Marketing Proactively in 2014
Originally Posted On iRGONOMIC
At the end of the fiscal year we are often asked by clients to paint a vision for next year’s marketing plan in an effort to generate growth for a brand’s product or service. When our clients look under the hood, it’s typical to find a well balanced blend of channel activation programs comprised of CRM, digital campaigns, social and enterprise solutions.
Then the client might think: Was there a profitable exchange for your digital services?
To get answers, we make a few calls to our media partners. Dredge metrics from a sea of reports we have available online. Through simple math, Spend divided by Conversions, we derive at a cost per acquisition (assuming these leads have an origin). At this time of the year, Marketing Directors of the world and CMOs alike will be seeking budgets. While agency strategists will have already begun spinning the wheels to determine what’s worked and what’s showing promise.
2014 is upon us. At the end of this year we wont’ be judged by marketing actively; we’re going to be judged by marketing proactively. We owe it to our clients to manage their money well and the time is now to start planning. With the wealth of marketing platform data we have available, small to medium size corporations are conducting business like yesterdays medium to large size corporations. The average business owner today can manage their marketing efforts in real-time and plan concurrently though out the year. The launch & wait game is over for clients now that the digital ecosystem is inter-connected. The only thing preventing us from connecting our marketing plan is not planning to connect it in the first place.
Here are 3 Sure-Fire Ways to Stay Ahead
01 Create a User Journey
Get a bird’s eye view of your overall marketing strategy by mapping it out. Hypothesize mindsets, motivations, channel touch points, competitor obstacles, and even emotional barriers. Understand your users from the outside looking in. Know where they’ve been. Where they need to go in the value chain. Your entire team (including the client) will be able to think more strategically about which tactical components make sense to those which pose pitfalls.
02 Write for Search:
Organic search is still the highest ranking acquisition channel. We often forget that many of our client’s digital properties are on the web. Lets write for it. We can still fulfill the needs of our client’s brand voice while enabling search in context. And the best part is, we can continue to do what we all do best:
Creative thinking. Enterprise Collaboration Tools. Mobile Apps. Web Apps. E-CRM. Viral Marketing. Wearables. If it sounds like buzz words are being thrown around, in reality, its the author trying to garner attention from Google search.
03 Follow Your Leads:
Viewership generate leads. Leads become conversions. Conversions turn into revenue. Understanding how customers are behaving in the funnel through analytics will allow you to identify which lead tactics are successful in your overall marketing strategy.
With the suite of marketing platforms available today, such as our recent partner in crime (Hubspot), we can gather real-time insights to tailor our client’s message by simply tracking user patterns on the journey. And through the same data, we can determine the probability of user conversion by segmenting them into distinctive groups to delivery messages that speak to them on a personal level. The list goes on and planning ahead will not only impact the return on your client’s investment, but the insights necessary to draw conclusions.
Originally Posted On iRGONOMIC
When we think of the term ‘app’ we typically think of the iTunes App Store or Google Play, or the Amazon Marketplace. Distribution channels managed by larger entities that allow content to be published by a swarming network of developers who are adding thousands of new apps every day. Its overwhelming for sure. Overwhelming for the developer who has to create an amazing app, get it approved, market it, and plan iterative launch schedules through out the year (if they’re successful). For distributors like Google Play, its just as arduous. The team
at Google needs to support the market demands in aligning better user experiences for devices, in addition to api improvements on their SDK. Its a ton of work, and the process can be time consuming.
The other ‘app’ we often overlook are web-based apps. As of late, with recent developments in HTML5, there are a growing number of web-based apps such as GrooveShark, a streaming music player, that allows you to listen to music and, we can even skip songs too. And (at times) offers a better user experience than Spotify’s mobile app.
Steve Newcomb, CEO & Founder of famo.us, a new HTML5 platform is making truly amazing advances in the technology, allowing dynamic content that is truly mind boggling. And with the latest Android update we’re beginning to see mobile web content call native functions on the device such as the camera.
With advancements in HTML5, we may (one day), move away from the app store ecosystem. Although its years away from reality, our mobile and customer experience would truly benefit. It would help marketers and brands create utilities or branded experiences for customers, without having barriers of entry. Developers can retain their 30%, with the trade-off being they’re no longer in a distribution network. With about a million apps on the app store, its already crowded as it is. But hey, content will once again be real-time and dynamic. And since we’ve already been accustomed to paying for content in increments of $.99 , we wouldn’t even mind paying for mobile-web content if it were worth it.
Rolling the dice on a Mobile Web App Store –
Mobile Workflow: An Adobe Illustrator Script Every Mobile Designer should use.
A game development team created a useful script to batch save multiple pngs in multiple resolutions, from multiple artboards, and multiple layers in Adobe Illustrator. After you’ve completed your design, simply name your layers starting with a hastag (#) or percentage (%) and run the script from the menu. In literally seconds, you will have pngs @original and @2x. Check it our here, by arcticmill
Indoor Toddler Gym: Engineered by Daddy. 03.05.13 With the winter slowly approaching and an energized 2 year old, an idea emerged to fill a void in our daily family routine. An indoor gym that could substitute the the lack of outdoor playground-time for Preston. While unsatisfied with the products currently available on the market, most of which, are hard plastic, and often times requires close parental supervision, went to the drawing board. After drafting several versions of the design, and taking into consideration the cost, the time, raw materials, and factoring the tight space we have in our living room, I came up with a contraption equipped with  Climbing Steps (four steps in total),  a Semi-Slide, and a  Jumping Pit. With all parts are interchangeable and collapses for easy storage. And if we need to scale the product for new features, I’ve already factored potential ideas on how to expand the current model. Made of sheets of vinyl and Polyurethane foam (used mostly for car upholstery) the prototype was an instant hit for the little one; who happens to be a tough tough customer. The benefits have been great. Builds gross motor skills. Gives mom & dad unadulterated time during the week. Like the George Foreman Grill, “Set it and forget it”.
Indoor Toddler Gym: Engineered by Daddy.
With the winter slowly approaching and an energized 2 year old, an idea emerged to fill a void in our daily family routine. An indoor gym that could substitute the the lack of outdoor playground-time for Preston. While unsatisfied with the products currently available on the market, most of which, are hard plastic, and often times requires close parental supervision, went to the drawing board. After drafting several versions of the design, and taking into consideration the cost, the time, raw materials, and factoring the tight space we have in our living room, I came up with a contraption equipped with  Climbing Steps (four steps in total),  a Semi-Slide, and a  Jumping Pit. With all parts are interchangeable and collapses for easy storage. And if we need to scale the product for new features, I’ve already factored potential ideas on how to expand the current model. Made of sheets of vinyl and Polyurethane foam (used mostly for car upholstery) the prototype was an instant hit for the little one; who happens to be a tough tough customer. The benefits have been great. Builds gross motor skills. Gives mom & dad unadulterated time during the week. Like the George Foreman Grill, “Set it and forget it”.
HomeFoam Toddler Gym™ – (patent pending)
A step forward in mobile. A huge leap for HTML5.
HTML5 has been a buzz word for the last several years. Commonly used to improve self awareness in client meetings, and great for marketing. Who doesn’t love that glossy orange web 2.0 shield? With rather slow progress, Famo.us, founded by serial entrepreneur, Steve Newcomb, has truly made a leap, in quality, performance, and design. Powered in JS, and compatible with mobile browsers, the experience is reminiscent of “papervision”, but with with gestural touch-screen controls, the interaction is far superior to the flash incumbent. Sign up for beta development is accepted now at: http://famo.us/c/ (video below)
At the WWDC. Mostly for Workshops.
At the WWDC this year. First time. For those visiting for the first time, the W Hotel was the most convenient place, and where most of the attendees headed after the daily conferences. And the rooms are super clean and walking distance to the Moscone Center. The opening Keynote, was about as close to a the live feeds one would expect from TechCrunch. Met some really amazing folks at Apple. Accommodating and professional like an Apple Store. Came prepared with api level questions, and had most of them answered. Probably won’t be going back again, but was certainly an experience worth visiting.
Latest App Icon designs for creation. Camera4D.
Creating an app icon is imperative in any product design plan. Its the first and last marketing touch-point before a user presses the “buy-now” button. Skeumorphic is getting played, but is still prevalent in many new & noteworthy apps. The two options below are a inspired by an abstract camera with colors that represent the 4D. Not entirely sure which one to go with, but perhaps we may go back to the drawing board. @Jumpmodo.
Must be nice to be a technologist.
At the pace the tech industry is moving it is becoming more critical for entrepreneurs to stay on top of their game. Almost every quarter a new social API, Software Kit, a new payment platform or proximity device is announced to the world. And now more than ever, technologists are leading the herd to determine what’s next while those less technologically savvy will continue to dream big with divided attention. To help sift through the pan, we read up on documentation releases (in certain cases, private) or attend developer conferences hosting thousands of developers, such as the World Wide Developer Conference which sold out in a few hours after the morning it was announced. All in hopes to help us identify an untapped break-through. We often hear about independent designers & developers teaming up to create a new app during their spare time, making monthly fortunes to an otherwise unavailable market. Last year we read how several Venture Capital firms
invested a series of rounds amounting to $4MM in a company called Kiip, run by a 19-year-old that developed a new category for real-life advertising for mobile gaming. And to that end, the stereotype of the ‘dark basement developer’ is shedding new light as a recent start-up sponsors a 10-day developer hack-a-thon in Costa Rica. Includes a luxury villa and a chef that serves three meals a day to keep the Python blood flowing. And while speculators predict a ‘bubble’, the one sector that continually shows momentum (at least for the next three years) is mobile.
In my own pursuit to keep up with the momentum, I spent the better part of the last 14 years working, studying and researching the Digital medium. Majored in Design Technology & Marketing at the New School & Parsons School of design. Created award-winning digital campaigns for Fortune 500 brands. In 2010, created an app called the iSwing™
(the first mobile golf swing analyzer) which became the #1 Sports App on iTunes. Sold over 200,000 units globally and spawned a partnership deal with a leading PGA TOUR golfer (Adam Scott), to whom I still haven’t met in person. During the same week at #1, New Orleans was hit by hurricane Katrina. Touched by the news, I contributed a portion of my proceeds to Red Cross which ended up being more rewarding than the success of the app.
In short, the emergence of new technologies has created a tremendous amount of opportunity for myself and others. By keeping up with the times it will certainly help us identify a trend from a fad, but knowing when to react to them, in today’s climate, will be a continuing challenge.