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ekatonline

ekatonline has written 36 posts for Ekatonline's Blog

Mobile wallet – want it right now

Never heard about mobile wallet concept? Then just let me quote Mr. Guy Laurence, Vodafone’s UK Chief Executive Officer, who explained it pretty well:

“Currently people take their mobile, wallet and keys when they leave home. In the near future, people will start leaving their wallet at home; and in the mid term, their keys may also be integrated into their mobile as near-field communication (NFC) allows the mobile to act as a digital access card.” 

Sounds cool. Wanna see it in action, then watch this video!

 

ISIS was founded by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless and uses a technology called NFC (Near Field Communication) that enables your phone to communicate with the checkout terminal at an Isis Ready™ merchant. And it is already up and running in USA.

Mobile operators from UK, Spain, Germany and other countries are also working on their own mobile payment solutions. And don’t forget about omnipotent Google and Apple (in fact Google has already launched its own wallet). So this is for real.

The time has come!

ROI for Your Online Pay-Per-Click Ad Campaigns

Check out this interesting online-based software application to calculate the ROI of your PPC campaigns.

The only thing you have to do is to enter the amount of clicks purchased, the cost-per-click, conversion rate and average sale per customer and voilà the application will show you the ROI of your pay-per-click advertising campaigns.

Zero Moment of Truth – what is it all about?

I’ve just finished reading ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth by Jim Lecinski, managing director, U.S. Sales & Service for Google. And I am grateful to the author for writing this book.

It’s really great somebody put together all these ideas and concepts digital people are reflecting on these days! As a person who worked in digital advertising, I think it should be a “must-read” for those who still think digital marketing is something “below the line”.

So what is the Zero Moment of Truth (or ZMOT)?

Let me cite the author “It’s a new decision-making moment…ZMOT is that moment when you grab your laptop, mobile phone or some other wired device and start learning about about a product or service (or potential boyfriend) you’re thinking about trying or buying”.

I am sure this is something you’ve done hundreds of times but maybe you will be surprised to know that the ZMOT can be absolutely crucial to the decision-making process. And it happens not only with cars, computers or your summer holidays; it can be applied to all or almost all products and services you can imagine. In his book Jim Lecinski provides a lot of survey data that will dispel any doubts about the importance of ZMOT.

Why is it called the Zero Moment of Truth?

As the author explains, in 2005 the Wall Street Journal published a front-page story about “the critical importance of the seven seconds after a shopper first encounters a store shelf full of detergents or toothpaste or anything else”. P&G called that moment the First Moment of Truth, or FMOT. There is also the Second Moment of Truth that occurs when the consumer uses the product and decides whether he or she likes it or not.

So now that you know what the ZMOT is, you would probably like to know how to deal with it and how you can take an advantage of this new consumer behaviour. That’s why I highly recommend reading the book by Jim Lecinski because it is really inspirational and will give you a lot of useful information on how to start winning at ZMOT.

The PDMA Glossary for New Product Development

Interested in product management? If yes, make sure to check this comprehensive glossary for the new product development terms prepared by the PDMA Organization.

 

 

 

IE6 Countdown – great initiative!

Copy-paste this link and send it over to your clients 🙂 Microsoft has launched a website to encourage Internet Explorer 6 users upgrade to a newer version. According to the website, “it is dedicated to watching Internet Explorer 6 usage drop to less than 1% worldwide, so more websites can choose to drop support for Internet Explorer 6, saving hours of work for web developers”.

Great initiative! If you like the idea, you may join the cause by displaying the countdown banner to Internet Explorer 6 users on your website. There are also some useful resources for the corporate users (including Customer Case Studies).

URL Hunter – experimental game

One never stops learning – this time I learned that URL bar could be used for something more than just typing URLs 🙂 For example, for playing a game 🙂 Cool!

Facebook – statistics data

Check this page for the official Facebook usage statistics. I found it especially interesting that:

  • There are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.

MINI – as always great!

Spanish ad agency Sra. Rushmore has created an interesting Facebook application to promote the new MINI Countryman.  The application is available at http://www.manchalo.com/facebook/.

It is aimed at the Spanish market but honestly you don’t have to know Spanish to discover how it works. Just click on the Facebook Connect button and see what will happen – you won’t be disappointed 🙂 The idea is to demonstrate that the new MINI can adapt to any terrain even to your Facebook page.

Hope you will like it 🙂

Facebook likes “I like” better

Try to “like” something on the Internet and you will see that the information posted to your profile wall is pretty much the same as the one that appears when you share something. In other words, your friends will now see a full story including a headline, blurb and thumbnail and not only a link to the story (this is how it worked before the recent functionality change). In addition, they will also have an option to comment on it.
This is quite a significant change in the button functionality. In fact although the idea of “I like” button has always been great from the marketing point of view (“consumers say they like your product”) some companies were opting for the Share button because the information posted to the user wall was much more visible.

So what does it mean? Will “I like” button replace “Share” button? According to the Facebook Spokeswoman Malorie Lucich (check the complete article published at Mashable) “while Facebook will continue to support the Share button, Like is the “recommended solution moving forward.”

(via Mashable)

Facebook Apps – Do’s & Don’ts

Facebook Developers has published an interesting article on best practices for developing apps for this platform.  Here are the main recommendations (please check the original article for examples & screenshots):

1- “You must not incentivize users to use…Facebook social channels, or imply that an incentive is directly tied to the use of our channels”.

2-“You must not pre-fill fields that are intended for users to express themselves (like “stream stories”, etc)”

3-“Users must always consent to any Stream story you post on their behalf. If you do not use the Feed form which gives users the option to preview and customize their post, you must not publish a Stream story unless a user has explicitly indicated an intention to share that content, e.g., by clicking a button or checking a box that clearly explains that their content will be shared”.

4- “You must provide users with an easily identifiable “skip” option whenever you present users with an option to use a Facebook social channel”.

It seems like not all’s fair in Facebook 🙂

Source: Facebook Developers

Project Management Tools

It goes without saying project management tools are essential for managing digital projects especially when working simultaneously with different teams and suppliers.

So…here goes a list of tools found on the web or which I worked with:

To be continued…

Functional Specification – avoid common mistakes

Not long ago, I was working on the functional specification document for the website we will be producing and came across this very interesting article. It is titled “Common Mistakes: Functional Specification for Web Development” and I highly recommend you checking it out.  I especially liked “Future site enhancement not identified or not communicated”. This in really very common mistake. Hope you will find it useful.

Professor Google :)

Google launches an online fun guidebook “20 Things I Learned About Browsers & the Web“. It deals with such topics as HTML5, Cloud Computing, 3D in the Browser, Cookies, Privacy, etc. You may check a complete table of contents below. Smart idea to promote its own browser Chrome.

By the way try background colour change option (from white to dark grey).

Share buttons in banners – good idea

Found an interesting banner today. It seems interesting to me because it has Facebook & Twitter share buttons. That’s a good idea! And I am really curious to know if people actually use them 🙂

Good news for Facebook Developers

Facebook announces a release of a new Test User System for the Platform developers to test their applications.

Facebook guys say “A test user is essentially a user account associated with an application created for the purpose of testing the functionality of that application. We want developers to be able to test their applications and build automated tests. The “Test Users” feature is intended to satisfy both of these use cases. You can create one and use it for ad-hoc testing, or you can create many and use them for automated testing”.

Producing videos for YouTube

Before starting don’t forget to check the list of video file formats accepted by YouTube and audio and video specifications to follow in order to get excellent results.

Good luck 🙂

Just “blown away” by this website

I’ve just discovered this amazing website http://www.iamrogue.com/catfish/main.html. It’ really cool! Don’t miss it especially if you’re a mac user 😉 I don’t say anything else, just experience it yourself :).

Website checklist for pre-launch testing

Launch list (http://launchlist.net/) is an online website checklist intended to make easier pre-launch testing. Once submitted, you and your recipient/s will receive a report of your checklist with a summary for your records. Just brilliant!

Sikbox – free website search

For more details check http://sikbox.com. It seems cool 🙂

A little bit of SEO

Visit http://rapid.searchmetrics.com/en/tools/ for some interesting SEO online tools such as:

  • Site analysis tools (e.g. Website Speed Test to check how long a website take to load, Spiderview to see what webcrawlers and spiders see, Meta Tag Analyzer, and others)
  • Keyword tools (e.g. Keyword Density)
  • Server & Domains tools (e.g. Domain Popularity, Reverse IP)
  • Link Tools (Link Popularity, Backlinks to check the number of indexed pages and backlinks, Outbound Links, etc)
  • Miscellaneous (Meta Tag Generator, URL Rewrite, Sitemap Generator)

No pain, just fun!

SoBe Reskin Yourself is a website where you can get tattooed. No pain, no cost, just fun 🙂

Just upload your photo (or take one with your webcam), choose one of the designs from the site gallery, place it just where you want and voilà! The way it fits to your skin is surprising! Very good digital production!

Here goes an example – After & Before. It looks just like real!

Take a test drive…online!

Have just discovered this interesting interactive campaign created by AlmapBBDO Brazil for the new VW Amarok. It is a virtual test drive!

Curious? Have a look at this video to get more details 🙂


Via Digital Buzz Blog.

User participation: 90-9-1 rule

A friend of mine posted a link to this article in Facebook and although it dates back to 2006, I think it provides quite interesting data. In particular, it says user participation follows a 90-9-1 rule:

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute).
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions

Jakob Nielsen also presents the downsides of this situation and makes some recommendations on how to better equalize user participation. It is definitely worth reading!

Western Spaghetti from Pesfilm (2008)

Cool!

Digimi – Papervision 3D Demo

I was searching for some info on papervision and came across this website. Check it out because it’s really worth of it. It is a papervision3D Demo (head creation with Digimi Application). Below you may have a look at the character created from the image I uploaded 🙂

Additionally, you may customize & animate your character (like making him smile or wink his eyes, etc).

Digimi was created by the company DAZ 3D-Gizmoz  “that provides a central solution to design, manage and transport high-quality digital characters that can be deployed in virtual worlds, cross-platform games, social networks, mobile applications and professional modeling and animation tools”.

Testing in IE: fast & easy

Net Renderer (http://ipinfo.info/netrenderer/) is an amazing time-saving tool for testing your website in different versions of Internet Explorer, especially useful for MAC users. Check it out!

Don’t let colours mislead you ;)

Want to check your webpage visibility and colour contrast? Visit http://graybit.com/main.php, online accessibility testing tool that converts a full-color web page into a grayscale rendition.

The basics of email newsletters – part 1 (users)

I’ve to recognise – I like newsletters 🙂 That’s why I’ve decided to share some recommendations and interesting information I found on the web about this topic.

Let’s get started with some data on how users actually perceive and interact with newsletters.

According to the Nielsen Norman Group Report (“Email Newsletter Usability: Email Newsletter Usability: 149 Design Guidelines for Newsletter Subscription, Content, and Account Maintenance Based on Usability Studies“):

  • The good thing about newsletters is that they create much more of a bond between user and company than a website can. But on the other hand usability problems have much stronger impact on the customer relationship than they normally do.
  • Users spend 51 seconds reading the average newsletter
  • 69 % of users said that they look forward to receiving at least one newsletter, and most users said a newsletter had become part of their routine.

In other words, newsletters is definitely a good way of communicating with your audience but producing a good newsletter requires a lot of usability knowledge.

To be continued…

No more Farmville updates in your News Feed

Facebook guys say they are “putting changes in place so game stories only post to your feed if you’re playing them”. In other words, no more Farmville updates in your News Feed! Isn’t that great :))))?

More details on the new FB policy may be found at http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=429618852130.

Need some inspiration?

Have just come across this web http://patterntap.com/ and liked it a lot. A great collection of different web design elements such as headers, backgrounds, footers, icons, contact & 404 pages and much more.

Website creators say “Pattern Tap was born out of our love for the best interface designs on the web. We wanted a place where we could come and easily find the stuff we were looking for.”

Who says you need Photoshop :)?

Check http://www.rgbtool.com for a web-based colorpicker.

Browser stats – Firefox overtakes IE (august 45.8% vs 30.7 %)

Do you still test your website performance first in IE and only after this in Firefox? It seems like it’s time for changing this order 😉  By the way, Chrome is n3 (with 17%) and it’s only the beginning.

Here goes the link to the complete report http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp.

However don’t forget to check your website statistics to know what browser is most preferred by your website users.

Playing games with customers

Game-based marketing appears to be a really hot trend in digital marketing. But why should marketers invest in it? It’s easy:

+ it encourages brand loyalty – a good game is fun and engages customers with a brand, it also may become viral (especially if using social networks tools like Share or iLike). Here goes one nice example – Battle of the Cheetos using Facebook Connect.

+ in addtion, it is a good way to communicate product benefits. Don’t believe me check this game Google launched to promote its new browser Chrome. The game is called Fastball – guess what Chrome feature should it communicate 🙂

To be continued…

We’re gonna launch a viral campaign

“We’re gonna launch a viral campaign!!” (= “we’re gonna upload one video to You Tube”). If you speak Spanish, you will enjoy this funny initiative from Publicis agency Advertising – Spanish / Spanish – Advertising Dictionary“. It’s just brilliant!

Cause marketing

Check this article on some cause marketing highlights. And here go some interesting facts picked up from this article:

  • 87% of consumers would switch brands based on association with a good cause.
  • 50% of consumers would pay more for products from brands that support causes.

Twitter Ads Platform

Some curious facts about Twitter “promoted tweets” ad platform (source: Ad Age)

1-Place: first in search results and later in user feeds both on Twitter.com and other third-party clients that access the service

2-Interaction: users will be able “re-tweet” the ad, make it favorite and even reply to it.

3-Costs: initially, advertisers will bid on keywords on a cost-per-thousand basis, but Twitter is developing a performance model that could be the basis for pricing based on a metric called “resonance” — impact judged on how much a tweet is passed around, marked as a favorite or how often a user clicks through a posted link. Ads that perform well will stay in the system; ads that don’t rise above the resonance score of a typical tweet from a marketer will fall out. Ultimately, Mr. Costolo wants marketers to pay for ads based on the lift in resonance over a standard tweet.

4-First Advertisers: Starbucks, Bravo and Virgin America

5-All yours!: Unlike search ads on Google, Bing or Yahoo, there will only ever be one Twitter ad displayed at a time.

Other facts:

There will be also professional accounts available that will include the ability to have multiple users on one account — plus a dashboard that shows what’s happening with a brand on Twitter and integration with promoted tweets.

Twitter

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