YOUM: Does Samsung show the future of mobile displays?

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When I wrote about three magic inventions discovered at CES 2013 some days ago, I definitely missed out on YOUM. The rumors around flexible displays is out there for quite a while. Remember Yankodesign’s vision of a flexible multiscreen phone or the Motorola Flipout?

Now, at CES the first YOUM displays were presented on stage, alongside a funny commercial clip. The OLED displays are thin that an iPod, can be bowed and rolled up. It sounds like science fiction or a good James Bond film invention, and it will be as log as the technology needed to make the OLED’s work is not getting thinner.

In the presentation Brian Berkely, VP Samsung Display, showed with different prototypes how it is possible to build displays that go around the smartphone or tablet. There, you then could see the latest text message, email or calendar entry that might be relevant. I can imagine these displays will hit the smartphone and tablet market quite soon.

And the question will be what is Apple’s or other smartphone and tablet manufacturers‘ answer to this invention…

Google: Agile Creativity with Google Think

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The way the biggest search engine started their revolution is kind of a tipping point for companies today to get orientation in their creative evolution for further development: The Agile process. These days, Google wants to help companies and brands participate in that world of experience to help them elaborate new ideas and new ways walking on a more fluid way of creativity and innovation in order to keep track with the digital future. Their latest learning hub is curated by Think with Google. It offers a good range of Agile creativity tips and tricks from the leading agencies in the world.

A nice education piece for marketers, and don’t forget: „We are living in a world, where the only thing that is constant is change!“

How Mobile Marketing and B2B work together (video)

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We have already shared some information on a Google and Compete study that shows why B2B and mobile have a close connection. And the most relevant information from a mobile point of view can be taken from eMarketer graphic.

The importance of mobile for B2B is partly as business decision makers are frequent travelers, thus most connected business people, and partly as smartphones and tablets have given them a new freedom. And today, we also know from CNBC research that executives in Europe see the increasing value of being engaged on Twitter. B2B managers can and have their conversations anytime-anywhere from their devices.

But what is the marketing potential it offers for companies then?

As business decision makers by their definition have to be fast in their decision making process, today’s professionals need to be connected, informed, and productive wherever they are traveling, or whenever they are in meetings. As of that mobile devices give B2B marketing new opportunities to open up new relationships if using apps, QR codes or video in an intelligent way.

In her YouTube channel, on Twitter and in her blog) Christina CK Kerley shares her knowledge on mobile B2B strategies alongside some good cases. Her latest video gives some insight in how B2B marketers can use mobile to connect the offline and the online world in order to leverage B2B printed ads, to integrate the customers‘ voice into video, or to bolster B2B thought-leadership content through images, video and text.

Study shows that consumers are frustrated with online paying

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Harald Wanetschka /

How often do we stop our online purchasing process? How often do we not pay what is chosen to be in the basket? And how often do we leave an online shop frustrated?

In a recent study by Mastercard Worldwide conducted by Harris Interactive we acknowledge how consumers are feelings about online commerce, as well as their habits on mobile shopping. According to the report, U.S. consumers replied that one of their biggest issues is „entering payment, billing and shipping information.“

It is not surprising to anyone probably that the only other issue more annoying to online buyers is knowing still one that has not changed in 15 years: People would like to know how a product feels, fits or looks.

„Online and mobile shopping puts a host of new options at consumers‘ fingertips, but the current checkout process needs improvement to fully realize the potential of these important retail channels,” Geoff Iddison, Group Executive E-Commerce and Mobile, MasterCard Worldwide

According to Iddison the study also shows that consumers want a simpler, faster way to enter account information and less time filling out forms.

The funny thing for me is that the world still wants something that does not exist (and which I have thought about inventing in the online advertising world, too): a trusted source that handles safely personal information in one place.

58% of online shoppers said they would like that easy access to information in order to simplify their online check-out experience across the Internet. Apart from that almost one out of four respondents replied they had abandoned a shopping cart before completing their online or mobile purchase. 

On the MasterCard company blog, Brian Gendron -a company spokesman- said the poll shows consumers want a simpler online payment experience. He mentions…

„Consumers still find that a lengthy checkout experience can cause frustrations, which can sometimes mean lost business for merchants when consumers fail to click ‚confirm purchase. Consumers want a simple and fast process to complete their online transactions so they can spend more time finding the exact products that they want.“

So, how about you and your online purchasing experiences? Would you say the study is correct in their findings?

Customer Service through apps is like a mobile promise…

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Over one year ago, when I realized how blind brands and companies started creating apps for their business, I wrote my 5 strategic reasons why brands need an app. Although this was written with some twinkle of my left eye, I am 100% sure of what I stated in my 5 arguments (and many people shared these thoughts around the world).

Apparently, a study proves more or less what I sent out as an advice to brands those days: Have a valid business reason, and more importantly, have the right back-end support, when you start building an app… especially when using it for customer service reasons.

When your strategic reason of your app is meant to become a „Servicesetter“, a promise from brands to help and be there when people are out in the streets, companies want to make sure that there is sufficient service behind their mobile technology: people, products, processes. A recent study conducted by Constellation Research now finds that most companies have not really established service and support for those modern mobile customer service touchpoints.

Obviously, it has taken many companies years to establish some kind of customer service via digital media which makes customers want to use it, email and online chat amongst others. According to the study, it will be similar with mobile. Companies create mobile apps (and open up social channels on Twitter or Facebook) but are not set to handle the business coming through to them. Although it might be a marketing advantage for them, companies tend to forget the customer, and don’t think about what it means to deliver 24/7 support via social or mobile platforms.

„Customers are taking it to the streets. They’re going to go out and complain about your company on Twitter or Facebook or whatever–and their expectation is that companies will respond.“ Elizabeth Herrell, Global Communication Analyst and Strategist, Constellation Research

The report also finds that companies use different teams for mail or phone customer service versus mobile and social. These later teams then have no information on the quality of the customer. The customer then don’t get feedback, stop using the app, writing bad reviews. Thus, nobody is going to use the app in the future. Money is wasted if nobody understands the strategic and tactical importance of an app.

Spot On!
Apps are 6 times more popular than web browsing these days, states a study that Zokem just recently released. And apps create smartphone loyalty, says Gartner. If companies bear in mind that web-centric people are not as loyal to brands as they have been, the importance of having the right strategy for the app and the correct processes in place that deliver the mobile promise becomes apparent. Herrell’s conclusion is that customers need to take customer service via mobile and social more serious, and dedicate teams to it which have the same capabilities as their counterparts on i.e. the phone. The customer service teams will not only have to be able to write a 140 characters tweet but also to understand the urgency of reponse, the importance of the client from a buzz point of view, as well as giving some feedback in „real-time“… and that can be via phone or the mobile app then.

My advice would be: „Think why your brand wants to offer a mobile promise to your customers. Then start building an app…!“

Google Survey: 39% US mobile users take their mobiles to the bathroom

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Google published a survey (in partnership with the independant marketing research firm Ipsos OTX) and present insights into how U.S. consumers use their smartphones. A video presents key findings from „The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Consumers“.

The research, conducted at the end of 2010 among 5,013 US adult smartphone Internet users, was meant to better understand how smartphones are used in consumers‘ daily lives and how smartphones have influenced the ways consumers search, shop and respond to mobile advertising.

Some of the key findings of the study don’t show special new insights. However it illustrates that we are not alone anymore in our bathrooms any longer. We are taking our friends, business partners and our social graphs to the bathroom… by using our smartphones like we used to read our newspapers or magazines in the past. Google states that 39% admit to having used their smarthone while going to the bathroom.

Some more findings…
– 93% use smartphones at home
– 81% browse the Internet
– 77% do search for information
– 72% do parallel use of smartphone and other media (over 30% like watching TV)
– 45% use smartphone to manage their daily lives
– 20% would give up their Cable TV for using their smartphone

Obviously, Google wanted to find out how smartphone users access search via their mobiles. And no suprise there as well. Search is the leading website type accessed (77%). It helps consumers access information like News (57%), Dining (51%), Entertainment (49%) , Shopping (47%), Technology (32%), Travel (31%), Finance (26%) and Automotive (17%).

Spot On!
Interesting from a marketer’s perspective is that the report actually finds that mobile advertising is engaging. The research states that after seeing an ad (on print, online or mobile) 71% of users search on their smartphones. A remarkable 82% of users notice mobile ads, and of those 49% purchase (!), 42% click on it, 35% access the website, 27% contact the business. This shows the new power of mobile marketing for companies and that marketers should have a close look at mobile marketing opportunities in the future.

PS: And if 39% of people use their iPhones in the bathroom, I don’t want to know how many use their iPads to read the latest news or watch a video, and how this increases the average „bathroom staying time“…

Is mobile the future extension of print (and TV)?

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I have always quoted that there is a future for print. In trains, in planes and on quiet places where you will always be on your own… However print might need some partner media: mobiles… to becomes 3-D reality in combination with them.

The Commonwealth Bank used a Sydney computer graphics firm called Explore Engage and let them create a 3-D mobile extension. The print ad uses a smartphone’s camera to connect the print creative (launched in Melbourne’s mX commuter daily newspaper last week) with the 3-D reader software in the phone. The smartphone then opens a virtual town on the phone’s screen in which a virtual sales person introduces some of the Commonwealth Bank real estate properties.

The smartphone all of a sudden makes print (ads) attractive again. Augmented reality (AR) extends the opportunities of the static print value into a new engaging mobile world. Just think about the opportunities… Wallpapers could be scanned and then virtual promotions or commercials could appear on mobile screens on-the-go selling new products and services. Previews of movies could be taken from print ads instantly. The future of print seems to be mobile…

PS: Although it might be a bit challenging for some people, TV has also new opportunities to extend their offering. Just watch the latest KIA Optima advertising idea which also used AR technology to get people engaged in advertising…

Mobile marketing facts for today and tomorrow….

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It seems that I am having a mobile information week. Mobile is the future in my eyes. And I thought it might be worth having a close eye on mobile business productivity, mobile access points for purchase decisions and now will provide some hard facts with an interesting infographic by Microsoft.

It is interesting to see the tiny differences. Some speak of 5 bio users subsribed, the following infographic illustrates the power of 4 bio. mobile devices in use globally. The question is who are the most active mobile users? You say, it is teenagers? No, it is women between 35-54 years of age. Sorry, but I cannot understand this, knowing the way my wife (and her friends) uses her mobile devices (how often do I have to try to get hold of her…).

The following statistics will open your eyes on the present and future of mobile use and marketing opportunities…

mobile marketing and tagging
Learn More about Mobile Tagging at Microsoft Tag.

Study: Mobile Commerce is happening – mobile search is the access point…

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A recent 2011 Mobile Search Insights study conducted by ROI Research Inc. for marketing firm Performics, shows that 49% of consumers who use the mobile web at least once a week made a purchase on their mobile device in the past six months. Compared with a Compete study from last year this shows the increased use of mobile commerce opportunities.

Although these results sound impressive, we have to bear in mind that the study focussed purely on heavy users of the mobile web. These heavy users are familiar with using sites for private shopping and business productivity.

The key findings of the study among 502 weekly mobile web users also state that 30% of mobile search users are likely to select sponsored search results. 77% of surveyed people used mobile search more than five times in the last month.

„Mobile paid search has surged as a percentage of overall paid search spending for our clients, particularly over the last 15 months. (…) We expect March to be the double-digit tipping point, when mobile paid search will represent at least 10% of paid search impressions for all Performics clients.“

Daina Middleton, CEO, Performics

The habits of people searching mobile is changing the way how they gather information from the web, say 63% of repondents. Mobile search is used more often than search engines on the computers (32%) and is the access connection to online retailers and manufacturers.

– 84% look for local retailer information (phone, address, hours).
– 73% find a specific manufacturer or product web site.
– 68% search for the best price for a product or service.
– 63% search before purchasing offline in a store or from a catalog.

And mobile search is not used from the outside worls… but from home.
– 81% use it in the evening
– 80% at the weekend
– 61% at work and 59% before work

Spot On!
The study illustrates the power of mobile search and the opportunity of mobile ads in search results. Mobile search is accessing our daily lives and we suddenly forget to use the laptop or the desktop, it seems. Marketers will have the opportunity to get involved in the purchase process straight from the beginning of the evaluation of products and should integrate mobile (search) marketing into their mobile strategy.

Some insights in mobile business productivity

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This week I came across two studies which illustrate how much mobiles are changing business productivity these days and what the outlook is for business decision makers if they want to stay ahead of times.

Leaders in their field will take a close look at the 2010 year in review for mobile (video), the use of the multiple devices that enable more work mobility, flexible web access to inhouse technology and sales property, as well as the problem of fragmentation as tablets seem to re-define the business use of mobiles.

For (IT) managers the question for the future will be how much tablets can overcome the desktop history and in which technology to invest to increase business productivity.

A recent study by the University of Heilbronn gives insights in the latest market development of device shipment.

If we align this with the „always on“ philosophy, then we can imagine that the way we will be working in the future will get away from desktop towards a mobile workplace which could be the hotel lobby, a restaurant or on the couch, working in a relaxed atmosphere at home. The desktop won’t be the place of work. With increased mobile technology opportunities there will only be „working or not working“. The way to this new world will be changed when management enables their employees to have access to information anytime, anywhere. The study states that the „use of mobile technology can increase productivity of business travellers by 30-50%“.

How much smartphone could make a difference in this changing process of the future workplace highlights an infographic by the Sybase blog, part of SAP today, which is documenting compelling proof points of which IT and other executives need to be cognizant.

When I was chating (obviously via mobile) to my business contact Sarah Goodall, business blogger and social media lead EMEA at SAP, she gave me her personal thoughts on the changing mobile market yesterday… and I absolutely agree with her view.

„Smartphones and mobiles will be crucial for business productivity going forward. Mobile devices, similar to social media, are fast becoming part of everyday consumer behavior. It’s only natural that these behaviours will transfer and are adopted in business life. People want access to information real time – they want accuracy, they want it immediately and they want it at time of thought. It’s an instant world now and information needs to be transferable and accessible in real time. This will help professionals make informed decisions in real time. It will give them flexibility and agility to make decisions on the move. All of this will help toward productivity.“

The two studies show that having the right mobile app strategy in place will definitely boost the productivity of businesses. So, business decision makers should better hurry up and make their business „social and mobile ready“.

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