What You (may have) Missed – Part 52

Another month, another 200+ stories from the world of mobile marketing. Yup, youve kept us pretty busy these past 28 days. The main event last month, of course, was Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which attracted more than 49,000 visitors, and was the setting for an avalanche of announcements.
The first big story to come out of the show was the news that 24 telecommunications operators had got together to create the Wholesale Applications Community, an alliance to build an open platform that delivers apps to all mobile phone users. The move was designed to address the app industrys fragmentation problem, and challenge Apples dominance in the sector, and was met, perhaps not surprisingly, with some scepticism. Only time will tell if it amounts to anything.
Orange made the headlines with the news that it was extending its interactive SMS and MMS advertising offering across its European footprint, following its launch in the UK last year to its Monkey youth segment. Customers will be invited to opt in to receive the advertising, and offers will be tailored to local markets to incentivise customers with localised, relevant rewards. These will include exclusive content, film and games reviews, celebrity gossip, free texts, prizes and up-to-date sports information.
The BBC used the event to unveil a range of applications that will deliver BBC Online services to a range of mobile devices, starting with a BBC News application for the iPhone in April 2010, followed by a BBC Sport iPhone app in time for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with Blackberry and Android versions to follow. The BBC is also considering BBC iPlayer applications for release later in the year. All applications will be available free of charge.
And on a more musical note, LG and Dolby Labs staged the first public demonstration of 5.1 surround sound 5.1 means six channels: front left, front right, front centre, rear left, rear right and the .1 bass channel – on a mobile phone, using the latest version of Dolby Mobile technology and an LG, Android-based Smartphone. Forget maps and Augmented Reality and Location-based Services, surround sound is what you really need on your mobile phone.
There was good news for Apple at the event as CEO Steve Jobs took the media vote for Mobile Personality of the Year. But it was Google who stole the show, as CEO Eric Schmidt captivated a sell-out crowd with a hugely impressive keynote presentation in which he unveiled Googles Mobile First strategy, and staged a couple of live demos that had the audience in raptures.
But it wasnt all about Mobile World Congress, of course. Elsewhere, The GSM Association and comScore, in partnership with operators O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and 3UK, announced the official UK launch of the GSMA Mobile Media Metrics (MMM) product, a census-level solution for mobile media reporting. Taking anonymised mobile Internet usage data from all five UK mobile operators, the service aims to provide comprehensive insights into mobile media consumption, empowering brands and agencies to plan effective and focused campaigns for the mobile medium. Thats the plan at least.
Bango also came out with some interesting mobile Internet stats, revealing that traffic to mobile websites had grown by 600% over the past 12 months.
Staying with metrics, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) appointed Lightspeed Research as its official European research partner. The MMA will use the Lightspeed Research Panel to conduct monthly primary research into consumer attitudes on topics affecting marketers. Lightspeed wasted no time in producing its first of its Consumer Briefing reports for the MMA for the UK, French and German markets, looking at mobile banking services.
And mobile ad network AdMob released its January 2010 Mobile Metrics Report, which revealed that iPhone and Android users download a similar number of applications, but that iPhone users download more paid apps, with 50% of users buying at least one paid application a month, compared to 21% of Android users.
Shazam was in the news. Firstly, it announced the launch of the Shazam Audio Recognition Advertising (SARA) program, which allows brands and broadcasters to extend the reach and depth of their campaigns to mobile. The SARA program lets brand advertisers directly reach, influence and interact with target audiences using Shazams music recognition technology to tag a TV commercial. Advertisers can create campaigns that incentivise viewers to engage with the promotion and Shazam the spot. Viewers access the Shazam service on their mobile devices, point the device in the direction of the commercial and hit the Shazam button. Shazam's audio technology recognizes the specific advert and returns a customized result.
Shazam also announced a deal with O2 that will see the UK mobile operator delivering highly targeted ads for its Priority Tickets service to Shazam users. Customers will be served relevant ads for O2 Priority pre-sales based on the music they have tagged through Shazams iPhone application. The dynamic ads will be delivered using 4th Screen Advertisings ad serving platform, Mpression, offering O2 customers the chance to buy tickets for gigs at O2 venues being played by artists whose songs they have tagged using Shazam.
Finally, fashion footwear retailer Faith revealed the results of two SMS campaigns that it had run to enable the brand to communicate to its customer database. There were two campaigns, powered by Mobile Interactive Technologys (MIT) MIDAS Communicate platform.
The SMS element contributed to 47% of the uplift in revenue delivered by the first campaign, and to 30% of the uplift in revenue delivered by the fashion promotion. Over 70,000 SMS messages were distributed throughout both campaigns, with the redemption of promotional codes higher for the second campaign.
Thats it for this months round up. Check back in regularly for your mobile marketing fix over the next few weeks, and keep your eyes peeled for the new version of the site, due to go live in the next few weeks.

David Murphy