Category Archives: Mobile Marketing

26 Animated Logos to Inspire Your Own

There’s a reason we’re so invested in movies and watching something play out on a screen versus reading a book about the same topic.

Motion is exciting to us, and often conveys a message difficult to express through text alone.

Granted, watching animated logos all day isn’t quite as fun as binge-watching The Office, but nonetheless, it still often wins in a contest against its static alternative — doesn’t it?

Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest animated logos businesses are using today. These logos are so sleek and pragmatic, they’ll likely inspire you to beg for a redesign of your own company logo.

If you don’t believe me, let the exploding Skype name speak for itself.

1. Shazam

Image courtesy of Oleg Turbaba.

2. Skype

Image courtesy of Pivotal.

3. Nike

Image courtesy of

4. FedEx

Image courtesy of

5. Lux

Image courtesy of Mucho.

6. Spotify

Image courtesy of Oliver Keane.

7. Feral Sphere

Image courtesy of Mind Design.

8. Brikk

Image courtesy of Gun Karlsson.

9. Sello

Image courtesy of Latham Arnott.

10. Untime

Image courtesy of Tony Pinkevich.

11. Firefox

Image courtesy of Latham Arnott.

12. Flight PR

Image courtesy of Dia.

13. OpenView

Image courtesy of Pentagram.

14. Cub Studio

Image courtesy of Fraser Davidson.

15. Ugmonk

Image courtesy of Seth Eckert.

16. Arzábal’s Food Truck

Image courtesy of Behance.

17. Two Twelve Studio


Image courtesy of Behance.

18. Scout

Image courtesy of Dave Chenell.

19. Fuzbiz

Image courtesy of Mattias Peresini.

20. AMA

Image courtesy of David Stanfield.

21. Ikea

Image courtesy of Nikita Melnikov.

22. Hypercompact

Image courtesy of Evgeny Skidanov.

23. Slingshot

Image courtesy of Anastasiia Andriichuk.

24. CrowdStrike

Image courtesy of Seth Eckert.

25. Google

Image courtesy of Adam Grabowski.

26. Glug

Image courtesy of Marcus Chaloner.

3Vs are Good, But 6Vs Are Better: A New Way of Understanding Big Data

The following is a guest contributed post from Dr. Mona Yousry, Chief Data Scientist, Sabio Mobile.

The amount of data that people generate simply by living their lives can be used to tell stories filled with context and insights. This information, combined with digital data, enriches our understanding of consumers and, by extension, the physical world. Big data, mobile phones, social media and behavior analytics each play a vital role in teasing out this understanding; as a result, they allow companies to gain a competitive edge, and are the future of business intelligence.

But what does data intelligence really mean? To put it simply, data intelligence is the ability to identify and analyze relationships, and to visualize the data associated with them. That is to say, business intelligence unifies sources of unstructured data together with up-to-date visualizations in order to access information on trends and experiences quickly.

Most people will already be familiar with the term “big data”. But what many people don’t realize is that the number of data sources that big data can draw from is increasing at a rapid clip, which in turn affects the quality of the insights that business applications will be able to generate. Having more – and better – data also allows for better AI, because the more high-quality data you have to train your systems, the better your AI algorithms will be.

Data opportunities and challenges

Implementing big data successfully is often a challenge for businesses, in part because of the oft-cited “Vs” of big data. Gartner’s 3Vs, variety, velocity, and volume, have traditionally been the way that most practitioners understand big data.

Macintosh HD:Users:mona:Desktop:BigData.001.jpg

However, in some ways, the traditional way of thinking about big data ignores the larger picture – that is to say, how to interpret such massive amounts of data. As a result, we need to look beyond the original Vs, to what I call the 6V Wheel. In addition to variety, velocity, and volume, organizations also need to be thinking about validity, verification, and visualization.

Let’s start with the traditional Vs. Variety refers to the fact that not all data is created equally. No longer is it a set of observations and measurements that we can apply regression or time series to; instead, we think of data as a set of patterns that can drive amazing insights, particularly when made up of information from multiple sources. In the near past, a retailer might have relied on information drawn from e-commerce sites and social media – but now, with advances in location technology, one can look at data gathered from physical retail locations and points of sale, and subsequently gain more insight into shopping trends and behaviors. As mobile apps and devices have become smarter and more responsive to their environments, the variety of data available has exponentially increased. Most of this information is already in the hands of organizations, yet few are using it to drive value.

Velocity is a characteristic of data, frequently equated to real-time analytics. It is the rate of changes – about linking data sets that are coming with different speeds and bursts of activities. When the spatio-temporal relationship between two or more data sets changes, then everything else changes, even the definition of a “data event.”

Volume refers simply to the amount of data. Keep in mind that simply having more information than your competitor is not a guarantor of success; rather, it comes down to how effectively that information is being used to drive business performance.

Now for the three new Vs:

Validity refers to a question that our AI and machine learning intelligence is continuously addressing: how effective are these methods? For us, it is the accuracy and  how pervasive is our model. We look at many combinations to relate interactions, habits and behaviors, as only then can we start to understand audience needs (with their privacy still intact). For businesses, the power  is in the insights that allow them to measure performance, create value, drive awareness for new offerings, improve loyalty, increase sales, and countless other actions that are beneficial for their organizations. All of this is a validation of big data.

Verification is the process of establishing the accuracy of something; in other words, the establishment by empirical means of the validity of a proposition. Can a business verify that a customer responds well to a specific notification? How do you know if a particular ad was the reason someone visited a store? How good are your campaigns at driving attribution? How relevant are your ads to people? With AI, and the new types of data that are being collected, all of these questions can now be answered.

Finally, Visualization refers to how we dynamically see the data – and the intelligent decisions we make as a result of understanding those insights. Understanding data can be a complicated matter, and it needs to be easily digestible so that marketers and management can quickly assess what is and isn’t working, and make the right decisions.

While Gartner’s 3Vs provide a good baseline, this new 6Vs Vision creates a more holistic and comprehensive way to view data. This is especially vital as the importance of app science, geolocation, and mobile continue to grow exponentially, and as big data continues to create value for organizations.

The post 3Vs are Good, But 6Vs Are Better: A New Way of Understanding Big Data appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

New Native Video Report Sheds Eye Opening Insight

This week, ADYOULIKE — a leading global in-feed native advertising platform — announced the inaugural State of Native Video Report, a comprehensive research report designed to help advertisers understand how to best leverage native video across all consumer platforms.

The report analyzes aggregate data from the ADYOULIKE platform and provides benchmarks, plus key takeaways around creative length, engagement and growth of native video based on 30 million infeed video views run across the platform in the first 4 months of 2018 (January – April 2018).

“The report shows that smartphone users are more likely to spend time engaging with long-form video ads compared to 6 second ads when executed correctly,” reads a report summary provided to MMW. “72 percent of mobile users that have watched 6 seconds will continue to watch and engage with video up to 22 seconds. When native video reaches 15 – 22 seconds in length across premium publisher environments, mobile and tablet users that have watched this far are significantly more engaged than desktop users.”

The data contradicts the perceived wisdom that mobile users have limited attention spans and are only interested in short video content. The ADYOULIKE 2018 data indicates that across premium publisher environments mobile users do and will continue to engage with longer video content when the content interests them. There is no fear of watching longer content on these devices.

“Key data in this report disrupts well-held assumptions that less is always more around optimal video length. Perhaps of equal importance, this Native Video report counters one of the modern myths of digital advertising – that there is a fundamental decline in user attention due to the growth of online feeds, smartphone penetration and the myriad different distractions we face digitally nowadays,” said Dale Lovell, co-founder of ADYOULIKE.

To download the full report, click here.

The post New Native Video Report Sheds Eye Opening Insight appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Will Mixed Realities Make Mobile Casino Gaming More Appealing

The online casino industry has always been one to embrace change. Ever since the industry was founded on new technology, developers across the sector have been quick to jump on the latest innovations. In fact, many of the leading operators have used innovation as a marketing tool for the best part of a decade. Take, for instance, live dealer casino games. When the idea of using RFID chips and webcams to create realistic games was still fresh, early adopters were able to offer consumers a unique, more immersive experience. As the technology has spread across the industry, the bigger brands have forged relationships with developers to launch their own branded tables and even studios. The result of these collaborations has been a surge in live gaming action and, for those that have invested heavily in it, some clever marketing opportunities.

The Virtual Battle Ground

mobile meetup augmented reality” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by osde8info

Moving towards 2020 and beyond, the live dealer battleground looks set to be replaced by a virtual one. With experts predicting mixed reality tech will be worth $108 billion by 2021, software companies and operators alike are scrambling to utilize the medium. For those entrenched within the gaming sector, virtual reality roulette has already started to flourish, as has poker. However, in a crowded market where brands need an edge, mixed reality slots could be the next USP. Indeed, much like live dealer games separated the top brands from the rest of the pack in 2010, innovative slot games could become an important marketing tool over the next five years. In fact, when you look at the market as a whole, this makes sense. For instance, when you look inside a gaming news platform, this is where you can check online casino reviews. The one thing you’ll notice here is that slots are the main focus.

As well as outlining how many slots and developers are on display, the review sites give users a breakdown of the top titles and even some tips on where to find them. In fact, when you narrow your search and start to look at individual operators, the industry’s focus on slots becomes even more apparent. Indeed, when you read news about Jackpotcity, slots feature heavily within the article, with the company offering hundreds. From an overall rating to the company’s mobile provisions, these reviews give players an acute insight into a casino’s slot gaming options. Why? Well, because they’re the most popular type of game and, therefore, a major selling point. This, in turn, backs up the prediction that virtual and mixed reality slots will be the next innovation to sweep the industry. If that’s the case, the natural question is how this will happen.

A Hierarchy of Ways to Make AR Slots a Reality

Mobile Futures” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by NYC Media Lab

As we know, web augmented reality (AR) is the fastest way of delivering an enhanced reality experience. Within the next decade, this is likely to become the default method for smaller operators due to the lower running costs. For those already running a mobile app with a large database, the most effective answer could be to build an AR module into the preexisting software. The most impressive way to offer AR slots would be to create a separate app. Naturally, this would require a huge amount of time and investment on the part of the software developer and the casino operator. The end result, however, would be easier access, more variety and better quality.

The upshot of this would then be a better marketing opportunity. Just as live dealer technology was the reserve of a few well-off operators a decade ago, the same will be true for mixed reality slots. However, those that do invest in the medium could have a huge edge over their competition. Indeed, with players clearly enthused by anything that makes their games more realistic and engaging, it seems as though it’s more a case of when virtual slots will happen, rather than if.

The post Will Mixed Realities Make Mobile Casino Gaming More Appealing appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Op-Ed: It’s Time to be Proactive with DDoS Protection

The following is a guest contributed post by Ronald Sens, EMEA Director, A10 Networks

Since Mirai and its subsequent variants let the genie out of the bottle, DDoS attacks powered by the Internet of Things have become ubiquitous. As more and more IoT devices join the world’s networks – predicted by Gartner to be 24 billion by 2020 – so the potential for cybercriminals to recruit unsecured devices to botnets and wreak havoc through DDoS increases, and we see advanced multi-vector attacks that evolve in sophistication almost as fast as we can register them. Figures show that there were 7.5million DDoS attacks in 2017, with the frequency of those passing 500GBPS increasing four-fold and some notable incidents reaching as high as 1.7 TBPS. A10’s own research found that 38% of organizations said they had been affected by a DDoS attack in the last 12 months.

When the numbers are this big, the argument is over and it’s time for a reality check: DDoS attacks will be a fact of life for the foreseeable future and this has changed the economics of protection. The way for organizations to take back control is by proactively changing the conversation away from a siege mentality and toward adopting a strategic approach. Once we accept that detecting and mitigating against DDoS attacks is now part of the cost of doing business, the way is cleared to selecting the best solution.

Of course, in an ideal world, we’d all be furnished with the financial resources necessary to protect against all kinds of attacks – but I did say that this was a reality check. While A10 research found that 63% of IT professionals believe that budgets will increase in response to the evolving DDoS threat environment, there will never be enough money to go around – this is where security professionals earn their stripes. The challenge is getting the balance right between performance and budgetary limitations to identify the most appropriate and cost-effective protection for the business. There are a few signposts on the road to success that will help in the quest to establish the right solution.

Scoping tailored protection for your organization

Bear in mind that, despite that intimidating statistics, most organizations don’t face 1TBPS DDoS attacks every day of the week – if you do, then we really should talk!

The first step to identifying the right solution is to scope out the level and types of threat that you typically face and establish the level of impact that the business is willing to support. It’s not a case of one size fits all but varies depending on your organization. For example, the lifeblood of the gaming industry is zero latency; any slowdown in the network constitutes an unacceptable customer service failure.  For this kind of business – which is also a primary target for DDoS – the highest priority is performance and the price for safeguarding that is well worth paying. Such organizations should opt for the gold standard of a proactive asymmetric deployment that delivers always-on protection, detecting and mitigating attacks in less than a second.

In other sectors, where latency is less of a mission-critical issue and volumetric attacks are less frequent, it might be advisable to trade a slight slowdown for a lower cost solution. After all, you don’t need a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

The best of both worlds – hybrid cloud DDoS protection

Of course, just because an organization doesn’t typically face volumetric attacks, that doesn’t mean that it never will. Cloud hybrid DDoS protection allows full visibility and precision to manage more sophisticated attacks or those that come into the “slow and low” category with on-premise appliances, but when a volumetric attack exceeds the organisation’s internet bandwidth capacity traffic is redirected to the cloud to be scrubbed and legitimate traffic allowed through. This mitigates the effect of the attack for as long as it persists and keeps systems available. It’s the equivalent of having that sledgehammer in your back pocket, just in case you need it.

One thing to note when selecting a hybrid solution is that you want to find a provider that charges based on the legitimate traffic that the cloud scrubbing lets through – maintaining your business systems availability – rather than on the volume of attack traffic that is stopped, otherwise you could find yourself signing a blank cheque at the mercy of the botnet.

In order to guarantee enterprises seamless hybrid DDoS protection, here at A10 Networks we have partnered with VeriSign to create A10 DDoS Protection Cloud. This means that customers are protected by the surgical precision of the A10 Thunder® 1040 TPS appliance to combat network-based, application layer and slow and low attacks, combined with cloud scrubbing capabilities powered by VeriSign’s cloud-based DDoS Protection Service when it’s needed to combat volumetric attacks.

Physical footprint

Coming down from the cloud, a more prosaic consideration is the space and support requirements for on-premise DDoS systems. How much space, power, cooling, monitoring and management will your appliances require? You’re effectively looking for as much performance as possible with the smallest possible footprint so that TCO is kept low – small yet powerful is the key here.

Bring intelligence to bear against DDoS attackers

Perhaps one of the most positive ways to be proactive about handling DDoS is to make use of threat intelligence services that are available to keep you and your systems up to speed on the evolving threat environment. They use intelligence gained from previous attacks on other targets to make changes aimed at preventing the same strategy succeeding in future. Threat intelligence services can include tailored malicious IP catalogues, protection against known botnets, custom traffic allocation via black and white lists and mitigation against inside bots communicating with outside command and control servers. Specific responses can be appropriate to specific industries, e.g. banking and healthcare industries would find it prudent to blacklist millions of IP-enabled cameras from accessing their applications.

Seizing back the initiative and viewing DDoS protection as a necessary and strategic element of business operations is a critical step in gaining an advantage over cyber-adversaries. In a world where DDoS attacks are inevitable, it’s time for organizations to get proactive and deploy solutions tailored to meet the threat environment that they are likely to face for the foreseeable future. Security professionals who want to learn more about how to gain an advantage over DDoS threats are invited to join us at The Shard, London on the 29th of May 2018 where we’ll be looking at how organizations can balance protection, performance and budgets.

The post Op-Ed: It’s Time to be Proactive with DDoS Protection appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

9 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation

Optimizing your website to generate leads is a no-brainer. But it’s not as simple as throwing a “click here” button on your home page and watching the leads pour in (unfortunately).

Instead, marketers and designers need to take a more strategic approach. In this post, we’ll go over some quick ways that actually work to optimize your website for lead generation.

To understand how to optimize our website, we’ll have to first gain a basic understanding of the lead generation process. What components are at play when a casual website visitor turns into a lead? Here’s a quick overview:

Lead generation visualization

The lead generation process typically starts when a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action (CTA) located on one of your site pages or blog posts. That CTA leads them to a landing page, which includes a form used to collect the visitor’s contact information. Once the visitor fills out and submits the form, they are then led to a thank-you page. (Learn about this process in more detail in this post.)

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of lead generation, we can get down to the dirty details. Here are 10 simple ways to optimize your site for lead generation.

1. Add Forms to the Pages That Get the Most Traffic

It’s important to benchmark your current state of lead generation before you begin so you can track your success and determine the areas where you most need improvement. Some of your pages might make excellent lead generators and you don’t even realize it.

To start, conduct an audit of where most of your online traffic and outreach comes from. Here are some common places a business might get visitors:

  • Email Marketing: Traffic might come from users who click through to your website from one of your emails.
  • Social Media: Traffic might come from users who engage in a campaign through one of your social media profiles.
  • Live Chat: Traffic might come in the form of users who reach out to your customer service team through a live chat window on your website.
  • Blog Posts: Traffic might come from your highest-performing blog posts.

Once you identify where your leads are coming from, you’ll want to make sure the pages they’re landing on are doing everything they can to nurture a visitor’s interest.

For example, if, through your analytics tool, you realize most of your potential leads are clicking on inbound links to your website from your Facebook page, your next step is to update the pages they’re visiting with content that keeps them on and engaging with your website. On your most visited website pages, add longer-form content that visitors can access through forms that solicit their contact information.

2. Measure Each Lead Generator’s Performance

Test how each of your existing lead generators is contributing to your business using a tool like Website Grader, which evaluates your lead generation sources (including landing pages and CTAs) and then provides feedback on ways to improve your existing content.

You can also compare landing pages that are doing well with landing pages that aren’t doing as well. For example, let’s say that you get 1,000 visits to Landing Page A, and 10 of those people filled out the form and converted into leads. For Landing Page A, you would have a 1% conversion rate. Let’s say you have another landing page, Landing Page B, that gets 50 visitors to convert into leads for every 1,000 visits. That would be a 5% conversion rate — which is great! Your next steps could be to see how Landing Page A differs from Landing Page B, and optimize Landing Page A accordingly.

Finally, you could try running internal reports. Evaluate landing page visits, CTA clicks, and thank-you page shares to determine which offers are performing the best, and then create more like them.

3. Optimize Each Step of the Lead Generation Process

If your visitor searched “lawn care tips” and ended up on a blog post you published called, “10 Ways To Improve Your Lawn Care Regimen,” you’d better not link that blog post to an offer for a snow-clearing consultation. Make sure your offers are related to the page they’re on so you can capitalize on visitors’ interest in a particular subject.

As soon as a visitor lands on your website, you can start learning about their conversion path. This path starts when a visitor visits your site, and ends (hopefully) with them filling out a form and becoming a lead.

However, sometimes a visitor’s path doesn’t end with the desired goal. In those cases, you can optimize the conversion path.

How? Take a page out of Surety Bonds‘ book. They were struggling to convert visitors at the rate they wanted, so they decided to run an A/B split test (two versions of a landing page) with Unbounce to determine which tactics were performing better on each page. In the end, they ended up changing a link to a button, adding a form to their homepage, and asking different questions on their forms. The result? A 27% increase in lead generation.

If you want to run an A/B test on a landing page, be sure to test the three key pieces of the lead gen process:

The Calls-to-Action

Use contrasting colors from your site. Keep it simple — and try a tool like Canva to create images easily, quickly, and for free. Read this blog post for ideas for types of calls-to-action (CTAs) you can test on your blog, like the sliding CTA you see here:

Slide-out call to action

The Landing Pages

According to a HubSpot survey, companies with 30+ landing pages on their website generated 7X more leads than companies with 1 to 5 landing pages.

For inspiration, here are 15 examples of well-designed landing pages you can learn from.

The Thank-You Pages

Oftentimes, it’s the landing pages that get all the love in the lead generation process. But the thank-you page, where the visitor is led to once they submit a form on the landing page and convert into a lead, shouldn’t be overlooked.

Along with saying thank you, be sure to include a link for your new lead to actually download the offer on your thank-you page. You can also include social sharing buttons and even a form for another, related offer, as in the example below:

HubSpot landing page

Bonus: The Kickback Email

Once a visitor converts into a lead and their information enters your database, you have the opportunity to send them a kickback email, i.e. a “thank-you” email.

In a study HubSpot did on engagement rates of thank you emails versus non thank you emails, kickback emails doubled the engagement rates (opens and clickthroughs) of standard marketing emails. Use kickback emails as opportunities to include super-specific CTA and encourage sharing on email and social media.

4. Start with a Basic CTA on Your Homepage

If your homepage’s design is what catches a person’s attention, the CTA is what keeps it. However, don’t bombard your visitors with an invitation to see the longest or most complex content you have.

Your homepage sits at the top of the marketing funnel, and should therefore offer either a free trial or subscription to a recurring campaign, such as a newsletter. Consider including one of the following CTAs on the front of your website:

‘Subscribe to Updates’

In general, consumers want their browsing experience to be as non-invasive as their buying experience. Oftentimes they’re not ready to make a purchase when they first find your website.

To teach them about you with no effort or commitment on their part, invite them to subscribe to an email that notifies them of industry trends and product updates. Personally follow up with the ones who opt to stay on this mailing list to gauge their interest and eventually turn them into marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

‘Try Us for Free’

Free trials and demos are a growing company’s bread and butter. They allow you to generate demand in your business and create a contact list of leads who are currently piloting your product.

On your homepage, have your product available to try for free for a limited time using a CTA and form where you can collect their names and email addresses. At the end of each active product demo, follow up with the user to see what they thought of it.

5. Offer Ebooks for Download on Specific Blog Posts

Another non-invasive way to generate interest in your business is to create blog content that promotes an ebook or whitepaper, wherein your website visitors can learn more about the same topic they just read about on your blog.

This is where lead generation meets search engine optimization (SEO).

Blog content is your way of developing the page authority needed to rank your website on Google. Organic visitors who come from Google are often more intent on finding solutions to a problem you can solve — making this form of lead generation quite valuable.

To start, conduct keyword research on a topic that’s relevant to your industry, and create a group of blog posts around this topic. Then, draft a report that delves much deeper into this topic. Package this report into a PDF that your blog readers can download using their name, company, and email address.

Using the three-part conversion path described in tip #2 above, email each person their downloaded resource, following up with them through a kickback email that retains each lead’s interest in the content you’ve provided them.

6. Develop a Live Chat Service for Your Website

Live chat services are increasing not just in their sophistication, but in how many people expect them when learning about vendors they might want to buy from. This means you could be missing out on a major lead generator.

Bar graph of live chat's digital content share compared to email and social mediaImage via SuperOffice

To generate leads though live chat, audit your website to see which pages your visitors spend most of their time on. With the right development resources, you can install a live chat tool on the pages where customers need the most assistance or information. This allows you to casually collect and log insight on their product needs while answering their questions.

Depending on who starts the chat and the questions your visitors have, you can even integrate your customer service team with your live chat feature. This ensures every website visitor has their needs addressed no matter where the conversation goes.

7. Personalize Your Calls-to-Action

Dynamic content lets you cater the experience of visiting your website to each, unique web visitor. People who land on your site will see images, buttons, and product options that are specifically tailored to their interests, the pages they’ve viewed, or items they’ve purchased before.

Better yet, personalized calls-to-action convert 42% more visitors than basic calls-to-action. In other words, dynamic content and on-page personalization helps you generate more leads.

How does it work? Here’s an example of what your homepage may look like to a stranger:

Smart CTA content

And here’s what it would look like to a customer:

Smart CTA content

Notice the “Welcome Back” header? Visitors who see website pages that remember them from an earlier date a more inclined to stick around and start a conversation with you.

To get dynamic content (or “smart content”) on your site, you’ll need to use a tool like HubSpot’s Content Management System.

8. Test, Test, Test

We can’t stress this part of the process enough. A/B testing can do wonders for your clickthrough rates.

For example, when friendbuy tried a simple A/B test on their calls-to-action, they found a 211% improvement in clickthroughs on those calls-to-action. Something as simple as testing out the wording of your CTA, the layout of your landing page, or the images you’re using can have a huge impact, like the one friendbuy saw. (This free ebook has fantastic tips for getting started with A/B testing.)

9. Nurture Your Leads

Remember: No lead is going to magically turn into a customer. Leads are only as good as your nurturing efforts.

Place leads into a workflow once they fill out a form on your landing page so they don’t forget about you, and deliver them valuable content that matches their interest. Lead nurturing should start with relevant follow up emails that include great content. As you nurture them, learn as much as you can about them — and then tailor all future sends accordingly.

Here’s an example of a lead nurturing email:

Lead Nurture Email

This email offers the recipient some great content, guides them down the funnel, and gets to the point. According to Forrester Research, companies that nurture their leads see 50% more sales ready leads than their non-nurturing counterparts at a 33% lower cost. So get emailing.

You depend on leads to close sales and grow your business. Using the tips above, you can take advantage of every opportunity without letting unsatisfied website visitors slip away.

Intro to Lead Gen

New Call-to-action

A Marketer’s Guide to Harnessing Micro Mobile Moments

The following is a guest contributed post by Harald Kratel, VP of Global Marketing, Smaato

Mobile has fundamentally redefined the marketing landscape in a dramatically short time frame. For the most part, as consumer time spent has shifted to mobile devices, advertising dollars have shifted as well. However, while a great deal of attention has been paid to the gross reallocation of these dollars, not nearly as much attention has been paid to the strategic shift required by marketers in terms of how those mobile dollars are spent.

Mobile devices will account for 73 percent of global time spent online in 2018, up from 65 percent in 2016. Within that time spent, comScore’s latest data indicates apps are responsible for more than 80 percent of the time people spend using mobile devices, with this number rising as high as 95 percent in some regions.

The dominance of mobile in-app experiences is good news for marketers, as more data is available in-app than with any other media format. Since apps can collect first-party data on an opt-in basis, they are also able to pass along valuable targeting parameters such as gender and age, which allow advertisers to precisely reach their ideal audience. Within the in-app environment, advertisers can also harness geo-location data.

In short, marketers now have easy access to the long-coveted “right person, right place, right time” marketing utopia. But far too few marketers today are structuring their campaigns this way.

It’s time for marketers to start thinking in micro mobile moments. Here’s what that looks like:

Dayparting – and Then Some

The concept of dayparting is by no means a new one, but it’s newly relevant in the mobile world. As in the TV world, dividing the day into several distinct chunks and tailoring messaging appropriately during each chunk makes infinite sense in mobile marketing. But marketers need to take things further.

Enter the micro mobile moment. The general idea of “micro-moments” was popularized by Google a few years back as a succinct way of referring to the instances within the consumer journey when decisions are made and preferences are shaped. In the mobile world, these are the instances where people turn to their devices to find, do, or buy something, and it is within these moments that marketing messages are particularly resonant.

Micro-moments take on special importance in the mobile realm, where in-app time is highly fragmented. On average, users spend three hours per day in-app, but the average app session is only five minutes long. On average, users check their phones 47 times per day, and many of these sessions are intent-driven micro-moments where the right messaging could make all the difference in an ultimate purchase decision.

Identifying micro mobile moments, and understanding them in relation to the individual who owns the device, lays the foundation for a solid mobile advertising strategy. Every daypart has hundreds of micro mobile moments. For example:

  • Searching for healthy recipes before dinner
  • Playing a game at home
  • Seeking product information while in a store
  • Checking restaurant reviews on a Friday evening
  • Listening to a podcast on the train

These are context-rich moments that, in combination with knowledge of the individual, lend themselves to targeted messaging from brands. The key is understanding where a given brand can add value and have influence on the consumer’s journey. By effectively dayparting a mobile campaign according to micro-moments, marketers can optimize campaign performance, enhance user targeting, improve cost-efficiency, and maximize user engagement. The three steps to doing this effectively are as follows:

  1. Identify your target group
  2. Analyze their mobile behaviors (or work with partners to do so), particularly as it relates to app usage
  3. Identify the right mobile moments that align with your goals.

OK, so the above steps seem simple enough. But what does the result look like? It might be simpler than you think. Here are just a few micro mobile moments that would be a fit for well-known brands:

  • KFC: 12:15 p.m., food court, fast food lovers
  • Bacardi: 1:10 a.m., party area, students
  • Dreyer’s ice cream: 2:45 p.m., parks, sunny weather

The above criteria are all easily targeted within in-app experiences. Customized programmatic deals are an effective way to ensure that your in-app advertising campaigns reach their target audience at the right mobile moment. Not only do they provide more transparency and control, but they are effective tools for optimizing campaigns, inventory, and pricing.

The shift from desktop to mobile advertising is well-established, but the opportunities surrounding proper dayparting in the mobile environment are only beginning to be explored. Is your brand ready to seize its moment?



Harald Kratel

Vice President, Global Marketing, Smaato

With over 20 years of experience across the media and advertising industry, Harald (Harry) has proven himself as an innovative and effective marketing leader.

Harry has played a leading role in Germany’s digital advertising industry since 2000, when he became Managing Director of internet activities at G+J, one of Europe’s biggest magazine publishers. From 2005 to 2009, Harry served as the COO/CMO of Parship, Europe’s largest online dating service, where he was responsible for the company’s internationalization into 14 countries. Prior to joining Smaato, Harry was the Partner and Managing Director of mlv, a full-service advertising agency located in Hamburg.

Harry holds a degree (Dipl.-Kfm.) in Business Administration from the University of Münster.

The post A Marketer’s Guide to Harnessing Micro Mobile Moments appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

7 Mixed Reality Technology Options for Marketers

The following is a guest contributed post by Jason Yim, CEO and Executive Creative Director of Trigger

Augmented and mixed reality experiences are powerful tools that can connect consumers to brands and products in meaningful ways. However, in order to achieve that meaningful connection, marketing strategists should always consider the overall customer experience when designing a campaign. More people rely on smartphones to cater their entertainment needs than ever before but still, a one-size-fits-all AR solution does not exist. After clocking more than 100k hours of mixed reality development for some of the world’s largest brand names, Trigger has identified seven different ways to integrate AR into your next marketing campaign.

  1. Web AR:

Web AR is one of the fastest ways to deliver AR content to an audience because it works through a mobile web browser and does not require an app. Users are directed to a unique URL that can scan a target and launch an experience.


  • User does not need to download an app
  • Wide reach


  • Technology is still in its infancy – limited 3D fidelity, limited recognition and tracking, less robust an experience
  • Requires internet connection
  1. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) AR Content:

OEM AR content is embedded into a device’s native camera or pre-installed in an app on the device. The Google Pixel 2 is a perfect example of this.


  • Higher performance as it is integrated directly into hardware
  • User does not need to download app


  • Closed development and publishing environment for these platforms
  • Limited to a few handsets in the market
  1. Social App Lens (Snap, Facebook):

Everything we do now almost always overlaps with a social platform, so placing AR content into an existing social app can be an effective way to access users already actively using those platforms.


  • Targets large active user base
  • Delivers measurable results
  • Proven user behavior and content preference
  • Broad reach


  • Media buy often required
  • Content size and interactive experience are limited by constraints of the platform
  1. AR/MR Module in an Existing App:

If you have a large consumer base already, consider building an AR module into an existing (legacy) app. This approach enhances an existing experience and continues to take advantage of an established install base.


  • No new app download required
  • Feature set only limited by size of module and budget


  • Technical integration with legacy app can sometimes be challenging
  • Features could be limited by legacy app in terms of file size or conflicting technology
  1. Dedicated AR/MR App:

Starting from scratch? Building an AR/MR app from the ground-up increases your ability to customize an experience without having to accommodate an existing app.


  • Newer technologies are cutting development times for bespoke experiences down
  • Customize the entire experience from start-to-finish


  • App install is required
  • Significant app marketing and promotion is required to encourage downloads and installs
  1. Ambassador-Driven Experience with Custom Hardware/Software:

This method is ideal for events and retail experiences where brand ambassadors are equipped and trained with devices to run an AR/MR experience.


  • User does not need to download app
  • Usually works best for a shorter experience with a social component


  • Consumers cannot replicate experience at home
  1. Location-Based AR/MR Installation:

Turn-key technological solutions for location-based AR/MR do not currently exist. An installation will likely require custom hardware/software.


  • User does not need to download app
  • Interaction does not have to be limited to mobile devices
  • Experience can have a larger wow factor


  • Experience can be limited to target ideal traffic flow and dwell times
  • Significant commitment of time, space and money


Jason Yim is the CEO and Executive Creative Director of Trigger – The Mixed Reality AgencyTM with offices in the US and Denmark. Yim has led over 100,000 hours of development in AR/VR/XR, including as a Snap Lens Studio Partner and as a showcase developer for Vuforia and Google for clients including: Honda, Sony, Mattel, Disney, LEGO and more. For LEGO, he has developed mixed reality content and solutions for various product lines including LEGO Stores and the new LEGO Museum. Yim has two assigned patents in table-top AR play, with several more pending.


The post 7 Mixed Reality Technology Options for Marketers appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

10 of the Best About Us Pages and How to Make Your Own

Building a website is, in many ways, an exercise of willpower. It’s tempting to get distracted by the bells and whistles of the design process, and forget all about creating compelling content. 

It’s that compelling content that’s crucial to making inbound marketing work for your business.

So how do you balance your remarkable content creation with your web design needs? It all starts with the “About Us” page.

For a remarkable about page, all you need to do is figure out your company’s unique identity, and then share it with the world. Easy, right? Of course not. Your “About Us” page is one of the most important pages on your website, and it needs to be well crafted. This profile also happens to be one of the most commonly overlooked pages, which is why you should make it stand out.

The good news? It can be done. In fact, there are some companies out there with remarkable “About Us” pages, the elements of which you can emulate on your own website.

By the end of this post, you’ll know what makes some of today’s best “About Us” pages so great, and how to make your own “About Us” or “About Me” page that shares your company’s greatness.


10 of the Best About Us Page Examples

1. Yellow Leaf Hammocks

Why the “About Us” Page Rocks: It tells us a story.

When you have a great story about how your product or service was built to change lives, share it. The “About Us” page is a great place for it to live, too. Good stories humanize your brand, providing context and meaning for your product. What’s more, good stories are sticky — which means people are more likely to connect with them and pass them on.

Yellow Leaf Hammocks tells users about its product by describing how the hammocks empower artisan weavers and their families. The company breaks down different pieces of the story into sections that combine words and easily digestible graphics, painting a picture instead of big chunks of text. They’re clear about why they’re different: “Not a Charity,” the page reads. And then: “This is the basis for a brighter future, built on a hand up, not a handout.”

Every company has a story to tell, so break out your storytelling skills from that random English class you took years ago and put them to work on your “About Us” page. Using descriptive and emotive copy and gorgeous graphics, an “About Us” page with a story works harder for your business than a generic one.

Yellow Leaf Hammocks about us page

2. Eight Hour Day

Why the “About Us” Page Rocks: It’s human.

People tend to think that “About Us” pages have to sound formal to gain credibility and trust. But most people find it easier to trust real human beings, rather than a description that sounds like it came from an automaton. Trying to sound too professional on your “About Us” page results in stiff, “safe” copy and design — the perfect way to make sure your company blends in with the masses.

Instead, Eight Hour Day showcases the people behind the company and humanizes its brand. Introducing the founders by name and featuring the photos of them on the “About Us” page drives home the point that Nathan and Katie are — as they so astutely put it — “two individuals with a passion for creativity — creativity makes us happy.”

When you’re designing your “About Us” page, avoid industry jargon and replace it with an authentic voice — yours — to describe your product or service. Sure, it needs to be polished and free of errors, but it should always sound friendly and real.

Eight Hour Day about us page

3. Apptopia

Why the “About Us” Page Rocks: It skips the business babble.

We know — no industry jargon. If you think it makes you sound super smart on your “About Us” page, think again. People want and appreciate straight talk about what your business does. After all, if people can’t figure out what you do, how will they know they need your product or service?

So, skip the industry lingo — that’s what Apptopia does on its “About Us” page. The startup’s simple but polished language effectively communicates the company’s offering while still allowing the Average Joe to understand it.

Apptopia about us page
The moral of the story: Try to get rid of jargon on your “About Us” page whenever possible. Use short and punchy sentences to explain complex products and ideas in a way that isn’t patronizing, but rather, is empathetic.

4. Moz

Why the “About Us” Page Rocks: It’s humble.

Instead of following the classic “About Us” script and writing a few paragraphs about the company’s mission and origins, try something different — there are plenty of ways to make your brand more compelling to someone who doesn’t know about you.

Take Moz, for example. A lot has happened since it was founded in 2004, so the company chose to share those milestones using a fun and clean design that incorporates clear headers, concise blurbs, and little graphics to break up the text.

We especially love the humble references to how Moz received funding, how it switched its brand positioning — and most importantly, how it switched back to its original model. This speaks volumes to the value honesty and humbleness can play to your customers. Don’t be afraid to talk about your ups and downs; your customers will trust what you say that much more.

The story of Moz on its About Us page

5. Cultivated Wit

Why the “About Us” Page Rocks: It breaks the mold.

Yes, this post is about, well, “About Us” pages. But sometimes, you don’t always need to wait for users to get there in order to make a statement. That’s part of breaking the mold to showcase your company’s personality.

That’s exactly what Cultivated Wit — a creative agency and media company — does, with both an edgy name and an incredibly fun story told through video and parallax scrolling … right on its homepage.

Brand story of Cultivated Wit on its homepage

Below is the actual “About Us” page, which is a gem once you get there. But it’s great to see a company embrace its own brand of quirk throughout the site.

Cultivated Wit about us page

Even if you have a dedicated “About Us” page, there are plenty of ways to creatively showcase your company’s personality throughout your entire website. And yeah, that’s harder than filling a stock “About Us” template — but it can have a significant payoff for your brand.

6. Nike

Why the About Us Page Rocks: It knows its audience.

Nike might seem like a company that’s too big to inspire smaller businesses. You might even wonder if Nike even still has an “About Us” page. As a matter of fact, it does, and it hasn’t forgotten the company’s roots.

Nike began on the campus of the University of Oregon by the hand of the college’s track coach, Bill Bowerman. And even though he no longer works at the company, one of his beloved quotes still brands the bottom of Nike’s “About Us” page below: “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

This bold sentence, referenced by the asterisked “Athlete” in the words right above it, sheds important light on Nike’s audience. The brand may be big today, but Nike is all about the rising stars — who Nike depends on to, according to the rest of its “About Us” page, “expand human potential.”

The takeaway for marketers? Know your audience, and make it obvious to that audience the instant they read about you on your website.

Nike about us page

7. Refinery29

Why the “About Us” Page Rocks: It tells you what’s most important.

Here’s another instance where any area of your website — not just the “About Us” page — is an opportunity to break the mold.

Many companies add just a simple mission statement or company profile, but people often don’t want to ready a wall of text explaining what you do. So, Refinery29 broke it down to convey the intangible qualities that are tough to include in a basic “About Us” page.

Although Refinery29 does introduce its page with a description of its business, its goes out on a bang — four bangs, to be exact. The organization is on a “mission,” sure, but there’s also an “essence” of Refinery29, a “promise” it keeps, and a “vibe” it gives off.

These aren’t company traits you’d think to include when starting out, but they’re what your customers often make gut decisions on when buying.

Refinery29 about us page

8. Marie Catribs

Why the “About Us” Page Rocks: It’s unexpected.

There’s a reason why these examples are exceptional — “About Us” pages aren’t always the most riveting parts of a company’s website. In fact, they often look like an afterthought. But even if you don’t have budget for juicy graphics, video, or parallax scrolling, there are other ways to make your “About Us” page unexpected with the copy alone.

Marie Catrib’s is a restaurant, so you might think their “About Us” page would be your typical “here’s how we started, here’s what we believe in, and here’s our food” story. Marie Catrib’s “About Us” page does tells us that — but it does so in an unconventional way. Immediately, the user’s eyes are drawn to a header that says, “It’s okay to make a mess, experiments can lead to beautiful things.” Quite philosophical, for a place to have dinner.

But next comes the story about the owner, which starts in an unexpected way — “It’s hard to imagine, but at one time Marie was banned from the family kitchen.” A line like that draws in the audience, because we know it’s not going to be typical.

Marie Catribs about us page

So, how will you use copy to really draw readers in? It’s amazing what impression you can make on site visitors just by creatively telling your story with words alone.

9. Bulldog Skincare

Why the “About Us” Page Rocks: It’s lovable and memorable.

What’s the difference between “average” marketing and lovable marketing? It’s the difference between creating generic webpages that provide great information, but in a straightforward, black-and-white kind of way — versus creating webpages that provide great information and are infused with color, personality, and stay true to a company’s unique brand voice. When you create lovable marketing, you can start a movement of brand evangelists and advocates who will help you grow.

Where does this fit into a company’s “About Us” page? The folks at Bulldog, a men’s skincare company that was named for the colloquial “man’s best friend” — a dog — could have typed up a few paragraphs about where the brand came from and how they were one of the first in the space to redefine and eliminate stereotypes around men’s grooming. But that text alone would have been a bit, well, average.

Instead, the “About Us” page is pithy, colorful, and leads with the lovable mug of an adorable bulldog — fitting the name and the brand. And it states the purpose of the products — to help customers from waking up with the (admittedly adorable) wrinkly face you see when you visit Bulldog’s website.

Bulldog Skin Care for Men about us page

Play on your own words — it’s okay to have fun and pun with your brand, as it helps to inject personality and humor into your “About Us” page. It primes visitors for a story in a way that makes them immediately feel something. That’s how you create memorable, lovable marketing.

10. Doomtree

Why the “About Us” Page Rocks: Its shows, tells, and has a soundtrack.

One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, according to Forrester Research’s Dr. James McQuivey. But what about audio and visual, too, all combined with a really cool story? Well, that’s one way to tell your story in an engaging way — through multimedia.

Doomtree is built on a bit of an innovative concept: That a group of talented artists can each have thriving solo careers, but can still come together on a regular basis to create great music. It’s not a band — it’s a crew. It’s an unconventional concept with an equally interesting backstory that “started as a mess of friends in Minneapolis, fooling around after school, trying to make music without reading the manual.” And as soon as you arrive on Doomtree’s ‘About Us’ page, you’re greeted with big, bold photos of those friends.

Doomtree band about us page

As you scroll down, users are treated to even more interaction with the crew’s tracks and music videos. That makes sense, because it gives visitors an instant sample of Doomtree’s product. What’s more, the entire “About Us” page is responsive, including the video. That’s important — not only because it offers site visitors a great mobile experience, but also for Google search ranking — especially now that such mobile usage has surpassed desktop.

Doomtree band mobile page

How to Write an About Page

It’s tough to establish one all-encompassing template for your “About Us” page — there are just so many ways you can go about telling your company story. But, per the real “About Us” pages we’ve just highlighted, there are some steps you should keep in mind when getting started.

Here are five steps to writing an “About Us” page based on some of the things that impressed us about the examples above.

1. Establish a Mission Statement

Your “About Us” page can and will be much longer than a single mission statement, but in order to draw people in, you need to succinctly state your goal in the industry up front. What are you here to do? Why should your website visitors care?

2. Outline Your Company Story

You might not have a long history of changes and growth your company has endured (yet), but it’s a nice touch to talk about where you came from in your “About Us” page. So, isolate the milestones prior your company’s founding, and use them to give readers some backstory on your current venture.

3. State Your ‘Aha!’ Moment

Every good company was founded on an idea — something the current marketplace might not yet offer. What was your idea? Use this “Aha!” moment as a pivot point when telling your company story. What was a challenge you faced while developing your company? How did this challenge or discovery shape what you are today?

4. Explain Who You Serve

As much as you want as many eyeballs on your “About Us” page as possible, you won’t do business with every single one of them. That’s why it’s crucial that you identify and mention your core customer. Who should care you exist? Which eyeballs are you here to serve?

5. Describe Your Values

Customers want to be treated like human beings. For that to happen, they need to feel that they’re being treated by human beings. When finishing your “About Us” page, describe who you are as a person or a team, and what your personal values are. What’s your company culture like? What bigger picture in life drives your business?

An LED lightbulb maker might sell 10 different lamp styles, for example, but that might not be the most important characteristic to its primary audience. Maybe this lightbulb developer was founded on a commitment to environmental protection, and every bulb the company makes was built by people who are dedicated to making the world more energy-efficient.

Keep in mind a secondary audience of your company’s “About Us” page consists of your future employees. This is another reason describing your personal values is a good idea — the key to your job candidates’ hearts is to show them you have one too. 

At this point, we hope that creating an “About Us” page doesn’t seem like a daunting task — rather, we hope you’re ready to have some fun with it. With a good story to tell, creative copy, humility, and digestible visuals, you’re on your way to an eye-catching user experience.

Even better? You’re becoming part of the exception — and standing out from a sea of “About Us” pages. What makes you different? We’re eager to learn more … about you.

Want more inspiration? Check out 16 inspiring examples of beautiful blog design.

free about us page examples

get awesome about us page examples

Graphic Designer Spotlight Interview: Dionna Dorsey

Recently, an impressive article on the Printful blog about District of Clothing — an online store launched by 36-year-old graphic designer Dionna Dorsey of Washington, DC.  — caught my attention. Dionna’s simple but popular designs are becoming hot commodities. And so I reached out to Dionna for an interview. She was more than happy to let me pick her brain and learn more about the winning design and marketing strategies of a fashion start-up success story making waves in eCommerce.

Q: District of Clothing is generating a lot of well deserved buzz. From conceptualizing a message for a piece of clothing to designing it and selling it through online store, what are the steps in your creative process and why does this approach work so well for you?

Dionna: Thank you! I first make sure I’m constantly in environments that breed creativity. I’m very protective of my [creative] energy, especially my home space, to ensure I’m in a good place to prepare for creation, to continue creating, and even to develop. Once I find my inspiration — at times it will find me — I like to let my mind wonder so I read quite a bit, cook, visit museums often, and enjoy being outside in nature. When something connects, I begin researching and sketching and eventually share. It’s a fairly organic process that may change from time to time, but I think it works for me because it works for me!

Q: With your talents and work now garnering international attention, what can you say is the biggest mistake or shortcoming you struggled with early in your graphic design career that you had to overcome to get to this point today where you are now both critically and commercially successful?

Dionna: Believing in myself and my ability to do the work. Once I found self-acceptance and learned to appreciate my highs and lows as a creative, I found complete confidence in my work. Don’t get me wrong, I still get nervous before every project, but I trust that nervousness now. And I intentionally use my highs, lows, and my quirks to fuel my creativity and productivity.

Q: How do you stay informed about the modern messaging content and style preferences of today’s online shoppers and consumers you’re trying to reach with your designs?

Dionna: I wouldn’t say that I do. While I’m a news junkie and am usually up to date with the current news cycle, I’ve never been much of a fan of the trend. Instead, I remain true to my classic, minimalistic style which is both feminine yet androgynous, simultaneously. And I often remind myself, ‘simplicity speaks louder than one thousand words and versatility project timeless innovation and style’. While it’s definitely important to remain informed and aware of today’s resources, I’m much more interested in building the brand a solid foundation for continued growth which includes constant communication with our community, making updates, conducting research and making revisions to help us continue moving forward.

Q: What are some of your favorite tshirt design themes, in terms of color selections/pairings and fonts that seem to particularly resonate with consumers inclined to purchase text-based designs?

Dionna: Anything in black and white or bold contrast and usually simple block lettering. I love iconic brands and their original designs — it’s really exciting to see Adidas, Calvin Klein, Champion and Donna Karan, etc. revert back to their original branding and styles. Super cool. In this day and age, consumers want to feel connected to brands they know and trust, not gimmicks. Brands that have sustained over time or perhaps even made a come back — brands with an honest story to tell. Consumers want to be an extension of, or rather community members, of brands that are timeless, innovative, and doing something for the social good.

Q: Is there, in your opinion, an across-the-board winning formula for text based tshirt designs that consumers will be aesthetically attracted to?

Dionna: Yes! If you keep it simple, you keep it moving. Keep it simple.

Q: Can you please share an example of your work and walk us through what you feel makes the look work (and perhaps what aspiring graphic designers and Print on Demand tshirt makers can learn from your approach)?

Dionna: The Dreamer/Doer design (officially the Doer Tee) is probably the one design of which I’m most proud, and the lynchpin to District’s existence. I think what makes this work so well is the simplistic visible and invisible nature of the design, that it’s a part of everyone’s day to day life, that it depicts movement and progression, and finally that it’s inspiring. I used the rectangle, which is the most commonly used area shape in logo design because it’s both easily recognized and a trusted shape that illustrates honesty, solidity, and stability. Having placed it behind the text naturally leads to focusing the eye and also trusting the text which are words emphatically significant and universally relatable in their own right. To be specific, they’re relatable, inclusive, and political words that invoke emotion. Lastly, I used a horizontal line to gently cross out ‘Dreamer’ almost as if it were a to-do list item and yet, it’s still significantly bold, present, and visible (because we have to first be a dreamer in order to be a doer, but just because we do, we never cease from dreaming.)  My suggestion to any aspiring designers is to keep it simple. Simple and clean, but remember to invoke emotion and movement in your designs.

Q: Where can people go to learn more about District of Clothing and check out your work?

Dionna: You can check us out online at or follow us on Instagram at @district_of_clothing.

The post Graphic Designer Spotlight Interview: Dionna Dorsey appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Here’s Why Marketers Aren’t Spending More on Mobile Playable Ads: 5 Common Misconceptions about Playable Ads

The following is a guest contributed post by Alexei Chemenda, CRO for Apps and Managing Director, U.S., Adikteev

Mobile users prefer playable ads to most other ad formats. Yet, as of last year, only 4 percent of advertising budgets were going to playable ads, even though 71 percent of advertisers found them effective. Part of the lag in adoption is because marketers, and even vendors, don’t really understand how playables could, and should, be used.

For example, marketers most commonly use playables for user acquisition, but they can be powerful tools for retargeting, too. Marketers also think of playables as a gaming tactic, but brands across a variety of verticals use playables to engage their audience. Let’s take a closer look at the most common mistakes the industry is making when it comes to mobile playable ads.

  1.     Playable ads aren’t just for user acquisition

Most large mobile advertisers use playables, but they are only using them for user acquisition – not retargeting. This is a missed opportunity. Marketers can create playable ads to target people who have stopped using an app, or to target active users to get them to spend more time and money within the app.

It’s a truism of marketing that it costs more to acquire a new user than to retain an existing one. Playable ads are a great tool for maximizing the value derived from your existing user base. One of the reasons app marketers have shied away from targeting their existing users is because they are worried about wasting spend. Their specific concerns are usually around wasting impressions targeting users who would have taken action anyway, even if they hadn’t seen an ad. It’s easy to neutralize this challenge by using incrementality –the measure of revenue lift provided by an advertising spend—in addition to Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Incrementality allows you to compare the audience you are retargeting to a control group that is not served ads so you can better evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign.

  1.     Playable ads aren’t reserved for gaming

Playable ads are a tactic for capturing a user’s attention. Sure, gaming app publishers might do that by showcasing the game they are promoting, but brands in other verticals can create all sorts of interactive experiences designed to first, engage users and second, deliver some sort of targeted message. The e-commerce platform Wish demonstrated just how effective this strategy can be when it used a series of playable ads for a retargeting campaign that delivered better results than any of its static banner campaigns. The creative included a Spin The Wheel experience, in which users spun a virtual wheel to receive a free gift they could open inside the app, and a Choose The Right Box game, in which users had to guess which box a free gift was under after the boxes were shuffled.

  1.     Don’t overinvest in your first playable experience

Advertisers and vendors often invest a lot of resources crafting their first playable experience in an effort to make it “perfect.” Marketers would be better off approaching their first playable iteration as a testing ground where they learn which elements perform best and then tweak their creative accordingly. Let’s take a simple gaming example. Rather than choosing one character from your game to highlight in your first playable, try letting users choose which character they want to interact with. After you have measured performance, you can double down on what is working and create iterations that feature the most popular character.

  1.     You can overcome creative fatigue

One of the critiques of playables is that you can saturate your audience quickly. If you show the same playable ad too many times, users will start to ignore it and performance will suffer. This is a real advertising challenge, but it is not limited to playables. Serve any ad too frequently and performance will drop. Creative fatigue is perceived to be a  particularly big problem for playables because marketers often think that the playable experience has to mimic the app they are promoting. The aim of a playable ad isn’t necessarily to give users a sneak peek of the app. Its objective should be to capture a user’s attention. Then you can deliver the relevant marketing message.

With this in mind, marketers can create multiple versions of their playable ads and optimize them the same way they do with static banners and native Facebook ads. It is possible to create 20, 30, even 50 versions of the same playable ad. Doing so allows you to test out different scenarios, optimize per different audience groups and avoid creative fatigue.

  1.     You can’t measure playable ads the same way you measure banners

With static mobile banners, marketers measure click-through rate (CTR) and installs, as well as what happens post-download, so they can determine the value of the user and the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). With playables, marketers can go even deeper with the data. You can measure which buttons a user clicks and in what order, as well as time spent within the experience. The volume of available data can be overwhelming, and it can take time to determine what to measure and what to do with what you have learned. The insights can be used to improve your next playable experience, your audience targeting strategy or even other marketing campaigns. But one thing is certain—you can’t glean these takeaways if you are using the same reporting tools you use for your static mobile ads. Marketers need reporting dashboards that are specifically developed with playables in mind.

Playable ads aren’t just a tool for acquiring new high-value users. With the right strategies and measurement tools in place, marketers across all kinds of verticals can use them to retain existing users and keep them engaged.

The post Here’s Why Marketers Aren’t Spending More on Mobile Playable Ads: 5 Common Misconceptions about Playable Ads appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Connected Cars: The Opportunity Is Closer Than Marketers Think

The following is a guest contributed post by Keith Petri, Chief Strategy Officer of Screen6

The rise of the connected car has been swift. With most auto manufacturers beginning to offer apps on the in-car dashboard, integrations with voice assistants, and swipe navigation, the latest cars on the market seem more like software platforms that people just happen to drive. In the United States, connected car penetration is estimated at 38.8 percent in 2018, a figure that is expected to grow to more than 80 percent by 2022.

Of course, the marketing world has noticed. But to date, there’s been very little consensus on how exactly marketers should be adapting their thinking for what promises to be a profound shift in consumer access. No doubt, connected cars will change the world of marketing. But as with the car technology itself, the marketing play will be a slow evolution, not a static opportunity that can be plugged into the broader marketing equation or “customer journey” overnight.

It’s fun to speculate on the long-term and how the screen inside the car might become one of the most important screens in our lives. And no doubt, when autonomous vehicles become the new normal, marketers are going to be falling all over themselves to figure out the myriad things they can do with the additional screen time for everyday for consumers. For example, Apple recently filed a patent application for virtual reality experiences inside self-driving cars, sparking a good deal of speculation into the seemingly limitless possibilities such technology could enable.

But we’re simply not there yet. Right now, even in existing connected cars like Teslas, with their big screens, the advertising opportunity is limited. It’s simply not cool to be flashing ads that could distract drivers while they’re focused on the road. That said, while we await the autonomous future of car travel, there’s still an opportunity for marketers to incorporate connected cars into their strategies right now. Marketers can do so by tapping into the ever-growing data coming from connected cars to more fully round out their understandings of consumers and provide better experiences. This data allows for profiles that can include location data and retail proximity, travel patterns.

According to recent data from Screen6, connected cars have already started to yield useful insights for marketers. According to aggregate data, for every connected car we incorporated into a cross-device graph, we were able to match an average of 3.9 other devices. The data showed that 43 percent of the cars were connected to a mobile device, with 17 percent connected to a PC and 10 percent connected to a tablet. Not surprisingly, our data shows that connected cars are most active during rush hour, peaking at 8 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. We’ve also seen that PCs connected to cars are being used more after work, so it’s likely that these devices represent personal computers vs. work computers.

In essence, a connected car is like any other connected device. A connected car is simply a car that is equipped with internet access, and often a wireless local area network. This allows the car to share internet access with other devices both inside and outside the vehicle. This connectivity means there’s an identifier for connected cars that can be incorporated into cross-device graphs, and this integration provides insights into consumer behavior that was previously veiled to marketers.

Attitudes are also changing from car ownership to a more flexible, fluid approach to driving. As the auto market evolves from individually owned cars to shared automobiles, the marketing potential will explode. Data points and patterns like this will be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the insights that connected cars can deliver to marketers as they look to round out their cross-device understanding of consumers. While the future of land travel is likely to evolve significantly over the next two decades, marketers need not sit and wait to begin evolving their strategies alongside the connected car.

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The Tappx Guide to Current and Emergent Mobile Ad Formats

The following is a guest contributed post from Rafael Andrade, Advertiser Business Developer, at Tappx

The way in which people interact and engage with ads is constantly evolving. It’s no secret that the present and future of brands is to leverage messaging across our vast mobile ecosystems of smart devices, and in particular, to utilize programmatic technology to communicate with users. Brands are constantly looking for new ways to excite and engage audiences. It’s not only important to solely focus on the channels which are used to impact users, but we also need to explore different methods where we can build within each channel, thereby maximising impact.

With the ongoing quest for new mobile ad formats, marketers are willing to go beyond the existing ones. There’s a constant need for new formats which take full advantage of new technologies and software. We’re constantly looking for new formats which offer deeper engagement, improved revenue streams, whilst being hyper-targeted for consumer interests. Smart devices are tightly woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. They’re a function for our lifestyles, hence an importance for the design, format, relevance and placement of ads served across our multitude of mobile screens. Out of all of these areas, the mobile ad format is going through a transformational period, with innovative developments right on the horizon.

Across the spectrum of current mobile ad formats, we must first discuss the present day king of the ad formats, the video ad. In the US alone, digital video expenditure is expected to increase at double digit annual rates until 2021, reaching a staggering $22 billion USD (Source eMarketer 2018).

Special mention must also be given to the rewarded video ad format, which is a hugely successful format used. Based on our extensive work in the mobile gaming world, rewarded video ads are highly requested from our ad partners across the Tappx network. Rewarded ads deliver a clear value exchange – when users view an in-game video ad, they are the rewarded with in-game assets, such as weapons, new lives and in-game currency, or new game level access. Video ad formats are hugely powerful on many levels, primarily because they help to communicate large amounts of information in a very short space of time.

Following video ads, we move onto 360 interactive ads. This format enables users to view products from multiple angles, including the rotation or flipping of an image, so users can gain different perspectives of products. New research from IPG Media Lab reported that video ads offering 360 degree functionality drive 7% higher purchase intent on smart devices, and a 12% increase in the belief that a brand has a “unique story to tell” when compared to video ads.

The next generation of mobile ad formats is the move towards true AR and VR. This year we will witness the real power behind AR/VR, in terms of the scope of technology, and embracement by audiences, empowering marketers to accompany their campaigns with increased interactivity, deeper immersiveness and hyper targeted personalization.

As gaming is a highly popular activity on smartphones, we shouldn’t forget about playable ads, and the near infinite forms which they can take. Playable ads offers users the chance to interact and engage with an app/game, before they have downloaded it. Try before you buy if you will. They offer attractive engagement and conversation rates.

The arrival of 5G is also going to take visual ad experiences to a higher level, and it will consequently create new spaces and metrics for measuring effectiveness, engagement and performance, such as tracking with metrics like post-view conversions, viewability and audibility ratios, and many more.

One of the most exciting yet “good old” ad formats that has witnessed a resurgence is the audio ad format. This increasing interest in audio formats is correlated to the large adoption by consumers of music streaming services. These types of audio ads, that can be served programmatically, opens new ways for segmenting audiences, like emotional segmentations according to the state of mind when people listen to certain genres of music. But there’s also a wider horizon for audio ads. In the future, they will increase their protagonism at the same time as the adoption of audio smart voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana continues to grow. There’s no doubt that voice technology will change the way that consumers engage with brands, and how the brands present themselves to consumers.

The future of the advertising industry is like the past, which means it’s in constant evolution and with the unfinished pursuit for the attention of people. What excites users in this industry is how technology is relentlessly merging and transforming across all aspects of human life, which opens up new channels and ways to communicate with audiences.

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The Laws Of Attraction In A Mobile-First World

The following is a guest contributed post from YouAppi Chief Revenue Officer, Leo Giel.

Reaching the right audience is a constant challenge for app developers, publishers and advertisers. Simply amassing a large audience isn’t easy – but more importantly, it isn’t strategic and doesn’t drive business growth or revenue. Without the right customers – those who will actively engage – a brand’s mobile app is doomed to get lost in the marketplace clutter.

The Price of Acquiring the Wrong Audience.

Acquiring an audience of any kind can be challenging, but acquiring the right users who will download a mobile app, engage frequently and make in-app purchases is even more difficult – not to mention expensive. Across iOS and Android platforms the average business cost per app download is $162.22. Encouraging the download itself, user registration, in-app purchases and retention each come with costs of their own.

Just when mobile app developers, publishers and advertisers think they’ve figured out how to reach their ideal audience, the market shifts and expectations rise. If they neglect or simply lack the skill to cater to the new needs of their target audience, they’re left with hundreds of app downloads that float in the ether and are meaningless to their Return on Ad Spending (ROAS).

One in five users will open an application only once and then abandon it all together. While this is an improvement from 2017, it still poses a noteworthy threat to app developers and advertisers. Why do some users lose interest after just one interaction with certain content? Is your brand securing the right audience for your app(s)? The challenge is to narrow focus and efforts on the right individuals who will be motivated not just to download the app once, but also to re-engage.

Delivering Content that Drives Engagement And Re-engages.

User acquisition is on the minds of mobile app developers and publishers around the globe, and with the high cost of acquiring users – including the wrong users – it’s critical that mobile app marketers know exactly how to deliver engagement-driving content. On average, users in the U.S. spend about 2.3 hours on their mobile device every day. This represents a significant window of time to insert your mobile brand into their minds.

A recent survey found that 85 percent of marketers plan to increase their investment in video in 2018, up a whole 10 percent from 2017. The digital landscape has shifted and video continues to grow in popularity year-on-year. Video is the future of mobile marketing and is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019. Investing in video can help your brand stay relevant in this mobile-first world.

Digital video marketing became a $135 billion industry in the U.S. in 2017. It’s a competitive, but also very effective space. With an audience’s ever-shortening attention span, video is top-of-mind for successful mobile marketers. Video caters to the needs of our mobile-first world and makes your brand memorable.

Attracting the Most Valuable Customers.

Data offers valuable insight to the minds of users and AI and machine learning open up possibilities to learn how and when a user is most likely to engage. Still, these elements are ever-changing. Brands need to focus advertising efforts on those they believe will truly benefit from or enjoy their application – things like App Store Optimization (ASO) efforts and social media utilization can be effective. Using a variety of resources can give you a leg up on other app marketers who focus solely on optimizing their app for the Apple App Store and Google Play. One in four app users discover apps through simple online searches unrelated to apps – well-timed ads and download offers can be highly effective as they relate to someone’s initial online search.

User acquisition is imperative to mobile application success, but it’s not the only element to drive growth. Engagement and re-engagement are the most important factors in forming a competitive growth marketing strategy. Once a user has already downloaded the app and shown interest, capitalize on this first act of engagement and motivate them to do more in the future. Upon app installation, the last thing a new user wants is to be bombarded with a myriad of questions, requests and verifications. Timing is everything, as the saying goes. Keep in mind the user experience and let it be a top priority – conversion rates will be greater as user experience becomes of utmost importance

Investing in user acquisition is necessary for any marketing strategy, but engaging and re-engaging with users is the key for premium mobile apps to see better ROI. And, given that users spend 30 hours per month in mobile applications, accessing the right people at the right time has never been more attainable.

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It’s Time to Demand More of Your Smartphone – and I Don’t Just Mean More Pixels

The following is a guest contributed post by Greg Wester, SVP, Marketing & Business Development, Mobile Posse

As the dust settles on this year’s Mobile World Congress, and we process the latest slew of smartphone launches – none of which promise anything too exciting – I have to think about the evolution of the mobile device and how it’s stagnated. Smartphones changed everything over the last decade; they replaced our watches, cameras, wallets, and more. In the early days of mobile, every new feature was a game-changer.

In the last few years however, little has changed – and now we need it to. When new phones come out today, we get a slightly larger screen, a few more pixels in our cameras, and maybe a button has moved or disappeared. There hasn’t been any true innovation, even as devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home enter the market, and TVs, radios, and doorbells get smarter. It’s time to demand more from our smartphones. At this point, they should be better able to anticipate our needs and desires.

But where can OEMs look for inspiration to truly improve the way they serve users? There are a few surprising sources to which we can look:

  • Frictionless Assistant Devices, like the Echo or Google Home: In recent years, Alexa reinvented the hockey puck to respond to any idea that comes into our minds and out of our mouths. The Echo, as well as the Google Home and other devices, can give us a weather update, stream our favorite music or news source, and even turn on our lights and adjust our thermostats – all with a frictionless request.

We pick up our phone literally hundreds of times a day; it knows how and why we use it, beyond making calls. So why can’t it frictionlessly anticipate our needs? It knows when we’re at the train station, yet it doesn’t surface updated schedules or engaging content for the commute. It knows I’m a sports fan, but when there’s something of interest, the best it offers is an interruptive notification. Considering how well our phones ought to know our habits and preferences, these devices should be more useful and frictionless than our home assistants. It’s not about “Voice” per se, it’s about taking out the friction.

  • Out-of-Home’s Dynamic Content: Yes, I’m talking about billboards. The best, most effective billboards are, of course, the ones that appear at places where traffic is typically congested – like the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, for example. That’s when people have time to actually look and take in the billboard’s content. New digital billboards are capitalizing on this opportunity, using the flow of traffic as a predictor of attention span, showing video or multiple animated messages when traffic is slow, or simple static images when traffic is flowing.

Our phones know our content “traffic” as well as locations and behaviors, and AI can be used on this info to predict when we’re unlocking our phones just looking to kill time. If a billboard can figure out the best content for us in those moments, why can’t our own trusty handsets? My phone knows enough to shut off notifications when I’m driving; it should also know when I might be best engaged with some short form, snackable content of interest.

  • Speaking of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Fast-moving AI should be at the heart of our phone’s interface, rather than just a feature. Sure, Siri knows which apps I’ve used the most, and Google Assistant knows what I’ve been searching for lately, but these are separate apps that I have to call up if I want to benefit from the knowledge they have about me and my behaviors. Why isn’t AI a key feature within my phone’s operating system?

Better applied, AI could make my device so much more useful. My phone already knows that when I wake up, I check the weather and my Reuters app first thing. Rather than opening those apps, it would be helpful if, as soon as my alarm went off (on my phone) those apps were already open and waiting for me. Similarly, if Headspace or Calm surfaced at bedtime – say, ten minutes before my phone shifts into “Do Not Disturb Mode,” that would also be great. It would not take much to add these novel capabilities to smartphones.

There’s so much our phones could be doing for us, but instead they’re letting other devices and other apps cut to the front of the line. By thinking outside the box – or, in this case, outside the glass rectangle – OEMs could offer us much more than better cameras, wireless earbuds and longer battery life. They could actually make our smartphones smarter.

Our mobile devices are already the digital hubs of our lives; OEMs should be considering the many ways these devices could actually improve our daily lives.

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Yubico Delivers Passwordless Login for Enterprise Authentication on Windows 10 Devices

Yubico — a provider of hardware authentication security keys — has announced that the new Security Key by Yubico supporting FIDO2, will be supported in Windows 10 devices and Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).

The feature is currently in limited preview for Microsoft Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customers.

This means that organizations will soon have the option to enable employees and customers to sign in to an Azure AD joined device with no password, simply by using the Security Key by Yubico to get single sign-on to all Azure AD based applications and services.

Yubico is demonstrating the power of passwordless login with the Security Key by Yubico and Windows systems at this week’s RSA Conference 2018, booth #S2241.

“Microsoft’s FIDO2 implementation using the Security Key by Yubico is just the beginning of a passwordless world; there are no limits as to where this technology can take us,” said Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and Founder, Yubico. “Passwords have been an age-old pain point for both individuals and organizations, and now, we have developed a unified open standard that can finally solve the problem at scale.”

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The Unique Battleground of Mobile Fraud

The following is a guest contributed post from David Sendroff, CEO, Forensiq by Impact

Ad fraud is an issue known to almost every digital advertiser and agency, thanks in large part to industry-wide efforts to educate the buy side and combat the issue. In fact, bad actors stole more than $6.5 billion from advertisers in 2017, according to the Association of National Advertisers. Now a new study conducted by Forrester for AppsFlyer found that mobile app marketers were exposed to between $700 million to $800 million in ad fraud in Q1 2018, an increase of 30% compared to the same period a year ago. The data points to the share of fraudulent app installs increasing by 15%.

Surely, as more ad spending is poured into mobile formats, we see the nature of ad fraud is changing dramatically. However, while many marketers have come to understand the issue from a desktop perspective over the last few years, the mobile platform presents bad actors with a completely different way of defrauding advertisers, app makers, and consumers alike.

An industry-wide lack of understanding of this unique landscape has created an environment ripe for fraudsters. Bad actors gravitate towards less-understood channels and take advantage of their complexities and the industry’s knowledge gap to defraud advertisers. Accordingly, mobile is the new battleground.

Bad actors perpetrate fraud in the mobile world with far more sophistication, which makes it crucial that everyone involved in the ecosystem make themselves aware of what fraud looks like and how it works. Here is a look at two categories of fraud in which we are seeing new variations of mobile in-app fraud emerge:

Impression Fraud

Fraud happens on mobile devices for many of the same reasons it happens on desktop. Programmatic technology, or the automated process of moving an ad from purchase to delivery, certainly plays a role in making mobile environments vulnerable to fraud.

Impression fraud occurs when fraudsters inflate the number of apparent users their apps attract, the number of ads they deliver to a given user, and the price they can demand per ad. And while the fraud techniques that are pervasive on the desktop web are also pervasive on the mobile web, in-app environments pose different threat levels. Since an app (unlike a web-page) is a discrete piece of software capable of altering a user’s device (e.g., by preventing it from sleeping) and reporting personal data (e.g., the user’s geographic coordinates), in-app environments are quite distinct from either desktop or mobile web. Therefore, the new types of fraud that are popping up are unique to the in-app environment.

Bad actors can run armies of fake devices, known as device farms, to make it seem like they have far more real users than they do. They can also program apps to request ads at much higher rates than normal, hijacking legitimate devices to transform them into impression-generating machines that hide the majority of impressions from view. Finally, to increase CPMs, fraudsters will use fake metadata, such as falsified location information, to deceive programmatic buyers into thinking that their app is desirable or that their app visitors (whether they are real or fake) are high-value users.

In order to evade detection, fraudsters use a number of spoofing tactics, in particular spoofing the device and app information. This allows the fraudster to fake or misrepresent the device information sent through a bid request, or make it appear that the fraud is coming from another app.

Install attribution Fraud

The impression fraud described above bears similarities to desktop fraud. But mobile is different in that marketers are often trying to get new users to install an advertisers’ app directly onto a device, and the install market grew to $7.6 billion in 2017, according to eMarketer. Attributing this success is a huge part of the performance marketing landscape, and it creates an opportunity for fraudsters to capture some of this growing market.

In a typical customer conversion path, the consumer is exposed to a number of touchpoints before making an install. Attribution models decide how much credit to allocate to each touchpoint for driving the app install. Install attribution fraud is when unscrupulous partners or affiliates receive credit – and the associated revenue – even though they played no part in driving the app install.

They’re able to do this because many advertisers still focus on the simplest of models: last-click attribution. The fraudsters inject a fake click event into the user’s conversion path, ideally right before the install, so that they receive credit and steal revenue. Bad actors are even able to take credit for organic installs – those that happen without the user being exposed to a branded message – something the advertiser others would not have had to pay for.  

Advertisers can do a few things to protect their brands against mobile ad fraud. First, they can educate themselves, and demand clarity and transparency from their ad tech providers and fraud vendors, in particular. That means asking the right questions such as: Do they have a track record in handling mobile fraud? Do they examine the entire marketing funnel for fraud? Are there viewability measurements based on valid human traffic vs. invalid or automated traffic? And are they looking at all types of spoofing such as device ID, location, and hardware spoofing, for starters. Those are just a few of the questions advertisers should be asking.   In addition, advertisers need to monitor incoming traffic and ad data to ensure humans not bots are viewing ads. Establishing a cross-device strategy is also important because most of us use three or more different devices.

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Why Sports Illustrated Is on the Right Track by Integrating AR

The following is a guest contributed post from Tom Farrell, the vice president of marketing for the mobile marketing and consumer engagement platform Swrve.

Augmented reality (AR) is hardly news by this point. The Pokémon Go craze has been and gone, and if you haven’t taken a selfie with the Snapchat AR flower crown, what on Earth have you been doing? As all tech trends eventually do, AR has come to the point where its sheer newness is no longer enough to get people hyped up. As a result, in order to become more than just another futuristic gimmick, AR needs to be integrated into users’ daily lives in a way that is useful; it must enhance their experiences rather than just being used for software showboating. In particular, AR opens up interesting new monetization opportunities for publishers.

One of the most extensive recent examples of just how many options AR can offer comes from Sports Illustrated, which has introduced several AR and virtual reality (VR) features as part of its famous swimsuit issue. There interactive spread includes a 360-degree VR tour of the photo shoot; Snapchat lenses that use AR to turn the reader into one of the models; AR-activated pages that readers can scan to bring to life; 3D holograms; and more. What makes Sports Illustrated’s AR application particularly notable beyond the sheer number of different features is the way that these integrate into the print and web editions, becoming part of the publication rather than replacing it.

These features are likely to drive revenue in two main ways, with the first (and most obvious) being by boosting the amount of time that people are engaged. In the same way that most of us are likely to spend longer playing a video game than looking at the cover of its box, creating actions that the audience can carry out and ways that they can interact with the material mean that they’re likely to spend more time engaging with the issue’s content.

Second, the AR features require readers download the LifeVR app, which increases the number of engagement channels, as well. By incentivizing engagement with the app through an exclusive experience, acquisition is more likely to be encouraged than by any amount of “download now!” messaging. In fact, to get the most from these AR and VR experiences, readers are encouraged to engage with the print magazine, website and app, tripling the reader’s total contact with the brand. These added features offer a way to revitalize the print medium, bringing readers of the magazine into the app, and users of the app back to the magazine. Having the app on readers’ phones means that they’re more likely to engage with the brand in the future. Because the LifeVR app features several publications from the Life brand, it’s also an opportunity to cross-sell users on to other titles, too.

For publishers, increased brand engagement time is particularly crucial since apps are a prime platform for monetization. If a publisher’s content is monetized by upselling readers to subscriptions or premium packages, then using the app to deliver these interactions means that the publisher’s approach can be much more targeted and much more effective. If monetization relies instead on showing advertisements from other businesses, these, too, can be optimized through the app by timing them to cause the least disruption and, therefore, to support maximum customer retention. With ad blockers becoming increasingly common, the ability to have full control over the ads shown through apps is particularly valuable. Essentially, having more readers spending more time in the app translates to more advertising revenue, and Sports Illustrated’s use of AR features is a great way to do just that.

Sports Illustrated is on to a winner here. Readers get a more dynamic experience that they’ll want to share and spend time engaging with, and publishers increase brand exposure, which can increase revenue. We predict AR will be an area of growth over the coming months, as applications like Sports Illustrated prove to bring real benefits beyond its original clickbait appeal.

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New AppsFlyer Report Points to $700-$800 Million Lost to Fraud in Q1 2018

This week, AppsFlyer issued its State of Mobile App Install Fraud Q1 2018 report, which examines more than 6,000 apps and 10 billion installs across multiple verticals, regions and platforms.

Alarmingly, the report shows that ,obile app marketers were exposed to 30% more fraud in Q1 2018, reaching $700-$800 million worldwide.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • The share of fraudulent installs has grown by 15%, tainting 11.5% of all marketing-driven installs.
  • Bots have replaced device farms as the most popular form of attack, responsible for over 30% of fraudulent installs.
  • Shopping, gaming, finance and travel apps are the hardest hit.

To learn more, check out the full report here.

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Augmented Reality is Here to Stay: Key Considerations for Marketers

Valassis, a leader in activating consumers through intelligent media delivery, is out with a new report sharing key considerations for marketers and retailers as they look to leverage augmented reality (AR) technology in their campaigns.

RetailMeNot reports that nearly all (99 percent) of retailers wish to improve the shopping experience to better engage and convert customers. AR could be a valuable asset to do so.

The past year served as a major turning point for mainstream AR adoption, the report explains, with Apple launching ARKit and Google following suit, unveiling ARCore at last month’s Mobile World Congress. With worldwide spending on AR and virtual reality (VR) expected to reach $17.8 billion in 2018, more innovation and opportunity are anticipated in this space.

“The rapid, mainstream growth of augmented reality presents a prime opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves from the competition,” said Pehr Luedtke, Senior Vice President, Marketing and International, Valassis Digital. “However, before companies dive head-first into this market, it’s important for them to identify how the technology can be applied in smart, relevant ways. Ultimately, AR should serve as another opportunity to enhance the customer experience in a unique way.”

Brands should keep the following in mind when considering the deployment of AR technologies and strategies:

  • The consumer research and planning phase is crucial: According to Valassis research, over 90 percent of consumers create a list before visiting a store, showing the prominence of pre-shopping research and planning. While product information was previously gathered through online reviews and word-of-mouth, AR is taking the research phase one step further, allowing individuals to truly visualize an item before making a purchase decision. For example, from the convenience of their phone, a consumer can see an image of a furniture item in their home, helping determine whether it fits in their respective space so they can make an informed buying decision. AR is providing an innovative “try before you buy” shopping model.
  • AR doesn’t stand on its own: While AR is a newer touchpoint for consumers, it should be incorporated into a broader, integrated marketing strategy. It may fit in and serve a purpose, however AR should be used in combination with other engagement strategies – including social media, email and direct mail.
  • Print and digital are an AR match made in heaven: To date, much of the AR focus has been placed on digital, although print plays a critical role in connecting brands and consumers – and AR technology further elevates that experience. More and more marketers are placing codes and images on print materials, which readers can scan with their mobile devices. For example, retailers can implement AR functionalities that allow consumers to scan an item, such as a furniture piece, in a magazine or direct mail print ad and view a 3D visual of the item. Through this AR data feed, consumers can also see relevant details including price, color/texture options, purchase locations and more. The inclusion of AR delivers an immersive and engaging shopping experience – all that’s needed is a print image and mobile device.

It’s important for brands to strike a balance between new innovations such as AR and tried-and-true tactics, the announcement concludes. This will ensure they’re effectively meeting their target audience when and where it matters most.

To learn more about how Valassis is helping brands drive results with integrated campaigns, visit its website.


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