- November 17, 2012
- July 2, 2012
As a frequent traveler, I have used all manner of tool to help me remember the items to bring on my trips: 3X5 Cards, Excel Spreadsheets, Word Docs, and my memory. When I saw the TripList App I was intrigued. Could this App do more than server as a check list of items to take on my trips? Yes!
You can down load a free version and use it on one trip before you will be asked to move to the paid version for $1.99. TripList is versatile and can be used for business, leisure, camping, projects, road trips, any type of activity where a list of items is helpful.
You can add any number of items to your trip, from clothing and medicine, to documents and gadgets. While the app comes with categories pre-installed, you can edit these categories to make them more relevant for your needs. I like the idea of having Trip Lists for various activities such as:
- Short Business Trip
- Long Casual Trip
- Boating Trip
- Camping List
- First Aid List
- Weekend Get Away
- Black Tie Affairs
- Winter Trips
- Summer Trips
- Overseas Trips
For now the App is available for iPhone and iPad. The iPad version allows for multiple users and you to assign each user a picture or avatar, so you can quickly switch between them while creating lists. You can also export your trips to plain text email in order to share your information.
- June 8, 2012
Category : Mobile Apps
Since the Android platform was launched as an open approach to development vs. Apples closed system the two platforms have been competing head to head. Yet, according to Flurry, of 100 Apps being developed 69 are first developed for Apple’s IOS vs. 31 for Google OS.
Among the reasons iOS appears more attractive to developers is the dominance by Apple in the tablet category. Apps developed for the iPhone will run on an iPad. Also, Android’s fragmentation appears to be increasing, driving up complexity and cost for developers.
See the full Flurry story.
- April 30, 2012
I have been using the Pulse News App on my Android Tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 from T-Mobile, to find and read top news stories as well as specialty news for my industry of social media, mobile apps and marketing. So, when I say the article below, in The Co. Create Newsletter, about Pepsi Branding their own version of Pulse, I had to share it. To me, this is a creative branding move in the world of Mobile Apps, similar to Angry Birds producing a Rio version of the game to go along with the release of the 20th Century Fox Movie. I expect this to continue as a trend for monetizing Mobile Apps and energizing brands. What do you think?
By: Joe Berkowitz
Pepsi has launched its first global campaign around the theme of “Live for Now,” both a rallying cry and a spirit the company hopes to embody with a pop-culture-focused campaign.
Based on extensive global research with thousands of fans, “Live for Now” launches in the U.S. May 7 and will be centered around a major new social and content curation platform, Pepsi Pulse.
“Live for Now” came out of “the desire to build a global positioning for our flagship brand Pepsi,” says president, global enjoyment, brands, and chief creative officer of PepsiCo, Brad Jakeman. “It’s the culmination of 9 months of work around the world to understand the unique place that Pepsi already owns in people’s hearts and minds.” Jakeman says the research revolved around finding out how Pepsi “loyalists” defined themselves, and he says that what emerged as a theme was “the notion of making the most of every moment.” Now that’s being translated into an overall global campaign statement, one anchored by the ambitious new social platform, Pulse.
An extension of a tool launched last fall, Pepsi Pulse marks an ambitious foray into social and also a brand-wide re-emphasis on pop culture and entertainment, long a Pepsi staple. “It’s not enough for a brand to just say something, they also have to live it,” says Shiv Singh, global head of digital at Pepsi Co. In the spirit of what the company is calling the Now Culture, the HTML5-powered Pepsi Pulse will provide engaging aggregated content for users, with immediacy and interactivity.
Pepsi Pulse serves as a “dashboard of pop culture,” curated by Pepsi, pulling pictures, tweets, and news items from premium content sources, filtered by social ranking, to gather the top 10 stories at any given moment. Users will also be able to organize content around categories such as music, design, and sports.
Aside from producing these pop-culture cheat sheets, the site will also livestream concerts and feature an interactive component, with challenges from musicians and celebrities like Nicki Minaj who have endorsement deals with Pepsi. Nicki Minaj, for instance, might ask her 10 million Twitter followers to send her pictures of their alter egos (hers is called Roman Zolanski), which will then be displayed on Pepsi Pulse.
The brand has been moving toward beyond-advertising social efforts for the last several years, starting with the Refresh Project in 2010, which allocated $20 million in grants to causes generated by users online. Last fall, Pepsi introduced a social site called Pepsi Sound Off tied into Simon Cowell’s reality singing competition show, The X-Factor. Created to foster a co-viewing or social TV experience, and modeled after Twitter, Sound Off provided fans of the show a chance to interact with each other, and with the show itself, by posting comments in a stream, and promoting other people’s comments. Those that received the most “likes” would end up featured in custom 15-second spots running during the show.
Pulse is an extension of the platform and embodies the marketing shift from ad messaging to continuous engagement. Pepsi CMO Simon Lowden says that the development of the platform reflects the importance of connecting with audiences across all platforms and the acknowledgement that divisions between things like media, ads, and technology are ad industry constructs that have little relevance to the way consumers actually behave. He also notes that Pulse makes the most of Pepsi’s heft when it comes to culture-based assets–whether that’s its longtime sponsorship of the NFL or its relationship to musical artists. “We now have a platform to leverage that work,” says Lowden.
Pulse is launching in beta now and Lowden says over time the brand will build in other features, like geo-targeting and special offers with selected partners that focus on “how to make the most of now.” Partnerships will include those with daily-deals sites to promote special events across the U.S. Pulse will live at its own web destination as well as on the Pepsi home page.
The global campaign and platform also represents a new approach for Pepsi in terms of how it works with its creative partners. The brand has worked for some time with agency TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. in the U.S. and CLM BBDO on international business; the team on the Live For Now project included people from both of those agencies as well as those from other Omnicom-owned agencies, including digital shop Organic and media entity OMD. “We curated this team of the best of Omnicom talent, cross functionally,” says Jakeman. “Where advertising and digital and media and sales promotion worked together really across the board. The goal was to develop something that was immersive and not just an ad.” Jakeman says the brand is in the process of working with Omnicom “to figure out how to codify that into a more formal situation.”
The first “Live for Now” ad will appear across the U.S. on May 7 and will feature Nicki Minaj’s song “Moment 4 Life” and Minaj herself in a cameo.
- April 7, 2012
We often hear about the ways our Mobile phone can help us become more productive with on-the go solutions like Mobile Website, Mobile Apps, email, push notifications, Geo-fencing, Meet Me Apps, …But could you be less productive as well? Do we let the technology run us sometimes instead of us running the technology?
Mobile devices have exacerbated an always-on work culture where employees work anytime, anywhere. They’ve contributed to the blurred distinction between when you’re “on the clock” and when you’re not. Service industry professionals are especially tethered to these devices. There’s an assumption that using smart devices boosts productivity, since they allow us to work constantly. But, we’re also jeopardizing long-term productivity by eliminating predictable time off that ensures balance in our lives. Is the obsession of regularly checking email really helping anyone’s bottom line? Are the unrealistic expectations these devices facilitate not setting staff up for burnout?
From my experience, this hyper-connectivity carries a cost to organizational productivity. Many months ago, in my Africa-based startup, my top managers decided to adopt a business engagement process where customers and staff could reach them 24/7. There was a perception that if a customer or a colleague needed something and couldn’t get it immediately, the firm would not be taken seriously. The staff was under intense pressure to be available whenever anyone called — it was simply expected. Six months later, we noticed that customer complaints were actually up, and team morale was down.
So, why were we spoiling dinner time for each other with calls that could have waited until the next business day?
In a forthcoming book, “Sleeping with Your Smartphone: How to Break the 24-7 Habit and Change the Way You Work,” Harvard Business School professor Leslie Perlow provides insights on this fraught relationship with smart devices. In an experiment that focused on mandating time off for consultants for at least one night per week, she noticed that — over time — their work lives improved, and they were largely more productive. For the research subjects who followed her policy of disconnecting from work at night, 78% said that they “feel satisfied” with their jobs, compared to the group of people who ignored the policy, where only 49% noted the same sense of satisfaction. Her results show that we’re creating a self-perpetuating perception that working faster is better — even when speed may not be necessary.
The reality is that business processes have been changed by technology. Competition is now global and companies need to act fast to survive. Accordingly, we have institutionalized a system where customers and staff expect everyone to be always-connected. And with that, 24/7 speed has become a key performance metric. The impetus to examine whether what we do requires 24/7 responsiveness is overlooked. We all work longer and harder, despite the possibility that we could work better. But since everyone is doing it, it’s considered acceptable.
But, here’s the thing: Business will not collapse if we don’t respond to e-mail at 11 PM. Waiting until 9 AM has plenty of benefits that arguably outweigh the benefits of speed, such as giving ourselves an opportunity to think through the problem and provide a better idea that customers will appreciate. Instead of acquiescing to the knee-jerk reflex of responding to every incoming message, we should put these devices in their place — that is, to serve us, and not the other way around.
Companies need to help employees unplug. (Of course, every business is unique, and must take its own processes into consideration. But for most companies, giving employees predictable time off will not hurt the bottom line.) In my own firm, when we noticed that always-on was not producing better results, we phased it out of our culture. A policy was instituted that encouraged everyone to respect time off, and discouraged people from sending unnecessary emails and making distracting calls after hours. It’s a system that works if all of the team members commit to it. Over time, we’ve seen a more motivated team that comes to work ready for business, and goes home to get rejuvenated. They work smarter, not blindly faster. And morale is higher.
Give it a try in your own company. As a trial, talk to your team and agree to shutdown tonight. I’m confident that you’ll all feel the benefits in the morning.
- November 21, 2011
I have been conversing about the importance of business cards for years. It started in 1993 with the forming of the Aggie Roundtable and the Aggie Job Network. My friends and I would help young graduates and those in transition connect with others, teach them about informational interviews, how to use the telephone and the importance of having a business card. I’d tell them “There are three things that make you a professional: 1) Education and Experience 2) your Attitude and 3) a Business Card.” But as technology has become more pervasive in our society, the reasons to carry business cards have diminished. Some say you don’t need to carry business cards; if that is true, then what might you choose to carry instead of a business card?
First let’s look at all the ways in which we can connect without a business card. Here are just a few you might want to try out:
Bump – The Bump App allows you to bump your iPhone or Android phone with another phone and exchange information. You can exchange your contact information, pictures, videos, files, and almost anything. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.)
Beam Me – The Beam Me App, available only on iPhone is similar to the inferred beaming of the Palm Pilot of the late ‘90’s. Although this App was popular for a while, it appears to be abandoned by the developer. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.)
Card Munch – Available only for iPhone, the user takes a picture of a business card with the App. The App then sends the image to a real person to key in the data. You get a notification when the transcription is complete. If it is incorrect, you can have it re-transcribed with the click of a button. Once you accept the transcription, you can send the person an email, text, or invitation to connect on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Although the App is free now, LinkedIn purchased it and could change it to a paid App. (This App requires an internet connection to work.)
Text & Email – No Mobile App required, just ask the person for their mobile number or email address and send them your contact information from your phone. (This non-App requires an internet connection to work.)
LinkedIn App – In addition to accessing all of your LinkedIn contacts on the fly, the LinkedIn Mobile App will allow you to connect with others and exchange information. This App is not available for the Android yet but is available on the iPhone, Palm Pre and BlackBerry. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.)
Twitter & Facebook App – These Apps are more like the Text & Email from above. Just get the users ID, send them a message and you are off to the races. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.)
With all of these technologies, you can facilitate the exchange of information without a business card. Yet, that is the one of the main reason why so many people have business cards. In addition to these Apps, on-line profiles provide a great deal of information about someone before we meet in person. So again, what do I need a card for? Here are few reasons or ideas on why you might want to carry something like a business card.
- In The Moment Marketing – The card shows or tells something about your business
- Marketing For Later – The recipient remembers you and your business later
- Something To Remember You By – A lasting impression
- A Gift – As in Japanese culture, you exchange cards like they are gifts
- A Conversation Starter – A little something unique about you and your business
I have used a unique card for the last 3 years and it stimulates a variety of conversations. People come up to me and say “oh yea, you’re the guy with the cool card”. Now granted I am in marketing and social media business but aren’t we all in the business of marketing for ourselves? Thus I suggest you still carry a business card, it’s just for different reasons.
What about students and retirees, I suggest you carry a personal card with your contact information and maybe a title or statement that says something about you. This way you can make a better impression on people you meet and you have something to exchange when they offer their card.
There are few people who are “off the radar”; they do not need to build a network due to the private nature of their work. But remember, even James Bond carries a business card, though it does say “Universal Exports” and that is a rather misleading company name.
Maybe there is a point to be reached, that you are so well known, that you don’t need cards. Right, I’ll probably still carry unique cards just because I like them so much and the results they generate.
12-01-11 The Jingle Mingle
12-06-11 Social Media and your Career in 2012
12-08-11 NTCAR – Virtual Tour – Uptown/CBD
12-08-11 Dallas Safari Club Holiday Party
- October 10, 2011
What do these things have to do with each other? Simply put; Social Media and Mobile Applications are affecting Search Engine Optimization.
Think of Google as a “Content Eating Monster” and Google loves to “eat” social media generated content. Google also indexes certain Social Media content. For example, did you know that Google looks at your Twitter Authority? The more “Klout” you have, the more authority Google gives your Tweets and Re-Tweets. Also, when someone of a higher authority than you, re-tweets your tweet, then you get a little boost in your authority. Google also likes LinkedIn, such as the three websites you can reference on your profile, especially when you customize their names or “anchor text.” These three websites are looked at as “do follow” by Google and they help your Google ranking. One other tip about LinkedIn, make sure someone completes the information on products and services on your LinkedIn company profile.
Mobile Apps usage is continuing to increase in volume due to several factors:
- Increasing Smartphone Adoption
- App Publisher Growth
- A Steady Increase in Time Spent on Apps
Like any new technology, there will be those who drag their feet. For the rest of us, we need to be figuring out how we can make use of this change. Have you looked at “Responsive Web Design ?“ This strategy for website design allows the website to automatically adjust to screen size and resizes the images and content of the website to fit any screen size. Responsive Web Design may be enough for your organization or you may need a custom developed App. Either strategy will help your customers, employees and channel partners communicate more effectively through their mobile device.
With the increase usage of Apps come the increasing effect on search rankings. Google now gives higher authority to faster loading pages both on
computer and mobile devices. An increase in App usage also means users are more sensitive to ease of use, page load times and quick access to
information. Every day, more searches are being done on a mobile device instead of a personal computer. Some advertisers are shifting from Pay-per-click to Pay-per-call; they only pay for the Ad when a customer clicks on their phone number to call from their smart phone.
The adjacent model describes how social media and mobile apps work to enhance search engine optimization. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the convergence of these three related technologies.
Future Events of Note
10-22-11 WorldFest in Addison Circle
10-26-11 Digital Dallas @ the AT&T Foundry
- July 25, 2011
“You know an app is on its way to going mainstream when a major brand like Starbucks has its own account. There’s simply no denying Instagram‘s popularity. In fact, it looks like the app just got a little bit more popular when Justin Bieber shared an image of LA traffic using Instagram.”
Inkstagram gives you the missing web interface that Instagram so desperately needs.
ExtraGram is another site which gives you the means to keep up with your feed, with popular photos and to interact with other users in a browser.
Webstagram lets you keep up with your feed as well as see the latest popular photos on Instagram.
Gramfeed gives you a web interface making it easy to get to all of Instagram’s features in your browser.
Mac users can bring the Instagram experience to their desktop with Carousel, an app that allows you to interact with other users, comment and like photos, as well as follow and unfollow other users.
Flipboard makes it easy to keep up with your Instagram stream, and like Instagallery, takes advantage of the iPad’s larger screen.
InstaFB is an easy way to connect Instagram and Facebook in a much more efficient way than what Instagram provides.
Gramjunction gives you a visually appealing way to display the images that you’ve shared on both Instagram and Flickr.
Instadrop allows you to backup all of your Instagram photos using Dropbox. After connecting the two services, any photos you share on Instagram will be automatically saved to your Dropbox folder in real time.
Since there’s no easy or direct way to do this just yet, Edward Boches came up with a workaround to share your Instagram images with your Google+ followers in real time.
Insta-Great displays a slideshow of popular photos on Instagram.
Heroku allows you to to search Instagram photos, and you can also narrow down your results to photos taken using a specific filter.
Instagallery is a $1.99 iPhone, iPad and iPodTouch app which lets you keep up with your friends’ photos, view your own photos and your favourites.
Cartagr.am lets you browse Instagram photos based on location.
InstaCat has to be one of the most niche Instagram websites available and it displays photos of only one thing – Cats.
If you’re more of a dog person, InstaPuppy will bring you all the puppy-goodness found on Instagram to your browser. InstaPuppy does also have it’s own kitty sister site, InstaKitty, if the constant scrolling in InstaCat proves to be too much for you.
Instarium is a flash-based screensaver which you can download for your Mac or Windows computer.
Screenstragram is another screensaver which displays the latest popular Instagram photos, but it is currently a Mac only download, compatible with Snow Leopard and up.
Instagrid allows you to create a pretty slick online gallery of your Instagram photos.
Instawar pits Instagram photos against each other in a little game where two random images are displayed side by side.
Pic-a-Fight is similar to Instawar, minus the ability to create a diptych. You can add your own photos into the mix by connecting your Instagram photos.
Instaprint is one of the coolest ideas we’ve seen emerge as a result of Instagram’s popularity. If you have a special event or party, rent Instaprint’s special Instaprint Box. Each box is associated with a specific location or hashtag, so any photo tagged with either will be automatically printed. Instaprint is kind of like a photobooth and Polaroid camera all rolled into one
Instagoodies will provide you with a book of 1 inch stickers created using your Instagram photos.
Instamaker will turn your Instagram photos into t-shirts, mugs and postcards.
Stickygram turns your Instagram photos into fridge magnets.
If you’re looking for a way to print Instagram photos, Printstagram gives you a ton of cool options.
TeenyTile gives you a way to turn your Instagram photos into a cute little 2 inch ceramic tiles.
Postagram is an iPhone, Android and web-based app which allows you to send your Instagram photos as postcards.
If the smaller sticker size available from Prinstagram and Instagoodies doesn’t suit your taste, you can use ArtFlakes to order large 4 inch stickers using your Instagram photos.
With Keepsy, you can create a gorgeous book of your Instagram photos. In addition to Instagram, the site also supports Picasa, Flickr, PicPlz and Facebook, as well as the ability to upload photos from your computer.
Instaport makes it easy to download your Instagram images to a zip file, and a direct export service to Facbook, Flickr and RSS is in the works.
CopyGram works in the same way as Instaport, allowing you to download all of your Instagram images as a zip file, in addition to providing you with an easy-to-remember vanity url with your username.
- July 17, 2011
Similar to the AT&T Foundry concept, Verizon has opened a creative technology space to showcase their latest and greatest tech toys. The Verizon LTE Innovation Center is located in Waltham, MA about 10 miles from Boston with a future site in San Francisco, CA.
Verizon is saying that they will provide support to developers to foster app development and free of charge to developers. The center will host app development on a platform- and device-agnostic basis, and Verizon says that developers are not obligated to just releasing apps for Verizon devices.
However, it is anything like the AT&T Foundry, what they really mean is the Innovation center is for large corporate partners not the small independents or startup companies that are the hallmark of innovation. Only time will tell.
- March 7, 2011
Tags : American Marketing AssociationAppsChicagoChicago Symphony OrchestraChicago's 2011 Saint Patrick's Day ParadeDallas iPhone Developers/EntrepreneursDallas social Media speaker J.R. AtkinsDFW AMADish Restaurant & LoungeiPhone AppsJ.R. AtkinsMobile appsSocial MediaSocial Media & Your CareerSocial Media TrainingSomething Different CompaniesThe Big 5 of Social MediaThe Lakewood TheatreThe Social Media club of DallasTwitter Trainingxcube labs
Marketing to prospective clients has changed greatly with the proliferation of online tools such as websites, email and most recently, social media. Prospects can turn to so many sources for information about you, your company, and your products or services. A recent day of yard work prompted me to explain the shift in marketing to a colleague as being “more like using a leaf blower then a rake.”
The Leaf Rake Approach
Prior to the proliferation of on-line tools, I collected contact information from prospects such as their name, address, phone number and fax number and stored them on 3×5 cards. In the early 90’s I started using ACT, a Contact and Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM, to keep up with prospect information and to schedule phone calls, meetings, and direct mail campaigns. Armed with this information, I could mail, call, and fax prospects about my products and services. This shows the emphasis on collecting contact information, much like raking leaves into a pile.
The Leaf Blower Approach
Today, I take a different approach that is more like a leaf blower. As I meet prospective clients, I connect with them on-line via email and or social media. I have shifted from collecting and hoarding data, to giving and sharing data. In other words I blow information into the wind and wait for those who are interested to reach out to me.
Social Media is a great tool for “Leaf Blower” marketing. Once a connection is made via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, a blog or YouTube, the prospect get’s to choose if they would like to follow you and if so, they can choose their preferred method of communication. Some prospects will discard the information you share, others will collect it and save it for the future, and some will find if valuable and share it with others, while some will act on it by reaching our my email, social media or phone. The main idea is that the prospects who are interested in you and the content you publish will “follow you” and when they are ready to buy, they will reach out to you.
Yet, there is a key point with this approach. It requires the marketer to publish content that is interesting, valuable and giving in nature. This kind of content will be shared with others and your message will take on the viral affect where it gets passed around to others very rapidly.
When using the “leaf blower” methodology, your goal is to draw prospects to you by “blowing out the information” and letting those that are interested come to you.
You probably need both
To be effective in my yard work, I need both a leaf rake and leaf blower to get the job done. In business, we need both approaches to market effectively. We should use the leaf blower approach to share good content through a website, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, a Blog and a YouTube Channel. Then, we can identify those prospects that have an interest in our content and target them with direct mail, email blast and direct selling content and methods.
By using both approaches we can continue to grow our business while allowing the prospect to connect with us in the way that works best for them. My hope for you is that you “rake in the money while blowing away the competition.”
3/12/11 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade
3/23/11 Digital Dallas – A SXSW Recap
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