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New Devices Push Brands To Develop Mobile Websites

We talk about consumers with their devices on the go all the time. With the release of a new device on what seems to be a monthly basis, it could be unclear on whether or not a company should create a traditional website or a mobile website. The importance of a proper website has been proven to be a key factor for consumers returning to your site.

iPad & Friends

iPad & Friends (Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano)

Creating the proper website experience is not only important for a retail company, but for any industry.  Sixty-four percent of smartphone owners are now using their mobile devices to shop online[1] and believe that mobile helps their shopping experience.

The release of the iPad mini, having a small seven-inch screen, can further blur the lines between mobile websites and traditional websites. Most tablet screen sizes vary between seven and 12 inches, where a mobile site would be best suited.

iPad Mini

iPad Mini Tablet: Visual Tour

The statistics for consumer’s behavior, in terms of using a mobile website, are staggering. Seventy-one percent of smartphone users that see TV, press or online ads do a mobile search for more information. And, according to a study conducted by Compuware, 57% of users would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site.

Traditional web can come into play if the intended audience prefers larger tablet screens or laptops. A one-column mobile website design would not be appropriate for a 15”, or larger, screen because the width for a traditional screen exceeds that of the height. These measurements prevent a one-column mobile design from fully utilizing the space on the screen whereas a traditional 3-column site design allows the viewer to see more across the page in one screen without having to scroll.

Providing what consumers want goes beyond optimizing their purchasing power, but tailoring a proper user experience that can prevent a loss of consumers and increase loyalty. By creating both traditional and mobile designs increases your odds of capturing your audience through their channel of choice ending in a successful user experience: purchase.

Waterstone's in-store ad for their mobile website

Waterstone’s in-store ad for their mobile website (Photo credit: ianfogg42)

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QR Codes Continue to Gain Popularity

In 1994 a matrix barcode, now known as the QR code, was developed by Toyota as a way to track vehicles in the manufacturingprocess. It wasn’t until late 2011 that QR codes were adopted and widely used as a marketing tactic.  It’s intriguing that these small, static visual blocks are now a new technology utilized by businesses to offer a way for consumers to receive additional virtual information about promotions. But, these handy codes are completely foreign to a majority of mobile device users. Slowly, but surely, they have caught on with the consumer and proven to be a top resource for target consumers. [1]

Quick Response Code

According to a recent report from Nellymoser, QR codes have jump-started response rates from consumers and are now shown to have the highest response rate among direct marketing tactics.

QR codes have no limits on location, which is a no brainer advantage for any business. They can be found in magazines, on tv and in flyers just to name a few.

Most importantly, they are not limited to connecting consumers with a company’s website; however, when it does, it needs to direct to mobile websites – which loads quicker and provides the most relevant information. They can also direct consumers with a call-to-action via videos, sweepstakes, a social media page and even an eCommerce site.  Regardless of where one can find a QR code, it proves that consumers are actively engaging with their devices simultaneously with another medium.

Nellymoser’s report also found that codes promoting mobile coupons or a chance to enter a sweepstake have a higher response rate.

With the increasing success of these scan able blocks, businesses of all sizes, including one of the largest: Target, are being integrated into a well-designed mobile strategy.

How to Build a New Age Resume

Whether you’re a Baby Boomer or Millennial the new age job recruiters are looking for a different resume that suits the needs of present day technology. By developing a web-based resume not only do you appear more “hirable”, but you are also more “searchable”. There was a time when plastering your resume on a billboard was out-of-the-box thinking that could get you hired, but now the best reach and probability is the interactive web. But, if you don’t know what you’re doing, believe me, the recruiter can tell.

Get The Job

Image provided by http://www.3seventy.com

New Age Resume Must Have’s:

  1. Digital Resume Types: Pick your poison and master it – mobile website for iPads and mobile devices, YouTube video for virality, responsive design for all devices, mobile application to show off interactive skills, SMS integration for fast reference, QR codes for visibility, or Blog for a more personal note.
  2. Mobile Strategy: How are people going to view your resume or portfolio? Try a QR code to show your tech savvy knowledge.
  3. SEO: #1 item that most job seekers miss is Search Engine Optimizationthat allows your resume/portfolio to be found.
    1. Links: Link to sites that relate to your resume to increase your searchability (i.e. your college)
    2. Keywords & Tags: Include trigger words that you think a recruiter would input into a Google search to find the perfect candidate
    3. Hypertext: Clean up the look of your site by just linking certain words within your copy to other articles and resources that may backup your claims (i.e. awards, accomplishments, or articles that mention your work)
    4. GPS locating: Increase your ranking on Google by adding an address linked to Google Maps
    5. Mobile Ready: Make sure you have a mobile website design version of your resume as well as a traditional site. You don’t know when an opportunity might arise on your job hunt so make sure you’re ready to show off your resume on any mobile device. If you show a traditional site on a mobile phone it looks poorly organized, thrown together, and certain items will appear as errors (images, Adobe Flash, modal windows, etc.)
    6. Mobile Website DESIGN: Use the technology to your advantage by means of visuals to depict your skills. You could add an interactive element – Ex. Create an image library of your references and as you click each reference their information pops up. Use this to eliminate unnecessary copy because the natural rules to resume writing still apply: keep it short and to the point.
    7. Responsive Design:  Think about all the different ways one can access your resume – input a code that detects what type of device your resume is being viewed on to ensure it is appropriately displayed and aesthetically pleasing.
    8. An Employer’s Perspective: (1) Online job forms now have input fields for blogs or website URL’s. (2) When looking for a candidate they may go as far as searching in another state or even another country, which makes these new age resumes more readily available for a global search. (3) In this new generation employers are determined to find a candidate that already fits in to their technology packed environment. (4) The top hiring cities are generally technology centric cities – check out Forbes article “The Top Hiring Employers in America’s Biggest Cities”.
Guy Burchak

Guy Burchak – http://guyburchak.com/

Text Marketing Changes the Future of Campus Security

Schools and universities alike have begun to use technology to their advantage as a security solution. According to Mashable, seventy-five percent of high school students and 90% of college students own a cell phone with over 70% that state SMS is their channel of choice. Adding a mobile strategy has shown to be the best form of communication to instantly notify the student body of a security threat.

Following the devastating shooting that took the lives of 33 people on April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech put in place changes to create a safer environment for their students and staff. Their improved reaction time and response plans may have helped advance security and prevent further actions of the recent shooter.

On December 8, 2011, news blasts and blogs stated that “thousands of students were alerted by cell phone that a gunman was on the loose and the [Virginia Tech] campus was locked down.”

* 12:15PM – Derick W. Crouse was shot in his unmarked cruiser during a routine stop.
* Shortly before 12:30PM – Police received a call from a witness.
* About 6 minutes later – The first campus wide alert was sent by email, text message and electronic signs in university buildings.
– The campus was vacant and still as everyone was told to go indoors and stay put.
* 15 minutes after the witness called police – A patrolling deputy sheriff noticed the shooter.
– Deputy watches the suspicious Ross Truett Ashley pacing the Cage parking lot. As the deputy circled, Ashley took his own life.

Did the vacant streets alter his plans for greater violence?  Did he know that thousands of students were already alerted by sms marketing?  Did the Virginia Tech mobile alerts provide a model for disaster response planning?

Some feel that due to the immediate release of the shooter’s whereabouts and actions through text message and other devices, lives were saved.

“The alert system worked exactly as expected,” said school spokesman Larry Hincker. “It’s fair to say that life is very different at college campuses today. The telecommunications technology and protocols that we have available to us, that we now have in place, didn’t exist years ago… We believe the system worked very well.”

Many government entities are starting to use mobile phones as an asset to help school safety, security, and police. 98% of text messages are opened, generally within the first 3 minutes they are received, and nations around the world are taking advantage of it.