Archive for the ‘Mobile Marketing’ Category

Innovation in Alcohol Marketing

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Heineken demonstrates unparalleled alcohol marketing strategies

By Andrea Donaldson

I don’t always praise beer companies for their alcohol marketing strategies. But when I do it’s Heineken.

Heineken, now the world’s third largest brewer, has spent the last decade innovating their way to the top of the beer industry. The company is now the world’s first and only truly global beer brand. Their extensive portfolio includes huge import brands Newcastle, Amstel, and Dos Equis. But, even more impressive is their brand availability in more than 178 countries. Although the company has made major business moves by acquiring brands and joint partnering with big names like Kingfisher, it is their alcohol marketing strategies that have had the most impact on customers. Their top three have increased Heineken revenues the world over.

1. Guerilla Marketing: Heineken has always been a company that thinks out of the box. In 2011, at a music festival in Poland, Heineken established a sponsored tent that allowed festival attendees to make their own QR codes. Attendees wrote a sentence about themselves and Heineken printed a sticker that other festival participants could scan with their smart phones to access the personalized statement written by

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the wearer. The campaign was an instant hit as it served as an ice breaker to meet other music lovers.

2. Packaging: Heineken’s traditional green bottle has become iconic. However, that doesn’t stop the company from constantly gussying up their bottles. Heineken has experimented with a square bottle design that was introduced to save space in coolers and refrigerators. They have also released bottles that have hidden designs that can only be seen under black light. But, my personal favorite was showcased this week at the Milan Design show. Heineken’s newest bottle innovation, “Ignite,” features LED lights that brighten up social drinking. Experience a flash of light through

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the bottle whenever you take a sip or cheer a friend. The LED lights can also be programmed by a DJ to light up to the beat of a song.

3. Social Media: Heineken has utilized social media to stay current and on the minds of their customers. The company constantly updates in order to drive conversation; the most popular social media conversation for the company being The Most Interesting Man in the World posts. Unless you have been living under a pile of rocks, you have seen the Dos Equis advertisement featuring “The Most Interesting Man in the World” living adventurously and enjoying a Dos Equis. The slogan, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis” has even sparked an internet meme that features individual’s customized slogans, like my very own featured above.

Although Heineken has been criticized for constantly switching alcohol marketing firms, it is clear they are doing something right. Heineken has experienced 14 percent growth and Dos Equis is up an astounding 33 percent in sales this past year.

So, what’s next for the unstoppable beer giant? Heineken international released intentions to take on the senior market. But, that’s an article for a different day.

Beer Future: Coming to a Bar Near You

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Technologically advanced beer walls allow customers to be their own bartender

By Andrea Donaldson

Has anyone else experienced the exhausting battle of trying to get a drink in a crowded bar? Initially, the fight is with the crowd. You must deal with the jerks who will push, shoulder, and argue their way to the closest bar opening. And once you’ve finally secured the coveted empty bar location, round two begins. Getting the attention of the bartender. Of course we all have our tricks, whether it be holding out cash to show that we’re ready or desperately trying to force eye-contact. But, aren’t we all just tired of the hassle?!

Fortunately, the newest trend in beer dispensing has arrived. They call them beer walls. These state-of-the-art devices feature up to eight taps that patrons themselves use to pour their own beer. The dispensers have tablet screens that feature information on rotating taps, the ability to hold five full kegs, and computers that keep records of everything. Aside from the customer’s ability to save on tips, here are five reasons why these beer walls will prove to be a major success.

1. Record Keeping: Owners are provided with access to an online database that keeps up-to-date records of all beer wall transactions. Owners can use this information to track consumption habits and create promotions that are specifically tailored to their patrons.

2. Information: Ever wondered more about a beer on tap than the bartender could tell you? The beer wall features tablet screens that provide customers with extensive information on beer choices. The wall also prints the customer a receipt detailing all of the beers they tried. Customers can easily remember which beers they liked and continue to build a loyalty to particular brands.

3. Online features: In a world where everything is going viral, why shouldn’t your beer habits? The beer wall features a “buy a round” option online. This feature allows for patrons to purchase beer online for their friends at the bar. Another online feature alerts patrons when an exclusive brew has been added to the beer wall. Customers can select the “reserve my pint” feature and guarantee a pint of beer before the keg blows out.

4. Advertising: The beer wall opens up an entire new world for advertising beer. Companies will be able to utilize the interactive tablet screens to push new products. They will also be provided with demographic information about their customers. The wall sets up an account by checking a customer’s identification card. Breweries will be able to access information on exactly who is buying their product. The beer wall could potentially offer interactive surveys and other features that could be very beneficial to marketers.

5. No waiting: The beer wall features the ability to allow multiple people to pour beer at the same time. Also, if it is typical for customers to experience lengthy waits at your restaurant, a beer wall just might be the perfect distraction.

Although excitement and curiosity were my first responses to the new device, I received mixed concerns from customers at a local pub in Louisville, Ky. Some people questioned if this type of device would damage the service industry. Would customers tip less, because they are used to doing the work themselves at other bars? Others mentioned how uncomfortable they would be with a bars ability to access their personal information. They also showed concern over the price shock of finally receiving the bill at the end of the night and realizing each taste really added up.

It will be interesting to see how cities around the nation react to these new devices. I know I will be excited to play with the first one I come across.

Work Cited: Innovative Tap Solutions, (2013). Retrieved from

Texting: Mobile Marketing Popularity

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Texting: The Most Popular of All Mobile Marketing Strategies TextingShort Message Service (SMS) mobile marketing, also known as texting, is an outstanding avenue for small business owners to reach their customers. Almost all cell phones have the capability to

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send and receive text messages and cell phone owners have the ability to opt-in and opt-out of receiving text messages. Customers can opt-in to receiving a company’s text messages by texting a keyword to a short code. A common short code (CSC) is a five or six digit phone number that can send and receive text messages. A CSC that is exclusive to a company can be quite expensive so most small businesses prefer to share a CSC. The keyword that the customer uses is what distinguishes one company from another. The keyword ensures that customers are connected with the correct company. All

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of the major wireless telephone carriers can support CSC. After a customer sends the keyword to a CSC, they will receive an auto-reply message. The auto-reply message confirms their participation in the text messaging campaign. Why would a customer choose to participate in a text messaging campaign? There are many incentives a company can employ to entice participation:

  • Mobile coupons
  • Discounts only available to customers on the texting list
  • Participation in contests
  • Advance notice of sales
  • Advance notice of new products
  • Ease of ordering a product or service
  • Priority in ordering a product or service

By using the text messaging marketing tool, a small business can contact their customers anytime and anywhere and rest assured that the people they are sending their messages to are people who want to receive them. And if a customer decides that they don’t want to participate in the campaign any longer? All it takes is a click on the opt-out link at the bottom of every message. Of course, it is the small business owner’s top priority to make the incentives so attractive that a customer never chooses to opt-out! By Peg Glover    

QR Code: Really Worth the Effort?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I must admit that I am probably considered a late adopter of QR (quick response) codes within the advertising, marketing and public relations professional arena. While I have been an owner of a smartphone

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for several years, it wasn’t until recently that I downloaded an application onto my smartphone to read QR codes.

What I discovered about QR codes, from my personal experience, and to borrow a line from Shakespeare is that they are “much ado about nothing.”

There are some real problems with scanning a QR code with a smartphone and getting valuable feedback or in some cases getting feedback at all. As a consumer, I prefer to shop in large discount stores such as Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart. Often times, the reception I get within these large ‘warehouse’ stores is poor if existent at all. Therefore, the QR code means little to my shopping experience within these walls.

Freeway billboards often have a QR code in the advertisement. I have never been quick enough to complete a scan as I flash by a billboard. Plus, I like to keep my eyes on the road when I am driving so scanning a QR code from the

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Then I have received a QR code within a text advertising message or e-newsletter on my smartphone. Hmmm? How is my smartphone supposed to read that code?

Having read that QR codes have been overwhelming adopted by various European markets, as well as Japan and South Korea, I thought I’d read some solid research on the topic.

I downloaded Russell Herder’s* findings on a research project they published in August, 2011 titled: The QR Question, Are QR Codes an effective marking tool for engaging customers?

Noted within the paper is that QR codes have actually been around since 1994. QR codes were created in Japan by a subsidiary of Toyota and were originally designed to track auto parts. No wonder Japan has a high usage rate of QR codes within the consumer market. Their use of QR codes has been evolving for seventeen years.

Some of their key findings include (and I quote the paper):

  • “A surprising number of consumers demonstrate a significant lack of understanding as to what QR codes are and how they work.”
  • “Seventy-two percent of consumers say they have seen a QR codes, yet nearly three in 10 do not know what it is. Further, nearly one in five people who regularly go online via their mobile phone do not know what a QR code is.”
  • “Nearly four in five of those who have scanned a QR code have done so more than once. Perhaps more importantly, however, only 31 percent report that what they receive in return is worth their time.”

These finding support my personal experience with QR codes. That is certainly not to say that QR codes are going to have a very short life span within the U.S. marketing and advertising world. But it does seem obvious that if QR codes are going to find a solid and long-lasting spot within the advertising and marketing world, then the information provided by the QR code must have high value to the consumer.

By Peg McRoy Glover

*Russell Herder is a twenty-eight year old creative, strategic and research marketing firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The report The QR Question, Are QR codes an effective marketing tool for engaging customers? is part of their Thought Leader series.

Hello. What’s in Your Google Wallet?

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

What’s in Your Wallet? Is it Google Wallet?

Google WalletImagine not having to make another payment with coins, paper or plastic cards. Say good-bye to our past, and say hello to our future. Introducing the Google wallet, where everything that once was in your wallet, is now on your phone! So, leave your wallets and credit cards at home. All you need is a charged phone.

Right now, Google wallet is only available to stores that offer the electronic payment application. Within time every store will offer the Google wallet.  It’s available for the Sprint Nexus 4G and the Android phones. The iPhone is currently in the process to have access to it. Only two kinds of payments can be used, MasterCard and Google Prepaid Card.

More and more stores are taking this route for future purchases with customers. Presently, Google wallet is working with and encouraging companies to make it accessible for their customers.

Google wallet makes the check-out process faster and easier. Customers can also redeem coupons and use their rewards cards. American Eagle Outfitters offers the Google wallet. When a customer is ready to purchase his/her items, he/she simply takes out their phone, clicks on the app., and “swipes” or “taps” the phone over the register and the transaction is complete. After a transaction is complete, there is a confirmation notice that appears on their phone to make sure the purchasing process was successful.

It’s as easy as one, two, three.

Not only does Google wallet make the purchasing process faster and easier, it simplifies the purchasing process and keeps customers organized. Customers won’t have to dig through their purse or back pocket and search for their credit cards or coupon. Instead all they have to do is pull out their phone and “click.”

Many wallets are unorganized with coupons, credit cards, rewards card and personal identification cards. Google wallet can prevent disorganization by making it applicable for people to have their credit cards and coupons on their phone.

I’m sure the biggest concern people might have is the security factor.  “What would happen if my phone was stolen?” In this situation, you would contact your bank and wireless company. Basically, it would be the same procedure you would take, if your credit card or phone were lost or stolen. “How safe and secure is it?” Google wallet has a secure element function which is designed to protect the data that is stored.

“How does it protect my payments?” Again, all data is stored in a secure element, which is separate from the phone’s vital operating system and hardware. Google also requires a PIN number before an initial payment occurs.

As consumers, we need to educate ourselves on upcoming technology such as the Google wallet. It will help us understand and become accustom to a new advancement. Making payments through our phone, without the usage of credit cards, is our future as consumers in the marketplace. Leave your wallet and bring your phone!

by Lauren Becher

YouTube Power: 4 Ways to Help Your Business

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


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By Ashley Phenix

Once a video goes viral on YouTube, it is everywhere. People talk about it, talk shows put it on their funniest video segment, and even put non-sports related videos in their “extra mustard” section. Fifty percent of all YouTube content has been actively viewed by adding comments and ratings. Viewers help the video go viral by sharing the link on various social networks, Facebook being the most common.

Pepsi on YouTube

YouTube has many purposes, the obvious one is to entertain the public. So how can businesses best tap into the millions of daily viewers? Put something on You Tube! Here are four simple ways to use YouTube to support your business.

1. Promote

Rebecca Black was just a teenage girl with a dream. Thanks to a music video and over 2.5 million views, she became known by practically the whole country. True, it may not have all been positive feedback, but she definitely has made a name for herself. The popular TV show Glee even did a rendition of her song.

Black Friday

2. How-To

The best way to expand the value of a product in the eyes of a potential consumer is to demonstrate how to maximize the benefits of the product through its many uses. Dove has an actual ‘channel’ on YouTube where they post various videos helping consumers know how to best use Dove. Dove wants to help promote positive self-esteem and help consumers build confidence about their inner beauty.


3. Product Enthusiasm

When a new product is going to be introduced into the marketplace, the best thing to do is put teasers into the media. It builds enthusiasm through curiosity and intrigue. Samsung is coming out with something very new and releasing the big news at their Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2011 conference. How do you get people who don’t normally go to these types of conferences to get excited about something big? Get your video on YouTube. This YouTube video received more than 1.7 million views and over 1800 comments in five days. Samsung on YouTube

4. Manage Bad Press

Unfortunately for Dominos, a video was placed on YouTube with employees disrupting the sanitary properties of their outgoing pizzas. This video got so much press that it forced Dominoes to react fast. They took this opportunity to take the bull by the horns and release positive PR with their new business plan of inviting customer’s feedback and inviting people to be open about what they like and what needs work.

YouTube has so many uses when it comes to promoting a product or a cause. The best part about using You Tube in your advertising strategy is that it is free and word-of-mouth plays the biggest role. If your video goes viral, it is talked about, viewed, and remembered. You Tube holds great advertising power through the simple act of exposure. Exposure is everything.

By Ashley Phenix

QR Codes: It’s a revolution

Monday, December 12th, 2011

QR Codes: It’s a revolution

QR CodesQR codes are something that is revolutionizing the United States and other countries around the world.  A QR code is a two-dimensional matrix bar code that is used to identify products. It can store up to 4,296 alphanumeric or 7,089 numeric characters (  It was originally made for the automotive industry but has since been applied to many different industries and has the opportunity to change the way we live our lives.

QR codes have been placed in various places for people to quickly scan with their phone to access the hidden information.  The codes are unidentifiable until scanned, so no one knows what the codes say or even what they are for.  This unidentifiable information could be taken to the next level if applied to certain industries.

At a certain time in someone’s life, one may have to take advantage of the assistance the government provides when in a time of need.  The government offers a variety of different assistance programs such as food stamps, unemployment and health care.  When one has these assistance programs, he/she is given a card for that specific program which is often times a certain color and easily visually identifiable.  This could be embarrassing for people, especially if they have never before needed assistance.

QR codes could ease the embarrassment of using these government assistance cards.  Rather than the cards being a certain color or having any words on them at all, they could simply be one big QR code.  In order to do this, the government would have to reshape how things are done.  They would have to accommodate the use of these codes and constantly update the information of the people using the cards.  Also, in order for all of the embarrassment to be removed, it would help if other industries did this as well.  If all of the debit and healthcare cards looked the same, no one would know who has what.  Doing this would also provide a sense of privacy for people.

It would take a lot of effort to get these cards changed but it would be worth all of the trouble.  People should not feel ashamed when they are going through a tough time and have to take advantage of the assistance.  By having these unidentifiable cards, other people would not even be able to know the card holders name until the card is scanned.  QR codes are revolutionizing the world. This is the future.

By Tasha McClure