Category Archives: mobile marketing

Snapchat for Marketers

There’s a Snap for That

By | mobile marketing | No Comments

Navigating the World of Branding Through Snapchat

If you’re not already familiar with and using Snapchat, it’s time to hop on the bandwagon. What used to be thought of as a teen centric social medium, is now a brand marketer’s dream. There truly is no better way to advertise with the complete engagement of viewers. In fact, users aren’t just interacting with your brand, they’re also marketing it for you! In the world of marketing, it really doesn’t get much better. Many advertisements nowadays are seen as an interruption, not an enjoyment. But not Snapchat. They’ve truly changed the game.

B2C Marketing: Personal Interactions

If your brand is focusing on marketing directly to the consumer, Snapchat is something you definitely need to consider, at the least. Through Snapchat, businesses can choose to sponsor ads, geofilters and lenses.

Snap Ads are 10 second videos that promote your brand. You can add interactive features, such as swiping up to receive an extended video, article, or anything else you see fit for the advertisement.

Netflix Snapchat ad

Image via Snapchat

A geofilter is great for marketing as well. Users can swipe through various geofilters after taking their picture. Many of these are location base so they are especially great for promoting storefronts and business locations.


Image via AdHawk Blog

A lense is an interactive special effect in real time. Users are able to see the special effect as soon as they open the lense to take the picture. Even before a picture is taken, users can can play around with the lense, giving your brand as much face time as possible. These 3 marketing options offer a fun way to connect with and promote to potential consumers, which is much better received than interruptive advertisements.

Dog Snapchat Filter

Image via AdHawk Blog


The return on investment is obviously important when it comes to marketing a brand. While finding the ROI of Snapchat is hard to track and there are no tools to to assist, there are clear indications that using Snapchat as a marketing tool is beneficial. Focusing on the numbers we do have access to is a great way to confirm how beneficial snapchat can be. To start, there are 100 million active viewers everyday, which includes 41% of all 18- 34 year olds in the U.S. That’s a lot of people you are able to easily reach, in just one day! As far as Snap Ads go, they have 5 times higher click through rates than ads on similar platforms. Geofilters usually reach between 40%- 60% of users in the United States, and sponsored lenses get an average of 20 seconds of play time. That play time doesn’t even count the amount of time other users are spending watching their friends snapchats with the lense.

There are so many ways to reach users through snapchat, and all a business has to do is produce something users want to take advantage of. These Snapchat features provide a much more intimate interaction with the consumer, as they let them have fun and enjoy the company’s promotion. Plus, if your company chooses to advertise with a Snapchat filter or lense, users are basically marketing for you by sending out pictures or videos with your brand on it. What more could you ask from a potential customer?

Gatoraid Snapchat ad

Image via Snapchat

While there are no ways to tell the exact ROI right now, you can have peace of mind knowing your business in on the top of everyone’s minds. And that in itself is a great thing for any company. So trust the numbers, trust your instincts, and dive in!

Snapchat keeps taking steps in the right direction, especially for marketers. The company continues to introduce great features to connect businesses to consumers. Marketing on this platform is still new for everyone, but it is important to take advantage of Snapchat marketing while you can. Businesses are quickly realizing the popularity and success through this social platform and prices are rising fast. Making your brand known through platforms that draw the user’s attention is rare. While most advertisements cause an undesired break in your activity, like commercials, Snapchat provides extra entertainment. Make marketing effective for you and amusing for the consumer. Contact Digital Operative for a quote on how to improve your marketing strategies.

Pokemon GO

When Old Meets New: Tapping into the Pokemon Craze

By | mobile marketing, viral marketing | No Comments

You have probably seen the direct effects of Pokemon Go without even realizing it. Maybe you often see people walking around, not looking up from their phones, swiping furiously, pointing in different directions – they’re looking for a nearby Pokemon they’ve located on their map. Or perhaps you see a bunch of people crowded around a random fountain, sitting down on their phones – it’s probably a Pokestop. Maybe you’re driving with a friend and they suddenly yell at you to slow down in the middle of an intersection so they can catch a Charizard (or maybe that’s just my friends).

You’ve probably seen the articles about how the app has taken the world by storm. And, just like the rest of us, you’re probably wondering how all of this happened quite literally overnight. The immense success of Pokemon Go provides us with an opportunity to look at the unique factors at play in the game’s marketing, and how it can even serve as a new marketing medium for other businesses.

Utilizing a cross-generational audience

One important overarching factor which may have contributed to Pokemon Go’s success is the fact that the franchise was able to appeal to multiple generations. While current fans of Pokemon were the typical target audience, the app also had another fan base backing them up: the previous generation of Pokemon fans who grew up with the franchise and felt nostalgic about it upon the app’s release. Because of this, the app was able to attract downloads from people who fell outside of the usual gamer audience and thus generated more momentum. By playing on nostalgia and fan loyalty, Pokemon Go took advantage of two unique factors that are not always available in this particular market.

Pokemon Go

Image via


Easy accessibility

A second component of this overnight phenomenon is the fact that Pokemon Go is available as a mobile app, and because smartphones have become the norm, this made the game readily accessible to a large majority of the world’s population. People who normally wouldn’t partake in gaming now have the option to simply download the app and take it with them wherever they go–it does not require any extra equipment or lengthy instructions to follow and learn. Our mobile-friendly society quickly accepted Pokemon Go into their collection of apps and mobile games.

The influence of social media

Social media has played a huge role in further promoting Pokemon Go after its release. The app has since garnered a significant amount of press, both good and bad, and created a name for itself as an overall family friendly game that encourages people to get outside–albeit still with their faces glued to a phone screen–and explore their surroundings. The app can attribute a significant portion of its success to simply word of mouth and peer influence: when people who normally would not download the game see their friends playing it, they feel more inclined to do the same, at least to see what the hype is all about.

Pokemon Go Tweet

Image via WorldStar.


So how has Pokemon Go managed to also transform local and even global marketing? Because the game relies on real life locations, small businesses, retail stores, and public spaces can take advantage of the increased number of customers they may receive each day simply because there might be a Pokemon in the store, or by taking matters into their own hands and placing “lures” in their store. Yelp has developed their own filter to show where the closest Pokestops are, and T-Mobile has offered free data to customers who use the app.

Pokestop Yelp Filter

Image via iMore


Pokemon Go has truly surpassed our expectations and became the newest sensation sweeping across every single nation. What do you think the next nostalgic revival will be? Here at Digital Operative, we’re always looking into the latest trends. Make sure to contact us today for a quote!

AppleWatch (4)

Apple Watch Review: Good for Marketers?

By | digital commerce, digital marketing, ecommerce, mobile marketing | No Comments

This year on April 24 Apple Watches will take over wrists and ecommerce markets worldwide. Described as the most personal device yet, the watch has features that focus and connect specifically to you. This opens the door for a wide range of new experiences and connectedness. But what does this mean for marketers and businesses? It means the game just got a lot more personal.


These modernized watches allow you to send friends sketches, your heartbeat, and a tap, the watch learns and displays your daily activity, suggests fitness goals, presents you the time, and allows you to personalize your watch through their collection of unique designs. With all of these cool features available, the only downside is that users need an iPhone to use the watch to its full capability.

Great Potential

With Apple Pay, the Watch is changing the way we are thinking about shopping. It’s already available to use with an iPhone, but Apple Pay on the Watch is made for even easier convenience and accessibility to your credit card. When purchasing an item all you have to do is double-click the side button, place the Watch’s screen in front of the scanner, and voila! You will feel a light tap to confirm the payment was sent.

Image via

Image via

There is also a lot of speculation about the future possibilities of the Watch. Since you can let your Apple products know where your location is, people are expecting location based marketing to be the next big thing. So if you are walking downtown past a pizza place, you would feel a tap on your wrist of a coupon you could use at this specific restaurant. This is incredible for businesses because phones are usually in your pocket or in the depths of your purse but the watch is always in sight, making the users experience that much more personal.

The Apple Watch adds so much potential to ecommerce since it’s wearable technology, this provides easier access for users and the internet is literally on their wrist. The Watch is always in sight so notifications on promotions or any marketing offers will instantly reach the consumer.


With any new products marketers need to adapt their strategy and content to the device. The Watch has a small screen and isn’t used the same way an iPhone or iPad would be used, meaning marketers will have to develop a new plan for the notification’s timing and tone, as well as sizing for their apps or online sites. Marketers and businesses will have to take into consideration that the Watch is constantly being worn; they don’t want to overload the user or make them more dependent on technology, so whether that is lessening the amount of notifications or reducing content, they will need to develop a new perspective for their marketing plans.

Being present on multiple platforms is difficult, but with the potential for businesses on the Apple Watch, it’s definitely worth the extra work. If you’re interested in growing your business’s ecommerce, contact us or check out our marketing team’s services.

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By | mobile apps, mobile marketing, social media | No Comments

We love links. They connect us to what we want to read, view, and purchase. It’s a hardly-noticed privilege we’ve become accustomed to–being introduced to a brand online, then simply clicking a link to learn more about said product. For years social media sites have been providing accessibility through direct links. The exception to the rule? Instagram. In 2013 brands acquired the ability to advertise on Instagram, but not link directly to an outside website. Now Instagram is stepping it up a notch.

A few weeks ago, Instagram announced it will be offering advertisers carousel-style photos and weblinks. Meaning, when users come across an ad, they will be able to swipe through multiple photos and click-through to a webpage of the brand’s choice. By clicking the “learn more” button on the carousel, an internal browser within Instagram will open so users can easily jump back to their feed.

Image via

Image via

Previously, brands mostly used Instagram ads for billboard space, meaning photos or videos would appear in user feeds as they scrolled through. The carousel feature will allow for a narrative to take place with the use of multiple photos, however this feature is still only available to paying brands.

Instagram  claims they are just evolving brand ads, and this play isn’t about increasing engagement. Still, with this new feature, brands will be able to track click-through rates, likes and comments on their ad, and whether or not users swiped through multiple photos. The carousel ads will just feature photos at this time, not videos.

Image via

Image via

The company takes a hands-on approach when working with brands that advertise with them, in order to keep user happiness their top priority — Which is why CEO Kevin Systrom will still have the final approval on all ads shown on the platform. But, with that being said, advertising is part of what keeps Instagram free for those users, so finding a balance that makes both brands and users satisfied is key.

Despite this new feature, brands still won’t have the advertising freedom they’re accustomed to with Facebook and Twitter. However, with Instagram topping over 300 million users this year, the hoops are definitely worth jumping through.

Let us know what your marketing goals are — If you have a vision of advertising on Instagram, we are definitely on board to make it a possibility.


Pinterested in Shopping?

By | ecommerce, mobile marketing, social media | No Comments

Has a new ecommerce tool arrived? Pinterest has successfully pigeonholed itself as the “virtual scrap board” of social media with its mosaic style layout. The browsing experience has been converted into a visual experience. Some believe this is taking online shopping to a whole new level.

The image based discovery platform allows users to identify their favorite categories. For instance, a user can follow a category such as fashion. Topics within the category like “hand bags” and “watches” will become visible at the top of the users home page.

Moreover, users of such categories can connect through sharing pins from other pinners, which will then be found in their home feed. Such a segmented market creates a gaping opportunity for brands reach and engage with the most relevant users to facilitate a two-way conversation between the business and the consumer.

According to Kurt Abrahamson, chief executive officer of ShareThis told ClickZ, “Pinterest’s user base has been growing overall. And they launched a new feature this quarter, Guided Search, which is exclusive to mobile.” How can a marketer fuel this fire?

Diversification Is Key

With the launching of Pinterest’s “Guided Search” feature in the second quarter of 2014, coupled with their rapidly growing user base forges a new path for marketers to engage segmented consumers with their favorite brands. However, marketers should not just limit this leverage to mobile alone. After all, mom always said not to put all your eggs in one basket.

It is up to the marketers to take the data from the upcoming Q3, to continually keep up with the times. Emerging trends will tell the marketers which way to turn down the path. For now, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Keywords are King

You’ve heard, “Content is King” – well for Pinterest, Keywords are. Create a clever caption that will not only engage users, but will likely make it more enjoyable for the user to search more frequently. The Guided Search tool will pin to pinners with similar interests. With the keywords embedded into the text, Pinterest can ease its way into Google, making the Pinterest promotions relevant to Google searches, too.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Bedazzle the brand by capturing products in a way that creates an experience, rather than just any old irrelevant interaction. Tap into the emotion and your brand will boast well to consumers.

The Takeaway

We can attribute emerging trends in technology to the shift we have seen is social media. Embedded YouTube videos and pretty pictures with clever captions will not only entertain users, but give them a voice and a part in taking brands to the next level.

Encourage the conversation amongst consumers and interaction between the brands and users will create loyalty and a family sense.

Lastly, don’t forget the data! Analytics from Pinterest, Google and other sources will help marketers and brand ambassadors measure the success of their investments.

2013 Here today Gone Tomorrow – Digital Marketing Predictions for 2014

By | digital marketing, ecommerce, mobile marketing | 2 Comments

With our 2013 Digital marketing recap in the books – we are now looking ahead at what 2014 will bring.

Content Marketing

Google’s Knowledge Graph is creating more feature-rich search result pages that turn our experience into more of a discussion and fluid channel for users to find content without leaving Google. Hummingbird will help answer your questions in Google before you even have a chance to ask them. The new content created by brands will need to contain markup that Google can parse and ultimately incorporate into their search result pages. It’s not about whether companies post quality content, but more of a matter of how it’s formatted and distributed.

Content marketing in 2014 is going to be full of image-rich, data driven content. We saw a lot of content being created in 2013 with images – whether it was .gifs, infographics or memes. Content was being published in a way that was more visually appealing to the consumer and 2014 is going to be no different. Brands are going to need to get creative with their own content production – so be ready.

Social Media Diversity

In 2013 we saw a new trends in the social media landscape with the release of Facebook search, Instagram videos/direct messaging, and even Snapchat. Social Media is going to take an even larger percent of marketers focus in 2014. To stay ahead of the curve, companies will have to start being diverse and using different social platforms to be creative in order to set themselves apart from other brands. Paid social ads will continue to generate a deep user engagement and we will see brands investing more money and time in getting their ads displayed via different social networks. We will see promoted posts on Facebook, sponsored tweets on Twitter, sponsored stories on LinkedIn, promoted pins on Pinterest and new Instagram ads all become likely mainstays in the marketing arsenal.

Mobile Marketing

mCommerce, or mobile marketing, is going to be key in 2014. We saw a huge shift in mCommerce from 2012-2013 and it’s going to continue to boom in 2014. Customers are increasingly more likely to type in their precious 16 digits on their phone, than ever before.

There is a widespread use of smartphones and tablets, with 28% of website traffic now originating from mobile devices, companies will have to jump on the mobile bandwagon if they haven’t already. Consumer phone usage and smartphone adoption is continuing to rise, and in 2014, marketers will need to ensure that the brand experience is the consistent on a smaller screen. Studies show that 61% of people have a better judgment of brands when they offer a good mobile experience.

Real Time and Display Marketing

Companies are able to gather more location based data and use this information in real-time to target to their potential consumers. There are many tools available to help marketers better analyze the data that is being gathered to help pave the way to start acting on “Big Data”. We will see more marketers onboard with Data Management Platforms like [x+1], Turn, and Knotice.

We are excited for 2014 and can’t wait to help usher our clients into the future and take advantage of some of these new technologies.

iOS 6 & The iPhone 5 Will Change The Future Of Mobile Advertising

By | customer experience, mobile marketing | One Comment

Whether you're a gadget junky like me, or just due for a new phone, chances are you've read about the new iPhone 5. While many blogs have been debating form over features, one topic that has been scantly discussed is how the new iPhone 5 and iOS 6 is going to change the future of mobile advertising. For the sake of brevity, I won't list all of the features you'll find in the new operating system, however I will highlight the improvements that are going to change the mobile advertising ecosystem for publishers and consumers.

Let's start with the obvious...

(1) More Space Means More Ad Real Estate

App developers are so desperate to monetize their applications many of them have been cramming an ad unit down our throats even when it's an impediment to the content. With an extra 1/2 inch of screen real estate in the new iPhone 5, this means developers don't need to lay the ad over the content, instead there's a new found space for the mobile ad unit that's less annoying than it's predecessor.

Not only will developers welcome the space within their applications, search engines like Google and Bing will probably take advantage of this extra room as well. We've seen paid ads dominate the search results on desktops in Google for a while now. First it started as sidebar ads - then one, and then 2 - now a substantial part of the screen above the fold is dedicated to ads.

“Bigger screen translates to more real estate available for ads, making mobile ads more likely,” says Michael Pachter, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities.

(2) YouTube Cuts The Cord, The Rise of Mobile Video

If you haven't yet heard, Apple and Google are at war and one of the casualties in that battle has been YouTube. YouTube isn't about to wave their white flag. They've prepared a new app immediately for the release of iOS 6, but they've done so with one major addition. In the past, YouTube was restricted by Apple from including mobile ads in their videos, now that they've broken free from the App store shackles they can open this market. The addition of pre-roll advertising before popular YouTube videos on a mobile devices, is a big win for YouTube. They may walk away from this fight with a smaller installed base, but they will invariably increase their revenue by exercising their freedom.

(3) Facebook, Facebook, and More Facebook

Facebook is moving to prime time billing in iOS 6. They're tightly integrating with major features in iOS 6. This is going to be a big win for Facebook, who in the passed has struggled with their own mobile presence. Now Facebook can rely on the health of the iOS 6 interface to leverage more sharing and more mobile engagement from their users. When Twitter was given the same treatment, their signups increased by 25%.

Assuming Facebook gets the same lift Twitter has, there's going to be a swath of new advertising opportunities made available by this improvement. The social graph will grow, people will be more connected, and Facebook will serve more relevant mobile and desktop ads.

But third party applications will also ride this Facebook wave. TechCrunch reported back in May that third party application developers are leveraging Facebook data to serve more targeted advertising and their stock is bouncing after making that reality more clear. This move hints at Facebook creating a mobile ad network and eager developers want in. While that move might be several months away, Facebook is in fact extending their knowledge about you to developers so the ads you see can have more context and greater click through rates. This could change the mobile advertising industry permanently.

(4) In-App Purchases Became a Developers Gravy Train

In app purchases of iTunes content just got a whole lot easier. Previously, if Pandora wanted to sell you the song you were listening to right now, one would need to leave the application and open the iTunes music store. Thereby interrupting your jam, taking you away from the music, and forcing you into a purchasing flow. Now, developers like Pandora have the ability to keep users within their application to purchase their desired content.

The ability to have a seamless experience within an application and still monetize is likely to be an lucrative opportunity for application developers. I'm excited to see how this gets rolled out in the first wave of unique iOS 6 applications.

(5) Passbook Could Be a Boon for Couponing and Loyalty Programs

Ok, so there's no NFC on the iPhone… boo, hiss! We get it. However, what Apple did have the smarts to do was introduce an alternative and made it available to all of the legacy hardware they have floating out there. It's called Passbook.

Passbook could be a flash in the pan, or it could change couponing and loyalty campaigns permanently. I'm not sure where I stand yet. What I do know is that Apple has lined up a whole host of launch partners and that's a good sign for the platform.

This means Starbucks can now send me a gift certificate or coupon that I can load into Passbook. The next time I walk through the door of Starbucks my phone will buzz and the coupon will pop up. In a single swipe I have the barcode ready for the barista and I'm on my way. No more dealing with gift cards, coupons to print out, or any other arcane method of doing business.

The ability for the coupon code to pop up on your phone even if you merely walk by Starbucks could be great advertising opportunity for businesses. If I'm Starbucks, I'm sending every iOS 6 user a free coupon to put in their Passbook just to test the theory.

(6) New App Store U/X

More than 30 billion applications have been downloaded from the App Store but with recent changes in iOS 6, we can assume the rate of application consumption will rise.

Currently when you purchase or download a free application you're taken out of the App store. With a new change in iOS 6, you'll stay in the App store most likely consumer more content, researching new apps, and making more purchases. This tiny change in user experience and work flow will certainly be a big win for developers and those relying on the mobile app economy to pay their bills.

(7) Do Not Track - 'nuff said

The mobile advertising industry is very young comparative to the web advertising industry. What that means is historically users have had very little control about what developers know about their usage habits. There was no way to opt out of retargeting, clear your cookies, or otherwise prevent apps from passing along targeting information to their constituents.

The new iOS 6 is forcing developers away from tracking user behavior using the UDID to a new method called identifierForAdvertising (IFA). In short this is a more mature format that makes the mobile environment operate more like the desktop environment–that is, giving the user the ability to opt out of tracking, retargeting, and what amounts to the equivalent to clearing you cookies.

(8) Smarter Notifications Mean More Notifications

With more applications wanting the ability to notify users with an urgent ping, it can be a bit overwhelming. In iOS 6, Apple works to reign in some of the more overzealous apps by putting more control in the users hands. The new operating system allows a user to put time restrictions on when applications can 'bother' them. A byproduct of this feature could mean that more users will be increasingly comfortable with leaving notifications on for applications which could increase engagement, impressions, and ultimately revenue.

(9) Happy Developers

While consumers blogs are debating whether the iPhone lives up to the hype, developer blogs are cheering the new changes in the operating system. Overall, there's been an unprecedented control of the native applications such as the camera. For the first time Apple is letting developers have access to a new set of API calls that will lead to a whole host of new innovations. Imagine Instagram filters being able to adjust the aperture of a picture before it's taken. Now it's possible.

Another thing developers will welcome is smart application banners. Have you ever visited a mobile website only to be presented with a banner asking you to download their ‘iPhone Application’. Now developers can add some code that notifies the user that a mobile site has a registered app in the App store.

These are just 9 of the major improvements in iOS 6 and iPhone 5 that could alter the future of mobile advertising. The changes will be subtle enough that the user will not notice. But just like any good change in design, these changes will make for interactions with less friction, more activity, and in the end more revenue for the mobile advertising industry.

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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!

Location based marketing – aka business where you at?

By | digital marketing, ecommerce, mobile marketing, Uncategorized | No Comments

Location based marketing

I recently attended an interesting webinar held by Hootsuite guest starring Geotoko. It was a little salesy, but the premise of the webinar is that location based marketing is the way of the future. Not the pretend future we were promised in Back to the Future Two with awesome flying skateboards and shoes that self inflated – but the near future and even current. Seeing as my job is to stay on top of interactive marketing and internet marketing trends I decided to look further into this and share how location based marketing is truly a powerful tool to bridge the gap between the digital and physical world. In this blog you will learn what location based marketing is, the different companies that are the big players with location based services, and three tips to be more effective with location based marketing.

What is location-based marketing?
First, lets define location-based marketing. Location based marketing (LBM) is when companies use geographic locations provided by GPS on mobile devices to market to potential customers as well as provide the potential customers useful information and fun games. There are a variety of ways to market/target your customers using LBM and each method has different advantages and disadvantages. Whatever way you use LBM, the overarching goal is to reach the right person, at the right time, with the right ad. How you do it – that is the fun part!

Who are the big players in location based services?

  1. Foursquare – Check-in enough to become the mayor? Foursquare an extremely popular app. is a highly social way to utilize location-based marketing.  They are a leader in the field and have reached a point where they are a major player in LBM.  Foursquare allows a customer to check-in and leave suggestions or messages at various establishments. Businesses can promote on Foursquare via coupons or providing perks if someone becomes the mayor. Mayorship – though gimmicky – leads to real world prizes, which is unique and a great bridge between the physical and digital world. These real world prizes create loyal customers who often go to these businesses with hopes of becoming the mayor or retaining their mayorship. Foursquare also has a unique and fun badge system where you receive badges based on your check-ins. When someone checks-in they also have the option to post on Facebook and Twitter – these check-ins serve as a way to promote businesses.  Check-ins show that a person likes your product enough to announce to their social networks they are there.
  2. Yelp – Yelp uses one of the most powerful forms of marketing – word of mouth. Current customers leave reviews for anyone who is looking.  Sometimes these reviews are positive, and sometimes they are negative. However the review is slanted they tend to be more trusted as people assume that these are non-commercial based reviews. These reviews are then found by potential customers who have searched “nearby” and been geolocated by GPS. Much like foursquare there are also check-in and deal options, and businesses can utilize these to reach customers at the right time and in the right place.
  3. Gowalla – Gowalla has not been around as long as Foursquare, but they are extremely popular. Gowalla is a GPS based application that tracks your location, and does so with a great user interface. One feature I really like is that with Gowalla you can’t check into a location unless you are physically there.  You can’t game the system with Gowalla as it uses your GPS to find where you are, and if you aren’t there – you aren’t checking in. Additionally Gowalla allows you to make trips, which are an excellent feature if you are just visiting a new city. These check-ins are also pushed to social networks, which allow potential customers to see that their friends frequent an establishment.

What are some ways to effectively use location-based marketing for my business?

  1. Show some love – We have all seen the stickers for Yelp local stores. Remind people in the physical world of what you are doing in the digital world. Keep your location based marketing top of mind.
  2. Make deals that matter – If a potential customer is close and they see a great deal, they are much more likely to go to your store than for an average deal. Think great discounts to woo repeat customers.
  3. Stay current – Make sure that you are listed on all the major location-based marketing services. Many have phone lines and if the address or phone number is incorrect it is important to correct them so your check-ins have that viral effect with the correct information.

Who can help me with this?

If you need help with your mobile marketing and location based marketing Digital Operative is here to help. With years of experience using these tools we are able to help you promote your business in any digital form. Feel free to call us at (619) 795-0630 or visit our website at

Social Media to become more about Where I Am then Who I Am

By | digital marketing, facebook, google, location-based, mobile apps, mobile marketing | 3 Comments

When crafting a Social Media Strategy, we often think about the people and who were are trying to engage and activate. So you look at demographics, what tools, apps and websites they are using; you begin to build out these utopian profiles for the people you feel your message will resonate with.

So how is this going to change moving forward?

Let’s take a look at the some of the recent news in the area of “location-based services“:

  • Twitter turns geo-location on – read more
  • Facebook enabling its 400M users to share their location – read more
  • Google dilutes its efforts between Buzz and Lattitude – read more
  • Foursquare is testing its new business analytics dashboard – read more
  • Gowalla inks deal with Travel Channel – read more
  • SXSW becomes global battle dome for location-based Davids competing against the Goliaths – read more
  • Loopt in chats with Facebook and repositioning around check-in specials for consumers – read more
  • Plancast seals its future with funding – read more

So what does all this news mean?

Well you better be aware of what is out there because the social media strategy you spend 4-6 weeks crafting better include location-based marketing tactics, metrics and the ability to scale as these services continue to offer the end consumer more game-like features to keep them engaged and business owners a suite of tools to connect in real-time conversations both unobtrusively and geographically.

It’s not just Who Am I. It’s becoming Where Am I.

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