Technology Archives - Mobivity

Visit Us at 48-West!

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48

Where Culture Meets Commerce

One of the things that we’ve always been passionate about here at Mobivity is supporting the thriving tech culture of our surrounding area. Chandler, AZ is full of culture (both old and new) focused on the future of technology and how people interact with this technology, and businesses alike.

IMG_0001It’s with this focus that we chose to support and be present at this year’s (and the first year, as a matter of fact) 48 West event in downtown Chandler. Much in the vain of South by Southwest, 48 West aims to be an event that helps foster the relationship between food, music, technology, and the user experience on a plethora of levels in Chandler. Much like our interaction with last year’s Startup Weekend in Chandler, we’ll be on site offering support for an event wide text message notification service, as well as interacting with businesses and technology pioneers throughout the Chandler community.

The event itself is February 15th and 16th, taking place in areas around the downtown Chandler area. You can purchase tickets at 48-west.com for the event.

Where Mobile Sits in 2013

Posted by | Mobile Advertising, Technology | No Comments

2012 was an exciting and eventful year for mobile marketing. There are now companies that will send text message updates reminding you to take your medicine, and Target even chose to opt-out of a Superbowl Ad in favor of a mobile game.

Verizon activated 8.2 million iPhones in the fourth quarter alone, making the app market even more enticing, while feature phones hang on for dear life in the rising smart phone market.

Businesses, brands, and reviewers have began questioning the legitimacy of online SMS substitutes, and big business is beginning to realize the necessity for SMS marketing compliance.

press_releasesIt’s been a big year around our camp too. We’ve forged several successful partnerships, including quite possibly the most relevant one to your, our clients, our partnership with Stampt. Stampt allows you to connect with your customers in a loyal way, rewarding your returning customers and allowing new customers to find your business in a hot minute.

You can rest assured that we will always be working hard to stay in line with the mobile trends for 2013 and beyond, ensuring that you receive the most up to date service and technologies to connect with your customers.


Click here to learn more about Stampt

But one thing is for certain: regardless of what changes in the mobile marketing industry, your mobile phone is still right in your pocket – making it the strongest and greatest way to connect directly with your customers no matter the year.

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.

Mobivity Announces Exclusive Letter of Intent to Acquire Stampt Assets

Posted by | Mobivity Platform Updates, Press Releases, Technology | No Comments


Phoenix, AZ — (Marketwire – Dec. 03, 2012)

Stampt, Mobile Loyalty App to More Than 1,000 Local Advertisers Nationwide

Mobivity Holdings Corporation (OTCQB: MFON), an award-winning provider of proprietary mobile marketing technologies and solutions, announced that it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire the assets of Sequence LLC, developers of the Stampt mobile loyalty application that has been utilized by more than 1,000 local advertisers across the United States.

Stampt’s smartphone app offers a convenient way for customers to be rewarded for their loyalty. With Stampt, consumers can begin to get rid of the paper stamp cards that are in their wallet so they are never forgotten or lost again. In addition to the value-based loyalty incentives, Stampt also has built-in social integration features that bring a fun and interactive feel to the loyalty experience. Stampt’s revolutionary customer loyalty program offers much more than just a paperless replacement for the classic buy-10-get-1-free type of loyalty cards. In addition to a having a paperless frequent buyer card, participating merchants are also able to view usage statistics and leverage this information by delivering targeted one-time-use special offers to the Stampt audience.

“Stampt is a perfect addition to our mobile marketing suite of services for local advertisers,” said Dennis Becker, Chief Executive Officer of Mobivity. “More importantly, combining Stampt’s install base with ours will extend our reach to more than 6,000 local advertisers nationwide who will now benefit from a unique combination of mobile messaging, social, and smartphone loyalty capabilities.”

According to Sequence, more than 75,000 consumers have downloaded and registered for the Stampt smartphone application on both iPhone and Android platforms and there have been more than a half million stamps activated by Stampt consumers utilizing the application to log loyalty points at merchant locations. Market trials have also begun with Whole Foods in more than 90 locations across thirteen states.

“We have a vision to see Stampt in hundreds of thousands of businesses where paper-based loyalty cards have been used for decades,” said Stampt’s co-founder Brian Kelly. “Mobivity provided the reach and momentum to more quickly realize that goal. Combining Stampt with Mobivity’s patented suite of services was a natural fit that we believe creates the most competitive and comprehensive mobile marketing solution to the local advertising industry.”

Mobivity and Sequence have entered into a non-binding letter of intent with an exclusive negotiating period through January 15, 2013. Mobivity and Sequence are currently targeting a year-end closing for the transaction.

Mobivity (http://bit.ly/VLiB27) is an award-winning provider of patented 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 HD 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.

Contact:

MDM Worldwide
Investor Relations | Mobivity
264 W. 40th, Suite 602
New York, NY, 10018, USA
(646) 403-3554

The Widespread Adoption of the Third Screen in Movies and Television

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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.

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

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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.

Sending the Right Message at the Right Time

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

We’ve all become aware of the power of mobile marketing over the past few years, and with more and more money being invested in mobile advertising it will become increasingly important that you not only send the right message to your customers, but that you send it at the right time. We all remember the infamous VP announcement in the 2008 Presidential campaign, and want to ensure that you don’t make mistakes that history has already corrected.

We live in a world of instant interconnectivity, one where we see Political polls and measurements coming in the form of tweets and text votes, rather than the tried and true Gallup poll. With the United States already at over 100% mobile penetration, we are also reaching a point in which the world will soon have more mobile phone subscriptions than human beings. And according to this Mashable article,

“While voice is still the primary use for mobile device, texting comes in at a close second. Nearly 5 trillion text messages were sent in just 2010 alone. Those 160-character snips accounted for 80% of operator revenue — that’s a whopping $106 billion.”

As an example, Twitter has been around roughly since 2007, and we’re just now figuring out how to best use Twitter, and some marketers still are failing miserably at it. Considering that mobile marketing, and text messaging in particular, have been around much longer, we should know much more about how to do it well.

There are studies that show the science behind when and what to tweet, text, and email to your customers – and we’ll recap the important points for you below (with a little more focus on texting, but maybe we’re biased).

Twittersphere:
Not surprisingly, social media is a very effective form of interacting with customers. However, many businesses and brands rely on sending messages out during the work day (while they’re working – obviously). But studies have shown that some of the best times to engage customers on Twitter is during the weekend.

“Engagement rates for sports brands are typically up to 52% higher than average on weekends, while apparel companies can see increases of more than 30%. As for the best time of the day to tweet, as long as marketers are active between the peak usage hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. they’ll get about 30% more interest than they would by posting at any other time. If you’re posting links, however, aim for sometime between 1 and 3 p.m., as this is the time frame in which they’re likely to get the most clicks.”

Emails:
Emails seem to be most personalized when it comes to promoting your brand. The best time seems to differ based on what your customer’s trends seem to be in interacting with your brand.

“If your audience tends to make purchases during the lunch hour, send prior to that to get on their radar, perhaps including a time-sensitive deal. If your customers patronize your business most on the weekends, it follows that you should shoot for later in the week.”

Mobile and Text Messaging:
One of the best suggestions that we’ve always had for clients is to send out time-sensitive messages and offers to customers – allowing brands to engage their customers and increase revenue at times that are best for them. By planning timed messages based on when your customers will be most likely to interact with and purchase from your brand, businesses can easily increase revenue on the mobile channel.

“Some brands, like restaurants and food services, would do well to employ day-part targeting on mobile ad networks, aiming for the times of day that food is top of mind for consumers. Others might require a more tactile strategy, like studying website analytics for visitation trends and translating that usage structure into a mobile campaign. Either way, with its reams of data on past client and category successes, your mobile ad network is a good place to start formulating your plan.”

Regardless of the channel your business chooses to move forward in, it is key that you put thought into what message you’re sending, and when you’re sending it. With the increase in mobile connections worldwide, it is becoming even more important that brands put thought into how and when they’re engaging their customers on this highly personal channel. To learn more about how we coach our customers to see the best results from mobile marketing, give us a call today.

Chandler Startup Weekend – Day 3 and Full Recap

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from Mobivity on Vimeo.

Sunday morning was a sobering wake up for many of our #swchaz participants. With a mere 9 hours between breakfast and when each team’s slide-deck presentations were do, everyone was hard at work all day long with very few breaks.

At around 5:30 we were all graciously fed Floridino’s Pizza while finishing up and preparing for the evening. Spectators and judges were beginning to fill the room, and you hear the excitement in the air. Startup Weekend is a really unique experience that is hard to explain – the excitement, the nerves, the hopeful plans for the future – but it’s why we all do what we do, and why America is so great. It was in Sunday night’s excitement that I could hear the echo’s of Tyler Hurst’s reminder that, “lest we forget, a nation is only as good as it’s startup culture.

After a short speech by InfusionSoft representative Eric Keosky-Smith our very own CEO, Dennis Becker, stepped up to describe the voting process, as well as to describe the importance and value of the startup culture especially in the rise of the “silicon desert.” After that, it was straight on to the pitches, and they were great. Below is the list of groups that presented, and what their startup business idea was (not in any particular order):

         
  • Med Angel – A first responder mobile app, notifying first responders of illnesses, medications, and allergies that will also notify loved ones should something unthinkable happen.
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  • ComebacKid – A bluetooth enabled mobile app that allows parents to track their young child’s location within a certain range to avoid kidnapping and lost children – the digital leash.
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  • Repair Report – An online accreditation and competitive bid system for automotive repairs.
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  • Ever Presents – An online notification system that aims to market toward those forgetful and unorganized individuals who often forget birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries that will allows users to purchase gifts along with their reminder.
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  • Meeting Stream – A timeline based meeting recording software – Record, transcribe, and save particular moments in your meeting, all while separating transcripts by voice and important ideas..
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  • geotripwire – Leave a message or picture for a friend when entering a certain location through the use of geofencing, also allowing for the business use of sending coupons when an individual enters within a certain distance of their location.
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  • Cold Air Again – Diagnose, quote, and connect users that have air conditioning problems with HVAC repair providers that are a part of a “credible” network.
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  • Angel Corps Project – A privatized taxi service aiming to connect impaired drivers with designated and willing drivers, also allowing for the option to implement a personal driving service in the future.
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  • Arizona Commercial Kitchens LLC – A commercially licensed and equipped kitchen for rent, also offering cooking classes, and aiming to be the “gangplank of the culinary world.”
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  • GEM – Greenscape Equipment Management: Cloud based solution to keep track of greenscape management materials for more efficient and sustainable use. Allows the tracking of which employees use what equipment when (similar to a library system) to enhance and increase accountability.
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  • Wedding Moments – Utilizing social media to capture wedding photos that are not taken by specific photographers allowing weddings to have a view of the wedding surroundings. Aggregates photos taken by multiple individuals at a wedding.

There were a ton of great ideas, and a lot of hard work behind each and every one. All in all we had an audience participation of nearly 5,104 text message votes, and saw interaction on Twitter using the #swchaz hashtag in over 200 conversations. Overall, we had an absolute blast all weekend long being able to interact with the innovators of the Chandler area, and were proud and honored to be a sponsor of this great event. For more on our recap and what went on this weekend, view our video recap below. Thanks, and good luck to all the participants pursuing their new business ideas.

Chandler Startup Weekend – Day 2 Recap

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After what was (I imagine) a long night of coding, developing, and planning I walked into a somewhat more empty and tired looking Gangplank HQ this morning. But after a replenishing breakfast from one of our favorite local restaurants, Yoli’s and a quick trip to the Red Bull vending machine everyone got right back to work.

With a steady stream of Mountain Dew and Skrillex everyone seemed to be glad to be getting back to work. Surveying the room we’ve seen a little bit of everything – from hardware builds on a blue-tooth enabled phone application to business planning for a rentable commercially licensed kitchen

Today we also ran a display of our Social Ticker Product offered by Mobivity Display, and soon all of our company. We incorporated a twitter search for the hashtags #swchaz (the promoted hashtag for the event we’re sponsoring), #startupweekend and #olympics. Using the hashtag #startupweekend has allowed participants at this weekend’s event to observe what’s going on around the country at other Startup Weekend events, as well as see what our competitors are tweeting about in Chandler with #swchaz (and some #olympics news for everyone while we’re holed up inside on our computers). Additionally, we set up a text integration in which those at the event could text SAY followed by the message they wanted to display to 78307. We’ve seen some funny messages, and a little friendly competition, and a lot of interaction with Twitter, and love the response we’re getting.

To give everyone a quick mental health break (as Sully would say), some members of The Torch Theatre company came by Gangplank HQ to perform some improv comedy for everyone – which, according to our twitter searches, was a huge hit with Startup Weekend participants.

Tonight will be another long night of planning, development, and business planning as everyone prepares for their final pitch tomorrow (and rumor has it that later tonight there will be a DJ setting up to spin Startup Weekend through the final hours of production tonight). With presentations due at 5PM tomorrow, and final pitches starting at 6:15, the clock is ticking and pressure is on for everyone to wrap up the best development of their idea possible in a short 54 hours of work. It’s going to take a lot of caffeine and quite a bit of teamwork to get everyone through these final hours. We’re excited to see what everyone comes up with, and proud to be a sponsor for Chandler’s Startup Weekend. We’ve got our voting platform all set up for tomorrow, all that’s left is to let the innovators do their work.

Check back here tomorrow to see our final recap for Startup Weekend, as well as to see which one of the participants may be turning their idea from a dream into a reality. For more updates, you can follow Mobivity on Twitter using the handle @mobivity, and you can read the conversation by searching the hashtag #swchaz, or view the event here and on our Facebook page.

Chandler Startup Weekend – Day 1 Recap

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We couldn’t be more excited about attending and helping sponsor this weekend’s Chandler Startup Weekend. The night kicked off with an introduction from Katie and Tyler Hurst, explaining the (obvious) benefits and possibilities of Startup Weekend. And as Tyler quoted a local artist on the value of startups:

“The future is only as good as its startup culture.”

After a quick (al beit delicious) dinner served by our very own local Pittsburgh Willy’s we jumped straight into the pitchers. In essence, any participant at the event has the opportunity to present their idea for the next big startup company in the Phoenix area. These ideas have ranged from applications to help find local fishing areas in the desert, to a “for-rent” commercially licensed kitchen.

While we saw over 30 interesting start-up ideas, the 12 that will be worked on this weekend all were decided using our text to vote tool. Behind the 60-second pitches were a spreadsheet showing the pitchers number, name, company, and a description of what they’re looking to do. During the pitches, listeners were able to text the presenters number to the short-code 78307, and voting was open for 20 minutes after pitches were presented. By the time each presenter was finished (roughly one-hour of interesting business ideas) we had logged over 700 votes from well over 80 unique phone numbers (participants had the ability to vote more than one time for the same business idea).

During this 20 minute voting period, business presenters stood with their presentation number around the room for prospective designers, developers and marketers to ask questions. After this 20 minute period of voting we logged a total number of 1,399 votes (compared to the 120 people in the room, we would consider this an amazing participation rate).

Once the 12 start-up ideas were chosen, designers, developers, small business marketers and investors started planning how to best take advantage of their time over this weekend to produce a final pitch, and a “minimally viable product” for presentations on Sunday.

Now starts the long weekend of work and planning for these 12 chosen startups. Gangplank, typically open around 6AM-10PM daily, will be open to these developers all weekend long with hopes of having a viable presentation for their idea on Sunday afternoon. We’ll be on the case all weekend observing and taking notes on startups and the planning process that goes behind building what we all dream of.

Join the conversation by searching the hashtag #SWCHAZ on Twitter, and make sure to follow @mobivity for pictures and updates from this weekend.

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