09 November 2008

Paradox of mobile CTR

I am reading the book about Mobile Advertising, the chapter about mobile and Internet Click Through Rate (CTR).

The author of the book writes, that CTR on mobile phones is higher than on the Internet and he is right. On the Internet, the CTR is about 1%, but on mobile (mobile portals), it can be from 3% to 6% CTR. I have personally seen it in different campaigns, as we have done more than 10 different mobile campaigns. Screenshots of some of them you can find at our "Mobilni marketing" page (still only in Czech).

The author argues, that higher CTR on mobile is because mobile is more engaging, but I have a different view.

I have two arguments, why CTR on mobile is higher than on Internet:
  1. On a typical mobile page, there are fewer links, because this, there is a bigger chance, user click on the advertisement.
  2. On mobile, its hard to "switch to different tab", so if user knows every outgoing link from the page, and he knows where they go (and don't want to go there), he automatically clicks on the new link (advertisement), because otherwise he would close the browser. Than he is lost, because from most of the landing pages, there is no way how to get back to the original portal.
The better the mobile browsers will be, the lower CTR we will see. Anyway, I hope we will soon see paying for CTR not for CPM. CPM on mobile is very expensive.

btw.: I would like to know, what is a CTR on some local search site, I can imagine, that in this case, if the ad is targeted well, the CTR can be more than 10%.

01 November 2008

Collecting customers phone numbers

It is true to say, that brands who understand that future of the marketing is interactivity collects telephone numbers of their customers right now. I believe in it too. But I could not resist myself to post here the classic Southpark video about collecting underpants. I believe, collecting msisdns is not the same ;-)

27 October 2008

Thanks to Tsahi Levent-Levi, we have made it to this release of Carnival Mobilists. It's hosted on Radvision blog.

Thanks a lot and I can recommend you to read this release of Carnival.

26 October 2008

Mobile Marketing Mess

I have visited Communication Wednesday conference in the Prague about two weeks ago. It was organized by Tuesday business Network, where Wirenode is a member.

The topic was targeted mobile marketing and there were people from marketing & advertising agencies, mobile operators and mobile technology companies present (more than 100 people). Most people at the conference were talking about bright future of mobile marketing. On other hand, people from companies who already invested in it and tried it on their own skin were less optimistic about how it helped them. It looks like we have still a lot of work to do.

The biggest problem, which I think we have in mobile marketing, is its fragmentation. I will try to illustrate it on this picture (feedback is welcomed). Traditional media usually have one form of advertisement. It can be print advertisement in magazines, sound clip in the radio or TV commercial in TV. It’s easy to explain how it works to potential person interested in it. Also it is clear how much does it costs and how many people will see it. Some of those advertisements are evolving for some time already.

In mobile marketing, we have so many different types of it and all ends in the phone, that it’s almost impossible to explain. For example on our Czech market, the situation is like this:

Mobile operators are offering mobile banners on their mobile portals (Vodafone live!, O2 Active and t-zones). They are offering it to companies, who usually don’t have their own mobile websites, but we can fix this problem for them. Nostromo is offering branded games and in-game advertisement. CrazyTomato is offering Bluetooth marketing. Tagg is offering QR codes, ATS is offering SMS and MMS, O2 is offering sponsored calls and Wirenode together with Micromedia are offering mobile landing pages.

All those companies including ours are talking to marketing agencies (to the same one) about their offer and how it can be useful for their clients. I myself have visited more than five of those agencies in last month and I am only talking about the possibilities of the mobile web with them.

People from marketing must be totally confused about our offerings. I myself strongly believe in the future of mobile marketing, but I think it will be something else than what we see today.

Some of companies named in this article are offering more than one technology. On a 60 minute meeting with a marketing person, it not possible to explain more than one of those very tech ideas. If a marketing person hears about all of them during one month, he would better spend the client budget in TV.

The main reason I think that mobile marketing will evolve slower than we all would like it because this fragmentation. I understand that it is necessary to try everything and find out what is working and what is not, but it will be a long run for this industry.

Only one person at the conference had an idea, that we first should ask the client what is his goal and what he wants to achieve. When we know it, it should not matter for the client, which form of advertising it is (sms, mms, etc…) but only if he got results he need.

So next time you will be explaining to somebody why the mobile marketing is cool and all its possibilities, ask what is the client goal.

04 October 2008

Easy - Central Europe Investment Marketplace Prague Conference

I have visited Easy conference in Prague yesterday. There were 30 selected startups with their stands and 15 of them were presenting.

For me it was good experience, where I have seen how other EU startups present their projects. If I can compare it with USA startups and pitches I have seen at TC40 conference last year, American level of presenting is much better than European. It's sad, but true.
At the conference, there were about 5 medical/biotech companies presenting. For me, it was sort of funny, because I had no idea, what they were talking about. So now I understand that in my presentation about Wirenode, slide called "Technology" was not useful at all. Non IT people could not get what I was talking about.

To the ITC startups from the conference, I will write only about the ones I liked at least a little bit.:

GuardSec - (camera to phone/web streaming used for protecting the houses/offices). This is a startup which belongs to the Naveed Gill, former director of Tiscali Czech Republic. I have been talking with Naveed, if he could help us and get us in contact with anybody, who might be interested in licensing our platform, but we did not agreed on cooperation yet.
His latest startup idea makes sense, but I don’t know how he will compete with software, which camera makers are bundling with Pc camera sales. The software is very similar to what he does.

eVision - They are making some SW on top of Microsoft SharePoint and they have a lot of customers between governments and banks. I don’t know why they want investment. From my perspective, they are good SW company oriented on business sector and they need a good sales person and not investment.

OnTheRoad - Service for travelers. It can create "travel blog" from your posts you are doing during your trip. The site web site has really nice design. The CEO is a former CTO of the Czech second biggest internet portal.

Renzoo - They are creating Mobile marketing platform similar to ours. Good news for us is that we are about a year ahead in development than they are. After I talked with the CEO, I think our companies might cooperate together, at lease share some info about what ideas customer likes and which not.

Locify - Mobile application, which works with your location and adds it to different mobile or internet services. Their website is nice, I have also seen how the application work and it works ok, but I think it will be difficult to get revenue stream.

BuzzMedia - It's a Czech version of Federated Media company. They cooperate with Czech top bloggers. The owner, Pavel Neuman is the Czech premium blogger about startups, aka Czech Techcrunch ;-)

Its hard to tell, who will be a "winner" in two years, but all of them have a chance and are "playing".

About money and valuation:
Each company has to present a slide about they revenue forecast. For me, it was a sad moment, because about a year ago, I made the same hockey stick chart about Wirenode. Almost all presenting companies were at zero revenues in 2007 and they are planning to have about Euro 2.000.000, - in revenues in 2011. I wish them luck, but after my experience, I think no one will be able to achieve this.

About presenters:
Some of the CEO presenting were trying to impress investors with their track record and CV. From my perspective, why somebody with a 17 years expertise in project management starts a crazy company? I don’t know. The crazy ideas don’t look crazy to a person, who creates them.
One particular presenter were telling us, that he was pitching his startup to Adobe, and they did not wanted to buy it, but wanted to employ him and Google did not wanted to buy his startup but they wanted to employ him too. He presented this as his success.
Anyway, good luck to all Easy startups. It was a good event.

11 September 2008

New Release

We have released new version of our platform today. This version improves RSS and blogs mobilization and fixes some bugs.
We have also added new Google Maps widget, so you can put a Google Map into your mobile page. As we are preparing some other new mobile widgets, it would help us, if you let us know, which one would you like to use.

Meantime we are doing some landing pages for mobile marketing purposes, for example the last one was a micro site for LG for Vodafone Czech Republic.

I will try to blog more often, what I can tell now is that it was really busy summer and I hope we will be able to announce soon some major news.

14 July 2008

Interesting articles

I have read two interesting articles about mobile future recently.

One of them is about mobile as the 7th mass medium. This article helps me to explain the difference between mobile internet and web. We had problems with some people, who were arguing that it’s the same. This articles game me some really nice arguments how to show the differences. The article is full of examples.

Second article is depressing one. It describes one nice mobile innovation example and the author analyze, why reality is so much different than all those nice mobile ideas.

I can recommend you both articles.

20 May 2008

Mobile Computer

Thanks to Mobile Computer magazine and Mark Wilson, you can read in depth review and tutorial of ourplatform.

17 May 2008

Two mobile resources

Mistakes in mobile marketing. You can download free ebook from .mobi
Mobile advertisement standards. Other free ebook.

I did not have time to read them myself yet, but from the quick view, both look interesting.

09 May 2008

TechCrunch Prague

There will be TechCrunch meetup in Prague on Friday, May 23, 2008 from 7pm, at Restaurant Zvonarka.
This party is organized by Jack from Nelso.

Wirenode is sponsoring the party together with Geewa, Gooddata and Newstin.

More than 100 people will be attending, so if you are in Prague, you are welcomed.

01 May 2008

Mashable startup review

Thanks to Mashable and Sun Startup Essentials, we got very nice review on Mashable blog.

Read the review

Thank you all!

31 March 2008

Mobile Facebook

We have just recently released our platform for Facebook.

You can add our Mobile websites creator widget to your account. It will allow you to create your mobile website and automatically link it together with your mobile Facebook profile at m.facebook.com

Our Facebook app demonstrate, how we can integrate our project to 3rd party websites. If you have website with mobile games or ring tones, Blog publishing platform or simple website with SMS, we can integrate Wirenode to your project and you can let your users to create mobile websites.

21 February 2008

We have won Creative Mobile Award 2007

Our project for creating mobile websites has won Creative Mobile Award 2007 competition in the Czech Republic.
This competition is organized every year by Tuesday Business Network. We had some of our projects there every year in last 3 years and finally we have won.
This means, Wirenode is the most innovative mobile project in the Czech Republic, at least we would like to think that ;-)

Thanks to everybody who supported us and of course the whole Wirenode team.

10 January 2008

New home page

We have released new version of the Wirenode mobile internet platform yesterday.

We have fixed a lot of bugs since the last release, but the main difference you will probably notice is the new home page. We think that we improved it over the last one significantly. Its more clean, less confusing and tells what it needs to tell.

We have spend some nice time discussing how our home page should looks like. The main criteria was, that it needs to be simple, with few texts and visitor needs to understand what the site is about in reasonable amount of time.

We were looking what other popular web 2.0 system has on home page, here I will post some webs we were looking at.

Collaborative goals websites:
www.43things.com and superviva.com
Two same project, each with different home page. We prefer 43things home page, because its more simple and I think less confusing.

Web analytics websites:
crazyegg.com and www.clicktale.com
Two same project, different home page, but only a little different. We think Egg's home page is a little bit better.
I was thinking how to improve those last two home pages if I were in their shoes, but I did not have any brilliant idea how to do it.

If you can look at our new home page and write us some feedback or ideas how to improve it in the future, please let me know.

03 January 2008

Mobile Web

I have just came across very nice article from Ewan MacLeod about The Mobile Web and the ‘m.’ solution. I agree with almost everything in the article and if you are interested in Mobile Web, I recommend you to read it.

Interesting is also a debate in comments, about what approach to use: m.something.com or something.mobi. I think both approaches will coexists together. Big sites will use "m.", because they are afraid what .mobi guys can do one day (.com domain have better rules/legislation), but smaller sites and projects will be fine with .mobi domain. We at Wirenode have several of them and are quite happy.