Thursday, December 12, 2013

End of term reports from Adobe and BDO

It’s December 2013 already. Christmas is in the air and the TV is awash with Christmas TV adverts. So it’s only to be expected that there are some end of term reports from some of the big guns. And I’m afraid I’m reading them with mixed feelings which I’ll share with you.

bdo logoLet’s start with BDO’s Retail Compass 2013. The survey “examined the opinions of 100 chief marketing officers at leading retailers located throughout the USA. The retailers in the study were among the largest in the country, including 11 retailers in the top 100 based on annual sales revenue. The telephone survey was conducted in September and October of 2013”.

The survey covers all aspects of retail but there is a section about mobile marketing.

In the press release, the focus for retailers is on traditional channels rather than mobile:

  • 38 per cent of retailers are including mobile in their marketing strategy this year—down from 50 per cent in 2012—those who are embracing it are ramping up their efforts.
  • Last year, mobile comprised an average of 5.9 per cent of retailers’ overall marketing budget; this year, that number has jumped to 15 per cent.
  • With eMarketer predicting a 15 per cent rise in mobile shopping volume this year, the mixed survey results suggest that retailers remain divided as to the platform’s growth potential and its ability to convert sales.
  • One strategy on which retailers are not divided, however, is print advertising: a plurality of CMOs (41 per cent) are investing most of their holiday budgets in traditional print ads, which have been a consistently popular medium over the last 4 years.
  • And CMOs still believe in the power of TV to reach a wide audience: 29 per cent say they will spend the majority of their holiday advertising budget on broadcast.
  • Retailers are looking towards social media, but don’t know the right mix (and probably don’t realise how much of it is on mobile and how that impacts on conversions if their offering isn’t mobile-friendly).

So good news for broadcast and print in the US, and for those who are working on mobile campaigns for retailers, it’s good news as the budgets are bigger – just fewer of them by some measure compared with 2012. I have to question what the decision making process is behind this when the growth in mobile and mobile commerce is rising at a very fast pace. Of course, I don’t know how the question was asked and it may be that the retailers are ahead of the curve and have a great mobile site and/or a range of mobile apps and that the assumption is that mobile marketing in this context means mobile advertising which maybe they feel they don’t need as their mobile offering is so strong. I live in hope of that anyway! I fear that retailers may have their heads in the sand and have not yet woken up to what’s happening under their noses and are missing out on opportunities today.

Download the full report here

guardian adobe research image

Now let’s look at the UK. Adobe and The Guardian have just published a survey looking at the mobile marketing attitudes of 1427 executives in the UK. The free report makes for quite depressing reading about the UK state of play.

  • More than 50% said their organisation had a fragmented approach or no strategy at all when it comes to mobile
  • Most respondents are unconfident about their organisation’s ability to measure the success of their mobile channels (which I’m guessing is a hindrance to offering them at all)


  • Most respondents felt their businesses would benefit from mobile marketing


  • Respondents expect to see a significant shift in the number of customer interactions supported or driven by mobile

So why aren’t they taking the plunge?

Well, rather worryingly, a lot of respondents felt that mobile wasn’t going to overtake the desktop at all or within the next two years. Many don’t have the funds to support mobile initiatives or don’t believe their business would benefit at all.

That last point worried me so I took at look back at the kinds of organisations the respondents came from. As this was run by The Guardian, there were a disproportionate amount of responses from the public sector, the arts, charities/not for profit and education. I’m not entirely surprised that those organisations aren’t as clued up and/or don’t have the funds or willingness to go mobile, at least not yet. I would hope that the results would be more positive if there were more brands, agencies and retailers who had responded.

You can read more here.

I guess the good news for us working in mobile marketing is that there’s still plenty work for us to do. Need to get your senior teams up to speed with what’s going on in mobile marketing and media? Get in touch. I’ve done workshops with a variety of media owners and agencies in the UK and the Nordic region. Maybe I can do one for you?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Mobile Application Roadmap

Greetings from Barcelona! I’m in town for the Gartner Symposium and am with the Samsung At Work team this week. This is a different kind of conference from what I’m used to. There are about 5000 CIOs (Chief Information Officers) here. These people are responsible for the implementation and management of the technology infrastructures that drive large corporate businesses. Typically that means servers and internet access and managing corporate email systems. It means maintaining laptops and desktops and privacy and security. It means enterprise IT systems and increasingly, it also means websites and mobile apps and digital products and services. For many of those attending, that’s a big shift in their focus. There’s a big difference between managing a corporate email and IT infrastructure and creating and building new apps and services. It’s a different mindset, it’s a different methodology and it’s a different way of working – much more collaboration is required, consumer insight and understanding and more general business knowledge. There’s a lot of new stuff for these people to get their heads round and it’s something I hadn’t really considered before coming.

One of the sessions I went to yesterday was Richard Marshall’s session on The Mobile Application Roadmap. Richard has come from a mobile start-up background before joining Gartner. He’s built and delivered mobile apps and services. He know what it’s like to do this stuff and he shared his key insights from this experience. For some of my readers, what he shared won’t be new at all. Many of you are living and breathing this stuff, but if you’re new to the world of mobile or the world of apps or are making the shift from an analogue business to a digital business, his slides are probably worth a look – it’s all sound advice in there. His main themes were to release early and often, fail fast, get user feedback, iterate, think in terms of minimum viable product and make sure of your business case.  He also talked about user experience and some design methodologies but that’s probably worthy of another post another day. In the meantime, here are his slides. They are fairly self-explanatory, but bear in mind they’re aimed at an IT audience.

Monday, November 04, 2013

All your favourite brands belong to just 10 companies

all the brands

You’ve probably seen this graphic doing the rounds on social media already. But if not, it really is well worth a look. It’s called ‘The Illusion of Choice’. You see lots of brands on the supermarket shelf and you get to choose your preference – maybe you choose on price, quality, smell, taste, perceived value and more. But how much of a choice is it when those brands all belong to the same companies?

You might wonder why I think this is worthy of note. Well, I think it’s worth being mindful of what you buy and where that money is going. I didn’t know that Nestle owned L’Oreal who in turn owns The Body Shop, Stella McCartney and Kiehl’s. It’s made me think again about Kiehl’s as a brand and makes me question their product quality. And can Diesel maintain its (relatively) cool brand image when its parent company is Nestle?

Equally, I think it’s important to understand how these brands and companies do deals with each other in their own company group. One example cited is Yum Brands which owns KFC and Taco Bell. The company was a spin-off of Pepsi. All Yum Brands restaurants sell only Pepsi products because of a lifetime deal with the soda-maker. Not a lot of choice going on there.

I’m not saying don’t buy these brands, maybe just be a little more mindful each time you do.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Order Out of Chaos event–4 Dec 2013

order out of chaos      hn survey logo

For those of you who are interested in technology and are based in the North of England, you may be interested to attend the upcoming Harvey Nash event in Manchester on Wednesday 4th December at 6pm at MOSI. It’s free to attend and will be of particular interest to CMOs, CTO/CIOs and CEOs of businesses of all sizes. The topic for discussion is based around Harvey Nash’s annual CIO Survey (you can download the full PDF here). The survey is a useful way to catch up with what CIOs and CTOs feel are the latest trends and issues – mobile being one of the top ones, followed by the on-going friction between CMOs and CTOs (especially as marketing departments have increasing budgets for digital) and quite a few more...

I’ve been invited to join the panel (thanks Mike!) alongside Martin Jones, CTO; Martin Bryant, Editor-in-Chief, The Next Web; and Doug Ward CEO and Co-Founder Tech Britain and TechHub Manchester. It should be an interesting event if their Leeds one a few weeks ago is anything to go by and there’ll be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and chip in with your 2p. Oh, and there’ll be some networking too. It’s free to attend. Hope to see some of you there.

More information and RSVP here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Meeja–The Times They Are A-Changin’

Apologies for being a bit slow on the blogging front recently. I just got out of the habit. However, I’ve been busy squirreling away lots of articles and links to follow up on with blog posts should the moment come to blog.

As many of you already know, I do consulting work with media owners of all types and sizes, helping their senior teams get their heads around what’s happening in mobile and social and how it is impacting their business and what they might do about it. I recently did a talk to a group of Nordic media owners who were pretty horrified that I rarely went directly to an online or mobile newspaper to read it but followed random links from people I followed on a variety of social networks and as such, wouldn’t necessarily know which publication or which journalist I was reading.

Don’t get my wrong, by all accounts, media consumption of all types is in rude health when it comes to mobile and online. What isn’t so healthy are the business models to pay for that as well as the fact that many outlets are still focused on print as the main product despite declining revenues. And that’s the challenge that media owners face. The existing business models are in (fast) decline and the news ones are not (yet) replacing those revenues often coupled with a reluctance to change or move with the times.

If you’re interested in where mobile meets media, the future of advertising, the future of journalism and the like, the following links will probably be of interest.

Why tablet magazines are a failure by Jon Lund. Jon’s key point is to encourage media owners to build for the web rather than tablet app only. But while he’s telling us that, there are some really interesting case studies quoted and some rather useful numbers if you need to persuade your boss to move with the times.

The Financial Times to move to single global print edition. This is a very interesting move by the FT. They’re changing their workflow and product focus to reshape the paper for the digital age. Although the printed paper is still part of their multi-platform operation, the shift in how they’re managing it all shows a keen eye on the future and they’re changing before their hand is forced. Smart move, I say.

Ken Doctor highlights what’s coming for media owners in 2014. It’s not news to those of us who’ve been working in mobile and media for a while, but I suspect, the pointers are a bit scary for a lot of media owners who haven’t yet started the change process or haven’t invested in preparing themselves for the future.

Josh Marshall doesn’t believe in Flipboard’s model for media owners and he tells us why, even as far as calling Flipboard a scam. I understand where he’s coming from, but what he doesn’t talk about is who and where his audience is and what their needs and wants are, what their reading habits are and how that matches with TPM’s offering. It’s still early days for Flipboard and its ilk, but I don’t think services like them are going away any time soon.

Canada’s Globe And Mail’s CEO tells media owners ‘we have to think more precisely about what it is that will make people pay’. There are some useful pointers in this article explaining some of the things G&M are doing to get readers to pay for content.

How much are you willing to pay for digital news? There’s still no definitive answer to this, but this article (and the links within it) highlight some of the key issues faced by media owners (yes, it’s getting a bit repetitive isn’t it – the need to innovate, the acceptance that the print decline is real and not stopping, that the digital ad sales aren’t replacing print ad sales etc.).

Attention v. Relationship Economy – this article explores they way that media owners could or should be thinking about how to monetise. And I think I agree with the author, Jeff Jarvis, that it’s about the relationships newspapers have with their community of readers, advertisers and more.

Long story short…

  • digital media consumption is high
  • mobile set to overtake desktop very quickly
  • tablet magazines probably won’t save your business
  • media companies need to restructure
  • we need some new ways to advertise (I still don’t understand why we’re shoe-horning old ways into new media)
  • we need to create and try more new business models
  • no-one has the definitive answer
  • And as Bob Dylan sang many years ago, ‘The Times they are a changin’’.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Facebook makes you sad

Well, sort of. The sample size is quite small and it’s early days for this kind of study, but this article in the Economist is worth a read. The teens and twenty-somethings in the study all reported more negative feelings after they’d spent time on Facebook versus spending time with people in real life. I’m not sure that this is much of a surprise – especially for that age-group for whom it looks like everyone else is much cooler and having a much better time than you are. As you grow older, I think you probably grow out of that so I wonder what a similar study would reveal about older age-groups. Anyway, expect to see more of this sort of thing as the web matures.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

12 top tips to create a great mobile app

apadmi logo blackI’m just having a read of app development firm, Apadmi’s first white paper. For anyone thinking of embarking on the app development journey, it’s well worth a read as it includes some very sensible advice. There’s also a useful section about finding the right team to work with and managing your code. It’s a free download

(Disclaimer, Apadmi is one of my regular Swedish Beers sponsors, but that’s not why I’m sharing this!)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Three teenagers tell it like it is

Tim Green talks to teenagers three teenagers about their mobile lives. And very telling it is too. Admittedly, this is a sample group of three, but the swing from BlackBerry to iPhone is obvious in this peer group. I’m surprised at the lack of Android adoption but that’s possibly a fashion thing. And boys are living up to their gender stereotype by being more represented at the extreme end of the scale – either the best or the worst phone and not much in the middle.

One of them says "I'm not addicted to my phone, but I am addicted to my iPad. The school gave us all iPads, and all we ever use them for is Instagram and SnapChat and YouTube. Everyone's connected all the time. They must have thought it would help us with learning but it's completely backfired. They even tried to change us to a new Wi-Fi signal but we knew it would block off lots of content, so we all carried on using the old one."

Now there’s a lesson in there somewhere about mobile devices and education….

Read more here

Friday, August 09, 2013

txt a Monster 2 win! Another one from the archives

I still rate this campaign for its creative use of voice and SMS, especially as it is from 2002. At the time, it was only 12Snap who were running campaigns that combined IVR (Interactive Voice Response) with SMS (text messaging) from what I can remember.

It seems pertinent to share this one with you now as the new Monsters University film is out this summer – 11 years on from the original.

The mechanic of this campaign was pretty simply. You bought a packet of fries from McDonald’s. You opened the door to reveal a special phone number and code. Text the code message to the phone number given. You get a text message to say if you’ve won or lost. If you won, one of the Monsters called you back and screamed at you (which is in keeping with the original film).

This was the biggest mobile marketing campaign ever at that time and was printed on 13 million fry boxes. There was a tiered prize structure with all players being advised whether they had won or lost by text message. Premium winners also receive a “monster MobileCard” (this was using IVR – interactive voice response – and was the monster screaming at you). Intermediate prize winners get a mobile ringtone or logo (those were the days when you could offer these as a genuine prize to customers!). Non-prize-winners got a text message from a monster asking them to play again.

It was run via T-Mobile’s servers and they struggled under the volumes of messages coming through due to the popularity and large-scale of the sales promotion. At the time, McDonald’s was one of the brands pioneering mobile marketing.

The companion website can be seen here on

monsters inc / 12snap monsters inc / 12snap

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Kenco Rappor–mobile marketing from the archives

Below you will find the front and back scan of a sales promotion leaflet that came with Kenco Rappor packs that were new to the market back in 2002. It tied in with the theme of the recent TV campaign that was used to launch the product the previous year. The innovative element of the product was about the new pack format on offer – the fact that the instant coffee granules were in stick format to offer a single serving and designed specifically to appeal to younger customers. More on that rationale about the campaign here. An example of one of the TV ads used can be seen here if you’re interested.

Anyway, it’s fair to say that mid-2002 is still very much early days for mobile marketing. Errors in execution were certainly made – even with the limitations of the time. For example, we already had shortcodes and the mechanic was a bit complicated and fairly meaningless if you hadn’t seen or remembered the TV advert. And the leaflet was folded really really small to fit in the tiny sample size packs they were giving out.

Feel free to discuss what you would do the same or differently.

kenco rappor campaign kenco rappor campaign

You can see larger versions of these graphics on flickr in my mobile marketing set.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Lasso slippers: Kickstarter vs Indiegogo

I’ve just spotted these slippers. They’re fantastic. What a simple idea, very well executed. They also appeal to me as they’re made from felt which I enjoy making too and I know how lovely and comfortable they will be.


Interesting to see that this year, their Kickstarter campaign was a huge success raising more than 3 times the amount of money they were looking for. So why was it their Indiegogo campaign from last year was a bit of a disaster? Is it a timing issue? Not offering a wide-enough range of sizes initially? Or maybe Indiegogo just isn’t as good? Or maybe they had better visuals and copy the second time around? Or maybe someone just picked up on the Kickstarter campaign and that was the catalyst for success?


“The world’s first hand held visual communicator”

I’m having a bit of a clear-out at home and whilst going through some old magazines, I found that I’d kept a very old issue of Hello Magazine – Issue 638 from November 21, 2000 to be precise. Now Hello is not a magazine I have ever bought or kept habitually so I had a flick through to see why I still had it. Inside was this advertisement feature from Vodafone for the ‘Vodafone Message-Cam’. It’s not a device I remember at all. I was more than a bit sceptical about camera-phones at the time as my focus was on SMS marketing back then.

Bearing in mind this was from November 2000, before we had camera-phones, it was very much ahead of its time. You can see from the advertorial that the girls are having fun taking selfies and sharing them via email (we didn’t have WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter back then). Anyway, I’ve scanned the whole thing in for you to have a look at as I think it’s interesting.

Worthy of note…

Colour touchscreen; selfies, sharing shopping photos, internet browsing (does this make the device the world’s first mobile tablet?), treating a mobile device as fashion, email on mobile – and all this *thirteen* years ago. This device was ahead of its time but clearly they were spot on with many things we just take for granted today with our mobile devices.

I wonder how many they sold….?

Hello 21/11/2000 Hello 21/11/2000


In case you can’t read the copy very well, here’s a transcript of it for you:

Advertisement Promotion.

Girls Night Out

The Vodafone Message-Cam is set to be the ‘must have’ gift on every Christmas wish list

Every season one fashion item always becomes the essential accessory for serious fashionistas. This Christmas, it has to be the Vodafone Message-Cam. Designed by Casio exclusively for Vodafone, this ingenious little device is the world’s first hand held visual communicator with in-built digital camera, which attached to your mobile phone, allows you to send pictures, emails and surf the web. So when Vodafone asked us to test out the Message-Cam, we decided to give it the full paparazzi treatment.

Models are constantly travelling, so keeping in touch with their friends while on jobs around the world can be tough. We asked models Marie and Marit to take the Message-Cam with them on a girls night out in London and give us their verdict.

The girls headed for Zilli Bar, a favourite Soho hot spot, and invited a few girlfriends to join them. They took shots all evening, emailing the pictures immediately to friends around the world and around the corner! It was incredibly easy and a lot of fun. Everyone wanted to get in on the shots, even the waiters.

The Message-Cam’s digital camera has a fully rotating lens so that you can take pictures of yourself or the friends you’re with. You can freeze and edit the pictures on screen,, select the one you want to send, add voice or text message and then email anywhere you want. The screen is full colour and touch-sensitive which makes it ideal for surfing the web. It includes a sound and photo album, voice recorder, clock, SMS editor, calendar and calculator. All this, plus full Internet access and WAP browsing capabilities.

The girls though the Vodafone Message-Cam would make postcards obsolete and would be great for all sorts of occasions, from weddings to parties, or even shopping. Imagine photographing yourself in different outfit and then emailing the pictures to a friend for advice. The over-whelming verdict was that this was an accessory no girl should be without!

The Vodafone Messaged-Cam comes complete with a Siemens C35i WAP phone and data cable. It’s a limited edition and available through Vodafone Stores nationally, priced £349.99. For your local Vodafone Store call 0800 – 10 11 12.

+++++++++ Here's what the device looks like in the flesh Vodafone Message-Cam MC-20-B manufactured by Casio

Want to know a bit more about it? The AnswerBank can fill you in here. And as recently as 2007, geeks have been hacking the device.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wirehive 100–get your entries in by 19 July 2013

wirehive100 logoIt’s time for some local recognition and the Wirehive 100 is giving agencies in the South of England a chance to shine by entering for their place in the Wirehive 100 league table and also to enter one of 12 specific categories to win a prestigious Wirehive 100 award. I’m judging the mobile category again this year and look forward to seeing some new work from new agencies.

How do I get involved?

The Wirehive100 Awards and League Table are open to any digital agency in the South of England based in the following counties: Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, West Sussex, East Sussex, Kent, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Surrey.

It’s free to put yourself forward for the Wirehive 100 League Table. You can do that here.

Then there are 12 categories that you can enter for the awards for which there’s a charge of £75 per entry. The categories include several techie categories including Techie of the Year, Best Mobile Project and Best Tech award which may well appeal to some of you reading this. All twelve categories are listed here.

The deadline for both is 19 July 2013 – that’s just a few days away. If you miss the deadline, there is a week’s grace period but it’ll cost you £100 to take advantage of that. And do check the terms and conditions of entry too to make sure you qualify.

So get those thinking caps on and get entering. Make my life as a judge difficult by making sure there are some great mobile entries in there! Best of luck and hope to see some of you at the awards ceremony.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2013

The rather good Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2013 is out now. It’s quite a long report – you can download a copy here and below you’ll find the PowerPoint charts that support the report.

I won’t lie, there’s a lot to read here and, clearly, a lot of work went into it and I will be taking my time to go through it all.

The short version based on what I’ve read so far is…

  • News is becoming more mobile, more social, and more real-time
  • Digital patterns becoming more entrenched – particularly amongst the younger half of the population
  • Audiences increasingly want news on any device, in any format, and at any time of day.
  • Digital revolution is not proceeding at an even pace in all countries.
  • Social media take-up varies across countries
  • Ever-greater competition and more disruption to business models to come
  • More people say they've paid for digital news in the past 10 months so there’s still hope

Some of these points are no surprise to those of us working in mobile. And it just confirms that the pace of change is fast. Even if you’re not in the newspaper industry, I think this is worth a glance as it reveals some key trends that are relevant and of interest to other sectors.

Based on the methodology, the UK findings are perhaps the most pertinent as that’s where there were the highest level of respondents. Of course, they did only survey a limited amount people so it’s a representation but the data was weighted to targets set on age and gender, region, newspaper readership, and social grade to reflect the total population of each country. The sample is reflective of the population that has access to the internet.

As if you need any further convincing that now is the time to get your mobile strategy sorted, maybe this reports will be the nudge you need if you’re not already on the case.

Interested to hear your thoughts and examples of other recent reports that back up or contradict Reuters’ findings.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

There’s a skills gap in mobile marketing

And here’s my bi-monthly column in Mobile Marketing Magazine about it. I’m on the last page. I’d welcome your thoughts. Is there a skills gap? Will the mobile marketing & advertising sectors reach their full potential despite the skills gap? What can or should we be doing about this?

The Drum: Mobile Top 50 nomination. Vote now!

I had a lovely surprise a few days ago when I got an email to say I had been nominated for this year’s The Drum Mobile Top 50 list. They say

A shortlist of 100 individuals has been compiled by The Drum's editorial team but we need your help to decide who will make it into the top 50. The final list will highlight the key players in the UK mobile industry, ranking individuals in order of their contribution to the world of mobile.

I took a look at the list and I’m certainly in good company. There are so many friends, colleagues and current and former Swedish Beers and Heroes of Mobile sponsors and participants on the list that it almost looks like they raided my address book to choose.

Anyway, voting closes this Friday 21 June 2013. You can vote for your three favourite from the list of 100. It’s free to vote, you just have to register and then you can pick three names. I don’t know how you’ll manage to pick just three names though as there are so many good and worthy recipients on the list. Anyway, YOU decide!

Read more and vote at

I stand by my words

IMG_20130618_164209I’ve been staying with my Mum for a few days. My father died earlier this year and we’re all still grieving and getting used to him not being around. It’s a little bit weird to be sitting at his desk, in his chair, using his things – where he would have been writing (there’s a lovely large ink blotter on the desk) and of course, where I’m tapping away at my laptop with a mobile phone also close to hand.
I happened to glance up from my screen and in the letter rack I spotted this clipping. My Dad’s written on it ‘Times July 1’. I don’t remember being in it so it was a bit of a surprise to see it. My father clearly took the trouble to buy a copy of the newspaper (he was a Telegraph reader as a rule) and then cut out and kept the clipping. It’s at least 5 years old – maybe older judging by the picture. I’m touched, and a little bit teary, that he did that.
And then I read the piece and I stand by my words. I think it’s from a talk I gave at a conference but I don’t remember. As it doesn’t appear to be available online, I’ve transcribed it here:
‘The future of mobile is that mobile will just be a normal part of the marketing mix. It will be almost invisible, in that people won’t know whether they are browsing on the mobile web of (sic) the ‘full fat’ web; they will just be looking at Facebook or the BBC, or checking email, so their consciousness of how they are doing that will disappear. The focus will be on making brands’ services and products accessible, however anyone wants to get hold of them and that’s the priority.
Mobile technology is moving forward, and there are some exciting innovations around and we will see mobile being used in some interesting ways in the future, but we should not get carried away with the new shiny thing, when a good, reliable mobile website and old fashioned SMS are still really important. There is a lot of mileage left in messaging for customer service, saying thank you, getting feedback, the simple things. It’s not about push advertising, it’s about having a proper relationship with customers who want to have a relationship with you.
It’s easy to get carried away with the technology, but good marketing begins and ends with good service. You have to make it easy for people to find and buy your stuff and do it again.’

Payforit Summit 26 June 2013

logoThis is one for my London readers.  It’s the Payforit Summit on Wednesday 26 June which is the one-stop shop for everything you need to know about incorporating mobile payments – why you should do it, what’s in it for you, how best to implement, privacy and security concerns and a lot more besides. It’s organised by my friends at AIME and they’re such lovely people, they’ve given us a 50% discount code. Check out the listing and get your bargain £49.50 ticket now and find out how you will make more money with Payforit.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tesco Groceries–a case study

ribotLogoBlue_white_bg june 2013My friends at Ribot have just had a site revamp and a new look and very nice it is too. More importantly though, they’ve shared their Tesco case study. It’s essentially a history of how Tesco’s mobile shopping services started and evolved and it’s a very interesting read. Whether you’re in retail or now, it’s well worth a look. And yes, I do get a little mention!

And while we’re on about interesting things, I thought this article by Jerome Ribot was really interesting about cognitive biases and their effect on developing products. Applying psychology to the process is very relevant, especially since it is so hard to stand out when it comes to digital.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits

A few links and articles that I’ve been looking at recently that you may enjoy too.

How not to be Alone by Jonathan Safran Foer in The New York Times. This is a good read looking at empathy in the digital age. Definitely food for thought.

A new tumblr site listing global app contests powered by Loudsource. They claim to be the best for app challenges, but I suspect that f6s is still more comprehensive (even if it isn’t particularly user-friendly yet).

Four reasons why some companies are late to the mobile party from Mobile Marketing Magazine’s, David Murphy. I would counter that fear of failure is the biggest reason, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Is the death of the bookshop a sign of progress? Damien Walter laments the death of the bookshop but questions as to whether this is progress or regression. What do you think?

Good new for arts and digital.. There are two upcoming initiatives that look to push the boundaries between the two sectors. One is the Art Everywhere project which has an added augmented reality element from Blippr to complement the main element of showcasing great artworks on billboards across the UK. They’re at crowd funding stage and seem to be going pretty well. The second project is Hack the Barbican where creatives of all kinds as well as coders and digital experts and amateurs are asked to come up with projects to be displayed or performed in August in the Barbican. There’s still time to submit your project (closing date 20th June 2013). I applaud the Barbican for opening its doors in this way to encourage participation and experimentation in the cross over between the two sectors. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this. It’s not their first foray into this area. The Barbican have been active in the hack space for a year or so now. Other arts organisations take note!

And finally, for those of you who love infographics, here’s one from the Harvard Business Review showing how people really use their mobile phones. You can see some of this for free, or you can pay for full access.

Think luxury brands can’t do mobile?

Well, think again. Luxury brands have historically been a bit sniffy about getting into mobile feeling that it wasn’t their thing and that mobile media, specifically, mobile advertising, wasn’t appropriate for high-end brands – the banner ad is too small, SMS has no visuals, how do you convey the brand without the large-scale visuals you see in glossy magazines.

Well, British luxury firm, Vertu, who hand make their high-end handsets in the UK, would beg to differ. They worked with Amobee for to drive traffic into their new stores and promote their new smartphone campaign and it was both highly successful and won a rather fabulous Communicator Award. It was a smart campaign using location targeting, rich media, SMS (targeting customers who had roamed – as in travelled abroad and used their mobile – 3 times or more, customer insight and sponsorship to reach its goals. View more about the campaign in this video.

Not only that, but British Vogue is getting in on the act. (There’s a theme here… maybe Brits are leading the way in luxury on mobile?) This lovely video, ‘Typecast and Vogue’, is from the recent Brand Perfect event in New York where Paul McKeever talks very eloquently about British Vogue’s acclaimed digital revamp and how cross-platform typography helped it break new ground. Highly recommend watching even if you’re not a luxury brand.

Working in the luxury sector? Not gone mobile yet? Then these links may be worth a read too.

Talking about App Promotion…

It’s a common theme. Everyone’s talking about apps these days. And that’s why my friend, James Cooper, is organising The App Promotion Summit in London next month.  I’ll be chairing a session talking about how to succeed on the various App Stores and joining me on the panel will be Maureen Scott from Ether Books, Ouriel Ohanen from Appsfire and Stefan Bielau from Zapstreak. I’m not sure how much we’ll cover in the half hour session, but feel free to suggest questions.

Whether you’re an independent developer or making apps for big brands, you’ll get something from the event I’m sure. There are sessions looking at buying, planning and managing mobile advertising, metrics, social app discovery, cross promotion, PR, global opportunities, partnerships and more.

Early bird price £250 + VAT are still available this week until 14th June and then they go up to £350 + VAT each. As a speaker, I have a few discount codes available which will give you a further 20% off the list price. If you’d like one of those, please get in touch. First come, first served.

My speaker interview is here.

Hope to see some of you there.

Friday, June 07, 2013

The Everything Guide to Mobile Apps

The Everything Guide To Mobile Apps has brought together the insights of more than 25 mobile professionals, practitioners and pundits to identify market trends, best practices and key lessons learned in developing, distributing and promoting mobile apps. I’m pleased to say that I’m one of them and I contributed to the sections looking at social media and networking. The guide is aimed at SMEs to help them learn how to make and app, get discovered in the app store, create a successful marketing strategy and connect with customers and boost their businesses.

Mobile app downloads are set to reach 81 billion by the end of this year according to eMarketer, so the pressure is on for companies to tackle the business and technology challenges of making and marketing a winning app. Published at the end of March in print and on kindle in the last few weeks, this is probably the most up to date guide on the market.

The book is in an easy to read style, with key points highlighted as well as pointing readers to further useful and mostly free, resources. Even if you have some experience, you’ll probably find some useful insights in there that you hadn’t come across before. And it’s less than £10 in the UK at the moment!

The Everything® Guide to Mobile Apps is available now at Amazon in Paperback or Kindle

Monday, June 03, 2013

What will work look like in the 2020?

A tricky question, but one that I was asked recently. My answer…

It's hard to predict the future of work, and seven years is not that far away. Seven years ago was 2006. I had moved to a Symbian Smartphone - probably the N70 at the time. I was using the odd app and game and had limited use of mobile web. I had started to use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Fast forward to 2013 and I'm using an Android smartphone with email, web, games, music, alarm clock, messaging, social networking and more. I'm still using my laptop for 'work' stuff but my media consumption is primarily mobile. By 2020, we'll have devices that are lighter and smarter, with better battery life. We may have broadband connectivity across the whole of the UK. All sectors will be affected in some way by mobile technology - whether it's remote monitoring of our health or checking that our washing machines are working properly. People will need to adapt and learn and not be afraid of technology. It should be seamless and invisible to take the fear away and proper respect should be given to privacy and data. Whether we've worked that all out by 2020, time will tell.

I think others had better answers, so go and read the full article here. You may also find Russell Buckley’s thoughts on the topic interesting from last April.

Eve Pollard Tells It Like It Is

A few week’s back, I attended the rather marvellous Sound Women Inspiration Festival 2013 held at the BBC’s facility in London’s West End. Soundwomen as an organisation is about supporting women working in audio and radio. Their first festival was a day to celebrate women’s achievements at all levels both within radio and audio, but also other sectors too. No I don’t work in radio, although I do like podcasts and podcasting, but I figured the issues facing women in that industry are very similar to the issues facing women in mobile, broadcast, science and more. And hey, the fabulous Eve Pollard (aka Granny Bonkers) was on the line-up and the ticket price would be worth it to hear her story alone, let alone anyone else’s. I was right. Eve was witty, insightful, engaging, energetic and motivating. I took lots of notes. Here are some of them. Bear in mind the talk was aimed squarely at women!
  • Be honest
  • Be angry (yes, it’s ok to be angry in the workplace or anywhere else)
  • Be real (as in true to yourself)
  • Have an opinion (This was one of Russell Buckley’s key pieces of advice to me when we first started working together back in 2000.)
  • Make trouble (apparently we’re rather good at it, according to Eve).
  • Believe in what you do – yes, women do have to work harder but believe in your work and what you bring to it.
  • Pay attention to detail and to knowledge. You will have to be better at this than your male colleagues and this will give you an edge.
  • Don’t miss out on the networking. Seriously, don’t miss out on the networking. It’s important. Eve would go home after work and put her children to bed (broadcaster Claudia Winkleman and son Oliver Lloyd] and then go back out and hang out with colleagues in her team. The drinking with colleagues thing was really important for bonding and team-building. She also shared some tips about how you don’t have to keep up with the drinking… take your drink into the loo with you and tip it down the sink; take a big bag with you and put your drink in your bag to chuck away later (ok, your bag might be a bit wet and sticky, but better that than a hellish hangover or getting yourself into state). (My personal tip here, don’t feel you have to drink alcohol. Give yourself some rules to stick by such as every other drink being a soft drink or not drinking after a certain time. People don’t really question them. Also, buy the round then you can buy yourself a soft drink and nobody knows.)
  • Don’t use the S-word. What’s the S-word, I hear you ask? It’s the word ‘sorry’. Apologies don’t figure in a man’s world. They figure too much in a woman’s world. Learn from the men and don’t use it. (For the men reading this, we’d like you to apologise now and then where it’s due.)
  • Read the book 'Rich Dad Poor Dad, what the rich they tell their children about money’
. Eve highly recommends.
  • Don’t iron. If you have a baby, put the baby clothes under the sofa cushion and sit on them. They’ll be nice and flat. When the child gets a big bigger, fold them in half and then put them under the sofa and sit on them. Seriously, life is too short to spend it ironing.
  • Marry the right partner. She was very clear on this. You need someone who will really share the home tasks with you and be able to support you in your work and your life as much as you can support them in theirs. Sheryl Sandberg says something similar in her new book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.
  • Live near work. Eve was adamant about this. Don’t waste your life commuting. Little children don’t need leafy suburbs to thrive, they need time with their parents. They’ll get that if you live near work. Of course, Eve did add that that may be more difficult these days in central London…
  • You need your running away money. Don’t tell anyone about it. Don’t tell anyone else where it is. This is more about knowing that you have the stash and could run away if you had to than actually having to do it. It will mean you feel less trapped.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too short etc.
  • Stop being judgemental about other women. Even if you hate them. Women get a hard enough time without other women judging them. Sometimes it’s hard but do your best with this one.
  • Worry about your salary – this buys you time. Women typically don’t negotiate their salaries. Men start negotiating their salary from their very first job. Time for women to do this.
  • Don’t feel you have to be moving forward all the time. Things sometimes take a bit longer. Eve stayed in the same job for 10 years before making the leap up the career ladder. Don’t feel you’re lagging behind if you do this. You’re not. You’re just taking your time.
  • Decide early on about your uniform. It will save you masses of time in the mornings plus you’ll always know you look good and you’ll feel comfortable. One less thing to worry about.
  • Eve also noted that she’d dealt with both Murdoch and Desmond during her career and had some tips on how to deal with very rich, very powerful men.
    • Be straightforward
    • Be charming
    • Be well read (so you can tell the multi-millionaires something they didn’t know. She suggested reading the Wall St Journal for this.)
    • Be yourself.
  • On asking for more money… Murdoch once told her that no woman had ever asked for a raise when Pollard first started the Women in Journalism organisation in 1994. One of the most popular sessions the group ever ran (and now run regularly) was the one on how to negotiate for more money. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for that one. Eve told us:
    • Be cool
    • This is what I am doing and what I’m bringing to you.
    • It’s not about you.

  • So there you have it. The notes really don’t cut it compared with being there in person but I hope you found them useful.
    A big thank you to the Sound Women crew who put the event on. It lived up to its name of ‘Inspiration Festival’ and the speakers certainly inspired me. The stories I heard will stay with me for a long time to come.

    Thursday, May 30, 2013

    2013 is the year of Glastonbury Mobile

    Mobile cycling pianist and singer

    Well, at least according to the BBC, and the monster coverage they’re planning of Glastonbury Festival, they believe this will be the first Glastonbury that will be viewed more on mobile than any other device. It will be no mean feat to cover the festival and to deliver the content to the right people at the right time on whatever device they choose. Having delivered on the Olympics last year, this should be more straightforward – well apart from the conditions – there’s no newly-built, state-of-the-art media centre at the festival. Nevertheless, it’s still a big job.

    As for the punters, like myself, who make the annual pilgrimage to the Pilton Pop Party, I wonder if there will be much improvement to mobile communications or to the festival experience via mobile? The app has never been much use to me – what we need is a really good map (where’s the Google maps version of the site?) and the mobile version of the marvellous Glasto Clashfinder. But instead, we get features that the sponsors think are a good idea but are of little use to us paying customers. Maybe this year will be different now that we have EE and their proposed investment in improved coverage for 2G, 3G and 4G…? (More on that here.)  Hey, the app sounds like it will be better too (I live in hope).

    Any anyway, it’s almost impossible to see your mobile screen in the sun, or in the rain for that matter. You can’t hear your phone ring and even if you could, you can’t hear what anyone is saying. Battery life is still rubbish and mobile signal is flaky and SMS, probably the most useful feature, can be delayed by hours or even days! I will probably be leaving my fancy Android smartphone at home anyway and revert to my trusty N95 and bits of paper. I don’t want to lose a good phone in the mud as

    Still, bring it on, I say. Find me dancing in my wellies to Portishead, Kenny Rogers and The Rolling Stones!

    Young People’s Consumer Confidence Index

    The good people at OnDevice Research have just released their latest report about young people’s consumer confidence index. Whether or not you’re in marketing, this is a good read and a barometer of how it is for young people globally, what’s affecting them and their job prospects and how they’re using social media compared by country. There are some clear contrasts between countries, but it seems that, currently, Facebook is almost ubiquitous.

    The methodology behind the research is also interesting as it’s wholly mobile. 6000 demographically balanced mobile users aged 16-34 years old across China, India, Nigeria, Brazil, the US and UK completed a survey via the Internet on their mobile device. Additional questions were asked from a larger sample size of 17,657 (aged 16-34) about social media.

    Well worth a read to complement the Mary Meeker trends report.

    Another great slide deck from Mary Meeker–2013 Trends

    As usual, it’s a ‘must read’ for anyone in business. The trends are laid out very plainly and although there is a US focus, the results and trends shared are global and it’s likely your country, or the countries you do most business in will be in there.

    Mobile is showing ‘aggressive momentum’ – not that I’m surprised by that, but sometimes it needs to be restated and the information that Mary shares is compelling and shows just how fast that growth is. There are some surprising stats in there, including that the people of Saudi Arabia share most content on the internet. I must admit, I want to see the background data for that, but it’s curious none the less. The UK and US are way down the chart for that one compared with emerging economies.

    Anyway, take a look for yourself and share with your colleagues.

    Thursday, May 09, 2013

    Muscle Memory and Mobile

    When I travel abroad and I know roaming charges are going to be high, I revert to using my trusty Nokia N95 to minimise data costs. I’ve been using an Android phone for the last couple of years and it is at least a year since I last used my N95. But when I picked it up again last week, it felt like going home when it came to using the keypad. It was totally pleasurable. And fast. Much faster than on a touchscreen. It made me feel good whilst I was doing it. It felt like home. The combination of flicking up the screen to reveal the keypad and then using the keypad was a delight in a way my touchscreen phone has never been. And I use that *a lot*.

    So what’s going on here? It seems that I have ‘muscle memory’ for the keypad but it hasn’t developed for my touchscreen use in the same way. Muscle memory is not a memory actually stored in your muscles, but they are memories stored in your brain and they are a bit like a cache of frequently enacted tasks for your muscles. I touch type, that’s another muscle memory. My ability to communicate is directly linked to my access to a good keyboard and I literally think through my fingers. Riding a bike would be an example of another. Or playing a musical instrument.

    I do have some muscle memory with my touchscreen phone, but it’s linked to browsing or playing games not typing and it’s not a positive thing. The swipe up/down/left/right is now a natural instinct, but it doesn’t bring me joy or satisfaction in nearly the same way, and if anything, I think I have negative emotions associated with it. I’ve tried the haptic screen too and that did nothing for me.

    I wonder, do people who have only used a touchscreen have muscle memory for that or is it linked to something that needs a bit more physical exertion like pressing a key? Anyone have any insight into this area and care to comment?

    Suffice to say, bring back keyboards and keypads for mobile devices. I want my keypad back!

    Tidbits on a Thursday

    Time to clear down some of my favourites, bookmarks and browser tabs so I can get on with the day job.

    AA / Warc’s forecasts for the next eight quarters show UK ad spend continuing to grow, reaching a 5% growth rate in 2014 which is well ahead of inflation. You’ll see from the table that a lot of this is digital but it’s still not following the speed of change in eyeballs. I hope this doesn’t mean media owners become complacent and think this digital thing isn’t happening as fast as it is. More here:

    The Association of Online Publishers Announces Premium Mobile Advertising Initiative. In short, they’re going to do some research in conjunction with Mindshare, mobile ad provider Celtra, the IAB, MMA and ComScore to prove mobile advertising’s worth. The research is limited to specifically demonstrate the value of the 320x50 expandable rich media ad-format. Hmm. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and see what comes out of the research. I fear that the impact will be limited simply because I don’t believe the future of mobile advertising can hinge on a single format, no matter how rich it is. Good on them for doing the research though. We need more initiatives like these. More info here

    I’ve been telling people that Tesco is the elephant in the room when it comes to mobile and media. They have a mobile network proposition, they have oodles of data about us via Tesco Clubcard and our actual transactions, they sell online, on mobile, in apps and have been investing heavily in digital media propositions like Blinkbox (video), We7 (music), Mobcast (books) as well as having their own media channels via their in-store magazine, in-store media and direct mail. Definitely one to watch closely. More about them, their investments and what’s coming next, including ClubCard TV

    And finally, some thoughts on what’s wrong with B2B publishing and a plea for innovation.

    Current State of Play in Publishing

    I was lucky enough to be invited to New York last week by one of my clients, BrandPerfect, to help with the launch event for their latest research report ‘Adventures in Publishing: The New Dynamics of Advertising’. [It’s a free download, registration on BrandPerfect required].
    The report takes a look at the current state of online consumer publishing and the opportunities that are or could be available for brand advertisers. 100 leading consumer titles from the US, UK and Germany were audited to see what their current digital offerings were for readers and advertisers. And it’s an interesting read.

    It probably comes as no surprise that almost all magazines lacked a full cross-platform experience. The few titles audited who were doing a good job here include Vogue UK, Maxim UK and US, CountryLiving and a good selection of Hearst’s US titles.The picture gets a little more complicated when it comes to ad formats as there was little consistency in what publishers offered advertisers, despite standards already existing for desktop and mobile. And of course, we don’t know the ROI here – the report is just looking at what’s on offer. Insight into the audience, how they spend their money as well as knowing the types of advertisers, their spend and what’s working may change the picture and explain the rationale behind the strategic decisions made by the publishers. Still, it’s plain to see from the tables in the report that it’s not easy for an advertiser to plan, buy or measure their advertising across channels and across a range of titles.

    We know that eyeballs have already migrated en masse to mobile channels and we can see that the advertising dollar will follow that – albeit at a slower pace than consumers to change but publishers don’t appear to be keeping up as well as they might.

    The report suggests that HTML5 may be the answer which brings us back to the old web vs apps debate. I don’t think that one size necessarily fits all and much as I’m a strong supporter of web on mobile devices rather than apps, it doesn’t always suit the business or its customers to do that. Consumer insight is key to making those decisions as well as balancing resources and finance to do that.

    We still have a long way to go when it comes to working out the future of digital advertising. It’s an emotive subject. At the Heroes of Mobile Session a couple of weeks ago (read about it and listen to the podcast here), Amanda Singleton from Qustodian was passionate about her hatred for Facebook advertising yet I find the sponsored pages interesting in many cases and seem to fit my profile pretty well. These have led me to discover things I would never have found out about otherwise. And this stuff has to be paid for somehow.

    I also lament the fact that I can’t save an ad. In a magazine, I will often flick back to see an advert or something I may have missed once I’ve finished the article I’m on. I cannot do that in a digital environment. And if I’ve clicked forwards to read something and then go back, the ad that was there is long gone with no way of retrieving it.I think we’re missing a trick here by not fully understanding what worked in print advertising to work out how that behaviour might be translated to the digital environment. Instead, we’ve become reliant on the quick hit – the banner ad, the immediate call to action, the buy now, call now, direct response scenario. But as any brand marketer will tell you, that’s only one type of advertising with the primary goal of sales. not all brands are looking for that all of the time. Of course ROI is important, but I know from my own clicking habits, that it takes more than one click for me to take action and that it’s just part of the journey to finding out about new brands or services and eventually buying from them.

    Interestingly, Hearst reports just now that they've appointed a President of Digital.

    Have a read of the report and see what you think. It’s one of a series of useful quarterly reports available free to BrandPerfect members.

    Tuesday, May 07, 2013

    Hanging on the Telephone–round-up

    This podcast is from the recent Hanging on the Telephone panel session in London I ran a coup[le of weeks ago. If you were there, then remind yourselves of what was discussed and if you weren’t there, this is your chance to catch up. And since most of my readers are interested in mobile marketing, I thought it was worth cross-posting from the Heroes of Mobile site.

    Mobile Marketing Magazine did a bit of coverage of the event. Evens in Berlin next week and then London at the end of May and early June. Subscribe to the Heroes of Mobile newsletter to keep up to date.

    You can download or stream the podcast at your leisure. Feel free to share with friends and colleagues.


    Session Moderator: Helen Keegan, Heroes of Mobile
    Panellists: Rube Huljev, Infobip; Stephen Jenkins, Millennial Media; James Cooper, Soko Media; Amanda Singleton, Qustodian;…n-the-telephone/

    A Heroes of Mobile Production.
    Audio production by Mark Bridge from

    This session was sponsored by Infobip and Qustodian

    Monday, April 29, 2013

    Once, twice, three times a party…

    Swedish Beers parties galore klaxon alert!

    It’s fair to say, I’m a bit busy at the moment but it makes for exciting times and I’m thrilled to bits at the prospect of meeting and hanging with some interesting people. Lots of events coming up, including not one, not two, but three Swedish Beers parties and a mini-Heroes and a client event. And more to come…

    Well, they say you can have too much of a good thing, but I’m not so sure when it comes to Swedish Beers! We have Swedish Beers coming to three cities near you in the next few weeks so come on down and join the fun, hang with other people with a passing interest in mobile and enjoy a relaxing evening chewing the fat and putting the mobile world to rights.

    New York – 2 May 2013

    First up, it’s a last-minute jaunt to the Big Apple. Helen will be there on Thursday 2 May with Lubna, Grace, Becky and Petra lending a hand to ensure you have a good time. Antony and Jerome from Ribot will be sponsoring the first few beers but there’s room for another sponsor if you’re up for it. It’s free to attend and we’d love to see you.

    More info and RSVP here

    While I’m in New York, I’ll be chairing a session for BrandPerfect looking at seamless brand advertising (an impossible dream? we’ll see.) It’s free to attend and includes a lovely tour of the Pencil to Pixel exhibition which I highly recommend having experienced it in London before Christmas.

    Berlin – 15 May 2013

    Next we’re off to Berlin to take in the culture, enjoy a panel discussion, check out some new mobile start-ups and then finish the day with some cheer from Swedish Beers and our friends at Adeven. Again, we’d love to see another sponsor or two benefit from getting involved (get in touch here) but in the meantime, do join Helen, Russell and Kristina for some Swedish, (well probably German), Beers.

    More info and RSVP here

    While I’m in Berlin, I’m also organising a half-day of Heroes of Mobile discussions and demos also on 15 May at Betahaus. Details coming for that very soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

    London – 13 June 2013

    And it wouldn’t be the Summer if we didn’t have a Swedish Beers bash in our home city of London Town. All we’ve done is reserve the date at our favourite London watering hole, The Nordic Bar, and we’re ready and waiting to get sponsors on board. Helen’s talking to a few already but get in touch if you’d like to join the fun. We just wanted to make sure you had the date saved so we can have a blowout party….

    More info and RSVP here:

    There will be further Heroes of Mobile discussion events in London in May and June as well. Watch this space as they say!

    Sponsorship and time permitting, I’ll be visiting more cities from Leeds to San Francisco. If you’d like to see Swedish Beers and/or Heroes of Mobile happening in your city and can help make that happen, then let Helen know.

    If you’re coming to one of the Swedish Beers parties, please bring a business card with you to get your first beer token. Sponsors will have the rest of the tokens so you’ll need to get chatting with them to get your hands on more. There should be enough to go around!

    So spread the word, and come on down for a fun evening with friends old and new. You don’t have to be a mobile expert to join us. All welcome with a passing interest in mobile technology and a cheery disposition!



    Friday, April 12, 2013

    Harvester Restaurants’ couponing success

    harvester logoI missed this case study first time around, but since I seem to be thinking a lot about mobile and retail at the moment, I thought it worth sharing.

    Harvester is a chain of family-friendly restaurants with 200 outlets across the UK. They’re open seven days a week and offer grills, sauces and sides, as well as a brunch menu and vegetarian options at very competitive prices. I haven’t been to Harvester restaurant in almost 30 years, so I can’t comment on the quality of the food but I have friends who enjoy it.

    To attract new customers and to build repeat business, they rely on regular offers and you’ll see their website shows the latest offers and the latest menus. When the Apple Passbook arrived on the scene, mobile advertising firm, Millennial Media, teamed up with mobile couponing firm, Eagle Eye, to create a campaign to drive customers to store.

    harvester-large campaign imahgeAccording to Gavin Stirrat, MD EMEA for Millennial Media, they served display adverts to iPhone 5 users and those who had upgraded to iOS 6, with a skew towards families. When you clicked the banner, you reached a landing page communicating the offer - £5 off when you spend £30 or more -  and the call-to-action to add this to your Passbook. Eagle Eye then pushed the individually coded coupon to their smartphone. No additional customer details were required making the process as seamless as possible.

    Once the voucher was loaded into Passbook, you could redeem the voucher in the restaurant via the restaurant’s existing Chip & Pin terminal. In this way, it was possible to measure redemption rates and ROI. The campaign ran for two weeks and in that time, 16,000 vouchers were issued and around 700 were redeemed offering a 4.4% redemption rate. As the offer was for a minimum spend of £30, it drove at least £21,000 in revenue. And remember, this was just marketed to a subset of iOS customers who had iPhone 5 or iOS 6 so they had the improved Passbook functionality.

    It seems that even iPhone 5 customers like a bargain…

    More on Millennial Media’s site here and here. Press release on Eagle Eye’s site here.

    Further reading on how digital can drive customer engagement, footfall and loyalty in the High Street from Eagle Eye’s Andy Smith in British Retail Consortium’s Winter 2012 publication. (It’s one of those magazine reader thingies so it won’t work on a tiny mobile screen).