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Verizon: Mobile Discovery Must Improve

  • Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless vice president of consumer product development Lee Daniels took the stage at Qualcomm's BREW 2008 event in San Diego strumming an electric six-string to celebrate the breakthrough success of the Guitar Hero III Mobile game. He struck an even deeper chord with attendees, promising the operator will begin allowing developers the latitude to take a far more proactive role in promoting their applications.

According to Daniels, mobile data now accounts for 23 percent of Verizon Wireless' combined revenue, with 74 percent of subscribers now using data services. BREW device penetration exceeds 75 percent of the Verizon retail base, representing 76 percent of monthly sales. "BREW has allowed us to enable products and services that meet our customers' lifestyle choices," Daniels said.

With data growth accelerating, Verizon will seek to begin tying together key drivers including enhanced merchandising, marketing and seamless access to the BREW platform across the device. Critical to the operator's plans: Improving discovery. "Distribution remains our focus, and we're opening up discovery via the web, mobile marketing and mass media," Daniels said. "New applications demand new responses to discovery. We need [developers] to take a bigger role in promoting your applications."

At last year's BREW event, Verizon Wireless' senior vice president of marketing and digital media John Harrobin admitted the operator was still struggling to integrate BREW Zone, which promised open its retail possibilities to include content sales through the VZW.com website and other approved off-portal sites. "We are disappointed," Harrobin said at the time. "We want to sell more content but integration is harder than we expected." On Thursday Daniels announced the BREW Zone integration is now complete, paving the way for a host of new merchandising opportunities: "We can now drive millions of transactions through the BREW ecosystem and move beyond the mobile phone."

Daniels added that in the third quarter, Verizon will introduce short code promotions to complement web sales of BREW applications, with a developer bulletin scheduled to follow within the next 60 days. Another innovation in the Verizon pipeline is hyperlinking, which Daniels said enables transaction growth by capitalizing on the growth of page view totals. New merchandising tactics like subscription pricing, variable pricing and value-added billing are also underway. Verizon will additionally turn its applications focus to relatively untapped markets like affinity groups, communities, government and the enterprise. [FierceMobileContent]

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