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How Many Scans to the Center of a Tootsie Pop?

After the holidays it's easy to feel as if there is nothing to look forward to, but luckily for me I'm taking a trip to London in a couple of weeks! To prepare for my trip I need to find my passport, start waking up early to prepare for jet lag, choose an umbrella that will keep my hair dry and frizz-free, and print out a copy of my e- ticket before I leave for the airport... or do I? Now with mobile ticketing I can skip that step and check-in to the flight with my smartphone and even go through security without a paper ticket. All I need to do is flash the barcode on my screen as I remove my shoes and swallow my pride to pose for the full body scanner. Mobile ticketing services are not only useful for impatient travelers, but also impatient event attendees, shoppers, and concert-goers. Marketers have been using websites such as mogotix.com and eventbrite.com to make pre-event activity and post-event recaps a breeze. These sites let promoters advertise events on social media outlets such as Facebook, keep track of ticket sales and attendance, and text mobile reminders. Consumers can easily purchase tickets for events online and then get in to the event by displaying a confirmation barcode on their screen. Beyond mobile ticketing, the digitization of our daily lives has been continuing to grow over the last year, and some analysts believe it will continue to develop until social media, mobile ticketing, video games, and mobile marketing all converge- think FourSquare Extreme. CEO of Schell Games, Jesse Schell, envisions a future where our world is basically a video game, and certain behavior earns you points, and those points earn you rewards. For example, an average day would look like this: You get up in the morning, and you brush your teeth. Your tooth brush senses that you're brushing your teeth and score! 10 points. You're supposed to brush your teeth for at least 3 minutes and you do, bonus! You've brushed your teeth three times a day, every day this week, so guess what? Another bonus! So who cares? The tooth brush company and the tooth paste company care. The more you brush your teeth, the more tooth paste you use, and that means they have a vested financial interest. With all of your toothbrushing points comes a coupon for $1.00 off a tube of toothpaste, which can be easily scanned next time you're using the self checkout at your local drugstore. Schell sees the use of shopping apps to determine where and when to shop and take advantage of the most points available, points for watching ads on television, and even tax incentives from the government for certain positive behaviors such as riding the bus and exercise. Technology is seeping into nearly every part of our lives, and the question for companies is: will all of this positive reinforcement change consumers' behavior? Sources: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/digital-passport 'Digital Passport'? http://www.onthemedia.org/ 'The Future of Gaming'?

You Can Like Whatever You Like

I'm thinking about purchasing my mom an e-reader for Christmas. From what I've heard, the Nook and the Kindle are the top two choices. They're both small, handy devices, have cute names, and I assume will let her download more books and newspaper articles than she'll ever read. Evidently I don't know that much about these products, so I decided to do some online research. I'm not alone, 58 percent of my fellow adult American consumers research products they are considering purchasing online. I consider myself a master googler, so it's no problem locating favorable reviews for both the Kindle and the Nook. In an effort to evaluate the gadgets, I make a list of considerations: price point, content availability, and accessories. It's easy to find reviews that favor one over the other, and evaluate the two based on everything from content to ease of grip (one has a rubber back the other is metal). Many of these articles include recommendations of various lengths; from a thumbs up, to a detailed 5-page analysis. This online community of consumers and fellow prospective purchasers has been growing steadily since the dawn of the Internet. In 2010, 24 percent of Americans posted a review online, and 70 percent of Americans trusted the reviews their fellow consumers had penned. Seventy percent is a lot of trust, especially when you consider the countless ways someone can review your brand. Websites based solely on consumer reviews have gained popularity in recent years; take Yelp, and Angie's List. Yelp recently received its 11 millionth review, and Angie's list boasts over 600,000 subscribers. There is even Consumersearch, which compiles reviews about everything from diet pills to cat food.  And don't forget Facebook with over 500 million active users posting links to their walls and statuses. When a brand's popularity can be gauged by its "likes" on Facebook, how can a company ensure that it receives a favorable review? From the brands we use to the sports we play offline, what we publicly 'like'? online defines us.  For now, one of the easiest ways to gain a favorable 'review'? online is to get a consumer to 'like'? your product or brand. And in the words of T.I. you can like whatever you like (on Facebook at least). This brings me back to the decision at hand; Kindle or Nook? A couple of reviews would be great!

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