The Power of the Digital Wallet

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Digital wallets are becoming extremely popular for mobile device users as they make shopping both online and in-store incredibly simple. When we refer to digital wallet, we mean electronic devices and programs used to make payments for purchases digitally, without presenting a physical credit card, debit card or cash. Some examples include: Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Many tech analyst believe this is the future of money. Digital Wallets can incorporate various features such as tap-and-pay on smartphones, gift card apps with scannable QR codes and even digital smart cards that mimic the features of a regular credit card. A smartphone digital wallet will help you pay for stuff, but it will also store your concert tickets, bus and subway passes.

As the millennial generation begins to take over the consumer market, the digital wallet will continue to be adopted at a rapid speed due to its convenience. Mobile-based payments in the United States are expected to reach $142 billion in volume in 2019.

How can Digital Wallets benefit my business?

Adopting the digital wallet to your business plan lets consumers know that you are up to date and care about the consumer’s experience with your brand. Many of these digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, allow businesses to build loyalty programs which can help keep customers coming back.

As a merchant, you benefit from the use of digital wallets because they’re protected against fraud and they help sell more products, faster.

How secure are Digital Wallets?

According to SmallBizTrends, “New EMV terminals adhere to a “chip and pin” standard, established by the credit card industry, that produces a unique transaction code (called a “token”) for each purchase. As such, EMV credit cards are more secure than cards with magnetic stripes, and this new standard enables payments to occur via NFC over POS systems.”

Because digital wallets are rather new to the tech industry, it will still take time to convince the general public that this payment method is 100% secure. Concerns are heightened when they consider the complexity of a digital-wallet transaction, especially compared to the simplicity of cash or straight credit. Although, security experts have continually come out in favor of digital wallets versus physical payment technology.

Talk with a Rain representative today to see if we can incorporate the use of the digital wallet into your campaign!

Leveraging Data for Your Mobile Campaign

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When setting up your mobile campaigns, it is important to understand the differences between types of data and how they can be used to reach your marketing goals.

First Party Data

First party data is data you have collected about your customers on your own and is usually the best type. It can be in the form of behavioral data that you collect and analyze or demographic data that is provided by the user themselves. Often, this type of data can be gathered from website visits on a mobile device or interactions on various social media sites.

After better understanding your users wants and needs, you can adjust your campaign accordingly. This can be highly successful when using first party data that reflects a higher than normal amount of traffic in a specific geographic location.

First party data allows for retargeting, meaning targeting customers whom have already shown an interest in a product. For example, Amazon uses first party data to display what customers may want to by based on things they have bought or viewed in the past.

Second Party Data

Second party data can be purchased or retrieved from a similar entity or through media buys. It is any data that is gathered along the media buying process. This data often includes device model, location of user or software version. This data is often valuable when segmenting audiences into targeting categories.

If you are trying to market a high tech product towards a wealthier, in-the-know type of audience, second party data would help you to target your advertisements to those with high end devices that are using the latest software version.

Third Party Data

Third party data is purchased from data management platforms (often called DMPs) and then sold to marketers and companies. A couple examples of DMPs that sell this type of data on a massive scale include BlueKai, eXelate, Peer39 and Nielson.

Third party data is expansive and useful for targeting based on consumer behavior and demographics. Due to the wide range of data, marketers are able to get well rounded insights into the effectiveness of their campaigns. It is important to remember that this data is available to everyone – including competing marketers.

We hope that you leave our blog today with a better understanding of how marketers gather their data and how the RAIN team analyzes each type to choose the best for your campaign!

 

6 Ways to Stay Relevant in a Digital World

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“A new study of media usage and ad exposure by Media Dynamics, Inc. reveals that while a typical adult’s daily media consumption has grown from 5.2 hours in 1945 to 9.8 hours (or 590 minutes) currently, this has not been reflected in a huge spike in ad exposure.” (SJ Insights)

This is partially due to the control consumers have over what they see when they use tools such as DVR and fast forward online.

Digital marketing has become a crucial part of brand image and success. With the increase in popularity of online marketing, it seems that it has become a war of who can capture the audiences’ attention and keep it the longest.

If you incorporate these 6 steps of how to stay relevant with your digital marketing technique, your efforts will surely show quick results.

 

  1. Promoted posts on Facebook

It is highly unlikely that unpaid Facebook brand posts will be seen by many people.

Even with extremely relevant content, it will be worth your while to spend the extra money to boost your post. You would be surprised the effect as little as $5 can have on the posts interaction with consumers.

  1. Bloggers and Brand Advocates

If you see that someone loves what you are doing, reach out to them and see if they will help promote your brand. Ask customers to share their honest experience, not only does this give your business credibility but it also holds your entire company accountable. Online marketing and word-of-mouth go hand and hand.

  1. Reviews

Ask customers to give you a review on Facebook. This is often one of the first sites that comes up when searching for a business and can give an immediate first impression for a potential customer during the research process.

  1. Digital PR

Get your company published in a trade magazine or site. Reach out to industry specific websites and writers in hopes that they will write about your company. Not only does this reach a massive audience,  but it increases SEO (search engine optimization). People love suggestions from sources they trust!

  1. Mobile SEO

According to Moz, “Mobile optimization takes a look at site design, site structure, page speed, and more to make sure you’re not inadvertently turning mobile visitors away.”

Make sure that your website is mobile friendly, meaning the layout appears correctly on any device and the quality is flawless.

  1. Analyze Results

It is important to regularly analyze your marketing tactics to ensure that they are up to date and showing the best results. Sometimes, this calls for going outside the company to hire a professional who can perform a digital marketing audit. Often companies come out of this process with insights that they were once blinded to.

The digital world is constantly evolving, don’t be afraid to change and adapt to keep your business on top!

 

 

 

From Start to Finish: Mobile’s Influence on Path to Purchase

Photo courtesy of salesfuel.com

In a digital world, customers are constantly using their phone to manage their daily lives. A personal relationship with customers via mobile marketing is crucial in driving decisions when they enter stores and contemplate a purchase. According to EMarketer, Mobile devices used before or during shopping trips influenced almost $2 trillion in 2014.

In order to effectively reach your target audience, it is important to utilize various mobile channels including SMS, app, Web and social.

When all these channels are used, companies can retrieve vital information to better analyze their potential customers’ mobile interactions. When users download an app, the team behind the scenes is able to access which operating system they are using. This, in turn, helps marketers to better personalize their marketing strategies.

Where once mobile marketing was seen as a tactic, it is becoming vital to a companies entire marketing strategy. The goal is the same, but the marketers are able to attract and engage new and existing customers in ways not possible before. They are able to target potential customers through relevant content which can be based on location, interests and interactions with their mobile devices.

Most of all, it is crucial that marketers understand how mobile campaigns are performing across the entire spectrum, from mobile ads to messaging. Although consistency is key, marketers must analyze which tactic is working best to adapt their campaigns to whatever best triggers their customers and leads to the end goal — the purchase.

The key with mobile marketing is convenience. As marketers, we must provide our potential customers with instant access to product information and deals in the most accessible way to them.

As mobiles influence on the world has increased and continues to increase at a rapid speed, digital spending will almost equal that of television spending. Here at RainLocal, we can help you tap into this growing market.

 

Snapchat & RAIN

Snapchat and Rain

Advertising on Snapchat used to be impossible without a large budget commitment – until now. Now businesses of all shapes and sizes can use RAIN to take advantage of Snapchat’s powerful platform and advertise a custom photo filter to users in specific areas.

Geo-filters allow businesses to reach consumers in locations ranging from 20,000 sq ft to 5,000,000 sq ft. Target a building, shopping mall or entire city. The filters can last an hour for a quick event or up to a month to remain in the minds of users and be a great brand play.

Geo-filters are a great way to experiment with Snapchat as an advertising channel and engage users in a fun way. Contact RAIN today to learn more about incorporating this exciting new feature into your mobile campaign.

5 Mobile Marketing Terms You Should Know

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In our key term articles, we’ll discuss some important mobile advertising lexicon and keep you updated with the latest features. Feel like you’ve missed the train? Don’t worry – we’re here to catch you up. Ready? Set? Go!

First, here are a few facts for you to wet your beak and see why mobile has become such a powerful media to reach consumers:

  • For the first time in 2015, mobile marketing out shined investments in web marketing channels. In the US during 2015, 52% of total digital ad spending was made in mobile.
  • 65% of US smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of rising and 64% check their phones within 15 minutes of going to bed.
  • 87% of millennials always have their smartphone at their side, day and night. 78% of millennials spend over 2 hours a day using their smartphones.
  • 78% of Facebook users are mobile­ only.
  • 64% of decision-­makers read their e­mail via mobile
  • By 2017, mobile devices will make up 87% of the total sales of Internet-enabled technology.

Sources: Emarketer & COM Council

Now, to better prepare you for tackling the complex mobile advertising landscape we’re here to provide you with some essential key terms. You might’ve heard some terms and already be wondering, “what in the world is a hyperlocal RTB DSP”? Well get ready to learn; we’re here to help!

1. Mobile Marketing Channels

  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.)

One of the most popular channels for mobile marketers just starting out, social media advertising platforms make it easy to zero in on your exact target demographic. With powerful filters such as exact age, language, favorite locations, interest, level of education and many more unique targeting options, these platforms make it easy and simple to reach your target demographic. While one of the advantages is highly specific targeting, one of the major disadvantages is that it is only one single distribution point. Another disadvantage is that in terms of price, they tend to be on the expensive side.

  • Search Engines (Google Adwords, Bing Ads, etc.)

Although the most complex, search engine advertising is essential, especially for on-demand businesses. Focusing the budget on mobile ensures you’ll catch people at a time when they truly need the product or service they are looking for. This works by targeting an audience using complex algorithms that account for keywords, search history and location. These ad platforms will also integrate directly with mobile apps and mobile website traffic to provide a diverse distribution. The cons? The biggest one is that these platforms are very complex and require a good amount of knowledge to simple get a campaign started. Optimization is whole other story.

  • Mobile Ad Networks (Programmatic RTB, DSP, SSP, etc.)

Mobile ad networks work by matching ads with a specific audience available via mobile apps and websites. Depending on the type of ad network, advertisers bid for space in specific apps or simple set-up a maximum they are willing to pay for placement and let programmatic buying take care of the rest. The best part of using mobile ad networks? The distribution is very large and a lot of the process can be automated. The worst part? While it is usually very easy to start a campaign, advertisers need to keep a close eye on traffic sources to ensure their spend isn’t being wasted. Have you ever seen those annoying pop-up ads or inconveniently placed promotions on your phone where you will accidentally click? Unfortunately there are almost always traffic sources with ads like these that can make it seem as though you are garnering a lot of interest but truly it is only a toned-down form of click fraud (this will be its own key term in another article). We will talk more about the different types of ad networks below.

2. Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

Real-time bidding is a programmatic way of buying and selling mobile inventory via instantaneous auctions through connection with millions of placements in different mobile traffic sources. RTB allows the advertiser to promote on multiple placements at the same time with the audience that best fits the advertiser’s client. In essence, the transaction is triggered when a user visits a website or an app and their demographic info (age, gender, location, etc.) is released and an algorithm matches this information with the advertiser’s specified targeting. The winner of the auction purchases the placement and the banner appears. This is all programmatic and happens in milliseconds.

The general idea of RTB services is that everybody is winning. The publisher wins because they receive the best price for the available ad space. The advertiser wins because they are placing their ad in the most effective location which matches their target demographic.

3. Ad Exchanges, DSPs and SSPs

Now that you understand what RTB means, let’s move on to breaking down the tools that make RTB services a possibility.

  • Ad Exchange: In essence, this is the software connected to multiple ad networks, affiliate networks and app publishers. By using their own algorithm as well as providing software for app publishers to install in their own apps, ad exchanges are able to provide advertisers with demographic information to allow them to place highly targeted ads.
  • Demand Side Platform (DSP): In order to access multiple ad exchanges in one interface, DSPs were created. DSPs make it easy for advertisers to manage bids for target audiences. Essentially, DSPs are connected to multiple ad exchanges and aggregate demographic data from all the different traffic sources in one easy to use dashboard. Advertisers can easily control their targeting and optimize based on data that the DSP collects from all the different ad exchanges.  There are many DSPs on the market. In order to choose the best DSP for your marketing plan, it is important to weigh what is most important. Some DSPs are able to target location very specifically while others can only get as specific as a country or city. Some DSPs only allow a few creative sizes while others provide many different options. Others might force you to create ads using their own interface. Some highly specific DSPs only specialize in certain audience types. It’s important to choose a DSP that best fits your business. One of the advantages of using RAIN is that it integrate with many DSPs, making it easy to use the large variety of targeting options available in one place.
  • Supple Side Platform (SSP)

SSPs are a way for publishers to manage their advertising inventory in one easy to access dashboard. SSPs allow publishers to easily interact with advertising networks or exchanges that their app or mobile website is providing ad space for. Through a SSP, publishers can automate the selling of their available ad space as well as optimize to earn the most possible revenue.

4. Mobile Ad Creative

Creatives are the banners you submit to DSP services which are used to advertise your products and services on mobile apps and websites. They represent your business and must catch the attention of mobile users or they will easily be looked over. The design must communicate the message you want to deliver but the unique challenge with mobile is that it will be displayed on a mobile device. It is difficult to have a clear, concise advertisement in such a small space that both communicates your message effectively and still catches the user’s eye. It is important to spend time on mobile creative and always be testing in order to optimize results. Another difficult of aspect of designing for mobile is that they are so many different phones types and screen sizes. Creative might look good on an iPhone 6s’s large screen but it won’t look the same on an Android Galaxy S5 Mini. For a complete list of common accepted ad sizes, check out the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) list located here.

Mobile advertising utilizes three distinct formats.

  • Banner ads are embedded on a small portion of the page.
  • Interstitial ads pop-up in the device while a user navigates.
  • Native ads appear to be part of the app itself.

The picture below helps outline how each format appears:

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5. Digital Wallet

Utilizing the digital wallet is a great way to send location-based notifications to a user who has already shown interest in your product – even when they aren’t actively using their phone. The two most widely used digital wallets are Apple Passbook and Android Pay, both of which integrate payment information as well as deals. Let’s say you are promoting a specific deal for a product or service. Someone on their phone sees your ad and is interested in your deal. They click to visit your website and learn more about your product. While they’re browsing, they realize they are late to an important meeting. As they get ready to abandon your website and disappear back into the audience abyss, they notice a button: “Click here to save this deal”. Selecting this allows them to save your promotion to their digital wallet. Now, even when they’ve finished their meeting and long forgotten about your offer, they will receive a notification of your available offer when they pass by a pre-determined location. This can be your storefront, a competitor’s storefront, a high-traffic location such as a mall or sports area or even a specific street corner in your target area. The best part about this? You can attach multiple locations to a single digital wallet deal and the notification appears even when the user isn’t using their phone.

We hope this post has helped you learn more about the capabilities of mobile marketing and how it all works. Keep an eye out for another post next week to learn more about common mobile key terms and lexicon. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the RAIN team at support@rainlocal.com or 1-800-431-5015 if you have any questions. We’re happy to help. Ta-ta for now!

-RAIN Team

What Will My Ad Look Like?

When you’ve placed your promotion with Rain, our first action is to design your ad to perfection.

Our creative team designs your ad using images that you share, or we draw from our library of stock images. Once you love your ad, we optimize each ad for all the different apps where your business will be advertising – these include Waze, USA Today, Pandora to name a few.

These ads will be seen by customers on any smartphone when they’re within the targeted areas around your business.

Here are just some examples of what your ad might look like (CNN and Waze):

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We continue to monitor and perfect your ad throughout your mobile campaign – making sure the call to action, graphics and information is getting the best results.

Ready to go? Start your mobile ad campaign here: http://rainlocal.com/create-account.