Is it Time You Made an App?


Written by Sean Enright - Marketing Intern

From someone who takes the train every day, you see lots of different people.  But most of these people are doing the same thing, using their iPhones and iPads.  And as an iPhone owner, I can’t help but want an iPad too.  As a direct marketer, I think about how a company can market apps to these people using these devices.

When I was reading an article on this subject, I saw a mistake that many people make when creating a mobile app.  People tend to overlook ways to market the app successfully.

There are a lot of ways that a person can market their new app.  Marketing in creative ways is very important when coming up with a new idea.  In the article they discussed 12 ways to market the app.  I thought three were most important and interesting.

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New moms ♥ Active moms ♥ Super moms ♥ every MOM

Did this catch your eye?  It definitely got our attention. We chose to write about this for two reasons:  (1) because it was just recently Mother’s Day and this sample subject line is literally speaking to MOMS… so on behalf of The Weinstein Organization, Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all of you Super Moms and Grand Grandmas out there!  (2) It is a recent clever trend in email marketing that you should be aware of.

Many retailers, such as Red Envelope, are capitalizing on the use of symbols, such as hearts, in their subject lines to call greater attention to their promotional message and to stand out from the clutter, or should I say competition, in your inbox.

There are many symbols available to choose from, but you need to ensure that they support your message and are legible in small point sizes. If it is squished and doesn’t make sense, it is not going to help increase your open rates.

It is also a good idea to test the symbols across multiple email clients (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.) and mobile devices (iPads, iPhones, Blackberry, etc.) before deploying your email campaign to ensure that the majority of your audience can see them. There will always be consumers with outdated equipment that cannot get the full impact of your message, but many email clients have been improving their support for world languages as well as their support for these symbols commonly known as Unicode.

Potential Idea? Favorable Response :)  Test it on Your Next E-Marketing Campaign!


Old Term: New Media

It's 2012.

Facebook and Twitter are both about six years old. LinkedIn is almost 10 years old. Digital media have been with us for almost 25 years and  a part of our daily lives for a good chunk of the last 15 years. Mobile phones have been dominated by smart phones and mobile tablet technology for the last 5 years. Even broadcast TV is now exclusively digital in almost 90% of the US.

So it seems increasingly odd to hear the term "new media" still being assigned to the above-mentioned digital, mobile and social media entities. Think about how many touch points of the internet you come into contact with on a daily basis. How many of them are truly new experiences? How many of them are daily occurrences? When is the last time you went anywhere without making sure you had your iPhone or Droid securely in hand so you could stay connected? How often do you DVR a TV show instead of making time to watch when it airs? And instead of conducting research, we've been Googling our way to information since 1999.

"New Media" is an old term in search of a new subject. It simply doesn't apply to digital, mobile or social media anymore. To continue this misnomer is to confuse things. In the early 1400's, Gutenberg's moveable type technology started a new media revolution. Marconi invented wireless technology and gave birth to a new medium called radio in the late 1800s. Telephones and TV were new media for a while too.

For the past few years it's been quite accurate to compare digital marketing to TV commercials in the early 1960s. New strategies for reaching people are being invented everyday, and five years from now many of these breakthrough techniques will likely be standard practice, or seem outdated and less effective.

So the next time you are in a meeting and someone says something like "we need a new media idea", ask them if they are referring to a medium that hasn't been invented yet, or if they really mean they need a new idea to breakthrough the clutter and effectively reach their target audience. New media become just regular ol' media in time, but a revolutionary new idea becomes timeless no matter what medium it's executed in.


Seismically Speaking

Mid-afternoon in the Midwest yesterday you could feel the earthquake, even if you didn't feel the earthquake.

From just south of Baltimore: Just experienced an earthquake at Walmart

From Westchester County, NY: Holy F*****g earthquake!!!!

From Columbus: whoa...did anyone else feel that?!? Ohio earthquake??

From way up on the north side of Chicago: did my desk just shake or am I imagining things?

From Brooklyn: a link to Loretta Swit singing "I Feel the Earth Move" on the Muppet Show, posted on YouTube

From Maryland: who felt the earthquake on the east coast of the USA? i did not. I was leaving my gym in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Did not feel a thing. It was 6.0 or something??

Back to Chicago: Holy s**t! My desk was shaking!

From North Carolina: Shakin' in Raleigh...how about you? Which earned responses of confirmed seismic activity in New Haven, CT, Boston, Northern Virginia, Jacksonville, NC, and Mount Vernon, NY. California reported stability, "tectonically speaking".

Sitting 16 floors up above a very busy Wacker Drive construction project in downtown Chicago, we didn't feel the earthquake. And if we did we probably confused it with a jackhammer. But we knew about the earthquake with the East Coast epicenter moments after it hit because people from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River started Facebooking about it.

All of the above Facebook postings were made in the span of less than two minutes. It's safe to say that they were most likely the first reactions these people had to just experiencing an earthquake--to immediately post something online about it. Almost 50% of the postings were made from a mobile device, which makes us wonder how many of these people were posting while evacuating a building. Each posting received an average of 4 responses (either comments, or likes). All in the span of less than two minutes.

Wouldn't it be amazing if your marketing could generate that kind of activity? It can.


TWEET: Mobile food trucks coming to you?

Where are you?” a follower tweets to the cupcake fan page.

A responsive mobile cupcake truck posts on Twitter and Facebook, pinpointing their current Chicago Loop location along with a “10 more minutes” message. That means this sweet treat will be mine! … As long as they haven’t sold out or have yet to drive to the next location.

Chicago customers are starting to embrace the food truck movement: a novelty in Chicago. In cities like Los Angeles, New York and Austin, mobile food trucks continue to thrive and serve tacos, sandwiches or desserts.

Combined with social media updates available on a desktop or smartphone, food trucks create buzz and urgency to get these tasty items while supplies last. Customers like the spontaneity, curbside convenience and affordable bites. It’s a positive for the business also to expand their audience and create more jobs.

Navigating the mobile food business has been challenging for many entrepreneurs. Currently the tight Chicago laws allow only pre-cooked and packaged food that was prepared in a licensed kitchen to be sold on a food truck. This is unlike other cities where food must be prepared on board the mobile food facility only.

A food truck ordinance was proposed to the City Council late July, so hopefully by mid-late Fall, more food trucks will be on the road. Many consider Chicago a culinary destination and even big-name chefs are supporting the mobile food truck trend. For foodies and those who like cheap eats, let’s hope there’s even more food trucks coming to a street near you. And while you’re in Chicago, may your toughest decision around lunch be: which food truck do I purchase food from today?