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Presents Get (more) Personal

It seems the department store push for QR code integration has continued. You may remember last year when Macy's launched Backstage Pass. Supported by in-store 'how-to-scan'? posters, Backstage Pass codes let shoppers view fashion tips, designer interviews and other video content based on the store's holiday wares. Fast forward to the 2011 shopping season. Department store giant JCPenney believes 'tis the season to try their hand at QR code integration. Supported by the 'Who's your Santa?'? advertising campaign, 'Santa Tags'? decked with QR Codes will allow gift buyers to record personal voice messages up to one minute long. Instead of simply connecting you to a URL, Santa Tags QR codes create a very merry mobile experience that connect you with friends and family in a fun, surprising and intimate way. And let's face it: you can say a lot more in one minute than you can in a Tweet, on a lo-def paper gift tag or a pre-canned holiday card. This innovation in personalization has the potential to make holiday spirits and sales soar. This new use for QR codes doesn't just add value to customers' lives, it gives JCPenney an edge on the competition. Customers can buy gifts in a click, but Santa Tags give them an extra reason to step away from the computer and into the store ' their store. From heartfelt wishes to inside jokes, every gift can be accompanied by a super-personal stamp ' even if the gifter shipped it across the globe or picked it up last-minute. So while Dad may already have 50 ties, he'll always remember #51 because it came with a special voice message from his little girl. Indeed I think this season's Santa Tag will challenge shoppers to 'think outside the tag'? and find the time to step into a JCPenney to make a purchase. Now, what do you say?   How Santa Tags work: The gifter scans the Santa Tag QR code using a smartphone, records a personal message and attaches the Santa Tag to the gift. When the giftee scans the code with their mobile phone, the message plays. Holiday cheer enjoyed by all!

sHOp sHOp sHOp

With the holidays quickly approaching, AMP 20mg levitra canada recently conducted a Mobile Shopping Survey to get a pulse on consumers' likelihood to use their mobile devices for holiday shopping and to better understand key motivators for mobile shopping adoption. The statistics "rang" loud and clear - chances are, "yule" be shopping on your mobile phone this holiday season. Use of mobile to date for shopping: 42% of respondents have already used a mobile phone or mobile device to make a purchase Of those respondents, 53% have used a mobile phone or mobile device more frequently to purchase products in the last 6 months When it comes to features they use on their phone during mobile shopping, they most frequently use the Internet (97%), search engines (59%) and apps (34%) Expected use of mobile for shopping this holiday season: 67% of respondents plan on using their mobile phone or mobile device to make a purchase during this year's holiday shopping season 67% also plan to use their mobile phone or mobile device to do research prior to purchasing products during this holiday season These are the top 5 categories that respondents are most likely to use their mobile phone or mobile device to browse/buy during this holiday season: Electronics (51%) Video games (35%) Children's toys & Apparel (both tied at 33%) Mobile phones/devices (31%) Restaurant gift certificates (29%) So now that we've established that consumers will be shopping via mobile, what can you do to ensure you make the "nice" list? Start by ensuring that you have a mobile optimized version of your e-commerce site with intuitive checkout capabilities and secure payment integration. Consider developing a custom app if consumers can benefit from peer reviews, instructional videos or if your retail model lends itself to detailed product browsing. And think beyond the handset - how can your mobile strategy connect with consumers across non-traditional touch points. Take a look at two out-of-the-box examples of recent mobile shopping integration: Tesco (South Korea) Tesco created a virtual grocery store on a subway platform allowing consumers to use their phones to shop the shelves just like they would inside a Tesco store. Consumers could complete their order before boarding the train and have their groceries delivered to their front door after work. Check out a video case study. Nissan Anyone shopping for a 2012 Altima or Sentra will now be able to use their iPhone, Android or BlackBerry to scan an on-vehicle QR code to gain access to detailed vehicle information including features, available add-ons, video/image galleries and offers. Consumers who don't enjoy the pesky sales pitch can now gain valuable information on their own device and revisit the content later on when comparison shopping. Learn more. Interested in amping up your mobile holiday strategy? It's not too late! Email me at mjacobs (at) ampagency (dot) com to start the conversation.

What's New In Social Media This Week...

Let's see what's new in social media this week'?¦ Facebook now allows business' to unmerge their page with Facebook Places. Apparently, the number of Facebook friends you have may be linked to the size of your amygdalae. Facebook accounted for 8.93% of all US visits in 2010, beating Google who had 7.19%. This holiday season: 5% of people were influenced by social media when buying gifts 19% were influenced by promotional email 14% used phones to access retailer website Only 2% purchases gifts using their phone Fun News ' the first Groupon marriage proposal has resulted in a 'YES!'?

What's New In Social Media This Week...

Let's see what's new in social media this week'?¦ Facebook now allows business' to unmerge their page with Facebook Places. Apparently, the number of Facebook friends you have may be linked to the size of your amygdalae. Facebook accounted for 8.93% of all US visits in 2010, beating Google who had 7.19%. This holiday season: 5% of people were influenced by social media when buying gifts 19% were influenced by promotional email 14% used phones to access retailer website Only 2% purchases gifts using their phone Fun News ' the first Groupon marriage proposal has resulted in a 'YES!'?

  • 1 min read
  • January 7, 2011

What's New In Social Media This Week...

Let's see what's new in social media this week'?¦ Facebook now allows business' to unmerge their page with Facebook Places. Apparently, the number of Facebook friends you have may be linked to the size of your amygdalae. Facebook accounted for 8.93% of all US visits in 2010, beating Google who had 7.19%. This holiday season: 5% of people were influenced by social media when buying gifts 19% were influenced by promotional email 14% used phones to access retailer website Only 2% purchases gifts using their phone Fun News ' the first Groupon marriage proposal has resulted in a 'YES!'?

Taking Stock: Ode to the Client

I realized today that I love my clients. It's not that I actively had negative thoughts, but like many long term relationships, the focus can turn to the day to day items, keeping life and business moving' did I send that status (what's for dinner), meeting agendas (is there time for a date night on Sat?) and even varying points of view (pick up the wet towel!). Actual like or dislike on a high scale doesn't always factor in. Gift giving is also something that spans different relationships. Something happened during this holiday shopping season ' I found myself excited to be picking out what I hoped were personal and thoughtful gifts for my clients. I truly wanted them to be pleased. And not in the ' 'I hope they think I am so funny and clever so they see my marketing value way'. I mean I wanted to give them something they LIKE ' outside of how it reflects on me. What happened?!?! Here's what happened: we talked. It's been a long few years for marketers, media vendors and brands. Sometimes it takes economic anxiety to get a client engaged. It definitely takes an engaged client to motivate an agency. This engagement proved the old adage: 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going' and that's what we've done. New ways of looking at programs, testing of new tactics, shifting dollars for efficiencies. Even setting aside funds for research so the tests are true. My brands challenged their AMP Agency teams and we came through it together. I love that. I love them.

Happy Couponing

As lights go up and holiday parties grow near, I enjoy getting into the holiday spirit. One thing that happens this time every year is that my inbox starts filling up'?¦not only with warm holiday wishes from friends and family, but also with greetings from some of my favorite retailers. Subject lines such as '10 best gifts for under $100'?, 'Deck the Halls with 25% off + free shipping,'? and '12 Deals of Christmas'? are like little presents delivered straight to my inbox. However, these deals also make me slightly anxious as I consider how to take advantage of each of the offers. I think to myself,'? will I get a deal like this after the holidays? Should I use this coupon? Should I wait for an even better deal?'? According to an exclusive Ad Age/Ipsos Observer survey of U.S. consumers, approximately 85% predict that they will spend the same or less than last year on holiday gifts, and 30% of consumers will purchase presents for fewer people. This online survey of more than 1,000 consumers found that people are cutting back in a number of ways, which has led to an increase in coupon use over the last year.  Whether they are delivered to your inbox, via snail mail, or clipped out of the Sunday paper, coupon usage is predicted to increase even further.  Out of those respondents, 25% reported that they have used daily discount sites such as Groupon, Living Social, and Buy with Me; a new category of coupons that has recently exploded onto the scene. However, marketers should proceed with caution before jumping on the coupon bandwagon. SymphonyIRI Group data shows that coupons are not necessarily driving incremental sales, but more so offering discounts to those consumers already planning on purchasing the products. So, the '30% off all outerwear'? coupon J.Crew sends out will most likely be used by the consumer who has been eyeing that peacoat and is waiting for a sale to purchase it, not by a first time consumer to the retailer. Today I received a coupon from Ann Taylor Loft in my inbox for 40% off of my entire purchase in-store or online. I might have to make a stop on my way home!  If you've spotted any recent must-use deals in your inbox, post them here!

Happy Couponing

As lights go up and holiday parties grow near, I enjoy getting into the holiday spirit. One thing that happens this time every year is that my inbox starts filling up'?¦not only with warm holiday wishes from friends and family, but also with greetings from some of my favorite retailers. Subject lines such as '10 best gifts for under $100'?, 'Deck the Halls with 25% off + free shipping,'? and '12 Deals of Christmas'? are like little presents delivered straight to my inbox. However, these deals also make me slightly anxious as I consider how to take advantage of each of the offers. I think to myself,'? will I get a deal like this after the holidays? Should I use this coupon? Should I wait for an even better deal?'? According to an exclusive Ad Age/Ipsos Observer survey of U.S. consumers, approximately 85% predict that they will spend the same or less than last year on holiday gifts, and 30% of consumers will purchase presents for fewer people. This online survey of more than 1,000 consumers found that people are cutting back in a number of ways, which has led to an increase in coupon use over the last year.  Whether they are delivered to your inbox, via snail mail, or clipped out of the Sunday paper, coupon usage is predicted to increase even further.  Out of those respondents, 25% reported that they have used daily discount sites such as Groupon, Living Social, and Buy with Me; a new category of coupons that has recently exploded onto the scene. However, marketers should proceed with caution before jumping on the coupon bandwagon. SymphonyIRI Group data shows that coupons are not necessarily driving incremental sales, but more so offering discounts to those consumers already planning on purchasing the products. So, the '30% off all outerwear'? coupon J.Crew sends out will most likely be used by the consumer who has been eyeing that peacoat and is waiting for a sale to purchase it, not by a first time consumer to the retailer. Today I received a coupon from Ann Taylor Loft in my inbox for 40% off of my entire purchase in-store or online. I might have to make a stop on my way home!  If you've spotted any recent must-use deals in your inbox, post them here!

A Festivus for the rest of us!

'Secret Snowman,'? 'Season's Greetings,'? 'The Holidays.'? People go to great lengths today to ensure they are referring to anything related to this most wonderful time of the year in a politically correct way. There is now almost a sense of censorship and uneasiness associated with speaking about the holidays. I personally find myself very aware when mentioning anything holiday related. I sometimes find myself even thinking back to past holiday conversations, hoping to not have offended anyone. The thing is, as careful as I try to be, I usually slip up anyhow, accidentally referring to the Christmas party that I need to make Santa shaped cookies for. Usually, it seems the one who is mortified is me, rather than anyone around me. This got me thinking, is this anguish self-imposed? Marketers, the media and retailers in particular are extremely careful when crafting their holiday messaging. Wanting to be all-inclusive and not offend a particular demographic, you will rarely see a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa specific ad or promotion. During a talk show I was recently watching, a production member commented about a Christmas tree that had been put up in the studio. The host was very quick to clarify that a Hanukkah Menorah had also been displayed, directly next to the tree in fact. Are we as marketers just augmenting the situation?  Or simply playing by the rules? The call is yours'?¦

Wanna FaceTime? Why I love my iPhone 4!

Drum roll please'?¦.I got the iPhone 4! This is only going to be relevant if you read my previous post on Oct 26th where I was debating between my next major purchase: the iPhone 4 or the Droid X. Less than a week after that blog post, I met someone who had the iPhone 4. I fell hard for its sleek, sexy look and the quality of the HD videos. I felt like my little 3G was inferior and was also completely fed up with having to constantly charge it for it to last through one day. The next day I went to the Apple store in Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA with a determined look in my eyes. When I walked in I said to the nearest employee, so tell me why this phone is better than the 3G. She didn't know I had just written a blog about why it was better. The Apple store employee was as bubbly as ever and sweetly, but a bit unconvincingly, showed me how to do a video'she filmed me talking about why I was fed up with my 3G. We watched it together and I must say I was very impressed with the quality (sound and picture) of this video. I asked her to explain FaceTime, which she did. She showed me the functionality of being able to listen to Pandora while reading e-mail, using google maps, etc. This is key in my life! The Pandora application on my iPhone may be one of the best things to happen to me. Besides maybe the Facebook application. Did I just admit that? Although, she was unconvincing, I had my mind made up the moment I walked into the door. I have used FaceTime a few times and find the interaction to be very intimate and very real'sometimes a little too real. It is pretty incredible how close you can feel to someone even when they are hundreds of miles away. The downfall with FaceTime? As vain as this may sound, unless you hold it a high angle you are capturing a not-so-attractive, double chin shot. You all know what I am talking about. In turn, you end up holding the phone up fairly high and your arm gets tired. Funny thing is that FaceTime has now become a verb in my life. Hey, you wanna FaceTime? Just add it to all the other technological verbs which have been added to our vocabulary. Did he friend request you? Did you e-mail him? What are you tweeting about? Have you checked in yet? Did he DM you? We are in a poking war. The videos have been my favorite addition. I live quite far from my 5 month-old niece and 3 year-old nephew and I have up close videos of them interacting and talking. Anytime I want I can just watch them to feel closer to them! Also, I haven't tried it out yet but supposedly anyone with a newer Mac laptop or desktop can also download FaceTime and I can talk with them on their computer from my iPhone. I have also being able to continue my most recent addiction--words with friends (free). It is basically scrabble which you can play with anyone who has the application on their iPhone. You play real time with friends but there is no pressure to make the next move. You play on your own time. It keeps me sane on my commute to and from work every day. Other pluses for the iPhone 4: the Nike + is built in. I just need to put the sensor in my shoe, calibrate my walk and run and it records all my workouts including time, distance, calories burned, etc (while jamming out to my Daft Punk station on Pandora). Also, there is a way to view all your emails from various accounts at once, which is a pretty cool addition. Work and personal e-mail all in one thread? Some people have issues with that--but I appreciate it. To each their own. So I am sure you are wondering about the big question: service? My service is better with the iPhone 4 than the 3G. It does randomly drop calls but that is because the service in my apartment isn't fantastic. To be completely honest, my roommate, as you know, has the Droid and sometimes she doesn't get my calls or my text messages'lost in Verizon cyber space? That isn't cool. I stand by my decision for the iPhone 4. I spoke with a friend who just got the Droid X. So far she loves it but said 'they could have made it a bit more direct/user-friendly when it comes to personalizing contacts and doing simple tasks.'? Which phone do you have? And what do you have to say about it? Do you want one? Are you getting one for someone as a gift this Holiday? Until we meet again'?¦

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