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Mobile Facts Change So Fast! – a repository for key mobile stats and facts (2011+)

August 1, 2013 5 comments

On at least three occasions, I have written posts that incorporated a summary of notable stats about mobile apps and the mobile space in general to set the scene for a topical discussion.  But the facts change so fast that I was continuously updating the posts, and the posts had a tendency to grow and grow at the rate of foursquare subscribers.  (See here for 2010 post) So, I’m starting afresh and focusing specifically on notable mobile facts starting with these:

A mobile marketing strategy is a must-have for retailers - and, I would venture, anyone that sells products to consumers.  In fact, with today’s predictive marketing capabilities, retailers and marketers can target purchase intenders at the time and place of potential purchase.

Nine out of 10 smartphone shoppers use their phone for “pre-shopping” activities like finding store locations, comparing prices and reading product reviews. Source: Google via Shop.org Think Tank. 07/24/2013

Teens and Mobile (July 2011 data, except where noted) – Pew Research:

  • As of July 2011, 77% of teens have a cell phone (Teens, Smartphones & Texting).
  • Older teens ages 14 to 17 are substantially more likely to have a cell phone than younger teens ages 12 and 13 – 87% of older teens have a cell phone, compared with 57% of younger teens.
  • 23% of teens have a smartphone; 54% have a regular cell phone (or are not sure what kind of phone they have), and another 23% of teens do not have a cell phone at all.
  • Overall, half (49%) of all American teens have gone online on their mobile phones in the last 30 days.
  • The bulk of teens are 12 or 13 when they get their first cell phone (see: Is the age at which kids get cell phones getting younger?)(September 2009).
  • See more in the Teens, Smartphones & Texting report.

Teens and Communication choices (July 2011, except where noted) – Pew Research:

Texting dominates teens’ general communication choices. Overall, 75% of all teens text, and 63% say that they use text to communicate with others every day.

  • 39% of teens make and receive voice calls on their mobile phones every day.
  • 35% of all teens socialize with others in person outside of school on a daily basis.
  • 29% of all teens exchange messages daily through social network sites.
  • 22% of teens use instant messaging daily to talk to others.
  • 19% of teens talk on landlines with people in their lives daily.
  • 6% of teens exchange email daily.

Teens and Texting (July 2011, except where noted) – Pew Research:

The volume of texting among teens has risen from a median 50 texts a day in 2009 to 60 texts for the typical teen text user.

Older girls remain the most enthusiastic texters, with a median of 100 texts a day in 2011, compared with 50 for boys the same age.

Click here for more on what teens do with their phones.

26% of American teens of driving age say they have texted while driving, and 48% of all teens ages 12 to 17 say they’ve been a passenger while a driver has texted behind the wheel (September 2009 survey; see Teens and Distracted Driving)

This is the year of the Tablet:

About 68.7 million tablets shipped worldwide in 2011, according to IDC, which forecasts 106.1 million units to ship this year (April 17, 2012)

Smart Phones have reached the tipping point:

86% of mobile internet users are using their devices while watching TV.  Are people fast forwarding through your commercials or engaging with their smart phones while they’re on?  If so, has your commercial motivated them to do something related to your brand or prompted them to do something else to pass the time?

Android Apps Reach 400,000

In December 2011, Google celebrated their ten billionth Android app download, and now new research from mobile app analytics firm Distimo reports that there are 400,000 apps available in the Android Market. (Scroll all the way down for a post about Android apps reaching 90,000 in July 2010!)

Free apps make up a considerable portion of that 400,000, and Distimo’s research indicates that the ratio of free to paid apps has jumped from 60% to 68% over the last eight months. Distimo pegs the prevalence of free apps on the current popularity of the freemium  app economy, which also isn’t much of a surprise considering the potential payouts inherent to the model.

Mobile Is a Hotbed of VC

Mobile marketing was the most active segment within digital advertising for mergers, acquisitions and investments in 2011, according to a new report from marketing and media investment bank Petsky Prunier.

The iPad Revolution:

Only 13% of Web Traffic Is Mobile:

While mobile devices are expected to surpass laptops and desktops for accessing the Internet, they account for only 13% of web traffic today (still not shabby).  This is due in part to the lack of mobile optimized websites, a situation that is changing.  Within the 13%, more than 80% of comes from iPhone and iPads:

40% of Mobile Phones Are Smart Phones (Source: Nielsen)

Becoming the Primary Means for Accessing the Internet

Mobile devices and connected TVs are expected to overtake personal laptops within the next year as a means for accessing the Internet.  I hope your website is optimized for mobile and mobile search…

“I Love My MacBerry”  - Literally

  • A study using MRI scans showed evidence of not only addiction to iPhones but also Love.  (I admit it.  I’m hopelessly hooked.  I’m even willing to put up with the fact that my AT&T iPhone often hangs up on me.  Is that a sign of codependency?)

iPads, iPhones, iPods and More – How Many Were Sold in Apple’s 4Q 2011

  • The Company sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter.
  • Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during the quarter, a 166 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. (That’s 20.37 million iPads in Apple’s fiscal 2011 2H – ALONE, which does not include what will likely be a huge holiday purchase season for the device, and annualizes to 44.5 million per year)
  • The Company sold 4.89 million Macs during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.
  • Apple sold 6.62 million iPods, a 27 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

iPads, iPhones, iPods and More – How Many Were Sold in Apple’s 3Q 2011

  • 9.25 million iPads were sold during Apple’s 3rd quarter, 2011, up 183 % vs. year-ago (That would annualize to 37 million per year.)
  • 20.34 million iPhones were sold, up 142 percent vs. year ago (That’s a pretty nice stat – and impressive given growth of the Android.  A testament to the dramatic growth of smartphone in general)
  • (That means that nearly 30 million iPads and iPhones were sold this quarter.)
  • 3.95 million Macs, up 14 percent vs. year-ago (iPads cannibalizing Macs.  I would say, “yup.”  Especially laptops – by all manufacturers – and, perhaps MacBook Airs.  I think the Christmas season is going to blow the current iPad number out of the water)
  • 7.54 million iPods, a 20 percent unit decline from year-ago.  (I saw a young man on the subway today using the iPhone as an iPod with headphones – ironic as he had to hold the relatively large device.)
Observations,  Implications and Hypotheses:
  • Nearly 30 million iPhones and iPads were sold.  Compare that to less than 4 million Macs (laptops and desktops, up only 14 percent vs. year-ago) – and less than 8 million iPods, DOWN from year ago.  iPads and iPhones seem to be cannibalizing laptop, desktop and iPod sales.
  • More than twice as many iPads sold as Macs.  iPads are definitely cannibalizing laptop sales
  • iPad sales equivalent to 1/2 iPhone sales
  • In sum, iPads are HOT.  They’re starting to reach a tipping point from: it’s cool to have one to it’s not cool not to have one (I hope that made sense, i.e., it’s becoming embarrassing to not have one – I predict I’ll give into peer pressure within the year at most)
  • Quite a large increase in iPhone sales given growth of Android penetration; hence, it seems that the overall pie is heating up

Source: Apple 3Q earnings report

Being Mobile at Home

Don’t mistake mobile device usage with being mobile… A good chunk of time spent with smart phones, PDAs, iPads, eReaders and other such devices is spent at home.  Think about it.  Picture your well-wired friend – or maybe it’s you – with a laptop before you, a smartphone in your hand, an iPad on the sofa beside you, and an Internet connected TV shimmering its HD (or 3D) images from across the room.  In fact, the latest data from ComScore shows that tablets have the highest share of traffic for digital news consumption during evenings, beating out computers (as well as smart phones) in at-home news consumption. (Source: Moxie Pulse)  Moreover, GlobalWebIndex data suggests that, globally, half of those who access the mobile web do so from home or work, rather than while traveling or “roaming,” or while in a public place.

91 MM Americans Use Mobile Search

Overall, more than 91 million US consumers use the Internet through a mobile device at least monthly, and this increase in on-the-go web usage goes hand in hand with more search activity, particularly for local content.  20% of mobile search users do so almost every day.

Meanwhile, the debate between App and Wap (ok, browser) continues, with mobile search engine usage currently exceeding search via apps by 70% as of August 2011 – According to Yahoo! and Ipsos, via eMarketer.

Facts from Jimmy Wales at OMMA Global (September 26, 2011)

  • One out of every two Americans owns a smartphone [whoah, that's DOUBLE the 25% shown for Q2 2010 if you scroll down]
  • 15.1 million tablets shipped worldwide (I have seen other numbers for this metric that I will add to this post… Ok, eMarketer is estimating 24MM for 2011 and 46MM in 2012)

Android is #1 U.S. Mobile Operating System – Q2 2011

  • As of June 2011, the Android operating system accounted for 39% of the total U.S. mobile market, making it the #1 mobile operating system in the country.
  • Apple maintains its share of 28% share, while Blackberry OS from RIM (Research in Motion)  has fallen from market leadership (nearly 40% in 2009 – scroll down) to third position with only 20% market share.
  • These three operating systems (representing 87% of the market) are followed by Windows Mobile/WP7 (9%), Palm/HP Web OS (2%), and Nokia’s Symbian OS (2%)
  • Apple is the leading handset maker in the United States whilst Android is the top mobile operating system. (Nielsen)
  • Apple overtook Nokia to become the world’s leading smartphone vendor in July (Nielsen research and IDC figures)
  • According to a report by the NPD Group, the Android operating system accounted for 52% of the smartphones sold in the second quarter of 2011, up from 36 percent sold in Q1 2011 according to previous data by Gartner.


Timehop Abe – It’s Nice To Wake Up with You

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

If you have not already invited Timehop Abe into your life, I highly recommend it.  Timehop Abe sends me an email each morning recapping my social activity from one year before.  Personally, I find this to be extraordinarily interesting.  It puts things in perspective to be reminded what I was thinking about and experiencing a year before.  Do I feel the same way today?  Are my observations still relevant?  Was I doing something particularly fun or interesting?  How has my life progressed?  Am I about to attend the US Open exactly one year from the last time I did so?

This morning I woke up to a quite lengthy recap of my Twitter posts from OMMA Global, which took place September 26th, 2012 – an interesting reminder on the eve of Advertising Week 2012, which includes OMMA Global.  I imagine OMMA schedules during that week in order to take advantage of the energy and the presence of those from out of town.  Unfortunately, for me, I prefer to sample the smorgasbord of Ad Week panels throughout the city vs. dedicating a day to OMMA Global, which is a shame.

In any case, as I reviewed my entries, I had two observations: (1) Most, if not all, are completely relevant today.  (2) Some are more relevant today because the topics or initiatives were just being born a year ago and have become mainstream, such as AMEX’s foursquare program, which has now branched out into other social media such as Twitter. (I see that I quoted Zuckerberg several times.  Was he there?Have I seen the great Founder in person? I don’t recall – though I could certainly look this up…)

Hence, since the majority of my observations are still of interest, I thought I would start my day by sharing them with you.  What do you think?  Are they still relevant and thought provoking?  I have added some of my own comments.

#1 This was the beginning of an ongoing – friendly – battle for mayorship of my apartment building with my doorman, several years since I created the venue.  I don’t believe that anyone else in the building has ever signed in.

#3 “Native Monetization.”  I don’t recall hearing this phrase since the conference.  However, a quick Google search does reveal some discussion:

“Native advertising is a new form of inventory that seamlessly integrates promoted content from brand advertisers into the fabric of a site itself. Native advertising inventory is content that’s part of the site experience rather than ads that interrupt users, such as pre-roll video ads or boxes, buttons, and banners on the corners of pages. Facebook’s Sponsored Stories are one of the largest bets on native advertising in the ad industry – a bet that’s consistent with the ad strategies of the dominant social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, StumbleUpon and the coming ad products from the next wave of internet elite like Tumblr and Spotify” – Dan Greenberg, TechCrunch

I hope this does not include those incredibly annoying and interruptive “Pages You May Like” posts on my Facebook news feed.

Whoops – I have a conference call in 15 minutes.  More later…

I Want My WiFi Free


I recently flew to Atlanta on Delta Airlines to attend orientation for my new role as Managing Consultant with Capgemini Consulting.   I must admit that I was not looking forward to flying Delta. Given the choice, I typically fly JetBlue or, when the occasion presents itself, Virgin America – the Apple of air travel.

The last time I flew Delta was coming back from Florida. The trip was uneventful but somehow stressful.  I had flown JetBlue there and even though they lost my luggage for a day, they handled it so nicely, I went away with a really good feeling – a good customer experience.

The time before last I flew Delta to Las Vegas, and I recall spotting a mouse in the waiting area. So, my expectations were not high.

When I arrived at the Delta terminal, however, I was blown away by the technology.  In the waiting area of the gate was a high white table with what looked like iPads, available for passengers to use, as well as plugs for charging their own devices. It looked like something you might find at a trade show or conference. Very slick and modern.

When we boarded the plane, we were informed that there would be in flight wifi available. But not just available. Free. What?  You’re giving me something free on a domestic flight?  I promptly booted up my new iPad to check it out. Aha. The free wifi was sponsored. Brilliant. A much better business model than asking passengers to pay $15 or $20 for access. And a much better consumer experience. After all, I’m telling all of you about it.

And as for the advertiser, well the advertiser got a captive audience that visited a sponsored web page to activate the coverage.  Moreover, the page had an opt out lead generation component so that users would be added to the company’s mailing list unless they unchecked the box.

In addition to this on screen and direct marketing component, the advertiser had a short promotional video incorporated into the in flight television entertainment.

All in all, I thought it was an excellent program. A win win for all involved, And a reason to give Delta a second look.

You’ve Been Placed. And You’ve Been Spotted

February 29, 2012 2 comments

Product placement has become to video what social media is to media.  It is intrinsic to its fabric.  It has become second nature.  It has become indiscernible.  And that is why I continue to enjoy observing and calling out the placements I spot.  Here is my third installment.  (Stay tuned for more.)

  • Colbert and Wheat Thins: Colbert coins the term “Sponsortunity” on an episode in which he reads at length from the branding memo for “Wheat Thins” that only someone in brand management could have written.  A real treat and must-see for those in marketing.
  • Diet Coke: Diet Coke seems to have used product placement in its own ad (“Not All Stars Appear On Screen”) during the Oscars.  The commercial shows the evolution of a film from script to production with cameo appearances by Diet Coke cans, e.g., in the hands of the writers and those producing the film and placed on the shelves of the door to the sound stage.

  • Apple: I find it so interesting to see which programs use Apple computers but cover up the otherwise highly visible Apple on the back of each device.  Example: Two and a Half Men.  Clearly, the producers like the aesthetic and how it fits with Ashton’s character, but, I guess they did not strike a deal with Apple, so they cover up the fruit.  Other shows go all the way – do they get paid for that?  In Showtime’s “House of Lies,” the consultants use Lenovo Think Pads.  I would expect no less (and it makes me cringe a little when I think back to my pre-Mac years).

For more examples, check out: Place the Spot, Spot the Placement and Spot the Placement, Place the Spot.

Geolocation: What Art Though to Me? Part VI

February 14, 2012 1 comment

Each day, geolocation has a unique impact on my life as I watch the way it influences my city, myself, and increasingly, my world. A few months after joining foursquare in 2010, I decided to keep a journal of my new life with geolocation.

You have now entered Part VI this ongoing tale – tracking the personal, sociological and historic milestones associated with the rapidly growing service/game/application. Click on the Geolocation tab for the full story or check my archives for Parts III,  IIIIV and V.

 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eureka!  I’ve rediscovered specials and – in a way – trending on FourSquare.  And, in the process, I happened upon a tie in with Groupon.  It’s all so incestuous, these frenemies.  In the images below, please note: (a) “Special” next to my local designer pizza joint Freddie and Pepper’s  - tied in with Groupon (b) little person image next to the Beacon that shows that 12 people have checked in (c) This is new to me – “Show” icon next to the Beacon.  I’ll have to investigate that further.  Something GetGlue-ish???

Just arrived home from a phenomenal meal at a restaurant in Chelsea called Westville – an amazing meal thanks to all the people who left me tips on foursquare, from the scores of them who recommended the four market sides for $14 to a non anonymous stranger named Frank, who recommended the chocolate pecan pie.  My friend Nancy and I thank you all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It seems that my taste in primetime television is on par with other GetGlue users – and that the app (which is not actually geolocation but was initially positioned as the foursquare for people who stay home..) is gaining serious traction.  I checked into “New Girl” along with 7,173 other viewers and joined 14,682 other Glee fans when I checked into that show.  I watched both via DVR.  Keep you eye on this one.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Have you checked out Square’s Card Case app. You should. If only to experience the art of what’s possible. You can pay for things by simply giving your name to the retailer.

Ok, so I’m working my way through Mary Meeker’s 2011 Internet trends and discovering all kinds of treats and terms along the way.  Many of which are mobile, and many of which are location based.  (I’ve even adopted a new phrase: “Geosocial networking.”  Nice.)  Here’s one I find intriguing: Shopkick. And here’s what they have to say about themselves:
“shopkick gives you awesome deals and rewards simply for walking into your favorite stores. You can collect your kicks™ rewards at millions of stores in America, and great deals at many of the top national retailers.

Collect walk-in rewards: Have you ever gotten rewarded simply for walking into stores – yes, just for visiting? Now you can collect boatloads of kicks™ in the kicks Reward Program and unlock awesome exclusive deals at your favorite stores. Just walk into 1,300 Best Buy stores in all 50 states, and hundreds of Target stores, Macy’s, American Eagle, Sports Authority, Crate&Barrel, West Elm, Wet Seal and the largest Simon malls! Open the shopkick app on your iPhone or Android phone in the entrance area, and wait for a few seconds. Your shopkick app will reward you instantly.  shopkick is adding more stores in more cities every month.

Get exclusive deals: Discover and unlock awesome deals in the shopkick app at dozens of national stores, many of them are exclusively offered to shopkick users only.

Collect scan rewards: Collect additional kicks rewards by scanning barcodes of featured products with your phone at 250,000 stores across the United States.

Redeem your kicks™ for rewards! Get rewards like iTunes gift cards, restaurant vouchers, Best Buy/Target/Macy’s/American Eagle/Sports Authority instant gift cards, Facebook Credits, movie tickets, or if you go all out, a 3D 55″ Sony Bravia HDTV or a cruise around the world! And if you want to change the world, donate your kicks to 30 different causes!”

Friday, November 18, 2011

The next (current) phase in location based services is Near Field Communication (NFC).  (I call it a LBS because the two devices need to be near each other.) Here’s how wikipedia defines NFC:

NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATION, or NFC, allows for simplified transactions, data exchange, and wireless connections between two devices in proximity to each other, usually by no more than a few centimeters.  It is expected to become a widely used system for making payments by smartphone in the United States. [Gosh, it seems like decades ago that I read about Japan doing this.  Oh right, it was.  It was commonplace as long ago as early 2006 when I did my first mobile study for BusinessWeek.] Many smartphones currently on the market already contain embedded NFC chips that can send encrypted data a short distance (“near field”) to a reader located, for instance, next to a retail cash register. Shoppers who have their credit card information stored in their NFC smartphones can pay for purchases by waving their smartphones near or tapping them on the reader, rather than using the actual credit card. Co-invented by NXP Semiconductors and Sony in 2002, NFC technology is being added to a growing number of mobile handsets to enable mobile payments, as well as many other applications.

And, here are some of the applications (by applications, I mean uses) – again, from wikipedia:

(1) Social Networking

NFC simplifies and expands social networking options:

  • File Sharing: Tap one NFC device to another to instantly share a contact, photo, song, application, video, or website link.
  • Electronic business card: Tap one NFC device to another to instantly share electronic business cards or resumes.
  • Electronic money: To pay a friend, you could tap the devices and enter the amount of the payment.
  • Mobile gaming: Tap one NFC device to another to enter a multiplayer game.
  • Friend-to-friend: You could touch NFC devices together to Facebook friend each other or share a resume or to “check-in” at a location.

(2) Bluetooth and WiFi Connections

NFC can be used to initiate higher speed wireless connections for expanded content sharing.

  • Bluetooth: Instant Bluetooth Pairing can save searching, waiting, and entering codes. Touch the NFC devices together for instant pairing.
  • WiFi: Instant WiFi Configuration can configure a device to a WiFi network automatically. Tap an NFC device to an NFC enabled router.

(3) eCommerce

NFC expands eCommerce opportunities, increases transaction speed and accuracy, while reducing staffing requirements. A Personal identification number (PIN) is usually only required for payments over $100 (in Australia) and £15 (in UK).

  • Mobile payment: An NFC device may make a payment like a credit card by touching a payment terminal at checkout or a vending machine when a PIN is entered.
  • PayPal: PayPal may start a commercial NFC service in the second half of 2011.[15][16]
  • Google Wallet is an Android app that stores virtual versions of your credit cards for use at checkout when a PIN is used.
  • Ticketing: Tap an NFC device to purchase railmetroairline, movie, concert, or event tickets. A PIN is required.
  • Boarding pass: A NFC device may act as a boarding pass, reducing check-in delays and staffing requirementsFr.
  • Point of Sale: Tap an SmartPoster tag to see information, listen to an audio clip, watch a video, or see a movie trailer.
  • Coupons: Tapping an NFC tag on a retail display or SmartPoster may give the user a coupon for the product.
  • Tour guide: Tap a passive NFC tag for information or an audio or video presentation at a museum, monument, or retail display (much like a QR Code).

(4) Identity documents

NFC’s short range helps keep encrypted identity documents private.

  • ID card: An NFC enabled device can also act as an encrypted student, employee, or personal ID card or medical ID card.
  • Keycard: An NFC enabled device may serve as car, house, and office keys.
  • Rental Car and hotel keys: NFC rental car or hotel room keys may allow fast VIP check-in and reduce staffing requirements.

The future (or past…) is here.
Sunday, December 4th, 2011

I’ve checked into the Central Park Tennis Center 88 times and into my apartment building 726 times.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

On Monday of this week, Gowalla was acquired by Facebook.  That’s huge.  What impact will this have on foursquare?

Friday, January 13, 2012

The American Express tie-in with Foursquare has been simplified and is quite nice.  When you check into a participating location, you are notified of an AMEX special.  If you use your AMEX card there, you get a $10 credit on your statement.  Nice.  I’ve used it at a restaurant and a nail salon.  It’s a good promotion because it encourages you to use your AMEX card to pay – at the time and point of purchase.  Moreover, it gives you an incentive to spend at least $10, a requirement I met easily with my yummy chicken parmesan and lovely pedicure.  What will be especially valuable is to use it for an $11 manicure…

If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on geolocation, click on the Geolocation tab or check out Part V of this series.

Social Media Tidbits I

February 13, 2012 2 comments

Visit me here for social media tidbits I find worthy of sharing.  Share with me your thoughts.

Do You “Like” Me?  Do You Really “Like” Me?

Much of both Advertising Week and OMMA Global was spent talking about the importance of being “Liked,” as in the Facebook “Like” functionality.  The conclusion was that (a) consumers don’t hate advertising, they hate bad advertising… (b) if you keep it under control, it can be powerful (c) consumers DO want to have relationships with brands they care about – as well as those who offer them something for being their “friend.”  So, ironically, today’s eMarketer article includes two charts about consumers attitudes towards letting brands/advertisers/companies into their Facebook worlds:

Discretion

We’ll move now to a personal admonition – things individuals should consider before posting on their social networking site (69% of prospective employers have rejected a candidate based on something posted on a social networking site).  Below, we get into what organizations should do at a minimum in social media – to avoid regrets.

The chart below shows the huge draw Facebook has on our time.  Far and away higher than any other U.S. Web Brands in terms of total minutes.  I was intrigued by the Facebook phenomenon back when I joined in early 2006  (as one of 7.5 MM unique users) – and suggested my media client take a serious look at it.  At the time, Facebook was just opening up beyond college students.  Here are some bullet points I put in my report in February 2006:

Overview:

  • Social network site for college & university students
  • Founded by Mark Zuckerberg; raised $500,000 from Peter Thiel in angel round
  • Raised $12.2MM from Accel partners in April 2005 (valuation of $100MM)
  • Began allowing high school students to join September 2, 2005: High school and college networks are kept separate.  There are 20K U.S. high schools.
Membership (info as of September 2005)
  • Must have .edu email address to join
  • Supports 1,120 colleges – 56% (Source: Scott Osman, 2/10/06 – up from 880)
  • 85% of students in supported colleges have a profile
  • 7.5MM unique users in January
  • 60% of members log in daily; 85% at least weekly; 93% at least monthly
  • Recent alums are maintaining same log in rates
  • Users can add favorite music, books, movies, quotes, etc. and see others who share same interests; can also form and/or join groups
  • Additional functionality: events, messages
Who knew!

Here’s an interesting post from ClickZ by Heidi Cohen:

What’s Your Social Media Marketing IQ?

As you make your 2012 marketing plans, consider what you need to do to take your social media marketing to the next level. To ensure your firm’s maximizing its social media effectiveness, now’s the time to check your organization’s social media marketing IQ.

Here are 30 questions to help determine your firm’s social media marketing IQ. These questions will help you assess where your organization is in terms of social media marketing maturity and where you may need to improve effectiveness. Depending on where your organization is along the social media adoptioncurve, some of these questions can help you develop plans going forward.

Listening

  1. Do you have brand monitoring and/or other analytics in place? If you don’t have the budget for professional social media monitoring, use free options such as Google Alerts, Twitter Search, and Google Analytics.
  2. Are you analyzing the information collected?
  3. Are you taking action where appropriate based on your brand monitoring? Remember, about 2 percent of the comments require any company interaction.

Social Media Guidelines

  1. Do you have social media guidelines for how employees should represent themselves and what they can say?
  2. Do you have guidelines for what’s acceptable for customers and the public to contribute on your organization’s website, blog, and/or forum? This doesn’t mean you can delete negative comments! Customers will say whatever they want on their own and third-party social media networks where you have no control.
  3. Do you have a crisis management plan? If so, do you review it regularly to ensure it’s up to date and employees know what to do? If not, here’s help to develop one.

Goals

  1. Do you have goals for your social media marketing? This is a critical first step of any marketing strategy. Don’t think it’s just a test and we’ll figure it out later. If it works, you’ll need to make a case for more resources.
  2. Are your social media marketing goals related to your overall business objectives? This is a must for any marketing plans!
  3. Is your social media marketing driving revenues? For many businesses, this is a sign of social media maturity.

Management

  1. Does senior management buy into social media as part of your marketing and business plans? Recognize this can be difficult to achieve. Research shows leadership at one in three businesses supports social media marketing after three years.
  2. If management doesn’t buy into social media marketing, are you bringing them up to speed? Chances are that you need to show how it drives results associated with business goals.
  3. Are you expanding buy-in beyond senior management? Think customer service, sales, product management, human resources, investor relations, and other organizational departments.

Social Media Marketing Strategies

  1. Do you have a social media marketing strategy? What do you want to accomplish?
  2. Are your social media marketing strategies integrated with your overall marketing plans?
  3. Are employees monitoring social media marketing implementation(s)? Customers will use every point of contact to reach a human being.
  4. Are you promoting your social media marketing efforts? To drive customers and the public to your social media marketing, you must continually promote it. Use internal media.
  5. Do you make it easy for social media participants to share your content? Think social sharing including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
  6. Do you have tailored call-to-action and tracking mechanisms integrated into your social media marketing efforts?Prospects and customers need to be guided through your sales process.

Social Media Marketing Content

  1. Are you creating tailored content for your social media marketing initiatives? Since social media thrives on content, ensure your social media efforts have the fuel they need.
  2. Have you created a variety of content formats?
  3. Does your content support every stage of the purchase process? The information consumers need may cut across your organization. To support these efforts, use an editorial calendar and marketing personas.
  4. Is your social media-related content integrated into your search optimization efforts?

Social Media Marketing Budget

  1. Do you have a dedicated social media marketing budget? Social media marketing isn’t free! You can’t count on having a robust social media marketing strategy without financial and headcount resources. If you don’t have a dedicated budget, can you leverage other resources or hide your social media marketing budget?
  2. Do you have headcount dedicated to your social media marketing efforts? If not, are social media marketing activities incorporated into specific employees’ job descriptions? If no one’s required to do the work, it won’t happen.
  3. Do you have social media training to ensure employees understand how to engage on social media platforms and are consistent in how they represent your organization? Many firms overlook this important factor.
  4. Do you have a social media contingency plan to ensure you have personnel involved and monitoring social media 24/7?What happens if your social media manager’s sick or unavailable and there’s a problem?

Metrics

  1. Do you have established metrics to track social media marketing efforts back to marketing and/or business objectives?This is best done when you’re planning your strategy.
  2. Do your metrics include the full purchase process not just the last marketing touched? Social media can influence customers before you realize they’re shopping and after they’ve bought your product or service.
  3. Do your social media metrics go beyond marketing? Think broadly across your business such as customer service.
  4. Are you measuring the ROI of your social media marketing? Understand it takes time to have a well-integrated social media marketing strategy where you can measure your investment and results accurately. Short-term, determine whether your social media marketing contributes to achieving your business goals.

Social media marketing is a growing part of every marketer’s plans and budget. Regardless of where you are on the social media marketing continuum, you must assess the effectiveness of what you’re currently doing and implement strategies to enhance your results.

The Australian Open – Two Weeks with Rafa, Roger, Novak, Layton and Jelena

February 8, 2012 Leave a comment

As Eli Manning declares his plans to visit Disneyland, and New Yorkers bask in the afterglow of our ticker tape parade, I am still recovering from two intense weeks that were the Australian Open.  (That’s tennis for those less obsessed than I.)

Thanks to ESPN2 and my Time Warner Cable DVR, I awoke every morning for two weeks to a Christmas morning of sorts, full of 10 some hours of tennis coverage.  Putting aside the incredible athleticism, the fit and attractive main characters and the fashion considerations, just the fact that I had a window into beautiful summer weather made the tournament an uplifting addiction.

But there was more to it than that.  When you spend so much time observing the drama that was those two weeks, it is only natural to have thoughts that beg to be shared.  Shared with someone.  Friends, yes, but also, my blog.  (In great part because I have not had a chance to write in a while, so this offers great inspiration.)

So, some observations.  We know that psychology is important to sports and that tennis, in particular, is as much a head game as a game of skill.  In fact, I had the opportunity to have dinner with Tracy Austin a few years ago at which time she acknowledged that a primary reason she won her first U.S. Open is that she was too young to know what a big deal it was.

So back to the observations.  Andre Agassiz observed that tennis is like life.  And like Russian dolls.  Points make up games.  Games make up sets.  Sets make up matches.  Matches make up tournaments – in the same way that seconds make up minutes, make up hours and so on.  And what I find so interesting is that as hard as you fight for a particular point or game or set, when it is over, you are back to square one.  A set won 6-0 is equivalent to a set won 7-6 in a grueling tiebreaker.  Hence, when a match is tied 1-1, it is completely equal.  Except for this.  The player who won the second set is pumped, even deliriously happy as when Nadal fell to his knees after winning the fourth set of the finals.  And the player who won the first set, who came out of the gate flying, is dejected, frustrated, even angry.  I noticed this especially when the young 21-year-old Canadian player Raonic was playing the “old” 30-year-old Layton Hewitt.  Going into the break between the second and third sets, Raonic looked distraught and Hewitt invigorated.  But, from a scoreboard point of view, they were equal.  That’s what they mean when they talk about “momentum.”

What else?  Well, if it is not already the case, then Novak Djokovic’s girlfriend (Jelena Ristic) needs to be approached by a clothing manufacturer or designer for product placement.  All the players have logos galore, but she, who seems to be on screen more than anyone other than the two players, is left to her own impeccable taste to decide how to dress.  (By the way, she’s gorgeous if you were not aware.)  This is a missed sponsorship opportunity.

And, how about those tennis fashions?  For some reason Adidas felt compelled to subject those they sponsor to a disturbing combination of peach and coral that even men on the courts in Central Park remembered two weeks later.  My nephew, who plays wheelchair tennis competitively, tells me it’s because the manufacturers want to show off bright colors at this first summer event.  But I found it cruel.  It took me a while, by the way, to understand why so many players were wearing the exact same dress or style.  At first I thought they might be from the same Eastern European nation.  Then I realized it was Adidas.  I imagine they feel that by having multiple players, who may not make it very far into the tournament, wear the same outfit, they get similar air time as they would if a highly seeded player wore it for many rounds.  That said, the fact that the women’s tennis has become a game of “your guess is as good as mine” makes it hard to predict who might actually have significant airtime.  Even Sharapova, who made it to the finals, went down in a quite brief 6-3 6-0 match.

But let’s get back to Nadal.  Nadal has become my inspiration.  Yes, he’s cute and cuddly and muscular and fit and a magnificent athlete… wait, where was I?  Ah, right, inspiration.  As one of the commentators observed, Nadal plays every point as if it is match point.  No matter how unlikely it seems that he might win – as with the, sigh, U.S. Open of last year, he will never lose hope.  He will never stop fighting.  If Nadal (oh, and Djokovic too) can play a 6 hour final match, then I can (in theory), run for 45 minutes on the treadmill, or hold that tortuous yoga pose until the instructor lets me (please, for G-d’s sake) move on.  So, somehow, even when Nadal loses.  (And, don’t get me wrong, I’m still in mourning for this year’s final), I feel somehow inspired.

To expand upon that point, I have friends who are not Nadal fans.  I don’t fully get it, but it’s true.  Many are Federer fans.  And I can appreciate that.  He’s a class act.  But it does make me wonder what makes someone a Nadal fan and others a Federer fan.  (Putting Novak aside for the moment.)  They are, after all, different.  Nadal is wearing bright swaths of color.  Lime green and sporty blue – on simple (high tech) t-shirts.  Federer’s shirts all have collars.  (Federer has Rolex as his sponsor.)  But I love Nadal.  He’s PASSIONATE.  And he’s physical in a warm way.  When Federer first lost to him and was crying, Nadal put his arm around Federer’s neck and his head on his shoulder.  (I could die!)  When Nadal passed Novak on the grounds of the Ossie open, he patted his back rather than just shaking his hand.  It’s these little things that appeal to me.

So, back to fashion.  What’s up with the mismatched yet coordinated wristbands.  One blue, one white.  One black, one red.  I don’t know.  I can’t think of the colors, but it’s a thing.  Someone ordained it.  They take the colors from the tennis outfit and break them out into two wristbands.  This meant, of course, that when Novak switched from his white shirt to his black shirt in the second or third set – also an interesting move – his blue wristband didn’t make sense, as it was not reflected in the shirt.

So….  what was supposed to be a quick post feels like it could go on and on – much like the 6 hour final, so I must end it somewhat arbitrarily and abruptly.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my tennis musings – brought to you thanks to the coverage of ESPN2 (and the Tennis Channel) and the DVR functionality of Time Warner Cable.

Place the Spot; Spot the Placement

September 30, 2011 2 comments

I can’t help it! When I’m watching “The Big Bang Theory,” and Leonard’s “Mom” holds her soda can just a little too long and a little too high, and the can remains visible for 5 minutes of the show, then it must be a product placement. It’s a bit of a game, a bit of an art to spot, so I’m reopening my log of potential spottings. I hope you’ll join me.  (See also part I of this compilation:  “Spot the Placement; Place the Spot”)

  • How I Met Your MotherTed has already used Bing (the search engine) twice before the first commercial break.  Once to look up the route from their bar to a steakhouse where Woody Allen is eating and then to look up the website where people rate their professors. (October 11, 2010)
  • Big Bang TheoryFresca, Fanta, Fiji Water- in the lunchroom at work – all other beverages have no labels; Fiji water especially well placed – full on label exposure.However, watching episodes a year after I wrote this bullet, it seems that the product placement was there when the episode was new but not for repeats.  Is that possible (see below)
  • America’s Got Talent, June 22-ish, 2010 – Filmed at Universal Theme Park in Orlando.  As with Ugly Betty below, lots of opportunities for shameless promotion and touring of the park, e.g., the host on the rollercoaster or next to the Jaws shark.
  • Reality shows are fantastic venues for product integration.  The book “Buyology” has some great examples, however, about how brands can overshadow each other in programs like “American Idol.” 
  • Rules of Engagement, June 7th, 2010 – Kiehl’s moisturizer on Audrey’s nightstand. Could be for character definition. In any case, awfully prominent, as in the only thing on the nightstand, just inside the shot and positioned so that you could read the label.

    What do you think? Is Kiehl’s helping to define Audrey’s character, or is CBS helping to promote Kiehl’s?
  • Colbert Report, June 8th, 2010 – Colbert wearing a lab coat with a big Lexus logo on the back during piece about Consumer Reports.
  • Colbert Report, June 7th, 2010 – Microsoft’s Bing search engine agreed to donate $2,500 to a charity of Stephen’s choice every time he said the word, “bing.” The show raised $100,000 for the Gulf of America Fund.

  • Ugly Betty and the Atlantis Paradise Island resort – the December 4th episode was one long, albeit beautiful, advertorial for the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, interrupted only by, well, ads for the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas. There was even an entire scene designed around the famous water slide. If it weren’t for the MEMORABLE footage of the dastardly but oh so hot Connor Owens wearing minimal wardrobe, it might have been too much. Ugly Betty is a great vehicle for brand integration. And I understand that the Latin American version, which takes place in an advertising agency, milks the product placement cow even more completely.
  • Big Bang Theory, September 21, 2009 – new Diet Pepsi can – 3rd act of “Big Bang Theory.” The can is – for me – one of five characters in the scene. 
  • Big Bang Theory, September 22, 2011.  Interesting to me that they drink Fiji water in the cafeteria but always have it facing the other way.
  • Millionaire Matchmaker: 2011 NYC season – interesting interstitial in which she goes on a shoe shopping binge at Jeffreys.  Seemed natural at first; then it made me wonder.  She likes dropping names.  She went with her stylus/make up artist friend.  I suspect she was promoting her as well.  Reality TV – the advertising gods gift to brand integration.
  • Chips Ahoy cookies in the new Planet of the Apes film.  A key plot element. (September 30, 2011)
  • Boardwalk Empire – Canadian Club. I saw a beautifully done window “billboard” on the glass of Beacon Liquor next to the Beacon Theater – has the appearance of being etched into the glass. (October 1, 2011) Arresting – at least to me – and despite unfortunate placement of window pane.  However, evidentially controversial:Through a marketing partnership with Canadian Club, which HBO calls “a brand authentic to the period,” the pay-TV network has been placing Boardwalk Empire displays and window signs in some real-world liquor stores and wine shops. The campaign also includes bar events, such as re-created speakeasies featuring a special cocktail menu. According to HBO Vice President of Brand Marketing Chris Spadaccini, the in-store displays feature crates of liquor with Canadian Club product and branding for the show. Some liquor store signs for the series have the appearance of being etched into the window glass.”Window displays are essentially street-level billboards, so these types of advertisements are helpful in reaching a broad audience,” Spadaccini said in an email about the ad campaign.But that approach — using liquor stores to target a wide range of consumers — marks what’s wrong with the campaign, according to David Jernigan, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth. “These are sources that children pass on the way to school. They can’t be turned off,” Jernigan says of the window displays, adding this campaign marks the first time he’s heard of a TV show advertising in liquor-store windows”See full article from DailyFinance:http://srph.it/hvwAiE
  • Yes… but they’re not showing alcohol in the displays, just club soda.  Thoughts? 
  • Glee and the Gap: The Feb. 8 episode of “Glee” had an extensive musical scene set in a Gap store

  • Revenge TV Show promoting itself within bars and restaurants in the Hamptons – where the program is set
  • I don’t believe that premium channels like Showtime sell product placement opportunities.  However, if they did, I would spot a lot – including Dexter’s altercation with a Nescafe coffee machine.  (Is Nescafe still around?)
  • Colbert, Colbert, Colbert.  He is the king of product placement.

For more examples, check out: Spot the Placement, Place the Spot

Geo-Tagging: What Are Thou To Me? – Part III

July 5, 2010 3 comments

You have now entered Part III my ongoing journal of my life with foursquare – tracking the personal, sociological and historic milestones associated with the rapidly growing service/game/application.  Check my archives for Chapters I and II.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Foursquare is losing its allure as the time it takes to check in increases. If I can’t check in before the subway train arrives, then spending my time on the platform waiting for foursquare to load is not a good use of my time. I understand that check-ins have gone from one per second to 100 per second, so I’ll be patient and wait for the foursquare team to catch up, but the situation definitely reduces the fun factor and the usability quotient.

One of these days, I’ll start a new entry about the commercial applications of foursquare and location tagging. In the meantime, here is an interesting example from May 3rd of what Pepsi is doing. Recall from a prior posting that the beverage manufacturer’s Bonin Bough said on a SMAC panel that if a startup like foursquare has an attractive concept, Pepsi will not dismiss the venture as too small but rather might find a way to bring it to scale. In this case, it looks like Pepsi has gone rogue:

Pepsi to Roll Two Geo-based Loyalty Efforts for Mobile

By Brian Quinton

Beverage maker Pepsi has announced that it will roll out two location-based mobile campaigns to offer discounts and loyalty points to consumers who use them to patronize nearby restaurant partners.

In the first, slated to launch in mid-May, the beverage maker will roll out Pepsi Loot, an iPhone app that will use the geo-location abilities of users’ mobile phones to identify and direct them to nearby restaurants that serve Pepsi beverages, both chains such as Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, IHOP, Popeye’s, Dairy Queen and Arby’s and also participating independents with Pepsi on the menu.

Users who find these locations, or “Pop spots”, with the app and go there will then be encouraged by both mobile alerts and in-store signs to “check in”. Users that check in at three pop spots will earn “Loot” loyalty points that can then be redeemed for music downloads from Universal Music Group, behind-the-scenes video content for mobile phones from Loot featured artists like Jamie Cullum and Katherine McPhee, or discount and free-food offers from Pop Spot member restaurants.

Thursday, June 3rd

56 people were checked into Bryant Park yesterday afternoon. That’s crazy! I wonder how many people are at this one square block park at any one time. A sign of warm, sunny, weather and a reflection of how fast Foursquare is spreading on this little island called Manhattan.

Tuesday, June 8th

Starcom MediaVest starting to show up on a regular basis as top trending venue during the day. 15 people today at 11am.

I have been wondering whether the Cirque du Soleil that is currently resident at the Beacon is something I would want to see. Yesterday, when I checked into a parking meter near my home, I got a pop up from Anna O. recommending it – though she did comment on the clowns, and I am more interested in the performance/acrobatics/skill elements of CdS. I will text for more info. That also reminded me that I should check the “Tips” from the Beacon for more info. The only potential downside is that people tend not to leave negative tips, so it will be a bit biased.

Slowness of checking-in continues to be a downer. I guess it’s understandable given that foursquare is nearing 1.6 million users

See interview with founder Dennis Crowley from the Mashable social media Summit

Monday, June 14th

DVR’d Dennis Crowley’s interview with Maria Bartiromo. Need to watch and/or record it before Time Warner Cable comes by to fix my cable service.

72 people were checked into the Twitter Conference (TWTRCON NY10) this morning. 50 people were checked in at the Tony’s last night. Sometimes 4SQ alerts me to a place for me to go, or motivates me to get somewhere – such as the Internet Week Expo – but sometimes it’s too late to make plans for it, or I just don’t have the access, which sometimes makes me sad – I admit. Green eyed FourSquenvy.

I realized that it’s probably not a good idea to check in somewhere that it’s illegal to be such as Central Park at 1am. In theory, the Park police could monitor it. I know that they leave tips about venues within the Park.

I sincerely believe that foursquare could be the next facebook. According to what I’ve seen thus far of Dennis’ interview, they do not yet have a working biz model, but are building up the audience, participation and data to have a truly powerful monetization machine (in my own words).

Tuesday, June 15th

It must be summer in Central Park because I’ve seen Delacorte Theater (Shakespeare in the Park) and Summer Stage trending over the last week.

Wednesday, June 16th

Today is the day that someone other than myself checked into my apartment! It was the second place she had ever checked-in, the first being the cafe where we had tea. This hereby justifies – in my mind – my creating a venue for my apartment building.

Thursday, June 17th

This evening a friend emailed about a party at Bar 420.  Aha.  That must be the bar I saw trending – for an instant – back in March!

I would like to have a party that’s big enough to trend.  At this point, I could accomplish it with 5-10 people, but by the time my birthday comes around, and my smartphone-phobic friends sign-on, well…

Wednesday, June 23rd

It seems there was an earthquake in Canada-Michigan this afternoon that was felt as far as New York.  Surfing around Twitter, I was able to ascertain the time of the quake.  1:41pm.  Where was I then?  Well, my foursquare history answered the question for me!  I was coming out of the subway on West 72nd Street.  That explains why I didn’t feel it.  The NY subway always feels like an earthquake.

 

Life as a Game – The Visions of Dennis Crowley and Jesse Schell


Now that foursquare is cracking down on “cheating,” it won’t let me officially check in at the fruit stand outside my apartment. Instead, my iPhone informs me that I am too far away from the cart. Is it possible that I created the venue from inside my apartment? I don’t believe so. Unfortunately, the functionality of foursquare is limited by the GPS and other geo-location capabilities of the handheld devices.

On a related note, the founders of foursquare suspect that Dodgeball, their first geolocation game, was ahead of its time. When it was created, the means of checking in was text messaging.

I am now foursquare friends with one of its founders, which means that I can see how he personally utilizes it. Thus far, he seems to check-in predominantly at social venues or when doing something social or interesting with the 4Sq team. When Dodgeball was created, the initial purpose – I am told by a woman I met at Lower East Side birthday gathering – was to invite others to join you at a location. It has now become, she feels, about announcing where you are. And, she sadly mused, the initial function will become less useful as the base gets broader.

When Dennis spoke the other night, he said that he was greatly inspired by Nike Plus in developing foursquare and by the idea of (a) making life a game and (b) providing virtual rewards for real actions. What is the value of getting a badge… well, really nothing except that “I did and you didn’t.” And the impact of creating a badge is that the foursquare game influences the real life actions of its players. As I observed personally in my first blog about using foursquare, the Gym Rat badge can be earned by working out 10 times. That motivates people to work out. The pizza badge is earned by checking in to a certain number of pizza venues.

In addition, foursquare can be programmed to provide badges or rewards or recognition for the shout-outs that accompany your check-in. For example, if a sports fan made a Celtics comment in his or her shout-out, she earned a Celtics badge. So many possibilities…

By the by, Dennis’ comments about making life a game and influencing real life behavior via these kinds of rewards systems have a lot in common with Carnegie Mellon Professor Jesse Schell’s “Beyond Facebook” talk at G4 Dice 2010 about a world of game development which will emerge from the popular “Facebook Games” era.

Games, says Schell, are invading the real world — and the runaway popularity of Farmville and Guitar Hero is just the beginning. The future, he predicts, will be one in which 1-ups and experience points break out of the box, as it were, and into every part of our daily lives.  His talk definitely worth viewing.

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