Blog : Branding & Creative

Mobile Technologies and Wearables

Mobile Technologies and Wearables

Technology that helps to improve fitness is continuously growing and expanding. The goal of many of these apps or devices is to transfer information seamlessly from the physical world into an app. This particular niche has proven to be a goldmine. The wearable technology industry is projected to be worth $34 billion by 2020. Tracking is currently a large component of these technologies. By providing the ability to track steps, flights climbed, and calories burned, the fitness technology provides detailed insight into a wearer’s life and fitness habits. From there, the wearer can improve or maintain fitness levels.

This booming industry could be either an opportunity or a threat of independence to traditional gyms and fitness clubs. One fitness club, Equinox, took the opportunity when Apple and Nike released HealthKit. The fitness chain engineered its own digital platform with Apple. Personal trainers could now access customer’s accurate data to tailor fitness programs to the customer’s needs.

One non-traditional fitness app made by a gaming company boosted their net worth by 7.5 billion dollars. The company, Nintendo, created the app Pokemon Go with Niantec and the Pokemon Company. This app features the use of a smartphone’s GPS and camera system to make a highly interactive game. The player must walk around in the real world to move their virtual avatar in the game. The avatar will randomly encounter Pokemon. Then the app uses the camera to place the creature as if it is in your “real” environment. You also need to take a certain amount of steps to achieve accomplishments. The Pokemon franchise is so huge and well known that players of all ages download the game. Many users reported that the game is helping them boost their fitness since walking is a necessary component of playing the game.

All this tracking and fitness apps and technology creates a jackpot for mobile advertisers who use data. Since most use GPS, companies can get a detailed look at the lives of their consumers. Additionally, they can receive information about your general state of wellness, health conditions, diet, etc. from these apps. All this data could be sold to create more detailed advertisements, similarly to the online data tracking that already exists. This may be an issue of privacy for many. Others may enjoy having advertisements that are more relevant to their needs and wants.

The fitness technology industry is exploding with growth. Companies who take advantage of this trend will have a potential to reap major benefits. Contact Colure’s mobile advertising team to provide a solid go to market plan for your next mobile app.

A key to corporate communications

A key to corporate communications

The mobile marketplace is placing new demands upon both corporations and how they interact with their clientele. At the core of many consumers’ concerns is the ability to obtain a clean interaction with an organization. Simple customer service requests or corporate transparency issues are often the sources of an inquiry. Success in these interactions boils down to a company being able to cleanly interact with their clients.

The solution begins with anticipating the needs of your consumer. It’s nice to be able to have customer service department that can filter incoming queries, but how does your corporate hierarchy handle that request once it hits your company’s “1-866-ASK-MEEE” phone line?

Internal communications

Communications is a proactive and interactive process. By anticipating the needs of your customers, your employees, and any possible regulatory agencies, you position yourself to respond intelligently to an inquiry of any caliber. The process starts on the inside.

Two critical needs for successful communications are:
  • an established path of open communications – Is that path flexible to meet the changing needs of the consumer and your corporation? 
  • trained “brand ambassadors” who understand your brand and your corporation. Do you have people who can effectively communicate with your clients? Do they simply read text off of a computer screen or do they actively process the requests when they are contacted by the public?

The way we interact and the way we prepare for that interaction are mission critical to the success of your brand. If a customer’s requests gets lost in a web of inefficiency, the potential PR damage is probably greater than the event that generated the initial query. No one likes to have their concerns dismissed, lost or just ignored.

Be sure that a flexible, interactive pathway is established before you “open the front door”. If your staff doesn’t have an answer, at least have the ability to ‘vamp’. Be able to intelligently acknowledge, record and pass along the very real concerns of your clients.

Your corporate brand is not an image on a bumper-sticker. It is the breathing, interactive face of your business. It is the lifeline to your customer. Be sure that you understand the process of communication.

Simplify the corporate image

The internal workings of almost any corporation are complex. Structure, hierarchies, and procedures are mission critical to keeping an organization well oiled and operational. However, when a customer calls in, they really don’t care about your structural needs – they just want a simple answer to their problem. Getting that simple answer can be like pulling teeth sometimes. Sometimes, these needs will clash with the other. The solution is found in a balance between your structure and facilitating your customers’ needs.

This is the challenge to every Corporate Communications office. How do you merge these two necessities? The challenge to most corporations is being able to listen successfully and answer intelligently. Calvin Sun wrote a great piece on corporate communications for TechRepublic.

Being able to successfully communicate involves active participation. Be ready to listen. Be ready to change for the needs of your customer, your industry, and your brand. If you want to discuss your communications needs for either internal or external clients, contact our project managers to help you get your brand to those who matter most.

How does your mobile app stand out from the millions in the app stores?

How does your mobile app stand out from the millions in the app stores?

Question: How well does your mobile app stand out from the competition? According to a Statista study, today there are more than 1.5 million apps in the Apple App Store and 1.6 million in the Google Play App Store. After the first mobile application appeared in 2008, the information marketplace faced a dramatic shift. The demand for instant access to data forever changed the expectations of the public.

Here at Colure Media, we understand the market movements and growth.  We take pride in being one of the best mobile app development agencies in New York City. Our team excels in helping our clients stand out in the marketplace. We help them drive mobile application downloads with in-app marketing, app store optimization, mobile marketing and search engine marketing. We use these tools, crystal clear ideas and a systematic approach in defining our tradecraft.

What’s unique about Colure’s approach is our ability to develop native applications which are very strong, from a technology point of view. At the same time, we never lose focus while engaging your target audience with your brand identity. UI/UX are crucial components of any app development.  Our focus upon the total user experience, project goals and overall functionality is our signature upon our client’s projects.

Mobile application developments are divided into two different categories: Android apps and iOS apps (which include iPhone apps and iPad applications). We design apps tailored to meet the needs of the enterprise and consumer markets.

The Android services we render include:

  • Designing and developing Android apps (SDK)
  • Java for Android development
  • GPS and Location Services
  • Push notifications
  • SOAP, RESTful, XML Parsing
  • Webkit, HTML5
  • MPEG4 AND H.264 over HTTP/RTSP streaming video
  • Market research
  • Product launches in app stores

Our iOS app developments are secure and scalable. They work comfortably on the ever-upgrading series of Apple mobile devices. These apps are crafted to achieve smooth functionality.

Our iOS development services include:

  • Application UI/UX designing and development
  • Redesigning apps for iOS compatibility
  • Porting for Android and Blackberry apps
  • Wireless networking
  • iPhone SDK XCode IDE
  • Superior quality Graphic Standards and Protocols
  • Objective-C Programming
  • Customized iPhone apps
  • iPhone enterprise software development

The success of our agency is built upon the success and growth of our clients. Contact Colure’s Mobile App Development Team to discuss your next project.

Republishing content extends audience reach

Republishing content extends audience reach

Social media is arguably the most crucial outlet to market any product or service. Publishing content on the internet is only the first step to market penetration. The re-publishing or re-marketing of that original content allows for a more specific, finite placement in front of the target audience.

When a company publishes a post it might not initially receive the anticipated web traffic. The next step is to re-post that content onto another social media platform to provide exposure to a new audience. When an idea is marketed multiple times, on multiple platforms, that idea will begin to ‘grow legs’. The danger with reposting is that you do not want to earn the title of ‘spammer’ by an email system. If your reposting is qualified as spam, it will go straight into the trash. All of your republishing efforts will be lost.

Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin are all necessary platforms for a company to reach its audience. When you have successfully connected with your audience, you can begin market your company with a specific audience penetration. The folks over at CoSchedule.com came up with a great video to explain how to republish across various social media platforms. Additionally, pcdigitalmarketing.com had a few interesting words on the topic.

When republishing your content you need to keep all facets of the process in mind:

  • Understand the correlation between the frequency of your posting and platforms you are using. If you republish a post every hour on two different platforms, the audiences will probably react in different ways. A Twitter audience may not mind the hourly update. A LinkedIn audience may find that tactic annoying.
  • Develop a tactical move to advance your content. What is the specific reason for republishing? Are you going after a unique demographic which the original platform doesn’t engage? Answer the following questions in regards to your next media move – WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN and HOW?
  • When a company decides to republish, it should not repeat the same exact caption. The content title is used to draw in a reader. It should be written differently to keep the audience alive and excited.
  • If a company decides to repost content, they should know their audience and know how many times a day or week they should republish their post. It is important to republish to increase the audience, but also very important to be considerate of the audience.
  • Republishing is the perfect approach to spreading a message, as long as the person reposting knows when and how to proceed.
  • Most importantly, be sure that you are tracking the progress of your republishing with some format of web analytics. If you are not counting the specific hits – where and when they are falling, you are just shooting into a dark room with no idea as to any progress toward your goal.

Communication is an interactive process. Take the time to map the process of moving your message from you to your audience. To help you move your company’s message, contact Colure’s Project Managers.

Keeping your brand relevant and consumers interested is not simple

Keeping your brand relevant and consumers interested is not simple

Manipulating a corporate brand to be a part of the news cycle and not the “background clutter” requires timing, social acuity and being able to read the pulse of the public. This the practice of “agile marketing”. This marketing technique is the opposite “of crafting a large project”. It requires being aware of current events and trends and then acting on them swiftly in a way that can appeal to your audience and/or to the masses.

Two years ago the infamous Oreo Cookie, Dunk in the Dark tweet went viral taking the 2013 Super Bowl Blackout headline and using it to the brand’s advantage. Here Oreo saw an opportunity to comment on trending news and use it to promote the Oreo cookie brand. However, since then Kit Kat has taken the agile marketing spotlight with its tweet and trending hashtag #bendgate, which referenced the past iphone6 bending fiasco.

“In today’s fast-paced, multichannel world, marketers no longer have the luxury to spend months crafting large projects; they must innovate and produce on the fly and respond immediately to market disruptions.” – Forbes staff writer Jennifer Rooney

Regardless if your company is small or large, relating what your brand or service is and intertwining that with noteworthy information can draw attention to your company. Agile marketing demands your business to adapt and to be flexible to the outside noise-makers.

Many of these agile marketing examples can be seen utilizing Twitter and Facebook to express their one-liners. However, agile marketing is still a fairly new marketing tool. In 2015, we are sure to see more brands use this technique. Recently, during the ESPY’s, a television advertisement by Airbnb grabbed viewers’ attention. Airbnb is known for its home sharing service decided to use the theme of “trans kind” in their advertisement during the awards show. This ad smartly aligned with the ESPY’s choice to award Caitlyn Jenner for her contribution to sports and her relationship with the transgendered community.

With company demands to be relevant, so are the needs of flexibility and speed. These needs make agile marketing a necessity in 2015. Because of the “always-on and always-connected” individuals agile marketing may one day become the norm.

Marketing is an interactive process that brings together the breadth of both the advertiser and public. Being able to read the pulse of both parties is critical. Once more, being able to appreciate the space they both occupy marks the difference success and nothingness.

The problem with information density

The problem with information density

The volume of data accessed daily on the internet is absolutely staggering. It boggles the mind to grasp that so much of our lives are connected to our keyboards. At some point, the sheer volume of data becomes unmanageable and negates the true value of the content.

Users reach a moment where they can no longer meaningfully examine the available volumes of data. By the sheer size of a search query result, the search engines overwhelm users’ resources. Figuring how to effectively evaluate over 28,000,000 cat videos can be a problem. This is the problem of information density. This is where we live, accessing only snippets of the entire volume of data available to our questions.

Take a moment to examine how ‘we’ use a single minute of our lives on the internet.

Although technology’s advancement helps in many ways, it also brings challenges. Anyone with a camera or a computer can be a journalist. However, we must find a way out of the information density on the web.

Over time, readers establish relationships with certain sites. The key is to have a functional relationship between your site and the user. Give them a source of internet content they trust. If the reader has built a relationship and connection with a journalist or channel, they will certainly consult that source for his content. How they spend their day surfing the net will be determined by your quality of content. 

The way to stand out from the crowd of information is to be credible, research and document your facts, and to provide the content that your customers want to consume. With billions of other options only a keystroke away, be sure that you understand the needs of the consumer.

Advantages of mobile applications for small businesses

Advantages of mobile applications for small businesses

A smartly developed mobile application can help level the playing field between companies of any size. The key to success lies within the quality of the user experience (UX). If a customer has a meaningful interaction, there is a better than average chance they will return to your company’s application. Much of a consumer’s attitude toward a company is molded by the quality of the interaction created by the company’s mobile application.

Here are 5 key advantages of a mobile application for any small business:
  • Access to the customer at all times – Possibly the greatest advantage is being able to interact with your customers in a truly meaningful way. The mobile app allows the consumer to decide when they are primed for your specific service or product. The user decides when and to which extent they are willing interact with you.
  • Marketing – Develop a meaningful relationship with the customer. A quality user experience (UX) will allow you to provide an interactive relationship that cannot be developed through other media. Take this opportunity to market not only your product but more your industry to your customer. By providing additional information and resources, the customer will probably engage your application for a longer period of time. More attention directed toward your application can often equal more revenue generated by that customer base. Think of this as a digital version of the free classes provided by home improvement stores. They’ll hire an expert to teach a free class on tiling or plumbing. When class is over, all of the students start grabbing tools and supplies off the shelves. It provides a great ROI.
  • Direct customer feedback – the amount of real-time data gathered by your app has a value that extends far beyond simple transactions. It reaches the very mindset of the consumer. You are able to decipher the specific wants and needs of the user.
  • Specifically craft your product to interact with a specific audience – Most media sources provide a one-sided relationship. Mobile applications allow you can craft an interactive product that targets a finite audience, with a specific interface. No other format allows for such an engaging experience. Creating a truly rewarding user experience must be “Goal #1”.
  • Brand Identity – Crafting your brand requires a labor of love. It takes time and commitment to craft a brand with whom the consumer truly identifies. Your brand includes a living, breathing relationship with your customer. Be sure to respect your customer as you would any relationship. By providing a truly remarkable user experiences, your audience will return time and again to your app.

Separating yourself from the competition takes a quality product, planning, and skill. The interactive relationship you develop with your customers will help determine your future growth. Don’t leave that development to chance. Never take your relationship with your customers for granted. The greatest downfall for many companies is to negate their customers’ true wants and needs, in favor of their own vision of the same. Being blinded by your own biases can be a very costly mistake.

Success is built upon many well measured steps. When you are ready to take your first steps in the development process, contact Colure’s Project Managers to explore your vision of success.

The importance of responsive web design for mobile devices

The importance of responsive web design for mobile devices

In a mobile environment, it is critical to provide users the finest quality user experience (UX). Web browsing must be experienced as a seamless transfer of form and function across all platforms. Consumers demand a fluid environment regardless of which device they hold in their hands.

To meet this consumer demand, Responsive Web Design (RWD) was crafted to provide fluid mobility to web content. Designer Ethan Marcotte was concerned with the collective elegance of both the internal code and the external page. He largely crafted the concept and practice.

RWD is the practice of building a web page able to display cleanly on any screen and any device, of any size. To the user, this means the media may be displayed a bit differently, graphics look slightly different, and there may be an alteration of function. But for the most part, the web page you saw on your desktop will display on your mobile phone.

A design problem:

Sadly, for many websites this is not the case. A non-RWD site may look perfectly fine on a desktop. That same site may become ‘user-hostile’ when viewed on a smartphone. Certain content may extend beyond the width of the screen (a common occurrence if it’s held in the vertical position). Some content and media may simply not display on different devices. Navigation throughout the site on a mobile device might be troublesome for a user because the design elements aren’t found where users expect them to be.

The reason for a responsive website design is to present users with a flexible interface. Without a responsive design, you risk losing potential customers who can’t figure out how to use your website or simply offending those who won’t accept its less-than-professional rendering on a mobile device. Either way, you lose face and revenue.

To create a responsive website, you’ll need the assistance of a design team who appreciates the desires of your company and the needs of your audience. Contact Colure to discuss your mobile design needs.

Using Social Media for your Mobile App Marketing

Using Social Media for your Mobile App Marketing

Creative social media campaigns are mandatory during the successful release of a new mobile application. During the software development process, the software team will design and create the new mobile app. A parallel process is the development of your social media campaign. This is how you will announce your new app to the world. Both of these efforts are mission critical to your application’s survival in the marketplace.

You must create a demand for your product. The development of momentum and interest in your project is an absolute must-do. Keep your audience focused upon only one thing – why they must have your app. While you create your social media campaign, your focus of purpose must permeate each and every action.

Key social media ideas for a mobile app campaign:
  • Each brand has a unique identity. The individual features that separate you from the completion are yours to use or lose. Be sure that you highlight those differences.
  • Stay consistent. As your media efforts crossover between various platforms and campaigns, be sure that you remain centered upon the original identity of your product. Move your campaigns around your product, not your product around your campaigns. If you lose the focus of your product’s identity, there is no possibility that your audience will ever be able to follow you.
  • Emphasize the benefits. Apps must be the solution to a problem. That problem may simply be avoiding boredom (solved with a game), finding information or saving money. By emphasizing benefits rather than features, you compel your audience to click through and download the app. Emphasizing the features of your app – such as its functionality or the speed at which it operates is important, but it will not create demand. Provide a solution to your user’s problem.
  • Don’t Be Afraid of Native Ads. In-newsfeed ads, especially on Facebook and Twitter, can be effective tools to promote your new mobile app. Detailed targeting methods allow you to push your message directly to a specific audience. Both Twitter and Facebook offer marketing solutions that are especially enticing for app developers. Twitter’s App Card allows you to add rich media beyond the 140-character limit. This extra media changes the presence of your ad, helping to persuade consumers that your app is right for them. Marketers can specify “App Download” as the goal of their native ad on Facebook, which allows them to track how many users downloaded their app as a direct result of the ad.

Your goal is to market the unique identity of your new application. Stay on task with specific goals for your project. Be certain that your media team is in perfect unison with your software development team.

Contact Colure to discover the union form and function. Our development team will bring your dreams to life.

Protecting Your Brand Identity

Protecting Your Brand Identity

The increasing digital nature of the world has been a blessing to marketers. SEO-focused blogging and social media marketing have allowed companies to focus awareness and dramatically increase their profits for little cost. At the same time, the consumer-focused nature of this digital world has also threatened one thing, brand identity.

Establishing Your Brand Used to Be Simple

Before the internet placed so much power in the hands of consumers, your brand identity was in your hands. Businesses could control the messages about their company. They could control content, ensuring the perception of their brand remained positive and on-point.

A Plethora of Voices

Today anyone can go to social media and criticize your products and brand. They can write a blog posting that ranks higher in Google’s search results than you’d like. Control has left the hands of the marketer. The issue is multiplied in the service industry, where review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Angie’s List – all designed to improve customer experience – can seriously threaten your brand’s credibility and identity.

The consumer has a direct voice to connect quality to value. Now branding efforts must address both macro and micro management strategies. Companies must be responsive to individual voices of dissatisfied consumers, while focusing resources toward broader quality efforts and branding.

This is the price of doing business. Rightfully so, consumers can now put their mouth where their money is. The business community must do the same.

What Can You Do?

Successful companies leverage positive reviews into word-of-mouth advertising. This remains the single most effective type of advertising today.

If your company is being battered with negative reviews, what can you do? Here are a few ideas to start:

  • Find them. Use focused social media searches to discover what consumers are saying about your company. 
  • Respond diligently. Once you’ve found complaints, don’t just dismiss them. These reviews are actively read by consumers. Consumers are often more likely to embrace a review than an advertisement.  Respond to the feedback openly and solve the issue. Deal with it.
  • Improve. Don’t just make empty promises. Empty lip-service is the worst response you can provide to a complaint. If you have an issue, deal with it. If you get called on the carpet because of poor service – deal with it. If the customer is upset – deal with it. Don’t dismiss the complaint, resolve the issue. Even if it costs you a few dollars and a bit of time – solve the problem. At this point, damage from the mismanagement of a complaint only escalates.
  • Grow from your mistakes. Learn what the consumer wants. It’s that simple.
  • Take feedback. Make this an opportunity to improve your brand – your customers will thank you for it.

Contact Colure’s marketing team. Discover the art of crisis management. Learn from a team that can help you properly manage your corporate image.

THREE NYC TECH CONFERENCES TO ATTEND IN 2015

THREE NYC TECH CONFERENCES TO ATTEND IN 2015

New York City hosts some of the most incredible high-tech trade shows each year. 2015 is no different! If communications and media are your trade, we have the inside track. Here are a few trade shows in New York City custom-fit for advertising and multimedia professionals:

Three outstanding tech shows in NYC for 2015:
  • New York Business Expo and Conference – October 27. This exposition creates a platform for business owners and industry insiders to come together and network. It will be taking place at the Javits Center. The conference is intended to be a place where ideas are shared, connections are made and relationships are built. All organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to startups should attend, in order to experience the networking opportunities and business education from accomplished professionals.
  • Ad:tech New York – November 4-5. This is an integrated conference that unites the marketing, technology and media communities. They explore opportunities and address key problems in the related industries. This convention will be held on at the Javits Center. It provides industry professionals with a sneak peek at both new technologies and new directions that industries are moving toward. Ad:tech provides a place to connect, learn and integrate different industries with prominent technologies.
  • Content & Communication World – November 11 and 12. This conference is designed for those interested in media, entertainment and communications technologies. CCW’s 2015 conference will take place at the Javits Convention Center. Topics discussed at CCW include problems and solutions with content management and creation, as well as new and revolutionary technologies in the market. With big-name sponsors like Sony, Cisco and Canon amongst others, it’s no secret that CCW is a great trade show to attend if your interest lies in media, entertainment and communications technology.

Trade shows are excellent places for small businesses, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to grow professionally. Discover the power of networking and form relationships that will assist in the growth of your company. Seek what interests you – most likely there’s a trade show or conference that caters to your interests. Stimulate your mind and your resume. Come to the Big Apple and take a bite of out of the latest tech shows on earth!

Audience retargeting in social media

Audience retargeting in social media

Advertisers use the practice of ‘audience retargeting’ in order to market a product to the most relevant audience. Social media has become one of the most vital parts of modern society because of its focused ability to meet this need.

The practice of retargeting allows companies to specifically target consumers who have previously demonstrated an interest in their goods or services. Manipulated content allows companies to place their brand freshly into the audience’s mind.

It is significant to focus on consumers who are truly engaged with a brand. In order to grow a business, it is critical to interact, stand out and appeal to your audience.

Facebook is extremely successful in terms of rebranding. They have access to critical data covering a fifth of the entire population of the planet. Because of this powerful information, they are able to place a specific ad in front of a specific person at a specific moment.

The data entered on Facebook pages such as personal preferences, searches, interests, and likes is identified, indexed and stored. Once the information is processed, they match commercial clients to your interests. It is not coincidental that as you search the web for a new computer, ads from electronic companies begin appearing.

The concept of retargeting is essentially a cycle. It begins when a potential customer visits a website and make a request. An association is established between that person and certain markets. As that person continues to ‘surf’, greater amounts of detail about that individual is gathered by various groups. As that person spends time on the internet, much of the commercial results surrounding that person will be molded to their tastes. The cycle both begins and returns to the individual.

By placing focused advertisements in front of a specific audience, companies are able to achieve a couple of critical goals. They maximize the effectiveness of their advertising budget. They’re able to place their advertisements directly before the audience most apt to make a specific purchase decision.

In the end, retargeting is the main tool used to manipulate consumer traffic towards your website. Contact Colure’s marketing staff to discuss the most effective exposure for your company. 

The Software Development Process

The Software Development Process

The Software Development Process is an organized, systematic approach to developing software. It’s an organized pathway traveled together by both the client and a software development team. The development cycle is an upward spiral that allows for discovery, new growth, consideration of new ideas, inspiration and change.

The process begins when a client approaches a development team with an idea for a new ‘digital mousetrap’. It’s critical that the software team listen to all the concerns of the client. These may include a timetable, budget concerns, support, logistics and so on. In turn, the clients must understand that the development team will do everything in their power to assist them.

During your application’s development, you will encounter numerous pressures that will divert you from your end goal. It is critical that you have a focused plan and a development team who can appreciate these concerns. A solid team will keep your project focused toward a specific goal.

The Software Development Process includes the:

  • development phase – it starts as an idea, quickly followed by an analysis; quality standards are established; specific goals are set.
  • design phase – you’ll discuss form, function and the delegation of duties.
  • implementation phase – The actual program code is written during the implementation phase.
  • testing and verification phase – after the development team has a working copy of the project, they will usually issue it out to a limited group for beta testing. Here, they gather data on what works and what can be refined. Quality standards are met.
  • documentation phase – here the data is brought together and assessments are made.
  • maintenance phase – this is the longest phase. It consists of the constant updating of the program and customer management. This phase continues long after the final release of the project.
The key to success is open communication.

The process is often met with long hours, varied opinions, and strong emotions for a project. This mixture of blood, sweat and tears is critical to the creative process. For as much as a client is passionate about the function of an application, the creative team has similar motivations. They view the project from the inside-out. Ones and zeros take on form, function and texture.

It is this marriage of visions that brings life to the original idea. Each project is more than just the sum total of the various parts. The project evolves with each new idea, inspiration, and dream. Contact Colure’s Development Team to discuss bringing your software dreams to life.

Successful Content Marketing Campaigns

Successful Content Marketing Campaigns

Content marketing is the technique for creating and sharing free content to provide the consumer with an additional level of product interaction. It is meant to attract new customers and to encourage current customers into developing a loyal, repeat business. But, it should be more than a portion of a company or product. It should be used as a tool to engage your audience.

Four successful content marketing campaigns:

  • Birchbox – a monthly subscription service that provides an array of carefully selected beauty samples to customers. They use content marketing to enhance the online shopping experience for their customers. Birchbox features articles about personal grooming, fitness, and popular beauty products to engage its customers. This has been the key to Birchbox’s success, allowing Birchbox to create an interactive experience for customers as if they were in a store.
  • Red Bull – the energy drink maker uses its content marketing to blend in with the community that enjoys its products. Red Bull specifically chooses to be associated with extreme sports through their advertising. They provide featured videos, films and photos of extreme sports and stunts to associate high energy with the essence of its community.
  • MasterCard – the financial institution uses their content marketing to create a hassle-free, convenient way for costumers to enjoy MasterCard’s features. On the MasterCard website, MasterCard offers features such as a saving calculator and debt FAQs to assist customers with their finances. To minimize inconvenience for it’s customers, helpful videos and ATM locators are located in its “Priceless Pointers” section on its website.
  • Kraft – the international food conglomerate, mastered the use of content long before it was a popular marketing technique. Kraft’s website features recipes, tips, ideas, and videos to assist customers with their products. They understand the power of connecting with their customers. Kraft has created a forum where customers can go beyond simply sharing their recipes. Customers experience those products on a most basic human level – while breaking bread. Kraft expanded its brand from simply selling their products to forming an online community that has become ingrained in the lives of its consumers.

A company’s content marketing has to be relevant to the company’s mission, products, and services. It should allow customers to consistently learn and engage with a brand. As content marketing continues to grow, it proves to be more of a long-lasting relationship than a trend. Content marketing will continue to be a necessity for companies to grow and actively engage their customers.

Contact Colure’s team to discuss marketing strategies for your business. See how a focused approach on your project can dramatically modify your performance in the marketplace.

SEO For Small Businesses

SEO For Small Businesses

Efficient search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to every business. Regardless of size or industry, the critical need to analyze your internet data is key to every business owner. Small business owners are often challenged by not having a staffer dedicated to looking after these affairs. This frequently leaves business owners facilitating both the mechanical end of their business and needing to extend themselves to cover their digital concerns.

Keeping a few tips in mind can help you as wade through these waters:

  1. Never consider you website complete. Because of the dynamic nature of the market, your clients, and your business, you need to constantly tweak your site. It cannot be seen as static, nor can your business.
  2. Learn the mechanics of Google. They’re a dominant force in the internet industry today. In order to understand how your site will interact with the internet, you need to learn how Google operates. Here are three SEO tools to investigate:
      1. Google Webmaster Tools – Explore these tools. They will help you understand how Google views your site and provides you the tools to interact with Google.
      2. Google Analytics – Here you will learn the statistical background of your customers.
      3. Google My Business – Set up a ‘Google My Business’ account. This is a social networking platform to share digital content with businesses and customers. By establishing an account, you increase your visibility across the entire Google network. One of the most critical things to do here is to categorize your business properly. Google allows you to place your business into two of five categories. The purpose for this is so Goggle can better understand your business and is able to provide cleaner search placement results.
  1. Be sure that your content is relevant and up to date. When a customer looks at your page you’ll have less than eight seconds to hold their attention. Make the effort to keep your data current and competitive. It’s important to have clean, easy-to-access information for your customer’s needs.

No matter your size or need, clean and efficient SEO operations are critical to everyone. Contact Colure about helping your organization rise to the surface in the search engine rankings.

Why Content is Critical to Your Audience

Why Content is Critical to Your Audience

Relevant content is critical to grabbing your audience on an emotional level because they’re searching for answers to their questions. If your content is nothing but bologna, you will lose your audience in a matter of seconds.

So, how do you engage your audience? Take the proper steps to ensure valuable and easily readable content

Three things you need for strong content:
  1. A goal: Provide a focal point of the article. All ideas will contribute towards this central theme.
  2. A voice: Define your point of view and express yourself in the content. Make your statement and provide examples to support your statement. People will need to understand why they should believe what you think.
  3. A lesson: Remember, you are the author. You may not be in a classroom, but be sure to enrich your readers. Be sure that they gain something from reading your work. You are educating and entertaining them by providing information they may not have.

The average Internet user will view a web page and determine whether to continue reading or visit another website in approximately 8 seconds. Even if the user stays longer than those 8 seconds, they have the tendency to skim through, reading only about a quarter of the article. Your content needs to stand out and grab their attention quickly. You must understand your audience.

A short attention span is a dangerous thing. Like the bull that charges a red flag, Internet users flee when they are distracted. They’ll begin to scroll down the page to see a picture or a video. If they notice that the article is going to take 10 minutes to read… Bon voyage! They’ll be gone in a flash. Why would they waste their precious little time reading an elongated article, when they can go visit another web page that tells them what they want in half the time?

Quality content is critical to your audience because it’s the only thing that engages your reader.

Contact Colure to discuss your project’s content, vision and scope.

 

Project management tools for advertising agencies

Project management tools for advertising agencies

Project management tools are designed to help agencies to bring their projects from conception to completion. The ways in which you manage every idea, resource, and staffer will affect your ultimate destination. Given the span of variables in the creation process, it’s impossible to find one simple answer to meet everyone’s needs. Whether you are a team of one or 50 members, success is built upon a systematic approach.

A simple starting point to determine your PM (project management) needs, is to look back at your last three projects. What went wrong? What worked well? Was your problem time management? Was it information management? Was it the way you utilized your teams? Were you able to reconcile your billable hours against your accounts? Did you have an organized plan of attack or did you feel as though you were trying to round-up a bunch of wild cats?

The completion of your project is based on the premise that you have a solid footing in project management. This requires being able to wear multiple managerial hats. When it comes to project management skills, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s critical to identify what skills you have mastered and which may need a bit of help. It’s safe to say that almost everyone needs a bit of assistance with at least one skill.

An organized approach to your project is critical. Here are a few tools that can help you and your team better understand your project needs. Each of these applications has their own feel; all of these are strong tools to move you closer to a successful completion.

Suggested Project Management Tools:
  • Tomsplanner.com This is a simple, Gantt chart subscription service. This offers a strong starting point to organize your thoughts. This is a great place to organize a project’s multiple needs and resources.
  • Basecamp.com Organize your teams’ efforts around multiple projects. This system works well by internalizing conversations.
  • Wrike.com This platform likes to expand its communications across email platforms.
  • Getharvest.com This system does a great job of integrating your various finances.
  • Pivotstack.com offers a multitude of services from PM, accounting, and communications.

Every journey begins with a first step. Be sure that you move your project forward, towards a successful destination. Contact Colure’s Project Managers to discuss your visions for successful software development, marketing and concept development.

The power of the “Alex From Target” Campaign

In November 2014, a simple photo of some guy at working at Target was posted on the internet. As a result, untold thousands of people have been going crazy trying to learn more about him. The now cultural icon #alexfromtarget was born. Who is he? Where’s he from? And a lot of girls are asking “Is he single?” The simple answers to a number of those basic questions are answered in a posting from LinkedIn.

The amazing aspect of this story is not that a lot of folks are interested in this guy from Texas. The take-home message is the recognition of how a simple moment in life was specifically manipulated into a breathing, growing internet sensation. It became a very successful media campaign. This is the untapped potential energy (and financial value) of the Internet. This highlights the specific resource that every marketer and advertiser dreams of manipulating.

What is the “Alex From Target” campaign and ‘does it actually matter’?

Consider the implications of being able to motivate millions to comment, to have them make a social comment about their own lives. Imagine bringing people to action just because they saw an image of some guy putting something into a bag. ‘What is the purpose of this campaign?’ That question falls into a far distant second place behind the reality that focused social media has motivated masses of people to action.

As content creators and storytellers, we must know how to share our ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Being able to motivate your audience is a mission-critical goal. Connecting with your audience is at the heart of any media campaign.

In 1989, film director Phil Alden took a group of moviegoers to an obscure cornfield in northeastern Iowa. There, a voice told us “If you build it, he will come…” Those simple words became a catch-phrase that changed the cultural landscape of a generation. If you ever have the pleasure to actually stand upon home-plate at the ‘Field of Dreams’, in Dyersville, IA (as I have), you will feel the magic.

Both of these are strong examples of how a simple idea became a cultural event. Have faith in your ideas, belief in your dreams and clarity in your visions. Whether you plan to write a simple blog or to engineer the most incredible mobile application, keep in mind that any social movement begins with a simple idea.

Contact Colure’s storytellers and software engineers to express your dreams. We hope 2015 will bring your dreams to fruition.

Marketing mobile applications

Marketing mobile applications

How should you approach the marketing of your newly designed mobile application? Competition within the mobile apps market has never been more fierce. Both Google Play and The Apple Store each offer over 1.3 million apps available for download. Each day, the competition grows tighter. The fight for market share grows tougher. At every turn, someone smarter, faster, and possessing a potentially better mouse trap releases a new application.

So how do you compete? How do you possibly fight for elbow room on the worldwide stage? How do you struggle against a competition with seemingly endless resources? The answer is to be smart in the way you prepare for the fight. To paraphrase an ancient (4th or 5th Century) text ‘the best victory is achieved when the war is won before the battle begins.’

Create a Marketing Strategy

  • Establish a solid Pre-Launch Strategy

Before you spend your limited resources on development, you need to know if you have a place in the market. Do your homework with a competitive market analysis. Find out if there is a viable market for your product. If so, use this exercise to define that market. You must know exactly who are your customers, the market, and your competition. Learn these things before you begin your development. If not, you are wasting your resources.

  • Maximize social media

Create an impressive demo video of your product or service. Utilize social media to maximize your message. Craft your message to reach a very specific audience. Be sure that you are marketing your ideas is a way that communicates to your customer base. You can’t just toss out an app and expect people to find it. Create media kits you’ll provide to industry icons who review and promote new applications.

  • Maximize the resources of the app stores

If you plan to release in one of the major application stores, be sure to research how to best make use of their resources. Find out how other competitors have marketed their products and learn from their experiences.

Regardless of your strengths, you must first understand your own weaknesses. No matter how smart, how fast, or how rich you are, there is always someone faster, smarter, better and less expensive than yourself. That’s a reality of life. Position yourself to compete in the marketplace wisely. Learn from the mistakes of others. Grow from the guidance of those who have successfully completed the process. Be sure you understand that while you may feel your plan may be battle-ready, your competition will do everything they can, to destroy your market share.

The failure to plan is planning to fail.

Contact Colure to speak to our team about establishing a focused plan of attack for your mobile application.

Listening to your customer

Listening to your customer

The age-old adage “ the customer is always right” still holds true. At the end of the day, if the customer is not happy, you’ve missed an opportunity for a successful business transaction. The difficulty comes from not defining a working relationship between your expertise and the customer’s expectations.

The secret is communication. If we spend our time actively listening to the customer, the odds of everyone succeeding greatly increases. Our focus and presence of mind will allow the customer to feel safe in our hands. Without this confidence, the relationship is strained. Listening is a learned skill.

It is a labor of love when an advertising team creates an abstract set of ideas for a potential client. That initial pitch is not just a set of concepts to sell a widget. That pitch is the net result of the ad team’s experience and knowledge. It is the collective wisdom of those advertising professionals. You are selling more than an idea, you are marketing your team’s creativity and reputation.

Listening is not a passive activity

Never waste an appropriate opportunity for your team to share its expertise. In the same light, never negate the experience and wisdom of your customers. They know their business better than anyone else. Customers recognize when they are being paid the attention they deserve. If the customer senses their host’s distraction or unwillingness, effective communication can be damaged.

It’s important for you, as advertisers and marketers, to provide quality guidance and service to your customers. In the end, this is why the customer contacted you, for your abilities and experience.

Customer Sastifaction

‘Giving the customer what they want’ begins with solid interactions. When the customer knows they are being listened to, they know their business is appreciated. Establishing clear communication leaves room for both the customer’s desires and your expertise. More importantly, it will lead to greater trust and success for everyone.

Your relationship with your customer boils down to two words – ‘respect’ and ‘listen’.

Allow us the opportunity to listen to your company’s marketing concerns, ambitions, and dreams. Contact Colure to speak with our team.

Branding for Small Businesses: Are you branding your business?

Branding for Small Businesses: Are you branding your business?

Everyone works to present their clients in the best possible light. As marketers and advertisers, our industry fights to win over each and every possible customer. But that fight is often long and tiresome. It becomes easy to fall into a deep trap. Sometimes, marketers negate the entire process of communication because they become too worried about the tools they use, trying to communicate. In short, the mechanism of communication actually impedes the process of communicating with someone. It’s the age old problem of not seeing the forest for the trees.

From time to time, you may need to step back, close your files and get a breath of fresh air. When your nose is too deep in a project, it’s easy to lose track of the fundamental concepts involved with communication. You might be speaking, but is anyone listening? Does anyone care what you have to say? If you keep hitting the same wall day after day, try keeping these simple ideas in mind:

Clear Communication for Businesses

  1. Keep It Simple Stupid (the K.I.S.S. Rule) – Keep your focus and get to the point. Avoid the temptation to create too many layers, providing too many details about the same thing. Stay on task; tell me a simple story. Businesses need to effectively communicate.
  2. Describe your product or service in less than 10 seconds – If you are not able to communicate the value of your service or product in that short amount of time, you may have lost your customer. Worse than that, you might have lost their repeat business. Some national sources place internet attention spans at less than 10 seconds.
  3. Poorly delivered content is worse than weak content – Let’s be honest, you won’t always have the opportunity to sell the biggest and best widget. Sometimes we work hard to sell something ordinary, something simple and plain. Regardless of what we are selling, you must be able to use both the medium and language of choice perfectly. There is no way a client will trust you with their advertising budget if you cannot create a properly structured sentence. If you ever have a question with your copy – ask someone for help.

  4. Learn to Listen – This is critical. Listen to a client’s ideas and concerns. Invest the time to discover which words they use to communicate. Keep in mind your audience’s mindset. Find out what is important to them – not you. Businesses are constantly trying to stand out from the crowd, to be seen as different. Be sure that you are not seen as being indifferent to your audience. Listen to what they are saying.
  5. Identify your client’s values – Don’t confuse your values for those of your client.

At the end of the day, we are storytellers. Our one task is simple: “Tell me a story.” If you can’t do this clearly and simply, you may want to take a step back and take a breath. Listen to what is happening around you.

Let us help you tell your story. Contact Colure’s storytellers.

Why is the mobile app industry worth $25 billion?

Why is the mobile app industry worth $25 billion?

 

Mobile apps usage continues to grow. They’re a tool used by more and more companies. As the volume of applications grow in the business world, so do the dollars spent on app development. In a MarketsandMarkets report, the mobile app industry will be worth an estimated $25 billion (US) in 2015. Does your company need a mobile app developed? If so, how will you proceed?

You need to keep a few thoughts in mind while you consider developing an app:

  • The first questions you should ask yourself are, “Is this a task-oriented mobile app?” “Does it have a function, a purpose?” “Is it filling some void in the market?” “If so, specifically – what is that need?” Don’t put out an app ‘just to put out an app’.
  • This app should be the justification for all of the effort, pain, time, money and stress that you and your staff will allocate for its creation. In other words, ‘will it be worth all of the effort?’
  • Who is my target audience? Am I putting this together to help my customers understand my services or products? Am I creating this to aid my sales staff to better market their products? Will this app help streamline our employee’s workflow by eliminating paperwork?
  • Is it affordable? Should we try to do this ourselves or hire an outside firm to do the work? Is it possible to go mobile on a budget?

Your answers will help shape your course of action.

Here are several other considerations that may modify your choices. Remember that:

  • customers establish a strong connection between the value of your website and the value of your company. They will make the same connection between the quality of your app and quality of your company. If your app comes off as cheesy, or as having little value, that same correlation may very well be made to your company.
  • affordable apps can be made quickly and cheaply, but the real value is measured in terms how that app connects to your customer. If your customers see ‘older looking’ graphics, or find less functionality in the application (than should be reasonably expected), those deficiencies will translate into a loss of customer trust in your company.
  • To you, what is the true value of your customers’ experience? To which level do you honestly appreciate their quality of interaction with your company? To which extent are you willing to invest to provide a positive, proactive experience to your customer?
  • What happens if there are problems with you mobile app? Will you have support, if any (in terms of expertise and time) to help you? What happens if things go sideways?

In the end, the questions of quality, support, cost (expenses vs. effort), and the cost-benefits gained will determine how you establish your budgets for the application. You know your business better than anyone else. If you are not impressed with the application, there’s a good chance you customers too, will not be impressed.

With that said, apps have a critical role in today’s business world. They facilitate function and access. As with everything in life, you only have one chance to make a good 1st impression. Be sure that your app is the finest that it can be, for both you and your customer. Embrace the challenge. Speak with Colure to define your application’s development and marketing.

 

 

Think-Tank Session

Think-Tank Session

As we prepare for our think-tank session we keep one thing on the forefront “branding”.

One the left, our Executive Creative Director Rich Solomon and on the right, our Head of Business Development Patrice Gervias both prepares for the think-tank session.

#branding Rich#branding Pat