Blog: Mike Cearley 

Mike Cearley (bio)
SVP, Digital Strategy

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

11th Screen | The Interactive Out-of-Home Blog

All we’ve been buzzing about around here, in my world, is Google+. I’m not going to get into all of the opportunities or redundancies that it might or might not bring to the table, but I will say this: Here’s what it shows us – even Google, who seemingly has been left behind in the social space by Facebook, is constantly innovating.

This is not just another Facebook. It is fundamentally different.

When looking at the DOOH industry, I think we can all agree that there has been its own fair share of innovating, especially in the recent past, as seen here, here and here. The experiences that occur outside of the home, through technology, are fundamentally different than even a year ago. And with new innovations, just as Google shows us, it’s going to look different sometime in the (near) future.

Here’s my question: Since the technology fundamentally changes the game, are the DOOH industry and its players poised to keep up?

Posted by: Mike Cearley AT 07:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Thursday, 21 July 2011

11th Screen | The Interactive Out-of-Home Blog

Location-based services (LBS) – like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Yelp – made a big splash last year as a fairly successful, yet niche, mobile tactic for brands aiming to reach consumers in the real-world. They are great platforms for rewarding loyalty, real-time consumer reviews & tips, and for those who like such a thing, keeping track of your friends/family. I’ve “played” Foursquare consistently for a year now and dabbled in the others – Gowalla, Yelp, Loopt, SCVNGR. There’s interesting potential with this sort of technology, particularly when integrated with placed-based signage. But as I’ve wandered over the last year, I’m left wondering if these technologies will stick and ultimately reach the average consumer. And more than that, what it will take for them to reach that point? Here are my chronicles.

Today, I recorded my 600th check-in on Foursquare. Here’s what it’s gotten me:

  • Maybe 5 specialty frites appetizers from Houlihans
  • Maybe 10 cheesecake chimichangas from Taco Bueno
  • Less than 5 mayorships, complete with their special badge and pronouncement to the world – of which, I currently hold onto 1 mayorship
  • Countless tweets, which some would consider spam
  • Familiarity and adeptness of the platform and others like it
  • 0 connections of any real value

I did the breakdown of time, too. If I spend 30 seconds on the check-in process, 600 check-ins equates to 5 hours of my time. Estimating my freebies, I would say that the total dollar value I’ve received is ~$40. That means my time, through the game, is roughly worth $8/hour. Hardly worth it looking through that lense.

However, 5 hours of total time, over at least a year is less than ½ hour a month. Through that lense, it’s minimal investment and I don’t feel that put out.

Is all this going to stop me from checking-in from this point forward? No.

Because why? Well, that’s kind of the point – why not? It’s easy. It’s minimal time on my part, and I actually get something in the end. Even if it, too, is minimal.

But here’s the thing – isn’t that the wrong question any new technology and/or brand and/or community should be eliciting? Instead of “why not,” don’t we want people to be driven by the “why?”

Why I want to spend my time with this technology and/or brand and/or community is because it gives me X value.

Not just because it’s easy.


Posted by: Mike Cearley AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Dear Porsche:
I just saw your ad in Fast Company. This one. You know, the one with the cool Microsoft Tag in the upper right-hand corner.


I almost missed it. But I won’t hit you with best practices for these things. Being cute with them is neither here nor there. That’s not what this letter is about.
I have to tell you – I’ve been watching these things over the last year and a half and I’ve seen some good ones and I’ve seen some bad ones. Not really codes. The content behind the codes. The thing that makes a complete experience.
Generally, I like these codes. I think they’re really effective at driving a deeper brand engagement with your current and/or potential customers. And easy. That’s the great thing about them. Snap a picture, get a cool experience. On your own personal screen. Wherever you are.
But I’m getting to the point to where I only like the idea of the codes. Because the execution of the experience has been disappointing. Not a big deal. There are far more things to be genuinely disappointed about.
But you see, I’m a marketer, too. So, I appreciate good brand experiences. And that leads me to your ad.
I see one of these codes on a Porsche ad and I automatically think that I’m going to get a Porsche-like experience. Luxury product, luxury experience, yes?
Very un-Porsche-like.
A 15 second video showing the “World’s Coolest School Bus” is a yellow Porsche? That’s it?
Rarely do I say that I’ve wasted 15 seconds on anything. But this is the feeling you left me with. I know, I’ll probably never be able to buy one of your products (and quite honestly, will any of your true targets ever scan a tag like this?), so my opinion probably doesn’t matter much at all.
But for what your brand stands for, I would expect to get a killer 15 seconds. Instead, I got a dud.
Using enabling technology like this can be fun and experimental, but I also think there’s such a thing as “on brand.” Regardless of the fun and experiments. I mean, Porsche should be Porsche-like in everything. Shouldn’t you?
Disappointingly yours,

Posted by: Mike Cearley AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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