Thursday, 31 December 2009

THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE (NHL) GETS MOBILE



The National Hockey League (NHL) and Verizon Wireless are partnering to provide live and exclusive mobile content on the carrier's V Cast service. Live NHL games, local radio broadcasts and play information will be available on V Cast. Consumers can watch live hockey games from their mobile devices on New Year’s Day.

Ice stream
For the second year, Verizon Wireless and the NHL are bringing NBC Sports coverage of the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day to V Cast for consumers to watch on their Verizon devices. At 1 p.m. EST on Jan. 1 the Boston Bruins will host the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL’s annual outdoor game. This year it will be played in Boston.  The game will be streamed in its entirety on the NBC Sports channel on V Cast.


Additional NBC Sports games will be streamed live during the remainder of the season.  Also beginning on Jan. 1, the NHL and Verizon Wireless are giving hockey fans across the country the chance to listen to teams’ local radio broadcasts live on V Cast.  The audio will feature hometown announcers and analysts from every game will be available throughout the season and the playoffs.  Broadcasts from select games will also be available in French.


 “Verizon Wireless has featured a lot of NHL content, and we're planning to bring even more innovative mobile content and options to our customers,” said Debra Lewis, spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, Basking Ridge, NJ. “The NHL is very forward-thinking about its mobile strategy, and we're excited to continue to work together.”  Ms. Lewis said the NHL provides Verizon with content including video, audio and exclusive extra content on players and teams.

The NHL’s Mr. DiLorenzo said partnering with Verizon meets several challenges for the League. The partenship lets the NHL serve fans who are not in front of a television or computer.  Working with Verizon also helps the NHL satisfy the demand from its passionate, tech-savvy audience and it lets the League be more pervasive in marketing the game.

“Going mobile lets us shorten the distance between league and fans,” Mr. Di Lorenzo said. “And we realize the marketing and business benefit of an increasingly pervasive content and commerce platform.”

Read Full Article.

WALT DISNEY’S MULTIFACETED DIGITAL STRATEGY



Disney’s mobile initiatives include SMS alerts and campaigns, games, sweepstakes programs and a video-enabled mobile Web site, both a WAP version as well as one optimized for the iPhone’s Safari browser and touchscreen capabilities.

 “We’re focused on extending Disney.com to mobile platforms, and we work with all Disney-branded business units to mobilize their programs,” said Disney’s director of mobile strategy and marketing.  “We use the same ad filter for both platforms—our mobile site and iPhone app,” he said.


“The mobile site and the app support Disney films, television shows and video games, and are updated weekly with new videos, new sections [and] new games launching and both utilize news feeds from around the company with information and quizzes about popular movies and TV shows.”

According to Disney - Disney.com ranks as the No. 1 entertainment site on the mobile Web.   Consumers can even text the keyword MOBILE to the short code DISNEY to get information about the company.

In addition to the free Disney iPhone application, the company also has an expanding line-up of paid applications currently available in the App Store, including Toy Story Mania, Disney Fairies Fly, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Breakspin.  Disney Interactive Studios also recently launched the latest addition to its slate of applications, The Muppets Animal Drummer for the iPhone and iPod touch.

a multichannel approach

Disney takes a multichannel approach to marketing its many properties and mobile continues to increase in its importance as a marketing channel for Disney. “We use a multitude of methods to get the word out,” Mr. Rhodes said. “Our strategy in regards to communication is to educate the Disney audience—people are already consuming our content on other platforms.“We’re running TV spots on the Disney Channel, radio commercials, mobile calls-to-action in print and outdoor advertising, we’re promoting it on the online version of our site and we’re running mobile advertising and on-device search advertising, both natural organic search and paid search,” he said.

Disney has found that ads promoting a specific TV show or movie are more successful than general Disney-branded ads.  “We’ve learned to be brand-specific—a Hannah Montana ad that is targeted generally does well, while a general Disney ad is not as effective,” Mr. Rhodes said.

Disney sells its own inventory across its various platforms, including television, radio, online and mobile.  Disney offers cobranded sponsorship opportunities and banner ads sold on a CPM basis. It offers both cross-channel buys and mobile-specific. About 40 percent of the campaigns it sells focus exclusively on the mobile channel.


Currently Disney has three advertising sponsorship deals running on its mobile site, that represent the three types of mobile campaigns it typically sells.  Jonas Brothers and Xbox 360 are running a cobranded sponsorship campaign featured across the Disney mobile site.  Banner ads redirect users to a micro-site that is also cobranded by the Jonas Brothers and Xbox. The site broadcasts a call-to-action for consumers to participate in a user-generated-content program letting kids submit video clips then view, share, and rate videos submitted by others.

There is even a text-to-win sweepstakes integrated into the campaign, asking consumers to text the keyword XBOX to a short code to enter for the chance to meet the Jonas Brothers in person and win an Xbox 360 video game system.

“We’ve seen the text-message sweepstakes work very well.  A previous campaign with the Jonas Brothers and Best Western saw almost half of the sweepstakes entries come from mobile.  An SMS call-to-action is a great way to get people participating in a campaign,” he said.

Mass merchandiser Target, for example, launched a straightforward banner ad buy across Disney’s mobile Web site and various applications to drive consumers in store to boost holiday sales.  AT&T ran a Haunted Holidays campaign leveraging Disney’s online and mobile platforms featuring “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” and “A Christmas Carol,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and other Disney properties relevant to the “spooky Christmas” theme.


Mobile gaming
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Disney reports that its core demographic on mobile skews older than its TV and radio properties.  “At the core, the demographics are very similar, although from mobile standpoint it’s slightly older, whereas on the Disney Channel or Radio Disney you get younger kids,” Mr. Rhodes said. “On mobile we get tweens or teens—we perform best in that 11-15 range. We also perform well on mobile with moms and adults—men are more familiar with navigating to content on their phone,” he said. “Parents are sharing mobile content with their kids, making games the No. 1 section of our mobile site.


Disney has a series of mobile games it calls “interactive adventures,” basically digital, mobile versions of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series of books.  Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers for example both have their own mobile games. Other top Disney mobile games include Fairy Friends, Cannons of the Deep (based on the ride and film “The Pirates of the Caribbean”), trivia games based on various Disney film releases and the Princess and the Frog Swamp.  All Disney mobile games have free, WAP-based, ad-supported, and available within the iPhone application store, which also has games with more robust functionality such as the Wizards of Waverly.

Mobile connects all channels
Disney continues to place a greater and greater emphasis on the mobile channel, both as a publisher and an advertiser.  “Mobile fits in really prominently in our overall strategy, and our focus has been on aligning our mobile properties with the online version of the site—the same videos available online are also available on mobile.”


“We’re using mobile to connect and enhance larger campaigns for films and TV shows, and we have pretty extensive mobile programs connected to our upcoming releases, including Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ and ‘Toy Story 3,’” he said.   “Mobile is an important channel because we’re seeing a lot of adoption and traffic, not just our properties, but across the entire industry.”

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

ALMOST 1.5 MILLION ITEMS BOUGHT ON EBAY VIA MOBILE THIS HOLIDAY


Holiday shopping went mobile this season, with a surge in buyers using the eBay iPhone application and other eBay mobile properties to find great deals while on the go.  The number of items bought via eBay mobile applications this year was triple last year’s holiday volume. In 2009, eBay buyers and sellers have generated more than half a billion dollars of transactions via mobile - with strong momentum this holiday season.


According to VP of platform business solutions and mobile at eBay, “consumers had the power to seek out the best deals regardless of time or location, to the point that you could even do comparison shopping on your mobile device while you’re in the store at the mall.  The lines between online and offline were permanently blurred in 2009.”

MOBILE COMMERCE UP
Nearly 6 million people have eBay on their iPhone and shoppers are making 750,000 unique visits a day to eBay via mobile applications.  Mobile purchases this season range from designer handbags to a $75,000 1966 Chevrolet Corvette.  According to an IDC report, mobile Internet users will double in number by 2013 to surpass one billion. Here are some mobile eBay trends:

Nearly six million people are carrying eBay around in their pocket,
- Users from more than 165 countries visited the eBay mobile Web site and iPhone application,
- 1.5 million items were bought on eBay using mobile phones worldwide this holiday,

- In 2009, an item sold every 2 seconds via eBay mobile applications worldwide.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Infographics from "SLIGHTWARE: THE NEXT GREAT THREAT TO BRANDS"


This book by Kenneth J. Weiss provides some excellent infographics on:















































Above content expert’s from Chapter 1 of Kenneth J. Weiss’s book “Slightware: The Next Great Threat to Brands
About the author

STELLA ARTOIS LAUNCHES MOBILE AUGMENTED-REALITY BAR GUIDE


The worlds top Belgian beer; Stella Artois has launched an augmented-reality bar guide application called “Le Bar Guide”.   “Le Bar Guide” is a free 3D Augmented-Reality iPhone application that lets consumers search using geo-tracking for bars nearby via ZIP, Postal code, country or user rating. The simple premise of the new application is to enable Stella Artois to promote all bars that serve Stella Artois.

Le Bar Guide fuses the real-world view of the consumer’s immediate surroundings in augmented reality, providing a guide to bar locations.  When the iPhone is held vertically, Le Bar Guide shows profiles of bars in the consumer’s immediate vicinity. The profiles are overlaid on the street view from their location.  Consumers can hold the phone with the camera pointing at the ground and the application will show arrows pointing the consumer in the direction of nearby bars.




This social application also importantly features user-generated content.  Consumers can rate bars according to the menu, atmosphere, other clients and the service.  The application also has a section for comments about locations for other Le Bar Guide users.

The application currently has more than 50,000 bars listed worldwide. Bar data comes from a Stella Artois Web service that provides geo-location information on all the bars that serve Stella in the U.S. and worldwide.

The Le Bar Guide’S handy “Le Taxi” feature even sources numbers for Taxi services from a local country directory.



Using the iPhone is also perfect for Stella’s target of affluent males between the ages of 25-35.    Adding Augmented Reality, the overlay of images on the real world via a device’s camera, adds a heighten experience and a more intuitive user interface.  Moreover, “Stella Artois chose this technology because they believe over the next three-to-four years augmented reality will be the primary delivery mechanism for location-based services. This is where the users are.”  

Thursday, 24 December 2009

SPRITE GETS MOBILE



The Coca-Cola Co. has launched an application to promote its Sprite brand, emphasizing that mobile has become an integral part of its 360-degree marketing strategy.

Sprite has launched Zoozbeat Sprite, the first iPhone application to be offered through Sprite’s ongoing Under the Cap promotion. When consumers enter Sprite cap codes via text message, they receive mobile rewards, including the new Sprite-branded, music-focused Zoozbeat application.

“Smart marketers are looking at all the different ways to communicate with people—traditional, in-store, out-of-home, online and mobile,” said a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola. “Since the Sprite brand is focused on youth, we want to focus on mobile in particular, and this is the first big Under the Cap program we’ve launched in the U.S., which we’re looking to grow moving forward,” she said. “If you’re not taking that 360-degree approach today, then you’re not marketing effectively.”


Zoozbeat Sprite’s music, recreation, and remix studio has been downloaded more than 1 million times since launching in the Apple App Store in November 2008.  Zoozbeat Sprite transforms iPhones into mobile music studios, letting users create their own tracks with downloadable beats and samples from music producers and artists such as Dallas Austin.

Zoozbeat Sprite works by shaking, tilting or tapping the iPhone screen to create and combine rhythmic and melodic tracks that can be uploaded to the Web for listening and sharing in mp3 format with friends.  Users can unlock additional beats within the application by twisting the cap off any Sprite or Sprite Zero bottle and texting in the keyword ZOOZ followed by the code under the cap.  Sprite will then provide consumers with a Zoozbeat Sprite code that can use be used to unlock more beats.  Additional artists being featured on the Zoozbeat Sprite application include hip-hop producer Khayree, Alex Christie, SY Scott, Novel, Sheed, Laron Brant and Spree Wilson.


The target demographic for the iPhone application is the same as overall target demographic for Sprite—multicultural youth ages 13-24.  As young people have their iPhones attached to their wrist a mobile app was a natural fit.   


Coca-Cola will also run mobile advertising across the mobile Web sites and within other iPhone applications to promote Zoozbeat Sprite.  Coca-Cola launched the iPhone application as an enhancement to the larger Under the Cap program Sprite has been running.  Consumers participating in the program can opt in to receive SMS alerts and other messages from Sprite.  The Under the Cap program is also promoted on packaging for the Sprite brand, encouraging consumers to text in to receive various rewards.  




Wednesday, 23 December 2009

WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG THING IN DIGITAL MAKING BUZZ IN 2010?


Looking to add some real “buzz” to your 2011 brand activities? Goodbuzz urges clients to take advantage of today's environment of pervasive technologies and overlapping media to create new kinds of entertainment.
With that in mind, here are our “Top 3” opportunities for 2010 that will separate you from the pack:
1.  OUT-OF-HOME:  Imagine urban environments transformed (using technology) into public places for play,
2.  ONLINE + MOBILE:  Both games that respond to broadcast TV in real-time, and Game events driven by real-world data,
3.  SITUATED MEDIA:  Multimedia and hypermedia that are embedded in the surrounding spatial environment.  Essentially, it’s media that corresponds to
a users specific locations and contexts.

GOODBUZZ works with advertising agencies, media firms, networks, and large consumer brands to build brands that radically differentiate.  What can we do for you?

ESTEE LAUDER’S MOBILE HOLIDAY WISH-LIST SENDER



According to Deloitte’s 24th Annual Holiday Survey of retail spending and trends (2009), one in five consumers—19 percent—plan to use the mobile channel for holiday shopping this year, with 25 percent of those customers planning to use a mobile phone to make a purchase.


To capitalize on this, Estée Lauder launched a mobile storefront where users can go to send gift ideas to friends and family during the holidays. The Estée Lauder storefront contains product images that consumers may select and send to their friends and family members’ mobile phones.

This is not the first time Estée Lauder has used mobile.  The brand is also helping raise awareness for breast cancer via an ad campaign that is running on Kargo and Hearst Magazines’ mobile properties (see story). The cosmetics giant also offered a Gift Time SMS Text Reminder service allowing consumers to sign up to receive text-message alerts (see story).


Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Happy Holidays!


BUDWEISER GETS MOBILE



Budweiser, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the worlds largest brewing conglomerate, ran mobile ads for its Bud Light Lime brand on the Weather Channel’s mobile site and within its iPhone application to promote its mobile initiatives.

Ads included videos and click-to-Bud Light WAP sites and the Apple App Store. The iPhone application banner ads were expandable ad units, so a user can touch the ad to expand it to take up a majority of the screen on the device, featuring a video that played within the ad unit that conveyed being on the beach and having a Bud.

“The idea was to promote Bud Light during the key summer months, with The Weather Channel iPhone application providing an exclusive opportunity and audience reach,” said the Vice President of mobile for The Weather Channel Interactive, Atlanta.  “Several creative executions rotated with important seasonal messages about Bud Light Lime and Bud Light’s Port Paradise promotion”.


The strategy behind The Weather Channel ad-supported app for iPhone was to make the top weather app even more useful while still remaining free for consumers.  It’s clear that Mobile customers respond to superior products and services---with more than 6.5 million downloads.   The Weather Channel application is now the top weather application in the Apple App Store, and its rich media expandable 320x40/300 ad unit offers a breakthrough creative execution.

Many of the banners in Bud Light Lime’s campaign drove consumers to the company’s Bud Light Lime Summer Hotspots iPhone Application. The application helps consumers locate hot spots in their area where they can cool off with a Bud Light Lime during the summer.  Also, consumers were driven to http://www.budlightlime.com/m/budlime.


Ads within the iPhone application also promoted Bud Light’s Paradise sweepstakes. Consumers were asked to text the keyword CRUISE to short code 23377 (BEERS) for a chance to win a cruise.

Bud Light’s adult consumers are heavy users of the mobile Web and 92 percent of TWC’s iPhone application users are 21 years of age or older.  The app is a great benefit to users and advertisers alike – opening the doors for expandable ads, click to video, GPS and more – all without sacrificing user experience.



Friday, 18 December 2009

THE MUPPETS GO MOBILE WITH BRITISH ROCK BAND QUEEN


Disney Interactive Studios launches “The Muppets Animal Drummer “for the iPhone and iPod touch. Available now on the App Store for $1.99 USD, the application puts users in the drummer’s seat for a game that will test the skills of wannabe rock drummers.  Users can watch and listen to Animal play then match Animal’s beat and timing to score points and unlock new songs. 

Music has always played a key role for the Muppets franchise, so to develop a music-based game with Animal, as the star was a great way to introduce the brand on the platform.  This is, according to Disney, the first step to a broader mobile initiative for the Muppets brand. The Muppets Studio LLC is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co. 

TMS plans to develop new content in all arenas, including television, feature films, Internet, music and theme parks, and to enhance the Muppets global licensing and distribution presence.  The Muppets Animal Drummer application features a Free Play Mode where users can rock out with Muppets character “Animal” to original music or songs imported from users’ iTunes music library.  Users can also score points and create combos to charge their Rock Meter and power their stage presence.  They can also use the application to create original music, then hit the record feature and watch Animal replay their jam session.


In addition to this application release the Muppets have teamed up with legendary British rock band QUEEN to record a version of "Bohemian Rhapsody."   “The Queen and Muppets’ version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was released digitally by Walt Disney Records on December 15, so users of Animal Drummer can actually rock out with Animal and the song in the app's Free Play Mode by first downloading ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ through iTunes for $0.99 to their music library and then importing it into the app,” Mr. Saiz said.  “The track is also available as a ringtone on traditional mobile devices,” he said.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

VITAMINWATER application downloads over 250,000 times in two weeks


We mix the vitamins, you mix the beats:  Vitaminwater-branded Sound Lab application featuring hip-hop superstar 50 Cent was downloaded more than 250,000 times in the first two weeks after its induction.  The application lets fans download and remix the artist’s newest single “Baby By Me.” A mobile advertising campaign pushed 50’s Sound Lab application to No. 1 in the Top Free Music applications in the App Store.

“We met with vitaminwater in the summer and they were very keen on using music as a vehicle to reach their base," said Jon Vlassapulos, CEO of Moderati Inc., San Francisco. “They’re forward-thinking and they like the Romplr platform, which gelled with their overall consumer base.


“Coca-Cola’s Energy Brands thought an iPhone app would be an appealing natural extension of their relationship with 50 Cent, who is a founding partner of the vitaminwater brand, and it also dovetailed with the release of his new album,” he said.  Brands can get extra value out of endorsement deals via mobile. Energy Brands, also doing business as Glacéau, is a privately owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola based in Whitestone, NY, that manufactures and distributes various lines of enhanced water such as vitaminwater. Rap artist Curtis Jackson—known as 50 Cent—obtained a 10 percent share of the company as part of an endorsement deal.

This application reinforced vitaminwater’s brand objective of getting out the message that its product has vitamins in it with the tagline "We mix the vitamins, you mix the beats."The application came out the same day as the record, and it was a perfect storm where Apple picked it up, fans liked it and it shot to No. 1 after a few days in the App Store.

Successful app marketing
In addition to the download tally, which is approaching 300,000, user engagement figures included close to 1 million remixes uploaded to the companion site at http://www.50soundlab.com.



In addition, the application drove conversions—more than 64,000 downloads of 50 Cent’s latest single “Baby By Me.”  In-application purchases of mobile content are a growing trend to look out for in 2010.

The Sound Lab remix platform lets fans interact with music by creating their own versions of tracks by their favorite artists, thereby becoming part of the creative process themselves.  The 50’s Sound Lab application gives fans access to the key elements of the original recording and provides creative tools to connect with and personalize the new single.  In addition to being able to remix the new single, 50 Cent is giving one fan a chance to show off their skills and travel with a friend to meet the artist in New York City.

Once all of the vitaminwater remixes have been uploaded, 50 Cent will scout out the best remix of his latest single and invite that person to meet with him.  Users can record and share their personal mixes via Facebook, email or on the online interactive music companion site at http://www.50soundlab.com.


Read original article.

Monday, 14 December 2009

LG LAUNCHED AN OUT-OF-HOME CAMPAIGN IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FILM “AVATAR”


Handset manufacturer LG launched an out-of-home campaign in conjunction with the film “Avatar” to coincide with the launch of the latest Chocolate devices.  The two-week campaign featuring the new LG Chocolate BL40 and the forthcoming Chocolate BL20 ran across London 6 sheets and national bus T sides, in addition to the five interactive touch-screens in bus shelters.  The digital bus shelters featured information about the LG handsets, plus characters information, and trailers from James Cameron’s “Avatar” film, in theaters Dec. 17.


Engaging bus commuters
The interactive bus shelter hosted a 42-inch touch-screen combined with a PIR motion-activated system and camera.   When inactive, the screen features the eyes of Na’vi—a character in the film—until a member of the public approaches and the motion sensor activates a talking Avatar before the new Chocolate LG40 comes into the shot.


A short video shows the touch-screen and QWERTY keypad navigation, a walkthrough of the Web browser, Google maps and GPS applications before going to the media browser and selecting a video clip which launches the 30-second Avatar trailer.  Returning to the media browser carousel, the user is then invited to opt in by pressing icons on the screen to view more product information, take part in a competition or view the trailer again.

The partnership will be supported through a TV spot that features the “Avatar” movie trailer footage projected from LG eXpo and an interactive micro-site, which includes exclusive movie content.  The campaign’s TV ad began airing Fri., Dec. 11, on CBS during NCAA games and ESPN.  The TV broadcast ad is also running during cable programming such as CSTV, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, Discovery, G4, History Channel, Science Channel, Spike, SyFy and USA.


LG said that it wanted to have an impactful execution that would bring the new LG Chocolate’s feature set to life in an accurate and creative way that would both grab attention and involve consumers in the content.   Despite the high-tech, interactive nature of the campaign, there were a few missed opportunities.

An SMS call-to-action in the bus shelter would have given LG and Avatar the opportunity to ask consumers to text a keyword into a short code and opt in for alerts, coupons or future remarketing.  Also, there is not a mobile-optimized/WAP version of the micro-site, and there is no mobile advertising in conjunction with the campaign.   LG and “Avatar” however did launch an exclusive joint-sponsored Facebook page between Fox and MTV. 




Friday, 11 December 2009

TOP 10 HOLIDAY MOBILE APPLICATIONS

The holiday shopping season is here and many marketers are launching applications to beef up their mobile presence.  So which applications have really nailed it this holiday season? Mobile Marketer consulted some industry experts regarding which applications they feel have really nailed it.  Based on industry expert opinions, here is Mobile Marketer’s top 10 holiday mobile applications in no particular order:

Target - The Target application simplifies and streamlines consumers’ shopping experience at Target stores and on Target.com. The application connects consumers to great savings, store hours and the perfect gift. Putting the power to save money and shop more conveniently into people's hands is part of Target’s "Expect More. Pay Less." promise. 


E-Bay Deals application - Available as a free download in the App Store, the Deals application features intuitive navigation, customizable search features and PayPal integration enabling mobile check-out. The application also lists holiday bargains.


SnapTell - SnapTell is revolutionizing the way consumers and marketers connect. Using a camera phone and SnapTell's image-recognition technology, users can easily and instantly access requested information and content. Marketers can effortlessly create campaigns using existing collateral and can alter their messaging on the fly in response to SnapTell-provided actionable metrics. 


Amazon - With the Amazon iPhone application, consumers get easy access to the millions of products available from Amazon and 9,000 other merchants. The user experience is great and the best part is that consumers can use it to skip long lines at the store.  


Yahoo Shopping – The application lets consumers search and buy from Yahoo’s catalog of products. Primarily the application functions as a tool for comparison shopping, but the application also features click-to-buy links to the Web sites of Yahoo’s merchant partners such as Target, Nordstrom, Amazon and Fossil.

Holiday Gift Guide by NearbyNow – This application is good for discovering gift ideas for hard-to-shop-for family members. There are 20 gift guides in the application, including Macys, Nordstrom, InStyle, Cosmo, Seventeen, Real Simple, Armani and etcetera. Users just type in a few things about their giftee, and it suggests products from all these guides. 


Christmas Cards by Hit Chili Apps - Instantly create an online holiday card and send. The customization is easy and it doesn't feel like you are spamming.


Black Friday deals by DealNews - Tracks all the Black Friday specials, great layout. Best because the content is great.

Kosher Cookbook – The Kosher Cookbook application gives users access to hundreds of recipes, custom meal plans and the ability to create personalized shopping lists. The Kosher Cookbook includes more than 300 recipes.

Best Buy - Best Buy’s Deals application allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to view weekly and mobile-only specials and find the nearest Best Buy store. The application features product reviews, exclusive content and click-to-buy features.



Research shows that 24 percent of smartphone users make purchases and they are proving to have greater purchase intent than PC users. It’s no wonder that marketers are so attracted to the Mobile application market.


Thursday, 10 December 2009

THE SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT CREATION PROCESS



An exert from Geoff Livingston’s book “Now Is Gone
Many folks ask how to go about creating social media for their company. As a service to the industry, find here an open source version of a draft social media content development process.
This process is general enough to guide development of specific initiatives. It does not recommend blogging or video, per say. Rather the process allows content creation to move towards the market’s needs, and within the company’s resources. There are 14 steps in all:
1) Clearly articulate who your stakeholders are before you begin.
2) Clearly articulate the key issues these stakeholders care about as it relates to your offering. Use a bulleted list with no more than three or four words per item.
3) Begin by researching which, if any, top bloggers are discussing these issues. Use your bulleted list to search. The following are good places to start:
4) Inevitably, any substantial subject matter area has a back channel where top bloggers and influencers chat. For example, PR and marketing bloggers and tend to connect on Facebook, Twitter, and to some extent, LinkedIn. This back channel can yield powerful connections to highly influential minds who may not have blogs with top statistical ranking.
Marketers looking to find their subject area’s back channel should start with a basic search. Once your initial search yields important blogs, please visit them and note which social networks the bloggers use to connect. Join their communities. And learn what your stakeholders really care about.
5) Don’t just observe, participate. Comment on blogs and social networks in a non-promotional way. Become part of the community.
6) Note several things in your research:
  1. Top industry issues
  2. Top bloggers/thought leaders that write about your issues (you will need these for marketing purposes after your content creation process is done)
  3. Preferred content forms (video, white papers, blogs, podcasts)
  4. Ideal places to connect with the larger industry (social networks, etc.)
  5. Other companies playing in the space: Who’s successful, who isn’t? Why?
  6. Behavioral norms.
Write this information down in a formal analysis.
7) Using the analysis of your social media marketplace, identify the outcomes the organization would like to achieve. These outcomes will determine the measurement benchmarks once the company decides on its preferred communication tools. Possibilities include:
  • Influence
  • Awareness/changed perception on a particular issue
  • Third party credibility through Word of mouth
  • Brand awareness
  • Return on investment (sales)
8 ) Identify the company’s value for the marketplace. Specifically, the organization’s subject matter expertise as it relates to the top industry issues currently being discussed amongst bloggers and thought leaders.
  • Can the company provide enough information to add to the conversation?
  • If so, is it enough to consistently be a part of the conversation, or is it limited in nature? Will it only be valuable for a short time?
  • Can the organization afford to give away this information or does the information comprise trade secrets?
9) Based on the company/organization’s value offering and the marketplace’s issues and needs, draft an editorial mission to serve the community/stakeholders. For example, here is the Now Is Gone blog editorial mission:
Continue serving as a primer for those business executives new to social media or considering engaging with these new communications tools. The conversation should be educational, pragmatic and weigh the pros and cons of social media to provide an authentic, genuine viewpoint of social media marketing. We believe in social media’s potential to better communications, but do not think it will replace traditional tactics. Instead we believe social media will be integrated into the larger marketing mix and may influence change in other disciplines.
10) Now examine the company’s resources:
  • Time
  • Thought leaders
  • Technical capability and savoir faire: Blog, audio, video, social networking
  • Financial resources for some of the above, plus graphic design, SEO, web hosting, application development
11) Select the outreach mechanism(s) that best fits the industry’s preferred content needs (#6), can achieve outcomes (#7) the ability to convey the company’s ability to deliver value through it’s editorial mission (#8 and 9), and that the company can afford to invest in (#10).
There are Many, Many mechanisms. Each has its assets and detriments. And blogging is not a cure all silver bullet solution. Consider these more popular initiatives:
  • Launch a blog
  • Execute a blogger relations program
  • Podcast
  • Create video(s)
  • Develop social network community
  • Create social network application
  • Build your own social network
  • Build a widget
12) Determine who will create the content. Group efforts can help distribute load as well as protect the company from an individual departure. Assign a schedule and make the person responsible. Participation in larger networks should be part of your content development plan and resource allocations.
13) Select general content categories to provide guidance on a weekly basis (if the effort is ongoing). Remain flexible to allow for larger industry and community events.
14) Determine measurement based on outcomes, social media communication vehicle(s), and dedicated effort the company intends to commit to the effort. Select tools to attain measurement. Tools and measurement can vary greatly. Research what is right for you and your effort. Some are free, some are not.

UNITEDHEALTHCARE LAUNCHES MOBILE APPLICATION



US Medical insurance provider UnitedHealthcare has launched a mobile application meant to improve consumer access to health care.

The new DocGPS application for Apple’s iPhone enables users to tailor their search to their specific health plan and locate nearby doctors, clinics and hospitals within the UnitedHealthcare network using the GPS functionality of iPhone 3G and 3GS. The application can make searches on 23 types of health care facilities and 58 types of physician specialties.


“IPhone is a popular mobile device for consumers, but we're planning to make DocGPS available for BlackBerry devices as well,” said Matthew Yi, director of corporate communications at UnitedHealthcare, Cypress, CA. “UnitedHealthcare believes in making access to health care easy, convenient and useful for consumers, and we believe this product helps us take another innovative step toward that goal.”

UnitedHealthcare provides a full spectrum of consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to individuals, public sector employers and businesses of all sizes, including more than half of the Fortune 100 companies.  After locating a doctor or hospital, the application can then show the office location on a map, provide detailed directions, and enable the user to call the medical professional or facility with a single tap on the search result.

Doctor specialties

DocGPS is ideal for individuals on the road who are not familiar with health care providers in their area, such as families traveling on vacation or professionals on business trips.  DocGPS also works with first-generation iPhones running 2.0 software or higher, enabling users to search UnitedHealthcare’s health plan networks by ZIP code, or city and state.

The application is available for download free of charge from the App Store on iPhone or athttp://www.itunes.com/appstore.  Recently a lot of healthcare companies have been turning to mobile and the iPhone specifically.  DocGPS is UnitedHealthcare’s latest consumer-friendly innovation to modernize, simplify and make transparent health care information.  

An October 2009 study by CTIA-The Wireless Association showed nearly eight in 10 Americans (78 percent) said they are interested in receiving health care services via their mobile devices.  “With mobile devices such as iPhones becoming a bigger part of consumers' lives, giving them access to health care via their handheld devices only makes sense,” Mr. Yi said. “We hope all smartphone users would utilize this useful tool, which is available free of charge.”