Following the previous weeks, launch of Morgan McKinley “Tech Tuesday” event, ( Tech Tuesday ) we where to launch Morgan McKinley’s Mobile Monday.
A lot of organising had went into this event so as it approached there’s was a mix of emotions… Excitement and nerves.
Excited for the excellent speakers and networking but also apprehensive… Would people show up? Would the pizza arrive on time? Had we ordered enough drinks? Do we have enough goodie bags to go around? Will the projector work? Will I fluff my lines?
Lucky enough, the reception area at Morgan McKinley quickly filled up with aprox 80 Mobile Monday members.
I was to be the first speaker. My intention was to keep it brief, the basic message being that, although proud of the ongoing partnership, the evening was not about Morgan McKinley, it was about Mobile Monday.
Next time around, I will have more time to develop a little more on the state of the recruitment market for Mobile. Not just to state facts and figures but also to offer Our market experience and knowledge, trends and sentiment. Some of the questions from the floor where eg; that sounds great, but how much will it cost. As such, I can give an insight into that too.
Finishing up my speech, I welcomed Norbert Sagnard.
Norbert gave a brief intro to Mobile Monday, it’s history etc. It originated from Helsinki, Finland, the same country as Nokia, remember them, he quipped.
The first Keynote was Kevin Foley of Adforce.com. I had attended another event ( See my blog here ) where another Co-founder ( Colm Grealy) of Adforce had spoken, I knew these guys where doing great work.
Some facts disclosed included; 1.2 million Irish people go online daily, using a mobile device and for an average of 9.2 hours per week.
Kevin showed the audience some of Adforces handy work, mobile web apps they have created. Mostly via HTML5 as opposed to native apps, “it’s all about HTML5”, Kevin said.
3G is helping support rich media and better apps. For example, whereas before developers might have to use lower resolution Gifs etc, HTML5 can support rich media. That said, the environment will be taken into account when developing. For example, if the intended app will likely be used by commuters on Irishrail wifi, it may be more simplistic than those apps which will be used more commonly in a stronger connection area or wifi, eg at home.
The audience where impressed by their showcase of apps. The inevitable question arose, how much, what is the cost. I can understand Kevin’s hesitance to answer to the wide audience but he is right in that, it depends.
Rest assured though, any marketing spend will be tracked and measured via various analytic packages. When dealing with a web/mobile/ad agency clients will seek third party verification. Tools like Flurry and Doubleclick offer this. The message was that Everything (including budget spend and ROI) is accountable once we have URL.
Kevin talked about typical engagement rates. For example, typical desktop banner ads have an average of 0.01, whereas mobile typically has 5 times more than web. According to Kevin, he has never seen it below 0.05 on mobile.
He discussed that, even in games, there is often an aim to reach a data capture point. For example, he showed a game ad app built for Jaguar. Aimed at males, it allowed you to mimic sitting in the car and press the accelerator, giving the user the exhilarating sound of the roaring exhaust. Kevin noted that people won’t buy a car via mobile web, instead the data capture point may be a form at the end; eg, enter your details so a dealer can contact you if you are a sales prospect, the intention being, bring the prospect to the showroom or for a test drive.
He also talked about 2nd screen interaction, something which would later surface in Julian Doulas’ talk. In relation to this he cited Shazam as a marketing tool, particularly useful where other media have an ad with music playing and the shazam logo on it, eg a TV advert. It helps make ads more interactive. Shazam is of course the app which can tell you the name and title of a song playing in the background, and even give an option to purchase the track.
This is not just a novelty, 1 million people in Ireland use it, or at least have it on their phones. That’s a big % of the population.
Next up was Julian Douglas, Founder and MD of the brilliant company that is; Entertainment.ie
I am raging that I missed some of this, as I was tending to pizza deliveries and putting out the beers.
From what I did witness, I liked. Julian Is a really confident speaker and spoke with passion and great pride, and so he should, for anyone who have used their apps or sites will know how useful they are.
He pondered whether the right move would be to include advertising in the entertainment.ie apps or instead drive them towards their responsive design sites. Nobody likes ads disrupting their experience, especially when the screen is so small.
He talked about second screening and gave a great example as to how optimising user experience is key to users adopting your product. He gave an interesting example where UPC customers use the entertainment.ie TV guide app whilst watching TV, despite UPC having their own guide. Why? Well at least in part, because its simple to use, they have a great User interface which users like.
He went on to discuss how things need to be simple on mobile. He discussed why entertainment.ie offer various apps, they split up their online offering, across different apps, eg TV guide, cinema listings etc.
He acknowledged however that the app needs to offer real value, “people’s phones are just cluttered with apps”.
He warned too that, although apps are great, that they will have their day. The Internet will come up with something cooler.
Banner Ads absolutely suck! That was how Tony McCarthy of MobileMediaPlacement.com Began his talk. He said that although mobile advertising is effective, banner ads don’t work in gaming.
He stated that across almost every major market that more time is spent in gaming than is in social networking, with the largest growth area being stay at home mothers.
The gaming market is a busy one and highly competitive. When you shift your focus from the blockbuster titles such as TempleRun (product placement idea for that game would be let the character consume eg a bottle of Lucozade for added energy burst) candy crush, and Angry Birds(Samsung have just signed up for product placement rights) the average return for a game is actually very low. Product placement or at least clever in game advertising, which doesn’t negatively impact user experience, is a viable revenue stream.
Ok, so banner ads don’t work too well, what does? Well, MobileMediaPlacement.com are banking on in game product placement/advertising.
MobileMediaPlacement.com are a recent start up that intend to build games and eventually sell advertising space in the game. For example, take a boxing game… The user’s undivided attention is focused on the game. If there is an advertisement pasted onto the canvas of the ring, the users will notice it.
Another prototype example is a driving game where advertising space could be sold, like billboards. A novel idea for this was that they intend to use this driving game and sell advertising to pizza delivery brands. The idea is that you drive the root and if you beat the actual delivery man, you get the pizza for free.
There where questions from the audience from Zynga employees which questioned the legal and ethical issues relating to marketing towards kids. The marketers in the crowd wanted to know volumes of impressions but more importantly, how this would be traced and measured.
My main concern for this business leads back to a statement which Julian Douglas made about his own business. It all begins with good content, content is everything, content is King. For a start up like this to succeed it will all depend on the quality of their games and the volume of users they can attract. Only after achieving this tipping point, will the marketing vehicle truly take off. The gamer will adopt the game, primarily based on the perceived quality of the game itself.
It seemed to me that the focus was on the advertising, whereas in my opinion, the primary focus should be on creating the games themselves.
I look forward to seeing how MobileMediaPlacement.com get on. There’s no doubt that if somebody can make it work, it will their proud owner; Tony McCarthy. It would be fantastic to see another indigenous gaming company succeed, i really hope it takes off for them.
Between the coming and goings and running out to organise the room for intervals etc, I didn’t catch all of the talks, but from what I did get, I was impressed. Really good content and definitely the most interactive event I’ve come across, lots and lots of audience engagement and questions from the floor, a great buzz and banter.
Thanks all for coming and I look forward to seeing you at the next one!