Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Facebook Bans Online Gambling Ads

CM Comment: Ban is not new, just newly enforced. Relates to advertising of all forms of gambling. Article states that ban does not apply to fan pages.

December 12, 2009: summarized from Onlinecasino.org -- It has recently come to light that the hugely popular social networking site Facebook has decided to restrict certain services from advertising with them. Spy equipment, smoking productions and weapons are already on the list, but now gambling is among the prohibited content.

The social networking site appeals to a wide variety of demographics, and the executives at Facebook want to protect their younger audience. This decision comes shortly after an SEO executive discovered that Bing was providing underage Facebook users with x-rated content. As a preventative measure, Facebook has now decided to block all types of “adult” entertainment from all Facebook users.

Facebook’s rules strictly state that gambling operators are not allowed to advertise their business, including “any online casino, sportsbook, bingo or poker”. Other prohibited services include nudity, illegal drugs and offensive religious content.

While the website has implemented advertising censorship to protect its users, it has excluded a wide variety of online businesses who believe Facebook is a valuable marketing tool. However, Facebook has not completely rejected the online gambling community. Online casino operators can still create groups and fan pages in order to allow their fans to keep up with them. These applications are still very useful marketing tools in the industry, as they are a great source for viral campaigns and word-of-mouth advertising on the internet.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/7GXajf

Hard Rock Debuts Mobile CRM Program

December 9, 2009: summarized from DMNews -- Hard Rock International rolled out a mobile marketing CRM program this week in a move to acquire new customers and build loyalty among existing ones.

The program, created with mobile marketing firm Air2Web, includes three SMS components. Hard Rock will use mobile marketing to promote Hard Rock Cafes, Rock Shops, Hotels, events and products.

“The strategy is to create a stronger relationship with their customers,” said Curtis Rapp, VP of sales at Air2Web. “In the hospitality, entertainment and retail marketplaces especially, loyalty to a brand is extremely important to keep customers coming back.”

The first text component is a mobile store locator, which consumers can use to text a short code to the Hard Rock to find a restaurant, hotel or concert in a specific area. Air2Web created a similar functionality for Starbucks.

The second component is a mobile sweepstakes. Customers can opt-in to enter a contest to win tickets to an event at the Hard Rock in Hyde Park in London. The third component is text message concert promotions.

Hard Rock has built its mobile opt-in database through its Web site and e-mail programs.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/5A9V5k

No Pick-Up In Twitter’s U.S. Traffic In November

CM Comment: An important trend to watch.

December 15, 2009: summarized from TechCrunch -- Twitter’s U.S. traffic rose by a little over 100,000 visitors, to 19.37 million unique visitors from 19.24 million unique visitors in October. It’s no surprise that Twitter’s U.S. growth is stalling as the numbers have indicated this pattern for some time. At least the microblogging network didn’t drop in visitors, as it did in October, declining by 8 percent in U.S. traffic.

While Twitter’s international growth also flattened in October, the microblogging network is still seeing considerable growth when it comes to year over year numbers. Twitter has grown over 1200% since November of 2008, when the microblogging network had only 1.5 million unique visitors.

But it’s important to note that these numbers don’t mean that Twitter as a service is becoming less popular. While the number of uniques to Twitter’s site isn’t growing, third part Twitter clients like Seesmic and Tweetdeck are growing like crazy. In October, CEO Evan Williams admitted to the stall in growth in the U.S. saying that many of the new features of the site could jumpstart growth in traffic, including the Retweet button, Lists, and Geolocation features.

But from the early numbers, it looks like these features haven’t really done much for Twitter’s traffic. And many of these features have been added to the third-party Twitter clients, which easily account for half of all Twitter usage. But the distance between Twitter and rival Facebook keeps growing, and if this trend continues, it looks like Twitter could be out of Facebook’s rear-view mirror completely, especially with the new Facebook feature to publish status updates to Twitter rolling out in the next week. On the other hand, maybe Facebook will help it reach a whole new audience segment.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/59zEJT

TableBrain Launches iInteractive Product On GameLogic System

December 17, 2009: summarized from Casino Journal -- TableBrain’s Double Texas Hold’em has been released for play on GameLogic Inc.’s high-profile casino and lottery marketing platform, PlayAway. TableBrain entered a licensing relationship with GameLogic to ensure that on its initial release Double Texas Hold’em receives maximum nationwide exposure to highly targeted, highly rated casino and lottery players.

“Double Texas Hold’em offers numerous benefits over regular Texas Hold’em,” said Zvi Lando, co-developer of the game and TableBrain executive. “The game is great for players as it creates more playable hands, so it’s more fun. It’s intuitive and appeals to novices and experts alike. It’s good for the industry, as our play data shows that players play longer and pots get bigger, which is better for rake settings.”

Lando continued, “We’re excited about having the opportunity to leverage GameLogic’s extensive client network. This will expose our new and exciting ‘player versus player’ game to their many players.”

GameLogic has more than 20 different casino and lottery customers in more than 15 jurisdictions. Its PlayAway suite of online fun, bonus-delivery and tournament games engage players in a daily Internet-based relationship. Double Texas Hold’em will be available for release through a variety of GameLogic product offerings, including NewPlay.

“We are excited to work with creative companies like TableBrain to bring our clients and their players the very best in innovative and exciting games,” said John E. Taylor, Jr., the president and CEO of GameLogic. “Given the popularity of poker, we are quite focused on how the game integrates with our long term product strategy. Offering innovative variations such as Double Texas Hold’em, provides regulated casino operators value in multiple ways; keeping players engaged when they are off-property, providing ample opportunities to market to them as they play on-line, and establishing critical behavior that positions the operator for an evolving regulatory environment.”

Read more at: http://bit.ly/6iTgQ2

American Express Promotes Gift-Card Sales With Online Games

December 15, 2009: summarized from Promo Magazine -- American Express is using a pair of online games to promote changes it made last fall to its gift-card procedures that make them, in the company’s words, "100% gift and 0% fees."

Starting in early December, the company began a "’Twis the Season" competition on its @americanexpress Twitter account. Each business day through December 15, American Express randomly selected three participants to receive a $100 American Express Gift Card. Followers were asked to tweet daily telling American Express about a gift on their holiday wish list priced at $100 or less, using the #amexgiftcard hash tag.

Meanwhile, the company is conducting a virtual scratch-off game on the Web from now through January 30. Players register at the site using tan e-mail address and then use a digital ice scraper to clear off nine panes in a window. If they uncover three of the same Amex gift cards in a row, they can win a $25, $50 or $100 gift card instantly.

Every play of the scrape-off game enters the player into a drawing for a grand prize of a $5,000 American Express Gift Card.

The Winter Wonder-Win game contains an interesting wrinkle. Players can also earn one additional instant-win entry for every eligible friend to whom they refer the game. Referrers can volunteer up to three of their friends’ e-mail addresses each day. If at least one of those addresses is found to be valid, the referrer gets an extra try at the daily instant-win game.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/6k5L6z

7-Eleven Mobile Marketing Shows Promise

CM Comment: Consumer products industries continue to test mobile marketing.

December 18, 2009: summarized from NACS Online -- Most of us know that mobile marketing is huge overseas and largely untapped in the U.S. market. However, we’re getting there...slowly but surely.

7-Eleven is testing mobile marketing in about 200 San Diego stores and has so far “avoided some of the read-rate accuracy problems that have plagued other trials,” reports StorefrontBackTalk.com.

The program may raise a few questions, such as the potential to be marketing to kids “officially as young as 16” or as young as 14. As for spamming, because of the trial’s opt-in feature, complaints about receiving unwanted ads should be minimal.

The news source writes that 7-Eleven designed the mobile marketing trial to “test several concepts,” such as whether folks want to use their cell phone as a mobile device, connecting with the Gen Y/Millennial customers and reaching Hispanic consumers.

Most importantly, however, is whether the technology works. So far, the consensus is yes. And in the event that the barcode won’t scan from a mobile device, the store associate can manually key in the coupon number.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/5ICWx8