Get Mobile

On Tuesday the 11th of November, my fellow DCU Business School students and I had the great pleasure of attending our second mini-conference held in the Helix’s Mahony Hall. The conference we attended was the annual free mobile marketing conference “Get Mobile” which featured presentations on current issues in mobile technologies and marketing. DCU Business School with the DCU Techspectations Initiative held the conference which ran from 14:00 till 18:00. I know that sounds like an awfully long time to be sitting in one spot, but when you read down through my blog you’ll understand how time flew as we listened to the different topics each of the six speakers discussed about mobile marketing.


The first speaker at the conference was Dr. Theo Lynn. Dr. Lynn is the Business Innovation Platform Director at Dublin City University and he is also a Senior Lecturer in the DCU Business School. Dr. Lynn began his presentation with stating how our phone is our “constant companion” and used a little cartoon sketch to convey how the younger (millennium) generation use their phones and tablets to do work nowadays, and wouldn’t dare use an actual computer (imagine the horror).


Theo then went on to supply us with some facts from the Irish Mobile Youth Report 2014, conducted by THINKHOUSE (if you’re not familiar with THINKHOUSE or even if you are I urge you to read and watch some of the brilliant videos THINKHOUSE have created, which are on my last blog post, I promise you won’t be disappointed) THINKHOUSE stated that:

  • 96% of Irish 18-35 year olds own a smart phone
  • 60% of smartphone users own an iPhone
  • 36% of smartphone users own an Android phone, 3% own a BlackBerry

THINKHOUSE also presented the fact that ownership of the ‘first mobile phone’ is getting younger with reports suggesting that within the next two years the average age will shockingly drop to as young as 10 years old …!

Theo then went on to present facts that our mobile phone really is our constant companion with facts such as:

  • 90% check phone when they wake up
  • 87% using phone on public transport
  • 84% using phone while watching TV
  • 18% using phone while in the cinema
  • 18% using phone while on a date (Dr. Lynn recommended never to do)
  • 57% use the phone while on the toilet (with most of them surprisingly being women)

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This has created such an opportunity for mobile marketing in recent years, resulting in it becoming crucial for the “rethink marketing” concept as mobile search is always on!  It’s happening whether you’re on the go, at home or at work. With 77% of searches occurring either at home or at work and 17% of searches taking place on the go. This is resulting in follow up action with 3 out of 4 mobile searchers, triggering on average of two of the following actions:

  • Further research
  • Store visit
  • A phone call
  • A purchase
  • Word of mouth sharing

Mobile searches also trigger the follow up action to happen very quickly, with 55% of the conversions I mentioned above happening within an hour! This has serial benefits for businesses that have mobile accessible sites online. Dr. Lynn then went on to talk about new technologies such as Google Glass and the connected car which is projected to be a 150 billion euro market in a few years’ time.  Dr. Lynn suggested the possibility that the technology in the connected car could even have the function of recording the drivers safety precautions while driving, and then sell the information to insurance companies which sounds futuristically insane!

Dr. Lynns presentation came to the conclusion that technology will be constantly updating and changing, therefore it is essential for businesses to be able to keep up with mobile marketing and whatever other technology comes along in the future. Therefore businesses of today’s world must ensure they’ve developed a mobile accessible online site of their business. It has become essential that customers can browse and buy goods on mobile assessable sites because as Dr. Lynn stressed our phone is our “constant companion”.


My favourite presentation of the Get Mobile mini-conference had to be from Dr. Mark Hughes, the Chief Technical Officer at Digifeye. Digifeye is a discovery and sales platform which integrates with some of the world’s leading publishing house (i.e. Vogue, GRAZIA, COSMO the list goes on) and retailers (i.e. Karen Millen, Topshop, River Island, L.K. Bennett London) Digifeye focuses on merging  computer vision and machine learning technology to convert visual content into shoppable content. In other words Digifeye scans a picture of let’s say Kim Kardashian in a magazine, Digifeye’s technology then recognises that she is holding let’s say a handbag (could be that she is wearing a dress etc.) and then scans its connected retailers for a similar handbag at different price ranges. I believe this is an absolutely fabulous use of modern technology because we get to keep stylish without the expensive high street price tag.

Digifeye’s technology has improved so much so that it has even started to recognise what type of jeans should be worn with specific types of tops, so when you’re searching ‘jeans’ a selection of tops will appear at the site of the page. It has also developed so much so that when you’re on a website and a dress you want is out of stock the same website will bring up a selection of similar dresses to the one you wanted, trying to prevent losing you as a customer. Digifeye’s amazing breakthrough in recognition technology has enabled customers to have a personal shopping experience online! I believe this is just incredible and from my first-hand experience of shopping online, believe me Digifies technology really does lead you to impulse buying.

The next presentation came from Dr. Cathal Gurrin. Dr. Gurrin is a lecturer at Dublin City University and an investigator in the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. He is a leading researcher in the field of “Lifelogging” and is actively developing search and organization technologies for big-data archives of personal sensor data. He stressed that as new technologies are developed they get cheap and more powerful with the astonishing fact that the iPhone 5 has 60,000 times more powerful than the computer that guided Apollo 2 astronauts to the moon!

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Dr. Gurrin then went on to describe how far technology has come, with smartphones now able to understand what we’re looking at when taking a photos and that your phones knows where we are and even knows if we’re sitting or standing. Want to be completely blown away by your smartphone? Google search “find my photos of (for example a specific event)” and see what happens….

Dr. Gurrin then moved onto talk about technologies such as Google glass, Google goggles and  the one year lifelog. He described the Google glass as being able to interact on a whole new level with it being actively aware, socially aware and location aware. This is leading to our technological devises knowing us better than we know ourselves.

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Imagine a world where you’d never have an issue of let’s say forgetting somebodies name ever again. Well now you don’t have to with Google glasses! Google glasses take about 2000 pictures a day and then save all your experiences into your private memory which you can access when needed to.

Dr. Gurrin then went onto describe the one year lifelog as a wearable camera which takes about 2 million images a day creating a private lifelog. This lifelog then creates a personal search engine which Dr. Gurrin referred to as an  “Internet of me” which stores, collects and analysis data such as personal health and greatest times of productivity in the day to name a few which allows us to understand our own life experience better. However Dr. Gurrin did highlight the challenges of the lifelog such as if somebody accessed your lifelog, it would be disastrous as then they’d have pictures of passcodes, personal information, etc. I bet you’re also wondering if it’s not a privacy issue to go around taking pictures of people but not to worry the lifelog will blur out the faces of the bystanders you don’t know.

The next speaker to make a presentation was Eoin Cruise, Eoin is currently the head of Microsoft Mobile Devices in Ireland. Eoin had been with Nokia prior to the acquisition by Microsoft for the last 10 years. Eoin began his talk with highlighting  the progress Nokia Microsoft have made.

  • 2011: There was the renewal stage with WP shares as low as 0.5% in November
  • 2012: There was the revitalisation stage with the ad campaign “Everyone loves a comeback”
  • 2013: There was the momentum stage where WP shares reaching 11.6%
  • 2014: Is the Consolidate stage as they reassure and surprise with gems for growth such as free maps, Microsoft office, xbox and tones more apps available

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Eoin stated that Nokia Microsoft have decided that they’re not going to release their new phone till it’s properly ready to be released, unlike other phone brands. He declared that phone companies “stop releasing things that don’t work!” I completely agree with Nokia Microsofts point of view, nothing is worse than a new phone that bends… for example (I think we all know the culprits here)

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Nokia Microsoft have made serious changes to their portfolio, in a way that they first want to create and deliver First (Series 30+) phones really well, that they want greatly improve the ‘Affordable smartphone’ range and then finally they can win in the high-end Smartphone range. I believe this approach to reinventing the Nokia Microsoft phone is the best possible way because realistically who in their right mind is going to spend €500-€600 on a smartphone, when the brand you’re buying off can’t even develop a good affordable smartphone… not me that’s for sure! After Eoins presentation I now can’t wait till the new Nokia Microsoft phone comes out, so I can see if it’ll live up to its expectations as being a phone that’ll work first release.


The next presentation was from Paul Davey. Paul is the mobile leader for IBM in Ireland and he is also currently leading the IBM/Apple collaboration initiative from an Irish perspective. Paul began his presentation with stating that IBM have played a major role in the development of technology that we’re not even aware of… Paul stated by even flying to England for example, you’ll use numerous IBM technologies such as booking your flight on the website, printing your ticket, air traffic control use IBM technologies, by booking a taxi when you arrive in England and even using your ATM swipe card you’ll use IBM technologies. IBM also take credit for creating the first smartphone which sent emails and functioned as a pager as well.

Paul then went on to talk about the amazing break through IBM have had with cancer research, which I found fascinating. The IBM technology could analysis what caused the patents cancer in matter of 17 seconds! It then suggested three treatments for the cancer and gave a percentage rate of beating the cancer. This incredible the IBM Watson technology will hopefully be ready to treat patents by the end of the year, which is just amazing!

Paul then presented us with two pictures of Saint Peter square in Rome, one was taken in 2005 and the other in 2013. From the picture it is clear how the world has changed with the influence of technology…


Paul then discussed the importance of producing an app for your business that meets the needs and expectations of customers. Paul brought up the Aer Lingus app and how it was rated as “rubbish” and years behind other airlines apps. He stressed this as a serious problem as customers won’t put up with inferior apps, when they can just use a different airlines app. He then went on to discuss that creating a truly engaging Mobile experience involves far more than just building great Mobile apps, that it involves making sure all of the following are provided:

  • Building Mobile apps that support a range of devices, are easy to use and look really cool
  • Increasing speed to market to deploy capabilities
  • Rapidly innovating to keep enhancing experience
  • Protecting Mobile access to enterprise data
  • Scaling elastically to deliver responsiveness
  • Integrating Mobile activities with rest of business

Paul then spoke of the joining of IBM with Apple. He describes IBM as doing the extra things people don’t recognise, however Apple has recognised IBM’s incredible work. Paul then went on to state that “they bring the devises, and we bring the knowledge” which I thought was quiet a fitting, as IBM and Apple are working on the enterprise solutions for IOS.


The final speaker of the conference was Alex Meisl. Alex has been Chair of the Mobile Marketing Association for four years and is on the board of the Institute of Promotional Marketing, and is a lecturer at UCL. As a day job, he is Chair of mobile agency Sponge, and Retail Technology Marketing Company WiForia. Alex began his presentation with presenting us with some humorous facts:

  • 1/3 of all UK people interviewed would rather give up sex than their smartphone
  • 2/3 of all UK people interviewed would rather give up alcohol than their smartphone
  • More five year olds know how to use a smartphone than tie their shoes… Which is a tad worrying if you ask me
  • There are more smartphones in the world than toothbrushes… Just think about that one.. EWWWW

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Alex then enlightened us that there is not just a phone and a tablet but a phablet! (yes I know it’s a strange and a slightly stupid name) A phablet is between 5 and 5.3 inches while a phone is 3.2 and 4.3 inches and a tablet is 7-10.1 inches… There’s a little pointless information for you but, hey you never know might be a table quiz question some time.

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Alex then went on to inform us that SMS is dead, with only 145bn SMS sent in UK in 2013 which averages at 6.5 SMS’s per head per day, (when I think about it, that fact isn’t that mind blowing as I’m using the app ‘WhatsApp’ more often than texting lately). Alex then informed us that in the UK mobile advertising will take over newspaper adverting in 2014, $3.53bn (15.1%) vs $3.23bn (13.8%). He stressed that Apps are the future, however less than 80% of branded Apps get less than 1,000 downloads. He told us that brands must learn to “get it right” if they want to succeed, because 4 out of 10 retailers will shut in the next 5 years as customers turn away from traditional stores in favour of online shopping. Walmart is a perfect example of a brand who’s got it right and states that “We found most importantly, those who have our app are making twice as many trips to Walmart, and their spending 40% more” Which I believe perfectly shows the power of the app in mobile marketing.

Alex then stated that apart from the television, mobile use is the highest major media outlet in today’s world, with the average time spent by US adults being 2 hours and 51 minutes, which once again emphasise the need for businesses to become mobile accessible online through apps and websites. Also speaking from a generation ‘Y’ perspective we have higher expectations and if they’re not met we’ll simply move to another site (harsh but true).


Alex then brought up Google maps, and stated that every business should be on Google maps unless they want to deliberately sabotage their business, as it’s free and will get you seen on search engine websites. He then brought up the topic that 1/3 of Googles top 100 clients do NOT have mobile optimised! (Which even I a teenager know is bad business)

Alex then presented us with the very true facts that truly enhanced our understanding of the importance of good quality mobile accessible apps and online sites.That 61% of people will quickly move to another mobile site if they can’t find what they’re looking for straight away:

  • That last year 48% of emails opened occurred on a mobile phone or tablet
  • Another survey from Nielsen found that 68% of UK consumers had used their mobiles to check emails in the previous 30 days
  • 2% of people will delete a mobile email that doesn’t look good
  • On average, the time difference between first search and purchase is one month on the web and one hour on mobile (which is a crazy difference)

Alex spoke of numerous marketing techniques, but the one I thought was definitely the most creative and fun was the in-store engagement in GUATEMALA!

Another mobile marketing technique which I thought was utter brilliance, was the EMART SUNNY SALE. This mobile marketing technique works by only allowing people to scan a QR code between 12 and 1 each day to receive a special 25%discount which can be redeemed in store or on their ecommerce site.


From the Get Mobile conference I learned that technology is forever changing in today’s world and that if traditional businesses/stores want to keep up with online businesses they have to ensure they’ve made a mobile accessible site, they’ve registered to Google maps and that they’ve developed a great App because “Apps are the future”. I also learned that if business us fresh and creative marketing ideas like Meat Pack using the Hijack approach they’ll increase their sales while getting FREE ADVERTISING at the same time ! The next mini-conference I’ll get the pleasure of attending will be “Get Started” conference and it’ll be held on the 17th of February 2015. I completely urge you to get a ticket because if it’s anything like the last conference it’ll be an interesting, intellectual and extremely informative afternoon.

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