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Tina Whitfield believes there is one secret to unlocking mobile marketing success. That secret is accessing the treasure trove of customer data stored by wireless carriers and handset manufacturers.
As CEO of Equis Global, and veteran of several digital marketing companies, Whitfield says she is trying help brands bridge the gap between what they think mobile customers will interact with and what data shows they will interact with.
Sears Holding is reorganizing its on and offline channels under an ambitious new initiative dubbed ShopYourWay. The program intends to integrate the scope of the goods and services the retail conglomerate provides across a panoply of channels, including in-store, online, mobile, electronic kiosks, even PDAs.
ShopYourWay has launched on Sears.com, and will soon be introduced to Kmart.com. When that happens, the full range of Sears products will be available to shoppers on Kmart, and vice-versa. Such cross-merchandising will increase the options available to consumers. Shoppers on Sears property LandsEnd.com, for example, will be able to view apparel from other Sears brands.
If you cry wolf too many times, people are apt to dismiss you. The mobile internet is the boy who cried wolf.
For years, many have predicted its rapid rise, and massive revenues. Yet by in large we've all been disappointed. Year after year new developments have been made but a mobile internet that's as important as many believed it would be hasn't shown up.
A concordance of today's Digiday Mobile conference would show the most often used phrase as "not fully baked." But despite the business models and infrastructure issues that still need time to mature, mobile marketing is progressing toward a brand-driven future.
With a new major Dockers iPhone campaign breaking tomorrow, the conference provided some insight as to the profile of brands that are consistently engaged in mobile campaigns of some kind. Whether it's SMS text, WAP sites, banners, or proprietary apps, the brands involved are impressive. Adidas, Nike, Coke, Paramount, P&G, and most every other major brand were either involved in or planning a mobile campaign, according to the agencies assembled. Razorfish's emerging media VP Terri Walter told the conference that it handles more than 200 mobile clients and AdMob handles 200 a month.
From an American and continental perspective it's easy to think that "we are the world" when it comes to mobile phone usage and marketing. Jeremy Wright, Nokia's global director of brand solutions, looked to reset that misconception during a presentation at Digiday's mobile event on Thursday. Seems there's more to mobile than Facebook, iFarts and text messages for emerging markets.
With more than four billion mobile phones on the market, Nokia has also positioned itself as a content provider and mobile network infrastructure owner. Wright sees different attitudes developing among the global perception of devices and advertising.
The BBC has just launched the beta version of its new mobile site which, like the web version, allows users to personalise the content they view.
It's a welcome development, as the current BBC mobile site is a little basic, and the new version provides access to more of the corporation's content. I've been taking a look at the new version...
Digital marketing will get a few disruptions in the near future, according to this version of Razorfish's Digital Outlook Report.
While most of the press attention has gone to the agency's bullish outlook on social media (surprise, surprise), the warm fuzzies stopped there. Consider the following predictions from Razorfish analysts and executives:
It seems like everyone wants to develop apps for the iPhone these days. It's not hard to see why.
Get-rich-quick stories and a plethora of unemployed techies have made the iPhone an appealing target for developers.
Apple's iPhone is responsible for the vast majority of mobile internet browsing, but Google's Android, and Blackberry are beginning to pick up their share of the market.
Mobile web browsing as a percentage of total web browsing is also growing, and currently stands at 0.72%. Sales of smartphones accounted for a quarter of US mobile sales in Q4, while O2 recently announced that it had sold 1m iPhones in the UK, so this trend looks set to continue.
Reading the blogosphere today it would be reasonable to think that Barack Obama has nominated Satan to lead the Federal Trade Commission. His name is actually Jon Leibowitz and all the talk about a "day of reckoning" for the online ad business will not be at the top of his agenda.
Leibowitz is a known anti-piracy advocate (good) and an aggressive proponent of regulating online advertising (maybe not so good). He made a speech on Feb. 12 while he was deeply into his job as one of the FTC commissioners and investigating behavioral targeting. In that speech he used the phrase "day of reckoning" about online ad regulation and although it certainly has a promise of biblical wrath, he will not smite this business.
Can you hear me now? Probably.
Over 60 percent of the world's citizens have a cell phone. That's a lot of gadgets in a whole lot of hands. This very significant increase in penetration is largely due to mobile phone adoption in poor and developing countries. As recently as seven years ago, less than 15 percent of the world's population had cell phones.
We're looking at more than 4X growth in mobile subscriptions since 2002, when there were about one billion mobile subscriptions globally. By the end of last year, there were an estimated 4.1 billion subscriptions.
Worldwide Internet usage more than doubled in the same period. Currently, c. 23 percent of the population goes online, up from only 11 percent in 2002. But the poorer the country, the further that number drops. Only about 5 percent of Africans went online in 2007.
Luxury brands are gasping for air. Automotive doesn't seem to know where its next metaphorical meal is from. And the fabled Year of Mobile has not yet dawned. Yet despite it all, Jaguar and Land Rover have together committed $1.6 million to US mobile advertising.
That's a big, big buy. And it represents only 60 percent of the automakers' total mobile budget.
Mobile ad network AdMob will be running the campaigns, once they stop jumping for joy at company HQ. Earlier this month, the company got a C round cash infusion of $12.5 million.
As an article in Ad Age points out, this level of commitment to the mobile platform borders on the unprecedented. Mobile is still very much in the sandbox of digital spending, accounting for only a small proportion of experimental marketing budgets -- and who's experimenting with money these day?
The report cites TNS Media Intelligence data indicating Land Rover spent $63 million on domestic measured media in the