At Punchkick, we transform our clients into leaders of the mobile marketing space, and one way that I contribute to this is by speaking regularly at conferences and events. After presenting on either mobile marketing, big data, HR, or entrepreneurship at dozens of conferences over the past several years, I wanted to share my frustrations as a speaker, because most conferences don’t invest enough in their speakers. And by “invest,” I certainly don’t mean in the stipend sense.
Conferences live and die by their attendance, and one of the main reasons that an attendee would attend a conference is the speaker lineup. It stands to reason that a conference should want to take simple steps to impress and wow their speakers, which will help them to draw in the best talent from year-to-year.
Why don’t most conferences cater to their speakers? For better or worse, my guess is that most conferences realize that they don’t have to pull out the red carpet in order to recruit (what appears to be) a strong speaker lineup (i.e. folks that are associated with publicly traded brand names). The trouble is, working for a big brand name isn’t a guarantee of speaking prowess, but that’s another story.
My top 15 things that every conference should do for their speakers includes:
- 5 Ways to Make Speakers Feel Special:
- Have custom speaker badges or ribbons so attendees can identify speakers quickly and easily
- Have a private lounge for speakers so they can network with each other
- Have fresh bottles of water on stage with each new presenter
- Vet all your speakers with a video requirement, especially for employees of brands, and give the most engaging speakers the best slots
- Tweet about the speaker when they are speaking
- 5 Ways to Avoid Technical or Operational Problems:
- Test all wireless audio conditions ahead of time
- Provide a wireless microphone. NEVER provide a handheld microphone.
- Have a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth presentation remote. NEVER provide an infrared remote
- Have fast Wi-Fi available for each presentation
- Dim the lights slightly when the presentation starts so that the presentation screen is crystal clear for the audience
- 5 Ways to Recruit Great Speakers on a Budget:
- Explain what the speaker does with an amazing moderator introduction
- Video tape each presentation for use in the speaker’s portfolio
- Provide attendee contact info (name, email, etc.) for any person who expressed interest in the speaker’s content
- Present omnipresent twitter information for the speaker & hashtags for the conference on a static monitor next to the speaker
- Provide free conference access
Hopefully this list will help contribute to better conferences all around.
Our very own Giovani Avila performing ‘A Punchkick Beat.’
Over 2,600 professionals attended The Mobile Commerce World Conference held at The Palace Hotel in San Fransciso this June. The focus of the conference was enterprise strategies for driving mobile revenue, and the agenda sported impressive industry experts scheduled to discuss a vast spectrum of mobile related topics. Punchkick’s Director of Mobile Strategy, Joseph Drambarean, was invited to speak on ‘Marketers’ Mobile Strategy and Practices: Innovations and Lessons.’
The panel consisted of thought leaders from across the mobile marketing space — including Jeremy Schneider, a partner at Mckinsey and Company, and moderated by Harry Wang, Director of Health & Mobile Product Research at Parks Associates.
The discussion kicked off a three part series concentrating on mobile innovation. The experts covered a variety of pressing topics marketers face in mobile today, and of all the sessions at MCW this was the only one framed to take the marketers point of view. Some of the discussion highlights included:
- Choosing the right mobile tactics
- Best practices in identifying your target mobile audience
- The future of mobile and big data aggregation
- How analytics impact mobile marketing decisions
- Mobile media targeting
- Adopting a mobile first approach
Audience members were invited to participate throughout the panel discussion. Some of the more interactive discussions touched on:
- The appropriate use of stopgap solutions, like Titanium, PhoneGap, Kony, etc., when considering the scope of a mobile deployment only makes sense for a limited range of engagements. A prominent example of stopgap misuse is when approaching complex native applications that require the use of hardware specific APIs to function smoothly. Joseph explained that, from a design perspective, write-once-deploy-all solutions primarily take the lowest common denominator design, which makes end UI clunky and cumbersome across higher-end devices.
- The right use of native applications when considering the rise of mobile web. The panel reviewed the importance of audience targeting and how native allows marketers to build valuable conversations with their audience through the use of push notification strategies. Native should also be considered when rich media content cannot be implemented in a smooth way through mobile web.
- The importance of staying ahead of the curve in mobile web, considering the fast evolution of mobile browsers and operating systems, was clear. Joseph noted that maintaining a constant budget for quality assurance testing against the latest beta software SDKs is critical, especially when marrying analysis of technology changes with production in the development pipeline.
- The panel also discussed what will define the mobile era — emphasizing the importance of platforms and the tendency of mobile users to gravitate towards platforms where they invest actual dollars in content. Illustrations were drawn around Amazon Cloud, Apple iTunes, Google Play, and the growing importance of sourcing quality apps and media for long term platform viability on mobile.
The MMA just released a 124 page study on the economic impact that mobile marketing is having on the United States. To save you the effort of reading a 124 page research paper, we gathered important data points and created an infographic–think of it as the ‘Sparknotes’ version.
And yes, we read the entire study!
Click here to view the full-size PDF version – An Infographic about Mobile Marketing Economic Impact
To conclude their business trip to the Middle East last week, Punchkick Interactive founders Zak Dabbas and Ryan Unger spoke to the Journalism and PR students at Northwestern University in Doha, Qatar about their entrepreneurial and mobile marketing expertise.
Read more about the event: http://qatar-news.northwestern.edu/entrepreneurship-journalism-pr/
About Punchkick Interactive
Punchkick Interactive is a full-service mobile marketing firm that creates industry-leading mobile experiences. Punchkick’s award-winning mobile Web executions, custom multi-platform app development, SMS campaign management, and mobile strategy solutions have strengthened consumer engagement for many of the world’s leading brands including Allstate Insurance Co., Harley-Davidson, Microsoft, Marriott International, UPS, Pearson Education, and more.
Learn more about mobile marketing services from Punchkick.
A one-size-fits-all approach to solving problems rarely seems to work in the real world, and the mobile Web is no different.
Up to this point, most mobile sites have been developed by re-hashing traditional Web content and squeezing it onto the small screen—an unfortunate “Mini-Me” approach to mobile Web design. The result? While the traditional Web becomes more useful and creative every day, the significance of the mobile Web has largely stalled. The mobile Web has yet to realize its awesome potential, and the problem isn’t a technology issue like you may be already thinking. The problem is design, or rather, a lack thereof, within the mobile medium.
1. The Mobile Web is Not the Little Sister of the Traditional Web.
What makes a mobile site so different?
It’s not the screen size—it’s the intent of the user. Very often, traditional Web users browse the Web for entertainment or to kill time. Even when traditional users need to perform work-related tasks, they are easily sidetracked by Twitter, YouTube, or any of the thousands of social networking sites.
Mobile users, on the other hand, typically browse the mobile Web when they are in need of specific information. These experiences tend to be much shorter than they are on the traditional Web, and users rarely browse for entertainment purposes. Let’s just be honest with ourselves—if a user could be in front of a computer, that’s where he or she would be.
Suppose that you were offered a chance to view a new Red Hot Chili Peppers music video on your phone. Would you actually navigate to the video and watch it, when you could just as easily view it on a speedy home computer? Re-purposing traditional Web content and stuffing it into a mobile browser is a recipe for disaster. Instead, it’s time to look at the mobile Web as a uniquely distinctive medium.
2. Give People What They Want, When They Want It.
All mobile Web users across the globe want the same thing: the ability, at any time, to easily access any information.
What this means for mobile Web designers and developers, is that first and foremost, we need to approach mobile Web sites as an information-architecture problem, and NOT as a technology problem. Mobile Web sites should be formatted in a way that allows users to easily navigate and make decisions. Users don’t want to dig through the clutter of a traditional Web site to find the tiny link they were looking for.
Companies that merely ensure their existing Web site is viewable on mobile phones, have, for the most part, wasted their time and money. This is primarily because this type of mobile Web site will likely be hard to navigate through, or be terrible looking. All too often, users get frustrated when they can’t find the content they are looking for. This fact is exactly why wireless carrier “decks” exist.
3. Build Unique Mobile Content, or Don’t Bother Building Anything at All.
Mobile is a unique medium and it should be designed with this idea in mind. If you are not willing to rewrite, modify, or create custom mobile content, then don’t bother creating a mobile site in the first place.
This point is best illustrated by an example:
A university could easily mobilize its existing Web content to create a mobile Web site, but do freshman really need to be able to schedule classes from their phone when they are lost in the Quad? The answer should be, obviously, no.
Wouldn’t the university mobile site be more effective if it was limited to custom information that is relevant for on-the-go students—such as mobile maps, a one-click phone number directory and faculty office hours? The answer is yes.
4. Make It Useable. Make It Useable. Make It Useable.
Mobile Web sites MUST always work on every phone. Period.
What this means is that mobile Web designers need to consider multiple screen sizes, as well as multiple technologies. A mobile Web site should dynamically transcode content such as forms, images, videos, ringtones and layouts, so that any user, with any phone, can enjoy a seamless browsing experience. Users should never have to tell a mobile site what kind of phone they have—it should already know.
Consider that for the traditional Web, designers and developers need to account for differences between Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera, screen sizes, color depth, Flash versions, and more. Why would mobile be any different?
5. Don’t Forget About Design. Seriously.
Mobile Web surfers are still consumers, and consumers are deeply impacted by design. Don’t believe this? Allow us to introduce you to a fine company called Apple.
Because the concern at the forefront of people’s minds has been technology, brands and agencies often neglect the importance of design in the mobile space. It is almost assumed that because the mobile Web has to work on every mobile device, it can’t also look great. We couldn’t disagree with this mindset more.
When a mobile marketing firm approaches a mobile Web design project, it should design a series of visual layouts for a client that illustrate how the mobile site will look on a variety of different devices. For example, our firm refines a selected visual design concept into a WML layout (old school WAP 1.0), an XHTML-MP (WAP 2.0) layout at several different screen sizes, and (when possible) an iPhone-specific layout. The goal here is to ensure that no matter what phone is viewing the content, it will look its absolute best.
1. Think about the mobile Web in a new way. Get creative.
2. Clear and concise information-architecture specific to mobile is an absolute must.
3. Create compelling mobile content or don’t bother at all.
4. Mobile sites have to work—always. No ifs, ands, or buts.
5. It’s called mobile Web DESIGN. Not mobile Web cram-it-on-the-screen.
About Punchkick Interactive
Punchkick Interactive is America’s first design firm to focus exclusively on full-service mobile marketing. The firm specializes in creating text-message campaigns, mobile games, Flash Lite content, branded mobile Web sites, custom BREW and Java ME applications, iPhone apps, mobile media distribution systems, Bluetooth proximity marketing campaigns, and more. For additional information about mobile marketing visit http://www.punchkickinteractive.com or call (800) 549-4104.
Very recently, Punchkick Interactive was asked to create a mobile marketing campaign by a client representing Motel 6. The goal of the campaign was to influence the buying behavior of Hispanics who are traveling on spontaneous road trips.
The SMS campaign integrates with traditional radio advertising, and offers travelers a way to sign up for alerts of fun events in their destination city. Travelers who sign up receive three days of event information. Mobile Marketer wrote a great article summarizing the details of this campaign.
An new Experian study revealed a number of mobile marketing and text messaging statistics that I have not seen before. The short list is outlined below:
- By early 2006, thirty countries had exceeded 100% per capita cell phone usage
- In 2006 there were about 241 million mobile phone users in the United States — or, approximately 80% per capita mobile phone penetration
- According to industry estimates, it won’t be until 2013 that the US will top 100% per capita penetration
- Two thirds of mobile phone users are “active users of SMS text messaging.” What does that translate to? Approximately 1.8 billion people are actively texting today
- Globally, there are twice as many active users of SMS as are active users of email
- In the U.S. alone, roughly 300 billion text messages were sent in 2007
- SMS is typically read within an average of 15 minutes after receipt and responded to within 60 minutes
- While 65% of e-mail is spam, less than 10% of SMS is spam
- 19% of text messagers say they use text messaging as a means of communication between themselves and colleagues
- 62% say they use text messaging to communicate with friends
- 55% say they use it to communicate with their significant others
Source: Mobile Marketing Watch
College@Home created a list of 50 useful iPhone tips for librarians and researchers, and it actually brought up a few points directly related to mobile marketing…
2. Creating a texting service for patron questions. Giving patrons the option of texting in their questions to the library can make it easy for those who prefer to avoid telephone conversations the ability to get quick and easy answers to simple questions, and if librarians within your library are using iPhones they can respond to questions in between checking in or shelving materials and other tasks.
5. Check how your site looks on an iPhone. Many sites don’t quite translate well to mobile devices like the iPhone. Check how your library’s webpage looks by using an online tool like iPhoney or by checking it yourself on an iPhone.
7. Optimize your site for mobile devices. If you’ve checked out how your site looks on an iPhone and the result is not so great, consider creating a special page for mobile users to access your site. Many libraries are already doing so to maximize the usability of their webpages by patrons.
18. Track requests. You can use your iPhone as an easy way to alert patrons that their requests have arrived whether by phone, email or text and you can record and keep track of these requests as well.
23. Create content that’s easy to browse over an iPhone. If you’ve decided to develop a version of your site that’s more easily compatible with mobile phones, consider scaling it down the the basics. Simple search tools and information will be easiest to browse on the go.
This is just a quick note for all you mobile marketers out there. A very specific text string in an SMS message will not work on the Palm Treo—regardless of wireless carrier.
The issue is as follows. Sending a link WITH “http://” but WITHOUT “www” will not work. For instance, “Visit http://groups.google.com” won’t be delivered. However, “Visit http://www.groups.google.com” will be delivered. Very strange, but very fixable.