Apple and Samsung UNDER THREAT from local brands – study

Mobe marketers don't get it, says, er, mobe marketing firm

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A recent study by Netbiscuits has seen growth in locally made devices. While Samsung and Apple dominate globally – LG and HTC get something of a look-in, which is more than Sony, Nokia or Motorola manage – there is an interesting underlying trend of consumers becoming patriotic in their buying habits.

The strength of Xiaomi is well reported but it’s not just in China where people like to buy local.

In the Netbiscuits Web Trends Report, the company says that in India, both Micromax and Karbonn increased their share of Top 100 device traffic, adding that local vendors have said that the major mobile players have ignored local market needs.

Netbiscuits also notes a significant influence of Xiaomi in China – with 10 per cent of web traffic – but points to fast-growing local brands such as Oppo and Coolpad.

Yet it’s not just emerging markets where the locals are fighting back. Wiko in France claims to “trade off its local status and 'French touch'". In Spain BQ mobile is doing similar things, having diversified from e-readers to 3D printers and phones.

The problem with using web-based buying to measure the efficacy of a mobile marketing campaign is that people use many devices. Someone might follow a mobile marketing link on a phone to look at a page, decide to buy and then wait until they get home to use their tablet or PC to buy the gew-gaw.

Mobile marketing grew out of web-based marketing. Yet many of the things which are taken for granted in web marketing circles don’t translate into mobile marketing. This is the view of Netbiscuits COO Daniel Weisbeck, whose company provides a mobile platform for the marketing droids he’s dissing.</p

From an analytics perspective, the problem here is that the highly treasured conversion rate doesn’t register against the marketing campaign, which sees it as a derided bounce.

Weisbeck says that the industry needs to be a lot more insightful about how people use mobile devices – and, of course, touts his company as the experts in this field. It’s got form, though: Netbiscuits has been around since the days of WAP and collects vast amounts of data on what people are using to view websites.

The company has both client and server-based ways of pulling out information on not just which device people are using to view the website but which version of the OS they're using – which can betray how likely someone is to buy certain products – and which mobile operator potential customers are using.

The company has a database of 8,000 “profiles” of devices that the big companies – think Coca Cola and GSK – can use to make their mobile web stuff look appealing to consumers. There is also a “bandwidth score” which gives the platform not just the speed of access but a measure of latency.

It’s not just the number of devices that is posing problems for marketers wanting their mobile site to look best on consumers devices; screen sizes and resolutions are all over the place, too. There is a trend towards bigger screens, with the greatest shifts being towards the 5 to 5.9 inch screen size category in the United States, Canada and Australia. In the UK, the 4.5” to 4.9” was the segment to gain most in terms of share of traffic, while the most-used screen dimension among mobile phone-equipped consumers is 1136 x 640 pixels.

Ultimately, not knowing what customers are using and how they are using them makes life very difficult for anyone trying to use the mobile phone arena as a way of selling things. And it’s about to get a whole lot more complicated, if plans to turn mobile phone operators into broadcasting companies come to fruition. ®

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