Friday, June 22, 2007

SMS 2.0 Launched in Asia

A marriage of messaging with content and advertising. That’s the new ‘text’ reality as Cellular Operator - Bharti Airtel, has announced a major upgrade to the popular application, SMS. In a tie-up with UK-based mobile media innovations firm Affle, the telecom company has launched SMS 2.0, which is, for now, available to mobile phone subscribers in New Delhi, India.

While sending an SMS, users usually see a sending message’ icon on their mobile phone screens; now, during that time, with Airtel-Affle’s SMS 2.0, they can listen to advertisements and content such as news and cricket updates – strictly on the subject of one’s choice. There is apparently no scope for any spam messages as the user is required to define the mobile content by specifying his area of interest and registering after he has downloaded the new application. So, the ads and the content will be woven together totally as per the user’s choice.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mobile: User Generated Content

The market for mobile user-generated content (UGC) services like Tocmag will be worth $13.2bn by 2011, according to research published by Informa Telecoms and Media and the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF). Tocmag, which launched in the UK recently, offers users the ability to create six-page mobile magazines which can be filled with text, images, audio and video. As the first free UGC application for mobiles to go live, Tocmag’s launch is a significant milestone for the burgeoning ‘Mobile Web 2.0’ market, say Informa and the MEF.According to M:Metrics, 29% of UK mobile owners currently use the mobile Internet. According to the research, this figure will rise significantly over the next year as increasing numbers of mobile UGC services enter the fray. Informa and the MEF say that early efforts in this space, such as Orange’s highly-successful ‘buff or rough’ concept, suggest that mobile UGC will prove the ‘killer app’ for mobile internet. They argue, too, that this idea is well-supported by Tocmag’s impressive beta user stats. Between May this year and the official launch of the service two weeks ago, more than 10,000 Tocmags were built, generating almost 125,000 downloads – entirely by word of mouth.

In lieu of the Mobile User Generated Content rising, I think people would want to go beyond the "160 characters" limit and express themselves, whether it be love or business or war! Therefore, the need arises to develop an inexpensive module with mroe capacity and more expression (if possible.) Further, it leaves us no choice but emails over phone but many operators may be providing this service at a high cost or may not, at all!
To enhance the future of Mobile Content orientation, this magazine thingie rocks!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mobile Advertising : Revisited

In the Indian market, advertising is roughly a $300 billion annual industry. There are over 200 million wireless subscribers in India with high penetration (over 70 percent) in most urban centers. The mobile device, always on, always available, presents a unique opportunity for marketers to engage and interact with consumers like never before. Given this channel's uniqueness and ability to create the long sought-after one-to-one dialogue with consumers, the expected reach and effect of mobile advertising is, and will continue to be, significant.

Although mobile advertising is being tested in all mobile media areas, including mobile Web, mobile video and TV, and mobile downloads and messaging, the most predominant form is currently mobile Web.

So let's talk about mobile Web and what that means. Mobile Web (or WAP) enables a subscriber to access the Internet through mobile-optimized sites from a mobile device. Mobile Web provides access to a variety of news, information, and entertainment sites, much like what subscribers find in the wired world. For publishers, the mobile Web environment provides an opportunity for brands to extend their reach to consumers through a highly targeted personal device.

How do you buy mobile Web advertising? It's similar to buying advertising on the Internet. Mobile Web banner impressions can be purchased by CPM (define) and can be bought either from publishers who maintain their own mobile Web sites or through a mobile ad network. And contrary to many published comments on mobile advertising, there's inventory available. What's unique about mobile advertising is that due to devices' varied sizes, mobile Web banners are optimized to fit the handset the ad is viewed on. Publishers often request multiple mobile Web banner sizes to ensure multiple devices can be supported. Critical to the development of the mobile advertising industry are guidelines and best practices for the mobile Web advertising experience. The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) launched the first mobile advertising guidelines in September 2005 and continues to update the guidelines in response to changing trends. What's helped ensure the success and adoption of these guidelines is the MMA Mobile Advertising Committee comprises leaders across the ecosystem: wireless carriers, publishers, technology vendors, handset manufacturers, and media companies.
Collaboration between key players has been instrumental in ensuring global adoption and acceptance of the mobile advertising guidelines (unlike other channels, mobile requires broad, cross-ecosystem cooperation to ensure success). If you're interested in mobile advertising, check out the guidelines. Not only do they contain the formats for mobile Web and messaging, they also contain content guidelines and technical requirements for mobile advertisers.
Once you've bought mobile Web inventory, what types of campaigns can be run? Options marketers can deploy include click to call, landing page information, e-mail capture, and the ability to send text, picture, audio, or video directly from the device. Real world examples of these campaigns have been discussed in earlier columns. These can include mobile coupons, banner ads with location information, ads with e-mail registration capabilities, and so on. Options are limitless.
Mobile campaign performance can be measured and evaluated in a number of ways to evaluate success. The main mobile Web measurement is impressions, but rates on click-through, click-to-call, and other interactive mobile metrics can also monitored. More information on measuring mobile advertising success is here.
Mobile advertising is only one of many options available to marketers interested in implementing mobile in cross-media initiatives. Mobile provides the opportunity to not only repurpose existing content for the mobile device but also create new channel content. There's always the option to refine a campaign after it's been deployed. I encourage marketers to get involved and add mobile to cross-media initiatives. Mobile is a process of iterative refinement. Start today.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nokia & EIU

From a source on myspace:
Competition is pushing businesses towards greater mobility, and companies plan to adopt mobile applications for core business activities - these were two key findings in a recent global survey on business mobility conducted by Nokia and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and in cooperation with the CIO Forum. As business mobility continues making headway into organizations and more advanced applications and processes are mobilized, the reasons behind companies’ mobility adoption can vary from hard core ROI benefits to softer values such as employee retention. Companies are increasingly implementing mobility to offer greater collaboration, responsiveness to customers, and better work-life balance to staff, fundamentally changing the ways people are working.

Nokia and EIU polled more than 500 global executives across a range of industries to find out how their organizations were using business mobility. In the survey, three quarters of the respondents pointed to human factors such as attracting the best talent - including new entrants to the workforce–improving customer support, and building brand reputations as reasons for deploying business mobility.

The survey shows that business mobility has gone mainstream. Well over one-third of executives reported that at least 20% of their employees can be considered ‘mobile workers’, defined as those who spend at least one day a week away from the office. Far from being a requirement for just a few specialized technology firms, business mobility is now seen as broadly applicable to companies in many industrial sectors.

Mobile Marketing : redefined

Today a Consumer does much more with his mobile phone than just Call, SMS, Radio or Camera - it has become a tool for him to communicate and bring his customised world together with the push of a button. Wee see ourselves as a Mobile Marketing company that provides technology to create interactive campaigns to effectively coomunicate the 'hard-to-reach' audience as well.
Like internet or TV advertising initiatives, this is the ability to offer a call to action or brand banner within the Mobile Application, whether it's Mobile Web(WAP), text messaging(SMS), pictures (MMS) or Video.