What You (may have) Missed – Part 5

Flower_in_bloomIts springtime (well almost). The birds are singing, the flowers are in bloom, the sun is shining. Actually, it feels more like the deep midwinter, but that hasnt stopped the movers and shakers in the mobile marketing business from, er, moving and shaking, so here as ever is our 2-minute guide to whats been happening in the mobile marketing world in the last month.
Moving and shaking more than most has been US firm NeoMedia Technologies,  which seems to have spent the entire month buying up as many mobile businesses as it could lay its hands on, including UK agencies Sponge and 12snap. If you didnt know much about them before, rest assured, youll be hearing a lot abut NeoMedia in the future.

While NeoMedia was splashing out, mobile transaction network mBlox was doing just the opposite, attracting $25 million (14.3 million) of funding to enable it to accelerate its own expansion plans. If its thinking of using the money to buy anyone, lets hope NeoMedia didnt get there first

If all this activity makes you think that the mobile marketing business must be booming, then a report from Airwide Solutions released this month seems to confirm that it is. By 2008, the company found, 89% of major brands will be using mobile as a marketing channel, and by 2010, 52% of the brands it surveyed expect to be spending between 5% and 25% of their total marketing budget on mobile marketing.

As if to prove that there was some substance to the report, Help the Aged handed a mobile brief to Que Pasa Communications, while DataServe UK appointed Incentivated to roll out a meter-reading-via-SMS service for its customers.
It was a good month too for ROK Corporation,  which expanded its portfolio of compatible handsets to include seven Sony-Ericssons, as well as Microsoft-powered PDAs, so the next time you see someone staring at their phone for two hours, youll know theyre not in a trance, theyre just watching a movie.

Either that, or theyre hooked on 3s See Me TV service. As we reported at the beginning of the month, some of the content being uploaded by 3s customers is proving extremely popular with its other customers, particularly when it involves them taking their clothes off. One lucky customer earned 1,300 in a single month by revealing her charms. Nice work if you can get it.

On the subject of lust, or more to the point, love, With Valentines Day falling in February, mobile content delivery company iTAGG launched an anonymous Valentines Day SMS service that enabled consumers to send text messages to a friend or lover while concealing  their identity, or to send fake Vaentines messages from their favourite celebrity. Clearly, the idea was popular, with the Mobile Data Association (MDA) reporting that 120 million  texts were sent on 14th Feb, though not all, it should be said, via the iTAGG service.

Some of those receiving those messages were no doubt stuck a long way from their loved one at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona. If so, they would at least have been cheered, enthused and suitably excited by all the announcements coming out of the show, not least T-Mobiles  commitment to launch a HSDPA service in Germany by the end of March, with a UK launch to follow in the summer.

And if souped-up 3G is not your bag, how about Mobile TV?  Virgin Mobile confirmed that it will be the first to carry the  BT Movio  broadcast digital TV and radio service, starting in the summer. Watching the World Cup while you wait for the next bus? Sounds good to us.