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An Unfortunate Divorce: Apple Removes YouTube From iOS6

Proof that the Apple/Google feud is reaching Hatfield & McCoy proportions:

After a blissful six year marriage, Apple has confirmed that they have removed the long-standard YouTube app from the beta version of its highly anticipated iOS6 platform. Mind you, this app was developed by Apple in the first place, but it’s obvious that they want to cleanse the new iOS base of anything linked to their tech nemesis — Google Maps has already been axed.

In a statement given to TheVerge.com, Apple states:

“Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.”

But we can’t help but assume that this change is somehow a tactical move in this epic tech feud. Considering the volume of use that the YouTube app must be producing, one can only fathom the extent of the licensing fees that Apple is paying Google. Through this move, Apple is not only cutting an income stream to Google, they are also putting a possible dent in YouTube’s mobile use. The Apple-based YouTube app has helped YouTube Mobile usage eclipse that of its web-based offerings. Although it is unlikely, if Google decides to charge for the updated app, some iPhone users may not be willing to pay for what was once free.

One thing is for sure, iPhone users are going to be PISSED (I should know, I’m on of them). Now, this may not be enough for people to jump Apple ship, but it definitely does make an Android look a little more appetizing if instant YouTube is mandatory in your book.

On a positive note, the Apple-based app has been stagnant for so long, it could stand to use some major improvements in design and usability. Now that Google is on the project, iPhone users may ultimately benefit whether it is from the new Google-based app or the slick new YouTube Mobile site (check out a preview below).

What are your thoughts??

[Sources: TheVerve.com, YouTube]

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The end of the Coca-Cola Bottle Shape?

For decades, Coke connoisseurs have argued whether the drink tasted better in the traditional glass bottle, can or the more readily plastic container….but in a bag???

In some geographic regions (i.e. Central America, Africa, Asia), popular name brand beverages are poured into cheap plastic baggies (think generic sandwich bags) in order to cut down on the expense of serving in a glass/plastic bottle. In this form, no one can tell what you are drinking and valuable branding opportunities are lost.

Coca-Cola, known for it’s intense brand protection, has decided to embrace the practice and save their iconic branding by issuing drinks in more cost effective, Eco-friendly “Coca-Cola Bags.” Not only are the new bags easier on the locals’ pockets, but they are less expensive to ship and apparently easier on the environment (would love to see these in biodegradable plastics).

PFSK describes the move best: “Being new and kinda fun, it actually creates a new brand experience adapted to particular regions and cultural tendencies that local consumers are sure to appreciate.”

With pros like these, it is a wonder if the beverage giant will apply this as a new option in its major markets as well.

Our only concern: The bag looks more like a fish than the iconic bottle shape…

Will the competition follow suit? In time, will these new baggies completely replace Coke’s distribution of glass/plastic bottles worldwide? How does this bode for the term “Coca-Cola Bottle Shape?”

Leave a comment — I’d love to read your thoughts.

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The Repetition Zone: Don’t fall victim to painfully boring meetings

You’re traveling through another dimension,
a dimension of endless meetings, conversations, and conference calls;
a journey into a torturous land whose boundaries lack imagination.
It is an area that we call . . .the Repetition Zone!

For the third week in a row, I found myself included in a clients’ sales management call. What I experienced terrified and bored me to tears: Seconds turned into minutes…minutes turned into what felt like hours (it was only actually about 25 minutes long)!! A steady stream of management repeating the same information over and over and…over and over… A steady stream of management repeating the same information over and over and…over and over…ARGH!!!

There are many times when repetition can be a good thing: trying to remember new faces, studying for exams, and even scoring shots in a game. But no one likes to be held hostage by an endless cycle of the same information being repeated over and over again in different ways by different people. It’s not just counter-intuitive, it’s plain painful.

What are some ways we can put an end to this reoccurring atrocity??

Cut down on unnecessary meetings: More meetings do not always equate to more productivity/sales. If you can predict a meeting’s content word for word, then thin out its frequency. That wasted 1+ hour could be better used as additional work time.

Stop Talking about it and do something: If everyone already knows there is a problem, implement a solution. Do not keep reporting on the issue thinking that you are going to talk it to death. It doesn’t work and you are putting your employees to sleep.

Redirect your focus: If there is an unfixable issue that hovers over your head like a gray cloud, perhaps it’s time to shift your focus to a problem that you can actually correct. A new focus will not only rejuvenate content, but can also stimulate creativity.

What are your repetition zone horror stories? How do you cope with monotonous meetings? Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear your feedback.

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Facebook IPO Validates Social Media

As Facebook finally made its Wall Street debut yesterday morning, the world watched with anticipation of what was the biggest tech IPO to date. But this launch was much more than Mark Zuckerberg securing himself as one of the top 20 richest people in the world (a net worth of $20 billion @ 28 years old isn’t a bad gig) – this is validation. Despite a less than explosive opening, Facebook currently holds the record as the largest valuation of a newly public company @ $104 billion. The sheer scope of this IPO serves to legitimize social media marketing to those who are still weary. It acts as proof that social media is not a fad — it is not only profitable, but is also a serious marketing medium.

Now that Facebook is a public company that needs to answer to investors and not just the whims of its designers and executives, will it continue to take the risks that it has been known for? Now that producing profit for its investors is an added responsibility, how will FB manipulate its ad offerings to generate more income?

Here are my predictions:

  • Investments & Research: Facebook’s IPO raised a whopping $16.1 billion USD (third largest in US history). With all of that capital, I imagine that the company will be reinvesting a large portion of its profits into its research/development and the acquisition of smaller tech firms. This larger budget also opens up the opportunity of Facebook taking on the role of venture capitalist/angel investor – think Google.
  • Mobile is a must: As we previously pointed out (read about it here) , mobile is trumping computer use in terms of social networking.  In fact, social networking applications are used more than any other mobile application. I would be incredibly surprised if Facebook didn’t start seriously implementing ads into its mobile offering and strengthening its mobile platform. Perhaps this could include the development of more mobile-based apps to join its recent Instagram acquisition.
  • Greater Focus on Paid Advertising: Now that Facebook has to answer to investors, the company will most likely increase its paid ad options in order to increase overall revenue. It doesn’t help that General Motors recently decided to pull all of its advertising on the site (ouch). I wouldn’t be surprised if FB released its own version of Google’s AdSense – after all, who knows your customers’ browsing habits better than Facebook at this point?

I’m interested in your thoughts on the situation…How do you think Facebook’s IPO will affect social media marketing? Are you planning to invest? What apps would you be interested in seeing them develop?

To find out out how Social Imperium can make Facebook work for you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

[Header Photo: Reuters]

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Marketing Resolutions 2012: Mobile Media Marketing Initiatives

As we start off the New Year with resolutions to hit the gym and quit smoking, perhaps some of us should add increasing our mobile marketing to that list. Despite the explosive popularity of the smart phone, we still come across clients that are hesitant to add or increase their mobile marketing initiatives. Well, Nielsen released their State of the Media: The Mobile Media Report for the 3rd Quarter of 2011 and it’s chock full of juicy mobile usage stats and findings that can convince even the most old school client:

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Featured Expert: Robert Marinelli

Robert Marinelli, has more than 25 years experience in areas of sales, law and strategic sourcing/expense management. With such a diverse background Mr. Marinelli has been able to bridge the gap with many a business professional.

During the last 15 years of his career Robert enjoyed tremendous success in the strategic sourcing and expense management arena. Having worked for such leading companies as Verizon Communication, Deutsche Bank A.G., Siemens A.G., and most recently at Guardian Life Insurance Co as its Chief Strategic Sourcing Officer, Robert’s contributions have been many in nearly all aspects of expense reduction, productivity and quality. During his four years at Guardian he completely transformed a tactical procurement department into a value added strategic sourcing organization where he was able to drive out millions in sustainable savings, increased quality, and have the division recognized as a true value added partner to the business lines. His organization was frequently recognized by key executives and their teams in several of the division’s quarterly reports and surveys.

Having responsibility for hiring and managing a large number of people over his career Mr. Marinelli has come to know all too well the value of good hiring decisions to include a strong recruiting partner. Moreover having worked in partnership with many of his human resources counter-parts, he was personally responsible for establishing several recruiting desks to include the use of MSPs (manage service providers) an outsourced recruiting function; thus he is intimately aware of all things recruiting.

During Robert’s notable career he has also worked on nearly all aspects of business operations, such as system evaluations, and implementations, process improvements, contract management, cash management, out-sourcing, change management, expense management, organizational design, and function, policy creation… and provides consulting services in these areas and more.

Mr. Marinelli has been a speaker at several trade and research events, as well as many internal town hall meetings. Robert’s most recent contribution was at the CPO Summit in Boston, sponsored by the Aberdeen Group where he spoke about divisional transformation, and the importance of team building and partnering.

Robert holds a BA in Political Science form Seton Hall University, and JD from Seton Hall University School of Law.

[Header Photo Credit: Songquan Deng]

Business Management & Consulting Expert, Robert Marinelli

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Industry Outlook: Couples continue to hold pricey nuptials regardless of economic depression

“I DO”… Still Spend On the Wedding…

Despite the current economic climate, couples are still rushing to say “I do” – to the tune of approximately $85 billion in 2009. According to The Wedding Report, a leading industry market research publication, even with the ravaged real estate and job markets, the average wedding in the United States still ends up costing more than $30,000. That does not include the engagement ring or honeymoon!

How are people paying? While some lucky individuals still rely on parental funds, most couples are splitting costs and using everything from credit cards to loans to help finance the special day. What is the best way to get the most out of your wedding wallet and maintain nuptial sanity? According to industry publications experts, hire a wedding planner.

“In addition to handling vendors and helping with décor choices, a wedding coordinator can offer real value to a bride,” claims Social Imperium’s Founding Partner, Jewel Clarke. “Most of the time we are playing budget watchdog. Planners usually get wedding services at an industry discount that is passed on to clients. Couples definitely need the help – it’s very easy for wedding costs to go careening out of control.”

Clarke and the event management division of her marketing firm know first hand how solid the wedding market remains. As other event/marketing firms are cutting back, Social Imperium LLC recently opened a satellite office in New York City to support their growing New York, New Jersey and Connecticut markets.

And what are some of the newest wedding trends?

“I’ve seen more brides who are trading traditional white and ivory for blushes and pastels,” said Clarke. “Also, engaged couples are setting unconventional wedding dates. There has been a significant rise in Thursday and Friday events instead of the usual weekend nuptials.”

[Header Photo Credit: Denise Teo for Zanzis Bridal Couture]

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Featured Non-Profit: FAPA-YPG

Taiwan is currently not recognized by the UN as a sovereign nation despite being a democratic state of more than 23 million people — a population greater than that of 75 percent of the UN’s member nations. It fulfills all the criteria for a nation-state as defined in the 1933 Montevideo Convention: a defined territory, a permanent population and a government that is capable of entering into relations with other states.  Taiwan currently has diplomatic ties with 23 UN member states. The 2010 US Census revealed that more than 230,000 citizens reported Taiwanese heritage.

The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that: Promotes international support for the right of the people of Taiwan to establish an independent and democratic country and to join the international community; Promotes relations and cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S.; Protects the right of self-determination for people of Taiwan; Promotes peace and security for Taiwan and advances the rights and interests of Taiwanese communities throughout the world. In 2003, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs established an affiliate organization designed for young adults. This organization, whose goals nearly parallel with those of FAPA’s, is known as the Young Professional Group (YPG).

For more information about FAPA-YPG and its advocacy for Taiwan, please visit .

[Header Photo Credit: Chris Radely Photography]

FAPA Logo
 

 

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