Startup Outlook: Issue 4, August 2012


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Startup Outlook: Issue 4, August 2012

  1. 1. Presented By: Issue 4 - August 2012 Welcome to the fourth edition of Startup Outlook, 360i’s guide for how brands can evaluate emerging technologies and platforms. This month’s focus is mobility. It’s getting more difficult to define exactly what a mobile startup or technology is, given how few experiences are solely accessed on mobile devices. What’s most important to understand is that it’s people who are mobile, and any portable, digital media device is merely an extension and amplifier of consumer behavior. While several of the five startups featured in this report connect with other forms of digital and traditional media, all tap into people’s mobility at their core, and all can change how brands think about mobile marketing. If you have feedback, or if you represent a startup and want to be considered for a future edition, contact us at tweet thisMeet the StartupsEach Startup Outlook report measures five select companies against the evaluation criteria outlined in 360i’sStartup Scorecard. To suggest a startup for inclusion in future updates, contact us at StartupScorecard Here is 360i’s qualitative Startup Scorecard, presenting the four criteria to use when evaluating startups: Value: What consumer and brand needs does the Applicability: Which brands or verticals would find technology facilitate? If a consumer application, why the startup most relevant? Even the hottest startups would consumers use this, and why would brands aren’t right for every brand. Some startups are more even consider participating? If the value is high for applicable for a certain season, campaign or goal. consumers, brands will want to find a way to get involved. Prominence: How can the brand stand out and create Ingenuity: What is exciting right now? In some cases, its own experience? A rotating banner ad within a site a brand will seek out ingenuity because it’s looking to or application won’t give the brand a prominent hook, attract media attention and get recognized as an while sponsorships, white label offerings and product innovator. It’s also important to discern whether the integration will score high here. offering is truly unique, or if there are more established competitors with similar offerings that can better achieve a marketer’s goals. 1
  2. 2. Cinemagram• Value: Cinemagram has tapped into the image and video sharing craze by creating a hybrid form of media. Users capture short videos with their mobile handset, select a still image from the clip, and then define an area of the image to animate. The content is saved as a GIF file, which can be shared like a static image but appears animated when published in the mobile app or online.• Applicability: Cinemagram is great for fueling content marketing programs. It works especially well for brands on Tumblr, since the animated images embed perfectly. On Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere, viewers must click to another link to view the content. Brands can also use the images on their own sites and blogs. Cinemagram creates animated GIFs from still photography – straight from a mobile device (via• Prominence: Marketers can be very creative with how they use Cinemagram for branded and non- branded content. A hotel brand might animate the waves seen from an oceanfront property, while a packaged goods marketer might show one of its beverage brands being poured infinitely. Marketers will want to be judicious though, using Cinemagram in conjunction with other content.• Ingenuity: Animated GIFs have already become extremely popular online. Cinemagram’s contribution is making it easy to create with an iPhone, leading to executions ranging from British Olympics fans to office dancers. This should only grow more popular especially as it expands beyond the iPhone.GoldRun• Value: GoldRun is a mobile application that lets users incorporate brands and other icons into photos. The photos can then be shared to Facebook and Twitter. Marketers can create campaigns with featured content, running nationally or in specific geographic areas. Kraft Foods and Bravo are among the marketers that have run campaigns with them. Brands can also run contests to reward photo submissions and shares. 2
  3. 3. A Bravo ‘Watch What Happens Live’ promo lets fans pose with host Andy Cohen (via GoldRun).• Applicability: GoldRun is most effective for brand marketing programs. Marketers can customize the messaging that’s incorporated into the experience to tailor the call to action to their needs.• Prominence: GoldRun tends to have a few campaigns going at any one time, giving marketers some degree of featured placement while nominally competing with the other activities. For users, more varied programs running simultaneously will only increase the appeal of the app. GoldRun is still fairly new and has limits in how much in can push new campaigns to its existing users, so marketers must plan on doing most of the promotion themselves.• Ingenuity: GoldRun is often considered an augmented reality application, given that it melds digital content with the real world. That may excite some marketers, but it’s not as relevant to consumers, who tend to ignore the jargon and will appreciate the experience simply as a fun way to share photos. GoldRun will need to keep a steady flow of content in the app to keep its audience engaged beyond a single campaign.Kiip• Value: Kiip offers real rewards for in-game and in-app achievements, specifically for Apple iOS and Google Android applications. Rewards can be targeted to individual gamers, or brands can run multiplayer contests dubbed Swarms. A new extension, Kiip Fit, offers customized rewards when people log workouts through mobile apps. Brands can also offer digital goods, such as in-game currency. When a player is offered a reward, he or she enters an email address to claim it. Players can also choose to send rewards to friends instead. 3
  4. 4. • Applicability: Kiip’s versatility makes it a potential fit for a wide range of brands. Free products, discounts, order upgrades and virtual goods are all fair game. Brand marketers may have the most options, but it’s possible for marketers in travel, retail and other more performance-oriented verticals to test direct response programs, especially given the email marketing hook. Kiip creates an aggregated experience through which consumers can rack up rewards (via• Prominence: Any retailer or brand can use the white label offering as part of its own e-commerce experience. Today, group gifting offerings can be differentiators. If it proves to be a successful model, then this may in time be an expected feature on product pages, following the path of ratings and reviews, and perhaps “like” and “pin this” buttons.• Ingenuity: It’s to eBay’s credit that this pioneering, user-friendly group gifting technology is still operating like a startup and can be tapped by others. The founders have an ambitious roadmap ahead with plans for other social commerce technologies.Square• Value: Square will soon appear to take shape as something quite different from what it is today. As a mobile payment technology, its original innovation was to enable any merchant accept credit card payments by plugging a small, plastic card reader into a smartphone. For small businesses, that created the potential for new revenue streams. For consumers, it was more of an incremental shift, as they could use credit cards with more merchants and receive receipts via email. Square’s more dramatic move comes from a new app called Pay with Square. Consumers connect the iPhone or Android app with their credit cards and sign up with local merchants, with the option of having tabs open automatically as soon as consumers enter merchants’ venues. Merchants can then ring up the order without consumers ever taking out a credit card – or even a mobile handset. Merchants in turn can offer rewards to attract new customers and encourage repeat visits. 4
  5. 5. Square’s mobile payment technology makes it easy to exchange funds on the go (via• Applicability: Retailers will be most interested in working with Square; Starbucks recently invested in the company and is going to use the technology in all of its 7,000 US stores. Consumer brands may consider working with merchants accepting Square. There are other opportunities for brand marketers to use Square to sell products at events, such as by offering free samples with special deals for consumers who want to buy more on the spot.• Prominence: Offering Square can make merchants and brands stand out – for now. While it’s a differentiator today that will win favor with early adopters, the first-mover shine will diminish as Square and its rivals become mainstream.• Ingenuity: Square’s first innovation, with its plastic dongle, created new opportunities for merchants. Pay with Square may trigger changes in consumer behavior. Retailers and marketers should find an added hidden benefit: as consumers set up Square to automatically pay at certain venues, people may think less about how much they are paying and enjoy the shopping experience more in the process. Impulse buyers beware.StarStar• Value: StarStar is a paradox – it’s a traditional mobile marketing innovation, and it’s traditional in two different ways. First, it incorporates both a mobile phone’s actual phone along with SMS (text messaging). A marketer registers for a StarStar code, which is generally a brand name or term (**NFL, **SUZUKI) which consumers can call from their mobile handsets (for **NFL, dial **635). The caller then receives a text message – potentially targeted to their location and type of device – with a call to action, such as a link to watch a video, download an app, receive a coupon, or start a free trial. The second traditional element is that most marketers will tend to promote their ** codes through offline channels such as TV, radio and out-of-home , often as a replacement or alternative to SMS campaigns. Print marketers and publishers can use this in addition to or instead of QR codes and other barcodes. For consumers, following a brief learning curve of recognizing a ** code and dialing the number, the value is that it’s very easy, fast and works on any mobile device. 5
  6. 6. This StarStar promotion drives football fans to download the NFL app.• Applicability: Marketers can use these codes for a wide range of purposes: a retailer can customize promotions with specific local calls to action for stores in each market or ZIP code; a national TV advertiser can promote an extended version of the spot (if the content is great); a packaged goods brand can direct people to like their Facebook page.• Prominence: Marketers can choose to register codes that are brand terms or generic terms and promote them. There will be some first-mover advantages for marketers looking to license shorter codes. For instance, an automaker seeking to promote **CAR could wind up competing with a liquor brand that wants to register **BAR, as both are **277 on the dial pad. Certain marketers are likely to encounter such turf wars for their brand names as well.• Ingenuity: Amidst all the debate about the marketing potential for QR codes, near field communication (NFC), augmented reality, SMS and other technologies, StarStar created a solution that is simple and universal across US carriers. StarStar codes have the added value of being memorable, and far more salient than other options like SMS. Once marketers license a code, it’s a blank slate that can be used continually for creating and promoting new campaigns, so it’s up to brands to come up with creative and effective uses for it. To read past reports, visit Sign up to receive monthly Startup Outlook updates at If you represent a startup and would like to be considered for a future report, please contact © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserved 6