Tag Archives: mobile advertising

O2: ‘Mobile four times more efficient than TV’

Mobile media spend was over four times more efficient than TV and twice as efficient as other digital executions in a recent integrated campaign conducted by Pizza Hut.

Claire Valoti, MD of O2 Media, said Pizza Hut’s mobile messages were 4.4 times more efficient than TV and 2.6 times more efficient than digital advertising at driving footfall into its stores as part of the campaign.

O2 Media’s location-based ‘You Are Here’ tool was used to target families near Pizza Hut restaurants to encourage them to take part in its ‘kids eat for free’ promotion.

Participating O2 More customers could download a voucher for the promotion via an SMS link sent to their phones and redeemed in-store.

Valoti said that mobile was the top-performing media for the campaign, adding that its was 142% more efficient at delivering incremental sales revenue than the campaign average.

The mobile operator’s advertising arm took part in the cross-platform campaign with Starcom, measuring the effectiveness of each medium using the media agency’s POEM (Proprietary, Paid, Owned & Earned Media) tool.

Valoti said the mobile element of the campaign worked so well because the targeting, including the location element, was so sophisticated.

“We have a lot of demographic data to target by including demographic data, billing data and location data,” she said.

The data comes the same month as O2 Media announced that its O2 More customer base had reached 10m, to account for almost half of all O2 subscribers, after the operator altered its subscriber terms to opt-in by default (nma.co.uk 11 May 2012).

“We want to make it very clear that the customer is always in control of these messages and being part of this service. Every communication from O2 More includes instructions on how to opt out of the service,” said Valoti adding that opt-out rates are “minimal”.

The UK’s largest operator Everything Everywhere too is attempting to ramp-up numbers with both its Orange and T-Mobile brands.

However, the outfit’s Orange brand is more conservative in its approach to bolstering numbers to its Orange Shots service which currently counts 3m registered participants.

An Orange spokesman told new media age: “Customers across both our PAYG and PAYM segments have been joining our interactive SMS advertising service in one of two ways – choosing to opt in via a shortcode, or when we actively outreach to those we believe will be interested in this service, with a welcome pack clearly explaining how the service works and the benefits available.”

The Everything Everywhere outfit also said it was also attempting to address the problem of SMS spamming on its network as highlighted recently by the DMA (nma.co.uk 15 May 2012).

This includes working on a on a code of practice on spamming with the GSMA encouraging cooperation with other network operators.

“We are currently assessing a number of spam filtering solutions and are working closely with the regulatory bodies to implement these effectively” said an Orange spokesman.

“In order to minimise spam, we already monitor unusual traffic patterns and apply commercial and technical policies to discourage spam being sent to our customers,” he added.

“Orange customers can also forward spam messages to 7726 for free to help us investigate spam messages promptly.”

Why retailers need to embrace mobile internet in stores


It’s natural that some retailers will feel threatened by the growing use of mobile in store, but the answer is to embrace this trend and use it to enhance the in-store experience. 

Retailers can do this by providing apps and mobile optimised sites, but also by offering wi-fi to customers.

According to an On Device Research (ODR) survey of mobile users, 60% of respondents have used the mobile internet while in stores, while 78% would use free wi-fi in stores if offered it.

The use of smartphones by consumers is growing, and many are now using them to compare prices, and search the web for product reviews.

So how can retailers adapt and use this customer behaviour to their advantage?

Mobile use in retail stores

There are now plenty of surveys which show the growth of mobile usage in retail stores:

  • An iModerate survey found that more than half of smartphone owners are using the internet in stores, with price comparison, checking store locations, and hunting for discounts the most common reasons.
  • Our Mobile Planet data sees 24% of UK smartphone owners taking their phones shopping with them in order to compare prices and inform themselves about products.
  • A Toluna/Econsultancy survey from May last year found that 19% of 2,000 online respondents had used their mobiles to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping.

Why do consumers use mobile in store?

There are two main reasons:

Price comparison

This is usually the main purpose of using mobile in stores, which makes perfect sense. The state of the economy means that customers are more price sensitive than ever, and mobile is the perfect tool for the job.

What’s more, there are often huge savings to be made. If I’m looking at a TV in an electrical retailer, it’s quite possible I could save £100 by checking for the same product on Amazon.

Looking for reviews

This is another common reason to reach for the smartphone when in store, and this is a behaviour that high street retailers should encourage.

Checking for a review of a product is a sure sign of purchase intent. It means they like the look of a product, and are perhaps just seeking some reassurance.

The threat for retailers

The problem for retailers is that, whatever the quality of service in store and the range of products on offer, shoppers always have the option of checking prices on their mobile phones and heading online, or to another high street retailer to make the purchase.

This ‘unbundling of the shopping experience’, and the threat from online retailers is described in detail here by Ashley Friedlein.

There are a number of mobile apps and websites that enable in store shoppers to check and compare product prices, but Amazon’s mobile products represent possibly the biggest single threat to offline retailers.

Using the barcode scanner on the app, customers can easily check the products they are looking at in store on Amazon’s site.

Since Amazon is often cheaper, with a variety of delivery options, this can pose a real threat.

How can offline and multichannel retailers meet this challenge?

Don’t block internet access

I’ve seen a few stories around, which are difficult to substantiate, about retailers attempting to put obstacles in the way of customers with smartphones.

This could be counter-productive, and is certainly not the kind of tactic a forward-thinking retailer should be using.

Offer reviews at the point of sale

Retailers with reviews and ratings on their websites can easily bring this information into stores to help push products.

If a digital camera is recommended for the casual photographer, and has an average review score of five stars from 35 reviews, why not use this information?

I like the recommendations that can often be found in bookshops and wine merchants, which have been written by staff. They can help customers decide what to buy, and also have a personal touch that can appear more trustworthy.

In the same vein, retailers could combine online opinions with staff recommendations and other third party reviews.

Make sure you have a mobile site or app

If customers are going to pick up their phones and look for reviews, persuade them to use your site for this. Promote it in store. 

If you can provide the reviews they need, then customers won’t have to use competitors’ sites where they might find a better deal.

Better still, provide them with a link on the store shelf where they can find reviews, or maybe a QR code or barcode to scan and view further information.

Comet provides a great example of this with its recent barcode scanning app. The purpose of the barcode scanner is not necessarily to allow price comparison while in competitors’ stores, though I’m sure Comet won’t mind if customers are doing this.

Instead, the main purpose is to make it easier for customers to see enhanced information on products on the shopfloor.

Comet promotes this in store, and the site and app have some very comprehensive product pages replete with reviews and expert buyer’s guides, allowing customers to access this information when they need to see it.

Better still, it means they don’t have to visit Amazon to find out.

It works too. Mobile now accounts for 10% of Comet’s traffic, and the retailer enjoys an advantage in this area over multichannel rival Currys/PC World.

Mobile vouchers

For retailers that offer voucher codes online, allowing these codes to be redeemed in-store is one way to increase footfall, and maybe do some cross-selling when they arrive.

In conjunction with wi-fi, retailers could even target customers when they are using their mobiles in store.

NFC / mobile payments

NFC technology is yet to capture the public imagination, but it does give consumers another payment option for those times when they suddenly realise they have forgotten to get cash out and they are already at the cash register with their shopping.

Make sure they can access the information they need

This is where wi-fi comes in. It’s about making the mobile experience easier for customers. Instead of relying on variable 3G connections, providing internet access means they can browse reviews, scan QR codes, and use AR apps like Blippar to their heart’s content.

Let’s say a customer wants to see a review. If their 3G signal is poor and they can’t find what they want, will they still buy that camera?

Providing wi-fi means that they can easily access the information, while it also allows them to download your own app.

Wi-fi and efficient customer targeting

Wi-fi in store also provides a way to capture customer details and target them with offers. In fact, customers would be willing to receive some offers in return for the convenience of decent wi-fi.

Tesco recently introduced this in its larger stores. It does require a slightly clunky registration process which involves entering clubcard numbers, but the retailer is then armed with your purchase history. If Tesco can sweeten this process with a discount or two, it may well be worth the effort. 

According to the ODR survey embedded below, 74% of respondents would be happy for the retailer to send a text or email with promotions.

They’re in store, when better to sell them breakfast cereal or push a promotion? 

House of Fraser recently ran a promotion in conjunction with O2, using free wi-fi, which aimed to drive incremental sales in the run up to Christmas. John Lewis recently added wi-fi to its stores.

In an excellent guest post from last year, Dave Wieneke looked at how mobile can be used to enhance the in-store experience for consumers, as well as providing retailers with some precision tools to target the mobile customer.

A blend of location and personalisation can make life easier for customers, while allowing retailers to target customers with relevant offers and recommendations.

One great example of this came from the French Casino supermarket chain. Its iPhone app allows users to compile shopping lists before heading to the store, where they can use their mobile to scan and pay for items in store.

This is useful for the customer, but also provides the retailer with a wealth of information of the customer’s preferences and shopping habits.

Combine this with technology like Tesco’s in-store ‘sat nav’ app and you have the ability to target customers in real time, according to their location.

Let’s say the customer is entering the dairy aisle. They bought a particular brand of butter last week, and there’s an offer on that this week. It’s just five yards away.

Customers already have the smartphone and tablet technology in their bags and pockets that makes this possible, it’s just a question of adapting to this and making it easier by providing wi-fi.

Mobile isn’t going away, and the retailers that adapt to this trend quickly and use it to improve the customer experience will have a big advantage over their competitors.  


“We’re all marketers now”

Engaging customers today requires commitment from the entire company—and a redefined marketing organization.

For the past decade, marketers have been adjusting to a new era of deep customer engagement. They’ve tacked on new functions, such as social-media management; altered processes to better integrate advertising campaigns online, on television, and in print; and added staff with Web expertise to manage the explosion of digital customer data. Yet in our experience, that’s not enough. To truly engage customers for whom “push” advertising is increasingly irrelevant, companies must do more outside the confines of the traditional marketing organization. At the end of the day, customers no longer separate marketing from the product—it is the product. They don’t separate marketing from their in-store or online experience—it is the experience. In the era of engagement, marketing is the company.

This shift presents an obvious challenge: if everyone’s responsible for marketing, who’s accountable? And what does this new reality imply for the structure and charter of the marketing organization? It’s a problem that parallels the one that emerged in the early days of the quality movement, before it became embedded in the fabric of general management. In a memorable anecdote, one of former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca’s key hires, Hal Sperlich, arrived at the automaker in 1977 as the new vice president of product planning. His first question: “Who is in charge of quality?”

“Everybody,” a confident executive replied.

“But who do you hold responsible when there are problems in quality?” Sperlich pressed.


“Oh, shoot,” Sperlich thought. “We are in for it now.”1

To avoid being “in for it,” companies of all stripes must not only recognize that everyone is responsible for marketing but also impose accountability by establishing a new set of relationships between the function and the rest of the organization. In essence, companies need to become marketing vehicles, and the marketing organization itself needs to become the customer-engagement engine, responsible for establishing priorities and stimulating dialogue throughout the enterprise as it seeks to design, build, operate, and renew cutting-edge customer-engagement approaches.

As that transformation happens, the marketing organization will look different: there will be a greater distribution of existing marketing tasks to other functions; more councils and informal alliances that coordinate marketing activities across the company; deeper partnerships with external vendors, customers, and perhaps even competitors; and a bigger role for data-driven customer insights. This article provides some real-life examples of these kinds of changes.

Marketing’s cutting edge is being redefined every day. While there’s no definitive map showing how companies can successfully navigate the era of engagement, we hope to help senior executives—not just marketers—start to draw one.

The evolution of engagement

More than two years ago, our colleagues David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder, and Ole Jørgen Vetvik unveiled the results of a research effort involving 20,000 customers across five industries and three continents.2 Their work showed how collaborative the buying process has become and how difficult it is to influence customers by relying solely on one-way, push advertising. In the words of American Express chief marketing officer John Hayes, “We went from a monologue to a dialogue. Mass media will continue to play a role. But its role has changed.”

Over the past two years, that evolution has only accelerated. More and more consumers are using digital video recorders to fast-forward through TV commercials and are consuming video content on Web sites such as YouTube and on mobile devices. Billboards alongside train lines and bus routes struggle to capture the attention of people absorbed by the screens of their smartphones. Meanwhile, today’s more empowered, critical, demanding, and price-sensitive customers are turning in ever-growing numbers to social networks, blogs, online review forums, and other channels to quench their thirst for objective advice about products and to identify brands that seem to care about forming relationships with them. Individuals even are posting their own commercials on YouTube. In short, the avenues (or touch points) customers use to interact with companies have continued to multiply.

The problem for many companies is that the very things that make push marketing effective—tight, relatively centralized operational control over a well-defined set of channels and touch points—hold it back in the era of engagement. Many touch points, such as calls to customer service centers and interactions between the sales force and customers, sit outside the traditional marketing organization, which has little or no permission to reach into other business functions or units. Companies have traditionally divided responsibility for touch points among functions. But a comprehensive strategy for engaging customers across them rarely emerges and, if one does, there’s often no system for executing it or measuring its performance.

More pervasive marketing

To engage customers whenever and wherever they interact with a company—in a store; on the phone; responding to an e-mail, a blog post, or an online review—marketing must pervade the entire organization. Companies such as Starbucks and Zappos, for which superior engagement has been a critical source of competitive advantage from the beginning, already exhibit some of these traits. But these companies aren’t our focus, which instead is the kinds of actions everyone else can take as they strive for world-class customer engagement.

The starting point is a mind-set shift around customer interaction touch points. Companies typically think of them as being “owned” by a given function: for instance, marketing owns brand management; sales owns customer relationships; merchandising or retail operations own the in-store experience. In today’s marketing environment, companies will be better off if they stop viewing customer engagement as a series of discrete interactions and instead think about it as customers do: a set of related interactions that, added together, make up the customer experience. That perspective should stimulate fresh dialogue among members of the senior team about who should design the overall system of touch points to create compelling customer engagement, and who then builds, operates, and renews each touch point consistent with that overall vision. There’s no need to worry about traditional functional or business unit ownership: whoever is best placed to tackle an activity should do so.


Designing a great customer-engagement strategy and experience depends on understanding exactly how people interact with a company throughout their decision journey. That interaction could be with the product itself or with service, marketing, sales, public relations, or any other element of the business.

When the hotel group Starwood sought to enhance its engagement with customers, for example, the company pored through data about them and identified clear demographic groups staying at its more than 1,000 properties. In 2006, the company unveiled a specific new positioning for each part of its brand portfolio, ranging in affordability from Four Points by Sheraton to its Luxury Collection and St. Regis properties.

Each brand seeks to deliver a different customer experience, on dimensions ranging from how guests are greeted by staff to the kind of toiletries offered in rooms. Crucially, for each type of property, Starwood sought to design not only the desired experience but also how it would actually be delivered. It therefore had to decide what coordination would be necessary across functions, who would operationally control different touch points, and even what content customers wanted in the company’s Web site, in loyalty program mailings, and other forms of communication.

Starwood’s experience underscores the fact that, despite the growing impact of digital touch points such as social media, effective customer engagement must go beyond pure communication to include the product or service experience itself. “At the end of the day,” says Virgin Atlantic Airways chief executive Steve Ridgway, “we fly exactly the same planes as everybody else. If we get our customers off the plane happy, and they go on to talk about that and get others to come and then come back again themselves—that’s a huge marketing tool.”


Once a company designs how it will engage with customers, it needs the organizational capabilities to deliver: adding staff, building a social-media network infrastructure, retooling customer care operations, or altering reporting structures. Functions far removed from marketing often have important roles to play, so one or more marketing teams at the center may have to build skills in other parts of a company. A global energy company took that approach and then largely dissolved the group when those capabilities were in place.

Allocating responsibility for building touch points is increasingly important because of the degree to which Web-based engagement is requiring companies to create “broadcast” media.3 Some have built publishing divisions to feed the ever-increasing demand for content required by company Web sites, social media, internal and external publications, multimedia sites, and coupons and other promotions. Many luxury-goods companies, for example, have built editorial teams to “socialize” their brands: they are transforming the customer relationship by producing blogs, digital magazines, and other content that can dramatically intensify both the frequency and depth of interactions.

Last year, LVMH Moët Hennessy–Louis Vuitton, for example, launched an online magazine, NOWNESS, that offers what the company calls “information reference” about its luxury brands. The site presents a daily multimedia story with little pure advertising and (in conjunction with LVMH’s efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) seeks to deepen the engagement customers have with the company’s brands. British luxury brand Burberry has undertaken a similar venture with its Art of the Trench site. France’s Chanel has for years used its own creative and artistic directors to develop content, without any need for help from external agencies.

Content-oriented strategies like these require creative employees who can feed the customer’s ever-increasing need for timely, relevant, and compelling content across a variety of media. They also provide an opportunity for productive dialogue within companies about the role of marketing versus other functions in building critical touch points that drive engagement.

Operate and renew

For companies in industries as diverse as consumer packaged goods and financial services, digital technology has upended the engagement expectations of customers, who, for example, want one Web site to visit and a relationship seamlessly integrated across touch points. Meeting such expectations requires extraordinary operational coordination and responsiveness in activities ranging from providing on-the-ground service delivery to generating online content to staying on top of a customer care issue blowing up on YouTube.

Behind the scenes, that new reality creates a need for coordination and conflict resolution mechanisms within and across functions, as well as budget procedures that allow flexibility and rapid action should the need arise. PepsiCo, for example, has sought to provide a single point of contact for its digital-marketing efforts by creating the role of chief digital officer: an executive without line responsibility who drives the application of best practices across the beverage group’s global digital efforts.

Companies also need a clear approach for monitoring touch points and renewing them as needed. At one major hotel chain, for example, a single group circumnavigates the globe acting as a “monitor and fix” SWAT team. It meets with hotel licensees, educates them about the company’s customer-engagement approach and management of key touch points, demonstrates new behavior, and trains the staff in new operational processes. Given the speed of information sharing today, constant monitoring and adaptation—indeed, continuous improvement of the sort that came to the operations world long ago—is bound to infiltrate marketing and grow in importance.

The marketing organization’s new look

As the chief marketing officer collaborates with the chief executive and other senior-team members to nail down a shared approach for designing, building, operating, and renewing customer touch points, he or she also will require a new kind of marketing organization. For marketing to truly become the customer-engagement engine that orchestrates the delivery of the end-to-end customer experience, it must evolve along four critical dimensions.

Distribute more activities

As marketing becomes more pervasive, the marketing organization will increasingly be defined by a core set of tightly held responsibilities, such as branding and agency relationships, and a set of responsibilities distributed among the functions and groups best placed to manage and use the information generated by customer interactions. Procter & Gamble, for instance, has created a group within the purchasing function to buy digital-media advertising space. The group spans geographic boundaries, reflecting the global nature of the medium, and while it sits within purchasing, it is staffed by people with marketing experience.

At companies where the marketing organization’s responsibilities will be split between core and distributed activities, CMOs will increasingly be held accountable for the performance of groups that don’t report solely to them. When CEOs ask for the marketing-org chart, they will see a complex web of solid- and dotted-line relationships showing the roles that marketing plays in designing, building, or operating touch points across the whole organization.

The chart will also show where marketing activities have been embedded in other functions. One major logistics company, for example, puts marketing resources within each sales district to adapt corporate-level marketing initiatives to local circumstances. This approach mutes complaints from sales reps who feel bombarded with marketing pushes from the head office by giving them simple, customized ideas for driving sales within their regions.

More councils and partnerships

While leading companies have long used marketing councils to boost management coordination, the new marketing organization will require many more of them, with greater representation from other functions. One global financial institution, for example, has created a digital-governance council with representatives from all customer-facing business units. The company’s goal was to ensure that data and analytics are shared, that customers receive the same experience regardless of channel (such as Web sites, branches, call centers, or automated teller machines), and that IT systems meet the customer’s digital-engagement needs.

More robust formal and informal external partnerships will be critical too. Customer forums, such as the one Virgin Atlantic Airways used to create a taxi-sharing app for smartphones, are one example. More structured relationships with distribution partners also can enhance engagement. The consumer-packaged-goods company Nestlé, for example, manages its relationship with retailer Wal-Mart Stores via what it calls the Nestlé–Wal-Mart Team. This unified cross-business, cross-functional group is responsible for everything from in-store activity to promotion, logistics, innovation, and product design. As a result, Wal-Mart has a single point of contact with one of its largest suppliers, Nestlé enjoys a stronger relationship with the retailer, and, critically, both companies gain a better understanding of, and engagement with, packaged-goods consumers.

Elevate the role of customer insights

Generating rich customer insights, always central to effective marketing efforts, is more challenging and important in today’s environment. Companies must listen constantly to consumers across all touch points, analyze and deduce patterns from their behavior, and respond quickly to signs of changing needs.

One implication is that the types of talent required to derive such insights will change. A premium will be placed on problem-solving and strategic-marketing skills, rather than on traditional market research capabilities such as designing surveys and commissioning focus groups. Some organizations also may need help from external partners, a pattern that’s already apparent at several insurers and health care payers that have neither the time nor the budgets to build the necessary data-gathering and -analysis capabilities in-house and at scale.

The insights group’s position in a company could even change. At one high-end hospitality business, for example, responsibility for generating customer insights has moved out of the marketing function entirely. The group now reports directly to the head of strategy, who uses information from it to redesign core business elements such as pricing, sales targeting, and the selection of properties for development.

More data rich and analytically intense

Reinforcing the importance of all these changes is an exponential increase in the volume of customer data and the intensity of the analysis required to process and act on it effectively. Without cross-functional collaboration and a clear delineation of roles, it will be impossible to gather, collate, gain insights from, and disseminate data that streams in from every customer interaction. The sheer volume of data is extraordinary: social-media gaming company Zynga, for example, generates five terabytes (the equivalent of about 1.5 million song files) of data on customer clicks every day.4 What’s more, “Marketing is going to become a much more science-driven activity,” says Duncan Watts of Yahoo! Research. In the trenches, this change suggests a shift toward sophisticated data analytics similar to the revolution that has already taken place in industries such as financial services, as well as in airlines and other industries where yield management is important. Some marketing organizations are already making their moves: to send targeted e-mails to customers, retailer Williams-Sonoma, for example, analyzes an integrated database that tracks some 60 million households on metrics including income, housing values, and number of children. These e-mails obtain response rates 10 to 18 times as high as those sent randomly.5 Such capabilities don’t necessarily have to be built in-house: many companies will enter into creative arrangements with outside parties to exchange data and run joint tests of alternative marketing tactics.

The major barrier to engagement is organizational rather than conceptual: given the growing number of touch points where customers now interact with companies, marketing often can’t do what’s needed all on its own. CMOs and their C-suite colleagues must collaborate intensively to adapt their organizations to the way customers now behave and, in the process, redefine the traditional marketing organization. If companies don’t make the transition, they run the risk of being overtaken by competitors that have mastered the new era of engagement.


Connecting online mobile behaviour with offline consumer actvity

After years of fits and starts, it looks like mobile media’s moment in the spotlight is finally here. Smartphone penetration tipped over 40% this summer (Source: Nielsen), 3G connectivity is nearly ubiquitous, and tablets are poised to take the 2011 holiday sales throne.

Consumers are spending more time than ever interacting with mobile digital media — namely the mobile Web, mobile apps, SMS, and mobile video. Yet for publishers and advertisers alike, mobile remains several steps behind the traditional Web in terms of user engagement. Many content owners are still in experimentation mode — not yet spending a ton of money, not yet making a ton of money.

What will light a fire under mobile media? Publishers need to see higher CPMs. For that to happen, advertisers and media buyers need mobile to come out of the cave and catch up with the evolution of online advertising on the traditional Web. One little word that will make a huge difference: targeting.

Real targeting at a meaningful scale has been very difficult, if not impossible, until now. This is because mobile is a different beast than the traditional Web. Cookies are fleeting. Carriers and device makers can exert control over the distribution rules. And consumers are not yet as comfortable with respectfully-implemented tracking on mobile as they are on the traditional Web.

The future of mobile advertising is in real audience targeting, namely connecting online mobile behavior with offline consumer activity at scale. Not contextual targeting based on audience surveys. The future of mobile advertising requires hard data and accurate targeting on a scale that delivers billions of impressions with a laser-like focus. The mobile industry needs a rocket launcher, not a gentle nudge, and real audience targeting is it.

Source: http://www.mediapost.com/events/?/showID/FutureofMedia.11.NYC/type/Content/itemID/2246/art_aid/159536/TheFutureOfMedia-THE%20BLOG.html

Why the Pipes Are Broken in Mobile Advertising

There are some really interesting views here, especially given we are now seeing the emergence of the Demand Side Platform (DSP) providers coming into the market making ‘ad buys’ easier for media buyers.

Embarking on a mobile ad buy is diving into a dark, deep sea crammed full of startups you’ve likely never heard of: Celtra, Mojiva, Medialets, inMobi, just to name a few. It’s brimming with a lot of little companies — and a couple of big stakeholders like Apple and Google — scrambling to build the infrastructure to make advertising work in a medium that some have said will be bigger than TV.

Mobile Marketing

Ad Age’s latest report digs into how marketers can use mobile tools to get promotions into consumers’ hands at the point of purchase.

Someday maybe, but right now mobile is behind — about $59 billion behind TV, in fact. Despite all the excitement around smartphones, there still aren’t the standard tools mobile advertising will need to even hope to reach the $60 billion in ad spending TV pulled in last year, according to Kantar Media. This year, mobile ad spending in messaging, display ads, video and search is expected to top $1 billion in the U.S. for the very first time, according eMarketer.

“There are challenges at scale,” said Brandon Berger, chief digital officer for Ogilvy Worldwide. “Buying $30 million worth of mobile media is going to be daunting.”

There are 234 million Americans older than 13 using mobile devices at ComScore’s last count. Those consumers, of course, are all using different devices: some carry tablets, others iPhones, Android phones and non-internet feature phones. Add in that advertisers and their agencies don’t have standard means to create or measure mobile ads across a number of apps, sites or devices, it sure will be tough for the category to go from $1 billion to even $10 billion.

“The real pain point [in mobile advertising] is removing the friction in spending the way that brands want to spend,” said Eric Litman, chairman-CEO for Medialets, a mobile rich-media company. Marketers report that device fragmentation and lack of standardized metrics and ad formats are among mobile advertising’s biggest challenges, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s recent survey of 300 U.S. marketers that use mobile advertising.

To date, pervasive systems in serving, measuring and creating mobile displays ads, especially souped up rich media-ads, are largely missing. There are companies offering these services, which have helped online display and rich-media advertising scale up to $8 billion in U.S. spending in recent years, but there are still too many. While Medialets provides the technology and tracking for rich mobile ads with lots of bells and whistles, but so does Crisp, Celtra, Apple’s iAd and Google’s Admob. The problem: too many isolated solutions that work for specific ad networks, apps or devices, not enough connective tissue to make it possible to make one ad, with one means for measurement, that can run in multiple places.

“Consolidation hasn’t yet happened yet,” said Martin Lange, global head of mobile for OgilvyOne. “With mobile, it’s a lot of startups knocking on our door and whether they have 150 or 10 people they’ve all got something valid.”

“I’ve probably had four or five meetings today with vendors and startups that are trying to address all of the scaling and operational challenges that we have,” said Paul Gelb, Razorfish mobile practice lead.

There’s also no go-to third-party source to find the big audiences in apps or mobile websites, like a ComScore or Nielsen for mobile. (Both companies are in the process of building products to measure mobile.) And there are no all-encompassing ad-servers that work on all mobile properties or ad networks so agencies can keep track of campaigns in one standard way.

Google, which owns DoubleClick for advertisers (a standard online for tags that let agencies know whether all ads contracted actually ran and if consumers clicked on them), is extending that service to measure mobile campaigns. But that’s still different from tracking with Apple’s iAd. Apple does accept third-party tracking, but only to count ads served, not for the clicks or interaction rates, which are both widespread metrics online.

Add in the fact that ad creative can’t always port from the major mobile ad networks to publishers’ individual mobile sites and apps. Apple’s super-slick iAds can’t be used on other networks or in publishers’ apps, even though the advertiser sometimes has to pay to have those ads produced. If advertisers want to build rich media ads on the three biggest networks Google, Apple and Millennial — the best places to buy mobile ads at scale today — they have to build different ads for each.

“If you’re an advertiser and you’re looking to run a rich-media campaign like iAd on just [Apple] devices, you’re already cutting out half the market,” said Tom Limongello, VP-marketing for yet another mobile rich-media company, Crisp Wireless.

“With these creative challenges, advertisers with smaller budgets are forced to pick only one network or publisher. Conversely, big mobile ad buys spread across many apps or networks are tough to measure in one holistic picture, said Razorfish’s Mr. Gelb.

These challenges are, to some degree, history repeating itself. Just years ago, the infrastructure that now powers online banner ads sprung up from a fragmented field. From a wide pool, some companies were purchased, others perished and a manageable stable of providers now remain to run the pipes that make online ads an increasingly bigger business. In following that formula, however, mobile may suffer.

“We’re a little bit held prisoner; a lot of people saw what happened online and are trying to race to the winner’s circle and are making claims that they have the right solutions for mobile,” said David Gwozdz, CEO of mobile ad-server and network Mojiva. That’s because entrepreneurs are very aware of the potential for extremely lucrative sales of ad tech companies — in 2007, for example, Google bought DoubleClick for $3 billion in cash.

With increasingly more attention, mobile advertising’s infrastructural challenges will likely be worked out in time. Trade groups like the IAB and Mobile Marketing Association are circling the wagons to set standards in ad sizes, placement and functionality with the help of major mobile ad networks and publishers such as The Weather Channel and CNN. However, Apple, which owned nearly 19% of the U.S. mobile display market last year, according to research firm IDC, is not active in setting industry standards, said Michael Becker, MMA’s managing director for North America.

All that said, the explosive growth in smart phonesales and lessons learned from internet ads will likely hasten things along. “What took 10 years to really refine on desktop, mobile is pulling together in a year,” Mahi de Silva, CEO of another mobile-ad company, Admarvel.

Source: http://adage.com/article/digital/pipes-broken-mobile-advertising/228954/

Infographic: mobile email marketing

The use of mobile for emails continues to grow with stats suggesting that it accounts for up to 30% of email openings. 

This infographic from e-Dialog has some useful stats on who is using mobile email, and the kinds of emails people want to receive..

Source: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/7801-infographic-mobile-email-marketing?utm_medium=email&utm_source=topic

Mobile Affiliate Network MobPartner Growing 1,000%, Hits 3 Million Transactions

MobPartner, an affiliate marketing network for the mobile web and apps, has hit 3 million transactions this week, an important milestone.

Co-founder and CEO Vianney Settini says there’s a huge opportunity in cost-per-action (CPA), affiliate advertising on mobile. CPA means advertisers only pay when a user does a specific action, like buying a product or filling out a survey, instead of paying per click (CPC) or per pageview (CPM). Most mobile ad networks are CPC and CPM-focused, but MobPartner is tackling the CPA opportunity.

CPA gives advertisers clear ROI and gives them their money’s worth. Settini told us that if you’re selling mobile games, you might actually lose money with a CPC campaign. Publishers like it because they can pick and choose the campaigns they run and the campaigns are often open-ended.

MobPartner got started early 2008 as a builder of mobile websites and, when their customers asked them for solutions to monetize their website, the company pivoted to an affiliate marketing solution. The company’s base is global, 25% US, 5% Latin America, 30% Europe, 20% Africa (mostly South Africa and Kenya, where mobile is huge) and 20% Asia. The company is based in Paris with a sales office in San Francisco, and Settini tells us business grew 1,000% last year.

Settini says it’s unlikely the big dogs in mobile advertising like Google will try to displace him, because they aren’t into affiliate marketing, and that they have a big enough head start against the big fixed web affiliate marketing networks to compete.

Settini himself has an impressive entrepreneurial background: he started building websites in high school and when i-mode, an early internet service for mobile phones, came along in Europe, he built iGloo, a mobile portal with 15 million pageview per month at peak.

South Korea and Malaysia show impressive digital growth

This month some of the most interesting data to make it into our Internet Statistics Compendium came from Asia-Pacific countries.

In particular, mobile can be seen to be having a big impact in South Korea and Malaysia, and there has been significant news elsewhere in the region also.

We are often looking to the APAC region for insights into the latest digital trends and how new technology is being adopted across a diverse continent.

This month some interesting analysis from Nielsen has highlighted how Asia-Pacific countries are leading the rest of the world when it comes to e-commerce, with Taiwan, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China and South Korea all with more than 90% of consumers having made a purchase online.

In comparison, only four countries from Europe (Poland, Germany, France and Great Britain) and two from the Americas (Brazil and the US) have similar levels of online retail spending.

Not unexpectedly, much of the growth of e-commerce in the region is due to the increase in mobile shopping. This certainly seems to be the case for South Korea, as highlighted in Google’s recent AdMob mobile metrics report.

Web traffic from smartphones has increased by 75% between December 2009 and December 2010 with 97% of all mobile internet traffic coming from high-end devices. In addition, mobile ad requests were seen to grow by an impressive 5139% to 2.1bn during the same time period, making South Korea the fastest growing country for web traffic in Asia.

According to Nielsen, mobile broadband is also seen to be having an impact in Malaysia, a country which has not had quite the same degree of growth as South Korea but is set to see considerable changes as 3G service providers offer more competitive pricing.

At the end of last year, internet penetration in Malaysia hit 41%, and while around half of Malaysians aged between 20 and 34 own a phone with internet capabilities, many don’t go online with their devices due to high costs. With the technology in place there is clearly opportunity in the mobile web sector as 3G starts to become more affordable.

Elsewhere in the region, the last couple of months have seen a number of reports about the continuing growth of Baidu. According to Digital East Asia, revenue for China’s leading search engine is growing at more than 88% per year to RMB2.436b ($372.0m).

This is set to continue as the company further promotes its box computing product and dominates a large market of around 400m web users, but with a comparatively small online penetration at just over 15%.

China and Malaysia, where a vast proportion of the population are yet to be connected, are two of the most intriguing countries within the APAC region. With the effect of smartphone availability in South Korea in mind, these are vast areas where mobile could potentially be more integral to the web landscape and the inevitable uptake of activities such as online shopping than it has in countries with more close-knit populations.

For marketers, the need to acknowledge that a majority of internet users in these countries will be consuming content via a mobile screen as opposed to desktops and laptops will be imperative to the success they have in reaching out to them.

Are DSPs the beginning of the sunset for mobile ad networks?

This is an interesting one as the total value on a DSP is very dependant on the amount of inventory sources plugged into the DSP. In the case of DataXu, if they only have some of the network inventory available to view via their platform, the media buyer only has a limited view on where they can spend their money. Should be interesting to see how these guys and a few others coming at the DSP market from the mobile angle, fair in the future…..

Online ad exchange DataXu has made its demand-side platform DX2 available to mobile advertisers, claiming it eliminates the need for ad networks altogether.

DX2 measures, buys and optimizes ad placements across online, video and mobile display channels, on a real-time, impression-by-impression basis. The platform currently makes over one million media decisions a second, delivering consumer insights and media control.

“Agencies are really interested in demand-side platforms because they can decide whether they want to buy the impression and for how much,” said Mike Baker, president/CEO of DataXu, Boston. “This means more choice for the buyer.”

DataXu claims DX2 redefines the DSP market, giving brands the power they need to manage all their media investments and effectively engage consumers.

The platform gives advertisers multichannel campaign management tools. Advertisers get access to more than 100 billion auction media impressions across online display, mobile and video channels.

In addition to current supply partners, the platform is integrated with Nexage and Mobclix for mobile inventory and adap.tv and BrightRoll for video inventory.

Mobile and video beta programs will run through the fourth quarter of 2010.

Brands can choose from four levels of brand safety using semantic analysis at the page level, set global reach and frequency controls, measure campaign impact on upper funnel metrics including awareness, favorability and purchase intent, and deploy rich media assets across the exchanges.

Advertisers can specify content at the page level and target consumers at the individual user level, including age, gender and location, across the entire Internet.

“The big news is WPP is the world’s largest media buyer and its mobile unit Joule is now using this technology,” Mr. Baker said.

GroupM’s mobile unit, Joule, will lead the initiative, which will be integrated with the agency’s new B3 Mobile platform developed by WPP’s Media Innovation Group to further the company’s efforts to collect cross-platform data and insights (see story).

Demand-side platforms give media buyers a platform providing visibility into ad inventory, letting them optimize campaigns on a real-time basis and buy into real-time inventory cross-publisher.

In some ways it is an evolution of an ad network model.

“What is interesting is buyers are starting to wonder whether they need an ad network at all,” Mr. Baker said. “As a buyer I would like to know what I am buying and what it is worth to me rather than take the ad network’s word for it.

“DX2 lets advertisers cut through the middlemen,” he said. “Buyers buy direct from the publisher and we give transparency on where the ads run.

“It is about the buyer controlling the investment rather than the seller.”

DSPs are new to mobile, but there are variances of them in other channels—they are huge in the online space, and this is a fairly significant shift in the mobile advertising world.

Unlike existing mobile advertising platforms that optimize primarily on click-throughs, DX2 provides advertisers with the ability to control media investments based on downstream consumer activity on mobile applications and across branded mobile sites.

The DSP also enables agencies and brands to manage mobile buys more directly and allocate investments more efficiently.

“Why isn’t mobile advertising bigger?” Mr. Baker said. “The answer is the analytics are not very good.

Source: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/ad-networks/7445.html

Apps….but also mobile web

An interesting article from eConsultancy on how the mix of tablets and apps have given us an experience that is replacing the web page. Correct in some cases, but what the tablet and other mobile devices, are bringing us, is a quick and easy way to access whatever we want whether via an app or via the mobile web.

Read on…..

Just as the browser rendered AOL’s walled garden of content obsolete, the application experience is replacing the web page.

After fifteen years of building an always-on, ubiquitous network, we now have the right interface for it: the tablet.

In a recent post, I offered some solid research to support the end of PC dominance and the dawn of a new era, the tablet era.

One of the things that make this emerging market so exciting is that tablets offer a new user experience that expands the digital canvas. This breaks out of the web page metaphor, and significantly expands the ecosystem for online communication.

It’s about time

For fifteen years we’ve poured billions of dollars into making an always-on, ubiquitous network, and though my recent skiing excursions remind me that coverage isn’t perfect, it’s close.

But having ubiquitous access begs for a ubiquitous interface. One that activates instantly without the “boot and wait” experience of the PC, and that is great at grabbing connections and switching applications on-the-go.

There are three things that define the tablet a bona fide new user experience rather than a scaled-down laptop:

The combination of ease-of-use of the device itself, its awareness of location, and its ability to serve rich content anywhere makes it a ubiquitous access point to the always-on network. This montage is having a profound effect on user behavior.

To paraphrase one of my daughter’s beloved authors, “I would use it in a car, on a train and in a tree; it is so very convenient you see”.

If Dr. Seuss were alive today he would be a tablet user and would find himself using it in places he would never consider taking his laptop. I know I’m now introducing 1960’s Addams Family reruns and science animations to my kids’ bedtime.

This wouldn’t have happened with my laptop, which gets so hot it could be used as an electric blanket.

Everyone’s all about the apps, and apps are about usefulness

In our new app-driven world, a.k.a. Web 3.0, users are thirsty for usefulness, time-savings, and truly interactive user experiences.

The tablet’s whenever/wherever capability puts apps at our fingertips at any given time, without the limitations found with other small-screen devices. No-one wants more invitations to be a “friend”; we want technology that can help us get specific things done, and we don’t mind paying for it.

In 2010, app sales topped $5.2bn. Gartner estimates sales to explode to $15.1bn in 2011 and reach $150bn by 2014. (That’s the combined revenue of Apple and Microsoft springing up in the midst of a disaggregated market. Translation: Gold Rush.)

This is a true revolution

Just as the browser made AOL’s walled garden of content obsolete, the application experience is replacing the web page. Developers have heard the call.

Today, 350,000 active apps are already out there (source: 148Apps.biz). Users can tweet, check the weather, book a trip, check the snow report, report a pot hole, mark where they parked and follow a GPS path back….ah, to never lose your car in a parking lot again!

Where there is a need, there probably is an app (or there will be).

This is just the beginning…

If you’re sorthing through how to integrate ‘Web 3.0’ into your own business and brand, you’re certainly not alone.

In future posts I plan to address the paths marketers are following to deliver cutting edge experiences for their brands, and how different industries are changing their processes because of this richer mobile experience. There is absolutely more to come.

Source: eConsultancy