Beacons Beckon ... No B.S.



Beacons are the new black. These cheap little things will be everywhere to "wake up" the right section of a mobile app that matches exactly where you are. 

Think about the value of instantly getting info on your phone about the product or service in front of you... then being able to take action, optin, share, purchase... skip a checkout line!

And we have vendor lessons to share!

See below for our "No B.S. Beacons Breakdown"- But first, related buzzwords and videos: 
VIP 3.0, Micro Geo Fence, Context for communication, Proximity Profiles, Predictive Customer Service, Wiser Wayfinding, a solution to Showrooming ... Digital Delivery for Analog Aspirations!

An overview from one of the vendors we select:


The market opportunity for retailers is huge... now:


No B.S. Beacon Breakdown:

Get the full range of opinions from videos of the sessions at Mediapost's recent Beacon conference  to learn about real world deployments by vendors, agencies, retailers, and the Brooklyn Museum. Here is the good intro overview panel. Another recent online event with more video sessions is BeaconConf

The secret to Beacons is that they are the answer to customer service at the right time and place while building individual customer knowledge and increasing sales.

The goal is to build a REAL profile of your customers and AUTOMATICALLY deliver customer service at their points-of decision.

Coupons, offers, and delivering deeper product data are all smart. But consider the ease of facility management (who is where... and what did they tweet)... allocate some Beacons to simply count customers in key locations... provide "you are here" maps, and even alerting your sales associates about a customer service opportunity!

They are cheap enough that you should not let price distract you from imagining the many opportunities to satisfy more customers. Each Beacon is only about $25. Since they are always getting cheaper ... think "free" with the right partner.

A Beacon can go anywhere. They do not need power because batteries last for years. They do not need internet connection since they merely transmit a signal that wakes up a sleeping mobile app that corresponds to that specific Beacon location.

30% of U.S. smartphones are currently enabled to connect to beacons using Bluetooth BLE
(Android 4.3 and iPhone 4S or later). As people upgrade their phones, this is expected to grow to 80% over the next 18 months 

Having Bluetooth turned on is currently required ...but new easier triggers are being developed, such as existing wifi

Having an integrated mobile app used to be required... but soon a customer only has to open a coded email on their smartphone.

VentureBeat's enthusiastic overview reminds us that this is not only an Apple service and there are new solutions (including Android) that are constantly being developed to make deployments easier plus more effective and accountable.

So, it's getting better for Beacons every day...
It's the next land grab (literally) for the Internet of Things.

The exciting challenge is offering valuable content so consumers opt-in, continue to engage, buy stuff, and share with their friends.

Digital data feeds are the key. The more relevant the better. Can you deliver live, dynamic info related to a specific location? However, you can easily setup relevant content in advance that matches what you want to offer a customer in a specific location... and on their CUSTOM TOUR (I am yelling because this individualized service is what Beacons are best at).

Security and privacy are on the top of our list. We harness military-grade encryption and make sure that spoofers don't hijack anyone.

If you use the right Campaign Management System, the right data is easy to deliver to the right person at the right place. FYI, we have tested and chosen the best CMS.

Ready to play?
Everywhere... like here and here ... and wherever your prospects are...

           

                     (Thanks for the images Creative Commons and Nitro)

Share this post at http://bit.ly/EatMediaBeacons 





Trust = One More Happy Customer

Dorothy and her posse needed help.

They relied on one crazy dude behind a curtain... it worked. Trust was built.

I have been using a a whole team of crazy dudes and dudettes that have earned my trust with my online customer care.

So, as promised, I share the best services that I rely on... Business Plus One is worth sharing. See below for what they do and the ROI they deliver.


BPO has been tweaking the answer for a couple of years (mostly with hundreds of Planet Fitness locations). And now they are unveiling the best model for successfully managing and making money from Search and Social Media ... this is ... providing BOTH a great team AND a great technology platform to manage all of my online marketing. 

They are my secret army behind the curtain.

See their 3 phases below - you need #1 and #2 before you reap the benefits of #3. Check out how they respond to and find LOCAL sales opportunities in the conversations already happening across the Web...


Phase 1 - Create and Cleanup - We consolidate, merge and create the social media channels for every one of your locations. Each needs a single Facebook Places page, updated branding, cover photos, logos and tabs. We claim them under your own corporate email. We do the same for Google+/Maps, FourSquare, Bing and more. We make sure the hours of operation, location and links are accurate.
Results/ROI - Planet Fitness experienced a 40+% improvement in both traffic from better search engine optimization and online joins.
Phase 2 - Manage - Using our proprietary software, we connect all of those Facebook pages into one central dashboard where we can now see all incoming comments, respond to customer inquiries and post corporate approved messages, campaigns and branding. We provide access to each of these pages to franchisees through a password protected area of our software where they can post to their pages, but held in queue until we approve them to provide consistency in the branding and messaging. We would dedicate staff to your brand, train them to be capable of handling customer service inquiries and to answer basic requests.
Results/ROI - At Planet Fitness, Facebook likes improved from 85k to over 1.1 million, YouTube views from 0 to over 10 million, Monthly reach on Facebook now exceeds 100 million
Phase 3 - Promote - Now that the infrastructure is built, we now have the ability to highly target customers at each location (Microtargeting). We build text, display, video and social media advertisements specific to each location and designed to advertise only to those in the geographic area who best meet the target demographic criteria.
Results/ROI - Planet Fitness now exceeds $800k in ROI from an advertising spend of less than $40k per month which is paid mostly by franchisees.

You know it works because I am "one more happy customer" sharing with you. Give me a call (617-331-7852 or dcutler@eatmedia.com) and I will tell you how happy I am that I got the courage to invest in BPO... yeah, I couldn't resist...

Let's take it to the slopes!

As many of you know, I am an avid skier and an apres-ski expert in training...

So... I am lucky to have a gig that combines my friend's and family's passion with my career goals of integrated marketing and Digital/Mobile experiences. I am adding interactive services and technology partnerships to a media network at over 1000 destinations worldwide.

So...
- If you ski or snowboard… let’s go! I have some cool tech and hidden powder to share.
- If you don’t … let’s get you started with a little “apres-ski” and some beautiful views.

Sure, we can talk about getting away and into nature for exercise and bonding with your buddies. There is a REAL need for getting out of our ruts and finding the healthy balance around all our responsibilities these days.

We will certainly share the marketing value of such an ideally positive, uncluttered environment for brands to participate and add utility to these fun-loving, receptive, mobile-obsessed “upscale actives” … yeah, a pretty good audience

Please check out what our teams in the US and Austria are up to at our Blog and News - http://sitourusa.com/blog/ - you will see the two taglines defining our mission: 
Advertise where they Play … and … Minds Open On The Mountain

I look forward to our chat (preferably on a chairlift) about the lessons we are learning as we focus on how to really engage ANY audience. Skiers just happen to be a lot of fun.


Caring and Sharing



Once again Seth Godin gives us hope that a personal philosophy of truth will help our professional world be more effective and meaningful...

In a recent inc. interview he chastises Marketers about not paying for attention... and if they are... they are not paying attention!



How can companies get marketing right?
Godin: Start by understanding that no one cares about them. People care about themselves.


 "Instead of thinking, "What do the masses want?," marketers need to think about what the people who care want. They are two different things. The masses aren't listening because they have so many other choices. The people who care are going to choose to listen. And by appealing to the people who care, it is way more likely that a company will be talked about".
So... target the customers who will care... and provide value so they care enough to share... and appreciate your brand and promise.
This is when we all love to love Seth... when he confirms the importance of OUR promise!

So... allow me to share... about how we care...

"Sitour" is a French mashup for Signature Touriste... Signage for Tourists. We really care about skiers and help these tourists (our people!) get around the big, beautiful ski resorts so they have more fun with their family, friends, and nature.

Our marketing and advertising services are for brands that want to join them and provide a PRESENCE WITH PURPOSE to an "Upscale Active" audience that are in a positive and receptive frame of mind.

We help brands deliver their message AND value to great people at hundreds of ski resorts around the US and the world... through live Analog and ongoing Digital interactions.

Call me, David Cutler, CEO of SitourUSA (dcutler@eatmedia.com or 617-331-7852) to share ideas around your existing brand promises or jump onto our many opportunities to provide instant and longterm value to what your new friends need and want ... VIP access to fun, sampling of food, drink, whatever ... free Mobile services... device charging...maps, weather, music!

We have been Experts On Snow successfully for 50 years. You are invited to join millions of us having the time of our lives at ski resorts ... where it is Après-Ski all day!


SitourUSA.com - Connecting Minds and Media

Jack Sez - Get Out!


Last week I was out at the Connect Conference for the Out-of-Home Industry.  Jack Myers (in the Bob Dylan t-shirt) knows how to MC the truth! My tweet: Out Of Home ad industry has been going digital and ready for Mobile @jackmyerscom #connect2014 #ooh 

The other Jack (Sullivan) from Starcom Mediavest is urging the industry to employ "Digital Designers" (nice term).


They talked about Mobile being a friend or foe... since it's obviously at the center of our world (particularly OOH), Mobile needs to be our best friend. The answer is in testing Mobile Marketing vendors and partners across all Media. They are starting well (but slow) with projects like the Gap's Mobile geo-fencing local bus shelters.

"Convergence is here (again)... this time between OOH and Mobile." (Heberle)

If you want more coolness that actually sells stuff (of course you do), ask me about the tech we are having the most success with ...  

Here is a great slide from Greg Stuart of the Mobile Marketing Assoc reminding us about the consumer's multimedia Path to Purchase (click to enlarge)...
  

The next most popular topic: Changing an "old school" media industry is...


Here is a nifty overview from the exceptional judges of the best of outdoor OBIE Awards 2014....


History is Bunk

The first bumper sticker should have been "History is bunk."

In 1916 Henry Ford,  said, "History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history that we make today."
Pepsi is not necessarily making history... but they are messing with now in a fun way...

Data Hogs


Information is only as valuable as the applied result.

"Slopefiller" skiers are leading most industries with Big (mountain) Data!





Don't you love and hate the line “if you can't measure it, you can't fix it” ... because we all want to rely on our honed but innate gut instincts... no need for analysis/paralysis ... make quick decisions... move on.  Well, keep dreaming!

Check the data hogs that love to slop around with the feeds and numbers. 

Slopefillers is a rare and magical research service. They have matched their love for snowsports with their love for data and are sharing amazing insights into the "Active Lifestyle." Their partner Ryan Solutions offers CRM solutions and answers to amazing questions like the below "Stash." Answer is HERE.


See their revealing Dashboard of Social Media usage at the top ski resorts...










More Data ... applied.

FreshyMap is weather data applied for fun and value... find the fresh snow so you have more fun and get more out of the cost of your lift ticket! They also have a clever contest to find and win a pair of ski goggles... which you need... in the powder.


Your Lucky (7) Day


Good marketing is not ALL luck... just make sure you recognize when an unfamiliar form of it heads your way.

As luck would have it, below is a re-visit to a valuable report from Boston's smart and successful ad agency, Mullen about the 7 "Modes of the Mind."

The brands that advertise to the uniquely receptive consumers at our national network of ski resorts take advantage of a few of these 7...

Q: How many ways are there to connect with a consumer? 
A: Seven
Following months of proprietary research, we just this month announced the discovery of Modes of the Mind™, seven distinct behavioral characteristics of the human mind that can enable communicators to precisely engage with an audience at times of maximum receptivity.  Through a strategic collaboration between our brand planning, media innovations and performance analytics teams, we’re launching Modes of the Mind as a new connections planning system for our clients to tailor their consumer encounters (everything from messages to experiences to communities), delivery channels and timing to the point at which consumers are most open to engagement.
We have found that there are Seven Modes of the Mind that drive behavior and provide windows of opportunity to deeply penetrate the consumer’s mind 
(Note - red modes are where the Sitour audience mind is):
1.    Share Mode – self-express, ideate and opinionate
2.    Information Mode – stay informed and up to date
3.    Play Mode – active fun
4.    Research Mode – learning and problem solving
5.    Socialize Mode – connecting and conversing
6.    Entertainment Mode – relax and enjoy
7.    Task Mode – getting things done or transacting
These seven modes are directly linked to the derived behavioral satisfaction a consumer gets from engaging with media, content and technology – and it impacts how they identify with brands and interact with their peers.
“Brands have to take a new approach to connecting with the consumer – and go beyond a traditional understanding of demographics, psychographics and behavior,” says Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, who developed of the Modes of the Mind.  “Brands need to know how to engage consumers on their terms and to identify when the consumer is most likely to be receptive to what they have to say.  We’re quickly discovering that by leveraging the right combination of modes we can enhance the potential to influence how consumers think, feel and act.”
For the last few months we’ve been using the Modes of the Mind methodology to guide clients into deeper consumer engagements. For Lending Tree, we found, surprisingly, that Boomer refinance prospects were most open-minded to thinking about money while they’re in the mode of being entertained. For a new packaged goods client, we learned that Green-Moms were most open-minded to brand engagement when in the mode of socializing.  For Olympus, the Modes approach helped us confirm our theory that digital photography enthusiasts would be most receptive while being informed.
We’re still evolving ways to apply the Modes of the Mind™ and also developing relationships with neuroscientists and psychologists to further validate the theory. We know that different combinations of modes are relevant for different consumer segments.  Even for the same consumer, different modes may be more relevant than others, according to what category or brand they’re consuming.  What’s key is an understanding of which of the modes matters most – because in getting the modes right, we can enhance brand relationships and increase efficiencies.

Not-Advertising Sells the Feeling... Just Compare Choices


Advertising is changing ... for the better ...by not being advertising. 

One of our customers, GoPro, is re-defining how to leverage user-generated viral video to "advertise" a feeling that defines their amazing video products - Fast Company just put them at the top of their list of most innovative companies in advertising (along with Samsung, big old BBDO, and small young Rebel Mouse).

You sell your service or product when you meet the expectations of the right prospect at the right time... and motivate some level of sales action. Simple.


Yeah, it's more complicated than that (see my attempt at defining the elements of successful selling at http://bit.ly/TipsOnSellingOut), since communicating your value is about the feelings you give your buyers as well as how effectively you deliver the data they desire to make their decisions... this used to be called "Advertising."

Gopro gets more results with "Earned Media" (that UGC viral stuff)  But traditional Advertising still works and is your friend... When it comes to buying/selling Media, you should understand your choices. Here are prices of several Media. Are you feeling like you are giving/getting a deal?