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Will wearables kill the smartphone?

This year’s arguably hottest Christmas gift will be some type of wearable. In the industry, we’ve been hearing about them for a while and skeptically considered them toys or gadgets rather than functional pieces of technology that will change the way we interact with media and each other. All that is beginning to change.

As wearables continue to penetrate the mobile space they are becoming un-tethered to a device and operating as stand alone technology that can wearablescommunicate with the user without relying on a smartphone.  This is a game changer for the wearable device. How it changes the way we interact with them is yet to be seen. But, to discount their future as a gadget is short sighted. A few years ago we never imagined people would watch a movie on their phone and now it is commonplace. What will the future hold for wearables?

2014 saw wearables go beyond the early adopter geek set to mainstream with 19 million new wearables in the hands, on the arms and around the head of consumers. A recent global survey forecasts growth to 119 million units by 2018.

While the space is fragmented now with devices, we’ll see consolidation and innovation in wearables and there will come a time when they are as ubiquitous as a smartphone.

How will we continue to engage our customers using wearable technology? What will creative look like on Google Glass or on my smartwatch? How will we use the data collected by wearables to make our messages more relevant to the consumer? These questions will be discussed in many agency conference rooms and presentations by vendors, but for now we know not to discount something just because it’s not on our own wrists.

I’ve been testing out my Moto 360 watch and while it has not increased my productivity yet, I’m getting used to its stylish addition to my wrist. So, we’ll wait and see.

 

 

By | October 21st, 2014|digital media agency|0 Comments

Digital Advertising for the 2014 Holiday

This holiday will be the most connected shopping season ever, with more devices in the hands of shoppers hunting deals. One third of all shopping searches happen between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., proving that we are always connected, always on and always shopping. Google conduced their annual Holiday Shopper Intentions research with Ipsos and the results make our retail clients ready for some holiday digital madness.

Black Friday is a month long

Shoppers are starting their research early and retailers are stretching promotions and sales throughout November. This changed the focus from Black Monday and Cyber Monday to a month long sales event. More than half of consumers surveyed will start their research before Thanksgiving, with 26% starting before Halloween. BOO!

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Search queries for holiday shopping peak before Cyber Monday. Be in front of your customer when they are searching for inspiration, not after they are searching for a deal.

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Online Shopping is the new Window Shopping

Shoppers go online for inspiration. They use social media to see what their friends and favorite influences are wearing and sites like Pinterest and lifestyle sites have become the new window displays. YouTube’s popular “unboxing videos” and product reviews give shoppers a rich way to learn about products instead of going to a store to touch and feel them for themselves.

Smartphone, Smart Personal Shopper

Research shows that 75% of smartphone shoppers plan to use their phones in-store during the holidays. Instead of relying on sales associates, shoppers are relying on their device and search to provide information, product reviews and price comparisons in a way a live person could not do. Millenials are using their smartphone as the preferred shopping assistant over asking an associate for help.

Consumers are coming to a store more informed and more purposeful than ever before.

How Do Retailers Capitalize?

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  • An extremely high percentage (92%) of shoppers will check prices online for the best bargain (parago, 2014).
  • 91% of shoppers say a low price is an important to very important factor in the decision to buy (Google).
  • Free shipping was deemed the second-most important factor for shoppers when purchasing online (Shop.org, Spring Planning Guide, 2014).
  • A comScore/UPS study reports that 83% of online shoppers are willing to wait additional days for delivery if they can get free shipping.

It is not too late to launch your holiday campaign. If you need a strong media strategy to drive sales this shopping season, ask us to put a plan together for you! Or, if you have an android device, download our app and send us an RFP on your mobile device!  Google Play logo

By | October 15th, 2014|digital agency|0 Comments

Broad Street Co. Applies for grant to support non profit clients

For Immediate Release

October 1, 2014Broad Street Co Corporate Philanthropy

Media Contact:
Charlie Ray, 512.275.6227
Charlie@a04.d8b.mwp.accessdomain.com

Local Business, Broad Street Co., Needs Support to be move on to the next step for $150,000 Grant from Chase Mission Main StreetSM Grants
Help Broad Street Co. Grow by Voting Online Before October 17

AUSTIN, TX – Broad Street Co., a local digital advertising agency, has applied for a $150,000 grant from Chase as part of a newly launched program, Mission Main StreetSM Grants. Broad Street Co. must submit a questionnaire outlining a business plan that will result in growth of the business and receive at least 250 votes to be eligible for a grant. Full eligibility requirements are available in the Program Rules. Customers, fans and community members can show support for Broad Street Co by voting at www.MissionMainStreetGrants.com using Facebook Connect.

The voting deadline is October 17, 2014 and grant recipients will be selected by expert panelists. “We believe this grant would help us grow our ability to support non-profit and charitable organizations with media strategy and campaigns for their own awareness and fundraising efforts. These pro bono clients are important to us as we support the community we live in with high level ad agency services they can’t afford otherwise,” said Charlie Ray, president of Broad Street Co.

Through Mission Main Street Grants, Chase will award $3 million to small business across America. All businesses that apply for a grant and meet the eligibility requirements will receive a special offer from Premier Sponsor, Google. In addition, the 20 grant recipients will be eligible to receive a trip to Google for an exclusive small business marketing workshop with Google experts and a Google Chromebook laptop.

The 20 grant recipients will be announced in January 2015. Consumers can show support by voting for Broad Street at www.MissionMainStreetGrants.com using Facebook Connect before the voting deadline on October 17, 2014. For additional details about Mission Main Street Grants visit www.MissionMainStreetGrants.com.

About Mission Main Street Grants
Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to small business, Chase launched Mission Main Street Grants, a program that will award 20 grants of $150,000 to small businesses across America. By completing a business profile, a grant questionnaire, and meeting relevant eligibility requirements, small businesses will have access to special offers from the Premier Sponsor, Google. Chase is committed to helping small businesses so they can take big steps for their business and community.

About Broad Street Co.
Broad Street Co. is a digital advertising agency opened in 2007 with offices in Austin, TX and Charleston, SC. Broad Street serves clients across many verticals and works with charities and non-profits on a pro bono basis to support their efforts with a high level of agency services they could not otherwise engage.

Some of our past and current non-profit clients include:

aGLIFF (Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival)

Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation

First United Methodist Church

AIDS Services of Austin

Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas

 

By | October 2nd, 2014|ad agency austin|0 Comments

We’re not an audience, We’re a Community: Broad Street is a proud sponsor of the 27th Austin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

We are a proud sponsor of one of the oldest gay and lesbian film festivals in America in a city known for its festival, Austin, Texas. The Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival brings over 100 films to screens in Austin that would not be screened in mainstream theaters without the community support of the festival.

This year’s theme, “We’re not an audience, We’re a community” is a perfect fit as LGBT rights continue to make advances across the country. In the same vein, we’re not just a digital media agency, we’re members of our communities in Austin and Charleston. By supporting the arts (Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston and aGLIFF in Austin) we commit to our local communities to provide support for these events.

The opening night film, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, is presented by Broad Street and a reception the evening before will support the Matthew Shepard Foundation and have an opportunity to meet Mr. and Mrs. Shepard as well as filmmaker, Michele Josue. 

 

Buy your festival badges here

Get a ticket to the Reception for filmmaker, Michele Josue and Mr. & Mrs. Shepard benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation here.

 

By | September 5th, 2014|Community/Philanthropy|0 Comments

Top 10 Small Business Owner Apps

The world has gone mobile, and so has business management. As a business owner, I am always on the go and I rely on my mobile devices not only to communicate with my team and our clients, but also to manage my business. I can’t be tied to a desk all day so finding tools to help me be productive while I’m out of the office is an important part of my success.

Here are my Top 10 Small Business Owner Mobile Apps*

*I’m an Android advocate. All of these apps work for Android.

OfficeSuite 7

Face it, business runs on Microsoft Office. Excel, Powerpoint, and Word are daily resources and you need to be able to open, view and edit documents while on the go. I still use QuickOffice but it’s no longer bundled for download so you can use the Google Docs, Sheets, Slides apps for the same resources if you don’t like OfficeSuite7.

There’s a great satisfaction of being able to open a spreadsheet and edit it to send back to the team that gives me the independence to unchain myself to the desk!

Google Drive

With documents flying back and forth, I like to have the “cloud” at my disposal. You may also use Dropbox (I do, for larger files and to send documents to clients for download) to keep your data in one place for everyone to have the same version. It seems like a lifetime ago I was worried about who had the latest version of a media plan!

 

Google My Business

Your business listing on Google is an important tool for customers to find you in search results. Use this app to manage your business listing, address and how you appear in search. You can also post and manage your Google+ Page (I know, but you have to have one). The app also gives you a quick insight into how many people are seeing you listing and if they took any action.

 

Adwords Express

We, naturally, use adwords for clients with large paid search campaigns, but this “lite” version is great to update our map listing and to add in a quick search campaign to drive phone calls or visits. I tend to use this app when I’m at the airport and think to myself, “I should do a little paid search today” and it’s a very easy tool to use. I also like the interface to show the campaign results.

 

Google Analytics

Needless to say, we need to know how people are viewing our site. This is a great tool to check in on site performance and engagement. Take the mystery out of who’s on your site and when while on the go. I will caution you to not obsess over daily visits…it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

 

 

Quickbooks from Intuit

If your business relies on Quickbooks, this tool is important to manage your finances and understand your profit and loss. If you’re anything like me the A/R Aging Report is a daily review to see who hasn’t paid their bills on time. Since I have it on my phone I can just drive right over and take a payment, kthanksbye!

 

 

Upvise CRM

Just about every business can use a good Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) tool. Large business and sales organizations run on SalesForce, but for the small business owner those tools are cost prohibitive. A good CRM helps you keep track of contacts, leads, where a pitch is in the funnel and manage your schedule. Keeping all of my business development and client management in one location is great for me across devices. If you are not using a CRM today, consider one like Upvise.

 

Microsoft RD (Remote Desktop)

Even though I rely on the cloud, there are some things I just need to access through my desktop back in the office. I’ve tried apps like Splashtop and GoToMyPC, but this tool is best for my needs to free me from my desk. I can use this app to access tools that may not render on my phone or tablet. This app has also freed me from traveling with a laptop. I can use my tablet and a bluetooth keyboard to do all my work while I’m supposed to be on vacation.

 

Google Hangouts/Skype

When I’m out of the office my team can reach me by chat much more easily than text or phone. We rely on this tool in the office to share links and folders as well as information much more easily than email. In addition to chat, the hangout can provide a robust video conference tool that comes in handy when we are spread out across multiple locations. Google has taken the video conference to a new level with the ability to share desktops between users and auto maximize the screen of the person talking. If you just need a video conferencing tool and are tired of me talking about Google, use Skype!

 

Broad Street Co. Media Proposal App

You didn’t think I was going to put this list together and not tell you about how you need Broad Street Co. close at hand, did you? We built a quick app to show a client just how easy it can be done and it’s available in the Google Play Store. Our app allows new clients and existing clients to shoot us a proposal request or media plan request right from their phone or table. It’s so easy to work with us, why aren’t you already?

By | August 29th, 2014|General Business|0 Comments

Facebook Changes Newsfeed Algorithm, Again.

In a blog post, Facebook announced yet another change to their newsfeed algorithm. The recent changes from Facebook are focused not only on user experience, but also advertising revenue. The brand or publisher posts on the site have seen less engagement as the social media juggernaut forces those posts into a pay-to-play format.

Social Media Management company provides advice on branded posts

Facebook will penalize posts like the one above

 

Today’s announcement looks to penalize the most popular posts that drive users off the Facebook platform to the wider web. The official position is the new alogrithm is meant to reduce the spammy (and oft parodied) “You’ll never believe what happened next” posts categorized as “clickbait.” While this is a welcome relief for some of the true offenders of clickbait posts, it is an interesting step in how Facebook sees their newsfeed and is finding new ways to ensure what their users see is quality and relevant content.

Facebook faces two challenges that, at times, are in conflict with each other. On one hand, they want users to remain on the site in the Facebook environment and on the other hand, they want brands to pay for their spot in the newsfeed to drive users out of that environment. As the company matures and is beholden to a profitable business model, we’ll see how that shakes out.

It’s a good reminder to update your brand’s facebook strategy and post guidelines. Are you an accidental offender?

Top 5 Facebook Tips:

1. Make your posts relevant for your audience
2. Use photos in your post (use the right size photo)
3. Start a conversation. Ask questions. Reply to user comments.
4. Post when your audience is online. Is your post time sensitive? If so, schedule it accordingly.
5. Take advantage of Trending Topics and use hashtags appropriately.

By | August 25th, 2014|digital media agency, social media|0 Comments

#TechAddicted and #FOMO: 5 Ways To Break Free

Corporate culture has been evolving into a 24/7/365 normalcy for a couple of decades now. In the early 2000’s there was a big trend to find “work/life balance” and many business books took on the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” as a way to encourage corporate America to take a breather from the 14 hour workday. Everyone thought technology would make our lives easier and give us more free time. But, the opposite has proven true. eMarketer reported on a CivicScience poll that found pretty much everyone is always connected.

July 2014 research found that 60% of US internet users were almost always connected. Fully 43% never unplugged from all personal technology, such as audio players, ereaders, laptops and computers, mobile phones, tablets, and TV, and 17% only took a break a few times a year.

Technology is supposed to give us more freedom, but instead we not only have become addicted to our smartphones but we’ve created an entirely new condition…FOMO (The Fear Of Missing Out). As people curate their lives on social media, people now see the wonderful things they are not doing, creating an anxiety of not keeping up with Joneses in an all new digital way. FOMO

As people become more connected with their devices, they become less connected with a community and real person to person interactions. While there are a lot of studies about how this creates negative consequences for everything from good manners to car accidents, we need to get back to finding ways to break free from our devices to engage in analog activities.

Here are Broad Street’s 5 Ways To Disconnect

  1. Take a mobile phone holiday–Start small, like leaving your phone at home when you go to the grocery and gradually work your way up to leaving your devices turned off for an entire weekend.

  2. Remove social media apps from your phone for brief periods to reduce the amount of time you spend seeing what everyone is doing that you aren’t.

  3. Establish “no phone zone” with your significant other for date nights or dinners with friends. Here’s a great game: Put everyone’s phone in the middle of the dinner table when in a restaurant and the first person to reach for their phone pays the whole check.

  4. Go analog. Grab a book or magazine and challenge yourself to read without an e-reader or grabbing for your phone.

  5. Get outside. Attend an event, go for a hike or a bike ride. Getting your mind active and distracted from your devices is a good way to wean yourself off of reliance on them.

While we’re in the business of reaching our audiences wherever they are at the right time and place, we understand the need for people to break free of their dependency on technology in order to create a fulfilling life outside of posting their latest meal on Instagram. If you’re a person that responds to work emails at 10 p.m. on a Saturday you set a precedent for that offender to rely on your availability 24/7/365.

So, lift up your head and look someone in the eye and have a real conversation. The real FOMO is making a personal connection with a person, not your device.

By | August 12th, 2014|digital agency|0 Comments

Managing Negative Online Reviews

frustratedbizownerOnline reviews are a great way for customers to find your business and get recommendations from your customers, but they are a double edged sword for many small businesses. According to Nielsen, 70% of consumers say online reviews are among the most trusted source of information and 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations.

I’ve written before that Yelp is not a small business owner’s friend, and that remains true. Yelp is not on the business owner’s side should there be a dispute over a review, but they still seek business owner’s advertising dollars as their business model. Conflict? Yep.

While it can be frustrating to see a business you pour your heart into get negative reviews, there are right ways and wrong ways to address negative reviews. One hotel in New York is learning the hard way how not to navigate online reviews.

The Union Street Guest House, which hosts weddings and events, has a clause in its reservation policy stating that $500 of a couple’s deposit would be held for every bad review from their event’s attendees. (Mashable)

We often talk with clients about how to encourage reviews and how to get close to the line of soliciting a good review while maintaining the overall integrity of the online reviews they receive. We also work with them on a strategy to respond quickly to negative reviews and threatening to charge them a penalty for a negative review is not a recommendation.

manage negative reviews
By | August 4th, 2014|digital media agency|0 Comments

Back to School Shopping Online Trends 2014

Back to school shopping trends

The Back to School sales season is upon us and retailers are looking to digital to drive sales. This Q3 driver is forecast to be a 16% year over year growth in online sales reaching $27 billion and combined with back to college the National Retailer Federation estimates spending to top $72 billion. In most states, school starts in late August, meaning messaging starts in late July and search peaks the first week of August as the rush for supplies, clothes and–for college students–furniture begins to heat up.

For search, the top terms are “back to school,” “school supplies,” “school shopping,” and “back to school sales” giving paid search campaigns the opportunity to bid on these specific queries. Raising bids on keywords helps keep retailers competitive as online shoppers compare prices and look for deals.

The top products for back to school include tablets and shoes as well as furniture for those college bound students. A Pricegrabber study shows 69% of shoppers prefer online for their back to school sales and 72% of online shoppers expect free shipping.

The weeks leading up to Q3’s “Black Friday” is Labor Day when the shopping rush ends. The average K-12 parent spends $500 during the season will the college student shopper spends an average of $1,000 or more. Capturing these shoppers can help make or break retailers dull summer season.

If you are offering back to school products, make sure you’re taking advantage of digital campaigns, in addition to search, to drive sales. Offers such as free shipping, online coupons and rebates can drive conversions over your competitors.

If your business is looking to drive sales with a successful media strategy for the holiday shopping season, contact us and we’ll put together a comprehensive strategy to make your year!

By | July 29th, 2014|digital agency, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Welcome to Austin, Mr. President

President Obama is in Austin today wrecking havoc on our legendary traffic problems. We thought we’d compile a short list of the things he ought to enjoy while here in our beautiful city.

Eat! Our BBQ, Breakfast Tacos and Queso are the things that make life worth living!

austin bbq

Stop by Allen Boots for a fitting of some authentic Texas boots

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Stage a one man protest in front of the Texas Capitol

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Catch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse, just don’t talk during the movie!

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Find a quiet spot to take in some Hill Country views to understand what makes this place so very special to usbelvedere-view

By | July 10th, 2014|digital agency|0 Comments