November 2012 - Mobivity

Clarified Opt-Out Regulations From the FCC

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

Those of us in the mobile marketing industry haven’t been strangers to the struggles related to opting-out a user no longer wishing to receive a text message, and the lawsuits that can come with them, but the FCC shined some light on the open seas today as far as what is acceptable moving forward.

As Wireless Week notes,

“The FCC today issued a declaratory ruling stating that it’s alright for companies to send a confirmation text after a consumer has sent an opt-out text.”

The article goes on to state that the FCC confirmed that sending a one-time text message confirming a consumer’s request that no further text messages be send does not violate the TCPA of the commission’s rules, as long as the confirmation text has the specific characteristics described in the petition. “Our ruling will allow organizations that send text messages to consumers form whom they have obtained prior express consent to continue the practice of sending a final, one-time text to confrim receipt of a consumer’s opt-out request,” says the FCC ruling, acknowledging that the practice of an opt-out confirmation message is widespread.

At Mobivity, we’re pleased with the FCC ruling and clarification that will allow us to continue providing the same genuine and quality customer service and experience that both our clients and their customers have become accustomed to. Although this FCC clarification will offer no protection to downright spammers, like this group of British individuals who were indicted for sending nearly 800,000 spam texts per day, it does offer a clearer view on our day to day activities, and offers protection to Mobivity and our clients alike.

The good news, and main take away from this, is that mobile marketing is becoming a better place for marketers and brands to be. With regulations being set in place to protect brands and their customers alike, many of the headaches for mobile marketers will begin to become less and less irritating as the mobile adoption grows each year, and Mobivity will be right here to help you wade the mobile marketing waters as the tide begins to rise.

The (Quasi) Smartphone Revival

Posted by | Mobile Advertising, Mobile Experience | No Comments

According to new figures released by the Wireless Smartphone Strategies service, there are now more than one billion smartphones in circulation worldwide.

As of the third quarter of 2012, one in seven people worldwide now own a smartphone, which brings the grand total to just over 1 billion smartphones worldwide. Around this time last year, there were only about 700 million smartphones in use worldwide, showing an almost 40% increase in only one year, according to Strategy Analytics.

Although the total number of smartphones active worldwide seems like a huge number, developing markets like China and India still have plenty of room for mobile growth, with Strategy Analytics predicting that smartphones will reach 2 billion active smartphone in around three years.

While smartphones may be the fastest spreading technology in human history, it’s still important to keep in mind the number of users still using feature phones as opposed to smart phones (or dumb phones, as we like to call them). With Apple as one of the most valuable companies in the world, due largely in part to the 2007 release of the highly popular iPhone, smartphones and how to connect with your customers who have them are often on people’s minds. However, it is incredibly important to keep in mind that smartphone penetration is still only around 27% worldwide, leaving the majority of mobile phone users without access to some of the “fancier” and more media rich mobile marketing efforts like mobile apps, QR codes, and push notification systems.

Even more relevant, the United States are slightly higher in smartphone penetration with around 63% of American mobile phone users having smartphones, and 37% with more simple feature phones.

At least in the United States, it’s simple for developers as smartphones are inherently ruled by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems. Yet marketers aiming to expand their customer reach in the mobile realm will have a hard time if only aiming to reach smartphone users. As the great David Ogilvy once said:

“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”

It is simple for marketers to become distracted by the shiny new marketing mediums available with the wide range of capabilities smartphones offer, but is important for brands and businesses to keep in mind where their customers pay their attention.

That’s what makes a multi-faceted mobile marketing approach so much more successful. No successful business will be okay with only target 63% of their customers with any given marketing medium when the capability to reach 100% of your customer base is available, and that is exactly what makes mobile marketing and SMS messaging a perfect pair.

Mobile Becoming a More Powerful Consumer Revolution Than Web

Posted by | Case Studies, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Analytics | No Comments

When looking at the rate at which consumers adopted the internet boom of the 1990′s and early 2000′s, it’s becoming more clear each day that the mobile revolution is poised to be much more powerful and disruptive to the way consumers interact with businesses, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Throughout the “How to Start Bridging the Mobile Monetization Gap” report Forrester Research notes that although mobile is evolving faster than the Web could have ever dreamed of, sound monetization strategies are not currently following close behind. In the report, Forrester notes that “few businesses can survive on mobile as a standalone business model, meaning that mobile more often than not takes on the role of an extension of an existent business model.” And, as Thomas Husson (Paris-based analyst at Forrester Research) notes:

“Marketers need to combine new marketing variables such as time, consumer knowledge, and place to deliver more personalized, immediate and tailored content on mobile phones. They need to anticipate the emergence of new forms of interactions with consumers by providing immersive rich-media formats that provide personalized, contextually-relevant content that is not perceived as ads by consumers,” he said. “It requires marketers to identify the value that mobile engagement brings throughout the customer lifecycle.”

Mobile Growth
Many companies like Facebook, Rovio, Twitter, Pandora, and Groupon often generate headlines in the mobile industry because of their large groups of mobile users. However, these companies have not proven business models that directly support their mobile users. One example of this conundrum is Facebook, which claims that nearly 60 percent of all its user-base is accessing the site from mobile devices, yet revenue generated from mobile only represents 15 percent of the company’s total revenue.

Similarly, Rovio boasts nearly one million app downloads via popular app franchises like Angry Birds, yet thirty percent of the company’s revenue still comes from merchandising and licensing sources, not mobile.

Global Change
Mobile web is growing at an incredibly rapid pace globally compared to the rate at which the internet grew (and is still growing). While there have surely been growing pains along the way, Forrester forecasts that by 2017 mobile internet will reach 29 percent of the Indian population, 37 percent of the Brazilian population, and 64 percent of Chinese populations; which is absolutely astounding if you consider the rate at which internet is still growing in these countries.

However, there are two key aspects that business models like Facebook and Groupon don’t offer business looking to reach customers on the mobile channel, retention and continuity.

While these mobile models offer consumers the access to businesses via extremely populated channels, they lack a key aspect for businesses to see mobile success: the access of businesses to mobile consumers. This will be the key defining factor in coming years in the success of mobile. Advertising has always been about how to best reach the customer, and how to best influence or encourage their purchasing decisions.

Mobile marketing offers that don’t consider this sort of retention will begin to fall to the wayside as corporations, small businesses, and consumers alike become more aware of the mobile world – leaving only the mobile marketing companies who can guarantee one thing, and one thing only. More customers, more often.

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