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TODD SMITH — 4 brands driving mobile marketing results

TODD SMITH

TODD SMITH

Did you know that nearly 70 percent of smartphone shoppers will switch to a competitor’s site if the checkout process takes too long? That’s one of a handful of stats Google has released in a new report about how brands like Walmart and Red Roof Inn are moving the sales needle with mobile marketing.

Here are four of the most interesting case studies in the report. It’s no surprise that mobile budgets keep growing, but if nothing else, these examples should give brand marketers a better idea of which mobile strategies actually work in the marketplace.

1. Red Roof Inn: An estimated 90,000 travelers are stranded every day from canceled flights. So the hotel chain and 360i ran a mobile search campaign targeting folks scrambling to find a nearby hotel with creative like, “Stranded at the airport?”

The result: A 60 percent increase in last-minute bookings. (The campaign also was a winner in Adweek’s Project Isaac Awards, honoring inventive marketing.)

2. Home Depot: When people need help tiling a bathroom floor or building a patio, they’re far more likely to watch a video on a smartphone than a desktop. With that in mind, Home Depot has published hundreds of do-it-yourself videos on YouTube.

The result: More than 43 million YouTube views, with the top 10 videos each generating a million or more views.

3. Walmart: Speed is everything in e-commerce. Last year, Walmart’s mobile site took 7.2 seconds to load. That may seem like a small window of time, but it was slow enough to send a significant number of shoppers elsewhere. To speed up load time, Walmart changed its site’s fonts, images and code.

The result: The big-box retailer cut its load time from 7.2 seconds to 2.9 seconds this year. Each second shaved boosted conversions by 2 percent.

4. Realtor.com: A real estate website might seem like a strange brand for actress Elizabeth Banks to endorse, but the brand found a creative way for her to convey its message through online video. Banks created a five-part YouTube series that walks first-time homeowners through the steps of buying a house.

The result: 400,000 YouTube views in three weeks. Skippable video ads promoting the video generated a 30 percent view-through rate, which measures the number of complete views divided by ad impressions.

Stop The Presses, Millennials Dig News

Don’t believe everything you see tweeted, shared or posted about the millennial generation being uninformed.

A significant group of these young adults – 4 of every 10 – actively seeks out the news, an analysis of their media habits finds.

Even the out-of-it others say they stumble on news while they’re catching up with friends on Facebook, scanning their Twitter feeds or looking for entertainment online.

Like generations before them, the millennials are more nuanced and complicated than the stereotypes about them would have it.

To help sort out the millennials, from the more apathetic to the most plugged-in, researchers with the Media Insight Project surveyed them and came up with four general categories. The Media Insight Project is a partnership between the Associated Press-NORC Center For Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute, which hopes to provide insight on how journalists can learn better ways to reach and hold this audience under age 35.

They are the best-educated generation of Americans yet, and they have nearly infinite information available at their fingertips: almost all use a smartphone.

» The Unattached – This group, about a third of all millennials, is most like the stereotype of apathetic, disengaged youth. They tend to stumble onto their news and information while looking for other things online.

At 18 to 24, they are younger members of the millennial generation, and many are in school or college. Eight in 10 stream music, TV or movies. Three out of 4 go online to see what their friends are doing. Half play games online, with most of those saying they play several times a day.

But only 1 out of 3 follows national political news. Their interest in local news or international reports is no higher. Fewer than half use a paid news subscription, including those who piggyback on their parents’ digital or print accounts. About half of this group says they go online to keep up with what’s going on in the world, but for them that’s likely to mean the latest music or TV episode.

» The Explorers – This smaller group shatters the stereotype. They’re the same age as the “unattached,” adults under 25, but they actively seek to stay informed.

About 1 in 6 millennials falls into the “explorer” category. Nearly two-thirds of this group says they enjoy following the news. Maybe that’s because they see it as a social activity.

They are more likely than other millennials to talk to friends and family about the news. They also say staying informed makes them better citizens and helps them feel connected to their communities.

About half check news several times a day on Facebook. And 4 in 10 report using Facebook to learn more about something they heard in the news.

» The Distracted – Busy, busy: This group of older millennials, ages 25 to 34, are plunging into marriages, parenthood and careers and find little time to follow current events.

Representing about a quarter of their generation, they are accidental news consumers, in some ways even less engaged than the younger “unattached” crowd.

They pay the most attention to news that’s relevant to their own jobs or kids or lifestyle.

They are the least likely of the millennials to say news and information helps them take action to address issues they care about (only 26 percent) or that news helps them stay informed to be a good citizen (47 percent).

Only 1 in 3 follows national politics.

» The Activists – These are the ones to watch. They are the other half of the older millennials, ages 25 to 34. They make staying informed a priority despite their busy lives, families and careers – or maybe because those things inspire them to care about what’s going on in the world.

Two-thirds say following news makes them a better citizen. Eight in 10 are employed, and they’re the group most likely to have a college degree. They’re also the most racially diverse of the groups – the only one where non-Hispanic whites aren’t the majority. They are the millennials most likely to follow current events: 6 in 10 track national politics and nearly half keep up with world news.

They are also among the most likely to keep up with practical information related to their jobs or their city and to research products and prices online.

Half of the “activists” personally pay for a news subscription. They are less likely than other millennials to get their news via Facebook.

Martian Mic | NASA Discovers Water on Mars, Makes History

NASA has discovered signs of liquid water on Mars, it announced at a news conference last week. “Mars is not the dry, arid planet we thought,” NASA official Jim Green announced. Liquid water has never been detected outside of Earth. NASA found evidence that water formed dark streaks on the Martian surface known as recurring slope lineage. “The discovery we’re talking about today is most exciting because it suggests it would be possible for life to be there today,” scientist John Grunsfeld said. The University of Arizona’s Alfred S. McEwen and other authors of a 2011 study that suggested sloping lines seen on the Red Planet are formed by liquid water appeared at the conference. Whether this discovery and theory holds water remains to be see – but NASA, our main source for otherworldly develops, is making history again! For that, they get a Martian Mic.

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.

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