The Head Down Revolution

Woman on city street looking at smartphone

If you live in a major metro market, then you know what it’s like to walk down the street and see 90% of the people with their heads down buried in their phone. I was one of those people, until I found myself standing in the middle of the street in Manhattan writing a text and nearly getting hit by a taxi. From that point on, I made sure that I was always looking up. But I am definitely in the minority. And this post is not about the safety, or lack thereof, when it comes to texting. It’s about how marketers can capitalize on this Head Down Revolution.

According to Statista, the U.S. mobile phone penetration has reached 81%, representing 223 million consumers. And those consumers spend an average of 4.7 hours per day glued to their smartphones. More importantly, is the role that texting now plays in our everyday lives, especially when it comes to marketing. For an eye-opening example, texts have a 99% open rate compared to 20% for email*. Pretty amazing, huh? Now I imagine that smartphones are currently in the midst of fine tuning their hardware to introduce features that can block such correspondence. But who knows when that will come?

So until that day, marketers have a humongous opportunity to take advantage and focus their outbound efforts on the behaviors of the smartphone user. A behavior that is now second nature, and while receiving a text from a brand may seem like a nuisance at first, it is certainly less of one than an email. Also, if you’re sending info or content that isn’t selling, but more serving them something of value, then you’re more likely to be able to maintain that dialogue.

And isn’t a dialogue what we want? It opens the door, and leads to traffic. And when you have enough traffic, ultimately it will lead to transactions. It’s this approach to marketing, partnered with the aforementioned tactics, that can build the awareness and engagement you’re looking for.

Now how about a little “social experiment”: The next time you’re walking down the street, take note of how many people’s’ heads are down. It truly is a sight to see. Just think, those eyes could be engaged in your brands message. And if the message is “timed” to when your customer is in the market for a new product, it becomes relevant and timely — a very powerful combination.

*Credits: Jack Loechner — Editor of The Center for Media Research; SinglePoint; Statista

Gloves That You Won’t Take Off To Use Your Touchscreen

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 4.55.11 PMNow that the winter season has officially started, don’t let the cold weather slow down your productivity.  This winter, stay connected on all of your favorite devices while keeping your hands nice and toasty with touchscreen gloves from Mujjo. Most gloves designed for this purpose, are restricted to one or two fingers, but Mujjo redefines the touchscreen gloves promise letting you use all 10 fingers, or even the palm of your hand, without having to expose your hands to the blistery elements! They’re available in many colors: black, natural gray, lavender, coral pink and made from the finest Ethiopian lambskin, known for offering the best isolation properties of any kind of leather.  Beyond touch screen functionality, they keep you warm, are durable, with a comfortable fit and they look great. If this sounds like something you’ve always been looking for, the gloves are available from Mujjo’s site.

What Sparks Our Fire: high-tech meets fashion to come up with a useful item

Would you grab yourself a piece? Let us know below.

Makeup Meet Your Match

make up genusEveryone is talking about wearable technology. In fact, Apple announced yesterday the release of its most anticipated product: the iWatch. But, in beauty land, L’Oreal is leading the conversation with augmented reality technology in its new app Makeup Genius, taking the way we look at beauty and cosmetic application to the next level.

The app took over 10 years to develop and uses an exclusive RT Track 64 facial-tracking-algorism to deliver the most precise facial recognition through a live mirror camera. It allows you to see what you really look like with certain shades of makeup on in real-time as you turn your face, change your facial expression and take various angles.

So, if you ever found yourself trapped in the makeup aisle at a drugstore for hours trying to figure out the perfect shade of lipstick, blush, eye shadow or eyeliner and end up covering every square inch of the back of your hand with different colors, you will love this app. Simply put, you can now test out the colors virtually and make your purchase without having to go to the store and make your hands look like a palette.

How it Works
1. Download the app (works on iPhone or iPad)
2. Take a selfie
3. Let the app scan your face
4. Apply virtual makeup (you can choose up to 300 color cosmetics plus it also works on all ethnicities and allows for 400 lighting situations)
5. Purchase your perfect match instantly

What Sparks Our Fire:  A free makeup app using the latest augmented reality technology to help save time in your search for the perfect makeup shade.

Have you tried Makeup Genius? Share your thoughts!

Did You Find My Message?

phone2

Over the past few years there have been countless messaging apps that enable users to reach out to friends over new mediums in fun and useful ways. Facebook Messenger and Snapchat are the most successful, but they aren’t even relatively fun compared to this new app.

Traces is an app where you send messages that can only be retrieved by your friends when they get to a specific location. So, when you are sending a message you pick a place where the receiver has to go within a time limit that you set in order to open it. It’s like a scavenger hunt, but with messages. Traces lets you share messages, videos, and even songs. The only downside is that the app is currently only available in the UK where it is in beta – but they are planning on bringing it to the US soon, so for now we just have to hang in there.

What Sparks our Fire: A fun new way to message our friends

Where would you place a Trace?

Upgrade Your Contacts

Humin

It’s no secret that most of Apple’s native apps are lacking in features and there are third party apps that function much better. The one app that I previously saw no need to improve was my Contacts app. It simply does a great job of saving my contact’s phone numbers and email addresses in a simple format. Well, after downloading Humin I now can see how much I’ve been missing out on.

Humin does much more than keep track of how to contact the people you know, it reminds you how you know people, helps you remember them, and can even help you contact them. When adding a new contact into the app, by just entering a phone number or email address, it will automatically add a photo, where and when you added the contact, and where they work. While these features may appear intrusive, Humin guarantees that they are only taking the minimum amount of data onto their servers, so majority of it they will never have access to. Swiping over a contacts picture allows you to call them right from the app, or it can take you to your text message conversation with them, allowing you to use this app to fully replace the green phone app.

This app redefines what a contacts app can do by bringing your contacts into the 21st century, far away from the days of keeping a rolodex on your desk.

What Sparks our Fire: Apps that help us out.

Are you ready to improve your contacts app?