5 Amazing Best Practices for Email Newsletters

Mobile, Social
5 Amazing Best Practices for Email Newsletters post image

First published in medium.com

I usually don’t sign up with any email list since I already get so many junk emails that I don’t even delete. I’ve probably tens of thousands of emails that are unread on my mailbox that I don’t even take the time to clean up. However, there are rare occasions that you are amazed by the quality of the content, the details on every aspect of the email. Hips and Tips emails are one of these and I want to share 5 amazing best practices that I enjoyed with their experience:

1. Ask for permission while explaining the value proposition

It all started with an email from one of my connections on LinkedIn. I remember signing up for one of her projects before, so she wasn’t a stranger to me. The email was well written, informing me about her new project. The best part was it was sincere, short and clear:

“I didn’t want to assume you would be interested in this new version. So I wanted to shoot you an email with the opportunity to opt-in again if you wish. You can sign up at hipsandtips.com if you think receiving 1 health & wellness tip a day will help you on your journey to live a more wholesome life.”

Lovely.

2. Show the experience right on the landing page to get more leads

When I clicked on the email link, the landing page was interesting. It was clean, explained the value proposition in one sentence, presented only one call to action on the active screen to add your email. The page included many animated gifs that were fresh and fun but at the same time they were enhancing the value proposition. You get the idea what you might expect from the emails.

these are few of the animated gifs explaining how it works

 

3. Differentiate yourself on the mailbox

As many of you, I receive hundreds of emails a day. So, making a decision to open an email is a split-second decision, and every detail on the subject line or the short description underneath makes a big difference on the open rates.

One simple check mark on the description made all the difference for me to open that email. Now, you can add icons, emojis to the subject line or description and I can assure you it is effective.

When I checked the email on the desktop, Hips & Tips continue surprising me again. The animated GIF image is optimized for Gmail’s new design. Although you don’t see the title anywhere on the animated GIF, you can see it on your Gmail box which is cool and effective to get attention among all other promotional emails. I am sure they will improve the scaling issues shortly to show the full title on the allocated space.

 

4. The content on the email was fun, engaging and interactive.

The email design is amazing. I am not just talking about the pixels but the copy, user experience and the interactivity offered on the email. Every piece of the content/section is cleverly designed (optimized for every device including phones) and has a clear purpose. Below you can see all my notes on each section, and why I love the design of the email.

the animated gif that is relevant to the tip of the day

Using animated gif on emails is a trend that is here to stay for a while since it is more powerful than an image and much simpler than a video to present.

 

5. Engage, engage, and engage.

The bottom of the email was as interesting as the main content (tip of the day) for me. Most of the newsletters fail at this point. They provide you the information that you asked for and that is it.

But, yet, as you will see on this example, there is a great potential to get your community/list involved with every content you provide… including providing the content itself.

The reason why digital publishing is crashing the print industry is not only because the distribution is free. The following aspects are as important as the price: interactivity, social sharing, instant feedback options, two way conversation with comments and feedback.

Hips & Tips is a great example that email newsletters can be social, beautiful, valuable and fun at the same time. Hats off.

How did User Experience play a role in TEL3′s new responsive Web Design

Interface, Mobile, Social
www.tel3.com

When we decided to modify our web design for our homepage, we had three goals in mind. First goal was to improve the user experience for our visitors, so they can navigate the website easier and complete their task quicker. Second goal was to make all pages responsive so we can show consistent rich content to our users even when they switch devices. Over 40% of our users are using mobile phones or tablets to visit our website and this trend will continue in favor of the mobile devices. Third goal was to improve the SEO and increase our organic traffic with simpler layout and better optimization.

On this post, I’ll skip all the hard work we accomplished for contextual SEO part and only focus on the User Experience along with the design challenges. That whole SEO process alone is another subject matter for another post.

Why was the User Experience on top of the agenda? For many businesses, unless you have a patent that no one else does, User Experience is and will be the main driver of how companies perform compared to each other. Product advantages are diminishing since the technology is now available anywhere to anybody. At the same time, the great User Experience is becoming the top service/product differentiation. Forrester is tracking customer experience index (CEI) for a while now. Their research is showing a clear direct correlation of high CEI and high growth in revenues and profitability.

In 2015, the race from good to great CX will hit the gas pedal. Smart CX teams will increasingly use customer data from diverse sources like social listening platforms, campaign management platforms, mobile apps and loyalty programs — to personalize and tailor experiences in real time so that they inherently adapt to the needs, wants, and behaviors of individual customers.
Michael Gazala, Forrester

Research

For our new web design, we started with research on different responsive frameworks. The two we liked were the Foundation framework and the Bootstrap by Twitter, which both are impressive. Our team, Rumen, our lead developer and Sophia, our designer, decided to build our website on Foundation since we had more flexibility to play with.

Once we reached an agreement on the framework, the next step was to research on the user experience. Although buying an international calling service is not a complicated sales process, we knew there were subtle improvements we could do by comparing our plans with our competitors.
I and Patrick, the marketing director, analyzed our customer persona studies, surveys, customer insights and web analytics to understand the user behavior better. Along with our own data, we also reviewed best practices, different design solutions and even user experiences on our competitor’s websites.

The focus was on identifying the goals we’d like to achieve with our new design, and the pain points of our users achieving their task when they visit our website. With the insights, we started building scent and device specific call to actions all over the website. Once the prototype was ready, we shared the pages with our sales and customer service team to get more feedback and insight.

Design

We used the card design when designing our rates widget for couple reasons; first it helps organize a big chunk of data in neat form so users can scan them quicker. Second reason was the mobile friendliness of the design. You can swipe a card and compare different plans with one touch on a small screen.

TEL3 User Experiences Series from TEL3 on Vimeo.

The focal point on the homepage is a simple drop-down menu to ask the user where they call. When a user selects a destination, we reveal the rate, how much they would save comparing to our competitor, how many minutes they can talk for $10 and the available offer. This kind of progressive disclosure which requires a user interaction, helped us to keep the homepage clean but also rich at the same time.

Rates Widget

Progressive Disclosure

Since many of our competitors were adding extra fees to their services, just comparing rate alone is misleading. Hence we decided to improve our savings calculator, and tell a story with numbers on all the savings opportunities. We want our users to make an intelligent decision when they buy the service. Having said that, since we cannot offer the best value to all destinations, it is inevitable that some customers would see that they are better off with one of our competitors. Yet being transparent was an important strategic decision.

Savings Calculator widget

Savings Calculator widget

On the Savings Calculator page, we explained all aspects of the TEL3 value compared to our competitors. First one was the rate and the fees of course, but that was only half of the story. Second part included all the extra monetary benefits users can get by using the TEL3’s service; including the refer a friend bonus, rewards program for loyal customers and the mobile recharge coupons. All these benefits add value to the user’s bottom line and we wanted to clearly show how much.

Social

Enabling easy social sharing was another important user experience factor on our new design. We knew great UX on social sharing consists of two steps.

Always make share buttons visible. The challenge was for the mobile view since the floating buttons on desktop view do not work for small screens. We reviewed a couple options then decided to use addthis plugin which offers a great user experience for any view.
Add social meta tags to your pages to show optimized visuals and relevant content when people share your page links on social media. You can easily combine twitter card tags with the facebook graph objects to create unique content for your web pages.

Social Micro Data Cards

Social Meta Tags

The end result was a success. The engagement and conversions improved on organic traffic for main pages by 40% and 30% respectively — compared to last six month’s averages. Yet, at the same time, we also identified that certain pages were getting better ranking by Google before our changes. So we still have a job to do to optimize our pages further and continue experimenting on how we can improve the user experience for the better.

We love happy customers and a happy Google after all…

How Social Strategy Helped TEL3 Improve Its Influence and Increased Number of Downloads of Its Apps

Advertising, Mobile, Promotion, Social
How Social Strategy Helped TEL3 Improve Its Influence and Increased Number of Downloads of Its Apps post image

World Cup Campaign #tellafriend

Brazil hosted one of the most exciting World Cup, not just in terms of the quality of the games, but also in terms of the fan enthusiasm and marketing creativity in the United States and around the World. Marketer’s video campaigns during the 2014 World Cup attracted an unprecedented amount of views, beating out commercial views for both the recent Super Bowl and Olympic Games. The beauty of the World Cup is its global and multicultural appeal. Nike and Adidas did a great job in attracting more than 600 million video views during this period with their All In and Risk Everything campaigns.

At TEL3, the World Cup was also a great opportunity for us, since we knew that our multicultural target audience would be very interested in this big event like they did four years ago. The brainstorming for the campaign started by following the Dragonfly Effect methodology systematically.

The Dragonfly Effect is heavily influenced by Design Thinking, and provides a complete framework and process flow for developing creative social campaigns.

Another key reason TEL3 had such a successful campaign was that it was all a team effort and six talented people from all departments were involved in the project since the beginning until the end (development, design, marketing, customer service, communications).

The goal was clear: improve TEL3’s influence score by increasing reach, engagement among fans and influencers, and at the same time generate leads and downloads especially with our iPhone and Android applications.

We worked on multiple angles during the strategy meetings for this campaign.

First angle was the audience: who would be interested and engage in such a campaign during this Word Cup, and who would be more likely to share with their friends. We reviewed, surveyed and analyzed all persona data and identified the specific audience we would like to interact during the World Cup campaign.

Second angle was the offer and the story: Based on our conversations and surveys with our customers, it was clear that our audience in general was not interested in following brands in social networks, only friends and family. Another interesting insight we got was that many people use social media to connect with friends while traveling, touring the country. We knew that this campaign had to be personal and nothing to do with our service otherwise it was doomed to fail. Three ideas prevailed after all our discussions: It needs to be built on connections with friends. It has to be about the World Cup excitement, and it has to be that our service/offer can help people achieve these goals. At the end, TEL3 came up with the following tagline for the campaign and named its campaign #tellafriend:

The World Cup is more fun when you talk about it with friends. 10 minute free calls after each game. Your calls are on us. Friendship and Excitement are yours. #TellAFriend

Call Friends and Family Free during the World Cup from TEL3 on Vimeo.

Third angle was the content strategy: Content strategy included three aspects; i. identifying what kind of content would be relevant but also resonates with our audience to take action, ii. what platforms and resources could we use to create and curate content, and iii. how would we distribute the content. Our team reviewed and identified many available resources, blogs, and news media relevant to the campaign to curate content; at the same time evaluated interesting content creation platforms (imagesinfographics) to create our own. In line with our story, TEL3 also created a Buzz Score metric driven by the number of calls made to each country after the games. The idea was to create interesting content by comparing each country in the World Cup based on call activities.  We designed infographics, shared with fans and continued building awareness about our service and the campaign.

Below you can find an interesting insight about the results. We listed the World Cup countries by the Buzz Score and then also showed the Spike Magnitude (which is the increase in call volume compared to prior to the World Cup) to normalize the data. What it shows is that since we had a high volume to the United States even before the World Cup, the U.S. fans created the biggest buzz as expected. However the French fans had the highest spike magnitude during the World Cup by making 80% more calls on average than before. Germans, Brazilians, Argentinians, Colombians and Costa Ricans were the top buzz makers with the highest spike.

Buzz Score vs Spike Magnitude

Buzz Score vs Spike Magnitude during the World Cup

Fourth angle was the influencer strategy, the most important factor to improve our influence score. There are two most common influence scores (Klout and Kred) and both have many similarities in terms of defining the influence. All have three goals in common: increase your reach, attract influencers, and engage your followers and fans with your content.

The results were impressive.

During the World Cup, TEL3 published 165 posts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and acquired about 5 thousand new followers and fans (for all brands cumulative), created more than 4 thousand engagements. All these activities resulted in improving the Klout Score from 35 to 54, top 25% percentile. Along with the social influence metrics, number of app downloads for the month reached to over one thousand, and usage on TEL3 apps jumped by 20% during the campaign.

Two important takeaways after this campaign:

First one is the importance of listening before talking. Social media and branding are not a one way communication. Most of the time, joining an existing conversation is the best way to build a relationship.

Second one is investing in social strategy and telling an engaging story are more important than ever in this hyper-connected world. Defining the offer and the details of the campaign all come after you have a story to tell. A story that is relevant and emotional to your audience.

Now, the challenge is to continue with the momentum and build a longer-term social presence and achieve a much higher influence score over time.

TEL3 is ready to take the challenge.

 

afriend

4 Advertising Platforms to Focus on Mobile Advertising

Advertising, Data, Mobile, Promotion, Social

Mobile Sense Series – Volume 3

Marketing of mobile applications is another phenomenon, an area where there is a tremendous opportunity gap. eMarketer research showed a wide gap between mobile consumption and media spend; mobile made up 23.8 percent of all time spent with the media last year for U.S. adults but only 10.7 percent of all U.S. media spend – — it’s apparent that brands have yet to embrace mobile like consumers have.

TimeSpent-AdSpend

For a long while, in mobile especially for the smart phone applications, targeting a specific audience was very hard due to closed app eco-systems. However, this is evolving and changing fast. With the exponential growth of the application development and marketing, every social network is trying to monetize and follow the great success that Facebook had when it started the app install ads with audience targeting a couple years ago.

Facebook recently expanded its app marketing suite with engagement ads, that are now followed by Twitter, Google and even Youtube.

There are many players in the mobile advertising value chain, including Facebook, Google (acquired Admob couple years ago), Twitter (acquired MoPub in 2013), Youtube (new comer), many DSPs that are offering custom mobile audience targeting and many technology marketing platforms focused on mobile advertising and mobile analytics.

Here are the top four platforms that you cannot ignore as a brand anymore:

Facebook

We all now know that ‘free’ traffic provided by Facebook is phasing out. Organic reach on the platform is now less than 2% and Facebook is becoming a pure pay-to-play platform in many cases.

However, there are many very exciting news for brands to focus on, especially on the mobile advertising arena. At the moment, 59 percent of Facebook’s overall ad revenue came from mobile in the first quarter of this year, a 30 percent jump compared to last year, FierceMobileIT reported.

The hype all started with the install and engagement app ads which help marketers raise awareness among their apps plus increase user engagement. Now, due to the ‘big data’ Facebook commands – social graph, interest, contextual, purchase, search – advertisers could be able to target very specific audiences at the right time. Facebook install ads were the best lead generation tool for the last couple years, and now Facebook is making it even better.

New Install Ads

All Facebook mobile app advertising will include page links, social context, and like, comment and share buttons beginning Aug. 6, Facebook’s Calvin Grunewald revealed in a blog post.

FB-InstallAds-Social

Facebook Audience Insights

Now Facebook offers amazing audience targeting capabilities, including ‘custom audiences’, ‘core audiences’ and ‘look-alike audiences’. Custom audiences are the primary party data that brands collect via the web or mobile analytics, email subscriptions, or CRM systems. The idea is to retarget visitors, users who have interacted with brand’s digital assets (mobile or web) on Facebook again to increase engagement and acquisition. This was not available through Facebook Exchange (FBX) to a few. Now everyone gains access to it.

Look-alike audiences are also another hot trend now in the digital advertising arena thanks to ‘big data’. Google, DSPs, Twitter and now Facebook all enabled this type of targeting to the brands. You select your existing audience (page, web, mobile audience) and have Facebook target similar audiences based on innumerable similarities in demographics and interest data.

Furthermore, Facebook introduced recently significantly better audience targeting capabilities based on not just demographics, but also purchase behavior, retail spending, life style, job title, interests, device usage, spending type and many more attributes. This alone is a substantial opportunity for marketers to meet their core mobile audience in a much effective way.

FB-AudienceInsights

 

Facebook’s Audience Network

Facebook announced an expanded test of Facebook’s Audience Network — a new way for advertisers to extend their campaigns beyond Facebook and into other mobile apps. Facebook is following the footsteps of AdMob and Millenial Media to be able to expand its success through other apps as well.

The Audience Network uses the same targeting available for Facebook ads today, including custom audiences, core audiences and look-alike audiences. It features the same measurement tools marketers use for their Facebook ads, too. This approach is fairly different than AdMob and other mobile ad networks that were depending on the past behavior (where they have been and what they have downloaded before) of the user to serve the ads. However, Facebook brings the social graph along with the behavioral data which make things pretty interesting. Google is keeping the other direction, and will add more context to the apps (by indexing each app page); more on this in a moment.

The network will be available to all marketers shortly.

Ads in the Audience Network are designed to help marketers meet strategic business objectives, like driving app installs and engagement. To help deliver the best ads possible, the Audience Network delivers ads in three creative formats:

FB-AudienceNetwork-AdFormats

As you can see, native advertising is a part of the top trends for all kinds of advertising platforms that we see over and over again. More on this topic on another post.

Conversion Tracking

Facebook improved its analytics dashboard dramatically over the last 12 months and now offers detailed metrics for your campaigns. Two metrics that I wish all the other ad network would have, as well are ‘the app install starts’ and ‘the app install’ metrics. If there is a gap in these two numbers, it means that people are clicking on your ad, landing on the app store but for some reason they don’t download your application. Every number tells a story and along comes an opportunity to enhance the campaign.

Google

Google also recently announced further changes regarding its mobile advertising platform.

Re-engagement

Google will be starting indexing each page within apps as well to provide more relevant ads for app downloads and engagement. One example would be that when you search for a travel site to get hotel prices in San Francisco, Google will soon return you a page within one of the apps that you already downloaded, so by clicking on it, it will open the app and will bring you to the page where you can book a hotel in San Francisco right inside the app. This is an important feature to re-engage users with their existing apps, considering most of the users don’t engage again with many of the apps they downloaded.

Google-ads-apps_products_01

With the new feature just announced by Google, users will be able to listen to their band or artist they just searched on Google, on their favorite music application. Google will launch the app for you:

music_search_screenshot

Conversion Tracking

This topic is a very important one and highly ignored by many ad networks for so long. Mobile app tracking has been a significant challenge for many mobile ad networks and Google is introducing some terrific features to make it work for all advertisers. New enhanced mobile app analytics by Google Analytics offer great insights about how people are using your application, which campaigns work better in terms of leads, acquisitions and which devices are used with your applications. All these help marketers optimize their campaigns and provide better user experience for all. Furthermore, you can add tracking to your ‘Google play’ badge on separate pages to differentiate the source and medium parameters on your link so that you can track them (and optimize them) based on performance in Google Analytics.

Google-ads-apps_products_02

Twitter

Twitter started making interesting moves in the ad market for the last one year. They first acquired MoPub, a real time bidding ad exchange, then just recently acquired Namo Media in June to bring native ads to its platform.

Twitter offers brands four ways to promote on its network; promoted accounts, promoted twits, promoted trends and app install or app engagement. Twitter started testing new install ads for few brands, and as of this June 30th, they made it available for all. We need to see the results first before claiming anything, but considering the strong focus on mobile, I am hopeful that Twitter will optimize and offer very exciting tools to marketers shortly.

Twitter offers different types of format for mobile app promotion:

Twitter Cards

Although Twitter started as a 140 character micro-blogging application that consists of mainly text, it has shifted its focus more to images and video with the introduction of ‘twitter cards’. There are a variety of twitter cards that you can integrate with your landing pages or campaigns. When the link of your landing page is mentioned on Twitter, your ‘Card’ automatically shows up attached to your tweet (similar to what Facebook does).

Example of app card:

TwitterCard-App

Action Based Ads

In addition to the landing pages, Twitter also allows advertisers to create three different types of twitter cards for your promotional tweets.

Lead generation cards

Twitter-LeadGenerationCard Website Cards

TwitterCard-Website

 App Cards

 

image-app-card-screenshots-5

 

Recently Twitter introduced ‘Buy Button’ to its timeline, so it seems like e-commerce (buying products inside your timeline) is not far off. Twitter is testing different types of call to action buttons and I am sure soon they will make this new advertising action card available to all.

Twitter-Buy-Now

Targeting

Twitter is a critical channel especially for entertainment vertical, because it also enables you to target audiences around TV shows. With Twitter ads, you can target; by keywords in search and tweets, by interest and gender, by location and language, by device, by similarity to your existing followers, by tailored audiences (based on first party data – similar to Facebook’s custom audience), TV ad targeting and TV conversations targeting.

Conversion Tracking

Twitter is working with multiple app analytics platforms where you can integrate with and get detailed conversion metrics. One I like is ‘Has Offers’; you can tag your campaigns and get valuable metrics with this platform for your twitter app install ad campaigns.

 

Pinterest

Pinterest has been making the agency rounds as it prepares to introduce ads to its platform, further to Digiday report.

“The images, provided by an agency that Pinterest recently pitched, show that Pinterest is pursuing a native ad strategy similar to Twitter’s. That is, Pinterest ads will look almost identical to the “normal” pins they’re displayed next to except for a “Promoted Pin” disclaimer at the bottom. They’re highlighted with a red border in the deck below, but that is just to single out the promotions to the deck’s readers:

Digiday

 

Pinterest_ad_mockup1

More than 75 percent of Pinterest “usage happens on mobile” according to the report. Women ages 25 to 54 spent a sum total of more than 3,500 minutes accessing Pinterest via mobile in January 2014, almost double that of Twitter (more than 1,800 minutes) and far more than Tumblr (194 minutes) and Flipboard (72 minutes), according to a chart in the deck.

***

 

There are many other types of ad formats that are available thanks to ad networks, including native apps (Appsfire), contextual mobile app install ads (XYO), video exchange for apps (Vungle), and even keyword based chat ads format. Now with these platforms you can even define post install targets such as purchase, tutorial completion, Facebook Connects and optimize your campaigns accordingly. This is a game changer since you no longer depend just on the cost per install but also optimize your campaigns based on the lifetime value of the user.

Furthermore, platforms like Urban Airship allow marketers to add deep linking, tagging (segmenting customers), creating landing pages directly inside the app for every push message that they send. In my experience, push notifications are the best way to make contact and engage with the consumers; far better results than any SMS (5x better in terms of interest) or even email campaigns (2x better). So, I would highly recommend brands to concentrate on ‘push notification’ tactics while working on the mobile ‘sense’ which can make an immediate difference compare to its competitors.

Mobile App Analytics

It is imperative to have a mobile download measurement system in place to understand how your campaigns are performing on different channels. Unfortunately there is no one size fits all type of service that you can integrate into your application and see all the attribution statistics. Google Analytics did an amazing job with the enhanced app analytics but alone is not sufficient to tell you all the sources of the campaign.

Google tops this section with so many insights on it Google Analytics dashboard. The major issue still (for all other campaigns) the attribution problem – which itself is another topic for another post.

Optimizely allows marketers to do A|B testing on apps without app upgrade (which is cool)

Crazy egg allows heat maps for mobile apps like they do for web pages (which is also very cool)

App Annie is also a wonderful tool for you as competitive intelligence where you can track all your downloads, upgrades, and compare yourself with your competitor’s applications.

 

 

2 creative ways of positioning your brand and designing your product

Mobile

In my first post of the Mobile Sense Series, I highlighted the remarkable ‘Customer Experience’ as the biggest challenge and opportunity for the brands to grow market share and profitability. The Customer Experience index is calculated by three aspects: How effective the brand or product/service is at meeting the demand, how easy and enjoyable the experience is. For brands, accessibility and functionality play a major role in the mobile sense evolution and the brands need to have a comprehensive road map so they know strategically which one to invest more.

The second step is to gain a better understanding of the persona of the customers, their world views and behaviors with the mobile devices. Sophisticated segmentation and persona creation are the key success factor for this step. Based on these segmentation, the goal is to position your brand and design your products better than your competitors.

In recent years, design thinking is gaining popularity when approaching challenges, understanding customers, creating strategy and even designing products and services. Design thinking is introduced by d.School at Stanford, then made popular by Tim Brown at IDEO, and now applied to many projects by various strategists, designers, developers and marketers every day.

Its lean and fast cycle process helps strategist to ideate, prototype and then fail quickly to improve the idea and come up with innovative ways of doing the same thing by looking at the challenge from many different angles with a very swift pace. I will get into more details and present some real-life examples on this subject on my ‘social sense’ series.

First creative tool for persona building, strategy and brand positioning, that linguists use for many years, is the ‘semiotic square’ that can help you brainstorm the implications of your marketing and features to two opposing meanings/personas.

This is new for marketers, but it is an extremely helpful complimentary tool to understand the different types of consumers who are using your service. Here is one noteworthy example of ‘semiotic square for wine lovers’. This brilliant piece is prepared by Squarati, an Italian market research firm.

They have more examples here.

SemioticSquareofWineLovers

This is a complex tool and requires domain expertise on the category to benefit from it. Below you can find my best ‘guestimate’ for the retail shoppers to describe how it works, and how it can help your mobile strategy.

The key is to identify two contrary concepts initially.

For your category and industry, marketing research and customer interviews will assist you in determining those. For the retail shoppers, I started with the ‘loyalists’ (x) who only buy from a few brands, who don’t change their style frequently, more conservative type of shoppers. Then, as a contrary to ‘loyalists’, I identified the ‘fashinistas’ (y) who are not brand loyal, who can quickly change styles, follow the newest trends and popular items. Lower right part of the square is for (non x) that has to be contradicting with ‘loyalists’ – think of it as a black-white relationship. I identified that part as ‘bargain shoppers’ who have no brand loyalty, who can purchase from any brand as long as they can save money. Then, the final lower left quadrant is for non ‘fashinistas’, who are not following any trends, or loyal to any brands but buy products or services via impulses, quick decision makers, if and when they like something, they get it – ‘impulse buyers’.

Then considering all these different types of shoppers, I listed the features that they may need on a mobile shopping application. As you can see, depending on your positioning and which persona you want to attract to, you need a different set of features, marketing message, and even distinctive style to approach your target audience. Semiotic Square is a helpful tool to brainstorm and position their brands for marketers.

SemioticSquare

Once you identify your brand positioning and target audience, the next step in the strategy is to prioritize your product development. None of the brands have unlimited resources so building the strategy and execution requires a very well thought prioritization plan along with the road map.

Kano model is another very helpful tool for strategists and marketers to identify the delighters, satisfiers and dissatisfiers of each feature for the customers.

Kano model is used by UX strategists for a while and it is a simple tool that every marketer needs to have in their toolbox. Dissatifiers are the ‘must have’ features and if any of these features is missing, no matter what else happens, the customer will be dissatisfied with the experience – and if you have that feature, none of the customers will even recognize/appreciate it (think of it as ‘hot water’ in hotels, if you don’t have it, it is a disaster for the customer, if you have it, no one will talk about it).

Satisfiers are the features that the more you add the more customers will be pleased. (When the project management software Basecamp adds a new feature, all users including me get happy, the more the better – up to a point of course). Delighters are the key in this equation. They are the features that consumers don’t expect but would love it when they get it. (see below). To demonstrate how you can use Kano Model to improve your smart phone application, let’s think of a ‘lodging’ app: having a ‘fast check-in’ functionality inside your app is a ‘must have’ feature that almost all customers expect now a days. Providing the user the ability to add ‘feedbacks’ via the app during the stay and get two way communication, is something that would definitely help you get more recognition and happy customers. If you can surprise the customers who come in to the bar inside the hotel with customized offers (thanks to ibeacons), then I bet you’ll have some delighted customers who weren’t expecting such action.

KanoModel

The final post of the ‘mobile sense’ series will be about the mobile advertising platforms and the latest trends in mobile marketing.