Why Jeffery Kamikow Believes You Can’t Afford to Ignore Mobile Advertising

Workplace with mobile phone


Did you know that mobile advertising will soon take over as the top internet advertising medium? There’s no question that mobile advertising has seen explosive growth in the past five years. It is now poised to take over desktop advertising in 2018, according to Zenith Optimedia.

In that year, mobile advertising is expected to make up 58% of all internet advertising. Mobile advertising actually grew by 98% last year, and desktop advertising reached its peak in 2014. Since then, it has began its slow, steady decline as more people use mobile devices, making mobile advertisers like Jeff Kamikow extremely excited. According to eMarketer, advertisers could spend as much as $100 billion on mobile advertising in 2016.

One of the reasons why mobile advertising has seen such an influx of growth in the past few years is how users engage with their mobile devices. They don’t take a minute with their device and put it down. They use it constantly throughout the day. According to the latest statistics, users spend as much as three hours each day on their mobile devices. 2.5 hours of that is on social medial apps, making it a highly valuable source for advertisers like Jeff Kamikow. In addition to that, one in three people watch videos on their mobile devices, which should mean advertisers will invest in more video ads as well.

Therefore, it’s easy to see why the rise of mobile advertising means that those looking to advertise and enhance their branding can no longer afford to sit back and keep their advertising in obsolete markets. Contact a marketing company that specializes in mobile advertising to improve your ROI.

Telling a Story with Your Mobile Ad

Man hands touching smart phone with green tree background

Man hands touching smart phone with green tree background

If there is one thing that could really annoy a potential customer, it’s giving him or her the same ad to look at over and over again. There is certainly something to be said about ad repetition in some mediums. You hear a jingle on the radio or see the same pitch guy on a commercial, and it could create a level of familiarity that could improve the brand. This is not the same with mobile ads.

Mobile users want ads that they can engage with. For example, you can have an ad that utilizes some form of gaming that keeps the user interested. However, if the same user is given an ad with the same gaming feature over and over again, he or she will eventually get bored with it. Jeff Kamikow is a mobile advertising expert who has produced mobile ads of all kinds. He would argue that a company’s mobile advertising strategy must consist of fresh content all of the time that tells a story. So how can you accomplish this?

There are a number of tools available today that allow mobile advertise to use predictive behavior to slightly update an ad with each view by a user. For example, the first time might just be n introduction, so it might just show broad features or a tagline. The second time around, more details might be shown or the ad might showcase a feature that could be of particular interest to the user. This will go so on and so on until the user has a full understanding of what the product does.

By adapting to customer behavior to tell your brand’s story organically, you could reach your audience better, which could potentially turn into a lead. When it comes to mobile advertising, the key is freshness to adequately tell a story

What Can Competitors Teach You About Marketing Tactics?

Every single business has a competitor, regardless of how niche they are in the market. It doesn’t matter what industry or sector you work in, you have a competitor that’s looking to take the same customers you are trying to reach. With that in mind, you can actually learn a lot from your competitors and it’s a great idea to keep a close eye on them according to digital advertising and marketing professional Jeff Kamikow. Remember that old saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Well, it’s definitely a saying to live by because it can help you rise above the competition. Let’s take a look at what you can learn from your competitors!

How To Find What Works Best

There are many different marketing strategies that you could use to reach potential customers, but why play trial and error when you can see what’s working for your competition. Perhaps they are using webinars or social media posts to promote their products or service. If they seem to be working and getting engagement, you can take that idea and make it better. It’s important to capitalize on the things that are working because you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.

Localizing Your Business

Perhaps you have a competitor located in the same area as you and when you search for a specific term that’s associated with your business, what appears in the listings? Is your competition appearing before yours? If so, that’s an issue. More and more internet users are taking advantage of localized searches by typing in the product or service they are looking for, followed by a town or state. You could create local pages to cater to these specific keywords and rank better for localized searches.

Learn From Their Mistakes

Every business can make a mistake, that’s just reality, and if you notice your competition making some sort of marketing mistake that’s not working for their business, you can avoid that specific strategy. Perhaps they are targeting an audience that’s not really interested in the product or service. That could give you some insight on your own target audience and it’ll help you craft a strategy that’ll be more beneficial.

Always keep a watchful eye on your competitors because it can help you in the long run!

How will Google AMP Affect Your Mobile Strategy?

By Jeff Kamikow

Google’s AMP project, short for Accelerated Mobile Pages, sounds great on paper for consumers of content, but for mobile advertisers and businesses it represents a tremendous shakeup.

Put simply, an AMP-enabled page uses a stripped-down version of HTML and Javascript to render text and images much faster. It one sense, it’s like Google is trying to bring back the simplicity of mid-1990s internet.

Why is Google doing this? Page speed and mobile-friendliness. It is in Google’s interests to make its search engine as friendly as possible, and people do not like to wait for pages to load. More to the point, Google wants to deliver the information people are seeking as quickly as possible. That’s why they’ve developed things like knowledge cards and quick snippets. But if someone just wants the latest info from a news story, that’s too much information for a quick snippet.  Enter AMP pages.

AMP-enabled pages require less rendering time and less data to transfer, both big bonuses for consumers. AMP-enabled pages are viewed high on the search page in a swipe-carousel format. They have a special icon next to the results to show they are AMP-enabled.

The system is open to any publisher that is willing to put in the necessary work to make these pages. Does this sound too good to be true? Well, yes.

The type of content that can be displayed on AMP pages is very restricted. For instance, there can’t be any forms on AMP pages, so forget thinking about capturing emails on a snazzy-fast landing page. Another thing is UX. AMP blows most UX away in its quest for speed and simplicity. There are no external style sheets or external Javascript. If you choose to enable AMP on pages, they’re going to have to look good using Google’s version and that’s likely not going to match up with your UX plan. Inline ads are allowed with AMP content, but only for a select group of ad partners. If you’re in the group, great. But otherwise, you may be left out in the cold. Fortunately, the group of AMP-allowed advertisers is likely to grow as the new specification is embraced.

What about backlinks? AMP pages have a URL that starts with http://www.google.com/amp and then pastes the actual URL. It is unclear how Google is going to affect organic rankings when you have both AMP and normal pages. Google is promoting the use of AMP, but whether or not organic results will get pulled up for other pages on a domain remains to be seen.

AMP is also optimized for news content and blog posts. Pure information. If your content strategy doesn’t revolve around these, then AMP isn’t likely to do you much good. However, it’s certainly something to keep an eye on for the future.

Google To Adjust Algorithm For Mobile-Friendliness — Again

By Jeff Kamikow

When Google calls the tune, the rest of us follow. Our experience of the Internet changes every time they make a change to their algorithm.  Another change is coming out in May, but unlike earlier changes Google is announcing the details in advance. It involves improving the rankings of mobile friendly websites.

Last year, Google said that it was going to increase the rankings of mobile-friendly pages on its mobile browser. Now they plan on “increasing the effect” of their mobile-friendly ranking signals in order to continue improving its search results on mobile devices. This comes after previous updates when Google added a mobile friendly tag and then adjusted the mobile search rankings based on the mobile readiness of web pages.

It is important for web developers to get their sites mobile ready now if they want to retain ranking on mobile searches. Ever since May of last year, the number of searches on mobile has exceeded the ones on desktop. If your goal is to reach the maximum amount of online users, your target audience must include smartphone users. Using a responsive site design is a good start, and is recommended by Google, but it may not be enough to meet all of Google’s requirements to receive the mobile friendly label in search results.

Google looks for several features on a web page to classify it as mobile friendly. These include things like using a text size that’s readable without zooming, and sizing content so it doesn’t need zooming or horizontal scrolling. Another feature is the placement of links. Links must be far enough apart so that a user can tap the one they want without confusion. Google also likes sites that don’t use technologies that aren’t used on phones.

The big G has also released a couple of tools to help web developers get their sites ready for the changes. The first is their mobile-friendly test tool. Just place the URL of a website into the search bar and Google will analyze it for mobile-friendliness. It’s a fast check, but if you want even more details, check out their Mobile Friendly Websites Guide. And if you are already mobile-friendly, learn what Google is looking at for mobile SEO rankings using this guide.

How does your site rank on a smartphone? Try running some searches on your website and on your keywords. Do you see Google’s mobile friendly label next to your sites? If so, great! You shouldn’t have anything to worry about with the upcoming update. If not, go through the guides and tools and get your site ready before this next wave of re-ranking happens. A short check now could save your ranking later.

SERPs Warning: If you are Below #4, You Are Invisible

By Jeff Kamikow

Do you think SEO is dead? On mobile it certainly isn’t. A new eye-tracking study just released by Mediative shows where people’s eyes go on mobile SERPs, and the results don’t look good if you’re not ranked well.

The study sought to answer four questions:

  1.    Where do mobile users search and click the most and how do they differ from desktop users?
  2.    How do SERP position relate to views and clicks on mobile devices?
  3.    How does the need for scrolling affect views and clicks?
  4.    From this data, what do advertisers need to do to ensure visibility and clicks on mobile SERPs?

Google’s alteration of search page layouts over the years has trained people to search in different ways. Now that there are knowledge panels, more ads at the top of results, people are willing to scroll a bit to get to the first real organic listing. On mobile devices, only 7.4% of clicks happened on a result below the fourth organic result regardless of how many ads and extra Google features appeared above it. This is compared to 16% on desktop.

The effect of ads and knowledge panels is huge on mobile. In many searches the first thing that fills the screen is the knowledge panel, then a certain number of ads before the organic results are reached. People still scroll down for that #1 position, but that spot has a lot of competition. Another finding was that 11% more people are clicking on the knowledge panel compared to desktop, and that almost 22% fewer clicks went to the #1 organic spot.

This is huge. Businesses that can integrate themselves into Google’s system so they appear on knowledge panels have a strong advantage. But that doesn’t mean that being in the top organic spot isn’t important. In mobile SERPs that only had organic listings, 99% of people looked at that top spot and 40% clicked on it. Compare this to 83% of views and 34% of clicks on a desktop. Also, 75% of the clicks fell on the first four results compared to 60% on a desktop.

What about PPC ads? Unlike a desktop where the eye usually has enough room to skip down, ads are much more visible on mobile. 91% of the people tracked saw the top sponsored ad. For the top two ads, clicks on average rose by 4.7% compared to desktop. However, placements in maps and local searches receive far more clicks regardless of whether they appear above or below organic search results.

The results are crystal clear. You must optimize very well for mobile if you are going to make any headway with mobile marketing. Fortunately, many businesses are still focused almost entirely on desktop SEO. Start applying mobile SEO techniques now so you’ll be ahead of the game.

4 mobile marketing mistakes that could kill your business

By Jeff Kamikow

Building a mobile strategy is uncharted territory for most business. The maps we have so far are incomplete, with many zones that say “Here there be dragons.” Yet you know you must set sail if you want to remain competitive. How can you avoid wrecking your ship as you start off on your mobile strategy journey?

  1. A mobile website may not be not enough

In the early days of mobile, all the focus was on creating responsive websites that looked good on mobile device. This is still necessary, but it is not enough. Ninety percent of all smartphone use is done in an app, not on a browser. While a responsive website does make you look more professional, chances are that you’re not going to attract much business through a website alone.

  1. Not having a roadmap for your mobile strategy

Mobile strategy isn’t just client-facing. The most important parts of a mobile strategy happen inside the business. But converting your internal processes and dashboards to mobile versions must be done smartly. Every change you make should affect business positively and be measurable. Otherwise, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

  1. Building too many internal apps

One of the ways that companies go off the rails is to try to convert every internal piece of software into a mobile version. Desktops and laptops are still quite useful! Because a mobile strategy can affect a business from top to bottom, you must talk with each business unit to see how mobile can help them. The answer could be that they don’t want a mobile app at all, and it could be the right answer!

  1. Building a customer app the customer doesn’t want

On the customer side, any app you make must give them information or services they want. Depending on your industry, your customers may not even want an app on their phone from you. Think carefully about what you want any customer-facing app to do and do better than your current processes. Don’t build an app just to check off a box that says we have an app.

  1. Staying in the box

We’re in a rare moment where the business landscape is truly new. Like the early dot-com boom, a lot of different strategies are going to pop up. Many will fail, but those that succeed will do extremely well. Try to think outside of the box as much as you can for your mobile strategies. We truly don’t know what might succeed like crazy.

Embarking on a bold mobile strategy may seem risky, but without risk there is no reward. The biggest takeaway is to think carefully about what you want to do with mobile first before development.  That way you can move forward with confidence, know what to track, and have clear definitions for success and failure in your mobile strategy.

These 4 Careers Are Where the Money’s At in 2016

Bored by your current gig? Looking to boost your earning power? Hungry for a new challenge?

There are plenty of reasons to seek a change of pace from the drudgery of the 9-to-5 (or 5-to-9). But how do you know that there’s an actual market for what you want to do — or that you’ll be compensated fairly for your work once you make the leap?

While the future is inherently unknowable, it’s never a bad idea to try to peak at the right time. Take a page from your high school yearbook (not literally — reprints are expensive) and keep your job or business-building search to concepts deemed “most likely to succeed.” These four job descriptions are rapidly becoming more common — and there’s a huge supply-demand imbalance to boot. Even better, all four of these jobs double as entrepreneurial opportunities. If you’re hoping to become your own boss in 2016, pick your favorite concept and start building a business on it.

  1. Information Security Specialist / Analyst

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that companies large and small are absolutely terrified of hackers. With good reason: Cybersecurity breaches are getting larger and more disruptive, as hackers use ever more sophisticated tactics to breach IT defenses, steal information and generally wreak havoc.

So it’s no surprise that pretty much every company that can afford to do so is hiring information security specialists like there’s no tomorrow, and paying handsomely (more than $85,000 per year, on average). According to one estimate, demand for IT security specialists is set to rise by 35 percent between now and 2022, a stunning rise for a sector that scarcely existed a decade ago. If you don’t want to work in-house at a major corporation or security firm, look into independent consulting opportunities in this low-barrier field.

  1. Physical Therapist

As America’s population ages and grows increasingly infirm, demand for physical therapists is rising rapidly. Couple this long-term aging trend with the brave servicemen and -women returning home from overseas with serious, and in some cases chronic, injuries and disabilities, and you’ve got a best-case scenario for aspiring physical therapists. Bonus: PT’ers earn more than $80,000 per year, on average.

  1. Mobile Marketing Specialist

Mobile marketing is increasingly the future of marketing. Although fewer than 40 percent of U.S. businesses are even close to being mobile-ready, demand for mobile marketing specialists and strategists is projected to skyrocket in the years to come. Get in on the ground floor with a program of aggressive self-education or find yourself a guru mentor like mobile ad visionary Jeff Kamikow.

  1. Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are basically “nurses-plus.” In addition to all the other nursing duties that their lesser-paid peers do day in and day out, they’re authorized to make diagnoses and prescribe medication. While they typically work under medical doctors and can’t do everything a full-fledged MD or DO can, NPs are a critical piece of the solution to the growing medical skills shortage.

Which career opportunity are you most excited about in 2016?

Pay Attention to These 4 Powerful Ecommerce Trends

When Amazon hit the scene back in the 1990s, the retail world mostly shrugged. Some laughed. “You can’t sell things online,” was the collective boardroom refrain. “Consumers need to touch and feel merchandise before they fork over their hard-earned dollars.”

Funny how things change. Two decades on, Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the United States, a behemoth with fulfillment centers in every major metropolitan area and a transaction volume that consumes vast quantities of bandwidth.

Of course, the mere fact that e-commerce exists is no longer news. Online purchasing is just another prong in the multi-channel retail environment, increasingly indistinguishable from in-person buying.

E-commerce is also increasingly bound up with next-generation digital advertising techniques — something online marketing pioneers like Jeff Kamikow have been heralding for years. Here’s a look at four trends that underscore the ongoing evolution of ecommerce.

  1. Personalized Ad Service

Personalized ads tap a variety of user-supplied data, from browsing habits to previous purchases, to serve hyper-targeted, hyper-relevant ads — ideally, before the targets even realize they need what’s being sold.

Personalization extends to other channels as well. For multi-touch buys, savvy e-retailers leverage personalized email messages, social ads, mobile push notifications and more to keep buyers engaged and increase repeat sales rates..

  1. Opportunistic Mobile Marketing

One of the most exciting e-commerce trends: mobile marketing beacons, connected devices that sit in retail environments and interact with users’ smartphones as they pass nearby. Beacons allow brick-and-mortar retailers to essentially flag down prospective customers and serve them with a relevant ad or deal, dramatically increasing the likelihood of conversion.

  1. Loyalty Programs

Retail loyalty programs actually predate ecommerce by a significant margin. (Just ask Grandma about her Woolworth’s frequent shopper’s discount. Oh, the stories she’ll tell.)

But e-commerce has breathed new life into the loyalty concept. As with the e-commerce trends outlined above, the theme here is that loyalty programs are far more responsive and personalized than at any time in the past.

Loyalty programs vary widely: Niche retailers tend to focus on action-specific discounts and incentives, while broader-based players tap blunter solutions (think Target’s REDcard). Still, one in eight U.S. shoppers now belongs to an online loyalty program — up from 9 percent at the start of the decade. Retailers that can’t figure out how to tap that market leave a lot of money on the table.

  1. Digital Wallets

This one is a bit of a stretch. Not because digital wallets aren’t an important retail trend, but because they relate to in-person retail at least as much as to “traditional” e-commerce. Then again, digital wallets are part of the rapidly expanding Internet of Things, so they’re technically a piece of the ecommerce pie as well. It’s all a bit confusing.

Bottom line, any retailer — online or offline — that wants to appeal to young, tech-savvy consumers needs to consider accepting Google Wallet, Apple Pay and any other digital wallet technologies that gain traction going forward. There was a time, remember, when few merchants accepted credit cards. Outside certain resilient niches, cash-only businesses are now few and far between. Given time, digital wallet adoption is likely to follow a similar trajectory.

Which ecommerce trend are you most excited or nervous about?

Where’s Digital Advertising Headed in 2016? Jeff Kamikow Weighs In

Jeff Kamikow

Jeff Kamikow, a digital marketing pioneer who helped set up the first revenue strategy for one of the United States’ most venerable media companies, is the first to admit that he’s done the same thing his entire career.

Kamikow has been in the advertising game since the early 90s, when he worked for a couple of print publications (remember those?) devoted to personal computers (remember those?) and assorted accessories.

Back in the early 2000s, he showed Time Inc the online marketing light. Specifically, he devised the first sustainable Internet revenue strategy for two well-known but struggling Time properties, helping the storied firm bridge the digital chasm.

Since then, Kamikow has held positions of increasing responsibility for a variety of digital and mobile marketing firms, devising, implementing, testing and reworking revenue strategy after revenue strategy. He’s almost seen it all, at least when it comes to online marketing, and his insight has helped many a rudderless brand reinvent for ever busier, ever more jaded consumers.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that Jeff Kamikow has a thing or two to say about the state of the digital advertising industry. On the heels of some huge changes in 2015, Kamikow expects a few equally important shifts — some of which simply continue multi-year trends — in 2016.

  1. Mobile’s Domination Will Become Official

According to an eMarketer study, mobile advertising spend is projected to top $100 billion for the first time in 2016. More importantly, mobile will account for more than 50 percent of all digital advertising outlays for the first time ever next year.

And with nearly geometric growth projected through 2019 — eMarketer projects a total outlay of nearly $200 billion by then — it’s virtually assured that mobile will remain dominant indefinitely. At the end of the decade, mobile is poised to account for a stunning 70 percent of all digital ad spend and more than 25 percent of all ad spend.

To be blunt, brands and career marketers that fail to plan for a mobile-first world are about to get killed. We’ve known this day was coming for a while, and now it’s here. It’s why Jeff Kamikow has been pounding the table on mobile ad networks for years now — and, if you play your cards right, it could be your ticket to the digital marketing big time.

  1. In-SERP Video Advertising Could Presage a Seismic Shift

Though it’s not totally set in stone, Jayson Demers writes in Forbes that Google appears close to rolling out embedded videos in main search engine results pages (SERPs), augmenting existing text and image results without requiring searchers to toggle the Video tab.

It’s not clear how these ads will be priced, whether they’ll autoplay once the search is complete, or how many will appear in a given SERP. Jeff Kamikow has long argued that this is a logical development, given the ascendancy of the inarguably more visual mobile medium, and it’ll be fascinating to see how it plays out in 2016.

For now, savvy marketers may want to buy paid text ads while they can — both to reinforce brand recognition above-the-fold if and when this deployment occurs and to take advantage of pricing dips once pent-up demand for video spots is released.

  1. The Daylight Between Content Strategy and SEO May Finally Wink Out

Marketers have been crowing that “content is king” for years now. Frankly, the phrase is a bit of a cliche, so it’s easy to drown content-boosting voices (including Jeff Kamikow’s) out and miss the very simple, very important point they’re making.

It’s this: The days when traditional SEO techniques added value to subpar content are over. They’re not coming back. Going forward, it’s increasingly likely that, when applied to subpar or even at-par content, traditional SEO techniques will subtract value.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have an SEO strategy, or that white-hat best-practices will suddenly stop working.

You just need to make sure that your SEO strategy complements your content strategy, not the other way around. Create content, in whatever form it takes, with your core audience personas in mind. Then optimize it.

  1. Social Media Won’t Always Be Earned Media

For the first few years of the social media revolution, as adoption skyrocketed, social campaigns were like manna from heaven: classic earned media, without the drudgery of PR outreach and journalistic brown-nosing.

Then the social platforms started worrying about their own bottom lines. Good for them; not so good for cash-poor marketers.

Today, it’s still possible to run an organic social campaign on a shoestring or even nonexistent budget and ride it for a decent dribble of earned media. (No viral unicorns needed.)

But the writting is on the wall: Facebook recently redoubled its suggestion feature, creating another potential revenue source for itself and a potential exposure opportunity for marketers   Of course, the change is likely to reduce the amount of organic space in users’ feeds, reducing organic opportunity and pushing up bid rates for paid ads.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn is slackening its buttoned up advertising standards — again, great if you have the inclination and budget to pay for social promotion, and not so much if you’re looking to do more with less.

Personally, Jeff is a big believer in social campaigns done right. But it’s critical to understand these changes — and there are likely to be a lot more in 2016 — as they come. Otherwise, you could find yourself throwing good money after bad.

Don’t Count Your Chickens…

If Jeff Kamikow has learned anything in his decades-long advertising career, it’s that supposed sure things can fizzle out in a relative heartbeat. And even someone with as much experience as Kamikow can be wrong from time to time. Still, it’s best not to bet against a proven winner — or assume that doing the same thing time and again will cut it in a rapidly evolving digital marketing environment.


Image Attribution: Kevin Dooley. Creative Commons License