Author: strategisadmin

BP-Balckberry

Blackberry Releasing BBM App for Android and the iPhone This Summer!

The creation of a Blackberry Messaging app for Android and iPhone is a major step forward for Blackberry, but it is also quite the risk. With the number of BlackBerry users slowly declining over the last couple of years, BlackBerry knew that they needed to make moves in order to attract more customers. By making their famous BBM system available to Android and iPhone users, they are opening up their business to a much wider audience.

            The timing is right for Blackberry to release their BBM messaging app to Android and iPhone users. To counteract their declining customer base, and bring back some of their customer base, Blackberry had to do something. By making the BBM service available on other platforms and services, Blackberry will generate much needed, positive publicity about their app and the company as a whole. Personally I have been quite fascinated by the BBM messaging system. I’ve had friends who had or have Blackberries and absolutely love them and the BBM messaging system. As someone who has the iPhone and is just used to ordinary texting, the BBM messaging system seems like a strong upgrade over texting. The BBM app is also ideal for people who can’t afford or do not have large data plans. BBM is also well liked by many travelers as you can use BBM anywhere in the world, while some other texting services may not be compatible overseas. With an expected release date sometime this summer, it will definitely be an app worth checking out.

            While this all could be very good for Blackberry, there is a potential risk here for Blackberry. With this new availability of the free BBM app on Androids and iPhone, there is the potential that many Blackberry users could jump ships from Blackberry to an iPhone or an Android, thus taking away business from Blackberry. Why could this happen? Some current Blackberry customers could only be using Blackberry because of the BBM messaging. If current Blackberry customers have only stuck with Blackberry because of the BBM messaging, then they will be very tempted to switch to the iPhone or Android. This is not what Blackberry would want. This would prove the app to be quite counter productive to Blackberry’s bottom line. Overall this app is a gamble. It could provide great publicity, and potentially bring in more business to Blackberry. Or the app could backfire and Blackberry will continue to lose more customers to the iPhone and Android. And with new incentive for BBM fanatics to leave Blackberry and still have their beloved BBM could be very bad for Blackberry. What do you think this bold move will do for Blackberry?

The New PS4 and Social Integration

By now you have probably heard that Sony has unveiled the new PS4, the first console to be released in 7 years! What you probably don’t know however, is unlike previous PlayStations, Sony has created the PS4 with a social integration twist. I personally feel this is a great selling point for Sony! In an era where social media is constantly growing, relying on mobile and “social spurs” is a must. Sony seems to touch on all social features from Facebook sharing to mobile app usage. Game users will be able to connect their PS4 profile to their social media networks, allowing them to share content with their contacts. The PS4’s menu screen recommends content to users based on what their friends are accessing and their previous purchase history. Pretty awesome, Right?

 

ps4

Another new feature is Ustream, which lets users broadcast their gameplay to friends who can offer commentary on the action in real time. Jack Tretton, Sony Computer Entertainment, CEO, America, says: “Our next generation console will change the way you interact with friends while you play”. I can agree they are definitely living up to that promise. The new PS4 also allows you to instantly share images and video directly to Facebook of your favorite game playing moments. All this can be done by the simple click of a button! This takes sharing content to a whole new level!

Last but not least, Sony’s new PlayStation App effectively lets users turn their smartphones into a second screen. Users can play the console game on their TV, while simultaneously using the PlayStation app on their smartphones to view a map or to see how their friend is matching up.

ps4-controller-1

As you can now see, social and live interaction has become the core element of the PlayStation 4. And this is a great marketing tool to generate appeal. Hopefully Sony will have a successful buzz building campaign, up until the anticipated release in “Holiday 2013”.

 

 

-Courtney Fabiano

 

Resources:

http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/sony-relies-on-social-to-spur-ps4-sales/4005768.article

 

 

 

 

World…Meet Snapchat. Snapchat…Meet the World.

The social media landscape is buzzing, yet again, over a new kid on the block that just may give Instagram a run for its money. Meet Snapchat, a social pic app designed to “make social media fun again”. Compatible for iOS and Android mobile operating systems, Snapchat enables users to capture images and send them to select recipients. Sounds like sending a picture message right? Not quite. The catch is, the recipient(s) can only view your image for up to 10 seconds and then it self-destructs in cyberspace, never to be seen again…. supposedly.

 For raunchy “sexters” and silly kids alike, this mobile app sounds like a cure all to erase any evidence that you don’t want the general public-mom, dad, your boyfriend, your office-to know about; however, there are a few loop holes that can shatter this false sense of security. Firstly, 10 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time to view a photo, but it may just be enough time for a recipient to take a screenshot. Although the app is enabled to alert the sender when a screenshot is captured, there’s not much that you can do to stop that person from saving the picture to their own device, and most seriously, sharing it with others. Secondly, that mere 10 seconds is also long enough for a different device to capture the photo while its still viewable through Snapchat.

With this said, its understandable why social media junkies and parents are buzzing over this new app. If you’re an innocent 7th grader, with a fresh smartphone, who just likes to take silly pics of you and your friends at lunchtime, this may be the perfect mobile application; however, if you’re a 10th grade girl, with a slew of boys who’ve been chasing you since you got your braces off, well, this app is a cause for concern for your parents. For us adults, this app can offer one of two things: a great escape from grown-up realities like bills, office work, and kids through silly pictures of our friends; or, a nightmare of embarrassment if you don’t practice discretion in what you send.

So, here’s my advice to you if you’d like to consider using this app:

If you don’t know how to act, don’t Snapchat 😉

Marketing 101: An Inclusive Approach to Multicultural Marketing

There is no question that the faces of our society are rapidly changing.  Our last census reported that roughly 42 million people identify as “Black” in the United States. This is not to mention recent Nielsen findings that suggest Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the nation, amongst increased growth of other racial minorities.  In our multicultural, multimedia landscape, effective execution of a brand’s communication efforts are key to capture and retain targeted audiences. But, how do we effectively market mainstream products to these various racial audiences? What approach do we take?

It’s been said that brands should include multicultural outreach in their overarching marketing strategy, and I tend to agree. Taking an inclusive approach to multicultural marketing includes efforts that represent the faces, lifestyles, and insights of your targeted racial groups-off course after comprehensive research. This is not to say that every Febreze commercial should include a Black family, if the brand’s goal is to reach out to that demographic; however, by including different family structures from various racial backgrounds for example, you then assume an inclusive approach to your marketing efforts.

More than ever, we’d like for you to remember these key steps when aiming to communicate with multicultural audiences:

  • Do your research! As with any audience, extensive research about your target demographics is vital when creating a marketing communications strategy. With multicultural audiences, it’s important to go beyond demographics and look for key insights of a group’s beliefs, wants, desires, and aspirations. With these nuggets of information, you can better conceptualize and execute communication tactics that speak to the group’s core values.
  • Give Your Campaign a Test Drive. Before launching your campaign to the masses, try conducting focus groups to gauge accurate feedback of your efforts. Include a balanced mixture of participants from various walks of life and ethnicities to attain a more holistic perspective of your efforts’ effectiveness. Based on your findings, you can either move forward and execute or, head back to the drawing board for a few tweaks of your strategy.
  • Weigh and Measure. As with any other marketing communications campaign, it’s important to measure your campaign’s success or failure amongst said audiences. Make note of what tactics may have worked, or could have been executed better amongst your chosen channels of communication.

With all of that said, for your viewing pleasure here are a few examples of campaigns that we thought hit the inclusive nail on the head:

Burlington Coat Factory: “Brag About It” Campaign

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE7wabmGOPU

State Farm Insurance: “Magic Jingle” Campaign

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRS4shfH1Pw

Beats by Dre: “What Will You B?” Campaign

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO33POVfplE

 

 

To Vote or Not to Vote…For Facebook, that is the Question.

Within the last week, Facebook has made history again, asking users to vote for the third time in the company’s eight-year existence; but there’s a twist. Facebook users are voting on their right to vote for proposed changes to the social service. Yes, you read correctly, you’re voting for voting rights on Facebook, and if you don’t watch it, you may just lose that privilege.

These proposed changes come in light of Facebook’s review of its governing documents including the Data Use Policy and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. According to Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s VP of Communications, Public Policy and Marketing, the social media site seeks to reorganize their governance process, given their recent growth amongst users and public traders. In a nutshell, Facebook has gotten so big that their current voting system is inadequate and they’d like to get rid of it. The proposal states that the site would replace the system with one that emphasizes the “quality” of a vote rather than the “quantity” of votes.

The problem lies in the previous sentence: Facebook would like to do away with the present voting process, but does not seem to have a
definitive alternative.  I guess deciding upon this alternative would require another vote; but, what system do we have in the meantime? Are we to leave our Facebook policies to be decided upon by this now “big-wig”, publically traded company?

At first glimpse of this story, I wondered, “What’s all the fuss about? At least you’re getting a chance to vote for your vote.” But, if  many people don’t turn out –as history has shown-then you and I are left in a lurch where our voting rights may be null and void. This is just my take on the matter, so don’t take it from me; just consider it food for thought…

 

 

 

#HappyTechsGiving! An Honest Reflection of Our Favorite Online Marketing Tools

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we at Strategis have taken some time to reflect on the things that we are thankful for when it comes to online marketing. From social media management apps to online advertising tools, new developments in web technology have made our jobs much easier as the industry evolves. This is not to mention the innovative channels of communications that have completely changed the way that we interact with one another and with brands.

Although there are many different pieces of technology, apps, and tactics that aid in our day-to-day marketing efforts, we’ve chosen to narrow down our favorites to a list of five:

1. HootSuite:  A social media manager’s savior, HootSuite is a helpful tool when handling the social accounts of various clients. From Facebook to Foursquare, any major corporation or small company can manage and track their social footprint amongst followers. With this tool, you have the ability to schedule up to 200 posts across all social media accounts with just one click, in addition to analyzing the effectiveness of your social outreach. While there are many different social media management apps on the market, HootSuite has always been our go-to tool.

2. Google AdWords: When it comes to enhancing your clients’ online presence, Google AdWords are of great importance. The science behind Google AdWords lies in Google’s “contextual targeting technology”, which only displays your online ad to people are searching for content related to your offerings. You can also tailor your reach to target people of different demographics, from various geographic regions, and even during particular times of the day. This particular piece of technology, allows us to do a more efficient job at targeting the right audience for our clients’ messages.

3. Google Alerts: If you’re looking to keep track of news pertaining to your company or brand, Google Alerts is another useful tool. You can simply enter a query topic(s) and have Google scan and deliver web results as often as you’d like. This is especially helpful when tracking your online reputation and/or staying up-to-date about your competitors or developments in your industry.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization or (SEO) is the process of increasing traffic to your website through search engines like Google or Bing. A number of ranking factors are taken into consideration when boosting your web search prominence including, page content, external links, and social media shares, amongst others. Given the immense amount of emphasis that is placed on a brand’s web presence, SEO is crucial to maintaining a prominent image online.

5.  Basecamp: For a marketing communications agency with many clients, Basecamp project management software is a must-have when it comes to organization. Keeping all project members in the loop, Basecamp offers an array of features including management of task assignments and sharing important documents and files.

As the marketing industry evolves and changes, we look forward to even more developments that can aid us in executing the most effective tactics for our clients. In the meantime, share your most favored online marketing tools in the comments below or via Strategis’ Facebook or Twitter, adding the hash tag #happytechsgiving.

 

…And of course, Happy Thanksgiving from all us here at Strategis… :)

Waiting For Those Black Friday Deals? Don’t Hold Your Breath…

As we approach the holiday season, everyone and their grandma is thinking about what to buy for their loved ones. From tablets to televisions, to cell phones and video games, most of this year’s hottest items come with a hefty price tag. With this in mind, you’ve probably convinced yourself that Black Friday is the best day to get out and get those deals. Freshly released data, may cause you to think twice.

Recent statistics from consumer-price research firm, Decide Inc. certainly suggest otherwise. According to the Huffington Post, Decide Inc. found that the price for those cozy Ugg Boots are sure to nearly double by time you hit the stores on Black Friday. Prices for popular flat screen TVs are also on the upward move around this time of year, as oppose to other seasons.

These facts probably come as a shock to many, especially those who have built family traditions around the great Black Friday. With only mere days left ‘til the shopping extravaganza, take a gander and read up on where and when the best deals are this season. Read more about the Black Friday deal breakers here: http://ow.ly/fhviU.

Spotify Leads the Way in Digital Music, Increasing Revenues and Expanding Market

Leading the pack in digital music, Spotify has been making strides in the business world lately. Posting increased revenues for the first half of 2012, returns for the online music streaming service are expected to more than double as we ring in the New Year. With a money smart business model, and a customer-centric music service, Spotify is certainly providing a sense of hope to the much troubled music industry.

Established in 2006, the self-proclaimed, on-demand music site stepped onto the scene providing customers with the ability to generate custom playlists for their listening pleasure. Hailing from Sweden, the subscription-based service also enables users to share their music interests with friends via social media. Spotify has virtually captured every music lover, enticing everyone from hardcore punk rockers to easy-going reggae lovers.

Spotify’s broad appeal to the masses lends a hand to the company’s financial success and subsequent growth within the music industry. Since the Internet boom in the early 2000’s, the music industry has experienced a difficult time in regulating (and profiting from) online sharing of music. The likes of Apple’s iTunes software has certainly reinvented the process of gaining profits for music labels and artists alike; however, Spotify has created a lucrative deal structure with music labels, requiring them to pay either a $200 million annual fee or 75% of Spotify’s revenues in exchange for their artists’ presence on the site. This is not to mention their subscriber based business model where users have three options to either stream music for free with ads, pay $5/month for ad free streaming, or $10/month for streaming without ads and mobile access-which is an absolute must if you ask me.
So, exactly what are the implications of Spotify’s portended success? Well for starter’s, the company’s label deal structure and subscriber based business model are inherently profitable for the company. These two key factors have the potential to reap financial success for the company in 2013, something to the tune of $500 million. Secondly, the service’s customizable offerings are a total draw for new and existing users. From an editorial app that enhances your musical experience, to an app that locates local concerts, Spotify has created a new and improved portal that (legally) gives you everything that you could imagine where music is concerned. This is vital for the modern day music industry that was rocked by the likes of Napster and other illegal sharing sites.

The fundamental takeaway from Spotify’s success is to create a service or product that is equally beneficial for consumers, as it is profitable for your business. Not only must your product or service be beneficial, but it must also carry distinctive qualities in comparison to what is offered in the market. In a nutshell, draw you potential patrons in with a new and innovative product or service, and keep them engaged with relevant and valuable features. For Spotify, up next on the horizon is a web-based version of its desktop software that will enable users to access their custom library while away from their computer or mobile device. This is truly one step for music lovers, one giant leap for saving the music industry.

Election Day 2K12: A Look Into How Social Media Has Captured Our Votes This Political Season

On the dawn of Election Day 2012, we now stare into a political arena that has changed drastically over the last four years. From tweets, to likes, to stumbles, and shares, the art of connecting with voters is completely optimized to capture the attention of our now hyper-connective society. Simply put, when you’re 59-year-old mother can relay the most poignant tweets from any debate night, it is clear that social media has severely altered our political landscape.

The fact of the matter is that politics, as we know it, has changed due to the complete overhaul of our society through social media. We connect not only through town hall meetings, overzealous campaign rallies, or dramatized commercials, but also through meaningful virtual conversations. For example, both presidential candidates have posted images with a powerful message or fact, opening up the opportunity for a full-fledged forum of debate.  

With analysts dubbing 2012, “social media election”, there is no room to underscore the financial investment that has been dedicated to outreach efforts this political season. An estimated $1 billion has been spent on advertising, with nearly $54 million allotted to digital ad platforms including mobile media across the U.S. This is not to mention the voter registration app that has been developed for 13 different states in partnership with the state government, Facebook, and Microsoft Corp.

With decision time fast approaching, there are few who will sit down and reflect upon the role of social media in this election-except the social media gurus, of course. But at a time when our votes are so heavily influenced by our candidates’ social media mastery, it’s worth the thought. Once the winner is announced, and we wishfully prepare for continued economic growth and social change, we should begin to ponder the next great idea that’ll keep are society forever engaged and informed on our country’s politics. How about this: A mobile app for submitting your ballot votes? You decide.

#Follow Fakeness: The Scoop on Sandy’s Social Media Backlash

Exactly one week after Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, we are all too familiar with the horrific scenes of rushing floodwaters and flattened homes along the East Coast. News broadcasts are now filled with emotional coverage of mourning families pleading for help from their water-engulfed neighborhoods.  Yet, despite the heartbreaking destruction, many people still chose to abuse their access to social media, posting fake pictures of the alleged damage that Sandy has left behind.

Social media damage control was a necessity in the hours following the storm, with many followers duped into sharing the doctored images. While some pictures were simply lifted from online photo galleries, others traveled the extra mile by grabbing screenshots from movies like The Day After Tomorrow, and adding true-to-life captions. This is not to mention the tactless celebrity comparisons like, “Snooki is a lot like Hurricane #Sandy. They’re both heading to Jersey Shore with intentions to blow everyone within a 50-mile radius” posted by a Twitter user.

With the startling evidence of thoughtlessness and the incessant need for attention and buzz, our societal priorities must be called into question. We are hyper-connective by nature, sharing and liking anything that retains shock value on a daily basis, let alone during a national emergency. But given the lives that were already lost during Sandy’s travel in the Caribbean, why take this storm and turn it into a joke?

The answer to that question remains to be seen; however, in the mean time stay smart when cruising your social media sites, especially during weather emergencies of any magnitude. If you come across an image that raises your suspicion, check out some online tips to avoid sharing incorrect information. Using these tips will not only decrease the unwarranted buzz that has circulated from false facts, but will also keep you and your followers better informed during an emergency.