Thursday, July 5, 2007

Netpreneur Host Delivers New SMS Marketing Service

July 5, 2007 - (TopHosts News Brief) - Netpreneur Host partnered with Mobile SMS Marketing for an innovative, new service.

Through the new service, users can achieve more intimate marketing relationships with customers, thanks to cell phone text messaging.

The service enables businesses to use the Mobile SMS Marketing phone number, together with a special text string. When end-users send a company’s unique text string to the phone number provided by Mobile SMS Marketing, they are added to that company’s list, and can be sent special offers and updates from the company. For instance, sending the word CLUB to 41513 from a cell phone demonstrates how a night club or disco might use the service.

“This new service allows businesses to quickly build large lists of opt-in cell phone users, which provides a captive audience of people with whom businesses can build deeper, more intimate relationships than with traditional marketing,” Netpreneur Host CEO, Daniel J. Briere, stated in a PRWeb release. “The Mobile SMS Marketing service is a very exciting addition to our existing services that we are very happy to be able to provide to our users, and which will further differentiate us from other Web hosting providers.”

Source: Top Hosts

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Case Study - House of Blues

In response to the emergence of mobile technology as a mass-market medium, in late 2005, House of Blues in partnership with Motorola, became interested in offering new and existing customers novel types of interactive campaigns as a means to incentivize and reward its youth demographic. Soapbox Mobile fulfilled the company's needs with a complete, full-service mobile solution using the Soapbox Anywhere platform to power interactive mobile campaigns including triggered and personalized SMS-based quizzes, contests, and alerts. These mobile campaigns were aimed at drawing attention to upcoming music events specific to each of House of Blues' nationwide locations.

Mobile Solution
  • Enhance Image: Cutting edge of new media adoption
  • Leverage Mobile: Usage for target demographic
  • Build Database: Mobile subscribers for follow-up campaigns
  • Promotions of promote bands, mobile ticket sales
House of Blues has built a nationwide presence as a trendy venue for music, food and nightlife. Customers recognize House of Blues as the premier branded entertainment venue, attracting a wide variety of demographic audience segments with locations across America's hippest cities. Its target demographic is young professionals.

House of Blues, presently using the Web for consumer interactivity in addition to other more traditional means of marketing, decided to leverage the mobile channel to deepen ints relationship with its existing and new customers. Recognizing mobile as a personal, one-to-one mass market medium that is 'always on', House of Blues tapped Soapbox Mobile to create it mobile campaigns. The Soapbox Anywhere platform provided personalized mobile interaction in addition to a valuable database of mobile users. The House of Blues mobile trivia campaign placed a 'call-to-action' across in-house TV screens and person-to-person street team interaction by means of unique short codes assigned to House of Blues venues across the U.S. The Soapbox Mobile solution empowered House of Blues to track and report, in real-time, the effectiveness of its mobile campaigns for each of its nationwide locations.

Mobile Campaign: Key Features
  • Location-based campaign tracking and reporting
  • Interactive, 2-way SMS trivia campaign
  • Mobile coupon codes: redeem prizes
  • Cross-carrier: House of Blues SMS campaign's work across all carriers and handsets in North America
In addition to building an interactive mobile trivia campaign, Soapbox Mobile also established an managed relationships with network operators in North America and the operator's terms for multiple, unique vanity (custom) short codes for each House of Blues location. As a result House of Blues customers can now engage in opt-in mobile contests regardless of their carrier.

  • Build mobile database for future use in promotion and sales
  • Unrivaled distribution in leveraging mobile channel and customer reach
  • Enhanced image as vanguard of new media and digital entertainment
  • Precision ability to track, monitor and report marketing effectiveness in real-time
Soapbox Mobile helped House of Blues enhance its loyal customer base by extending and diversifying its marketing program to include the mobile channel. Owing to the valuable database of mobile users House of Blues has been able collect through the Soapbox Anywhere platform, the company now has an indispensable asset in targeting an audience for its future mobile initiatives. House of Blues has been able to create a stronger relationship with its customers, enhance the visibility of its brand, and has also delivered value to its mobile partner, Motorola.

Source: Mobile Marketing Association

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Welcome to the iFuture of Mobile Marketing

Greetings from the past! I'm writing this column on June 26, about a week in advance of you reading it. Normally, I wouldn't point this out. However, we're on the cusp of the next pop-culture technology revolution.

By the time you read this, you'll likely be recovering from your (or an annoying friend's) iPhone hangover, as I'm sure every major media outlet has inundated you with iPhone launch minutiae: from early adopters standing in line, pending riots (let's hope not), eBay auction mania, and possible scarcity issues. Or you may still be rejoicing over the winnings you realized. Regardless of the outcome, let's remember this was an important weekend. Our industry has a lot riding on the so-called "Jesus" (or maybe "Moses") phone.

Sometimes it takes pop culture to kick-start an emerging industry or media category. It seems like only a few years ago when Eiger Labs launched the MPMan F10 portable music player as the industry's first digital music player in 1998. When it was first announced, it appealed to a small community of digital enthusiasts. It wasn't until the fall of 2001 when Apple introduced the first iPod as the ultimate conclusion of Apple's "rip, mix, burn" digital music strategy. Apple carefully led American consumers through the new digital music ecosystem, ending with the iPod's powerful crescendo. Before this, only a handful of people understood what an MP3 player was. Now, you wouldn't be caught dead with a CD (unless you burned it yourself), and Apple is the number three music retailer in the United States. Go figure.

At the end of the day, the one thing we can rely on the iPhone to do is to wake up American mobile consumers and get them to realize what their phones can do. Hopefully, this awareness will finally transform the mobile platform into a true media channel. While writing this, I asked my friend Greg Clayman, general manager of mobile media at MTV Networks, what he hopes the iPhone will do for the millions of mobile phone users in the United States.

"It will teach people what a mobile phone can do -- from the oversized touch screen to the music and video player integration to the Web browser," Clayman told me. "The iPhone isn't the first phone to have these features, but it's certainly the most exciting presentation of them. I expect its release will lead to any number of people reexamining their current phones and discovering that they, too, can do many of these things as well. MTV is the largest provider of mobile video content in the world, so we're thrilled about all the general mobile media excitement that this launch is generating. And we're working ever-closer with our brand partners to help them engage consumers in this space."

So now that the iPhone has launched, what should we expect? There are two categories of customers you should think about: the haves and the have-nots.

The Haves

Who they are: The haves are a lucky bunch. They've shelled out about $500 to $600 dollars for the iPhone and basically committed themselves to AT&T and Apple for the next two years for approximately $1,974.76 (not including taxes). The haves will be power users who will wrap their iPhones around their lives. They'll take and share photos and use optimized Web sites and consumer content. They'll exhaust this phone for the next few weeks and show everyone what they have.

What they want: The haves want access and content. Whether they admit it or not, they want to show off their new toy.

What you can do: Why not take advantage of this Trojan horse? Provide these users with branded content. If they think it's relevant, they'll use it on the iPhone. Consider optimizing your Web site and Web services for the iPhone. Syndicate your podcasts via iTunes. Develop Web applications for these users. Ride the wave. And if you don't know how, find developers who can help you by attending the various development conferences that are popping up across the country.

The Have-nots

Who they are: The have-nots aren't as lucky. Some wanted an iPhone and couldn't get it. Others, like John Dvorak, feel the iPhone isn't up to snuff. They want to wait for the next version or for the price to come down. Some are locked into agreements with rival carriers, others are content with what they have.

What they want: They know they don't have an iPhone, but they'd like the next best thing. The have-nots will look at what they currently own and want to get the most out of it. They may secretly envy iPhone features and try to emulate them: "You know, my phone can play music."

What you can do: The one thing the iPhone will do for everyone is finally convince them you can do more on your phone than talk and text. There's never been a better time to launch new mobile services. Have you considered optimizing your site for mobile Web readers? Have you explored sponsorship of mobile content offerings? Launched a smart SMS (define) campaign that supports an in-market program with mobile reminders?

Like it or not, the iPhone is a good thing. Personally, I'm disappointed by the lack of exchange support, a tactile keyboard, and a 3G connection. However, I'm willing to trade all of that for the possibility that the mobile marketplace will heat up with innovation and consumer interest.

Source: Chad Stoller, ClickZ

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Advertising Formats as the Key to Audience Response

MoMac's research, conducted by independent research agency Tickbox, clearly emphasises the need for mobile advertising to match specific audience requirements. Results from different demographics indicate that responsiveness to different kinds of advertising changes according to
age and gender, giving brands and marketers valuable guidelines around
which to design their mobile advertising campaigns.

MoMac's GoSell platform has been developed to help publishers easily integrate and manage the inclusion of mobile banners and sponsored content within editorial and branded environments and will be available as part of MoMac's integrated mobile publishing platform, GoMedia.

The Mobile Advertising Attitudes Report surveyed a cross section of 1,400 UK mobile phone users during May 2007.

Advertising Formats

Despite the fact that mobile advertising is in its infancy, the report reveals that as many as 13% of 16-24s have already responded to or clicked-on a mobile advert. Given the limited inventory currently available for mobile advertising, and the relative rarity of mobile users being served mobile ads, the figures show the potential for a significant future take-up - if the communication is delivered in the right way.

When it comes to mobile advertising formats, MoMac's research shows clear differences in the preferences of men and women and the different demographic groups. When on mobile sites, text based advertising links are the most popular (56%) with a clear female bias of 60% compared to just 47% of men. Picture or banner-based advertising was the second most popular option, favoured by 29% overall and just under one in three 25-34 year olds. Interestingly, video based advertising has a strong male bias with 22% of men compared to just 12% of women stating they would be most likely to respond to a video advert. Video formats were also more popular with younger mobile users selected by 23% of 16-24s but only 12% of the over 55s.

Payment Models

The research results also indicate that content providers will need to consider a number of payment models to appeal to the diverse groups of mobile users in the UK looking for content. The ad-funded model could become dominant with younger mobile users, with 47% of 16 to 24s preferring to access content for free in exchange for viewing advertising. Only 32% of this group opted for a pay-as-you-download (PAYD) model and only 3.9% stated they would want to pay for content via a subscription. In contrast the PAYD method is more popular with older mobile users, with 55% of those aged 45 and older opting to pay for content on demand, and also appeals more to women, with 54% choosing PAYD compared to 41% of men who are more open to advertising.

Sham Careem, MD of MoMac UK, omments: "The research shows that brands and media companies must think carefully about who their primary targets are before they decide how to deliver both their content and advertising campaigns. Different demographics will respond better to different methods of advertising and the key to a successful campaign will be ensuring that the format matches the target audience."

Source: Turk.Internet

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Case Study - HBO for Entourage

Objective: HBO wanted to raise awareness of the second season of the orginal series "Entourage," by promoting the show's popular catchphrase, "Let's Hug It Out Bitch" (LHIOB).

Solution: HBO's media agency, OMD, contacted Kikucall to craft a campaign to drive traffic to the LHIOB website, and drive consumers to download Entourage-branded mobile content.

In order to achieve the client's goal, Kikucall designed a campaign to promote a series of exclusive "Let's Hug It Out Bitch" ringtones available exclusively at

  • Kikucall developed an online ringtone interface that was integrated into the website.
  • The interface collected consumer mobile phone information, and sent free LHIOB ringtones directly to consumer mobile phones.
  • Kikucall also sent a text message blast to a targeted list of 50,000 opt-in consumers in New York and Los Angeles. The messages contained a link to a Kikucall-developed WAP site where consumers could download the free LHIOB ringtones.
Results: In the six months following the launch of the campaign, consumers listened to more than 180,600 LHIOB ringtones via the Kikucall web interface, and more than 19,600 LHIOB website visitors requested to download a ringtone. To deliver the ringtone to consumers, Kikucall sent a text message with a WAP link to download the ringtone to consumer mobile phones. More than 15,500 consumers successfully downloaded the LHIOB ringtones from the Kikucall-designed WAP site.

Source: Mobile Marketing Association

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Survey: Growing Opportunities for Mobile Advertising

More than four out of five U.S. adults (85%) own a mobile phone, compared with seven in ten (71%) who have a landline or home phone - and nearly two-thirds of mobile phone owners (63%) agreed that their phone is very personal to them, according to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Ingenio, MarketingCharts reports.

Less than a third of mobile phone owners (30%) recall seeing or hearing an advertisement on a mobile phone in the past year, suggesting that a dominant advertising model to reach the growing demographic of mobile phone users has yet to emerge, Ingenio said.

Ad-related findings:

  • Regarding the kind of mobile ads they find acceptable, respondents were most favorably disposed toward sponsored text links that appear as a result of internet searches (26%).
  • Close behind were audio ads that play instead of ringing when waiting for someone to answer a call (21%), and a text message from a company (20%).
  • Among those who have ever called 411 from their mobile phones, commercial (74%) and restaurant (72%) phone and address listings are the most frequently sought-after types of information.
  • When asked about their current and anticipated cell phone use, about half of mobile phone owners (49%) said they are already using their phones for more than just calls, including sending and receiving text messages (36%), and taking, sending and receiving photos (24%).

"An inherent difference between the mobile and PC environments is that mobile searchers want to find information and then immediately act on it," said Marc Barach, chief marketing officer, Ingenio.

"The mobile environment lets advertisers reach consumers at the point of decision, and an advertising model that connects the two when intent is at its highest will do for mobile what clicks did for the web."

Source: Marketing Vox

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One in Five Users Gives Mobile Search and Audio Ads Thumbs Up

More than a quarter of the people responding to a new survey said sponsored text links that appear as a result of Web searches would be their preferred form of mobile phone advertising.

The research, commissioned by mobile pay-per-call ad provider Ingenio, found that 26 percent of the 4,123 adult respondents reacted favorably to the idea of search-based mobile marketing. However, there was also some approval of audio ads that would play while the caller is waiting for another party to answer, said Ingenio. It said 21 percent of those surveyed had a positive response to that idea.

Text messages from an advertiser were the least-supported form, according to the report. Twenty percent of those surveyed said text message offers were deemed "at least somewhat acceptable."

The study, conducted by Harris Interactive, confirmed prior Ingenio data that showed most mobile phone searches are for local businesses such as restaurants, hotels and entertainment services. In the new study, Ingenio found 74 percent of people who have dialed 411 on their cell phones were looking for a business, and that "phone and address listings are the most frequently sought-after types of services."

Just 30 percent of the mobile phone owners surveyed could recall seeing or hearing an advertisement on their device during the past year. "That says to us there's a giant opportunity… a greenfield opportunity for businesses to place themselves in front of a huge audience," said Ingenio Chief Marketing Officer Marc Barach.

The movement to ad-supported mobile phone service is likely to begin with information services. Whereas service providers now charge users fees for 411 searches, this structure is likely to give way to searches that are free but serve up advertising, said Barach. "You listen to an ad that is relevant to your query," he said. "Then you have a choice of following that advertiser path or staying on the phone and getting the listing you asked for."

Jingle Networks also provides a free information service under the Free411 name.

Barach said he was most surprised by the study's findings relating to mobile phone ownership. "The finding that mobile phones now exceed landlines for all age groups is pretty powerful stuff," said Barach.

The survey showed that more than four out of five adults in the U.S. own a cell phone while 71 percent have a land-line or home phone. It also found that 89 percent of those 18 to 34 years old own cell phones or smartphones, but only 57 percent of that group have a land-line phone.

The key to successful search-based mobile advertising is accurate targeting, said Barach. That's because, unlike a PC's Web browser, "the tolerance for error is that much smaller on the small screen."

He believes mobile advertising is going to blossom quickly, particularly if phones with larger screens and better Web browsing follow the iPhone's lead and become commonplace. Eventually, wireless carriers will drastically reduce their fees for data plans as the space becomes monetized by advertising, Barach predicted.

"That's really the silver lining to bringing more advertising to mobile [from a consumer point of view]," he said. "It will make the cost come down and ultimately be free."

Source: ClickZ

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Text marketing enters the fray

An online company believes paying people to receive ads is the key to marketing by text message without irritating consumers or phone companies.

Mobile phone users registered with HooHaa list their name age, location and buying interests on a database and allow themselves to be reached by advertisers by text.

In return, they get a 10 cent credit for each advertiser text which is accumulated into lots of $2.50 and deducted from their mobile accounts.

The scheme started in January after chief executive Brian Hawker and his partners - Jason King and Kerry Emerson - happened on the idea.

Hawker - who has a background in sales and marketing at FMCG company Masterfoods - says it is early days yet.

But HooHaa signed up 43,000 people and last month began its move into the Australian market. "We've been surprised by the swift uptake and to be honest there is an element of our touching wood," he said.

"But we think that we might have happened on a business model for marketers to reach mobile customers with tailored messages."

Mobile phones are enticing for marketers because it gives them direct one-to-one access to consumers.

HooHaa answers a problem that has ensured mobile marketing is heavily self-regulated by the phone companies.

"Quite frankly, people just really hate it, says Michael Carney, the media strategist at ad agency G2.

But permission-based marketing is allowed by phone companies and HooHaa says it lets advertisers reach mobile users without becoming a nuisance.

HooHaa advertised through mainstream media and registered people in an online survey giving their interests and buying habits. As a result they got approaches only on things they wanted to hear about.

"I don't want to get messages from a fashion store like Max, but I do want to know there is a special deal for golf club members at a local golf store or if my favourite beer was selling at $15 a dozen at a local supermarket," he said.

Hawker said traditional direct marketing would see companies sending out 100,000 pamphlets or messages trying to reach 1000 customers.

Direct marketing executive Robert Limb, of Rapp Collins Limb Walker, said the type of service offered by HooHaa was more likely to be attractive for promotional advertising than for discounting.

He said the appeal of mobile marketing was based on the close relationship that could be forged and had to be built on permission to communicate.

Consumers had to be in control of the messages they were receiving.

Hawker confirmed the HooHaa had "some challenges" with one of the phone companies but declined to give details of this, the allocation of ad revenue or profitability.

He said the HooHaa database had a broad cross-section of consumers, but was strongest in the demographic for people aged 18-30.

Source: New Zealand Herald

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Many Now Find Dates Using their Cell Phone

Recently, Jeff Blum was out buying a sandwich when his mind wandered toward his social life. So he got out his cell phone and sent a text message with his work ZIP Code to MeetMoi, a new mobile-dating service. Within minutes, his phone received the profile of a woman who worked nearby, and the two began exchanging messages about where they worked, their professions — and meeting up for a drink.
"I liked the fact that we were talking right then and not waiting for e-mails to go back and forth," says Blum, who is 24 years old. "It all happened right away."
Millions of consumers have begun prowling for a date on their cell phones, thanks to new mobile-dating services that enable "real-time" dating — that is, letting users connect on the spot with the people they pick out. Designed to be instant versions of Internet dating, many of the new services have capabilities that online-dating services haven't offered — such as letting you search for a date in a location you can update as you move around, and letting you chat with other people seeking a date while you're out and about. will soon launch a new mobile-dating service that will allow its 15 million members to access their profiles and send messages to potential matches from their phones. is also planning to launch some dating features on Ask Mobile GPS, a software application that lets users of phones with built-in Global Positioning System chips search for local businesses near their location. While the service is still being designed, it could allow users to search for other daters nearby. "We want to take mobile dating to the next step," says Match's chief executive, Thomas Enraght-Moony.
MeetMoi's recently launched dating service helps users identify people who are nearby and looking for dates. Registered users can indicate that they are available by text-messaging a ZIP Code or street address to the service. MeetMoi then searches for other members who have indicated they're looking for a date in the area and sends back the profiles of people who match the user's criteria. The service is free to register and costs 99 cents for 10 anonymous text messages.
Zogo was launched late last year and connects users who want to talk by phone. Users who log in through the browser in their mobile phone will see a list of matches based on information they have provided about their preferences. If one of the matches sparks a member's interest, he can request a phone conversation, prompting Zogo to send a text message to the match's phone. If the recipient consents, Zogo calls both phones simultaneously, without disclosing either member's phone number. Zogo is now free but may soon start charging a monthly subscription fee for some features.
Jumbuck Entertainment's Fast Flirting service is a mobile version of speed dating. For about $3 a month, it allows users to sign into a virtual "lobby" where they can select a flirting partner based on factors such as age and location. They can then have private text conversations of up to 10 minutes — a twist on real-world speed dating in which users try to meet a lot of new people in a short period of time.
While consumers who would rather flirt from afar are skittish, the new features are starting to gain steam among a new generation of mobile daters who want to do everything on the go. The services are already driving strong growth for the mobile-dating market — and helping to entice consumers to sign up for the mobile data plans that are necessary to browse the Web from their phones. An average of 3.6 million U.S. cell-phone users accessed a dating service from their mobile phone in March, according to M:Metrics, a mobile research firm, up from 2.8 million in March 2006.
Dating is in many ways made for mobile phones, says Mark Donovan, an analyst with M:Metrics, because people are often most eager for a date when they are "out and about." But the services, particularly those based on location, are likely to appeal most to users in dense urban areas, where the dating pool is likely to be larger and more concentrated.
Mobile-dating services also face pressure to prove that they are safe for users and can't be exploited by stalkers posing as daters. To address such concerns, MeetMoi makes its matches without divulging members' locations to each other, and it automatically logs users out of the location they put in after two hours. "You tell us when you want to become available," says MeetMoi's founder and CEO, Andrew Weinreich. He adds that the service is safer than other dating services because a user can have only one account pegged to his or her phone number (unlike Internet dating sites where users can register under multiple aliases).
Still, some worry that location-based features might be misused. "Right now the application would become a stalking application if you added GPS," says Ted Verani, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Trilibis Mobile, creator of mobile-dating service Webdate Mobile. He adds that GPS may be appropriate when technology improves to enable users to better regulate who sees what.
Other hurdles for potential miscreants include a complicated sign-up process. While many services will work across most phones, they often require the users to sign up for a mobile Internet data plan. Some carriers may block some services like sending profile pictures, because they consume too much traffic. And pricing plans still vary widely, with some services charging per text message and others charging monthly subscription fees.

By Jessica E. Vascellaro
The Wall Street Journal

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