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Somo news & blog archive

  • 21/3/2014

    Google Just Made Wearables Relevant

    If wearables are as hot as tech blogs and mobile events would have you believe, why aren’t people, well… wearing them? Clunky, impractical devices have stifled developers, held back by the inability to create software specifically for the consumer behaviour associated with wearable devices.

    Android Wear

    Google has finally lifted the barriers this week with the release of “Android Wear,” its new platform for wearable devices. This will make wearables relevant for three key reasons:

    1) A smartwatch is more than a tiny phone.

    At the moment, people are far more comfortable just using the phone than a smartwatch for sending and receiving information, as the larger screen and more powerful software allow for a better user experience. With the new SDK, Google opens the door for predictive assistance and makes more logical sense. The new software focuses on quick, snackable content and notifications, which utilises the watch interface in a way that aligns with consumer behaviour.

    2) The internet of things is within reach.

    In just a couple of short years, we will be living in a utopian environment, benefiting from the connection of our devices, our homes, our cars, and basically our entire lives. It will seem like a foreign, cumbersome idea to reach in your pocket for your phone to send or receive notifications or other information. You will expect your device to know your behaviours and know your environment and essentially optimise your life. It will no longer be a task to check the status of your public transit line or look up the weather at your local beach. Your devices will automatically be plugged into your life telling you where to go, what to avoid, and helping you make better choices with little to no effort on your part.

    3) Function and style are not mutually exclusive.

    Wristwatches are not just about telling the time. Smartphones have largely taken over that role. The watch is about craftsmanship, beauty, and style. Thanks to Android Wear, smartwatch manufacturers are now free to truly design what is essentially a fashion accessory with built-in utility, which will lead to greater consumer adoption. The design process will turn on its head — originally worked backwards, now developers can build software with the user experience in mind which allow for sleeker and more beautiful wearable devices.

    Thank you Google for changing the wearables game. We can’t wait to see the next wave of devices developed specifically fit for purpose.

  • 6/3/2014

    Spotlight on: The Social Traveler

    Time to make plans for your next beach holiday. Bora Bora? Turks and Caicos? Cue visits to TripAdvisor and calls for advice on Facebook. If you’re like many travelers these days, your mobile phone or tablet will be your go-to destination for this research. Travel By nature, travel is an emotional and social activity with mobile at its core. Social media allows the travel experience to transcend time and place by connecting travelers and non-travelers at any time wherever they are, creating multiple contexts for connection across the customer journey. The shared economy is also shifting consumer behavior as sites like Airbnb allow travelers better value and the ability to experience new destinations as locals do. What does this mean for travel companies and other businesses seeking to take advantage of this personal opportunity to share a message with travelers?

    At present, 30% of all time spent on travel-related websites in the U.S. is spent on phones and tablets and 82% of all mapping activity in the U.S. occurs on a tablet or smartphone. Because of the emphasis on experience over destination or outcome, brands need to offer personalized services, social connections and information, in addition to value and reliability. As new technologies like wearable tech and connected products gain momentum, this will continue to increase. Businesses need to take advantage of new ways of communicating with this mobile, social traveler in order to stay ahead of competitors and create lifetime customer value at every stage of the journey. To learn more about how mobile is affecting the travel sector, or how brands can take advantage of the active traveler, contact us at hello@somoglobal.com.

  • 5/3/2014

    Connected Everything, Enterprise & Emerging Markets: MWC 2014 Highlights

    2014-02-24 12.37.45

    As always, Mobile World Congress 2014 showcased a multitude of dazzling opportunities, products and services. The Somo team hit Barcelona for the week to identify the key mobile trends that will impact business in the near future, and believes the following three were the most interesting: connected everything, focus on emerging markets, and mobile in enterprise.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Connected everything

    Mobile is disruptive because it provides the link between the physical and the digital worlds; in effect it becomes the omnipresent remote control for life for customers. Historically we’ve seen this impact through QR, image recognition/AR and Bluetooth Low energy beacons, all augmenting physical objects with mobile, but this year MWC was dominated by mobile connecting all physical objects.

    2014-02-24 14.24.14

    Every major stand had a connected car on show with all the major car manufacturers showing how mobile powers auto services; Ford even launched their new connected Focus at MWC rather than at a major car show. In car telemetrics alongside navigation and entertainment were omnipresent, as car-focused App stores link mobile directly to the car’s dashboard.

    Connected Homes also featured heavily with Qualcomm displaying a number of new technologies in their smarthome of the future, including security such as door locks, lighting and remote heating controls and again entertainment all powered through the mobile remote control.

    2014-02-25 11.43.28

    Wearables were ubiquitous, from mobile connected smartwatches taking calendar and messaging services direct from mobile to your wrist, as well as new fitness wearables likeGalaxy Gear Fit to provide exercise data back to the mobile device. There were fewer examples of visual wearables such as Google Glass present showing the lead on the market this product has today.

    2014-02-24 15.26.40

    There was even a Connected toothbrush from Oral B which may seem trivial, but with data on teethbrushing being connected to your mobile and accessible by dentists makes perfect sense for healthier teeth.

    The next 1,000,000,000

    Whilst MWC news focuses on high end handsets for developed markets such as the Samsung Galaxy 5, it’s the fact that the next 1 billion people to connect to the internet will do so on smartphones, so the race is on to create low-priced handsets to facilitate this connectivity.

    2014-02-24 11.49.37

    Nokia launched their Android powered, Windows tiles look and feel X series with the lowest price point of $89 specifically at developing markets. But it was Firefox with their Web based OS, launched at MWC last year that stole the show with a stunning $25 smartphone prototype that will drive adoption at this highly accessible price point.

    Lower priced handsets are just the start though as connectivity and data packages at low price are needed to make usage cost effective. Internet.org, supported by Facebook, Qualcomm, Nokia, Samsung and others looks to make access free for certain services to drive connectivity for the next billion users and looks to work with carriers to make this possible – one to watch for the future.

    Enterprise awakens

    MWC has always been a hotbed for enterprise innovations, but it’s the combination of cloud, big data and mobility that is driving an increased urgency to this sector.Mobile device management for enterprises to enable Bring your own device programmes, such as airwatch were out in force, and Samsung launched their next version of Knox, mobile security system for enterprises showing that mobility is not just a consumer focused issue , as the same consumers want the power of mobile within their workplace as well.

  • 21/2/2014

    6 top tips for surviving MWC

    It’s that time of year again. Vast swathes of the mobile industry relocate to Barcelona for a week of mobile mania, Mobile World Congress. It can be a frantic scramble to spot the next big thing in tech and keep up with the latest trends and gossip. But Somo has got it covered, follow us on Twitter for updates on everything from wearable tech, new handset launches, the Internet of Things to mobile payments and many many more.

    Here at Somo, we are MWC veterans, so we’ve pulled together our 6 top tips to help you make the most of your trip.

    mwc

    Somo’ers enjoying MWC

    1. PLAN YOUR ITINERARY LIKE A MILITARY CAMPAIGN

    The Fira is huge so leave yourself plenty of time between meetings, and be sensible when you book the locations.

    2. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES

    You will be doing a lot of walking as you explore the exhibition so make sure your footwear can hack it.

    3. MAKE SURE YOU RSVP

    The week is packed full of parties and networking events, but make sure you RSVP as the best ones are always over-subscribed, if you haven’t you better work your contacts.

    4. LEAVE YOUR LAPTOP AT HOME

    All you need is your mobile!

    5. BEWARE OF PICKPOCKETS

    Keep your bag close and your devices out of sight. Especially on the subway and on Las Ramblas, pickpocketing is rife during MWC. So many shiny new phones, tablets and wearables.

    6. TAKE A BREAK

    You will be surviving on about four hours sleep a night, well if you are doing it properly that is! So consider a short ski-trip the days after the conference, the slopes are a short drive away.

    There you have it, our top tips for making it to the end of MWC clutching the right business cards and still in possession of your phone.

    If you would like to meet one of our team at MWC please get in touch at hello@somoglobal.com.

    And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

  • 20/2/2014

    Facebook’s WhatsApp Steal: $19 Billion

    FacebookWhatsApp

    Facebook is buying messaging service WhatsApp for an unprecedented $19 billion — quite the bold move by Zuck and co.

    $19 billion is a lot of money, but Facebook is by no means overpaying for the app. When Google bought YouTube for $1.65bn back in 2006, people thought it was expensive. When Facebook bought Instagram for $1bn, the internet couldn’t seem to believe it. Both purchases ended up being well worth it, and a quick analysis and a bit of simple math demonstrate that similarly, Facebook is making a very smart move with its latest purchase.

    Annual SMS revenue in 2013 surpassed $120 billion. SMS is being swiftly overtaken by OTT messaging, a market that Facebook now essentially owns for a mere $19 billion. Does it sound like an outrageous price now?

    And let’s not forget the value of data (Google/Nest, anyone?). Facebook now has access to the phone number of all WhatsApp users (more than 450 million) and access to more than 27 billion messages per day.  While both companies claim that they won’t introduce advertising within the app, Facebook is now inside all of our WhatsApp conversations and can easily index them to enhance ad targeting on Facebook, meaning increased indirect advertising revenue.

    Additionally, Facebook knows that to remain relevant in social and mobile, it needs to win with photos and chat. It makes sense that Facebook follows its Instagram acquisition with WhatsApp as they continue to knock out the competition and protect their own backyard.

    Looking to the future, the other big tech players will need to kick it up a notch if they have any chance of competing against Facebook in messaging. The only one that really stands a chance is Google’s Hangouts app, which has a very similar feature set to WhatsApp but also benefits from the pervasiveness of Google.

    While the guys at WhatsApp have earned quite the payday, in time it will be clear that Facebook has made a smart decision at an appropriate price.

  • 18/2/2014

    Free Webinar–Optimizing the Trifecta: TV, Social and Mobile

    How can brands both amplify engagement and activate conversations through integrated TV marketing?

    Consumers today watch TV with their smartphones and tablets, paying less attention to TV ads and more to the screens they’re holding. Marketers are reacting to this change in behavior by creating ‘dual screen’ synchronized TV and mobile campaigns, but the real opportunity is to tie in a third factor… social media. Social sites see the highest second screening rates, and so an approach that combines these three channels can seriously drive engagement and deliver measurable results.

    Join us to learn how to develop a socially synchronized approach to reach and engage with consumers as they switch between TV, tablet, and mobile.

    Can’t make it? As long as you register you can always view post-webinar sessions at our SlideShare page.

    Panelists:

    Emma Crowe - resized

    Emma Crowe, Senior Vice President Client Strategy 

    With over 18 years of strategic marketing experience, Emma is a specialist in consumer trends with a proven track record of marrying business objectives with customer needs. At Somo, she devises effective mobile strategic plans for our range of global clients, including Shop Direct Group and Paddy Power. Emma is an expert in retail and gambling, having held several senior client-side marketing roles in these sectors. Before joining Somo she was Regional Marketing Director at Pokerstars, the world’s largest poker site, where she was responsible for all the marketing for the brand. Emma was also Head of Customer Marketing at Sky for Bingo and Poker for three years, during which time she launched and established both brands to be major players in their respective markets. She’s previously held marketing roles for Marks and Spencer’s, Weight Watchers, AOL and Associated Newspapers. Emma’s vast experience working on a variety of brands on the client side enables her to truly understand their objectives, and build mobile solutions and strategies that place consumer insight and digital innovation at their heart.

    Michael Becker Photo

    Michael Becker, Strategic and Development Advisor 

    Michael J. Becker is a passionate, international, entrepreneur, evangelist, volunteer and scholar.  Becker holds a number of roles in the industry most notably a North American director and advisor role to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).

    Becker frequently speaks at industry and private events and is regularly interviewed by key publications on leading mobile marketing trends. Previously, Becker was the MMA’s North American Managing Director, and the co-founder of iLoop Mobile (now Archer Mobile), a leading multimedia messaging solutions provider. He has also authored and co-authored many articles and books, including Mobile Internet for Dummies, Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies, and Mobile Marketing for Dummies.

     

  • 18/2/2014

    Somo Hack Day 4: Wearable Tech

    Wearable tech is fun, but how can it improve our lives and work?

    As the popularity of wearable technology products continues to rise on the heels of the CES hype, the Somo innovation team created a Hack Day to explore the relationship between mobile and wearable devices.

    The teams were tasked to create new ideas and working prototypes for real world use cases for the technologies in just one day. By gathering together mobile experts from every part of the business — from designers and developers to account managers and campaign managers — we got a unique perspective on how wearable technology could work for our clients.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Teams spent the first half of the day brainstorming together to identify opportunities and problems they could solve using this tech. Once the best ideas were agreed, teams explored their concept, plotted the user journey, then designed and developed their proof of concept.

    In one day, six teams came up with ideas including a Google Glass app for engineers, allowing them to receive help while continuing to work hands-free; a game synced with the Pebble smartwatch, so the faster you run the faster your character escapes the fox on screen; a baby monitor, using the Node environmental sensor to ease parents’ worries by tracking vital health and environmental info for their baby; and a dating app using the Pebble smartwatch, allowing you to flirt and interact with singles around you.

    For more #somohack fun, take a look at our Twitter play-by-play.

  • 13/2/2014

    Spotlight On: Integrated TV

    These days, dual screening makes it harder than ever to capture potential customers’ attention. Customers expect and respond to stories that are told across devices and channels, from a TV ad to a tablet to a mobile device. So how can brands both amplify engagement and activate conversations through integrated TV marketing?

    In many sectors, particularly social gaming, it is difficult to create cut-through to continue to grow reach and acquire new customers beyond the initial market. Gaming is one area where we are seeing an increasing requirement to optimise innovative mobile products for dual screening. With over 2 million apps across the combined app stores, the mobile performance market is both becoming saturated and restricted to targeting a specific core gaming audience. To achieve significant growth and scale, marketers can’t ignore traditional above the line marketing, such as TV advertising.

    Screenshot 2014-02-13 17.53.52

    Rather than focusing on one channel or message, marketers need to think about combining three areas: direct response television (DRTV), retargeted media, and social marketing (where the highest rate of second screening takes place). In the social gaming example, in the US alone this could help drive relevant, incremental reach of almost 4x that of a standard mobile campaign.

    -

    To learn more about integrated TV, join Somo for a free webinar on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 17:00 GMT: Optimizing the Trifecta: TV, Social and Mobile. Reserve your place here.

  • 12/2/2014

    LEOVEGAS CHOOSE SOMO TO PUT IT TOP OF THE GAME

    Somo will manage LeoVegas’ multi-million pound marketing campaign as it enters the UK market

    Somo, the largest independent global mobile solutions company, today announced that LeoVegas  has selected Somo as its agency of choice to manage its aggressive, multi-million pound media campaign to help drive it to the forefront of the mobile casino market in the UK.

    With its ‘mobile-first’ approach, LeoVegas has seen fantastic success within its home Nordic market where it now generates over €2m in weekly deposits and is now looking to replicate this in an extremely competitive UK market. The ace up LeoVegas’ sleeve is it’s innovative approach in acquiring customers, superior user interface and dedicated focus to mobile. Working with Somo, its hard-hitting campaign will focus on rich media and premium video mobile advertising across multiple channels, delivering some of the best creative content on the market.

    Carl Uminski at Somo commented: “We’ve seen amazing growth in the mobile casino market over the last five of years, as more and more players choose to game on the go. LeoVegas has a really fresh approach to mobile user acquisition and the company’s openness to innovation in mobile technology is something that can give them the edge in such a fiercely contested market. The company has put mobile at the heart of other media channels to drive brand awareness and deeper engagement.”

    Gustaf Hagman, Co-Founder of LeoVegas commented: “The UK market is very crowded but we are looking at innovative ways to cut through and continue the rapid growth that the business has seen in the Nordic markets over the last two years. Somo’s a fantastic partner for us to crack the UK market with, given the team’s industry expertise and core philosophy of ‘mobile first’, something that’s very much part of our DNA. LeoVegas is built on the idea that one shouldn’t accept the industry norm and we plan on shaking things up in the UK in 2014.”

    Founded in 2009, Somo builds innovative and creative mobile marketing strategies for top brands all over the world including Audi, De Beers, BP, News Corp and AirAsia Expedia. The company is headquartered in London with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore and Berlin.

  • 11/2/2014

    7 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Apps

    Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly (psst…it’s tomorrow) and whether you’re single, taken or “it’s complicated,” it never hurts to have a little help especially if you’re still planning for it last-minute. We’ve gathered seven apps that will make the holiday less stressful and more fun.

    The Walking Dead Zombie App

    Who said romance was dead? Ha! Ha! Sorry, couldn’t help myself….The Walking Dead has found a way to be even more awesome: They’ve made an app for you to create zombiEcards for your loved ones. Enough said. No matter how unprepared you are for V-day, this has to bring a smile to your fellow Walking Dead fan.

    Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 4.44.45 PMiOS | Android 

    Love Quotes App

    If you are looking for a creative way to express your feelings beyond a paper card but aren’t a wizard of words and images,  Love Quotes App offers thousands of images with love quotes imprinted on them.

    iOS | Android 

    Valentine’s Recipes

    Planning a romantic dinner? Why not make it yourself using a cooking app. Valentine’s Recipes offers more than 140 dishes like “I Love You Cookies” and “Chocolate Lover’s Dream Cake”.  It’s got easy-to-read instructions, a section for notes and allows you to make a shopping list.

    iOS | Not Available for Android

    Grouper

    Singles: Don’t wallow in the “Hallmark-created” holiday. Go out and have some fun! Grab 3 friends and sign up for Grouper, an app that brings together friends for a group date.

    At the very least, you’ll meet some new people with your friends and it beats eating chocolate on the couch, alone.

    iOS | Not Available on Android

    OPENTABLE

    Oops! You’re were supposed to make dinner reservations.  Rather than spend the next week sharing living quarters with Fido, let OpenTable save your night. Make same day reservations and even join their reward program to gain points for your night out.

    iOS | Android 

    HELLO VINO

    If all wines look and taste the same to you, you may be in need of Hello Vino . This handy tool will let you play sommelier  and impress your date. Is it bad to serve the same white wine with fish and meat? No problem. This app has an answer for that. You can even snap a pic of the wine label, then Hello Vino will tell you all about the wine (tasting notes, ratings, food pairings, etc.)—-Yes, now you can be smart, witty and snobby! :P Use Hello Vino to find the perfect wines to match any meal and become a master of oenology.

    iOS | Android 

    RED STAMP CARDS

    Now enough about significant others, how about Mom and Dad? Show them what you’ve been up to lately with a personalized photo card you can send directly from your smartphone. Red Stamp Cards lets you pick and edit from 600 greeting notes and pre-made designs.

     iOS | Android

    What kind of apps are you using for Valentine’s? We’d love to hear your favorite apps for the holiday. Share in the comments or tell us on our Twitter page #vdayapps. If you’re looking for more apps, check out last year’s recommendations.

  • 7/2/2014

    SomoHack: Wearable Tech

    1. #SomoHack #wearables – today we are exploring the relationship between mobile and wearable devices
    2. #somohack the dream team are now choosing their minions. Let the hacking commence pic.twitter.com/gQEyjA1dCU
    3. Downloading the universe (lots and lots of SDK) for #SomoHack
    4. Hacking Google Glass today! #SomoHack And we have a beautiful blue one to play with! pic.twitter.com/pn8gHJ5H7x
    5. “I didn’t realise how accurate the accelerometer was!” – Naji El-Arifi #somohack
    6. Fascinating stuff at the #SomoHack – like playtime at school with an output! Toys: Google Glass, Pebble, and loads more. #wearables
    7. can’t wait to see what my brilliant colleagues have come up with @ #somohack #wearables presentations. I accept cookies as bribes. #judge
    8. #SomoHack #wearables end of the day presentations, some seriously slick demos!

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  • 7/2/2014

    Bristol developers: Come play with the latest tech!

    The Somo team will be in Bristol to host a mobile innovation day on Thursday, 13th February, at the Engine Shed and all local developers are invited. Join us to meet our team, check out our tech showcase and enjoy some snacks.

    You will get the chance to play with Google Glass, Oculus Rift, iBeacons, drones and much more. Our innovation team will demonstrate how we are exploring these technologies to solve problems for our clients.

    Swing by on your lunch break or stop by after work to get expert views on how the latest tech can help businesses and consumers.

    This event is now full – if you would like to be added to the waiting list please email: rsvp@somoglobal.com

    Engine Shed, Station Approach, Temple Meads, Bristol BS1 6QH

     

    Somo Mobile Innovation Day - Bristol2

     

     

     

  • 4/2/2014

    Don’t panic: these apps will help you survive the tube strike

    All over London people are pondering, ‘how on earth am I going to get to work tomorrow?’ Well worry no more, we have gathered together a list of useful travel apps that will get you through the tube strike only moderately flustered and sweaty.

    1. Citymapper

    My go-to app for getting around London, Citymapper will plan your journey for you using the limited tube service, overground trains, buses or even bikes. There is also a jetpack option, which might not seem so funny tomorrow after you’ve seen three packed buses sail past you.

    Citymapper

    2. Tube Tracker

    A real-time tube departure tracker. This great little app shows the departure boards for all stations, even those annoying District line stations that don’t have one! Best of all the journey planner works offline, so you can use it underground.

    Tube tracker

    3. Bus London

    Bus London will direct you to your nearest bus stop, tell you which bus to get and how long until it arrives. Simple.

    Bus London

    4. National Rail Enquiries

    If you live near a mainline station National Rail Enquiries is the most efficient way to check train times, delays, prices and even buy tickets. The best feature is a wake-up alert so you don’t miss your stop if you fall asleep!

    National rail enquireies

    5. Barclays Bikes

    Barclays – or as they are more affectionately known – Boris’ bikes have great coverage of the city these days, they are even south of the river. The app quickly shows you the nearest docking station and how many bikes or spaces are available there. You can easily pay for your bike by credit card and you’ll be burning off your breakfast – win win.

    Barclays bikes

    6. Addison Lee

    For a guaranteed pick up and stress-free commute, Addison Lee’s new app will get you a car on average in less than 10 minutes, and allows you to track your drivers’ progress. The nifty new ‘take me home’ feature will get you a cab home in two quick taps.

    Addison-Lee-new-app

    7. Google Maps

    If all else fails – walk. You can’t beat the old faithful Google Maps to direct you there. Google Maps now also includes public transport information and cycle routes, thanks Google.

    googlemaps

    So there you have it. Seven great apps to help you navigate your way through the tube strike chaos. Good luck!

     

  • 4/2/2014

    Hot Topics: The UK’s most influential man in mobile – Carl Uminski

    Hot Topics, the exclusive global community for the technology leaders that shape the industry, interviewed Somo’s COO, Carl Uminski. Here’s what he had to say about being named the most influential man in mobile, mobile strategy and Somo’s continued impressive growth…

    Hot Topics - Carl Uminski

    Somo is an independent global mobile marketing and solutions company founded in 2009 by four entrepreneurs: Nick Hynes, CEO, Carl Uminski, COO, Dave Evans, CTO and Simon Edelstyn, director.

    Somo has offices in London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore and Berlin and its clients include big brands such as Audi, BP, De Beers and The New York Times.

    Carl Uminski was recently named the most influential individual working in mobile marketing in The Drum’s Mobile Top 50 2013.  The award is an impressive accolade yet he plays down his part in earning the title, saying it is a celebration of what the team has been building over a period of time – “right back from 2000 when I was working in a search business with Nick Hynes and building Overture Europe from nothing to 650 people in 15 different countries”.

    “We’re now doing a similar thing with Somo. It’s a lot harder than the search business and that was hard. It’s the people, the teams we’ve created,” said Uminski. “It’s really what we are doing as a team and achieving as a business.”

    Overture Europe, which Uminski co-founded, was the company to pioneer the multi-billion dollar pay-per-click advertising industry into Europe and successfully exited to Yahoo! for $1.63 billion in 2003.  Uminski moved over to Silicon Valley as a result of the acquisition and helped create the Yahoo! One Search mobile platform, working with some of the world’s largest mobile brands.

    Uminski said his time in Silicon Valley has “hugely” influenced his approach to entrepreneurship. He said he has always had a very “can do” attitude, but in the Valley you don’t have an option about having that kind of attitude. “You have to be progressing, pushing forward, if it’s failing, fail fast and do the next thing – there’s no criticism. Silicon Valley is the heart of risk, everyone thrives off risk, you come over here and there’s no such thing as risk, it’s dull in comparison.”

    Timing challenges

    In 2006, Uminski became CTO at Trutap, which he describes as the WhatsApp of today – “we were early, you can’t always have the timing spot on” – a messaging and blogging platform for feature phones. After three years in the role, Uminski then went on to set up Somo with his three fellow co-founders.

    They saw a very fragmented market with lots of different product platforms and networks and they built a team of people who could understand the market, the platforms and the media and how to communicate to customers in the fragmented market.

    The road there hasn’t always been easy. Uminski cites people as the primary challenge as they built their business. The four founders had already experienced success and so they had capital to start the business but “finding the right people in the right stage of their careers that were ready to join a couple of guys setting up a new business” was the hard part.

    The second challenge remains – they are still early with their timing. “In many of the conversations you are having with people, they are saying ‘Really, mobile, is it important?’ A lot of traditional brands still lack a mobile strategy – huge big brands, big household brands in the traditional space do not believe that mobile is going to be a problem for them,” explains Uminski. “It’s because they don’t look at their server logs and they don’t see that over 50% of their traffic to their websites is mobile.”

    “So people understanding the stage of the market is the second biggest challenge for us,” he adds.

    Journeying into mobile

    “I spend a lot of my day to day time with large clients, especially CEOs and boards, advising them on the big strategic decisions they need to make in their business to move forward in terms of how much to invest, how they should comprise their teams, where they should make their first move in mobile and really where their three year vision is,” added Uminski.

    Somo is still the innovator and Uminski insists that he doesn’t know of another mobile business that does what Somo does: take a client through the entire customer journey from the strategic outlook to where they want to get to, to build that for them, take it to market and look at ROI. The company is now looking at loyalty and lifetime value in a similar way to air miles or Nectar.

    Somo works with some household brand names including Audi, BP, Paddy Power and De Beers. “We live and breathe the brands we work with and I think that’s one of our winning strategies. All the clients we are working with are leaders in their sectors. They are also brands we love and believe in and we can really apply the passion to them,” said Uminski.

    The ideal client is one that has the budget to win in mobile, the desire to win in their sector in mobile, but without a strategy and or understanding of where to go, he explains. “I don’t care who it is but it’s a company that has those characteristics. If they’ve tried mobile already, even better. Because they’ve tried it and they don’t know what to do and they can come to us for guidance.”

    Huge growth to come

    The team also set themselves apart from competitors as the core management team has a lot of experience taking disruptive markets and disruptive technology to market very quickly. Plus much of the team has international experience which has enabled the business to grow so fast that they’ve “been able to hit 170 people in six offices around the world in four years,” he explains.

    Indeed, the expansion has equated to big bucks for Somo with annualised revenues of $50 million. Uminski attributes this to a massive growth in the market as well as minimising their mistakes, focusing on their clients, focusing on what matters to achieve significant ROI and performance for clients.

    Uminski predicts the next big thing in mobile will be the connected home space which is currently a big battleground between utility providers, software companies like Google and big media companies like Sky and Virgin in the UK.

    For Somo, Uminski predicts there will be “much of the same but more”, in comparison to what they have achieved already. Their core values are to create success, lead with knowledge, love, innovation and to be brave. “That really encompasses what we’re about as a business, about how our people are and how we work with our clients,” said Uminski.

    With a team of 170 and a very aggressive strategy for the coming year, Uminski envisages their massive growth to continue; “the opportunity is there”. He believes there is a big potential in some of the technology that powers the mobile marketing space which hasn’t been touched to date and which Somo is starting to build. The company is also investing heavily in the CRM and lifetime value space.

    “The future holds growth, huge growth. We haven’t finished at all, we’ve just started really.”

    Read the original article here.

     

  • 31/1/2014

    Don’t miss Somo at ICE – Totally Gaming

    Next week, one of the biggest conferences in the gaming and gambling sector, ICE, hits London. The three day event occupies 55,000 sqm of gaming innovation. Somo’s SVP Client Strategy, Emma Crowe and VP Client Services, Andrew French will be taking to the stage as part of the CRM, Loyalty and Retention stream, at 13.40 on Tuesday 4th February.
    Frenchy & Emma

    They will be discussing ‘a single customer view in a multi-channel world’.  It is crucial in the highly competitive market of gaming and gambling to understand the super connected consumers that are emerging and driving a new context of mobile usage. They will also delve into the role of data in mobile CRM and re-engagement solutions.

    You can register for the event here.

     

     

  • 30/1/2014

    Google’s Motorola Sale to Lenovo is a Win-Win

    Photo by TechCrunch

    Google’s been throwing around billions lately.

    Hot on the heels of its Nest acquisition, the tech giant is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. At quick glance, this could look like a loss of $9.59 billion, since Google acquired the struggling handset manufacturer for a staggering $12.5 billion back in 2011. However, the sale includes only the Motorola brand name and manufacturing business — Google retains the vast patent portfolio required to protect its Android business and cutting edge research lab headed by former DARPA director Regina Dugan.

    lenovo

    Lenovo, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, is much better positioned to take advantage of Motorola’s device business with its global scale and hardware experience. Google, on the other hand, has stripped out the critical elements to protect Android legally and is likely to be more than happy to give up the rest of the assets.

    Google CEO Larry Page is quick to note in his blog post that the sale “does not signal a larger shift for [their] other hardware efforts,” so rest assured that the killer ex-Apple team running Nest won’t stop building beautiful connected home products for Google any time soon.

  • 30/1/2014

    Asus Padfone

    Our innovation lab has the coolest gadgets. This week, we got our hands on the Asus Padfone.

    Asus PadfoneStock

    It’s a combination of a high- powered 5 inch phone that docks with a 10.1 inch tablet called a ‘station’tablet with an attachable phone.

    Asus Padfone

    Very cool…. Are these hybrid devices the future of phones?

  • 29/1/2014

    Happy Lunar New Year from Somo Singapore

    With the New Year holiday nearly upon us, we’ve begun the traditional festivities to generate prosperity and good fortune for our clients and partners in 2014 the year of horse… including enjoying Yusheng(again)!

    Here in our Singapore offices, we’ve created a fun game  around the traditional dish Yusheng to get you in the spirit and to celebrate the Lunar New Year together!

    If you’re viewing this on your desktop computer take out your phone, scan the QR code below and open into your browser. For those of you already on your mobile device, tap anywhere on the image to begin! 

    Happy Lunar New Year

    What is YUSHENG?

    Yusheng, or ” Prosperity Toss” * is a traditional dish in China served during Lunar New Year as a symbol of good luck. It’s a communal dish, assembled in front of all who will share it. To finish the dish, everyone uses chop sticks to toss the ingredients into the air. The higher the toss, the greater the prosperity and good fortune the diner will receive.

    HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR

    Work for SomoFrom all of us at Somo, we wish you and your business a prosperous Lunar New Year, filled with abundance and good luck!