Archive for Mobile marketing

Developing a Mobile Marketing Strategy

"QR code"

QR code

I was walking along Lexington Avenue earlier today and passed by Bellmarc, a major New York City real estate broker. There was a QR code sticker in the window. For fun, I stuck the QR code app from my iPhone against the window. Viola! Up popped their apartment listings. I still think it’s magic, but that’s beside the point.

Major retailers are raking in the money with creative mobile marketing strategies. Jeremiah Owyang showed how in his keynote at the recent Mobile Marketing Strategies Summit in San Francisco. Owyang, who is an industry analyst and partner at the Altimeter Group, provided a strategic perspective of how mobile and social technologies work together for today’s top brands.

Beyond Marketing: Developing a Mobile Strategy

The PowerPoint presentation below summarizes Owyang’s points of view and contains case studies of how major brands are utilizing mobile technology.

Some of the “wow” findings for me were:

  • More smart phones and tablets will be sold than PCs this year.
  • Location-based strategies increase foot traffic and sales (I didn’t rent an apartment but someone in the market for one might have gone into the sales office).
  • With a smart phone or tablet app, parents can view their kids’ wish lists from stores like Toys “R” Us.
  • A customer can view weekly specials at ShopRite and add them to his shopping list on his mobile app.
  • Customers can pay their coffee tab with the Starbuck’s app and refill prescriptions with the Walgreen’s app.
  • The Delta app allows customers to check in, use e-boarding passes and receive text messages from the airline.
  • With Tiffany’s app, users can browse rings, learn about settings, save favorites and determine ring size.

Jeremiah Owyang

Owyang spends quite a bit of time explaining why the traditional sales funnel – awareness, interest, sale – is outdated, to be replaced by what he calls the Customer Hourglass. Too much to explain here but it’s worth reading his presentation to learn more about how companies will need to adjust their marketing strategies to meet changing consumer buying habits.

Developing a Mobile Strategy

View more presentations from Jeremiah Owyang

Fearless Marketing: Five Steps to Launching a Social Media Presence

"Kyle-Beth Hilfer"

Kyle-Beth Hilfer, Esq.

I spoke recently at the GSMI Social Media Legal Risks and Strategies Summit on “Protecting Your Brand in Social Media” and “Prize Promotions in Social Media and Mobile Marketing.” Most of the audience was feeling their way into social media and trying to get a handle on the legal issues they might confront. While many attendees seemed convinced of the power of social media, they also seemed scared by the risks. I was reminded of the words of Theodore Roosevelt: “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” Indeed, it is possible to chart a course in social media that affords legal protection and safeguards to a brand. Below, I outline a five step process.

STEP ONE: Familiarize yourself with the social media platforms’ rules. Read the terms of use, privacy statements, guidelines, and FAQ for the platforms in which you have an interest. Discern differences in their treatments of trademarks, copyrights, privacy, and prize promotions. Determine how the platforms’ rules align with your own brand’s protections.

STEP TWO: Create policies that protect your brand. Your social media team should consist of legal, HR, and marketing personnel. The team should plan your brand’s social media policies for your people and your intellectual property. Policies for people should consider the requirements of the FTC Endorsement and Testimonial Guidelines. They should also guide employees on how to engage in social media in a way that promotes the brand and makes sense for your own corporate culture. There is no one size fits all social media policy. Each company should draft its policies to align with preexisting guidelines for social interaction, email, confidential information, and intellectual property protection. Your policies for intellectual property in social media should outline consistent use of your trademarks, DMCA takedown procedures, and protection of your trade secrets.

STEP THREE: Engage legal counsel in creating a marketing plan. Do you want to invite user generated content? How will you vet the content before posting? How will you monitor responses to the content? How swiftly can you respond to content or remove it from your pages? As you roll out into the social media space, you may take on a prize promotion or a branded loyalty program. Perhaps you will consider using geo-location technology to enable behavioral marketing. Bring legal into the discussion early as you plan strategy and your marketing approach. Rewrite your privacy policies if necessary. Review the legal paradigms that apply to your marketing efforts. Your counsel should support your business goals and be able to help you create meaningful programs with minimal legal risk.

STEP FOUR: Think proactively about other venues. The next frontier is mobile marketing. How will your social media program connect to mobile? How do the social media platforms you are on allow you to extend to mobile? Consider how your brand wants to communicate with its customers to obtain the requisite opt-in for each mobile marketing effort.

STEP FIVE: Balance enforcement with public relations. Remember that in the world of social media, cease and desist letters have frequently back-fired from a public relations perspective. Consider the amount of harm being done to the brand and respond in a proportionate way. Examine the Righthaven cases to avoid being seen as a “bully” in the marketplace. Remember that in social media, anti-social behavior can harm a brand far more than a technical copyright infringement.

© Kyle-Beth Hilfer, P.C. 2011. Kyle-Beth Hilfer, Esq. specializes in advertising, marketing, promotions, intellectual property and new media law. She is also Of Counsel to Collen IP, a full serviceintellectual property law firm. For more information about her law practice and more blog posts, please visit Kyle-Beth Hilfer, P.C. (where this post originally appeared). Twitter: @kbhilferlaw.

5 Common Legal Errors in Internet and Social Media Marketing

"Kyle-Beth Hilfer"

Kyle-Beth Hilfer

[tweetmeme]I have met a surprising number of experienced business people who do not budget for legal advice. Here are five common legal mistakes in Internet and social media marketing that can result in financial penalties and business interruption.

1. COPYRIGHT MISTAKE: Photographs on Google Images are not free for the taking. Regardless of whether a photograph bears a copyright or watermark symbol, it is not in the public domain. Someone holds the copyright. It may even be a famous organization like Getty Images. If you use these images, you may receive a cease and desist letter and a claim for financial damages. Always take photographs from stock photo houses or buy rights directly from the photographer. Read the licenses to be sure you understand your rights.

2. TRADEMARK MISTAKE: Trademark infringement is not based on precise copying. The test for trademark infringement is likelihood of confusion in the marketplace. This means altering one word of a slogan may not ward off a trademark infringement claim if you market in similar trade channels with similar goods. Take the time to create original trademarks.

3. DATA COLLECTION MISTAKE: If you are collecting any consumer data on your website, in social media, or on mobile devices, you should publicize a privacy policy that explains to consumers where that data goes, how it is shared, and how it is protected. An astounding number of website owners do not protect themselves properly with updated Terms of Use and Privacy Policies. Many who have those policies do not update them annually. Review these policies annually with legal counsel to see if they still align with current business practices.

4. PRIZE PROMOTION MISTAKE: If you are running a sweepstakes or contest, do not copy rules from another promotion you find on the Internet. Every promotion has its own details that require careful crafting of rules. Each of the 50 states has complex statutes governing prize promotions. There are a variety of contrasting requirements on such issues as rule requirements, disclosures in advertising, prize delivery, and registration and bonding. Using social media platforms for public voting can render the promotion an illegal lottery if not implemented properly. Prize promotions require close legal vetting.

5. MOBILE MARKETING MISTAKE: An astounding number of marketing companies are trying to break into the fast growing area of mobile marketing. They rely on third party lists of mobile phone numbers, and they have not done proper due diligence. They do not understand the legal requirements of obtaining consumer opt-in before commencing a mobile campaign. Enforcement of federal statutes in this area as well as state attorneys-general investigations are on the rise. The financial ramifications of a failure to obtain a proper opt-in can be staggering. Consult with your legal counsel about the proper way to obtain the opt-in before commencing a mobile campaign.


This post first appeared on the author’s blog. © Kyle-Beth Hilfer, P.C. 2011.  Kyle-Beth Hilfer, Esq. specializes in advertising, marketing, promotions, intellectual property and new media law. She is also Of Counsel to Collen IP, a full service intellectual property law firm. For more information about her law practice and more blog posts, visit