By Richard Fox
With more and more charities turning to SMS campaigns to boost donations it seemed a bit odd to me that politicians trying to drum up support for their campaign haven’t been able to get in on the act. Will now it seems that they can...at least in California.
Last month, the state of California finally entered the 21st century and agreed that political candidates can receive donations for their campaign by text. The only proviso is that the politician must report the identity and address of people donating more than $100 to their campaign by SMS. This shouldn’t prove to be too difficult as it is thought that most people donating to a political campaign by text message will be making a relatively small donation-- usually $25 or less.
Now, donations to political campaigns are regulated in California by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission whose job it is to restore voter’s confidence in the government process, which includes trying to control the influence of money on politicians. Oddly enough one of the main drivers in favour of letting people contribute to a political campaign by text was the fact that it will attract small donations from several individuals and so help to get more people involved in politics. I guess the thinking is that donating small amounts to a political campaign via SMS will appeal to the average voter, and will mean that it is not just wealthy individuals and businesses that are involved in raising money for a political party or a politician.
By Katarina Velickovic
Keeping track of medical records is difficult in developing countries, such as Kenya. At the moment millions of births and deaths are thought to go by without being registered in this part of Africa because the country does not have the infrastructure in place to record these events in its rural communities. Yet without this information it is very difficult to establish an accurate public health policy. Thankfully, the World Health Organization has come up with a mobile solution which it hopes will overcome this data collection problem.
The World Health Organization is currently trialing a Health Metrics Network program which uses SMS technology to help collect vital information, such recording births and deaths. The program is called Monitoring of Vital Events (or MOVE-IT) and has been introduced in some part Kenya where it is hope that using text messaging to collect this vital information will dramatically improve the record keeping of these important health events.
The MOVE-IT program works by enabling community health workers to use SMS to record births and deaths. All the health workers need to do is to send a text message to the local authorities’ registration department about a birth or death in their designated area using the MOVE-IT program. Once the registrar receives the text message containing information on a key medical event, they then use another mobile solution to register the event with Kenya’s Department of Civil Registration...it is that simple.// Keeping track of medical records is difficult in developing countries, such as Kenya. At the moment millions of births and deaths are thought to go...
By Matthew Chung
Last month Tunisia went to the polls following the political uprising that ousted the long standing President of the country, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. To help Tunisians find their nearest polling station an SMS campaign was launched using 2-way messaging. The campaign was organised as a joint project between the national Government and a private Tunisian business. The SMS campaign proved to be a huge success and millions of 2-way SMS messages were send between the 20 to 23 October. It is thought that on Election Day (the 23rd of October ) around 3 million people texted the service and assuming that they all got a response there would have been a further 3 million replies, which means that a massive 6 million text messages were sent on that day alone.//Last month Tunisia went to the polls following the political uprising that ousted the long standing President of the country, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali....
By Dragan Zubac
Last month RIM (makers of the Blackberry mobile phone) had a server crash with the result that millions of its mobile phone customers around the world were left without access to email, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and the internet for several days. The failure even prompted a few companies in North American to start lawsuits against the company for breach of contract due to the loss of service. The outage of Blackberry’s service seems to have been caused by core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure, which in turn was compounded by the failure of its back-up system. Not only did this outage anger and annoy millions of the mobile phone manufacturer’s customers, it has also done untold damage to RIM’s brand image in the highly competitive smartphone market.
Although RIM’s outage has been a tremendous setback for the company, I believe that it has also raised another issue and brought into question the reliability of program such as instant messaging for mobile phones. This issue seems particularly relevant at the moment, as several companies have recently entered the mobile instant messaging market, including Apple’s iMessenger and Facebook’s Chat.
Now there are many in the industry that have predicted that as more of these instant messaging programs are introduced there will be a steady decline in SMS usage in the developed world. Yet, I can’t help thinking that given that these systems are not fool proof (as we’ve seem with BBM) there is definitely still a role for text messaging as a part of the mobile communication mix.// Last month RIM (makers of the Blackberry mobile phone) had a server crash with the result that millions of its mobile phone customers around the wo...
By Darko Milojkovic
I see that Walgreens, a large pharmacy/drug store chain in the US, is now trialling a text message alerts service for prescription renewals. With its SMS Refill Reminder service patients will receive a re-fill reminder notification by a text alerts when they start to run low on their medication. Best of all it’s a 2-way messaging service so the receiver can order more medication simply by replying with the word “REFILL”. The service will also allow mobile and smartphone users to scan the barcode on their prescription bottle to reorder their medication—giving them yet another way to refill their meds. Of course it’s an opt-in service and clients can sign up through their mobile phone or in person when they bring in their prescription. And I assume that the reminders are only relevant in cases where the original prescription from the doctor included a refill prescription.
As well as ensuring that the drugstore gets the repeat business, this 2-way messaging system for renewals helps to underpin good customer service and brand loyalty, so it is a smart move on the part of the retailer. That now withstanding, it also seems that the company has an altruistic reason for introducing the SMS alert prescription renewal service which is to help address the problem of low adherence to medication by many Americans. The drugstore chain hopes that by making it easier to get a refill on their medication, more patients will get and take their medicine.// I see that Walgreens, a large pharmacy/drug store chain in the US, is now trialling a text message alerts service for prescription renewals. With i...
By Richard Fox
If you are an opera fan and visiting London soon you may be interested to learn that the English National Opera (ENO) has launched a mobile campaign to let fans take advantage of last minute ticket offers. The goal of the mobile campaign is to help boost sluggish tickets sales for a particular performance by offering them at a reduced rate. After all it’s better to sell some seats, even if they are at a reduced price, rather than perform to a sparsely-filled theater.
The ENO’s system works by getting would-opera goers to sign up to receive text message alerts about last minute reduced ticket prices. The recipient can then go online or phone the ticket office to buy these tickets. So far, the SMS-based marketing initiative has been a real success for the English National Opera, which has seen a massive return on its mobile marketing investment. In addition, as opera fans need to sign up for this service, the English National Opera’s mobile campaign has also created a customer database which the opera company can use to promote further performances and events.// If you are an opera fan and visiting London soon you may be interested to learn that the English National Opera (ENO) has launched a mobile campaig...
By Katarina Velickovic
Have you noticed that these days mobile bar codes seem to be everywhere?
From ads in magazines, to estate agent’s windows and even on product packaging itself, this type of mobile marketing has captured the imagination of many leading brands as a great way to increase customer engagement. Certainly there’s no doubt that a mobile campaign that incorporates a QR or mobile bar code is a fantastic way to draw customers towards your mobile website where they can get more information, watch a video…whatever you want to offer.
Now, I have to admit that I am quite taken by this technology as all I have to do to find out more about a particular product is to scan the barcode and I am immediately taken to the relevant page on the brand’s website. But therein lies the rub. You see, for a mobile campaign to work using a QR code linked to its website the consumer must have a phone that has a QR reader installed or the user must install an application that does this. Plus, their mobile phone must be internet enabled. This means that QR codes tend to works best with smartphones, and mobile campaigns that just rely QR codes to encourage customer engagement via their mobile website are somewhat limiting their options.// Have you noticed that these days mobile bar codes seem to be everywhere? From ads in magazines, to estate agent’s windows and even on product pack...
By Matthew Chung
I’ve noticed a distinct trend lately. More and more people are handing in their old tried and test standard mobile phone and upgrading to a smartphone. You see this not just in the US or Europe (where smartphone penetration is at its highest) but also in emerging mobile markets such as those in Asia. And of course, this means that the market for mobile advertising and mobile applications will be expanding to satisfy this growing market.
The analyst firm, Berg Insights, estimates that the number of mobile application downloads worldwide will grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 50% in the coming years. By 2015 it predicts that worldwide download could reach 98 billion—which is a massive market by anyone standards. This, in turn means, that there is money to be made from this expanding mobile market, be revenues from paid applications and subscription services, mobile advertising or mobile applications for businesses.// I’ve noticed a distinct trend lately. More and more people are handing in their old tried and test standard mobile phone and upgrading to a smartph...