Category : Cool Tools


Xbox One and How It Affects Advertising

The unveiling of the Xbox One has been long awaited and highly anticipated. Microsoft, with creating Xbox One is trying to follow up one of the most successful gaming consoles ever in the Xbox 360. Needless to say, as someone who owns an Xbox 360, I had been waiting for this unveiling to see what new and exciting features that Microsoft had included on their new console. When I first heard about some of the new features of Xbox One, I was crushed to find out that it will not support old games from the Xbox 360. With this information, I had to search further to see if this would actually be a system worth buying. I found a number of qualities that make this console somewhat revolutionary.

One feature I found quite interesting was that you can upload your cable subscription right on to the Xbox One so you can watch TV directly from your Xbox. With this function, combined with the new Kinect feature that has voice recognition, you will be able to change the TV channel without touching the remote. But it doesn’t stop there. With this new voice recognition, users and TV watchers alike will be able to change the channel, surf the internet, or obtain more information about something they saw on TV with a simple voice command.

It has been speculated that if you were watching TV and an advertisement came up that you wanted more information about, you would simply just have to say “More Info” and Xbox would open up a webpage or link that directs you to information about the content. This is great for advertisers as it could possibly allow for more interaction with potential customers. It would also allow them to showcase their product or service even more than just a 30 second ad spot. This could potentially revolutionize television advertising. The interactive nature of the Kinect combined with modern advertising could possibly lead companies to new customers they otherwise would have been able to reach.

            With this new technology that benefits advertisers and the general public alike, Xbox One is being positioned and sold as the center of your living room entertainment. While this is a potentially great step for Xbox, I am not sure about the lack of attention they are giving to their original customer base: the gamers. Without the ability to play Xbox 360 games and some underwhelming projected game releases, it will be very interesting to see how well $500 Xbox One does when it is released.

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

State Farm Insurance: “Magic Jingle” Campaign

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



#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… :)

The Piktochart Phenomenon

Our world is becoming more and more visual, and those who do not realize this will soon be left behind. With sensations like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr dominating social communications, the focus has shifted to visuals. A company called Piktochart has realized this, coming up with infographic templates for people and companies to use to display information.

Infographics are a huge trend right now, but they must be used effectively to display the information they hold. Piktochart offers over 75 themed templates with each one tailored to presenting a certain type of information. The key to utilizing infographics well is to make dry, boring information attention-grabbing and interesting. You should not overload an infographic with too much text; it should be easily followed and not overwhelming. The colors need to be appropriate and eye catching; you want to pull your audience into the information by making it visually appealing. Sites such as Mashable (a news source for social media and technology news) use infographics to accompany their stories for an enhanced visual effect. Companies and media alike can benefit from using infographics effectively.

Piktochart infographics can be used to spice up almost any information. Comparing different companies’ presence on social media? There’s a theme for that. Explaining complex environmental issues? There’s a theme for that. Presenting a project for a class? There’s a theme for that. The best way to take advantage of Piktochart creatively is to take the time to choose the best theme, colors, and set up to effectively display your information.

There are many fads that come and go in the world of social communications, but I believe that Piktochart will still be making its mark in 2013. According to this infographic about infographics, infographics that are high quality (such as the ones you can create in Piktochart) are 30 times more likely to be read than plain text articles. So the next time you have information that you want to communicate, think about invigorating it with Piktochart.

How to be a Hit on Instagram

Attention all iPhone and Android users:

If you haven’t made an account on Instagram, then you probably should, especially if you love photos. That’s what Instagram is all about, sharing photos. You may be groaning about another social media website and more photo sharing, but what makes Instagram so special is that you can apply filters to those photos. Facebook sure thinks it’s special because Instagram was recently purchased by the social media giant for $1 billion.

The photo sharing app has exploded recently and people are all over it. But what is it about Instagram that makes it so interesting? Well, the photos themselves are interesting. They tell a story. Instagram’s main method of communication is sharing photos, so people post the best photos they have for the day. For example, celebrities like @Rihanna and @justinbieber will post:

– A photo that tells a story.
– A picture with a new article of clothing.
– A picture of you lounging at home.

Celebrities like Drake and Taylor Swift, among others, post pictures of their work, behind the scenes, and some photos from their daily life. This shows that they are people above all else. In common with people, brand pages can:

– Post pictures of their location. Burberry, “A 156 year-old global brand with distinctly British attitude”, has pictures of a London sunset.
– Post pictures pictures of events. Burberry has a few photos about an event in Taipei, while Urban Outfitters had a nail art event.
– Post pictures of special deals. Urban Outfitters has a photo promoting a giant Vans shoe giveaway.

There are certainly various ways to gain followers, but some of those ideas can certainly help. Most importantly, keep things interesting.

And I know you’re asking yourself, “Who’s that male model in the Instagrammed photo above?” Ehh, just some guy.