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by the folks at ITI Marketing, Inc.

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Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Why You May Not Need a Mobile App

Posted by TeamITI on August 2, 2010

Ever since Apple launched the iPhone app store, the company has been pushing its apps to get all of the attention. But when was the last time you read a review about a new mobile website? Thousands of apps and billions of downloads consistently steal the headlines, while the mobile web is largely ignored by everyone but the consumer. Yet, despite what the marketing would lead you to believe, consumers use the mobile web just as much as apps.

At my company, we raced down the same road, putting pedal to the metal on our apps while leaving our mobile website on cruise control. Our iPhone app has been a Top 10 iPhone reference application for almost two years with almost six million downloads, and even with all of the great chart positions and visibility – just as many iPhone consumers use our mobile website as the application. We are not alone; Comscore reported in April that 72 million mobile users accessed a website compared to 69 million users who used an application. Both are showing more than 25% year-to-year growth.

Mobile Web Gets Better

When the app store first launched, only apps could use and access the device’s location. Last July, Apple launched OS 3.0 which provided Safari with GPS/location functionality. Apple’s HTML5 agenda continues to advance the mobile web browsing experience with video, audio, and a limited amount of caching or offline storage of data. The lines between apps and mobile web are blurring and converging.

But Apps Make Money

Apps make more money because iTunes makes it easier for consumers to pay. Similar to Amazon’s one-click check-out, iTunes is a virtual wallet used by 125 million consumers. But a mobile website can’t integrate with iTunes billing — you need an app for that: We tested a premium offer via our iPhone app which achieved a 50% higher conversion rate than the same offer on the mobile web.

However, for advertising revenue, the rates we receive on the mobile web are similar to in-app advertising. In terms of performance, a study on the mobile web versus app for a major travel advertiser showed the mobile web out-performing advertising on the application. Apple does place restrictions on in-app advertising and has the right to block out ad networks they deem competitive. There are no such restrictions on the mobile web.

So which should you choose for your business: A mobile web site, or a mobile application?

Why the Mobile Web Makes Sense

Even if an app is still the right choice for you, consider building a mobile website first since it will allow you to build and refine a great consumer experience, optimizing touch screen navigation. Mobile search provider Taptuhas highlighted the importance of this through its listings of “touch-friendly” mobile sites.

Another benefit of the mobile web is that you can write once to be read everywhere. With the mobile web, you can reach more devices with a single development effort. Unfortunately, mobile app platforms are fragmented, meaning you have to build specific apps for iPhone, Android, RIM, and Palm Pre. A mobile website can be built to standards that works on all these devices. There are also some fairly easy implementations that allow you to manage device profiles and optimize for different screen sizes.

One of the most satisfying benefits of the mobile web is the freedom to rapidly innovate and refine without approval or requiring the user to update and download. When Google could not get its voice application approved, for example, it responded by building a web version that required no approval process and used HTML5 for audio playback and SMS/Email for alerting.

When To Create An App

Once you’ve optimized the experience, you can use your mobile website to graduate users to a more robust native app.

One of the most important differences between a popular app and the thousands you’ve never heard of is the merchandising from the iTunes App chart. Hitting the Top 4 on the Free App chart drove over 250,000 downloads for the WhitePages Mobile App. Download volume and positive ratings are important factors needed to get onto the chart. We achieved first week download velocity by promoting the app on our mobile website, which we had steadily built an audience for. Learning and optimizing our mobile website helped us create a better app that led to better reviews and ratings. It helps to think of the mobile web as a beta, and the app as gold.

On-device placement is also important, and a bookmarked site gets the same favicon placement on your iPhone as a downloaded app. Social media will continue to be an important distribution engine, and sharing the URL for a mobile website provides one-click gratification.

Whether you are just starting to put your mobile strategy together or have been at it for some time, don’t just chase the shiny lure of an app before catching the mobile users that are already surfing your site. Let me know about your experience and best practices for building a mobile website in the comment section below.

This article is published by Mashable, click here to read the original article.

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Posted in Mobile Marketing, Tools & Tutorials | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Apple Friend Bar Gives Customers Someone To Talk At About Mac Products

Posted by TeamITI on July 9, 2010

Where to go when you need a regularly scheduled “chat about Mac” experience? The Apple Friend Bar, of course! The venerable Onion News Network uncovers the key details in this investigative video report.

This video is published by Onion News Network.

Posted in Customer Relations, Mobile Marketing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

What will this year portend for mobile messaging?

Posted by TeamITI on February 1, 2010

[tweetmeme source=”itimarketing”]

Pioneering technologist Alan Kay once said that “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Reflecting on another year gone by, this comment rings especially true.

For mobile, 2009 marked a year of outstanding innovation and growth; communication in 140 characters became all the rage as Twitter reached mainstream consciousness; Apple delivered its one billionth application download from the App Store; Orange and T-Mobile announced plans to merge their British business to become the Britain’s largest network provider, and O2 overtook BT in British revenues.

After so much development in 2009, where will 2010 take us?

Revenues rising, profit margins tightening
The challenge for carriers in the coming months will be to begin to prepare customers to pay premiums for high usage or optimal quality of service.

SMS revenues
According to analysts, SMS revenues will continue to grow rapidly, breaking the $100 billion-mark next year.

Location-based services

The industry is realizing that location alone is not a revenue-generating service in its own right – but is recognizing that it can provide valuable enhancements to existing services that will greatly stimulate services such as mobile search, mobile advertising and social networking, making these services more relevant, actionable and personal.

Mobile payments
In developed markets, the challenge had been about building consumer trust. Now, issues such as security, regulation and quality of service are dominating peoples’ minds.

Mobile social networking will come of age
Until now, the flood of unbillable Mobile Terminated messages from social networks were an issue for using SMS and MMS to address the mass market. But now enhancements such as MT charging, anti spam, location, ad insertion and hash-tagging will enable the carrier to engage in new business models for two-way social networking traffic.

Android – iPhone
We will see more Android-based phones entering the market this year, so it will be interesting to see if the semi-monopolistic iPhone hype will be reduced to normal proportions as the open model for Android provides a good alternative to the relatively closed iPhone.

Carrier app stores versus handset app
Carrier app stores have the ability to reach the mass market and can be enhanced with a range of capabilities including messaging, security, location, charging and user profiling. The stakes will only get higher this year as the battle rages on.

Proliferation of mobile security
The increased opening of networks and handsets release myriad new threats, will lead to increased customer care, higher infrastructure costs and more churn and brand damage. It will also hinder the uptake of services such as mobile financial services and mobile advertising.

Wait and see, but be prepared

As we did with SMS and MMS, we need to focus on how we can use IMS and RCS to add value to enhance third-party applications and services.

Network sharing
The sharing of radio networks is the most obvious cost-saving opportunity. But for service delivery infrastructures it is also important to be as flexible as possible.

Read the original article here.

Posted in Articles & Research, Social Media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Apple’s iPad: Exploring The Massive Mobile Marketing & Advertising Potential

Posted by TeamITI on February 1, 2010

[tweetmeme source=”itimarketing”]

The announcement of the Apple iPad ushered in a new wave of mobile technology unlike anything we’ve seen in a long time, and with it came unrivaled potential for mobile marketers and advertisers to explore new possibilities.

Apple has taken the same initiatives with the iPad- bringing the simplistic approach of the iPhone, combined with the processing power of larger laptop computers, to create a device that would appeal to just about anyone.  The iPad, and tablet devices in general, are an entirely new segment of mobile technology, and with it comes endless opportunities for brands to engage users in brand new ways.

The iPhone opened new possibilities in the areas of mobile advertising, branded mobile apps, in-app advertising and content distribution in general.  Adding iTunes-based payments to the mix created the vibrant ecosystem we see today, and that success will parlay into the iPad as well- with a larger screen to engage users further.

The large screen provided by the tablet allows for the display of much richer media.

It can display hi-res videos and other content that’s always been cumbersome for users on smaller screens- this aspect is one of few hurdles mobile marketers and advertisers needed to overcome to make their content standout and bring the best of both worlds: the relevancy and location aspects of mobile devices, with the large-screen vibrancy of desktop and notebook computers. Video will be a huge asset to marketers on the iPad- the iPhone opened up the possibility of truly “watchable” video on mobile devices, and the iTunes store made access easier than ever.  With the iPad, that concept is taken to yet another level, and marketers will put it to good use.

Read the original article here.

Posted in Facts, Figures & Trends, Mobile Marketing, Products & Solutions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »