mobiThinking guide to mobile agencies: Mobilera

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Mobilera: in brief

Type of agency: full service.
Founded: 2001.
Acquisitions: Blue Harbour Media (Portugal, 2010).
Main offices: Delft, The Netherlands (HQ); Istanbul, Turkey; London, UK; Lisbon, Portugal; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Dubai, U.A.E.; Amman, Jordan; Sofia, Bulgaria; Tbilisi, Georgia.
Employees (in mobile): 75.
Ownership: privately held.
Contact details: Baris Oney, CEO, baris.oney(at)mobilera.com; info(at)mobilera.com.
Web: mobilera.com.
Recent news: June 2010 – Mobilera acquired 80% of Blue Harbour, a Bluetooth and mobile marketing specialist in Portugal.
Profile submitted by: Arda Kertmelioglu, co-founder and CMO, Mobilera.
Profile first published: July 2010.

Mobilera: in depth

1) Global annual revenue from mobile: Band D $5-10million.
2) Is the mobile business profitable? It’s getting better every year, but still, there is a significant need for a shift in the mindset of advertisers and agencies, if mobile is to grab a larger portion of the marketing mix.
3) How is the company funded? From founding shareholders and private equity investors: Quantum Investment Holding 50%; Gryphon 25%; Courical 25%.
4) Proportion of business related to mobile: 90%.
5) What proportion of your mobile business is strategy; creative and technical development and implementation? More than 50%.
6) Key mobile activities: mobile messaging 25%; mobile Web 15%; mobile advertising 15%; opt-in/community mobile-marketing services 15%; media buying 10%; mobile apps 5%; location-based services/mapping 5%; QR codes, short codes or premium numbers 5%; mobile content 3%; mobile games 2%.
7) Specialties/expertise:
• Providing 360° interactive services for the clients, embracing mobile and placing it at the core of the services provided.
• Community marketing services (Mobile CRM) and opt-in marketing.
• Creating massively attractive mobile promotions.
8) Main competitors:
• Media and creative agencies that want to move into this space, but concerned about leaving their clients alone with young, dynamic mobile agencies.
• Mobile operators – they’re well aware of this new revenue stream and faced with decreasing voice revenues, and they want to be part of the action.
9) Type of clients/industries:

• Over the past seven years, Mobilera has established long-term relationships with hundreds of major brands in different geographies. Most clients are in fast-moving consumer goods, finance, automotive and retail.
• Mobilera has designed and managed mobile loyalty (community) clubs for five mobile operators in five different markets, covering more than 20 million subscribers. These clubs have boost subscriber base and revenues per user.
10) Geographical coverage (with % of revenues): Mobilera operates in nine countries: Turkey, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Jordan, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Russia, Georgia, U.A.E. Today, the first four of these contribute the most revenues.
11) Works most closely with (apart from clients):
• Telecom operators (as clients and solution partners).
• Media and creative agencies (which introduce Mobilera to brands).
12) Best work to date:
Kraft Patos: Deal or No Deal
• How it worked: consumers text the special code found in the Patos packs to short code 3536 and instantly win five free mobile minutes. Those who text “No Deal” to five minutes would either double it to 10 minutes or lose them all. Those who text “No Deal” to 10 minutes would either win 100 minutes or lose them all. As compensation, those who lost on the first deal received a free advergame.
• The results: more than 5 million participations and leading to an 18% sales increase for Patos by the end of the promotion.
Coca-Cola Turkey
• How it worked: the consumers had to buy two 2.5 liter bottles of Coca-Cola and text both special codes in separate messages to a short code. Successful participants instantly won 75 free mobile minutes – worth almost €35 (US $45). The only condition was that those 75 minutes had to be used in one day.
• The results: 10 million participations with three extensions to original finish date.
Nike: Take it to the next level
• Brief: during the Euro 2008 competition Nike wanted to reach and engage football-obsessed teens, and distribute exclusive made-for-digital contents around Nike-sponsored football stars.
• How it worked: the campaign centred on Nike Football’s first ever .mobi site at mynikefootball.mobi (no longer operational) and a mobile widget at Nokia Widsets. The mobile site was supported through mobile marketing including banners, pull/push messaging and through GSM operators’ opt-in databases. At football grounds fans could interact via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled Kiosks, or at home via an exclusive Nike Interactive TV Channel. Meanwhile, Nike audio content was converted to podcasts to be downloaded via i-Tunes, where all i-Pods at Apple stores were wrapped with Nike branding.
• Results: in one month mynikefootball.mobi achieved over 342,136 total impressions and there were 149,916 downloads of digital content.
This campaign has been selected as a “Best Practice” project by Nike Global and has been recognized as one of the best mobile campaigns so far.

Video case study: Kraft Patos: Deal or No Deal:.

13) Recent industry Awards: Mobilera has won many awards including:
MMA Global Awards 2009 Best Mobile Messaging Campaign (EMEA) for Kraft (Patos): Deal or No Deal.
MMA Global Awards 2008, Cross-Media Mobile Marketing Campaign (EMEA), runner-up for Nike: Take it to the next level.
14) How do you sell mobile to your clients?
• Mobile is the fourth screen (after cinema, TV and computer) and there are billions of mobile devices out there, which get more affordable and smarter day by day.
• This is the screen that people take everywhere, to bed, even. When they need to kill time, most people use cell phones.
• The aim of mobile marketing is to encourage people to use their cell phones for more than just conversations or texting. Since brands want to stay connected with masses and try to create more frequent and prolonged engagement, mobile devices are perfect touch points to generate a two-way interaction.
• With increasing numbers of large-screen handsets and richer media formats, coupled with increased capabilities and reach of the mobile Web, advertisers can now reach their target audience more easily and directly.
• For advertisers, mobile offers better opportunities than the Web. It’s less cluttered. The brand message might fill a quarter of the screen and will probably be the single ad on the page, so you more likely to get the user’s attention.
• Mobile offers greater targeting than all other media, providing information about brand and/or model of handset, as well as their location and so on.
15) What return on investment should your clients expect from mobile? With superb targeting and analytics possibilities, even today mobile is exceeding expected results (especially when compared with traditional media and, in most cases, Web). Of course, this depends on receiving professional support from mobile industry players and benchmarking from best practices (and in some cases, failures). Unfortunately, the benefits of mobile are still not widely recognized and it remains under-utilized by many brands and agencies.
16) Membership of industry bodies/associations:
• Mobilera is very active on the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). Mobilera has been elected to MMA Board of Directors (EMEA) three years running, currently holding the role of EMEA vice-chairman, and sitting on the Global Board of Directors. This allows Mobilera to contribute to the evolution of mobile marketing around and to stay at the forefront of innovation, technology and consumer expectations. Mobilera also contributes to MMA guidelines and code-of-conduct.
• The philosophy at Mobilera is that mobile marketing should be embraced at a local level, rather than a one-to-many approach, so an active role was taken in establishing local (country) chapters of the MMA. Mobilera helped to set up the new local chapter in Turkey, and there are more country chapters in the pipeline.
• Mobilera participates in research and development through the European Commission’s 7th Framework program, as well as Eureka funded projects.
17) What needs to happen to accelerate mobile marketing/Web/services over the next five years?
• It is crucial that mobile operators believe and invest in mobile marketing by developing and deploying new products and services that make it easier for brands to introduce more mobile into their marketing mix.
• The cost of the mobile data needs to be more affordable for customers (through all-inclusive data plans) to help extend the reach of mobile marketing/advertising.
• All traditional media publishers need to deliver a mobile user experience as good, engaging and seamless as their other channels.
• Brands would benefit from embracing true mobile marketing agencies as long-term partners, rather than using various agencies on an ad-hoc basis. This will help the mobile world to grow in a healthy and sustainable fashion.
18) In 2015, mobile will be… the primary medium for people to reach relevant content, in the most engaging and timely manner, wherever and whenever necessary, fulfilling most of their human needs.

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