The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Trend: Designing for the tablet experience: Marketers will need to brand for optimization within the tablet interface.

iPad passes Mac computer in sales. The tablet is the new frontier.

It’s official. Consumers are tablet crazy; so much so that they are choosing the mobile devices over computers. It’s that time again marketers, just when you’ve finally optimized for mobile…

A look into Apples record breaking year provides an impressive example of the tablets’ rapid rise in popularity. In 2011, the company sold over 156 million iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), 55 million of which were iPads. To put this in perspective, in just one year combined sales of these mobile devices have exceeded the 122 million Mac computers ever sold. Since it was first available for pre-order in March of 2010, the sales trend of the iPad has blown all other Apple products out of the water (see figure below). CEO Tim Cook commented “This 55 is something no one would have guessed. Including us. To put it in context, it took us 22 years to sell 55 million Macs. It took us about 5 years to sell 22 million iPods, and it took us about 3 years to sell that many iPhones. And so, this thing is, as you said, it’s on a trajectory that’s off the charts.” There has been buzz for some time of the possible upcoming announcement of the iPad3, and today we have verification via Mashable that Apple has sent out invitations for an event on March 7th. The invitation states simply “We have something you really need to see. And touch” and according to Mashable is "superimposed on what is almost certainly an iPad". Knowing this, it is more crucial than ever for marketers to take to heart the magnitude of this trend. It has been rumored that the newest generation iPad will have a full operating system, providing the user with a full blown hand held computer, and conceivably further intensifying this trend. Yes, Apple is just one example, but I think it’s safe to say they are usually ahead of the trend. Assessing how we communicate via tablet will be paramount. 

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Trend: Email Metrics Ease Multi Channel Integration

It has long been understood that pointing all your company’s marketing efforts in one direction will not yield the best possible results. Most recently, multichannel integration has included both online and offline mediums, but not without a significant amount of confusion. A recent STRATA study found that “more than half of US media buyers said less than 25% of their clients are running online and offline integrated campaigns” and even more surprisingly, one in four media buyers didn’t have a single client employing a multichannel strategy. This could be attributed to the fact that it is a considerably more complex process to measure the combined ROI of a multichannel marketing campaign. A Mckinsey Consulting study suggested that “onlines confusing and incompatible set of metrics may be most at fault” for the low percentage of marketers making use of a multichannel campaign as well as the “challenges with measuring overall investment”. Marketers are getting lost and instead of utilizing the tools available to them, they are shying away from integration all together. This doesn’t have to be the case. There is an easier way to integrate online and offline. Email is the one channel that will help immediately while providing rich customer metrics. An effective email marketing campaign can help solve the problem of origination as well as track the results of a particular campaign and compound its positive effects by layering impressions across multiple channels.

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Trend: Marketers Deluged By Data: Strategy Change Is Imminent.

So we’ve heard it a million times, “less is more”. However, we as marketers don’t always subscribe to that mantra. Frankly, if we did, we’d be selling ourselves short. But what happens when the influx of customer information becomes so great that we require an additional system in place to make sense of it? This is one of the challenges we are facing today. A recent study by IBM estimated that 90% of real time data that constantly flows from platforms like Facebook and Twitter is going unused. Marketers have no concrete system in place for gathering it. I can’t help but be reminded of the I Love Lucy episode in the chocolate factory. Lucy and Ethel alternate wrapping and eating chocolates, but before they know it, the production line is moving so fast they can’t keep up. Chocolates are streaming out at such a rapid rate that most fall to the floor untouched. At some point, our conveyor belt of informational goodies went on overdrive and the marketers of the world are now trying their best to keep up. But unfortunately, much is getting lost as the pace of data dispersal has greatly increased.

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Trend: Chrome use is growing. Marketers will need to choose rendering sides.

Google Chrome is set to pass Firefox and reach second place (behind IE) by December of this year.

Chrome is rising in the browser ranks at a steady rate, according to the trackings of StatCounter. Currently poised at a remarkable 23.6%, up from 15.6% at the beginning of the year, it’s giving Firefox and IE a run for their money.

Takeaway: What does this mean for marketers?

If you haven’t already been doing so, it’s time to start paying attention to Chrome. We’re not dealing with another fad here. The facts clearly state that out of the top three web browsers, Chrome is the only one gaining momentum. Usage of IE and Firefox is steadily declining, as each is giving up market share at a fairly rapid rate.
Knowing this and assuming Chrome is here to stay, we, as marketers need to take notice of how our message is being received. As with any other digital channel, ensuring proper message rendering within a web browser can prove to be a pesky process of trial and error. Nevertheless, it is one we cannot overlook.

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UK Laws Will Bring Certain Marketing Automation Practices To A Halt

New laws in the UK governing the use of website cookies go into effect May 26th.  These new laws will cause issues for companies practicing marketing automation linking website behavior to an email address.  The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK has issued a 9 page document of guidelines about how companies should comply with these new laws.  Similar laws are coming to the U.S. and companies engaged in certain marketing automation practices will need to seriously rethink their tactics.  Permission-based marketing is real and is here to stay.

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