Were you encouraged by Obama’s speech to the nation this week?
( surveys)

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The Dick Tracy Wristwatch is Here Already.

Mobile marketing is on the cusp of moving markets and deserves consideration as part of the marketing mix for a wide variety of products and services.
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Mr. Spock as Dick Tracy?

No longer the province of teenagers or a gadget only perpetrated by nerdy early adopters, mobile media is gaining widespread use as new phones and new software make the Internet accessible everywhere. In no time we’ll all be tethered to the digital grid; connected by a single multi-functional device.

Consider several recent developments:

1) Almost two-thirds (63%) of cell phone users have received e-mail, used text messaging or obtained news and sports information on their phones.

2) More than one-third (38%) of mobile phone users access the Internet from their phone.

3) There are 40 million smart phones in use, closing in on 20 percent of the cell phones in use and the market is growing driven by iPhones and Blackberry Pearls and Curves.

4) 130 million phones have “highly capable Internet browsers” and the IBM Institute for Business Value survey recently found that 40% of those surveyed had Internet data plans in-use and that a third of those had already watched a video on their phones.

Once you start watching video on your phone, 45% begin to do it regularly which according to Black Arrow comes up to 800 million hours of mobile video viewing, still a tiny slice of the 389 billion hours of broadcast TV watched, but a bell weather nonetheless.

Evidently we have begun to solve the technical issues of compression, design and compatibility that bring the Internet off the desktop and out of the laptop and into our on-the-go daily lives. You can bet this trend will continue. Continuous improvements in speed, signal clarity and software integration will lead to a single compact, personalized device that becomes an indispensable tool for managing communication, interaction, commerce and most practical aspects of our lives.

Dick Tracy’s wristwatch videophone and the Star Trek communicator already exist. Soon we’ll all be using their progeny.

Then think about the mobile applications that people we know have already come to rely on. Many people use their phones to search, get news alerts or sports scores, interact with TV shows, vote or take surveys, play games, send or view photos, get directions or communicate with other humans.

Facebook access from mobile devices has grown 3X in the last year to 15 million users and many other social networks are making similar claims as consumers get used to the idea of telling everybody what we’re doing in real time like on Twitter and sharing everything we find, like or do with a gang of unseen others.

The NFL streams video of games to mobile phones.

Sears2Go.com allows you to buy Craftsman tools using a phone.

A Disney-Verizon alliance will use cell phones to interact with kids and families while they’re in the parks as early as next year.

Progress in m-commerce is making the interfaces and downloads between websites and phones easier, smoother and less cumbersome day by day.

Soon mobile wallet applications will allow us to use our phones to fill up parking meters, buy from vending machines, purchase movie tickets, and check out quickly at retail stores and complete complex financial transactions from a phone keypad.

And while there are a few indications that consumers expect and will tolerate advertising surrounding these nifty new tools it’s not really clear how much and what kind of messaging will resonate.

Therefore visionary marketers will get started now and get smarter about mobile media and marketing now, during the growth phase while prices are low, content and merchant partners are flexible and open to experimentation and before anybody gets a lock on a killer app, game-changing technology or critical market segments.

QR codes and the Kelly Brooks Pepsi campaign in the UK

Kelly Brooks appears in ads featuring QR codes. The 2D dot matrix bar code technology is close to a tipping point in Europe and Asia. Brooks features in a Pepsi campaign that has gone live in December and images of her clutching a QR code have featured in most of the tabloids.
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QR (short for Quick Response) codes are 2D postage stamp sized barcodes that can pack in up to half a page of data. The technology was originally devised to track goods in a supply chain but has found its way into the consumer mobile sector in tagging application. Its a neat format that lends itself to a mobile phone screen.

Are You Too Old To Twitter?

Never. Twitter has come of age and is even being used to report news.

There are so many great new ways people are using twitter and twemes today. Building on earlier data about flash online communities, people are now organizing groups, not just for quick events, but for causes and things they firmly believe in.

Freetibet is a great example of people determined and passionate about a cause using the power of twitter and twemes to get their message out.

Another example is the tweme #quotable.
Have a favorite quote? Use the tag #quotable and share it. Or place the quotable widget on your site.

This was a great way to inspire others and recognize those nuggets of wisdom or moments of genius.
On those days when things just don’t seem to be going well, it’s a nice to review the tweme and pick out some inspiring quotes.

Mother’s Day there is the tweme #mom to recognize the funny and precious tales of mothers.
There is even a tweme called “I’m the Mom Who” or “I’m the Mom Whose”

While there may be a few guilty confessions in there, the goal is to gather funny sayings from your kids
throughout the day, or recount funny scenarios, not to pour your guts out or tattle on anyone (including yourself!) in 140 characters or less.

Here is an example:
I’m the #mom who has the 4-year-old son who wants to buy his preschool teacher a gift certificate “For Zales, for diamonds!”, for the holidays.

I think that all of these new uses encourage groups and tribes to think about ways you can organize, recognize and inspire others!

Social media tools are quite powerful and small ideas can blaze through the networks and have incredible impact!
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If You Remember the Sixties You Weren’t There?

If you remember the ’60s, as the joke goes, you weren’t there. It was the perfect storm of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. A hippie haze of happy days. And a few not-so-happy days.
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Dozens of books have been written about the decade, but 40 years later, author Rob Kirkpatrick has narrowed it all down to one epic year: 1969.

The subtitle of his new book, 1969: The Year Everything Changed (Skyhorse Publishing, 288 pp., $24.95), may sound hyperbolic, but Kirkpatrick makes a good case that it was a year “of landmark achievements, cataclysmic episodes and generation-defining events.”

“A lot of people talk about 1967 as ‘The Summer of Love’ and 1968 as ‘The Year the Dream Died,’ but there wasn’t one book about 1969. It fills a gap,” says Kirkpatrick, 41, who was 1 year old when rain fell on the throngs of rock fans at Woodstock.

1968 had seen the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Then came 1969, which Kirkpatrick calls “a year of extremes.” It was a tumultuous time when it seemed as if history were being made almost every day:

The top ten songs of 1965 were incredible…does anyone know them? All classics.

1. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
2. Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
3. In The Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett
4. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown
5. My Generation – The Who
6. Mr. Tambourine Man – Byrds / Bob Dylan
7. Yesterday – Beatles
8. The Sounds Of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel
9. Ticket To Ride – Beatles
10. The Tracks Of My Tears – Miracles