Archive for January, 2011

Touchdown! Mobile

January 26, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

During this year’s Super Bowl, viewers will be keeping their eyes on more than just the score. Advertisers buying space during this year’s sports spectacular are looking to create a more engaging and interactive experience for the consumer than in years past. Last year, consumers were driven to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter with targeted ads, and this year brand executives are anticipating a heavier push on mobile advertising.

The Super Bowl is the biggest advertising event of the year, and TV commercials draw as much attention as the game itself. The conventional approach to Superbowl advertising (30 secs and out) is being transformed by the fact that people interact with brands in more ways than ever. What is currently a fleeting (and hugely expensive) single impression is evolving, along with the technology itself into multi-channel, extended engagement with consumers incorporating mobile and online, along with TV and potentially more.

Many marketing executives are cutting their Super Bowl advertising spend altogether for investments in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites. Research firm IDC predicts that, by the end of this year, mobile advertising spend is likely to reach $1 billion. According to a recent survey from ETrade Financial, this year’s Super Bowl will see consumers more engaged with social media and online and mobile devices than ever before. Some 77 percent of adult respondents between the ages of 18-34 plan to use text messaging during this year’s game according to the survey. It’s projected that by 2013 three billion mobile coupons will be issued to subscribers through targeted advertisements.

The growing demand is opening the door for innovative mobile technology startups to make a splash. MogoTXT, powered by Sybase 365, is one such example. MogoTXT is embedding targeted advertisements into text messages fans can receive from professional athletes of the NFL, NBA, FIFA and MMA by simply signing up and making their selection on MogoTXT’s website at http://mogotxt.com. The potential for mobile to feature more campaigns using coupons, loyalty programs and deals is huge.

True to form, advertisers will walk before they run. While demand for mobile advertising is on the rise, roughly 25% of brands currently spend less than one percent of their marketing budgets on new media, according to a survey from the Association of National Advertisers. Yet one thing is clear, after movies, TV and games the fourth screen is becoming the darling of advertisers. February 6, 2011 will be a memorable day for football fans – and for the myriad players in the world of mobile marketing.

Why my bank can call me but not text me? Will FTEU help?

January 4, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments (1)

I have a landline phone in my house for emergencies but don’t even know the number. As such, when I’m asked to give a contact number to an organization with whom I have a relationship, I give them my mobile number. I’d prefer to receive many of these kinds of calls as text messages, be it a high-spend warning from my bank, or an upcoming appointment reminder from my dentist.

In most countries around the world, the ability to receive these communications via text is commonplace. If you’ve provided your mobile number to an organization with whom you have an ongoing commercial relationship, they are allowed to either call or text you.

In the U.S., it’s slightly more complicated. The organizations can call you, but can only text you if you have specifically opted in to receive that specific text service. For example, if I opt in to receive text overdraft alerts on my checking account, I can receive those, but the same bank would not officially be able to send me a text about a fraud alert on my credit card.

These somewhat draconian opt-in rules stem from two things:
1. A desire to keep spam out of the SMS ecosystem, which I wholeheartedly support. The resulting lack of spam is making SMS increasingly attractive over email as a communications channel.

2. The fact that in the U.S., users were originally charged to both receive text messages and send them, while in the rest of the world, you only pay to send.

It’s primarily this cost to receive messages that has led to some very strict and specific opt-in laws in the U.S. that are holding back how businesses can use text to communicate with their customers.

In reality, 90 percent of those that regularly engage in SMS are on some sort of bundle or unlimited text plan, so they aren’t paying to receive on a per message basis. However, to deal with the cases of those users not on a bundle, and to attract those users that may have been afraid of SMS message charges, carriers have now launched what they call FTEU, Free to End User, SMS short codes. Think if it as being a free phone service for text.

Sybase has started offering this service to our clients, and we’re getting a lot of interest, even though the cost per message is higher for the enterprise, as a result of it being free for the end user. We’re hoping to work with the carriers and the Mobile Marketing Association to soften the opt-in rules for FTEU services, so that, for the bank example I used above, my bank could communicate with me via text for all relevant services once I give them my number. Of course, the user still needs to be able to opt out of any service they don’t want via SMS, in the same way that they would for email and phone preferences.

Either way, I believe that FTEU will drive greater user and enterprise adoption of SMS as channel of choice for time sensitive information.