UK Mobile Marketing Deal will “revolutionise the way advertisers traditionally target audiences” [Annals of Mobile Marketing/UK/EU Division]

excerpt from press release:  “London: February 12th, 2009 – Gigafone, the leading mobile marketing solutions group, has announced that it has formed a partnership with Xtract…The new partnership promises to revolutionise the way advertisers traditionally target audiences. Xtract’s Social Links application identifies the social network structures within the customer base and finds the most influential people for marketers to target.  When incorporated into Gigafone’s targeted mobile marketing solution, where consumers can choose the type of ads they want to receive in return for incentives such as discount vouchers or free mobile minutes, the result is a completely new level of customer experience and a tangible tool for increasing the effectiveness of targeted marketing activities and measuring return on investment…

About Xtract
Xtract refines social interaction, behaviour and demographic data to create accurate 3D user profiles. These profiles for the first time utilise data as a dynamic tool in the day-to-day marketing for effective and intelligent targeting of marketing campaigns and advertising. Xtract’s Social Links is an automated, self-learning solution capable of analysing billions of mobile transactions with easy to use and actionable tools for operators to define accurate target groups for their marketing campaigns.”

Baby Steps for Online Privacy: Why the FTC Self-Regulatory Principles For Online Behavioral Advertising Fails to Protect the Public

Statement of Jeff Chester, Exec. Director, Center for Digital Democracy:

The Federal Trade Commission is supposed to serve as the nation’s leading consumer protection agency.  But for too long it has buried its mandate in the `digital’ sand, as far as ensuring U.S. consumer privacy is protected online.    The commission embraced a narrow intellectual framework as it examined online marketing and data collection for this proceeding.  Since 2001, the Bush FTC has made industry self-regulation for privacy and online marketing the only acceptable approach when considering any policy safeguards (although the Clinton FTC was also inadequate in this regard as well).  Consequently, FTC staff—placed in a sort of intellectual straitjacket—was hampered in their efforts to propose meaningful safeguards.

Advertisers and marketers have developed an array of sophisticated and ever-evolving data collection and profiling applications, honed from the latest developments in such fields as semantics, artificial intelligence, auction theory, social network analysis, data-mining, and statistical modeling.  Unknown to many members of the public, a vast commercial surveillance system is at the core of most search engines, online video channels, videogames, mobile services and social networks.  We are being digitally shadowed across the online medium, our actions monitored and analyzed.

Behavioral targeting (BT), the online marketing technique that analyzes how an individual user acts online so they can be sent more precise marketing messages, is just one tool in the interactive advertisers’ arsenal.  Today, we are witnessing a dramatic growth in the capabilities of marketers to track and assess our activities and communication habits on the Internet.  Social media monitoring, so-called “rich-media” immersive marketing, new forms of viral and virtual advertising and product placement, and a renewed interest (and growing investment in) neuromarketing, all contribute to the panoply of approaches that also includes BT.  Behavioral targeting itself has also grown more complex.  That modest little “cookie” data file on our browsers, which created the potential for behavioral ads, now permits a more diverse set of approaches for delivering targeted advertising.

We don’t believe that the FTC has sufficiently analyzed the current state of interactive marketing and data collection.  Otherwise, it would have been able to articulate a better definition of behavioral targeting that would illustrate why legislative safeguards are now required.  It should have not exempted “First Party” sites from the Principles; users need to know and approve what kinds of data collection for targeting are being done at that specific online location.

The commission should have created specific policies for so-called sensitive data, especially in the financial, health, and children/adolescent area.  By urging a conversation between industry and consumer groups to “develop more specific standards,” the commission has effectively and needlessly delayed the enactment of meaningful safeguards.

On the positive side, the FTC has finally recognized that given today’s contemporary marketing practices, the distinction between so-called personally identifiable information (PII) and non-PII is no longer relevant.  The commission is finally catching up with the work of the Article 29 Working Party in the EU (the organization of privacy commissioners from member states), which has made significant advances in this area.

We acknowledge that many on the FTC staff worked diligently to develop these principles.  We personally thank them for their commitment to the public interest.  Both Commissioners Leibowitz and Harbour played especially critical roles by supporting a serious examination of these issues.  We urge everyone to review their separate statements issued today.  Today’s release of the privacy principles continues the conversation.  But meaningful action is required.  We cannot leave the American public—now pressed by all manner of financial and other pressures—to remain vulnerable to the data collection and targeting lures of interactive marketing.

Mobile user’s unique ID makes for “Precision” Targeting [Annals of Mobile Marketing/UK/EU Division]

From New Media Age: David Fieldhouse, mobile manager at media agency Mediacom, said behavioural targeting is developing into a key element of online activity for many of the agency’s clients, and also in their mobile campaigns.

“We believe the deeper level of targeting capable via mobile is its USP,” he said. “Using each mobile user’s unique ID, combined with location-based targeting, enables precision and relevancy.”

exceropt from:  Mobile marketing budgets to grow 150% by 2013.  Charlotte McEleny.  NMA.  October 9. 2008.

Google Latitude, Privacy and Mobile Marketing

Google’s new application called Latitude is just one of a growing number of efforts that help extend social networking into the mobile space.  But its role is also to help further develop Google’s online marketing and advertising apparatus into what will be a very lucrative mobile space.  After all, Google CEO Eric Schmidt declared in 2007 that the biggest opportunity online was “Mobile, mobile, mobile — it’s probably the most wide open space out there right now. Also, local. Most search companies don’t take advantage of the local data inherent in the web.”  Last year, in an interview with a German newspaper, Mr. Schmidt explained that “The next big wave in advertising is the mobile internet.”

Latitude fits in with Google’s plans to expand its mobile marketing business, and this should raise both privacy and consumer protection issues.   Reporters covering the online ad business spotted Latitude as a move by Google to broaden its mobile marketing clout.  For example, Laurie Sullivan from MediaPost noted that:

“Google came one step closer Wednesday to providing brands with a one-to-one mobile marketing and ad tool that speaks directly to consumers. The company, which dominates in the mobile mapping space, launched an add-on social network service called Latitude.

And while the service clearly aims to focus on social networking–connecting friends and family by sharing their whereabouts–the application could easily adopt mobile marketing applications that target users with special deals and ads at specific locations such as in front of Starbucks or McDonald’s as they drive or walk down the street…Industry insiders are not convinced the service will stop with a social network service to connect with friends and family. The social network is the next logical step for Google to further its mobile services–mapping, networking and advertising–but the technology makes location-based advertising a real possibility… said Dave Tan, VP of content solutions at Resolution Media, an Omnicom Media Group company. “Mobile advertising tethered to GPS/cell-tower based location information has tremendous opportunities…”  

Writing on, one marketer explained that “Google’s merging of a utility like Google maps with social networking is a great opportunity for marketers. Until now, social apps like those on Facebook and MySpace were used when primarily when one wasn’t doing anything else, making advertising to that person difficult for driving call to action. With Google Latitude, social networking is integrated into tools that people use while doing something or seeking something.

Of interest too was the announcement this week by Google Health partner Anvita Health that it was introducing “a new mobile viewer for Google Health that is built on the Android platform..The Anvita Mobile Viewer enables users of Google Health to view their Google Health profile data from Android-powered devices…This allows for on-demand and real-time view of their medical records anytime and anywhere and provides for more flexibility when visiting physicians, pharmacists, and other care provide…Anvita Health provides innovative health care analytics to its customers who, in aggregate, manage more than 50 million lives.”

Google should acknowledge whether Latitude will eventually be linked to marketing, and also if it is collecting any analytical data when users agree to use it.  For example, what kind of mobile health marketing does Google plan to do, and will it be connected to Latitude?  One of the frustrating things about Google is that it always attempts to frame what it does for the public as some beneficent gift.  It’s privacy PR video for Latitude describes the service as a “fun, useful feature.”  It should be more forthright about its plans for mobile marketing, and should develop a system which clearly informs users how the data will be collected and used.  Google should also more closely examine how to empower mobile users so they have real control of what data is collected–including what is used for marketing and advertising purposes.  But we are working to get the FTC to actually develop safeguards for this mobile marketplace, including ensuring “opt-in” really gives users knowledge and control.
PS:  It never hurts to see what Google is telling major advertisers they can do via its DoubleClick Mobile: “Now publishers can deploy mobile advertising with the same confidence and control as online display ads…gives you all the power you need to deliver truly effective mobile campaigns. When creating your ad, you can make use of link text, jump pages and roadblock pairing to deliver greater impact…DoubleClick Mobile enables you to manage and report on your mobile advertising campaign through every click. We’ve made it easy to set campaign dates, define mobile specific targeting criteria and get full reports on all mobile campaigns.”

Marketers Urging Targeting of Hispanic Tweens, including via Mobile [Annals of Mobile Marketing]

There’s nothing to say except read what this marketer wrote for MediaPost’s Engage series.

Excerpt:  “To effectively reach Hispanic tweens…Don’t forget mobile. Many tweens already have cell phones, and they use them daily to text their friends. Text messages are a key way to connect with tweens, especially if you offer them a fun service, such as daily horoscopes, that doesn’t feel like an ad. Cell phone numbers can be collected right alongside emails in your lead-gen efforts. You get a branding boost, as well as their mobile number in your database for future text messaging campaigns.”

source:  Make Your Marketing Dollars Pay: Target Tweens.  Engage Hispanics:  MediaPost.  February 6, 2009

Annals of Mobile Marketing: Acxiom

The database marketing firm Acxiom’s mobile marketing product promises marketers they will be able to deliver [excerpt]  “mobile content to the right user based on time, context, location, and user preferences–all in real-time…

Targeting–one to one messaging that can leverage multiple data sources, including: location, customer data, Acxiom’s world-class data and behavioral analytics.
source:  Acxiom/Mobile Marketing.

Google’s Mobile Targeting: Encourage More Searches, Location Targeting

Not enough is known about Google’s mobile plans.  Here’s an excerpt from New Media Age [UK] magazine from May 2008:

Google is tweaking its mobile offering to encourage people to perform more searches. It has also increased the options available to advertisers by launching mobile image ads. These are keyword-targeted, priced on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, and must link to a mobile web page. Google will only show one image ad per page, and lets publishers choose to show text ads, image ads or a mix.

Christian Hernandez Gallardo, head of distribution partnerships for Google, says there’s increased demand from publishers…He expects that advertising will be a key component to raising awareness and says many big content providers are already reaping the benefits of this approach. “They’re buying a lot of keywords and ads on Google to drive traffic.”

Another key ingredient for Google is location, which could lead to a further inventory opportunity on which advertisers could bid for prime position. “If you search for ‘pizza London’, we’ll capture that as your location and use it as a weight to your searches,” Gallardo says.”

source:  Search Pattern.  Peggy Anne Salz.  NMA Magazine.  May 8, 2008

Mobile Privacy Watch: What Mobile Marketers Can Target [Hint, it includes “Race/Ethnicty, Level of education, Socio-economic status”…]

Mobile Marketer, an excellent mobile trade publication, just published a 2009 “Mobile Advertising Essentials” guide.  In the section titled “What to Look For in a Mobile Advertising Partner,” it summarizes the kinds of targeting marketers should expect.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Mobile advertising partners should offer a wide array of targeting capabilities, the most common which include: Age, Gender, Race/ethncity, Level of education, Socio-economic status, Location, Carrier, Handset manufacturer and type, Handset platform or operating system, Handset capabilities (i.e. Web-enabled or vide-enabled), Time of day, Day of week.”