SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Posts Tagged ‘mobile advertising’

Retailers looking at mobile technology

Posted by Admin on January 12, 2009

Today’s Times newspaper paints an interesting picture of a future world in which retailers are utilising more and more mobile technology to entice us into their stores … and spend more while we are there.

“As you walk along the high street, your mobile phone rings. You look to see who is calling and it is the shop you are standing next to, urging you in to check out their half-price deals.”

The article also quotes, Jace Tyrrell, operations manager for the New West End Company, a trade body that represents 600 shops in Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street:

“We need to look at new ways of enticing in shoppers. The London market, in particular, is younger and more tech-savvy. I think mobile phone technology is going to play a big role in the future of retail … The technology is already in your pocket. We just have to bring it into the retail sphere.”

While the sentiment is right, this particular vision on the future is wrong. Although many people will try to argue the point for location based technology like this, it’s not there yet; but perhaps more importantly people won’t want to know there’s an offer in the shop they’ve just walked past – just because they walked past it.

People might be interested to know in offers from their favourite brands – and would be willing to receive and redeem those offers with their phone. But they wouldn’t want to be ‘hassled’ by random shops as they walk past – there’s a privacy issue here (“How has this shop got my mobile number?”) and an annoyance factor (do I get sent a message by every shop as I walk along Oxford Street? If so, I’d be willing to throw my phone through a shop window before I made it to the end of the street).

This could work, but with a lot more thinking first.

This is another example of technology that is possible, but ignores the requirement of the regular mobile user, who I can fairly safely predict won’t be rushing to sign up to these alerts.


Posted in Ad-funded, Annoying, Mobile Marketing | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

SMS or Die … FAIL

Posted by Admin on January 10, 2009

I recently mentioned a whitepaper called ‘SMS or Die’. I’ve had a chance to read it now and I thought I’d pass on my view of it.

I’ll start by summarising what is said in the whitepaper by taking extracts directly from it:

– the effectiveness of email has started to diminish thanks to a torrent of spam and the sheer volume of messages through which the average consumer has to wade.
– Like email a decade ago, SMS… is a powerful new way to attract consumers. Why? Because consumers are
using SMS like never before.
– SMS offers companies personalization, relevancy, and immediacy with their marketing campaigns. In
the near future, this will be expanded to include location-based services, giving mobile marketers the ability
to reach consumers with specific offers tied to their current whereabouts. In addition, SMS allows for a
two-way dialogue, making it possible for companies to gather important demographic and psychographic
information from willing consumers.
– Secure Computing, an Internet security company, estimated in August 2007 that 88 percent of all email was spam.
– According to a release from the firm ABI Research, “Mobile marketing has the same potential to change the
advertising and marketing space in the same way that the emergence of the Internet did a decade ago.”
– SMS is the savvy marketer’s choice for two reasons. First of all, text messages reach a lot more people than do email messages, since many more people have cell phones than they do computers… Secondly, widespread phone use coincides with increasingly wider SMS usage
– Besides drawing new customers and adding them to a marketing database, SMS offers additional revenue
– Companies of all sizes can integrate SMS into their own marketing strategies, if they have the right tools.
– marketers who choose to continue to ignore SMS will do so at their own peril.

So that’s what they say.

My view is that the whitepaper is far too simplistic and it falls down due to that. It really only talks about sending out big blasts of text messages. It heavily criticised email spam, which of course is only untargeted and unwanted messages – if I want to increase my penis size, or help out that poor Nigerian widow who has an extra £26m, then those messages are perfect for me. Then in the next breath seemed to advocate SMS to do the same kind of random blast, which will produce the same poor results and anger in consumers.

Where mobile marketing really comes into its own is in the fact that it can use the native elements of the handset and how people interact with it to create new ways to reach out to people. Whether that is contextual ads in a text message; displaying an ad as the phone rings; or using your mobile camera to intereact with an offline ad. However, if advertisers only consider the mobile phone as another way to receive the messages they want to send, then it will FAIL as an advertising tool.

Posted in Mobile Marketing | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

This whole text thing may just take off ya know …

Posted by Admin on December 15, 2008

I’ve just seen this post from Jonathan MacDonald. It actually references a Forrester report from April which is about mobile advertising and the power of SMS for advertising.

Forrester claims that SMS is the most effective form of marketing because of the way people use their handsets, saying “text messaging is more likely to be successful than mechanisms involving mobile data, including couponing and [two-dimensional bar] codes”. The recommendation is to combine text messaging with out-of-home, or things like send-to-a-friend messages and referral incentives.

I just love the title of the post really.

Posted in Ad-funded, Funny, Research | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

New mobile advertising movement – EverySingleOneOfUs

Posted by Admin on December 10, 2008

Jonathan MacDonald has launched a new movement in mobile advertising called EverySingleOneOfUs. Jonathan, who’s often know as jMac, was previously the Sales Director at Blyk, so he knows a thing or two about mobile advertising.

The key elements of the new movement can be summed up in this section from the press release:

“The success of mobile advertising and subsidized models based on delivery of content, applications and services, is dependent upon the willingness of participants to accept advertising on their mobile devices. Whilst recent research, including a 2007 survey by Generator Research, confirms that over half of mobile users (61% US and 72% UK) are interested in mobile advertising, there is a catch: Mobile advertising must be relevant and genuinely useful. Ultimately, users demand advertising that relates to their interests and is tailored to their specific needs. Anything else will be perceived as ‘spam’, which degrades the experience, increases the likelihood of churn, and breeds a distinct lack of trust.”

I was lucky enough to see jMac present at the recent Future of Mobile event and not only is he a great presenter – he’s right. Mobile advertising could be great, massive, profitable and most of all a positive experience for mobile users – but only if the industry gets it right.

Jonathan talks about making sure that ads are targeted and relevant and I agree with that. I also believe that advertising has to be used to support services that are deemed to be truly valuable to the user. The concept of ad-funded is in danger of being used to support any old tat service at the moment. It seems as if operators are thinking “they’ll never pay good money for this service, I know, let’s put some advertising in there so we at least get some money back.”

What operators should be doing is finding services that are genuinely valuable to users, but then allowing them to access the service for free if they agree to advertising. I suppose this is all part of jMac’s ‘relevant’.

You can read more about it on Andrew Grills’ London Calling.

Posted in Ad-funded, Industry, Operators | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Blyk to offer targeted content

Posted by Admin on November 28, 2008

Blyk, the network that offers free minutes and texts in return for receiving ads on your phone, is now going to be pushing content at its 16-24yr old customers.

What it isn’t doing is offering customers the ability to browse for content – instead they will push specific content to users, based on the profile they hold.

The company that will be ruinnign this for Blyk is called Velti, and the CEO, Alex Moukas, said:“The more a Blyk member uses the content portal, the more insight we have to work with. This means we can provide more targeted and valuable content as the relationship grows.”

I think Blyk needed to move away from just voice and text as it is a bit restrictive and meant that they couldn’t compete with other networks. If they can get the targeting right  – and it’s about asking, not telling as Andrew Grill blogs about at London Calling – and they can attract the right kind of content it could work well. If they get either of those wrong, then it will prove to be a bigger problem that not offering content at all.

Posted in Ad-funded, Mobile Content, Teen | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »