Archive for the ‘Design’ Tag

New Website Launched!

PomeMailer has been offically launched as a stand alone website offering indepth information on our email marketing solution.

The website features a collection e-shots, the benefits our using the PomeMailer system along with some huge system updates, including powerful audience profiling and geographic mapping. PomeMailer itself is currently undergoing development, to be re-released late summer 2009.

Visit the site at www.pomemailer.com and let us know what you think!

Zugara : NEW online shopping experience

Zugara launches online shopping app utilizing augmented reality and motion capture

“Here at Zugara, we’re proud to announce the launch of our newest application, The Webcam Social Shopper. Coupling the functionality of both Augmented Reality and Motion Capture, this application will allow anyone with a webcam to shop online right from within their video feed. We like to think of it as “Augmented Reality meets Utility”. This app allows you to seemingly hold articles of clothing up in front of yourself to see “how they look”. And the Motion Capture allows the app to track your movements so you can interact with the site (e.g. cycle through a product’s various colors/styles or take a picture of yourself so you can get immediate feedback from friends on Facebook) while standing several feet away from your computer’s controls. No extra downloads, no new plug-in, no consumer headache.

To see the application in action, check out our video below.

(UPDATE: If you’re having trouble accessing the embedded video – here is the direct YouTube URL)

Now that you’ve seen the application in its “Alpha State”, think about the potential an app like this has as we partner with brands to allow their consumers to do things like:

* Livestream their webcam’s feed to friends and loved ones, and get comments and feedback right next to the application in real time.
* Receive “clothing care packages” from loved ones who might be somewhere else in the country and set up times to “shop together”… online.
* Enter their measurements into the app and get a “fitted image”.
* Match entire outfits at the same time, both top and bottom.
* Shop right within a branded Facebook application.

It’s not a secret that friends/family recommendations influence a consumer’s purchase decision and beat any other “consumer touchpoint”. Now, we can help brands empower their consumers to integrate their friends and family into their online shopping process like never before. The thinking is that this application will help bridge the gap between how people like to shop offline and how they are forced to shop online, subsequently providing an enhanced interactive shopping experience for the consumer and increased sales for the brand. So, what do you think? Please, feel free to share this post with anyone and everyone, or embed the video above in your own blog. And, as always, we’d love to know your thoughts below…

About Zugara

Zugara is an interactive marketing agency with a passion for emerging media and technologies. Unlike most agencies, we don’t claim to do everything: Interactive Video, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, and Website & Application Development are our core competencies. Since our doors opened in 2001, we’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands such as Reebok, Sony Computer Entertainment Of America, Toyota, Activision, Jelly Belly, Casio, The Air Force, and Lexus to create strategic interactive campaigns that focus on accomplishing their business objectives. Based in Los Angeles, we’re currently in the process of expanding, and opening our second office in New York (www.zugara.com) (www.zugarastudios.com)”.

For more information on The Webcam Social Shopper or ZugMo Technology, please contact ar@zugara.com. For all other inquiries, please contact info@zugara.com.

Source

Widgets are changing our world

“Today, online retailers are looking for ways to extend their reach to social networks, desktop and web widgets, blogs, and mobile applications to connect with customers,” says Worklight’s David Lavenda. “But the real question is not how to capture customers’ attention, but rather how companies generate sales and enhance customer loyalty via such popular tools as Facebook, iPhone, iGoogle, Adobe Air and others. Secure retail widgets represent a new and exceptional channel for convenient shopping and always-on customer service, one that generates sales for retailers and saves customers time and money.” “Online sales are becoming an increasingly critical element of multi-channel retail sales, especially as people become highly selective in where and how they shop,” Lavenda added. “Retailers that are able to monetize this migration to the online channel, with successful widget marketing and sales efforts, will quickly stand apart from the rest.” • Allow customers to search and shop directly via the widget, without being redirected to the retailer website. • Engage customers by providing personalised widgets with highly-granular, individualised offers to improve conversion rates, lower marketing costs, and increase lift. Enable customers to respond to offers within the widget, without being redirected. • Provide social networking tools to let customers share experiences regarding services and products with their friends. Then let friends order products directly from the social networking sites. • Experiment with marketing messages to quickly and cost-effectively select the most effective messages for micro-market segments. • Monitor response and conversion rates to gauge the success of widget campaigns and improve performance. • Compare the costs and returns of secure widget-based offers against traditional marketing channels or even non-secure widgets

Internet World event review; Earls Court, London

Just attended the show, its impressive to see the diversity to some extent, of the operations that are developing. However what is slightly alarming is how when you dig below the surface there are so many companies with a similar offering!
CMS, email, web design… Everyone is doing it, the battle is to shout loudest.

What is differentiating all these companies?

I have seen more than 12 simply selling their unique, all conquering cms!

So how do these shows really work? At the end of the day anyone in web should have an impressive site anyway, that’s why I find them and then their content has to be good otherwise otherwise I scream deception, fraud, they are not living up to the promise, its a sham!

So what did I get out of it, well a lot of uncomfortable surreptitious badge staring, as people try to figure you out, some trumpet blowing and plenty of desperate sales guys, many just hired for the day!

However I was about to make my exit when I noticed that Scott Seaborn from Ogilvy was giving a little insight into mobile media, totally intrigued and a little naïve in this sector I had to attend!

Blimey if nothing else that was worth being there for! Far to short of course as they kept it to a mere 25 mins and how Scott managed to keep it to that I will never know, he managed to cram in such an thorough insight. I would have thought for many in that theatre it was truly mind blowing, it certainly was for me.

These guys at Ogilvy have certainly got their eyes on the ball and they have been tinkering with this stuff for a few years now.

From the Guiness Rugby Sevens tour widget to the latest Fanta teen game, its awe inspiring to see just what the mobile medium can actually achieve.

This medium really does make the current multi-channel approaches to marketing seem fractured, through deploying exciting interactive  and often useful apps (applications) from web to phone, the brand that is assigned with the app, not only gains credible exposure but actually achieves the ability to be constantly in view to the user. This ability to develop an intrinsic relationship with the user is so fundamentally powerful, not only can the brand provide a useful function, thereby promoting many integrity and added value messages, but the app can actually generate enhanced conversion to sales.

The difference as Scott put it, is moving from the typical Push marketing approach to the more appealing and effective Pull.

By understanding then utilising the vast array of features and functions a mobile phone can offer, in conjunction with every day actions such as shopping or playing games or travelling, the mobile app ‘creators’ can effectively convert the phone from a primary use tool into a complete ‘personal assistant’.

I hear you say, ‘well isnt that what the Iphone does?’ Now I know that Apples Iphone has obviously provided a relatively open platform for some incredibly innovative and pioneering mobile applications, however firstly the majority of apps currently promote the developer or Apple and secondly this access is obviously based on having an Iphone.

Its taken some time for the UK to really start noticing the possibilities of Mobile and for me today was an impressive wakeup call, keep an eye out as to what Pomegranate will do next!

Duncan Thomas

Competing in a recession

While budgets are restrained in a recession, contrary to what may seem logical, it’s time to invest wisely to get your website in order. Not only does this provide your business with an edge and may well ensure survival but it also puts you ahead of the game when the economy turns round and things pick up.

Recent research shows that lowering prices isn’t necessarily the answer and may end up doing more harm than good. Customer service and client relationships on the other hand, are a great way to distinguish your business from your competitors’. Understandably service levels are improving in the UK and possibly worldwide during this period of hardship.

The big question is can you create a good user experience (UX) without breaking the bank?

Know your audience and their goals

‘Who’s coming to your site?’ is the first question to ask. This may sound simple but it’s surprising how many organisations aren’t aware of this information. Run an online survey on your site to find out more about who your customers actually are. This can then be broken down into a clearer segmentation to give you a basic view of your audience. Tools like SurveyMonkey make this easy and are reasonably priced.

Also find out why people are visiting your site. What are they looking for or hoping to achieve? Only by discovering their needs can you check if the site meets them. And if it doesn’t, you’re armed with this valuable data to direct your efforts in ensuring customer needs are fulfilled.

Check your navigation and search

Browsing and searching are the 2 main ways of accessing information on a website. The online population is split 50:50 in terms of preference for one or the other so both need equal attention and care.

When considering your navigation, think about how your content’s structured and classified. Is it meaningful to your users or is it mired in internal intricacies? Card sorting is the technique to create a user-centred navigation. This doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise requiring a huge investment. Automated tools that minimise the facilitation required and extend the reach can help keep the costs down.

Ensure your site search is clearly identifiable, consistently placed in the top right and forgiving of common typing errors. Are your search results presented in a logical manner? The value of a good back-end search can’t be underestimated as web users now expect the efficacy of Google wherever they encounter search.

Considering a new feature or even a re-design?

Does the proposed change meet site visitor needs? Before embarking upon a change, find out from your customers whether it’s what they want and need. Needless to say, if ever there was a time when ROI needed certainty this is it. User interviews are your best bet here. Make sure the resulting user needs are incorporated into the other requirements that may have been gathered.

The most cost-effective way of making sure the new design is along the right user experience lines is to create low-fidelity, throwaway wireframes and test these with your target audience. These blueprints can be as basic as paper sketches.

Resist the temptation to skip testing and go full steam ahead in creating something that’s nearly finished because the earlier a design’s validated, the cheaper it’s to fix faults and the less effort you’ve wasted.

Free SEO keywords and analytics

Good usability and good search engine optimisation (SEO) go hand in hand. Tailor your site to what your audience is thinking and that’s what they’ll type into the search engines! Want to find out what your site visitors are searching for? Try the Google AdWords Keyword tool – it shows what’s been searched for on a given URL in the previous month.

Another valuable addition to your toolkit is Google Analytics, which lets you analyse website statistics. This allows a strong tie-in of the UX changes to demonstrable ROI, which in turn can only promote buy-in of the user-centred philosophy throughout your organisation.

www.mad.co.uk
Mrudula Kodali, Senior Consultant at user experience consultancy, Webcredible.

Experiment #1: Media Mash

Pomegranate Media are announcing a new experiment into social media! We are currently in the lab getting out the bunsen burners, tweaking knobs and turning screws to create one monster of an experiment!

The aim of our experiment is to find out just how far we can push ourselves within the social media network. Using sites such as You Tube, Twitter, Facebook and the like we plan on promoting ourselves left right and centre.

Check back here soon for an update on our progress. Keep your eyes peeled and your ear to the ground… You might just see us out there in action!

Vanishing stores leads to ‘Brand Ghosting’…

Derelict B&Q store, UK

People discuss brands, identities, perceptive values etc etc until they are blue in the face. However something I recently noticed, with the crippling blanket of financial gloom hanging over us, is the amount of downsizing or relocating that is happening. Of course there are also the less fortunate who have simply had their business well and truly crunched, but what struck me as I passed by a recently vacated B&Q was how little attention brand owners pay to the state of the premises on leaving. It appears there is little thought as to who may take your place, how brands communicate their departure to customers, what state the location is left in and did you remove every trace of your brands existence there?

After some discussion I have realised that there is a new term to be coined here, ‘brand ghosting’! People can still remember when your company was last there and how they were treated when you moved on or closed down, the fact is a customers memory can live on for some time and definitely has a measurable impact. The question is what can brands do to minimise the effect when its out of your control.

First and foremost its the old communications game, advise and inform your customers well in advance, let them prepare and feel a part of goings on. Make sure the premises are pristine on departure, removing your identity but leaving a good taste.

The big issue with the B&Q experience was that it affected my view of the entire company not just that particular store. In this volatile economic climate where the unexpected is expected brands have to be more careful then ever to always portray themselves in the most positive light.

The reason this point rather caught me unawares was the realistaion of how little brands really consider the vacation impact? The B&Q I saw was a mess of graffiti and rubbish, however because the brand identity was clearly visible, with that lovely orange hoarding the effect I was left with was a negative feeling about the state of the company. In times like these can any brand afford thoughts like this to creep into the publics conscious?

Pomegranate would love to hear about more experiences of brand ghosting, so if you have seen any on the high street lately, get sharing?

To learn more on branding and brand confidence visit the Pomegranate group website and find out what it’s all about!

Compare the Meerkat.com

This has to be one of the funniest adverts on TV at the moment and a very welcome relief from the dreary comparison site adverts that we’ve been subjected to in the past. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, here is the link.

Also, if you’ve got a spare five minutes, it’s worth logging on to www.comparethemeerkat.com.

Too much fun to be had!

Pomegranate’s TV ad’s of the week!

I’ll tell you what is definately going up this week… Eyebrow solos… Think about it, this is clearly the way forward.

You might not believe it but Cadbury’s certainly do. Those crazy chocolatiers have done it again, but is it odd or captivating enough to become the next gorrilla ad? Only time will tell. With eyebrows as fast as these, surely there will be nothing to stop them!

T-Moblie have released a new advert featuring, well their new phone of course! Nice take on the whole ‘flash mob’ thing, this one is really funny!

Skittles have created another advert for the wonder sweet which would seem should come with a health warning ‘May cause hallucinations’.

Four out of five online retailers have digital marketing headaches

Stressed by your inability to track your online marketing spend properly? 79% of the UK’s internet retailers are suffering from the same headache, according to new research from Coremetrics

Four out of five online retailers have digital marketing headaches

A significant 79% of online retailers in the UK are suffering from digital marketing headaches, new research commissioned by Coremetrics has found, and a massive 96% of marketers in the retail sector are not measuring ROI across all of their marketing tactics. Furthermore, 25% do not measure ROI across any online marketing tactics at all.

The biggest marketing headaches are deciding where to spend marketing budget, for nearly a third of respondents, and knowing how to determine ROI on elements of their marketing mix, for 29%. The other main problem areas include:

* Comparing campaigns across vendors and channels (32%)
* Information overload about digital marketing initiatives (23%)
* Understanding relationships between campaigns (14%)
* Understanding which campaigns are driving customer acquisition (9%)

Despite this lack of understanding of how to measure integrated marketing techniques, a third of respondents are expecting to add further online tactics to their marketing mix in 2009. In a bid to entice thrifty shoppers, making special offers was the top tactic expected to be implemented in the coming year. However, ‘special offers’ was the least measured tactic by those who already use it, with 90% not measuring ROI on their efforts.

“Tellingly, all the UK retail companies that have collapsed over the past month have all had a poor web presence, showing that digital is a key weapon in retailers’ arsenal,” says Coremetrics’ Richard Sheppard. “Having a strong and informed web presence, to capture customers that are abandoning the high street, is crucial for retail success in 2009.”