Mobile Strategies: What’s Working Now

I was fortunate to attend the BDI Mobile Social Conference last week in New York, which highlighted a few key mobile case studies and insights with regards to how best utilize mobile for marketing/PR campaigns, loyalty programs, programs and beyond.  I’ve highlighted a few key takeaways below:

Utility, Utility, Utility

Sexy is good. Utility is better.  As one speaker pointed out, the new Chase mobile check-scanner that deposits checks automatically to users’ bank accounts may not appear sexy, but the app provides a service unavailable through any other means.  For users needing to deposit money in a hurry (or in the rural US), it’s a terrific value add.

Simplicity/Ease of Use is Golden

While many marketers may be content spending time playing with apps, the typical consumer is looking for an app to make their life easier from their first trial. They see apps as a way for them to save time – so the easier the app is to understand, the higher the rate of conversion.

Promote Offline to Drive Users Online

A local business spoke about how they work with Yelp to ensure their customers are having a 5-star experience.  How do they make sure users actually ‘check-in’?  One of their first questions out of the gate to customers is asking them if found the store through Yelp. Not only is it an ice breaker, but it reminds the customer to go online, perhaps through the Yelp mobile app, to rate their experience.

We‘re Searching Differently

Which do Yelpers use more for search — Yelp Website or the Yelp Mobile App? Interestingly, it depends on the day of the week. A Yelp sales rep spoke about how most Yelp hits from Mon-Wed are on the Yelp website, while Thurs-Sun hits are predominantly through users’ mobile apps.  While it’s been assumed that consumers are turning to their smartphones more and more to do basic computer searches, especially when they’re on the go, this case study proves it. Marketers should take note – and design their app with this takeaway baked in.

Consumers Will Respond– If You Get Creative

Tasti D-Lite has gone above and beyond to reward brand loyalists with Instead of just rewarding product purchases, Tasti D-lite thanks all consumers chatting about Tasti-D-Lite online, be it on Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare.  Users get rewarded when they push out one of the brand’s multiple (think 10+) sample tweets – but they get even more credit when they write their own messages.  How successful has the brand been?  1 out of 5 users are automatically posting to Twitter, on behalf of Tasti-D-Lite. Additionally, 63% of users are connecting on 1 social network, nearly 25% are connected on two networks and nearly 12% are connecting on all three.

An App is Not a Strategy

Mobile opens innumerable doors in terms of connecting with consumers – but it’s not a strategy.  Smart marketers will always be thinking big picture, consulting a toolbox of multiple options and tactics for what’s right for their brand. Maybe mobile is right for you, but it all depends on who your target audience is and what their demographic research indicates in terms of their mobile use.





Carol Davidson Cannot Be Found Online

She was my aunt and she passed away in 2004. It’s been 6 years now and I think about her, of course, from time to time. I miss her, but never more so than the days before Yom Kippur.

My Aunt Carol (who once got supremely angry at me for forgetting the “Aunt”) didn’t often cook, because she was sick so much from Crohn’s Disease. But, her Noodle Kugle was famous. To this day, it’s my favorite food. More than Deep Dish Pizza and more any fancy restaurant.

Luckily, my sophomore year in college, I decided to host break-fast and asked her to forward me along her recipe. I corralled a bunch of friends(15!) and two of my guy friends even made brisket. This was going to be an Affair.

Not only did she oblige, but she wrote me such a sweet note to accompany the recipe, “One thing I will say for you is that you are ambitious and do nothing in a small way!

If it doesn’t makes me tear up every year, and this year’s no different. Everyone’s born with a few select people that are guaranteed to love you – to death. And, she did.

I often write about social media on this blog so, I’m happy to tie it back: I googled her tonight and found nothing. Not one article. I research often for work; I’m an expert at it. But, nothing. I searched “Carol + Davidson”, “Carol + Steve + Davidson”. This may sound morbid, but I even searched for her obituary.

No trace.

People often talk about how there’s too much public information online. And, they’re probably right. I attended a conference yesterday about Augmented Reality that made me never want to broadcast online AGAIN. All the same, I still wanted to find something. I don’t know what. Something. I have photos at home in Chicago and some birthday cards, with her looped handwriting as well, but that wasn’t it. Something else.

I think, maybe, I just wanted to find something new. A piece of news, still, 6 years later. After all, isn’t that why we Google to begin with? To search out some new fact or nugget of truth?

Well, I hope someone tries again sometime. And, I hope they’ll find this post. Because, I’m going to share her awesome recipe. And, I don’t think you have it.

At the close of her email to me, written in 2003, she writes, “READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS OVER BEFORE YOU START, SO IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS YOU CAN CALL ME OR E=MAIL ME!!!!!”

I’ve made this recipe 7 years running, now. You can call or email or Tweet at me. It won’t come out like hers, but it’s still pretty darn good:)

Happy New Year, Aunt Carol!


(for one, but some things you can use for more)!
1 16 oz. carton small curd cottage cheese  (use either the 4% or 2%)
1 pint sour cream (8oz.)  It is cheaper to buy 16 oz. and split it!  Again use whole or reduced fat instead of yogurt or fat-free
5 eggs (large)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 oz. cream cheese (I tend to buy a 7 oz. container of reduced fat or Neufatchel as it is called and split it in half.  It is only 1/3 less fat and even if you buy real cream cheese, it is cheaper to buy the larger size and split it in half if you are making more than one kugel, which you should)!  So buy a 7 oz cream cheese for 2 kugels!
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine.  Get the sticks, they are marked.
1/2  cup of sugar or a little more if you want it sweeter.  I use  1/2 cup granulated white sugar.  Buy a bag.
1 box corn flake crumbs (Splurge and buy the ones that are already  crushed)
You need to make cinnamon sugar.  The amount you use is up to you, but I always make a good quantity of it at once.  I have no measurements but get it to the color less than rust.  You should be able to see a little white in the mixture.  You have to decide how much cinnamon you like.  If you have no idea, pick up a ready made  bottle and look at the color.  It is more expensive to buy that way.  Make your own in a small peanut butter jar.  Cover the jar with plastic wrap, the top, and shake until you like the color and taste!
1 lb. wide or medium wide noodles for each kugel.  Don’t get the little ones!
Pam or some other non-stick spray
Raisins (to your liking)
Optional- Apples (dried or pie filling).  If you use the pie filling reduce the sugar a little!  You might want to try dried apricots.  It’s up to you!
1/3 cup milk.  I always use skim cause that is all we ever have in the house!
First you boil the noodles (one lb. bag at a time)  Do not mix them.  Drain them in a colander and rinse them under cold water.  Set aside.
Do you have a microwave?  If you do, take 3 tblspns margarine or butter and  the cream cheese and put them in the microwave for 2 minutes on Defrost.  If you don’t, take them out early so they are mushy enough to blend together with a fork.
Mix in 3 eggs, the vanilla, and stir in the white granulated sugar.  Add the sour cream and cottage cheese and mix again.  Add the noodles and you will have a soupy mixture.  (You have added the eggs to the mushed butter and cream cheese)
Spray your 9 x 13 pyrex  (like a lasagna dish) with Pam or non-stick stuff.  Pour the mixture and fruit to your liking.  Cover it completely with silver foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  When you take the mixture out it should not be soupy!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the milk,2 eggs together.  Set aside.
Take your noodle mixture out of the fridge.  It should not be soupy and the noodles and fruit should have absorbed the liquid.  It should look semi firm.
Then pour a small amount of the egg and milk mixture on the semi-firm noodle mixture.  The trick is not to pour too much on- just enough to get it slightly soupy again.  Save the silver foil.
Then take a teaspoon and lightly cover with the corn flake crumbs.  Cover it lightly, but thoroughly.  Then cover  using a dry teaspoon with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Make sure it is covered evenly.  Replace the foil and bake for 45 minutes.  After 45 minutes, take off the foil, and bake another 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown without the foil.
Eat and enjoy!
I always line my oven in case there is spillover from the mixture (the bottom with silver foil) and there are times I don’t use all the egg and milk mixture.  You can save it for French Toast the next day.  The trick is to get it the right consistency without it being too soupy or burnt!