19 May 2009

Judging the Meffys

This post is written by Rimma Perelmuter, Executive Director of MEF. To find out more about the Meffys and to book your seat at the event, please go to the offical website at http://www.m-e-f.org/meffys/

For the 6th year running, MEF hosted a marathon 3 days live judging session, bringing together 43 international press and analysts to demystify, debate and ultimately deliver 2009’s shortlist of lead industry innovators and trendsetters.

Things sure have come a long way since the days when MEF first introduced 3 categories for Music, Games and Innovation and recognised the ‘founder of the ringtone’ at the 2004 inaugural Meffys in London. With a whopping 15 categories, 180 applications and more than 40 countries represented, the Meffys have become the industry’s benchmark for recognising success and innovation.

I had the privilege and undeniable fun of chairing the judging sessions with MEF’s Kim Arazi, who manages the Meffys and picked up some useful trends worth sharing:

  • A proliferation of new off-portal business models has morphed the definition of what constitutes a ‘D2C’ player. With social networking companies, apps-inspired vendors and brands developing new ways of appealing directly to the consumer, D2C is going main stream and no longer just the domain of the aggregator.
  • ‘Mobile First’ markets in which mobile has overtaken internet penetration continue to drive innovation and fuel growth with a range of simple and practical solutions for overcoming economic, technological and commercial barriers and driving mass adoption. If you want to see what drives social innovation and revenue, this is the one to watch.
  • 2009’s successful mobile ad campaigns are less about the latest mobile technology and more about using mobile as the optimised medium for sharing content, achieving consumer engagement and ‘nudging’ the consumer to test and try new digital products. So simple yet so true.
  • Who pays for the content delivery and discovery continue as universal themes with new models proposing ad-based, transparent data options and other payment solutions that shift the onus from the operator.
So what remains to be conquered?
  • You won’t be surprised to hear that apps have transformed the market for mobile content discovery and adoption with their amazing range, targeting success and fun appeal. And yet, the apps movement has some way to go in terms of helping the average non iPhone consumer partake in the fun of it all. Democratising apps, monetising the freemium model and building a great user experience is surely the way forward.
  • Business intelligence has certainly come a long way from the days of Excel spreadsheets and educating the operators on the benefits of sharing anonymised data. At the same time, the mobile media industry is still in the evolutionary stages of agreeing definitive metrics and measurement. And while the Meffys judges were impressed with the range of analytics which meet the needs of developers, brands and publishers for accurate data, sustained advertising investment will require a much accelerated and comprehensive approach.
To see what our judges thoughts click here and view the buzz on Twitter about the Meffys here.

Stay tuned for more revelations once winners are announced on June 23rd at the Meffys gala dinner in London and be sure to sign up to attend the gala dinner to meet the industry’s luminaries and glitterati.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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