Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 5-25-14

 

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

 

Today’s #SundayMusings puts the focus back on mobile and mobile marketing thanks to last weekend’s “Pin of the Month” from guest writer Dean Olsen. Here are the top stories that relate to mobile from the past couple of weeks.

#1 – Wearable Baby Tech Aims to Bring Peace of Mind to New Parents – via BrandChannel.com 

Premise: There are a number of new products entering the market that bring tech to our children, including wearables. There is the Mimo Kimono that feeds a baby’s information to an app for parents, to a smart sock from Owlet Baby Care. Finally, Leap Frog has a new product called the LeapBand that works vastly similar to adult bands that track your activity over the course of the day.

Thoughts: This caught my attention for multiple reasons. First and foremost, we introduced our first child to the world last week and it has been a whirlwind ever since. Second, I can’t decide whether or not this technology is a good thing or bad thing, as I completely see both sides of the fence. I’m hoping my wife can make the call on this and whether or not we want to purchase any of these products (or similar ones). I’ll keep you posted …

#2 – “Publishers invest in home-grown mobile ad innovations” – via DigiDay.com 

Premise: The author takes a look at what the future of mobile advertising is and concludes that it is “anything but the banner ad”. Engagement with mobile ads has been very low. Yahoo! announced a new ad unit to try and improve the placement the content users are actually looking for. Beyond Yahoo!, the author provides several examples of brands trying different avenues of improving the overall experience.

Thoughts: Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of the Forbes web site and the number of ads that you are hit with when viewing the site. Even if they have improved the functionality of how you see and move away from the ad itself on mobile, it feels like too much to me.

What caught my attention was the last example from The Weather Company. Their WeatherFX ad platform allows advertisers to focus their ads to specific customers on the app based on the weather in their location. This is another fantastic use of geo-location targeting and messaging for mobile ads. (Note that this is within The Weather Channel app and not the “WeatherFX” app that is in the Google Play store.)

#3 – Foursquare’s Swarm And The Rise Of The Invisible App via TechCrunch.com  

Premise: Foursquare’s new app, Swarm, hit the iOS and Android markets last week and is a pared down version of the ‘old’ Foursquare, focusing on check-ins and proximity features for users. The author points to a third generation in user interaction that we are entering within mobile. Apps are now rendering services to users and they are being built on our own history and location, i.e. data.

The author spoke to Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley about the app and what the future might look like for location-based apps like Swarm. The belief is that we aren’t far away from our phones checking us in without having to press a button or log in. Foursquare has mounds of data behind its services and is a clear leader in location-based service.

Thoughts: I downloaded Swarm the day it became available and checked in at several places over the course of the next few days. The app is very clean looking, easy to use and easy to understand. When I posed a question about who is using Swarm on Jelly, the responses received were neither ringing endorsements nor brutal complaints.

Frankly, that is where I stand with the app as well. I’m sure Foursquare has data that tells them that users of the old app were broken out into two sectors – those using it for searching and those using it as a more social check-in for/with friends. I just happen to like both and am still unsure why there needs to be two apps. That said, they do work together well and you don’t have to worry about opening both separately.

One early tip: if you have a week battery on your phone or don’t want to be “on the grid” all of the time, be sure to swipe your picture at the top of the home page of the app to the right, which will turn off the constant location-based service.

Are you using the Swarm app? What are your early impressions?

#4 – “Mobile Friendly: How to Manage Social Media from Your Cell Phone” via Likeable.com 

Premise: Our personal time is valuable. The author takes us through a handful of apps that will help you manage your social media more easily on your mobile device, including Facebook’s Pages Manager, Buffer, and more.

Thoughts: The author provides a few tips and recommendations for each app suggested and I got a laugh out of the writing style on this article, with the shorthand and text-speak throughout. In regards to Twitter, if you are running multiple accounts, make sure you check which account you left the app on before posting too quickly and sending the wrong message to the wrong audience. (Yes, I’m speaking from experience.)

What apps make your life easier while you are on the run?

#5 – “Motorola Moto E is a durable, affordable smartphone perfect for kids” via BobStanke.com  

Premise: The Motorola Moto E was released last week and boasts a nice balance between operating strength (Android’s Kit Kat, 5 MP camera) and value ($129 + your service contract). Bob Stanke writes that the phone seems to be a great fit for children given these traits, while also providing a little extra sanity for parents, as the phone includes “Motorola Alert” – an app that can send out quick alerts, including location-based notifications for parents that may be interested when their child enters or leaves specific zones.

Thoughts: I’m not sure how I feel about parents tracking their kids’ location on the phones, but inevitably this is where we are heading and it will only become more preeminent. The Moto E looks like a great phone for users, particularly as a starting point for kids.

You may have noticed that this week’s #SundayMusings start and end with articles that revolve heavily around technology and kids. What’s the deal with that? Well, if you are reading this on Sunday (5/25), I am sitting in the hospital after the birth of our first child! So children are certainly top of mind these days and linking it to the future of technology / mobile has certainly been catching my eye over the past few weeks. I’m off to change a diaper …

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Hope you enjoyed the latest #SundayMusings! Don’t forget to vote on the latest poll on ShoreBranding.com on the toolbar to the right hand side of each page here. In the write-up / introduction to the new poll we including the following SlideShare on mobile advertising that I found to be of interest: