While we have been off air during August – even we have to take a holiday – much has been going down in the world of telemedia. While the eclipse in the US saw telephone usage rates plummet for two hours while everyone, for once, looked up, it has been pretty much business as usual across the globe.
So what have been some of the highlights this month?
For me two things stand out at opposite ends of the month – and of the business. Back in early August we got some figures for how well charge to mobile is doing in the charity sector, while this week we see a deal between fashion brand Very.co.uk and Bauer Media to start producing shoppable mobile video content.
Early on in August we reported that charity was now one of the biggest single revenue generators for charge to mobile. This is great news for charge to mobile, as it shows that, in this sector at least, it is starting to gain some momentum.
On the flipside, it is slightly disquieting that there hasn’t been more progress on getting wider use of charge to mobile, although it is, I accept, a slow burn – to put it in perspective yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the introduction of contactless card payments in the UK and it has take that long for contactless to get to £370million of payments per year: a drop in the ocean still of the total.
And this is against a backdrop of there being a raft of other mobile payment roll outs through the summer, which shows that there is still huge interest in using the mobile to pay, but it isn’t quite there yet.
It will be interesting to see how mobile payments progresses in the months ahead and how much is done with mobile payments by consumers over the Christmas period.
The other interesting thing that has happened over the summer is the news that Very.co.uk and Bauer media have joined forces to create shoppable video content to help marketing and to transform m-commerce.
The video content will allow users to select items to style a bespoke outfit, changing key pieces depending on occasion or mood – the first time this video technique has been used by Very.co.uk. There will also be a personalised quiz with advice from the Bauer style gurus, as well as accompanying social activity giving weather relevant outfit suggestions and tongue in cheek commentary on your week in fashion.
62% of 2016 online sales at Shop Direct, which operates Very, were via mobile devices, meaning Very was looking for a creative solution to capture consumer attention quickly on smartphones.
What is interesting is that these two seemingly disparate brands in two very different industries need to work together. Very needs to sell clothes and Bauer needs to sell magazines. Both are ‘old skool’ businesses – but together they not only leverage each other’s customers (who, one assumes are the same demographic). And together they can create a much more interesting content based marketing approach.
This is precisely what both retailers and media companies need. They need to make marketing much more interactive, engaging, interesting and unique. Bringing together Magazine brands and shop brands – and bringing them together on mobile with shoppable technology – and you start to have a really interesting proposition.
Hey, who knows, they might even start to use mobile payments to pay for things.