Archive for August, 2009


August 29, 2009 Leave a comment

By Delynn Ho, Regional Director, Southeast Asia

Are you loyal to your favorite brands? Do you belong to a frequent flyer programme, the Heinnekin Music Club or some other consumer loyalty scheme?

Odds are the answer is “yes”.
The average household in the United States belongs to 14 different consumer loyalty programmes, including ones for grocery stores, petrol stations, airlines and hotels. (They actively participate in just six of the fourteen, though.) More than ninety percent of Canadians are members of at least one retail club.The economic recession has led many brands to turn their attention anew to loyal customers. Afterall, it costs less to hold onto a happy client than engage a new one.

And this is where mobile enters the picture.

Mobile advertising campaigns have been shown to increase membership in loyalty schemes by up to 27 percent. The average amount of the increase depends on industry:

10% Sports
20% Music
21% Games
27% Entertainment

Take the case of Real Madrid. Ad agency Publicidad Interactive ran a one-month mobile campaign for the football team earlier this year to drive users to the Real Madrid Mobile Club. It was a straight-forward campaign:

Real Madrid offered free tickets to an upcoming match with Barcelona. Banner ads touting the give-away were published on Spanish mobile websites. Click on the banner and you’re taken to a registration page for the mobile club, which offers free subscriptions. The registration process is succinct – enter your name and birthday. Then you gain access to the club, which provides information on the club’s players, upcoming games, etc., as well as a chance to win the free tickets. Club members can also upgrade for a fee to recieve SMS updates.

What were the results?
The Real Madrid banners received more than 24,000 views a day.The banner ads received a click-through rate of 0.9% (compared to a 1.6% network average).Membership in Real Madrid’s Mobile Club jumped 23%.Any company offering a loyalty programme, membership scheme or looking to engage and retain clients should take note. Mobile ads are an inexpensive and efficient way to interact with your brand’s consumers. I see applications here for a range of companies – from other football clubs to manufacturers and retailers.

There are two keys to make this work:

1. Have a direct – and enticing – campaign. The best way to attract visitors to your mobile site is to offer some sort of rebate, giveaway or a chance to win a great prize in a lucky draw. Make sure the banner and text ads are clear or intriguing.

2. Make sure there’s interesting and regularly updated mobile content for club members. Great content encourages signups, return visits and leads users to recommend the site to friends.

I would also encourage clients to engage more proactively with consumers. Rather than linking directly from an ad banner to club registration, try inserting a survey in between. Real Madrid, for example, could have asked visitors for input such as “What would you like to know about Real Madrid?” Multiple choice answers might include (a) player statistics, (b) more personal information about players (hobbies, interests, etc), (c) scouting reports for upcoming games, etc. The replies would enable Real Madrid to create an editorial calendar for the mobile site and SMS updates.

And keep this in mind: Mobile surfers are ardent brand advocates.

Prices are relevent, but myGamma members tell us that dollars and cents are often NOT the most important factors when it comes to deciding which products will be an integral part of their lifestyle. Quality, reliability, value and trust are key. Communicate with your consumers. Provide product microsites or mobile previews. Do it right and mobile consumers will not only stick with a brand, they’ll promote it to their friends and family too.

Categories: case study, Delynn Ho


August 23, 2009 Leave a comment

By Delynn Ho, Regional Director, Southeast Asia 

One of the most common misperceptions about mobile advertising — among ad agencies and brands — is that you need to craft an entirely new campaign to fit the mobile medium and properly target mobile consumers.

But the truth is it’s not hard at all to tweak your existing collateral for viewing on mobile devices. The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) is running ads across the BuzzCity Advertising Network to increase the agency’s profile, raise awareness of drug trafficking and engage the Thai public in a campaign to help protect their own communities. The mobile ads are part of an integrated campaign that includes outdoor billboards, radio, TV and the internet.

The ONCB is new to mobile, though, and does not have a mobile website. 


So ad agency Zed Digital, which is running the campaign, simply took ONCB’s TV ad and shrunk it to fit on mobile. It also created a series of graphic ad banners (similar to those used in its internet campaign) and purchased banner space for them to appear across the mobile internet.

Mobile surfers who click on the banner are taken to a landing page and from there, users can download ONCB’s video and view it on their phone.

The landing page was created with BuzzCity’s advertising tools.

Although the mobile portion of this integrated campaign had a modest budget, the ONCB banners received 10,000 daily exposures. ONCB’s average click-through rate is about 0.5%. The network average in Thailand is 1.2%.

Zed Digital purchased the ads on a CPM model, because CPM (Cost Per Thousand views) provides the agency with a consistent measure to quantify the results of the campaign across the different media (ie the ads received xxx views on TV, xxx views on mobile, etc.). 


The lessons for brands and advertisers here are clear:

  1. You don’t need to create a mobile campaign from scratch.
  2. You don’t need to build a mobile website. You can use BuzzCity’s tools to create a landing page that acts as your mobile website.
  3. It’s easy for agencies to quantify the campaign results, using a metric which enables an “apples-to-apples” comparison.
  4. If a government agency is hip and smart enough to make mobile a fundamental component of a marketing campaign, shouldn’t every corporate being doing it too?
  5. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to advertise on mobile.


There are a few ways though in which ONCB could improve the effectiveness of this campaign, ie five tips I would give clients on how to build their own integrated mobile campaigns:

  1. Use both text and graphic banners. Some phones can not view the graphics.
  2. Create multiple banners, not just one or two. Employ all the banners in the beginning of the campaign, see which ones work best and then tweak the campaign accordingly.
  3.  Use both CPM (Cost Per Thousand views) and CPC (Cost Per Click) for your mobile buys.

ONCB has purchased ads using just CPM. They wanted to ensure that their banners are viewed 10,000 times a day and the only way to guarantee a number of impressions is with a CPM buy. With CPM, though, we generally start tracking the number of impressions in the morning, from 6am onwards. As soon as you hit the targetted figure, that’s it for the day. So the banners may only be seen for a few hours in the morning, but rarely if ever in the afternoon or night.With CPC – and a competitive cost-per-click bid – -advertisers ensure that their banners are served on the best mobile sites.

You can also use time targeting to more easily spread viewing throughout the day. With CPC, you can also still control your costs, but if you bid low, you may not actually use your entire budget (as higher bids are distributed first).

I’ll be sharing a few more case studies in the weeks ahead. If you have questions, feel free to contact me. And in the meantime, get the most out of your existing collateral – make mobile an integral part of your ad mix!

Categories: case study, Delynn Ho

BuzzCity Tours : August & September 09

August 17, 2009 Leave a comment

We’re always happy to share good news and the latest is our nomination for the Best Social Media Company Award at this year’s upcoming ME Awards. The Awards are taking place on 1st October at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London and we’ll find out then if we’ve won.

Meanwhile, this next month will be another busy month for our executives as we tour a few mobile industry conferences across several regions. This will be a good chance to meet with our team mates for updates on what we’ve been up to recently.
Chester Ng will be attending the 3rd Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit (August 25th – 26th , SMX Convention Centre, Manila) and will be happy to share with you the latest on mobile internet use in the region, especially in the Philippines.

On 31 August, Michael de Souza will be speaking about mobile communities and social networks at the ‘Mobile: Evolution or Revolution?’ pre-conference workshop of Telecoms World Africa 2009 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. He will be at the event on the Monday and Tuesday, so feel free to catch up with him there.

US based advertisers continue to reach their overseas markets via our network and are exploring more creative campaigns on mobile. Cindy, who has run many of these campaigns, will be at ad:tech Chicago (September 1st – 2nd @ Navy Pier, Festival Hall) and will be on hand to assist with your enquiries.

Manish from our India office will be at the 3rd National Conference of Mobile Content & Services ( 2nd Sept, Intercontinental Eros Nehru Place in New Delhi). Manish has been working on our India based campaigns and will be happy to share campaign ideas.

If you are in Singapore this September, please be sure to make time and catch Kok Fung at the Asia Mobile Advertising & Mktg Conference 2009 (14th – 15th September @ Conrad Centennial Hotel). Kok Fung will be talking about planning for mobile advertising campaigns. He will share insights on user demographics, usage patterns and tips on crafting, measuring & improving your mobile internet campaigns.

Kok Fung Will also be at the Social Networking World Forum (22nd and 23rd Sept @ Grand Hyatt Singapore, Singapore). Kok Fung will join a panel of experts discussing ways to make the mobile internet a better experience. Kok fung will share our experience with mobile users, user generated content and results of our various research on mobile use.

We also hope to see our European partners in London where we will have a stand (Booth 438) at ad:tech London ( September 22nd – 23rd @ National Hall, Olympia). On hand to assist with be Wandrille, Anna, Cindy and Hisham

We look forward to catching up with you! Please email partners[at] to arrange a meet-up with any of our team.

Categories: Tours


August 12, 2009 Leave a comment

By Lai Kok Fung, BuzzCity CEO

Mobile companies are placing their bets now on whether applications or browsers will be the cornerstone of your mobile experience. Discussion within the industry is intense as carriers, developers, phone makers and internet giants like Google and Microsoft vie for market share and a spot at the top of your mobile speed dial list.
Most of the media – and indeed, industry – focus so far has been on applications, though, fueled by the popularity of Apple’s App Store. Since launching one year ago in July 2008, consumers have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications from Apple’s store. Apple advertises that there are apps for everything — games, recipes, photo editors and more. Apple takes a cut from every sale, but from its perspective, the App Store doesn’t need to turn a profit – as long as it provides another reason for consumers to purchase iPhones.

Developers love the App Store. The iPhone platform provides great developer support and has proven itself to be a good commercial channel for end users.

Afraid of being left out, carriers and other phone manufacturers – including LG, O2, Nokia, RIM (BlackBerry) and Vodafone — have opened their own App Stores. Digital media companies are also getting into the act by serving ads that appear inside applications, potentially giving a revenue stream to the makers of free apps. For example:

  • Google has launched a beta product for serving ads to mobile applications, Google AdSense.

Yet, there is a fundamental misconception here. Applications are not media. They are not mobile websites that generate sufficient traffic to warrant advertisements.

Application developers have two possible sources of income: ad revenue and consumer receipts. Most free applications are not viewed enough times to generate significant ad receipts:

  • AdMob served advertisements to 2300 mobile applications in May.
  • More than half of these apps (54%) had fewer than 1000 users.
  • Assume that each user sees 10 ads per month and that the going ad rate is US$1 – 2 per thousand views , the application is likely generating about US$10-20 per month in ad revenue.

In addition, consumers spend less than ten minutes using a free downloaded application. They use the free apps about 20 times on average, then get bored and look for something else, according to a Greystripe survey conducted in the first quarter of the year.

Defining coherent ad units for applications meanwhile is a nightmare. How do you measure or verify the number of times that a user views an ad? Picture for a moment a mobile game. Players move up and down the screen; an ad might be embedded in the picture, but how often is it in the frame of view – and for how long? The fallback option is to simply use the most common internet ad unit – banners – which in turn likely click to a mobile website. The user experience is far from ideal — clicking the banner takes the user out of the application and launches a browser — so it’s not surprising that many users hate ads in their applications and games. (Here’s a post that describes how to remove annoying ads from mobile games.)

This brings us to the topic of consumer receipts. For many, this simply means, more downloads, more money. But as there are many makes of cell phones and a variety of platforms, this also means re-tooling applications for the different phones out there. So, many developers tend to focus on a few platforms to improve distribution so that their products are downloaded — and bought — more often. In many cases, this distribution is further supported by some form of try-n-buy package.

So while in session ads are unlikely to work for applications, a clearer path to monetization may be through consumer receipts.

However, as developers of ad-supported mobile media properties, our services need to support a wide audience. Despite the reported growth of apps stores, information and entertainment consumed on mobile devices are primarily supported by the mobile browser. Even as we continue to enhance our services to advertisers, we are unlikely to develop tools (SDKs) to deliver ads on smartphone applications.

Our sentiments are echoed elsewhere; even Google is “not rich enough to support individual smartphones,” according to Vic Gundotra, Google Engineering VP. “What we clearly see happening, ” Gundotra told the Mobilebeat conference in San Francisco “is a move to incredibly powerful browsers. Many, many applications can be delivered through the browser and what that does for our costs is stunning.”

For us the answer is also clear. Consumers will overwhelmingly access the mobile internet using the browser that comes pre-installed on their phone. The mobile internet is media. The app stores themselves are media, but the applications are not.

Categories: Lai Kok Fung