friends.
The new mobile blog comes along design changes to the Web version of the blog that are intended to make the blog cleaner-looking and easier to use.