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Two and a Half Cents

My Take on Current and Future Marketing Trends

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November 2013

Smartphone Tracking: Are You In Or Are You Out?

Smartphone Tracking: Are You In Or Are You Out?

 

Lifehacker’s Alan Henry provides a breakdown of the smartphone information collected by many major stores in the U.S. and abroad, “Most stores use your phone’s MAC address to identify you, and records when you enter and leave a store, where you go inside the store, and how long you pause to inspect specific products, aisles, and counters. Combined with video surveillance, those stores also collect your gender and demographics (ethnicity/general age/anything that can be determined visually), differentiate children from adults, note specific products you looked at and how long you looked at them, and so on” (Henry, 2013).

I believe advertisers should be allowed to target a smartphone’s location as long as the smartphone user has been notified of the potential of tracking and they have been given the option to opt-in or opt-out, if they so desire. The user should also be provided the specifics of how their information will be used, prior to opt-in/out options. The last thing a business would want is a bunch of angry customers boycotting their store over tracking their information without their consent, so it would be wise that the companies, who do track smartphone’s, give the consumer a choice to opt in/out.

Smartphone tracking

If companies can get the opt-in, the information could be invaluable. “As consumer behaviors evolve in tandem with emerging mobile capabilities, businesses that don’t monitor and track these behaviors risk being left behind” (Crum, 2010). Companies can utilize smartphone tracking information to create a more complete profile of their target demographic, build a better paid search ad, improve loyalty programs, set up in-store layouts and product end caps to attract more customers, analyze the potential for success when choosing a new store location, choose the best selling products to keep in stock, generate the most effective coupon offerings, and evaluate the potential consumer interest in new product offerings.

Sen. Charles Schumer has been a very vocal advocate when it comes to stricter laws regarding consumer protection and privacy. “A new type of in-store marketing using the signal from your smartphone will now come with a warning, Sen. Charles Schumer announced Tuesday. The senator told The Associated Press on Tuesday that eight of the 10 leading location analytics companies have agreed to a new code of conduct. It includes signs posted in stores to alert shoppers that tracking is being done and instructions on how to opt out” (CBS New York, 2013).

Consumer smartphone users do receive some benefits by providing their tracking information: they receive more relevant search results based on their locations, they receive better coupon and loyalty offers, and the receive help in locating sales and bargains. Some companies can even send instant SMS or MMS messages containing instantly redeemable in-store coupon/code offers.

Can you provide any other examples of the benefits the consumer receives when their smartphone information is tracked?

Gloria

References

CBS New York. (2013, October 22). Retrieved from Schumer: Deal To Protect ‘Consumer Privacy’ Lets Shoppers Opt Out Of Wireless Tracking: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/10/22/schumer-deal-to-protect-consumer-privacy-lets-shoppers-opt-out-of-wireless-tracking/

Crum, C. (2010). Mobile Marketing. Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Deepak. (2011, October 29). Grabi. [Image]. Retrieved from How to Stop your Smartphone from Constantly Tracking your Location: http://www.grabi.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/smartphonelocationtracking.jpg

Henry, A. (2013, July 19). Life Hacker. Retrieved from How Retail Stores Track You Using Your Smartphone (and How to Stop It): http://lifehacker.com/how-retail-stores-track-you-using-your-smartphone-and-827512308

The Desk of Brian. (2011, April 01). [Image]. Retrieved from Smartphone tracking: http://deskofbrian.com/2011/04/privacy-risks-of-smartphone-photos-a-must-watch-video-for-parents/smartphone-tracking/

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Blogging: The Power of Influence

 Blogging: The Power of Influence

Blogging is one of the best sources of word-of-mouth information for consumers and are often ran by the most influential people in a specified field. Blogging offers one of the most inexpensive online social media marketing tools that reaches over 80% of online consumers and can easily fit into any business marketing budget, no matter how big or small.

 Influence Business to Business

According to Social Media Business to Business, company blogs generate 61% business leads over those companies who do not have a blog. The reason is, consumers will often visit a blog of someone they trust in order to gain a more in-depth look at the products and/or services a business offers. Blogs offer a variety of information about products and services that a company offers, with most bloggers sharing both positive and negative insights. “Blogs are the single most important inbound marketing tool. When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%) for a total of 81%” (Pick).

SEO
With so many businesses using social media to compete for consumers, having a powerful online presence is essential. Blogging is a great tool for building search engine optimization. With the recent rollout of the new Google Hummingbird semantic based search engine program, updating content and adding relevant tags are important in pushing businesses to the top of search engines but so is the frequency of updates.

This is where blogging can play a key role in increasing a company’s SEO. A Blog draws more organic search than does referral traffic. “As technology has evolved, Google (and other search engines) are using advanced formulas that determine how frequently you post and update your website in addition to the origination and quality of the content you post. Where you rank in search engines matter. One of the most effective ways to increase your search engine rankings is to add unique, high quality content on a regular basis—to blog” (Beachum, 2013).

Influence on Consumers

Word-of-mouth influence matters when it comes to making a purchase decision. “According to research by Nielsen, 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing. The same study found that less than half of all customers consider traditional paid advertising to be credible—that’s a decrease of more than 20 percent since 2009!” (Ambassador, 2013).

So, what does influence have to do with blogging? Well, according to Patricia Redsicker, writer for Social Media Examiner, blogs are now the third most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%). Additionally, “consumers said that blogs rank higher than Twitter for shaping their opinions and higher than Facebook for motivating purchasing decisions” (Redsicker, 2013). When it comes to making purchasing decisions, consumers prefer blog recommendations over the two largest social media sites: Facebook and Twitter.

Women seem to be the most influenced by blogs and, since women account for 90% of the purchasing decisions in the household, blogs should be considered a major part of a company’s marketing strategy. “Among BlogHer network respondents that are active users of each of the following media sources, 98% trust the information they receive from blogs, ahead of Facebook (86%), Twitter (85%), and Pinterest (85%). Among general population respondents, blogs and Pinterest (both at 85%) are the most trusted, with Twitter (73%) and Facebook (67%) trailing” (Marketing Charts, 2012).

Summing it Up

Blogs are a must have for any business. Blogs have a greater influence on purchasing decisions than do the top social media sites. Blogging reaches at least 80% of Internet users, can increase B2B leads by 61%, offers an easy and affordable way to increase SEO, and 98% of those accountable for making purchasing decisions within a typical household, women, trust what they read on blogs. With blogging having so much to offer, a business would be insane not to focus more effort on blogging than other social media sources.

Gloria

References

Ambassador. (2013, July). Retrieved from 6 Amazing Stats That Prove Word-of-Mouth Marketing Is Here to Stay: http://blog.getambassador.com/6-amazing-stats-that-prove-word-of-mouth-marketing-is-here-to-stay/

Beachum, N. (2013, April 06). Social Media Today. Retrieved from Blogging is More Important Today than Ever Before: http://socialmediatoday.com/nicolebeachum/1338806/blogging-more-important-today-ever

Cohen, J. (2012, March 29). Social Media B2B. Retrieved from Generate More Leads with B2B Social Media: http://socialmediab2b.com/2012/03/b2b-social-media-leads-infographic/?utm_source=Webbiquity

Google Images. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2013, from Purchase Inflencers: http://bit.ly/1781Gfd

Marketing Charts. (2012, March 01). Retrieved from Frequency of Blogging Makes a Difference for Customer Acquisition: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/frequency-of-blogging-makes-a-difference-for-customer-acquisition-21276/

Pick, T. (n.d.). Jeff Bullas. Retrieved November 06, 2013, from 72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/07/24/72-fascinating-social-media-marketing-facts-and-statistics-for-2012/

Redsicker, P. (2013, March 06). Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence: New Research: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blogs-outrank-social-networks-for-consumer-influence-new-research/

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