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Matt Rainone

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Re-thinking Mobile Commerce, Insights Lab Episode 22

Walt Doyle, GM, PayPal Media Network, joins the Insights Lab for a two-part video series on the different facets of mobile. In this episode, Doyle defines and discusses mobile commerce. In the marketing world, there is lots of buzz around mobile commerce or m-commerce and the future of m-commerce. But, let's take a step back and view m-commerce from a consumer's perspective. According to Doyle, consumers are engaging with brands and products throughout the day across a variety screens and then subsequently purchasing on those same screens. So, the purchase funnel has morphed into a "purchase pretzel," in which brands can engage with consumers at a variety of access points. Doyle shares how brands can leverage this shift in consumer behavior to engage with key audiences and ultimately increase consumers' purchase intent.    

Developing Search Strategies for the 2012 Holiday Season, Insights Lab Episode 21

In this week's Insights Lab video, Joel Breen, Account Director, shares how consumers' search behavior shifts during the Holiday season and how marketers can ensure their search strategy is optimal for this crucial holiday season. Tweet us @AMP_Agency to let us know what topics you want to hear about!    

New Media in the 2012 Presidential Election, Insights Lab Episode 17

Matt Rainone, Senior Manager in the Integrated Marketing Group at AMP Agency, shares an overview of the new media and technologies the candidates are using in the 2012 presidential election. Rainone discusses three strategies Romney and Obama are leveraging: Big Data Shareable Content Mobile Which tactic do you think will be most influential and effective in disseminating their message and getting the votes? Tell us in the comments section below.

Video Strategy, Insights Lab Episode 14

"Video" is tossed around like it's such a simple content format but in the digital media world, it has a whole host of implications for brands. Video impacts content, production, advertising, and viewing devices. With the proliferation of multiple screens, there are various channels available to view video in a digital form'TV, tablets, desktop/laptop and smartphones. For marketers, multiple screens mean multiple ways to reach the audience. In this week's Insights Lab, Sonny Kim, AMP's SVP of Digital Strategy, shares recommendations on how to approach video with Matt Rainone, Senior Manager of AMP's Integrated Group. Tweet us @AMP_Agency to let us know what topics you want to hear about!

The Facebook Rumor Mill: Potential Facebook Acquisitions & Expansions, Insights Lab Episode 13

With Facebook's recent IPO, the rumor mill is abuzz with talks about Facebook moving into the smartphone and mobile browser space given the hiring of ex-Apple hardware engineers and the potential purchase of Opera. Additionally, there has been speculation that Facebook may acquire the Israeli facial recognition software, Face.com. Hear Matt Rainone, Senior Manager of AMP's Integrated Marketing Group, discuss these rumors and his thoughts on Facebook's growth strategy. Tweet us @AMP_Agency to let us know what topics you want to hear about!

ROFLCon III: The Commercialization of the Internet, Insights Lab Episode 10

What is ROFLCon? It's a convention held to celebrate and discuss internet memes and the celebrity that is often created alongside them. Hear Matt Jacobs, AMP's Director of Integrated Marketing, and Matt Rainone, Manager of Integrated Marketing, discuss key takeaways from this year's ROFLCon.

BlackBerry and the Death of the Business Device

Last week, BlackBerry reported a dreadful fourth quarter, showing a net loss of $125 million. This prompted RIM, among other moves, to release a statement promising to focus more fully on the business consumer. If this was 2005, it would be an absolute no brainer. Enterprise solutions are what made BlackBerry a household name before they unsuccessfully tried their hand at the consumer market, so why wouldn't refocusing on enterprise save them now? The trouble is that since BlackBerry put smartphones on the map with their business-friendly offerings, they've been consistently leapfrogged by other manufacturers and operating platforms. And because both iOS, Android and even Windows phones have become ubiquitous in the business world, it's going to be extremely hard to regain that market. Redefining "The Business Consumer" BlackBerry's new focus on the "business consumer" may fall on deaf ears because, let's face it, when it comes to smartphone users, there's really no such thing as a strictly "business consumer" anymore. We have our devices on us at all times, and the typical user is looking for something that addresses both business needs and the need to smash pigs with disgruntled birds or Draw Something. So even though BlackBerry's ads want us to believe that anything outside of the BlackBerry operating system is a "toy," it's simply not true. There is a feeling that BlackBerry does have a leg up on the competition when it comes to network security, but since the other platforms have become more adopted in the corporate world, it won't be long before it's an equal playing field, and some may argue iOS is already there. And it's unfortunate that one of BlackBerry's so-called brand differentiators at the moment is the physical keyboard. While they hands down have the best physical keyboards, we've become very accustomed to writing emails with a touchscreen, and those who haven't have a handful of Android and Windows phones to choose from that feature more than capable physical keyboards. Creating handsets specifically for "The Business Consumer" also assumes that BlackBerry is going to be able to create devices that are going to be so superior at "business" solutions, that people will carry one of them for work, and then go back to using their "plaything" Androids and iPhones when they leave the office. Raise your hand if that sounds ideal to you. No one? Okay, moving on. The App Playground I have both an Android handset and an iPad. I like both of them for different reasons and think they both excel at different things. The truth is, and this might cause a bit of an uproar among Apple and Android fanboys, iOS and Android devices aren't all that different. Sure, there are differences in connection speeds, processor speeds, battery life, screen resolution, other surface level things but the overall form and functionality are similar enough. They're sleek, slim, glossy, utilize touch-screens, are great for surfing the web and are more than sufficient for answering work emails or viewing documents on the go. This is mainly the reason that everyone's suing each other over patent infringements. When smartphones came out, it was the features that set handsets apart. Now, the base features that are shipped with the device are only the beginning and are pretty standard. It's the apps that truly run the show. You buy a handset and the apps that you put on it define whether your device is business-focused, consumer-focused, or a bit of a mixture of both. Just because you have an iOS or Android device doesn't pin you as a "consumer" anymore as there are a number of solutions on both the iOS and Android platforms which make it easy for any of their devices to cater to the business user. And the fact that the number of apps on both Android and iOS outnumber BlackBerry by about 700,000, the chances are that the business user is probably better catered by the two former. What's Next for BlackBerry In short, the outlook is bleak. BlackBerry's lack of innovation over the past 5+ years compared to their competition shouldn't give anyone a good feeling that they know how to right the ship. But all is not lost. What's that saying about the first step to getting help being able to admit you have a problem? They know they have to do something radical to improve things, and it looks like they're making moves in the right direction. They're also close to launching their new operating system, BlackBerry 10 and some leaked photos of the new system are getting some people excited. However, by the time it reaches the market, iPhone 5 will be out and it may be too late. If BlackBerry 10 fails to turn things around, will they be out of options? A colleague of mine suggested that if that happens, the only remaining option might be to kill the operating platform, use their skills at creating business-focused devices, and focus solely on making the hardware for another platform. Would love to hear any thoughts on how you feel BlackBerry will be able to get back on their feet in our comments section below.

Enhancing Experiential via Digital Tools, Insights Lab Episode 4

Hear the AMP Insights Lab perspective on why digital tools enhance experiential marketing efforts. Matt Rainone, Manager in our Integrated Marketing Group, discusses 4 helpful tools to integrate digital into your next experiential marketing campaign: 1) MoZeus (http://www.mozeus.com/) 2) Grandstand (http://getgrandstand.com/) 3) Aurasma (http://www.aurasma.com/) 4) Magisto (http://www.magisto.com/) AMP Agency presents Videos by the Insights Lab- a think tank dedicated to uncovering, understanding and leveraging the best way to connect brands with consumers via the latest technology.

The New Media Experience

Last week I visited the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and there were by my count 25,000 tablets being displayed (that number might be slight hyperbole). To be honest, I really only checked out a few of them ' one or two Androids and this Windows tablet being featured by Intel. The hardware wasn't really what caught my attention with the 2012 tablets, especially since tablets at this point aren't really differentiating themselves all that much. What caught my attention was how people were using them, talking about them, the overall capabilities that tablets offer and how they're shaping our media experience. So that led to this interesting question for you tablet owners out there. What's your favorite experience on your tablet? Is it reading, playing apps, or watching movies? What if I said that some day in the not too distant future, you'll have a hard time differentiating those experiences because you'll be doing all three at the same time? And this isn't a post about some new tablet that allows for multitasking. I'm talking about tablets redefining our media experience and storytelling as a whole. Take a look at the 'CIA: Operation Ajax'? application that's available for the iPad. It tells the story of a real-life CIA operation in Iran that took place in the 50's. It is currently classified as an 'app'? in the iTunes App Store, but is that REALLY what it is? To me, that seems to be much more than an app. On the surface, it's a graphic novel ' not exactly something that you would expect to find in the App Store. But once you look deeper into how you interact with it, it becomes something that is almost indefinable. It takes the passive pieces of literature and cinema and mixes them with the active experience of an application. You become fully-immersed in the story because you're not only reading it, but touching it, listening to a full score and pulling up interactive content that a traditional media experience doesn't allow. If you think about it, the concept isn't even that new. Many book publishers have had cross-device experiences where you can get additional information on a website, and DVD extra features have been around for years. Being able to have the entire experience on one device is just so much more immersive. And while Marvel Comics has an app that has minor animations and the iBookstore has enhanced books, this is the most in-depth experience I've seen to date. So what does this mean? In a nutshell, the opportunity for enhanced content exists. Think about reading a novel with its own soundtrack, with character back-story and short movie clips. Imagine watching a movie on your tablet and instead of playing the 'where have I seen this guy before'? game, a simple tap of the screen on the actor's face will bring up an actor bio with IMDB integration. Just think about what this will do for the textbook industry where you'll someday be able to not only read about dissecting a frog, but also dissect one on your tablet without having to smell the formaldehyde. Kermit rejoice! The capabilities are there to one day ditch the passive media experience and embrace a much richer, fully-immersive media experience. At this point, the only question that remains is whether or not content providers are going to make the investment into this enhanced content. So what do you think? Would you pay a premium price for the enhanced media experience?

The Startup Every Employee Should Love and Fear

It's like the Sporcle of the business world, and that's scary as hell. Smarterer ' no, the extra 'ER'? does not stand for Emergency Room, though that's where some resumes may end up if this catches on ' is a new startup that's trying to put everyone's job skills on an even playing field. Let's say that you look at 100 resumes. Every single one has 'proficient in ______'? on there, but how exactly do you measure that? One person's 'proficient'? might actually be another person's 'skilled'? and what the heck is a hiring manager to do when a 'Microsoft Office Rock Star'? comes around? Other than immediately disqualify that person for unnecessary hyperbole, up until now, there hasn't been much to do. That's where Smarterer comes in. Smarterer ' currently in beta ' offers business professionals a chance to prove their proficiency at some of the most popular business and web applications used today. Without going into the most-likely complex algorithm that Smarterer was built on, I'll give you this; take a test and get a grade. You pick an application you want to get graded on, like Twitter, PowerPoint, Photoshop or CSS for example, answer a few multiple choice questions and then get a grade based on how well you answered them. If you get a score of 500-599 you are considered 'Smart'?, 600-699 'Smarter'?, and 700+ 'Smarterer'?. Then import that grade to all of your networks and into your resume to show off just how great you are. It's so mind-numbingly simple it's a wonder why no one has thought of this before. So how does it work? Pretty well, actually. I took it for a test drive yesterday and other than being extremely nerve-racking since you're basically qualifying your entire professional career in a 60 second test, it seems to work pretty well. I seem to be most 'smart'? at applications I use every day (PowerPoint, Word, Twitter), and somewhat below proficiency in applications I rarely use (Photoshop, Illustrator). And just for the heck of it, I took a test for Javascript, something I know absolutely nothing about, and tallied a 165. So, it seems to be pretty accurate. For the most part, you attain the majority of your final score in the first few questions. Then you tend to lose more points by getting questions wrong than you do by getting them correct. This will help ward off the potential for taking the tests over and over and blindly clicking away with the hopes of upping a score. I've taken a few of the tests multiple times, and after the first few, it's somewhat hard to increase your score drastically, so you really do need to know your stuff. Though the site does warn against cheating and hacking, I'm interested to know what other safeguards are in place to thwart potential work-arounds to up scores. And similar to any type of standardized testing, there is also the fear that those with high scores may not necessarily be the most proficient, but just happen to be good at memorizing facts. Though that begs the additional question, if you know the facts, doesn't that make you proficient? Overall, it's a very interesting idea, and something that employers and the workforce will need to familiarize themselves with over the next few years as it has the chance to become a standard in grading out business expertise.

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