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March 20, 2008


simon cavill

Perhaps the 8th Mass Media is payment....

If the operator sets up a stored value wallet linked to a payment card they issue with the owners permission and encourage by incentive to use it, then they can track purchases across multiple media, using the stored value account for mobile purchases and the card for most other things. Its global, works in the "real" retail world and web and mobile.

The Power of Payments...


Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS


Absolutely targeted is the way to go. Blyk's success is for this exact reason. The user knows they are getting free services by accepting advertising. Therefore, they click on the ads. But they are clicking on the ads, past what is required of them to honor their contract, because the ads are relevant! These ads have to do with what interests them. That is the key. In reading one Blyk customer's daily experiences, he actually enjoys receiving the ads and reading/watching them because they are, once again, relevant.

The more permission based it gets, the more relevant it gets, and the closer to hitting one's passions it gets, the higher the response rate.

Greg Grimer

They killed e-mail with Spam, I suspect they'll kill the mobile platform too. Safeguards are not in place to stop it and even my mobile company T-mobile sends me all sorts of stuff I don't want like surveys to complete. Overcharge me for calls and then ask me to complete a survey? Do they think I have nothing better to do?
If your own mobile network can't resist spamming you then there is probably no hope of an opt-in panacea where only hyper-relevant and engaging ads land on our mobile. We will come to hate our mobile Inbox just as we hate our Outlook Inbox.

Tomi Ahonen

Hi Simon, Giff and Greg

Thank you for the comments

Simon - good idea, payments as the next mass media. I think this is still very much a concept, as today most payment methods do not lend themselves to being media channels - when I pay with a credit card or transfer money from a bank account to another, or make a withdrawal from a cash machine, these are not very conducive yet as mass media, but they could be. I think the mobile phone as a media (7th mass media) is very well suited to explore the money side, to help bring added value to our transactions, in a way that a typical credit card alone cannot do (because the mobile has a screen, keypad, is permanently connected etc).

So for example we can get our current balance before we authorize a payment on the phone; or see the price of that item when we are travelling, converted to our home currency, that kind of stuff. So before payments themselves can become the 8th media, we will probably see mobile the 7th utilize its money dimension (built in payment mechanism) to an advantage to build new and radical converged financial instruments. Lets monitor this space. I'm sure you Simon will also let us know as your company Mi-Pay will explore such opportunities.

Giff - I totally agree (obviously) and yes, its a kind of virtuous cycle, the more the user becomes involved with the brand, the more the brand can become relevant to the user. Then the user is rewarded and has an incentive to be even more involved with the brand, which in turn gets ever better "through-put" on its ever-more targetted campaigns. Classic win-win.

Greg - I hear you. You probably are based in the USA, unfortunately the backwaters for mobile telecoms. We can see a better future already emerging in advanced parts of Asia and Europe, so hold on, perhaps all is not lost. For example in Japan when mobile messaging spam was getting out of hand, the three operators lobbied the regulator, to allow a change in Japanese telecoms rules, to help them weed out the spammers. This is the kind of attitude that operators need to take to not kill this goose that lays golden eggs (mobile messaging and mobile advertising)

But you are totally right, that if the operators are too greedy about this, or don't take a customer-focused approach, it will end up all bad for all of us. Just don't give up hope yet, Greg, the American carriers are evolving too (even though it seems like an eternity) and they are paying attention to what is working in the rest of the world. All is not lost...

Thank you for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Kosta Goultas

I think we have to go much further then the permission based principal and go into the world of 1 on 1 consumer controlled communication between consumer and brand.

This way the consumer is served at its best with information he actualy requested for .This results in higher marketing efficiency wich creates a possebility for a reasonable discount throug a mobile coupon on the requested offer .

Everybody wins

Connect this with the existing location based possebilities and you've found the holy grale

Tomi Ahonen

Hi Kosta

Thanks for the comment. Yes, I agree partially, we certainly need the permission and if the users get involved, the ad experience (or marketing experience) can become far better.

I do not see the automatic link to the benefits of location-based possibilities. I wrote about LBS (Location Based Services) quite passionately in my first two books and it was a major topic at the world's first mobile advertising conference that I chaired in early 2001 in London. But we are seven years later. Now when I talk about mobile advertising, I find seven unique benefits for mobile phones that cannot be replicated on the legacy media - and I don't even MENTION location. I think location is totally a red herring. The real powers come from things such as the personal nature of mobile (as you mentioned already) and that the phone is permanently carried, and it is always-on; etc. And the audience measurement accuracies etc. But location? No. I really don't see it. I think we will hate most location-based ads - not all of it - but so much of it that this will be a most minor, nearly irrelevant part of the total mobile advertising opportunity.

I do not know this for a fact, Kosta, obviously, and time will tell. But since I've really followed this emerging opportunity from its very beginning, and have written about LBS ads extensively, and discussed it with LBS experts from Finland to Japan to America - I am totally convinced that this is not the big opportunity. We have far far better methods to satisfy customers, consider User-Generated Ads (Blyk) for example.

Thank you for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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Kostas Goultas

Hello Tomi,

I thought i had replied but something must have gone wrong (here).
Pittey is that i had written an extensive answer .....

Maybe i can motivate my vision in person. I still have a working demo version in Holland but due to circumstances i am still eager to roll out this beatyfull working concept.

please feel free to contact me for a phone call and maybe a meeting.

best regards, Kostas Goultas ( [email protected])

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