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Are you sleeping with too many people?

15 Feb

Awake to the warming glow of technology

I sleep with too many people at night.

I am guilty. I text, respond to emails, check out Facebook, read endless streams of tweets, and sometimes even play Angry Birds.

I often have trouble sleeping. Sometimes I can’t get to sleep for hours. Other times, like last Sunday, I wake up at 4am for no reason, completely unable to get back to sleep.

I have no idea what the problem could be.

Yes, I am delusional. Of course messing around with my phone in bed is the problem. I should stop but it is just so tempting. When I set my alarm those little alert icons are too much for me to ignore.

Too many of us take our smart phone, laptop, iPad, and whatever else to bed, but it is atrocious sleep hygiene. You might also be sleep-texting, which I assume is much like “drunk-dialing” but less coherent, and more unnerving. The theory is that we are so plugged-in during the day that we can’t separate ourselves from it at night.

The 2011 iPass Global Mobile Workforce Report found that 52% of mobile workers felt that their mobile work habits affected their sleep. Terrifyingly, the report also concluded that getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night makes you 12% more likely to die before the age of 65, compared to your friend who gets six to eight hours of sleep a night.

Apps that track your sleep patterns are out there, but I wonder if they aren’t the original problem repackaged and rebranded. The fact that we eat, sleep, and breathe our devices presents enormous opportunity for the industrious among us. Even so, the dependency probably shouldn’t be encouraged.

As of tonight I am challenging myself to keep my phone and laptop out of the bedroom. I’ll plug in my forgotten alarm clock and draw some much-needed personal boundaries. If the American Sleep Association says that the bed is for sleep and sex only, then who am I to argue?

(Photo courtesy of trendhunter.com)

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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.

6 answers about mobile marketing from Simon Salt

7 Aug

Simon Salt is coming to Victoria September 22.When we were casting about for a mobile marketing heavyweight to come and speak with Copeland and other Canadian ad agencies in our T-CAAN West alliance, I asked previous guest Jay Baer for a recommendation.

He pointed me in the direction of Simon Salt, CEO of Texas agency IncSlingers and author of the recently published Social Location Marketing.

It immediately became clear that Simon was the ideal candidate to up our skill level. So we booked him to do a seminar and workshop September 22, with a Tweet-up for Victoria’s social media crowd to follow.

In advance of his visit, he was good enough to answer some of our burning questions.

Q. Mobile marketing seems to have really taken off in some markets and not in others. India for example is exploding. Where’s North America at?

It is true to say that the emerging markets, typified by countries like India and China, are experience a huge boom in mobile usage. However, it is worth noting that this is primarily in the feature phone space and not the smart phone space. Therefore the type of mobile marketing/advertising is very different than that of North America. The main reason for this is the popularity of pre-paid services in those countries. In the US, contracted phones form the bulk of the market. The introduction at the end of this year of the pre-paid iPhone is likely to have a dramatic shift on the US market demographic for smart phone owners.  It is estimated that by the end of 2011 50% of the US population will be smart phone owners.

Q. Has this penetration reached a point where positive ROIs from mobile advertising are being realized? Any examples?

As mentioned, smart phone penetration is at almost 50% in the US and so mobile advertising and mobile marketing in general is achieving much greater penetration. The use of smart phones has led to a shift in how people are consuming digital information. In countries like the US, social media forms 25% of the data consumption on smart phones. That means sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and photo sharing sites are accounting for a lot of the data. This provides advertisers with definite keys into where ad placement is going to be most effective. Energizer Batteries ran a very successful mobile advertising campaign in conjunction with Toy Story 3. This campaign was app based and targeted mothers. Nearly 14 million impressions were delivered in support of the Energizer Toy Story 3 promotion campaign. Display advertising averaged a .49% click‐thru‐rate. The mobile web destination site visits and mobile application downloads together yielded a large number of impressions.

Q. What area of mobile marketing do you think is currently driving the greatest revenue for ad agencies?

Mobile marketing can effectively be divided into two distinct technology sets – SMS and application. In terms of cross-platform delivery SMS is definitely the more effective as all mobile phones, whether feature phones or smart phones, are capable of receiving and sending SMS messages. However, in-app and in-game advertising can achieve higher levels of engagement because of the nature of the user’s engagement with those platforms. For example, a user playing a game on their smart phone is likely to be spending more time doing that than a user reading text messages – especially if they are ads. However, getting attention and gaining action are two very different things. For an ad to drive a user from one activity – playing a game for example – to doing something else like downloading a new app or clicking on a banner, the messaging has to be both sophisticated and in tune with that user.

Q. What aspect of mobile marketing do you expect to increase in use? In-app advertising? Location-based? In-game advertising?

With the increasing ownership of smart phones I think we will see an increase in application-based advertising. This will also increase the demands on advertisers to become smarter about both their messaging and the payoff for having distracted the user from their initial activity.

Q. There must be resistance from consumers who don’t want to see advertising on their phones. How are smart marketers dealing with this?

The main way smart marketers are dealing with this is ensuring very good targeting. Un-targeted messages have always been a problem for advertisers. The data that is available from smart phones ensures that marketers should be delivering valuable, timely and appropriate messaging. One platform – Tooyoou – actually pays users to view ads – it is early stages to see if this approach will be successful but it certainly seems to have potential.

Q. What’s something about mobile marketing that I wouldn’t know?

86% of mobile Internet users are using their mobile devices while watching TV.

 

Copeland will be hosting the Victoria Tweet-up for Simon at the Parkside Victoria on September 22, from 6-8 pm.

Death of the gadget

5 Aug

Smartphones aren’t just useful, they’re murderously so.

Smartphone penetration (1 out of every 5 Canadians owns one) has been deadly for inventors and mad scientists.

Consider all the devices and gadgets that find themselves unnecessary and unloved on the store shelves these days:

  • Watches
  • BriefcasesWidescreen video watch
  • Maps
  • Video Cameras
  • GPS
  • iPods
  • Cameras
  • Voice Recorders
  • Phones
  • Radios
  • Portable video consoles
  • Calendars

Electric nose-hair trimmers are doing great business still however (good tip for all you husbands looking for that perfect gift!).