Archive for the ‘Mobile Social networking’ Category
Tags: Advertising, Blogger, Buddy Media, Clickable, Facebook, Pinterest, social media, Twitter, Zynga
Tags: Advertising, Business, Christian Louca, Evolution of Communication, Mobile Theory, Telecommunications, YOC
I have now left YOC after 4 years since launching their UK operations. It has been an absolute pleasure working for such a fantastic organisation and I wish my old colleagues all the best for the future.
I am now looking at the next big thing and will update all via my blog in due course. It is exciting times for mobile and we are all moving at an incredible rate. So many fantastic new start ups with so many ingenious ideas all to make our lives better. I believe we strive to help people communicate, engage, consume, learn, inform and so much more.
This global society that we have born is the future and will change lives forever to come. No borders, no politics, no fuss. A generation of globally connected people wanting to share experiences and information from across all corners of the globe.
I am privileged to be part of such an amazing evolution of communication…
Tags: Apple, Facebook, Google, iTunes, Lou Kerner, social media, Social network, TechCrunch
Posted By ] Diane Mermigas
In its biggest and most adroit reactionary move yet, the search advertising giant’s new Google + aggregates its existing services and competencies (including its mobile Android operating system) in a social networking mesh that taps its vast collection of user information.
Friend grouping (Circles), sharing (including individual or crowd video chats called Hangouts), news and photo aggregation (Sparks), recommendations and other social features of Google+ look and feel like Facebook’s familiar framework — but their orientation and approach to leveraging social networks are completely different.
Google is a social outlier that filters user information through complex algorithms and manages the relationship as a critical adjunct to its advertising and search business. Facebook was created as a user interface with members’ interactions, interests and functionality at its core. Interactivity on Facebook is all about relating to others inside of existing and morphing social graphs; interactivity on Google is all about individual functionality inside of massive constructs like search, gmail and Picasa photo app.
Given the similarities of Google+ to Facebook, it seems ironic Google senior vice president Vic Gundotra told TechCrunch that the company considers online sharing “broken…even awkward.” Google has consistently missed the mark on real-time sharing among friends that is the glue that makes Facebook so “sticky.” But being late to the social -networking party is not the issue. Google’s Android is giving Apple a run for its money, even as a relative newcomer to the mobile operating system space.
Google+, an outgrowth of the earlier Google BUZZ, will be as much of “a crushing success,” according to Internet entrepreneur Jason Calacanis. Google is poised to take half the social networking market from Facebook because Google+ is backed by a mobile operating system that Facebook lacks, one fourth of the browser market (with Chrome), an app store that competes with Apple’s iTunes (charging only 5% versus Apple’s 30%), and a responsive privacy dictum (compared with Facebook’s privacy games). Google also is moving more decisively in secure mobile payment by transforming smart phones into e-Wallets.
It fundamentally comes down to which player is more successful at bending companies away from the status quo and into the new social commercial paradigm. With all the fuss over Google+, it’s easy to lose sight of the enormous advantages Facebook has as an agile, private company seeking to out-design and out-execute Google and others.
A recent Web panel discussion hosted by Wedbush Securities Internet analyst Lou Kerner underscored the less obvious ways that Facebook is quickly moving to leverage its more than 600 million global active users (70% are outside the U.S.), 250 million active mobile users and $85 billion private-market value. Here are some of the panelists insights into why the premiere social network is poised to drive social marketing and commerce:
People, not brands drive social commerce. Social graph is as important as individual preference since Facebook users generally each connect with some 140 other Facebook members. These are the micro markets some marketers and retailers have begun to creatively exploit. American Express is allowing members to convert their points to Facebook credits. The July 4 weekend, Paramount became the first studio to sell movie tickets on Facebook to Transformers III.
Facebook’s new video ads are being compared to conventional TV. Essentially, Facebook members (in particular the gaming zealots who have morphed on the social platform) receive credits to play even more for “free” if they periodically stop to watch relevant Facebook video ads in pop up windows. Many believe that game king Zynga is carrying Facebook developing revenue streams by contributing about $300 million in Facebook credits and $200 million in advertising.
Buying critical mass
Just a fraction of Facebook’s global user base simultaneously “liking” something could exceed the several hundred million homes tuned into any one of television’s big live events, such as the Super Bowl. Some portion of television’s $71 billion ad dollars, which are not yet reflected in Facebook’s $2 billion in annual revenues, will shift to social media because it creates its own scale, said Mott Monahan, director of digital ad network EpicSocial. eMarketer already is crediting Facebook with driving online display ad revenues beyond expectations to an estimated $31.3 billion in 2011.
Qualifying the ad spend
Unlike television, social media allows marketers to know precisely who sees and responds to any form of advertising. Facebook tracks engagement on a one-to-one basis, and marketers only pay when a person clicks on their ads. The result is more qualitative and quantitative impressions (generally 1,000 % higher than average ad unit), which renders a more efficient and cost effective ROI, according to Justin Merickel, vp marketing at digital marketing agency Efficient Frontier.
Learning the viral play
Facebook represents an amazing word-of-mouth marketing engine and personalized brand opportunity, according to 8th Bridge CEO Wade Gerten. The social shopping service’s survey of Facebook users indicates more than one-third prefer never to leave the platform for any functionality, including shopping, suggesting that Facebook is morphing beyond a social network. 85% of consumer interaction with the more than 50 brands and 3,000 shopping campaigns 8th Bridge manages occur through friend-to-friend sharing and recommendations.
While social media clearly will be a driver of e-commerce and an overall economic power shift, it is easy to over simplify this phenomenon. A Booz and Co. strategy + business article earlier this year dubbed “social apponomics” as the holy grail for companies to profitably commercialize on social media with community-based marketing and tailored applications. The key will be to focus on partners (not competitors), think local mobile, target customers in multiple segments and transform pricing into a trusted dynamic conversation that will pay continuous dividends.
Getting marketers and retailers to that promised land is where Facebook and Google will carve out their competitive edge. Successful social mobile marketing and commerce requires a completely new mind-set and wiliness to innovate. Perhaps the best evidence is that online e-commerce still comprises less than 10% of all retail sales largely because retailers essentially have slapped their print catalogs onto Web sites and into emails and texts without fully exploring social mobile commerce dynamics.
At this early juncture, both Facebook and Google are flawed in shifting their focus more to collective connections as critical mass rather than on nurturing, mining and monetizing individual consumer relevance, which could have more steady, long-term advantages to marketers seeking loyal customers.
Still, the rush to mine social commerce by Facebook, Google and others could have negative repercussions. Users already overwhelmed with instant mobile communications and data might easily be quelled by powerful new waves of interactive marketing and commerce even in the company of friends. The reluctance of consumers to spend in an uncertain economy will remain a potent counterbalance. No matter how much “fun” it is to share, recommend and buy with friends, consumers will come to their senses faster than any of these well-heeled companies.
Tags: Apple, Bret Taylor, Facebook, iOS, iphone, iPhoto, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Twitter, Windows Phone 7
Posted By ] Dan Frommer
Today in San Francisco, Apple unveiled a new relationship with Twitter, where Twitter sign-in and sharing features will be built right into Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system. (A very rare thing for Apple, which is hesitant to rely on third party services for anything.)
Sounds like the sort of feature that would be just as good — if not better — with Facebook, which has many millions more users than Twitter? Indeed. But Apple had nothing to say about Facebook today.
While Apple has been able to integrate Facebook into some minor products, such as iPhoto, for whatever reason, the companies haven’t been able to figure out a deal for major mobile integration. Last September, for example, Apple had to remove Facebook support from Ping, a social network, at the last minute.
But, publicly at least, nothing seems to have changed since then. Meanwhile, today, Apple just announced a big partnership with Twitter, one of Facebook’s biggest rivals.
This leaves the door open for Facebook and Apple to potentially work something out between now and the fall, when iOS 5 ships to consumers, so Apple can announce Twitter and Facebook integration for the final product. Facebook, after all, is built into many other phone platforms, including Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, some Android flavors, etc.
Even if Facebook doesn’t need Apple, and Apple doesn’t need Facebook, it would be better for all of their users if they worked together, after all.
Or maybe they just aren’t going to play nicely together.
Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs obviously both know that they run two of the most important tech companies in the world. They don’t need each other if they can’t come to terms they can agree on. And maybe that’s going to keep them apart.
Either way, watching this relationship evolve is only going to get more interesting over the years.
Tags: Alton Towers, American Eagle Outfitters, Brooks Brothers, Electronic commerce, F-Commerce, Facebook, Online PR & Social Media, Online shopping, Social Media Commerce, Social network, United States
My Comments on the below:
It would be interesting to know how many of these organisations have a mobile presence. Considering Facebook is so widely adopted by mobile users you would think they all should.
Posted By ] Jake Hird
Consequently, I’ve compiled a rather large list of companies who are using Facebook to sell products…
Some were pop-up stores, PR stunts or specific campaigns and not all of them involve direct transactions through Facebook. Some use the API to pull through stock inventories on their Brand Pages, with others taking this further by allowing sign-ins to their checkout, following this.
I imagine that some people will argue that this isn’t pure f-commerce, but it should be acknowledged that these examples were actively trying to make commercial sales using Facebook’s platform… which in my opinion, falls firmly into the commerce-through-Facebook camp.
Notably though, as a general rule, the examples I’ve selected don’t have static pages which redirects the user to a separate e-commerce website.
To also lend weight to the argument that f-commerce isn’t wholly about direct sales onsite, Janice Diner’s recent ecosphere graphic demonstrates the complexity of this growing area.
I’ll be the first to say that I’ve yet to see large amounts of data surrounding the success rates of having an f-commerce presence. Examples do exist, but given that the channel is still very much in its infancy, there seems to be a combination of reluctance on the part of the retailers to share this information, alongside poor tracking and analysis.
That said, in the coming months, I fully expect to see solid evidence of the value in ensuring a retail presence on Facebook exists.
But onto the examples! Who says Facebook hasn’t got a place in online shopping?
This was one of the first on-page f-commerce stores. And it’s still going strong.
The UK theme park has an app that allows you to book tickets in advance.
The online fashion retailer allows users to buy personalised mobile gift cards for friends and family for use online or offline.
Apple also offers its app store via Facebook.
The online fashion retailer’s Facebook store is widely cited as an f-commerce case study.
An f-commerce store that’s found its niche in the baby and infant market.
The Spanish football club has a world class application for their club shop.
The New York department store can be found trialling Facebook.
Best Buy’s shop and share is often cited as another f-commerce example.
E-gifts from the US restaurant.
Boston’s ahead of the curve! This American company have found their niche in trading tea.
For a company established in the 19th Century, Brooks Brothers proves it’s now very much a 21st Century retailer.
The luxury retailer reaches out to its audience on Facebook.
This cruise company proves that its not just small transactions that can be made using f-commerce.
Another luxury brand, Chanel recently created a pop-up store for their lipstick range, although building it in Flashled to issues.
The white-label service reported that Facebook shares generated $14 in sales on average, that Facebook Likes were worth $8.
Coke actually has a dedicated fan store on Facebook.
I’ve listed this site before now – and its still going strong.
You can easily book a flight through Delta Airlines’ Facebook page.
The TV programme taps into its fanbase on Facebook.
Diesel’s done a few things with Facebook – the most recent being their in-store DieselCam.
Again, another often-cited example, Disney built in movie-ticket sales into their Facebook page.
This company makes buying everyday products quick and easy.
As the name suggests, buying all kinds of bags through Facebook is now a reality.
Not quite a direct transaction, but eBay marketplace allows users to share what they’re buying, selling and watching.
Homeware, everywhere from this Facebook store.
In a wider sense, Eventbrite has managed to put a value on their social commerce revenue gained through allowing Facebook login access.
Express clothing has a slick f-commerce store.
Proof that any sport can sell equipment through Facebook.
Another often-used example: GAP used check-in deals to offer promotions to consumers when the service first launched.
Yes, the guitar shop has an online store.
The now-household name has a Facebook app for its deals.
Buy and send cards online.
A large f-commerce offering from this online retailer.
The online shoe shop is still going strong.
Heinz is running a limited edition promotion through Facebook.
Check rooms and availability before booking.
Specialising in Apple accessories, this company reported that Facebook is the second highest referral of their e-commerce site traffic and that of those customers, the average conversion rate twice as high than normal.
JCPenney has a large catalogued store on Facebook.
The UK sports retailer has set up an f-commerce store.
With 27m Facebook fans, it made sense for JB to have a shop ‘n share store.
The clothing shop has an interesting little app.
The French clothing store proves that Europe can do f-commerce too.
Kiddicare have a great f-commerce store-front offering.
Although not yet set up with a full f-commerce offering, the retail giant is currently offering e-gifts.
The European fashion retailer recently set up a store on Facebook, but for reasons unknown took it down.
The crazy lady of pop challenges Bieber’s online store.
More clothes on offer through Facebook from this fashion retailer.
Lots of coverage has been given to the Levi’s Friends Store…
Small electronics on offer.
The US department store followed in Diesel’s footsteps with their own Facebook fitting room.
Another airline company that allows booking (and more) through Facebook.
Makeup galore from mark.girl.
The UK Facebook page for Max Factor offers even more makeup purchasing opportunities.
The mens magazine offers a subscription service through Facebook.
As part of a Facebook Deals promotion, Mazda offered 20% off the price of their MX-5 model when users checked-in to a dealership.
The US model offers her own range of jewelry on her Facebook page.
More bags and luggage available to shoppers.
MyLabel offers a wide range of clothing through its f-commerce store.
Technology and computing products on offer from this smaller player.
Book a journey with National Express through their Facebook page.
The clothing shop offers a crisp, clean Facebook store.
Not content with his YouTube campaign, Mustafa is operating on Facebook.
The German fashion company jumps into f-commerce.
Oxfam’s UK page makes it easier for users to donate.
The nappy manufacturer is another regularly cited example of f-commerce, although the store is currently down.
Once again, Pantene is an example that’s used a lot, despite the original page not existing anymore.
Computers through Facebook.
Nicely cornering the book market, Penguin seems to be the only publisher operating on Facebook this way.
Lots of different offers for Pizza Hut. Although this ultimately loops to their website, users can login using Facebook access.
Buy small gifts for friends and family through Facebook.
The shoe shop giant has a Facebook store for its customers.
Following the lead of a number of large retailers experimenting with f-commerce, Sears gives users the ability to buy gift vouchers.
The small Australian shop is offering American brands.
Acting as a trigger for purchases offline, Stabucks sends users an SMS message to remind them about coffee happy hour.
Lots of household goods on offer.
Superdry has a nice little interactive product feed of their new products.
The Latin fashion store seems to have realised the popularity of Facebook amongst its demographic.
Social shopping from the TSwift Store.
The UK fashion brand has a slick-looking Facebook shop.
The fab four are still selling strong.
The Beatles also prove their popularity in the USA.
Games, clothes and more. The Hut has it all.
Electronics from the nerds.
The established UK chocolatier also sells its wares online.
It’s no surprise that the awesome Threadless has a Facebook shop.
Ticketfly found that Facebook refers roughly 9% of their customers and the company has seen huge jumps in profit since their activity began.
The computer and electronics superstore also has an f-commerce offering.
Check availability and reserve or book online with the Trump Hotel Collection.
The US fashion company appears to be finding its f-commerce feet.
The audio and video store also ensure that stock is available through Facebook.
The sports brand ensures that fans can purchase shoes through its f-commerce shop.
The lingerie company offers gift cards through its Facebook brand page.
Book tickets in advance through Virgin’s Facebook store.
Volkswagen ran a smart PR campaign, where the more “likes” received, saw the price of a car get lower.
The luxury hotel brand recently ran a group-buy campaign exclusively on Facebook.
Hot on the heels of W Hotels, Walmart has also run group-purchasing campaigns over the past few monthsthrough it’s CrowdSaver app.
Skateboard f-commerce store.
Warner has experimented a lot with Facebook, but notably is their setup which allows you to purchase and download the Dark Knight directly through the platform.
The teen clothing store reported that 20% of their e-commerce sales come from Facebook-referred traffic.
Zavvi might now be off the high street, but it’s still very much online.
Tags: App store, Apple, Apple App Store, Facebook, Google, ipad, mobile commerce, Mobile Trends 2011, Research in motion
Posted By ] Mickey Alam Khan
While projections on mobile advertising still can’t be trusted – safe to say that brands will spend more than $1 billion on display, rich media, search and text ads – one thing can be said for sure: 2011 is mobile’s year to lose.
As editors and reporters Giselle Tsirulnik, Dan Butcher and Rimma Kats so ably demonstrate in Mobile Marketer’s Mobile Outlook 2011, all facets of mobile marketing are gaining currency with brands, ad agencies, publishers and retailers. Thank-you to them for this Classic Guide that should be read cover to cover.
Of course, for all the enthusiasm about mobile, budgets are still not where they need to be.
After all, it is expected that sometime this year or next, one out of two subscribers nationwide will have smartphones enabled with Internet and applications. Just imagine how that will change consumption of content and marketing, communications and conduct of commerce.
Marketers will get religion. As reported daily in Mobile Marketer and sibling publication Mobile Commerce Daily, the nation’s leading brands are now increasingly bringing mobile to the front of the bus.
Marketing needs to be where consumers are, and consumers are on conducting much of their work, play and personal lives on mobile devices, be it phones or tablets.
So here are some trends and influencing brands seen from this perch in mobile and the overall digital space:
Social networking: Facebook will cross 700 million users. While social networking is now ingrained communications behavior, the jury’s still out on Facebook’s ability to monetize. It is hard to see a networking audience buy from a store on Facebook, but who knows?
Moreover, Facebook still relies on a 1990s revenue model: clicks on banner ads next to user-generated content. And how to monetize the Like feature when brands are already using it and launching Facebook pages to great success – for free?
In the mobile context, around 200 million Facebook users use the service on their mobile phone. Facebook hasn’t shown how it can monetize mobile when eventually in three years or so mobile will be the primary form of social-networking access.
Privacy: A Do Not Track law may not harm mobile as much as online since it is hard to cookie mobile sites. But marketers do collect data via applications, especially the app stores. What will such legislation from the Federal Trade Commission mean for mobile advertising and database marketing?
Silence from mobile marketers in the privacy area may mean consent to straitjacketing mobile advertising and marketing to a point where neither the consumer nor the marketer benefits. Speak up and speak now.
Apple dominates: Does Steve Jobs ever rest? Expect Apple to dominate the airwaves, newsprint and online chatter with a new version of the iPad tablet, an iPhone for another wireless carrier besides AT&T and milestones achieved in applications – a half-million sometime this year.
Of course, banish the thought that Apple will share application usage and deletion data on an aggregate basis or that it will lower its 30 percent take from revenue generated in the Apple App Store. Flash on mobile devices? Not on Mr. Jobs’ watch.
Google dazzles with numbers: Google will dangle stats on the number of Android-supported mobile phones and devices and how it surpasses any other smartphone platform. Well, if only those numbers could be monetized.
Google has yet to show how it will monetize its mobile offerings, aside from display ad revenue derived from the AdMob mobile ad network purchase last year.
Indeed, Google’s danger is that these new mobile ventures are still backed by a company whose primary source of revenue is search engine marketing on the traditional Web – how 1998. And what happens when all search activity migrates to mobile – can Google support its 20,000-plus engineers on mobile revenue?
Oh, and what if Facebook launches its own search engine within the new walled garden?
Research In Motion plays catch-up: The BlackBerry maker just cannot articulate what it stands for and why new customers should buy its devices over Apple’s or Android’s. How long before Apple and Google crack the enterprise market?
Microsoft – spend now: Please buy a mobile advertising or mobile commerce company – or Research In Motion. Microsoft cannot let Apple and Google divvy up the mobile field between them.
Tablet remedy: Sorry, the category belongs to the Apple iPad. It’s not just the device, it’s the experience and the applications and the marketing and the buzz and Mr. Jobs. What does Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Research In Motion’s PlayBook have over the iPad? A smaller screen, Flash and faster Internet? Wait till iPad 2 is out.
Mobile commerce boom: This year and the years ahead belong to mobile commerce. All retailers must have mobile commerce sites and applications. To not have a mobile presence is to lose a customer, once and for all.
Mobile Web: Betting long on mobile Web. Mobile sites will be a requirement, while applications will remain a preference.
Amazon: The world’s largest online retailer is set to change the world of retail. Its mobile application and site are a Trojan horse in a retailer’s store. Expect more consumers to use Amazon’s mobile presence to search and compare prices while at a rival retailer’s store. A race to the bottom for offline retail? Perhaps.
EBay bids for success: The world’s No. 1 mobile retailer will hold on to its title. Eventually, most eBay transactions will close on mobile. The one online-only retailer, along with Amazon, that has got mobile right.
Publishers: A mobile presence will not save publishing, but it’ll be a must. The biggest dilemma will continue: how to monetize mobile readership? Mobile ad revenue will not suffice. And consumers have shown a marked reluctance to pay for news content online or on mobile – bar The Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports and the Financial Times.
The mobile editions will sooner or later cannibalize online and print. Publishers are running out of time to come up with new ideas. Tip: ditch print, stick to online and mobile, cut overhead and stay lean and mean. But knowing publishers, these steps will be forced on them.
Mobile advertising: Agencies need to bundle mobile buys with online. Don’t discount mobile. Mobile ads – banners, rich media, search, SMS, voice and sponsorships – will boom with more inventory becoming available.
Fragmentation: Here to stay. Live with it – disparate operating systems, browsers, screens, units, phones and devices and app stores. No solution in sight, so why worry? It is what it is.
People to keep an eye on: Steve Jobs, Marc Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Angry Birds.
Mickey Alam Khan
Tags: Facebook, mobile statistics, mobile trends, MySpace, social media, Twitter
Tags: daily newspapers, Internet, Mobile, Publishing, television, Worldwide statistics
Tags: Bravo TV, Facebook, Foursquare, Google Latitude, Location Based Services, Social Networking, Starbucks, The New York Times Company, Zagat’s
Foursquare, the social networking service that allows users to broadcast their location to friends from a mobile phone, announced on Tuesday that it had raised $20 million from venture capitalists.
Since it was introduced last March, Foursquare has amassed more than 1.8 million users and says it is adding new ones at the rate of roughly 10,000 a day, Jenna Wortham reports in The New York Times.
Dennis Crowley, who founded the company with a fellow entrepreneur, Naveen Selvadurai, said the fresh cash would largely be used to develop its technology infrastructure, expand its staff of nearly 30 employees and relocate to office space in New York, where the company is based.
“The capital goes to building out our team and bringing on people we need to meet engineering needs,” Mr. Crowley said.
Foursquare previously raised $1.35 million in cash from a well-known list of financiers, including O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Union Square Ventures, which has financed Web companies like Twitter, Tumblr and Etsy. The new investment places the company’s valuation at $95 million.
The most recent round of fund-raising involved earlier investors and added a new partner,Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm led by the Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen, who co-founded Netscape, and his business partner, Ben Horowitz. Mr. Horowitz said that his firm zeroed in on Foursquare because of the vast market potential for mobile services and applications.
“There are already over 200 million smartphones out there and growing fast,” he said. “We’d like to see them build out the company to capture that opportunity.”
But Mr. Crowley said the company decided it was too soon to sell. “We’ve got this robust and ambitious road map,” he said. “I really feel that we haven’t gotten far enough through it and we’re still scratching the surface for opportunities.”
A big part of Foursquare’s appeal is that it turns location-sharing into a game that lets users compete for points, badges and “mayor” status at bars and restaurants. Mr. Crowley said the rewards players received could be a valuable marketing tool for local businesses and advertisers.
“We’re really after connecting local merchants with their best customers,” Mr. Crowley said. “The opportunity here is much larger than we originally thought.”
The interest in Foursquare goes beyond the simple appeal of allowing users to figure out where their friends are migrating for happy hour, said Charles S. Golvin, an analyst withForrester Research.
The goal is more targeted advertising. “The big audiences already out there on the Web are fairly well addressed,” said Mr. Golvin. “Hyperlocal is where the next big wave of mobile advertising opportunity is, because it ties into that belief that location is going to be a big enabler for marketers to more deeply engage with their customers.”
But Foursquare is not the only mobile company hoping to make money from advertisers eager to understand more about the habits and behavior of consumers, said Jeanine Sterling, a senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
In addition to rivals start-ups like Loopt, MyTown, Gowalla and BrightKite, Googlehas been aggressively promoting its mobile social network, Google Latitude, andFacebook is expected to introduce location features at some point as well.
“It’s a very real threat,” Ms. Sterling said. “But Facebook and Google have their own vulnerabilities, too. Foursquare can position itself as offering capabilities and features that Facebook can’t provide, such as privacy.”
Tags: 3UK, Blupod Media, Hypertag, Incentivated, Inside Mobile, Marvellous, mBlox, MIG, MMA, Mobile Marketplace, mobile research, Mobile Stats, O2, Orange, Que Pasa, Sponge, T-Mobile, TMW, Vodafone, YOC
Digital Strategy Supplement – 24 June 2010 Marketing Week
marketplace – mobile
Everyone owns a mobile, and the devices are getting smarter. From SMS to apps, there is an array of options for marketers, as long as they remember to keep it relevant. By Nicola Smith.
In 2000, Railtrack became one of the first UK companies to send branded texts to consumers. Mobile marketing has kept advancing, albeit slowly, ever since. “Mobile has evolved a long way from the simple ’text and win’,” says Tim Dunn, head of marketing services at the Mobile Interactive Group (MIG). “There is now a vibrant and complex mobile landscape and the options for deploying your brand and message are vast.”
Mobile to date has been a minefield. A wealth of network operators and device manufacturers, plus the recent advent of smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and those running Google’s Android operating system, have led to a fragmented and fast-moving environment that has presented a number of challenges for brands looking to exploit mobile as a marketing channel.
But as mobile finally starts to emerge as a viable – and vital – part of the marketing mix, Douglas McDonald, head of mobile at digital agency Tullo Marshall Warren (TMW), suggests that it is becoming easier for brands to enter. “It is only complex when it comes to making sure that sites and apps work properly across different devices. There are, however, lots of solutions that will do the heavy lifting in that area, from device detection services to testing across different classes of handsets. Otherwise it is a fairly simple medium within which marketers’ current skill sets are eminently relevant.”
The launch in February 2010 of Mobile Media Metrics has strengthened the case for mobile. To date, mobile advertising has been hampered by a lack of reliable, industry-wide information about how consumers are using mobile internet. Mobile Media Metrics, spearheaded by mobile operator body GSMA in partnership with O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and 3UK, gives marketers an aggregated view of mobile internet usage behaviour, including page views, time spent on specific sites, and device types. Headline figures from three operators to date include the fact that 16 million people in the UK accessed the internet from their mobile phones in December 2009 alone.
When considering mobile, marketers should bear in mind that the platform is primarily about customer acquisition, retention and brand building, says Paul Berney, managing director, Europe branch for Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). “Mobile is not TV or direct mail, and campaigns shouldn’t be treated with the same mentality. Communications should be contextual: based on time, location, need and the individual, as well as demographics such as age and gender.” He adds that consumers are far more likely to participate in mobile campaigns if marketers get their permission, understand their preferences and respect their privacy.
Not as sexy, just as attractive
Simple SMS campaigns are many brands’ first foray into mobile marketing, and this method – although not perhaps as sexy as an app – continues to be a very effective marketing tool. Nigel Vaz, managing director of interactive marketing agency SapientNitro, says, “SMS is a far more accessible channel and is being exploited by brands such as Singapore Airlines, which lets its customers know about flight disruptions and offers via SMS. Ultimately it’s about looking at your customer base and deciding what are the most applicable and useful services for them to access on the move.” Dunn agrees, stating that which mobile marketing discipline will work best for a brand depends on the brand’s objectives. “If acquiring new customers is your goal, you may want to use SMS shortcodes featured on ads and a raft of targeted mobile advertising.” For retention, he says companies may want to use an application that enables users to get more from the brand.
James Pimentel-Pinto, co-founder and chief executive of agencymobile, agrees that brands need to identify clear objectives, and advises them to set clear, measurable performance indicators, such as number of customers acquired and revenue from the application.”This is often the missing link in working out the profitability of investing in a proper mobile channel strategy.”
Everyone loves a Bluetooth movie
A strategy that is working for cinema advertising company Pearl & Dean is the Bluetooth network it has introduced in 67 Vue cinemas, allowing consumers to receive film trailers and music to their phones in cinema foyers. Warner Brothers advertises its latest releases in this way. “We have experimented with various different forms of mobile marketing, but by far the most effective has been Bluetooth,” remarks Pearl & Dean enterprise director Mike Hope-Milne, who says the channel is a good fit with its audience. “When done right, it delivers a trusted, quality experience that creates a gateway to further mobile engagement via applications, text alerts, calendar reminders and hyperlinks to WAP sites.”
And it seems the time is right for brands to invest in mobile (or WAP) sites. “Less than 5% of brands make the most of mobile internet traffic,” says Ogilvy Group UK head of mobile technologies Scott Seaborn. “You could not advertise on the internet without a website and the same goes for mobile. Brands should at least optimise their current site for mobile so that mobile visitors don’t drop off while waiting for a full site to load on their phone.” McDonald agrees, stating that an average of 30% of the population is now online via mobile. “It’s no longer possible to say you have an online presence if it doesn’t include a mobile version.”
Rimmel is one company reaping the rewards of a well thought-out mobile site. Created by MIG and OMD, the cosmetics brand’s permanent mobile site has 40,000 opted-in users to date, while there have been over 145,000 content downloads, such as wallpaper and video clips – from a budget of less than £50,000.
Indeed, mobile websites are more important than the latest buzzword: apps, the mini software programmes that users download to their mobile device. While there are 200,000 apps currently available on Apple’s App Store – and 34.3 million iPhones have been sold worldwide, according to Apple – smartphone users as a whole only represent 29% of the total mobile internet audience in the UK according to the GSMA.
“We expect to see a shift back to mobile web-based services as mobile browser capabilities improve,” says Dan Rosen, head of AKQA Mobile. “Soon it will be possible to deliver an app-like experience through the mobile web, removing many of the cross-platform considerations.”
But he also admits that apps are here to stay, although they don’t suit every marketer’s need. “Apps tend to work well when they offer something useful and serve a true need – people play games on the commute to work, access maps when they need directions and so on.” Vaz singles out Tesco’s app as a great “value-add” for customers because it allows shoppers to discover on which row and shelf certain items can be found in any given store. “It complements their in-store experience by fulfilling a genuine need.”
Paul Say, head of marketing at First Direct – which plans to launch an app in the next few months – agrees. “First and foremost apps should make life easier for customers and not be purely about marketing. We see apps as another delivery channel for our online banking as well as an opportunity to strengthen our brand.”
As Dunn points out, brands can tap into the popularity of apps without necessarily having to build their own, thanks to sponsorship opportunities. “For example, the current Britain’s Got Talent app is sending large numbers of users through to Domino’s pizza payment pages.”
Mobile is undoubtedly coming into its own. Apple launched its iAd platform, which will supply ads relevant to users’ locations, in April, and launched its 4G iPhone in the UK earlier this month; while Microsoft recently unveiled Windows 7 for mobiles. As Rosen concludes: “Mobile internet access will continue to grow and more people will engage with products and services on their phones. Browsing behaviour is different on mobile than traditional web, and marketers should look for ways they can bring their brand into this arena on the back of emerging behaviour.”
All you need to know about mobile
- What does mobile marketing entail? Mobile marketing can range from sending marketing messages via simple SMS text messages, or via wireless Bluetooth technology in specific locations, to creating branded mobile websites and developing branded apps for consumers to download on smartphones. In short, mobile marketing involves communicating with the consumer via a mobile device in myriad ways.
- What is an app? An app, or mobile application, is a software programme that can be downloaded for a mobile device. The majority of apps to date have been developed for Apple’s iPhone (there are over 200,000). Apps can range in complexity from simple – such as Carling’s gimmicky iPint, a virtual pint that drains as you tip your iPhone – to the more practical. The Guardian iPhone app, allows readers to quickly access specific articles and writers, as well as the newspaper’s podcasts.
Oscar Jenkins – CEO, Dynmark
Two of the big trends we’re starting to see in mobile are the rise of forms of mobile marketing that take advantage of the unique properties of mobile, and brands starting to realise that this is where their customers are.
Mobile is a very disruptive technology, and there’s a sense that marketers and agencies were reluctant to change things until is was really necessary to do so. But Apple was a shot in the arm for the mobile industry and it forced everyone to raise their game. You can see it everywhere, from the hardware manufacturers to the operators. There has been a lot of mobile marketing done that hasn’t really worked, a lot of the time because it was too soon, but now the whole ecosystem is much more conducive to mobile being commercialised.
The result is that we’re seeing mobile marketing budgets going up from thousands of pounds to tens of thousands of pounds, and at the same time there’s involvement in campaigns from much more senior people.
A great example of that is some work we did with Home Delivery Network that started in 2008 and ran through the whole of last year. We worked with a senior team and the success of that project paved the way for the company to start doing text-based CRM on behalf of its big clients. And the big change for it was moving into a world of two-way interaction. It sends out delivery details by SMS, then the customer can send an SMS back to make changes if the arrangements don’t suit them. Is that CRM or is it marketing? It’s certainly an example of something tailored to the properties of mobile.
One of the trends we’re seeing within our own business is that people are starting to use SMS as a conduit into other mobile media sessions. So they’re sending out an SMS with a link in it to a mobile site, for example. We’re also starting to see MMS playing a more significant role, but still at a much lower level than SMS.
Mobile is often talked about as the “glue” that holds together all the elements of a marketing campaign. We certainly see it as the glue for customer relationships, but it remains to be seen if it will move out to perform that role in the broader marketing world. What is certain is that if you get the central relationship with the customer right, it’s very powerful indeed.
IN THE MARKET
10 Suppliers You Need To Know
- Mobile Interactive Group
MIG is an integrated mobile agency, comprising mobile marketing, messaging and payment, app development and digital delivery. Clients include ITV, PepsiCo and Shazam. http://www.migcan.com
A pure-play creative mobile marketing agency, Sponge plans and executes entire campaigns, and counts Coca-Cola and AutoTrader among its clients. http://www.spongegroup.com
- Bluepod Media
Bluepod enables advertisers to send marketing messages to “opted in” consumers, and to target customers at specific destinations via its network of Bluetooth-enabled servers. Clients include Xbox and Nokia. http://www.bluepodmedia.com
- Inside Mobile
Bought by M&C Saatchi in March 2010, Inside Mobile designs and builds mobile solutions as well as planning and buying mobile media. Clients include Adidas, Reebok and Sky.
- Que Pasa
Digital agency Que Pasa creates branded content for consumer brands. It recently developed a mobile portal for Channel 4 and a mobile campaign for Tate Liverpool. http://www.que-pasa.co.uk
YOC is a full service mobile marketing agency, covering everything from marketing, advertising and technology to mobile content and affiliate marketing. Clients include The Guardian and The Sun. en.group.yoc.com
Specialist in proximity marketing – the wireless distribution of advertising content within a certain location – Hypertag’s clients include Coca-Cola, Peugeot and O2.
Incentivated specialises in SMS alerts for customer relationship management campaigns, location-based mobile apps, mobile internet sites and strategic consultancy, with clients including Marks & Spencer, Strongbow and Jaguar. http://www.incentivated.com
Bought by Aegis Media in 2007, Marvellous offers everything from strategy and planning to design and build. Clients include Renault, Adidas and Vodafone. http://www.bemarvellous.com
An intermediary between businesses and mobile operators, mBlox manages the delivery and billing of mobile content and mobile services globally. Clients include the BBC, Fox and Ryanair. http://www.mblox.com
Source/ newmediaage Marketing Services Guide 2010
- Mobile ownership in the UK (users aged 15+) in the first quarter of 2010 is 48.9 million (source: Nielsen).
- Smartphones are forecast to make up 70% of the European market by 2012 (source: Gartner).
- Over 1 billion page impressions on social networking sites are made via mobile each month (source: Orange).
- An average of 63 million SMS messages are sent every day in the UK (source: Orange).
- In 2008, brands spent £28.6m on mobile campaigns in the UK (source: Internet Advertising Bureau).
- App downloads are expected to climb from 7 billion in 2009 to 50 billion by 2012: a 92% annual increase (source: Getjar).
What does the next year hold?
Managing director, Europe branch, Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)
“We can certainly expect to see mobile being used to great effect for customer acquisition, retention and brand building, as well as to extend and enhance other mass media channels to great effect.
“We see the continuing growth of mobile CRM as a major driver in obtaining consumer adoption of the channel; creating the opportunity for brands to engage with their audience on a deeper level.
“Other key areas of revenue growth will be mobile search and the significant increase in mobile internet traffic and application usage, which is in large part associated with the use of social media on the mobile device. We’re expecting mobile ad spend to grow to $2.16bn (£1.5bn) in 2010.”
“The Noughties was the decade of fixed marketing – web(site) and email. Now there’s a new tipping point – as smartphones gain majority acceptance, mobile will be marketing – and marketing will become mobile.
“Direct response, loyalty, location, commerce and search will define themselves with mobile marketing. Uptake, ROI and metrics will define a decade of mobile progression for any brand serious about consumer marketing and advertising.”
Chief executive, Shazam
“The personal engagement mobile offers, as well as the sheer number of mobile users globally, means the opportunity to reach and interact with consumers on the go is enormous. I expect brands to allocate increasing portions of their marketing spend to mobile throughout 2010.
“As advertising moves towards highly targeted, opt-in systems, mobile applications are ideally placed for marketers. Using information on an opt-in basis from users’ profiles, preferences and location also enables consumers to be addressed with highly tailored and relevant communication and offers.”
Co-founder and chief executive, agencymobile
“In addition to Apple continuing to lead the way in the applications market, we’re already starting to see the other major manufacturers delivering interesting and innovative combinations of hardware and software as differentiators for both consumers and brands.
“We think mobile interactions will increasingly become the consumer’s first interaction point and brands’ budget allocation and agency selection should take this into account when planning marketing activity.
“But there are also many questions that cannot be answered yet, and mobile should be embraced as an evolving medium – one that requires innovation and risk to fully exploit.”
Head of mobile technologies, Ogilvy Group UK
“Mobile internet usage is going to rise dramatically. As visitors arrive at websites via mobile they will have different needs. They will want their desired information immediately and the site structure needs to deliver this.
“Mobile purchase is also increasing, with $500m (£350m) spent on eBay mobile last year. The vast majority of smartphone users are willing to buy products on their mobile with 14% happy to spend over $100 (£70) on a single mobile purchase. M-commerce is on the rise. So if people are looking for product information on the move, brands and their agencies must make it easy for them to buy on the move as well.”
Managing director, O2 Media
“We can expect to see richer formats, with a greater use of ’Click to call’, ’Click through to application’ and ’Click to web/WAP’ in SMS and MMS. There will also be more location-based services, which will involve pushing messages to opted-in customers who enter specified locations to deliver timely, location-based offers. Consumers will get used to advertising and brands on their mobile device. It will become much more part of the overall experience. I also feel that there will be a lot more ’pull’ than ’push’ in relation to how apps are used – and I am certain that opt-in will be king.”
Top tips you need to know
- Be useful. Mobiles are tools. They are used for information, socialising and fun. Catering for any of these is useful for users.
- Think local. Mobile can deliver local relevance like no other channel. Consider how your brand can use location-based offers and services or interaction in specific locations to drive engagement.
- Use mobile as a multi-faceted response channel. The possibilities include ads on the mobile web, shortcodes, direct interaction with big screens or Bluetooth.
- Think community. Mobile is an access point for social networks as well as being the perfect tool for generating content.
- Understand how it’s consumed. Mobile usage is different to the internet/ people hunt, they don’t browse. Cater for bite-sized engagemen… and there’s more to mobile than apps!
(source: Ben Mitchell, planning partner at digital agency Ruby)