Publishers Dropping the Ball on Email Marketing

Publishers Dropping the Ball on Email Marketing 300x200 Publishers Dropping the Ball on Email MarketingThe basics of email marketing aren’t so basic to everyone.

According to a new report from Lyris, the shift from print to digital has “transformed the publishing industry, but many publishers are still struggling with the basics of email marketing.”

That’s the revelation from a recent FOLIO survey sponsored by Lyris.

The survey of more than 175 publishing professionals found that they are still grappling with the fundamentals of digital messaging to drive increased subscriptions and advertising revenue.

Despite the proven effectiveness of email marketing, the survey results point to key areas of email marketing weakness among publishers:

  • List building and maintenance: Publishers cite list growth as their number one pain point. As a result, list growth and improving subscriber data quality are their top priorities for next 12 months.
  • Mobile optimization: In spite of the fact that most email is viewed on mobile devices, only 34 percent of survey respondents said their emails are fully mobile-optimized. While many have plans to expand their mobile design efforts, 16 percent of respondents are not even sure where to start.
  • Personalized messaging: Nearly 40 percent of survey respondents said they don’t analyze audience behaviors, including subscriber and browser abandonment, to create personalized messages. Personalization based on behavior was also low on the list of email marketing priorities for the next 12 months, with only 30.7 percent of responses.
  • Strategies for engagement: Nearly 79 percent of respondents said they don’t have a strategy to engage with inactive subscribers, leaving a significant revenue opportunity untapped.

“Publishers are well-known for having a deep understanding of their audiences. However, the survey findings reveal that they have yet to apply those experiences to email marketing,” said Alex Lustberg, CMO at Lyris. “This represents a significant opportunity for the industry to apply email marketing best practices to better engage their audiences to increase advertising and subscription revenue.”

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Marketing veterans take the stage at inaugural MMAF Indonesia 2014 to help 'Reimagine Mobile'

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Oct. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) today announced the speaker line-up and agenda for its inaugural Mobile Marketing Association Forum (MMAF) Indonesia. Held on 13th November 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta, the event will feature 12 distinguished speakers with vast experience in mobile marketing, each of whom will explore mobile’s role in reimagining the consumer path to purchase.

Nothing brings you closer to the consumer than mobile, and with Indonesia’s sky-high mobile penetration, there is an immense mobile opportunity waiting to be tapped in the country. MMAF Indonesia aims to encourage both brands and agencies to bridge the mobile marketing gap in Indonesia, embrace it wholeheartedly, and actively put mobile at the center of all their communications instead of simply acknowledging its potential.

The event will feature keynote sessions by two of the most important players in Indonesia’s telecommunications sector – PT XL Axiata and Indosat. The transformation of the advertising industry through mobile and the subsequent changes in the role played by other major media channels will be one of the key topics covered by Alexander Rusli, Ph.D., CEO, President Director and Director, Indosat. Continuing the theme of ‘Reimagining Mobile,’ Hasnul Suhaimi, President Director of PT XL Axiata will explore the mobile innovation cycle and how technology is changing the way brands engage with consumers. In addition, Edward Ying, Director of Planning and Transformation at Telkomsel, another mobile communications heavyweight in Indonesia, will lead a session on the impact of data and technology-driven solutions on marketing in today’s world.

“Mobile has been a major disruptive force in today’s media landscape. MMAF Indonesia 2014 provides delegates and speakers a much-needed platform to share their expertise on what this powerful medium means for brands that want to reach the affluent and connected Indonesian consumer,” said Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association APAC. “With the excellent speakers lined up for the MMAF Indonesia, I’m looking forward to an exciting and fulfilling day of conversations that raise the mobile marketing industry in Indonesia to greater heights.”

An additional keynote session will be led by Ashutosh Srivastava, Chairman CEO, Asia-Pacific and Global Growth Markets at Mindshare where he will share his unique insights into how marketers can create powerful brand experiences for consumers through the use of mobile.

In addition to the keynote speakers, a number of other senior regional leaders will also share their expertise at the event. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dick van Motman, Chairman CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network/Southeast Asia
  • Dan Neary, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Facebook
  • Edward Ying, Director of Planning and Transformation, Telkomsel
  • Dr. Anindya Datta, Chief Excecutive Officer and Chairman, Mobilewalla
  • Sushobhan Mukherjee, Co-founder, Narrative Technology
  • Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association Asia-Pacific
  • Adeline-Ausy Setiawan, Media Director, Unilever Indonesia SEAA
  • Ranjana Singh, Chairperson, WPP Indonesia, Vietnam

The Mobile Marketing Association Forum Indonesia 2014 is sponsored by XL Axiata TBK, InMobi, Telekomsel, Mobilewalla, Digital + Direct Marketing Association Asia, Indonesia Digital Association, Mobile Monday Indonesia, and Media Business Asia. For more information on the event, please visit the MMA Global website here.

Held in over 13 countries around the world, MMA’s Forums are a platform for brands, agencies and publishers to share their experiences and success in mobile marketing. The events have received widespread accolades for its ability to assemble the best within the industry and facilitate the sharing of best practices.

The MMA is the world’s leading global non-profit trade mobile marketing association comprising of more than 800 member companies, from nearly fifty countries around the world. Its members hail from every faction of the mobile marketing ecosystem including brand marketers, agencies, mobile technology platforms, media companies, operators and others. The MMA’s mission is to accelerate the transformation and innovation of marketing through mobile, driving business growth with closer and stronger consumer engagement

ABOUT THE MOBILE MARKETING ASSOCIATION (MMA)
The MMA is the world’s leading global non-profit trade mobile marketing association comprised of more than 800 member companies, from nearly fifty countries around the world. Our members hail from every faction of the mobile marketing ecosystem including brand marketers, agencies, mobile technology platforms, media companies, operators and others. The MMA’s mission is to accelerate the transformation and innovation of marketing through mobile, driving business growth with closer and stronger consumer engagement. Anchoring the MMA’s mission are four core pillars: to cultivate inspiration by driving the innovation for the Chief Marketing Officer; to build the mobile marketing capabilities for the marketing organizations through fostering know-how and confidence; to champion the effectiveness and impact of mobile through research providing tangible ROI measurement; and advocacy. Additionally MMA industry-wide committees work collaboratively to develop and advocate global best practices and lead standards development. Mobile Marketing is broadly defined as including advertising, apps, messaging, mCommerce and CRM on all mobile devices including smart phones and tablets. Members include, American Express, AdChina, Colgate-Palmolive, Dunkin’ Brands, Facebook, Google, Group M, Hewlett Packard, Hilton Worldwide, Kellogg Co., L’Oreal, MasterCard, McDonalds, Microsoft, Mondelēz International, Inc., Pandora Media, Procter Gamble, R/GA, The Coca-Cola Company, The Weather Company, Unilever, Visa, Vodafone, Walmart, xAd, Zenith Optimedia and many more. The MMA’s global headquarters are located in New York with regional operations in Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA), Latin American (LATAM) and Asia Pacific (APAC). For information about the MMA please visit www.mmaglobal.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Rice Communications on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association
Amala Naravane/ Mansi Maheshwari
Email: amala.naravane@ricecomms.com / mansi.maheshwari@ricecomms.com
Tel: +65-3157-5681 / +65-3157-5687

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SpyderLynk’s Marketer-Friendly Mobile Engagement Portal Converts No-Frills UPC Barcode into New Marketing Channel

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

SpyderLynk, a leading mobile engagement platform company for marketers and creator of the SnapTag ®, today announced the completion of its Series B round of funding with TBC Holdings totaling $2.5 million and the launch of its Snap Reader app and self-service online portal allowing brands to build and launch mobile campaigns using their existing UPC barcodes (or any type of mobile activator including QR codes!) Brands are able to set up their own mobile marketing campaigns in a snap using SpyderLynk’s simple yet powerful turnkey mobile engagement portal.

Marketers have been experimenting for several years with QR codes and other mobile barcodes like the SnapTag, printing them on packaging, signs, and just about every other medium to drive brand and product awareness, and, ultimately drive consideration and sales. The genesis of mobile barcodes was the unexciting, yet very utilitarian UPC barcode, which was created to track product inventory and sales. More recently, mobile technology app builders have created proprietary apps allowing consumers to scan UPC barcodes to drive them to non-branded sites/landing pages providing prices, nutritional information and competing retailer price comparisons.

The rub? These apps, the messaging, nor the information provided is controlled by brands – but rather by the technology vendors. But, that is all about to change with the launch of the Snap Reader by SpyderLynk, which turns a virtually static UPC barcode into an interactive mobile engagement platform. All of the rich mobile engagement tools provided by SpyderLynk’s SnapTag and mobile engagement platform are now available with the scan of a UPC barcode.

Why it’s different

Because it’s so simple – no other mobile activation tool is required. The entire mobile engagement can be driven through a brand’s existing UPC barcode. Two, the backend development and programming has already been done. Brands have the ability to set up and customize their own campaigns through SpyderLynk’s online self-service mobile engagement portal and can create infinite product marketing campaigns without incurring significant development costs or time constraints. Brands can simply promote the Snap Reader to engage with consumers across multiple product platforms. What’s more – the entire engagement takes place on consumers’ mobile phones – no link to a mobile website is required.

  • Mobile campaigns can be created and customized on-demand in minutes and executed in five easy steps – with no brand-side development support or cost.
  • With a simple scan of an existing product UPC barcode, SpyderLynk’s mobile platform can deliver a brand driven experience from promotions, loyalty, coupons, videos and other content to social engagements and data collection/measurement.
  • The Snap Reader can scan virtually any type of mobile barcode – UPC barcodes, SnapTags and QR Codes.
  • The Snap Reader can be private labeled and incorporated into a brands’ existing app or can be used as a standalone app with no development costs.

“We’re very excited to launch the Snap Reader and mobile engagement portal, which puts brands squarely in the driver’s seat,” said Nicole Skogg, SpyderLynk Founder and CEO. “Our new self service portal gives brands to the ability to deliver a brand experience that they control using any mobile activator they choose – even their existing UPC barcodes!”

“Our investment in SpyderLynk represents a strategic commitment to the significant opportunity we see in the mobile marketing industry. We believe that companies who offer unique mobile marketing solutions and activation tools, like SpyderLynk and its iconic SnapTag, will play a key role in driving industry growth,” said James V. Continenza, Chairman, CEO of TBC Holdings and a Board member of SpyderLynk.

Research shows that consumers are embracing mobile and want opportunities provided through mobile activators. In a research study SpyderLynk commissioned last spring and conducted by Research Now, 82% of the consumers polled said they preferred receiving brand offers via either QR codes, SnapTags, UPC barcodes or NFC. What’s more, 64% said they wished more advertisements provided mobile activators to get more information and offers.

The development of the Snap Reader and new engagement portal was funded, in part, by an investment from TBC Holdings, a holding company created to acquire and manage advertising, marketing and technology companies backed primarily by affiliates of Blackstone’s GSO Capital.

About SpyderLynk

SpyderLynk is a leading mobile activation and marketing platform company. We make it possible to deliver marketing programs directly to mobile phones—creating innovative, instantaneous interaction between consumers and brands. We market to the moment. We establish opportunities for consumers to react and interact to a variety of marketing options when they are most curious and most ready to convert their desire into action. SpyderLynk focuses on activating engagements from any media channel via virtually any mobile activator from our patented SnapTag to QR codes and UPC barcodes. We offer a suite of mobile marketing solutions improving consumer engagement, affinity and knowledge while driving conversion, commerce and retail traffic. This suite of solutions includes coupons, commerce, social, promotions, content, surveys and CRM, which have accelerated purchase cycles and driven marketing results for over one third of the top 100 US advertisers including Glamour, Revlon, L’Oreal and Toyota. SpyderLynk can be found online at www.spyderlynk.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and through the #SnapTag hashtag.

MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE:http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50972887lang=en

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China's Baidu says mobile investment a priority as Q3 revenue falls short

* Third-quarter revenue misses analyst expectations

* Mobile revenue now accounts for 36 percent of total

* Forecasts 45.4 to 49.6 percent rise in 4Q revenue (Recasts with executive comments, adds details, analyst comment)

By Gerry Shih

BEIJING Oct 29 (Reuters) – China’s dominant search engine Baidu Inc said it would continue to invest significantly to adapt its business to the mobile era, a transition that has tripped up other Internet peers born in the desktop PC era like Google Inc.

Sometimes known as the “Google of China,” Baidu reported lower-than-expected 52 percent increase in third quarter revenue, and said it expected revenue growth in the fourth quarter to slow down marginally.

The results pushed shares of the U.S.-listed company down 1.6 percent to $221.01 in extended trading, but executives took a longer-term view and reiterated investing in mobile – which now accounted for the majority of Baidu’s traffic – was the company’s top priority.

“It’s really not a quarters question or a 2015 question,” Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Li told analysts on a post-earnings call in response to a question about when margins might expand. “Investments on the mobile front is an ongoing effort for us.”

For the current quarter, Baidu forecast a 45.4 to 49.6 percent rise in revenue, largely in line with Wall Street projections.

Baidu has faced competition from rivals on mobile devices such as smartphones, as all race to invest in apps and content to keep users engaged. It is also grappling with intensified competition on its own search turf from the likes of Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd and Sohu.com Inc’s Sogou search engine, which is 36.5 percent owned by Tencent Holdings .

Chief Executive Robin Li said Baidu would continue to refine its mobile search product and invest in new products, including the newly launched Baidu Connect platform to deliver ads to smartphone users.

“In the long run, mobile users will more actively choose to download Baidu apps,” Li said, referring to competition from rivals. “Most of our investment in the future will be in the search quality front, and we think consumers will be able to tell the difference.”

Under a new accounting method that counted tablets as mobile devices rather than personal computers, mobile traffic surpassed PC traffic for the first time, while mobile revenues accounted for 36 percent of total sales.

Under the new accounting, mobile would have made up 33 percent of revenue during the previous quarter.

“It’s a good overall picture for them,” said Yuanta Research analyst Francis Ying. “I think they will see some growth with mobile from next year, but it cannot be seen in the short term.”

Net income jumped 27.2 percent to 3.876 billion yuan ($631.5 million). The company earned 11 yuan (1.7993 US dollar) per share, beating investor expectations of 9.75 yuan (1.5948 US dollar) per share, according Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of analysts.

Baidu also said it has been spending more on marketing and content, and on acquiring users. Traffic acquisition costs grew to 12.9 percent of overall revenue, or 1.742 billion yuan in the third quarter. That was up from 11.7 percent a year earlier.

The company is also investing on content for iQiyi, its online video platform. Content costs grew to 3.7 percent of overall revenue, or 498.1 million yuan. That was up from 2.5 percent a year earlier. (1 US dollar = 6.1136 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Gerry Shih in BEIJING and San Francisco newsroom; Editing by Chris Reese, David Gregorio and Miral Fahmy)

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China’s Baidu says mobile investment a priority as third quarter revenue falls …


BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s dominant search engine Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) said it would continue to invest significantly to adapt its business to the mobile era, a transition that has tripped up other Internet peers born in the desktop PC era like Google Inc (GOOGL.O).

Sometimes known as the “Google of China,” Baidu reported lower-than-expected 52 percent increase in third quarter revenue, and said it expected revenue growth in the fourth quarter to slow down marginally.

The results pushed shares of the U.S.-listed company down 1.6 percent to $221.01 in extended trading, but executives took a longer-term view and reiterated investing in mobile – which now accounted for the majority of Baidu’s traffic – was the company’s top priority.

“It’s really not a quarters question or a 2015 question,” Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Li told analysts on a post-earnings call in response to a question about when margins might expand. “Investments on the mobile front is an ongoing effort for us.”

For the current quarter, Baidu forecast a 45.4 to 49.6 percent rise in revenue, largely in line with Wall Street projections.

Baidu has faced competition from rivals on mobile devices such as smartphones, as all race to invest in apps and content to keep users engaged. It is also grappling with intensified competition on its own search turf from the likes of Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (QIHU.N) and Sohu.com Inc’s (SOHU.O) Sogou search engine, which is 36.5 percent owned by Tencent Holdings (0700.HK).

Chief Executive Robin Li said Baidu would continue to refine its mobile search product and invest in new products, including the newly launched Baidu Connect platform to deliver ads to smartphone users.

“In the long run, mobile users will more actively choose to download Baidu apps,” Li said, referring to competition from rivals. “Most of our investment in the future will be in the search quality front, and we think consumers will be able to tell the difference.”

Under a new accounting method that counted tablets as mobile devices rather than personal computers, mobile traffic surpassed PC traffic for the first time, while mobile revenues accounted for 36 percent of total sales.

Under the new accounting, mobile would have made up 33 percent of revenue during the previous quarter.

“It’s a good overall picture for them,” said Yuanta Research analyst Francis Ying. “I think they will see some growth with mobile from next year, but it cannot be seen in the short term.”

Net income jumped 27.2 percent to 3.876 billion yuan ($631.5 million). The company earned 11 yuan (1.7993 US dollar) per share, beating investor expectations of 9.75 yuan (1.5948 US dollar) per share, according Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of analysts.

Baidu also said it has been spending more on marketing and content, and on acquiring users. Traffic acquisition costs grew to 12.9 percent of overall revenue, or 1.742 billion yuan in the third quarter. That was up from 11.7 percent a year earlier.

The company is also investing on content for iQiyi, its online video platform. Content costs grew to 3.7 percent of overall revenue, or 498.1 million yuan. That was up from 2.5 percent a year earlier.

(1 US dollar = 6.1136 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Gerry Shih in BEIJING and San Francisco newsroom; Editing by Chris Reese, David Gregorio and Miral Fahmy)

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Samsung’s steep Q3 profit decline shows ongoing struggles in mobile

Samsung released its newest phablet, the Note 4, in mid-October.
CNET

Samsung’s third-quarter results were just as bad as the company warned, as tougher competition caused profits to tumble 74 percent year-over-year in its mobile business.

Overall, the South Korean electronics giant on Wednesday reported a 60 percent drop in company-wide operating profit — its fourth consecutive decline and its lowest since the second quarter of 2011. The company also recorded a 20 percent decline in revenue for the September quarter.

Samsung earlier this month warned its third-quarter operating profit would tumble as much as 62 percent and its sales would fall as much as 22 percent. The company blamed higher marketing costs and competition for its problems.

Profits in Samsung’s IT mobile communications divisions dropped for the second period in a row in part due to a lower average selling price for smartphones. Customers sought out lower priced older models and bought a higher percentage of mid-range smartphones. The average selling price would have been higher if Samsung had sold more of its high-end, flagship Galaxy devices like the Galaxy S5.

Samsung also warned that while it “cautiously expects” earnings to rise in the current period because of its display and components businesses, conditions will remain tough for its mobile business. It didn’t give any sign of when it expects a turnaround.

“Although the company anticipates a demand growth for the recently launched Galaxy Note 4 and new middle-end smartphone models, uncertainty remains for the [mobile] division, due to the year-end surge in competitor smartphone launches, which may require a potential increase in marketing expenses associated with year-end promotions,” Samsung said in a press release.

At the same time, Samsung’s consumer electronics division — which makes everything from TVs to home appliances — fell short of the company’s internal expectations during the third quarter. Samsung attributed the shortfall to declines in the average selling price of TVs and an earlier-than-expected end to the peak season for air conditioners. It still expects the fourth quarter to experience “strong seasonal demand for TVs.”

The fourth consecutive quarterly drop in operating profit underscores the continued pressures facing smartphone king Samsung, which has been hit hard by saturation in the high-end market and intensifying pressure on the low end. The tech conglomerate said earlier this month it believes “new smartphone lineups featuring new materials and innovative designs, as well as a series of new mid- to low-end smartphones with strong competitive positioning on both hardware specifications and price,” can help boost its results. But for Samsung, things may get worse before they get better.

Samsung has long counted on its marketing and hardware prowess to attract customers seeking an alternative to Apple’s iPhone. But the company is now facing new competition from low-cost phone vendors such as China’s Xiaomi and India’s Micromax, which offer cheap devices with high-end specs in their local markets. Apple also has become a bigger threat with its larger screen devices, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Simply wanting a bigger display is no longer a reason to buy Samsung’s devices, and its smartphones can’t reach the low prices of those from Chinese and Indian vendors.

The company on Wednesday said that for its mobile business in 2015, it “will focus on enhancing product competitiveness for each price tier and solidify longer term business fundamentals, in order to secure sustained growth and profitability.” It also reiterated plans to differentiate its smartphones through flexible displays and metal frames, and its “new product development strategy will focus on streamlined strategic models in each price category to enhance product and cost competitiveness.”

Framed! Samsung Galaxy Note 4 now metal-trimmed (pictures)
See full gallery

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And Samsung plans to use “differentiated technologies and designs” in its tablets and further diversify its wearables business to make the market Samsung’s “next growth engine.” In its first year in the wearables market, Samsung introduced six watches, including the Gear 2 smartwatch and Gear Fit fitness band. The company has tried to get an early start in wearables, but it will face more competition when Apple’s first smartwatch, the Apple Watch, his the market early next year.

Samsung’s IT and mobile communications division, which typically accounts for two-thirds of the company’s revenue, recorded a 74 percent drop in third-quarter operating profit to 1.75 trillion won. Sales in the division tumbled 33 percent, with mobile in particular dropping 34 percent. Samsung doesn’t break out profits for just its mobile business, instead lumping it in with its other IT operations.

Overall, Samsung’s operating profit totaled 4.06 trillion won ($3.9 billion), down from 10.16 trillion won in the year-earlier period. Sales fell 20 percent to 47.45 trillion won ($45 billion). The company also reported a net income of 4.2 trillion won ($4 billion), a 48.8 percent decline from the year-ago period.

Analysts had projected an operating profit of 5.1 trillion won on sales of 49.6 trillion won, according to Thomson Reuters.

Earlier this month, Samsung projected its third-quarter operating profit, based on the midrange of its view, likely dropped 60 percent to 4.1 trillion won ($3.8 billion) for the quarter ended September 30. The company also said it expected sales for the quarter to come in around 47 trillion won, a 20 percent decline.

Samsung plans to diversify its wearables portfolio beyond devices such as the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, pictured here.
CNET

At the time, Samsung said smartphone shipments increased marginally in the quarter, but margins were hurt by higher marketing costs and lower selling prices for the company’s high-end handsets. Its flagship Galaxy S5, released in April, hasn’t been selling as well as hoped, and it didn’t release its Note 4 phablet, or phone-tablet hybrid, until mid-October in most markets, including the US.

The company on Wednesday reiterated that smartphone shipments posted “slight growth,” but earnings fell because of the weak product mix. Samsung also saw only a “marginal impact” from the Note 4, which it released at the end of the period in a limited number of markets.

Samsung doesn’t break out unit sales for its various gadgets, but analysts believe Samsung shipped 78 million to 81 million smartphones during the September quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal. That’s down from an estimated 88.4 million units from a year earlier.

Rival Apple, meanwhile, last week reported fiscal fourth-quarter revenue and earnings that topped Wall Street expectations. It also projected stronger sales for the current period than analysts anticipated and sold more iPhones than anticipated. The only negative remained iPad sales, which dropped for the third consecutive quarter and fell below Mac revenue for the first time in years.

Apple sold 39.3 million iPhones in the most recent period, up 16 percent from the year-ago period. Analysts, on average, had expected Apple to sell 37.8 million iPhones, according to a poll by Fortune. The company’s newest devices — the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus phablet — went on sale September 19, so Apple will get a bigger boost from the products in the December quarter.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. PT with additional details.

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Big Time Mobile Ads for the Little Guy are Here

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Small business owners have a lot to gain from local mobile advertising – they know everyone they reach in this way is a potential customer, and they get a much more direct connection to consumers as opposed to a billboard or flyer. However, local mobile advertising has, thus far, really only been open to larger brands with big budgets.

Chitika Inc., a leading online and mobile ad network, has spent the last 11 years perfecting the art and science behind combining big data and geo targeting, and today is announcing the public launch of cidewalk – a free to download mobile app giving small businesses and entrepreneurs unprecedented access to mobile advertising technology.

By leveraging Chitika’s RTB platform and its sophisticated targeting and bidding engine, cidewalk puts smaller business owners on the same mobile playing field as big-budgeted, large brands.

Specifically, cidewalk addresses three critical needs of local businesses when they consider doing any kind of advertising:

  • Local - they are able to target their campaign to a specific town, knowing that the vast majority of their customers are right in their neighborhood
  • Quick - campaigns can be set up in less than 5 minutes using the iOS or Android app so they don’t have to take too much time away from their day-to-day
  • Inexpensive – Pricing goes as low as $1 for 1,000 ad views in the specified town, making ROI extremely achievable

This ease and granularity is reflected in the campaign creation process:

  1. After logging in, you pick the exact town where you want your promotion shown (e.g. Rye, NY)
  2. Then, you are prompted to input “promotional copy” for what you want your ad to say using a catchy title and additional information. (e.g. Line 1: Half Price Pizza in Rye! – Line 2: 50% off all Slices at Sunrise Pizza from 12-5pm)
  3. Finally, you choose how you want customers to reach you based on your promotion type – this can be a physical address, website address, phone number, or by email.

A preview of the newly created banner ad is then displayed where you can check to ensure all the information is correct.

Following the entering of payment information, made through our secure, encrypted Stripe service or by integrated PayPal support, you can choose the reach of the campaign – 1,000 views for $1, 3,000 views for $3, or 5,000 views for $5. Users can also choose to make the campaign one-off or recurring. After hitting “submit”, the promotion goes live to users in the selected area within 5 minutes!

The ad itself is shown to mobile users in the specified geographic area when they access more than 10,000 different popular mobile applications, including The Weather Channel, MLB, NFL, Fox News, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Reuters, and many others.

After the promotion is live, the cidewalk user can track its progress right within the cidewalk app, with the kind of campaign control previously reserved only for big-budget advertisers or experienced marketers. Users get access to a real-time updating of views, actions (i.e. clicks), the apps where their ad has been shown, and even a map with pins identifying the exact place their ad was seen by an individual user.

Early users of cidewalk have experienced the benefits of the app and its capabilities firsthand. “I’ve been running five separate ad campaigns using cidewalk for several weeks now, and I have really been amazed,” said Elie Sakhat, the owner of El Basha Restaurant in Westborough, MA. “I have had a bunch of customers come in during that period saying they saw my ad on their phone, which is the most you can hope for…I’ve advertised our daily food specials several times, and also launched one talking about our healthy, vegan options. The funny thing is, I recently purchased some billboard space on the state highway here, and based on what I’m hearing from customers, I believe I’m getting actually more business from cidewalk then I’m getting out of that billboard, which was much more expensive.”

Now a full release version, cidewalk is currently available as a free download via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

For more information on cidewalk, please visit cidewalk.com. Screenshots and additional background information can also be accessed via Dropbox. For media interested in a demo account, please contact press@chitika.com

About cidewalk

Push your message immediately to thousands of local mobile users with cidewalk. Find a lost pet, promote a sale or happy hour, congratulate a friend, advertise your small business — the possibilities are endless! cidewalk caters to individuals and businesses with big dreams and small budgets. As little as $1 gets your message out to the people who really matter: those in your town. cidewalk is brought to you by Chitika, the award-winning ad network with over 11 years of industry experience. Our proprietary targeting and optimization technology leverages the power of programmatic buying to serve precisely the right ad to the right person at the right time.

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zMessenger to host Sri Lanka’s first Mobile Marketing Roundtable

zMessenger, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile marketing solutions provider will bring together top brand leaders from FMCG, hospitality, banking and financial services to the Island’s first roundtable on mobile marketing scheduled for Thursday, 30th October, 2014

 

The event titled Embracing Mobile Mind Shift – Mobile Moments are the Frontline of Customer Experience will look at the impact of rapidly increasing mobile connectivity on customer expectations.

 

“Mobile phones are proving to be an effective and affordable marketing channel and in the face of this mobile boom, customers are in the midst of a total mind shift. Their expectations have changed. Whilst they have lost interest in a marketing message, they now demand utility and they expect it now. We thought its timely to focus on how brand leaders across different industries understand this shift and respond to it by creating mobile moments that would transform customer experience and supply them with mobile utility,” Jayomi Lokuliyana, Co-Founder and CEO of zMessenger said.

 

The roundtable will see expert panelists Siddharth Banerjee, Country Marketing Director – Unilever Sri Lanka, Tharanga Gunasekera, Head of Marketing and Communications – HSBC Sri Lanka, Mangala Wickramasinghe, Head of e-Banking Services –  HNB and Co-Founder of the Ministry of Crab and Kaema Sutra restaurants, Dharshan Munidasa addressing the gathering on diverse topics ranging from customer engagement to delivery of financial services through mobile phones and the power of mobile context to mobile services in the hospitality sector.

 

The mobile marketing roundtable will also highlight and profile various ground-breaking mobile marketing efforts of ‘new-age’ corporate such as Unilever Sri Lanka, a driver of effective marketing.   

 

zMessenger is an award winning integrated mobile media company that offers a wide range of solutions from planning, creating and execution of effective marketing campaigns, branded communication applications and content distribution strategies.

 

zMessenger that first introduced SMS based applications to local media stations also enjoy a leading position in the overall ‘new media’ marketing space for digital. It is also the only mobile marketing services solution provider in Sri Lanka.

The company recently launched Bigbon, a mobile app that allows customers to pick and choose the best deals offered by credit cards, loyalty cards and favorite retailers and restaurants. Bigbon which is completely customizable allows users to explore the deals at a specific location by turning on the “Augmented Reality” feature which displays a list of deals in close proximity to the user. The app also generates a report offering merchants an insight into customer preferences.

 

“With the journey we’ve come so far, it’s only benefitting for zMessenger to hold the country’s first ever Mobile Marketing Roundtable. We believe that this endevour will help broaden our horizons and consolidate our position in the Island,” Lokuliyana said.

 

Live streaming of Mobile Marketing Roundtable Colombo 2014 will also be available at zmessenger.lk/mmrcolombo

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3D Printing: The 3rd Dimension of Mobile Marketing

In the past couple of years, no other technology has raised more expectations about the future and the way that it will affect our lives than 3D-printing technology. Tens of articles and posts are published every day on this subject. Most articles present 3D-printing with much excitement while others go as far as to predict that every household will own a 3D-printer.

3d-printing

Despite the hype, 3D-printing today is far from a household technology, mostly used by non-professionals for fun, entertainment and utility. Yet there is hardly any talk on how 3D printing can pave the way to consume content in a physical, tactile way and therefore become an unprecedented marketing tool.

Tangible marketing

Marketing until today has been predominantly 2D through graphics sound/music and motion/animation. With 3D printing, marketing can become three dimensional and change how brands interact with consumers in so many imaginative ways. With the advent of 3D printing, the marketing message can be felt, held, used; it becomes tangible. We are no longer constrained to abstract, virtual worlds or bold slogans and tag-lines. When applied to marketing, 3D printing opens up many dimensions of tangible communication and real-life interaction.

Customization

From mass-production to mass-customization. Some major brands have already started experimenting by employing 3D printing for communication purposes by uploading products’ 3D files and by allowing customers to alter them and print them. Is this enough? Most likely not. Why not think of something more radical, why not surprise people and introduce a touch of exclusivity?

Ok, picture a hotel by the beach (tempting summer destination) that hired a product/fashion designer to create unique, imaginative 3D-printable flip-flops (something like these maybe?) that could be 3D-printed per room booking based on customer’s colour preference, foot size and carry their name. What a great unique give-away gift that can be not only utilitarian, but also stylish, and collectable . Sounds too far fetched? The technology is already here!

Games Gamification

3D-printing technology adds a physical and tactile substance to ideas and experiences. How could this technology be relevant to mobile marketing?

Or how about tying 3D printing to the most popular app category: gaming. As mobile games are intangible, transforming part of them into a physical object can greatly enhance the game experience for players. Picture a gamer who wins an award as then complete a new level and can 3D-print their trophy, medal in plastic or even metal. The gamer’s trophy could adorn a shelf, double a jewellery, or form a smartphone accessory that could make it a huge business in Asia. Or how about 3D printable candy to be to be eaten, shared with friends in Candy Crash, with the associated bragging rights, of course.

The gamification of advertising and 3D-printing would has endless opportunities for online or mobile marketing where the audience would have to play a game in order to access to the 3D files of the trophy or award.

Contextualization

3D-printing machines are in a sense small production factories available inside homes, or even public spaces if they take the form of vending machines, they could be found in any public space. This means that the production and delivery venues can be potentially anywhere target customers live, work, travel and socialize.

For example, the insurance company DVV/Les came up with an interesting application of 3D-printing by offering the Keysave,a service which 3D scans your keys and should you lose them, you download and print the 3D-file of your key. A smart promotional activity, close to the core business of the insurance company that widens its appeal to a wider audience.

Or a more humorous and high-tech idea. Suppose that someone finds themselves in a noisy environment (dogs barking, cars horning, or kids crying), An app like AutoShazam could detect the high noise levels and a suggestion of a 3D-printable set of earplugs on pops-up on the screen of your smartphone, so that you can print them off and take a break (a mobile KitKat moment maybe?). Further ideas could be born by employing technologies such as ibeacon, or sensors.

PreExperience

What’s possible can be far wider than the limits of one’s core businesses. Imagine that you book a flight ticket only to receive a confirmation e-mail or e-ticket. But what if the flight company would allow you to create and then 3D print a custom luggage tag themed after your holiday? Or what if after booking online your hotel room for your much-awaited vacation, to have the ability to instantly 3D-print your QR coded key-card; the very same card that you will be using in few days’ time to enter your room. In both cases, a part of your future experience is already in your hands.

3D Maker Ecosystems

So, who can realize these ideas? The development of three-dimensional products is a whole new world for the digital marketing and advertising agencies. What is needed is 3D maker ecosystems, or 2-sided marketplaces bringing together marketers with 3D makers. Perhaps a cross between Pinshape, a marketplace for selling 3D objects and oDesk, a marketplace where companies hire freelancers to get the job done. Ecosystems connecting marketers with 3D makers would have superior growth economics and the same winner-takes-all effects that we have seen practiced by Android and iOS ecosystems.

Of course, many digital marketing agencies or Brands will opt to make their own 3D printable object libraries working with professional 3D artists or winners of 3D maker competitions. Digital marketing agencies can also partner with banks to make 3D printing available in more places. Just picture this for example. You buy with your credit card a new smartphone. Then your bank, as a nice promotional gift, offers you a series of 3D printable cases you can download and print. But hey, if you do not have a 3D printer, you can go to closest branch where a 3D-printing vending-machine, next to the ATM prints your case.

Putting a brand in your hand

3D-printing technology is a marketing tool for all kinds of brand, be it physical goods, software or services brands. It is a multidimensional tool, simply up to the marketers’ imagination to dream up the right application. Yet, be warned: 3D-printing and real-life tangible objects are two-edged swords. Make a gimmicky object and your brand suddenly looks uninspired and tacky, Come up with something imaginative and relevant to the here and now and you will thrive. That’s what puts your 3D campaign not only in people’s hands but also in their hearts.


About Alexandros Stasinopoulos

Alexandros is a multidisciplinary award-wining Design Manager with experience at the intersections of Design and Innovation Management. Currently, as Creative Director at the international Design Innovation Consultancy Pilotfish B.V. in Taiwan, he is responsible for transforming visions and strategies to tangible products and services. Prior to this, he designed for Taiwanese companies as well as taught Design at Shih Chien University.
Alexandros holds a BA in Design from AKTO (Greece), a MA in Design from Domus Academy (Italy) and a Msc in Strategic Product Design from TU Delft (The Netherlands).
For more information you can visit : www.ale.gr

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