Mobile Minutes: Tablets, foursquare, Facebook messaging, Bubblenews


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IBeacon implementation at Bonnaroo suggests future improvements for live events


Bonnaroo, an annual four-day music festival, spread more than 100 iBeacons across key ingress and egress points, campgrounds and main entryways this month to provide organizers and sponsors access to usage data following the event.

Designed by Aloompa, the iBeacon deployment helped aid the festival in improving attendee experience, created an interactive experience for users with non-intrusive proximity based messaging, and laid the groundwork for real-time crowd heat mapping.

To receive the most up-to-date information and announcements from an event, attendees have traditionally had to rely on push notifications to deliver those, said Drew Burchfield, founder of Aloopma. Since push notifications typically go to a larger group of people, they need to be very general in nature.

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Beacons allow an event to now deliver similar messages as users are walking by a certain point on site such as an entrance, water station, parking lot, etc.

We see the biggest areas of enhancement being the relevancy factor that beacons bring to the table. Another big area is giving insight to festivals on the current status of certain areas such as gate wait times, he said.

Compelling conclusions
At events, many of the use cases on the consumer side for beacons are serving the consumers instead of trying to encourage them to buy something. From a functional perspective, the capabilities are the same, but from a consumer’s perspective, the festival experience has already been paid for, so the vested interest is in enhancing this.

iBeacon enabled messaging

For the system to work, Bonnaroo attendees needed to install a native app on their iOS-based device. Bonnaroo discovered that certain conditions create obstacles in beacon functionality – for example, beacons placed in a bush or a fountain inhibit communication, and that proximity based messaging is much more efficient than traditional broadcast push notifications that go to every app user.

Bonnaroo was able to control the messaging based on how the attendees behaved rather than using blanket messages that may not be relevant for everyone.

iBeacon heat mapping

One hurdle they found technology faces is the fact that iOS users have to say yes to two prompts in the app (one system and one app related) as well as keep the background refreshed and bluetooth turned on just to have the chance to interact with iBeacons.

Although marrying a device to the beacon network is not yet seamless, the user side of the technology allows for a new way of looking back – a “retrospective itinerary” that shows users where they were, who they were with, and when they were there. No longer limited to looking at photos and rereading Tweets, festival-goers can now relive their experience in a truly innovative way.

Our biggest challenge at the moment is the temporal nature of an event and the quantity of beacons we end up deploying, Mr. Burchfield said. Many implementations of beacons in the world are either small in quantity or permanent installations.

Large temporal deployments have their unique challenges.

Staying sharp on the perpetual innovation in the space is our second big challenge long term at the moment, he said.

Different implications
One of the biggest concerns regarding iBeacons is whether or not the experience will become intrusive for users. Marketers run the risk of frustrating consumers and the potential deletion of an app.

However many retailers have honed their approach and execution and have witnessed app and ad engagements skyrocket. A recent study by inMarket found that beacon deployments which complement users preferred experiences lead to more in-store usage, brand engagement and app retention.

Over a 30-day period in April-May 2014, 25,000 shoppers using inMarkets Mobile to Mortar enabled apps interacted with advertised products at an increased rate of 19 times when receiving a beacon message. Moreover, in-store app usage was 16.5 times greater for users who received a beacon message and those shoppers were 6.4 times more likely to keep an app on their phone, versus those who did not.

The end result is consumers will need to spend less time figuring out what the best purchase decision is, and showrooming will be now an opportunity to convert interest and intentions to purchases while in the store.

Targeted offers are also a critical ingredient in acquiring repeat customers.

As consumer purchasing power rises, obtaining new customers may be difficult with the flood of money-saving apps. Consumer connectedness to online and mobile applications facilitates a real-time feeling of fulfillment at the point-of-sale, which couponing giant, RetailMeNot, intends to focus on.

Its advertising and marketing agreement with Circuit of the Americas stadium enables RetailMeNot to promote its services to more than a million fans attending events at the new motorsport and entertainment venue.

RetailMeNots evolution into event-driven marketing will use existing data gathered from a customers background and purchases to analyze and predict specific moments to offer special promotions from brands including Anheuser-Busch, Best Buy, Pepsi and Red Bull.

Winning the path to purchase is becoming more difficult for retailers as they attempt to angle and predict the ebb and flow of consumers who are now the leaders of omni-channel trends. Location intelligence offered by beacons can tell retailers customer wants and needs in the moment and by pairing this information with customer profiles, retailers can create a holistic experience.

The San Francisco Giants installed 19 devices in mid-February at all fan entry and exit points of the ballpark, and the LA Dodgers reportedly have nearly 65 iBeacons, per the MLB. Geo-location tools allow sports and live-event organizations to get more creative in how they target fans.

iBeacons in-stadium

This includes looking at how long someone stays in one location, how often they visit the venue, and what purchases they made. One thing that could theoretically be done with beacons is optimizing the flow of lines or traffic. Bonnaroos feedback and conclusions suggests this is one area that could be correlated from a big data perspective by understanding how people were behaving at the time.

We will be the first to say that we dont know what the future holds with beacons, but what we can see is the value of proximity based and contextual interactions, Mr. Burchfield said.

We see a blend of hardware on various devices that you own, or receive just for the day, interacting with each other to give you a better experience at an event and give the festival insight on how to make you happier while you are there.

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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Fox News’ mobile traffic increases 20pc since optimization move


Fox News revamped its mobile Web site to an adaptive system mere months ago and has already seen a 20 percent increase in viewership.

The move to mobile-first shows a pursuit to please smartphone users, and these positive results likely arise from Fox News established consumer base who have discovered the site and make repeat visits. While editorial content can be a challenge to grasp on a tiny screen, Fox News executives recognize this challenge and aim to make the receptive side of content stress-free.

Mobile use continues to go up and we wanted to create the best possible experience for our users, said Jeff Misenti, chief digital officer at Fox News, New York. Mobile is an especially important category for us because our users can be anywhere when news breaks.

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We want to make sure that performs well for our users regardless of how or where they might be accessing the site.

Fox News’ mobile homepage

Hot off the press
While the desktop version of remains the same as before, its mobile counterpart now features a fit-to-screen appearance with editorial content and advertisements built into a seamless pattern. Ads are not an interruption and fit in between the editorial content.

At the top left corner, users will see a menu icon offering direct links to each news sector and a search option. These links include Fox News Latino, Fox News Radio and Fox News Insider, along with the traditional links to politics, health and lifestyle genres.

Menu tab

Our goal is to create an optimal browsing no matter what the users screen size may be, Mr. Misenti said. We want our users to notice that our pages are faster, less cluttered, and are more usable than other news sites.

We believe that taking the design principal of mobile first will entice users to come to Fox News first to get the news and information they need or desire.

Media on mobile
Media sources realize their consumer is on-the-go and needs news to be delivered in the most convenient way possible, pushing these sources to expand their presence to mobile through apps and mobile optimization.

Daily newspaper the New York Times released new features on its iPhone and iPad mobile applications, allowing users to customize their experience by choosing what types of news alerts they receive.

The development of these features was introduced to encourage more engagement with the apps, given users can filter different news genres, depending on their personal interests. The features launch at a time when push notifications have become a crucial marketing tool to remind users of the brand (see story).

Womens magazine Cosmopolitan, Hearst Corporations most influential publication, led the move within the media giant to all-around mobile-optimized Web sites, aiming for a post-banner world and an overall seamless process.

Featuring native advertising components among the content marketing platform, the renovations provide both the reader and editor with a streamlined way of communication. Cosmo editors believe they will be able to produce 20 percent more daily content given the change (see story).

With more mobile phone users on the web, people are making decisions about what websites they visit based on the ease of use on a smaller screen, Mr. Misenti said. A person is much more likely to abandon the page than wait for it load or zoom in and out to get it to fit on their screens.

It is crucial that our users know they can get the news quickly and easily with us and will have a unified experience across devices.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York

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Holiday Inn’s all-digital campaign reaches new, existing customers via mobile


Hospitality chain Holiday Inn has launched its first digitally led multimedia campaign that uses the power of brand advocacy by sharing its guests’ unique narratives in a series of mobile-optimized Web documentaries.

Through the Journey to Extraordinary campaign, the hotel brand has partnered with organizations including Tumblr, International New York Times, Mashable, Nonfiction Unlimited and MBAs Across America to leverage their photographic and storytelling capabilities to capture the extraordinary journeys of the brands many guests. With digital media messages, brands can speak one on one to consumers and have more targeted and efficient conversation. Traditional media is expensive and conversely nonspecific. Digital marketing is a cost-effective way to reach consumers organically.

You may have noticed that trade and consumer publications are getting lighter and lighter in terms of content, and some are moving away from print and going all digital, said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners.

People arent reading traditional print material anymore and in effect that channel of advertising is becoming ineffective from cost standpoint.

Eventually all print will go away, he said.

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Universal appeal
The first series highlight explores the story of Scott Rigsby, a double-amputee who was told by doctors at the age of eighteen that he would never run again. Not only did Scott prove the doctors wrong, he went on to become a marathoner, tri-athlete, world record holder, author and motivational speaker.

A Panama City Holiday Inn location played an important role in his story, keeping Scott from homelessness, and the 3:30 snippit focuses on his recovery while staying at the hotel and his friendship with franchise owner Julie Hilton.

A brands relationship between its image and value is being increasingly determined by brand advocates, which means that the future of a brand is subject to its community and perceived values.

Whereas companies once controlled who and what appeared in its advertisements, the rise of social media and user-generated content allows fans and followers to determine a brands image without consent. And when visitors engage on a social media page, they see followers that chose a brand and perhaps not the models or celebrities selected. Because of this people may associate social followers as a reflection of the values of said brand.

With this campaign Holiday Inn guides the values of its community by recognizing the importance of connections that it blends with marketing to sell services which appear as an organic conversation and makes the hotelier meaningful to its fans.

New content will be rolling out throughout summer and fall 2014 added weekly via the brands Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter pages, as well as on YouTube.

New approaches
Holiday Inn takes a smart approach with this strategy of brand advocacy as it is a refresher to what most hoteliers such as Marriott are focusing on: appealing to the next generation of travelers.

Big players and spenders in the industry are spending millions on elaborate marketing campaigns that draw heavily on pop culture and social media.

Best Western recently renewed a second installation of an augmented reality campaign that is partnered with Disney Channel to enable guests to interact with a life-sized cutout of Zendaya, the star of a new Disney Channel original movie, and share their pictures on social.

Aside from the digital and smart-connected innovations Marriot developed this year, its Travel Brilliantly” campaign, was notorious for pushing exclusive commercial content to mobile devices, Web sites such as Hulu and Mashable and during shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Hotel brands are increasingly trying to appeal to Gen X and Y who stay constantly connected through social media, and have a growing clout as consumers.

Their lifetime value is higher based on their many years of travel which lie ahead of them, and they feel more entitled than their Baby Boomer parents to travel.

While the use of social is a clear bid for targeting the younger traveler, Holiday Inn has chosen to focus on eliciting emotional response from viewers which creates stronger brand affinity and favor. The campaign presents a tasteful balance of appealing to all ages in its digital dissemination and reality-based messaging, which consumers increasingly gravitate towards.

Emotional engagement is the key to content marketing success. People discover and share information, videos, pictures and other types of media constantly. Eliciting an emotional response is an essential element of all successful viral content marketing campaigns as it is human nature that people want to share the experiences that stir their emotions by communicating them to others.

When people develop strong, deep feelings around an experience or message, social sharing becomes impulsive.

The content makes the message real, and is a much more authentic voice than a celebrity and the content is relatable for everyday people who are staying at Holiday Inn, Mr. Naumann said.

It personalizes the brand.

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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Heineken seeks to dial up local adventures in social campaign

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Actor Fred Armisen in “The Payphone”

Mobile plays a leading role in a new Heineken ad campaign rolling out this summer that invites consumers to text and tweet their way to discovering local adventures.

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Related content: Advertising, Heineken, Twitter, Fred Armisen, Portlandia, The Payphone, texting

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