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With commercial mobile apps almost becoming a requisite for businesses in 2016, many organizations have begun to establish a Mobile Center of Excellence. An MCoE is an internal facility/team that provides research, best practices, support, training, and delivery for an enterprise’s mobile solutions and initiatives.

Why large organizations are investing in establishing an MCoE:

1) Accelerating the time to market and increasing velocity for their mobile solution
2) Reducing the risk when developing a mobile strategy
3) Reducing costs

This all sounds well and nice, but how does your organization decide whether or not an MCoE is necessary, and how do you go about creating one? Establishing an MCoE is necessary, both from financial and human resource standpoints, which means that the decision must not be made lightly. If you are a medium- to large-scale organization who relies moderately to heavily on mobile, an MCoE may make sense for you. If you are not, then you stand the risk of having the return not justify the investment.

For most organizations, mobile is a set of segmented projects with minimal central organization. Developing an MCoE instills consistency and velocity by bringing all necessary stakeholders together and creating an aligned strategy. The MCoE team becomes the internal authority on mobile, and can facilitate the training of the other departments when necessary.

Once you have come to the decision that establishing an MCoE is right for your business, there are a number of steps to building a successful MCoE. Here are some quick considerations of the most important stages:

  • Create a charter to define the scope of the MCoE
  • Utilize peer to peer training and knowledge transfer
  • Identify current assets that can be leveraged (ie. documentations, tools, personnel)
  • Define the mission, vision, technical standard and policies of the MCoE
  • Develop a detailed set of supporting documentation complete with budget, timelines, and resources
  • Develop software architecture
  • Outline back office control and administration of applications and supporting infrastructure
  • Implement the solutions and deliver projects

The success of an MCoE is dependent on a number of variables, yet what it hinges on is the creation of a knowledgeable and accomplished team. Since mobile is a relatively new endeavor for many organizations, their internal resources may not be sufficient. This is where the knowledge and experience of a partner can be extremely beneficial to facilitate the development of an MCoE through a calculated knowledge transfer partnership and creating internal environments that are proficient in everything mobile.

If you would like to learn more about our approach to establishing a Mobile center of Excellence, please feel free to contact us here.

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Only six months removed from it’s rebranding, Alphabet a.k.a. Google’s corporate alias, has surpassed Apple as the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world. The trading of places was a result of a tale of two Q4′s with Alphabet rising and Apple regressing. Google was able to ride their strong fourth quarter ($21.3 billion in revenue) to a market cap of $558 billion, slightly ahead of Apple’s $535 billion.

Plastic is proud to have a long-standing relationship with Google and has even been named one of two featured mobile partners for Google’s Cloud Platform. Google Cloud Platform allows developers to build, test, and deploy their apps on Google’s infrastructure. Plastic takes advantage of Google Cloud Platform for many of our clients’ applications, through such features as their app engine, API’s, cloud storage, datastore, among others.

We congratulate Alphabet/Google on their new title as world’s most valuable company, and look forward to our continued relationship.

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When you think of the intersection of alcohol and mobile, what comes to mind? Possibly an app on your phone that helps you mix cocktails, a regrettable text that you sent after a night of drinking, or a gimmicky breathalyzer app. But the world of alcohol is much more technologically inclined than you may have thought. Last year alone, over $100 million was invested in alcohol-related startups with the majority of ventures focused on ways to develop on-demand delivery services. Furthermore, wine shipped directly to the consumer was valued at $1.82 billion by Ship Compliant. With all of this growth in the alcohol and tech market, we take an in-depth look at how it is being impacted by mobile.

In-Store Delivery Apps
To avoid having to go through all the red tape that comes with at-home delivery, many retailers have taken to in-store delivery to ease into ecommerce. Some retailers have found success creating their own solutions, while smaller retailers have turned to third-party apps, such as Drync, to support their online selling. Both options allow consumers to purchase online and pick up in-store to avoid shipping costs, and pick up their orders at their convenience.

On-Demand Delivery
Although delivery on-demand services have exploded recently with everything from food to puppies getting their own app, the alcohol market has lagged behind due to legal restrictions. However, more and more companies believe they have found ways to circumvent these limitations. Apps such Thirstie, Drizly, Klink, and Ultra have taken to this space to try and infuse ecommerce into the sector. The premise for most of the apps is to partner with retailers and either have trained employees go to the store, pick up  the alcohol, and then deliver it, or have the retailer deliver it themselves. The consumer’s age is verified by identification at the time of the purchase online, as well as at the time of the delivery. If the consumer is found to either be underage or intoxicated, they are denied their purchase and charged a restocking fee which varies by app. These apps are only available in a limited number of cities across North America right now, but are increasing rapidly as they gain more respect from local governments.

Retail Implications
With Technology starting to make more of an impact on the alcohol market, what does this mean for traditional brick and mortar retailers? Partnering with third-party deliver apps allows retailers to gain incremental revenue from new customers and piggyback on the newly created interest around alcohol delivery, but they must also weigh the challenges before making a decision. Firstly, they have to make sure that they are able to integrate the app with their current inventory on the backend. Secondly, they have to fully understand their local government’s regulations and see if they are able to comply with them. As well, the costs of staffing dedicated delivery personnel has to come into consideration. The jury is still out on the current state of alcohol delivery apps, but they are definitely making progress in a lucrative market. If a company finds a way to iron out all the kinks, they could stand to corner a market that has been highly segmented since its inception.


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When it comes to mobile apps for retailers, there are primarily two kinds: consumer-facing and enterprise. While consumer-facing apps may get all the glory and awards, enterprise apps are arguably just as beneficial. Developed to streamline business procedures and processes- from communications to administrative tasks, this results in not only an increase in sales, but when executed correctly, enterprise apps can increase productivity, leverage big data and optimize process efficiencies- justifying the investment.

The number of businesses developing internal apps is still lower than consumer-facing apps, but it is on the rise. While retailers often gravitate towards external facing apps, the irony is that even those who have seen success from their own consumer mobile solutions, have not looked into leveraging mobile internally. Currently 20% of all mobile developers globally are targeting enterprise solutions, which has risen from 16% just six months ago. Furthermore, a 2014 Apperian survey found that 53% of IT leaders had already begun developing enterprise apps to address their business needs.

Mobile enterprise solutions can have a wide array of benefits from increased revenue to increased efficiency that can be seen across a myriad of industries. Here are some of the specific benefits they can bring to retail:

  • Retail Employee: Use app to scan for inventory and locate a product or find additional product information to pass onto customers
  • Store Manager: Track the health of their store in real time, as well as manage employee schedules
  • Supply Chain: Gain access to more timely logistical information when they are in field

It is important to understand that solely buying mobile devices will not improve your business; there are a number of challenges to consider before investing in enterprise apps. It is important to undergo an analysis of your business operations and build a strategy to see which areas could benefit from the use of the mobile solutions. The apps need to solve real problems that your business is facing. It is also important that the app has a good user experience and that the employees are properly trained on how to use them. These apps are created to increase productivity, if the employees are having trouble using them, then they become worthless.

That being said, if the proper steps are taken by the retailer, there is a great opportunity for them to utilize mobile; not only to benefit their consumers, but to also improve their business operations.

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Being a buzzword, “Millennials” gets thrown around a lot, but do we as marketers truly understand this unique and intriguing demographic? Are we using the correct tactics to get through to them and access their buying power, or are we putting time and effort into fruitless efforts? To find out what impact this group has had on marketing, Havas Prosumer surveyed 10,574 people aged 16 and older in 29 markets worldwide. This research led to the development of the report “Hashtag Nation.” Marketers from all industries can benefit from reading this report because it highlights the trends of this very influential demographic.

Here are some interesting statistics findings from the report:

-60% of people aged 16-34 stated that brands play an important part in the creative content online
-92% of people aged 18-25 agreed that “It is very important to me that my parents trust me.”
-60% of respondents aged 16-34 agreed that “It makes me feel good when I see someone I admire using the same brand I use,” as compared to 38% of those 55+

To find out more about the millennial generation and how they interact with brands and marketing, check out the full Havas Prosumer report here.


For most people the holidays have yet to begin, but this year at Plastic Mobile, they came early. While most businesses have a single holiday party, Plastic was spoiled with 3!

The festivities began last Thursday afternoon at our office building party, where we were treated to a buffet lunch and live band right outside our doors. Before we had even had time to digest our food, it was time to get ready for our second party of the day. After sneaking in a few last minute emails, we were off to a regal night of dinner and dancing for Havas’ holiday party. Not wanting the party to end once the music had ended, we did what anyone else would do ith their coworkers, and headed to a late-night Karaoke bar. After a number of group sing-alongs, we were finally ready to call it a night, because we knew the real fun was still to come tomorrow.

Coming into work after a late night is a lot easier when you know that there will be presents. So like young children eagerly running down the stairs on Christmas morning, Plastic employees staggered into work for the fabled Plastic gift reveal. Packed into the back boardroom, everyone eagerly awaited their gifts. Between the big screen TV, iPads, hoverboards, and drones, everyone was able to walk away a winner. The Holiday Party was able to put a wrap on another successful year at Plastic Mobile.

We went to wish everyone and their families a Joyful Holidays and a Happy New Year! See you in 2016!

Holiday Blog Image

With just under three weeks left until Christmas, the holiday shopping season is already in full swing, with mobile playing a huge part in all aspects of the consumer retail journey. In North America, mobile sales have outperformed projections during the all-important weekend from U.S. Thanksgiving, until Cyber Monday.

Singles Day
Unbeknownst to most Nort Americans, China’s Singles Day on November 11th, 2015 was the single largest online retail day in history. In fact, China’s largest online retailer, Alibaba, saw sales of over $14.3 billion, which was a 60% increase on their sales from the previous year. That is over five times the amount of money that is made during Cyber Monday in the U.S. The most surprising number however, was that 71% of Alibaba’s $14.3 billion had come from mobile devices. That is a huge increase from 2014 when only 43% of sales came via mobile.

Thanksgiving Day
American consumers spent $1.73 billion online, with 37% of revenue coming from mobile (22% smartphone& 15% tablet). However, mobile seemed to be the preferred method of browsing with between 48-57% of online shopping traffic coming from mobile devices.

Black Friday
Online revenue was up 16% from last year, with shoppers spending a total of $2.74 billion. Mobile spending was also up, and represented 33.2% of all online sales, which was up from 27% in 2014. Interestingly enough, an estimated 77.6% of all mobile orders came from Apple devices, continuing the trend that Apple users are willing to spend more online.

Cyber Monday
The aptly named Cyber Monday took the title for highest online sales ($3.07 billion), but came second to Black Friday in terms of mobile sales ($799 million vs. $905 million). this hit seems to be due to the fact that the retailers are expanding the length of their sales, and not limiting them to a 24-hour span. With that being said, this Cyber Monday was still the largest single sales day for online shopping in North American history.

Consumers are increasingly looking to the convenience of online and mobile shopping to escape the madness of malls during the holidays. With decreasing shipping times, better return policies, and shorter checkout times, the barriers to mobile shopping are disappearing. Unfortunately, not all retailers were fully prepared for the massive increase in online traffic that comes with holiday shopping. Neiman Marcus, Target, and PayPal all had bandwidth struggles over the weekend. Outside of these hiccups, retailers should take the numbers mentioned above as a positive sign, and look forward to a bountiful holiday season.


It’s a busy time for us here at Plastic, and it’s always exciting when we can see the fruits of our labor. This week has been particularly fun (and busy) because we have launched two amazing mobile initiatives alongside our clients, The Royal Bank of Canada and Student Price Card.

RBC Explores Mobile this Holiday Season
For the third consecutive year, RBC, has rolled out their Avion Holiday Boutique at malls across Canada to destress Avion cardholders while shopping this holiday season. This year, they wanted to do something a little different and teamed up with Plastic to Launch the Avion Passport App to bring aspects of the Avion experience to life through mobile. Through the app, RBC provides Avion cardholders with improved access to gift wrapping services as well as the ability to cash in on unique RBC Rewards offers.

Having been open for just under a week, the Avion Holiday Boutique has already seen thousands of shoppers visit and take advantage of all the services offered.

Building on the SPC Mobile Experience
Similarly looking to improve the consumer shopping experience through mobile, SPC Card launched the digital Student Price Card. “By giving students relevant offers based on their location, making redemption easy via the digital card, and adding personalized offers the SPC app is engaging millennials with an offering that is unique as the brand itself,” said Plastic’s own VP of Marketing, Salome Sallehy.

With over 15, 000+ locations prepared to accept the digital card, it becomes one of the largest mobile loyalty card activations currently in market.

For more information on these apps, or any other project Plastic is working on, feel free to reach out to us at

Mobile X Fall 2015 Cover

In the latest Mobile X Report, Plastics research and development team scoured the world of mobile to find the most interesting topics you need to know. While virtual and augmented reality was covered in the Summer edition, the Fall edition covers a wide array of topics ranging from the rise of vertical video to the mobile retail trends that we expect to emerge this holiday season.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the topics we cover in the report:

Mobile Influence
For what we have seen from the newest offerings of Apple, Google and Microsoft, other devices and channels are now taking a number of cues from mobile. Both developers and designers alike are looking to mobile for ideas on everything from design elements to functionality, with the goal to eventually provide a seamless transition across all devices. See page 9 for more!

The Sharing Economy
The sharing economy has been around for a while, but the proliferation of mobile has allowed it to grow at an unprecedented rate. The interconnectedness and convenience of mobile allows apps in the sharing economy to provide constant access to a seemingly endless network of goods and services at reduced prices, as explained on page 15!

Holiday Retail Trends
With the holiday retail season in North America just around the corner, we prime you for what is expected to be a busy time for mobile retail, on page 21.

Interested? Continue to read here.



Hello Media. (2)

In 1965, Gordon E. Moore, the co-founder of IBM, wrote a white paper observing that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every year. Moore went on to revise his hypothesis to every two years. Nowadays, technology taking two years to advance seems like a lifetime. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear about something new – and mobile is at the forefront of this innovation with a pioneering evolutionary curve. At a recent conference Sunny Byers, a Creative Account Executive at Google, shared that the future of mobile is changing every two weeks.

Every two weeks!

Top apps including Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy, and TripAdvisor are promising to update their apps every 2-6 weeks. In fact, the average cycle between updates for the top 25 iOS apps is around 30 days. Companies are moving away from the “ship when it’s done” attitude and towards a consistent cycle of short-term updates. If your organization has the capabilities, there are a number of benefits to switching to shorter update cycles. Pinterest moved to 3-week cycles last year, which has allowed the brand to test new ideas, jump on new opportunities and make tweaks to the app experience much more frequently.

So what does this all mean for brands and their mobile initiatives? If mobile is a primary channel for your business, it is vital to stress the importance of research and development, and invest in new technology and top talent.

But it’s not about R&D for the mere sake of it; the approach to research and development should be strategic in nature, pairing both technology and mobile behaviours to uncover opportunities that will result in value and convenience to the end user.

Take for example Remote Deposit, an app feature that allows users to easily deposit cheques to their bank accounts and is offered by almost every bank. The photo recognition software has been around for a number of years, but it was not until 2009 that USAA became the first bank to offer the service to its mobile customers. The bank recognized that the process of depositing a cheque was both a hassle and an inconvenience for the customers. Leveraging this insight, USAA invested a substantial amount of time and money into the development and implementation of an app feature- remote deposit- that offered convenience to the end user.

In other words, USAA didn’t wait for the technology to come to them but utilized existing capabilities with smart thinking – ultimately succeeding in a crowded marketplace and helping them maintain their impressive 98% retention rate.

Allow innovation to help solve problems and meet the needs of consumers – and gain a competitive advantage by being quicker to market.

For more information, please reach out to us at

While we have previously explored the latest trends within mobile banking and app ecosystems individually, we have never discussed how the two correlate. Many brands, such as Facebook, Apple, and Yahoo have successfully diversified their mobile portfolio by offering multiple apps. While other brands have opted for one app that can toggle between services, such as Airbnb between guests and hosts, Etsy between buyers and sellers, and Gap Inc. for brands Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. So what is the right strategy for financial institutions?

One main consideration when creating an app ecosystem is the complexity of the industry. Financial institutions are a perfect example of a highly complex industry, with most banks containing a combination of: personal banking, investment banking, credit cards, mortgages, loans, wealth management, life, home, and car insurance, corporate banking, loyalty programs- the list goes on. With so many different products and services across a number of industries, sectors, and sizes, it’s clear that there is an opportunity to develop an app ecosystem.

Keeping in mind that the best apps do one or two things very well, an app with multiple large features can become bloated- from both a technical and user experience perspective. By taking into account who is using your app and identifying the largest segments, you can create an app ecosystem that will allow your mobile offering to cater to even more consumers, and improve the overall banking experience.

Don’t forget that creating an app ecosystem  does not automatically mean successful apps. Be sure to clearly communicate the value of downloading a second or third app with your brand. What does it do? How does it deliver convenience? Also, remember to keep your apps connected and maintain your overall strategic direction. The periphery apps lose all value if they end up cannibalizing users from the primary app, rather than acting as another touchpoint.

If done correctly, app ecosystems will give financial institutions the platform to create a more personalized interaction with their current consumers, while creating an improved value proposition for new customers.

See the infographic below for a quick overview of app ecosystems.

For more information, please reach out to us at

Plastic Mobile App Ecosystem Infographic-1

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As part of their Leadership Series, the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) approached three of the top innovation leaders in the country; including our own CEO, Sep Seyedi, GE Canada’s VP Strategy, M&A & CCO, Simon Olivier, and Milos Vranesevic, Head of Marketing for Mastercard Canada. The three executives were invited to share their learnings and insights with the report titled “The Business of Innovation.”

A recent study found that 59% of marketers believe innovation is a key focus area for their organization, however only 25% rated their company’s as “highly successful innovators.” This incongruency inspired the CMA to delve deeper into the issue, to better understand the process of innovation and what success looks like. Not all companies have the budget or human resources to invest in innovation, yet they can still learn a lot from the attributes of successful organizations, which makes reports like this one highly valuable.

At Plastic Mobile “Innovation” is more that just a buzzword that gets tossed around to conjure excitement, it is an idea that is woven into our cultural fabric. Plastic’s perpetual quest for innovation is a product of its ecosystem; the mobile industry is constantly evolving, and to ensure that our client’s are staying ahead of the curve, we need to find new and exciting ways to leverage the latest in mobile technology.

The paper also goes on to touch on Plastic’s Mobile Innovation Lab and how it is at the core of Plastic’s innovation culture. The Innovation Lab has allowed Plastic to offer innovation as a service to help our client’s differentiate themselves among the competition. We pride ourselves on our penchant for being early adopters, and first movers in such areas as wearable technology, drones, augmented reality, virtual reality, and Apple TV, among others.

To learn more about the insights Sep shared with the CMA, you can read the report here.


For Mercedes-Benz, being a luxury automaker not only pertains to the look of the car, but it also takes into account its features. This is why the German automaker is releasing a connected mobile app to stay on the frontline of innovation. The first-of-its-kind Mercedes Me App, which is available for iPhone and Apple Watch, Mercedes owner’s to monitor their vehicle’s vitals, as well as lock and unlock their car from a considerable distance.

Luxury Daily came to Sep Seyedi, Plastic’s CEO, to discuss how important mobile connectivity is to automotive consumers, “When designed and developed right, connected apps can offer consumers the utility and convenience they desire. In turn, brands are not only supporting the post purchase journey but continuing to drive brand awareness and engagement. It’s a win-win situation for both brands and consumers.”

The article then goes on to deliberate whether or not this partnership between a software company and Mercedes is the first step for them towards the development of autonomous cars. At Plastic we believe connected apps a great first step in getting consumers comfortable with a more technologically advanced driving experience and that it is one of the many steps in a “new era of digital transformation,” and the work from these first-movers can help shape consumer behaviours moving forward.

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Here at Plastic, our thirst for innovation always has us exploring the latest technologies. The newest device that has peaked the interest of our Innovation Lab is the completely reinvented Apple TV, now in its 4th generation. The new Apple TV features integration with Siri, and a new touch-sensitive remote control. But the news that has us really talking is the ability to extend the reach of marketing campaigns to the Apple TV via the Apple TV App Store. Previous iterations of Apple TV have had their apps all pre-installed by Apple before the product launch. This new generation of Apple TV allows third-party developers to create apps for an Apple TV App store, which will allow users to add and delete apps similar to how they can on Apple computers, phones, and tablets. Apple has also stated that they are looking into “universal apps” which would allow you to buy an app once, and access it from any of your Apple devices.

 When it comes to digital streaming devices, the industry is booming, doubling in size last year alone. And while the competition is heating up with the introduction of the Google Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, Apple has continued to lead the market with over 40% penetration. Apple strategically released this new Apple TV with the holiday season in mind, and is certain to be a highly sought after & used gift. With television spend on the decline, we see Apple TV apps as a new opportunity to take advantage of the captive consumer in their living room.

Plastic has been pilot testing apps for the Apple TV in our Mobile Innovation Lab, designing and developing new experiences unique to consumer behaviours in the home. After spending some time with the Apple TV and seeing what the apps are capable of, we are quite excited for its potential.



When organizations are deciding on building an app, one of the first decisions they have to make is whether to build it natively or pay for the use of a platform. Both solutions have their place in the market, and should be selected only after the purpose, goals and limitations of the business are well understood. Both types of solutions require a substantial investment, and so the decision should weighed objectively. The decision of whether to Buy (Platform) or Build (Native) your app can only be made after weighing a number of variables.

To help create a better understanding of native and platform apps, this post examines the similarities and differences of the two solutions.

Having a custom built app allows you the ultimate in customization to meet your own brand objectives.

Organic User Experience
Since native apps are tailor-made, it allows the developer to blend in the unique designs of the OS and device and give the app a more organic feel. Transitions feel smoother and more elegant, and the user interface can be made richer.

Integration of Native Features
Going custom also allows the app to integrate all of the device’s native features (eg. camera, gestures, geo-location). All features will be available and accessible to suit your business needs, and aren’t limited in the way that platform apps are.

Google displays native apps higher in its search results, which can be a powerful part of search engine optimization (SEO) and thus app marketing.

Native Apps also have fewer code based dependencies, which allow it to be more stable and provide more consistent performance compared to platform apps.

The up-front cost of native apps may be heavier, but over a time of roughly 2 to 3 years it will net out the same as developing a platform app. This is because there is no licensing fee, and the organization comes into ownership of the code base, which makes maintenance easier.

There are a number of vendors offering pre-packaged mobile solutions which are built to work across a breadth of devices. For businesses looking for a solution with less barriers to adoption, platform apps could be enticing with their lower up-front costs and shorter timelines.

Since all of the application’s backend is developed before it is personalized to the business, the time from conception to launch is much shorter than it would be for a native app. Platform apps excel at serving content quickly and efficiently because you only have to worry about updating the master content rather than for each OS individually.

One tradeoff for platform apps is that their turnkey nature does not allow for much customization. Working within the framework that the platform causes there to be minimal options for branded customization, and even less when it comes to user experience.

Integration & Maintenance
Platform apps run the risk of getting limited access to API’s and native device features. As well, they are huge builds that need to be supported across a wide array of devices, which makes it tougher to adapt to updates and be hosted in the cloud.

The decision to build native or use a platform comes down to the organization’s appetite for innovation and user experience. The more important mobile is to your business, the more you should consider developing a native app. Native apps allow for much more organic and enriching user experiences and can better allow you to meet your business objectives.  However, if you are a smaller business where mobile is not as high of a priority, a platform app may be perfectly adequate. No matter what your business needs are, there is an app solution that can be made to meet them.


Rebecca 30U30

Most people aren’t too fond of Mondays, but yesterday was a pretty good one for Rebecca Basi. She was named to Marketing Mag’s list of top 30 under 30, and received her newly appointed title as Director of Marketing and Business Development. That’s one helluva way to start the week!

This annual list showcases the best and brightest young stars in the Canadian marketing industry. Since starting her career in mobile marketing at Plastic in 2011 Rebecca’s list of endless achievements and accomplishments have led to this well-deserved recognition, and it’s no surprise that she was selected from a list of over 500 nominees.

We would like to congratulate Rebecca, as well as the other recipients on this great accomplishment. After looking at the credentials of all that were selected, we are happy to report that the future of Canadian Marketing industry is in good hands!

Be sure to check out Rebecca’s Profile here.

Google Nexus

Last week Google took over a conference center in San Francisco to announce a number of new offerings that it plans to launch by the end of the year. Now that the dust has settled, we can see what their announcements really mean for the mobile and tech industries. In front of a room of a hundred journalists, tech insiders, and friends, Sundar Pichai hosted his first event as Google CEO (surprisingly there was little to no mention of Alphabet during the event).

The event may not have been full of surprises, but it is always nice when rumored specifications and release dates are confirmed or revealed for the first time. There wasn’t a lot of groundbreaking news that came out of the event, but what did come out was a number of practical upgrades to current offerings. Pichai began the event by revealing a number of truly staggering statistics which help grasp how important Google is to the technological ecosystem. Android has 1.4 million users a month on average, which means that one fifth of the world has a phone running a version of the OS. He also proudly stated that 30, 000 Chromebooks are being activated every day. These statistics were attention grabbing, but everyone in attendance- and viewing online- were there for what came next; the hardware announcements.

Here are the top five stories to come out of the event:

1)Nexus 6P & 5X
Google is unique in the mobile world because it is not linked to a single manufacturer. The Nexus 5X is made by LG, while the Nexus 6P is made by Chinese manufacturer Huawei.

Nexus 6P
Google is calling the 6P its most premium phone to date. Upgraded features over the Nexus 6 include, a new front-facing camera and rear camera that can shoot 4K video, a new USB Type-C port which claims to charge a phone twice as fast as an iPhone 6 plus, and a new rear fingerprint sensor called the Nexus Imprint.

Nexus 5X
The Nexus 5X is positioned as the Nexus line’s affordable option, but still boasts most of the same upgrades as the 6P. It has two new cameras, the new charging port, and the fingerprint sensor on the rear of the phone. In addition the 5X also has a larger display and battery life than its predecessor.

Both phones are currently available for pre-order, with shipping dates set for the end of October. Initial reviews have been positive, but without the final version of Marshmallow running on the devices that were tested, it is unfair to produce a final verdict. The comparisons to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are inevitable, and it will be interesting to see if the two Nexus phones can reach similar pre-sale numbers.

2)  Android Marshmallow
Android had already announced its sixth iteration operating system back in May, but its release date and a more polished understanding of its features were finally presented. The tastily titled Marshmallow, has begun rolling out on Nexus devices this week, with all others to follow shortly. The upgrade integrates a newer lock screen, fingerprint support, a new app drawer, Google Now On Tap, simplified permissions, among other features. The most anticipated feature would be Now On Tap which enables the integration of google searches and voice interaction into individual apps.

3) Chromecast 2 & Chromecast Audio
At a $35 the Chromecast 2 and Chromecast Audio come in as the most affordable pieces of hardware unveiled at the event.

Chromecast 2
This small fob connects to any TV via HDMI cable, and mirrors content from your Android phone through the Chromecast app. The Chromecast 2 is a welcomed upgrade of its first generation, as it can support the casting of thousands of more apps than its predecessor (eg. Netflix, Sling TV, Discovery, Google Photos, and DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket). Chromecast 2 enters into a crowded streaming media device marketplace to compete against Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and the Roku Streaming Stick.

In an interesting turn of events Amazon announced Friday that it would no longer be selling Chromecasts on its site. Losing the support of the world’s largest retailer may hurt the Chromecast 2’s sales, but Google is still very optimistic about its launch.

Chromecast Audio
Although almost identical in design to the Chromecast 2, the functionality of Chromecast Audio is much different. Chromecast Audio is to music, what Chromecast 2 is to videos. You plug the device into an audio output source like an A/V receiver or a powered speaker and stream audio over WiFi from your phone. It doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but simplicity is one of its selling points. Some detractors may point to the fact that Chromecast 2 does everything that Audio does, and also has the ability to cast video. The only difference is that Chromecast Audio is able to transmit the audio at a higher quality because it does not have the excess strain of video. So if you are an audiophile who is looking for a way to seamlessly stream music over speakers, this could be the device for you.

4)Pixel C
Google’s final offering of the event was the Pixel C, an Android convertible tablet with a removable keyboard. This 10.2-inch tablet will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and is equipped with an Nvidia X1 processor and 3GB of RAM. At $650 the Pixel C is priced closer to a laptop than a tablet, and the jury is still out on whether or not it is worth the investment. To be judged as successful it will have to show that it can act as an all-in-one mobile device that can take care of all your computing needs. To make a splash in the market, the Pixel will need to combine the usability of a tablet and the productivity of a laptop.

5) Everything Else
New hardware took center stage at Google’s special announcement, but there were still some interesting supplementary services that were highlighted. Google Play Music and Google Photos both have updates to make sharing with family and friends easier. As well, the Chromecast app has announced a number of new applications and features to coincide with the Chromecast 2 launch. Another interesting topic discussed was Google’s own mobile network- Project Fi. Google Fi works by combining WiFi calling with a compatible cellular network connection. The announcement stated the Fi would now work with the two new Nexus phones as well as the older Nexus 6.

Google has been busy after changing its name to Alphabet, and this special announcement only affirmed this. Google is hoping that these new products- launched just in time for the holiday season- will be able to drive its end of year numbers.



Last week we profiled Oana’s whirlwind sailing adventure, but she wasn’t the only one at Plastic to get their “One Thing” wish granted. If you didn’t check out the story, here is a little refresher. The Plastic Exec team wanted to allow staff to flex their creative and adventurous muscles while also awarding them the opportunity to do something they had never done before.

The second lucky Plastic employee to be awarded their “One Thing” was  Alex from the Marketing Team. Alex had been bungee jumping, skydiving and travelled all over the world, but the thing he wanted to do was right in his own backyard. As a lifelong Torontonian he was embarrassed to admit that he had never been up the city’s most iconic landmark- The CN Tower. But taking the elevator to the top and standing on the glass floor was not enough for this thrill seeker. He wanted to take on the EdgeWalk. If you don’t know what the EdgeWalk is, it’s a hands-free walk around the rim of the CN Tower, 116 stories (1168ft) above the city. That doesn’t sound so bad…

Luckily for us, Alex was able to survive the exhilarating experience and made it back to tell the story. Alex was thrilled and can’t wait for the next unique adventure Plastic has in store!


Plastic Mobile has had a long- or as long a history as possible- with wearables. That is why our Founder & CEO, Sep Seyedi, jumped at the opportunity to discuss the subject with is a technology research firm that melds B2B research and newer consumer review services. They are currently running a series of interview on the wearable technology industry.

In the interview Sep touches on how Plastic got involved with wearables, current wearable apps for our clients, their development process, and the future of wearables.

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in designing- or just have a general curiosity- for wearables and their apps, this interview should not be missed!

Click the link here to view the article.

Also check out these two Clutch articles where Sep is quoted, here and here.

What would you do with $500?

By on September 25, 2015

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If you were given the opportunity to do something that you had never done before, what would you choose? Skydiving? Bungee Jumping? Learn a new talent? Start a new hobby? The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

The Plastic Mobile Management team was also curious about this question. So they decided to give the Toronto staff an opportunity to answer it. The rules were simple:
1)Pick something you have never done before, but have always wanted to do
2) You are open to anything with a value of up to $500
3) Make a creative pitch as to why you should get the opportunity

When the question was first proposed, the office collectively went into a frenzy scheming up a wild array of ideas (mostly revolving around the pooling of money and spending it in ludicrous ways). “We should buy an island! We have always wanted a remote office,” ”Let’s buy a boat!” “Let’s throw a raging party.” Sadly none of these ideas came to fruition, but there were a few Plastic employees who were able to do their “One Thing.”

The first person to get their wish granted by the “Plastic Genies” was Oana, who decided to confront her fear of sailing and take to the open waters. With the help of her trusty GoPro, Oana was able to capture the experience of learning to sail on video for all to enjoy- concussion and all! After seeing her amazing video, there were definitely a couple of jealous staff around who now wish they had taken advantage of the offer.

This just goes to show that there is never a dull moment at Plastic Mobile. One day you may be putting the finishing touches on an app for a client, and the next you have the opportunity to become a modern day Captain Jack Sparrow! We now look forward to seeing the videos from the others who attempted their “One Thing,” but Oana’s video will surely be tough to beat!

If you want to find out how Oana survived after capsizing her boat (SPOILER ALERT) be sure to check out Oana’s Sailing Adventure Here!


With the launch of watchOS 2- and some new accessories- this week, the Apple Watch is much closer to its potential than it was when it originally launched in April. Following the release of iOS 9, watchOS 2 is released just in time to take full advantage of the sales boost that will come from the looming holiday season. For those that have an Apple Watch it is a welcomed enhancement, and for those who haven’t purchased one yet it may be enough to convince them to jump on board.

As Apple Watch apps developers, we are extremely excited to take advantage of the new features that this upgrade allows. In case you missed the watch OS 2 announcement, here is a highlight of some of the new features we excited about:

Native Apps
The biggest announcement for Apple Watch that came out of the September 9th Apple Special Event was the ability for apps to work natively on the watch- although some may argue it was their new partnership with Hermes!. Previously, apps would run on a synced iPhone and then project an interface onto the watch. This led to an inevitable delay while the two devices sent information back and forth. Running natively allows the watch to handle much more robust functionality in apps, while also making them faster and more responsive. As well, the apps now have more access to the device’s features, which means that users will be able to do much more from their wrist without ever having to pull out their phone. Most of theses features, such as the Taptic Engine, microphone, and accelerometer were already in place with the original watch launch, but only now are third party apps able to take advantage. Showing that Apple had the hardware in place all along, but wanted to make sure they were able to back it up with the correct software before deploying these features.

New Watch Designs
Although they have nothing to do with the watchOS 2, new watch bands are of high importance when you consider that a lot of the allure around wearables are their aesthetics. Alongside the OS announcement, Apple released two new case colours and a wide array of new bands, including the aforementioned collaboration with Hermes. The partnership with the Parisian luxury brand seems very organic considering both brands are highly centralized around the quality of both form and function. With wearables the line between technology and fashion accessory are blurring, and Apple hopes that this will allow them to benefit from the fashion-forward tech consumer.

Time Machine
Time Machine takes advantage of the new ability to scroll through time-sensitive information using the digital crown to scroll backwards and forwards in time, without having to open an app. Although not as useful as an actual time machine, this feature does seem like it will come in handy when paired with utility apps such as weather, transit, news, or calendar apps.

Facetime Audio
Always wanted to look like a spy while talking to your friends, well now you can with Facetime Audio for the Apple Watch. Facetime Audio takes advantage of the built-in microphone, which was previously only used for communicating with Siri. Talking into your wrist in public may not be socially acceptable yet, but your phone is out of reach it’ll be very practical.

New Watch Faces
Another subtle change to the user experience of the Apple Watch is the addition of three new watch faces- basically the wallpaper for your watch. You can choose to set your background as a single photo from your photo album, let it scroll through your photo albums, or have a scenic time lapse photo. For those who believe customization is key, this will be an exciting feature.

Other Features
The watchOS 2 upgrade also integrates a new nightstand mode for when it is charging, an upgraded messenger platform making it easier to connect with friends, and an upgrade to Siri which makes her more versatile. The watch now also allows for third-party complications, which are small pieces of information which appear directly on the watch face to provide quick access, similar to widgets on a Mac.

This upgrade to the Apple Watch is more about the possibilities it brings about rather than the immediacy of its features. Not until native watch apps start to flood the market will this upgrade really flex its muscles. The Apple Watch (and wearables in general) are definitely making strides toward becoming “must-haves” in the tech ecosystem, and adoption will likely occur rather quickly.

Mobile X Blog Post

With all the popularity surrounding Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) these days, it was inevitable that mobile companies would try and discover how mobile could leverage the technology. Enter Mobile-Hybrid Solutions. Hybrid solutions are able to harness the power of your smartphone to transport you into a virtual environment.

These Hybrid solutions resemble the most popular VR head-mounted displays (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Playstation VR, etc.), but instead of housing a computer in the headset, the user snaps in their phone to create the theatre-like atmosphere. This creates a low-cost alternative to VR specific hardware, which lowers the barrier of entry for consumers to a reasonable price.

There are only a few of these systems currently on the market, but we expect that market to grow once consumers begin to realize the experience that VR products can create. Here are examples of the two most popular Mobile-Hybrid Solutions currently on the market:

Google Cardboard

When creating Cardboard, Google was looking to create a do-it-yourself VR system, with the hopes of making VR accessible to a wider range of consumers. Google Cardboard is actually a set of instructions on how to assemble the system from materials for as low as $5. Once assembled, the user places their iOS or Android phone inside to view apps specifically designed for the system. Although not as technically robust as Google’s other VR/AR offering, Google Glass, Cardboard is still a fun and cost effective way to enjoy VR.

Samsung Gear VR

The first offspring of Samsung’s partnership with Oculus Rift is the Samsung Gear VR. Unlike Google Cardboard, Gear VR is only compatible with specific models of Samsung Smartphones. This exclusivity can be seen as a clever marketing move used to maintain brand loyalty, but it may also limit the device from seeing widespread success. The Gear VR is important because it shows how important the software component is for the VR experience. While most other VR/AR devices have their software built right into the headset, the Gear VR allows the user to harness the power of their smartphone.

Looking for more insights on Virtual and Augmented Reality? Check out our newest Mobile X Report which features all you need to know about VR and AR, so that you can be an expert on the subject the next time it comes up!

You can read the report Here.



It all began with a simple, yet intriguing, announcement in August. “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” Even though the whole world knows that Apple loves to introduce new products in September, and most of their announcements have been leaked before the event, Apple still somehow manages to induce childlike excitement in Apple fans across the map.

While Intel had BMX bikers and robotic spiders at it’s 2015 Developer Forum, Apple stuck close to the black turtleneck and jeans (aka simplicity) vision of founder Steve Jobs with their new announcements. Whether or not you are a fan of Apple products, you have to acknowledge that they know how to make an introduction.

CEO Tim Cook, began the keynote event but quickly handed the reigns to a number of other individuals used to better explain aspects of their new devices and accessories. Switching between live demonstrations and pre-produced videos, the Apple event had the room captivated for it’s duration. All 7,000 attendees (Apple employees, media, industry insiders, etc.) were busy snapping photos and blogging (and oohing and aahing) away after every big reveal.

Not one to shy away from hyperbole, Apple made some bold statements to lead into their main announcements that spanned a wide range of product categories. For those who weren’t able to watch it, or were too mesmerized by the performance to remember anything,  here is a recap of all that came out of Apple’s San Francisco announcement:

1) Apple Watch
“We can’t wait to see what else developers do with the Watch”
Cook was quick to get into the Apple Watch with very little introduction. The majority of this portion focused on new watch faces colours, teaming up with fashion brand Hermes for a set of bands, and new 3rd party apps (Facebook messenger, iTranslate, GoPro, and Airstrip). However, the biggest news for Apple Watch owners, and future owners, was the introduction of Watch OS 2, which will allow apps to run natively for the first time. These apps will be much richer, more engaging, quicker, with greater capabilities.

2) iPad Pro + Smart Keyboard + iPad Mini 4 + Apple Pencil
“The biggest news in iPad since iPad”
The iPad Pro (following in the nomenclature of the MacBook) is billed as the most powerful iPad yet, with the largest display to date. Reportedly faster than 80% of portable PC’s shipped within the last 12 months, the iPad Pro includes a screen size of 12.9” and 2048×1536 resolution. Apple also announced a Smart Keyboard Cover to be sold alongside the iPad Pro. The Smart Keyboard features the new Smart Connector, which is made up of three circles on the side of the iPad Pro and connects magnetically to carry both data and power. The biggest surprise (read as surprisingly unleaked) of the event came in the form of a pencil. Leave it to apple to find a way to collectively excite millions with a pencil. The Apple Pencil (which is Apple speak for a stylus) works directly with the iPad Pro and is force sensitive and allows for you to use your finger and stylus congruently. The Apple Pencil is charged by plugging it directly into the Lightning port of the iPad Pro. A new version of the iPad Mini, the iPad Mini 4, was also announced.

3) Apple TV + tvOS
“The future of TV is apps”
Apple believes that TV is following the trajectory of mobile, and that consumers are looking for . The main focus of the new device is it’s ability to run applications using the operating system, tvOS. The new apps are controlled by the similarly new remote which allows for the user to control the device by either using the touch pad or voice controls, complete with Siri. The new remote works with Bluetooth 4.0 rather than infrared which eliminates the need for line of sight. Apps for sports, TV, movies, and games were all used off to show the new entertainment opportunities available with Apple TV.

4) iPhone 6S & iPhone 6S Plus
“We have changed everything about these new iPhones”
The last announcement of the event was saved for the iPhone 6S (4.7” retina screen) and 6S Plus (5.5” retina screen). The two new iPhone iterations improve on their predecessors with improved 12 megapixel rear cameras, 5 megapixel front-facing camera, faster WiFi/LTE, stronger glass, faster A9 processor, 4K video, and stronger aluminium frame (probably to address the bending problem of the iPhone 6 Plus). A new 3D touch feature was also previewed, which allows the screen to sense multiple levels of pressure which can be useful for a number of existing and future apps. Live Photo’s is a new feature which automatically captures a second and a half on either side of a photo and allows it animate when viewed later with a force touch.

Apple has always used these September events to generate excitement and momentum going into the holiday season, and it will be interesting to see which of the new products will have the biggest impact come the end of the year.

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The growing use and popularity of smartphone, tablet and wearable devices is evolving at an exponential rate, previously unseen with any other channel. Given the rising importance and influence of mobile, Havas will now be working with us here at Plastic Mobile, the largest mobile team within the Havas network, so they can bring this expertise and knowledge to the business of their clients.

Here at Plastic, we specialize in developing strategic and innovative mobile solutions, by way of apps or web, across a myriad of industries, such as retail, finance, loyalty and utility. Known for many quality, award-winning mobile initiatives, our range of services include mobile strategy, UX design, development and marketing – all inspired by user-centric and results-driven experiences. In our work with some of the world’s largest brands, including Beyond the Rack, NetJets, TD Bank, P&G, Rogers, RBC, Shoppers Drug Mart and Unilever among others, we have developed over 250+ apps, boasting an impressive 100,000,000+ downloads generating over $600,000,000 in revenue for our clients.

What truly sets us apart is our commitment to innovation. In recent years, we have diligently kept note of industry trends and built Innovation Lab practices while making a commitment to invest in R&D in areas that will benefit our client’s business down the road. For brands as prominent as those Havas works with, Plastic will be leveraging the Innovation Lab team to discover and devise first-of-their-kind strategies to optimize in-store experiences in areas such as loyalty, mobile couponing, and pop-up events.

We are delighted to pair our expertise with Havas’ services across marketing and communications to create truly best-in-class experiences for brands.

For more information, please reach out to us at


The CNE, Labour day, the final month of the MLB’s regular season; all the signs pointing to the end of summer are here. This means that it is time to begin thinking about school again (Ugh!), and with that comes the yearly event of back-to-school-shopping. The idea of back-to-school shopping used to mean going out to fill your backpack with new pens, paper and binders. However, the increasingly digitally connected world we live in means that our mobile devices also play a role in this period. A 2014 back-to-school study found that 89% of back-to-school shoppers used their mobile device to find merchandise during this time frame. This is because parents want to be assured that they are getting the best deal possible.

With the average Canadian parent expecting to spend over $300 per child during this time period, this is a great time for app developers to market their products. Teachers and administrators are now utilizing mobile technology in classrooms more than ever with the increasing number of educational apps being developed for smartphones and tablets. Educational mobile apps are now seeing the boom that educational computer programs saw in the 90’s and 2000’s. These apps are making their way into classrooms all the way from kindergarten to university. The main problem right now is that there is such a large number of apps out there which makes it tough to locate the best ones. Sure, you could go to the app store and look for the highest rated apps, but that does not always tell you the full story. Luckily for you, the Plastic Mobile team has scoured through hundreds of education apps to find the ones that will help satisfy your thirst for knowledge.

There are a number of utility apps such as Dropbox, Skype, and Google Docs that have changed the way students work, but for the purpose of this article we will be focusing on 5 apps which were created for the purpose of learning.

Lumosity (iOS, Android)
Lumosity is a free “Brain-Training” app for iOS and Android which hinges on the concept of neuroplasticity, which is the idea that your brain changes over time. Since its launch for iPhone in 2010, the app has seen international success, placing #1 in the Education category in 70+ countries. The app begins by asking you which skills you would like to improve on, and then offers you games based on those specifics. You also take a brain test to set a baseline score, which allows you to come back later and see how (or if) you have improved. How much you stand to gain from the app is unique to each individual, but if nothing else it is a fun, quick, and simple way to test your brain (and gain some bragging rights with your friends.)

TED (iOS, Android)
For those interested in seeming like the most educated person at their next dinner party, this app is perfect. The TED app allows you to browse through the more than 1,000 speeches that have taken place at TED conferences from around the world. Ranging in topics from technology, to design, to culture, these talks have had such prestigious alumni as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates, and Larry Page. Whether you view these talks as educational, inspirational, or entertainment, this app will definitely keep you busy.

Coursera (iOS, Android)
This review could easily have focused on, Udacity or any of the other MOOC (massive open online course) providers, but Coursera seemed to be the easiest to use. Similar to it website, the Coursera app allows users to watch real lectures from a select number of universities for free. The app should not be judged as a stand alone app, but as a supplementary piece that extends the experience of the website. This is because the app versions do not allow users to participate in class quizzes, assignments, or exams (which you can do on the website), but it does allow you to watch the lectures on the go and at your own pace.  If you have a long commute, and are looking for something productive to do, Coursera is definitely worth checking out.

Learn Languages: Rosetta Stone (iOS, Android)
Travelling abroad? Meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time? Looking to expand your business to a new country? There are a wide number of reasons why you may want to learn a new language, and the Rosetta Stone mobile app is here to help. Customers with access to the Rosetta Stone foundations can download the app for free and continue their learning on the go. Using their immersion-based method of courses and tutorials, the program aims to teach you new vocabulary and grammar in your choice of 24 languages. Mobile phones have made everyone fluent in emojis, but Rosetta Stone might just make you fluent in something useful.

Quizlet (iOS, Android)
At its core, Quizlet is designed to be used as a study aid for high school and university students. Students can make their own flashcards, or choose from millions of sets made by their peers. Once you have chosen your flashcards, the app also allows you to participate in multiple choice quizzes and games. Quizlet’s wide array of subjects makes it a great way to study alone or with friends. If you enjoy flashcards as a study aid, this app can help you avoid having to carry hundreds of cue cards around to your next study session.

The way people learn today is constantly evolving. Mobile phones allow consumers to instantly access a seemingly infinite amount of information that would have been impossible to curate in the past. While some people view mobile devices in the classroom a distraction, there is no denying their ample benefits for individuals interested in learning. Hopefully these five apps will help you make the transition back to school a little easier.


Earlier this year, the Plastic Mobile team developed a Mobile X report on trends in the industry that we saw coming. The one that intrigued us the most was the idea of creating a connected ecosystem of apps for a specific brand. While not for all brands, app ecosystems can be an effective tool for larger and more complex businesses. Using our research, we were able to make this handy infographic to help better understand the idea of app ecosystems. 

Plastic Mobile App Ecosystem Infographic-1

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When it comes to banking, most people are looking for convenience. Dealing with your personal finances are stressful enough without having to worry about bank hours and long lines. Customers want to be able to bank anytime and anywhere, and there is no better option in terms of freedom than mobile banking. Millennials have come to expect real-time mobile access to their personal finances as a baseline service. However, it is not only the younger generation taking advantage of mobile banking.

A recent forecast report by eMarketer has found that the number of US mobile phone users aged 50-to-69 that use mobile banking will increase by 16.5% in 2015. However, even with that increase, Millennial mobile phone users (58.8%) are still twice as likely as baby boomers (27.5%) to make use of a banking service on their phones.

Some baby boomers (and Gen Xer’s) are still hesitant to take to mobile banking because they find the larger screen of desktops and tablets easier to use and more secure. Only half of the baby boomers who are banking digitally, are using mobile banking. To make the transition to mobile banking easier and worry-free, banks must lean on their marketing departments to educate consumers on the specific security features of their applications.

By 2019, roughly half of American adults will be using mobile banking, and banks are starting to realize the importance of making mobile apps their primary point of interaction with their customers. Branches and ATM’s will still remain important, but our reliance on them will continue to decline overtime.

Mobile banking applications are also a great resource for banks to cross-sell their financial products, highlight their premium services, and even acquire new consumers. Many bank branches have already started to teach their tellers to promote usage of their app through education sessions.

Growth rates will eventually slow as the market matures (by 2020 the youngest baby boomers will be 55), but it is easy to assume that Generation Z will grow up in a world where the vast majority of personal banking will take place on a mobile device. In the ever competitive world of personal banking, it will be interesting to see how banks use their mobile properties to attempt to separate themselves from the competition. To prepare for this, banks must continue to evaluate the trends, and ensure they are allocating the correct resources to their mobile properties.


Not one to shy away from radical moves, Google announced yesterday that they will now be owned by company simply known as Alphabet.

The move was announced by former CEO of Google, and current CEO of Alphabet, Larry Page. “What is Alphabet? Alphabet is a collection of companies, the largest of which, is Google,” Page wrote in his letter to investors. Page believes that this will allow Google to focus more on their core offerings and become more efficient, while permitting more unique ventures to thrive under the autonomy of Alphabet.

Under the restructuring, Google co-founder Sergey Brin becomes the President of Alphabet, and Sundar Pichai will take over for Page as CEO of Google. Page and Brin will still have a hand in overseeing Google, but Pichai will relinquish his role as SVP of products and take over the day-to-day operations.

For a number of years, Google has been trying to take on a wide array of projects from robotics, to autonomous cars, to even attempting to reign in aging. By allowing these organizations to be more autonomous, they ensure that they can get the resources and maintain their vision without major impact on Google’s financials.

Additionally, this move allows Alphabet to make more multi-billion dollar acquisitions that Google, as an established brand might have hesitations making. Not having to worry about how an acquisition meshes with Google’s brand, will allow Alphabet more freedom in future developments. It also opens up more executive-level positions within the organization, which will allow Alphabet to prevent their talent from being poached by other technology companies.

To avoid confusion for investors, all shares of Google will be automatically converted over to the same number of Alphabet shares. However, Alphabet will provide Google’s financial information separately in Q4 of 2015.

The news is still very much in its infancy, and the complete ramifications of this move have yet to be revealed. But this is a very pivotal move in the tech world, and it will be exciting to see what it means for the future of the Googleverse.




In 2015, mobile gaming revenues are forecasted to reach US$30 billion worldwide, which will allow them to surpass console gaming for the first time in history. This should come as less of a surprise when you realize that mobile games like Clash of Clans and Game of War: Fire Age are generating over US$1 million per day from their iOS versions alone.

There are a number of insights that marketers from other industries can take from this, and they are shared in my blog post which you can read over at the CMA blog.

Mobile gaming isn’t just Snake and Brick Breaker anymore, it is now a multi-billion industry that needs to be taken seriously.

Eye On Wearables

By on July 09, 2015

wearablesThe wearables wave is not going away anytime soon. Instead it continues to expand into all areas of our lives. Still in its infancy and having started with smartwatches, wearables are growing up quickly changing many areas of our lives.

President and COO of Plastic, Melody Adhami, wrote about her perspective on wearables for the Canadian Marketing Association, explaining why marketers need to pay attention to this shift in technology.

Consumers are now checking their mobile devices on average 100 to 200 times a day. Wearables make it even easier to frequently view content, and marketers can take advantage of this by creating personalized content to desired audiences forging more face time with brands.

Take a read over Melody’s CMA blog post and you’ll quickly learn why the time to learn all about wearables is now.