So we’ve all read the memo. Mobile is mass market and it’s a machine for making money.
We’re now much less interested in stats about what % of people have smartphones etc. In most key markets the majority of economically interesting people are embracing the new behaviours that mobile enables.
The important thing now seems to be how brands are taking advantage of these new opportunities.
With the start of the holiday shopping season last week we see continued growth in mobile. IBM data shows that in the US online sales were up by 21% on Black Friday – with the mobile share up significantly. 24% of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailers site – up from 14% last year.
All those brands that haven’t got around to developing a mobile site can breathe a little easier, as it’s tablets that are the main devices used for mobile purchases – so the desktop site works OK for these users. But there is a little bit of chicken and egg here – if more sites worked on smartphones we believe we would see more mobile sales. The bounce rate of c40% for mobile devices backs this up.
One stat that has caused some excitement is that the Twitter referral traffic was exactly zero. Cue lots of people saying social doesn’t work; but do people really tweet about retail stores?
The smart players have invested in mobile friendly sites and data on Cyber Monday shows this is paying off. eBay mobile sales doubled on the Monday compared to a year ago and Paypal volume almost tripled. Amazons sales were up 42% on the previous year.
Given the economic climate in the US is still pretty grim, this growth has come from someone else. Comscore says that online sales on Cyber Monday were around $1.5bn. So some retailers have lost a huge chunk of sales to the big boys; it will be interesting to see who the victims were when we get data on q4 sales.
Native vs Banners
Our look at natïve advertising last week has prompted some interesting conversations. And there does seem to be a growing number of people suggesting the banner is dead – or at least dying. Again, we’re not convinced; we believe we will see a wider variety of formats but the banners still have a place.
Just to up the pressure on the industry to find mobile ad formats that work, a mobile version of AdBlocker is about to launch. This can block all ads in the browser and within apps – apparently including Facebook. The desktop version is used by over 50m people.
QR Codes are still alive & kicking
Whilst the cool kids don’t like them, QR codes continue to get traction with clever brands. P&G tend to think their marketing through and are pushing QR codes on print advertising for their shampoo brands and Gillette. And this use by Toyota is well thought through too.
Of course a perfectly viable marketing tactic is let down by people using it badly – this econsultancy article points out many of the errors people keep making.
Our mobile site Quite Easy Really is designed for anyone to use with a QR campaign – explaining what the tech is about and linking to QR readers to download.
Last week we considered whether we were in a bubble with tech valuations so high. New York VC Fred Wilson has a typically smart look at why VC funding of consumer web and mobile companies is down 42%. He points out that digital is now 20 years old and behaviours are getting fixed – making it harder to create space for new businesses.
And with mobile it’s now more expensive to launch a business – because you need to develop for the web, iOS and Android. And having achieved a download, it’s hard to keep people using the app. Business Insider points out that formerly hot apps SocialCam, Viddy & DrawSomething have all seen huge falls in user numbers – by up to 95%
There is something of a shift to enterprise too, but the key point is that
We’d argue that part of the problem is that start ups have given up on marketing. It’s easy to find startups talking about the product being the key thing and really hard to find ones that see that smart marketing may have a role to play. In some ways this is a reaction to the dotcom boom, when we spent most of our time talking to naïve entrepreneurs wanting to put their poorly thought through dotcom business on TV. In both London and New York ad agencies became adept at transferring VC money to the TV companies, as start ups thought a wacky TV ad was the way to go.
But the better mousetrap thinking is equally naïve. With so many people coming up with similar ideas a great product isn’t enough. Digital marketing is so much more powerful these days; maybe online and mobile advertising have a role to play in driving adoption and usage?
* Marissa Mayer has given her first interview since joining Yahoo and obviously she talks about Mobile
This is a huge opportunity for us because we have the content and all the information people want on their phones
* We learnt lots at an interesting lunch with Comscore today. One thing is now public, with a new service enabling us to see how people are using US sites by platform. For example the data shows that Google has 211m users in total – with 189m on desktop and 109m on mobile. Really interesting to note that Yahoo has 95m mobile users – second only to Google. We look forward to seeing the European data.
* Interesting thinking on the need for agencies to change from NY agency Deep Focus. Love the Clay Shirkey quote;
“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution”
* With Android growing really quickly it seems Apple is finally going to adopt the Nano strategy and launch a much cheaper device. The Nano strategy refers to the way Apple launched a much cheaper iPod and destroyed the competition.
* Chinese brands are producing smartphones at lower price points and taking significant market share in China. Gionee sells more than HTC and Lenovo is outselling Apple and closing on Samsung.
Finally….. Mary Meeker has a rival. Whilst her decks have been the go to source of good data on all things digital and mobile, the Business Insider deck on the future of the Internet is really good too.
Well worth spending 10 minutes flicking through. Then take a few minutes to think through how this affects you. Are you poised to win in this new world, or could you be one of the losers?
And we’re on the road, speaking at the Millward Brown Conference next week. If you are there do come and say hello.