• Black Friday Mobilized
    Correct me if I am wrong, which I am sure you will, but mobile marketing does not seem especially, um, mobilized for this Friday's annual consumer orgy. In fact, apart from one or two columns here and there by start-up execs pitching their wares, I have seen little chatter in the industry about the role of mobile in the shopping experience on Black Friday.
  • Your Site On Android
    Now that HTC estimates it will sell through over 1 million Android-powered G1 phones this year, Apple and RIM may have a contender on their hands. Everyone I have let test-drive the phone likes the operating system, even if they don't come back with the dazzled google eyes of new iPhone converts. And cool appreciation may be all that the Android OS needs in the end to give it an opening in the market. But how nicely does this thing play with Web, mobile Web and marketing? I spent a few hours surfing and clicking with the browser to see …
  • Android Teases Me
    If you want a glimpse of a wildly promising mobile future, grab some geek buddy's T-Mobile G1 phone and fire up the ShopSaavvy app. Integrated with the phone's camera, you can aim the device at any product UPC code and pull down product details, online pricing and shopping opportunities, Web site references, and reviews, when available. Of course suppliers like Mobot and ScanBuy have been working with this sort of visual search model for a while, But I have never seen the mobile scanning process implemented so smoothly and with such tight integration with the hardware. Best of all, the …
  • Not Mobile Customers, But Mobile Audiences
    From the time I started this column several years ago, one of my persistent laments of the mobile industry has been that tech companies are not by their nature and culture media companies. It never was in their DNA to think of themselves as content platforms that need to market and merchandise media. They don't think of third-party publishers and advertisers as partners and benefactors with whom they share audience data in order to better target content. And, most of all, they don't really think of their customer base as an audience that constitutes an asset it can use in …
  • SMS Ads: Talk to Your Next Date
    "Who are you calling?" my fiancée asks. "A dating service, I think. The SMS ad told me I could 'talk to my next date.'" She is not amused. Note to self: when you buy an engagement ring, consider the pain it might inflict when driven into your rib cage. "Ow! I am testing in-text SMS ads. They come in text alerts and SMS search results from a bunch of providers," I say. "Uh, huh. And why are they sending you dating ads? What do they know about you I should know?" "It seems to be what most of them …
  • Street Sales: Merchandising iPhone Apps Without the Store
    At our "iPhoning It In" panel during the recent OMMA Mobile conference, Jason Spero, vice president of marketing for mobile ad network AdMob, stridently declared that developers and brands did not need prominent iPhone App Store placement to make their content discoverable. Ads running on other apps can push a highly motivated audience to your content, he argued. We didn't get to explore the model in detail during the session, so I followed up with Jason. It turns out that one of AdMob's own engineers, Josh Snyder, developed a simple Twister-like touch-screen game, "Knots," that languished in the App Store …
  • Shallow And Sassy
    I have been playing around lately with the limited number of consumer brand applications in the iPhone App store. The result so far are mixed. As I mentioned last time, we started talking about the proper form and goal of a branded app at OMMA Mobile, but the answers are not clear-cut. Marketers meet the new mobile content marketplaces and more accessible platform like Android and the iPhone with great ambitions, but they run the risk of both over-shooting and underwhelming their audience all at once.
  • Building The Better Bottle Opener
    A number of themes and issues from last week's OMMA Mobile show in Los Angeles will reverberate in these columns over the next few weeks, I am sure. But for now one keeps rattling around my head: the marketing effectiveness and purpose of the branded app.
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