tech in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 8, 2013 10:31 AM
In case you missed it, here's the pre-CES keynote by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs on January 7th. The theme: What does it mean to be born mobile? Highlights, as you can watch below, include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (who has given the pre-CES keynote in previous years) plus Big Bird, Star Trek actress Alice Eve and Rolls Royce.Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 8, 2013 10:01 AM
The flurry of mobile banking ads lately is no accident. Just like every other business, banks have figured out that consumers are on the go — and connected — all the time. Banks are already scrambling to get their piece of the mobile payments market, and now mobile banking apps are the latest new thing.
A slew of campaigns are featuring the ease of mobile banking, with banks such as Barclays expanding mobile. Bank of America says, "Life is mobile. So is your bank." Chase calls mobile banking, "The power of Chase in the palm of your hand."
But Capital One, instead of pitching the mobile app itself, is focusing on the convenience factor for the consumer.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 7, 2013 02:18 PM
The Ford brand closed 2012 on some weak notes, grappling with pesky recalls on its newest vehicles and trying to figure out how to shore up owner confidence in MyFord Touch. But some believe Ford is on course for a stellar 2013, the automaker is certainly showing signs of a new-year renaissance with its announcements at this week's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Ford's difficulties last year stemmed largely from consumer confusion over how to use the MyFord Touch infotainment hardware and software, and their frustration spilled over into poor ratings via third parties such as Consumer Reports. Ford also took blows from issuing four recalls on its crucial new Escape SUV and from reviewer skepticism about reported mileage levels for its new C-Max hybrid.
Yet in the new year, which could be his last full one as CEO, Ford chief Alan Mulally and his troops will be able to rely on a number of momentum builders. They'll have full-volume sales of the newly designed Fusion mid-size sedan and, without any more recalls, should be able to build sales of Escape as well. Sales of the Focus compact continue to build; the Fiesta subcompact, in December, recovered a bit from its recent sales doldrums. And Ford's F-Series pickups continue as the best-selling vehicles in America.
Against that backdrop, and ahead of an expected "product blitz" at the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford's 2013 CES news includes enhancing its SYNC AppLink in-car connected platform with new mobile partners:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 7, 2013 12:12 PM
The evolution of the automobile into a mobile living room takes a giant leap forward this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with many of the world's top 10 car makers touting wares that advance the richness, variety and seamlessness of the infotainment experience inside their vehicles. Audi, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, and Toyota's Lexus brand are all tooting their own digital horns and partnerships at the 2013 CES show.
Garnering some pre-CES buzz, both Lexus and Audi will be showcasing their respective advances in the self-driving car arena, whose development so far has been aggressively pursued mainly by Google (using Lexus for its self-driving car test) Both luxury auto brands are displaying technologies that could bring this once-outlandish notion closer to the actual road.Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 4, 2013 03:43 PM
In the wake of Apple's mapping woes and Google Mapsgate, the social web blew up at reports this week that Apple was looking to buy Waze, an Israeli start up's mobile app that helps drivers plot better routes via real-time traffic reports. Those talks, however, ended over the failure to agree on a price, as The Next Web has confirmed. Over to you, Google?
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 20, 2012 09:58 AM
Safeway is struggling to survive in a competitive market increasingly defined by upscale brands and value rivals. “Safeway’s greatest challenge is that competition from non-traditional grocers at the high end and low end of the market is stealing its customer base,” comments the Around Dublin blog. “Stores such as Grocery Outlet, Wal-Mart, Target, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Whole Foods Market have thrived in their respective niches as they expand throughout the United States.”
The grocery retailer's strategic course corrections include building new stores, converting older ones to a hipper more prevalent “Lifestyle” format with enlarged space to expand offerings in the more profitable verticals of health, deli, and bakery, and its “Just for U” program, offering personalized deals based on a customer’s purchase history. Personalization is high on the list of features U.S. consumers would like to see more retailers offer.
Consumers can join the Just 4 U program to qualify for discounts online at Safeway’s website or by downloading an app for iPhone and Android devices, where special discounts based on a person’s shopping history are available. The targeted marketing program provides relevant, personalized offers, coupons, weekly specials and tools for each individual shopper.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 19, 2012 05:53 PM
Two federal actions regarding online privacy for U.S. consumers shed light on the increasing complexity of digital safeguards in today’s wired world.
Flanked by bipartisan legislators and both Houses, the Federal Trade Commission unveiled proposed changes and updates to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa). The legislation was introduced in 1998, a lifetime ago in the social networking milieu of 2012.
The Washington Post calls the FTC proposal a "landmark update," while the New York Times says it "significantly expands the types of companies required to obtain parental permission before knowingly collecting personal details from children, as well as the types of information that will require parental consent to collect."
The Los Angeles Times commented that the FTC is giving "a pass" to Apple, Google and Facebook, as "Federal regulators exempted app purveyors such as Apple's App Store and Google Play from having to police apps. Providers of plug-ins such as Facebook with its 'Like' button were also exempted."
The move also comes during a week when the social web rose up against Instagram for moving to commercial users' photos — and swiftly backpedaled — in a user revolt that had repercussions for the photo-filtering and -sharing site's parent, Facebook, which was lampooned in a new video by Funny or Die today.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 7, 2012 10:11 AM
Target recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, but don’t think this retailer is getting old and stuck in its ways. Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Jones, who joined the organization earlier this year, is planning to put a good deal of energy into digital content rather than simply in pushing out marketing campaign after campaign.
“In the past, marketers would make campaigns, they would put them in the world, and they would wait to see what happened,” Jones said in a video released on the brand's A Bullseye View website and YouTube channel. “In today’s world, it happens hourly. It happens daily. And this is a brand that has such enriched deep content that our guests want to hear from us on. So if we can create content and share content and allow our guests to speak on our behalf, that’s really beneficial for them to deepen their engagement and it helps us amplify our message as well.”Continue reading...