End of the App Era

While apps have undoubtedly reinvented the tech sector, it’s time for app developers to apply their skills to robust, connected digital products instead.


It's easier to buy than build on Mobile ... but not better for maintaining ongoing relationships

Here is a quick POV… or rant … about brands being obsessed with advertising on Mobile and not building on it. 

It's really easy to buy ads on Google and Facebook. You can even do it automatically with Programmatic services.

Then... Advertising and media promotions let you reach as many people as your budgets allow... 

But ... you are just renting relationships thru publishers and Social Networks.

HERE IS A REAL QUESTION - Do you want to have ongoing relationships with your customers that includes frequent interactions while learning personal preferences to provide exponential value during AND in-between their purchases? 

So... Deep-tech development at the code level is the best way to build better customized customer service methods (not dependent on the Social Network platforms) ... for real reelationships thru frequent exponentially valuable interactions... optimizing at every touchpoint.

We build that.

This includes custom mobile apps and all the other “connected devices” accessed during the user's day across multiple mesh networks...  From the Alexa Echo in the kitchen during breakfast - with the car or throughout the commute - entering locations - logging in at work - team collaborations - customer presentations - restaurants - shopping - back home - "hello Alexa, read me the final list I accumulated today... What do I have to do tomorrow? And who is on Colbert tonight?"

Remember, you cannot provide this (expected!) level of customer service through a Responsive Website limited to their smartphone's browser. Here are 17 reasons why a Native Mobile App is better.

The result is a solution for real 2-way one-to-one loyal relationships integrated with any current corporate systems - marcom, commerce, supply chain, employee engagement, innovation labs!  

Now you can fulfill on the marketer's promise to listen and learn personal preferences ... and deliver ONLY relevant value with the right content at the right time and the right place.

You want that?



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Ripping thru Truths on AmaAppGooBook

Try to keep up with this data-filled tirade on what is working (and Not) around the Four Horseman

 "...Stores are the new black in the world of eCommerce..."

From mobile to mobility to connectivity

Excerpts from excellent CMO interview:

According to Julie Ask, ‎vice president at Forrester Research, mobility represents the third stage of mobile marketing. The first stage, she said, is when marketers realize they need a mobile presence. This often results in the launch of a mobile website. Stage two is the move to a “mobile-first” mindset, in which marketing initiatives are designed assuming consumers are viewing them primarily on a mobile device, as opposed to the desktop. Mobile apps are typically developed at this point, too.

The third, and most mature, stage is when marketers make the shift from mobile to “mobility.”
This move from mobile to mobility is really about thinking less about mobile as a standalone and more about how mobile fits into the overall customer journey.”

Brian Wong, founder of Kiip, said the concept of mobile moments is a long-term strategy, agnostic of device and platform, that lets marketers focus on the core moments their product services… Marketing, in general, is moving to service and addressing needs, he added. “Real estate and impressions are becoming inadequate,” Wong said. “It comes down to the moments of need that we can find and address.” 

Brands should strive for three types of mobile moments—owned, manufactured, and borrowed

“I see it going from mobile to mobility to connectivity, and connectivity happens when mobility starts occurring across multiple devices, multiple networks, and multiple sensors. You essentially start creating what many refer to as the mesh network,” Becker told CMO.com.
That will lead marketers to the “age of the connected individual.”
 ...it has become more and more targeted to getting that message out to specific audiences, down to specific segments, down to, now, specific individuals.

Becker said he expects marketers will start to close the gap between the upper funnel and lower-level paid and owned media advertising. In between, they will drop the idea of intelligent, individualized communication. And as they build up their own databases and capabilities to serve and engage individuals on their own terms, intelligent, individualized communication will come to fruition.  
By 2020, the average individual will have 10 connected devices and probably 140 different sensors, all of which will be collecting data about the individual.
“That data will either be under the control of the marketer, or the market, or the individual themselves… that’s the next battleground for the marketer…
…the next stage of evolution is from mobile, to mobility, to connectivity, and the emergence of the connected marketer.

How Much of the Mobile "Brain" are you Using?

We DO use more than 10% of our brain... 

But you are probably only using about 10% of the capabilities of the smartphone with your mobile marketing.

Because... when a customer goes to your site thru a browser on their phone, they are NOT able to easily benefit from the amazing smartphone functions and sensors.

A "Response Site" is great for building a bigger audience because of easy access from any phone's browser. But the depth of interaction and range of value can only come thru a "Native App" custom designed for the smartphone...

You need a Native Mobile App to get these: 

  1. Quick access with your own branded icons on the user’s home screen
  2. Push notification alerts that come to you when you want them
  3. Instant one-click access to customer service
  4. One-click to call any designated number
  5. Faster info display (even when there is bad wireless access
  6. Secure Integration with mobile payments via Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  7. Elegant integration with your photos and videos
  8. Control of audio and speakers
  9. Accelerometer and motion
  10. Gyroscope and movement awareness for games, etc.
  11. Ambient light reader as a photography tool or situational awareness
  12. Magnetometer for compass
  13. Barometer changes to update weather
  14. Enhanced security tools
  15. Biometrics - Such as a fingerprint reader
  16. More specific location/movements prompt delivery of more relevant info
  17. “Connected Device” integration with Bluetooth, NFC, etc.
  18. Active triggers like GPS Geo-Fencing and Beacons that initiate the "choice to ignore or learn more" about what's available right then and there!
Companies that take advantage of these with a native app provide a better user experience.
Solve many of your business problems with that brain everyone carries around everywhere...

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Why Starbucks is spending even more to improve its mobile app

The opposite of this (kind of hilarious picture) is true...

Business Insider reports on Mobile and Mobile App marketing.

Starbucks has put significant effort into its mobile app, and that strategy has paid off in spades...

The company plans to increase spending on mobile in 2016 after great success with its app in 2015, according to Bloomberg. By the end of last year, 21% of all transactions at Starbucks in the U.S. occurred through the mobile app. This has positioned the app as one of Starbucks' core business strategy.

The coffee giant debuted its app in 2011 and at the time, the company used the QR-code based app mostly as a loyalty card that gave rewards (such as a free drink) to customers who used it. But in the last few years, the app has grown to become a full experience through which users can order and pay. Starbucks also sends messages that have promotional offers within the app.

The success of this app shows how effective in-app messaging can increase a company's overall revenue. Recent data from Salesforce indicates that in-app marketing is starting to become a core strategy for many businesses.

In 2016, 54% of marketers said they used mobile apps for marketing, up from approximately 27% in 2014 for a year-over-year growth of 98%. An additional 20% said they intend to use apps for marketing within the next 12 months. Finally, 77% said they noted tangible ROI from mobile marketing, up almost 150% since 2015.

Starbucks also plans to begin implementing new mobile strategies targeting more purchases within the app. These strategies include recommendations of more purchases to customers in a way similar to how Netflix recommends TV shows and movies to users based on their histories and tastes.

This approach could increase Starbucks customers' individual purchases by up to 50%, according to Crone data cited by Bloomberg.

An Integrated Employee Experience "Stack"

How are you measuring the value of your employee (and Customer) commitment?

The below slide deck is an introduction to how a few partners are integrating across "The Stack" to answer these 3 questions: 

1) What are you doing to satisfy your employee's (and Customers) need for engagement?

2) What data from your employees (and Customers) are you using to track productivity?

3) Have you considered how more committed employees can positively affect your sales and customer satisfaction?


Contact David Cutler (617-331-7852) to discuss this slide deck. Discover how any single level of the employee management "Stack" can help you improve your company's culture and success... and how combining integrated communications across all levels will lower costs, increase productivity, and provide your own multimedia (and interactive) channels.

FYI, Altimeter has a must-read article on how to make HR a strategic asset in the Digital Era. They also introduce a the idea of communication across the "Experience Cloud." ... or, as we call it, "The Stack" ...

See elements of the stack in action at our demo site:

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Proximity Tech To Humanyze Business

Humanyze is an impressive "HR Tech" company founded at MIT. Their noble mobile mission is to make our work-lives better.

Their multi-media sensor is worn by employees to provide insights on their actions for self-awareness, productivity, and career growth. Management gets anonymous behavioral data (So, not Big Brother) that let's them make better decisions and build their teams based on transparent facts. CEO, Ben Waber, call this "Moneyball for business."

Watch this few minute video interview with Fast Company...

Thank you for Connected Things 2016 at MIT


As part of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge’s Internet of Things (IoT) organizing committee, I’d like to thank everyone that made the 8th annual Connected Things conference a success!

Industry leaders are already harvesting billions in revenue on Connected Products. As more devices get connected, more businesses will be created... and many disrupted ... learn where your business can benefit.

The goal is to bring clarity to a topic where there is still a lot of uncertainty. This year, we’ll go beyond the hype curve and focus on where the money is by showcasing real world use cases.

Proximity Marketing’s Rapidly Expanding Universe

The proximity marketing universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate — with new forms of engagement in new kinds of places. It’s where mobile and digital media meet the Internet of Things.

In this session you’ll actually see how proximity marketers can bring big value to almost anyone anywhere - because this entire Connected Things conference will be a live proximity marketing demo!

All conference attendees will wear Loopd (www.loopd.com) Bluetooth tags. So in this session (and only this session) you’ll see event stats, such as:

   Which Connected Things sessions and exhibits were most popular
   Which sessions and exhibits connected most with attendees
   Which attendees were the biggest networkers
   Which attendees visited the most exhibits
   How much time attendees spent at the event
   How long was the average visit
   How did traffic flow volumes correlate against session and exhibit schedule

Watch a short overview of Loopd in action: 

Loopd CT2016 from Ted Reed TV

It all leads to a fascinating and informed discussion with our panel of leading proximity marketing experts:

Watch the Q&A from this year's Marketing and Media Panel:
Raizlabs panel from Ted Reed TV 

- Moderator: Asif R. Khan - Founder & President - Location Based Marketing Association
www.TheLBMA.org  @AsifRKhan @TheLBMA

- Thomas Walle Jensen - CEO and Co-founder  www.unacast.com  
Beacon-powered Mobile Marketing at scale
Proximity Network aggregator and manager of www.Proxbook.com

- Greg Raize, CEO Raizlabs - Digital and Mobile Agency bringing creative ideas and deep campaign data wwe.Raizlabs.com - https://www.linkedin.com/in/graiz

- Rebecca Schuette - Marketing at Swirl Networks - mobile beacon solutions for retailers www.swirl.com - https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebeccaschuette

- Demo from Thomas Friedman - Business Strategist at Loopd www.loopd.com
Loopd is a super-angel funded Silicon Valley company that has developed a real-time proximity marketing and analytics platform powered by low-cost smart wearable technology.

For Connected Things 2016, we anticipate 500 registrants who share interest in all things ‘connected’. There will be opportunities to enhance your knowledge, widen your network, stimulate your innovative self and expand your understanding of connected things.

FYI - Go HERE to watch a recent 2 hour event when the Enterprise Forum hosted the Location Based Marketing Association (www.TheLBMA.com) and others for a panel discussion about People, Places, and Media.

Please let me know if you have any questions about attending and feel free to share

any suggestions you might have for the event itself. Use dcutler@eatmedia.com 

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Admit The Chaos

"Admit" that there is chaos and confusion around business (and our entire world) these days and you will be accepting the truth... 

It is crazy out there ... user and competitor shifts demand that your business models need to be re-set more often than you want. Perhaps the only way is to find your power by acknowledging that there are more questions than answers.

"Admit" the chaos - give it a ticket and invite it in. Embrace it. Harness it. Make mistakes... demand mistakes.

Try problem-solving like when you were too young to know better. The fountain of youth is acting half your age. This is how smart brands and their cool advertising agencies come up with clever and memorable branding ideas... Break some rules since they are already broken.

One tactic is to re-discover your Strategic Sweet Spot - What do you do for your clients that your competitors can't?

Ask and Listen ... Give your brand to your customers, employees, partners, and favorite vendors and ask for their opinions... insist on the truth. Insist again. 

Get guidance from experienced (yet still very optimistic) Creative Technologists like Raizlabs ... they live their mission every day - to Improve Lives With Design and Technology... Mostly Mobile. They build trust with clients by being realistic while reaching for the right goals. They acknowledge your resource... fill in the gaps... and harness the right team that can help you discover what you should do and manage the deep tech to do do exactly what you need. 

Anyone telling you they have it figured out is lying. The only way forward is through honest conversation about your situation at this moment ... the relevant market shifts ...and the DISCOVERY of your best opportunities TOGETHER.

So... give yourself a break for not having your strategy all wrapped up - nobody does.  Have a few conversations with your most trusted advisors. Admit the chaos. Admit the truths about what you are doing right and wrong. Then think deeper about how your business can change now and over the next few years. Then think wider about how your ecosystem in your industry is being disrupted - with or without you.

The answers will come after you...

Admit The Chaos
Admit The Truth

Read here about being Adaptable... and the value of duct tape.

Share this post at http://bit.ly/AdmitIt 

Thanks for another great image GapingVoid

Don't Act Your Age... But Take Control of Your Mobile

This is a great time to think young and get control over BOTH your audience touchpoints and your content they expect to see on their smartphones.

Managed properly, smartphones are the ultimate "people finder."

One of our projects, MarComTechLab, helps companies get comfortable with the right new technologies ...and take action.

Yes, there has never been more distractions to reaching your customers, employees, and partners. But now, with smartphones, it has never been easier to provide value at exactly the right time and really engage.

The secret is software ... use a reliable PSP - Proximity Services Platform. These are new and earning their place as the next "WordPress for Mobile App content management." There are hundreds to choose from. We have assessed some of the best for:
  • Specific industry situations (hospitality, employee management, ERP, etc.)
  • Ability to learn and automate engagement
  • Flexibility for integration into your existing systems
  • Ease of use... including campaign templates for valuable and fun interactions Such as games, quizzes, augmented reality set-up, loyalty point manager, fast feedback surveys, etc.
Here is another secret to life:

Working with young-minded marketing communication technologists (and the platforms they develop) is the fountain of youth for company professionals. With the (right) new tech capabilities and attitude, you can act half your age and actually do what you can dream of.

Remember how great life was when you didn't worry so much ... fewer complications meant more optimism for possibilities... and your mantra was "yes!" 

The stars are aligning for this to happen again... with the rise of the "on-demand economy," the technology ecosystem is catching up to our dreams. Here is a top 10 list:
  1. Smartphones are at about 80% coverage
  2. High-speed Internet is everywhere and we are all "always on"
  3. Social sharing is easier as we realize where it is truly valuable
  4. Security and privacy are finally a priority
  5. The cloud is now the right place to manage your digital life
  6. The best services are easy to test ... then integrate with your own systems
  7. Big Data is getting cut down to size for relevant analytics
  8. Machine Learning, Sensors, and AI are decades old and working (now called IoT)
  9. Location sensors and triggers (that have been proven in supply chain and military) are ready for you. See our POV on Mobile Beacons HERE
  10. Whatever new tech is launching this week... we are evaluating it!


We invite you to your own set-up in your own Internet laboratory where we help you control your Mobile interactions at the right time and place with a PSP - Proximity Services Platform. Cheap, easy, scalable, accountable... Really.

Also, feel free to share this post at www.MarComTechLab.com

David Cutler
Publisher of www.EatMedia.com

MIT Video Presentation and Mobile Beacon Demo

Watch the full 2 hour event video below from the MITEF presentation and panel discussion about hyper-local mobile marketing.

David Cutler prepared a custom app for the event and demonstrated the capabilities of Beacon technology. Read more on his EatMedia article at "Beacons Beckon." 

See panelist info and details at: Redefining The Customer Relationship Via Hyper-Local Marketing Solutions

Here is the entire event from attendee intro... to panel conversation ... to Beacon demo/dance at the end:

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Geofencing and Beacons Beckon ... Wake up!

Mobile Beacons are your next best friend. These cheap little things will be everywhere to "wake up" the right section of a mobile App that matches exactly where your audience is. 

Think about the value of instantly getting info on your phone about the product or service in front of you... without needing to search, tap, hunt... then being able to easily take action, opt-in, share, purchase!

As I have said before, It's all about the App... and how you manage content to and from them ...So, it's really all about Proximity Management. Of the many ways to engage all the truly amazing features of smartphones... Mobile Apps, GPS/Geofencing and Beacons are the best (however, we can discuss situations where WiFi, NFC, and RFID make sense). 

See a map of where the Beacons are across the US

From the Mobile Marketing Association, watch a presentation on the state of Indoor Locationing, a Year After the Beacon Buzz -- http://bit.ly/24wrP44

Remember ... when a customer goes to your site thru a browser on their phone, they are NOT able to easily get the cool smartphone stuff like: easy access with branded icons, instant customer service, faster info display (even when there is no wireless access), single loyalty program HQ, m-payments, camera, and of course what this article is about... active triggers like Beacons that initiate the choice to ignore or learn more about what's available right then and there 

Ask us about a demo for ideas, vendors, and lessons from our many "proximity" deployments that can help you easily use mobile to service your customers AND employees.

Here is our updated overview of Mobile Beacons:

Beacons are the answer to customer service at the right time and place while building individual customer knowledge and (only when appropriate!) increasing sales.

The goal is to use Beacon "touchpoints" of data to build a REAL profile of your customers and automatically deliver relevant value at their points-of decision.

Watch a short video from one of our vendors...

Here's the secret... with the right hardware/software platform (more here), you can deploy a mobile marcom infrastructure stack out of your laptop. Cheap. Easy. Powerful.

A simply great use is by Walgreens - Customers were forgetting that they had been saving coupons. Beacons at the front door just automatically opens their App ... Easy value! 

Beacons are the next land grab (literally) for the Internet of Things.

A Beacon can go anywhere. They do not need power because batteries last for years. They do not need internet connection since they merely transmit a signal that anonymously (!!) opens a mobile app that corresponds to that specific Beacon location. 

Each Beacon is only about $25 ... think "free" with the right partner. Imagine the many opportunities to manage employees and satisfy more partners and customers.

So... with a little box and some optional data integration, you can:
  1.  Automatically open the right section of a mobile App and engage
  2.  Provide real value with the right content at the right time and location
  3.  Help users find info so they do not need to hunt, click, and swipe for it
  4.  Deliver only relevant experiences by acknowledging user preferences
What Should You Do With Beacons?

Coupons, offers, and delivering deeper product info are all smart. But also consider the ease of facility management (what should happen where and when). Allocate Beacons for "passive data" not to interact, but only to count customers in key locations.. alert your sales associates about a customer service opportunity right now in the store!

Read how the Magic Kingdom VERY successfully tracks and loves you!
See a 1 minute overview of their RFID proximity service:

To quote GigaOm (RIP), "the best prospects for beacons in the near term may lie in venues such as amusement parks, museums, sports arenas, hotels,and mass-transit hubs. Venue operators can easily use beacons to deliver information users actually want in those kinds of scenarios, and that could pave the way for uptake of beacon-based (advertising and promotion) campaigns in retail settings."

See the Proxbook Report on Proximity Service Provider Networks HERE

Some related buzzwords: 
VIP 3.0, Micro Geo Fence, Context for communication, Proximity Profiles, Predictive Customer Service, Wiser Wayfinding, a solution to Showrooming ... Digital Delivery for Analog Aspirations!

The market opportunity for retailers is huge - now:

(No B.S.) Details:

-  Yes, you need an App to be triggered ... there is one near you (or in your near future).
-  Yes, Bluetooth must be turned on ... but if the App is valuable, users will want to turn on this surprisingly low-battery-consumption feature
-  QR codes and NFC are good - but require user to get up and touch or scan.
-  GPS and Wifi are not better. Neither can pinpont your exact location and both require much more battery power and cannot trigger your phone to take action (you must be actively viewing and swiping). 

Most U.S. smartphones are currently enabled to connect to beacons using Bluetooth BLE 
(Android 4.3 and iPhone 4S or later). As people upgrade their phones, this is expected to grow to 80% over the next 18 months 

Eddystone is Google/Android proximity platform... like Apple's iBeacon but adds:
- ability to push URL
- Beacon captures more data about it's location - telemetry, environment temp, etc.
- AND no need for App!... the phone can accept data and interact with existing Apps (lots of opportunity AND trouble ahead here)

Here is Apple's iBeacon page
See info on Google's Eddystone tech
Having Beacons are not even necessary - ByteLight uses LED lighting!

Market Details and the Challenge:

Click to enlarge this screen shot of a helpful  "Beacosystem" presentation HERE:

Get the full range of opinions from videos of the sessions at Mediapost's first IOT:Beacon conference and their second conference... to learn about real world deployments by vendors, agencies, retailers, and the Brooklyn Museum. Here is the good intro overview panel. Another recent online event with more video sessions is BeaconConf (find speaker presos here). For an updated directory of Proximity Service Providers, see here.

Growth is already happening:

(Thanks for the images Creative Commons Nitro, BII) 

The Challenge... 

Abuse of this marketing and communication channel is as likely as you see in all media.... only worse since the mobile phone is such a personal and important part of our lives. We must respect this small screen in our palms AND build listening into our deployments. We must offer valuable content so consumers opt-in, continue to engage, buy stuff, and share with their friends. 

Digital data feeds are the key. The more relevant the better. Can you deliver live, dynamic info related to a specific location? However, you can easily setup relevant content in advance that matches what you want to offer a customer in a specific location... and on their CUSTOM TOUR (I am yelling because this individualized service is what Beacons are best at).

Security and privacy are on the top of our list. We harness military-grade encryption and make sure that spoofers don't hijack anyone.


If you use the right Campaign Management System, the right data is easy to deliver to the right person at the right place. FYI, we have tested and chosen the best CMS... you are actually looking for a PSP - Proximity System Platform - learn more about these at my other post HERE.

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