Native Ads and Wearable Technology – Episode 25 – The Digital Dive Podcast

Video: Native Ads and Wearable Technology – The Digital Dive Podcast – Episode 25 (Vimeo)

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1. Instagram Ads: Native Advertising

Skinput arm - The Digital Dive Podcast- Native Ads and Wearable Technology

What will it take for a successful native ad to work on Instagram? Which brands are killing it now and why (Timberland, Redbull, Marc Jacobs)? The Instagram community is sensitive and accustomed to an intimate app experience – new ad execution is crucial. Our advice: Don’t be irrelevant and don’t be creepy.

2. Wearables and Google Brain

Wearable technology: it’s the future.

Mother wearing Google Glass holding baby wearing Google Glass

I am particularly ready to be done interacting with my devices on hard surfaces in the physical world. How will the rules of social etiquette adjust for a bunch of oncoming Glassholes? Our smartphone addiction is like cigarette addiction: both compel the addict to remove themselves from the moment. Google Glass can take away the physical barrier – maybe it will bring us back to being present.

Fashion meets technology: On July 2, 2013 Apple recruited Yves Saint-Laurent CEO Paul Denève to work on a “special project,” (presumably the iWatch), reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve new Apple VP black and white

Denève’s career is known for fashion, but this will actually be his second lap with Apple; he was a European marketing and sales manager in the 90s.

Modern memory: The phenomenon known as Google Brain isn’t as bad as it sounds – we hope. Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow et al published key findings in Science (August 2011): Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips: “…when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it.” Maybe that isn’t so bad: if the world has made information more readily available, why shouldn’t our brains adapt to locate it faster instead of working on remembering it? It’s all about efficiency, as my co-host will tell you.

3. Alone Together

12:36-16:50 – Are Millennials and digital natives losing the art of conversation? There is a lot wrong with the common sentiment, “I’d rather text than talk.” I recap psychologist and sociologist Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk and book Alone Together. Turkle asks: what are we losing by using technology to communicate when we want, how we want, and in an abbreviated and controlled manner? “As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other?”

14:00 – Melanie reminds us that as humans, we have historically had trouble accepting changes in society, in language, and in our bodies. Here’s our Death of the English Language episode (read: Emily’s head in Downton Abbey): U-Turn Into a Tech-Speak Future – Episode 5

Two great Sherry Turkle quotes:

The feeling that ‘no one is listening to me’ make us want to spend time with machines that seem to care about us.

We’re lonely, but we’re afraid of intimacy. And so from social networks to sociable robots, we’re designing technologies that will give us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.

Tips on Tap

1. Tile App – Tile, the world’s largest lost and found. The Tile App on your phone makes it easy to find anything you have placed a small plastic Tile on. Keep track of your stuff. Preorder now for $18.95. “Works with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad Mini, iPad 3rd and 4th gen, and iPod Touch 5th gen. New iOS devices will be supported as they become available, as long as they have Bluetooth 4.0 support.”
2. Drinkify.org – Drink recommendations based on the music you’re listening to. I test out Elvis, Tool, Bach, and Nirvana.
3. The Intimacy 2.0 Dress: A sexy high-tech wearable: clothing that responds to your heartbeat. “The ‘Intimacy 2.0’ dress, designed by Daan Roosegaarde, is getting a rise out of the fashion world because its opaque fabric becomes transparent when you get aroused.”

 

The Digital Dive Podcast video thumbnail Emily Binder and Melanie Touchstone episode 25

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Book Review: “Delight Your Customers” by Steve Curtin

Steve Curtin’s Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary is about taking customer service from ordinary to extraordinary. The emphasis is on employees’ understanding of the difference between job function and job essence. It’s a good read for marketers, because we can help shape policies and culture for customer-facing team members.

Delight Your Customer book cover
Steve Curtin focuses on the difference between job function and job essence

Here are the service employee basics, according to Curtin:

Ordinary Service
Job functions: “The duties or tasks associated with a job role.”

“…job function is necessary—even critical (i.e., the shopping carts must be retrieved from the parking lot…)—but it does not represent the totality of an employee’s job role!… The other half…often neglected, is job essence. His highest priority at work is to create promoters.”

  • Job knowledge and skills
  • Typical customer service: “routine, expected, and ordinary”
  • Results-oriented: policies, procedures, checklists
Extraordinary Service
“Job essence: An employee’s highest priority at work (i.e., to create delighted customers!)”
  • Motivation (understanding why one performs job functions)
  • Reflected in employees’ personality, creativity, unique flair
  • Lasting positive impressions on customers

Teaching the importance of job essence can really make a difference in your employees’ attitudes, which you need to optimize for a great customer experience. Most people (in any job) don’t answer this question correctly: “What do you do?” They’ll talk about job function: “I collect shopping carts from the parking lot.” But they should talk about job essence: “I make sure every customer has a wonderful shopping experience, starting with their first impression.”

Bon Qui Qui is funny because it’s true.

Eye Contact

I quit going to LA Fitness for a few reasons, but the lack of customer service was a big one. For years, the greeter sensed my presence without looking up from her phone, held out her hand for my card, swiped it, and handed it back silently. It’s the case at most grocery stores, too. Over time, the effect of being shuffled along through impersonal assembly line transactions has a negative impact on our society. The difference made by a friendly Publix cashier who makes eye contact, offers a greeting, and thanks me first is a stark contrast to most transactions. We’ve come to expect the exchange of money for goods to be a robotic, thankless necessity. It shouldn’t be.

“Thank You” (for taking my money)

One of Curtin’s best observations is about the order in which thanks are given at time of payment. Do you find yourself thanking the cashier for taking your money before she thanks you? Does she even say the words “thank you”?

woman cashier taking customer credit cardIn our efforts to be polite or politically correct, we’ve become self-effacing toward workers in service jobs. We have established a pattern of not expecting to be thanked first for our business. This is a problem. Granted, plenty of customers are rude and service people deserve courtesy and respect. But the customer deserves the primary thanking. Curtin gets it and has helpful ideas about ways to motivate employees to provide great service.

Grab your copy here:

For all the lamenting of the loss of human connection due to technology, let’s remember the simple opportunities for positive impressions absent from mechanized transactions in too many brick and mortar stores.

When’s the last time you received excellent customer service?

Book reviewed:
Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary

Watch: Delight Your Customers Book Trailer

Updated 11/1/16

Gmail’s New Inbox Threatens Email Marketing; Gamer Dads Hack Away Gender Roles – Episode 23 – The Digital Dive Podcast

I. New Gmail Layout Threatens Email Marketing As We Know It

Email is one of the original eCommerce platforms, and it is also one of the most effective for businesses ranging from start-ups to enterprise. 83% of small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) say email is critically important to their overall marketing strategy.
So, what happens when the world’s most used email service, Gmail, introduces a new tabbed layout that automatically hides automated marketing emails? Email users rejoice. Marketers cringe. We discuss why Gmail’s new inbox is good news for consumers but potentially catastrophic for digital marketers. Or, potentially really challenging. Now those customers with AOL.com emails on your list don’t seem so bad, do they?

Email marketing vs Gmail inbox punching boxing match

Email Marketing Reports and Statistics cited:
  • Customer acquisitions gained via email marketing has quadrupled since 2009, with email delivering more customers than Facebook or Twitter. Custora Report via MarketingLand.
  • Customers acquired via email were 11 percent more valuable than the average customer, while customers acquired via Facebook ranked as average. Custora Report via MarketingLand.
  • Report from iContact finds that “83 percent of small and medium-size businesses say email is important or critically important to their overall marketing strategy. The report also notes that businesses are spending more of their marketing budgets on email than on any other tactic.”
  • Marketing email open rate in North America is 25.7% according to Direct Marketing Association.
  • iContact reports that 24% of email opens occur within an hour of delivery. After the first hour, that number drops to just 9%.
  • 43% of email is now opened on a mobile device. Litmus Report.
  • Mobile purchasing decisions are most influenced by Emails from companies (71%) only surpassed by the influence of Friends (87%). – Adobe “2013 Digital Publishing Report: Retail Apps & Buying Habits”

II. Beam My Map Up: In-Car GPS Navigation Moves to the Windshield

  • GPS navigation company Garmin has developed the HUD for drivers (heads-up display). It’s a portable device that projects navigation info from a smartphone onto the car’s windshield.
  • How: a transparent film affixes to the windshield, or an included reflector lens attaches to the device. You can see real-time navigation information in daytime and nighttime driving situations. The HUD supports iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 8 devices when used in conjunction with the Garmin StreetPilot1 or Navigon app. HUD cradle: $129.
  • Question: When will mobile phones have a native ability to beam onto windshield? This would negate the need for a separate one-trick pony Garmin dock.

III. Dads Hack Video Games to Reverse Gender Roles and Inspire Their Daughters

Some very cool parents who also happen to be developers wanted to make gaming more of an inspiring experience for their young daughters. Examples: Donkey Kong and Zelda were hacked to change up gender roles and make the girl characters heroes. –Father hacks ‘Donkey Kong’ for daughter, makes Pauline the heroine 3/10/13
Game changes:
  • Mario was now under Donkey Kong’s control
  • Pauline was tasked with rescuing the plumber in distress.

After his successful role reversal for the NES version of Donkey Kong, dad Mike Mika’s YouTube channel shows the hack and lets you download the patch.

Another awesome dad: Small business owner and gamer dad Mike Hoye spent a few weeks hand-tweaking the text in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker so that the main character was referred to as a girl instead of a boy. “I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero.” –“I am no man”: For Zelda-playing daughter, dad gives Link a sex change 11/8/12

Tips on Tap

1) Clapmera – So simple, so genius. Instead of relying on the often frustrating camera timer or someone else to take images from afar, this app takes a picture when you clap. iphone, ipad
Free on iPhone and Google Play, FXCamera is a cross between Instagram and Vine.
Just by sharing a single photo taken with FxCamera on Facebook or Twitter, FxCamera will donate a penny for a photo (up to $10,000) to Japan Water Forum.
3) ecorner.stanford.edu – If you’re a fan of TedTalks and other informative, often inspiring video tools for personal growth, take advantage of ecorner.stanford.edu. Melanie recommends contributor Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard, speaking on leadership and distilling information.

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Vine vs. Instagram Video and Lulu’s Controversial “Yelp for Men” App – Episode 22 – The Digital Dive Podcast

I. Vine vs. Instagram Video – New Feature

02:00 – Instagram’s new video feature poses a challenge to Vine and has some IGers pretty annoyed. We review Vine and Instagram video in a side-by-side comparison. Word to the wise: put your phone on vibrate or silent if you’re going to peruse Instagram during a meeting.

Instagram vs Vine comparison by TechCrunch

12:30-15: 00 – Do investors even know what Vine is?

16:00 – The biggest market for Vine

II. Controversial “Yelp for Men” Lulu App Lets Women Rate Ex-Boyfriends 

16:55 – We take on Lulu, an app that allows women (and only women) to anonymously create “reviews” of men they know. Profiles are pulled from app users’ male Facebook friends.Lulu app ad "Research your latest crush" This isn’t an opt-in app; profiles are automatically created without the man’s knowledge or permission, and any man on Facebook is fair game. Pictures and limited profile/public information from Facebook, combined with anonymous rankings from women who’ve dated them, hated them, or adored them, are used to create a man’s profile on Lulu– complete with a numeric ranking and a myriad of hashtags ranging from complimentary to cruel…

Examples of Lulu hashtags about men:

#CantBuildIkeaFurniture
#BurnsCornflakes
#ObsessedWithHisMom
#BabyDaddy
#DoesDishes
#SixPack
#DrinksTheHaterade
#CanBuildFires
#CheaperThanaBigMac
#WearsFratTanks

Arguments for and against the app are abundant. A few comments from around the web:

Creepy, non-consensual and harassing.
Just an app for something that girls do anyway.
This is the stuff [women] need to know when checking out a guy. Lulu puts the girls in control.
The textual equivalent of leaking your ex’s naked pics to the Internet.

23:40 – Is there an upside to the app for men who otherwise wouldn’t get much attention, e.g. if a woman rates a shy guy friend nicely?

25:00 – Lulu heavily emphasizes user anonymity: what will this invite?

27:00 – Lulu is pretty heteronormative: does it discriminate against gay and lesbian users?

The Burn Book-esque app is geared toward college-aged adults for now (but then again, so was Facebook).

Tips on Tap

29:10-32:00 – I. Swackett – A weather app we actually like. Free and available oniOS, Android. Combines forecast and weather information with added features, such as “Dog Walking Index”, clothing suggestions, and an excellent mobile shopping tie-in (e.g., popular Warby Parker). Nice native advertising.

32:05-33:00 – II. Facetune – Photo beautifying tools are a dime a dozen, but this one has been making waves. Ranked #3 on the App Store’s top paid apps chart, Facetune is geared toward making photos of people more flattering.

33:00 – III. LinkedIn Privacy Tip – There is a LinkedIn profile setting under Settings -> Groups, Companies & Applications. Under Privacy Controls, you can turn on/off two things. One is whether you share data with third parties. Understand the associated risks and potential social benefits for a LinkedIn connected content experience vs. exposing one’s perusal of job-seeking content to one’s entire network.

“If you’re signed in to LinkedIn when you view any page that uses our professional plugins, we receive information that you’ve visited that page. This allows us to improve your LinkedIn experience and provide you with insights from your professional network, like how many of your connections have shared an article into LinkedIn using the Share on LinkedIn plugin.” -LinkedIn

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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Target Customer Service and Faxing Twitter: Illusion of Hard Copy as Fraud Prevention

Girls with old fax machineRecently, two ridiculous, antiquated requests have been made of me in order to verify my identity to two companies that I like: Twitter and Target. I somewhat understand the fax requirement for a Twitter impersonation report so I’ll focus on Target. (FYI I’m the real @emilybinder and @adoreajabakery and @thedigitaldive_. If any other handle claims to be me, it’s not me: I wouldn’t set up a handle that required a number on the end because my desired name was taken. I would find another handle. I don’t do numbers on the end.)

A couple weeks ago, I signed up for a Target RedCard in-store. I applaud Target on the convenient offering of quick sign-up with the cashier by providing a blank check and a driver’s license: no forms or visiting guest services.

Annoyance #1: Lack of Internal System Network Cohesion

The RedCard account must be set up with the address on the customer’s driver’s license. Mine happens to be my old address. The cashier couldn’t enter another address or update it after setup. She instructed me to call the RedCard 800 number immediately afterward and request an address change so that Target wouldn’t mail my new card to my old address. My blank check — tied to a bank account with what is necessarily a more reliable current address than the one on a driver’s license which doesn’t expire for years — should have sufficed for proof of address.

Annoyance #2: Human Error Followed by Outsourced Customer Service Giving Dangerous InstructionsTarget bullseye RedCard dog

I called the RedCard 800 number and asked to change my address. The lady in India asked for my driver’s license number, which I read aloud. It did not match my account: the cashier had mistyped my DL number. The lady said that since she could not verify that I was the account holder, she could not change my address. For that to happen, I would need to send a letter in the paper mail to Target headquarters including:

  • name
  • old address
  • current address
  • driver’s license number
  • social security number
  • last four digits of new Target RedCard

She did not instruct me to explain the situation – just to list these things.

A of all, that is a joke if you think I’m sending my social through the paper mail to your PO box.
B of all, I told her that, and she said, “Okay, you can exclude it.”

Identity Theft

IDENTITY THEFT written on shredded fax paperBut her protocol was to tell the customer to send the above and nothing else. That would be a great formula for
1) no action due to lack of context
2) identity theft with that piece of paper floating around Minneapolis
Some customers are ignorant though, and would have followed those instructions. NEVER GIVE YOUR FULL SOCIAL unless you truly need to and you’re dealing with a trusted government entity or a bank, for example. Every single time a company or office has requested my social, I’ve refused and they’ve said it wasn’t necessary after all. Comforting. Keep it secret keep it safe. -My high school

I couldn’t print that day. So I, Emily Binder, hand wrote the letter. To make a petulant point about how ludicrous this was. After filling two sides of a page (many details to cover by this point) I finished with, “Please call or email me to confirm your receipt and processing of my request.” (That never happened.)

The Outcome

Two weeks after sending the letter, no card. I called the main Target customer service number. The system required entry of the last four of my RedCard and social. The lady who answered sounded like she was in Minneapolis. Great, maybe she will actually be able to update her own company’s system that she is staring at right now. She said the account showed my current address and that my card was just mailed. So my handwritten letter worked, which blows my mind. (I hand wrote it because I expected my request to fall into the void and I planned to later complain that I was merely providing information in the 1800s format they requested.)

Why couldn’t the outsourced RedCard 800 number customer service rep use the same credentials to verify me and change my address on that first day?

My letter provided no new (or verified) information that I wasn’t telling her over the phone or that I couldn’t email. At least with an email, the sender’s identity is somewhat traceable. USPS does not require a return address. Anyone could have sent Target a letter from “Emily Binder” and given any address where my card would then be sent to a scam artist. Note: Target still sent a RedCard to my old address.

The Customer

Do not burden the customer. If an onerous hard copy type of action is needed, there better be a good reason why electronic submission would not suffice. It’s ludicrous for anyone to think that fraud is any less likely by requiring a customer to print and put a stamp on the same letter they would otherwise email. Even if it includes a scan of a photo ID. It’s a scan. This mailing a letter ballyhoo is simply a waste of paper, time, and resources and in fact creates a greater chance of identity theft because there is a paper trail. Or, for the unfortunate ignorant or trusting customers in my position, it creates paper floating around with the customer’s full social security number on it. This 5% off all purchases better be worth it.

Marketing, Technology, Society