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Google has officially unveiled its new NFC payment service, which goes by the name of Google Wallet.

Google wallet

If your geeky side is a bit more developed than the average human, you must have been as excited as we were this week when Google gave a demo in the US of Google Wallet.

This new payment service from the search giant which uses Near field communication technology (same technology used for your Oyster card) is actually a free app that can be downloaded on NFC capable Android phones and which allows you to Tap to Pay wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted.

Google reported that some of the great advantages of this new service are :

  • Faster payment transaction
  • Much more secured payment
  • Better shopping experience
  • Possibility to sync Google Wallet with Google offers (the company’s deal of the day service)

Google wallet really appears as being a serious innovation that we should keep an eye on at several levels. From a technological/user perspective, because the technology is already existing, it will be quiet easy in the near future to replace all our membership, credit, office access cards, as well as boarding passes, ID, tickets, etc…by this type of service. From a merchant perspective, it is ultimately an increase in terms of footfall and purchase thanks to this carefree new service as well as a wide range of new targeted promotional options.

The video below will tell you more about the overall excitement around Google Wallet.

 

 

I came across this fantastic post on Mashable about 7 short films that had been shot with a range of different mobile handsets. They are all fantastic examples of just how powerful the mobile device is becoming in consuming AND producing content and should really start getting the cogs turning about how brands can start to work with consumers to produce content around topics, events and personal experiences.

All of these films show very different uses of the phone camera to create compelling content. One is used toshoot BMXs in a Red-Bull-esque short filmand  another is used to create a nokia showcase film complete with a star cast (Dev Patel, Pamela Anderson and Charles Dance).  My favorite one is shot by a father/son combo who launch an iphone into outer space with a balloon and film the experience…incredible!

http://on.mash.to/f1i0B9

In a surprising but smart move, Nokia have announced that they are losing the “Ovi” brand and choosing to focus on all services being wrapped under “Nokia Services”.

The official positon from Nokia’s EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Jerri DeVar:

“We have made the decision to change our service branding from Ovi to Nokia. By centralizing our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture – while continuing to deliver compellingopportunities and experiences for partners and consumers alike.”

After the announcement of the Micrsoft-Nokia partnership many of us predicted that there would be an adjustment or aligning of branding to accomodate the new OS shift.  It will be interesting to note what other services and technology will get a Microsoft-treatment in the next few months.

Understanding Smartphone User Behavior

Google shared a video and a summary from “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users” independent research study. This study is also featured on our new Think Insights with Google site, a website where Google will be publishing on-going learnings and insights about digital marketing trends. The study revealed four behavioral trends; consumers are seeking local information, searching for answers with greater urgency than desktop, finding new ways to entertain themselves, and using phones as shopping companions.

http://www.google.com/think/insights/topics/think-mobile.html

Tablets impact on use of PC/Laptop/Netbook

A recent study, conducted by Nielsens on the impact that tablets devices are having on media use, has provided some reinforcing data to the notion that tablet devices are likely replace to PC/Laptop/Netbook as the preferred home computing device in the next 5 years.

The US study noted:

  • Around half of all tablet owners reported being the only ones in their household using their particular tablet, while 43 percent said they shared the tablet with others.
  • When asked whether they used other connected devices more often or less often since purchasing a tablet, 35 percent of tablet owners who also owned a desktop computer reported using their desktop less often or not at all, while 32 percent of those who also owned laptops, said they used their laptop less often or never since acquiring a tablet. Twenty-seven percent of those who also own eReaders said they use their eReader less often or not at all – the same percentage as those who also own portable media players. One-in-four tablet owners who own portable games consoles are using those devices less often, if at all, since purchasing a tablet.

It will be interesting to see if these behaviours translate in other regions. If Ipad 2 sales forecasts are to be an indicator, the global market has an appetite for tablet devices.

QR Codes

Will 2011 finally be the year of the QR Codes? From Starbucks and newspaper articles to official government documents, QR Codes (quick response codes) seem to be everywhere these days and the content that they bring, can be anything from instant coupons to a video clip with more information. But are consumers really scanning these codes? What devices are they using? Which mobile operating system is the most QR Code friendly? A company called Jump Scan put together the infographic below with some great QR related stats. Also, you might notice that the infographic itself has a QR code in it. Don’t forget to scan it. How meta.

Another infographic about how mobile is shaping the way social media is consumed. It’s interesting to see that from these stats, 25% or more than 100 million facebook users access from a mobile phone, and those who do, are twice as active on social networks compared to people accessing from a computer.

Mobile coupon usage looks set to explode with the two biggest players on the internet – Google & Facebook strongly backing QR codes. It really is fascinating to see how fast things are moving in this extremely primitive market. Vouchers are definitely on the rise too, with a massive 57 percent of people choosing to make a purchase they would otherwise have left, if they did not have a coupon, it’s clear to see that they are an excellent marketing tool. Location based services seem to be the catalyst for a lot of this growth. Being able to accurately engage with your target market when they are within a certain distance should have a positive effect on retail.

This is a  stunning infographic from mobilicity.com.au about Australian mobile phones and usage statistics in Australia.

Mobile search

For those who didn’t get a chance to listen in on comScore’s mobile search webcast last week, Mike Solomon, VP of marketing strategy at The Search Agency, presented basic techniques and tactics for running mobile search campaigns.

The cost per click (CPC) for keywords in mobile search campaigns is 30% lower compared with desktop search, allowing marketers to build and test campaigns at a lower cost. Click-through rates are five times higher on mobile search compared with desktop. There are a few reasons why. For starters, two ads can just about take up all the real estate above the fold on a mobile screen, Solomon says. The mobile search product is very different than tablets and desktops.

Mobile campaigns should begin by setting goals for sales, leads, site visits, video, app downloads, and foot traffic, and then identify mobile assets. Some marketers may want to start small and build a mobile landing page, rather than a mobile Web site. Click-to-call ads can direct the flow of inquiries into call centers.

Determine the company’s mobile footprint by analyzing the percentage of mobile traffic that generates revenue. Solomon says Google and Bing, by default, run new campaigns for marketers on mobile devices. They opt in marketers who run campaigns on the regular computers.

Assuming the query volume allows marketers to separate mobile and desktop, in Google, target by specific devices, operating systems and carriers. Solomon suggests separating iPad traffic from mobile because tablet traffic renders similar to desktops. The campaign setup allows marketers to target mobile users by smartphone.

Mobile searches differ from desktop searches. They are based on real-time and task-driven searches, locally and geographically modified, and shorter keyword strings. It is also important to consider that search engines geographically modify most mobile searches automatically. Broad generic terms may not have worked on the desktop, but they could work on mobile. Selecting keywords in the campaign setup requires marketers to open advanced settings and filter for mobile traffic.

Optimizing ad copy means creating a call to action that speaks to searchers on mobile devices. They typically have a shorter attention span and less time to search. So test a variety of ad extensions. Ad Sitelinks, for example, provides links to more specific pages on the site to get searchers to the information they seek more rapidly. Set up the AdWords campaign with an extension to display a clickable telephone number, and think about promoting the location by driving searchers to a map. Marketers without a mobile Web site can use click-to-call ads, where only the phone number is clickable.

Start with click-to-call ads for those who don’t have mobile strategies. The clicks should lead consumers to landing pages that line up with conversion goals and collectible data points. Solomon suggests that conversion paths should lead to click-to-call, mobile landing pages, download apps, video, interstitial, and lead form. The consumer must take the desired action within 15 seconds. Solomon suggests using unique 800 numbers for high-value keywords or specific campaigns. Google Call Metrics allows marketers to track the duration and the area code of all calls.

Define conversion metrics and cost per acquisition goals. When optimizing for bids, Solomon says, bid aggressively on general keywords. Mobile searches still tend to be short. Launch new mobile keywords with aggressive bids. Establish a strong quality store, and secure the top two positions. And marketers who manage mobile and desktop ads in the same campaign are likely to under- or overbid on both.

Via Search Blog