Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2010 are go!

image momo_london_large_logo

STOP PRESS: The competition is now open to entrants from Spain as well as the UK, The Netherlands and Portugal. The closing date remains the same - 22 August 2010.

And it’s bigger and better than last year and Mobile Monday London is very pleased to be supporting this year’s Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2010 competition. And as part of that, I’m helping to organise again this year and will be part of the UK jury to find the best mobile internet start-up to put forward to the final in Amsterdam in September.

You can read some bits and pieces about last year’s event here.

The aim of the competition is to find the best mobile internet start-up across the UK, Portugal and The Netherlands and reward the winner with Euro 100,000 and the runner-up with Euro 50,000. A pretty decent prize-fund I’d say. And in accepting the prize, you don’t have to give away IP or equity to Vodafone.

The competition opens today and closes on 22nd August at midnight. But please don’t leave your entry until the last minute. All entries need to be completed in English and you do need to adhere to the Terms and Conditions. The actual competition Ts & Cs are only about 6 pages – the rest of the document relates to the Ts & Cs for Vodafone’s Widget platform which you must also agree to. Yes, it’s a long document, but please give it the once over to make sure you’re happy with it. I’ve read it and I can’t see anything particularly nasty in there, but I’m not an expert on these things, nor am I a lawyer so don’t just take my word for it.

The application form is pretty straight forward but I highly recommend that you take some thought before you fill it in. There is limited space, and limited time for the judges to read and take in what you’re writing, so it means you need to to think through clearly what your proposition is, describe the features but make sure you also state the benefits as these are what make you attractive to customers.

You can only enter once and once you’ve entered, you may not amend your entry.

Entry is now open at http://www.vodafonemobileclicks.com/ and you can follow progress of the competition on the VMC2010 official twitter account. And if twitter’s your thing, you can also follow Mobile Monday London there too.

The 5 judging criteria are:

  • originality, creativity and innovation;
  • technical and operational feasibility;
  • economic and financial viability;
  • value to end-users;
  • and finally, on the quality of the management team.

If you have specific questions or concerns, please get in touch with me and I’ll do my best to answer your questions or put you in touch with someone who can.

Entry Criteria:

  • Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2010 is open to any individual aged 18 or over resident in the Netherlands, Portugal or the United Kingdom and to Dutch, Portuguese and UK-based start-up companies, businesses, institutions and all other organisations.
  • Participants must be or must have the intention to become a start-up enterprise/ business in the field of mobile internet products or services. Start-up in this context means that the enterprise/business must be less than 3 years old.
  • Each participant may submit only one entry.
  • Entries from Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2008 and 2009 may resubmit to Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2010.
  • There is no charge for entry

There are three stages to the contest:

  1. We will collate all the entries and the local jury will review them to get to a shortlist of 5.
  2. We will then review the shortlist to find a single company or individual to put forward to the final.
  3. The UK finalist will present at the final to be held at Picnic in Amsterdam on 24 September 2010 alongside the finalists from The Netherlands and Portugal.

Last year we were able to put three companies through to the final at Picnic. They were Audioboo, Rummble and Woobius. Woobius came third and walked away with a Euro 25,000 prize. And Audioboo and Rummble have both done very well since last year’s contest, both recently raising funds and growing their respective businesses.

We asked all our UK finalists from VMC2009 what they thought of the competition last year and whether or not it was worth entering.

Mark Rock from Audioboo tells us: "Vodafone Mobile Clicks was one of the freshest competitions of 2009. To have a mobile network operator embrace the start-up community in this way was fantastic. The quality of the judging through 3 rounds was excellent, if a little gruelling, And the support & help given all the way through to being taken to Amsterdam to compete in the finals (we didn't win, by the way) was above and beyond the normal competition process. Vodafone Mobile Clicks is worth the effort"

And Andrew Scott from Rummble said: "Vodafone put considerable energy behind the Mobile Clicks competition which definitely contributed to our profile .. it was also a lot of fun!"

And here’s a couple of pictures of the Woobius team with their prize cheque. Well done Woobius!

The Woobius Team 1 The Woobius team 2

So, get the thinking caps on and get entering. The Mobile Monday London team wishes you the best of luck!

The official press release is below.


Search to find best mobile internet start-up across three European markets is on

27th July, 2010. Vodafone today announced the launch of Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2010, a competition to identify and develop the best, most innovative mobile internet start-ups. Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2010 will run across three European markets - Netherlands, Portugal and UK.

The contest is open to any start-up with a great idea for a mobile site, service or application and entrants can compete for the €150,000 prize fund by submitting entries to www.vodafonemobileclicks.com. The competition is open now, and the closing date for entries is midnight, August 22nd, 2010.

Each entry will be judged on five criteria: originality, creativity and innovation; technical and operational feasibility; economic and financial viability; value to end-users; and finally, on the quality of the management team.

The judging will take place over three rounds. Each competing market will draw up a shortlist of their five best local submissions, a winner will be selected from each shortlist and finally all local winners will be invited to represent their country in a live final at the PICNIC Festival in Holland on September 24th, 2010, where the overall winner will be chosen by a panel of mobile industry experts, including Om Malik, founder of the GigaOM Network, Russell Buckley, VP Global Alliances at Admob, and Rudy de Waele, Founder of dotopen, the Mobile Premier Awards and co-founder of the Mobile 2.0 Conferences in San Francisco and Barcelona.

Launched in 2008, Vodafone Mobile Clicks is a Vodafone initiative designed to accelerate innovation in the mobile internet sector across Europe. It is now the biggest mobile start-up competition of its kind.

“Through initiatives like Vodafone Mobile Clicks and our wider developer outreach programme, we’re finding ways to help stimulate, grow and commercialise the innovation that is at the heart of the mobile ecosystem,” said Lee Epting, Director of Content Services at Vodafone Group. “Vodafone Mobile Clicks is really about empowering ambitious, young start-ups to develop their ideas and accelerate them into market. I’m excited to be judging another year of inspiring entries from entrants across Europe.”

Previous Vodafone Mobile Clicks winners include Layar, an Amsterdam-based company who developed an augmented reality service that allows mobile customers to see information on nearby points of interest – for example houses for sale, popular bars and tourist information – by simply looking through a phone’s camera lens. The service launched in June 2009, and throughout 2010 the platform has seen 20% month-on-month growth. Layar has recently announced a strategic partnership with phone manufacturers LG and Samsung.

For further information about the Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2010 competition, or to enter your company, go to: http://www.vodafonemobileclicks.com

Monday, July 26, 2010

Marketing Mobile Apps & Other Stories

momo_london_large_logo For those of you who don’t know already, I help to run Mobile Monday London, an organisation that runs popular monthly knowledge and networking events, large-scale events like Over The Air (coming on 10/11 September) and Heroes of the Mobile Screen (coming in December) and also has an email discussion group, a Facebook group, a LinkedIn group and an active twitter following.

BlackBerry_Logo_Preferred_Black_R Our most recent event was 200,000 Apps, Where’s Mine? sponsored by the lovely people at BlackBerry. Essentially, we were looking at how to market your mobile application since the days of simply publishing it to the App Store (whichever flavour it may be – be that Apple, Nokia, Android, BlackBerry etc) and hoping for the best are gone. Marketing savvy is now required to make the most of your opportunity. But this isn’t an easy thing. If marketing were easy, there wouldn’t be 100s of 1000s of jobs for marketers. Equally, it’s a bit topic and we probably only scratched the surface as we only had about an hour or so to cover the topic. There was a lot more the audience wanted to know.

So with this in mind, Kath Clarke from Rosier Consulting approached me and asked if she could write a guest article as she felt there were some key things she could address on how to market mobile applications on a shoestring. Of course I said yes, it was such a great idea.  So here it is. Over to you Kath.

How to Market Mobile Applications on a Shoestring

Kath Rosier pic At this week’s Mobile Monday London panel discussion, application developers wanted to know how to market apps and create awareness of their apps on a shoestring. I felt that the question wasn’t answered in full so wanted to share my experience in helping small and large businesses in mobile get their applications and services noticed, create brand awareness and ultimately drive sales.

Now, you’ve created your gym app for example, and it’s available to buy, but how do you get anyone to know about it and drive your app to the top of the charts without spending the big bucks? My tips below won’t cost you millions, but it will cost you a bit of time and tenacity.

Who are your customers?

It may seem like a pretty simple question, but you’ve really got to know who your target customers are first. To work this out, just test your app with your group of friends, colleagues and family (which usually means hitting the main age groups, demographics and interests). See who responds positively and note down their age, what their interests are (gym, music, socializing etc), what phone they have and if they know anyone else who would like your app or service.

Create your target list

Put all this information into a spreadsheet and group everyone in interest groups, their age, phone type and if they would recommend the app to anyone. Remove anyone irrelevant (i.e. their phone doesn’t support your app) and put your groups in descending order of size.

Go local first

So you’ve worked out your interest groups and have a large list of people who will recommend your app to a friend. Now, you need to look at your local community in a 5-mile radius, and select all of the private and public gyms, tennis clubs, football clubs, as well as the other key places your target audience might hang out.. bars, pubs etc. There will be people interested in your app who never actually go to the gym, so you need to go where they go. Work out your route and go around all of these places, app in hand.

Promote it

What do you say to the person at reception or the manager of the venue? Tell them that you have created an exciting new app which is going to help people improve their fitness levels and you wanted to know if they’d be interested in giving it away for free to all of their customers. This would add value to their customer offering and help promote your app. If they say yes, tell them that you’d like to show it to the staff (with supporting handsets) and demonstrate how to download it and start using it. Arrange a time to come back and tell them you will bring along some posters and flyers to promote the free give away to their customers. Fingers crossed, they will be more than happy with this.

Posters and flyers

You can get a graphic designer to create a poster and flyer in a day and get them printed up locally fairly cheaply. They don’t have to be fancy, just clearly say WE ARE GIVING OUR CUSTOMERS A FREE APP and DOWNLOAD IT NOW and don’t forget to write a succinct one liner explaining the benefits (not features – there’s a big difference) of the app and where to get it.

Recruiting local ambassadors

Your local college or university is a fertile place to recruit ambassadors to your app. Recommendation from a peer is more successful that recommendation from a sales guy. After getting permission from the person in charge of the campus, you need to find students who would be interested in getting paid a small wage to be your “app ambassador”. They will essentially be selling your app to anyone they can, and with every new registration they will get a small bonus or just a standard weekly fee. The viral effects of this campaign will mean after a few weeks you will have created awareness not only within the local student community, but with the teachers, canteen staff, families and their friends. To generate interest from prospective ambassadors, create posters with your mobile number to be interviewed and recruited.

(This campaign idea was hugely successful with Turkcell the major mobile operator in Turkey who recruited student ambassadors to promote Turkcell Messenger.)

Recommendation is your best friend

People always listen to friends, family and colleagues, so grab your list of people who said they know someone who’d be interested in the app and call them up and take them up on their offer. Get their contact details and explain what are you doing and see if they would be interested in your free app. This will not only extend your reach outside your local community but will do so as many times as you have people to call. This is viral marketing at its best.

Get local coverage in the press

Some people don’t know how easy it is to get local coverage. Local newspapers love local stories and they would be interested in covering a story about a local innovative app developer who has created apps which people in the local gym are using. All you need to do is call up a news reporter on the local paper and explain why your app is great and they might want to interview you, take your photo and hey presto, you have your own press coverage which will read by a lot of people in your local community.

Get coverage in the right subject area

Again, getting press coverage isn’t rocket science when promoting apps. If your app is a gym app for example, then research online all of the online and print media, and the blogs to do with sports and fitness. Get the email and phone number of the features writer or the blogger and call them up and explain that you have the best app in the market for this, explain why and ask if they would like to feature it. If they like it, then they’ll likely to write up about it. For the big magazines like Men's Health for example, you can offer to give it away for free to all readers for a limited time only.

[Ed: Please be aware though, that journalists are very busy people and that bloggers are often blogging in their spare time as a hobby so don’t pester and don’t be offended if they didn’t get round to writing about you. Also be clear on benefits, not features – features are only meaningful to you. Customers are interested in benefits and results. And if you say you’re the first at something, really make sure that you are by doing your homework. Also, don’t assume that the blogger has an iPhone, Android or whatever phone you expect them to have. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has an iPhone..]

Social Media

A great tool when marketing to consumers, use Facebook and create a page about your app. Get your ambassadors and friends, family and colleagues to sign up to the “I love this App” page and their friends will see their updates and might look to find out more.

You can do loads of things to keep your Facebook page alive. For example you can profile your ambassadors with a short video clip talking about how much they love your app and post on Facebook. Write up short stories about how they have used the app, how much weight they’ve lost, or what they think is the best benefit. Customer stories and testimonials really work but you may have to go out and ask your customers for this.

You can even create a competition for your Facebook followers to come up with new ideas for your next app or for work experience with you on an existing app. Regular activities will help spread the word and maintain your Facebook page.

Creating a Twitter page will tap into the Twitter followers, and you can update new events and with entries on anything else interesting to engage conversation with a new audience.

Now, you should be set to generate sales for your app and push it to the top of the app store charts.

About Rosier Consulting

Rosier Consulting specialises in marketing for businesses in the mobile industry. We provide marketing, events, PR and new media services to companies who are looking to enter the mobile marketplace or are already established and need to raise their profile, attract new customers and create business leads.

Delivering results, on time and to budget, Rosier Consulting can help any company stand out from the crowd through hard hitting marketing and PR campaigns. We also provide new lead generation programs, build the brand through rebranding initiatives, develop market leading product collateral and service demos and set up and manage events, exhibitions and user forums internationally.


Thank you for that Kath. What great tips.

I have a couple more to add myself…

Copy someone else who has successfully created and marketed an app similar to yours

If someone else has already been successful, and you think you’re just as good, if not better, then you need to make sure you’re getting coverage in the same places that they’re getting coverage. Or that you’re contributing to the conversation about a particular genre of apps or services. Don’t use this as an opportunity for a sales push – instead, join the conversation, add value to the article, community, forum or whatever it is. In doing that you will pique interest in what it is you’re doing. Leaving a message on a blog or facebook that says ‘My app’s brilliant, buy it now’ will just get deleted and is a complete waste of time. This technique is particularly powerful in a b2b setting, but it can work beyond that too.

Public speaking and events

You need to get out there. Someone from the team needs to be a visible face for the company. The one they get quotes from in articles and soundbites, the one they can turn to when something goes wrong and who they know will reply to them, someone who is taking the lead in a chosen field. If your early adopters are going to be from your industry, then you need to hang out with them at their events – asking interesting questions during sessions, putting yourself forward as a speaker for example. If your customers are somewhere else, you need to be where they are – both online and offline. And being at the Sports Conference, hanging out with sports enthusiasts to show off your gym app might just be the ticket.

Don’t forget to read the write-up about the MoMoLo event. And if you read down to the bottom of it, you’ll see a whole bunch of useful links which might just help you sort out your app marketing strategy with tips, hints and insight galore.

Oh, and keep an eye on the Mobile Monday London website and email discussion group for updates – we’re going to be doing a few free webinars in the coming weeks to help you further with this topic covering youth, PR and marketing techniques.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stuff I’m looking at

It’s the usual scenario. I have too many tabs open so I’m sharing some links with you all so that I can close the tabs and get on with real work! They’re a bit random but, hey, I thought they were worth a look, so hopefully you will too.

The digital world makes us unhappy.

This post from cracked.com is well worth a read… 7 Reasons why 21st Century Living is Making you Miserable. I tweeted it a few days ago and it got a fair few retweets so I’m guessing it resonated with more people than just me. Hat tip to Tom Hume for sharing the link in the first place.

BA launches new mobile apps

I was lucky enough to be invited to the BA launch event for their new mobile apps and I got vox-popped. You can see the video clip here where I talk about their Android app. It was really interesting to spend some time with their developer and management team at the event to find out how and why they made the decisions they did regarding their new iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps. Mobile web has been very important to them and the vast majority of their traffic comes from iPhone and BlackBerry. They will be developing that site, ba2go,  further (and incidentally, the mobile site works on a laptop too for use in flaky wifi conditions. Hurrah!). They also still run a SMS service so they really are thinking of their whole customer base. However, they feel there is currently more functionality with apps and they’re keen to give a great customer experience whatever the device or platform or real life situation. The iPhone app is currently the most advanced and includes a mobile boarding pass. The Android app will be brought up to the same functionality level as the iPhone app in a few weeks. And the BlackBerry app is a ‘SuperApp’ as it incorporates core BlackBerry handset functionality – in this case, the calendar function. All in all, I was really pleased to see how core mobile was to their overall customer service strategy and I thought their in-house mobile development team were great. Well done BA and thanks to Nuria for the invitation.

FT.com and Pearson talk mobile at Techhub

I also spent some time last week at Techhub at a roundtable that Pearson organised to discuss the latest mobile thinking with their FT.com mobile team. I’ve known Steve for some time now and it has been really interesting to see the FT’s journey from Java apps and a wap site 5 years ago to the dominance of iPhone and iPad today. The iPhone has far overtaken BlackBerry for mobile traffic – and this is the business community we’re talking about – it seems they can live without their qwerty keypad. And currently there is a good conversion rate too with iPhone customers to convert them to paid subscriptions.

There have been 370,000 downloads of the FT’s app for the iPhone since the app was launched last year, and “we see very active users, with lengthy uses per visit” Steve tells us. The FT’s app for the iPad, the only news app to win an Apple Design Award, has seen an average use of 23.3 minutes per visitor, and both the FT’s iPhone app and the new iPad app have been very effective in driving subscriptions to FT.com.

There’s no doubt that the FT is fairly unique in the media world having niche, valuable, time-sensitive, high quality content but it’s still pleasing to see how well they’re adapting to the new digital media landscape and exploiting the mobile opportunities. It was also good to catch up with the Elizabeth and Mike from Techhub. I have to say, it’s a great facility and the wifi is super fast and the coffee is great. Try it out if you’re after some co-working space in London. Oh, and Pearson is one of the sponsors of Techhub. Find out more about their involvement here.

Exploit your IP – a free event from DCKTN

dcktn logo And if you’re interested in IP and how to extract the value from your IP, then you may be interested in an upcoming *free* event from DCKTN. They have a one-day seminar coming up on 14 September. This event is focused on “unlocking” your intellectual property and other intangibles, and using them to create value through collaboration, licensing and fundraising. The programme is led by participants from key organizations in the community of innovation, including the Intellectual Property Office, UK Innovation Research Centre and IP Federation, and will use a combination of thought-provoking research, case studies and practical exercises to help you understand the potential, and the possible pitfalls, of an “open” approach for your IP. You can get more information in PDF format here.

That’s all folks.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Upcoming stuff

Mobile Monday London - 19th July Event: 200, 000 apps, where’s mine?

blackberry-logo-blackWell that’s a good question indeed for anyone who has an app out there or wants to get a mobile application out there. Simply putting your application in any number of app stores isn’t enough when there are 199,999 others in there competing for attention. You’re in danger of just getting lost in the crowd. So what is the role of marketing in getting a successful application out there? How important is brand building and trust? How does a customer find out about your app and get it, whether it’s paid for or free? Is this now a marketing game rather than a distribution game? And what do developers need to know about branding, marketing and PR to create a successful marketing campaign for their mobile application or service? Does marketing need to be higher up the agenda than it was? What do we need to know about customers to make this happen?

Well that’s what our next panel session is about on 19 July 2010. Proudly sponsored by the lovely folks at BlackBerry, we’ve put together a great panel for you and expect a lively discussion as well to thrash out the marketing issues to get your on customers handsets beyond simply getting your app up in the iPhone App Store. This is not a discussion about platforms or App Stores. It’s a discussion about marketing, secrets for success, how to avoid failures and things to think about when marketing your mobile application or service.

We’re at the CBI at Centrepoint this month (nearest tube is Tottenham Court Road, please use the entrance at street level) and doors will open at 6pm for a prompt 6.30pm start. We’ll announce panellists as soon as we have them confirmed. Or we might just keep it a surprise! Rest assured, it’ll be a good session. The panel session will run until 8pm and then we’ll have an hour or two for networking and drinks courtesy of our friends at BlackBerry.

Registration will be open shortly over at http://momolo.org

Photo credit Ian Freimuth via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

WiMD Summer Lunch: 23rd July

Interested in joining 39 other senior ladies working in the mobile sector for lunch on 23rd July? Organised by the Women in Mobile Data Association, it’s £37 to attend and there are just a few places left. For more details and payment, please email WomeninMobileData@amdocs.com

Over The Air

Yes it’s coming. It’s our third Over The Air event. We’ll be opening up for submissions soon. In the meantime, why not join us on facebook and help spread the word?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Monday musings

I’m still not quite sure what day it is after my lovely holiday at Glastonbury Festival. But while I get myself together again and back into the swing of mobile things, I thought I’d share a few things that have caught my attention recently.

Mobile Developer Economics – a comprehensive free report from Vision Mobile and Telefonica. Check it out if you’re making decisions on which platform to develop for and would like to know how and why your peers made the decisions they did.

A round-up of what Windows Phone 7 will mean to the application developer landscape.

British mobile application designers share their top tips for creating a hit app.

Is youth marketing your thing? Are you aiming for a youth audience? If so, then these insights into media habits of 8 to 18 year olds is well worth a look.

UK newspaper circulation down by 25% and US newspaper circulation down by 30% since 2007. Article and link to full OECD report here. Meanwhile the Economist tells us that it’s not all over for print.

Really interesting reading here on MLearning from Dr Mimi Ito. This is live-blogged from the recent MLearnCon in San Diego. There are lessons to be learned here as well for marketing communications people too as it gives great insight into changing consumer habits.

InMobi sets up a $2m fund for mobile developers. This means that they’re offering 100% revenue share until the $2m is spent. Seems like a good idea to me if you’re using advertising to fund or part-fund your mobile site or application.

Fancy including travel tools ‘n stuff into your mobile app? Well you can, now that TFL has lifted all restrictions on the use of its data.

And now for something completely different.

If you like Opera and Horror, then why not apply to create the music for Werewolf in London from the ENO. It’s free to attend and they’re looking for musicians and singers to help create the soundtrack. It’s all happening on Sunday 25th July in London’s Docklands.