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Location Wars: Don’t Forget Your Employees

Posted in internet by tipo on August 17, 2010

For a moment, stop thinking about location in terms of what mobile application will win the war and start thinking about scale and your organization. If you’re not a mom and pop store and if you’re a medium to large size retailer or CPG that’s trying to move millions of cases of product, your top question is how can I use this consumer behavior to drive volume?

Your stores’ employees hamper scale. Recent case studies from Foursquare to Gowalla demonstrate that redemption success relies on whether your employees not only know about the offer and how to redeem it but also how to educate the consumers about the offer within stores. This is not easy when you have thousands and thousands of employees and have never once hired a cashier or store manager based on their digital literacy (unless you’re Apple).

What if employees had to use Foursquare to check-in and check-out of work instead of punching a card? What if the employee of the month didn’t get a photo in the staff room but his own in-store special? What if you celebrated overtime by rewarding frequent check-ins? Brining innovation within your store and/or shopper marketing programs doesn’t mean starting with consumers, it means starting with the in-store experience (employees) which leads to scale.

…Don’t forget to vote for my SXSWi 2011 Panel: Younger Than Pete Cashmore! VOTE HERE.


Postmodern Texting

Posted in internet by tipo on August 11, 2010

A person very close to me said that I’m the least emotional texter the other day. My knee jerk reaction was ‘how dare you insult my texting style’ but shortly after I realized that I do text like a 50-something and that I prefer such.

People my age, 18 – 24 years old, spend most of their time ‘on.’ By on, I mean always performing for some audience. As Chuck Klosterman explains in Sex, Drugs, and Coca Puffs, MTV’s Real World caused viewers to develop a sophisticated view of postmodernism, even if they weren’t aware of what the term means. Cast members look  directly into the camera despite being instructed to act like they’re not being filmed. This behavior influenced viewers ‘real lives’ as they began to compare themselves and their friends to the one-dimensional cast members.

Today, most people my age are constantly a postmodern version of themselves. On Facebook and Twitter, we’re curating content to architect a persona. On Foursquare, we’re announcing that we’re present and broadcasting selected locations to Facebook and Twitter that once again support our desired image. On Gchat and BBM, we’re inserting as many emoticons as possible to substitute for our lack of physicality. We created an environment where we are required to always be on.

So when it comes to texting, I now recognize why my friend said my texts are emotionless. With so many options to create and join a conversation, I reserve texting for moments to ask, “Where are you?,” “I’m in the back.,” “What’s the password to the account?” and other banal, but timely questions and replies. However after surveying several friends, such behavior is not socially acceptable. I’m supposed to CAP words, add exclamation points and question marks and even insert a smiley face if the mood strikes me. Once again, media environments converge and create new expectations that supersede efficiency and utility.

I do not plan to change my modern texting style. If you’re looking to engage with the postmodern version of myself, hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, IM and perhaps even in-real-life.

I would love to know your thoughts on modern versus postmodern texting/media environments….