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Never Lost in Macy’s With Its New GPS App

December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

I barely go to malls when I know exactly what product I want to buy. For me, it is frustrating to go back and forth, downstairs and upstairs, but still can’t find the thing I want. Especially in today’s world, people are pressed and have no time to hang around if they are not in the shopping mode. In addition, customers are more and more powerful. Product reputation, shopping environment, traffic and deals are all factors that influence a customer’s decision. Also, online shopping is quite convenient and empowers shoppers to choose where they want to go, in what way they want to shop.

However, online shopping costs more on shipping and you need to wait a couple of days for your package. Also, shopping online lacks customer experience which is the biggest disadvantage. With this situation, Macy’s jumped on the chance to fill the needs of those customers who want to shop in store but hate wasting time finding things. In November 2012, Macy’s introduced its indoor GPS app. According to PSFK, “The indoor positioning and navigation experience lets users search or tap on the map feature to discover different departments, brands, and other points of interest.” By clicking the “Take me here” button, customers can be directed to the destination easily.

As the first major retailer to introduce an indoor GPS feature, Macy’s took a forward step. It found customers needs that they are overwhelmed by too much information and offered a solution by engaging new technologies. Mobile GPS marketing has big potential because of the increasing number of smartphone owners and the change of their shopping behavior. By offering this new feature, Macy’s has a new platform to attract more customers and do more indoor promotion. It also has the potential to cooperate with other smartphone apps such as FourSquare, Yelp and GroupOn.

This handy app has some cons, however. It can only be used in Macy’s Herald Square store in NYC. It is only designed for the iPhone. Also, it might have problems if the app cannot work indoors because many stores have poor signal. Another risk is the accuracy of navigation. Since product placement in malls changes all the time, when the map is not updated and directs customers to the wrong place, the dissatisfaction may leave a bad brand image to customers.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Mobile Impacts on the Election

October 31, 2012 Leave a comment

The presidential election is around the corner. In addition to the traditional ways to attract citizens’ support, Mr. Romney’s and President Obama’s teams are following the trend of mobile marketing in order to win votes from mobile users.

A Pew Research Center study recently found that 66% of young adults in the United States have a smartphone, and 68% of them have a quite decent income of $75,000 or higher. This trend provides a new way for politicians to communicate with voters. Unlike debates and speeches, this channel is more personalized, engaging and conversational.

In the article “The Rise of Mobile in Election 2012,” the author Matt Petronzio introduces us to Mobile Politics.  It is “an app and website that allows U.S. political candidates to interact with their constituents.” People can use smartphones to access political information, donate, support and decide. Petronzio adds that there are “more than 80 million voters in the United States. If accurate, this is more than a 200% increase from the 2008 presidential race.”

What can mobile devices do in politics? The first thing is raising awareness. People can receive information and news by simply using SMS or apps. Secondly, mobiles help in fundraising. The Obama team offered supporters access to donate via SMS this August. And according to Mashable, “Evidence suggest that supporters are more apt to give the lower the barrier to do so, which is why true SMS donations could be a boon to campaign fundraising efforts.” Thirdly, apps enable politicians to reach a larger audience by investing in mobile ads. Romney has spent aggressively on this platform including Facebook advertising, Google ads and iAds. Last but not least, mobile apps have played an important role in informing voters of policies, news, events, community activities, volunteer opportunities and general information.

Republicans or Democrats, which one took advantages of this major player in this year’s election? Let’s take a look at an infographic from Mashable.

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Resource: Smartphone Users More Likely To Vote Obama [INFOGRAPHIC]
October 22, 2012 by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai

Categories: Uncategorized

Talk like a human online

October 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Calling to a bank or cellphone company is the most frustrating thing. Have you ever had a snack or a shot of tequila to release your anger after listening to a long answering machine and forgetting which number you should press to get the service? Are you sick of dialing 1-800 numbers? Not only does such bad brand experience happen through customer service, it is also conveyed by social media and online ads. People receive thousands of messages online everyday and once you post something harmful to the brand, people have a bigger chance to see it than phone service. Opposite to providing more customized brand experience, these brands missed the way to communicate with customers, like a human.

It is not easy for marketers. On one hand you need to talk like a neighbor sharing amazing experience last night. On the other hand, you need to inform people about the brand, the product, and the service. How can you clearly convey messages precisely, especially in a small text box? If marketers fail to find a balance between them, there would either be a waste of promotion funding or a damage to the brand image.  In the article “5 ways to make your brand sound human online” by David Lee King, the author stands in brand managers’ point of view and introduces five ways to share brand images with customers like a friend chatting about a new car, not a sales machine repeating information again and again.

1. Type like you talk.
When talking about business–even if it is a fun event or an attractive discount–people tend to use big words to make things sounds serious. Sometimes marketers do this unconsciously. The author suggests reading what you write out loud, and if it feels real, it would be more  conversational.

2. Be visual.
In the article, the author points out that customers prefer seeing products to reading. Marketers should combine words with images, photos and videos to make the conversation more interesting. However, in my view, simply copy and pasting from the press release doesn’t work. Neither do fake pictures. Customers are smart. Using a photo from a photo stock online is easy to be recognized, thus pushing customers want to leave the conversation.

3. Use video to connect.
For this advice, the author wants brands to build an emotional relationship with the target market through making customers talk instead of those C-suite people. This is important because people like to engage with people from similar groups, sharing same interests and concerns.

4. Ask questions.
“Ask, and people answer. Ask customers about the use of your products or services. Ask what they like and what improvements they would like to see.” Says King. Question is the first step to start a conversation. Marketers don’t know what customers really want until they ask. Online communication provides a great platform for marketers to ask questions, a chance to answer and make improvements, as well as a database to analyze the target market.

5. Celebrate customer loyalty.
Being thankful always can keep loyal customers because trust is a vital connection between loyal customers and brands. Always post a thank you message, or leave an appreciative comment below their sharings.

Read the article:
http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/45676.aspx
By David Lee King | Posted: October 17, 2012

Categories: Uncategorized