I am just home from the Get Mobile 2011 conference here in Dublin and I felt compelled to do a summary while it was fresh in my mind.
The stand out phrase for me came in the opening speech by John O’Shea, CEO, Zamano. He said “Everything that can. Will go Mobile”.
Our course coordinator Theo Lynn tweeted a link this morning to an article about whether Steve Jobs had solved the innovators dilemma. Luckily I had an opportunity to read it over because a strong focus of John’s talk was about disruptive technology and how there are constantly changing winners and losers in business. Nokia was huge ten years ago and now they are hardly a player at all in the mobile phone game. Right now it is Apple but it is very hard to maintain your position.
Mobile Search is different from desktop search. People are looking for things now. 70% of mobile search queries are fulfilled within hours. There are also less search results on a page so if you are not up in the top 4 or 5 results you have no hope.
Website need to be optimized for mobile viewing. We have all heard that before. But in an area where an estimated $2 Billion is spent on mobile advertising, only 15% of companies surveyed had budgeted to have their websites optimized for mobile. What is the point of advertising on mobile if when they get there, your site is not user friendly?
John spoke about retail 2.0 where consumers could be sent location specific offers from supermarkets based on their previous buying preferences. Brands will bid for the right to send these ads much like the Google Adwords system works now. One for the future but fascinating none the less!
Mobile payments right now are taking two forms. Over the network payment, where the mobile network providers are involved. However there seems to be little cooperation between the neccesary parties right now and progress is very slow.
The other option, which features in Japan a lot, is contact-less transfers. This makes use of Near Field Technology and removes the mobile networks from the equation. Billions of dollars of transactions could be made each year on mobile handsets, with the mobile companies having no participation at all.
The next speaker was Joe Drumgoole from Feedhenry. Joe’s company create apps and there was a bit of controversy when Joe told us that the Windows 7 phone was awful and really hard for Apps to be developed for. Seeing as Microsoft was sponsoring the conference this didn’t go down to well!!
The emergence of the app industry was again pioneered by Apple. Where as before the biggest challenge was trying to work with all the networks and the limited revenue that could be earned (4%) from app. Apple made the whole process easier and their model of 30% revenue has been a huge incentive.
What you need for a succesful App is
- An optical System
- PIM (personal internal managment)
- Touch screen (this is important as mobile is more about visual than writing)
If an App isn’t making use of the above it probably could function better as a web page.
The future area of Apps are
- Social networks
- Personal productivity
- Mobile work force
- Mobile business
The best example of a well made App is the Facebook. Its one failing is it does not allow advertisers to use it to create ads, or monitor their existing ads.
The challenges to App creaters are
- User interaction design
- Small screens
- To maximize device capability
- To use Cloud interfaces
- Device resolutions and dimensions
- Standards (HTML 5 is a collection of standards which isn’t totally polished but is the future)
The talk that I was most interested in was by Brendan from Geodelic. He decided to get into the mobile industry after realizing how much more attached he was to his mobile phone than his wallet, after losing them both. He knew then that mobiles were so integral to our lives that they were the future.
In 2007 we saw the emergence of the group discount phenomenon. Many business owners though were not seeing repeat business and ultimately were not making any money from the sales they pulled in from the likes of Group on. The huge margins that discount deal companies demand are necessarily because of the massive sales forces they need in order to make their process work.
G-commerce is the combination of E-commerce and traditional bricks and mortar businesses. By allowing businesses to attract customers to their stores with deals while they are in the area, they automate the group discount process and there is far more potential to actually make money. They can target people at off peak hours and at more specific times, rather than never knowing when discount coupons will be redeemed.
Geodelic have chosen Dublin as a pilot for Geodeals. Where the likes of Google places and FourSquare will be serious competition, they are hoping to leverage mobile phone operators as their advantage. This will provide them with a ready made consumer base.
Its an area that definitely interests me so I will be looking into it more and will keep you updated.