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Digital Trends: First Quarter 2011


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A look at the top digital trends from the first few months of 2011, including group messaging, the evolution of game mechanics, and the humanization of brands.

Published in: Business

Digital Trends: First Quarter 2011

  1. ON THE CUTTING EDGE:<br />May 16, 2011<br />
  2. Early 2011 Trends To Watch<br /><ul><li>The first part of 2011 has seen several technologies and ideas taking shape with brands big and small:
  3. Group Messaging
  4. Gamification Grows
  5. Brands Get Personal</li></ul>2<br />
  6. Group Messaging<br />
  7. Group Messaging<br /><ul><li>Despite all the bells and whistles on phones, a top activity is still texting.
  8. 5 billion texts are sent every day in the U.S.
  9. Those messages are often the quick updates for family members or around a specific topic not meant for a full list of friends on a social network.
  10. Welcome to the world of group messaging.</li></ul>4<br />
  11. Just GroupMe<br /><ul><li>GroupMe has been the stand out group messaging app thus far.
  12. Use it to create groups of 25 people or fewer around events or topics.
  13. Reply via text message or to avoid texting charges, grab the app for your smartphone.</li></ul>5<br />
  14. Brands Go GroupMe<br /><ul><li>Brands are getting in on the action, too.
  15. Similar to the way sponsored topics work on Twitter, brands can get valuable real estate on the GroupMe app’s Featured tab.
  16. This encourages people to create groups around a brand or topic.
  17. It’s particularly relevant for events and </li></ul> entertainment properties.<br />6<br />
  18. Takeaways For Marketers And Brands<br /><ul><li>There’s massive value in text messaging and/or text related services.
  19. If your brand or client is an entertainment property or network, look into using the Featured tab in a tool like GroupMe.
  20. The same goes for big events like festivals, concerts and sports. These are topics where passionate viewers/participants are likely to have conversations.
  21. If a group messaging platform isn’t the right fit, traditional text messaging may still be appropriate.</li></ul>7<br />
  22. Gamification Grows<br />
  23. Game Mechanics Go Further<br /><ul><li>From Foursquare check-ins and SCVNGR challenges to frequent flier programs and credit card points, game mechanics play a big role in our lives.
  24. This type of gaming is going further all the time.
  25. It’s coming to a TV near you and even the London transit system.</li></ul>9<br />
  26. The More You Share, The More You Win<br /><ul><li>USA’s Club Psych, a community oriented portion of the Psych website is a spot where viewers get points for things like sharing content, taking polls and doing challenges.
  27. It’s doubled engagement on the site, increased page views by 130% and return visits have gone up 40%.</li></ul>10<br />
  28. Follow The Leader(board)<br /><ul><li>The competitive element is key within gaming. When you publicize competition, it adds another layer of motivation.
  29. BFG created Leaderboards around SCVNGR activity within Buffalo Wild Wings locations, adding a layer of competition and rewards to a winter campaign around basketball.</li></ul>11<br />
  30. It’s A GameSlam<br /><ul><li>MLB action got a little more exciting this spring with the GameSlam app for Mac and PC (look for mobile apps soon).
  31. Use it to follow along live with baseball games and predict what will happen next by placing bets using virtual currency.</li></ul>12<br />
  32. Gaming On The Go<br /><ul><li>Swipe an Oyster card on London’s transit system and Chromaroma becomes like an automated Foursquare for trips.
  33. It checks out info on a user’s typical routes and connects them with others on similar ones.
  34. It can also be used for recommendations on new places to explore around the city, creating potential for partners down the road. </li></ul>13<br />
  35. Breakout Kings<br /><ul><li>A&E became the first TV network to partner with augmented reality application GoldRun to promote Breakout Kings.
  36. Tying in with the show’s theme, A&E used the app to create a scavenger hunt where people could track down and "capture" virtual convicts, appearing in orange prison jumpsuits in the viewfinder of an iPhone’s camera.
  37. Users could post a photo of their fugitive on the </li></ul> A&E Facebook page to win cash prizes.<br /><ul><li>The campaign is also noteworthy for its offline pieces, including a clever use of OOH and in-store promos.</li></ul>14<br />
  38. Takeaways For Marketers And Brands<br /><ul><li>Applying game mechanics to your business model or campaign shouldn’t be overlooked.
  39. Take these steps to determine if this approach would work for your audience:</li></ul>What is the specific behavior or result I’m trying to drive? (web visits, repeat traffic to stores/restaurants, user generated content, etc.)<br />Is there an existing network that could help me reach that result? (Foursquare, SCVNGR, Get Glue, etc.) Is my audience there? How could it be used?<br />If there’s not an existing network that works, are there game elements that could be applied to channels you have control over? (website, mobile app, etc.)<br />What type of game mechanic would help there? (badges, virtual currency, physical rewards, levels)<br />15<br />
  40. Brands Get Personal<br />
  41. Getting Personal<br /><ul><li>The social media age is helping brands to show off their human side.
  42. It’s happening in a few ways that other brands should take note of:
  43. Just like people, brands make mistakes and should be honest about them.
  44. Get involved with consumers through personalized messages and content to show you’re listening.
  45. Charitable connections can go a long way but only when it’s truly virtuous. </li></ul>17<br />
  46. A Red Cross Mistake Goes Viral For Good<br /><ul><li>When the admin of the Red Cross Twitter account posted an update meant for a personal one, they owned up to it and poked a little fun at the situation.
  47. Their original mention of #GettingSlizzerd caught on as a popular hashtag and helped drive Red Cross donations.</li></ul>18<br />
  48. AT&T Shares Personalized Valentines <br /><ul><li>This Valentine’s Day, AT&T helped couples shout their love from the Mountaintop.
  49. All participants had to do was share the message through a Facebook app.
  50. On February 14, a mountain man shouted thousands of personalized video messages via YouTube, ensuring maximum reach of the declaration of your love, thanks to AT&T.</li></ul>19<br />
  51. Declare Your Level<br /><ul><li>Seattle’s Best Coffee partnered with Second City on a 24-hour improv event that aired on the web.
  52. The first 100,000 to share their preferred level of coffee strength along with an improv topic received free coffee.
  53. More importantly, Second City took those topics and incorporated them into scenes for your viewing pleasure. </li></ul>20<br />
  54. Making The Right Charitable Connection<br /><ul><li>61% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that’s committed to a cause.
  55. But that cause and the donation have to make sense for the brand. Consider the success of Tom’s Shoes, which has baked charity into its DNA.
  56. When a cause is too focused on promoting the brand instead of the cause, people notice.</li></ul>21<br />
  57. Bing Backlash<br /><ul><li>Microsoft’s Bing offered to donate up to $100,000 to help victims of Japan’s earthquake but only if Twitter users retweeted their original post. They would donate at $1 per retweet.
  58. Twitter users were offended they had to help advertise Bing in exchange for the donation. (A truly charitable company would have just donated the money).
  59. Bing ended up apologizing and making the full $100,000 donation. </li></ul>22<br />
  60. Takeaways For Marketers And Brands<br /><ul><li>The most important thing brands can be doing in this space is listening.
  61. Enlist the help of a social media monitoring tool to see what’s being said about your brand across the social web.
  62. Gather insights around these comments and your audience.
  63. Find ways to get engaged with this audience:
  64. Replies that address a comment, concern or question
  65. Be creative with the replies. Make a video or if your brand has a mascot or fun voice, be sure to use it.
  66. Create and share random rewards that address the needs of your audience.
  67. No matter what you do, don’t be afraid to get out there, show some understanding and ultimately let people learn about your company and the people behind it.</li></ul>23<br />