Wednesday, 1 June 2011

My learnings from a Seminar on Mobile Apps.

This blog is a gist of the seminar that I attended on May 30th 2011, at the Peninsula Corporate Park, Lower Parel, Mumbai. Organised by MoMo Mumbai and the speaker was Mr. Bill Scott, MBA from Harvard University.

Mobile Monday Mumbai: Mobile Monday is an open community of mobile professionals and enthusiasts. It is a forum to network, share knowledge and discuss developments in the mobile world.

Their funda of operation is to get a company to sponsor for the event (venue, food & miscellaneous expenses) and then hold a conference where a representative from that company addresses the attendees with a particular topic along with a presentation about his company and its products/services. This is followed by a QnA round, and ends with a dinner.

This Monday the sponsor was U.S.A. based online app store for mobile phones, GETJAR, which provides applications for both feature phones and smart phones across all major platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone and Symbian among others.

The speaker for the evening was Mr. Bill Scott, SVP Sales & Business Development and he addressed the crowd about GETJAR and shared the industry’s best practices for app monetization and some more creative ways to make a living off of your app.
There were over 50 participants from Ad agencies, Ad Networks, Media companies, App Development companies, Telcos, Telecom and VAS companies.


Some Facts – Bill started his presentation with some facts about the Mobile Apps market which were quite an eye opener. Some of these fats were - The market size is expected to be worth $30 billion by 2015, largest age demographic is 25-34 year old, while 87% of people who download apps do it with ads in it.

Introduction (about GETJAR) – Bill then introduced his company and how it came into being (year 2000) and it became a profit making organisation only by 2007. Presently, it is the world’s largest open app store with over 1.5 billion downloads to date. The company provides more than 75,000 mobile applications to 25 million unique users in more than 200 countries. GetJar has been selected by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer for 2011 for its innovative approach to technology and its deep impact on business and society on a global scale.

Some of its top clients are – Zynga, CBS, Amazon, EA, Shazam, Fox Mobile Group, Yellow Pages, Google, Tango and more.

One of GETJAR’s statistics showed an interesting fact where India ranked right on top among countries that download mobile apps. It was followed by Indonesia, USA and then UK. Most downloaded app was FaceBook with 112 million downloads followed by eBuddy and Opera Mini.

GETJAR Operational Model – GETJAR does not take any revenue share from the apps downloaded from their website. Also, anyone can upload an app for free.

Distribution & Definition of Monetisation – He gave tips on how to maximise distribution. Some of them were - by working with many partners, using own traffic resources, covering all phones and regions etc. He also explained different ways to monetize mobile apps. Some of them were – Selling the app, selling virtual goods within the app, extending web transactions into the app etc.

Then he explained GETJAR’s distribution and monetization tools which had points like free organic downloads, social integrations, analytics etc.

More Features of GETJAR: He then explained about their mobile site shortcut where in the user can get an MMS which opens a browser with the particular company’s mobile site.

App It! – A free and effective way for publishers and developers to convert web visits into app downloads where the user’s phone gets detected and he can directly download the app suited for his phone so that he can skip the steps of selecting appropriate app. The accuracy of detecting phones and computer browsers is 98% and it eliminates the cost of hosting your own global download network.

GETJAR uses Google Adwords’ funda – Just like google has Adwords, GETJAR also has a similar feature on their mobile app where apps can be advertised by paying an amount. These ads appear on the top and at the botto of the search screen along with the organic search results in between.
Success Stories – Then Bill spoke about some of the success stories of different companies with GETJAR. This included names like Google, Mig33, Yahoo and Rocketalk. Some of the common features that they all used were the Mobile Site Shortcut, App It! and the Pay Per Download.

Social Integration with FaceBook – A feature, where in a user can share all his downloads from GETJAR into his FaceBook account (News Feed). Here the friends (of the user) can download and Like that app shared.

GETJAR Analytics – Finally, he spoke about the Analytics which was also on the same lines of Google Analytics which makes app up loaders track the success of their apps. One can also view how others are faring on GETJAR.

This was about the entire presentation that Bill gave. This was followed by a Question & Answer session.

Q&A session -

-          There were few interesting questions asked by the audience, like, how is the distribution of revenue resources of the total mobile app market (selling apps, selling within the apps, big brands, etc) in which the big money was coming from the Brands.

-          Does the Analytics feature include comparison feature (it does).

-          Which are the major places where Mobile app developers are, to which the answer was, Silicon Valley, Texas, in USA, then Germany, Italy, UK in Europe, and then small contributions from countries like France, India and Indonesia

-          Why isn’t China in their list of Top countries that download such apps, to which Bill gave an explanation it is mainly because their content is mainly in English and not Chinese or Japanese, and these countries prefer content in their own language.

-          Then an interesting question that whether GETJAR was planning to set up their database centre in India since it was the top country in their list when it came to downloading apps. Bill said, he recognizes the potential in India and they might set it up in the near future. He also mentioned that their mobile site will be revamped in the coming few weeks.

This was followed by dinner. Overall, the session was a good learning experience and also a good place to interact with people from the different fields, especially digital and mobile industry. Look forward to attend more such seminars & events. Below links have the information about GETJAR, Mobile Monday Mumbai and also a presentation that was shared at the seminar.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

How BRANDS are using their FREE space on FaceBook

Groups, communities, fan pages and even profile page at times (err that’s a no no!!), that’s how brands are trying to utilize their FREE space on the most famous social networking website – FaceBook
Some brands are there on FB as a result of a lame brainwave idea by a team member, some are there just for the heck of it (everybody’s on FB so why not us)
While there are some brands, mostly the BIG brands, especially the youth related brands like the apparel brands, electronic brands, & ones from the FMCG market that are keen to make use of their FREE space on FB.
These are the international brands that are conscious of their presence in all mediums available.
The basic idea of having these pages on such social networking websites is simple, they want to make their presence felt and also it is a convenient way to engage people.
This is owing to the deadly combination of internet and social networking!!

Talking about internet and social networking, if you ever wonder why it works well globally (and very much in India too); this takes us back to the very basics of the fact that ‘humans are social animals’ and to socialise is in our genes!
Why so much socialising on the internet?!
Simply because it is a medium available to your at your own convenience.
From the marketers’ point of view, a TVC is more for grabbing attention through entertainment; a print ad is to grab attention by giving maximum information. However, when it comes to internet, both positives from the Television and Print mediums are available to their target and at their own convenience and that too at a far cheaper cost!!!

Coming back to the utilisation of the FREE space on FB, few common observations from the active brand pages are:

1) The landing page: the very first page of that brands group/fan page will be the one which is their most attention grabbing content. This will be the differentiator, a page which will be the brand’s way to engage its target.

2) Like to join: a teaser will be available (like bait) on the landing page and it will ask you to select the LIKE option in order to view the whole group and its activities. Brands have very well recognised the importance of the number of likes, and have found a nice way to increase their likes. After all its all a number game!!

3) Links that redirect to their website: the tabs on the group/fan page will have content which will be linked to the brands own website. This is indeed a good way to redirect traffic on their own websites, which those FB users wouldn’t have visited otherwise.

4) Pictures & Videos: Brands upload pictures and videos of their products which work in their favour of informing and engaging their target on FB.

5) Links to other sites: you will often find brands providing with their official pages links on their FB group. Links to Twitter, YouTube are among the common ones. Thus, optimising their ways to spread the word of their presence.

6) Quiz, Contests, Games: Brands who are active on the internet have their online activities such as contests, quizzes, games etc running on their websites. To make them more popular, they keep tabs of the same on their FB page so that the numbers increase, thus helping in making their activities a success.

7) Polls, Discussions & Forums: Voice your opinion and engage is what it means when you see polls and discussions happening on the FB groups. Brands have realised that given a chance, people like to voice their opinion and the internet is a good option indeed.

8) The WALL: Regular updates on their walls (which also reflect on your wall in case you have liked their page) certainly serve their purpose of being in the eye of their target. The more you update, the more you get visibility and recall in the minds of your target.

Some categories that are really active are the apparels, electronics, mobile phones, gaming consoles, movies
While some among those who just don’t feel the need to be active here are: real estate, pharmaceuticals, corporate.
Though the activeness of Indian brands on such social networking sites is lesser when compared to that in other countries (USA, Australia, UK etc.), with the growth rate of internet users and users on FB in India, Brands should definitely consider to have their presence felt here as well. They shouldn’t ignore such opportunities, especially when their present and more importantly, future target groups are literally hooked on to the web so much!