Trendspotting: Making “Live Events” Work In the Pandemic (part 2)

Last week I posted about how live shows were moving online but what about typically “live” in person events that become fully digitized. Tonight the world gets excited for Travis Scott’s fortnight concert.

This viral tweet last week had the internet in a tizzy.

And tonight is the night:

But he’s not the first to try it. DJ, Marshmello gives us a taste of what fortnight concerts will look like.

The ways that artists are going to be manipulating technologies to fit their needs is fascinating. Young people’s digital behavior is changing. Tik Tok is more viral than ever. Houseparty is taking off. Animal Crossing is making the world super conscious about radishes….

(this one was just fun)

Why It’s Hot?

This is a great opportunity for MRM to help our clients navigate the brave new digital world. It’s really exciting and positive and allows us new ways to interact and share with each other. The pandemic has sped up the way that humans (so nimble!) make their social lives work and shift use cases of different tech to keep their connections alive.


Go Six Months Between Charges

In a recent interview, the CEO of Swiss watchmaker Swatch claims that the company is developing a ‘revolutionary’ new type of battery that can go six months between charges. The battery will also have implications for the electric car industry.

Lithium Ion battery technology has not come far enough in the short time that smartphones, tablets and laptops have become the preferred methods of content consumption by the insatiable masses. It is tempting to file this story under the “I’ll Believe it When I See it” category but it is an encouraging sign that someone is doing something about the widening gap between mobile technology and battery capacity.

Swatch Touch Zero One

Swatch Touch Zero One

Read the Ars Technica piece here.


Why It’s Hot

User adoption (and enthusiasm) could stall if battery life becomes an issue on a device that is worn on the body. Six months between charges would be a dream come true for users eternally frustrated by the limitations of current mobile batteries. This new battery would obviously have positive implications for all mobile devices, not just smart watches.


Starbucks Integrates Uber into App Redesign

In the most recent update of their mobile application, Starbucks integrated a specific Uber button, allowing customers to order a ride to their local coffee shop.

For the process to occur, the user simply clicks the button from within the Starbucks app and requests which store they want to visit. The Uber app launches and prompts a car request so both services’ software must be installed to the user’s phone. The integration makes it simple to hail a car for a coffee and lunch run simultaneously.

The entire process mimics the normal black car experience, except the end game leads you to a cup of coffee with your name on it. Users can get a caffeine hit at the tap of a button.

The integration stemmed as a result of Uber’s API launch for third-party developers. The startup opened its software platform to twelve high-profile partner companies such as United AirlinesHyatt Hotels & Resorts and TripAdvisor to include the on-demand transportation service into their own apps.



Why It’s Hot:

Uber seems to be taking over the world, and big brands now have an opportunity to create better experiences for their customers (while increasing business for Uber) by findings ways to creatively integrate the API. We  are watching behavior change before our eyes.

This also goes back to our “laziness” discussion — why can’t you open Uber’s app and then go to Starbucks and order a coffee? I understand the utility for other travel brands and hotels to make a seamless experience from A to B, but this one seems a bit excessive.


Mannequins Tell People What They Are Wearing via Mobile App

Three shops in the UK are trialing a system in which store dummies send messages to people via their mobile devices.

Smart dummies use VMbeacon technology to communicate with shoppers within a 50-meter radius. They will be sending customers alerts with details of what they are wearing. These could include the prices of their clothes and accessories, links to the items on the retailer’s website, as well as where they can be found in-store.

With VMBeacon, beacons sense when a shopper with an enabled smartphone app is within a 50m radius both inside and outside the store. It transmits an automatic alert to the customer, which is programmed by the retailer and sent via a secure web portal.

The app invites users to view more detailed photos and product descriptions, share them with friends, save looks for later and access additional offers and rewards.


Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot

Beacon technology has been gaining momentum, but we are yet to see its practical and widespread use in retail outlets.  This brings another dimension to window shopping and could be helpful if you spot something you like after closing hours but need more information in order to make a purchase.

From a retailer’s point of view, being able to interact directly with customers on mobiles is priceless. Beacon technology turns store props into smart devices that can promote their products and potentially turn passers-by into customers. Stores could also benefit from the information gathered on customers to understand their consumers better.

For consumers, instead of having to search the store for an item you see in the window, the information will come straight to the user. It promises to offer the convenience of online shopping combined with the benefits of an in-store experience.

Android (Finally) Overtakes iOS in Mobile Ad Traffic… and Spend

Google’s Android mobile platform has made major progress in its conquest against Apple’s iOS. According to a new report by Opera Mediaworks, Android topped Apple to become #1 in mobile ad traffic and monetization globally during Q1 2014.



Why It’s Hot

The Opera Mediaworks findings are significant for a couple reasons.  First, until this point Android has not been able to overcome Apple’s lead on advertising–despite the fact that Android has been considered the overall mobile OS leader in terms of market share.  In effect, this report is a sign of “legitimacy” for the Android platform among marketers.  It stands against to the notion that Android is somehow “inferior” to iOS in terms of mobile advertising in an unprecedented way.  Factors like user income, time spent on device and even share of web traffic are not necessarily dictating bias or preference towards iOS.  Instead, the report would suggest that marketers are finally following the audience to make more  “rational” mobile targeting decisions–globally.

It’s important to note though that while this report discusses the mobile operating system war at aggregate (globally), results vary greatly by individual market. Therefore when creating mobile engagement plans, marketers should still rely heavily on the technology profile of each given target rather than following this new trend alone. However, these results do suggest a potential change in attitude and bias among marketers may be forthcoming to give Android a fairer shot in mobile advertising.

Read more:

Could We Be Witnessing a Shift In Digital Business Models?

There’s a trend in digital. And it’s likely to cost you twice.

Facebook is the latest brand to offer a million services, but instead, separate it over multiple application.

This month, Facebook announced plans to remove messaging features from its main app, as TechCrunch first reported. Facebook’s intention, it appears, is to drive people to its standalone messaging appMessenger. It just recently updated the app to promote use of its voice-calling feature.

The messaging button within Facebook’s core app will remain, but it will only offer a quick way to launch the Messenger app (or point people to a download link if they don’t already have it). Facebook’s acquisition of messaging rival WhatsApp, a move that just received the go ahead from the FTC, likely influenced this upcoming product change.

There’s another reason that number will probably grow: If you want to message people on Facebook from a smartphone, now you’ll be forced to download the app. Facebook said that it’ll be ripping the Messaging feature out of its smartphone apps in the coming weeks, asking people to instead download the standalone app in the future.

Why it’s HOT: Companies are beginning to divide their platforms into mini platforms, independent of the “mother” platform. This may be an effort for some companies to concentrate on a certain feature and hence develop it in much more intricate ways . They also might see it as an opportunity to generate revenue from each mini platform, increasing overall revenue of “mother” platform or company. Soon, we may be witnessing the of decline of the full-featured web platform.

On April 23rd, Mark Zuckerberg announced that 200 million people were already using Facebook messanger.

Check-In With Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are nothing new and nothing unknown, but have you been paying attention to where they have been popping up? We all know that banks continue to try to give us the best “mobile wallet” options, but there are many apps that are making those mobile wallets obsolete. The fact is, apps are being created to update every process consumers encounter. Each of these processes have a form of payment, and have been integrated into the app in a way that we have broken a good size hole in the wall of trust. Consumers are trusting apps to own their payment information, rather than require information to be inputted and never saved.  These apps range from leaders like Uber to start-ups like Tablelist. One trend that is very important for this mindset is SHARING payments on apps. Not only do consumers trust the app to own their payment info and use it, but they also trust the app to handle multiple payments for one charge. This further enables every process that requires a payment to be modernized and on a mobile device. Now I am writing this with a strong bias towards the upside of mobile payments, but I believe in the very near future there will a large increase in early adopters to this. Part of this is the fact that Millenials are starting to increase their disposable income and are ready to start spending it.


Why it’s Hot:

Anything that is shaping the future is hot. Again, the main point is not that this is emerging technology, but the behavior surrounding the innovations is disruptive. Brands will have to race to be on your phones for your purchase processes. Digital marketing will have an entire facelift with these considerations, including where the efforts will be pushing consumers for purchasing.