Archive for November, 2009

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.

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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

 

100,001 apps and growing

My son’s iPod Touch can fart in 32 different tones.  A recent visit to the App Store yielded featured apps on everything from finance to survival shooter games. I can find happy hour discounts in 5 cities, but I can’t find a good grocery store app that will help me list items by department. Nor can I find a good expense tracking app for my business.

Apple recently announced that the iTunes Store now offers 100,000 apps. Oh great – that should make things much easier…..

Actually, help is on the way for all us hapless iPhone and iPod Touch users looking for apps we can use. We (the BluePoint team) have been working with envIO networks on the launch of Chorus – a free iPhone app that went live in the appstore today. OK – I’m definitely biased, but Chorus really is the granddaddy of all apps – it’s the app that will help you sort through the clutter to find the apps that are right for you based on what your friends are downloading and using.

But don’t take my word for it. See what the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and TechCrunch have to say about it.

Want to learn more?  Check out the app and if you like what you see, download it for free from iTunes [iTunes link].  Don’t forget to post a review and let your friends know what you think.  Tweeters can go to @ChorusApps and let us know what you think.

— Posted by Alison Moore


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