Archive for February, 2013

Mobile World COngress 2013 : Mobile makers aim at senior citizens.

In a time where giants like Apple and Samsung are battling for the youngster markets, a big chunk of manufacturers are trying to tap fast-growing market for grandparents.

In the mobile congress at Barcelona, a lot of handset makers showed a whole range of devices for old generation put off by the complexity of iphones and Android phones. One of the leading group in Europe, Austrian firm Emporia, launched a new handset Emporia Connect at MWC 2013, easy enough for old mobile users to use.

About the features, it has a larger keypad and an emergency button to send SOS pointing the location of the user as well. Also, it has a system called Emporia Me, with an array of features for a child of the owner to check battery status, device location , etc. It has a push button as an orientation feature to get audible instructions for returning to a point.

Japan’s Fujitsu rolled out a european version of smartphone, Stylistic S01, which is an Android Based Smartphone with large buttons and a family alert button to respond with geo-localisation data. It has a touch screen which responds only when you press it harder so that applications are not launched by mistake. It kind of works like a growing stepstone from a feature phone to a smart phone with a touch panel.

Kapsys, a french firm, brought out its handset Smartconnect, aimed again at seniors.The firm is in discussions with operators like Orange, and is expected to release the phone in Europe by June and in USA by the end of 2013. The Smartconnect has similar convenient features : large keypad, larger text, remote access and an emergency SOS button. But unique selling of the phone is a digital magnifier to enable easy reading and rich voice command functions to avoid the use of buttons.

Seniors today are used to having access to technology and would be a big market by the end of this decade. Companies have started realizing the potential and are aiming at tapping as early birds.

February 28th, 2013

User product reviews likely to promote mobile commerce

With the advent of social networking platforms, user reviews have started to play a crucial role in scaling mobile commerce. Nowadays, a lot of consumers refrain from buying via mobile devices which can be ignited by reading submitted reviews. Reviews help consumers take a leap from consideration to purchase.

Mobile commerce has become a priority for retailers as a lot of consumers are using their smartphones to research and shop. According to Branding Brand’s research, the mobile pages per visit increase 21 percent when consumers look at a product review. This points to consumers who look at reviews as being more interested and engaged than the average mobile shopper.Additionally, the average order value increases 13 percent and conversions go up 29 percent for consumers who read a product review.

Marketers can use reviews to drive repeat mobile traffic. And yet, many retailers have not tapped fully into personalization. Many retailers are offering discounts and rewards to those who write reviews about their products to make mobile shopping more prominent. Usage of mobile device not only means that consumers want to avoid sales talk and personalised visits but also get assured of their product which otherwise appear small on mobile screens.

On the contrary, allowing mobile reviews is a riskier business. As a consumer can post review on the spot and the probability of writing good or bad is equal, the reviews might affect brand reputation in a negative way.

Tablets have proved to be big triggers for commerce. A recent report from ABI Research found that 22 percent of tablet owners spend $50 or more per month and 9 percent spending $100 or more from their devices.On smartphones, shoppers usually know what they want and do not browse a lot. On tablets, it is likely that reviews are going to be an even more important driver for consideration given the high-engagement quotient of the tablet shopping experience.

February 16th, 2013

Apple tops Japan’s Mobile Market for the first time ever

For any foreign company, it is difficult to penetrate in Japan’s mobile market primarily due to two reasons : Complicated regulatory structure and popularity of web enabled feature phones. But recently, Apple has reached the top according to a report by Counterpoint Research.

In Q4 2012, Apple took a 16 percent market share with a 15 percent for full year, 2012, thus displacing Sharp’s six year reign as champion. Sharp and Fujitsu each took 14 percent of the market in 2012. Cupertino – based company has been in No. 1 spot since November. Brands like Samsung and LG had their shares increased in Q4 and combined share exceeded 50 percent of the market.

Apple’s performance is largely attributed to telecom operators Softbank and KDDI. While DoCoMo tried to ward off competition with new smartphones, its president indicated that company is willing to add the iPhone to its portfolio if it can reach an agreement with Apple.

Now with this new development, Japan might change the company’s cloistered mobile industry as well as foreign competitors might begin to duke it out with local brands.

February 13th, 2013

Location – based mobile advertising adopted by a restaurant chain to drive consumers

Adding a new dimension to the mobile advertising campaign to attract customers, restaurant chain Olive Garden is using location as a factor to steer consumers towards the brand. With the usage of NBC 4 New York iphone application,the tap-to-map option is finding its use in drawing customers to the restaurant.

Mobile banner ads are running along the bottom of the news app that encourage users to click with copy that reads, ‘Taste the lighter side of delicious’, a message to promote their low calorie menu. When consumers tap on the ad with the map call-to-action, content is pulled in from Google Maps. From there, consumers can view a map with the nearest Olive Garden restaurant based on their device’s built-in GPS.

Even in the past, company has relied on mobile advertising for its marketing campaigns. Last year, mobile advertising was used to promote limited time offers but there was no use of location factor there. Now with the involvement of location as the focal point, the company is set to step stones in mobile advertising.

February 11th, 2013

SnapChat’s Success beats Silicon Valley Assumptions !!

As the news is round the corner that Snapchat has raised a huge amount of funding, everyone knows that Snapchat has evolved as a new communication medium and is expected to be the next big thing in the coming years. So, lets have a look at the fascinating facts about this app:

Unlike most of the startups created by those who drop out of college or leave their professions to hunt for their interest and work in their own direction, SnapChat founders graduated well from their college, with the app created during the graduation. Though it was created in the Valley, but it gained higher popularity in cities of San Francisco and New York, where there was a big tech hype grown.

Instead of growing on existing social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat was developed on the back of SMS, and Apple’s iOS , as its user base doesn’t want the content to show up on web. It is built around uploading and sharing digital pictures with an added feature of keyboard filter to prevent screenshots.

In a time, where the shift is on the enterprise side and B2B models, SnapChat survived having built for consumers and not for enterprises. Not just survived, it is seen as a success.

Though viewed initially as a gimmick, it has turned out and further supposed to come up as a new communication medium. Though it is too early to say anything on its long term success, yet it has broken myths of having all necessary ingredients for a startup to be a tech success, created by graduates, without facebook or twitter , done outside the valley or NYC, etc. And it is definitely giving a new direction to conventional wisdom!

February 10th, 2013

Use of Social Media : A positive or a negative ?

As we see all around today, social media is the buzz of the hour and there is no reason it seems to not to use social media for one’s benefit. But, looking at Hubspot’s whitepaper, we can take a closer look at pros and cons of social media in businesses and professions.

Lets find out the pros first :

1. In today’s world of endless websites and information pools, it has become very difficult to obtain a place in Google’s top 10 results. And this is something where social media marketing can surely give an edge. Having share and like buttons on your website can lead to a dramatic increase in SEO, search engine optimization.

2. Out of a millions brands, what keeps a customer loyal to one’s brand is the relationship and perception it creates with the brand. And by giving a voice to the brand, social media does exactly that.

3. Next important thing is publicity. With social media, one can post a content on several websites in n number of new ways so that it looks newer and more interesting everytime.

4. With different segments of social media websites acting as hub of different kind of people and professionals, you can narrow down your social media marketing to the sites where your target audience majorly lies, thus saving a lot of time.

5. Post several logos and photos of your brand, say a hundred effective taglines about it , and yet still it is cent times lesser than a user written positive comment or endorsement. And the good news is that, with social media, this comes absolutely free and increases exponentially.

Yet, there are several cons attached to this magnificent world of social media.

1. It is a very true and bitter fact that a mere presence on social media platforms is not what it takes to be successful, rather a quality content to speak about your brand. Hence, it becomes very crucial to work hard and devote time on content of your website.

2. As it takes some time for opinions to spread and reach out to a larger audience, it becomes certainly obvious that getting an extra edge through social media takes a considerable amount of time. Hence, patience and gradual perfection is the key here.

3. With pools of data and options pouring in the market everyday, presentation of your brand becomes very important. Hence, content needs to be rejuvenated at high speeds owing to its short shelf life due to competition market.

4. As there is scope of positive endorsement and appraisal of your brand, needless to say that negative appraisal comes gratis to it. And hence it is utter necessary to continuously monitor forums of your brand discussions and solve customer issues, if need be.

In CellStrat’s opinion, the fact still remains undisputed that social media has a lot of potential to take your brand miles ahead but like everything, sincere hardwork and proper strategy is very much required to avoid pitfalls.

Source :

February 10th, 2013

Analytics to play prominent role in marketer’s success at mobile coupons

As consumers are increasingly getting dependent on their mobile devices to find offers and deals, mobile coupons have reached a point where they should be highly relevant to consumer characteristics. What would bring them closer to consumer needs is the use of analytics, a big storehouse of consumer data.

According to Patrick Moorhead, VP at Catalina Marketing, “Location is a type of personalization, but it really becomes impactful when combined with other criteria, such as past purchase behavior.”

If we look at present trends, majority of coupon apps and offers appeal to a wider set of audience.  To target consumers effectively, brands can use a shopper’s history and provide offers accordingly. Not only consumers will save money and time , also retailers will get rid of the guesswork involved in setting offers.

Marketers should keep an eye on various metrics in using analytics : scale of distribution, sales impact, incrementality and redemption rate. It is anytime better to focus on a smaller set of best consumers(who will always buy) than wasting time on tons of customers who will never buy a product.

Redemption rates can be as high as 89 percent the first time a consumer receives a mobile coupon from a brand, which can lower to 25-40 % for the next time, according to a Merkle executive at the 2013 Mobile Marketing Association Forum San Francisco. The task is to keep connection intact with personalized offers that can keep the redemption rate high.

Since a personalized offer is customizable, such mobile coupons lessen the impact an offer has on a retailer’s margin and they are able to save more money. With numerous challenges around mobile payments, a significant opportunity also lies for marketers to combine payments and coupons.

Base root of personalized coupons is the availability of data in store,i.e, knowing what information a retailer actually has. “To get the right coupon to the right consumer at the right time, marketers need access to an immense amount of user-level data to target correctly. Beyond that, organizing and understanding the data is paramount”, said Craig Davis, CEO of Relevvant, San Francisco.

An advantage of using mobile coupons is saving the amount of time wasted in marketing for paper coupons. Also, they can easily accommodate change with access to real time information.

Companies need to take advantage of the plethora of data to offer their consumers value-add content in real time that is highly targeted, to ultimately drive greater purchasing power.

Source : Mobile Commerce Daily

February 9th, 2013

GramVaani’s Goonj promotes Community Engagement through Mobile Radio

GramVaani, started in 2008-09, has been building technology for community radio stations, IVR based applications and last year, launched a mobile based radio network, Goonj, a voice based social network. The network operates in some districts of Jharkhand, receiving over 2000 calls a day, while GramVaani is popular across 15 Indian states, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Namibia and South Africa.

The bottom idea was to help people at the bottom of the pyramid. GramVaani started with the setup of community radio stations managed by NGOs, but with the slower growth of these stations, they moved to Interactive Voice Response System. IVR couldn’t be scaled with speed and that is when the new idea of Goonj came up, which was started as a mobile network. It works more like a social media platform for rural society where people use it to make announcements and to share what’s working and what’s not working,etc.

The working is simple. It is an IVR based platform built on an open source software called Free Switch. Application has two parts. when someone calls, they can listen to other users’ messages or themselves leave a message. Web based moderators in Delhi and Ranchi listen to the messages and publish the appropriate messages for other users to listen.

Presently, according to statistics, there is 40-50% phone reach in state of jharkhand and there are 20,000 users on Goonj network.

The data collected on this network has been used in some very interesting ways. As people from all social strata are engaging, it creates influence in the society around. Recently, it was used to discuss the issue of water conservation in villages of Jharkhand and after the discussion and research, the matter has been sent to higher authorities for speculation and planning. Many organisations have partnered with Goonj to raise different issues based on their data.

What makes network unique from government stations is that most of the content here is generated by the community and it serves as the voice of the people for the people.

February 6th, 2013

Voice based portal VAS launched by Airtel

Targeting the rural and semi-urban market, Bharti Airtel has launched a voice based portal value added service (VAS), named Apna Chaupal.

To use the service, customers will have to dial a toll free number 58080, and money would be charged for the service packs customers would subscribe to.

The service promises users to provide them with information about agriculture, environment, education, weather, health, sports and various other day-to-day activities. For example, learning agriculture techniques, cricket match updates, hello tunes, crop market rates, etc can be done by just dialing the IVR number for accessing the service.

If one tries to predict the success of this service in the near future, Airtel’s partnership with IFFCO and Reliance Communications’ partnership with KRIBHCO stands clear as examples. Yet, one thing is clear. As opposed to push VAS being prevalent for quite some time, where in customers were subscribed to various services without their consent, this service would be a pull based VAS , following TRAI directive.

February 5th, 2013

10 Strategies for Social Media Integration

CellStrat brings to its readers 10 reasons to integrate social media in their business successfully and see a tremendous difference, courtesy Social Media Marketing University.

Nowadays, there is no second question on the reach of social media in almost everyone’s life, and this is the involvement which one can exploit with the strategy below :

1. Post across multiple social sites at once :Instead of posting status updates on different websites individually,if we can integrate them on one platform ,posting one status update to 5 different sites together takes just 30 seconds, compared to a hefty 15 -20 minutes in the other case.

2. Again with integrated social media strategy, it becomes easier to check all your fb,linkedin , twitter messages and replies at one place, and responding to them would take even lesser time.

3. Schedule posts : With almost every social media website, one cant schedule posts. You have to log in exactly when you want to post an update. But, with integrated social media, you can pre schedule posts and save considerable amount of time and manage work better.

4. Integrate blogging and email marketing : Whenever you post a content on your blog, it is essential to market that using status updates and tweets. Similarly, any valuable content posted on social media should be elaborated on your blog. Sufficing to say, they both should be considered together as a single marketing strategy.

5. With social media integration tools, one can work as a team. A team member can stay updated of the activities of all other team members at one place and schedule his posts and replies in accordance. Otherwise, it could lead to a haphazard and a whole lot of time wastage.

6. Competitive research and feed management :With sites like FB and Twitter, staying updated on latest trends and competitor offerings would mean that one has to visit all individual pages of competitor and news on these sites, which is too tiresome a task. On the contrary, with social media integration, all of this becomes possible at one place and takes too less a time.

7. Social media integration tools have unique analytics and reporting capabilities which can even gauge consumer behavior and provide reports on that.

8. When it comes to time race for sharing some breakthroughs and important news in your domain, time difference turns into monetary loss and posting such updates first becomes very crucial. A social media integration tool can easily help to save such losses.

9. SMI tools also provides a platform to network with people who share same interests with you and opens a whole lot of opportunities to work with them or atleast be in touch with their activities.

10. If social media is just a part of strategy and not a full time business, such tools can report about a firm’s performance on social media and indicate precisely the needed time to improve or maintain that level.

The message is clear: If you run a business and plan on using social media as part of your strategy, you’ll probably want to think about integrating social media at one places for one or more of the reasons cited above.

February 4th, 2013

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