Dr. Stephan Böhm, since 2006 Professor for Telecommunications / Mobile Media at the Media Management degree program of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden talks about Bluetooht, QR codes, location-based services in an interview - and explains which strategies will be successful in the long term. The interview was made together with a ZEIT ONLINE-Contribution.
After his diploma in the field of industrial engineering electrical engineering at the TU Darmstadt graduated Dr. Böhm on the subject of innovation marketing for UMTS mobile services at the University of Duisburg. He worked for several years as a management consultant for the international strategy and technology consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton in Berlin and Düsseldorf and has many years of experience in the telecommunications and media markets. As an expert in mobile media, he lectures at industry events and is the author of several publications in the areas of telecommunications and innovative mobile service offerings. Dr. Böhm is also a co-initiator of the Mobile Media Forum in Wiesbaden and has been co-director of 2008 with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Jäger the BMBF research project Remomedia on mobile recruiting.
What goals pursue Company with mobile technology?
The "in and out" dominates the commitment of many companies in the field of innovative media and communication technologies. In my opinion, it is often more important for companies to have an innovative employer image with such a "key visual" or mobile recruiting campaign transport, as a sustainable and stringent targeted to the mobile use situation and relevant target groups optimized information offer to create.
That means it's tried a lot, but not everything makes sense?
Correct. Take, for example, Bluetooth: The Bluetooth technology is characterized by the fact that over a short distance at the point-of-information a free transmission of media content between Bluetooth hotspot and mobile devices is possible. The idea of using such technologies to distribute information to past passersby was discussed in early visions and is also technically possible, but hardly justifiable in practice.
On the one hand, such a push address is quickly perceived as harassment. Furthermore, larger amounts of data are only to be transmitted if the user at least briefly stays in the supply area of such a Bluetooth station. Thus, a pull interaction or the targeted or user-initiated retrieval of information from such systems is to be preferred. In principle, however, the functionality of Bluetooth hotspots can also be implemented with network-based technologies (such as UMTS for data transfer and GPS for determining the location of the user).
Bluetooth is just useless gadgets?
No. Bluetooth offers advantages as long as flat rates and high bit rate mobile networks (indoor) are not yet fully available. Bluetooth is thus currently more likely to be regarded as a niche technology (eg event area) and has an interim character or, due to the properties mentioned, will actually lose importance with time for mobile recruiting or probably will not gain in relevance. Depending on the goals and target groups, however, the use of Bluetooth may currently make sense in specific areas.
What makes you so sure that mobile recruiting is not just a hype?
To the success of mobile recruiting campaigns, it can be said that in the 2009 study, the personnel responsible for 63 percent of those who have already carried out such campaigns were satisfied or very satisfied with the response. In addition, in many areas the number of users, accesses or connections with mobile devices already exceeds that of fixed networks or a breakthrough. It would be surprising and I see no reasons why, in the context of this overall development, the topic of recruiting should be reserved exclusively for the stationary Internet. Even if recruiting here is more likely to follow the development than to be a pacemaker.
This may be, but one has to differentiate: mobile recruiting is the mobile access variant to e-recruiting offers - a further development based on a whole bunch of innovative mobile media basics. Twitter or Facebook - as well as the now almost forgotten mystery topics MySpace and Second Life - are, on the other hand, very specific and / or proprietary platforms of individual companies, where the interest of the person responsible for the marketing of the market should have been more likely to have a corresponding commitment in these areas also participate in the current media humming.
So the mistake is in supply, not in demand?
Correct: Because what is often forgotten in such studies: Fueled by current media reports often a self-reinforcing effect. More and more users try a service or a new application, and register or install the software. This further increases the public interest and, in turn, attracts the attention of the users and the incentive to try them out themselves. However, the number of registered users or downloads is not necessarily directly linked to a sustainable use interest.
Can you explain that in more detail?
Often it remains just when trying out - even with iPhone applications are loaded programs often deleted immediately after their installation or actively used only a few days. Only if a sustainable use value is actually imparted by a new application is it also to be assumed that it is used regularly and has a long-term stable active user base. This is not necessarily evident in the introduction.
And what does business come from?
Companies must therefore decide whether they dare to commit themselves in the early stages or wait for development first. Again, a decision should be made dependent on the individual goals and not the "in and out" of individual applications.
What about other techniques?
We are still at the beginning. For example, when mobile tagging is used in mobile recruiting. For this purpose, we have conducted test campaigns with us at the universities in the past two years, often registering only double-digit access rates for one and two weeks per poster location.
Is the interest of the users so low?
One has to take into account that for such an access it is necessary to presuppose that a recipient feels addressed by the message on the poster and then has used a terminal, that also has an installed reader software for reading the 2D barcodes on the poster as well as over a mobile Internet access for retrieving the linked information. Since such software is generally not preinstalled on mobile terminals, this is a usage barrier.
And how can the barrier be overcome?
When a wide range of services is offered, the owners of mobile devices are encouraged to do so. Companies must create opportunities - not just in the mobile recruiting sector. One-offs are just as unimportant as waiting for an automatic spread of this technology.
Is not a shoe made like this: First, the demand, then the offer?
In Germany, there is currently a danger that companies and users will wait for a wider spread on both sides, or the really useful technology is already being reraised. This effect is amplified by the fact that mobile tags are not always necessarily associated with useful information which opens up a specific additional benefit in the mobile usage situation.
Please an example!
A QR code on a job advertisement does not link to the specific job advertisement as a "deep link", but generally to the job portal. Nevertheless, the user still has to laboriously work through the input mask in order to find the marked job advertisement again
And then just the HR industry should become the driver of innovation?
Certainly, the personnel marketing or procurement sector can not alone surpass the required critical mass for self-sustaining growth. A success such as in Japan is only possible if, for example, marketing is based on these technologies.
When are new technologies like Location Based Services (LBS) useful?
An assignment only makes sense for certain goals and target groups or, apart from a one-off "wow effect", only provides sustainable additional benefits in very specific application situations in the field of mobile recruiting.
And how does it look like with the datzschutz?
The evaluation of the current location should always require the explicit consent of the user (that is, not be accepted once about the acceptance of the GTC or similar), to be perceptible and controllable by him and to be revoked. Then, such services in the mobile usage context offer a useful help instead of the possibly necessary cumbersome location or address input via keyboard.
What should companies who want to use LBS pay attention to when dealing with user data?
Regardless of the legal permissibility, companies should refrain from storing user profiles with local reference. Due to the handling of very personal applicant information or preferences, benefits and risks should be carefully weighed before the technical and legal possibilities are exhausted, but if necessary, trust among the users in the new medium is unnecessarily gambled.
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