Mobile Strategies

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Tablets, Mobile Devices

Brand, voice suffer in attempt to align with consumer behaviour on various platforms

15 May 2016 · By Chuck Blevins

In early May, ChartBeat’s Tony Haile offered a provoking piece called “The Facebook Papers, Part 1: The great unbundling” at recode on how Facebook impacts user behaviour and the media’s control of content and monetisation of their content.

One point in particular struck me:

“When habit is lost to the platforms, what remains is brand … Each piece of content must wear its authorship like a fingerprint, distinctive not by its location or layout but by its voice and vision.”

It’s not an entirely new point, but it restates an important point about brand and voice.

Maintaining a common brand voice is difficult across multiple platforms designed for multiple purposes.

Putting this in the shallowest of contexts: Many non-opinion news pieces speak with a similar, journalese voice. In experiential terms, any standard news item could have originated from any outlet based on the voice.

As publishers continue to retrench against falling revenue, cost ...


Mobile, social should lead advertising strategy, leaving silos behind

01 May 2016 · By Lorna White

We often talk about channels and silos in the advertising industry, but it is clear our customers do not consume media in these ways. This is becoming more apparent with the development of “second screening” trends, or the different attribution techniques highlighting various media consumption points attributing to a sale.

Mobile and social are frequently channels that can be individually treated as add-ons to a media plan. However, these are channels that should be leading ideas. And, they are a particularly good example of how media channels cross over.

There is a natural relationship between social and mobile, and publishers should embrace it.

Both social and mobile channels have similarities in that the information consumers are accessing is available immediately.

Today in the United Kingdom, one in every four minutes spent on a mobile device is spent on Facebook or ...


Mobile advertising spend bolstered by video, native

24 April 2016 · By David Murphy

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), in partnership with auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, released the latest United Kingdom mobile ad spend figures last week, and they make for pretty pleasant reading.

Between 2014 and 2015, spending on mobile advertising in the UK rose by a cool 62% (£1.01bn in actual terms) from £1.62bn to £2.63bn.

That’s an impressive rate of growth, even more so when you consider that the figure for 2012 was just £526m. So it’s risen by a factor of five in just three years.

Mobile ad spend in the United Kingdom rose by 62% from 2014 to 2015 despite the advent of adblockers.

And all of this at a time when the digital ad industry, including mobile, is facing threats on a number of fronts. These include viewability (what percentage of ads sold are ever actually seen), ad fraud (the number that are or can be seen by humans as opposed to bots), and adblocking (the incidence of Internet users deploying software that filters out the ads so they only see the content).

So what’s going on?


No clear winner in mobile Web vs. native app contest

07 April 2016 · By Sarah Riley

Last month, INMA offered news publishers a glimpse at a collaborative and interconnected future on the Microsoft campus in Seattle. At the INMA Mobile Strategies Conference, publishers dove deeply into the digital disruption and what consumer attention’s shift to mobile devices means to their business.

As a mobile launch partner for numerous media companies, we at MindSea were there to show some best practices. Specifically, our CEO, Bill Wilson, gave a talk that (hopefully) clarified a few misnomers and misunderstandings about where publishers’ focus should be: on native apps or on mobile Web?

In one of the conference’s highest-rated presentations, Bill explored this question, which has been asked since mobile apps first appeared.

The answer has never been clear.

He presented some ComScore data that shows 62% of ...


Could Virtual Reality be the next storytelling tool for news brands?

04 April 2016 · By Mark Challinor

Virtual Reality (VR) may well become more influential as news brands and advertisers look for new and more engaging ways to tell their stories beyond the traditional and social media platforms.

There has been much talk (and much hype) around the rise of connected devices and creating better experiences for customers in the future. Publishers should take a look at VR and its potential from other industries.

In the United States for instance, major brands such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have been experimenting with VR in an effort to engage with young consumers and leverage “mobile” in new and more innovative ways.

McDonald’s is incorporating VR technology into its Happy Meals.

Although the technology may not be for everyone, marketers in industries such as food, retail, motor cars — and news — could take advantage of initial cheap, cardboard packaging and mobile apps to create engaging and memorable Virtual, Augmented Reality-based viewing experiences.

The New York Times is leading the charge for “news” with an app of VR experiences and movies. (“The Displaced” was its version of events surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis.) In January, the company poly-bagged one million Google cardboard glasses in ...


Quality content strategy is key to digital success

16 March 2016 · By Chuck Blevins

I’m fond of the mantra of “the right content in the right place at the right time.” This blog has covered various aspects of the hows, whats, and what ifs on getting that content to the right places at the right times. But we haven’t actually discussed how the content itself becomes “right.”

With so much emphasis being placed on aesthetic and interface, content gets the short shrift in the digital eco-system.

However, the most beautiful feature or app will fail if it only provides poor content. No amount of technological magic or A/B testing will matter a whit if you don’t have a solid content strategy to make use of it.

A flashy digital interface will fall flat without quality content.

Additionally, no new feature or app will have any value if you can’t back it up with processes that aren’t so onerous that the producers give up after ...


Virtual reality highlighted at Mobile World Congress

13 March 2016 · By Lorna White

Mobile World Congress, the largest mobile trade show, took place a few weeks ago. As usual, there were plenty of big announcements to excite the mobile world.

The key topic that crossed over from hardware brands to social channels was virtual reality and how it is evolving.

Virtual reality was, at one time, far off in the future, but it was clear at the MWC event that most of the technology behind VR is becoming more accessible. Also, people are becoming more accustomed to the vivid experiences.

Virtual reality, a technology touted by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, was a hot topic at the Mobile World Congress this year.

With Samsung releasing Gear VR and Google beginning to sell VR in the Google Play Store, it’s clear it’s becoming available to the masses at an accessible entry point. With Facebook founder Mark ...


Trinity Mirror goes old school with launch of print-only New Day

09 March 2016 · By David Murphy

In the current era, the idea of a news media publisher launching a print title with no associated digital version might seem like the epitome of madness at first glance — a sign (if one was needed) that everything felt a bit overwhelming and someone thought a return back to the basics might somehow help turn back the adblock-infested digital tide.

As if we could get back to the good old days.

But that’s exactly what Trinity Mirror has done with the launch of The New Day, which went on sale on February 29.

The New Day, a print-only publication, launched without a digital presence.

In fact, it was given away for free on the first day. It will then sell for US$0.36 for two weeks before settling on its full retail price of US$0.71. Trinity Mirror says it hopes to sell around 200,000 copies a day, targeting the half-a-million readers it believes have ...


5 tips for long-term app success

07 March 2016 · By Sarah Riley

Your product strategist has delivered an awesomely designed, truly engaging news app for your media company. You are live in the App and Google Play Stores — but now what? The five-star reviews should start rolling in, right?

After all the ramp-up to execute your mobile strategy, it can often be a depressing reality to discover you don’t automatically get an audience.

It’s easy to look at an app as simply a one-and-done means to an end. But for your mobile product to reach its full potential, your work isn’t done. It should be thought of as more than just one of the “to try” initiatives on your list of ideas for 2016. Rather, it should be thought of as an investment that needs long-term nurturing.

A successful app requires long-term care and commitment.

Apps are products with a relatively short shelf life once available for download. You could fondly compare them to Tamagotchi, the egg-shaped digital pets popularised in the 1990s whose chirps and beeps were a constant reminder of their need for your attention and upkeep ...


Algorithms, automated content optimisation are key to publisher competitiveness

03 February 2016 · By Chuck Blevins

Media sites often seem designed in the same manner that a newspaper 1A is – various boxes and teases highlighting other content available. Since we’re not sure what will stick, we provide a smorgasbord of content, hoping most readers will see something of interest. Obviously the goal is to get readers to read more.

Yet, according to Nielsen, “The average visitor spends only three minutes, four seconds per session on the typical news site.” How are we measuring the effectiveness of these designs and widgets, versus just how the content itself performs?

How many of us use tools like Google or Adobe Omniture’s Click Map, or Chartbeat’s Dashboard or Taboola Newsroom? These are tools that ...


About this blog

As news increasingly goes mobile, this blog’s mission is to be the worldwide reference guide to growing and engaging news audiences via mobile devices and tablets; attracting mobile revenue via advertising, sponsorship, and subscriptions; and owning the market for mobile news.

Meet the bloggers

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Chuck Blevins
Manager, Digital Products and Projects
Cox Media Group Newspapers
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Mark Challinor
Mobile/Digital Consultant
President, INMA
London, United Kingdom
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David Murphy
Founder and Editor
Mobile Marketing magazine
London, United Kingdom
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Sarah Riley
Senior App Advisor
MindSea, an investment of The Chronicle Herald
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Lorna White
Senior Planner Connect
London, United Kingdom
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Padraic Woods
Mobile Development Manager
Verdens Gang
Oslo, Norway
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