Wrapping Up MOBIBO

The holiday season has been quite busy for the studio. MOBIBO has been building up steam through different avenues of exposure via social media, traditional print media, and television spots. One of the most difficult things for the team to establish is the most effective use of marketing resources. We have dabbled in a variety of different strategies but finding the correlation has been an interesting conundrum. How does one decipher the immediate impact of a form or advertising, or at least analyze the empirical value of a certain modality. The correlation between user download trends and media buys is the rough way of hypothesizing about success rates.

The earliest television spots from local news outlets provided the largest calculable increase in downloads. Between the brevity of air time, broad demographic, and being beholds to the mercy of the editorial staff, the end results were highly encouraging. I believe the borrowed ethos of trusted local news anchors spring boarded MOBIBO into the hearts of many of the locals. To contrast, a radio spot on WWJ radio did not have such a large impact as the local news did.

Print advertisements have been distributed over the past few months to local markets around the area. I don’t know the actual relevancy of print advertisement nowadays; I can imagine how they would not be the most effective method of media advertising. I was reading likeable social media by Dave Kerpan and there were some interesting insights into how to alter one’s mentality regarding marketing strategies. A resounding theme was to think in terms of the user or consumer, not the marketer. If a consumer hates commercials, junk mail, spam email, radio ads, etc., then those avenues are probably not the most persuasive tactics to utilize.

I have been looking into different sorts of online promotional opportunities or review sites. While Mashable is the largest blog source for trending social media news, our application into their “Spark of Genius” concept highlighting did not lead to budding fruits. I found a startup review site called killerstartups.com and submitted an application. Around Thanksgiving time, MOBIBO was given a little review/spotlight on their home page. Killerstartups allows users to visit and vote on whether or not they like the idea and it will move the company up in the rankings. We ended up in the top 10 for the month of November and generated a lot of buzz about the concept and the company. Unfortunately, much of that buzz came from Australia, Spain, India, and England. That strikes me as pretty neat that the concept was just as attractive to other places in the world!

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Moving Along MOBIBO

The past month has been pretty busy over here at the studio. The emphasis on MOBIBO has been to come up with fresh campaign ideas to promote the application downloads. We have been working with an arm of a marketing company to develop and implement initiatives and promotions to help continue the growth of MOBIBO in the Metro Detroit market before the application expands into other regional markets.

The collaboration sessions between the companies have given me an interesting insight into the workflow process of incubating brainstorms into fleshed out concepts. We really wanted to come up with something ‘fun’ and engaging for the consumer to want to interact with. One of the most bare bones tactics is to provide the user a chance to win something neat for very little investment of their time or effort. We thought about ways to combine retailer and consumer interactions while using MOBIBO into some sort of game or contest. As we thought through the processes and logistics of implementing such a campaign, the discourse among the group sparked discussion points and concerns about the feasibility and return on the effort that we would possibly see. During sessions like these, I found that the ability to smoothly and effectively collaborate with co-workers internally and cross-organizationally is absolutely imperative to accomplish goals in a timely fashion.

The chosen campaign for the holidays works well with the ‘giving’ feeling of the season. We have contacted local charities and non-profit community organizations to team up with our ‘Download to Donate’ campaign. We determined that many shelters, hospitals, community centers, and charitable entities are generally overloaded with toys and packaged foods during this time of the year. These stalwarts of the local communities could really use money to help maintain staff and give back to our distressed members of the community.

So where does MOBIBO come in? We will be sending out a newsletter to all current email addresses of established MOBIBO user accounts outlaying the details of this ‘Donate’ campaign. For two week periods, MOBIBO will be sponsoring a local charity on our social media channels as well as being reciprocated through that organization’s social capital. For every MOBIBO download that occurs during that two week period, we will be giving $.25 to that partnered charity. Current and new MOBIBO users will be encouraged through the newsletter to click a ‘share’ widget within the email. This widget will prompt the user to login to their Facebook account. Once done, a pre-populated message about the campaign and a link back to the MOBIBO Facebook page will appear as a pending post to that user’s wall.

Just for clicking that widget and sharing the post about ‘Downloads to Donate’ users will be automatically entered into weekly drawings for our newest MOBIBO swag with custom art. The goal is to help drive awareness of MOBIBO through social channels while still giving back to the local community and promoting charitable organizations.

Our TV commercial has started to air on select channels through Comcast! Any avid viewers of The Daily Show/Colbert Report should be on the lookout for the MOBIBO spot!

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What’s a MOBIBO?!

The heat has been turned up here at the MOBIBO laboratories as we are trying to push the application into the spotlight locally here in Metro Detroit. We are working with a PR company to help expand our user base through conventional media avenues. The agency has sent out press releases to various organizations and news groups. The technology writer at the Detroit Free Press mentioned MOBIBO in an article about local mobile development as well as additional stories circulated to smaller scale local news outlets.

While the focus of my efforts has been on the social media front, the traditional media aspect of television broadcasts is able to reach a different segment of our demographic. Our main goal has been to build the MOBIBO brand through user downloads, new businesses signing on board for MOBIBO campaigns, and overall exposure to potential users in the Metropolitan Detroit area.

We have had local WJBK Fox 2 Detroit and WDIV Local 4 come into the studio over the past few weeks to conduct interviews and film news segments. The enthusiasm behind the newscasts was great and I think both were composed quite well but with different styles. The WDIV segment showcased the application in use in Royal Oak, as well as a coupon redemption at Tom’s Oyster Bar. WJBK utilized clips of our animated introduction video and gave the story a very fun, “Silicon Valley” sort of feel.

The effects of the exposure were felt immediately. Within an hour of the first newscast on television, MOBIBO enjoyed massive spikes in social media interactions and application downloads. The segments were aired multiple times throughout the week, and each instance generated community interest and positive feedback. Overall, I was impressed for how much attention we received for the relative small window of air time. I grabbed the videos of our coverage and uploaded them onto our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/paidasyougo

While I continue to expand on our social media efforts, we are always looking for an unexplored avenue into generating downloads and social buzz. Google, which has a service for just about everything, has a service called adMob that is specifically tailored to target banner advertisements towards mobile devices. Creating a quick link from impression – to touch – to download, allows for users to not have to transfer that “in-the-moment” motivation to download our application across platforms; opposed to hearing about the app from word of mouth or viewing a window cling at a local shop.

We have developed a new contest for our Facebook fans for the month of October. We went with a Halloween theme because it is fun and festive. This contest has substantial prizes in the form of Apple’s latest gadgets and we hope the user response is enthusiastic and viral! Check out all of the details on our page at: http://www.facebook.com/paidasyougo

Our national commercial has been filmed and is in the editing process. I can’t wait to see how well the commercial is received during our local television spots. Perhaps borrowing the ethos of the news media is of much higher relevance to some of our demographic. We have to diversify our outreach because the product is very universal; whether you are 16, 35, or 64 – everyone loves money. Especially no-strings-attached free money!

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The Rise of MOBIBO

I received the opportunity to intern for a web development company called Mercury Studio. They primarily deal with: website overhauls web based training development, mobile sites, and back end administrative modules. Mercury Studio also has a sub-company called Gravy Network. Gravy is an advertisement solutions company with an aim towards developing and promoting interactive web and mobile advertisement platforms.

Mercury Studio was looking for an intern to help launch their new mobile application called MOBIBO. MOBIBO is a free application currently available in the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace. MOBIBO works by comparing the user’s current location to a database of deals or promotions established by local businesses. The business can set up the vicinity of where the deal is delivered. Once the user receives the deal, they are paid $.25 just to view the deal. The money can be withdrawn through PayPal.

The staffing at Mercury isn’t very robust, so there was no one primarily dealing with the social media aspects associated with the product. I was brought on board to handle Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets for MOBIBO. I am fairly familiar with the concepts and usability of Facebook and Twitter, but I have not been very prolific in using social media for personal use. Once I jumped in the water, it was pretty simple to observe how other similar social media efforts are handled.

I relied very heavily on Google for solving any problem or roadblock I have come across. There are many studies, articles, and professional blog outlets that outline best practices and effective guidelines. One of the first tasks I had to do was to determine effective Facebook advertising campaigns. There was much debate among sources but I found a very nice document that showcased case studies and empirical data about the most effective means of spending advertisement dollars. The campaigns I set up gave our Facebook a click through rate of 3/5; meaning three out of five people that clicked the advertisement also ‘liked’ us on Facebook.

‘Likes’ are hot commodities among a growing brand on Facebook. The MOBIBO application is in its test market here in Metro Detroit, so the local buzz is what we are trying to generate. I found many articles on socialmediatoday.com that talked about utilizing Facebook landing pages to generate user interactions. The basic idea is to make a landing page, a graphic with text that is created with iFrames/photoshop and hosted on our own server, which also has an incentive to ‘like’ the fan page. Facebook users are generally picky with likes, so a brand has to offer the consumer a reason to like them. We create contests and giveaways so the initial landing age has copy about winning free cash and prizes. The catch is that the user only gains access to this information by liking MOBIBO. We do this by creating a second landing page that is only visible when the user has ‘liked’ us. This is where the information for our contests lies.

I also use HootSuit, a web-based program to organize and view many forms of social media streams. I can schedule Facebook updates for weeks, plus the twitter is automatically updated with the Facebook post link and some context. The trouble I come into is generating content that engages users but doesn’t annoy them.

My next project will be looking into Google+ and figuring out how to grow a business presence in the freshly released potential behemoth.

WDIV Channel Four will be in the office tomorrow shooting a story!

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