Archive for March, 2012

Mobile app advertising significantly drains battery power

It is true that those ads that show up on mobile applications will drain the juice out of a smartphone or other mobile device battery in a big way. Flashy ads that are full of animation and data will also use up a lot of a limited data plan. In addition, those “free” applications are not so free when they are supported by constant, animated and annoying ads.

The surprising news for many applications users is that the visible advertising is not the only thing that eats up the battery. Analytics, user tracking and smartphone data grabbing also goes on. Sometimes the other actions use up more battery power than the application itself.

The alternative should be to pay for the application in exchange for an ad free experience, but some developers are going for more income by selling applications and loading them up with ads, data grabbing or analytic operations, too. 

In one of the most infuriating cases, Rovio has stubbornly refused to charge a fee for an ad free version their insanely popular “Angry Birds” game application. Then Rovio developed a bad habit of placing ads in a way that interfered with playing the game. Worse, the game had differing game “physics” that required a player to try the same moves again and again in order to pass a single level. Each time, a new advertisement loaded up, driving the number of ad loads and other actions up to the stratosphere.

Smart users simply dumped the game from their mobile devices and opted to play it for free and without ads in other venues.

CMS Wire report on a study done at purdue University in Indiana titled, that 65 to 75% of the battery drain associated with certain applications can be caused by third party ads alone.

With Angry Birds as an example, the actual game took only 18% of the battery usage. The ads took a whopping 45% for the ad display, analytics and other ad related tasks. Free Chess, another analyzed game, used 50% of the apps energy drain to service the ads.

Of the power that ads use, the “3G Tail” is the main culprit. The 3G Tail involves,

Communication done between the app and the ad server in refreshing the ad and targeting the ad based on demographic and location, among other things.

Using eprof to monitor app power use on an HTC Passion running Android 2.3, the researchers made a few discoveries. In a study of the data aggregator Flurry consumes 45 percent of the app’s energy tracking the user’s location and serving ads to the app. But of that 45 percent, uploading the information and downloading the ads over 3G was only a 2KB transaction, taking 1 percent of the app’s energy.

(Source: http://arstechnica.com)

March 29th, 2012

Bank Transaction made easy Mobile Apps for Smart Phones

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s largest foreign bank recently unveiled a suite of Mobile Banking Applications for three platforms – Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. Citibank’s latest move enables both its credit card and bank clients to access their accounts and complete a range of banking transactions using their preferred smartphones.

“Technology has made banking services omnipresent. Our investment in these platforms is in line with our commitment to continue to drive innovation in the banking industry, where we already enjoy a strong track record of success,” quoted by Sergio Zanatti, Consumer Business Manager for Citibank in the Philippines.

 “This launch bolsters our claim that Citi services are available to our clients anywhere and anytime, now through whichever communication channel they prefer – be it landline or mobile phone, smart phone or Internet,” added Zanatti.

The Mobile Apps allow bill payments, fund transfers, even Rewards points’ redemption.  But Zanatti expects users to welcome the new features that include instant access to Citibank offers, exclusive dining and shopping deals in nearby establishments or at a specific location, as well as bank branches and ATM locator in the Philippines and around the world.

Zanatti said, “We expect clients to be very excited about the real time offers that we can quickly upload and share with them using these Apps.  We are investing in the latest technology to deliver relevant offers to our clients and when they need them”.

To download the app on Android phones, go to the Marketplace application and search for Citibank Philippines. Select Citibank PH from the results list then click download. Once successful, the Citi Mobile icon will appear on the phone’s home screen.

For iPhone users, go to App Store and search for Citibank Philippines. Select Citibank PH then click install. The Citi Mobile icon appears on the home screen after installation. This can also be installed in the iPod Touch.  All Citi Mobile Apps are free to use and download.

Zanatti said as newer technologies were rolled out, banking becomes highly accessible and increasingly flexible for everyone. “Citi will be providing customers with the latest technology as we continue to enhance and facilitate service. We want to be the leading digital bank, here in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world.” 

(Source: BBC)

March 29th, 2012

Likes abandoned @FB

The latest news that came out of FMC, Facebook’s event for marketers on Feb 29, was that the social network would be on the verge of upgrading its premium ad product offering. From now onwards, Facebook would also be focusing upon the branded ad unit that performs best in terms of click through rate, conversions and effective CPM, the result of which would be higher effective yields, better advertising performance for brands and superior user experience. It also stated that Facebook would be considering new content strategies in order to enable greater success and scale. Stress will be laid upon the content, not ads and consumers will be considered as better brand advocates than the brands themselves.

It has also been noticed that emphasis will be laid upon “consumer-initiated advertising”. In fact, most of the biggest brands like Unilever, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and AT&T have been working very hard since the launch of Facebook pages in order to deliver a consumer focused social experience. Conclusion drawn from the event stated that, consumers only want to engage themselves in brand “conversations” rather than listen to brand monologues. It is also true that a brand recommended by a friend would always be more attractive than one promoted via impersonal ad.

In actual practice, Facebook’s branding power truly relies on the concept of “contagion”, where the interaction with the brand spreads like a virus across Facebook social graph through word-of-mouth advertising. Posts on Facebook are being turned into ads thus encouraging more users to interact with the brands’ most engaging content.

Sponsored stories are being considered the most in this era of marketing. It is the wave of the future for advertisers looking to build brands, and this new direction from Facebook opens the door to greater engagement and higher quality advertising experiences, thereby yielding an average effective CPM premium of 60 percent.

At the same time Facebook will be creating ability to advertise based upon actions within applications, which will further increase the relevancy of ads on user activities that are relevant to brands beyond “like”. In the near future it is anticipated that advertisers will be able to leverage the actions like “Spotify”,”Hulu”,”Netfix” and “Washington Post” in their campaigns on Facebook, mobile and beyond even if the administrative rights are not with them.

Also, sponsored stories increase the importance of targeting to the most relevant and engaged audience segments, using highly targeted interests, demographics and segments to ensuring the best campaign performance by placing importance on relevant content, thus driving greater success.

But, the researchers anticipate that this directional shift won’t be unique to Facebook and anticipate that all other social network platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ would move in this direction with time.

March 27th, 2012

How NFC can be used by Marketers?

NFC basically stands for Near Field Communication, which is assumed to be a new technology for marketers, though it’s not. A lot of marketers, still have no clue what NFC really is, yet still there is a large number of marketers who know about NFC in context of contact less payment, while at the same time people are also aware of the fact that it is used for hyper linking and QR codes too.

  • NFC is a short range tool that operates on wireless frequencies and works by connecting a user’s mobile device, which is equipped with an NFC antenna to a receiver a few feet away.
  • Most commonly it is associated with mobile payments, which is another way of connecting the customer’s digital handset to face-to-face experience of store visit, thereby connecting better with user’s in real space.
  • It is not at all necessary that all Smartphone are NFC-enabled. But, most importantly it is necessary to keep a track of enough customers with the right handset in order to make NFC viable part of marketing.
  • It does not requires a setup in advance to connect which means a customer with NFC enabled Smartphone and a store with receiver can easily connect with a single touch or tap.

But for marketers, it means a lot. They consider it as a goldmine of consumer information that could be easily gleaned from a mobile digital wallet….in other words it is basically a database that consists of all the information related to consumer purchase which helps the marketers to deliver relevant, engaging messaging and compelling offers and promotions to their consumers.

But, they often tend to forget that NFC isn’t the only way to get mobile wallet, which should be kept in mind by the marketers while rolling out their own experiments.

It is also predicted that in the coming years, mobile handsets will be replacing cash, credit cards and loyalty cards for mainstream consumers. Hence, it is expected from marketers to keep an eye on the apps that allow customers to make payments directly through their phone. Though, there are certain text based mobile payment systems that have an advantage of getting accessed on all mobile phones.

It should also be taken care that there are many models that have been worked upon, which are not yet anticipated even. Hence, it is very important for the potential user to remember that some of the technologies have already had a head start.

March 27th, 2012

The New PC Era: The Personal Cloud

A new era that will give users a new level of flexibility with the devices they use for daily activities, ultimately leading to greater user satisfaction and productivity. But enterprises will need to fundamentally rethink how they deliver applications and services to users, the firm notes.

Users becoming more technologically smooth and having different expectations of technology. In addition, the Internet and social media, as well as the emergence of powerful, affordable mobile devices have empowered IT consumers.

Other key trends include virtualization, which has improved flexibility and increased the options for how IT organizations can implement client environments; the advent of the cloud for servicing individual users, and the ongoing shift to mobility.

Gartner says a number of factors are converging to make for a perfect personal cloud storm by 2014:

Megatrend No. 1: Consumerization— you ain’t seen anything yet
Gartner has discussed the consumerization of IT for the better part of a decade, and has seen the impact of it across various aspects of the corporate IT world. However, much of this has simply been a precursor to the major wave that is starting to take hold across all aspects of information technology as several key factors come together:

  • Users are more technologically-savvy and have very different expectations of technology.
  • The internet and social media have empowered and emboldened users.
  • The rise of powerful, affordable mobile devices changes the equation for users.
  • Users have become innovators.
  • Through the democratization of technology, users of all types and status within organizations can now have similar technology available to them.

Megatrend No. 2: Virtualization — Changing How the Game Is Played
Virtualization has improved flexibility and increased the options for how IT organizations can implement client environments….

Megatrend No. 3: “App-ification” — From Applications to Apps
When the way that applications are designed, delivered and consumed by users changes, it has a dramatic impact on all other aspects of the market….

Megatrend No. 4: The Ever-Available Self-Service Cloud
The advent of the cloud for servicing individual users opens a whole new level of opportunity. Every user can now have a scalable and nearly infinite set of resources available for whatever they need to do….

Megatrend No. 5: The Mobility Shift — Wherever and Whenever You Want
Today, mobile devices combined with the cloud can fulfill most computing tasks, and any tradeoffs are outweighed in the minds of the user by the convenience and flexibility provided by the mobile devices….

“The combination of above stated megatrends, with advances in new enabling technologies, is introducing the era of the personal cloud,” Kleynhans said. “In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared in the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.”

(Source: ZDnet)

March 21st, 2012

Samsung Launched Smart TV for Indian Market

Samsung Electronics launched smart television for the Indian market that would allow users to control TV through voice or motion commands. 

The products are built on three parameters- Smart Interaction, Smart Content, and Smart Evolution.

Smart Interaction enables Smart TV owners to communicate with their TVs via voice control, motion control and face recognition. For instance, consumers can use the Samsung Skype HD camera and dual-microphones to prompt the TV. Say “Hi TV” and turn on voice control, speak “Web Browser” to get online, and browse and select results or increase the volume without touching the remote.

Smart Content includes the expansion of more robust and personalized content through Smart TV apps, as well as AllShare Play, which enables consumers to easily access personal content across multiple device screens – anywhere, anytime. Additional exclusive services include Family Story, Fitness and Kids. Smart Evolution is defined by Samsung’s new Evolution Kit. Each year, the kit will include all necessary hardware and software enhancements using proprietary system-on-chip technology. Select 2012 TVs will come equipped with a simple slot-in to the back of the TV.

“The South-West Asia region remains a strong growth market for Samsung and will continue to grow as consumers today lead increasingly dynamic lifestyles, requiring technology and products that will enrich and enhance their experiences,”  quoted by Samsung Electronics President and CEO (South-West Asia) B. D. Park.

(Source: IBN)

March 20th, 2012

Isis recruits big point-of-sale providers for mobile payment push

ISIS is a mobile wallet that consumers with ISIS-ready phones—available through Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile—can use to make payments, redeem offers, and earn loyalty points at participating local businesses starting in mid-2012. The system is compatible with Chase, Barclaycard, Capital One cards and available selected markets like Austin and Salt Lake City. However offering a simplified checkout, ISIS gives merchants a way to engage with customers through integrated loyalty programs and special rewards and offers. ISIS has not disclosed the transaction costs for merchants.

The companies will support the Isis Mobile Commerce Application in current and future products. Consumers who use the Isis app on their phones will be able to tap their phones at point of sale terminals to pay and redeem coupons and enter loyalty information. Retailers will need to upgrade their existing terminals in some cases with hardware add-ons and in other cases, through remote software updates.

The Isis system, like Google Wallet, relies on near field communication (NFC) for contactless payments. That requires NFC chips inside both a handset and at the point of sale terminal. By lining up partnerships with the big POS terminal makers, it makes it easier for retailers to move forward and adopt Isis, which will launch first in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah in this summer.

Isis previously won agreements from hardware manufacturers HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, RIM, Samsung Mobile and Sony and also signed up the four main payments network- Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Last week, it announced its first banking partners: Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard, who will place their credit, debit and pre-paid cards on the Isis app. Isis also showed off the first look of its mobile wallet app.

Isis is not rolling out as fast as chief rival Google Wallet, which launched in September. But it’s methodically lining up all the pieces it needs to make a big push. And since the venture includes three of the four biggest carriers, they have the inside track in pushing an NFC-based wallet, since they can control the NFC secure element. Isis still has a lot more to show off and the launch this summer will help determine how viable the venture will be. But looking at the deals it’s lined up, Isis is serious about being a contender.

(Source: http://streetfightmag.com)

March 20th, 2012

Apple sued over its use of ‘iBook’

Apple and five major US publishers are going to be sued by the US Justice Department on the grounds of ‘price rigging’ concerning the iBooks store found on Apple’s iPad tablet and iPhone. It’s believed that when Apple first launched the iPad and iBooks the company came to an agreement with these publishers which would effectively ‘strong arm’ every other distributor to follow the rules set out by Apple. Believed to be concerned that if by joining Apple their books would go the same way as iTunes with songs being cheap and standardized the publishing companies demanded an alternative.

Apple’s answer was very simple, they would move to the ‘Agency Model’ where the publishers would set the price and Apple would take a straight 30 per cent cut. Of course Apple was happy with this but only on one condition, that no other distributor would then be able to undercut them. This in turn then force the publishers to demand ‘The Agency Model’ with the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Store. The Justice Department will aim to prove that this action was taken with both Apple and the publishers in full knowledge of the consequences.

Both parties have denied collusion and have argued that by raising prices across the board they have allowed the industry to thrive making booksellers more successful.

It’s not known when the Justice Department will make its move, or indeed if it will at all. However all eyes will be turned to Apple, who recently had to change another aspect of their iBooks eco-system when it came to their iBooks Author app.

(Source: Wall Street journal)

March 12th, 2012

Social media spend soars HIGH

Reports say that spending of social media has gone up, currently it accounts for 7.4% of their total marketing budget, it has also been predicted that the share will rise to 46% i.e to 10.8% in the upcoming 12 months. The research conducted in February 2012 by the “Fuqua School of Business” also gave details of the  CMO report. According to this research report, the spending will undergo even more drastic upswing in the next 5 years, thereby accounting to 19.5 % of their total marketing budgets, almost tripling the current budget.

The same trend was noticed in December 2011, a study was conducted by Strong mail in conjunction with Zoomerang where 55% of the business leaders responded thoroughly in the survey and also shared that they are planning to increase their social media budgets to a greater extent by the end of this year, thereby increasing the spend behind email marketing that is 60%. This increase also reflects the passion for a channel on marketer’s part; data from an Econsultancy and Adobe survey released in February 2012, directly indicated that 54% of social media engagement was amongst one of the most exciting digital opportunities, but at the same time company marketers were  also passionate about 38% of Mobile optimization, 37% of content optimization, 31% of conversion rate optimization, 27% of  brand building/viral marketing and 24% of video marketing.

B2C Product- Firm’s “HIGHEST SPENDING LEVEL”

 

The CMO survey also revealed that B2C product companies lead all industry sector in terms of spending allocated to social media, which makes it around 9.6% of their current marketing budgets, that was very clearly ahead of 8.4% of B2C services companies, 7.4% of B@B service companies and 6.2% of B2B product firms.

Now,taking a look at the next 12 months, the same trend applies  with B2C product companies again forecasting that the largest share of marketing budgets to be spent in 23% of social media, though B2B service companies and B2C service companies are expected to be on par in terms of the share of spending which is dedicated to their channel ( 19.1% and 19%) respectively.

Social Media Integration “A CHALLENGE”

Though CMO’s expect to increase their  spending on social media,yet still the channel  remains poorly integrated with the firm’s overall marketing strategy.In fact, most of the respondents rated the extent of their integration with  social media a “1” on a  ”7” point scale, where “1” represents no integration at all.Whereas only 21.1% of the CMO’s rated their firm’s integration with social media  a top “2” box score.Thus , concluding that the mean score was of 3.8 which was the highest among B2C service ( 4.5 ) and product ( 4.4 ) companies , and lowest among B2B product and services firm( both at 3.6).

Rise in Social Media Employment Y-O-Y

The data from the CMO also indicated that respondents have an average of 9 people employed in-house in order to do social media for the company which marked a rise from an average of 5.3 since the previous year. At the same time the average number of individuals from outside vendors provided a social media support for the company, increased from 1.8 to 4 during that timeframe.

(Source : Marketing Charts)

March 12th, 2012

Online Ad Networks Gaining Interest of Advertisers

It has been reported by ValueClick in the survey which was conducted in February 2012 that around 45% of the global online advertisers are planning to spend one- fourth of their digital ad budgets on advertisement networks. This finding is mirrored by Advertiser Perceptions’ “FALL 2011 ADVERTISER INTELLIGENCE REPORT SURVEY DETAILS,” which quoted that 35% of major advertisers are planning to increase their online ad network .

Dollars given to Publishers

The data analysis report also indicated that 40% of digital advertisers are planning to spend one – fourth of their budgets on the publisher buys directly, whereas at the same time 37% advertisers are expected to spend that much on SEO/SEM. SEO/SEM is leading amongst the budget increase with 35% saying that they will be allocating  more budget to this channel, as compared to 21% for direct publisher placements. According to Advertiser perceptions, 38% of advertisers are planning to increase their spending on publishers, which represents 31% increase from 29% which was a budget hike for publishers in the Spring survey.

Fast Growing mobile Spend

It was quite impressive to see that 65% of the digital media advertisers are planning to increase their spend on mobile this year, as compared to 3% who expect a decrease in spending. A 60%  gap was found between respondents, which reflected the increase and decrease in ad spending in the next 12 months, which was highest out of any channels, be it digital or traditional.

The Valueclick survey, also reported that 87% of the respondents are planning to use mobile advertising in their marketing plan, which also included 90% of agency respondents. Standard display ads are the most prevalent form of mobile advertising  which accounts to approx 94% planned use, followed by 53% of rich media and 40% of mobile video. In order to measure the performance of mobile campaigns, 40% chose traffic with 54% brand engagement, 52% brand awareness, and 51% for direct response.

Other Findings:

●     It was estimated that half of the online advertisers are planning to increase their spending on video advertising this year, and about three-fourths will be utilizing this form of advertising in their marketing plan.

●     The top factors considered by online advertisers when choosing a media partner were performance/ROI (75%), audience targeting (58%), and price (48%)

●     The most important types of targeting for digital advertiser’s campaigns were audience based (61%), demographic (59%), contextual (57%), and retargeting (55%)

●     According to Advertiser Perceptions, there was a 21% gap between respondents increasing and decreasing ad spending in the next 12 months which was the highest after digital (net – 52%) and mobile (60%). Contrasting it, national newspapers had a negative 18% point gap in advertising spending forecasts.

Please share data if you have on what’s happening in India specifically.

(Source: marketing charts)

March 12th, 2012

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