Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Plans are confirmed that Twitter will be launching it's ad platform soon. Seth Goldstein and Anamitra Banerji have both commented and although there is no confirmed date it is expected in the next month or so.
Personally I don't see how this will work. Most people don't actually go to Twitter.com and I can't see people putting up with ads within their tweets. I've never really thought that Twitter was a monetisable platform and I'll be interested to see how they roll this out and how the Twittersphere reacts to it. It may well not be positive and who knows Buzz might even benefit from it!
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
The Vouchercloud app hit the app store on 8th February 2010 and has been present in the top 25 free apps from day one. With over 150,000 downloads and a daily average of 10-15000 a day. It seems it may be an iPhone app with a shelf life greater than an X-Factor contestant!
It provides discount vouchers for shops and restaurants in your local area and is the first mobile app to offer such a service. The variety of vouchers is great, as is the mix of small and large chains.
Paying for a subscription gives you access to premium vouchers and further savings but there’s more than enough money off and free cups of coffee to keep you going for a while without.
However it has one big downfall, you need to remember to check the app before you take your wallet out. Perhaps when GPS can pinpoint you down to an actual store we can start to get meaningful push notifications “Hey Fiona! thanks for coming in. Why don’t you use this voucher for a free cup of coffee?”
It’s one step closer to location based promotions but we’ve still got a while to go.
Google have just launched their latest technology for publishers in the form of DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). They will be removing the DART branding and replacing it with Google branding.
It's been a long awaited upgrade to their system and one that will include a variety of enhancements to keep DoubleClick at the forefront of the market. Included in these are the new Public API which has been opened up to allow third parties to create applications which utilise DFP.
Google blog post:
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Talk To Frank - the drugs awareness website has got a new game about the effects of cannabis on their site with beautiful visuals by one of our designers here. See if you can get through three levels starting in the brain, then through the park and finally in the supermarket to buy your munchies!
Friday, 12 February 2010
Flash is under fire from all corners at the moment:
- The release of HTML5 and subsequent testing by Google of a Flash free YouTube. HTML5 will play video without the need for any extra plugins such as Flash.
- Apple won't be supporting Flash in the iPad or on the iPhone. So that's a mobile barrier.
- SilverLight is a competitor and has the weight of Microsoft behind it.
I think that Flash is established on enough people's browsers and is standard enough that even if they were to stop work on future versions of Flash today it would still be around for a few years to come. I mean people are still using IE6! As it is Adobe are on the ball and I have no doubt will keep Flash relevant in the future for web developers.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Yesterday Google launched Google Buzz. Buzz is essentially social networking in your email. Every Google Mail account will soon be able to use it's features, which include status updates, sharing pictures and videos, commenting on other's content, and discussion.
With Buzz, Google is trying to get into the social networking arena against the big-guns like Facebook. This is something they tried many years ago with Orkut, but that only gained popularity in Brazil and India. It also puts it directly in competition with Twitter, something Rory Cellan-Jones thinks it will be more of a threat to.
To be honest I think that Buzz is a bit of a last ditch attempt to get into social networking, after the hype of Google Wave, which seemed to dissipate as soon as it was launched. I can't really see Buzz getting a mass take-up, as Jon at Jollywise says "Hotmail has more users". Google might rule the search, but they don't rule email yet - so this won't have the take-up they would need to compete with Facebook.
I do agree with Google's outlook on the future: That everything will be online (in a cloud) and accessed through a central interface (your browser). Google would like that that interface was a Google Dashboard with all their products on. And they are on the right track with Google Docs, Google Mail leading the pack with a range of other products in support.
I think that Wave is a better vision of the future than trying to jump on the social networking bandwagon. And I think that a gradual increase in the functionality of Google Mail until it becomes Google Wave is way forward. This means that people don't have to register with a new system and they will get used to the changes as they are added. Google Mail and Wave aren't all that different in their basics at the moment anyway.
I would have suggested a more gradual move into Buzz aswell through allowing anybody with a Google account to comment on things, share things via an email, integrating a "broadcast to many" option in Google Mail. So that people end up doing all these things without thinking about using a new system.
Google are pretty good at creating and leading the way. I for one - love the way that Google Mail works in comparison to normal mail systems and I do believe that Google Wave (or something similar) will become the norm in a few years. They might have got it right with Google Buzz and my doubting voice will be silenced. Despite my belief in Google's success lying elsewhere, I will be following Google Buzz with interest.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
When it comes to reaching your audience, quite a lot actually.
A widget is widely understood In digital marketing circles both client and agency. For the purposes of this article (don’t write in and correct me) - it’s basically content that your target audience can take away and install on their social network of choice, Facebook, MySpace et al.
Now here's the thing: A lot of your target audience don’t know what the term "widget" means.
In fact I conducted some pretty unscientific research before I wrote this post. I reached out to my own network, most of them unconnected to digital marketing - to ask what they think a widget it is.
“Is it something to do with Guiness or lager?” was a recurring theme.
Even the font of all knowledge WikiPedia is a little scant on actual detail here:
Running campaigns, with clear calls to action, asking, telling, begging your audience to ...
Install the widget! Grab the widget! Get the widget! Have you had our widget? Why not take our widget?
May all be failing in one big area. The term widget.
We recently ran a campaign for St Trinian's 2 – Our audience? Girls, 8 – 16 year olds. St Trinian's and Girls Aloud (Sarah Harding was in the film) already had an audience across “socialsphere” So, we built a beautifully crafted widget, we put in place a content strategy, begged the film company for exclusive content, enticed consumers with competitions, gave them news, basically if you were a fan of St Trinian's: you needed our widget.
So why didn’t they lap it up in the first couple of weeks?
We turned to our St Trinians Fan page on Facebook, and were shocked to realize that kids don’t know what a widget is. Not only that, but they were embarrassed to admit it, didn’t want to install it because they weren’t sure what it was, and so it snowballed.
So we took the bold step of changing the name of it, over a long call with the media planning agency, the client, and their marketing department, we knocked all sorts of words around, gadget, web widget, gizmo… weighing up the pros and cons of each. In the end we crowd sourced our answer from Facebook, the outright winner was…
WEB APP!! It seemed the term app, which in my head was the preserve of iPhone/iPod, is widely accepted by the kids and your target demo. It comes loaded with it it’s own meaning, people like it, they understand the term app, they know what they’re getting. And if you add the word FREE in front of it, then you’ve got a runaway hit on your hands.
Our campaign started with Grab the Widget and in 2 weeks we had a underwhelming 100+ installs.
We changed to Grab the Free Web App – we started getting 1000+ a week.
So I guess there’s a lesson to learn here: In an age where we’re racing to keep up with the latest advance in our industry, it pays to STOP, THINK and CONSIDER, are all our audience on our bus?? The answer is clear, probably not!