We spend a lot of time thinking about the mobile shopper and the world she lives in. Here are some thoughts...
Come and see Shopper Marketing in action
BY PHIL GAULT
RE-INVENTING LOYALTY SCHEMES
For the smart-phone empowered shopper
BY PHIL GAULT
Why is it such a hot topic?
BY ALEX MEISL
WHY THE SECOND SCREEN
Is actually the first screen
BY JO RABIN
“Second screen” is a concept that may originally have referred to the idea that the mobile phone provided an interaction channel for the TV or “First Screen” and hence be a response mechanism for advertisers, game shows and more.
With the rise of social media “Second Screen” comes also to cover the increasingly common, or prevalent use case that a family sitting on a couch doesn’t have its attention focused primarily on what is happening on the first screen and is doing unrelated things with the second screen, such as keeping up with friends, watching out for something that might be more interesting and all the things we typically use personal communication devices for. Also we have the idea of multi-screen where we are talking about any combination of TV, phone, tablet, laptop …
The picture of a family sitting on the couch all ostensibly enjoying Downton Abbey but actually engaging in unrelated activities of separately keeping up with friends, gossip and trivia can be seen as either a great and beneficial expansion of the liberation of friendship from the constraints of time and space or a picture of family dysfunction. Your choice. I guess it’s interesting to consider what the motivation for this might be. I can only hazard a guess. Part of it might be that most TV watching is not inspired by a genuine interest, and now serves a secondary purpose in filling in the gaps between other types of entertainment and interaction. The First Screen is in reality the Second Screen.
Another perspective is that according to Google’s characterisation, multi screening has two distinct modes, one of them is companion mode and the other is multi-tasking mode. Most of us use our mobile devices to multi-task, or “find time”. It’s less common to use a mobile device in companion mode or in an ancillary or complementary way to another device. That might reflect a lack of primary interest in the content, but might also reflect that it is really early days for “companion content”. Let’s not forget that it took many years for radio, TV and Web formats to emerge (it’s notable how crude early TV broadcasts look for example), so it seems logical to think that cross-channel or multi-screen companion formats will take a lot longer to emerge, especially since use of mobile as a single channel is still at a relatively early stage.
It will of course be a very interesting journey to see how advertisers and other “companion screeners” develop the formats that I have no doubt will look commonplace in the future.
It's pretty much an accepted fact that cats now run the internet
BY MATT MAXWELL
Whether cats actually invented the internet is still moot – Tim Berners-Lee is still being allowed that honour. But it’s pretty much an accepted fact now that they run it. Most of it, anyway.
Those cat memes that consume so much of your working day are simply Trojan Horses reserving global bandwidth for use by the cat-noscenti, their four-pawed machinations the better to perform.
Now this is a big, important issue with potential ramifications for the world of politics and business that simply cannot be underestimated. And while on the whole this is a fairly benign, fluffy dictatorship bringing pleasure and diversion to millions, history shows that what starts as liberation can turn to oppression faster than a fat cat jumping out of a bubble bath. So here at Sponge we’ve been looking at where some of the chinks might be in the feline network security systems. And we think we’ve found a few:
1. Catcha. Clearly a log-in point for cats needing access to the guts of the machine. What lies behind this fiendishly impenetrable security shield.
2. Despite how they behave, cats are social animals. They need company – if only to watch and judge. Instac.at fulfills this need, generating an unending stream of Instagram cats pics. Meeeooow!
3. If you can’t beat them join them, some might say. (Though anyone beating up pussy cats is no friend to Sponge.) Better to spend some time picking up the basics of the feline coding language, LOLCODE.
4. And showing that the establishment is ready to acknowledge the balance of power has shifted inexorably to furry side, Forbes magazine have honored the 12 most influential cats of 2012. Including Hank the Cat who ran for Senate in Virginia, USA on a pro-feline, jobs-creation ticket. He came third.
It's time to grasp the nettle
BY SIMON HARRIS
Why it's time to define Loyalty 2.0
BY PHIL GAULT
THE MOMADIC SHOPPER
Developing a new approach to understand this new culture
BY MATT MAXWELL
From the conference 'circuit'
BY BILL MACLACHLAN
Since joining Sponge this summer, I have regularly attended marketing and retail conferences, and seen a number of recurring themes across the presentations that I have been to. Interestingly, Sponge are already doing some good work in a lot of these areas. Here are some of the highlights from the conference ‘circuit’ this year;
1.) Mobile is fast becoming accepted as the glue in multi-channel user engagement. As the device that is with users at all times, mobile is being seen as an essential means to reach shoppers on their journey to purchase. The key is not to see mobile as the last point on their journey, where the transaction happens and can be attributed to mobile as a ‘channel’, but as a stepping stone in their journey on the way to a store or e-commerce desktop site to complete their purchase.
2.) Mobile and tablet sales are growing fast, and PC volumes are heading one way. Down. A business that is set up to only reach their users via a desktop website is a business of yesteryear. One panel even anticipated that PCs will soon only be used for the ‘heavy lifting’ of professional tasks in a work environment like developing, designing and work in excel – whilst mobiles and tablets will be used by the new generation for their everyday tasks. To quote Steve Jobs “PCs are going to become like trucks. Less people will need them” vs the more nimble mobile or tablet devices that are like the cars we have for general use every day.
3.) A business that applies a PC first strategy is not in touch with their users. Website use via mobile is steadily increasing and looks set to climb further with the arrival of faster connection speeds via 4G. However, tablet web volumes are increasing around x4 faster, and look set to boom with the arrival of smaller, cheaper tablets from the main players. A business that transfers their PC website user journey to these devices is missing out on so many exciting user experiences. With the fall of the PC and ‘mouse and keyboard’ driven navigation, comes the rise of touch led, image driven navigation that is typical to tablet and mobile devices. And beyond that we already have the gesture led voice recognition navigation already in use in Smart TV from manufacturers like Samsung, which makes the user experience even more personal.
4.) In-store Mobile usage is increasing, but most retailers aren’t set up for this. Recently, there seems to a regular release of a new piece of research on ‘show rooming’ (where users research or engage with products in-store via their mobile devices), that makes tough reading for high street retailers. However, most retailers entrust mobile to the e-commerce teams that handle the desktop website, and keep in a silo away from the in-store teams. Breaking down those internal barriers can be key to engaging with customers in-store via mobile and helping to control the user experience, drive efficiencies around faster store browsing, personalised offers, and even ‘till-free’ cloud based payments via mobile using services like PayPal.
What is clear is that device based behaviour is changing which illustrates consumers are ‘voting with their feet’ and this is happening a lot faster than most businesses are equipped to keep pace with.
How mobile helps you get more out of your resources. US app users apparently save 22 days = $12K a year http://t.co/05Q29HbE2A
6:25pm | 23rd May
In US, Apple sales per sq foot is double Tiffany (#2). Apple’s retail stores now generate nearly $58 a visitor http://t.co/CcC57srY8D
8:03am | 23rd May