Archive for March, 2010

How to Survive Geolocation’s Looming Apocalypse

Why the Industry’s Most-Buzzed-About Tech Service Could Consume Us If We’re Not Careful

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.

Leveraging location will drive the next wave of consumer marketing, but based on the current pace of services and apps going to market, we’re setting ourselves up for geolocation apocalypse. In this scenario consumers gorge themselves on a plethora of location-based services and spam, gut-busting data profusion and promotional push acid-reflux. If we’re not careful, the coming cataclysm could consume us with:

  • Swarms of Geolocation Services. Already in full swing, new services are appearing with an alarming frequency. Ranging from the more popular/mainstream (Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Yelp, MyTown, Whrrl and Loopt) to the more obscure (PlacePop, BlockChalk, Bump, FoodSpotting and Graffiti), services are being piled high. Gauging by the more than 25 companies that made location-based announcements at SXSW, consumers will soon be choking on an overabundance of geolocation services.
  • Armies of Aimless Apps. Each service wants you to use their app, so can the marketplace sustain a massive rush of apps? Of course not. When I sit down for dinner at my favorite tapas place, how many apps can I “check-in” with before everyone else at the table starts throwing flatware at me? Most likely one, possibly two, if I snap a photo for upload when the entrees arrive., by the team at Brightkite, is addressing this problem with their upcoming app (one checkin to rule them all). But how many apps (and features within each service) will they need to support to effectively fulfill consumer needs?
  • Drowning in a Deluge of Data. If you’ve seen SimpleGeo’s, or the visualization video of geolocated data they collected during SXSW, you can see the potential for massive floods of personal geolocated information that may or may not be relevant to your consumers. Bing recently added Foursquare data results to their maps. Now imagine them adding results from a dozen other services, or maybe four dozen other services. As a user, I just wanted directions to the post office, now obscured by thousands of user notes, to pick up my bacon-of-the-month. Does it help to know that 600 of my closest friends also hate going to the post office?
  • Spates of Vexing Spam. Why should marketers care? Consider the consumer. An innocent trip to the mall might trigger an avalanche of promotional push notifications. You check in at Macy’s, and because you just had tapas for dinner, Macy’s offers you 30% off paella cookware. The Gap sees you and sends an SMS about its sale on Spanish red sleepwear, while Barnes & Noble (a few doors down and a bit confused) pushes you a coupon for Macy Gray’s latest release. The consumer just turned off their phone…
  • Crime Cataclysm, Stalker Apps and Misrepresentation. With vase amounts of personal-location information being exposed, we’re bound to see a rise in potentially damaging behavior. Ages ago (in 2009) a man tweeted about a family trip to Kansas City, only to return to a burgled home. What did he do? He blamed Twitter. On the flip side, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, a site that displayed Foursquare check-ins in real time, essentially listing “all those empty homes out there.” The site is no longer active, but it caused quite a stir and fueled much debate when it launched in February of 2010. That sound you hear is consumer confidence gasping about the dangers of geolocation.

It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way
This isn’t the first time marketers have embraced disruptive technologies, nor will it be the last. As long as we keep one foot in the shoes of our consumers and follow some basic rules of road, you’ll safely stay out of the wasteland:

  • Respect and Delight Your Consumer. Service creators, application developers and marketers alike should have undying respect for consumers and the desire to make them fall in love with their brand by providing them with something special. If you undervalue your consumer by creating less than magical apps, treat privacy with little or no consideration or abuse your knowledge of their whereabouts, consumers will turn their backs on you and won’t return.
  • Embrace Open APIs. Open APIs allow marketers and app developers to build on top of existing services. Facebook and Twitter owe no small portion of their success to having created open APIs early on. Remember reading about tweeting toasters, plants, dishwashers and even beds? Twitter’s open API was not only great for developers, it was phenomenal PR. Why has Gowalla lagged behind Foursquare, even though many users report preferring the Gowalla experience? Maybe because their API is currently read only.
  • Choose Wisely. As part of your strategic approach, building upon a proven favorite that will likely NOT end up in a geolocation landfill makes sense. All signs indicate that Foursquare will be around for some time, especially given it raised $1.35 million in venture capital last year. Also of note, following SXSW, Foursquare tweeted that they experienced “2.4 million checkins !& about 90,000 new users (!!!) in the past 7 days. Every week bigger than week before.”

We Can Prevent Geolocationitis
Geolocation isn’t going away — in fact, it may get a significant bump if Facebook turns location on for their 450 million+ users. Stay tuned; that news is expected to unfold at the upcoming F8 developer conference on April 21. In addition, Apple’s appreciation of the impact of geolocation was acknowledged with their patent application for a social-networking app (named iGroups in the patent) that would allow users to securely share data with one another using a service like MobileMe. Apple is also rumored to be rolling out iAd, a location-based advertising service that leverages technology from their recent purchase of Quattro Wireless.

We’ve already taken our first few leaps into the geolocation deep end, but it’s not too late to refine our approach. If we work hard to respect our consumers’ needs and privacy, while taking every opportunity to provide them with brand experiences brimming with value and delight, we could turn a looming apocalypse into a land of geolocation milk and honey.

Posted by Dave Curry

Promotional Items – It’s Easier Than You Think!

To start with, the big error that numerous corporations make is to give promotional items to just their clients; they fail to know that giving promotional items to the folks that are not yet their buyers can assist when the buyers need to pick between their firm and the competition. Thinking about the right promotional items to give out should be a highly beneficial consideration for every excellent business; you will be shocked at the info that some employee can come up with as the right promotional items to give out.

The fine thing about giving online promotional items is that the firm spends less capital but is able to reach lots more people with the promotional items.

If price of physically giving your company’s promotional items is the problem, then look into the Internet promotional items; these don’t require cost for transporting them, but will reach a lot of individuals, if done right. Sensible corporations look at the promotional items they give out as the most excellent promoting and marketing they can do; that’s obviously why they put huge amount of attempt and capital in giving the right promotional items; you have to also.

Giving the right promotional items is comparable to utilizing your buyers to help in spreading word about your firm and its items and/or services.

Lots of resourcefulness is needed to think up the right promotional items to distribute to your clients; such resourcefulness will particularly yield results if adequately planned and carried out.

To draw the curtain on this article, it is absolutely beneficial to look into how you will go about customizing every promotional item before you make use of it; it is truly the customization with your firm emblem or name that surely makes promotional items extra special.

If you are considering using promotional items to promotion your corporation brand, please contact us for more information. We have all of the expertise you’ll need.

Provided by DMG

The Importance of Tradeshow Giveaways

Trade shows are the perfect place to meet potential customers, as well as being used as a social networking resource. Obviously, your number one priority at the event should be to have a stunning, eye-catching trade show display that will appeal to your target market and intrigue them to visit your display booth. However, what incentives are you giving these visitors that will make them feel that it was worth their time to stop by your exhibit? This is where trade show giveaways come in. 

Promotional giveaway items should be used to make you more memorable, and should communicate your marketing message effectively. So, what items will you plan on giving away? Susan Friedmann, The Tradeshow Coach, explains that the first step is to figure out what your objective is. Once you have a clear goal, it should be much easier to decide which giveaway items would help you achieve this goal.

You should have different sets of items to be given away.  A pen with your company’s name and logo on it can get you remembered each time the pen is used.  However, for the potentially more serious customer, perhaps a package of eye catching literature on your company would be more appropriate.  After a few minutes of speaking with your visitor, you should be able to figure out into which category they fall.

These items should not be given to just anyone, but only to those people who have given you the opportunity to talk to them about your products or services. If every single person walking by your display booth is given your promotional item, you and your company are not going to be remembered. The chances are very high that many of the people who will take your product without speaking to you are not interested in what you have to offer.

It is very important to have your logo, contact information, and your marketing message imprinted to the item. This way, the visitors will remember who the promotional items were from long after the show is over. Handing out discount coupons that require the potential customers to contact your company to redeem them is a very effective way to increase your future sales.

How will you be able to track the effectiveness of these promotional items? One way is by doing post-show follow up calls and finding out if they remembered you and if the item was useful to them. Another way to track the success of these giveaway items is by having a meeting with your booth staff to find out if these items attracted a specific target audience to your booth.

As I stated earlier, it is extremely important to have a trade show booth that will draw people in to your booth. Nevertheless, trade show giveaways will give potential customers an incentive to actually speak to you and find out more about your products or services. 

United States 5/19/2009 (TransWorldNews) 

Growing Brand Awareness Using Promotional Items

First off, the huge mistake that numerous firms make is to distribute promotional items to only their clients; they fail to acknowledge that giving promotional items to the men and women that are not yet their buyers can help when the buyers need to choose between their corporation and the competition.

The brand new technique is to give out digital promotional items with the hope to connect to much more people utilizing the breathtaking strength of the Net as well as its paraphernalia. Don’t forget that whichever promotional item you present needs to publicize as well as market your firm’s product or service; so perpetually make sure this is done in the most excellent strategy likely on the promotional items.

It is consistently a good idea to give out the making of a company’s promotional items to people that are very skilled in the art of creating promotional items; let the experts to do what they know mostly how to do. A corporation which sells Laptop computer parts and add-ons needs to look at offering those varieties of promotional items which are important for the people that will make use of the computers, like mouse pads; whenever the customer uses the mouse pads which carry the firm’s logo name on it, they can recollect the corporation and also do their buying from the corporation when they need a particular Laptop computer accessory.

The firms which like thinking short-term won’t see the benefits of giving out promotional items; but if your corporation is one that is set for long lasting success, you distinctly ought to look at giving out promotional items to buyers and possible buyers alike. Men and women have the natural inclination to ‘offer back’; when a customer has benefited from a firm’s promotional item, they involuntarily wish to ‘pay back’ or ‘offer back’ and so are naturally moved to do their buying from the corporation when they need any product or service which the corporation can give.

Finally, firms that make it a calling to consistently and continuously give out useful promotional items to their buyers have certainly better chance of staying useful than those firms who don’t.

If you are considering using promotional items to promotion your corporation brand, please contact us for more information. We have all of the expertise you’ll need.

Provided by DMG

Direct Marketing – A Deeper Understanding

Marketing is one of the most important factors that assure the success of any business enterprise. Direct marketing is a type of marketing that distinguishes from other types because of its two main defining characteristics.

  1. First, it attempts to send its messages directly to customers without using intervening media. This also includes commercial communication such as direct mail, e-mail marketing with consumers or businesses.
  2. Second, it is focused on driving a specific “call-to-action.” This aspect of direct marketing involves an emphasis on trackable, measurable, positive answers from consumers.

In direct marketing there are further types different from each other in terms of methodology and results. However, doing your internet business, you need to choose only that method which can produce the best outcome for your efforts. This is where you can explore the technique of using direct mail marketing services to have a bright future in the business.

For attracting and gaining new customers you can choose any of the following stratagems of direct marketing:

  1. Direct Mail – A method most frequently used in direct marketing is direct mail. Direct mail allows you to devise marketing sections in different forms. It includes envelope mailers, catalogues, self-mailers, snap mailers, dimensional mailers, brochures, and postcards. Before writing direct mail make it sure that you have specific market target that you want to achieve.
  2. Telemarketing – Is another method of direct marketing that has the advantage of speed in a marketing campaign. It enables you to contact with your clients using telephone. Whenever you make a telephone call, first introduce yourself and then go on to your purpose. Briefly describe your product or service and add how it solves the clients’ needs. At the end you can also ask for a face to face meeting, or to get permission to send them information via e-mail.
  3. Direct Response – In direct response, the customer responds to the marketing message directly. An example of this would be infomercials where the clients view a television presentation of a product. They can purchase this product with a credit card over the telephone or internet.
  4. Personal Selling – Personal sale calls is another technique of direct marketing. First conduct a research on the companies or the target that you are trying to sell your product. For this you can buy a list from a reputable list company. If you take this list make sure that you have complete information on your target market.

Social Networking – Another Tool For Advertising

These days’ people endorse their industry with classifieds as well as it is the ruler of marketing except a small number of advertisers know how to get the highest profit from it. To produce sales and obtain responses from customers it is very indispensable to advertise your business with advertising. There are lots of sites from there you can promote your business with ads. Advertisement through classifieds is a form of advertising which is generally very popular in newspapers, social networking sites and other mediums.

These sites direct and exclusive promotional services are great and these services main target are targeting customer’s message to real online users. If you promote your business with sites which have good PR and high volume traffic then your exclusive mail outs will be delivered and available to many enthusiastic consumers and your business will reflect in the best presentation. During this slowdown, if your advertisement doesn’t get attention of adequate number of customers then you will not get the maximum benefit. You must know you are facing large competition in the fast growing market and your competitors are promoting their businesses with good advertisings. So getting more attraction is important for a good business. And that’s the reason why social networking sites are getting good popularity.

In this advertisement your point will be delivered to large number of subscribers. With high-quality sites, customers get outstanding responses. There are so many variables in online advertising, and it is realistic to know that results cannot always be perfect for everyone but no can guarantee results. But they do their best to be of the best service to you that they possibly can.

From your advertisements, you have the numerous options to choose and ads ranging from cheap classifieds to free classifieds are all available options. To get noticed by customers it is necessary that your advertisements should be on the top. When I first started marketing on the Internet, I had no hint that there were so many special choices and options accessible. I purchased whatsoever marketing I could manage to pay for, from whoever had the best specials.

Six months and I can only figure how much money later; I have well-read a number of essential information on social networking sites. By tracking my ads I have well-read that the most cost efficient form of promotion I have found are cheap classifieds.

The first step to selling anything is to get the buyer’s interest. If you want buyers’ attention, you have a better chance of getting it if you provide an incentive. And the successful marketer understands that one of the best payoffs they can get is being offered a chance for more advertising

Spammers Fined

A California Superior Court recently awarded $7,000 in damages to an individual who received unsolicited and misleading commercial email. It is believed this is the first time a court has awarded damages to an individual for spamming. Many are aware of the Federal CAN-SPAM act which forbids spamming, but only ISPs or the government may sue for violations. California has similar legislation; however, individuals may sue for damages. The California law provides for damages of $1,000 for each serving of spam, even if the recipient didn’t accept any of the offers and lost no money.

This ruling underscores the need for email marketers to be sure to send emails that meet the following criteria:

  • To only those who have opted-in
  • The email has a properly identified “from” line
  • Your organization’s name and address are included in the email
  • You have an unsubscribe link easily seen by the recipient

Email is an excellent tool to communicate with your audience. It can be an excellent medium to build your brand, your products and your company. However, if abused or misused, the consequences can be significant.

Google Sees Mobile Ad Rates Passing PC Rates

Google Inc said that it expects the rates that companies pay for search ads on mobile phones could surpass the rates of its existing PC-based ad business thanks to the growing popularity of powerful smartphones.

Google Engineering Vice President Vic Gundotra did not say when he expected the crossover in the so-called cost per click of its search ads to occur, during a webcast to analysts about the company’s mobile business on Monday. But he said that mobile ad rates have increased “dramatically” in recent years.

And he noted that the number of Google searches on mobile phones have increased five-fold in the last two years.

“We hope and believe that there’s even a chance that we could exceed desktop in the future,” Gundotra said in reference to the cost per click of mobile ads.

He cited the availability of technology, such as the GPS data that can tell Google a phone user’s physical whereabouts, as helping the company create more “relevant” online ads.

Google, the world’s No.1 Internet search engine with $23.7 billion in 2009 revenue, has stepped up its mobile efforts as consumers increasingly access the Web from smartphones like Apple Inc’s iPhone.

Google offers its own Android operating system that handset manufacturers like Motorola Inc and HTC use in their devices, and in January, Google began selling the Nexus One phone directly on its Web site.

In November, Google announced plans to acquire mobile advertising firm AdMob for $750 million, though the deal is currently facing regulatory review.

The mobile briefing comes as Google is in a standoff with China, the world’s largest Internet market by users, over the future of its Internet search website in the country. Google has said it will no longer censor search results in China, a move that some analysts believe could mean the end of its Chinese language web site

Asked what the search situation might mean for Google’s mobile plans in China, Google CFO Patrick Pichette said on the webcast on Monday that Android was an “open source” platform that’s available to everybody and that the company thought China represented “another great market in which Android should flourish.”

Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Bernard Orr

First-timers Comprise 80 Percent of Business Blog Traffic

Contrary to the widely held belief that the majority of business-related blog traffic is made up of loyal audiences, a recent study reveals just the opposite. Marketers must develop blog and social media content for first-time visitors in order to be effective, according to the survey conducted by Compendium, an enterprise platform for social media and search.

In data gathered from 266 companies about blogging traffic, visitor trends and Twitter usage, the Corporate Blogging and Social Media Trends Survey found that almost three-quarters of respondents from companies selling directly to consumers reported more than 80 percent of all blog traffic was from first-time visitors. More than half of those companies said 41 percent or more of the traffic came through searches.

“A keyword-optimized blogging and social media content strategy geared towards first-time visitors is a valuable tool for marketers to increase conversions,” said Compendium co-founder and CEO Chris Baggott. “More traffic is being driven to corporate blogs through organic searches and more first-time visitors are landing on blogs.”

Of the business-to-business companies surveyed, 64 percent said that between 61 and 100 percent of visitors were first-timers. The study also revealed that less than half of the companies surveyed (approximately 43 percent) had established a Twitter account. The B-to-B companies had the highest reported Twitter usage with 87 percent maintaining an account.

By: Linc Wonham

Is Content King? Then Distribution Is Crown Prince

Great Content Does Not Mean It Will Find An Audience

In the next decade, we will see significant changes to the way that content is created, monetized and experienced. During the next few years, existing media players will begin to increasingly face the realities and challenges that those of us online have always dealt with — an audience with a short attention span and a whole slew of viewing options.

Sumner Redstone famously called content “king.” Rupert Murdoch recently upgraded that to “Emperor.” While there is certainly some truth to that when looking at online content — see Hulu’s rapid growth as an example — there are far more cases where great content does not seem to matter at all. At the very least, I think it is fair to say that even if content is king online, then distribution and marketing are the “crown princes.” Good content or not, understanding and embracing digital distribution and marketing will prove critical to everyone in the entertainment industry.

Historically, marketing content to drive audience has been an art much more than a science. Trailers, posters and commercials are all about making you feel something through sight, sound and motion. While that art remains critical today, there is now a science to it as well. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Is your content optimized for search? If not, it does not matter how good your content is — no one will ever find it. Even worse, they will find it on a torrent or other pirated content
  • Do you understand and embrace social media? Can you get the word out for your content when you want to in order to make your impression when you want to do so? Thursday nights are valuable in television because of the timing of the impression. You need to understand how to make that timely impression in social media as well.
  • Can you design creative that speaks to online audiences? The internet viewer tends to be much more active than the passive TV viewer and the competition for their attention has never been higher. Is your creative ready for the millennial generation?

The good news is that the internet provides amazing opportunities to distribute content and reach an audience. The bad news is that you are competing with millions of other content creators for the attention of that audience and their barrier to entry into the online medium is almost non-existent. In this environment more than any, distribution matters significantly. Unfortunately, there is no “Mastering Online Distribution for Dummies,” and no easy way to achieve it for most creators. The reality is that those who control online video and editorial opportunities know the value of the infrastructure, and have built it from the ground up.

Having said that, every distributor needs content to fill those pipelines and you can certainly give yourself a leg up if you meet their specific needs. Here are some “musts” for content developers:

  • Your content needs to appeal to a specific user or advertiser segment. This might not provide you the opportunity to make the internet version of the blockbuster movie hit “The Hangover,” but it might help you build a business.
  • Make your content efficiently and at a high quality. Most distributors can make content and even have in house content groups. Your content needs to be at the same or higher quality and at a lower cost point.
  • Set aside some of your budget to pay for distribution. It would seem silly to start a business without a marketing budget, so why create content without a plan for distribution? There are countless examples of high quality and vastly entertaining digital content that people just never saw because they either couldn’t find it or it didn’t live in a place where anyone was looking in the first place.

Brands understand more than ever that they need to engage the audience with quality content, and they have the opportunity to do so online. The challenge for them is to understand where the large audiences are ingesting the content and then go about reaching those audiences. The bottom line is that you need to think long and hard about how you want to take content to market. Creating great content is only the first step; if you want those eyeballs and audience, be prepared to invest in distribution and marketing.

Written by Keith Richman, CEO of Break Media.

Ad Age