2014 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards in Pictures

Awards TeaserLast night marked the fifth annual Effective Mobile Marketing Awards.

In a ceremony at London’s Tower Hill, we celebrated the best work of the last year from the likes of Mothercare, John Lewis, Unilever, Subway and IKEA.

You can find the full list winners here, but if you want to get a taste of the night – or, if you were there, check if our photographer snapped any incriminating pictures of you – click here to see the full gallery on Flickr.

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Vdopia Launches Chocolate Programmatic Video Marketplace

Chocolate_Brown_Background_LogoVdopia has launched its mobile programmatic video marketplace Chocolate in Europe.

Chocolate claims to be the only marketplace of its type which allows video ads to be bought and sold across both mobile web and apps, and promises complete transparency by removing blind buying.

​“IAB research shows mobile video is the fastest growing digital ad format, nearly tripling in size in a year,” said Farzad Jamal, Vdopia’s European VP. “Chocolate capitalises on three key video ad trends – the shift of TV pounds to online, the rise of programmatic and the emergence of mobile native advertising. It unifies a fragmented mobile video market space and addresses key issues, such as the lack of quality mobile video inventory, standards and brand safety.”

Chocolate’s inventory includes more than 10,000 mobile apps and sites – with web making up 62 per cent – and has a reach of more than 200m unique users.

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What Does Black Friday Mean for UK Retailers? John Lewis, Argos and Dixons

Crowds of shoppers seek 'Black Friday' bargains

A Black Friday sale at Target in the US

As the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday’s roots lie firmly in the US. It traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period in stores across the country, which have long benefited from a spike in footfall not dissimilar to the Boxing Day sales in the UK.

Over the past couple of years, however, the concept has started to make its way across the Atlantic, with a growing number of UK retailers offering ‘Black Friday’ sales. According to IORMA and eDigitalResearch figures, 72 per cent of Brits are now familiar with the concept – but without a matching holiday, is there any real retail opportunity in the UK?

John Lewis
According to John Lewis, 2013 was the year that Black Friday really broke through into the UK’s public consciousness. It was not only the company’s busiest online shopping day of the year, it also set a number of records – more than doubling the previous record for daily online sales, and tripling it on mobile. During the peak hour, 7-8am, mobile traffic was an incredible 14 times higher than ever before.

Unsurprisingly, then, the retailer is taking the date seriously this time around, with around 100 deals available and its distribution centre bringing on extra staff to cover the increased demand.

“Black Friday has definitely become one of the key dates in the UK’s shopping calendar,” says online director Mark Lewis. “Following steady growth over the last few years, Black Friday really emerged in the UK in 2013, when we saw the day break our previous records for a single day’s online trade. Now that customers are aware of the date and expecting it, we anticipate that this year’s Black Friday will be bigger still.

“Our partners are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that our shops and website are ready for the expected customer response. Black Friday is changing the way our customers plan their Christmas shopping and we expect this year will see it come of age in the retail calendar.”

Dixons Carphone
Electronics retailer Dixons Carphone anticipates traffic to its sites on Black Friday to overtake Christmas Day 2014, which saw over 1m visitors. Smartphones and tablets are expected to account for 65-70 per cent of this traffic, compared to an 80 per cent peak on Christmas Day.

“We think Black Friday is going to be a real whopper, becoming our second largest sales weekend of the year, after Boxing Day,” says Sebastian James, CEO of Dixons Carphone. “We have some truly fantastic deals lined up across a wide range of products, ready to whet the appetite of busy customers as they look to prepare for Christmas.”

Argos
“In the US, it’s an event that consumers always look out for and we’re starting to see it gain momentum with UK shoppers too,” says a spokesperson for Argos. “Like any retailer, we monitor consumer trends and we believe Black Friday will be an even bigger event for customers this year.

“At Argos we’ve upweighted our marketing and promotions activity this year and in the spirit of our new brand campaign, we’re encouraging customers to ‘Get Set for Black Friday’. We have a special countdown clock on our website in the run up to Black Friday to help build excitement and anticipation with our customers for the great offers and bargains they can expect from us across tech, toys, TV ranges and more.”

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The Top 10 Quotes from Mobile Marketing Life

MM lifeOur Mobile Marketing Life event provided some fantastic insights into how mobile is influencing every aspect of consumers’ lives and how companies can find a place in the typical person’s busy modern life. The day saw 14 fantastic presentations from brands including British Gas, Shazam and McDonald’s and mobile experts like Accenture, Free:formers and Havas Media. We’ve gathered together 10 of the best one-liners from the day for your enjoyment, which you’ll find below.

“The dogwalkers assumed I could see; I assumed they would move. It got a little bit difficult.”

-Simon Wheatcroft, blind ultramarathon runner, shared his remarkable story of how he used mobile technology to enable him to train for his runs, and how he’s planning on combining smartphones, wearable tech and haptic feedback to attempt a solo run across the Sahara desert.

“We’re a hackable patchwork – we’re somewhere between a Heath Robinson machine and the sleek 50s vision of the future.”

-Matt Hobbs, mobile product manager at JustEat, walked us through how the connected home is developing from a series of distinct smart appliances into an interdependent network that predicts consumers needs and adjusts to different lifestyle choices.

“When it comes to mobility, a lot of ERP companies have been caught with their trousers down.”

-Ben Salama, managing director of Accenture Mobility, explored how enterprise users have struggled to adopt mobile at the same speed consumers have achieved, and how the market is likely to change now businesses are finally catching up.

“My son can watch four games of football at the same time live using different devices – it gives me a headache, but for my son and his friends, they think it’s brilliant.”

-Eric Kruse, strategic marketing manager and networked society evangelist for Ericsson, explored how connectivity is found in every aspect of life now, and how every connection liberates information that was previously inaccessible.

“Speed, agility, creativity are often trained out of us. Because they’re not in our job title, we think we can’t work in that way.”

-Nick Hawkins, lead trainer for Free:formers, addressed how users tend to approach technology differently in work environments than they do in their personal lives, and how Free:formers goes about training these behaviours out of people to make everyone from CEOs to call-centre workers feel digitally empowered.

“We’re in a perfect storm at the moment, and we’re trying not to cock it up”

-Theo Theodorou, general manager for EMEA at xAd, spoke during our panel on location about the power that location data gave to marketers, the choices it opens up, and the obligation companies have to use the data they acquire responsibly.

“The joy is watching the patterns and the stories across the different devices.”

-Amobee‘s David Barker spoke during one of our debates about the opportunities that multi-screen tracking and attribution offer marketers, and how the omnichannel environment was destroying the divisions between desktop, mobile and social approaches to marketing.

“Everyone at The Big Issue is up for as much change as possible, but we have to stop thinking about homeless people as separate from mainstream.'”

-Stephen Robertson, CEO of The Big Issue Foundation, talked about how mobile technology is transforming the lives of Big Issue vendors, enabling them to take credit card payments, stay safe during nights on the street, and challenge preconceptions about what homelessness looks like.

“When we’re deciding the colour of the new thermostat we’re designing, we’ll go and ask 30 people in the pub.”

-During his presentation, Tom Guy, product and commercial director at Hive, spoke about using customer feedback to drive design choices, looking for where the pressure points for customers were and eradicating them.

“Users want something cool and sexy; IT managers want something that’s manageable, secure and reliable.”

-Doug Baker, IT services manager at McDonald’s Restaurants UK, detailed how the company went about transforming its IT infrastructure, and how by embracing mobile and focusing on the needs of its staff, it was able to create an agile workforce that was comfortable with cutting-edge practices.

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#MMLife – Three Big Predictions from Future Foundation

Future FoundationDuring his keynote presentation at Mobile Marketing Life today, The Future Foundation‘s director of global trends Dominic Harrison gave the audience three predictions for future trends.

“What underlying needs can we expect to see mobile technology addressing in the coming years?” he said. “There are three which we think will define expectations and interactions in the decade ahead: the needs for control, quiet, and celebrity.”

Control
“We’re entering an era of heightened personal control,” said Harrison. “We’re striving for better control of our lives and our homes. The reasons driving this are complex, whether it’s an awareness of health risks or the need to protect household budget from a weak macroeconomic climate, but it’s definitely growing.”

Possibly the most mainstream example of this currently is people using their mobile device to manage their finances, a behaviour which has been adopted by as many as 50 per cent of people in South Korea, and 55 per cent in Finland.

Health tracking, meanwhile, remains a niche interest – even in the country where usage is highest among ‘Generation Y’ consumers, Australia, only 20 per cent are currently engaging in this behaviour – but The Future Foundation expects it to continue growing.

Perhaps the biggest technological opportunity to increased control, however, is the smart home. Harrison pointed to Notion, a small multi-purpose sensor which can be used to monitor just about any happenings in the home – doors being opened, washing machine cycles coming to an end, an alarm being activated. “You can even tell if someone’s been in your liquor cupboard,” said Harrison.

Quiet
“As our embrace of tech grows and grows, so does our need for reprieve, for moments of quiet,” said Harrison.

In this always-connected age, it might sound counter-intuitive, but Future Foundation has found an increasing number of consumers feel like they receive too many calls and notifications on their mobile devices – as high as 71 per cent in Brazil.

According to Harrison: “Interest in wearable devices might reflect a desire to stay connected – but also for a relationship with technology that’s more passive and less interruptive, leaving you free to enjoy the real world.”

Harrison highlighted a smart shoe which can be connected to the map on a smartphone, and give via vibration or LED lights embedded in the shoe itself; the Activité smartwatch from Withings, which tracks activity data but presents it on a conventional watchface; and Kovert, which pitches its smart jewellery as ‘a solution to notification nausea’.

Celebrity
“The final need is for personal fame and celebrity,” said Harrison. “We’ve always wanted to portray a decent image of ourselves to our peers, but that has been seriously energised by the rise of social media.

“We now live in a highly visual world of Snapchats, Vines and selfies, and use mobile tools in order to act as our very own PR advisors.”

A potential next step for this trend could be ‘bio-sharing’, enabling people to post personal biometric data for their friends to see. One early example is Biogram, which lets users take their heart rate and stamp it onto photos.

It’s interesting to consider how this might combine with another social trend picked out by Harrison – the increasing need to filter which experiences we share online. A third of consumers say they only ever post about their positive aspects of their life. In a survey of the most intense social media users, 40 per cent said they wished ‘I could be more like the person I present on social media’.

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BlackBerry Offers iPhone Users $550 to ‘Trade Up’

BBM AdBlackBerry has launched a ‘Trade Up’ initiative, which offers iPhone users as much as $550 to trade in their iPhone for the BlackBerry Passport.

The promotion applies to any iPhone from the 4S and up, with a trade-in value of up to $400 depending on the handset, plus a $150 ‘BlackBerry top-up’. Customers also receive a Passport, which launched in September, and is notable for being the device that reintroduced the QWERTY keypad which was once the company’s hallmark, as part of BlackBerry’s renewed focus on the business market.

The offer, which will run in the US and Canada from 1 December, looks like a desperate measure from the struggling manufacturer, which reported – but as BlackBerry’s strategy evolves, selling handsets needn’t be its only source of revenue.

BBM ad partnerships
BlackBerry has also announced partnerships with Blyk and Habari Media, in an effort to expand its ad sales network on BBM.

Through these partnerships, and two more with unnamed companies, BlackBerry is aiming to makes its ad offering more region-specific, with Habari representing BBM in Africa.

It’s all part of the messaging app’s new monetisation strategy, following a pivot earlier this year which took BBM, previously exclusive to BlackBerry, onto Android and iOS for the first time. The move was intended to grow BBM’s userbase – it now reports over 90m monthly active users – so that it can monetise them via in-app ads, targeted based on user data, and sponsored content, including brand posts and stickers.

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Miami International Airport Unveils Beacon Navigation App

mia mobile app ipadMiami International Airport has launched an official app aimed at improving travellers’ experience and enabling them to easily navigate the airport using Bluetooth beacon technology.

The MIA Airport Official app provides users with real-time flight tracking data, information on the airport’s 51 passenger airlines and guides to airport parking, ground transportation and dining and shopping facilities.

The app also includes a guide enabling travellers to confidently navigate the airport’s 7.5m square feet of terminal space, with an ‘Around Me’ feature than enables passengers to pinpoint their location and view nearby amenities.

The app, which is available for both iOS and Android, features fully bilingual functionality in English and Spanish to accommodate the airport’s diverse international customer base.

In the future, the app will incorporate features to take advantage of the recently-installed Bluetooth beacons throughout the airport, enabling concessionaires, airlines and other airport stakeholders to deliver push messages to users.

“Our passengers are more tech-oriented than ever before, and they rightfully expect airports to offer customer service amenities in the digital space,” said Emilio T. González, director of Miami-Dade Aviation. “The MIA mobile app is one way that we’re meeting that demand, and it reflects our commitment to weaving technology and innovation into all that we do at MIA, particularly on the customer-facing side of the business.”

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Mobile Marketing Life Opens its Doors

MM lifeHere at London’s America Square, our flagship event Mobile Marketing Life 2014 is about to kick off.

We’ve got a day of great speakers ahead of us, including Jan Hederen and Erik Kruse from Ericsson, Matt Hobbs of Just Eat, Emma Cerrone from Free:formers and Simon Wheatcroft of &Adapt.

We’re also running some exciting workshops offering attendees a chance to get hands-on with some cutting-edge mobile technology, and our Innovation Lab is demonstrating some fantastic tech solutions from some of the most exciting companies out there.

We’ll be reporting from the event throughout the day, so watch the site for coverage of the best presentations, as well as all the hottest stories from the industry as usual.

Whether you’re here and want to tweet about your experience, or sat in the office and want to check up on the highlights, check out the #MMLife hashtag on Twitter – or just keep an eye on the tweet stream below.


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Twitter Begins Tracking iOS Users’ Apps

twitter desk logoTwitter has begun tracking which other apps are installed on iOS users’ phones, in order to build a “more tailored experience” for consumers, the social network has revealed.

The move comes as part of the company’s ‘App Graph’ program, and according to the company, will improve the relevance of promoted content shown to users, whether it is promoted Tweets, suggested users to follow or “interesting” Tweets inserted into timelines.

While Twitter’s announcement of the function focused on making “a more personal Twitter experience” for users, it seems inevitable that the app tracking feature will largely be used to target advertisements.

The function will be opt-out, meaning it will be automatically enabled, with users having to disable the app tracking within their settings, although there will be a prompt in users’ timelines letting them know that it has been rolled out to their device.

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Monitise Partners with MasterCard, Telefónica and Santander

Elizabeth Buse and Alastair Lukies, co-CEOs of Monitise

Elizabeth Buse and Alastair Lukies, co-CEOs of Monitise

Mobile banking company Monitise has announced partnerships with MasterCard, Telefónica and Santander as part of an initiative to accelerate the take-up of its mobile payments products.

The partnerships form a significant endorsement of Monitise’s strategy by a leading global payment network, a mobile network operator and bank, as well as emphasising the shared reward of investment in the new Monitise platform.

The team of partners will invest £49.2m in Monitise to fuel its business development activities and further acceleration of the group’s technology, with the ultimate aim of increasing momentum of end-user adoption.

Santander will be leveraging its expertise in banking to help Monitise work at scale and will adopt new Mobile Money capabilities provided by Monitise’s technology. Telefónica will be developing new products and services making use of Monitise’s capability, while MasterCard will be working on joint development and deployment of new digital payments services.

In addition, Monitise is also partnering with IBM to deploy its cognitive computing engine, Watson, in support of Monitise’s new technology platform, and cloud-based mCommerce solutions.

“In order to succeed, organisations increasingly realise that partnerships without frontiers are critical to enabling them to engage with and serve their customers in an evolving digitally-connected world,” said Elizabeth Buse, co-CEO of Monitise. “Our approach to open collaboration across industries supports this by simplifying access to a common mobile network for partners via our cost-effective, subscription-based, flexible technology products and services.

“The next phase of our strategy sees Monitise, in collaboration with it partners, accelerating on its strategy to be the world’s leading enabler of digital commerce services.”

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