Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Ways to Advertise

The market is trying to steer the consumers away from the thought that a recession might be forthcoming. Advertising is trying to put on a happy face for the consumer to keep up the buying game. But in light of the current economy, media spending is being cut to the bone by most brands to try to weather the projected oncoming storm. Business will continue on and the holidays are fast approaching which typically brings out more consumer exchanges.

So where will the advertisers turn to generate exposure?

We are all familiar with advertising because we are accustomed to the seemingly constant barrage of information from products or services from any number of avenues including television, radio, magazines, newspapers, billboards, Internet, etc. Anywhere there is access to visual, audio, or printed information; it is fair game for advertisements. (Photo)

Marketing on the Internet has exploded and will likely grow even larger in the coming years. Strategies for advertising on the Internet are still in their growing stages, but many agencies have acquired the technical capabilities to operate effectively using a variety of forms such as pop ups (which I hate!), pop unders, flash, banner, pay per click, adsense, and email advertisements (AKA spam).

With the popularity of TiVo and other DVR capabilities, television viewers can record programs for later viewing and typically fast forward through the commercials making them less viable. Plus, more and more people are using the Internet to watch their favorite television shows via YouTube, Hulu, and others. This trend makes traditional advertising have less of an impact on our society.

There is also a growing trend of niche or targeted ads which focus on a specific audience. In the past, advertising was approached in a ‘blanket’ manner to market to the mass audience which is a hit-and-miss approach. Focusing on smaller targeted groups makes the advertisements carry more relevance to the viewers. This type of advertising is more effective even though it reaches smaller audiences.

Interactive Phone-Small Screen-Big Opportunities!

Yes, the iPhone is here and is the hot ticket item to buy even in our worried economy. Advertising on the iPhone is the next big trend that will cast its shadow over television commercials. “There are 405 million mobile internet users worldwide, according to Internet research firm eMarketer, and within four years this number is expected to double. Google mobile ads allow you to target this large and growing audience while they're on the go.” (Oct. 2008.)

Google Mobile Ads look like typical desktop web pages, only smaller. All mobile image ads are keyword-targeted and link to a mobile web page. Only one image per mobile page is advertised to provide better visual connection for the mobile viewer. It is based on the pay-per-click method that Google has used for years. “Contextual targeting keeps ads relevant, and with only one mobile image ad shown per page, you can uninhibitedly browse mobile websites while clicking only on the ads that interest you.” (Oct. 2008.)

By using Google Mobile Ads, advertisers have the options to track impressions and clicks, target by language and mobile carrier, provide call to action links, and more. (To learn more, read the mobile ads FAQ in the Google AdWords Help Center.)

As more brands become aware of the expanding shift that iPhones are providing, they will undoubtedly follow the consumers pace to utilize this budding technology structure. Brands will see the need to become compatible with the smaller screens to promote themselves.

MoboVivo is a company that is specific to i-users of today, be it iPhone, iPod, and other portable devices. It is made specifically for people on the go. MoboVivo distributes TV shows, movies, and music specially made for use on these mobile devices. But it also works on desktops and laptops as well. MoboVivo states they have licenses for this content to be viewed on their site. They offer a delivery program which allows users to buy the program via the iPhone. An email will then provide the download link.

Those of you who Twitter can appreciate this next iPhone experience. Twinkle is the iPhone Twitter experience with a twist. Twinkle lets you use the iPhone’s location feature to add location data that can also seek “near me” that will show comments from people within a certain distance of your location. No doubt someone innovative will think up a way to use this to advertise. Maybe restaurants could promote their daily specials when the location data is triggered or stores in a certain area could advertise their great value for the day… or whatever. It seems endless. (Photo).

I do not mind advertising. Someone must promote the widget or I will not know it exists. If I do not know it exists, how will I know if I want it or not… BUT it could easily get out of control. For instance, these political ads are outta control. I will be glad once they have ran their course.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Internet Speed & Usability

What has helped to further technological advances or cultural trends?

Internet connectability and speed supplied from service providers are just a couple of ways that have impacted our culture. If we did not have the availability to connect to the Internet, the information that we are seeking would be limited. If we had to wait on dial up services to provide the speed in which to surf, many of us would not use it because of time constraints and frustration in unusable features. (Photo.)

By having Broadband in the form of DSL high speed or wireless Internet service providers (WISP), the service that we have grown accustomed to has broadened the ways in which we use the Internet. “The term broadband refers to any type of transmission technique that carries several data channels over a common wire.”

We can search for anything and everything at any moment of any day. This provides an unlimited amount of information that is not restricted to catching the late breaking news on television or reading the newspaper headlines. News is instantaneous and convenient to the user. (Photo)

Some communities have created ‘mesh-networks’ which join together numerous wireless public access points to provide a form of less expensive hotspots that bring in customers to use the wireless networks that are supplied for free in selected areas.

“A hotspot is any location where Wi-Fi network access (usually Internet access) is made publicly available.” These areas are often found in airports, coffee shops, hotels, libraries, and other places that wireless users tend to frequent and congregate. It is the provider’s goal to make connecting Wi-Fi users as simple and secure as possible. The problem with these public hotspots is that they are public and generally have less security levels than other wireless business networks. But this is a great way to provide a service that can generate sales in other forms of business. (October, 2008.

Wi-Fi is a low-cost option relative to other forms of wireless Internet service. Equipment is inexpensive (many newer computers have the needed hardware built in), and Wi-Fi hotspots remain free in some locales. Availability can be a problem, however. You won't find public Wi-Fi access in most suburban and rural areas.” (October, 2008.)(Logo.)

WISPs can further broaden our availability via use of cell phones and other wireless devices. This type of connectability is not as widely used across the board of users, so it provides selective service and is more expensive than the typical wireless Internet that we use for our laptops. WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a telecommunications technology that provides for the wireless transmission of data in a variety of ways ranging from point to point links to full mobile cellular-type access. WiMAX provides broadband speed enabling the delivery of the ‘last mile’ wireless usage without the use of cables. This option provides an alternative to DSL for areas where that is not feasible. The largest fully functional WiMAX network is located in Pakistan using Motorola hardware supplied to approximately seventeen cities throughout the region.

A general distinction of WiMAX and Wi-Fi is that the range system for WiMAX is typically a longer range than Wi-Fi which can allow for a wider coverage area. “WiMAX and Wi-Fi have quite different Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms. WiMAX uses a mechanism based on connections between the Base Station and the user device. Each connection is based on specific scheduling algorithms, which means that QoS parameters can be guaranteed for each flow.

Wi-Fi has introduced a QoS mechanism similar to fixed Ethernet, where packets can receive different priorities based on their tags. This means that QoS is relative between packets/flows, as opposed to being guaranteed. Intel is a leader in promoting WiMAX, and has developed its own chipset. However, it is notable that most of the major semiconductor companies have, to date, been more cautious of involvement and most of the products come from smaller specialists or start-up suppliers.” (October, 2008.)(Photo.)

As with anything that is up and coming, as it becomes more standardized the availability and quality of service will most likely improve. The weather is a factor that inhibits the best service for wireless due to lightning, wind, and moisture interfering with the wireless transmission. Limited signal strength is also a factor in usability due to cellular tower strength. Also, geographical topography that is flat is best suited for wireless use, it is not always available which can limit signal strength. There is no doubt that these obstacles will be addressed and improved as the strength in users grows. (Photo)