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Mobile Marketing – Trends

Mobile Marketing has seen growth of over 600% in the past year.  The Kelsey groups forecasts 2000% growth by 2013. This is due to several factors, one being the growth of connected devices (mobile devices connected to the internet). These devices can be Smartphone’s, such is the Blackberry Bold, Droid Incredible or iPhone, Pads such as the iPad, or even e-readers such as Amazon Kindle and Nook.  The goal of Marketing is to generate awareness and induce the purchase of a product or service, so the use of this new and rapidly growing medium to expand a company’s messaging is a natural step.  The average web user typically buys in seven days, while the typical mobile user purchases a product or service in one day. While this increased conversion rate is staggering, there are several factors that can impact this number:

  • Age of the user
  • Device that is being used
  • Social economic status
  • Quality of the mobile marketing campaign
  • Brand affinity of the of the mobile user

Based on a recent Nielson Study, here are some interesting demographics for iPad users:

How are mobile marketers engaging these mobile users? There are a variety of ways. From SMS (Text Message) coupons and promotions, to advance promotional campaigns based on customer shopping affinity and location based services.  According to a Millennial report, here are some trends that mobile marketers will continue to advance in the next year:

  • Augmented Reality
  • Growth of the Mobile Web (100m new users a year)
  • Fix of the GPS battery drain problem
  • Custom mobile site and applications for campaigns
  • Linking CRM databases into mobile marketing
  • New entrants into mobile
  • Coupons to incorporate time and context
  • Mobile Ad networks will continue to grow in popularity
  • Growth in Mobile Search
  • Growth in M-Commerce
  • Competition for the Mobile Wallet

While innovative application developers such as Smartsoft Mobile Solutions continue to incorporate the latest technology into their applications and follow industry trends to provide the firm’s customers with best-of breed mobile applications, the mobile marketing landscape continues to evolve dynamically.

 For more information check out:

Using your Smartphone to Shop: A Game Changer

Mobile Geo-Location Tools and Usage in Retail

Mobile Couponing Uses in Mobile Commerce Applications   

Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, Inc. gathers the information in this newsletter from a variety of sources.  It is our intent to provide unbiased, accurate information.  We do include trend information and “street talk” that we find relevant or worthy of consideration.  We also leverage our worldwide team of employees and partners to provide timely, newsworthy information.  Using less formal channels, combined with our real world experiences allows us to supply with information critical to decision making in our mobile world.

Mobile Couponing: Uses in Mobile Commerce Applications

As using a Smartphone has become second nature to consumers, it should come as no surprise that retailing companies are developing marketing strategies to engage their customers at this new and valuable touch point. The idea of couponing has been has been around for over fifty years, with print being the long running standard. The goal is simple, present value to a customer or potential customer to induce the purchase of a good or service.  With the rise of the internet, companies then adopted this technology to allow for digital couponing, but a printed copy was still, in most, cases required. While the web greatly increased the amount of discounts offered to consumers, as well as the target marketing of products to customers based upon previous purchasing behavior, many companies saw the actual effects of these campaigns come in below expectations.

With the rise in business of customer/consumer mobile applications being deployed on Smartphones such as the iPhone, Droid, and Blackberry, many companies are taking mobile couponing to the next level. With the actual customer’s location available to the retail companies via the geo-location on their phones, savvy companies can target promotions and couponing down to a city block. Companies can look at events happening around the stores such as weather, and send targeted coupons and promotions to all customers in that specific region. As companies further mobilize their back office systems and push relevant information to customers, such as inventory levels by store location through innovative mobile solutions providers such as Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, the possibilities are endless.

Imagine this scenario, as it is coming in the not so distant future. A retail company’s merchandisers know that a new line of products that is adored by their customers is going to be released by their supplier. With shelf space at a premium, the old product line needs to move off the shelves rapidly in order to make room for the incoming products. The merchandisers have a view into inventory levels of the current product line not only by region or city, but down to the store level. Well, while this technology exists here is the twist… Now the merchandisers can search all customers within a defined location relative to  a physical store, review those customer’s purchasing habits, as well as the product affinity of  an individual mobile application user. The merchandiser can then rapidly develop a geo-targeted couponing campaign based upon real-time mobile analytics. The campaign is pushed to the company’s customers’ mobile devices during the application launch. The promotion can be targeted to individual buyer groups, giving the firm’s customers a targeted and compelling value proposition to encourage purchase. Users who bring in a coupon on their mobile device are 30% more likely to convert or purchase the promoted product or service. The beauty of the rapid advancement in mobile technology is the dual benefit for the business and consumer.  As mobile technology and applications continues to advance, look for some of the following:

  • Augmented Reality
  • Barcode/ Scanable Coupons through Text Messaging
  • Coupons for Virtual Mobile Malls
  • Dynamic Promotional Ranges that Optimize Merchandising/Promotions
  • Mobile Promotional Cooperation allowing for products and complementary products

For More Info Check Out:

Mobile Geo-Location Tools in Applications and Usage in Retail

Mobile Application Usage for On-Site Retailing

Fourth Quarter 2010 Trends in Mobile Retailing

 Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, Inc. gathers the information in this newsletter from a variety of sources.  It is our intent to provide unbiased, accurate information.  We do include trend information and “street talk” that we find relevant or worthy of consideration.  We also leverage our worldwide team of employees and partners to provide timely, newsworthy information.  Using less formal channels, combined with our real world experiences allows us to supply with information critical to decision making in our mobile world.

Samsung Galaxy Pad Preview

The Samsung Galaxy Tab. It’s big. It’s bad. It’s seven inches of glass and liquid crystals covering one of the most advanced mobile chipsets known to man or beast.  Make no mistake — this is n0tt a cell phone.  It’s a tablet computer that happens to run on the Android operating system.

The Tab will change the way you live your digital life.  Even if you never have the pleasure of using one, its game changing nature will affect every mobile device (Android or otherwise) from here on out.  Business usage of the iPad (Should this be Tab?)is over 60%, but a front facing camera is a feature that is lacking. The front facing camera on the Samsung Galaxy Tab will allow  for smooth video conferencing, and even more business adoption for the Galaxy S.  The processor will be dual core, allowing for quick usage and multi-tasking.  Just as the iPad was billed as the Kindle killer, the Galaxy Tab could be a very strong competitor to the iPad, which has had basic market exclusivity since its inception. Look for many more “pads” by the end of the year and the first quarter of 2011. This is a major growth market, due to rapid adoption of business usage, and mobile enterprise application developers will certainly take advantage of these new devices when developing rich native applications.

For more information check out:

Droid 2 a Deep Dive

Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, Inc. gathers the information in this newsletter from a variety of sources.  It is our intent to provide unbiased, accurate information.  We do include trend information and “street talk” that we find relevant or worthy of consideration.  We also leverage our worldwide team of employees and partners to provide timely, newsworthy information.  Using less formal channels, combined with our real world experiences allows us to supply with information critical to decision making in our mobile world.

Mobile Business Strategy Best Practices

Does your business have a mobile strategy? This is a question posed to many executives these days. Given the dynamic and changing landscape in enterprise mobility, many companies are scrambling to define a mobile strategy that enhances their business, and fills the needs of their customers. There are several common mistakes being made in industry on a regular basis.

First, businesses are thinking short-term and rushing to keep up with an industry (mobile) that they do not fully understand. This is not based on ignorance, just the simple fact that mobility is not a part of their core business. This short-term thinking of filling the enterprises mobility needs, such as work order management, business intelligence, inventory management, just to name a few, causes firms to work with products that are inflexible and do not fully meet the needs of their business. The end result of this quick action, a company having to either replace mobile enterprise software, or even worse being locked into a solution that is not achieving the intended business goal. This problem can be  solved before it starts by partnering with mobile application development firms that bring through leadership and a strategic partnership at the beginning of a enterprise mobility project. This allows for the following benefits:

  • Platform and Device Knowledge
  • Business Requirements Gathering
  • Back-end ERP Blueprinting
  • Knowledge share of where technology is going (short-term and long-term)
  • Custom Solution Proposals  (get you what you need, not what a firm has to sell you)

The benefits of taking the proper first steps when developing a mobile enterprise strategy are staggering. Lets take inventory management for example. Each business has different inventory management needs, just in time production creates the need to monitor and move inventory and parts rapidly through a warehouse. Workers on the floor, can keep track of movement of goods, via RFID technologies and track that movement throughout the production process all on a rugedized mobile device currently used. Inventory stock-outs can be eliminated by alerts sent to workers mobile devices. Once received the worker can locate the needed stock in the warehouse, request the stock, get the right product in the right place at the right time. Reducing not only stockouts, but inventory caring costs, and meeting production goals.  The impact is a major return on your mobile investment in the short-term.

Looking out to the long-term, you can port a mobile application to multiple devices all consumer grade, and use bolt on technologies to reduce the high costs of rugedized mobile devices. The addition of enhancements such as speech recognition, scanning and signature capabilities the technology becomes viable for your business through software updates is a via a road-mapped software development life cycle.

 A partner in mobile strategy not only saves you money in both the short and long-term, but tailors solutions to provide your firm with a real and quantifiable competitive advantage. Some say this is only for large corporations, but many small and medium size businesses can implement a mobile entrise strategy, getting the same benefits as larger companies. This can be done reasonably by simply using the consumer grade mobile devices their employees already have such as Blackberry, iPhone, Droid, on Windows Mobile phones. While many mobile application developers for the enterprise offer an out of the box solution, the failure to take into account the current situation of an individual business makes this out of the box solution a mess. Working with a strong mobile development partner, will pay for itself over and over. Bottom line is by implementing this approach from the begining your mobile enterprise solution can not only reflect your business needs, but grow and change as your business does.

For more information on mobile strategy check out.

Why is it Important to Have a Mobile Strategy?

or

Enterprise Mobility Prioritization Best Practices

Droid 2 Deep Dive

Motorola Droid 2

Without question, the the Motorola Droid — and Verizon’s marketing blitz behind it — is what really put the Android smartphone on the map. It’s safe to say millions have been sold,  and mobile application developers are excited to develop inovative and compelling applications for the device. Here are some of the device highlights..

And now we have the Droid 2. Launched with little fanfare compared to its older brother and its cousins in the Droid line — the HTC Droid Eris, HTC Droid Incredible and the Motorola Droid X — the Droid 2 keeps with the look and feel of the original while adding some needed improvements.

So join us after the break as we take a closer look at the Droid 2 its place in Verizon’s Droid line.

The hardware

At first glance, the Droid 2 doesn’t appear too different from the original Droid. It retains the horizontal sliding keyboard, angular shape and industrial look and feel.

Motorola Droid (left) and Droid 2
The original Motorola Droid, left, and the Droid 2.

The LCD touchreen remains the same 3.7-inch Gorilla Glass of the original. And it’s as good as it ever was. The capacitive buttons below the screen have been rearranged to the menu-home-back-search layout, keeping consistent with the Droid X.

And just below the buttons is where we find our first major design change . The sharp sloped chin and ledge on the original Droid has been replace with a rounded scoop that extends to the bottom of the phone. It gives a softer feel to the front of the phone. Also, the front bezel of the phone no longer is made of metal. That eliminates much of the cold feeling of the original Droid, though it doesn’t do much for weight, with both phones at 6 ounces.

Motorola Droid and Droid 2

Size-wise, the phones are identical at 60.5mm by 116.3mm by 13.7mm. No sense messing with a good thing, as the Droid 2 combines a large screen with pocketability.

The buttons of ports of the Droid 2 remain in their familiar places. The power button and 3.5mm headphone jack are up top; the microUSB port (with new LED indicator) are on the left-hand bezel; and the volume up/down rocker is on the right-hand bezel. The volume buttons also have been reimagined a bit. They’re more rounded and stand out a little more, making it easier to increase or decrease the volume level. The dedicated camera button is still there, though it’s been toned down a tad and isn’t quite as easy to find by feel.

Motorola Droid 2Motorola Droid 2

The main microphone is on the bottom bezel. There’s a second, noise-canceling mic on the rear of the phone, near the 5MP camera and flash. (Pro tip: Make sure any case you buy has a cutout for the secondary mic.)

And speaking of the camera, very little has changed here. It’s in almost exactly the same place — but not quite, meaning you’ll likely need a new case. More on the camera in a bit.

Motorola Droid (top) and Droid 2

The sliding keyboard has exactly the same feel as on the original Droid, and that’s a good thing. It’s solid, with just enough resistance to make you not worry about it breaking, but no so much that it’s a pain to open. And you have the same familiar “click” sound when the keyboard is fully opened.

But once it is opened, that’s when the biggest change becomes apparent. Gone is the copper-colored five-way directional pad that looked more like a fingerprint scanner than anything else, replaced by arrow keys and an OK button. And with that D-pad out of the way — it took up about a sixth of the keyboard’s width — there’s room for some real improvements.

Droid and Droid 2 keyboard comparisons

The Droid 2′s individual keys are wider and more raised than their predecessors — two improvements that were sorely needed. And they feel pretty darn good. The alt and caps lock keys have shifted a tad, a tab key has been added, as has a key to trigger the voice search microphone. And those awkward blank keys from the original Droid are now gone.

The silkscreening of the keys’ secondary functions — punctuation, numbers and the link — has changed from a copper color to blue. Again, a softening of the design.

The redesign of the keyboard on the Droid 2 can’t be praised enough. And, truthfully, it’s what the original Droid should have had in the first place.

Changes under the hood

The Droid 2 has a beefed up TI OMAP 3630 processor running at 1GHz — almost double the clockspeed of its predecessor. That’s not to say that the original Droid was anything of a slouch, but the sequel is that much more powerful.

The Droid 2 sports 512MB of RAM and 8 gigabytes of on-board storage. That’s in addition to an included 8GB microSD card (it’s capable of reading up to a 32GB card). Repeat: That’s 8GB on the phone itself for storing apps, which also can be moved to the SD card, thanks to improvements in the Android OS. (More on that in a bit.)

Droid 2 battery

What hasn’t changed is the battery. The Droid 2 comes with a 1390mAh battery (it’s often rounded up to 1400mAh). We can squeeze out a day’s use with generous e-mail use, limited background notifications from twitter and the like, and a smattering of phone calls. Your mileage likely will vary, though.

You get to the battery and microSD card through the same sliding rear cover as on the original Droid. The slider mechanism feels a tad more sturdy than its predecessor, and we’ve got little fear that it may fall off on its own.

The software

Droid 2 home screens

The Droid 2 is the first U.S. smartphone to actually launch with Android 2.2 (aka “Froyo”). And on top of that, it sports the same UI tweaks (don’t call them Motoblur) as the Droid X. That includes seven home screens and a number of preloaded widgets custom built by Motorola, in addition to the usual Android widgets. The Motorola and Android widgets are listed in separate categories in the home screen options.

Live wallpapers are there, naturally, though surprisingly the Droid 2 doesn’t have its new glowing red eye loaded by default. It’s there, and it’s a more robotic and a little less monsterous than on the original Droid, and you can use it if you’d like.

Droid 2 application launcherAnother cool trick from Motorola is that some of the widgets it designed are resizeable. You tap and hold, then drag from a corner. It’s a neat way to customize your home screen on the fly, giving it a real desktop feel.

There are a fair number of apps included on the Droid 2. Verizon’s 3G Mobile Hotspot app (subscription required) is there. So are the Audible audio book app, Kindle e-reader and Blockbuster movie rental apps. Motorola’s excellent Car Dock customizations (large, easy-to-read buttons) are there. And the City ID app (think caller ID) is there, too.

DLNA media sharing and Motorola’s Media Share app are there to connect your phone to other devices. And Need for Speed Shift is there for some driving, and Skype Mobile (still a Verizon exclusive) is on by default. There’s an RSS feed reader built in, and you have the standard news and weather app, too.

Is there “bloatware” on the Droid 2? Sure. Just like every other phone released by a carrier since, well, forever. Out of all the apps preloaded on the Droid 2, the City ID app is the only one we’ve never once used. And rememeber that the inclusion of these apps help keep the price of the phone lower through subsidies. It’s a trade-off. But with a full 8GB of on-board storage, it could be worse.

What about the rest of Android 2.2? We’ve covered a good many of the major Android 2.2 improvements in our Froyo Features section. The ones we’re most happy to see on the Droid 2 are the Just in Time Compiler (JIT), the ability to natively move applications to the SD card (though doing so may still break things like widgets).

The Droid 2 camera

Droid 2 camera
(See our full Droid 2 camera test here)

The Droid 2 has the same 5-megapixel camera as its older sibling. And it’s OK. Still not great, but OK. We’re not sure if the Droid X has a different lens or if its the 8MP sensor that makes the difference, but the Droid X seems to take better pictures.

Droid 2 camera test

By default, the Droid 2 takes pictures in “Widescreen” format. They’re not the full 5MP in that setting, but they fit the resolution of the phone and fill up the screen. If you’re worried about showing off photos on the phone more than you are having the higher resolution, then you’re all set. Otherwise, you’ll want to dive into the settings and change that one.

Shutter speed is quite fast (you can trigger it either with the physical button or an on-screen button), and Motorola’s camera software offers plenty of customizations, including a handy panoramic feature that walks you through taking extra-wide pictures.

Droid 2 panorama of San Francisco
(Click to open in full resolution in a new window)

There’s one-touch access to switch to the video camera, or you can use the “camcorder” app. By default, the Droid 2 takes videos at its maximum 480p resolution. It’s OK. Not great, but OK. The microphone does a good job of picking up voice even amid a slew of background noise.

Other odds and ends

  • Phone calls: Yep, it makes ‘em. And Verizon’s network is as strong as ever.
  • Data speed: Same here. It makes out at EVDO Rev. A, so you won’t be able to take advantage of any LTE launches that take place over the next year or so.
  • Keyboards: You have Motorola’s custom keyboard on the Droid 2 by default. Swype also is pre-loaded and uses a custom skin from Motorola.
  • Speakerphone: Have I mentioned before how much I love Motorola’s speakerphones? This one’s tops.
  • Wifi hotspot: Yeah, you have to pay extra for this. And that’s not something we’re happy about. But it works, and it works fairly well.
  • Indicator light: Yes, it’s there, next to the front speaker. And it’s green.
  • The supposed antenna problems: I’ve used this Droid 2 — a full retail unit and not a review unit (if that matters) — in two major cities (Miami and San Francisco) as well at home in the Florida Panhandle. I’ve had zero problems dropping calls or losing data. Does that mean you won’t have any issues? Not necessarily. But in our testing, it was just fine.

So should you buy the Droid 2?

If you’re looking for a Verizon Android phone with a keyboard, it’s a no-brainer. The Droid 2 has a worth step up from the original Droid. It doesn’t bring next-generation hardware or software to the table, though we’re more than happy with the speed and power in the 1GHz processor. Really, we’re talking another meat-and-potatoes phone here, which isn’t a bad thing. And don’t overlook that keyboard. It’s been greatly improved.

Droid 2, Droid X and the original DroidIf you’re coming from another platform, you can’t go wrong with the Droid 2. And the same goes if you’re comiing from another carrier. If you’re already on Verizon? It’s a bit of a tougher choice. The Incredible is another solid phone and has the HTC Sense customizations on the same size screen. The Droid X has a larger screen and the same customizations as on the Droid 2. (Anecdotally: We watched on launch day as the second person in our Verizon store — we were the first — traded in a Droid X for a Droid 2.)

And for those of you on the nerdier side (we’ll call you “in the know”), what about that whole eFuse thing that supposedly could keep custom ROMs from being loaded? Just like we expected, that’s proving to be less of an issue (though still a speedbump) on the Droid X than was feared, so we’ll likely have plenty of hackery going on with the Droid 2 once everybody gets their feet wet.

For the masses, know this: The Droid 2 is a strong follow-up to the original. It has a much-improved keyboard, is as fast as just about any Android smartphone available today and should last for quite a while. Really, the only thing we want to ding Motorola on is the camera, but it’s not a deal-breaker. It’s interesting that Verizon didn’t make more of a fuss over the launch of the Droid 2, given its place in smartphone history. But then again, the Droid has quickly become a workhorse phone, as at home in a purse as it is a in a suit coat or tool box. And the Droid 2 certainly keeps up that legacy.

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Executive Use of Enterprise Mobility

Besides doing the stuff on a smart-phone that keeps us human such as Facebook, Twitter, and Urban Spoon; enterprise mobility application developers are making applications that enhance business management. Picture this a regional sales manager is traveling to multiple sales offices to perform performance appraisals on the six offices she is in charge of. Just before arriving in her cramped rental car she stops for gas. The manager then decides to view sales performance of the sales executives of the Cleveland, Ohio office she is about to visit in real time. The manager pulls out her Droid Incredible, launches a BI app, which links to the data stored in IBM’s Cognos, located on-site at Corporate headquarters. Instantly the manager has a real-time view of sales by employee, the ability to compare actual sales to the sales forcast, all in interactive dynamic charting format. After viewing this information, as will as key performance indicators for all of the staff she relized one sales executive just landed the largest account  in the Cleveland offices history yesterday….

As the manager is rewarded for this, along with the sales executive, she immediately changes her lunch plans to take this rising sales executive. The manager then searches for a proper restaurant using the Urban Spoon application, also on the Droid Incredible, sends a lunch invite to the sales executive and is off to the Cleveland office.  Truly this information she received at the point of performance changed her day, the career of her direct report, and the profitability. As we all know what gets measured gets rewarded, and whats rewarded gets done. 

Business can be bland, but the combination of innovative mobile applications allowing for real-time data to be pushed to a mobile device, interactive/creative displays of that information, and the tools we use everyday in life and in business can really make it exciting. Few people like staring at a spreadsheet, but if you can flip graphical representations of data with a finger, drill down to the account level, and have a fine steak…. Life gets a little sweeter.

Google News Flash

Smartsoft Mobile will now be offering an aggregation of platform information and rumors in a special four part blog series. For the Second Installment Google is highlighted… Enjoy!

 

Google

  • Adoption growth in Q1 2010 is 20% greater for Android devices than iPhone
  • User demographic is has a 73% male adoption rate
  • Google-HTC-T-Mobile Nexus One “project” terminated
  • Motorola Droid X has no front facing camera (no video conferencing)
  • HTC will be launching four new Android phones in Sep 2010 with multiple carriers
  • HTC Droid Incredible is the fastest selling Android OS phone in the world
  • Sprint added 112,000 subscribers mainly due to new 4G network, first subscriber gains in years, exceeded analysts’ expectations
  • Verizon also a Droid seller will have a 4G network before year end
  • Google Android is now the fastest growing consumer grade device OS in both the US and UK
  • Dell is now a Smartphone manufacturer with Dell Streak running Android exclusively and a $199.00 price point running Android OS
  • Droid has gained an extra 10.2% of total UK market share just in Q1 2010
  • Droid Incredible (HTC) and Droid X (Motorola) have been in backorder since late Jun 2010 due to high demand, both devices will have supply replenishment Aug 8, 2010 for HTC and Aug 16, 2010 for Motorola
  • Augen a 7.1 inch Android tablet to sell at Kmart for $149.00 in Oct 2010
  • Google has announced that it will be rolling out a copy protection mechanism for Android Market 
    • Google sets up a special licensing server, which keeps record of application purchases.
    • Developers can use libraries provided by Google that query this server each time the application is started.
    • The server then tells the application if the user has a valid license to use the application.
  • HTC Glacier will release in  fall 2010 running a dual core Snapdragon processor and will be 3x faster than the EVO 4G
  • The Samsung Galaxy Q will have:
    • 3-inch Super AMOLED screen (720×480)
    • 1 GHz Hummingbird processor 
    • 8MP camera with LED flash
    • 1.3 mp front-facing camera
    • QWERTY keyboard
    • Android 2.2
    • 16GB internal memory (Micro SD expandable to 32GB)

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