When Marketing Strategy Matters

According to results from a study conducted by BIA/Kelsey, mobile ad revenues are being boosted significantly by local business participation in online marketing campaigns. Of the anticipated $4.2 billion dollars generated by mobile phone campaigns, half will be derived from local campaigns. This represents the first time that locally generated mobile phone revenue will outpace revenue spent by national advertisers. Additionally, BIA/Kelsey predicts that local mobile ad growth will continue to grow over the next several years. It’s anticipated that local mobile ad growth will exceed $5.8 billion by 2016. That's an increase of 58% over that time period.

In response to this robust growth, many start-ups are appearing on the marketing landscape to justify the investment that is pouring into localized markets from local as well as national brands. What they are quickly learning is that the mobile device user has high expectations from his smart phone merchants. These sophisticated electronic shoppers demand real-time relevance from his merchants. Retailers expect high conversion rates and a cultivated audience of loyal customers.

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Web Chat Meets Hangout

Google Hangouts are gaining in popularity not only among private groups who wish to chat collectively, but as a a viable medium for politicians, celebrities and others who wish to bend the public's ear. With Hangout, it does not require the use of satellite trucks and miles of cable to beam images across the globe. Google Hangouts is one of the latest services being offered by the the search engine icon and is rapidly becoming an alternative to traditional broadcasting. Google Hangouts made a big splash at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last year when it was used in lieu of the more mainstream media as a vehicle with which to get the word out from political pundits participating at the event.

However, unlike mainstream media, Google Hangout is not the exclusive purview of a few privileged media personalities or well connected pols.  Hangout is accessible to anyone who has an interest in sharing their views with an audience large or small. The screen consists of boxes within the frame containing the live feed of those participating in the discussion. Essentially, Hangout serves as a TV station utilizing a computer and camera to ”broadcast” online around the world.  Although the quality may not match the quality of a full blown TV station, users are learning fast how to create studio quality lighting and produce shows that only recently was the exclusive territory of major media entities.

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Mobile Devices Take A Splash

Smart phones prefer cool, dry places. Yet very often, they find themselves in a hostile environment where danger lurks everywhere. More cumbersome than the pocket-fitting cell phones of the past, mobile devices are often exposed to the elements. When a task requires two hands, the mobile devices are often carelessly put aside in locations where accidents do happen. Many are buried at sea by distracted fisherman. Still others fall victim to clumsy owners who spilled the water goblet on it. Many learn that its not a good idea to operate a mobile device while exposed to inclement weather. Essentially, liquid environments are Kryptonite to smart phones.

Fortunately, the industry is responding to the sound of splashing smart phones echoing through cyberspace. In an effort to save smart phone users from themselves, manufacturers are designing rugged smart phones with water-proof capabilities that will save on the cost of replacement phones. Some of the fortified devices were introduced at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The water proof models demonstrated that a water resistant smart phone does not have to have to be ugly in order to be waterproof. Sony displayed a stylish-looking device dubbed Xperia Tablet Z. The device's sleek designed belied the added benefit of knowing that an accidental dunking will not impair performance. Other Sony models are currently enjoying the water-resistant features such as Acro S and Advance.

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Twitter Meets FireFox OS

Mozilla chose the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to announce that Twitter will support the Firefox OS mobile apps from Mozilla. Twitter now joins the likes of Alcatel and ZTE and wireless carrier Sprint in proclaiming that it will support the new Firefox OS app. Twitter for Firefox, the Twitter mobile app, will contain the familiar featured tabs such as Home, Connect, Discover and Me.

It will also include support for one of Firefox's more unique features, Web Activities. This Firefox feature permits Firefox phone users to tweet photos from any app that works with Web Activities, including built-in photo apps. This handy cross-platform feature allows for photo tweets from any app that supports the mobile web. As the app more closely approaches the date of release, one can expect that many more new apps surfacing that work with the Firefox operating system. Globally, the Firefox OS will be joining 18 mobile operators who will be supporting the new mobile operating system. Once the devices are released into the marketplace, the Twitter app for Firefox will be immediately available in the Firefox app store.

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The Chromebook You Can Touch

Last week, Google rolled out its much anticipated Chromebook Pixel laptop with the intent to impress. Early response to the high-resolution touch screen and powered by an Intel Core i5 processor has been very positive. Google's new Chromebook Pixel laptop enjoys features such as 12.85-inch touch- sensitive employing Corning's latest Gorilla glass screen technology for its touch screen capabilities. The screen's resolution is a crystal-clear 4.3 million pixels, or the equivalent of 238 pixels per inch. This represents greater pixel density than that of the Macbook Retina.

The model comes in two options:The stripped down Chromebook Pixel which is only available in WiFi and the upgraded version which is designed to connect with Verizon's LTE network. Both models are powered by an Intel Core i5 processor. Google claims a battery life of 5 hours. It comes equipped with QuickOffice and a SD card slot for automatic photo uploads to Google+.

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