Category Archives: Advertising

Google Glass

The Wonderful World Of Wearable Tech

The way that technology is now a part of our daily lives is extraordinary. Who would have thought that you could have a map, a GPS tracker, pedometer and a telephone in the palm of my hand today?

The race for manufacturers to create devices that we can wear is becoming more prominent in our daily lives. When Nike teamed up with Apple 7 years ago with the Nike+ system to keep track of runs, it helped the sportswear giant develop a greater connection with their customers (pun intended) by creating products that utilised this system. It also helped Apple to tap into Nike’s market though their synergistic ties, developing apps and hardware that enabled owners to track their runs, map routes and sync their music with their workouts.

Nike further extended their adventures in technology by releasing the FuelBand and setting up the Accelerator program in 2012, aimed at leveraging their technology through their API and SDK for Nike+.

The widely reported, Kickstarter-backed Pebble watch project is another wearable device that enables you to operate certain functions of your smartphone without reaching into your pocket. The device also enables developers to create applications for the watch, ranging from fitness to…

Google are planning to gain a foothold through the creation of Google Glass, an augmented reality device worn as a pair of glasses that displays information to the user in a similar format to a smartphone, operating via voice-activated commands.

Such a device offers many application and product collaboration opportunities for Google. By marrying technology and fashion through Glass, manufacturers can create products with aesthetic appeal that target a new customer demographic, or adapt their current range of products to accommodate Glass, thus extending the lifecycle of eyewear products in developed markets.

Privacy issues?

Despite the potential possibilities that Google Glass presents, there may be some drawbacks regarding Glass’ functionality, most notably the privacy issue. The trade-off with ‘free’ internet services such as Google, Twitter and Facebook is that your input (personal data) becomes a commodity that such services use to generate advertising revenue through the creation of targeted, personalised ads.

Furthermore, being tracked using such products like Glass does raise personal security concerns about who has access to the data and how it is protected. A Fast Company article outlines a list of places that are likely to be resistant to the use of Glass in certain public and private places.

What does it mean for marketers?

Marketers need to consider whether wearable tech is relevant to their company activities. Architecture and design companies, outdoor adventure or athletics companies may find wearable tech products useful to their business, for instance, especially in terms of the different functions and options that such technology provides. Another consideration is whether wearable tech complements their target market. Such products could be seen by a company’s target demographic as pointless or a privacy infringement. Conversely, they could embrace the technology and see it as way of simplifying daily activities, perhaps even provide opportunities to discover new things they would not have thought about.

Either way, wearable technology is not going away any time soon, and I believe that if Google can strike the balance between protecting customer privacy and providing a purposeful product with numerous applications, they could make the world a much smaller place.

What are your views on wearable tech? Please comment below or tweet me @ChuxOnye

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Magic Number Three: 3 elements for a modern-day marketer to ponder

3 Is A Magic Number

“Three is a magic number” – Schoolhouse Rock

Since I’ve started writing my marketing blog, I have come to realise that other blogs that I have visited and read have this common habit of writing lists. Lists are rather useful ways of distilling a multitude of thoughts about one subject. From topics such as the top three inbound marketing strategies for mobile apps to 25 sneakers to own before you die, lists are a useful way of increasing visitor traffic, gleaning reader’s opinions and objections to your ‘definitive’ lists and generally showing you know your topic (supposedly…). Ironically, from my own general reading and discussions with a good friend of mine on the field of marketing has highlighted some interesting points in this current internet/data/technology era (I deleted all three because I couldn’t make up my mind). Anyhow, I digress. Here are the three elements that a modern-day marketer should consider for future market and business development.

1. “Free” products

When you consider how some ideas were conceived (i.e. Dropbox, Spotify, Farmville, Google Docs, etc.), they created services that people could utilise and get to grip with for ‘free’. The ‘Freemium’ model is a useful model, especially for start-up companies, to acquire a large user base where a portion of them can be converted into paying customers.

Consider Dropbox for example, which is a cloud storage service where users are initially offered 2 GB free storage. For a user to increase their storage capacity, they can either through referrals (500 MB per referral, up to 18 GB = 36 new users) or by subscribing to their ‘Pro’ plan for even greater storage (starting at 100 GB). Dropbox is an exponent of the ‘freemium’ model, taking advantage of rapidly decreasing prices in storage space and the shift towards cloud computing to increase the number of users and to generate income from power users derived from their user base.

Such models do need to be scrutinized, as they can be rather costly if they are not ‘leveraged’ properly in terms of the product/service offering, however they can be very successful for growing a business, as Dropbox can testify.

2. Marketing the product OR the product does the marketing?

Some companies are market/marketing driven whilst others are product-driven, relying on its relative strengths for the marketing sales pitch. Take Microsoft and Apple for instance. Here is the Microsoft advert for their Surface tablet.

Microsoft Surface Commercial

Apple iPad Commercial

As you can see from these commercials, Microsoft has gone for the more visual, dramatic, let’s-put-on-a-song-and-dance approach in showing off their Surface tablet, whereas Apple have gone for the ‘Let’s show you what the iPad and the iPad mini can do’ approach. Microsoft package and wrap up their product in the most glamorous fashion, marketing it in a way where it sells you the dream. Apple’s approach is clean and minimalistic, showing the product in action and its features. There’s no right or wrong way in how to market or promote a product, however the approach a marketer should decide on depends on how they want to present their offering to their target market and customer.

3. Innovation

How were Nintendo, Nokia and Google initially founded? Nintendo initially started by making playing cards back in 1889. Nokia’s first steps as a company was as a Finnish paper manufacturer back in 1865, and Google’s story started as an search engine called ‘BackRub’ from the creative minds of Larry Page and Sergey Brin back in 1996.

Where are they now? Nintendo is now one of the biggest computer game console manufacturers across the globe, creating iconic characters such as Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong. Nokia is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of mobile phone devices, creating classic models such as the 5110 and the current Lumia 920. Google is now the web’s go-to page for search results and has expanded into other areas, from creating the Android mobile platform to offering map services on the internet. Despite Nintendo and Nokia being many years older than Google, who are the gifted genius wunderkid, what has kept these three global icons continuing their longevity is innovation.

Through constant change and adapting to future needs and disrupting existing business models and paradigms, these companies have survived the test of time whilst maintaining their brands by pushing new boundaries and frontiers in their respective fields. Who would have thought Google would be competing with Nokia in the mobile industry?

These are my thoughts on the elements that a modern-day marketer must ponder in order to create new markets and develop and grow their business respectively.

What are your thoughts? Please comment and connect with me via Twitter @ChuxOnye and via LinkedIn.

Tap and Swipe: Mobile Payments

As the competition heats up in the smartphone and tablet markets respectively, marketers are seeking new opportunities for their marketing activities. The potential that lies within mobile marketing is definitely something to ponder, especially with regard to the increasing capabilities of such devices.

Mobile Payments

Google Wallet

NFC Technology is becoming a standard feature within mobile devices, with some of the latest smartphones on the market having the technology. One area that is actively using the technology is payment transactions. Mobile apps such as Google Wallet are providing users a new method of making payments through contactless technology, reducing the need for carrying cards and cash. Marketers may be able to take advantage of such developments and use NFC for marketing activities that extend beyond payments.

Other competing payment solutions include Square, iZettle and the well-established PayPal providing other methods of mobile transactions with their add-on devices to make payments easier on the move with retailers, restaurants and coffee shops using these solutions, providing users with special offers, discounts and promotions. Small businesses may benefit from mobile payments if they can adopt the technology, providing their customers new methods of payments, generating loyalty through mobile marketing methods.

Do you have any insights on mobile payments marketing? Follow me on twitter @ChuxOnye or connect with me on LinkedIn

CTM Questions to ponder for marketers #1

Being a potential marketeer, it’s important for me to continually ask questions about the world of business from a marketers’ perspective. This is something which can be challenging, but exciting, stimulating and motivating an organisation to move their brand vision into new territories or be disruptive. Who would have thought that well-known names such as Kodak or Blockbuster would fall by the wayside to new and existing entrants such as Netflix, Apple, Sony and Fuji? Anyhow, here are my questions to ponder:

1. Will Facebook be able to generate sustainable revenues from mobile?

Since Facebook has gone public this year, there has been some questions regarding their mobile strategy. Monetizing mobile for the social media giant is a challenge, especially for their advertising model and keeping the fine balance between enabling users to have a great user experience and ensuring their privacy on the platform. Other challenges come from their rivals, such as Google and Twitter who also have some traction on mobile platforms. I’m interested to see whether Facebook can find the solution for mobile, which I believe such a fragmented and personal platform in terms of the data stored on devices and the different versions and types of operating systems on mobile (Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile OS).

2. Does big data for governments and NGOs lie in the hands of brands?

After Felix Baumgartner freejumped his way into the Guinness record books about two weeks ago, I had an interesting discussion with a friend about the event and how what can be learnt from a marketing perspective. A great piece about the Red Bull Stratos project from Nicola Kemp highlights some valuable lessons that marketers can learn from the event, but looking beyond that, my friend and I looked at an area which is also playing a significant role within modern marketing – data. With Virgin exploring the possibility of space travel being as commonplace as regular flights on earth, the amounts of data that can be generated from such ventures may prove valuable for governments looking to extract and interpret data that may prove useful for years to come. Red Bull’s Stratos Project demonstrated how to push the limits of the human body and raised questions about the possibility of pressure suits at high altitudes and single capsule space travel. Who knows?

Well, these are my CTM questions to ponder for this series. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please comment below and contribute to the discussion.

Also direct questions to me on Twitter @ChuxOnye.

Ad Campaign Focus: Mercedes-Benz

What has been of interest to me these past few weeks?

The Mercedes-Benz #YouDrive campaign featuring Kane Robinson (aka Kano) and Wendy Glenn in the A-Class, which was broadcasted during the X-Factor on October 6th was rather interesting, in that Mercedes attempting to capture younger customers than their usual middle-age, mid- to high income earning business executive or CEO. Using a social media campaign mainly through twitter and YouTube, the story focuses on a young music star (Kano) trying to make it to a secret gig with the assistance of a female ally (Glenn) under hot pursuit by the authorities determination to shut it down, leading to a cat-and-mouse chase through the city.

Mercedes also used the hashtag #youdrive to let users of these platforms to interact with users of the social platforms to decide the outcome of the story, with the hashtag prompts such #hide or #evade and #decoy or #ride to engage and involve viewers with the advert, along with a competition relating to details within the advert giving users the chance to win a new A-Class for a year.

What’s clear to me is that Mercedes wants to compete directly with Audi and BMW with this product, as they have a greater share of younger customers than Mercedes, which is in part down to their branding, image and product ranges (The Audi TT was the car of choice of the So Solid Crew after all). The move by Mercedes by picking a slot during the X-Factor, choosing Robinson of ‘Top Boy’ fame and the involvement of twitter and youtube is a clear indication of the focus on a ‘younger, more dynamic Mercedes-Benz brand’ according to David George, Marketing Director of Mercedes-Benz UK.

Will this help to capture new customers for Mercedes? Only time will tell, especially when considering current market conditions and the performance of their competitors. Whatever happens, I believe this is a bold move for Mercedes which is a strong, classy brand that is recognisable globally. Furthermore, this campaign could be a useful insight into how social media campaigns translate into sales when comparing and contrasting data generated from these platforms in relation to the number of A-class vehicles sold.