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Google is making mobile advertising better for you

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment


Have you ever been super engaged with a game when all of a sudden, you find your browser opening and you’re being redirected to the app store? This is known as the “fat finger problem.”

Well, earlier today, Google presented users with a solution called “confirmed clicks.” Google found that  “most accidental clicks on in-app image ads happen at the outer edge of the ad unit, likely when you’re trying to click or scroll to nearby content.” The introduction of confirmed clicks means that all in-app banner ads on your smartphone now have to be confirmed before redirecting you, to make sure you did not accidentally click on it. Google’s product manager for display ads, Allen Huang, explained that when users click on the outer border of the ad, they would now be prompted to verify that they actually wanted to learn more and visit the site.

This is good for Google, Google analytics and advertising partners since the click through rates for these apps are usually exaggerated. Huang believes that this addition will benefit “users, advertisers, publishers and the mobile ecosystem overall.” I know I for one will be able to play Words with Friends in peace now (since I mostly download free games with tons of ads).

Google is making another very wise move in the business and advertising world today. A little after midnight on Wednesday, Google released its Google Maps app in the iOS app store and is already climbing to the top of the free apps category. Google will capitalize on the app to generate revenue by including local ad listings in the app. As we all know, good advertising is reaching the right person, with the right message, at the right time and place. Ads are rendered irrelevant when the merchant is physically inaccessible to the prospective consumer. These local ads will be able to reach consumers when they are within proximity to a local business and can give in to impulsive purchasing behavior. Google will have access to the local businesses users are searching for and target the ads better. A better ad experience will increase ad’s message reception.

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They want to watch you watch them!

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Privacy is something that many users are fighting to keep some of these days. The more technology advances, the more people have to learn to keep up with it and maintain their privacy and security. Mobile devices have become tools where users can share their location through apps like Foursquare, and share their thoughts through Facebook status updates and tweets. When done carelessly, users can lose control of their security. But at least then they have themselves to blame.

Unlike mobile devices, televisions are usually a one-way communication tool. Viewers do not have to worry about privacy and security. Well they don’t now but that might not be the case in the future.

Verizon recently filed patents for a television set-top box with cameras, motion sensors and microphones like the Xbox Kinect system. Verizon hopes to be able to track viewers movements in a particular room. This “media content presentation system” as Verizon calls it will select ads based on “ambient action” in the room. Meaning commercials will be targeted to the viewer’s activities and moods. Irrelevant messages will no longer overwhelm viewers, instead they will be creped out by how specifically they are being targeted. An example used by Mashable was that a couple could start to get a little closer while watching a movie and suddenly start to get condom commercials.


Verizon is not the only company seeking to capitalize on this technology. In 2008, Comcast filed a similar patent. So has Google, the online advertising giant.

Microsoft also has plans to use its Kinect camera to control who can play it’s games and access video content. The camera can monitor users and restrict underage viewers.


Microsoft filed the patent for “Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User” in 2011.  In short, Microsoft wants to be able to make more money off licensed products like movies by having this technology on TV, cell phones, set-top boxes, and other display devices, to monitor things like how many people view the product. If the number of viewers exceeds the number of licensees, then the viewer will be interrupted and asked to purchase more licenses.

This takes the spy camera effect one step further. Not only will viewers have no more privacy since the technology can identify users and change offerings based on their profiles, they will now have to pay for every bit of entertainment they want. The public is highly disturbed by this new trend and growing desperation to earn those marketing dollars by offering the best target segments. I suppose we will have to wait to find out if all these patents are approved and how receptive the public really is to losing their privacy.

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Abandoned shopping carts are costing retailers $$

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The holiday shopping season is upon us and some people like me prefer to do their shopping online to avoid the chaos in the malls and compare prices better. It is no surprise that Cyber Monday continues to see an increase in revenue. This year, online spending increased 17% as “consumers spent about $1.46 billion on so-called Cyber Monday, compared with $1.25 billion a year ago, making it the heaviest online spending day in history” (

I usually depend on customer reviews and my judgment of the product to make my purchase decisions so I never need to speak with a customers service agent.

However, research shows that “more than three-quarters of shoppers attempting to make an online purchase said they had been frustrated trying to obtain help when experiencing difficulty completing the purchase” according to national consumer panel survey sponsored by VHT. This same survey found that “about the same number said they had abandoned an online shopping cart due to frustration with getting the help they needed.”

“A majority of those surveyed said they would purchase more products from a website that allowed them to click or tap for customer service help.” and 75% would actually prefer such a site over the competition.

This means that online shopping retailers need to find ways to be more efficient with customers service as it is a major determinant of whether or not a customer completes a transaction, becomes a loyal customer, and shares positive word of mouth about the merchant. Especially now when they are trying to persuade shoppers to do so on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.


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