MASTERCLASSING

What You (may have) Missed Part 2

David Murphy

One month ago, we promised wed round up all the big news in the mobile marketing world at the end of each month. One month later, here we are coming good on that promise. Sit back, relax and catch up

Well what a month its been. As in October, the month ended on a bang. No big telecoms buyouts this time round, but rather the sudden and unexpected departure of 3 Chief Operating Officer Gareth Jones, who has left the company without another job to go to.

On the face of it, its smiles all round, with 3 CEO Bob Fuller paying tribute to Jones for his "hard work over the last two and half years", and Jones saying that its been "a privilege working with all the team at 3."  What lies behind Joness departure is a moot point, but the influential magazine Marketing says in this weeks issue that Joness departure comes during a restructure of the UK operation.

On a happier note, 3 unveiled a number of special offers to entice new customers over the Christmas period, and opened its 10th store at the Bluewater shopping arcade.

Elsewhere in November, most of the excitement was around Mobile TV. 3 struck a deal with ITV  to show Im A CelebrityGet Me Out Of Here!, Emmerdale, and Coronation Street on 3 mobiles, while Vodafone  and Sky  got together to launch Sky Mobile TV, and claimed a cool 1 million streams in the first two weeks of operation.

Yet more excitement came with communications regulator Ofcoms announcement of a year-long debate on how the broadcasting spectrum that will be freed up when the analogue TV signal is switched off will be used. Mobile operators are, of course, keen to get a slice of the spectrum for more Mobile TV services.

Mobile postcard company Mobycards  launched an affiliate programme that offers travel companies the ability to target new prospects via their existing customers in the form of branded mobile postcards, while mobile agency Incentivated was handed a brief to provide the first mobile communications platform for Mayor of London, Ken Livingstones Peoples Question Time (PQT) initiative, and Orange  rolled out its Orange Wednesdays 2-for-1 cinema ticket offer in Romania.

Figures from the Mobile Data Association (MDA) revealed that UK mobile users are on course to send a record 32 billion texts in 2005. No surprise then, that Andrew Bud, Executive Chairman of mobile transaction network mBlox, told Mobile Marketing, in an exclusive interview that he expected SMS to dominate the mobile marketing landscape for the next 10 years.

A poll  of the UKs coolest technology brands placed three mobile brands in the top 5 positions, out of 10 brands overall. Sony Ericsson was ranked second, Blackberry third and Nokia fifth. The section was headed by PlayStation, with Bose in fourth place. 
Mobile Interactive Group  (MIG) took the award for Best Use Of Wireless, for its work with 02 on the mobile ticketing for the Live8 concert this summer, in the second New Media Age Interactive Marketing And Advertising Awards.

And finally, on the subject of awards, tomorrow, 1 December, sees the first inaugural Mobile Marketing Awards. No, we cant take the credit for these. They are the culmination of Mobile Marketing 2005, a one-day conference  and awards ceremony devoted to mobile marketing, organised  by Vantage Conferences, and taking place as you read this (probably). Mobile Marketing magazine will be at the conference and well have details of all the winners up on the site on Friday.

Lets hope December is just as exciting.