Mobile Web Archives - Mobivity

Politics and Mobile – the Way of the Future

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

In light of the Presidential Town-Hall Debate on Tuesday night, we decided to look at the role mobile has played in political campaigns and politics over the years, and what you can expect moving forward.

Much like the transition from the mobile phones of the past, political information has transferred to delivery via radio and newspaper to mobile and social platforms at an incredible rate. According to a study reviewed by Mashable, text messaging has been a huge communication forum.

“According to a survey from free texting app textPlus, half of young adults surveyed (ages 18-24) say they’ve discussed the upcoming election on their mobile devices via text message. More than half (56 percent) say they’ve specifically chatted about the presidential candidates.”

But this isn’t anything new. In 2008 the Obama campaign used a mobile and text message marketing campaign to keep in touch with voters, even announcing the Democratic Vice Presidential Nomination via text message before any other media venues. Additionally, the Obama campaign became the first to accept political donations via text message this year. But Democrats aren’t the only technological and mobile savvy ones out there.

The Romney campaign this year used it’s mobile app to give updates to voters, encourage mobile donations, and (a play from Obama’s book) announce their Vice Presidential Candidate nomination. But mobile technology isn’t only used for political campaigns to convey information to voters and constituents, it’s actually how Americans get their information from (more) trustworthy news sources.

According to a survey by Pew, nearly 37% of voters use their mobile phones to not only obtain political information, but also to engage in political discussion with others. With nearly 10 million tweets during a two-hour debate (with most of those coming from mobile devices), the role mobile and social have in political campaigns and voter education has done nothing but rise year after year, and the trend doesn’t seem to have any intention of changing.

How do you feel about mobile’s role in politics? Let us know in the comments

The Importance of Being Intentional With Mobile Marketing

Posted by | General, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Experience, Mobile Web, SMS, Technology | No Comments

With the rise in use and effectiveness of mobile marketing becoming more and more apparent each day, nearly every business is looking for their piece of the mobile consumer pie. However, as with everything in marketing and advertising for brands and businesses, there are right and wrong ways to do everything – with a lot of grey space in between. The importance of businesses being intentional with their mobile marketing efforts is absolutely key to the success of their campaigns. As Rimma Kats, the Associate Editor for the Mobile Marketer states:

“[I]t is important for marketers to have a 360-degree marketing strategy. Instead of simply taking a QR code [or any piece of mobile marketing materials] and plastering it on anything, companies should invest time and effort [to] think of new ways to engage new and existing consumers.”

Quick-Response (QR) codes seem to be the worst offender in unintentional mobile marketing. As Kats goes on to say, “many consumers are still not educated on QR codes and are not really sure how to use them. While awareness of mobile bar codes as a marker for interactivity is growing exponentially, assuming consumers understand how to activate it without instructions can be a mistake. Education is key, as is a prominent and accompanied by a call-to-action.”

Take this mobile advertisement to the left, for example. I left for work this morning and saw this truck leaving my neighborhood. After several failed attempts to try and get close enough to scan the QR code, I managed to snap a picture of it – and was still unable to scan it once getting to the office and having the code up on my computer. It wasn’t until I was side-by-side with the driver that I knew what business the truck belonged to – though I still have never found out what the advertised mobile bar code did, because I was never able to scan and interact with the company.

Jane McPherson, the CMO for SpyderLynk – a mobile bar code provider for businesses and brands, believes in the effectiveness of mobile bar codes and QR codes alike, though she is aware that without in depth planning and analysis the effectiveness of executing these mobile campaigns will fail miserably:

“In 2011, QR codes popped up everywhere. Whether you were flipping through a magazine at the doctor’s office or opening mail from a company you did business with, there was a decent chance it had a QR code on it. With a plethora of free QR code generators available online, low barriers to entry caused companies to create and print QR codes on everything. . . We suspect that marketers who have not had good success with them have not yet begun to think of them strategically.”

Many have noted that 2012 will be the year of mobile marketing, but it will also be a year of reflection. Reflection on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and how to better incorporate a 360-degree cross platform approach to advertising and marketing in the constantly connected society in which we live. We believe that QR codes can be an effective mobile marketing approach for brands and businesses that can create a media-rich mobile experience that consumers will love – but only if executed effectively and strategically. According to Charles Sankowich, CEO of Friendthem, QR codes can be of some help in the right situation:

“When you really think about it, [QR codes are] just an easier way to enter a URL. I do not believe QR codes, from a tech standpoint, are anything game changing but do offer some positives. For instance, I use QR codes to create an easy way to download my app, they do create a type of cool factor that might drive a certain demographic that find this approach more interesting.”

It is our opinion that, while QR codes can be an incredibly effective and enhancing tool to a mobile marketing approach, they are just that, an approach and tool. Relying strictly on QR codes as a way to generate awareness and a mobile presence is inherently flawed, and they should only be used as a tool to enhance your existing mobile campaigns.

For example, each time a new client signs up for an account with us, we give them promotional materials to help market their mobile campaign. While the materials they receive can vary based on the campaign, we always offer a printable flyer to help market their campaign. In using QR codes to this capacity, we are enabling the consumer to interact with each of our clients in a way that is pleasing and effective to them. Whether you choose to scan a QR code to have a text message started and filled out for you, or you choose to type out the text yourself by following the flyer’s directions, the barrier to entry to interacting with each of our clients is low – and we like to keep it that way.

Regardless of your approach to mobile marketing – whether it’s the use of QR codes, a mobile app, mobile optimized websites, or (our favorite) text message marketing – it is important to be sure that your business is intentional and effective in the move to mobile marketing. And we think there are a few key things to keep in mind when considering a mobile marketing campaign.

Who is your audience?

A lot of times we see mobile marketing campaigns that make total sense to those of us in the industry, but won’t necessarily make sense to your consumers. Placing vague QR codes on vehicles and marketing pieces without a call to action will not engage that part of your audience that doesn’t necessarily know what a QR code is, or even what to do with it.

To see effective results, you must be intentional.

The move from online, print, and television advertising to mobile advertising has been fast and ever-changing. While making this move (or incorporating a cross-platform approach as we suggest) it is crucial to be intentional and effective. Splattering mobile marketing initiatives against the wall to see what sticks isn’t effective, and will leave a bad taste for mobile marketing in your business’ mouth. It is key to use what works, and especially what works for your customers.

We may be a bit biased, but it is our humble opinion that the most comprehensive and effective approach to mobile marketing is a cross-platform approach with a heavy focus on text message marketing. The key of mobile marketing is not to wow your customers with your technological advancement, or to win an advertising award for the most creative mobile approach in 2012. The key of mobile marketing is to start a conversation with your customers on the mobile channel, and to increase sales and margins based on the loyalty and brand awareness you are able to create. Text message marketing has proven itself time and again as the most effective and far-reaching approach to connecting with customers and increasing loyalty and brand awareness. While the mobile marketing industry is constantly changing and evolving, the most comprehensive and effective approach to date has been engaging with your customers through text messaging. But don’t take our word for it, give text messaging a try for free today.

Where do your customers get their information?

Posted by | General, Mobile Web, News | No Comments

For decades journalists and news agencies alike have battled for the opportunity to present their spin of the story to citizens worldwide. However, one question often over looked by the reporters is where exactly the individual goes to for news on a daily basis. For example, while several individuals in a recent Pew Research study state that they get news from sources such as Twitter and Facebook, it is only supplemental to other main news sources.

A large group of individuals have noted getting news, if not primarily, supplementally from news sources and reporting websites on their mobile devices. In fact, nearly 45 percent of users get “most of their news” from their smartphone. As Amy Mitchell, deputy director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, states:

What we see is the establishing of the mobile era of news, over a quarter of the population is now getting news on a mobile device and nearly as many are getting news on multiple digital devices. The results show that the degree to which people are getting news on these devices seems to be adding to news consumption as opposed to merely replacing it. The vast majority is still getting news on a desktop or laptop and is not necessarily abandoning their old ways of getting news.

This is even seen across the pond, where there was a nearly 74 percent increase in mobile news consumption from January 2011 to January 2012. Also worth noting, almost 85 percent of smartphone users surveyed admit to accessing news on their mobile device on a daily basis.

The implications for advertisers, businesses, and brands alike are staggering. As Jonathan Stephen, senior producer of mobile products at JetBlue Airways states,

You have to see what type of devices your customers are using and see how they would like to access your content.

This is absolutely crucial and should be at the forefront of nearly every brand and business mind. You must pay attention not only to where your customers are getting their information, but also what is best for them.

Mobile is a medium of convenience. It is more convenient for your customers to receive your message to their phones and in their pocket than any other form of communication, and because of this you will see a higher level of response and effectiveness. When marketing to your customers, much like when a news agency attempts to get news reports to its viewers, you always want to consider which form of media is most convenient to the recipient, and what will generate the best response. Mobile advertising and SMS aren’t replacing the forms of marketing you are already using, they are here to enhance and multiply the interaction you are seeing with your customers already.

To speak about the benefits of adding a mobile component to your marketing strategy, contact one of our Account Managers today.

The Pitfalls of Mobile App Construction

Posted by | General, Mobile Experience, Mobile Web, Technology | No Comments

In order to adapt along with the increase of mobile interactivity, companies world-wide are hustling to build Mobile Apps to help promote their brands in what is still a fairly new market (The Apple App store opened on July 10, 2008).  From social networks and business solutions to games and geosocial tagging apps, the business and interactive market is moving to mobile apps in a very big way.

Since Apple opened it’s App Store in 2008 to accompany the release of it’s new iPhone 3G, there have been over 500,000 Apps available to end-users, and there have been over 18 Billion downloads to mobile devices.  In three short years the App store redefined the way consumers used their smart phones – and this is why businesses are paying attention to Mobile App construction if they hadn’t already.

While the barrier to entry, potential revenue, and small investment needed to build an App are all attractive, Seth Porges, designer of Cloth on the iOS platform (@sethporges), posted a story on Mashable explaining the snags to acknowledge when considering diving head first into the App building community. We’ve listed a few of the prominent ones below for your viewing pleasure.

What does is cost to make an App?

Porges quotes the minimum a company will spend on building an App to be around $10,000, that is, if you don’t plan on hiring quality and effective designers and programmers to turn your concept and dream into a reality.

[A]ny app worth its weight in code will likely cost you closer to $20,000.  Unless you have some basic design skills, you’ll need to enlist the help of both a programmer and a designer.  And these guys ain’t cheap – particularly programmers who, thanks to a pronounced shortage of qualified coders, can pretty much name their prices.

What happens when you get featured on iTunes?

Being featured on iTunes is obviously the dream of all App designers – free promotion for your App and recognition by Apple as being note-worthy.  Porges notes that:

When Apple included our app on its featured lists, we enjoyed a predictable flow of downloads almost identical in volume every single day we were parked there. Especially fascinating, the “New & Notable” list gave us almost exactly twice as many daily downloads as the “What’s Hot” list. I’m assuming this is because, when you tap the “Featured” tab on the “App Store” app, “New & Notable” pops up by default.

However, while this may seem great, anyone considering the construction of their own App must have the server-load and back-logged programmers to handle the additional traffic of updates and downloads.

How much should you charge, and when will you get paid?

While one of the main concerns of App building may be to gain additional press regarding your brand, one of the rather obvious benefits is the added income that goes along with having an App.  Porges notes that $1.99 is a premium price-point for starting out – nothing that after Apple’s 30% cut, it is immensely satisfying to be able to take home more than a dollar per download.  Porges also comments on Apple’s pay period being up to 45 days after the month has ended (businesses get paid once per month for Apps they have built and sold).

So, if your app goes live in January, you can expect your first kickback sometime in early March. Oh, and Apple only pays you if your earned amount totals at least $150, so you may have to wait before getting your first payment. Keep in mind, Apple only pays you through direct deposit.

While the barriers to entry for App building may seem high, the benefit seems to highly outweigh the costs in many cases.  For more tips and information on designing your own App, you can read Porges’ full story on Mashable here.

Yahoo says Mobile Web to Overtake Wired Internet in 10 Years

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- via a Total Telecom article

In the next decade more people will log on to the Internet using a mobile device than on their computers, Yahoo predicted on Thursday.

At a presentation in London last week, Geraldine Wilson, VP of Connected Life at Yahoo Europe predicted that within 10 years more people will access the Internet from their mobile than from a PC.

“In emerging markets most people’s first contact with the Internet will be with a mobile phone,” she added.

Yesterday I commented on the New York Times article on how slowly the mobile web is moving.

I said:

There is no question that the iPhone browser, and the inevitable ones that will follow, will give more life to the mobile web. The carriers putting together unlimited data plans, and the availability of quality content will also give the mobile web a push over the next few years.

It would seem the the folks at Yahoo agree.

Speaking at a presentation in London Thursday, Wilson conceded that the cost of using mobile data services needs to come down, that handsets need better interfaces, and network speeds need to improve to really drive uptake, but insisted that these three key issues are already being addressed.

She also addressed the semi-failure of early WAP, and the promise of the mobile web.

“We have to be careful because there have been many false dawns of Internet on the mobile…but I think we will look back at 2007 as when things started to happen,” she said.

Clearly Yahoo and Google believe that the mobile Internet will grow tremendously. So much so that it appears that they are playing a large part in making it that way. Like the days of the early Internet, the mobile web and connected mobile applications will create an awesome new opportunity for advertisers to reach consumers with targeted messages.

What makes mobile so much more powerful is the personalized nature of the mobile phone.  The relationship between the consumer and the phone, is much more personal than with a computer. In the Total Telecom article, They quote an Ovum Analyst who makes a really intreresting point.

“At the moment more people are using the Internet on their PC, and for longer… which is more attractive to advertisers,” he said. But as mobile Internet uptake increases so will its value to advertisers.

Furthermore, Delaney pointed out that fixed broadband is delivered on a per-household basis, whereas mobile broadband potentially provides a direct link between the consumer and the advertiser, enabling the latter to target consumers more effectively.

Targeting the handset is much more powerful than targeting a household when reaching the consumer. While the carriers will always be protective of their customers’ information, we still have a direct one-to-one connection from the marketer to the consumer when using the mobile Phoneto deliver the message.

While I can’t even imagine what the “mobile Internet” will be in 10 years, I can certainly see a world where every handset can access shared applications and content instantly and easily over a shared network. And where there are eyeballs, there will always be advertising, regardless of the level of the technology.


What is Mobile 2.0? Is it only the Mobile Web?

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

Over at Read/WriteWeb there is an excellent post about “Understanding Mobile 2.0“.

Under the heading of “What is Mobile 2.0″, they say:

It’s absolutely necessary that more connections are made between the players in the web 2.0 sphere (a.k.a. next generation web apps & services) and what some Mobilists are calling mobile 2.0. What we mean by ‘mobile 2.0′ is another (r)evolution, already started, that will dramatically change the web and the mobility landscape that we currently know. The idea is that the mobile web will become the dominant access method in many countries of the world, with devices that become more hybrid and networks that become more powerful – everywhere in the next decade to come.

So my question is whether it is only the mobile web that is included, or can it be extended to SMS and handset installed applications?

I think one way to classify Mobile 2.0, is those applications and services that bring Web 2.0 applications to the mobile handset. One of my original goals when architecting the Mobivity service and API, was to have the ability to easily deliver existing Web 2.0 content via SMS.

For example, using just DIGGs rss feed, I have set up the ability to get the top Digg story via SMS. The whole setup took less than 20 minutes, and that was to write the web service to call the rss feed. The setup in Mobivity took 30 seconds.

Try it out! Text DIGG to 95495 and you will always receive the most popular story. (T-mobile not working yet & U.S. only)

To me, this is what Mobile 2.0 is about. The ability to connect with the next generation of services while on the go. It’s not about the interface, it’s about the content. Whether is is via SMS, or through a java application on the phone, you are extending the Web 2.0 landscape beyond the physical computer.

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