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Starbucks

Rebel Yell: How to not be obnoxious when advertising on mobile  
 Banner ads, coupons, and interstitials are becoming a thing of the past for many leading mobile brands. At this week’s  Shopper Marketing Summit outside Chicago , Manuel Rosso, CEO of Food on the Table, said, “Nobody clicks on mobile banners, it’s a terrible message medium.”    Banners were once touted as a key tool for app promotion and monetization  because they were easy to set up and wouldn’t distract users from the app they were using. But with newer apps that meticulously utilize every inch of screen real estate, many app developers are finding that sacrificing the lower-third (or full screen) of their app to an advertiser disrupts the experience for their users.  
  In addition, brand experts point out that banners (and coupons) tend to be poor drivers of brand engagement and loyalty.  While they increase the brand’s presence, tappable in-app ads tend to encourage the wrong type of consumer behavior. Bryan Leach, founder and CEO of Ibotta, said, “Digitizing coupons is a poor investment” because “it reinforces a transactional relationship with the consumer.” It’s better to encourage consumers to engage than to transact. 
  The hard part for developers and brands is that creating engagement doesn’t follow a simple formula.  Some brands have sought to tell stories or build games in order to encourage brand loyalty and trigger rewards. Target and Starbucks are two such brands that have steered their mobile apps towards engagement and rewards, and away from transaction (although they both offer in-app transaction capabilities). Both have seen significant increases in mobile adoption and sales.   Messaging is still an important part of the mobile brand toolset, but it needs to be selective, relevant, and timely.  Selectivity  means messages need to be delivered for special purposes, such as to announce a sale or event.  Relevance  means messages need to be sent to the right audience segments, i.e. the ones most likely to be interested in the content of the message.  Timeliness  means that messages need to be delivered at times when users are most likely to read them and take action.    Following these three rules will help any brand put together an effective mobile messaging strategy, but this is still secondary to the function of the app itself.  Brands that want to benefit from mobile need to develop concepts about how to offer non-transactional value to customers. Whether this is done through storytelling, design, user experience, gameification, rewards, or some other method doesn’t matter so much; what matters is that the mobile app gets users interested in the brand apart from merely offering ways to buy. Interest breeds brand appreciation, which increases the likelihood of consumers to transact, which in turn helps to boost sales.

Rebel Yell: How to not be obnoxious when advertising on mobile

Banner ads, coupons, and interstitials are becoming a thing of the past for many leading mobile brands. At this week’s Shopper Marketing Summit outside Chicago, Manuel Rosso, CEO of Food on the Table, said, “Nobody clicks on mobile banners, it’s a terrible message medium.” 

Banners were once touted as a key tool for app promotion and monetization because they were easy to set up and wouldn’t distract users from the app they were using. But with newer apps that meticulously utilize every inch of screen real estate, many app developers are finding that sacrificing the lower-third (or full screen) of their app to an advertiser disrupts the experience for their users. 

In addition, brand experts point out that banners (and coupons) tend to be poor drivers of brand engagement and loyalty. While they increase the brand’s presence, tappable in-app ads tend to encourage the wrong type of consumer behavior. Bryan Leach, founder and CEO of Ibotta, said, “Digitizing coupons is a poor investment” because “it reinforces a transactional relationship with the consumer.” It’s better to encourage consumers to engage than to transact.

The hard part for developers and brands is that creating engagement doesn’t follow a simple formula. Some brands have sought to tell stories or build games in order to encourage brand loyalty and trigger rewards. Target and Starbucks are two such brands that have steered their mobile apps towards engagement and rewards, and away from transaction (although they both offer in-app transaction capabilities). Both have seen significant increases in mobile adoption and sales. 

Messaging is still an important part of the mobile brand toolset, but it needs to be selective, relevant, and timely. Selectivity means messages need to be delivered for special purposes, such as to announce a sale or event. Relevance means messages need to be sent to the right audience segments, i.e. the ones most likely to be interested in the content of the message. Timeliness means that messages need to be delivered at times when users are most likely to read them and take action. 

Following these three rules will help any brand put together an effective mobile messaging strategy, but this is still secondary to the function of the app itself. Brands that want to benefit from mobile need to develop concepts about how to offer non-transactional value to customers. Whether this is done through storytelling, design, user experience, gameification, rewards, or some other method doesn’t matter so much; what matters is that the mobile app gets users interested in the brand apart from merely offering ways to buy. Interest breeds brand appreciation, which increases the likelihood of consumers to transact, which in turn helps to boost sales.

Why I Love Venmo  
 In the past few years, mobile payment apps have flooded the market, with some dominating in specific sections. Apps like   PayPal  ,   Square  ,   LevelUp  ,   Chirpify   and   Dwolla   have all taken their place within the industry. For my group of friends, our go to payment app is   Venmo  . 
 Behind Starbucks,  Venmo is the second most used payment app , racking up an average of  seven payments  per month.  Among age groups, Venmo users comprise the youngest category (18-24-year-olds). Young people love Venmo. It makes paying someone fun and simple. Business Insider recently  reported  that Venmo is now officially a verb. “Like Google, Xerox, and Facebook, mobile payments startup Venmo has already achieved that rare and highly coveted milestone in the product services world: its name has been verbalized.” I’ve heard my own friends say to each other,  “Dude, just Venmo me.”  Venmo has revolutionized mobile payments, making it a social interaction rather than a formal and tedious exercise. 
 There’s instant gratification about being paid right back. Gone are the days of worrying about giving your friend change for a $20 or them paying you back in drinks the next time you go out. You literally can get the exact amount you need within seconds of paying the bill. If you have a credit/debit card and a smartphone, there’s no excuse not to have it … unless you have no friends : ( 
  Featured photo from  Venmo’s 2013 Office Tour  on Business Insider

Why I Love Venmo

In the past few years, mobile payment apps have flooded the market, with some dominating in specific sections. Apps like PayPal, Square, LevelUp, Chirpify and Dwolla have all taken their place within the industry. For my group of friends, our go to payment app is Venmo.

Behind Starbucks, Venmo is the second most used payment app, racking up an average of seven payments per month.  Among age groups, Venmo users comprise the youngest category (18-24-year-olds). Young people love Venmo. It makes paying someone fun and simple. Business Insider recently reported that Venmo is now officially a verb. “Like Google, Xerox, and Facebook, mobile payments startup Venmo has already achieved that rare and highly coveted milestone in the product services world: its name has been verbalized.” I’ve heard my own friends say to each other, “Dude, just Venmo me.” Venmo has revolutionized mobile payments, making it a social interaction rather than a formal and tedious exercise.

There’s instant gratification about being paid right back. Gone are the days of worrying about giving your friend change for a $20 or them paying you back in drinks the next time you go out. You literally can get the exact amount you need within seconds of paying the bill. If you have a credit/debit card and a smartphone, there’s no excuse not to have it … unless you have no friends : (

Featured photo from Venmo’s 2013 Office Tour on Business Insider

An Overview of Mobile Trends in the Restaurant Industry  
 Mobile strategy in the restaurant industry is in its infancy stage. Many restaurants are slow to adapt to the changing tide of mobile innovation.  Yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel - a few restaurants, in an effort to distance themselves from the competition and gain an edge, have taken to developing unique and sophisticated mobile apps that increase consumer traffic and drive revenue. Straying away from the simple apps used by the majority of venues, which include basic information like a menu, locations, and nutritional information, these brands have apps that incorporate innovative and remarkable features. I’ve outlined just a few apps that fall into this category and what they’re doing to separate themselves from the crowd. 
  As of 2014, 35% of  restaurant apps  include an ordering option.  In Q3 2013,  digital sales were 40%  of Domino Pizza’s revenue and their mobile app had over 10 million downloads. Papa John’s saw  more than 45% of all orders come from digital . The ordering options on these apps are easy, simple, and efficient. Loyalty sections of a restaurant app have also shown huge success. Starbucks’ app rewards its 10 million users with free coffee and food once they hit a certain number of purchases. This helps generate their  4 million transactions per week .  
  The final piece integrated into some of the best restaurant mobile apps is location based marketing.  Research showed that 38% of consumers in the United States have used a mobile coupon to purchase an in-store product. Quizno’s location-based campaigned netted a 20% increase in redemption.  Outback Steakhouse  geo-conquests their competitors by geo-fencing them and sending ads to those locations. A sneaky little trick but it seems to work. 
 These are a few of the ingredients for a terrific mobile app in the restaurant industry. As for the future, I’m guessing we will see more and more restaurants contribute to the innovation. 

An Overview of Mobile Trends in the Restaurant Industry

Mobile strategy in the restaurant industry is in its infancy stage. Many restaurants are slow to adapt to the changing tide of mobile innovation.  Yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel - a few restaurants, in an effort to distance themselves from the competition and gain an edge, have taken to developing unique and sophisticated mobile apps that increase consumer traffic and drive revenue. Straying away from the simple apps used by the majority of venues, which include basic information like a menu, locations, and nutritional information, these brands have apps that incorporate innovative and remarkable features. I’ve outlined just a few apps that fall into this category and what they’re doing to separate themselves from the crowd.

As of 2014, 35% of restaurant apps include an ordering option. In Q3 2013, digital sales were 40% of Domino Pizza’s revenue and their mobile app had over 10 million downloads. Papa John’s saw more than 45% of all orders come from digital. The ordering options on these apps are easy, simple, and efficient. Loyalty sections of a restaurant app have also shown huge success. Starbucks’ app rewards its 10 million users with free coffee and food once they hit a certain number of purchases. This helps generate their 4 million transactions per week

The final piece integrated into some of the best restaurant mobile apps is location based marketing. Research showed that 38% of consumers in the United States have used a mobile coupon to purchase an in-store product. Quizno’s location-based campaigned netted a 20% increase in redemption. Outback Steakhouse geo-conquests their competitors by geo-fencing them and sending ads to those locations. A sneaky little trick but it seems to work.

These are a few of the ingredients for a terrific mobile app in the restaurant industry. As for the future, I’m guessing we will see more and more restaurants contribute to the innovation. 

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Starbucks Mobile Innovation 

The forefront of the mobile revolution is taking place on the corner of your street, at your friendly, neighborhood coffee shop: Starbucks.  Business Insider reported recently that Starbucks has racked in more than $1 billion in 2013 from its mobile sales, a figure that can be attributed to its ten million active users.  

The staggering results from their mobile strategy come from multiple pioneering marketing campaigns during Q4 of 2013. Their Twitter campaign—aptly named “Tweet-a-Coffee”—lets coffee lovers tweet a hashtag that’s linked to a credit card, and friends and family can redeem them through the Starbucks mobile app.

Starbucks patrons can use the app for card payments and direct purchasing of beverages and food. Once downloaded, users can unlock free drinks and food after reaching a certain number of purchases in the app. The app is very much like a game.  It’s fun, it’s unique, it’s interactive, and it’s convenient.

I write about this app because…well…I use it—almost everyday, actually. No other eCommerce app has done what Starbucks has done, which is, quite simply, create an app that’s habit forming. Every morning I go into Starbucks and without thinking, take out my phone, not my wallet.  

Starbucks’ newest mobile venture will come in the form of pre-ordering on your phone. They want to change the ever-growing line at it’s locations by allowing costumers to order and pay from the app upon arrival or beforehand.

Starbucks continues to be at the forefront of mobile innovation and I implore all of you to download the app, even if you aren’t a fan of the brand.  Flip through it, study it, and ponder what the future of mobile may look like.  The Starbucks app is a wonderful case study of how mobile can positively impact overall brand strategy.   

I’ll leave you with a quote on Starbucks innovation…

And I think once again the Starbucks… mobile transaction platform is still in its nascent stage. And we believe there is an opportunity to extend that value to our customers in ways that we have not yet shared with you.

—Howard Schultz, CEO

Download the Starbucks App