Wednesday, April 27, 2011

“The world is as big as my Mobile Screen”

We are working in the midst of a revolution, and mobile technology offers a key delivery vehicle to capitalize on today’s new marketing Imperatives.

Just before people started making themselves comfortable with Web 2.0, a new age of communication arrived. In our age, Its known as Mobile Media.
It is powerful yet handy marketing medium. Its personal, its social life centre, its all my communication hub to outer world. It has all that I need, browser, music player, SMS service are just the thing I need on the move to keep myself connected to world.

Yet, its quite easily noticeable that there’s a huge difference between browsing on mobile and other ways. Thinking it as the mini version of current methods is really an issue. Mobile is complete medium unto itself, neither to be mistaken as mini version of other things nor side kick to super hero web 2.0.
There are varying devices in market from mobile browsers that lack a lot of functionality to smartphones that offer unique browser experiences (think iPhone and Android).

To add an all new dimensions of complexity to this Mobile Media marketing equation, Mobile Tablets (like iPad and Samsung Galaxy) have arrived with all new experience.
As marketers seek to include customers in the conversations, integrate online and offline and “chunk” content into easily consumable sound bites – the emergence of mobile offers a key delivery vehicle to capitalize on these new marketing imperatives.

Consumers are embracing mobile, be it mobile phone or Laptops. They want access to digital information anytime and anywhere. These numbers are just epiphany to the new age :

• 78% of business people use their mobile device to check email. (Source: AT&T, March 2011)
• 40% of US Smartphone owners compare prices on their mobile device while in-store, shopping for an item. (Source: Comscore, January 2011)
• 1 in 5 US adult mobile phone owners have used their device to make a purchase in the past month. (Source: Mobile Marketing Association & Luth Research, May 2010)
• 101 million smartphones were sold in Q4, versus 92 million PCs (IDC, January 2011)
• Laptop ownership has increased dramatically from 30 percent to 52 percent, and desktop ownership has declined.(Pew Research, October 2010)
Mobile is like leaflet containing all the indices and rest follows.

With great power comes greater responsibility.

The marketers should understand that the Mobile community should be fed with the information they need. The demographics like age, sex, location will turn obsolete if the content and context are ignored. The messages/communication should never be spam as it contains bit of valuable information. The Holy grail is to channelize it in right procedure.

This rapid growth of mobile technology offers extraordinary opportunities for marketers. Mobile devices allow us to connect with consumers no matter where they happen to be, and the power of location-based services enhances potential interactions even more.

Creating a mobile version of your website is more than creating a smaller version of your current brochure ware website. The reason you do not need a mobile version of your current website is because mobile is not the same as the Web.
From platform to technology to how the consumer interacts with the media, the only thing that that the Web and mobile have in common is that they are both new media. The way someone accesses the content is fundamentally different from a Web experience, but most importantly, more and more consumers are using mobile as the first gateway to find out about your brand.

While the rules are still being determined as more and more companies wade into this new territory, marketers should look for integrated mobile marketing solutions.

The right idea will be to let the consumers pull the information. We still need to find out the patterns and way to make consumer aware that certain service exist without spamming them (of course at a point).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SMS Lingo...!!!

SMS Lingo !! 

Once upon a time there was telegram DOT People were charged on per word basis DOT I think you got the idea DOT

Later when civilization improved on technology front, paging and SMS took over the Telegram.

A couple of years ago, my dad peered over my cousin sister’s shoulder and read the message on her phone. “Lol? Who is lolling you? Is that some kind of rude word?”

With e-mail, instant messaging, facebook, twitter and SMSs or text messages, a new form of writing has emerged.

Earlier also, we had constraint of space and number of characters but the language never evolved only till now. Due to the fact that many of these new systems limit the number of characters you can use, people try many different ways to get a meaningful message across in the smallest possible way. This includes substituting numbers for letters, letters for words and numerous misspellings of words in order to try and use fewer characters.

These words are omnipresent and I was also astonished to see some shop carrying these names. (ROFLing Store, Beauty 4eva..etc)

What really interests me is how people from different groups of friends use different words and spellings, people I from Mumbai use different words to people in Nasik, and even people from different states have their own way of writing.

There are so many different words and variations that can be used, I thought of some basics that people generally use,may it be of some help:
•    First of all, often vowels are left out in order to shorten words.
•    Second, letters that do not have any sound in the word (“silent letters”) are also often omitted, eg. The “l” in “would” and “could”, and the “e” at the end of many words.
•    Try saying the sounds of the letters, often a letter that sounds like a word is used in place of the actual word, eg “c” instead of “see”
•    Numbers can sometimes be read as the sound they make, eg. 8 as the “ate” sound, or 4 as “for”. Other times however, numbers can represent letters, eg. 4 as “a”, and 3 as “e”.
•    Sometime in letters with “I” and ending in “E”,”I” is replaced by “Y” .e.g. Life turns to “lyf”, Like into ”Lyk”, Time into ”Tym”
•    “U” is read as indivisual U only e.g. for New its “nu”

Its just that we have entered into a new age of communication, the languages are going to transform a lot. I just hope that they don’t start teaching this as subject and define the grammar for the same.

Its basically the freedom that this medium offers to the consumers that it reflects at this very basic level.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You have a message…!!

I had one such ringtone long back. 

And it used to ring only once in a while. So this ringtone was welcomed. Later , with the increase in frequency of ringing, it started making me feel as if it was scolding me to pick and check the message. 

Though I had substantial increase in the number of people around me handling mobile and SMSing me without any reasons (forwardies) but what irritated me most was unwanted plethora of sales and offers spamming my mobile inbox.

20% off on all cosmetics like Imported Lipsticks, Mascara and what not made me think (only initially), How nice it would have been, If I was a girl.

But later when they started sending me offers on Huggies and child food, I literally got amazed about the Things they were selling on Mobile SMS. Also I was irked because I am not a girl and I am not a parent till now. So these message initially sounded interesting (and of course good for general knowledge sometime..) but then after sometime, I dint know whom to contact to explain them these little truths.

Mobile Marketing is “YES” the future of marketing and advertising but if there is no control, it’s going to breed irritated consumers and lose credibility.

Already, it is thought that the average U.K. and U.S. mobile phone user sees about 10% in SMS spam with Asian countries already at a whopping 20%.

If not stopped, they can at least be curbed and it will also allow appropriate law enforcement to seek them out.

France is one of the first countries to employ this technique, and the results so far are promising. More than a half million people have used the short code provided for reporting spam, and spammer's phone numbers have been disconnected as a result. 

The only debate on taming SMS spamming will come from those who believe it is censorship.

And For consumers like all of us, there are lot of applications which help us not only to curb spam SMS but call also.Blackbelt is one of the many examples.

And for SMS Advertising entities like me, let’s not make SMS marketing worse before it gets better. We can use segregation and demographics specific SMS marketing. At least it will not assume some Vegetarian as Non- Vegetarian Fisherman.

So for all of Us…

You have a message…!!