Recap of the Vienna Summit

Recap of the Vienna Summit

For the past 2 months, I have been on the road every week, from a day trip to San Francisco to distant but beautiful Vienna (and an extra day in Paris courtesy of Air France mess). Finally getting some break from the hectic travel schedule .

I was invited to give a keynote address in Vienna on Mobile Advertising – the current state of affairs and where it is heading. Over the course of this year, I must have given 20+ talks on the subject and every couple of months I find myself updating stats and case studies as things are changing so fast. Also, have been working several players in the ecosystem to help them with the strategy and positioning in the mobile advertising ecosystem. Working with agencies, brands, carriers, startups, platform providers, OEMs, and VCs gives me a complete 360 view of this evolving space.

My talk looked at the trends in Western Europe, Japan, and North America, compared what’s working and what’s not. Then I got into the key elements that make MA tick – Reach, Engagement, Targeting, Viral, and Transactions; discussed a bunch of case studies; and finally, put forth the expected trajectory for the next 3-4 years.

The event also had presentations (many of them operators) from all over  – UK, Turkey, Albania, Ukraine, Belarus, Israel, Germany, and Indonesia. For me the most interesting one was by Evrim Dirik of Turkcell, Turkey. He discussed the ringback tone mobile advertising platform – Tonla Kazan. It is an ingenious use of a simple functionality of ringback to great effect. The effective CPM (or cost per listen – CPL as he put it) is $100. That should raise some eyebrows. Users get tremendous value, advertisers get stickiness, carrier gets revenue ($10K minimum per campaign), and everyone is happy. Turkcell has also done some innovative work in direct marketing and advertising and their revenues from this segment are reaching $38M. Not many operators around the world can claim that.

  Anish and Europe 117


It was great to meet new colleagues and share ideas and war stories. Didn’t get much time to see around (and it was getting dark around 4:30pm) except a quick run to the Schonbrunn Palace (famous as Mozart’s training ground). A missed connection courtesy of Austrian Airlines and Air France provided the opportunity to spend an evening in Paris. If you are going to get stuck somewhere in Europe, Paris is a good choice. Hey! I even found free WiFi at the hotel (IBIS at the airport, elsewhere, it was a rip-off with $20+/day rates).

Back to the missed connection story – sometimes I feel that airlines compete for hiring the dumbest people around, these guys are so incompetent that it should be criminal. Charles De Gaulle – the Parisian airport is going through some construction, as such getting from one terminal to another – specially on across the pond flights can become a task. People flying on Air France to North America were missing connections left and right and these guys have to provide hotel and food. And then the industry complains about falling profits.

Anyway, barring the airline doldrums, quite a productive trip, learned some new things, got some new ideas, and made new friends.

Next week, I have a short one coming up – a 2 hr hop to San Jose to moderate a great panel of executives from the Finnish wireless industry on the topic of “Future of Wireless.” Really looking forward to it. Hope to see some of you down there.