Mobile Technology

Advertising, Digital Innovation, Market Information, Mobile Technology, Timeline, Velocity News

Betting on Millennials: Mobile Marketing Now

Face the Facts:

Velocity Agency Vegas SignWe are in the age of the millennial. In 2015 the US. Census reported that millennials now makeup the largest generation in the country. Additionally, it’s believed that Generation X will pass the Baby Boomers within the next ten years. This will result in the Baby Boomer generation becoming third in terms of population, and it is shrinking.¹


2+2=4

So, what does that mean for the casino industry? To put it simply, casinos need to adapt to the changing population. This means that the priorities of millennials need to be taken into account. Most casinos will look to capitalize on new skill based games. Many will look to add restaurants, bars and nightclubs that are considered to be destinations all on their own.

Hello, Is There Anybody Out There?

Sadly, casinos can do the research and can upgrade themselves, but if their marketing isn’t reaching the new younger customer all of their work will be for nothing. Millennials don’t consume media the same way that older generations do. This is why advertising and marketing needs to be specifically targeted at them. Perhaps, more importantly advertising and marketing needs to be easily accessible to them.

What’s So Smart About a Smart Phone?

Velocity Agency has years of experience working with casinos to help get their message across. Not only do we create custom websites and advertisements designed to reach specific clientele, but we also work with casinos to create custom mobile apps. These apps not only serve a functional purpose, such as a map of the casino and resort, but they also serve as an efficient way to put your latest news and updates directly into a customer’s hands.    

In 2015, the Pew Research Center came out with a study showing that 68% of americans have smartphones.² With that in mind, it almost seems foolish not to take advantage of this amazing opportunity. Fill out the form below to find out how Velocity Agency can take your marketing and advertising to speeds you won’t believe.

  1. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/25/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/
  2. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/technology-device-ownership-2015/
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Digital Innovation, Mobile Technology, Social Media

Using Videos for Marketing: A Call to Arms

When it comes to building your online brand, video marketing has taken off largely for one reason: video provides a richer storytelling format for advertisers. In fact, Facebook released a statement on their Facebook for Business page that reads:

“Compelling sight, sound and videomarketingmotion are often integral components of great marketing campaigns, particularly when brands want to increase awareness and attention ov
er a short period of time. From launching new products to shifting brand sentiment, this video format is ideal for marketers who are looking to make a large-scale impact, and for people who will discover more great content in their News Feeds.”

With Facebook putting so much emphasis on the use of video content, you too should be focusing your marketing efforts on video content.  But, what exactly is it that propelled video content to the forefront of the social marketing world?

Here’s our two cents:

Online video views are rising rapidly. It’s projected that by the time 2017 rolls around, 69% of consumer internet traffic will be headed towards video content. This rising trend has gotten the attention of businesses of all sizes, and the videos are about to pour in.

Consumers are clamoring for branded video content, and they respond well to it. Commercials and advertisements can be deemed useless almost instantly by consumers. The internet offers an effective way to spread your message organically.

Furthermore, advances in mobile technology bring videos right to the palm of the consumer. Videos are generally viewable on all screen sizes, and often work better on mobile platforms. For the first time ever, mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop usage, which has a direct correlation to video views. Mobile platforms, such as Snapchat, have revolutionized the way videos are watched. And, when you compare the vertical layout of Snapchat to the horizontal layout of YouTube, you’ll notice that a vertical layout makes it far easier to pick the ads from the content. Across any platform, vertical viewing is the most popular option.

The rise in video content for marketing can be widely attributed to Facebook. The social media giant now averages 8 billion daily video views from its 1 billion users. If you’re not utilizing video content, this is your call to arms.

Mobile Technology, New Orleans

9 Apps to Improve Your Mardi Gras Experience

One of the things about working in technology is that it is easy to see how technology can help make things better and Mardi Gras is no exception. As the Fat Tuesday weekend gets underway we wanted to give you a few apps that might help you avoid some headaches and enjoy the weekend ahead.

Getting there and Getting Home

Waze

If you are driving I’d recommend Waze. The more people on the road the better it’s crowd-sourced traffic data works, making Mardi Gras the perfect time to use it. Waze alerts you to traffic jams, accidents, road hazards, and my favorite feature, warns you of police ahead. Oh, and Google owns it so it’s reliable. Download it now. iOS | Android

Transit Tracker – New Orleans RTA

The best way to get downtown during Mardi Gras is public transportation. The French Quarter is closed to driving from Friday evening until midnight Tuesday, so driving there is impossible. Even if you try, you won’t be able to find a place to park as people tend to rent the spots in the private pay lots for the whole 5-day stint. Transit Tracker will allow you to put in your starting location and desired destination and it will show you which buses or streetcars will get you there and where you will need to walk. It also has real-time GPS data on the bus/streetcar locations, but this is reliant on the RTA actually keeping the trackers in working conditions. If the past is any indication, this could be a hit-or-miss thing. iOS only

Google Maps

When you are downtown, Google Maps is still the best map for walking around and finding restaurants, bars, and hotels. Google has the best database of business listings and it loads fast. You should already have this app, if not, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND DOWNLOAD IT! NOW!!!! iOS | Android

 
Uber

I was hesitant to add this one because surge pricing will likely be in effect all weekend and getting an Uber will be expensive. But if you’ve got the budget for it, rock-n-roll. iOS | Android

 

PARADE NAVIGATION

There are several parade tracker apps that will give you the schedule, real time location, and in some cases some history of each Mardi Gras krewe.

Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide

Originally started as a print publication in 1977 it’s morphed over time and it now available as both an iPhone and iPad app. If you want the history of Mardi Gras, background on the krewes, and what the hot throw is, along with the usual date, time, and route maps, this is the guide for you. iOS | Android


WWL TV and WDSU Parade Tracker Apps

Two of the local TV news stations have their own branded parade tracker apps. They are fast loading, pretty much offer the same features, and are free. They both show you routes, times, and give you a real-time update on the where their vehicle is along the route (usually near the front of the parade). These apps are great to give you an idea of how long you will be waiting for parade once you have staked out your spot along the route. WWL iOS | Android WDSU iOS | Android

 

Utility

AirPnP

One of the things about Mardi Gras is there ain’t no place to pee on Mardi Gras Day. This is such a local colloquialism that it was immortalized in a song by local celebrity band, Benny Grunch and the Bunch. This app provides you with a map of places to relieve yourself on Mardi Gras day without risking a misdemeanor charge and fine. There are free locations and ones that charge but when you got to go, you’ll pay almost anything. iOS | No Android, but there is a web app

Communication


SMS

Trying to make a phone call along a parade route is an exercise in futility. It has something to do with the massive numbers of people in close proximity and the amount of bandwidth a given cell tower can handle, but no matter the reason the result is the same, you can’t make a call. No download needed

 

 

Mobile Technology, New Orleans

GOOGLE: Better Than YELP

To YELP quite literally means “to Howl, Yap, Screech, or Cry.”

Think about that the next time you regard a “Yelper” as a legitimate anything.

Since moving to New Orleans from the REAL culinary capital of the South, Lafayette, my girlfriend and I have made it a goal to try a different culinary establishment each week and give it a true taste-test. Being the Google AdWords Manager at Velocity Agency, it is my natural instinct to Google “Best Restaurant Near Me” rather than ask locals. Upon searching, there is a bevy of places that pop up. I narrow my destination upon two factors: ratings and types of food. One place caught my eye with its 4.5-star rating with over 170 reviews and Creole description, Jacques-Imo’s.

When doing a random search, it is easy to overlook all the amenities Google provides to help you in your decision. When searching Jacques-Imo’s, not only did it show salivating pictures of Southern dishes known to this region, but you can view their menu, hours of operation, and also click the map to give you directions from your current location. But, you already knew that. The features that Google recently added that are really captivating are the popular times feature. It shows which times you can expect the largest crowd. This is based on the users who have chosen to store their location information on Google servers and average out over the previous weeks. This feature is used for restaurants, bar, gyms, or other establishments Google deems relevant.

The other feature that Google recently rolled out is to make a reservation. All you have to do is simply click on the restaurant of choice to show more options, select the size of the party, and chose a time. Voila! Your table is waiting. However, to use this feature, the restaurant must use Open Table. Sadly, Jacques-Imo’s did not have this functionality, so we had to stand outside and wait (so 2012). These are just some of the features Google has provided to make our indecisive lives and future New Orleans tasting tour that much easier.

Digital Innovation, Mobile Technology

Virtual reality in the palm of your hand

As technology increases at an exponential rate, the public is being integrated into the technological realm faster and faster. With advancements such as 3D printers, voice recognition software and hover boards, the world we inhabit is slowly becoming what was once only imagined in a sci-fi movie. Thanks to another innovation by Google, virtual reality has become a physical reality.

Google Cardboard has brought the world of virtual reality to the comfort of your home, in the palm of your hand. Cardboard gives the user full submersion into a 360-degree virtual world. The purpose of Cardboard is to encourage the development of virtual reality applications and to make these applications available at a low cost.

One application of Google Cardboard being tested is virtual field trips for students. The affordability of Cardboard, and the authenticity of its virtual worlds provides students with an opportunity otherwise unattainable. Through Cardboard, the students can travel across the globe to locations far from reach, even underwater and the surface of Mars. Each student will view the selected reality through Cardboard, while the instructor uses a tablet to conduct a guided tour and point out learning objectives.

When should students expect to travel across the world from their desks? The Expeditions Pioneer Program is currently scouting locations to introduce Cardboard into the classroom. This program came to New Orleans through Loyola University to spread awareness, and revealed that it hopes to be inside schools as soon as the 2016-2017 school year. Aside from the occasional student catching a case of motion sickness, Google Cardboard looks to have a promising future in schools of five countries.

Mobile Technology, Research

Smartphone App Fatigue

Smartphone users are suffering from app fatigue. It seems like every week there is a new app I’m downloading: Uber, GetMyBoat, Afterlight, Enlight, PDF Pro, etc. The bad news for app makers is that I probably won’t keep the apps very long. It’s not just personal experience saying this, it’s data.

A new survey conducted by Research Now reports that 49% of US smartphone users use 6-10 smartphone apps a week. A Pew Research Center report adds a little more depth and says 30% of US smartphone app downloaders had 1-10 apps downloaded on their phone as of February; another 32% had 11-20. This report revealed different  usage numbers with 46% of respondents using 1-5 apps per week and only 35% using 6-10.

When looking at long-term usage the results get worse. According to AppsFlyer, most apps are not even kept a full day. Data from July 2015 showed 29.1% of apps download by Android users were retained for at least a day but it was only 25.5% for iOS users. At the end of 30 days 3.3% of Android and 3.2% of iOS users still had active users.

You should keep this data in mind when you are creating an app. The reality is that unless your app provides some sort of utility people won’t use it. For some brands this might be easy, like Kraft creating a recipe app. For others you will need to be creative, like Charmin who developed the ‘Sit or Squat’ app to help people find public restrooms. These apps provide a utility (i.e. solve a customer problem) that extends beyond the brand and may only be tangentially related to what you sell.

Digital Innovation, Mobile Technology

Twitter rolls out Moments and Facebook test Reactions

The next time you login to Twitter you will notice a new icon on the bottom of your screen. The lightning bolt icon will allow you to access Twitter’s newest feature, Moments. Moments gives you access to trending stories on Twitter along with the most relevant tweets. There are several topic areas in Moments: Today, News, Sports, Entertainment, and Fun.

When you first enter Moments you will default onto the Today section, which is a collection of stories and videos from the various sections. News is selection of hard news stories and videos. For instance, when I logged in, I had live video and tweets from the recent terrorist attack in Israel show up. Sports is going to have the latest scores and sports-related stories trending on Twitter. Entertainment has tweets about new book releases, music and celebrity news, TV premieres, and fashion. Fun is where you find Buzzfeed-type stories and things that are trending that don’t fit into other categories.

This is a first attempt by Twitter to solve the question new users often ask, “I’m on Twitter now what do I do?” If you don’t follow anyone on Twitter, it can be a pretty underwhelming experience. Mentions give a new user something to do the first time they login. It also becomes a de facto source for breaking news. Considering how many journalist and news organizations use Twitter, I’m sure this is a welcomed feature.

 

Twitter Moments on iPhone

This week Facebook also began testing 6 new “reactions”

For years people have been clamoring for a dislike button, and Facebook has resisted. Well, Facebook finally decided to offer something beyond the “Like” button. The new options are “love,” “yay,” “wow,” “haha,” “sad,” and “angry.” These are quite similar to the emojis used in text messaging.

Facebook Test Reactions

 

Mark Zuckerburg felt that in certain cases people would like to display some empathy in certain situations and a “Like” wasn’t always the best choice. Facebook felt that these new “reactions” could help to make that choice easier for users. Currently the new feature is getting beta-tested with users in Ireland and Spain. No word yet from Facebook on if or when it will roll out to the rest of us.

 

Digital Innovation, Mobile Technology

Thinking Outside The (Tinder) Box

unnamedUnless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve certainly heard about the popular dating app, Tinder, by now. The app currently hosts over 1.6 Billion user profiles with more than 50 million of those users spending at least 1 hour a day on the app, to complete roughly 1 billion swipes per day. It’s no wonder that Tinder is working hard to launch its paid advertising features.

While paid advertising is still limited and not openly available as of yet, its easy to imagine the value of strategically targeted advertising for such actively engaged users.  The app itself has already encroached into popular media with  numerous references to “swiping right” in advertising or even fun commercials such as this one from Franks Red Hot Sauce:

or the hilarious “Girls React To Tinder Lines” from MeUndies.

Tinder Launched it’s first official paid video ad last month with Bud Light’s Whatever USA video promotion, yet it wasn’t the first we’ve seen of advertising on Tinder. This year alone has seen major campaigns from The Mindy Show, Ex Machina, a fun date night out with the Atlanta Hawks for “Swipe Right Night”, a failed attempt from Gap’s “Pants Partyand my favorite… a date with Dominoes for singles home alone on Valentines Day.

It was no surprise to see the app used so heavily at South By SouthWest this year as touring musicians often use it as a way to connect with people in various cities and invite them out to their shows. It was only a matter of time until a musician launched a single on the platform like Jason Derulo did earlier this year with his video “Want to Want Me” which appeared to many as a Tinder “booty call” fantasy that enticed more than 1.1 million viewers to  swipe right and view his new video in only three days.  I have to admit that a part of me is sad to see the organic interactivity of the app overrun by paid players with dollars as there is something to be said for making a personal connection in the digital age.

While there is no doubt big brands are storming the gates, Tinder has proven itself to be a wonderful organizing tool for activist groups and non-profit organizations. The app was initially utilized by these organizations in 2013 and 14 as a new, free way to reach people. From hilarious interactions with “Nurse Nicole” who simply wanted to discuss men’s health issues during the “Matches for Mens Health” campaign, to human rights campaigns from Amnesty International and the Immigrant Council of Ireland that helped raise awareness about abuse and human trafficking, these groups were able to engage thousands of users directly with their causes.  In the case of  Operation “The Blind Date” profiles of 100 missing people were created and 23 were found using the app and my favorite “Puppy Love” an effort from Social Tees Animal rescue in New York that had over 1500 potential animal placements in only 24 hours.

Tinder has also proven itself to be a remarkable research tool for organizations, universities and marketing agencies across the country that have run all sorts of experiments to see what reactions people have to everything they can think of; including smoking, beards, dating trends, cultural sensitivity and more.

It will be interesting to see if non-profit organizations, educators, artists, activist or even small business owners will be able to compete with the new advertising initiatives Tinder will be offering. Tinder is already cracking down on “unauthorized” app usage that violates the apps “terms and conditions” clause. Yet, we won’t have to wait much longer to see what targeted pricing looks like.Rumor has it that general advertising options for the public may be available as early as August 2015.

Digital Innovation, Market Information, Mobile Technology

Why I Use ApplePay (And Why You Should Too)

Mobile payments are a disaster.

You’re much better off using cash than attempting to use any current service. Particularly PayPal. Don’t even get me started. How embarrassing.

ApplePay velocity agency new orleans advertising digital marketing

 

Why?

Before October of last year, I had tried different forms of mobile payments, which left me with a bittersweet aftertaste. While the idea of paying with your mobile device seemed novel and exciting at the time, the shortcomings and frustrations of the available technology drove me nuts.

Here I was, sitting in line at a Dollar General, growing more anxious as I got closer to the register. I had a new debit card and all my available funds were sitting on my PayPal account, which is a must for online payments. PayPal had worked out deals with some brick and mortar retailers so users could pay with the service at the register, by simply checking in and entering a code at the terminal. A few days earlier, I had made a successful payment at a Chinese restaurant, after showing the employee how to properly accept the transaction. Back at Dollar General, it was my turn, and as the cashier checked out my forty dollars worth of toiletries and snacks, I was ready to pay. After three unsuccessful attempts, I gave up and my friend offered to pay for the items.

PayPal had let me down. After calling customer service they explained this was a “routine security account lock-out,” which prevents users from making payments if the activity seems suspicious. But why did the payment go through at the mom-and-pops Chinese restaurant but got rejected at a business with actual PayPayl support? Mind boggling. Next move? Wait the three-day period for my funds to be transferred to my bank account.

As I drove back home, I asked myself how can companies release such products? Why does it have to be the way it is? Is every tech company missing the obvious?

 

What If?

It was early September, Apple had just announced ApplePay during the iPhone 6 event and like many, I was unimpressed. My previous experiences with mobile payments made me skeptical about trying them out again. A few months later I was up for a phone upgrade so I snatched a shiny brand-new iPhone 6.As I set up my new device, I was asked to use my iTunes-stored credit card for ApplePay, which I did. That was it. That was the whole set up. I was starting to believe again. This was the first time in a long time that signing up for a new service seemed so intuitive, so painless. What if Apple had gotten it right?

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, explained during the keynote that ApplePay works with any contactless payment terminal, so I set out to find one. Luckily, these types of terminals are already very common, so a short walk to Walgreen’s granted me the opportunity to try it out. This time I did not ask the cashier if they accepted my payment method and decided to trust Eddy blindly, which made me anxious while I waited in line. As I placed my phone over the terminal holding the TouchID (more on that later), my payment was accepted. Apple had done it right and I was back into mobile payments.

What if someone had designed a payment system from the ground up to be secure and easy to use? A short five months later, Tim Cook had this to say about ApplePay: “We have designed Apple Pay purposely so that we don’t know where you buy something, how much you pay for it, what you bought.”

 

How?

Let’s make something clear: Apple did not introduce any new technologies to power ApplePay, so why did others fail? Apple solved the problem by tackling three main problems: ease of use, security, and compatibility.

When you approach a register and place your iPhone close to it, the system automatically prompts the ApplePay screen. There’s no finding an app, there’s no checking-in, your iPhone just “knows” when to act. If you’ve never used ApplePay, you might be wondering if there’s an extra authentication step, which brings me to security.

Every iPhone since the 5s has built-in TouchID, an easy and secure way to unlock your phone with your fingerprint. TouchID stores secure data in a secure-element in your phone, which is not accessible from any other app. ApplePay stores a device account number created from your credit card, so merchants never have access to your real identity.

Finally, since ApplePay uses technology compatible with thousands of payment terminals, it is already available at many retail stores across the country.

Apple’s biggest opportunity lies in the next iteration of the iPhone, as it will be the second generation to use ApplePay. Also, the payment service is being integrated with other apps, to make the process of checking-out at online stores even faster and more secure.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Digital Innovation, Mobile Technology

iPhone 6 & Apple’s Marketing Machine | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Last Tuesday Apple unveiled the new iPhone 6, along with the long awaited Apple Watch. To some, it was a monumental announcement, to others, it was more of the same i-sheep Kool-Aid. Wether you’re an Apple fan or not, there are a few things we can agree on.

iPhone 6 Apple Marketing Strategy Velocity Agency New Orleans

Credit: Apple

iPhone 6 Brings Minor Upgrades

A side by side comparison reveals very minor differences between the previous iPhone 5S and it’s younger, sexier sister, iPhone 6.  New features include a larger screen, curvier edges and an added pay-by-phone feature called Apple Pay which we’ve seen in other phones.  Both phones are manufactured in aluminum with an 8-megapixel sensor camera and have a battery stamina that is essentially the same.

Apple: The Hype Machine

Apple is known for technology but, without a doubt, Apple is a marketing machine.  This is arguably why the company experienced an 8000% increase in profits from 2003 to 2012, according to a recent Marketing Strategy Analysis conducted by Vertygo Team, and why people decide to fork out big bucks for little upgrade bang.

Apple has been the recipient of AdWeeks Best of the Decade, Brand of the Decade, Campaign of the Decade and Marketer of the Decade awards. It was, yet again, voted as the overall winner of the 2014 CMO Survey Award for Marketing Excellence and last year it was awarded the title of “Brand of the Year” in the league of smartphones, tablets, and computers by Harris Interactive Marketing Firm. And the list goes on.

Android Caught Up. A While Ago

If one really challenges the specs against iPhones ultimate competitors of Android phablets, the data clearly demonstrates that Apple sells because of it’s name, not it’s game.  At the most basic level of graphics, iPhone 6 has finally crossed the HD threshold, however, it barely treads water when compared to the pixel-dense resolution of current Androids.  Androids have also always been a safe bet regarding their processor downlow.  Apple, on the contrary, has shed very little light on the qualifications of it’s new A8 processor, while Android companies most always rely on the trusted Qualcomm products.  On top of that, most Android cameras are in the 16MP range, which doubles even the newest iPhone’s capacity.

Great Products Sell

Apple, however, is killn’ it.

Last year Apple roped in a whopping 56% of the total profit for the entire cell phone industry, a percentage that put the company on a profit pedestal, writes Forbes contributor Tony Bradley. However, it would be a mistake to blame marketing alone in their huge success. David Ogilvy once said that “great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster,” meaning that for marketing to work the product has to be appealing and have certain qualities. Still, Apple spends less in advertising than Microsoft, Samsung, or Coca-Cola, but none of these companies have the hype surrounding their brand like Apple.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

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