Posted on August 16, 2011
Consider the example of a print advertising campaign enhanced with QR Codes, Digital Watermarks, or other embedded signaling. Whatever the signaling methodology, the technology itself is not the strategy. Instead it is merely a tactical weapon to trigger a desired consumer response.
There are basically four steps. First, is to identify a concrete action the advertiser wants consumers to take. Second, is to design an ad that will capture attention. Third, is to determine what embedded signal payoff might motivate consumers to initiate the intended action. Fourth, is to minimize the “friction” encountered to complete such action.
Concrete Consumer Action
Normally the ultimate objective is to get consumers to buy the advertiser’s product or service. But shoppers are constantly hounded to “buy.” Another mere voice in the crowd is more likely to be resented than appreciated. Instead, methods of engagement or intermediate calls-to-action often get better results. Read more…
Posted on June 21, 2011
Prior to the advent of cellular telephony about thirty years ago, a limited form of mobile telephone service was provided by two categories of FCC-authorized common carriers. First, and most familiar, were the telephone companies dominated by Bell. But there was a second class – almost forgotten today – termed Radio Common Carrier (RCC).
RCCs were small operators who were not permitted to offer landline service. Typically the businesses evolved as a branch of even older family-owned companies involved in telephone answering or two-way radio dispatch services. At the dawn of cellular telephony radio paging was their main revenue source because the available frequencies could accommodate thousands of paging units, but each channel could handle only a single simultaneous telephone conversation. In the pre-cellular era, mobile telephone service was much like the party-lines common in rural areas during the 1930s and 40s. Read more…
Posted on January 26, 2011
Historically computers evolved from rarely seen mainframes, to personal models on every desktop, to laptops convenient for offices, students, business trips, and homes. But most recently smartphones and tablet models are pushing the industry into a new mobile computing paradigm characterized by (1) ubiquity, (2) intuitive & integrated operation, and (3) personalization.
We recently prepared a White Paper for Digimarc explaining how mobile computing devices are becoming cognitive prosthetics. Much as amputees routinely use mechanical prosthetics as artificial limb extensions, habitual smartphone and tablet owners are starting to use the units as handy intelligent aids. For example smartphones can obtain price comparisons merely by scanning bar codes and other implanted signals of shelf merchandise.
Gartner predicts smartphones will outnumber personal computers in two years. Forrester forecasts 82 million Americans will use tablet computers by 2015. Pew Research Center estimates 60% of Americans accessed the Net on their phones last year as compared to only 25% in 2009. Read more…
Posted on November 5, 2010
Earlier this year Cable TV industry executives dismissed cord cutting as an urban myth. Yet domestic Pay TV subscribers declined for the first time ever in the June quarter. Early reports indicate another drop in the September quarter. While presently conceding cord cutting may be a reality some industry observers conclude the trend is not a serious threat. They reason the industry’s dominance as a broadband ISP enables pricing flexibility that can avoid adverse financial impact.
Presently most consumers have little choice but to get high speed Internet access from either the Cable operator or the local Telco. The two industries have enjoyed a near duopoly on broadband ISP service for decades. Like Pavlov’s dogs, both shall likely try to meet the challenge of cord cutting with a time-proven strategy of bundled pricing.
For example, in Albany (NY) Time Warner Cable raised its Internet-only monthly rate from $50 to $55. But customers choosing both CATV and Internet service are billed only $57. One stock analyst also argues that the Cable-Telco duopoly would enable both industries to move toward usage-based ISP pricing if Pay TV cord cutting continues. He asserts ISPs may have “no choice” as bandwidth intensive video streaming becomes more popular. Read more…
Posted on October 5, 2010
October 5, 2010
By: Phil Leigh
Unfortunately blogging has almost become a cliché.
Even television news programs sometimes try to show how up-to-date they are by sharing comments from popular blogs. Typically, they pick the least creative ones such as Huffington Post, Politico, and Daily Kos. Nonetheless, much like the printing press transformed publishing, the true cultural significance of blogging — which is only incipient at present — will be a consequence of its production process.
Gutenberg developed metal typecasting fifty years before Columbus landed in San Salvador. Prior to his invention books couldn’t be economically mass produced. For most of history stories and similar information was passed chiefly by oral tradition while writing was limited to stone tablets and papyrus scrolls. As paper became more common, scribes wrote books laboriously one-at-a-time. While typecast wood blocks emerged a couple of centuries before Gutenberg, they had to be hand-carved and the wooden printing matrices wore out rapidly. Read more…
Posted on August 8, 2010
Five hundred years before Columbus discovered the Western Hemisphere, Vikings were raiding the British Isles. They even attacked along the western shores of Ireland where one settlement took root on the banks of the Shannon River estuary. Two hundred years later Anglo-Normans conquered the area and built a castle to control river traffic. The fortress was named after King John who was later forced to sign the Magna Carta back in England.
A town grew up around King John’s castle. Apparently the residents were a fun-loving sort as indicated by the ribald poetic form that took the city’s name of Limerick. High ground across the river and toward the south east provided broad commanding views of the castle and surrounding terrain. It was a pleasant place for recreation. While the elderly imbibed under shade trees youths played ball games and other athletic activities on the green, or lingered in hedgerows with fair acquaintances. From the Gaelic words for “garden” and “John” the area got its compound Anglicized name, Garryowen.
In time the “boys of Garryowen” developed a reputation for rowdiness often amplified by generous intoxication. Sometime before the end of the eighteenth century a minstrel, whose name is lost to history, composed a lively tune the Garryowen boys would sing as they staggered from tavern-to-tavern. Read more…
Posted on August 6, 2010
Most film producers and other companies associated with conventional television fear the Internet. They don’t see how they can profit from it. Instead they worry it will erode revenues from conventional sources, replacing them with lower amounts. To date their concerns are well founded.
For example, few Internet users will pay a subscription fee for shows already on television. Moreover, the Internet provides no “carriage fees” like those paid by satellite and CATV operators to the networks — and indirectly the producers. While movie downloads admittedly provide revenues from sales and rentals, they are at least partly at the expense of DVD rentals and sales. Finally, online advertising revenues at video streaming sites like Hulu and YouTube are pathetically small by comparison to those available from conventional television. Much like the record labels, it’s likely that the Hollywood studios and television show producers wish that the Internet had never been invented. Read more…
Posted on April 19, 2010
Last week Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal reviewed a couple of new products from Hillcrest Labs. First, is a Web Browser built especially for big monitors such as televisions. Second is a hand-held device designed to control the browser remotely from a comfortable viewing distance as would apply when a TV is used as a computer’s display screen.
The browser, termed Kylo, contains big icons for 128 popular Web video sites. Navigation to other websites is via an onscreen virtual keyboard. Hillcrest characterizes the loop pointer as a remote mouse. About the size of a gymnastics ring the pointer offers gesture-sensitive control much like a similar unit for the Nintendo Wii. In point of fact, Hillcrest claims Nintendo is infringing patents.