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  • dbinkowski 2:25 am on September 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    10 Things I Learned from the AdAge Mobile Marketing Panel 

    On Thursday morning a few of us attended the Digital Bytes Breakfast at the Time-Life building in Manhattan, hosted by AdAge. There’s a good recap on the AdAge site, so I won’t post it verbatim, but for those of us with ADD there are some key points worth noting, in particularly the comparisons to the early issues with the growth of the internet:

    1. Mobile marketing has huge potential, especially when you consider in the low cost per acquisition. Yes, that’s a direct marketing term, because that’s the potential for measurement and actual purchase.
    2. It’s all about the network. Reminiscent of dial up internet access, it’s up to the carriers to up their networks/coverage in order for it to provide a positive brand experience.
    3. Plan ahead. Because the various carriers require It takes a long time for a mobile campaigns to actually play out for various reasons: coding for various platforms, short code approval/lead time, etc.
    4. The need for standards. Designing and programming for various platforms and screen sizes can present obvious challenges.
    5. The slice of the marketing pie just got sliced thinner. Brands are experimenting with mobile and it’s coming from someone else’s budget.
    6. None of the panelists have iPhones (4 Blackberrys, 1 Nokia). In fact, the iPhone never came up as a target for mobile campaigns, even with an AT&T Mobile rep in the room.
    7. Old school measurement still rules. When asked what was deemed a successful campaign, the response was “reach” and “brand awareness”. Forget what I said earlier about direct marketing terminology, no one would disclose that sales went up after their campaigns ran. I guess that’s why this was hosted as part of AdWeek and not a DMA-hosted gig.
    8. Resumes from all backgrounds are being accepted. Much like the tech boom, there’s a talent shortage (shout out to Colin) in this space.
    9. Give me my money back. No, I’m not talking about the conference fee. 😛 The aforementioned network issues have started a debate on price per click refunds. In particular, if a potential customer clicks but the network drops the connection, shouldn’t the brand receive a refund?
    10. Youth rules. The panel felt that 13-26 year olds will really drive this medium.

    I had one major exception to a point that was made. The gentleman from Yahoo said “People love ads”. Nope, they don’t. They tolerate advertisements to get to what they really want, which is the actual product. Which, consequently, is what people really love – great products.

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/business_finance/10_Things_I_Learned_from_the_AdAge_Mobile_Marketing_Panel’;

     
  • dbinkowski 2:57 am on September 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Are you pissed about your iPhone? 

    Yeah, my friend Spike said he’s OK with the rebate and still loves ya’. But I’m not as forgiving. Maybe it’s because I’ve been a loyal Mac addict since owning my first //e in the 80’s. Maybe it’s because I tell everyone to buy your stuff, the design rocks and your products “just work”. But you really, really, really screwed us — and I’m not ready to let it go.

    A few weeks ago I said that the #1 question I got from people was “Do you like your iPhone?“. That question, when dissected, was essentially “For the price of $600, is it worth the money?”. And in their tone I could sense a semi-jealous, inquisitive tone — which in my mind means you’re on your way to increasing sales. Make the kick-ass product, get people to talk about how great it is, take care of the customer and the rest will take care of itself. Well, I learned from the first battery lawsuit on the iPod that you’re not really interested in taking care of the customer. The “underdog”, Microsoft vs. the world role can only take you so far, and the evangelism of your brand stops. This is also known as “Stopped Drinking The Kool-Aid”. I’m not about to toss my MacBook Pro, however you’ve really crossed a line. I expect more of you, Apple, than to act like the rest of the cellphone industry. That’s what makes you “Different”, as your mantra states.

    The question I get now is “Are you pissed?”. That’s what it’s come down to, a matter of blindly saying “YES, I LOVE APPLE AND STEVE AND WHATEVER THEY SAY IS SCRIPTURE”, which is just ignorant, or “You know, I’m really not thrilled. I’m hesitant to drop another $100 in ‘credit’ at the Apple Store after that screw job. Apple’s way has never been about price cuts or acting like the rest of any industry, let alone the cellphone industry — it’s been about great products that get people talking, and after this move I’m feeling chapped in the arse”, which is the point at which I realize that if another company hired great designers and made a solid product and took care of the customer, they’d trump Apple.

    So answering the daily question — yeah, I’m still pissed. No one likes feeling ripped off. And the whole “HOLY SHIT – THAT IS THE COOLEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN” conversation isn’t about that anymore, but instead is “Wow, you got fucked”. And as a consumer, that’s the last place I want to be when I think about your brand.

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/apple/Are_You_Pissed_About_Your_iPhone’;

     
    • Spike 4:08 pm on September 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I think it’s okay to still be pissed. But it’ll go away eventually, won’t it? If not, I’ll be happy to take all your Apple products off of your hands (and the $100 credit).

      I’m not saying what Steve did was right, I’m just saying that I’m over it. Those that ask you if you’re pissed are the ones that are SO thrilled that they finally have something on us and Apple. After all, Dell, Microsoft, and the rest of the boys out there are constantly screwing up. And let’s face it, they are low loyalty brands already. www

    • David Binkowski 4:44 pm on September 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I know, I know. And no I’m not coughing up my Mac stuff, although it would be cool to send my old G4 Power Cube and let you guys go wild on it. 🙂

  • dbinkowski 5:57 pm on September 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    iPhone early adopters – unite! 

    So the $200 price drop has several of us early adopters pissed, to say the least. Wired has a great figure showing our “investment” depreciated by about $3 a day since launch.

    You can have your say, though. Apple has a section on their site where you can “Share your iPhone story“. Here’s my submission, enjoy:

    Thanks to the price drop, I just got screwed by Apple for being an early adopter. When they said Jobs I through they meant Steve, not Screw.

    Do I think it’s the best phone out there? Yes. Would I have waited to pick one up had I know the price would’ve dropped by $200? Hell yes.

    Update: Apple announced that there’s a $100 rebate for those of us feeling screwed. The $100 must be used on merchandise at their online or offline store.

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/apple/iPhone_early_adopters_unite’;

     
    • Anonymous 6:51 pm on September 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I grieve the fact the the “Cadillac of cellphones” has been made cheaper all in the name of “technology!”

      iPhone has lost “class.”

    • Anonymous 7:58 pm on September 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I told my wife before the release of the iPhone that it would go down in price before Christmas. I didn’t expect it so soon or to be so steep a drop, but I KNEW it was coming. As should anyone who follows Apple, Palm, RIM, or any other phone manufacturer. The Razor started at an outrageous price and dropped quickly. The RIM Pearl is already dropping after mere months of availability. It’s the price we pay for being early adopters. As for my wife and I, we don’t regret our purchase of two iphones, nor do we feel cheated. Apple has already put out two updates to the iPhone and will soon be adding new features. This is unheard of in the phone industry. So forgive Apple for trying to make the iPhone a succes. It’s not a personal attack against you!

  • dbinkowski 5:26 pm on August 24, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Own a piece of history – the world’s second unlocked iPhone 

    George Hotz is running an Ebay auction for the world’s second unlocked iPhone. His blog details the ten steps it took to do it. This second (his person phone is the first) phone can be yours (currently) for a mere $2,175. Better yet, you could just follow the steps on his blog, unlock it yourself and only pay cost at the Apple Store.

    Congrats, George!


    image by George Hotz

    8/25 update: George has pulled the listing because he felt too many bids were fraudulent.

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/apple/Second_unlocked_iPhone_available_on_Ebay’;

     
  • dbinkowski 3:46 pm on August 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    So how do you like it? 

    That’s the most common question I’ve been asked since getting an iPhone last month. Sure, it’s a nifty conversation piece and overall I’m pleased with it — especially since it replaces my (go ahead and laugh) 2nd gen iPod and Razr. There are a lot of features I love, like the Maps driving feature to calculate distance and time based on real time traffic conditions (red = heavy congestion, yellow = moderate, green = clear), Mail, photos, and of course the iPod, but I have my own list of improvements for the rumored Fall firmware update.

    1. iPod: The album cover art is frustrating at times. I have tracks from the same album whose art isn’t recognized because a letter may not have been capitalized when typed in manually. That’s weak, especially seeing tons of default “missing” album artwork or duplicates. You’d think with CDDB access that it would reconcile duplicates and correct minor errors.

    2. Multitasking: If the device can’t handle playing music while I submit forms via Safari then we have a problem. My songs will typically stop playing because, and this is speculative, the memory is overloaded. Weak. I’ve also had instances where the Maps feature returns to the main menu for no apparent reason, then upon retrying the same function doesn’t recognize the address I just typed in.

    3. GPS: Other have asked for this but to me it’s a game changer. I’ve literally had to pull over or quickly scan street addresses and signs and type while driving (hey Rog!) to figure out how to get back on track. If there’s a feature that can pull real-time traffic for Maps, and our cell phones are using satellites, it seems pretty logical that GPS would be included in firmware v2.

    There are a few other features I’ve seen people requesting that would be great too: camera zoom, cut and paste, wireless connectivity to your laptop, Flash support, etc., but I can live without most of those things (case in point, I have a Flash blocker running on Firefox 24/7).

    Some people are pulling the Nelson “Ha-ha!” at iPhone owners, but the reality is that even with these limitations it’s still a superior product to anything on the market.

    Side note: For $600 they should really include the foam earbud covers. That’s just cheap.

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/gadgets/So_how_do_you_like_it_your_iPhone’;

     
  • dbinkowski 6:56 pm on February 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The iPhone… it’s everything! 

     
  • dbinkowski 4:26 pm on January 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The iPhone debate continues; Apple’s already won 

    I was mildly surprised to see Robert blasting the new iPhone, essentially comparing it side by side to other products on the marketing before declaring that it “sucks”.

    Conversely, Andrew Lark says he’s on board and agrees with me that it’s a game-changer.

    The debate over whether you love it or hate it illustrates one of Guy Kawaski’s 10 rules of revolutionaries: Polarize people, which is exactly what Apple has done. In fact, it’s no surprise that the iPhone is pretty textbook from Guy’s list.

    Apple has “charged up the base”, if you will, with this product. That’s what great companies do. There will always be pro-Microsoft and pro-Apple people, but the smart move isn’t, as Seth points out, to market to all of them – it’s to grab the attention (and dollars) of those who love you. Apple will get their 1MM subscribers, meet their goal, and get a ton of positive coverage out of it. Apple wins.

     
    • Michael 5:58 pm on January 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I heard a Detroit Free Press’ Mike Wendland rave about the iPhone on WJR yesterday morning (almost unabashedly).

      While the Cisco trademark lawsuit may put a bit of a downer on the iPhone — eating up some of the early edit coverage — it’ll all be resolved soon enough. In the end, as you and others noted, David, Apple and Steve Jobs will continue this fantastic rebirth that the iPod started.

    • Kai 4:08 pm on January 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t wait for people using their iPhone while driving.

  • dbinkowski 6:38 pm on January 9, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    iPhone: The cell phone killer 

    MacWorld is going on in San Francisco today (on Mac Rumors Live.com for those not in the Bay), with most investors wondering how Apple is going to recapture the growth that the iPod had. Sure, sales are steady, but it’s all about growth on the Street.

    Enter the iPhone. This, to me, is the “cell phone” killer. Know how everyone refers to mp3 players as iPods? iPhone will be next.

    So how can something like this happen?

    For starters, most cell phone companies treat the industry like it’s 1999: provide lame, branded content, partner with a company here or there to feed it in, call it good. Maybe incorporate an mp3 playing capability or the ability to browse the internet. Whoopie. No offense, but behind the scenes with Shaq isn’t really how I want to spend my minutes.

    Then there’s the concept of taking a function and slapping it onto your existing phone, whereas Apple had the luxury of building from the ground up using a solid platform – OS X. Specifically:

    The iPhone integrates with the iPod. There goes your phone’s low grade mp3 feature.

    The iPhone integrates with internet communicator so you can get IMAP email and access the web. Buh bye Blackberry and Helio.

    There are tons of other features, and I don’t want this to read like an ad for Apple.. but COME ON. Bluetooth, multitouch screen, desktop-class apps, widgets, over 200 patents in it… so the list goes on and on. And you can get it from the Apple Store or Cingular, answering how Apple plans to achieve same store growth.

    Cingular is the exclusive provider and the initial pricing is a 4GB model for $499 and the 8 GB model for $599 – both with 2 year contracts. Sure the price is a little steep however when compared to the other “smart phones” out there it’s comparable.

    Want to know how Apple‘s going to sustain growth? I think your question has been answered.

    Added bonus: I’ve used this quote while coaching, it’s a quote from Wayne Gretzky that Steve Jobs just used changed. I think it exemplifies the Apple, Inc. (no longer Apple Computer, Inc., btw) “way”:

    “I skate to where the puck is going not to where the puck has been.”

     
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