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Up Up and Away: Commercial Drone Market Ready for Take Off

Drone proponents prefer using the term Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or UAS for Unmanned Aerial System (latter term includes the entirety of the flying vehicle and the ground-base communications connection connecting the two). Whatever your preferred verbiage is, drones are poised to become a huge global business and the aerial devices are going to have a significant impact across a wide variety of industries.

Historically, the military has been the biggest user/purchaser of drones; The Wall Street Journal estimated that the U.S. military spent about $3 billion on drone programs in 2012. And many aerospace companies continue to develop highly sophisticated machines that are lightweight and easy to assemble/launch.

Columbus, MS-based Stark Aerospace, for instance, recently rolled out ArrowLite™, a small UAS system that supports the U.S. Army Hunter MQ-5B UAS. It weighs less than 7 lbs. and can be assembled and hand-launched in less than 90 seconds.

Looking beyond the military, commercial drones will soon take on much larger roles for businesses and even for individual consumers. ...

Data lessons for automakers that all marketers should learn

Posted by Damian Garbaccio in Opinions on August 29th, 2014 at 11:48 am

The automotive industry is a highly lucrative and competitive market and as such, automakers are constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves – including how they market to prospective buyers. With consumers regularly revealing meaningful insights about their consumption behaviors across devices, automakers have the opportunity to turn data and insights about potential customers into meaningful messaging.

But more data doesn’t necessarily mean that an automaker is more likely to successfully engage with existing and potential consumers to drive additional sales. The reality is that marketing magic comes from taking a smarter approach to data to gain a 360-degree view of your customers wherever they might be in the process of purchasing a new vehicle.

In fact, there is a relatively long consideration period during which a prospective car buyer cycles through several different stages: contemplating a car purchase, deciding to make that purchase, deciding between new and used, considering various makes, models and options, weighing various financing options, etc. Data reveals where your customer is on that journey, their intent to purchase, as well as a number of other factors that might be influencing the buying process.

That said, automakers have a very specific set of circumstances within which their marketing...

The Power of Social Influence: From a Bucket of Ice to the End of a Relationship

Posted by Glenn Pingul in Targeting Wireless on August 29th, 2014 at 10:46 am

Hi.  My name is Glenn Pingul and my daughter nominated me to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I will donate $25 to ALS and nominate…

By now, I’m sure everyone has been exposed to the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’ – by either experiencing the freezing sensation or laughing hysterically at the thousands of bloopers circulating on the social media front.  Initiated by one person with a challenge to three people, the phenomenon has now exploded into more than 4 million challenges and more importantly, more than $94 million (compared to $2.7 million during the same period last year) in donated funds to the ALS Association.

This is a great testament to the willingness of people to contribute to the greater good (and to humiliate themselves in the name of good fun), and more than valid proof of the power of social influence. Just think – what other channel or technique can spread the word and drive action that quickly?

Social influence is by no means a new concept or technique – it’s been used by governments, businesses, politicians, etc. for years.  Ever added that ‘other people who bought this also bought this’ item to your online shopping cart or...

Drive Your Social Selling Via 140 Character Social Listening

Posted by Tara Meehan in Opinions Social Media on August 27th, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Some of the best tweets are the ones you don’t send. Think about it. Think about how you currently use Twitter. To this day, I mainly use the Blue Birdie to listen to reactions to trends happening in entertainment. For instance, Twitter shines like no other social network during an awards show. As soon as Nicki Minaj had her dress malfunction at the VMAs, I was checking out the hashtags. For Twitter haters, this has been a consistent reason to attack it; to point out bad spelling or trivial idiocy and those criticisms certainly have their place. But when used properly, especially in this grand age of social selling, Twitter can rock your listening strategy and help you identify intelligent (yes intelligent on Twitter) leads.

Back in the blogging day, I wrote about needing to think before you tweeted. That’s truer now than ever before. Social media is saturated with information. People are constantly trying to position themselves as subject matter authorities. It’s crowded out there so knowing what you’re talking about is essential. That takes learning. That takes listening.

There are tactical methods to properly listen on Twitter. Still, it’s OK to impart some high level strategy – really. You...

Navigating the Shift From TV to Mobile

Posted by Dan Wittmers in Opinions on August 27th, 2014 at 10:45 am

Until recently, traditional TV players had brushed off the notion that digital will have a heavy impact on their business or market share. Honestly who could blame them, considering the platform continues to grow (even today), but the mistake in this thinking was not taking the shift in technology or viewer behaviors into account. The heavy up-tick in digital video options along with the introduction of smartphones and tablets has given consumers something they never had before with traditional television – a choice!

YouTube alone boasts nearly 1 billion unique visitors to their site chalking up over 6 billion hours of video watched each month—that's almost an hour for every person on Earth. The introduction of mobile devices powerful enough to stream HD and 4K video has only fueled this trend to continue growing at double digit multiples, as close to 40% of YouTube consumption now comes from mobile, according to a recent BI Intelligence study. With no slowdown in site, there’s no doubt that the opportunity for content creators, distributors and advertisers is greater than it’s ever been.

So why...