Blyk: Inventory Doesn’t Make Mobile Operators Media Companies; Why Mobile Advertising Must Be Relevant

Topic: Mobile Marketing | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: May 22, 2009

Today marks the end of a long week of mobile advertising webinars (including this one organized by Mobixell - password adit123) and interviews, activities which for me drove home the pivotal importance of relevancy in all we do. Like a pop song you keep hearing in your head, my ears are ringing with how many times I have heard executives at brands, agencies, and operators echo the increasing importance of relevancy. In fact, Andy Bovingdon, Bango, VP Marketing, in yesterday's interview for the Mobile Advertising Research U.K. project, was by far the most adamant to date.

In his view, mobile advertising is a form of mobile marketing that has many forms - all of which must be relevant to us. "The key across all platforms and forms of advertising - search, SMS, banners, and barcodes - is the relevance and the ability to target. Is mobile another screen, or the fourth screen, as some say? I would say it is the first screen. It's always-on and always with us, and that means we can learn a lot more about the visitors [but not individual visitor] to a site or an ad campaign. We can know more about the people who interact with advertising, and we must use this to give them advertising to interact with."

Put simply, relevancy rules (!) The message isn't lost on MSG. Almost five years ago, I wrote the first report on mobile search and content discovery, where I preached the importance of delivering the right content to the right person - better yet in the right context. And that has been my message ever since. (Also reflected in the MSG strapline: At the intersection of content and context.) It's where the action is!

And if you think it only applied to mobile content portals, then I have one word for you: App stores. This well-written and thoughtful column from Mark Lowenstein speaks volumes. He makes a plea for more personalization in application storefronts, and companies would do well to listen.

"I think the most important way to differentiate in this growing but increasingly crowded market is to deliver a more personalized, contextual applications experience. In most cases, all users launching an app store are presented with the same menu. There have been some early stage attempts to enable users to do some content configuration on operator or third party portals, sort of a wireless version of My Yahoo. But if we're dealing with tens of thousands of apps and a small screen device with limited input capability, we have to get a lot smarter about what is presented to the user, with the magic being done in the background rather than relying on the user to self-configure."

Where's the connection with Blyk? The answer is evident when we consider (in my view) a milestone quote/observation (below)from Antti Öhling, Blyk co-founder and CEO U.K.


Location-Based Advertising Concept Cashes In On Opt-In; Turns Good Deals Into Good Deeds

Topic: Mobile Marketing | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: April 17, 2009

Between the Mobile Advertising U.K. research project and interviews for MSG's own global mobile advertising reference work (more about that in future posts), I'm naturally eager to connect with the companies and the brands that set the bar. (If you have a story you would like me to consider for the projects I mentioned, or you just want to share your news with the growing MSG community of mobile operators, influencers, senior executives, and decision-makers, I encourage you to contact me directly or email my PA Andrea Henninge to set up a briefing (

A company that has caught my attention, with a potentially path-breaking approach to location-based advertising, is BipBip, the brainchild of Lasse Larsen, Chairman of the Board, WIS International. (Wireless Information Services). The company - headquartered in Riga, Latvia - has an impressive stockpile of patents around the service, and ambitious plans to launch BipBip worldwide (including the U.S., China, India and 21 cities across Europe) following a successful pilot in Denmark last month. (My personal thanks to Lasse for contacting me on Twitter (@peggyanne) and for giving MSG the exclusive.)

What is BipBip? On paper the ad-funded service fulfills the criteria mobile advertising evangelists Andrew Grill and Jonathan MacDonald would no doubt agree are essential to delivering effective advertising services. I'm thinking here of the 3Ps: Permission (people will decide what brand messages they interact with); Privacy (people will decide where their data is collected and how it is used); and Preference (people will decide what content they find relevant).

But the real differentiator is an even cleverer feature that turns greed-is-good bargain hunting into a mission to make the world a better place.


Think Smart, Think Mobile – And Join MSG In New York

Topic: Search | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: March 10, 2009

Regular readers will know and appreciate that I got the most out of my frequent flyer miles last year, speaking at over twenty industry events across three continents. This year, and with the help of Stuart Willett, Director, Business Development, MSG has reached a tipping point and I can focus on what I love most: Commenting on the industry and creating thought leadership in the form of white papers and research projects (I'm thinking here of Mobile Advertising U.K., a mobile advertising project undertaken by MSG together with AENEAS Consulting, and endorsed by the major mobile marketing organizations).

In order to focus my efforts on these exciting new projects, I will not attend CTIA in Las Vegas this year. But nothing could keep me from speaking at ThinkMobile in New York (March 18-19). From the moment that Matthew Snyder - ThinkMobile Conference Chair and Founder & CEO of ADObjects, a strategic cross-media consultancy - contacted me to brainstorm on the program and speakers, I knew this event was going to set the bar. (I have known and highly respected Matthew for several years, dating back to the time that he was responsible for mobile search at Nokia. He has drawn on 20 years of experience and contacts to compile an impressive list of speakers, and the pieces are in place to be sure this inaugural event pushes the boundaries.)

We not only identified individuals with something important to say; we also invited people we felt were most likely to make a lasting and significant contribution to the mobile industry. If you want to see the direction the industry is going, and connect with the people who are going to get us there, then this is THE event to attend.

STATS PACK: U.K. Mobile Internet Trends, Local Mobile Search Spending & Surprise Results From RingRing Media

Topic: Mobile Marketing, Research, Search | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: March 4, 2009

After collecting a slew of stats for my recent presentation on the state of the mobile Web (at the invitation of Qualcomm), as well as background for my upcoming mobile search white papers and on-going mobile advertising projects (such as Mobile Advertising U.K.), I am well aware of the importance of critical and credible data points. To make the numbers easy to find, and even easier to understand, I will collect and share them here on a regular basis.

U.K. MOBILE INTERNET: A new report from eMarketer - true to its name always an excellent source of mobile marketing stats and insights. U.K. Mobile Internet connects the dots in mobile user behavior. How many users are there? Between just 7.2 million and 17.4 million, depending on the report you read.


But the report conclusion is hardly subject to interpretation: The mobile Web is "gaining ground in the U.K., and soon the audience will be large and broad enough to interest mainstream advertisers." Key drivers: iPhone and similar high-end devices, cool new apps, and improved usability. Still, more of the same are sorely needed to increase the number of people using the mobile Web.

MSG Joins With Every Single One Of Us; Undertakes Path-Breaking Mobile Advertising Research, Endorsed By Global Marketing Organizations

Topic: Mobile Marketing, Research | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: February 10, 2009

The press release goes out on the wire tomorrow a.m. (I'm personally distributing it via MSG partner RealWire), but my colleagues have allowed me a little scoop on this one. Every Single One Of Us, a global effort aggregating knowledge, and authorizing best practice and methodologies that ensure optimal mobile advertising user experience, is kicking off the Mobile Advertising U.K. research project, which I'm proud to report also has the endorsement of three leading global mobile marketing organizations: The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB UK) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).

Following an RFP (Request For Proposal), MSG was selected from among five research and consulting companies to take the lead role in Mobile Advertising U.K., conducting in-depth primary and secondary research -- including one-on-one interviews with 25+ executives at a mix of agencies, enablers, and operators in the U.K. -- as well as online and mobile surveys of U.K. consumers. This ambitious and far-reaching project will be coordinated by ÆNEAS Strategy Consulting and Management, an international consultancy firm founded by my esteemed colleague Tarik Fawzi that has driven the development of innovative mobile advertising strategies on behalf of players in the emerging business ecosystem since 2004.

Our research will be the first such project to include the views of both advertisers and consumers, thus providing the industry qualitative and quantitative insights into trends and attitudes. As we point out in the chart below, which shows the USPs of a range of mobile advertising research, our collaboration will quite literally set the bar.

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