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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.)

Rumor Mill – Google to Launch UK Mobile Network?

How can you not trust any rumor that starts with: “We’ve heard from a good source…”?

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington is “Mr. Reputation”, when it comes to technology, so you know he’s confident about rumors that Google will enter the UK wireless industry, if he puts them on his blog.

…Google may be preparing to launch its own branded mobile network in the UK in the next few weeks. If our source is accurate, Google will become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) via a deal with UK mobile phone company O2.

We’re hearing that there will be no physical stores for the service, and that signups and customer service will be provided exclusively via a website. A number of Nokia handsets will be offered, all pre-loaded with Google mobile software.

Could GPS Phones Increase the Growth of Mobile Internet Use?

Ask.com’s recent launch of Ask Mobile GPS could be a sign of things to come. While wireless networks and phone manufacturers race to figure out how to get us all to stare at our 2″ screens more often, the golden egg could be something that is already gaining traction – GPS enabled phones.

“One of the more compelling things that we might use every day is the integration of that information into knowing where my friends are,” he told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in Paris this week.

Research suggests that 25% of mobile phones will have GPS by 2010 and this new feature could lead to the growth of mobile social networks – a concept we explored back in March.

Yahoo Maps Adds 34 European Countries

Reading Reuters coverage of Yahoo Map’s addition of 34 new European countries, you’d think that Americans couldn’t drive in Europe without bumping into a cow or driving off a pier.

Besides guiding U.S. motorists around Europe for the first time, Yahoo said it also will feature more landmarks and other visual cues to help people find their way around neighborhoods.

How dare they, I know exactly how to drive around Europe.

  1. Get in car.
  2. Point car west.
  3. Keep driving until you find German beer.
  4. Stop.

If you need something more complex, then check out the new Yahoo Maps.