Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 10-11-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

This week’s #SundayMusings takes a look at the most recent advertising stories that have caught my attention over the past few weeks.  What brands have caught your attention recently with their ad efforts – whether that be by TV, digital, or elsewhere?

#1 –  “Are Marketers Finally Getting the Hang of Locattion-Based Mobile Ads” via

Premise: While location-based advertising on mobile devices has been a small portion of mobile ad spending, there continues to be progress made in this arena.  Companies like Essence and xAd have worked with Google to improve this targeted approach at mobile advertising.  

Thoughts: Location-based marketing continues to slowly move forward and we’re only going to see increases in spend levels here as technology gets stronger and platforms become richer.  Push notifications from the likes of Google, Foursquare and others on my mobile, leave no doubt in my mind that this is going to continue to grow.  

Just over two years ago (wow!) I did some testing with Nearwoo and while this slightly moves the needle from location-based marketing per se, the ability to drill down at such a granular level is a highly impactful resource for businesses – big and small.  

#2 – “Ready or Not, Here Comes Your First Big Weepy 2015 Holiday Prank Commercial” via

Premise: Shaw Communications released an ad for Canada’s Thanksgiving holiday and won the internet for a few hours, surprising family members with others returning ‘home’ for the holiday.

Thoughts: Originally saw this link and thought for sure it would be Christmas ad, which naturally made my blood boil.  However, this was a great ad that truly does get you thinking about what the holidays really are, or should be about.  

As always, let’s #SaveThanksgiving – no matter what country you celebrate it in!!

#3 – AdWords and Social Media: King and Queen of Advertising –

Thoughts: A look back at the history of Google’s AdWords and how it has boomed since social media has taken off over the past decade or so.  Interesting to continue to see how AdWords evolves and how powerful the platform is / has become.  

Is your brand/business using AdWords?  How effective has it been for you?

Tweet of the Week:

Well, Carl’s Jr. certainly sparked the controversy recently with its latest ad.  Let’s just say that this is the least revealing tweet you will find on their #TexMexBacon campaign.  Not only did we get the standard “sexist” commentary from this campaign, they managed to make it political as well with some folks saying it was controversial because of the US/Mexican border “issues” that are on-going.  

Can we just enjoy advertising for what it is and not turn everything into such a PC-driven debate?!  Hope you enjoyed this week’s #SundayMusings!  


Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 7-19-15

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit:

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit:

Welcome back for another #SundayMusings with Shore Branding!  This week’s discussion and links all circle around the world of mobile and mobile advertising.  Here are the top stories that have caught my eye over the past few weeks.

#1 – “Televisions Are No Longer the Screen of Choice for Kids” – via

Premise: A recent report from Miner & Co. Studio finds that more than half of parents surveyed said their children preferred to watch video on a mobile device (tablet or phone) over the television.  The impact of this is yet to be seen as these devices become more and more prominent in US households.  However, it is having an impact on TV ratings, specifically kids stations.

Thoughts: So the study itself didn’t surprise me, but the stories from the research irked me.  There is very little that is more annoying than going out to dinner and seeing a family with their heads down all paying attention to their own device.  Equally annoying is when a parent sits down with their kids and immediately hands the child a device.  STOP IT!

Here is the video linked to in the article above from the study.  I couldn’t even get all the way through it without having to walk away.

#2 – “Top 10 mobile advertising campaigns of Q2” via

Premise: The author / site puts together a quarterly list of the top mobile advertising campaigns and with the recent launch of the Apple Watch, there was a lot to choose from over Q2’15.

Thoughts: The news that caught my attention first was the use of the Cinematic Pin offering from Pinterest.  Several brands have pushed forward with the platforms latest ad-related (and revenue driving) technique, including Virgin America and Gymboree.

One additional piece of feedback though … too many stories centered around “selfies” made the list.  Of course, one story would have been too many …

#3 – “9 Mobile Marketing Stats That Will Make You Look Smarter On Twitter” via

Premise: Unbounce breaks down a number of key stats and numbers illustrating the size and growth of mobile marketing over the years.  Whether it is the growing number of users, the amount of time spent on mobile devices, or the amount of money spent on mobile advertising, there is no denying the exponential growth of mobile.  Finally, when talking mobile in 2015, you can’t leave out the growing push towards mobile video.

Thoughts: Beyond the stats and numbers here, if you just followed Twitter’s business over the past five years, you would understand how to stay on top of recent mobile trends.  You started with Twitter and micro-blogging (I hate that word/phrase) and then pivoted into micro-videos (i.e. Vine) and are now moving towards livestreaming via mobile devices (i.e. Periscope).

Brands and companies that stay with these on-going shifts in behavior and consumption have a leg up on more than their fair share of competitors.

#4 – “Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 the next thinnest tablet in the world with 8-inch Super AMOLED screen display, other montster specs” via

Premise: While a release date remains unofficial, it is expected that Samsung will soon announce the release date of their latest tab – the Galaxy Tab S2.  Specs for the devices are starting to float around the internet (as evidenced in the link above).  The device will run on Android’s Lollipop OS and have a microSD slot for extra storage and as always, is compared to the latest iPad devices.

Thoughts: Why is this in today’s #SundayMusings you ask?  Simple … I need a new tablet and this is 99.9% likely to be the tablet that I purchase in the near future.  As you may have seen me complain about on Twitter, my 2012 Nexus 7 is dead thanks to “upgrading” to Lollipop and has become worthless.  I refuse to buy the Nexus 9 due to the lack of additional storage available on it.  The cost doesn’t help the N9’s cause, particularly with being limited to the internal storage provided.

What tablet are you currently using and would you recommend it?  Let me know, I would love to do some comparative shopping.

Tweet of the Week:

While I don’t think there is any earth shattering news among these five mobile trends, it is good to refresh the memory and to ensure you are keeping an eye on what the latest and greatest is … not that this won’t change three or six months from now.  The biggest takeaway among the tips for me is the mention of content marketing via mobile and to keep an eye in this area.  (I’ll ignore the oversight of referencing Periscope and Meerkat.)

That wraps up another #SundayMusings!  What has caught your eye in mobile over the past few weeks?

Enjoy what remains of your weekend and the week ahead!


Loyalty to Brands – Dunkin’ Donuts

Loyalty to Brands - Dunkin' Donuts (Photo from Dunkin' Donuts Twitter)

Loyalty to Brands – Dunkin’ Donuts (Photo from Dunkin’ Donuts Twitter)

This quarter’s “Loyalty to Brands” write-up focusing on a brand/company that I have liked for a long time but have become loyal to over the past year and for a specific reason.  Dunkin’ Donuts has been around for a long time, particularly in the Northeast.

Everyone loves a munchkin (even if you have to cheat on a diet), and I strongly prefer their coffee over Starbucks and others.  However, it wasn’t until Dunkin’ Donuts launched their DD Perks loyalty program and corresponding mobile app that I really started to make frequent trips to the local stores.

Dunkin’ Donuts was one of the first brands to work with Foursquare, partnering with American Express.  When you checked into a Dunkin’ location on Foursquare and synced your Amex card to your account, you would receive a statement credit.  That started nudging me towards Dunkin’ at first.  When they decided to bring everything under their own roof and develop their mobile app, I was sold.

The ability to automatically refresh the balance on my card that is linked to the Dunkin’ Donuts app makes it an easy way to ensure I have the necessary cash in my account.  At the same time, I’m consistently earning points during purchases, which turns into free beverages once you have accumulated enough points.  (Note, as seen below, as of this writing 200 points = a free beverage and every $1 spent = 5 points.)

DD Perks from Dunkin' Donuts

DD Perks from Dunkin’ Donuts

Has a particular mobile app increased your loyalty to a brand or company like this?  Would any Starbucks fanatic like to refute this entire write-up and explain to readers why their brand of choice is superior?

As mentioned in the past, if you have a brand or service that you consider yourself loyal to and are interested in guest blogging on Shore Branding, please do reach out and let me know via the Comments section below or through the Contact page.  Thanks!



Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 5-24-15

Photo Credit: CBS Philadelphia

Photo Credit: CBS Philadelphia

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to everyone in the States!  In this week’s #SundayMusings we’re going to build off of last weekend’s “Pin of the Month” on mobile travel and link in loyalty-related articles, ahead of next weekend’s latest “Loyalty to Brands” write-up.  Here are several write-ups that I have found on brands that I have some level of loyalty to when booking travel.

#1 – “National’s App Adds “Virtual Aisle” Service” – via

Premise: Earlier this year National Rental Car deployed a “virtual aisle” to its Emerald Club members and users of National’s mobile app.  At specific airports around the US, National’s mobile app allows you to conduct a real-time inventory check on what cars are available at the airport.

Thoughts: National Rental Car has always been my preferred rental car provider for as long as I have been traveling for business.  The bypass of the counter feature was enough for me right out of the gate.  However, I’ve never had a negative experience with National, their customer service has been solid, and their mobile app includes just about everything you could possibly need.

#2 – “Hilton HHonors Rewards Program” via

Premise: Wanderbat provides a rundown on the Hilton HHonors program and all of its features, implied value, the encompassing hotel chains that fall under the program’s umbrella, and more.  The write-up suggests that earning points via your spend level at Hilton properties does not carry as much value as other hotels.  However, there are a number of partner programs that can be connected to your Hilton HHonors account.

Thoughts: This write-up provides quite the extensive list of benefits, how to earn and redeem points, and runs the gauntlet of coverage on the program.  Within a few clicks you will be able to find a similar rundown for your hotel of choice.

You may have already seen this but my loyalty in the hotel space has been with Hilton HHonors.  That will provide you with everything you need to know about why I am a loyal member to their program.

#3 – “Best Airline Rewards Programs” via

Premise: reviewed the top ten frequent flier / airline loyalty programs and came away with the ranking found in the link above.  JetBlue and Southwest are at the top of the list, respectively.  The bigger airlines – United, American Airlines, and Delta – find themselves in the middle of the pack.

The page linked to above provides a quick summary blurb for each of the ten airlines measured.  Each airline is then one, additional click away for a more comprehensive review of their respective loyalty program.

Thoughts: While I have preferences in airlines, I am not loyal to anyone in particular.  This is largely due to differences in flight destinations, convenience, and price.  Very rarely do I purchase an airline ticket without checking prices and flight times at each of the following locations – Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, and Philadelphia.  All four are anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes away without any major traffic issues.

It is incredibly tough to be loyal to an airline when you are traveling to various locations.  If you are traveling to one location for your job every week or month, it makes it a lot easier to rack up miles and eventually earn enough for reward travel.  However, I let my points accumulate with Hilton vs. any airline program due to what I view as stronger, more usable benefits.

Moving away from stories and reviews, I wanted to provide a few additional links for mobile travel.  Here are a few mobile travel apps that I find to be very helpful while I am on the road.  The links below are to the apps’ Google Play page.

  • FlightTrack: Offers free and paid versions – link is for the free version – and is typically ahead of airlines when updating delayed flights, gate information, etc.
  • Waze: When I run into issues with Google Maps and the navigation within it, I quickly turn to Waze.  This is somewhat ironic since Google now owns Waze and they should probably be better intertwined by now.  I digress.  Waze will provide you with the appropriate driving directions, alternative routes, and notify you when law enforcement may have been tagged by other users on the roads ahead.
  • 1Weather: I started using this weather app when I purchased an Android Wear smartwatch.  However, I wouldn’t recommend waiting to use this app for your weather and forecasts needs instead of The Weather Channel app.  It is far superior in my opinion.

Tweet of the Week:

Found Simplify’s tweet on a Twitter search for “mobile travel” and loved the link that is embedded here. provides a quick summary on travel and hospitality news, specifically with links to mobile and technology.  No surprise that the top stories connect mobile travel to the Apple Watch, as more brands look to make their mark in the wearables market.

That’s it for this weekend’s mobile travel-related #SundayMusings.  What apps do you find most useful when you are traveling for business or leisure?  Let me know in the comments below or via email so I can check them out.  Thanks!


Pin of the Month – The Modern Mobile Travelers

Infographic by

Infographic by

Building off of last weekend’s #SundayMusings, our “Pin of the Month” for May dives in on mobile, specifically the mobile traveler.  This month’s infographic coincides with a free ebook from  With an interest in mobile and a desire to always be traveling, this one was right up my alley.

The infographic takes a look at the mobile traveler and provides input and feedback as to how brands can better connect with them.  I particularly enjoy how each section of the infographic itself is followed by an insight blurb to put all of the pieces together for you.

After the demographic and background information, we get to the meat and potatoes of who the mobile traveler is and their respective behaviors.  This includes the very obvious differences across generations / age groups.

There were, however, two items that surprised me a little bit (read: I don’t fit the mold here):

  1. Consumers are consistently more likely to book travel on mobile web vs. a specific app.
  2. Approximately half of mobile travelers say they are influenced by loyalty programs.  I would have thought this would be much higher.

How are you using mobile when considering or booking travel?  Are you a multiple device researcher/planner and purchaser?  Does anything catch your eye in the statistics here like they did for me?  Let us know in the comments below or drop me an email at

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyze it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.  Thanks!


Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 5-10-15

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit:

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit:

We are focusing our efforts on mobile in this week’s #SundayMusings.  With the recent announcement from Google (Mobilegeddon) and its impact on web sites and search results, it feels like a good time to keep an eye on all things mobile.

#1 – “How to Ace the Google Mobile-Friendly Test & Score 100%” – via

Premise: Google has begun to further roll out its mobile-friendliness rankings within its search algorithms.  This write-up focuses on the mobile test itself by Google, but also includes links to several other Mobilegeddon write-ups that were put on

Google’s mobile checking Chrome extension will rate your site and provide feedback on areas that may need improvement.  The write-up also goes into the five components of the mobile score and quickly what each represents.  The team at Moz wound up doing their own test across 4K sites to see who did well and who scored poorly on the new algorithm.

Thoughts: What caught my eye on this article vs. the many, many others regarding Mobilegeddon was the willingness to put together real-life examples from around the web and quantifying those results.  A well deserved “kudos” to the team at Moz that went through this effort!

Have you tested your site’s mobile ranking?

#2 – “Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm A Week Later: Was It Really Mobilegeddon” via

Premise: After all of the uproar, did the change in Google’s algorithm drive significant change in mobile search results?  According to this write-up and the coinciding mining, the answer is ‘not really’.  Tracking results from others around the web (links included within the story, including the work done by Moz) the author finds that while changes have been seen, they are not as significant as “feared”.

Thoughts: Similar to many stories seen on the news these days, Mobilegeddon was ramped up as a colossal event that would shake the world to its core (OK, maybe that is even a bit much), only to find that the changes in search results have been impacted, but not turned upside down.

#3 – “Notes From A Mobilized Marketer – It Isn’t The Young That Value The Smartphone The Most” via

Premise: Jeff cites research from Pew Research Center that states that the older you are, the more you value your smartphone.  The vast majority (82%) of those 65+ in age say their phones give them freedom.  That’s just one of a dozen or so headlines from the past few weeks included in this “musings”-like write-up.

Thoughts: While I tend to agree that as I get older, my phone becomes more prevalent, I don’t know if I think that is because I’m getting older as much as it is the fact that my phone is getting better.  What are your thoughts on this?

What really caught my attention here is actually the news that Meerkat jumped ahead of Periscope and was first to launch its app on Android devices, while Periscope remains an Apple-only product.  If I didn’t love Twitter and Vine so much, I would make a much bigger deal out of this, but come on Periscope … we’re waiting!

We’re going to move away from more news articles this week and embed a few items of interest.  First, take a look at the SlideShare below on Wearable technology and its role in mobile:

Next, I found this YouTube video (on and thought how true (and sad) this is in our everyday lives:

Tweet of the Week:

Have you seen this story yet?  A woman was in a hostage situation in Florida and placed an order to her local Pizza Hut with the emergency message for help.  Truly amazing that she was able to get this through, the employees were smart enough to act on it, and the situation didn’t escalate.  It’s a crazy world we live in these days.

That’s it for this weekend’s #SundayMusings.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!


Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-7-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to the latest edition of #SundayMusings!  This week we are going back to Black Friday to take a look at some of the brands that made news for “that day” after Thanksgiving.  Here are the stories that caught my attention:

#1 – “Thanksgiving Sets Historic Milestone as Mobile Drives More Than Half of All Shopping Traffic, Reports IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark” – via

Premise: IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark found that more shopping was done via mobile on Thanksgiving and Black Friday than in any year past.  In addition, mobile outpaced PC’s for the first time and hit 52.1% of all online traffic.  On Saturday, IBM released a number of interesting statistics and breakdowns in the article.

Thoughts: A few tidbits from the final results caught my attention:

  1. While phones drove traffic, tablets drove sales – more people were purchasing on a tablet device this year.
  2. Thanksgiving sales continue to be more prevalent and are eating into Black Friday sales.  If you have been reading our articles over the past month or so, you know how I feel about this.  (Stay home on Thanksgiving also means talking to your friends and family, not staring at the computer.
  3. Apple outpaced Android across three different metrics in Black Friday sales.  Here is a second article from Fortune focusing a little bit more on these numbers.

[Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-9-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to another edition of #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding.  Our focus this week will be on brand loyalty and the customer experience.  This builds off of October’s “Pin of the Month” and the continuation of our “Loyalty to Brands” series.  Here are the top stories from the past few weeks that caught my attention.

#1 – “Amazon CEO Wants to Make Holidays Easier and Stress-free for Customers” – via

Premise: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has issued a promise to Amazon’s customers that the company will be focusing on the customer experience throughout the holiday season.  Beyond competitive pricing, Amazon will have 15K Lightning Deals, gift lists, updated product lineups and the ability to to make purchases and contribute a portion to your preferred charity.

Amazon announced a slew of new tech products for the holidays, including new Kindles and Fire tablets.  There is a focus on kid friendly content and products.  Amazon Prime members will continue to reap additional benefits through early access to sales and exclusive deals on

Thoughts: As mentioned in our latest “Loyalty to Brands”, Amazon has become my go-to retailer and is where I continue to increase my share of wallet for holiday shopping.  I can’t think of another store or retailer where customer support has made it easier and more customer friendly than what Bezos has done with Amazon. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 9-28-14

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on LinkedIn (Photo credit:

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on LinkedIn (Photo credit:

Our last #SundayMusings that focuses on LinkedIn as we close out “LinkedInMonth” – which turned into two months given the amount of content.  We have focused our #SundayMusings efforts on the professional network over the past few weeks and have our last two “Pin of the Month” entries on the platform as well.  Next week will wrap up our efforts with a new “Tips” article focusing on business/company page recommendations, which follows our personal branding Tips for the network.

Here are the stories that caught our attention over the past few weeks:

#1 – LinkedIn takes steps toward an ad network – via

Premise: LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of Bizo will help the network vastly improve its business-to-business marketing and will serve as another source of revenue for the platform.  While LinkedIn will not call Bizo a pure ‘ad network’ play, the site will soon be able to sell B2B ads that are more targeted on-site, but also off-site.  The July acquisition takes LinkedIn another giant step forward from past efforts in building ad revenue with more powerful targeting.

Thoughts: LinkedIn’s CEO Jeffrey Weiner seems to continue pushing all the right buttons in moving the platform to the next level.  With a need to now answer to shareholders, the acquisition of Bizo represents another huge opportunity for revenue growth.  Targeted marketing continues to become more and more prevalent, while at the same time, becoming stronger and more efficient thanks to companies like Bizo. [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – Retail Loyalty

June's "Pin of the Month" from Kobie Marketing Retail Loyalty in 2014

June’s “Pin of the Month” from Kobie Marketing
Retail Loyalty in 2014

Our June ‘Pin of the Month’ focuses on retail loyalty and how mobile technology is forwarding the market. The infographic is brought to us by Kobie Marketing. We’ve been focusing on mobile in recent weeks through our bi-weekly #SundayMusings and even in last month’s Pin of the Month – the Smartphone Revolution.

If you have spent any time on this site over the past year, I think we can align on the fact that more and more people are using smartphones and they are becoming more and more of a part of our everyday lives. Within the infographic we see a relatively bold statement from Kobie that “2014 will be the year of seamless transition between brick-and-mortar, online, and mobile”. [Read more…]