Mobile Marketing

Virtual Shopping Has Arrived!

I said a few months ago that it wouldn’t be long before virtual shopping arrived in Australia – and here it is!  See this article from The Age:


Food for thought: Alana Pozzebon (left) and Liv Cougan check out the Woolworths virtual supermarket.

Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

Food for thought: Alana Pozzebon (left) and Liv Cougan check out the Woolworths virtual supermarket.

THE supermarket wars have moved from the grocery aisles to cyberspace, with Woolworths unveiling a virtual supermarket at Flinders Street Station in Melbourne.

Read more:


Don’t think you need a mobile version of your website? Maybe you should read this article and think again!

QR Codes – Ignore them at Your Peril!

QR Codes – Ignore them at Your Peril!

I’ve posted on this blog before about QR Codes, but in some ways I think in Australia they’re considered something of a fad.

Having spent 2 weeks in the USA, though, I beg to differ.

If there was one thing I noticed everywhere I went, it was QR codes.  They were on menus, brochures, signs, in shop windows, advertising posters, hotel checkins – quite frankly, it was staggering.

Right now they may only be in their infancy, but QR codes are coming, there’s no doubt about that.  The sooner you jump in and get yours, the better it will be for your business.

Some really great advice in this article, about how to avoid being a spammer when you’re using mobile marketing.

I recommend you check it out!

Mobile Marketing Methods

mobilemktgIf you want to grow your business, then it is time to take mobile marketing into consideration. You will need to have a firm grasp of network marketing in order to take your business to the next level and effectively understand this type of marketing.

SMS is one of the most commonly used campaigns of this nature. SMS stands for short messaging service. Any mobile device is going to be able to view SMS and Text Messages. If you have your clients’ phone numbers, this can be an excellent marketing tool for your business. You will be able to send updates about promotions and other business related information straight to their mobile phone.

If you want to take it a step farther, you can go with MMS. This stands for Multimedia Message Service. With this type of message you will be able to include media, such as photos. These messages are a bit more complex, and while not all mobile devices can receive them, most will be able to.

More and more people are getting SMART phones these days. People are able to get instant updates about your company through mobile web applications, and they will not only be able to get the information faster but they will also be able to avoid text messaging fees. Another form of technology that is becoming quite common is Bluetooth. This is not just limited to the headsets. This technology can be used from roughly 33 feet in distance. Even though this may seem like a relatively short range, it can still be used for marketing within a close proximity.

There is another type of technology that is much like Bluetooth. It’s called Location-Based mobile marketing. It isn’t as commonly used as some of the other methods, but in the future it may become much more common. This is a type of marketing that delivers media straight to someone’s mobile device based on where they are located through GPS technology. Obviously, it seems as though you are going to need to get the user’s permission to use this form of marketing. Although it has not risen to total popularity yet, in the future this is likely going to be a popular method.

Some other methods have started to catch up in popularity as well. Quick response codes (QR) are barcodes that are two dimensional, and they seem to be getting more popular. Mobile banner ads are always a common variety. All of these methods play a part in Mobile Commerce, and businesses that are taking part in this type of advertising are finding a great deal of success.

You can automate your phone calls with Interactive Voice Response, or IVR. You can even organize a list through your computer to use voice broadcasting and call pre-programmed numbers. You can send messages to your customers that you have previously recorded in order to let them know their order status or update them on promotions and such. Mobile marketing is the future of marketing for both small and large businesses, and you will find that your business can have great success using any of these methods.

Did you know that 97% of text messages are read compared to about 25% of e-mails? That means you can get your message to your customers quickly and effectively. More people have cell phones than computers. Mulkern Internet can set up and manage your text messaging campaigns.Visit:

Good information on Mobile Marketing from Joe Maldonado

The spend on local mobile advertising will approach $1 billion by the end of 2012 as campaign objectives evolve to meet the location-targeting abilities of smartphones, per a study by BIA/Kelsey.

The report projects that total U.S. mobile ad spending will grow from $790 million in 2010 to $4 billion in 2015. Locally targeted mobile ads will be a big driver of the growth, accounting for 70 percent of overall U.S. mobile ad spending by 2015.

“Pay more attention to local – its relevance is boosting performance,” said Michael Boland, senior analyst and program director at the Kelsey Group, San Francisco.

“Mobile advertising should – and it will – better evolve into the mobile form factor and the growing prevalence of smartphones,” he said.

“Some mobile brands and mobile ad networks are already sinking their teeth into this, while others still have a ways to go.”

Evolving objectives
As brands and agencies, which are the largest source of mobile ad spending in the U.S., evolve campaign objectives to better meet the capabilities of smartphones, BIA/Kelsey predicts there will be more location targeted mobile advertising.

Between 2010 and 2015, Bia/Kelsey predicts the spend on locally targeted ads will grow from $404 million to $2.8 billion. Today, locally targeted mobile ads account for 51 percent of the overall mobile ad spend.

Local mobile ad share of total local media ad revenues will grow from a 0.3 percent in 2010 to 1.8 percent in 2015.

Other local media includes radio, television, newspapers, Yellow Pages and online/interactive.

Also driving the growth in local mobile advertising will be the increasing number of small and medium-sized businesses that will begin adopting mobile advertising.

“Mobile advertising will move down market to SMB and mid-market segments, where it currently makes up a very small portion of the overall ad spend,” Mr. Boland said.

“This will be similar to the shift we saw online over the last decade as advertising was ‘democratized’ through tools like AdWords,” he said.

“In mobile it will be driven by a combination of self serve tools – adwords, Foursquare – as well as local sales organizations – newspapers, yellow pages – that increasingly bundle mobile marketing with existing advertising.”

Greater adoption of mobile by brands, agencies and smaller businesses will drive the volume of mobile ads sold. At the same time, the dollar amount spent in local mobile advertising will also be driven by higher prices.

“The premiums placed on locally targeted mobile advertising will boost the spending amounts and the share shifts toward mobile local ad spend, in dollars, that we’re predicting,” Mr. Boland said.

Challenges remain
There are hurdles to overcome if the growth in local mobile advertising is to continue, including educating marketers about its benefits and evaluating if the improved ROI delivered by locally targeted mobile ads outweigh the loss in reach.

“It will take an evolution of advertising to build mobile campaigns from the ground up for the new form factor,” Mr. Boland said. “That requires new ways of thinking.

“There are also some drawbacks any time you start to segment audiences, because that sacrifices reach which has always been a major objective for a lot of brand advertising,” he said.

“So it has to be evaluated to see if higher performance and clearer ROI outweigh the almighty reach.”

There are signs, however, that mobile is already gaining the attention of lots of marketers.

Some are just talking about it while others are acting.

“Even those that step in and shift digital budget to experiment mobile will gain an early mover advantage and experience and perspective in what is a nascent and quickly evolving area of content and ad delivery” Mr. Boland said.

Mobile marketing is a trend that businesses can’t ignore, unless they want to see their competitors stealing all their customers!

There’s an app for that–and small business owners better make sure that is true for them. 

According to Mashable, 96% of small businesses already use mobile technology to power their business. The same study also found that three-fourths of small businesses use mobile apps, and that a third of small businesses say they’d struggle to get by without mobile apps.

And thanks to tools like iPhone’s AppMakr or Google’s App Inventor , small businesses on a tight budget can easily make an app suitable for their needs. 


Check out three small businesses that are using mobile apps to engage and grow its customer base.

Meet Moi

MeetMoi calls itself the anti-online dating online dating. 

“The premise that if prospective daters could meet enough interesting people in person, they would never need to go shopping on the Web for singles,”  said CEO Alex Harrington.

The location-based mobile dating company was founded in 2007 with the mission to transform interactive dating through the integration of mobility.

Single people cross paths everyday, but obstacles like social conventions make it hard to form a personal connection. “There are interesting people on every crowded subway platform and in every airport lounge, not to mention in coffee shops, bars and the office down the hall. But without impeccable timing, x-ray vision and a lot of chutzpah, it’s very hard to meet them,” said Harrington. Supply and demand isn’t the problem in the dating world, but efficiency. 

The MeetMoi mobile app was created by an in-house developer and automatically gathers the location of all members so users don’t have to worry about manually ‘checking in’ or updating their location. The app even features “NOW” matching, where the app alerts you if you are within 100 yards of another MeetMoi customer you are compatible with. 

When MeetMoi introduces members, both must agree to the match before communication occurs so there is no uninvited contact. To protect privacy, a user’s exact location is never shared.

“We’re very conscious about privacy and security and once people understand how it works, any concerns about invasiveness go away.” 

Harrington advised other budding entrepreneurs to think of an app as an extension of their business storefront.

While other dating sites offer matches based on city and proximity, MeetMoi claims to be the only dating company with this type of mobile technology that persistently records its members locations.

Mobile apps aren’t they only form of new media MeetMoi integrates into its business model. It also has a growing presence on Facebook and Twitter and expects to launch a blog this summer. 


88Nine Radio Milwaukee 

In the age of iTunes and Pandora, radio stations might sound obsolete, but 88Nine RadioMilwaukee has found that if radio stations embrace–rather than resist–new media, they’ll maintain relevancy.

88Nine RadioMilwaukee which took to the airwaves in February 2007 and has a unique broadcasting business model that targets radio listeners on air, online and in the community.

In late 2010, 88Nine RadioMilwaukee hired a local developer to create an app for the station and soon after it launched an app which streams the live programming.

 ”The response was amazing. Within a few weeks, we had over 1,000 downloads,” said  DJ Tarik J Moody.

88Nine RadioMilwaukee is currently working on version 2 of the app, which will feature an interactive playlist. Users will see the songs playing and can purchase songs on Apple’s iTunes store.

Extreme Broadband Engineering

Extreme Broadband Engineering might not be a household name, but there is a good chance it’s products are in your house. 

“Chances are good we are behind your TV set and in your walls,” said CEO Jay Shapson.

Extreme Broadband Engineering is an engineering and manufacturing company for the broadband and communication industry and makes CATV products such as splitters, amplifiers and enclosures.

Extreme Broadband Engineering created an app called the “Extreme Broadband Mobile Trainer” to support the thousands of people who use their products every day. 

“Competing in a low-cost, high-volume market we needed to find a competitive age, ” said Matt Shapson, project manager and son of CEO Jay Shapson. Matt Shapson says, “We have been able to deliver high-quality, uniquely-designed products and now, mobile apps to support the men and women who use our products day in and day out.”

The app, which was designed by an outside vendor named Persource is multi functional and offers training videos, installation guides, quizzes and even industry calculators for installers.

“When we publicly announced the Extreme Broadband Mobile Trainer at the Cable Tech Show in New Orleans this past May, it drew huge crowds and obtained over 2,000 downloads during the show,” said Shapson.

Shapson credits part of the apps success to its multi-platform functionality; the app is available on the iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry and the Android.

The possibilities are endless…

Combining social media with location services and mobile phones represents the next generation of online marketing, according to speakers at the Search Marketing Expo in Seattle on Tuesday.

Combining the three tools is simply an evolution of how they are being used individually, said Mac Ling, director of mobile at digital marketing company iCrossing. “We’re just now starting to see, as with the Internet, a new medium, a new way of talking to customers. That’s happening now because of this beautiful little device in our hands,” he said, referring to a mobile phone.

Jennifer Grappone, a partner with Gravity Search Marketing, offered an example of a small company using social media for marketing. Cool Haus, which operates ice cream trucks in a few cities, uses what she called “geotargeted flattery.”

Cool Haus knows a few days in advance where it will park its truck in Los Angeles. It looks for a “social influencer,” or someone with a big presence in social networks, who lives near where the truck will be located. It then offers that person a coupon for its ice cream and asks them to tell their audience that the truck will be in the neighborhood.

Several ways to combine social and location-based tools are seen from Foursquare, which offers a host of promotions for merchants to use with people who “check in” to Foursquare, including coupons and loyalty programs.

Small business are in the best position to experiment with these methods to see what works, said Michael Martin, senior SEO strategist for Covario.

“A large retailer may struggle to do a simple test because it’s complex for them to [train] retail staff on how to handle a redemption,” he said. A smaller business can simply tell its 10 cashiers that a customer may walk in and ask to redeem a coupon on their mobile phone.

Businesses should keep an eye out for new types of services that are continually emerging in mobile and location-aware contexts, said Nicola Smith, vice president of business development for Performics. For instance, she’s been seeing services that let users “check in” to conversations about brands or products, rather than physical locations. “We’re seeing this phenomena evolve and expand to other places beyond location-specific check-ins,” she said.

With so many new services emerging, it can be hard for companies to keep up with what’s available. “You need to look at services that will help aggregate them,” Smith said. For instance, Local Response is a service that aggregates check-ins across different services.

One way that companies might combine social with local in the future is by offering targeted coupons to individuals who are part of a group, Ling said. For example, a person who just completed a running race might post a message to other runners suggesting they meet in a restaurant. A company could see that message and respond by offering a coupon to anyone from the race who comes to its restaurant.

That scenario could represent the evolution of group messaging, beyond how current services like Yahoo Groups are used, for example, he said.

All the speakers on a panel here agreed that the first step to integrating social, local and mobile is to have a mobile-optimized Web site. Nearly 80 percent of the top advertising brands don’t have a Web site optimized for mobile phones, Ling said. “That is absolutely tactic number one,” he said.

The speakers also encouraged companies to experiment. “If you look at this as a massive [undertaking], it’s going to be. But, especially if you’re a small company, just try it,” Martin said.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy’s e-mail address is

This is exactly what I’ve been telling clients – it’s not enough to just start up a business and expect customers to show up. You have to make it happen, and instead of being scared of new technology, embrace it. The marketing message hasn’t changed – but the media available to distribute that message has broadened. Even better, many of these new methods are cheaper!

Will Price is CEO of Flite

By Will Price

The numbers continue to impress: smartphones, once found only in the holsters of businesspeople emailing on the go, made up 27 percent of the mobile phones in the United States in December 2010 – up from just 16.8 percent the year before.

That rapid shift has also led to a drastic change in the way we communicate and consume information. More than one-third of all mobile users use their devices to tap into the Web.

It is quite breathtaking to see how quickly consumers have embraced the capabilities and experience of mobile devices, from applications to Web browsing to video chat.


Equally surprising to me, however, has been the snail’s pace at which the advertising industry has delivered innovation and new ideas for how to best reach this burgeoning audience.

Put some muscle in
The status quo for mobile ads remains remarkably humdrum.

There is no longer any excuse for static, standalone marketing content delivered via text message, or via static ad images that link to a company homepage.

Once a month, 58 million people use their phones to tap into social networks, and location-based offerings such as Foursquare, SCVNGR and Yelp are enabling consumers to connect with the companies they patronize.

We, as consumers, deserve better.

The good news is that this offers mobile developers a significant opportunity to deliver engaging new advertising experiences for consumers.

Done right, new mobile marketing campaigns have the potential to become just as much a part of the conversation as great mobile apps.

What might these new programs look like and what should they be able to do?

Here are a few core elements of mobile campaigns that mobile marketers should be focusing on:

1. Get ahead of the story: The ability to quickly tweak content in response to breaking news helps mobile advertisers in ways they cannot afford to ignore.

Imagine an ad for a car recently went live, followed by an announcement that the same automobile just won a prestigious award.

Instead of creating a whole new ad to trumpet this achievement – which could take days, if not weeks – enhance the existing one with simple, but compelling modifications.

Do not fall victim to the idea that ads are static, finished products. Let the immediacy of the mobile space and the flexibility of new cloud ad platforms work for you.

2. Let an API do the heavy lifting: Add utility for the customer. Do not list a company’s address, link to it on Google Maps or use Yelp’s API to find products and reviews in a specific location.

A recent ad for the new Fox Show Bob’s Burgers integrated Yelp so that consumers could search for burgers in their ZIP code – an innovative tie-in to their real lives in an ad that worked simultaneously across desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

3. Allow customers to tell the story: Advertisers can work smarter by allowing users to market products for them, including ads that include travel tips from Facebook users.

Ads that make it easiest to integrate the social networks people are already using have the best chance of earning credibility or even going viral, and these ads are easy to create because the customers create the content for you.

IGNORING THE ongoing innovation in mobile advertising is easy to do, but you risk losing out on a coveted audience.

Thirty-four percent of all smartphone users make $100,000-plus annually, including 40 percent of iPhone users.

Also, 49 percent of consumers who use the Web on their phones at least once a week have made a purchase on their mobile device in the past six months.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach for creating engaging and useful mobile ad experiences, harnessing the power of APIs, incorporating social elements and hosting in the cloud will set you on the path to mobile ad success.

Will Price is CEO of Flite, San Francisco. Reach him at


The landscape of mobile advertising is constantly changing, so as marketers we need to change too. But in the end it’s only the medium that is changing as technology advances – the message stays the same.
Some good, sound basics in this article. 8-)