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The world is strong-arming me to get mobile.

10 Jan

I don’t have a cell phone. I have very little interest in changing this.

It irritates some of my friends. Sometimes I feel like I am missing out, but when I am having a drink at the pub with a bunch of people and half of them are elbows deep in a text I think ‘not for me’. I get by fine with a land-line and the many communication options my Mac has to offer. I got by fine until last week that is.

My Shaw phone modem malfunctioned. I not only couldn’t make or receive calls, but nobody could buzz me from the front door of my building. I lived with this for a few days but I eventually had to make the 45 minute call to Shaw to get the modem replaced. Of course I had to make this call elsewhere than home.

‘Your phone is not working at all?’
‘Nope, and my buzzer doesn’t work either.’
‘What’s your cell number?’
‘I don’t have one. I’m one of those guys. Last one I bet, right?’
‘Can you use a friend’s phone?’
‘I can’t ask a friend to wait with me from 8 AM to 8 PM for your guy on a work day. Can’t he just toss a stone at my window when he gets here?’

I arranged for the technician to check in with the coffee shop in my building to be let in. So long as he made it before 4:30 PM this would work. After that no dice. At least most of the ridiculous appointment waiting period was covered.

But really, what a hassle. At this point my refusal to join the mobile masses is the real problem. I’m the asshole, not Shaw.

The tech made it before 4:30 PM and my phone works again. Like somebody who made a promise to god in order to get out of a jam – and survived – I don’t feel much like keeping my promise to get a cell phone. But really it is time, or is it?

Raising the dead with mobile technology?

5 Jan

Staking a vampire through the heart

Mobile technology was supposed to be the final stake through the heart of print media.

Mobile devices let you pull unlimited content to you anywhere you are. The printed magazine and newspaper were going to twitch and grimace a bit but ultimately succumb to the inevitable.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the graveyard.

Thanks to this brilliant new mobile technology, the so-called dead media have risen. Here are a couple of examples.

1. Print media supporting the technology

Magazines about Androids

Magazine titles around mobile devices, apps and operating systems have exploded. The very technology that was supposed to put the media 6-feet under has provided a rich vein (sorry I AM going to stop with all the vampire gags now) of content.

iPhones, Blackberrys, Androids .. there’s a mag for that.

2. Print media using the technology.

Augmented reality not only showcases sexy new dimensions to print media, but it also ushers in new ways for these publications to create advertising opportunities. Ad sales are going to turn a corner when this technology hits its stride.

Check out some of the cool applications of augmented reality in print media.

How to survive the end of the world in 2012

5 Dec

Monk watching tidal wave in 2012

I read this very enlightening post on B2C entitled The Future of Marketing: 46 Experts Share Their Predictions For 2012.

I suggest you take a look.

One thing that everyone can agree on is that no one agrees on anything.

The future of marketing next year is either mobile, social media, consumer data, results, apps, targeting advertising, KPI, brand control or one of several dozen other must-haves.

There is a sense of intense singularity around what you need to do next year to survive. So where does that leave you? Do everything and cover off all the bases?

The future is a snake in your sleeping bag. The instinct is to thrash around and try to kick the living crap out of the thing. But maybe it’s better to just lie still and assess.

Here at least are 4 essentials components of success in marketing in 2012. And surprise, they’re no different than 2011.

1. Ensure your website is killer. By that I mean engaging, simple to navigate and constantly updated. It is your most important selling tool, likely your first impression and the hub of all your marketing efforts.

2. Have an SEO strategy in place. Google “Marketing and advertising Victoria BC” and see what comes up first. Optimum search placement is the result of a smart SEO strategy. No point having a killer website without this one.

3. Offer a mobile-friendly website. No point having a killer website and a smart SEO strategy without one of these. Don’t have one? Drop me a note and we’ll get you one toot sweet.

4. Invest in knowing your customer better. Spend some time and some money on this because content might be king, but knowledge is power. And kings get assassinated by their snaggle-toothed lieutenants all the time.

If you’re doing all four, you can focus on growth and stop thinking about just surviving.

Good luck to your business in 2012!

Is Google Wallet for real?

12 Oct

Tap, pay and save.

That’s the mantra for latest Next Big Thing out of Googledom.

Tap and pay with Google Wallet and MasterCard PayPass

Google Wallet (simple explanatory video here) aims to replace your traditional leather wallet with a free Android app that allows you to pay for your goods and services, and redeem coupons, by simply tapping your smartphone against any point-of-sale pad that shows the logo.

(Interesting insight shared by our recent mobile marketing guest speaker Simon Salt: you don’t actually have to tap your device against the pay pad. Your device will use Near Field Communication (NFC) – wireless date transmission technology – to communicate with the pad. The tap is useless and entirely to make users feel comfortable that the transaction has actually been initiated!)

During this softish-launch period, Google Wallet is only compatible with the Nexus S 4G device available on Sprint, and only supports two kinds of credit cards: Citi PayPass eligible MasterCards and the Google Prepaid card. But this is all going to change in a flurry.

Ok so that’s the lay of the land. Will the thing take off?

You bet your sweet bippy.

The ubiquity of the smartphone in our lives makes this technology certain of success. The only barrier I can see is the immediate heating up of competitive offerings which will create confusion in the consumer’s mind before the technology has even been fully understood or embraced.

But the hunger for ways to further empower our smartphones is apparently insatiable.

Google claims they have the security all sorted out and that uptake is brisk.

One thing to note before you throw out your old wallet in favour of Google’s: if your smartphone battery runs out, you are hooped and can’t pay for anything until it’s recharged.

So what do you think?

Ok, now here’s George Costanza getting the big picture.

When do you find time to think?

24 Sep

You’ve probably seen the video of the woman walking through the shopping mall texting on her mobile device. If not, brace yourself.

She is an icon of our times, however unwittingly. We are so hyper-connected that free-time, in particular time to think, has been filled with technology, information and social connectivity.

So I wondered when do the people who have to think  – and that would be all of us – actually find the time to do so these days?

Jay Baer author of The Now RevolutionJay Baer : The reality is I think when I’m on planes. I write 90% of my blog posts in the sky, and it’s the one time I can block out everything. Fortunately I fly enough that I get good stretches of thinking time on a regular basis.

 

Simon Salt author of Social Location MarketingSimon Salt : I think when I’m in the shower before bed. I go in there knowing I will use the time to just think about things I need to be thinking about. The hot water relaxes me and helps me focus.

 

Doug Brown from CopelandMe : I walk to work and back every day at a brisk pace. That gives me two x 20 minute stretches of pure thinking-time. The speed ramps up the urgency and normally the critical stuff comes up right away.

So when or where do you get your thinking done?

Book review: Social Location Marketing by Simon Salt

19 Sep

This could not have been an easy book to write.

There are so many rapid-fire changes taking place in the mobile landscape that platforms, ideas and best practices can become old in a finger-snap.

During the course of writing this book, Facebook Places arrived on the scene, forcing the author to go back and revise sections that had been locked down as good-to-go by the publisher. Then last month Places was scrapped, only months after the book was finally published!

Despite all the swirling changes, and maybe even because of them, Social Location Marketing is a must read: a pioneering book for anyone who wants a grounding in location-based mobile marketing and sees the wisdom in applying the tools to their business.

Author Simon Salt and his book Social Location Marketing

Simon brings you along incrementally. He moves from the background of social location sharing and why anyone would want to use it in the first place, to an introduction to the main app players (Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp etc.), to business tactic (like games, competitions and time-sensitive offers) and onto specific case examples.

Having read the book, I feel I could successfully master-mind a mobile campaign and not screw it up. I would not have said that two weeks ago when I picked Social Location Marketing up.

There are innumerable observations scattered throughout the book, which alone would make it worth reading, like:

 Incorporating customer information capture should always be a part of the strategic thinking that goes into the design of a social location marketing campaign. While the outward appearance of the campaign may well be to provide a fun experience for your customers and potential customers, don’t forget the business aspects of the campaign and miss the opportunity to carry the engagement beyond just the initial contact.

Social location marketing is coming at us like a speeding train. Simon’s book gets you up to speed so you can grab a rung and jump on without losing your arm.

Meet Simon at the Copeland-sponsored Tweet-up at Parkside Victoria Thursday September 22, from 6-8. Get on the list by clicking here.

Want to meet Simon Salt? Grab your mobile!

6 Sep

Copeland-sponsored Simon Salt tweetup iPhone graphic

Mobile marketing specialist Simon Salt from DallasMobile marketing specialist and author Simon Salt from Dallas will be the guest of honour at a Copeland-sponsored Tweet-up, September 22 from 6 – 8 pm at the posh Parkside Victoria Hotel.

As space is limited – and because, hey, this is about mobile marketing – we are holding a mobile contest to get on the attendees list.

Please go here for contest details.

The first 75 people through will be notified immediately that they’re on the guest list.

The next 75 people will be fed to our pet alligator.

Alligator's eye

Hope we see you on September 22!