kgb is a text message service that operates in the US and Canada.  Users can text a question, any question, to 542542 (kgbkgb) and the kgb Special Agents send an accurate response in a timely manner.  It costs ninety-nine cents.  Currently, some of the questions being texted to 542542 are:

– Who played shortstop for the Yankees in 1995?

– Who has the highest black belt, Chuck Norris or Wesley Snipes?

– What is the rarest car in the world?

– What college has the biggest campus?

kgb

I’m not sure how quickly or accurately kgb responds, honestly I didn’t feel like spending the ninety-nine cents to find out.  But I do find the whole idea of calling the service, kgb, and the employees, Special Agents, hilarious.  kgb’s CEO of Mobile and Digital, Bruce Stewart, boasts that sports fans use 542542 for sports statistics. 

“kgb’s 542542 service is a source of fast, accurate answers, not matter what your information needs.  Sports fans tell us they use 542542 because they can access statistics and sports trivia with speed and precision, whether they are trying to settle a bet with friends, or working to conceptualize fast-breaking news.  Basketball is one of our most popular categories for just this reason: We supplythe facts sports fans needs, and always just a little extra information to make the answer more interesting and fun.  We expect we’ll see lots of questions on basketball during the NBA Draft.”

sports%20bet%202542542 would be a good source of information for sports statistics.  I have to agree with Stewart, this text messaging service would be perfect for settling a bet between friends while out watching a game.  No one’s recall is perfect but the Special Agents have the ability to access credible information and then text it back to the user.

If anyone has used kgb to find an answer I’m curious to know if it provided an accurate answer as a timely response.  Let me know.

Shannon

Brain Farts

Posted by: sClarke | 07/10/2009

The Double-Edged Sword of Marketing

What do you think of when you hear mobile marketing?  While I haven’t received much mobile marketing, I probably just jinxed myself, but I think of something that is extremely irritating and that you cannot escape because it’s on your phone, and just about everyone I know cannot live without their phone.  It’s a lifeline and in some cases, the only means of communication used.

cell_numbers Yes, mobile marketing has the potential to be efficient and extremely effective.  Mobile marketing offers companies a fast, efficient and highly cost effective promotion tool for reaching their target audience. It is immediate and engages the customers through direct subscription based ad campaigns.  Marketers also like mobile marketing because it is easily tracked and measured and it provides immediate delivery, understandable why they like it so much.  But how many of those marketers are thinking about the consumer?  Most of the marketers are probably thinking about how they can reach the most of amount of people for a minimal cost.  How much bang can they get for their buck?

santa

All of that is going to be irrelevant if consumers do not respond positively toward the ad.  With that in mind, why do mobile marketers send their messages to consumers who have not opted-in?!  This is quite possible the biggest mistake marketers could make.  There are a myriad of things that could go wrong.  The first being that the un-opted-in consumer may consider the brand featured in the text as incredible, therefore destroying all brand equity associated with that brand in that consumer’s mind.  So why do it?

mobile-advertising

Some marketers may not be able to avoid the annoyance factor.  They may not be creative enough to come up with something that will actually draw in opted-in consumers.  The 80/20 rule applies here.  Why not focus majority of the marketing on the 20% of consumers that make up 80% of the brand’s business, instead of bombarding potential consumers?

The Mobile Marketing Code of Ethics

Senators Seek Do-Not-Text List

Consumers Prefer Mobile Advertising with Incentives: Study

Thoughts?

Shannon

Posted by: sClarke | 07/09/2009

Three Great Viral Ad Campaigns

I did a previous post on viral marketing a how successful it can be.  It can spread like wild fire and it’s great for building brand equity, awareness, and, if done right, recall.  Of those three, recall may be the most significant for ROI because if the target audience only remembers the commercial and not the brand then what’s the point.

1. Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold

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This clip is amazing.  Ronaldinho receives a new pair of cleats, puts them on, and does some amazing ball handling for nearly two minutes.  Nike is a genius for putting two and two together.  Why not give a pair of Nikes to a professional soccer player and have him perform some of the craziest footwork ever seen.

There was even some speculation that this clip was digitally enhanced, but when Dinho was asked if the clip is real or not, he replied,

“It’s all true! If you don’t believe me then ask someone who is watching when I train. I did it again the other day.”

The clip has received about 29.4 million views, amazing job Nike.

2. Guitar (GuitarMasterPro.net)

0

This video speaks for itself.  Phenomenal guitar playing matched with a site that teaches how to play the guitar creates buzz.  All GuitarMasterPro had to do was say that the guitarist in the video learned on their website and bam you have 60 million viewers.  Majority of which may be intrigued and head to the website.

3. Dynamite Surfing (Quicksilver)

quicksilver

After the first few months this clip had 10 million views.  The genius of this clip is that it looks like a passer-by has captured it on his or her low-quality camera.  In reality, the surfers are actors in Quicksilver gear and the whole thing was actually filmed on a high-quality camera but altered to its now grainy state.

Personally, I really like the Quicksilver one.  Not just because of the video but because of the entire way it was made and then transformed.  The creators wanted to keep people guessing if the footage was real or not.

Post any more great viral ads as a comment.

Shannon

Posted by: sClarke | 07/09/2009

Battle of the Phones: Part II

Okay so before I compared the BlackBerry Storm and the iPhone.  I’m going to stick with Verizon because I have had no problems and I’m not going to switch my carrier just for a phone that I may or may not like. Plus, Verizon is offering me a $50 credit when I renew my contract and upgrade to a new phone.   So now I’m going to compare the Storm with the LG Dare in only a couple categories that are most significant for my phone usage.

lg_dare

Price:

Storm -$219.99 – $70 (online discount) – $50 (credit) = $99.99

Dare – $199.99 – $120 (online discount) – $50 (credit) = $29.99

Weight:

Storm -5.47 oz

Dare – 3.76 oz.

Dimensions:

Storm – 4.43H x 2.45W x 0.55D

Dare – 4.1H x 2.2W x 0.5D

Etc.:

Both have a 3.2 Megapixel camera, speakerphone, email capabilities, and a QWERTY keyboard for texting.

First 10 Reviews:

blackberry_stormStorm -30% of reviewers loved the phone, 10% weren’t displeased or satisfied with it, and 60% hated it.  Of that 60% the Storm has been described as, “awful,” “disaster,” and some warned, “do NOT purchase this phone.”

Dare – Only 10% of reviewers found this phone to be of poor quality.  20% were middle of the road and were having difficulties with the touchscreen.  The remaining 70% were satisfied with the phone, some declaring it the “best phone ever.”

The Storm reviews are very negative and it seems that most reviewers are recommending that people considering it should wait until the second one is released in hopes that some of the kinks will be smoothed out.  The most prominent issue was that the Storm freezes quite often, usually when going from portrait to landscape or vice versa, and it takes several minutes to reboot.

The LG Dare is looking better and better.  I’m not sure if I really need a BlackBerry.  And a touchscreen phone for $30, how can you really beat that?!  I really wish there was a Verizon store in Morgantown because all I really need to do now is play around with the phones before I can buy one.

Dare vs. Storm

I’d appreciate any feedback.

Shannon

Posted by: sClarke | 07/09/2009

Bing/Google Update

As we’ve all seen, Microsoft has introduced a new search engine, or as they like to call it, a “decision engine.”  I’m not sure how I feel about the idea of calling a fancy search engine with pretty pictures, a decision engine.  I’ve tested it out a time or two, but I like Google.  Maybe it’s because Google doesn’t need to resort to flashy photos of the Great Barrier Reef or Las Vegas or the Galapagos Islands but rather Google is effective simplistically with an efficient and professional use of white space.

google_bing_statsheet

Still the number speak for themselves.  Google controls the market with 60% of the market share, while the decision engine only weighs in at 11%.  But still, Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, is shaken up about Bing.  A team of top engineers have assembled in response to Bing lead by Brin himself.  Brin has set out to determine how Bing’s search algorithm differs from Google’s.

Michael Kordahi created an experiment to compare Google, Bing, and Yahoo via BlindSearch.  Search results are provided by all three search engines and users are asked to vote on which results are best.  BlindSearch has also been able to strip away branding and logos in order to get the most unbiased results.  After the user has searched and sifted through the results, he or she votes on which results were best.  After the vote has been made then the exact same results show again but with the search engines logo atop the results.  I decided to test this out for myself.  I first searched for ’emerging media,’ voted and turns out I voted for Google.  This experiment was also tried but another blogger.  He searched for Mashable and found that 45% of voters chose Google, 32% chose Bing, and 23% chose Yahoo.

blind-mash1

These results obviously aren’t truly representative of the entire population but currently, Google has 44% of the votes, Bing with 32%, and Yahoo with 24%.  I honestly don’t think that Google has anything to worry about.  Time will tell which engine has style and which will prosper with substance.

Bing-a-thon?

Try BlindSearch for yourself.  You may actually prefer a different engine than you are loyal to.

Shannon

Posted by: sClarke | 07/07/2009

Marketers May be Able to Geocash In

So I went down to my boyfriend’s family’s hunting camp this past weekend to celebrate the Fourth.  Two couples were there that are good friends of his older brothers and they were talking about geocaching, and I had never heard of it before so I asked them to explain.  Essentially, it’s a scavenger hunt done via GPS.  I’m not sure how familiar the rest of the world is with this hobby but it actually seems pretty interesting and it made me wonder if marketers had taken this new phenomena into consideration as a non-traditional marketing tactic.

geocaching_a Maybe I’m stretching it a bit, but I think that the creatives in advertising and marketing agencies could really take advantage of geocaching.  A very niche target market could be reached this way.  Perhaps at each site an advertisement for a non-profit organization that support the environment could be placed.  Or maybe it could even be taken a bit further.  Hide a special product, disguise a sweepstakes prize, or set up an event and dare people to show up.  Over one million people participate in geocaching, why not try to capitalize from it?

“It’s what experiential marketing is all about: Create a branded environment in which consumers choose to engage you, instead of the other way around. A fun adventure that gets the target talking about the brand and actually scouring the countryside for it.” — Red 7 Media

In 2001, Universal Pictures stashed props from The Planet of the Apes in 14 different locations around the world.  The locations were gradually listed online with the last location announced ten days after the movie premiered.

40321_3

Geocaching – The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site

Specifics of Project A.P.E.

I’m surprised I have never heard of this so called sport before this past weekend.  I’m also surprised that other marketers haven’t  attempted this as well.

Shannon

Posted by: sClarke | 07/03/2009

Ten Ways Guerilla Marketers Can Utilize Facebook

Facebook has over 200 million users with half of those users logging on daily.  Over two-thirds of Facebook users are out of college and the fastest growing age group is over 35.  On average, each user has about 120 friends and globally over five billion minutes are spent of Facebook each day.  Enough statistics, but this information could be very valuable to marketers.  Especially because Facebook is the third most used social media used by marketers.

facebook_1Facebook for Guerilla Marketers:

Guerilla marketers go to very high extremes just to get the word out about a product/service/brand.  Facebook offers a variety of ways to do that and best of all, it’s free.

1. Profile Pages

This is the starting point, all general information about a product/service/brand can be presented here in the most outright way.  Company history, most successful brand extensions, product information, etc. can all be laid out on the profile page.

“Not only is your profile the page that you have the most control over, it’s the place where you can most deeply and authentically express your passion for the brand, company, or product you want to promote. Your profile page is an opportunity to craft a credible real-world story around the reasons your products or services are so valuable. Take advantage of Personal Info, Work Info, Photos, and applications to tell bits and pieces of your narrative as it relates to your brand. If you’re not buying your own stuff, why should anyone else?” — Justin Smith, insidefacebook.com

Profile pages can generate a high volume of traffic  Facebook users habitually browse profile pages of friends or anyone who seems interesting.  This is how they find and seek out more information on someone or something in the easiest way possible.   Marketers can take advantage of profile pages because they can invite partners and associates to view the profile and in that way can generate a great deal of traffic to the page.

2. Facebook Groups

Groups are the easiest way to build a community around a product/service/brand/company.  Groups provide a centralized location for customers, partners, and friends.  They can all interact in conversations about the product/brand because Facebook groups come with boards for posting discussion topics, photos, videos, and links. News and updates can be easily sent to your group members as often as you like and the messages arrive in the members’ Facebook Inbox.

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Groups are a very simple way of utilizing viral marketing.  Group members can invite their friends to join the group and those invitees can invite others and so on.  The group name also appears on the group members’ profiles which also means that if they chose not to send invites to others to join then those who view the group members’ profile pages can click on the group and opt to join.

3. Facebook Pages

In November 2007, Pages were launched as a way for businesses of many types to easily establish a brand presence on Facebook. Pages are a lot like groups, with some important differences:

  • Pages are more customizable than groups.  They can add HTML, Flash, or even Facebook applications to the Pages to extend their functionality and the depth of experience users can have with a brand.
  • Pages get more prominent “Bumper Stickers” real estate than groups on the profile pages of the fans.
  • There is no limitation to the number of fans in the group that can be messaged.
  • “Fans” who join the group aren’t able to invite their friends to be fans of the Page.  Fans must either “Share” the Page with  friends, or  friends must observe that they “are a fan” of the Page either via their profile page or News Feed.
  • Facebook has taken an active role in cracking down on Pages not created by authorized agents.

Again, another easy way for viral marketing to run its course.

4. Facebook Events

Events can be created by anyone for anything.  It can be as simple as a happy hour at someone’s apartment to a benefit for a pretigious organization.  It’s set up like a group page, photos and comments can be posted on the event’s wall.  Invitees can RSVP and can even invite others to attend, if the adminstrator allows guests to invite others.  Facebook makes it very simple to keep track of who’s coming and who isn’t as well as any questions or concerns the guests may have.

5. Facebook Notes and Photos

Two applications that allow you to share blog posts and pictures with your friends are Notes and Photos.  These can be used to post content about the brand, but be careful to always do it authentically – don’t be spammy.  Credibility can be lost if all photos are company logos.  Photos and Notes also provide the feature to “tag” friends that are in the photo or which ever friends should be included in the Note.  Once a friend is tagged, he or she will receive a notification of that tag.  Also, tagging can be used bring attention to the Note or Photo.

6. Facebook Messages

Messages are like email but much simpler.  Messages can be sent to anyone on Facebook, users do not have to be friends to send and/or receive a message.  Facebook is very involved in spam prevention.  If a Facebook account is used to message users you have no connection with in high volume, Facebook’s automated systems will shut down the account.

facebook-send-message

7. Facebook Marketplace

Marketplace is Facebook’s classifieds listing service. You can post a for-sale ad or wanted ad in any of your networks for free. However, if you want to post your ad in multiple networks, you have to pay $1 per network per listing.  Like with messages, spamming up the Marketplace will get your account deleted and your ads removed. It’s most likely not worth your time to try to evade their systems.

Marketplace is not a highly used application.  My Marketplace ads have only yielded a few leads.  Marketplace responses are tied to real Facebook accounts. When you receive a response to your Marketplace listing, you can see the respondent’s profile page even if they’re not your friend.

8. Facebook Share/Posted Items

Facebook Share is an application that allows the promotion any Group, Event, Photo, Link, or Application that a user has come across by giving it real estate in your “Posted Items” list on your profile page or by sending it directly to  friends’ Inbox.

By posting it on the profile page, some clicks can be directed to the shared item. However, while this is an effective promotional tactic, it’s not as targeted as sending it directly to friends’ Inboxes, which are more likely to convert into valuable clicks.

9. Facebook Networks

Facebook Networks are like group pages for everyone who’s a member of an Educational, Work, or Geographical network. While no Facebook members “own” any pieces of network pages, network pages offer:

– Other ways to learn about events, photos, or any other posted items.

– Discussions and walls users can contribute their posts to.

10. Mini Feed and News Feed

“The wind that blows your marketing seeds is Facebook’s News Feed. ” — Justin Smith, insidefacebook.com

While you’re not able to publish directly to the feeds, Facebook’s Mini Feed and News Feed archive your users’ engagement with your brand and syndicate it to their friends, networks, and beyond, amplifying the reach of your campaign by orders of magnitude. When a Facebook user does anything, it gets posted to the News and Mini Feed, unless the user has disabled certain features from posting.  It’s possible that one Mini Feed item generated by a Facebook user could be seen in hundreds of their friends’ News Feeds.

Happy Fourth of July all!

Shannon

Posted by: sClarke | 07/02/2009

Consumers Would Buy to Change the World

I found something interesting that marketers may want to check into.  According to a study released by Edelman found that 85% of consumers worldwide are willing to change the brands they buy or their consumption habits to make tomorrow a better place.  Also, 55% would help to promote a brand is there were a good cause behind it.

looking_down_on_earth

Eighty-eight percent of consumers said it is their duty to contribute to a better society and environment. Among all respondents, the first source of personal contentment was “spending time with family and friends” followed by “helping others and contributing to the community.”  This study was launched with Edelman’s goodpurpose, a consultancy dedicated to helping brands explore putting social action closer to the center of their brand proposition.

“We see a new phenomenon emerging called ‘Mutual Social Responsibility,’ where consumers and the brands they interact with every day take a mutual interest in and a mutual responsibility for being good citizens.” — Mitch Markson, president of Edelman’s Global Consumer Brands practice and founder of goodpurpose.

Globally, only 39% of consumers are aware of any brands that actively support worthy causes via their products/services.  Also, it’s impressive that 56% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that does not.  If brands clearly position themselves as a worthy cause supporter that resonates with consumers then it will hit home harder.  Word of mouth advertising is the most credible source of information when it comes to learning about brands that supports good causes.

edelman-goodpurpose-awareness-of-brands-supporting-good-causes

These are some highlights of the findings:

  • In eight of nine countries surveyed, more than 50 percent (and up to 70 percent) of consumers say they are more involved in social causes than they were two years ago.
  • 56 percent of consumers are involved in supporting a good cause. On average, consumers are involved, either directly or through a member of their families, in more than two social or environmental causes.
  • Areas of greatest concern among consumers include “protecting the environment” (92 percent); “enabling everyone to live a healthy life” (90 percent); “reducing poverty” (89 percent); “equal opportunity to education” (89 percent); “fighting HIV/AIDS” (83 percent); “building understanding/respect for other cultures” (82 percent); “helping to raise people’s self-esteem” (77 percent); and “supporting the creative arts” (69 percent).

edelman-goodpurpose-what-consumers-care-about

  • 70 percent of consumers say they would be prepared to pay more for a brand that supports a good cause they believe in.
  • More than seven in 10 (73 percent) would be prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly products.

Consumers Want Green Action from Brands, Businesses

Marketers Admonished to Avoid ‘Green Trap’

Could green marketing become a new form of emerging media?

Any thoughts?

Shannon

Posted by: sClarke | 06/29/2009

Top 4 Social Media Sites Used by Marketers

A recent survey reported that 88% of marketers are using some form of social media to market their business. Although, only 72% of them have only been at it a few months or less, according to a social media study by Michael Stelzner, sponsored by the upcoming Social Media Success Summit 2009.

HubSpot-Social-media-marketing-madness-cartoo

The study was intended to find out how and why marketers aer using social media sites to promote their businesses.  It was found that Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, and Facebook, in that order, were most popular.

social-media-industry-report-commonly-used-social-tools-march-2009

The study also found that over 90% of business owners are more likely to use social media marketing than employees working for a company that is not their own (81%), and 92.8% of respondents, ages 30-39, are most likely to use social media marketing.

judgementdayThe number one reason for utilizing social media was to gain attention for the business.  Eighty-one percent of marketers reported that their efforts have generated more exposure for their business.  The second major reason was to improving traffic and growing market lists followed by building new partnerships.   It was also found that more than half of participants reported that a rise in search engine ranking is an additional benefit of social media.

Key survey findings about specific application use:

  • Small-business owners are more likely to use LinkedIn than employees working for a corporation.
  • Men are significantly more likely to use YouTube or other video marketing than women (52.4% of all men compared with 31.7% of women).
  • For those just getting under way with social media marketing, LinkedIn is ranked as their number-two choice, pushing blogging down one notch.
  • Among those who have been using social media for a few months, Facebook is in second place. This group also has more Twitter use.
  • Twitter is used by 94% of marketers who have been using social media for years, followed closely by blogs. This group also endorses online video significantly more so than the other groups.

How Marketers are Using Social Media to Grow their Businesses

I wonder which social media are the least utilized.

Shannon

Posted by: sClarke | 06/29/2009

Vaccines? Don’t Even Bother.

Viral marketing or more cleverly, word-of-mouse.  Remove the technological aspect and you have word-of-mouth, spawning, self-propogation, you get the idea.  I really liked how this e-Commerce Consultant discussed viral marketing…

“I admit it. The term “viral marketing” is offensive. Call yourself a Viral Marketer and people will take two steps back. I would. “Do they have a vaccine for that yet?” you wonder. A sinister thing, the simple virus is fraught with doom, not quite dead yet not fully alive, it exists in that nether genre somewhere between disaster movies and horror flicks.

“But you have to admire the virus. He has a way of living in secrecy until he is so numerous that he wins by sheer weight of numbers. He piggybacks on other hosts and uses their resources to increase his tribe. And in the right environment, he grows exponentially. A virus don’t even have to mate — he just replicates, again and again with geometrically increasing power, doubling with each iteration:

viral_marketing

“In a few short generations, a virus population can explode.” –Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Cindy Gordon, vice president of new media and marketing partnerships at
Universal Orlando Resort, was put in charge of announcing a new major attraction.  Just about every other head of marketing would pull out their checkbook and begin shelling out money to start a campaign, not Gordon.  She needed to spread the word about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  What did she do?  She told seven people about.

hogwarts

Those seven people then infected tens of thousands of others with the word of the new attraction.  The media caught the virus from others that were infected and began to contaminate the world via newspaper and magazine articles, radio and TV spots, and blog posts.  Gordon estimated that over 350 million had caught The Wizarding World of Harry Potter sickness that all began with just seven people.

hp wiz world

Of course, they weren’t just any seven people.  They were hand-selected from the tops of Harry Potter fans sites.  J.K. Rawlings even had some say in the selected seven.  Those seven fans were invited to participate in a top-secret Webcast.  The Webcast discussed how the ride designers were bringing together The Wizardly World of Harry Potter.  From there is was history.  Social media helped to put fans first and Gordon and her team were able to run the operation completely in-house and, not to mention, a very minimal budget.

“Nimble companies are using the Web in ways that they could never do before. New media has created a new marketing environment where the old rules of marketing no longer apply. When you have a passionate fan base for your brand, the Internet is especially vital for going viral. Communicating to a small but powerful group of fans first online to enlist their support is a smart way to ensure positive coverage in the mainstream press. The power of the Internet makes it easier for people to fall in love with you faster. But beware—it also makes it easier for them to fall out of love with you faster. It’s a double-edged sword. Listen constantly to what’s being said about you. Social media technologies do not make a brand viral; they merely allow consumers to tell others about good brands. The main thing is to be different and relevant with your brand. And when you have that, the sheer power of the Internet can accelerate your brand. Traditional media takes weeks to build brand awareness and months to build preference. The Internet can make your brand famous literally overnight”–Marketing advice from Cindy Gordon.

Viral marketing: Spread a cold, catch a customer.

Three tips for non-profit viral marketing.

I suppose not everyone can achieve the amount of success Gordon had because not just anyone has Harry Potter on her side.

Shannon

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