Carnival of the mobilists #210

 Published by Martin Wilson on 8th February 2010


Welcome to the 210th edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists. This week it is the turn of Martin Wilson from Indigo102 to provide his take on a week in mobile. 

BLUR by foreversouls.

With only a week to go until the biggest event of the mobile calendar there seems to be no shortage of goings-on in our exciting industry. A common theme this week seems to be the opinion that the key to success in mobile is going back to basics – and getting the right skills, people and partners to deliver.

Here are some of the week’s highlights – we hope you enjoy the read.

The week got off to a flyer when well known industry contributor Tomi Ahonen posted his controversial summary of Mobile market share of 2009 at Communities Dominate Brands.  Numbers were backed up in a release from Strategy Analytics, which suggested that Smartphone sales in Q4 2009 had grown 30% year-on-year to reach a record 53m units.

The gadget war seems to be firmly on, with new devices and features seemingly emerging by the hour.  A throng of announcements is due in the coming week, although Generation Y’er Emma Vernon dismisses the Apple iPad for not fulfilling the basics. Which does beg the question – how ‘Smart’ do we really need our Smartphone?

The Back to basics theme is echoed by Redweb mobile strategist Carl Martin, as he urges the industry to slow down and return to the core values of marketing. “Train up and skill-up in mobile” – is the cry from top digital dog and mobile evangelist Tom Eslinger, from Saatchi and Saatchi. In an interview with mobiThinking, Eslinger strongly advocates the need to recruit people who understand mobile as it becomes firmly placed on the agenda of the top creative agencies.

Mobile marketing is certainly going mainstream for those not on the bandwagon and over at Mobile Marketing Watch, Return on investment (ROI) and education [or a lack of] are cited as reasons for hesitancy. The opportunity is certainly there as Tomi Ahonen posts a mind boggling array of statistics in his renowned annual view of the mobile industry. Over at Mobile Ecosystem we get the announcement from the GSMA and Comscore for the Mobile Media Metrics and with it some encouraging statistics for UK mobile internet activity.

In an candid interview with industry veteran Francisco Kattan, from Alcatel Lucent, WIP’s Caroline Lewko talks about the changing shape of the mobile development and asks “Are there too many go to market options for developers?”. Kattan gives his views and demonstrates how Alcatel Lucent is firmly focused on supporting developers.

The Microsoft mobile debate, or speculation, continued to rumble the rhetorical question – ‘but do we really care? – Of course we do!  Speculation is rife and we all want to see what Microsoft is intending to do as it scrambles to recover its position in mobile.  Suddenly, in the next breath Techcrunch reports the revealing of Sony Ericsson’s Aspen and WinMo 6.5.3. Mark Bridge of The Fonecast subsequently wades in with his own X-Files style conspiracy theory.

“Location” is the topic for Ajit Jaokar of Open Gardens, who praises Nokia for going back to grass roots and believes Nokia is setting the agenda as an industry leader once again. Praise continues for Nokia as Dennis Bournique, at Wap Review, gives his views on the N900 and describes how he believes it represents the next generation of mobile browsing.

Partnerships have always been a key component of the mobile ecosystem, with the operators playing a major part. The Ad networks have largely chosen to go it alone. Mark Westling of Sigma argues that engaging operators into the advertising platform has its advantages and the potential to deliver far greater returns.

Over at MSearchGroove, leading industry commentator, Peggy Ann Salz offers a headline overview of the recent M-days event in Munich – trends from Christian Lindholm, of Fjord, mobile operators embrace ad-funded models from Kerstin Trikalitis, of Out There Media, and insight to Eastern European mobile operators and leading content owners on the problems they face and progress they have made.

Mobile is clearly already presenting some real returns.

Companies succeeding in mobile are those players that have recognised the gaps in their knowledge of new media and have brought in professionals that do (even better if these professionals are themselves digital natives with an instinctive grasp of mobile and its impact on every aspect of our daily lives). What it will take for Traditional players to succeed in The NEW NEW Media world.

Organisations need to stop thinking of mobile as a technology and understand it is a utility. The mobile device has evolved into a multifunctional tool. It is our social organiser, our information resource, our boredom filler. Basically, it supports our lives.  As a marketing medium mobile is only set to grow in value. Providers that get the basics right and forge partnerships that allow them to unlock the potential of mobile, monetise their digital assets and deliver features that add value to our lives will be well-equipped to compete against rivals and win. Guiding organisations in defining and developing a mobile presence is a core part of the work at Indigo 102.

I always suggest that the importance of the basics can never be overstated.

There is some great content in this week’s Carnival. It wasn’t easy picking this week’s best posts but there can be only one winner in each category. I’m giving the award for Best post by a Carnival newcomer to Emma Vernon for her post on how the iPad fails to excite Generation Y.  Post of the week honors go to Carl Martin at Redweb for his cry for ‘Back to basics’.

Next Monday head over to Communities Dominate Brands for the next installment of the Carnival of the Mobilists.


Images by foreversouls and from Cobrasoft at Stock.xchng