M:Football was a conference based on the idea of bringing mobile to the 2010 South Africa World Cup, who was doing what and how it could be achieved. It was held at the Emirates Stadium (Arsenal’s ground for those not into football) which was a superb location for the event and had good facilities. It was an all day event so I will just mention some of the points that I picked up. The event was an eclectic mix of people which is what I was looking for, made up from developers, operators, retail, design agencies and social media guru’s.
The O2 Litmus guys were there and James Parton did his obligatory run down of what Litmus is. Lots on web about it and you can follow them here @o2_Litmus. I am a fan as I have mentioned before. James highlighted with an example the absurdity of the fragmentation in the industry with this “Glu created 25,000 spins of its Transformers game due to platform and operator related issues”.
Tomi Ahonen was up next, I was not sure whether I had heard Tomi speak before but his reputation had preceded him as there is always a lot of chatter on twitter about his blog etc. Good well balanced presentation from Tomi. Apparently in India 20M people listen to the radio over the mobile network because they are beyond the FM signal. Good stat but seemed a bit odd to me. So its more economically and or commercially viable to build a basestation than it is to put a FM transmitter up?
The Layar guys were there. Is Layar going to be the platform that makes augmented reality mass market? Their strategy is to be a platform and an enabler rather than creating apps. Lots of developers doing good things with it etc. Not enough devices support it at the moment for my liking i.e. you need GPS and a compass on the handset to make it work. Developers website is here if you want more info.
My highlight of the day was Real Madrid (RM) and its mobile case study. RM is a world wide brand. They currently have 3 people working on mobile marketing. Their objectives are:
- Create services over and above those that than can already be found on the website
- Provide a direct tool, club to fan
- A mobile communication channel
- A new channel for the sponsors
Content includes photos, audio/visual, RSS, licensing (of RM brand), music (including chants) and contests.
The Spanish part of the business is managed locally and the brand is licensed to agency partners globally.
With mobile they have generated 10 times the revenue (in 12 months) than in last 3 seasons via traditional means (I assume this means their web based activities).
They have 100,000 subscribers to their mobile service who pay 12€/mth. 1.5% leave the service monthly however they also have a 6% uptake.
Now that is what I call a mobile success story!
Some key lessons from Sponge Group 1) get budget 2) SMS is still very important(especially if you want to address the masses) 3) Engagement and dialogue. Dialogue is a two way process and should be relevant. Just churning out automated text does not engage the customer. However texts that are relevant to interests and context become more personal. This was iterated more than once during the day.
Andy Goodman from Fjord presented his 6 mobile contexts – cultural, snacking, location, motion, identity and limitations. I found this an interesting discussion on creating a relevant mobile experience. Apparently a great mobile experience can be summed with the following control+utility+bling = great mobile experience
Being an event that was exploring the South Africa World Cup it was good to have some people from Africa to talk about their experiences and what is going on on the ground. Voice and SMS are obviously still king in the region but mobile Internet is being consumed. Subscribers are counted in the hundreds of millions. One of the African app developers said that they test on Nokia’s because that is what everyone uses and implied there was no point testing on anything else. Mobile is obviously important for any developing country or outlying region as it can provide an important information channel for many issues and areas that we take for granted in our everyday lives.
A good day.