Proximity is Better than Place in the P’s of Marketing

Proximity - location based systems provide convenience

Proximity, ie. Location, location, location

Although very similar to Place, in origin of the word, proximity is important in social media marketing because of our evolution to being consumers of smart phones, and mobile devices. With Social Mobile Local (SoMoLo) comes many check-in applications where people can share their exact location and thereby vote for products and venues based on their visit to a particular store, restaurant or other venue.

Proximity indicates where you are located in the world, whether near or far and allows for marketers to effectively create value for you based on your physical and geographic location.

Proximity has opened up a whole new way of marketing for local businesses including those brave enough to try group buying coupon/deal services like Groupon, LivingSocial, Bloomspot, and Yipit (to name only a few). Proximity is about place, but it’s not about the marketer wanting to have the product on the shelf at eye-level. It’s about reaching out to people who are already nearby or who have friends nearby, providing value in the form of convenience and connection. It’s about reaching people where they are, ie. adding value instead of paying for placement.

How are you using proximity and SoLoMo in your business?

5 Mobile Trends to Watch in 2012

To no one’s surprise, smart phone usage continues to grow rapidly. In a recent webinar, projected that smart phones, tablets and e-readers will each increase in consumer popularity by 7-8% in 2012. Below are the top 5 mobile trends to watch this year.

1. There’s an App for That!

There are so many apps now, in fact, that developers will have an increasingly difficult time getting their work noticed. 2012 will be the year of App Market Saturation and only the best—the highly engaging and usable—will rise to the top.

Gartner’s Top 10 Smart Phone App Categories for 2012:

  1. Money Transfer Apps
  2. Location-Specific Services
  3. Mobile Searching Facilities
  4. Mobile Browsing Facilities
  5. Mobile Health Monitoring
  6. Mobile Payment Services
  7. Near Field Communication Services
  8. Mobile Advertising Services (This is listed since it is the means for mobile apps becoming profitable)
  9. Mobile Instant Messaging
  10. Mobile Music

2. Where are you?

If you have a smart phone, chances are you are already using location-based services such as mobile coupons and check-in services. Last year, 55% of smart phone users utilized location-based recommendations and services. In 2012, expect to see more from these services including an increase in time-sensitive deals, a rise in effort among these companies to gain customer loyalty, and an increase in advertising within these services.

3. Pay with Your Phone

Get ready for your smart phone to double as your credit card, too! Apps such as Square and Google Wallet, which are designed for mobile payment, will become increasingly available in 2012 though most likely will not go mainstream this year.

4. Video Killed the Radio Star

You already watch a lot of videos on YouTube and Vimeo, right? In 2012, video is the latest game-changer. predicts that spending on video advertising will surpass $3 billion this year and that this genre of advertising will have the broadest reach of all ad formats. The online video audience is expected to grow 18% this year.

5. Mobile Search

TechCrunch recently reported Ross Sandler’s estimate that mobile search volume will increase from 9% to 20% of all searches. Local ads will generate a sizable portion of the mobile search ad revenue. Do you run a local business? Now is the time to jump into mobile advertising.

What is your favorite mobile trend? We invite you to join the conversation in the comments section below!

8 Social Media Trends for 2012

Social media continued to gain popularity in 2011 and will grow even more in 2012. If you haven’t caught the social media bug yet, 2012 may be your year! Below are some of the trends we expect to see in the next 12 months.

Happy connecting!

1. Google+ is the new kid on the block

The latest big idea from Google and major social network on the scene, Google will continue expanding Google+ in 2012 and plans to integrate the social network with many of their other properties such as SEO, Reader, AdWords, and YouTube.

Though most social media users still spend the majority of their time on Facebook currently, it’s a good idea to create personal profiles and business pages on Google+ now so that you’ll be one step ahead while interest in Google+ continues to grow. Furthermore good implementation of your Google+ page can produce search engine ranking benefits.

2. Facebook on it’s own timeline

While Google+ is giving Facebook a run for its money, Facebook is projected to reach 1 billion users in 2012 (via We’ve seen major changes with Facebook since Google+ entered the scene, not least of which is Timeline. This new profile format encourages users to “live their lives via Facebook” and use the social network as a virtual scrapbook. Although introduced a year ago, timeline is yet to be implemented on all personal profiles. You still have a choice. However, to remain competitive in 2012, Facebook will be releasing Timeline for brand pages and introducing mobile ads. Additionally, Facebook’s 2011 purchase of Gowalla is expected to result in some 2012 enhancements to Timeline. (This links up with the Geolocation trend as described below.) Mobile meets local meets social meets viral.

3. Twitter keeps on tweeting

While 2011 was the year of the URL shortener, 2012 will be the year of advertising. We are used to seeing sponsored tweets, but expect to see increasingly prominent ads on Twitter this year.

Additionally in 2012, Twitter will continue to be an important part of the world news landscape. In 2011 we saw microblogging play a major role in sharing news about Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, and the 2012 presidential election will make Twitter usage even more mainstream.

4. Aggregators keep getting better: Buffer and Crowdbooster

While technology becomes more advanced across social media, Twitter aggregators are making excellent gains as well. Buffer, an aggregator that schedules your tweets based on when your followers are most likely to see them, is now offering ifttt (if this then that). The ifttt service allows you to specify an action (such as favoriting a tweet) that will then trigger another action (such as retweeting said favorited tweet). There are many combinations that can be used with this technology so it is definitely worth a try! Buffer also allows users to email tweets via your phone or iPad.

Crowdbooster, another scheduling tool, provides a chart with data regarding your most successful tweets. With impressions on one axis and retweets on another, you have the ability to view total reach of your tweets. Pretty cool!

Crowdbooster Chart

5. Pinterest – Yes, pin your interests!

Interest in Pinterest grew immensely in 2011. By allowing you to “pin your interests” with images you find online, Pinterest is blazing the trail for an even more image-centric social media landscape. Additionally, Pinterest is leading the way in the transition from long form curation (such as tweets) to push-button curation. Much more popular with women than men, because of it’s wide usage for planning weddings and looking at fashion, Pinterest is a niche network competing in some ways with the likes of Stumble Upon.

As Pinterest continues to gain steam in 2012, more and more brands will sign on as well. Expect to see more “Pin It” buttons next to the “Like” buttons you see across the web.

6. YouTube – the number 2 search engine

Using video to get the point across (whether you are an individual or a business) will become even more prevalent in 2012. With 4 billion daily views on YouTube, why not put yourself out there? YouTube videos are very sharable on practically every platform and 57% of internet users surveyed by Yahoo say they watch videos daily. People will be online to watch videos even more in 2012, so now is the time to get in the game.

7. Geolocation – “I am here, are you near?”

Social will be even more local in 2012 with services such as Foursquare expanding their offerings and geo-deals such as Scoutmob becoming more and more popular. Users can already add their location to tweets and Facebook posts, so expect to see more and more connection between location and social media in 2012.

8. Infographics

While certainly on the scene in 2010, infographics became even more ubiquitous in 2011. Practically anything can be expressed via infographics these days and soon will be providing a service that lets you easily build your own infographics. There are already several such tools available.

Infographics will be used more and more to display data. It’s easier to learn from a colorful picture than three paragraphs of statistics, right?

We’ll be back soon with 2012 trends in search, so stay tuned!

In the meantime what are your thoughts about social media trends for 2012? Please add your comments. Thanks!

Trends in Mobile Search

Mobile Search Trends
You probably use your mobile phone for the occasional web search. But have you thought about how much the search marketing landscape has changed since smartphones became ubiquitous?  Recent research on the difference in desktop and mobile search trends resulted in some fascinating statistics.

Desktop search peaks at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. while mobile search peaks at lunchtime and in the evening between 9:00 p.m. and midnight. Despite the difference in time of day, topics searched are the same on both platforms. eMarketer, a daily eNewsletter, projects a 65% increase in mobile ad spending since 2010, which is expected to increase exponentially in future years.

Categories of mobile ad spending from highest to lowest are currently ranked:
1. SMS
2. Banner ads
3. PPC Search
4. Video ads

Spending for video and banners is expected to be equal to search spending in 2012, with banners and video spending surpassing search in years following.

Mobile search has increased five-fold in just two years! Users are searching with the intent to take action, making neighborhood-targeted ads very effective in some cases.

And what about the future of mobile search? Revenue for mobile gigabytes is projected to decrease from $25/GB (now) to $5/GB by 2015. Carriers will likely need to develop new pricing models at that point, which will very likely result in changes in how we use our mobile phones.

Social Media Spending Predicted to Grow by 34% In 5 Years

From today’s PR 2.0 post by Brian Solis today, The Decline of Traditional Advertising and the Rise of Social Media, we see that Forrester Research is predicting strong growth in Social Media and Mobile advertising spending over the next five years.

Social Media spending is predicted to grow by 34% from $716 million in 2009 to a forcast $3,113 million in 2014. Advertising on mobile devices is expected to grow by 27% from $391 million in 2009 to $1,274 in 2014.

Why is this no surprise?

  1. Social media is more easily accessibly on mobile devices
  2. Mobile devices are more accessible (read cheaper) to own than laptops and desktop computers, so more people have them.
  3. What do you carry with you all the time? Your keys, your wallet and…. that’s right, your cell phone.
  4. People are much more accustomed to getting information anywhere anytime, than having to wait to look it up at a specific location, like a library, newspaper stand or even their own desktop computer.
  5. People are much more mobile, traveling more frequently, because being away from the office doesn’t mean being disconnected from work.
  6. Your mobile device is personal and social media keeps you connected with all your friends, colleagues and the relationships that make your world go round.
  7. Mobile application development is rampant.
  8. Smaller is better (i.e. carrying a phone instead of a laptop) and your phone is not just a phone – it’s also your email, your SMS, your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, web browser, your music and almost anything else you want to use it for.
  9. Attention spans are getting shorter and quick messaging is en vogue
  10. Your mobile device is the only thing an advertiser can be pretty sure paying attention to when you’re available to receive information
  11. Because everything is digital it’s much easier to track usage, trends and customer behavior online than it was with traditional media and this leads to innovative ways to personalize information so that it is valuable to each consumer.

If you’re not participating in social media yet, jump right in. As Brian says “Participation is Marketing” and you have to participate first as a person (not a marketer) in order to understand the medium and how to work within it.

Putting the Public Back into PR

I highly recommend Putting the Public Back in to PR by Brian Solis and Deidre Breckenridge. The marketing field is evolving and you need to know how to keep pace with it.