Blog

What the heck is GPT3 and why will it disrupt every industry?

What the heck is GPT3 and why will it disrupt every industry?

GPT3 is like Bitcoin that makes your Alexa and Siri look like Dogecoin! If you are reading this there is a likelihood GPT3 may disrupt your entire industry. 

The originator is Manuel Araoz, but halfway through the piece he confesses that he did not write it. The article was fully written by GPT-3. He received access to OpenAI API, and was amazed at the raw power of GPT-3, after only giving it access to his homepage, a title, some tags, and a summary. 

“OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company backed by Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, … and others, released its third generation of language prediction model (GPT-3) into the open-source wild…”

So, GPT-3–Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3–generates text. It can create anything that has a language structure. You can ask it a question; prompt it to write an essay or summarize a long passage of text, translate languages, take memos. Since apps and web design are structured language, GPT-3 makes coding easier and faster.

Will GPT-3 as Marc Strassman, Founder & Executive Director at GPT-3 Society predicts, put a lot of writers out of business?  That’s an open question for now, but there is no doubt that AI has the potential to add even more to information overload by producing more content than anyone can absorb. The good news for writers is that GPT-3 can generate lots of useful new ideas and back them up with facts and evidence.

What is actually occurring inside GPT-3’s programming may not be all that clear, but what it does best is harvesting text found on the internet and creating a vast “scrapbook” glued together and available on demand. The quality and durability of its end-products depend on the reader’s taste and preference. 

Said one observer, “GPT-3 often performs like a clever student who hasn’t done their reading trying to bullshit their way through an exam. Some well-known facts, some half-truths, and some straight lies, strung together in what first looks like a smooth narrative.”

However, GPT-3 is a quantum step up from its previous GPT-2 version, released in 2020. GPT-2 spat out pretty convincing streams of text when prompted with an opening sentence. Compared with GPT-2’s vast 1.5 billion parameters, GPT-3 is over a hundred times more powerful with its 175 billion neural network ties at work in text generation and automated learning.

Michael Ryaboy, GPT-3 Prompt Engineer at Codebuddy in San Francisco adds a writer’s perspective to how GPT-3 will disrupt society:                                                                            

Most repetitive writing tasks such as copywriting will be in large part done by GPT-3…Similarly, a model like GPT-3 can greatly increase your writing productivity by writing for you if you are stuck… (For gaming programmers) Tools like GPT-3 will also be used to create immersive realities, as thousands of subplots for a video game can be created in minutes, and AI Dungeon already allows cohesive text-based explorations.”

Will AI-powered technology eventually become smarter than humans? Elon Musk fears that is so. He has warned that our existence as human beings could be at stake. Musk warns “that we’re headed toward a situation where AI is vastly smarter than humans.”

The operating term here is “technological singularity.” That is the hypothetical point in time when technological growth becomes so exponentially expansive that it becomes incontrollable and irreversible. The disruption and changes to human civilization, according to the hypothesis, can result in unforeseeable disruption and changes to human civilization.

Not everyone agrees with Elon Musk’s pessimism. AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio’s view is that we “are very far from super-intelligent AI systems and there may even be fundamental obstacles to get much beyond human intelligence.”

As Cofounder, Create Labs Ventures Abran Maldonado stated, “It will put the power of AI technology into the hands of more creative and mission driven communities outside of tech. This technology has lowered the barrier to entry and will allow new groups to enter the space and stay focused on the problems they are trying to solve.” 

And according to the CEO of OpenAi, Sam Altman, all the hype about GPT-3 is “too much.”Yes, he agrees, “AI is going to change the world, but GPT-3 is just an early glimpse.” He identifies three main impediments to AI taking over everything:

1. AI is hugely expensive to use because of the vast amount of computing power needed to do its work. So, the cost of using it could be well beyond the budget of smaller organizations.

2. GPT-3 is a “closed” or “black-box” system. OpenAI has not revealed full details of its algorithms. So, if you rely on a technology to answer questions or create produces, you can’t be entirely sure how those answers or product solutions came about.

3. The output is far from perfect. GPT-3 can handle tasks like creating basic apps and short texts, but often tends to deteriorate and produce gibberish when tasked to produce something longer and complex. 

How GPT-3 will disrupt everything else

Mobile App developers are already leveraging GPT-3 to do some amazing things with very little effort beyond plain language requests. Some examples:

Generating web and app design code based on text descriptions. 

All that design code is already there. Developers can simply describe what they want, like “a layout that contains 3 buttons with a random color.” Watch this stunning display of GPT-3s plain language coding on this YouTube video.

Getting medical advice and answers. 

One medical student in the UK used GPT-3 to answer medical and health care questions. His program gives correct answers to plain English questions as well as the underlying science and biology.

Converting legalese to plain language, and vice versa. 

The law is one of the most text-driven professions. There are GPT-3 apps that can write pleas, motions, and other complicated legal documents and translate their text back to understandable English. For example, “my landlord neglected the property,” becomes “The Defendants allowed the real property to fall into disrepair…”

Finally, will GPT-3 send Siri and Alexa packing?

Probably not anytime soon, Michael Ryaboy believes that “Siri and Alexa do their job well. They are designed to allow you to do tasks through speech and not to maintain engaging conversation.” Until someone comes up with a better idea that Apple and Amazon are willing to throw out those top performers, they will probably be around for a while yet.

Let Colure help you design your mobile app and mobile app marketing

So, where do you fit into all that disruption? If you’re an innovative app developer or business owner and want to tackle some of our world’s most pressing challenges and harness AI to make everyone’s life better, contact us today. Colure’s Mobile App Development Team can get you going on your next projector to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus.” 

Design your baby from a mobile app…

Design your baby from a mobile app…

Are you serious designer babies? What is CRISPR and can it disrupt the healthcare industry? Design a baby or fix your chronic illness right from a mobile app, well maybe not just yet but the technology to execute this is already on its way.

The world we live in might not look like The Jetsons, but we are living in the future in many ways. We’ve already got smartphones, and smart homes quickly followed. Augmented reality has expanded the horizons of video games, and virtual reality is poised to change the lives of people living with disabilities. What’s next? Smart genes? You might be shocked to learn that a technology called CRISPR promises exactly that!

While “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats” might be a mouthful, CRISPR is a little easier to say. CRISPR are a naturally occurring sequence of repeats in simple living creatures such as some bacteria. While bacteria use CRISPR as an immune defense against other organisms, humans discovered that CRISPR could be used to target genes of pretty much any living creature, including us!

Through a method known as CAS-9, CRISPR can essentially be used to edit genes from DNA, similar to how you can cut text from Word documents. Researchers have since been able to use CRISPR to cut genes out entirely and cut out faulty genes to replace them with functional ones. That’s right, CRISPR lets us copy and paste our DNA.

CRISPY isn’t just a novel new technology. It represents some pretty important possibilities. For example, CRISPR can be used to disrupt the faulty DNA that leads to diseases such as Huntington’s, which is caused by a mutation in a gene and has been difficult to treat up until now. Not only does Huntington’s decrease the quality and length of life, but parents can pass the disease to their children. If CRISPR can remove faulty genes, people who would otherwise develop Huntington’s disease and avoid having children who might do the same can live happily and healthily with a brood of their own.

That’s just one example of the power of CRISPR. Researchers are hard at work determining the different ways that CRISPR (and CAS-9) can work for us. Many are hopeful that CRISPR can be used with CAR-T, a method used alongside genetic therapy to boost the patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. Jens-Ole Bock of COBO Technologies Aps, which focuses on DNA technology, expressed hope over this combination:

Focus now is on different types of blood diseases and cancer treatment using CAR-T. We have now more than 70 trials ongoing in the clinical phase and initial safety data from these trials are looking promising. 

Kevin Doxzen, Ph.D., expressed similar sentiments about the potential that the “development of CRISPR and other genome engineering technologies is moving modern medicine towards personalized therapeutics and away from a one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare. The ability to precisely locate and alter a specific genetic sequence is opening the door to treating a range of previously untreatable diseases, especially rare genetic diseases.” Who’s to say what uses we’ll find for CRISPR in the future?

In fact, some researchers are already investigating whether CRISPR can be used to created so-called “designer babies.” Considering that researchers in China have already tested CRISPR on embryos to produce babies resistant to HIV, smallpox, and cholera, is it a leap to wonder if they could identify other traits that some people might find undesirable to edit them right out of embryos before implanting them. Given that the 23&Me app can already tell us what genes we might pass on to our children, the idea doesn’t sound that farfetched at all! Who could have predicted this? The writers of Gattaca, for one.

However, while it might be possible for CRISPR to create “designer babies” in the future, many medical experts are skeptical. For example, Bock expressed disbelief that CRISPR technology would move in this direction based on current research efforts.

 All trials today are in somatic cells and focus is to treat well-characterised genetic diseases that will have a significant impact for the patient and the patient group. Because we learn more and more about the genes involved in different diseases, it will make sense to do more pre-screening of germ cells and thereby we could exclude many potential genetic diseases to move to the next generation. However some genetic disease we can not predict and “capture” on in pre-screening and therefore we need tools like CRISPR to be able to cure future genetic diseases in this group of patients

Of course, there’s always someone who wants to capitalize on new tech, which means that we’re pretty much guaranteed that someone will step in to fulfill the role of designing babies with CRISPR in the future. But most researchers understand the significance of treating or even preventing cancer and other diseases that severely impact–and shorten–a patient’s life. With such important work already underway, there’s no use fretting over the potential misuses of CRISPR when the technology will have such long-reaching benefits.

The success of our agency is built upon our clients’ growth. If you want to discuss your next project or be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus,” contact Colure’s Mobile App Development Team.

Will NFT’s disrupt the Christie’s of the world?

Will NFT’s disrupt the Christie’s of the world?

Will NFT’s disrupt the Christies, Sotheby’s, and the physical collectible market? 

NFTs are non-fungible tokens that store data on the blockchain. Through NFTs, companies and individuals are able to trade digital items — and track the trading on a digital ledger. NFTs can represent videos, audio, photos, and so forth. They can be used to trade music albums, digital art, and more.

In practice, NFTs are used to store unique, digital goods. In other words, collectibles. People are able to securely trade these collectibles with the knowledge that the item is unique. They can prove that they have the “first” of a digital item. Because of this verification, these items can retain or even increase their value — they can become investments.

NFTs are creating a fast-expanding digital collectible market. But can they disrupt physical collectible markets? Could physical baseball cards and physical stamps someday become digital ones?

Physical vs. Digital: The Advantages and Disadvantages of NFT

The advantages of NFT are clear. As Ben Kopec from OnChain Music says, “NFTs are the new digital merchandise from your favorite artists. NFTs can also be digital collectible items, with the potential to rise in value over time, or the popularity of the artist.”

The truth is that a lot of the world has already gone digital. Look at how people are interfacing with media. People are streaming music. They’re downloading videos. And they have large archives of completely digital games. But part of the issue people have with these digital products is they’re not really “collections.” They can lose their streaming access at any time. They can lose their entire archives if the system goes down. 

NFTs make it possible to really track and keep digital products with value. Someone can have the second copy of a digital album, or the only copy of a digital work of art. But there are downsides, too. Because NFTs are just token-based ledgers, they still “point” to these works of art; for instance, an NFT may just be a URL, which can eventually go down. Additionally, there’s nothing stopping someone from selling more copies of a digital product. The value is that the product is unique, verified, and first.

NFT’s Place in the Modern World: Why Now? 

Are NFTs a good investment? It’s a complicated question.

Right now, NFTs are in their infancy. That means that there’s a lot of profit potential. But it also closes out the market; only early adopters are willing to purchase NFTs. Luckily, because of the proliferation of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency, people are getting more excited about the blockchain — and technologies like OpenSea and Mintable.

Erik Spivak says, “In my opinion, physical work will always retain its value over digital. There’s something about the energy attached to an object that will inherently put it above something that can’t be held.” Thus, NFTs could be attached to physical works; they could be attacked to mystery boxes, crates, and bags, or integrated into other types of security. But, as Erik further points out, people invest in what they believe in, and they believe in a variety of things.

As long as people are interested in NFTs, NFTs are going to have some value. And because NFTs have such a low barrier to entry, it’s very possible that some of it will yield better ROI than more complex financial instruments. But this also depends on how scaling goes for companies like Mintable.

What’s next for the NFT Market?

The world is waking up to NFTs.

They’re finding NFTs now. There will be a boom; many people who don’t even understand the blockchain or its technology are going to be investing in NFTs because it’s the “next big thing.”

Whether it really has longevity is another question. Crypto currency clearly does. But there have been many experiments with the blockchain; some have succeeded, some have not.

As Andrei Jikh points out, “The fact that they are rare makes it difficult for the creators to mint more of the same token because it’s on the blockchain. Same with Bitcoin which has 21 million maximum coins that will ever exist.” In other words, there’s an upper limit to this type of technology.

It’s likely that NFTs are going to transition at least in part to more physical products. And it’s likely that NFTs are going to have some place in the digital market — people do want access to limited, collectible products. Trading card games like “Magic: The Gathering” are an excellent example of something that could easily transition into a digital arena, allowing people to collect digital items that are unique and inherently valuable.

But NFTs are very unlikely to become all-encompassing or to unseat Christies, Sotheby’s, and other physical collectibles. It’s far more likely that the NFT market will start being used to record such transactions on the blockchain. That will make it easier to verify and track the provenance of collectible items.

Most people aren’t going to need to tie NFTs into their own tech or their mobile apps. But understanding new technologies is our business. Contact Colure’s Mobile App Development Team to either discuss projects or be featured in our next series of “Disrupting Venus.”

What is the Law of Diminishing Returns in advertising? If your mobile app marketing, or ecommerce campaign is no longer hitting your KPI thresholds it maybe time……

What is the Law of Diminishing Returns in advertising? If your mobile app marketing, or ecommerce campaign is no longer hitting your KPI thresholds it maybe time……

You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle: 20 percent of anything will yield 80 percent of your results. It’s a general rule of thumb for anything. 20 percent of your employees will do 80 percent of the work. 20 percent of your customers will make up 80 percent of your sales. And 20 percent of your advertising spend may make up 80 percent of your revenue brought in.

The Law of Diminishing Returns is similar.

Under the Law of Diminishing Returns, investments and returns don’t have a one-to-one relationship. Rather, your returns start to drop off at a certain point. Your returns plateau; once you’ve hit the peak, every subsequent dollar you spend may gain you nothing at all.

And that’s why you can sometimes throw money at a strategy over and over and just not get the results that you desire. 

Let’s take a further look at the Law of Diminishing Returns — and how to disrupt it.

Caring is a Finite Resource: The Law of Diminishing Returns

Consider this: You’re a florist. You sell bouquets. You have about 10,000 people in your town — and you’ve got about $100 in media buying budget. You decide to send out mailers.

So, you spend $100 to send out 10,000 mailers. 500 people respond and purchase $10 bouquets; you make $5,000. That’s a great ROI!

Why not try it again?

You send out another 10,000 mailers. This time, 250 people respond and purchase $10 bouquets; you make $2,500. That’s still great ROI, but it’s significantly less.

Next time, only 50 people respond. And the next time, only 25. Your strategy hasn’t changed. But the audience you’re marketing to has been saturated. You’re getting diminishing returns because there are fewer and fewer people who are interested.

Now, you’re a little smarter. You decide to send 10,000 mailers to the next town over. But you still don’t get 500 people — you get 300. Why? Because the first audience set was your ideal audience — they’re in the area. Now you’re moving to people farther away who are less likely to spend. So you’re still getting diminishing returns.

This doesn’t mean that you’re always going to be doing poorly. Eventually, that first batch of 500 people who responded are going to be in the market for flowers again. But it does mean that your initial strategies can often do better than follow-up attempts, for a variety of reasons.

(But let’s disrupt a little. Consider if this time you spent $50 of your media buying budget on mailers and $50 on digital advertising instead. You might be able to take advantage of both with less saturation.)

Let’s take a look at another example: You have a company that does mobile app development. You spend $25,000 on paid digital advertising and you make $125,000 in sales. Then you spend $100,000 on paid digital advertising. Do you make $500,000 in sales?

Probably not. Your audience is probably already saturated, so the same people are seeing your ads multiple times rather than new people being connected with each time.

And that’s the Law of Diminishing Returns: the first $25,000 you spend may have substantially greater results than the last $25,000 you spend.

You’ve Plateaued: Detecting the Law of Diminishing Returns in Your Advertising

How can you determine whether you’re hitting the Law of Diminishing Returns?

As our VP of New Product Clifton Pierce stated, “In terms of advertising, the Law of Diminishing Returns only applies if the advertiser isn’t truly paying attention.” It’s pretty easy as long as you’re reliably tracking your metrics. You should see that the more energy you’re putting into something, the weaker results you’re getting. If everything else remains equal about your strategies, then it should be easy to see that you’re pumping money into the Law of Diminishing Returns.

That isn’t always a bad thing. Think back to the florist. Even though the florist is getting diminishing returns, they’re still getting returns. As long as your ROI is positive, your advertising is still being effective. It’s more a question of whether your advertising is being as effective as it can be.

Rob Palumbo CEO at OutPoint, splits everything into the Most Productive Zone, Diminishing Returns Zone, and Negative Returns Zone. From there, he is able to better determine the right course of action for each marketing channel.

With mobile app marketing, you might see that your mobile app installs have slowed. But that doesn’t actually mean that it isn’t bringing you in revenue.

And, of course, understanding the Law of Diminishing Returns is critical when you’re doing your cash flow projections. You should never assume that you’re going to get identical results from the same expense outlay; that’s just too optimistic.

Can There Be a Law of Increasing Returns?

Of course, not everyone believes in the Law of Diminishing Returns. Jonathan Ivanco says, “There is no such thing as the law of diminishing returns, it’s lazy marketers that don’t understand what goes into real advertising and marketing.”But Richard Heinberg points out that the Law of Diminishing Returns applies to everything, including civilizations — generally in reference to the abundance of resources available.

In the examples given, returns started to diminish immediately because saturation had been met. But in real life, it usually takes some time to reach that saturation point. Usually you’ll see increasing returns, a plateau, and then diminishing returns. And diminishing returns really means you need to move on to other strategies; hence Ivanco’s statement that it relates to lazy marketing.

But is it possible to grow exponentially? Is it possible to continue to see better and better returns?

There are very few advertising campaigns that will never plateau or that will never start going downhill.  You will always need to steadily invest more if you want to continue getting the same results. And it’s not always money you’re investing. With social media advertising, for instance, you’re usually investing time.

But it is possible to have a very significant ramp up.

Look at influencer marketing, social media marketing, and other types of traditional marketing disruption. Companies are able to exponentially grow and continue to grow; they have such broad appeal they don’t meet saturation. With new realms like augmented reality and virtual reality coming, there are new opportunities for brand development and product development.

So, the Law of Diminishing Returns doesn’t always have to be a law; there can be exceptions. But they are rare ones.

Using the Law of Diminishing Returns to Your Advantage

Realistically, what does the Law of Diminishing Returns mean? It means that you’ve done the best you can at a certain technique. Mobile Marketing? Mailers? Email lists? Social media? You’ve peaked, baby. I mean, it’s all downhill from there. But you’ve done as good a job as you can — and now it’s time to move on.

If you’re struggling with the Law of Diminishing Returns right now, you’re throwing good money after bad. You’re probably spending $25,000 in paid advertising to generate 90 percent of your results and another $25,000 for that last 10 percent.

That’s great news.

Because that means that you can take that $25,000 that you’re using in digital advertising and generate even better results elsewhere.

Ultimately, the Law of Diminishing Returns just means that it’s time to try something different. It’s a way to show that you’ve capped out on what you can get (for now) from a certain advertising technique, strategy, or channel. And that’s an exceptionally valuable thing to know.

Advertising is a wild arena. It’s always changing. The strategies that work today have no guarantee of working tomorrow. You need to be able to identify your key metrics, track them reliably, and pivot when you can. By studying things like the Law of Diminishing Returns, you can become more astute at recognizing the signs — and more confident and competent at reacting to it. Here at Colure, we know that the success of our agency is built upon the success and growth of your business. Contact Colure’s Advertising Advisors today to make sure you have a balanced Go To Market Advertising Campaign for your next project or to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus”. Let’s grow!

Why Are SPACs giving Wall Street & VC Firms a run for its money? And why mobile apps like DraftKings are using SPACs as a choice of raising capital?

Why Are SPACs giving Wall Street & VC Firms a run for its money? And why mobile apps like DraftKings are using SPACs as a choice of raising capital?

Tel Aviv-based Blue Ribbon has leveraged its jackpot technology into DraftKings internet casinos and sports betting. Those are two of the DraftKings app developers’ core business competencies. Because of SPAC capitalization and direct IPO transactions, and having sold $1.15 billion worth of its convertible debt, Draft Kings has offered some of those vast proceeds for fund acquisition.

What the hell is SPAC?

SPAC stands for special purpose acquisition company. SPAC transactions are alternatives to raising capital via traditional stock market initial public offerings. In the insiders’ world of investments, SPAC transactions are essentially friendly buyouts of target companies. SPACs aren’t even real, commercially active companies. They are ventures where money is looking for companies.

How a SPAC works

High-profile investors—hedge funds, private equity and industry leaders—create a SPAC. They become the SPAC sponsors. They raise money from investors through prospectus marketing, emails, word-of-mouth, etc. The typical initial trading level is about $10 a share. 

The investment money is placed into an interest-bearing trust account. That begins a campaign where the SPAC sponsors do market research looking for a company that wants to go public via acquisition—the act of taking over or gaining at least 50% of the company’s stock.

The SPAC shareholders agree to the takeover, most often structured as a reverse merger, meaning that the target company merges with the SPAC or its subsidiary. Then the SPAC shareholders can opt to redeem their shares and take a profit or hold onto the investment in the form of shares. 

SPAC sponsors have two years after the initial public offering to find a company, whereupon the SPAC is disbanded and SPAC sponsors cash out. If the deal is successful, the sponsors can take over up to 20% of the company for an initial investment of only $25,000. That can mean an enormously lucrative return when the company can be worth millions.

So, the SPAC process is a cheaper, quicker, and easier way for a company to raise capital.  Rather than being underwritten by banks and investment firms, the target company is essentially mentored by experienced SPAC sponsors. In the end, investors can redeem their shares if they don’t approve of the acquisition.

On the other hand, investors who buy into the SPAC’s IPO have no idea of the final target. They must enter the deal on faith. Even though the prospectus might identify a specific business or industry, the SPAC is not obligated to keep its word.

Also, the two-year deadline for closing the deal means that investors must be patient. The delayed deadline could also create conflicts of interest if SPAC sponsors succumb to impatience and throw due diligence to the winds of stock market volatility and the historically weaker returns and in-the-red performance of common shares that occur after mergers.

Will SPACs disrupt Wall Street?

SPACs have the advantage of bypassing the substantial time, resources, reporting and underwriting through the traditional IPO process. But will they disrupt Wall Street? Colure’s social media manager Ivonne Tanbeh reached out to a number of movers and shakers in the SPAC industry to get their thoughts on the disruption. Here’s a sampling:

Q:  What makes SPACs so attractive to investors?

Richard Coffin, Investment Analyst at WDS Investment Management:

“They’ve been really popular amid the current euphoria of the markets, and investment celebrities (and non-investment celebrities) have been backing certain SPACs to monetize their name/reputation, but while that may attract initial demand, at the end of the day it’s how the company actually performs and operate over time that will matter.”

Ramin Nakisa, Co-Founder at PensionCraft Ltd. (UK)

“If you buy into a SPAC, it usually has a star management team. They will be interviewed constantly by the media doing ‘will-they won’t-they’ stories about which company they are going to buy. This cult of celebrity is what has propped up the active management industry long after it became clear that it is failing to deliver what it promises”

Daniele D’Alvia, SPAC Expert and Corporate Lawyer.

SPACs are the reverse of the normal IPO procedure. Instead of an operating company seeking investors, investors seek an operating company. This is clearly irresistible and more appealing than being passive. 

Q: Do you think SPACs will disrupt Wall Street?

Ramin Nakisa responded:

I don’t think this is going to disrupt Wall Street. The proliferation of SPACs is just one consequence of the huge appetite for risk following the selloff in March 2020. The traditional route of raising cash via IPOs is less attractive now because of the share price ‘pop’ the day after the company raises its money. 

Richard Coffin agreed:

“SPACs have been around for a while, so I am skeptical that they will revolutionize Wall Street. Perhaps they will become more popular, but the IPO still stands as a more established and rigorous process for companies going public.”

Daniele D’Alvia predicted the 2020 SPAC boom and was awarded the Colin B Picker Prize by the America Society of Comparative Law back in 2017. He has another perspective: 

“I do not see why SPACs cannot become the new alternative acquisition models, a legitimate alternative path to access public markets rather than the traditional IPOs. It cannot be denied that SPACs pose risks like any other investment, as risks cannot be completely eradicated. However, those risks can be curtailed through proper contractual risk allocation and enhanced governance.” So, whether SPACs will be an also-ran in the competition for investors, or a paradigm shift, they have something in common with mobile app developers: they are a threat to the giant big guys. Even though the little guy might not be all that small, disruption is what adds spice to the nitroglycerine of change. 

If you are trying to raise capital to launch a new product or service, pay attention. Remember when Blockbuster Video and Toys“R”Us ruled their roosts? Along came Netflix and Amazon, which caused a chickenshit-storm and toppled those two monopolies.

Here at Colure, we know that the success of our agency is built upon the success and growth of your business. Contact Colure’s Mobile Marketing & App Development Team to discuss your next project or to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus”. Let’s grow!

What? Coinbase went public yesterday almost valuing the app at $100 Billion! Is it time for Crypto Currencies like Bitcoin to disrupt the world currency standard?

What? Coinbase went public yesterday almost valuing the app at $100 Billion! Is it time for Crypto Currencies like Bitcoin to disrupt the world currency standard?

In 2010, a single Bitcoin was worth about 8 cents.

Today, it’s nearly $62,000. Yesterday the mobile app known for buying crypto called Coinbase went public reaching almost one hundred billion dollar in valuation. 

Despite its detractors, Bitcoin keeps going up and up. An inherently deflationary currency — a currency that is finite — it is built to grow in value. The same can be said about a multitude of other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and even Dogecoin.

Cryptocurrencies were once treated as a joke. But they’re being taken seriously now. The question remains: How seriously should they be taken?

The State of the Crypto Market as of 2021

Cryptocurrency has gone from being denied on major payment processors (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) to showing up in ATMs. The cryptomarkets now support most major cryptocurrencies, with fringe candidates (such as Dogecoin) being slowly introduced. Market caps are growing. The market cap of Bitcoin stands at $1 trillion.

More companies are supporting cryptocurrency. Recently, Elon Musk stated that people could purchase a Tesla car in Bitcoin. It’s understandable. Cryptocurrency isn’t just a currency, it’s an investment. Companies make more by accepting Bitcoin and then holding it. And that is the double-edged sword.

Right now, cryptocurrency is still a relatively new technology. Ask the average person how the blockchain works, they won’t know. They don’t understand how the treasury works, either, however; they just have faith that it does. Consequently, the barrier isn’t really “understanding” the new technology. Right now, the barrier is usability.

How does someone purchase a Bitcoin? How do they invest in Ethereum? How can they turn a Bitcoin into a cheeseburger — or Ethereum into the down payment of a house? It’s these questions that need to be answered by the crypto market moving forward.

How Crypto Currency is Already Disrupting the World

As with any currency, crypto has some good aspects and bad aspects.

First, let’s tackle the bad. Untraceable currency has led to the proliferation of scams (such as malware and ransomware attacks) and a huge underground drug purchasing community (the dark net). Because it’s both currency and investment, it’s volatile. Most people don’t want to wonder if a cheeseburger is worth $10 or $1600 every morning; Bitcoin’s swings are no longer that volatile, but they used to be. While $1 trillion is a large market cap, it’s nothing compared to say USD ($30 trillion). It’s easily influenced. A single tweet from Elon Musk can send it doubling its price.

But, there’s the good. Volatility means a lot of money can be made. And the untrace-ability of Bitcoin is it working as intended; the idea is that Bitcoin being untraceable essentially means that anyone can use it for anything, true economic freedom. Even those who are in areas where they have an autocratic or dangerous government can purchase things that are important but “contraband.”  Ideally, globalizing currency will make it easier to trade and will make it less likely any one country, such as the US or China, can control trade.

Crypto currency has already significantly disrupted many markets. And it will continue to do so.

The More Things Change, the More Stay the Same – It Won’t Replace Fiat Currency

Most analytics believe that crypto will definitely disrupt currency, but it’s probably not going to replace it. “Bitcoin is way too volatile to be used as money. Imagine if you had taken out a mortgage worth $250,000 in Bitcoin last March; you’d owe the bank $2 million today.”, says Andrei Jikh.

“Personally I think we will see a wave of adaptation and adoption of this across the board until we reach a point, of it being widely accepted,” says Eric Spivak. It’s likely that crypto is going to become another payment method, alongside the currency of whatever country a person is in. But even as we move away from “cash” standards, crypto is not likely to get complete adoption.

There are some technical issues that need to be surmounted. People can “lose” their Bitcoin forever; there’s no “Bitcoin” bank that can guarantee them their currency. Because Bitcoin is untraceable, theft cannot be tracked or reversed. And because cryptocurrencies are deflationary, they are inherently volatile. No one will hold onto a dollar bill thinking it will be worth more in the future. But people will hold onto Bitcoin, which means they are extremely hesitant to liquidate and actually use their Bitcoin or Ethereum — thereby reducing usage and exposure.

Once Bitcoin starts to even out and adoption becomes more universal, the desire to keep hoards of wealth will change. But there will still be concerns relative to the technology itself that need to be addressed.

The Next Evolution of Crypto: Where Does It Go From Here?

Fern Murias points out, “Crypto has a long way to go in terms of usability, and in order to expedite widespread adoption, I think it is crucial to build a bridge to legacy payment systems.” Adding Bitcoin to ATMs, Cash App, and other payment apps is one step. But Bitcoin still has to be easier to use.

When people get used to using things such as Apple Pay (tapping their phones rather than using a credit card or cash), then Bitcoin can become virtually indistinguishable from paying with US dollars. There will still be issues of volatility, but people will find themselves using Bitcoin seamlessly; that’s when adoption will increase.

Cryptocurrencies aren’t necessarily required to disrupt the world currency standard. They can simply provide an alternative currency standard. When alternative currency standards are introduced into the mix, it becomes vastly less likely that global powers can influence the world markets — and more likely that people themselves can be in control of a decentralized currency network.

And whether cryptocurrencies remain a niche investment or become a powerful financial instrument, they aren’t going away. At Colure, the success of our agency is built upon the success of our clients. Contact Colure’s Mobile App Development team today to build your blockchain app. Let’s grow!

What is IDFA? Can Apple Disrupt the Advertising Industry? And Why is Facebook Afraid of the IDFA changes?

What is IDFA? Can Apple Disrupt the Advertising Industry? And Why is Facebook Afraid of the IDFA changes?

Why does Mark Zuckerberg want to inflict pain on Apple? 

Apple’s making some significant changes to IDFA, the utility that app developers use to get information about who someone is. Understandably, some consumers take issue with being tracked. But IDFA is essential to the way that a lot of advertising works.

Advertisers aren’t going to be able to target audiences as effectively once Apple initiates its changes; they’ll have to ask customers to provide access. 

So, Apple could really disrupt Facebook, because Facebook isn’t really in the social media industry; it’s in the advertising industry. Facebook makes most of its money through ads and the less effective ads are, the less money it will make. But Facebook is not the only company that will be disrupted it will ripple through the whole advertising industry. We reached out to Ankit Minocha at Shop2App to get his thoughts on if he thinks IDFA trend will disrupt the advertising industry, and he stated “It certainly will, what this is doing is putting all players, small or big, on a level field. Because there’s a big unanswered question of what percentage of people are going to opt-out of that data privacy pop-ups, it’s hard to say how extensive this change is going to be.”

Advertisers will have until mid-Spring 2021 to adjust to these changes. With location sharing being more opt-in, the effectiveness of ads can go down considerably. Even if ads are able to target audiences they may not be able to track their success.

Google in response to the pressure from Apple has announced similar changes, as reported by Wired that they will be phasing out third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by 2022. These IDFA and Cookie changes are both beneficial for the end user’s privacy, bit it radically changes the way advertisers and apps have historically worked.

Ultimately, the fact is that users are becoming more concerned about security and more wary about sharing data. Users are increasingly eschewing services like Google in favor of Duck Duck Go, to improve their own security and anonymity online. This represents significant disruption in how advertisers will function.

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 or to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus”.

Can Progressive Web Apps disrupt the titan App Store and Google Play Stores?

Can Progressive Web Apps disrupt the titan App Store and Google Play Stores?

What does an app do if it gets kicked off the app store?

Become progressive.

In some ways, a lot of ways, the iOS and Google stores run the app market. And they have a host of requirements. A lot of apps have gotten kicked off the app stores; see, in recent news, Parler and even the video game giant EPIC, the maker of the global sensation game Fortnite.

But app stores aren’t the only answer. Apps can also be designed as Progressive Web Apps and they’re increasingly being used. Instead of a native app, a PWA is a website that operates like a mobile app.

So, it can be the best of both worlds. Users don’t have to download anything. Developers don’t have to build multiple platforms 

And, like the web, it’s not moderated. It doesn’t require any approval from the web app stores.

App stores can be notoriously difficult to get into, and there are publishing and licensing fees. This is one reason devs have been moving toward PWAs but it isn’t the only reason.

PWAs also cost less to maintain in terms of time and energy because they’re built into the website.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t downsides. They don’t have the same functionality as a native app. They can’t be used offline. But they’re also not a trend. They’ve been growing very consistently. With progressive web apps, the apps don’t need to worry about meeting specific criteria and they remain under full control for the developer.

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 or to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus”.

Can One Little Mobile App Disrupt the Podcast Industry? Why did China block Clubhouse?

Can One Little Mobile App Disrupt the Podcast Industry? Why did China block Clubhouse?

China blocks their citizens from using Clubhouse as AP reports. Android users are upset that the mobile app is not in the GooglePlay Store yet. Podcasters are screaming out that the app can’t disrupt the Podcast industry because Podcast are permanent evergreens that live in the cloud forever. Hmmmmmm I think we have a case of disruption brewing. 

Where do you go for your podcasts? Apple, Spotify, and even Amazon have had a hard lock on audio media up until now, but there’s a new contender. Clubhouse is disrupting the way that media works and it’s an important watch for investors, at least those who don’t want to miss the boat on another big disruption. 

What’s the Clubhouse App and why does it matter?

An invitation only application that’s been available since 2020, most people hadn’t even heard of Clubhouse until Elon Musk used it as a platform. And he wasn’t even releasing another tribute to Harambe.

Clubhouse is a drop-in audio app, in which users are able to connect to live audio streams and broadcasts en masse. If you’ve ever wanted to connect with and potentially hate the other fans of your fav podcast, this is for you.

Why is Clubhouse the Future of Podcasts?

It’s not a terrible idea….

Imagine live radio shows with all the excitement and interactivity it implies, along with the ability to preserve the content for later. Clubhouse has been described as Medium for podcasters, letting anyone build their content and their following readily. And because it’s invitation only for now, it’s creating a high-quality platform that can only get more popular from here.

There are a lot of podcasts out there. But people are increasingly looking for more engagement and interactivity. For once, podcasts could cease being a solo and even antisocial experience and become something people enjoy together.

To investigate this further we reached out to a social media guru Nicky Saunders to get her take on this disruption. She not only run her own podcast but also is an active Clubhouser. We asked her if she thinks Clubhouse will disrupt the Podcast industry and she stated, “I think it can add on 2 it! its a great addition to connect with your listeners and extra exposure to it 2”. What about the monetization strategy once they gain mass market?  “I believe tipping speakers… access to certain rooms….. paid event will be something they can really maximize on if they play it right.” Do you think Clubhouse will eventually let users save and archive discussions? “I don’t think they will allow that… that’s was makes them unique.” More to come…. 

The Excitement of a Live Community 

Clubhouse is far more than just podcasting. It creates a live event with all the fervor that this implies. It’s a highly social experience that makes it more compelling to follow podcasts. As people look for more digital, social venues, this becomes even more important. 

But what about the curse of COVID? Confounding the valuation is the fact that it’s hard to gauge what interest will be following the pandemic and if numbers and activity could be inflated.

Clubhouse is valued at $1 billion currently after rounds of investment funding. Some have wondered if an IPO might be coming in the next year, but there are some concerns. Primarily, some worry about how content moderation may be handled, as it’s become increasingly difficult on Twitch — and no one knows whether COVID will have longstanding impact on the digital social world.

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 or to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus”.

What the heck is r/WSB? How did a small mobile app called Robinhood disrupt the Titan’s on Wall Street?

What the heck is r/WSB? How did a small mobile app called Robinhood disrupt the Titan’s on Wall Street?

When was the first time you heard about r/WallStreetBets or RobinHood? If you’ve been following financial disruption at all, it was about two years ago, when the “infinite leverage” glitch catapulted the Reddit sub and the app into fame.

The stock trading platform for “the little guys,” the RobinHood app makes it easy for anyone to trade. Not just stocks, but options. And that means that at-home, single-person traders (like Redditors) have the ability to place trades (really, bets) that can get them practically infinite income… and practically infinite losses.

YOLO: The Culture of r/WSB

The denizens of WallStreetBets call themselves “autists.” This isn’t as denigrating as it sounds; it’s praise, to them. While not politically correct, it’s their way of saying that they focus on one thing and only one thing. Sometimes to the detriment of the rest of their life.

And sometimes they’re horribly wrong. But often they’re horribly right. Either way, they disrupt.

r/WSB users focus on “YOLOing” stock. In other words, they place very large positions on things that are essentially gambles. But the beauty and complexity of WSB is that they often aren’t gambles. Usually, the people on r/WSB are trading on news, which are entirely valid ways to trade.

Moreover, r/WSB takes advantage of a cyclical effect. While they aren’t organized (and therefore aren’t illegal per the SEC), they have significant visibility. When someone posts that a stock is “winning” for them, others will fall in line. From r/WSB, it eventually gets into the mainstream media. This all crystallized with GME.

But again, this isn’t anything that anyone else hasn’t been doing for a long time, such as stock reports on the news.

GME: WE LIKE THE STOCK

Tune into r/WSB and you’ll see everyone saying something very simple about GameStop: “We Like The Stock.” This is about more than just defying SEC’s collusion standards.

Way back in the before times of “a couple of weeks ago,” GameStop brought in a couple of executives from Chewy. Investors became bearish on the stock, expecting these executives to turn the retailer around.

This was around when people noticed that GameStop was incredibly over-shorted.

People started investing in GME because they genuinely did “like the stock”; they saw that it was undervalued because of the shorting. Essentially, hedge fund managers were trying to drive GME into bankruptcy by selling over 100 percent of its available stock.

RobinHood: Steal from the Poor, Give to the Rich?

However, the very same company that started the GME surge is the one that ultimately betrayed its own users. At the height of GME hysteria, RobinHood decided to restrict trading, so investors could only sell GME and not buy it. GME plunged to half its value before starting to recover again. And RobinHood wasn’t alone. Many other brokerages restricted trading GME for high volatility.

This is now being investigated, by such high-profile individuals as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz. Essentially, brokerages were able to fix the price, because they only allowed for selling — theoretically to help hedge fund managers.

GME, AMC, BB: To the Moon

GME isn’t the only one that’s being promoted by r/WSB. AMC and BB are other stocks that those on WSB appear to have a consensus about: They think they’re undervalued. AMC was nearly driven to bankruptcy but received a cash infusion, and its problems are likely to be over after COVID. BlackBerry is leaning hard on privacy at a time when privacy is being questioned on almost every frontier. While some believe that these are distractions (the more people invest in AMC and BB, the less they’ll invest in GME), they’ve been on Reddit’s collective mind for a while.

GME was unique because it was so incredibly over shorted. It was over shorted by nearly 150 percent. Comparatively. AMC is over shorted by only about 50 percent (which is still a lot). But a short squeeze actually isn’t critical for market disruption; this was seen with TSLA’s explosive performance over the course of 2020.

What’s Next for r/WSB?

So, r/WSB is moving its money off RobinHood’s mobile app and there are a few new contenders for the crown. While the mobile app Cash App doesn’t allow purchases of GME, it does allow AMC — and it allows for the purchase of fractional shares. Stockpile still allows the purchase of fractions of GME. And other brokerages, like E*Trade and Fidelity, never stopped. 

r/WSB is still leaning into GameStop. After all, they like the stock. And now it’s become not just an investment but an ideological mission; a way to say “F-YOU!” to the Wall Street fatcats.

This isn’t illegal. It’s not even strictly frowned upon. r/WSB is just a collection of like-minded people discussing stocks and determining whether they like a stock. They have absolutely no inside knowledge; they only know what is reported from the outside. They then independently decide on whether they want to invest.

This is something that’s baked into the market. But never before has it been so easy for someone to invest directly into the stock market. People today can manage their own retirement accounts, buy their own stocks on their lunch break, and otherwise invest freely — and quickly.

Right now r/WSB is pumping up GME, AMC, BB, and… you probably won’t believe it… Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency based on a Shiba Inu meme. And as crazy as it might sound, there are millionaires being made overnight… and billions being lost… all on a mobile app.

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 and disrupt next industry.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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 1.8 million apps in the Apple App Store and almost 2.5 million in the Google Play App Store. After the first mobile application appeared in 2008, the information marketplace faced a dramatic shift. How do you make yours stand out by leveraging mobile analytics? 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.

Mobile App Marketing With Indexing & Deep-linking

Mobile App Marketing With Indexing & Deep-linking

Mobile search has been transformed from a simple search of the Internet’s content to an index that includes downloadable mobile applications into the results. The evolution is called mobile app indexing. Although Google introduced app indexing in 2013, businesses are only now realizing the advantages it produces. The benefits of app indexing do not only pertain to businesses, but to the entire marketplace, especially mobile users. As the awareness and understanding of app indexing increases, the installation of apps by businesses and users will skyrocket.

In prior years, the results of a Google search (via a mobile device) would primarily be a list of recommended website links. Due to the introduction of app indexing, the results will now include suggested applications pertaining to the search terms. Just as users can click on and connect to a web page link, users can also launch the app directly from the results page if that app has been installed on the device prior to the search. However, if the app is not downloaded onto the device, there will be an option to install the app to receive the desired content. This addition opens up a whole new and innovative way of mobile searching.

If your business does not have an app, it may be smart to adopt one, if you have a valid need. If your business does have an app, make indexing a priority. Since the majority of businesses have not yet adopted app indexing, this act will immediately set you apart from the competition. Now is the best time to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and benefits mobile app indexing will generate for your business. Advantages of app indexing include an increase in customer loyalty, app installations, and user traffic. Additionally, your business will become more visible to the eye of the user through the presence of the app on the results page.

For mobile users, app indexing has created an improved and advanced search experience. The indexing of both websites and apps broadens search results. The expansion of search potential will result in an increase in the amount of useful information that can be utilized by the mobile user. Not only a development in marketing for businesses, app indexing is also a way for mobile users to access information more effectively and efficiently. To help you define your mobile app indexing experience, contact Colure’s project management team. 

Personally identifiable information

Personally identifiable information

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any digital data that can locate, contact or identify a specific individual, either by itself or combined with other easily accessible information. It includes information that is linked to an individual through financial, medical, educational or employment records.

PII is mainly used in information security (IS) services to search, locate and identify specified individuals.

PII is considered sensitive information that can consist of information such as fingerprints, biometric data, names, telephone numbers, email addresses, passports or social security numbers to identify a certain person.

It does not include public information that is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state, or local government record. It is up to federal agencies to safeguard personally identifiable and other sensitive information. It should only be accessed on a need-to-know basis and handled with care.

It is important to protect PII and even personal health information (PHI), which also contains certain aspects of PII that relate to the medical field. People are required to sign statements that specifically allow health care providers to access their records or share the information with a person of choice. The data can help when needed but can be dangerous when misused.

If a data breach were to occur, it can be devastating to a company and its employees. Not only would the loss of a reputation for the company be an issue, but also the thousands of people whose data was stolen would be at risk.

It goes without saying that PII data that is transmitted must be secure and encrypted so that outsiders of the organization or company cannot decipher it.

Mobile app retention rates

Mobile app retention rates

Mobile app retention rates decrease by more than 75% within the first three months of downloading an app. By the one-year mark, only 4% of users still engage with an app they downloaded the year prior. Numbers like these highlight the importance of retention rates when dealing with mobile marketing.

Retention can be defined in different ways. Some companies choose to focus on simply getting users to revisit the app. Others look for engagement with specific features. How you decide to measure retention rates depends on your industry and the nature of the app. For example, an e-commerce app might emphasize user engagement more than a music-playing app. Either way, the goal is to get users to come back.

Mobile app retention is vital to the growth of a company. A high number of users is useless if they churn early on. Instead, a small number of users that repeatedly return to the app offers reliability and lead to stronger relationships between the business and the customers.

Ways You Can Increase Retention Rates

  • Target your mobile audience. Casting a big net to catch a bunch of users will yield a very low percentage of returns to your app. Instead, focus on marketing your app to a segmented group of consumers who are more likely to engage with the app continually.
  • Evidence has shown that push notifications can increase retention rates by at least 20%. Personalizing those push notifications to the individual user increases retention rates even further.
  • Give special attention to users within their first month of downloading the app. By developing a consistent engagement early on, you create a habit in the user that they’re more likely to continue.
  • Invest in beta testing your app to make sure you’ve developed a quality product. If the app isn’t user-friendly, all the marketing strategies in the world aren’t going to make it appealing to users.

User acquisition has consistently been the emphasis in mobile marketing, but the attention needs to be shifted to retention. Mobile app retention rates ensure consistent engagement with loyal customers, which means a longer lifespan for the app and the company.

Use object-based targeting to reach your audience

Use object-based targeting to reach your audience

Object-based targeting allows companies to focus the content of an advertisement to match the content posted by a consumer. If you post pictures of dogs, this technology will marry canine-themed advertisements to appear in your social media.

With real-time social media playing such a big role in the lives of consumers, it was only a matter of time before somebody grabbed ahold of the reigns on real-time advertising. Snap Inc. took a big leap last year by patenting a new technology that will change real-time advertisements in a central way. The technology will allow advertisers to target Snapchat users in a uniquely personal way.

Snap Inc.’s object-based targeting will enable advertisers to promote their product based on the content that Snapchat user posts to their account. If a user snaps an image of a new pair of Nikes, they’re likely to see ads for footwear.

Snap Inc. has yet to enable the technology on Snapchat, but it’s expected that the new features will bring in a significant revenue increase and user growth. In fact, they made $1.2 Billion in 2018 — a big jump from the $59 million they made in 2015.

Consumers repeatedly respond more to image-based advertisements than to written content, so object-based targeting offers a way to speak the language of your consumer audience. Behind Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the top social media sites. Both of these rely almost completely on visual content. Not only is it more engaging, but visual content makes your advertisement more memorable. Research shows that when people listen to information, they’ll remember 10% of the information three days later. If that information is paired with a relevant image, they’ll remember 65% of the information three days later.

Snapchat’s new feature will mean that advertisements can be targeted even more specifically than they already are. Advertisers will be able to respond to users automatically and instantaneously, virtually serving up a user’s interests on a silver platter.

What is influencer marketing?

What is influencer marketing?

The emphasis of digital marketing has continually shifted over the past three decades. For the last few years, our industry has been consumed by content marketing. Now, a marketing shift toward influencer marketing has grasped our collective attention. The product or service is falling subordinate to the salesman’s sales-pitch.

Influencer marketing relies on the individual’s popularity or reputation to draw market share to a company’s bottom line. A person’s online persona can sway the choice of thousands of followers in an instant. Their popularity enforces the value of the product, encouraging followers and fans to buy the product. If a consumer finds the influencer enticing, often all that is needed is a simple Tweet to bend a market.

The rise in social media has created a far stronger illusion of intimacy between big names and average people. Instead of relying on traditional media, consumers can go directly to a politician’s Facebook page, or see pictures of a celebrity’s child on Instagram. This direct connection between influencer and follower deceives the follower to trust an influencer in the same way that they might trust a friend or family member. Influencer marketing offers a new type of digital and mobile advertisement that appears far more organic and natural.

Goals when engaging influence marketers:

  • Plan in advance. The use of influencers requires research and focus. A scattered, shotgun approach to marketing runs contrary to the use of influencers.
  • Be strategic in your selection of individuals. Each influencer has a specific audience that follows specific individuals. Each audience has its own habits and tastes. Select a palette of influencers to facilitate your goals.
  • Allow the influencer to use his or her own voice. Influencers have a following because of their brand; they speak with their own voice. This is why you hire them. Let them do their job.

Influencer marketing allows the company to step deeply into the consumer’s circle of trust. In the same way that we are more likely to listen to a good friend, consumers rely on social media to construct their reality. As marketers take hold of this opportunity, consumers become less hostile and more accepting of endorsement by influences.

If you want guidance selecting the elements of you next marketing campaign, contact Colure’s advisory team.

Digital proofing aids content development

Digital proofing aids content development

For both agencies and their clients, the proofing process can often be more strenuous than the actual creation of the content. In the digital realm, it has become much more simplified. Today many online tools exist that make for a faster exchange of information. Rather than having to shuffle through multiple emails, the project content exists in one space. A digital interface often allows the project to be more collaborative. Even if the two parties never meet in person, a quality product can still be crafted.

Another benefit of the move to online proofing is that it erases the hassle of scheduling conflicts. An agency can send content out to the client whenever it is finished, and they are able to review it at their leisure. They do not have to be confined to an appointment time. The possibility of 24/7 communication means that a client will have the opportunity to give as much feedback as they want.

If a client likes a Japanese agency’s work, it does not matter if that client is based, for example, in Texas. Efficiency and quality can take precedence over proximity.

The switch to online proofing also saves the client money, as it is less expensive to edit digital content than to produce an entirely new physical copy. In fact, it is estimated that online proofing is up to 97% cheaper and twice as fast as reviewing the work face-to-face.

The process eases the workload on both ends. Therefore, it is becoming more difficult to find an agency that does not do most of their work digitally. In addition, improving technology means that it does not have to be as impersonal a process. Digitizing one’s work also establishes interactive working relationships. In the future, it is more easily shareable for whatever purpose the client desires.

Genuine storytelling

Genuine storytelling

In the world of memes, tweets, and Snapchat stories, it’s easy to assume that engaging consumers means trimming things down. With an audience that has a shorter attention span than goldfish, slimming down marketing strategies to 160 characters seems like the way to go. But statistics show otherwise: engaging and emotional marketing strategies are far more successful than stereotypical promotional advertisements.

Authentic storytelling gives your brand personality. It allows your audience to connect with the company in a way that stands out among the fast-food style content that floods users’ Facebook feeds. This might be through longer-form blog posts, video production, or audio postcards. But the bottom line is that authentic storytelling focuses on developing a human connection. It sells your product or service with discretion, emotion, and relatability.

Tips for authentic storytelling:

  • Use sensory words. Amazingly, your brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imaginary. Smelling coffee and reading about coffee trigger the exact same reaction in your brain. By using sensory details, you create a memorable story that humanizes your brand.
  • Use emotion to your advantage. Research shows that emotionally engaging marketing messages are twice as successful as promotional advertisements.
  • Know your audience and what they value. You wouldn’t talk to your boss in the same way that you would talk to your brother. Similarly, you have to understand your audience before you can have a conversation with them.
  • Be genuine. Numbers, formulas, statistics—it’s easy to get lost in these things. Developing a relatable story that’s organic and fresh will engage consumers in a way that standard promotional marketing just can’t live up to.

This unconventional strategy brings personality and energy to your brand. It gives your company a distinct voice in the industry, actionability to move your brand forward, and deeper insight into the values of your customers. Building these connections with your audience allows you to grow customer loyalty through common interests, beliefs, and standards. It starts a conversation, engaging consumers in a new and vibrant way.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber security is critical to your business. No matter your endeavor, the safety of your data is central to your success and security. At the heart of every business is data – passwords, financial transactions, employee data, and a host of other digital concerns. The protection you extend to this data is critical to your success.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, organized by a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. This alliance between private industry and the U.S. Government is celebrating its 16th year helping you protect your data.

Take a few moments to explore the issue of cyber security. StaySafeOnline.org coordinates many efforts to protect the digital concerns of individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. Simply put – if you have a computer, you are at risk. Anyone anywhere can be hacked. This group has created an extended list of free tools and resources for everyone to help define their individual risk assessment. Here is a technology checklist for your business’s cyber concerns. Examine your company’s digital resources, to become #CyberAware of your network’s security status.

The National Cyber Security Alliance has listed an extended series of events taking place around the globe during the month of October to discuss various aspects of cyber-security. Some of these events are virtual; others are physical. Take a look at this list to see if there are any events in your area that you may be able to attend.

We often use this space to discuss advertising or tech developments. This week, we felt we’d explore an issue that helps to define our security, our independence, and our freedom in the marketplace. If you cannot specifically define the security status of your system, you may not be aware of the actual nature of your exposure.

The importance of beta testing

The importance of beta testing

Before you release your mobile app in the marketplace, be sure your testing and market research has eliminated any problems. Your reputation rests on the ability of that app to fulfill every promise you’ve made.

Mobile app beta testing is a stage in mobile app development during which the business tests the app on a selected group of people. This process of testing allows a business to receive critical feedback about their soon-to-be-released mobile app.

This step is often overlooked but is important because it refines the user experience of the app. It’s tempting for businesses to simply “test” the app with their own developers to avoid the process of selecting testers. Unfortunately, this can be counterproductive, as the developers are essentially too close to the project and can easily lose perspective of the larger picture. It can be nearly impossible for them to see the mobile app as if they were interacting with it for the first time.

When getting prepared to beta test for your business’ mobile app, there are a few Important factors to consider:

  • Choose whether you want to do open or closed beta testing. This decision really depends on the type of feedback you need. Closed beta testing will probably do the trick if you’re looking for very specific, pointed answers, but if you need to test your app on multiple platforms or study user behaviors, a larger open group will get you results closer to what you’re looking for.
  • Beware of selection bias. Choosing beta testers who seem like they fit well with your business can be a big downfall. It can mean that they don’t necessarily look like your user group.
  • Don’t let beta testing be your end of the road. While it is an important part of developing your mobile app, it should act as your starting point, not your final destination. Beta testing should give you a starting point as your continue to integrate new technology and features into your mobile app.

Beta testing is a crucial part of mobile app development. It gives you information on specific changes that need to be made before it is released.

Relationship marketing and customer relationships

Relationship marketing and customer relationships

Relationships. Why are they so darn important in our lives? It’s a question that cuts to the core of the human condition. What is it about this most basic of human interactions that move our minds, our hearts, and our souls? My humble guess is that every person cradles their own, very particular answers to those questions.

Marketers have tried to access that very special part of our lives for many years. Relationship Marketing is the establishment of a long-term interaction between a company and an individual. The goal is to establish a genuine interaction, built on loyalty. That long-term relationship is essential to this process.

The tortoise and the hare?

This concept differs from transaction-based relationships, which focus on promotionally-based sales. Advertising often focuses a select message during a finite time window. Immediate sales and individual ad campaigns often pursue the short-term ROI. A long-term relationship appreciates a long-term return, provided consistently over time.

Forbes contributing writer Steve Olenski describes the concept of Relationship Marketing as revolving around one critical component:

The word I am referring to is “emotion.”

Long the holy grail of marketers and advertisers the world over, the word emotion speaks to that rarified place where few brands and advertisers reside. For just as in any relationship in life, touching on human emotions, preferably the positive emotions, is the key to any happy, healthy and long-term relationship.”

The advantages of this marketing strategy include:

  • strong word of mouth advertising
  • a higher rate of brand loyalty
  • retaining a long-term consumer is less expensive than the cost of acquiring a new customer

Embracing a consumer relationship requires knowing your market, your consumer and having an understanding of your own goals. Familiarity breeds a consistency that benefits both parties. Engaging your consumer leads to long-term gains.

If you are interested in developing long-term relationships with your customers, contact our team.

 

Content Distribution

Content Distribution

A successful content distribution strategy utilizes already existing channels such as Twitter, Reddit, or the good old-fashioned email list to promote your content. More importantly, it targets your client demographic and reaches out to them through media that they respond to. There’s hardly any point in putting time into creative Snapchat stories if your client demographic is over the age of 50. You’d be far more likely to make an impact through email.

We spend a lot of time talking about the power of content, and that’s valid. Compelling, engaging storytelling is a huge part of drawing in potential clients. But, you may be wrong if you think a posted article or shared Instagram story will create a new stream of clients. Sharing that valuable content is only half the job; the second half is distributing the content for users to engage with.

5 ways to promote your content:

  • Email subscription lists are vastly underrated. Social media gets all the hype these days, but the reality is email is still hugely effective. Its lack of advertisements and ability to act as a portal to other forms of media means it’s still a huge part of marketing to clients.
  • Influencer marketing relies on social media users with a lofty reputation to promote content for them.
  • Twitter ads are effective because of their conciseness. Their short and sweet nature is attractive to the impatient and hurried consumer.
  • Push notifications offer an immediacy and responsiveness that you just can’t beat. Research shows that they boost engagement by 88%.
  • Facebook dark posts are a fairly untapped medium. In short, they allow you to post multiple advertisements to Facebook, each targeting different audiences, without making your own News Feed look cluttered or spammy.

Millions of tweets, posts, videos, and stories are shared every minute. Being selective about how and when you share is vital to your success. While authentic content is significant to reaching potential clients, the value is moot if no one is seeing it. A distribution strategy gives reach and dynamism to your content.

Your corporate advertising is not for your benefit

Your corporate advertising is not for your benefit

Purpose-driven marketing is a way for brands and businesses to bond with their target audience through their content based on shared need and interests. The ability to connect with your audience is more important than anything you have to say.

Any purpose-driven brand knows how to present their values and it’s “why”. The best brands we know have stories to tell and are relevant to their purpose.

Purpose-driven marketing is more than just content. There’s a “why” behind every brand or company’s content. That is why their content connects people on an authentic level. The content that is created is much more than just sales and marketing. It comes with a bigger meaning.

While most brands are familiar with giving back, they aren’t always familiar with creating content that will both engage their audience and drive them to participate. Success comes from developing content in an organic way that brings mutual benefits to all that are involved.

We all like to feel like we are apart of a bigger audience, and that we’re making a difference in the world. That’s why 6 out of 10 millennials have said they chose to work for an employer based on the sense of purpose. Having a purpose-driven brand has become beneficial for businesses due to:

  • Aligning leaders and team members around a common purpose, mission, and culture.
  • Attracts the right type of customers, employees, partners, and investors who believe in your values.
  • Motivates you and your team to be more productive.

Many brands have collaborated with other brands to bring a higher awareness to their cause. This is where purpose marketing shows the cause but also allows a connection to be made.

Dove is a great example of a brand that utilizes purpose-driven marketing. Their missions have been to empower women through self-esteem and confidence. Their “why” is to make a commitment to women’s well being, yet to also show customers that they’re more than soap and moisturizers.

Dove has stated for their self-esteem project, “At Dove, we have a vision of a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Our mission is to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – helping girls to raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential. Their message comes with a purpose other than just selling bath products.

Purpose-driven content marketing is important for any brand or company that wants to engage with their audience. The audience or target customer’s impact on this content is driven by a cause that is spread throughout larger audiences but also promotes the brand in a positive, relatable way.

What is social media marketing?

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media in order to achieve your marketing goals. This includes posting text and image updates, videos and other engaging activities. These may include tools such as a hashtag, which drives audience interaction and engagement.

The use of social media in marketing has brought new consumers to businesses by expanding their audience and directly targeting the audience on platforms that they use every day.

Your business type should inform and drive your marketing strategy. When building a social media marketing strategy, it should reflect the following questions:

  • What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media?
  • What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?

Gathering data will allow you to pinpoint exactly what the consumer wants and how to engage their social media. When marketing is introduced to social media, consumers automatically participate subconsciously, which then drives sales for a business.

Great content and a consistent brand image are what will drive your social media marketing. By staying consistent with your brand and other forms of marketing, consumers will be able to retain your products and relate it back to your business’s core identity.

Social media marketing has expanded due to the increase in usage of sites that target consumers use the most. The most common social media site include:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Social media marketing is effective whether the company acts alone or has collaborated with others. Back in 2015, emojis became a trend among social media users. Brands picked up on this trend and started to use the emojis as well.

Taco Bell, who has an interactive social media presence among the youthful demographic joined in on the trend. Users simply had to tweet at Taco Bell with taco emoji and another of their choice, and the brand would tweet the user back with a humorous mashup of the two images.

Other companies such as Urban Decay used Pinterest to get users excited about a new makeup collection by creating a contest on the social media site where the winner would win tickets to the sold-out music festival Coachella.

Social media marketing has become a powerful marketing tool due to the usage among its target audience and growing youth population. It is an advantage to businesses on staying up-to-date with its audience, but also increase sales as well.

International markets drive a new definition of service

International markets drive a new definition of service

For many companies, their market has been redefined because of the internet. A good or service offered to a traditionally domestic market can now catch the attention of an international audience. Being able to understand and respond to the needs of clients from any location provides an advantage to a company.

Most nations employ English as either a primary or secondary language. This approach helps to breach barriers to your business. Having a well-designed website and utilizing search engine optimization strategies will allow customers and clients around the world to see what your company is capable of doing.

Refining the scope of the markets that you want to address is critical when taking your business global. According to Forbes, you want to “Develop a disciplined method to expanding your business and ensure that every new market you explore offers at least one of the following advantages over others:

  • A larger customer base, potentially with a higher willingness to pay
  • Access to cheaper supply of labor or raw material, leading to cost efficiencies
  • Legal, regulatory, or other systemic factors that make it easier to do business.”

Successful international marketing is similar to marketing in the United States. You have to identify customer needs that your company can address. Make sure your products and services, can address them more completely than competitors in that market sect.

Customers will base their loyalty to a company based on how well their needs are tended to, especially on an international scale. Global customer service is important to any consumer. A company with excellent customer service is more likely to get repeat business from customers. Consequently, the company will benefit with greater sales and profits.

As you consider global expansion, one thing to keep in mind is that you never want to make a move that will diminish success and hard work on home soil. Domestic sales are what got you to where you are and will be the key to expanding that success.

Neglecting your foundation and home market to pursue global markets can easily backfire. By maintaining a strong balance between both markets, you will create a strong brand image at home while slowly establishing yourself internationally. This will allow a company to maintain their core mission while responding to its international potential.

It will take time for a small company to take their business international. But with the right steps and commitment, a small business can find itself competing with larger known businesses and gain the same amount of success.

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s results page (SERP). Complicated algorithms examine tremendous amounts of data to produce these results.

To facilitate this workload, search engines now employ the use of artificial intelligence (AI). This change has made it necessary for legitimate digital marketers to refine their efforts to maintain quality in terms of technical SEO and content development.

The artificial intelligence learns and uses natural language processing, meaning that AI SEO becomes smarter and more human-friendly. AI is trained by using known data, such as:

  • Content

  • Links

  • User behavior

  • Trust

  • Citations

  • Patterns

The AI systems then analyze that data using user experience, big data, and machine learning to develop new ranking factors. The process is capable of producing marketable results most likely to meet user needs.

RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning, artificial intelligence system that helps process its search results. The system uses an entirely new way of processing queries. This portion of the search engine’s core algorithm looks at search terms that have not been used before and compares the keywords against other searches to determine what type of results the end user is looking for.

Google’s RankBrain is just one form of artificial “narrow intelligence,” which means that, while it can perform things better than a human in one specific area, it is still a relatively weak form of artificial intelligence.

Yet, AI offers marketers insights that will improve ad campaigns. Adopting AI specifically for SEO efforts presents marketers with tactics that enable them to rank higher in search engines and get their ads seen by more people. The data provides insight that enable you to optimize a website, build links with the high-authority domains, and identifies the best keywords to use for each webpage.

Artificial intelligence has now progressed into deeper learning. While combined with search engine optimization, the list of possibilities to perform tasks has brought a whole new way to produce search engine results.

The execution of SEO has changed because Google, Bing, and all the other search engines are employing artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate the content of pages.

When SEO is combined with artificial intelligence there are improvements in the results that come from search engine optimization.

Messaging Apps

Messaging Apps

When was the last time you asked someone out on a date, face-to-face? This may sound a bit prehistoric. Doesn’t it? That’s because the simple act of social interaction has been redefined by digital interaction. Mobile messaging apps have revolutionized the way people communicate.

Over 2.6 billion people have at least one mobile messaging app installed on their smartphone device. Today’s global market seems to be defined by a small handful of messaging apps. Each app offers the ability to capture a moment in ways the other cannot. The increased competition for content exposure has forced some mobile apps to implement similar features.

Recently, Instagram integrated a story feature to their app similar to Snapchat. Instagram has a much larger following than the “exclusive” Snapchat. If this new “clone” attempt by Instagram discovers a footing in the market, it shows that market disruption is more useful when one company duplicates the strengths of another and turns them into weakness.

Because of their demonstrated income streams, mobile messaging has changed the way businesses advertise. With these apps, companies are less dependent upon selling their product. Through mobile messaging apps, businesses can establish a presence and create a greater brand awareness.

Profits are often affected by who (or what) controls the information funnel. Corporate giants, such as CNN and ESPN will be distributing original content directly through Snapchat’s new feature.

They’re aggregating people’s attention and linking it to other forms of commerce,” Mitch Lasky told the New York Times. He’s a Snapchat board member and a partner at the venture-capital firm Benchmark.

Mobile messaging apps have changed the way we communicate. They are captivating, exclusive, and unique. They have changed how we share ideas and re-shaped the market, all in the palm of your hand.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality

Augmented Reality is the melding of the real world with the digital world found on your smartphone. Think “Pokemon Go.”

You have more than likely encountered augmented reality, even if the term is unfamiliar. It is not to be confused with virtual reality, another recent development in the tech world. AR is experienced alongside the real world, while VR simulates its own reality.

Charles Arthur, a contributor to The Guardian, describes AR as taking “a real-life scene, or (better) a video of a scene, and add[ing] some sort of explanatory data to it so that you can better understand what’s going on, or who the people in the scene are, or how to get to where you want to go”.

By blurring the line between what is real and what is not, AR enhances the digital experience.

The most well-known examples of augmented reality in today’s market are Snapchat filters and Pokémon Go. While it is more easily recognizable in entertainment, AR has also been utilized in marketing, educational and retail ventures.

Augmented reality is also starting to play a role in the workplace. It has been adapted for certain hands-on training exercises. An employee’s virtual presence erases the need for direct contact with different environments.

Where direct involvement is risky, the immersive qualities of AR allows for otherwise impossible experiences. For example, NASA has started to use it for scientific research. This enables advances in exploration that humans couldn’t achieve. We can’t send a person to Mars, but technology is taking that giant leap for us.

In the near future, you might not even be able to tell who is seeing the world through an AR wearable. Going through a single day without experiencing augmented reality in some way might even be impossible.

As the technology behind AR continues to evolve, its limits will be pushed even further. Think about how Pong and other early video games now seem so primitive, yet they were what introduced many the members of today’s workforce to computing. Their innovations have increased the capabilities of operating systems hundreds of times over.

These same kinds of giant strides in AR are still to come. The next generation might be taught about the game-changing nature of Pokémon Go just as today’s youth learn about Tetris.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has already labeled augmented reality as the ‘next new thing’. Anyone who is familiar with the tech industry will agree: now that AR has captured Apple’s eye, every competitor will be clamoring to take it to new heights.

Corporate transparency vs. sharing too much information

Corporate transparency vs. sharing too much information

Consumer access to information has placed the discussion of corporate transparency clearly before our eyes. This debate is about a company’s ability to be as forthcoming about their brand as possible, in order to gain their customers’ trust. An increasing number of companies are adopting a ‘full truth’ method for a few reasons.

In an effort to increase their public persona, several corporations have made efforts to improve their relationship with their customers. Patagonia, a popular outdoor apparel and equipment brand shows how it provides transparency for its customers.

Patagonia provides its customers with its Footprint Chronicles. This feature allows customers to track the environmental impact of each item sold by Patagonia. The brand offers interviews, PowerPoints, and more, which details the people and history behind the products. For those who are consumers of the brand and advocates for the earth, this feature allows them to be conscious about what affects their purchase will have on the planet. However, this is just one such brand going the distance to provide as much information about the product to the people who consume them. Other brands such as Chipotle and BMW also show a level of transparency with their customers.

 “How much information is too much information? At which point is transparency no longer a viable trait?”

How do you differentiate between transparent communications and tossing out a ‘wall of data’ to justify the request for openness? At what point do you defend your ‘corporate life experiences’ to justify the cost of proactive communication? Every person and corporation have a base of life experiences from which each has grown and learned.

If we were to expose all of our past ‘learning steps’ it could be easily argued that no one may find any one person or corporation attractive. Where do you draw the line between protecting critical competitive data and damage control?

With that said, how we communicate as we move forward is critical. This is an ethical question that every person and corporation must address as move forward. How will they communicate with others? It’s a huge “grey zone” with no defined answers.

Several large corporations are making the shift to transparency. As is so often found in communications, differing perspectives may help to provide a broader insight. Articles from Inc. and Forbes provide an interesting perspective that should be explored.

At the end of the day, how you address this quandary may be defined by a balance you discover between objectives. How do you open your business to your consumer, yet protect the company secrets and interests? Where and how do you draw the line?

Forbes writer, Daniel Newman put it this way “Your consumers will find this honesty so much more appealing than the smokescreen you try to hang over your shortcoming. They will not flinch from giving exactly what you are looking for: their trust and loyalty.”