Facebook and mobile: This is just the beginning

Dramatic increases in its mobile business drove another successful quarter for Facebook, sending shares soaring. And while app install ads are playing a huge role in that success, there are several other ways Facebook could build on its success in mobile ads.

What’s needed from marketing clouds

All the big guys – Adobe, IBM, Salesforce, Oracle – have a suite of marketing tech platform tools they call marketing clouds. Social media marketing is the obvious focus, but what else is required for these platforms?

The problem with stand-alone retailer apps

New data from Nielsen indicates U.S. consumers are spending more time than ever in mobile apps, but the number of apps they use regularly isn’t increasing much. That’s a problem for retailers looking to leverage mobile with their own branded apps, but it also presents opportunities for aggregators.

Tearing down the mobile app silos

Deep linking is quickly emerging as a powerful tool to ramp up traffic to apps and boost mobile advertising campaigns. Leveraging deep links in these early days requires some time and effort, but developers and advertisers willing to make the investment could benefit in big ways.

In-store mobile marketing faces some big challenges

A new survey indicates most U.S. shoppers don’t want to be tracked through their phones as they move through stores and don’t want to receive messages as they shop. Which means retailers looking to leverage Bluetooth low energy in their stores will face some serious challenges.

Freemium tools for mobile customer experience management

Amidst a somewhat spurious debate on whether native apps will kill the open web, Netbiscuits – a long-time proponent of HTML5 and responsive design – has taken its mobile analytics and device detection tools into a freemium pricing model. This should help open up creative thinking about mobile customer experience management for a broader set of companies and marketers.
One of Netbiscuits’ key strengths is its library of thousands of device profiles. For instance, it claims it can detect screen size where most analytics can only do resolution. The analytics offer the usual charting and Google analytics integration.
Netbiscuits CMO Daniel Weisbeck wants to help create a dialogue between marketing and IT. “HTML5 isn’t a marketing strategy,” he told me the other day, because it doesn’t fully address mobile context or multi-screen user personae. Netbiscuits has created some cute user personae – “morning professional,” “sofa surfer,” etc. – that site designers need to understand and accommodate beyond responsive design. For example, sites might want to disable social tags for certain audiences at lunchtime, and add more links in the evening for tablet browsing. They could regulate video streaming based on bandwidth and device power.
This approach is all well and good, but these “personae” are often different usage modes for the same person, a concept Netbiscuits fully embraces. I’d de-emphasize the persona angle. While brand marketers and advertisers love this kind of thing, their notion of personae is usually attitude- as well as behavior-based, and layered atop demographic profiles. Device detection and analytics can do a lot for you, but they can’t detect gender.

The enormous challenge of turning data into sales at the retail counter

It’s true that smartphones and tablets are increasingly giving brick-and-mortar retailers the chance to blur the lines between online and offline marketing. But those retailers typically have to sift through an enormous amount of data to do so, and that challenge will only grow in the coming years.