Category Archives: apps

Etsy & Kite

How Etsy & Kite Add Social Right Into UX

By | apps, customer experience, digital commerce, digital marketing, ecommerce, interactive marketing, social media | No Comments

Social media marketing is more essential than ever in the growing world of digital marketing. As Small Business Trends reported last year, 7 out of 10 consumers prefer a business with a social media presence, which is why companies are continually trying to find new ways to engage in conversation with their audience.

The recent trend is to integrate social platforms and campaigns right into their services, helping them boost engagement and retention in one fell swoop. Instead of trying to come up with the next hit innovation in the field, these two companies are applying the tried-and-tested techniques that consumers love on other platforms, right into their own service for more effective UX.

Etsy Makes eCommerce Social with Crowdfunding ‘Fund’

Fund on Etsy. Credit: Etsy Inc.

Fund on Etsy. Credit: Etsy Inc.

The company that prides itself in connecting creative entrepreneurs with their target customers is expanding into the profitable and viral sensation world of crowdfunding. Taking the idea behind Kickstarter, Etsy hopes that their Fund service will  ““help…sellers [continue to] grow their businesses and create new products. By funding a campaign, buyers can participate in a new product’s journey from initial concept to their front door, while forging even more meaningful relationships with Etsy sellers they care about.”

It’s a genius natural integration that puts the creative marketing aspect right into the eCommerce marketplace, ensuring a full-service venue for their crafty user demographic to reach their strategic goals in the financing and development process. Right now, Fund is in it’s Pilot Program with limited sellers, but if users respond well Etsy hopes to roll out the service to all sellers soon.

Kite is Differentiating Themselves from the Competition Through Integrated Social Marketing

Kite Interface. Credit: Fast Company

Kite Interface. Credit: Fast Company

In the past month, there has been a slew of announcements about new News apps and platforms: from Apple News to Facebook Instant Articles, and the newly announced BuzzFeed News. Among those is Kite, but the difference between this app and the rest is that Kite plans to change the game of searching for reading material by disguising its full service browser-centric service into a standalone social network similar to that of Instagram.

Instead of using algorithms or having users navigate through an infinite amount of search results, the service plans to embrace both types of effective search curation used by other platforms, “social is one and the other is journalistic curation,” Users can follow trusted friends and personalities for easily-digestible reading suggestions from people with similar tastes and opinions they actually care about. It’s the equivalent of getting music recommendations from your credible friend who knows what they’re talking about. The best thing–the app will not redirect you to read in Safari:  it’s a specific browser designed with user-accessibility in mind, focusing on a minimal look that showcases the actual multimedia content right in app because we all know content is king nowadays. They hope to become their users’ primary browser, by focusing on the interactive social marketing approach in selling their service.

Need help integrating your social media platforms into your marketing strategy? Digital Operative can help you come up with the best method to ignite conversation with your audience. Contact our Marketing Team today.

Apple Music Logo via Consequence of Sound

Is Apple Music Spotify’s Largest Rival?

By | apps, digital marketing | No Comments
Header image via Consequence of Sound

During their annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled their new music streaming service, Apple Music–the latest entry in the recent music streaming wars. The service integrates some of Apple’s existing aspects, blending user’s iTunes library, the Beats Music app and an updated and more heavily curated iTunes Radio, adding up to serve as Spotify’s largest rival.

1.  Apple Learned and Improved Upon Their Competitors

Apple Music App

Apple Music App Screenshots (accessed via

As the iPhone 6 release has showed us, Apple knows how to expand upon their competitors’ ideas. Noting TIDAL’s high cost mistake, Apple Music will remain at the user friendly $9.99/month costing the same as Spotify, but will retain the existing Beats Music Family Plan. To compete with leading service Pandora, Apple Music will launch the first live 24/7 global radio station entitled Beats1, which won’t be using algorithms but instead curated by leading DJ personalities such as Zane Lowe. The same level of customizable expert curation can be expected in the app’s recommendations and playlists “For You” tab. Apple is even going the extra mile by releasing the app on Android devices this Fall.

2. Industry Connections & Credibility

accessed via

Iovine at WWDC Keynote (accessed via

Apple is using their rolodex to use by integrating their resident talent, and reaching out to high profile musicians to bolster the new brand. When the powerhouse company bought Beats By Dre last year at the price of $3 billion dollars, the company also acquired founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, as well as Trent Reznor as expert consultants. Those names sure do go a long way in gaining artist credibility and connections. Iovine was even in attendance at the keynote to announce the service. He believes “technology and art can work together…at least at Apple.” Artists Drake and The Weeknd also made surprise appearances in support of Apple Music during the keynote announcement, two hit names that were left out of the star-studded TIDAL announcement roster.

 3. App Awareness in Prime Real Estate

Apple is rolling out the app before their next iOS 9 update. Instead of waiting until the Fall, the new service will launch June 30th with front-page placement. Apple Music will be on all Apple mobile device home screens in the prime dock position, serving as a convenient billboard to all  iPhone and iPad users.

 4. Providing an Integrated Social Media Experience


Multi-Platform Capability (accessed via Consequence of Sound)

Apple Music will introduce a new aspect to their service that Spotify currently does not have: a social media platform where artists can communicate and share exclusive content and behind-the-scenes multimedia with their fans. Connect essentially integrates elements similar to Twitter, Facebook, and SoundCloud directly into the app. It’s another way Apple Music is incorporating the human touch to their service. Another great feature about Connect is that it will aim at a larger audience, allowing both signed and indie artists to use the platform, something that TIDAL went under fire for not including upon initial release.

5. Using Their Name and Brand Power To Good Use

screenshot via Home

Apple has always been the company that changed the way people listen to music, from the iPod to iTunes, both changing the way the record industry markets music. With this new service they can be on top in the latest music frontier. They’re not branding Apple Music just as a service, but as an ecosystem– “one complete thought around music” with the standard “elegance and simplicity” that Apple is known for. By using their strengths and reputation as an industry powerhouse, Apple has always been the forerunner in marketing and ecommerce strategies with their new products, and Apple Music is not likely to disappoint.

Apple has years of tried-and-tested experience behind their marketing strategy, and has learned to integrate their strengths into their campaigns. If you’re interested in building the most effective strategy that takes into account your business’s strengths, Digital Operative can certainly help you reach your goals. Contact us today.

Big three stories of the week!

By | apps, digital marketing, ecommerce, facebook, interactive marketing, mobile marketing, Search Engine Marketing, search engine optimization, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Though Friday the 13th is generally considered an unlucky day, it is Friday and it can’t really be that bad. Here is the weekly round up of the top tech stories that you can’t miss this week. One story will affect your search engine optimization plans, one will effect your holiday shopping next year, and the final will make you rethink about mobile marketing.

1. Google launches “search plus your world”

Google continues its move to social networking dominance by launching “Google search plus your world”. Now, we all know that Google is the undisputed king when it comes to search, and we have all been watching as they awkwardly try to transition into social networking. It reminds me of when Eddie Murphy was the king of stand up comics and for some reason awkwardly tried to transition into being a singer. We all knew he was really good at one thing, and yet he had to try singing. But I digress. Google is launching “Search plus your world” for Google plus members which should benefit those social networkers who have become part of the Google Plus network. Google search plus your world will enable the user to search across both the wider internet that Google traditionally provides search results for as well as across your social network (Google Plus only). There is a little toggle switch at the top so you can choose between the two if you like. Here is an example of how it works:  you type in something like “Pizza” (My favorite search query) you will get both the traditional results, along with results that show your friends eating pizza, or pizza recipes they share. Here is Google’s video that shows the new social networking features in the search engine. For privacy purposes these social features will only appear if they are shared with you or if the post is public. Additionally Google will add the image results to your search so you will see both the images Google traditionally has in its index as well as images of your social circle. We will keep an eye on it because the Google search plus your world will definitely begin to effect search engine optimization efforts.

2. Consumer Electronics show

The CES is where the latest and greatest in all things electronic are released. If you don’t know what it is, it is basically what happens when a nerd goes to heaven. I didn’t get to go this year, but I did get to read about these great new gadgets:

  • 3D printer – This is just so amazing. Instead of printing on paper it prints on plastic, and the printer bring what is on the computer screen to life. I saw a video and it was able to “print” a flute, a replica of a person, a mannequin head, a toothbrush, and a shoe. Now, I don’t want any of those items per say but the possibilities are endless. I can see this increasingly being used for ecommerce.
  • Lenovo Yoga – Both a laptop and a tablet this is one very cool machine.  It is a laptop that can fold back and become a tablet, or fold over and become a stand to watch movies or TV on. The part that I like the best is that it has both the functionality of a tablet with screen based movements as well the laptops processing power and keyboard. It would be so nice not to need a laptop and tablet separately.

3. Are apps more important than search on mobile?

I saw the link to this article on Danny Sullivan’s facebook wall and thought it was worth taking a read. It brought up some valuable points about how people use and search on their mobile devices as compared to how they use apps on their mobile devices. Some main points that I took away from the article are:

  • Mobile users may be searching the web less than we think and are instead searching the app store.
  • Whereas a mobile website may be browsed momentarily, an app is on the phone and will be opened again and again. This means repeat traffic
  • Consumers interacting with apps show more brand favorability and purchase intent.

Articles like this continue to show that the cutting edge of the digital revolution is in mobile, and the playing field will continue to change

Those are the big three stories for the week – have a great weekend!

DO’s App Expertise featured on San Diego 6 News

By | agency life, apps, Digital Operative, interviews, mobile apps | No Comments

When we think about saving money or finding deals here at Digital Operative we go right for our favorite web and mobile apps. When San Diego 6 needed some experts on apps, they found DO and we were happy to welcome them to the office.

If the video embed code isn’t working below, visit this link.

Branson’s Project Magazine – A New Magazine for the Digital Age

By | apps, geekery, innovation, product design | No Comments

Project magazine cover video from Project on Vimeo.

Project magazine issue 1 – cover video.

Project magazine issue 1 – cover video.

Virgin Digital Publishing’s Project magazine is ready to rock or so it seems. Project will be run by veteran magazine editor Anthony Noguera and Branson’s daughter Holly. I did what any Digerati does and tried to click on the App Store link … it says it isn’t available in the US yet. I bet this app is going to be a daily destination for sure. It may not be the end all to be all for the publishing industry, but it sure as hell seems to be trying to push some boundaries.

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