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[Hack, Deploy, Scale] “So You Want to Make an App” with Michele Titolo

Earlier this year, aspiring iOS engineers got a treat when MIchele Titolo, the CTO of Women Who Code, joined us to explain what it takes to make an iOS app the right way.

This non-technical talk covers Minimum Delightful Products, savvy smartphone users, building in-house versus third-party, and more.

Watch the talk below:

Can’t see the video? Watch on YouTube.

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September 19, 2014 - 2 hours ago

Posted In technologyevents

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Everyone Wants A Piece Of Your Lock Screen, But They Shouldn’t Get It

why everyone wants a piece of your lock screen

Wherever consumers are, an ad is close behind. Big Data is now critical for marketers to better understand their audience and deliver more relevant ads to the right people. However, even the most on-target message can go awry if the delivery is botched. Two-thirds of consumers in the US and UK saying they see too many ads. And now ad tech companies want to give marketers access to smartphone lock screens?

The fact that something can be used as ad space doesn’t mean it should be, from this guy’s head to manhole covers and more. The problem in advertising isn’t that we don’t have enough inventory. But expansion into lock screen territory is already underway.

Mobile Marketers Are Locking Horns Over Your Lock Screen

We’re already seeing push notification apps like Yo pick up traction with more than 50,000 active users communicating via lock screen alerts. Yo has earned laughs for its simplicity, but the company successfully made a name for itself and established a dominant position on the lock screen. Although Yo didn’t originate the idea of putting a brand on the lock screen, interest has ramped up like crazy in the weeks since.

This coveted mobile real estate is prime for direct communication to consumers whenever and wherever they are. That’s because push notifications can’t be easily ignored — and considering that the average smartphone user looks at their phone more than 110 times a day, it isn’t difficult to understand why the lockscreen is desirable. Push notifications in particular have won over marketers, so much so that the lock screen has been called the most valuable property in the media universe.

If You Shove Your Ad in the Consumer’s Face, They’ll Just Look Somewhere Else

Increasingly, manners matter as much as relevance and marketers must be careful to direct their message where they’ll resonate. Sticking our message between the user’s face and what they actually want to see might get attention, but almost certainly not the positive attention we want. Some of the most innovative companies are already thinking beyond the message. Facebook recently rolled out bandwidth targeted ads to prevent a heavy ad from trying to load when you have one bar. It is this experience-first approach that will dictate consumer retention as the digital space becomes increasingly saturated.

The consequences of taking over the lock screen are unknown. All we know is that advertisers want it. And we can surmise that unless it’s used infrequently (for maximum impact) and with care (for not irritating the people you want to attract), it shouldn’t be used at all. Brands are chasing after consumers more and more aggressively, which translates into a flood of content bombarding consumers daily.

For as much as the internet of things has pushed the ad industry forward, we must remember that with greater access to consumer data comes greater responsibility. The best marketers and most successful brands will leverage features like the lock screen wisely and discreetly to cultivate better engagement rather than push customers away.

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September 18, 2014 - 1 day ago

Posted In technologytrendsopinion

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[Wall Street Journal] iPhone 6’s Impact on Mobile Advertising


Last week, Apple debuted its much-anticipated iPhone 6. While consumers rejoiced over features like a slimmer design and larger display, savvy marketers instantly recognized the opportunity for increased ad display creativity and the untold marketing potential that Apple Pay offers.

Yesterday, 140 Proof’s CEO, Jon Elvekrog, was interviewed on WSJ Digits to discuss how the newest additions to the Apple family are accelerating the shift to mobile in daily life and what the newest iPhone generation signals for mobile advertising. 

Can’t see the video above? Watch on

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September 16, 2014 - 3 days ago

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Alibaba’s IPO: Implications for Yahoo


140 Proof CEO Jon Elvekrog joined Bloomberg TV today to discuss Alibaba’s recent IPO and the implications this development has for Yahoo. Could the investor become the acquired? Yahoo’s roller coaster history with Ali Baba and its nebulous future make for an interesting conversation. 

"There are other interesting targets out there, whether it is a large entertainment company or something … like Walmart making a big push into e-commerce," Jon Elvekrog speculates on the potential for an acquisition in Yahoo’s future in Monday, September 15th’s airing of "Street Smart."

Can’t see the video above? Watch on Bloomberg TV.

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September 15, 2014 - 3 days ago

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Data is Killing Demographic Targeting: Audience Insights via Wearable Tech

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Just a few weeks ago, Silicon Valley was shaken up yet again, this time not by a disruptive startup or a Google power play but literally, by an earthquake in the middle of the night. True to form, tech enthusiasts in San Francisco took to Twitter to talk about it. What got us chattering, though, was the data collected from Jawbone users in the Bay Area that night. Only in 2014, when the wearable tech industry is projected to grow an astounding 350%, could this kind of tech dominate the conversation over the earthquake itself. And like iBeacon and social data targeting, it’s threatening the traditional demographics-driven model of marketing.

You don’t need to look very far to see just how much the wearable tech industry has taken off. Step into any gym these days and you’re likely to see more than a few fitness fanatics sporting FitBits designed to help them track every step taken and each calorie consumed. For those who are less health inclined, there are “iRings” designed to help you make music with a wave of your hand. For industry analysts and consumers alike, it’s clear at this point that the wearable craze is here to stay.

Beyond the locker room

Wearable tech is about more than just counting calories, of course. It’s also a huge pool of data that’s helping consumers gather insights about their health and activity.Perhaps just as importantly, it informs industries and offers useful insights to marketers. For instance, wearable tech and its reserves of data have already had a huge impact the healthcare industry. When some smartphone apps and wearable tech sync, parents can monitor their diabetic child’s glucose levels from afar. Imagine, then, if health insurers were able to access that same data via the child’s device and adjust the family’s insurance rate accordingly. According to a growing number of analysts, it’s likely to happen. Of course, access to big data in this way doesn’t always bode well for consumers, and will likely usher in a new slew of privacy debates. Even so, it’s part of a growing pile of evidence of just how much wearable tech’s data will become integrated in our lives and business.

Demographics’ days are numbered

If anything, the rapid-fire growth of wearable tech serves as an important reminder that marketers have the unique opportunity —and a growing imperative— to look beyond basic demographics as they aim to reach consumers. Advertising has become overly reliant on demographics which make its targeted consumer look, frankly, one-dimensional. But there are opportunities to expand interest-based targeting, as Amazon’s ad network and the growing anonymous app space are showing. As the wearable tech world continues to spawn new forms of data, marketers should look to broaden their demographic horizons just as their industry constituents have. While analysts tend to focus on the future of the wearable tech, technology has already become closely entwined with our own lives. Marketers should take a close look at how these new fields and data not only integrate into their consumers’ everyday routines, but also into their own targeting strategies.

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September 8, 2014 - 1 week ago

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Coming soon: a new video from 140 Proof

Get a behind-the-scenes look at a brand new project coming from 140 Proof.

We’ve partnered with our friends at LaunchSquad to create a video that explains to the world how 140 Proof connects people with the things they love.

Earlier this week, we got a glimpse of the production work happening on the video. As you might guess, the characters in the video represent different personas that our customers can target using interest-based social data.

140 Proof Watch the super-short video below:

Behind the scenes of the 140 Proof video shoot from 140 Proof on Vimeo.

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September 4, 2014 - 2 weeks ago

Posted In eventsblended interest graph

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Amazon in Ad Tech: Diversifying Targeting Tactics


The global superpower tech race of our generation has been heating up lately, with the most recent developments occurring in ad tech. We’re always interested in what Amazon is up to, from rolling out its own smartphone to acquiring Twitch and its audience of 55 million gamers, so it didn’t escape our attention when the world’s largest eTailer revealed its plans for launching its own ad network last week.

The widespread discussion launched by this development has mainly focused on how it will impact the $50 billion a year AdWords business Google currently does, but Amazon’s expansion to advertising signifies more than the most recent power play in a battle of the tech giants: it highlights an industry-wide need to approach ad targeting from a more holistic perspective.

As Amazon replaces the Google ads that currently live on its site and plans to roll out its Amazon Sponsored Links service, marketers eagerly await the positive market impacts that adding another ad publisher into the mix will create. But beyond potentially lower costs and access to shopper intent data, Amazon’s entrance into ad tech addresses opportunity in an industry-wide quest to move beyond targeting devices and cookies and provide a universal view of the consumer.

With competition and idea exchange playing out at a high profile level, the ad tech industry on whole is motivated to leverage targeting methods strategically in order to market effectively. The purchase data that Amazon offers and search data provided by AdWords constitute strong shopper intent signals for purchase, while social data remains the imperative interest signal that brands must harness for upper funnel goals. In addition to recognizing the value of these different targeting methods, competition and idea exchange (whether it’s Google emulating elements of Amazon’s ad design or Amazon staking its claim in what has formerly been AdWords territory) will ultimately optimize the ability to target effectively.

The landscape is certainly shifting, and a segmented view of individuals’ search or browsing behavior is no longer sufficient. Instead, a more comprehensive understanding of consumers as the multi-dimensional humans they are is rapidly becoming the industry standard. One thing is for sure: it will be interesting to witness the changes that cross-pollination and competition inspire as we enter a new era in ad tech.

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September 2, 2014 - 2 weeks ago

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140 Proof Awarded the “Hope Diamond of Social Advertising Patents”


140 Proof, the company that uses social data to select ads on web and mobile based on a user’s interests, today announced that it has been granted Patent #8,751,305, “Targeting Users Based on Persona Data,” by the United States Patent Office. This patent is fundamental to the operation of a business that uses cues from social activity for targeting ads or content. 

The patent covers a method of targeted advertisement distribution based on persona data derived from a social network, wherein the social network includes a plurality of content streams, each content stream associated with a user and a user summary. The method includes the steps of receiving an advertisement request from a third party environment with associated content, identifying a content stream that includes a reference to the third party content, identifying a persona based on the user associated with the identified content stream, and serving an advertisement to the third party environment based on the identified persona.

140 Proof’s initial filing to the Patent Office was made on May 24, 2010. At the time of the filing, the company was already monetizing the interest graph, having launched its first interest-targeted ad product in January. Twitter was still seven months away from launching its first, untargeted ads. Facebook was promoting social graph marketing. Pinterest was one month old.

140 Proof has a strong history of innovation, including the first self-serve socialadvertising, the first social ads API, and the first social ads for mobile.  Since the filing date, 140 Proof has used their methods of persona development across the evolving landscape of available social data, launching the Blended Interest Graph in 2012.

“We have believed for a long time that the most powerful signal of a person’s interests can be derived from their public social activity. Who we connect with, what content we share, where we check in, the subjects we talk about – all these cues and more can tell us how to interpret the individual’s persona and understand what sorts of ads, content, products and more will be relevant and interesting to them,” said 140 Proof CEO Jon Elvekrog. ”The portfolio of patents and pending applications protects our many methods and inventions around using social data to build interest-based personas for ad and content targeting. We’ve been first out of the gate and will explore every path to generating revenue from our work.”

“140 Proof was extremely early to demonstrate the power of social data to identify audiences based on their personas and match them with relevant ads,” said Jorey Ramer, founder of mobile ad platform Jumptap and an advisor to the company. Mr. Ramer is the first named inventor on over 70 patents. “This is the Hope Diamond of social advertising patents.”

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August 27, 2014 - 3 weeks ago

Posted In technology

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