Posted by: julieask | July 22, 2009

More Mobile Web Metrics

Finally had the chance to read through MillenielMedia’s SMART report that they are not publishing monthly. You can download a copy here. (And the color and graphics in the report remind me of a high gloss magazine … so even though there are a lot of numbers, it is easy to see the highlights.)

There is a lot of great data in here that goes beyond traffic per platform or phone. You can see who is spending money in mobile advertising plus a bunch of metrics around campaigns – what percentage have frequency capping, ads per page, etc. Beyond advertising, you can see average monthly pages views per user and average session length.

Bottom line on usage … page views per person is growing as is the session length. I think that speaks to the quality of the experience as well as a shift in consumer behavior – where they are looking to the cell phone as a primary source of news and information – at least in some categories.

Highlights – Entertainmnet vertical is spending the most with Millenial followed by Telecom and Portals. Dating beats out Retail (#5) and CPG (#6) at #4??? The government topped Travel … really?

One of the most telling things I noticed in the data – only 31% of the devices (or is it page views – could be either) are basic feature phones. The other 69% are QWERTY and/or Touch. As you think about your mobile web presence and how you’ll build your site, you can’t help but take this into account.

Also, is Wi-Fi going to be the “true” broadband of wireless for handheld devices? Millenial sees 22% of their traffic on Wi-Fi networks.

I didn’t see Millenial’s “call to action” data that they had last month. Check out the May edition for that data – good stuff if you are an advertiser.

Posted by: julieask | July 21, 2009

Do you have a touch-friendly web site?

Met with an interesting company yesterday – Taptu. They offer a mobile search service/technology. They recently launched their iPhone application. They are in the process of indexing “touch-friendly” media. They estimate that there are about 40,000 touch-friendly web sites of which they have indexed more than 3 million pages with a goal much higher than this for the end of the year. They estimate that about 30% of the top 100 web sites as measured by traffic are touch-friendly. It is an interesting idea given the number of touch-screen mobile devices being sold today. Is your web site touch friendly? mobile friendly?

Posted by: julieask | July 20, 2009

Pizza Hut iPhone Application

I’m fascinated by this application on the iPhone. It is rich and entertaining. It makes ordering pizza fun. Includes a game. Includes coupons to motivate purchase – but they aren’t pushed out via SMS to trigger the idea of pizza for lunch/dinner.

Is it more marketing or commerce?

The connected nature of the application allows for updates – to the menu (for the basic categories) and promotions. Look forward to seeing this evolve to the point where local restaurant managers can do their own local promotions even based on registered zip codes. I see location-based mobile advertising playing out along these lines nearer term than the auto-tagging of a user’s location with an ad to quickly follow.

Would prefer not to have to sign up online. Mobile-only use cases with individuals are limited today, but I think they will grow in number. Cross-channel (Internet to mobile and vice versa) is an interesting idea, but it isn’t clear that it is needed or wanted – especially on platforms as capable as the higher end devices like an iPhone or Blackberry, Symbian, Palm etc. devices.  –

Posted by: julieask | June 17, 2009 Acquires SnapTell

Saw this news in Fierce today.

Good play by Amazon. There is a lot of buzz around mCommerce right now – what is it? what does it mean? how fast will “it” grow? what role will it play in the multi-channel retail experience?

One of the top reasons consumers give for buying in a physical location after conducting research online is immediacy – can get it/buy it now. On a cell phone in a physical location, comparison pricing has the potential to either finalize the deal (if the store does indeed have  the lowest price) or take the customer out the door – either to another store or online.

SnapTell – already popular with cell phone users – adds to Amazon’s growing portfolio of mobile services (which I find impressive already) – and is a bit of a defensive move. I think they may yet bring a few people back to online (or one of their retail partners) with this service.

I was just looking at a receipt in an email update from B&H Photo in New York. They encouraged me to get an update of my order’s status on my cell phone. So, I typed in a long order number and sent the message off to the short code 22634.

I received an SMS back with my order number and a tracking number. The order number was “live” so to speak – I clicked on it and it tried to iniative a phone call. Stupid. The order number wasn’t a link to ANYTHING?!?!?!!? Not a quick link to FedEx or UPS. Simply a number. I guess when I can copy/paste on my iPhone in another few weeks, this could prove to be useful information.

In any case, “tracking number” DOES NOT EQUAL “status update.” What a terrible user experience and a missed opportunity. Maybe they’ll say that they are only part way through the integration into their back end systems, but really, this was lame.

Posted by: julieask | June 3, 2009

INQ’s Twitter Phone

Just saw this post in moco. INQ did a Facebook phone last year that I think offers one of the best social networking experiences on a cell phone. They truly integrated content from Facebook into the contact list. My two cents is that social networking features on cell phones like these will make cell phones the preferred device for these activities – may even trump the PC longer term. Am hoping to prove with some research later this summer.

INQ Mobile To Release Twitter Phone

By Dianne See Morrison – Tue 02 Jun 2009 08:10 AM PST

image INQ Mobile, the cellphone maker behind the “Facebook Phone,” is hopping to tap into Twitter’s surging popularity by releasing a Twitter phone, in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season, Reuters reports. Like its Facebook phone, the Twitter phone would be a mass-market feature phone, and would cost carriers less than $140. So far, INQ’s phones, which also includes a Skype phone, have only been picked up by carrier Three, whose parent company, Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa, also owns INQ. Since the launch of its Skype phone in 2007, the cellphone maker has sold a total of 700,000 devices.

Still, 3 UK reports that the INQ1 drives three to four times higher traffic than other phones. 3 UK director of sales and marketing Marc Allera told Reuters that 65 percent of INQ1 owners used Facebook on a regular basis, and 50 percent used Windows Live Messenger, which is also pre-loaded on the phone. Allera said the only other phone that could generate that traffic was the iPhone, and that even other smartphones couldn’t deliver those numbers. Allera said, “On usual smartphones the internet experience is in no way close and their price is 3-4 times higher.”

Posted by: julieask | May 29, 2009

Is this your mobile strategy?


Many mobile strategies consist of a stand-alone iPhone application.  The iPhone platform is amazing, but with 35,000 applications it no longer offers the buzz or differentiation strategy many brands think it does. Mobile strategies must run deeper and go broader.

Stand-alone iPhone applications remind me of something sitting in a fishbowl for all to see, but with little connection to anything else. So, I took this photo of my cat peering into the fish bowl.

Good Technology acquired Intercasting today. In the press release they state the goal of integrated messaging. I think they picked up great talent, too. Shawn has been one of the real thought leaders in mobile and especially around mobile social networking. Handset manufacturers have been trying – and mostly without success so far – to catch up with his vision of what social networking should be on phones.

Separately, I like the vision around messaging. Saw Palm’s Pre implementation of integrated messaging yesterday – good stuff. Finally, as consumers we don’t need to think about what silo’ed messaging application we want to use. Apple demo’ed similar technology to be released with 3.0 – it doesn’t go as far as the Pre, but finally I can stop explaining SMS and MMS to my parents.

I look forward to seeing what they do with the technology.

First, I do not attempt to “break” each new implementation of a technology. It simply happens because the implementation has not been thought through. Companies rolling out new services on mobile phones need to think through the user experience. With payments this is even more important. If customers don’t feel comfortable with a process they’ve tried, they will be hesitant to trust and return.

This experience described below is not mobile, but it involves NFC, and one can easily imagine a scenario involving cell phones which could go horribly wrong.

I drove myself to SFO (San Francisco airport) last week for a one-day business trip. I pulled up to the gate at the entrance of the parking garage to collect my ticket. Suddenly, my Speedpass “beeps.” I think, “What?”

I roll down my window and there stands a parking garage attendant. She confirms that I want to use this prepaid SpeedPass to pay for my parking. (Please keep in mind that the cost of parking for one day will exceed the average balance that I carry on the card that I use to cross bridges in the Bay Area about once a month.) I tell her that I do NOT want to use SpeedPass to pay – I want to use my American Express card. (Ok, SpeedPass tied to my Amex card, but I don’t want to use it this way.) She asks why as she undoes the recording of the time/date on my SpeedPass. I tell her that I am traveling for business and need a receipt. Duh?  She scowls and punches a bunch of buttons on the machine so that it spits out a ticket for me.

About 24 hours later, I am leaving the garage. I pull up to the exit and once again my SpeedPass beeps. Sigh.  I pull up to the unattended payment machine and try to insert my ticket. It doesn’t want to accept my ticket because the SpeedPass has already been triggered. Sigh. I press the “Attendant button” and a man starts barking at me over the intercom. He claims to reset the machine so that I can insert my ticket. I insert the ticket, and the balance appears.

Now, I try to insert my Amex card. Machine doesn’t want it because it still thinks I’ve paid. I finally get it in the machine, but the machine immediately spits it back out to me with such force that it flies out of the machine and under my car. Now, you have to imagine that I have pulled up close enough to the machine so that I can insert my parking ticket/credit card into the machine without leaning all the way out the window. This now means that I am too close to the machine to open my car door, get out, and retrieve my credit card from underneath my car.

Seriously, who thinks this stuff up? What was meant to be a convenient offering has now become completely INCONVENIENT. This is supposed to speed payment, but now there is a line of cars behind me. Besides, anyone who parks onsite at SFO knows there is seldom a line or wait of more than a minute or two. Have they checked the statistics on business vs. leisure travel? Business travelers need receipts – they need to know how much something costs. My company isn’t reimbursing me for lump-sum amounts on a prepaid storage card of any kind.

Posted by: julieask | May 26, 2009

Mobile Boarding Passes – Second Attempt in May 2009

First, there are several people using the mobile boarding pass – all carrying around thick, smartphone-esque devices with large color screens. Walked up to the TSA agent checking ID’s. She had a machine. I just waved my cell phone in front of the scanner, and my information popped up on a single, monochrome text line. She cross-referenced with my ID, and I was on my way. Easy.

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