Whenever I travel, I’m always in a pinch to check in before everyone snatches up the good seats. No, I don’t want to be a hero and sit near the emergency exit, that’s terrifying. For whatever reason, traveling seems to evoke this sense of panic in me, and I often wish there was someone to tell me not to forget anything throughout my trip. Enter: Delta Airlines. The airline recently launched a new app for both the iPad and iPhone that is a hyper-personalized guide to users’ entire trips. The app works in tandem with a revamp of Delta’s online marketing strategy, bringing a more digitally integrated experience to its customers. From helping you choose between flights to the moment you land at your destination, the app is intended to be tied to every detail of your trip.
In conjunction with the app, the new delta.com redesign includes a personalized sectio
n with features like My Wallet, which stores payment information and travel receipts in a digital wallet. The iPad app uses a feature called “Glass Bottom Jet,” which gives fliers a look at the route below them as they are traveling on a flight, and even pinpoints connections to your social networks as you’re flying above. That feature alone is cool enough for me, but the app also lets you download suggested content for the flight, see what your social network is saying about the destination, and find things to do while there.
With the rapid adoption of mobile devices, I think Delta hit the mark on finding a relevant, cross-platform approach to being with customers throughout their trip. By making it easy for users to plan, share, and connect their experience through social context, Delta added value to users’ entire journey, rather than strictly the beginning and end of their trip.
Remember that weird little gift shop Facebook used to have? With those clip-art images of things like birthday cakes and bananas? I’m pretty sure I doled out a few $1 slices of virtual pizza during that confusing time, but their newest product, Facebook Gifts, is aiming bigger.
More than 100 partners are taking the leap into Facebook Gifts, including big-thinker brands like Starbucks and Warby Parker. Users have the option to send digital or physical gifts, such as a $5 Starbucks gift card that can be loaded onto a user’s mobile device (what up Passbook?), or an actual shipment delivered straight to a friend’s doorstep. What’s convenient about this is that the gifters don’t have to actually know the shipment addresses for these deliveries – a common barrier to gift-giving. They simply choose the gift, based on recommendations from Facebook pulled by user data, and the recipient is immediately prompted to enter a shipping preference. Recipients even have the option to choose the color, size, or flavor they want, and can exchange it without anyone ever having to know how picky they actually are.
Procrastinators and last minute gifters might find the most value in Facebook Gifts, considering the number of people that rely solely on Facebook to remember friends’ birthdays. Users can pay for the gift right away, or enter the payment details later – tapping into those who are feeling truly spur-of-the-moment. The idea of gift-giving leverages Facebook’s mantra of living in a more open and connected place, and by making it social, Facebook makes each purchase a highly visible and easily shareable story.
As this is Facebook’s first major step in e-commerce, there are certainly caveats to the feature. The fact that users will have to provide a credit card number and home address is one potential downfall, given some Facebook users’ distrust of privacy protection on social networks. However, as a social marketer, I can certainly see the intrinsic value in leveraging the relationships and experiences that have been built through Facebook, and selling products that are an extension of those experiences. Also, as a Facebook user with an upcoming birthday, I think the value is pretty clear. November 3rd, folks.
You might not know it, but there is a war going on right now, and it’s manifesting in the place you consume content the most: your living room. TV is quickly gaining traction as consumers’ one-stop shop for Internet connectivity, and through the ever increasing number of devices and channels by which we consume media, brands are battling harder than ever for our attention… not just as we watch TV, but as we simultaneously tweet, shop online, Scramble, write blog posts, and do a multitude of other things with those extra screens for as long as our attention spans will allow us.
It’s no new concept that our attention is a commodity to advertisers, but it becomes an obvious challenge when those attention spans are spread thin across a myriad of screens. As the number of devices people own increases, it’s only natural that we go online and engage in other multi-tasking activities while watching TV. The thing is, even with all of this multi-tasking going on, surveys shows that people are still watching ads and are even able to recall brands being advertised on TV. Perhaps we’re just too preoccupied with our phone or tablet to bother changing the channel? Either way, this level of non-stop connectivity presents great opportunities for advertisers.
In order to truly capitalize on this constant state of frenzied discovery, we as marketers must think critically about the services our consumers are drawn to on each individual device, and how these smaller pieces fit into the bigger picture. This means refraining from jumping on the newest technology bandwagons (QR codes anyone?) just for the sake of technology, but making sure all screens work together in a fluid and valuable way. A brand’s message or service should be so nimble that it can seamlessly flow from mobile to tablet to TV, and back again.
As more and more devices become web-enabled, the content and experiences that are most tightly woven across multiple media platforms will speak loudest to consumers, and thus ultimately come out ahead.