Eat, Pray, Love?

Carmudgeon Corner

Can we discuss this “Eat, Pray, Love” phenomenon?  I mean really.  Have you read the book?  I’m sorry, I love Julia Roberts to bits, but I can’t relate.  There has been a lot of lunchtime discussion on this at BluePoint and, I feel I must speak in defense of hardworking people who would never in a million years spend so much money or take so much time off to travel and probe our navels.

I’d like to introduce this author to some real people who work hard and enjoy it, are highly valued by their managers and clients, pay off their college tuition bills, pay for their own weddings, exercise to stay healthy, take care of their children and families, and embrace each day.  Oh – by the way, they work for charities, travel abroad when they can, support each other, take the trash out at work and stand by their values.    

OK – now, here’s the kicker – they don’t feel sorry for themselves.  They find joy and fun in every day. They laugh at each other and themselves.  They have figured out what Elizabeth Gilbert has taken years and who knows how much money to discover.

Can we please issue a collective “GET A GRIP”?

Why Facebook Keeps Google Awake At Night

With more than 400 million users, Facebook now accounts for 11.2% of the world’s total time spent online and 42% of Canada’s population are members. Facebook is clearly a global a force to be reckoned with. Facebook also continues to battle Google for online market share and mindshare, as well as for talent. While Google far surpasses Facebook in search capabilities as an information aggregator, Facebook had one clear advantage – people implicitly trust information that comes from their networks and friends. Roughly 110 million people worldwide use their data-enabled phones to update their Facebook status and read their newsfeeds from literally anywhere. For these users, Facebook is just a click away at all times. So, what does this mean for advertisers?

Highly-targeted self-service ads based on information about users, which individuals or small businesses can design with a simple jpeg image, easily afford and closely track the results of, is one reason Facebook ads have taken off. Facebook ads are organic – designed right on the site. Due to Facebook having such a rich data set, advertisers no longer have to track users behavior to determine where to advertise – they can join conversations in targeted environments using Facebook’s market research. The data of 400 million people: where they reside, what their interests are and more importantly, who their friends are, is invaluable to marketers. It is no wonder why 66 percent of all marketers have now integrated social media into their strategy in some way.

Whereas Google returns advertising results when searches are conducted by users, Facebook targets ads to you to help you determine what consumers need or what might be interesting to consumers – generating demand and building a proposition for brand advertising. Facebook’s revenue, likely to reach $1 billion in 2010, is largely driven by low-priced small self-serve ads ($300-400 million), engagement/brand ads ($100million) and Microsoft’s ad campaigns ($50 million). In addition, applications inside Facebook that host ads to direct users to other applications get roughly fifty cents per click-through.

Media companies or outlets also have an important use for Facebook. If an organization is represented on the site and frequently updates its page, its information is aggregated into its “fans’” news feed – right where information about the “fan’s “friend’s reside.  Given that Facebook likely will challenge conventional media financially overtime, many media outlets are embracing Facebook as a way to interface with the masses. In fact, Verizon recently incorporated social media sites such as Facebook into its FIOS package – subscribers can now update their pages right from their TV.

Google has had a long-standing interest in acquiring Facebook, though much to the chagrin of his fellow board member s and advisors – Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) is not motivated by money. In fact, that is why he refuses to disrupt user’s experiences with banner ads and page takeovers – even though he has been approached and offered large sums of money to do so. To Zuckerberg, growing Facebook’s user base is far more important than monetizing it.

In the meantime, advertisers will continue to get highly-targeted ads for what many consider to be “a steal.” With more than 50 percent of active Facebook users logging in daily, spending a combined 500 billion minutes each month on the site, Facebook will continue to shape the media landscape and generate incremental ad revenues that surpass Google in the next five years. That’s my prediction, what do you think?

**Note: The information and data contained in this post is based on the data presented in “The Facebook Effect” by David Kirkpatrick.

-Posted by Danielle Millerick

BluePoint of View has a new home!

Santa came early to BluePoint, and we’re excited to share our gift with you!

Check out our brand new website, and new home of the BluePoint of View blog. Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds to www.bluepointmktg.com/blog moving forward.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

In Memory of Dick McGlinchey

 

Posted by Alison Moore

 Dick McGlinchey co-founder of BluePoint Venture Marketing dies at 60

 Richard (Dick) McGlinchey, accomplished marketing professional with a career spanning three decades, died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Lexington on Wednesday night. In addition to recent heart disease, he had been battling a progressive neurological disease, Multiple System Atrophy, for the past four years.

Dick worked with many of the area’s top technology companies and founded three   Boston-area marketing and public relations firms, where he applied his intuitive understanding of marketing strategy to help client companies across a variety of sectors.

Dick’s knack for translating complex early technology products into understandable terms catapulted his career from small agencies to the position of Marketing Director at McCormack and Dodge, a pioneering software company. He subsequently founded McGlinchey & Paul; Meridian Technology Marketing; and Bluepoint Venture Marketing – as well as Europlus, a consortium of European marketing firms.  From 1999 to 2004, Dick was a Venture Partner at Battery Ventures, where he directed marketing and strategic initiatives for the firm’s $1.8 billion portfolio of early-stage technology companies. Most recently, he served as business advisor and Board member of Isis Biopolymer, a medical device company developing a revolutionary non-invasive drug delivery system.

Dick was well-known in Boston-area technology circles for his dry wit and his penchant for auto racing and ice hockey. As his children grew, his free time centered on them — coaching youth hockey and serving on the Board of the Boston Youth Symphony. All who knew Dick knew his love for Prince Edward Island, where he shared a second home with his beloved family and two pet Corgis. 

Throughout his career and personal life, Dick displayed a zest for life and his generous spirit touched many lives.  Although he had retired from BluePoint, his guidance and friendship have stayed with the BluePoint team.  Friends of Dick will remember him for his uncanny ability to connect with people of all kinds coupled with a certain fearlessness in telling people when their marketing was all wrong.  He was a loyal ally and could always be depended on for solid advice and a good laugh.  In a characteristically Dick moment, he was once overheard telling a client, “You think we’re good now? You’ll see just how good we are on a bad day”.  A bad day, indeed. Dick will certainly be missed by all his former colleagues and friends.

Dick is survived by his wife of 26 years, Sara; daughter, Elizabeth, of Montreal; and son; Andrew, of Lexington.  A service will be held later this month in Prince Edward Island, with a Boston area memorial service being planned for this spring. Donations may be made to the National Ataxia Foundation (www.ataxia.org); the Northeast Animal Shelter (northeastanimalshelter.org); or the Friends of Brackley and Covehead Bays (stanhopecovehead.pe.ca/friends).

 

 

 

Giving Thanks

Ten things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving 2009:

1) Our dedicated, hardworking and smart BluePoint team members and the great results they generate for clients every day.

2)  BluePoint’s clients! You know who you are – both the current and the “alumni.”  From Archer to Zingdom and everyone in between.  Some have been “serial clients” of ours from previous lives, some have moved onto new gigs and brought us along for the ride. Some we are into year two and three of our relationships, some have been fun projects that gave us an opportunity to something completely different.

3)      The BluePoint second floor loft office space we thoroughly enjoy every day.

4)      Technology that allows you to work anytime anywhere and service our clients across the globe.

5    FOB – friends of BluePoint – the growing list of clients, former clients, former colleagues, consultants, etc.

6)      Professional (dare I say friendly) members of the media – reporters, editors, bloggers, analysts, influencers, buyers, events coordinators, etc. who make our sometimes difficult jobs more enjoyable when they treat us and our clients with respect even in stressful times.

7)      The collective sense of optimism that seems to be gaining more and more momentum as we head into 2010.

8)      Bentley University – for giving us a couple of great employees over the years and some terrific and really smart interns.

9)     The local venture capital community and our friends here who not only find and fund the startups and emerging growth companies in the Boston area, but also call on BluePoint to help raise their profiles and give us great insight into the “big picture.”

10 You, our loyal readers of BluePoint of View.

Submitting an iPhone App – A Primer for Marketers

Apple recently announced that there are now 100,000 Apps in the store.  That’s a lot of Apps, but what amazes me is that 100,000 people have successfully submitted to the iTunes Appstore.  Seriously.  Apple’s stringent guidelines must be followed to the letter.  All the marketing assets must be submitted along with the App code itself.  One mistake will earn you not just a trip back to square one, but a likely machete attack from a team of sleep-deprived developers who have forsaken family, friends and food to get the App developed. 

 

So, in an effort to assist my fellow marketers and/or the hapless developer attempting to handle the marketing aspects of an iTunes Appstore submission, here’s what we learned from our recent submission.  My sources are Apple’s own 112-page document (get the login info from your engineer and go to http://developer.apple.com and download ITC_Dev_Guide_5.0 for your beach-reading pleasure), research in the iTunes Appstore itself plus some good advice from others who have learned from trial and error.

 

1) The first thing you should know is that once you submit, you cannot make any changes without resubmitting the App and the marketing assets all over again.      

 

2) For the person in charge of the marketing components of the submission, the most relevant sections of the iTunes Connect Developer’s Guide are ppg. 5-7, 29-38.  It’s also a good idea to read the Best Practices Section ppg. 110-112.

 

3) Here are the marketing components needed for submission. (See pages 5-7 in iTunes Connect Developer’s Guide)

 

Application Name: No longer than 255 characters.  It must be unique. You may get rejected if you get too cutesy with search terms here.  Stick with the name and keep it simple.

 

Application Description:

  • No longer than 4000 characters (Apple recommends limiting to 700), plain text only.  No HTML tags.
  • Line breaks will appear as inserted. 
  • Headers should be used to offer the reader relevant information, quickly.
  • Don’t include listof keywords here.
  • Users will likely be downloading from their devices, so the description should be concise enough to appear “above the fold” on the device.
  • Small icon image accompanies description at the top.
  • For optimal viewing on device, avoid dense paragraphs of copy.  Where possible, use bullets and line breaks to make it easy to read.
  • On device, user must scroll through ALL text before they get to additional visuals.

 

Typical section headers under application description:

******* 3-4 WORDS *******

Who uses this App?

What’s new?

Features

Killer Features

Reviews

User Quotes – (Make sure you get usable quotes from beta testers, ask permission to use their first name and last initial)

 

Category:  Choose carefully – put yourself in the user’s place – what category would they put the app in?  Choices for categories are:

 

Book

Business

Education

Entertainment

Finance

Games

Healthcare & Fitness

Lifestyle

Medical

Music

Navigation

News

Photography

Productivity

Reference

Shopping

Social networking

Sports

Travel

Utilities

Weather

 

 

 

Copyright: Year. Company. All Rights Reserved.

 

SKU Number: Any UTF-8 alphanumeric sequence you want to use as a unique identifier in the system.  No kidding – you just make it up yourself.  Consider whether or not you are likely to make other Appstore submissions at a later date and try to create a number you can sequence out.

 

Keywords Field:  Up to 100 characters comprised of single words or phrases, separated by commas.

  • Apple recommends making keywords as specific as possible.  More general keywords are likely to send seekers to other Apps.
  • Keyword terms must be related to the App content and cannot contain offensive words.
  • Keyword abuse (Use of other application names and use of unrelated terms is discouraged by Apple and frowned on by the community.)

 

Artwork: (See pages 5-7 in iTunes Connect Developer’s Guide)

App Icon – you’ll need to create a square tile icon design for use in your App and as a recognizable image in the App store.

  • Small icon should be submitted as 57px square, 72ppi, RGB, flattened, no transparency, 24bit PNG file
  • Large icon should be submitted as 512px square, 72ppi, RGB, flattened, no transparency, high-quality JPEG or TIFF

 

Use up to 4 screen shots in addition to the primary one.  How to capture screen shots:

  • Make sure content on screen shot is legible on an iPhone.  Remove status bar.
  • Take screenshots from the target device (not a simulator).  To do this, hold down the Power button and press Home button.  The screenshot is saved to Camera Roll.
  • Use Xcode Organizer.

 

Application URL: Oh yeah – you gotta build a Website too!

 

Support URL: URL for specific support section on Website.

 

Support Email Address: An email address where Apple can contact you if there are problems with the App.  This is not seen by customer.

 

End User License Agreement: (EULA) Not required.  If a EULA is not submitted, Apple will insert the standard version.  If a custom EULA is being submitted with the App, the following guidelines apply:

  • Plain text – no HTML tags
  • Line breaks will remain

You must indicate in which countries the EULA applies.

 

Got all that?  Good luck!

 Posted By: Alison Moore

(Disclaimer:  BluePoint shall not be held responsible for rejected Apps or any damage or damages inflicted on persons or property by frustrated App submitters)

College Students Have a Strong Foot Forward, Despite Tough Economy

As a recent alumnus of Bentley University, I attended the career night for Marketing, Communications and Management majors last Tuesday to represent BluePoint Venture Marketing. The event, held twice yearly, serves as a forum for marketing majors and prospective marketing majors of all ages to network with companies ranging from a boutique agency like BluePoint to companies the size of Target, and everything in between. It was a very interesting experience to be at the event representing a company and not the one seeking a job, as I had done in previous years.

 I spoke with freshmen who were looking for information about what BluePoint did,  how I got involved with the company and  where a major in marketing could take them. I also spoke with more  assertive juniors and seniors concerned about our hiring plans, having done a lot of research on BluePoint with polished resumes in-hand. A few students asked for advice as to which major would be the most beneficial if they were looking to pursue a career in PR, what would be the best minor to compliment their major and what PR/marketing agencies look for on resumes.

 Freshman or senior, the one thing all the students had in common was drive. They all had relevant industry experience they were excited to share with me and impressive internships at corporations and non-profits worldwide that they hope to leverage in their next position; they all looked me right in the eyes when they talked to me and they networked like pros (some even waited in line to speak with me), unafraid of the current market conditions. The students I met with had held roles as brand associates, advertising interns at design firms, managers of entrepreneurship organizations, promotions assistants and sales associates.

 As a result of this event, I have a few take-aways that everyone should keep in mind at networking events and when looking for a job/internship:

  1. Remember, not all companies participating in a networking event are looking to hire. By making the “job opening” the main objective of your discussion, you come off as having an agenda and do not seem as though you are interested in building relationships. Relationship building and networking is often the key to getting a job.
  2. Do your research. It is very easy to point out who took the time to figure out what you do and, surprisingly, not many people take that crucial step. Creating Google Alerts and reading industry news are great ways to prep for a networking event.
  3. Even though it is not a formal interview, appearance is just as important during networking events as during an interview. Act like you’re on an interview and dress to impress.
  4. If you are looking to make a good impression, speak with recruiters alone instead of coming with a  group of friends.
  5. When describing experiences on your resume, be as specific as possible and provide metrics. Answer the employer’s questions: How much? How often? When? (e.g.: I  cut costs by 60% in my department in 6 months).

 With unemployment at the highest rate in decades, taking the advantage of every opportunity to network is crucial to any job search.

 Good luck to all college seniors and everyone else in the job search process.

 – Posted by Danielle Millerick

 


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