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The 7 Pillars of Digital Marketing Blog

Best practices, training and innovations in Digital Strategy.

New Version of iPhone Expected in Quarter 3

July 6, 2011 – 12:16 pm
Mohsin Sharief

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has placed orders for key components to be used in next-generation’s iPhone to prepare for a third quarter launch.

The newer version of iPhone is expected to be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4 and said to have an 8-mega pixel camer. The iPhone will operate with Qualcomm Inc.’s wireless baseband chips, a person familiar with the matter tells the Wall Street Journal.

A source at one of Apple’s suppliers says the company is looking to meet its goal of 25M units by the end of this year-2011. Apple said it sold 18.65 million iPhones in the fiscal second quarter, which ended March 26. Last month after returning from a trip to Taiwan, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said Apple will commence production on the next version of the iPhone this August.

Shipments of the new iPhone could be delayed if Hon Hai can’t improve its yield rate as the new iPhone is “complicated and difficult to assemble, the WSJ says.


Virtual Farm Reaps Profit

July 4, 2011 – 2:45 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail

Zynga’s IPO bid last week for a reported $20 billion is not too surprising.  The virtual social gaming application, according to the WSJ, generates a profit margin of more than 30% of prnot including stock compensation expenses.  Unlike most games tied to social media networks, Zynga does little interactive marketing. Their pure product engages users to pay for tokens which are redeemed with one click.  Another interesting point in the Journal article discusses the success of Zynga in the future.

Zynga‘s elevation was tied to their partnership through Facebook, whose wealth of personal data made it a simple driver for revenue growth.  Executives at Zynga now seem to want their application to leave the nest, so to speak.  They have yet to be a factor in Apple’s massive App Store, where users can sync digital content across platforms. Web analytics rank them outside of the top ten in downloads.  Android represents another option should Zynga develop a program using its standards.  Check that. Zynga has struck a partnership with AT&T to carry the mobile application.

In due time, it appears that Zynga will reap more of a digital harvest when the bid is accepted.


GSM Technology Celebrates 20 year of Service

July 1, 2011 – 11:33 am
Mohsin Sharief

The first GSM call was made by Finnish Prime Minister Harri Holkeri to Kaarina Suonio who was the Vice-mayor of Tampere. The call took place in Finland on July 1, 1991. The first network was built by Telenokia and Siemens and operated by Radiolinja (now Elisa) using a 900 MHz band. In the call, Holkeri and Suonio discussed the benefits of the New GSM technology, voice quality, security, privacy and the phones identity being in the SIM card. This allowed consumers to easily manipulate and choose products they like.

The GSM standard was agreed on in 1987 by 13 European nations, settings standards for the technology. In 1992 the first short messaging service (SMS or text message) was sent and Vodafone UK and Telecom Finland signed the first international roaming agreement. In 20 years, GSM has grown rapidly and today has reached over 4.4 billion people in 212 countries.

The first commercial GPRS services were launched in 2000. The first UMTS (W-CDMA) network was launched and worldwide GSM subscribers exceeded 500 million that year. In 2002 the first GSM network with 800 MHz frequency band became operational and also the first multimedia messaging services (MMS) were introduced. EDGE services first became operational in 2003 and the number of worldwide GSM subscribers exceeded 1 billion in 2004.

Over time, the technology has evolved to support 400, 800, 1800 and 1900MHz bands; and now supports WDCMA-based UMTS (3G) and later HSPA and HSPA+. The GSM standard Association currently holds 80% of the global mobile market.


GET IT Mobile Shares And Spreads Content

June 28, 2011 – 2:18 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail

Mobile marketing has been conducted in a haphazard fashion through digital connectors. I have spoken several times about the slow pace of platform scale development. This has annoyed content executives who want to diversify their ad packages for consumers.

Quite possibly, this San Jose tech firm will put them at ease.  GET IT Mobile offers a mobile marketing platform for leading brands to connect with their audiences who are deluged with content from all angles.  How will they do it? These are some features of product differentiation:

  • Web analytics – A partner site with measurement tools on par with other leading dashboards, customizable for your small business. Campaigns can be set up  at your discretion
  • Landing Page Flexibility – Brands can customize their pages according to hardware platform due to the inclusion of product landing pages.
  • Brand Experience – I like the shortened GET.IT URL. Links are becoming another domain where companies can stretch position and generate visibility.

The press release from EON offers more tidbits on the value of this new platform for businesses. After you review those, then GET IT over here.


Exceptional Mobile Marketing Campaigns

June 24, 2011 – 12:53 pm

Smartphones and apps are changing the way people access information, communicate and even shop. Mobile marketing is the future of marketing with the shift from PC to mobile happening at an alarming rate. Companies are employing innovative ways to hold their audience’s interest via text messaging, apps and unique mobile ads. Mobile marketing requires content to be engaging and interesting enough to hold a customer’s span of attention while he/she rides the train, waits in a queue at the airport or spend time browsing on their phone. Below mentioned are a few examples of brilliantly designed mobile ad campaigns.

1. Starplayer from Heineken

Around the time of the Champions League, Heineken developed a mobile game called Starplayer that was based on the real-time game on TV. The game could be unlocked about 10 minutes before the actual start of the UEFA game, and it interacted with users via questions that were predictive about the real game such as – corner kicks and the possibility of a goal going in. The game encouraged players to utilize their football instincts and mental skills, and earn points and badges. Starplayer could also be played online through Heineken’s facebook page.

2. Cornetto’s Mobile Game via Projection Mapping

Cornetto came up with an innovative street campaign using projection mapping technology in Turkey to build more brand awareness. They developed a game that could be played by 5 users at a time in a busy central square area in Istanbul. Any passerby could use his mobile to call and enter the game, and get assigned a character. If they were successful in the game, they could redeem a coupon for a free ice-cream. This game pulled in a lot of crowd as it only required the use of the keypad and hence could also be played by those who didn’t own smart phones.

3. Danoo’s Digital Advertising via Bluetooth

Danoo offered digital advertising solutions across high football areas, via Bluetooth to encourage users to download content that were of interest of them from what was displayed on digital screens.  The content was available for download free of charge. Danoo’s results from this campaign were impressive, as they discovered that 10% of the people already had their Bluetooth on and about 28% chose to download information. These results were very encouraging to other advertisers.

4. Lynx – Complete the Missing Parts!

Axe, commonly known as Lynx in Uruguay ran a fun cheeky campaign using mobile marketing to engage their male audience in particular. They ran print ads with missing parts in the pictures, and encouraged users to text to a number to get the missing parts. This campaign was very effective as it got users to directly interact with the brand just to see more of the ad.


Saturday Blueliner Newsminer

June 18, 2011 – 12:13 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail

Hello everyone. I had a couple work items yesterday afternoon which prevented me from posting the weekly digital media wrapup. Thus, I present to you a special Saturday edition. Let us begin with the who, what, when, why, and how.   

1.  The Webby Awards

I didn’t have a chance to watch them, but I heard this year was one of the better editions.  It took place here in New York at the Hammerstein Ballroom. They also continued the tradition of acceptance speeches with five words.  Here is a good synopsis of the event. The headline link is a portal to complete video coverage presented by YouTube.

2.  RIM Not Producing Spring Blackberries

Investors came down on the Canadian firm this week after sluggish data on earnings for the last quarter.  They also worry about RIM’s ability to maintain standing in the mobile marketplace.  Android phones and the new iPhone are scheduled to launch in September with upgraded OS servers while RIM plans to continue pushing older devices which have struggled to gain sales traction.  RIM executives feel that their products will produce juice for developers. The cup dryeth for others.

3.  Apple Trying To Shut Down Venue Recording

Many of you know that in the blogosphere, the video of a live concert experience is the new cassette recording. It can be shared in real-time as opposed to being found through tertiary sources like a music vendor or shop.  Apple is looking to earn a patent to stop all that.  According to the headline from Mashable, the motivation lies in avoiding copyright infringement with major content distributors.  The article makes an interesting suggestion that Apple could charge users a fee for recording in a public concert space.  If scaled, it could change the video sharing experience for everyone involved.

4.  The History of Email

This morning, Mashable had an infographic depicting the history of email as a communication tool.  You can view it above in the piece. According to the release, email networks existed in the public sector for a decade before the term was coded.  Some people today wonder about the future of email with the continued development of video content and social media outreach.  Quality marketers believe that email remains an effective measurement of customer preferences and tastes.  It also offers the widest platform to debate and discuss objectives of the day. Viva email!

5.  Senate Reviews Digital Privacy Mandate

From, the Senate is looking to revise a 1986 law for modern times to protect the personal data of the public. This law, named the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, has a clause where Internet users have more protection when data is stored locally.  The article also touches on law enforcement obtaining a search warrant before obtaining data records for a criminal investigation.  Other Acts are being debated in Congress now between Republicans who refuse to budge an ounce, forcing Democrats to seriously weaken mandates before submission. Corporations, as we know, need to step up their security encryption policies before the government does it. And fast. I’m talking to you, Sony.

That’s the Blue news on this Saturday at midpoint. Enjoy.








Carrier-Unlocked GSM iPhone 4 available in US online store

June 14, 2011 – 12:36 pm
Mohsin Sharief

This is big news for the United States, where unlocked phones aren’t always readily available in stores for purchase and we get locked into a carrier.

Apple updated their US online store on Tuesday offering carrier unlocked models of the GSM iphone 4 – starting from $649.

Both white and black versions are available, with the 16GB and 32GB models priced at $649 and $749.

The black models are shipping in 1-3 business days while a white model will take 3-5 days. US customers can choose from AT&T and T-Mobile Networks, though data speeds will be slower on EDGE Protocol and Verizon’s CDMA Model is not available at this time.

When travelling abroad, US iPhone users who don’t want to be locked with AT&T contract, freedom from contracts and free with international roaming charges get a Prepaid SIM card from local corner store.


Fiscally Hip To Be Square

June 13, 2011 – 5:52 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail

Small businesses, as we know, need to be resourceful. They must be aware of nascent technologies before established merchants. Inherently, the partnership can provide reflexive benefits. A small business can maximize production for a minimum investment while building brand equity.  

Legion members of the mobile payment, we introduce you to Square.  Square is a free credit card service that includes many beneficial services. Signees receive a pocket-sized reader that attaches to your audio jack. The mobile application is available for use with both smartphones and tablets.  Transactions fees are static at 2.75% with no contracts or monthly fees.  This application also has the versatility of an open source platform, allowing the mechant to engage with customers coupled with altering online advertising campaigns based on financial reporting.

It will be interesting to see if Square engages with the geolocal movement spearheaded by social media ventures like Foursquare and Gowalla.  Local businesses could extract significant earnings lost to nominal ATM kiosks when cash is the only accepted form of payment.  Live artists who spend a premium on devices for recording can use Square on the road without compromising storage space.  Huey Lewis knew it all along.


Internet Week, Metropolitan Pavilion, New York, Day 1

June 8, 2011 – 11:44 am
Abdul Fattah Ismail

I’m going to be typing with some thoughts on my time at Internet Week.  Follow me as I post live updates.

Keynote Presentation, AOL Stage, 10:00-10:50

10:10: Keynote Speakers Joan Young and Lauren Connell are on the AOL stage discussing the Internet’s relationship with art.  Joan Young is a curator with the Guggenheim Museum. Lauren Connell is an executive director of Rhizome.

10:14: The din of the public space is affecting the presentation.

10:15: Discussion of a conceptual art exhibit is interesting.  They are talking about whether the tools used to communicate e.g. to Internet blur fiction and reality so much that privacy and intellectual property is compromised.  Can physical art maintain its distinctiveness through?

10:20: The influence of video channels has really democratized performance art, exposing musicians to wider audience scales than ever before.  As a result, the content generated builds community. Panelists are also discussing the economic distribution model was not being challenged in the art world, which is largely vertical.

10:31: Young feels that artists can create their own valued ecosystems outside of the museum and exhibition structure. The question is now focused on cultural preservation. How does digital democracy affect that exclusivity?

10:45: Panelists discuss Seven on Seven Conference in May, where artists and web programmers work together to develop video content, social media applications, and other innovations. Click here for the results.

Sex, Hair, & Chicken:  What Busy Women Want Online, HQ Classroom

11:03: Panel is up, discussing the cyberspace behavior of women. Women research with strong desire to engage and make quick decisions.  The title refers to the simplicity of access, maintenance, and delivery of these three objects.

11:10: Childhood allergies, gender, and parenting issues are topics which garner strong online discussion and research. Women are seeking insider advantages when engaging with others through blogs and chat. They look for those who share similar experiences, like buying gifts online for a toddler.  Product developments like diapers are even debated vigorously.  Celebrity websites are also influencers for mothers seeking solutions to children’s dilemmas. Chelsea’s Clinton’s wedding dress from last year gained several thousands of hits on, not to mention comments.  Who knew?

11:25: Panelists are now discussing the intensity of mothers’ engagement to certain websites is based on the expense of parenting.  Liz Gumbinner of CoolMomPicks discusses how IKEA created a product development strategy to design a good based on a called price point.  For example, you have $25 and need a summer dress. The proper natural fibers would be sourced to meet that benchmark. Then of course, you post online through your channels and debate.  Excellent discussion piece.

11:51: Angela Matusik, iVillage Chief Content Executive,  vouches for the printed newsletter as an effective vertical strategy for parents and baby boomers. 40% of their readers respond with purchases.  Keep printing, folks!

That’s the morning roll. More to come at noon.







Like Diesel QR Codes In the Store

June 7, 2011 – 4:50 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail

Lovers of Diesel denimware should pop into a retail branch to like the denim collection. As this video from Creativity UK demonstrates, the brand is attempting to connect the personal experience when shopping for goods. This interactive marketing strategy asks the customer to scan the QR code, where they’ll be taken to a product landing page with the option to share it on their social media platforms, specifically Facebook. It is unclear if the other platforms are available for sharing options.  The viral community can either bash or love your fashion taste.

I do find the concept intriguing in that it engages the consumer on multiple levels, but denim is such a unique entity in an apparel collection, especially for women.  The fit must be perfect, or they get returned immediately.  It will be interesting to see if sales figures improve due to the penetration.

Apparel retailers are looking at different methods of getting customers to visit their stores.  This is one strategy which has promise for lead generation in online marketing since the consumer is entering their personal data into the store algorithm.  

The question, as I said, will come down to sales conversion. Does it drive up metrics online or through the brick-and-mortar model? Commodity concerns are forcing consumers to make direct choices about entering the venue for browsing. The ability to purchase through a smartphone application or website mitigates the necessity for travel. Retailers who pitch nominal or free shipping fees accentuate the temptation to stay home and click to buy.

Retailers who employ sales commissions should observe the Diesel strategy to predict its effectiveness.   Sales representatives want your seal of approval, the thumb, in person.


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