Local Links of Interest

Polo Ralph Lauren to Launch Shopping by Cellphone – Reuters News Service
Polo is the first luxury retailer to launch a mobile commerce site, hoping to stay ahead of a trend that is making its way from Asia to the United States, said David Lauren, senior vice president of advertising and son of designer and Chief Executive Ralph Lauren.

5 Steps for 5 Stars: Reputation Management for Small Businesses
– David Mihm, davidmihm.com

A great summary and “a list of truly exceptional posts related to this topic written in the last couple of months, and summarizing their findings”.

Hyperlocal Blogging Sonoma County, CA – More SEO Copywriting Tips – Miriam Ellis, Solaswebdesign.com

The second part of a two part series on copywriting tips for hyperlocal blogging.

Smartphone Is Expected via Google NY Times

T-Mobile will be the first carrier to offer a mobile phone powered by Google’s Android software, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.

How Image-to-Text Could Be Used in Google Street View – Phillip Lenssen, blogoscoped.com

Google could be able to make the streets searchable through a normal text input box. If a club is called “Foobar” and you enter “foobar”, you may find the location even if it’s not available from any existing yellow pages overview service.

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5 thoughts on “Local Links of Interest”

  1. Well, well, the Polo site is just what you’ve said would happen, Mike. E-commerce + mobile. I heard this first from you.

    It was very interesting reading that Reuters article, but I am still having very fuzzy pictures in my mind of shopping for something like clothes on a phone. The implication, or rather, the posturing implied by this technology is, “I’m so busy, I have to shop on the go on the phone.”

    I can see it for something where you’re actually rushing somewhere…such as a greyhound bus station, trying to get a last minute ticket in an emergency situation.

    But I can’t imagine being in a desperate rush to get clothes to the point where I’d have to hurriedly buy them having only seen them on a matchbook-sized screen.

    Doubtless I am foolishly out-of-touch with the emergencies of needing the latest fashions immediately and the Polo site will be huge, yet, in my attempts to envision scenarios in which shopping for something like clothes on a cell phone is a must, all I can think of is ego.

    Can you create a scenario for me that moves this beyond a simple status symbol to an essential, Mike? I’d love to hear your current thoughts on this.

    Thank you for the very kind link to my article!

  2. Hi Miriam

    Well I am not sure that you are talking to the right person about best use cases with this technology. I, like you, seem to exist outside of the mainstream consumption cycle. Also I see most of the current phone technology that we are familiar with as having a woefully inadequate interface for most things.

    Here is the case that Lauren seems to be going for using QR codes:

    Asian consumers are already doing all of the above and more with two-dimensional bar codes that come in many varieties. QR (or Quick Response) codes, which are the standard in Japan, embed several hundred times more information than a traditional bar code, and people can scan posters, print ads, and business cards to get additional information about movies, products, concerts, music, and even one another. Rishad Tobaccowala, chief executive of Denuo, a unit of advertising agency Publicis Groupe, points out, “People have their phones with them all the time. They like using them, and handsets like the Apple iPhone are getting people used to getting more with their cell phones. They want instant access and a way to look up information while they are out and about.”

    The codes are appearing in newspapers and magazines and on billboards. In the States, Polo Ralph Lauren is pioneering the use of this technology in the fashion field. When people scan items that appear in ads—the US Open tennis tournament will kick off an initiative that includes billboards, banners and print ads marked with codes—they are connected to an e-commerce site where they can shop directly from their phones, view the collections and even read this very article within RL Magazine.

    Thus they envision using the phone to integrate offline and online transactions….you would make the buying decision looking at the ad in the traditional media, scan the code and be immediately taken directly to the purchase point on their mobile web via the cell phone browser. So they are not envisioning a full blown browse and purchase scenario but a more limited one where the phone is used to just close the transaction.

    So their use case seems to be predicated on fulfilling the desire created by the offline ad with the ability to immediately pay for the item…

    We live in a society that is not defined by “essential” as you or I define it. I suppose if it captures customers and captures dollars then Lauren would define it as essential….whether it will be that compelling to the bulk of Lauren customers remains to be seen.


  3. So their use case seems to be predicated on fulfilling the desire created by the offline ad with the ability to immediately pay for the item…

    Okay, Mike, I can see this. It’s really interesting. The print ad has to act as the surrogate ‘web page’, showing off the product, and then the phone is simply acting as a virtual checkout line. Got it. Your explanation was very illuminating. Thank you.

    It would be funny to come up with a list of irresistible lures for people like yourself and myself who aren’t won over by conspicuous consumption. Who could put out what offer that might make people like us have to use a cell phone – RIGHT NOW – to get something?

    For the life of me, I’m not sure. Though I am going to be in the market for one of those old-fashioned non-teflon coated waffle irons you use over a burner one of these days. But, really, I can hang in there.

    How about you, Mike? Could anyone offer you anything over your cell that would be a must-have-now?


  4. One other compelling use case for all businesses would be the ability to measure offline advertising accurately. That would be something…but as to something I have to have right now?

    I would never say never as consumerism has many different allures…who would have thought I would have Buck Rogerish access to email on my cell phone or able to access my Google Reader while standing in line waiting for the bank teller…

    I know, I know….sitting in the airport lounge, bored, waiting for a crowed cramped airline and I get a text that says….hit 7 (or whatever) and we will give you extra leg room for free!…now that I would take.


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