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  • The digital citizen 8:23 pm on January 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, Location based services,   

    How can Location Based Services boost business? 

    With the launch of Foursquare in the UK, everyone in and outside twitter is talking about location based services (or LBS).

    In case you wonder, Foursquare is a location service based social network that tells your friends where you are once you have checked in. You might be able to do a lot more than that but I could not tell, as I haven’t had a descent go at it but, as more of my friends join, I will write a review here.

    Some other LBS are aka*aki, Plazes, Loopt and Brightkite

    The reason I am really interested in LBS is because I really think that businesses can really benefit from using LBS and here is how:


    Almost everyone with a smart phone has used an LBS to find a restaurant, supermarket or petrol station in their area. Everytime one of us is using the service, it collects valuable information about us, such as favourite food, shopping habits, if we have a car etc. It will not be long before LBS are in a position to suggest local activities or shops using information gathered from our past searches. This information will then be available to businesses anywhere in the country or the world where the user is, making LBS able to display relevant suggestions. So next time you are lost in a new place, you won’t have to look for restaurants and touristic activities; they will find you.


    LBS with social elements, like Foursquare allow businesses a extra level of interaction further to relevancy and here is how. Say for example that the data collected so far about strongly indicate that you are a fan of pizza, Pizza Hut can then interact with you when you are close to a Pizza Hut restaurant, by letting you know of the pizza or the offer or the day or by allowing you to book a table or place your order to minimise the waiting time once you get there!


    The wealth of information of course will have a huge impact on mobile behavioural targeting. So far we can only target a relevant audience by displaying ads on mobile sites that we assume this audience browses. However, the more we know about a user, the closer we get to being able to more precise about the advert this users sees anywhere in the mobile web. For advertising purposes, LBS is in some way acting as an IP address.

    If social media help businesses strengthen relationships with the consumers, LBS can initiate relationships. But where social media interactions quite often stay in the web, LBS can instigate real ones. Although loyalty and retention both depend on the very direct relationship, AKA customer service.

  • The digital citizen 10:00 pm on August 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, creative, experience,   

    Successful adverts: Not just pretty executions 

    It occurred to me recently that it has been a while since an advert made me buy a product. In the meantime, my research among friends and colleagues showed that the most memorable advert recently was “compare the meercat“. Personally I find the advert offensive to my aesthetic and taste; however, when I was looking for home insurance, I instinctively typed “compare the market” in Google, although I have been working closely with many similar sites for my financial client.

    Do-ability of a product works miracles for a brand. Think about it; when was the last time you vacuum cleaned your carpet? I bet you hoovered recently. And do you actually search on Google or do you just Google?

    Here is what I mean. Consumers have seen too many adverts to be inspired by creative. And if we all agree that the creative aspect of an advert is great, this will not necessarily mean that we will go out to buy the product.What will makes consumers try a product is innovation. The questions is though, how do you apply innovation when you have nothing new to say or when your products is good and effecient enough already to need an update?

    Innovation does not have to be a new version of or an updated product. Innovation can also mean a new way of experiencing a product. Bacardi existed for a long time but saw a surge in consumption when the”Bacardi Mojito” campaign was launched. The new way of enjoying Bacardi is innovation and consumers needed an alternative to the outdated Bacardi and Coke.

    Of course not all brands can be do-able and this is ok as long as they can be useful. Nor can they or are expected to create a new user experience with every campaign; DO-ability is rather a long term strategy as repetition of the experience is important for the consumer to make the necessary co-relation between the product and routine.

    Consumer behaviour has changed as people become more educated, with more advanced judgment and most of all busier. Brands will have to invade their daily routine in order to be influential and this can only be done through an innovative experience.

    • bezalel 10:20 pm on August 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      “Innovation can also mean a new way of experiencing a product.” Well, you know this phrase is not in any of the universally praised best sellers about marketing and advertising that decorate our libraries these days… It’s really something different and I think it deserves a creative analysis. Business models make it almost impossible to realise how vitally important this approach towards innovation is. I very much enjoyed the “hoovering” part. 🙂

    • Sofia@SoMaFusion 2:37 pm on September 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I suspect that what you are saying here is that advertising can be great and lovely and do amazing things but it can only take you so far if you keep repeating the same thing over and over again and never think of new uses or alterations to your product. I think it’s the same with all comms work – the PR industry is constantly accused of this – presenting and packaging might bring great results but too often we have seen a lot of ‘wolf’ cries and not a whole lot of ‘wolf’. I always wondered if maybe this did not contribute somewhat to consumers’ disillusionment.

  • The digital citizen 6:42 pm on August 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, , teens   

    Digital Realism: advertising to teens 

    When advertisers get it wrong, they get it very wrong. And this is exactly what is currently happening with many advertisers’ perception on advertising to teenagers.

    The Morgan Stanley report on how teens consume online media, written by a 15 year old Stanley Morgan intern, came as a shock to the online gurus/experts/coaches, who, with the social media boom, had all of a sudden developed and unfounded expertise in teens advertising.

    To a certain extend I understand why the hype. Social media are exciting; advertisers can use them to apply innovation and stand out. Ambitious people tend to be more involved with social media, understanding that this is where the opportunities lie.

    Furthermore, with the standard display advertising response rates decreasing day on day and year on year, it is natural for agencies to try to find new ways to engage with their clients’ prospective customers.

    But there is a problem; social media strategies should reflect the contemporary society, not a futuristic one. A good social media strategist has a keen interest in and understanding of sociology as well as marketing.

    The numbers speak for themselves:

    The Nielsen Study (June ’09) on the myths and realities of teen media trends explodes the common, among social enthusiasts, myths and gives an honest and holistic picture on the teen media consumption. What it basically says is that teens are normal. And as such they should be treated, approached and advertised to.

    This is the harsh (for social gurus) reality; teens are highly dependent individuals, with limited (if any) spending power. They are time poor due to their school commitments and in their free time they are more concerned about building their social, rather than digital, image. Remember yourselves as teens? did you rather be at home or out and about with your friends?

    Teens are not a standalone social group but part of a society with contemporary priorities and needs. And as these priorities and needs change, our strategies should be drafted within the context of the society we currently live in and not the one we would like to be living in.

    Sociological analysis is therefore key to a successful strategy to reach teens. Sociology, and not imagination, will help advertisers identify where teens can be found; when and where they are more likely to listen; and how and when to speak to them. Social media can then be (a central) part of the overall human centric strategy, taking into consideration the target’s actual lifestyle choices.

    It is about time that social media gurus, experts and coaches stopped the preaching and started thinking, for their own sake and that of their clients. It is about time they applied some realism into their strategies.

    Unfounded and unsupported by sociological facts campaigns not only put our clients in danger of great failures but also geopardise the future credibility on social media as an advertising platforms.

    • bezalel 7:07 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I read the report. Initially one is confronted by a strong feeling of certainty: “I know I probably have the wrong view, but it’s not that far from the reality”, I thought. And then one realizes he is, far from it. It’s frightening really. First, because strategies are drawn by “taken for granted” behaviors and second -now, that’s the REALLY scary part- , because everyone in the market knows it. Of course, the Nielsen June 2009 report is no “light courier”. In the report’s introduction, it’s visible to the reader that the media habits of the teenagers, are more taken from granted than argued about in the marketing industry: “Our findings challenge a whole host of assumptions about media habits of this generation (…)”, we read. And then, one assumes (since assumption is clearly a key word here), that advertising runs with ideas that are drawn into doubt. “How teens use media” – “How marketers develop strategies”. 🙂 No defense here, but I find it the hardest task for a society not to get stuck. The opposite is a real challenge.

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