To i-NFC-finity and beyond…

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Within the industry, it is becoming increasingly apparent with each passing day that mobile platforms are becoming an indispensable part of digital marketing. For a second, I’d like you to imagine you are about to leave the house and are rounding up all the essentials for your day. What did you take with you? I’d wager that your phone was amongst your personal set of ‘essentials’.

It is currently estimated that around 4.8 billion, yes – billion, people own a mobile phone (MindJumpers) , whether that be feature or smart. Highlighting the importance of mobile marketing, and the potential reach it can achieve. Another fact that may interest you is that the world’s most populous countries of India and China are still experiencing increases in mobile phone user penetration. China is currently around 65% penetration (Pasqua and Elkin) as opposed to North America and Europe that enjoy consistently high penetration – the UK is above 80%!

So what can we expect from mobile platforms in the future? Despite already being in full and wide use across many devices and operating systems; we at Zeelous are excited to see the development of Near Field Communication (NFC) and QR technology.  Many new handsets are equipped with NFC systems which facilitate proximity marketing as well as allowing for data sharing as seen with the popular S-Beam on the Samsung Galaxy SIII and soon coming SIV.

However, it is the coming possibilities of NFC that have our office in a buzz. Have you heard of Google Wallet yet? Google Wallet is a mobile payment system developed by Google that allows its users to store debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards among other things, as well as redeeming sales promotions on their mobile phone. Using NFC to “make secure payments fast and convenient by simply tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout.”.

In addition, in some countries such as Austria  and Dubai , NFC is currently being trialled or used to pay for public transport. NFC Forum director Debbie Arnold has commented that NFC “enables a lot of things” in terms of transportation and also indicated that several meetings regarding the integration of NFC into passenger check-in, ticket issue and departure lounge entrance, with large US airlines have gone successfully.

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Email Marketing, Is It Really Worth It?

Is Email really an effective way of marketing? Every single morning I wake up to approximately 15 unread emails all from companies who are trying to sell me something, but the question is does it really work? For us, NO! 

I would argue that email marketing is an outdated way to reach your consumers as every single company is doing it. There is nothing special or outstanding about sending a customer an email, how can you guarantee that the consumer you are trying to reach is going to open the email and act upon it? Thats the thing, you can’t. Image

However, although I think email is outdated it still has its perks. Here are a list of ‘good’ things that email marketing can provide (taken from eMarketing eXcellence, Dave Chaffey, PR Smith):

1 – Relatively low cost, email is substantially less than direct marketing. 

 

2 – Direct response medium encourages action. Email marketing encourages click through to a website, where the offer can be redeemed immediately. This increases the likelihood of an immediate, impulsive response. 

 

3 – Faster campaign development. Lead times for producing creative and the whole campaign life cycle tends to be shortened than traditional media. 

 

4 – Ease of personalization. It is easier to personalize an email than a real physical ‘snail’ mail. 

 

5 – Options for testing. It is relatively easy and cost effective to test different email creative and messaging. 

 

6 – Integration.  Through combining email marketing with other direct media which can be personalized such as direct mail, mobile messaging or web personalization, campaign response cab be increased as the message is reinforced by different media. 

 

Taking on all these points what do you think about email marketing? Do you just delete your incoming promotional emails? What do you expect a company to do to grab your attention? Let us know your thoughts!

The Power of Viral Marketing

I’m sure your all aware of the term ‘viral marketing’ by now and the girls at Zeelous are very proud to have made a video that has become viral. With this in mind, we feel it is appropriate to do a little piece on the power of viral videos and how they reach success in such a small space of time.
For those who don’t know, it is the concept of encouraging word-of-mouth referrals online and as a result, it is indisputably one of the most effective mediums of on-going self-promotion a company can employ. Viral marketing is a clever way of promoting your website as you are effectively getting your audience to do all the work for you, but for this to be successful you will need a fantastic idea and a brilliant strategy to get people aware of it.
Rather than explaining viral marketing, we feel that a perfect way of showing the success of viral video’s is to give a very current and hugely successful example, YG Entertainment’s Gangnam Style.

Step 1 – the set up stage.
YG Entertainment had spent a significant amount of time, before the song came along, setting up an office in America and exploring partnerships with artists such as Will.i.Am. At this point they were preparing their audience and connections for the right song to arise.
Step 2 – the content
Now that they had prepared the platforms and audience they were ready to really gain exposure when the time was right. Their focus was now to make the content something special.
The song was eye catching; the bright flashy colours being hugely attractive for kids. Crucially, language was not a barrier, instead comprehensible lyrics were replaced by a ‘catchy lyrics and a punchy chorus.’
Step 3 – coverage
On day one, the YouTube video had received over 500,000 views and by the slow and decline they finally reached a whopping 1 billion views. This was due to tweeting by celebrities and online articles by Gizmodo and Gawker, but was mostly down to the way the campaign was cleverly and strategically planned to get everyone watching the video.

From this example we see something really special arise in such a small space of time and it clearly demonstrates the power of viral marketing. We love seeing new viral videos arise, such as the Harlem Shake and how they manage to get everyone in on the hype from something so simple, but we know at Zeelous that behind the scenes, it’s more than just a video.

Let us know what videos you like!!

Top Social Media Trends

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Social media initially wasn’t so much of a craze, but in the present day it is rooted in our everyday lives and the web itself. It has impacted communication in a way NEVER seen before!

The first trend we collectively agreed upon is Social Mobile, where we looked closely at the continuing rise of smartphones which allow us mobile synergy and social networks all in one, making the easy access to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube simple, yet very additive!
Figures show that over 50% of Twitter is from the mobile, a staggering 1.2 billion people have an internet connected smartphone and over 400 million Facebook users use their mobile to check in, which is very similar to the millions of YouTube views coming from the mobile.

We then decided on Socialisation of Search, and as Google is one of the TOP search engines we have gone with this example. Google appreciates that social networks are here to stay and as a result invested half a billion dollars in designing and developing Google+. They have understood that social networks need to be prioritised when producing search results in order to stay relevant. Google considers social as fundamental to its strategy and is using social signals when delivering information from search engines. (This can be seen from the top social networks appearing in the search results).

We ourselves think Google has done the best thing and for that we love it!

The next trend is Location-Based Marketing with Social, through this service is the help to spread awareness of a business and drive customers to the door (How clever!). Facebook offers the ‘check-in’ feature which demonstrates this trend. For instance, when you check-in at a place via Facebook you are not only letting your Facebook friends know “I am here!” but Google+ encourages users to leave reviews.
It’s not only Facebook either, but other social networks, which are entirely built around location-based services. They turn the process of checking in at various locations into a real-world game, complete with leader boards, and the chance to win rewards and discounts at participating locations.

We find this particular trend interesting as once the location check-in is established; it then comes down to customers leaving reviews and the help of word of mouth to gain more to the locations door, this however cannot always work well.

Social Apps is our final chosen trend. When coming to this decision, we also closely looked at Social Gaming since both of these trends amazed us. As for social apps, we found that 30% of all time was spent on these apps, including the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flipboard and Foodspotting. The example we have gone with is the ever growing popular Instagram which has a 10 million user following and is regularly seen on Facebook. This app is a free photo sharing app, which allows you to upload and share photos with friends and family.

With this app, we found that the option to share to Facebook from Instagram really keeps the app alive and brings more interest in it each day and everyday and for that we really enjoy using Instagram, it’s a lot of fun and so easy to use!

Our Favourite Ads, at the moment!

After much deliberation, raised voices and opinionated discussions, we have compiled Zeelous’ Top 5 Ads at the moment! Some that have inspired, shocked, humoured and maybe even angered us!
However all cleverly innovative and memorable in their own rights, some more successful than others and some just simply Advertising Gold!

Three : DancePonyDance
Split decisions throughout the team about the latest viral boom, however EVERY BODY knows about the little dancing pony for Three’s new campaign! You can even create your own version of it via a web-based app – with different choices of music, personal messages etc so you can share yours with your friends!
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6yIj76DXP8)

Aldi : Like Brands only cheaper
We are loving the Aldi ads! Absolute genius way of getting such a simple message across to its audience. Aldi have most definitely grew as a brand due to these ads  – plus they are hilarious!
Here’s the latest one, where a woman is comparing champagne, alongside the fact that she’s not too keen on her husband! *Giggles*
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDjYbiSAXVk)

Carlsberg : Spartacus
Have you ever heard stories of how people are fired from their jobs because they are a little sloppy when talking about their boss on their social feeds? Well here’s a little twist on it from Carlsberg! And because the foundations of Zeelous is all about teamwork, we thought Spartacus was a little naughty but also courageous too! It’s nice to know your colleagues are behind you!
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5B9RqlKKfE)

Young Enterprise : #SaveALostGeneration
Inspiring us to be as successful as possible is the new collection of advertisements from Young Enterprise. These print ads show statistics of youth unemployment and the worries surrounding our generation. Simple images with strong messages!
(http://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/about-us/senior-leadership/)

Department of Health : Anti-Smoking
The latest anti-smoking campaign from the DoH is hard-hitting imagery and shows the effects of smoking on the human body. It got a lot of people talking about it and shocked a lot of us as viewers! We think it’s really effective how showing a tumour growing from a cigarette makes the harms of smoking a lot more personalised than just stating facts on a screen.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIyqcST29wQ)

What do you think about these advertisements? Do you have any other favourites? Let us know 🙂

Unboxing – what is it?

Why not take the time to explain the concept behind our new university project, you might know our new project as the Kinder Cow.

If you haven’t seen it I suggest you look now….   

For all of you wanting a definition “Unboxing is the unpacking of new products, especially high tech consumer products. The product’s owner captures the process on video and later uploads it to the web. The term has been labelled a new form of “geek porn.””

Basically a person will buy a product and film themselves with it, they usually show the packaging, explain what it is then they’ll literally unbox or unwrap a product and show the camera what’s inside then explains what it does. You can find unboxing on YouTube, people unbox things from Apple Products to clothing deliveries (yes, people actually will pull their order out of a bag and show you what they have bought).

Just to explain what we have done and how we’ve done…

We “unboxed” a kinder egg, unwrapping the egg and showing the toy you find inside, rather than making it boring and talking you through the opening of an egg we tried to make it fun by having a flying cow lay the egg then the toy hatch out! At this precise moment in time YouTube says we have 22,728 views and it’s only been online for 4 days!

We’re taking this time to say a massive thank you to Lord Alan Sugar for supporting our project and retweeting it, it’s helped us massively!

Now go and see what unboxing videos are out there, enjoy!

Kinder Egg Unboxing

After being given the brief to create an unboxing video for Kinder Egg Surprise we have come up with an exciting new idea.

You’ve all seen the dancing Shetland Pony for the advert 3, but have you seen the video for the flying cow? Didn’t think so! Get yourself onto our youtube page and have a look at this new idea.

Let us know what you think about it!

Who’s Nearby?

In the ‘Newsroom’ on Facebook’s blog we have found out the new app they are working on where the ‘Nearby’ app will allow people to find out what is near to you. You are able to pick something in a category (the example which Facebook give is restaurants) and find a list of all in that category which are near to you.

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Although, at Zeelous, we do like the idea of this if you are unfamiliar with an area, however, we are wondering where it will lead in the future? You can click on any business/shop and find out who has been here recently and even find who is near you at the time. Are we leading towards a society where we know where all our friends are (and non-friends) all the time? Can we never do anything in private? Do we even want to know where everyone is?

Tell Zeelous what you think…

BBC Olympics App

First off, Happy New Year!

Since the launch of Smart Phone applications or ‘apps’ as we know them, they have grown and expanded dramatically. According to Apple, the iPhone App Store launched in July 2009 with only 65,000 apps. Now in September 2012 there are over 700,000 apps available to consumers from games to online banking.

As you all know the Olympics where held in the UK this year and the BBC had rights to all the footage from the games. With this they decided to make a ‘BBC Olympics’ app for their audience who wanted to check game results and scores whilst they where at work or on-the-go.

www.Econsultancy.com asked their staff members to nominate their favorite app from 2012. The BBC Olympic app was the most popular with the staff as they described it as ‘excellent‘. They also stressed how easy it was for consumers to access live streams and highlights from day to day events.

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We at Zeelous think that the Olympics app was awesome! With over 500,000 downloads since the launch of the app it has clearly proven popular. It was a great way for consumers to keep up to date with all the latest game results and it gave consumers who where on-the-go an opportunity to keep on top of what was happening! To top it off this app is free.

There are hundreds of thousands of apps in todays world, our question to you is which app is your favourite and why?!

Blogging For Business

Blogging for Business

Blogs are an easy method of publishing an online diary which is regularly updated (Chaffey, eMarketing eXcellence, 2008). At Zeelous we use blogging as a core tool to update our audiences with new information and content that we feel is essential for our readers to know about. We update our audience with new ‘techy things’ that we feel our users should watch out for and what we think has potential to be successful. With this, it is essential that there is evidence of consistent blog posting to ensure audiences know when to check for new updates. So far we have blogged each week about:
The BBC Olympics App, Social Media Platforms, Google Glasses, Internet Cookies, Apple iAds and The Samsung Galaxy Note.

Blogging enables you to show to readers that you have knowledge and expertise in your area and with this, show the personality of the business itself. When companies use Search Engine Optimization for their blog it enables them to achieve the highest position on the results page, which is a great way of gaining readers (Forbes, 2012: online). Not only does blogging let you write content freely, it also encourages discussion by allowing people to comment and share opinions on posts of interest. As a whole this alone would generate more audience and users on the blog. Living in a visually stimulating environment, we also see that you must have multimedia content for various reasons. It’s obvious that it gives your blog more colour and encourages attention rather than a big block of text (avoid the scroll of death), but it also helps with navigation on the page and aids memory with the audience therefore helping receive repeat viewers.

In general, blogs are a fantastic tool and can be used for many different purposes. Businesses can get across their opinions and explain what their company does. However when things go wrong in businesses, blogs can be great when used as a crisis management tool. When a bad situation occurs and a company is in the media, by blogging their own version of events can be a great way of crisis management giving their business a voice. Blogs are great for giving opinions, evaluating products/services and influencing readers in what to purchase. Overselling is “exaggerating the merits of” (Oxford Dictionary: online) particular product and blogging may suffer from this is if it is not presented properly. Therefore, when blogging about products it is important to ensure you are being realistic and truthful, without tricking readers into thinking a product is perfect. If oversold, this may lead consumers to think the blog is unreliable and the product does not live up to consumers’ expectations.

Our web team at Zeelous have years of expertise in this area and are able to create interesting and successful blogs which people will enjoy subscribing to. We have a strong understanding of what readers want from a blog and are able to successfully apply this knowledge to help businesses succeed in blogging.