Agile Minds

When it comes to mobile, the advantages of offering the appropriate marketing and messaging at the appropriate point in the funnel can be massive.
- Autumn 2019 Issue, Posted Oct 15, 2019
Numbers from comScore show that mobile apps have eclipsed all other platforms, including TV, to shift the digital-media landscape in favor of mobile. More people are spending more time on their apps, and ad spend is catching up. It's a dynamic that sets the stage for a new phase of innovation.
- Spring 2019 Issue, Posted May 28, 2019
Virtual reality (VR) is gaining traction as brands, companies, and marketers seek to reinvent themselves and the consumer experience.
- Autumn 2018 Issue, Posted Nov 20, 2018
As a mobile-industry veteran who has been watching trends and developments since text messaging broke on to the scene, I'm encouraged by the influx of inbound marketers asking me to draw from my history of analyzing and documenting the games app industry for tips and tricks marketers of non-gaming apps can adopt.
- Spring 2018 Issue, Posted May 22, 2018
From social media sharing to personalized push notification, 2017 saw a flurry of activity as media companies focused their attention and investment on making changes and improvements to their mobile app presence. This is aimed at extending the life span of their app or increasing user engagement. It's a smart strategy, but it falls short in today's hyper-competitive app economy.
The rapid advance of ad-blocking tech turns up the pressure on content owners to seek more engaging and effective ways to monetize their assets. While the results of strategies aimed at delivering content and communications aligned with our context in the mobile moment are impressive, the progress is overshadowed by the steep decline in digital advertising revenues.
While it's essential for companies and marketers to master mobile communication, their focus on amassing technology glosses over the increasing importance of tone. They need to rethink how they should address an audience that's empowered by mobile, eager for new experiences, and feels entitled to personal, relevant, and convenient communications.
November/December 2016 Issue, Posted Dec 20, 2016
The advance of ad-blocking tools on mobile devices and browsers pushes publishers to find new ways to connect with consumers-especially Millennials. It's a generation that was born "in control," with an insatiable urge to experience content, not just consume it. It's also an audience segment that is constantly connected to their preferred social communities and networks--channels that have also become the chief referral sites for news and information.
In 2008, when Seth Godin, marketing wizard, proclaimed that "content marketing is all the marketing left!" it was not a signal to brands and companies to create and distribute reams of messaging disguised as content to their target audience. But in many cases, that is exactly what happened.
- December 2015 Issue, Posted Dec 11, 2015
From apps that blend games and commerce to apps that encourage media consumption in the mobile moment, it's clear that the app economy is on the move. But it's also a marketplace in which competition is on the rise. Nielsen reveales--in the post "So Many Apps, So Much More Time for Entertainment"--that people are spending more time than ever on their apps, but they are also choosing to spend their time using fewer apps. In 2014's 4Q, Nielsen found that iPhone and Android smartphone users in the U.S. spend more than 37 hours with their apps each month, and they use 26.7 apps per month.
- September 2015 Issue, Posted Sep 01, 2015
Shoppers can't buy items if they can't find them in the aisles; in the app store, it's no different. The inherent inability of app store search engines to expose users to the "long tail" of apps means the vast majority of apps remain virtually invisible. App store research underlines this imbalance, revealing that only 5% of apps accounted for 92% of downloads in 2013.
- April 2015 Issue, Posted Apr 07, 2015
For nearly a decade, my work has focused on ways companies can (and should) harness the unique attributes of mobile to engage and re-engage with their audience. Fast-forward, and the advance of tablets, phablets (phones plus tablets), other connected devices, and an avalanche of apps have made mobile much more than the primary way we connect with content.
- December 2014 Issue, Posted Dec 05, 2014
The number of mobile apps-and consumers who use them on a regular basis-has increased tremendously. A rash of reports suggest app download numbers will continue to break records and hit somewhere between 200 billion and 270 billion in 2017, up from between 70 billion and 100 billion in 2013. Add to that the latest comScore report, which states mobile apps account for more than 50% of all digital media consumption, and it's little wonder that content companies are lining up to launch or revamp their mobile app.
- September 2014 Issue, Posted Sep 02, 2014
In 2013, we witnessed two important milestones: Mobile phone penetration measured in subscriptions exceeded the total world population, and Gartner, Inc. proclaimed that the number of mobile apps downloaded hit a record 70 billion. That's 10 times the number of people on the planet. The power of mobile is no longer about its reach or the way it allows us to access and enjoy content, communications, and information anywhere, anytime. The real excitement now centers on mobile's ability to orchestrate new experiences that connect people with other digital screens and the real world around them. Simply put, mobile is at the center of an omnichannel world.
- April 2014 Issue, Posted Apr 01, 2014
Is mobile apps become the way your audience prefers to access information and content, emerging as an effective way to encourage engagement and build lasting loyalty, it has never been more important for content providers to monitor just how well (or not) their apps are performing. Indeed, the advance of apps-for smartphones, tablets, and even TVs-is redrawing the boundaries of what people can do on the device of their choice. While you need to focus your resources on developing a mobile app experience that delights your customers, you are also under increased pressure to meet (and exceed) customers' expectations that the mobile experience will beat the one delivered by their desktops.
- December 2013 Issue, Posted Dec 12, 2013
While writing my most recent book, I noticed a new phase of growth and innovation in the mobile app space. It's encouraging to see companies jumping on the app bandwagon and the tremendous capabilities and creativity that they unleash. Take the example of Broadcast Interactive Media (BIM). It just launched mobile apps for the Apple iOS and Android platforms that can be rapidly deployed by its client base of hundreds of local television station websites. Each app has content tabs such as Top Stories, Local News, Weather, or Sports that can be customized by local broadcast and media companies to pull in content from each local station's website and optimized for mobile viewing.
- October 2013 Issue, Posted Oct 08, 2013
There is no question that social media has gone mobile. According to a new eMarketer, Inc. report, "Social Media Marketing on Mobile Devices: Turning Challenges Into Opportunities," the key opportunity for marketers in the shift toward mobile is engagement. Mobile users not only log in more frequently, they also spend more total time on social media sites. As devices integrate social media more deeply, engagement reinforces the mobile-social virtuous circle, making it even stronger.
- June 2013 Issue, Posted Jun 18, 2013
Look around you: It's clear that conditions are coming together to produce a "perfect storm" that will rip across the mobile app space, paving the way for apps that enable everything-from games and entertainment, to education and healthcare, to retail and daily productivity-and leave an indelible mark on our daily lives.
- March 2013 Issue, Posted Mar 19, 2013
This year will go on record as the year that smartphone penetration in the U.S. passed the 50% mark, cementing the importance of mobile apps as a new channel to the customer. For the first time, smartphones and tablets have superseded the browser as the new mainstream platform where content is developed and deployed.
- December 2012 Issue, Posted Dec 20, 2012
With the advance of mobile applications and services and loads of made-for-mobile destinations and content, mobile does much more than allow people easy and instant access to the information they want, the way they want it. Mobile is fast becoming the lens through which we interact with the world around us.Consumers reach to connected devices-phones, smartphones, and now tablets-to manage their lives, engage with brands, transfer money, and even pray. Because we can do more with our devices and because our devices don't let us down, we are endowing them with new importance and traits.
- October 2012 Issue, Posted Oct 16, 2012
The web is dead. Apps are the future. Is tech blogger Robert Scoble on the mark when he makes this claim? It all depends on strategy.As a channel to the customer, mobile apps offer significant advantages. They allow companies to generate increased awareness, encourage interaction, and boost loyalty. It's no coincidence that media companies around the world are grasping the opportunity with both hands, producing an avalanche of smartphone apps and iPad apps aimed at getting their content in the hands of customers on the move.
- June 2012 Issue, Posted Jun 19, 2012
From relevant mobile marketing and communications that reach us on every step of the consumer journey to mobile money services that enable us to conduct financial transactions to the advance of cloud-based services that give us easy access to our files and networks anywhere, anytime, mobile is finally taking its cues from people, not just what technology makes possible.
- March 2012 Issue, Posted Mar 13, 2012
Despite the tiny screens, more consumers than ever before are using their smartphones to do more than ever before. Market research firm IDC reports that sales of smartphones in the final quarter of 2010 outstripped those of PCs for the first time—ever! Moreover, a milestone report from Google, in collaboration with the Mobile Marketing Association, confirms that we increasingly rely on our mobile devices to research products, make purchases, conduct transactions, and connect with social networks.
- Posted Dec 13, 2011
The proliferation of connected devices and platforms has encouraged dozens of companies and providers--including online retail giant Amazon--to establish an application storefront and get in on the action. More marketplaces may mean more choice for consumers, but it also turns up the pressure on publishers and marketers to learn how to do business in a new, booming "App Economy."
- October 2011 Issue, Posted Oct 24, 2011
Despite the worldwide economic slowdown in key markets, mobile spending-as a means to deliver effective marketing messages and campaigns to acquire and retain customers-is unquestionably on the rise. Indeed, from simple display ad campaigns aimed at boosting brand awareness to more ambitious cross-media strategies integrating a mobile call to action, brands and media companies have never been more active in mobile.
- June 2011 Issue, Posted Jun 13, 2011
The avalanche of new connected devices, including tablets, smartphones, and applications that blur the lines between the two, are paving the way for 2011 to be the year of multiplatform content creation and delivery. he advance of hardware and software products by providers including Google and Apple to leverage the three screens--mobile, TV, and internet--has whet consumers' appetites for new and connected experiences that deliver us content across time, place, and platforms.
- March 2011 Issue, Posted Mar 08, 2011
The app economy has officially arrived. The hard truth: It's not a single market, and one-size-fits-all app schemes won't deliver. Will app stores be on-deck (operator-managed) or off-deck (direct-2-consumer)? Or will the prevailing model be paid apps or ad-supported apps? So many open questions and the answers are "all of the above" and everything in between.
- December 2010 Issue, Posted Nov 22, 2010
The personal nature of the mobile phone, the form factor of the mobile device (small keypad, tiny screen), and the obvious shortcomings of PageRank algorithms play in favor of a new approach to mobile search that puts people back in the equation.
- October 2010 Issue, Posted Oct 13, 2010
Traditional business school doctrine teaches us to delight the customer. But it doesn't tell us how to please empowered consumers and Digital Natives who consider mobile to be integral to their daily routine and an essential part of their personae.
Reams have been written about the impact of the Apple iPhone on content production and content creation, advising content companies, media firms, and major consumer brands to launch apps to reach a larger audience. Now, that hint is becoming a business imperative.
- May 2010 Issue, Posted May 06, 2010
A raft of recent reports and surveys reveal that more brands are running mobile campaigns, a positive trend that plays in favor of media publishers that have the inventory and know how to use (sell) it.
- March 2010 Issue, Posted Mar 11, 2010
After chairing or otherwise participating in more than 20 conferences and workshops across Europe this year-the vast majority of which focused on hot trends in mobile content-I see a subtle yet seismic shift in the way publishers perceive and promote digital assets.
- December 2009 Issue, Posted Nov 24, 2009
There is room for innovation and improvement in mobile search. This message came through loud and clear as I prepared a workshop on Mobile Search Future Prospects for the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the European Commission. Content (what the individual is searching for) and context (the where, when, and why that may have prompted the query) change all the rules, diminishing the importance of universal search based on keyword queries and with it the chances of Google and Microhoo to dominate the mobile space.
- November 2009 Issue, Posted Nov 16, 2009
The convergence of communities, content, and communications across a variety of platforms and devices has given rise to a participatory culture in which each individual can co-create the content he or she consumes. The result is an avalanche of content available on websites, podcasts, videocasts, interactive forums, and blogs.
- September 2009 Issue, Posted Sep 14, 2009
When I was invited to speak on mobile search, advertising, and SEO at ThinkMobile, a new mobile industry conference in New York this March, I expected it (like the majority of mobile events I have attended over the last months) to focus on technology issues first and the potential impact on how we live and work second.
- June 2009 Issue, Posted Jun 08, 2009
The mobile phone, a personal device we have on us at all times, has gained a new importance at this intersection. As Alan Moore, author and independent consultant, points out, "We are inevitably moving towards the Mobile Society, where our mobile devices become the remote control of our daily lives."
- April 2009 Issue, Posted Apr 07, 2009
The arrival of Android and the remarkable success of the Apple iPhone have encouraged consumers to explore the mobile internet in record numbers. However, the new interest in mobile content and services is not limited to the 10-plus million consumers who are fortunate enough to own a high-end mobile device. Recent stats show that consumers—even those with low-end devices—are beginning to explore the wealth of content and apps at their fingertips. This shift in user behavior dovetails well with another trend sweeping the mobile content space...
The emergence of empowered consumers, the advance of so-called digital natives, and the abundance of applications designed to give consumers more control over how they create, access, and enjoy content have transformed publishing and content creation.
- December 2008 Issue, Posted Dec 01, 2008
When Andrew Bud—an outspoken voice in the mobile content industry and executive chairman and co-founder of mobile transaction network mBlox, a company connecting content providers and mobile operators at the heart of the off-portal experience—waved his arms and declared that mobile content was "boring," "stale," and "sorely in need of a rethink" during a recent industry conference in London, you could feel the shock waves.
- November 2008 Issue, Posted Oct 15, 2008
The number of consumers accessing web content on their mobile phones will likely surpass the number of users accessing the web via fixed PC connections by the end of 2008. But a singular focus on repurposing content for small screens ignores what makes mobile indispensable to our everyday lives: the ability to deliver the right content to the right user in the right context.
- Sept 2008 Issue, Posted Aug 20, 2008
Predictably, mobile content delivery scenarios require publishers to develop made-for-mobile sites and destinations. It's not a mammoth task for major publishers, but it can be a huge headache for eager independent publishers or smaller content providers anxious to move their old media into new territory.
- June 2008 Issue, Posted May 23, 2008
If Web 2.0 is all about the tools and technologies that allow users to freely create, share, and connect around content, as well as interact with content companies, then the next evolutionary step is Mobile 3.0, which places location and the mobile device at the core of this exchange.
- April 2008 Issue, Posted Mar 18, 2008
Search engines are indisputably a potent way to generate value, but it may be recommendation engines, which encourage users to keep coming back for similar content, that actually pay the biggest dividends for content companies and publishers in the long term. In its basic form, recommendation technology—modeled on the approach of online bookseller Amazon—suggests content on the basis of what like-minded customers consume, connecting users with relevant content that their peers recommend. But the paradigm goes far beyond that to link consumers not only with content they like, but ultimately with users who share their interests and passions.
The proliferation of people-powered search engines and social media services, which effectively tap the wisdom of crowds to bubble up the good ideas and good content we care about most, are enabling a profound shift in how we locate, create, and share information.
- December 2007 Issue, Posted Nov 15, 2007
Offering more content is not only better, it can also be a source of competitive advantage. Put simply, delighting the customer with choice can pay dividends.
- November 2007 Issue, Posted Nov 13, 2007
Publishers may have been short-changed when they embraced the fixed internet only to see their brands and offerings diluted by major search-engine brands that called the shots and picked the content. Thus, they would be short-sighted not to explore the world of exciting and lucrative opportunities offered by the emerging mobile web.
- September 2007 Issue, Posted Aug 28, 2007
Caught off guard by the explosive growth of online social networking sites like MySpace and Flickr, many companies are racing to replicate this success in the mobile space. However, building mobile social networks to meet the needs of diverse user communities requires business models and platforms that encourage user acceptance and participation. The technology exists. However, the current range of business models and strategies is limited by a lack of imagination and vision
- June 2007 Issue, Posted May 29, 2007
As spatial boundaries and modes of communication converge, disruptive new technologies emerge to give people the experience of being connected with content from anywhere. But ubiquitous access is no longer just about seamless content portability; it's about empowering individuals to access content on their terms and across devices.
- April 2007 Issue, Posted Mar 30, 2007
Users can’t buy content if they can’t find it, so an increasing number of mobile operators and content providers are scrambling to offer search capabilities, as well as an array of tools to encourage users to explore more of the content at their fingertips. The raft of recent announcements, involving market giants like Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and a growing number of white-label search providers including InfoSpace, Fast Search & Transfer, Medio Systems, and JumpTap shows that carriers and content companies are excited about mobile search.
Access to simple tools empowers us to mix and mash, blog, and mesh. We create content on our terms and share the results with social networks we have chosen to join based on common interests and expertise. What’s more, the proliferation of social networks means we benefit from an abundance of choice.
- December 2006 Issue, Posted Nov 21, 2006