Jim Wolfinger

Jim Wolfinger

By Jim Wolfinger

It’s a classic tale heard all too often. “When I was your age, we didn’t have cell phones. We had to pick up an old-fashioned land line to talk to somebody.” Maybe it was your grandmother who told you this, or perhaps your uncle. Regardless, older generations often lament the fact that they never had the opportunity to experience the technology we have today. The bad news? You’re about to become that grandmother or uncle. The good news? Mobile technology is making leaps and bounds, bringing features previously only dreamed about directly to your fingertips.

Over the past few years, mobile devices have basically evolved into on-the-go mini computers.  As a result, there has been a huge industry effort to market through mobile devices. Numerous companies have blossomed with an emphasis on advertising to WAP sites, or websites, and within applications on the phone.  While this tactic has certainly proven effective with consumers that launch WAP sites or open applications, its success is limited due to the fact that websites or applications may not be visited or opened as frequently on the mobile phone.

The industry has been waiting for a solution that can serve these impressions during the normal course of action on a phone. Enter the social media explosion, remember what a phone is truly for (calling people) and a natural marriage forms between the two.

The key in combining social media and mobile marketing is delivering marketing messages or advertising while giving users the features they actually want to see and that they use in the course of their everyday lives.

In today’s social media driven world, mobile users want to see their friends pictures with status updates and advertisers want to reach these consumers so why not combine the two? By using the mobile phone’s address book to populate social networking information from Facebook and MySpace, innovative marketing applications, like PicDial, take control of incoming and outgoing call screens, displaying profile pictures and status messages in full screen.  In conjunction, PicDial has also been able to solve the mobile marketing dilemma by serving advertisements to consumers on these call screens.

When a call is finished, the proprietary technology takes over the call screen, allowing targeted advertisements or marketing messages to be displayed in an automatic and dynamic fashion.  No longer do advertisers have to rely on users launching WAP sites or open applications.  Yes, that is right; nothing needs to be launched and nothing needs to be opened for the marketer to reach the consumer. This also means that non-Smartphone users will be able to view social media updates, making social media caller ID applications even more popular. PicDial, for example, is currently available on many mobile phone carriers throughout the world including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Boost and Sprint giving marketers a chance to reach millions of people throughout the world on their phone that they may not have been able to reach otherwise.

Mobile device users carry on with their everyday conversations and actions, including social media updates, while marketers reach a focused consumer group.

Maybe now you can avoid sounding like the out-of-touch uncle.

About Jim Wolfinger

Mr. Wolfinger is the President and Chief Operations Officer of IQzone, the developer of PicDial, and has 25 years experience in the wireless industry. He has held multiple positions with startup companies and established carriers such as Verizon Wireless and MCI/WorldCom. Mr. Wolfinger is responsible for the daily operations at IQzone as well as development and implementation of our go-to-market strategy.

Mr. Wolfinger was President of MCI/WorldCom Wireless which became the largest reseller of wireless services in North America. As President, he was responsible for managing and delivering in excess of $1.4 Billion dollars in annual revenue with approximately 5,000 employees. In addition, Mr. Wolfinger managed several other divisions for MCI/WorldCom including prepaid long distance cards, RealCom, shared tenant services and MC Comm. He also served in several management and senior management positions at US West Cellular, now Verizon.

About PicDial

Using PicDial, users experience full screen Facebook and MySpace profile pictures and status updates that make a user’s mobile phone address book socially aware.  With no effort required, PicDial automatically retrieves these Facebook and MySpace elements, constantly updating any profile picture or status message changes that friends of the user may make. Features previously unavailable on phones have been “unlocked,” providing a new experience to users that are simple, fresh and fun.  PicDial didn’t invent caller ID, they just made it social. For more information, visit www.picdial.com/a/press.

Curated by Deepak Gupta.

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