Mobile Ad Mix MediaFlo Puzzle

CTIA officially starts tomorrow, but there were quite a few announcements today.

One of the services that really impressed me was Verizon's new broadcast video service. I had the chance today to use the new video service launched on MediaFlo on a Samsung phone. I tuned into the David Letterman show on TV and on the phone. The commercials didn't seem to match exactly, but there only seemed to be a few second delay in the broadcast. Was a bit weird to have it in stereo.

The picture quality was excellent. The content worked well on the small screen. Channels switched fairly quickly. Impressive technology.

The advertising at one commercial break:

TV: Allergies Phone: House ad for CSI
TV: Blockbuster Phone: Ambien
TV: Ford Phone: Ambien (still)
TV: T-mobile Phone: Michelin
TV: house ad Phone: Royal Caribbean
TV: Local spot for home loans
TV: Pizza hut Phone: Dodge
TV: Mitsubishi Phone: Automatic shower cleaner
TV: Local ad Phone: another CBS Mobile house ad

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One More Reason Wireless Makes Sense

I was trading emails with my friend Timothy in Kenya. He, of course, only emails me now from his Nokia phone. He was telling me that one of the advantages of wireless infrastructure in Kenya is that it can't be destroyed or dismantled for building materials. I wrote this up in this article on RCR Wireless.

I was at my mother's over the weekend enroute to CTIA in Orlando, and I picked up a basket made of wire. There was a note inside proudly stating that it was made of copper telephone wire.

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Next Gen Portable Devices

I moderated a panel Tuesday evening on next generation portable devices. My friend Susie did a great summary of the takeaways. See her blog.

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Mighty Mini Mobile Ad Network

Today Amp'd and Medio announced their partnership to create an ad network on the Amp'd portal in the US. With less than one percent of the number of subscribers that a AT&T/Cingular or Verizon has, one may ask: "What is the big deal?"

It's a big deal because Amp'd subscribers crank through an unreal number of page views each month on their way to consuming $30 in data services each month.

The $$ add up on a per subscriber basis as measured by a relative potential increase in ARPU. And, these subscribers buy stuff - valuable target audience.

Aside from the Amp'd deal, it's another step in the direction of aggregating inventory. To attract real ad dollars, an ad network needs to serve up a lot of inventory and do so cost effectively. Whether Medio sells the inventory itself directly is less relevant - it's important that they roll it up and monetize it the best they can by allowing sophisticated targeting.

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Customer Experience at Forrester’s Marketing Forum

When was the last time a company made you feel happy?

As a Researcher on Forrester’s Customer Experience team (CxP), it’s a question I think of often.  Because while advertisements may make us giggle and great products and brands tickle our hearts, all that effort can be rendered meaningless with a customer experience fumble. 

We’ve asked executives how important they think improving customer experience is: 96% said it was “very important” to “critical.”  But there are indications customer experience is only improving at a laggard pace.  Principal Analyst Moira Dorsey’s recent report, “Best And Worst Of Cross-Channel Design, 2007,” evaluated the experiences at 16 companies.  The result? None of the 16 companies received even a passing grade.

Along with written research, Forrester has developed a set of methodologies for evaluating various levels of the customer experience: Web Site Review, Cross-Channel Review, Brand Review, Kiosk Review, and recently a Blog Review.  These methodologies build on the basis of Forrester’s report “Scenario Design,” which says: “No experience is inherently good or bad, it can only be judged by looking at how well it helps customers achieve their goals.”

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Shortcodes: To Brand or Not to Brand

That is the question.

I posted this blog on Starbucks branding their short code last month.

It hasn't been long, and they are already creating new ways to use their short code. In this promotion, they are allowing customers to sign up for a free reminder to come in for a free cup of coffee via their short code.

It's well done.

It provides value: reminder for a free cup of coffee. They also use both email and their web site to promote the idea.

One of the issues with consumers and opting in to receive promotions is trust. Another is privacy. The question for consumers is ... who can I trust? Large brands such as Coca Cola, Starbucks, BMW, etc. should be able to pull this off. Investing in branding a short code will pay off in the long term as they reuse with different key words.

Generic short codes or ones that belong to a third party providing infrastructure to smaller entities also have their place. For smaller companies or events of short duration or those companies looking to launch a campaign fairly quickly, third parties can be a great avenue to do so.

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Microsoft Makes Mobile Search Move with Tellme

There has been quite a bit "close to source" (news) speculation floating around today about Microsoft purchasing Tellme. This article from the SJ Mercury News even posted a sales price of $800M. With this exact of a number, it sounds like more than speculation.

Without doing the financial analysis, it's hard for me to say if $800M is the correct price - probably hard for anyone to assess given how nascent the voice recognition/text to voice markets are. Aside from the price, Microsoft has purchased a solid technology company with a high quality product. I've used it on Cingular. You can also use the short code TELLM or 83556.

They also have a 1-800 number - 1 800 555 TELL that is an information portal. It's pretty impressive from an engineering standpoint in terms of how they construct sentences from a combination of words and phrases.

The SJ Mercury didn't have a lot more from the "people close to the deal" in terms of what Microsoft has planned. It's not hard to imagine some of the scenarios. Accessibility on computers is becoming increasingly important with an aging population. It brings Tellme into the computer world.

The SJ Mercury also pointed out the mobile search aspects.

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Is "Lost" class teaching students to avoid ads?

WBUR, Boston's NPR news station ran a story this past Tuesday about a new Tufts University class studying the phenomenon of ABC's hit series Lost.  The class -- "The Future is Lost: The TV Series as Cultural Phenomenon" -- is part of Tuft's Experimental College, an undergraduate forum focused on pioneering innovations in education and faculty/student collaboration within the Arts and Sciences (which in addition to the "Lost" class also offers courses like: "Sabermetrics: The Objective Analysis of Baseball," "Ethical Leadership in Business," "Obesity and Children" and "Television in the Age of YouTube,").  The Lost course meets every Tuesday and Thursday evening this semester and is taught by a current Tufts Senior.

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Marketing Forum: Join Us

Winter is still blowing strong here in Boston, which is one reason we're all looking forward to Forrester's Marketing Forum in Miami, April 11-12.  The theme?  Reinventing Marketing for Customer Centricity -- it's been a key part of our research.  Five event tracks focus on 1) Organization and Culture, 2) Tactics and Best Practices, 3) Partners and Technology, 4) Measurement, Metrics, and ROI, and 5) Customer Data and Insight.  Why should you join us?  Your customers' behavior looks different daily and continues to morph; new channels attract your attention; you need help keeping up, changing, and justifying marketing's role in defining a new strategy.  Not to mention we have some fantastic speakers: analysts from our own Marketing research team and other research teams and outside speakers like Lester Wunderman, the "father" of direct marketing, and Eric Kintz, CMO at HP.  As we get closer to the Forum, we'd like to hear from you:  How is your marketing organization starting to become more customer-centric?  And, what would you most like to gain from our Marketing Foru

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Are you a client-side marketer or brand monitoring vendor?

If you're a client-side marketer or brand monitoring vendor, I need your help.  I'm kicking off new research and want to hear from you.

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