Archive for June, 2011

Checking In To HTML5

June 22nd, 2011

Hey, you there on your iPad 2 with the nifty magnetic Smart Cover! Check out the Apollo 11 Lunar take off . Oh wait, you can’t because you don’t have Adobe Flash. Before you give up hope, double check in Apple App Store to be sure you can’t access it. This matter has led marketers to an ongoing parley of whether to create an app or a mobile web browser.

Mobile App vs. Mobile Web

As soon as your company is ready to go mobile you are faced with the question: To App or not to App? This is a question that has stumped marketers for some time now considering that mobile browsers are just as useful. What makes one better than the other? Mobile Apps are great for using offline, can be developed for each platform, and extremely effective for a large, dedicated user base. Whereas, web browsers are cross-platform, can be discovered through any search engine and are always up to date but cannot be used offline. This debate is ongoing and circular but if you add HTML5 into the mix it becomes apparent that web browsing is quickly becoming the way to go.

HTML5, what are you?

HTML5 is a coding language developed to structure pages on the World Wide Web. In simpler terms, it is the backbone of the Internet. While still in the developmental phase, so far, it combines visual, audio, canvas and interactive elements into one without the addition of processor intensive proprietary plugins, such as Adobe Flash, and APIs. In the mobile world, providers, such as Apple with iPad and iPhone, aim to create the best user experience with maximum battery life. In doing so, they dropped the plugins and are in search of the solution (i.e. HTML5).

Although an extremely complex and intricate code that you may not understand, chances are you have already been exposed to it. Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox 3.6 are supporting elements of HTML5. Or even in the smallest form like drag-and-drop in Gmail are created through the interactive element of HTML5. Want to dig a little deeper? Give it a try and join the HTML5 trial on YouTube.

Geolocation & Marketing Possibilities

In the past, Internet marketing has always been executed in the most primal fashion with basic banners and images with little video. As bandwidth and Internet usage is growing, the options are being more diverse with more extravagant videos, changing images and even utilizing IP address from desktops to market based on location or interests. But now, HTML5 is challenging marketers to ask, “What can’t we do?” with our Internet advertisements. For example, images can be moved around the screen in real time, videos can be sent in emails, interactive sketchpads and so much more. Thinking mobile? Considering that people aren’t carrying around their desktops with them, mobile compatibility is essential when developing new software and HTML5 is all over that. Determine location is possible as HTML5 (and JavaScript) will be able to access the positioning hardware in a mobile device from a browser. Thus, users will not have to go through the hassle of downloading the apps and companies will not have to pay to develop cross-platform apps to determine geolocation.

With so much of the location-based attention on GPS-enabled mobile applications, we should all pause for a moment to reflect upon the promise of HTML5 in this area.  Companies like Yellow Pages are already testing location-based ad delivery.  An example of this can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJLn6XX8oCI

As most devices with web capabilities are already compatible with HTML5, this transition is relatively simple. Which can already be seen with New York Times, CNN and CBC who have made their sites “iPad Ready” and have pledged to be using HTML5 for videos in place of Flash. Furthermore, the cost for development is minimal compared to creating an App for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android. The web browsers are easily discoverable and can be kept up to date so users are always using the latest version. HTML5 is even showing signs of allowing some offline usage! Now if you need to decide between the mobile App and mobile web, just think HTML5.

If you are a Flash game junkie, do not fret because Flash isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Most games are unable to be developed in HTML5, although Mozilla is sure trying through their multiple demos. So, next time you hear HTML5 being tossed around in a conversation they are not referring to someone’s BBM pin, they are discussing the future of the Internet. Don’t miss the bandwagon. Is your company “iPad Ready”?

Digication: The synergy between Digital Signage and Location

June 17th, 2011

Digital signs are polluting cities globally and the only thing consumers’ want is to see their faces and words hitting the big screen. Be it a childhood dream or an item off the bucket list, having yourself plastered in Times Square or Piccadilly Circus would have topped the list every time. But how can you make this happen? It is of common belief that those signs are saved for America’s Next Top Model, not ordinary folk like us.  Truth be told, America’s Next Top Model is you! Within the digital sign industry, it is becoming possible to broadcast yourself or items that are targeted toward you on the jazzy displays.

LocaModa  + Foursquare do Vegas

LocaModa wanted to bring visualizations to place based media. Their first effort was to team up with Foursquare at a specific location and whoever checks in will be displayed on the digital signage outside. The sign would also display photos of the mayor, check ins and comments about the location. Users could even upload photos of their experience within that location and potentially have it display on the big screen. In doing so, consumers can display what they’re doing, when they’re doing and how they’re doing it to their friends though Foursquare but to upwards of 100K strangers walking past the sign. Who would complain with those 15 seconds of fame?

AdCentricity does Consumer Sync

AdCentricity teamed up with Environics to develop a solution for DOOH media to target consumers based on their behaviours, psychographics and purchase intent. The Nielson Company develops the consumer profiles so that companies can target their consumers based on their preferences, media habits and lifestyles within their marketplaces. Consumer Sync will engage with customers through DOOH media in a more impactful and personal way than has been seen before. How does this impact location? Well, Consumer Sync allows companies to develop media based on the demographics within a given geographic region, which ultimately enables creative distribution and flighting.  AdCentricity is the first of its kind to utilize targeting analytics as a way of developing advertising campaigns. They have opened the doors to an avenue with great potential.

One of the best examples I’ve seen to date is the recent project by McDonald’s Sweden that put an interactive billboard in Stureplan, the main public square of Stockholm. Called “Pick n Play”, the concept was dead simple: For one week (May 7-14) consumers competed by completing a pong-like game in 30 seconds on the billboard. Winners received coupons sent immediately to their mobile device for free food in the nearest McDonald’s restaurant.  WATCH VIDEO HERE:  McDonald’s Pick n Play

The big news here is as the user you play right from their mobile web browser, with no app to download!

Digital signs aren’t just the flashy lights anymore. They are based on strategy, creativeness and location. Companies are able to make the messages on these screens personal with script written by passing by patrons or photos uploaded to social media sites. The LocaModa and Foursquare have taken checking in at locations from being something that you share with your friends to being broadcasted on the big screens for everyone to see. Now when a 4sq user becomes mayor they will feel a greater sense of elation as their picture will be in the posted beside Gap’s latest campaign. Furthermore, AdCentricity has removed the meaningless nature of visual displays and made them more personal. Any message on their screens is personalized and targeted to that demographic and most of the time it will apply to you. This only leaves one question: what’s next? Will digital displays pair with the geolocation software in phones and tablets to directly target those consumers as they walk by? Will campaigns use augmented reality so that you are the ad? Really at this point, anything is possible. Just make sure you hit the gym because rumor has it screens make you look 10 lbs heavier.

Mo Money In Mobile?

June 7th, 2011

Have you ever thought about how awkward first dates really are? You barely know the person, probably are going to be short for questions and comments, and chances are you are extremely nervous because you want to make a good impression. But we’ve all been there and gone to dinner with that guy from the accounting department or the girl from the coffee shop. I’m also sure we’ve all had to deal with the utter shock and dismay when you reach to offer to pay for the bill and the only thing in your back pocket is a note from your mother asking you to turn the lights off when you get home. You’ve just successfully eliminated all chances of a second date. Imagine how much perspiration would be saved if you could just pay for the meal with your cell phone. You would never “forget your wallet” again as your mobile device is likely glued to your left hand. Lucky for all you first daters, this is actually going to be a possibility. Lucky for the marketers, mobile payment systems are a whole new space to explore and new technology to utilize.

Google Mobile Wallet

Google has announced their NFC- based Google Wallet, which is a mobile payment system designed to allow users to pay for retail items with their phone just by tapping. Google has teamed up with giants such as Subway, Macy’s and MasterCard. The partnership with MasterCard in particular will allow Google Wallet users to pay at any PayPass contactless system already installed. Payment isn’t the only draw to this wallet; by tapping at locations consumers would receive offers and promotions directly to their mobile device otherwise known as Google Offers. While trials are underway in NYC and San Francisco, Google is hoping for a full release this summer. We can only imagine what’s next: boarding passes, SIN cards, gametes. Regardless what it is, I’m sure Google will make it happen.

Visa PayWave

Visa developed this contactless card to compete with MasterCard’s PayPass but has not teamed up with DeviceFidelity to apply a mobile twist. They applied the smart chip technology from the card into mobile devices so that users just need to select the icon and wave their device over the payment system. Their pilot project is taking place in LA and New York transit systems including taxis. Their objective is making Visa usage more efficient and secure while eliminating cash handling for transit operators. Furthermore, it saves transit riders from scavenging the streets for those additional pennies to make the accurate change to ride the rail.

 

Apple + Square

As Google Mobile Wallet and Visa Pay Wave are in the process of creating more efficient processing systems, Apple and others are keeping it creative with a temporary solution, Square.  This nifty device was developed to ease online payments for consumers purchasing with their iPad or iPhone or other mobile device. Merchants develop an account for a small few and users just buy the device for $10 allowing quick and easy credit card payments on-the-go. By pairing this with location based services, consumers will be able to walk by a retail store, receive an offer that blows them away and pay for it all through their handheld mobile device. Talk about handy.

Mobile payment systems not only make shopping easier for customers but more efficient and productive for merchants as transactions will be faster, safer and less fraudulent. Furthermore, it is developing a whole new customer experience as its cool, unique and fun to be spending money.  Google Mobile Wallet has broken ground with this technology and has created a space, which allows for almost anything to go mobile. As marketers, there are opportunities to target these customers into retail locations that are housing the contactless payment systems and offering them deals. Now that we know where payment systems are headed, you better go trade in your best goat for the newest iPhone.