What You (may have) Missed – Part 37

It’s December already and Christmas, which seemed so far off just a few weeks back, is almost upon us, assuming it’s not cancelled. So what’s been floating the mobile marketing world’s boat these past few weeks?
Well, QR Codes were in the news, as two big brands got behind the technology. First, Pepsi UK revealed that is was introducing on-pack and on-shelf QR codes as a gateway to a dedicated microsite created by Graphico. Then directory company Yell announced that it is to trial QR Codes on the front covers of two editions of its Yellow Pages directories. In this case, the codes will take consumers to local cinema and weather information via the mobile web. Personally, I’m all for it, but it will be interesting to see how many consumers whose handsets don’t have code readers pre-installed can be bothered to download one. Elsewhere on the technology front, mobile ticketing company Mobiqa struck a deal with US firm ClicknPrint Tickets that will bring mobile ticketing to US theatres, arenas, theme parks, festivals, air shows, museums and sporting events. And 10 mobile search and advertising companies announced that they were forming a working group to drive the metaTXT standard. metaTXT is described as the worlds first mobile search engine optimisation (SEO) standard, that will enable search engines to index mobile sites at ease, regardless of their technology domains (m.name.com, .mobi etc.) 
In another move aimed at making mobile sites easier to get to, mobile application portal GetJar unveiled a Visual Bookmark service for WAP publishers. Visual Bookmarks are tiny applications that sit on the phone’s home screen and, when launched, open a specific mobile web page using the phone’s built-in browser, saving the user the trouble of entering the address manually, or searching through their Bookmarks list.
It was a busy month for new launches. Paragon Software Group, released its Handy Weather application for Java-based mobiles. The program enables mobile users to access wireless weather forecasts from anywhere in the world on their mobile device. Yahoo! bounced back from Jerry Yang’s decision to step down as CEO with the UK launch of Yahoo! oneSearch with voice, which enables mobile users to initiate searches using their voice.
Start-up Jeanie Media launched its branded mobile search service in partnership with Itchy City, the youth-orientated publisher of local city guides. Jeanie offers consumer and media brands the opportunity to create a customised mobile search channel that provides listings that are relevant to the brand’s target audience. Another start-up, GotYour, announced the launch of ‘GotYourPriceCheck’, a local SMS price comparison service for the UK. Shoppers text the word PRICE, plus the make and model of the item they want, along with a location, to a Shortcode and within 60 seconds, they will receive an SMS response, containing two local stores with the cheapest retail prices, plus the best web price. And WIN plc revealed that it had introduced voice capability on premium rate Shortcode numbers. The service enables service and marketing companies to use, for the first time, a single, memorable five digit number to handle both incoming voice and data calls on premium rate services.
adidas took the award for Overall Excellence in the Mobile Marketing Association’s 2008 awards.  Category winners included Incentivated for its work for Jaguar Cars in the US, AKQA for its Nike PHOTOiD campaign, and BBH for its Lynx mobile tools. Another company celebrating awards success was Clickatell, which picked up four awards, three of them for its Clickatell Messaging Gateway solution, at the seventh annual Mobile Star Awards. 
On the mobile advertising front, Bango announced a partnership with with e-marketing consultancy Adversitement to enable digital marketers to access rich PC and mobile web metrics through one console. The solution combines Omnitures SiteCatalyst web metrics tool and Bango Analytics.
Satellite broadcaster – well that’s where it started life anyway – BSkyB – revealed that it had begun selling advertising around its mobile content assets, enabling brands to be seen around Sky’s mobile properties, including ‘Sky Sports’, ‘Sky News’ and the ‘Football 365’ mobile portfolio. And independent mobile advertising agency RingRing Media revealed that it had booked over $1 million (£630,000) of search and display mobile advertising for its clients, since its launch in June. Forget all those projections about the value of the mobile advertising marketing in 2011, judging by these figures, it’s alive and kicking, and in pretty rude health today. 
That’s the last one of these for 2008. There’s lots more to report on before the year’s out, however, so check back in regularly to stay ahead of the game. And thanks for your support throughout the year.

David Murphy