Nestle Purina bulks up mobile strategy with Petcentric app

The Petcentric application is now available for BlackBerry users, and a new version with upgraded features is offered to iPhone users. With the enhancements, the application is available to more than 66 percent of the smartphone market. “We wanted to provide Purina users with a high-functioning destination to access all of the Petcentric content,” said Alexandre Mars, Paris, France-based CEO of Phonevalley and head of mobile at Publicis Groupe. “With an app as robust as Petcentric – location-based functionality, user generated content, gallery, videos, news and tips – it made the most sense to start with apps. With the recent upgrades, the application now provides pet owners an even more engaging mobile experience through location-based utility, entertaining content featuring videos and photos, and relevant pet information.
“That being said, apps are only one part of Purina’s 360-degree mobile strategy,” he said. Purina's Petcentric is now available to 500,000 iPad owners. The new features offer a gallery of top pet news stories and videos every day, and new ways to search for professional pet sitters and pet-friendly places using GPS technology.
Nestle Purina bulks up mobile strategy with Petcen
find pet-friendly places
“This localized and timely utility is the inherent great thing about mobile applications and the mobile Web,” Mr. Mars said. “Also, consumers love to look at great pet videos and pics and we’ve got all that in one location.”
Nestle Purina bulks up mobile strategy with Petcen
Browse some pet photos
Pet lovers can rate and comment on pet-friendly locations and add their own favorite places. Petcentric has proven to be very popular with pet lovers who use smartphone technology. 
The application was developed byPhonevalley, a mobile marketing agency.


Agency Sites and Mobile Marketing

Some days I think to myself, “The kids don’t get it.”
Yesterday I tried to read a blog post from a mobile marketing agency on my iPhone. I read a lot of agency blogs. It’s a good way to get inside the minds of people who are shaping the future of online marketing, and provides me a lot of rant material. However, I was in a hurry and trying to read the post on my iPhone, but I had two wait a whole three minutes for the full website to load. You’d think, given the agency was talking about mobile advertising, they would have a mobile optimized version of their site.

No. You’d be wrong, you’d be very wrong.

I come across these sites three or four times A DAY. Agencies write about Foursquare and Gowalla, location based advertising, iPhone apps, yet they don’t have a blog optimized for mobile viewing. I’ve even come across a site that was entirely in flash. That one looked GREAT on my iPhone. It’s two-faced. It’s weak. You can do better.

Marketers, if you’re going to be bringing advertisements to my phone, prove to me you can do it right. Walk the walk. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile viewing. If I can do it, you can too! No excuses.

Expert Review: “AR: A New Human Interface and the Next Killer App?”

Before AR can become a new killer app, it must be understood for what it is, a new human interface. AR is nothing less than a new way of seeing, a new mode of interacting, of enabling us to explore scenarios that don’t exist in the “real” world. By inserting ourselves in the scene, being the hero of our own game, seeing ourselves in 3-D, a kind of “reality TV’ effect takes hold.

As an emerging platform, augmented reality doesn’t depend on mobile, kiosks, window displays, or breakthrough baseball cards, however magical and engaging these deployments may be. It depends on the technology being all those things referenced a few lines up. AR apps of course have to be unbreakable; but what they really have to be is unforgettable. And technology is fundamental to attaining that precious intangible. AR needs to be viewed in that context, a technology platform that is more than versatile enough to flourish beyond digital marketing. 

Certainly, enabling web-based AR quickly opened up an enormous array of digital marketing applications. Digital marketing is still the very visible tip of the iceberg, but below the water line, there’s a vast array of applications, many of them transformative, that are poised for development, even as marketing applications mature.With augmented reality proliferating on multiple screens and in various guises within such a brief period, the challenge now is to decipher what truly is AR from what’s being billed as AR, and to understand how these very different versions, and visions, compare. Bruno Uzzan is co-founder and CEO of Total Immersion.

Total mobile LBS revenues to reach $12.7B by 2014

Mobile social networking on the rise: ad:tech pane
While technical advances in handset screens, user interfaces, processors, memory and graphics-handling technologies previously contributed to the launch of high-cost mobile devices, their features – including GPS – are now migrating to mass-market devices. GPS unit prices and form factors have improved considerably, making integrated GPS much more cost-effective and design-friendly.Due to the growth of mobile Internet usage and the surge in GPS-enabled devices, Juniper Research predicts that location-based local search and information services will be used by nearly 1.5 billion mobile users by 2014.
“I suppose the key observation is simply that, after a number of false dawns, mobile location-based services are coming into their own,” said Dr. Windsor Holden, principal analyst at Juniper, Hampshire, England. “The confluence of the Apple iPhone 3G and App Store fundamentally changed the way that developers and users viewed applications for the mobile phone. “Indeed, location enablement is rapidly becoming a de facto feature of many mobile applications,” he said. “However, whilst it is easy to point to these events as being ‘defining’ in the development of commercial mobile LBS, in reality a far larger number of things came together at the same time: advances in network infrastructure and on-device positioning technology, improvements in digital mapping content and improvements in user experience. “The combination of these factors has been crucial to the recent upsurge both in the number of mobile LBS products on services that are available, and in their adoption by end users.”
The Juniper study found that growth in mobile Internet adoption is expected to provide further impetus to the adoption of browser-based local search services. The sharing culture of Web 2.0 is increasingly shaping the way many location-based services and location-enabled applications develop.


Starbucks taps mobile social media for Frappuccino promotion

Starbucks taps mobile social media for Frappuccino
Starbucks knows that mobile makes social media an effective marketing channel
Coffee giant Starbucks Coffee Co. is running the Frappuccino Happy Hour promotion, a location-based multichannel campaign offering discounts to consumers who express brand loyalty on social networks.
The Frappuccino Happy Hour promotion is being highlighted across all of Starbucks’ channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Brightkite, foursquare, YouTube, MyStarbucksIdea.com and Starbucks.com, along with an in-store promotion. Brightkite users have the opportunity to earn a Starbucks badge if they check into Starbucks during the national Frappuccino Happy Hour promotion from 3-5 p.m. “They can add this badge to their profile to show their friends how much they love Starbucks,” said Lisa Passé, spokeswoman for Starbucks, Seattle. “We're really excited to be trying out new and innovative programs with location-based services like Brightkite.
 “Finding new ways to connect with our customers in our stores and online, guides the progression of our social media strategy,” she said. 
“What’s great about Brightkite is that it links the real time in store experience to the online community.”Starbucks recently unveiled the largest combined mobile payments and loyalty program in the United States.

Volkswagen producing iPhone game again with the Touareg Challenge

Following the success created of the previous iPhone games developed by FishLabs, Volkswagen has continued the success with the Touareg challenge. On this version of the game you can customize your Touareg to look and feel the way you want it. If you are up for the challange you can download the game on iTunes


Key tips on mobile site design and search engine optimization

Matt Smith is search engine optimization specialist at SEO.comGoing mobile right now has never been more uncertain. With the development of the iPhone and Android platforms, browsing the Web on a phone has never been easier. Therefore you may be asking yourself “If most users can view your full Web site with an iPhone, what is the point of creating a mobile webpage?”
While the mobile industry is constantly changing, one thing is for sure: you need to have a mobile Web site.
There are currently around 68 million mobile Internet users. This number is growing exponentially and will only speed up.
With the release of 4G sometime next year boasting speeds of twenty times faster than your home broadband Internet, 4G Internet will change the very existence of the mobile Internet. Therefore, yes, you had better get a mobile Web site and now.
Here are a few ideas surrounding the mobile industry and how you can set up your first mobile Web site.
Mobile site requirements• Your mobile site should be XHTML compliant
• Do not use frames. It is OK – most likely your site will look like one giant column. That is normal
• Create a mobile sitemap that tells Google which site is your mobile Web site and which is not
• Follow the specific mobile design guidelines and outlines
• Typically you do not want content deeper than three links. If you thought the attention span of a desktop viewer was short, try mobile surfing
• Use external CSS style sheets to speed up your mobile Web pages
Matt Smith is search engine optimization specialist at SEO.com

MicroSD A Solid Answer To Mobile Payments Using Near Field Communication (NFC)

Near Field Communication (NFC), and especially its use with mobile payments, is a concept that’s been promised for a while now but never really came to fruition as many had hoped.
Commercially available NFC-embedded devices haven’t hit the market as quickly as many anticipated, and combined with the rise of mobile handsets with microSD slots, a new approach to NFC is emerging that promises to bypass both handset vendors’ and mobile network operators’ core involvement.
New microSD offerings with NFC functionality are coming to market quickly, joining stickers as a way to bring contactless connectivity to existing mobile handsets and laying the groundwork for true mass-market mobile payments in the near term. The main problem still lies with MNOs, who remain the gatekeepers for mass NFC handset rollouts.  Over the next few years, however, the proliferation of MicroSD combined with other offerings such as active and passive contactless stickers should finally provide mobile users with true access to mobile payments using NFC.


Study: 82% Of Brands Plan To Boost Mobile Budgets Over Next 12 Months

According to a new study by MediaPost’s Center For Media Research and digital research firm InsightExpress, 82% of brands, agencies and other companies plan to boost mobile ad budgets over the next 12 months.
For starters, here’s the quick facts; four in 10 plan to increase spending by up to 30% and three in 10 by 31% or more in the next year.  Fifteen percent expect no change and, surprisingly, another 3% plan to actually cut mobile ad spend.  Half of mobile ad dollars currently come from Online budgets, 35% from cross-platform buys, 27% from funds specifically earmarked for mobile and 8% from TV budgets.
What’s interesting is that ad-spend for mobile is still derived from other ad-based budgets, even though it’s projected that 43% of mobile spending in the future will come from designated mobile budgets as the industry evolves and matures.What’s interesting is that ad-spend for mobile is still derived from other ad-based budgets, even though it’s projected that 43% of mobile spending in the future will come from designated mobile budgets as the industry evolves and matures.
With so much press and enthusiasm surrounding mobile apps, the study found that utilizing branded mobile applications are the most intriguing aspect of mobile advertising, with agencies, brands, publishers, technology vendors and retailers alike all indicating enthusiasm toward the concept.
Another data point that struck me as surprising was the fact that nearly 50% of respondents indicated a strong desire for mobile video as a primary advantage of mobile advertising, followed closely by mobile coupons at 39%- which was also cited as being the most effective in terms of ROI.

Starbucks rolls out largest mobile payments, loyalty play in US

Starbucks Card Mobile app users can touch and pay
Starbucks Coffee Co. has unveiled the largest combined mobile payments and loyalty program in the United States.
With the Starbucks Card Mobile application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, users can check their balance, reload their card and view transactions. In 16 select Starbucks stores in Silicon Valley and Seattle and at any U.S. Target Starbucks store—they can actually pay with their Starbucks Card using their iPhone or iPod touch. “The Starbucks Card platform is a cornerstone of our payment and customer loyalty strategy, accounting for over 15 percent of tender at our U.S. retail stores,” said Alisa Martinez, spokeswoman at Starbucks, Seattle. “As a result, we are focused on building the next-generation Starbucks Card to delight our customers. “The iPhone app marries the benefits of the Starbucks Card with the convenience of the mobile phone,” she said. “Our customers love the ease of checking their balance, using bar code payments and reloading their card – all at their fingertips.”
Starbucks Card MobileStarbucks claims that many of its customers told the company that they wanted to be able to track their loyalty Stars on Starbucks Card Mobile, so the coffee giant added this feature to make tracking Stars more convenient. “In our most recent release, which launched this week, we integrated the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program into the app,” Ms. Martinez said. “This feature allows our customers to track their progress in the Rewards program and earn their way to free drinks with each Starbucks Card transaction.
“Our aim is to link payment and loyalty into a unified user experience,” she said.


Android overtakes iPhone for No. 2 smartphone OS

Android vs. iPhone
According to the company’s report, in order to compete with the iPhone, Verizon Wireless expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to include all of its smartphones. Based on unit sales to consumers last quarter, Android moved into second position at 28 percent, with RIM at 36 percent and Apple at 21 percent.   “Our findings show that the carriers are very instrumental in determining which handsets and operating systems gain exposure,” he said. “There’s far more handset models available for the Android operating system. “Verizon wireless has promoted the Droid heavily and at a lower price.”
Android on the rise
“The thing you see with the iPhone is that it is just one device, while Android has different devices on multiple carriers and more devices are coming to the market,” said Noah Elkin, senior analyst at eMarketer, New York.
So what does this mean for advertisers?
“It means that there’s a viable alternative to the iPhone and to the apple platform,” Mr. Elkin said. “Apple is getting ready to launch iAd, and the stakes are pretty high.“They may be too high for many advertisers or simply more than many advertisers are willing to commit to a mobile campaign,” he said. “There are a growing number of Android devices and users who are as active as iPhone users. “That makes Android a good competitor and a good alternative to Apple’s iPhone.”

Video is killer app for mobile advertising

Video is killer app for mobile advertising

Video advertising has proved it can move products and heighten brand awareness in measurable ways, so it will be an integral part of the mobile medium going forward, according to industry experts.
Although mobile video advertising has been in the wings for some time, it now finally feels like it is becoming more of a reality. The rise of smartphones and new platforms like the iPad are moving mobile video forward.
“It is evident from our customer demand that the iPad will indeed be an important driver of mobile video advertising,” said Xavier Facon, chief technology officer at Crisp Wireless, New York.
“The HTML5 video support is mature on all mobile devices sold by Apple, but it is particularly well implemented on the iPad, because it is easy to embed the video window in other content and there are API’s to control and track the events related to the video play,” he said.  IPad and similar devices are expected to drive a significant growth for ads that embed video. Already brands are using mobile video.On smartphone devices, the click-to-video ad unit will be increasingly used because it is a great rich-media ad unit for mobile.
PepsiCo drove awareness and participation in its "Pepsi: The Game" program via a mobile video campaign (see story). During Super Bowl XLIV, NFL Players ran a multichannel campaign featuring mobile video to create awareness and interest in the NFL Players Association and its players out of uniform (see story). In January, in-application mobile video ads from Coca-Cola Co.’s Coke Zero, Miller Brewing Co.’s Miller Lite and Warner Bros. Entertainment’s New Line Cinema outperformed their online counterparts (see story). BMW was able to generate test drives through a mobile video advertising campaign (see story). With more advertisers interested in mobile video and seeing great results, it is logical that there will be more brands moving into the space. “


iPhones Are Less Than 10%, But They Matter...

A major point of discussion with TigerSpike clients these days - especially those with smaller budgets - is the best strategy for mobile apps.
In this article Luke shares the advice he has been giving his clients about why apps are important, and which platforms are key.  Imagine a community with 50 bicycles and 1,000 cars in it (i.e. 5% bicycles). It is logical to put up a billboard next to the community highway rather than next to the community cycle path right? Maybe not. And here is why.
What if each cyclist uses the cycle path 20 times per day, and each car only uses the road once a week. Over the year the cycle path billboard gets 365,000 views, and the road billboard only gets 52,000 views.
Now imagine that the billboard on the road is so high that only cars that are convertible can read it, and only 50% of cars are convertible. Now you only have 26,000 views.
The mistake that so many people make – usually agencies I have to say – is that they say “well only 7% of people have iPhones: we don’t want to only reach 7% we want to reach the other 93% as well”.
The problem is you can’t reach those people. The other 97% are only using their phones for calls and SMS; not for browsing the web. So there is no point trying to reach them. You can’t. They are like people who have cars but never drive them, so they will never see your billboard.
What to do
50% of all traffic is from smart phones, and more than half of that is from iPhone and iPod*, so if you have scarce marketing dollars and no mobile strategy yet, just do the following (in this order):
  • Build an iPhone app.
  • Promote the iPhone app (via other iPhone apps).
  • Build a mobile site optimised for high end devices. Forget about the low end ones.
  • Promote the mobile site (via mobile media).
  • Build an Android app (save money by using the same functional specifications and designs as you did for the iPhone app).
  • Promote the Android app.
  • Tie it all together with messaging!
And if you were really thinking ahead you would gather all the interactions and learn about the behavior of the people interacting, and then work out how to do things better and better. Luke Janssen is the Founder and CEO of TigerSpike
*Bear in mind that this is the case for the USA and UK markets. In India and Indonesia, which are the number 2 and 4 in terms of total mobile browsing, the handset markets are dominated by Nokia. And when I say dominated, I mean the top 10 handsets in each of those markets are Nokia.

comScore Study: Mobile Browsing More Popular Than Mobile Apps In US


Two reports issued by comScore examine the functions which are most frequently used by consumers on their mobile device. The reports cover both the US and European markets, and reveal that in the US, almost 1/3 of mobile subscribers have used their phone to browse mobile websites.

In the US, 29.4% of mobile consumers use their mobiles to browse mobile websites. This represented an increase of 2.4 points compared to the previous three-month period and made browsing the mobile web the second most popular function after sending SMS messages (64%). A little surprisingly, more people in the US browsed the mobile web than used downloaded mobile applications (27.5%).
In comparison, a similar report published on the European market showed that 22.2% of mobile consumers use their mobiles to browse mobile websites. This was the fourth most popular function after sending SMS messages (83.5%), using downloaded applications (33.4%) and listening to music (22.7%).
Also, these figures vary quite significantly from country to country, with mobile browsing being more popular in the UK (30.8%). Mobile browsing is much less in popular in Germany (17.4%) where using downloaded mobile applications is a lot more popular (33.3%).
A similar trend is noticeable in Spain, which leads in the use of mobile applications (36.1%) and listening to music (28.7%) but has a much lower uptake of the mobile web (19.9%). Another clear trend is that the uptake of non-voice functions is consistently lower among French consumers than other European consumer.
The reports also looked at the market share of the different smartphone operating systems.
It found that US consumers where increasing their acceptance ofAndroid (+5.2 points giving it a market share of 9%). The main losers were Microsoft (-4 points giving it a market share of 15.1%) and Palm(-1.8 points giving it a market share of 5.4%). RIM (42.1%) and Apple(25.4%) remained the dominant players.

Social Networking Represents 60% of US Mobile Usage

pascal_network.gifAccording to a recent report from Ground Truth, 60% of traffic on the mobile internet in the US is to Social Networking sites. In addition, mobile specific social networks engage users more than online social networks.
Ground Truth data is from a census of 3.05 million U.S. mobile phone users, and is reported weekly. Ground Truth works in partnership with operators to collect and analyze data while protecting the privacy of mobile subscribers. The service allows operators to optimize their networks, understand their audiences.
Evan Neufeld, vice president of marketing at Ground Truth said, “The disparity of time spent between social networking and the next category, portals, which account for 59.83 and13.65 percent of time spent respectively, is a vivid illustration of the impact social networking has on Mobile Internet traffic in a given week.”

The consummate consumer: Your audience is permanently switched on

mobile marketing consumate consumer article image
Consummate Consumer: Impulsive and ready to interact at the drop of a hat. Who wouldn't want to tap into mobile marketing? 

As the 20th century drew to a close, futurologists predicted that we would by now be using our phones to order our shopping, watch football games and download recipes. While that has proved to be one of the few predictions that has taken longer to materialise than many expected, it is finally becoming a reality - and the opportunities for advertisers could prove significant.
According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), mobile advertising in the UK has continued to grow quarter on quarter throughout the recession and was worth £28.6m last year, a 99.2% year-on-year increase. That is a tiny fraction of the £1.75bn spent on online advertising in the first half of 2009 alone, when, for the first time, more advertising pounds were spent on the internet than on television.
But Russell Buckley, chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association points out that mobile advertising is expanding rapidly. "Considering there wasn't a market five years ago, you could say it has grown more quickly than the internet in some ways - and certainly along the same trajectory," he says. That growth is likely to accelerate as handsets equipped with new technology, including mobile broadband, become ubiquitous and consumer behaviour changes.
Gartner, the IT research company, predicts that within three years more than half of internet users will be accessing the web via mobiles and other handheld devices. Buckley, who is also vice-president of Global Alliances at AdMob, which places ads on mobile websites for clients, points out that in developing nations like India, where PC penetration is low, the majority of internet activity already takes place on mobiles. "Some countries are effectively already living in a post-PC era," he says. Laptops and desktops are firmly entrenched in the west, but in the future, phones and personal organisers are likely to be the new gateway to the online world.
Ten years ago, using phones to download video clips, listen to music, play games or search the internet seemed a distant prospect. Now, those activities are commonplace. Research carried out by Orange earlier this year revealed the popularity of those practices among all age groups. Over half use their phones to access the internet, 64% send picture messages, 55% play games, 49% listen to music and 26% receive email. Some 87% use mobile media at home, and 73% when they are "out and about". Just under half said they used their phones to access the same sites they use on their PCs and 62% said they wanted their phones to do the same things their PCs can. The worlds of computing and telephony have already merged in the minds of many consumers.

Britain’s Got Talent iPhone App Downloaded 200K Times In 4 Days

The Britain’s Got Talent iPhone app that was developed by talkbackTHAMES digital andMobile Interactive Group (MIG) has reached the number 1 spot in the UK app store thanks to 200,000 downloads in four days. Britain’s Got Talent is one of the UK’s most popular TV shows. The app has all the usual features associated with a TV show app, enabling fans to:

  • watch the latest videos,
  • access exclusive back stage footage,
  • keep up to date with breaking news, gossip and hot stories,
  • browse photo galleries of the acts and judges, and
  • rate and share information with friends and family.
The app also allows users to participate directly with spin off show,Britain’s Got More Talent during live episodes.
Although it is primarily a means to increase engagement of fans with the show, the app itself is monetized through integrated sponsorship packages.Domino’s Pizza has taken the lead sponsorship, and the app allows consumers to order a pizza for delivery straight from the application. All mobile ads in the app are served by ad network 4th Screen Advertising.
“This year the launch of the App allows us to broaden our digital reach and to entertain and engage viewers on the move, as well as maximizing value for our sponsors and advertisers.” said Robert Marsh, Head of talkbackTHAMES digital.


Translate the real world with Google Goggles

Traveling to another country can be an amazing experience. The opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture can give you a new perspective. However, it can be hard to fully enjoy the experience if you do not understand the local language. For example, ordering food from a menu you can not read can be an adventure.  Google Goggles will prove useful to travelers and monoglots everywhere: Goggles translation.
Here’s how it works:
  • Point your phone at a word or phrase. Use the region of interest button to draw a box around specific words
  • Press the shutter button
  • If Goggles recognizes the text, it will give you the option to translate
  • Press the translate button to select the source and destination languages.

Google Goggles in action (click images to see large version)

Every new release of Google Goggles contains at least one new feature and a large number of improvements to our existing functionality. In addition to translation, Goggles v1.1 features improved barcode recognition, a larger corpus of artwork, recognition of many more products and logos, an improved user interface, and the ability to initiate visual searches using images in your phone’s photo gallery.

Google Goggles v1.1 is available on devices running Android 1.6 and higher. To download, scan the QR code below or go to the Android Market app on your phone and search for “Google Goggles”.