Gravy Corporate Blog

Branding with Mobile Media

Posted 01/16/2014


Most people associate mobile as an end game for marketing, a medium to get new leads. But if mobile is the most personal medium ever created, then why aren’t companies using it to brand?

In actuality brands are already using mobile to achieve awareness. One eMarketer study showed that last year 69 percent of branders increased their investment in mobile advertising tactics.

Creative best practices are emerging to ensure consistency in fonts, and continuity of brand presentation. Beyond presentation, there is plenty of mobile ad media, content and apps that can be deployed to achieve awareness, build reputation, and begin nurturing cycles.

Branded apps remain one of the best ways to build loyalty with customers. A company can offer useful services to customers, entertain them, and save them time with branded apps.


Branded apps can make a huge impact on the bottom line. According to one Harris study, almost 40% of customers report a stronger relationship with a retailers who offer apps. Shoppers are using the apps to save them time in-store and at home on the Internet.

The formula for successful application is to fulfill a customer need while achieving a business objective. Some more popular brand applications include Nike Fuel, the standard bank app, FedEx Office, Intuit, REI, MLB At Bat app, and TracKing by The North Face.

In addition to owned apps, brands are purchasing access to customers. Some brands are sponsoring apps, and achieving product placement within them. Others are running advertising campaigns on mobile networks with rich media, search and mobile content creators. In many ways, this is the easiest path for brands who don’t have time or an application waiting to be developed.

Finally, streamlining social media to make it easily accessible on mobile makes for a better branded experience. That means going beyond deep content marketing to provide fun, short ways for folks to engage on their smartphones and tablets. Do everything you can to enable quick and easy submission of a comment, photo, or video on your networks and blogs.

Geoff Livingston is an author, public speaker and strategist who helps companies and nonprofits develop fantastic marketing programs. He runs Tenacity5 Media, which builds marketing strategies that satisfy stakeholders’ information needs and corporate objectives alike. A former journalist, Livingston continues to write, and has authored four books. Most recently he co-authored Marketing in the Round, and wrote the social media primer Welcome to the Fifth Estate.

Mobile Marketing: Back to Basics

Posted 01/14/2014

Back to the Routine (the Basics).Mobile marketing has its acronyms and jargon. The number of letters and words can all be a bit daunting, which is why we’ve decided to visit some of the basic and not-so-basic terms.

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Affliate Marketing Takes to the Mobile Life

Posted 01/9/2014

Mobile Life vs Family Union Mobile sales took a whopping 27 percent of all affiliate sales links in December, highlight the growing power of portable devices for Internet marketers. Affiliate networks are also experiencing the shift to mobile with increasing sales numbers and click throughs. Some affiliate marketers are deploying mobile only campaigns, and are yielding immediate results. One marketing firm experimented and generated $20,000 in 20 days. You may be asking, “What is affiliate marketing?” Affiliate marketing is the referral of business to a merchant for a percentage. There is usually one or two intermediaries, a network and/or the publisher. What differentiates mobile affiliate marketing from the traditional approaches towards affiliate marketing? For starters, applications are beginning to offer affiliate marketing opportunities for driving web traffic and sales. For example, is offering affiliate marketing opportunities with its UK-based gaming applications. Another is text sales. Businesses who have ample amounts of mobile numbers in their database can offer affiliate text links. When sales occur, revenues go up. Several mobile affiliate networks provide opportunities to affiliate market for publishers and advertisers alike. Some traditional methods that can be repurposed for mobile media, too. Content, ad spots, search ads, social media and rich media (video and pictures) can all provide link opportunities for mobile revenue. A critical issue that should concern mobile brands interested in offering affiliate opportunities is analytics. Most sites don’t have affiliate tracking available unless they are using a network. The analytics problem is particularly difficult for app based opportunities that use Google Play or the iTunes store as an intermediary. Analytics need to be recoded with a Software Development Kit and the app needs to be refiled with the store to ensure usage numbers are tracked accurately. Are you considering mobile affiliate ads as a part of your 2014 marketing efforts? What opportunities and challenges have you encountered? Image by Miguel Barriero

The 9 Mobile Trends of 2013

Posted 12/10/2013

Kardashian 2013 was a great year for mobile, perhaps more so than any other in recent memory. The media form became more visual, profitable and viable. Celebrities embraced mobile, as did many brands with responsive web site designs. Here is a look at nine top mobile trends that dominated headlines this year.

1) Tablets gained momentum

Tablets became a dominant story in 2013 starting with Adobe’s revelation that tablet-based web traffic surpassed smartphones and computers alike, in spite of there being fewer tablets on the marketplace. The news kept coming with developers revealing they are creating as many applications for the tablet as they are smartphones. And then there was incredible growth in tablet sales, too.

2) Smartphones are more prevalent than computers

Not to be surpassed by their younger sisters, smartphones also showed strong growth. If sales continue as expected, 2013 will mark the first year that smartphones surpassed PCs as the top selling computing device in the world. Anytime, anywhere handheld smartphones have become the easiest way to access the Internet, talk with friends in any form, and engage in basic computational tasks.

3) Responsive design boom

Businesses scrambled to make their websites mobile friendly with responsive design in 2013. Those that depend on the Internet were first, now the middle of the pack and laggards are joining them. 2014 will be the last boom year for responsive with brands focusing on custom mobile deployments in future years.

4) Video comes to mobile

If 2011 was the year of mobile social photography, then 2013 had to be the year of video. Vine, Instagram Video, and SnapChat all contributed to legitimizing mobile video. Now with tablets in the mix, people are watching and so are advertisers. More than a half a billion dollars was spent on mobile video ads in the United States this year.

5) Celebrity selfies

When Kim Kardashian is giving tips on how to take a selfie, you know a trend has jumped the shark. And so it is with celebrity selfies. While the rest of the world discovered mobile video in 2013, Hollywood figured out you could take a picture of yourself and post it on Instagram. Go figure.

6) Mobile ad boom

On a more professional front, mobile video ads were not the only aspect of the market that saw a boom. The mobile ad market grew with a whopping 75 percent uptick in 2013. 2014 looks even stronger as mobile continues to outpace PC sales as the primary access device.

7) Twitter becomes the mobile darling

First Twitter bought mobile ad platform MoPub for $350 million, then it had a blockbuster IPO. Twitter’s real-time capability and its soon to be widespread mobile ad network has made it a dream platform for mobile marketing. Expect Twitter and mobile to become synonymous.

8) Real-time marketing

A big driver of 2013 mobile successes was increased real-time marketing strength. Brands could set up geofenced initiatives with apps, ads and SMS, which in turn drove more mobile ROI then ever before. Expect to see an increased focus on real-time marketing via mobile phones in 2014.

9) ROI delivered

Mobile marketing came under fire in recent years, much in the same way social media marketing has. The difference is that mobile is delivering hard ROI figures that are making brands want to invest more. 2013 put more proof of concept behind the medium, and advertising investments are showing it. What trends would you add? Geoff Livingston is an author, public speaker and strategist who helps companies and nonprofits develop fantastic marketing programs. He runs Tenacity5 Media, which builds marketing strategies that satisfy stakeholders’ information needs and corporate objectives alike. A former journalist, Livingston continues to write, and has authored four books. Most recently he co-authored Marketing in the Round, and wrote the social media primer Welcome to the Fifth Estate.
Don't suck.

Don’t Suck with Mobile Ads

Posted 11/26/2013

Don't suck.Mobile, according to Millennial Media, “lets advertisers engage with consumers like no other medium… Advertisers can showcase rich video where people are consuming video content. They can offer companion or sequential messaging on different devices and screens. One-on-one interactions not possible with traditional media are possible with mobile.” Continue reading

Example Blog Post with Featured Image

Posted 11/25/2013

At such times, under anabated sun; afloat all dayupon smooth, slowheaving swells; seated in his boat, light as a birch canoe; and so sociably mixing with the soft waves themselves, that like hearth-stone cats they purr against the gunwale; these are the times of dreamy quietude, when beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean’s skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang. “Is that the way they heave in the marchant service?” he roared. “Spring, thou sheep-head; spring, and break thy e spring, I say, all of ye—spring! Quohog! spring, thou chap with the red whiskers; spring there, Scotch-cap; spring, thou green pants. Spring, I say, all of ye, and spring your eyes out!” And so saying, he moved along the windlass, here and there using his leg very freely, while imperturbable Bildad kept leading off with his psalmody. Thinks I, Captain Peleg must have been drinking something to-day. “There she breaches! there she breaches!” was the cry, as in his immeasurable bravadoes the White Whale tossed n-like to Heaven. So suddenly seen in the blue plain of the sea, and relieved against the still bluer margin of the sky, the spray that he raised, for the moment, intolerably glittered and glared like a glacier; and stood there gradually fading and fading away from its first sparkling intensity, to the dim mistiness of an advancing shower in a vale. Continue reading