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The Latest in Mobile Marketing Efforts

More big brands are working on campaigns targeted to mobile users. Sprite is premiering a mobile social network, called the Sprite Yard. In fact, they launched last week in China, with the US debut planned for June 22.

The mobile social network enables its users to share photos, calendars, messages and discussions with other users. MediaPost mentions another feature:

At the Sprite Yard, users will also have access to “Nuggets” of exclusive downloadable content, from mobisodes (short animated and video content created by Coca-Cola and other media partners) to ringtones. The branding tie-in is designed to drive sales as well as engagement, as content can only be unlocked by using a PIN found under Sprite bottle caps.

Mobile Metering To Follow ?

Nielsen, the king of audience measurement and the company Search Marketers have come to be autonomous with Search Share Rankings, have split their initiative Nielsen Wireless away from its sister service Nielsen Games in an effort to push forward the tracking of mobile phone users beyond media measurement – in particular to investigate the usage of mobile content services.

Mobile Vector, the venture’s first product, will segment existing TV metering by wireless carrier using ‘in the home’ media behaviour. The objective will be to give brands and agencies insights that were previously unavailable. (Full report expected July 2007)

Interesting information is already emerging – including viewing preferences:

  • more than half of primary users of video-enabled mobile phones lived in households with total incomes of $75,000 or above

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”