September 2012 - Mobivity

A Brief History of Text Messaging

Posted by | General, Mobile Advertising, SMS | No Comments

Can you imagine where your life would be without text messaging? Without being able to send a quick note that you’re going to be late going home, or coordinate a meeting with coworkers or friends on the go without ever making a phone call. It’s allowed us to be more efficient, independent, and direct in our interactions with each other. Among all of the short and simple methods of communication available, what lead us to the point we’re at where literally trillions of texts are sent every day (and yes, we mean it when we say literally)?

Texting, or SMS (short message service) is a method of communication that sends messages between cellphones (SMS or SMPP) — or from a PC or handheld to a cell phone (SMTP). The “short” part comes from the maximum size of a text message, which is 160 characters (letters, numbers or symbols in the Latin alphabet) regardless of phone, provider, or technology.

The SMS concept was first developed in the Franco-German GSM cooperation in 1984 by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert. The first text message was sent years later on December 3rd, 1992 from Neil Papworth, a former developer at Sema Group Telecoms. Mobile phones didn’t have keyboards at the time, so Papworth had to type the message on a PC. Papworth’s text — “Merry Christmas” — was successfully sent to Richard Jarvis at Vodafone.

Most early GSM mobile phone handsets did not support the ability to send text messages. The first SMS gateways for cellphones were network notifications, usually to inform of voice mail messages and billing alerts. Nokia was the first handset manufacturer whose total GSM phone line in 1993 supported user-sending of SMS text messages. In 1997, it became the first manufacturer to produce a mobile phone with a full keyboard: the Nokia 9000i Communicator.

Like any new technology, initial growth for SMS was slow. The average American user sent 0.4 texts per month in 1995. Gradually, phones and networks adapted to better accommodate SMS. In 1999, texts could finally be exchanged between different networks, which increased its usefulness. By 2000, the average number of text messages sent in the U.S. increased to 35 a month per person.

The first, most common method of commercial texting is referred to as “multi-tap.” Each number on the phone is connected to three or four letters. For example, the “3″ key displays “D,” “E” and “F.” Multi-tap is easy to understand, but not very efficient. In the 1990s, Tegic co-founder Cliff Kushler invented T9, short for “Text on 9 keys.” Instead of multi-tapping, predictive text technology displays words from a single keypress. As T9 became familiar with the words and phrases commonly used by the texter, they become correspondent in order of frequency. In 2011, Kushler invented Swype, a texting feature for touchscreens that enables users to drag their fingers to connect the dots between letters in a word.

Virtual keyboards had automatic spell check and correction, predictive text technology, and the ability to learn new words. The keys were larger and keyboard adapts to the phone’s width based on landscape or vertical orientation. Today, virtual keyboards have become a standard feature for smartphones. 2007 also happened to mark the first year that Americans sent and received more text messages per month than phone calls. Social media sites like Twitter adopted the short character format, which has likely helped the text message phenomenon — we’ve learned to be more concise and character-conscious.

Today, SMS is the most widely-used data application in the world, with 81% of mobile phone subscribers using it. And SMS has become more than just a way to text with friends — it also lets us receive updates and alerts, keep track of our finances, send email, and much more.

“The popularity and wide usage rates of text messaging are exactly what make it the ideal form of communication between brands and consumers.”

With new technology and communication mediums popping up almost every day, there will be more choices as far as how brands communicate with their customers. Whether you prefer Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Yellow Pages, or Mobile Marketing, there is one thing to always keep in mind. For each new technology presented to consumers, there will be early adopters and people who will never adopt a new technology at all and rarely leave the level of technology they are currently at (Seriously – Blackberry and RIM are still making phones). This is why, when trying to reach your customers, it is the best decision to use a communication channel that is the most widely used application in the world – text messaging.

You can read the full article on the history of the text message from Mashable here.

The Carolina Panthers Choose Mobivity as Mobile Marketing Partner With Three-Year Contract

Posted by | Press Releases | No Comments

PHOENIX, AZ–(Marketwire – Sep 27, 2012) – Mobivity Holdings Corporation (OTCBB: MFON), an award-winning provider of proprietary mobile marketing technologies and solutions, will be partnering with the Carolina Panthers to allow fans to interact with the organization on the mobile channel by using their mobile marketing platform, as well as in-stadium graphics for live polling and engagement during sporting events.

Michael Falato, SVP of Sales and Business Development for Mobivity, said, “We are excited to begin an exciting partnership with the Carolina Panthers. We have seen some tremendous results through implementing mobile marketing with other teams and organizations, and we cannot wait to bring this success to an organization like the Carolina Panthers.”
The Carolina Panthers will have access to the full array of Mobivity’s mobile marketing and Display technology over their three-year contract. Mobivity will create and provide web opt-in pages as well as in-stadium promotions to help engage and build a mobile phone database of their fans. In addition to aiding in the building process for this database, Mobivity will host Text-to-Win campaigns, polls, and other engagement solutions in-stadium to improve the overall fan experience. The Carolina Panthers will also have access to Mobivity’s unique Display technology, which will allow them to display HD graphics in-stadium that will update in real time through Mobivity’s Social Ticker, incorporating fan text messages and pictures, as well as Facebook and Twitter posts.

“We’re excited to move into the mobile realm with Mobivity, and begin engaging our fans on a personal basis. Mobivity is allowing our organization and our team to increase fan interaction and build a better team and fan loyalty across the board,” said John Berger, Director of Sponsorship Sales and Services for the Carolina Panthers.
In addition to helping build a database of fans, Mobivity will also be aiding the Carolina Panthers in re-engaging these individuals after they have left the stadium. Mobivity will do this through the use of a shared-short-code to send SMS alerts and notifications to the Carolina Panthers Database with the goal of increasing brand awareness and loyalty throughout fans and the organization as a whole.

Mobivity ( is an award-winning provider of proprietary mobile marketing technologies and the inventor of C4, a unique, enterprise-grade platform empowering brands to engage mobile consumers across multiple channels. The only system of its kind, C4 is a cloud-based solution, which provides broad mobile communications and extensive CRM features to clients. C4 is integrated with multiple tier-one PSTN/IP carriers and micropayment processing facilities as well as with carrier premium SMS billing systems. Additionally, Mobivity offers a unique graphical system through their Display Technology, which allows fans to interact with their mobile phones and high definition video boards and screens in real time. Mobivity’s clients include CNN, Disney, NFL, Sony Pictures, AT&T, USTA, Chick-fil-A, the Golf Channel, NBC Universal, numerous professional sports teams, and many others.

For additional information, contact:

Dennis Becker
Phone: 619.725.0990

For business development opportunities:

Michael Falato
SVP of Sales & Business Development
Email Contact
Phone: 512-522-4710

Why Simple is Successful in Mobile Advertising

Posted by | Mobile Advertising | No Comments

With the amount of users depending on their mobile device as a primary means of communication increasing every day, it’s not only important to be sure your brand’s voice is heard on the mobile channel, but that it’s optimized for viewing on the mobile channel.

With the vast variety in mobile marketing offerings, it can be difficult for brands to make sure their message is clear and concise. From QR codes, to mobile apps and in-app advertising, many brands and businesses have opted to go with the shotgun approach to mobile advertising, but a simple message may not only be more effective, but also be exactly what your customers are looking for.

“One of the most important parts for success in mobile marketing is to understand your demographics, and to cater to them by using the mobile medium that they communicate on daily. The only way to have your message be heard is to make sure your demographic is actually listening.”

Spencer Brannan, Senior VP of Sales at Mobivity said that “One of the most important parts for success in mobile marketing is to understand your demographics, and to cater to them by using the mobile medium that they communicate on daily. The only way to have your message be heard is to make sure your demographic is actually listening,” and it couldn’t be more true. Too many times we’ve seen mobile campaigns fall-short of expectations because of the assumption that any mobile advertising is good mobile advertising. The clear message that we’ve seen and projected time and again, however, is that brands must be clear on what will and will not succeed with their customer base.

This is one of the best and most promising possibilities of text messaging and mobile marketing, that if you know what you’re doing (and what your customer demographic is) you can all but guarantee that you’ll see success with mobile marketing.

Here’s what you absolutely want to look out for in mobile marketing if you want to succeed:

1. Target your messages specifically

By sending targeted messages, in lieu of a shotgun approach, you can track success and send messages that are specific to your demographics.

2. Short Messages Work Best

Getting too lofty with long copy and detailed messages will turn mobile users away. Keep it simple.

3. Be Direct

The world of mobile marketing moves even faster, and has a shorter attention span than internet users of the past – getting to the point quickly will keep your customers attention and allow them to act on your offer before they move on to something else.

4. Media-Rich Mobile Experiences are Preferred

Mobile Websites and Social Media are two amazingly simple ways to keep your customers engaged on their mobile phones.

5. Mobile is Action Driven – Be Active

Engage your users, don’t just use mobile to send them coupons and offers – the most successful messages in mobile marketing are the ones that engage your customers and invoke action in them. It’s simple, and will increase the participation rates you see.

One of the marketing channels that has always had the broadest reach, and one of the highest success rates (both within and outside of the mobile world) is text message marketing. While in-app messaging and QR codes can create engaging and media-rich mobile experiences for your customers, only 52.9% of mobile users have smart-phones able to engage in these activities. The number one app across all American smartphones is text message marketing. It’s simple, to reach your customers on their terms, follow the above rules on the most used conversational channel in the country.

Social and Mobile – the Perfect Pair

Posted by | Mobile Advertising, Mobile Experience, Social Media | No Comments

According to a new study done by Google, 66-percent of social media access begins on a smartphone. With our world constantly transitioning between screens and mindsets – from work, to home, to television, to personal adventures – the only screen that offers constant access and bridges each of these mediums is the mobile screen.

While Google’s study takes a bit of a deeper dive into the multi-screen and platform mentality we all engage in daily, the important takeaway is just how much of our lives mobile currently consumes. From emailing coworkers back on our lunch break, to tweeting about your day on the commute home – mobile is bridging and connecting each cross-section of our lives daily. Mobile has truly shifted from a nice commodity to have to a game changer in the way we interact with almost everyone in our lives. According to Dai Pham, Marketing Manager of Mobile Ads at Google, Mountain View, CA:

“The research showed that smartphones are the backbone of consumer’s multi-screen behavior as they’re the device we interact with most and use most often in combination with another screen … Any marketing campaign today should include a mobile component, [because] ensuring that you can be found on mobile when a consumer looks for you, and providing them a mobile-optimized experience when they get to your site are two key ways businesses can take advantage of mobile multi-screening.”

The study showed an array of interesting and important stats about mobile and social behavior in the US:

  • Of the 66 percent of smartphone users who first accessed social media on their devices, 58 percent continued the experience on a laptop and eight percent moved to a tablet for the same purpose
  • 65 percent of consumers begin a search on a smartphone
  • 38 percent of users booking a trip began the task on a PC with 31 percent of the users continuing to a smartphone
  • Smartphones average a 17-minutes per interaction, and make up 38 percent of daily media interactions
  • 40 percent of smartphone usage takes place in the home with 60 percent taking place elsewhere

It’s clear that whether is social media, e-commerce, or simply chatting with a friend – conversations are likely to start and continue on mobile devices, meaning that they need to be a key part of brands’ marketing strategy. Mobile and social channels have always been a match made in heaven for consumers, and it’s time that brands start engaging with their customers in a way that is personal and effective for the customer. To connect with your customers, all you have to do is speak on the channel they’re listening to, and more and more it’s appearing that that lies within a marriage between mobile and social.

Read more on Google’s study at the Mobile Marketer here.

How Yelp Ratings Can Affect Your Restaurant’s Business

Posted by | Mobile Advertising, Social Media | No Comments

Odds are that by now, if you are a restaurant owner, you’ve heard about Yelp, and probably already have a page with your hours, specials, location, and reviews from your raving fans. A recent study at UC Berkeley found that a half-star change in a restaurant’s rating on Yelp can make or break that restaurant’s business. In fact, the study found that a half-star change in the positive direction will make a restaurant 30-40% more likely to sell out seats for evening dinner reservations.

Obviously, it’s extremely important to keep your Yelp review page up to date, and full of relevant information – not only for customers looking for a place to eat at night, but also for reviewers to read all about you before reviewing. And as Joann Pan, news intern at Mashable’s HQ in New York, notes:

“Customer reviews travel far in the age of tweets and mobile check-ins. As more foodies come to rely on word-of-mouth reviews, Yelp’s system of ratings can make or break a restaurant.”

With this “word-of-mouth” style, anyone and everyone can be a critic of your restaurant, and it is key to manage expectations so that you can leverage the worth of Yelp reviews to increase your restaurant attendance. In order to help better understand this resource, we’ve narrowed down 5 things that you probably don’t, but should, know about Yelp.

  • 1. Most of its traffic is from its homepage.
    In 2012, you would expect the majority of searches to come from mobile apps and web browsers, but almost 60% of total Yelp searches and page landings come from the company’s desktop homepage. Still, the trend is moving towards mobile, but it’s important to keep an eye on your desktop page, and possibly purchase Yelp advertising to help promote your page.
  • 2. Restaurants aren’t the biggest category.
    Believe it or not, Yelp is an overall review site, and can be used for anyone to post reviews about your business (psst: this is for all of our retail clients). While restaurant reviews are key for increasing foot traffic, Yelp can be used for any of your customers to give reviews.
  • 3. Encouraging customers to post reviews is a bad idea.
    Yelp has a pronounced value of quality over quantity – the best reviews you can get won’t be because you prompted a customer to tell their friends about you on Yelp, it will be because they had a great experience at your business, and feel inclined to tell their friends about it. Focus on your customer’s experience, not on building up to a review from them.
  • 4. Those ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ stickers? You’ve gotta earn them.
    These stickers tend to encourage reviews by customers that come through your door – the only caveat? Yelp only delivers these stickers about twice a year to businesses with high ratings. Again, focus on the experience of your customers, and the reviews (and stickers) will come.
  • 5. Every Star in a review leads to a 5-9 percent jump in revenues.
    Much like reviews and stickers, if you focus on the experience of your customers, and it’s easy for them to find you on Yelp, your business will increase. Yelp is one of the largest review aggregators on the world, so it’s important for your business information to be accurate, and easy to find – that way that your customers can find you and tell all their friends how great of a company you run.

One way to increase the amount of reviews you garner from Yelp would be to increase the amount of interaction you have with your customers, and that’s the perfect place to bridge mobile and reviews. Mobile marketing allows you to take advantage of customers while they’re in your location. Whether it’s SMS polling and feedback to get a feel for what your customers want, or it’s sending coupons or reconnecting over a text message, mobile allows you to bridge your customer’s experience and your brand, allowing you to better leverage, and hopefully increase, the reviews you get on Yelp.

You can read more here on more things you probably don’t know about Yelp, and how to increase the effect it has on your business.

One-Click Messaging with Mobivity

Posted by | General, Mobile Advertising, SMS, Social Media | No Comments

Over the next few weeks we will be launching a few new products to help businesses connect with their customers in a personal way, so we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to a few new revenue generating tools.

First on the list is our new One-Click Messaging.

It’s no secret that your customers are on social networks, and odds are that you also have a branded company Twitter or Facebook page to help connect with these customers in a personal way. While social networking can be extremely effective and helpful for businesses and brands, it can be time-consuming and pain inducing to go to several different sites to connect with your friends and fans.

We’ve designed a simple, and easy to use solution to help you connect with your customers in the way that matters to them most:

By being able to send a message to Twitter, Facebook, and your text message database all at once, you can increase the reach of your messages have while decreasing the amount of time you take to send those messages.

We’ll be rolling out this product on or around September 18th. If you have any questions about connecting your accounts, or how to best utilize social and mobile together, give your Account Coach a call.

Your Customer Loyalty Solution Awaits! CALL NOW: 877-282-7660 GET STARTED NOW