Smoke SignalsJuly 19th, 2012
Welcome to the Tribal DDB weekly Smoke Signals trend report, news from the frontier of digital marketing. We’ve scoured the net to bring you the hottest stories in the digital, media, and marketing space. Have any thoughts on any of these stories? We want to hear what you think!
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In this issue:
Bring your ID
No ID Required
Bring your ID
Buddy Media (recently acquired by Salesforce.com for $689M) has joined forces with Twitter to offer an age screening service for adult beverage brands. Jack Daniels, Skinnygirl and Coors Light have been among the beta test participants. With the new mechanism in place, users wishing to follow one of these brands for updates and offers are sent a direct message with a link to an age verification page. “Verification” is only on the honor code here – no crossing your fingers!
Implications: The implementation of this system has consequences for Twitter and regulated industries more broadly. Brands operating on Twitter now are closer to crossing the conceptual divide from information providers to proper advertisers. Twitter, still officially listing itself as “a real-time information network,” may find itself confronting issues of accountability – although they seem to have begged those questions for now via this partnership. For brands in more regulated industries (alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, financial services), this could present a way to gather more data and qualify their Twitter interactions more efficiently. But they must be sure to balance these new tools with communications that meet the regulatory requirements, using a voice that makes sense on the platform – no small feat in 140 characters.
No ID Required
Square, the mobile payments company, has recently introduced a feature whereby consumers registered in Square’s system can simply say their name and smile at the point of purchase. Square’s database feeds a photo and the name of the registered user to the seller for verification.
Implications: Your face is now a credit card. Or more precisely, it is a surrogate for an assigned credit card or cards. Combined with other unique elements that could be leveraged as payment triggers, marketers could learn more and more about their consumers’ attributes in service of payment convenience. For starters, they’ll know what you look like. Marketers could theoretically use any registered item as a qualifying payment surrogate to create a more detailed picture of a consumer. Car keys or Easy Passes could pay at the pump, providing detail on driving habits or car preferences. If signing in with Facebook, Google+ or Twitter became an option, perhaps coupled with in-person verification, there would be a mountain of data associated with every transaction, ready for companies to analyze and leverage.
Please contact Ian.Hartsough@ny.tribalddb.com for more information.