In digital marketing, we hear a lot about mobile-first or mobile-only campaigns. It’s talked a lot about, but it was not immediately clear to me if mobile was best used as a brand and awareness play or as a channel to drive acquisitions and purchases.
Dreamworks has a film due out in about a month called Turbo. I had not seen the trailer for it, I had not seen any display ads regarding the film. I hadn’t read any review or PR in traditional press. I hadn’t scanned a magazine or TV ad for it.
But, I knew the title and the premise of the film a few weeks ago. And, I discovered it without realizing it was a film at all.
A few weeks ago, I was browsing the Top New Free Apps section of Google Play. There it was, a racing game that looked fun called Turbo Racing League. I started playing it. I found it curious that Dreamworks was on the app loading screen (below) but it never hit me why.
This experience with Turbo has led me to see mobile as a strong pre-qualifier for brand awareness and positive brand association.
In this focus group of one, I found myself drawn in to the other forms of media where I already have seen Turbo since I had a positive experience with the brand (the movie). I even, perhaps a bit shamefully, now know the characters a bit.
For example, now I see Turbo all the time, it seems.
I see the out-of-home ads, like this one on top of a taxicab:
I’ve watched the trailer on YouTube:
Last Friday night, I used OpenTable for Android. It’s so easy and very helpful, especially when you’re in an area you don’t know well. Later in the weekend, at #SXSW in Austin (which, sadly, I did not attend), senior folks from StumbleUpon, YouTube and Pandora got on stage for a panel called, “Recommendation Engines: Going Beyond the Social Graph.”
What a missed opportunity for OpenTable.
I don’t mean the event itself. I mean to build out a robust and trustworthy recommendation algorithm of their own.
OpenTable should have one of the best recommendation engines out there. They have insight into not only search and browse behaviors for restaurants but more importantly, they know when you’ve actually eaten there.
Amazon’s reviews are so powerful not just because of their numbers, but because you can verify which reviewers have actually bought the product. We know it because Amazon can verify the purchase and the shipment.
Likewise, OpenTable can verify that someone sat down for their meal. (Note: Yelp tries to do this, too, by incorporating its check-ins. But all that really proves is that I was close by. OpenTable can say for sure that I ate there). It would be really cool if they could reconcile table orders with their reservations to verify even further that I did in fact try the lamb chop, but it’s not that OpenTable suffers from a reputation problem. They suffer simply from a lack-of-effort problem. Perhaps the problem is the incomplete feedback loop with the post-dining experience. OpenTable doesn’t need specific reviews of the restaurant by me, they have all the data that they need.
Moreover, OpenTable knows all about my habits: my price sensitivity, my proclivity to certain neighborhoods or preference of dining time. They can guess what genres of food I like and they can predict even things like where to eat based on where I might be at the time I’m booking for — maybe when booking last minute I prefer one type of restaurant, while planned meals a week out are different to me. There are all sorts of things.
I hope that all these things are on the team’s roadmap — perhaps they are. Think Foursquare but with data you don’t have any reason to question. I think OpenTable is sitting on a lot of really interesting data and they can do a lot in the future with it.
But for now, it’s a big missed opportunity for them.
Two complaints however. They both apply to text messaging and the GV app on Android:
(1) Messaging in the app does not allow for auto-capitalization or hitting [space] + [space] to insert a period. Simple stuff but it makes a big difference, especially when those are native features on the device.
(2) Messaging also limits messages to the 160 characters, no exceptions. You can’t send a message which is longer (the “send” becomes red). As a result, I end up sending a number of messages one after another, forcing my recipient to concatenate the messages into one.
These are not huge issues– and considering these are the only issues I can raise– I’m very happy with the app.
Any other issues you’ve seen with the GV app for Android? Let’s hear it in the comments.