Coca-Cola Bottles Feature Removable Wristbands for Music Fests (Video)

Check out this new packaging from Coca-Cola, which comes complete with removable wristbands that offer potential entry to music festivals. Talk about having a Coke and a smile.

Read more here.

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Beatie Wolfe Part of World's First AR-Based Live Streaming Music Event (Video)


First there were the NFC-powered album covers that enabled you to tap your mobile against the jacket and bring up a website featuring one of her singles. Now, Beatie Wolfe has launched a augmented reality live streaming experience promoting her latest album, Raw Space.

So: What's your brand doing with AR?

Read more here.

 

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To Bot, or Not? Rick Mathieson Talks Chatbots for Emerging Brands

BluebotTo bot, or not—it's suddenly an open question instead of a foregone conclusion.

Chatbots are increasingly an on-again-off-again hot topic among big brands these days—but is the timing right for startups and SMBs to get in on the action?

Once heralded as the new shiny object for marketers, Chatbot hype boomed with the launch of bots from the likes of Taco Bell, H&M, CNN and Unilever

These miniature, AI-enabled apps were instantly seen as transformational. Now, instead of closing Facebook Messenger or Slack and opening up your Lyft app, for instance, you can simply message Lyft and ask for a ride using conversational language.

Last Summer, Facebook had 11,000 chatbots within weeks of launching its bot developer kit. By fall, that figure had hit 30,000.

But now, some are wondering if the rise of the bots was a bit premature.

No, I'm not (just) talking about Microsoft's bot Tay, which famously started spewing racist messages on Twitter within 24 hours of launch. I'm not even talking about pro-Trump chatbots that overwhelmed social media with fake news in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

It's more prosaic than all that: In recent weeks, Facebook announced it would scale back its chatbot efforts after bots were shown to fail 70% of customers' questions and requests.

Instead, Facebook is refocusing its efforts on getting a limited set of questions right and shifting to a persistent menu function that's more akin to browsing a website (or "cards" in bot vernacular) and clicking options instead of trying to have a "conversation."

OrangebotBut while big brands may end up taking a small step back as the technology's underpinnings get worked out, it's not out of the question to ask if this is the time for startups and SMBs to start checking bots out.

So far, smaller companies have been decidedly "wait and see"—over 60% of SMBs have reported being only "somewhat" to "not at all" interested in chatbots or bot-based commerce.

Still, with new DIY chatbot tools for even the least techy among us, now might be a good time to emphasize the "see" part of that equation, if for nothing else than understanding where the technology might go next.

Indeed, that was the topic of a recent segment of the Jim Blasingame Show, where Jim and I talk chatbots. To be clear, Jim's show focuses on SMBs. As you'll hear, this whole chatbot thing may be new territory for this audience.

Check it out here:

Rise of the Bots

Radio Interview with Rick Mathieson: Rise of the Bots

Approx. 4 min, 39 sec


'The Call' - Send Personalized Videos About The Dangers of Driving High (Video)


This is an excellent new personalized video campaign from Drug Free Kids Canada.

Parents can send personalized videos warning against driving while high to their kids. Just as the onscreen character is receiving text messages from their parents wondering where they are, kids receive similar texts from their parents.

It's a great conversation starter, and it joins a long list of brands using it for highly personalized video messages (see The On-Demand Brand for more). But here, it's put into service for a very good cause. Kudos to all involved.

Read more about "The Call That Comes After," here.

 


Honda's 'Candy Cane Lane' VR Experience Brings Some Holiday Magic to Sick Kids (Video)

 


This little piece of Christmas spirit is from RBA. For every "Like" this video gets on Facebook, Honda will donate $1 to CHOC Children's and the PEdiatric Brain Tumor Foundation, up to $100,00. Well done by all.


Top Online Marketing Trends for Holiday 2016 (Conclusion)

Mobileholiday2_flippedQuick: Does the sight of shoppers using their mobile phones in your store spark fear that they're showrooming (looking at your products and looking for better deals online)?

Or does it fill you with holiday cheer, instead?

In part one of this mid-October appearance on the Jim Blasingame Show, I talked about trends in online retail when it comes to mobile.

In part two, the conversation shifts to email, social and search.

And in the conclusion, we look at local search and mobile as part of the SoLoMo (social-local-mobile) trifecta in holiday marketing.

As you'll hear, shoppers who use mobile while inside your store may just spend more money there—quite a bit more, in fact.

Top Online Marketing Trends for Holiday 2016 (Conclusion)

 

(Approx 4-min, 40-sec)

 

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Top Online Marketing Trends for Holiday 2016 (Pt 2): Email, Search or Social?

Holiday_online_marketingSo which is better for promoting your holiday offers this season: Email, search or social?

In part one of this mid-October appearance on the Jim Blasingame Show, I talked about trends in online retail when it comes to mobile.

Here in part two, the conversation shifts to email, social and search.

You might be surprised on which delivers the most bang when it comes to online holiday shopping.

Top Online Marketing Trends for Holiday 2016 Pt 2

(Approx 4-min, 55-sec)

 

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Top Online Marketing Trends for Holiday 2016

Holiday_e_commerce_SMALLIs it time to dump that desktop this Christmas?

In the run-up to the all-important online holiday shopping season, much has been made of mobile's ascendancy when it comes to holiday sales. But this year, I think we're going to see some twists, turns and stats that might have seemed counter-intuitive looking forward from this point last year.

In this recent appearance on Jim Blasingame Show (which focuses on SMBs), I talk about some of the developments that may have some marketers shouting, "Ho-ho-ho," while others scream, "No-no-no!"

As it happens, this segment was from mid-October, and I've just been too busy to post. But it may have you re-thinking Holidays past, present and future.

Top Online Marketing Trends for Holiday 2016 (Part 1)

(Approx 4-min, 55-sec)

 

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Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Concl): Marketing & the Internet of Things

Iot_internet_of_things_marketingIn the conclusion of our Summer 2016 digital marketing wrap-up on the Jim Blasingame Show, Jim and I talk marketing and the IoT.

You know we're entering new territory when Amazon is rolling out a Dash button for Mentos.

Jim's show focuses on startups and SMBs, so the discussion speaks to trends through that lens.

As things turned out, Jim and I got so engrossed in our conversation, we never got a chance to talk about what is probably the #1 buzz-generating digital marketing news story of the summer: Pokémon GO.

In the end, we decided to save that for another show, and perhaps that's for the better.

Even as word spreads that the game may not have as much GO in it as some thought (and with even Target appropriating its most conspicuous icon these days) the game's larger lessons for marketing in the age of augmented reality may be better absorbed with a little more distance from Pikachu's big moment.

Besides, we don't want it to completely overshadow some of the other major trends from the summer that was. 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Conclusion)

(Approx. 4-min, 19-sec)

PLUS—don't miss the rest of this series:

Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Pt 2) >>

Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Pt 1) >>

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Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Pt 2): Video, Influencers & Crowdsourced Content

Video_2_illusVideo continues its victory lap in part two of our look at the top digital marketing trends of Summer 2016 on the Jim Blasingame show.

Here, Jim and I talk about how video plays a central role in a number of this summer's big trends, including the acceleration of influencer marketing and crowdsourced content.

The fact is, even with handy new video production tools, it still takes time and effort to create compelling content. So why not get your most avid fans and influencers to do it for you? Here's how a few leading brands are doing it well.

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Pt 2) >>

 Approx: 5-min, 16-sec

ALSO:

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Pt 1) >>

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