Archive for January, 2013

Impact of Facebook Graph Search on Multilocation Brands

With Facebook Graph search recently introduced, a dramatic shift in the marketing of companies from brand level to local level is expected to come.

Facebook’s Graph search, introduced on Jan 15, is going to be the third most important pillar after timeline and news feed. Timeline is where content is generated. News Feed is where the content gets distributed. Graph Search is where you can use this content to find out best places to shop, eat or stay with recommendations from your trusted connections. It unlocks the value of our likes, check-ins, photos and more and connects social media to our day-to-day use.

The challenge for national multi location brands is that they’ve invested all their facebook resources  into supporting brand pages to manage customer relationships at corporate level. And as for the graph search, local pages are all that matter.Reason being, from the past some time, local pages are getting an equal stature as brand page and is likely to surface as a brand page in graph search. Consequently, local pages are getting more fans than brand page itself.

The answer to a place search, and the potential for consumers to discover new places, relies exclusively on social connections at the local level via local pages. Hence, Facebook marketing strategy for multilocation brands is being flipped on its head.

If brands work to optimize their local pages for Graph search, they can see substantial results. It will not just make local businesses available in the search results, but will also increase the likelihood of being discovered and generate real world referrals. Finally, more value added services and offers can be sold to the new customers obtained at the expense of liking the page, generating a tremendous competitive advantage.

The important aspect of Graph search is in maintaining social connections, with fans, check-ins, recommendations, ratings and photos rather than the brand content popular in News Feed-Timeline era.
Facebook connections provide the reputation, relevance and weighting that power the Graph Search. Therefore, the quality of these connections is as important as the quantity , with the uniqueness that Facebook search will be different for different users based on their social connections.

In Cellstrat’s opinion, it will take some time for the adoption of this feature by Facebook users and the feature to perform at its best. Brands that will move quickly to take advantage of this new paradigm will gain a competitive edge over others. And undoubtedly, the value of Facebook marketing for multilocation brands is making a final shift to the local level.

January 31st, 2013

Samsung launches new Dual-SIM smartphone

Samsung Electronics launched a new smartphone recently – Samsung Galaxy Grand. The device is powered by Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system and runs on a 1.2 GHz Dual-Core processor. It has a massive 5.0″ screen with WGVA TFT display powered with mDNle technology, and possesses a multi Window feature that allows multitasking and running of multiple applications simultaneously without switching screens.

Along with this, GALAXY Grand’s Smart Dual-SIM feature provides communication flexibility and ability to manage two phone numbers. What makes the dual SIM feature smart is that one can receive calls on one SIM number while taking a call from the other.

As Asim Warsi, VP, Samsung Mobile,says,  ” Continuing with our legacy of launching innovative devices that redefine consumer experiences, I take great pride in announcing the launch of the Galaxy Grand in the Indian market. It is revolutionary not only in terms of the great smartphone experience that it provides but also the value proposition.”

Samsung Galaxy Grand is likely to fuel the growth of the smartphone market in India and will delight consumers looking for a great Smart Dual-SIM phone. Interesting would be to see whether Galaxy Grand meets the growing consumer preference for a large screen device combining a great multimedia experience with a superior performance.

January 30th, 2013

Tips to Effective Digital Marketing

In the present scenario, online/digital marketing is gaining popularity day by day, but the platform still remains naive. For the same reason, there are lots of “what not to do” advice available and those who have earned profits made them with trial and error.

Here we bring to you the list of tried-and-true tips:

Content is the driving factor : Prime focus of a website should be the quality content. Without good content, site might see initial traffic but to prove one’s presence and sustain in the market, one has to agree to the saying “Content is King”.

Focus on including SEO : Search engine optimization , which is necessary for future marketing strategies and drawing users to the website, is very critical for a successful website. What here is most important is to not just have SEO, but to integrate it successfully into the content of the site itself.

Consistently relevant : As said above, the hard part is not to get initial attention on the website but to keep people coming back. This means it is important to have relevant content and not just good content. The content should be directed at a targeted audience, understanding the needs of the customers, rather than explaining them what to do. The more related the site’s content is to its audience’s interests, more successful the website will be.

Skillful editing : Using a couple of words which can make your website links come up in more searches can make a larger difference to a site’s success. Changing title tags in day to day content can make it appeal more to people and contribute in improving overall traffic.

Last, but not the least, focus should be on having a style, tone and a brand to which audience can attach themselves.

 

January 29th, 2013

Social Media in 2013 …. What’s Next?

In recent years, social media has grown from a curiosity to an important part of corporate strategies, with 2012 witnessing an incredible popularity of social media. But in the midst of all this buzz, there is still an uncertainty among businesses who fail to understand the power and opportunities social media brings to the table. The situation is similar to that of late 1990s when webpage wasn’t believed to be a necessity by businesses, which led to many missed opportunities.

Interesting would be to see what impact would 2013 bring to the current scenario. Lets have a look :

Increased Social channels : Take a look at this present situation and we realize that a whole lot of businesses are avoiding using social media due to fear of someone posting complaints on their social channel.

2013, as an year, would see a new twist in the traditional marketing used so far. It will bring consumer to the front, who would be the ones to decide what they want to receive from their brand communities. It will be seen as an year of engagement where businesses will engage with user community to understand more about their brand from them. This one single measure would definitely play a major role in outpacing the competitors.

Market Goes global : Time has come to realise for companies that they are no longer servicing a particular community, but with the advent of social media, market has become global, in its true meaning. Gone behind the time of distributors and intermediaries, and one can sell its products & services via social channels 24/7.

To cater to this new marketing mix, companies would see a need to rethink on their strategy, realign their product offerings, and use social media effectively to make their brand global.

Power to the people : It is no hidden fact that social media, from quite some time, has continued to play a major role in echoing voice of the masses, be it cases of injustice, protests, or reviews. 2013 is yet again expected to strengthen the power in the hands of the consumer. Governments, Businesses and Brands will now have to regulate their services as per the needs and demands of people they are catering to , to sustain in the marketplace.

Battle of Internet Titans : In 2013, we will see a battle between major players of internet today, : Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn. Holding the biggest asset of all, information, the present definition of internet (open shared content) might face a change, with these titans confining their information to themselves to curb each other. And who knows, we might see the rise of some new customized search engines!

One last very interesting possible change one can expect is the conversion of outlook mails to company social media channel, for internal communication among different cross-functional groups. A big time saver! !

January 26th, 2013

Anonymous Hyper-local social platform- Spraffl- launched globally…

A hyper-local social platform where people can post anonymously , Spraffl, was globally launched on 23rd January, 2013.

Adding another dimension to the buzz of the hour, the very popular social media, Spraffl has taken out the “self” out of social media equation. It brings an introduction to instant networks where people can share ideas, gossip and connect without sharing their identity.

Spraffers – the spraffl users – are free from the effort of making connections, contrary to other social media platforms and can jump into an already built network.

Spraffers can connect people at the same office or even a distant continent knowing each other’s location but the identity. Interesting!

Updates – Spraffs – can relate to any news, comments, reviews and an ample number of other stuff. One can rate and reply to someone’s spraff, along with the sharing feature, very much like other social media platforms.

The conversation is the important part, and not the social profile.

On one hand, this freedom and anonymity is exciting, but at the same time, Spraffls allows its users to flag certain Spraffs as abusive, if  need be, which will lead to removal of such Spraffs automatically.

According to Jay Feeney, co-founder and CEO of Spraffl explains: “Anonymity has been an incredibly important part of the way we communicate over the centuries and has proved its great worth in print and other media. We think that the Revolution will be Personalised! The ever-evolving opportunities to live a life online have been exciting and addictive but we’re becoming a little bored by our online selves.”

In CellStrat’s view, the world is yet again ready to take another turn on the road of social media, ditching the baggage of identity.

Credits for the info : Spraffl

Website : www.spraffl.com

January 26th, 2013

Consumer-Brand Connection strengthens with the advent of Digital Shopping Apps

Recent research release by Adobe Systems Incorporated says : “Increased consumer interest in using shopping applications means retailers must adapt to meet the rising expectations for specialized mobile shopping experiences.”

The U.S. study, 2013 Digital Publishing Report :Retail Apps & Buying Habits reveals insights based on an online survey with a sample of 1,003 consumers, who own a smartphone, according to which :

More than half of all mobile shoppers are likely to make a purchase in the next year using a shopping app, with tablet users twice as likely as smartphone users.

Recent trend shows consumer’s preference to shopping apps over mobile browsers due to slow speed of mobile browsers and ease of navigation on apps.

Using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, leading companies like Sotheby’s and ASOS are producing tablet and smartphone apps to engage consumers with their brands. It has been noticed that these apps play a big role in developing brand connections. As a matter of fact, it has been found that 67% of tablet and smartphone shoppers only use apps for their favorite stores.

Interestingly, the social media: mails, online ads and Facebook are playing a lead role in affecting a consumer’s decision to select a brand. Due to this reason, there stands a need for social sharing features in retail apps and catalogs to share product reviews, news and offers.

Where it is a common highly valued app characteristic for all mobile shoppers to have money-saving offers, tablet and smartphone shoppers have their own preferences. Tablet users value interactive images and slideshows to understand product offerings, smartphone users want the ability to locate physical stores using an app.

CellStrat’s opinion: The research well demonstrates the distinct roles retail apps and catalogs play for different devices, such as the desire to obtain comprehensive product information on tablets and the considerable potential for smartphone apps to drive in-store purchases. But one thing is for sure : With the use of digital apps, brands are tapping into consumers even stronger.

January 25th, 2013

Citibank partners with Ezetap for Mobile Payment POS Solution

Yet another milestone in mobile payment solutions for credit card and debit card holders in India.

Citibank partners with mobile point of sale (POS) payments startup Ezetap to launch a new mobile payment solution. The offering will give merchants real time information during payment and collection process. To provide a platform to use this, Citibank has partnered with companies like Flipkart, BookMyShow and Vodafone where customers will transact using Ezetap. Ezetap has launched its POS solution last year allowing smartphones to be converted into POS terminals..

If we look back a little for some similar ventures, we find that this case isn’t the only one. In December 2012, Yes Bank launched a mobile POS to allow GPRS enabled mobile phones to be converted into POS terminals. Also, In Sept 2012, Oxigen had launched a mini ATM device called Oxishaan, another mPOS terminal for recharge purposes. Other such examples include Swipeon, a product of Axis Bank’s partnership with Prizm Payments and MSwipe Technologies, and MTS’s own mPOS.

Recent trends indicate considerable amount of investments in Mobile Payment POS solutions.

In Nov 2012, Ezetap raised $3.5 million in series A funding. Around same time, Mumbai-based MobiSwipe Technologies secured funding from One97 Mobility Fund. Also, MSwipe raised money from Matrix Partners, which had previously invested in Itz Cash.

With all these ventures on the roll, convenience is definitely getting close to consumer’s doorstep.

January 23rd, 2013

The Wallet Goes Wireless……..

The wallet goes wireless…. Yes, the world is yet again ready for a big technology leap!

According to Forrester Research, over the next 5 years, proximity payments are expected to override mcommerce and mobile peer to peer transactions. Looking at the present trend, overall mobile payments are expected to cross $90 billion by 2017. Even more exciting is the dramatic shift of share expected : mcommerce dropping form 90 percent to 50 percent while proximity will rise from 4 percent to 45 percent.

Reason being very simple : A better, convenient option to consumers than the next best payment alternative at any time.

If we look at actual statistics:

In 2013, mcommerce is expected to reach $18.2 billion, mobile proximity payments 1.1$ billion and mobile remittances $1.2 billion.

In 2017, mcommerce will reach $45 billion, proximity $40.1 billion and mobile remittances $4.2 billion.

Hence, proximity payments would be the highest growing sector with 137 percent compound annual growth rate, though mcommerce would still possess highest share in mobile payments, standing on $45 billion.

Taking a closer look : Most popular areas for proximity payments would be lower-cost purchases, parking and transit transactions, as it makes payments more efficient and convenient experience. As retailers such as Starbucks demonstrate that mobile payment solutions are easy for consumer to adopt, and with the spread of NFC implementations, expansion of proximity payments is inevitable.

To motivate consumers towards proximity payments, market will also see a hike in value-added services such as offers, coupons, loyalty and e-receipts. According to Christina Koshzow, CMO at Branding Brand, PA, “In-store is not dead – rather it is going to get even more interesting”.

In Cellstrat’s opinion : Mobile payment products that integrate purchase context and insights on consumer’s alternatives to deliver a more convenient experience at a specific moment will obtain consumer preference and use. As a concluding thought : “The best technologies have their reasons to enter the market. Rest, it is on the consumer to decide”.

January 23rd, 2013

Moore’s Law Radio….. Another step in the digital realm

Analog circuits fading away with the world becoming more digital? Yes, true it is. Undoubtedly, nature is analog and so are the circuits driving wireless communication. But the new radio chip developed by Intel clearly hints that analog devices have been ceding ground to digital components.

Lets explore why?

The new radio, Wi-Fi transceiver, which Intel calls a “Moore’s Law Radio”, has a potential to take advantage of digital circuitry’s famed miniaturization trend as opposed to analog devices, which are harder to miniaturize. Hence, the technology would lead to smaller and slimmer portable devices, which is the need of the hour.

Also, RF circuits are sensitive to design changes, and the properties of analog components like inductors don’t improve as devices get smaller. Consequently, analog chips lag behind their all digital counterparts by a couple of manufacturing process generations, which results in less fine features. Certainly, a transformation to digital could bridge the gap.

To know more about the device, lets see what Intel executives have to say about this transformation.

“Its not just a replacement of analog components”, says Yorgos Palaskas, who leads Intel’s radio integration lab. “In the transmitter, for example, information that might otherwise be processed as RF signals is kept in the digital domain until the signal is amplified and goes out on the airwaves.” He also mentioned that the Wi-Fi isn’t entirely digital yet and still has some analog components. At Intel’s developer forum, he noted that a jump from 90- to a 32-nm manufacturing process reduced one transceiver component to a quarter of its size cutting power consumption from 50 mW to 21 mW.

Intel’s radio could work well alongside more advanced digital processors for today’s smartphones.Intel CTO Justin Rattner says the new radio technology may first emerge piece-meal in future radio chips.

Launching processors with full digital radios to the market may have more to deal with economics than technology. Initial development costs are higher, and RF standards are less forgiving when it comes to inevitable variations in manufacturing. Digital processors that underperform can be sold for less. But with RF, it is not the case. At the same time, analog radios are still very much in the running and chipmakers have been able to come up with new tricks to get it to scale.

As a concluding thought, Intel’s entrance into digital radio could inspire a change in the industry and its trends. For quite some time, industry has been inching its way toward digitization. Not to forget, when a giant starts doing something, then everybody follows suit.

January 21st, 2013

Day 1 News from International CES 2013 (Consumer Electronics Show), Las Vegas

At the outset, we would like to wish a Very Happy New Year to our readers and Thank You for your continued patronage of CellStrat content. This is the first post of this year and starts with lot of hopes and aspirations for our readers and ourselves in the Year 2013.

As is customary each year, the year kicks off with the massive Consumer Electronics Show or CES in Las Vegas. We are glad to report from the ground there (well, just kidding) – we are hooked to the internet and getting minute by minute news feed from the ground so it is same as being there physically (almost).

Today was the first major day of CES. Some notable news from CES :

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs opens the event with the “Born Mobile” mantra

Every year, either Bill Gates or Steve Balmer provide the opening keynote at CES but this year it was taken by Qualcomm CEO, a pre-dominantly mobile chip firm. This highlights the importance of Mobile to all things electronic now. With smarter devices and smarter everything, mobile chips are in almost everything we see in the future right from home appliances to mobile devices to industrial equipment, as well as most automotive assets like cars, trucks and containers.

Paul Jacobs explained his “Born Mobile” mantra today and there was a surprise when Steve Ballmer joined him on stage briefly – Paul said that even Microsoft has adopted the Born Mobile mantra. Paul launched Qaulcomm’s new Snapdragon 800 processors, which are the fastest mobile processors on earth as per him. These chips are about 75% faster than previous processors and can deliver HD video seamlessly as well as support Ultra HD television.

Sony launches new signature smartphones

Sony launched new Xperia Z Android smartphones, which have a five-inch screen, HD 1080p Reality Display and 13 megapixel camera. It is powered by a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon processor. What was unique is the new One Touch functionality that allows the device to wirelessly interact with other Sony devices such as speakers, headphones and TVs. Sony showcased a new Bravia TV which can display the phone content from the new smartphones if the phone is tapped to the TV remote.

Intel launches new smartphone chip family

Intel launched new chips for smartphones and tablets at CES today. Intel has been late to the mobile party and struggled againts ARM Holding and Qualcomm in this space. Now it is trying to get its mobile act together with an array of new smartphone and tablet chips.

The company’s new Atom processors which are in the next-gen category will be available in 2013 holiday period. The new chips assume Touch based interface as a key aspect of the functionality.

Samsung brings smartphone experience to it’s TVs

Samsung announced seamless integration between its smartphones and Smart TVs. The phone functionality of Touch and Speech recognition will be made available in Smart TVs. Samsung is probably the biggest success story of 2012 and has taken market share in almost all categories.

AT&T focuses on Digital Life and Project VIP

AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega showcased the new Digital Life offering which falls in the Connected Devices or M2M category. This solution involves a Connected Home and Security apparatus and applications with remote management and monitoring of the Home by consumers and home owners. Glenn Lurie, head of AT&T’s Connected Devices business said, that less than 20% of US homes have security and less than 1% homes have home automation.

AT&T is pioneering the M2M space and a global leader in evolving and maturing M2M business models around Home and Security.

AT&T also announced APIs for developers to provide advanced call management applications – these probably use the IMS or IP Multimedia Subsystem interface to the wireless network.

AT&T also announced its intentions to deploy its new LTE network to 300 million people by end-2014. Currently, AT&T’s LTE network reaches 170 million people in USA which places it in second ranking behind Verizon in LTE deployments.

Project VIP (Velocity IP) is AT&T’s new $14 billion investment initiative to focus on LTE, Connected Home and other emerging areas.

Other news

Other news at CES today included LG announcing special emphasis on NFC as a linking tech to link all its products and providing an ability to put all these devices on the Connected Grid for remote management and control, Nvidia launching the world’s fastest mobile processor (as per its claims at least) and NTT Docomo launching a new M2M platform for global service providers using Jasper Wireless platform.

If one were to summarize, this year’s main themes seem to be Smarter and Faster Mobile Chips, Connectedness, Smart Devices, Digital Television etc. Let’s see what the remaining days of CES offer. We are watching the news in excitement about the up and coming technologies at this event. To get full coverage on this event, visit the event website here.

January 8th, 2013


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