FRIDAYS AT FOUR Volume Nine Issue Twelve

Year in Review Issue
Volume Nine Issue Twelve
December 2012


This is the final edition for year nine of this email newsletter, that was started before blogs, before word press, before Face book, well you know.  We have appreciated sharing this with all of you. It will continue into year ten.  We hope you find the trends we follow and the articles we share timely and of interest.  As we do with our final issue of the year, we include the top trending words we covered in our issues, and also share a few of our favorite books we read during the year.


And as always, we like to share some of the new places we worked with this year—Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco was our event of the year.  The music, the atmosphere, the attendees and the setting made this our favorite event of the year.  Las Vegas is always interesting and our favorite trade show of the year was the Hospitality Design Expo held in May. Other conventions we attended this year included the IAVM Arenas meeting, IAFE fairs meetings, Fun Expo for theme parks and family entertainment centers. Shows we missed and plan to attend again this year are the Fancy Foods West show and the CTEW World meetings, both in San Francisco. CTEW always covers the latest in digital media, NFCcommunications and digital signage.


Here are the words that entered our trends to watch this past year:

  • Near field communications (NFC)
  • Optical content mix (making sure all of your ads are designed for all mediums from computers to tablets to mobile phones
  • SOLOMO-Social, local, mobile
  • Location based coupons
  • User generated content (UCG)
  • “Community managers”—companies are hiring managers to monitor any social media comments made about their brand on the various platforms
  • Digital way finding and digital out of home media (DOOH) All things around digital signage, where it is more of an interaction with the customer via kiosk, touch screen or other way to gather information
  • Sonic identity—firms being hired to create a music mix that matches the buying environment
  • Dynamic pricing—this was one of the biggest trends of the year, and very successful for the SF Giants, as they were able to price their tickets based on game demand
  • Flavor infused mixed drinks—Coconut basil gimlet,grey goose cherry noir
  • On site gardens and farm to table and locavore- as fresh to table as possible
  • Location based Smartphone usage—ways to capture the customer out of home and on site with targeted messages
  • Face book Connect—users log into websites and apps with their identity, and target ads them based on that data
  • Connected protagonists—these are engaged vocal evangelists or protagonists who own their audience and the right to communicate with them
  • Influencers—people whose face book and tweets and posts can boost product sales. One study found that only 30 percent of brands consider themselves to be “effective or extremely effective” at connecting social media to revenue.
  • That promises to be the most watched area in 2013—who can figure out how to connect this entire social media to revenue, and ways to monetize content, lead to customer buying and purchase and begin to measure the actual revenues.


Here are a few more news items from the past year:

  • Online retailers have found ways to vary their price offers based on a users home address.the closer or further you are from the store, the price varies—Wall Street Journal
  • Centerplate went entirely mobile point of sale at the U of South Carolina football stadium this year
  • Enterasys built out for Gillette Stadium in Foxboro a stadium wide connected wired network to help with the challenge of mobile phone usage demand
  • Facial Identity software being used at one large Korean mall to determine shopper preferences and styles.”this will offer more focus and customization—Wall Street Journal
  • Face book moved past one billion users. Founder Mark Zuckerberg says our philosophy is “move fast and break things”. “We have this ethos where we want to be a culture of builders” WE don’t want to celebrate any particular milestone” –business week
  • Augmented reality—not taking off yet, still some are suing it, including AB InBev for some in store promotions, where the customer uses Smartphone to take a picture of a photo of a NASCAR driver and immediate mobile of the driver come on the phone, with chance to instant win. According to ABInBev “this transforms marketing assets from static pieces to engaging content”  Ad Week

And this quote from Sharon Love of TPN—“the purchase path is no longer a funnel, but rather a constantly rotating infinity loop. Consumers weave in and out of the process.”  Hub Magazine

We close with our books that we read this year that we enjoyed and covered in Fridays at Four- Imagine by Jonah Lehrer, Abundance by Peter Diamandis,What Matters Now by Gary Hamel,Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki, Makers by Chris Andersen,and one we read again Switch by Chip Heath.

We close this issue with a quote we look at each day—“When life is about caring for the orchard, rather than picking the apples, you get more apples to eat”.

Thanks for your continued business in 2012. Look for us to contact you about the emerging area of mobile applications for your venue that can increase revenues. And our on-site visits to venues to review food and beverage and work with you on increased revenues.


From  GF Strategies President Greg Flakus

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