Games

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September 16, 2014

Touchpoint Device Incentivizes Brick and Mortar Customer Tap Ins

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Getting push notifications in front of customers is one of the primary concerns of the modern mobile marketing campaign, but it’s important to remember that sending your message to smartphone screens is a highly personal – invasive, even – activity. That’s why any mobile marketing campaign must be conducted with care and sensitivity.

Enter Tapcentive. The San Francisco-based firm recently launched an automated platform that allows customers to earn coupons, points and other rewards by tapping their phone to a $35 ‘Touchpoint’ device. The small device contains a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon and a near field communications radio (NFC), both of which detect the tap of a customers phone. Android phones already carry NFC chips, and Apple is expected to follow suit with its latest iteration of the iPhone. Here’s how it works: 

  • A customer taps the Touchpoint device when they enter a retail store
  • The store’s app launches automatically or, if the customer does not have the app, can be downloaded via the Touchpoint platform (along with an instant reward)
  • A mobile marketing communication channel is now opened between customer and brand – all instigated by the consumer

This last point is crucial. The thinking behind Tapcentive is that greater engagement with the opt-in process translates to greater long-term engagement with the brand. It’s a cocktail of pull notifications, push notifications and straight up incentives. 

And, according to the brains behind the innovation, there’s a lot more to come. Tapcentive plans to add more features capable of reaching the customer via social media, website, email and text messaging.

The notifications themselves are also breaking new ground, representing part of the ‘gamification’ of mobile marketing. For example, a store might set up a game in which the customer wins a coupon for going around the store and tapping Touchpoints in four different departments. Another game might reward every 25th customer who taps a Touchpoint, or register them in a sweepstakes.

It’s all centrally managed via a web portal which plans the types of content available at each Touchpoint, and the triggers by which the platform will start communication with customers. There’s also the standard built-in analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of each mobile marketing campaign. If you’re interested in mobile marketing innovations, keep an eye out for the telltale Tapcentive Touchpoints in stores near you!

May 27, 2014

Brazilian Teen Sets Text Messaging Speed Record

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A 16-year-old Brazilian, Marcel Fernandes Filho, has just set the Guinness World Record for the fastest texting with a touchscreen smartphone. He won this “honor” on April 25, 2014 in New York City. 

The touchscreen-keyboard startup Fleksy sponsored the teen's trip to New York. It was on Fernandes' Fleksy, which he has been using since 2012, that he broke the record with his texting prowess.

Record-Determining Text Message a Real Challenge

As NBC News has put it, the world record-setting text “was no 'hi how r u' message, either.” Rather, Guinness required contestants to boldly text what no smartphone user has probably ever texted before: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human." Whew! That sentence is 25 words long.

Those who turn their noses up at the art of texting should note that Fernandes' capitalization and spelling were perfect, as Guinness actually required them to be. The teen typed out that bear of a sentence in just 18.19 seconds, a mere quarter of a second faster than a 15-year old's January record, which was set at Microsoft's offices using one of its own smartphones.

Fernandes says he's been a longtime fan of Guinness World Records and has searched out obscure world record facts online ever since he was a child.

World Record-Setting Teen Studious, Not Addicted to Texting

The teen has also tried to set another “record” straight, explaining that he doesn't spend all day on his phone, regardless of stereotypes about “young people today.” In fact, as a physics student at southern Brazil's Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Fernandes says he's much too busy studying to get addicted to texting.

How did Fernandes find the time to become so good at texting, then? The young man confesses that back in 2009 he got so frustrated with how slow his laptop was that he took a hammer to it and smashed it.  He immediately realized he had no money to buy a new computer and was forced to use his iPhone 3G for everything from that point forward. As a result, he also had no choice but to become great at mobile phone typing. Little did he know that he'd someday be crowned the world champion.

Texting Champ's Story a Sign of the Times?

Predictably, the texting championship has spurred online debate about whether text messaging has eroded every old fashioned value imaginable, from good penmanship to the art of the phone conversation. Some commenters on CNN's website have expressed dismay over the teen's admission to having lost his temper with his computer, implying that the behavior is an example of what happens to an impatient, technology-addicted generation – regardless of Fernandes's claims to the contrary. Others have pointed out, however, that Fernandes was merely thirteen years old when it happened; and to look at this story in a positive light, he is clearly a resourceful young man.

Besides, other comments have said, technology is always changing, and that's a sign of progress. After all, if Fernandes had been the world champion of, say, stenography, would people be shaking their heads and mumbling about “kids these days?” As one commenter said to another, “How in the world is this bad? Is the future also lost because of the people who can type 130 WPM on a keyboard? The future isn't lost, you are.”

May 17, 2014

Game-ify your Mobile Marketing Campaign

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The drive to play and compete is a part of human nature. People crave the thrilling adrenalin rush that comes along with trying to beat an opponent. The popularity of gaming apps like Angry Birds is a testament to just how universal that craving is. Consumers spend an average of two hours every day on apps, including games. Successful mobile marketing campaigns today are capitalizing on the universal appeal and power of gaming as a great way to boost customer interaction and thus drive sales.

Engaged Consumers Make More Purchases

In mobile markeint, gameification means creating messages that employ elements of fun and play to entertain members or customers. When consumers are entertained, they become a “fan” of the brand and thus more likely to make a purchase. Fun can blur the line between entertainment and marketing, making the engagement experience more compelling for consumers as they aim to defeat opponents or surpass challenging obstacles. The rush of pride and accomplishment that comes from play can directly affect mood and general brand perception.

The success of Verizon Wireless's revamped customer social hub, Verizon Insider, is a perfect example of how marketers can get more from their mobile marketing campaigns through gamification. In 2012, Verizon set out with the goal of increasing customer interaction. Through its gaming campaign, Verizon Insider users earned points and rewards in several ways, including contest participation that allowed players to post their scores on the company's Facebook and Twitter feeds. Just a few months after the campaign's launch, these users were already spending 30% more time on the Verizon Insider site, with page views up by 15%. Verizon's campaign shows that gamification works.

Analytics Drives Purchasing

Marketers hoping to boost brand awareness and/or increase sales should start by analyzing their mobile messaging. A/B split testing and re-targeting are action techniques that help marketers get the most out of their campaign efforts.

For an example of how this type of split testing and re-targeting might work, one can imagine movie fans receiving quiz questions via MMS. Not only do high scoring quiz-takers experience the thrill of victory; these consumers also receive a significant discount on tickets to the upcoming sequel.In addition, they are encouraged to post their scores via social media, sharing the campaign's message with their friends.

During this first phase of the MMS marketing campaign, the company sends two different versions of the message to various consumer groups, testing to see which wording results in higher conversion rates and in what demographic brackets. After the first round of texts, the company then re-targets, sending alternate messages to customers who didn’t respond to the first one. Consumers are targeted with an additional call to action and perhaps an even a bigger discount, increasing their likelihood of conversion. After analyzing the results, the marketers have a solid idea of what works and whom it works with.

Upping the Game

Gamification in mobile marketing has become a major topic of discussion, and its use is only gaining momentum. Regardless of how much fun consumers are having, however, the importance of testing a gaming campaign's messaging is essential if marketers are going to come out ahead and maximize their ROI. For companies, after all, the endgame is always the bottom line.

January 24, 2012

What MMA Can Teach Us About SMS

Entry By Jason Brick

MMAMixed Martial Arts has begun to learn from mobile marketing and social media -- a fact evidenced by the UFC's decision to pay four-and five-figure bonuses to fighters who maintain a social media presence. 

The reverse is also true. SMS marketers can learn from the example of fighters in this newest of professional sports. The training, tactics and techniques of the Octagon have their applications in the world of mobile media. 

Hit With Combinations

In the ring, a fighter never throws a single punch or kick. He throws combinations -- a flurry of strikes that add up to serious cumulative effect. In SMS marketing, a single message won't have much effect. You need to maintain a long-term program of multiple messages. No single broadcast will suddenly turn your business around, but their cumulative effect can bring customers to the door. 

Use All Your Tools

Mixed martial arts get its name from the fact that fighters use grappling and stand-up fighting techniques to win a match. Even specialized competitors learn enough of other modalities to defend against the common techniques. 

A good SMS program incorporates not just mobile marketing, but your print campaign and web presence as well. The multiple impressions you make will engage customers with different preferences, abilities and needs. 

Be Responsive

Every fighter comes to the ring with a game plan, but good fighters will change the plan to adjust to what their opponents do. The degree to which a mixed martial artist can do this is the degree to which that athlete is successful.

One of the "killer apps" of SMS is a delivery cycle measured in terms of hours -- meaning you can respond to the reactions of your mailing list quickly and improve your message in real time. Failing to take advantage of this is a mistake.

Set Them Up, Knock them Down

In a mixed martial arts fight, the best competitors will "sucker" an opponent in with a false opening. When that opponent takes the bait, he capitalizes on the mistake with a pre-planned counter that can end the bout.

You should never pummel your customer base or choke them into unconsciousness. However, sending SMS messages that invite an immediate response can "pull in" your customer base by making them feel more engaged and interested in your brand. 

The Most Important Work is Invisible

Fights aren't won in the ring. They're won in training through practice, conditioning and skills development. The audience doesn't see that "behind the scenes" action -- but they see the result.

Your SMS campaign should work the same way. It takes effort, training and meticulous attention to detail if you want the message to work -- but your mailing list will never see the rough drafts, corrections and sweat you put into it. All they'll see is the stunning and actionable result. 

August 18, 2010

Pizza Hut Executives Expect That Mobile Marketing Will Account For 50% Of Future Orders

Being one of the first companies to offer both mobile web and SMS ordering options back in 2009, Pizza Hut is no stranger to the growing popularity of mobile marketing. So far they have offered games to iPhone and Android users, as well as chances to win bread sticks and an application which allows users to order menu items from their mobile phones. This is only the beginning; Pizza Hut expects that the use of mobile will account for 50% of their future sales!

“We want our pizza to become a favorite memory,” Mr. Niccol said. “When I came on board five years ago, Pizza Hut didn’t even have a Web site where people could order pizza. In the future, I see mobile accounting for almost 50 percent of our orders,” he added.

To read the entire article, click here.

To learn more about mobile marketing, visit Ez Texting.


August 05, 2010

KFC Doublicious Challenge

KFC recently launched a new marketing campaign that includes a football game, SMS messages and a delicious new chicken sandwich. KFC's new campaign includes a free game available to everyone who has an iPhone and includes banner ads that promote their new sandwich.

‘The objective of the campaign is to drive awareness of KFC’s Doublicious sandwich among adults 18-49 years old, while focusing in on adults 18-24 years old. KFC wanted to secure placement in highly relevant consumer areas to drive awareness for Doublicious and help drive lunch-time decision-making among the target audience.’

To read the entire article, click here.

To learn more about marketing via SMS messages, visit Ez Texting.

August 07, 2009

‘Touch KO’ Looks Like A Knock Out iPhone App

intoMobile checked out an awesome looking iPhone boxing app:

Launched late in July, Touch KO is the first realistic boxing sim I’ve noticed in the App Store to date (for a different take, check out Smack Boxing Lite). In the game, you start out as a rooking ready to take on all-comers from around the globe. Controls are easy and intuitive, and let you duck, bob and weave your way around opponents’ punches, while accurately throwing jabs, hooks and uppercuts of your own. There’s a ‘Quick Play’ game for those that want to get right down to business and throw a few punches… But for those that want a longer experience, the ‘Career Game’ tracks your progress, allows you to progress through training routines, create and edit your own character… and much more.


Head over to iLounge for some pretty incredible screenshots.