Tag Archives: apps

Snapchat Marketing: Doing What?

In the last 1-2 years we’ve seen a trend of complimenting brands who are “rocking” Snapchat and other relatively new one-to-one social messaging apps. (I prefer Allison Steele’s term: attention deficit content creation platforms.)

After 5-10 years of oversharing, narcissism, and selfie culture resulting in enough privacy backlashes, firings, and divorces, many users are crunching inwards toward more private communication. Brands automatically assuming they belong in this new crop of apps is a me-too mistake, the result of too much demand for rapid reaction.

Taco Bell Snapchat screenshot #DoingStuff
Taco Bell uses Snapchat to let fans know about new products.

Where is the data indicating that Taco Bell, McDonald’s, General Electric, Heineken, the New Orleans Saints, 16 Handles, etc. are successful on Snapchat?

Brands on Snapchat hope to reach Millennials (those born in roughly the early 1980s to the early 2000s). Targeting a demo whose childhoods were filled with every-loser-gets-a-trophy-for-showing-up has translated to brands showing up – without even keeping score – being considered winners.
Ladybugs movie soccer

You can’t measure engagement within Snapchat.

A snap can’t benefit from the interaction of a Like, retweet, favorite, or share. Brands get more buzz off the flowery Mashable campaign coverage written by AYSO trophy-saturated writers who continually fail to proofread (a symptom of “A for effort”? – this is too easy). I’ve personally seen brand impressions from articles lauding the “organic/intimate/forward-thinking/risk-taking” efforts of marketers and their agencies for experimentation with Snapchat, Vine, etc. worth more than any fleeting impact the disappearing content may have on consumers. Not only do the messages disappear, the attention span of their target user base is the shortest on the planet.

Resources devoted to Snapchat when your other social ducks are anemic makes good linkbait when we’re all tired of hearing about the reach woes of Facebook and ineffective YouTube pre-roll. Instead of fixing problems on platforms with better tracking, targeting, reach, and content longevity, it’s easier and more fun to make stop motion videos. Now, Snapchat’s 32.9% penetration among 18-34 year-olds should not be ignored. And if you want to reach 18-25 year-olds with exclusive content – things like limited time coupons, flash sales, and behind-the-scenes footage – I see the draw. But where is the yardstick?

Lastly, we all know what Snapchat is for. Do you really want a brand’s snap next to your sext? The proximity alone should cause a panic attack.

Andrew Cunningham at HUGE wrote a nice summary of considerations if you choose to market with Snapchat. I am not saying avoid it: I’m saying stop handing out trophies for showing up at try-outs.

About Snapchat:

It’s a mobile messaging app that allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after a short time once the recipient opens the message (after 1-10 seconds or 24 hours for Stories). As of July 2014, users were sending 700 million photo messages each day, up from 400 million in October 2013.
Source: statista.com

Reduce Commerce Friction: Travel and Hospitality

Remove friction from the customer experience, make the sale more likely. We are seeing a trend in travel and hospitality to make transactions and guest experiences hassle-free, higher tech, and less reliant upon hard copies and hard people. Make mobile device use free, experience-enhancing, and rewarding, and incremental revenue-generating for vendors – stay in business.

Travel and hospitality companies that don’t prioritize automation and mobility won’t be here in five years.

You can already see the market for a frictionless, more seamless guest experience in the successful offerings of progressive car rental companies like Silvercarairlines like SurfAirPorter, and Virgin, hotel chains like IHG with the health-themed, wristband-based EVEN Hotels, Marriott with Moxy, etc. Reduce check-in time, reduce waits, reduce error-prone interactions with agents. Move the printed rental contract to the cloud. Take a snooty or busy or bribed human concierge and replace them with an app. Develop culturally sensitive sub-brands focused on different market needs and smarter guest profiling. The obvious fixes abound.
Silvercar homepage screenshot
While I loathe both of these resorts, I should touch on theme parks: Disney and SeaWorld are handling the trend well.
 Disney MagicBand family
Disney World’s MyMagic+ is a billion-dollar tech project that includes hotel and resort-wide WiFi and microchip-embedded wristbands that interact with sensors throughout the park and link to a reservation system to book attractions weeks in advance. Disney’s MagicBands use radio frequency (RF) technology, replacing theme park tickets and hotel room keys with tap and pay technology. MagicBands and Apple Watch (coming early 2015) both remove commerce friction, i.e., the hassle of getting a phone out of a pocket to tap and pay.

SeaWorld’s 7/15/14 app update incorporated a new mobile payments system. Now guests can use the app to pay for gifts, food, and Quick Queue access at the ride instead of paying in advance via desktop or at the front of the park.

SeaWorld iPhone app

But isn’t disconnecting important?

One could argue that the onslaught of offerings like free WiFi and charging stations at amusement parks and resorts only perpetuates the always-on, distracted state of mind from which a true vacation should provide escape, particularly when with family. If you really want a relaxing unplugged escape, however, you shouldn’t be at Disney or SeaWorld. If a parent uses a theme park’s free WiFi and app to decrease time spent waiting in line, to augment reality and amuse the kids, or to enhance the experience by hashtagging an Instagram photo to get a free Lego toy upon exit, everyone wins (guests, park, and brand). Not to mention that having instant communication via mobile can make a family trip more manageable and efficient – as long as you can find a convenient charging station.
What traditional airlines are doing for connectivity – further reading:

 

Health Risks of Cell Phones – Interview: Dr. Carrie Madej. The Digital Dive Podcast – Episode 30

I interviewed Dr. Carrie Madej, Medical Director of the Phoenix Medical Group of Georgia, about the health risks associated with cell phones. The Digital Dive Podcast first explored Smartphone Addiction in Ep. 28 (we discussed social etiquette for smartphones, widespread impact of mobile technology on society, and some health concerns).

 

coffee cup and woman holding cell phoneI invited Dr. Madej on the podcast to get her expert opinion on cell phone safety research, manufacturer and FCC testing, and what the medical community thinks about whether cell phones cause cancer. Hear what you can do to limit the potentially negative physical impacts of our wireless devices.  Continue reading Health Risks of Cell Phones – Interview: Dr. Carrie Madej. The Digital Dive Podcast – Episode 30

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

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

–>Watch on YouTube

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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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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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!

The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming app. New to Stitcher? Please sign up with our link:

Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

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