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Tim Peter

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January 26, 2015

Why Mobile Changes Everything—and Nothing At All

January 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

woman-shopping-mobile.jpgMobile changes everything. We all know that’s true, right? Did you also know that mobile really doesn’t change anything at all? I’m serious. Hang in there for a moment, and I’ll explain what this is all about.

Specifically, it all comes down to how your customers use mobile. It’s pretty clear that mobile changes customer behavior pretty radically. Yet, at the same time, mobile doesn’t change customer behavior at all.

Your customers’ new behavior is fairly straightforward. Mobile provides customers access to all the information they need to make an informed purchase, wherever, whenever, and however they want. That’s very new. What’s also new is the speed with which they’ve adopted these behaviors. Responsive design and in-app advertising can help ensure you appear whenever customers go looking for a solution, wherever they happen to be.

What’s not new? Your customers’ desire to shop around. They’ve always been willing to buy from someplace else. But actually doing that was usually too inconvenient; who’s going to drive to 5 different stores to compare prices on low-consideration purchases? Now, they have that ability in the palm of their hands. And they’ll use whatever tool works best at that given moment—apps, web, social, what-have-you —to answer their questions and make their decisions. In studying data from French shoppers, eMarketer “…found consumers were quite prepared to be “opportunistic” if the product they wanted wasn’t available in their local store. At that point the internet played a larger role, as shoppers searched for other physical or online stores able to provide the item.”

In case you’re wondering, it ain’t just happening in France.

Plenty of data supports this. For instance, Mobile Commerce Daily notes some of the lessons learned during the 2014 holiday shopping season:

“Evidence of the increased focus on mobile included more opportunities to search out of stocks and place orders online via a mobile phone while in a bricks-and-mortar store…”

Unfortunately, those same findings show it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows:

“Another important lesson from the 2014 holiday shopping period is the need for consistency across devices… experiences that were available to shoppers while they were at home on their desktop or laptop were unavailable on the devices they carried with them while they were out shopping.”

Facts such as these cause many companies to debate whether they need apps or a mobile website to connect with their customers. As it happens, you probably need a little bit of both. According to eMarketer, mobile apps and sites typically work together. Here’s the key finding:

“…the two actually work together plenty of the time, as mobile apps act as a “portal” to web articles. Fully 52% of smartphone owners said they tapped links in mobile apps that led to articles on mobile websites at least sometimes, with around half of that group doing so often or very often.”

While that doesn’t mean that you need to develop your own app, it does mean you need to think about how customers will find you when using other apps. Again, because for all the changes mobile’s bringing about, your customers still want to find the best answer to their questions and the best solution to solve their problems.

This changing/not changing behavior helps explain why, according to Marketing Charts, 81% of CEO’s “…consider mobile technologies for customer engagement to be strategically important for their organization.” Sounds like it’s time to get started, no?

The bottom-line here is that mobile changes everything by simply helping your customers gain the ability to do what they’ve always done more easily. It’s now the key source for growing your brand and growing your business. Your customers have embraced it. Your CEO’s have embraced it. Now it’s time for you to embrace it.

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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December 23, 2014

14+ Fantastic Reads for a Long Holiday Weekend

December 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

snow.jpgWell, Big Thinkers, around here we’re about to settle in for our long winter’s nap. There won’t be any new posts this weekend. But to hold you over, check out this big list of 14 popular past posts from Thinks over the last couple years:

  1. Subdomains vs. Subdirectories for SEO
  2. Is Google+ Dead, Dying, or Something Else Altogether?
  3. Will E-commerce Kill Retail?
  4. 5 Questions About Landing Page URL’s
  5. What Exactly is an “Industry Average” Conversion Rate?
  6. The Shocking Truth About Millennials and Digital Media
  7. The Future of E-commerce and Mary Meeker’s 2014 Trends – Thinks Out Loud Episode 74
  8. It’s all e-commerce, Apple edition
  9. Want Proof that Mobile Drives Purchases?
  10. What Your Customers Expect from Mobile and E-commerce in 2014
  11. 7 Reasons E-commerce Growth Has Nowhere to Go But Up
  12. Will Millennials Use Email?
  13. What Can Proctor & Gamble Teach You About the State of Digital Marketing?
  14. Why Friction-Free E-commerce Matters – Thinks Out Loud Episode 62

And for the Travel Tuesday fans out there, here are 14 posts from our weekly Travel Tuesday series:

  1. What Expedia’s Leaders Can Teach You About Digital Strategy
  2. Marriott Partners with Booking.com. Should You?
  3. What in the World are Priceline and TripAdvisor Up To?
  4. How to Use Emotion and Storytelling in Digital Marketing
  5. The Single Most Effective Way to Improve Your Brand’s Digital Marketing
  6. What Are Google’s Plans for Hotel Distribution?
  7. The Big Myth About Hotel Metasearch
  8. Holy Crap! Mobile’s Even Bigger Than You Thought
  9. How Intermediaries Drive Up Your Costs: 5 Ways to Protect Yourself
  10. Digital Marketing Directions: 3 Trends Shaping 2014 Hotel Internet Marketing and E-commerce
  11. 6 Key Secrets Every Hotel Marketer Should Know
  12. 4 Lessons You Need to Know from Google’s Affluent Traveler Report
  13. 4 Reasons Why Google Metasearch in Maps Matters
  14. 5 Mind-Blowing Stats About Mobile’s Growth You Must Know

I hope you all have a safe, happy, and wonderful holiday, wherever you may be! Look forward to all new content on Thinks next week.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

Tim Peter

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December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

December 23, 2013 | By | No Comments

Happy Holidays from Tim Peter & AssociatesHey Big Thinkers! Just a quick heads-up that things will be very quiet around here for the next couple weeks. While I may post a couple of quick items (depending on the news), I don’t have anything in the regular content queue until after January 1.

In the meantime, you might want to check out my look at the top 14 trends for 2014 as voted by you, the top 10 marketing tips of the year, its companion piece: the top 10 travel marketing tips of 2013, the 3 trends shaping hotel Internet marketing and e-commerce in 2014, and these 3 steps for digital marketing success in 2014.

I hope you all have a very healthy and happy holiday season, and a wonderful, prosperous New Year!

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

  1. The Secrets Behind “It’s All E-commerce” for 2014
  2. The Zen of Digital Marketing Strategy
  3. 7 Steps to E-Commerce Heaven
  4. Today and Tomorrow: Mobile and The Changing Customer Journey
  5. Warning: Mobile Drives Booking Costs Up and 4 Ways to Prevent It (Travel Tuesday)
  6. Mobile Makes E-commerce Even More “Frictionless”
  7. 3 Key Trends for 2013
Tim Peter

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September 6, 2013

Tim Peter

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October 21, 2011

Marketing, merchandising and m-ployees (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – October 21, 2011)

October 21, 2011 | By | No Comments

OK, you’ll excuse the bad pun in the headline, but there’s just too great stuff out on the ol’ Interwebs this week, Big Thinkers. How ’bout we let byegones be, well, y’know and get right to the links:

Have a great weekend, BIg Thinkers. We’ll see you back here next week.


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Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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June 20, 2011

The First Conversion:Why Repeat Visits Matter

June 20, 2011 | By | No Comments

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that visits may be a better leading indicator than unique visitors. Now, in my latest post for Mike Moran’s Biznology blog, I take a look at “The First Conversion: Why Repeat Visits Matter”.



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter

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March 10, 2011

Chris J. Gaddis "The Money Train" Radio Interview

March 10, 2011 | By | No Comments

I was very fortunate to appear on WIOX radio’s “The Money Train” show with host Chris J. Gaddis last week. The interview runs about 15 minutes and covers internet marketing, search engine optimization and blogging. Enjoy:



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter

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March 9, 2011

Which Google Do Your Customers Use? Which Facebook? Which Twitter?

March 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

Steve Rubel has said there isn’t just one Facebook; there are 500 million of them. Does that make it harder to talk to your customers, or easier?

I think I have one answer to the question in my latest post for Mike Moran’s Biznology blog, “Which Google Do Your Customers Use? Which Facebook? Which Twitter?”



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter

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September 1, 2010

Vacation

September 1, 2010 | By | No Comments

Hi all. Pardon the lighter-than-usual posting schedule.  Im taking a few days of much-needed R & R. We’ll return you to your regularly scheduled programming next week. ‘Til then, be sure and check out the archives, OK?

Tim Peter

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July 8, 2009

The graying of Facebook: Should you be worried?

July 8, 2009 | By | No Comments

graying-of-facebook-gray.png

“No one goes there anymore. It’s too popular.” – Yogi Berra

While Yogi wasn’t talking about Facebook, he may as well have been. According to research from iStrategy Labs, Facebook is losing its younger audience in favor of old folks. As you might imagine, lots of folks, young and old, have thoughts about what this means. Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read/Write Web says, “It’s not a pretty picture,” while BusinessWeek seems to think it’s no big deal, with the numbers more likely reflecting recent graduations. Meanwhile, Facebook board member and Netscape founder Marc Andreessen doesn’t seem to care, telling investors that Facebook’s revenues will be in the billions within 5 years. Money quote:

“…it was more important at this stage for social sites like Facebook and Twitter to retain and grow their user base and capture market share, rather than worry too much about making lots of money right away” (Emphasis mine).

Since Marc previously provided a roadmap to Internet success – one based both on his own successes as well as observations of the marketplace – it might be worth paying attention to him. But how can Facebook grow its user base while the “cool kids” appear to be disappearing in droves?

I do agree – at least in part – with those who suggest the cause of this shift relates to those “cool kids”: as grown-ups invade their hangouts, kids move on to greener/cooler pastures. Look at MySpace, Friendster and – going “way back” (in Internet terms) – AOL. As these sites grew in popularity, the appeal to younger users – the hip, cool factor – fell. Ironically, these numbers appeared the same week AOL announced it’s launching AOL Instant Messenger as a Facebook app. Given AOL’s past failures, could that be a sign of the times for Facebook? Or is it an indication by the old guard that there’s a new Big Man on Campus (regardless of whether that man is on campus or not)?

How much this matters to you depends a lot on how much your business relies on the people who continue to use Facebook. For example, according to TechCrunch, some “…1 million users posted almost 800,000 status [updates]” during the Michael Jackson memorial service yesterday. That certainly doesn’t sound like a dying service. What it does suggest is that Facebook is a media channel. You should treat it like one and use where it fits in your overall media strategy.

You do have one of those, right?

If the graying of Facebook is everything to your business, then you probably have a larger business issue than the graying of Facebook. Just as with any media channel, use it where it works to connect to your customers. Tie what you’re getting from Facebook back to business results and measure those results frequently. If and when it stops working for your business, make like the kids and move on to greener pastures.

Ultimately, I’m with Stan Schroeder over at Mashable, who puts it simply:

” If you’re an advertiser on Facebook, you should take these changes into account and react accordingly, because your campaign might not be as effective as it was a couple of months ago.”

Of course, shouldn’t you be doing that anyway?



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

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