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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.

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]

A bad mobile experience can cost you customers

June 13, 2013 Mobile Leave a comment

mobile Experience

Think about it. Have you ever used your mobile phone for search? Most people do. When you find something you’re looking for, do you click on it? Most people do. That’s why it’s so important to optimize your website for mobile. A recent study from Google and Nielsen showed that 61% of customers who don’t see what they’re looking for right away will quickly move (or bounce) to another site. There are lots of options including responsive web design and handset detection that can allow your website to automatically adapt to phones, tablets, mini tablets and those big things we see people holding up to their ears called Phablets. 

A great tool for brainstorming

May 10, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 9.02.46 AMWe’ve been looking for something like Trello for a long time. Trello Is promoted as a project management system. As a digital marketing agency we’ve got that down. What was really missing was a global collaborative space to share ideas and brainstorm. At the core of Trello are cards that are used to share and organize ideas. People can collaborate using tablets, smart phones and traditional browsers.  This is ideal when trying to brainstorm with folks in different locations and time zones. People can also vote and share ideas outside of the group.  As more of the best creative’s in the business ditch their commute and learn how to work from home  apps like Trello become very valuable. Think of it as a digital whiteboard that doesn’t end up a scribbled mess, or have the words “do not erase”, scrawled above it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

More here

Recent poll : 71% of consumers would consider using a mobile coupon on a date!

April 30, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

When my wife and were  saving for a first home I remember going through a phase where I printed out coupons for free entrées in local restaurants.  These coupons and other discounts like the entertainment card would always raise eyebrows with the wait staff. It was especially fun when your coupon was rejected and had to be returned to you. ” Sorry sir this is only for our Plattsburgh location, you will need to pay the entire check” .  After a while I gave up on them as I am sure many restaurant goers did. But now as I pull out my iPhone 5  redeem a 50% off  Groupon at a  nice local seafood place  it just feels a lot like handing them your American Express card. In fact American Express has even built in some offers with foursquare. Waitstaff response “that’s cool”.

Our recent recession combined with rapid acceptance of smart phones has really changed this whole process from something very difficult to something so easy so that it’s just second nature for many people now. In fact a recent study has shown that only 9% of consumers believe using a coupon would label someone as “cheap”.  So here’s the big number – ApolloBravo mobile emailers71% would consider utilizing a coupon on a date and not attempt to hide it!  However I would most likely not recommend this on first dates.  see study below via Warc

US consumers rely on coupons

AUSTIN: Consumers in the US are spending less on meals at restaurants, new clothes and higher-priced groceries than five years ago, while relying more on discounts and coupons, a survey has found.

RetailMeNot, a digital coupon site, polled 1,101 consumers online for the financial literacy edition of its Shoppers Trend Report and found that more were actively saving money than before.

“Consumers are emerging from the Recession of 2008 having learned a valuable lesson, that saving money is a good thing,” said Trae Bodge, senior editor for RetailMeNot.

“Today’s consumers have higher expectations for what they can do with their hard-earned paychecks,” he added. “They also want more for their money and are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that they get it.”

Significant proportions of respondents had reduced their outlay on meals at restaurants (49%), expensive groceries (44%) and new apparel (46%).

At the same time, 51% of consumers who used coupons stated they used them more today than five years ago, while 37% said they used them more than a year ago.

Economic factors were the main reason for the increased usage of coupons, either because respondents’ personal finances had declined (43%) or because the recession had made them more conscious about the importance of saving (31%).

But 23% indicated that their increased use of coupons was simply because technology had made it easier to find and use them.

“Couponing as a necessity gave people a taste for savings, and consumers will continue to look for ways to get more for their money,” noted Bodge.

In general, coupons had a positive image, with 59% of respondents regarding people who used them as “savvy” while just 9% reached for the description “cheap”.

Interestingly, some 71% said they would consider using a coupon on a date and would not attempt to hide it.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff , 30 April 2013


Engage Your Consumers on their Mobile Devices

March 28, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Photo sharing contests are a great way to connect with your consumers and prompt them to engage with your brand.  And, using Facebook as the vehicle to bring awareness and participation to your campaign is fantastic … unless those consumers are primarily using a mobile device to access the Facebook platform.  Currently, Facebook desktop and Facebook mobile operate like two completely different platforms.  Facebook is in the midst of optimizing the mobile newsfeed to engage their mobile consumers, but that doesn’t expand to facebook apps.

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Your brand spends money to advertise to and engage your consumers on Facebook; it’s affordable and effective to build your Facebook community and social media presence.  The number of active daily visitors visiting Facebook on mobile devices (680 million active users) now exceeds the number of traditional desktop users.

What happens to your brand’s consumer promotional engagement on a mobile device?  Is that Facebook Like-Gate page collecting mobile fans or the Facebook Photo Sharing Contest App even reaching your consumers?  Currently, on mobile devices like smartphones, it’s not.

Think about it.  What device do you use most frequently to check Facebook? Are you satisfied having your brand top-of-mind only from the comfort of a desktop computer?  Let’s face it – your phone is a social device.  You have it with you at all times. By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people. (Source: Cisco, 2013)

Don’t despair, ApolloBravo makes Facebook Apps mobile! Apollobravo builds mobile-friendly apps allowing your fans to access, view and interact with your Facebook Desktop version of the contest or sweepstakes app.And the best part is that the mobile app and the facebook app are seamlessly synced.  Advertise your promotion in a Facebook Ad or simply post to your fans’ newsfeeds with the confidence to drive awareness and increase participation …. Even on a mobile device!

Check out our current Jagermeister Brother in Your Corner Photo Contest … from your desktop OR your mobile.

Explosive mini tablet growth to fuel m-commerce, and hasten PCs decline

January 15, 2013 Mobile, News Leave a comment

Here come the mini tablets. Or are they just big phones? With devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note its hard to tell. But if that size doesn’t work for you there’s many more like the iPad mini or Kindle fire HD.  The widespread availability and low cost of these new devices is accelerating the mobile impact on PC shipments, and the PCs role in e-commerce. Results from research firm Gartner indicate that PC shipments were down 4.9% to 90.3m units, a drop which it did not attribute solely to a weak economy. “Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, “not so much by ‘cannibalizing’ PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs.”

Additionally these mini tablets are highly portable and are being used more and more for impulse purchases.  Like a phone many have built-in 4G access, cameras with QR code scanners, and even NFC near field communication. Here’s a list of several hundred mobile devices that are NFC enabled.

So how does this all impact mobile commerce?  One example, at CES we saw a demo from the first chain of NFC supermarkets in Paris. So forget about 3-D or HD have just old-fashioned 2-D where consumers can quickly scan to purchase items and have them ready for pickup or delivery. So in fact you could have a C store display in a Metro station linked to a vending machine for a fast automated shopping experience. Read more about the NFC supermarket here

NFC and  QR code scanning is just the beginning. Engaging consumers in this way allows brands to opt in consumers for future offers, promotions, more product info.

Questions about m-commerce?  Reach out to ApolloBravo the consumer engagement experts.


Note to Chief Marketers: Get in the social currency game.

December 7, 2012 Social Leave a comment

This survey shared by socialmediatoday  is another in a long string of data pointing to the fact that among consumers interacting with brands it’s more about social currency then social media.  The study points out the  disconnect between brands and consumers.  Here are a few of highlights.

  •  65% of consumers connect with a brand for the games, contests and promotions
  •  79% to take advantage of special offers and discounts
  •  People are connecting with brands via social media because they expect something in return
  •  Consumers see this as social currency
  •  When CMO’s or asked this same question they believed that these consumers were looking for content and only 27% of the same CMO’s believed that consumers were seeking special savings, experiences or rewards.

That’s a big disconnect. So the challenge for marketers is to engage consumers as the first step in starting a conversation.  Pony up your social currency at the front door.  This is especially true with new product introductions or brand extensions which 55% of consumers want to hear about.















From the looks of things not many CMOs and marketers are putting enough weight to the idea of social currency…










And one more chart just in case the message is not loud and clear.  Read more about the study here

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