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What are you doing with your unused marketing real estate?

February 4, 2014 Mobile, Social 1 Comment

Engage customers and add a new dimension to your packaging, POP, vehicles and promotional materials. 

by Brad Beckstrom

What is “marketing real estate”?  Any company that makes a product, or serves customers, has marketing real estate. By real estate, I mean the white space on things like packaging, mailings, point-of-purchase materials, vehicles, uniforms and sales materials.

McDonald’s serves 69 million people per day.  Let’s say that, based on this amazing number, they serve up about 60 million cups per day.  Based on the number, the space on those cups has some very valuable marketing real estate. What is that space worth to Coca-Cola? What would it be worth to Pepsi? How many people see that Coca-Cola logo a year on those cups?  Based on my back of the napkin tabulations, about 22 billion people in 181 countries.  That is some valuable marketing real estate.

So, a few years ago when McDonald’s decided to make their global packaging more consistent and use this space more efficiently, they put a lot of thought into it, including engaging a global advisory board in the process. They wanted packaging that was attractive, but could work in multiple countries and languages with many different types of promotions.

One of the top priorities was the ability to use this packaging to engage and communicate with customers instead of just sharing a logo or a web address.  After successful test case studies around the world, McDonald’s decided to add a third dimension to their packaging globally with a far reaching mobile web strategy —  incorporating QR Codes.


The QR codes drive smartphone users to a McDonald’s mobile website with product information, nutrition information special offers and promotions.  The QR Code destination, mobile websites, promotions and special URLs can be updated digitally without expensive changes to packaging. This helps  large companies avoid waste when packages containing special promotions, product information or nutrition information inevitably change.

Most importantly, it makes efficient use of valuable real estate on every cup, napkin, bag,  placemat, product package, point-of-purchase material in every McDonald’s worldwide.

You don’t have to be McDonald’s to make use of your valuable marketing real estate. QR codes and  mobile short codes can be used by any small business when creatively incorporated into your marketing real estate to engage your customers.  Here is one example of one incorporated into a coaster from Stanley Park Brewery.

Reach out to ApolloBravo for a free mobile marketing strategy consultation and advice on incorporating The Mobile Web, QR Codes and Mobile Short Codes into your valuable marketing real estate.


Brad Beckstrom ApolloBravo

Want to drive safe and foil speed cam fails? Check out the updated and free WAZE app

December 12, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment


My wife and I are not speeders. Unless you call driving 8 to 10 miles per hour above the posted speed limit, just to keep up with traffic, – speeding. In the DC Metro area driving at the speed limit can be dangerous. We have both also been “unfairly” nailed by speed cams in DC.

To solve this problem, we recently installed the WAZE app. Wayz in addition to being a solid GPS also allows users to share speed cam, speed trap and driving hazard info. These alerts then show up as icons with warnings. This comes in real handy for avoiding accidents and bad road conditions.

The app recently bought by Google for just over $1 billion dollars, so I think they may be onto something. Google paid 1 billion but you can get it for free here

MasterCard is working with retailers to drive m-commerce via QR codes

November 26, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Apollobravo mastercardNew York: MasterCard, in a bid to enhance its positioning in the smart wallet race versus rivals Visa and American Express, has launched a mobile commerce program incorporating QR codes.

QkR A new app currently being tested by MasterCard in the US, Europe, and Australia allows consumers to quickly purchase and pay for products from QkR enabled merchants using a smartphone. Users only need to register their card details to start using the app. QkR Also accepts other major credit and debit cards so consumers can register more than one card.

This year a trial program conducted at New York’s Yankee Stadium demonstrated to MasterCard the demand among baseball fans for acquiring hot dogs, pretzels and other game day goodies via the new technology. Similar tests are underway in Dublin, Ireland and Sydney, Australia.

MasterCard is demonstrating to sports fans and movie theater patrons the advantages of quickly ordering food and merchandise via QR code. These include:

  • No lines, just scan and the food will be delivered to your seat

  • Simple repeat purchase process for – that second beer

  • Never lose a receipt and remember all that food you purchased

  • Option to use debit cards or credit cards

  • A wallet feature in the platform also allows users to also complete and store transactions using rival credit cards Visa and American Express

  • Retailers can tap into MasterCard’s QkR platform to manage transactions

The QkR app also makes transactions more engaging allowing consumers to redeem special offers directly in the app, no coupons or codes necessary.

More info on driving mobile commerce via QR codes

App Info Via MasterCard Engagement Bureau and WARC

10 tips for boosting conversion rates and search engine performance using an Explainer Video

November 13, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Do you have a product or service that requires a lot  of explanation?  Sometimes it’s tough to get your message across in three paragraphs on a landing page. Add a one minute Explainer Video to to increase conversion rates and search engine performance by 20 to 75%.

Recent Explainer Video for ASM by ApolloBravo

Here are our tips for creating and using an Explainer Video successfully:

  1. The script is very important. Don’t just do a product demo. Tell a story about how your product or service solves problems.

  2. Keep your message short.  The best length for Explainer Videos is about one minute. Getting your message across in a minute and 10 seconds is okay, but beyond that viewers really drop off.

  3. Use a video host. You can host your video on Vimeo and embed it  in blog posts (like this one), product landing pages, Facebook, slideshare and your homepage. If you’re going to create a great Explainer Video don’t just hide it in one spot.

  4. Distribute, distribute, distribute. There are over 50 major video sites out there beyond YouTube. We really like Vimeo.  Here is a list of 300 more. Pick 10 that best fit your product or service.  Examples: cooking, how-to, technology.

  5. Tag it. Once you embed your video, make sure you include plenty of tags as well as key points in the video description.  To optimize for search, you can also include the entire script.

  6. Make it easy for others to share your video by turning on sharing and including links in the video frame via Vimeo or YouTube. Also allow others to embed your video on their site and share.

  7. Include a call to action. Give the user next steps at the end of your video. You can embed a link or “get started” and contact info.  Sometimes just an simple 800 number works best.

  8. Quality matters. If you’re doing video animation, you want your color scheme to take cues from your branding and logo design. The video should look like it belongs on your homepage. If it’s not an exact match, you can improve it with just the thumbnail displayed at the beginning of the video. Sites like Vimeo allow you to select your thumbnail from any point in the video. This thumbnail will be displayed wherever you share the video.

  9. Keep an eye on your results. Use the analytics features on sites like Vimeo to track all of your embedded views and sharing across all sites, not just your home page.

  10. Think of your video as the perfect pitch for your product that runs 24/7 in hundreds of locations in front of thousands of viewers.  That’s a lot easier than flying around to tradeshows. Keep it fresh and up to date and it will pay dividends for years.


Here are a few Explainer Videos we’ve produced at ApolloBravo.  Take a look and give us a call if we can help you create your perfect pitch in an animated explainer video.

Think random

October 31, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Think RandomRandom winner sweepstakes can instantly reward customers from thousands of different points of entry.

Let’s say you want to run a sweepstakes. You want to engage users across multiple devices, print ads, point-of-sale materials and social media. You want to capture all of the entries in one database, regardless of whether they entered via text message, online or responded to a brand representative at retail. Finally, you want to have multiple winners randomly selected from the entire database of entries.

ApolloBravo developed our SocialPromoter platform with just this type of promotion in mind. We use responsive web design to adapt to thousands of different device configurations and drive traffic with mobile tools including Text-2-Win, branded QR codes, interstitial ads and innovative web apps.

ALL Strike out stains

At the Little League World Series, ALL and Snuggle brand representatives engaged visitors and captured entries via tablets and smartphones. Consumers could also enter by scanning a branded QR code. All of the entries were captured in one database with automated random winner selection and confirmation.

Brands also have extensive options to extend contests via social media with sponsored stories on Facebook or twitter. We also offer the ability to accept email addresses and ZIP Codes via text message for text to win promotion extensions.

Reach out to ApolloBravo for a free consultation on sweepstakes strategy, planning and technology.

Mobile store Info searches rise to 73% – Take control of your customers mobile experience.

October 3, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment


By Brad Beckstrom

You’ve seen them. Teens in Best Buy or shoppers at Target madly scrolling through their smartphone, often walking straight into your shopping cart. A new study shows there’s a pretty good chance they’re not on Twitter or Facebook. They are checking competitive prices, product info, reviews, special offers and more.

Consumers who use their smart phones for product pricing and info research at retail has risen from 34% in 2012 to 73% in 2013, according to a recent study by Local Corporation.

An even higher percentage of consumers (79%) use their smartphone to access information about a local store or restaurant they’d like to visit. These same consumers agree that their smartphone is great for accessing special offers and coupons from retailers.

The study included additional stats, but the key numbers in answers to all questions including, product reviews, competitive pricing, checking for sales and specials, and online orders, had engagement levels among mobile consumers, above 60%.

Retailers, restaurants and all small businesses need to put their customers’ mobile experience first. Step one is making sure your mobile website adapts to different devices and loads quickly. Many consumers are in their cars and are often on slower devices or slow networks.  Step two is to get them the information they’re looking for. Having your menu on Yelp next to some flaky customer reviews won’t cut it. You need to start with a well-designed mobile landing page or responsive web site with your business’ basic information.

Once this is in place, you want to make sure all of your business pages on Yelp, Facebook, Yahoo, Google+ include your website link with device detection so that mobile users can find you and get the the info they are searching for.

When you have the basics covered, then you can start adding bells and whistles like mobile optimized menus, email and text message opt-ins, social sharing, photos and product information. The goal is to make sure that you’re in control of your customers mobile experience. If you search for your business and Yelp, Twitter or Facebook show up as the first or second results. that means they are most likely controlling your customer experience on mobile.


Over one third of mobile phone owners using the device as their primary means of internet access.

September 18, 2013 Mobile, Social 1 Comment

A 2013 study from PEW Internet found that 63% of  mobile phone owners use their device to access the Internet. More importantly, 34% of those users stated it was their primary means of access to the Internet. Many of these users are following links shared on social media, apps and email (still the most popular app on smartphones).  With the proliferation of free Wi-Fi and all-you-can-eat data plans the average smartphone user has many options for accessing the web and working remotely.  Because 91% of Americans now own a cell phone, this number will only continue to increase. Device manufacturers like Apple and Samsung continually up the game with the quality of the browsing experience and the speed of the device. Apple’s new iPhone 5S is more powerful than many laptops and certainly more convenient for quick access to information.

mobile internet 2013













What to do with this data? Seriously consider taking a mobile first approach to web design, advertising and consumer promotion. Instead of designing a website or digital campaign for traditional browsers consider first what it will look like on a smartphone. Using this approach it’s easier to then make the campaign or website responsive so that it opens up and breathes when viewed on a traditional browser.  Another option is to use mobile redirection for a fully custom experience.

10 powerful ways to increase customer engagement through mobile marketing

September 11, 2013 Mobile, Social 1 Comment

A quick, highly visual overview of 10 of the secrets to increase customer engagement through mobile.  After seven years in the mobile marketing space these are some of our most effective methods for reaching customers through mobile marketing.

[slideshare id=26105401&doc=mobilecustomerengagement-130911123147-phpapp01]

40% of SMBs Now Accept Payments with Mobile Credit Card Readers. Engage customers with mobile receipt delivery.

August 9, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Brad Beckstrom

mobile commerce

A new report from The Local Commerce Monitor. BIA/Kelsey’s ongoing study of the advertising behaviors of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), indicates that there’s a steady increase in SMB’s that are going mobile.

The segment with the largest increase are SMBs that accept payments at the point-of-sale with a mobile credit card reader.  Small credit card readers like square plugged into iPhones are becoming a ubiquitous payment option from small food trucks to growing retail locations. The study showed that 40% of SMBs are using some sort of credit card reader attached to a smartphone or tablet. Another 16% plan to add this capability in the next 12 months.

The study pointed out that 32% of these same SMBs are using some form of mobile advertising to promote their business. The recent jump in Facebook revenue reflects the rapid SMB adoption of mobile ads with the social network.

There is an opportunity for SMBs and major retailers to opt in consumers for future offers by allowing consumer to receive a copy of the receipt via email.  The key is not to ask for too much information or go through some complex app authorization screen. Just capture the email address “only” to deliver the receipt. With the receipt you can include “an option” for the recipient to opt in to surveys, receive future discounts and special offers.

Take your cues from much larger businesses like Apple Stores that do a good job at this. If you opt in to receive your receipt via email that that’s what you get “ just the receipt.”  However, at the top of the receipt you will notice a link with a “tell us about your experience” survey. Within that survey, or directly on the receipt, you can include an opt in for future offers, social links, and promotions. Apple takes it one step further with a survey that helps them better define the future needs of any small business.

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 10.09.46 AM


If the customer uses the survey link just to complain or does not opt in to other offers you have still provided a useful service and you’ve learned something about your business. You have the option to bring that customer back into the fold with a quick response, solution and/or special offer

Once your list starts to grow make sure your survey, emails and links to coupons and websites are mobile optimized more responsive to multiple device sizes. It consumers are going to use these offers at your retail location they are going to be on a mobile device.

Contact us for mobile commerce options and a free mobile readiness evaluation.


TV no longer commands viewers’ full attention

July 31, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Mobile commerce TV viewers

By Brad Beckstrom.

You’re watching a show and you can’t remember the actor’s name so you grab your smart phone and visit IMDb. A sport’s stat on ESPN prompts a friendly disagreement and the smartphones come out in search of the truth.  Or, if you’re like me, you may not even be using the TV to watch a show at all.  You may be using it to stream music through Pandora while running a slideshow through Flickr so  you can get back to that book on your iPad.

A recent study released by Google noted that 77% of TV viewers use another device while watching TV in a typical day. So you’re not alone in your ADD.  These simultaneous activities can often be complementary usage, for example “doing a quick price check on a product being advertised” versus multitasking, ”clearing out some old emails while watching a rerun.”

In either case, the vast majority of these TV viewers will be visiting your site on a mobile device. There are two other things, TV viewers will be distracted, and they won’t stay long.  If you want their attention, it’s very important to assure they land on a page with a great call to action and free of clutter.

There are several options here, the first is to make your entire site responsive to mobile devices, especially smartphones. This way you’ll be sure to present a page that is acceptable to a mobile user and easy to navigate.  Another option is to use code that detects mobile devices and sends them to a landing page on your website designed specifically for those users.

To come up with the best solution for your business, blog or website you should think about how users may come across links to your site. Do you include links to your site in emails? Is your product advertised or promoted on TV? Have you thought about using Google AdWords for mobile or Facebook mobile ads to promote your product or service? All of these will have an immediate impact on the number of mobile visitors to your site.  You should also install and use Google Analytics on your site to get a feel for the current number of visitors arriving via mobile devices.   Don’t depend on analytics alone as it often shows you what users are working with on your site versus what they want.  Reach out to us if you need help coming up with the full picture.


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