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Mobile Search Fueling US Growth

Mobile technology bridge, Bango, claims that it can provide a unique insight into mobile web usage – measuring the number of user visits to mobile websites from each country.

Latest statistics show a three-fold increase in usage across the US during the last 12 months. Interestingly Bango have indicated that this is a direct result of users hunting down new content and services using mobile search platforms. By April 2007 over 20% of US mobile users were accessing the web – rapidly catching the UK at 27% and overtaking South Africa and India.

Anil Malhotra, SVP of Marketing at Bango, confirms that flat-rate data charges will also play a major role in the growth of mobile web usage.

iPhone May Present New Mobile Design Challenges

Only 25 days to go til the iPhone is available! I’m excited about the launch of this new Apple product not because I’m an Apple junkie, but rather I truly believe that the iPhone’s design may help increase mobile web usage in the U.S. However, it may also create a slight challenge for web designers — how do you design for this new hardware?

Until now, most of us have been restrained to the micro screens of the Treo and Blackberry when accessing websites via our mobile phones. While some website owners have begun to prepare for the mobile web and have created specially-designed mobile versions of their website, others have not, making many web searches frustrating as users attempt to view an 800×600 website design on a tiny 168×168 pixel screen (approximately). But the iPhone is poised to change all of that.

Where Next for Mobile Music?

By Paul Bennett

According to a study conducted in February 2007 by Arbitron/Telephia nearly 90% of mobile audio listeners think that advertising is “a fair price to pay” for free or subsidized content.

eMarketer has used the ‘Mobile Audio Media Study’ as part of a new report to investigate key questions like the potential size of the mobile music opportunity and the potential wild cards that marketers need to understand.
Senior Analyst, John du Pre Gauntt says,

“… a surprising level of receptivity to ad-supported content make(s) it difficult to declare the precise direction of (the) mobile music market.”

The report entitled ‘Mobile Music: Mixing It Up‘ also discusses mobile music sponsorship and how it could meet the music industry’s overall need for recording revenue alternatives.

Mobile advertising will grow but not without a challenge

By Paul Bennett

Despite a recent warning by mobile phone operators about the difficulty of establishing mobile advertising whilst in the shadow of other successful content services, ranging from music downloads to lottery tickets, world-wide mobile ad spend is still expected to increase nine fold by 2011 – reaching US$19 billion (Source: ABI Research).

Global brand managers tend to agree, recognizing the challenge that mobile advertising represents. Campaigns that go beyond the one-off promotion and make a measurable impact on bottom-lines will undoubtedly lay down the much needed confidence.

Leonardo O’Grady, Integrated Marketing Communications Director, Coca-Cola Pacific, commented:

“For us, it’s becoming less and less about reach, and more and more about clear effectiveness”

Vodafone Just Doesn’t Get it

By Paul Bennett

From 1 June, Vodafone will roll-out new charges to their UK customers for data usage, in an effort to drive more users on to the Mobile Internet.

The pitch is positive:

“Google, eBay, MySpace, YouTube, the BBC – whatever you’re into, and whichever Internet sites you like to use, it’ll all be there in one place, on your phone whenever you need it”

Win For Small Business: Google Calendar Becomes Mobile

Typically I’m the first one to criticize Google about any number of things, but I also love to see new mobile apps. So I was excited to just read in PC World that Google has launched an interface for the Google Calendar for the mobile phone.

I don’t personally use Google Calendar, but I do understand, as a small business owner, how Google Calendar is an incredibly cost-effective way to have team members share calendar info. The alternative, of course, is using the Microsoft Outlook Calendar. To share calendars via Outlook, however, you must use Microsoft Exchange Server. In addition to calendar sharing, Exchange Server provides synching capability to your mobile phone. The downside for most small businesses is that Microsoft Exchange Server can be costly to setup and support.

Mobile Marketing: A How To

Although MarketingSherpa reports that nearly half of consumer marketers (49.2%) are interested in using mobile marketing, and 13.8% plan to use it this year, there’s still a lot of unknowns when it comes to executing a mobile marketing campaign.

MarketingSherpa has the solution: an interview with one of the pioneers of mobile marketing, John Hadl. How long do you have to be in the business to be a pioneer? He’s been doing mobile advertising and branding for Fortune 500s since 2001. (Unfortunately, the article is only free access until tomorrow.)

Hadl gives 10 tactics for mobile marketing, but many of them would be well applied to any campaign. (The tactics here are his, the comments are mine.)