What Are Mobile Leads?

These are leads generated through mobile web landing pages and mobile applications. Some lead generation companies will create a mobile pay per click campaign that allows the consumer to connect to an agent through their mobile device by simply clicking a button. Another way they generate these leads is through a mobile app they created or rented advertising space on.

Although mobile advertising is not the most known medium for promotion right now it is quickly rising. The returns from these investments are getting better and better as lead generation companies learn the tricks to marketing on a mobile device. Smart phones are becoming more accessible along with mobile internet and consumers are buying them at an all time high. When users become more tech savvy on their mobile devices, they will also be more optimistic towards shopping on the mobile web.

Leads generated through mobile advertising are lower costing leads that have mid level closing ratios. They are a rare find and are targeted to consumers on the go. Products that are cheaper in cost or require less research to buy are your best option. Avoid lead generation companies who make offers that sound too good to be true, because they usually are.

The basic characteristics of a mobile lead are a low cost lead with medium closing ratios. Prospects are usually on the go and don't have access to a computer, they are interested enough to call from their mobile device but not interested enough to give you payment information over the phone quickly. If you cannot sell your product or services without help from the internet or even a pad of paper, these leads may not be recommended for you.

What is Mobile Marketing and How Are Businesses Using This New Media Tool?

In this article I define mobile marketing as mobile messaging to consumers through their cell phones from a brand or business. The communication can come as a voice message, text message, mobile website, Application or email. Text messaging is what I am going to focus on in this article.

Text Messages now outnumber mobile voice calls three to one, according to the Nielsen Company. Consumers are using their mobile devices more as a computer than a traditional cell phone. SMS (Short Message Solutions) or texting is the largest use on a cell phone today. This is also where brands and businesses have the best opportunity to engage their customers or potential customers. Nielsen reports "Monthly messages sent or received jumped to 584 a person in the quarter ending in September 2009, a 60 percent increase from a year earlier."

A shortcode is a commercial phone number that text messages are sent from, they are typically 5 or 6 digits. People have to opt into campaigns in order to receive messages. Spam is strictly prohibited and companies that engage in such activity risk big fines from the Mobile Marketing Association.

If you opt into a text message offer you always have the ability to opt out by sending a text message to the shortcode with STOP. The provider of the mobile marketing campaign will opt your phone number out of their system so that you will no longer receive messages.

The opportunity to send mobile marketing messages to consumers for discounts, coupons, communications and new product offerings is now. Consumers are asking for these sort of offers and brands need to engage them through their Mobile Phones. In the January 4 2010 issue of Advertising Age it states that "32% of holiday shoppers said they were looking to use mobile coupons."

The Residence hotel in Aspen Colorado working with RadioFreeAspen.com and Qittle just did a Mobile Marketing campaign that involved radio ads with a mobile offer that listeners could redeem via a text message opt in. The offer was to win a free weekend getaway to Aspen Colorado by texting in the word ROOM to a shortcode. Everyone that entered was given a voucher for $200 off a weekend stay. Over 50% of the people that opt in called the number in the text message to redeem the offer. The hotel had so many calls that a follow up message was sent with another phone number to direct callers to a second line.

97 percent of all SMS marketing messages are opened (83 percent within one hour), according to the latest cell-carrier research. Mobile marketing is a powerful tool that businesses can use in their marketing efforts, however like email marketing the key is to build a list of people that have opt in and want to hear from you on a regular basis.

Click here to learn more about Qittle Mobile Marketing.

What About Mobile? Mobile Strategies Quickly Becoming Relevant for Businesses

A few years ago, the idea of getting 5% of your orders from mobile devices was unthinkable. But today, some companies are getting that much, if not more, as reported by many presenters at the recent Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) held in mid-June 2011 in San Diego. Mobile devices are quickly becoming a significant factor for companies, and the ones who get it already have business development and marketing teams in place focused strictly on mobile.

Let's look at some numbers. According to Gigaom.com, PayPal is expected to do "$3 billion in mobile payments in 2011." In March 2011, just three months ago, that prediction was "$2 billion." PayPal processes "$10 million a day in mobile transactions, compared to $6 million a day in March 2011." Mobile is growing, and it is growing fast.

But, the majority of companies still are not in the mobile space. At a survey presented to an audience of online retailer executives at IRCE 2011, 77% indicated their company did not have an iPhone app, and a whopping 97% did not have a Windows Phone 7 app. 84% of the audience did not have an Android app either, but 13% planned to release one within the next year.

So, mobile is clearly relevant, as indicated by the PayPal mobile transaction data, but the bulk of companies still are not in the game. If you move quickly, you can beat your competition to this new revenue stream that is quickly gaining momentum.

Businesses can use a number of mobile strategies to drive revenue from mobile devices. The two main strategies most companies focus on are mobile sites and mobile apps. Which is more important? According to experts at IRCE 2011, the short answer is, "both," and the slightly longer answer is, "it depends on your industry."

Let's start with apps. Most companies should have an app at this point, or should be thinking seriously about developing and releasing an app this year. The top two platforms are iPhone and Android. People can argue all day about which is more important, but neither are going away anytime soon, so make apps for both. Apps do a number of things for your business. If you provide the technology, they allow users to place orders and drive business to your company, no matter where the user is at the time. Apps also keep your brand top-of-mind for consumers and establish trusting relationships with customers. Your brand is always in their pocket when they have your app installed.

Mobile sites are typically less playful than apps, but they still allow consumers to connect to your company from anywhere to take action, whether it is placing an order, sending an inquiry, or just browsing products and information for a future transaction.

Also, PayPal isn't the only option in this space in terms of mobile transactions. You can integrate a PayPal checkout option if you want, or use other providers like Google Checkout. Or, you can let people browse products or services via mobile apps or sites, and add items to a cart or mark them for later viewing. Then, people can come back to your site on a computer and complete the order. You can also let people place orders on mobile devices and let them pay for the order when they pick it up, which drives both orders and foot traffic.

Apps and mobile sites need to make things easy and convenient for users. Think about how you can make your customers' lives easier, and design your mobile sites and apps with those ideas in mind. If you can give users a little more convenience in their daily lives, and give them a fun experience in the process, you will be rewarded with higher order volume via mobile devices. 

Gigaom reference: http://www.gigaom.com/2011/06/24/3b-in-mobile-payments-for-paypal-this-year-but-bigger-prize-at-stake/

What Is 'Cloud Computing'?

The name cloud computing comes from the cloud symbol that is often used in flowcharts for representing Internet. Cloud computing defines delivering of the hosted services over the Internet. These services are divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This technology is completely focused on providing efficient and centralized computing services. An internet connection along with a central remote server is required in cloud computing in order to maintain data.

Let's have a detailed look on this topic. A cloud can be of two types: Private or Public. A public cloud sells services to anyone on the Internet. For example, Amazon Web Services is the largest public cloud provider. A private cloud, on the other hand, supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. Thus, the goal of cloud computing is to provide easy, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.

As the world is moving ahead towards the growing trend direction, it is very clear that cloud computing will soon be emerging as a big bang for software development companies and soon we will be able to see various providers of the service. This technology mainly covers various IT related services such as computing, storage, networking, system security, application and platform. These services are charged based on the usage.

Some of the future benefits of CC can be listed as:

  • Latest technologies will be provided in schools, colleges & universities at an affordable price.
  • Start-up business firms don't need to invest on IT infrastructure, instead they can run their business on the Cloud with an office at home.
  • Cloud computing even helps a small retailer to send SMS greetings to their customers.
  • Multimedia digital content can be distributed to various consumers through cloud at a lower price.

With the help of cloud computing many new areas will be discovered and your computing storage will be outsourced to a Cloud provider. Every Mobile application development company is also using these services to develop customized applications/products.

A simple example of cloud computing is Yahoo or Gmail web-based e-mail services. In order to use these services, we do not require any server or software. Just a simple requirement of internet connection is needed and we get access to our mailbox. We can read as well as send our messages and do many other activities depending upon the functionalities provided by the e-mail service provider. This clearly indicates that how reliable, robust, scalable the usage of cloud computing is. A company can lead to increase in its business sales with reduced costs by using this consumption based model of cloud computing. Without having the need of getting a software license or server installation, merely an internet connection can help get a performance based secured way to fulfill your requirement.

What Is Mobile Advertising?

In the marketing world, mobile advertising is the way of the future. Advertising through this medium is similar to advertising online although the potential target is much greater. In 2009, the number of mobile phones in the world totaled over 4.6 billion. Computers totaled less than a quarter of that. Currently the amount spent on mobile advertising is only around 1% of total advertising budgets. Media for mobile phones is quickly evolving. Approximately 90% of the United States population owns a cell phone according to CTIA, the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry.

Mobile advertising has really taken off in countries like Spain, France and Japan. In Japan, 44% of mobile phone users click on ads they receive via their phones. The largest mobile advertising company in Japan, D2, announced in November of 2009 that the industry was worth 900 million dollars in their country alone. There are several forms of mobile ads from web banners to SMS advertising to advertising within applications and games. Other forms include audio or video recordings that play while interacting with different services. You can get free instant access to the best mobile marketing newsletter.

According to Mashable, an online guide to social media and one of the top ten blogs worldwide, trends to watch in mobile advertising include:

- Innovations through SMS
- Advancements with rich forms of media like sound, gaming and video
- Mobile applications or mobile websites
- Geo-location as an advertising tool
- The role of mobile video
- Innovations through SMS

Of the available mobile phone models, 98% are capable of short message service, or text messaging. This form of communication is one of the most popular methods in the world. Text messaging is easy to use with a low-cost. There are no applications needed to text another person. Service providers offer a range of options from unlimited plans to plans that give up to 250 messages per month. Even if a person opts out of a text message plan, he or she still is capable to receive a message. Statistics show that in late 2008, the average American user sent 357 text messages per month. Experian reported that text messages are usually read within 15 minutes of being received and responded to within an hour while email messages might go unread for several days.

Advancements with Rich Media

With the number of smartphones saturating the market, rich media will begin to have a stronger foothold in the mobile advertising industry. Consumers prefer engaging, interactive ads, designed through rich media like gaming, sound and video. A drawback to this form of mobile advertising is that skills and time are necessary to create ads. Big companies have the advantage with this media as they are more likely to have the budget and staff capable of tackling this type of advertisement.

Mobile Applications or Mobile Websites In Advertising

Advertisers have to decide if they are going to create a mobile application or a mobile website. Some will opt to do both. Certain factors like operating systems, types of devices, and screen size all play a role in how they will present mobile marketing. Internet giant Google is taking the mobile web road while Apple is going the application route. At this time it is difficult to find out which type of platform consumers will prefer in the future. This causes many issues during the development stage.

In an April 2010 survey conducted by eROI, trends in mobile marketing, less than a third of marketers in the United States consider the mobile marketing experience important to their customers. Only 23% of the respondents reported having an optimized website for a mobile device. An internet trends report by Morgan Stanley estimated that by the year 2014, mobile devices will conduct half of the web browsing done by Americans.

Advertising with Geo-Location

Geo-Location is one of the newer trends in mobile advertising. Applications like Foursquare are place-based programs for smartphones that help consumers find new ways to explore their city. Although there is an interest in this type of marketing, a recent study by Foursquare indicated that only 4% of users have taken advantage of place-based services. Only 1% actually log in to a location once per week.

Some concerns with geo-location based mobile advertising centers around privacy issues. This is also the case for other forms that deal specifically with targeted marketing. When companies customize ads, they use personal behavioral data, user profiles, and other data mind information. Privacy advocates have warned the industry that this may result in privacy infringement. Generally users have to give consent when opening an account for an application. This consent will override many privacy issues. The Mobile Marketing Association has published guidelines to aid marketers but as this is a rapidly growing area, the Association has found it difficult to keep their guidelines current.

The Role of Mobile Video

Internet video consumption has experienced a huge growth with today's internet users. Because of this trend with internet video, marketers assume that mobile video will also experience a huge growth. Cisco, a worldwide leader in networking, believes that the use of video will occupy about 66% of mobile traffic by 2013.

Mobile advertising has definitely caught marketers attention and the amount spent on advertising is growing. Marketers can measure the effectiveness of mobile ad campaigns by the number of views and clicks as well as other interactive tools. Swedish analyst, Berg Insight predicts that by 2014, mobile marketing will represent 11.7% of the total digital advertising market.

Android Operating System is the Future of Mobile Computing and Smartphones

Android Phones

The new Android phones are phones that operate on the Linux Kernal mobile operating System. It was developed by Android Inc, and later purchased by Google. This system enables developers to write managed codes in the java language and control the device with Google developed Java libraries.

The Android Phones are the phones of the future because they combine the ultimate advances in mobile phones, video, cameras, PC's and Navigation systems with multiple applications. The Phase development of the Android Phones started with the first model that had bugs and poor documentation, this was first introduced with the Sake Game-Android Development Phone. Next came the Android SDK it had a debugger, libraries, documentation, and tutorials. The final droid was the Android OS-Donut which added supports like voice search, priced applications and Gmail freeze fixes.

The Android OS system is important in this new system because it allows third party developers to create their own screen widgets. This allows for more applications and more opportunities for the manufacturer. The new Android Phones are being made by Google, Motorola, and HTC, LG, Dell and others breaking into the Smartphone market. The technology that it promises is ground breaking. The Android system acts like a robot, the user tells it what to do and it does it with supposed lightening speed.

The new Android Phones are basically bringing the desktop to the mobile phones. It allows for emailing, instant messaging, and web browsing all at the same time. It can run applications in the background while the user goes to a social network site. It also allows the user to listen to music and write an email at the same time, while talking on the phone. The possibilities are endless; the Android system allows several applications to run at the same time, just as a computer with windows does.

There are thousand of applications available for the Android phones and more are becoming available everyday. With the apps and the ability to multitask without having to shut down one act to do another is the new age of the mobile phones thanks to Goggles Android system. The new Android 2.0 is the latest in the line of Android systems to hit the market. The capabilities and promises are coming true very quickly as 2.0.1 stands ready for release.

Many people enjoy using the Android Phones already and sales have been phenomenal. Everyone wants a system that acts like a PC but is really a phone with all of the capabilities. The technology has just begun and there is more to come.