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Issue Five | February 2011

News | Views | Analysis 





Upstream CEO Alex Vratskides on the company’s payment-by-results success story

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Empowering Everywhere

THE WORLD HAS GONE MOBILE. YOUR BRAND’S PERFORMANCE AND ACHIEVEMENT MAY DEPEND ON YOUR MOBILE STRATEGY. SO, ARE YOU READY FOR MOBILE IN 2011? If not, we can help. Don’t be left behind as competitors introduce cool mobile apps that let customers do everything from shop for a car to check-in at the airport. Consumers are embracing mobile—so expect to compete against the next generation of mobile-enabled brands. Don’t let lack of mobile strategy hold you back; get ready to go mobile in 2011 today. Learn how. Check out the white papers, case studies, videos and other resources at and sign up to receive even more. Visit our website and enter our drawing for a free iPad:

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This time last year, we launched the first ever print edition of Mobile Marketing at Mobile World Congress 2010. The feedback to that issue was universally positive, and we’ve had a similar response to the three issues produced since. We hope you enjoy this one just as much. Since that first issue, a lot has happened here. We have a new website, our first awards programme is under our belt, and we’ve also produced an iPad version of the print mag, and a mobileoptimised version of our website. We are also running Webinars, and there’s our Mobile Masterclass series, in which we bring together experts in all aspects of mobile marketing, and executives from different verticals such as Retail, Publishing and Financial Services, who can benefit from their knowledge. There’s much more to come, but for the moment, we are delighted to bring you this issue, to coincide with Mobile World Congress 2011. And it’s another bumper edition, packed with analysis and insight. Julien Theys, from the analyst, Screen Digest, cuts through the hype around mobile marketing and advertising to offer a considered look at the barriers they still face. David Glennie from Mobile Interactive Group urges brands to put their customers first when developing mobile apps. And in her regular missive, Helen Keegan considers tablets, and what they mean for mobile marketing. In our cover story, we talk to Upstream CEO, Alex Vratskides, about the firm’s work with mobile operators. We also look at the world of b2b apps, and reveal all about a mobile money scheme that has been successfully deployed in Haiti. And in the latest in our regional focus series, we turn the mobile marketing spotlight on Africa, where the mobile phone is an indispensable tool for many. Even with all that, there’s still room for more analysis on mobile in the retail industry; geo-targeting in mobile advertising; and opt-in mobile messaging programs. Plus, of course, a preview of Mobile World Congress itself. If you’re at the show, enjoy it. And if you’re not out in Barcelona, stay tuned to for all the news coming out of the event.

David Murphy Editor

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Cover story 18 Upwardly mobile Alex Vratskides, CEO of Upstream Systems, explains how the company works with mobile operators to help them increase loyalty, reduce churn and boost revenues

Thought leadership 7

New frontiers Screen Digest’s Julien Theys considers the hurdles that mobile marketing still faces

17 Dev zone David Glennie urges brands to put customers first when developing apps

30 Future perfect James Lamberti, from ad network InMobi, takes a look at the future of mobile advertising

32 The Shopping Channel Tim Dunn, from Mobile Interactive Group, investigates how the retail sector is embracing mobile marketing and mobile commerce

36 Location, Location, Location Paul Childs from Adfonic considers the increasing use of geo-targeting in mobile advertising

The real world

42 Off-deck Helen Keegan considers the avalanche of tablet devices about to hit the market

Technology 21 Security service How the people of Haiti are benefitting from an innovative mobile money service, launched in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake


It’s showtime! We look ahead to this year’s Mobile World Congress

Business models

26 Focus on Africa We turn the mobile marketing spotlight on Africa, a country with low levels of landline penetration, where mobile is filling the void

12 Open for business We investigate apps in the enterprise

25 The opt-in revolution How Velti helped one operator grow revenue and loyalty

Best practice 39 Application Showcase A look at some of the mobile apps that have caught our eye recently

Issue Five | February 2011

News | Views | Analysis 

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UPWARDLY MOBILE Upstream CEO Alex Vratskides on the company’s payment-by-results success story

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One Year On...


If you want to be sure of receiving your copy of the print edition of Mobile Marketing four times a year, you can subscribe today to go on our controlled circulation list. It costs just £30 (UK); or £40 (rest of the world). To take out a subscription, just send an email to: and we’ll respond telling you what you need to do.

Editor: David Murphy - +44 (0) 7976 927062 Commercial Director: John Owen - +44 (0) 7769 674824 Contributors: George Cole, Martin Conway, Helen Keegan Production: Alistair Gillan, AQ2 Mobile - Print: DS Print - Special thanks this issue to: Jo Murphy, Rowan Chambers, Alistair Gillan For a paid subscription please email: One Year Subscription Rates – UK: £30.00; ROW: £40.00 Mobile Marketing is published by Dot Media Ltd., 15 Loraine Gardens, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 1PD. 27/01/2011 05:56

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thought leadership


NEW FRONTIERS Julien Theys, senior analyst at research firm Screen Digest, looks at the challenges that mobile marketing and advertising still have to overcome ack in 2008, when I discussed the major hurdles facing mobile advertising, one topic sprang to the mind of almost all interlocutors: education. It used to be about ensuring that agencies and brands were aware of mobile advertising, and that they realized what it can achieve. Fast-forward three years, and the mobile landscape is a whole other battleground: operators’ portals have been all but forgotten in favour of omnipotent app stores and a finally-usable mobile web. Google and Apple’s appetite for mobile advertising is widely lauded as the tide that lifted all boats. In early 2010, mobile advertising surged on everyone’s radar like never before, and it would seem the market is big enough for everyone to thrive. But what does the industry still need to succeed? What are the current hurdles for mobile marketing and advertising? Over the past few weeks, I have been lucky to discuss this with many mobile marketing executives. Here’s what I learned…


Make it permanent Campaign-specific mobile sites fail to establish mobile as a reliable permanent channel for users. To become more consistent, brands need to carefully think about establishing a permanent, mobileoptimised presence, very much like they have been doing online for the best part of the last decade. Furthermore, mobile and the desktop web are bound to interact at some point. Again, the end user rarely makes the distinction between mobile and online, but rather, identifies with products and services that can be close to him or her in any circumstance. For the market to grow, it also needs to expand its targetable audience faster. This

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can be achieved either by somehow further speeding up smartphone adoption, or by better catering for the needs of those who do not use smartphones. I also learned that the “iSyndrome” is real, but easily curable. Call them “vanity apps” if you like, but there is a tendency for some brands to covet a spot on the iPhone homescreen above all else. However real this issue may seem, it appears that the phenomenon is actually rather benign, and easily dealt with by seasoned professionals, thanks to well-dosed metrics and an inspiring talk on what constitutes an acceptable target audience.

Fragmentation rules, OK? A bad, poorly thought-out app does not have to disavow the app ecosystem in its entirety. Apps still provide a richer experience, and fragmentation is here to stay. However, those able to leverage it instead of suffer from it are likely to gain a competitive advantage. Indeed, several executives I spoke to highlighted fragmentation as one of the things that will set them apart favourably from the competition, if

More brands need to follow the example of media companies and establish permanent mobile sites

not create whole new business opportunities altogether. One of the major issues to be overcome is around data. There is still very little data out there on mobile users, and this presents an opportunity for operators. As one exec astutely pointed out: “Reaching devices is not the same as reaching people”. There is still a lot of progress to be made in knowing the user, and although the ‘segment of one’ might only be a conceptual representation, there is a lot more that can be done. Operators, ad networks and app developers can all contribute valuable bits of data and, despite some efforts (such as those by the GSMA in the UK), there is still a long way to go in mapping the whole mobile marketing genome.

The future is multi-screen On top of the obvious similarities between mobile and online, brands would be foolish to ignore the broader shift towards multiscreen and radically changing behaviours: it is no longer “TV vs. the web”, it is “surfing the web while watching TV”. Focusing on mobile is very important today to help it become a prime destination for brands’ advertising spend, but believing it is best used in a silo raises the risk of missing the forest for the tree. Mobile has a tremendous part to play in a multi-screen world, as a ubiquitous connection to the physical world, as a ‘personal remote’, but also as an ad inventory source: the emergence of mobile platforms on the set top box (think Android and iOS) is not just about tech innovation; it’s an opportunity – or a threat, depending on whom you ask – that is likely to favour those who understand that multi-screen is much more than the sum of its parts. 27/01/2011 05:56



IT’S SHOWTIME David Murphy looks at the key themes likely to emerge from this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

t’s that time of year again, when the industry descends en masse on Barcelona for a four-day celebration of everything mobile. Last year, 49,000 people from mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, internet companies and media and entertainment organisations, attended Mobile World Congress, with 1,300 exhibiting companies. This year, the organisers are expecting more than 50,000. So as the show kicks off, what are the big themes we can expect to see at this year’s event? To find out, we have been canvassing opinion among industry players.


Network congestion Data and network congestion was a big, big theme at last year’s Congress, and Steven van Zanen, SVP marketing, mobile broadband, at Acision, believes the same will be true this year. “The explosion of mobile data services has been one of the defining industry trends of the past 12 months, and this shows no sign of abating in 2011,” he says. “While the increased uptake of internet services on mobileconnected devices has created potential new revenue streams for operators, it has simultaneously exacerbated the problem MM Issue 5.indd 8

of mobile network congestion. “With this in mind, Acision believes that one of the key themes of MWC 2011 will be around optimising the value of 4G technology. The imminent roll out of this advanced network infrastructure can help to address Quality of Experience issues, control costs, and increase ARPU through content optimisation, policy management, bespoke pricing plans and data enforcement. The optimisation of data traffic and the differentiation of services are fundamental to ensuring a sustainable model for mobile broadband which delivers a sat-

Exhibitors will use mobile barcodes to provide instant access to company and product information

isfying end-user experience.” For mobile operators, MWC is a key event, offering a unique opportunity to get a handle on the technologies and services out there that could help them

February 2011 27/01/2011 05:56


much more sophisticated and direct billing method than the industry has previously been geared up to offer. Operator billing is quickly emerging as the best approach for meeting these challenges. Ultimately, operator billing both simplifies and accelerates the usage of applications on mobile phones, driving up revenue for application providers and mobile network operators alike.”

Technology show 2011 will be the year when locationbased services will go beyond navigation

keep customers loyal and increase revenues. Charles Damen, vice president, mobile content and applications at MACH, says billing mechanisms and systems should be high on their agenda this year. “Apps are well placed to offer mobile operators a growing and lucrative revenue channel,” says Damen, noting that, according to figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit, mobile operators expect app downloads to become their biggest source of income in developed markets within three years, overtaking voice by 2013.

From a technology standpoint, MWC always has a lot to offer. Motti Kushnir, chief marketing officer at Telmap, believes Location-based Services (LBS) will be prominent, and says that 2011 will be the year when LBS will go beyond navigation, to serve all of users’ day-to-day needs while out-and-about. He says: “Location based services will become a centralized platform that serves as a social portal, shopping guide, and personal concierge; virtually a meeting place for all things needed for a rich on-the-go experience. Seamless access to your community, razor-sharp local search and content, relevant and timely retail offers,

Tablets like the Motorola XOOM are expected to dominate this year’s event

“For mobile operators to really maximise this potential opportunity, monetisation for both the operator and applications provider will be key,” he adds. “The rapid explosion of available mobile products, apps and services requires a

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 9

and of course, detailed turn-byturn instructions that will take you where you want to go.” Elsewhere, Laura Marriott, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies, says that with mobile barcode use increasing, she expects the technology to figure

prominently at the show. “We definitely expect to see mobile barcodes in significant use at the show and on the show floor,” says Marriott. “Exhibitors will use barcodes on marketing materials and business cards to enable attendees to access company, product/service and contact information, whilst also gaining valuable analytics on the range of customers interacting with their brand.” From a technology standpoint, however, the hot topic at this year’s MWC looks likely to be tablets. Once the rest of the PC and consumer electronics industry saw what Apple did with the iPad, they were all after a piece of the action, and at the CES event in Las Vegas in January, close to 100 new tablet devices were unveiled. “If CES is to MWC what the Golden Globes are to the Oscars, then conversations about mobile tablets will drown out all others in Barcelona this year,” says Jeff Yee, director of worldwide business development at Volantis. “On any ordinary internet day, one would expect the frenzied tablet talk to remain the preserve of the gadget fiends and hardware geeks, but MWC’s ‘all under one roof’ effect is certain to draw in players from across the mobile industry. Advertisers, brands, and retailers will be talking about using lucid tablet screens to win over new customers, developers will be talking about leveraging the features of specific hardware while tackling even greater form factor fragmentation issues, and operators will be talking about serving consumers wider bandwidth on faster networks. In short, if you come to MWC, be prepared to take your tablets.”

Consumers in control While tablets will undoubtedly be a key theme of this year’s show, however, some are predicting a shift in focus from

“2011 WILL BE THE YEAR THAT THE CONSUMER TAKES CENTRE STAGE IN THE WORLD OF MOBILE MARKETING” Paul Berney, MMA products, to people. Jonathan MacDonald, co-founder of Human Dialogue, says he expects to see a move from device-centric mobile, into device-agnostic mobility. “The convergence between phones and tablets may show some interesting launches and developments at the show,” MacDonald tells Mobile Marketing. “But what I would dearly love to see at MWC is more about experience and user journey. I realise it’s a technological show, but capability can only go so far when it’s in the hands of real people who aren’t engineers.” Paul Berney, chief marketing officer and managing director for EMEA for the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), echoes these thoughts, saying that 2011 will be the year that the consumer takes centre stage in the world of mobile marketing. “Everything in marketing is pointing to the fact that consumers are taking control of 27/01/2011 05:56

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their interactions with brands and organisations,” says Berney. “This change is going to be the biggest driver in the growth and development of mobile marketing. As a result, brands are having to understand the consumer better and what their touchpoints are, as these are an opportunity for consumers to engage with instant interaction. Through a better understanding of this, we will see a transformation in the approach to mobile marketing from being the use of a series of disparate technologies, to an understanding of how it fits into separate marketing functions.”

Mobile advertising Mike Dunn, VP, operators and media at Velti, expects mobile advertising to be prominent at this year’s event, as last. “Maturing of the mobile ad marketplace with ad exchanges and data driven strategies has to be a big theme,” says Dunn. “To date, this has been a sticking point for widespread adoption and integration, but Velti in particularly is making real progress in this area. Likewise, I expect opt-in SMS and MMS

advertising will go mainstream, with both brand awareness and customer loyalty budget-holders realising that the mobile channel is a valuable option.” Christian Louca, global managing director of ubiyoo, says he would like to see MWC lose some of its tech focus, and become a more complete, all-encompassing event, covering all aspects of the mobile ecosystem. “No-one can argue against its success, but it would be great to see more agencies and publishers attending, and more workshops, debates, focused networking groups, and business mentoring for mobile start-ups,” he says. For Harald Neidhardt, CMO and co-founder of Smaato, there are three key themes. The first is what he calls “augmented life and a theme of 50bn connected devices. The second is the war for talent, as operators and platform providers seek to attract the new app developer “rockstars”. And thirdly, brands moving beyond mobile advertising to include mobility in their product design, with connected cars, mHealth and entertainment solutions.

“Once that starts, budgets for mobile advertising are going to explode as forecast,” says Neidhardt. “MWC will be a firework-kick start to a stellar year in mobile advertising.” Finally, Marco Veremis, chairman of the board at Upstream Systems, says that for him, the emphasis will be on measuring the right thing. “Mobile ad networks have been around for long enough now for holders of mobile marketing budget purse-strings to realise that concepts like reach and metrics like impressions delivered, aren’t as important as effectiveness,” he says. “So what do I think will dominate discussions about mobile marketing at Barcelona? Simple: effectiveness. Delegates expect visual fireworks, but they will want to lend their money and their voices to something more substantial. I believe those solutions which crunch the most comprehensive selection of market data in order to hit the right consumers at the right time and place, and with the right message, will be the talk of the mobile town at Barcelona this year.”

©Gemalto 2011. January 2011 - Credit photo: agence Tina

Marco Veremis, Upstream


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business models

OPEN FOR BUSINESS Consumers have fallen in love with apps, but as George Cole discovers, they are proving equally popular in the business world onsumers have been quick to embrace mobile applications (apps), and the business world is quickly following in their wake. The b2b mobile app market is expected to grow rapidly over the next 12 months: a survey conducted by Kelton Research, on behalf of Sybase, found that 90 per cent of IT managers planned to implement mobile apps this year, with half of the respondents claiming that the demand for b2b apps was employee-driven. Many are not surprised that businesses are showing a great interest in b2b apps, or that these apps are being developed for a wide range of mobile devices. “Businesses are there to deliver value to their customers, employees and shareholders, and b2b apps


help them achieve this,” says Rory O’Neill, senior director of business marketing, EMEA, at BlackBerry-maker, RIM. “Companies have got to get close to their customers to keep them. Customers are demanding a richer experience from companies, and apps help businesses achieve this.”

Cloud service There is a wealth of apps for businesses to choose from, not to mention those that individual companies’ IT departments commission or develop inhouse, solely for the company’s own use. Cortado Workplace is a free cloud service app that enables smartphone users to access information and files, as well as also email, fax, print and create PDF files. Cortado’s MM Issue 5.indd 12

customers can buy corporate server software that enables them to use a non-public cloud service, which is licensed on a per-user basis. The Beehive Business Call Management app, created by Grapple Mobile, is a cross-platform app that enables companies to distinguish between employees’ personal and business calls, so they can automatically recoup the cost of non-work-related calls.

NXP offers a free iPhone app that allows engineers to search and buy more than 10,000 product parts from the company’s semiconductor product portfolio. They can also share information with other engineers via social media. “The app enables engineers to spend more time on designing a product rather than looking for information or support,” explains Michel Claassens, NXP’s

NXP offers a free iPhone app that allows engineers to search and buy more than 10,000 product parts from the company’s semiconductor product portfolio

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senior director of global web marketing and branding. Huddle’s collaborative and communication tools are also available via an app, while Crafted Media’s anyspacedirect iPhone app connects companies with business space operators across the UK; users can browse for space by GPS location, postcode or town. Mark Mason, CEO of app developer Mubaloo, says that in the enterprise environment, apps are really about “improving communication and collaboration between customers, suppliers and employees. Your smartphone will be the device for locating colleagues, improving collaboration, enhancing team-building and managing their projects.” Ben Cusack, group marketing director at Mobile Interactive Group (MIG), believes that companies are enthusiastic about apps because “employers get more from their employees – they don’t have to be at their desktop in order to be plugged into the business.” It’s an observation supported by Thorsten Hesse, manager, innovative solutions, at Cortado, who says: “Apps increase mobile productivity, are secure, and also save costs.” Interest in apps spans a wide range of enterprises, according to Alistair Crane, CEO at app developer, Grapple Mobile. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in apps from many organisations, including banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and mobile networks, such as T-Mobile,” he says. “They want to streamline their business and save money, and apps can help them achieve this.” The changing world of business is also helping to drive b2b app uptake, says Alastair Mitchell, CEO and co-founder

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 13

of Huddle. “Apps allow people to work flexibly and that’s important, because the shape of business is changing: the virtual enterprise is becoming a reality,” he says.

App explosion “In the last 12 months, we’ve seen an explosion of companies leveraging apps to capture the benefits of mobile. Public services, financial services, professional services are all using apps,” says RIM’s O’Neill, who also notes that “companies of all sizes are using apps. A gardening service with just two people, for example, is using an app that enables them to take a photograph of a completed job and then add time, date and GPS location tags to it. The picture can then be sent to the client to prove that the work has been finished, and this helps them get paid faster.” Mubaloo’s Mason says that many businesses are now waking up to the potential of apps. “It’s not really about size; it’s more to do with how forwardthinking the board is. It’s now clear that smartphones will play a major part in the way businesses run their internal and external processes.” While apps are being used by a wide range of enterprises of all shapes and sizes, Huddle’s Mitchell notes say there’s a “pincer movement” when it comes to the take-up of b2b apps. “Small, tech-savvy businesses were early adopters, and there’s also a big push from large enterprises – one of our biggest users is government,” he says. “The middle market is last to adopt, because there’s no top-down push, and they tend to be slower adopters.” Tom Griffiths, sales and marketing director at app developer Crafted Media, says that price

“BUSINESSES ARE THERE TO DELIVER VALUE TO THEIR CUSTOMERS, EMPLOYEES AND SHAREHOLDERS, AND B2B APPS CAN HELP THEM TO ACHIEVE THIS” Rory O’Neill, RIM can still be an issue for some small businesses, but adds: “SMEs who are already using digital channels and social media will recognise that investment in mobile is a wise move, given the huge growth of apps.”

Rapid growth Many types of app are being used by enterprises. “The enterprise cloud apps sector is growing rapidly,” says Windsor Holden, principal analyst at Juniper Research. “The key benefit of apps for enterprises is that someone out in the field

can have access to the same tools and resources as someone at the desktop.” Companies such as IBM and offer apps that extend their desktop product portfolio to the mobile world. Huddle’s Mitchell thinks that many companies are using b2b apps which are “an extension of an existing [desktop] product, which you download for free to improve the product or service - the app is more like a feature. Will that change? I think it will, but it’s hard to build a business around a 27/01/2011 05:57


business models

single b2b app, because it’s more complex, more expensive and more wide-ranging. You can develop a b2c app, sell it for £5.99 and make a business from it, but b2b apps are about lower volumes and higher prices.” But some b2b app developers are reporting a healthy demand for their wares. Mubaloo, for example, has developed more than 50 apps for companies across many different sectors, and RIM’s O’Neill notes that an app which gives UK police officers access to the PNC (Police National Computer) from their BlackBerry has saved UK police services around £112m. The majority of b2b apps are generic and offer some degree

of customisation by end users, “We are more likely to see app templates being developed for vertical markets like, say, delivery, rather than lots of bespoke apps,” says Grapple’s Crane, but Mubaloo’s Mason says that many of his company’s clients want bespoke apps because they need them to do a specific task, though he adds that apps which track holidays, manage employee benefits and keep timesheets will probably be generic apps, which are then tweaked to the customer’s specific requirements. Many more b2b apps will be launched this year, but RIM’s O’Neill cautions that “apps are about quality and not quantity.

Cortado believes the trend will be towards ‘consumerisation’, with more and more business users bringing their personal devices into work and using them for both personal and business applications MM Issue 5.indd 14

Nothing goes into the trash can faster than a mobile app that doesn’t work. The biggest issue for a b2b app developer is to produce a quality app that delivers a positive impact on the business.” But many predict a bright future for the b2b app market, although some of this optimism is tempered with caution. “I think we’re on the very edge of the curve; about 95 per cent of apps on handsets are b2c, with email being the major b2b app,” says Huddle’s Mitchell. “I think the biggest challenge for the b2b app market is the same one that faces the b2c sector: proliferation. Standards are still being established, and what you don’t want is a wide range of apps that require different log-ins, different protocols and so on. Getting apps to integrate will be the biggest test. It’s already becoming more complex for IT managers, with different cloud apps. But by the end of this year or early 2012, we’ll see real traction.” Cortado’s Hesse believes the trend will be towards ‘consumerisation’, with more and more business users bringing their personal devices into work and using them for both personal and business applications. Elsewhere, the received wisdom in the industry seems to be that the market for b2b apps is only likely to head one way. “The b2b app market can only grow,” says MIG’s Cusack. “Apps can increase productivity and efficiency, and people are browsing more on their mobile devices than they are at their desktop,” he says. Mubaloo’s Mason agrees. “The b2b app market is going to be huge,” he tells Mobile Marketing. “We see businesses managing their entire organisations around apps. They will become a part of every department; enhancing efficiency, communication and business processes. It’s a very exciting market to be involved in.”


February 2011 27/01/2011 05:57


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thought leadership


DEV ZONE David Glennie, chief innovation officer at Mobile Interactive Group, urges brands to think about who their apps are really supposed to benefit hate your app. No, I really do. I hate its cutesy, ironic icon, it’s ‘Shake 2 Share’ feature, it’s chatty ‘Oops... I goofed!!!’ error messages. I hate the splash screen (which is just an ad for a product I’ve already bought). I hate your pushy push notifications and I hate letting you know my location. But mostly I hate your app because you made it for YOUR benefit not mine. The biggest mistake an app developer can make when building apps for a client is to consider the needs of the client over those of their customers. But unfortunately, it happens all the time. The problem starts with your first visit to the “imaginarium” (or whatever you call the sofa outside the breakout room where you and that contractor guy design apps). You’re starting from the wrong place.


Three questions Don’t worry about the app, that’ll come, start by answering three questions. The first is this. When the client said: “We want an app”, did they really mean: “We want to do something in mobile, but we dont know what?” Sometimes, the client has a well-developed app concept and knows what they want, and they are probably right. Focus on the detail of the user experience (UX) and push for an aggressive communications and marketing strategy for launch and your work here is done. But often, “We want an app”, means “We want to be relevant in mobile but are a bit scared”. Telltale signs here are wanting an app that replicates all or part of a website; wanting something a bit like a competitor’s app (only better); or only wanting it on iPhone. These signs are a clear indication that your client is looking to get a foothold in mobile, but is unsure how best to proceed (and that their boss owns an iPhone). You now have an opportunity to bring to bear the full might and awesome-

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 17

ness of the mobile ecosystem. But hold on a sec, let’s see what they’re up to already, which brings us to the second question. How do their customers interact with the brand? Assuming that the brand and the consumer are eager to talk to each other, in what ways can that conversation take place? There”s doubtless a website, some sort of CRM email stuff, maybe a phone number or perhaps one of those awful “How can I help?” online chat avatar thingies. We need to think about how mobile sits with these other channels. More importantly though, we have to answer the third question... How can I help them move from a multiple channel experience to a multichannel one? Huh? OK, the difference is simple. A multiple channel experience is where a conversation started on a given channel can only be continued on that channel, whereas, in a multichannel world, you can start a conversation on one channel and continue it on another. We need to find ways in which this app, and the wider mobile strategy around it, moves us closer to this ideal of “always on” brand conversations. The number of app strategies that fail to address this is almost as staggering as the irony… “You”re putting an app on a phone, but you won”t let me use it to communicate with you? What kind of monster are you?” If the client is using some form of CRM communications (typically email) this should move into a mobile context. SMS is still an effective channel. For the right demographic, it can even be the beginning of a two-way conversation. Device-specific messages like push notifications can be even better - can you use it in your app? Can you generate emails that look good on smartphones? How can you encourage the adoption of these communications channels? The mobile device offers so many rich interactions between user and brand:

Send us a picture, tweet us, call us, text us, ping us, email us, scan our barcodes, find our shops and more. A well-designed app strategy can pull this together and create a playground of interaction between your client and their customers, to the benefit of both parties.

Engaging experience What if someone without an iPhone wants to visit the brand? (Apparently it does happen.) Mobile internet and web is still the most effective way of delivering an engaging, inclusive and relevant mobile experience to the widest possible demographic. Use it to drive lower-end devices into conversations they can support e.g. SMS. As for social media, if you expect some-

“YOU”RE PUTTING AN APP ON A PHONE, BUT YOU WON”T LET ME USE IT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU? WHAT KIND OF MONSTER ARE YOU?” one to tweet each time they use your app, the least you can do is follow them. What are they saying about you? What will you say back? Remember, social media is a multi-dimensional, organo-tech, interaction vortex, not just a way of annoying your friends. Over the past few years, we’ve got good at making apps. Every week I see something that genuinely inspires me. But we are still treating it as a special case, as something outside the normal rules of engagement. We should be creating channels of sparkling, real-time communication between our clients and their customers. We have wto steer brands away from building glittering cul-de-sacs. 27/01/2011 05:57


business models

UPWARDLY MOBILE Upstream Systems CEO Alex Vratskides explains to David Murphy how the company’s contextually relevant messaging services help mobile operators to increase revenues and reduce churn ne of the most interesting aspects of the mobile marketing industry is the way that companies adapt in order to first survive, and then thrive. Talk to any mobile marketing firm that has been around for 10 years or more, and chances are that they are not making their money today the way they thought they might when they started out. Upstream Systems is a good case in point. The company was founded in 2000 by Alex Vratskides, a Greek entrepreneur with a degree in Applied Mathematics from Columbia and a Masters in Operational Research from Cornell. After working on algorithm design in the airline industry, followed by a stint as a management consultant, Vratskides formed Upstream with the idea of providing text-voting services for TV programmes. That might seem old hat in the Reality TV-obsessed days in which we now live, but 11 years ago, it was a groundbreaking

O MM Issue 5.indd 18

Sponsored Feature

idea, and Upstream still counts satellite TV company BSkyB as a customer for its text-voting and commenting services. But text voting was, as Vratskides puts it, “a difficult business model to defend,” and so the company began offering a wider range of mobile marketing services to brands, with Coca-Cola and Nestle among those attracted by Upstream’s expertise and technology.

Inflection point In 2005, the company reached its inflection point, with the decision to focus its efforts on working with mobile operators, helping them to cross-sell and upsell to existing customers, and maintain a line of communication with prepaid customers, to encourage them to top up when their credit is running low, for example. For the past six years, Upstream has been building on its expertise in this area, using its Marketing Communications Suite (MCS), carrier-grade SaaS platform, to help operators reduce churn and increase ARPU. Upstream’s technology platform and proven meth-

February 2011 27/01/2011 05:57


odology delivers contextual, value-driven communications to mobile subscribers that increase loyalty and revenue. In the last few years alone, Vratskides estimates that the company’s platform has reached half a billion people and generated approximately $500m in incremental revenue for its operator customers, all on a payment-by-results basis, which means that Upstream only makes money when its

risk and context. Because of Upstream’s payment-by-results approach, operators have minimal to no upfront costs, thereby mitigating their risk. Upstream realizes its revenues from the success of an operator’s campaigns, not from licensing fees or other such costs. Regarding context, according to Vratskides, “If I pitch a Vodafone product to a Vodafone subscriber, I am, de facto, within context, which means

“IF I PITCH A VODAFONE PRODUCT TO A VODAFONE SUBSCRIBER, I AM, DE FACTO, WITHIN CONTEXT, WHICH MEANS HIGH RESPONSE RATES…WE HAVE A GOOD PLATFORM AND GOOD TECHNOLOGY, BUT THE KEY TO THE ROI WE DELIVER IS THAT WE START ON SOLID GROUND ” Alex Vratskides, Upstream Systems customers make money. That said, it’s clearly working out. Upstream’s 2010 Revenues hit €60m (£51m), 50 per cent up on 2009, putting it in the top three largest mobile marketing companies in the world, and it’s very profitable too. At the same time, Upstream has built an invaluable knowledge bank about the types of promotion that work best, so that when it puts an idea to an operator in a particular country, it can say, to within a fraction of a percentage point, how much the promotion will cost to execute, at what rate it will redeem, and what the profits will be. So why does Upstream’s model work so well for mobile operators? Two reasons: minimized

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 19

high response rates. If a mobile customer gets an account balance via a message that also suggests how he or she could benefit by upgrading to a new service plan, the likelihood of an upsell is much higher, due to its value-added nature. We have a good platform and good technology, but the key to the ROI we deliver is that we start on solid ground. I can’t think of any other industry where I would be paid on results and be so sure of success.” It’s perhaps fitting that Vratskides is an unassuming, soft-spoken man. In a sector where mobile advertising tends to get most of the attention, Upstream works quietly, behind the scenes, leveraging the unique relationship that mo-

Sponsored Feature

bile operators enjoy with their customers to produce average response and conversion rates that, according to Upstream’s own research, are 10 times greater than those delivered by online display advertising.

how its promotions will perform, and the fact that they are run on a payment-by-results basis with no risk to the operator, it begs the question, why isn’t the number even higher?

Cautious growth Stealth mode “The networks operate in stealth mode,” says Vratskides. “For years, global operators have commanded a mobile marketing mechanism capable of delivering tens of billions of pitches each month, and we use this to help them sell their products, such as premium SMS, mobile content and data, to their own customers, at almost no cost, using the implicit opt-in that those customers make when they sign a service plan contract, or initiate a prepaid line.” Vratskides conservatively estimates that - with 5bn mobile subscribers globally, assuming five contacts each month between an operator and a subscriber for things such as top-ups and balance notifications - global operators collectively have around 25bn interactions with their customers each month, a figure that dwarfs even the 10bn searches conducted via Google in the same timeframe. It’s these impressions that Upstream uses to target operators’ customers. “Global operators represent a huge hidden market,” says Vratskides. “It’s a vast, untapped opportunity that speaks to the operators’ need to increase ARPU, improve the customer experience with their services, remain a critical player in the mobile ecosystem value chain, and avoid becoming the so-called ‘dump pipe.’” Upstream currently has 40 operators customers worldwide. Interestingly, when you learn more about how the company operates, the certainty of

Vratskides says it’s a factor of Upstream’s cautious approach, and a determination not to grow the company too quickly. “Of course, we want to grow the business, but we will not go chasing more than we can handle,” he says. “We are more than 100 people today, and we have grown organically, with less than €5m of funding in our entire history. If you go from 100 to 300 people within a year because someone gave you the money to do so, you risk constantly dealing with mayhem in so quickly creating operational efficiencies and processes. There are other companies trying to copy our model through a lot of funding, but they have been unsuccessful, because they have not taken the time to learn what works; you can’t build a business like this overnight. We will grow our 40 operator customers into 150, but we’ll do it carefully and cautiously. We have to put our customers first.” Over the next 12 months, Vratskides says it will be business as usual for Upstream, as the company looks to target N. America and the UK as its next points of growth, trading on the mantra of effectiveness that has served the company so well over the past 11 years. “The name of the game in mobile marketing is effectiveness. It’s not about the number of impressions; it’s about achieving cut-through. We are counting on operators continuing to leverage the power of mobile marketing to upsell their own products, and we’ll be here to help them do that.” 27/01/2011 05:57




A half day event for publishers to learn the very latest mobile publishing business models LEARN ABOUT: Mobile Payments Creating Apps Mobile Marketing

Hear quick fire mobile publishing case studies and develop your mobile strategy during roundtable surgeries with leading mobile experts. Endorsed by:

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Banking & Finance November 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 20

27/01/2011 05:57

the real world


SECURITY SERVICE David Murphy reports on an innovative mobile money programme that emerged from the rubble of the earthquake that struck Haiti just over a year ago February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 21 27/01/2011 05:57



the real world

obile money in emerging territories has been a major theme in mobile over the last 12-18 months, owing to the success of schemes such as M-Pesa. The demand for these programmes is often attributed to the lack of retail banking infrastructure such as branches and ATMs in the countries where they are deployed, but one factor that is not always referenced is that of security.


Kidnappings and muggings are commonplace in many emerging markets, so anything that can reduce the need for an individual to collect a relatively large sum of cash in one go, like wages, for example, making them a prime target for thieves, is inherently useful.

Airtime recharge

dollar or two at a time, so they need easy and regular access to the resellers,” explains MoreMagic CEO, Pankaj Gulati. The airtime service was important in the development of T-Cash, says Gulati, because it developed a level of trust among consumers, and educated them in the concept of electronic transactions on their phone. In late 2009, with the airtime recharge scheme ticking along nicely, MoreMagic began piloting

T-Cash offers Haitians a more secure alternative to carrying large amounts of cash around with them

Local people of all ages have taken to the T-Cash mobile money programme with enthusiasm

what would become T-Cash with Voila. “We launched the trial because we felt we had come a long way in terms of education and trust, and because there was a need for it,” says Gulati. “60 per cent of Haiti’s GDP is dependent on international remittances from people living abroad, and when the local people get the cash, there are real security issues around muggings and kidnappings, so we were seeking to create an ecosystem where people could buy essential items like food, and pay their bills, without needing cash.” But with the pilot barely underway, on 12 January 2010, Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake, which killed an estimated 316,000 people, with a further 300,000 injured, and 1m made homeless. In the aftermath of the earthquake, a huge humanitarian effort kicked in. MoreMagic played its part by launching an airtime donation service, where members of the pubic around the world could donate anything between $5 and $50 of airtime to the people in Haiti affected by the disaster. To claim the airtime, Haitians sent a text message to the shortcode, 123, and received $1 worth of airtime in return. In total, 70,000 requests for airtime were received, and while the cellular networks were temporarily knocked out by the earthquake, Gulati says 80 per cent coverage had been restored in Port-au-Prince, close to the epicentre of the earthquake, within 24 hours of it striking. Power failures are common in Haiti, so most cell sites were equipped with diesel generator backups.

This was a key factor in the development of the T-Cash (Telephone-Cash) scheme in Haiti. It was born out of an airtime recharge solution that technology firm MoreMagic deployed in the country three years ago, on behalf of Voila, the country’s second largest mobile operator. This relied on legions of street-sellers, around 15,000 in total, who acted (and indeed still do act) as airtime wholesalers for the network. They buy airtime in bulk and load it on to their own phones, then sell it in lower denominations to individual mobile users on street corners, taking a commission from the network on each sale. The airtime is transferred from the wholesaler’s phone to the buyer’s phone, using MoreMagic’s MWallet platform. “The system works very well, because the local people can only afford to top up a MM Issue 5.indd 22

February 2011 27/01/2011 05:57


Cashless payments As the days and weeks passed after the earthquake, and the local population tried to return to some sort of normal life, the T-Cash pilot was extended. The idea of cashless payments was equally attractive to the companies and aid organisations brought in to the country to help rebuild it. They were not particularly keen on carrying around large sums of money to pay to the locals involved in the reconstruction process. The United Nations is one of the organisations using the scheme. The T-Cash system runs on MoreMagic’s MWallet technology platform, in conjunction with the network operator, Voila, and Haiti’s largest private bank, Unibank. Voila and Unibank have established a distribution network of cash-in/cash-out locations where Haitians can withdraw money stored on their phone, or transfer it to a friend or relative somewhere else. These outlets are typically businesses in the local community that routinely handle cash payments, such as grocery stores and petrol stations. To withdraw cash stored on the phone, a consumer goes to one of the T-Cash agents and asks to withdraw the required amount. If the agent confirms that he has enough cash at hand to satisfy the request,

the customer sends a cash-out command to T-Cash, including his/her PIN and the agent’s T-Cash ID, which is prominently displayed on the agent’s premises. T-Cash validates the request, checking the agent ID, customer PIN, and also that the customer has sufficient funds in their T-Cash account to cover the withdrawal. If all criteria are met, T-Cash sends a cashout request to the agent, and a transaction ID to the customer. The agent selects the customer from the cash-out pending list, and the customer validates the transaction with the transaction ID. Finally, the agent hands over the cash, the customer’s account is debited, and the agent’s account credited with the amount given to the customer in cash. Details of the transaction are sent to the bank for reconciliation. The process for depositing cash is similar, but here, the agent’s T-Cash account is debited, and the customer’s account credited. Salaries are paid into T-Cash using a similar system. If the employee is a registered T-Cash customer, they receive a message telling them that funds have been deposited. If not, they receive a message containing a unique digital token, and instructions on how to withdraw the funds. All messages sent on the MWallet platform are secure and encrypted.

Popular service The service has proved extremely popular with Voila’s customers in Haiti. Though he is unable to disclose the number of people using the service, Gulati says that the initial target of 20,000 transactions set by Voila for the first two months was busted in the first two weeks. Customers of other networks in the country can also use the service, on payment of an additional fee, and the country’s largest operator, Digicel, is readying its own mobile money offering for its customers. In addition to cash, Haitians can now also use T-Cash to pay their utility bills, and Gulati says that this is another massive improvement to their daily lives. “For many people, paying a utility bill would previously have meant a bus ride of an hour or so, then maybe a couple of hours in a queue, and then the bus ride back again,” he tells Mobile Marketing. Gulati can’t hide his sense of pride and pleasure that the scheme has gone down so well with the locals. “Haiti is probably the most impoverished place in the western world,” he says. “To create an experience like this on refurbished $10 phones was a huge challenge, and to see how the Haitian people have embraced it brings a tear to my eye.”

T-Cash offers an easy and convenient way for people who no longer live in Haiti to send money back to friends and relatives there

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 23 27/01/2011 05:57


best practice

We route consumers to your door.

NAVTEQ’s patented LocationPointTM Advertising technology enables brick and mortar merchants to pinpoint where consumers are, deliver ads within a few metres of advertised points of purchase, and guide them to the merchant’s doorstep with one-click “Click-to-Route” calls to action.

Good advertising moves people. Great advertising moves with them. MM Issue 5.indd 24

February 2011 27/01/2011 05:57

business models


THE OPT-IN REVOLUTION Growing revenue and retention in a saturated mobile market

s mobile markets mature, operators must work harder than ever to grow revenue. This was the challenge facing one top-tier European operator. With wireless penetration in the local market at 111 percent, and a rival who had already taken the early lead in data services, the operator needed to move quickly to deliver a differentiated, high-value experience for subscribers while positioning itself as the best choice for mobile advertisers. Velti helped the company achieve both goals with a cost-effective permission based marketing program which decreased churn while building an opt-in subscriber database to drive more competitive advertising solutions. The program Velti designed for the operator was simple in concept: customers would be invited to opt-in to a community and provide information on their demographics as well as their lifestyle preferences. In return, they would receive messaging, promotions, and incentives from third-party brands tailored to their individual profile for a more personalized, relevant, and interesting mobile experience.


Leveraging social media Social media played a prominent and highly effective role in driving partici-

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 25

pation. The program was marketed on the operator’s fan page as well as other partner-sponsored fan pages on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and a local site. An invitation tool created for use in Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter gave subscribers a quick and easy way to invite their friends and family to opt-in as well; operating on an “If they win, you win” model, each new participant recruited provided the user with additional opportunities to win. Underscoring the importance of social media in marketing today, the tool accounted for more than 35 percent of all joiners.

Achieving scale and monetization Nearing the end of its first year, the permission based advertising program delivered by Velti has helped the operator achieve its strategic goals. A more relevant, engaging, and rewarding customer experience has increased loyalty and reduced churn. Targeted, measurable campaigns now command higher rates from advertisers, who in turn gain access to a new marketing channel with quantifiably better return on investment. Even in a crowded mobile marketplace, the operator has set itself apart from the competition and found new ways to increase revenue.

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Velti Campaign Snapshot Challenge • Open up new revenue streams • Improve customer loyalty and reduce churn. • Enable targeted campaigns to command higher ad rates.

Solution Velti Permission Based Marketing Programme: subscribers opt-in to receive more relevant messaging and opportunities to win prizes.

Results • Opt-ins reach 87,000 to date at a rate of 5,000 per week. • Churn of only 1 percent per month demonstrates strong customer loyalty. • A large opt-in database powers targeted, measurable campaigns for advertisers, increasing the rates earned by the operator. 27/01/2011 05:57


the real world


AFRICA MM Issue 5.indd 26

27/01/2011 22:12


Some perceive mobile marketing in Africa as being a case of ‘back to basics’ – though, given the aspirations and astonishing expansion of the continent’s mobile user base, this may not be the situation for long. Martin Conway reports panning 53 countries as defiantly diverse as prospering Egypt and S. Africa at one extreme, and war-torn Somalia and Sierra Leone at the other, Africa is always going to be a tricky continent to pin down. What mobile marketing analysts can agree on, however, is that the Africa and Middle East regions have experienced a substantial, almost uniform upsurge in their tallies of mobile subscribers; up from 505.1m in 2008 to 703.1m last year, approximately 500m of the latter category being concentrated in Africa alone, and with African operator revenues having more than doubled between 2007 and 2010. In many ways, the growth of the mobile sector in Africa is not surprising. Plagued by an over-abundance of areas where terrestrial telecoms coverage remains weak to non-existent, and with hundreds of millions of the population enduring conditions of extreme poverty, the mobile has become the only means for the vast majority to access the internet – most working class Africans’ spending power failing to stretch to the relatively exorbitant price of even a second-hand laptop.


Reliance on mobile “Mobile is not just a gimmick for Africans; it’s a tool that replaces internet, banking, communication and information services that are not easily available. Most mobile users in Africa did not have a landline before, cannot afford a PC, or do not have access to the internet or to a bank,” says Nikos Moraitakis, VP of business development at Upstream Systems, which works with operators in Africa.

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 27

Moraitakis adds that in a “perverse reversal of tech progress”, services such as mobile money and mobile internet are far more commonly used in Africa than they are in the developed world. “In Kenya, there are over 15m mobile money accounts, used as plastic


reports and so on from SMS. For the same reason, 3G data access is spreading fast; in some African countries, it is more common to purchase a 3G dongle for home internet access, than a traditional ADSL.” Dimitris Papazisis, director of sales at Velti, comments: “Even in some of Africa’s highend hotels, fixed-line internet connection is poor. Many African countries are difficult places to live and travel, and safety while travelling is a crucial aspect – people need access to reliable communications, and mobile fills that gap.” In Papazisis’ opinion, the continent can be broken down into three subsections: “You have S. Africa, which is similar to the West culturally; the N. African countries, which have more in common with Middle Eastern culture; and then Sub-Saharan Africa, spanning Senegal in the west to Tanzania in the east,” he comments. “Nigeria accounts for about 25 per cent of the Sub-Saharan market, and we are also seeing more and more users in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Uganda.” (For more, see table overleaf.) Dan Parker, MD of mobile marketing agency Sponge, which established an office in Lagos, Nigeria 18 months ago, adds: “For the growing urban middle class, the mobile is not only essential for business, but it is a very important status symbol, with the BlackBerry leading the way.”

Basic handsets

is used in Europe, while traditional bricks-and-mortar bank accounts are in the hundreds of thousands only,” he says. “Many pick up news, weather

As for summing up the ‘typical’ African mobile user, Papazisis identifies “a thin layer of higher-end industries, including business users, international oil and gas companies and 27/01/2011 05:58


the real world

governmental bodies, as well as ex-pats from N. America, Europe and Asia.” Beneath this layer, the bulk of Africa’s mobile user base comprises the urban and rural poor.

With very low levels of landline penetration, mobile is a vital tool for people in Africa

Anyone who believes that mobile marketing campaigns can only be properly conducted on state-of-the-art smartphones may have to severely revise their marketing strategies when attempting to do business in Africa. Alistair Hill, managing director of mobile consultancy On Device Research, tells Mobile Marketing that, as a rough estimate, Nokia devices make up “approximately 60-70 per cent” of mobile types, while the number of iPhones and Android handsets on the continent is negligible. While the Blackberry remains an aspiration for many middle class professionals, cheap phones, subsidised by the operator and including pre-pay packages (almost 99 per cent of all contract types), remain the meat and potatoes of the African market, in addition to Chinese- and Indian-built ‘clone phones’, which Upstream’s Moraitakis describes as: “surprisingly good – featuring colour screens and email, internet and 3G access for a typical cost of between $30-$50.” Indeed, the chunky, handheld Nokia bricks so common in Europe and the US in the late 1980s are

more likely to be encountered in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa than are Steve Jobs’ sleek devices.

All about SMS Sponge’s Parker says: “Africa is all about SMS; it is widely available, widely used and widely understood. Internet browsing and applications are pretty limited. Cross-network shortcodes, as the basic requirement for text campaigns, are hard to come by, so many campaigns are launching on a limited number of networks, or using different codes for different networks. It’s very reminiscent of the UK nine years ago.” Upstream’s Moraitakis adds: “Despite the super-fast growth in recent years, the remaining people who don’t have a mobile phone yet are mostly people who can’t afford it at all.

Nokia devices currently make up approximately 60-70 per cent of mobile handsets in Africa

This is forcing some changes in the market, with operators fighting a price war to extend their reach, even to the poorest people.” Against this backdrop, advertisers and brands must be able to convince African operators of the revenue rewards they stand to obtain from successful campaigns, in order to guide mobile marketing towards its next phase of maturity across the continent. “In Africa, cash is king,” states Velti’s Papazisis, and this valid sentiment explains the appeal MM Issue 5.indd 28

of Africa’s leading mobile marketing strategies to date: text-and-win and top-up-andwin campaigns. “Supermarket vouchers are very popular prizes,” he continues. “These kinds of giveaway can supply a family with a year’s worth of food.” Although car giveaways have become a staple of many international text-and-win campaigns, Papazisis doubts that these are the best option for Africa: “Many Africans won’t be able to afford the petrol to run them, and are more likely to sell the vehicle for cash. Besides, even in a relatively urbanised area like Egypt, a major problem would be where you’d find space to park.” His views are echoed by Moraitakis, who says: “Upstream has achieved premium SMS response rates of between 15-20 per cent in promotional textand-win campaigns, which is off the charts by the standards of what we see in Europe – not including free-response campaigns.” Over the past two years, Upstream has been particularly active in Africa, working with telcos such as MTN, Airtel (previously Zain) and Vodacom, which is partly owned by Vodafone. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Upstream executed campaigns in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin on behalf of MTN, the official FIFA sponsor. “These campaigns gave away outrageously big prizes, such as 100 cars in Ghana and millions of dollars in Nigeria, through an interactive, football-related SMS quiz,” Moraitakis recalls. OK, so don’t totally write off the cars, just yet… He continues: “The result was over 10 per cent of subscribers participating in the campaigns, and millions in revenue generated for MTN.” In addition, Upstream also claims to have raised Zain’s average revenue per user (ARPU) by 7 per cent, following a successful Nigerian promo-

“AFRICA IS NOW CROSSING THE GROWTH-BYACQUISITION PHASE AND ENTERING THE LOYALTY AND RETENTION PHASE” Nikos Moraitakis, Upstream tional SMS campaign. The company is also making progress in Tanzania and Rwanda. Velti has also noted the benefits of the text-and-win quiz format in Africa. Having conducted campaigns in Nigeria, Tunisia and Egypt, to name but a few countries, over the past three years. A textand-win quiz campaign hosted in Tanzania in 2010, on behalf of Zing Telecom, witnessed an outstanding turnout. “We had between 600,000 and 700,000 subscribers participate,” Papazisis reveals, “with people calling the operator and requesting for the campaign to be extended – we went from running an 84-day campaign to an event lasting 147 days in all. Best of all, nobody opted out, even though the opportunity to do so was made available.”

February 2011 27/01/2011 22:12


English football is a popular draw for the sports-crazy people of Africa. Papazisis explains: “In Nigeria, there are many who hold dual NigeriaUK passports, and have family and friends in London, and the UK Premier League is very big in Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.” In addition, marketers can draw on S. Africa’s strong, patriotic interest in its country’s rugby developments.

Boosting ARPU Sponge was also able to assist Etisalat, a newcomer to the Nigerian mobile telecoms market. Having launched in 2008 to provide telephone, TV and internet services to the country, Etisalat was keen to make a sizable promotional splash in an already cut-throat telco pool. Sponge devised a multi-level campaign that included at its core a $1m prize giveaway, to be hosted live on Saturday night national TV. Over 7m Nigerians entered the main promotion, with over 1,000 contestants attending each of the associated, regional game shows. As a result of the contest, Etisalat not only made it clear that it had arrived on the scene with style, but also recorded 800,000 new SIM registrations during the period, boosting participant ARPU by 400 per cent. These activities have given the mobile marketing specialists additional insights into the workings of the African market. Papazisis concludes: “The only way to reduce churn is to continuously offer different types of promotions, and to give your customers breathing space, so that you don’t cannibalise your user base – it can be sensitive. It’s also important to reward the consumers in some form. Africa is very different to Europe in terms of brand loyalty, and it is common for Africans to hold multiple SIM cards, and to try to get the best deals from each. Even if con-

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 29

test participants don’t win ‘the big prize’, they should receive something for entering, such as ringtones, wallpapers, or free SMS bundles.” The future for mobile marketing in Africa appears bright. An optimistic Moraitakis describes Africa as “ripe and receptive”, commenting: “Africa is now crossing the growth-by-acquisition phase and entering the loyalty and retention phase. What will be important is the ability of operators to retain the juicier

parts of the customer base and manage to sell them a wider variety of services. Given the fragmented, or ineffective media in most countries, and the unusually high responses to mobile marketing campaigns, it is certain that mobile marketing will play a big role in this.” Velti’s Papazisis agrees that the market is not yet mature, but certainly heading in the right direction, though Sponge’s Parker concludes: “It would be wrong to view

Africa as an immature market, or as being ‘just like the UK, x years ago’. It is a hybrid of the most modern technologies and ideas, combined with some mobile cultures that are reminiscent of an early stage market, and many things that are uniquely African.” Familiarisation with this diverse blend of influences will prove a critical requirement for mobile marketers hoping to run successful campaigns in this territory.

Rising stars Africa’s heavy hitters, in terms of growth of number of mobile subscribers (in millions) between 2008-2010, and predicted future expansion Egypt Ghana Kenya Nigeria S. Africa Tanzania Uganda

2008 44.4 11.7 16.3 63.0 49.8 13.0 8.5

2010 70.6 17.1 20.8 87.4 56.9 20.1 14.1

2014 forecast 106.6 25.6 32.0 123.4 68.6 28.7 28.3

(Source: Portio Research) 27/01/2011 05:58


business models

FUTURE PERFECT James Lamberti, VP, global research and marketing at InMobi, investigates what the next phase of mobile advertising will look like

s 2010 ended, it was clear that the debate about “the year of mobile advertising” ended with it. Good riddance! It was a tired discussion that needed to end. Mobile advertising is not only here, it’s absolutely huge. Ad spend figures aside, consumers have announced their intentions by flocking to mobile, and advertisers will have to follow. So what will the mobile industry debate next? At InMobi, we read all the 2011 predictions. Rather than add to that list, we took a step back and asked ourselves: “What are the factors that will define the next phase of mobile advertising?” In this series, we discuss four concepts that we feel will define the next phase of mobile advertising. We also invited partners in the industry who share our views to collaborate with us. We invite you to join the conversation on Twitter (@InMobi) or alternatively, on our blog atǤ In the era of mobile advertising now behind us, developers could at best be described as pawns in another man’s (Steve Jobs?) game, or at worst, marginalized by the late 20th century mobile incumbents in telecoms, digital media, and manufacturing. In this next phase of mobile advertising, developers will turn the tables. An industry that has sought to manipulate and control them, will instead find themselves chasing the wealth and replicating the innovation emerging from the developer community


in 2011 and beyond. We believe four key trends and facts will make this a reality.

Trend #1: (Lack of) Innovator’s Dilemma Consumers are way ahead of the advertising industry when it comes to mobile technology. In a world where the majority of media consumption among smart device owners is now mobile, (source: Mary Meeker, Morgan Stanley/comScore) ad spending should be much higher than it is today. The

on the other. These include ad impressions, targeting data, technology, reporting & analytics, and ad spend. The grid also shows whether each of the players has control, influence, or is not present in each area. If you analyse the grid, you see that developers are the only segment of the mobile ecosystem that can claim control or influence in every dimension. Furthermore, while this is certainly true today, in the next phase of mobile advertising, the ad impressions controlled

Mobile Value Added Services Revenues by Region, 2008-2014 (US$ billions) 160 140 120 100 Asia Pac


North America


Western Europe


Eastern Europe Latin America


Middle East










Source: Informa Telecoms & Media

reason we see such disparity in consumer behaviour relative to ad spend amounts to a really deep case of fixed web innovator’s dilemma. For publishers and advertisers in developed markets, there is no forcing function for change. Consumers can be reached in many ways at scale, and the existing media community, just now able to cope with the fixed web, MM Issue 5.indd 30

is comfortable in this world. Developers are obviously different. They are 100 per cent mobile committed, have substantial technical and analytical prowess, and collectivley have a product or service desired by hundreds of millions of consumers ghlobally. The outcome is that developers will drive innovation in mobile advertising. They have billions to gain, nothing to hold them back, and are in control of their own destiny. This last point leads to our next trend…

Trend #2: The Mobile Ecosystem’s Bullseye To illustrate the importance of developers to mobile advertising, we developed an influencer grid, which charts elements of the mobile ecosystem including manufacturers, publishers, carriers, developers, ad networks, ad agencies, and brands on one axis, and key areas of the mobile advertising ecosystem

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by developers will continue to grow, and push an everincreasing share of data and ad dollar spend into the developer segment. Developers will find themselves a highly soughtafter group, given their pivotal role in the mobile ecosystem.

Trend #3: Truly Global Another critical dimension to consider is the global nature

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Just Plain Big: The Mobile Content Opportunity. Informa estimates. Global Mobile VAS Revenues, 2008-2014 (US$ bil.)









Global Total









Source: Informa Telecoms & Media

Android OS


October Impressions

% Share (Oct)

N. America












Middle East
















October Impressions

% Share (Oct)




N. America





Middle East


Market share for Android and iOS devices in InMobi’s network, October 2010

of app developers. Unlike the rest of the media community, geography is almost irrelevant. Developers will chase a download frenzy in Norway just as happily and easily as one in Thailand. In this world without borders, developers will innovate in mobile advertising in ways we’ve yet to even consider. “Our experience on the Papaya network is that mobile advertising plays a key role in revenue generation across all geographical demographics, whether it be the emerging markets, US or Europe,” says Paul Chen, director of business development at PapayaMobile. “As developers continue to find the most effective advertising solutions in different locations around the world, they will drive innovation for specific advertising media, in an effort to

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achieve maximum ad revenue in those geographical areas.”

Trend #4: Developers as Savvy Business People Mobile gaming is a tough industry, and competition continues to increase. Add to this that fragmentation in mobile will not be resolved anytime in the near future, and you see that no longer can a developer expect to create a successful, well monetizable game, without proper business planning. In addition to creating the most innovative content, developers are increasing their business prowess to discover and implement the most effective monetization strategies. Taking PapayaMobile, Android’s largest social gaming platform, as an example, the company has continuously

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evolved the monetization solutions it provides to developers, in an effort to lead monetization business trends. “In-game banner ads used to be the status quo for monetizing on freemium games. But as developers have become more attuned with other monetization and business solutions, PapayaMobile now must offer tools for wall advertisements, in-app microtransactions, support for various billing solution, and others,” says Chen. “Competition is tough, and developers are beginning to realize that a business mentality is needed to evaluate which solutions will most effectively sustain and grow their revenue. From our perspective, we expect continued maturity of the various monetization solutions in the market, with offer, ban-

ner, and brand advertisements generating 30 – 40 per cent of revenues going forward, and microtransactions accounting for the rest.” Make no mistake, mobile advertising is here to stay, and the developer community will play a key role in driving its growth and evolution. As more and more consumers migrate to smart devices, mobile advertising is entering its next phase. It’s one from which all players in the mobile marketing ecosystem can profit, but developers have most to gain.

Thanks to Paul Chen for his contribution to this piece. twitter: @InMobi 27/01/2011 05:58


business models

THE SHOPPING CHANNEL Tim Dunn, director of customer strategy at Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) looks at the retail industry’s attempts to get to grips with mobile MM Issue 5.indd 32

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here’s a revolution taking place on the High Street, and it’s one you can witness at first hand on your phone. Over the course of the past 12 months, the retail industry has started to “get” mobile, and to begin to understand what it offers as a promotional, sales and loyalty channel. Just as traditional bricks and mortar retailers grasped, after a few years, that the internet was not just for pureplay online businesses like Amazon, a decade later, they are waking up to the fact that to ignore mobile is to close the door on customers who want nothing more than to spend money with you, whether they are in your store, or on the back seat of the bus home from the pub.


Wake-up call So if the retail channel has really woken up to mobile, what was the alarm call that roused an industry from its slumber? Not surprisingly, perhaps, it came from a phone. When Apple launched the iPhone, and other handset makers consequently realised they needed to up their own game, the knockon effect was that smartphones started to find their way into the hands of more and more consumers. With this, retailers investigating their web logs could see that an increasing amount of their web traffic – up to 7 per cent of traffic currently - was coming from smartphones. And anyone who has ever looked at a website that has not been designed for mobile on a phone – even when viewd on a smartphone – will know that it’s not a particularly enjoyable experience. At the same time, the big eCommerce providers, who have been building big, transactional website for retailers for the past 10 years, were seeing

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 33

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the same phenomenon, and realised that they needed to provide backend systems that are suitable for mobile commerce. So over the past year or so, companies like IBM, with its WebSphere platform, have been doing just that. And so during 2010, we saw retailers take their first tentative steps into the brave new world of mCommerce. Marks & Spencer blazed a trail, with the launch, last May, of the first transactional mobile site from a major UK High Street retailer – a site in whose development Mobile Interactive Group was heavily involved. M&S showed it could work too, attracting 1.2m unique users and generating 13,000 orders in the first four months alone. The largest single order, was for £3,280, for two sofas. From someone’s phone. Others followed the M&S lead, with mobile sites from Tesco Direct, John Lewis, Asos, JD Sports and Halfords, not to mention a plethora of apps from other retailers. And while it was great to see so many people coming to the mobile party, it’s MIG’s firm belief that virtually all of what we have seen so far from retailers on mobile will soon appear almost primitive in its construction and its execution.

Made-for-mobile Yes, retailers have taken their web offerings and made them fit on a mobile screen, but what we have mostly seen has been an exercise in porting, rather than developing something approaching a true, made-formobile experience. That will all change in 2011, with the deployment of a bunch of technologies – HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript – typically bundled together under the moniker of HTML5. 27/01/2011 05:58


business models

So what’s so special about HTML5? Well, it enables you to create a specific mobile experience, by counteracting some of the inherent limitations of the mobile phone, making it easier for visitors to your mobile site to navigate the content, and place an order. If you look at a typical mobile site, circa 2010, you have the homescreen. Let’s say it’s a site that sells clothes. So on the homescreen, you might want to select, say, ‘Men’ to look at men’s clothes, rather than women’s. So that’s the first page refresh. Then on the next screen, you select ‘Jackets & Coats’. Refresh Number 2. Then on the next screen ‘Winter Coats’. Refresh number 3. By the time you click on an item you are interested in, the page might have reloaded, four, five, six or even seven times, and

ly, this new breed of mobile site really is. It’s not a question of innovating for innovation’s sake, but rather, using this powerful new toolset to overcome some of mobile’s inherent limitations and improves the customer experience, almost beyond recognition. Of course, such innovation requires a significantly higher investment than a 2010-vintage mobile site, but look at the two side by side, and we would defy anyone to argue, with any conviction, that it’s not money very well spent. MIG has just completed its first such site for the fashion retailer, New Look, enabling their first move into the mobile space. In addition to everything described above, the site also features dynamic scrolling banners across the homepage, enabling New Look to display a wide variety of hero promotions on the homepage in a very attractive way.

Multi-platform stratey

depending on the quality, or otherwise, of your connection, you may be prepared to put up with this, or you may be losing the will to live. Compare this to the HTML5 experience, where, thanks to expandable product listings, a visitor to the site can go through exactly the same process of selecting ‘Men’s Clothes’, then ‘Jackets and Coats’, then ‘Winter Jackets’, then perhaps, ‘Jackets with Hoods’ and arrive at the products he’s interested in, with just a single page refresh. Add to that zoomable product imagery; 360-degree product rotation; inline form verification to check that personal details entered are correct; card validation; and inline API calls to check stock availability, and you begin to see how much more intuitive, user-friendly and actually, commerce-friend-

But there is more to this than mobile sites. Over the past 12 months, MIG has witnessed a growing number of retailers beginning to appreciate how mobile can form a key part of a multi-platform shopping strategy, linking in-store digital activation with harmonised plans for messaging across email, SMS, direct mail and social media, and bringing all of this together in a holistic way to create a true multi-platform shopping experience. One which enables the customer to carry out initiation, consideration and completion at any point on any digital or physical platform, putting them in control, but where mobile, uniquely, is always an option. Apps are another important part of the mCommerce revolution. Even in the HTML5 era, apps still offer a more attractive user interface, and enable you to build more brandfocused activity into the app. MM Issue 5.indd 34

They also provide the brand with an instant bookmark on the user’s phone, and that’s not something to be sniffed at. Of course, no app will give you the same reach as a mobile site, unless you develop versions for every mobile platform out there, but based on current traffic patterns, if you develop for iOS and Android, you’re going to reach the vast majority of mobile users who are actively transacting on mobile. The key thing is to get the back-end right. If you create a system infrastructure that supports a transactional mobile site, you can build and run as many apps as you wish off it. And whatever you’re doing in the mobile space, make sure people can find it. One of the most rudimentary mistakes brands make is to tag mobile onto their online search activity. It doesn’t work. Mobile has its own rules and its own metrics, and whether you’re trying to drive people to a mobile site or an app download, it demands its own search campaign don’t rely on a “Build it and they will come philosophy”.


Landmark year I believe 2011 will be a landmark year for mobile in the retail channel. For sure, there are threats, as retailers get used to the idea of consumers scanning barcodes with their iPhones to see if they can get the same item cheaper down the road or online. But there are opportunities too, as the industry begins to wake up to the potential of having a retail outlet that’s not only open 24/7/365, but which, unlike the PC website, is available to customers, within reason, no matter where they happen to be. That phone in your pocket really should be called something else, because the word ‘phone’ doesn’t do it justice. Now that retailers have woken up to this fact, things will never be the same again.

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THE GEO TARGETING REVOLUTION Paul Childs, chief operations officer at global mobile ad marketplace Adfonic, looks at the opportunities and business models that are evolving around geo-targeting in mobile advertising. ne of the major advantages of mobile advertising is location; the fact that your phone can pinpoint where you are at a given moment in time, enables advertisers to deliver ads that are relevant to your physical location. The ability to target consumers with real time ads that are not only contextually relevant to what they are looking at on a mobile site or app, but also relevant to where they are, increases the relevancy of messaging for advertisers, and provides publishers with a hook to drive direct response. And whilst geo-targeting across other advertising channels, such as TV, print or online, may be nothing new, geo-targeting on mobile goes an important step further by enabling advertisers to target consumers on the move, via nomadic devices, based on their proximity to a particular store or service provider at the exact moment that the ad is served. We are seeing this play out in a number of ways, with several business models coming to the fore. The first of these is around social media applications with location check-in features, such as Facebook, Four-



square and PlacePop. These features enable consumers to receive promotional offers from outlets close to where they are at a specific time. The second is mobile couponing, which is being driven forward by players like Groupon, LivingSocial and Amazon. By clicking on a mobile banner, consumers can redeem coupons in-store at point of sale. Advertisers can target their campaigns to appear on the devices of any consumer browsing a mobile site or app within a given distance of one of their outlets. The third is classified advertising. Local, service-based businesses, such as solicitors or plumbers, are increasingly using geo-targeted ads on mobile to get their message in front of local audiences, without the wastage associated with advertising on a wider scale.

Network enabler Mobile ad marketplaces like Adfonic enable advertisers to target consumers at local levels across mobile sites and apps, with exceptional geographic precision. At Adfonic, we currently support real-time, geo-targeted ads in the UK, to

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postal town level, and in the US, to state and Nielsen DMA (Designated Marketing Area) level; A DMA is roughly equivalent to a city and its suburbs. Advertisers determine which geographic regions they want to target, and our platform then determines in real time which ad campaigns a user should be served, by identifying their physical location. Advertisers can monitor, again in real time, how specific locations are performing in terms of delivering clicks and impressions, and adjust the campaign accordingly to optimise budgets on the bestperforming locations.

Advertiser benefits Geo-targeted campaigns offer a number of benefits to advertisers. The first, obvious though it may sound, is that by enabling brands to reach a location-specific audience in a particular region or city, target audiences are selected with greater precision, and wasted impressions are reduced. By focusing the campaign on the parts of a population for whom it’s most relevant, an advertiser can increase the propensity of consumers to click on their ad.

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ultimately driving up return on investment. Chris Gale, Client Services Director at Odyssey Mobile Interaction says: “As locationbased services continue to grow, more of our clients are exploring proximity marketing via mobile. When applying ‘geo-targeting’ to our clients’ mobile marketing campaigns, it enables us to reach the right audience, in the right place, at the right time. By being able to add a deeper layer of relevance to the message, our clients have experienced higher levels of engagement amongst users.” Adfonic is supporting geo-targeted ads on the Poynt application in Europe

Geo-targeting at work We are already seeing some great examples of geo-targeting at work, as part of a seamless mobile experience that takes the consumer on a journey from the initial impression through to in-store purchase or coupon redemption. In the US, we have worked with a fast food chain to target consumers in a specific DMA with an ad campaign which directed the consumer to a promotional microsite, where they were able to select a mobile coupon to redeem in-store. In another campaign, a US hotel

chain targeted selected states in the US where their brand is most popular, and where there is a high customer demand. The campaign enabled the client to connect geographicallytargeted consumers with a direct call to action – in this case a click-to-call facility, offering a booking discount. We’re also seeing examples of how powerful geo-targeting can be, when combined with other contextual, demographic and day-part targeting tools, which together, arm advertisers with very powerful information about a consumer’s likely interests. Andrew Osis, president and CEO of Poynt Corporation explains: “There is a universe of mobile consumers who are searching for local retailers, theatres and restaurants. Poynt’s application seeks to bridge the gap between the consumer and the retailer by using location, time of day and keyword queries to deliver offers where and when that consumer is looking to transact. As an example, a person performing a restaurant search at 8:30 am is likely looking for somewhere to eat breakfast. It would make sense then, to deliver them an offer for a breakfast promo or discount. This contextuallyand geographically-relevant

ad was delivered to them at the exact moment that they were looking to make a purchase.”

Moving mainstream Geo-targeting within mobile is yet to become mainstream, but is it firmly on brands’ and agencies’ radar, and we anticipate geo-location campaigns will ramp-up during 2011. There are several key drivers at work that will see geo move further towards centre stage. As agencies learn what works and what doesn’t, and educate their clients, we believe brands will come to demand the additional value that geotargeting brings to the mobile advertising party. Combine location information with demographic profiling, and we believe you have a very strong targeting tool at your disposal. Increasing smartphone penetration will create the scale required to drive geo-location business models forward, and will also kick-start advertiser spend in a big way. Added to this, major infrastructure developments within NFC and mobile payments will also help demand for geo-targeted advertising to surge by closing the loop and facilitating the entire process, from ad view to final purchase, to be conducted on a mobile phone.

The results that we’ve seen among early adopters of geo-targeted campaigns are encouraging, and as more people join the smartphone society, opportunities will increase for brands and retailers to target mobile-savvy consumers on the move with real-time, contextually relevant offers and promotions that can be instantly redeemed close by. We can only see the geo-targeting trend heading one way.

Adfonic in Numbers • Adfonic’s network include 3,500 publishers, delivering a global audience across sites and apps in 190 countries • We deliver more than 2bn ad impressions per month • Our fill rates run at up to 98 per cent • There are an average of 2,000 - 3,000 live ad campaigns running in our network each month A campaign for a fast-food chain in the US targeted consumers within a Designated Marketing Area to drive coupon redemption in-store

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best practice



We throw the spotlight on the latest mobile apps that have caught our eye Moodometer AppStats Developer: Mubaloo Launch date: Dec 2010 Platforms: iPhone Cost: Free Monetisation: None

The Moodometer is an mHealth app for the iPhone, developed by app developer Mubaloo, in conjunction with the 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust. The app seeks to promote emotional wellbeing and to challenge the stigma that often surrounds mental health issues. The Moodometer, which Mubaloo developed for the NHS free of charge, acts as a pocket mood diary, enabling users to enter their current emotional state and keep track of changes in their moods, as well as providing tips and advice on staying upbeat. The location-based app pp pa also lso allows users to monitor the moods o of other users in their area, providiing an interesting overview of regional trends – for instance, sshould bad weather or a piece of bad news in a certain area h happen to coincide with lower m moods among the local populattion. As well as functioning as a g guide for the curious, Mubaloo ssays the app could also play an iimportant m role in assisting pattients diagnosed with clinical d depression, providing their doctors with patterns of the patient’s mood swings over a period of time.

February 2011 MM Issue 5.indd 39

Homebase AppStats Developer: Homebase Launch date: Nov 2010 Platforms: iPhone Cost: Free Monetisation: None

This Homebase app for the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch includes over 30,000 browsable products. Customers can use the app to check stock and reserve 20,000 products for in-store collection in all 330 UK Homebase stores. As yet, however, the app is not transactional in the sense of enabling customers to place an order from the app. Products featured on the app are sorted into 13 categories including Ecohome and Homebase ‘Best Buys’. Users can organise search results by customer review score. The app has been developed by the same in-house team that produced the app for Argos, another Home Retail Group business. The Argos app has been downloaded almost 1m times in the UK to date. The app template has been reconfigured to work with Homebase systems, ensuring it is fully integrated with Reserve & Collect orders on the Homebase website. This means that reserved products are guaranteed to be ready for collection within three hours. 27/01/2011 05:58


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best practice

Withing Blood Pressure Monitor AppStats Developer: Withings Launch date: Dec 2010 Platforms: iPhone Cost: $129 (£83) Monetisation: Paid-for

mHealth is a broad church, covering everything from remote consultations with your GP to SMS alerts that remind you to take your tablets. This clever app from French start-up Withings, enables you to monitor your blood pressure, using your iPhone or iPad. The $129 (£83) kit includes a conventional cuff and armband. These are tightened around the arm above the elbow, and then connected to the iPhone, at which point the app launches automatically. The user then simply touches the ‘Start’ button on the iPhone to take a measurement. The Withings Blood Pressure Monitor automatically averages measurements to produce accurate and significant results. Mea-

surement history and averages can be accessed by flipping the iPhone. Archived measurements can be accessed via the user’s secure online space on the Withings website, or via the app. Readings can also be shared with relatives, healthcare providers or medical professionals. And through the Withings API, specialist partners can interface with the platform to offer additional services, as with Withings’ Wi-fi Body Scale, partners for which include Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault and numerous health & sports coaching websites such as DailyBurn. com and Withings says it launched the app because, while self-measurement has been recommended by the medical profession for many years, no-one had previously come up with a simple solution for doing so. It says the Blood Pressure Monitor has been designed to plug the gap. “Apple revolutionized the world of smartphones by making them more user-friendly than ever before,” says Withings co-founder, Cédric Hutchings. “By adding connectivity to hightech devices, we simplify their usage and enrich them with extra services. Our goal is to take the drama out of using devices that can promote healthier lifestyles for all.”

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Beach Locator AppStats Developer: On The Beach Launch date: On The Beach Platforms: iPhone Cost: Free Monetisation: None

After what seems like months of rain, wind, snow and generally miserable weather, most of us are in need of a bit of sunshine to look forward to. If and when it ever arrives, the Beach Locator app from UK online travel agent, On the Beach, will help you find a nice beach to enjoy it on. The app has detailed information on more than 1,000 beaches across Europe and the Mediterranean. It uses GPS to pinpoint the closest beach, and for each one, offers information about amenities, sand type, the distance from your current location, even the strength of the waves. Beach Locator will also suggest whether the chosen beach is suitable for families, couples, surfers and even nudists. Plus, presumably, any combination of the above, such as nude surfers. It also recommends local excursions, nearby attractions and the best restaurants, cafes and clubs close to the beach. Users can store their favourite beaches for their next holiday, and rate and review those they have experienced, offering other users of the app tips on the best places to snorkel, fish, play sports or simply sunbathe in peace. The app currently covers more than 80 per cent of On the Beach’s destinations, including beaches in Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Spain and the Canary and Balearic Islands. The company says it is looking to expand the number of beaches covered by the app, and is also planning a version of the app for Android. 27/01/2011 05:58


thought leadership

OFFDECK Helen Keegan reflects on an avalanche of new tablet devices heading to a store near you he annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show), which takes place at the beginning of January in Las Vegas, is a haven for the tech press, who descend on the event in droves to see what’s hot in the world of oversized TVs, home cinema surround sound systems, and computing. There was no doubt about the product category that stole the show this year, however: tablets. There were almost 100 tablet devices on show at the event, with one of them, the Motorola XOOM, which runs on the Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS, taking the ‘Best Tablet’ and ‘Best of CES’ awards. It’s strange to think that tablets have been around for the best part of a decade, but it wasn’t until Apple brought one out last year that the world started to get excited about them, and other computer and handset makers decided they needed one of their own.


Netbook-killer? But there’s little doubt that they are here to stay now, and it will be interesting to see whether the predictions doing the rounds that the tablet will

be the laptop- and Netbookkiller prove to be true. I wonder whether it will be smartphones that find themselves most endangered by the tidal wave of tablets heading for our stores. Because while the web experience on a touchscreen smartphone is immeasurably better than it was a couple of years ago, especially now that there are more mobileoptimised sites out there, it still can’t quite compete with a tablet. So I wonder whether business people who use the web a lot during the day will come to treat their tablet as their primary surfing and emailing device, and use their phone for, well, making phone calls. And texting of course. If your only experience of a tablet is an iPad, you may not be convinced. Design-wise, the iPad is cute, to a point, but it’s still a tad on the large size to be called truly portable, in the sense of slipping it in your coat pocket or handbag. But some of the other tablets, like the Dell Streak, for instance, are smaller, more compact and more portable, and when I had access to one a few weeks ago, I found myself defaulting to it over my MM Issue 5.indd 42

Nexus One for web browsing on the move. And when I was done, I found it slipped easily into my handbag.

More fragmentation It will also be interesting to see how brands approach tablets, from a mobile marketing perspective. Do they treat them as a new device category, separate from smartphones, for the purpose of developing aps and mobile services? “Not another new platform” I can almost hear you say, but actually, in my experience, mobile developers now accept that fragmentation is a fact of life, and just get on with it, and I think it is true to say that there will be circumstances and applications where a brand can justify a dedicated version of an app for tablets, which offers additional features and functionality, compared to the (basic) smartphone version. In a similar vein, brands need to decide what should be the default site to serve up to someone visiting their website on a tablet. Do they serve the full-fat PC site, or the lighter mobile version? Perhaps the means of connectivity could be

the deciding factor. If the site is intelligent enough to sniff it out, serve the full-fat version to anyone accessing on a tablet over wi-fi, and the mobile version to anyone on a cellular connection, based on the assumption that the cellular connection is lower bandwidth and less stable, therefore the lighter, the better. The Golden Rule, of course, whichever version you serve up by default, is to give users the option of switching to the other version. Maybe, in fact, brands need to consider the middle ground; the site that’s halfway between the full-fat and the mobile-optimised version: the tablet-optimised version. Some, of course, will deem this too much trouble, but as Unilever’s communications planning director, Jay Altschuler, told delegates at the Mobile Marketing Forum in London last year, “We just go where our consumers go.” It should be crystal clear to brands by now that we all, as consumers, want to be in control, and to choose how and via what media we interact with them. So ignore the tablet revolution by all means, but do so at your peril.

February 2011 27/01/2011 05:58 MM Issue 5.indd 43

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