Hi guys – seems you were all pretty impressed with the Augmented Reality technology this morning. Below are some of the links to the videos and pages we saw so you can share them around or check it out for yourselves.

Augmented reality: Combines real and virtual – is interactive in real time – is registered in 3D.

AR GE smartgrid

Layar – A real time directory for your smart phone (iPhone 3Gs or higher only sorry!)

Lego – At a world toy fair Lego used AR to show the kiddies what was in the box

Education – See what AR can do for education and demonstration

GE Smart Grid – See a live demo on your own computer. Follow the instructions, it’s easy.

There are LOADS more examples online. Search Augmented Reality to check it out.

Tim – Chief Geek

Back to the future

back_to_the_future

Well we’re back from San Fran but now it’s time to get back to the future. We’re pretty excited about what the future holds for Spinifex and the cool stuff we can deliver for our clients and internally for us as a team.We’ve learned a great deal over the last 7 days and we hope to share this with you all over the coming months.  Most importantly we have discovered a few novel ways of improving our internal communications such as Skyping Tracey and maintaining a blog which I think we all enjoyed the experience of during our time away.

Therefore I have updated our header to our logo and tagline so we can continue to use this and build content and learn what we are able to achieve in the blogosphere.

To infinity and beyond!

Tim – CGO

Beware the autobots – they could be decepticons.

How many “connections” do you have on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter? I call them connections because, let’s face it no-one has 873 actual friends. If you disagree and think you are friends with the entire 873 people, you’re delusional.

Do you have some “connections” who you’ve never met in person? Or how often do you browse through your “connections” list of “connections” looking for good sorts you can stalk? Talking about you Frosty!!

What if I told you in the last week there is a very good chance you have made a connection with a robot on one of these sites – a robot you think is a real person. A real person with a normal profile who make normal contributions to their normal page about their normal life.

Beware the decepticons

In the cartoon Transformers the good guys were the autobots and the bad guys decepticons, so far in this instancd we can think of all the robots

If you have a robot in your social networking site – is it good or bad?

WTF are you talking about?

Good question.

Developers have built tools that automatically post entries into Twitter accounts. They create a Twitter user and develop profiles for them based on real world segmentation of their client’s target audience. They then seed the fake Twitter user through real users and build a network.

The developers have also designed a software program like a big fishing trawler that sails through other Twitter accounts with similar profile data and copies some of their entries. These copied entries then go into a spreadsheet that automatically posts them into the fake account in a set schedule.

Check it out Twitteradder.

That’s weird, but so what?

Here’s the devious part, marketers then seed these Twitter feeds with subtle links to their brands. Plus to manage ‘real time’ entries such as conversations to other users they have real people to post because the robots aren’t THAT smart. Yet. But how do you manage thousands of fake accounts with real entries? By outsourcing to the Phillipines. At $1.44 an hour. Hhmmmm.

Got an issue with this yet?

Well I do. I’m not sure if I’m more upset that marketers are potentially reaching me with fake users or that Twitter, who know this goes on are letting it happen.

All I can say is beware the decepticons….

Decepticon logo

Tim – CGO

It’s not an iPhone it’s a marriage

Internationally last year there were roughly 4 billion handsets (phones) sold, 35% of those devices were smartphones (iPhone, Blackberry etc) and are web enabled. That’s 1.4 billion devices. How many PC’s sold last year? 1.2 billion. 200,000,000 less computers than smartphones sold last year. Wow.

But what does that change? Everything.

Your relationship with your iPhone is greater than your relationship with your desktop or laptop computer and certainly greater than your relationship with your TV. You like these things, but you looooove your iPhone. It’s like a marriage.

Your iPhone is by your side 24/7, it’s always connected (ok well with Optus, nearly always). You kiss your computer good night, turn it off and leave it on your desk but your iPhone it stays turned on and comes to bed with you…ooooh yeah. You don’t mind if you’re iPhone comes with you to the bathroom either. Hmmm.

What does that mean to us, as marketers?
It’s timely, it’s local, it’s emotional.

For example if I’m looking for a nice restaurant to visit and do a search on my iPhone I’m most likely to be making my purchase decision right now. Timely. There’s also a good chance I’ll be within the vicinity of the restaurant. Local. And, because I’m married to my iPhone I trust it’s recommendation. Emotional.

When I looked up Mapmyride.com looking for a new route for us to ride our bikes tomorrow morning, it found my GPS position and served up the top 5 most most popular rides in San Fran. No search required. Thank you iPhone, love you.

The development of sites for mobile devices in the next few years will be serving you more and more local, timely and emotionally driven tools to make your life easier and you can enjoy a long and fulfilling marriage.

But don’t forget to look your iPhone in the eyes everyday and say “I love you”. You know it’ll love you back.

Tim – CGO

Digital marketing secret exposed. Great content gets viewed, gets linked.

Remember TV?

They were the days when we sat in front of a big telly and programs had to rate with us otherwise we changed the channel, surfing for something more interesting. Advertisers cried, programming managers got the sack and programs lived and died on how programs rated.

What’s changed? Not much. Great content still rates highest.

SEO, SEM, CTRs were not heard of then, but audience appeal is as alive today as it was then. Audience numbers grew with audience appeal. Great shows attracted lots of eyeballs and the highest ratings. Great content on the web attracts lots of eyeballs too.

Create great content and you can guarantee search engine interest because:

  • They’ll read it
  • They’ll share it
  • They’ll syndicate it
  • They’ll subscribe to it and
  • They’ll link to it.

These are all the things that search engines place rank preference to.

Search engines want to serve the best content to those that use them to search, and by the way, those who search so they continue to use the search engine and will hopefully see the ads that make the search engines money. That business model is very similar to that of television, radio and press. Advertisers follow the audience because that is where the money is.

A few things have changed though. The best visitor to your website is the one that is most engaged. Their engagement level can be influenced by where they’ve come from. Was it a blog, YouTube, forums, Google adwords, social news or twitter? It can count.

This interesting graphic shows types of attributes (media) that Matthew Bailey of Site Logic Marketing at the SES conference in San Francisco this week,  suggested drive the most engaged or unengaged visitors.

Attribution engagement levels

He suggested that your visitor may be more engaged if they come from a blog or article relating to your content than if they have come from Twitter. Stands to reason given that the twitter visitor has been reading 160 characters of information before clicking to look at your site and the visitor from a blog or article may have invested their time in several paragraphs (and therefore more engaged) before arriving at your content which hopefully will be in context with what they have viewed before.

So that’s the digital marketing secret exposed. Great content is king in webland. Oh you already knew that?

Regardless of the technology the approach is the same

Before we get too carried away with social media and marketing we have to make sure we get the fundamentals right first. From a marketing perspective regardless of the channel whether it be TV, Press, DirectMail or hard core social media marketing and blogging – you need to make sure what your doing is achieving it’s intended results. Which is……?

1. Establish your goals. Most diabolical f^ck ups start with a poorly thought out or none existant objective. It’s the same for social media – what are you trying to achieve – be SMART about it.

2. Build your empire. Who are you targeting? How old are they, what are they capable of achieving online? 13 year olds are capable of far more than 63 year olds but what demographic is most likely to engage with your brand online? You might be surprised, baby boomers are a growing group of online users who are becoming more engaged with social media.

3. Win your customers. OK I’m here, I’m online, I wanna get social. Now what? Make sure your offer matches your target – is it a giveaway, exclusive offers, entertainment? Gimme a reason to engage and come back.

4. Stay connected. You now gone to a lot of work to build your empire, get them engaged and welcome them back. You now have a mutually beneficial relationship where each party sees themselves has having the advantage in the relationship. If you can maintain this relationship you’re on a winner.

So you can see that basic structure for marketing is the same, but it’s these new tools that can deliver new and exciting ways of reaching and communicating to customers and other business partners. This isn’t about finding a new way to do marketing, it’s a new channel to enable your  marketing.

Tim – Chief Geek

Take a ride with Harley Davidson

Check out this site http://www.h-d-mosaic.com, thousands of Harley owners submitted a photo with their treasured bike thanks to a simple promo run through Facebook and twitter.

Enter the photo code John1.

If everything has gone to plan the site should zoom into the mosaic and find John’s photo. Cool eh? If that was a photo of Matt Lye astride a huge thumping chopper, he’d want to add it to his Facebook profile as well, fo sho!!

Harley also took this campaign offline by using the mosaic and selected photos from it in their 2010 printed catalogue. Only way to get a copy of the catalogue? Visit a store. The response was immense, with Harley Davidson reprinting the catalogue within the first week of release.

This was a great example of how social can be utilized online and offline (note the Spinifex tagline…)

What made this promo work?

Harley Davidson generated a web of leads and push throughs by asking entrants who posted their photo in the competition if they wanted to share it with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr, Picasa….

Harley Davidson got great exposure for their promo due to an excellent online social network and their customers had not only the chance to win some great Harley Davidson gear but also to feature in their next printed catalogue AND they could share their pride and joy with friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr, Picasa….

The key take-away to understand here is that social marketing like all good relationships must be mutually beneficial. That is to get a little you need to give a little…

Tim – Chief Geek Officer (CGO)

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