Proximity Marketing — Memberships’ Privilege is Hyper-Relevant Content

Featured image from Dave Rozek

Proximity marketing is the content delivery application.

Micro-locations are the environments where the application lives.

beacon-technology-overview-7-638Inforgraphic from Donnovan Andrews

“Beacon” is a word that suggests promise, guidance, satisfaction, and opportunity. In the technical application as part of  IoT (Internet of Things), beacons can provide a delivery system for hyper-relevant messages broadcast to an audience captivated by their smart phones.

Marketers can maximize their environment investments through regular application of relevant content that excites, educates, engages, and entertains their consumer.

Writing for, Shubhi Mittal highlights effective proximity marketing in retail micro-environments.

Beyond the retail, educational and safety opportunities abound with the application of proximity marketing notifications in micro-environment settings.

Mesh all-wireless-campus


From author Neha Malliks piece

Museums will soon exchange the push button prompts for proximity marketing messages increasing engagement and offering user metrics that can offer opportunities to grow usership and relevance.

What is your favorite non-commercial application of proximity marketing?

Smart Phone Connectivity; This Era’s Hamburger

Featured image from

The high-school psychology lesson about the hamburger as an American benchmark of security and independence has stuck with me. Whenever I see someone hunker down into an amazing-looking burger, I appreciate why they appear so satisfied. Yes, the hamburger is probably delicious, but I know the act of holding that meal-in-a-hand is as empowering as hopping in a vehicle and depressing the accelerator.


Image from

Our smart phones elicit those same sensations. Only, our smartphones appear in our hands for a much longer duration than the time it takes to eat a juicy, self-affirming burger.

See the 2002 publication, The Naked Consumer Today: Or an Overview of why Consumers Really Buy Things …By Jan Callebaut, Hendrik Hendrickx, Madeleine Janssens for a breakdown of how consumers meet visceral needs with the things they buy and consume.

Smart phones may not only provide the physical replacement (through IoT, the internet of things) of something self-affirming and satisfying to hold (the hamburger), they also may provide the pleasure center stimulation through their digital impulses and our intellectual interaction with those digital cues.

Remember that Star Trek Next Generation episode “The Game” (circa 1991)? The entire crew–except Ensign Crusher–become hypnotized and brain washed by an addictive gaming device that sent impulses to their individual pleasure centers through the visual cortex.

Proximity marketing done well requires engaging, highly-relevant content while consumer is in environment. But can we become too engaging?

Consumers understand why they reach for their smart phone; it’s a tool. But are smart phone users authorizing their own transportation away from the real world they must navigate? Will a natural balance or a “reset” back to “real” occur whereupon users shift away from burgeoning smart-phone addiction?

Successfully cultivated business to consumer relationships with longevity may require a pivot back to keeping it real.

How do marketers grow relationships that authentically support the customer and their products beyond the smart phone?

And can mobile-exclusive business to consumer relationship have sustaining value?

Taking principles beyond traditional marketing will require a dovetailed approach to strategy matrices that refine traditional marketing tactics with embedment of effective mobile tools.

The consciousness and conscientiousness of approach can keep consumer bases firmly planted and perceiving value in the physical while they hit satisfaction levels through virtual environments in moderation.


Image from



And these interesting tidbits:



So Close, Yet So Far Away — Proximity Marketing

Featured image from

Proximity marketing in micro-environments. How can something that sounds so cutting-edge and sexy, be such a regular disappointment to the smart-phone consumer?

The missing piece in micro-environments where proximity marketing falls short of consumer and business expectations?

Willingness to consistently provide, create, and regulate relevant content.


Trump ≠ Finland — Humor


Witnessing the development and expression of perspective is one of the joys of raising little people into adulthood. My son had a “buddy over” and my listening in—aka eavesdropping—content was surprising in its breadth.

Carson and his 13-year-old buddy, my 11-year-old daughter Morgan, and her 5-year-old sister Abigail sat around the dining room table mowing down lunch when the “T” word reared its ugly head. The pre-kindergartner asked Carson’s buddy with an eye roll, “Why are you talking about this Donald Trump?”

“Great question Abby!” screamed my inner mom voice thinking how politics can turn a fun social occasion into a misery. Carson and his buddy proceeded to fill the table in about Mr. T’s activities and his seeming dislike for women. They shared specific examples of Mr. T’s political platform.  My 5th grader chimed in her dislike of Donald’s plan to change her chances to learn in school.

It was satisfying to appreciate how personally this group of kids was taking the public discourse. I suggested we all consider moving to Finland if a Trump presidency occurs.

“Finland?” the puzzled politicos asked while scrambling for a mental image of the world map.

“It sounds like everything you want in your country, is already happening in Finland,” I explained.

Great things about Finland

  • Formal schooling begins at age 7
  • Kids learn through play
  • Society believes education is essential


From multimediaprojectjaw


  • Society and teachers promote respect for nature; students are outside every hour
  • No homework

joe hills thrills tumblr_mjreh0bmhs1qa37j0o1_540

From Joe Hill’s Thrills Tumbler
  • Schools are equally funded
  • Little standardized testing


johncoreywhaley tumblr_mjreh0bmhs1qa37j0o5_540

From John Corey Whaley Tumbler
  • Community ownership in the education system
  • Emphasis is cooperation, not competition
  • More access to teachers


Jan-gebhardt blog post, Europe


  • Low cost overall to society
  • Higher graduation rates
  • Higher rates of economic success after school



“In Finland we orientate more towards learning and working than towards marking and evaluating,” offers a Finnish teacher. From Dana Daporta’s article Finland’s A+ Schools, for

This offering is the type of direct instruction our system may use as a growing tool.

Mr. Trump’s commentary triggered a visceral reaction followed by thoughtful discourse over this lunch. This group of young people–through talking and listening to each other– uncovered strategies they deemed logical for a positive societal future.

And an American dining room felt a little more like Finland.

And this tidbit:

“In a recent analysis of educational reform policies in Finland, Pasi Sahlberg (2009) describes how since the 1970s Finland has changed its traditional education system ‘into a model of a modern, publicly financed education system with widespread equity, good quality, large participation – all of this at reasonable cost’ (p. 2). In addition to the gains in measured achievement, there have been huge gains in educational attainment at the upper secondary and college levels.”

Steady Work: How Finland Is Building a Strong Teaching and Learning System by Linda Darling Hammond

How would you like to bring some Finland into your life?


Pegging the bias-credibility meter — Persuasive

Featured image from Mike Rowe Facebook posting. will link you to the Profoundly Disconnected site.

Social media’s feed of information snapshots is addictively empowering. Who doesn’t feel that they can find out anything they’d like to know about after entering a few keywords into a search engine? I regularly click on items that range from the scientific to the crafty. I recently clicked to a  Journal Sentinel business-section article shared by a Facebook friend. The feelings of dread that followed served as a reminder to acknowledge and mind my seventh sense when clicking through.

The article was about a new facility in the Madison Area Technical College system and the launch of a paid tuition program for unemployed Wisconsinites with an interest in gaining preliminary certification in welding at the Mequon campus facility. My interest was piqued because I am interested in the promotion of learning, wide-ranging applications for all individuals, and the movement to destigmatize working-class identified jobs.

A sense of ick spread from my core as I read. I had to ask myself, “Why is this story bothering you?” My answer, “Because data is missing and it seems to have been intentionally omitted.”

My bias-credibility meter was pegged. My seventh sense had taken a backseat to my information addiction. Meter readings after the click-through are a valuable consideration when part of our information diet.

What does your meter tell you when you click through?

You can find the article here:

MATC offers free welding classes, but Mequon campus has few takers so far

Do you think that the tone of this piece implies imminent failure of the initiative?

Are both sides of the endeavor addressed?

Is the reader offered information about the long-term planning and initiatives of which this certification program might be a part?

Is a political agenda at play?

Did the article cover details regarding national demand for this trade skill?  Does the reader know if students choose this program beyond the qualification of an unemployed status?

What is the tone of the M.A.T.C. dean’s responses? Is he portrayed as a dynamic, strategic planner?

Do you find the input from a local employer (Super Steal representative) valuable? He’s quoted regarding their training program’s emphasis on essential life skills and that he would like M.A.T.C. to include such training so people don’t, “Wash out.”

Was the article an information wash out?

Indulge me while I self-adjust my personal bias-credibility meter closer to dead center with this blog from Mike Rowe’s Profoundly Disconnected Foundation website.

Welding is a $100,000 job!?

Thank you for sharing your meter readings in the comments section.


Gooey Chocolate Dream Bars — Informative


When my sister asked for my Gooey Chocolate Dream Bar recipe, I sent her to the Chocolate Oat Bar recipe that inspired me in The Joy of Cooking. After listing an excessive amount of alterations, I realized that it might be time to start fresh.

My modifications produce similar flavors to the classic The Joy of Cooking recipe; however, the texture and fudgy-to-crunchy-experience ratio is dramatically different.

Let me know if you think the process is worth the gooey result.

Here’s what you’ll need to complete your Gooey Chocolate Dream Bar experience:

One 10 1/2 X 15 1/2 inch-pan with sides
Butter for coating the pan
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons room-temperature salted butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla
2 extra-large or 3 large room-temperature eggs
1  1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 bowls
1 napkin
1 rubber scrapper
1 cooling rack
1 big knife


Here we go!



You’ll need a pre-heated, 350 degree oven and a 10 1/2 X 15 1/2-inch pan that has been liberally slathered with softened butter.


Blend 2 sticks of softened butter with 2 cups PACKED brown sugar and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla.


After your butter mixture looks creamy, add and mix in 2 x-large eggs or 3 large eggs.


Scrape down the bowl with rubber scrapper as needed. When your eggs have become part of the mixture, add 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Blend briefly


Mix a total of 3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats and 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour. Add these in three portions making sure the oats are getting wet evenly and the flour has disappeared. Then, walk away from the mixer.


The gooey topping requires 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips2 Tablespoons butter, and 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt. Put all 4 ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.


Microwave for 1 minute and stir.


Microwave another 30 seconds and stir. Repeat as needed to achieve a smooth, fudgy consistency.


Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to the topping and fold and stir until glossy and smooth.

With the building blocks ready, it’s time for assembly.

Grab approximately 2/3 of the cookie crust and place on pan. Spread out dampening fingers as needed.


The fudgy topping is ready to meet the sweet-salty-crunchy crust.


Pour topping onto base and smooth as evenly as possible making sure to cover base all the way to the edges of the pan.


I like to score the topping with a butter knife so I can expect 24 bars in total.


Wipe of excess topping with a napkin. If you don’t do this, the edges will have a weird texture.



Create 8 hamburger-patty style cookies and place strategically on top of the fudgy topping so that there is some cookie topping on each portion. This is not an exact science, but some cookie on top of the fudge is essential for each bar.Wet hands as needed while working with this wet cookie dough.


Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of a 350-degree oven. Cookie top will begin to brown slightly soon before you take the pan of treats out of the oven.


Cool at least 20 minutes before cutting. Bring out the big knife and wipe down in between cuts. Or treat your self to a sample of the chocolatey goodness stuck to your cutting tool.

My favorite sources for culinary fundamentals are The Joy of Cooking, King Arthur Flour, and The Fannie Farmer cookbook.

What are your go-to texts for cooking problem-solving and inspiration?

For a peak at The Joy of Cooking online.

King Arthur Flour’s comprehensive site evolves classics with a nod to modern tastes.

More on the Boston Cooking School cookbook from Fannie Farmer




The Traces of a Life After Government Experimentation — Narrative


A remnant of my father hangs in my closet; a beautifully-made, army-issue sweater that he wore while serving as an army mechanic during the Vietnam War. Francis was considered fortunate to be stationed in Germany from 1965-1967. No bombs exploding in combat, no Viet Kong around every corner or behind every bush. My father was nervously excited about the adventure and felt he could stomach the jeers from those whose lottery took them directly into active harm because he was fortunate that his deployment would most-likely allow him a return trip home at its end.

He was a charming product of his era with unlimited opportunity and perhaps a natural victim of situation with a self-destructive nature limiting his fulfillment in this life.

I have little memorabilia from my childhood and my father’s life. This brown, button-down, V-neck sweater is made of tightly knit wool. The buttons are an understated dark brown with an odd gold button replacing the bottom fastener. I always thought it represented a masculine style and my dad’s general panache; he was a man who cleaned up well. As I consider the man who wore the sweater, I reconsider my sentimentality and appreciate that this Kamgar military-issue sweater with its serviceable, well-made qualities is mostly a representation of fine raw materials and not an elevated ideal.

A twenty-one-year-old Francis wore this sweater in chilly West German weather, he learned a mechanical trade, he developed friendships, socialized with his peers, and experienced military drug trials that would alter his reality and possibly led to his untimely death. He returned to the United States, married, had four children, lost six possible children to miscarriage, was a party to a tumultuous marriage, held a laborer job, and led a seemingly tortured existence that became less and less social with every passing year. He appeared to find connection and some level of peace communing with nature. He taught me how to find edible wintergreen in the woods and how to meet basic survival needs through nature.

His psychotic break at age 39 was considered abnormally late in life. Research suggests that drug test subjects of military trials from my dad’s service era have experienced these kind of effects.

Hi untimely death in 2005—before reaching the age of 60–concluded a dozen years of seclusion following attempts to live with and treat his schizophrenia.

This CNN article touches on trials, their effects, and the implied consent of military participants. Human Test Subjects provides a preliminary analysis of evidentiary substance supporting the premise of the work Jacob’s Ladder. BZ and Secret U.S. Government Experimentation

My father, as the Kamgar sweater that remains, was well-made of fine raw materials. Circumstance corrupted his service to himself and others.

Do you know of anyone with a similar life experience? What became of their life’s path?

Infographia: The Language of Generations Millenial and Younger


Marketers are intimately familiar with the practice of millennials–and younger target markets–to speak in visuals. These visuals are communication shorthand for those engaged and utilizing mobile and social media.

This Letterbox infographic offers a sampling of a young person’s social media exposure. Suggesting that the average teen experiences 10 hours and 45 minutes of social media–across platforms–per day. This complex and a bit concerning picture points to how marketers may use social media channel to converse with millennials and teens in a positive manner.


The commonality across platforms is the visual component of conversation. reports that the most millenials and teens demonstrate that the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. shares a study the boils down social marketing strategy to this group to Six steps. Following these steps will naturally lead to a visual marketing experience similar to the manner in which this group communicates through social media. This visual marketing is most effective in infographic form.

“The Yahoo/DigitasLBi/Razorfish/Tumblr study included a list of tips for content marketers trying to reach this dream demo:
1. Set the mood. Give them a repository for a particular emotion, or bond over a universal human experience.
2. Help them escape by giving them a glimpse of the good life, inspiring them, and “reinforcing the millennial values of embracing life and finding happiness along the off-roaded path to adulthood.”
3. Fuel creativity and play with absurdist mash-ups, artistic installations and carefully curated memes that are the tight fit for a brand’s attributes.
4. Spotlight pop culture, especially using nostalgia nods, superfandom and celebrity musings.
5. Help them succeed with how-tos, lifehacks and any content experience that makes them feel smarter.
6. Help them discover things and see topics in a new light, which “taps into millennials’ desire for discovery.”
Beyond the marketing of brands, infographics realize success in generations millennial and younger because they can function as educational tools, inspirational tools, build social awareness, and promote advocacy.

Inspirational infographic example.


Educational infographic example.



Advocacy infographic example.


Educational and inspirational infographic examples create opportunities for teens to visually digest information at their own pace. This conveyance of message offers opportunities for greater investment in the material because the reader is allowed to return to the message at their convenience.


Difficult subject matter becomes less stigmatizing and more digestible through the infographic modality.



Curation: A Unique Content-ish Creation


Curation is not just for libraries and museums. Curation lives in the moment to moment content publishing through the on-line medium. Curation–in a nutshell–is sharing content, not selling content.

Kristina Cisnero through offers a “Beginner’s Guide to Content Curation.” In her tutorial she details the systems that must be applied to ensure that daily, weekly, and monthly curation provides quality and connections that customer bases and wider audiences find meaningful.


Curation is a process of sorting through massive amounts of similarly threaded information, compiling the most relevant of those informative connections, and providing the curated links in a digestible, meaningful, relevant, and timely manner through the appropriate on-line vehicle(s).

The actions required in content curation and dissemination are similar to the mechanism and characteristics of general content creation because both require that a  unique perspective and purpose be present and communicated throughout the process. Effective and value-adding curated content must have a point-of-view.

How marketers share content, when marketers share content, and the frequency through which content is curated can translate to a consumer perception of added value. Curated content should also be considered as an additional, ever-evolving level of customer care.

Vicki Rackner, President of Targeting Doctors, presents tips on leveraging curated content while adding extra value.

Curated Email Newsletter how-to from Curation Traffic and Youbrand Inc.


YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest excel at content curation. Their content is most often curated by their users. In these highly-optimized forums, curating software and search engines offer content and services tailored to personal user/subscriber preferences.

The Micro-Moment is Shrinking: How Tightly Can a Marketer Package an Experience?


Hearing the stunning news that something so tiny as a micro-moment is shrinking may produce the reaction of, “Why should I bother?” from a marketer; however, the highly effective nature of a relevant micro-moment offers benifits to the brand-consumer relationship that are worth the effort of adaptation.

How do we try and think differently? We try because the micro-moment cannot shrink; however, it can be a new foundation for marketing that offers its own scale of supporting serial micro-moments and nano-moments.


Infographic from Aspect Professional Services.

Micro-moments are the snapshot in time when, “A person pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants, immediately and in context,” Josh Bernoff writes for the American Marketing Association news

These moments are shrinking and often require, “Only a glance to identify and delivers quick information that you can either consume or act on immediately.”

When marketer are in the micro-moment they can, “Make it easy to buy on impulse,” and inform the consumer whether-or-not action is required.

Google identified, named, and brands the micro-moment through a series of micro-moment video logs. These logs offer great storytelling content that imbues the marketing experience with the human experience.

Here are three examples of content marketing in the micro-moment:

Mabel’s “New-Day-New-Me Moments”
Marlhon’s “Ready-For-Change Moments”
Danielle’s “Show-Me-How Moments”

The fabric of a micro-moment is a good story. Google utilizes the above example that run about a minute in length. A reasonable investment in interest for the consumer. These examples are a small sampling of micro-moments because–just like our mobile devices–micro-moments are highly personalized.

Micro-moments grow marketing opportunities. These marketing opportunities are nano-moments. They may have elements of bells ringing, wine glasses clinking, or buzzers sounding to identify promotional opportunities based on mobile geo-fencing tactics; however, without a foundation in story and thereby an existing customer-brand relationship there can be no maximization of micro-moment marketing.

The storytelling is the memorable, marketing tool. The promotional opportunities that are offered because of the consumer buy-in to the micro-moment are in effect re-purposing of the micro-moment in a nano-moment.