Marketing, Social Media and my life on mars

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Easyjet safety info humour

On a recent trip to Rome I found myself looking at the Easyjet safety card that was in the seat pocket.

My mind naturally wandered to how the images can be misinterpreted. So, without further ado:

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People without eyes cannot look sideays

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Err…. I’ll leave this to your imagination. The passenger in front does not look happy though!

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In case of snack emergency, take crisps from under your seat and eat

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Please air guitar while leaving the plane

In case of emergency, please auto-fellate to enjoy your last moments alive

The Rise and Rise of Mobile

Looking forward: smartphones and mobile reign over the social media castle.


Smartphone usage has grown exponentially since the first iPhone hit the shelves at the dawn of 2007. They have shifted from being a luxury item for the tech-obsessed community to an affordable and vital piece of equipment to have in your pocket. They are becoming more and more ubiquitous as time moves forward, and it is not hard to work out why. Mobile phones are now undeniably and irrevocably intertwined within our culture and lives. The street is awash with handsets and distracted attentions (how many more mounds of dog poo have been accidentally stepped in by unwary feet since the smartphone revolution? And who can actually use text & walk anyway?)

Steve Jobs iPad 2 Keynote


At the unveiling of the iPad 2 recently, where a defiant Steve Jobs took to the stage to give the keynote, Apple revealed that they have sold 100 million iPhones to date, as well as 15 million iPads in the first 9 months of release [1]. Apple’s (arguably) closest competitor, Android, is purported to surpass 75 million handsets by 2012 [2], and they are chasing down RIM’s market share at a rate of knots.
The numbers paint a skewed picture, however, because while it may seem as though Android is taking chunks out of the side of the Apple behemoth, it’s more like Android feeder fish removing parasites from a passing stingray. As reported in Techcrunch, research firm IHS found that in terms of app revenue, Android jumped 861.1% between 2009 and 2010. This figure is dwarfed by the fact that, while an impressive rise, the $102m revenue figure for Android in 2010 is a paltry 4.7% of the market share, with Apple taking 82.7%, and $1.7bn in revenue. [3]

Mobile sales paint a comprehensive picture


According to recent Garner research, overall worldwide mobile sales totalled 1.6bn units in 2010, with a staggering 19% of that market going being smartphone sales – a rise of 72% from 2009.[4] This prolific adoption of smartphone technology is confirmed by the Cisco Visual Networking Index that reports mobile data usage grew 2.6 fold from 2009 to 2010, with the average data usage for smartphone users more than doubling from 35MB pcm to 79 MB pcm. [5] Some other interesting forecasts were that by the end of 2011, 50% of mobile data usage will be video alone

Data consumption trends are shifting


The way we consume information is fundamentally shifting towards an ‘always-on’ world where our mobile phones are the first port of call for access to the web. A recent blog post on Techcrunch found that in February 2011, just under 14% of the access to their site was on a mobile device, up 702% from the 1.97 share in February 2009. Add this to the fact that Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, recently said that 40% of all Tweets are now composed on mobile devices up from around 20% in 2010 and we begin to see a pretty clear picture of the way things are moving. Indeed, more research recently suggested that the number of people accessing social media services from their phones in the US alone will rise by 20% annually between now and 2015. [6]

Some of the most interesting research of late, however, is from Accenture who surveyed 1100 ‘tech-forwards’ across 11 countries (who they define as people who are at the forefront of technical innovation, the early adopters). The study’s more salient points are found in the attitudinal differences between Asian and US & European respondents. While both groups felt concerned over privacy issues with mobile technology, it was the Asian respondents that had more positive attitudes towards making payments on their mobiles. The actual usage of mobile services was also surprising in that Asian respondents are already actively using their mobiles to pay for and interact with services / their environment, a lot more that the US and European groups. A good breakdown of the findings can be found here.

Social Media Implications


The implications of this shift for the social media industry are huge. While it is certainly not news that mobile is on the rise, there is perhaps still the idea that mobile is a supplementary platform rather than an agent in a hostile takeover.

It does make perfect sense, however. As Molly Flatt of 1000heads recently said, “people forget that social media isn’t a marketing tool…it was created for ordinary people to connect with each other and to shockingly be social”. Social media lends its self beautifully to the ‘on-the-go’ mentality, because people tend to be more ‘social’ when out and about and interacting with the people they see on a day to day basis.

We’re not talking about social media marketers here; social media marketers are not social media users, they are the die-hard evangelists of the services they use to reach out to people with. Ultimately they see the idea of ‘social’ in a different light to the people that they are trying to reach, so it’s really important to be able to step back and look at the picture through the eyes of a user.

So what does this all mean for our industry? With consumption increasingly becoming mobile-centric it is vital to design campaigns and sites around the format. We must take into consideration the fact that the social web is connected to the real world even closer now; people are Tweeting, using Facebook, and taking film and photos on the go more than ever, and they are sharing them live. People should be able to engage with their brands from within the mobile environment with as little need to go ‘online’ as possible.

On top of this, websites and communities need to ensure that their content can be accessed by mobile devices easily, and there needs to be a real emphasis on making sure this happens as at the moment there is a distinct lack of mobile optimisation across the web – Like inviting people to a party at a house with a locked door, there doesn’t seem to be much of a point.

This post was originally written for @FreshNetworks, and can be seen in its more succint format on the FreshNetworks Blog.

Corsa Street Style Facebook app

Today I came across the Vauxhall Corsa street style Facebook App. It’s promoting the new Corsa and they’ve taken a rather large leaf out of the street art scene.

After an initial wow moment and a bit of a play around I’ve grown to really enjoy the simple drawing mechanic that they have implemented. I very quickly managed to create a couple of passable images (though not as good as some in the top rated gallery, some people are infinitely talented).

Now that the novelty value has worn off I’m wondering what safeguards they have in place to prevent abusive images appearing and also the breakdown of page visits by source, but those are questions to answer another time.

For me, this campaign isn’t quite as good as the Volvo art sessions in Zurich where street artists were invited to decorate a real car but it has much greater mass Market access and taps into the interests of (what I think are) the target demographic quite nicely.

Oh, that and it’s just a simple, cool and fun thing to kill some time with!

Guerilla Marketing

I’ll be honest, part of the reason for this post existing is to play with the wordpress app on my phone… But I like it so far and we’ll see how it goes.

Last week, while travelling home on the tube, two unidentified individuals entered my carriage and removed one of the advertising signs. They proceeded to write a message on the back and place the advert back in it’s mount the wrong way round.

I’m not an advocate of defacing property (much) but it did raise a wry smile seeing this situation unfold and I couldn’t help but acknowledge the ingenuity of the two individuals in making the most of their surroundings to advertise their product/offering.

Does anyone else have a good example of subversive or home brewed marketing?

Song of the day: 14 February

What is it?

No Cigar – Millencolin

Why?

Yeah, you all thought this would be some Valentines Day mush! Why do I need one day of the year to show someone I care… This song popped up on iTunes and takes me back to the days and days of my life spent with Tony Hawks 2 on the playstation.

Where is it?


Latest

How not to recruit via Linked In

From time to time I get Linked In messages from recruiters “offering” me potential job opportunities. I’ve accepted that this is part and parcel of owning a Linked In profile.

However…I wanted to share this piece of recruiting gold that turned up this morning. I’ve removed the identifiable info from the recruiter (unless y’all ask me to share of course).

Initial message:

Hi Alex,

Hope you’re well.

I am working on a role, which suits your bg/exp.
As such I was wondering if you’re considering a career opportunity? If so, could you please provide contact details, to enable discussing further. If not, then please accept my apologies.

Warm regards,
Oxxxx

My reply (I work with an Alex and checked he had received the same message):

Dear Oxxxx

Try not copy and pasting a message next time…

…or at least make sure you address it correctly (I’m Dan, not Alex). By the way, me and Alex both found it very funny.

Amateur

Dan

Recruiter’s response:

Apologies Dan,

Didn’t realise.
Is this something of interest?

Regards
Oxxxx

Even if  it was something of interest, you’re an idiot and would trust you to handle my recruitment at all. At least the audacity of the email reply gave us a little chuckle in the office. Has anyone else had a stupid recruitment experience such as this?

Song of the day: 26 January

What is it?

Walk Away – Dropkick Murphys

Why?

No magic reason for this one, it isn’t deep and meaningful. Just turned up on my itunes and I had a bit of a nostalgic sing along.

Where is it?

How not to recruit via Linked In

From time to time I get Linked In messages from recruiters “offering” me potential job opportunities. I’ve accepted that this is part and parcel of owning a Linked In profile.

However…I wanted to share this piece of recruiting gold that turned up this morning. I’ve removed the identifiable info from the recruiter (unless y’all ask me to share of course).

Initial message:

Hi Alex,

Hope you’re well.

I am working on a role, which suits your bg/exp.
As such I was wondering if you’re considering a career opportunity? If so, could you please provide contact details, to enable discussing further. If not, then please accept my apologies.

Warm regards,
Oxxxx

My reply (I work with an Alex and checked he had received the same message):

Dear Oxxxx

Try not copy and pasting a message next time…

…or at least make sure you address it correctly (I’m Dan, not Alex). By the way, me and Alex both found it very funny.

Amateur

Dan

Recruiter’s response:

Apologies Dan,

Didn’t realise.
Is this something of interest?

Regards
Oxxxx

Even if  it was something of interest, you’re an idiot and would trust you to handle my recruitment at all. At least the audacity of the email reply gave us a little chuckle in the office. Has anyone else had a stupid recruitment experience such as this?

Song of the day: 26 January

What is it?

Walk Away – Dropkick Murphys

Why?

No magic reason for this one, it isn’t deep and meaningful. Just turned up on my itunes and I had a bit of a nostalgic sing along.

Where is it?


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