Saturday, December 23, 2006
Just wanted to wish all my friends, readers and fellow bloggers and mobilists a wonderful Christmas and a happy and successful New Year.
Monday, December 11, 2006
There's been some debate about the relevance of these services with the advent of google and the mobile internet. I suppose the big difference is that 82ask (where you text your question to 82275), at least, has access to a load of paid-for information services that you just don't get access to on google or ansanow for that matter (AFAIK) so you can ask business questions about market share, financial results and so on. It also has a permanent team on the case who do this day in day out and now have solid experience in how to answer a difficult question in a text message. And anyway, if you're in the pub, and desperately need to know something, do you really want to be googling on your phone when you can just do it by text and carry on with your beer and your conversation?
And then it all became clear when they announced there are 3 mobile categories this year for best mobile site that sell products and services: listings and updates, news and entertainment and the mobile marketplace. These are all sponsored by dotmobi.
You'd best be quick though if you want to enter - the deadline is this Friday 15th December and you can enter online and it costs USD 245 to enter a mobile site (with discounts for certain kinds of entrants) and looks like a fairly straightforward process.
They plan to experiment with all formats - video, banners, links, ticker texts, branded content as well as targeting according to age, gender, personal interests and location. So I wonder if they'll manage to work out that it's context not just location that matters when it comes to location based services - i.e. if I'm in Soho on a Tuesday morning, the chances are, I'm on my way to a meeting. If I'm there on a Friday evening, the chances are I'm having drinks or dinner with friends.
Definitely one to watch to see what results we see and what impact that has on the rest of the industry.
If you accept the voucher, available via text message, you can get a free copy of the paper for two weeks. The voucher is validated through mobile phone top-up terminals and via e-pay.
This sounds great. Unfortunately, I don't have a Martin McColl newsagent anywhere nearby. So if any reader does pop by one of these newsagents, would they mind trying out the campaign and letting me know how it works please?
They also want to hear from people who have created sites or services using the BBC's mobile feeds. So if you've seen, heard or created anything interesting, then get in touch with Lucie McLean.
Monday, December 04, 2006
It's dead simple. You take a picture of your document with a digital camera or a cameraphone, you upload it to Qipit (with one click from your phone now that Shozu is integrated) and it turns the jpg into a user friendly pdf file which is emailed to you and you can share, print, store, whatever.
Sounds like a good way to back up documents electronically to me that didn't come in an electronic format in the first place (insurance, finance, contracts) and also to keep hold of meeting notes from whiteboards and the like. And what's more, the basic service is free.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Entry to the awards was open to the 400 members of the Forum Nokia PRO developer community, which range from start-up companies to established players.
The 2006 award winners were in six application categories - Games, Music, Imaging, Productivity, Enterprise and Branded Content - as well as 'Developer of the Year' and 'Innovator of the Year'.
The full list of winners of the 2006 Awards runs as follows:
Best Game Application: The Silhouette Game - Telcogames (UK)
Best Enterprise Application: ColorCAM(TM) - ColorZip (Singapore)
Best Imaging Application: WOWPix - Reallusion (US)
Best Music Application: MobiRadio - Idetic (US)
Best Productivity Application: SNAPin Self Service - SNAPin Software (US)
Best Branded Content Application: ShoZu - Cognima (UK)
Developer of the Year: Refresh Mobile - Mobizines
Innovator of the Year: SNAPin Software - SNAPin Self Service
Best use of mobile in customer acquisition: Peugeot 207 campaign by Marvellous
Best use of mobile in CRM: O2's 'yes please' campaign by Archibald Ingall Stretton
Best use of mobile in brand building: Robinson's 'Winbledon' campaign by Enpocket
Best example of mobile in customer service: TFL's 'Safer Travel at Night' service by Incentivated (a most worthy winner IMHO for the tangible results it has achieved)
Best new offering from a mobile services provider: Get Close to the Sugababes by Endemol
Most innovative use of mobile in marketing: Sony PS24 by 20/20 London
Mobile as a b2b tool: adidas Taylor Made by Sponge (there were no other shortlisted entrants for this category - nevertheless, it's a good campaign and deserved to win)
Best use of mobile and branded content: Vodafone Live Music by Enpocket (now forgive my cynicism, but isn't this just a rehash of T-Mobile's successful Streetgigs from 2005/6?)
Best use of mobile as part of an integrated campaign - NSPCC 'Speechless' by Angel
Best first-time advertiser on mobile: Canon's sponsorship of 3's WorldCup video by 4th Screen
Best insight and research into mobile: NSPCC 'Speechless' by Angel
Best use of mobile in events: O2 Wireless festival by MIG and O2
The MMA Outstanding Merit Award: Enpocket
The Grand Prix Award: Peugeot 207 by Marvellous
In this first issue of et, you can find out about QR codes, see how a new technology recognises the end credits of a TV show and directs you to its mobile site, watch a commercial for RFID credit card phones in Japan and discover a new service that's a cross between Google Maps and Shozu.
To subscribe to receive future infopack by email every month, just send a blank email to etsubscribe [at] worldforumgroup [dot] com (remove the bits there that you don't need). They won't pass on your email to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time. It's well worth a read.
Not only that, but BT has created a whole new beat combo by bringing together Tom Baker and 1960s pop icons, The Kinks and recorded a new version of the band's number 1 'You Really Got Me' and it's all for charity. You can hear a preview and preorder the track at TextAid. The tune will be on sale officially on 7Digital, itunes and emusic from 18 December. The plan is to raise at least £100k for Shelter over the Christmas period.
I should add that the service doesn't work if you sent to a landline in Eire or if you send a text from a T-Mobile phone (why on earth not when they were one of the first, if not *the* first network to offer it??). You can still text from a T-Mobile phone but you get the standard voice service which is frankly pretty weird and don't get to play with Tom Baker's voice which is a real pity. Come on T-Mobile - sort it out!
Friday, November 24, 2006
If you get chance, do go along and see the collection (and the shop at Bluebird is well worth a visit anyway. It's a fascinating mix of art meets digital meets lifestyle and well worth a look. Of course, you can also browse and buy online. Well done to Priya and her team for organising.
At the same time as downloading, the wapsite gave me the option of entering a 'mobile profile' so I thought, why not? Anyway, that started out well and turned out to be very painful. It's a tiny screen with a tiny font so difficult to see. That aside, it was difficult navigating between check boxes (I couldn't tell where I was on the page) and then it kept asking me for the same information over and over again and then it botched what I'd already put in there and next thing I know my password is my family name and my mobile number is my country so I give up and escape. Still, I've got the application so that's ok I suppose.
Next, I try out the system from the Kaywa website and manage to get to google search and also download a free wallpaper... and it's *really* fast.
But there's a but. To use the system, you have to remember you have the application, find it buried somewhere amongst all the other stuff on your phone, open it, open the camera shutter (I have a Nokia N70), point the camera and then it reads it automatically. It would make a WORLD of difference if it operated like Shozu and was integrated into the camera. So as soon as you take a photo as normal, it picks up what it's looking at and connects to the app accordingly. Until that happens, it's going to be very difficult to get any kind of traction or critical mass as you're fundamentally trying to change behaviour and that either takes time or money or both.
According to flickr, these are the top cameraphones used to upload pictures to the site.
|% of members|
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Step 1. Turn on bluetooth or infra-red
Step 2. Change your phone's name to Bond
Step 3. Point your phone at the box and wait for up to a minute to receive a message
Step 4. Get content.
Well, I actually know where my bluetooth is and even though it's a bit of a pain to change my phone name, I do it. I point my phone at the box. I wait for a bit and I get a message saying 'receive free Casino Royale content' or similar. I click yes to accept. The message disappears. This happens about 5 or 6 times before I give up. And I'm on a Nokia N70 and happily share bluetooth files between my pc and my phone and other phones for that matter. So I really don't understand why it's not working. And if it's not working, how many others is it not working for.
And it's not even been up very long because the film's only been out for a few days. And I didn't see anyone else giving it a go so I don't think the Hypertag system was clogged up with requests at the same time that I was trying...
Ho hum. I really want to believe that there is a future in bluetooth marketing but experiences like these make me feel that we're still some way away from it. Sod's law that I'm the one who found the dodgy system (I seem to *always* be the one to find a bug in a mobile campaign) or is this the general consumer experience for current versions of bluetooth content delivery?
The results: Apparently 34% of UK adults who own a mobile phone, 34% said they'd be interested in voting by text in a general election, rising to 45% amongst the 25 to 34s. And in the same group, 30% of them currently on reality TV shows like Big Brother, Celebrity Come Dancing, X Factor et al. How things have moved on since this survey in 2002 where it was felt that text voting trivialised the process.
Will it happen? Text voting is currently being evaluated by the UK Government as part of its e-democracy proposals to reform voting in public ballots. But does that fact that people want this and that we have the technology mean we will get text voting in the short-term? I'd love to think that we would but, although not impossible, it would be incredibly complex to co-ordinate data securely to facilitate this, coupled with the fact that fraud is a problem too. For those who really want to fix the system, would they just steal people's phones, or hijack them, and claim their text vote instead? I don't know, maybe that's far-fetched, but the task required for m-democracy is not to be underestimated. After all, we're talking about dealing with millions of people here, 100s of phone types and operating systems yada yada yada.
Engaging young people. Interestingly, the BBC is using text voting to engage children in politics via their newsround TV programme which I think is brilliant. A recent example can be found here where they asked children if they'd like David Cameron or Gordon Brown to be Prime Minister.
Survey details. This latest BBC survey was gathered from 2,000 face to face interviews between 12 October and 1st November amongst UK adults (18+) and they found that mobile owners split into three distinct groups - light, medium and heavy users (not exactly rocket science, but useful to see the breakdown nevertheless).
Heavy users: Mostly 18 to 34s. They use 6 or more functions on their mobile device, with SMS/text messaging, taking photos, playing games, ringtones and browsing wapsites amongst the most popular activities.
Medium users: Use 2 or 3 functions - primarily calling, texting and taking photos.
Light users: Make up the largest group - 62% with more than half of those in the over 45s. And they just use their phone for voice and text (still, it's good to see text in there even with the light users although I can't imagine they use it much).
More on stats. If these stats look interesting to you, and they do to me, then you might want to head over to Mobhappy and check out these posts  . I'm in the heavy user category, clearly, as are about a third of my friends, the rest of them falling into medium users. But if the largest group are light users, how do we migrate these people up the chain to become medium and then heavy users? The handsets *are* out there. So why isn't the usage? Is it just a question of time, or have we (the industry) made some fundamental mistakes in communicating what this mobile thing is all about?
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
There's another one here all about how we'll be consuming TV in the future. Also worth a look if you're interested in TV - mobile or otherwise. And judging by my recent traffic, mobile TV is a hot topic...
Go check out Judy's Carnival.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
So what's the impact for Mobile TV then? There's lots of talk in the industry that 'made for mobile' is important due to the size of the screen, technology limitations, context of usage etc. However if streaming your home TV (sky, NTL, freeview or whatever) via slingbox is a 'good enough' experience that could negate the need for mobile TV per se as customers will have enough choice - certainly in the short term, and it doesn't cost them any extra assuming they're on an x-series account and they have already forked out for or don't mind forking out for a fancy slingbox.
Alex Meisl, founder and CEO of Sponge says, "Sponge is going from strength to strength - business has doubled since the beginning of the year in both the media and agency space." He continues, "We have also grown the team whilst remaining wedded to our belief of great products and great service." (That's good advice to *any* business IMHO)
The company will continue to be run by the existing management team.
There's going to be a big Christmas Party being hosted by BBC Backstage at The Cuban Bar on Saturday 9th December in conjunction with Swedish Beers, London Girl Geekdinners, Geekdinners, London Perlmongers, London Webstandards Group, London Ruby User Group, Open Rights Group, London 2.0 , Mobile Mondays and London SEO.
It's already over-subscribed (we've got over 500 names so far) however, having run many a networking event, there is inevitably a drop-out rate so it's worth putting your name on the waiting list. I also think that some folks will come early and leave early and some will come along later and leave at closing time (1am). So we should be able to accommodate everyone with a bit of luck. For insurance purposes, I believe the venue needs a list of all names in advance so get your name on the list sooner rather than later.
Oh and if you're interested in sponsoring some drinks and or food at the event, please get in touch.
So, if you have an interesting consumer mobile service or application that you'd like to include then please let Jessica know by email at Noiseworks PR and include a user-friendly paragraph about the service, how to subscribe, and a phone number, website and/or wapsite (and if you have a mobile service you really *should* have a wapsite you know), where customers can go for more information. I'd also add in any costs (one-off, subscription or otherwise) for using the service. But that's my customer service hat going on as there's way too much billshock going on for my liking. But you'll have to be quick as the deadline is 23rd November. They can't guarantee that you will be included but will try to include as many as possible.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
- Which companies walk the walk in the collision of technology and media
- Who is creating the future, creating value and how
- What emerging business models are most likely to succeed (you might want to check out my post here on mobile business models)
- How are upstart companies trying to exploit the industry disruption (I wonder if they are trying to exploit, or if that's just a by-product of being innovative and forward thinking?)
- Where are investors, pioneers and incumbents engaging in partnership to everyone's advantage?
Library House is walking the talk, as they say, by inviting a guest panel of bloggers (me included) to get involved with the event. We've been asked to stir up a bit of a debate before and after the event with a view to feeding the panels with questions around what people out there regard as the issues of the day. So do comment here or drop me a line with your thoughts and I'll happily add them to the mix. Hot topics in my circle currently seem to be mobile TV, virtual reality, social media and where advertising fits in (or not) into this space. I'm also feeling some tension between the players in the web world and the mobile world but more on that another time.
We'll also be available during breaks to give delegates the opportunity to pitch ideas to us which we might just write about or chat about later in the wrap-up panel. It's a bit experimental, but that's ok. I enjoy improvisation! And then of course there's drinks and canapes afterwards.
And all this for a bargain £395 (+ VAT) including lunch, refreshments and the evening networking.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
So Carnival number 51 is at Tarek Speaks Mobile, 52 is at All About Symbian and 53 is at Enrique Ortiz's blog. Next week's is being edited by Judy Breck at Golden Swamp and links to every previous Carnival and the schedule for upcoming editions is over at mobili.st
If you have written an article about something mobile related, then please feel free to enter your article to the Carnival. You don't need a special invitation. FAQs and how to enter here.
Watch this space as they say...
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Dr Shani Orgad from LSE (author of the report) believes that personalisation and interactivity (including user generated content or UGC) will be the drivers of Mobile TV and that it will lead to a more personal and private consumption of TV than current broadcast models. So this bodes very well for adult and erotic content on mobile;)
I'm not sure what the impact will be for advertisers. As Dr Orgad suggests, advertisers will have to think outside the box and be more subtle in their approach (which is my advice for pretty much any mobile campign). Mobile anything is about snacking and a few seconds can feel like an inordinately long time on a mobile phone. Don't ask me why, but maybe it's to do with the small screen and the context in which you're using the device - i.e. out and about and on the move rather than slumped on your sofa?
So I'm not sure how much tolerance there wil be to a 5 to 7 second advert, or indeed, how much an advertiser can get across in that minute amount of time. She also goes on to say that you need to create affinity between the consumer and the product. So that suggests contextual targeting, brand and relationship building and interactivity or as I wrote in a previous post "really understanding your consumers and your clients and matching them well together".
And what will mobile interactive TV be like? Does that go beyond UGC? Let's hope it's better than the red button stuff we have at the moment in the UK which is as slow as a tortoise pulling a fork lift truck (well at least on my tellybox it is.)
Best get your thinking cap on Mr Advertiser.
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Monday, November 13, 2006
If you're interested in the kinds of questions that 82ask receives and answers, then check out their new book "Do Sheep Shrink in the Rain". A perfect stocking-filler for Christmas (which scarily is only a few weeks away... where does the time go?!)
The good thing about adult mobile TV s is that it will accelerate acceptance and use of mobile TV across the board as the handsets and services will be out there which will help the industry as a whole. And let's face it, BT has been making its money for years from adult chatline services to it's a bit late to be anti this now. Like it or not, sex sells.
So as part of this mobile TV innovation, the team at Respond Mobile has launched the world's first dedicated multi-channel mobile TV delivery platform, Rhythm TV. The launch stations include 100% Babes and XXX TV, magazine style Candy Lounge, erotic dancing at Rhythm TV with other big names to be announced soon.
The Rhythm TV service includes some unique features suited to adult mobile TV such as fast forward, rewind and pause. Rhythm TV also allows viewers to restart the channel they were watching at the same place next time they view. The service also plays out in landscape mode on high end phones therefore utilising the full screen area giving and enhanced mobile TV experience. I think these features will be required on *any* mobile TV service, and not just adult.
As I'm not a mobile TV viewer (yet although I don't think it will be long before I am), I don't know how this functionality compares with the likes of Rok, Virgin Lobster, Sky or Vodafone. So if you *do* know, then please feel free to comment.
Mobile TV has great potential because you're not asking the customer to change their fundamental behaviour. If there's a button on the phone that says 'TV' and you press it and you can watch TV, then it's a whole lot easier than browsing wap, uploading/downloading applications, setting up shared messaging services and backing up your data. It's a very simple proposition which we all know and understand. I think it's just a question of timing and we always overestimate the change that will happen in 2 years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10 (with thanks to Bill Gates for the quote).
Update Tues 14 November 2006:
Nokia's just released a report on Mobile TV and its impact on consumers and advertisers which I've written about here.
Update Mon 20 November 2006: Good discussion on the impact of x-series on Mobile TV here.
Whilst I was there, I didn't really have time to do email so I've come back to an inbox full of stuff which I'm just wading through now. So here are some quick links and excerpts to keep you going.
- 24 hour cricket mobile TV channel launches on Three in Australia
- Experimental mobile-mentary is in production courtesy of film-maker Max Schleser. He's exploring Japanese cities through the lens of a mobile phone. With 30 one to three minute clips, he hopes these will be translated to the silver screen in 2007. Sneak previews will be presented at the Design Fiesta in Tokyo. Phase 2 of the project will see more use of user generated content. Watch this space...
- Tocmags launches in the UK after a successful beta trial. Anyone can build a tocmag just by using their simple interface and adding pictures and text. During the trial, examples of use included several virtual business cards, travellers' logbooks (full of photos, video and commentary to send to friends and family at home), 'private' Tocmags exchanged between couples and even a weekly church newsletter. Via Brand Republic
- Mobile Gamers prefer puzzles and Tetris is number 1 and women are a big part of this according to discussions at the LA Games conference last week.
- According to IG Trend Central you may soon hear people saying "VM me" rather than "IM me". Veeker is a free video messaging service that enables you to shoot mobi-video and instantly share it with friends. Videos are sent directly to the Veeker site, where, similar to Flickr, the creator can opt to keep it private or to share with the Veeker community. The “Veeks” or “video peeks” can also be viewed in other blogging and social networking sites that accept their code
- Similar to Dodgeball, Jaiku allows users to "connect with the people you care about". Users can share their real-time locations and view the presence streams of their friends: basically, the service enables users to know their friends’ whereabouts at all times and vice versa, so long as everyone participates and has a Nokia Series 60 phone. Sounds a bit like Buddyping to me.
[Note to self, must try these things out and review them properly...]
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
If you're a flickr regular (like me and Tom and Devi and Lloyd) then you'll know all about the different ranking systems flickr has to rate your photos and one ofthem is interestingness which, I'm guessing, is an algorithm based on number of views vs number/range/content of tags vs volume/content of comments.
Alfie has spotted that flickr is applying for a patent based on this 'interestingness' and wonders if it's the concept of 'interestingness' that's being patented or the algorithm. It seems to him, and I concur, that many social networking sites already use similar methodology to rank and order content and members within their community. So is it really patentable?
by Rowetta (yes she of the first X Factor series and backing singer to the Happy Mondays). She was ably supervised by Ben Cooke who is hairdresser to Victoria and David Beckham and invented the 'pob' which Posh now sports having had her hair extensions chopped off. Steve Strange was also in the session doing a girl called Latoya's hair into a pob.
I'm very pleased to say that not only was everyone lovely (we also met Sarah Cawood, Lee Stafford, Richard Fairbrass, Holly Aird, Janet Ginnings and Caprice) but Rowetta also did a fantastic job with the haircut and Ben finished it off with a super duper blowdry.
I came out of the beeb last night and went straight to my session at the Google offices for MoMo London to talk about top 10 trends in mobile marketing (which I'll write up when I have more time). I did manage to send some friends the odd MMS message and I shozu'd a few pix up to flickr as well.
And all this for Celebrity Scissorhands in aid of Children in Need. Go donate :)
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
Before and after photos may well be censored ;)
Thursday, November 02, 2006
If it's statistics you're after, then I recommend you sign up for one of the m:metrics web briefings next week. They're doing two on consumption of mobile content - one on Monday focusing on the EU and one on Tuesday focusing on the USA. It's free to sign up.
Then Wednesday, I'm hotfooting it to Budapest (I think it will be chilly if London weather is anything to go by) to World Telemedia where I'm going to be talking on Friday about mobile and print media.
Oh, and in between, I have the day job to do!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
So first off, there was the excellent NMK event on virtual reality communities, ARGs and MMORPGs which really was food for thought. We explored everything from early text based games, discussed the difference between virtual games and virtual worlds (plot vs space to create), and the latest in ARGs from the likes of PerplexCity.
Michael who heads up PerplexCity took us through a virtual journey and showed us examples:
World of Warcraft (which is massive 21.7m entries on google) and Huxley
Second Life, Habbo Hotel and Korea's Cyworld (where 90% of Koreans aged 16 to 24 have logged on and where $300k a day is spent on virtual stuff) and has now launched in the US
Webkinz, which is where tamagotchi meets Ty beanie babies - you buy a plush pet, it has a unique ID, enter the ID on the website and you're in the virtual world as that plush pet
Test Drive Unlimited, which sounded a bit like Trackmania which I worked on 3 years ago and although I don't generally like driving games, I could really see the appeal of Trackmania because of the element of sharing and racing on each others racetracks
Naughty America The Game which is out soon is the 'adult' version of virtual reality which looks like virtual swinging to me from the home page!
The Nokia Game which started well, but fizzled out.
Virtual Laguna Beach from MTV which is a virtual spin-off from the TV show
All in all, a really good intro to the virtual space.
If you're interested to know more about what went on during the day, then check out Jemima Kiss's round up on Paidcontent.org and also Tom Hume's postings from the various sessions on Second Life, Esther's academic viewpoint (and the full paper can be found here), Michael's intro, Tom's thoughts on it all.
So with all that in mind, when I was invited to a virtual networking event to celebrate the launch of the new mobileYouth report, I could hardly say no. So I toddled along and met the other 'oldies' in the MY hotel room and experienced Habbo Hotel first hand. Firstly, it was a bit weird working out how your avatar moved around. Then when everyone's in the room and talking at the same time it could be confusing. Also, you couldn't have any one2one side conversations with anyone (or at least if you could, I didn't work out how) which at a normal networking event is exactly what happens. Still, I got to chat to the W2F team, Tomi Ahonen, and a couple of folks from AOL and a fair few other members - some of whom I'd met recently at Swedish Beers (a real life networking event).
Because it's browser based, Habbo Hotel is more accessible than most virtual worlds. But it does mean there are limitations such as the conversations aren't stored for long enough so it can be tricky to keep track of a thread. And you keep being 'bobbed'. There are certain words that automatically get moderated and replaced with 'bob'. As in 'hi te...bob...bob..the....bob...s.....t'. We got used to that fairly early on. We also got thrown out of the room a few times which was annoying, but I gues that's a technical issue.
I did enjoy the session and a big-up to the mobileYouth guys for trying it. I can see a virtual environment could work as a discussion space for projects or for learning. Trouble is, as it's computer based, you've also got your email and MSN running, your landline and your mobile's going and you've got t'internet which means there are a *lot* of distractions. You think you can multi-task but you can't really - it needs focus for you to get anything out of it. As the saying goes, you get out of something what you put in. And this is certainly true for virtual networking. Still, I think it's worth exploring further. Screenshots, courtesy of Jan, are here on flickr.
Links added 2 Nov 2006
Jan's write up of Habbo Hotel Session is here.
And check out Roo Reynolds, Mike Butcher and Broadstuff for their take on the NMK event.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
|Your Brain's Pattern|
Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.
You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.
You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.
You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.
Monday, October 23, 2006
If you'd like to join the virtual networking bash, find out about the new Mobile Youth report and ask the writers and analysts any questions you might have about mobile youth, then come join us. All you have to do is sign up to Habbo Hotel (it's free), log in on Friday between 2pm and 4pm BST and look for the guest room "mobileYouth". Jan and his colleagues Savka and Nick will be there and hopefully a few other (virtual) grown-ups wanting to talk about things mobile and things youth.
In the meantime, you might want to listen to the latest podcast from the W2forum team.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Hopefully will be back to normal levels of blogging shortly once I've caught up with everything!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Also, if you have 5 minutes, then please fill in Michael and Russell's quick anonymous survey on Carnival blog readership. I've filled it in and really does only take 5 minutes.
Next week, Carnival number 50 is back at Mobhappy.
p.s. we're hoping the lovely Carlo from Mobhappy will be at Swedish Beers tomorrow night... fingers crossed he'll make it :)
The Second Life statistics are impressive... it's been inhabited by 380k users in the last 60 days with a total of nearly 950k registered. There's about US$3.2m of real money within the game and about US$70k is traded daily on its currency exchange. Big brands are taking it seriously too with Reebok, American Apparel and Sony all in there touting for business.
And since I don't know enough about this Second Life mullarkey, I'm heaing to NMK's event "My So-Called Second Life" on 24th October. I think it'll be *really* interesting to get the lowdown.
There's also a good article here about Second Life which you might find useful.
And yes, I realise this *isn't* mobile but what if it were? What if you could live a parallel Second Life via your mobile? And isn't it just a matter of time before this happens? Comments on a virtual postcard please...
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Of course, regular readers of Musings of a Mobile Marketer will know that the 17th of October is *not* a weekday of no significance since it's Swedish Beers Mobile Networking 5th Birthday and we're having a party courtesy of our friends at Bango. Should be a good one, no RSVPs required just turn up and mingle, so hope to see you there!
Monday, October 09, 2006
Google's chief executive officer Eric Schmidt said: "We are natural partners to offer a compelling media entertainment service to users, content owners and advertisers."
I liked it when the internet was about young upstarts trying to make a difference to the world. Now it's all big business deals. I guess I need to nurture the capitalist in me or something to appreciate this kind of deal!
We've had some top entries this week including a newcomer and the topics hinged around 7 key themes.
1. Mobile Events
There have been a couple of key events in mobile this week. The first was NMK's New Directions in Mobile where newcomer Deirdre over at Beers and Innovation did a marvellous roundup of the afternoon's proceedings. Meanwhile, Enrique went to the Wireless Summit in Texas and shares his thoughts on his learnings from the event with us. Which leads me on to Mobile 2.0 event being held on November 6th in San Francisco.. sounds like it will be a really useful event and it's only US$45. Bargain if you're in SFO!
2. Mobile 2.0
Talking of Mobile 2.0... What's happened with Mobile 1.0 and what is 2.0 anyway? Rudy at m-trends explains why flat rate data plans are needed to make Mobile 2.0 a reality, whilst
Anders atAbiro discusses what is actually meant by Mobile 2.0 and Daniel at Mobile Enterprise questions why we need to 2.0 it anyway.
3. Mobile friendly content
Barry at StayGoLinks believes that news feeds provide good enough mobile content for now and explains why. Meanwhile over at Mobhappy, there's an ongoing debate about repurposing content for mobile devices and mobile web standards stemming from the recent Mobile Monday event in London. Do join the discussion. It's lively.
4. Music and mobile
Yes, these two sectors are inextricably linked. Justin at MoPocket tells us how to sell your music with Textango over in the US whilst Mobile Gadgeteer Matt tells us why he's ditched the ipod and is a convert to the delights of the wireless Samsung UMPC (when are manufacturers going to come up with less geeky names please?!).
5. Technical stuff
OK, we're getting a bit more geeky now. Arjan at the Mobile Games Blog shares his journey from working in J2ME to FlashLite in a very readable diary format whilst Martin gives us some technical tips about TCP settings for HDSPA and ADSL. And Simon over at Big Picture explains the impact of Wibree - could it be the new bluetooth and the dawn of further real world digital interactivity?
6. Reviews and rants
We have a lovely history of the videophone and its role in the media from Patrick at Mad for Mobile Phones. Dennis at Wap Review does a really thorough critique of Time magazine's mobile offering, whilst Alfie, via Ewan, via New Directions in Mobile rants about mobile services from the customer's point of view. It's well worth a read!
7. Last but not least
I've written up my thoughts on 12 business models in mobile as discussed at NMK last week (warning long but possibly useful post alert!) whilst Jan at Wireless World Japan gives us a 5 minute podcast of how IC chips are being used in Japan citing two interesting case studies.
As for my favourite post of the week, it has to be Alfie's spot-on monologue over at Ewan's SMSTextNews . He gets it just right. And I'm biased, I was there and heard him deliver and it was brilliant!
That was the mobile week that was.. Next week it's Michael Mace's turn at Mobile Opportunity.
Picture from Hydra after randomly googling Carnival 48 - this was the first picture to appear! Hope they don't mind me using it.
tags: mobile+technology & mobile+marketing & mobile & wap & wibree & carnival+of+the+mobilists & wireless
So just how do you get paid to do mobile stuff? Historically, media (TV, magazines, newspapers) has been paid for bya combination of advertising (who then pass the costs on to the consumer in terms of product pricing), licence fees (in the case of the BBC) and paid-for product (subscriptions or one-offs e.g. pay per view TV or your monthly cable TV or magazine subscription).
But the 'free' nature of the internet has changed consumers perceptions. The youth of today don't understand the economics behind making a TV programme or a videogame or a piece of music or a web service and do expect it to be free. A case in point, a teenage friend of mine was having trouble with her MSN spaces account - she couldn't upload her pictures. She emailed MSN several times and got no response. And she just couldn't understand why. I tried to explain to her that it was a free service so why would they prioritise her and that they had millions of customers worldwide and if there was a technical glitch, the chances are it was affecting a big chunk of their audience. She still didn't really get it. She felt that if they offered a service they should do it right. She has a point. But it still has to be paid for. So how do you do it...
1. Ad funded content
Recent Jupiter research on behalf of PitchTV tells us that:
- Mobile advertising is set to reach £2bn in the UK by 2010. (Good news for Admob I'm sure but I'm not convinced by that figure. Analysts are often wrong.)
- Almost half of the 16 to 25 y/os vs 32% of the over 25s were happy to accept adverts in return for free content
- 30% of those then said they would be likely to respond to marketing messages
- 25% of customers said they'd respond to mobile marketing - and this was equally split between the sexes.
For this to work, you have to match your advertiser closely with the end user and the service you are offering. So I don't think this would work for pushing messages out about Persil as there's not much of a link between Persil and mobile content (well not that I can think of anyway). I hear it's doing well for mobile content advertisers anecdotally. That said, I've been signed up a while now and have never received any marketing messages from them at all. I guess I'm too old and female when they're more than likely looking for young men. It's early days though so watch this space as they say.
2. Mobile Advertising
Using a service like Admob (there are others out there - Admob's probably the biggest though), wapsite owners can generate income from offering pay per click advertising from their sites without having to search for the advertisers themselves.
If you're an advertiser, you can target by country, handset capability, genre of wapsite and set a budget and a maximum bid per click. Ads only get served 3 times to the same user and the ads are very simple - just a few words with a click thru to a landing page.
I've used it to support the distribution of a free java application during the World Cup. It worked better than any other media we tried including newspaper ads and editorial. We also found out that India and South Africa are mad for Wap!
3. Sponsored SMS
An example of this is 118118 who offers space at the end of their directory enquiries text messages at a low cpm (cost per thousand).
One of my clients tried this method (before they were a client of mine) and were disappointed with the results. I think there are some obvious reasons why this isn't quite working yet...
- There was no click-thru to a wapsite so you couldn't act on impulse
- No obvious targeting - you're just a 118118 customer who accepts text messages
- There's not a lot you can get into the 40 or so characters you have to play with
- When you've paid to receive the text message, do you also want a marketing message? Possibly not.
4. Selling your list
A lot of database owners I've met, when they're struggling for cash, cotton on to the idea of selling their database to any willing buyer. It's a mucky business. Rates for your data will vary from less than 1p per name to about 12p. But you'll be *very* lucky to get to the upper end of that range. Branded lists (Kiss, FHM, MTV) fare better when it comes to pricing and can attract cpm rates of £250. But the chances are you're not Emap or MTV.
If you are thinking of selling your list, there are lots of data protection hoops to jump through - and rightly so. It's unlikely that you'll be able to sell your list and just hand it over to a third party. The chances are, if you've structured your terms and conditions properly you'll have permission to send messages on behalf of third parties, but that the data can't leave your hands.
For this to work, there needs to be a close association with the brands of the list owner and the brand advertiser which isn't easy to achieve. And in my opinion, third party lists have been so badly abused in the past that they are suffering from the law of diminishing returns.
An example is that I still get text messages from Lakeside Shopping Centre. I signed up to ZagMe back in 2000 (I was working for them). When ZagMe went under, the database was sold to a third party who re-opted me in at the end of 2001. That company then changed its business model and the data, AFAIK, is now in the hands of Lakeside itself. Has anyone asked me to re opt-in? Am I able to unsubscribe? Do they send me anything remotely relevant to my interests and lifestyle? It's a resounding No to all three. Yet it would be so easy to get it right but that would suggest resource to do that when there are so many other things that they need to do. Mobile marketing is at the bottom of their priority list I suspect.
5. Branded content
Get a big name to put its name to your work. Examples include Coca Cola, Land Rover, Max Power, MTV, Disney. Using a trusted brand would imply greater sales potential but it's not necessarily so. Some of these content deals had the content creators paying the big brand a big licensing fee and or promise a minimum revenue for the privilege of using their brand name. There was supposed to be co-marketing going on, but it never happened because the brand's core business is not mobile content, it's selling drinks or cars or whatever and that's where their focus is. They also made their money on the licensing deal so have no need to do further marketing as they've made their cash from you already. So make sure you know what you're getting into when dealing with a big brand.
6. Sponsored content
Create useful/entertaining/must-have mobile media such as an application, game, mobile TV loop, news, gosspi, messaging or whatever. Then get access to a loyal customer base and get a big brand sponsor in to fund it. The World Cup Match Centre I worked on in the summer for The Sun, News of the World and The Times did just this. The application was your World Cup companion and meant that you could keep up with all the scores and news around the World Cup as it happened. It was promoted in the newspapers in print and online. And the sponsors' l0ogos, Betfair and Three, appeared in all the media promotion so the whole was greater than the sum of its parts in terms of media coverage.
I know it's a long post, but we're halfway there now. Bear with me!
7. Off the page promotion
This could be a revenue share deal or a bounty deal (where the content company pays the publisher for each customer acquired - pay per acquisition). A good example of this was the promotion that 82ASK did with IPC's Pick Me Up magazine. The promotion was co-branded. It was reinforced throughout the magazine in the following weeks and generated a high response rate.
8. Subscription model
This is where you offer customers either an all you can eat package or a limited weekly use package for a fixed fee per week or per month. These services are still advertised on television and were a big part of Crazy Frog's success - the adverts shown at the time didn't just advertise Crazy Frog. To get the Frog ringtone, you had to subscribe to a weekly or monthly service. This type of service has got itself a bad name with unscrupulous providers not being clear about costs and how to opt-out. If you're interested to find out more, just spend 10 minutes browsing Grumbletext which I co-founded back in 2003.
That said, if you get it right, it's a very profitable way to run a business - LoveFilm, BCA book club and many others find it a very successful model. But for it to work, you need a trusted brand image, squeaky clean operations, great customer service and strong customer focus.
Don't do this though.
Both of these were seen advertised on weekend mornings on Channel 4's T4 programming strand. £9 a week for 3 animated screensavers or sounds. What *are* they thinking?!
9. User generated content
This is a neat model - get your customers to create their own content. Give them the ability to market, buy and download each others content. Reward the creators with a percentage of sales and only payout when they reach a certain amount (say £25). Examples of this are SeeMeTv, PeekabooTV (NSFW), LookAtMeTV (spot any similarities?!)
Syndicate your content to a network operator, media owner or content aggregator/s. There is a protracted value chain - not least the big chunk of money that the network operator takes for premium SMS payments - and this means limited margin. So what you're aiming for is multiple niche deals rather than one big deal, going for global makes sense, if you can. Some revenue may well be better than no revenue at all and if you do start selling content, it all adds to your sponsorship story and credibility for creating things that customers actually want.
Don't expect miracles though. There are 1000s of content providers out there and the chances of you hitting the jackpot will be slim. Don't rely solely on your partner's marketing - you may well need to do your own as well.
Go direct to consumer or d2c as it's called in the digital world. This means you have to build your brand and trust. You have to put effort into your own marketing and distribution.
The 5ps of mobile marketing are important here - product - what is it, easy to use/understand/download; place - where will customers find it? On some dodgy back of beyond website or your own branded lovely place to be?; price - you may need to play around with pricing models; promotion - how are you going to promote? You'll need to look at the whole marketing mix, online, offline, mobile; partnerships - getting revenue share deals with publishers will be really helpful so you share the risk and don't have to pay out advertising costs up front.
12. Don't have a business model
Hope you'll be the next big thing in mobile and someone will buy you for loadsa money... it could happen! I know it sounds mad, but there are plenty of internet business out there who didn't have a business model when they started up. So it could happen in mobile. I suspect, like the online world, the successes will be very few and the failures will be many.
Have I missed anything? Do you have any other examples to contribute? Comments and discussion very welcome.
Technorati tags: mobile+technology & mobile+marketing & mobile content & mobile+media & business+model & mobile