Archive for Jeff Hasen

Why The Coolest Things Often Aren't What Many Marketers Think

Posted by Jeff Hasen on April 6th, 2014 at 8:38 am

The effects of the South By Southwest flu have surely passed for those who spent early March sleep-deprived in Austin. But what about the malady that manifests itself in a marketer chasing shiny objects?
It happens every year. Pragmatism gets left at home, replaced by the expectation that the “cooler than cool” folks at SXSW will see “cooler than cool” technology and services. Then, they will bring those “solutions” to their marketing programs and all will be cool.
Except consumers are anything but cool early adopters.
So just what are our target audiences responding to in the real world?
Yard signs.
And messages on printed receipts.
Before you say that those are uncool, let me explain.
Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO of Square and co-founder of Twitter, is one of those cool dudes who you see in Austin. Of all things, he sees the printed receipt as underused and a next-generation point of engagement with consumers.
“What if we see the receipt more as a publishing medium — a product unto itself that people actually want to take home, that they want to engage with, be fully interactive with?” Dorsey said earlier this year at the National Retail Federation’s annual expo. ”What can we do with this everyday... Read more

Leaving The Future Thinking To The Futurists

Posted by Jeff Hasen on March 30th, 2014 at 8:37 am

One of the wisest marketers I know advised me to not look beyond six months when we were putting together a co-presentation for an iMedia Summit.
“No one knows,” she said, pointing to a dizzying pace of technological advancements that could upend our marketing programs.
It was with that lens that I read a comprehensive “preview” of the future put out by the Pew Research Internet Project. The highly-regarded non-profit, which has long been one of my go-to’s for knowledge, surveyed futurists, academics and others about where we’ll be in 2025.
Here are some of the notable predictions:
Barry Chudakov, a Florida-based consultant and a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, wrote that by 2020, “Technology will be so seamlessly integrated into our lives that it will effectively disappear. The line between self and technology is thin today; by then it will effectively vanish.”
Tiffany Shlain, creator of the AOL series The Future Starts Here, and founder of The Webby Awards, said, “Access to the Internet will be a international human right. The diversity of perspectives from all different parts of the globe tackling some of our biggest problems will lead to breakthroughs we can’t imagine... Read more

Wearables With Inaccurate Data Are Hardly A Fit

Posted by Jeff Hasen on January 1st, 2014 at 5:28 pm

On the morning of Dec. 25, when the most strenuous thing I had done was to push the button on my Macbook Pro, my new Fitbit Force showed that I had burned 861 calories.
I considered it a Christmas miracle.
Or a sham.
I figured that despite an exercise program that my doctor said put me in the top 1 percent of his patients, I owed it to myself, profession and gut to try on this “wearable” thing. You know the category that some claim will replace the smartphone.
Former New York Times personal technology columnist David Pogue, now reporting for Yahoo, had put the Fitbit Force on the list or products he personally would buy. That clinched it for me when my wife asked what I wanted for a holiday present.
First came the so-called “unboxing”. Pogue had warned readers about the difficulty for some in getting the band to stay on the wrist. Absolutely, that was the case. It fell off several times in the first few days of use.
Setup was significantly harder than an elevator ride. The lauded Fitbit dongle for syncing is a tiny USB stick that could easily end up in the mouth of a child or puppy. Keeping it... Read more

Answering Your Holiday Wish To Cut Through Responsive Design Hype

Posted by Jeff Hasen on December 3rd, 2013 at 8:46 am

My 2013 Mobile All-Hype list includes wearables, Real-time Bidding (RTB), “mobile only” and responsive design.
To hear some tell it, responsive design is the end-all, as much of a no-brainer as indoor plumbing.
Or is it?
Mobile expert Michael Becker and I explored the pros and cons recently in a webinar for Market Motive.
Here’s some of what was discussed:
First, here’s a definition. Responsive design is an approach for developing a flexible, fluid and adaptive web experience across digital media properties. These may include personal computer, mobile web and applications (phones, tablets, phablets), email, SmartTVs, and the aforementioned wearables.
There are just as many reasons to do it as not.
Why go there?

To establish a solid “customer-first” presence and consistent brand experience

Responsive design provides the broadest reach for both sustained presence and campaigns

It can make tracking your customer’s journey across different platforms easier

It forces you to concentrate on mobile first, meaning you really define what the core content for your site is

If you don’t, Google will punish you in organic search results because they’re looking for an optimized mobile first experience

Why you shouldn’t go there:

Your data may not warrant it right now – you may not have enough visitors or open emails now

You don’t have the budget

A responsive design... Read more

A Summer Check-In On Mobile Adoption

Posted by Jeff Hasen on July 9th, 2013 at 7:36 am

There are two givens on the annual summer getaway to the family cabin in Wisconsin: the boat won’t start and I’ll get a reality check on whatever progress I believe that we’ve made with mobile adoption.
Sure enough, the boat worked for one day, then crapped out for the rest of the trip despite actions to prevent such an occurrence.  But there was no woe be us -- we rented for much of the week and made the best of it.
As to wireless usage, one might say that no use would’ve been appropriate given that we were on a vacation. But while others were at “Digital Detox” camp http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/01/tech/mobile/digital-detox-camp, those around me were as connected as frustration and my putter.
Specifically:

My 83-year-old mother in law was streaming classical music via the iHeartRadio app on her iPhone.

There was an extended discussion among five about smartphone ringtone selections with Marimba receiving way more support than the choice to have the device ring with a dog’s bark.

Photo sharing was as common as the swatting of a mosquito with shots of sunsets, eagles, and family members being sent to Facebook, Twitter and via email to those away from the action.

Navigation came through apps rather than maps.

Access... Read more