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Why Over-Sharing has Changed the Way Companies Do Business

My generation is absorbed in social media. We were old enough to watch and understand the birth of Facebook, the dawn of Twitter, and the fast emergence of Foursquare check-ins. We've become accustomed to frequent status updates and 'mayorships'? of our favorite eateries. We tweet about what we're wearing or when the train is late. In a way we're almost like celebrities, voluntarily exposing ourselves to the people around us and living our lives in a self-proclaimed 'spotlight.'? There's nothing wrong with letting our friends know we're running late or sharing pictures from last night's party but sometimes we just share a little too much. We announce that we had Frosted Flakes for breakfast or the pains of shaving our legs. We post pictures of friends slumped over chairs after one too many cocktails. We check-in at the dentist, the doctor and the Starbucks on the corner (three times...three Starbucks, three different corners). We over-share some of the most intimate details of our lives leaving little to the imagination. Maybe as individuals we should tweet a little less and untag a few photos from last night. We don't need the whole world to know our most personal details. As much as we may wish we were celebrities, we aren't and frankly nobody cares about those details we're sure everyone wants to hear. Certainly in our personal lives this may seem like too much, but what many people (including many of those in my parents' generation) don't know is that this idea of 'over-sharing'? is what keeps many businesses afloat. The younger generation is so overly connected through the use of social media that sometimes this is simply the best and fastest avenue to reach them. I once tweeted to Whole Foods corporate asking why my favorite beverage was removed from store shelves. Rather than write an email or make a phone call, in less than 140 characters I asked my question. Less two hours and 140 characters later I had my answer. The beverage had an ingredient in it that didn't meet their standards. It's this communication through social media that keeps companies engaged with their customers. They see our problem, 'Ugggg I hate my razor! It irritates my skin!'? and can immediately offer a solution, 'Have you tried our brand? It has a moisture strip for less irritation!'? These channels provide instantaneous conversation between brands and customers 24/7 that are faster than drafting an email and cheaper than buying a print ad. Businesses can see what means the most to their demographic and reach out in unexpected ways. As a member of Generation Y, I can say that I've enjoyed watching the evolution of marketing and brand management. I've grown up reading print ads and watching TV commercials and now I scan QR codes for 'insider information.'? The way brands reach their customers is changing - I get most of my news from the web and now most of my purchases are influenced by the online presence of a company. While I still think that my generation has to make an adjustment to its tendency to over-share, it is this behavior that has completely revolutionized the way brands do business today.

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'?

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