Wednesday, July 8, 2009

S. Africa - Land of Opportunity

S. Africa is considered the fourth fastest-growing mobile communications market in the world. It has witnessed a huge success in the adoption of mobile communications, and also in the acceptance and growth of mobile advertising. The secret behind this tremendous success lies in the inherent behaviour or the market, including social and economic factors.
If we examine the success of S. Africa closely, some interesting facts emerge. Firstly, mobile penetration in S. Africa outnumbers PC penetration by a ratio of 2:1. Credit has to also go to S. Africa’s highly progressive user base, which has adopted the mobile Internet in a huge way. Mobile data usage is encouraged by the competitive operator market, which provides low-cost Internet access. In fact, S. Africa recently witnessed a whopping 90% cut in data charges, with the average now standing at approximately 2 Rand/MB (£0.16). In all, the favourable ecosystem, working in tandem with the competitive market, provides the right environment for the growth of mobile advertising.

Market insights
This market has shown some unique trends that create a good mobile advertising opportunity for publishers and advertisers. The number of publishers in S. Africa is significantly lower than the number of advertisers. The reason for this boils down to a simple supply and demand phenomenon. The user base in S. Africa is more inclined towards international sites rather than local sites. Over time, seeing the successful adoption by users, the number of local advertisers began to grow at a fast pace. The increase in the number of international publishers was much slower. This resulted in a large number of advertisers compared to the number of publishers, creating a high demand for publishers in the market. The outcome of this is high cost-per-click (CPC), giving publishers opportunities to generate high ad revenues.
At mKhoj, we strongly believe that in S. Africa, publishers stand to gain from the advantages of early adoption, such as lower competition. We have seen our partners have a great experience wiuth their mobile advertising campaigns, due to the high monetization capabilities of the S. African market.
From an advertiser standpoint, though the industry standards demand a high CPC, the customer usage helps to maintain the profitability levels and justify the investment. The user base is very content download-friendly. In fact, in the month of May, 85% of our network traffic from S. Africa was driven by content downloads.

Useful services

We believe that the services that are valuable to S. African mobile users will be the ones that are useful, simple, uncomplicated and easy to use. They will make users’ lives easier, or give them access to services that were previously unavailable or too expensive.
Over the past couple of months, the mKhoj network has seen a tremendous growth in mobile Internet traffic in S. Africa. Mobile advertising in S. Africa is being demystified. The time for advertisers, agencies and publishers to capitalize is here.

Main Article on Mobile Marketing Magazine

Monday, June 8, 2009

What Are The Most Popular Downloads For Mobile Phones?

Guest Post By Hemant Kumar

We have seen ringtones and wallpapers being the favourite downloadable content so far, but slowly this favouritism is accommodating other contents as well. The reason for this is manifold. Firstly, the handset capabilities are improving continuously. For e.g. most phones now are video enabled and users can download and watch videos, the ringtones have moved from simple monotone to the much preferred polyphonic ringtones. Phones are being dubbed as walkmans causing phones to range from cellular devices to music players. Secondly, the data charges are dropping while the mobile internet speed is increasing. These reasons provide a suitable environment for content downloads.

If on one hand we have the suitable environment aiding the content download industry, on the other hand we have the behaviour of the mobile users itself which is accelerating the growth. Mobile is moving from being a just a communication device to a mode of entertainment. Think of how mobile phones are used by people nowadays. Phones are extremely personal devices and people carry it on them all the time. They levels of engagement is also high where people are hooked to their phones. You can see people use it on a bus or train, while walking, in restaurants, parks, whether they are by themselves or with someone. In fact, it may be one of the devices which is considered as private as a person’s journal and you tend not to allow anyone else use your phone. Given this, people like to personalize their phones and make it depict their tastes and preferences with ringtones, ringback tones, wallpapers etc. Users like to stay updated to the latest trends like ringtones of songs topping the charts, wall papers of the latest movies, latest versions of games etc. This results in a constant need for new content as the demand is consistently high.

mKhoj, a leading ad network, were asked to categorize the contents downloaded in their network. Games, ringtones and wallpapers occupied the top 3 spots in terms of traffic. The gaming industry has always enjoyed a high demand and now users can play while on the move. This is the dream come true for any gamer. The user experience of the games are also constantly increasing with better graphics, more challenging games, games on the latest trends and of course multiplayer games that can be played via Bluetooth or internet. mKhoj experts also pointed out that ringtones and wallpapers are the best means to have your signature on the phone making the content download industry hit the ceiling.

The top 5 downloaded contents are:

1. Games
2. Ringtones
3. Wallpapers
4. Themes
5. Videos

Other than these major players, the other preferred content downloads are:
# Texts (jokes, horoscopes)
# Entertainment applications (IM, community applications, music players)
# Business applications (antivirus, pdf viewer etc)
# Maps
# RSS feeds

This story is available on telecompk.

Focus on Indonesia

Indonesia has been in the mobile advertising limelight in the recent past. The wireless user base in Indonesia recently crossed the 100 million subscriber mark, and is expected to grow to 146 million by the end of 2010. With this growth, Indonesia is set to become the third largest mobile market, after China and India. Insights into the region show that the demographics of Indonesia is a key contributor to mobile’s strong uptake in the region. Young people below the age of 27, who form over 72% of the population, have shown a high affinity towards the web, and are driving the bulk of the mobile web usage in this country.
Accelerating the growing success of mobile web is the poor quality of fixed line infrastructure, which is either unreliable, or completely non-existent in places. The mobile Internet forms the obvious surrogate, providing stable connectivity, at extremely cost effective prices. The operators in Indonesia are getting more competitive by the day and the data prices are dropping. In Indonesia, an average user browses 358 pages per month, well above the global average. Understandably, a vast majority of people are choosing mobile phones as the obvious choice for connectivity, and in many cases the mobile is exposing users to the internet for the first time.

Preferred medium
Indonesia ranks second in terms of Mkhoj’s network traffic, and has seen growth of 62% in the last quarter alone. In Indonesia, communities and content downloads form the top two traffic segments. It is only natural that mobile forms a preferred advertising medium in economies like Indonesia. The key is in educating our advertiser partners to the nuances of the region. Big players in the mobile industry have already taken to mobile marketing in this region. Indonesia has seen several successful campaigns, with various advertisers and publishers, who have enjoyed high ROI and monetization with the help of ad networks like us.
These days, mobile advertising is synonymous with emerging markets like Indonesia. The Indonesian government is also aiding this growth by giving incentives to foreign investors. The government is shifting its focus from larger cities to suburban areas and small towns by earmarking a part of the yearly revenues for the growth of rural areas. The sheer number of users, and the revenues being generated, confirm that mobile advertising is set to shift gears and zoom forward.

This story is available on mobilmarketingmagazine here

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Indian Opportunity

Hemant Kumar, Asst Manager Online Marketing and Advertising Sales at Mkhoj, offers an overview of the Indian mobile market.

Early in 2008, India overtook the US as the second largest mobile population in the world. The number of mobile users in India recently passed 362 million, more than five times that of the UK. Adding roughly 10 million new subscribers a month, it does seem that the Indian mobile market has become one of the world’s most lucrative, both in terms of its growth rate and overall size.

There are some key reasons why the mobile Internet phenomenon is likely to be more sustainable than the Internet revolution in India. Firstly, mobile presents a lower barrier to entry. A wired web connection is far more onerous, with the cost of the PC, as well as high monthly usage charges. In addition, the mobile Internet, as the name suggests, provides true mobility. Finally, 70% of India’s 1 billion people are below the age of 30. So while mobile Internet connectivity speeds may be nothing to write home about, for most consumers, their first Internet experience is through the mobile.

A report from India’s telecom authority, TRAI, seems to confirm this hypothesis. It reported an increase of over 100% in a 12 month period. We at mKhoj, as the leading mobile ad network for Asia and Africa have seen growth of more than 90% in our India traffic just over the past quarter.

As our CEO, Naveen Tewari, put it recently:
“It is only natural that mobile be a preferred advertising medium in economies like India. The reach is tremendous, targeting cuts down spillage and you have an instant call to action. We have delivered very successful campaigns to some of the biggest Indian and International brands. The key is education and nurturing our advertiser partners. For a lot of clients this is their first mobile campaign or the first attempt in this geography.”

Demand for wireless Internet access is likely to continue to skyrocket. The Indian Cellular Association expects 200 million people to log on to the Internet with their mobile phones by 2010. Even a couple of minutes a day multiplied by that many people spells swelling coffers for handset makers and mobile carriers targeting the Indian market, and greater opportunities for market innovators.

This story is available on mobilmarketingmagazine here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Amazing Mashups:- A new Browising Experiece

Here is the Demo..From Mozilla

Ubiquity allows translating, Google mapping, twittering, flickering, tinyURL, bookmarking etc in a way which is refreshingly simple and easy to use and understand.

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Imminence of mobile advertising

The manoeuvre of presenting any product or service offered by a particular company to its potential target consumers to purchase the same is referred to as Advertisement.
This can be done via various mediums which are: television, Radio, Cinema, magazines, Newspapers, Bill Boards, video games, Internet etc…
Every company communicates about its products and services to captivate the potential consumers.

Even the archaeologists have found the traces of rock art, from the ancient civilizations of 4000 BC through which the then sellers, used to publicize their products.
Images associated with the trade were used to deliver the message of the product or service. With the advancement of Education, newspapers came and created zeal of advertising on them which are being used till now. But the intensity has reduced.
19th century brought with itself the growth in economy along with which Radio as a wonderful communication medium came into existence. Companies sponsor various programs to enthral the audiences for their branding and delivering their message.
In 1980s Television with its cable network created its footprints and acted as a staggering modus operandi.
Internet marketing boomed in 1990s and is still acting as one of the most lucrative and thriving way to woo the target audiences by the advertisers.
The avant-garde fad is of Mobile Advertising which is pioneering all the mediums amongst the advertisers, and has already become a chronicle even before its full start.
The advertisement via mobile devices is referred to as Mobile advertisement.
With the patronage of technology advancing every moment, mobile devices are creating rage in the society. Carrying an attractive mobile device has become the media magnet amongst the masses which is congruently rooting for the advertisers for their promotional endeavour.
The type is even dominating the online advertising because of the wide reach of mobile phones of approximately 4 billion in 2008 in comparison of desktops and laptops as a whole of around 800 million only. Some stupendous results from the scrutiny shows that, Mobile phones are not only popular amongst the urbanized people but the rural comrades too where even the computer are yet to step in.
Martin cooper, project manager with Motorola made the first portable device in 1973 which brought cellular phones, to talk, listen and dial in market in early 1990s. With its advancement mobile was upgraded on GSM standards by Elisa in Finland and came “short message service” popularly abbreviated as SMS, which became the inconspicuous two way communication. This caught advertiser’s attention to present their offers directly in front of their target group due to its quality features of fast delivery, lucrative cost, steadfast delivery and region sensitivity.
The immaculate diverse styles of mobile advertising include:

* Mobile Web Banner- The banner space can be utilized to communicate the brand offer of an advertiser due to its presence on the top of the page.
* Mobile Web Poster- This kind of banner enjoys the place at the bottom of the page and allures the user with its animating message.
* SMS advertising- It rules all types mentioned due to its plausible quality features.
* MMS advertising- The higher form of SMS, multimedia message service which involves the animation of images, text, audio and video is also an ultimate medium to present your products and services.
* Advertising within mobile games and videos- The type came into existence because of the emergence of interactive 3D games, social networking games and massive multiplayer games. This generated the concept of sponsoring a game or delivering promotional messages within the game which is referred to as Advergaming.
* Advertisement during mobile TV receipt.
* Full screen ad while requesting mobile content or when a web page is loading.
* Audio adverts- jingle from voicemail recordings.

The efficacy of mobile ad campaign can be gauged on variety of ways like the number of ad impressions or units served, click through rate i.e. the ratio of clicks happened to the ad units displayed, conversion ratio like click to call rates and various other interactive measurement tools.
The paradigm is approbating amongst the advertisers to acquaint their products and services, as the masses are getting well versed with the fashion of upgraded mobile phones for the usage sake and personality sake too.

Upasna Malhotra at her blog

10 February 2009

Monday, August 25, 2008

Heard of Tell-a-Friend from SocialTwist?

I am posting this using a new service called Tell-a-Friend from SocialTwist. This service lets me announce about a site or a blog to my friends using Email, IM, Blogs and Social Networks. It can be used to spread the word about search engines results or interesting product offers, blog posts, etc.

This is so different from other such services because:

  • Users can reach out to friends across social networks
  • Simpler and faster means to spread the word
  • Default context-rich message which can be personalized
  • Wide range of buttons and widget themes
  • No sign up, risk-free option
  • No need to copy-paste widget for every change of widget configuration
  • Incisive analytics to measure spread

You can add it to your site or blog for free at: