Echoes from the conference
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Mobile Media Day 2010
Echoes from the conference
The 85 participants of Mobile Media Day shared best practices on mobile marketing and were, naturally, curious to learn more about the iPad strategies already launched or under development.
The new mobile Apple iAd advertising network was also a topic of discussion for an audience that is interested in tapping into mobile advertising in order to monetize mobile platforms.
Soon after the conference, Apple announced that it had already secured some 60 million ad dollars for the iAd launch in July.
Should iAd be considered as a danger for publishers? asked Stig Nordqvist, Group director Emerging Digital Platforms and business Development WAN-IFRA and chairman of the MMD conference?
• For Florian Gmeinwieser, managing director of the German advertising agency, Plan.Net Media, "iAd will allow advertisers to reach attractive demographic target audiences" but he also told the audience that, as an advertising agency, he was against the technology and commercial rules that Apple was introducing with iAd.
• A concern that Omar Hamoui, CEO of AdMob formulated on June 9 :"Apple proposed new developer terms that, if enforced as written, would prohibit app developers from using AdMob and Google’s advertising solutions on the iPhone. These advertising-related terms target both companies with competitive mobile technologies (such as Google) as well as any company whose primary business is not serving mobile ads. This change threatens to decrease – or even eliminate – revenue that helps to support tens of thousands of developers. The terms hurt both large and small developers by severely limiting their choice of how best to make money. And because advertising funds a huge number of free and low cost apps, these terms are bad for consumers as well".
The Apple voice
Many clever iPhone applications were presented at MMD this year and Stig Nordqvist took the occasion to share with the participants a recent discussion with Paul Burford, Apple Technical Evangelist (held within the framework of the eRev executive programme):
- "Among things people often forget are very basic elements: design a gorgeous app icon for the iPhone and register properly the application" advices Stig Nordqvist.
- “One of the pieces of advice that Apple often provides regarding the development of applications is to start with the smallest amount of functionality possible but to do them well (does it help deliver the solution, is it fun?). Then do an update that does a little bit more. Crucial to designing an app is to have a clear idea of its purpose: a serious app should provide a lots of content to navigate though and be very consumption-oriented; a utility apps (e.g. financial news) should be graphically rich, single screen and simple navigation and if you want to be in the entertainment category it should be graphically rich but mainly suitable for interaction. You need to stay away from a development process based on the features you want to include in the app and adopt a more proven formula: what is your differentiator; your solution and for which audience? People love freshness and improvements and when you push out an update you get a chance to tell users about what it does. Think of having an in-app purchase to generate incremental revenue for impulse purchases but consider free content in your in-app store as it will draw the customer’s attention”.
Times zones and Simplexity
Among the tips given by Philipp Sugai, director Mobile Consumer Lab, International University of Japan, two greatly enlivened the discussions of the mobile experts present at the conference. The first proposed defining time zones as the basis for designing services and applications: “Our lives today have become fast-paced and largely calendar-driven. We hustle between appointments and meetings, home and work, work and play but there are always “In-Between Times” as we move from one thing to the next. By definition, the content and services we use during these bursts must be concise, easy to access and understand, and easy to drop and pick up again later. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the “Golden time” zone, characterised by longer term, when the most “dedicated” mobile use occurs. In this time zone, content and services can have more depth and breadth. From the consumer’s perspective, depending on time constraints and user needs, in-between or golden time can occur at exactly the same place and time of day. While mobile consumers appreciate “in-between” content and services, what is geared for “golden time” should take priority”. Last but not least, another major principle developed by him is that of Simplexity: “The average mobile user is not a geek. Mobile Simplexity should combine technology, integrated services, intelligent analysis (preference, behaviour-based) and an easy-to-use interface driven by user needs and capabilities”.
Some slides, reflecting a small part of what has been discussed this year at Mobile Media Day...
Edipresse uses all the mobile possibilites and Marc Lamarche head of mobile services at Edipresse has put the focus on mobile-based advertising in his presentation. “Most of our contents are on free access, with the exception of two niche products. And we will keep it that way because we believe in the mobile advertising potential”.
- Niche applications might have a limited reach but they provide the targeted audience mobile advertisers are looking for. Two examples given at MMD. Femina from Edipresse and AutoPilot from Gannett/USA Today
- According to Matt Jones, vice-president Mobile Strategy & Operations Gannett Digital/USA advertisers recognize the efficiency of vertical applications: "As an example, the 40000 regular users of our AutoPilot application are an attractive target for some of our advertisers".
Matt Jones described in depth at MMD the recent launch and the business model of the iPad USA Today application. Several weeks after the launch of this iPad application in the U.S.A., it already registered some 375,000 downloads.
"Our goal is to increase our audience and the time people spend in the environment of our brand. This is not about using another platform".
RCS group, publisher of Corriere Della Sera and Gazzetta Dello Sport offers the possibility to subscribe to the contents of its daily newspapers on the iPhone, though also via the ovi boutique (Nokia), Blackberry, Vodafone, Samsung applications. And Federico Vittadello, head of mobile activities is satisfied with the first results of his pay-for offerings launched this year.
But the iPad is something else thinks Federico Vittadello and he explains why in the slide below: