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Stephanie´s Ramblings - Online Video and the Need for Speed

posted on 2 October 2013 by Stephanie Bogue

When I say online videos, you think YouTube.  It is only natural.  Since YouTube´s birth in 2005, it has been the Godzilla of the online video world.  Over the years, I must say, that my viewing of random videos people post has become a bit of a guilty pleasure.  On cold and rainy days, when I need a pick me up, I head on over to YouTube for a video of baby boars being mothered by a French bulldog (right here outside of Berlin), a bear breaking into a chocolate shop, a dog going down a waterslide, or people in their office doing the Harlem shake.  However, this weekend whilst indulging in some YouTube watching, I noticed many amateur YouTube videographers do not know when to say cut.  Quite a few times, I would watch a video that went three or four minutes past its prime.  And, while attempting some at home weightlifting, I got a bit annoyed when I felt the girl leading me through my bicep curls got a little too wrapped up in her motivational speech between reps.  I guess this made me think about the rich flow of information we all take in everyday and our lack of tolerance for anything that isn´t short, concise and to the point.  So, how is the online video world changing to address the issue of brevity?

Vine

Have you heard of Vine?  Vine was started and sold to twitter all within a few months in 2012.  Vine is an app that lets its users shoot looping videos of only 6 seconds.  To be sure, this is not even enough time to turn a camera on, right?  However, I am shocked by what I have seen.  Users have been incredibly creative with what they can cram into just a few seconds.  And, marketers are getting more and more to the point with vine videos.  Now that I have a bit of Vine fever, I have been scanning Vine Videos to see what sort of content is there.  So far, I have seen the cookie monster saying no to veggies, quick how-to-videos from home improvement stores, contests put on by big brands for brand advocates (like you) to send them your best Vine video, behind the scenes footage of events, previews of new products, and fun office videos of how employees spend their breaks.  Also, a big perk is that you can use hashtags to categorize and search for topics, which helps when you come into Vine as a marketer rather than a regular user.  Originally, Vine was only available to Apple users, but this summer they made a new and improved version for Android users as well.  Vine gets a lot of credibility and support from being a part of Twitter and with user numbers are already so high, advertising through this channel seems like a cost-effective way to be hip and modern.  Why not? It is only 6 seconds!  (See some examples here)

Instagram

I think it is worth noting that Instagram (owned by Facebook) has also added video as a feature this summer.  And, as they already have quite a massive following from their photo-sharing mainstay feature, the idea of online video is naturally working for them as well.  Their twist is that videos can be up to 15-seconds and there are filter and editing options.    

Which one?

As the race continues, Instagram and Vine are running neck and neck in terms of popularity.  So, with there being more options out there for video, how do businesses know which one to use?  What is the difference between a 6-second video and a 15-second video? (Read and see more here)  I, personally, have fallen for Vine.  The videos are short to the point and may even leave you wanting more or on the ground laughing.  A well-made Vine video is simply just a very small idea caught on film, that is it.  I get the sense that this could be something fun for offices everywhere as anyone could capture a few seconds of video worth sharing.  In addition, the tie to Twitter lends to a more promising future for me.  Finally, Vine´s ability to embed into websites (fb and twitter) may make it easier for their videos to be viewed and I am a huge fan of the looping feature.  I think in the battle of the online video trends, Vine comes off as the most fun, fashionable, and clear.  For sure, Instagram will continue to be a good competitor and YouTube will remain the video giant for now.  But, perhaps there is enough room for all as the popularity of short clips and video continues to soar.  So, as our attention spans get shorter and shorter, is 6 seconds enough for you to get the message?

 

 

Stephanie BoguePermalinkKommentare 0
Tags: online video, vine, online videos, marketing, social media, advertisement
Views: 883

Stephanie´s Ramblings - The Competitive landscape of Cash: Digital Wallets

posted on 4 September 2013 by Stephanie Bogue

Memory Lane – Cash as my first payment method

When was the first time you were ever paid and how?  This makes me think back to my first job:  household chores.  Like most children, I have many not so fond memories of washing my parent´s cars and the dishes, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, or my least favorite, picking up pinecones in the yard.  And why did I do all this?  Well, in order to get paid by my parents in cold hard cash.  I fondly remember my mother or father going into their wallets and pulling out those bills with the Presidents on them.  I would then ride my bike a few blocks to the gas station with the best candy selection and pull out my wallet and hand over these green paper bills to someone else, just as my parents had done to me only minutes before.  This was my introduction to how business worked.   Simple right?  You want something, you pay for it with cash.   

Since the more simple days of long ago, I have adapted and adjusted to changes and supposed improvements on the cash payment method.  I opened a bank account and was introduced to the checkbook and how to balance it.  I received a debit card and eventually was able to even open my first credit card followed by a few more.  I manage my money through online banking.  I shop online and make payments there.  I have passwords and pin numbers and security codes floating around in my head.  Throughout the evolution of my life and the life of many Americans, I have successfully moved away from cash and into other forms of money and payment methods.

Traditional Wallet vs. Digital Wallet

So, if we looked into my wallet right now, we would find cash, credit cards, a debit card, change, health insurance, coupons, loyalty cards, business cards, train tickets, and well who knows what else.  And now, there is a digital version of all of this called the digital wallet.  Why have I not taken the plunge?

I guess the main reasons are I really don´t understand it and it makes me a little nervous. 

Ok, so what exactly is a digital wallet?  Well, basically, it is a digital version of the thing you carry around with you in your purse or back pocket.  In my eyes, the idea is still in its early phases, but it was created to mostly store your many account numbers and make online purchases easier.  Think Paypal.  For the most part, I have only seen this when shopping online.  However, it is evolving as mobile payments are becoming more popular and the demand may be there to use the digital wallet outside of online businesses and inside the physical stores.  So, the new version of the digital wallet is currently being presented more as an app on your smartphone that can hold your account numbers, airline tickets, train tickets, gym memberships, coupons and anything you would keep in your real wallet.

And, because everyone is beginning to develop their own version of the digital wallet, problems are beginning to present themselves.   For example, mobile phone companies are beginning to develop their own digital wallets and drop or even block the ones they were supporting on their network.  So, if you want a digital wallet, you may be more likely to use the one your cell phone provider has created or the one that their system supports (read more here: http://gigaom.com/2013/06/07/the-digital-wallet-business-is-rough-just-ask-google/#comments).  In other words, you may not have much of a choice.  Despite this force fed approach to which digital wallet you end up with, I also think then I would be worried about my personal information being encroached upon and the fact that I have GPS tracking on my smartphone.   As an American, I think the tracking already available through my credit and debit cards have me on edge, this would essentially take it a step further.  I doubt I am alone in feeling extremely uncomfortable here.

Personally, my move to Berlin, Germany has restored my faith in the traditional cash payment method.  In my experience, the Germans have kept a cash at the candy store approach when it comes to offline businesses, and it seems smart.  From a business perspective, why would you pay fees to a third party to use a payment method system when honestly the cash system is so simple, quick, and easy.  And, with the digital wallet landscape changing and evolving everyday, how can you make a safe bet as a business on which provider to go with.  I think the potential for the digital wallet is much higher in the USA rather than Germany, as even the credit card hasn´t wiggled its way into the mainstream in Germany.  Don´t get me wrong, I truly do see the value in the digital wallet world within online businesses everywhere.  But, to me, the rules are simple, in the digital world I will need a digital wallet, but in the real world, I will continue with my real wallet.  

Stephanie BoguePermalinkKommentare 0
Tags: payment methods, digital wallet, stephanie bogue, stephanie´s ramblings
Views: 673

Stephanies Ramblings - Opt-in Text Message Marketing as an expansion on Social Media Marketing

Posted on 08.08.2013 by Stephanie Bogue

My childhood dream of living in Europe has finally been realized as I moved to the wonderful city of Berlin, Germany just over a year ago.  I am currently an International Business student writing my Master Thesis in the field of Marketing and plan to finish at the beginning of 2014.  So far, the highlights of this year for me were learning from European and German culture, broadening my knowledge in Marketing through SEO and SEM work, and enjoying a fairly warm summer in Berlin.

For the next six months, I will be working at the BVH.  I will be pulling the most interesting ideas I have about marketing, strategy, economics, e-commerce, tips, trends, and international business into this blog for your reading pleasure.  I look forward to our future conversations!

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We all know that there has been immense pressure on both social media and mobile marketing to pave the way of the future for retailers everywhere in the almighty attempt to find the best way to connect and see results from their loyal and potential customers.  Is marketing in a more modern and personal way such as text message marketing the best for getting people to act now?  Or do we need a constant buzz of brand info and social media to keep the brand heartbeat alive for us?  My answer is being armed with both will take you far.

Although social media is viewed as having incredible potential, does it?  Has a super bubble formed within marketing strategy around social media and making it work? And, are marketers so swept up in the social media buzz that they have blinders on to what else is out there? 

For sure, a successful marketing campaign includes all channels to show your brand and communicate with your customers.  Social media certainly creates the online word of mouth and recommendations that brands need to stay up to date and fresh in their customer´s heads.

However, there is so much extra information floating around in social media, does it all get jumbled together in chats with friends, vacation photos, tweets, and blogs?  And, is social media personal enough to motivate people to browse or buy something through its advertisements, links, shops, and social recommendations?  Honestly, I´m not sure.  Don´t get me wrong, I am simply raising the question can social media alone motivate people to buy something now?  And for me, the answer is maybe or sometimes.  People can log in to social media and people can log out.

Text Message Marketing

Now, think about your favorite brands.  Think about the select few you have fanned on facebook, and registered for email notifications.  You have obviously instilled a little bit of trust to let them have a little more access to you, but what about a little more?   By this, I mean offering up your cell phone number for mobile marketing.  In other words, volunteering your cell phone number in exchange for exclusive text only offers.  This technically is not a brand new idea.  Text message marketing was introduced shortly after the smartphone´s rise to power.  However, the way the cell phone numbers were collected appears to have been the problem.  Only a few years ago, information was bought and sold and marketing campaigns were blasted out like spam resulting in a big flop for the text message marketing idea. 

As a business, the only way to successfully, credibly and legally obtain a cell phone number for a mobile text message marketing campaign is to be clear and honest about how you will use the info and how often you might send information.  I think marketers and business owners are aware of what a close connection this is with their customer and that if abused, the customer could be gone forever. 

But, is this intimate connection still scaring off businesses and marketers today? In a day and age where we have entire jobs based around social media, how is it that many companies, both large and small, have never attempted to run a text message marketing campaign?  The read and open rate of text message marketing is amazing.  “95 out of 100 of your customers who have opted into your text messaging program OPEN and READ your mobile messages within 3 mins” – (according to the CEO of Mogreet in a forbes.com article (http://www.forbes.com/sites/marketshare/2013/03/04/pulling-back-the-curtain-on-text-message-mobile-marketing/)

To sum it all up, social media is great for creating the everyday, constant online buzz every brand needs; however, don´t stick your head in the sand when it comes to trying new ways to connect with your customers in a more intimate and personal way.  Mobile marketing could be a way to get quick and measurable results from your customers that want closer access to your business and brand, but remember to learn from the mistakes of the past.   

 

Christin SchmidtPermalinkKommentare 1
Tags: stephanies ramblings, stephanie bogue, opt-in text message marketing as an expansion on social media marketing
Views: 2466

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