Category: RingLeader

How Fast Can 10mm People Color An Island?

The Blogosphere can’t get enough of the visual social app “Color”, but they also can’t find anyone around them using it. Maybe they should come to NYC, 10mm people on a small island seems to be a dense enough population to make the app explode into the social mainstream.

I’m fairly strong when it comes to understanding technology and business concepts and while I can’t seem to put the app down I still don’t completely understand its impact. I’d put it as a cross between Twitter, Foursquare with pictures and Facebook without security.

Twitter and Foursquare have been successful for a lot of reasons but primarily IMHO from being completely open and transparent. Color is taking that to a new level by adding in some special sauce to the social voyeur cocktail, pictures and video crossed with location.

Where the question mark is for me, is on the social connections side. MySpace had poor security controls giving everyone access to see everything. Ultimately this made the social network turn into a lead gen site for the adult industry.

Basically the question remains for me and the very little I know about Color, is it ok to connect people geographically, socially, and visually without a profile page? The fast adoption I’m seeing in NYC says yes to me, but I’m not sure about the long-term game on this one…I’m thinking creepy, stalking, voyeurs may wreck the potential.…

Ringleader Digital’s Viral Click-To-Call Campaign Captures Attention Of Mobile Device Owners

Next-generation mobile advertising company Ringleader Digital, today announced the mounting success of its creative, mobile click-to-call campaign designed to promote Magnolia Pictures’ latest horror movie, “The Signal.” By using the one feature every phone has, the ability to make and receive phone calls, Ringleader’s viral campaign has yielded a 16 percent response rate within its target demographic, meaning that thousands of people to date have clicked to hear “The Signal.”

Approached by Magnolia Pictures’ media agency, Media Storm, Ringleader seized the opportunity to use the hottest new marketing medium, mobile, to spread the word – or in this case, the sound. Seeking an innovative campaign that would grab the attention of movie goers, the agencies toyed with the idea of a click-to-video campaign. However, to maximize reach, Ringleader advised a click-to-call campaign – offering a creative solution that soon had mobile phone users interacting to create movie buzz.

“The mobile medium is one of the most useful channel available to marketers today,” said Craig Woerz, Managing Partner of Media Storm. “Much like TVs are in nearly every home, most people now carry a mobile device. With the right partner, like Ringleader, you can reach those people and engage them on the spot. The success and high response rate we’ve experienced through Ringleader’s campaign has encouraged us to recommend mobile advertising elements as part of future projects.”

The campaign initially relies upon a mobile banner that invites fans to click the ad, an action that sends them to the movie’s mobile Web site. Created by Ringleader, this site offers people a chance to hear the signal, send the sound to a friend or read a film synopsis. Moments after clicking on the “Listen to the Signal” option, a call comes through the user’s handset. When answered, the call plays the same noise responsible for chillingly transforming the movie’s characters into mass murderers.

Also through the ad site, users can read a film synopsis or send the mesmerizing signal noise to their friends. The independent film tells the story of innocent people transformed into sociopathic killers after listening to sounds and viewing images transmitted through their television sets.

“‘The Signal’ project exemplifies how innovative advertising campaigns can and should cross from one screen to the other,” said Bob Walczak, CEO of Ringleader. “And, the beauty of it is how easily that capability grows your opportunities to capture minds. The mobile element complemented other online components – it didn’t mirror them. The click-to-call program gave Media Storm the next medium through which to reach tech savvy people with a catchy, viral campaign.”

In addition to managing the click-to-call element, Ringleader Digital sourced ad inventory on mobile Web pages frequented by Media Storm’s target demographic as well as created the WAP site. The click-to-call program hit the third screen on February 19 just in time for the February 22 movie release.

 

The Mobile “Don’t Track ” Database Yes or No?

mobile-tracking

Today, it is hard to find A News report about digital media without some reference to privacy and consumer rights or examples of those rights being violated. The Mobile segment of the digital media space is no exception. The current conversation is around building a database where consumers can go to “opt-out” of the targeting by participating advertisers and publishers.As the advancement of mobile advertising technology continues to progress, we find ourselves in a debate around handling the consumer’s data – even the data that doesn’t contain PII (personally identifiable information)

To date, as has been the case since the first cell-phone calls were made in 1983, the wireless industry has enjoyed the amazing growth through a competitive landscape rather than a overly regulated one. The argument is not about regulations or not. Robert Pitofsky then Chairman of the FTC made in a speech for the D.C. Bar Association Symposium in early 1998, where he said, “From a public policy perspective, self-regulation can offer several advantages over government regulation or legislation.”

There are countless examples of the Wireless Operators innovating to create a competitive edge as well as working together to make the whole industry grow. The current question on the table is around the creation of a national “do-not-track database” for online and mobile. Let’s separate the two for now, but I think we all would agree those lines are already blurred and will continue to be less distinctive. Clearly, the right move is for the industry to step up and build this. Waiting for the regulators to mandate will cause further delay and most likely limit the benefits.

The creation of the database will certainly give those interested in not being tracked a vehicle to ensure that their wishes are followed, but here at Ringleader Digital we have a database of over 40m unique devices – and since we launched our technology we have had just a couple thousand opt-outs. So clearly, those interested in not being tracked is a small number. In the end, tracking and targeting the ads that I see makes my whole experience more relative and interesting. Opting out of targeting doesn’t mean you won’t see ads, you have to pay extra for that. It just means you most likely won’t see as interesting an ad.

We spend our time working to provide a valuable and interesting experience across the ecosystem to a very personal device. We respect the fact that people are uneasy about the idea of being targeted or tracked as they use this device. It is with that in mind that we have been laying the foundation for a solution to allow consumers to not just “opt-out”, but actually “opt-in” to a more contextually relevant experience.

iPhone 4 on Verizon

As the CEO of a mobile tech company that has been around since 2005 with green screens, WAP and 2G data connectivity, the iPhone certainly shifted the market like nothing else in the industry. Think about what it delivered –  a touch screen that worked, text conversation threads, and the most significant the revitalization of the application market. I don’t think there is anyone that would argue against the fact that the iPhone is an incredible media device, but it’s Achilles-heel in the US has been that it is a terrible phone. Having a 15 minute call on it is an exercise in serious I-want-to-hurl-you-at-the-ground-smashing-you-into-a-thousand-dropped-call-pieces of restraint.

Our IT guy (god bless him for having to put up with me and all my devices) reminded me the other day how I’ve only had 2 AT&T phones over the past 5 years and every time I’ve done nothing but complain about the network. I’m currently on a Blackberry Torch running on AT&T (so this was clearly a recent conversation) and I was about to switch back to a Verizon device but I wanted to wait until the iPhone came out on Verizon before I switch, because I finally think it’s time to fully commit to iLife. While I didn’t think I could handle AT&T until June, (the initial rumored release date) now that we’re on for February 10th, I’m in!!

The two main questions the market is asking now is:

  1. What do I think I’m getting by this move to a Verizon iPhone?
  2. Who do I think will be most hurt by Verizon having the iPhone?

Taking these questions in order, I think I’m getting a phone, yes that’s right not a media device a phone that I can talk on. I know it’s a wild concept but I would actually like to talk on the phone and yes I mean hell yes I want all the apps and functionality of this killer media device.

Question 2 I believe may actually be presenting a point missed by every analyst report I’ve read on the subject, but it’s not AT&T that is going to feel the pain as much as Blackberry, I mean RIM is in trouble now.  The best Blackberry I’ve used to date is the torch, it’s a fantastic device coming from Blackberry but it doesn’t hold a match to Android or iPhone.

This also very much pains me to say, as I have been a dedicated user of Blackberries more then any other device over the past 5 years. AT&T will do fine, as they have locked their customers into new 2 year contracts knowing this day would come and because overall they have the best portfolio of devices of any US carrier.

The real pain point I believe for Blackberry, is that they have had 5 years of exclusivity, which only limited the dominance of the iPhone device and they didn’t come out with a single iPhone killer. I’m sorry Blackberry, but you need some innovation beyond email and a qwerty keyboard, that’s table-steaks these days. Additionally, the 14k apps that are impossible to download and find not to mention make work are not helping their position.

Anyway – yes, I’m pre-ordering on the 3rd and yes I’ll be in line on the 10th – and you’ll know it’s me because I’ll not only be using the iPhone to text, email, and download apps but I’ll be the one talking on it for WAY longer then 15 minutes without dropping the call.

If you Want To Read More About This Topic Click Here,…

MMA And GSMA Want What We Got

mma-gsma-news

The explosion of interactive technology in recent years has led to what seems to be an unending concern over user privacy – and rightfully so.  As consumers, we worry that any small piece of personal information, no matter how sacred, can be harvested by advertising and marketing agencies looking to make an extra buck.  Facebook seems to be engulfed in a privacy scandal every other day.  Google and Mozilla have incorporated “do not track” features into their web browsers in order to prevent government regulation. Privacy is obviously a big, big issue with people.

As the mobile industry, and consequently, mobile advertising continues to rise, major associations have begun taking steps to ensure that user data is treated respectfully and responsibly. The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), a global non-profit trade association comprised of over 700 mobile marketing players has established a Global Code of Conduct, a set of privacy regulation principles for all members to follow.

Late last month, the GSMA, an association of over 800 mobile operators, released their Mobile Privacy Principles.  We at Ringleader are proud to say that our own privacy policies not only meet the expectations of these two industry-defining documents but go well beyond their expected requirements.

Both the MMA’s and the GSMA’s guidelines focus primarily on the concepts of transparency and notice.  “Notice”, as defined in the MMA’s Global Code of Conduct“ should include information sufficient enough to permit a user to make an informed decision about his or her choices on how that information is used for that marketing program.”  In other words, you have to let people decide how their info is going to be used.’

GSMA adds that transparent mobile companies “shall be open and honest with users and will ensure users are provided with clear, prominent and timely information regarding their identity and data privacy practices.”

Or, simply, “You gotta communicate.” And we agree.

We at Ringleader have provided our full privacy policy right on our website, which you can find here.  We tell our users what we do collect (“non-personally identifiable information from your device, such as Carrier IP addresses, the request url, as well as http headers from the ad requests coming from participating websites”) and what we do not (“information that identifies you personally, such as your name, address, telephone number, or your or e-mail address”).

This means “We only collect stuff that doesn’t identify you as a person, and not your contact info.” Additionally, we include the date when any updates to our privacy policy are made, and we welcome questions, which can always be directed to privacy@ringleaderdigital.com.

Third, there is a high priority today placed on the concept of purpose and use.  As the MMA states “Mobile Marketers must take reasonable steps to ensure that user information they collect for the purpose of delivering targeted advertising is handled responsibly, sensitively, and in compliance with applicable law.”  At Ringleader, we use data collected only to deliver to you relevant ads, to ensure that you don’t see the same ad too many times, and to assist advertisers in crafting the most effective campaigns possible.  Nothing less, nothing more.

Believe it or not, we do this for the consumer. Yes, our clients want to make an extra buck. But they don’t want to talk to the uninterested. WE don’t want to target the uninterested. Our clients have a product or service that may be truly be beneficial – to the right audience.

The state of today’s mobile privacy landscape ultimately rests on one paramount principle: that the rights of the user – your rights – are to remain intact.  The MMA and the GSMA have provided guidelines to achieve that and we at Ringleader whole-heartedly believe all mobile advertising companies and platforms should follow their lead.  Only through a transparent and open system can we provide the most enjoyable and effective mobile experience.