Instagram to Introduce new Business-Centric Features

Posted on July 6th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Advertising

By Vlad Vidaeff
Instagram continues to rise in popularity, especially with millennials, who love a platform that appeals to their propensity to take selfies.  Along with its visual focus, companies trying to target this segment have paid a close eye to the development of the platform.  As Facebook owns Instagram, it is no surprise that the platform has announced a host of new business tools.  This blog will highlight the new features and what it means for the evolution of the network. (more…)

Google to Increase Size of ads due to Mobile Trends

Posted on June 22nd, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Advertising

By Vlad Vidaeff
The importance of Google advertising is unquestioned.  Whether you’re a start-up or a well-established corporation, paid ads are a necessity for continued success.  With that being said, consumer habits are changing as desktop usage is falling while mobile usage is rising.  This blog will touch on Google’s decision to increase the size of its ads and the reason for this development. (more…)

Google Introduces two new Interactive ad Formats for Mobile

Posted on January 13th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories App Developers

By Vlad Vidaeff
Google, always the innovator, recently launched two interactive ad formats for mobile: Trial Run Ads and Interactive Interstitial Ads.  Both ads take customization to a new level by giving advertisers a more immersive way to reach potential consumers.  This blog will explore the features of each type of ad and the companies that would benefit from using these new offerings as part of their marketing mix. (more…)

Mobile-Commerce is making a Big Splash on the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

Posted on February 27th, 2015 by Jordan Suresky Categories Advertising


Businesses today are thriving on setting a goal maximizing Self-serve technologies. These technologies are becoming more prevalent forms of communication. These forms of communication are can be B2C or B2B.  This is especially true with the advent of the numerous social media platforms.

A mobile-app using SoLoMo Technology to reserve a hotel.


For example, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly discusses a perspective on M-Commerce’s impact on intermediation. There are two terms that have been provided, the first being consumer engagement technology (CET) and the second being SoLoMo Applications. SoLoMo is an acronym that is abbreviated for a set of M-Commerce applications that satisfy customer’s social, location, and mobile-based needs.  The most widely used examples of this technology include apps such as Foursquare, Yelp and similar sites where users can check in at a destination point to their inner circle. This technology was innovated by a company with the same namesake in Wisconsin. The hospitality and tourism sector is benefitting from this type of technology in that it is easier to practice loyalty-marketing techniques. In terms of careers within the hotel segment, knowledge and successful execution of m-commerce is also significant.

The MGM Grand is an example of a hotel utilizing m-commerce technologies.
The MGM Grand is an example of a hotel utilizing m-commerce technologies.

The IHG Group, for example that runs multiple brands such as Intercontinental Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn are looking into what are called SMS Marketing personnel. These key people are responsible for driving those automatic text messages you may see when you check into a hotel or if your folio (bill) is ready to view.


All of this again is to help drive engagement and ultimately revenue. The ideal result is that the hotels and its systems are able to read into their guests throughout the customer lifecycle experience (reservation, stay, repeat stay, etc.). This is only the tip of the iceberg however with ‘SoLoMo’ and other related m-commerce advancements that hopefully will have a positive impact on marketing and tourism related organizations.


Marketing a Business

Posted on August 7th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Marketing has its place in every business. According to the Business Dictionary, “Marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction.” Based on this, a marketer’s job is to prove how a product will satisfy their needs. Putting together a marketing strategy can be expensive and time-consuming, making the task quite challenging. There are two ways you can promote your business, traditional marketing and online marketing. Now, you will probably ask which one is more effective? There is no single answer for this question because both can help you succeed.


Traditional Marketing


Traditional MarketingTraditional marketing involves using direct mail, print advertising, broadcasting, and referrals and has been around for many years. Print advertising is the oldest of traditional marketing. Its goal is to create awareness through displays on magazines, newspapers or billboards. This type of marketing is usually expensive and targeted towards large businesses. This is also the case for broadcasting which includes radio and television. According to the Houston Chronicle, TV and radio can reach a large audience in a short time period. However, it has a shorter lifetime compared to print advertising. Direct mail creates awareness through catalogs, letters, brochures, etc. If you have a small business you can start with direct mail and referrals, which are less expensive and less time consuming.


Online Marketing


Online MarketingOnline marketing works through the Internet and mobile devices and its success began around the 2000’s. For small businesses new in the market, online marketing is a great way to increase sales, while quickly gaining exposure. One form of online marketing is social media. Social media sites like, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest are all great ways to communicate your brand message at no cost to the company or you individually. Email marketing is another form of online marketing, but in order for it to be successful, it must be appealing and well planned.


The majority of businesses utilize a combination of traditional and online marketing. According to Econsultancy, using these channels together will help you develop a solid plan that draws a desired behavior from the consumer towards your product. Each business is different and should develop the best combination of marketing methods according to what they have to offer and what they think their customers need.


Mobile Marketing: The Changing Demographics

Posted on May 16th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories Branding

If there’s anything traditional marketing can be adversely good at, it’s alienating an entire demographic that isn’t moved by a blanket message. Remember those burgeoning billboards on the sides of highways in the middle of nowhere? They’re still around, but they’re not as relevant as they used to be.
Smartphones and digital communication are now facts of life, and in trying to adapt to this not-so-new-fangled form of connecting, marketers are faced with changing their strategies and revised metrics. Again. Buckle in – it’s going to be quite a ride.
Device Demographics
Gone are the days when an audience could be neatly packaged into factors like “gender,” “age” and “ethnicity.” Some truisms may exist, still. iPhone users are more likely to be young and affluent more than Android users, but their spending habits and the information they consume is vastly different.
We communicate, consume, share and advertise digitally. That part’s easy. What becomes difficult is bridging the gap between ROI insights and adjusting strategies in real time. As marketers, we’ve always faced a lag between traditional advertising and the feedback we receive.
Device demographics are making advertising much more relevant and targeted than it ever has been. Marketers can now customize the content and experience for their audience for each mobile device available, and as it turns out, the trend is sticking around. Consumers are beginning to prefer targeted ads that are sleeker, have higher definition and are more interactive.
One Step Up
Targeted or even preferred content isn’t just for social media platforms anymore. Everything that you do with your smartphone offers an insight into who you are and where your interests lie. From status updates and geotagging on Facebook and Twitter to the kinds of utility or gaming apps you use – we were all here for the Angry Birds fever – every activity leads marketers to create an experience that’s tailored uniquely to you.
There’s a side of the fence that believes these rapid changes are exciting and revolutionary. How do you feel?

Mobile Advertising Trends to Come

Posted on December 14th, 2011 by Tiffany Categories Mobile Advertising

Remember the 3 L’s of marketing? The most important tenet of them all? “Location, location, location!” There was a time we heard that phrase being chanted from the rooftops of all the skyscrapers in New York City. Then came the advent of the digital age and Web 2.0, and suddenly we were swept over by banner ads, click-throughs, digital ROI’s, SEO and Google rankings.             


Just when we were getting used to the new lingo, we began dancing with business in the Social Media arena (read: Foursquare check-ins). Now, a business isn’t complete if it doesn’t come with a Social Media and mobile advertising strategy. And funnily enough, the new marketing wheel is turning back around to making “Location!” it’s foremost strategy.
According to Gartner, mobile-ad spending in the U.S. will rise over $3 billion dollars in 2011. eMarketer’s projections are on the more generous side – around $31.3 billion. Despite the disparity in figures, given the number of smart phones out there, clearly, the trend is here to stay.
Top 3 Trends to Come
1. For the future – 5 years from now – we can expect to see quite a few new developments in Geo-based advertising. Companies that are still targeting consumers by traditional methods, including demographics, will likely begin targeting ads relevant to purchases and mobile locations. (If you feel like you’re being followed, it’s probably true!)
2. Expect to see greater interactivity and a richer experience from your mobile ads. Although very appealing, interactive ads are still not the norm in mobile advertising. However, a few years down the road are likely to bring ad narratives that not only elicit a response but also engage people at an emotional level. Let’s just say things are only bound to get much “cooler” from here!
3. SMS – Ubiquitously known as text messaging in our corner of the world, advertising by Short Message Service (SMS) will see an increase of dollars being dedicated for its specific use. Why?
Immediacy, for one. Customer drive opt-ins for another. And not to forget the fact that text messaging is a low-cost, high-result medium, showing Click-Through Rates (CTR’s) in the mid-teens – approximately 14%, with a conversion rate of 8.22%
All around, good numbers and good news for the industry. Which trends have you been watching lately? Let us know in the comments!