'Wireless' Category

Diluting and Confusing Is Hardly A Smart Holiday Marketing Strategy

Posted by Jeff Hasen on December 1st, 2014 at 7:08 pm

We’re the all-powerful marketing team and when we say that something is a deal, then it darn well is.
Unless it’s not.
The slow-pitch, knock-it-out-of-the-park prediction was that mobile would set sales records Black Friday (whenever that is – more on this is a second) and Cyber Monday. More have smartphones, brands have made mobile a focus, mobile web sites aren’t buffering like they did on BlackBerry devices in 2005, and we’re a society that craves convenience. Or is lazy.
Or both.
What seems to have caught many by surprise is that much like a giraffe is a giraffe even if we tell others that it’s a rhino, Black Friday is a day. Not a week. Not a month. Heck, someone might try to call all of 2015 Black Friday.
Except that it’s foolish to extend a dedicated shopping day to a longer period and then to whine about a dip in Black Friday sales. Ummm, you asked them to buy on what everyone else calls a Monday. They were done by Friday – or didn’t believe that the “deals” were few and fleeting.
We might look back and say that extending the “special days” to longer periods made sense because overall sales were up, but... Read more

Technology Transforming the Fashion Industry

Posted by Neal Leavitt on November 27th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Last week after a nice lunch with my sister, niece, brother-in-law and cousin, I got corralled into following them into Nordstrom’s in downtown San Francisco. I quickly realized that with only two magazines, a book, and a smartphone, it would be a challenging afternoon.
And once my niece pulled about a half-dozen outfits off a rack and said “I just want to try on a few things,” the situation became untenable. Elevated heart rate. Accelerated pulse. Beads of sweat on forehead. If the store had started playing Slim Whitman songs, my head would have exploded, similar to what happened to the little green Martians in Tim Burton’s campy Mars Attacks.
Quickly gave everyone a hug and said I was dashing out to Ghirardelli’s for a sundae (dark chocolate hot fudge; medical studies have indicated dark chocolate’s good for you, ergo, Ghirardelli’s sundaes are healthy. Bit of twisted logic but effective for assuaging any guilt feelings).
But while scraping away the last nanometer of ice cream, it got me thinking about how technology has radically changed the fashion industry in just a few short years.
“Technology is now completely ingrained in our interaction and relationship with fashion retail,” said... Read more

Are You Successful If 5-7% of Your Customers Engage Through Mobile?

Posted by Jeff Hasen on November 16th, 2014 at 10:55 am

Google’s Jason Spero, up there with Mary Meeker as a “must-hear” speaker on mobile activity and where we are headed, recently chided the industry for focusing so much on app installs.
He also said that while a brand that sees 5-7% of its customers being reached by mobile is labeled a success, there is an opportunity for much more if marketers would give consumers more ways to “take action”.
“My fear is that we as an industry have over-indexed on app installs as the goal, when what we need to focus on is the mobile consumer who wants to solve real-world problems like booking a flight or buying makeup,” Spero, Google's VP of Performance Media, said in a keynote at the M1 Summit in San Francisco.
“There is so much revenue to be made for an app install, but it's a very small part of what is going on for consumers in mobile. It’s about recognizing that moment and recognizing what they want and need in that moment”.
Spero (@speroman) pointed to what he called ”fundamental consumer behavior changes”, adding that they are “planning, researching, buying and finding on mobile.
“Think about how you serve broader action on mobile.”
Meeker, a partner at venture capital firm... Read more

2015 Just Around the Corner: So What’s the Skinny on Digital Marketing Trends?

Posted by Neal Leavitt on October 26th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Quality content. Content marketing. Mobile-friendly content. Ad retargeting.
Scores of pundits and prognosticators awake and arise this time of year from their marketing crypts to make predictions, outline scenarios on what they see as hot digital marketing trends for the upcoming year. And we see a lot of those aforementioned terms – and others – you know what some of them are - year-after-year, being bandied about and re-purposed.
To use some pirate vernacular, “arrrggggghhhhhh!”
All good-intentioned, most impart a lot of useful info-nuggets but it’s easy to get lost in the morass.
So is there anything really interesting that might help drive awareness of products/services, and ultimately sales next year?
Yup.
Internet Retailer recently did a search marketing survey (full results being published in November) from mid-September to mid-October encompassing responses from 95 participants; about two-thirds identified themselves as working for web-only retailers.
Some interesting survey snippets:
• 46.2% reported increased traffic to their e-commerce sites over the past year through natural, or organic search;
• 32.9% generated at least half of their online sales through their paid search and organic search programs combined;
• 40.3% said their search marketing budgets increased over the past year;
• 53.3% said they would increase their pay-per-click search spending... Read more

How Your Devices Learn to Talk to You

Posted by Willie Pena on October 17th, 2014 at 11:15 am

Truly intelligent machines may still be years in the future but that doesn’t mean we can’t come pretty close in all sorts of coo ways with our own current personal devices.
The science of automatic speech recognition (ASR) and interactive voice response technology (IVR) have both advanced dramatically in the last few years and the results are definitely notable. Devices like the iPhone with their Siri voice recognition interface are one particularly famous (and very useful) example but Siri isn’t alone anymore.
Let’s take a look at how these incredible technologies work and how they learn to interact with us in ways that make our lives easier.
The Basics: How ASR Technology Works
The essential process of automatic speech recognition technology is pretty straightforward. In pretty much all cases, it follows these steps:

You speak into your device
The device creates a wave from the sound you made
The background noise behind your voice is reduced and the volume is normalized.
The resulting filtered wave form (sound sequence)  is broken down into a series of phonemes (which are the basic building block sounds that form our words; 44 of them exist in English)
Each phoneme is like a chain link, by analyzing the first phoneme, your device statistically analyses... Read more