Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

There’s a lot I’m thinking about and reading at the moment so here’s a few to share with you for your delectation.

The Copyright Industry – A Century of Deceit. A succinct take on the role of copyright (or not) in the 21st Century. Take a look at the comments too. In this networked world, the concept of copyright is questioned. https://torrentfreak.com/the-copyright-industry-a-century-of-deceit-111127/

A lovely little journalism project with the indigenous people of the Northern Territory in Australia. Using mobile technology, they’re creating video journalism. Take a look http://ntmojos.indigenous.gov.au/

The future of news and why ‘digital first’ matters… this article is alluding to the fact that news is now a process not an artefact and there’s a need for mindset change to accompany this. http://gigaom.com/2011/11/21/the-future-of-news-and-why-digital-first-matters/

Fights erupt at Black Friday across the US. For those not familiar with Black Friday, it’s the frenzy for the sales immediately after Thanksgiving. If you thought the first day of the sale at Harrods or Selfridges was crazy, then you need to take a look at this storify of this year’s shenanigans Stateside. I’m glad it’s not like that here in Blighty (at least so far). http://storify.com/cbccommunity/black-friday

Videos of the presentations at the recent Noah conference looking at investment, M&A activity and innovation in the tech world. Lots of case studies and discussion. Worth a look. http://www.youtube.com/user/NoahAdvisors

The team at 33 Digital have taken a look at the top 10 future trends in social media and have compiled a little report looking at it. Mobile obviously features heavily including some thoughts on automotive and tablets.. Definitely worth a look and it’s free. http://www.scribd.com/doc/73580666/10-Social-Media-Trends-for-2012-33-Digital-and-Hotwire

In case you didn’t catch this already, this is my friend, Mauricio’s, talk about his adventures in rehab following a stroke at the beginning of the year. A compelling personal story coupled with insight into the role of technology as part of his and his fellow patients rehab. Definitely there are lessons to be learned here. http://vimeo.com/32533686

Five tips for mobile app success from the Vodafone developer relations team. In short, they are

  • Tip 1—Solve a user problem
  • Tip 2—Differentiate your solution
  • Tip 3—Do one thing well
  • Tip 4—Use the power of mashups
  • Tip 5—Iterate and increment

This seems like sensible advice to me and Vodafone goes into more detail about each point here to coincide with the launch of their refreshed app shop, Appselect.

And now for something completely different but no less important… Stan Collymore shares his own experience about depression. Worth a read for both sufferers and non-sufferers to get a wider understanding of the illness. There are also some useful links too. http://www.twitlonger.com/show/ecoqm1

Monday, November 28, 2011

Swedish Beers–The 10th Birthday Edition–7 Dec 2011

happy_birthday_candles-2011Rather amazingly, Swedish Beers is 10 years old. I can’t quite believe it. I can’t quite believe that I’ve been in one industry that long. I can’t quite believe I’m old enough to have done anything for 10 years! The first Swedish Beers event was in the back of the Nordic Bar (our natural home) and was the brainchild of friend and colleague, Steve Flaherty. He got some of his mates together under the guise of a networking event about technology, put a bit of money behind the bar, courtesy of BT, and a royally good time was had by all and it turned into a regular thing. From the 25 or so people at the first event, we’ve grown somewhat and seen 1000s through the doors and have had parties in London, Sydney and the big one every year – Barcelona during Mobile World Congress. But for our birthday party and a bit of a pre-Christmas bash, we’re back to our old favourite, The Nordic Bar. James and his team will be looking after us.

But of course, it couldn’t happen without the financial support of our lovely sponsors, Somo, and Inspiring Interns and of course, the friendship and support of our friends and regular attendees. It’s all of you who make Swedish Beers what it is today. And for that, I really am grateful.

So back to the birthday bash. It’s the same formula as before – mingle, make friends, talk of mobiles, marketing, life in general, drink beer, talk some more, rinse and repeat. There’s no PowerPoint, no formal speeches, and no agenda. Just come with a smile on your face and be prepared to hang out with everyone from mobilists to marketers, brands, agencies, creatives, media owners, journalists, pundits and more. We hope there’ll be a good mix and friendly faces for you to chew the fat with.

We will have free* house beer, house wine and soft drinks for you courtesy of our lovely sponsors Somo Agency and Inspiring Interns. You’ll have to look for them to get your free beer tokens. There are plenty to go around. *While the bar tab lasts. If we run out of beer tokens and/or the bar tab is spent, then we’ll revert to a pay bar.

What: Swedish Beers Mobile Networking Party – The 10th Birthday Edition

When: Wednesday 7 December 2011 from 6.30pm until 11pm

Where: You'll find us at the Nordic Bar on Newman Street which is the North side of Oxford Street, nearest tube Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus or Goodge Street. We’ll be taking over the whole bar and there’s outside space with heaters for those who like to stand outside in the Winter. There’s no need to RSVP, just turn up. If you’re really feeling the need to RSVP somewhere, then you can do that over here https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=265361270178751


Helen, & the Swedish Beers crew

About the sponsors


Somo The Mobile Marketing Agency - Orange

Somo is the leading independent mobile marketing agency. Our mission is to help our clients benefit from the rapidly evolving developments in the mobile market. We do this by identifying the potential that mobile marketing can bring to a client’s business, then designing, building and delivering first class campaigns across all mobile platforms. We use sophisticated reporting and tracking tools to measure the success of campaigns to ensure that, whatever the objectives, they are achieved. Head honcho and very knowledgeable, Carl, and his growing team of experienced mobilistas will be on hand to chew the mobile fat with you and to hand out beer tokens.

Inspiring Interns

inspiring interns logo

Inspiring Interns is today's intern recruitment solution, connecting businesses with fresh graduate talent. We search for talented, intelligent, and motivated young interns who want to learn, grow and importantly make a positive contribution through their skill sets and attitude. Any team, whether it is finance, administration, sales, marketing, HR, design or otherwise will benefit from having an intern as an additional team member.

We screen and interview every potential intern that we put forward for a position. We psychometric test them and ensure that we are dealing with highly motivated as well as talented people. If you want to meet any of our interns now you can perform a search or view via the player on our website. Search out the founders and long time friends of Swedish Beers and technokitten, Ben, Benedict, Sam and Charlie who will be on hand for fun, frolics and beer tokens.

**********Keep in touch***********

Email: Just add your email address to the Feedblitz box at the top left and you’ll get our blog posts (and therefore event notices) to your inbox.

Twitter: Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/swedishbeers

Facebook: Like us http://www.facebook.com/SwedishBeers (we’re phasing out the Swedish Beers FB group)

Views and perspectives from the recent MMA Forum in London

A guest post by Emmanuel Legros (twitter), Gemalto

This year’s Mobile Marketing Association Forum held in London was the usual hotbed of discussion around current and evolving market trends. As a member of the MMA, I both attended and presented at the event, speaking in a track session on ‘Doing More’, alongside Nokia, Eagle Eye Solutions, O2 and InMobi, hosted by Jonathan Kelly from Vodafone.

The presentation given by Babs Rangaih from Unilever was one I found particularly compelling. Outlining Unilever’s Mobile Manifesto, including the fact that the FMCG company has further committed to Apple iAd campaigns, as reported Ronan Shields and others, Unilever’s VP of global communications planning made some really intriguing points, including:

· No one is doing a great job in social media yet, which means there’s still an opportunity here

· It’s just the beginning for us and those in our industry, and we can all continue to learn and adapt.

· Mobile is a priority channel – if you lose your wallet, it may take you a day or a few hours to realize it. If you lose your mobile, you notice immediately.

Ultimately, his key message was that mobile marketing needs to be kept simple. It can bring great benefits or utility for consumers, for example through the delivery of mobile coupons.

Attila Weisz, digital marketing manager – IMC, at The Coca-Cola Company, raised a good point in his presentation too, talking about “mobile 3.0”. Even with all the development we’ve seen on mobile platforms, however, SMS still reigns supreme as a mobile marketing medium. Tens of millions of consumers out there haven’t made the leap to a smartphone platform yet.

It was interesting to hear how more and more big companies and corporations are investing in mobile. One major brand claimed it spent 70% of its time on above the line campaigns, 10% on innovation and 20% on mobile! If more companies adopted this investment in mobile, we would be significantly further down the line!

A third presentation that stood out was from the VP of digital products for The Weather Channel – Scott Jensen. In his eyes, mobile needs to be relevant – the keywords here are personal, local and social. Mobile marketing can only ever work if it offers the right message with the right content to the right person at the right time.

Which takes me on to my final thought which flowed through the entire conference, which is that permission-based marketing is the key to success. What marketers, who are embracing the mobile channel, need to be mindful of is that privacy and obtaining permission from consumers is what will determine whether their campaigns are successful or not. Access to this personal information is vital to creating that personalised experience, and consumers need to give you their permission to have that access. Also to note that permission is only granted on a temporary basis and has to be updated over time. People change so permission given once is not permission given forever.

It’s not all bad news though – those who manage to obtain permission stand to make headway with their target audiences. Gemalto has supported a Mobile Marketing Association whitepaper on Permission-Based Marketing (free pdf once you’ve filled in a short request form) which provides further guidance, case study examples and success stories. Worth a read if you want to learn more.

Heroes of the Mobile Fringe (working title)

solo heroMy new thing, or at least one of my new things is the very unofficial fringe festival happening in Barcelona at the same time as Mobile World Congress. You’ll find a landing page at http://mwcfringe.com where you can add your email address to be updated, there’s a group on facebook (likes are always much appreciated and if FB is your thing, then you’ll see the updates in your stream too) and you can follow proceedings on twitter and Lanyrd.

So what’s this all about then?

The unofficial fringe festival during Mobile World Congress is down to me. I've been attending the show for many years now and the events on the side (discussion sessions, parties, lunches, roundtables) that have proved at least as valuable and interesting to me as the main event. I've been running the Swedish Beers party and a ladies lunch at MWC for the last 7 years already, and I've also organised panel sessions, dinners, discussion groups and formal lunches. Back in London, I ran Mobile Monday London for the last 4 years or so, Swedish Beers for the last 10 years, and have run my own conferences and workshops in between the day job as a mobile media consultant.

The concept for the fringe festival is pretty simple... inspired by The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the aim is to bring the grass roots mobile community together.

- The website (and hopefully mobile friendly version – funds and resources permitting), will help you find events and happenings that interest you and add them to your diary.

- If you're an event organiser, then you can apply to include your event as part of the festival (and unless it's really dull, we’d love to include it and the more grass roots it is, the better). That way, we share the marketing effort through co-branding and make the pie bigger for everyone to share. If you wish to charge for your event, or you have a sponsor for your event, that's ok with us too.

- If you've not run an event at MWC before, we will try to make it a bit easier for you...I'm currently in the process of blagging cheap/free space so that small companies and communities of interest can apply to hold an event in that space so we'll act as a bit of a matchmaker. We don't mind whether your event is for five people or for 500 or anything in between.

- There'll be an email newsletter and we'll have editor's picks - a bit like The Time Out Guide to Congress if you like. On top of that, I hope to have a roving fringe reporter sharing what's going on under the radar during the festival at Barcelona.

- And if you sign up to our service, there’ll be fringe benefits too, ranging from the big stuff – free tickets to access the exhibition to the smaller stuff – free mobile apps and services to make your week easier to who knows yet – it’s all still in negotiation.

There is no fee to include your event for the fringe festival in February 2012. The business model is sponsorship and advertising. There is also scope for media, community and association partnerships.
The festival will start the weekend before Congress (I'm just negotiating an event for the Sunday, but others may have something up their sleeve for the Saturday too) and we hope to finish a day or two afterwards. Like all good festivals, it is open to all – individuals, big companies, small companies and everything in between.

Get in touch

If you'd like to get involved or would like to discuss further (e.g. sponsorship opportunities, volunteering, media partnerships etc.), please get in touch.

*Please note that the festival is not connected to or endorsed by the GSMA*

Monday, November 14, 2011

Internet Week EU–Mobile Best Practice Panel

It was a busy week last week – it was Internet Week in London and there were a ton of mobile events as part of that. I moderated two sessions, participated in a round table, went to a dinner and attended two mobile conferences. Even by my standards, that’s quite a lot. There were some recurring themes though…

  • Mobile is still being placed in a silo and not prioritised despite proven results. I heard tell of a bank wanting a mobile presence but not willing to put any budget behind it. Another tale of a large retailer whose mobile commerce offering is highly successful but has been ignored in all the above the line marketing for their Christmas push.
  • Ad agencies are one of the barriers – inability to make margin or add value in a mobile proposition; lack of technical knowledge or expertise; blinded by the iPhone; unwillingness to change their way of working to incorporate mobile thinking to be at the heart of the strategy rather than an add-on
  • Mobile marketing budgets are still relatively small as compared with above the line or even social media budgets (despite ~50% of social media being consumed on a mobile device)
  • Clients lacking technical knowledge and lacking in consumer insight means that mobile initiatives are tactical rather than strategic.
  • Arguably, mobile commerce is core business to many organisations now (in the same way as having a bricks and mortar store or an ecommerce offering), but is not treated as thus
  • We’re still talking about statistics to prove that customers have gone mobile. Surely we know this already and we should be moving on to talking about what we do, how we do it and what we learned in the process?
  • There is an obsession with direct ROI in mobile initiatives and a fast one – a few months, maybe a year. Yet in publishing, a new print magazine would not be expected to break even for three years. The mobile experience is more complex than just looking at the number of hits or click throughs and we should be applying research methods from other marketing and commerce disciplines rather than transplanting online advertising models.
  • Accessibility is barely on the radar at all. It seems to be perfectly acceptable to alienate a large proportion of your customers because they don’t have your preferred device, so what chance do people with impairments or disabilities have when it comes to the big guys making their mobile sites and services more accessible?! Oh, and there are at least 54m disabled people in the US and over 6m of them here in the UK.

Much of this, and more, was discussed in my Internet Week panel session last Thursday at The Hospital. My fellow panellists were James Pimentel-Pinto from full-service mobile agency, AgencyMobile, Shawn Thomson from Largetail, consultant Andrea Bauer and Andy Smith, formerly of Admob (Google) and now with mobile couponing specialist Eagle Eye. There were also some interesting questions and comments from the audience. So if you have 40 minutes or so to spare, you may want to take a look or have a listen. Comments and questions welcome.