Today, we discussed the challenges of BYOD expense management policies. In the video, Philippe also shares a prediction on how corporate BYOD policies will change in the near future. For more information, download the Enterprise Mobility Forum’s free mobility policy guidebook.
In our ongoing series on mobile and wireless trends, we spoke with the Managing Director of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation, Philippe Winthrop. Philippe shared his thoughts on the widespread adoption of mobile across businesses and enterprise IT management. He also discussed the future of corporate teleworking policies.
Bob Brown, executive news editor of Network World, a coveted trade publication for technology companies, visited Schwartz MSL Boston offices recently. Bob works with Network World reporters to shape the weekly news coverage. With CTIA fast approaching, we sat down with him to learn about the key mobile and wireless trends that are going to make the headlines at the show this year. Bob also shared some useful tips on what kind of news the reporters are interested in covering and how companies can get featured in the publication.
In our continuing series of interviews with mobile influencers leading up to CTIA and Interop, Rob Skinner sat down with Craig Mathias, one of the most respected voices in wireless and enterprise mobile strategy. In a wide-ranging conversation, Craig discussed the hot-button issues in mobile, from carrier strategies around consumer data consumption to the landscape for mobile unified communications in the enterprise. We hope you enjoy his insights.
In our ongoing series on mobile and wireless trends, we spoke with the Managing Director of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation (EMF), Philippe Winthrop. The EMF is an independent think tank providing thought leadership through the Enterprise Mobility Forum, the largest social network exclusively dedicated to enterprise mobility.
Philippe joined us at our studio to share his predictions on the future of the iPad, iPhone, Amazon Kindle Fire and other consumer devices in the enterprise.
With wireless and mobile trends likely to dominate the discussions at CTIA 2012, the show promises to be a great venue for organizations to network and learn more about this critical market. Vendors have many wonderful opportunities at the show to meet with influential journalists, analysts and other industry experts as the show ‘unofficially’ kicks off a busy year in marketing, sales and public relations for many companies. Being practical and creative is the best way to make an impact at the show.
To learn more about opportunities at CTIA 2012, Schwartz MSL has created a Road to CTIA 2012 Planning Guide to help you navigate the PR and marketing opportunities at the show, and give you useful advice on strategy, as well as a timeline to help you plan ahead and even some tips on other fun things to do in New Orleans.
For further advice or information on how Schwartz MSL can partner with you, download Road to CTIA 2012 Planning Guide.
Today was my last full day at SxSW and it was once again filled with great discussions. For once I decided to forgo payments panels, and spent more of my time in panels that discussed B2B social media as well as a panel on brand journalism, and yes, one on the future of money.
The brand journalism panel and B2B panels were filled with a lot of insight and tips that will be of interest to our B2B clients and to B2B communications professionals.
First, it is clear that B2B companies are embracing content marketing. According to a survey from Marketing Profs, 49% of companies plan to increase their content marketing spending in the next 12 months. The two biggest content challenges these companies face are: 41% their content is not engaging enough and 20% have trouble producing enough content. As trusted advisors, communications professionals need to find ways to help our clients overcome both of these challenges.
This brand journalism panel, and a solo presentation from Tim Washer, Cisco’s Senior Manager of Social Media, hit on a key issue: B2B companies need to remember to talk to people in a human way.
B2B purchasing decisions are made both on facts and emotions. If you sell on just speeds and feeds in a competitive market, you are at a competitive disadvantage. Communicators need to keep this in mind and call out the human elements inherent in any story.
Following are four other key insights it took from the panels today:
Gamification is everywhere and is starting to be used to drive B2B engagement. When people hear about gamification they tend to think of consumer brands, Foursquare badges or Scvngr. But Cisco has added badges to at least some of its blogs. Now visitors can receive badges for visiting the blogs, leaving their first comment, leaving 10 comments, Tweeting the blog post, etc. This is a great step. It is an easy and focused incentive to drive the business outcomes a company desires (engagement and awareness). IBM and Xerox also spoke about how they are using gamification, with IBM using it internally to drive activity and identify those most passionate about social media.
Re-examine how you gather registration information. Cisco and other B2B companies are using Facebook and OpenID to enable social login. Why does this matter? Since Cisco implemented it, they have seen a 40 percent reduction in cost and 20 percent increase in registration.
B2B Needs to embrace video – If your B2B company is not yet using video as part of its communications strategy you are missing great opportunities. Here is a great video from Cisco about how it is helping in Africa. It does a great job humanizing the story and moving it beyond the basics.
Look at humor. This one is near and dear to my heart as I do standup comedy in my spare time, and understand the power of humor in business. Humor in B2B can engage your prospects and customers. It is a positive emotion, humanizes the brand, builds goodwill and cuts through the noise. If you don’t have the budget, go to a film school and ask the professor for his best seniors. Offer them an internship and $1000 if you end up using their final product. One example of humor in action comes from this Cisco Valentine’s video. It has almost 200,000 views and drove coverage in the New York Times, Network World, Light Reading and other outlets. See it here.
If B2B communicators start doing just one of these things that they may not be doing today, they will help their brand prosper and their communications programs deliver greater ROI.
The five most quotable observations from Monday at SxSW:
Content is the new black
Your B2B story may not be good enough for TV, but it is good enough for YouTube, your clients and prospects
Information without analysis in the information age is as valuable as stone in the stone age
We make things complex because frequently we are too insecure to be simple. But look at Apple. Simplicity sells.
Question conventional wisdom. For Trulia, blogs about sports figures drove 3x the traffic as those about celebrities
In a guest post last week, Kitty Weldon, principal analyst for Enterprise Mobility Services at Current Analysis, offered her predictions on the iPad and BYOD. In the second part of our series, Kitty now shares her insight on mobile apps and telecom expense management.
While smartphones and tablets are becoming “must haves” for all mobile workers, how will enterprises keep telecom expenses in check as remote workers rack up increasing data and voice bills?
Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solutions have been available from platform vendors and their service provider partners for a long time to help optimize voice and data plans and show usage patterns. There were indications in 2011 that WiFi and “FMC” solutions, which can route mobile calls over wireline networks or WLANs, are finally gaining traction. Companies such as iPass and initiatives such as HotSpot 2.0 are making the WiFi experience more consistent and readily available, so that roaming employees can save money (on both voice and data) without the hassle of finding and paying separately for access to public WiFi hotspots.
AT&T just announced that there were a billion connections over its US and global hotspots in 2011, with a 350% increase in connections from the previous year. Even though the EU is mandating caps for voice and data roaming charges, there is more work to be done in 2012 (including the continuation of global partnerships such as the Freemove Alliance) to ensure that international travel does not negatively affect mobile budgets.
Mobile apps are all the rage for consumers, and often of great value to businesspeople as well. We asked Kitty for her thoughts on HTML5 Web apps, vs. native apps vs. hybrid apps; enterprise-developed apps vs. outsourced development vs. mobile application platforms/MEAPs.
When you compare approaches to app development, the lower development costs, larger target market and easier accessibility of HTML5 web apps are often contrasted to the potential for deeper integration with native enablers and other applications on a particular device platform. This debate will only get hotter in 2012, as mobile apps for the business sector become a focus of hungry developers looking for the next “new” market and hungry service providers looking to further monetize mobility services.
Once apps are developed using these approaches, they still have to be delivered and managed on an ongoing basis. Now that everything can be delivered from the cloud, there are choices to be made between enterprise server-based and hosted mobile application services that may leverage Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAPs).
The rise of the enterprise app store was also a big theme in 2011. A number of MDM providers are making basic app store enablement part of their platforms, but service providers are also developing (or accruing through partnerships) sets of horizontal and vertical applications (generally offered as a service) that may only require slight customization. This enterprise app store evolution will continue in a big way in 2012.
Read more about Kitty’s outlook for apps and TEM in her report, “Enterprise Mobility Services: Top Ten Trends for 2012,” available from Current Analysis. Next in part three: Kitty shares her predictions on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications.
Today was a great day at SxSW. I had the pleasure of attending three different sessions on payments and mobile wallets, one on the future of retail and a most inspiring session that looked at updating classic iconic ads for today’s technology.
I was prepared to write a very payments-focused post. But as I was thinking about today, I realize the key lessons for PR and business professionals transcend the payments market. Every presenter today, in their own way, was talking about convergence.
What do I mean?
Too often communications, marketing and business professionals think about communications and sales channels. Despite our best efforts we silo our thoughts. What does mobile allow us to do for payments, what business use can we get from mobile devices, what is the future of digital video?
While that thinking is important, it can also be limiting. It was expressed in different ways on the different panels, but it came down to a few observations.
Mobile payments isn’t about payments. If all you think about is taking a contactless card and putting it on a smartphone, you are missing the bigger opportunity and the market won’t grow. Isis is taking it a step further and realizing that for mobile to succeed it needs to be better, faster and cheaper. As I discussed yesterday, they are betting on loyalty, security and a better shopping experience to be the growth drivers.
But the discussion at the FutureShop panel made me realize there is more to it than what even Isis is saying. We need convergence and to see how all the channels can work best together. The retailers on this panel were nowhere near as optimistic about NFC as the payments players in other sessions. But they saw an even bigger picture. Convenience and loyalty offers are great. But that is just looking at one side of the opportunity. When retailers configure their stores to take advantage of mobile technology, it will prosper. The speakers gave examples of one company that had a scavenger hunt like game that lead people through the store to daily specials. These retailers see the iPhone turning into the helpful sales clerk of years gone by.
Seth Priebatsch of Scvngr challenged the status quo, but he added another piece to the puzzle. With loyalty blending with analytics businesses and communicators can adjust consumer shopping habits using game theory. In Philadelphia they ran a 45-day test that showed rainy days correlated to significantly less restaurant revenue. So they designed dynamic deals to encourage people to visit a restaurant on rainy days and saw a significant business lift.
It is only by putting the wallet vision of ISIS together with the bricks and mortar innovations of Future Shop and some of Scvngr’s futuristic ideas that we truly can see the shape of the future of mobile payments come together. Without all three perspectives, without the gestalt of the different perspectives the success will not be complete.
This transcends payments. This is a lesson that communications professionals should take to heart. We need to make sure we are not narrowing our vision to influencer channels, social media strategy or analyst relations. Sure those can drive results. But we need to look not just at how they work together and challenge ourselves to find at new ways in which they can work together.
Google and Coke did just that with projectrebrief.com (along with other brands). The project updated four iconic ads for today’s mediums.
The premise was powerful, yet simple. We don’t want to do social media campaign. We want to do a campaign that is social. What Coke did is amazing. They made it possible for someone to actually send the world a Coke. Consumers could record a video on the site, and send a free Coke to a number of machines around the world. Someone would receive your message in less than 90 seconds (after it was reviewed for content) and could then thank you. You would receive that video a minute later.
It is powerful. It is social and it harnesses physical, digital and social channels to create a result much greater than the sum of the individual parts. More communicators need to think like that. If we do so, our programs will be much more compelling, we will gain better understanding of consumers and drive greater business results.
So join me in always looking for ways to advance convergence. We won’t regret it.
It was so popular yesterday, I decided to end with it again today. The five most quotable observations from Sunday at SxSW:
Pharma is not bad. Pharma is probably going to save your life
Security is not a selling point for consumers. Criminals will find ways, and consumers think the phone is less secure even if it is more secure.
We are on the precipice of shopper 3.0 – The combination of Wed, brick & mortar, and mobile.
Tools today are an extension of our mental, not physical self. The shape of technology tools has changed dramatically over time, this is not the case with many physical tools.
If you want to drive consumer engagement, get people to look forward, not back.
If you have any questions in this post, leave a comment or tweet me at @mcclennan to meet up at SxSWi.
Saturday at SxSW was much more interesting than Friday. I had the pleasure of attending a very wide range of panels. The topics included strategic communications, Dad bloggers, enterprise social media, the future of mobile wallets, a comedian/activist keynote, and a look inside Joss Whedon’s head. The panels were a mix of both aspirational visions and cautionary tales.
The sessions were all great learning experiences, but they present something of a challenge. How do you blend parenting lessons from Leviticus with social analytics and loyalty programs? While many of these sessions merit their own posts (and will likely get them in the future), I wanted to focus on overarching themes that I noticed.
I would say there were two key takeaways from these sessions.
Destroy the labels
Know who you are
From the Mmbile wallet to NFC Chips to Dad bloggers, people and companies are too often failing to reach their full potential because they are succumbing to easy labelization. Don’t get me wrong, there is immense power in the study of groups and flocking, but if you too quickly group someone, you may come to the wrong conclusion or miss opportunities. I saw that time and time again today.
This is particularly insidious when it comes to Mom bloggers. Mom bloggers are too often defined by who they are rather than who they write about. Very few “Dad” and “Mom” bloggers blog about parenting. They are parents who blog. A mom blogger who writes about beer or food, should not be lumped in the same category as one who writes about technology or parenting. I personally have seen too many companies make this mistake. The lists created by influencer tools may serve as a good start, but influencers are not Oreos. Each is unique and needs to be understood and communicated with in context.
The same lesson applies to the mobile wallet. First of all, there is a blurring between mobile wallet and P2P payments and this line needs to be clearly understood. It also applies to enterprise social media when “employees” are lumped together as one audience as companies roll out solutions. Some of the best advice from IBM today was to understand what your corporate culture is like and what tools employees use to work and to communicate, and enhance those existing tools rather than make everyone conform to new tools. If you try to force people to do something they do not want to do, you will end up with an empty wiki, upset employees and wasted budget.
The second point is to know who you are. If you have a niche, carve it out. Just don’t let others put you in that niche.
Isis in the digital wallet space seems to clearly know this. They understand that in order to convince people to move away from contactless cards and Mag Stripe they need to offer more to retailers and merchants. They are betting their success on the premise that bringing loyalty cards and coupons into an integrated whole to provide consumers savings and convenience; and providing retailers a chance to impact consumer purchasing behavior before a transaction will push them over the edge. (That and retailers being penalized by the issuers if they do not adopt NFC by 2015).
I am not sure I agree with them completely, and I know not everyone in the audience did. Consumers have shown amazing willingness to stay with what works. As one panelist pointed out, 10 years ago the cover of Card Transactions was “Mobile Commerce is Ready for Takeoff” and we are still discussing its pending rise today. Additionally, consumers have shown a willingness to have multiple loyalty cards and apps, and there are other alternatives to impact pre-shopping behavior today (such as eGiftcards – technology from a client of mine - and location based deals).
The audience definitely did not all agree about the easy path of NFC. My most popular tweet of the day was “NFC being positioned as the Borg. Do not resist. You will be assimilated.”
Knowing who you are also helped many companies in the first panel I attended of the day. The reaction to Zappos’ data breach was much less negative than most breaches of its type. That was because Zappos quickly communicated in a way that was appropriate for its customers.
This post is getting long, so I want to wrap it up with the five most quotable observations of the day:
Before you make a critical business decision, ask yourself – what would John Stewart say about it?
Great ideas are not always great and not always well received.
Bloggers have more influence over purchasing decisions than traditional celebrity endorsers do
48% of B2B CEOs say social media helped generate qualified leads
Voice of customer research is not for validation, it is for discovery
If today’s registration line is any indication, SxSW Interactive is going to be more popular than ever. Despite coming at an off time, registration still took more than 90 minutes – more than I ever had to wait at CES or COMDEX in its prime.
True to SxSWi though, the time was not wasted. While in line, I had great conversations about the future of interactive marketing, the rise of mobile payments, better uses of technology to aid elections and those suffering in Africa, and the five major design flaws found in most socks today (who knew?).
Based on my (admittedly small) sampling from the first day of the show two of the most prominent themes already at the conference are:
1) The transformative rise of mobile payments 2) The evolution of content
Financial services technology has always had a strong, but limited presence at the show in previous years. But between Isis’ prominent sponsorship to the 13 scheduled sessions looking at mobile wallets or mobile payments, financial technology discussions are becoming much more mainstream. It’s interesting to look at the dichotomy of the sessions’ focus. They range from “The Payment Revolution is Coming” to “How the wallet was won.” There is a very divergent set of perspectives on this topic. Personally, I disagree with both. The payments revolution has been underway for some time and the wallet is most assuredly not won. Expect me to blog more about it in the coming days.
Theme two: Content. This goes beyond Content is King. People are discussing new ways of using content to engage. I had a great 60 minute conversation with a USA Today executive about their new iPad app and new ways they are looking to leverage and use content. There were a few interesting debates on the form of content (video was the most discussed, followed by a debate on how not to lose the richness of language and its ability to subtly shift perceptions as we move to microbite creation and consumption).
All in all, a good first day at the show.
Like anyone, I realize my impressions at SxSW are shaped by the relatively small number of people I had the pleasure of speaking with. I thought it might make sense to take a step back and look at what the overall conversation trends were today:
Over the past day there were more than 140,000 tweets and blog posts about SxSW (98% were tweets). To put this in perspective, the social media volume around SxSW far exceeds that of the recent Mobile World Congress or RSA:
The discussion is relatively fragmented. The only tech brand to break into the top discussion word cloud is Nokia, thanks to its foursquare badge. Most of the discussion is what you would expect, with people surprisingly upbeat despite the rain.
What new technologies and philosophies will dominate mobile-minded IT leaders this year and at the upcoming CTIA show? We asked Kitty Weldon, principal analyst for Enterprise Mobility Services at Current Analysis, to share her insight. In a three-part series, Kitty will forecast what we can expect to see in topics ranging from mobile apps to M2M.
In this post, Kitty discusses the rapid adoption of tablets in the enterprise. 2011 is often referred to as “the year of the tablet.” In Kitty’s report, “Enterprise Mobility Services: Top Ten Trends for 2012,” she notes that it was perhaps more accurately the year of the iPad. In fact, her #1 prediction for 2012 is the further expansion of tablets into the enterprise. We asked, “How will tablets play a bigger role in business, and which devices are likely to challenge the iPad’s dominance?”
While the iPad 2 became a popular business accessory (with a number of notable duds among Apple competitors), tablets have been driving mobile business applications, especially in retail and health care verticals. While smartphone applications are also improving, the bigger screen makes a tablet a better computing device, empowering sales and marketing efforts and allowing a much more effective display of all kinds of information, including charts, medical images, and product demos. Tablets are now being used in some cases as laptop replacements. There are also specialized MDM and security software and services offered by software vendors and mobile operators to protect enterprises from threats and data loss.
Another big market for tablets is education. Apple just introduced iBooks textbooks, which can be kept up-to-date automatically and offer interactive elements and unique navigation and study aids. 2012 may be the make-or-break year for Android tablets to finally emerge as desirable platforms, and for Microsoft/Nokia to meaningfully re-enter the mobile device fray with Windows 8 tablets (and Windows Phone smartphones). Right now, the tablets that are selling well are tied to broader ecosystems of content (iTunes and Amazon) or tablet-specific apps (Apple’s App Store).
Ultrabooks have also emerged as a major new category. They’re designed for mobility, while providing a full size keyboard and a reasonably powerful processor. The success of the Amazon Kindle Fire in the consumer market may also bring it into the business market as BYOD continues as a trend.
BYOD has become one of the hottest terms in IT. However, your research shows that not all enterprises have yet endorsed the practice. Will MDM platforms, dual-persona solutions and employee demand turn the tide for these enterprises?
Current Analysis research on BYOD usage was mixed (not every company is endorsing it; in fact, companies are simultaneously buying more tablets and smartphones for many employees). Service providers and MDM platform vendors focused strongly on “solving” the BYOD “problem” in 2011, with solutions ranging from secure containers, to rules and role-based device management offered as a service, to trials of dual-persona solutions to separate business and personal identities.
2012 will see the maturation of some of these promising solutions and their integration with existing MDM services from service providers. What makes dual persona solutions unique is that they focus as much on empowering the employee with the freedom to use his/her device the way they want, as on the company’s perspective of locking down sensitive data stores from unwarranted reach.
BYOD concerns also spawned an awakening about the importance of mobile security in 2011. While security software vendors are clearly excited about this, wireless operators and IT service providers are also planning a big role in 2012 by rolling out network-based solutions that can provide a range of functionality, including authentication, identity management, AV/firewall/anti-spam, loss and theft protection, VPNs, and on-device encryption. 2012 will see the maturation of some of these promising solutions and their integration with existing MDM services from service providers.
Next in part two of the series: Kitty shares her predictions on telecom expense management and mobile apps.
This May, the wireless industry will gather for one of its biggest events, CTIA Wireless. In addition to the trade show packed with vendor booths, the event will offer a variety of educational sessions. This presents an excellent opportunity for executives at forward-thinking wireless and mobile companies to position themselves as thought leaders at one of the industry’s most significant events. CTIA is currently accepting proposals for potential panelists and presenters at the event. This is an excellent way to build a reputation as a leader in wireless. Here are some of the tips we offer to our clients seeking speaking positions.
• Develop your proposal around a hot topic. The mobile industry is innovating quickly in a number of areas, from mobile payments to mobile device management, machine-to-machine communications and dozens of other areas that impact both consumers and businesses. These sweeping trends are catching the attention of CTIA attendees – your buyers. The speaking organizers at CTIA have assembled an agenda that helps explain emerging trends to attendees. In your proposal, focus on the emerging and broad trends where you can offer expertise.
• Struggling to find a topic that’s best for you? Engage in discussion with analysts in your market space and ask them what they’re hearing from the industry. Your investors can also be useful in providing a bird’s-eye view. Also comb through magazines and blogs for the hot topics that are most relevant to the industry.
• Develop relationships with decision-makers at CTIA. On a daily basis, CTIA staff and executives communicate with the industry’s leaders. Meet with influential leaders at CTIA team to share your opinions about industry trends from the front lines. You may then find yourself invited to speak on a panel.
• Propose a full panel, not an individual speaker. Executives from the leading companies in the mobile industry are chosen as keynote speakers and panelists. However, if you’re with a smaller company, you’ll need to get strategic. Think of the relationships you’ve built and leverage them. Is there a well-regarded analyst that shares your views? Do you have a customer that can provide real-world insight into your topic? How about a key partner from a highly visible wireless organization? Assemble a panel with all of these experts and offer an irresistible proposal to CTIA.
• If you are invited to speak at CTIA, pull out all the stops to make sure you ace the assignment. The CTIA staff closely monitor the success of individual speakers and panels. If your session attendees rate you highly, you have a greater chance of being invited back.
Make sure to get your speaking submission in by the deadline of January 15th. The competition for speaking opportunities is high, but the time spent in crafting a successful abstract is well worth the effort.
Need guidance in preparing a speaking submission? For further insight contact Schwartz MSL Boston at (781) 684-0770. The agency’s wireless practice represents some of the leading companies in mobile, and we can help you, too.
With the Mobile World Congress call for papers closing on Thursday, it is now time to turn your attention to the Global Mobile Awards which are now open for entry. The annual awards, now in its 17th year, will be presented at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday 28th February 2012.
Global Mobile Awards for 2012 will be presented in the following categories:
Apps of the Year
Best Mobile Handsets and Devices
Mobile Marketing and Advertising
Social and Economic Development
Best Mobile Services
Outstanding Achievement Awards
A full list of awards categories can be found here.
This year, 18 new awards have been introduced for a total of 32 awards across the eight categories. Other noteable changes to this years’ awards include:
'Apps of the Year’: the GSMA has consolidated the awards in the ‘Apps of the Year’ category. In that category, the GSMA has introduced three new awards, two of which will be based on statistical evidence of global downloads and usage, and one, the ‘Most Innovative Mobile App’ award, which is open for entry to all. This category will also include a ‘Judges’ Choice - Best Overall Mobile App’ award which will be determined by an independent panel of experts.
‘Best Mobile Handsets and Devices’: the 2012 awards will expand this category with specific awards for ‘Best Smartphone’, ‘Best Feature Phone’ and a new ‘Best Mobile Tablet’ award. In addition, a panel of judges will search for and select the best and most promising ‘Best New Mobile Handset, Device or Tablet’ on show at the Mobile World Congress 2012 event.
'Mobile Innovation’: focused on the convergence of mobile in the vertical sectors such as health, transport, automotive and utilities and education, this category will now also include specific awards aimed at expansion in mobile publishing and mobile money services.
Additional notable developments are included within the ‘Mobile Marketing and Advertising’ category to elevate and recognise innovation and creativity within this rapidly emerging sector.
New categories have also been introduced within the ‘Best Technology’ and ‘Social and Economic Development’ categories, with additions such as ‘Best Use of Mobile in Emergency or Humanitarian Situations’ and the ‘mWomen - Best Product or Service for Women in Emerging Markets’.
The Global Mobile Awards 2012 can be entered online and nominations close on Wednesday 30th November 2011.
For more advice on making the most of PR and marketing opportunities at Mobile World Congress 2012, download our free ebook, Blueprint for Barcelona.
This year’s conference programme will focus on topics that demonstrate the power of mobile in the 21st century and what this power can enable. Competition for a spot on the agenda is fierce, with more than 2000 submissions expected this year. The GSMA's research team will review nominations with a critical eye, asking: "mobile is re-defining how we connect with people, places and information. How are you contributing to this transformation?"
The research team has identified 22 areas on which they'll focus for the 2012 Congress but also welcomes submitting companies to suggest their own topics for inclusion. The full list and descriptions of key themes can be found here.
For more advice about public relations and marketing at Mobile World Congress, download our free ebook, the Blueprint for Barcelona.
The Call for Papers for the 2012 Mobile World Congress opened on 29th of June and thousands of companies are now vying for spots on this coveted schedule. This year, the GSMA’s research team has introduced a new step in the selection process called Research Open Days.
Research Open Days are an opportunity for companies to meet with the GSMA at the London headquarters and present a topic for consideration. The goal is to provide the research team with a deeper understanding of submitting companies and to level the playing field for smaller players.
We’re told that there are a few slots remaining in the Research Open Days schedule but that requests are coming in daily and the calendar is filling up quickly. If you’re hoping to secure a spot, don’t delay!
The remaining dates for the Research Open Days are as follows:
18 July 2011 26 July 2011 01 August 2011 03 August 2011 10 August 2011 15 August 2011
For a more complete guide to all of the PR and marketing opportunities available before and during Mobile World Congress, download our free ebook Blueprint for Barcelona.
The Call for Papers opens today for GSMA Mobile World Congress 2012 and ends at 23:59 GMT on 25 August 2011. The theme for the upcoming MWC is Redefining Mobile. This theme reflects a shift in the industry - mobile is no longer limited to communications, it is a force transforming our world in an unprecedented way.
Building on this theme, the conference programme will include topics that demonstrate the diversity of mobile. This year, MWC will feature four full days of conference programming with track sessions added throughout the week. Areas of focus for this year's programme include:
Advanced Services for Developing Markets
Operating Systems and Alternative Development Platforms
Beginning with a shortlist of more than 150 topics, the GSMA will narrow the focus down to 20 - 30 key topics after the Call for Papers, with all members of the wireless value chain invited to contribute in-depth insight and the latest examples of best practice from around the world. The team looks for topics that are thought-provoking and offer a fresh take or a forward-looking message.
While it can often feel as though network operators and handset manufacturers dominate the keynote schedule, smaller players who can offer presentations on innovative technologies or disruptive business models, backed by customer references and case studies, can often secure a speakership on this prestigious conference agenda.
To level the playing field, the GSMA is introducing a new step in the application process this year called Research Open Days. These meetings, which take place throughout the summer, provide companies with an opportunity to meet the GSMA’s research team and present a topic for consideration.
For a more complete guide to all of the PR and marketing opportunities available before and during Mobile World Congress, download our free ebook Blueprint for Barcelona.
Schwartz Clients Use Mobile PR to Get Word Out at CTIA
Schwartz clients made waves at the International CTIA Wireless 2011 conference on both the speakers' podium and with award-winning offerings–a testament to the impact of mobile and technology public relations at the show. While we can all but guarantee that AT&T and T-Mobile had very successful PR activities around the event, this post focuses on five Schwartz clients.
KORE Telematics, MicroStrategy, Fiberlink and WellDoc all used PR to help drive success at the show. Each demonstrated that an effective PR strategy goes beyond issuing press releases. Technology PR is all about creative storytelling via social and professional media to power marketing programs during conferences and beyond them, across industries and geographies.
The following is a quick summary of how PR helped lead to a successful CTIA Wireless 2011 for these Schwartz clients.
• When KORE Telematics first began working with Schwartz five years ago, the machine-to-machine (M2M) communications market that it helped pioneer was only known in a few wireless industry circles. Now, the major wireless carriers discuss M2M on a regular basis. At CTIA Wireless 2011, Schwartz arranged nearly 20 media and analyst meetings for KORE, including the Wall Street Journal and Gartner. At the show, KORE announced the industry’s first global M2M network and its president spoke on two panels—Smart Energy and the Connected Car. In addition, KORE won the M2M category of MobileTrax’s 2011 Mobility Awards.
• Recently MicroStrategy announced a new telecom industry application—The Telecommunications Channel App, which helps telecommunications companies improve customer retention and allows users to analyze and compare the success of multiple customer revenue channels and touchpoints (e.g., web, in-store, call centers) from an iPhone or iPad.
• For the first time at the International CTIA Wireless conference, a Schwartz client was selected as a finalist for the prestigious CTIA Emerging Technology Awards. WellDoc®, a clinically proven mHealth solutions company, was awarded second place in the “Mobile Applications: Health, Wellness & Fitness” category. For the past five years, the CTIA E-Tech Awards have promoted some of the most innovative wireless products and services in the areas of consumer, enterprise and network technology.
Shweta Agarwal and Joe Palladino of Schwartz contributed to this post.
Well it has been a week since the end of SxSW Interactive 2011. By this time, most of the attendees have recovered from the five days of non-stop seminars, parties, meet-ups and informal hallway networking. What did it all mean?
There are a few key takeaways from Schwartz’s discussions at SxSW that I thought would make sense to share with our readers.
Group Communications Overload – The “hot” market is definitely group messaging and communications. Between Foursquare, Gowalla, Scvngr, Whrrl, Hurricane Party, and others, there are more networks than ever before. To be honest, I see significant hurdles for most of these apps. The benefits of the new services are at most incremental over Foursquare and Gowalla, and do not give a reason to move. Hurricane Party impressed with its focus on parties, and is something I will check out at other industry events. But beyond that nice, I did not see market disruptors. We are seeing dot revs, not new products. The true innovators will need to be even more creative to stick out from the group communications babble.
Microblogging back channels are thriving – Every panelist faced competition – the Twitterstream. Between 20-40 people (including me) were using HootSuite or another tool to comment on what was being said, ask questions and be snarky. Those panelists that integrated the Twitterstream into their presentations had much more dynamic sessions. A few panelists even had other folks at their company monitoring the stream and providing real time feedback and commentary so they could focus on the talk, but also capitalize on the back channel discussion.
Uniform Optimism – Aside from the ubiquitous “SxSW isn’t what it used to be,” the people I spoke with at SxSW were uniformly optimistic. It didn’t matter if they were engineers, C-level, PR pros or venture capitalists. The attendees are all preparing for a coming innovation explosion. Most see it around mobile and connectivity, and I find it hard to disagree. This is no just limited to B2C, but B2B financial services markets are seeing the mobile possibilities.
This is just the beginning – Underlying the optimism was another undercurrent. Priebatsch from Scvngr talked about a coming layer (the game layer) that will go on top of the current social layer. I do not agree with all of his ideas, but it does show that there is still significant innovation to come. We are just at the infancy of the group communications. With the explosion of smartphones and apps, more sophisticated data modeling and group communications, what we see today will likely bear little resemblance to what we see in five years. And here at Schwartz we find that to be extremely invigorating.
Today begins the much anticipated International CTIA Wireless 2011 show in Orlando, Florida. The buzz of exhibitors and keynote speakers is high, as the show brings together wireless and converged communications, wireless broadband and mobile web.
One hot topic that is undoubtedly keeping the adrenaline pumping is the prestigious CTIA Emerging Technology Awards. For the past five years, the CTIA E-Tech Awards have celebrated and promoted some of the most innovative wireless products and services in the areas of consumer, enterprise and network technology.
For the first time, a Schwartz’s client, WellDoc®, has been selected as a finalist in the “Mobile Applications: Health, Wellness & Fitness” category!
The CTIA E-Tech submissions were judged on innovation, functionality, technological importance or impact, implementation and overall “wow” factor. First, second and third place winners of each of the 14 categories will be announced at an awards ceremony on March 23 during the show.
So why was WellDoc selected as a finalist? What makes them innovative and gives them the “wow” factor?
WellDoc is at the convergence of major trends in the mobile health (mHealth) space. WellDoc’s solution utilizes mobile phones and the Internet to help patients and healthcare providers coordinate diabetes care for adult patients with type 2 diabetes. The flagship product, DiabetesManager System®, is the first mHealth solution cleared by the FDA to offer automated coaching and behavioral algorithms by real-time patient data. Patients can track daily routines, including medications, exercise and nutrition.
WellDoc then recommends real-time lifestyle adjustments to keep patients on track with their care plan. Physicians can access patient data using WellDoc, analyze it, tap into the WellDoc expert system for care guidelines and make adjustments in their patients’ care.
The media has loved WellDoc’s mHealth solution, as it has been featured with top industry influencers such as New York Times, Forbes, The Economist and MobiHealthNews. BusinessWeek featured the DiabetesManager System as one of the mHealth products to watch in 2011; and Forbes featured WellDoc in an article with the headline, “WellDoc Could Become A Much-Needed Tool In The Fight Against Diabetes.” In December 2010, WellDoc’s DiabetesManager was selected by PC World as one of their “15 Mobile Apps That Will Matter in 2011.”
As industry peers are able to vote online and via text during the three-day show, finalists also have a chance to win “Best Online Pick” and “Best in Show,” for the most online and text votes, respectively.
We’re excited to see who wins. Join us on March 23 at 2 p.m. EST, at the Exhibit Innovations Stage booth 4295 at CTIA.
For me, Sunday at SxSW could best have been described as analytics day. They decided to have all the research and measurement die-hards make the trek out to the AT&T Executive Conference center. The surroundings were plusher, the seats much more comfortable and the data was fascinating.
There were two interesting panels on measurement and analytics and the most exciting part is none of the speakers were from vendors. Shawn Brown from MIT’s Sloan Management Review and Chris Traganos at Harvard spoke about how they measured Web success and worked to increase traffic; while Elizabeth Winkler from the University of Texas - Austin, discussed how she and her colleagues developed a model that showed how Twitter chatter accurately predicted movie revenues.
Harvard was doing some very interesting things and relies primarily on five social media tools:
These are tools most of our readers know, but it shows that tools like these, used intelligently and backed by great content can deliver very good results. A few practical tips on how they grew traffic included advice such as:
Lots of tags are your friend: every story they push has 30 tags that are fed into blog aggregators
If you aren’t using Facebook’s OpenGraph and you create content, you need to start doing so. Instead of the share button, use the like button. Despite the power of the tool, you should check URL Linter to see what Facebook is getting and not getting.
Chartbeat is a perfect complement to Google Analytics. I haven’t used it on my sites, but I plan to check it out. It gives you real time analytics in a way Google does not.
Probably the biggest “huh” in the session was the tidbit that the smaller the URL, the less dense the QR code is, so it works faster. Keep using those URL shorteners, and make sure they point to a site that is optimized for mobile.
These are great practical tips for growing and analyzing site traffic.
This was a great primer for the next session that looked at how Twitter chatter could be used to tell how good a movie will do on a weekend. Elizabeth Winker and her team used a set of 20 servers to gather and aggregate tweets on movies and store than in a database for further analysis.
They first eliminated the false positives (which was very tricky for the movie “The Hangover”) and broke the results down by positive, negative and neutral using an automated system they built themselves. By then analyzing how many people said they planned to go to the movies and the reaction and buzz afterwards, they showed how positive Twitter chatter mapped nicely to box office sales for the 60 movies they analyzed.
One area Winker touched on briefly, but I think is worthy of further consideration is the power of Twitter and geolocation. They could map the Tweets on a certain movie to the subset of those that have enabled geolocation on their phones and break out the analysis and prediction on a regional level. This could help allocate ad and marketing spends to the areas where it is most needed. One Winkler didn’t explore that I would love to see is if there is greater correlation based on the chatter that is made immediately after a movie (which a movie company should be able to do by mapping the tweets to theatre locations). This also has implications for CPG and consumer technology companies.
The panels weren’t earth shattering, but they gave good practical advice and a glimpse into the future of quick, high-volume analytics.
Some obvious, and some not so obvious trends that we’ll likely see in Orlando
In less than two weeks, CTIA Wireless 2011 (@CTIAshow; #CTIAW11) will bring together 40,000 members of the North American wireless community, from carriers to device manufacturers to app providers to the technical widget makers that make wireless work.
As a PR industry executive that has followed, pitched, attended, applauded and even cursed CTIA Wireless for the past eight years, I feel partially qualified to make a predictions blog post (from a marketing/news-driven point of view). What better way to write a predictions blog than with a couple top three lists?
Let’s begin with the obvious predictions…
1) Tablet Obsession—Sorry smartphones, but tablets will take the device lead at CTIA. Manufactures like Samsung, RIM and Apple will all be pushing new tablets and their “first, best only” features, wicked fast operating systems and vertical applications, from healthcare to utilities to the boardroom.
2) 4G/LTE—We can’t talk about tablets and smartphones without mentioning the network. 4G and LTE certainly aren’t new topics, but the reality of these high-speed networks finally rolling out is sure to drive a number of discussions from the keynotes to show floor chatter. Look for data package debates to fall under this category. Side note: I frankly can’t hear “4G!” and not think about the Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber Super Bowl commercial.
3) Apps—Like a Chinese menu, there are apps for everyone and nearly every conceivable problem. Tablet applications are becoming more popular and Android and Microsoft apps are available in iPhone like numbers. In fact, MSFT recently announced that it’s adding 100 new mobile phone applications a day. My personal favorite app remains Shazam. I’ll be on the lookout for its replacement at CTIA Wireless 2011.
I conducted a little research before listing my not so obvious predictions. The following word cloud is the result of a Radian6 social media search on “CTIA Wireless” over the past 14 days. While nothing jaw-dropping presented itself, I think we can pull out a few conclusions.
Here’s the not so obvious list…
1) CTIA Goes Global—While the prominence of “international” in the word cloud is likely the direct result of the conference name, what caught my attention was “world” in the lower left portion of the cloud. While Mobile World Congress is still the king of international wireless shows, CTIA is gaining ground.
2) Innovation Driven by Smaller Players—Sure the carriers (see keynote) and the major device manufacturers will garner most of the media fanfare at CTIA, but if you look a little deeper, it is the emerging growth startups and app developers that drive the true innovation. Just check out this year’s Emerging Technology Award nominees…not many household names on the list. We are proud that Schwartz client WellDoc is on the list.
3) Marriage of Wireless and Retail—I’m not talking about retail stores for purchasing new devices, but more along the lines of retail communities adopting wireless as a marketing and selling tool. Expect a significant amount of news around retail-focused apps designed to help companies reach/influence more consumers on a regular basis to sell more stuff.
Marketing and PR people across the country are already attaching their company to larger trends with storylines and product news (both real and manufactured) to get on the crowded radar screens of the hundreds of media and bloggers attending CTIA Wireless 2011. It is a proven technique for getting smaller companies heard above the CTIA noise. So what trend are you riding to CTIA glory?
One of the mobile industry’s most important shows, CTIA Wireless, is just around the corner. This three-day event, running March 22-24, includes a trade show and a number of educational panel discussions. Widely attended by analysts and media, it’s an excellent opportunity to schedule face time with key influencers.
If you’re just starting your PR planning, you’ve got only two weeks to pull off a successful CTIA campaign. Begin by determining the top news item(s) that can be announced at the show. Although more than 1,100 press and analyst contacts are expected, there’s a great deal of competition for their time from hundreds of exhibitors, including some of the biggest companies in the wireless industry.
You’ll need a strong news hook to garner appointments with reporters, so figure out the best buzz-generating announcement for the show. If the news involves a partnership with a major carrier, remember to get their approval in advance. The top tier wireless providers are selective about announcing partnerships with smaller companies.
After you’ve drafted your press release and pitch, you’ll need to start thinking about social media opportunities. Write three blogs in advance, and post one on each day of the show. Also compose tweets about your company's participation in CTIA, company news, and comments on trends and news in the wireless industry. Prepare nine tweets, releasing three on each day of the show. You can also load your press release into PitchEngine, a social media release platform, in advance. On the day of the announcement, just flip the switch on the console, and your release, along with images and tags, will go live instantly. You can also tweet live from the show as it unfolds, and re-tweet breaking news that’s relevant to your company.
Be sure to take advantage of the CTIA publications issued at the event. The print Show Daily will be handled by Wireless Week this year, and the deadline is this Friday, March 11. You can learn more about getting your news placed by visiting this page. Light Reading Mobile and InformationWeek are the official media outlets for electronic CTIA news, and you can learn more about how to pitch these reporters here.
If you have a booth at the show, it’s a good place to schedule your press and analyst meetings. The show floor encompasses more than 300,000 square feet, so traveling from location to location can easily steal 10 minutes from each appointment. It’s also better to keep your spokesperson situated in the booth for logistical reasons. Will this person have a slide slow to offer? Perhaps a handset to demo or some sample devices to display? If so, it’s much easier to have all of these items ready to go in the booth, rather than lugging a laptop and a bag of products across the show floor.
If you aren’t exhibiting or need a quiet place to meet, you can use the show’s press room. Another option for “booth-less” companies is to pay to participate in ShowStoppers. The organizers promise hundreds of media and analysts in the room, and the opportunity to pitch them on the spot.
It’s essential that spokespeople be well prepared for all media and analyst interviews, so your agency or in-house PR team will need to prepare a briefing book for the show. Be sure to include a picture of the journalist or analyst, as well as their mobile number. It’s also wise to share the spokesperson’s cell phone number with the journalist. Trade shows can be hectic – especially major events like CTIA – and people often run late. By helping the two parties recognize each other and connect on the show floor, you’re less likely to miss out on opportunities.
It's not too late to get started on your CTIA campaign. Follow the guidelines above, and have a great show!
Over the past month we’ve been digging into some of the top mobile industry trends in our Road to Barcelona series. This past weekend we landed in Barcelona and today the fun really begins as Mobile World Congress 2011 kicks off!
Over the next four days we’ll be tirelessly walking the floor, meeting with innovative companies, playing with the latest mobile devices (3D? we’re there!) and stopping by as many parties as possible.
In this series we’re profiling top mobile industry trends in the run-up to Mobile World Congress 2011.
Social has been THE buzzword of the past few years, but the buzz is far from dead. Not only do new social communities continue to pop up across the internet – you can now join a social network for everything from skateboarding to knitting - they have also found their way onto our mobile devices, which help their popularity to increase even faster.
Social communities will be one topic at Mobile World Congress that will be discussed by representative from all parts of the mobile industry:
Obviously, this will be a hot topic among the content generators; the relatively new App Planet at the edge of the congress parameters will showcase a wide range of new mobile Apps targeted at existing or looking to create new social communities.
Marketers will discuss how to understand and reach those new communities as well as how new social media channels can be used for marketing purposes. Location-based services (LBS) will play a key role in this aspect. Almost all social network providers are not only trying to pinpoint what and when their users are doing but also where. The data generated is marketing gold.
The average visitor/attendee will Tweet their whereabouts, update their status on Facebook or check in at the lunch restaurant via Foursquare.
The handset manufacturers are aware that not only younger target groups are looking for the best possible integration of social community Apps. Hence, they will try to impress with devices that provide a true social mobile experience.
Operators will also be talking about the role of social communities in connection to their services. When taking into account that mobile data traffic is expected to grow 40-fold over the next five years, however, one can be certain, that they won’t get bored for the next couple of years.
No matter if you are a social media enthusiast or critic, there is one MWC Session that you don’t want to miss: “Social Networking: Social Goes Mobile” 2:00pm – 3:30 pm, Tuesday, February 15.
“In this session, representatives from operators, social networks and device manufacturers will explore the different elements of a true mobile social network, from personalisation and location to operating systems and impact of the smartphone, as well as share their thoughts on where social mobile will go next.”
In this series we’re profiling top mobile industry trends in the run-up to Mobile World Congress 2011.
The potential for the mobile marketing and advertising channel is vast. ABI Research forecasts an unprecedented opportunity for growth in the market, projecting global spend will reach $28.9 billion by 2014.
One of the hottest areas of mobile marketing is mobile coupons/vouchers. According to a study by JiWire, consumers rated coupons and discounts as the most valuable feature of location-based services after GPS and maps. As consumers become more conditioned to sharing personal information – thanks to Facebook and Foursquare, among other services – they are more willing to hand over location and behavioural data in exchange for personalised, contextual offers. This presents a huge opportunity for both operators and brands, from global to local.
Near-field communications (NFC) is also a promising technology for mobile marketers. NFC enables consumers to receive information, offers and pay for items by touching their handsets to special Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals. With a host of new NFC-compatible devices set to launch at Mobile World Congress and rumours that the iPhone5 will also be equipped with the technology, it will not be long before NFC-powered coupons and offers are part of daily commerce. In Japan, McDonald’s is an early adopter: users who have downloaded the McDonald’s app receive a weekly email with a list of coupons and promotions and can download coupons to their mobile wallet and redeem with a touch.
Mobile social commerce is going to make marketing even more powerful. Applications of social commerce range from the rather impersonal Groupon app which allows users to redeem group-buying offers directly from mobile devices to deeply personal recommendations based on a user’s social graph. Facebook Deals, which was introduced in Europe this week, lets merchants create offers for users who check-in on Facebook Places. Newcomer Whatser has plans to roll out features on its LBS social recommendations app to enable brands, publishers and local businesses connect with consumers. (Disclosure: Whatser is a client)
Of course this is only the beginning. Mobile offers up a whole new range of opportunities for marketers and operators to reach consumers, from loyalty schemes to in-app advertising to digital goods to multimedia. MWC offers four sessions that will be of interest to marketers this year:
In this series we’re profiling top mobile industry trends in the run-up to Mobile World Congress 2011.
The term ‘cloud computing’ still induces confusion and no small amount of fear for a lot of companies. Many recognise the term as something they ‘should’ be doing, but with so many contradictory messages about the technology it is unsurprising that it, in many cases, is still treated with a certain amount of unease.
Mobile cloud computing on the face of it just adds to this confusion. However, with many analysts predicting huge market growth in the next few years and an increasing amount of importance placed upon it within businesses, organisations need to get their heads out of the cloud and begin to reap the benefits.
Over the past year or so analyst firms have released a number of reports on the future of the mobile cloud computing market, whilst also trying to help companies understand some of the key benefits. For example, Juniper predicts that between 2009 and 2014 the cloud-based mobile market will grow 88 per cent with 75 per cent of this market represented by enterprise users.
Gartner believes that cloud technologies and new opportunities in mobile computing will allow organisations to innovate in new ways.Recent research by Gartner showed that cloud-based social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 per cent of business users by 2014. It points out that whilst in 2009 only 3 per cent of e-mail accounts were in the cloud by the end of 2012 it will have increased to 10 per cent.
The analyst giant has also predicted that by 2012 at least 18 per cent of new application components covering areas such as workforce optimisation and asset monitoring will be sold as SaaS subscription models rather than physically deployed on-premise.
With a conference session dedicated to the mobile cloud on the second day of the event and the Mobile Cloud Forum taking place all day on February 17th mobile cloud is sure to be one of the ‘big’ topics this year at MWC.It will be a great opportunity for operators, vendors and end-users to find out more about the mobile cloud and how they can ensure they can fulfil its potential.
In this series we’re profiling top mobile industry trends in the run-up to Mobile World Congress 2011.
Mobile video services were introduced 10 years ago, but adoption is set to grow by leaps and bounds in 2011. The increase in smart phone usage, new delivery standards, wider availability of mobile broadband and the emergence of viewing options outside the carrier networks are key factors attributed to this growth. Mobile video revenues—direct downloads, subscriptions and ad-supported video—are predicted to triple between 2009 and 2014, according to eMarketer.
eMarketer forecasted in August that the population of mobile video viewers in the US would grow by nearly 30% to reach 23.9 million by end of 2010 and double by 2013. Similarly, Coda Research Consultancy found that mobile video users will rise by 34% annually to reach 95 million in 2015.
In Europe, comScore found that the number of people viewing video on mobile devices has increased by 66 per cent in the past year to 12.1 million mobile consumers across UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. As of September 2010, the UK and Italy each have 2.7 million mobile video consumers, up 75 percent from July 2009 in the UK market and up 55 percent in the Italian market. Spain is demonstrating the fastest growth, with mobile video consumption up 90 percent in the past year to 1.7 million subscribers, according to comScore’s research.
A related area, mobile video chat, is also marked for significant growth. Consumers are forecasted to make 29.6 billion video calls in 2015, up from just 3.2 billion this year, according to a report by GigaOm Pro. The study also predicted that mobile video chat revenues will $3.4 billion by 2015.
If you’re interested in mobile video, the two-part session Network Breaking Point held on Tuesday 15 February at 2pm during Mobile World Congress will address the challenges operators face when video streaming and social networking causes a network capacity crunch and look at the range of technologies available to operators to future-proof their networks. In addition, the session Mobile TV: Moving from a Last-Resort to Must-See TV at 4pm on Wednesday 16 February will look at formats, revenues and media for Mobile TV in 2011.
In this series we’re profiling top mobile industry trends in the run-up to Mobile World Congress 2011.
One of the main driving forces of the internet has been bringing real life to the online world where it can be recreated and restructured. With Augmented Reality (AR) slowly but surely entering the spotlight this step of recreation can soon be skipped entirely. Reality can be captured right then and there and a layer of data stuck on top of it. Key to AR is the rapid success of smart phones, mobile apps, as well as camera and display technology that makes it possible to capture and display reality in real life.
According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle AR has left the “Technology Trigger” phase in 2010 and has instead reached the “Peak of Inflated Expectation.” Since closely linked to geolocation communities, which are currently dominating the mobile app world, a lot of attention will be drawn to AR in 2011. It will be one of the trending topics for hardware and software makers alike who will focus on how AR can be used for a variety of industries such as retail and gaming.
Consumers will hardly have any problems to get used to AR services since they seem to be a logical step up from existing mapping technologies: Just take out your phone use your camera to check out your surroundings to look for ATMs, restaurants or the nearest train station.
Mobile commerce is booming on both sides of the pond and two recent studies found that consumers are using smartphones for Christmas shopping this year. Tesco Direct found that one in 10 Brits will do some of their online Christmas shopping using their mobile phone and IDC Retail Insights reported that in the US smartphones will account for at least $127 billion, or 28 percent, of the $447 billion the National Retail Federation predicts consumers will spend this holiday season.
According to a new report from ABI Research, mcommerce via the internet will reach $4.1 billion for 2010. Shoppers prefer using mobile browsers over apps, 54% to 41% in a study of US users by Lightspeed Research and 70% to 55% in a study of UK users by Orange. For a great roundup of recent studies see this post on the eConsultancy blog.
Despite the opportunities the mobile internet presents for retailers, many are lagging behind. Mobile Interactive Group recently evaluated the mcommerce capabilities of the UK's top 57 retailers in its inaugural Christmas Sock Report and found that only four retailers had an optimised transactional mobile site.
Executives from Intel, Softbank and Yahoo! will weigh in on the growth of the mobile internet in the keynote session The Evolution of the Mobile Internet, moderated by Wired UK Editor David Rowan at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday at Mobile World Congress.
The Internet user as we know him is dying out. He is no longer behind his desktop computer checking his email or on the couch with a notebook in his lap updating his Facebook status. From an immobile creature, he has quickly evolved into a very mobile being, like a prehistoric fish that has grown a pair of legs and has left the ocean.
Instead of legs, though, evolution has equipped him with smart phones and a 3G network that enables him to move freely, while surfing the net. He is no longer the sitting duck that was an easy target for Internet communities, media, advertisers and marketing departments across the globe. The big question resulting from this is: how to catch him while he is moving?
This is actually an easy task, because he is eager to tell you where he is. Location-based software has created some fast growing communities such as Foursquare, Gowalla, and SCVNGR that allow him to show the world exactly where he currently is located. Those communities let you to mark a place, let’s say your favorite café, with a geo tag. Other community members that come to this place can “check in” indicating to their friends where they are currently at and what they are doing.
As the popularity of those mobile location networks is growing, so are the creative juices of the marketing and PR departments in the chase to find out how to use the new knowledge they confronting them. The first test balloons have already been launched. The campaigns that we have been seeing so far are mainly trying to foster customer loyalty. The café mentioned earlier, for instance, can measure their customers’ loyalty by checking the amount of time they have checked into their place via Foursquare. If they check in ten times, they are awarded a free cup of coffee.
In the next couple of months, we will see more creative and more elaborate campaigns of this kind as the networks are growing. The question then will be what platform to use for your campaign? Those things tend to sort out themselves: Remember the battles Twitter vs. Jaiku, or Facebook vs. MySpace? Each ended with a clear winner.
There is yet one problem: Obviously, Facebook with its Places and Google with Latitude want to get in on the action, too, which could change the outcome of the race. Google for instance has already set things in motion by acquiring Dodgeball, one of the pioneers in geosocial networking, in 2005, only to discontinue it four years later. In the meantime one of the founders of Dodgeball went on to found Foursquare, which is now leading the location-based social networking pack.
Facebook’s contribution to the picture is a recently awarded patent titled “Systems and methods for automatically locating web-based social network members are provided”, which many fear could wipe out all the other communities mentioned in this post. This however still remains to be seen. One thing is for sure. One should keep an eye on location-based social networks as they contain a tremendous communication potential. It is still quite unexplored territory and grants room for experimentation. It is still too early to say who will be the big player in this field in a year or two from now so don’t put your money on just one horse, but keep an eye on all communities out there.
And by the way, while the battle over location-based networking is in full motion, the first person just recently “checked in” at the International Space Station.
The keynote at CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2010 focused on a two-ton wireless device—the connected car.
The automobile has come a long way since Henry Ford first rolled out the first Model T. Some might even argue that providing wireless connectivity to the Internet via the cloud and mobile devices is the next evolution of ultimate automobile personalization.
GPS and telematics services can now provide real-time traffic updates, while devices connecting to the car (such as iPods) provide the same interface in the automobiles as theydo on the devices themselves, and smart phone applications are delivered in the car via Bluetooth and other technologies. Even speech recognition technologies are advancing to the point where emails and text messages can be read to the driver, further eliminating distractions behind the wheel.
Today’s most popular car applications, such as GM’s ONStar rely on cellular wireless networks, and leading device manufacturers are building out business models around the automobile. Smart phone providers are empowering the development community with the ability bring new applications to market that are specifically designed for the car.
For instance, in today’s keynote, Derrick M. Kuzak, Group VP, Global Product Development at Ford Motor Company highlighted Ford’s SYNC, a factory-installed, in-car communications and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft. Sync allows users to make hands-free calls and control music and other functions with simple voice commands. Introduced in 2007, Sync is now installed in 2.5 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.
“Americans spend three hours a day in the car and 47 hours a year in traffic,” said Kuzak. “Drivers are finding better ways to make that time more productive, while keeping both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”
The customer demand for mobile connectivity inside an auto is clear. Kuzak reported that 32% of car buyers say that the presence of mobile technology within a car plays a key role in their purchase. As a result, Kuzak said that SYNC and other mobile technology will be in 80% of their car products within the next five years, including the following features that allow customers to:
·Access their phone, compatible mp3 player or USB drive with voice activated commands
·Be connected directly to a 911 operator after an accident in which an airbag deploys
·Generate Vehicle Health Reports that provide vehicle diagnostics, maintenance and recall information
·Receive audible text messages
Another speaker at this week’s CTIA event, John T. Stankey, President & CEO, AT&T Business Solutions also forecasted strong growth in the wireless industry, particularly amongst enterprises who integrate mobile technology for greater productivity: “We predict the market for enterprise mobile devised- both hard ware and software- will be $50 billion by 2015.”
The theme for this fall’s CTIA is finding new ways that unwired devices for consumers can squeeze more productivity and efficiency out of enterprise operations.
In particular, the Tablet PC seems to take top billing as the next great hope. RIM will be showing off its Playbook, billed as the first professional tablet, while the majority of closed door sessions are devoted to development on Tablet platforms. There is a seven-hour session scheduled to focus on building enterprise Tablet apps, as well as a number of boot camps for the Android and Nokia’s Symbian platforms. In fact, developers are said to make up the single largest segment of attendees at the event, at 23 percent of all registrants.
Moreover, non-phone devices are being designed left-and-right to fit very specific application needs. Just a few examples include mobile payment terminals, package tracking scanners, advanced field force management tools and wellness monitoring for a myriad of health conditions. The show really drills down into the latest and greatest mobile devices for business users, corporate initiatives and quality of life.
But it is not all about gadgets; a certain “bolstering of the network” must likewise occur. Because, as we all can attest from experience, the niftiest wireless device is only as good as its connection. Apple has been listening. After months of rumours, they chose this week to announce that iPhone will soon be available on the Verizon network.
It is also intriguing to note up-and-comer Lightsquared’s efforts to pre-empt Verizon in the LTE game, even if it's in words only. Lightsquared made it a point Monday to announce a move to get additional spectrum resources and enhance the capacity of its own 4G network. It will be especially interesting to see if Lightsquared succeeds in becoming a household name, or if its best intentions get swallowed up in the maelstrom. I am skeptical. The last time a “new” Tier 1 wireless operator succeeded was when Bell Atlantic Mobile changed its name to Verizon Wireless.
CTIA’s fall show has taken on new relevance with the focus on what wireless can really “do” for business.
Our word cloud shows lots of blogging about broadband, spectrum and the FCC, as the Net Neutrality debate continued in high gear. Last week, CTIA provided its comments on net neutrality to the FCC, stating that the rules for the wired Internet don’t apply to the wireless ecosystem. No surprises here. Lowell MacAdam, president and CEO of Verizon, is keynoting at CTIA Wednesday morning, so attendees will likely hear more on this topic, in the vein of Verizon’s joint statement with Google in August.
Bloggers picked up on another piece of news that involved the FCC and CTIA. Researchers at the University of North Texas Health Science Center studied traffic data from the Fatality Accident Reporting System and texting data from the FCC and CTIA. They reported that accidents caused by texting while driving ended the lives of 16,141 Americans between 2001 and 2007.
This is a sobering statistic. Massachusetts is among 30 states that have clamped down on texting by teen drivers with a ban that goes into effect this month. Boston.com reported on another study last week, which claims that these laws have not yet lowered the accident rates.
RIM shows up prominently in the word cloud, too. Last week RIM made a big spash with its announcement of the Playbook tablet. With a slew of cutting-edge hardware features for business users, the Playbook also boasts one of the world's most robust and flexible operating systems, from our client QNX. The BlackBerry Tablet OS is built on the QNX® Neutrino® microkernel architecture, one of the most reliable, secure and robust operating system architectures in the world, used to support mission-critical applications in everything from planes, trains and automobiles to medical equipment and the largest core routers that run the Internet.
We'll be blogging about the buzz at CTIA all week, so stay tuned.
Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the must attend event for any wireless company. Taking place on February 14-17 2011 in Barcelona, Spain, the show is unrivalled in showcasing the companies and latest developments of the dynamic mobile industry.
The 2010 event attracted more than 49,000 mobile professionals from 192 countries, a majority of which were C-Level executives. Catching the attention of such an important group is crucial but with over 1,300 other companies trying to do exactly the same how can you stand out from the crowd? One opportunity is to secure a speaker slot available at the show. However, with the deadline for submissions seemingly getting earlier every year, companies now only have less than a week (deadline July 30th 2010) to submit their entry.
The slots are developed independently from the Congress sponsorship and exhibition and are therefore completely free. Potential speakers do not have to be exhibiting at the event to secure a slot. Indeed, if you are successful you will be given a pass for the whole event!
What are the organisers looking for?
Speakers are chosen on a number of different criteria.
• Topic relevance • Originality (of both topic and presentation format) • Newsworthiness of the content proposed • Proven ability and prominence of the speaker in the industry • Strength of the reference offered
Standing out from the crowd
With so much competition how can you make your submission stand out from the crowd? The following five tips will help you focus on what you need to include to be successful:
1) Relevance – Remember that audiences do not want to hear a 20 minute presentation of you promoting your latest products. Focus on issues and topics that are affecting the industry and will make your audience sit up and take notice.
2) Strong controversial angle - A key component to making your submission stand out from the crowd is including something out of the ordinary. Delegates attending the show want to hear the views challenging current thinking – they’re not going to attend a presentation to hear something they’ve heard a hundred times before.
3) Focus on the future – Talking about future trends is another key aspect of a successful submission. Audiences want to hear your opinions on what the industry will look like in two years time, not in two weeks time. Make sure you have plenty of predictions to capture the imagination of delegates.
4) Customers - Bringing a customer will always help to endorse the views you are expressing as well as making your submission stand out. You can also suggest a panel discussion – recommending panel members (with their prior approval) to join you and a subject area to discuss really helps to boost your chances of making into the line up.
5) Newsworthiness – With hundreds of journalists, analysts and bloggers attending the event alongside industry professionals, the need for your presentation to be newsworthy is crucial. Your topic should have the potential to deliver quotable, exciting sound bites that can easily be transferred to an article, blog or report.
With these five areas covered you should be in a position to fill out the submission form. If you want to increase your visibility at MWC please do not hesitate to contact us.
Today is a big day in the for consumer technology professionals…Steve Jobs’ keynote at the Apple WWDC. It is mostly showing off upcoming technology and putting the stake in the ground for competitors to try to beat. While there were a few hiccups with his demos, the content more than made up for it.
This was one of his best keynotes in years.
I will leave the roundup to the news sites, but there are a few things that were said today that I thought might be interesting quick takes for our clients and consumer technology and mobile developers:
Apple claims that third-party developers have now generated $1 billion in revenue for themselves through the Apps store, even with Apple’s cut. There have been 5 billion total downloads.
Apple shared a Nielsen report that states the iPhone now has 28% market share for mobile devices. RIM is still in the lead with 35%, Windows 19%, Android 9%. I expect the number of software applications developed for the device to continue to explode.
There are more than 15,000 Apps submitted each week. Companies need to keep this in mind. If you build it, they may not come, for they won’t be able to find you. A successful iPhone app launch can be supported by a strong public relations, social media and inbound marketing campaign. By combining these three elements, consumer tech companies can help their apps stand out from the crowd.
Apple has added a gyroscope, which will make the iPhone and even better gaming platform and open up new opportunities for developers
Apple is introducing the iAd platform, which enables developers to embed banner ads and open a new revenue stream. I need more details to see how well received this will be. It is telling that Jobs states it is to help developers keep costs down, but then he only lists the largest brands as signing on to start and no mention of developer controls. He claims there will be $60m in iAds, which will make it a sizeable percentage of the mobile ad market.
It appears the new iPhone will be a significant upgrade and I am excited. Apple’s new Retina Display really caught my eye (no pun intended). At Schwartz we have worked with quote a few online photo and photo-based social networking companies and the crispness that is possible with Retina Display is outstanding. I can see companies in markets ranging from radiology to photo editing really digging in to this potential.
As the International CTIA WIRELESS 2010 conference comes to a close, I can’t help but to be in awe at how much the show, and the technology, has progressed. What started with a 5 lb. leather case that plugged into my car’s cigarette lighter has evolved to a touch screen that lets me watch live TV. Oh, and it’s still a phone too.
Consider this statistic: there were 1.5 trillion text messages sent in 2009 (according to CTIA). That’s at least 220 text messages for everyone on the planet, and the last time I checked, everyone on the planet does not have a cell phone...though we’re getting there. It makes you wonder what’s going to be the next mainstream “application” for the wireless industry.
I have to think it will grow out of the 4G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. Most of us are impatient, so no matter how cool an application is, if we have to wait for it, we lose interest quickly. These high-bandwidth networks promise to change all that.
I’m betting on applications that relate to higher quality videos/images, iPad and Kindle-based applications and gaming. I picked these three categories because there are already large markets for the “wired” versions. Uploading an image, downloading a new book or magazine and beating your best friend at Madden Football are already popular. The ability to duplicate these activities anywhere via a mobile device will surely create a number of new market winners. I, for one, can’t wait to hear the buzz at next year’s show.
I started my day at CTIA yesterday at the IDC breakfast where we heard from several analysts with updates on semiconductor trends for mobile devices, sustainable practices in the mobile industry, and user interface trends.
On the semiconductor front, 4G won't bring in significant revenues for chip vendors until 2013 according to IDG. The big six vendors who control the lion's share of the market are offering platform and vertically integrated solutions to capture BOM and create stickiiness. More market consolidation is expected.
With corporate responsibility becoming a big part of branding and PR, the mobile phone industry has started to embrace sustainable practices. The first step is reducing packaging, which has an environmental impact (reduced landfill, lower emissions) as well as driving down costs of shipping and packaging manufacuring. Mobile vendors are also looking at hazardous waste reduction and handset recycling. Stephen Drake ranked Nokia highest in his green comparison of mobile vendors, with Sony Erickson and Apple in the numbers 2 and 3 spots.
William Stofega looked at the various user interface approaches on mobile devices. He mentioned a few innovations worth checking out. Eye gaze technologies use gaze control for gaming. Synaptics in collaboration with TAT Design debuted a squeezable mobile device, the Fuse, late last year. Approaches that give the user a feeling of texture are on the horizon. He also predicted that patent wars over touch technology could decide which vendors win over the hearts and wallets of consumers.
I'm off to the show floor for the last day of CTIA 2010.
By guest blogger Joe Palladino, Senior Account Executive
With the International CTIA WIRELESS 2010 show in full swing, the floor is buzzing with new uses for wireless technologies and the need for increased bandwidth. Wireless technology has become a component in virtually every industry, and we can clearly see that CTIA is embracing the many verticals finding its new capabilities, efficiencies and revenue streams. Now we just need the bandwidth to handle it all.
CTIA Chairman Ralph de la Vega, also the president and CEO of AT&T’s mobile division, addressed mobile broadband, next-generation networks and the need to increase wireless bandwidth. In his keynote speech, de la Vega noted that the FCC is working to increase frequency spectrum, but predicted that we’ll outstrip even the capabilities of the new frequencies in short time. Carriers will need to redouble their efforts to get next-generation networks in place to meet increasing needs as virtually every industry moves toward wireless solutions.
By guest blogger Avi Dines, Director, Accounts & Digital Content
I’m sitting 1,300 miles away from VoiceCon Orlando, but feel as connected as ever. The news deluge from the event, including articles, blogs and tweets, along with live TV feeds from conference keynotes provides a good flavor for the conference activities. Keeping track of Schwartz clients as well as other industry players has never been easier. Here is a sampling.
Schwartz client Digium continues to turn heads and impress with its Voice over IP Unified Communications solution Switchvox. ChannelWeb highlights Switchvox SMB 4.5 here. The company also announced the winner of its Extreme Phone Makeover, awarding a new Switchvox Unified Communications system and Polycom® SoundPoint® IP phones, valued up to $10,000, to Boys and Girls Club of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Empirix OneSight also made ChannelWeb’s Top 25 products to see at VoiceCon. The company set the stage for the conference, kicking off with President, Strategic Networks Group, Lisa Pierce's panel on SIP Trunking, and by all accounts it was a lively session discussing the various bugaboos that arise from trying to recreate the consistency of TDM in SIP trunk environments.
Siemens Enterprise Communications has made two announcements at VoiceCon so far. The first is OpenScape UC Server 2010, unified communications (UC) optimized for the data center and virtualized environments. The company also announced a partnership with VMware for virtualized real-time communications deployment. Siemens Enterprise Communications also made a splash with a keynote from Senior Vice President, Voice & Applications Solutions Mark C. Straton, which can be seen – on demand – through VoiceCon TV. Along with informative content about the company and current state of UC, the presentation dazzled with a customer guest, lasers, a video and 3D presentation for attendees.
Kudos to VoiceCon, attendee bloggers and myriad news sources for keeping us up-to-speed with the action on the ground.
By guest blogger Rob Skinner, Senior Media Strategist
Based on the day one buzz, a primary theme at this year’s CTIA WIRELESS 2010 (running today through Thursday, March 25) centers on putting wireless networks to work for more than just voice. For the carriers, this means pushing into device categories beyond handsets, including e-books, net books and tablets.
What’s more interesting to me, however, is extending this theme beyond the consumer. Accenture, for example, is leading a panel on the smarter use of energy, and this year’s show marks the debut of a Telehealth pavilion, where vendors show how wireless can improve patients’ quality of life—arguably far more meaningful areas of the economy than the latest iPhone app or gaming device.
On a personal level, I often ask myself how “wireless” can become synonymous with “sustainability” when my mobile provider sees fit to charge an extra fee for the millisecond bursts that text messages require, even as my family stays well below the allotted minutes on our voice plan each month. Can’t they just count that text as a minute used against our voice plan? What’s so special about it?
But this is the way carriers are set up, to maximize ARPU by any means available. And who can blame them?
Contrast the consumer’s experience with the aims of Schwartz client KORE Telematics, an MVNO that is entirely dedicated to making wireless data connectivity work for many of the applications noted above. As company President and COO Alex Brisbourne eloquently puts it, “We realized in 2003 that application providers simply cannot operate profitably under traditional plan-based pricing, and introduced the industry’s first ‘pay for what you use’ model at that time.”
KORE is now pushing this concept one level further with a new rate model for wireless data that self-adjusts according to the customer’s usage patterns. They call it IntelliRate, and KORE believes that bringing the price point of wireless data services more closely in step with commercial bottom lines allows wireless innovation to move more doggedly toward fostering sustainable businesses. The strategy is sound, and I look forward to seeing how it takes hold in the market.
The day started off with a great Social Media Breakfast Austin/SxSW where I had a chance to hang out with a few hundred other social media professionals. I saw some old friends and met a few new people with some really interesting companies. I ended up reconnecting with many of them at the Microsoft party later in the evening.
Compared to the first two days of the SxSW, the panels were interesting, but not as strong.
The first panel I attended took a look at the use of applications for extending the brand. The main takeaways were the iPhone is now the dominant brand platform, eclipsing Facebook (for the company has more control). The general consensus from the audience and panel ties into the theme I raised yesterday in my banking recap: The future is mobile. They also emphasized the brand needs to take a backseat in the application or consumers won’t stay engaged.
One if the most interesting points in the session was the debate over the use of apps for engaging consumers. The general consensus is one most consumer technology marketing people have heard for years “The days of brands doing traditional marketing are gone. They need to engage customers in social dialogue and provide utility, or they won’t have lasting relationship.”
A strong counterargument that was advanced speaks for itself “I like toothpaste, but don’t want to have a two way conversation with it.”
That being said, what Charmin has done with mothers rating bathrooms shows the type of discussions one can have for common household items.
The second panel I attended was hosted by Scott Kirsner and dealt with effective ways to build a cult (or Facebook and Twitter followers…your choice). While there was little earth-shattering about the discussion, it reinforced that building a community usually takes time, it requires constantly refreshed new content and it has to *be* a community. Talking to customers does not draw a crowd. Talking *with* customers draws a crowd. The filmmaker he interviewed advocated letting fans be part of the process. Engage them. They them use your content, have fun with it and create new things. They will help promote your movie (or software) much more if they feel a sense of some ownership. The final important point was that if your content isn’t embeddable, it’s like you are leaving on a roadtrip without any gas.
Finally I attended a session with Peter Molyneux, one of the most influential game designers of the past 30 years. I went both because I have worked with many game companies and because the topic intrigued me – How can videogames speak to the heart? I thought there are lessons that could be applied to public relations and marketing. To my surprise, I think I was the only non-filmmaker or game designer in the room.
The first thing Molyneux said tied back to the first panel on mobile apps and the theme that emerged today. Movies can never engage like games. Movies want flaccid robots. Think about that in terms of traditional public relations or marketing, and now how PR has evolved. By making consumers’ voices heard, knowing they have a stake in your brand, companies can create an emotional connection they could never create through shouting.
So the question is, how are we as public relations professionals working to create that connection every day?
Were there other panels I missed? Let me know what you think about SxSW.
SxSW today for me was all about something near and dear to my heart (and many of my clients) banking and payments. I managed to carve out enough time to attend three banking sessions. The sessions ran the gamut from tips for personal finance to the future of banking and the role of geeks in finance.
There a few lessons any financial services technology company should carve in stone, but these rules also apply to consumer technology and other markets.
Consumers are dead. (or at least dying). They are evolving into active participants. They don’t want to pick from a menu, or be given one choice, they want to be empowered. Smart banks and financial technology companies are empowering consumers and giving them actionable advice and data.
Financial services UI (user interfaces) need a revamp. I know Mint.com has done it, as has my client Fiserv. Both are putting great emphasis on this. I see it as another variation on death by PowerPoint. Having tons of data can be great, but you need quick, actionable intelligence to make the right decision.
At first the second session was being bit too anti-bank. Banks serve a role, and all agree banks are essential. The challenge is many FIs are risking being disintermediated by third-party developers that don’t work with the bank. That’s what all the panelists in the second session we championing, so banks should pay attention and work on innovation within their services and offerings.
Mint.com has been very successful to date, and its executives were featured on two panels. There were a few key points I thought were of interest:
Mint.com built its following by hanging out where the consumers are, rather than creating their own community. They find it more effective. I believe both have their place, but it ties back into the fundamental premise of successful social media engagement – strategy before social.
Mint also does not buy PPC, they have found creating short videos and making them widely available to be most effective. Their consumers prefer that type of activity, and it lets them provide a richer (no pun intended), more detailed experience.
The consensus in multiple panels was the future of banking is mobile. But mobile information is just the first step, financial institutions need to focus on transactional capabilities, as well as advice and counsel. Getting tailored advice on your cell phone is much more valuable. That’s a message every good marketer knows – tailored, relevant and useful information engenders more loyalty.
Consumers need to pay attention as well. According to the speaker in the first session, Ramit Sethi, consumers are fundamentally delusional when it comes to money: 20% of people polled think they will get rich via the lottery and 3% though an insurance settlement.
While yesterday was all about the human network, Day 2 of SxSW was about the evolving financial network. There are a lot of interesting things on the horizon. As a final note, if you haven’t checked out CreditKarma yet, you should. A very interesting site that brings a lot of value to helping consumers improve their credit score.
CTIA is only 11 days away. Is your PR campaign up to speed? Here at the agency, we started discussing CTIA with clients several months ago and submitted executives to speak on CTIA panels. Our outreach to pre-registered media began in late February. By now, meetings between our clients and press or analysts have been confirmed. In fact, the schedules of many preregistered media are full.
We're putting finishing touches on press releases that will be issued at or immediately before the show. In every case, the release is written to optimize for SEO, and will also be published on sites that optimize for social media like Pitch Engine.
There are still opportunities to get into CTIA coverage. Reporters from trade publications are currently lining up video interviews to post on their sites during the show. The agency has been approached by top IT and wireless media with invitations to submit experts who can discuss trends or news.
The show daily published by Wireless Week has closed its planned editorial. We conducted those show daily interviews earlier this week. For instance, Alex Brisbourne, the president and COO of KORE Telematics, was interviewed for his views about smart grids.
If you plan to issue significant news at the show, you still have the opportunity to reach out to the reporters who are at CTIA looking for news, filing online, blogging and Tweeting. Also, think about posting your releases on CTIA's press room. Reporters are sure to check it during the show.
Yesterday I attended Xconomy’s Mobile Madness event. The afternoon ended with a “Mobile Smackdown” moderated by John Landry, a member of CommonAngels. Each of the various mobile platforms was represented on the panel: Apple, Blackberry, Google/Android, Microsoft and RIM.
The smackdown was all about the relative merits of each platform for developers. Cimarron Buser of Apperian ably represented the Apple camp, reminding us that the iPhone is the game-changing innovation in the mobile marketplace.
John Landry went right to the heart of the conundrum for developers, though, when he asked whether anyone is making any money. The Apple walled garden has generated hundreds of applications for the iPhone that are sold through the iStore. With most apps offered for free or just a few dollars, “Is this a cottage industry?” he asked. Turns out that long tail markets are great for consumers, not so great for developers who’d like to build a real business with significant revenues.
At the end of the panel, Landry asked for a show of hands on which platform offers the most promise. Android won, by a big margin. Google just announced its app store for business, Google Apps Marketplace. Since application developers can charge real money in the business market, this was good news for the Android fans at Mobile Madness.