Jun 252012

As Google works to improve its mobile product, the company says its redesigned ads in Google Maps will increase click-through rates by 100%. The changes will being rolling out for all users Friday.

The new search results feature larger and more clickable buttons to place calls or find directions. Websites will load within maps, rather than launching a separate browser page.

Google is also launching a blue hyperlocal marker, showing your distance from nearby businesses.

MORE:  Google: Redesigned Ads Will Increase Click-Through Rates 100% [VIDEO].


Jun 222012

Facebook announced today that developers will be able to add a new Open Graph-enabled Like action to their apps so that users can easily share content back on Facebook.

Mobile and web app developers can now build custom buttons that function similarly to Facebook’s traditional Like button. For example, Instagram and Foursquare use hearts in their mobile apps. Now instead of those actions being seen within the app only, they can be published to Facebook without any additional steps. Further, when a user Likes their friend’s photo or story using the new Like action, the friend will receive a Facebook notification about it. This feature could help increase discovery and engagement of apps that integrate Open Graph.

MORE:  Facebook gives Like button functionality to third-party mobile and web app buttons.


Jun 222012

If you dig through the last 60 years of industry research, you’ll find the reasons for product failures are heavily influenced by customer “fit” issues. That means there is a mismatch between what the customer wants and what the product offers. The pricing might be wrong. Or the product might lack clear differentiation. Or it might lack an important feature, or be too difficult to use. While it is true that products fail for a lot of reasons, it is also true that most products fail simply because customers don’t see value in them. The value proposition is weak or non-existent.

When something is “viable,” it is capable of not only germinating, but growing. In product development terms, viability means that a product not only gets purchased, but it performs well enough to be recommended to others. Its popularity spreads organically, or virally. You want a product that both initiates a sale and generates word of mouth.

There are formal research tools designed to get at the issue of viability, with familiar names like concept testing, prototype testing, test markets, and focus groups, but they can be complex, expensive and time-consuming.

There are also Agile teams. One of the hallmarks of an Agile team is regular and direct customer interaction by developers themselves. This is principle number one in the Agile Manifesto, and third-party research is rarely a good substitute.

In the Agile world, after team members interact with customers they bring back what they learned to the group, implications are discussed collectively, and product enhancement decisions are made very quickly. This sets the stage for yet another round of iteration. This decision cycle moves at what I call “Agile Time,” (read: fast) and any supporting tools or techniques have to conform to or accelerate the process. These decisions are made using “soft” data, and mostly gut instinct. They are not easy to monitor.

MORE:  What it Takes to Make Your Product Viable.


Jun 222012

Thursday’s sporadic Twitter outages gave addicts like us the shakes. After all, Twitter users average over 100,000 tweets per minute, and the site was down for a whole lot longer than that.

Twitter is far from the only channel through which web users funnel data. Business intelligence company DOMO paired up with Column Five Media to create this infographic, which shows just how much data is generated every minute.

Next time you run a Google search, think about the fact that it’s just one of 2 million that Google will receive in that minute. In the same amount of time, Facebook users post 684,478 pieces of content. Crazier still, online shoppers spend an average of $272,070 every minute. That’s over $391 million every day — quite the chunk of change.

SOURCE:  How Much Data Is Created Every Minute? [INFOGRAPHIC].


Jun 042012

The latest entry in agency self-promotion comes from Fort Worth, Texas-based GCG Marketing which just released a beatnick poet/rap-style video that’s filled with all the usual superlatives and buzzword bingo you’d expect from an agency pimping itself. It’s not necessarily the fact that anything said in this video is untrue. The problem is that it, and other work like it, simply brings to light the mostly inconsequential, insignificant and irrelevant nature of an ad agency and what it stands for. In the greater scheme of things, advertising is pure puffery when compared to the important things in life that really matter.

And when an agency calls attention to the inconsequential, the insignificant and the irrelevant, it simply devalues the subject matter even further. It’s akin to watching two siblings fight over an heirloom your grandmother left you until it is torn apart into pieces that slowly fall to the ground as you all, bickering children included, realize the memory it represented is now forever tarnished. It’s truly that painful.

So please, agencies, do what you do best: create sustainable, inspiring ideas for others. The result of that creativity are what should act as your ongoing self-promotional effort. Not a platitude-filled music video.




SOURCE Agencies Continue to Embarrass With Self Promomotional Videos – Adrants.


Jun 042012

A preview of the new version of Bing has been available for some time, but as of today the new layout and features are now available to everyone in the United States. So far there’s no word on when the same features might come to international users.

If social search features leave you feeling cold, fear not, the new Bing doesn’t follow Google’s lead and integrate social results right into the main search results. Instead Bing has completely overhauled its look and now sports a three-column layout. To go along with the new layout Bing has cut back on the chrome and other UI elements so even though there’s quite a bit more info on the page, it still feels relatively uncluttered.

The new look pairs the traditional search results — still on the left side of the page — with two new columns — a so-called snapshot column in the middle, and the new social results on the far right.

The most intriguing of the three is the snapshot info, which varies according to your search.

SOURCE Microsoft Goes Social With Bing Search Overhaul | Webmonkey | Wired.com.