In his article, “Here comes the age of ambient everything,” Mike Elgan says there are five trends merging that will make “everything ambient” — mobile notification, wearables, location-based commerce, pre-emptive search, and the Internet of things.
By ambient, he means “information just appears, scrolls by and then vanishes, mostly in the cognitive background. … It will just be there with us all the time.”
Elgan reminds us that users don’t think in terms of “context,” only how the experience meshes into their current environment. Information will appear at the right time, in the right place, in the right context. And on the right device.
“Ambience” is the user experience of that implementation: It “feels” like it’s part of the environment, or simply “harvested out of the air.”
This is the logical evolution of the issues with predictive services that I wrote about last month. The devices and software will anticipate and present information in such a way (when properly done) that it will feel like a natural extension of our external experience....[more]
25 November 2013 · by Mark Challinor
It will soon be here. 2014. A new year, a new focus and, for some, a set of New Year’s resolutions.
Well, here are some resolutions you might want to follow to make your mobile efforts that much more successful next year, by helping you take the space — and the opportunities it offers you — seriously.
- Mobile first! Not an “add on.” In 2014, mobile net usage is expected to surpass desktop usage. Think about that for a moment. That’s quite something.
Keep telling your agencies and advertisers about this. Raise mobile’s profile as an important new “eyeballs” focus and revenue stream. Where the eyeballs go, that’s where the money ultimately goes.
- Remember the limits of a smaller screen, i.e. mobile optimise.
- Use mobile photos and videos to create unique content. (Mobile video is a big general focus for the future.)
- Target mobile users when using social media.
- Ask yourself which content of yours will stand out when your readers are using smartphones or tablets.
- Remember the limits of a smaller screen, i.e. mobile optimise.
- Get on board the bus. Below is a chart that shows where people are spending their time versus how much businesses spent on advertising. In the few years mobile has been with us, it has outpaced print, radio, and Web. There is still massive potential in the mobile marketing space that news media has to yet to exploit. Eyeballs currently don’t equal appropriate revenues. Much to do!
- Data is king… and queen, jack, and ace! This is vital for your future mobile success. Be sure you are using robust analytics and measurement tools to understand your mobile audience and enable you to make the best marketing … and your next directional and development decisions.
Segment your data into reachable and targeted “chunks” that can be used to help you understand your audience better and also be treated as a premium service from a monetisation point of view.
- Responsive rules OK? If you are using e-mail marketing, consider that many will look at the e-mail on their mobile device first, so you need to make sure the e-mail is optimised for those devices. The content should adjust for the device screen size.
21 November 2013 · by David Murphy
I had the privilege of listening to one of Russell Buckley’s great presentations at the Mindshare Huddle last week.
The event itself is an amazing feat of logistical engineering. Every hour on the hour, between 10 a.m. and noon and 2 and 4 p.m., delegates – a mixture of Mindshare clients, journalists, and analysts – can choose from 20 sessions to attend. Each runs for about 40 minutes.
That’s 120 presentations in one day, or the equivalent of a week’s worth of material presented in a day.
Having put together the speaker programme for a few conferences of our own over the past three years, I know the work that goes into getting a dozen people to the right room at the right time on the right day with the right material. So my admiration for the team behind the event comes from the heart.
For anyone unfamiliar with Buckley, he was one of the original mobile evangelists. In 2000, that’s 13 years ago, he was one of the people behind ZagMe, a company that offered an opt-in, location-based, text message offers service at the Bluewater shopping centre in the United Kingdom.
Shoppers who opted in to the service were targeted with text messages enticing them into participating stores with offers when they came within a certain distance of that store.
This was a couple of years before that much-referenced (in mobile circles, at least) scene in “Minority Report,” in which Tom Cruise’s character is recognised by his retina and bombarded with advertising messages as he makes his way through a shopping mall. The difference in ZagMe’s case was that it was opt-in.
The company was about to close a round of funding the day of the attack on the Twin Towers in the United States, at which point the investors got cold feet. Buckley admits the idea was ahead of its time.
“They made the right decision for the wrong reason,” he once told me....[more]
13 November 2013 · by Chuck Blevins
“How will consumers interact with their phones in the future? Will it be through today’s ‘hunting and pecking’ of apps in silos with a mix of a sub-optimal mobile Web interface?
“Or, will mobile operating systems learn our behaviours so well as to predict and anticipate what we will want to do or know next, either by the time of day, the way in which we hold our phones, or other signals?” ~ Semil Shah, Tech Crunch, Nov 3.
Predictive mobile services, hand-in-hand with the rise of wearables, are providing yet another layer of opportunity and complexity to digital publishing – furthering the actual creation of a market of one.
Already my navigation app, after watching my usage for a few days, asks if I’m heading home when I launch it at commute time. A calendar app proactively alerts me when I need to leave for an appointment based on traffic times. And Google has made predicative information surfacing the core to Google Now – “instant information right when you need it.”
Additionally, Google is improving predictive services in Android, and no doubt Apple will, as well. Both aim to have their Operating Systems (OS) double as personal assistants.
Web topic searches on the device can link back to relevant apps on the device, as well as external sites. The operating system creates a feedback loop where repeated engagement is encouraged.
If the entire OS eventually acts as a predictive personal assistant, how might this impact surfacing of news and news apps?...[more]
06 November 2013 · by Dirk Barmscheidt
Research everywhere is telling us that offline media will decrease and the digital area will grow faster than every other market in the past.
Compared to the digital world, offline consumption and distribution of content was easy and simple. You print a newspaper or a magazine and send it out via mail (subscriptions) or newsstands (single sales). The point of sales were established at the main consumer traffic points where offer and demand fit perfectly.
The “all is possible” and “everything changes overnight” world of digital media is a huge challenge for market players who look back on a stable history of more than 60 years.
Now these companies have to execute decisions several times a year — mostly based on trial and error, because the market and, in particular, consumer needs, are still in flux.
But are there trends anywhere on the horizon? Trends that aren’t dead before they are alive?
Because of limited resources (time, staff, money), the digital media channel a company chooses is key for a successful setup. The next most important question should be: What kind of product(s) should we offer to the user? And when?
Instead, too many news companies are running a strategy of ubiquity by making their content available on every operating system (OS) platform (Apple, Android, and Windows 8), and on every device (PC, tablet, and smartphone).
The problem with this strategy: Most of the time, an individual user values only one OS, one device, and one combination.
And that means ubiquity has no value for most — nearly 100% — of users.
This wouldn’t be a problem if the content were great, nearly perfect. But the truth is most of the investment goes toward enabling new channels rather than creating and executing the best product a company can offer.
The competition on every device class is so high that 70% perfect products will fail immediately.
And on which channel should a company focus? Let’s have a look at the three main options:
- PCs: Sales are decreasing; apps are not used; browsing and paid content are enemies; search dominates the content demand.
- Smartphones: Usage will pass the PC; content products are used; paid content is accepted; app stores control the distribution.
- Tablets: Young but increasing market; high-value content products; format and usage near offline print.
If the first reflex is to reach for low content pricing, smartphones will be the right choice. If your product should be positioned on a higher price point, tablets are the best channel to distribute your products.
But why are only 16% of all sales on tablets newspapers and magazines? From my point of view, because the products are only second-best.
The potential is waiting for you!
29 October 2013 · by Otto Sjöberg
Here’s a quick quiz to test your perception of the mobile revolution.
Which of the following alternatives is an appropriate definition of the abbreviation NFC?
A. Never Freaking Coming.
After attending the recent NFC & Mobile Money Summit in New York, I sense an uncertainty about the correct answer, even among people within the mobile industry.
NFC is technology transfer small amounts of data between two devices held close to each other. Think checking out at a retailer store by clicking your smartphone on a counter device.
“The NFC market is at an interesting crossroads right now,” said Justin Springham, managing editor at Mobile World Live, as he kicked off coverage of the event. “There is much debate around whether the technology has what it takes to become a mass market success.”
Liu Xin from China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, blasted the complexity: “For the customer, NFC is not an easy service to get into. They need to change the handset, change the SIM-card, they need subscriber services. And that is not attractive to people. It should not be an additional function but must be a default one like GPS or Wi-Fi.”...[more]
21 October 2013 · by Mark Challinor
Seasonal lights twinkling, children singing ... and the sound of the ringing of Christmas bells and cash registers. The festive period is coming fast. Here in the UK, we’re looking forward to a Happy Mobile Christmas.
Why? Because, after all the hype about mobile — and we’ve all seen it for years now — I truly believe this season will push forward the boundaries like never before in the mobile device arena, in terms of both adoption of devices and usage.
Britain is heading for its first real mobile Christmas, as more gifts will be bought “on the go” on smartphones and tablets than on office and home computers.
This was the recent prediction of the UK high street giant and department store chain John Lewis, which says the proportion of online shopping using a mobile device had already risen sharply from 26% to more than 40% during 2013. And by the time Christmas has come and gone that should easily break through the 50% marker.
For the UK high street generally, approximately 25% of online sales were made on mobile and tablets last Christmas period, reaching a peak of 34% on Christmas Day itself. But last year’s figures will be dwarfed this year as more people get smart devices and generally feel more comfortable using them for payments and the like.
John Lewis’ 39 major stores (and its 300 Waitrose supermarkets) released strong first-half results this year (group sales up 7% to £4.7billion), and part of its success is due to its focus on digital/mobile adoption. The retailer rebuilt and relaunched its shopping app in the summer, which it says helped boost sales.
Does the John Lewis story suggests we should widen our view of the retail environment?
An obvious first step for many retailers has been to optimise their online presence for local search to reflect consumer usage. Some proactive retailers have developed simple but innovative solutions by offering a quick view of pricing on their mobile landing page to generate a map to the nearest store location.
Others have gone further by making sure visitors can opt in to receive mobile promotions while they are either in the store or in a nearby location....[more]
14 October 2013 · by David Murphy
There are many people who still have their doubts about mobile advertising. They point to the smaller screen, the very personal nature of the device, and the sea of advertising we encounter everywhere else in life as reasons why mobile and advertising don’t make for easy bedfellows.
I can see their point. When mobile advertising is both untargeted to the user and untailored to the device to which it is delivered, it’s nothing other than annoying. Despite the reservations, however, look at the numbers: Mobile advertising seems to be powering ahead.
In the UK, according to the latest Digital Adspend report from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB), conducted by PwC, spending on mobile advertising reached £429.2 million in the first half of 2013, compared to £188.1 million in the first half of 2012. This is not too far short of the total 2012 figure of £526 million.
When you look at those 2012 figures, you see almost two-thirds of mobile ad spend came in the second six months of the year. And, if we had the breakdown, no doubt the few weeks around Christmas would be responsible for a disproportionate amount of that. Which means, if the trend is repeated, that total UK mobile ad spend for 2013 could be around £1.3 billion.
This is a remarkable figure when you consider that just five years ago, in 2008, it was only £28.6 million. Between 2008 and 2009, there was only modest growth, to £37.6 million, but every year since then, UK mobile ad spend has more than doubled....[more]
01 October 2013 · by Dirk Barmscheidt
Mobile is still increasing its market share of all digital channnels.
Smartphones and tablets sales are much higher than those of PCs or laptops. The overall availability of high-speed Internet connections has resulted in “always on.“ The total flexibility of the device allows for the freedom to consume everywhere and at any time. Which is what consumers want.
We learned that users expect a special, mobile-optimised version of Web offerings. Amazon and eBay currently make 10% of their revenues on mobile devices, a rate that has been increasing 20% each quarter.
Publishers understand the power of the mobile channel. (Well, almost all of them.) The keys to long-term success rests in not only producing a mobile design, but also reflecting different user behaviours on mobile devices....[more]
22 September 2013 · by Chuck Blevins
With Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and others waging a pitched battle to win the mobile market via feature sets, screen sizes, and advanced interfaces, Apple’s unveiling of modest updates of phones and the new iOS7 have been met with general disappointment. (Ironically, early complaints about iOS7 said it was changing too much).
The company, famed for disruptive products, is notorious for its strategic and measured advancements within those products. Apple’s strategy around pace of change and audience retention has a parallel in the news industry’s digital application successes (and what those successes say about our audiences).
Digital newspaper replicas have remained the most popular newspaper apps on tablets since Poynter noted their dominance in 2011. Credit goes to the iPad’s great display/reading form factor, and not the great technological capabilities offered by the platform. Most replica products are not particularly interactive, nor dynamic; they are finite and Internet-y only as far as the application wrapper.
Face it: The replica is the skeumorphic equivalent of an engine-powered stage coach – a transitional vehicle that just begins to touch on the platform’s possibilities.
The replica succeeds for the reader because it is the newspaper. This indicates replica audiences are the same traditional audience that is, or was, the print audience. It also informs us of how vital the experience of the “real” paper is....[more]