Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Camera Phone As A Scanner

It is nice to see a major research house recognize the value of physical world connection.

From CBS Marketwatch Camera phone as a scanner

When is a camera phone not a camera? When it behaves like a reader, receiving and displaying coded information from the objects in front of its lens.

I call it a physical world browser

"It means using the camera phone not as a picture-taker," says Kenneth Hyers, principal analyst of mobile wireless research at ABI Research, "but as a scanner capturing metadata about products or services related to objects around us. I think we'll see more of this in coming years."

That data can be visible, as in the case of barcodes or the "QR" codes popular in Japan;

One company, scanR , lets you use your camera phone as a scanner, copier and fax.
Nextcode offers free downloadable software that reads certain kinds of barcodes and allows the phone user to download product information, ringtones and wallpapers.
Another company, Mobot , lets consumers photograph advertisements, products and logos, then scans the image using its own visual recognition technology and directs them to related information.

Notice they are physical world connection companies?

But these applications are all proprietary," adds Hyers. "A real market for this requires some standardization, and for marketers, operators, and handset vendors to be 'on the same page'."

TMCnet's editorial director, Al Bredenberg thinks connecting the physical world with the virtual world becomes more feasible now with camera-phone technology.

SMS The Next Marketing Frontier

Well, at least let's call it a good mobile marketing tool until advertisers get creative.

From PR.com Mobile phones/text messaging- the next marketing frontier

Tout Media, Inc., a behavioral marketing firm, recently partnered with CellIt Marketing, LLC., a marketing technology company, to leverage their combined expertise to offer cutting-edge marketing opportunities to local and national advertisers.

Recent studies have shown that text messaging is up nearly 280% in the last two years and is expected to grow to 220 billion messages a year by 2008. And, more people have cell phones than have Internet access. (but what happens they have both?)

These types of statistics make it easy to understand why companies like Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and VISA USA have all become actively involved in the formation and development of mobile marketing as a new medium.

I haven't seen Microsoft's mobile marketing platform. Can anyone tell me what/where it is?

Google Allows Users To Send Web Pages By SMS

Google's dominance from the PC to the mobile begins. What's next? I expect Google to introduce a "toolbar" application for the mobile.
Proving to Microsoft again, that you don't need to have an operating system to be a dominant force on a computing device. You just have to provide an application that both consumers and advertisers can utilize.

From RCR News Google expands wireless options to SMS

Google Inc. launched a personalized tool bar that allows PC users to share Web pages via text messages.

The tool bar-installed in a desktop computer-includes a "send to" option that can be used to send an excerpt or entire page through e-mails, blogs or text messages. The offering is free except for carrier messaging charges.

The move is the latest effort by the Internet giant to expand its services from the desktop to wireless.

BlueBlitz Introduces Event Mobilizer

Every store becomes a mobile marketing tool.

BlueBlitz, a world leader in Bluetooth proximity marketing has announced the launch of a new product. The Event Mobilizer enables any business to send customizable videos, MP3s, barcodes, company information and games to customers.

See the demo

This version of the popular Magic Beamer costs less than 150 USD and can be
run on any regular computer. BlueBlitz solutions empower any business to
offer customers interactive downloadable mobile content within a range of up
to 120 meters/400 ft. The Event Mobilizer is a permission-based system and
works with any Bluetooth-enabled mobile

Karl Wendy Jr., PR Manager of BlueBlitz says: "Proximity-marketing and
mobile marketing campaigns have been a limited luxury for a chosen few
companies until now. For the first time in history, BlueBlitz empowers any
business and even single person to market their services or products for
less than 150 USD

Monday, January 30, 2006

Google Patents Mobile Click-To-Call Ads

Search Engine Watch has a story about Google looking to patent a method to provide click-to-call advertising on mobile phones.

Notice how patents and intellectual property are playing a bigger role in all forms of advertising.

The patent application

ClickZ has a good summary of what this means for mobile click-to-call ads.

The application describes a process that takes into consideration a device's screen size, connection speed, and input capabilities to determine if it would be better to serve an ad with a link to a Web page or one that causes the phone or other mobile device to place a phone call to the advertiser.

"Everybody talks about pay-per-call in wireless as a natural business model," Greg Sterling, program director at the Kelsey Group, told ClickZ News."

Google has long offered a WAP version of its search engine, but it hasn't yet distributed its AdWords ads on mobile search pages

See the whole blog summary

Google Pontiac--- Google Keywords

How will Google be like AOL?

I saw a TV ad yesterday for Pontiac. At the end of the ad, it asked consumers to "Google Pontiac". A great idea but it got me pondering. Pontiac is using Google and their own trademark to direct connect a consumer.

Instead of saying "go to www.pontiac.com/newcarpromo.xtml" they have simplified getting to a specific website to 2 clicks. Google, Pontiac.

Pontiac is clearly favoring one of the search engines over the others and I wonder if this will jeopardize their relationship with Yahoo, MSN etc.

What I can see is Google using this ad as a way to start a "direct connect" service. Maybe they could put a "Link" category or create a separate window for the user to be directly connected via a Google Keyword.

AOL does this with their "keyword" program. Notice the advertising AOL does now using the phrase "AOL Keyword XXXXX"? The problem is that AOL's keyword is only valuable to AOL users.

The "Google Keyword" can be used by EVERY web user, in EVERY Google application (Talk, Mobile, etc).

Google is entering into the print and radio biz. Why not use a Google Keyword for radio and print? A Pontiac ad in a magazine could have "Google Keyword: PONTIAC". Radio ad, "for more info use Google Keyword Pontiac". See the opportunities Google has here?

Some view this move by Pontiac as a way of using Google to power its brand, I see it as a new way to educate people to direct connect , simplify search, and create a new revenue application for Google

Do you think Google could create another revenue stream for direct connect keywords?

What are your comments?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Google Won't Share With Wireless Carriers

There are a couple problems that all mobile marketing companies face that PC advertisers don't.

Internet advertising on a PC doesn't care what browser you use, what type of computer you have, or what internet provider you connect with. With mobile, service provider, operating systems and handsets are big obstacles in delivering advertising.

From Sunday Times Mobiles covet Google success

Google, Yahoo and Microsoft’s MSN are pitching their ads to an audience of “only” 1 billion personal-computer users. There are already more than 2 billion mobile-phone users in the world, and over the next few years far more will go online via the mobile internet rather than the PC.

Mobile-phone companies, therefore, see an opportunity to create a hugely profitable new medium for advertising and e-commerce. The mobile firms have some advantages over Google and Yahoo in choosing which ads to serve up. They know where their customers are; what they spend; and have a billing relationship with them.

Google was after a bigger slice of an advertising pie worth billions — a pie that fixed- line telecoms companies had already surrendered. “They have no incentive to operate with the carriers. I don’t see Google sharing revenues with BT or Deutsche Telekom”...Dan Olschwang CEO of Jumptap

Unless they become their own wireless carrier.

Mobiqa Offers Mobile Barcodes On China

Mobiqa will provide physical world connection in China.

From Sunday Herald Mobiqa and TradeDot offer mobile barcodes in China

Under the distribution and licence agreement, Mobiqa will provide its mobile-phone software to register hundreds of thousands of people attending conferences and other events.

The contract with TradeDot, a conference and events specialist, will see Mobiqa’s mobile barcode tickets offered to 65,000 visitors at Hong Kong’s International Travel Expo in June, as well as other events across China.

Users will be able to gain admission and register attendance simply by having receptionists scan the barcode which appears on their mobile phone displays.

The company, founded by Ronnie Forbes three years ago, already has distribution deals in India, Thailand, and the Philippines and signed one in Malaysia this month.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Bubble Talk- Voice SMS

From I-Newswire Bubble Talk - the World's first voice SMS technology

BubbleTalk™ enables customers to record what they want to express in their own voice directly via BubbleTalk messaging platform. A short message, either in Chinese or English characters, will be sent to customers alerting them to a personally recorded voice message.

BubbleTalk™ provides a navigation-free end user experience for ease of use. Users only have to dial ‘*’ and the mobile number of the recipient and talk, to send a message up to 30 seconds. The recipient then gets an SMS alert ..The recipient then dials *0* to listen and then press * to reply.

Friday, January 27, 2006

What Mobile Marketing Is All About

This is a good summary on what mobile marketing really is. John Hadl, managing director at Quigley-Simpson spoke at a mobile markteting conference.

Quigley-Simpson is a full-service brand response advertising agency whose clients include Procter & Gamble Warner Brothers, Visa and Ameriquest Home Mortgage.

Hadl is known for his stance that the most important and effective use of mobile is its ability to act as a response mechanism and media measurement tool for traditional media channels.

He explained why mobile should not be considered a revenue driver but rather a data collector, response mechanism and media measurement tool.

The mobile represents the first medium where an advertiser can interact directly, in real time with a consumer. With that, the method for marketing has to be different.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mobile Adult Content Congress Summary

I had an interesting and informative time at the Mobile Adult Content Congress conference yesterday.

Vodafone, Virgin Mobile and a couple other big name mobile players gave some great presentations. The main theme of the conference was age-verification and how it plays a key role in ALL adult mobile applications

The irony here is that porn was the industry that “built” the Internet. New laws have been introduced that require age-verification to visit pornographic sites. Where would we be if those laws were in effect back in the 90’s?

These laws are even more stringent for delivering adult content on the mobile and the wireless carriers are afraid of this.

What is becoming a big “mobile” revenue generator for the adult industry? Adult podcasts. All the adult content guys confirmed that they see big opportunities here.

Think about it. It doesn’t require carrier approval, the “operating system” and “handset” are universal (Ipod) AND there is NO AGE VERIFICATION restrictions. ( I see some liability issues for Apple down the road).

What if Apple introduces an Itunes supported mobile phone?

I also learned the different types of adult content. There is erotica versus pornography.
Erotica is Maxim magazine and pornography is Penthouse. Do you know which will be adopted quicker for the mobile? Erotica, there are no age-verification requirements.

So look for the Maxims and Stuff magazines to gain quicker traction for mobile content.

A company in the physical world connection space that I wanted to see, Xobile and their Leapscan , didn’t disappoint me. Leapscan is a software application for your camera phone that allows a user to scan a 2d code on any one of the tens of thousands of adult DVDs and get a trailer or be linked to a specific website.

Based on their site, and the phones that are capable of this application, I feel pretty confident they are using Scanbuy’s technology.

Xobile, has access to one of the largest libraries of adult content. The marketing applications for this are enormous. They understand what will work when it comes to mobile content, and talked about some exciting products they will be introducing soon.

An update on some of the interesting mobile applications I saw, will come shortly.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mobile Adult Content Congress

I will be attending the Mobile Adult Content Congress Conference today in Miami.

The mobile content industry (porn) was the first industry to generate revenues from Internet content. I feel very confident they will repeat this feat for mobile. I am sure there will be lots of physical world applications here.

Greg Fitzsimmons said “The Internet was completely funded by porn". It's an old joke (but is valuable) that every new technology is driven by porn.

Rob Enderle, a tech industry analyst, said that technology and pornography have an interdependent relationship that tech pundits don't often acknowledge.

"So much of the technology that we're using now for less risqué purposes had its origins in porn," said Enderle, who pointed to online "streaming video" as one major example of a technology that was driven by porn in its early days. What will be the app this time? I think I know.

Some of the companies I hope to speak to include Virgin Mobile (a creative wireless provider), Playboy (one of the biggest adult content database), Bango (mobile content/billing), Xobile and their LeapScan (links barcodes to the Internet), Stripe Media (content), oh.TV (Adult Mobile TV)NSFW

The company that best depicts the physical world connection is Xobile with their LeapScan application. LeapScan turns your camera phone into a personal barcode scanner. Point your camera phone at a LeapScan code and get a movie trailer or go to a Website.

Take that idea and apply it to regular movies. See the opportunity for a BlockBuster Video or any movie studio now?

I hope to get an idea of how these other companies will be/ are including the physical world connection application into their mobile applications.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Women's Entertainment Launches Mobile Campaign

This looks like the first mobile campaign from ipsh! after being acquired from Omnicom.

This is an example of what mobile marketing will HAVE TO INCLUDE. The advertiser has to give/offer something (style tips) in order to get permission to place ads on your phone.

From Clickz Women's Entertainment mobile

A new mobile campaign from Women's Entertainment promotes the show "Style Me with Rachel Hunter," which premieres tonight. Participants receive weekly style tips from Hunter, and of course they're sent just before the start of each week's program. The effort is courtesy of Omnicom-owned wireless agency ipsh!

To see their mobile site http://styleme.mobile.we.tv/

This is also another example of mobile marketing being used to link TV advertising.

3D Barcode Stores Videos

From I4U.com 3D Barcode able to store videos for mobile devices

Content Idea of Asia Co. has developed a printable 3D code that can store between 0.6 to 1.8 MB, enough for watching short video commercials on mobile phones. I can think of many other uses besides commercials for this application.

The 3D code is based on the 2D QR Code.

Content Idea of Asia Co. calls it PM Code. The PM code consists of up to 24 layers using different colors. A usage example is for instance to watch a commercial on a mobile phone scanned from a perfume ad in a magazine. The software to read the PM Code will be free.

First 3D Barcode video ads should come this Summer in Japan.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Barcode The Key To M-Commerce

From Electric News Asia to drive m-ticket boom

According to figures from research firm Juniper Research, which reveals that m-ticketing revenues will account for USD44 billion by 2010.

"The modern mobile phone and mobile network provides unparalleled levels of commercial potential," said Alan Goode, author of the Juniper report. "We are now beginning to enter the m-commerce era -- and this era will see all of its expectations met."

To date, mobile ticketing providers have been innovative in their use of technologies, including SMS and mobile barcodes.

Text Message TV

We know the cell phone will be the remote control for your life in the physical world. Notice the morph we are starting to see from the TV remote control to the cell phone as a remote control.

Think of the mobile marketing applications for this.

From TMCNet Blue Frog launches txtv


The first service of its kind in the United States, txtv allows television viewers to send text messages directly to their TV screens. txtv broadcast partners share in messaging revenue. txtv has been successfully tested in several markets, and new partnership announcements are forthcoming.

"As cell phones become the predominant entertainment tool, it's a natural step for text messaging to be broadcast on television," explained Blue Frog Mobile CEO Ron Erickson. "It's the perfect marriage of old school and new school communications -- and the result is a true interactive television experience for the viewer and new revenue opportunities for the broadcaster." (and advertisers).

Microsoft Sees Value In All Types Of Hyperlinks

Microsoft recognizes the value of a hyperlink, regardless of what screen it's on.

From Electric News Microsoft plans innovation assault

First on the agenda for the centre, dubbed AdLab, is video hyperlinks. Video hyperlink ads allow viewers to interact with the ad, detecting products displayed on a television screen during a TV show or ad. (Why not on a DVD too?)

Consumers can zoom into the products onscreen and click through to detailed product descriptions or get information on where the products can be bought.

More than 50 researchers will work at the facility trying to come up with new ways to reach consumers online, through mobile advertising, with video opportunities and via television ads.

Mobot's Mobile Marketing Works

Maybe the Pondering Primate helped the exposure with their mobile marketing campaign.

Mobot’s September Instant Win promotion with ELLEgirl Magazine, utilizing Mobot’s visual search and recognition technology via mobile phones, increased advertising effectiveness significantly, with purchase intent 14 percent higher for participants when compared to non-participants, according to a new survey conducted by Insight Express and sponsored by Mobot.

Readers could enter to win a daily prize simply by snapping a picture of a specified magazine ad
and then sending the photo to Mobot
. Readers instantly received a text message alerting them if they won. Participating advertisers included Maybelline, Neutrogena, Target and many more.

Some interesting stats:
Participation increased by 228 percent from the first ten days compared to the last ten
days of the campaign.

96% of participants said they were likely or extremely likely to participate in a similar
in the future.

Mobot is designed to allow brands and media partners to seamlessly introduce Mobot technology into the media mix and doesn’t require any modifications to existing visual media—no keywords, phone numbers, URLs, product codes, or bar codes are necessary

Third Screen Media Offers Mobile Marketing Platform

From MediaPost Mobile marketing firm upgrades platform

THIRD Screen Media is expected today to release a new technology platform that makes it easier for mobile companies and marketers to connect with each other.

MADXPublisher, will manage ad serving, ad creation, inventory forecasting, and management, as well as campaign creation, trafficking, targeting, reporting, and accounting.

The platform allows for the serving of all different types of ads, from simple text or display to streaming video pre-rolls. "In our platform, it's going to be all-encompassing. All media types will be able to be targeted and managed," Heidi Lehmann said.

Get Paid For Text Message Contests?

From Marketwire CREDITZ Digital Currency and Txtstation mobile marketing

CREDITZ , Inc. and Txtstation Global Limited, announced today it plans to offer global marketing using live mobile messaging combined with CREDITZ Digital Currency System to text relevant messages to viewers and at the same time use CREDITZ to pay viewers to engage in ongoing marketing programs.

Greg Hayes, CEO of Txtstation, stated, "Imagine how viewers get to vote or express their opinions and then get paid and/or win CREDITZ Digital Currency provided by the network or TV station's advertisers. It's the ultimate interactive viewer experience!"

Sunday, January 22, 2006

How Many Hyperlinks Can You Find?

I noticed the front cover of this month's Health Magazine. I got to pondering and realized maybe AOL is ahead of the mobile marketing curve.

I assume this Health Magazine is owned by AOL Time Warner.

How many physical world hyperlinks can you find?

Want to know what I would do if I was brand manager for Health Magazine?

Carnival Of The Mobilists

This week Judy at the Golden Swamp hosts the first edition of 2006 for the Carnival of the Mobilists.

The list of contributors grows each week, be sure to check out this weeks summary

Friday, January 20, 2006

Another Use For A Physical World Hyperlink

Think of your fingerprint as your own personal barcode, a universal machine-readable identifier.

When you read this story, you will see how there will be other valuable uses for physical world hyperlinks that don't involve a mobile phone.

Sometimes I think people only recognize a physical world hyperlink as a barcode and envision price comparison. It's so much more than that. A physical world hyperlink is using an identifier and connecting to a database through the Internet. The identifier becomes a hyperlink when it connects to the database.

The applications are endless and will have an enormous impact on technology and society.

Imagine a personalised welcome, few queues and fingerprint checks. This could be your bank branch in the future, thanks to cutting-edge technology such as radio frequency identification and biometric scanning.

My company, Visionary Innovations Inc, identifies all physical world hyperlinks and the applications ( for all industries) that can implemented from them.

Mobile AdSense?

An interesting story fromMobileRead AdMob delivers pay-per-click mobile advertising Are we seeing the mobile version of Google's AdSense?

It's an old saying that there are no bad ideas. We beg to differ. AdMob is "the world's first pay-per-click mobile advertising marketplace" aimed at monetizing traffic going through mobile sites.
The company promises to "focus on finding high quality clients" and to split revenues with 75% going to the publisher and 25% to AdMob.

From their website:

Reach consumers right on their phone or• other mobile device.
• Target ads by region, manufacturer, platform,• and device capability.
• Personalize ads using device model number.
• Easily build a quick mobile 'MobPage' to reach • customers even if you don't have a mobile site.
• Pay only for the click throughs on your ad

Thoughts comments?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

World Cup Tickets Via SMS

From PC Advisor World Cup tickets with an SMS

Smartmachine and its technology partner Skidata have developed a mobile ticketing system that allows customers to have a ticket sent to their mobile phone via SMS (Short Message Service) in the form of a 2D barcode. At the gate, they slide their mobile phone display showing the barcode through a barcode reader.

The technology, which has been tested by Southend United, will be installed at 10 of the 12 stadiums selected to host the Fifa World Cup football tournament this year.

Buy Movie Tickets With Mobile And Barcode

This is an example of a barcode being sent to your mobile and then being scanned. Physical world connection in reverse where a physiccal world hyperlink gets created.

I like the technology, but I don't know how useful it will be. I see many other applications where receiving a barcode would benefit both the consumer and the advertiser.

From PR Newswire Mobile phone users buy and receive movie tickets through Mobile Box Office

To use the service, moviegoers
navigate to http://www.mbo.com on their mobile phones and follow prompts to browse and buy movie tickets.

After making a show selection and secure credit card transaction, moviegoers receive an electronic, bar-coded ticket on their mobile phones, which is scanned for entry at the theater.

I give these guys credit for implementing an m-commerce app along with a barcode, but I think there are bigger applications for this.

Mobile Tag A Physical World Connection Player

I came across another company from UberGizmo blog that uses 2d codes to connect to the Internet.

Mobile Tag , a French company allows you to create your own 2d code and download the code reading software to access a specific website.

Check out their site and click the Demonstration Video

A New Kind Of GPS

What a great idea.

Have you ever tried to get your exact GPS address? They are long and complicated. This solves that problem. Think of this as a location based identifier. It's universal, and provides pretty targeted information.

What I'm wondering if this can replace GPS, or compliment it? I know this provides a static location, but couldn't this be used for so many applications?

From GISuser Universal address system gets adopted in China

The Natural Area Coding System is a new geodetic system that uses simple codes called Natural Area Codes (NAC) to unify all geographic coordinates, area codes, addresses, postal codes, map grids, map sheet codes and property identifiers in the world.

A two character NAC can uniquely represent an area about 1200km by 750km anywhere in the world; a four character NAC can represent a 40km by 25km area in the world; a six character NAC can specify every square kilometer on the earth surface; an eight character NAC can uniquely represent every area about 30m by 25 m in the world; and a ten character NAC can represent every square meter on the earth surface.

Usually, any city in the world can be represented by a four character NAC such as NAC: 8C Q8 representing Toronto, NAC.

A ten character NAC can be used to specify roadside small objects such as a fire hydrant, an electric wire pole, a street light, a sewage exit, etc. Since an eight or ten character NAC has reached the resolution of street addresses, they are also called Universal Addresses.

To find your code Try IT

My 10 digit code is 89S9V MCLK3. Google Maps didn't recognize it.

Specifying locations on location based services, especially mobile location based services is a big problem because (i) addresses are always very long and time consuming to input, (ii) addresses are language/character dependent and difficult to input, (iii) addresses are full of variations and difficult for software to parse successfully and (iv) addresses do not exist in more than 99% locations in the world that can’t be specified by street addresses and make street address based location services completely fail.

Locamagic is already using this application on Motorola phones.

I see many opportunities with this for location based services and mobile marketing.

Government Vs. Google

I think this could set a dangerous precedent, and I like that Google is fighting the Government. However, terror search queries are another matter though.

The outcome will be very interesting to say the least.

Feds after Google data

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.

The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors.

The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

The Mountain View-based search and advertising giant opposes releasing the information on a variety of grounds, saying it would violate the privacy rights of its users and reveal company trade secrets, according to court documents.

Nicole Wong, an associate general counsel for Google, said the company will fight the government's effort ``vigorously.''
``Google is not a party to this lawsuit, and the demand for the information is overreaching,'' Wong said.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Killer App For Mobile

The announcement of Google patenting the click to call hyperlink brings up a point I have been trying to make on the Pondering Primate. The personal computer hyperlink is very valuable, the physical world hyperlink will be invaluable.

You probably don’t even realize how many times a day you use one. You used one to see this site. You clicked on your favorites, or did a search engine search query and used a bunch. You will probably use one when you read this post.

I bet if you counted the number of times you use one in just one hour, you would be amazed. Try going 5 minutes without one, you can’t. They have made using the Internet easy.

Call it the Web’s “Easy Button”, or productive Web surfing. Whatever you call it, I think it is the killer app for the PC Internet. Imagine if we had to type in EVERY domain of EVERY website we wanted to get to?

Do you realize that search engines are really hyperlink generators for us? Type in “NY Yankees tickets” and your search engine spits out hundreds of sites and the hyperlinks to to get there. Just imagine if you had to type in every one of those domains to find the site you wanted.

The next platform for the Web and search is the mobile. When there are more phones connected to the Web than PCs, what kind of value will hyperlinks have then?

Sure you probably can type in those lengthy domain names and go to the site of choice, but do you really want to on that tiny keyboard and screen? Or would you rather have a different kind of hyperlink that takes you there directly.

Wikipedia describes a “killer app” as a computer program that is so useful that people will buy a particular piece of computer hardware, gaming console, and/or operating system simply to run that program.

My guess is the first killer apps for the PC were Windows OS (icons to use programs) and the mouse (allowed navigation in the digital world).

The PC has its mouse, so does the laptop. Have you ever considered what the “mouse” will be for the mobile phone?

When the surveys start asking “what will the killer app for mobile be?”, I want you to consider what will allow the mobile user to navigate in the physical world.

I think SMS (text messaging) for mobile navigation is the equivalent of “cut, copy and paste” for the PC world. Yes, it’s a nice tool, but it isn’t the hyperlink.

What will make getting information on your mobile, anywhere and from anything, as easy as a hyperlink?

What platform or software will prove to the mobile’s “Easy Button” and be the killer app for mobile?

Gannet Takes Stake In 4INFO

A text messaging and WAP service I use all the time, gets backing from Gannett. A major media company taps into mobile information and mobile marketing.

Smart move Gannett.

From BizWire Gannett announces minority investment in 4INFO

Collaboration between the companies will begin with USA TODAY and be introduced to other Gannett newspaper and broadcast operations, including Captivate Network. This will include promotion of 4INFO's mobile real-time information such as sports scores and weather within relevant sections of USA TODAY.

4INFO's primary service allows a person to use their cell phone to send a text message search to the company's 5 digit number (44636). This free service then replies with a personalized answer within seconds.

4INFO or 44636 is so easy to remember too.

People can search for information they need while on the go, including local business listings, sports scores, fantasy statistics, weather forecasts, movie times and more.

Text Message Coupons

From PR Web CouponZap adds text message reminder feature

CouponZap , a text message coupon and alert service, has new features to help businesses remind their customers of upcoming appointments. With a few clicks of a mouse, businesses can schedule text message reminders, promotions and SMS coupons. (It doesn't look like actual barcode coupons they are delivering though)

CouponZap enables businesses of any size to manage their own mobile marketing campaign. Using CouponZap, restaurants, bars and stores can alert their customers of special offers and distribute thousands of trackable coupons instantly.

Businesses can instantly send messages and coupons to their opted-in subscriber base, or schedule later delivery to coincide with happy hours, sales or other special events

Monday, January 16, 2006

Third Screen Marketing

Yes, mobile marketing is coming. Notice the big brands in this article discussing their plans for mobile marketing. You will also see how valuable your location (via GPS) will be for this industry.

From NY Times Marketers want to appear on the small screen

Marketers said they were particularly excited about the prospect of eventually using cellphones, many of which are equipped with global positioning systems, to send ads to consumers based on their location

One idea being floated by carriers and advertisers is to offer consumers incentives, like reduced monthly phone fees, if they agree to receive ads.

Jon Raj, vice president of advertising and emerging media with Visa USA, said he expected to see many new ad formats that could combine the text, video and the location-based nature of the phone.

I have stated a number of times that advertisers will have to give something (info, ringtone etc) in order to get permission to place an ad on your phone. I won't allow indiscriminate ads to pop up on my phone unless there's something in it for me.

Look what Visa is doing. One example of mobile advertising is a brand campaign for Visa USA, begun in September, in which consumers send a five-letter text code to receive weather reports. The reports come back with a banner: sponsored by Visa

You give me weather reports, and I let you put Visa logo on them. It's interesting that Visa uses weather info. Weather is something that is dynamic, and your location is key.

Brands WILL FIND a way to reach consumers, interact directly, and direct them to their website of choice WITHOUT using a search engine. Do you see why Google et al need to act quickly before brands don't need to buy keywords, or buy fewer of them?

Watch and see what the credit card companies do w/ SMS and m-commerce or m-payment applications next.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

When Is A Camera Phone A Web Browser?

Soon your camera phone will be used as a browser by recognizing images as hyperlinks.

Images, like a logo or a barcode (anythign in a database) will act as hyperlinks to websites. the optical recognition ability of the camera on your mobile phone will be your browser that navigates for you.

A couple of the physical world connection players (Mobot, ScanBuy and Neven Vision) are highlighted in this story and a couple new players to check out too. (sub req'd).

Camera phone shots used for web searches

So Mobot and Neven Vision of Santa Monica, California, are using object-recognition software. Advertisers pay to enter products, logos, movie posters or magazine ads into a database. When people photograph them and send the image to Mobot or Neven as a picture message, they receive information such as a web address or text message in return.

Phones will soon be able to recognise text within photographs, too. The company 23half in Mountain View, California, has released a prototype system called nThrum, which translates the image of text into actual text, and then feeds it into a search engine.

Buy products by taking photos of them, using 3D object-recognition software provided by Evolution Robotics in Pasadena, California.

Adding context information, such as the location at which the photograph was taken, would improve the search further (GPS IP will be key)

If your phone had image-recognition software, you could take a picture of the place and use it to instantly pull up a list of reviews. And you could do the same for monuments and tourist attractions, CDs, logos, billboard advertisements, almost anything you want information on.

Using an image is a convenient way to bring up information, especially as phone keypads are not really designed for typing. Your camera will be your mouse.

See how valuable physical world hyperlinks will be?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Advertising In Text Messages

Charlie Schick at LifeBlog was just asking if there were any companies out there that offered advertisements inside an SMS

Red Ferret has the story about i-text .

While you top up, the application shows you a list of advertisers that want to tell you something, and the number of free text messages they are offering you in exchange for viewing their message….We will never send you an advertisement unless you are topping up. You also get to choose whose advertisement you want to see. If you’re not in the market for a used accordian, you don’t have to hear about one

The Power Of The SMS

A great summary from ST Louis Dispatch on how and why SMS (text messaging) is taking off as a vehicle for mobile marketing.

Some of the highlights:
Coming to a small screen near you: Coupons, recipes and marketing messages galore.

Polls on TV programs, including "American Idol" and the Super Bowl

Marketers use codes to sell cell-phone content - ringtones, screen savers, wallpaper and text alerts - related to topics such as sports or name brands.

Last year, the number of shortcodes issued grew by a factor of six

Customers who take the trouble to key in a code tend to be more interested in - and more likely to buy - products than people passively viewing a commercial or print ad

Advertisers can get immediate feedback on a commercial or ad campaign.

Mobile marketing helps companies get more mileage out of their marketing dollars.

When advertisers see that kind of market penetration, they start drooling.

Marketers can drive buyers directly to their content by publicizing a code in print ads or in other media.

Some marketers believe that short codes eventually will become as pervasive in advertising as Web site addresses are now

A lengthy read, but there are a lot of mobile marketing nuggets in this story Read the whole thing.

Here's what I see:

The only problem? There are limited amount of short codes available, then what do you use?
In my opinion, there will either be ONE SMS portal that is used and companies will buy keywords from that company (think GOOGL 46645) OR there will be an application that allows companies to create, or use their own existing "shortcode", but not a 5 digit number.

Every company has one of the following: (a logo, trademark, slogan, barcode, phone number). Think about what you could offer as a mobile marketing application with those "short codes".

Hypertags Come To The US

Physical world connection player Hypertag continued their expansion into new markets, inlcuding the first campaign in the US.

Cingular wireless took advantage of infra-red and Bluetooth Hypertags with an innovative addition to their sponsorship of the “All American Rejects” tour. It's interesting that Cingular recognizes how effective this is, but Verizon and Sprint haven't yet.
A Hypertag is a new way of allowing you to access info and content on your mobile phone directly from objects like adverts and signs. It works by allowing infra-red or Bluetooth mobile phones, and PDAs (e.g. Palm Pilots or Pocket PCs) to interact with a small electronic tag which is attached to the advert or sign

Hypertag is fast becoming a globally recognized brand respected for its expertise in interactive mobile marketing.

Bluetooth mobile marketing is good, but it's static and the ads have to be altered(add a tag) in order to be interactive.

As a mobile marketing agency, wouldn't it be nice to say " We can make every ad of yours interactive by connecting to a website, or downloading info, without changing a thing. Are you interested?"

Stay tuned.

ENVY Magazine And A Major Beverage Use Qtags For SMS

QTags, an SMS player, is doing something really smart by getting a major beverage to promote text messaging AND leverage their short code. They are also indirectly making magazines interactive.

I think you will find more print publications that offer this unique way to leverage their advertising. Instead of going to the trouble of buying a short code for themself, they hire a SMS broker.

Here's how it works.

ENVY Magazine, "Houston's real entertainment magazine", hires Qtags and uses their short code 78247 (QTAGS) as the main short code.

They drive around town in an Envy Scion, have Envy girls on street corners passing out flyers, feature modern advertisers, etc.

They run 'events' at nightclub advertisers each month. Qtags partnered with Envy to offer keywords for a major beverage at the events, throughout the publication and for all strike-team advertising. And major beverage is getting all of this for free...and then Envy can upsell them to use keywords.

The space advertisers will be mostly small local businesses (not set up to buy their own short code) and they win because the awareness is raised at venues through major beverage. A major beverage is putting radio spots, strike-team, custom table toppers and other bar POS behind this venue promotion - so lots of eyes will be at the events learning about Qtags.

That means when the small advertisers put a keyword on their ad (and in window and on collateral and on radio spots) - it will be noticed b/c a major beverage has already taught people what it is.

Look at all of the potential advertisers Qtags can get from a major beverage's heavy lifting. One short code with one magazine, just opened up a number of advertising possibilities

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Text Messaging At The Golden Globe Awards

From BusinessWire TV Guide and Gold Pocket offer wireless voting at Golden Globes

During the red carpet broadcast of "Joan and Melissa Live at the Golden Globe Awards" on Monday, January 16, from 6-8 PM ET (delayed PT), viewers will be prompted to vote in three categories: sexiest male nominee, sexiest female nominee, and funniest man on television.

Viewers may vote via text message to the short-code AWARD (29273). The results will be instantly tallied and broadcast on-air by Joan and Melissa Rivers.


This is a great mobile application for the real estate industry.

According to Real Estate magazine, "Dave Geipel and Mark Ford, of QWASI , are onto big things with newly released SMS/MLS."

The newest tool of the trade for real estate, SMS/MLS is harder to say than it is to use. SMS (short messaging service or text messaging) brings the MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, to the cell phone.

A buyer simply sends a text message and receives property information on his or her
cell phone. SMS/MLS takes the technology one step further by enabling a broker
to provide buyers with access to all listings via a cell phone

Through partnerships with brokerages, the SMS/MLS system allows buyers to access property information on all active listings.

If I was a realtor, you know what I would do with every one of my "For Sale" signs to enhance the real estate shopping experience?

Google Offers Mobile Content

I know it seems like I talk about Google frequently, but when one company is dominating all new Web applications, it's hard not to.

Remember the days when we listened to every word Gates uttered?

From NewMedia Google enters into global mobile content market

Internet giant Google is preparing to muscle in on the lucrative global mobile content market with a dedicated premium wireless content play. Dedicated, interesting choice of words.
The company is preparing an assault on the market as the next stage of its ambitious plans to drive revenues from content and advertising.

I will have a post up that explains what Google offers next for mobile marketing. Have you noticed that Google isn't playing around with the game market, and instead is focusing on mobile?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Google Sees The Future Of The VOIP Hyperlink

I discussed the idea of a VOIP hyperlink last year, and Google patents it. Hey guys at Google, I got lots more ideas you could patent.

I even have one that would make Blodgett reconsider his $100 price target. Want to know what it is?

If there was ever any doubt that Google sees the potential in mobile marketing, this recent patent should eliminate that.

You wonder why Microsoft never thinks of these things.

From RCR News Google looking to patent single-click dialing for advertisers

Google Inc. is working to patent a wireless marketing method that would allow users to dial an advertiser's phone number with a single click, according to a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office application published last week. Instead of generating revenues from pay-per-click, think "pay-per-call".

Maybe that's why MIVA (the click to call advertiser) is putting itself up for sale.

Would that be VOIP hyperlink?make it easy to connect using another type of hyperlink? The phone number is a hyperlink. Do you what other identifiers will be hyperlinks?

Can you see how a physical world hyperlink will be even more valuable?

The document, outlines a mobile marketing strategy that delivers advertisements that include clickable phone numbers. Another player, UpSnap , has a patent-pending Voice Over IP (VOIP) call-connect infrastructure. This pay-per-call model is analogous to the highly successful pay-per-click model of internet search.

Many text message search services already include links to phone numbers that users can dial with a single click.

Mobile marketing and all of the methods for it are heating up. I expect some consolidation soon.

There is ONE thing Google could do that would knock this out of the ballpark. Maybe I'll get a call about it :)

Is BPL Really The Triple Play ?

Remember how Google and Goldman Sachs invested $100m in Current Communications, a broadband over the powerline player?

So ask yourself, could BPL (broadband over the powerline) be not only THE answer to, but BE the triple play? Voice ,video and data to be delivered via DSP, Cable and BPL.

See today's news where a Large Investor-Owned Utility initiated a pilot program for BPL. If you dig, you can figure out who the utility is. Hint it rhymes with Luke.

Imagine every outlet in the office and home being a broadband connection.

You are starting to see another piece of the Google puzzle.
Thoughts, comments?


Knowing how big the location based services for mobile marketing will be, I try to keep an eye on ALL of the players that could play a role in it.

From BusinessWire TCS gets patent for GPS precise location determination

TeleCommunication Systems, Inc., a global leader in mission critical wireless communications, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued patent number 6,985,105 titled, "Improved Culled Satellite Ephemeris Information Based On Limiting a Span of an Inverted Cone for Locating Satellite In-Range Determinations."

This patent is for an innovative method and algorithm for determining precise locations using Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) technology within a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network, and can be applied to Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks as well.

This invention relates generally to wireless and long distance carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs), and information content delivery services/providers and long distance carriers. More particularly, it relates to location services for the wireless industry.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Could The Treo 700 Be A Physical World Connection Mobile Phone?

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but could we be seeing the first barcode scanning mobile phone on the market?

I have been watching these guys to see if their technology would be embedded on the new smartphones.

Socket Communications made this announcement yesterday that offers barcode scanning ability for the new Palm 700w.

The Secure Digital Scan Card (SDSC) 3E is a Series 3 entry-level bar code scanner that adds affordable scanning to Pocket PC or Palm devices. Based on miniature Linear CMOS Imaging technology, the SDSC 3E scans all popular linear bar code symbologies.

The power of laser bar code scanning technology with the convenience of Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
. They also have the ability to scan an RFID tag too.

From Sockets website:

We offer an impressive line of bar code scanning products that provide a convenient, portable and incredibly accurate way to scan huge amounts of product information into any Windows Powered mobile computer

Need some comments and input on this one.

Interactive Posters Provide Data For Mobile

Semapedia has a good story about interactive posters and newspapers that let you connect to a URL using your mobile's infra-red port.

This is being used in Vienna, Frankfurt and Berlin. (Places I will soon visit and check this service out).

Semapedia is doing a great job of educating the public about the physical world connection industry

Zingy Offers Location Based Services On Sprint

See how Sprint can use this LBS tool for mobile marketing applications?

This will be just one of the applications I will be trying out when I participate as a Sprint Ambassador.

From BusinessWire Zingy delivers LBS to Sprint customers

Zingy Inc ., the leader in mobile media, today announced the first in a series of advanced location-based services utilizing the "Locate Me" feature. MovieGoer, the popular mobile movie guide service, is the first Zingy application to incorporate this feature, allowing customers to more easily find nearby movie theaters and listings with the press of a single button.

Maybe the reason movie attendance keeps diminishing is people can't find the theater:)

"Locate Me" is now available for the first time to Sprint customers on both the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and Nextel National Network.

Instead of having to manually key in a zip code or address, mobile users' exact locations are determined using cell sector technology. Sprint customers simply opt-in to select the MovieGoer "Locate Me" feature and the service automatically identifies their locations to provide the nearest theaters, movie times and information.

Not just movies, but think of typing in Starbucks, ATM....and the biggie MAPS.

Do you think Sprint will incorporate a mapping service with this?

Think of how Zingy or Sprint could use the queries from this for advertisers.
"Nike, your billboard on 5th and 34th got a bunch of SMS requests for more info. Maybe you should put another sign up closer to your Nike Superstore?"

That saying where advertisers don't know which .50 was well spent, is outdated now.

Want to know what I would recommend to Sprint right now before the Yahoos and Googles introduce it?

Flight Status Via SMS

With more airline tickets being purchased online, I wouldn't be surprised to see all the major carriers start to offer this. Indirectly this is a mobile marketing application.

From Brownsville Herald Airport adds text messaging service for customers

Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport has become the first airport in Texas — and one of only three between Michigan and Alabama — to offer text-messaging notification of flight status changes.

Travelers and those interested in flight arrivals and departures enter pager, cell phone or Blackberry contact information on the airport Web site.

If flights are delayed or their status otherwise changes, an electronic message will go out to those on the list.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Text And Win A Super Bowl Ticket

Pull mobile marketing is easy, it takes creativity for a push mobile marketing campaign. Don't you think Burger King would like to do more than give away tickets with this campaign?

From Adweek Burger King plans Super Bowl text push

The "Text to score" campaign, done in conjunction with Sprint, will give Burger King customers the chance to enter a sweepstakes beginning Jan. 9. For three weeks, customers at BK's 7,000 restaurants can enter to win a trip to the game by texting a 10 digit code found on BK Chicken Fries containers to BKWIN.

Burger King said it would give away 20 trips for two to the game, to be held in Detroit on Feb. 5. The fast-food chain will give away several other prizes, including trips to the National Football League Pro Bowl game in Hawaii, Xbox video games and plasma TVs.

The question I have for Crispin Porter &Bogusky (the mobile marketing agency)..

What do you plan on doing with all of the text requests?

Surely you gave a mobile marketing PUSH idea to Burger King, didnt you?

Physical World Hyperlink- An Advertiser's Dream

The mainstream media is starting to recognize the potential of physcial world connection using a mobile phone now.

Colorzip, a physical world connection company gets media coverage.

Newsweek Magazine reportsUsing color codes to browse the Web

Imagine you're sitting in your favorite cafe when something in the business pages catches your eye. That company you're reading about sounds intriguing. So you take out your mobile phone and focus the camera lens on a small splotch of color embedded in the corner of the article. Suddenly the phone's screen is displaying real-time stock prices and up-to-the-minute company headlines.

Among advertisers there's a nagging sense that the online world is still too disconnected from more traditional media, like print.

Colorzip's idea is to build on the pros of bar codes while shedding the cons. The intricate structure of bar codes makes them hard to read; scanners have to be close and precise.

Unlike a data-heavy bar code, all a Colorzip code communicates when it's scanned is an index, a pathway to content stored on a server. That links the reading device to the desired content

Stay Fit With SMS And A Barcode

I said in a prior post that connecting the physical world with a barcode would have more beneficial applications than price comparison.

Tell me if you think this isn't one of them.

From E Heath Mobile download offers healthy options

A new program, which can be downloaded onto mobile phones, allows weight watchers to keep food diaries and find healthy alternatives to food items by typing in part of the product's barcode.

The Nutracheck Mobile program also links to a database containing nutrition information on 30,000 food items and products, and a feature where users can track their weight against a target. It can be downloaded onto compatible mobile phones by reverse-billed SMS.

Users can access Nutracheck's food database by typing in four digits from the barcode of the product. The program then connects to the database and retrieves the fat and calorie content of the item