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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

But Wait, There’s More, on a Smartphone Near You

In Business, Media, Opinion, Uncategorized on March 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm

From the DIH Archives. Originally published, April 24, 2012.

dih-logo-SEAccording to a recent survey by CBS News, there are more than 4.6 billion cell phones in the world and the potential for perspective mobile marketing is virtually unlimited. Experts believe that soon mobile marketing will likely become the most influential advertising medium of all time, surpassing even television.

Mobile marketing utilizes the data capabilities of smart phones, tablets and other portable devices as advertising media. The concept originated around 1999 with subscription-based text messaging services that were free to the customer but paid for by sponsors.

Since then, mobile ads have blossomed from short text message blasts to detailed ads, complete with video and sound, sent directly to the smart phones and tablets of buyers when they are closest to shelling out their cash. Sometimes the ads reach potential customers while they are standing in front of the product display in the store. Many ads encourage the viewer to scan the 2-D, block barcode in order to take advantage of special offers.

Sometimes, it can take decades for a new process like this to catch on, often failing on the drawing board. But, with the feverish demand for more and better mobile technology, the field has advanced from in novelty to practical application in only a few short years. Improvements on quality, signal, delivery and service by wireless integrators has only served to increase the response by the consumer to buy more and better smartphones and tablets.

The more devices there are in the hands of the users, the more advertising opportunities exist for business. Some estimates suggest by 2015, more than $163 billion of worldwide sales will come as a result of mobile advertising, in part because of the potential pinpoint accuracy of customer targeting.

It may seem as if advertisers are the only beneficiaries of mobile marketing, but that’s not the case. Consumers are in a unique position today to save money on products and services that they are likely to buy anyway. Often mobile advertising offers on-the-spot, and in some cases exclusive, savings directly through a smart phones – the modern equivalent of an in-store coupon.

Mail order online shopping may also be irrevocably changed by the mobile revolution. Consumers can get an ad for an item on their smart phone, touch the screen a few times, and the product is on its way to their home; quick, easy, and effortless.

For retailers, the advantage is being able to reach a more direct market, giving them more for the dollars spent. But that doesn’t mean it is cheap.

Continuous innovations in technology will require sellers to spend millions more every year just to keep up with the competition. As each company strives to outdo the others, those innovations will grow exponentially to meet the demand and the consumer will be hit broadside with an onslaught of ads on everything from cell phones to blue tooth headsets.

Even in the grocery store, we are bombarded with digital messages!

Even in the grocery store, we are bombarded with digital messages!

Avoiding such a barrage of mobile ads may be near to impossible but the best way seems to be by opting out of every possible source of marketing. For example, free applications (aps) for cell phones and tablets often require the user to be subjected to advertising – that’s how the providers pay for the free ap. Users need to carefully read each screen as the product is installed and used for the first time. Often additional options for the receipt of special offers can be declined only at that time. Once a marketing ap has entrenched itself in your mobile device, there may be no way to remove it.

As an ever increasing number of ads light up the screens of smartphones and tablets, at some point the buying public will begin tuning them out and, indeed, insisting they stop. At present, though, advertisers have their feet firmly planted in the trenches of mobile marketing and they’re not likely to change their tactics anytime soon.

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Be considerate of those around you

In Food, Health, Opinion, psychology, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Uncategorized on September 10, 2013 at 9:20 am

DIH LOGODid you ever see someone behaving a certain way at work or in the grocery store and it made you just want to walk up and say to them, “What is wrong with you?” I have; more times than I can remember. On the whole, people annoy me. Maybe it’s because as I get older, I have less patience for “stupid.” It could also be that people are becoming less thoughtful and far more self-centered than ever.

Here’s an example. One afternoon, I had stopped in at on of the big-box, discount megastores to get some orange juice and aspirin. As I stood patiently in the “20 Items or Less” lane, a middle-aged woman in a leopard-print blouse and hair curlers motored past me on one of those electric shopping cart scooters. She was steering the scooter with one hand and with the other she dragged another full sized cart behind her like a trailer.

STORELINEBoth carts were filled to capacity with loads of healthy foods like barrels of cheese balls, cases of beer and soda and, of course, spray cheese. Although there were other check-out lanes open for larger purchases, the woman obliviously whizzed by everyone in the line and parked her rig right in front of me. All of the adjacent lanes were equally full and what was going to be a 5 minute wait was now bordering on a half hour because either she couldn’t read or didn’t understand the meaning of the words, “express lane.”

For a few minutes, I just stood there; a bit stunned at the woman’s total ignorance that she’d completely jumped over at least four others in line ahead of her. I debated whether to say anything but kept quiet. After all, no matter how rude she had been, I would just end up being the mean guy who scolded an apparently disabled older woman on a scooter. It’s a no win. So, I bit my tongue, opened my aspirin bottle, downed two tablets with some of the juice, and waited.

We all have moments when we’re in a hurry, totally consumed by our own interests and feeling like whatever we’re doing should be just as urgent to those around us. But, short of a natural disaster, that’s almost never the case. In fact, most people have absolutely no concern for your interests because they, themselves, are too wrapped up in their own issues. That doesn’t excuse a complete lack of common courtesy, however.

Lately, I’ve noticed it more often in younger people, walking along, even in a store or down the street, with their noses buried in their cell phones, unconscious to the world around them. No one looks up anymore. No one smiles. No one says, “Hello.” People act as if they are traveling in a bubble, where it’s unnecessary or at least undesirable to interact with anyone else in the real world.

I’d like to be able to blame social media and technology for all of this, and it definitely has altered how we behave towards one another. But, ultimately, it’s our own fault. We choose how to act and interact. If all of your interpersonal relations come through Facebook or by text, you might want to consider taking a class or getting a hobby that requires you to intermingle with other people outside of cyberspace.

As for those like my scooter-riding line jumper, I doubt anything will alter their way of thinking. Society will always have its share of self-centered people who have little regard for common sense or good manners. How the rest of us react to their behavior is really what will make the difference.

Maybe if I had complained to the woman in some polite, diplomatic manner, I could have quietly helped her to another line. But, given that she didn’t seem to notice there were other people around her, it’s unlikely she would have responded to reason.

In the end, it was best to keep the peace and let each of my fellow shoppers decide on their own alternate course of action. But to those of you with no regard for others, keep in mind that I may not be so polite next time. Be nice to people. When all is said and done, all we have is each other.