Archive for the ‘Social Media & Networking’ Category

Mary Meeker: Rise of mobile usage driving most draMary Meeker and Matt Murphy shared the stage

NEW YORK – At Google Inc.’s Think Mobile event in New York, industry guru Mary Meeker said that the pace and force of mobile growth is unlike anything she has ever seen. She and others who presented at the event addressed what this change means for businesses.

The event started with Dennis Woodside, senior vice president of the Americas at Google, Mountain View, CA, talking about some of the ways that mobile phones are causing a cultural shift. There are so many opportunities in terms of what marketers can do to better connect with the mobilized modern consumer.

“The consumer is on the mobile Web,” Mr. Woodside said. “The demand is there.

“We believe that mobile will create the largest technology market ever,” he said. “This market will dwarf the PC and all the PC industry has done.

“This new, huge technology market will transform almost every industry.” (see the rest of the story)

armagazineAugmented reality taking off

Brands such as Coca-Cola and Carlsberg are increasingly investing in mobile augmented reality and Juniper Research predicts global revenues in the space will reach $1.5 billion by 2015.

A recent study conducted by Juniper found that the installed base of augmented reality-capable smartphones has increased from 8 million in 2009 to more than 100 million in 2010. Additionally, augmented reality applications are now being used by big brands such as eBay.

“I think what’s interesting really is the way in which the market has evolved,” said Windsor Holden, principal analyst at Juniper Research, Basingstoke, England. “Twelve months or so ago there were only a handful of augmented reality apps around and consumer knowledge was quite limited.

“The only people who were downloading them were those that were technology savvy and technology literate and they were primarily on Android devices and the iPhone,” he said. “Now there are several hundred across a variety of operating systems. (check out the rest of the story)

Shopping

Increase brand loyalty and drive foot traffic using mobile

An IBM study that surveyed 30,000 consumers found that mobile phones and other technology are big influencers of purchase intent.

Consumers’ mindset drastically changed after the recession hit, leaving them with three demands for retailers and brands: Listen, know and empower.

“I think the biggest aha was that consumers want to be served and not sold to,” said Jill Puleri, global industry retail executive at IBM Global Business Services, Armonk, NY. “They are using technology and it is a given for the shopping process.

“A whopping 86 percent want to use technology for shopping,” she said. “Mobility is the biggest reason why.

“It is a given now that consumers have deconstructed the shopping process and when they have made it to the store they already know what they want.”

Serve don’t sell
Service is very important to mobile consumers, who are increasingly on the go, per IBM.

The consumer should be at the center of any retailer’s strategy.

According to the study, in order to succeed retailers need to do three things:  listen to, know and empower consumers.

With social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube and reviews, shoppers are leveraging user-generated content more than ever before to discuss retailers, products and brands with friends, family members and strangers.

Retailers that listen to and participate in these conversations can obtain added insight into what customers want.

Knowing the consumer is important too.

A personalized shopping experience is still dominant in the mind of the consumer, according to IBM.

By offering deals and coupons for products that individual consumers buy regularly, retailers can increase average spend per customer and loyalty.

Lastly, IBM found that retailers must empower consumers by making it as easy as possible to shop however they choose to, whether it be mobile, online or in-store. (check out the rest of the story)

Arby's complements marketing strategy with mobile Arby’s beefs up marketing strategy

The third-annual Hipcricket Mobile Marketing Survey found that 57 percent of consumers would be interested in opting in to a brand’s loyalty club via a mobile social networking application such as Facebook.

The evolving relationship between mobile devices and social networks presents brands with significant new opportunities to connect with consumers. Despite growing consumer interest in interacting with brands via mobile and social media, the survey also found that 80 percent of respondents stated that they still have not been marketed to by their favorite brands via their mobile device.

“The key finding of the survey from our perspective is that consumers are showing a high level of interest in integrating social networking with mobile marketing,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA. (check out the rest of the story)

Disney merges offline, online with Google Goggles Disney is ramping up its marketing efforts to promote its “Tron Legacy” film

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.

About a year ago, the search giant launched Google Goggles, an Android application that lets consumers search the Web for information by taking pictures of paintings, landmarks or products with their mobile devices. As part of a Google Goggles marketing experiment, the five participating brands have “Goggles-enabled” some of their print ads, movie posters and other media.

“This is something new and exciting we’re trying out for the first time—this is uncharted territory,” said Aaron Stein, New York-based spokesman for Google. “The goal was really to Goggles-enable ads that are not online and use Goggles to make it possible for consumers to interact with those brands online.

“Consumers can scan a Buick ad and learn more about the brand through this experiment,” he said. “I think it’s too early to speculate as to what this will turn into, but we’re really excited about this announcement and this is the just the tip of the iceberg.

“The purpose of Google Goggles is to expand the ways you can search from your mobile phone—you can get information in different ways with your phone, input text queries, voice search and with Google Goggles you can do an image search, and this is really just an extension of that.” (see more of this story)

Facebook CheckinCheck-in to places on Facebook

Facebook’s announcement of its mobile deal platform is a game-changer because it will likely encourage the adoption of check-in activities, providing opportunities for mobile marketers.

The new Android 1.4 update includes the launch of Places and Groups. With the launch of Places, people can now check-in to their favorite restaurant, museum, business or any other location from an Android phone.

“Since it launched two months ago, consumers have tested Facebook Places’ functionality, but there’s been little benefit to consumers for participating,” said Augie Ray, social media analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA.

“Facebook is now poised to spark a wave of location-based behavior that will extend beyond the relatively small set of early adopters who currently use services such as Foursquare and Gowalla,” he said.

Last month, Facebook reached a major milestone: 200 million people around the world are now actively using Facebook from a phone, more than triple the number just one year ago.

Single sign-on
As part of Wednesday’s announcements, Facebook made major updates to both its Android and iPhone applications.

The company also announced a single sign-on, meant to be a hassle-free way to log-in to mobile applications.

“Facebook’s ability to become a de facto single signon for all mobile apps will depend a great deal on how developers adopt this functionality, but also will hinge on the level of trust that consumers have in Facebook,” Mr. Ray said. (get the rest of the story)

What if you owned a small restaurant and I could generate $160,000 for you with just two location-based mobile campaigns that were marketed only to opt-in consumers and redeemable only if those same consumers actually came into your restaurant?

What if this could be done – in just two days?

If this sounds far-fetched or unrealistic, you are not up on the latest craze to sweep the mobile space.

Personalized shopping, based on location, is the hottest thing going and, in my opinion, is poised to finally unlock the full potential of mobile marketing.

(get the full story here)

Mobile Marketing Brightkite Teams With McDonalds & Visa For Unique LBS Rewards Campaign

Brightkite has teamed with McDonalds and Visa to power a unique rewards program centered around checking-in to McDonalds locations to earn a $5 Visa gift card.

Following similar programs with brands like Starbucks, The CW, Sharpie and Dentyne, this rewards campaign marks the largest brand play to date for Brightkite.  McDonald’s and Visa got together to launch the ‘Easy’ badge for Brightkite users to earn by checking in to their nearest McDonalds.  The first 500 people to earn the badge  receive a $5 Visa gift card, courtesy of Visa and Brightkite.

To highlight the campaign, Brightkite is also running a location and activity targeted ad campaign that launches an on-screen spinner that highlights the McDonald’s dollar menu.  The Brightkite campaign is integrated with other media including online and out-of-home.

While the rewards campaign is unique in and of itself, the ad-creative built into the Brightkite application is innovative as well.  The ads are targeted to fast-food places and activities and clicking them launches a custom spinner that highlights items from McDonald’s dollar menu.  Clicking again links to the Brightkite page to help the user find their nearest McDonalds where they can earn their badge and its subsequent reward.  The campaign is limited to the first 500 qualified users, so head on down to your nearest McDonalds, check-in using Brightkite and take advantage of the offer while you still can. (check out the rest of the program)

When Facebook launched its version of location check-ins called “Places,” it seemed to put Foursquare, with its endearing badges and mayorships, in its sights. But Foursquare’s founder and CEO, Dennis Crowley, thinks his location-based game app will survive “Places” and thrive as more people get accustomed to sharing their locations.

So far, he’s right: Foursquare has had its biggest surge in users since the “Places” launch, no doubt from people curious about the little start-up Facebook was alleged to be “killing.” At a little over a year old, Foursquare is readying version 2.0 of its service, including new mobile apps and, potentially, some changes to the mechanics of the game itself.

In addition, the company is working on self-serve tools for local establishments to claim their locations and for brands to interact with users. At nearly 3 million users and 1.5 million check-ins a day, competition for the elusive “mayorships” on the service has become cutthroat. Even Mr. Crowley has trouble hanging on to the few symbolic crowns he has left. We talked to him about it in the video below. (check out the rest and the video)

The card-based loyalty program might just be going the way of the dinosaur … or the two-way pager.

The newest crop of location-based mobile apps rewards consumers for actions before they reach the register, and it could save them from fumbling for cards in wallets or loading down their key rings with plastic tabs. Mobile apps like Shopkick, Loopt Star and CheckPoints offer shoppers discounts and deals when they check in, walk into a store or pick up products and scan their barcodes. One startup focusing on loyalty programs for hotels, Topguest, even rewards users for tweeting.

“We realized a while ago that the conversations about our hotels are happening on Facebook or Twitter without us,” said Michael Doneff, VP-marketing for Viceroy Hotel Group, which offers discounts to users who check in at its hotels through Topguest. “These are guests who are passionate about our properties; why wouldn’t we want to reward that?”

This set of loyalty apps also takes the check-in-to-places phenomenon that Foursquare has popularized right to the mall or grocery aisle. Rather than checking in to alert your social network or post to Facebook, users can check in for discounts to use at the register or for points that add up to gift cards, prizes or donations. (get the rest of the story)