Category Archives: marketing

How News Organizations Need to Change in Order to Succeed : NAA MediaXChange Keynote with Rishad Tobaccowala

This morning at the NAA MediaXchange Rishad Tobaccowala gave a provocative keynote session on the future of marketing and advertising and how traditional media companies must leverage new platforms to more effectively serve advertising to customers.

As the Chief Innovation Officer of Chicago-based Publicis Group Media, Rishad is one of the most influential thinkers in the North American advertising industry. It is therefore no surprise that the audience was on the edge of their seats listening intently to Rishad`s advice.

We at Spreed found his talk very interesting considering many of his recommendations push newspapers in the direction of a number of the products and services that we provide (mobile platforms, mobile advertising, location based advertising, etc).

Rishad left with 10 recommendations for newspapers to follow in the future that we would like to share here:

  1. Be schizophrenic – Only the schizophrenic will thrive. Run two or more business models at the same time but make sure they are very separate. Do not make a big mesh of all your models.
  2. Embrace technology – Tech is the new magic. Make sure the follwing ive things are done by the end of this week.
    1. Use an RSS reader and start following your passions through it
    2. Get a Twitter account
    3. Get on Facebook
    4. Get on Foursquare
    5. Go to someone in your company who is younger (probably 2-3 levels below you) and make them your mentor. Take them outside of the company every two weeks and get them to teach you about what is new and upcoming
  3. Embrace the blur – Church and state are too separate within news organizations. All elements of a news organization (sales, editorial, technology) need to work together in the same group.
  4. Learn fast, iterate faster, make mistakes and don’t be afraid to fail.
  5. Do a massive outreach to young people – You want to make the industry exciting. Don`t be swamped with old people. Get youngsters into the industry.
  6. Think about what curating, combining and editing really is
  7. Platforms – Every company needs a platform strategy. How do you attract new partners? What’s your device strategy (iPad, iPhone, etc)? What’s your search strategy?
  8. Make sure that you celebrate the software and technology folks at your organization. Don’t hide them in a room somewhere even if they are strange. Tell them about the business and ask them to solve business issues
  9. Think about  the future of your organization. Thank about your organizational design, incentives, benefits, etc.
  10. This one was a bit odd and I am not sure exactly what he meant by it, but the industry is not anyone but you. there is not industry but yo, embrace the “muchness”. “This is my dream and I am going to decide how it ends”

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Filed under advertising, internet, ipad, marketing, mobile, newspapers, publishing, Spreed, technology

Flurry Smartphone Industry Pulse, February 2009: Traditional Media Dominating the News Category

Flurry, a mobile analytics company known for their strong industry statistics released their February report today. The report is interesting as it relates to the consistent surge of iPhone developers and their unique demographics. What is interesting to our readers is the specific attention it gave to the news category. As expected traditional media sources are dominating the news category. This is mostly due to the fact that it is not easy to simply start publishing the news and creating content. What it does point out though is that the iPhone and other smartphones are very useful channels to distribute content very inexpensively and target a very attractive demographic.

Possibly, more interesting is the rise of online news sources on the iPhone. Flurry believes that with the release of the iPad we are going to see an even strong supply and demand for blogs and other online media sources. It is therefore essential that if your newspaper does not have an app now, to act fast. If you wait too long, the online media sources will own the real estate on users phones and other mobile devices.  More below and in the report.

Like gaming, the creation of compelling content in News is a specialized and costly operation. To source and report quality news, companies often have to span various media such as TV broadcast, radio and print, which further increases cost. It’s therefore no surprise that Traditional Media dominates the News category, controlling nearly two thirds. For traditional media (e.g., New York Times, ABC News, NPR, etc.), the iPhone represents a large channel through which to distribute their existing content. The small incremental cost of expanding the distribution of Traditional Media’s core content, and the attractiveness of reaching an educated, affluent and tech-savvy audience, makes iPhone the perfect platform through which to serve news. Looking forward, the iPad creates an even greater opportunity to increase reach because its larger screen size works better works for newspaper and magazine layouts, as well as TV broadcast.

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Filed under applications, digital publishing, marketing, mobile, newspapers, publishing, Spreed, technology

Useful Info for Getting Retailers to Advertise on Your Mobile App

Are your retail advertising partners not sure whether your mobile property is the right place for them to advertise? Do you keep hearing questions from them about whether people actual make purchases through their mobile phones? Here are some useful articles to help answer their questions. People are indeed doing product research and purchasing items on their mobile phones. We know from our earlier post that retailers are beginning to gain interest in mobile advertising, but these articles and statistics should help push them across the chasm. I hope this help and please let us know if there is anything we can do to help attract these advertisers for you.

1.) From an interview with Tracy Benson in March 3rd Mobile Marketer

Best Buy claims that its mobile traffic is increasing and actual conversion via mobile devices is strengthening.  While 3 percent of Best Buy’s online traffic is coming from mobile, the conversion rate is 25 percent higher on mobile than on its wired Web site.

Many customers are using its mobile platforms for research, around 30 percent, with 18 percent checking inventory using their handset.  Twenty-eight percent of consumers visiting the mobile platform are using it to make a purchase, and in-store pickup is a key value proposition.

Tracy Benson, senior director of interactive marketing and emerging media at Best Buy, Minneapolis, MN. “We’re one of the largest sellers of smartphones, so we have the benefit of seeing who’s buying the phone, which helps us understand how they’re using it and the adoption rates.

2.) From the Mickey Khan post on ETail West found in March 1st Mobile Marketer

Senior executives from REI, Wet Seal, Yesmail, Netbiscuits and moderator Marci Troutman of Siteminis suggested that retailers focus on five factors when designing a mobile site or application: a great search function, such as the one seen on Amazon’s mobile destinations; easy navigation that is drop-down, simple and intuitive; imagery that allows consumers to zoom in and out – a picture speaks a thousand words; a store location function that drives local traffic; and low-friction transacting capability – get the customer registered with contact and credit card details on the wired Web and then use the same email and password on mobile.

3.) Mobile Shopping in US Will Grow to $2.4 Billion this year. Found in February 17th Mobile Marketer

In the United States, mobile shopping rose from $396 million in 2008 to $1.2 billion in 2009, and ABI Research projects 100 percent growth this year to reach $2.4 billion in 2010.

4.) Smartphone Users Making Purchases Over The Phones. Found in January 4th Online Media Daily

Nearly four in 10 (37%) smartphone owners have bought something not mobile-related over their devices in the last six months, according to the third-quarter smartphone intelligence report from Web analytics firm Compete.

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Filed under advertising, applications, marketing, mobile

Five Advantages of Mobile Marketing Over Online

An interesting opinion piece popped up on Mobile Marketer today talking about the advantages of mobile marketing over online marketing. Mobile marketing has been touted as one of the most powerful new forms of engagement for some time now. Its ability to target the right users with highly interactive content at the right time makes it a perfect playground for marketers looking to sell their products and grow their brands. Frank Powell, outlines in this article the five reasons why he thinks mobile marketing has a leg up on online advertising. I wont go into detail here as I think its quite a strong article and worthy of a read, but his five main reasons are:

  1. Omnipresence – Most mobile phone users are within an arm’s reach of their devices over 90 percent of waking hours, including times when other media are not available.
  2. Reduced targeting errors and improved data management – In comparison to other personalized messaging channels, having a unique ID – phone number – will dramatically improve CRM integrity for marketers who have historically relied on inexact transaction linking techniques
  3. Improved time relevance – The always-on and always-aware nature of mobile devices provides more timely communications than any other channel.
  4. Location awareness – Knowing someone’s geographic location can be critical to engaging in a relevant conversation with them.
  5. Increased intimacy with the device and via the device – Sharing of mobile devices is not unheard of, but is less common than sharing of personal computers.

These are great points and Frank goes into much greater deal in his article. Check it out below:

Five Advantages of Mobile Marketing Over Online

As marketers engage customers on their mobile devices, it is important that they focus on the five advantages that mobile marketing has over traditional Web marketing. These advantages enable marketers to “hold conversations with fans,” but can also create relationship hazards if not addressed properly.

When mobile marketers focus on these five advantages, they can provide the most value to their customers and engage at the deepest levels.

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Apple Banning Location Based Advertising? – We Don't Think So

We recently reported that Apple acquired Quattro, a mobile advertising network. Shortly after the sale of Quattro Apple released a statement saying that apps that requested a users location for the primary purpose of location based advertising would be rejected by the app store.

At first sight this appears to be anti-competitive behavior. Apple recently filed for a patent around location based advertising and their purchase of Quattro makes it obvious that they plan on pursuing this highly engaging targeting method. Over the past week every has been yelling that Apple is the new Microsoft and that their actions are anti-competitive in nature. I do not think we should be so quick to judge.

By the sounds of it, Apple is not going to ban applications that use location information for advertising as long as they provide some other added value, location based service. Only time will tell, but it seems far fetched to think that they would allow apps that use Quattro’s platform to perform location based advertising without a valuable reason to grab the location and not others. What they are trying to do is ensure that people do not get slammed with location requests for no other reason than to be bombarded with advertising.

If this is what Apple is doing, I am behind them 100%. Location based advertising has always been considered the holy grail of the mobile platform, but there is a fine balance between adding value and being annoying. Apple is trying to ensure that their user experience is not compromised by annoyances to the user that don’t actually give them anything useful in return.

For media publishers adding valuable location based content should not be a problem. For example, in order to gain the users location all the publisher needs to do is provide local news, local weather, or local reviews. If you add this type of functionality then you have every reason to grab the users location as you are giving them something in return for their coordinates and can therefore also use that location data for ad targeting.

If this is the case then good on Apple for trying to maintain a high level of user satisfaction. Here at Spreed we will be keeping our eyes on this issue as we currently allow publishers to target users with local advertising, but only do so if we have a good reason to request their location. Only time will tell.


Here is the official statement from Apple:

If you build your application with features based on a user’s location, make sure these features provide beneficial information. If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store.


Filed under advertising, iphone, marketing, mobile, Spreed

Apple Grabs 25% of the Smart Phone Market, but RIM Still in the Lead

A Comscore study on the state of the US mobile market was just released and shows that the iPhone’s popularity still continues to grow. The iPhone has increased its market share from 24.1% in September 2009 to 25.3% in December 2009. The Blackberry which has always held a dominant position has declined from 42.6% to 41.6% of the market between September and December. The fact that both Apple and Android were able to increase their share of the market while all other smart phones decreased gives us good reason to believe that in the next few years these platforms will be the two dominant players. Mix the high market share numbers of Apple with their strong click through rates for advertising and you have a very attractive medium to engage consumers on. These are all signs that having a mobile strategy whether you are a publisher or an advertisers is a must in 2009, even if it is just part of your trial budget.

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Monday Morning Mobile Round Up – Mobile Advertising, The Olympics and A Strong 2010

Happy Monday morning everyone. I hope you all had a great weekend. I know everyone is busy getting ready for the week ahead, so instead of giving you a few long posts I have decided to share some of my weekend reading with you.

Mobile ad campaigns 5 times more effective than online: InsightExpress study

“Far from being a one-trick pony, mobile is effective in rich environments like mobile video, minimal environments like SMS and the area in between covered by mobile display,” she said. “Add to this the findings that all verticals are seeing mobile impacts greater than online campaigns and the arguments for not adding mobile to a media plan fall away.”

NBC details aggressive mobile initiatives for 2010 Olympics

Through partnerships with several carrier networks and brands such as Coca-Cola, NBC Universal is bringing its 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games to the mobile medium.

NBC has launched several new mobile initiatives and rebranded its other wireless properties to promote the sporting event. The entertainment giant’s coverage of the Olympic Games spans its various television networks and content channels to bring as much programming and interaction to consumers.

Mobile Marketer’s Mobile Outlook 2010

It is quite clear from recent market activity – Google buying AdMob and Apple absorbing Quattro Wireless, Apple iPad and Google Nexus One launches, eBay’s record $500 million in mobile commerce last year – that mobile is no longer considered a niche medium.

Buoyed by results of mobile campaigns initiated last year, many brands are expected to ramp up their spending from six figures to seven. Richard Ting, mobile chief at No. 1 interactive agency R/GA, projects that mobile budgets will grow this year between 100 percent and 150 percent.

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