Locatel Launches Mobility for Hotels

Locatel has launched its Mobility range of mobile solutions for the hospitality industry.

Mobility is made up of three parts: ‘Lobby Companion’, an app with details of the hotel, tourist information, and internet access to run on tablets placed in lobbies, bars and other public locations; ‘In Room Companion’, to be installed on hotel devices with a variety of functions including express check out, room service ordering and TV remote control; and ‘Mobility Companion’, for guests’ own devices.

Each app is modular and customisable to hotels’ individual needs, and can be updated through a cloud management service.

“The Mobility offering is the fruit of several years of development and patents, and 50 years of expertise in the broadcasting and media business,” said François Clemenceau, mobile business unit director at Locatel. “This know-how allows us to create innovative services and to meet the high expectations of guests with solutions such as viewing mobile content on the TV screen, TV channels displayed on mobile devices, secured printing from mobile devices and high-speed internet access.”

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IAB Study Shows Responsive Design Uptake

Research released today by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) reveals that 11 per cent of the UK’s 100 highest spending advertisers now have responsive design websites that are designed to automatically display content in the most appropriate way for whichever device a consumer is using. 

The research, from the third wave (August 2013) of the IAB’s study on the prevalence of mobile-optimised websites amongst leading advertisers in the UK, reveals the 11 using responsive design are Peugeot, Nissan, Direct Line, Go Compare, Sainsbury’s Bank, Sky, EE, Microsoft, Colgate-Palmolive, the Department of Health and Chanel.

The automotive and technology/telecoms sectors have the highest percentage (17 per cent) of brands in the top 100 (both with two out of 12) using responsive design followed by finance with 3 out of 21 (14 per cent). 

“Responsive design is the next stage in mobile optimisation and represents a truly multi-platform experience that enables users to have the best surfing experience on whatever device they’re using,” said the IAB’s senior mobile manager, Alex Kozloff. “It’s encouraging to see the speed at which advertisers are embracing this technology and really thinking about how consumers interact with their brand.” 

The mobile optimisation study also reveals that, in August 2013, 58 per cent of the top 100 advertisers in 2012 had a website whose home page was optimised to automatically display content in the most appropriate way for smartphones.

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Mobile Marketing Live Preview – Sponsors, Stream 2

For the past week or so, we’ve been previewing the companies presenting at Mobile Marketing Live, sector by sector.

Today, we turn our attention once again to our sponsors, experts in various aspects of mobile marketing, who will be taking to the stage to bring delegates up to speed with the latest development and trends in their area of expertise.

On Friday we looked at our sponsor speakers in Stream 1. Today, we look at our sponsors speaking in Stream 2. So let’s take a look at what delegates can expect to hear from them. 



At 9:15, Theo Theodorou senior VP EMEA at Videology, will explore how brands, agencies and media companies can plan, serve, manage, and monitor video ad campaigns using features and specifications typical to TV, while taking advantage of the advanced targeting, optimization, and efficiencies of digital media.  



Then at 9.25, Chris Clapperton, head of partnerships at mobile entertainment gambling services company, Probability, takes to the stage. In his presentation, Chris will explain how the demographic of the mobile cash gamer has changed over the past two years, and how a huge part of the adoption of mobile entertainment gambling has been down to the proliferation of connected mobile devices, smartphones and tablets, which has signalled a rise in female players, Chris will talk about this and other latest player insights revealed across Probability’s network.



Next up, at 10am, is Milon Veasey, head of mobile solutions specialists at Barclays Corporate. In his presentation, Milon will explain how Barclays is attempting to simplify the payment experience for consumers, and drive value from that interaction for merchants. He will also consider whether app-based mobile payments are the answer.



At 11.50, Patrik Fagerlund, co-founder and CEO of Widespace, will deliver a presentation entitled ‘Effective Branding Using Mobile Advertising’. In it, Patrick will explain how the smallest screen is fast becoming the largest medium and exploring the implications of this trend for brands. 



At 12 noon, Oisin Lunny, senior market development manager at OpenMarket, will offer delegates 10 practical tips to improve acquisition and retention. Oisin will explain how to attract new customers and increase engagement with your brand using mobile technology that you can implement right now.  



At 2.10pm, Rob Townsend, marketing & communications director at Textlocal, will reveal the findings of an exclusive study carried out by the firm earlier this year. Textlocal interviewed hundreds of businesses and thousands of consumers across the UK in March 2013 on their views, habits and behaviours around mobile marketing. Rob will share the results of this Mobile CRM research project, explaining why no business can afford to ignore mobile messaging.



Finally, at 3.55pm, in a presentation entitled ‘Embracing Mobile’. Guy Marks, founder of Mobile5, will explain how brands that are embracing mobile as much as consumers do are reaping the rewards.


If you haven’t yet booked your ticket to Mobile Marketing live, you can do so here. We have a limited number of tickets to give away to brands, while for everyone else, we’re offering 50 per cent off the full price of tickets – a saving of £247.50. The tickets give full access to the conference and after-show party and networking drinks. 

Register using the Discount Code, BA100 for the free tickets for brands, and the Discount Code MML50 for the 50 per cent off offer. You can book tickets here. 

In the meantime, you can see the full Agenda here. 

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Natwest IPB Launches iPad App

NatWest International Personal Banking (IPB) has launched an iPad app, ibanking, enabling account holders to manage their finances.

The app is available to NatWest IPB clients with accounts in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Gibraltar, and gives them a single view of both their foreign currency and pound sterling accounts. 

Users can check their balance and transactions, as well as making transactions and payments – though these latter functions are only available for sterling accounts at launch, with currency accounts ‘available in the near future’, according to NatWest.

To protect the user’s details, ibanking requires a passcode login and is tied to one registrant per device.

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Ads Coming to Gmail on Android?

The Gmail app for Android looks set to introduce advertising in the near future, based on a behind-the-scenes examination of the recent v4.6 update.

In its ‘teardown’ of the app’s APK file, Android Police noted multiple reference to ads, including the addition of an entire library called ‘ads’ containing xml files referring to the presentation of ads.

Android Police says that its discovery suggests that users will be able to save an ad to their inbox or discard it, depending on whether they’re interested.

 Gmail on desktop currently features text ads as well as the native advertising recently introduced along with its inbox tabs view, but until now the app has stayed ad-free.

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Candy Crush Maker King Files for IPO

UK-based gaming company King, makers of the Candy Crush Saga, has secretly filed for an IPO in the US.

According to the Telegraph, the Facebook-turned-mobile gaming company will float on the Nasdaq and is expected to be valued at more than $5bn. 

King’s IPO can go under the radar because of a provision in the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) that enables companies with fewer than $1bn in revenue to begin the process of going public in secret. The company has not yet confirmed its actions.

Back in April, King’s international sales director Michael Bayston announced they were dropping the ‘.com’ from their name, reflecting the company’s new-found mobile success. Candy Crush, the company’s flagship mobile game and already the largest game on Facebook, had 50m daily active users across all of its platforms. 52 per cent of those were using mobile, he said. The game’s freemium model sees players who can’t wait to get more lives able to buy them.

The company was founded in the UK in 2003 and has 150 online games in its portfolio. Commentators are concerned that King could go the same way as Zynga, another Facebook and mobile gaming company. Zynga raised $1bn in its IPO in 2011 but despite huge numbers of mobile players, the company recently cut one-fifth of its workforce. It saw a net loss in 2012 of $209m.

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Mobile Makes Up 37 Per Cent Of Global Ad Market Growth

Zenith Optimedia has forecast 77 per cent growth in mobile ad spend this year, to reach $14.3bn (£8.86bn).

Although this only represents 2.8 per cent of total global expenditure, mobile advertising has ‘truly taken off’, the company says, and will account for 6 per cent  – or $33.1bn – by 2015.

While it is certainly not the largest part of media spend, mobile ads will account for 37 per cent of market growth this year, reducing to 31 per cent in 2014. Total digital ad spend – desktop and mobile combined – will account for 24.6 per cent of total by 2015, up from 20.4 per cent this year.

Eurozone crisis weighs down mature markets

The entire global ad market is stabilising and will grow 3.5 per cent in 2013, followed by stronger growth of 5.1 per cent in 2014 and 5.9 per cent in 2015. Although this is the first Zenith analysis since Q2 2012 where global ad spend has not been revised down, a contraction in Eurozone spend – 5.2 per cent in 2012 and 4.3 per cent this year – has weighed down mature market forecasts.

Emerging market growth, meanwhile, has been revised up from 7 to 7.6 per cent since June. The Eurozone market will only come back to positive figures next year – 0.7 per cent growth in 2014 and 1.9 per cent growth in 2015.

See how this compares with eMarketer’s 2013 ad spend analysis.

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Your Gym Launches Motivational AR Membership Cards

Your Gym has worked with Blippar to create AR-enabled cards that host motivational content for its members.

The Richmond-based company wants to improve rates of gym-going as well as better-reach the ‘always-on’ smartphone audience. Users of the iOS or Android Blippar app to access Your Gym video content will also get a free week’s membership.

And those that haven’t tortured themselves enough can also put their face on a toned body on the front of a magazine. See left.

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See More Tom Daley with Headcast Animated News App

Olympic diver Tom Daley has worked with HeadcastLab to create an app that enables him to send animated 60-second updates to his fans.

The platform, created for brands and celebrities, was given a launch endorsement by Stephen Fry. Marketers and celebs simply speak into their phone or tablet to record the audio, which lip syncs with the custom-designed character. Extra animations, like trademark gestures and relevant background images can also easily be included.

The Virtually Tom Daley app costs £1.49 and is currently only available on iOS. It launches on Android this Friday. People who have downloaded the app will receive each Headcast ‘within a minute’ of it being submitted and can interact with the content via audience polls and by tapping the character.

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Facebook Steps Up Mobile Ad Activity After Twitter’s MoPub Buyout

With Twitter’s recent acquisition of MoPub and the inevitablity of an IPO for in-app display giants Flurry, Facebook is clearly keen to remind everyone that it is a serious player in the mobile display space, and has made a number of moves in the last week to demonstrate just that.

A spokesperson has confirmed to Mobile Marketing that after an initial test nine months ago, the social network is now re-opening trials of its third-party ad exchange on mobile. Should all go to plan, and assuming they can keep privacy intact, advertisers will be able to buy third-party mobile inventory from Facebook using the profiles of its users to target their placements. Facebook told us that its second test would aim to increase the relevancy of these ads but couldn’t give any more detail.

The Wall Street Journal meanwhile reports that Facebook has started sharing weekly second screen reports with the four largest US TV networks – ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS – as well as a number of smaller partners. The data potentially contains unparalled audience demographics, paired with how many likes, comments and shares are generated during a television episode. This is in a bid to demonstrate itself as the “the go-to hub for real-time events” and reap ad dollars in return.

Facebook has also outlined changes it is making to its ads algorithm that means ‘some marketers may see some variation in the distribution of their ads in the coming weeks’. More emphasis will be placed on the relevance and quality of ads, with particular attention paid to ads that are hidden or reported by users for being unsuitable.

In terms of usage, Facebook on mobile is flying, reporting in July that its mobile-only audience had reached 219m, representing 20 per cent of monthly users and more than Twitter has across all platforms in total. But that is coming at some expense to its growth in desktop users, which means effort, and ad dollars must move accordingly.

Responding to these varied announcement, Andrew French, global trading director at Somo, said: “When third-parties like Twitter make aggressive moves into the mobile space, it is likely that Facebook will try and stay ahead of the curve with new ideas and innovation.

“Advertising that is more targeted and more relevant is a good thing for the industry, but the complexity with the third-party exchange comes around data, data privacy and how you actually make something like this happen. As the Facebook ecosystem matures, you would expect them to move to a targeting model that enables them to drive a higher price per impression.”

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