October 29, 2010
If you haven’t heard the latest news, Google has released their brand new Television/ Internet viewing 1-2 punch, so cleverly dubbed: Google TV. Here’s a little video courtesy of Google for a little run-down of Google TV’s features and functionality.
What is Google TV?
Pretty cool, right? So basically what Google TV does is seamlessly integrates the internet and your television together as one, to provide you with the ultimate viewing experience right from your couch.
Why optimize for TV?
As new platforms continue to emerge, we find ourselves constantly adjusting so we can provide our users with the best experience possible. Just as more people are releasing mobile versions of their site for all those users accessing the internet from their mobile phone, it may now be just as important to start optimizing your site for TV as well.
Since Google TV has a full web browser already built in, almost every site that currently exists should already work. But to provide the user with the best TV experience, you might want to create what Google calls a “10-foot User Interface” version of your site. Seeing as Google TV users will be viewing the website from their couch about ten feet away (instead of inches), and (instead of a mouse) they will be using a remote and a keyboard, it is very important that they are able to navigate through your website easily, and actually be able to see what they are navigating through from 10 feet away. (Simplicity is key here)
Some basic steps to optimize your site for TV.
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- Make sure that your text is large enough to easily be read from a long distance (around 21pt on 720p and 28pt on 1080p)
October 26, 2010
The latest study released by Microsoft Advertising and Carat tracks consumer shopping habits during the lingering recession and how new media channels and touchpoints have affected consumers. The study, conducted in March 2010 shares some pretty interesting data…
- The path to purchasing is increasingly nonlinear – consumers are moving along the path of awareness to sales that now includes digital media. For example, a user may hear about a product through a Facebook post of a Tweet, then visit their website via a smartphone to research it, consulting consumer reviews along the way. Traditional word of mouth and media still remain influencers.
- 38% of consumers are using mobile devices in-store to make final purchasing decisions. Does your site have a mobile presence?
- Following a purchase, 11% are blogging about it, posting it on their social network of choice, and leaving reviews. Are you following what’s being said about you?
- Advertising on with retailers whether online banners/video, along with in-store media is also influencing. Have you considered retailer channels in your media mix?
The main message we try to communicate to our clients at envisionit is that shopping behaviors are changing with the result of these new digital platforms, and engage consumers each step of the way, influencing purchases and keeping consumers satisfied post-purchase. Results of the study can be found here.
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October 22, 2010
A number of envisionit media employees are iPhone users. We love the phone, but probably not as much as Stuart Hughes, who was recently commissioned $8 million by two businessmen in Australia to trick out their phones with more than 100 karats worth of diamonds.
Of course, this makes Hughes’s 2009 creation, a $3 million 3GS iPhone featuring a single 7.1-carat diamond sitting in for the home button, look on par with a Motorola Razr covered in cubic zirconia.
Speaking of fancy Razr phones, the Dolce & Gabbana gold V3i was released in 2005. Used and unlocked units now go for about $49 on eBay—pennies, really.
Vertu’s Signature Cobra phone, eight of which were manufactured in 2006, was panned for being ugly … and $310,000. You have to feel slightly bad for that poor cobra covered in 439 rubies, obviously too sparkly for any of us to handle.
Obviously, if you need a phone encrusted with diamonds, it’ll cost you, which is why the Amosu Diamond Edition BlackBerry Pearl is genius. Going for $88,000 in 2006, the diamonds on the phone are “recyclable,” meaning you can switch them over to a new phone when you need to upgrade.
For whatever reason, people don’t seem to care about outfitting Android phones with diamonds and other shiny jewels. (Exception: the Ulysse Nardin Chairman Diamond phone, retailing for $129,000.) But HTC’s concept phone Touch Diamond 3 is rumored to run Android, meaning a bit of potential dazzle for the cellular robot.
October 20, 2010
Does your restaurant embrace the latest and greatest in technology? Your restaurant has a Facebook page, big deal. You have a Twitter stream where you tweet the latest addition to the menu, so what. Oh, and you offer customers deals on Foursquare, how innovative. Your restaurant is hopelessly 2009 if the wine list isn’t on an iPad. Observe:
The Atlanta steakhouse, featured in The New York Times in September, decided their wine list was best served on the iPad, simplifying searches for some 1,350 bottles. The move increased wine sales by almost 11 percent, the owners say.
aria’s iPad app was actually developed right here by envisionit in Chicago, putting the menu right at the diner’s fingertips. The app gives additional information about aria’s wines, dish preparation, and definitions—because sometimes it’s difficult to tell what that potentially delicious French-sounding ingredient might actually be. Diners can then make their friends jealous by posting favorite menu items to Facebook, Twitter, or share them by email.
Naturally, New York City must have the most tech-based and healthy-resembling, tasty-sounding burger place in the history of ever. Go online, choose your burger facets (bun, choice of eight different patties, a “slice,” cheese, condiments, add-ons), give it a name, tell the world. If someone orders the YouBurger, you get $0.25 credit. Ordering online requires creating an online account, which is a nice extra step of hassle, but, apparently, there are iPads to order in-house and lots and lots of technologically advanced power outlets.
Making ordering a burrito simple with an iPhone app (online ordering also requires signing up for an account).
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October 19, 2010
What a week for Gap. A brief timeline:
Oct. 6, 2010, morning
Gap rolls out a new logo. No one likes it, criticizing the choice of Helvetica and the poor, deluded, gradient mini square. (Visit the new Gap logo Twitter account and Co. Design’s interview with the new Gap logo for a few laughs.)
Oct. 6, 2010, 6:36 p.m.
Gap connects to consumers via Facebook, calling for crowd-sourced logos. “We’d like to see other ideas,” the page reads. No one likes that, either.
Oct. 11, 2010
Gap issues a press release announcing the good old blue square stays. “We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo,” Facebook Gap says. “Instead of crowd sourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.”
Though this design blunder has undoubtedly secured a place among New Coke and the 2009 Tropicana rebrand fail for Large Corporation Rebranding Blunders, there’s no reason a company as established as Gap won’t bounce back like 2% spandex in bootcut jeans. Plus, the design’s brief moment as the official Gap logo can be a new standard for unsightly:
“That website is Gap-logo-bad.”
“Maybe they should’ve crowd-sourced it.”
October 14, 2010
It’s been confirmed that Google has recently begun testing some new language above the right side of their search results pages, where their paid ads are housed. These have historically been (and probably still are for most readers) labeled “Sponsored Links.” But before long you may see a new label above the ads…wait for it: “Ads” (gasp!).
This screen shot below shows the new “Ads” test (provided by a Google-related blog—we’re not seeing the test here at EIM yet):
And here’s a screen shot of what you’re used to seeing:
The desire for Google to experiment with this language certainly makes sense. On the one hand, “Sponsored Links” may in fact be misleading since Google doesn’t truthfully sponsor any of those products or services. Advertisers, such as envisionit and our clients, pay Google through their Adwords program to be listed there. On the other hand, the “Sponsored Link” language could soften the search experience in the eyes of the advertising-adverse searchers out there. The word “Ads” could potentially dissuade someone from clicking. And Google wants clicks—that’s how they make money. Do they label them what they are or do they spin the label to coerce searchers into clicking? (Hmm, it actually harkens back to the Facebook switch from “fan” to “like”).
If they move forward with this, it won’t be the most dramatic change Google has implemented in recent months. From Caffeine to Google Instant, the search engine behemoth has thrown a lot of curve balls at us lately—many of which have had us wondering what Google’s true agenda is (helping the greater good quickly find the information they seek online, or helping themselves make money?). There is no doubt, Google continues to keep search marketers on their toes, no matter the size of the shake-up.
October 7, 2010
The 26-year-old billionaire Mr. Mark Zuckerberg has received his share of media attention as of late. There’s his $100 million donation to Newark, New Jersey public schools and the persistent rumors of a Facebook phone. There’s overseeing one of the most influential websites in the world. And, of course, there’s the movie.
Zuckerberg, the notorious media hermit, wavers between condemning David Fincher’s The Social Network, (“I just think people have a lot of fiction,” he told ABC News in July), and more recently merely dismissing it as “fun”.
And the movie is fun and, indeed, fictionalized—because the book off which the movie is based, The Accidental Billionaires, is fictionalized. Movie Zuckerberg is a brilliant coder and hacker and an easily distracted, socially graceless stiff. He wants nothing more than to sit at a cool-kid Harvard lunch table—one of the school’s elite invite-only social clubs which is hardly more than the average fraternity, complete with hazing and discriminative cliquishness. He is approached by three members of one of these ratherish-frats who want to create a Harvard-only online social network with the help of Zuck’s coding skills. Movie Zuck accepts.
The film’s fiction is presumably within the collegiate antics, and within Movie Zuck himself, carelessly Livejournaling blogs that later come back to haunt him, a nod to the poor fools who have later been haunted by posting incriminating evidence of their own shenanigans to the good Book. But it’s clever, believable fiction that’s very likely rooted in fact. Movie Zuck’s wardrobe choices—North Face fleece, slide-on Adidas sandals, and general refusal to wear anything but jeans—and rapid vernacular, for instance, are characteristics we have witnessed from Real Zuck.
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October 6, 2010
We love the interweb in all of its wide and worldly glory. Every week or so we’ll be sharing a round-up of five links we enjoyed, and think you will too.
Thanks in part to the iPad, the tablet is enjoying a shining moment. Object of nerd lust, topping technophile Christmas lists everywhere, tablets are a bridge between smartphone and computer—and the mobility factor opens up a world of possibilities.
- PCWorld declares 2010 year of the tablet.
- Huffington Post showcases non-iPad tablets worth your while.
- MSN: Rumors of a 7-inch iPad could be true.
- Motley Fool blogs about who is using the iPad.
- Technologizer explores tablets that failed.
Tell us: what kind of tablet would you purchase? How do you hope to use your tablet?
October 5, 2010
It’s that time of year again, folks! Yes, Walgreens has just started putting up their Halloween costumes and aisles of candy (that the EIM office has been ransacking at lunch), but for us marketers the Holidays are Here!! In July, we did a post to help you start planning for holiday optimization and creative ideas. Now we’re going to tell you that if you haven’t started planning for the holidays yet, you are behind! But no fear, we’re going to help you get back on the right path…
First off, I am going to remind you once again how important your website is at this time of year. The 2010 Consumer Shopping Habits Survey by Channel Advisor reports that 58% of consumers are very likely to purchase their holiday gifts online this year, a vast majority over the second runner-up, brick-and-mortar stores, at 41%. The survey also states that consumers are cautiously optimistic entering the 2010 holiday shopping season. Some 43% think the economy is making a comeback.
Where are they starting their shopping searches? You guessed it – Google. Well 86% of them are. 11% are starting with Bing and Yahoo combined, so there are also opportunities outside of the search giant. What is going to capture their attention this year? Free Shipping and Best Prices will be the top purchase influences this year.
Reviews also continue to increase in importance. 92% of those surveyed say they read product reviews when considering purchasing a product. Of the 92%, 46% have been influenced to purchase a product due to the reviews, and 43% have been deterred from purchasing due to negative reviews.
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October 1, 2010
In a recent New York Times article, it was announced that Facebook has been developing a new way for its clients to spend on the popular social networking site. With its new virtual Credits, Facebook hopes to open a new door to a potential multi-billion dollar revenue source. Although testing began over a year ago, it was just last month that Facebook credits became available in Target Stores nationwide.
I have limited experience with Facebook applications such as MafiaWars and Farmville, but this seems like a great leap forward for Facebook and its users. Using prepaid cards not only will provide a convenient payment method for Facebook users, but will also make the purchasing of games and virtual goods more secure. In addition, the Credits system will undoubtedly help grow the global marketplace for such goods, which is fantastic because, after all, what would our virtual pets ever do without their favorite virtual cucumbers?
Facebook has already stated that it plans on using a substantial sum of their newfound revenue to invest in improving software for these types of programs. Eventually, it is hoped that Facebook Credits could become a “seamless” transaction method on sites beyond Facebook, making it a more diverse version of websites such as eBay. This could mean great things for everyone from online advertisers to application designers.
Besides the obvious benefits of advancing convenience, security, and revenue, this plan—like all plans—does have its dangers. There have been documented cases of Facebook addiction in the past, and adding a monetary element could prove dangerous to some users. Facebook Credits can seem less like money to some people and could lead to some of the same financial problems as gambling addiction, but at least you will have a beautiful virtual farm to show for it.
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