PlaceIQ: Visitation Patterns of Retails Shoppers Revealed

Today’s retail brands are turning to location data to understand what’s “top of mind” for their customers.

Location data provides answers beyond whether audiences are visiting retail locations. It’s now being used to understand the combination of the places consumer audiences visit, the journey between those places, and which cross-shopping affinities stand out. With these insights, retailers continue to find innovative ways to understand and engage effectively with potential buyers.
PlaceIQ analyzed millions of anonymized, opted-in location signals to provide an overview of the characteristics for leading retail brands.

Key findings include:

Gap vs T.J. Maxx

  • While similar in age range (21-24 years old), Gap shoppers are more likely to go bowling, purchase Adidas footwear, and dine at P.F. Chang’s
  • T.J. Maxx shoppers are more likely to go on cruises, shop at Shoe Carnival, and own Mazda cars
Macy’s vs Nordstrom
  • Macy’s shoppers over-index at places like NBA arenas and Gamespots, and tend to dine at Olive Garden
  • Nordstrom shoppers are more likely to shop at Bloomingdale’s and gym at Equinox
Target vs Kohl’s
  • Target shoppers are more likely to shop at retailer HomeGoods, eat at Red Robin, drive a Honda, and visit DisneyLand
  • Kohl’s shoppers are more likely to shop at DressBarn, visit NFL stadiums, and drive a Lexus
Lowe’s vs Home Depot
  • Lowe’s shoppers skew younger (21 – 24 years old) compared to those that shop at Home Depot (35 – 49)
  • Lowe’s shoppers gym at Planet Fitness and eat at Red Robin and Golden Corral
  • Home Depot shoppers also frequent BJ’s WholesaleBoston Market, and Lifetime Fitness

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Time’s MNI Targeted Media Leads All U.S. Ad Focus Local Networks

On Monday, Time Inc.’s MNI Targeted Media Inc. — a targeted media strategy, planning and buying company — touted quite an achievement.

The company, we’re told, continues to lead all U.S. ad focus local market networks.

The MNI ad network ranked #1 on comScore’s monthly US multi-platform report for February 2017, marking the third consecutive year for which MNI’s ad network has ranked #1 for the category in each month of the year.

The most recent comScore report shows that MNI reaches nearly 240 million unique visitors each month—95% of the total digital population, significantly more than its two closest competitors, Centro and Gamut Local (at 73% and 69% of the digital population, respectively).

“We are a company with deep roots in both local digital and print targeting, and our MNI ad network continues to demonstrate success for advertisers looking to deliver relevant messaging by market,” said Rob Reif, President of MNI Targeted Media Inc.

“We’re very proud of our network’s performance and our unique ability to provide unparalleled solutions for our clients across categories,” Reif added. “The network includes local media affiliates (TV, newspaper and radio), whose users are the very consumers that Tier 2 auto, insurance and CPG advertisers want to reach with offers and product launches.”

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Event Managers Learn the Tips of the trade like a Secret Agent at 2017 TS Tech Summit In Las Vegas

The seventh annual TS Tech Summit Road Show, where event and meeting planners stay in a luxurious junior suite with fine dining, thrilling excursions and world class speakers to learn about the latest tech tools available to help them take their skills to the next level.

The event will be held April 20-23 at host hotel Caesars Palace Las Vegas.

Through expert-led workshops, hands-on demonstrations and a trade show, planners will have the chance to experience up-to-date technology firsthand, as well as network with tech suppliers and others in their profession.

For anyone intimidated by the rapidly evolving world of technology, the summit lifts the veil and provides easy-to-apply tools to help planners run their events and meetings even more smoothly and efficiently.

“The event managers who will attend the 2017 TS Tech Summit learn to manage trade shows, meetings, and events around the world with just the touch of a finger,” says Ann Windham James, founder of TS Tech Summit and owner of Imagine Xhibits & Events.

Registration and other information is available at www.tstechsummit.com.  Full and partial education grants, along with association discounts are available.

The TS Tech Summit is supported by Meeting Professionals International, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, and SPIN for courses for CEM, CMM and CMP industry certifications.

Planners who attend the four-day summit will learn about mobile apps, podcast, trade show remote controls, real-time logistics, RFID, beacon, virtual reality, online-asset management and other up-to-date knowledge and tools through experts in the industry including: Michael Dominquez, Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International; Rod Abraham, Executive Director SPIN; Ann Windham James, Founder of TS Tech Summit; Jaki Baskow TOP Celebrity Agent; Michael Doane of CadmiumCD, Michael Donnegan Ryan, Co-Founder FAST BAR. Event managers can walk away with 10 clock hours towards there CEM and CMP. See more of speakers here.

Themed event is Mission Possible, because event technology makes great events possible. “When you enjoy a good spy movie what do you see? Glamorous locations, elegant parties, thrilling stunts, expensive race cars, spy tech gadgets, helicopters flying off….well when you walk into the next TS Tech Summit in Vegas you may just feel like you entered into a spy movie…, ”Quote from Ann Windham. Planners will be able to get hands on training with spy-like gadgets and exotic cars from the “World’s Largest and Fastest Selection of Supercars at Dream Racing” says Brandy Falconer, Director of Sales.

“Ann seeks out the best tech tools and vendors to share with her attendees,” says Michelle Scott, meeting planner with AZZ Inc. “One of the best things about TS Tech Summit is the intimate event setting. The smaller group size creates a better learning environment. I always return with many valuable contacts, new friends and experiences.”

Michael Lynn, co-founder of Global PEC and Professional Trade Show Resources, has attended several TS Tech Summits.

“This is one of the few technology trade shows where I can spend needed time with tech gurus who demonstrate how to apply the tech products immediately to my business,” he says.

“As a company who plans and produces large-scale events, it’s helpful to know we’re investing time and resources at a show with planners who have the same goals, budgets and objectives as our core client base.  Since we are a nation-wide provider, the location works great too. The event/meeting planners and executives are expecting to build new relationships and solidify existing ones – and that’s our goal as well. “ Jason Rudoy | Director of Sales metroConnections

Tracy Leparulo, manager of events & sponsorships at EventMobi, calls TS Tech Summit a “one-of-a-kind event.”
“Their intimate, hands-on learning approach is great for anyone seeking to better understand technology and how to incorporate tech into their events and daily operations,” Leparulo says. “That’s why we keep coming back year after year.”

One of the things I love about the TS Tech Summit is how personal the experience is in small groups and that the interactions allow me to build new relationships.  One of the things I really enjoy is the Dine Around, we have the choice of Caesars’ Entertainment and 8 MGM Resorts for elegant dining experiences and then escorted to Las Vegas Shows. For example: Cosmopolitan will bring planners to Rabbit.Rose.Lie. with caviar tacos and spontaneous entertainment and Bellagio Hotel, will take our group of 8 to Harvest by Chef Roy Ellamar for Dinner then to see  “O” by Cirque du Soleil, what a wow experience!” says Brittany Ryan,MSc | Global Marketing Communications Manager.

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First Look: Motus Expands Mobile Platform

MMW learned Tuesday that Motus — the leading vehicle management and reimbursement platform —  is expanding its mobile platform.

As part of the expansion, we’re told that the company is integrating beacon technology with its mileage tracking app to “significantly reduce battery drain for field-based mobile employees.”

“Battery drain is a reality for any location-based app, as GPS-enabled technology creates a struggle between location accuracy and battery consumption. The more frequently GPS collects data from the phone’s GPS chip, cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots to determine location data, the more battery is consumed,” said Craig Powell, President and CEO of Motus.

“Motus users expect a highly accurate GPS solution, but want the convenience of ‘set it and forget it’ mileage tracking features without the overwhelmingly high battery consumption found in the vast majority of apps,” Powell adds. “Asking users to remember to complete manual tasks such as starting or quitting the app at the start/end of each day is at direct odds with our promise to streamline their administrative tasks and make work life better.”

Placed anywhere in the vehicle (typically the glove box or center console), the Motus Beacon is a small hardware device that utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to sense whether or not a Motus user’s mobile device is in proximity to their vehicle. When the user approaches, or is inside their vehicle, the Motus Beacon senses their proximity and automatically enables the Motus App for mileage tracking when the vehicle begins moving.

“The beacon-based proximity industry has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, particularly in marketing to consumers,” says Rick Blaisdell, Motus Chief Technology Officer. “We’re proud to have employed this technology in a unique way, but our investment in using beacon technology to solve battery drain is only the first step in developing much broader applications to benefit our end users.” According to Blaisdell, “…beacon technology has the potential to solve a number of the needs Motus users have when driving for work – fuel, maintenance, parking and driver safety, to name a few.”

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Investors Place Bets on Placester’s Efforts to Simplify Marketing for Real Estate Professionals

MMW learned today that Placester, an “all-in-one marketing toolkit” for real estate professionals with lead capturing websites, lead management, email marketing, marketing automation, analytics, and more,  has raised a $50M Series D round led by existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

If you’re not familiar, NEA is the global venture firm whose notable investments include SalesForce.com, MuleSoft and Box, among others.

According to a provided statement, this investment brings Placester’s total funding to $100 million.

The real estate market is remarkably different than it was a decade ago when listings were just finding their way online. The evolution is showing no signs of slowing down. Today’s real estate market relies on both digital and human touchpoints to engage the consumer in real time. Placester has seen more than 300 percent year-over-year revenue growth for the last three years by building the unified operating system to help real estate professionals run their businesses. From websites and CRM, to email marketing, data driven insights and mobile applications, Placester addresses agents’ digital needs.

“I’m excited for this next step in Placester’s journey empowering real estate professionals and the industry as a whole,” said Matt Barba, co-founder and CEO of Placester. “Across industries, leading brands realize that the screen is the most consistent touchpoint for connecting with consumers. As a result, successful digital marketing has evolved from a patchwork of tools and tactics into a unified operating system reaching far beyond the walls of the marketing department. Placester is bringing this fundamental change to real estate. This latest funding will support our aggressive product roadmap and address the full breadth of challenges and opportunities that define the future of digital for real estate professionals.”

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Bill to provide loans to Texas ports easily passes through Senate committee

A bill to provide a modest revolving loan fund for Texas ports had smooth sailing through the Senate Transportation Committee last week, setting it on a positive course as it heads to the full Senate for consideration.
Senate Bill 28, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, puts action behind an port study completed by the Texas Department of Transportation task force since the 2015 legislative session ended. The bill, which passed through the Senate committee with an 8-0 vote, designates…

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Andreessen Horowitz buys into Austin startup’s $15 million funding round

Tenfold, an Austin startup that aims to help businesses capture more information about their sales pipeline, has $15.8 million in the bank.
The company, which operates legally as Austin-based Callinize Inc., has disclosed some additional details about the venture capital round, which was led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Geekdom Fund LP and Rackspace Hosting Inc. co-founder Pat Condon.
Tenfold’s software integrates customer relationship management systems with company phone systems…

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Well-known names in Austin’s HVAC industry rolled up under one brand

Strand Brothers Service Experts, an HVAC company with a long history in Austin, is reaching new service areas to keep up with historic housing demand.
The company announced earlier this month that it had purchased Christian Brothers Air Conditioning for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Strand acquired the Christian Brothers facility in South Austin at 7910 Burleson Road. Its flagship location remains at 1900 E. Howard Lane, Building E in Pflugerville.
“These two great companies coming…

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First prototype, Design and UI — Mobile Game Development Guide #2

The game takes place in a fictional world of anthropomorphic animals in a frigid country much like Russia controlled by a fascist Leader by the name Big Pig. Some can say it is a current review of our crazy political happenings, or even a reference to George Orwell’s Animal Farm or even 1984. For those who have not read the first story yet, here’s the beginning. After all, “Big Pig is Watching You”…

The story of the game is cool. However, we realize that it’s just one step in creating a game. Now let’s see realistic part of developing a game on mobile.It is not as simple as playing games from our phones. Hence, it scares us a little. Will we be able to complete a whole game within our time limit?

Of course we would be intimidated by creating this game. But through communicating well between team members we were able to evenly distribute tasks among ourselves that best suited our strengths. In this story, we will share first tangible results and the visuals which we have done in 5 weeks. Then each of us will share most challenging part of the topic that we had faced. If you have any comments or suggestions about these challenges, please do not hesitate to write a comment 🙂

User Interface

Art design and main menu is ready. We’re so excited sharing first UI images.

“The biggest challenge for creating the User Interface for the game was capturing the essence of this cartoony spy thriller. It was important that the game look fun and interesting, even when rolling through our various menus. I really hope our players enjoy the light hearted design that helps downplay the seriousness of the underlying theme for the game. “ James

Environment Design

The world layout and environment of the playground is carried out by Lisa and Carmen. While Lisa is handling the brunt of the exterior layouts Carmen has done some of the Interior levels. Here are their first results:

“The biggest issue so far was getting good level flow, we want the player to feel eased into more difficult areas rather than shoved into an environment they’re not prepared for. The best way to get over this and to adjust our level flow is through play-testing and feedback.” Carmen

Character Design

We would like to share our main character, Fox Protagonist. Also, you can see the chickens who are scientists and will be rescued by the player. In addition to these there will be a Dog (melee based enemy) and a Pig (long range enemy).

“The challenge about character design was going through many revisions and making the model. It was a bit of a different experience making a model that had more appendages, like having a tail and ears. It was something fun to rig and animate, though.” Moises

Technical Developments

The most exciting part of last week, we saw the game on a phone. Here’s the video of the first gameplay:

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FBNjv6UG95PM%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DBNjv6UG95PM&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FBNjv6UG95PM%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=d04bfffea46d4aeda930ec88cc64b87c&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

“The biggest challenge in creating this game from a programming standpoint was moving from computer-based developing to a mobile specific platforms. Working with getting swipe and pinch inputs can be a challenge when you normally make player movements with the mouse, but it can be rewarding when you see the game start coming together and you actually play the game in your hands.

Some of the other problems I’ve come across: the player’s point of view and building culling. In mobile games you want the player to be close enough to see details on the characters but not too far so as they lose immersion and detail. This can be a simple fix but making sure that it matches the team’s vision is a challenge. We are adjusting and fine tuning this based on gameplay tests.

Also, making the buildings fade as they move in front of the camera was an issue. Based on feedback from play testing, I will work on using scripts to make the buildings fade when they are moved in front of the camera. Getting the camera to smoothly follow the player was brought up early on in development but using some simple scripts and even some standard Unity assets can both give you the results you are looking for overall. ” Keith

Marketing

We figured out what we could do before launching the game and also prepared a weekly marketing plan. This plan lists all our ideas and the actions we need to take in the development process. We share the link of our weekly marketing plan at the end of the article.

Mustafa says that working on marketing activities before launching game is a kind of difficult because we cannot reach our target users and convince them to follow us without a game. However, we have a plan to create a website which let users see all details of the game and maybe let them play/watch a demo online. Therefore, we can reach our target users and show them that our game will be ad-free and worth to play.

Also, we would like to share some platforms that we currently share our project: Unity Connect, Quora and forums: Gamasutra, Indie Gamer, and Unity Forum.

We have a game design document and art guide in order to advance each of our works in a certain harmony with the visuals created by our own perspectives and approaches. You can also find these links at the end of the article.

As you may have noticed, we did not spend much time on a logo, social media account or website so far. Instead of spending too much efforts in the middle of the project, we use all our energy to optimize the game and finish our tasks on time. These requirements will be done while finishing the game development.

By the way, we have a new team-mate who will be responsible with audio. Now, we are 10. (As of week 6)

Greetings from Austin, Texas / Photo by Cosmic Time Traveler, unsplash.com

We intend to create a comprehensive resource and guide for game developers via 4 articles during the project, with the deadline being April 5th. We hope that what we share in this story series will be useful for everyone who has an interest in mobile gaming. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to comment here or send us an email. We are open to seeing you in a meeting if you are around Austin, Texas.

If you like what you see here, please feel free to join our email list and receive notifications for when post the next story. Also we will let you know if you would like to join us during the play-testing phase.

Open Source

Here you can find the links of all documents mentioned in the story:


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The Pragmatist’s Guide to Reaching Business Clarity

According to Bloomberg, eight out of 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months. That means a whopping 80 percent crash and burn. In this Golden Age of entrepreneurship, how does an innovator improve the odds of transforming a germ of an idea into a successful company? While timing, passion, luck and execution are all important factors in entrepreneurial success, the key is a delicate balance of intuition and analytics.

Once an business idea is formed, candid answers to the 10 questions below can help both first-time and seasoned entrepreneurs determine whether a business has the legs to become a full-fledged, market-changing company. The answers uncover the sweet — or bitter — truth and determine whether an business idea is ready for launch, if it’s time to more fully develop and retool the concept, or abandon it completely.

10-Question Litmus Test for Determining If You Know What Business You Are In

  1. What is the target audience?
  2. What is the problem or need the target audience has that they are willing to pay to solve?
  3. What is the solution?
  4. What is the packaging and pricing of the solution?
  5. What value does the solution deliver?
  6. What are the channels of distribution for the solution?
  7. What messages do you use to reach and influence the target audience?
  8. What is the business model to make money?
  9. What are the competitive forces and what is unique about the solution?
  10. What are the relevant macro trends that can be leveraged?

The way you answer these questions is through a great deal of primary research with- and validation from- the market that you intend to serve. Period. Fundamental to business success is “knowing what business you are in” which starts with having clear answers to the questions (and others) above.

Passion and innovation are absolutely essential for entrepreneurs, but the truth is business ideas live and die by what the market is willing to pay for what your business offers. The classic mistake among entrepreneurs is a romantic attachment to a shiny new idea that ultimately has no path to becoming a thriving business.

When an entrepreneur becomes attached to a business idea without flushing out the practical answers to the questions above, it becomes a matter of an business idea chasing a problem, not a solution to a market problem that allows you to launch a successful business. Great companies are all about delivering products and services that provide solutions to problems that a market is willing to pay for (repeatedly).

Successful entrepreneurs think about business ideas, but not in a vacuum. They have to figure out the true value they bring to a market they intend to serve and how their solution is unique and different to others in the marketplace. Getting the answers to the litmus test questions above requires listening to prospective customers. Without engaging with the intended market to fully understand the problems, challenges, and needs they face, what a proposed solution is, what they would pay for it, etc. at best, it’s an interesting business hunch, but not a business idea with the clarity needed to be successful.

Dialogue with prospective customers will uncover the market’s business problem and reveal the value that a new solution will deliver. This dialog also helps entrepreneurs craft messages that clearly convey value and reach and influence targets.

It’s important to be smart and thoughtful in the market research phase too, and ask the right questions. While prospective users may say they find a new idea interesting and may even agree to pilot it, ultimately validation comes in the form of an agreement to spend money. If the idea truly solves a problem or satisfies a need, users will commit to paying for it. For that reason, entrepreneurs must have a well-developed business model that delivers the needed solution — in a repeatable, cost-effective way. That requires understanding channels of distribution, packaging and pricing.

But what if an entrepreneur doesn’t yet have the answers to these pragmatic questions or the answers aren’t clear and don’t tell a story of success? That doesn’t have to mean the end of the business idea. Often, gaining business clarity doesn’t happen in the first iteration. Entrepreneurs must be agile, adaptable and ready to pivot (often repeatedly). It’s essential when testing to keep listening to what is said and what is not said; using that insight to change as needed.

While it’s not uncommon to pivot, the best business ideas follow a relatively straight line from conception. Every pivot from the initial idea costs money, time and resources, and too wide a pivot, too often, usually indicates a business in search of a problem and a good time to move on.

While these questions are a guide, ultimately the market provides the answers if you ask the right questions and listen carefully. This is a lesson all successful entrepreneurs learn, and usually only once.


The Pragmatist’s Guide to Reaching Business Clarity was originally published in Austin Startups on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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