Thursday, August 27, 2009

IMMAP Summit Day 2: Afternoon sessions saved the summit

Day 2 for the IMMAP Summit 2009. Today was much better than yesterday!


If the mobile phone is the most ubiquitous media in the world today, why isn't anybody advertising?
It certainly isn't because we aren't trying! Today speakers from Yahoo and MMA gave us slide after slide about how ownership for the mobile phone greatly exceeds any other media. Yesterday we were pitched SMS 2.0 - backgrounds, color, emoticons and... social ads in every text! We also heard today from Emmanuel Allix (MD, Pudding Media) about how many more opportunities there are to bring brands mobile - such as a branded ringback tone.

I don't know about you but I would never agree to social ads on my phone or subject the good people who dial my mob# to hear a sales pitch before I pick up! If this is the kind of intrusive advertising we are banking on, it will never work.

What it seems to come down to is giving users applications or content that is compelling, entertaining or useful; "branded utility". The winsome case study so sucessful that it was presented twice during the Summit was Guinness' Passport to Greatness. Created for a rugby tournament in Hong Kong, the mobile app "the world's first talking mobile event guide". I.e. mobile translator - great idea!

Matthias Kunze from Yahoo! Mobile also put it nicely when he said that if a friend sent you a coupon for a restaurant you wouldn't say Oh no, an AD. So the challenge is also to develop good ideas and great creative work specifically for mobile .

Of course, there were still a few sales pitches...
Teresita Villareal (Customer Marketing, ABS-CBN) was without a doubt the worst speaker in the conference. Many other speakers might have made sales pitches, but at least they were talking about digital! Ms. Villareal seeemed to spend about half her slides on ABS' non-digital media like magazines, radio and TV channels. FAIL.

I guess this was because ABS-CBN is going for that "360" integrated approach. But who isn't?

She presented a few case studies, including one that showed a widget on a branded Multiply page, but ended up looking like a real dunce when she was asked if Multiply (which ABS now partly owns) allows third party widget / app development the way Facebook and Friendster do. She said something like "yes... but you need to work with us". Right.

The afternoon sessions were the highlight of the conference.

SME's go digital
Mark Laccay of Drip (who performed prior to the talk during lunch) talked about the band needed to figure out how to take advantage of the web and social media to spread their music without getting into intellectual property problems. Enter Creative Commons.
Now they can give out their music and let others remix it, interpret it, put it in their indie films.

Mark also shared that there is merit in allowing music to be passed along for free. His example was that cover bands in Hard Rock Cafe always play the song "September" and are probably breaking some intellectual property laws, but that his fifteen-year-old cousin will now be open to buying the Earth, Wind and Fire CD. My first reaction to this was why a teenager is hanging out in Hard Rock Cafe! But he makes a good point. When people remix, re-use, re-apply music, it reaches more people and gives it higher value.

Rianna Trinidad told a great story about how her product gained positive ROI using Multiply as their only storefront. They found out that doctors don't recommend shoes for babies because it hampers development. So they make socks for babies, only they look like shoes!
Rustan's initially turned them down - because they were already carrying regular socks. Ah but the lesson here could be that there is infinite space in the mind for new positioning! And now Rustan's is one of their distributors. Al Ries and Jack Trout would be very proud.

Lastly Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet talked about how his blog evolved into the fully monetized version that it is today. He gave some good tips on making news and not just waiting to write about it.

I never would have thought of a band or a blogger as an SME...

Dentsu is my idol
At the first IMMAP in 2007, one of the best talks was also by a Dentsu speaker. Even then, before the rise of Facebook and Twitter, they shared their shift from AIDMA to AISAS, making room for search and word-of-mouth. Testament to the more sophisticated digital market in Japan but also to their thought leadership.

For this Summit, Masaki Iwata + Translator shared the basics of their framework and a few viral case studies. Points to note:
  • In Japan, there is a shift in the Most Influential technology based on age group. For the baby boomers, TV is still the most influential. For the middle aged, it is PC Internet. For the kids and teens though, it is already mobile internet. I want to go to there.
  • The top three social networking sites in Japan are all home-grown!
  • He shared about about the development of AISAS (Attention, Interest, Search, Action, Share)- because the Interent plays a key role in all parts of the consideration process (Awareness, Consideration, Purchase). People find out about new products from friends, research potential purchases, then they also buy online.
Great case studies as well:

Boomerang winners in the hot seat
Was writing about this to be included in this one post but it looked too long so will put it in a separate post instead. Key takeaways for me were that
  • These successes were all integrated with ATL. Ultimately they would not have gotten the numbers without massive ATL support. This is key for me since so many of the clients we deal with who actually do digital are not willing to utilize their TVCs to drive users to their web assets! In other words...
  • You need a client who is willing to first, take the plunge, and second, properly support! How will anybody know your website is there if we don't find a way to tell them?
  • It comes down to big ideas and content. Online, users are engaged in great content for free so it takes a lot to impress.

My recommendations for Summit next year -
  • Have fewer speakers who are just going to give sales pitches. If we want them to enumerate the different ad spaces on their websites, we can go to them for FREE!
  • More panel discussions from relevant speakers, like the SME group and the Boomerang winners. There seems to be synergy in getting speakers talking together.
  • More from Dentsu Japan!
  • Can we invite some thought leaders, like maybe... David Armano or haha Ashton Kutcher?
  • Ultimately we need to hear more INNOVATION or GROUNDBREAKING information that will help our work. We don't need to be told on year 3 of the IMMAP Summit that "the consumer is in control". If he weren't in control there would be no need for a Summit.... or my day job haha.

The most interesting parts of the Summit for me were hearing the problems / challenges that other agencies, marketers and brands have come accross, and their digital solutions. Hope to see more of that next year.



Proud Mama said...

So happy that you enjoyed our little story about the Funkyfeet and

Just wanted to say, though, that it was not Rustans that turned us down when we were starting, but another department store ;)

bea said...

Thanks for clarifying :)

DRIP ( said...

glad to know you enjoyed the talk about DRIP, ProudMama and Our Awesome Planet!

bea said...

Thanks again. Hope to see you guys live again soon.

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