mobile web africa

i went to the mobile web africa conference a couple of weeks ago. it was very illuminating in terms of the challenges, opportunities and methods of overcoming these that people are employing to get their product out (whether it is philanthropic or commercial). i took some notes, so excuse how rough and indstinct they are. let me know in the comments if i can explain anything.

6.65% of Africa uses PC internet
Top 10 countries= 85% of market
15% of cell users use net globally= 500MM
Google & Facebook #1 destinations- PV in Africa increased 422% YoY
SA 25.7% CAGR- 2013-16.9MM (2/3 mobile)
Tier 4 (R20/day) is shrinking, Tier 3 has exploded(R20-R140/day)
LSM 1-6 never use data
Big peak in December
Vodacom Live has 3MM on portal
Smartphone usage = 39x data usage
3 things to get net to Africa-data pricing
Settings configured
Content adaptation

the grid-location based services
LBA_ push-enter a mall, get an ad
LBA_pull-GPS then trigger something
How to find you- GPS, cellular LBS (cell mast triangulation), wifi hotspot(US), IP address, user defined
Advertising- time of day/week
Susceptebility to message
Low value of ads, high ctr
The grid-80% java, 10% mobi site, 10% other
90% prepaid

Africa 32% YoY subscriber growth
Cellular drives business, not just communication
Nigeria highest global access to BBC sports channel

Opera Mini 4.2 – sync with internet cafe- (bookmarks, history etc)
Wml dead- big for games, porn & ringtones
More mobile future- simpler code, minimal javascript, move less data, adapt better for everyone, use what is available- less battery usgae & data cost
Content is still king
Make mobile simple
Site, apps or widgets?
Apps- rewrite for each device
W3c widgets- specialised tools, html- easy to make
Websites- generic spaces
2 year cycle from phones sold in europe to trickle down to markets in africa

16MM reg users
1,940 phones compatible
Daily- 20-23MM logons, 10MM logouts, 2MM pictures, 600MM packets.
Demographic 42% 19-25, 27% 15-18
First thing people ask- what is you SLR (sex, language, race)
Very price sensitive audience
Things they do (some more speculative; dating, counsellling, ads entertainment (virtual goods etc),social development, radio & TV interaction, classifieds, LBS, social network, microtransactions (skins, chat rooms)
Classifieds 2,100 postings/day 330k subscribers
Mxit confessions
Roleplayers in ecosystem- Mxit, phone manufacturers, end users, mobileoperators, content providers, brands & advertisers, government & regulators, competitors

How to catapult mobile web;
Free & low priced data plans
Bring down handset costs- don’t compromise on user experience
Create lots of local content

More mobile phones than toothbrushes
Next 1BB is emerging markets
$2-$1/day=2.7BB= nothing
Need to find solution-total cost of ownership<$5/month

Peer to peer learning vNB for getting people to use new technologies
Age 25-50 are not English speakers, technical neophytes, below that more literate

connected action consulting
Social fabric will be digitised & available on mobile
2% of the population care about a topic, 0.5% are regular contributors
-start conversations
-answer people
-trigger discussions
20% of internet content is Q&A
Information wants to be copied
2pm & 2am tells who you are
Robin Dunbar says your brain can handle 150 r’ships

media 24 conference

i’m headed into day 2 of the media 24 conference, and i’m pleasantly surprised at the quality and slickness of the program for an internal event.
not only do they have a very ugc conference site which details the program, gives you an opportunity to feed back on questions to ask the ceo, but also has a live twitter feed which people are encouraged to tweet whilst the cinference is ongoing.

for me yesterday had 2 highlights; the overview from the cfo about where the company is and is going (20% YOY increase in revenue after acquisitions in this climate!), and an overview (and workshop) from sophia who managed hearst digital’s mobile platforms in the us. i’ll go into more details about this, because there were a lot of things that resonated with me; how to design, what content to use, undersatnding of the user, how to sell it etc.

looking forward to day 2!

Ad Tech London & OMD Germany

This week I had the pleasure of going to two trade fairs, the OMD in Dusseldorf and Ad Tech in London.
I was surprised to see the different scale of them. The OMD was huge, I think 10,000 people there on Tuesday. All the big portals, ad sales houses and loads of people offering tools to help you get more bang out of your budget. Ad Tech was a little more budget; the stands weren’t as big or as plush, and there were a lot more people focussed on DR, CPA and managing your search campaigns. Anyway, both were good to meet potential partenrs and get an understanding of how the market is moving.

Casual Connect Seattle

Last week I was at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle. This is the premiere conference for casual games, and this was the American version (the European version is in February in Amsterdam). As I tend to go every 6 months, it is a good barometer of what is going on in the industry, as you can see what the big issues are in the industry by the changing agenda at each conference. As detailed before it’s an extreme high growth industry, and the amount of attendees seems to grow exponentially. There were a couple of trend which I observed at this conference which I thought were noteworthy in terms of how the industry is changing;
1) Advertising has become the topic on everyone’s list. There are a lot of eyeballs playing games, and everyone is looking for the most effective way of monetizing their audience. Also whilst doing this people are looking for the most effective standardized placements in order to do this, so that the game ad is part of your normal IAB subset (maybe a MPU is the best format?). in-game advertising has a lot of buzz around anyway (from sponsorship through to pre and post roll ads, it’s interesting to see how people can change the formats so that they’re most complementary and least intrusive.
2) Google is getting interested. A true barometer of the interest in the sector is that Google is developing a specific Adsense product for the gaming sector. For us this is interesting for selling unsold inventory at higher CPM’s, and for targeting specific sites which could have an appreciative audience.
3) The last conferences were dominated by a focus on multiplayer games and community, this was less apparent. Maybe nobody has as yet cracked it?
4) There still was a focus on micropayments and the whole Korean/eastern avatar and purchasing items for it. No one had a concrete plan of how to put it into play, or any cases of how it had worked outside of the East, however the extra revenue stream is exciting for most. NHN had a very interesting presentation about how they make it work.

All in all- good conference, 1,300 attendees is unreal especially considering this is only the 4th version.

women and internet conference

a wek or so ago was the women and internet conference UK version. I had a couple of meetings during the day so unfortunately didn’t get to see the whole program, but all in all I thought it was a great day (I am somewhat prejiduced as I headed the steering committee for the content of the day.) We had some very interesting presentations about how women’s behaviour on the web is changing, but some overall perceptions were;
1) Shopping is a key online activity
2) Women are overtaking men in online activity
3) Women use online to connect, men use it more functionally
There was a helluva lot more stats, and the above look extremely glib and surface for the depth of content and insight that there was. interestingly Rebecca from Forrester apologised that classic stereotypes were actually supported by the stats (i.e. women like shopping, men like gadgets). I have a lot of stats to pore through, but one that I found quite interesting was the way there are different levels of involvement in the web 2.0 applications (see below slide). This is a snapshot of today, so this will change over time, but it’s not as if it’s an evolution that eventually all inactives will end up as creatives. Eventually most people will be consuming media, so joiners or collectors, with the proportion in the top two remaining the same as it is today. These different segmented groups are interesting to me, as i had an assumption that we will continue to be so connected that everyone will be living their life virtually through blogs. however i saw a stat that blog use is actually waning….

Ad tech hamburg

Ad tech is planning to take over the world of online marketing conferences. I have been to ad tech new york (I attempted to go twice, but the second time was somewhat ill-fated) but this was the first german one i’d been to (and admittedly the first german version). It was interesting to see how empty the floor was, I was expecting it to be filled with ad sales houses and the like, but it was mainly search engine marketing companies and quite a few bid management and analytics vendors. I think they have a long way to go to usurp the omd, however I think it was a useful trip, as I got to put a name to a couple of e-mail addresses and meet a couple of other people

emerce lead generation day

the other week I spoke at an emerce event talking about lead generation. There was a large crowd for a fairly niche online subject (it’s not search or banners) which always gives me flutters in my belly (especially considering I was the only one presenting in English as opposed to Dutch)you can see my presentation here, but I spoke about the evolution of our landing page; the elements that have changed on our page and best practice from mail to final conversion. It’s in the presentation, but I’ll summariseclear e-mail not too much text (sell it on the landing page)on the landing page have a large image, action items on the left hand side, and a big call-to-action buttonof course have some linking between the twofun…