Something is in the air again – tons of cool mobile news released today. Time to investigate. As always, we’ll cover the main idea of the article, provide some random thoughts about implications made and finish off outlining what we think to be the most important key takeaways.

1) Rock the Vote Uses QR Codes to Register 1.5 MM Voters

Main idea: Using QR codes printed on t-shirts, Rock the Vote plans to register 1.5MM voters for the upcoming election.

Random Thoughts: This is not the first time we’ve come across this campaign and Rock the Vote has pushed the envelope in mobile for a while now. Also think that the social component is cool, be on the look out for #ScanToVote on Twitter.

Key Takeaways: Getting QR codes to work, and for that matter mobile marketing campaigns in general, requires commitment. This Rock the Vote campaign demonstrates how to put resources behind a particular mobile marketing innovation to ensure its success.

2) New Stats On Channel Investment Released

Main idea: The Direct Marketing Association released new stats looking at which channels marketers are focusing on from a new investment perspective.

Random Thoughts: Particularly useful data given what we just saw with regards to channel preference. In addition, I did a quick delta calculation to compare the change in investment for the various customer acquisition delivery methods between 2011 and 2012. Though not surprising, it’s worth mentioning that mobile marketing channels had two out of the five highest growth rates (I highlighted the top five for convenience):

Key Takeaways: The main one: investment in digital media channels is increasing in 2012, while investment in traditional channels declines. Email, mobile and social lead the way, according to the following data:

Another: 1) Marketers are allocating a greater percentage of direct and digital budget to customer acquisition in 2012 than they did in 2010 (but not by much: ~59.5% in 2010 vs. ~61.7% acquisition in 2012).

3) Facebook Decides To Ask Every User For Their Phone Number

Main idea: To increase security, Facebook will ask every user for his/her phone number. This way, Facebook can control security breaches by sending a text message with a new password to users.

Random Thoughts: Crucial to address what’s on everybody’s mind (well at least mine). Facebook, forever data hunting, is using this security breach concept to get phone numbers to add to the company’s customer database. Hmm. In other news, Facebook phone looks to be in the works.

Key Takeaways: Sending emails to people in the event of a security breach is ineffective. Sending a text message is effective. Just another clear reminder about the importance of channel optimization and the creation of a cross-channel messaging strategy. To me, Facebook effectively is saying, “SMS is the best way to get in touch with someone when connecting is a necessity.”

4) Viral Mobile App Marketing

Main idea: Viral mobile app marketing requires luck, but there are six things to do in order to increase the odds of striking it rich.

Random Thoughts: I like the notion described by the author that viral marketing is the practice of providing value to a number of firsts, meaning the first downloader, the first friend of the downloader, the first city, the first region, etc. Marketers often forget that it’s impossible to take on the whole world at once. Better idea to take a step-by-step approach and bite off the landscape in smaller pieces.

Key Takeaways: To create a viral app, 1) provide value, 2) incentivize people to share, 3) integrate sharing into the product, 4) reduce churn and 5) implement non-gimmicky gamification. Boom.

5) Rethinking App Discovery

Main idea: By integrating consumers earlier in the app development process, app discovery will become much better/easier/seamless/etc.

Random Thoughts: Sort of nuts and bolts, but it’s important to note the current options for app discovery: search, distribution engines, recommendation algorithms, paid advertising for developers. In my mind all of these should scream “opportunity” for any budding entrepreneurs, as none have been perfected by any stretch of the imagination (interested to see what Apple does with Chomp btw).

Key Takeaways: I like the idea of including customers as part of the creative process. It’s something I spoke to in a recent radio interview, but the idea is that early adopters of technology/marketing initiatives/products/anything can be crucial in helping shape the future of product. Product marketers take note, your job is an important one.