Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-30-14

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

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

Happy Sunday and Happy Spring … at least according to the calendar.  This week’s #SundayMusings will focus on mobile and mobile marketing, so here are the top stories that caught my attention over the past two weeks under this umbrella.  Enjoy!

#1 – Foursquare CEO: How We’ll Tell You Where To Eat And What To Order – via ReadWrite.com 

Premise: Aside from telling our friends and family where you are via mobile check-ins, we are providing a dearth of data and information that foursquare is leveraging to help create recommendations for you in the future based on your interests and behaviors.  The author sat down with foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley to talk about what the future is or might be for his company.

The interview itself talks about the past and present numbers for foursquare and where it is seeing growth around the globe, including how to monetize the platform based on the success it has seen in the US.  It then pivots towards “anticipatory computing”, i.e. where your mobile device knows your location and is able to make recommendations for you.

Thoughts: If this is your first, or one of your first visits to the site, I’ll just preface my thoughts with the following: I’m a big fan of foursquare and the personalization I can get from the network.  I thought the interview was fantastic and at the end was an “aha” moment.  When Crowley says that if three people go to Google Maps and search for dinner, the same places will come up.  However, if those three people search foursquare, they are going to get recommendations based to their interests.  That’s the point and that’s the Holy Grail right there – you get what you want.

(If you are considering using the foursquare platform for your business, take a look at the “Tips” article we put together several months back.)

#2 – “7 Unbelievable Mobile Marketing Success Stories” – via LouderOnline.com.au    

Premise: Is your company considering a mobile campaign?  This write-up provides you with seven brands/companies that have successfully implemented a mobile marketing campaign, including; Ikea, Chipotle, Starbucks, and more.

Thoughts: I wish I knew about the Ikea app before we started home improvements two weeks ago!  Creating a virtual 3D image of how an item would look in your home sounds like an amazing feature.  Chipotle used a mobile game (Chipotle Scarecrow) to draw in millions and build awareness of their “Food with Integrity” initiative.

Another brand and unique way of driving engagement with customers is creating exclusivity in a mobile app, like Target has done with their “Cartwheel app”, providing users with unique deals.  Starbucks is mentioned in just about every success story article published.  (Therefore, it is time to put the “Brand in Focus” in the coming weeks.)

Which one of these mobile marketing campaigns catches your attention the most?

#3 – “How Mobile Marketing Can Benefit Your Business” via BrettRelander.com  

Premise: Are you taking advantage of mobile marketing for your brand or business?  The author puts together several ways in which you can use mobile to build your business – SMS, GPS-based, Search, and/or Apps.  These efforts provide you with greater access to who your customers are and helps build stronger loyalty to your brand.

Thoughts: I wanted to use this write-up in today’s #SundayMusings because it is a simple reminder that mobile marketing comes in more than one shape or size.  There are a number of different avenues you can take.  You should be picking the one(s) that you are most comfortable with and committing to them.

#4 – “A Step-By-Step Guide to Setting Up a Mobile Marketing Campaign” via ConvinceandConvert.com 

Premise: It is critical to put together a plan for your mobile marketing campaign and Convince and Convert has laid out the boundaries for you with this write-up.  From defining your objectives, through data/reporting, and follow-up, the article takes you through a checklist of items to consider when planning your mobile campaign.

Thoughts: Building off of #3 above, this article would be a nice ‘next step’ for you to consider when thinking about your mobile campaign.  Define your goals first.  Once executed, be willing and open to tweaking the plans based on learnings and findings while the campaign is being executed.  At the very end of the write-up you’ll find a well-placed campaign from Naked Juice on foursquare as an example.

#5 – “McDonald’s bets on rich media to build Facebook following” via MobileMarketer.com  

Premise: In an effort to increase their presence on Facebook, McDonald’s is turning to mobile advertising on the platform.  Given the changes on Facebook’s newsfeed, the organic reach of posts are typically declining for brands and businesses and efforts similar to this can be used to subsidize those losses.  The McDonald’s campaign has users select their favorite image and takes them to the McDonald’s Facebook page.

This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has leveraged social media for its promotions, having used Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter in the past.  The goal continues to be to drive engagement with its fans and customers.

Thoughts: Few brands out there have the resources that McDonald’s does, but I find it interesting to see them quickly making adjustments based on the changes Facebook continues to implement on its platform.  McDonald’s is bringing in more and more mobile marketing strategies in order to stay connected with their audience.

#6 – “Google unveils Android Wear, its modified OS for wearables” via cNet.com  

Premise: About two weeks ago Google announced that they will be pushing out their Android Wear line, starting with smartwatches.  The wearables will have a new OS that will leverage Google Now voice recognition (similar to Google Glass).  Google will be partnering with HTC, LG, Samsung, Asus, and Motorola to roll out their smartwatches.

Thoughts: Let’s pivot away from mobile marketing for a second.  Are you using a smartwatch yet?  I have seen very few people with them, but as the author of this article points out, with Google jumping into the market, it does provide a little more stability to the market … at least for me anyway.

Maybe the YouTube clip will help start to pique your interest:

#7 – “Mobile Media Summit LA Puts “Cars and Stars” Center Stage” via alistdaily.com  

Premise: The largest mobile advertising conference in North America and Europe hits Beverly Hills, California this coming week.  With the continued shift in focus towards mobile, advertisers have followed suit.  The write-up provides a list of presenters and a registration code for saving a few dollars for those interested.

Thoughts: Given that this is coming up this week, I wanted to put this out there for those that might be interested.  Even if you can’t attend in person, if the prior articles have sparked an interest, you can follow Mobile Media Summit on Twitter to catch the latest news from the event.

Tweet of the Week:

 

Not to be outdone by McDonald’s, here is news on Wendy’s mobile platform from engadget.  However, if you take a look at their story, you’ll quickly learn that Wendy’s has left out discount and promotional efforts from their app, unlike Burger King.

Are you using your mobile phone for payments in store?  If so, how is the experience?  What do you see as the greatest benefit to doing so?

That’s it for this week’s #SundayMusings!  Have a great week ahead!

Loyalty to Brands – Google

 

My loyalty to Google products continues ... (Photo credit: tirebusiness.com)

My loyalty to Google products continues …
(Photo credit: tirebusiness.com)

Welcome to a new series here on ShoreBranding.com called “Loyalty to Brands”.  As referenced in last week’s #SundayMusings, from time to time, we’ll be putting together a summary on the brands we are loyal to and why.  However, I would also like to open this up for guest writing opportunities as well – similar to what we did for our “Tips” series.  If you are loyal to a particular brand and interested in guest blogging, please let me know here in the Comments section below or through the Contact page.

Our first brand in focus may not be too surprising if you have been following the blog for the past year.  My strongest loyalty probably lies with Google.  Since converting over to Gmail as my preferred email system a handful or so years ago, it has been a growing affiliation with the brand.  My loyalty grew fivefold when I purchased the first Droid phone on Verizon.  I’ve since upgraded my phone several times and have been using the Galaxy Nexus for a couple of years.

When Google launches new products or services, I want in … immediately.  When they launched Google+, I scoured the internet looking for an invitation.  Once getting onto the platform, I knew my loyalty was going further north.  While we covered off on Tips for Google+, I wanted to provide a few benefits of the platform and why I love it:

  • Communities are a fantastic source of knowledge and information – whether you are looking for tips and tutorials, reading material, or just enjoying a conversation on like-minded people and subjects, there isn’t a better community/groups platform out there vs. G+.
  • Photos – The integration between your Android devices and G+ / Picasa is a powerful tool.  I never have to worry about losing photos or running out of storage because all photos taken are backed up on G+.  I also find photo editing to be extremely easy on G+.
  • We’ve used Hangouts in the past to talk to long distance friends and family and are extremely easy to set up and we never seem to have a problem with the service.

The fun doesn’t stop there either.  Google Drive has become an important platform for me as well – storing write-ups and documents for easy access when and where I want or need it.  Google Maps is light years ahead of any other mapping or navigation system out there.  YouTube watching/viewing continues to become more prevalent in my household – I’m really interested in seeing whether or not Larry Page and company can find a way to convince the NFL to put their product on YouTube (live).  Finally, the Chrome browser and Google Apps for Business simply make my life that much easier.  On the latter, I know I don’t use them as much as I could, but even the basics of Google Analytics and AdWords are easily accessible and easy to use.

As mentioned earlier, when new Google devices launch, it doesn’t take long to convince myself that I “need it”.  The original Nexus 7 remains my preferred tablet.  I will likely upgrade to a new version of the Nexus tablet eventually, but I need a little bit more in terms of upgrades before doing so.  When Google launched Chromecast, I couldn’t have purchased it any quicker.  While I have the original Roku connected to the same TV, the Chromecast is much more frequently leveraged for Netflix, Hulu, etc.  I would like to see more apps connected to the device in the near future, most specifically the major professional sports here in the US and the new WWE network.

If there is one preeminent Google product or service that I have yet to take full advantage of, it is definitely Google Wallet.  A large part of this is simply because of the lack of acceptance the platform has when checking out at retailers in the area.  I’ve connected to a few retailers and services, but have not really leveraged the app much at all.  If you are using Google Wallet, what do you think of it?

A second area that I’ve yet to get my hands on is Google Glass.  I’m interested in seeing how “wearable tech” nets out and whether Glass grows, the “smart watch” becomes the “it” thing, or if there is something still in the pipeline that wins in this arena.  If you are using Glass, what are you thoughts?

So there you have it, a strong loyalty to Google and the vast majority of its umbrella of products and services.  I don’t think I go a day without leveraging at least three Google products or services and I have no intention of switching to another provider.  In other words, Google = My Loyalty.

Again, if you have a brand or service that you consider yourself loyal to and are interested in guest blogging on this site, please do reach out and let me know.  Thanks!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-8-13

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Here we go with another edition of Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  This week’s stories include news on Movember and two stories apiece on brand extensions and loyalty. [Read more...]

Pin of the Month – Google Glass at the NBA Draft

Credit: Carrot

Credit: Carrot

July’s Pin of the Month takes a look (pun intended) at Google Glass at the NBA Draft.  On June 27th, the NBA Draft was held at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.  The second pick in the draft was Victor Oladipo out of the University of Indiana.  What made this of particular interest for this blog, beyond my enjoyment of the NBA, is that Oladipo wore Google Glass for the day and leading up to the final minutes before being drafted.

So how are we going to spin this into a branding or digital marketing-related topic you ask?  The answer is “very easily”. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 6-30-13

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Here are this week’s stories that caught my attention in branding and digital marketing in this week’s Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding.

#1 – 13 Ways to Use Vine for eCommerce (Or Instagram Video!) – via GetElastic.com 

Premise: The growth in Vine – and now Instagram – and video sharing continues.  This write-up takes you through 13 recommendations on how brands/companies can use Vine to grow eCommerce and providing video examples for each.  Interesting tidbit at the beginning from the GAP, who reports that their tweets with Vine videos attached to them get 6-8 times more engagement.  At the very end of the article you’ll find a short list of comparisons between Vine and Instagram’s micro-video capabilities.

Thoughts: Sorry, but yes this is another article on Vine/Instagram.  Hopefully we have convinced at least one person to use one of these platforms to market their brand/company.  (Have we?)  Out of the 13 recommendations provided, I really like #5 – How-to and Demos and #9 – Go behind the scenes.  While not used as an example here, I still believe Lowe’s has done the best job at building engagement with users with their how-to clips. [Read more...]

Pin of the Month – Google Glass

google-glass-infographic-600x1442

April’s Pin of the Month comes from a particularly interesting new product to hit the market from Google, their Goggle Glass eyewear.  For those that may have missed last month’s first entry, each month we’ll be posting one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. from our Pinterest page as a blog entry and (over-) analyze the content of that month’s selection.

This infographic from Martin Missfeldt takes a look at how Google Glass works and its components.  Aside from the CPU and battery itself, you have the microphone, speakerphone, and camera.  What Google Glass actually does is creates a projector image for you right on your retina.  That image appears in your normal vision and can be adjusted as to where it is seen based on where you position the glass itself. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3/3/13

Sunday Musings 2

Here are this week’s links and stories that caught my attention in branding and digital marketing this week.

#1 – Why Some Brand Extensions Are Brilliant and Others Are Just Awkward – Time.com

Premise: Brand extensions are happening all of the time – some of them work tremendously, while others are tremendous flops.  This article provides a few, recent examples of both.  The good: Chipotle and NyQuil; the bad: Zippo and Virgin.

Thoughts: Failed brand extensions and product launches that go too far beyond a brand’s core principles drive me a little batty.  If a brand feels the need to reinvent their wheel and go in a completely different direction, just start a new brand and give it a unique name.  Know your strengths and your limitations of where you can go, and “Focus” on what you are doing right to ensure you have a sustainable business.

(The “ “ around focus is intentional, as we’ll be starting a book review this coming week on some of my favorites around the world of branding and digital marketing.  Cliffhanger alert.)

#2 – “Groupon’s Andrew Mason: ‘I was fired’” – AdAge.com

Premise: After Groupon’s latest quarterly report, the board finally pulled the plug on its founder and CEO, Andrew Mason.  The article pastes in Mason’s full email to his employees.

Thoughts: I have sparingly used Groupon over the past few years but never truly understood how this could be a sustainable business model, particularly with the likes of Google and Amazon continuously looking to get into this space.  Groupon has proven to be one big mess of a company since going public, burning through cash at an alarming rate.  (Mason once turned down a $6 billion offer from Google several years ago.  Ouch.)

With all of that said, I thought Mason’s email to employees, as well as his general humor on social media about being let go, were done in good fashion.

#3 – “Zynga Joins Gamble on Online Gambling” – MobileMarketingWatch.com

Premise: It isn’t a matter of “if” but “when” online gambling comes in full force to the United States.  Nevada and (my very own) New Jersey are pushing down on the accelerator here and others are sure to follow.  Zynga and its CEO Mark Pincus are looking to join the fray, taking online gambling and making it “social”.

Thoughts: Zynga’s move towards “real” online gambling is a no brainer for the company.  The potential revenue from this is tremendous.  The company already enjoys millions of players for its Zynga Poker game and has recently launched ‘Go Slots’ and ‘Lucky Play’ (a sportsbook) on its own web site.  Similar to Groupon, Zynga has had a tough time convincing investors the company has a sustainable business.  However, the quicker online gambling is adopted in the US, the quicker Zynga can turn around its business.

(Disclosure: I bought Zynga stock when it first went public and have since bought on the huge drop-off.  Still holding now and waiting for … well, the above to come to fruition.)

#4 – “Making LinkedIn Work For Your Business” – manireblog.net.  

Premise: LinkedIn continues to mold itself into a preeminent spot on the web for businesses.  The author takes us through a few of the more powerful steps in which LinkedIn can be leveraged, most specifically on lead generation.  With the redesign of the site’s ‘company pages’ feature, businesses have the opportunity to customize their design and message on their page.

Thoughts: As we have mentioned here a number of times over the first month of the Sunday Musings, LinkedIn has continued to shape the functionality of its site for both businesses and individuals.  While a few of the thoughts and recommendations may seem a little basic to some, this article does a nice job of explaining what you should be covering off on if you are creating or updating your businesses LinkedIn page.

#5 – “Google Glass Changes Everything Including Inbound Marketing” – Square2Marketing.com

Premise: Google Glass has been launched and rather than just “Ooh” and “Aah” over its design and capabilities, this article takes a unique perspective on how Google Glass can have a significant impact on inbound marketing.

Thoughts: This is an interesting spin on what Google Glass can do for businesses and marketers.  The continuous search for more content, knowledge and power takes another step towards being at our fingertips 24/7 with Google Glass.  Connecting and sharing content through voice command is going to be taking a significant step forward in 2013 and into 2014 with Glass.

Take a look at the official video and feel free to “Ooh” and “Aah”:

There was a lot of news in technology this week, particularly in three companies (Groupon, Zynga, and LinkedIn) that went public more recently.  While LinkedIn has seen tremendous growth over that time, the others have struggled.  What do you think the future is for any of these three?