Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009 A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.
Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls
Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download
Japan keeps giving us great examples of mobile advertising and marketing, and increasingly they do it with engagement marketing methods. Here is a good example. The pop music artist SEEDA has done a clever promotion of the new single, by creating a series of customized video messages by SEEDA about given Japanese landmarks - and always when one such message commences, the fan will first hear the new song of course. Its for fans, they have to register for the service of course, but pretty clever. What fans would not want to see what their fave artist thinks of given famous locations.
This has been predicted in many places, but nice to see one of the big brands doing it. The user-generated content by sports fans. Yes, CNN is now recruiting i-Reporters for major football (soccer) teams to provide 'fanzone' content. Just a moment ago, CNN said they are for example looking for someone to do i-Reports from Inter Milan the Italian powerhouse football team.
I heard this from my friend John Blckney who is a consultant with Nokia Siemens Networks. He spotted a new MVNO in Scotland he thought I would like, and boy do I like it.. Its called Giffgaff, which literally in Scottish means "mutual giving" or something close to that. And how do they work? their idea is to take all of marketing, and 'outsource' it to the membership of the MVNO. Yes, all of it. Product design? we have seen that in Wikipedia and all sorts of crowd-sourced intitiatives from the computer operating system Linux, to SETI the search for extra-terrestrial life.. But the rest of marketing? Yeah, maybe we have seen some user-generated advertisements yes, some even used by the brands. So that is not really novel either. But all of it? Yes, pricing! User-generated pricing plans. This is brilliant. Who better know what price levels are competitive and what kind of special price plans can appeal to special segments. Customer care? Yes, the Giffgaff members are offered the chance to give some time to take customer care calls - and are of course compensated for this work. Brilliant! You are sitting in the bus for 40 minutes, nothing to do, take a couple of customer service calls on your phone, and be part of the calling centre and make some bonus money. Brilliant. Totally outsourced marketing, to your own customer base. That is communities dominate for sure. I am going to go dig for more about Giffgaff and will post a bigger piece about it at Communities Dominate blog, but first wanted to give you here at 7thMM a heads-up, to mention the company. This is quite radical. Thank you John for mentioning it, yes I love the idea!
I met up with Dr KF Lai who is co-founder and CEO of Buzz City, the mobile advertising network who also run My Gamma, a mobile social network with four million users in several countries and offers typical mobile social networking innovations including gifting. The company comes out of Singapore, and we met up with Dr Kai when both of us presented at a recent strategy executive training project run by IBM for the Axiata group here in Asia. One of the issues that a mobile social network spanning multiple countries encounters, is problems with multiple languages. It can be costly to translate pages, and when non-familiar translators tackle a new industry, they may well use wrong terms in translations etc. But what of the users? My Gamma has invited their members to do translations and this has worked out very well. A great idea!
I've been on Twitter a lot, its far more addictive than I could have expected. And in part, it has eaten into the time I'd usually put on the blogs. These comments run up to 13 July. Will post more later.
I am also troubled by the notion, that I have commented on significant developments in our indsutry, but only on Twitter, and its history seems very short in how long tweets are kept. I want to record some of the thoughts I've had, and post here a few random thoughts from the past week or so
"Events based marketing is a trend" in mobile, said the Mike Wehrs of the CEO of the MMA Mobile Marketing Association. Regular readers of the books know this is a long-held view of mine from the "Madonna Plays at Wembley Stadium" concept of LBS ads that is in many of my books and on this blog. Good to see industry says it is a trend.
Itsmy reported that 55% of its users play games on the phone when having some time to kill. Makes sense, but is a bigger number than I expected.
The Japanese mobile books market has passed 400 million US dollars in value in annual sales. The majority of the content is manga comics.
Meanwhile on mobile TV front, 45% of South Koreans already have DMB mobile TV according to TNS Media. They also say 32% of Japanese, 32% of Hong Kong, 11% of Americans and 8% of Europeans consume mobile TV. And yes, still today none of the Korean players make profits, but Tu Media hopees to turn profitable next year.
Our fave service keeps astonishing the Americans. Now the latest cool thing was that on President Obama's African visit, sections of his speech were delivered via SMS in Africa. Very clever as mobile phones outnumber PCs by 10 to 1 in Afirca, and more phones than TV sets and radios.
NEW PHONE MAKERS
Many new companies rushing to the phones business. And Nikkei reports that NEC and Panasonic are returning to the global market (they have in past years focused mostly only on Japanese domestic market but are significant second tier players roughly on par in size with Apple and Palm)
I just love the creativity at Flirtomatic. Their latest silliness, the virtual ice cube. Of course you want to send your friend an ice cube to his or her phone! Maybe your friend is at a bar, you send the ice cube for the drink. More likely, when the friend is having a bad day, or is in some hot situation (overcrowded bus for example or elevator) then send an ice cube. Wouldn't that be a wonderful way to note that your friend cares, and shares your heated situation, as you see the ice cube arrive onto your phone screen? And yes, like real ice cubes, Flirtomatic virtual ice cubes melt (of course). How cool is that? And how many did they sell - 5,000 in the first week... Yes, mobile is the magical money-making machine.
PS Remember that Flirtomatic and its creative money-making is one of the 16 case studies in the signature book for this blog (Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media) and that Mark Curtis (their CEO) wrote the Foreword to my latest eBook, Tomi Ahonen Pearls Vol 2: Mobile Social Networking. And Mark's own book, Distraction should be in the book cases of every one reading this blog...
A start-up in the mobile space? Must be hundreds every day. But this one is strongly backed financially, and focuses on virtual payments via moblie phones. Allow virtual worlds, games etc to collect paymens via mobile (like Habbo Hotel, Cyworld, Flirtomatic etc). The reason I think they are worth watching - the San Francisco based Boku have signed up 170 mobile operators/carriers in 50 countries. Expect them to start to shift some virtual money soon, h-aha. Found story on Information Week.
I'm doing this just quickly for followers of this blog. I came up with 6 functioning (ie money-making) business models for social networking when used on mobile. I presented them into the public domain this Monday at MoMo Jakarta. Each of the six are of course in my Pearls Vol 2: Mobile Social Networking, but not like this as a list. The six ways to make money on mobile social networking are:
1 - subscriptions (also works on the web) 2 - advertising (also works on the web) 3 - personalization (idea from Habbo Hotel Finland) 4 - Revenue-share for content creating person wiht user-generated content (popularized by SeeMeTV) 5 - Gifting (idea from Cyworld South Korea) 6 - Ego-services (idea from Flirtomatic UK)
I will do a major blog posting about these at the Communities Dominate blog but later (as in may days perhaps weeks later). I'll obviously Twitter when that is up. Also launched discussion about it at Forum Oxford to test the thinking by the experts of the Forum..
Oh, and those keen on my theories, we're going from the 8 C's of Cellphones to 9 C's. That too coming a bit later. But my thanks to Chris Bannink for discovering the 9th.. Stay tuned
So we continue with the collection of the magical and cool here at 7th Mass media blog. Today we take the TV soap opera script staple: the cliffhanger. Something exciting at the end of today's episode, so you have to come back tomorrow to watch tomorrow's episode. And yes, we can copy ideas from legacy mass media. But lets not just copy the 5th mass media, lets make it better in the 7th. Sony does a mobisode based daily soap opera, Sofia's Diary. the beauty is that viewers are asked daily to vote on what Sofia should do next. Not just a cliff-hanger, but YOU vote on what YOU want to happen next. Better than TV.Clever! Magical!