Tag Archives: apple

Study: iPad Accounts for Almost 95 % of Tablet Web Traffic

 

Aiming to get a sense for how powerful the tablet is, online advertising network Chitika looked at what devices it was serving ads to and found that it was almost exclusively Apple tablets.

For every 100 iPad impressions, Chitika is serving slightly more than one ad to a Samsung Galaxy and Asus Transformer Prime and under one ad to the Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry PlayBook and Kindle Fire. The Nook Tablet share is even lower, though clearly both the Nook and Kindle are marketed less as Web browsing devices and more as media consumption tools.

In total, the iPad accounted for more than 94 percent of ads, Chitika said.

It shows that not only are iPads outselling their rivals, but each one that is sold is also more heavily used, at least when it comes to Web surfing.

“Going forward the competition is going to be hard pressed to find a way to overthrow the seemingly omnipotent Apple,” Chitika said. “Not only do they offer a great product, they have the undying devotion of their enthusiasts.”

Apple’s Siri Could Destroy Local SEO

It’s worth taking the time to learn more about the iPhone 4S’s digital ambassador Siri , as it could represent the future direction of local search engine optimization.

On the surface, Siri — the voice recognition app that allows iPhone users to control their cell phones verbally — seems like a cool party trick, sending text messages from your spoken instructions, checking the weather and setting up calendar reminders. But does this added functionality really mean the end of traditional local SEO as some experts are predicting?

In some ways, yes. The real impact of Siri isn’t just that she acts like a personal assistant. The potentially huge ramifications for local SEO come from the depth of information Siri is able to access and the range of actions she can perform.

For example, Siri can call you a cab after a night on the town by automatically processing information about local cab companies in response to the query, “Call me a cab.” Automating the search process means you never look up “cab companies in your area” in the search engines, avoiding the traditional search engine results pages and pay-per-click advertisements entirely, therefore limiting their importance and influence.


Little is known about how exactly Siri collects and processes information, although it’s reasonable to assume that the program is drawing on well-cultivated public data sources, including Google Places, Yelp and similar sites. If Siri is eventually able to pull information from third party apps — as many predict she will be — she could effectively eliminate traffic to some traditional websites. As an example, automatically checking people in to Facebook places eliminates the need to visit those places’ websites.

 And when you take into consideration that the iPhone 4S has become the company’s best-selling iPhone in just a few short weeks, due in large part to the innovative Siri technology, localbusiness owners should take note of this trend and invest time in optimizing their sites for mobile discovery.

Here’s what you need to do to make your business website as accessible as possible to Siri and related voice recognition tools:

Optimize your website for mobile. This isn’t new advice, as the rules for mobile SEO — and the idea of local SEO in general — have been around for years. But as some sources estimate that 30 percent of all searches could include a local component by 2015, it’s more important than ever to make local SEO a priority for your business.



In addition to thinking about how consumers access your website while on the go, consider whether or not Siri can access important information about your business as well. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Add a mobile site template. Having users land on a mobile version of your website willmake them much happier, and it isn’t difficult to do, as mobile-ready themes already exist for publishing platforms including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
  • Enhance your local SEO. Prominently feature your physical address, local phone number and operating hours on the home page of your site for maximum local SEO benefits.
  • Remove data obstructions. Yes, Flash graphics and Javascript are already “no-no’s” when it comes to mobile optimization, but also consider how easily Siri can access the information on your site. Burying pertinent information in PDFs and sub-pages could put your site at a disadvantage.

Enhance your digital presence. It’s no longer enough to simply set up profiles on Facebook and Twitter and call it a day. Instead, establish a profile on any of the following directories and review sites and encourage customers to rate your business there for maximum exposure.

• Foursquare
• Savings.com
• Retailmenot
• Judy’s Book
• Citysearch
• Superpages
• Yellow Pages

To determine which of these options are the best fit for your business, do a quick search to see which business sites in your geographic area and industry are ranking well in Google and create profiles on whichever of the following sites they’re using.

Implement microdata. If you’re savvy in the ways of SEO or have an IT manager who is you’ll want to consider adding “schema tags” to your website. Schema tags allow your site to incorporate relevant microdata — local business, address, telephone and open hours, for example — that could help Siri and the search engines process important information about your site more quickly.

While Siri on her own doesn’t necessarily spell the end of local SEO it’s worth taking note of the popularity this mobile data management system has gained in a relatively short period of time. As Siri evolves and other operating systems adopt similar technology, the businesses that benefit most will be those that best understand how their customers interact in a mobile environment and optimize their sites to engage them.

 

Cadillac’s Identity Crisis

Cadillac’s Identity Crisis: When Branding Won’t Die

by Melanie Warner

No one can dispute the power of the Cadillac brand. Its identity is so strong that it lingers in our cultural consciousness — and that’s precisely the problem.

First, Cadillac couldn’t shake the decades-old association with drivers “between the age of 80 and deceased,” as former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca said. Then a half a dozen years ago, the brand acquired new status among the hip-hop crowd, which enthroned the $60,000 Cadillac Escalade as the ride of choice.

It’s not that General Motors hasn’t been trying to change Cadillac’s image and broaden the cars’ appeal. The embattled company spent $81 million in the first half of 2009 on advertising, much of that going to an ad campaign featuring the sleek and sophisticated-looking CTS sport wagon. In a bid for younger audiences, Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh sits behind the wheel and asks, “When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?”

Even so, marketing experts say the slick campaign hasn’t given the Cadillac brand the center of gravity it needs. GM acknowledged as much recently when it dumped Modernista, the ad agency behind the campaign, from the Cadillac account and embarked on a search for a new firm. GM will hear pitches from three agency candidates in January.

Meanwhile, 2009 sales through October are down 44 percent from the prior year. Rival luxury brands such as Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes saw their sales drop as well, but not nearly as much as Caddy’s. Lexus, the worst of the group, was off 34 percent.

So what’s the problem? Caddy’s current cars get great reviews, but they’re not moving off the lots. With that in mind, BNET asked four marketing experts what GM should do to make Cadillac the “Cadillac of cars.”

Steal a Page from Apple’s Marketing Playbook

David Murphy, co-president, director of brand innovation at Barrie D’Rozario Murphy

Relative to the other luxury automotive brands, Cadillac lacks that solid foundation that explains what it is. If you buy a BMW, people might guess it’s because you like precise performance. If you bought a Lexus, it’s because you like high value on top of perfect quality. For Mercedes, it’s engineering. A Honda or Toyota is dependability. The luxury brands in particular need to know what they stand for. I think Cadillac should stand for technology.

Cars are riddled with technology, but you’d be hard pressed to identify a brand that’s become the Apple of this category. Doing this requires a mind shift. Instead of boasting about brawn or horsepower, it’s about brain power. Cadillac needs to position its brand as being smart and having technology that actually helps you. It’s taking something that others have and rallying your flag around it — things like lane departure control and blind zone alert. But it’s not about whiz-bang gizmos for the sake of whiz-bang gizmos. It’s about using technology to create an image of being forward-looking, smart, and efficient.

I would exploit the fact that a designer is now running the brand. We live in a very design-savvy age. Bryan Nesbitt is a fresh face, and GM should use him extensively in PR and maybe even advertising. I think he could pull it off.

— David Murphy, co-president, director of brand innovation at Barrie D’Rozario Murphy

Go After Prime-Time Women

Marti Barletta, marketing to women expert, CEO of The TrendSight Group

Since women buy 54 percent of all cars, that’s the audience Cadillac should be going after: prime-time women in their 50s and 60s who have a lot of money and are still driving themselves to work, usually senior vice presidents of companies. They’re past driving little kids around in the back. They’re sick of driving stupid minivans and SUVs. They want some fun. Cadillac started doing some of that fun-to-drive messaging in their ads with Kate Walsh from Grey’s Anatomy. I think that’s smart, but GM could and should be doing much more to target these prime-time women.

The way to reach them is not on blogs and social media and twittering. Some 90 percent of the tweets on Twitter come from 10 percent of the people and most of those people are 20-35. A lot of marketers think buying dual audience TV shows where a lot of women are watching along with men is close enough. It’s not close enough. The best way to reach older women is through women-specific media, like More magazine.

— Marti Barletta, marketing to women expert, CEO of The TrendSight Group

Make the Customer, Not the Car, the Star

Julie Roehm, marketing consultant, Backslash Meta; former senior VP of marketing communications at Wal-Mart

We used to say “the car is the star.” Well, that time has passed. The customers are the stars, and it’s the car that helps them express themselves, their values, their needs, and their desire to look good. The consumers that you want to be your brand disciples need to be shocked, surprised, and delighted into changing their minds. When they do, they’ll talk in person, online, via mobile, and more, and spread the word for you like a Twitter wildfire.

Tactically, this means Cadillac needs more efforts that are participatory and interactive, not one-way push messaging. It’s more digital marketing, more social marketing, and more mobile communications to create better experiences that engage with the consumer. You need to talk with the customer daily and be transparent, which is something car companies have never been good at. Instead of old-school media, such as TV ads using worn-out slogans, Cadillac should try something as simple as giving 10 influencers an XLR (a high-performance convertible) and an iPhone, something that allows the customer to talk and be excited about the product.

The other big thing that’s hurt Cadillac is that GM has been over-marketing GM. At a minimum, get GM’s CEO off the air. Consumers want a Caddy, not a GM.

— Julie Roehm, marketing consultant, Backslash Meta; former senior VP of marketing communications at Wal-Mart

Hire Buzz Aldrin as Pitch Man

Mark Stevens, author of Your Marketing Sucks, and CEO of MSCO

Cadillac has gone from being a comatose brand to having some vibrancy, which is a tremendous achievement. But that’s not necessarily a good thing. Because being in buzzland means zero. The only thing you really care about is being in cash land. And since Cadillac sales are down, that’s a big acid test of what’s going on. A lot of the progress that’s been made is an illusion. You look at the ads and they look good. The cars look good and there’s a certain dynamism in the design, but you always need to be able to look at the cul de sac, which is where cars get bought in America. If you put a Cadillac into an upscale, middle-American cul de sac, it’s like, ‘Why do they have that? What the hell is this Cadillac thing?’ You have to justify it, and I don’t want to justify my car purchase. Most cars are bought based on perception. Right now every Cadillac’s a Hummer.

— Mark Stevens, author of Your Marketing Sucks, and CEO of MSCO

Insanely Great Marketing

Insanely Great Marketing

by Chris Morrison

Apple is famous for its products, but shrewd marketing has been an essential component of the company’s success. Former Apple CEO John Sculley was not being entirely cynical with his famous observation that Apple was, first and foremost, a marketing company. While it’s fair to say that Apple’s engineers are the company’s foundation, it’s clear that without Apple’s marketing and public relations teams, its mythic aura would long since have vanished. Here’s how the company does it.

1. A Clear Sense of the Customer

Apple has positioned itself as the tech provider for the creative class, so it often injects a dose of avant-garde savvy into its advertising. The iPod’s boldly colored ads, for example, could have doubled as art school projects (or acid trips). Other spots simply articulate and emphasize the investment Apple has put into its design “language” — the engineering and styling that make its products so instantly recognizable. In almost every instance, Apple strives to appeal to anyone who lives (or aspires to live) a more creative life, and the results flatter both Apple’s products and the people who use them.

2. No False Modesty

Apple is not afraid to market its devices as game changers that are far better than the alternatives. Nobody would ever call Apple shy or self-effacing. That does wonders to reinforce Apple’s brand, but it has a risky downside: Apple’s barely concealed undercurrent of arrogance makes its fans feel like part of a special group, but it also repels some potential customers.

3. Standout Advertising

Whether you prefer a Mac or Windows PC, an iPhone or a Blackberry, there’s no denying that Apple has become one of the world’s most recognized brands, and Apple’s advertising and marketing efforts have done much to make that happen. Apple’s traditional advertising campaigns have been managed by the same ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, since 1997. Ambitious, nonconformist, and witty, Apple’s campaigns do more than just feature products: They also take explicit potshots at key competitors. The “I’m a Mac” ad campaign, for example, which contrasts a cool hipster (representing Apple) with an uptight office drone (representing Microsoft) was typically effective. Of course, the depiction of Microsoft as a bumbling, Dilbertesque suit recalls the powerful message of a much earlier ad campaign: the famous “1984” spot that Apple ran in 1983 to mark the launch of the original Macintosh, which characterized IBM as the agent of dystopian corporate conformity.

4. Not-Too-Public Public Relations

Apple’s PR department, which maintains contacts with traditional journalists, bloggers, television shows, and just about anyone who covers the company regularly, has never fit the stereotype of fawning, eager-to-please flacks. “The genius of Apple’s PR is the way the company uses secrecy and misdirection to generate buzz around its product announcements,” says Nick Ciarelli, the creator of Think Secret, a now-defunct Apple blog that aroused the company’s ire. The launch of an Apple product resembles nothing so much as a military assault: months of impenetrable secrecy and denial, misdirection campaigns, waves of rumors, and finally a massive barrage of publicity as the veil comes off. “It’s a strategy that infuriates partners, big corporate buyers, and the press, but it allows public speculation to build to a fever pitch,” Ciarelli says.

It’s also fair to say, however, that secrecy and misdirection can be carried too far. Apple’s PR attempted to pass off Jobs’ recent serious illness, which ended in a liver transplant, as a “common bug,” a whopper that helped provoke shareholder lawsuits against the company.