Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Mobile is Revolutionizing Our Intent to Buy

I came across this eye-popping infographic from the folks at econsultancy and had to share it. It depicts the roles of mobile usage in consumer shopping.

What struck me is how mobile is changing the inputs that shape our intent to purchase. Check out the “methods to gather information” section. How many of these apply to your daily life? If you’re like most people, this looks spot-on as a snapshot of typical uses for mobile.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Joy of Facebook Marketing Done Well

Most brands use Facebook like another brochure, failing to capitalize power to get people to jump in with their own content. But this campaign from a European orange juice company is one of the most clever uses of Facebook I’ve seen. It encourages the idea that a smile has power—the power to squeeze orange juice that is. The more users smile, the more juice gets squeezed in real life.

The cause-marketing overlay is a little weird. The company allows users to choose a charity to receive the juice. Well, logistically, that’s a burden for many non-profits. The numbers speak for themselves: the FB page got 30,000 new likes, over 20,000 photos uploaded and 40,000 fresh oranges were squeezed.

There was also a level of personalization. The user's name was printed on the machine digitally as they used the app and watched the video. Terrific recipe for social engagement. Breaking it down, the campaign ingredients combined to make users feel good--smile--get some immediate gratification by watching their participation make something happen (product being freshly squeezed) and sharing photos of themselves and recruiting friends for the same.

Hat tip SimplyZesty

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fessing Up: The Inner Sanctum of a Workaholic’s Heart

When I was younger, I wanted to be impervious to heartache. I was careful in my personal relationships to maintain just a little cool remove.

Emotional risks, like those that go along with failure and falling on my face, were reserved for my work life. Compartmentalizing in this way would cushion me from unnecessary pain, I reasoned.

Turns out, it had the opposite effect. Being too cautious meant I didn’t cultivate the antibodies that would make my heart more resilient.

A few years ago, the circumstances of my life forced me into a corner about this matter. I emerged from the tussle ready to risk a little more to allow myself to feel more powerful emotions. This business of “getting in touch with my feelings” wasn’t automatic. Sometimes, deeper emotions are neither secret nor obvious.

Next month, I’ll give a talk at an event where author Brene Brown is also speaking. If you haven’t checked out her popular TEDx talk, please do. Brown makes a convincing case for how being vulnerable makes us stronger. I very much look forward to meeting her.

This past weekend, I took a big emotional risk. The results were inconclusive. Ordinarily, I would have been devastated. Instead, I told myself that few things are in my control, and the whole point is to wade into life up to my nostrils. That means allowing my heart to be submerged as well. Okay.

Is this what is meant by work-life balance?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cool Examples of Brands Taking Interactive Experience Offline

With summer in full swing, it got me thinking about how digital marketing is joining up with outdoor experiences. Marketers are discovering ways to stand out by showing up in public places using interactive storefronts, shelters and touch screens. As part of pedestrian life, these experiences surprise and delight. They also help a brand create a sense of community while expressing the brand’s personality.

Check out these three great examples that engage consumers using digital interfaces for unexpected experiences in everyday life:

A storefront becomes a way for consumers to put themselves into the scene. Is it art or is it advertising?

See more examples in the full article, posted at MENG Blend.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Permission Marketing Helps Privacy Get Teeth

Permission and privacy are walking hand-in-hand. This is good news for brands. A new bill proposed by U.S. senator Al Franken, calls for users to be allowed to grant explicit permission for companies to access their location data in order to advertise to them. No longer would users of iPhones, for example, have to surrender their location info by default when selecting an cool app.

What Franken’s bill proposes is that there be a stage whereby the user grants consent for their location information to be shared with third parties which, if passed, could have a huge impact for location ad providers on mobiles. The proposed bill would affect both service providers and developers.

It’s gratifying to see that privacy has finally taken hold as a new norm in digital culture. It took a while. Think back on how often people quoted Scott McNealy's admonition dissing the movement toward privacy: “Privacy…get over it!”

Now, for the first time, a bill has been proposed in relation to mobile privacy and it represents an important shift as we move to a permission-based economy. The bill is titled the "Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011" and the title alone shows how pervasive local social networking has become and the legal implications this has as the service develops.

Franken’s bill could set the tone for making privacy and permission a required combination in the digital economy, which will become paramount as social media marketing develops.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Design and Tech Start-Ups Get Buyers Clicking Add-to-Cart

Photo by jenlen
I’ve been following the news where art + design + tech = opportunity and I see that Fast Company reports on a new investor network for designers. Founder Enrique Allen says he wants to, "shift the paradigm of what design is. Design encompasses systems now, not just 'making things look pretty'."

A few years back, I was struck by Virginia Postral’s convincing theory that people perceive well-designed products as actually working better. This is where designers have economic impact.

Designers make things that people need AND want because they are both useful and beautifully executed, whereas most tech startups fail because they make things that people may want, but don’t perceive as needing or don't covet. It’s a failure of imagination poorly executed.

Look for more such mergers and infusions of design, designers and artists into the tech space. At last!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dance Fever--9 yr Old Boy Rocks Vogue

I watched the Tony Awards last night. I lamented how few of the plays I'd seen. In honor of "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" I share this trippy video of a 9 year-old boy dancing to "Vogue". It's from 1991. Maybe he was rehearsing for a musical that was yet to be created?

ME AT NINE, PERFORMING TO MADONNA IN SUMMER '91! from Robert Jeffrey on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Planting Seeds of Change: The Heirloom Seed Library Launches

There’s a new reason to love living in Chicago during the summer: the new Jane Addams Hull-House Seed Library. It’s the first-of-its-kind library that lends heirloom seeds. By filling out a library card, I will have access to the seeds, reference guides and urban gardening workshops.

The Seed Library is similar to the conventional library. Instead of checking out books, seed library users can check out regionally adapted seeds and grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, and/or ornamental flowers.

At the end of the season, users are asked to save the seeds and return them to the library. What a terrific exercise in community building.

These small acts of community building are worth watching. They represent deeper consumer yearnings to thrive by sharing. Rachel Botsman, author of What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, notes how the internet has facilitated the ability to share resources, including time and skills, with communities both local and global, and encouraged a shift in how we consume.

I plan to join the Seed Library. And I plan to watch how the concept takes…and if it sprouts a new spirit of community.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time Is What You Make It

I promise to get back to the serious business of blogging by mid-week. For now, I want to share this photo of my son (middle) and his BFFs. I snapped it immediately following the graduation ceremony.

I learned a big lesson out in Vermont as I waded through the knots of happy parents and jubilant graduates. It’s this: time is what you make it.

Therefore, I need to do a better job of honoring time. Seriously, 4 years has vanished in a twinkling. My kid is now out of college. How did that happen?

I hope you won’t mind if I use this blog to help me keep my resolution. It means sharing the good with the bad and the occasional personal post.

Starting with this...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Found Art: Virtual Concert

When the Southern Theater in Minneapolis cancelled several shows due to financial distress, ICE still brought the concert to the people, with the help of WQXR and MeerkatMedia.

This was the program they had scheduled for their live concert in Minneapolis, including two world premieres developed through the ICELab program.

Live from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway | ICElab from ICE on Vimeo.

Disclosure: One of our LitLamp staff serves on the board of ICE.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Is a College Degree a Cultural Relic?

Photo by Werwin15
My oldest child graduates from college this coming Saturday, so scant blogging for me.

The family will make the trek to Vermont to partake in the ceremony. Lately, this ritual of college graduation has taken on a dubious distinction. Face it, the fact that Peter Theil is paying kids NOT to seek a college degree says something.

I’ve long been saying that higher education is the next bubble. Meaning, how it’s financed and operated is unsustainable. Creating a vast underclass of over-educated surfs who are slaves to big college loans is sheer recklessness.

Still, my heart flutters as I pack my suitcase in anticipation of the moment. I put a kid though college…during a major recession.

The American Dream may have seen better days. It has always rested on the belief in getting a good education. Call me a Luddite, but I still believe that a good education is its own reward. And when it’s your own kid, believe me, you happily invoke a willing suspension of disbelief.