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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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.

Banning Bikinis and Booze – Advertising, Censorship, and Sexism – Episode 21 – The Digital Dive Podcast

vintage-ketchup-ad-you-mean-a-woman-can-open-it

This week, Melanie and I focus on advertising, censorship, sexism, and the media. Where should we draw the line between free speech and offensive content? Does controversy and banning empower the content or spark an important dialogue? Enjoy our heated debate.

  1. Flickr announced in late May that every user will get a free terabyte of space
  2. Windows 8: Less talking, more doing commercial for Asus Vivo Tablet mocks the iPad using Siri’s voice. The Windows tablet at 64GB is $449 vs. $699 for a 64GB iPad. Windows jabs the iPad for not being able to multitask (in the desktop sense of the word) and lacking Powerpoint (which is a weak point).
  3. Censorship and Sexism in Advertising – At Home and Abroad:

3.1 Turkey to ban alcohol ads

  OOH advertising - bus shelter ad space "No Alcohol Ads Here"
  • The Turkish Parliament passed legislation on May 24, 2013 to ban advertising of alcohol and to outlaw sales of alcoholic drinks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. except in tourist zones.
  • Sparked riots and protests in Istanbul and Ankura
  • Not unheard of: Los Angeles City Council considering a city-wide ban on alcohol advertising on municipal property; already prohibited on bus benches
  • Philadelphia already operates such a ban
  • San Francisco bans alcohol advertising on public transport
  • Alcohol ads are already mostly banned in Sweden, Malaysia, and Russia
  • US standard: alcohol ads can only be placed in media where 70% of the audience is over the legal drinking age (21)
  • Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) has called for a review into existing rules – which ban alcohol ads from airing in shows that appeal to under-18s – after finding that between 2007 and 2011, number of alcohol commercials seen by children rose almost 19%

3.2 “Sexist and degrading” Pamela Anderson commercial for Crazy Domains banned in UK

Videograb of Pamela Anderson in Crazy Domains banned commercial (deemed sexist and degrading)

The Australian commercial was first broadcast in 2010 and was banned shortly thereafter. Much like the notoriously sexist GoDaddy Superbowl ads in the US, this ad for another web hosting company depicts females as sex objects to be consumed… but this time they are in a business setting. We’re not going to embed the video but you can view it at the Huff Post link below.

Australian Advertising Standards Board decided the bikini sequence was sexist, exploitative and had ‘no relevance to the product.’ –Huffington Post

Last week, the Crazy Domains commercial was allowed to air in the UK after 9PM. A few days later on 6/5/13, the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned it but with different reasoning:

We considered it gave the impression that he viewed his female colleagues as sexual objects to be lusted after. Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some viewers. -ASA

“Crazy Domains’ parent company Dreamscape Networks insisted that the dream sequence was not “gratuitous or pornographic”, saying it portrayed the women as ‘attractive, dynamic and confident business people.'” Dreamscape Networks is based in Dubai…
We discuss censorship in advertising, the media’s portrayal of women, and argue over whether marketing and media inform culture and shape our minds, or gain their power from the attention society gives to controversial content.
  • Startling statistics about lack of female leaders (the US ranks 90th in terms of number of women in legislative positions, behind China, Iraq, Cuba and more). 67 nations have had female presidents or prime ministers. The US is not one.
  • Who is responsible for perpetuating stereotypes? Should we blame an ad for misrepresentation of women, or the society that makes the ad successful?
  • 2010 documentary film Miss Representation “exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.” Watch the full movie free here. Trailer:

Thanks Digital Divas Atlanta for the March 2013 Miss Representation screening.

TIPS ON TAP

  1. Sort Gmail inbox by sender: Go to your inbox and hover over the sender’s name. In a second or two a window will pop open. Now choose “emails” near the bottom. Your inbox will now be sorted by the sender you hovered over. You can now read, delete, or move all those emails at once. Quite a time saver!
  2. Tips to Keep Your Mac Running Like New:

    2a) Restart your computer somewhat frequently. Restart can help flush out some old gunk that’s slowing it down.

    2b) Keep desktop clean of files. Place them in folders and Finder will be faster.

    2c) Restart your browser and clear the cache.
  3. FrontFlip is a mobile loyalty and engagement app for businesses. Get customers to scan to win prizes and gifts from restaurants, shops, bars, salons, etc.

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Millennials Can’t Play Dodgeball – Episode 20 – The Digital Dive Podcast

Stream on YouTube here

Video playback slow? Stream audio only here.
who-are-the-millennials-social-media

The Digital Dive celebrates our 20th episode with a special video podcast. Millennials: scrutinized, fascinating, controversial. A bunch of overly coddled narcissists? Or the highly educated, tolerant, tech-savvy hope for our future? Our familiar voices can now be seen in action as we report on Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr and tackle the ever-controversial subject of the Millennial Generation.

I. In a bold move (that follows Google’s and Facebook’s acquisitions of startups in hopes of gaining an edge), Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion, Yahoo officially announced Monday, May 20, 2013. A popular social blogging hub for photos and funny gifs, and a major meme birthplace, six-year old Tumblr has ~900 posts a second with 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 sign-ups every day. It also does not have a revenue model, much like Instagram, which Facebook acquired in 2012 for about $1 billion in cash and stock. Tumblr is highly mobile and has a young user base, in contrast to Yahoo’s older users. Tumblr could help Yahoo compete with Facebook and Google in the social networking space.

II. The Millennial Generation: In the wake of the controversial Time magazine article Millennials: the Me Me Me Generation by Joel Stein, we discuss some of the most prevalent complaints and praises of the most talked about generation since the Baby Boomers, along with a few surprising statistics about work ethic, narcissism, and tattoos.

Referenced in this episode:

1. The Pew Research Center’s comprehensive 2010 report: Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change. 2/4/10
2. David McCullough Jr.’s controversial “You Are Not Special” commencement speech 6/7/12

Tips on Tap:

I. Artsy iPad cover: GelaSkins. Wraps front and back of iPad with your chosen artist’s design. Get free matching wallpaper for your screen. $29.95

II. Houzz – Landscaping, decorating and home design app.

III. Custom Inspector Stamp and Card keychainCool alternative to a business card: Custom Inspector Stamp is a keychain stamp by Mikey Burton in collaboration with Cranky Pressman. The Salem, Ohio based online letterpress service was founded by its original owners in 1934. Read more about Cranky Pressman.

Infographic about Millennials (click on the image to view it in full): Caveat: we are also coddled narcissists who did not play enough dodgeball in gym class.

Millennials Infographic cropped preview

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!

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

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