Archive for February, 2013

The Future of Mobile Communications

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Over the past few years Local Search, that genre of organic search that can reach consumers on the sidewalk outside the door to your business, has seen a few changes. From its humble beginnings to the current fast rate of technology development, marketers and tech-lovers have learned to rethink their marketing strategies and their budgets in a hurry to keep up!

To get an idea of where we are going, lets take a quick look at what got us here…(approximate dates courtesy of the SEO Moz Google Algorithm Change History).

The Holy Grail of marketing for small-mid sized business is finding consumers who are near the business, well-defined demographically, and ready to buy. For a long, long time, this meant direct mail. The following is a very brief history of how direct mail has evolved into highly targeted internet marketing.

  • Non-Localized Search, just over 7 years ago, had everyone competing for search in the same arena; search results were not localized.
  • Local Search Begins (approx March, 2005): Google opens their doors on the Local Business Center; local search becomes a viable advertising medium for small business and businesses began to gear up and get online at a rapid rate.
  • The Age of Hyperlocal Search: New websites come online that keep highly localized data up-to-date. Where print newspapers once contained information about what is happening on your block, that information begins to become available online. Blogs by local people, online newspaper, online grocery ads, meetings, school functions, and more, all become available online in a wide variety of formats. In many ways, people are beginning to learn to go online instead of calling their neighbors. Data is inherently not real time and any location based services work from IP address which can be inaccurate.
  • Bring on the Mobile: The age of the smartphone now brings us closer to the holy grail of local search, crossing the barrier between local stores and the consumer. QR codes, roadmaps to a digital location, become readily available. More and more types of businesses begin to use them to cross boundaries with their advertising (including Google). Detailed product information is now available at the punch of a few buttons. Marketers now have many new ways to create offers for highly targeted segments. With the use of geo-location, location services begin to become very accurate and controlled by the user.

Enough yet? Then the tech crowd went crazy, literally and figuratively…

The paradigm that is local search is now changing from a desktop user based query to user accepted mobile push queries where marketers send the user the best deals. Apps allow marketers direct access to buying segments (Shopkick and many more), geo-fencing is used by the real estate industry to push locations of open houses to people walking in the neighborhood, and more.

  • The Term SoLoMo is Coined: Just over 1 year old now, SoLoMo or Social Local Mobile search gradually works its way into the niches of our lives with check-ins on FourSquare, later on Facebook and Facebook Places, local search services even allow check-ins from mountain tops.
  • By now NFC, or near field communication, has been used for a while and its use now begins to expand from the real estate community (Geo-fencing – allowing users to find open houses in while walking in neighborhoods where homes are for sale) to inter-phone communication and even paying for parking meters. Many start ups are now based on this technology and this technology is helping mobile communications grow at an almost exponential rate.
  • Retail goes mobile with wireless, relatively inexpensive card readers, allowing retail locations to be mobile. This availability of credit card processing encourages the growth of micro and small businesses.
  • In our very near future we will be paying by smartphone. We are already depositing checks by smartphone, checking in for flights, paying for parking via smartphone, starting our cars by smartphone, even controlling lights and music in our homes by smartphone. We can even look forward to a new future for retail…will paper and coin cash become obsolete?
  • As we grow into mobile usage and tablets become more sophisticated and more available, the definition of mobile is being expanded to include tablets. Tablets have seen never ending creative use in science, medicine, and industry. Where will this portion of the mobile industry go?

What I question is, with all of the energy savings and ease of SoLoMo, will we gain more leisure time to go check-in on a local mountain? Also, I am wondering what the check-in command will be for Google Glass!

This revolution in mobile marketing is here and in a world where there are 200 million mobile views each day on alone, I am sure it is here to stay.

Overwhelmed yet? FiG can guide you through this maze with a digital marketing strategy that pays. Contact us today.

How Will Google Glass Change Your Life?

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Unlike Apple, who constantly leaves us hanging with rumors of various new products, Google announced last week that their Google Glass is not, in fact, a rumor, but a reality that will be available for consumers by next year. Since the announcement, the web has been filled with chatter about the product, what it does and what effects it will have, including on advertising.

Google Glass itself, will basically be a bluetooth type extension of your smartphone for your eyes, using data from your phone to function. Much like Apple’s Siri, Google Glass will offer hands free searching, GPS, photo & video, sharing, sending a message, along with a number of other applications. Instead of using your phone for these things, you will be able to use glass. The visual comes into play as an overlay on the real life surfaces in front of you.
How Will Google Glass Change Your Life
How is Google Glass relevant to the marketing and advertising industry?  New technology brings new ways consumers interact with products and services.  This will force companies and their marketing efforts to also adapt in order to reach their target markets.  There are a number of ways Google Glass could influence the industry:

  • Google already collects large amounts of data from Google, Google+ and Youtube. Google Glass will be another way to gather user data that companies are hoping to have access too.
  • While Google currently claims there are no plans to have advertising on Glass, advertisers are already dreaming of how they can use the overlay, creating an ad come to life.
  • For creatives, the ability to take hands free photos and videos could mean a whole new way to do a first person prospective. Those who get their hands on one early are sure to be experimenting with it.

Overall, the response to the announcement has been optimistic and positive, with only a few negative comments mixed in, some claiming the product to be too “Star Trekkie” for them. At a cost of $1,500, there is also skepticism about consumer acceptance. It will be interesting to see the response and potential Glass offers for companies on the consumer level once it is out and we can see first hand what it can really do (and perhaps at a lower price).

To get a better idea of what Google Glass will be like, check out the video.

FiG Turns Four

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

In 2009, Denver brand agency, FiG Advertising and Marketing was born. Thanks to our two founders, a better way to interact with clients throughout the creative process became our foundation.  Since then, the company has grown to 8, moved into a new office and we are happy to be celebrating our 4th anniversary!

FiG could not have made it this far without our wonderful clients and we extend a big THANK YOU to all of them. We are so happy to be here and grateful for all our clients over the past few years who have trusted in our ability to build your brands.

A few of our new clients and finished projects over the past year include:

We also extend a big thank you to our returning clients for trusting us, year after year, with continued search engine optimization, website maintenance, and marketing campaigns.

This year, FiG also won two Marcom Gold Awards for CourtSide Consulting’s logo and Fall River Benefit’s website.

FiG takes pride in everything we do and enjoy seeing our clients grow and prosper. We look forward to many new and continued relationships in the coming years as we continue to grow.

Ad of the Month: AHP Reaches Doctors Differently

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

For this ad of the month, Africa Health Placements, or AHP, knew they needed a clever and different way to approach doctors as they work to recruit them. With eight medical schools in Africa and about 1,200 graduates a year, there are still 35% of posts in public health that are vacant due to half of the graduates leaving or working in the private sector.   Given the challenge, the organization teamed with South African agency Boomtown to come up with something quite clever indeed.  They mailed small packages to doctors containing a radio ad, but not just any radio ad.  A pressure activated device was used so that when triggered,  it played a recording at a low frequency that was only audible through a stethoscope.  Check out the video below.

AHP’s multimedia approach is innovative and takes what could have been a simple mailer to a new level.  The organization is able to reach their target audience and engage them, prompting the use of a personal and common instrument in their daily lives.
It may take more than an cool ad to get doctors to Africa, but it definitely gets one thinking. Compliments to Africa Health Placements and Boomtown on a well executed campaign.

If your company or organization is looking for a great marketing campaign, contact FiG to find out what we can do for you!