Why is facebook’s move such a BIG deal

Yesterday whilst I was doing a talk about mobile marketing and social media with #fasterclass (sponsored by Justaxi and UKFast) something happened. Mark Zuck from that little company called Facebook did something rather special. 

But apparently not very many people noticed. 

Mark Zuckerberg started off by saying that “this is going to be a different kind of F8,” and by different he meant no major product releases or changes in direction. Instead, he emphasized that they were now focusing on building a stable mobile platform that would allow developers to build, grow, and monetize their apps.

For people in that community – i.e. use app developers and marketing peeps – this news is really rather large. There are three main bits I think for us all at ideas like Justaxi – Manchester’s Taxi Comparison App. 

Launch of Official Mobile Ad Network

Facebook Product Management Director Deb Liu took the stage at F8 to announce the official launch of Audience Network. With over 1 million advertisers using Facebook, mobile making up 59% of the companies revenue, and over 50% of Facebook users only using the Facebook mobile app, many saw this coming.

The tool will allow advertisers to easily place ads into third-party apps and with a streamlined experience.

Zuckerberg said: “We’ve done a lot of work already in the past years to help you build and grow your apps. This is really the first time that we are going to help you monetize on mobile.”

This is one of the reasons I bought Facebook shares with EToro just before the announcement 🙂 I personally think Facebook are about to move into something really very very profitable. 

Cross-platform tool: Applinks

Some new tools were revealed that will make life much easier for developers as well. One I really liked is “Applinks” which allows developers to link to other apps with just a few lines of code.

Essentially this means that apps will no longer have to be treated like stand alone silos with users having to navigate out of them to find other apps. With just a few lines of code, developers can insert links to other apps in their own, allowing for users to switch back an forth at will.

For instance you could be in your Gmail App but flip over to Soundcloud to change a song and flip right back via a convenient “return to” banner at the top of your screen – all without having to open up a browser or new window to complete the action. This seamless lateral movement for users combined with the ease with which developers can now implement it makes it a win/win for everybody.

I think this means that apps will start to become more and more like the web and so hyperlinking will become the norm – between apps and experiences. Which for us at Justaxi.co.uk could be a HUGE thing if we start partnering with people like YELP. 

Commitment to Mobile

Facebook also unveiled three new features to help support mobile applications.

Send to Mobile is a feature that allows desk top apps to easily send a reminder to the user’s device and prompt them to install it there. So instead of the user having to first remember the app, then second, go on a quest in the Play store to find an app, they can simply tap it in their reminders to have it installed.

The Mobile Like Button is a can’t miss, light weight version of the old Like button we’ve all come to know and love. This optimized Like button makes it easier than ever for the mobile user to engage with mobile content. User familiarity with the Like button along with the growing user base on mobile made this addition a no-brainer.

The Message Dialog allows the mobile user to easily be very selective about who they are sharing content with. In essence, the message dialog takes on the role of a private share button, allowing you to share content privately with whomever you want to message.

Over all a very happy day for developers and Facebook. Hat’s off to you Mark Z. 

As for the new analytics in Parse – as soon as our tech guys at Justaxi.co.uk Manchester’s best taxi booking app – have had a look I will report on that too. 

Manchester Marketing Mentors – becomes #fasterclass thanks to Justaxi – Manchester’s taxi comparison app.

Last night, April 30th, BIG things happened.

Not just Facebook’s series of announcements arImageound their new mobile ad platform but also on a slightly smaller stage Manchester Marketing Mentors – Chris March, James Welch and Dan Sodergren – spoke at a new type of event called #fasterclass.

Sponsored by Justaxi more than 30 people attended the event to learn about cutting edge marketing practices and social networking theory.

With sponsored taxis picking them up from Manchester, dropping them off at the secret venue and then free food and drinks provided, the #fasterclass event proved to be a HUGE success.Image

The event which is a first of it’s kind now called #Fasterclass was a nice idea I had sometime ago to change the way that entrepreneurs think and how and when they meet up. We wanted to make something which would be a logical extension of Manchester Marketing Mentors, a place to get both Mentors and Mentees, start ups and established businesses, marketing thought leaders and speakers together in one space.

Chris, James and myself, who were all mentors for Manchester Marketing Mentors were joined by Sabine Douglas from the wonderful Apadmi business in Manchester, which itself, like many of the speaker’s companies is an award winning organisation (with them going for another award tonight at the Prolific North Awards which Justaxi will unofficImageially sponsor with “£10 off promo codes” for taxis booked to the awards from this afternoon.)

Chris Marsh, from UKFast started off as the networking speaking, talking about a subject that he loved and is passionate about – the whole idea of networking without networking. How you can network without mentioning work, how you can create relationships WITHOUT trying to sell to the people in the room. 

James Welch from Online Venture Group took this a stage further and explained the science behind networking – not the practice, but the theory of what to do strategically, as he put it “What to do if you are not as gifted as Chris”.

Which was a nice touImagech.

But why did Justaxi sponsor this event with money off taxis and £20 promo codes for speakers and attendees?

It is all to do with their belief in Manchester’s tech start up scene and the marketing direction of supporting the new wave of talent in Manchester as well as standing out from the crowd and doing something different in a nice way.

Which was the core topic of James Welch’s talk about networking and how to take over a city as he put it how to “Ruffle feathers (nicely)” and through sheer hard work and relentlessness of action with great service and just being genuine, naturally take over a city.

Maybe this is part of the reason why the tech leader of the Online Venture Group, got behind the event, but there are other reasons too as he said so himself…

“I wanted to share my thoughts with fellow marketing people and to test out justaxi.” He also realised that “Some events like this can be dry and devoid of information – #fasterclass was the exact opposite”.

You can see his extra comments on his blog here. 

And this is what was needed in Manchester, an event, hosted in a wonderful, inspiring space, which represented Manchester and brought a few of the Manchester digital and non digital creatives together.

So after people were allowed a sneaky peak at the UKFast building and the amazing stuff they are doing there, I hoped to show how timing and digital marketing creates GREAT marketing. Which allows my clients at Justaxi to keep increasing revenue and downloads whilst also decreasing their costs – which is pretty unheard of in marketing terms.

My slides – now available on Slideshare through my Great Marketing Works Linkedin page –  hopefully showed how timing and geo location are key factors in the game which many marketeers are not using cleverly enough. With my conclusion being that

“There is a depth to ‘location’ that marketeers have yet to plumb.” 

ImageSabine finished the first ever #fasterclass event, just after the attendees downloaded Justaxi and booked taxis home, with an great talk on the power of mobile and the role of it for all businesses.

Further strengthening the ideas of the evening and of the key speakers, with some amazing stats like: “2014 is the year that mobile devices will overtake the number of desktops globally. Infact, there are now more mobile devices than human beings. For 80% of people, a mobile is the first and last thing they look at in their day”

Which brought in the ideas of, wearables the mobile of the future, in car augmented reality, IOE integration, iBeacon technology and businesses using apps to improve their internal processes and cut down costs – which was great news as Justaxi is bringing out a corporate account part to it’s taxi booking business in the near future which would fit this model.

Sabine’s talk from award winning and Manchester based Apadmi was a great way to round off the evening. Whilst, we already have reports that Apadmi and Mobile Monday Manchester (that she also helps organise) will be working with Justaxi to transport people to the June Demo Day event which they might even be hosting at UKFast. (Unconfirmed…)

Whether or not people came by taxImagei, saving money with Manchester best taxi app Justaxi, was not the point.

A lot of people left in taxis – after the drinks courtesy of UKFast.

And as the were happily sponsored home thanks to Justaxi.

But really the point of the event was that the attendees did something different, went somewhere new, and perhaps…”Thought differently as well.”

It was a great event, with a great reaction from people to it covered by the hashtag #fasterclass.

The event is one that myself, with Justaxi am happy to support again.

As Fareed Balouch the CEO of Justaxi says “We at Justaxi are more than happy to do more for Manchester – it’s what we love doing…. and getting people the best price for a taxi in Manchester through our clever app is all part of it. “

Mobile advertising spend doubled in the UK in 2013, passing £1bn

Great info from Dave Chaffrey and the team at Smart Insights. Full Blog is here.

They report that “In April 2014 the IAB and PwC  published their regular survey giving full-year figures for online advertising in 2013.

[They] recommend using this annual research on online advertising to benchmark your investment in online media with other organisations in the UK. The main headline which should prompt examination of brands are reaching their audiences on mobile devices is that:

Mobile advertising spend doubled in the UK in 2013, passing £1bn

Other headlines from the latest ad spend report are:

  • Across all categories advertising on the internet and mobile phones overall increased by 15.2% or £853 million to £6.30 billion in 2013 – up from £5.45 billion in 2012.
  • Video advertising grew by 62% year-on-year to £324.9 million. Video now accounts for 18% of all online and mobile display advertising.
  • Mobile now accounts for over one third (35%) of total digital social media advertising
  • Tablet-dedicated advertising has grown more than 400% to reach at least £34.4m in 2013, which is up from £6.8m in 2012.

Percentage of overall ad spend on digital media advertising?

This research can be used to have an impact when discussing with colleagues how much a company should spend on digital media. Back in the 2011 IAB report it was reported that more than £1 in £4 of ad budgets were spent online  for the first time and online ad spend is now closer to 30% of all spend although the figures weren’t disclosed in the latest announcement.

We know many organisations spend significantly less than 25% of their communications budget on online media, but this may well be right for their market….

“Ed – for example my client over at Justaxi – being Manchester taxi comparison app – really only uses digital advertising and social media. We are doing some print materials and offline promotions but this is very limited and has a limited ROI. “

However with £3 in £4 still spent offline in traditional media like TV and print advertising it underlines the continued effectiveness of traditional media and the need to integrate these with online media.

“Ed- which is why we have QR code printed on our new range of beer mats with a special offer inside 🙂 for Justaxi.” 

Justaxi is Manchester’s taxi fare comparison and mobile bookings app – no need to call a taxi – the app gets you the best prices for taxis in Manchester instantly. No need for taxi numbers or remembering your local Manchester taxi services website – our app find the best taxi prices for you depending on where you are. With our app you can book your taxi in Manchester, even by credit card and paypal. It’s easy with Justaxi – Manchester’s taxi booking app.”

Has Facebook –

Has Facebook has it’s day? Not by a long shot it would seem. 

I have been doing a few more workshops as of late – which is nice – and this has kept me busy. But more and more I hear about Facebook losing out to other forms of social media especially amongst young people i.e. teens and the like 🙂 

Now as a part time social media marketing trainer and someone who loves a bit of Facebook PPC for clients I am a little shocked by such ideas. Not that the demographic for Facebook would change – as these things always happen, but more at the speed of it all. 

According to Social Media Today “Facebook’s growth period has clearly come to an end, with Comscore reporting an end of December 2013 user base of just over 31 million users. December 2012 it was around 1.5 million higher.” 

But be careful of such claims as you go to Fanalyzer – http://www.fanalyzer.co.uk/demographics.html# – and they say that Facebook is in rude health. With 36 million users in the UK, some 58.06% of the UK population and some 72.57% of the UK’s internet users.

Not bad at all for Facebook I would say. However, how many are active? And I wonder how many you really do reach with a marketing message. Not saying that Facebook’s advertising algorithm is dodgy but… 

It all depends on the marketing message and the product or service. But perhaps my client at JusTaxi should re look at Facebook as not just a customer service portal opportunity and an advertising platform to help downloads, but as a demographic changer and an integration partner.

Would a function where you can sign up through Facebook help people interact with our app more?  

As Social Media Today conclude…”Brands looking to target very young or fashion conscious individuals will certainly be needing to look elsewhere, although there are still approximately 2.5 million 13-17 year olds using the site. The largest demographic remains the 25-34 year olds, with just under 26% of all users falling into this age bracket. Regardless of what the teens are doing, this remains the single largest concentration of consumers on any social media platform, so businesses writing Facebook off do so very much at their peril.”

Perhaps the Justaxi demographic really is more older professionals in the suburbs and mums needing to go to the shops with kids and no car – rather than trendy young people coming back from trendy bars at trendy times in the morning (and you can tell how old I am from the ironic use of the word ‘trendy’)

Who knows? What I do know is that from our findings so far, we will need Manchester’s taxi comparison app to exist a lot more in the social space if it is going to survive at all. 

How do you lower the CPA by 100% but still get a 500% increase in marketing ROI? Maybe… Growth Hack.

This is a great blog about how you can grow your start up. It’s very relevant for me as just starting work for JusTaxi a mobile app start up that get the best price for taxi’s in Manchester, as they needed a 100% decrease in their cost per acquisition and a 500% increase in the number of downloads they were getting.

For the record, in our new app download for getting the best taxi price in Manchester, we are using one of the techniques below. You will have to download the JusTaxi app yourself, to find out which one.

As The Next Web report – “Startups are a special breed of companies when it comes to marketing. If a big corporation is pushing a new product, you might expect them to take out TV ads, online ads, maybe hire a PR agency and set up big distribution partnerships.

Most startups however, don’t have the kind of money required to do that. So what do startups do? Rely on cheaper forms of marketing: Blogging, email, viral tactics etc.”

As a start up business advertising and a specialist in digital guerrilla marketing for over 10 years I have been teaching start ups some of these low cost high impact marketing tactics. But you will be amazed how many still are not used effectively.

The Next Web take this idea of effectiveness even further with ‘Growth Hacks’ (itsefl a clever way of rebranding an old terminology – which IS  another #greatmarketing tactic)

“Growth hacks are clever marketing tricks used by startups in order to get more users (often for free or very little cost). Sometimes they are simple, sometimes they are quite technical – but what they have in common is that they can be highly effective.

Here are five of the most famous growth hacks of all time.

1. The Little Bighorn

What is this? If your target market is difficult to reach, instead of tackling it head on, go after an adjacent market in order to stimulate demand.

Why do I know this? This tactic was made famous by Facebook.

Back when Facebook was still just for schools, some schools already had their own social networks. Instead of trying to market directly to students at those schools (“but we already have a social network!”) Facebook targeted schools in the vicinity, which would inevitably be home to friends of the target school’s students.

Once all your friends were on Facebook and you’re the last one left standing… it’s kind of hard to say no!

Why does it work? Joining something because your friends are on it or because they said it’s cool is called “social proof.” Social proof is one of the most powerful elemental forces of the internet, at your disposal. Use it wisely!

2. The Waiting List

What is this? Instead of letting users sign up and start using your service immediately, put them into a waiting list which you slowly work through.

Why do I know this? This tactic was made famous by Mailbox. After downloading the Mailbox app you’d be told exactly which number you were in the queue (inevitably some crazy high number).

Why does it work? It’s another form of social proof, that lots of other people are waiting to “try” an app. Mailbox was lucky in that this growth hack generated the company a lot of press and a cult of followers. It must have done something right because even before officially launching, Mailbox was acquired by Dropbox for an alleged $100 million.

3. The Cross Post

What is this? A feature on your app allows a user to post to one of their existing social networks, usually with a line that credits your app in some way. For example, perhaps announcing to the world how you “Just saved money with JusTaxi – the free taxi fare comparison app

Why do I know this? Airbnb and Instagram popularised this growth hack.

Airbnb had an early feature that allowed users to post their listings to Craigslist, taking advantage of Craiglist’s massive scale. Instagram encouraged users to post to Twitter and Facebook by making cross-posting a big part of the user journey when uploading a photo.

Why does it work? Getting your app’s content posted through a major distribution channel exposes more people to your app and results in more users trying your app out. Instagram ended up disrupting Facebook’s own photo sharing feature so much that Facebook acquired them for $1 billion.

4. The By The Way

What is this? Probably all over your site and blog you’ve got pages branded with your name and logo. That makes sense. But take it one step further and put the same thing at the bottom of content your users create.

Why do I know this? This tactic was made famous by Hotmail.

At the bottom of every email Hotmail sent out was a message saying “get your free email account now!” At a time in history where people were paying their ISPs for email accounts, Hotmail’s offer was an attractive one.

Why does it work? You are getting your users to advertise your service for you to their friends. And the best part? It scales infinitely and doesn’t cost you anything.

5. The Back Scratch

What is this? Incentivise users to invite their friends by offering a 2-way reward. A reward for the friend who gets invited, and a reward for the person who did the inviting. I think we will have to do this with Justaxi – perhaps giving people points or money off when they post on Facebook – what do you think?

Why do I know this? PayPal famously offered a $20 2-way reward in their early stages of growth. If you successfully referred a friend you would get $10 and your friend would get $10.

PayPal grew to tens of millions of users before ending this promotion, but you can probably name at least three companies off the top of your head that offer something similar.

Why does it work? Users like free money, whodathunk!

Of course, this growth hack is expensive to pull off. But compared to other paid acquisition channels such as PPC, a referral program like this can require less ongoing maintenance and result in more high quality users.”

It’s interesting to see this – as before I came to the company as marketing manager – Justaxi tried to use a printed press advertising campaign with a promo code – and very very few people used it. To be honest with you I know why and it is not a mistake we will make again. We are now advertising through twitter and mobile, for our geo location taxi comparison app for Manchester, sometimes with a promotion code, and guess what our cost per acquisition has come down 500% …. now next I have to get our downloads up by the same percentage. Nobody said it be easy!

But I think that perhaps with a cunning cross post – coming from inside the app – we may have a chance.


And perhaps if we had on Jon Yongfook (the guy who wrote most of this article) as our mentor – as he is a serial entrepreneur based in Asia. He started and sold a popular recipe portal, and now runs a virtual assistant software company. He mentors young startups at Singapore Management University and True Incube Thailand, a 500 Startups Partner.