Donation Connect: Text Some Good

The devastation in Haiti has struck a chord in individuals and organizations around the globe. I’m going to shamelessly plug this app since it’s a great way for our agency to contribute to the cause.  What started off as a project to showcase Rosetta‘s mobile team skills turned into something better – a useful app which allows people to look up charities that accept donations via SMS and click to donate.  It’s a simple directory service with buttons to send a text message right from your iPhone. Donation Connect also allows you to promote your donation and the app through Facebook and Twitter. The app is free; if you like it please use it and tell a friend about it. Let me know what you think. This was created on volunteer time after hours from our mobile and creative teams.

Donation Connect (iTunes App Store)

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The Economic Downturn Is Accelerating Digital

Under Pressure
 
Last week the Center for Media Research (account required) posted a study by Epsilon that revealed some insight as to what 175 CMOs and marketing executives are doing in a rough economy.  While nearly all CMOs and marketing executives in the study agreed that “a tough economic period is precisely the time when marketing plays a key role,” a majority (65%) said that spend on advertising as a whole will decrease.  A key insight, however, is that 63% of the folks surveyed also see an increase in spend on digital/interactive marketing.  Nearly a third of those surveyed work at companies with greater than $10 Billion in annual revenues last year.  Wow.
 
Key Factors
 
Key factors in the shift, according to the study, are accountability and data-driven, measurable results.  59% of those surveyed indicated a decrease in traditional marketing spend.  The beauty of online and interactive marketing efforts is the amount of data you can capture.  Half of the group already uses data-driven marketing techniques, and a third use “sophisticated modeling tools to analyze existing customer behavioral, preference and demographic data.” 
 
Step on the Gas
 
Many pundits have forecasted shifts from traditional to new media.  Forrester Research also surveyed 235 marketers in Q3 2007 and the major result was an expectation of new media (social media, SEM, mobile, online video, interactive ads, and even email) to increase in effectiveness over the next three years*.   That study was before recent market conditions, which have put an increased burden on marketers to get the biggest bang for the buck.  If you can’t measure it, can you really show ROI?  The market conditions right now are accelerating the “burden of proof” on the investment dollars.
 
Now What?
 
For those interested in social media and why so many companies are paying attention, here are some more statistics from the survey: 
  • Social computing (including word of mouth, social networking sites, viral advertising, etc.) was the most popular emerging channel with 42% of marketing executives expressing interest in adding it to their marketing mix
  • Blogs were the second most popular emerging channel: 35% of marketing executives want to pursue blogs and 19% already use blogs
  • Almost one-third of CMOs mentioned Podcasting as an area of interest: 31% are interested in adding Podcasting to their marketing mix and 18% already have.
  • Mobile devices also elicited interest: 29% are interested in Mobile Devices (Phones/PDAs) and 22% have added them to their marketing mix
For those of us looking to help companies with their efforts in interactive and social media, there should be many opportunities to lend a hand.
 
* Source: Forrester Research Q3 2007 US Interactive Marketer Online Survey
Photo credit: benmcleod via Flickr

Mobile Marketing Poised for Takeoff

I came across this presentation in feeds this morning and thought it was worth sharing.  Among the many salient points: 

  • Some great statistics on the fundamental boost to mobile that the iPhone has initiated.  For example, nearly 50% of all iPhone users visited social networking sites, compared to 4% of all mobile users.
  • The convergence of better networks, differentiated equipment with full keyboards and photo capabilities, location-aware technologies, the popularity of social networks and a desire to "stay connected" are all driving forces.
  • Challenges include privacy, ability to test and finding the right partners. 
  • Recommendations include taking the plunge to make mistakes now – taking risks is easier to absorb in an immature marketplace.