Archive for July, 2011

Mobile is moving…and fast

July 26, 2011
A Kickball

January 2010 - "Foursquare" = playground game, not check-ins

We’re just one week into the IMC summer break, so I’m going to come across as a big buzzkill here, but fall classes are now less than four weeks away. I’m actually chomping at the bit because this fall will be my last term in the IMC program — that much-awaited sense of accomplishment is looming large. I was thinking about my early fall class, IMC 629 – Mobile Marketing, today and realized how ideal it is to be taking this as my final elective before the Capstone class in late fall.

After all, if I had taken this class when I started the IMC program last January, just 18 months ago, I would have been learning about mobile marketing in a world where: the iPad didn’t exist yet; less than 1 in 5 Americans owned a smartphone (one-third do today); and Foursquare was 3400% smaller than it is now.

The rate of change shows no sign of slowing, either, especially considering some of the news items that have appeared in the past two weeks alone:

The "Amazon Kindle with Special Offers" trades a lower retail price for sponsored screensavers

We all know that technology moves fast, but mobile is moving fastest of all (The Washington Post reports that the rate of smartphone adoption outpaces almost any other high-tech product category, ever).

The lines are blurring, too, now that the e-Reader brands are entering the mobile spaces as tablets, apps, and advertising platforms.

My head is spinning so quickly at this point that I’m not even sure how to wrap-up this post. So, how about this: please share your thoughts about strategies for applying IMC principles to mobile platforms and we’ll talk about it in the comments. Then, I’ll come back in October with an updated post based on what I’ve picked up in IMC 629.

Sound OK? Great, then I’m going to go to bed. As soon as I check Facebook, scroll through my news apps, and take my turns on Words With Friends. What can I say? We’re living in a mobile world.

How I’m spending my summer vacation: volunteering and becoming an outdoorsy girl!

July 20, 2011

Last week was a busy one here in Canton, Ohio! I’m on a committee through the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District and my local young professionals initiative, ystark! that put together a free outdoor movie series called Cinema in the City. It is a three part event, and last Wednesday, we showed our first movie, Jurassic Park, to about a 150 Stark County movie enthusiasts.

This event, although only 1/3 of the way completed, reminded me how much fun I have volunteering. It was extremely gratifying to be a part of a successful event, hopefully one that continues for summers to come.

Here are some fun photos from the night:

It was a packed house way before dark!

Me with two other committee members

The day after Cinema in the City, I left for my 3-day annual work retreat, a camping trip with 109 people! Wow! Between outdoor movies and activities like camping – maybe I really am an outdoor girl?!?

Last year at the work retreat, I brought a lot of schoolwork and my final project for IMC 610 to proof. In fact, I was a little stressed attempting to complete work for an online class in a rural area of Ohio that didn’t even offer cell phone service, but, like all of us IMC students do, I made it work. This year however, since I took the summer off, I was able to enjoy the trip even more.

Next up in Canton is our Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival at the end of July. There are many volunteer opportunities throughout the event and I’m hoping to be a part of the festival in one form or another!

Do you have a favorite volunteering activity or service? If so, post your answer!

Last. . .I mean first summer semester ever!

July 6, 2011

Greetings from Florida!

As my time in the IMC program is winding down, there are a bunch of lasts that are coming in the last months of the program. In looking at the past two years that I have been an IMC student, I have never taken summer classes before. Last summer I was able to take off the summer to enjoy every moment of my bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding weekend, and honeymoon. I loved how I could take a few months off and pick right back up where I left off in the fall. A lot of grad programs my friends are in are very strict on how you complete the program and would not allow me to take that time off.

On the other hand, this summer it has provided me with the flexibility to be able to take a trip with my husband, mom, mother and father in law on a cruise out of Florida for a week. As I am writing this, I am traveling in the car enjoying the sights that the South East has to offer and spending some QT with my fam. I didn’t have to tell them that I couldn’t go because of classes; I could take the classes with me! Being that I live in a different state than most of my family, its great that I can take a week to spend with them and still go with my curriculum in the IMC program.

Enjoying my bachelorette party last summer in Atlantic City

This week we are going on the Freedom of the Seas leaving out of Port Canaveral, FL. Before we get to the cruise, we are stopping in Clearwater, FL to visit my husband’s Aunt and Uncle that he hasn’t seen for a few years. It’s exciting to get to meet more people in the family that I married into in different parts of the country. After we visit, the cruise will be going to a private island, St. Thomas, and St. Martin.

Our cruise itinerary

One of the other things that I have noticed on this trip is how strong brand equity is while traveling on the road. Going down I-95 there are tons of places to stop and use the bathroom, stay the night, and get some food to eat. As I sit and observe my family trying to pick places to stop, the same few brands are coming up in the conversation. They want to stop at McDonalds to use the restroom, a Marriott hotel to stay in, and of course Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee.

I know that the reason these companies are being mentioned is because of the brand equity that they have built over time with their customers. McDonalds is reliable in that there is one in every in almost every other town, Marriotts have great customer ratings and a free breakfast, and when it comes to coffee Starbucks and Dunkin’ do it best. I do believe that the quality of these brands has a lot to do with the reason why they are brought up on road trips. I can see in my classes a lot of my classmates writing about brands like these and what they do right in their marketing plans.

Two very familiar brands on our road trip.

As we talk about how brands are noticed by their marketing symbols, going on a road trip is a prime example of how powerful it is. Take a group of people and show them a sign of what fast food restaurants, hotels, and gas stations are there to truly see what customers think of a particular brand. Just by listening to the others in the car with me, I have learned a lot about what brands are popular in their eyes. It has clear indications of brand loyalty for whatever their reasons may be.

If you ever take a trip with me, just remember McDonalds, Marriott Hotels, and DUNKIN’!