Posts Tagged ‘ whitepapers ’

Apple & Microsoft vs. Android. What Does This Mean for Consumers?

It’s clash of the titans in the mobile, tablet computing and mobile OS arena. With the crowds screaming for blood and mass confusion in the marketplace what is a consumer to do? As an advertising agency we constantly have to have our fingers on the pulse of the industry to see what emerging technologies and software are coming center stage to making sure we maximize our clients dollars while keeping them relevant. There is still no viable ecosystem in the mobile/tablet market place. Giants are emerging in the arena and some are even teaming up with long time foes to gain market share. Because of this, you are left with fragmentation, an over-saturated marketplace, way too many choices to make and compatibility issues.

Apple has created a niche for themselves and are the dominant force in hardware and software. But if Apple sours your stomach and you are feeling brave there are some sure bets to satisfy your computing needs. Google has shaken the Apple tree and Android has emerged as the forbidden fruit and a significant player while allowing other hardware companies to enter the battleground. The difference is that you can’t really compare the two or even the other players (Rim, Blackberry etc.). Apple’s hardware is only sold with their software where Android is purely software running on other manufacturer’s hardware. Even with Google’s recent purchase of Motorola I don’t think full integration will be seen in the marketplace until mid 2012. There are also so many flavors of Android that even getting apps to run on all machines cross-platform is an amazing feat.

Google was also tag-teamed recently by Apple and Microsoft when they purchased certain patents making it more expensive for anyone using Android and not Windows Phone OS. So obviously you can see who are the marketplace giants.

“But I just want to check my email and update Facebook and maybe play Angry Birds!” I feel your pain, in order for the market to unify we need to create an ecosystem and uniformity across a small group of dominant systems. The profitability of apps has been unparalleled and the shift in the way society has integrated into technology is amazing. So when it comes down to brass tacks and you the consumer have to make a decision what should you do? What goes on behind the scenes should not really influence your decision too much. Here is what you should consider:

1. Choose a device that will accomplish your basic needs.
2. Pick a reputable company that has made a commitment to their product line.
3. Look at the amount of applications available/compatible for your device.
4. Read the consumer blogs to see what your peers think of the device.
5. Look at Youtube for product reviews.

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s talk about what is on the horizon. If you purchase an Android device there is a new App store in the mix. Amazon is popping it’s collar with its own app store and right out-of-the-box are offering a ton of great applications. They are even giving one “Paid App” away everyday. I hope Google is ready for another throw down because this will seriously affect the Google Marketplace (their current app store). Not to mention, Amazon is gearing-up to enter the Tablet war with two new tablets code named “Coyote and Hollywood” with very low price points. I am sure this is directed at Apple so the rest of the year should get very interesting.

(Stay educated and happy shopping.)
Christopher LeBlanc – Creative Director @ evok advertising
Follow me at @chriskleblanc or @evoklarry to get info, tips and relevant news.

Write or Right?

It seems every time I turn around there’s another article, paper or blog post with a list of tips on ways to improve your SEO or what not to put on your resume or the best shortcuts to use in Photoshop. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t get over how often these pieces contain sentences that run on forever, grammatical errors, misspellings or are just poorly written. Having recently marked my twentieth year working as a copywriter in advertising, I thought I’d put my own list together. Most of it is advice I’ve picked up from others but I’ve also included a few of my own musings on the subject. By no means is this a complete list or in any particular order of importance. It’s simply a few basic tips on writing I hope will help.

1. Find your own voice. The writing is always stronger when it comes from a true place.

2. Everybody thinks they can write. Truth is most people can’t.

3. Vary the length of your sentences. – A general rule of thumb is to use short sentences to emphasize ideas and longer sentences to explain the idea.

4. Use a dictionary. You can’t trust spell check.

5. The word THAT. – One of my copywriting instructors in ad school used to fine us for using fluff words in our copy. Some words cost a quarter, others fifty cents. THAT was a dollar word. In almost every instance you can remove it from a sentence and you’ll never know it’s gone.

6. Write, rewrite and rewrite. If you want to get it right.

7. Read what you’ve written out loud. – If you stumble over a particular phrase or section rewrite it. By reading your work aloud you can hear if there’s a problem area.

8. Read your copy backwards. – When you’re finished writing scan your copy from the end to the beginning. It’s a quick way to proof for any glaring errors.

9. Being organized is half the battle. – Outline or frame your thoughts before you put them into words. It will make the writing process go much easier.
10. Respect your reader. – If your copy contains misspellings, grammatical errors or is just poorly written, it makes you suspect in the eyes of the reader. If you couldn’t take the time to get the copy right, why should your reader believe the content is credible?

Strengths & Weaknesses of Magazine Advertising

There are thousands of magazines in which you can purchase advertising. They can be local, regional, national or even international. And though purchasing space in a magazine can be just right for your product or service, before you take that leap (hopefully with significant research to fall back on), you must still be aware of both the strengths and weaknesses associated with advertising in magazines.

STRENGTHS
· Highly targeted – Magazines are successful at reaching certain selected audiences such as women, parents, auto-enthusiasts, sports fans, etc. Also, many national magazines are capable of targeting to specific regions. So, for example, if your client only has locations in the southeast, you can still look at purchasing in a publication such as Sports Illustrated by buying only the southeast region.

· Allows for heavy copy messages – If you have a complicated message or want to call out specific features of your product in more detail, magazines allow for the space to do this. These are best for branding.

· Long shelf life – Most magazines will stay around a home for at least a week and some for more than a month. Many are also passed on to someone else. This allows for repeat exposure to the primary reader, as well as exposure to the pass-along reader.

· Receptive Audience – Readers subscribe to magazine so they will most likely be receptive to the message, as it will reflect their interests.

· Tangible – The reader can touch it and feel it and can spend as much time with it as they want, unlike television where the messages are only :05 – :60 in length.

· Trust – Consumers tend to trust what they see and read in magazines. Somewhat like a newspaper, it offers that third-party credibility that so many of us subconsciously desire.

WEAKNESSES
· Not intrusive – There is no control as to how a person reads a magazine. They may flip by your ad without even seeing it.

· Lack of immediacy – Since a reader may not look at their magazine for days or even weeks after receiving it, it is best to have a branding message versus a message with a limited time offer or one that needs an immediate action.

· Early close dates – Many magazines require advertisers to have their ads to them 1-2 months prior to publication. This means that creative and marketing need to have complete campaigns well ahead of a publication date. As you can imagine, this may not work for all promotions/campaigns.

If you have any questions about whether magazine advertising, or even print advertising in general, is right for your product, feel free to contact evok at 407.302.4416.