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Most companies say their mobility strategy lacks maturity

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

mobile devicesA shortage of in-house expertise is among the the biggest reasons companies are outsourcing mobility projects, according to a staffing solutions firm TEKsystems.

The study conducted on behalf of the TEKsystems Mobility Services practice represents the perspectives of 232 IT and business leaders and found that most have yet to develop the mature strategies necessary to implement mobile technology within their organizations successfully.


For an infographic detailing the findings see:

Key findings include:

Organizations Lack Mature Mobile Strategies

  • Maturity: More than three-quarters (78 percent) of respondents ranked their mobility strategies at low to medium maturity, with 40 percent indicating that their organization’s mobility strategy was weak. A mere 22 percent ranked their mobile strategy as being mature.
  • Centers of Excellence: More than three-quarters (81 percent) of respondents indicate their organizations do not have a mobility center of excellence (COE) designed to address the unique, rapidly evolving mobile environment, illustrating an absence of an enterprise-wide approach to developing in-house expertise and best practices.

Obstacles for In-House Mobile Application Development

  • Skills: Forty-one percent of respondents struggle with finding and attracting the talent and skills required to handle mobility projects in-house. As a result, almost two-thirds (65 percent) say they are likely to partner with a technology- and platform-agnostic mobility vendor.
  • Variety of Platforms: Nearly half (45 percent) of the respondents find that supporting the full range of popular mobile platforms is the most daunting aspect of mobile application development.

“Keeping pace with mobile technologies requires organizations to have various skill sets outside of traditional enterprise IT, which many organizations do not already have,” says TEKsystems Application Development Practice Director, Sam Malek. “Often, going outside of the organization provides the biggest bang for the buck because vendors with dedicated mobility practices can deliver the full suite of required talent and services.”

Outsourcing to Mobile Application Development Vendors

  • Likelihood and Reasons: More than one-third (38 percent) of respondents have chosen to outsource the development of mobile applications. The top three reasons for outsourcing were:
    • Better expertise than available in-house (67 percent)
    • Lack of mobility development as a core competency in-house (56 percent)
    • Faster time to completion (47 percent)
  • Vendor Sourcing and Risk: On average, organizations partner with two external vendors for mobile support, with some partnering with as many as five. However, 65 percent of all respondents indicate that they would like to work with the same number of vendors or less.
  • Needs: Sixty percent of respondents would like a vendor to focus more on application development, while more than half (53 percent) seek a vendor that can design and implement sound quality assurance. At least three-quarters of respondents cite developing and testing of mobile applications across different platforms, screen sizes and versions as being among the most important aspects of mobile application development. Thirty-eight percent are concerned with getting the UI and user experience right.
  • Expectations: Fifty-seven percent expect their vendor to provide an innovative solution to their needs, including delivery models, tools and best practices. Eighty-one percent believe that it is important for their mobile vendor to handle end-to-end security requirements for mobile applications.
  • Vendor Satisfaction: Sixty percent are looking for a better experience from their mobile vendors. More than one-quarter (26 percent) of respondents feel their projects have been put at risk due to their vendors’ unqualified resources and skill sets.

“Vendors offering mobility as a dedicated practice increase their appeal to potential clients by demonstrating that they have a specialized staff that is familiar with the tools, frameworks and unique skills required to deliver effective mobile applications across a number of mobile platforms,” says Malek. “From there, it’s critical to maintain a close relationship with the client so that they can course correct as necessary throughout the development process and deliver a final product that is satisfying for all involved.”

Mobile marketing is a job-creating economic engine

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

digital devicesThe mobile marketing ecosystem generated $139 billion of incremental output to the U.S. economy in 2012, a significant surge from $48 billion in net sales previously reported in 2010.

While the Internet took a decade to begin fulfilling its early promise as an economic engine, mobile has exploded as a major force and an job-creating economic engine in just a few years – and it continues to flourish and expand.

Over the next five years, this figure is set to skyrocket to $400 billion representing an annual growth rate of 52 per cent. To accurately assess mobile’s economic impact, both consumer (B2C) and business (B2B) mobile sales were measured against total U.S. sales in 2012, approximately $33 trillion.

The data was reported in the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study,” commissioned by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), the leading global trade association for the mobile marketing industry.

“MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” is the first objective and comprehensive overview of U.S. economic performance across the mobile marketing industry.

Key findings from the report indicate that mobile is an economic engine that will continue to stimulate nationwide growth as a vibrant and lucrative platform. Given that mobile enables marketers to move closer to consumers than ever before, the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study,” clearly proves the value and power that mobile marketing offers to marketers.

Mobile Marketing Sales Impact in United States ($Millions)

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 CAGR 2010-2015
Total Sales Impact 48,627 85,300 139,003 216,931 311,566 400,971 52%
Mobile Media Adv 25,530 46,814 73,811 115,010 163,052 204,345 52%
Mobile DR Enhanced Adv 2,705 5,694 10,280 18,866 30,059 36,682 68%
Mobile CRM 20,392 32,792 54,912 83,056 118,455 159,943 51%

Source: mLightenment

“Results from this study prove that mobile should not be underestimated as an economic stimulator. Only a few years ago, mobile’s impact was measured by its function as a basic phone and now it is impossible to envision a world without smartphones and tablets,” said Greg Stuart , CEO, Mobile Marketing Association.

“The health of the U.S. economy depends on platforms like mobile that offer unlimited potential for growth and innovation. No other media will evolve at this pace with unforeseen opportunities to reimagine the user experience.”

Mobile to create 1.4 million jobs

Despite a recessionary economy and unstable job market, mobile marketing created 524,000 jobs in 2012 from the combination of advertiser employment as well as product seller employment. Focusing on the next five years, mobile is predicted to generate 1.4 million jobs.

To drill down into mobile’s potential on the marketing ecosystem, mobile marketing spend was measured by industry category. In 2012, marketers and retailers spent $6.7 billion on mobile marketing.

The total expenditure for mobile marketing was calculated from mobile advertising, mobile direct response or enhanced traditional media, as well as mobile CRM. Combined spend across the three categories is forecasted to increase to $19.8 billion by 2015. Mobile advertising alone (includes voice, messaging, web, email, apps proximity and recognition) is projected to climb to $9.2 billion over the next five years.

Mobile Marketing Communications Spending in United States ($Millions)

$ Millions   2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 CAGR
Total Mobile Mktg Expenditure 2,405 3,957 6,693 10,456 15,162 19,806 52.5%
Mobile Ad Expenditure 991 1,743 3,060 4,871 7,078 9,207 56.2%
Mobile DR Expenditure 166 336 669 1,312 2,174 2,912 77.4%
Mobile CRM Expenditure 1,248 1,878 2,964 4,273 5,910 7,686 43.8%

Source: mLightenment

The study evaluated mobile marketing expenditure across 16 industry groups. Finance, retail (excluding CPG) and manufacturing (excluding CPG) were the three largest industries, resulting in $3 billion or roughly half of the total mobile expenditure in 2012. Surprisingly, the industries that spent more on mobile marketing and advertising also represent the largest markets for mobile employment.

Mobile transforming society

smartphones“Even in its infancy, mobile has irrevocably transformed society,” said Peter A. Johnson , Ph.D., mLightenment. “With the introduction of new technology to increased accessibility and connectivity, mobile has the ability to reinvent itself and remain indispensable to the consumer and marketer relationship.”

To further demonstrate mobile’s effectiveness as a marketing communications tool, Marketing Impact Ratio (MIR) was calculated by measuring mobile sales impact against marketing expenditure. In 2012, mobile MIR peaked at $20.77.  After reviewing MIR data, an unexpected insight was raised; mobile marketing has yet to experience the law of diminishing returns.

By reviewing MIR figures for the top four mobile marketing spenders, data indicated that spending more across mobile marketing platforms does not decrease the impact rate. In fact, those that spend more on mobile achieved the highest impact ratio and thus gained the most value for their mobile marketing investment.  While this observation requires additional exploration, it has the potential to further distinguish mobile from other media.

A mobile-enhanced economy

Looking beyond the numbers, insights from the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study,” clearly indicate that mobile has sparked a “mobile-enhanced economy” in which mobile converts every object into a medium and every place into an opportunity for a message. By empowering the “always on, always on the go” consumer, mobile has transformed people into interactive, creative, and responsive partners in the marketing process.

“While mobile’s economic value is the heart of this study, mobile is also inspiring the industry to rethink their discipline for a world that is no longer static,” said Joseph Plummer , Ph.D., mLightenment. “As people rely more on mobile devices, they will become ‘co-creators’ in the marketing process and control both the context and content of the overall brand experience.”

It would be impossible to evaluate mobile’s economic impact without addressing privacy and the current legislative climate. In recent debates, government authorities have discussed restricting or limiting the trail of information that mobile offers to marketers and publishers.

The MMA supports self-regulation and transparent communication to consumers about when and how mobile data is collected. There is a risk of overregulating the mobile marketing industry and stifling innovation if some measures being considered go into effect.

Room to evolve and innovate needed

mobilephonesIn order for mobile sales, employee resources and marketing spend to continue to grow, as the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” strongly suggests, mobile marketing needs room to evolve responsibly and foster innovation without undue constraint from legislators, regulators or private sector bodies.

“Mobile’s influence extends far beyond the device. It is a catalyst supplementing the growth and revenue across all other mediums, traditional and digital,” said Stuart. “Currently, mobile is at a tipping point. It is not just how big mobile is and will continue to be, but it has triggered a ‘mobile-enhanced economy’ that redefines the entire marketing industry. Restricting its development by overregulating the industry would cause irreparable damage and thus reverse progress.”

Google, mBlox, The Coca-Cola Company, ExactTarget and Target assisted by underwriting the research for the  “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study.”

Small businesses embracing mobile technologies

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

mobilephonesFor those wondering if small business owners are actually using mobile technology for their business, the answer is a definitive “yes,” according to new survey data from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT).

Of those surveyed in March 2013, 66 percent report currently using a mobile device, including smart phones and tablets, or a solution, like mobile-optimized websites and text message marketing.

While this majority adoption is promising, it’s important to note that, of the 34 percent not using any mobile device or solution for their business, a resounding 65 percent have no plans to do so in the future, mainly citing a lack of customer demand.

Email and Social Media Marketing Paving the Way

How are small businesses using mobile technology? The top two ways are email and social media marketing, and they have a considerable lead over other uses:

  • 73 percent conduct social media marketing.
  • 71 percent conduct email marketing.
  • 44 percent advertise through social platforms.
  • 34 percent have a mobile-optimized website.
  • 18 percent run a mobile tablet-based payment point-of-sale.
  • 18 percent use mobile apps to manage operations, like accounting.

“It’s encouraging that a majority of small businesses recognize that their customers are relying more than ever on their mobile devices to find information, look for deals, and even to make purchases,” said Joel Hughes, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development.

“That said, small business owners are still getting their sea legs, so it’s not surprising that they’re leading with two areas where they have a solid track record of success with customer engagement: social media and email.”

social media logosWhen asked what types of mobile/social advertising they currently employ, 97 percent of respondents said social media like YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Location-based promotions (Foursquare® check-in, etc.) came in a distant second at 17 percent, and text message came in third at 15 percent.

A deeper look into mobile-optimized websites of small businesses reveals that 70 percent are social-media optimized. Other findings:

  • 44 percent contain a menu.
  • 40 percent contain individual product listings.
  • 39 percent contain videos.

Apple & Android– The New POS?

In the battle of iOS vs. Android, iOS is the clear winner.

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5

Among small business owners, iPhone users trump Android users 66 percent to 39 percent, while iPad users trump Android tablet users 49 percent to 15 percent. iOS popularity among small business owners is not reflected among the general public where, according to a recent comScore MobiLens study that measures the smartphone platforms used by everyone in the U.S., Android subscribers account for 52.3 percent of all subscribers, while iOS subscribers account for 37.8 percent.

Small businesses are using these devices for point-of-sale functions. Seventy-one percent of small businesses using mobile technology accept mobile payments and 52 percent utilize a mobile-/tablet-based point-of-sale system.

Mobile Apps for Managing Operations

Mobile apps are playing a growing role in how small businesses manage operations.

  • 82 percent use a calendar/time management app.
  • 74 percent use a customer communications app.
  • 52 percent use a GPS and mapping app.
  • 44 percent use an accounting/invoicing app.
  • 44 percent use an app for industry news/information consumption.
  • 29 percent use a travel planning app.

Why Aren’t All Small Businesses Mobilizing Behind Mobile?

mobilewalletWhen Constant Contact asked small business owners not using mobile the all-important question of why, here’s how they responded:

  • 56 percent said their customers haven’t expressed demand for mobile communications.
  • 47 percent said their customers haven’t expressed demand for mobile payment solutions.
  • 36 percent said they are interested in mobile solutions but don’t know enough about how to best use them.
  • 33 percent said they’re interested in mobile solutions but haven’t had time to implement any yet.
  • 31 percent said they don’t have a work-/business-related smartphone.
  • 28 percent said mobile is not relevant to their industry/business.

“Generally speaking, small business owners have very little spare time on their hands, so learning how to use mobile technology for their business is not necessarily tops on their ‘to do’ list,” said Hughes.

“We received some anecdotal survey responses that said ‘It costs too much’ and ‘I have no idea how this stuff works,’ representing the subset of small businesses that will forgo mobile opportunities until their customers start demanding mobile communications or payment solutions.”

Mobile banking apps may keep customers loyal

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

tabletsBanking convenience dominates all options amongst reasons to stay with banks, according to a new study conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yodlee Interactive.

With the convenience of online and mobile banking, more customers are utilizing these services, while banks are responding by reducing the number of physical branches. This survey was conducted among 2,219 Americans (ages 18+) between February 28 and March 4, 2013.

The study found that 63 percent of U.S. adults who have a bank account indicate they stay with their current bank because of convenience.

Customer service (48 percent) and the lack of/low account and ATM fees (42 percent) follow convenience as the other primary reasons. Interestingly enough, 1 in 3 of those who use mobile banking see their mobile banking experience as a reason why they stay with their banks (33 percent).

Mobile banking may keep customers loyal

Seventy-one percent of mobile bankers are either satisfied or very satisfied with their bank’s mobile and web offerings. This has led the report’s sponsor, Yodlee Interactive, to conclude that mobile banking may, in fact, keep loyalty high among bank customers as physical branches decline.

“Customer loyalty is a primary concern for banks,” says Yodlee Interactive General Manager, Joseph Polverari. “Our findings suggest a corollary between one of banks’ biggest priorities – customer loyalty – and consumers’ usage patterns for mobile banking.

With the anticipated growth of mobile banking in the next four years, banks that want to boost customer loyalty should strongly consider developing apps that increase the convenience of consumer banking.”

Overall, 31 percent of U.S. adults who have a bank account indicate that they use mobile banking (i.e., use a smartphone, tablet device, or some other mobile device to access their banking information). Close to half (49 percent) of smartphone owners who have a bank account access their banking information on their smartphones, compared to 36 percent of tablet owners who have a bank account.

Banking app development has yet to fully catch on with consumers on tablets. Most smartphone owners who have a bank account use their bank’s mobile app to access their banking information on their smartphone, while most tablet owners access their banking information on their tablet’s mobile web browser. This distinction is most evident among adults ages 18-44 (the largest demographic of mobile device users).

Tablet optimized apps needed

“Banks have focused on smartphone apps, but stretching the same app to work on a tablet seems to have backfired as consumers are opting for mobile web experiences on tablets,” continued Polverari. “We believe that tablet optimized banking apps represent a major opportunity to reach customers with a better and richer experience.”

Another interesting finding is that smartphone owners who use mobile banking indicate they deposit checks on their smartphone device more than tablet owners indicate they deposit checks on their tablet device (33 percent versus 22 percent).

Additionally, within this group of smartphone owners, those with a household income (HHI) of $75k+ are twice as likely to deposit checks to their bank account (44 percent) as those who make less than $35k (21 percent) and nearly twice as likely to do so as those with a HHI of $50-$74.9k (27 percent).

More than 100 digital thought-leaders headed to Atlanta

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Digital SummitMore than 100 leading digital thought leaders are set to present the latest digital strategies and trends at the Digital Summit, Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, May 14th – 15th, 2013.

Speakers will share the latest best practices and strategies in topics such as social media, email marketing, search, mobile, e-commerce, usability, analytics & measurement, online video, social TV and digital advertising/branding among many others.

A capacity crowd of 1,500 digital marketers, Internet executives, web strategists, entrepreneurs and other digital professionals will connect in Atlanta for two full days of content and networking.

social televisionSpeakers represent leading brands such as Google, Twitter, reddit, Mashable, Porsche, Turner, TMZ, Coca-Cola, HootSuite, NASCAR, The Weather Channel, Aereo, Dell, Rovi, HGTV, Forrester, StumbleUpon, Salesforce and Adobe to name a few.

The Digital Summit conference features a keynote from the co-founder of reddit, Alexis Ohanian, and over 80 strategy presentations and discussions, musical acts, the Startup Showcase, preconference workshops, leading digital vendors and hours of attendee networking.

Here at the TechJournal we’ve interviewed a handful of the digital gurus who will participate, with more to come.

Among those you’ll hear are:

Brian DAmato, SVP of Analytics at Moxie discusses How to get ROI from digital channels.

NASCAR_Chevrolet_ImpalaTim Clark, director of optimization for NASCAR, talks about how NASCAR listens to its fans to increase digital channel engagement.

Erik Muendel, CEO and creative director of Alexandria, VA-based Brightline Interactive offers three tips for grabbing attention via digital channels and keeping it.

Social media and marketing consultant Jeff Sheehan explains how Linkedin offers a billboard to 200 million users.

SEO expert Josh McCoy says you should use competitive analysis and enticing content to fire up your SEO.

Erica McClenny

Erica McClenny, SVP, Expion, is participating in the upcoming Atlanta Digital Summit.

Erica McClenny, vice president of client services withExpion, urges you to break down walls to pop the social media bubble.

Michael Marshall, CEO of Internet Marketing Analysts tells you how to do those backlinks right.

Brian Wong

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, is participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, one of the top four online ad companies according to Forbes, offers insight into the mobile ad secret sauce – capturing moments of achievement.

Future for mobile apps in EV market is promising

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Electric car

An electric car

Mobile applications are emerging as powerful tools that can engross electric vehicle (EV) users and push forward the cause of cleaner, more sustainable transportation.

Consumer engagement is viewed as critical to ensuring that the various benefits and challenges facing EVs are understood and effectively addressed.

Recent Frost & Sullivan’s Market Insight (MI) “Leveraging Mobile Apps in the Electric Vehicle Market”, finds that the market for mobile apps for EVs is still at a nascent stage with tremendous scope for innovation and development.

Mobile apps for the EV market assist EV owners by offering services that make driving and charging more convenient. Currently available apps fall into four main categories: EV apps, educational apps, EV charging infrastructure apps, and EV sharing apps.

“The main objective of these mobile apps is to popularise the advantages of EVs and reduce the limitations associated with them,” noted Frost & Sullivan’s Information & Communication Technologies Research Analyst Shuba Ramkumar .

“While some apps focus on raising awareness about the benefits of owning EVs, others offer value-added services complementing use of EVs.”

EV market offers opportunities for mobile app developers

There are several offerings available but the EV market offers ever increasing opportunities for mobile app development. For instance, app developers can focus on solutions to facilitate EV authentication and subsequent payment at the charging station.

As a result of their synergies, the future for mobile apps in the EV market appears extremely promising. Already, the European market is witnessing a steady rise in the number of smartphone applications for EV and charging infrastructure. This is expected to further expand with the EU’s plans to set up more charging stations.

Moreover, as the adoption rate of EVs rises, there is likely to be a related increase in the number and types of mobile apps in the market. However, a major challenge for mobile app providers is to offer innovative and user-friendly services that distinguish them from the competition.

“Currently, the EV market is dominated by location-based apps,” concluded Ramkumar. “This means that there is a huge opportunity to grow beyond such confines and provide value-added services such as authentication, payment and smart home controls.”

Parents want to see more use of mobile devices in schools

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

mobile devicesIn one of the most comprehensive studies of parents’ views on mobile devices in education, more than 50 percent of parents believe that schools should make more use of mobile devices in education and 32 percent agree that schools should require them in the classroom.

These findings are from a new study of how parents perceive mobile learning and devices in and out of the classroom. The Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study was conducted by Grunwald Associates and the Learning First Alliance and underwritten by AT&T*.

The study found –

  • Parents recognize the benefits. Seventy-one percent of parents say mobile devices open up learning opportunities while, 62 percent say the devices benefit students’ learning and 59 percent say the devices engage students in the classroom.
  • Parents are ready for change. Forty-five percent of parents say they plan to buy, or have already bought, a mobile device to support their child’s learning.
  • Parents want to collaborate with educators. Forty-three percent of parents say they need help finding good educational apps for their children.

“Mobile learning is approaching a tipping point as parents and educators recognize the potential of mobile technology in the classroom,” said Cheryl Scott Williams , Learning First Alliance Executive Director. “Now is the time for parents and teachers to join forces to shape what mobile learning will look like in and outside of the classroom.”

With students already carrying their own devices to school, widespread mobile learning could be on the horizon.

The study found that one quarter of all K-12 students bring a smartphone to school every day – and by high school, more than half of all high-school students carry a smartphone on a daily basis. About one in six parents say that children are permitted to use their own mobile devices in the classroom – commonly known as a “bring your own device” policy.

“The opportunity is ripe for mobile learning as students are now surrounded with technology, but the study does suggest there is an unmet desire for more learning and educational value from mobile devices, both at home and in school,” said Peter Grunwald , president of Grunwald Associates LLC.

The Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study recommends that educators share information and advice with parents about how to make better use of mobile devices and apps for learning.

Similarly, the study suggests industry and mobile learning advocates should work with parents and educators to identify educational apps and content. The full public report is available free

“Parents can be change agents in the school system. With the results of this study, educators know parents are on board with mobile learning, and their support can be enlisted to jumpstart ways to cultivate mobile learning,” said Kevin Carman , AT&T Marketing Director. “Likewise, we are committed to doing our part to help support educators and parents by providing mobile learning products and solutions that seamlessly function in the classroom and at home.”

Online marketing offers better efficiency than offline

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

mobile devicesTwo of today’s most talked about brand advertising categories are mobile and online video. Until now, however, brands have struggled with accurately and definitively measuring the return they are getting on their video and mobile ad spending, and deciding how to best allocate their limited marketing and advertising dollars.

MarketShare, which sells predictive analytics for marketers, has just completed one of the first in-depth analyses of video and mobile ad effectiveness as part of the larger marketing mix.

The study, sponsored by Google, quantifies the relative impact of these digital media across several major industries, including autos (entry level luxury segment), credit cards, cosmetics, auto insurance and smartphones, with implications for many others.

How marketing drives consumers

MarketShare analyzed vast amounts of data from Google, YouTube, and other syndicated data sources to establish how, at a category level, marketing drives consumers to engage with search, display, video and mobile channels, ultimately influencing their purchasing decisions.

“Through this analysis, MarketShare and Google are helping marketers better understand how search, online video, and other paid, owned, and earned marketing tactics influence consumer behavior and drive demand,” says Wes Nichols , Co-Founder and CEO at MarketShare.

“At the same time, we’ve uncovered new insights about video and mobile advertising effectiveness that many marketers haven’t seen or been able to quantify before.”

A Marketing Efficiency Index developed by MarketShare compares ad spending on different online and offline channels to actual results (sales or applications). Looking at the overall average for the industries analyzed, findings show that online marketing offers greater efficiency per dollar of marketing spend than offline.

Reallocating marketing dollars lifts sales

By reallocating marketing dollars, marketers with spending levels similar to the category averages studied could expect to generate an incremental 1% to 4% lift in sales.  Since the total marketing spend analyzed across all five categories totals more than $8 billion, the stakes are significant.

“Through our efforts with MarketShare, we were able to develop unique category-level models for analyzing digital and traditional marketing channels more holistically, helping us better understand the full value of marketing investments,” says Gunnard Johnson , Advertising Research Director at Google.

MarketShare’s analysis of category-level marketing activity sought to measure how consumers are influenced throughout their “purchasing journey.”

YouTube 4By including not only paid marketing investments, but also other intermediate outcomes in the purchase journey such as a consumer’s Google queries and content views on YouTube related to a brand (both brand-uploaded and content related to a brand), this analysis went deeper into drivers of brand performance than traditional marketing allocation efforts.

A few key takeaways for marketers include:

  • While offline marketing and other environmental factors continue to play a substantial role in driving demand in the categories modeled, digital spending appears to have substantial upside for greater marketing efficiency, particularly for smartphones and auto insurance.
  • Desktop search continues to warrant a significant percentage of marketing allocations. In addition, mobile search is an aspect of marketing investment that this study has identified as important, especially in larger categories such as Cosmetics, Credit Cards and Auto Insurance.
  • Online video investments via YouTube in the range of 1%-4% of total media budget seem appropriate for high-spend categories, with more considered purchases (e.g. luxury autos or handsets) perhaps even higher. All in all, the model suggests that current levels of brand spend in YouTube appear to be consistently underinvested.
  • Quantifying the impact of other consumer touchpoints highlights the importance and potential for paid advertising to influence owned and earned contributions. In particular, the analysis was able to determine the value YouTube “owned” and “earned” content views represent, highlighting their significant overall sales contribution.

Rewards encourage consumers to adopt mobile payments

Friday, April 26th, 2013

smartphonesFinancial incentives and mobile-based financial-management tools could increase consumers’ use of smartphones as payment devices, according to an Accenture (NYSE: ACN) survey of 4,000 smartphone users in the United States and Canada.

More than half of respondents who currently use their smartphones to make payments said they were highly likely to pay by phone more often if they could use their phone to track receipts (cited by 60 percent of respondents), manage their personal finances (56 percent), or show proof of insurance (56 percent) or of a valid driver’s license (54 percent).

Rewards consumers want

In addition, more than half of those who currently make mobile payments also said they were highly likely to pay by phone more often if they were offered: instant coupons from retailers when buying by phone (cited by 60 percent of respondents); reward points stored on their phone for future purchases at the store (51 percent); coupons that could be automatically stored on their phone (50 percent); or preferential treatment, such as priority customer service (50 percent).

The same value-added tools and incentives could increase the adoption of mobile payments among non-users. For instance, about one in three non-users said they would be more likely to use mobile payments if they could use their phones as proof of insurance or to track receipts (each cited by 32 percent of respondents).

And about one in five non-users said that they would be more likely to use mobile payments if they received a preferential treatment at retailers or coupons for future purchase that could be stored on their phones (cited by 21 and 20 percent of respondents, respectively).

“Our survey reveals that current users and non-users alike can be incentivized to use their smartphones to make mobile payments through rewards for usage or other value-added tools such as receipt tracking,” said Jim Bailey, managing director and head ofAccenture Payment Services in North America.

“As consumers expect their smartphones to improve and simplify their lives, financial institutions, merchants, mobile network operators and technology providers should consider incorporating new mobile payment applications to encourage broad adoption as quickly as possible.”

Security concerns greatest barrier

The survey also found that security concerns are the greatest barrier to consumer adoption of mobile payments, with 60 percent of respondents who do not use their smartphones for mobile payments citing security concerns as a reason for not doing so. Privacy issues and the convenience of using cash, checks or credit cards were the next-most-mentioned reasons, each cited by 37 percent of respondents.

“While the industry is preoccupied with the technology roll-out for mobile payments, we found that consumers are still very concerned about security and privacy issues,” said Matthew Friend, managing director, Accenture Payment Services, North America.

“In addition, a significant number still don’t see the convenience and value of using their phones to make payments. For mobile payments to achieve widespread adoption, consumers must be educated about the fact that mobile payments are secure and more convenient than other payment options. While persuading current users to become more regular users is clearly important, getting people to use this technology in the first place is the biggest challenge the industry faces.”

Remote workers expose firms to cybercrime

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

mobile devicesResults of new remote access security research show half of companies with a remote workforce had their websites compromised in 2012, over a third had passwords hacked, and twice as many companies with remote users were victims of SQL injection attacks.

Conducted by Webroot, a leader in Internet security as a service, the new study indicates that data theft is the primary goal in new types of mobile attacks. Scenarios include malicious threats that use e-mail, SMS and mobile Web browsers to launch an attack, then silently record and steal data.

Top-level corporate study findings:

  • 64% of companies allow remote access to servers for 25% to 100% of employees
  • 90% of companies agree that managing the security of remote users is extremely challenging
  • 71% of Web security professionals who say managing remote users is highly challenging experienced Web-borne phishing attacks in 2012

The proliferation of mobile devices for business use and the need to grant remote user access exposes corporate networks to high rates of malware threats, including phishing attacks, spyware, keyloggers and hacked passwords.

While allowing such devices to access company resources aids productivity, the potential for new exploits to compromise businesses creates significant security risks to the organization and private data. Enabling remote access to corporate servers requires sensible policies and controls to ensure network security.

The study, which surveyed Web security decision-makers in the United States and United Kingdom, found that companies with 25% or more of their workforce using remote access experience higher rates of Web attacks due to a lack of such protection measures.

“These days, there is so much risk involved from a corporate perspective that remote access protection must be part of all basic tool kits. Vulnerabilities in mobile Web browsers pose a major threat to mobile device security and our latest study shows that they have led to an increasing number of successful attacks in 2012,” said David Duncan , Chief Marketing Officer at Webroot.

“Mobile browser security is essential to reduce the vulnerabilities from websites containing malware and stop phishing attacks. This should be mandatory if employees are to have remote access to any corporate network or other corporate online resources via their mobile devices.”

What can organizations do?
The new “Remote Users Expose Companies to Cybercrime” report provides a comprehensive analysis of the current mobile Web browser vulnerabilities and includes steps to secure browser controls and reduce the risks associated with mobile browsing. You can view the full report at or visit Webroot at InfoSecurity Europe 2013, held in London in booth #D60, April 23 through 25, 2013 for a complimentary copy.

Mobile click-throughs, conversions higher, iOS regains lead

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

mobile devices

Mobile advertising will top 10 percent of all digital advertising this year and become a vital part of every major ad campaign, according to the State of Mobile Advertising report from Open Mediaworks.

The data originates from the company’s extensive mobile advertising platform, which consists of AdMarvel, Mobile Theory, 4th Screen Advertising and Opera Mediaworks Performance.

The platform serves 50+ billion ad impressions per month via 12,000 mobile sites and apps, delivering a total of $400M in revenue to mobile publishers in 2012.

Highlights from the report:

  • iOS regains lead over Android for impression volume and maintains top position for monetization. Mobile ad campaigns running on Apple devices consistently achieve the highest average eCPMs and account for nearly half (49.2%) of all revenue delivered to mobile publishers. The iPhone also edged out Android phones this quarter in impression volume, regaining the No.1 position it lost temporarily at the end of 2012.
  • Music, Video and Media dominates both volume and revenue. Mobile consumption of music, video and media continues to climb, reaching just over 29% of all ad requests, up from 21.4% the previous quarter. This quarter, revenue caught up to volume, as we saw the category earning the largest sum of revenue (17.7%) of any other category. Business and Finance sites, however, are still the most valuable, as they produce the highest revenue per impression.
  • Europe’s mobile ad market is taking off. While mobile ad traffic is accelerating across all geographies, some of the fastest growth we are seeing is from the top 5 European countries (the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France and Spain). Some 21.5% of ad impressions on the Opera Mediaworks platform are now served in Europe, up from 15% at the end of 2012. However, the United States still generates the most revenue (75.4%) on the platform, even with a diminished impression volume (50.7% vs. 60% last quarter).

“Mobile advertising, which is expected to exceed 10% of all digital advertising this year, will become a vital facet of every major ad campaign in the upcoming year,” says Mahi de Silva , CEO, Opera Mediaworks.

“The size of the audience combined with rich media and engagement rates shows we will continue to see a shift of ad dollars away from traditional media and desktop digital media to tablets and smartphones. Overall, Q1 2013 was another record quarter for mobile advertising across the world — with a particularly strong March.”

The report also explores some new findings from the Opera Mediaworks team around recent performance-focused campaigns.

By digging deeper into contextual information (i.e., device and connection type) and using intelligent prioritization to make smarter decisions about campaign placement, advertisers are showing significant improvements to both click-through rates and conversions.

To read the full report, go to:

Systamatic approach needed to build successful mobile apps

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

mobile devicesBuilding and marketing an app is becoming increasingly complex and will demand a systematic fact-based approach to handle market turbulences in the coming years.

Over the last few years, there has been something of a ‘developers gold rush’ as almost every software developer on the planet has tried to leap into the apps market looking to make a fortune off the next smash hit like Angry Birds.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds has both free and paid versions of its popular game.

The reality is that only a very small percentage of developers create multi-million dollar smash hit apps.

With over 1.5 billion people regularly downloading mobile apps, users have downloaded more than 46 billion apps on their smartphones.

The fast-growing apps market generated revenues of $12 billion in 2012, and that figure is set to grow to $20.4 billion in 2013. Annually, revenues are growing at 35% in Europe, 50% inAsia and 30% in North America.

Learn where the money is coming from and how it will be generated in a new report published by Portio Research, “Strategies for Creating Best-In-Class Mobile Apps

Smartphone App Market Monitor

Volume 9 Historical Data Package

AppleWhile Apple’s market share of app downloads constantly fell from 81% in 2008 to 39% at the end of 2012, Android’s app downloads increased year over year reaching 42% at the end of 2012.

Both platforms now combine 82% of all app downloads. Will this duopoly last for the next years or will the market see another major change in the market structure as witnessed 5 years ago when the dominance of Symbian started to fade away?

The most likely scenario is that the duopoly will give way to a more heterogeneous mobile operating system landscape. There is evidence that already in 2013 the market will enter a new phase with more relevant mobile app platforms which would be the beginning of the end of the duopoly.

Compared to the world today, where most of the app publishers and developers are concentrating on iOS and Android, the need for adding at least Windows Phone and BlackBerry to the “served platform list” will increase over the next 2 years. If companies want to reach out to the community of early adopters they would even have to include new OS platforms like Ubuntu or Jolla to the list.

Adding HTML5 makes 7 platforms to watch and/or maintain.  That is good news for the app development industry and multi-platform tool vendors but starts to become a real management task for companies trying to reach their customers with the help of mobile apps.

By comparing and evaluating different sources, the “Smartphone App Market Monitor” seeks to provide the most comprehensive picture of the app market available. the market monitor is designed to support internal discussions and business decisions, content is presented as much as possible in graphs and tables to make a key tool for any app publisher, app developer, app store and platform owner.

More information about this report and a free sample are available at

Digital ad revenues climb to milestone high

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

IAB mobileDigital advertising revenues climbed to a milestone high of $36.6 billion in 2012, according to theIAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for the full-year of 2012.

That historic number marks a 15 percent rise over 2011’s full-year number, which itself had been the highest on record, at $31.7 billion.

The news suggests, along with other reports, that marketers and companies realize that digital advertising offers numerous advantages over traditional channels. That doesn’t necessarily mean advertisers should abandon those channels, however, says BrandSprout Principal Joellyn “Joey” Sargent.

Sargent, who is among the dozens of speakers headed to Atlanta next month for TechMedia’s Digital Summit, says that while digital is increasingly important, it works best in an integrated campaign that includes traditional and offline marketing.


The report, released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and prepared by PwC U.S., additionally reveals that 2012’s fourth quarter numbers, at $10.3 billion, rose by 14.9 percent from $9 billion in the final quarter of 2011.

These 2012 Q4 figures represent an uptick of 11.6 percent over Q3 2012, which came in at $9.2 billion.

“As Smartphones get smarter, cellular networks get faster and user penetration of smart mobile devices increases, the combination of personalization and location will have tremendous appeal to marketers”

Other highlights include:

  • For the second year in a row, mobile achieved triple-digit growth year-over-year. The past year saw the mobile category surge 111 percent to $3.4 billion, pivoting off of 2011’s record-breaking 149 percent year-over-year rise to $1.6 billion. Mobile accounted for 9 percent of total internet ad revenue in 2012.
  • Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, brought in $2.3 billion, marking a significant year-over-year increase of 29 percent in 2012, compared to $1.8 billion in 2011.
  • Search revenues in 2012 totaled $16.9 billion or 46 percent of 2012 revenues, up 14.5 percent from $14.8 billion in 2011.
  • Display-related advertising revenues in 2012 totaled $12 billion or 33 percent of 2012 revenues, up almost 9 percent from $11 billion in 2011.
  • Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, accounting for 20 percent in 2012, followed by financial services, which is responsible for 13 percent of the year’s revenues.

Mobile soared

“These record-breaking numbers represent a paradigm shift when it comes to marketers recognizing the role a multiplicity of screens plays in effectively reaching today’s consumers,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB.

“Mobile, in particular, soared due to its ubiquity and intrinsic ability to serve as a powerful digital dashboard that travels with you from morning commute to nighttime video viewing and beyond. The significant increase in digital video also underscores the importance of the upcoming Digital Content NewFronts and the vitality that sight, sound and motion play for both consumers and advertisers in the digital era.”

“As Smartphones get smarter, cellular networks get faster and user penetration of smart mobile devices increases, the combination of personalization and location will have tremendous appeal to marketers,” said David Silverman, Partner, PwC U.S. “We are just at the tip of the iceberg.”

“For the third consecutive year, digital media ad revenue has racked up double-digit growth, demonstrating the strength of interactive advertising and marketers’ commitment to be where consumers are,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB.

Here are the results from the full year in comparison with last year’s numbers:

Full Year
Full Year
% $ % $
Revenue (Ad Formats)
Search 46.5% $14,768 46.3% $16,916
Classifieds and Directories 8.1% $2,580 6.6% $2,430
Lead Generation 4.8% $1,522 4.6% $1,689
E-mail 0.7% $213 0.4% $156
Mobile 5.0% $1,596 9.2% $3,370
-Digital Video Commercials 5.7% $1,809 6.4% $2,330
-Ad banners / display ads 21.5% $6,811 21.1% $7,721
-Sponsorships 3.5% $1,121 2.3% $845
-Rich media 4.1% $1,315 3.0% $1,113
Total display-related 34.8% $11,056 32.8% $12,009
Revenue (Pricing Models)
Impression-based 31.3% $9,926 32.0% $11,709
Performance-based 64.6% $20,491 65.9% $24,093
Hybrid 4.2% $1,318 2.1% $768

IAB sponsors the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is conducted independently by the New Media Group of PwC. The results are considered the most accurate measurement of interactive advertising revenues because the data is compiled directly from information supplied by companies selling advertisements on the internet.

The survey includes data concerning online advertising revenues from Web sites, commercial online services, free email providers, and all other companies selling online advertising. The full report is issued twice yearly for full and half-year data, and top-line quarterly estimates are issued for the first and third quarters. PwC does not audit the information and provides no opinion or other form of assurance with respect to the information.

A copy of the full report is available at:

Online and mobile can bolster brand loyalty

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

DeloitteThere are lessons galore for marketers in the latest American Pantry Study by Deloitte, some of them surprising. Baby boomer interest in mobile tech outstrips that of younger consumers, for instance.

Also, while brand loyalty continues to drop among price-conscious consumers, convenient mobile and online shopping channels can help bolster  a brand’s experience and boost loyalty.

Even as the economy improves, 94 percent of Americans indicate they will remain cautious and keep their spending for food, beverage and household goods at its current level, according to Deloitte’s 2013 American Pantry Study.

More than nine in 10 (92 percent) consumers surveyed indicate they have become more resourceful, and 86 percent say they are getting more precise in what they buy — attitudes that have remained consistent in the three years Deloitte has conducted the study, and across income levels.

Despite enduring frugal attitudes, few consumers feel they are making any compromise: More than seven in 10 (72 percent) consumers indicate that, even though they are spending less on household and grocery items, it doesn’t feel like they are sacrificing much, a seven percentage point increase in two years.

Store brands winning out

Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) survey respondents report they have found several store brands that they feel are just as good as national brands, and few consumers plan to switch back to national brands: Only 27 percent plan to do so as the economy rebounds, an eight percentage point decline from the previous year.

“One of the most notable year-over-year trends in the study is how embedded frugality has become due to the recession,” said Pat Conroy , vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and consumer products sector leader.

“Prudent consumers and improving perceptions about store brands are squeezing national brands’ position. The gap between the few ‘must have’ brands on shoppers’ lists and others on the shelf may be widening, making it more important for brands to differentiate through innovation, quality and performance. Consumer product companies may also consolidate low and mid-level performers and shift investment to the category leaders.”

Brand loyalty declines, shoppers put experimentation on hold

As store brands become more entrenched in the pantry, brand loyalty continues to slide, however consumers appear to be selectively loyal to certain brands.

Brand loyalty dropped for the third consecutive year in the survey. When asked why certain brands are no longer a priority for their households, consumers cited “other brands are available on sale” as the No. 1 reason. However, brands to which consumers are most loyal significantly outpace their lower performing counterparts by 20 or more percentage points on attributes such as performance, experience and trust.

Consumers have also honed in on select brands they will consider. More than eight in 10 (84 percent) consumers say they have a specific set of brands in mind, and will purchase whichever one is on sale.  When using coupons, 71 percent indicate they will use them only for items they would have purchased anyway.

Shoppers are also selective about the retail channels where they are willing to purchase certain items.

Consumers surveyed shop an average of 2.5 channels in each product category, compared with an average of 5.5 channels (including grocery, mass merchandise, club, drug, convenience, dollar, neighborhood market and online) for all of their food, beverage and personal goods combined.

Loyalty cards’ importance in consumers’ cross-channel shopping has increased, as the number of consumers with three or more grocery loyalty cards has grown from 28 percent in first American Pantry Study in 2010 to 39 percent in the most recent survey.

Additionally, 58 percent of shoppers surveyed use shopper loyalty cards in grocery stores every time they shop, up 14 percentage points in two years, and 30 percent participate in a loyalty program via their smartphone while shopping in a store.  Consumers appear to feel a sense of reward from these efforts: Eight in 10 (80 percent) say it is fun to see how much money they can save by using coupons or a shopper loyalty card.

Online options in demand for household goods, grocery; Mobile shopping interest growing fastest among baby boomers

The 2013 American Pantry Study reveals an unmet demand for online shopping options, particularly for in-store pickup and at-home delivery.  While 14 percent of shoppers surveyed currently buy consumer products online and pick them up in the store, 43 percent indicate they would like to do so, with strongest demand appearing in food and beverage categories for in-store pickup.

Approximately one in 10 (11 percent) survey respondents purchase online with home delivery, and the number rises to 34 percent among those who would like to do so, primarily for household goods such as laundry soaps and tabletop disposable paper products.

“Consumers are drawn to the convenience of purchasing frequently-used food, beverage and household items online, and brand preferences will likely extend into their online buying habits,” added Conroy.

“Consumer product companies can use mobile and online channels to strengthen the functional and experiential brand attributes that translate into conversion and loyalty. They should consider aligning their digital efforts with consumers’ location and context to reach shoppers online and on their phones, blending into their list-making, meal planning, product and price-checking, family activities and health and beauty routines.

“They may also market channel-specific product offerings and use these platforms to make product suggestions based on target consumers’ prior shopping behaviors.”

Interest in mobile growing among baby boomers

The latest American Pantry Study also indicates that interest in mobile technology is growing at a higher rate among baby boomers than younger consumers.

Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of respondents age 45 to 70 indicate they are interested in using mobile coupons they can scan at the checkout, up from 12 percent in last year’s survey, compared with  a six percentage point increase among respondents age 21 to 29.

Shoppers surveyed are tapping into their smartphones outside the store nearly as often as they do inside the store. Three in 10 (30 percent) consumers manage a shopping list or recipe while in a store, just three percentage points higher than those who do so offsite during the shopping process.

For more information about the 2013 American Pantry Study, including in-depth survey findings, please visit:

Many factors make mobile a transformative technology

Monday, April 15th, 2013

smartphonesIn the year that mobile access will overtake fixed-line access as the world’s primary way of going online, multiple technological, economic, and demographic factors are converging to give mobile the capabilities, scale, and reach achieved by few other technological advances, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group.

In “Through the Mobile Looking Glass: The Transformative Potential of Mobile Technologies,” BCG argues that the realization of this scale and reach is beginning to drive new waves of innovation in companies and economies around the world.

The BCG report outlines three main models of mobile’s development.

The operator-centric “collaborative” model is best exemplified in Japan, where mobile use is most advanced and has had the broadest consumer impact, driven substantially by aggressive partnership building by telco leader NTT Docomo. More than 500,000 merchants now participate in Docomo’s mobile-payment service, for example.

The “competitive” model is most evident in the United States, where players at all levels of the mobile “stack” compete to provide products and services to other industry participants as well as to consumers.

Frenemies fear

Although this model has created thousands of application entrepreneurs and driven mobile’s penetration of many traditional industries, its impact is limited to some degree by fear of “frenemies.” Many companies see the potential of mobile; they also fear that other players will use it to invade their turf.

A third, “greenfield” model is unfolding in many developing markets, such as India and several African nations, which have seen a big increase in the use of mobile phones over the past decade. In these countries, most consumers’ experience with the Internet will be entirely through mobile devices and technologies.

“Forty years after the first mobile phone call, the playing field is uneven, but this does not necessarily benefit rich countries or nations with extensive telecommunications networks, as some might suppose,” said David Dean, a BCG senior partner and coauthor of the report.

“Innovation can come from anywhere and in fact may be more likely to come from places without legacy business models to protect. Perhaps more than any previous technological phenomenon, particularly an advance of such radical proportions, mobile has the potential to be a hard-hitting economic leveler.”

Impact on industries varies

Mobile’s effect on different industries has thus far varied, and this will probably continue to be the case, although the principal difference ultimately is likely to be in speed of adoption rather than extent of impact. In the media and retail sectors, for example, mobile is hastening and deepening the disruption wrought by the Internet.

By contrast, in health care, industry complexity and entrenched interests have thus far limited mobile’s sway, even though consumers, providers, insurers, and other participants all recognize its potential to improve care and lower costs.

The BCG report argues that mobile’s rapid development presents both policymakers and business leaders with a host of complex, rapidly evolving challenges. Governments are hampered by their inability to assess change and address its implications at anywhere near the speed of technological advancement.

Do a mobile “health check”

Companies can simplify the nature of the issues they face by putting their businesses through a “mobile health check” — a roster of questions that clarify their readiness to operate in an increasingly mobile age.

“The overriding question that CEOs need to ask themselves is whether consumers and employees can engage with the company through the device of their choosing, at a time and place of their determination, and come away from the experience satisfied and having accomplished what they set out to do,” said report coauthor Sampath Sowmyanarayan, a BCG partner and global leader of the telecom sector of the firm’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice.

“The answer for most companies today is no. Those businesses that are first to be able to give an affirmative response will have a decided advantage as some 80 million Millennial consumers in the United States alone mature into full-fledged economic participants and the next billion consumers come online in developing markets. For these groups, their online experience is going to be 100 percent mobile.”

A copy of the report can be downloaded at

Deal volume up, values down in online and mobile M&A

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Berkery NoyesYou can see what’s hot and what’s not looking at the merger and acquisition picture in any industry, and in online and mobile, analytics, SaaS, mobile payments and food service and content firms are like spice to the big dish Internet companies these days.

Deal volume increased three percent relative to the prior quarter in online and mobile industry mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter of 2013, according to mid-market investment bank Berkery Noyes in its mergers and acquisitions trend report, but transaction value decreased 50 percent, from $15.8 billion in Q4 2012 to $7.9 billion in Q1 2013.

The SaaS/ASP segment experienced the largest quarterly rise in volume, improving 16 percent. Meanwhile, transaction volume in the E-Commerce segment increased six percent between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013.

Highest value deal

The segment’s highest value deal in Q1 2013 was Google’s announced acquisition of Channel Intelligence for $125 million.

In addition, major financial technology players completed several large Online and Mobile payments acquisitions during Q1 2013. For instance, ACI Worldwide acquired Online Resources Corporation for $203 million and FIS acquired mFoundry for $120 million.

M&A involving transactions with a large mobile component increased 33 percent over the past three months. Along these lines, there were several acquisitions in the food service information and content space.

Yahoo, OpenTable buys

YahooThis included Yahoo!’s acquisition of Alike, which enables users to make recommendations about their favorite food establishments; and OpenTable’s acquisition of Foodspotting, an application that helps users share information about particular dishes.

With four transactions, Yahoo! was the most active Online and Mobile Industry acquirer during the quarter. Several of Yahoo!’s recent acquisitions demonstrate its renewed focus on mobile under CEO Marissa Mayer .

Yahoo! has already completed three mobile transactions thus far in 2013, acquiring social news application Summly, as well as applications Alike and Jybe. In contrast, Yahoo! only made two mobile transactions last year, both of which occurred in Q4 2012.

E-marketing and Search segments

As for the E-Marketing & Search segment, M&A activity increased nine percent in Q1 2013. \

“The ability to better profile and target consumers has necessitated the development and growth of companies that can analyze shoppers’ behavior and develop appropriate offerings to the consumer,” said Evan Klein , Managing Director at Berkery Noyes.

“This shift has led to the growth of data analytics businesses and, with the need to develop deeper relationships with consumers, the growth in loyalty marketing companies.”

Twitter bird

Just call me Larry.

Regarding the segment’s social media marketing subset, one notable acquisition in Q1 2013 was Twitter’s acquisition of BlueFin Labs.

A key goal of acquiring the social television analytics company is for Twitter to gain additional advertising revenue by leveraging viewer data. TiVo and The Nielsen Company completed E-Marketing acquisitions in 2012, both of which focused on improving the ability to measure digital audiences.

A copy of the ONLINE AND MOBILE INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR FIRST QUARTER 2013 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.

Mobile devices to generate date equal to 42 quadrillion tweets

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

smartphonesThe amount of mobile data traffic generated by Smartphones, Featurephones and Tablets will exceed 90,000 Petabytes by 2017, equivalent to almost 42 quadrillion tweets or approximately 7 billion Blu-ray movies, according to a report from Juniperresearch.

However, the report finds that only 40% of the data generated by these devices will reach the cellular network by 2017, as majority of the data traffic will be via the Wi-Fi network.

Data Offloading is Key, Challenges Still Remain

The new Mobile Data Offload & Onload: Wi-Fi, Small Cell & Carrier-grade Strategies 2012-2017report finds that despite 2012 being a breakthrough year for 4G LTE, operators will still need offloading technologies such as WiFi & Small cells to augment 4G networks.

“The trend will continue and operators will make use of more integrated units of Wi-Fi and small cells. In the case of indoor cells, where most usage happens, you effectively have Wi-Fi as the pioneer and are in many ways the leader in this area. Small cells are indeed becoming a part of it”, added report author Nitin Bhas.

Carrier-grade Opportunity for Operators

The demand for high bandwidth services from end users and the availability of Wi-Fi on most mobile devices have enforced the operators to address consumer expectations around quality and experience while creating opportunities for the operators.

The report identifies a series of trends that are coming together to greatly accelerate carrier-Wi-Fi adoption, mainly NGH (Next Generation Hotspot) and Hotspot 2.0 specifications along with 5GHz enabled devices. Carrier-grade small cells along with Wi-Fi will enable high levels of capacity and along with the macro network will provide commercial and financial success to the operator.

Other Key Findings Include:

  • Notebooks and eReaders will onload over 20% of their data traffic to the mobile networks in 2013.
  • North America and Western Europe will have the highest offload factor throughout the forecast period.

The ‘Data Offload ~ Connecting Intelligently‘ whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report.

Major new media brands coming to Atlanta Digital Summit

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

GoogleWhat do these brands have in common: Twitter, Google, Mashable, Bing, reddit, YouTube, StumbleUpon, TMZ, Dell, Home Depot, HGTV, Salesforce, CNN, AOL, Forester, Urban Daddy and The Weather Channel?

They’re all represented at the upcoming Digital Summit 2013 May 14-15 in Atlanta, the region’s largest digital marketing and web innovation strategies conference.

The event draws a sell-out crowd of 1,500 or more digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs to Atlanta.

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, is participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, is participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.

We’ll be interviewing some of the featured speakers and panel participants as we head toward the event (TechJournal is a TechMedia division). We spoke to Kiip CEO and founder Brian Wong this week. Wong, the youngest person who ever received venture funding, describes how connecting mobile ads to “moments of achievement and delight” can make those ads welcome rather than an annoyance. See: Mobile ad secret sauce.

Register now to reserve your seat. TechMedia’s last event in Charlotte, NC, had to close registration a week ahead of the event and had a long waiting list, so do it early.


Sweeping changes needed to get full mobility benefits

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

ComptiaOrganizations seeking to maximize the economic and productivity benefits made possible by mobile technologies must look beyond simply which devices are used and re-examine business processes and workforce needs, new research released today by CompTIA concludes.

“Rather than focus on the device level, companies will need to assess the specific needs of their workforce and match the device,” said Seth Robinson , director, technology analysis, CompTIA.

“For maximum benefit, workflow changes will need to be considered prior to evaluating workforce needs. But this is not a trivial matter and companies will need to weigh the cost of operational disruption and change management against the potential advantages.”

At this point, most companies are not taking these steps, according to CompTIA’s Second Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobilitystudy. Most of the current activity revolves around devices – provisioning, securing and allowing access to existing systems.

The majority of companies in the CompTIA study allow their employees to bring their own mobile devices to work. The most popular option is to have a mix of corporate-liable and individual-liable devices (58 percent). A full third of companies still strictly mandate which devices can be used for work purposes and do not allow any type of employee-provided device. For another 8 percent of firms, employees provide everything.

As employees bring their own mobile device into the workplace, they also want to bring their own applications and services. As a result, the field of Mobile Device Management (MDM) is rapidly shifting to include Mobile Application Management (MAM).

Companies are pursuing a range of solutions, including exploring/implementing virtual desktops (49 percent), building custom mobile apps for business systems (29 percent) and moving business applications to a cloud model that can be accessed through a browser (28 percent).

Many Parts to Mobile Ecosystem

From an enterprise perspective, the mobile ecosystem – in conjunction with cloud offerings – presents a significant shift. Rather than having tight control over the entire experience, IT architects now must contend with devices that often serve dual purposes and connect to third-party systems. The accompanying chart illustrates this challenge.

This leads to many questions:

  • Who is in charge of the physical device?
  • Who controls the software on the device (including the OS?)
  • Who controls the way the device connects?
  • How secure are the backend systems that are accessed through mobile apps?

CompTIA’s Second Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility study is based on an online survey of 502 IT and business executives inthe United States during February 2013. The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA members. Visit or for details.


State of digital content: mobile can’t be ignored (infographic)

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

smartphonesMobile users now account for one-fifth of all traffic — up from 1.6 percent in 2010 — while desktop traffic has decreased, according to  The Content Standard. Seventy-seven percent of that traffic comes from Apple devices, but Android (16 percent) is quickly growing.

Email is no longer the dominant platform for sharing content. While it once accounted for 93 percent of content sharing in 2010, it dropped all the way to 53 percent as of February 2013.

This is due to the improved communication and interaction between brands and consumers through social media, reducing the impact of mass mailing.

“The communication is increasingly two-way and spamming is no longer tolerated,” says Uberflip CEO Yoav Schwartz .

Video another big change

Another big change is that 22 percent of users now incorporate video into their digital content, up from 6 percent three years ago.

This report points to a clear direction for the future of content marketing. First, it cements the basic rule that every brand needs a social media presence. The decline in email use is a reflection of the powerful user networks created by Twitter and Facebook and how easy they make content sharing.

It also reinforces recent arguments for brands to strengthen their mobile presence and increase video content. Look for content marketers to start making full use of Google’s new “Full Value of Mobile” calculator, which is guaranteed to evolve with increased use and data.

The study also emphasizes the need to keep a finger on the tech industry’s pulse — after all, the landscape needs only three years to change.

Here’s an infographic detailing the report’s findings: