Thursday, 10 December 2009

Bar Codes on Bars

QR codes are essentially 3D bar codes that can be read by the camera on your mobile phone. They have become increasingly common on products and print ads in the US over the last year or so. Google take the idea one step further and will begin sending out window posters to over 100,000 businesses over the next few weeks. each of those posters will contain a QR code that will allow mobile phone users to obtain additional information about the business on their mobile device. Once users have passed the logistical steps and assuming that they have the correct reader application for their device, they will be taken to Google's Place Page (example above) for that location and presented with detailed information including user reviews and ratings, a map and contact information. Google is also allowing businesses to uses the system to provide coupons to customers.

Look out for codes on your local...

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Social Collectivism

To help celebrate the 40 year anniversary of the Internet, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) set out to learn how quickly people could use online social networks to solve a problem. More than 4,000 teams participated in this national balloon hunt.
Effectively 10 balloons were deployed across the US and a 40,000 dollar prize went to the team who first identified all 10 locations correctly. That team was from MIT and was led by Riley Crane from MIT's Media Lab. Another example of the applied power of the social networks which were abuzz all over the weekend as the different teams applied different strategies to garner the location information.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Targeting Offers

Interesting article in the NYT on a company I did some exploratory work with a couple of years ago with my previous company. Next Jump is a stealth e-commerce player who have built a data rich platform over the last several years that (according to the NYT) may soon rival Amazon.

The things I specifically about the company are their modest approach to building a robust business model based on consumer insights and their realization (in both senses of the term) of the "value exchange" that needs to exist between consumer and marketer. Next Jump claims to have 90,000 corporations, 28,000 merchants and over 100 million consumers active on their different platforms which include employee discount portals, loyalty rewards redemption and the Yahoo! Deals' Personal Offers platform
Next Jump also delivers a significant - 60% - click-through rate. Not bad when compared to the 5% average...