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Google moves to behavioral targeting in mobile apps

April 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Recently, Google begins running behavioral targeting ads across its network of iOS and Android applications by using device unique identification numbers to track and target users more accurately. Due to the privacy concerns, Google has refrained from making use of device IDs to collect in-app behavioral data for the benefit of advertisers.

As said by a Google spokesperson, “Over time, we’ll be able to enable things like frequency capping, spam filtration, improved conversion measurement and serving ads based on topics of interest, all of which will help us display the most useful in-app ads; minimize the number of irrelevant in-app ads shown; and improve in-app advertising for users, advertisers and developers.”

According to Google, this move will not collect any personal identifiable information via the process because the device IDs will be given anonymous code. “We protect your privacy by associating your device identifier with an anonymous ID,” states Google within its ads preferences section. Moreover, users can opt out of having their data tracked whenever they want in the Google search app for iOS devices, or in “Android Market” settings for Android devices.

Using mobile device IDs or other fingerprinting technology for behavioral targeting is becoming increasingly common. As marketers, it offers an opportunity for us to optimize the mobile ad advertising to show relevant ads based on interests on mobile applications, including functions such as frequency capping and broad demographic targeting.

Based on Alan Moore’s “The glittering of the mobile society,” the mobile has 6 unique benefits: Personal – my media, Always carried – the city in my pocket,  Always on, Built in payment, Point of creative impulse, and Recounting the audience – the holy grail of advertising. It will be a great improvement for consumers to receive the information which they really want, then in turns benefit business such as Google and other media that depend on advertising revenue.

In the future, it is suggested to follow a new approach, the 3 P’s of mobile advertising, offered by Jonathan MacDonald of Ogilvy. “Permission, Privacy, and Preference” need to be developed and adopted so mobile users have complete control over their cell phones. No matter what kind of information (discount, free trial, product information etc), the relevancy is where the value is and the only way to move consumers from purchase intent to an actual purchase.

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GroupMe!

April 11, 2011 Leave a comment

As a group texting tool that functions similarly to traditional online chatrooms, GroupMe allows users to create defined “groups” that all recipients know who sends and receives the message. It is a very powerful and beneficial tool that overcomes a common drawback of the “regular” group text, which is that any replies are sent only to the sender. GroupMe organizes and identifies the often chaotic world of group texts. Another advantage is that it keeps the simple SMS format. In other words, there is no application required, so it can fit on either smartphones or “regular” phones. All that is required is a simple confirmation test.

Recently, GroupMe launched its first attempt to monetize its service, adding “Featured Groups” to the service to draw in advertising dollars. This new service is available on its iPhone and Android applications, providing an opportunity for brands to create and engage in group messaging conversations about them. Fans and users will be able to create groups under those featured brands and opt in to receive news, offers, contests, and reminders. From a marketing viewpoint, it is quite an appealing option for brand marketers to interact with the audiences.

These brands could be TV shows, artists, and events of select launch partners. For example, the rock band Bon Jovi could engage fans by sending messages, answering fans’ questions, posting special photos while fans could get bonus content and the opportunity to chat with the member of the band. GroupMe provides a great utility to amplify and connect the habits of text messaging communication among the audiences. On the other hand, it also could create small groups of people from a large network and allow you to talk to them in a more private way. That way you can have more control on the messages and information you send.

According to the co-founder Jared Hecht, “When you look at how brands have traditionally used social media, it’s about broadcasting. … What we have here are real life groups of people that engage around specific content on a regular basis. I think this is the first time where brands have the ability to intuitively and in a value-add way tap into those relationships on a real-time basis.” He sees this type of interaction as one of the most engaging ways we’ve seen to-date in the social media space.

Although the idea of group texts is not unique to GroupMe-among other services, Brightkite and Fast Society have taken that plunge, GroupMe seems to have attracted the most attention so far. However, there are some disadvantages such as no confirmation of delivery and GroupMe has to ensure that only needed people are added to avoid to be abused. In short, how to solve these problems to help people in both their personal and business lives would be the next critical issue for GroupMe. The startup plans to grow and expand via sponsored groups and advertising. Will this move, the new business model, succeed in generating the big money? Stay tuned.

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Facebook Zero and why no mobile space ads

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, had launched a new way for people to access Facebook anywhere and anytime last year-0.facebook.com (Facebook Zero). According to Sid Murlidhar, Program Manager for Facebook Mobile, “0.facebook.com is a new mobile site that includes all of the key features of Facebook but is optimized for speed. It initially is available through more than 50 mobile operators in 45 countries and territories with zero data charges.” In other words, Facebook Zero gives free access to users in emerging markets, say, developing countries such as India and South America.

The two main attributes of this new mobile site are: fast and free. Rather than making photos viewable, Facebook Zero put the photos one click away so they don’t slow down the experience. Users can update their status, view the news feed, like or comment on posts, send or reply to messages, or write on their friends’ wall without any data charges. People will only pay for data charges when viewing photos or leaving 0.facebook.com to browse other mobile sites – otherwise using 0.facebook.com is completely free.

It is undeniable a very smart move because of an exciting outreach to frequently neglected and mobile-focused developing countries. Once people stick to Facebook, it is hard to switch to other social media companies. By improving the experience and solving the cost of data plan, Facebook Zero will help further drive presence around the world.

As use of mobile devices continues to grow, there is a big commercial potential along with the big volume of traffic reaching Facebook’s service. However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg still doesn’t plan to put ads on mobile version of Facebook. He said: “We only want to launch stuff that we think is really good and that can be a stable building block for us in the future. And I think we just need to see what makes sense for mobile advertising. But in the short term there’s no pressing need for us to monetize that immediately.”

Accounting for 40% of Facebook’s 500 million total membership, the 200 million “active users” now access the network from mobile devices and also are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users, demonstrating an great opportunity on the mobile ad space. The reason for not rolling out a mobile ad platform is that Facebook still wants to keep expanding its audience and delivering more value at present, but at the same time it is well aware of the potential revenue and starts to experiment with the location-based “Deals” platform and other business model such as Rel8tion-a stealth-mode startup creating technologies to help improve the relevance of mobile ads. Facebook might not be selling ads yet, but it is clear that Facebook has invested in this mobile space with a view to target this audience and that the growing number of users accessing its network from mobile devices provides a considerable chance not only for Facebook, but for we marketers alike.

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