The Power of the iPhone

As of July 2014, Apple was the top smartphone original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, with a 41.9 percent share of the market, up from 41.3 percent in the preceding three months. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. ranked second with a 27.8 percent market share, while LG Electronics Inc., Motorola and HTC Corp rounded off the top five.

We see the iPhone leading in the Smartphone industry but often forget just how significant the model was to the industry as a whole. Five years ago today, Apple’s first iPhone hit stores while many in the tech world thought that it would be a flop because it was ridiculously expensive and it was something no one had ever really heard of before: a smartphone targeted primarily at consumers, rather than business people. Five years later and Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone, the iPhone 4S, is the most popular single gadget on the planet. In fact, in five years the iPhone has sold 250 million total iPhones and raked in $150 billion in revenues. While Google’s Android platform has emerged as a strong competitor, the iPhone remains the single most popular smartphone in the world. As we know, in the U.S., the iPhone has been the first or second most popular single handset since the second quarter of 2008. With the introduction of the iPhone 4s in October 2011 and then the iPhone 5 in September of 2012, the company continues to grow and post record profits.

This infographic displays the considerable amount of consumer growth of the iPhone, which gives us insight into why the iPhone is important to mobile marketing as a whole:

I have an iPhone 5s and previously had the iPhone 4s so I am personally familiar with the products and I enjoy their functionality and accessibility.

The most important effect the iPhone has had on the Smartphone industry is the powerful research that shows iPhone users being much more willing to engage with mobile media than users of any other handset out there, which makes them a perfect target market for mobile marketing. The most important thing that makes iPhones different for mobile marketers is HOW they’re used.  Hunch, a personal recommendation service, has surveyed 15,818 of its users to determine the average demographic, personality, and lifestyle of iPhone and Android consumers in order to see if stereotypes hold true. In the image below we can see the interesting findings:

In your comments, let me know:

  1. Do you have an iPhone? If not, what do you have?
  2. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
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The Emerging World of Vlogging

The term “vlog” is usually described simply as a blog that contains video material. However there is a lot more to it than just that, thanks to YouTube. 

Popular YouTube creators often take up “vlogging” as a way to video log their every day lives and publish them onto YouTube. There are a plethora of vloggers in every genre from humor, beauty, video games, travel, day in the life and more. People can turn on their camera and talk about anything that they are personally interest in with hopes that it will gain views, likes and overall interest. Many of the Top YouTube Vloggers use comedy skits and pop culture parodies to gain views and subscribers. The top vloggers have 1-2 million subscribers who loyally watch videos as soon as they pop up in their subscriptions list. Not only are these popular YouTube stars gaining fame, they are also gaining a salary. YouTube vlogs are no longer simply hobbies or diversions, though many people began that way. If you are serious about creating and marketing high-quality video posts for your small business on a regular basis, then you could start making money from the ads Google places on your videos. Building your vlog’s reputation and viewership to the level where you are making serious money from Google’s revenue sharing will take time. Starting down this path, however, is as simple as creating a Google account for your YouTube vlog, creating an AdSense account to handle your payments and uploading your first vlog post to YouTube.  

 

Beauty vlogs are attracting around 1 million views per month with their wide array of product placements and tutorials. The most successful British beauty vloggers are basically little industries in themselves. There is the Pixiwoo channel that has make-up artists Sam and Nic Chapman, who have more than 200m views on YouTube, then their protegée Tanya Burr, a 24 years old with almost 2m YouTube subscribers, and Zoella or Zoe Sugg, 24, with 4.3m subscribers.

These comedy skit and beauty tip videos alike all started out with people truly passionate about what they love to do or enjoy as a hobby. They were able to turn a fun side hobby into a full time job. I say, why not take some of that passion and drive and plug it into an integrated marketing communications plan for a business? Video is the place to be seen, so it seems ideal to gain a following from a vlog-like YouTube channel to highlight your company, product or event. We may not all be fortunate to talk into a camera all day about things we love, but we can take that pattern and turn it into an executable marketing plan. 

Makeup and the Media

I love makeup. I realize I am stereotyping myself instantly but there is something relaxing and fun about buying new makeup for me that I cannot fully explain. When I walk into a Sephora or Ulta store I am immediately transported into a better mood than before.

Now that I have bored all the non-makeup people reading this, I’ll explain how makeup is adding its own flair into the changing world of media. Sephora is known worldwide as being one of the top makeup retailers and in addition to carrying a wide variety of makeup, perfumes and skincare products, Sephora also developed “Science of Sephora.” This program ensures that the Sephora team is skilled to identify skin types, have knowledge of skin physiology, the history of makeup, application techniques, the science of creating fragrances, and most importantly, how to interact with Sephora’s diverse clientele. Sephora recently developed the Color IQ system to match customers to their perfect foundation shade. The system works by having a trained associate hold an iPhone-sized gadget up to your cheek, under-eye area and forehead while it takes snapshots of your skintone. About a minute later, it’s matched you with all the possible options in the store; after explaining what you’re looking for, the associate helps you test out a few of them, then emails you the rest with your Color IQ Number for future reference.

Soon, this technology will be applied to more than just foundation as the plan is to expand this technology’s capabilities for other uses in the color world, like lipstick and blush shades. You can also try their handy online tool version on their website to test out a sample of the technology.

 

Although I haven’t yet tried out this technology, I am planning on doing so during m next Sephora trip, all in the name of testing out emerging trends, right?

Let me know if you’ve tried out this system!

Cartwheel Into Savings With #Target

No matter what I do, I cannot quit on Target for my shopping needs, but especially for the items I do not even need. There is something so attractive about that giant red target logo that just screams, “come on in!” every time I drive by the store. Once I got in the habit of regularly shopping at the discounted retail store, I realized that maybe it would be in my best interest to look into coupons, that’s when a friend told me about the Cartwheel app. Cartwheel is an app that keeps track of weekly specials and coupon deals that are displayed to Target.com account users. According to Target’s website, you can sign up through email or your Facebook account and you will need a smartphone to redeem savings in stores although you can bring a printed barcode with you in lieu of a smartphone. Target has partnered with Facebook in hopes that you will spread the word on these deals through Facebook. Each time you select a Cartwheel offer, it appears on the Facebook newsfeed so other friends can see it. You do have the option to adjust your privacy settings if you do not wish to show this information. The app then allows users to see all coupons offered in all sections of the store, broken down into category. It allows you to choose up to 11 items that offer a coupon barcode to add into your Cartwheel. Once you are satisfied with what you are buying, or have reached 11 items, you make a Cartwheel that creates one barcode containing the codes for each individual item in one. 

 

You can use this app’s website version or, as I prefer to do, use it from your mobile device while shopping through the store at the same time. It makes my life paperless and simplified. The one issue I have found personally is that my local Target is a dead zone for Verizon customers somehow. Every time I shop in that particular store, I can never get a call or text out, let alone get my Internet to work properly. This obviously causes issues when I want to add last minute items into my Cartwheel to achieve discounts at check out. In order to keep ahead with emerging media, I do think that my local Target needs to adjust this problem, should it continue to cause disturbances to their customer’s shopping experience. 

 

Does anyone else think that in a few more years it will be impossible to be anywhere that doesn’t offer good cell phone service? 

Traveling Through Apps

I just booked a very last-minute trip to Greece this summer to get back to my roots and escape for awhile. You may ask:

 

 

I’m actually 75% Greek but my father’s parents are both from the gorgeous greek islands. My grandmother came to this country when she was about 14, without knowing any English and today at 81 she owns an iPad mini and actively updates her Facebook page. How’s that for an emerging media?

But I digress… From the anticipation of this trip, it occurred to me this will be my first international trip having a smart phone and that I needed to figure out what is popular and necessary to download for travel apps.

A May 2012 Nielsen study, “Courting Today’s Mobile Consumer,” showed that in the US, travel apps were seeing the highest year-over-year growth of any industry or product-related app category, at 116%, well above the growth in overall mobile app use (84%).

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Travelers are using their phones to do more than simply complete an on-the-go booking. US travelers were often using their smartphones for mobile hotel-related searches such as finding things to do nearby or places to eat near their hotel. This is the kind of app that I could see myself using, especially when I am on my own in Athens. At the top of the “must have apps” for travel, is the classic Google Maps app which has helped me on foot in San Francisco when I found myself wandering into a not-so-great part of town while out exploring on my own. The problem is that Google Maps takes up a lot of data fees, so I also found the City Maps 2Go Offline Map that provides pre-downloaded city maps which don’t require any Wi-Fi or roaming data once you’re at your destination. Lastly, I want to try like the “Converted” app which is an ultimate all-in-one conversion app.

 

What #TravelApps do you prefer? Let me know!

 

Tinder: Clever or Creepy?

Is the art of romance dead? Well that depends on how you define romance.

The image of the stereotype of a male coming to the door to pick up a female for a date still can exist, but why knock when you can always text the girl that you are in the driveway? Media is changing the way we date today and thanks to apps like Tinder, dating is becoming even more tech-savvy. After downloading Tinder, you just sign in through Facebook, pick a flattering picture of yourself and you’ll be matched with photo after photo of potential mates. You pick a gender (male, female or both), then decide how far or close you want them to be (10 to 100 miles away) and how old (18 to 50+.) It’s like ordering pizza. You can also write a tagline to describe yourself and add a few more photos for people who want to learn more about you before making their choice. All you do is swipe right if you approve of someone’s appearance or swipe left if you’re not into them. Once you reject someone, the poor fool won’t be able to contact you. But if you both swipe right, you’ll be able to chat up a storm until you make plans for drinks at a mutually agreeable and safe location.

According to an article in Entrepreneur, Tinder strikes up some 10 million matches a day worldwide. To date, the viral smash hit has made one billion matches. The irony is that the 27- year-old co-founder and chief executive Sean Rad has said that the pressure to keep those who hookup happy and coming back is intense that the 27-year-old claims he’s okay with sacrificing his own youth and personal growth and development to keep Tinder sparking new relationships across the world. You’d think he’d get a few more “swipe rights.”

Online dating is here to stay and it is only improving from this point on. There isn’t as much stigma today as there once was since it is so common. A recent Pew study found that 11 percent of American adults have used online dating sites or mobile apps — a figure that was just 3 percent five years ago. Among Internet users who were currently single and looking for a partner, 38 percent had tried online dating. However, according to the Pew study, 21 percent of Internet users agree with the statement: “People who use online dating sites are desperate.” Pew notes that’s an eight-percentage-point decline from 2005. Still, there seems to be lingering judgment about using a smartphone to find someone to love. Perhaps this depends on location and social circles more than anything. If you are in a big city, with lots of busy young professionals, the odds are higher that more people will be on the Tinder app as opposed to a smaller suburban area where more people are getting married in their mid-twenties.

Do you Tinder? If so, do you feel judged? Let me know in the comments!

The List Fad

The popular social news and entertainment website, BuzzFeed is responsible for redefining online advertising with its social, content-driven publishing technology. BuzzFeed provides shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment, and video across the social web to its global audience of more than 130M. They are also responsible for countless lists which have grown in popularity on more than just the Buzzfeed website. These list-like articles join together images or even moving images called gifs to make a typically humorous story that is easy to share with friends. The content of these articles ranges from “27 Things You Won’t Regret When You’re Older” to “14 Cats Who Look Better With Bangs.”

If I made a Buzzfeed List, it would be something like this:

Five Annoying Reactions You Get When You Tell People You Are Getting an Online Master’s Degree

1. “Oh please, gimme a break with this!”

2. “Do you really think people will want to hire you with that?”

3. “…Wait… you can submit assignments in your pajamas?”

4. “That’s actually not a bad deal…”

5. “Now tell me how I can sign up for this WVU IMC program!”

 

 

So not only are they amusing to read, but they are also fun to create as well. It seems like the instinct is to say that lists work great, and to an extent, this is true.  However that’s not what makes Buzzfeed’s lists go viral. The secret is in the idea of micro-targeting. According to an article written on Contently, most Buzzfeed “listicles” are tailored to be shared by a micro-targeted online population. By just looking at the listicles on BuzzFeed’s homepage right now, you can see this in action from “24 Traits Of The Bay Area You’ll Miss When You Move Away” to “27 Painful Photos Every Short Girl Can Relate To.” People identify with a lot of different characterizations.

There will always be a new fad or trend to catch on to, therefore Buzzfeed will always have ideas for content. Because of the variety, this “list fad” is here to stay. What do you think of these “listicles?”