Sunday, July 31, 2005

Price Comparison Through A Barcode Thoughts

Finally the press is discovering how the physical world will be connected through a cell phone through a barcode. It is disheartening to see both the press and the public fixated on one aspect of what can be done with this.

Price comparison shopping.

I equate this to Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone and somebody said “hey, we can now make prank calls!”.

This is remarkable stuff and this is the application people want to use it for?

The Internet has made all retailers more efficient with their pricing. The WalMart’s and supermarket chains all have spies that check prices of their competitors all the time.

Electronic devices? I just don’t see comparing prices on a big ticket item which is a NON-IMPULSE buy. Let’s just say you do decide to price compare a Sony DVD player at BestBuy.

You click the barcode, and find it’s 5$ cheaper at Circuit City. With gas prices at $3 a gallon, and the most common vehicle an SUV, is it REALLY CHEAPER?

Mobile marketing is just starting to kick in and more advertising dollars are going to mobile campaigns. Advertisers/brands are finding new ways to make shopping with their brand more rewarding.

I can’t see any brand manager asking, “is there any new exciting technology that we can use to shrink our margins?”

Yeah, I know what you’re going to say, “this is an application that puts the power in the hands of the consumer”. Yes it does, but what real value are you getting with this “power”.

Me, I’d rather click on the barcode of that DVD player and let them send me a free DVD from Amazon. How about clicking on the barcode (after I bought it) to register my info for a warranty. Maybe send me a MMS on how to install to my new High Def TV.

Those are just a couple examples of what you can do when the physical world gets connected. This is worth a lot more than the $5 I would have saved using a price comparison service.

Who knows, I betcha brand might actually work WITH a service like this.

I don’t see brands or mobile marketing companies getting anywhere near a price comparison service.

Think about it this way. The Internet came into existence, and what were the first applications people adopted, email and search. There’s this exciting new world out there and people had a thirst for knowledge and information.

Remember how many search engines there used to be? Sure you know all the names, Google, AskJeeves, Yahoo, AlltheWeb, A9 etc. There WERE many but the list has been consolidated.

Ask yourself to name one price comparison site……Not just Froogle. See what I mean?

So next time you hear a story about clicking on a barcode for price comparison, think of other forms of info that you would like to know about that product, besides who sells it cheaper.

Location Based Services With Click Of A Mouse From Closer

From PR New UK-based mobile phone location service launched

If given permission, Big Brother, seems closer all the time.

But Big Brother doesn't involve permission, so could this service be called "little sister"?

Today Rock Seven Mobile Services Limited launched a new 'mobile location' service called 'Closer.' The service allows their website users to locate individuals anywhere in the UK using a mobile phone signal.

Simple and easy to use, the system allows both businesses and consumers to locate their staff or family members at the click of a mouse.

The system works with mobile phones on Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile, Orange, Fresh, Tesco and EasyMobile.

Owners of the mobile phones to be located must give their permission first, by way of a text message.

The accuracy of the system varies, depending on the location in the UK. In cities and built-up areas the accuracy is usually between 100m and 1000m. In rural areas, where mobile transmitters are less dense, accuracy ranges from about 1km to 5km. Some mobile networks perform better than others.

After the trial period, an account costs a one-off fee of £50 + VAT and each time a user locates someone, it costs 25p + VAT.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

MTV Launches SMS Platform

From MTV to embrace text message platform

Frankly I'm surprised it took this long to tap into most active users of SMS, teenagers.

MTV announced that its network is developing an in-house messaging platform that will deliver content from the company’s cable channels to U.S. wireless users.

Services such as cross-carrier polling, alerts and sweepstakes from MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Country Music Television, Spike and Logo channels will be provided by mBlox, a San Francisco based short messaging service provider.

MTV plans to launch the platform within a month

Fox Station Offers Free Text Messaging

From TV Technology News Fox station offers free text messaging

This is good stuff, I hope Fox News starts to offer this soon. I would give Juliet Huddy "permission" to get on my cell phone.

Fox always seems to be one step ahead of the majors for innovation.

KPTM-TV, the Fox affiliate in Omaha, Neb., is offering a free text messaging to its viewers via TextCaster software.

The "Fox 42 First Alert" delivers breaking news, AMBER Alerts for child abductions, security alerts, weather warnings, sports updates, and previews of stories from each evening's Fox 42 News.

Viewers can sign up for the service by visiting and clicking the "KPTM News on Your Cell Phone" link.

The Pappas Telecasting-owned station has already kicked off the text-messaging service at KTNC-TV, an Azteca America affiliate in the San Francisco-San Jose and Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto DMAs, offering text service with AMBER Alerts in Spanish and at KMPH Fox 26 in the Fresno-Visalia, Calif. DMA.

Tecnhorati Goes Mobile

From Search Engine Journal Technorati launches mobile search

Technorati has launched Technorati Mobile, a special version of the famed blog search facility set up to be easily viewed on mobile phones and handheld computers.

Web address is http//

The site, which provides similar options to the main Technorati site, could actually end up being more popular amongst bloggers, as it seems to be quicker, and in this humble authors opinion, looks better and presents more cleanly than the hello kitty layout employed on the main page.

ScoreConnex Delivers Real-Time Sports Scores Thru SMS

From ScoreConnex asks: Foorball season is coming- is your cell phone ready?

New ScoreConnex(TM) First to Deliver Real Time Sports Scores Directly to All Cell Phones, Mobile Devices in US and Canada

ScoreConnex(TM) has launched the first real-time scores and statistics alert service, 100% compatible with all cell phones and mobile devices.

ScoreConnex delivers real-time sports scores and stats to your customizable mobile and online score boards, eMail or SMS

At launch time, major cell-phone carriers have agreed to support ScoreConnex, including AT&T, Cingular, Nextel, Sprint, Verizon, and more. ScoreConnex uses the most stable SMS delivery systems and technologies to guarantee the quickest message throughput, unlike other systems that use the public gateways

The basic package price of $19.99 per month completely eliminates additional pagers or external equipment, offering the most features for the lowest cost

Register here

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Cell Phone, The Final Frontier

From Information Cell phones are next frontier for Internet companies

Because people spend so much time on their mobile phones, Internet companies are jumping on the opportunity by introducing more Web-browsing features to cell-phone users.

Take a guess what comes next...could it be advertising on the cell phone?

As Internet companies look for new revenue streams and customers, they see particularly fertile ground among the millions of cell-phone users. The Yankee Group reports that 65% of the U.S. population owns a cell phone.

Here's the problem, you can't spam a cell phone and you can't put pop-up ads on that little screen.

With more than half of the U.S. population using cell phones, Internet companies are trying find ways of weaning people's Internet habits from their desktops to their cell phones.

Want to know what technology becomes the next Google or THE advertising method used for mobile marketing? Tell me what you think

Consolidation In SMS Space

From All SMS directory service iFIND Buys Rival 35500

CONSOLIDATION has begun in the overcrowded market for text-based cellphone directory services, with iFIND 34600 taking over its rival, 35500.

Both companies offer an SMS-based system to let users find out about local merchants or services by sending a text query to be matched against a database of advertisers

IFind claims to be the world's largest SMS directory service, and has opened talks to buy two other rivals, Venter says. However, if those efforts fail, iFind would just put more money into advertising to gain market dominance, rather than pay too much for a rival.

This is the first and biggest acquisition in the mobile directory market space and the organisation has only been operating since April this year. It already boasts more than 1,000,000 user search results (one SMS contains eight listings or eight different companies).

UIP Makes Banner Ads Interactive Through Mobile

From New Media UIP streams trailers to mobiles from banner ads

Yet another way to make an ad interactive

United International Pictures (UIP) has kicked off an online campaign for horror film The Skeleton Key using a new banner format that enables users to get the film's trailer sent to their mobile phone directly from the ad.

The ad format, developed by rich-media supplier Tangozebra, enables users to enter their phone number directly into the ad to get a 30-second video trailer sent to their mobile. They can watch and store the clip on their phone and forward it to friends.

The ad works on both 2.5G and 3G phones. If a user's phone is incompatible, they will receive a text message apologising and directing them to the official movie Web site.

"Although users can already watch the trailer online, the great thing about getting it on their mobiles is that they can forward it on, giving the campaign a viral element," said Patrick Affleck, senior account manager at Zed.

Sony Pictures Goes Mobile

From New Media Sony Pictures reveals mobile strategy

Entertainment giant Sony Pictures has unveiled a pan-European mobile strategy that will see it creating a mobile Internet site for every major film and DVD release

The next six months is likely to see the development of an umbrella Sony Pictures mobile Internet portal to hold content from all its brands.

The first mobile Internet site to be launched is to accompany the DVD release of Will Smith film Hitch ..launched by Minick.

Mobile Internet sites will be launched for every major film release and the biggest of Sony Pictures' DVD releases. The sites will be promoted on all marketing material, including press, online and outdoors.

In the same way each major film release has an accompanying Web site promoted on above-the-line marketing, the Sony Pictures mobile Internet sites will be promoted using keywords and a shortcode.

Consumers texting into the shortcode will receive a WAP Push message back to install the site on their phone.

This is nice, but there are better ways to direct connect to the site.

Symbol Looks Vulnerable, Or Does It?

From Inside Wall Street column Symbol looks vulnerable

Symbol Technologies (SBL ) is giving off bad vibes: In six months the shares have slumped from 19 to 11. U.S. and European sales are weak for its laser-scan engines, bar-code readers, mobile computing, and radio-frequency ID (RFID) technology.

In three weeks, Symbol twice cut its second-quarter forecast. And the July 14 resignation of CFO Mark Greenquist added to worries

But David Katz of Matrix Asset Advisors has snapped up 5.2 million shares for clients. He believes Symbol may be bought out. "The depressed stock makes it vulnerable to a takeover," says Katz. "It makes enormous sense" for a big wireless and mobile computing outfit to own Symbol.

Or maybe, just maybe, David Katz sees this opportunity

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Pew's Internet Report...Teens, Technology And The Mobile Nation

Pew Internet & American Life Project released their latest report "Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation.

To see the Report

Some highlights I picked up:

Some 45% of teens have their own cells phones and many
own several devices that can connect to the internet

They take ever-greater advantage of this
new technology ecology by mastering features like instant messaging and
phone-text messaging on their tethered and mobile computing devices

Email, once the cutting edge "killer app," is losing
its privileged place among many teens as they express preferences for
instant messaging (IM) and text messaging as ways to connect with their

MobilRelay A Physical World Connection Company

Another company in the Physical World Connection category, MobilRelay, gave me an email interview to discuss what they do, and what they are working on.

What does MobilRelay do? (describe your technology or service)

MobilRelay has two offerings PAGA and Mobile Box Office.

PAGA is a fulfillment center that generates, stores, and delivers Tickets and Coupons to mobile phones. One thing we have noticed when approaching ticket brokers, and the like, is that they do not have the necessary software in place to enable the mobile browsing and purchasing of tickets.

We have developed such software and branded it Mobile Box Office (MBO).

One unique thing is that it’s not just about what this technology can do, it goes further than that… Once this technology is in place what additional value can be created around it. One major area is in Mobile to Mobile transfer of tickets.

To give you an example, (when in season) the Red Wings sell out every game but, there may be 2,000 empty seats. At the last minute your kid gets sick or you’re out of town either way you are one less person buying hotdogs, beer, and merchandise. That means lost revenue and if being able to send your tickets to a friend could solve that problem then venue and sport club owners would be interested in looking at it.

Do you cater to the corporation or consumer

Our technology has been developed to offer new ways for consumers to interact with tickets and coupons. We feel the best way to get this technology in the market place is through existing channels and services. Our model is based on software licensing which will enable our clients to utilize the value of mobile phones in their ticketing and couponing offerings.

PAGA...what does that stand for

PAGA is a Spanish and Italian word meaning “to buy”.

What is taking so long for service providers to adopt the "physical world connection" technology

Well, each technology has its own requirements and with “physical world connection” technology you bring in a third party into the mix, so it takes more than the carriers deploying them for it to be successful. I think once you see larger campaigns being supported by major brands, services, retailers, and the like, you will see carriers start to look at ways to integrate them.

Who are your competitors and partners

We are currently in discussions with Paperclick as our technologies are extremely complementary. While our technology sends barcodes to mobile phones theirs enables mobile phones to read them. We feel that together we represent the “yin and yang” of mobile bar-coding and that could be very effective in the right campaigns.

Mobiqa is the closest technology to ours that we have seen, although our technologies work in different ways. We feel our technology is best suited for the U.S. Carrier Networks and some of the key differences between our technologies give us a competitive advantage.

Are there any campaigns you have done, or are doing that you would like to share?

We are getting ready to launch the first movie theater in the U.S. that will deliver bar-coded tickets to mobile phones. We are excited to introduce this to the public and are doing so in a world class facility.

If you could land one customer/client, who would it be?


Fill this inMobilRelay will absolutely change the way we interact with tickets and coupons in the next 3-5 years .

Seven Network Takes Stake In m.Net Corp

From Fairfax Seven, m.Net to provide content services

Kerry Stokes' Seven Network Ltd will take a stake in mobile solutions enabler m.Net Corp to get mobile content services for its television shows and magazine stable

M.Net chief executive Horden Wiltshire said the partnership would enable Seven to extend its brands into mobiles, from SMS interactivity through to 2.5G and 3G downloadable content, across all Australian telecommunications carriers.

M.Net is also offering Seven the local Australian services and content, including SMS reverse auctions, games, cartoons and short films.

As part of the agreement, Seven will join Telstra and Alcatel as m.Net's major shareholders.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

4INFO To Offer Mobile Content Service

It seems like I talk about these guys weekly now. They continue to offer more neat services.

4INFO Announces Mobile Content Agreement with V2 Music Partnership Will Support Future Launch of 4INFO Mobile Content Search Service

4INFO Inc., the leading mobile search service, announced today an agreement with V2 Music, the fast-growing independent record label with a diverse roster of artists, including Tom Jones, Heather Nova, Moby and the White Stripes, to provide a wide array of artist content to mobile phone users.

This content will be available via 4INFO’s pending Mobile Content Search feature, which will be live in late August.

4INFO’s Mobile Content Search will provide wireless users with an easy way to search for artist content, including ring tones.

To receive an SMS alert when V2 mobile content is available, mobile users can send “V2” in a text message or e-mail to 4INFO (44636 or

I noticed V2 Music is linked to Virgin Music, I wonder what's next there?

Amazon Launches Mobile Program

From Amazon launches mobile associate program

On July 21, Amazon's Japanese branch announced "Amazon Mobile Associate Program.

" This is a new addition to their services for mobile phones. (If you remember, the company introduced Amazon ScanSearch last November, which allows some camera phone users to scan a regular barcode and buy a corresponding product on Amazon's mobile website.)

"Amazon Mobile Associate Program" is a suite of services for placing Amazon ads on wireless websites and getting some commission based on relevant sales

Interestingly, you can also use QR Codes to sell stuff and get commission. Let's say you just got a really cool shirt. Then, get a special URL for selling the same shirt on Amazon using the service, convert it to a QR code, print and paste it on the shirt.

Next day you are strolling in Harajuku with your famous walk, then someone walks up to you and quietly scans the code on your shirt. You feel a bit unconfortable but stay calm and talk to yourself "that's okay, I'll probably get some money."

The Most Significant Consumer Device In History

Get your attention?

From USA A very different future is calling- on billions of cell phones

According to a report, 1 billion cell phones will be sold each year by 2009

No sane person at the time ever thought these things would become the most significant electronic consumer device in history. But that's exactly what is happening.

Bigger than television. Bigger than the PC. Bigger than the telephone.

The cell phone's impact will be so huge because — unlike those previous technologies — it's so widespread. People in developing countries who a decade ago owned nothing more complicated than a water pump now have cell phones

Last week, Gartner Group put out a report saying that by 2009, 1 billion cell phones will be sold a year. Not owned. Sold. By then, 2.6 billion people will be using cell phones, Gartner says

Anything so big and powerful literally transforms society. TVs, PCs and telephones changed everything from daily habits to the world's power structure.. Don't forget commerce and advertising

Neville Street, CEO of text-messaging company Mobile 365, puts it this way: How many inventions in history have literally become part of your person — something you always have with you?

Your watch. Your credit card. Your cell phone. That's pretty much it, unless you count tooth fillings

Search engines and advertisers, you better find a way to be a part of this.

Vodafone Offers Space Boy For Mobile Phones

Martina at Adverblog has a neat story on a mobile content/application being offered by Vodafone and Player X called Space Boy.

If you're considering to extend your brand on mobile phones, and teenagers are your target, think about "Space Boy". "Space Boy" is an interactive mobile mate, introduced by Vodafone and Player X, that responds to practically everything a user does with his phone.

Space Boy is your own personal 'cell mate', who lives and breathes in your mobile, feeding off texts and phone calls.

Space Boy is the first character in the innovative new 'Mobies' series of interactive mobile phone friends, which are a cross between a mobile game, a tamagotchi and a screensaver

Mobies respond to practically everything a user does with his or her phone. From dancing excitedly when the phone rings, or receiving a letter when an SMS or MMS arrives, through to fixing an aerial when the network signal is weak or becoming tired when the battery is low, a Mobie is the user's mobile phone.

Whenever the user receives a phone call, an SMS or an MMS message, their Mobie's health and happiness will increase. The more messages and calls received, the more a Mobie can do.

New activities will be unlocked and new props and toys will become available. If a user is not receiving calls or messages, they can still ensure their Mobie stays fit and happy, by competing in mini games on the handset, to help their Mobie find more energy and remain healthy.

AOL , DOA Or SOS? Save Our Subscribtion Base

From C/ AOL dials up Web search for mobile phones

AOL is entering the mobile phone Internet search fray, testing a new service in the United States that will allow most cell phone users to search for Web content and local merchant information and do shopping comparisons all on their handsets (wonder if you can input a barcode for price compare :))

Type to see it for yourself

The new AOL Mobile Search Services will give mobile users access to the AOL Search service, Pinpoint Shopping Search and AOL Yellow Pages. It is available on any Wireless Application Protocol-enabled phone, which is the majority of the mobile phones on the market, said Himesh Bhise, general manager of AOL Mobile.

Using keywords, searchers receive a list of results to scroll through and can read the Web pages by clicking on a link. "It will have the same layout as on AOL Search on the desktop," Bhise said.

I still don't know why AOL doesn't tap into the 20m users it already has with a search feature through IM (instant messaging).

You can do a AOL Yellow Pages search now by sending an IM to "AOLYELLOWPAGES" and putting in subject of interest. Try it, it's fast.

Add another "buddy" called AOLMOVIE..

I envision video clips being sent through this feature very easily. Last I checked AOL was part of the largest media companies out there.

Send an IM to AOLMOVIE and get a 1 minute MMS about the upcoming Warner flick. There are numerous possibilities I have thought of with my AOL, DOA or AOK story.

Pinpoint Shopping allows users to quickly find information that helps them to compare products, prices and merchant reputations.

AOL Yellow Pages allows users to call merchants with one click and get a map and directions from MapQuest.

So maybe AOL isn't dead, but management's creativity is.

More Press For Scanbuy And Barcode Scanning

From Shop 'til you drop..your camera phone

New technology that turns your cell phone into a price scanner could help consumers find bargains, reports Phil Lempert

Just when you thought you’d figured out how to take pictures and read e-mails on your phone, those technology wizards are at it again. This time they want to turn your phone into a shopping tool.

I still don't see price comparison being a tool people will use on their cellphone.

Using software it calls Optical Intelligence, a company called Scanbuy says it can transform any camera phone into a personal barcode scanner which then allows shoppers to scan a product they are interested in, and then through the phone’s Internet connection, gain access to a complete list of the same product’s availability and prices at other retailers.

The software would also allow these companies to play a radio or television ad for that product. That's a much better offering in my opinion.

Mobile commerce (or “mCommerce”) has been exploding over the last few years. So far, three methods of this payment feature exist and are currently being added to mobile devices:

Stored-value account: Uses a stored-value feature that resides on an embedded computer chip, similar to a smart card, inside the mobile device. Funds would be transferred to the chip and the transaction processing is limited to the point of sale and the cell phone.

Pre-authorized payment: Consumers call a preauthorization number to enroll their cell phone with the payment service. Using their cell phone number with a PIN, the transaction takes place at the retailer similar to debit and credit card transactions

Text-messaging software: Using the text-messaging software of the device, encrypted payment transactions are sent over the mobile phone network.

I see why, good informative blogs are beginning to replace traditional media. Granted he's a food critic, but the author did no investigative work on this technology or company.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Real Truth Behind Verisign's Opportunity

There's a story today on Verisign's new personality that highlights how they are turning into a mobile entertainment heavyweight.

VeriSign is best known for verifying the legitimacy of e-commerce sites. And, as the keeper of .com and .net domain names, it connects Web browsers with the sites they're looking for some 14 billion times a day...

But it's fast becoming a heavyweight in mobile entertainment, including games, sports and news updates, and, of course, lucrative ringtones...that's not all

Verisign's content business isn't all about ringtones, and it has other offerings. For instance, when a Sprint customer takes a picture on his or her camera phone and forwards it to another phone or an e-mail address, VeriSign is in the background, making the connection and taking a cut

VeriSign generates millions of dollars a year in revenue for mobile carriers, and in many cases, handles the back-office billing for the carriers from people ordering games, ringtones, and news or sports updates

Ringtones and other creative apps are fast transforming the staid old software company into a mobile-entertainment heavyweight

There's a big piece missing to the story though. Wired magazine pointed it out directly in their latest issue with this editorial piece from Bruce Sterling Dear Member of RFID Industry

"twin Godzillas of the US economy - the Defense Department and Wal-Mart - plan to use your little wonders to track their enormous inventories. As makers and users of RFID gear, you're putting unprecedented horsepower behind the wheels of commerce.

With the capacity to label 296 individual objects, you're well on your way to giving everything that matters its own unique ID and IP address. It won't be long before the Internet is joined by what MIT has christened an Internet of Things"

If there are 14 billion site lookups a day, imagine how many lookups there will be when an RFID tag gets a URL. There are 3b unique barcodes today. All 12 oz cans of Coke have one, but there are millions of those cans.

When an RFID tag is added to EACH can, think of the traffic that runs through this "registry".

You know what company will be in charge of giving everything its own unique ID and IP address?

A completely different way of looking at this company now.

A Good Wireless Advertising Book

I had a chance to read Branding Unbound this weekend. What a great read for anybody that wants to see the new approaches to advertising. There are some interesting applications that are already being implemented and some that are in the works.

Included are interviews with some of the top visionaries out there, such as.
Smart Mob's Howard Rheingold, Seth Godin, Tom Peters, Strategos's Gary Hamel, Cluetrain Manifesto's Chrisptopher Locke, and Don Peppers.

The book is written for the layman with terms defining the new technologies being discussed. There aren't many books where I write more notes on the page than what's written, this is one of them.

There are a number of companies mentioned, many will seem familiar to regular readers of Pondering Primate. The ones that haven't been covered here and I think they are interesting, will get some attention as I give them a little exposure.

You can order the book Here

Cingular Chooses Bango

From Cingular selects Bango to open-up mobile content

Mobile Internet pioneer Bango announced today it has entered into a partnership with Cingular Wireless to give subscribers the widest choice of music, games and other mobile content available on any carrier network.

Through the agreement, Bango has integrated its technology with Cingular access and billing. Now Cingular's 51.6 million subscribers benefit from single-click "browse and buy" payment for games, ringtones and other content promoted by thousands of content providers round the world that use the Bango service

This is the first time that Cingular has entered into an agreement with a provider of a WAP-based off-deck platform for content accessed via the mobile Internet

The Bango service provides subscribers with a transparent buying experience. Users are presented with a clear and concise payment page before they are billed, with the option to cancel a transaction before payment

Monday, July 25, 2005

What Would You Do With $485 Billion

From New Age Media Young adult consumers will drive mobile marketing strategies for $485B spending of 15 to 24 yr olds

If you were an advertiser in charge of a brand new medium and it was required that you get permission before you advertise, what would you do?

Youth” consumers-those ages 15-24 - are the wave of the future for mobile marketing strategies using text messaging and the Internet on cell phones, according to The U.S. Youth Market

Technology, including cell phones, hand-held computer devices, and MP3 players, continues to threaten the traditional hold of the apparel industry on the spending priorities in the youth market.

Based on data supplied by Simmons Market Research Bureau, the report found that younger consumers are seen as the largest growth segment for the wireless industry, and older teens are driving an exponential increase in text messaging volumes. Packaged Facts estimates that the youth market has a spending power of $485 billion.

Companies that target the 15-24-year-old crowd need to realize that traditional marketing and advertising venues may not be effective for young adults,” said Don Montuori, acquisitions editor of Packaged Facts.

“Along those same lines, marketers should note that women in this age group are more likely than men to use a computer, and more likely to own a cell phone and use it for text messaging.”

And The Walls Came Down

From Verizon and Sprint customers can now exchange pic and video messages.

From the "it's about time" file.

In a move that allows more than 70 million wireless customers to exchange picture and video messages with one another directly from their wireless camera phones, Verizon Wireless and Sprint have announced an inter- carrier Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) agreement between the two companies

Mobile 365 will provide the interoperability service for Verizon Wireless customers and VeriSign will provide the service for Sprint customers

Sprint customers can exchange multimedia messages with Verizon Wireless, Cingular, T-Mobile USA and Bell Mobility customers. Verizon Wireless customers can exchange multimedia messages with customers of Sprint, Cingular Wireless, Leap Wireless and U.S. Cellular.

A Great Mobile Portal

ThumbTips is a great WAP(mobile) portal I discovered. I have spent an hour just looking at all of the useful sites that are web enabled.

Just type in ( click HERE to see it on a PC) on your mobile and discover all the great WAP sites to use.

All the sites I've discovered are all WAP enabled (fast).

Thumb Thru offers WAP sites dedicated to search, portals, location, news, weather, finance, shopping.

Some of the news sites offered are from Fox, NY Times, NY Post, CNN, MSNBC, Sky News, Wired. The finance sites are Bloomberg, FT, Schwab, Ameritrade.

Thumb Tacks is the notes and posting are that contain news regarding the mobile community.

Twiddling Time is geared toward games, greeting cards, cartoons, jokes, horoscope and trivia

They have a site called Digits Directory that shows you the SMS services available in every country.

Go ahead and try it, I betcha you can't stop looking at all of the great mobile sites they offer.

Until there are faster speeds for wireless, I think this site will be considered a great WAP portal

Mobot And Warner Music (Tower Records) Offer Snap And Win

From Warner Music and Tower Records offer "snap and win" with Mobot

Mobot Technology Lets Music Fans Enter to Win Using Their Mobile Phones

Warner Music Group's U.S. sales and retail marketing company, and Tower Records unveiled a groundbreaking sweepstakes on July 7th that gives music fans a chance to win a trip to see Warner Music Group artists Transplants and My Chemical Romance on the VANS Warped Tour simply by snapping a picture with their mobile camera phone

The physical world connection is getting closer.

WEA and Tower Records make it easy for music fans to "Get Your Hands on the Bands" by featuring CDs from performing artists from the summer tours in custom standup displays available nationally at all 83 U.S.-based Tower Records stores now through August.
These 6-foot stand-up displays are the focal point for the "Get Your Hands on the Bands" sweepstakes powered by Mobot, a leader in visual search and recognition technology. Customers visiting Tower Records stores can enter to win by taking a picture with their mobile camera phone of the official "Get Your Hands on the Bands" logo located on the retail displays.

Mobot's visual search and recognition technology recognizes the image and, within seconds, sends back a message to the phone confirming entry into the sweepstakes. An alternate method to enter the sweepstakes is to take a picture of the full-page "Get Your Hands on the Bands" advertisement running in the August issue of Alternative Press magazine (street date July 7) or enter online at

No Mobile Spam

From Marketers eye the mobile phone: Is spam far behind?

Companies are building databases of millions of mobile phone numbers to use in sending advertisements. With such a tsunami expected, how will consumers be protected from spam and other abuses?

But it's probably nine months to a year before ads start popping up on cell phones. Nihal Mehta, founder and chief executive of Ipsh, a San Francisco mobile marketing company, thinks it will take that long for such brands as McDonalds and Procter & Gamble to build databases of a half-million or a million mobile phone numbers.

I have done extensive work on this topic because I knew it would be a problem if not handled properly. This is the first time the consumer is in complete control. Hundreds of people (through email and conversations) have told me what they want and don't want. From this input, my business plan was created.

If you want to know how to create the, (in my opinion) killer app for mobile marketing, email me

4INFO Offers HotSpot Info Through SMS

From Find a hotspot from your cellphone

A small two-year-old company called JiWire is building a business by licensing its global wireless hot-spot locator, first to Web sites and now to mobile content providers.

4Info, a mobile search service, has signed a licensing agreement with JiWire where users send a text message to 4-INFO (44636) from their mobile phones to find hot spots anywhere in the United States. The service will be available starting Aug. 1.

Just send a text mesagge to 44636 and subject should be "hotspot your zipcode/city" Try it on your PC here

What happens when cellphones can automatically find a hotspot?

The JiWire Web site is a must-read for anyone hooked on all things wireless. It provides product news and reviews, tips and tricks, how-to guides and a Wi-Fi locator that lists nearly 69,000 hot spots in more than 100 countries

Friday, July 22, 2005

DoCoMo Does Physical World Connection

From Docomo's New Marketing Tool Uses Camera Phones, Unaltered Ads "

I knew it was just a matter of time before this happened.

NTT DoCoMo Inc. (TSE:9437) has developed a marketing tool that uses camera phones and a proprietary image recognition technique to enable a person to snap a photo of a printed ad or an outdoor signboard and receive coupons from the advertiser or link to an Internet site for more information.
Advertising linked to 2-D barcodes and digital watermarks has already been introduced as marketing tools that take advantage of Internet-capable camera phones. But DoCoMo's new system is more versatile, since nothing special needs to be done to the ad. In fact, the system can accommodate existing ads. Consumers do not have to worry about angle and alignment when snapping pictures and can even aim at faraway signboards atop buildings.

To use the system, consumers must download special software to their phones. The advertiser must have a server that stores a database of ads and a personal computer that manages the delivery of coupons and advertising information to consumers.

When a consumer shoots a photo of an ad or signboard, the phone-based software divides the image into blocks, calculates the color components of each block, and then sends this data to the server. The server compares the data against its database of pre-registered images to find a match

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

THE Mobile Marketing Company

The blogging from the Primate will be light for a few days.

There is a tiny island in the Caribbean calling my name. I don't imagine the Internet access there to be accomodative.

This is a perfect time to refresh the mental battery so to speak as I finalize my business plan.

For the first time ever, consumers will be in control of the advertising they receive via cell phone screen. That's a powerful thing and with that power will create an exciting opportunity for the companies/people that see that.

The two key components for mobile marketing will be permission and interest. What I have done over the past 6 months is surveyed people on the street and asked questions that revealed a lot. It is with this info that I created a business plan for mobile marketing.

Instead of advertisers trying to "get" permission, I have found a business model to "give" permission to advertisers for mobile marketing.

Regular readers of PP know I keep up with the mobile news (campaigns,companies, technologies) and used to provide a lot of ideas for new business.

When I saw how big this business could be I then asked people on the street if they would use this idea, a resounding YES was what I got from EVERYONE.

After writing pages of applications for this, I felt it was time to execute

Never, has there been a time when an advertiser could reach a consumer at anytime, anywhere given permission, with such precision.

What makes Google so great? They offer a free tool (that is used daily, that advertisers can get behind with their dollars. No, I'm not comparing my idea to Google yet, but I do see this offering the same benefits.

The business model has 3 applications that generate recurring revenue. One of the applications is what every search engine bases their entire business model around. Yes, it's THAT big.

It works on EVERY cell phone out there. The consumer doesn't need Web access or a camera on the phone. There is no special program to download. The best thing of all, it doesn't require a service provider for implementation.

I have looked at this from a completely different way than all of the current models out there.

Both advertisers/brands AND consumers will want to be included in this.

It's for a mobile marketing company that wants to dominate this emerging space, and for an advertising agency that wants to get into the mobile world.

If this is you or your company Let's Discuss This

A Brave New World Of Information

From Convergence: It's becoming a brave new world

It is nice to see such optimism for what lies ahead. Some "what if" ideas are presented in this article. I've highlighted them

Imagine a world where video, photography, text and music are all available from any device that can connect to the Internet at any time. Whether you're using your computer, iPod, television or mobile phone, you will have the information you need and the diversion you want

There are several big trends that together will have a massive impact on how consumers interact with content and spend their "online time":

-Cable operators putting hardware into homes that enables two-way communication, allowing viewers to respond to requests from content providers

-wireless networks already offer reasonable two-way delivery of huge quantities of information—from photos to movies

-Sharing of content and one-click purchases have become part of mass culture

-From Siemen's chief executive ""It feels like 1995 and the emergence of the Internet. We don't see any limitations to innovation."

-Ads need to be targeted. Whoever figures out the new paradigm for television advertising will win.

-Smart brands will be able to build awareness and loyalty through innovative promotions

The best paragraph in my opinion.

If we read the data carefully, and listen to the consumers, we have an unprecedented opportunity for truly two-way communication—and this brave new world could be here within the next five years!