Reflective Journal

•May 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

In this blog I will be discussing m-commerce and the rise of mobile marketing.

M-commerce refers to the use of wireless devices such as mobile phones for informational or monetary transactions (Chaffey et al, 2006).

“Smartphone growth between 2009 and 2011 has been exceptional, with an almost 100% increase in sales growth year on year. The applications built for and hosted on smartphones are key to the devices’ popularity, as they allow users to turn their phones into multifunctional tools, capable of locating restaurants, price checking items, connecting with friends and more” (Mintel, 2012).

2.0 Reflective Journal

The mobile phone market in the UK is a large target, with 91% of the population of the UK owning a mobile phone (a larger percentage than the 85% who have a fixed line) (Mintel, 2012). For marketers this is a prime market to tap into, as mobile marketing and m-commerce is still in its infancy, whilst fixed line ownership has been slowly falling, and was overtaken by mobile ownership in 2008 (Mintel, 2012).

That said, the market is not set to grow further in the near future, as it is fair to assume that consumers who do not currently own a mobile phone do so either because they do not want one, or because they cannot afford one. Many of these consumers without phones are likely to be OAPS, and an aging population within the UK will lead to further slow growth (Mintel, 2012).

The next digital market set to grow is the tablet. The market is still relatively low, in October 2011 just 9% of consumers owned one (Mintel, 2012), however the market is still rising fast, as in July 2011 only 5% of consumers owned one.

One great benefit to marketers and consumers alike is ‘location based marketing’, in which customers receive messages on their mobiles which are relevant to their geographical location (Chaffey, Smith, 2008). The benefit of this to the company is that it cuts down on needless spending, and the benefit to the consumer is the information they have received is relevant.
“Mobile traffic currently makes up 10% of global Internet traffic, and next year more people will use mobile phones than PCs to get online, according to Gartner. Purchases made on mobile devices amounted to $6.7 billion in the U.S. last year, or about 8% of total online sales, and are expected to nearly double to $11.6 billion this year. By 2015, U.S. mobile sales are forecast to reach $31 billion” (Indvik, 2012).

The use of smartphones for online purchasing is being performed more and more frequently by consumers. With 62% of Britons now owning a smartphone (Mintel, 2013), and 49% of these consumers using the device for online shopping, the market size is clear. The challenge for developers of mobile friendly purchasing sites is trying to get consumers to purchase more premium products over mobile devices, as at present m-commerce is mainly used for smaller purchases (Mintel, 2012).

Another challenge for mobile marketers is how to appeal to younger smartphone users. According to Mintel, 75% of 10-11-years-olds have a mobile and over the age of 12 the proportion is almost 100%, with over half of these phones being smart phones. The market for games created as apps is huge, worth £102 million in 2012 (Mintel, 2012). Given that around 80% of these applications are free, marketers must work to include certain advertisements within these games, whilst not making them annoying for the user.

Due to the rise in the use of the mobile phone as a ‘digital wallet’, companies have had to start creating websites which are ‘smart phone friendly’. This means that users will be able to navigate freely and easily on their mobile, without having to scroll in to view the page at the correct size. Social media news website Mashable conducted a study of 1088 US smart phone owners, and found that;
• Mobile sites lead to mobile purchases
• If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, shoppers will go elsewhere
• A bad mobile experience can damage a company’s brand

This push on mobile friendly websites has led developers to create innovative new systems which combine the efficiency of the full website with the ease of the mobile web. Businesses such as restaurants, news websites, banks, social networks, Google, YouTube, and many others have adapted their websites in order to gain a larger market share.

BBC News App

Mobile Web vs. Regular Web

Many companies have started introducing their own apps as a way of targeting the mobile market. In the UK in 2012, mobile app downloads rose to 567 million (Mintel, 2012). A Great example of an effective business app is the Barclays banking app. This app is used to administer online banking transfers and keep check on the users balance, and is available on smart phones and tablets.

Barclays Mobile App

One great tool which the mobile marketers currently possess is the consumers ‘love’ of smartphones. A study by Ofcom found that currently 37% of adults and 60% of teenagers claim to be “addicted” to their smartphones (mintel, 2012). With such a large market in which to operate, it is no surprise that m-commerce is growing at an accelerating rate. It is fair to say that those companies who dedicate investment and attention to this trend are likely to benefit.

The popularity of smart phones has led to rivalry between competitors, who are trying to ‘out-do each other’ by releasing more and more modern and innovative smartphone features. Current features such as high mega pixel camera’s, built in MP3’s, Apples Siri, and built in HD screens are available, as retailers use these add-ons to “try to secure the four in ten UK consumers who have not yet converted to smartphone ownership” (Mintel, 2012).
The next ‘big thing’ within the mobile world is the mobile wallet, which will be a system for mobile payments. It is possible that the introduction of the mobile wallet will ‘bridge the gap’ between smartphone users and regular phone users, who now have more of an incentive to switch formats.

Chaffey, D. et al (2006). Internet Marketing. 3rd ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. p124-5.
Indvik, L. (2012). How Important is a Mobile Optimized Site for Your Business?. Available: Last accessed 30/04/2013.
Chaffey, D. Smith, P (2008). eMarketing eXcellence – planning and optimizing your digital marketing. 3rd ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. p197-9.
Mintel. (2012). Mobile Gaming Applications – UK – February 2012. Available: Last accessed 30/04/2013.
Mintel. (2012). Smartphone Purchasing Habits – UK – November 2012. Available: Last accessed 29/04/2013.
Mintel. (2012). Mobile Phone Retailing – UK – January 2012. Available: Last accessed 29/04/2013.
Mintel. (2012). Mobile Phone Apps – UK – June 2012. Available: Last accessed 30/04/2013


Digital Communications

•April 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Which types of firms are using marketing analytics? B2B-Services companies report the lowest levels (31.4%), followed by B2C-Services (36.9%) and B2B-Product companies (37.2%). B2C-product companies dominate this metric (45.3%). Companies with 10% or more of their sales coming from the internet use marketing analytics to drive 46.3% of their decisions, while companies with less than 10% use marketing analytics only 34% of the time. (Moorman, 2012)

Just as mobile is changing the media and advertising landscape, it’s wreaking havoc on retail as well. Showrooming — the phenomenon in which consumers visit a store and then use their phones to buy items they see on Amazon — is becoming a major headache.

Yet there are other ways that m-commerce is reshaping the retail landscape. The mobilization of shopping also will mean big trouble for smaller retailers, but it presents some new opportunities as well.

A new report by IDC highlights that apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Pandora are beating mobile ad networks in grabbing new ad revenue, a trend the research group failed to predict in its last report. Ad revenues are still a tiny fragment of overall mobile revenues however. (Dilger, 2013).

Kony 2012, was the biggest viral campaign of 2012. The ease in which it transferred over various social media was incredible, allowing for millions of viewers to hear the message each day.

Achieving viral spread is the dream of every online marketer eager to capture global interest. That dream has certainly been brought to reality by Invisible Children’s Kony 2012/Stop Kony campaign. (Frith, 2012).

E-Commerce and Mobile Advertising

•March 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This week I will be discussing online transactions and M-commerce, along with mobile marketing.

The digital media landscape is quickly changing, and the ways in which shoppers purchase products is now adapting to these changes. M-commerce is a relatively new term, which can be defined as ‘the use of the mobile medium as a means of marketing communication’ (mashable, 2013).


Currently in the UK 62% of the population now own a smartphone, with 49% of them using the device for online shopping and purchasing (mintel, 2012). This has led to a large increase in the amount of ‘m-commerce’ which smartphone generate, which has subsequently led to an increased spend in mobile marketing. ‘The growth in mobile commerce is now coming from mainstream consumers. It is no longer restricted to early adopters of mobile technologies’ (Barnett, 2012).

‘Brands have been urged to “wake up” and ensure their websites are mobile-ready or face losing billions in sales as new research funds consumer demand for mobile optimised sites is set to rocket next year’ (O’Reilly, 2012).

Companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and many others have been creating mobile friendly versions of their websites, in order to maximise visits. This trend of ‘mobile websites’ is proving to be a huge success, and are the second most ‘appealing’ technology, just behind “the mobile wallet” (O’Reilly, 2012).

Companies have also created apps specifically designed for use on mobile phones and tablets. The Facebook app is a good example, as it uses a different version of the website in order to make it more appealing to mobile users.

Facebook Mobile App

Regular Facebook Timeline

Changing relationships between marketers and stakeholders

•March 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This week I will be discussing the changing of the relationships between marketers and stakeholders, and how this is affected by an ever improving digital world. The obvious major improvement to online communication speed and salience of the messages is social media. It can be said that social media has blurred the lines in communication between buyer and seller. Whereas in the past we would have had standardized messages communicated to mass audiences via mediums such as television, radio, print, and cold calling, now we have a much more two-way street where consumers are free to question even the largest of the organisations. And the public expects a response. Websites such as LinkedIn have been specifically created to help organisations better communicate with each other, and create a social platform with which networking can be performed whilst eliminating geographical constraints.

online communication

Websites such as Skype, and the lesser known Voip have vastly improved the ease and cost of performing business online. “Skype became the largest carrier of international phone traffic in 2008 and currently dominates the international phone market” (Ettinger, 2011), and the volume gain of international calls in 2010 was more than double that of all other telephone companies in the world (Ettinger, 2010). This fact shows how quickly online communication is improving, and how businesses are ready to take advantage of this in order to keep their costs down whilst maintaining quality.

“According to an internal analysis of small business search results, Marchex found that more than 80% of results did not point to the websites of those businesses. Instead, they pointed to social network results and consumer reviews” (Phillips, 2011).

Communication refers to not only the ‘telling’ of a message, but also how it is perceived by the receiver (Gelink, 2010). With social media and interaction between consumers now a vital aspect of online marketing, there are multiple world famous websites which allow for such comments to be posted. Famous examples include IMDB, Amazon, TripAdvisor, and even many news websites such as the Daily Mail now allowing for comments to be posted on most articles. This is vital within the online marketplace as consumers will be much more likely to purchase after being reassured of the quality from other consumers.

The Role of PR and it’s Relationship with Branding

•March 8, 2013 • 1 Comment

Today I will be discussing the role of public relations, in particular its relationship with branding and the use of digital media.

This graphic shows synergy and integration between PR and Social Media

This graphic shows synergy and integration between PR and Social Media

‘Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success’ (cipr, 2013). The book entitled ‘The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR’ reads “You cant launch a new brand with advertising because advertising has no credibility. It’s the self serving voice of a company anxious to make a sale… PR has credibility. Advertising does not” (Ries & Ries, 2002). Although slightly outdated, this statement still carries some weight. Ultimately, PR is about reputation and understanding. It is an effective way of having a ‘conversation’ with a customer, whether that customer is a consumer or an organisation.
With Facebook reaching 1.06 billion users (Smith, 2013), and over 800 million unique monthly visitors to YouTube (YouTube Statistics, 2013), it makes sense that businesses are looking to utilize social media in an effort to communicate quickly and effectively with the public.

PR and Social Media

A great example of a brand combining social media with PR stunt was the 2012 Red Bull stunt, entitled Red Bull Stratos. This involved the daredevil Felix Baumgartner breaking the sound barrier after skydiving from a balloon 128,100ft in the air (Amos, 2012). He reached a maximum velocity of 833.9 mph, as well as breaking the record for the highest ever free-fall jump. This is a great example of how the stunt was directly communicated to the target audience. The YouTube clip of the event has hit over 33,000,000 views, and reached over 8,000,000 live views, breaking the YouTube record (BBC, 2012). This stunt directly promotes Red Bulls slogan of “Red Bull Give You Wings”, as well as promoting the companies public image as being a direct promoter and sponsor of a variety of extreme sports.

Brand effectiveness within the new media landscape

•February 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This week i will be discussing growing brand awareness, enhancing brand image and reputation, and developing brand loyalty levels.

Web 4.0


This graphic shows the evolution of the web, demonstrating where it is in it’s current form (somewhere around Web 3.0, with Web 4.0 fast approaching) and where it will be in the future.

The concept of Web 4.0 is centered around “technology and human becoming one” (pcworld, 2008) and the basic idea is that consumers will be able to communicate directly with the Web, and the Web will communicate back. Examples of this idea being put to use are becoming more apparent in our society, with the introduction of Siri for Apple phones in 2011, users are now able to have a two-way conversation directly with their phones. Web 4.0 is still in its infancy, with Siri often experiencing unverifiable problems without properly explaining the problem (Hollington, 2013).

Persuasion Model of Influence.

This graphic shows one model of persuasion within advertising.

This graphic shows one model of persuasion within advertising.

It is widely held by both practitioners and academics that advertising works best by
delivering a unique persuasive informational message (Heath, 2007). Persuasion is viewed by marketers as the first step towards gaining customer action and retention, a process which is key to conducting business. It is key for businesses to persuade their customers that the product or service they provide will improve the life of the customer.

Online and Offline Brand Campaign Effectiveness

•February 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Top Brands of 2012

Top Brands of 2012

This week I will be focusing on online and offline brand communication effectiveness.

Branding creates an image, attached to an emotion, carried in the consciousness of people’s minds. This image and emotion need to be positive and memorable, as the positive association makes customers loyal. (karmasnack, 2013).

The recent boom in emerging digital technologies is changing the way businesses communicate their brands to consumers. Transparency within business is now playing a major part in how companies perform their campaigns.

Online marketing campaigns often focus on optimize ‘click’ rates, which are designed to drive traffic to a site. With the increasing variety of platforms on offer, and the increase in ways in which these technologies are used (swiping and pinching on smartphones) it is now becoming apparent that click rates alone are not enough. Companies are increasingly investing in new and innovative ways of gaining customer engagement, and interaction with sites is now a desirable effect from a businesses point of view (Facebook Studio, 2012).
This interactive element to online advertising is being used by many high profile brands. My favourite example is the ‘Behind The Scenes With McDonalds’ YouTube campaign, which allows customers to ask questions about the food or brand, which are then answered in video form. This shows transparency throughout the company, and helps to not alienate the customers.


Social Media is now being used by large organisations in order to improve their transparency and communication with customers.

This graphic shows where which part of a Facebook page customers view when browsing on a company page.

This graphic shows where which part of a Facebook page customers view when browsing on a company page.

"most memorable and effective TV campaigns of the past year have been created by online brands, which is further proof of TV's healthy commercial relationship with the internet". (mediaweek, 2010). Synergy between online and offline brand campaigns is often needed in order for brands to become a recognisable household name.