The One Thing Most Social Media Marketers Forget [Plus Infographic]

Christmas only comes once a year and it is fun to see the children tear off the paper and unwrap their presents.It is more like a destruction derby than a party! Paper, string and wrapping fly in all directions as the journey of toy discovery unfolds.The One Thing Most Social Media Marketers Forget [Plus Infographic]

Parents and grandparents watch the unfolding scenario like the Super Bowl or the Football World Cup, cheering from the sidelines.

The Christmas card and the “thank you”  is often forgotten and the focus is on discovering what exciting new present that Santa has delivered!

The toy is seized with shouts of glee and overt unbridled enthusiasm and for the next 10 minutes it is the centre of attention.

Soon the next toy is unwrapped and the now “old” toy is discarded, maybe to never be used again. Seguir leyendo “The One Thing Most Social Media Marketers Forget [Plus Infographic]”

Los códigos QR presentes en cada vez más sitios

En carnes, vinos, cereales, en los folletos de las ofertas, en las estanterías, por todas partes, ahora bien es honesto de reconocer que no todo el mundo los lee, recientemente pude comprobar in situ, que los consumidores americanos no están continuamente scaneando, cuanto código QR se les presenta, como hizo referencia en su reciente artículo Benjamín Suárez “Los marketinianos aman los códigos QR, pero los compradores no saben qué son” y esto nos guste o no a los que somos marketing-adictos, es una realidad, porque muchas veces nosotros vamos más de prisa que los consumidores, cuando vemos una herramienta que nos parece la panacea, de inmediato nos volcamos en ella, pero es el gran público, al que se quiera o no a quien va dirigida, él es el que se toma su tiempo, antes de aceptar o no esta novedad.

Creo que los códigos QR son algo que han llegado para quedarse, al menos por un tiempo medianamente largo y que los consumidores de forma paulatina los irán utilizando o no, eso ya lo dirá el tiempo.

También es cierto que dependerá de nosotros, los que hacemos marketing, el que les hagamos más sencillo el camino que ellos deben recorrer, para tener un cada vez mayor conocimiento de las ventajas que pueden tener si utilizan los códigos QR, enseñarles como y de donde deben descargarse el lector, como sacar el mayor rendimiento a la aplicación, como guardar los códigos o como utilizar los cupones que reciban o que se descarguen en su Smartphone. Seguir leyendo “Los códigos QR presentes en cada vez más sitios”

Is Gamification Right for Your Business? 7 Things to Consider

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This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

This year has lent itself to a slew of new buzzwords, andgamification is easily one of the most buzzed about in the marketing industry.

Businesses clamored this year to understand the concept of gamification and apply it to their digital and mobile products, offering badges and points galore … but how many of them actually understand the point of gamifying or if it’s even useful for their business goals?

Dustin DiTommaso, the experience design director at design studio Mad*Pow, recently spoke about designing meaningful interactions through game design thinking during his presentation at Geekend 2011, a techie conference presented by BFG Communications.

DiTommaso explained his framework for gamification and dished out seven essential steps for approaching the subject. Read on for a thorough encounter of DiTommaso’s model for creating more meaningful interactions and successful business goals, and let us know your thoughts on his method in the comments below.

1. Consider Why You Want to Gamify

Yes, gamification is a sexy word. No, it isn’t right for every business.

DiTommaso recommends that businesses looking to gamify their products or services ask themselves three critical questions before moving on:

  • What is the reason for gamifying your product or service?
  • How does it benefit the user?
  • Will they enjoy it?

If you can answer these questions with confidence, if gamification seems like a good fit for your business’ product or service and if the users enjoy it, then move on to exploring your business goals. DiTommaso recommends exploring the following three questions:

  • What are your business goals?
  • How do get the users to fulfill those business goals?
  • What actions do you want users to take?

If this exploratory phase yields positive feedback, your business is ready to move into user research.

2. Identify Your Users

It isn’t enough to understand your business goals when considering gamification — you also need to understand your users and what motivates them. Research your users before you begin designing your gamified product, focusing on how they use your software, what they want and what motivates them.

DiTommaso laid out a number of questions to help businesses achieve research-inspired design:

  • Who are your users?
  • What are their needs and goals? Why are they playing?
  • What’s holding them back from achieving their potential? Is it lack of volition (belief that completing the task at hand is valuable) or lack of faculty (ability to complete the task)?
  • What is their primary playing style (solo, competitive, cooperative)?
  • Who are they playing with?
  • What social actions do they find enjoyable, and why?
  • What metrics do they care about?

Game designers must also understand what motivates users to play their games. There are a number of motivational drivers, but DiTommaso recommends simplifying to four key factors. Decide if your users are motivated by:

  • Achievement of goals or enjoyment of experience
  • Structure and guidance or freedom to explore
  • Control of others or connecting with others
  • Self-interest in actions or social interest in actions

Knowing these details about users and their motivations will assist game designers in determining how the game should be laid out, how much autonomy to allow, what the users’ goals should be and so on. Let’s explore exactly what comes next in the designing process.

3. Frame Goals and Objectives Seguir leyendo “Is Gamification Right for Your Business? 7 Things to Consider”

Games Dominate Mobile Apps, Set for Revenue Growth

Games (49%) and social networking (30%) capture the largest proportion of consumer’s time spent with mobile applicationsaccording to January 2012 analysis from Flurry, which notes that it does not track Facebook usage, such that the social networking category is actually larger than represented. Entertainment (7%) and news (6%) are the other major categories by consumption, though both trail the frontrunners by a large margin.

Apps Increase Lead Over Mobile Web Seguir leyendo “Games Dominate Mobile Apps, Set for Revenue Growth”

New Test Results: Google Rewires Search with Personal Touches

For some, it is a question about whether Google serves “the same Web” for the millions of users who rely on Google as their principal portal. For others, it is a matter of relevance, and whether the infusion of data gleaned from the personal interests of one’s friends impedes the visibility of material those friends might never have seen. At any rate, Google’s swift response this week to negative reviews of its first trials of personally adjusted search results, including Jon Mitchell’s fiery indictment, clearly demonstrate that it’s at least as sensitive as its own users.

It’s now extremely easy for any Google+ user to turn on and off personalized search results (called “Search + Your World”) at will, with a toggle switch in the upper right corner – part of Google’s rollout of changes today. Now, as a follow-up to our first tests of personalized search prior to the rollout, RWW looks into whether leaving the feature turns on necessarily improves the relevance of search results in various categories. At issue: Does Google elevate links to discussions about what you’re looking for on its own services, above what you’re looking for? Seguir leyendo “New Test Results: Google Rewires Search with Personal Touches”

What to Expect From Mobile Marketing Tech in 2012

Matthias Galica
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Matthias Galica is CEO of ShareSquare, the leading platform among brand and entertainment marketers for incentivizing offline-to-online consumer engagement. 

As new technologies emerge that seek to bridge the real world with the digital, the offline-to-online marketing learning curve only gets steeper.

For instance, what is the future of the QR code, and should we prepare to be wowed by augmented reality? Read on for my mobile marketing predictions of 2012.

1. Quick Response (QR) Codes

The Good: We’ll witness the disappearance of non-standard formats, an exponential rise in capable mobile devices, and a steady march toward improved calls-to-action spurred by more accountable analytics.

The Bad: Even though the arrival of native QR scanning in Android and/or iOS would be a boon for mainstream adoption, the move would elbow out increasingly popular third-party scanning apps and draw the ire of developers.

The Ugly: Overwhelmed by the variety of QR uses in marketing campaigns, bad “carpenters” keep blaming their tools, and repeat simple mistakes that disappoint many first-time consumer scanners.

Whether you love or hate QR codes, they’ll become progressively more ubiquitous and useful as they mature from hype to marketing line item.

2. Augmented Reality (AR)

The Good: Thanks to the exponential rise of capable mobile devices, a few AR campaigns will successfully break through to capture mainstream imaginations. And despite the highly proprietary nature of most AR, efforts like Aurasma‘s will continue striving to build scalable platforms.

The Bad: Similar to QR’s initial reception, the wider availability of easy AR creation tools will result in many more uninspired efforts, disappointing first-time users. The situation is further exacerbated by the broad definition of what “augmented reality” is and by uncertain consumer expectations.

The Ugly: The challenge of consistently retaining consumer attention beyond initial novelty (especially if a leading provider doesn’t emerge) threatens to relegate AR marketing to a modern flop.

In the absence of a dominant AR mobile marketing app, a plurality of contenders will fight to attain precious network effects, all the while searching for the “sticky” use cases and supporting performance metrics that result in repeat usage.

3. Near Field Communication (NFC)

The Good: Even though mobile wallets have held the spotlight, competition among providers hastens hardware penetration for mobile marketing opportunities, like the ability to swap SIM cards for NFC in lieu of upgrading one’s entire device. Early campaigns will appear in tandem with QR codes.

The Bad: Total NFC mobile penetration will remain below critical mass for mainstream deployments, constraining good campaigns to tightly focused areas, while exposing poorly conceived campaigns with less reach to critical scorn.

The Ugly: As competition escalates among mobile wallet hopefuls like Google WalletISIS, and their respectively exclusive carriers, cross-compatibility of NFC standards across mobile devices will be threatened.

The competitive landscape of mobile payments in 2012 will play a large role in either accelerating or forestalling NFC’s mobile marketing future.

4. The Field (Everybody Else)

The Good: Offline-online tech will quietly thrive, especially that which offers simplicity with mass compatibility, like Zoove’s StarStar numbers. Also, startups like ShopKick, which diligently cultivates lucrative redemption and loyalty behavior into passionate user bases, will enjoy increased participation.

The Bad: Recognition apps will continue to fetishize the technology and ignore whether the end result is any good, with the exception of Google Goggles, which will seamlessly integrate into Android’s camera (effectively making visual search opt-out).

The Ugly: Some offline-online startups will be forced to transition from enthusiastic early adopters to monetizing mainstream demand. The true nature of “checking-in” will be called into question.

QR, AR and NFC are getting all kinds of buzz, but a healthy contingent of other contenders is also vying to close the loop. Given the wide spectrum of opportunities in offline-to-online engagement, it’s not inconceivable that multiple technologies can succeed across mutually exclusive consumer behaviors.

Image courtesy of Flickrhedrinbc

5 Alternatives to Consider After Spotify’s Free Music Cutoff


Joann Pan
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If you’re an early Spotify user, you may be looking for a new, free music-streaming service as Spotify’s six months of free listening comes to an end.

Trendsetting music lovers who signed up for Spotify when it first hit the U.S. on July 14, 2011 will soon encounter roadblocks. For instance, come the six-month deadline to switch to Spotify Unlimited ($4.99 per month) or Spotify Premium ($9.99 per month), Spotify users will only be able to play their favorite songs a maximum of five times, and free streaming will cap at 10 hours per month.

It’s no doubt the unlimited access to a huge library of music — about 8 million tracks — is one of the features that loyal Spotify users love.

Other features include the ability to make playlists of favorite songs (up to 10,000 tracks per list) and social integration to Facebook. Songs you play automatically display on your Facebook Timeline and desktop sidebar. Plus, access content via share buttons and a convenient search bar. With Spotify Premium, users enjoy an offline mode, which means they can listen to playlists on the plane, train or beach. Finally, radio stations specifically tailor to a user’s specific artist or genre preferences.

As fun and convenient as Spotify is, for many, the honeymoon phase is over with the service’s free music cutoff. Here are five free music-streaming websites and applications that act as alternatives to Spotify.

1. Grooveshark

Grooveshark Home Screen

Grooveshark is a comparable service that provides free on-demand music streaming with ads. Over 30 million people use Grooveshark globally. Seguir leyendo “5 Alternatives to Consider After Spotify’s Free Music Cutoff”

Google And The Monopoly Paradox

Screen Shot 2012-01-12 at 12.29.26 AM

With the deep inclusion of Google+ into Search, Google is tempting fate. We’ve been over thisA lot. And this story is going to continue for some time to come. It sure looks like Google is almost asking for an inquiry into potentially anti-competitive practices (and it’s coming). Which is insane. So the next logical question is why? Why is Google risking so much to do this?

My colleague Eric had a very interesting theory earlier. Maybe Google’s real motive is to get the government to also look into Facebook’s often-unfair practices with regard to their network ahead of their IPO. If social and not search is indeed the future, call this pre-subversion. And if there’s any shred of truth to this theory, more power to Google — it’s rather genius (though still extremely risky).

But the more likely answer as to why Google is doing Search+ is much simpler. At a high level, they believe social elements are going to be an extremely important part of search going forward. Given that the two biggest players in social, Facebook and Twitter, don’t give them full access to their data (Twitter used to but the relationship ended, Facebook never did), Google is doing the only thing they can in their minds to still get the data they need: bolster Google+. Seguir leyendo “Google And The Monopoly Paradox”