Saturday, December 24, 2005
Merry Christmas everybody!
tags: mobile+technology & & mobile+marketing & mobile & carnival+mobilists & mobile+campaign & coketag & shazam
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
It seems there were 338 complaints and a very lengthy investigation.
There is no doubt in my mind that Jamba! was indeed running misleading advertisements. They suggested that ringtones were only 30p when in fact, it was a subscription service, which, if you took full advantage of it, then each ringtone would work out at 30p each. So why has mBlox been fined and not Jamba?!
It seems to me that the rules are all a bit cock-eyed though. And the ruling has come about as an interpretation of the legalese. Yes, of course, customers should not be misled and of course they should be refunded. And of course dodgy dealings should be dealt with by fines or whatever suitable remedy.
But, logically speaking, if responsibility lies with Jamba's service providers, then this also includes the production company who made the TV, radio and print adverts. And probably should also include the TV stations and publications (including Emap's Heat magazine) who ran the Jamba! advertisements and have a duty of care, one would have thought, not to run anything misleading. So maybe they should be fined too? Although they won't be as they're not classed as 'service providers' in the latest ICSTIS guidelines.
It could also be argued that mBlox should take more care when policing its customers but how realistic is that? If you have 100s, if not 1000s of customers using your short codes, it's nigh on impossible to police every single text message, let alone try and vet all their advertising copy. That said, this was such a prolific series of advertising that someone senior at mBlox must have seen it on the telly and realised that it was their shortcode. 88888 is fairly memorable I'd say and the adverts were misleading (it doesn't take a degree in advertising psychology to work that out!).
mBlox is expected to appeal (don't blame them under the circumstances). And the only outcome of this that I can see is that aggregators will have to take out insurance against this stuff and pass on the premiums to its clients who will then want to recoup that money from its Joe Public customers.
IMHO, Jamba! should have been fined, and fined a lot more than £40k. They knew exactly what they were doing I expect. And maybe mBlox should have been fined too, but a lesser amount, as it was such a high profile campaign that it should have come under their radar.
I wonder if the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) is going to fine Jamba! separately for running misleading advertising?
You can download the mBlox ICSTIS hearing PDF here.
Oh the irony, today, we also heard the news that the Crazy Frog is the 2nd most memorable piece of 'sonic-branding' this year, according to a new survey [via Brand Republic].
Oh, and I got spammed by Jamster US today too. Picture above.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Paul Sanders, Co-founder of Playlouder MSP, the ground-breaking subscription music ISP.
Helen Keegan, Founder and Managing Director of Beep Marketing, the mobile marketing agency and a specialist in mobile music (err, that's me).
The discussion was chaired by Mike Butcher, Editor and Publisher of MusicBites.comWe talked about lots of things - the impact of the ipod and Sony PSP, digital rights management, cost to download (especially on mobile music), how listeners are consuming music these days and lots more besides.
It's quite long for a podcast at 50 minutes but we enjoyed doing it so hopefully you'll enjoy listening to it. Wander over to MusicBites to download and listen.
For those of you who don't know, a text 'n win promotion is one which is usually advertised on a pack of something or other like crisps or a drink and the customer is invited to text in to a shortcode for a chance to win a prize.
This is a very convenient way to manage a competition or prize draw and popular with consumers. The recent on-pack promotion by Walkers to text to win an i-pod offered a prize draw every five minutes and claims to be the biggest ever text and win promotion to date. Not only that, thought went into the reply (or lose) messages to encourage repeat entry - these messages varied from music trivia to free content to details of the previous day's winners. This avoided the campaign becoming a 'text and lose' campaign. This succesful campaign was run by Big Kick and Sponge.
'Text and win' has been embraced by sales promotion agencies in particular as it means not only do you not have to deal with sackloads of post, you also don't have the post-campaign data entry issues. Customers, by entering the competition, are giving you some of their data - i.e. their mobile number. It's up to you to collect any more data from the consumer if you need it.
It's also up to you as the marketer to make the lose messages engaging too, otherwise your campaign will end up being 'text and lose' rather than 'text and win'. This might be by offering mobile content for lower tier prizes or varying the replies, so each time you enter, you get something slightly different (as shown in the Walker's case study). This makes it feel more personal and about you. Personal being key to all things mobile. BeepMarketing has done this in the past for the likes of Foster's lager, Butt Ugly Martians and Tropicana ice lollies.
As a marketer, I think it's also fascinating to work out repeat entries to competitions, peak times, and down times to help you work out more about your customers and plan your next campaign. And not only that, you can then use the data (subject to keeping within the EU Data Privacy regulations) to communicate with willing customers - something we (at BeepMarketing) do for brands like Tabasco. The data is collected via on-pack promotions, we keep it clean against the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) and then use text messaging to promote future campaigns to drive sales. We offer an opt-out as part of every campaign.
Now, that has to be better than delving into a sackload of mail to pick a winner doesn't it?
Copyright Helen Keegan 2005. All rights reserved.
tags: mobile+technology & mobile+marketing & mobile & mobile+applications & mobile+media& text+to+win & text+and+win & sms+marketing
Thursday, December 08, 2005
- That mobile marketing is sending junk text messages to get people to subscribe, unwittingly, to a mobile content subscription service. Ergo, mobile marketing is bad.
- Mobile marketing = marketing using SMS (text messaging)
Applications of mobile marketing
Of course text messaging is still an important element of mobile marketing, but not the only one. The following is adapted from the course module on mobile marketing I wrote this year for the IDM (Institute of Direct Marketing).
1. Text and win. This is a very convenient way to manage a competition or prize draw and popular with consumers. The recent on-pack promotion by Walkers to win an i-pod offered a prize draw every five minutes and claims to be the biggest ever text and win promotion to date.
2. Voting and participation TV. Text voting for reality TV programmes such as Big Brother and The X Factor are incredibly popular and are an additional revenue stream for the broadcaster and/or the production company.
Text.it/Mobile Data Association published these figures to demonstrate how big TV voting in the UK actually is.
- Big Brother 5 - 10m+
- I'm a Celeberity Get Me Out of Here - 10m+
- X-Factor - 5.4m
- Big Brother 3 - 5.3m
- Big Brother 4 - 3.1m
- Fame Academy 2 - 1.6m
- Eurosong 2002 - 700k
It's fair to say I have a vested interest in this area as I'm working on mobile product development for the World Quizzing Championships 2006. Any potential sponsors out there? Please get in touch ;-)
4. Mobile content/mobile media (pictures, ringtones, video). Thanks to the unexpected popularity of ringtones the mobile content industry is already huge and has rapidly increased over the last few years. We know that young people spend 8 times as much on their mobile phones as they do on music and 12% of their income on their mobile phones (source Mobile Youth /w2forum)
The recent Mintel report on mobile content showed that the UK mobile content market is worth $1bn. Ringtones are still top of the list at 33% (although I think the actual figure is probably much higher) closely followed by games at 26%. And this is an industry that was only born at the turn of the 21st Century.
Brands are now starting to capitale on the popularity of mobile content r mobile media and are using it as part of their marketing effort. A picture or ringtone can be a 2nd-or 3rd- tier prize in a free prize draw or other competition which doesn’t involve physically sending out many prizes. We’ve used this approach at BeepMarketing in the past for Foster’s, Vivendi Universal and Digital Jesters. And I expect to see more of this activity in the coming months and years now that the phone technology is becoming more ubiquitous.
One of the key success factors for this industry is ease of payment. Firstly this was done via IVR (Interactive Voice Response where you dial a premium rate number and are billed per minute or as a one-off fee) and then premium rate SMS was introduced. It made it so easy to buy the content. No need for credit or debit card registration which meant that kids could buy it without asking their Mums and Dads.
5. Mobile games. Mobile gaming is very popular and a growing industry in its own right. We already have devices on the market such as the Nokia N-Gage which, although it is a mobile phone, it was actually designed with gaming in mind. And now we have the Sony PSP which isn’t a mobile phone but does have Wi-fi, therefore allowing full internet access.
Coca Cola has signed a deal this year to create and produce Coca Cola-branded games which customers will buy rather than download for free. Licensing deals like this will become more commonplace over the coming months and years too as brands try to get their heads round where revenues may or may not be made on mobile.
6. Mobile Applications. It might be software to help you plan your day, it might be an instant messenger service, it could be a system for working out your daily horoscope. If you think of the PDA (personal digital assistant) that’s been around for some years now and the range of software available for that, then you’ll be getting somewhere close to where we’re going with this on mobile phones.
Of course, the development of this market depends on the types of handsets out there that would need to have Symbian or Windows CE operating system – sometimes these are called Smartphones. Usually this is the higher end phones, but prices for technology soon drops and just as the ipod is available to one and all, or so it seems, so will ‘Smartphones’.
7. CRM – customer relationship management (or should that be CMR – customer managed relationship?). Let’s not forget that the mobile phone is a communications tool. And to that end is a 2-way device. It’s not just about pushing content or a message one-way, customers can call or text you back. This means it’s one of the channels to use when building relationships with consumers. It’s also a very neat way of handling customer service issues like notifying someone to confirm their groceries have been delivered, or that they’re overdrawn at the bank.
8. Interactive Voice Response (IVR). IVR is a much maligned technology. It’s an old technology, for sure as it’s based on landlines and is the engine behind those pesky ‘press 1 for yes and 2 for no’ systems. It’s also used for paying for stuff – mobile content, phone voting. But it also has potential for some great creativity.
Back in 2002, BeepMarketing worked on a campaign for the Butt Ugly Martians. It was aimed at children (7 to 10 year old boys to be precise) and was promoted in relevant comics and magazines. We had a simple text game, but more interestingly, we ran an IVR game. You dialled a standard rate number and instantly you’re transported into the world of the Butt Ugly Martians as you hear the music and voice-over. You were then guided into a game of choice – press the number that relates to your choice to get to the next level. We have 3 levels and if you got 1 of 3 winning combinations, we instantly sent you a ringtone or logo. If you'd like to listen to this yourself, please contact me for the telephone number.
And it’s not just us who’s used this technique.. McDonald’s, Walker’s Crisps, Wella and more have incorporated IVR into their mobile marketing efforts.
9. Multi-media messaging (MMS). This technique is increasing in potential as it becomes more readily available on handsets. MMS can be pushed to the phone at higher costs than simple text messages (several times higher), or there is the cheaper option of ‘virtual MMS’ or WAP push which can be just as effective and where you send a link to the customer to download to view or save the message. Wap push is also the technique used to deliver mobile content. True MMS is still limited by cost and technical limitations of handsets.
10. Direct ad-response/Red Button Mobile. Red Button Mobile describes direct response campaigns using the mobile phone as opposed to using the red button on interactive television (or potentially outdoor or print advertising unlike true Red button advertising). The mobile ‘red button’ is based on a shortcode available, optionally coupled with different keywords relevant keywords dependent on the reponse mechanism. This allows interactivity with statci media as well such as print and outdoor. Options include:
- Text to screen – With TV, comments texted in can be automatically populated on-screen, as used by reality TV programmes (text to screen).
- Text to email – where you text in your email address to a shortcode and an automatic HTML email is generated and sent to the respondent
- Text to post – this works in a similar way where you text your address or postcode and street number
- Text to WAP – here the respondent is directed to an advertiser’s WAP site through a link where they can access content, or opt-in.
- Text to mobile content – Content such as a ringtone or a coupon is received through texting a shortcode
11. Barcodes. Barcodes can be sent to a mobile phone and then redeemed in store using the usual Epos systems. For example, Ann Summers used this technique earlier in the year to drive traffic to their stores. And many years before that, in my ZagMe days, we used a simple code in a text message that acted in a similar way to a barcode – you could track the codes but couldn’t scan them in.
Technically, it is relatively straightforward (if anything *can* be straightforward in mobile that is) to get a barcode to a mobile phone, however, not all barcode readers will be able to read it due to the different screen sizes and formats and intensity (or not) of the screen’s backlight.
A new take on barcodes is ‘camera codes’ whereby a consumer takes a picture of the barcode from a TV screen, poster, newspaper, magazine or website etc. This then initiates the response mechanism or can be used for couponing. There are several companies working on this but it still works best on Symbian or Smartphones.
12. Location-based services (LBS). This technique has prominently been used by companies offering services to parents whose children’s whereabouts can be tracked via their phones. With KidsOK.net, parents pay a fee to access the service. This allows them to ‘ping’ their child’s phone/s to find out where they are.
‘Find me’ services are available which are useful for evenings out and there are mobile search companies coming up with ways of linking location to search and maps.
Of course the ultimate for marketers would be something like ZagMe where we sent text messages to shoppers at Lakeside and Bluewater shopping malls, while they were out shopping, way back in 2000 and 2001. There’s a piece on my website about what happened here but suffice to say, we were ahead of our time and the technology is currently prohibitively expensive. However, as prices come down and we find other ways of doing this, this concept will return.
13. WAP portal or wap site (aka mobile internet). WAP sites are the mobile versions of websites such as The BBC or Channel 4. Often after television programmes you’ll be asked to text in to access further content from your mobile (red button mobile). The link then takes you to the wap site where you can access videos, pictures, ringtones, and information about the programme you’ve just watched. It’s also an opportunity to buy mobile content and to get customers to opt-in for further information.
14. Java magazine or java portal. This is an application that you download to your mobile phone and is like an electronic magazine. You have the basic structure and with the first download, you get sent the first range of content. Then when you want the latest news, you click on update, and it updates all your pages over the air with new content. The benefit of this is that the user experience is better than WAP (although WAP is improving) and you can view content underground – really important if you live in London! You don’t have to be ‘online’ to access your stuff.
15. Mobile search. All the main search providers have mobile (WAP) specific versions of their search engines. These are now becoming more sophisticated. Google Mobile Search (www.google.co.uk/mobile) offers Local Search to find a local business and will then display a map (Google Maps is integrated) or phone number with the option of click-to-call on the appropriately-enabled handset. Google Local uses listings from Yell combined with a bespoke database of wapsites (these sites are checked that they are mobile phone compatible before adding).
Overture is working on something similar.
There are limitations with this as usability is an issue. Do you really want to be returned 500 wap sites when you have a tiny screen and slow data speeds?
16. Mobile music. Beyond ringtones, we are seeing that many handsets are now designed to play and store MP3 music files, potentially rivaling the iPod. As access speeds increase with 3G, tracks could be offered in promotions. Currently buying music from your mobile phone is expensive and it’s much cheaper to buy on itunes and then use Bluetooth to send it to your phone.
17. Podcasting. Podcasting involves streamed delivery of a home-made or professional audio programme, tune, speech or even video (these are called vlogs – check out the vlogs on Perfect Path). They can be accessed on any device with the appropriate MP3 capabilities and can be managed using an RSS feed so that whenever you plug your player into your pc (and over the air will come), your new podcasts are automatically uploaded. If you'd like to hear a podcast that I did earlier this year about mobile marketing then you'll find it here on Perfect Path.
18. Blogging and RSS. Ok, you’re reading a blog so I won’t go into this in detail. Suffice to say, reading blogs on the move is growing with mobile RSS feeds. You’ll find out much more about this mobile blogging/RSS thing over at Mobhappy.
19 Moblogging. Moblogging, or blogging from your mobile phone is popular and, although it can be text-based, makes best use of the device when images or video-clips are submitted by MMS or WAP. We now have citizen journalists who report breaking news before the main networks as shown in the London bombings earlier this year when within 30 minutes, a video clip from the underground spread across the internet like wildfire. This was all aided by sites like moblog (which can handle video) and flickr (which can’t).
Sony Ericsson has used the technique (with BeepMarketing’s help) of posting images to a blog to promote its K300i phone, by encouraging users to upload their images to http://www.shameacademy.com/. And if you join W2Forum, you'll find a big debate as to the good, the bad and the ugly side of moblogging for marketing.
20. Bluetooth/infra-red. These techniques enable data to be sent from one electronic device to another. And of course marketers have got on the bandwagon. The Coldplay example is a case in point. I’ve talked about it here before and although I love the concept, I just don’t see how they get round the Data Protection Act. It seems that finally the Mobile Marketing Association finally agrees with me. Let me know what you think.
Companies like Hypertag also use Bluetooth to allow customers to receive information to their phones – pictures, coupons, music, whatever. I saw this in action at the Electric Picnic this summer where the Vodafone girls were wearing Hypertags and you had to make a Bluetooth connection with them to see if you’d won a prize. The benefit is that there’s no cost to the consumer and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a mobile signal (like when you’re in a field in the middle of Ireland). However, it’s clunky, the girl actually had to take my phone off me to get it to connect, by which time, I was bored. As a gimmick it worked, but until we have better Bluetooth systems, it will be a while before this becomes mass market.
So that's my slightly long-winded top 20 applications for mobile marketing. I'm sure there are more than that so if you think of some that I've missed, then please do add your comments. And I'll do a separate piece on moble media and its place in advertising another time.
Copyright Helen Keegan 2005. All rights reserved.
tags: mobile+technology & mobile+marketing & mobile & mobile+applications & mobile+media
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
OK, so it wasn't quite a red-carpet celebrity fest but it was just as enjoyable I'm sure. A Lump in the Road is a short film (less than 7 minutes) and shows a mother and daughter taking an imaginary car journey to far away places and in doing so, brings them closer together. It has been accepted for the Mid-Ulster Film Festival 2006. And if you do get chance to see it, then do - you'll enjoy it!
The evening kicked off with Jim Holland's Barenzirkus which is an 8 minute reworking of a 1960s super8 film of a Russian bear circus. It was disturbing to see these beautiful animals dressed up in silly costumes performing complex and skilled circus feats - suitably enhanced by the music soundtrack. One wonders what it took to train the animals.
Also showing was Curl up and Dye which is a celebration of the wit and humour of the UK's hairdressers and barbers which you can see online at Supershorts. My favourite is The Godbarber.
Friday, December 02, 2005
I really feel for them though. The marketing landscape is getting ever more complicated. And as new technologies emerge and existing technologies evolve, their job, as the marketers of the future is going to get harder and harder. Then what happens when we add location based tracking into the mix? That's going to throw a cat amongst the pigeons when it comes to targeting and will make postal-based direct mail look like a walk in the park to manage. It will no longer be about who you are and where you're at in your head, where you're at in your lifestage, but also where you're at physically (work, school, gym, pub, nightclub, shopping mall, wherever). Gender, age and postcode just won't cut it for very much longer.
Still, by spreading the word now about mobile marketing and getting the topic on the agenda, I'm quite sure some bright spark will come up with a solution at some point. Here's hoping anyway.
I'm off to run a workshop next week too at the University of Westminster as part of the Masters Course in Integrated Marketing. Guess what, I'll be talking about mobile marketing! And I've been booked in to run more courses for the IDM next year too.
It feels like, at long last, marketing folks are beginning to take thismobile channel seriously. Who knows, maybe even James Eadie, marketing manager at Coca-Cola, will get it at last. He was recently reported at the Mobile Marketing Conference this week as saying that the mobile channel showed great potential but
"Until such time as the digital platform [ie mobile] can help us connect emotionally with consumers, in the way we can with a 30-second TV commercial, we are always going to struggle."
Ho hum. He really doesn't get it yet. He seems to think that there's nothing emotional about a text message, let alone other mobile content. Well I guess he's never been dumped by SMS or maybe his partner never says 'I love you' via text as Russell Buckley points out over at Mobhappy. He also was not running campaigns at ZagMe (where we sent texts to shoppers at Lakeside and Bluewater) 5 years ago where our customers out at Lakeside and Bluewater loved us so much, one of them even dedicated a record to us at Capital FM. Other feedback included things like:
"Hello ZagMe How R U today"
"ZagMe iz cool Text me back d:->"
"ThanQ ZagMe team 4 my lovely b’day txt, I had 1 sweet day X"
"Thank you for the £10 voucher"
No emotion indeed! Everything's possible. It's not about the technology, it's about how you use it. Let's hope tomorrow's marketers start learning this lesson now before they hit the marketplace.
btw, if anyone is interested in learning about Mobile Marketing - what it is, how and when to use it, what not to do it etc. Then I'm your woman. Please contact me for details of mobile marketing training course outlines.
- 20% of mobile phone subscribers worldwide have already downloaded content to their mobiles
- User key concerns are [unsurprisingly IMHO]: Price, value for money, security and fraud
- User key requirements are: Ease of use, ease of payments, ability to share information and the speed of the download
LogicaCMG also predicts that the content download market will be worth 7.6bn Euros globally next year and that within a year, the number of customers having experience content services is set to triple.
Europeans have the largest wallets and are most willing to pay for services but are the most conservative. The Asian market shows the most enthusiasm for new types of content with one in ten expected to be downloading full feature films to their handsets in 12 months time.
We'll be holding our next event in Barcelona (sponsor permitting) to coincide with 3GSM in February. And then I expect we'll be running a UK based event a month or two after that. So if you're a woman and work in mobile data then you might be interested in joining us. Details of how to get in touch are on the WIMD website.