Archive for Jeff Hasen

Time To Forget Feature Phone Users? Forget That Idea

Posted by Jeff Hasen on June 5th, 2013 at 9:06 am

A majority of Americans now own a smartphone, a fact that leads some to believe that marketers can now ignore feature phone users.
I’m neither in that camp nor inclined to create mobile marketing and advertising programs that are exclusive.
For the first time, the highly respected Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project told us today that the majority of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind. Pew’s definition of a smartphone owner includes anyone who said “yes” to one—or both—of the following questions:

55 percent of cell phone owners say that their phone is a smartphone

58 percent of cell phone owners say that their phone operates on a smartphone platform common to the U.S. market

Taken together, 61 percent of cell owners said yes to at least one of these questions and are classified as smartphone owners. According to Pew, because 91 percent of the adult population now owns some kind of cell phone, that means that 56 percent of all American adults are now smartphone adopters. Further, 35 percent have some other kind of cell phone that is not a smartphone, and the remaining 9 percent of Americans do not own a cell phone at all (yeah, there are... Read more

Takeaways For Marketers From Mobile Marketing Forum

Posted by Jeff Hasen on May 13th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Home improvement and mobile are as matched as a hammer and nail, and other takeaways from the just concluded Mobile Marketing Forum in New York:
On the heels of a presentation by Lowe’s at the last Mobile Marketing Association get-together in San Francisco in January, Home Depot detailed its own measurable progress in engaging shoppers and selling more stuff through mobile devices.
Among the learnings:

Home Depot’s mobile-optimized site and apps provide access to the 400,000 different product types available online – as compared to the 35,000 in physical stores.

About a third of Home Depot’s traffic last year came through mobile.

Home Depot’s app has been downloaded 3.5 million times, with traffic up 60 percent because people responded to opt-in push messages.

Home Depot recently ran a test on Twitter and saw mobile engagement outpace desktop by 40 percent.

“The biggest challenge today for marketers is to make it exciting for consumers,” said Trish Mueller, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Home Depot. “We’re passionate about customer service and... Read more

I’m All For Mobile Ads Over Minutiae From Facebook Friends

Posted by Jeff Hasen on April 16th, 2013 at 8:16 am

More ads are coming to Facebook and Foursquare mobile users, actions that should be as much of a surprise as another irrelevant local “deal” hitting our inboxes.
Facebook said little about advertisements during its Home introduction. To me that says either they didn’t want to bring up the subject or they haven’t fleshed out the details and weren’t prepared to talk about a half-baked plan. Most likely, it’s both.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s unveiling of the product was described as an opportunity to give mobile owners the ability to see the world through people instead of apps. This road has been traveled before – Windows Phone positions itself similarly. And it hasn’t been a home run for Microsoft.
For some, mobile phones aren’t about people. They are about self.  Mobile is the ultimate personalization product – the phone rings the way we want it to, looks the way we want it to, and has just the content, including photos and apps, that we want.
Few, very few would choose to see brand messages in their Facebook feed, but at the risk of offending my friends, I’ll take a relevant offer for me from a business 100 times out of 100 if the alternative is seeing... Read more

Predicting Oil Prices and Aliens Arriving On Earth

Posted by Jeff Hasen on March 12th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

There’s no better illustration of what Ford Motor Company futurist Sheryl Connelly calls the “balance between provocative and plausible” than the fact that her team talked about $100 barrels of crude oil nearly a decade ago, but also had a discussion about what would happen if aliens landed on Earth.
Of course, to our knowledge, only one of those scenarios came true. Whatever. Such is your life when your role is to create a Center of Excellence for global consumer trend insights and a forward-looking mindset that can support and inform design, product development, strategy, business and marketing functions throughout Ford.
Speaking to a packed audience (granted seemingly every venue was overflowing), Connelly offered Lessons From A Futurist during South by Southwest Interactive.
Many of her assertions were on the surprising side. Among them:
She once thought that the future is a mystery and best unexplored.
Connelly cautioned against the use of SWOT analysis that attempts to look at a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. She said that such endeavors limit thinking and fail to take change into account.
“It’s foolish for an organization to think it owns its strengths,” she said. “Those are defined by the marketplace.”
Connelly describes her job as a mission to... Read more

Beware of Shiny Objects at SXSW

Posted by Jeff Hasen on March 6th, 2013 at 11:47 am

New objects shown at South By Southwest Interactive will be shiny whether or not the sun comes out in Austin, Texas.
My message to marketers: beware.
I’m not anti-innovation. Quite the contrary, in fact. I’m in tech as much for the unknown as the known. But let’s concentrate on the known for a minute. The estimated 30,000 going to Austin are not the norm (in more ways than one). We seemingly all carry iPhones and Macs, and many of us check in on Foursquare.
The norm is likely your brand’s target — about half of U.S. mobile subscribers don’t yet carry a smartphone, much less line up to buy a Mac. Their idea of a check-in involves questions of smoking versus non-smoking, a room away from the elevator, and the time the buffet opens in the morning.
What we saw at the Austin Convention Center and environs last year were early-adopter models, ones that caused a ripple on Twitter but not so much on Main Street.
The geo-location startups came into a marketplace that today shows only 30 million global users of leader Foursquare (for perspective, there are well over 300 million mobile subscribers in the United States alone and more than 6 billion worldwide).
So... Read more