Maritz Motivation Solutions, Harvard Researchers Find Transparency in Ad Targeting Benefits Engagement

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Maritz Motivation Solutions, a leader in providing consumer and channel loyalty, employee engagement and sales incentive programs to U.S. and global companies, partnered with researchers at Harvard Business School for an academic study published in the Harvard Business Review.

The study found that when marketers are transparent in communicating how they have used customer data to target advertising messages, customer engagement and purchasing increases.

People are increasingly concerned about how their data is being used by marketers – especially in the online environment. In Ads That Don’t Overstep, Harvard Business Review authors Leslie K. John, Tami Kim and Kate Barasz examined consumer reactions to marketers’ use of personal data for ad targeting, and offered guidelines for marketers on effective targeting based on what customers consider acceptable. For the study, Maritz Motivation Solutions provided the field data for two tests focused on transparency conducted on RewardSphere, the company’s online rewards site.

The two experiments varied the language on the product detail page. In the first one, half the audience saw “recommended” items, while the language for the other visitors was more transparent saying, “recommended based on your clicks on our site.” With this language, visitors were 11% more likely to select and click on items and spent 34% more time on the recommended products page. They also spent 38% more on recommended items.

This experiment demonstrates that customers feel more comfortable and are more engaged when they know that recommendations are based on information related to their behavior on a website they trust – rather than having that information come from other, less trusted or unknown sources.

The second experiment was similar but used different language. Like the first experiment, half the audience saw “recommended” items, but the language for the other visitors was “recommended based on what you’ve shared with us.”

The more transparent language highlighted that recommendations were based on information visitors had explicitly provided about themselves – with the result being that they were 40% more likely to select and click on items, and spent 31% more time on the recommended products page.

The Maritz Motivation Solutions experiments spotlight the benefits companies can realize by increasing transparency in an environment where trust is already high, such as a customer loyalty or employee engagement program.

For more insight, check out this case study about the experiment.

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Success of smart cities depends on citizen engagement, says Gartner

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The success of smart cities is very much reliant on the engagement of its citizens and discussions between the government and citizens are critical to ensure that the right issues are taken care of, according to Gartner.

At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Dubai, UAE, Gartner analysts have underscored certain recommendations that CIOs in local government need to consider for the success of smart cities. Among the recommendations underscored are identifying and prioritising the issues that are negatively impacting the citizens and using technology to resolve these problems. CIOs are also recommended pay attention to the problems faced by citizens who are less tech-savvy.

Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research VP at Gartner, commented: "The key to CIO success is building objectives by developing key performance indicators (KPIs) that detect stakeholder priorities and measure success and impact. The United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, is a perfect example of how incorporating these guidelines help in the execution of the of the smart city framework.”

By 2020, KPIs will be incorporated in nearly 66% of all smart city execution strategies to visualise the impact of mobility-related urban services.

The VP concluded: "Business strategies must clearly focus on the development of a seamless citizen service experience through digital access to information and government services. While preparing for the World Expo 2020, the Dubai government is focusing on creating thought leadership by implementing the most innovative technologies that create new modes of transportation (Hyperloo), energy generation (in conjunction with Masdar), or health and safety experiences.”

Meanwhile, Gartner argues that enterprises often seem to overlook the necessity to introduce change to the mindsets of their employees while initiating for a digital business transformation. An enterprise’s digital business transformation moves may become unsuccessful or slow down with the "fixed" mindset of its employees. Latest from the homepage

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First Look: Urban Airship Expands its Platform to Revolutionize In-App Engagement

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Ahead of the weekend, MMW learned that Urban Airship has big plans in the works.

Fast-following the announcement of AI Marketing Orchestration for cross-channel messaging coordination, Urban Airship has unveiled what it calls the industry’s first in-app automation engine.

So how does it work?

In-app messaging is a proven lifeline for apps to engage all users, but limitations in triggering and delivery timing meant there was always the possibility for messages to be seen as irrelevant, annoying or interruptive. With Urban Airship’s new in-app automation engine, brands can create rich, interactive in-app messages that instantly display based on customers’ multiple behavioral and lifecycle events with automation logic included in the app itself. This ensures messages are seen in the exact moment that matters most to each individual — in-session, in-context and on specific screens.

Marketers and mobile app product owners can now use Urban Airship’s marketer-friendly UI to fully customize native templates or custom HTML for different rich, interactive message layouts, define automation logic, edit messages and view their performance.

The company says that this skips the uphill battle of getting developer resources during app update cycles for instant in-app messages, saving marketers time and expense, and offering new levels of flexibility to address key onboarding and engagement opportunities.

“The vast majority of customer journeys today are self-directed, and digital offers consumers effortless, limitless choice, so it’s more important than ever to engage people as they learn about brand offerings and features — it’s their point of maximum influence,” said Brett Caine, president and CEO, Urban Airship. “We’re on a mission to disrupt the status quo of digital customer engagement, making it easier and more automatic to use customer data and drive action across all digital channels.”

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Santa Clara Family Health Plan Taps Healthx Mobile Engagement Suite to ‘Engage and Activate Their Members’

This week, Healthx, Inc. — a leader in cloud-based digital engagement solutions for healthcare payers — announced a new partnership with Santa Clara Family Health Plan (SCFHP), a local, public, not-for-profit health plan dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the residents of Santa Clara County, California.

According to a provided media announcement, through the Healthx Mobile Engagement Suite, SCFHP will expand its member outreach strategy to include SMS text message communications.

We’re told that the Healthx Mobile Engagement Suite will enable SCFHP to engage and connect through text messaging, a communication channel increasingly preferred by many members.

Based on the recently announced partnership with mPulse Mobile, Healthx offers a pre-integrated multi-channel mobile solution that provides SCFHP members with tailored and meaningful dialogue to encourage healthy behaviors, with significant savings to the Plan through reduced administrative costs.

“Engaging our members in their health is a top goal for us,” said Chris Turner, SCFHP’s Chief Operating Officer. “Personalized and interactive text messaging will help SCFHP drive member portal adoption and close gaps in care, improving outcomes for our members and our organization.”

To learn more about Healthx and its solutions, click here.

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Stayhealthy Advancing Augmented Reality to Transform Healthcare from Spectator Sport to Full Contact Engagement

Having finally gained a solid footing in diverse industries and evolving markets in recent years, augmented reality has, indeed, arrived. And AR is now poised to do for healthcare what it’s doing for gaming, education, and entertainment.

“Looking to the near and distant future of medical technology, augmented reality (AR) will be central to innovation,” reads a 2017 report in HIT Consultant. “The medical field will be enhanced dramatically via the rise of augmented reality products emerging in the market. In just a few years, the entire healthcare experience will look entirely different from the medical environment today.”

Playing a pivotal role in AR’s rapid ascension within the healthcare space is stayhealthy, Inc., a lifestyle engagement technology company that develops innovative health measurement solutions.

A creator of web-enabled healthcare monitoring products, stayhealthy was founded in 1995 with the stated goal of making medical-grade health monitoring devices affordable and accessible to average people in their own homes, allowing them to proactively take control of their health.

The act of encouraging individuals to “take control,” however, isn’t limited to suggesting a range of physical activities or behaviors. A cornerstone of stayhealthy is their motto: “You are not fat, you have fat.” By changing the psychology that fat is something you have rather than something that you are, stayhealthy is striving to significantly empower people to take control of their life and their health with consistent action, solutions and tools.

In 2018, augmented reality will factor into the tools offered by stayhealthy in their endeavors. MMW can now confirm that stayhealthy is working with Augmently, Inc. to incorporate patented Augmented Realism™ (AR) to the stayhealthy learning experience, securing stayhealthy as the best in class, next generation product.

stayhealthy’s objective to transform healthcare from a spectator sport to something with which consumers can actively engage, will be aided greatly by the deployment of augmented reality throughout their suite of apps.

By presenting information and actionable advice in a fun, engaging, and gamified ways, people can begin to better understand not only where they are with their health today, but also what they can do to improve their wellbeing and longevity.

“Augmented reality enables a person to see and relate to their personal condition,” says John Collins, President and CEO of stayhealthy Inc. “Instead of a flat number, people will see the impact health has on their physical body, causing an emotional connection and awareness for the user, further keeping them actively engaged toward physical well being. When looking for the right partner, we knew we needed to find an agency that has the same high standards as we do at stayhealthy, Augmently Inc. is just that agency.”

To learn more about Stayhealthy, visit

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First Look: Synzi Offers New Platform to Improve Patient Engagement and Care Delivery

Synzi recently announced a new investment from Kinderhook Industries forming a new separate entity from language services company, Stratus Video.

From the official announcement shared with MMW:

Synzi’s cutting-edge platform brings together several methods of communications which enhance the telehealth marketplace. The platform improves patient interactions by leveraging mobile devices to strengthen engagement, optimize health outcomes and reduce costs. For health systems, the platform offers on-demand video capabilities that enable virtual consults for urgent care and mental health, as well as virtual visits which optimize care post-discharge. For health plans, the platform streamlines care management programming and increases engagement amongst members at risk for readmission. Uniquely, Synzi can also service limited English proficiency (LEP) and the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing patient population with direct access to a video interpreter.

“We are very excited for the additional investment to form Synzi as we see this as a unique market opportunity,” said Chris Michalik, Managing Director at Kinderhook Industries, Synzi’s investment firm. “As we saw the incredible growth in Stratus Video, we are confident that Synzi will follow the same growth trajectory as it serves a vital role in improving patient care.”

“The telehealth division of Stratus Video first launched at the 2017 J.P. Morgan Chase Healthcare Conference, so it’s incredibly rewarding, a year later, to be able to showcase our growth and to demonstrate Synzi’s value as a standalone company,” said Lee Horner, CEO of Synzi. “We are excited for the new market opportunities ahead and look forward to working with the right partners to help bring forth an innovative approach to delivering timely care.”

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Top alternative forms of experiential marketing that drive engagement

Generation Y is unique in many ways, including the fact that they’re choosing to invest in experiences over things. Instead of buying fancy cars and homes as soon as they get their first big payday, millennials invest in vacations, weekends at music festivals, and other adventures. For businesses interested in engaging this valuable demographic, this trend brings great marketing opportunities. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) realize that consumers in their 20s and 30s want to leave the house and truly experience life. This is much more than attending parties and conventions, though. It’s about finding interesting ways to draw in those…

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Facebook Announces New Penalties for ‘Engagement Baiters’

Facebook on Monday announced a new initiative aimed at reducing the amount of “engagement bait” shared on its platform every day.

The social network giant said it will begin “penalizing” Page owners (and general users) who are found to be sharing such posts, which often encourage users to “Like, Comment, or Tag people in the Comments section” as a way of generating heightened visibility of said content. Two examples Facebook provided include posts asking users to “Share with friends to win a free trip,” or “Like if you’re an Aries” — which are clearly intended to encourage engagement, though ultimately to the benefit of the poster/Page owner.

“This tactic, known as ‘engagement bait,’ seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach,” Facebook said in its official blog post announcing the news, warning users that, as a result, “starting this week, we will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.”

What Happens Now?

Facebook announced the upcoming implementation of a “new tweak” to its Newsfeed algorithm, which will entail “stricter demotions” for Page owners and/or individual posters who partake of engagement bait tactics. The company noted that it will begin rolling out the new Page-level demotion algorithm over “the course of several weeks,” adding, as a courtesy to publishers, that it “gives them time to adapt and avoid inadvertently using engagement bait in their posts.”

At least for the foreseeable future, however, convicted engagement baiters can make a consistent effort to “engage in good behavior” (i.e., post less crap) as a means of reclaiming their original reach, Facebook noted.

The company also specified there are certain types of posts — those advertising a “missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips,” for example — which will be exempted from this clampdown.

Facebook’s latest move to crack down on engagement bait comes after the company announced back in May that it would begin down-ranking links to websites which, once clicked, inundate unwitting users with a barrage of advertisements.

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Facebook to block Engagement Bait posts from news feed

Engagement bait posts that ask for like, share and comment are abundant on the Facebook news feed and they are an indirect way from pages, people to gain reach. In order to tackle the issue, Facebook today announced that it will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait. The Facebook … Continue reading “Facebook to block Engagement Bait posts from news feed”
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Facebook to start demoting posts with engagement bait titles

Facebook has announced a new policy that should cut down on a lot of spammy garbage from your timeline. Going forward, all posts that ask users to engage with them in any way will be demoted and buried out of view. Engagement baiting is a tactic that has become popular on the internet recently where the headline goads the reader into interacting it in some way or the other. On Facebook, these usually manifest themselves as posts that begin with “Like this if.” or “Tag someone who.” or “Comment if you.”, etc. These get people to interact with them, which in turn increases their… – Latest articles