Monthly Archives: April 2012

My week in mobile: bad mobile sites, Shazam’s dual screen deal with ITV and can Groupon save the UK high street?

Last week, David Murphy from Mobile Marketing Magazine revealed that mobile media paid for by consumers will be worth $150bn in 2012. Much of this is coming from the increasing use of the mobile web, as well as the growth of the app markets.
More than 23 billion apps were downloaded globally in 2011. In 2012, this is forecast by Strategy Analytics to increase to over 32 billion. Developers are facing the increasing problem of not being easily found in the heaving app stores, as well the need for that really different idea in the first place.

Shazam’s dual screen deal with ITV
Another issue reported by the BBC this week were findings from Stanford University that poorly designed mobile websites drain battery life.  This is even truer for apps, which are much heavier and are often used for longer periods of time. While we applaud businesses that are brave enough to leap into mobile, all consumers want is a good experience, quick information that isn’t going to kill your phone. Is that too much to ask?
The Mobile Marketing Association held their Brand and Agency Briefing yesterday in London.  Alex Meisl, the MMA’s chairman, pointed to Deloitte research that said that in three years, 4 in 10 shops will disappear from British High Streets.
Groupon revealed big plans to make their service more relevant and more local for users with their new app Groupon Now! Much of their work is focusing on becoming a platform for local businesses and educating them on these opportunities, which could go some way to reversing the trend towards shop closures. They said that 10% of revenue is now coming from mobile.
Shazam’s new appointment, Miles Lewis, also spoke at the event and the company is still flying high after signing an exclusive deal with the UK’s ITV channel. They are hoping to make the best of the dual screen opportunities brought to life by tablets and smartphones, while also announcing a new Music TV Ad Chart, which will show just how popular new records become after appearing on the box.
Google rewarded us this week with a new brand of cloud storage. Drive, a competitor to Dropbox is pretty good. It gives you more storage for free, is cheaper to upgrade and you can open 30 different kinds of file in your browser, even if you don’t have that programme installed. And it syncs very nicely with all your other Google accounts.
Rumours are still rife that there will be a Facebook HTC phone coming soon. Will they build their own operating system, thrusting a new, major player into the mix, or will this just be a combination of their assets?

Women in Wireless launches in the UK

By Kirsty Styles (Communications Executive, SOMO)

Jerri DeVard addressed the few men who braved the Women in Wireless London launch with “welcome to our world, we have expertise in discomfort!”  Said with a smile and charm, she won everyone over immediately.

In a lemon dress, the tall African-American Executive VP and CMO of Nokia cut an interesting figure, and brought with her a truly inspirational story that left time poor women in the crowd scrambling to call their mother, wherever in the world she is.

Like Jerri, her audience want to be happy and successful. Before us, it felt like we had the embodiment of just that. “I wanted to be successful personally too, jobs come and go, your family is always there” she added.

The Women in Wireless launch couldn’t have been better timed, coinciding with the news that the pay gap in London is the largest in the UK, almost 23%, childcare costs stop women from going back to work, while female unemployment has risen by 7,000.

Jerri has two children, and committed with her husband that they would be ‘present’, there would always be someone to sit down and have dinner with them.  She has turned down meetings to be at their special moments.

“We all stand on someone’s shoulders” she said, of the need for women to help guide others to success . She mentors young women around the world, giving them anything from an email, a text, to a shoulder to cry on. As a teacher, you have to ask ‘How can I help you?’

“Can you have it all?”, the age old question came from the audience. “Maybe you can’t have it ‘all’ at the same time. But we owe it to ourselves to find out what ‘it all’ is. You make it work.”

She finished her address with the words of Nicky Giovannia, the American writer and activist: “I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.”

On Work
The best thing you can say to someone in business is, ‘I’d like your help’.

Know your strengths and play to them.

There is no substitute for being good at what you do – you have to be good to enjoy it, you have to enjoy it to be good.

Lean to those people who think differently to you.

Find those people at work who will give you an honest opinion about who you are and how you are perceived.

On Family
Your mum is someone who loves you, and also someone you can trust [not  necessarily  guaranteed in a relationship.

Friends tell you what you want to hear.

Her mum put herself through college after having two children, ‘isn’t being my wife and the mother of my children enough for you?’ her husband urged. ‘No. I want to do more.’ She rose to become the Commissioner for Literacy for the State of Massachusettes.


On Relationships
Be careful who you choose to take on your journey.

Written for Women in Wireless and first published here:

My week in mobile: Teenagers sullen as Instagram joins the mainstream, Google+ changes and Q1 results, plus Barclays Pingit

You can always tell that something has become mainstream when your mum comes home wearing it (skinny jeans, Ugg Boots…). Not confined to clothing choice or language (no it isn’t cool when you say cool mum!), the phenomenon is quickly spreading across the tech world.
Maybe it’s also a bit about your privacy, either way, when a teenager gets the Facebook friend request “… has indicated that he is your dad”, there’s very little hiding. The Register toys with the idea that Facebook might struggle for an audience in 2013 as young people flock for somewhere else to play…
After Pinterest’s recent rise to fame, young hipsters across the globe will have let out another cool shrug on hearing the news that Facebook has bought Instagram (never let them know your true feelings), leaving yet another crowd on the move looking for the next small thing.
While Google+ has received a bit of a panning for its recent updates, including mimicking the cover photo feature forced on Facebook users, it does allow for improved customisation, excellent video conferencing and integrates with all of your other Google stuff. And with only 170 million users, it is crucially the place where you might not have to hangout with your mum. Yet.
Despite having significantly fewer social users than Facebook, Google’s Q1 earnings show they are still doing something right. They are seeing increasing success with ads on Youtube, and are expecting CPCs on mobile to come down. All good news.
Sadly Sony, the ageing post-war behemoth, is shedding 10,000 jobs in a bid to streamline its business into One Sony, and keep up with agile, digital-only competition. Despite this, in the US alone, 6,000 new mobile jobs have been created since the start of the year, according to Mobile Marketing Magazine. And yes, we are hiring in the US, UK and Asia.
In an indication that it might finally be hip to be square, the UK bank Barclays has just released an update to the person-to-person app Pingit to include 16 and 17 year old. Apparently by popular demand!
Any smartphone user with a UK bank account can now send up to £300… No more late pocket money…  Maybe having a tech-savvy mum isn’t so bad after all..?