Sunday, November 8, 2015

Geocatching, modern day "hide and seek"

A friend recently introduced me to a activity called Geocatching. I had heard a little about the term some time ago while channel surfing TV and coming across a UK travel program, but really didn't have any meaningful understanding about the topic.

It turns out its the evolution of a game thats been played for over 150 years, just morphed with technology from an old hiking activity that combined orienteering, art and puzzle solving. Years ago hikers would leave a postcard or letter on the trail in a makeshift "letterbox" for the next traveller to post for them.

The 21st century version of Letter-boxing uses GPS on your mobile to find waterproof boxes called Geocaches,  a typical cache is a small container containing a logbook. The player enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. This is then logged on the Geocache website to assist future players.

Geocache provides a map with clues

At some stage you need to look with you eyes
At last, we have found our first bounty

We sign the log book
I look forward to discovering many more treasures or "swag"  they may be inexpensive trinkets but possess a significant personal value for the achievement of the find.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Can Becons Drive Customer Loyalty?

Fori quite some time this year, I've spent many a day educating pub and venue owners of the benefits of using a loyalty program to encourage existing customers to stay and spend more in their venue.

By using beacon technoloigy, the venue has the heads up on who's in the pub at any given time. Take for example, a customer enters the venue and because he had previously accepted "push" notifications from the venue he is acknowledged for his regular visitation and rewarded with an extra drink at meal time.
This level of loyalty could be extended to offering the customer a time limited discount on additional purchases beyond their normal expenditure i.e give the main bar drinker a special deal on food within the bistro the same day.

The beauty is the beacon is notifying the customer as fhey move between the venue about the next offer which is keeping them engaged on making another purchase on premise.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Data Mining Social Chatter

What we share with our friends, family and colleagues using social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin & Twitter is also being keenly monitored by brands and retailers looking for life event triggers that signal our propensity to purchase a particular product or service at specific times in our life.

By making a somewhat in spontaneous post announcing a happy couples engagement gives marketers a somewhat predictable pattern of consumer behaviour, think wedding plans, searching for a venue, attire, entertainment and honeymoon travel. This data steam is a prime example of 'Big Data' and the outcome for the customer is personalised messaging and engagement with someone who is receptive to products that are of current interest to them. 

Following the digital footprint left by customers on social networks provides marketers with new sales opportunities and the chance to quickly respond to negative sentiment.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

State of the Internet in Australia

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is Australia's national wholesale communications network whish id currently being built to bring high speed broadband and telephone services throughout Australia. Depending on where you live in the country the roll out may have already happened or unfortunately may take as long as another decade before it gets to your home, school or workplace.

Given the great expense of this major infrastructure project there has been considerable debate about the cost and method of delivering the project. With the change of Federal Government in 2013 from Labor to Liberal & National Coalition the NBN was placed under a strategic review in an effort to reduce the cost from $72 billion dollars.

As an outcome of this budgeting exercise the NBN Co's strategic review has decided to reduce costs of the broadband architecture by using a mixture of technologies, including fibre to the node (FttN) and use of existing hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) would be implemented rather than the original fibre to the home (FttH)  where the optical fibre is installed right to the premises.

So what does that mean in terms of internet speed?

The Australian Labor Party was offering between 25Mbps and up to 100Mbps download, and 1Mbps up to 40Mbps upload on FttH. The plan was to offer 1Gbps on fibre in the future. On fixed wireless 25Mbps download and 5Mbps upload.

Whereas the Coalition are now promising between 25Mbps and up to 100Mbps download by 2016, increasing to between 50Mbps and up to 100Mbps by 2019 with No minimum upload speeds given.

As of 2014 pre NBN, Australia is ranked 30th in the world with an average peak connection speed of 30.1 megabits per second (Mbps), according to Akamai's latest State of the Internet report. This is a 32 per cent increase from the same period a year ago, when the nation ranked 36th with an average peak speed of 22.8 Mbps.

The top 20 countries for fast internet:
  1. Hong Kong, 65.4 Mbps
  2. South Korea, 63.6 Mbps
  3. Japan, 52 Mbps
  4. Singapore, 50.1 Mbps
  5. Israel, 47.7 Mbps
  6. Romania, 45.4 Mbps
  7. Latvia, 43.1 Mbps
  8. Taiwan, 42.7 Mbps
  9. Netherlands, 39.6 Mbps
  10. Belgium, 38.5 Mbps
  11. Switzerland, 38.4 Mbps
  12. Bulgaria, 37 Mbps
  13. United States, 37 Mbps
  14. Kuwait, 36.4 Mbps
  15. United Arab Emirates, 36 Mbps
  16. Britain, 35.7 Mbps
  17. Canada, 34.8 Mbps
  18. Czech Republic, 34.8 Mbps
  19. Macau, 34.4 Mbps
  20. Sweden, 33.1 Mbps

Figures are average peak connection speeds in megabits per second. Source: Akamai

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Australians Ready To Go Digital With Their Wallet Via The Smartphone

The idea of having a wallet or purse that doesn't bulge with a multitude of plastic cards is quite attractive to many. I got to the stage where my wallet was so full of ID, membership and credit cards that I separated my cards into a pile of everyday cards and another of "some times" cards. That solution however proved to be problematic for me being spontaneous and likely to make a random decision to go to the zoo or movies and discovering my membership is in the sometimes wallet left back at home.

In Australia nearly 80% of us wont leave home without the smartphone, they have become as critical as your keys or up until recently your cash and credit cards. Enter the digital wallet, a one stop shop for all your credentials. Cash, ID and memberships all conveniently located in your smartphone.

Mobile payments use the same technology as contactless payments. Take a look at the supermarket or your petrol station, you can already simply tap your credit card on the merchant’s EFTPOS terminal and your payment is made. This merchant technology by MasterCard's PayPass and Visa's PayWave can also be used for mobile payments using wireless near field communication (NFC) to the EFTPOS device.

The large supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths will adopt the use of digital wallet payments because of the convenience of the "tap and go" infrastructure already being part of the store payment systems. However a smartphone digital wallet goes beyond payments, it can also be used for travel and concert tickets, loyalty redemption and geo proximity special deals such as retailers enticing you into their store by offering instant freebies and time sensitive discounts.

Sometime ago I heard Google’s real business objective is to be a financial institution and it seems that ambition is coming into fruition with their latest banking product Google Wallet. This Android App allows you to store credit card and loyalty reward card details on your smartphone and make a payments to an NFC enabled EFTPOS device that accept MasterCard PayPass transactions as described previously. So it appears in Australia we are really well down the path of the technology for digital wallets in terms of both software & hardware, we just need the merchants to get behind it and make it available to customers.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Socio & Geo-demographic Segmentation

What we know today as a census began in Egypt over 5,300 years ago, where it was used by the rulers for tax gathering and to determine a person's fitness for the military. 

In Australia, the national census started in 1911 some ten years after our country was united as a Commonwealth. The orginal aim of our country's first census was to provide a snapshot of Australia's people and their housing in the various states. Fast forward a century and now gathering information about the population extends signicantly past the government making decisions in relation to the determination of local services and facilities across the country. The power of computing combined with big data and GIS modelling software provides both the public and private sectors with vast amounts of information that is used to predict our behaviour.

Socio & Geo-demographic Segmentation - better targeted marketing, segmentation & ABS mesh block mapping

What gets interesting for marketers is when ABS census maps are linked to databases. Companies like Pitney Bowes Software have software called Map Info that is designed to visualise the relationships between data and geography, it facilitates customer data mining and modeling to enable customer insight, better targeting and prediction of future customer behaviour.

When a large supermarket chain such as Woolworths or Coles analyses their point-of-sale (POS) data with other geo demographic data they are able to determine a local area's sales trends, develop regional specific marketing campaigns and accurately predict customer loyalty within a determined socio economic segment. Everytime we use a supermarket rewards card or pay with our credit card the data collected provides a detailed profile about our purchasing behaviour.

In simple terms you can imagine locations are assigned a demographic segment using only their address and age are then mashed with a psychographic profile which differentiates a suburbs consumer types from each other by profiling their underlying psychological needs which is driven by their personal values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles.

Each suburban street in Australia is given a different classification depending on the consumer characteristics within that area. This data then gives marketers the business intelligence to develop peronalised customer acquistion and retention strategies, cross-selling opportunities and upsell campaigns by developing a deep insight into existing customers and identifying the location and target similar potential customers.