Posted in marketing, mobile, traveling, trends, web business

Cell Phone Observations form London

First, apologies for my hiatus.  As I have shown in the past, I do not travel and blog well.  I have an crazy travel schedule for the next few weeks, so hopefully I can keep up blogging.  We will see.

I wanted to write a blog about my observations while in London this past week.  Trying to think back at what sort of interactive themes I saw, the same topic hit me in London as it did in Argentina – Cell Phones.

The states, as “crackberry” obsessed as we are made out to be, are SO far behind in cell phone usage from other countries.  Sure, we have the strange new text-speak commercials that introduce old school acronym talk to the masses.  (Which, frankly, bugs me, as I don’t know that many kids/young adults who still use these. I am sure they still sub for “u” or “r” for “you” and “are” but I doubt the use of sentence acronyms prevalence on texts is as much as it was in chat rooms.  But I digress…)  By in large, our US cells are still used for phone calls, storing grainy pictures and as horrible, chirping walkie talkies.

In London, SMS codes are an everyday part of life.  Americans may see them on sketchy commercials for free ringtones, cell phone wallpapers, or jokes of the day.  But they are incorporated into almost all marketing campaigns in the UK; they seem as ubiquitous as the URL. 

There are a variety of core differences in the way the US and most of the rest of the world handle cell networks.  Texting packages are handled differently than here, for example.  Sending and recieving sms messages at $.10 a pop can get pricey.  US plans are starting to more widely offer unlimited plans.  And sms’ing in general is becoming less of a techie or teen thing and more of something anyone can do.

Another cool use of cells in the UK is accepting credit cards.  Most of the establishments I went to had their staff carrying mobile credit card terminals.  During my undergrad, I worked on tech support for the old credit card terminals, so I noticed and silently applauded those manufacturers for making a portable version.  Also, when I went to a local market in Greenwich, one of the booth owners told me that he could accept credit cards through his mobile phone now.  The integration of different technologies seems more fluid in Europe in general.  Even if we could accept credit cards through our phones here in the US, can you imagine the charges?

Which leads me to another pet-peeve that I have.  Cell phones, and almost everything having to do with them, are dictated by the networks here in the states.  Because of that, as a loyal Verizon customer, I can’t get, say, a Nokia N95 unless Verizon decides to add that phone to their repetoire.  Whereas in Europe, they can (for the most art) pick whatever phone they want and buy a SIM card for the network that makes the most sense for them.  This leads to a lack of inspiration to innovate on the part of cell phone designers selling to US companies, as the action stops being B2C and is only B2B.  AND most of the phone in Europe are tri-mode, so they can switch between different network coverage without much hassle.  (please, if I have any or all of this wrong, let me know as it seems so backwards here to me).

Just interesting to travel and see the innovation we do not seem to be taking advantage of.  I guess the optimistic version of that is, at least we can learn from their mistakes, right?

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I am a data & results driven Digital Media Influencer with over 15 years of experience in engagement, family marketing, scaling infrastructure and audience culture across a product’s lifetime from pre-launch to millions of users. Strategic Vision & Business Development: • Articulated corporate integrated digital marketing strategies for 10 children’s entertainment properties across multiple digital channels • Authored a comprehensive business plan for scalable online community infrastructure for internal and external partners and successfully participated in a thorough VC due diligence process • Increased sales revenue by 20% while managing 6 million dollars of annual revenue in existing business services. Production & Project Management: • Developed multiple 2D & 3D multi-player virtual worlds, online games & apps based on repurposed/original assets • Produced 12 animated 2-minute shorts for broadcast on television & developed animation production department workflows • Launched multiple major website redesigns to include more fan interaction • Led workflow & process optimization teams to improve operational effectiveness/productivity. Audience Engagement & Research: • Developed domestic and international audience research programs both on & offline for both parent and children audiences • Grew multiple audiences from pre-launch to tens of millions by using organic, as well as established marketing tactics. Team Management & Relationship Building: • Designed team management & organizational structures for multiple Web Content and Web Marketing departments including international remote teams of staff in North & South America, Europe and Asia. • Managed teams in multiple disciplines, including customer service, social media engagement, production, moderation, marketing, design, tech and content development. • Extensive client, vendor and partner management experience in television, licensing, digital, e-commerce & customer service industries

3 thoughts on “Cell Phone Observations form London

  1. Yes, I’d say you’ve pretty much got that right. Europe and Japan are way ahead in cell phone sophistication. But I will say that SMS usage is the US is catching up fast. Led by shows such as American Idol, everyone is becoming familar with texting. I was at a meeting hosted by a union recently who is rolling out a sms poll. It’s becoming ubiquitous everywhere.

    1. An outstanding share! I’ve just fowarrded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I stumbled upon it for him lol. So let me reword this . Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this topic here on your site.

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