mobile marketing

How do I create a Virtual Background with a Green Screen?

Virtual Background Tips

What you need to know about Green Screens

Recently, I started looking into what’s called a Virtual Background. Since I had worked in television stations for more than 15 years, I thought that this would be a useful tool for my biweekly podcast on Mobile Marketing and Social Media.
The technology has been around for a long time, and is called Chroma keying or chroma key composting. It is a layering effect that happens when two images or video streams are served together based on color hues. You have seen this often in news, motion pictures and videogames. The color range in the foreground is made transparent, so that the separately filmed background footage or static image can be inserted into the scene. Green and blue backgrounds are used most often since they vary in hue from human skin colors.
I attended a tutorial session about using Virtual Backgrounds and then started my search. has 718 choices under “green screen” so you can find a lot to browse. Here are two examples.

Image 1. This first one costs less than $30, so you basically have a cut piece of fabric, a bag and a lint roller. Will that do what you need? If you are just starting out, perhaps you will be happy with this setup. If you are looking for a more polished effect, you may be ready to step up to the next level. Remember that with more than 700 choices, you can be selective in what you decide will be best for your purposes.

Image 2. If you want more than just the basics, you can get this for less than $90. It includes a stand and the lighting kit with stands as well as a bag. I’ve been using one that is 9′ by 4′, and comes in a bag. The most difficult part of the process has been trying to get the green screen back in the bag. One tip on this is to look on YouTube for some tutorials. I had to watch one of these videos several times before I mastered the process. So, if you are having trouble getting your screen back in the bag, go to the experts on YouTube for the demonstration.

Image 3. When you have your set up, what will it look like? Here is a before/after set that you could use, or something similar. This is a single person standing in front of the green screen. The virtual background is a photo of the inside of the White House. You can see that their is a very different result after using the green screen.

(Source: Iman Crosson, Wikipedia)

Here are seven tips that I have learned in creating a virtual background.

A. The best backgrounds are bright green, not shiny.
B. Muslin is one of the recommended fabrics.
C. They should be close to you, the person in front of the camera.
D. We want to have good contrast between you and the background. The lighting is also important to consider.
E. You can use high quality royalty free images, or your own.
F. The best sized images are 1920×1080.
G. Consider using a slightly blurred background if you want your own image to “pop” more during the webcast or webinar.

Image 4. Here is an example of how I used the Virtual Background in teaching a class at National University in March, 2017. Notice the top right quadrant and how the Golden Gate Bridge is in the background. I used a green screen to make this effect. What do you think? Will this be something you adopt in the future?
green screen in classroom

Posted by marybethmccabe in Marketing Tools, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing
10 Tips to Grow your Pokemon Go Marketing: Go for Gold

10 Tips to Grow your Pokemon Go Marketing: Go for Gold


Pokémon Go for Gold
10 tips to grow your Champion Marketer status with Pokemon Go (you’ll likely create even more ideas after reading these)

There are many ways that you can use mobile games like Pokémon Go in your marketing activities. This section give a background on the company, consumer behavior, and a list of 10 methods that you can use to apply these in your business.
Nintendo is a Japanese firm that created the Pokémon, the Wii and in mid-2016, Pokémon Go. Niantic, Inc. is an American software developer founded in 2010 by John Hanke, based in San Francisco, California, and known for developing and publishing the augmented reality mobile games Ingress and Pokémon Go. The company spun out of Google in October 2015.Getting started on Pokemon Go as a marketer

Pokémon Go Game character


Consumers like to be challenged and through games like Pokémon Go, with revenue of $10 million per day as of August 2016. This game has created nearly the same number of daily users as Twitter and time spent on Facebook, which is why mobile marketers need to pay attention.
The photo below shows one view of how consumers are using Pokémon Go. Two boys go to the park to play. At least that’s what they tell their parents. They go to play Pokémon Go. Riding bikes also gives them a competitive advantage over those in a car or walking. Sometimes they even talk to each other to get helpful tips on how to get to the next level or how to set up their incubator for their eggs.

boys on bikes

Boys on bicycles at park playing Pokémon Go
Mobile marketing professionals are responding in ways that will draw and keep customers and their attention to your ideas, products and services.
As a business, here are tactics that you can use whether you are a service or a product, profit or not for profit business.
1. Offer free Wi-Fi and charging stations at your place of business. This game requires both internet and a battery charge. Perhaps you are a hair or nail salon. While your customers are getting groomed, they can be charging their phones and using your Wi-Fi. Advertise this as a benefit for your service, a value added reason to visit more often.


Without the Wi-Fi, the game can’t advance
2. Partner with another business or two. You can partner with non-competing businesses to bring Pokémon Go to life. (Ex. web designer, custom contractor, pizza firm) Maybe you know a web designer who can develop a “virtual” or unofficial Pokémon stop on your custom window company website and give tips on how to win free stuff every time you order a pizza.
3. Request a Poke Stop. The request needs to be done through a form via Niantic, the developer, and although this is currently not being offered for new stops or gyms, we urge businesses to consider it for when/if this again becomes available. Stops are marked with a blue cube. Gyms are typically found in large places like malls, parks and other open spaces where players go to battle.


Southern California location where you can find players and hunt.

4. Frequent Tagging. You can ask your players to tag their photos with your business name. They can tag it either inside the post itself or in a location app that they use. This will extend your brand, and produce additional reach further once it is shared. Use a branded hashtag.
5. Check ins suggested. If you encourage customers to check in to your business while playing, that will lead to more players visiting or more reviews on that social media platform.
6. Ask for Photos, Shares, and Comments. Make a special request for players to take photos of them with your products. You can even give them a special discount for each shared photo of a product they want to purchase. If you show them how to do this with an example, such as on Instagram, they will be able to follow your lead. For example, “Aim Pokémon at the t-shirt seen in this store and post for a 10% discount today.”
7. For Snapchat, you can share with what they now call “Memories.” You can share snaps of catching Pokémon inside your business using the Memories feature and the camera roll.
8. Invite your customers to play. You may be the owner of a coffee shop and if you have an offer, especially during slow times of day, you may draw the right new customers back. Your social media channels provide the invitation to play or compete in a contest, and be sure to follow the rules that are required by the platform.
9. Create Pokémon Videos. Take short movies of your customers playing Pokémon Go in your area. One successful non-profit, an animal shelter, used video to capture people playing the game while walking their dog, and got featured on national news as extra benefit. So the shelter paired dogs that need walking with people who needed activity and that created human interest. The image below was seen on the Facebook page of the Muncie Animal Shelter, from Muncie Indiana.

Muncie animal shelter

Figure: Muncie Animal Shelter Facebook Page ad
10. Mobile accessories and online business ideas: If you are in the mobile data, accessories or similar industry, think of how you can empower your Pokémon Go players. For example, T-Mobile created business for themselves by offering unlimited data for Pokémon Go players. You could sell accessories for the game, too.


[1],_Inc. accessed August 4, 2016


Posted by marybethmccabe in Marketing Tools, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing
Mobile Marketing and Programmatic

Mobile Marketing and Programmatic

Authors Photo101

Richard Lowden from RTBIQ and I created this document to teach the MMA about Programmatic and help others understand. Here is our work, with photo from two MMA experts, Michael Becker and Paul Berney.
Programmatic 101

“One area nearly every marketer would seem to agree is a key area of focus going forward is programmatic advertising, i.e., the use of automated systems, software and data to buy advertising, digital and otherwise. Just look at eMarketer, which keeps raising its estimates for programmatic ad spending growth…The researcher’s latest study found that programmatic ads will jump 137.1% in 2014 (not a typo). That represents $10 billion in total spend, or 45%–nearly half–of the US digital display ad market. This is no fringe thing anymore: At least in digital media, the quants are taking over the way the business operates.”
Wall Street Journal, CMO Today 17 October 2014

We know that mobile delivers the audience at the right time at the right place and in the right context. How has the power of scale transformed the manner in which purchasing decisions are being made in today’s mobile marketplace and how you can become a participant in these automatic transactions?

How did we get here?

Let’s discuss the market changes. Instead of dealing with just a few vendors, today’s digital marketplace is full of thousands of sellers and it’s not possible to know each one of them. Digital ad networks make it easier for brands and all advertisers to buy and sell ads. Buyers are able to distribute marketing messages across many thousands of publishers with a handful of purchases and the networks were able to optimize to the individual campaign success metrics. The problems we found was there was no transparency of who the ad was actually reaching and how much was being paid for that ad.

Advertisers became increasingly agitated at the lack of transparency in placement, pricing and targeting. Ad Tech companies sought ways to alleviate advertisers’ concerns about transparency. Programmatic buying has helped mobile marketers buy the right audience in the right place at the right time.

Comparison to airline industry and stock market

Consider the airline industry and how you now book a trip. That same opportunity has been delivered to the mobile advertiser, where you can “Priceline” your ad dollars. You select the audience you want to reach and submit an electronic bid and wait for results.
Programmatic also resembles the stock market in that the exchanges are the places where the transactions occur. With those exchanges, there is more stability, transparency and oversight. Buyers and sellers get their transactions processed in a fraction of a second. Picture a human trader at the terminals of all the stock exchanges at one time, accessing NYSE, NASDAQ, and all stock exchanges. In the media business, the buyer has a chance to trade across multiple Demand Side Platforms (DSP’s), to access the whole market, buying audiences primed for purchase.

Understanding the process

For Real Time Bidding (RTB), the bid request gets presented by the publisher into an exchange, and specific information about that user is shared to help advertisers determine the value of that given impression. Information such as what site that person is on, what device they are using, where that person is located, etc. With pre-set values on different audience types having already been set by all participants in the auction, the buyer who ends up winning the bid can feel confident that they are paying the market rate and that they are getting what they actually paid for. An additional consideration of purchasing media this way is that advertisers can now buy audiences directly without having to use historical panel-based research (i.e., Marketing Research firms with secondary data) or to use site content as a method to determine the audience.

Here is an example, that describes how, by using RTB, you can better target your specific audience without waste. We know that females make up nearly half of the mobile video games viewing audience. If you wanted to target the male demographic and you purchased ads in mobile video games, you wasted half of your budget. With RTB, you can target just the males in a given content category, such as mobile video games.

Difference between Programmatic and RTB

“Programmatic simply means automated. A lot of people confuse it with buying ads through computer-run auctions — known as real-time bidding (RTB) — but that’s just one way to buy ads programmatically. At its core, programmatic buying is any ad buy that gets processed through machines.” (Ad Age, 2014) So, in essence, RTB is a subset of programmatic buying.

Real Time Bidding, a subset of Programmatic, has been created to help buyers target, place and price their ads better than before. We will describe all three kinds below. Here are ways you can buy programmatically today and benefits of each

RTB – scale, individual bid transparency, confidence in ad placement and pricing
Private exchange – confidence in ad placement
Programmatic guaranteed – confidence in ad placement and relative confidence in ad delivery

Before choosing a programmatic partner, you should consider some of the following questions:
What does transparency mean to you? Will we see bid level information? Targeting? Pricing? Actual CPM paid? Can we see this by exchange? What tools do you have to handle attribution? Fraud? Do you provide support for my buying team? If so, how much?

Addressing trust issues and fraud

What is occurring in programmatic is more transparent and traceable than ever before. And it is happening in a very rapid time frame. Trust within and among marketers and agencies is more available, and the tools to monitor that transaction are readily available from your vendor. If you feel that this is not accessible or transparent, consider asking for a testimonial from an independent source.

Best practices for marketers

1. Ask someone to explain their technology in a way that you will understand
2. Continuously hypothesize, test, correct, scale
3. Leverage your first party data

Programmatic buying is the way that mobile marketers are scaling their digital messaging. With more accuracy, transparency and speed, transactions can be processed more efficiently and with better attribution support than previously.

Objective Answers to the Basic Question Brand Marketers Should Have About Programmatic in Mobile Advertising
1. Why should a marketer even care about the advertising exchange marketplace?
Brands need every possible leverage to be successful in today’s complex world. They need to be looking forward at future business opportunities, not just seeing the history. Programmatic buying/selling is becoming a reality for most national and many smaller brands, and it started with self-serve platforms like Google AdWords.

2. What is it?
In 16 words, “It is automated advertising by leveraging computers and technology allowing brands to target effectively and efficiently.”

3. How does the exchange bidding process work?
Here is the very basic answer since this is the 101. The brand/agency makes the bid on a CPM, a middlemen process the orders, and the publisher delivers the audience. Next, middlemen inform brand/agency what resulted.

4. Who are the players in the marketplace?
This is not a simple answer, exactly, but we will simplify. The brand/agency spends the money. The automation is processed by companies who specialize in getting you the best results at the lowest cost and they have many names, including DSP’s and trading desks. At the end of the supply chain is the content provider or publisher, who has the audience brands/agencies want to reach.

5. What can be bid on?
An advertiser can bid on demographic variables in their consumer profile, and a lot of other factors. for example, you can bid on registered voters in a certain zip code based on their political affiliation, if it is what you need. This could help focus your ad budget. With every bid request, the goal is for accurate, reliable and consistent results and reporting.




Posted by marybethmccabe in Marketing Tools, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing