Friday, July 13, 2012

Google+ Introduction For Marketers

Up until now, selling directly to fans and followers came in four flavors:

  1. Set up a web catalog and drive traffic to it.
  2. Build and manage an email list with offers.
  3. Set up a Facebook page and post offers to your Facebook stream.
  4. Insert offers into Twitter posts.
As if these weren't enough to worry about, now Google has released new versions of Google+ for the web, Android, iPad and iPhone.  These are now roughly equivalent in functionality, which means you can easily post or broadcast from anywhere, anytime.

Google+ is a different beast for Sellers.  When you create a Facebook "friend", they "accept" you and it's a two-way connection.  Google is more like Twitter in that you can "follow" anyone and they can "follow" you by "adding" you to their "circles".  So, the goal is to be in as many circles as possible.  Then, when you post something it will appear in the stream of the people who are following you.

Here is a very quick tutorial from the Traffic Generation Cafe.  And Forbes ran an article and video of an artist using Google+ exclusively as their marketing vehicle.

The wild-cards that makes Google+ transformative right now are "hangouts".  Think of it as Skype that works on smartphones and PCs.  You can have interactive video chats with up to 9 people that can also be viewed in real-time through YouTube.  Also, Google+ lets you set up "Pages" for events or brands, and these have their own news feed, hangouts and circles.  Finally, the search function makes it possible to find old posts easily and for your posts to be discovered.

We think it's possible to build businesses around Google+.  Of course, Bitmenu links format nicely within Google+ posts!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lady Gaga Sells To Little Monsters

Lady Gaga has joined the ranks of celebrities who are setting up their own online communities and selling their own stuff.

Like JK Rowling's Pottermore, Lady Gaga's Little Monsters is all about community with some critically important e-commerce offerings.

Specifically, tickets to her "Born This Way Ball" tour are available through her site (via TicketMaster).  

In addition, users can "join" the event, which subscribes them to a Pinterest-style stream of items contributed by others for that event.

TNW reports the site has gone through its beta phase and is now available to all through a simple sign up (Twitter and Facebook can be used). 

Can we expect her to make available media for sale as well, a la Louis CK?  We would be happy to help!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Smart Look at App-Enabled Credit Cards

Forbes enlisted billionaire and LinkedIn founder Reid Hastings to produce this look at credit cards as platforms for apps.

Anyone who has bought something through iTunes or Amazon might notice charges on the card they have associated to those accounts for items not purchased directly from these stores.

When you buy something through an app on your iPhone, it is using the credit card you have on file at Apple.  Likewise, when you buy something using your Amazon account, it might well be through an app provided by services like Bitmenu.

App-enabled credit cards provide a secure way to offer more for sale from more places without requiring consumers to register their credit card with each merchant or vendor they wish to buy from.  As alluded to the Forbes article, your iTunes or Amazon account might soon enough enable you to purchase things from within a physical store.

To make this happen, developers must build apps that connect users with the credit cards they already have on file with iTunes, Amazon or other payment processors.  As these payment services work with more developers, the kinds of applications suggested by the article will become available.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

European Courts OK Resale of Computer Downloads

Forbes magazine reports that The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in favor of reselling downloaded games.

"Simply put, legally purchased and downloaded games will be treated like physical copies of the game, and consumers can then sell their ‘used’ game."

The Official Release from the Court makes it clear that an original buyer cannot sell part of the license and must make their own copy unusable if they do sell to another acquirer.

What does a "used digital work" look like?  The answer, of course, is it looks identical to the original - a perfect replica with no battered pages or faded resolution.  The only difference between a used copy and an "original" is how the right to use it is recognized.

At Bitmenu, we have been watching closely for new developments not only with file-sharing and rights management, but also legitimate re-distribution of digital works.