Happy Holidays

Christmas PresentsAs the Pogues once sang, it’s Christmas eve, babe. And here at Mobile Marketing Towers, we’re starting to pack up for the holidays.

That means there won’t be any more news posts until the New Year, but fear not – we’ve got plenty of other content for you in the coming week.

Having spent the past week looking back at the past 12 months, it’s time to look forward, so we’ll be running Guest Columns with a host of mobile experts’ predictions for 2014.

We’ll be kicking off this afternoon with a piece from AppNexus’ Graham Wylie on the rise of RTB this year, and its importance in the next. Then after a short break for Christmas, we’ll be running two columns each day from Friday until Monday, from Juniper, Carat, TrendWatching and many more.

Finally, on New Year’s Eve, we’ll be taking an in-depth look over the events of 2013, with the help of respected industry analyst Chetan Sharma.

And if that’s not enough, why not dig into the best of the last few weeks? You can read our picks for the biggest trend, acquisition and story of the year, or check out our roundup of where all of the major social networks stand at the end of 2013. Or take a dive into how mobile was integrated into the X Factor semi-final… or just sit back and watch our video report from a pub in King’s Cross, where David Murphy tested out the Orderella app.

We’ll be back on Thursday 2 January with all the latest news from the industry, plus more features, interviews and analysis. Until then, thanks for reading, have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Alex Spencer
Online Editor

Featured Articles

IMRG Predicts £100m of Mobile Sales on Christmas Day

mCommerce Online Shopping Trolley RetailSmartphones and tablets will deliver £100m in sales on Christmas Day, predicts IMRG, and over £140m on Boxing Day.

According to the IMRG’s benchmarking data, mobile now accounts for an average 38 per cent of total visits to retail sites – but on these two days, the channel’s share of sales will be closer to 27 per cent.


“Mobile device usage really is changing the way we shop. Online always used to be mutually exclusive and not always consistent with the High Street,” said Andrew McClelland, COO of IMRG.  “Smartphones, accounting for 20 per cent of mobile sales on retailers’ websites, really are helping customers shop whilst on the move. Tablets are also accelerating this mobile change, lowering the barriers to entry, with prices continuing to fall, their design and interfaces being less intimidating and truly being ‘always on’ so we, as shoppers can now truly shop when-ever and where-ever we want”.

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The App I Can’t Live Without

We all have an app or a mobile service we can’t live without. Or would rather not to at least. For me, it’s Swiftkey, the fast typing app that saves hours over the course of a year in composing emails and texts. So as we head into the Christmas break, we thought it would be fun to reach out to some of our friends in the mobile marketing industry and ask them for the app they can’t live without, the only caveat being that they could not choose their own company’s app. Read on to see if you agree with their choices, and feel free to leave us a comment to tell us about your own must-have app.

SkygoNeil Swanston, senior manager, mobile, British Gas – Sky Go
It is said that opposites attract, and that is certainly true of my wife and I. We both love films, but our tastes are very, very different. Thankfully, those clever folk at Isleworth created Sky Go. This marvellous little app lets me download and watch the films that Mrs Swanston simply can’t stand, thus maintaining a happy and tranquil home.

It also happens to be the app which keeps me sane on traumatic train journeys, and keeps my daughter entertained on those tedious long car journeys. You might say that Sky Go is the app that keeps my family together.

Twitter Dara NasrDara Nasr, head of sales, UK, Twitter – Jawbone UP
I track my activity and sleep on my UP wristband and attach it to my phone to display the results. It’s easy, visually strong and very informative. You can see how your friends are getting along and link up other apps such as Runkeeper and Withings. The main reason I love it though is that, since having kids, I’m obsessed with the concept of sleep, and in particular deep sleep. I am far more gutted if my deep sleep percentage is low than I am if I’ve had a lazy day.

WhatsappRic Cohen, senior product manager, mobile payments, Barclays – WhatsApp
I love WhatsApp because it makes it easy for me to communicate with friends and family. It’s taken a service that people thought they were satisfied with (text messaging), and improved it via easier and richer functionality.

Tesco Mark CodyMark Cody, senior marketing manager, mobile, Tesco – ZITE
The app I can’t live without is ZITE. It’s my pocket companion that allows me to stay up to date on everything I’m interested in. It is really well designed and has an easy to use interface. It just oozes quality and encourages some great thumb action as you move around the sections. It provides a simple way for me to share stories with my team or across social networks and allows me to discover stories that I would not have seen before. I love it and recommend it to anyone who wants to stay one step ahead.

WazeCaroline van den Bergh, head of business development, Golden Gekko – Waze
The app I can’t live without is Waze. I can’t stop myself banging on about to anyone who will listen. I love it, and use it every time I drive. It’s a social traffic app with a fantastic satnav and lots of other features. It has easily become my favourite app as it’s useful, saves me time and anxiety and turns sitting in traffic into a kind of game.

You can connect with other ‘Wazers’ for alerts on traffic issues based on drivers ahead of you, or reports posted by Wazers (on heavy traffic, an accident etc). There’s a simple points system that rewards users the more they use the app, and lots of other features, such as displaying the cheapest fuel prices close to where you’re parked. I think Waze is going to become one of the great apps of its time. That said, it does need modernising from a UI perspective.

Helen KeeganHelen Keegan, mobile marketing specialist – SMS BackUp+
I’m currently loving SMS BackUp+. It sends all my SMS to Gmail, creating a searchable archive. It still doesn’t mean I respond to them all, but it does mean I can search for stuff afterwards using the power of Google, instead of endless scrolling on my phone.

Hailo screenshot Dec 13Jen Macrae VP, MasterPass market development, UK & Ireland – Hailo
I simply could not live without Hailo. I never carry cash, so being able to jump into a cab without the worry that I need to drop by an ATM first definitely appeals to my practical nature. Naturally, both my corporate and personal credit cards are held within the app, and having e-Receipts for corporate travel proves extremely efficient when processing expenses.

RussellBuckley2012Russell Buckley, UK Government Advisor – Citymapper
Citymapper is simply the best way to find your way around London, by bike, rail, bus or cab. It can shave 15 minutes off my 30-minute daily commute, depending when I’m travelling. And I use it multiple times every day. Best of all are the New Release notes, which often make me laugh out loud – no, I’m not being geeky, they are genuinely funny. I wonder why other developers don’t take this opportunity to engage with their audience.

National Rail screenshot Dec 2013Sienne Veit, founder, Invisible Stuff and ex-M&S and ex-Morrisons head of mobile – Various
I am still a diehard Android user. I usually have two phones on the go, but my baby is an Android. There are a few apps I cannot live without. The first is Chrome and Chrome to Phone. I browse on a range of devices and this brings all my browsing together.

Google Drive is also amazing. I am also an Evernote user, but I find myself using Google Drive more and more. And the new brilliant Print to Google Drive and Snap to Scan features are very useful for someone who is self-employed to keep track of all those pesky receipts.

National Rail – I commute, it’s essential. And it wakes me up when I fall asleep. I am the queen of getting on the wrong train, so this is very useful.

Seesmic – I know they have been bought by Hootsuite, but I love my little raccoon, and find it more intuitive to use than Hootsuite or all the other Twitter apps. And it has always worked brilliantly on Android.

Spotify – I have a premium subscription and love being able to download albums and playlists and the ease of discovering new music and sharing music and playlists with friends. I have some lovely, cheesy collaborative lists.

Scientific 7-Minute Workout – its only seven minutes, but it is a painful seven minutes every time. I try do this every day so I can continue to eat and drink yummy stuff.

Yahoo Weather – this is a pretty weather app, even when it tells you the weather is foul. It features lovely Flickr pics and clean design with interesting weather data – I love the wind turbines indicating wind speed.

Featured Articles

2013: RTB and What we Can Expect in 2014

GrahamMarketers have already spent the best part of this year grappling with what many are certain is a real-time future. Graham Wylie, marketing director at AppNexus, examines this year’s industry moves towards real-time bidding and explores what marketers, agencies and brands can expect next year.

The Oreo 2013 Superbowl tweet ‘you can still dunk in the dark’ marked a coming of age for second-screen audience engagement.  A single tweet, one of 24m during the game, showed the power of real-time engagement and asked significant questions of the marketing industry. How do marketers, agencies and brands accelerate decision-making into real-time for owned, earned and paid media?

In 2013, the enabling technologies for real-time marketing through paid media saw dramatic growth. UK online display spend through Real Time Bidding (RTB) was $100m in 2010; by the end of 2013 eMarketer reports this rising to $395m. In every major advertising market RTB growth forecasts are being revised upward almost every quarter, and by 2017 IDC predicts that it will account 26 per cent of global online and mobile advertising spend.

RTB is leading a wave of innovation around the ‘programmatic’ buying and selling of media, boosting advertising effectiveness for both buyers and sellers across platforms. These programmatic technologies enable advertisers to target specific audiences, wherever they may be on the web, by dealing with each advertising opportunity on a page impression basis. That’s several hundred billion ad-impressions a day; to which publishers, advertisers and data providers can add context and insight and on which brands can then bid to serve their advertising. This entire process takes place as the page loads, typically in 100-200 milliseconds.

This scale and complexity can only be handled by automated systems, which have developed quickly as RTB has grown. First used only for display advertising in performance and direct response, the technology is now shaping the mobile landscape (in-app and browser advertising) as well as multi-screen brand-building campaigns. RTB is evolving into a broad set of programmatic tools that are empowering newly-dynamic relationships between media and agencies.

So as we go into 2014, we are on the cusp of a more dynamic and real-time way of marketing through paid media and by better integration of campaigns with owned and earned media. One year on from the Oreo tweet and its likely February 2014 will see the first fully real-time Superbowl, so what else will we see in 2014? Here are three predictions:

1. Mobile will break through into the mainstream, programmatically

For consumers, there’s no question that mobile is the future, so, naturally, it will continue to drive the evolution of advertising. In the UK, eMarketer predicts that mobile will grow from 7.2 per cent of spend to 23 per cent in four years. The bulk of this growth will be programmatic, as the industry shifts focus from media to audience. As the category matures, the complexities fade into the background and RTB will drive better monetisation for the app developers, which in turn drives higher-quality audience engagement and greater advertiser appeal. Recent IAB research shows a growing level of demand from brands and greater mobile confidence from agencies. Programmatic technologies will remove the last obstacles to growth by integrating mobile into everyday media planning and execution, allowing ads to be bought at scale and in real time to meet campaign objectives.

2. Agencies will adapt and add new value

Advertising technology has driven a revolution in media buying that has challenged existing agency ways of working. Led by the major agency holding companies, 2014 will see a change in operations as they innovate to add value in audience targeting and real-time engagement. The agency stars of the future will be those embracing programmatic to leverage data and creative into real-time multi-screen experiences that go far beyond a single tweet. Already, we are seeing second-screen advertising campaigns that adjust in real-time depending on what is being watched on TV, 2014 promises much more.

3. Marketers will move from awareness to understanding of programmatic 

While marketers will be aware of the growing buzz around programmatic advertising, the majority has not yet needed to fully understand it. In November 2013, The CMO Club published research that showed fewer than half of the respondents were sufficiently confident with programmatic to consider direct engagement. In 2014, as programmatic grows, marketers will need to make informed decisions about the most appropriate model for their business and understand how real-time paid media complements their other activities.

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BlackBerry Reports $4.4bn Loss

BlackBerry RosterBlackBerry has reported Q3 revenues of $1.2bn (£732m), a drop of 24 per cent from Q2 ($1.6bn) and down 56 per cent from Q3, 2012 ($2.7bn).

It reported net losses of $4.4bn, compared to a loss of $965m last quarter, and a profit of $9m in Q3, 2012.

The EMEA region makes up the lion’s share of revenues, at 46 per cent; with North America making up 28.5 per cent, Asia Pacific 14.2 per cent and Latin America 11.3 per cent.

During the quarter, approximately 4.3m BlackBerry smartphones were sold through to end customers – 3.2m of which were BlackBerry 7 devices, suggesting that BB10 hasn’t had the revitalising effect the company has been hoping for.

It’s worth noting, though, that handset sales only make up 40 per cent of BlackBerry revenues. The majority, 53 per cent, comes from its services business, which included BBM – which launched on iOS and Android during the quarter, and has already amassed 40m users.

The company seems to be refocusing on this area of its business going forward, most notably with its five-year strategic partnership it has entered into with manafacturing firm Foxconn. Under the deal, Foxconn will jointly develop and manufacture certain BlackBerry devices, starting with a smartphone targeted at emerging markets, and specifically Indonesia, for release in ‘early 2014’.

alex google glassAlex Spencer writes

Just last week on the site, Kirsty Styles named ‘the fall and fall of BlackBerry’ as her biggest story of the year. I think this latest news proves her point.

For the past couple of years, BlackBerry has been promising a major turnaround of its fortunes, whether with the launch of BB10 or its recent restructuring and loan. But during that time, its revenues have been steadily declining, its losses growing ever bigger – and it’s now very difficult to see it ever bouncing back.

Even BlackBerry itself doesn’t seem too optimistic about its future, stating in the ‘outlook’ section of its results only that: “In Q4, the Company anticipates maintaining its strong cash position and further reducing operating expenses as it continues to implement its previously-announced cost reduction program”. It doesn’t even bother to mention the buoyant effect Christmas usually has on device sales.

The one bright spot is its services division, which still seems healthy – presumably thanks to the reliable £5 monthly fee subscribers pay for BBM and BlackBerry email access.

Around a year ago, though, BlackBerry bet on the success of its BB10 handsets and got rid of these fees. With three quarters of handsets sold this quarter still running the BlackBerry 7 OS, that bet hasn’t paid off.

But the launch of BBM on Android and iOS gives the company a potential new revenue source. It’s yet to properly monetise these apps, but with a userbase of 60m after a couple of months, BlackBerry could finally have another success story on its hands.

It’s something people have been saying for a while now, but BlackBerry might be best ditching its hardware business altogether and focusing on software while the BBM brand is still strong.

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Cloud Control

SAP Joe FusterIn today’s world, there are more than 1bn active smartphones, writes Joe Fuster, senior vice president of sales at SAP Cloud. Gartner projects that the global market for tablets will grow 67.9 per cent by the end of the year, reaching almost 202m units. With the average user spending more than two hours a day on mobile devices, it should come as no surprise that businesses must develop an effective mobile marketing plan to reach these constantly-connected users.

Mobile devices give companies the chance to be with their customers at all times. This is both a privilege and an opportunity for marketers to reach customers in an effective manner. Knowing the right time and with what content to push is critical for a business to create an exemplary customer experience. But it takes time and effort for companies to develop plans to reach customers through their mobile devices and, if this is done successfully, these programs will pay dividends that go far beyond just a brief period of interest.

Fine line
The line is incredibly fine between delivering a message that delights your customers because it hits their personal preferences perfectly, and delivering the wrong offer at the wrong time, which simply annoys and frustrates end users. For example, I have bought a few items from a hardware store over the past couple of months. I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to provide my email and receive offers on my mobile device in case I ever needed to make another purchase.

Unfortunately, the hardware store has now overrun my email with marketing offers for products that are of no interest or value to me. This is a perfect example of the issue with mobile spamming. An effective mobile strategy requires a company to have a target and a focus. Creating personalized and relevant offers on mobile devices requires a company to have a complete customer context – this includes frequency of interactions and purchase location.

When a company has customer information such as where, when and how frequently a consumer visits its shops, this data should be leveraged to create personalized offerings. With real-time information available, businesses can use the latest analytics, in-memory and cloud technologies to harness this data and ultimately develop better marketing and CRM strategies. This allows the business to create personalized one-to-one offers by combining shopper context and location with his/her profile and preferences.

One example of a company that successfully provides content to its users is the Societe de Transport de Montreal (STM) which is the 4th largest largest public transit corporation in North America, Canada. STM leverages SAP Precision Marketing to create targeted offers for its more than 1m passengers by offering personalized and contextually relevant content. Depending on where and when the users enter and exit the train, they can expect to receive content to understand what is nearby, what activities are taking place around them and where they can find those offerings. STM takes into consideration the customer’s profile and preferences, the location, the time – a 360-degree view of the context – and only delivers content to the user when it is appropriate. This results in a loyal customer base as each rider is treated as an individual.

Brand allegiance
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for companies that want to develop a mobile marketing plan. Customers are extraordinarily fickle and won’t hesitate before switching their brand allegiance. According to Bain & Company, a customer is four times more likely to change to a competitor if a problem is service-related versus price- or product-related. Mobile outreach falls under service-related activities and, as users spend more time on their mobile devices, it will become critical to keep customers happy in this space.

While much of a mobile marketing program consists of proactive outreach to a customer base, listening to what customers are saying on social channels is a critical strategy to collecting more information on their demographics, wants, concerns and frustrations. Cloud solutions enable marketers to find the most critical customer messages and use these social interactions to glean customer insight. By housing this essential data in the cloud, it allows for enhanced collaboration between departments as marketers, sales teams and executives all have access to customer information at their fingertips.

Mobile outreach programs have become essential to businesses as mobile devices continue to flood the market and users spend more time on them. They generate a wealth of data that can be used to make timely and location-relevant content. A successfully delivered mobile loyalty program can boost a company’s top line in a short period of time. But just because a user opts-in to receive information does not mean that they should be messaged every day. Companies must learn to respect customers’ time and privacy by creating personalized content only when it makes sense. Customers should feel elated when they receive an offer from a company rather than quickly searching for the Unsubscribe button.

Joe Fuster is senior vice president of sales at SAP Cloud

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Apple Brings iPhone to China Mobile

iPhone 5SApple has finally signed a deal to make the iPhone available through China Mobile, starting on 17 January 2014.

The Chinese operator is the single largest in the world – in August, it had over 740m subscribers, a number that’s sure to have grown since.

Under the deal, the iPhone 5S and 5C will be available from China Mobile and Apple retail locations across mainland China – one of the few markets globally that Apple has had trouble cracking.

“Apple has enormous respect for China Mobile and we are excited to begin working together,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world’s largest network.”

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Non-optimised NHS Site Sees 20 Per Cent Drop in Mobile Users


The NHS saw a drop in the proportion of visits to its nhs.uk site from mobile devices in the first half of 2013.

Between January and July 2013, the site attracted 195.5m visits overall, 98.9m of which came from smartphones and tablets, according to data shared with Mobile Marketing by Tecmark.

During the same period a year earlier, mobile accounted for 75.6m out of a total 104.8m visits.

While those numbers do represent a growth in volume, the proportion of mobile visits decreased sharply, from 72.2 per cent in 2013 to 50.6 per cent.

The likely reason is that, while NHS Direct has its own mobile site, accessing nhs.uk on a mobile device serves up the desktop site. As optimisation becomes the norm, it’s apparent that users aren’t willing to tolerate a sub-par mobile experience online.


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Facebook Ads Double During Festive Period, says Cantor

Facebook ad cropThe number of ads in Facebook users’ feeds has doubled during the festive period, according to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squalia.

“Recent observations indicate that the ad load has picked up significantly during the holiday season to ~10 per cent, versus ~5 per cent reported in Q3 2013,” said Squalia. “We saw a similar spike in Q4 2012, but this year’s increase seems more amplified with bigger brands and a greater mix of higher-priced click-to-play video ads.”

As a result, Cantor raised its Q4 ad revenue estimate for Facebook to $2.18m ($1.21m from mobile), and its price target to $65.

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Berg: Mobile Ad and Marketing Market to Break £23bn in 2018

Search will make up the majority of mobile spend

Search will make up the majority of mobile spend

The value of the global mobile marketing and advertising market will rise at a CAGR of 26 per cent over the next five years, according to Berg Insight, hitting €27.9bn (£23.4bn) by 2018.

This is equivalent to 19.3 per cent of the online advertising market, or 5.9 per cent of the total global ad spend for all media.

Mobile search will make up the majority of this spend, followed by display advertising and messaging – though this will vary between regions according to the preferences and maturity of each market.

“There is currently a mismatch between the ad dollars spent on different media and the share of time consumers devote to the various channels”, said Rickard Andersson, senior analyst at Berg.  “Mobile devices are on average devoted a double digit percentage of consumers’ time, yet the channel only attracts a few percent of the total global ad spend.”

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