Pin of the Month – Google Maps

 

Google Maps infographic by Business-Management-Degree.net

Google Maps infographic by Business-Management-Degree.net

 

The ‘Pin of the Month’ for April 2014 is one that was actually sent my way by Louann Fadrik of Business-Management-Degree.net.  This ties in nicely with one of the recent themes written about here on ShoreBranding.com – my personal loyalty to Google’s products.  This month’s ‘Pin of the Month’ focuses specifically on Google Maps and how it is changing location-based data and business.

At the top of the infographic we see the future of location-based data and what many believe the future holds for us.  “Location awareness will be built into everything” and I find it hard to argue with that (just take a look at the stories from our mobile marketing-focused #SundayMusings from a few weeks ago).  Google Maps will likely be the backbone to much of this given their strength and market share of its API.

The part that I find most fascinating in this infographic is the section on the “Components of Google Maps” and how Trekker actually works.  The amount of data that they are collecting and piecing together on a day basis is, frankly, amazing.  I’m even more interested to see what Google does with Waze now after digesting this.

After taking you through a timeline of events at Google, the infographic provides us with a peek into what companies are built on Google Maps API, including Uber, Airbnb, and thousands more.  Google’s success led to the launch of OpenStreetMaps, which has been adopted by, among others, Apple and Foursquare.  As they say, innovation typically drives growth and that is what Google Maps seems to be doing for location-based business.

I want to take a second to thank Louann for reaching out to me directly.  She saw my articles on Google and thought I might be interested in this and was absolutely correct.

For those unfamiliar with our Pin of the Month, each month we’ll be posting one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we typically find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in a blog write-up.  Follow Shore Branding on Pinterest for frequent updates across branding and digital-related information and infographics.

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!

Brand in Focus – Cadbury

After doing a little searching for our next ‘Brand in Focus’ – it was quickly decided that Cadbury (UK) would be the nominee due to a slightly unique status across social media platforms.  The Cadbury web site promotes its social media pages on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.  What immediately caught my eye were the number of fans and followers on each.  Cadbury’s Twitter page has ~185K Followers at the time of this writing and their Facebook page has 518K Fans.  However, their Google+ page has over 3.1 million Followers.

Cadbury’s own web site heavily promotes the G+ and Twitter feeds, as you can see in the image below.  The G+ page has also been heavily supported and used as an example of one of the better/stronger pages out there on the network.  Given this, let’s start there. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-22-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  Again, we have largely been able to focus on one particular subject this week.  As we come to the end of 2013, it is natural to look ahead to 2014 and this week provided a lot of content for predictions and tips going into next year.

Throughout the links below you will also find several write-ups that we put together here on that particular subject over the course of the past nine months.  Take a look if you missed any of it! [Read more...]

New Poll – What Is On Your Holiday Wish List?

 

What is on your holiday wish list?  (Photo credit: 123rf.com)

What is on your holiday wish list?
(Photo credit: 123rf.com)

We were overdue for a new poll for a few weeks on Shore Branding, but held off in the spirit of our #SaveThanksgiving efforts.  With Thanksgiving past us, it is now time to think about what your holiday wish list looks like.  Our new poll question is simple: What is the one tech-related item that you hope to receive as a gift this month?  (Whether this is self-gifted or from someone else is unimportant…) [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-17-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  Be on the lookout for an announcement later this week for a project that I am really excited for!  (Teaser alert!)

#1 – 5 Reasons Why You Need to Be Mobile Ready for 2014 – via DannyBrown.me 

Premise: Danny Brown provides five (more) reasons that your business needs to have a mobile game plan based on the results of a study conducted by Nielsen and Google.  Consumers are doing more research/search on mobile – looking up information on products, for deals, etc.  While results are mixed thus far, the benefits of geo-location apps can be seen when your business is found on the likes of Foursquare and Facebook Places.  Finally, consumers are beginning to use mobile devices for purchasing / at the point of purchase and that trend is more than likely going to continue upward.

Thoughts: Over the past few months we have spent a good amount of time and effort on the importance of mobile – including our Foursquare tips and introduction to the mobile advertising company Nearwoo.  The shift towards mobile devices will continue and I hope your brand/company is ready for it.

Are you making adjustments to your mobile game plan?  Have you had early success or failure? [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 10-20-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week.  We are going to continue with the ‘Tweet of the Week’ that started last weekend.  We’re simply looking for a tweet from a brand or company worth a little extra discussion.

#1 – Big news: today we’re opening up Foursquare Ads to all small businesses around the world – via blog.foursquare.com 

Premise: On Monday, foursquare rolled out ‘Foursquare Ads’, their own ad platform that will help small businesses connect with local (potential) customers.  With over 1.5 million businesses on the site, foursquare is now allowing businesses to set up advertising campaigns and easily track its performance – knowing who saw the ad, who checked-in at your business, etc.

Thoughts: There is nothing like writing a new tips article earlier this week and putting the “forthcoming” ad platform as a ‘keep your eye out for this’ recommendation … only to have them deploy it the day you are about to publish.  C’est la vie I guess.  Foursquare is looking for revenue builders and this is a potential blockbuster for the platform.  The ability to see who is reacting to your ad/campaign and managing your budget accordingly puts more power right in the hands of you and your business.  If anyone is testing this out already, I would love to hear your feedback – whether that be early successes, ideas for how it could improve, etc. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 9-22-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

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

#1 – Using Hashtags The Right Way – via SocialMediaToday.com 

Premise: Ever wonder how or where hashtags were started, and by who?  This write-up starts with a repost of the creator of hashtags, Chris Messina.  The repost recalls the early stages of the hashtag and how it almost never got off the ground.  After this, the writer briefly explains the purpose of a hashtag (the ability to allow an audience to see and join in on a particular subject/topic of conversation) and provides a small checklist of items to consider when making your own hashtag.

Thoughts: Hashtags have become an invaluable tool for brands to engage with their audience.  I particularly agree with the writer’s first tip, “research first”, when thinking about creating your own hashtag for your brand/business.  Several months ago we started using “#SundayMusings” in an effort to better understand where RT’s and/or similar comments might be coming from and with the hope of building a broader audience.  It seems to have helped slightly, as visitation has certainly improved on this weekly write-up. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 9-8-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding!  The following are this past week’s top stories in branding and digital marketing that caught our attention.

#1 – Google’s ‘Android KitKat Will Appear on 50 Million Candy Bars – via AdWeek.com 

Premise: Google’s next operating system has changed its name from Key Lime Pie (rumored at least) to KitKat, the very popular chocolate candy.  Hershey, who distributes the candy in the US (but not outside of the US, as that is handled by Nestle) announced the partnership with Google, in a publicity-focused, co-branding effort.

Kit Kat bars will have an Android logo on them in stores soon as part of the PR campaign.  Google will be running promotional efforts and giveaways for Nexus 7 tablets, Google Play gift cards, and Kit Kat candy.

Thoughts: The relationship forged here is brilliant from both sides of the fence.  Google will put its Android logo on one of the more popular chocolates on shelf and likely help its appeal among younger potential consumers.  Kit Kat gets the free PR from being involved with Google, who you know is going to market the launch of their new OS heavily. [Read more...]