Hey Siri!

You can find me talking to my phone and/or watch on a regular basis and apparently, I am not alone.  55% of teens and 41% of adults now use voice search more than once a day.  Additionally, by 2019 it is expected that the voice recognition market will expand to be a $601-million-dollar industry.


Above, you will see what we are currently using voice search for, according to Google.  Currently, there is only about an 8% error rate in voice recognition. I am going to go ahead and guess that margin will become even smaller here in the near future.  Additionally, we will also see a shift in keyword optimization.

If you are like me, you have been trained since the beginning of the dial-up days how to search the Internet in a ‘robot-like’ manner.  Times are changing, and so is the way we search (especially vocally).  The way we search is becoming conversational and we are talking to our devices like they are people (wait, I totally tell Siri please & thank you).  With that being said, marketers will need to adjust their SEO to include long-tail keywords to enhance search results.

What do you use voice search for?




Privacy? I don’t think so.

It seems as if there is an app for just about anything that you could ever dream of needing or wanting.  But is convenience worth your privacy?  Personally, things seem to be getting a little creeeeeeeeepy.


According to research,

-99% of the most popular iOS and Android free apps have had at least one privacy-related risky behavior.

-87% of the most popular paid iOS apps and 78% of the Android apps have had at least one privacy-related behavior.

Included in the risky behavior is tracking uses location, accessing address books, calendars, microphone (scary), and your camera (even scarier). In some instances, the developers of free apps use the data they collect for supplementing their profits and the more personal data they collect from us, the more $$$ they get.


Health Apps

Health apps and the ever so awesome wearable technology seems to be all the rage lately.  So, sorry to burst anyone’s bubble here…

A recent study on 211 health-realted apps showed:

-Over 80% of the apps had NO privacy policy at all (again, none).

-Of the 41 apps that did in fact have a privacy policy, not all of the provisions actually protected privacy.

-80% of the apps collected users personal data and 50% of them share the data.

-65 diabetes apps found to collect and share sensitive health information, including insulin and blood glucose levels with third parties.

So what do I do?!

Scary, I know…. But not all is lost. There are ways that you can protect yourself.  You can do some spring cleaning in the app department, by:

-Delete all apps that you do not use.

-Review all privacy policies and if they do not have one, say bye-bye! Read ALL of the fine print and see what the developer does with your info.  Also, check for a developers website and if they do not have one, delete.

-Review and update all app permissions. For example, a flashlight app does not need to access your camera roll or microphone!


Omni-Channel Experiences

Lets start out with talk about what the heck omni-channel is, exactly.  Omni-channel can be defined as a multichannel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. So what I am saying is that a customer’s online experience within all channels should be a seamless journey.  Not that complicated, right?

You might wonder what the difference is between this and multi-channel. I guess if you have more than one channel, it would be considered multi-channeled, technically.  However, it depends on the level of integration across channels.  For example, have you ever been on a company’s website looking into a product or service, leave your house and look at that same website on your phone to be left disappointed and wishing you had your laptop?  Bingo. I bet that website is not optimized for mobile, which makes for an oh-so-annoying experience (or is it just me?). It doesn’t end at the mobile browser, however.  Key word is ALL. All channels must be integrated together and work seamlessly to provide an omni-channel experience. Get it?

Lets take a look at Disney because they totally get it…

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 1.30.57 PM

Of course their mobile sites work perfectly well, even if you want to plan your entire trip from your phone.  After your trip is booked, they offer a ‘My Disney Experience’ tool that allows you plan e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, including where you will eat, locate your favorite attractions and even view the estimated wait time for those attractions (time is money, people).  Additionally to this awesomeness, they also now have ‘Magic Bands’ that they send you before your trip that will become your hotel room key, photo storage device, food ordering tool, AND includes Fast pass integration. This is all pretty freaking stellar, if you ask me!




Well, today I am going to talk about something that I know little about: Snapchat. And why am I going to talk about this not-so-little social media channel?

Snapchat’s 2014 total revenue: $3 million

Snapchat’s 2015 total revenue: $50 million 

Snapchat’s projected 2016 revenue: $300 million 

So yeah, I might want to start learning a thing or two about this platform. I downloaded the app a couple of months ago and have been creeping every now and then since (is creeping on Snapchat even a thing?).  I’ll share with you a little of what I learned:

This is a platform that allows users to send real-time videos and pictures that will self-destruct after a few seconds of viewing them.  To enhance pictures, it comes equipped with the ability to doodle on the photos, add text, or use their graphic lenses. Apparently, the receiver of the message can screen shot the picture, but it will come with the price of sender knowing you did so (confused yet?).  Additionally to the messaging option, there are ‘stories’ which allow the user to add multiple pictures and videos to their story that will continuously show for 24 hours.  The ‘stories’ enable you to narrate your entire day by allowing your friends and family see quick glances of what you are doing (ok, kinda cool). Because there is a time limit on the user’s content, there becomes a sense of urgency for people to post more and look at other’s stories.

I have found that there are a lot of creative ways that brands can use Snapchat for their organizations.  My favorite one that I have so far is the WWF (World Wildlife Fund):


To snap or not to snap…. What do you guys think?



Unconnected Camping…

My current situation:

Driving (well, sitting in the passenger seat) in my hybrid that is jammed packed full of crap with my two daughters, connected to my laptop via my cellular hotspot.  Why am I writing this now, in the car? Well, because we are headed to Hocking Hills (State Park in Ohio) for spring break and I just found out some devastating news… NO WIFI (and possibly no cell service)!!

I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about this week’s lesson: The future of Internet of Things (IoT)… Say the Internet of whaat?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. 

IoT is a big deal because it is our future and not to mention, by the year 2025, it is estimated that IoT will have the economic impact of 11 TRILLION dollars.  It will not be long until we are living in a completely connected society and personally, I couldn’t be more excited! This is an exciting time for marketing peeps because the more we are connected, the more data we obtain about our audiences.  This is also an exciting time for consumers because product designers have the ability to perfectly customize our devices to tailor our needs and provide us with even more convenience!

Welcome to the future smart world:


So we just made a rest stop and I look up and see this:


A Tesla (smart car) charging station. Perfect! Couldn’t have been better timing and it makes me super excited.

As I sit here worried about what these next few days will be like not being connected, I wonder if ‘connected camping’ is or will be a thing in the future– because I hope so!

I know many of you might be thinking about the ‘risks’ of being SO connected. Of course with rewards, there are always going to be risks. The risks are a bit scary, too. So I will leave this post on a positive note and save that negativity for another day!






So, I knew I wanted to write this entry about social videos because I personally happen to love, love, love, an emotionally appealing video that tells a story.  I looked all over the internet to find a textbook definition of social video.  No such luck… Bummer.

In sum, social video marketing is when a company creates a digital video (some are shorter than others) that tells a story and is shareable. These videos create buzz. They create conversation, and most importantly, they create connections.  Also important to note that these videos are typically uploaded directly onto a social site.

According to Psychology Today, emotions are the main reason why a person prefers one brand over another. Likewise, people will purchase the name brand over generic with the same ingredients because the brand has made an emotional connection with the consumer. Believe it or not, people identify the same type of personality traits of brands as they do with people. Weird, right? So what does this mean?  It means that by creating a shareable video that is emotionally appealing, you are creating connections between consumers and brands, and ultimately helping establish brand loyalty!


So, how long should the video be?  It’s 2016, that ol’ saying ‘time is a commodity’ is probably an understatement. You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re ALL busy! Seriously, I would be surprised if anyone actually makes it through this entire post. With that being said, shorter videos are typically better for allowing your audience to be engaged the entire time.  Personally, I like a longer video that tells a more in-depth story, but that just might be me.  According to Sprout Social, these were the 2015 statistics:

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 9.09.57 PM

There is so much more I could say on this topic, but I know that I have already lost half of my readers at this point. So I will end with one of my all-time favorite social videos. Enjoy!




Have you ever looked at something online and then become reminded of that something for the next three months via ads on every other site you visit?  No, you are not crazy. No, the CIA is not following your smart watch search. Welcome to the world of retargeting.


Retargeting is a powerful tool used by marketers across the land.. It is an optimization and branding tool that is used after a person visits a site on the oh-so-ever glorious internet and does not complete a purchase.  What, you thought you were going to skate out of a purchase and not be tracked thereafter?  Not in 2016, my friend. So how does it work? Well, it goes a little something like this….

You visit a website and browse some vacation rentals in the mountains for you and your friends, but then your phone rings and your friend tells you not to make that purchase because there might be a better deal that she is looking into.  Ok, got it. You exit that website and go about your business as usual.  What you didn’t know is that website had an unnoticable code placed in their website by a retargeting provider. Next, this code has placed retargeting ‘cookies’ into your browser and is now able to track you (wherever you go, I go).  Later that day, you are scrolling through your Facebook feed and what do you know, VACATION RENTALS! Essentially, the marketers want you be reminded of the product and redirect you back to them to finish your purchase.


Thanks, Retargeter for the visual! If you are interested, there are whole load of retargeting platforms you can check out, such as: Adroll, Retargeter , Fetchback, and Chango.

Happy creeping (I mean, retargeting), everyone!



Communication is key, they said.  While I have an undergraduate degree in communication studies, you don’t exactly need a degree to understand this concept.  Being an active consumer in today’s society, there is no doubt that you are actively communicating for a solid portion of your day.  Communication does not only entail having friendly conversations with friends and family.  So, lets think about this for a minute… In what ways have you communicated today?  Ok, i’ll go first:

I woke up to my alarm clock (aka cell phone), looked at my phone to see a push notification from Shutterfly (yay, a free 16 x 20 print!), checked my Facebook notifications, checked my email and saw that two of my daughters friends’ RSVP’d to her birthday party, and finally ventured my way out of bed and down stairs, turning on the TV to stream my favorite morning radio talk show via Apple TV.  Next, my daughter told me that she looked at her weather app on her iPad to find that it would be almost 60 degrees today (this calls for a celebration for any Ohioan).  Over the next couple hours, I communicated with people via text, phone call, and Instagram, and also utilized my iMac to look over my school assignments and work on a website that I am currently creating.

So within a the first few hours of my day, I have successfully communicated in about a dozen ways, utilizing a multitude of emerging media outlets– Ah ha, there’s our bread and butter. So what is this emerging media talk about anyway?

Emerging Media 

I am going to assume that we all know what media means and we all know what the word emerging means, so simple, right?  Wrong. Actually, you might not even be aware of it, but the media is changing and evolving every single day and the the way you are being marketed (or marketing) to is also changing every day. But, why?  The reason is relatively simple: Because consumers are spending more time being connected in unlimited number of ways, digital media is becoming mainstream.  It used to be that marketers sent advertising messages to the consumers and that was it, end of story.  Well, with all of this emerging media, consumers are now able to create, send, and share their very own messages! So as a media consumer, it is important for us to become mindful (aware) of emerging media and what it means to consumers, marketers, business owners, etc.

That’s a wrap– for today, anyway. I hope that you can take this journey with me while I pursue my graduate degree in IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) and learn a few things along the way!