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Date: Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014 16:28

change next exit croppedI’m lucky to be born with a curious mind and to have plenty of opportunity to exercise that curiosity as part and parcel of the consultancy work I do. And because of that curiosity, I tend to notice more of the new stuff and because of my experience over 25 years in sectors ranging from retail, the arts, construction, public transport, media, advertising and mobile, I can put some of this into context for my clients when it comes to working with them on their mobile strategies and planning.

Last week, I was thinking about insurance and financial services and mobile. This week, I’m back at one of my regular stomping grounds of news media and mobile.

Both sectors are rooted in their ways of doing things. Neither has adapted that well to the digital world. Both sectors are aware that change is happening, but neither seem to be aware as to how fast that actually is (hint – it’s faster than any of us can imagine). Neither sector are clued up about technology beyond what they already know and use – in insurance and backing there are legacy systems from the early days of computing and in newspapers, it’s about print production and the technologies around that. And neither sector consider technology to be core of what they do. Maybe they’re right, but my hunch is that that may be holding them back as they’re not able to attract the right people to their organisations.

Interestingly, both sectors now seem to be embracing some developer culture in organising hackathons, opening up APIs for those hackathons and wanting to engage more with the start-up and tech community. It’s tricky though. When you’re not used to sharing, when you’re not used to open dialogue with external parties and telling them what’s actually going on rather than what you want them to know, it’s difficult to start doing that now. And there are so many hackathons going on in London right now, it may well be too late to join that bandwagon and a new format or approach may be required. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to be seeing collaboration activities happening.

I’ll be honest. I was disappointed last week at the FinTech event I attended last week. Nothing wrong with the event per se, but I didn’t see anything new or exciting or noteworthy. The discussions were sensible in many respects and the Aviva CIO was very interesting to listen to. But there was no leadership or real vision for what the future holds in how our daily lives are changing, especially in relation to the internet of things, big data, privacy and therefore what that might mean for the future of insurance or banking for those people.

The global media industry fares a little better although there are glimpses of hope from the UK. Yesterday, I heard some very interesting case studies from Hearst and how it’s tackling new digital properties and how The Times is moving from having readers to having members. And today, the FT.com’s story, as ever, is a strong one when it comes to digital leadership and actually trying new things (car interfaces, smart TV apps) and having its eye on what’s coming next. The majority of media owners I talk to outside the UK are still very wary of making these leaps of faith as they’re not sure what the next thing might be. Most media owners think their competition is other media owners. I imagine it’s not – look at the rise of The Young Turks, Bleacher Report and Jamal Edwards’ SB:TV empire. Bedroom media moguls all of them. No-one saw them coming (except maybe Google, Twitter and Facebook).

Well, I’d love to be able to tell you what that is. I don’t know what it is. I think it would be fair to say that no-one really does. Not even FT.com, The Times, Hearst et al. None of us are fortune-tellers. All those companies are openly experimenting, investing in systems, people and processes that are adaptable to change. Another thing they all have in common is really understanding their customers – bringing the experience back to humans – what we want, how we use our devices, when we use them, the content we want to read, the content we enjoy and share the most – that data driven insight then drives the thinking behind new products, services and revenue streams.

Ultimately, what needs to happen is culture change. Getting the right technology system or platform in won’t save your business. Rethinking your business in relation to the digital age just might. Will we still need car insurance with driverless cars? And what does the future of news look like? It certainly doesn’t look like a printed newspaper.

I’m going to leave you with some quotes that have kept popping up on my radar in the last few days:

Jack Welch — 'If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.'

John Kotter – ‘The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon’

and finally

Karen Lamb – ‘A year from now, you may wish you’d started today’

I don’t need to give you more stats on how mobile is eating the world or the exponential growth of mobile media and advertising. You can use a familiar search engine to find that out. Hey they even have a whole section dedicated to telling about that with Our Mobile Planet. What I would urge you to do is to do *something*.It may not be the right thing and it won’t be the last thing you do either. Don’t be afraid to experiment, to fail, to learn and to start again. Don’t be left behind though. Create a future you, your family, your friends and your customers will want to be part of.

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "change, culture"
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Date: Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 16:49

swedish beers 2014

I must be a glutton for punishment or something! It’s almost 13 years since the first ever Swedish Beers party in London and this will the eighth party in Barcelona… Oh my goodness, doesn't time fly?

Here we are again in February which means only one thing - it's time for Swedish Beers! It’s all systems go for Mobile World Congress and Heroes of the Mobile Fringe. And as part of that, your favourite networking party is back to bring you more beer and more chat.

We do have some lovely sponsors lined up for you but there's room for one or two more if you fancy getting involved. Get in touch with Helen to discuss. More will be announced over the coming days and weeks.

Like our previous events, this is a relaxed evening, no formalities, no presentations, no business cards thrust in your face as soon as you arrive. Just come with an open mind, be prepared to see friends old and new, talk nonsense, enjoy a drink or five and have yourself a good time. Oh, and leave the ties, the corporate personas and the sales spiel at the door please. The Swedish Beers crew will be on hand to welcome you as well as the friendliest bar staff in town.

No need to RSVP unless you want to. There's no guest list, no tickets and there's no guaranteed entry. Just come and go as you please. If you do register, it does mean that you can add the event to your calendar and search for it in your email and easily share with friends. Fill in the form below or go direct to the eventbrite page.

It is likely to get a bit busy at times. But don't worry, people will be coming in and out all evening. That’s kind of the point as we know there’s always a lot going on and you might want to check out more than one party. If it's very busy, there's no need to queue to get in. Just check out one of the other bars nearby and come back a little later when it's a bit less frantic.

There is a small cloakroom area at the bar, but it's not secure so leave the laptops in your hotel room or apartment where they will be safe and won't get in anyone's way.

The venue is our favourite haunt with the friendliest bar staff in town, Dos Trece -http://dostrece.net/
We'll be open from 7pm through until the early hours.

AQL is our first confirmed sponsor - more tbc. I’ll introduce all our sponsors over the coming days and weeks.

See you in Barcelona!

This is a Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival Event http://mobileheroes.net/



Like us on Facebook http://facebook.com/swedishbeers

Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/swedishbeers

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Barcelona, heroes, Heroes of the Mobile ..."
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Date: Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 10:47

I do a lot of public speaking. I always have done. At primary school, I was given the good speaking parts because I had a clear voice and a good memory. As a teenager, I acted my socks off at my local theatre and as an adult, I’ve been speaking in public in every job I’ve had – whether it was running a training course, hosting a fashion show or giving the keynote at an international conference. It’s very much second nature to me and something I enjoy doing. Don’t get me wrong, despite years of practice, I still have to prepare – including rehearsing out loud. But I don’t have stage-fright or nerves in the same way that others have it. That element of stage-fright for me is excitement rather than fear and the cue to go on with the show. And I see public speaking as being a very important way to communicate your story and market yourself or your business, whether you’re in a panel discussion or on stage showcasing your latest wares.

It doesn’t always go right though, as this video shows. It’s from CES just a couple of weeks ago and it’s Michael Bay talking up Samsung on the main stage.

It looks like he’s under-prepared and under-rehearsed. I expect Samsung paid him a lot of money to come up on stage and say nice things about their kit, but without the teleprompter, he had nothing to say. I guess that’s also why he’s a movie director rather than an actor.

Don’t let this happen to you. And don’t let this put you off either!

Here are some resources I’ve come across recently which may help you if lack of preparedness, stage-fright or just sheer dread thwart you.

Zach Holman has put together a lovely website with everything you need to know about preparing and delivering a conference talk. You can find it here http://speaking.io/. I don’t have much to add to his advice as it’s great except that it’s well worth watching and listening to other speakers. Sometimes it’s hard to take an objective view as you’re listening to them for the content and in a different context. But if you can, also check out their performance and see what you like or don’t like about how they’ve done it and have a think about how you could improve on that yourself. I find listening to panel discussions on Radio 4 quite helpful for this too as you’re not distracted by any slides or visuals and you can really tune into someone’s personal style.

Mary Portas tweeted this link the other day. It’s a short article about the one phrase you ought not to say. I concur and I’ve been guilty of this one in the past. You have been warned…

Of course, in order to do any public speaking, you need the chance to speak. Most commonly, this is about being accepted to speak at a conference. Here’s a link to some sound advice about putting that conference proposal together. It has a technical bent, but the advice is valid regardless of topic. There’s some more advice here too.

Public speaking is not rocket science. I’m glad that it’s not something that everyone’s good at as it leaves plenty of openings for me to do my thing. But it’s also clear to me it’s the sort of thing that you get better at the more practice you have. So don’t be shy. Have a go.

Good luck.

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "communications, marketing, speaking"
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Date: Monday, 20 Jan 2014 10:11

This is a lovely example of well-designed HTML for email marketing. I receive too many emails that are completely blank and just show placeholders for images, especially on my mobile phone or tablet. This is what you can do with a bit more thought.

What I don’t know of course, is how it does or doesn’t work on mobile…

pizza express

Hat tip to @ChrisMear for sharing.

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "email, email marketing, marketing"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 17:44

You may be forgiven for thinking mobile marketing is all about adverts on web pages seen on a mobile device or in-app advertising or sponsorship. For those of us who’ve been in the game for longer than we care to remember, SMS started the whole mobile marketing sector off back in 1999 yet it is often overlooked for newer ways to use mobile (i.e. mobile adverts) or for older formats (email, print, TV).

But it isn’t quite dead yet. I still use it – although not nearly as much as I used to. My sister is an avid texter and my nieces are still at it. However, for the first time, there has been a downturn in text messaging in the UK.

sms graphThe main culprits for the downturn is the rise of messaging services like WhatsApp. It makes sense. As we find other, cheaper, more convenient ways to chat to each other, SMS services will get replaced. Why pay for SMS when you can have WhatsApp for free and you’re paying for mobile data anyway? I suspect Facebook messenger and email also have a part to play in this picture.

Let’s look at this growth with a bit of historical context… According to the Mobile Data Association (and they got their figures direct from the network operators), annual consumer usage 1999-2009 was as follows:

1999 - 1 billion; 2000 - 6.2 billion; 2001 - 12.2 billion; 2002 - 16.8 billion; 2003 - 20.5 billion; 2004 - 26 billion; 2005 - 32 billion; 2006 - 41 billion; 2007 - 56.9 billion; 2008 - 78.9 billion; 2009 96.8 billion

As you can see from the graph, SMS was still growing, year-on-year, at a healthy pace in 2010 and 2011. And even though there has been a drop-off, we’re still looking at about 120 billion SMS every year in the UK or thereabouts. That’s 4.5 times more than what we were using 10 years ago. That’s a lot of SMS.

So let’s not dismiss SMS quite yet. When you look at the annual figures, they’re still very healthy so I encourage you to think about SMS as part of your marcomms effort. After all, plenty of your customers are still using it and there may still be value in connecting with them via SMS – especially for customer service – another area often overlooked.

What is particularly exciting for us mobile marketers though, is how much activity is happening on mobile devices. Check out that email figure – 65% of us are accessing email on our smartphones. It really is huge. So if you haven’t ‘gone mobile’ yet, I really think it might be time for you to do so.

I was asked a few years ago what my advice would be to the first time mobile-marketer in terms of ‘going mobile’ and I said to make sure their email marketing was mobile friendly. I think the advice still stands. If you do nothing else in mobile, please make sure your email works on handsets – and test for lower end devices. Not everyone has the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy!

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "email, messaging, sms, UK"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 13:46

draft 2014 full logo

I can hardly believe this is going to be the third year of organising the Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival in Barcelona. And on top of that, it will be my eighth Swedish Beers party in Barcelona. It has been quite the journey and certainly one that isn’t over yet.

The success (or not) of the festival is really down to YOU. I’ll be organising Swedish Beers (the bar is booked for Wednesday 26 February and I’ll have more details coming soon but feel free to connect on Facebook and Twitter to get updates). I am also organising an event with the UKTI aimed at investors on Sunday 23 February. And maybe one or two more things. But everything else is up to you and for you to make of it as you will. My goal in this is to help the right people get together and to help you make the most of the week.

How to get involved?hotmf needs you

Create an event. Whether it’s a small round-table, a panel discussion, a lunch, a dinner, a party or something else entirely, as long as it’s related to mobile, falls within the 23 to 28 February 2014 and is interesting*, then it’s in. It does not have to be held in Barcelona either – if you’d like to put something on in your town or city during those dates, then feel free. There were events in London and Helsinki last year – can we add any more this year?

Once you’ve created an event, please add it here so I can include it as a listing. There is no charge to list your event. I repeat, there is no charge to list your event!

If you need a venue, I may be able to help. I know some people locally who can help source, or I can recommend a few places. Barcelona is full of lovely bars and restaurants and many of them are very happy to welcome new guests.

If you have an event idea, but need some help fleshing it out, then feel free to run it past me – just add it to the list or drop me a line. I charge reasonable rates for organising events for clients. And if I’m not the right person to do it, then I probably know someone who is.

If you’re not up to organising your own event, but would like to sponsor something, then please get in touch. There are a couple of sponsorship slots available for Swedish Beers and there are a couple of other events I’d like to see happen subject to sponsorship.

If you have an event and would like to give it a bit extra marketing push, then get in touch. I can offer paid-for marketing services in this respect. Or I can make some recommendations.

Alternatively, you can offer your services as a volunteer or as a media partner.

And before you ask me about how to score an exhibition pass for Mobile World Congress, that’s the subject of another post. I don’t have a secret stash of them. In fact, I don’t even have one for myself.

See you in Barcelona!


*I have the final decision whether or not to include something in the festival or deem it interesting. Avoid the sales pitches and we should be good to go!

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "2014, Barcelona, festival, heroes, Heroe..."
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 12:45
This just came up on my Facebook feed – KLM is offering a new service called Meet and Seat whereby you can connect with other passengers on your flight by adding your Facebook or your LinkedIn profile to your flight details. They say:
“KLM’s Meet & Seat lets you find out about interesting people who will be on board your KLM flight such as other passengers attending the same event as you at your destination.
Simply share your Facebook or LinkedIn profile details to check other participating passengers’ details and where they'll be sitting. Of course you can also choose your seat.”
So it’s essentially networking on a plane or is it dating? Either’s possible, of course. And it doesn’t sound like my idea of fun on the face of it.
klm networking
I like the serendipity of seeing who you end up sitting next to and whether or not you talk to them - chance is sometimes rather wonderful. And I also like it when I have a row to myself or a seat free next to me so I can have some down time and either prepare myself for the upcoming trip or contemplate on the trip that I’ve just been on.
On a practical note, as a woman, I think I'd feel vulnerable about someone specifically choosing to sit next to me on a flight... there are all kinds of stalker-y issues plus there'd be no escape for the duration of the flight if the person you end up with is a bore. Maybe it would be different if it were a flight to a big trade show where I'm already likely to know people on the plane. I’m also not one for getting up and around much on a flight – at least, not on a short-haul flight. But I guess you could arrange to meet up in the lounge beforehand or on the other side.
I can see its uses on flights to large trade shows like the upcoming Mobile World Congress where almost everyone on the flight is in the industry. But even then, it’s quite nice to hide in the corner and just observe what’s going on.
Wonder if it will work or not? What do you think?
Anyway, I don't fly through Amsterdam much so I guess I won't be trying it anytime soon but I'll be keeping an eye on it to see how it pans out.
Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "miscellaneous"
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Date: Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 18:50

It’s December 2013 already. Christmas is in the air and the TV is awash with Christmas TV adverts. So it’s only to be expected that there are some end of term reports from some of the big guns. And I’m afraid I’m reading them with mixed feelings which I’ll share with you.

bdo logoLet’s start with BDO’s Retail Compass 2013. The survey “examined the opinions of 100 chief marketing officers at leading retailers located throughout the USA. The retailers in the study were among the largest in the country, including 11 retailers in the top 100 based on annual sales revenue. The telephone survey was conducted in September and October of 2013”.

The survey covers all aspects of retail but there is a section about mobile marketing.

In the press release, the focus for retailers is on traditional channels rather than mobile:

  • 38 per cent of retailers are including mobile in their marketing strategy this year—down from 50 per cent in 2012—those who are embracing it are ramping up their efforts.
  • Last year, mobile comprised an average of 5.9 per cent of retailers’ overall marketing budget; this year, that number has jumped to 15 per cent.
  • With eMarketer predicting a 15 per cent rise in mobile shopping volume this year, the mixed survey results suggest that retailers remain divided as to the platform’s growth potential and its ability to convert sales.
  • One strategy on which retailers are not divided, however, is print advertising: a plurality of CMOs (41 per cent) are investing most of their holiday budgets in traditional print ads, which have been a consistently popular medium over the last 4 years.
  • And CMOs still believe in the power of TV to reach a wide audience: 29 per cent say they will spend the majority of their holiday advertising budget on broadcast.
  • Retailers are looking towards social media, but don’t know the right mix (and probably don’t realise how much of it is on mobile and how that impacts on conversions if their offering isn’t mobile-friendly).

So good news for broadcast and print in the US, and for those who are working on mobile campaigns for retailers, it’s good news as the budgets are bigger – just fewer of them by some measure compared with 2012. I have to question what the decision making process is behind this when the growth in mobile and mobile commerce is rising at a very fast pace. Of course, I don’t know how the question was asked and it may be that the retailers are ahead of the curve and have a great mobile site and/or a range of mobile apps and that the assumption is that mobile marketing in this context means mobile advertising which maybe they feel they don’t need as their mobile offering is so strong. I live in hope of that anyway! I fear that retailers may have their heads in the sand and have not yet woken up to what’s happening under their noses and are missing out on opportunities today.

Download the full report here http://www.bdo.com/download/2972

guardian adobe research image

Now let’s look at the UK. Adobe and The Guardian have just published a survey looking at the mobile marketing attitudes of 1427 executives in the UK. The free report makes for quite depressing reading about the UK state of play.

  • More than 50% said their organisation had a fragmented approach or no strategy at all when it comes to mobile
  • Most respondents are unconfident about their organisation’s ability to measure the success of their mobile channels (which I’m guessing is a hindrance to offering them at all)


  • Most respondents felt their businesses would benefit from mobile marketing


  • Respondents expect to see a significant shift in the number of customer interactions supported or driven by mobile

So why aren’t they taking the plunge?

Well, rather worryingly, a lot of respondents felt that mobile wasn’t going to overtake the desktop at all or within the next two years. Many don’t have the funds to support mobile initiatives or don’t believe their business would benefit at all.

That last point worried me so I took at look back at the kinds of organisations the respondents came from. As this was run by The Guardian, there were a disproportionate amount of responses from the public sector, the arts, charities/not for profit and education. I’m not entirely surprised that those organisations aren’t as clued up and/or don’t have the funds or willingness to go mobile, at least not yet. I would hope that the results would be more positive if there were more brands, agencies and retailers who had responded.

You can read more here.

I guess the good news for us working in mobile marketing is that there’s still plenty work for us to do. Need to get your senior teams up to speed with what’s going on in mobile marketing and media? Get in touch. I’ve done workshops with a variety of media owners and agencies in the UK and the Nordic region. Maybe I can do one for you?

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "2013, marketing, mobile, mobile marketin..."
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Date: Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 10:26

Greetings from Barcelona! I’m in town for the Gartner Symposium and am with the Samsung At Work team this week. This is a different kind of conference from what I’m used to. There are about 5000 CIOs (Chief Information Officers) here. These people are responsible for the implementation and management of the technology infrastructures that drive large corporate businesses. Typically that means servers and internet access and managing corporate email systems. It means maintaining laptops and desktops and privacy and security. It means enterprise IT systems and increasingly, it also means websites and mobile apps and digital products and services. For many of those attending, that’s a big shift in their focus. There’s a big difference between managing a corporate email and IT infrastructure and creating and building new apps and services. It’s a different mindset, it’s a different methodology and it’s a different way of working – much more collaboration is required, consumer insight and understanding and more general business knowledge. There’s a lot of new stuff for these people to get their heads round and it’s something I hadn’t really considered before coming.

One of the sessions I went to yesterday was Richard Marshall’s session on The Mobile Application Roadmap. Richard has come from a mobile start-up background before joining Gartner. He’s built and delivered mobile apps and services. He know what it’s like to do this stuff and he shared his key insights from this experience. For some of my readers, what he shared won’t be new at all. Many of you are living and breathing this stuff, but if you’re new to the world of mobile or the world of apps or are making the shift from an analogue business to a digital business, his slides are probably worth a look – it’s all sound advice in there. His main themes were to release early and often, fail fast, get user feedback, iterate, think in terms of minimum viable product and make sure of your business case.  He also talked about user experience and some design methodologies but that’s probably worthy of another post another day. In the meantime, here are his slides. They are fairly self-explanatory, but bear in mind they’re aimed at an IT audience.

Richard Marshall talks about the Mobile Application Roadmap at Gartner Symposium from Helen Keegan
Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "mobile apps, mobile application"
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Date: Monday, 04 Nov 2013 13:18

all the brands

You’ve probably seen this graphic doing the rounds on social media already. But if not, it really is well worth a look. It’s called ‘The Illusion of Choice’. You see lots of brands on the supermarket shelf and you get to choose your preference – maybe you choose on price, quality, smell, taste, perceived value and more. But how much of a choice is it when those brands all belong to the same companies?

You might wonder why I think this is worthy of note. Well, I think it’s worth being mindful of what you buy and where that money is going. I didn’t know that Nestle owned L’Oreal who in turn owns The Body Shop, Stella McCartney and Kiehl’s. It’s made me think again about Kiehl’s as a brand and makes me question their product quality. And can Diesel maintain its (relatively) cool brand image when its parent company is Nestle?

Equally, I think it’s important to understand how these brands and companies do deals with each other in their own company group. One example cited is Yum Brands which owns KFC and Taco Bell. The company was a spin-off of Pepsi. All Yum Brands restaurants sell only Pepsi products because of a lifetime deal with the soda-maker. Not a lot of choice going on there.

I’m not saying don’t buy these brands, maybe just be a little more mindful each time you do.

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "miscellaneous, marketing, brand building"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 17:18

order out of chaos      hn survey logo

For those of you who are interested in technology and are based in the North of England, you may be interested to attend the upcoming Harvey Nash event in Manchester on Wednesday 4th December at 6pm at MOSI. It’s free to attend and will be of particular interest to CMOs, CTO/CIOs and CEOs of businesses of all sizes. The topic for discussion is based around Harvey Nash’s annual CIO Survey (you can download the full PDF here). The survey is a useful way to catch up with what CIOs and CTOs feel are the latest trends and issues – mobile being one of the top ones, followed by the on-going friction between CMOs and CTOs (especially as marketing departments have increasing budgets for digital) and quite a few more...

I’ve been invited to join the panel (thanks Mike!) alongside Martin Jones, CTO lastminute.com; Martin Bryant, Editor-in-Chief, The Next Web; and Doug Ward CEO and Co-Founder Tech Britain and TechHub Manchester. It should be an interesting event if their Leeds one a few weeks ago is anything to go by and there’ll be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and chip in with your 2p. Oh, and there’ll be some networking too. It’s free to attend. Hope to see some of you there.

More information and RSVP here.

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "events, manchester"
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Date: Monday, 14 Oct 2013 18:11

Apologies for being a bit slow on the blogging front recently. I just got out of the habit. However, I’ve been busy squirreling away lots of articles and links to follow up on with blog posts should the moment come to blog.

As many of you already know, I do consulting work with media owners of all types and sizes, helping their senior teams get their heads around what’s happening in mobile and social and how it is impacting their business and what they might do about it. I recently did a talk to a group of Nordic media owners who were pretty horrified that I rarely went directly to an online or mobile newspaper to read it but followed random links from people I followed on a variety of social networks and as such, wouldn’t necessarily know which publication or which journalist I was reading.

Don’t get my wrong, by all accounts, media consumption of all types is in rude health when it comes to mobile and online. What isn’t so healthy are the business models to pay for that as well as the fact that many outlets are still focused on print as the main product despite declining revenues. And that’s the challenge that media owners face. The existing business models are in (fast) decline and the news ones are not (yet) replacing those revenues often coupled with a reluctance to change or move with the times.

If you’re interested in where mobile meets media, the future of advertising, the future of journalism and the like, the following links will probably be of interest.

Why tablet magazines are a failure by Jon Lund. Jon’s key point is to encourage media owners to build for the web rather than tablet app only. But while he’s telling us that, there are some really interesting case studies quoted and some rather useful numbers if you need to persuade your boss to move with the times.

The Financial Times to move to single global print edition. This is a very interesting move by the FT. They’re changing their workflow and product focus to reshape the paper for the digital age. Although the printed paper is still part of their multi-platform operation, the shift in how they’re managing it all shows a keen eye on the future and they’re changing before their hand is forced. Smart move, I say.

Ken Doctor highlights what’s coming for media owners in 2014. It’s not news to those of us who’ve been working in mobile and media for a while, but I suspect, the pointers are a bit scary for a lot of media owners who haven’t yet started the change process or haven’t invested in preparing themselves for the future.

Josh Marshall doesn’t believe in Flipboard’s model for media owners and he tells us why, even as far as calling Flipboard a scam. I understand where he’s coming from, but what he doesn’t talk about is who and where his audience is and what their needs and wants are, what their reading habits are and how that matches with TPM’s offering. It’s still early days for Flipboard and its ilk, but I don’t think services like them are going away any time soon.

Canada’s Globe And Mail’s CEO tells media owners ‘we have to think more precisely about what it is that will make people pay’. There are some useful pointers in this article explaining some of the things G&M are doing to get readers to pay for content.

How much are you willing to pay for digital news? There’s still no definitive answer to this, but this article (and the links within it) highlight some of the key issues faced by media owners (yes, it’s getting a bit repetitive isn’t it – the need to innovate, the acceptance that the print decline is real and not stopping, that the digital ad sales aren’t replacing print ad sales etc.).

Attention v. Relationship Economy – this article explores they way that media owners could or should be thinking about how to monetise. And I think I agree with the author, Jeff Jarvis, that it’s about the relationships newspapers have with their community of readers, advertisers and more.

Long story short…

  • digital media consumption is high
  • mobile set to overtake desktop very quickly
  • tablet magazines probably won’t save your business
  • media companies need to restructure
  • we need some new ways to advertise (I still don’t understand why we’re shoe-horning old ways into new media)
  • we need to create and try more new business models
  • no-one has the definitive answer
  • And as Bob Dylan sang many years ago, ‘The Times they are a changin’’.
Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "digital content, tablets, advertising, d..."
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Date: Monday, 02 Sep 2013 11:15

Well, sort of. The sample size is quite small and it’s early days for this kind of study, but this article in the Economist is worth a read. The teens and twenty-somethings in the study all reported more negative feelings after they’d spent time on Facebook versus spending time with people in real life. I’m not sure that this is much of a surprise – especially for that age-group for whom it looks like everyone else is much cooler and having a much better time than you are. As you grow older, I think you probably grow out of that so I wonder what a similar study would reveal about older age-groups. Anyway, expect to see more of this sort of thing as the web matures.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "social networking, miscellaneous, social..."
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Date: Friday, 30 Aug 2013 12:17

apadmi logo blackI’m just having a read of app development firm, Apadmi’s first white paper. For anyone thinking of embarking on the app development journey, it’s well worth a read as it includes some very sensible advice. There’s also a useful section about finding the right team to work with and managing your code. It’s a free download http://www.apadmi.com/whitepapers/12-top-tips-to-create-a-great-mobile-app/

(Disclaimer, Apadmi is one of my regular Swedish Beers sponsors, but that’s not why I’m sharing this!)

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "application"
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Date: Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 14:55

Tim Green talks to teenagers three teenagers about their mobile lives. And very telling it is too. Admittedly, this is a sample group of three, but the swing from BlackBerry to iPhone is obvious in this peer group. I’m surprised at the lack of Android adoption but that’s possibly a fashion thing. And boys are living up to their gender stereotype by being more represented at the extreme end of the scale – either the best or the worst phone and not much in the middle.

One of them says "I'm not addicted to my phone, but I am addicted to my iPad. The school gave us all iPads, and all we ever use them for is Instagram and SnapChat and YouTube. Everyone's connected all the time. They must have thought it would help us with learning but it's completely backfired. They even tried to change us to a new Wi-Fi signal but we knew it would block off lots of content, so we all carried on using the old one."

Now there’s a lesson in there somewhere about mobile devices and education….

Read more here http://www.mobile-ent.biz/news/read/tim-green-only-boys-use-android/022209

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "devices, research"
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Date: Friday, 09 Aug 2013 13:50

I still rate this campaign for its creative use of voice and SMS, especially as it is from 2002. At the time, it was only 12Snap who were running campaigns that combined IVR (Interactive Voice Response) with SMS (text messaging) from what I can remember.

It seems pertinent to share this one with you now as the new Monsters University film is out this summer – 11 years on from the original.

The mechanic of this campaign was pretty simply. You bought a packet of fries from McDonald’s. You opened the door to reveal a special phone number and code. Text the code message to the phone number given. You get a text message to say if you’ve won or lost. If you won, one of the Monsters called you back and screamed at you (which is in keeping with the original film).

This was the biggest mobile marketing campaign ever at that time and was printed on 13 million fry boxes. There was a tiered prize structure with all players being advised whether they had won or lost by text message. Premium winners also receive a “monster MobileCard” (this was using IVR – interactive voice response – and was the monster screaming at you). Intermediate prize winners get a mobile ringtone or logo (those were the days when you could offer these as a genuine prize to customers!). Non-prize-winners got a text message from a monster asking them to play again.

It was run via T-Mobile’s servers and they struggled under the volumes of messages coming through due to the popularity and large-scale of the sales promotion. At the time, McDonald’s was one of the brands pioneering mobile marketing.

The companion website can be seen here on web.archive.org

monsters inc / 12snap monsters inc / 12snap
Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "mobile marketing, voice, FMCG, sales pro..."
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Date: Thursday, 08 Aug 2013 13:32

Below you will find the front and back scan of a sales promotion leaflet that came with Kenco Rappor packs that were new to the market back in 2002. It tied in with the theme of the recent TV campaign that was used to launch the product the previous year. The innovative element of the product was about the new pack format on offer – the fact that the instant coffee granules were in stick format to offer a single serving and designed specifically to appeal to younger customers. More on that rationale about the campaign here. An example of one of the TV ads used can be seen here if you’re interested.

Anyway, it’s fair to say that mid-2002 is still very much early days for mobile marketing. Errors in execution were certainly made – even with the limitations of the time. For example, we already had shortcodes and the mechanic was a bit complicated and fairly meaningless if you hadn’t seen or remembered the TV advert. And the leaflet was folded really really small to fit in the tiny sample size packs they were giving out.

Feel free to discuss what you would do the same or differently.

kenco rappor campaign kenco rappor campaign

You can see larger versions of these graphics on flickr in my mobile marketing set.

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "mobile marketing, FMCG, history, sms, mo..."
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Date: Wednesday, 07 Aug 2013 14:21

I’ve just spotted these slippers. They’re fantastic. What a simple idea, very well executed. They also appeal to me as they’re made from felt which I enjoy making too and I know how lovely and comfortable they will be.


Interesting to see that this year, their Kickstarter campaign was a huge success raising more than 3 times the amount of money they were looking for. So why was it their Indiegogo campaign from last year was a bit of a disaster? Is it a timing issue? Not offering a wide-enough range of sizes initially? Or maybe Indiegogo just isn’t as good? Or maybe they had better visuals and copy the second time around? Or maybe someone just picked up on the Kickstarter campaign and that was the catalyst for success?


Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "miscellaneous"
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Date: Wednesday, 07 Aug 2013 13:09

I’m having a bit of a clear-out at home and whilst going through some old magazines, I found that I’d kept a very old issue of Hello Magazine – Issue 638 from November 21, 2000 to be precise. Now Hello is not a magazine I have ever bought or kept habitually so I had a flick through to see why I still had it. Inside was this advertisement feature from Vodafone for the ‘Vodafone Message-Cam’. It’s not a device I remember at all. I was more than a bit sceptical about camera-phones at the time as my focus was on SMS marketing back then.

Bearing in mind this was from November 2000, before we had camera-phones, it was very much ahead of its time. You can see from the advertorial that the girls are having fun taking selfies and sharing them via email (we didn’t have WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter back then). Anyway, I’ve scanned the whole thing in for you to have a look at as I think it’s interesting.

Worthy of note…

Colour touchscreen; selfies, sharing shopping photos, internet browsing (does this make the device the world’s first mobile tablet?), treating a mobile device as fashion, email on mobile – and all this *thirteen* years ago. This device was ahead of its time but clearly they were spot on with many things we just take for granted today with our mobile devices.

I wonder how many they sold….?

Hello 21/11/2000 Hello 21/11/2000


In case you can’t read the copy very well, here’s a transcript of it for you:

Advertisement Promotion.

Girls Night Out

The Vodafone Message-Cam is set to be the ‘must have’ gift on every Christmas wish list

Every season one fashion item always becomes the essential accessory for serious fashionistas. This Christmas, it has to be the Vodafone Message-Cam. Designed by Casio exclusively for Vodafone, this ingenious little device is the world’s first hand held visual communicator with in-built digital camera, which attached to your mobile phone, allows you to send pictures, emails and surf the web. So when Vodafone asked us to test out the Message-Cam, we decided to give it the full paparazzi treatment.

Models are constantly travelling, so keeping in touch with their friends while on jobs around the world can be tough. We asked models Marie and Marit to take the Message-Cam with them on a girls night out in London and give us their verdict.

The girls headed for Zilli Bar, a favourite Soho hot spot, and invited a few girlfriends to join them. They took shots all evening, emailing the pictures immediately to friends around the world and around the corner! It was incredibly easy and a lot of fun. Everyone wanted to get in on the shots, even the waiters.

The Message-Cam’s digital camera has a fully rotating lens so that you can take pictures of yourself or the friends you’re with. You can freeze and edit the pictures on screen,, select the one you want to send, add voice or text message and then email anywhere you want. The screen is full colour and touch-sensitive which makes it ideal for surfing the web. It includes a sound and photo album, voice recorder, clock, SMS editor, calendar and calculator. All this, plus full Internet access and WAP browsing capabilities.

The girls though the Vodafone Message-Cam would make postcards obsolete and would be great for all sorts of occasions, from weddings to parties, or even shopping. Imagine photographing yourself in different outfit and then emailing the pictures to a friend for advice. The over-whelming verdict was that this was an accessory no girl should be without!

The Vodafone Messaged-Cam comes complete with a Siemens C35i WAP phone and data cable. It’s a limited edition and available through Vodafone Stores nationally, priced £349.99. For your local Vodafone Store call 0800 – 10 11 12.

+++++++++ Here's what the device looks like in the flesh Vodafone Message-Cam MC-20-B manufactured by Casio

Want to know a bit more about it? The AnswerBank can fill you in here. And as recently as 2007, geeks have been hacking the device.

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "devices, cameraphone, social media, hist..."
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Date: Friday, 12 Jul 2013 10:37

wirehive100 logoIt’s time for some local recognition and the Wirehive 100 is giving agencies in the South of England a chance to shine by entering for their place in the Wirehive 100 league table and also to enter one of 12 specific categories to win a prestigious Wirehive 100 award. I’m judging the mobile category again this year and look forward to seeing some new work from new agencies.

How do I get involved?

The Wirehive100 Awards and League Table are open to any digital agency in the South of England based in the following counties: Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, West Sussex, East Sussex, Kent, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Surrey.

It’s free to put yourself forward for the Wirehive 100 League Table. You can do that here.

Then there are 12 categories that you can enter for the awards for which there’s a charge of £75 per entry. The categories include several techie categories including Techie of the Year, Best Mobile Project and Best Tech award which may well appeal to some of you reading this. All twelve categories are listed here.

The deadline for both is 19 July 2013 – that’s just a few days away. If you miss the deadline, there is a week’s grace period but it’ll cost you £100 to take advantage of that. And do check the terms and conditions of entry too to make sure you qualify.

So get those thinking caps on and get entering. Make my life as a judge difficult by making sure there are some great mobile entries in there! Best of luck and hope to see some of you at the awards ceremony.

Author: "Helen Keegan (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "agency, awards"
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