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13 posts from July 2007

July 31, 2007

SMS Your ECG To The ER STAT!

Science Daily has an interesting article about a prototype Bluetooth/SMS enabled heart rate monitor:

A Bluetooth heart monitor could text your local hospital if you are about to have a heart attack, according to research published today in Inderscience's International Journal of Electronic Healthcare. The device measures electrical signals from the heart, analyses them to produce an electrocardiogram (ECG) and sends an alert together with the ECG by cell phone text message.

The process involves a couple of steps, but it's a pretty simple idea that might save lives in the near future:

Thulasi Bai and S.K. Srivatsa of the Sathyabama University in Tamil Nadu, have developed a wearable cardiac telemedicine system that allows post-cardiac patients renewed mobility.

Thulasi Bai's prototype Bluetooth heart monitor records periodically an electrocardiogram (ECG) and transmits the information via radio frequency signals to the patient's cell phone. The modified phone has an added analyzer circuit that checks the ECG signal for signs of imminent cardiac failure. If errant signals are detect, such as any arrhythmia, the cell phone alerts the patient and transmits a sample of the ECG signal to the nearest medical care centre, via the SMS text service, together with patient details.

July 27, 2007

Is Nokia Jumping Into The Mobile Music Biz?

Fortune Magazine is reporting that Nokia is launching a hybrid computer/mobile music store, similar to iTunes, in order to blunt the impact of the iPhone's eventual arrival in Europe:

Fortune has learned from sources involved in the project that Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo will launch the new worldwide service Aug. 29 at a London event that will include live music at the Ministry of Sound nightclub. The new Nokia Web site will let consumers download songs to their PCs and transfer them to mobile phones and other portable music players, similar to Apple's iTunes. Nokia is expected to let users transfer songs to non-Nokia phones using digital-rights-management software.

Head over to Fortune (at CNN Money) to read more details.

(via mocoNews)

July 24, 2007

SMS Usage At Verizon Up To 10 Billion Messages A Month

Verizon Wireless customers sent and received more than 10 billion text messages (or SMS messages) in June 2007, a company record and the highest reported total of any wireless service provider in the nation.

Also in June, Verizon Wireless customers sent and received more than 200 million multimedia messages (MMS), which include picture and video messages.

Both monthly figures represent an increase of more than 100 percent from September 2006, when the company broke the five billion monthly text message threshold for the first time.

And in case you were wondering:

If a person were to send a single text message every 15 seconds, it would take more than 4,750 years of continuous texting to send 10 billion text messages and more than 95 years to send 200 million multimedia messages.

Official Press Release (via Textually)

July 23, 2007

Mobile Advertising: Ease Of Use = Growth!

Today's edition of MediaPost's Online Media Daily features an interesting commentary from writer Gary Bembridge. Assessing the current state and the future of mobile advertising, Mr. Bembridge sees a market bound by a myth--that mobile advertising is hard to do. Once this myth is shattered, Mr. Bembridge believes, the flood gates should open:

AS GOOGLE HAS SO SUCCESSFULLY shown, if you make media buying intuitive and easy, the advertisers will come. And not just the mom and pop retailers, but nearly every major marketer is now involved in some form of search marketing, if only to protect its own flanks from aggressive competitors. So, how does this translate to mobile advertising? There is still a nagging feeling out there that mobile advertising is hard to do. That it will require yet another agency specialist like search does or a fully mature mobile site, but it doesn't.

So what happens when someone dispels the illusion?

Simply put, the mobile phone has become an indispensable device giving marketers access to target audiences 24x7. It doesn't take an economist to project that marketers cannot afford to ignore this channel for long.

...

While seemingly in a nascent stage, the fact is mobile advertising is projected to grow from $1.5 billion in 2006 to $13.9 billion by 2011 (eMarketer, January, 2007). The reasons are simple: mobile advertising that delivers relevant and useful ads gives users immediate answers that are regarded as valuable content; advertisers can influence their audience during the "last mile" at the moment just before a purchase in the real world.

He closes his piece with some important advice: "Don't be the advertiser left behind."

July 18, 2007

Hi Fidel and F5 Records Use Shop Text to Power SMS-based Album Sales

We covered Shop Text's SMS payment platform back in April. Today we're passing along a press release that hit our Inbox: "Hi Fidel and F5 Records become first indie label and artist to run ShopText campaign."

In anticipation of the release of Hi Fidel's Company of Wolves album, F5 Records and ShopText formed a partnership to allow fans to order the album with a simple text message.   

ShopText is the new, fun and easy way to shop, sample or donate simply by texting a keyword they see in any magazine, newspaper, television, poster, jumbotron or other offline advertisement. For those with ShopText accounts already, all you need to do is text ' FIDEL' to 467467 to order using your ShopText account and mobile phone. "As an indie music fan myself, I am excited that F5 is thinking out of the box and got in touch with us." says Mark Kaplan, Founder & CMO of ShopText. Kaplan adds, "We believe that by making music more accessible, ShopText is a great service for fans and artists alike."

Of course you're dying to know about the artist:

Company of Wolves is a testament to Hi Fidel's progressive rhyme styling and lyrical word schemes, which allows the listener to join in on the journey though time and space and benefit from the destination.    

A truly global emcee with a viewpoint and sound to back it up, one would be hard pressed to box his sound into a single category. However, The Company of Wolves is perhaps the most accessible work yet to emerge from Fidel's extended career, while still retaining that uniquely lop-sided worldview that makes his music so dazedly impressive. 

F5 Records

SMS Traffic Up 50% Globally To 620 Billion Texts Last Quarter

160 Characters is reporting on some stunning SMS growth:

Global mobile data revenues from services other than SMS exceeded US$10 billion in 1Q07 according to Informa’s World Cellular Data Metrics (WCDM).

The total of US$11.3 billion compares with US$8.1 billion in 1Q06.

The figure means that nearly one third of mobile data revenues now come from non-SMS services, suggesting operators’ investments in advanced technologies are finally reaping rewards.

But this does not mean the end of the road for SMS. Worldwide SMS traffic was up year-on-year by around 50% to more than 620 billion messages in 1Q07 according WCDM. SMS revenues were up 23% over the same period, helping total data revenues to reach US$34.3 billion in the quarter, the highest ever. The higher increase in SMS traffic compared to revenue reflects lower SMS tariffs and the greater availability of bundled packages.

Bottom Line: Every day more and more people use SMS text messaging to communicate, which begs the question, are you using text messaging to reach your customers yet?

 

July 17, 2007

Club Texting Customer Spotlight: Sandbar

Sandbar NJ
Sandbar USA Text Messaging Case Study

Objectives:
Sandbar is a two acre entertainment complex on the water overlooking Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. A New Jersey landmark for over 20 years, Sandbar annually leads beer & liquor sales for the entire state of New Jersey—operating only 6 months out of the year.

Sandbar’s Marketing Director, Vid Bahadur, saw the value of wireless communication when used for direct marketing. He also saw huge growth potential for the future: powerful marketing tools such as multimedia messages, including streaming commercial clips. Sandbar decided that the time was right to start turning their customers into subscribers, recognizing the potential to then leverage that existing subscriber base for future projects. 

When Sandbar decided to setup a direct, personalized system to deliver marketing messages to a targeted group of opt-in subscribers, they partnered with Club Texting. 

Solution:
In order to segment their customer base by demographic, Sandbar chose four keywords: SPLASH (Fridays) and SALSA (Saturdays) for their general mailing lists; SANDBAR and BOTTLES for their VIP reservation mailing lists.

Although Sandbar had an existing phone database of over 10,000 numbers, they wanted to grow a 100% opt-in texting list from scratch. They kicked off their campaign at the start of the 2007 season with three mailers: direct mail, hand delivered fliers, and email messages. The initial push offered all subscribers free admission, adding that this was the only way to gain free admission to the club. Within one month, they amassed 1,500 numbers. 

Sandbar USA Text Messaging

Over the next few months, Sandbar expanded their texting promotions to include in-venue signage, radio, online, and all print materials. Sandbar’s text campaigns often take advantage of circumstances. If they had surplus supplies, ongoing promotions, or spare capacity, they used a text messaging campaign to address or exploit the particular situation. The results have shown that these campaigns were both effective, and efficient, as they took advantage of available resources. 

  • Other campaigns included:
  • In-venue ticket giveaways: Announced a sponsored Yankees ticket giveaway during club nights, selecting one lucky winner the following Monday.
  • VIP bottle service for a lucky winner on slower nights
  • Last-minute text at 11pm to increase traffic on a rainy Friday night. Offered free shuttle service from parking lots to venue with text coupon: sent to 1,500 subscribers, 200 people showed up (13% Response Rate).
  • In-venue offers: handed out on business cards to push a specific product at a discounted price for text subscribers 

Outcome:
Within the first month of using the service, Sandbar collected over 1,500 numbers in total. At the present time, after three months of use, their text message campaigns now reach over 4,500 subscribers. On average, subscribers receive 1-2 messages per week.

Sandbar makes a point to give back to their customers, offering something in almost every one of their text blasts. 

For the first time in its history, Sandbar has been able to run successful marketing campaigns without printed materials or online support. Instead they are able to rely exclusively upon the Club Texting system.

July 16, 2007

New York Times on Text Messaging To Reinforce Branding

In today's New York Times, Business writer Bob Tedeschi takes a look at text messaging, and how online retailers are successfully using the medium to reinforce their brand messages:

ONLINE retailers were, for all the obvious reasons, the pioneers of Web advertising. When it comes to advertising on the mobile Web, though, they are treading carefully.

On the one hand, executives and analysts said, online retailers are right to be cautious. After all, few consumers are buying items through their mobile devices. But at least some online retailers say they have found enticing success from early marketing efforts, as long as those initiatives are aimed at simply keeping themselves on the radar of customers as opposed to trying to prompt an immediate purchase or a visit to the company’s Web site.

So how does it work?

Take Moosejaw Mountaineering, for example, an outdoor goods retailer based in Madison Heights, Mich. Earlier this year, Moosejaw began sending out text messages to more than 1,000 of its customers who had signed up to receive them. The campaign caught on quickly, with recipients often sending messages back to the retailer and receiving loyalty program points as a reward.

A recent message sent to customers, for instance, conveyed the news that someone had told Robert Wolfe, one of Moosejaw’s founders, that he looked like Ben Stiller. It then asked customers whether that was a good thing and promised points in the company’s rewards program for those who answered “correctly” (meaning yes). Sixty-six percent of the customers who received the message voted.

There is a lot more to read, so head over to the New York Times now.

July 10, 2007

The Tweens Are Texting

Sunday's Washington Post ran an interesting story about a Disney survey of cell-phone usage (including SMS text messaging) among the 10 - 17 age group. There are no details about the methodology of the survey, but no matter, as there are all sorts of interesting findings within:

  • The poll of more than 1,500 teens and preteens found that 44 percent use text messages as their primary form of communication.
  • More than half -- 52 percent -- say they send text messages from a movie theater while 28 percent have sent messages from the dinner table.
  • For many -- 26 percent -- texting is one of the first things they do in the morning, within 10 minutes of waking up.
  • One-third of the respondents said they would rather give up the radio, video games or a trip to the mall before giving up their phones.

The future for text messaging looks good.

Read the entire article at The Washington Post (via Textually)

July 09, 2007

Borders Bookstores Set To Go Mobile

mocoNews has alerted us to some interesting developments being reported by MarketingWeek. Borders, one of the largest book retailers in the world, is going mobile:

The retailer will send sample chapters to customers' phones free of charge before books are released and the book can then be purchased in-store for a discount of up to 20% using a barcode.

So how's it going to work?

A list of books will be placed on the Borders website with a password that can be sent to a specially created number. The customer will be sent a confirmation text message with a link that connects to the internet and downloads the chapter to an applications file.

Read the entire article @ MarketingWeek (via mocoNews).