The ultimate proactivity of the Web is the semantic future of marketing. Every interaction is about data, and with enough of it, predictive analytics are possible. Is Big Data simply an idea to you - or do you have a plan to activate around information?
As a consumer, how do you expect your favorite brands to present themselves on mobile? As a mobile designer, business owner, or marketer--is a mobile app necessary?
Does it seem like your social feeds are jammed with your friends’ latest baby video or vacation pictures? Helped by Snapchat and Instagram, image-sharing has increased significantly in the past year, with more than half of Internet users now posting their own pictures and videos online, a new Pew Internet Project report reveals.
How do Axe and Old Spice buyers really differ? What pricey ice-cream brands do food-stamp recipients buy disproportionately? And who's been buying more than their fair share of condoms?
Seamlessly running campaigns is key.
Everyone from users to entrepreneurs to advertisers loves the “mobile” category because those products are always with us, always on, and instantly accessible. But these opportunities are also design constraints: Mobile screens are small, driven by touch, and often connected to spotty networks.
As mobile devices continue their gains in popularity and usage worldwide, more consumers are interacting with brands at various stages of the buying life cycle—from browsing, researching and comparing products to reading reviews, sharing their experiences and making actual purchases.
Facebook is laying claim to a fast-growing share of mobile ad dollars, but Google still brings in more than half the money spent on mobile advertising -- including both search and display -- worldwide.
Digital skills are in high demand and short supply. But first things first — how do you define a digital team when nearly everything is digital?
Geofencing explained with easy-to-understand images
A new wave of advertising startups are offering free stuff, cash, and donations in exchange for just a branded moment of your time.
Thanks to the Apple iPad and other tablets, people are now shopping on the couch, in the bed, and in the kitchen, not to mention the most comfortable of “lean-back” environments: the bathroom.
In today's multiscreen world, 27% of all web traffic comes from smartphones, tablets, and various other devices.
For the artist, album sales are album sales. But what Samsung got out of this deal was much more valuable than the paltry $5 million they paid.
While marketers strategize heavily around how to help consumers decide what to buy, how much time do they spend thinking about how they will pay? This area of innovation is where mobile payment companies want to play, especially in markets where such technology is less than ubiquitous.
Owned by Twitter and launched in January, Vine is to short videos what Instagram is to snapshots: You shoot, edit, and share clips, all through a mobile app.
Data shows that consumers demand value
In the beginning, mobile advertising was all about conversions. Remember QR codes? Vouchers? What got people excited about mobile were the opportunities that didn't exist at all on desktop.
Millennial and teen iPhone purchase intent dropped sharply. Has Apple lost its cool?
When it comes to mobile shopping, the gender gap is alive and well.
Virtual retail spaces have the potential to repurpose transitional urban spaces for entirely new uses.
On April 3, 1973 — exactly 40 years from today — Motorola employee Marty Cooper made the first mobile phone call.
As the world’s biggest brands hustle to keep pace with the consumer rush to mobile, several clear trends are emerging.
These are ads that you can actually have a (limited) conversation with, potentially creating a much more interactive and fun advertising experience — which is particularly challenging for mobile advertisers who have to work with limited screen space.
The patent describes designs that could have a seamless, continuous surface resembling the fourth generation iPod nano, as well as other shapes closer to the current iPhone, but with every surface a touch-sensitive glass display.
Windows Phone shipments surpassed those of the iPhone in Argentina, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa, and the Ukraine.
The idea that we could invent tools that change our cognitive abilities might sound outlandish, but it’s actually a defining feature of human evolution.
Digital may be the future when it comes to publishing, but the problem today is that online publishing — and advertising specifically — doesn't make enough money.
Are we jaded? Is SXSW too crowded to anyone to stand out?
Mobile phones are found all around the world — ubiquitous even in emerging markets such as China and India — but how you use the device depends greatly on where you live.
Advertisers always knew there would come a time when budgets would need to shift to mobile to keep pace with changing consumption habits. That time is now. The mobile web is growing 14 times faster than desktop traffic, as consumers interact with apps, social network and email from a slew of smart devices.
If brands want to improve their customer perception, having a well-rounded social communications practice that serves both as a marketing outlet and as a place for consumers to solve service issues will help.
Unfortunately, a lot of dealerships subscribe to the old-school philosophy: if research starts online, consideration and choice still happen in the showroom. Clayton Stanfield, senior manager of dealer training at eBay Motors and a former dealership Internet sales manager himself, says things are changing when it comes to how dealerships are handling prospects.
Vine and Snapchat both use the simplest of interactions--holding your finger anywhere on the screen (which I’ll call “tap-and-hold”)--to power core functions in their interface. And in each case, that single interaction changes everything about the app.
So what's NFC? It technically stands for Near Field Communications, and it enables mobile devices like smartphones to communicate with nearby devices and objects with a simple tap.
Sixty-three percent of video streaming on mobile phones happens when folks are in their homes, per research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). And according to the IAB, mobile videos are watched during primetime television hours more than any other time of the day.
Global mobile traffic is growing so fast that in some places it has already surpassed desktop traffic. That was one of the key conclusions of a year-end Internet trends report.
People are now using their cell phones for much more than talking. According to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 85 percent of U.S. adults own a mobile phone and 56 percent of them use it to get online.
We are creating a new market and ecosystem of personal preferences and patterns of influence. We are creating an exponential amount of data – 3.2bn likes and comments per day, over 400m tweets per day, and rapidly being joined by Pins and Cinema.grams.
Successful social business starts with transforming your organization internally. This is often overlooked as a crucial step toward social business. Yet not only does having an internal social business system make businesses more effective at the external effort, it’s often critical for a company’s long-term social business success.
Everyone thinks they have a digital strategy these days. But while your company may have a business or IT strategy that incorporates digital technology, an IT strategy does not equal a digital strategy. Why?
A few weeks ago, at the Fast Company offices, we convened an all-star panel of designers and design leaders to talk about the problems that they found most vexing in the past year, and what they were trying to do to solve them.
Lately we’ve heard a chorus of skepticism regarding the importance of viewability, and some say that there is no correlation between viewability and conversion rate. In reality, there are only three reasons why one could legitimately argue that viewability doesn't matter.
Boston.com has begun offering advertisers the chance to write their own blog posts, joining a growing list of web publishers pinning at least some of their hopes on a tactic variously known as native advertising, custom content or branded content.
For now, trending topics are a feature buried within a temporary feature at the corner of the Stitcher app. But the technology behind them reveals the potential for discovery to impact talk radio the way it has music, video, and written news.
Google has created a crisis map for Hurricane Sandy, which includes information on the storm's current location, its predicted path and the locations of emergency shelters.
The New York Times suspended the paywall on its site and apps Sunday afternoon, as people turn to online news outlets to get more information about Hurricane Sandy. The storm is scheduled to make landfall in New Jersey Monday night.
I would argue that we have yet to see a startup nail ANY part of the video experience except for sharing. Apps in this category include Viddy, SocialCam, Klip, Chill, Vodio, and more. To me, this is classic Silicon Valley just building something they’re comfortable building: platforms, social graphs, viral hooks, blah, blah, blah.
At any given moment, Diageo has between 2.5 billion and 3 billion bottles sitting in stores around the world, acting as passive "pitchmen" for its brands. Now Diageo has found a way for the bottles to literally speak to the consumers who buy them.
8tracks is a streaming, not on-demand, music service. Its some 600,000 mixes are uploaded by a small portion (less than 1%) of the app’s users, known as DJs. There are no restrictions on the type of tracks these DJs can choose, beyond a couple of requirements that help keep 8tracks legal.
The potential of personalized online marketing, when done well, is enormous—and for that reason, it’s a compelling sell. The problem is, it hasn’t been done successfully thus far. And thanks to vendor hype and overpromise, just mention the word “personalization,” and most have learned to greet it with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Newspapers in Brazil have uncoupled themselves from Google News, claiming that their presence on the search engine is preventing their online operations from growing. It's a pre-emptive strike on the firm, involving all 154 members of the Associacao Nacional de Journais--that's 90% of the country's circulation of dailies.
The car has been called “the fourth screen” for internet-connected content. But even for high-performance brands like BMW, adapting the car to keep up with the fast pace of mobile computing has been a slow and complicated process. The luxury automaker plans to bring automotive technology up to speed and in sync with smartphones, computers and tablets by leveraging an EU-funded project called “webinos.”
Are New Devices Adding to News Consumption? What does the growing expansion of mobile mean for news consumption overall? Are people who own mobile technology getting more news now that they have more ready access to it? Or are they merely replacing one platform with another? Here, the findings are as strong as in 2011, and in some cases even stronger, in suggesting that mobile technology is increasing news consumption.
Relevant customer experience now involves much more than just pushing out content to available channels. It requires an understanding of how customers use these channels, identifying where opportunities lie and optimizing the experience for each channel. How can companies accomplish this?
In a world where consumers increasingly are storming the internet with queries, downloads and page views from their mobile devices, marketers need a mobile-optimized or mobile-specific website. The question of whether or not you need to build a mobile app is a little less clear cut.
The New York Times this morning announced a new HTML5 web app for iPad, rounding out their lineup of web and tablet products for digital subscribers. The Times is soliciting feedback from its users about the app and its features, which suggests that it’s looking at this as a way to experiment with a non-native delivery method, but isn’t quite sure about how consumers will respond.
It is a device that three quarters of the world's inhabitants have access to, according to the World Bank, but the words to describe it and etiquette of how to use it differ starkly across cultures.
That consumers are turned off by sites not optimized for smartphones isn’t news to anyone who uses the mobile Web. But marketers need more than anecdotal evidence to get their organizations to invest in the medium.
The Seattle-based coffee giant’s year-and-a-half-old mobile payment program may be the largest of any retailer in North America. Even before its recent $25 million investment in San Francisco mobile payments startup Square, the company had been processing a million mobile-phone transactions per week.
If there's any sign that the media ecosystem is on the verge of dramatic change, then these four digital trends bubbling to the surface are the latest proof points of that. These aren't random trends but are illustrative of tectonic shifts that will change the media business dramatically.
More than a dozen big merchants are expected to announce Wednesday their plans to jointly develop a mobile-payments network that would battle similar services from Google Inc. and other companies, people involved in the effort said.
Put simply, responsive design is the creation of a single website with a fluid proportion-based grid that automatically adapts to users’ browsers and the devices they are using. This is not a trend—it’s the future.
Every generation experiences advances in technology that change people's lives and expectations; children are almost always born into a different technological world than were their parents. This is particularly true when it comes to how they discover, consume and share content and information.
The use of apps as a way to gain an advantage over others is clearest in categories where there is already significant competition for consumer attention, including quick-service restaurants, banking, hospitality, fashion and beauty.
There are common themes underlying the three major players struggles with how to grow revenue, particularly mobile revenue, while their web traffic is declining as a percentage of the total. They are all in a life or death fight, both with each other, but more importantly with the emerging mobile ecosystem, largely dominated by Apple.
The emergence of online platforms is bringing a wave of disruptive innovations to traditional education. From 40,000 person classes that you can take from anywhere to Twitter-moderated discussion forums with trending hashtags, technology is fundamentally changing the way we learn today.
With ever-increasing YouTube lunch breaks and Vimeo dinner dates, online video is becoming a constant companion--one that every brand is rushing to take advantage of. Follow these five tips so you don't turn off would-be viewers.
Nobody can deny that the ledgers at NBC are looking mighty nice as of now, yet while the TV performance data has been easily accessible and widely disseminated since Monday, one crucial element appears to be missing: just how are NBC's digital audience numbers are shaping up?
To make it easier for New Yorkers to commute and keep them posted on scheduled maintenance and delays, Google is adding information about service alerts that occur throughout the city’s 468 subway stations labeled on Google Maps.
Apps may already track your workouts, your finances, and your temperature preferences, but until now they’ve largely overlooked the most telling data feed of all: your location. Saga, which is launching on Tuesday, uses your phone’s GPS, Wi-Fi capabilities, and accelerometer to track every move you make
A member of my wife's family and a few of her friends told me recently that they are enamored with Twitter. They love its rapid-fire updates, and the sense Twitter provides of being right in the moment. Over a weekend they were constantly checking and posting updates on their smartphones, and when it came to socializing with friends, she and her peers simply preferred Twitter to Facebook. This isn't earth-shattering news, but here's the catch – all were in high school.
Texas Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton got there because he deserves it. But please, three San Francisco Giants were voted onto the All Star team? In what election process is that fair? Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera maybe, but when you consider the perpetually injured Pablo Sandoval there is clearly something else at play when it comes to the All Star voting. For the Giants, and even the Rangers, it’s all about All Star tech savvy.
Marketers have tried targeting consumers in stores with QR codes and barcode scanners that so far have gotten limited traction. Now IBM is testing a new approach, dubbed augmented reality, which is a bit like applying search or a personalized version of Google Goggles to the world of physical store shelves.
A renaissance in the customer loyalty program has been long promised, but so far the reality has failed to live up to hype. Mass-adoption of smart-phones and the availability of location and social data mean the consumer loyalty program is ripe for a makeover but so far programs haven't really taken off with consumers and merchants. That's about to change and I believe the next twelve months will be critical in the growth of the mobile loyalty program.
In January of 2007, not long after Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's first iPhone at that year's Macworld conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sat down for an interview with CNBC in which he was asked about his initial reaction to his competitor's new device. He guffawed. Really, whole-heartedly guffawed. "$500 full-subsidized with a plan!" he said. "[It] is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine."
When it comes to learning about food, nearly half of consumers use social networking sites, and 40% use Web sites, apps or blogs, according to a new study from The Hartman Group and Publicis Consultants USA. Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/177904/leveraging-social-media-in-food-marketing.html#ixzz1zE5w9Vb4
People may be using their smartphones as a shopping tool in the stores, but that doesn’t mean they’re buying less from the retailers. In fact, the influence these mobile devices will have on annual in-store sales is expected to increase more than three-fold over the next four years.
CloudOn - yes, the company known best for bringing Microsoft Office to the iPad – has just closed a $16 million Series B round led by The Social+Capital Partnership with participation from Translink Capital as well as existing investors Foundation Capital and Rembrandt Venture Partners. Mamoon Hamid, General Partner at Social+Capital, will now join CloudOn’s Board of Directors as a part of the funding. The raise speaks to the demand for traditional productivity software on the iPad, but also hints at bigger plans for the startup, which has a vision that re-imagines how productivity should work in the new mobile age.
A mobile-display ad from none other than one of world's biggest mobile-ad sellers, Google, won the first Mobile Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions ad festival today. In what's essentially business-to-business marketing, Google's winning campaign "Hilltop Reimagined for Coca-Cola" was designed to show adland that online and mobile display advertising aren't as low-rent or constraining as is often thought.
Ford has created an app that unlocks all of your internet passwords when your mobile device is close to your computer and locks them when you move away.
Android users are correct to complain that the iPhone often gets new features that are old for Android, but as loud as they may shout, they're the only ones listening. Apple truly flexes its muscles at the power of its brand.
Pepsi’s celebrity-infused “Live for Now” global ad campaign, which launched May 7, will get digital boost this summer from media conglomerate Viacom. Viacom’s Twitter accounts for MTV, VH1, CMT and Comedy Central will aid in the campaign’s mission of “inviting and inspiring” people to live in the moment — and sharing those moments on social networks with relevant hashtags.
This year, Mary Meeker brings her famous annual Internet Trends report to D10, where she just appeared onstage. Meeker, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and former financial analyst, is describing what she calls “the re-imagination of nearly everything” powered by mobile and social, with a torrent of slides tracing what was then and what is now.
72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion video views, which is 140 views for every person on the planet. Among all the hours of uploads and billions of views, nonprofits, educators, and activists have a strong presence on YouTube. “Nonprofits and activism” and “Education” are among the fastest growing categories on YouTube.
Google+ rolled out on Wednesday a new ‘Local’ tool that allows users to share and find information about nearby places — from museums and spas to restaurants and hotels. In addition to tapping a user’s network or “Circles,” the new service also incorporates information from Zagat, which Google bought last year.
Back in April you may have tweeted how much you hate doing taxes. Sometime later you may have been browsing the Web and noticed ads for TurboTax popping up. That probably wasn't an accident.
The Lipitor For You “Recipes 2 Go” app is aimed at helping consumers manage their heart health on the go. The launch marks the first time that Pfizer has released a consumer mobile app for a prescription product in the U.S.
Target was already announced as a shopkick partner, but until now, it was limited to testing integration in seven cities. Now, thanks to what the company says were “rave reviews,” it’s expanding its shopkick integration to all of its 1,764 stores in the United States, making it the largest shopkick retailer.
According to a new report from Nielsen, mobile consumers are downloading more apps than ever before, with the average number of apps owned by a smartphone user now at 41 — a rise of 28 percent on the 32 apps owned on average last year.
Roger McNamee, the managing director and co-founder of venture capital firm Elevation Partners, has a theory about how Apple became the biggest U.S. technology growth story of all time: “The thing that made Apple successful was betting against the web,” he said.
Users’ ability to access data immediately through apps and web browsers and through contact with their social networks is creating a new culture of real-time information seekers and problem solvers. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has documented some of the ways that people perform just-in-time services with their cell phones.
As far as phone sensors go, the GPS sensor appears to be one of the most coveted by developers, after the camera. For a consumer, the trade is quite simple: offer your location at a specific point in time, or your patterns, and in exchange for that information, an application will offer you something — a deal, a coupon, or information about who and/or what is around you.
The future of media on mobile devices isn't with applications but with the Web. For publishers whose businesses evolved during the long day of print newspapers and magazines, the expansion of the Internet was tremendously disorienting. The Internet taught readers they might read stories whenever they liked without charge, and it offered companies more efficient ways to advertise. Both parties spent less.
Already, data shows that more than one third of American teens own an iPhone and the one-tablet-per-child initiative is a mainstay in South Korean and Thai schools. It’s easy to see what life will look like for the next generation of consumers, but will marketers be prepared? That will largely depend on whether they’ve considered these five post-mobile trends.
Intense competition drives the U.S. wireless industry. When one looks at major market indicators, competition is the reason why we lead the world in efficiency and value for consumers. These indicators include capital expenditures and network investments; infrastructure deployments; subscriber levels; subscriber growth; continued evolution of operating system choices; and application development.
Call it a strategic inflection point for these companies, a common trend in the Valley, where scrappy startups are always a threat to stagnant corporations--not so much because of some new piece of technology but because of the disruptive idea behind it.
There's a lot of speculation today about why Facebook would spend $1 billion to acquire the uber-hip photo-sharing app Instagram. To some, it seems obvious; to others, it's the biggest sign yet of a growing Web bubble. To me, it just raises question after question, and the biggest one is "why." What does Facebook gain from buying Instagram?
MTV has introduced a mobile app in Europe that fits somewhere on between HBO Go and social-TV platforms, letting users watch the network's shows on demand and invite friends to chat. Don't Expect a U.S. Version Anytime Soon.
Back in November, Square told us that 20,000 merchants had signed up for Card Case, and four months later that number has more than doubled to over 40,000 businesses using the loyalty and mobile wallet platform.
According to a survey by Symantec, enterprises officially understand that “application culture” isn’t going away, and in order to succeed they need to be competitive both online and in the App Store. Both the iPhone and Android have significantly altered a phone’s function, making it a productivity tool, as opposed to a simple mode of communication. Currently, 71 percent of enterprises are either looking to, or are actively deploying their own mobile applications.
NBC Universal's broadcasts of the Olympics from London this summer will be filled with the usual athletic contests: synchronized swimming, basketball and canoe sprinting, among others. Behind the scenes, however, NBC will engage in a different sort of game: tablet counting. Mindful that audiences are no longer relying solely on TV to get all their video content, NBC Universal will use the Olympics to set up a system that purports to count viewers across all the different ways they now watch their shows.
Remember all that talk before the holidays about the blissful union between brick-and-mortar retailers and mobile users? Retailers seemed to have accepted that many of their customers shop with smartphones in hand — and retailers even appeared to be embracing it. A Deloitte consultant who follows these things, Kasey Lobaugh, told Internet Retailer that retailers: "... need to invest in providing customer connectivity in the store, including in-store Wi-Fi, ... building functionality that best serves the customer at the 'point of need' and thinking about the capabilities that align with the customer's location and context, as the customer may be in the store with a smartphone in hand or in a variety of other locations and scenarios." Indeed, Macy's, Sears, and Nordstrom boasted about their in-store free Wi-Fi. Personally, I realized this meant I no longer had to chase after the Home Depot staff whose "Ask Me" shirts always seem to be disappearing just around the far end of the aisle. I could now ask my iPhone.
Establishing consumer relationships through mobile marketing, as with any successful, productive relationship, inherently requires a mutual exchange of value. Whether consumers are opting-in for brand communications via SMS or engaging with the brand in a single instance through scanning a QR code, the onus is on the brand to deliver value in return for customers’ valuable time and information. Without the perception that value has been exchanged for value, the relationship becomes essentially one-sided and unrequited attempts at interaction on the part of the consumer will spell the end of the relationship – perhaps permanently.
The differences between social media influencers and the online strategies of other groups are so marked that it is worth asking the question what do social media influencers do that the rest of us don’t? What can we learn from these differences?
Everyone wants their own mobile application. In the last year, I have heard this consistently. In fact, mobile analytics firm Distimo claims 91 of the top 100 brands have their own mobile app (up from 51 just 18 months ago). On the surface this sounds great, right? I can use my big brand name to get people to install my application, and then I can market to them via the palm of their hand whenever I want. If you're a big brand, I have no doubt you will get a ton of downloads. But downloads are a vanity metric; they don't measure success.
How many will we carry? What will they look like? What will they do?
Google is working with five brands—Disney, Buick, Diageo, T-Mobile and Delta Airlines—to extend some of their offline marketing to the mobile Web via its image recognition application.
Mobile ad spending is ramping faster than predicted, growing more than six-fold from 2009 to nearly $2.55 billion in 2014. But the changing dynamics driving it will have a more profound impact on marketing and media business models.
Headaches for brands—and the people who manage them—are increasingly common when it comes to search results. More are on the way thanks to social media and the proliferation of smart phones. You should be aware of the impact on your brand because both social media and the use of smart phones to express opinions are growing quickly.
How a tiny piece of software created by a few Google engineers is ushering in the mobile revolution and reshaping the fortunes of the world's biggest tech companies.
Look inside the 2011 Ford Fiesta and you will see dashboard controls that have been modeled after the keypad of a cellphone. In some ways, that makes perfect sense: Ford’s market research suggested that young buyers were more attached to their mobile phones than to their means of mobility. But by the time the new Fiesta arrived in American showrooms this summer, the phone that Ford had chosen as its model looked old-fashioned alongside the latest Apple iPhones and Motorola Droids — and so did the dashboard controls.
The only brands that stay relevant in our change world will be ones savvy about mobile technology.
At TEDxBerlin, Fabian Hemmert demos one future of the mobile phone -- a shape-shifting and weight-shifting handset that "displays" information nonvisually, offering a delightfully intuitive way to communicate.
Forrester Research’s largest annual survey of Americans’ technology adoption finds that 73 percent of the 37,000 respondents claim the mobile phone is the electronic device they use the most.
Could Web 2.0 be grounded in nature? Our new research shows that Web users are increasingly conceptualizing the online world and new technology — social networks, mobile phones, and even whole businesses — as ecosystems.
If the Web is dead, nobody told Twitter. Just last month, Wired magazine controversially claimed that the Web is going the way of the dodo -- users are increasingly abandoning the Web browser and instead accessing their favorite Web services via applications on smartphones, the logic goes. One of the companies shaping this trend was Twitter, the information network that became accessible through countless third-party applications on mobile devices and the desktop. This week, however, Twitter announced a major redesign of its website. The intent: To make Twitter.com a compelling Web destination. Whatever happened to the death of the Web at the hands of mobile applications?
Samuel J. Palmisano, I.B.M.’s chief executive, doesn’t jet around the world to make an appearance every time the technology giant wins a services contract. But the announcement Friday morning in Nairobi is different, says I.B.M. I.B.M. will supply the computing technology and services for an upgraded cellphone network across 16 nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Its customer is India’s largest cellphone operator, Bharti Airtel, which paid $9 billion a few months ago for most of the African assets of Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company, or Zain.
In a recent post on his site, business guru Seth Godin talked about the opportunities to provide goods and services to the world’s poor. He says that just because it is going to take longer than it should doesn’t mean we should walk away, but we should remember that most of the tools of the Western mass market are useless when engaging emerging markets. At one point he looks at how the cell-phone has “revolutionized” the lives of many.
In May, google finally got the FTC's blessing for its $750 million acquisition of the mobile ad network AdMob, its most ambitious foray into mobile short of, say, its Android mobile-operating system. Together, Google and AdMob hold 21% mobile ad market share, more than any other player, according to research firm IDC. Since the official go-ahead, AdMob has moved to Google headquarters in Mountain View, and the two have spent the last few months figuring out how they can live together and use the search giant's existing infrastructure and ad world clout to help the fledgling mobile ad industry scale. Ad Age checked in with former AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui, now Google VP-product management, to see how the integration is going, where he thinks the industry is headed, and what the impact is of new classes of devices such as the iPad and location-based apps.
Today, companies are increasingly turning to SMS or text messaging campaigns to improve the efficiency of their marketing and CRM communications, but when considering SMS, it is important to understand how to leverage it properly in enterprise environments so that common missteps can be avoided. Below I have outlined six of the most common questions companies have when considering SMS, and the simple answers to help overcome these hurdles.
Imagine walking into your favorite cafe and instead of waiting in line to place your order for a large iced nonfat latte and handing over your debit card, you submitted your order and authorized payment from your bank account via an application on your phone. You can't do that now. But it's very possible that some day you will. It will be a big leap forward getting banks, credit card companies, retailers, and cell phone makers--not to mention consumers--on board with this idea. But a few companies are beginning to provide digital stepping stones to what someday could be a wallet-less future.
Today Qualcomm is formally announcing the launch of Qualcomm Services Labs (QSL), an incubation program that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm. QSL is meant to serve as a platform to fund, commercialize and launch innovative consumer-focused mobile services such as Neer, an application that cleverly interprets location-sharing for the more private types among us. Qilroy, Tapioca and Vive are three of the other mobile services and apps participating in the incubator program. Each has been selected for its potential to make an immediate impact on the market. As QSL services, each will also eventually become its own business entity or be integrated into an existing Qualcomm division.
What’s the first thing young women do when they wake up? Check Facebook. How do enterprise employees pass the time at work? With social media. With so many studies highlighting ever-accelerating social media usage rates, the conclusion is obvious — social media is everywhere. What follows are five of the hottest social media trends right now. Each are influencing our social, online and mobile behaviors in significant ways.
Mobile advertising is increasingly important, as cell phone adoption rates, especially smartphone adoption rates, soar. With a range of mobile advertising options, including SMS, WAP, mobile app display ads, search ads, rich media, video and push notifications, the landscape can be a bit complicated. After a tough 2009, advertisers are expected to increase mobile and digital marketing budgets over the next year. With this in mind, it’s essential that advertisers keep up-to-date on their options in the mobile space. Here, we’ve laid out five mobile advertising trends to watch over the coming year.
Research2guidance, a Berlin-based research organization specialized in all things mobile, recently forecasted the worldwide smartphone application market to reach $15 billion by 2013. In an update, the firm says the global smartphone app market has in fact already reached $2.2 billion in the first six months of this year.
According to Deloitte's 2010 Back-to-School Survey, three out of 10 consumers plan to use their mobile phones to assist in their back-to-school shopping. No doubt, as shoppers look to social media for product information, reviews and sales, the ecology of shopping is changing rapidly. As it does, marketers are trying to address two challenges. The first is how to strike the right balance between verified traditional methods and the pursuit of new ways of communicating with shoppers. The second challenge for marketers is to garner shopper attention, then earn and cultivate a relationship with the shopper.
Advancing technologies and their swift adoption are upending traditional business models. Senior executives need to think strategically about how to prepare their organizations for the challenging new environment.
Last October, media marketing firm Greystripe released a study of working moms who use their iPhones for everything from banking to social networking to making purchases. Dubbed the "iPhone Mom," this audience segment depends on the iPhone for managing their lives to entertaining their children. Just over half use their iPhones at the supermarket, according to the study.
The media is something that for most, if not all, of our adult lives, we have taken for granted. Media giants form the terra firma of the marketing industry, both its paid and earned disciplines. They provide the lifeblood of services and bring us the audiences we need to do our jobs. However, underneath it all, the harsh reality is that there's a new digital dynamic present today. This will mean that many media companies divide themselves into dozens of smaller independent operating companies if they wish to survive. Many won't.
Google’s recent announcement that search spend growth rates are slowing represents that search marketing as we all know (and love) it is changing. Advertisers still use search engines to market much the same way they did five years ago. But as consumer behavior expands to include searching through apps or communities or via non-PC devices, marketers will need to think about search marketing as more than just SEM and SEO. At Forrester, we expect search marketing to evolve into an umbrella term which means using any targeted media to help an advertiser get found. What changes are afoot to provoke such a redefinition of search marketing?
A recent post by Gareth Kay (of Goodby’s Brand Strategy discipline) turned our attention to a presentation he made at Boulder Digital Works on crafting a creative brief for the post-digital age. Kay begins by taking a (somehow comical) look at creative brief templates of yore (1992), which mostly all addressed a very common set of elements: a problem to be solved by advertising, consumers to ‘target’, a message to tell them, reasons to believe, and tone of voice. Needless to say that there is a continually expanding set of technology devices and platforms – and respective user interfaces – available in our current culture: from mobile to social media, to desktop and mobile video and others. Their impact includes facilitating a more participatory culture, making us more social, contributing to a more fragmented media landscape and leaving us ‘always on’ and conscious/communicative of our location; these factors need to be considered within an informed creative brief.
I love baseball and will always await the first day of spring training with the ardor of a lover coming home after an exile. But I will never be a baseball player. It’s just not in my make-up. My misery over my failed baseball career is no different than Google’s. The world’s largest search engine covets a key to the magical kingdom called the social web. It would do anything to become part of that exclusive club that, for now, is the domain of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and to some extent, Twitter. Google will do just about anything to get social, like spend a rumored $182 million on San Francisco-based Slide, a head-scratcher of a deal.
Not only will consumers finally be spending more on back-to-school shopping this year, they'll be doing it in decidedly different ways. A new back-to-school survey from Deloitte reports that 28% of consumers plan to spend more this year than they did last year, and only 17% plan to spend less.
Considering that most people would rather lose their wallet than misplace their cell phone, it’s fitting that the mobile world is quickly becoming a new hub for business. For many of us, our cell phone never leaves our side. It holds a place at the dinner table, is easily accessible in your bag’s front pocket, and often, somehow it even manages to end up sharing your pillow at night. Busy schedules mean people are often on the move and when marketers and companies can’t reach consumers at their computers, on TV, before the previews at the movies, with billboards, or magazine and newspaper ads, they must feel assured that they can still reach them on their cell phones.
When we first reviewed Siri last February, we called it "one of the most ambitious mobile services we have seen in the last few years." At the time, we acknowledged that, while Siri - which was recently acquired by Apple - has answers for a plethora of questions, it wouldn't be able to handle them all. We lamented that "sadly the app doesn't use Wolfram Alpha to give you answers to factual questions (yet)." Today, we lament no longer, as the latest update to the virtual personal assistant notes that it can now provide you with "more knowledge and computation results" using "computational knowledge engine" Wolfram Alpha.
eBay has made it fairly clear that mobile is the future for e-commerce. And the numbers only reinforce this strategy- mobile payments are poised to reach $200 billion by 2012, according to Juniper Research. So, of course, eBay is wants to make its crown jewel, PayPal, the leader in the mobile payments space. In fact, PayPal’s mobile transactions have grown as smartphone usage has increased, from $25 million in 2008 to $141 million in 2009. In 2010, PayPal expects more than half a billion dollars in mobile payment volume with more than 5 million members regularly using PayPal from their mobile devices. Today, PayPal is making it easier for merchants and consumers to pay for goods on their smartphones with the launch of Mobile Express Checkout.
The $20 million of second-round financing secured by the mobile networking service Foursquare will go toward staffing up on engineers, getting offices that can accommodate expanding staff and supporting its rapidly expanding audience of users. Oh yeah, and it's got a revenue model to work out too.
Social data is overwhelming. More customers, buyers, and consumers are creating content everywhere they go. Companies cannot scale to match this in a 1:1 basis, and most companies are in early phases of the 8 Stages of Listening. Earlier this year, I made clear investments in researching the Social CRM space and Mobile+Social space, it’s clear that Social CRM is starting to get wind under it’s wings, and mobile/social is certainly happening at consumer level. So what do I see happening next?
When it comes to mobile, the ad industry has seemed stuck in its own version of Waiting for Godot. Each year for the past decade, the industry has hyped mobile’s great potential, only to face myriad technical and business obstacles. Now, thanks to advancements by Apple and innovations by Google, mobile has arrived as a truly effective platform for brands.
Neiman Marcus will be completely mobile by fall as part of its multichannel contact strategy to drive long-term growth, according to the company’s top executive who keynoted the Luxury Interactive 2010 Conference. During a keynote at the Luxury Branding Conference, the company addressed three key parts of its multichannel integration. The mobile site will let consumers by designer products via their handsets.
A new report by Method – “Place, Space and the Mobile Interface” – surmises some key behavioral and attitudinal shifts that mobile has facilitated, and which brands seeking to engage with – and provide a solution for – consumers should be tracking to. An increasingly hyper-connected world dependent upon our (smart)phones to organize our lives and finances, plan our schedules, connect to others (both digitally and physically) and suggest to us where to go has opened up multiple opportunities for brands, designers and developers.
Invented over a century ago as anonymous pieces of paper that could be traded for discounts, coupons have evolved into tracking devices for companies that want to learn more about the habits of their customers. Although they might look similar to the ones in Sunday newspaper circulars, many of today's digital versions use special bar codes that are packed with information about the life of the coupon: the dates and times it was obtained, viewed and, ultimately, redeemed; the store where it was used; perhaps even the search terms typed to find it.
On Wednesday, May 26, 2010, just after 2:30 p.m., the unthinkable happened: Apple became the largest company in the tech universe, and, after ExxonMobil, the second largest in the nation. For months, its market capitalization had hovered just under that of Microsoft -- the giant that buried Apple and then saved it from almost certain demise with a $150 million investment in 1997. Now Microsoft gets in line with Google, Amazon, HTC, Nokia, and HP as companies that Apple seems bent on sidelining. The one-time underdog from Cupertino is the biggest music company in the world and soon may rule the market for e-books as well. What's next? Farming? Toothbrushes? Fixing the airline industry? Right now, it seems as if Apple could do all that and more. The company's surge over the past few years has resembled a space-shuttle launch -- a series of rapid, tightly choreographed explosions that leave everyone dumbfounded and smiling. The whole thing has happened so quickly, and seemed so natural, that there has been little opportunity to understand what we have been witnessing.
Steve Jobs denied that Apple is developing a search engine when he was asked on stage at the D8 conference recently - not that that tells us anything about what's really going on in Cupertino's labs. But the speculation persists not about if Apple will move into search, but when, how and why.
John Ross, president of the research and development arm of Interpublic Group's Mediabrands, thinks retailers have a big problem. Their circulars, which worked in the offline world for decades, haven't caught up with consumer habits online.
The Google vs. Apple battle for mobile dominance is being waged on many fronts, with each providing ways for developers to monetize their applications. Now, Google is adding a new option for developers: click-to-call ads that appear within apps running on smartphones. Google said the placements would run on both Android-powered handsets and iPhones -- if Apple doesn't block them, as it recently hinted in a terms-of-services change. Google and Apple are vying for the attention of developers by offering not only platforms for reaching large numbers of mobile phone users, but also options for making money -- including through advertising.
Rob Tannen is an expert in designing products, interfaces and systems that accommodate the complexities of human behavior and capabilities. He has researched cockpit interfaces for the U.S. Air Force, designed trading floor order systems for the New York Stock Exchange, and created touch screen applications for consumer appliances. Rob is Director of Research and Interaction Design at the product development firm Bresslergroup. He has a PhD in Human Factors and is a Certified Professional Ergonomist.
In the third millennium it’s getting harder than ever to stay in place. Who hasn’t seen a driver almost crash while talking on a cell phone? Who hasn’t noticed children in a park staring down at a game-boy instead of romping about? Who hasn’t been to a dinner party and caught someone sneaking a glance at his handheld under the table and sending a tweet about the first course before even finishing it? Each week, it seems, industry comes up with new gadgets that help us to jump out of our bodies and flash out there to everything under the sun that can be encoded by electrical signals, pulses of light and binary values. Few of these digital experiences would have registered before the 21st century and some have become widespread only in the past few years. We’re in the first stage of a transformation of our sense of place as momentous as that which occurred a couple of centuries ago, when products from smoke-stacked factories forged modern society.
Long gone are the days when 'online' was synonymous with social isolation and loneliness. In fact, we're now witnessing the exact opposite: technology is driving people to connect and meet up en masse with others, in the 'real world'. It makes for an interesting, easily-digested trend, begging to be turned into new services for your customers.
Motorola has gone into high gear for National Safe Driving Month, and if you live in one of four U.S. cities you might even be seeing them on the roads. Earlier this week, Motorola launched a free mobile app to decipher the country's various laws about cell phone calling and texting while behind the wheel. This weekend it's kicking off its "Get Smarter" campaign on the streets in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco where locals will be offered lifts in super-compact Smart ForTwo cars where they can get a product demo of Motorola hands-free gadgets like the H17txt, a headset that reads your text messages out to you in real time and lets you set an auto-response to let your contacts know that you're driving.
Loyalty cards — those little paper cards that promise a free sandwich or coffee after 10 purchases, but instead get lost or forgotten — are going mobile. And merchants are looking for ways to marry the concept to games that customers can play to earn more free items and, it is hoped, spend more money. Instead of collecting paper cards and fumbling through wallets at the cash register, customers are increasingly using their cellphones to track their visits and purchases, and receive rewards.
US retailers have become engaged in a battle for hearts and mobiles. As leading retailers, including Walmart and JC Penney, continue to grapple with the potential of the internet, the proliferation of smartphones has inevitably caught their attention. Three years after Apple launched its first iPhone, mobile connectivity is shaking up the way retailers do business, not only online but in their stores.
Listen up, journalists — your cellphone is more than just a channel by which to reach sources, your editor and sustenance (you have the local Thai joint on speed dial, don’t front): It’s an essential tool for both local news-gathering and dissemination.
There are some practical concerns in the battle between Sprint and Verizon--phone selection, for example, makes a big difference. But there are also a number of sustainability concerns to take into account, as explained in The HIP Investor, by R. Paul Herman. Sprint has received significantly more attention for its sustainability initiatives, mostly because they have been flashier. The Samsung Reclaim, for example, was Sprint's first "green" phone, featuring recycled plastic, soy-based ink in its user manual, and a box made out of recycled paper. A successor to the Reclaim, dubbed the Restore, will be released this summer. But green phones like the Reclaim and the Restore are little more than gimmicks until they become more desirable than heavy hitters like the Droid and iPhone.
The past two months have been tumultuous for social network platform Ning. In March, longtime CEO Gina Bianchini was replaced by COO Jason Rosenthal. And less than three weeks ago, Ning’s bubble burst — the company laid off 40% of its staff and killed off its free service. Today the company, which ended its free service a few weeks ago, is rolling out the different paid models for its platform, Ning Pro, Ning Plus and Ning Mini.
A review by the team at PSFK shows that most luxury brands are unprepared to leverage the changes in web use that products like Apple’s iPad and iPhone are driving. Out of the top 10 luxury brands ranked by Forbes in 2009, none of their websites worked sufficiently to match their desktop-web-experience. Only Gucci seems to have created a site that can handle the technology requirements that Apple has placed on its mobile devices.
PepsiCo is looking to match consumers with its foodservice partners (i.e., companies and restaurants that serve Pepsi products in their establishments) with a marketing program that combines a mobile application and a loyalty program.
Based on data collected and analyzed using Google Ad Planner, I recently discovered that in Social Media, women rule. Across almost every major social network, the balance was revealing and in some cases, profound.
The success of Apple’s mobile devices gives the firm an opportunity to capture a goodly chunk of the emerging mobile-advertising market. Indeed, that is the reason why Apple recently acquired Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising agency. Becoming an advertising powerhouse is certainly attractive. But Mr Jobs has far bigger fish to fry. The biggest of them all is turning Apple into the Microsoft of mobility. But first there is a little matter of locking as many software developers as possible into the Apple ecosystem. If the applications are there, so the argument goes, users will follow in droves.
Away-from-home TV networks at retail, restaurant and transit locations got a boost this week when Nielsen released its first quarterly audience report on the medium. The report detailed the size and demographics of people who saw ads on the "fourth screen" -- fourth following TV, computer and mobile screens -- using standardized Nielsen methodology for the first time.
A dozen broadcasters have joined forces to create a new service for delivering mobile TV. With more and more people watching video on smartphones and other portable gadgets, the newly created venture will let member companies cook up digital TV content including live and on-demand video, news from both print and electronic outlets, and an array of sports and entertainment shows. Potentially, it could also provide U.S. mobile users with information on emergencies and natural disasters.
In a dense, 87-page report, Morgan Stanley analysts have charted the most important online trends and predicted the future of the Internet. In addition to forecasting more online shopping and showing the geographical distribution of Internet users, the study also shows a dramatic shift toward mobile web use. Including devices such as the Kindle, the iPhone and other smartphones, web-enabled tablets, GPS systems, video games and wireless home appliances, the growth of the mobile web has been exponential — and we’re still just at the beginning of this cycle. Morgan Stanley’s analysts believe that, based on the current rate of change and adoption, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015.
Is "checking in" the next tweeting? So say the tech cognoscenti, adherents of a new breed of online social service called "geolocation." When members visit their favorite restaurant, bar, or laundromat, they use their smartphone (in most instances) and a site such as Foursquare or Gowalla to tell their friends where they are. Foursquare, which is racking up at least a million check-ins a week, prods its users to keep coming back by turning ordinary life into a kind of game. Users earn points each time they use the service; the most ardent fans keep checking in at the same locations over and over, eventually winning the prestigious title of "mayor" of, say, Happy Hamburger. What's the point of telling everyone you're at the dentist?
In just three weeks, the new PayPal Mobile iPhone app has been downloaded more than one million times. PayPal Mobile 2.0 appeared in the App Store on March 15 with an array of new features, including the ability to “bump” money to friends. PayPal worked with the developers from Bump Technologies, the company that makes the Bump iPhone app, to make the process of sending money faster and more fun.
MillerCoors' new "craft" beer is so small that it can talk to its drinkers individually. Colorado Native Lager, which launches this week, comes from the No. 2 U.S. brewer's A.C. Golden Brewing Co. unit, which brews craft-style beers in small quantities and markets them exclusively through digital and word-of-mouth channels. The marketer says the brand is brewed from "99.9%" Colorado-grown ingredients, a percentage that includes the locally made glass bottles. It will be sold only in Colorado, at least at first. With Colorado Native Lager, A.C. Golden is using the model that worked for MillerCoors' Blue Moon: seeding the brand through word-of-mouth and letting consumers feel as if they "discovered" the beer for themselves, which encourages them to introduce friends to it. To do so, it's putting the entirety of its tiny Colorado Native budget into mobile and social-media channels.
The premise of this essay is that the explosive growth of mobile communications can be a powerful tool for addressing some of the most critical challenges of the 21st century, such as promoting vibrant democracies, fostering inclusive economic growth, and reducing the huge inequities in life expectancy between rich and poor nations. The benefits of mobile communications are particularly profound for developing countries, many of which are “leapfrogging” the traditional fixed telecommunications infrastructure. As a result, billions of people in developing countries are gaining access to modern communications of any sort for the first time.
Wolfram Alpha may not call itself a search engine — rather, a “knowledge engine” to process questions that can be answered with objective data and computation — but it faces a similar challenge to wannabe-Googles that want searchers to come to their destinations. Simply put, Wolfram Alpha needs users. And so the wonky company, under the leadership of new managing director Barak Berkowitz, is now moving from polishing its product to getting people to actually use it by changing up its distribution strategy.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that everyone is buzzing, blogging, tweeting, and talking about geolocation. Research firm Borrel forecasts that location-based mobile spending will hit $4 billion in 2015, an increase of nearly 12,000% from the $34 million spent in 2009. With highly anticipated location-centric announcements looming from both Facebook and Apple, the buzz over geolocation is not expected to diminish any time soon.
It has never been more important to turn your brand into a service. Jaded, time-poor, pragmatic consumers yearn for service and care, while the mobile online revolution (it's finally, truly here!) makes it possible to offer uber-relevant services to consumers anywhere, anytime. Basically, if you're going to embrace one big consumer trend this year, please let it be BRAND BUTLERS!
Mark Rolston is Chief Creative Officer of Frog Design, creating Frog’s digital media group back in 1996. He’s fascinated by the intersection of technology with our perceived reality, and draws on examples from our own lives to illustrate how close we are to fully integrating the two. Big “whoa” factor.
As smartphones and handheld computers move into classrooms worldwide, we may be witnessing the start of an educational revolution. How technology could unleash childhood creativity -- and transform the role of the teacher.
With location-based services as the latest fascination, and iPad orders increasing daily, many brands are tackling the question of whether launching a mobile app makes sense for their business and customer base. We looked to a couple of thought leaders in the digital and mobile marketing landscape to help provide some perspective and thought starters for what brands should consider while evaluating this opportunity.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future of search. What will it look like? What will the changes ahead mean to me as an inhouse search marketer? Will my work be different? Will I need new skills? It’s almost a dead certain reality that any inhouse search marketer today will need to develop new skills, if they don’t already possess them. For years, many in the industry have advocated the need to know more than SEO to be successful in SEO. In the near future that will be proven out, and skills beyond SEO will be demanded from anyone trying to make a career as an SEO. Just knowing the basics of SEO is often enough to get you started, and that will remain true – as a statement. The basics themselves will continue to expand, so this becomes a moving target. Let’s just say you cannot be too aware of emerging trends and how they impact your world.
I’ve been trying to organize my thoughts about the iPad and the direction that Apple is taking computing along with it. It’s really an extension of the way they look at the iPhone, which I found unsettling at the time but with the iPad, we’re all finally coming around to the idea that they really, really mean it.
Although BlackBerry is the most widely used smartphone system in the United States, with 43 percent of the market, its application strategy seems to have failed. Research in Motion's BlackBerry App World is significantly less crowded than Apple’s App Store. As of the beginning of this year, there were around 150,000 applications in iTunes, whereas BlackBerry App World had between 10,000 and 15,000 applications and Android was slightly higher, but in the same ballpark. There is not too much going on in terms of branded BlackBerry applications and it is rather ironic considering its marketshare.
Threatened by Apple Inc.'s growing stable of portable devices, Sony Corp. is developing a new lineup of handheld products, including a smart phone capable of downloading and playing videogames, according to people familiar with the matter. The Japanese electronics giant also is developing a portable device that shares characteristics of netbooks, electronic-book readers and handheld-game machines. The device is designed to compete against multifunction products such as Apple's coming iPad tablet, these people said.
Executives at ICOM, a global network of independent ad agencies, were surveyed by Ad Age about the top digital trends and issues facing their markets in 2010. Among the findings: Facebook and Twitter rule the world (except in China and Spain), but digital budgets are still small and, in some countries, mostly reserved for the bravest of marketers. Oh, and don't insult the monarch in Malaysia.
Everybody knows digital media's arrival hasn't exactly been easy on magazines. Ad rates on the web couldn't match their levels in print, many magazines struggled to build compelling websites, new competition strove to steal readers' attention, and the web itself engendered an attention-atrophied reading style that undermined readers' very ability to settle down with a good, fat print issue.
Who has time to sit on the couch and watch TV anymore? In the last 10 years, broadcasters have lost 25 percent of their audience. So to win back some viewers, the industry has a plan to grab their attention while they are on the move. Beginning in April, eight television stations in Washington, D.C., will broadcast a signal for a new class of devices that can show programming, even in a car at high speed. In all, 30 stations in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington have installed the necessary equipment, at a cost of $75,000 to $150,000.
Google has a problem. Despite having their hands in just about everything online, they’ve never been able to tackle what is a key part of the fabric of the web: social. Yes, they have Orkut and OpenSocial, but no one actually uses them. Okay, some people use them, but not in the meaningful social ways that people use Facebook or even Twitter. Today, Google may have just solved their social problem. Google Buzz is easily the company’s boldest attempt yet to build a social network. Imagine taking elements of Twitter, Yammer, Foursquare, Yelp, and other social services, and shoving them together into one package. Now imagine covering that package in a layer that looks a lot like FriendFeed. Now imagine shoving that package inside of Gmail. That’s Buzz. If Google Wave is the future, Google Buzz is the present.
What will the future of social networking look like? Imagine this: your digital video recorder automatically copies a television show that several of your friends were talking about on a social network before the show went on air. Or this: you get into your car, switch on its navigation system and ask it to guide you to a friend’s house. As you pull out of the driveway, the network to which you both belong automatically alerts her that you are on your way. And this: as you are buying a pair of running shoes that you think one of your friends might be interested in, you can send a picture to their network page with a couple of clicks on a keypad next to the checkout counter.
There is no doubt that 2009 was a fierce battleground for online marketers to reach the hearts and minds of Generation Y. Between the economic downturn, the proliferation of new media and blogs and the explosive growth of social networking sites, advertisers were challenged like never before to reach millennials and do it with the tightest marketing budgets seen in years. Many marketers, such as Vitaminwater, launched great campaigns and won, while others barely made it off the battlefield.
We have seen several epic marketing wars: The Cola War of Coke vs. Pepsi, The Beer War of Budweiser vs. Miller, The Mouthwash War of Listerine vs. Scope and The Battery War of Duracell vs. Energizer. But they all fail in comparison to the money and firepower currently being expended in the Cellphone War between AT&T and arch-rival Verizon Wireless. Last year AT&T and Verizon Wireless spent a combined $4 billion in advertising to blast consumers with 615,000 television commercials. Yet, despite the incredible sums spent and the enormous volume flooding the airways, most consumers are still confused.
For nonprofits, fundraising -- on any scale -- is an operational imperative. Without supporting funds, there is no organization, period. And while mobile giving is being crowned as a charity's newest savior, it's a rather useless one if the organization doesn't have a proper structure. And by proper structure, I mean a having robust and sensible PR and marketing strategy -- of which mobile is a part. Simply having a mission and a vision to "do good" is all well and good, but it falls flat when no one knows about a nonprofit's work. In today's climate, a nonprofit has to market itself like a business, yet most don't.
After throwing off the mediocre display of 3-D technologies and e-books at CES, the industry is eagerly awaiting the main event on Wednesday. There truly is no spectacle that compares to the launch of a new Apple product. The formula is well-established. Everyone is hungry for the next iPhone moment and Apple's bid to squash the Kindle and reinvent the publishing business with the iPad or the iSlate tablet computer. But that is a mere sideshow. The real road kill this time will not be the Kindle. It will be handheld video gaming devices like Sony's PSP and the Nintendo DS, as Apple establishes a lock on the economics of casual gaming with its newest device.
"Eighty percent of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of their customers agree." [Bain & Company, Harvard Management Update] I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, of course. However, there might be a few areas of improvement that have not have crossed your mind yet. First off, let's define what we mean by "customer experience". From Wikipedia: Customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier.
Hewlett-Packard Co. launched Monday a subscription music service across 10 countries in Europe with U.K. mobile music start-up Omnifone Ltd., moving into a market dominated by Apple Inc.'s iTunes.
As savvy marketers look to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile and social customer, the marketers that will be successful are those that adapt their strategies to align with shifting online trends. The adoption of new online marketing techniques will also be paramount to keeping a competitive edge and ensuring ROI. At Lyris, we have identified five trends likely to impact online marketing ROI in 2010.
Mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access devices worldwide by 2013, according to a new forecast by research firm Gartner. That's an even more aggressive outlook than Morgan Stanley's projection that the mobile Web will outstrip the desktop Web in five years. Gartner estimates the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will surpass 1.82 billion units by 2013, eclipsing the total of 1.78 billion PCs by then. But the firm warns that many sites still are not optimized for the mobile Web, even though cell users expect to make fewer clicks on their phones than on a PC. To successfully expand into mobile, publishers will have to reformat sites from the small form-factor of handheld devices.
My, how the digital times are a-changin'. We're downsizing to small screens, friending the world, thinking in 140 characters and downloading -- dare I say -- "billions and billions" of apps designed to make everything we do simpler, faster and more convenient (well, we think). And so, only days into 2010, it seems fitting to take a big look over my shoulder (and even into the mirror) and affix labels and buzzwords to our curious stampede to the social media and mobile future. Here's my top 20.
We stopped by the LG Electronics booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to talk to Josh Lovison, practice lead for gaming and mobile at IPG's Emerging Media Lab. For all the talk about 3-D TVs, widgets, e-readers and tablets, Mr. Lovison thinks the most disruptive technology on display at CES is one that has been talked about a long time, but is quickly coming to fruition: 4G mobile networks.
In 2009, digital marketing experienced major shifts in opportunities, budgets and attitude. Twenty ten will see the hype calming around Facebook apps, Twitter campaigns and ROI models for social media. The following five trends point up what marketers can expect as the new decade opens.
How you use your mobile phone has long reflected where you live. But the spirit of the machines may be wiping away cultural differences.
We've become a nation of early adopters -- now can the consumer electronics industry lead the U.S. recovery? That's what CE manufacturers (who happen to include a few of the world's biggest consumer marketers) hope for as they gather in Las Vegas this week for the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of the last decade, there was no Facebook, iPhone, Wikipedia, or YouTube. Almost shocking, considering how those entities have shaped a culture around the Internet, disrupted business models and impacted how and what information was shared through the Web. So what big Web themes might we see emerging into the next few years? Based on reporting and informal chats with venture capitalists, here’s a quick guess at what might be big in 2010.
In our discussions about what will happen in the digital marketing industry during the next 12 months, one overarching trend emerged: The basic rules of brand building are just as important for innovations in the digital space as they are for traditional forms of communication. Using new technology won't in itself bring success; your digital communications still need to be creative, engaging and relevant if they are to cut it during the second decade of this century. Here are the first five of our top 10 trends for 2010.
The mobile phone is quickly becoming Santa’s biggest helper. Powerful software applications for devices like the Apple iPhone are making it easy for bargain-hunting consumers to see if another retailer is offering a better deal on a big-screen HDTV or pair of shoes and to use it to haggle at the cash register. Online retailers are revamping the mobile versions of their sites so consumers can make purchases without tedious typing. And offline retailers, battling for every last dollar, are sending cellphone users electronic coupons to lure them away from competitors.
Mobile ad network Greystripe recently partnered with ad placement service Tribal Fusion to allow online ads to run on iPhones, diminishing the need for mobile specific ad formats. The partnership allows online ads to run on iPhones, eliminating additional mobile campaign creative production and dealing with an additional mobile advertising vendor. And of course, online ad budgets tend to be higher than mobile ad budgets, so Greystripe says this saves companies money.
Back in the good old days, Microsoft did desktops, Google stuck to search and Apple made toys for people in polo necks. No more. The superpowers of the technology world are at war, and like real wars, the battle is happening on several fronts. They're fighting on the desktop, they're fighting on mobile phones, they're fighting in the browser and they're fighting in your front room. Who will prevail, and who will end up in a bunker?
Some things amaze me, like this year's social media and content marketing predictions list. What does one sent email and two tweets equal? Over 100 predictions from 60+ of the best and the brightest in marketing, content marketing, custom publishing and social media. No kidding! Just check out this list below.
This time last year, I wrote about the 10 ways social media will change 2009, and while all predictions have materialized or are on their way, it has only become clear in recent months how significant of a change we've seen this year. 2009 will go down as the year in which the shroud of uncertainty was lifted off of social media and mainstream adoption began at the speed of light. Barack Obama's campaign proved that social media can mobilize millions into action, and Iran's election protests demonstrated its importance to the freedom of speech.
We are witnessing a profound change in the media and advertising industries due to the emergence of social media. Companies that did not exist ten years ago, like Facebook and Twitter, have captured significant share of the attention economy from traditional publishers. Underscoring this trend is the fact that at the same time that Businessweek was selling for less than $5 million (plus assumption of debts) to Bloomberg, Foursquare’s pretty cousin Gowalla drove up Sand Hill road and collected $8.4 million for a minority stake. Amidst this disruption, media companies are chasing after “their” audience in order to continue to broker the attention of that audience to marketers. But just at the moment that media has mastered the art of blogging, search engine optimization and CPM yield management, they are now faced with a new set of consumer behaviors that elude their programming faculties: mobile devices, location-based services and the social graph.
Mobile marketing has been an interesting space ever since my time working at Bell Labs in the days of the 802.11A platform. Its promise was glittery then and now it's taken on a new level of interest, as measured by the near frantic rate of acquisitions and VC investments in this space. All this new energy can't be explained by the technology alone; the notion of proximity marketing has been kicking around for four years or more. What's different this time around is that mobile marketing breaks previous marketing models because the message is inextricably linked to the device it's delivered on. That's new. In the past, the device via which the marketing message was delivered, a TV for example, was irrelevant to the message itself. Welcome to Mobile Marketing 3.0. In the mobile marketing 3.0 world, hardware, technology, real-time interaction, community are all mashed up to deliver a marketing experience I'll call Extreme Marketing UX. The device is not irrelevant here but is what helps propel the action since the phone is part of the experience itself.
Ford Motor Co. is expanding its partnership with Best Buy after a pilot program in Dallas resulted in increasing consideration among participants for all Ford brands. Ford dealerships will now work with local Best Buy stores in Pennsylvania and California to kick off independent customer clinics. About 70% of those who participated in the demos over the past 30 days say they are now more likely to consider buying a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury product. About 80% said that understanding how to use the hands-free Ford Sync system improved their overall opinion of Ford.
Prior to keynoting the PACA conference in Miami, Maria Kessler, president of the PACA Association, asked me if I had read a recent post by Fred Wilson entitled “The Golden Triangle.” We were deep in conversation as I was seeking an alternate title for my next book that identifies the divide between brands, information, and consumers and how we can, as social architects and engineers, build the bridges between people, contextual relationships, and technology. While “The Golden Triangle” isn’t a contender for the name of the next book, it did get me thinking. In his brief, but thought-provoking article, Wilson identified the state of engagement, connectivity and interaction. And through a collaborative conversation in the comments thread, new opportunities for future innovation also surfaced.
Social networking is one of the fastest-growing activities among mobile users around the world. And as one of the primary ways mobile users communicate with one another, it is proving a significant driver of Internet usage on mobile devices. eMarketer predicts the number of mobile users accessing social networks from their mobile devices will reach 607.5 million worldwide by 2013, representing 43% of global mobile Internet users. In the US, mobile social networkers will total 56.2 million by 2013, accounting for 45% of the mobile Internet user population.
I recently attended the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco hosted by Tim O’Reilly, John Battelle, and TechWeb. One of the highlights of the conference was a discussion between Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and FM Media’s John Battelle. It was a revealing and enlightening examination of the rise, state, and future of a social network that has been nothing short of transformative in its few short years of existence. What appeared pervasive with every question, answer, and observation is that Twitter’s success prevails in spite of its obvious hurdles, limitations, and absence of clear direction and vision. Twitter is a wondrous marvel and rare phenomenon whose surge to profound cultural prominence has completely transformed how people communicate, share and discover events and information. Its success is one that cannot be retraced.
The proliferation of mobile technology and the rapid integration of both access to the web and access to our social graph via our mobile device demands that we begin to design experiences that were previously thought of as "off line" to spread online. Digital technology, and the role that it plays in our lives, has evolved dramatically over the past 10 years. Think about how constantly we now rely on digital technology to communicate with each other, to get information, to entertain ourselves, to organize collective action, and to document our lives. Now think about how many of those experiences now take place within the context of your social graph, within the context of the aggregate of all of your digital relationships. Every digital experience we have now is connected to our digital relationships.
What's the first thing that goes through your mind when someone says the word "data"? For many of us, the first image is line graphs, pie charts and spreadsheets with columns and rows full of numbers that leave you bleary-eyed and a bit dazed. But what if someone were to say data can also mean what you post on Facebook and Twitter, the ratings you gave a restaurant, the photos you uploaded to Flickr or even, perhaps, what you feel. A bit of a reach? Not anymore. An emerging set of tools is making it easier than ever to track and compile all sorts of "data" and display it in a way that's relatively easy to understand.
In 2009 we saw exponential growth of social media. According to Nielson Online, Twitter alone grew 1,382% year-over-year in February, registering a total of just more than 7 million unique visitors in the US for the month. Meanwhile, Facebook continued to outpace MySpace. So what could social media look like in 2010? In 2010, social media will get even more popular, more mobile, and more exclusive — at least, that's my guess. What are the near-term trends we could see as soon as next year?
The Google Custom Search Blog announced the release of a mobile friendly Google Custom Search engine interface support for devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and Palm Pre.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Walt Disney Company is close to unveiling new technology to allow entertainment companies to distribute media to consumers using computers and cell phones, rather than on DVD and television. The technology is code-named Keychest and sounds like its the for-pay web service that Disney CEO Bob Iger announced back in July. The service would basically let consumers pay one price for permanent access to content from a number of different devices — like set-top boxes and mobile phones.
Tuesday at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Morgan Stanley Managing Director, Mary Meeker, gave her usual quick presentation with a ton of information. Rather than trying to squeeze it all in (which not even she can in her 15 minute presentation), I will embed the slides below when they are up and hit on her major points. Meeker thinks we’re in a new computing cycle with the mobile web.
Jeff Smith is a diligent social-networking user, but he doesn't own a PC. "I prefer a cellphone and a service for a cellphone," says Smith, 40, a postal worker in Detroit who served as an Army Ranger in Desert Storm and Somalia. For about a year, Smith has used MocoSpace (for "mobile community space") to chat, meet people, search the Web and play games. "Anything else feels like too much." The majority of people who participate on social networks do so from their PCs. Yet a growing number — many of whom can't afford a PC or would rather not use one — are using mobile devices to tell their friends where they are and what they're up to and for sharing pictures.
As part of an upgrade to Google Analytics, the Internet giant is adding the ability for its customers to track their traffic to both mobile sites and applications, breaking out the devices being used. The idea is to give marketers one place to track digital campaigns, whether they're on the Web or mobile.
Google wants to own the search experience across every mobile media platform, and its latest offering is a universal search box that lets users of Android-based smartphones look for apps, contact information and web content right from the device's home screens. This means users never have to leave their phone's home page or open a web browser to look up stock quotes, weather or a flight's status. The Quick Search Box,as it's called, also ranks search results by what a user has searched for and has used most often. Android users can also search and call contacts by voice with a tap of the microphone button next to the query box.
Each year at Razorfish we release our Digital Outlook Report in which we make predictions about the trends, developments and opportunities that will dominate the next calendar year. Fortunately no one's keeping score. For the last four years running we've said the coming year would be the breakout year for mobile. So far that hasn't happened. Since we've been wrong so many times before, I will take a more cautious approach here and simply say that 2010 is the year in which marketers need to make a serious investment in their mobile strategy.
Health care is a personal issue that has become wholly public--as the national debate over reforming our system makes painfully clear. But what's often lost in the gun-toting Town Hall debates about the issue is a clear vision about how medicine could work in the future. In this feature article, frog design uses its people-centered design discipline to show how elegant health and life science technology solutions will one day become a natural part of our behavior and lifestyle. What you see here is the result of frog's ongoing collaboration with health-care providers, insurers, employers, consumers, governments, and technology companies.
You've seen user-generated content, so now get ready for user-generated marketing, technical support and customer service. One of the UK's biggest cellphone operators is launching a new mobile network called Giffgaff whose customers will be able to earn free calls and texts by actively marketing the service to their friends and families. As well as marketing the service, customers will provide their own technical support network, asking and answering their own questions about the service online.
Although a bit late to the party, CNN has made a decisive entry into the mobile news space with a well-designed iPhone app with that costs $2 to download, nothing to use and makes it easier for citizen journalists to file their own video news reports from the field. And in choosing a middle ground in the free/fee debate CNN is carving out a niche that extends their free online offerings to the fast-growing mobile platform while charging something for the work that goes in to developing for the iPhone platform — and there are ads too.
Although Smartphones come with a multitude of Web capabilities, consumers are more often than not using these mobile devices for social networking. Social networking usage on Smartphones has skyrocketed by 187 percent to 18.3 million unique users in July 2009, per Nielsen. The increase, which nearly tripled the 6.4 users million seen in July 2008, allowed social networking sites to account for 32 percent of all Smartphone activity during the year.
PSFK recently covered what the internet is killing, and this video we came across shows through various statistics how the internet is changing our lives. For example, the average American teenager sends an average of 2,272 text messages every month and more video was uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, NBC and CBS had been airing new content 24/7/365 since 1948, when ABC first starting broadcasting. The cleanly presented video runs through some shocking statistics about technology and the dramatic shift of our society.
Starbucks is launching a store-finding and menu-information application for the iPhone, and is testing a second app that will let customers use the phone as their Starbucks card. The two apps are the coffee chain’s first for the iPhone and iPod touch. It has previously offered mobile services, such as the ability to send a text message to locate a nearby store, and has worked with Apple to make in-store songs available through iTunes.
I've been thinking a lot about poop lately, and not just because I have two young kids. In particular, I've been pondering that clichéd philosophical question: If a bear poops in the woods and nobody's around, does it still stink? Recently, DoSomething.org hosted what I'd normally consider a successful party. The event raised half a million dollars. We honored five amazing youths for doing amazing things, from building an orphanage in Nepal to registering thousands of new voters. Our red carpet at Harlem's Apollo Theater was packed with celebs, and performers including Boys Like Girls and Akon -- who crowdsurfed -- rocked the place. The 1,600 people there were floored. But did anybody else smell what we were cooking? Nope.
The start of the football season kicks off the most important sales period in the pizza-delivery game. A rivalry to match a Cowboys-Redskins playoff would have to be the head-to-head shootout between pizza franchises Pizza Hut and Domino's. In media terms, there's a high level of blocking and tackling, and strategy that is played out in their advertising programs. Pizza Hut leads the $29 billion category with some 18% of pizza sales, and Domino's takes about 10% of the market. Frozen-pizza sales have jumped, as have private label with consumers trading down. As an act of defiance to the recession, both marketers have held and even increased their advertising media budgets in 2009.
Outdoor footwear and apparel company Timberland has launched a multifaceted campaign that includes a TV ad by London shop Leagas Delaney that casts a trail runner as "bait" for wolves, a wild boar and a hungry bear. Along with the pulse-pounding, cinematic spot, the effort from the client also features iPhone and Blackberry applications and games; interactive billboards; Hulu videos; sidewalk graffiti; customizable Pandora radio stations; and a Harvard Square subway station takeover in Cambridge, Mass., not far from the client's Stratham, N.H., headquarters.
Young Chinese today are consumed by all things digital. Internet bars, bursting with netizens, are the size of football fields. More than 600 million individuals carry mobile phones and more than 60 million blog, double the number in the U.S. What is less understood is how they engage with new media -- and whether their emotional urges and self-expression are fundamentally different from Western kids.
Facebook used Nokia World, the mobile conference taking place now in Stuttgart Germany, to make a major announcement about the expansion of their Facebook Connect platform. According to Henri Moissinac, head of Facebook's mobile operations, the company is launching a new program called "Facebook Connect For Mobile Web." The Connect platform, which originally launched in 2008, is already available for traditional websites as well as Apple's iPhone. With this update, it can now exist for any mobile platform, too.
Where do you start? That’s the question I get often when I’m asked how to help a company market using social media tools. The people who contact me are smart. They tell me things like, “Yeah, they said we should start with a blog, and we said, ‘like the blog we already have?’” But what comes next is rarely a simple choice. I wanted to take you through some thoughts on what the basic building blocks of social media might be for a business (in the context of marketing, but then stretching a bit further out). Remember, roadmaps don’t work really well until you have a solid goal or destination in mind. None of this matters unless it feels right to you, regardless of my advice. You know your company’s boundaries. You know what your comfort levels are. Proceed at your organizational pace.
If you haven’t yet heard about Augmented Reality or Web Squared, allow me to make a quick introduction. This is the next iteration of the Web and also desktop and mobile applications and is indicative of the future hybrid Web and device experience. And no, it’s not called Web 3.0.
If you've wondered why the marketing world is obsessed with creating apps for the iPhone, take a stroll down the hallways of Kraft Foods, Gannett and German publisher Axel Springer. There you'll see a sea of iPhones as the brand makes incursions on RIM's BlackBerry, once acknowledged as the smartphone of choice for corporate America. In a recent conference call, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said about 20% of Fortune 100 companies have purchased a total of 10,000 or more iPhones since the handset's release in 2007, and scores of government agencies and businesses have each purchased more than 25,000 iPhones for their organizations.
Media brands are jumping onto the iPhone. USA Today? There’s an app for that. “The Rachel Maddow Show”? “Entertainment Tonight”? Public radio? Yes, yes and yes, there are apps for those. Now, if only there were an app that showed media companies how to make money on the iPhone.
For small children, there are few life changes bigger than learning how to use the toilet. It's a time when both tots and their parents can be in need of a little positive reinforcement and a morale boost. Kimberly-Clark's Huggies brand is trying to help, and engender loyalty at the same time, with an ambitious 3-week-old program that uses the mobile phone -- and points to where mobile marketing may be headed.
No, this isn't "the year for location" in mobile. That phrase has become industry cliche by now. But it's hard to ignore the hype that one location-based service called Foursquare is getting in some circles -- and no advertiser should. The NYC-based startup has built a sticky platform, an avid fan base and, quite possibly, the next-generation platform for proximity marketing.
Not many branded iPhone games have broken through, but a new one from U.K.-based Barclaycard has quickly become the most popular free, branded game in the history of the iTunes App Store.
Gary Koepke, co-founder and executive creative director at Modernista, loves that you're creeped out by his ads for Sprint's Palm Pre. In the past few weeks, the Boston-based ad shop's TV spots have been unsettling potential consumers. The campaign features actress Tamara Hope speaking directly to the camera in near-robotic tones and sharing strange observations about traffic lights, jugglers and reincarnation.
Ad-weary Internet users may have trained their eyes to ignore banner ads, but on an otherwise uncluttered mobile phone screen the ads are harder to ignore. That's the thinking behind SAP's new mobile marketing campaign, which it launched in mid-June along with related online and print ads.
Michael Jackson's memorial service drew a surprising number of eyes to TV sets July 7. Even more surprising was the number of people who watched the farewell on their phones--nearly 1 million.
It's undeniable that the going rate for information on the internet is "free." That's meant big trouble for newspapers, which have seen nearly all of their traditional roles usurped by better, faster, free online services over the past few years. If a newspaper doesn't make its content available gratis on the Web, it's irrelevant. If it does, it's got nothing left to sell but fishwrap and inkstains.
With a clearer distinction between what's realistic today and what's been mystified by industry hype, brands, agencies and publishers alike can start leveraging the mobile medium now as an easy-to-use, creative, targeted, and measurable new revenue opportunity.
In the two weeks since Google announced it would open up AdSense for mobile, serving up text and display ads inside apps, there are signs the online-ad giant -- and marketers -- are still figuring out how to create good experiences for mobile users.
With more than 60 percent of Toyota Motor’s WAP traffic coming from the iPhone, the automaker decided to take a different approach to mobile with the promotion of the newest Prius car model. To better cater to these loyal iPhone users, Toyota launched a mobile site optimized specifically for touchscreen devices such as the iPhone. IPhone users can access the Toyota site at http://m.toyota.com and click on the Prius icon to get rerouted to the iPhone optimized site.
Film producers spend millions every year to draw audiences to their movies. Now, advertisers are beginning to benefit from that, using not only movie screens for their commercials, but the lobbies of cinemas as well.
While one in five American adults already has a smartphone, a new survey from Best Buy Mobile reports that everyone else is befuddled by all the choices.
How advances in mobile and gaming signal what's next for this virtual meets real world technology.
Dying to hear how the stereo system of an Infiniti convertible sounds? Check your mobile phone. The automaker has a mobile music application that runs on Facebook and plays melodies on mobile phones while users ogle pictures of the new G37 convertible. The Tokyo-based auto company is also buying text ads on mobile news feeds and embedded spots for mobile video.
Globalization has been the headline for years as it’s changed the face of communication, finance, business and society. But it’s not a stand-alone phenomenon; it’s totally dependent upon mobility. Constant movement from place to place has made the last few decades frenetic. In fact, we live in an era of supermobility.
Welcome to the era of SoMo. Sure, online social media and social networking are popular, but they don't mimic the way we naturally interact. Why use Facebook or Twitter to tell friends what you are doing at the moment when you can directly show them what you are doing and where you are doing it?
Marketers have a love/hate relationship with ROI. It's absolutely necessary, but annoyingly elusive. A brand's return on investment can be quantified with impressions, engagement or time spent, but rarely direct sales. It's not often that a campaign can be linked causally to a sale, especially purchases at bricks-and-mortar stores. Mobile can change that. What online advertising did for e-commerce, mobile marketing can do for traditional commerce: make it measurable.
Digital media and branded content largely have been seen as strategies for mature markets where TV advertising faces its greatest threats from media fragmentation and DVRs. But Unilever has found that such programs work in India and China as well as the U.S., and is making them increasingly common in global campaigns, even in developing markets.
While news from Iran streams to the world, Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.
Is our increasing desire to stay in the loop distracting us from the people who should matter the most in our lives?
Microsoft is often referred to in the tech industry as "the ultimate platform player," because its considerable fortune has been earned by dominating platforms, most notably the Windows platform that most of the world's PCs use. Lately it has been adding platforms, notably Xbox, which has morphed from a games platform to an interactive device capable of serving all varieties of content, including streaming videos and access to social networking sites and services, and it continues to develop its Windows Mobile platform, whose latest iteration is version 6.5.
One-point-five seconds. If you believe neuroscientists, that's all the time we have to get someone's attention with our marketing messages. In little more than the blink of an eye, each of our targeted customers plays judge and jury to our marketing handiwork and decides whether to pay attention to us or banish us to the ash heap of misspent marketing dollars.
Apple executives didn't throw any curve balls at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference today in San Francisco. But the iterative changes hidden within a new, faster iPhone -- and the previously announced software upgrade -- could change not just consumer but also advertiser behavior. Here's a run-down of what's new and what it means to marketers.
A pair of mobile studies in the last week offer a sobering contrast to the hoopla surrounding the launch of the Palm Pre Saturday and the upgraded iPhone today. Based on a survey of brands and agencies, the Mobile Marketing Association estimated mobile will garner less than 2% of total marketing dollars this year.
As companies give mobile-phone advertising a try, many are starting to focus on the search ads that have worked so well on personal computers.
Seeking to marry a ubiquitous device with a time-tested marketing technique in a sour economy, Unilever plans to begin a trial run Sunday of a new technology that lets consumers redeem digital coupons by having a supermarket cashier scan their cellphones.
Social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are popular services on high-end cellphones like the iPhone and the BlackBerry. But extending their reach to the broader wireless market has been challenging, because most basic phones tend to have clunky Web browsers and can't support fancy software.
Victoria’s Secret is very good at keeping secrets. The retailer quietly launched a marketing initiative that uses the mobile Web and SMS text messages to promote its products and shopping on-the-go.
Nissan has launched a marketing campaign for its Cube that incorporates Cube-themed iPhone apps, games, videos and ringtones to prove just how hip it is to be square.
I read last week that Sprint is in talks to outsource its network, and it kind of got me wondering what would be left if it did. A company name. A logo. A marketing budget. Everything else would get done by someone, or some thing else.
Can't decide between a netbook, a smartphone, ultramobile PC or some other piece of mobile gadgetry? It won't be a decision bothering you for much longer.
Firefox doesn't keep track of the number of users it has but Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's director of community development, said today that the company estimates that there are 270 million people using the browser. That's 35% more users than Facebook has signed up for accounts (200 million), and almost triple the number of people Facebook says log in to the social network every day (100 million). Why compare user numbers between a browser and a social network? Because there's every reason to believe that the two technologies are converging in the near term future. Here's why we believe that Firefox should be Facebook's biggest competition.
Reaching consumers is both easier and more complex as outreach options proliferate. With the growth of cable and satellite, TV channel availability has more than tripled since 1990. And while traditional vehicles are still vital, more immediate and ubiquitous media are taking a hold. Online and mobile video viewing is exploding and time-shifted TV is growing. Market-leading retailers are learning to embrace new media technologies, incorporating them into the promotional arsenal even as paper coupons enjoy a resurgence of interest.
Unilever is taking a seat at the table with Time Inc.’s “Dinner Tonight.” The food giant will advertise seven of its brands across the publisher’s popular franchise which runs monthly in Cooking Light and daily at MyRecipes.com. The strategy is indicative of Unilever’s new approach in dealing with media partners. Like many in the packaged goods arena, Unilever has been challenging key publishing partners to take campaigns beyond their magazines.
About two weeks ago, Alexander Van Elsas had an interesting post where he asked several questions about the current state of web applications. If everything becomes open and connected, what will happen to the big destinations? Why is the web rapidly evolving into uncountable databases with connections, instead of one database where everything connects? If all services and destinations become open, then what is the point in being a destination site in the first place? Why are we creating webs within webs, instead of one network that connects it all? After thinking for a little bit, I realized that these questions are far from answered, and the answers are going to get harder to find.
In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world -- where the experience we're having right now is less interesting than what we'll tweet about it later.
Forget about thinking outside the box — or inside it, for that matter. Nissan Motor is betting an estimated $20 million during the worst automotive sales slump in a generation that a spirited campaign can get drivers to forgo the box for the cube.
It seemed like magic back when barcodes could simply identify a grocery store item. And when QR codes hit the scene, pictures pointed us to URLs. Now "barcodes" have reached the next level of complexity.
Last week, I began the journey by talking about two different types of brands: Brand Promises and Brand Religions. Today, I'd like to paint a hypothetical scenario of where awareness marketing might go for those brands that are implicit promises. Next week I'll tackle religions.
The appetite for video continued to grow in the fourth quarter as U.S. consumers watched more programming across television, the Internet and mobile devices in the fourth quarter than the prior quarter, according to Nielsen's latest A2/M2 Three Screen report .
Sony Ericsson unveiled a new strategy for its struggling mobile phone business in an attempt to share content on its handsets with other devices in the home.
For the past few years, Microsoft has been losing share in PCs to Apple. It’s been losing huge money on the Web. And it’s been badly shown up in mobile phones, where Apple and Research In Motion have far more momentum and even Palm seems to have more mindshare. But now, the company is preparing plans to do what no other company is as well-positioned—at least on paper—to do: tie the PC, Web and phone together.
With increasing consumer familiarity and growing ease of use, mobile applications for financial services companies -- particularly banks -- could become the new "killer app" for telecommunications.
A new iPhone application from Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle is taking mobile applications in a completely new direction, affording consumers and companies the ability to make their lives simpler. A mobile ordering application will allow you to place your order from wherever you are via your phone, even in advance of arriving at the store.
Click-through rates, calls to action important amid woeful economy.