Thursday, November 18, 2010

Comments on Rule 9

I am not sure why the comments button for the Rule 9 post is not active. If you are not able to comment directly to Wes' blog post, please make you comments here.

My own comment to Wes' post follows. Please comment on this post to continue the discussion on Rule 9. Be sure you have read Wes' post before commenting here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rule 10 - Use smart ads wisely

Smart ads (ads that target consumers interest), although not fully optimized in application, can have huge results for marketers and consumers. Marketers like HP, using smart ads on Yahoo's Smart platform, saw a 20 times higher than typical ROI during one campaign during 2009. Others have tried using smart ads, but had less than desirable results.

Smart ads are still developing and receiving their education on how and when to be used. Behavior is being modeled wherever consumers operate with the aid of technology. This could range from a network, website, or personal device. Information has always been collected, but technology is empowering information to not only be collected, but interpreted in real time. Opting out may mean your information will not be stored, but it does not necessary mean that the information will not be used to understand who you are.

An example of this is when Google teamed up with Compete to enable ads to target consumers based on the FIC score. Google used 2 million web users [that permitted tracking] to provide credit scores when signing up for new credit cards. Google then analyzed their click streams and built profiles for those individuals. Google then knew if you visit a certain site or have a similar click stream, you probably fall within a credit score. Thus, it brings up the question, should you be worried about being tracked, or allowing your neighbor to be tracked?

Numerous consumer advocacy groups are taking notice of this under the radar "smart" marketing. Center for Digital Democracy and U.S. Public Interest Research Group both were so alarmed by these advancements, that they petitioned the FTC to launch investigations into the privacy of marketing practices targeted at mobile phone users. The reason the issue is so sensitive is that once the information is out there and being used, there is no taking it back.

Of course, smart ads are ultimately to better the consumers life. It can help recommend products that would be preferred by consumers, it can serve interesting media and avoid displaying denture ads to 20 year olds, and it can present customized information in a world that is becoming ever more customized seeking!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rule # 9 – “Always Keep Surprises In-Store”

Is the in-store shopping experience today less than exciting? Does it pale in comparison to the socially connected, brand-building experiences that are going on on-line? Mathieson thinks so. He spends this chapter of The On-Demand Brand discussing some of the ground breaking ways that certain brands are bringing the on-line social experience to brick and mortar retail locations; enhancing the shopping experience, building brand loyalty, and, ultimately, increasing revenue. Or, as he refers to it, “The Rise of Social Retailing.”

One of the issues that brands face is how to make the in-store experience more tailored to the shopper’s wants, needs, and desires. On-line this has been going on for a long time; the most obvious example is Amazon’s ability to suggest other items you might like based on past purchase history. Unfortunately, the typical sales clerk doesn’t have access to that kind of information. But, at the Stop and Shop grocery stores, the “Shopping Buddy” shopping cart does. The smart cart system, as shown in this “Shopping Buddy” video, moves the loyalty card onto the cart through a wireless touch screen. Just like the Amazon experience, you can now be presented with coupons, offers, and suggestions based on your past shopping history. Your physical shopping cart is now your “shopping cart” with the device keeping a running total of your purchases.

The majority of the chapter is devoted to “Social Retailing” and mostly focused on the clothing shopping experience. Mathieson does a good job of taking some existing apps, such as the Gap “StyleMixer”, and showing how they might evolve and expand in the near future to enhance the shopping experience in-store. For example, where the “StyleMixer” app now allows you to mix and match outfits and receive in-store offers, in the future it might allow you to access on-line product reviews, make suggestions based on past purchases, and help the sales clerk make better suggestions.

Mathieson’s interview for this chapter is with Tom Nicholson, CEO of digital agency LBi IconNicholson. Nicholson defines “Social Retailing” as “taking a lot of those features and activities that are happening online today, and finding a way to move them into the in-store environment where customers are actually doing their shopping.” (p. 222). In that direction, Nicholson’s company has developed the Nanette Lepore’s Lepore Looking Glass. The Lepore Looking Glass allows the shopper to send pictures to friends on existing social media platforms and receive feedback on how they look and to receive suggestions of other clothing items that friends think they might look good in. Essentially, doing a better job of what shoppers are already doing with their mobile devices – sending and receiving pictures and chatting about it.

Similar technology is demonstrated here in this video on the SmartMirror.

When you watch the Shopping Buddy, NikeID, and Smart Mirror videos you realize this is very cool stuff, but what is the investment and what is the payback? After all, businesses are in business to make money. According to Nicholson, the Nanette boutique in Bloomingdale’s saw a 3x sales increase year-over-year with the installation of the Lepore Looking Glass. That sounds good, but cost of entry is high to retrofit existing retail outlets with the necessary technology. Offsetting that investment today is the fact that, since so few stores have this type of technology, a lot of free press is available due to the “new and cool” factor.

So, how quickly is this all coming to a store near you? Our bet is soon. The power is moving to the consumer; the brands and retailers who will thrive will be the ones that make it easy for shoppers to get other opinions while shopping in the store, make suggestions on relevant product, and integrate current social network behaviors into apps that augment those behaviors in a relevant way.

So, while all this is very cool, do we need to be concerned with privacy issues, especially with technology like the SmartMirror and the Lepore Looking Glass? As one Youtube viewer of the SmartMirror video commented, "Cameras in the bathroom, never a good idea."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rule #8: Mobile is Where It's At

Rule 8: Mobile is Where It’s At

Part 1 – An Analytical Synopsis

In chapter 8, Mathieson discusses mobile marketing as used by top businesses today, focusing on the most innovative and effective strategies. He explains the rationale behind the mobile phone’s ascending importance as a marketing platform: “the mobile phone is the one electronic item that most people have on them anytime, everywhere.” That means unlimited accessibility and power for the marketer. “In fact, mobile has emerged as the channel that most embodies the idea of the on-demand brand.”

However, Mathieson explains that a misuse of this power quickly becomes intrusive and ultimately ineffective. He demonstrates this idea by defining what he believes mobile marketing is not...or should not be: a bombardment of advertisements, using geo-location capabilities of smart phones, that will “ping you with offers” as you walk by their store. We’re sure everyone would agree that would be annoying. More importantly for mobile marketers, harassing a society increasingly prone to selective attention to advertising will likely be ineffective. This analysis falls in line with the whole theme of the book: The best way to reach customers is when and where they’re ready to act.
Throughout the chapter he offers numerous examples (below) of effective advertising strategies that where implemented using the “activation mechanism” in mobile marketing.

The activation mechanism:
1. term used to describe mobile phones and their capability to allow a targeted audience to immediately respond or act upon commercial messages experienced in other media – print, broadcast, direct mail, outdoor billboards, etc.
2. coined by Cielo Group’s CEO Dean Macri (mobile marketing firm)
3. opposes the idea that the mobile phone is just another advertising distribution platform

Mathieson concludes the chapter with an interview of Macri on the “activation mechanism” as it applied to some of Cielo Group’s marketing endeavors and the direction that mobile marketing will take in the coming years.

Part 2 – Key Concepts and Takeaways

• You Make The Call
o Over 3B internet-enabled mobile phones worldwide (> 1.2B personal computers)
o However, most mobile searches are for specific brands, offering few opportunities than expected

• Tiny Ads, Big Results
o See Land Rover Ad (below)
o “It’s inevitable that mobiles will become a major video channel”
o Mobile response rates to advertising are high now, especially when compared to banners…but that is likely to go down

Don’t Interrupt, Activate
o The backbone concept of this chapter—“the activation mechanism”
o Everything in the physical world now becomes interactive
o “Juniper Research predicts over 200 million people will use mobile coupons by 2013, signing on to services that send them coupons that can be redeemed by showing their cell phone screen at the point of cell
Rumor: iPhone 5 will have a Bluetooth/RF type smartchip that will do this for a multitude of transactions types
o Everything in the physical world now becomes interactive
o QR Codes (see Papa Johns below)

Text Sells
o Majority of Americans are not yet using full capabilities of smartphones
o However, 100M+ Americans, nearly 58% of all mobile subscribers between 25-34 (and vast majority under 20) actively use text messaging
 Not afraid to use SMS to offline advertising
o Calvin Klein, BMW, Rascal Flatts (see below)

Apps Amplify
o Enable customer interaction directly with the brand with a simpler interface
o Starbucks loyalty card…the app is about to become the program, making the card unnecessary
o “By 2020, mobile apps alone “will be as big or bigger than the Internet,” peaking at 10M apps before leveling off
o “Placing ads on mobile sites is just a media placement compared to finding the applications consumers want [in order] to interact with the brand

• Place is the Space
o “Proximity Marketing” - Potential for mobile billboards, coupled with various forms of transmission devices
o Important: Users must ‘invite’ the interaction, unsolicited ads/messages is unacceptable

Part 3 – Marketing Worth Mentioning

• facts: ran tv, radio, direct mail campaign with call to action: call, go online, or text
• results: 45% of all responses came through text
• lesson: Mobile marketing even applies to non-techy brands because people who wear bras have phones too!

Land Rover
• facts: created an iPhone-based banner ad that connected with Google Maps to show them the nearest dealer, 400,000 impressions—11,500 click-throughs
• results: 2.9% CTR, 88% of clickers watched a video, 9% put in their zip to locate a dealer, 3% used click-to-call the dealer (These are excellent results, according to their advertising-communications manager.)
• lesson: Even though Mathieson doesn’t like the small-mindedness of banner ad campaigns for mobile phones, they can help.
• more:

• facts: created a banner ad in Australia that took clickers to a funny video
• results: 28% response rate
• lesson: Again, sometimes banner ads work, even though it’s a simple approach.

• facts: hosted “test drive” mobile advertisements on Yahoo’s and’s mobile pages leading clickers to the “I Can” Mobile website
• results: mobile delivered 22% of web traffic from campaign and 6x’s the CTR on phones as there were online, even though it was added to the strategy at the tail end of the campaign
• lesson: Get phone users on sites that are geared toward phones, especially news sites and weather sites, where they’re likely to visit a few times a day.

Quiznos, Subway, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, etc
• facts: offer mobile coupons through text-based services: GoMobo
• results: research predicts large growth in mobile coupons
• lesson: Coupons are an old trick to get people in your store. Apply this old trick to new technology norms- people always have their phones.

• facts: created a 3-D augmented reality experience using direct mail packages for mobile phones as part of the “Find It” campaign for the Ka car in Europe; the car would appear when you pointed your camera at it
• results: “infuse[d] Ka with cool”
• lesson: Augmented reality through mobile phones is the next big thing in high-tech marketing and makes your company look very tech savvy.
• more:

QR codes:
1. also called smart codes
2. a 2-D barcode printed or broadcast that can be clicked on with a camera phone and takes the user to a location specified by the company
3. often takes the user to a landing page or coupon page

Papa John’s
• facts: takes orders through mobile site, texting, widgets, and smart phone devices. also mails QR codes that pull up coupons or an ordering page
• results: more than 20% of sales come from these platforms
• lesson: The mobile space is widely useful especially for companies that take orders. Food orders are all about convenience. Increase the convenience of ordering; increase sales.
• more:

Calvin Klein
• facts: created a teaser campaign for fragrance In2U, prompting readers of digital billboards to answer the question, “What are you in 2?” without revealing the product for 2 weeks
• results: thousands participated, and their answers were posted on the screens. 50 percent who sent a text requested a sample
• lesson: You can create buzz by building anticipation and using user-generated, fun content.
• more: an article from
• “Addictive Mobility powered the technology and animated the unique digital billboard signage for Calvin Klein. An interactive scrolling marquee was created so that the participants got their messages posted on the most prominent billboards in Yonge-Dundas Sq. The director of Addictive Mobility Nussar Ahmad is excited to combine user-creative content with a reputable brand as a way to express the consumer's view. "It's good that brands are recognizing the power of user-generated content and the cell phone is a great way to bring that communication to new outdoor environments, such as the busy streets of downtown Toronto" he notes.

• facts: used texts from “Hug the Road, Hug the Sky” campaign to send links to mobile application promoting the convertible
• results: Cielo Group was able to track effectiveness in location by using keywords
• lesson: Incorporate signage with mobile marketing to really have the power.

Rascal Flatts
• facts: use texting to “fuel fandemonium” and build a mobile fan club that can participate during concerts and after
• results: broke the iTunes record for country song downloads in a week when they alerted fans via-text about a secret song on iTunes
• lesson: Some people are waiting to be involved fans of your company, but they need an access point.

Polo Ralph Lauren
• facts: uses QR codes to show runway footage, behind the scenes videos, inspiration, and exclusive photography; also created an app to customize rugby shirts
• results: allowed interaction with the consumer directly
• lesson: If you want to reach your customer on a personal, emotional level, allow them to be personal by personalizing.

Benjamin Moore
• facts: created a Color Capture iPhone app that allowed user to take a picture with their phone and find the corresponding colors of BM paint along with nearby locations
• results: provided convenience and aid to those who can’t pick paint
• lesson: Sometimes understanding your audience mean knowing how to help them in choosing your product. Incorporate technology and create an automated choice, and they will likely trust it.

• facts: manages loyalty card accounts through mobile devices, currently testing a system that makes the mobile app the loyalty card and prepaid account
• results: creates buzz and convenience
• lesson: People will prepay for the products if it makes their life more convenient because they just have to have their phone and no plastic card to lose.

• facts: created iFood Assistant app for food planning at 99cents
• results: app is among top 100 most popular paid iPhone apps, #2 in lifestyle category
• lesson: With valuable content, people are willing to pay for your marketing avenues.

• facts: created an app that let teens talk to their friends in secret using high-pitched frequencies that only 25-years olds and under could hear
• results: targeted young people especially
• lesson: Some buzz can be created on your brand just by creating something fun and irrelevant for people to use on their phones.
augmented reality experience @

• facts: created the Amp Up Before You Score app that gave men pick up lines based on the kind of girl
• results: produced a heated reaction that forced them to pull it from the iTunes store
• lesson: If you go to far with mischievous controversial apps, you can hurt your brand.

• facts: ditched mobile banner ads for an app that tracks weather conditions and offers tips for a runny nose
• results: provided more useful tool for users
• lesson: Apps are the way of the future. People don’t really browse much on their phones.

• facts: projected images of an actor on buildings prompting passersby to give the actor commands via short code
• results: created real-time interactive marketing
• lesson: Take advantage of the complementary nature billboards and phones can have.

Part 4 – Outlook on the Interview

“BMW and Beyond: Activating Traditional Media through the Power of Mobile”

Two types of mobile marketing are discussed. The more popular but less effective approach seeks to use the mobile phone as simply a wireless version of the Internet. The more effective approach utilizes the mobile phone as an “activation mechanism,” giving brands a “direct channel to consumers through compelling informational and entertainment experiences.” If you really dig deep into this interview, you find the key difference between these two types of mobile marketing: An Experience. With the wireless internet approach, companies merely use banner ads and mobile friendly sites to advertise through mobile internet use, still in the mindset of the traditional web browser. This does not involve an interactive experience. With the activation method, on the other hand, companies find ways to create memorable real-time experiences for their audiences through downloadable apps and traditional ad media supplemented with a call to action using a mobile phone. The sum of this interview concludes: in order for mobile marketing to reach its full potential, it should be fully integrated with traditional media and incorporate a mobile call to action.

Part 5 - Questions to Think About

  • How many people in the class have mobile phones?
  • Of those, what percentage have 'smartphones'? iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry?
  • How many people text regularly?
  • How many use apps?
  • How many are apps junkies?
  • How many use the GPS and location features of their phone regularly?
  • How many use the GPS and location features to engage in eCommerce?

Link to the Rule #8 Presentation