The Golden Rule that we have all heard of and that many aspire to live by is outdated in the new mobile era. It is no longer about treating others how you want to be treated but rather treating them the way they want to be treated.
Today’s savvy mobile companies are aspiring to live by the Platinum Rule from Dr. Tony Alessandra – let me first understand what my consumers want and then I’ll give it to them – in order to connect, build more productive relationships, and use more options to communicate clearly with consumers. How do you tap into this progressive new world of engaging with these smarter, faster, more powerful consumers?
From skipping “hellos” and other formalities to using emojis and icons to communicate more rapidly, engaging these dynamic “I need it now” consumers requires you to leverage the vast array of communication tools available. To be relevant, you need to use the right language – the new mobile language – to increase your bottom line, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include salutations similar to an in-person conversation such as hello, goodbye, and others.
Today there are emoji domains, Internet acronyms for email, and SMS acronyms for texting and instant messaging. Ninety-two percent of all people online use emojis now, and one-third of them do so daily. (Wired Magazine, April 2016 Article, “The Emoji Is a New Type of Language”) That is nearly three billion people.
In addition to the SMS acronyms for Oh My God (OMG), See You Soon (SYS), Laugh Out Loud (LOL) and more, emojis have emerged as one of the leading mechanisms for communicating – and businesses that are employing them in their campaigns are winning.
Emojis started with 176 icons in February 1999 for Japanese cell phones. Now it’s grown to 1,800, which are estimated to be used by more than 90% of the world’s online population. (The Guardian, September 2016)
These days you can find a one-click emoji to order a pizza from Domino’s and have it delivered fresh to your door. Domino’s started tapping into the Platinum Rule in 2015 when they introduced their mobile app. Thanks to this one simple change, sales were up 19 percent in the three summer months, compared to the previous year. The company also grew its online ordering business through its website, app, and even the Apple Watch. As of October 2015, after this introduction, three-quarters of Dominos Pizza orders were made online – with half of those orders coming through the company’s app or digital devices. (Source: Independent, October 14, 2015 Article, “Domino’s Pizza Sales Up 19% Thanks to Mobile App”)
Domino’s is not the only company employing the Platinum Rule. When Burger King reintroduced its chicken fries, it created a whole chicken fries keyboard that could be downloaded to capture and engage its prolific millennial market. Spotify, on the other hand, implemented a reveal campaign involving the Beatles’ image on the cover of the Abbey Road album to target an older market segment. Even the NFL has entered the emoji arena with t-shirts featuring emojis of popular players in their Fanatics NFL Shop where fans can click on their favorite emoji of the player they love and get the t-shirt with it on it.
You may be wondering: does all this pay off in the end or is this just advertising money spent as a cost of doing business without any return on investment? Facts and stats show that companies are reaping big rewards for using the new mobile language to reach digital consumers. In July 2015, Taco Bell created a “taco emoji engine” that allowed people to tweet the taco, along with another emoji. An automated program sent back one of 700 mash-ups of the two. Fans used the engine 756,000 times from November 2015 through March 2016, creating an ongoing connection with the brand. (Source: The New York Times, March 6, 2016 Article, “Picture This: Marketers Let Emojis Do the Talking”)
Taco Bell did not stop there. Last year for Cinco de Mayo, Taco Bell used a lens on Snapchat to turn consumers’ heads into a giant taco shell, resulting in 224 million views in one day. (Source: AdWeek, May 11, 2016 Article, “Taco Bell’s Cinco de Mayo Snapchat Lens Was Viewed 224 Million Times”) Snapchat said it was the most viewed Snapchat Lens to date, beating Gatorade’s Super Bowl campaign that had more than 165 views. The average user played with Taco Bell’s ad for 24 seconds before sending it as a “snap.” In terms of unique plays—or the number of times individual people played with the ad—the campaign generated 12.5 years’ worth of play in a day, according to Snapchat. Taco Bell has been on Snapchat for three years and has used it to launch new products like its Quesalupa during its 2016 Super Bowl campaign. They also were the first marketer to use Snapchat’s on-demand geo-filters to orchestrate six events around the launch of the Quesalupa.
Pepsico also entered this arena of the new mobile language with its “PepsiMoji – The Language of Now” campaign last year (2016) on a domestic and international basis, once again acknowledging that this is not just a one-off campaign but a language that is being used to communicate with their customers worldwide. They also created a downloadable keyboard with its emoji designs. http://design.pepsico.com/pepsimoji.php#section1
As a result of Pepsico’s Twitter campaign using the hashtag #Pepsimoji, the number of tweet impressions created were 90,100; their profile visits jumped to 30,055, and they gained 429, 000 new followers – all in May 2016. According to Forrester, (a well-established market research company focusing on business applications of digital technology, and their 5I Model for strategizing digital customer communication), Pepsico’s #Pepsimoji campaign set a benchmark for other campaigns to make a plan for digital consumer communication models. (Source: EcoWorld.com, September 6, 2016 Article, “Aligning Pepsi’s #Pepsimoji Twitter Campaign on Forrester’s Model”)
Think this is all for the “younger crowd”? Think again.
Even Hollywood has caught on to the craze, releasing The Emoji Movie on July 28, 2017, an animated comedy that takes place in Textopolis, a world inside a smartphone. On its opening weekend, the film nabbed the #2 spot for the weekend box office with nearly $25 million. Not bad for a movie based on pictures from your phone.
There is even a World Emoji Day – July 17th, 2017. The Empire State Building in New York City was lit up in yellow in its acknowledgment of this celebration. An anthem for the day was written and produced and of course a hashtag was created for use on Twitter and Facebook for trending. There are even the World Emoji Awards. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, tweeted and retweeted about World Emoji Day 23,163 times between July 13th – 18th, 2017, tweeting personally more than 12,000 times about it.
For those who are not yet in the know about the new mobile language, there is help to be found including books to help decode emojis and SMS acronyms and websites like emojipedia.org.
As mobile marketers with campaigns to reach eager consumers who want and need to fulfill their desires instantly, not engaging in the new mobile language could make your approach less profitable by missing the target (insert your bullseye emoji here).
Progressive consumers who use the new mobile language are integrating it into their lifestyles from communicating with family and friends to tweeting and posting their feelings on Facebook using Reactions on the site. They are also adopting voice technology as part of the new mobile language including the Alexa Voice Service for the Amazon Echo, Google’s Home device, and the Apple Watch and Pebble watches as well as others that respond to voice commands.
When strategizing upcoming campaigns, weigh options that include the new mobile language with a new lens instead of writing them off. To get the edge, gain mindshare, and raise your revenues by reaching the more than 92 percent of all people online who are using emojis and other facets of the new mobile language, you can either deepen your consumer engagement by communicating their way or let another competitor beat you to the punch and profits.