Dur­ing the “Mobile Mar­ket­ing Trends in 2012:  How do I choose a Win­ning Strat­egy” ses­sion at the Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Sum­mit, I told a story about my pas­sion for col­lege foot­ball.  As a grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­sity of Florida, it was no sur­prise that I am a big fan of Tim Tebow (Heis­man tro­phy win­ner at Florida, @TimTebow, polar­iz­ing NFL Quar­ter­back recently acquired by the JETS, etc.).  Last year, as the start­ing QB for the Den­ver Bron­cos, Tim led his team to mul­ti­ple 4th quar­ter come­backs includ­ing a play­off game against the Pitts­burg Steel­ers where he threw the win­ning touch­down in over­time and set a Twit­ter record for a TV sport­ing event (9420 tweets per sec­ond).  Clearly the TV audi­ence was both watch­ing the game and using their mobile devices to Tweet at the same time.  How­ever, dur­ing the biggest TV event in sports, Super­Bowl 46, the Altime­ter Group indi­cates that only 16% of ads included ref­er­ences to social media and only 11% of ads included emerg­ing media (QR codes, SMS codes, mobile apps).  Con­se­quently, I believe there is big and rel­a­tively nascent oppor­tu­nity for com­pa­nies to inte­grate mobile and social media in tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing & adver­tis­ing campaigns.

Okay, back to Sum­mit again…  Fol­low­ing my open­ing remarks, I then had the priv­i­lege of mod­er­at­ing a high-powered panel on a vari­ety of key mobile top­ics. The pan­elists included:

  • Michelle Felice-Steele from Exper­ian Con­sumer Direct
  • Eric Schmitt from Amer­i­can Eagle Outfitters
  • War­ren Raisch from Dig­i­taria (@WarrenRaisch)
  • Julie Ask from For­rester Research (@JulieAsk)

Below are some of the high­lights of our con­ver­sa­tion I think are worth shar­ing. As the group cov­ered a lot of territory/topics, I will share the high­lights over two blog posts. Ready or not, here is part one of our Sum­mit panel dis­cus­sion highlights:

Smart­phones vs. Fea­ture phones:  Given the pen­e­tra­tion rate of Smart­phones in the US (pro­jec­tions of up to 50% by end of 2012), the panel dis­cussed the fol­low­ing ques­tion:  “Is any need to con­sider the fea­ture phone audience?”

  • Michelle:  “SMS is a core fea­ture of our mobile strat­egy at Exper­ian because we can reach the broad­est mobile audi­ence includ­ing fea­ture phones with credit based alerts.”
  • Eric:  “We can­not ignore the 50 to 60% of fea­ture phone con­sumers because we have a SMS data­base that can reach them with our text mes­sag­ing offers.”

Tablets:  Recently Adobe pub­lished a research study that ana­lyzed over 150 retail web­sites and the engage­ment of Tablet vis­i­tors in com­par­i­son to con­sumers with Smart­phones or Desk­top PCs.   The Adobe Dig­i­tal Index results show that tablets con­vert 3X bet­ter than smart­phones across retailer sites and that tablets have a higher aver­age order value than even PCs.  The panel dis­cussed the fol­low­ing ques­tion “do you see sim­i­lar trends in your business?”

  • Eric:  “Although I can­not dis­close spe­cific num­bers, at Amer­i­can Eagle we see sim­i­lar trends in terms of con­ver­sions and engage­ment on tablets.  We are con­sid­er­ing the devel­op­ment of tablet opti­mized expe­ri­ences in 2012.”


Mobile sites vs. Mobile apps:  A com­mon ques­tion from mar­keters that I am hear­ing is “If I have a lim­ited bud­get, which is more impor­tant to my mar­ket­ing efforts, the mobile opti­mized site or the mobile app?”

  • Michelle:  “If Exper­ian were invest­ing today, then I would start with a mobile site since it pro­vides broad reach and sup­ports user acqui­si­tion.  We are also adopt­ing a “hybrid” approach where the native apps built for loyal cus­tomers may serve con­tent from the mobile website.”
  • Eric:   “Amer­i­can Eagle Out­fit­ters focused on devel­op­ing the mobile site first because you can reach every­one via a mobile site ver­sus an app that requires down­load.  Even­tu­ally, after fully think­ing through the busi­ness ratio­nale, we built an app focused on loy­alty mem­bers and included some cool shop­ping fea­tures to sup­port these customers.”
  • Julie:  “Mobile web and mobile apps will co-exist for now.  Clients build­ing apps want to tap into device spe­cific fea­tures, enable off-line sup­port, or pre­mium user experience.”


Mobile Adver­tis­ing:  eMar­keter indi­cate that US mobile ad spend is fairly evenly split between mes­sag­ing (28%), search (33%), and dis­play (33%).  The panel addressed the ques­tion, “Do you see a sim­i­lar mix in your acqui­si­tion spend for mobile?”

  • Michelle:  “Exper­ian spends more on mobile search today.  Our tests for mobile dis­play ads showed higher CPA and lower con­ver­sion rate.”
  • Eric:  “The major­ity of spend at Amer­i­can Eagle Out­fit­ters focuses on mes­sag­ing (SMS) along with some test­ing of mobile search.  Our busi­ness requires rig­or­ous mea­sure­ment of ROI from the ini­tial click to the final sale and cur­rently mes­sag­ing pro­vides effec­tive ROI.  Our SMS data­base has been built over the last few years and we send con­sumers a blend of offers, codes, and alerts to new merchandise.”
  • Julie:  “Doing acqui­si­tion on mobile is hard.  How­ever, I am a big fan of mes­sag­ing (SMS) since it is the only inter­op­er­a­ble plat­form around the world and sup­ports push notifications.”


Emerg­ing Tech­nolo­gies:  Given the avail­abil­ity of new tech­nolo­gies for mobile mar­ket­ing such as QR codes, aug­mented real­ity, loca­tion ser­vices, and mobile wal­lets, the panel dis­cussed “Are main­stream con­sumers ready to embrace and use these capabilities?”

  • Eric:  “Our tar­get audi­ence of teens and young adults embraces new tech­nolo­gies.  We are pleased with the results from our part­ner­ship with Shop­Kick and are a launch part­ner for mobile wal­lets with Google.  Our audi­ence nat­u­rally under­stands how to use tech­nolo­gies and does not require any train­ing from our staff.”
  • War­ren:  “QR codes and loca­tion ser­vices are the most preva­lent areas of focus for our clients.”
  • Julie:  “Loca­tion ser­vices such as Google maps are very high in usage.  Approx­i­mately, 15% of smart­phone own­ers use QR codes.  My advice to mar­keters is to use 2D codes and aug­mented real­ity to sim­plify dis­cov­ery and access to info.  For aug­mented real­ity, some great exam­ples include the Ama­zon flow app for view­ing more info about books and prod­ucts and the Com­mon­wealth Bank of Aus­tralia app for view­ing more info about home prices”

In my next post, I will sum­ma­rize the panel’s advice around mobile strat­egy, invest­ment for mobile, and some key take­aways for the approach­ing mobile mar­ket­ing with the right mindset.