Mobile Experience Archives - Mobivity

Major Phone Carriers Launching 911 Text Message Service by 2014

Posted by | General, Mobile Experience | No Comments

Last week the four largest mobile phone carriers in the US announced a planned agreement to allow users to contact the American 911 service via text message. In a statement released on Thursday, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said that AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile had all signed on to the “text-to-911″ program, which will see “major deployments” in 2013, before a nationwide launch no later than May 15th, 2014.

Last week’s announcement simply marks the latest stepping stone towards the FCC’s continuing Next Generation 9-1-1 initiative, which was started in 2010. The goals of the commission and initiative are simple, “to bring 911 into the Digital Age” through expanding the service to use and communicate through the modern communication systems in place in today’s society.

Currently 911 emergency services can only be contact by a phone call, but under the FCC’s new “text-to-911″ plan users would be able to send texts, videos, and photos to 911 dispatchers and operators – hopefully expanding the strength and effectiveness of the 911 program currently in place. This service, as noted by The Verge, would be especially helpful to people with hearing or speech disabilities, who may not be able to communicate via voice call. Technology has adapted and created communication platforms that are more highly used and disability friendly, and as the Verge notes:

“Access to 911 must catch up with how consumers communicate in the 21st century.”

It is expected that at launch in 2014 the new service will be available to more than 90 percent of all wireless customers in the US. Throughout the rollout phase those attempting to text 911 will receive an automatic bounce-back, or auto-response, message if the service is not yet available in their area.

Getting all four major carriers to sign on had proven difficult for Genachowski and the FCC, who hailed the announcement as a major step forward:

Today we are one step closer towards that vital goal. . . This is good progress, but our work is not done.”

While there are still many bugs in the system to figure out, such as whether or not Apple’s iMessage service will be 911 compliant, the FCC will be working to ensure that the service is available to all Americans – helping to usher one of our nation’s most fundamental and used systems into the mobile and digital ages.

Mobile’s Effect on Holidays

Posted by | Mobile Experience, Technology | No Comments

According to an infographic created by Digitas, and highlighted by Mashable, Mobile shopping was said to double this year on Thanksgiving day.

In fact, the article warns for readers to not “be too surprised if you [caught] one of your relatives shopping on their smartphone during Thanksgiving dinner.” Which, actually, isn’t too far from the truth. One of my family’s traditions is for all the fathers, uncles, and cousins (of legal age, of course) is to visit our local pub after everyone has departed Thanksgiving dinner for the night and observe our thankfulness for the great and mighty Guinness. On our way out I saw someone standing at the corner of the pub away from her friends on her iPad. Low and behold, she had Amazon open, and was taking advantage of early online Black Friday deals.

According to Mashable,

“Twenty-eight percent of those who own a smartphone or tablet plan to shop from their mobile devices on [Thanksgiving]. . . That’s nearly twice the percentage who said they would shop from a mobile device on Thanksgiving in a similar survey conducted last year.”

A wide percentage of this increase can be attributed to students and young adults, amongst whom nearly 40% planned to shop from their homes this holiday season, and said that “they would actually forego going to a Thanksgiving meal if they knew in advance they couldn’t use their phones.”

For these reasons Digitas, the group that managed this research study and creator of the infographic, has dubbed Thanksgiving “Mobile Thursday.” While many households may be frustrated when searching for quality family time, Digitas argues that the shift in mobile use on Thanksgiving poses a “great opportunity for brands.” And, though some may be frustrated, my family seemed to be out of the norm. During our annual family Bunco game there were just as many dice on the table as there were smartphones and tablets.

“With more consumers shopping on their devices, brands are being provided with more mobile moments to address and create impact – even during a time of turkey, football, and family,” said Chia Chen, SVP of Mobile Practice Lead for Digitas.

However, even with the strength in these numbers, there are challenges for brands who want to boost holiday sales through mobile devices. Even with more people than ever planning to shop from their phones on Thanksgiving, the vast majority (76%) of people surveyed still think it’s easier to shop from a computer. If retailers really want to boost mobile commerce, they must first improve the ease of the shopping experience and tablets first, and think about what their consumers are looking for in a mobile experience.

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.

Sony Pictures Creates Viral Mobile Marketing Campaign for “Carrie”

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

During this past weekend’s New York Comic Con Sony Pictures unveiled a first look at it’s remake of horror-movie classic, Carrie.

While there has already been a strong social media buzz around this 1976 classic based on an iconic novel by Stephen King, Sony Pictures is also taking a viral and mobile marketing approach to promote the film.

During Comic Con in New York, promoters of the film encouraged crowd-participants to “learn what happened to Carrie” by calling 207-404-2604. This mobile call-to-action is also featured in the only released teaser trailer for the film on YouTube. When a user calls the phone number, they interactively engage in a conversation with the main character of the film, Carrie; only to be interrupted by an overheard conversation with her mother. In one of the creepiest calls I’ve heard (that is, next to the campaign for the House at the End of the Street), users are promised a unique experience leading up to the film when asked to opt-in for “further calls” from Carrie.

The mobile marketing feature used by Carrie and Sony Pictures is an interactive and patented feature called IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, technology. It, in essence, allows an end-user to have an interactive phone call with a pre-recorded conversation, creating an exciting and media rich experience that is unparalleled. Additionally, users that opt-in to the Carrie campaign may receive additional phone calls or text messages from Sony Pictures helping to engage and build excitement around the film in the six coming months until the film in the Spring of 2013.

While many think of QR Codes or Mobile Webpages when it comes to a media-rich mobile experience, it is important to consider your customer-base. Today in the US nearly 50% of cell phone users do not own a smartphone, and those individuals are left out when it comes to these “traditionally” considered media-rich campaigns. A feature like IVR allows businesses to interact with a much wider consumer base than smartphone-only mobile marketing campaigns, while still creating exciting and media-rich campaigns.

Mobile marketing is one of the premier ways to market and generate buzz around a business or brand, and allows a unique and personal connection with your fans, followers, and customers. Mobivity offers a slew of mobile features that allow you to capture your customers attention where it matters most – on their phone; no matter what type of phone they use. And with the success Sony Pictures has already seen around this Carrie campaign, you can expect mobile marketing to become a strong fixture for connection for years to come.

Try it yourself! Call 207-404-2604 today to check out the Carrie IVR campaign.

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.

The Widespread Adoption of the Third Screen in Movies and Television

Posted by | Mobile Advertising, Mobile Experience, Technology | No Comments

This summer has been an exciting and interactive season for mobile marketing and blockbuster hits. We’ve seen a lot of adoption of and utilization of the “third screen,” as our VP of Sales and Marketing Spencer Brannan calls it, allowing movie and television producers to bridge the gap between their viewers and the screen they’re watching.

Several fall movies that are being promoted right now include a mobile marketing approach to attempt to virally increase movie attendance, including one of our own with the movie House at the End of the Street.

Another prominent and upcoming movie is Parnormal Activity 4, which introduces a text call to action at the end of the released trailers. This call to action prompts a viewer to opt-in to the movie’s campaign, then sending an exclusive trailer (see the image to the left) not released to the public, as well as methods to make sharing this campaign and trailer with friends more easy and convenient.

While the Paranormal Activity series isn’t world renowned for it’s artistic film-making qualities, one thing they are good at is engaging their audience, and marketing in a viral way. By encouraging participation in their mobile campaign with the promise of exclusive trailers and details about the upcoming movie, the marketing minds behind Paranormal Activity are starting off a successful mobile campaign to the tee, and will likely see large participation rates across the country.

But we’ve also seen that mobile campaigns aren’t just for movies and that television shows can engage an audience just as well (if not better).

The popular television show Breaking Bad, though seemingly controversial, has always gotten rave reviews for it’s place as a “social” television show.

The show has been able to generate buzz on social networks like Twitter and Facebook by engaging viewers in contests, questionnaires, and conversations while everyone is guessing what Walt will do next. But while it’s no question that Breaking Bad has gotten Social down, their entrance into mobile with the show’s fifth and final season has been exciting to see unfold.

With AMC’s newly released “Story Sync” app for Android and iOS devices, viewers are provided with “supplemental content” before, during, and after each episode is aired. As John Paul Titlow notes,

“In many cases, [Story Sync] was as simple as a poll asking viewers for their opinions about something that had just happened in the show. The auto-refreshing feed also included graphics and quotes from previous episodes, which provided pertinent context and details at precisely the right moments.”

AMC’s Story Sync has proven that mobile marketing can be used for far more than just advertising. They are using the mobile channel as a way to communicate exclusive content and additional details to the viewers of their beloved shows – and as a self-pronounced Breaking Bad fanatic, I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the Story Sync experience.

So what does all this mean to you? How does Hollywood’s adoption of mobile affect the customer base of small to medium sized businesses and restaurants? Hollywood’s adoption of the mobile channel is an introduction. Consumers and viewers are one in the same – both are looking for ways to feel that they are getting exclusive content and special treatment from a brand that (otherwise) probably doesn’t even know their name.

That’s what utilizing the mobile channel is all about. It’s about connecting with your customers at quite possibly the most personal level – their mobile phones – and then using that connection to foster a relationship that not only increases brand awareness and loyalty, but eventually lands your business more customers due to the adoption of mobile.

While we are set to see more and more mobile interaction with each passing day, it’s not too late to check it all out. Give us a call today to learn more about how you could be engaging your customers on the mobile channel and capitalize on the adoption of mobile throughout the country.

The Future of Mobile Payment is Now – But How Do Your Customers Feel About That?

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

With the recent partnership between Starbucks and Square there is a lot of buzz around a few magic words for businesses worldwide – mobile payment solutions. The metrics around mobile shopping and payment are all over the place. Who does the most mobile shopping? What kind of mobile ads are the most engaging for purchases? How can you best engage your customers for mobile transactions?

According to a recent Mashable article, nearly 45 million Americans used their phones to shop in June of this year. Shopping apps like eBay and Amazon have seen downloads to up to 13 million users in 2012 – with daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social not far behind. So how does the little guy take a part in the recent mobile payment offerings? After all, we’re all looking onward.

First, let’s look at the value of mobile shoppers. According to the Mobile Marketer, mobile shoppers have more value to brands than traditional shoppers, for a number of reasons. Perhaps most notably, mobile shoppers show less price sensitivity, and a much higher sense of brand loyalty. But in order to obtain those mobile shoppers, you must first learn who they are:

“Mobile shoppers are also most likely to buy based on ease of use, with 51 percent stating they prefer applications and 49 percent stating they prefer Web sites. Other findings include that 54 percent of mobile shoppers are most likely to use their device to research products when shopping, whereas 58 percent of traditional shoppers are most likely to compare prices. Additionally, 37 percent of mobile shoppers visit a brand’s Web site or application first when seeking product information versus 28 percent of traditional shoppers.

So in order to best engage and interact with your customers for mobile payment, you must first set yourself up for your customers to be able to easily find you. It is key for your customers to be able to find you online – and for the information they find to be correct – and for that information to be optimized for their mobile viewing. Failing to ensure either of these could be fatal for acquisition of mobile customers.

However, with all the buzz around mobile payment, no one seems to be paying attention to the obvious pitfall – what about those 49% of consumers who don’t have smart-phones? Any marketer willing to trade sales for technology should quickly be looking for a new job. But even without a smartphone, you can still engage your customers to increase shopping in a mobile world. Text messaging reaches nearly 100% of US cell phones, and consumers have been found more likely to act on mobile ads that they feel are catered to them personally. While mobile shopping apps provide a convenience factor for shoppers that perhaps may have been unseen before, there is very little in the personality department. A mobile campaign with Mobivity can help you interact with your customers on a one-on-one level, and will foster a sense of loyalty and brand awareness that you’ve never seen before. But don’t take our word for it, give it a try for free today.

One Small Step for Square, One Giant Leap for Mobile Payment

Posted by | Mobile Experience, News, Technology | No Comments

Jack Dorsey, who describes himself well in his twitter bio as “Executive Chairman of Twitter, CEO of Square, a founder of both,” has just made one giant leap (see what we did there?) towards mobile payment solutions as an everyday occurance by moving the benefits from something only the technologically savvy could enjoy to something we will begin to see a lot more of. Late last night I saw Jack’s tweet, and couldn’t help but get excited.After reading Jack’s late night tweet, my iPhone also rang out it’s uniform email tone. I opened my email to see a note from Jack, founder of Square, just moments after reading his tweet. I couldn’t help but think “man, this guy is on top of things.”

In his letter Jack, rightfully proud, notes that:

“I am pleased and proud to announce that today Starbucks signed up for Square. Square began with a really simple idea: everyone should be able to accept credit cards. It should be easy and free to get set up, it should use simple technology people already own, and, most importantly, it should instantly adapt to any size business—from the person chasing a dream to the largest organization on the planet. By embracing Square, Starbucks has validated these ideas as powerful tools—not just for small businesses, but for smart businesses.”

This is big, for consumers and businesses alike. Mobile payment has always been a big dream for business innovators, but hasn’t been taken seriously by consumers. I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve geeked out when seeing “we accept square” at my favorite pub in LA, or tiny coffee shops in Gilbert, AZ. Yet those around me don’t trust it, saying things like “you really expect me to swipe my credit card through your iPhone or iPad? Not going to happen.” But with the commercial adoption of Square in Starbucks locations across the country, individuals will be eased into the concept and hopefully adopt the transition a little easier and with less kickback.

From cab drivers, to startups without the technology or infrastructure to integrate a legacy payment system, Square offers one of the best solutions on the market for accepting credit cards. If you have a mobile phone, then you can accept credit cards for your business – and come on, who wouldn’t want to try it after looking at that beautiful website?

And as most people are aware of, Starbucks is no stranger to the mobile marketplace. Starbucks has been working and interacting with it’s customers over mobile for years, so this pair couldn’t possibly be dreamed up to be any better.

So what does this mean for the consumer? Moving forward, Starbucks will integrate Square into it’s nearly 7,000 locations worldwide to help decrease processing fees, as well as investing 25 million dollars into Square. As the consumer, don’t expect your latte to become any cheaper as a result of these lower processing fees; but you will (hopefully) see more convenient transactions and a heightened experience with Starbucks’ mobile app.

Either way, mobile payment is becoming a larger part of our future each day. For those of us in the mobile industry, it’s a very exciting time. Keep an eye out for Square in your local Starbucks starting at the end of this year.

Connecting with Your Customers 160 Characters at a Time

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

It has become obvious over the last few years that the era of page-long ads loaded with copy may slowly start becoming a thing of the past. We live in a growing era of 160 character text messages, and 140 character tweets – two of the most popular advertising mediums with everyone from small businesses to large corporations.

Even those who (still?) support email marketing are looking at the best ways for email to tackle mobile. So how is your business heading into the mobile market – are you jumping in head first with innovative campaigns, or are you merely attempting to mold your current marketing campaigns to have a mobile component? In fact, after the explosion in popularity of email marketing, most emails from marketers go directly into junk mailboxes, creating the exact opposite of a campaign that will engage your customers. Email just isn’t as successful as mobile anymore, as Steven van Zanen notes in his article, “Making the Case for SMS Marketing Over Email“:

“One of the most effective ways to engage consumers is via SMS. Reaching 95 percent of British mobile users and up to 5 billion people worldwide, the humble text message is one of the most trusted mediums of communication.”

In 2011, mobile messaging surpassed email traffic by 500 times, and postal by 300 times – so how does a business take advantage of this shift? Adopting a short message mentality will connect your brand with your customers on their level, one where they actually read your messages. Below we’ll summarize what R.J. Talyor suggests as key areas to focus in alongside this shift.

Know Your Audience
We can never express the importance of knowing who your audience is before beginning any mobile campaign. Failing to do so will not only alienate your audience, but fail to get your message to it’s intended subscribers – a lesson presidential campaigners are learning by using mobile apps (which can only target a rough estimate of 49% of the US market who have smartphones with app capabilities) versus a more comprehensive campaign like Barack Obama’s 2008 text campaign.

Additionally, it is key to test, test, and test again. Make sure that you learn the kind of messages that your customers want to receive. Failing to do so will result in opt-outs en masse, the exact opposite of what a mobile campaign’s goals are.

Personalize Your Message

“Subscribers are not interested in recycled content or batch and blast messages. Use the information collected to send personalized, relevant messages.”

Use your messages to personalize to your community. This is the key benefit to individual location based campaigns, which see much more success, over nationwide corporate campaigns. Personalization will result in higher levels of interaction and redemption, and create a sense of community between your brand and the subscribers in your campaign.

Don’t Rely on SMS Alone, Get Your Email Campaigns, Social Networks, and Everything Else on Mobile
Once you have your customer’s attention, keep it. Using text messages to direct subscribers to desktop versions of your website, or to a non-mobile optimized email campaign, can be fatal.

“When consumers opt in to receive mobile messages and provide their email address for future communications, marketers must capitalize on the opportunity by continuing to build the relationship across email, Facebook and Twitter.”

With the shift in focus that comes along with a transition to a mobile and interconnected society, your customers are expecting that, if they are receiving content from you on their mobile device, what you are sending them is mobile friendly. Don’t lose customers to a poorly executed mobile campaign, give us a call today.

Mobivity Featured in Relativity Media’s “House at the End of the Street” Viral Campaign

Posted by | Mobile Experience, Mobivity Platform Updates, News, Technology | No Comments

While our promise to customers is to bring more customers more often through text messaging and mobile marketing, we realize that the mobile space has some incredible opportunities for innovative and exciting mobile campaigns driven around other goals. We currently have that opportunity with one of our clients, Relativity Media, and worked with them to help create a viral mobile campaign around their upcoming movie, House at the End of the Street (due out September 21st of this year). This plan integrates two of our key feature offerings: IVR (Our patented Interactive-Voice-Recognition Software) and text messaging.

Try it out for yourself: Call (773)-451-9439 to begin an interactive campaign with with audio from one of the film’s actresses.

This specific campaign revolves around the thriller movie’s premise, and nearing the end of the phone call you receive a text message from one of our short-codes, beginning an interactive text message campaign designed to help build hype as the movie’s release approaches.

As mobile becomes an important part of any fully interactive and integrated advertising and marketing plan, it is key for mobile companies to advance themselves to fully be able to benefit clients in what they wish to accomplish with a mobile campaign. This specific mobile campaign isn’t about innovation, it isn’t about winning a mobile marketing award, it is about achieving Relativity Media’s goal – to help build hype for an upcoming movie through a grassroots mobile campaign. And that’s what we specialize in – helping clients achieve mobile advertising success through not only our patented mobile technology, but also planning and brainstorming with them to develop campaigns that will be successful, results driven, and will activate the consumer base our clients wish to reach.

As for us, we couldn’t be more excited about this movie, and this campaign in particular. We love helping clients use our mobile technology to develop innovative campaigns that are not only exciting and interesting, but also effective. To learn more about what a mobile marketing campaign could do for your business or brand, give us a call today.

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