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What’s a Twitterment?

August 31, 2011 Leave a comment

We came. We planked. We golfed. We Twittered.

The 1st EVER Golf Twitterment has come and gone but not without a lot of conversation, amazing memories and hilarious stories from participants, sponsors & organizers of the event.

You might ask the question, “What’s a Twitterment” or “Why a Twitterment”. Two fun questions that I love answering. First the what.

Twit·ter·ment/Twih-Tuhr-Mehnt/ [1] A non-traditional Golf Tournament that creates powerful conversations & lasting memories through social activities, challenges and the sharing of unique business and personal stories through social media.

The Why.

Because social media makes it possible. The Golf Twitterment was born out of a conversation between 5 individuals on twitter. We asked, “What if we were to create a Twitter-only golf tournament? One that breaks the mold of a traditional golf tournament with sponsors, participants & stuffy receptions. What if we gave sponsors the opportunity to run a fun, unique and interesting challenge at the hole they sponsor that connects directly with their brand and the products/services they offer? And finally, what if we we further ‘Gamified’ the tournament by assigning point values to each challenge, developing bonus challenges that teams can complete on to accumulate points & be proclaimed the winning Twitterment team?”

Giftopia Twitterment Twitterment Twitterment

At first we thought we were crazy. Fellow organizers initially thought that securing 100 golfers much less selling out the tournament would be challenging and take considerable effort & resources. With good reason. Not only was it the first time this was ever going to be attempted anywhere in the world, we had just over 6 weeks to put everything together. That meant finding prizes, securing sponsors, inviting attendees and scheduling volunteers to assist during the day.

We had all of the pieces of the puzzle – and we used twitter to help us reach our audience and create interest and awareness for the event. Within one week of promoting the event we had 10 teams registered and 10 sponsors confirmed. We knew we were on to something.

The sponsors kept coming and so did the participants & networking dinner guests. By the time August 22nd rolled around, we had nearly 25 sponsors, 20 reception-only guests and just over 100 participants for golf!

Special thanks to our GOLD Sponsors: ORYX Advertising, Charcoal Group, Groundhog Divers and Galt Country Club. You and our silver sponsors helped to make the event an unbelievable success! Just check out some of the quotes overheard from the day:

“This is by far the most fun I have ever had at a golf tournament” – Katie C.

“I’ve been to a lot of golf tournaments before, but this is by far the best” Avi M.

“The sponsors’ challenges were so much fun! It was great to meet so many business owners in Waterloo Region.” Max S.

“Whoever thought of drinking the grape juice as a challenge from The Wine Expert is genius. Sick, but genius!” Brittny S.

The list goes on. A local tech startup, GooseChase Adventures helped us keep track of all of the points with their mobile application (For BlackBerry & iPhone) GooseChase. Here’s a video that they put together from all of the pictures that were submitted during the event:

We awarded prizes for atypical ‘winners’. Individuals who tweeted the most. Teams that tweeted the most. Highest GooseChase score and most sunburned. Our amazing sponsors helped us secure great prizes such as Diving lessons from Groundhog divers, Gift Cards from the Charcoal Group, Home Theater System form Gibson’s Sound & Vision, brand new smartphones from Wind Mobile, and so much more. Participants not only walked away with great memories from the challenges and the event, but they actually walked away with something of value as well!

Of course, no Twitterment would be complete without recording every golfer’s attempt at re-creating the famous Happy Gilmore golf swing. Here are some of the top videos:

Here is a look at Scott M’s #WINNING Video:
Scott M. ID# 227 http://bit.ly/wrgt11happywinner
Here is the runner up Top 5 list:
Brent F. ID#234 http://bit.ly/wrgt11happy2nd
Avi M. ID#174 http://bit.ly/wrgt11happy3rd
Alex K. ID#239 http://bit.ly/wrgt11happy4th
Krista H. ID#198 http://bit.ly/wrgt11happy5th
Robert S ID#247 http://bit.ly/wrgt11happy6th
Celebrity appearance by:
MOOSE W. ID#212 http://bit.ly/wrgt11MOOSE

As you can imagine, we heard a lot of comments such as, “I can’t believe I missed this” and “Count me in for next year”. Count you in is exactly what we intend to do. Now that the First Golf Twitterment to take place anywhere in the world is in the books, we have no doubt that it will be bigger and better next year. Make sure you don’t miss out on this next year as we’re already starting to plan the #WRGT12 to see how we can top this year’s event. Follow us on Twitter and visit our fan page on facebook so you don’t miss out on the action! (if you have pictures from the event, post them on our facebook wall as well!)

Cheers!

Your Waterloo Region Golf Twitterment Organizers
(Matt, Michelle, J.R., Karl, Alex, Greg, Amanda

QR Codes on Buck n’ Doe T-shirts

They’re sometimes called Buck n’ Does, Jack n’ Jills, Stag n’ Does… but if you’re not familiar with them, they’re basically just a big engagement party put on by the wedding party and close family. Typically, a hall is rented, bartenders are hired, booze is served, games are played – all in an effort to raise funds for the bride and groom for their upcoming wedding. My brother’s was this past weekend.

To separate the wedding party from the rest of the guests, often t-shirts are made that also identifies that person’s role in the wedding (Groomsman, Best Man, Bridesmaids, Bride, Maid of Honour, Groom, etc.). If you’ve read a few of the other posts on my blog, you know that I am a big fan of using QR Codes in interesting ways. What better than to add a layer of interactivity to the standard buck & doe shirts?!

QR Code T-Shirt

What does this QR Code link to you ask? Well, we ended up capturing some embarrassing video of my brother from my wedding last August, so I decided to create a QR code with the video embedded behind it so that whomever scanned it would be able to watch the video on their smartphone.

QR code

There some great analytics built into the code as well. I can track where it was opened, when it was opened, browser that opened it and what device. Not that it has much demographic relevance for this particular activity, but you get the point. Integrating QR codes into an existing campaign activity is a great way to increase interactivity of your platform be it print, billboard, retail, POS, brochures, etc., etc.

My brother and his fiancee? Our friends and family were very generous and we had some great prizes donated that helped them raise a good chunk of change to put towards their wedding. And, well, sure – he was a little red in the face but it’s all in good fun. Fun we can continue to enjoy for the life of the t-shirts and beyond.

Why Mobile Marketing needs to be a part of your mix – Now.

If it’s not currently a part of your company’s marketing mix, start now. Start thinking about how you will stay ahead of your competitors by reaching the increasing number of smartphones & tablets being carried by your target audience. Is your website optimized for mobile? How about your blog? Is there a customized application you could develop that would provide additional value? How can mobile marketing be integrated into your existing marketing mix?

“Consumers are 25% more likely to respond to advertising, (print, billboards, bus shelters, etc) if they are able to do so via a mobile response” ~ BusinessWorld

“Based on 74 campaigns during Q4 2009, and with a huge 69,854 respondents, the research revealed that on average, 22% were aware of a mobile advert — leading to a purchase intent rate of 5.4%” ~ Brandchannel

Together, these two data points indicate that consumers are not only responding favourably to mobile advertising from an awareness standpoint, but that this technology is translating into genuine purchase intent and sales. It comes down to making it easy for your customers to buy your product/service. Each step in between your customer and that customer purchasing your product decreases the likelihood that they will buy from you.

So, what can you do now to improve your mobile marketing efforts and increase your conversion rates in print and traditional advertising? Try playing to a person’s curiosity by adding a QR code to your ad. Link it to a customized mobile landing page. Provide them with a means of discovering what makes your product or services, awesome. QR Codes are very robust and can be used to store links to websites, videos, audio files, images and even SMS messages, so think about how you could integrate these into your existing advertisements.

Recently, we ran a small, local promotion designed to raise awareness for QR codes, local businesses and most importantly, to have some fun with mobile marketing & communications! Over the course of 5 days, we hid prize baskets at 5 different businesses across the city. Using social media (Twitter, facebook and a customized blog), we shared a QR Code clue as to where the prize basket was hiding that day. The first person to arrive at the secret location, claimed the prize. We also installed ‘digital ballot boxes’ at each location in order to reward subsequent visitors for playing along. This ballot entered them into a draw to win some amazing grand prizes including, VISA gift cards and a Blu-Ray player.

After the promotion, we analyzed the data and developed a report that outlined the success of the mobile campaign and how similar campaigns could work in the future. Here are the results of the case study:

QR code

QR Code Project

We learned that not only is awareness for QR codes high, integrating them into existing marketing and advertising activities is an excellent way to add a layer of interactivity on top of your ads.

Adoption of smartphones will increase exponentially in the next few years so you need to begin allocating resources to mobile marketing. Email me: matt@oryxadvertising.com to chat about how we can work together to develop a successful mobile marketing strategy for your business. For starters:

  • K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, SIMPLE. It’s not just about making a QR code link to your Web page or your Facebook page. Even if those pages are optimized for mobile, chances are the content isn’t. Mobile content needs to be easy to access, to appreciate and to easy to share. If it fails the user on any one of those counts, it won’t create the reaction you’re hoping for.
  • See. Scan. See you later. I’m a big fan of integrating QR Codes into existing activities because taking a picture is faster and easier than looking up a twitter handle or keying in a URL into your mobile browser. Other technologies will arrive making things even easier (See NFC), but right now, QR Codes are king as they’re readily available & easy to use.
  • Let context dictate content. Make sure your mobile content is useful to consumers in the same location you expect them to experience it in. Don’t offer them videos in a location where they won’t be able to watch them right away.
  • We’re still early in the cycle. People won’t buy anything or fill out long-winded forms via your mobile site. It’s just another touch point in a series of consumer touch points designed to keep your message consistent. Great mobile sites serve up awesome content and create a means for your customers to connect with your brand through their desired platform – later if they wish. Your mobile site is a powerful medium for you to wow your audience, raise awareness and keep your brand top of mind for when your customers are ready to buy.

Content from list derived from “How to blend mobile marketing with Social Media” article. Credit: Jesse Stanchak, June 15, 2011

Interesting Data on Tablet Usage, Demographics and Mobile Marketing

June 7, 2011 11 comments

If I told you 14 months ago that there’s a market out there that doesn’t exist yet, but will be worth approximately $35 Billion by 2012, what would you say?

Last year, you may have said it’s impossible but that is exactly what the tablet market is estimated to be valued at by next year.

It’s no secret that Apple created this space with the launch of the iPad in 2010. Since then, there have been dozens of competitors enter the market hoping to capitalize on this newly developed category while trying to erode Apple’s marketshare strangle hold of nearly 90% of all tablets. Recently, these and other interesting usage statistics from 1st generation tablet users were revealed at the OMMA Tablet Revolution Conference in New York on June 6, 2011. I have collected this information below, please provide your feedback and thoughts.

Tablet Market

Tablet Devices in Market

I have had my BlackBerry Playbook for just over two weeks now and I’m finding i’m using it as a quick resource to the internet, browsing, games, youtube, music and movies. In addition to the Playbook, there is the iPad2, Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy tab, Motorola Xoom, HP Slate, among others. So, how are people currently using their tablet today? What opportunities do tablets bring to advertisers and marketers with respect to mobile marketing? A panel that included David Gill , VP, Mobile Media and Marketing , The Nielsen Company, provided this insight:

  • UM research says 3 iPad owner mindsets – simplicity craver, on demand lifestyle, the family enabler
  • Tablet owners skews male, median age 38, Median HHI $142K, married w/ kids
  • Tablet owners download an average of 18 apps.
  • 65% want magazines on their tablet
  • Tablets are being used for fun, learning and to pass the time, but NOT so much to connect with friends as of yet
  • Interestingly, men aged 25-34 and women aged 45-54 use tablets the most
  • Holding up iPad – “This our new yard sign” – says Michael Fischer, CMo Coldwell Banker
  • Free apps are still the norm; must drive ways to get people to pay for apps
  • Consumers did not like ads that played music automatically when they engage (just like online)
  • Interactive ad features are a must, with videos being liked the most (75%)
  • Most tab users are NOT using their tabs to connect — more about content now
  • 56% of tablet users say they use it several times a day. 63% share their tablet with 2 or more people
  • The mobility of the tablet can help increase the validity of other channels, such as TV
  • Tablets are the “slouch” device. Lean back consumption & entertainment. Quickly becoming preferred web device while watching tv
  • Jeremy Lockhorn, Razorfish “tablets are not a replacement device, they are a media complementary device
  • What makes tablet different isn’t touch, but its form factor and inherent sharing
  • While there are challenges in this space, it’s a magical device with opportunities for everyone

Do you own a tablet? If so, which tablet do you own?

How To: Transfer Files over Home WiFi Network From PC to Playbook

June 2, 2011 13 comments

I’ve had my BlackBerry Playbook up and running for just over a week now and I continue to discover new things about it every day.

One of my favourite features thus far I sort of found by accident: Transferring files (music and movies) from my PC – Playbook over-the-air using my home WiFi network. 

One of the most overlooked benefits of BlackBerry in comparison to other devices is the ability to drag and drop media files from your computer through USB (or a wifi app) without having to use a proprietary music service such as iTunes.

Transferring music, videos and pictures to the playbook is easy. In fact, I discovered it’s even easier than I had expected. After connecting the tablet to my PC with the USB cable, here’s what I found when locating the directories I wanted to open:

Network Settings

That’s right! I Immediately noticed that the playbook was registering as a device on my wifi network! Curiously, I clicked on the playbook icon and it opened up sub directory files…and eventually… the location of where media and music would be stored on the device:

Playbook Folders

From here, all you need to do is select the folder where you would like the respective media file to live. In order to accomplish all of this, you need to ensure that you have network sharing enabled on your PC as well as enabling file & Wifi sharing on your playbook. Which is also super simple to do. Here’s how you enable file sharing on your playbook:

Enable File Sharing on Playbook

You can transfer any type of file from PC to Playbook using this method. Even work documents such as: presentations, client creative, invoices, spreadsheets, word documents, press releases, flash documents – whatever you need to customize your tablet experience.

This activity really highlighted the multi-tasking ability of the playbook for me as well. As I was pushing nearly 4GB of files to the Playbook over my wifi network, my wife was busy playing Papa’s Burgeria and also had the browser (Youtube), appworld, camera application, a stock video and facebook running in the background. There was no degradation of performance and she had no idea that I was uploading those files to the device.

NFC – How Near-Field Communications Will Change Marketing & Mobile Commerce

May 27, 2011 4 comments

UPDATE: June 3, 2011 – check out the Digital Marketing Lounge Podcast where we discuss NFC, mobile commerce and the Global Smartphone market.

I wanted to write a post about mobile commerce because I think that this is something that will explode over the next two years with Near Field Communication platforms and the introduction of new NFC applications such as Square, Google Wallet & Google Offers.

If you’re not familiar with NFC – it’s a set of short-range wireless technologies, typically requiring a distance of 4 cm or less. NFC always involves an initiator and a target; the initiator actively generates an RF field that can power a passive target. This enables NFC targets to take very simple form factors such as tags, stickers, key fobs, or cards that do not require batteries. What this means is you can basically ‘tap’ your smartphone on an NFC enabled tag to access information, make payments, access loyalty cards, send money to your friend, visit a website, and so much more.

What I find interesting and exciting are the potential uses for NFC & the opportunities to revolutionize point of sale marketing and mobile commerce that are on the horizon.

Mobile Commerce:

Yesterday, Google announced Google Wallet. In partnership with Mastercard, Sprint, Citi and First Data, Google Wallet will allow you to effectively make your phone your wallet. It will store your existing plastic cards (Loyalty cards, debit cards, credit cards, driver’s licenses, etc.) securely, privately and wirelessly on your NFC enabled smartphone.

Example:

You have just finished an incredible meal at a restaurant you frequent that accepts Airmiles. The server brings your bill to the table which looks like a regular cheque. You notice the NFC logo on the bottom of the receipt There is an NFC sticker on the bill that will make it recognizable by your smartphone. Near Field Communication Logo

You tap the logo with your smartphone and a payment application is launched that allows you select how you would like to pay. You select your MasterCard and your Google Wallet also identifies that this restaurant not only accepts Airmiles, but that you also have a loyalty card that will save you 10% off of your bill. You confirm your method of payment and the use of your Airmiles and loyalty cards, add a tip and your done.

Point of Sale Marketing:

When NFC is used at point of sale, consumers will be able to tap a product with their smartphone and access information, take part in promotions, contests, ‘like’ the product on facebook, view reviews and testimonials and access product videos. You’ll find NFC tags in print, on posters, POS, on products, transit shelters and so much more. Everything will be instantly trackable and measurable. Opt-ins to newsletters, promotions and adding leads to back end systems will happen in real time. Most of all, consumers will be able to check-in at merchant retailers, access coupons, sign up for newsletters, donate a dollar to a charity – all through an NFC enabled smartphone.

For merchants, businesses will deploy NFC technologies to accept payments, make it easy for their customers to browse, compare and buy products while in store and offer loyalty discounts and rewards.

Other Exciting Uses for Near Field Communication

  • NFC tags on bus shelters that display bus schedules in real-time when tapped
  • Boarding passes for mass transit (Air travel, train, bus, etc.)
  • Mobile ticketing – Check-in to concerts and sporting events by tapping your smartphone
  • Audio tours of museums or historical walking tours of cities
  • Keyless entry for your vehicle or home
  • Exchanging business cards & contact information by tapping two NFC enabled smartphones together
  • Exchanging money between people (Shawn, you still owe me $20).
The way you interact with retail brands is about to change and your smartphone is fast becoming the #1 thing that you can’t leave your home without. What are your thoughts on NFC, Google Wallet and mobile commerce?

SO you’ve un-boxed your Playbook. Now what?

May 25, 2011 5 comments

Following is a review of my first few hours with my new BlackBerry Playbook.

What are you going to use that thing for?

It’s a common question from my wife in regards to anything technology-based. Since I like shiny new pieces of tech, I usually come up with a really geeky response. The truth is – I’m not really sure just yet.

Based on what I know about tablets the moment I un-boxed my PlayBook, I made the following assumptions of what I would use it for:

For Fun: Movies & HDMI out, Twitter, browsing, writing entries in my blog, music, pictures, downloaded/YouTube/recorded videos.

For Business: Client presentations (go completely paperless), creative approvals and meetings.

Arguably, you can do all of this with a laptop – and that’s completely true. But what a laptop cannot do is offer all of this with the level of portability that BlackBerry can.

I have had my Playbook working for less than 12-hours at the time of writing this post. After un-boxing it, updating the software and registering the device, I started using it immediately and pushing it pretty hard to see what it was capable of. Here’s what I can tell you so far:

What makes it AWESOME: 

  1. Flash: It may be a small point to some, but there’s something to be said for experiencing the Internet as it was intended. I can watch episodes of Fringe (big fan) online, in HD..on my Playbook because it runs Flash.
  2. File Transfer. Transferring files wirelessly over WiFi. This is as easy as drag n’ drop into a folder from my PC to PlayBook.
  3. Power: I was pushing almost 4GB of files over WiFi to the device, running YouTube in the background, ESPN.com on the browser, the Facebook App, AppWorld and my wife was playing Sudoku. There was no degradation of performance & she had no idea I was uploading files to the device.
  4. WiFi: With Playbook, you don’t need a separate data plan. Great for consumers, bad for carriers. It also works really well on WiFi or through BlackBerry Bridge.
  5. BlackBerry Bridge: Without a native Calendar or Email App, the BlackBerry Bridge makes it possible to have both on your PlayBook. It was easy to setup and these applications work very well on the Playbook.
  6. Screen Shots: Ability to take screen grabs of the device’s screen (found this by accident).

What I won’t use it for/What I didn’t like:

  1. Writing long messages (emails, blog posts). Unless you have a bluetooth keyboard, I wouldn’t recommend this. I found even Twitter posts to be challenging.
  2. Facebook & Twitter. These two Apps need work for the Playbook. If you try to open them in the browser, they default to mobile sites which aren’t as feature-rich. One way to get around this is to open up Hootsuite or Tweetdeck in the browser as these seem to work fine. I wanted to see how close these two platforms were to a true browser experience. There is also no native spell-check which is a problem for me as I seem to have breakfast sausages for fingers. Also, when in the photo application, you cannot automatically send pictures to twitter. You need to add them in Hootsuite or with plixi/Lockers which is a little annoying.
  3. Search Sensitivity of AppWorld: This is NOT a PlayBook issue but an AppWorld issue that I’ll address here. I spent some time searching for PaperPlane, which is a very popular game on the Playbook. I tried variations – Paper Planes, Paper Airplanes but I couldn’t find it in AppWorld. Finally, I googled it – and noticed that it was actually called, “PaperPlane”. Tried the search again in AppWorld and it came up right away.
  4. BBM: Not a huge deal to me, but when evaluating the overall experience, I wanted to see if BBM would work. With the new software update – it’s supposed to, but I haven’t been able to get it to work through the BlackBerry Bridge yet. UPDATE: Installed new version of AppWorld and upgrade to BBM. Now works perfectly!
  5. MyWorld Apps: If you have BlackBerry Apps that you’ve already downloaded and paid for, chances are they will not be available for Playbook. I found this frustrating.
Also, if you’ve just un-boxed your Playbook, you’re probably wondering what to do with it. Try these to get you started:
  1. If you have a blackberry, connect with the blackberry bridge. Use your calendar app, contacts, mail and browser.
  2. Visit your favourite flash website. try: www.espn.com
  3. Enable Video chat on the device & call someone you know with a playbook.
  4. Play Need for Speed!
  5. Turn on file sharing to transfer music/movies over wifi from you PC (Settings – top right > Storage & Sharing > File Sharing ON)
  6. Try watching streaming flash video. Here’s fringe: http://www.watch-fringe-online.net/
What’s exciting about the playbook is it’s sheer power and sexiness. The accelerometer is very responsive, multi-touch on the screen is amazing and it feels great in your hands. The high resolution display makes watching videos/movies and viewing photos amazing and it’s incredibly intuitive. I also like the HDMI out, although I haven’t used it yet. You can shoot in HD, and watch in HD on your TV. There is also a lot of potential with the QNX browser and the most exciting applications are likely the ones that have not been released or invented yet. I’m really looking forward to discovering new uses for my Playbook each day from a business and personal perspective.
Although it’s lightweight and portable, it’s not durable or practical enough to take it out during a concert to shoot HD video or take it mountain biking with you. But you can say this about any tablet – or laptop.  Even though I’ve only had the device in my hands for a short while, I’d have to say that if someone asks me if they should buy a Playbook – I would definitely say yes.
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