Technology In The News


In The News

Your Company Needs A Mobile Strategy Yesterday -- And These Numbers Prove It

According to one survey, one-third of us would rather give up sex than our mobile phone.

You might not believe this, but it’s all too true!

What does that tell us? Well, one of two things: either our love lives are seriously lacking, or our smartphones are more important to us than a primal human need.

I lean towards the latter more than the former, only because I’ve seen how powerful mobile marketing has been for my clients and others. Here are a few examples:

  • A mobile-based loyalty program for Maurices, a chain of women’s clothing stores, was directly responsible for jump-starting $1 million in sales in only four months.
  • A text message list helped Pacha, a New York City nightclub, realize $12,400 in additional income.
  • A Foursquare check-in campaign boosted short-term revenues at Angelo & Maxie’s, a Manhattan restaurant, by $18,000.

These are only three examples of many success stories I’ve witnessed--and yet, the really shocking statistic when it comes to mobile marketing is how few big brands are doing it. According to a report from eMarketer, mobile advertising accounted for less than 1% of worldwide ad spending in 2011.

And yet, mobile may be the most effective form of marketing available to businesses today. Here are some stats to back that statement up:

  • Smartphone coupon usage increased by more than 100% in 2011 and is expected to do the same this year.
  • More than 788 million mobile-only Internet users are projected to be in play by 2015. Moreover, mobile web browsing will surpass desktop browsing as well.
  • By that same year, mobile users are expected to spend at least $119 billion in mobile commerce annually.

Mark Donovan, senior VP of mobile marketing at comScore, had this to say in a recent Forbes article: “With nearly 86 million Americans now shopping on their smartphones, this pronounced shift in consumer behavior is simply too large for retailers to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment.”

Source: Fast Company


Mobile Reshapes The Future

Believe it or not -- Like it or not -- It's happening!

Don’t be embarrassed. Considering the giant leap in personal technology we’ve experienced in our lifetime — raise your hand if you remember buying an extra-long cord so you could talk on the phone in the other room — we’re pretty hyped about the state of things. That phone in your pocket? The one that set you back a day’s pay? That thing has more computing power than nasa did in 1969, the year man landed on the moon. It has more editing and filming capability than Orson Welles had when he made “Citizen Kane.” So what if you mainly use your phone to check the time, find directions, or text your vote to “Dancing with the Stars?” The fact that we use such revolutionary technology to perform everyday tasks is what makes it so mind-blowing.

So when we talk about the future of media, it’s no wonder the conversation centers largely on mobile devices. As “phones” become more powerful (and seriously, when can we stop calling them that? Is making calls not the least impressive thing that they do?), they will become the conduit through which we live our lives. Reading the news, connecting with friends, finding our way, playing games — these are tasks they’ve already commandeered. So why should they not control our homes, plan our vacations, shop(in-store, not just online) and fall in love?

“Ten or 15 years from now, literally everything is going to be controlled by your phone,” says Ly Tran, digital marketing director at Proof Advertising. “It’s where we’ll get all our information, communicate and connect. They’re the driver of the future.”

How central will our mobile devices be to our daily lives in 10 years? They will replace TV remote controls, says Tran. And let’s be honest — it doesn’t get much more critical than that.

Despite all the talk of watching movies on your mobile device, Tran points out that no one seems that interested. Instead, the increasing availability of on-demand media means “you will use your mobile device to choose what you want to watch on your TV on your way home,” she says, “and when you get home, you will use your phone as your remote control.” The best part: because the content will be so personalized, “there will be no fighting over the remote control.” (Fighting over who gets to use the big TV, however, may be eternal.)

The exciting news for advertisers? One of the most frequently handled devices in the house, previously incapable of carrying ads, will become a channel for the most personalized kinds of messages. Just imagine the ads you can send to a remote control that knows not just what its owner is watching, but what he or she likes to watch in general.

Your phone will also tell you when it’s time buy milk (if, in fact, we still drink milk in the future).

“Your milk carton will tell your refrigerator that your milk is about to expire,” says Tina Unterlaender, director of mobile at AKQA. “And your fridge will send a message to your phone.”

Source: Media Post


Is Your Brand Ready For 'Generation S' (Screen)?

Successful Brands Will Go to Where the Kids Are -- Touch Screens

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.

Children born in the last three to five years are what I call "Gen S," or "Generation Screen." They came on the scene during one of the most significant technological revolutions in the digital age. According to NPD, 27% of all TVs shipped in the first quarter of 2012 (almost 14 million) were internet-ready. Gartner estimates there will be almost 60 million tablets sold this year, doubling total users. And, Goldman Sachs estimates almost 2 billion smartphones will be sold this year around the globe.

These youngsters are growing up in a world where screens are used for everything from entertainment, communication, education, shopping and transacting. It makes the world much smaller and more accessible -- and at virtually any time, on demand.

How will marketers, brands, retailers and publishers stay relevant to a generation glued to a touch screen?

Source: Ad Age Digital


How Google's 'Penguin' Update Will Change Publishing, for the Better

Shifts by Google Mean Content Will Once Again Be King in Publishing

Over the past decade, the publishing industry been swinging on a pendulum created by the effects of search engine optimization (SEO). In the old, primarily print days, the most successful publishers were those that could produce great content for a specific audience and keep that audience engaged via subscriptions or at the newsstands. More recently, the kings of publishing were those that could best engage web crawlers and monetize their sites through a windfall of free search traffic. The focus has been less on creating great content and engaging readers than on producing lots of words on lots of pages to engage web crawlers.

But there is a silver lining to all of this. With last year's Panda release, and the more recent Penguin release, Google is going to flip SEO on its head. If Old SEO enabled some to fool a crawler into indexing borderline junk content to get high rankings, New SEO looks likely to take any notion of fooling anyone out of the equation.

New SEO will put all publishers on more equal footing, favoring those that produce quality content that is highly engaging to a certain audience. If SEO was previously a linear method of feeding a crawler with words and links, Google's results are now the result of a feedback loop: show them that you can produce quality content that people are attracted to, and free search traffic will follow.

Source: Ad Age Digital


QR Codes: Game Changer or Passing Fad?

How Quickly Has Your Agency Responded to This Tech?

Have you seen one of these anywhere lately? If you have and wondered what it was, it's called a QR code and it could quite possibly be one of those game-changer technologies that you'd be far better off understanding now rather than later.

QR is short for Quick Response, which is exactly what these puppies give you. Insert one in an ad, on a direct mailer, or even a simple sign in the middle of a park, and you give a consumer instant access to any kind of information that can be stored digitally on the Internet.

Like most things in technology today, there are competing formats, but that's not what I want to discuss. Instead, what I'd like to discuss (you'll have to add your two cents in the comments area) is whether or not this is "real" or just another shiny thing.

I've been experimenting with this technology quite a bit over the last year and in each and every case, I find the results impressive. Thus, in my opinion, I think QR is a game changer.

Source: Ad Age Digital


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