Archive for June, 2013

If This Is Mobile Banking

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Many banks tend to view Mobile Banking as a truncated version of Internet Banking and most of them offer mobile banking only to their existing Internet Banking users. This approach completely negates the true potential of mobile – after all, if I check my account balance once a week, make one or two fund transfers per month and don’t buy more than 10 banking products all my life, I don’t need a mobile phone to carry out these infrequent banking activities “here and now”. No wonder adoption rates of Mobile Banking are nothing to write home about and, according to the recently published World Retail Banking Report 2012, Branch and Internet Banking continue to remain the two most important channels for retail banking.

I’ve long held that for Mobile Banking to really achieve mainstream adoption, it should leverage Bluetooth, camera, GPS, accelerometer and other basic smartphone specs to deliver new functionality that are not possible on Internet Banking since desktops lack these things. Mobile Remote Deposit Capture, 2-way SMS Alerts and Turn-by-Turn Navigation for ATM locations are a few features that “scratch an itch” and truly differentiate Mobile Banking from Internet Banking.

When I read about a mobile-only bank account launched by Green Dot Bank, I was thrilled to find that at least one “bank” got Mobile Banking “right”.

If this created any illusions in my mind that banks were hanging on to every word I uttered about Mobile Banking “do’s and don’ts”, they were shattered when I heard the branch operations manager of a Top 5 Indian public sector bank tell a customer recently, “If you access banking on a PC, it’s Internet Banking. If you access it on a mobile phone, it’s Mobile Banking. Otherwise, they’re the same”. Not too happy with what he heard, the customer staged an immediate walkout from the branch. Although the manager’s statement went against the grain of Mobile Banking as I saw it, I wouldn’t blame her for it since the bank neither had a native mobile banking app nor was its mobile web version mobile-optimized.

A few days later, I came across a cooperative bank that juxtaposed the words “branch” and “advanced banking facilities” with the image of an iPad in its ad.

Although I had a slight problem figuring out whether the ad was for branch banking on a mobile or mobile banking in a branch, one thing was clear: Not all banks seem to share their customers’ notions about Mobile Banking.

New Take On The Rupee Symbol

Friday, June 21st, 2013

When I wrote The New Rupee Symbol & Hammer-and-Sickle three years ago, the Indian Rupee was at about 45 to a US dollar. Since then, it has weakened substantially to close at a dollar parity of around 60 yesterday.


Therefore, I won’t blame Ajit Ninan for his new interpretation of the rupee symbol in a recent cartoon. Even if Dr. D Udaya Kumar of IIT Bombay, who designed the symbol in 2010, hadn’t quite seen it coming. Just like my hammer-and-sickle take on it.

QR Codes Are 110X More Effective Than Banner Ads – When Done Right

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

In our past articles (click here and here), we took QR codes for granted wherever we found them and focused on their underlying technology, shared tips on how to get them right and suggested a few goals for after they scanned correctly. For a quick recap, QR codes enable smartphone users to visit websites and landing pages, download mobile apps, add contact info directly from business cards to their phonebooks, and do lots more – all this without the hassles of typing long URLs on their smartphone’s touchscreen keyboards.

Recent research by ECONSULTANCY has found that QR codes enjoy 11% scan rate, making them 110X more effective than banner ads that customarily generate around 0.1% click through rates. While these numbers can be debated, there’s no doubt that QR codes are a powerful weapon in the armor of B2C and B2B marketers – when they’re used correctly.

Introducing the QR360 Framework for best practices in QR code usage. Our framework helps marketers decide when to use QR codes – and when not to use them.

Since QR codes can only be scanned from a smartphone loaded with a QR code reader app, the mobile medium plays the centerstage in all QR code usage scenarios. Not surprisingly, the cornerstones of the QR360 Framework are all related to mobile:

  • For the mobile: The CTA should involve a natural transition of media from print / online / TV to mobile.
  • On the mobile: It should be easy to perform the desired action on a mobile phone.
  • Mobile power: Devise next steps to exploit the smartphone’s superior features like GPS, camera, accelerometer, voice recorder instead of treating mobile as just another online channel.

The QR360 Framework can be downloaded in PDF (730KB) from here.

We encourage advertisers and marketers to use the QR360 Framework to design suitable QR code based campaigns that deepen customer engagement, generate more leads and accomplish other business goals. If that sounds like too much work, feel free to contact us for help.

Use Social Sharing To Pump Up Lead Generation – Even On B2B Websites

Friday, June 7th, 2013

We always recommend short or prefilled forms to reduce friction and thereby boost conversion on B2B websites for various CTAs like whitepaper download, webinar registration, request for quote, and so on.

We’re now happy to propose another form of call-to-action that’s even more frictionless: Social sharing. By avoiding forms altogether, social sharing can bolster website conversion more than short or prefilled forms. Here, prospects and customers land on a company’s website to learn more about its products and services and simply click a button to share the webpage on their social networks. In return, they receive content, prices or signup confirmation without filling any form.

Let’s illustrate this with an example.

We recently ran a promotion campaign to give away a free sample of 100 contacts (worth US$ 200) of our SAP Mailing List. We decided against asking visitors to fill any kind of form for requesting the giveaway. Instead, we gated the content with a social sharing action, whereby visitors simply had to click two buttons – one to tweet the page from their Twitter account and the other to follow our company on LinkedIn. (The EMAIL360 button on the right hand side of this page continued). In devising this CTA, we wanted to make it as frictionless as possible for visitors to request the giveaway, yet have some way of nurturing them until they were ready to buy. Since we achieved a good uplift in conversion, our approach worked.

Much to our delight, there was a totally unintended consequence of our new CTA. Our product and company started appearing on the feeds of Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections of all recipients of our free giveaway. Subsequent clickstream analysis conducted using our EMAIL360 tool showed that some of these Followers and Connections visited our website. This set off a chain reaction when some of them requested the free giveaway by clicking the two social sharing buttons or submitted a lead by clicking the EMAIL360 button.

Based on this experience, we’re convinced that social sharing boosts lead generation on B2B websites and have already rolled it out to some of our customers’ websites and another page on our website. It’s especially suited for website actions – such as a whitepaper download – that many visitors don’t mind sharing with their Friends, Followers and Connections. For the vendor, the lack of complete contact info resulting from a social sharing action is more than compensated by the viral action triggered by it. Besides, as our analysis showed, visitors who were ready to buy inevitably clicked the EMAIL360 button to request for a quote whereas the social sharing action was taken by the window shoppers among the visitors. Therefore, a combination of EMAIL360 and social sharing can help in automatically qualifying leads and attaching them to the correct funnel stage in the vendor’s marketing automation or CRM system.

Now, for some caveats with using social sharing as a CTA:

  • Use it with care and don’t remove all forms from your website. There are times when website visitors might want to communicate one-on-one with a company – e.g. to request for a quote – without publicizing their action to others, so a short and, preferably, prefilled form is still best for those CTAs.
  • Make sure that the message generated by your social sharing action is designed to create a positive buzz about your product or service on social media – you don’t want negative vibes to go viral. Good news is, it’s now possible to use various tools to pre-develop boilerplates. For example, “HEATMAP360 is awesome! I just signed up for my heatmap for free. You can too! via @GTM360”.
  • Respond very quickly to social media mentions of your company or brand triggered by social sharing actions. Your website visitors are conditioned to expect responses to their forms only during normal business hours. However, social media is on 24 x 7 x 365 and response time in hours, if not minutes, is the norm.

If all this seems like too much work, we’re there to help.

Let me conclude by practising what I preach. Click the button below to share this post on your favorite social media.