It is (finally) the era of the employee. And, yes ... there’s an App for that!

Taking care of your people is big business and finally getting the interest it deserves.  I believe it’s because the Millennial work-force is now bigger than the Boomers - and these kid's expectations are pervading … meaning a job they care about and good managers that show their appreciation.

A recent HBR cover story, “It’s time to blow up HR” looks at the industry trends (Gallop says 70% are un-engaged) and how the first step is to give your newly appointed CHRO, Chief Human Resources Officer, direct alignment with your CEO.  You must accept that HR is not just Transactional (hiring) but Transformational (the answer to success and innovation).

HBR also advises us to “fall in love with the problem, not the solution” … hubEngage is one of my best partners. They are doing both.


They have built a cloud/SaaS tech platform with THE missing element that will finally make your good intentions come true… yeah, you guessed it… the Smartphone!

hubEngage provides employee engagement Apps - see: www.hubEngage.com   

Now you can have your own company's internal Mobile App for better employee communication, experiences, and productivity. Easily push and pull relevant content, surveys, gamification, rewards, and much more.

The key is a loaded content management system that takes advantage of all the smartphone powers and, of course, proximity! See a list in a previous article HERE.

So, this is new... an easy-to-use interactive employee communication channel that taps all the smartphone functions by cueing-up and triggering quick content via proximity, behaviors, and segmentation.

These are just a half dozen of the many HR game-changing functions:
  1. Surveys - Instantly design, build and trigger with pre-set templates
  2. Compliance - Teach and certify with "top-of-phone" activities (not lost in emails)
  3. Understand- Analyze performance and build accurate profiles
  4. Relevancy - Target groups and individuals with right content,  time and place
  5. Harness - Let positive feedback reach across your company and to your clients
  6. Loyalty - Every function has points to gamify and inspire participation 
Of course you will have a dashboard for a live look at the activities, focus, and morale of your people...

The goal is to provide both control and openness for authentic culture.  Really... control AND culture.

The big picture is to provide the right atmosphere so everyone can focus on whatever is important at the time. The magic can happen when you integrate the physical environment including print collateral and promotional items AND all digital touchpoints - including desktop screens, kiosks, digital signage, and, of course, ubiquitous smartphones. 

We have connected the "control center" to manage it all ...


So, check out the hubEngage employee App ... and download their sample app from the Apple App Store or Google Play … Ask me for a key and a tour of the dashboard that lets you customize tactics. 

David Cutler - dcutler@eatmedia.com - 617-331-7852



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How Much of the Mobile "Brain" are you Using?



We DO use more than 10% of our brain... 

But you are probably only using about 10% of the capabilities of the smartphone with your mobile marketing.

Because... when a customer goes to your site thru a browser on their phone, they are NOT able to easily benefit from the amazing smartphone functions and sensors. You need an App to ...





... Get these: 
     - quick access with your own branded icons
     - alerts that come to you when you want them
     - instant one-click access to customer service
     - faster info display (even when there is no wireless access)
     - single loyalty program "center"
     - m-payments
     - elegant integration with your camera...
     - microphone
     - accelerometer
     - gyroscope
     - ambient light reader
     - magnetometer
     - barometer
     - fingerprint reader
     - Better experiences thru relevant engagements based on behaviors
     - deeper personalized segmentation
     - more accurate analytics and activity reporting

      - and of course what we love to talk about... active triggers like GPS Geo-Fencing and Beacons that initiate the "choice to ignore or learn more" about what's available right then and there!

See a deep-nerd explanation of the above terms and functions HERE

It's all about the App... and how you manage content to and from them.


Next? Check out a demo through one of our Marketing Communication Technology Lab events  - See www.MarComTechLab.com ... a key topic is how the new software platforms allow you to get what you need for Proximity and Mobile Marketing:
- Easy content management
- Automated interactions and insights 
- Better accountability results
Of the many ways to engage all the awesome deep-tech features of smartphones, Mobile Apps, GPS/Geofencing and Beacons (see my overview) are the best ... however, we can discuss situations where WiFi, NFC, and RFID make sense. 

Let's share some ideas that solve many of your business problems with that brain you carry around everywhere...


Feel free to share this article at:
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Don't Act Your Age... But Take Control of Your Mobile


This is a great time to think young and get control over BOTH your audience touchpoints and your content they expect to see on their smartphones.

Managed properly, smartphones are the ultimate "people finder."

One of our projects, MarComTechLab, helps companies get comfortable with the right new technologies ...and take action.

Yes, there has never been more distractions to reaching your customers, employees, and partners. But now, with smartphones, it has never been easier to provide value at exactly the right time and really engage.

The secret is software ... use a reliable PSP - Proximity Services Platform. These are new and earning their place as the next "WordPress for Mobile App content management." There are hundreds to choose from. We have assessed some of the best for:
  • Specific industry situations (hospitality, employee management, ERP, etc.)
  • Ability to learn and automate engagement
  • Flexibility for integration into your existing systems
  • Ease of use... including campaign templates for valuable and fun interactions Such as games, quizzes, augmented reality set-up, loyalty point manager, fast feedback surveys, etc.
Here is another secret to life:

Working with young-minded marketing communication technologists (and the platforms they develop) is the fountain of youth for company professionals. With the (right) new tech capabilities and attitude, you can act half your age and actually do what you can dream of.

Remember how great life was when you didn't worry so much ... fewer complications meant more optimism for possibilities... and your mantra was "yes!" 

The stars are aligning in 2015 for this to happen again... with the rise of the "on-demand economy," the technology ecosystem is catching up to our dreams. Here is a top 10 list:
  1. Smartphones are at about 80% coverage
  2. High-speed Internet is everywhere and we are all "always on"
  3. Social sharing is easier as we realize where it is truly valuable
  4. Security and privacy are finally a priority
  5. The cloud is now the right place to manage your digital life
  6. The best services are easy to test ... then integrate with your own systems
  7. Big Data is getting cut down to size for relevant analytics
  8. Machine Learning, Sensors, and AI are decades old and working (now called IoT)
  9. Location sensors and triggers (that have been proven in supply chain and military) are ready for you. See our POV on Mobile Beacons HERE
  10. Whatever new tech is launching this week... we are evaluating it!

Next?

We invite you to your own set-up in your own Internet laboratory where we help you control your Mobile interactions at the right time and place with a PSP - Proximity Services Platform. Cheap, easy, scalable, accountable... Really.

Also, feel free to share this post at www.MarComTechLab.com

David Cutler
Publisher of www.EatMedia.com
dcutler@EatMedia.com
617-331-7852

MIT Video Presentation and Mobile Beacon Demo


Watch the full 2 hour event video below from the MITEF presentation and panel discussion about hyper-local mobile marketing.




David Cutler prepared a custom app for the event and demonstrated the capabilities of Beacon technology. Read more on his EatMedia article at "Beacons Beckon." 

See panelist info and details at: Redefining The Customer Relationship Via Hyper-Local Marketing Solutions

Here is the entire event from attendee intro... to panel conversation ... to my Beacon demo/dance at the end:



Feel free to share this post. It is at 
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Beacons Beckon ... No B.S.


Mobile Beacons are your next best friend. These cheap little things will be everywhere to "wake up" the right section of a mobile App that matches exactly where your audience is. 

Think about the value of instantly getting info on your phone about the product or service in front of you... without needing to search, tap, hunt... then being able to easily take action, opt-in, share, purchase!




As I have said before, It's all about the App... and how you manage content to and from them ...So, it's really all about Proximity Management. Of the many ways to engage all the truly amazing features of smartphones... Mobile Apps, GPS/Geofencing and Beacons are the best (however, we can discuss situations where WiFi, NFC, and RFID make sense). 

Remember ... when a customer goes to your site thru a browser on their phone, they are NOT able to easily get the cool smartphone stuff like: easy access with branded icons, instant customer service, faster info display (even when there is no wireless access), single loyalty program HQ, m-payments, camera, and of course what this article is about... active triggers like Beacons that initiate the choice to ignore or learn more about what's available right then and there 

Ask us about a demo for ideas, vendors, and lessons from our many "proximity" deployments that can help you easily use mobile to service your customers AND employees.

Here is our updated overview of Mobile Beacons:

Beacons are the answer to customer service at the right time and place while building individual customer knowledge and (only when appropriate!) increasing sales.

The goal is to use Beacon "touchpoints" of data to build a REAL profile of your customers and automatically deliver relevant value at their points-of decision.


Watch a short video from one of our vendors...



Here's the secret... with the right hardware/software platform (more here), you can deploy a mobile marcom infrastructure stack out of your laptop. Cheap. Easy. Powerful.

A simply great use is by Walgreens - Customers were forgetting that they had been saving coupons. Beacons at the front door just automatically opens their App ... Easy value! 

Beacons are the next land grab (literally) for the Internet of Things.

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 anonymously (!!) opens a mobile app that corresponds to that specific Beacon location. 

Each Beacon is only about $25 ... think "free" with the right partner. Imagine the many opportunities to manage employees and satisfy more partners and customers.

So... with a little box and some optional data integration, you can:
  1.  Automatically open the right section of a mobile App and engage
  2.  Provide real value with the right content at the right time and location
  3.  Help users find info so they do not need to hunt, click, and swipe for it
  4.  Deliver only relevant experiences by acknowledging user preferences

... Want To Read More About Beacons?


Here is More - What Should You Do With Beacons?

Coupons, offers, and delivering deeper product info are all smart. But also consider the ease of facility management (what should happen where and when). Allocate Beacons for "passive data" not to interact, but only to count customers in key locations.. alert your sales associates about a customer service opportunity right now in the store!


Read how the Magic Kingdom VERY successfully tracks and loves you!
See a 1 minute overview of their RFID proximity service:

To quote GigaOm (RIP), "the best prospects for beacons in the near term may lie in venues such as amusement parks, museums, sports arenas, hotels,and mass-transit hubs. Venue operators can easily use beacons to deliver information users actually want in those kinds of scenarios, and that could pave the way for uptake of beacon-based (advertising and promotion) campaigns in retail settings."

Here are some related buzzwords: 
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!

The market opportunity for retailers is huge - now:


(No B.S.) Details:


-  Yes, you need an App to be triggered ... there is one near you (or in your near future).
-  Yes, Bluetooth must be turned on ... but if the App is valuable, users will want to turn on this surprisingly low-battery-consumption feature
-  QR codes and NFC are good - but require user to get up and touch or scan.
-  GPS and Wifi are not better. Neither can pinpont your exact location and both require much more battery power and cannot trigger your phone to take action (you must be actively viewing and swiping). 

Most 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 

Eddystone is Google/Android proximity platform... like Apple's iBeacon but adds:
- ability to push URL
- Beacon captures more data about it's location - telemetry, environment temp, etc.
- AND no need for App!... the phone can accept data and interact with existing Apps (lots of opportunity AND trouble ahead here)


Here is Apple's iBeacon page
See info on Google's Eddystone tech
Having Beacons are not even necessary - ByteLight uses LED lighting!

Market Details and the Challenge:

Click to enlarge this screen shot of a helpful  "Beacosystem" presentation HERE:

Get the full range of opinions from videos of the sessions at Mediapost's first IOT:Beacon conference and their second 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 (find speaker presos here). For an updated directory of Proximity Service Providers, see here.

Growth is already happening:

(Thanks for the images Creative Commons Nitro, BII) 

The exciting challenge... 

Abuse of this marketing and communication channel is as likely as you see in all media.... only worse since the mobile phone is such a personal and important part of our lives. We must respect this small screen in our palms AND build listening into our deployments. We must offer 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.


So...

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... you are actually looking for a PSP - Proximity System Platform - learn more about these at my other post HERE.



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Hot Spot Parking is .... Hot.

HotSpotParking uses mobile phones to make paying for parking easier and valuable to a community. More consumers will enjoy their downtown parking (and buying) experiences.

Businesses pay for in-store Mobile Beacons for automated customer dialogue and to provide VIP services - like free parking - that encourage shopping.

Cities get a free management platform... Everybody wins!


Since, 99% of Mobile Apps are only used once... the hard part is to provide enough value in an App so that it is used... and becomes a communication channel. 


So, here's the point, people will download and use an App to pay for parking... and love it when local merchants treat Beacon-triggered customers like VIPs and automatically engage through the App... and now (easily) pay for a customer's parking to keep them in store!


Learn more about Mobile Beacons HERE


Check out a few slides for details:
This square with the arrows makes it bigger  ^^^

We are also in partnership with big city solutions like http://park.boston.gov/


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Mobile Beacons connect consumers to merchants for automatic VIP treatment 
and an ongoing relationship building platform
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Cool & Smart ... inspired by Ogilvy Digital Labs

Ogilvy has it going on in NYC at the launch of their Digital Labs with some of the most forward thinking and valuable new media service providers... 
Aerva was center stage during the entire presentation, providing:
  • Multi-framed video with interactivity from any phone
  • Content management of any Web content to any screens
  • Live polling and instant display of results
  • Txt 2 Screen, Twitter 2 Screen, Pic 2 screen, Social 2 Screen!
  • Reply back to participant's phones for automatic engagement and lead generation with calls-to-action, coupons, links, and any media
Here is an overview montage of Ogilvy Lab participants in action:

More Cool & Smart Partners:

www.Kontakt.io uses Beacons to connect your Mobile with... Everything!

www.Nivea.com makes a magazine ad into a kid-tracking Beacon

Simple Augmented Reality Demo. AR engages and ads value


TrendHunter says ... Beacons, Sensor Reality, Clairvoyant E-Tail ...!


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http://bit.ly/OuternetIdeas

My secret to 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 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 Online Marketing, 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 team behind the curtain
for multi-location marketing nirvana.

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 YOUR 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 test and invest in BPO... yeah, I couldn't resist...

FYI - Share this post with http://bit.ly/BPOwizard

Reaching "Upscale Actives" at Destinations and Resorts

As many of you know, I am an avid skier and an apres-ski expert in training... this is a great market...
So... let me tell you about a cool gig that I had for the last 2 years that combines my friend's and family's passion with my career goals of integrated marketing and Digital/Mobile experiences. I have added interactive services and technology partnerships to a media network at over 1000 resort destinations worldwide.

So...
- If you ski, golf, tennis, ride… let’s go! I have some cool tech 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

Check out our new presentation for advertising and promotions:


Check out our new safety initiative across all seasons:


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.

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