StumbleUpon iPad Upgrade Could Put Them Back on the Marketing Map

Marketers have long had a love / hate relationship with StumbleUpon. The site is known for sending large quantities of traffic to your webpages and if you become a SU favorite, the numbers will go through the roof. The downside is that StumbleUpon traffic rarely stays more than a few seconds and doesn’t usually convert.

So, for those of you who like to keep your bounce rate in check, stop reading. For the rest of you, onward we go to StumbleUpon’s new iPad upgrade. The new interface makes it easy to swipe through page after page, leave your thumbs up or down vote and even comment. It’s also more social with easy share buttons and connections to your SU friends. They also upgraded the smartphone app with a friends bar that shows which of your friends also liked the site.

Deloitte Offers Insights on Killer Apps

So you built it, but they didn’t come. It’s not surprising. Mobile apps may be growing in popularity, but they’re also growing in number and the latter far outweighs the former.

According to Deloitte’s new strategy insights called Killer Apps, creating a popular mobile app can be harder than it looks.

Just take a look at this chart showing the number of available apps over the past few years.

In order to stand out in this crowd, you have to have two things; a killer app and a great marketing plan. Common sense, right? Maybe not. In Deloitte’s study, they found that people often develop an app when all they really need is a mobile version of their website. Rule number one, don’t make an app just for the sake of making an app. Same goes for mobile games. They are the number one selling category of app, but simply slapping your brand on a repetitive or knock-off game won’t do.

Syfy Gets Social With Shazam, Get Glue and Alphas

Last night, Syfy premiered their new super hero series Alphas, along with a set of super social apps.

In the week leading up to the series, GetGlue offered a Coming Soon badge which is now “out of print.’ As a reward for checking in weekly, gluers can now earn up to 14 additional badges including one for each character and one for each of their Alpha powers.

Syfy is running an even higher profile promotion with Shazam, the music identification app that now works for TV shows, too. During the show, viewers were prompted to point their iPhones at the TV screen, then activate the Shazam button. The app listens to make sure you’re really watching Alphas, then returns a lists of additional goodies. In this case, it was behind the scenes videos, wallpaper downloads and a sweepstakes link. It also returns an Alphas playlist that lists the songs from the episode along with iTunes download links so you can own them only seconds after exclaiming, “hey, I love that song.”

LivingSocial’s ‘Almost’ Free Lunch Comes to San Francisco

It’s time for another Dollar Lunch Day thanks to LivingSocial. This time, the daily deal site is taking on San Francisco. On July 13, LivingSocial Instant Deals will go live in the City by the Bay and more than 100 restaurants will offer lunch for $1 to celebrate.

This is the third time LivingSocial is running with this unique promotion so it must be working for them. They report 27,000 $1 lunch vouchers were sold in Washington, D.C. in March and in June 15,000 were sold in Manhattan. Think San Fran can top that?

Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial thinks it’s the perfect city for the product.

YouTube Gets Sophisticated with Cosmic Panda

YouTube is testing a new site design called Cosmic Panda. I love the name. I love the logo, but I’m not completely sold on the design.

The overall concept is a more sophisticated look for YouTube. It’s cleaner, bolder and darker. The videos now show up on a dark gray background like Hulu, but smaller videos show up with a double background of black on dark gray which is annoying. Yes, I guess the contrast is easier on the eyes, but it doesn’t work for me.

On the other hand, the new channel design is excellent, which means a nice boost for marketers who run their own video brand pages. There are four layout options but they’re all based on the idea of horizontal strips below the main video instead of down the side.

Google+ Puts Businesses on Hold

Google+ took another step backwards this week when they asked businesses to hold off creating accounts in their new social network. They say it’s for your own good, because the current system is designed strictly for personal profiles.

Google+ blogger Christian Oestlien had this to say:

We’ve seen some really great companies get involved. But frankly we know our product as it stands is not optimally suited to their needs. In fact, it was kind of an awkward moment for us when we asked Ford for his (or was it her?) gender!

How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands, and we want to create an optimal experience for both. We have a great team of engineers actively building an amazing Google+ experience for businesses, and we will have something to show the world later this year.

Women Want Solutions, Men Only Want the Very Best

He’s won trophies for his game face alone. He is the life of parties he’s never attended. Sharks have a week dedicated to him. He’s the most interesting man in the world and he’s right on point.

According to a new chart from comScore, men respond to commercials that makes superiority claims while women prefer to see solutions to their problems. It’s a sad, sexist state of affairs but we’ve seen the evidence on our TV screens for years. Female oriented commercials taught us how to remove ring around the collar, get a full serving of vegetables into our kids without a veggie on the plate, and look years younger and pounds thinner.

Commercials aimed at men promise faster cars, prettier women, adventure, and excitement. As unbalanced as it is, it’s hard to find fault when it’s a system that obviously works.