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Google Wallet Formally Announced Along With Offers

Despite yesterday’s premature announce-ilation by Vivotech, Google announced formally the introduction of their new Google Wallet.

The long and short of it is that Google is looking to own the mobile purchase cycle from search to purchase. That’s a pretty powerful model to say the least and they are out of the gate running.

The Business Insider reports

Google just announced its mobile payments system Google Wallet, which will also be bundled with its Groupon-killer Google Offers.

Google wants to put tickets, credit cards, receipts, coupons, and even your driver’s license in your Google Wallet.

A trial begins this summer in New York, Portland, and San Francisco this summer, with other cities to follow.

Google Maps Continues to Grow, Adds More Android Features

Yesterday Google’s Marissa Mayer said at TechCrunch Disrupt that Google anticipates that Google Maps use in the mobile environment will surpass the usage on the desktop by June. This is a significant milestone as the search giant continues to make its play into the location based / social / ‘whatever it is they want’ space.

Mayer called Google a ‘twitchy’ place to work which is an interesting descriptor because their efforts for social thus far seem to reflect that notion of an almost spastic approach to putting together a ‘product’. They are like a kid trying to put together something with Lego’s by using various pieces of several kits rather than having one set with all the parts designed to work together. Nevertheless, people are using Google Maps which is the cornerstone of whatever direction they finally end up going in. TechCrunch reported

It’s the One Media Device That Really Doesn’t Matter to Marketers

You would think that any report showing a rise in a media device would be of interest to marketers, but it’s not so when you’re talking eReaders. Why? Because eReaders are only just now starting to take on advertising and it’s a case of coming way too late to the party.

eMarketer has a new chart that shows eReader usage is on the rise. There’s no doubt this is true. With Amazon’s Kindle leading the way and the glut of Nooks that turned up under the tree this past Christmas, more people than ever are experiencing the joy of virtual paper. As it goes, the rise in eReader devices has led to a rise in the number of ebooks being published, so the logic is that this trend will continue.

Future’s Digital Profit Nearly Tops Print Decline

It’s coming faster than we expected, that moment where digital magazine sales top those of their print counterpart. Future Publishing showed off their wares this week at PaidContent.org and it’s looking good. “£1.1 ($1.78) million in digital profit, nearly making up for a £1.2 ($1.94) million print decline.” When you think about the fact that tablets are only just beginning to hit the market, the future for Future, and everyone else, looks pretty amazing.

Future Publishing does have a leg-up since their reader base is already tech savvy. They’re the publishers of Mac Life, Xbox Magazine, T3, TechRadar and other music, movie and tech magazines. However, it’s Guitar World’s “Lick of the Day” app that is making a big splash for Future. This is a simple, but useful app that is the perfect add on for the magazine’s print subscribers. By driving them to their smartphones, Future is giving their audience a taste of the digital life and from there it’s an easy hop to the tablet and paying for a digital magazine subscription.

Mobile Insights from Google

It looks like Google really is turning into a marketing company after all. Now they have entered the ‘research as PR’ phase in the process of getting the word out about local and mobile.

Of course, they are just doing what everyone else does and doing it quite well in a study they released last month regarding mobile. The study was brought to my attention from Chief Marketer. Here are a few of the more interesting charts and bits of information.

The first is about activities that mobile users are involved in when using a smartphone.

Of course urgency wins the day with mobile users as well with most of them needing something pretty much right away.

Groupon Now Gives Chicagoans Dinner for a Dollar

In order to promote their new Groupon Now service, Groupon is offering a number of dollar deals for folks in the Chicago area. $1 for $10 meal at Manny’s Coffee Shop and Deli, $1 for $18 at Baba Pizza and Pasta, or perhaps you’d like to pay $1 for beers at Grace Street Tap.

The promotion is running today only, but if it’s successful, it’s likely Groupon will repeat it when they open Now in other cities. It’s also assumed that Groupon is picking up the tab for the discount, but that’s not for sure.

Groupon Now is a variation on the daily deal site that preys on hungry, bored people who don’t want to plan ahead. It’s heavily mobile-dependent, using your current location to offer you deals in your area.

SMB’s Know Mobile but Don’t Use Mobile

How important is mobile to your small business? Network Solutions did a survey and found that while most SMB’s are aware of the possibilities, few of them are actually using mobile for marketing.

The first line item is a tricky one. Text messaging can be seen as an invasion of privacy for some mobile users, so this probably isn’t the best place to start.

Listing your company with a location-based website, however, is a quick way to get a mobile boost. Shoot some clear photos of your business, then spend a few hours setting up profiles with Foursquare, Google Places and Facebook Places to start. This is an easy one and should be way higher than 19%.