Formerly Bombay? Make interactive and visually pleasing charts with the RoamBi iPhone App

Posted by maggie.hunsucker June 1, 2009 at 2:37 pm

roambi-logoFor all the amazing things you can do with an iPhone, viewing and editing data-heavy documents (like Microsoft excel spreadsheets) is not one.

Instead of trying to force the matter – or eternally scrolling down the screen – check out an app called RoamBi (not to be confused with the little robot vacuum).  RoamBi lets you turn boring old spreadsheets into interactive visualizations, formatted specifically for the iPhone and with the business professional in mind.   RoamBi is compatible with Salesforce Reports, SAP Crystal Reports, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, and of course, good ole Microsoft Excel.

Simply download the iPhone application (free) and sign-up for a RoamBi account online (this too is free).   Then, start uploading your documents and reports through the web-based RoamBi, which acts as a document manager and syncs with the iPhone application.   During the import process, you choose which RoamBi view you want to use:

  • Pieview – A dynamic pie chart view
  • SuperList – Use this for highly stylized charts and tables
  • Cardex – This lets you navigate and organize spreadsheets in a virtual filing cabinet
  • Catalist -  This displays your data as categorized lists with drill-down detailed summaries

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All RoamBi templates come with charts, bookmarks, and search capabilities, which means you can actually analyze and edit your documents directly from your iPhone – these aren’t glossy PDF versions of your spreadsheets.   And, with a single tap, you can connect your Remote RoamBi to your web account and sync your work.

We’re a sucker for slick iPhone apps, and RoamBi is certainly one, but the real appeal of this product is the ability to make client-worthy presentations and access business critical data while you’re on the go.

RoamBi for Business is an enterprise server version of the core product that lets you work with data directly from your existing business and CRM systems.

While some applications make a seemless transition from desktop to the iPhone, others need to rethink their delivery. RoamBi isn't trying to be a better data or CRM software; infact, it doesn't offer the ability to create such documents. It merely presents the data in a better way for this particular vehicle (the iPhone).

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Mega Phone Sync your Facebook and iPhone contact lists with MyPhone+

Posted by maggie.hunsucker May 19, 2009 at 1:09 pm

myphone-logoSocial networks are no longer the playgrounds of the young and chatty.   Businesses and business people are using sites like Facebook and Myspace to further their brand presence and connect with their customers.

myphone-screenIf you’re an avid Facebook user, check out a handy little app called Myphone+.   It lets you import your Facebook friends (and their profile information) into your iPhone contact list. So instead of viewing a simple roster of names, you can access contacts by their Facebook profile images.   With a single tap, you can dial the contact or hold your finger over the image and access their Facebook profile, photo albums, and wall.

When you first fire up Myphone+, the application matches contacts between the two and makes suggestions if a perfect match cannot be made.  The system default is to keep your contact’s info unless you choose to override it, so no worries about lost phone numbers or emails.  Subsequent syncs, which can be done with a single tap, will update the contact with any Facebook profile changes – like a new image or wall comments.

Myphone+ costs $2.99 – a small price to pay to bring your Facebook friends on board.  However, the real value with an application like this is opening up another communication channel with your customers and brand followers – people who may not be in your traditional address book.

Unfortunately, the Apple iPhone developer program restricts certain features and functionality (we're sure for our own good), so MyPhone+ does not offer call logs and voicemails as part of the application - something that may hold it back from becoming your default contact list.

Are Facebook profiles the new business cards? We've reported on several integrations, where the common theme is taking your Facebook identity with you as you use other sites and platforms. Facebook Connect and FaceConnector (formerly FaceForce, Facebook/Salesforce mash-up) are a few examples.

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  New from Hasbro! Measure and optimize your mobile marketing investments with Bango

Posted by maggie.hunsucker May 6, 2009 at 1:26 pm

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Mobile marketing has arrived, but oddly, mobile analytics hasn’t.  We can’t imagine one without the other.  After all, how do you know if any of your investments are working?  But, the majors haven’t stepped up and produced a viable mobile analytics platform yet.

That’s where Bango comes in. Bango is an independent analytics provider that gives you real-time stats on your mobile website, ad campaign, or search marketing efforts. It can even keep tabs on smartphone users who access your regular site and advertising through their phone’s web browser – regardless of their connection.  A nifty feature since most smartphone users toggle between WiFi and their phone’s network, like 3G.  The service works by assigning each visitor (more accurately, their device) a unique identifier.  Bango then tracks individual user data and history (e.g. what device are they on, where are they located, which network they are), as well as general website analytics like page views, time on site, unique visits, referring sites, conversions, etc.  In other words, actionable data you can use to measure and optimize your mobile marketing efforts.

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So how does Bango work? Simple, just add an invisible image tag to the webpages your want tracked or a tracking link to your search and banner ad campaigns.  Users won’t know it’s there, and Bango doesn’t interrupt any of their site activities.   Of course, you will need to sign up for the service, which will run $50-500/month depending on the level of data you want and your web traffic.  Bango also offers custom pricing for corporate packages.   You can demo Bango by signing up for a free starter account (30 day trial).

There’s no need to stumble around in the dark.  Mobile analytics exist, and they can help you make informed decisions when it comes to your brand’s mobile prescence and marketing efforts.

Bango is also a mobile payment gateway, so you can set-up subscription or pay-per-download services for your mobile content. Coupled with Bango's analytics, you can analyze transactions, see what campaigns are leading to the most conversions, and even identify who your most loyal/returning customers are.

It may seem like everyone has a smartphone these days, but the reality is, most cell phone users have limited internet access and rely on mobile versions of your website. If you haven't already, it's a good idea to create one. Mofuse, an idea we discussed in Moe's Tavern can crank out a simple mobile version in minutes.

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  Mobile intercepts Conduct a mobile survey via iPhone with the Surveyor app

Posted by maggie.hunsucker April 14, 2009 at 1:41 pm

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If you’re looking to gather survey data, your best bet is usually to hunt in the wild, wherever your prey might be – the mall, the grocery store, just anywhere. 

On your next marketing research adventure, consider using Touch Metric’s Surveyor iPhone app for your mobile polling needs.   Surveyor is free, but it does require participants to download the application and install on their iPhone – something that can be done easily from the phone itself (through the App Store).   Once you, the administrator, create a survey through Touch Metric’s web interface, simply send out the 4-digit invite code and sit back as the data collects.  

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To get started, you will need to create a Surveyor account.   This too is free and comes with 600 credits, a custom URL, and a sample survey to guide you through the set-up process.   Questions can be designed to be multiple choice with a single answer, multiple with multiple answers, short form, numbered, URL, email, and conditional.  In other words, no matter how you want participants to answer or what information you are gathering, Surveyor can do it.   

Once you’ve saved your survey, you will need to assign your survey to a device – or who can see/manage what. This is where the credits system comes in.  You can link to all – all surveys, all accounts (for 200 credits), link to a single iPhone device, or create a single account, accessible by any iPhone with the login information.  You can also monitor survey results in real-time from the web interface, viewing answers by user and filtering out certain responses. 

These days, if you’re waiting for everyone to get back to their computer to complete your survey, you may be waiting a long time. Here’s a tool that will help you catch survey respondents wherever they might be, ideally when they’ve a few minutes to take your survey. 

TouchMetric offers users 100 credits for every system bug they report, so get to earning free credits as you use and test this survey system.

Have the possibilities of iPhone applications for business piqued your interest? Count us in, too. Not only are we reviewing more and more iPhone applications on feed growth (let us pay those pesky fees and get the skinny), but we will be covering the Top Ten iPhone Apps for Marketing and Sales in our next Atlanta Digital Marketing Meetup.

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  Batter up Put your brand assets to work in an iPhone app like MLB At Bat

Posted by maggie.hunsucker April 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm

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More and more applications are utilizing the iPhone’s video capabilities.  After all, you can watch YouTube and QuickTime videos directly from your phone with the same clarity and speed as your computer.

We’re impressed with the Major League Baseball’s MLB.com At Bat app.  It gives baseball fans all the scores, stats, and standings they need to stay on top of the game, but what’s really special about this application is the media integration.  At Bat offers live audio coverage of each regular and postseason game, as well as access to video clips from the MLB.com library.

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If you’re a company or brand sitting on a wealth of video content, take a cue from the MLB.  Media-rich applications are within most company’s reach, especially if you utilize the iPhone’s built-in YouTube capabilities.    Advertising, keynote speeches, market research – just about anything can be put up on YouTube and channeled through an iPhone app.   While you will need the development chops and the Apple SDK to create an application, you won’t have to waste time or energy embedding and streaming video content on your own. YouTube actually converts video content into an mp4 format for the iPhone user.

iPhone apps have become a marketing vehicle in their own right.  The real idea here is to look at the possibilities of the app platform and the tools that are already at your disposal, like rich-media integration.

Apple has announced that there will be new media player API's coming out with their 3.0 software release, i.e. more media options. To gain access to this information, you need to be part of the developer program.

We're eagerly awaiting an iPhone app with e-commerce capabilities. MLB At Bat would be a prime example. Imagine the sales potential if the app could link to a mobile store and let fans buy jerseys and sports memorabilia from their phone.

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