14 July 2010

MEF Executive Questionnaire #16: Ken Fenyo, YOU Technology

MEF continues to seek new ways to profile its members and promote the thought-leadership of the senior executives within these companies. We are pleased to launch the MEF Executive Questionnaire to reveal the real people behind the industry in an informal and entertaining manner.

This will be a regular feature of the MEF blog, so make sure you subscribe via email or RSS. If you are a senior executive from one of our member companies and would like to be featured then please contact MEF Marketing Director, Stephen Jenkins.

The sixteenth in the series is from Ken Fenyo, CEO at YOU Technology.

1. Please describe briefly your main company activities and your role within that organisation
YOU Technology revolutionizes the way brands and retailers connect with consumers by delivering personalized communications in real-time and across a range of media. Customers such as Kroger, General Mills, P&G, and Unilever use YOU Technology for paperless digital coupons, interactive promotions, and end-to-end loyalty programs. I am CEO of the company.

2. Without necessarily revealing any confidential information, please outline the principal business models your company uses
We typically charge the CPG to create and deliver marketing programs. For paperless coupons, we use a performance based pricing model which the CPG paying a fee for each coupon downloaded. For promotions and loyalty programs we typically charge a set up fee with monthly hosting depending on the scope and duration of the program.

3. What has been your company’s greatest achievement to-date?
We pioneered direct to card, paperless digital coupons with the launch of P&G eSaver at Kroger in November 2007. Since then, we have delivered over 40 million paperless coupons to shoppers across 4,500 stores nationwide. With paperless coupons, shoppers can find and download offers to their loyalty card via the Internet, email, mobile phones, or in-store devices and automatically receive their savings at checkout without having to clip or print offers.

4. What is your company currently working on that is going to move the industry forward?
We are continuing to innovate with new delivery methods for coupons and promotions (in particular mobile using both smart phone applications and SMS) and new methods for analyze consumer behaviour to better personalize offers and programs.

5. What is exciting you most in 2010 (either personally or professionally)?
Rapid growth in mobile smart phones and location-based technologies.

6. What is the most important piece of technology in your life?

7. What mobile device(s) do you use?
iPhone 4, Blackberry

8. What’s your favourite application?
Google Maps

9. What’s your ringtone?
Right now, dog barking (thanks to my 11 year old daughter)

10. Which mobile industry blogs do you regularly read and why?
I read TechCrunch and GigaOm but don’t read many mobile specific blogs.

11. What is the biggest mobile content issue that is likely to affect the industry within the next 12 months?
For couponing, getting enough CPGs to begin providing mobile coupons to make the service interesting for consumers. This will require in part more retailers to sign on to accept mobile couponing (primarily by integrating with POS but perhaps also via bar code scanning and other technology).

12. Which other MEF member organisation do you most admire?
Impact Mobile (one of our partners)

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09 July 2010

3-Days Which Traced a Decade of Progress and Defined the Next 10 Years of Mobile Entertainment

The British calendar records Monday, June 21 as the longest day of the year. For MEF it began three of the busiest and most productive days in our 10-year history.

The week began with our inaugural MEF CEO Summit, an invite-only event for the business leaders of MEF membership, sponsored by the investment bank Jefferies and the law firms Denton Wilde Sapte LLP and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP. The exclusive, closed-door event was a huge success with 70+ CEOs in attendance. Illuminating stimulus presentations were received on the Future of the Mobile Operator by Professor Mike Walker, (founder of Vodafone), the Future Role of the Mobile Device by David Wood, (co-founder of Symbian) and Consolidation and Growth activity in the mobile sector by Andres Pieczanski, (Jefferies’ Managing Director Technology Investment Banking). The intense discussion that followed drew out some fascinating insights. Particularly inspiring was the realisation that both network spectrum capabilities and the mobile device are developing at such a pace that the mobile will quickly become the preferred platform to access the internet, triumphing fixed-line access for usability, ease and speed.

Continuing the afternoon at the Paramount Members Club, courtesy of Omnifone, we moved to a review of MEF’s activities over the past year during the AGM and the elections for our Global Board. Two awards were presented for the first time at the AGM to recognise outstanding commitment to MEF and the industry at large. The Member of Distinction was received by Alex Haffner of Denton Wilde Sapte, whilst the Board Director of Distinction was presented jointly to MEF North America Chairman Gary Schwartz and MEF EMEA Chairman Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg. During the elections that followed representatives from EA Mobile, Omnifone and Telefonica were voted onto the MEF Global board for the first time. In addition, directors from both KPMG and Shazam were re-elected to the board, with Andrew Bud also re-elected as Global Chairman and Pete Wood elected as Global Vice Chairman.

MEF Global Board 2010
  • Chairman: Andrew Bud, Executive Chairman, mBlox
  • Vice Chairman: Pete Wood, VP International Mobile Business Development, Sony Pictures
  • Ron Czerny – Founder & CEO, Playphone
  • Mark Harding – Media and Digital Content Director, KPMG
  • Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg – VP Interstandard Roaming, Vodafone
  • Rob Lewis – Executive Chairman, Omnifone
  • Luca Pagano,Vice President Publishing – EA Mobile
  • Patrick Parodi – Board Director, Shazam
  • James Parton – Head of Developer Marketing, Telef√≥nica
  • Neeraj Roy – MD & CEO, Hungama Mobile
  • Gary Schwartz – CEO, Impact Mobile
  • Billy Wright – Head of Sponsorship, Nokia

After a busy day of illuminating discussion it was time to celebrate at the 7th Meffys Awards and Gala dinner, supported by Dolby, Buongiorno, Symbian, 7digital, MTS, Quickplay Media and Vodafone, to honour the most influential players in the mobile entertainment industry from across the world.

Held for the first time in the regal surroundings of the Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, with 400 of the industry’s most influential figures in attendance, entrance to the hall alone was a grandiose occasion. With mobile entertainment having experienced 10-years of evolution, this was a worthy celebration of an industry reaching a new apex of prosperity and success.

The winning entries of the seventh annual awards once again provided an insight into the wide range of innovative products, services, applications and projects which are shaping and defining the evolution of the mobile media industry. Rimma Perelmuter, Executive Director of MEF commented: “MEF is proud to celebrate a diverse $36 billion mobile media industry which continues to innovate and thrive. This year’s Meffys winners highlight the industry’s true coming of age with an array of content-focused applications, cross-platform media and mobile commerce offerings. The Meffys have become the global standard for measuring success and serve as a window to the industry’s future.”

Big winners on the night included CBS Mobile, with 3 awards, Flirtomatic who won for Social Media – taking their tally of Meffys to an impressive and unmatched 3 awards in the same category – and our Outstanding Contribution winner, Dr Andrew Hsu, inventor of modern touchscreen technology for mobile handsets. View all of the Meffys winners’ interviews, which Ewan of Mobile Industry Review conducted immediately after they came off stage, on the Meffys website.

The following day, the 10th MeM conference began. MEF Chairman Andrew Bud picked up from the previous evening by highlighting within his opening keynote (members: download the presentation) the seven very different winners of the Meffys outstanding achievement award. This set the tone for a look back at key moments over the last decade of the mobile media industry, from the Crazy Frog and Snake up to the modern-day apps and touchscreen devices. To conclude this positive address Andrew made some predictions for the next ten years of mobile entertainment. These included flexible materials and form factors; feature films, 3D and Augmented Reality; True multi-channel delivery and the mobile becoming the media centre of our lives. New business models will have to be invented to address the challenges of the next decade, however he foresaw “ten years of juggernaut, exciting-as-hell, rollercoaster growth”.

Our industry then heard for the first time from one of the major publishing houses who are taking a considered approach to their digital content strategy. Fionnuala Duggan, Director of Random House Digital, gave a keynote address that was both informative and open. Beginning by pointing out that, in the UK, the books industry is bigger than music, she said that e-books accounted for around 6% of US trade book sales in the first quarter of 2010, however this was the early stages of a considerable growth curve. Industry forecasts suggest that e-books may account for between 7-10% of US trade book sales this year, rising to as much as 25% in the next five years.

Publishers have to be able to balance their existing business models with new digital opportunities, with the example given of the success Random House achieved when launching the Nigella Lawson Quick Collection recipe app. Fionnuala talked about both the risks, through piracy, and the opportunities that publishers face when planning their strategy for mobile and digital publishing. She concluded with an open invitation; "We would like to work more broadly with the mobile industry. We would love to talk to people who are able to bring books to the wider market. I recognise that there is more to the mobile industry than the iPhone App Store."

The day two keynote from Dr Tero Ojanpera, EVP Services at Nokia provided a look into the future potential of the mobile device, echoing some of Andrew Bud’s comments and themes which had been discussed at the CEO Summit earlier in the week. Tero’s vision was not of a mobile device running apps in individual silos, but of a ‘predictive context device’ – a handset which can track your location, that of your friends and family and the circumstances that surround you and reacts accordingly. His example, of a handset alerting you to a delayed flight, finding a local coffee shop to watch the World Cup, calculating the time from your location to the airport and then ordering a taxi from your preferred supplier in enough time, seemed one of science fiction, but the insight over 2 days at MeM made you realise that this was a much closer reality than we might expect.

Outside of the keynote presentations, MeM provided a wide range of panels, reflecting the diverse make-up of MEF membership which represents the entire value chain of mobile media and entertainment. It was a unique opportunity, in two days, to immerse yourself in every facet of the modern mobile media business.

Other insights of note included a fascinating panel on Creating a Multiplatform Experience where Gracenote’s Ty Roberts discussed their work with car manufacturers to add connectivity to vehicles. This will enable content services, including social status updates and far more accurate, location-based, traffic information, etc to be delivered – hands free - to the dashboard.

In the Growth Markets session, all the panelists warned against basing your strategy on the smartphone as penetration levels are still low. Neeraj Roy, MEF Asia Chair, indicated that the emergence of low-priced, good quality devices capable of supporting data services are driving the market, along with the growth in ad-funded mobile entertainment content in India. MEF LATAM Chair, Ron Czerny also spoke about the predominance of premium-SMS as the billing mechanism in Latin America, predicting carrier-billing to be another 5-years away as a viable solution.

Finally, in one of two sessions on the Apps phenomenon, the most hotly debated topic was the role, responsibility and remuneration of the operator in the apps value chain. Representatives from Vodafone, Telefonica, Getjar, Polar Mobile and Shazam discussed whether the 70/30 revenue-share model was appropriate when the operators’ primary business is selling tariffs, with content developed by innovative apps publishers used as a market differentiation opportunity.

As the needs of the industry and those of our global membership continue to evolve we aim to meet these requirements by providing a variety of opportunities for business development, insight and industry profiling. In 2000 MEF created - with our event partner Informa - the MeM conference, the definitive gathering of the world’s mobile media industry; in 2003 MEF launched the Meffys - the industry’s most coveted awards and recognised benchmark for measuring success and rewarding innovation. Now, in 2010 MEF launched its inaugural MEF CEO Summit – an exclusive, invite-only event for the business leaders of MEF members.

At every MEF event a key objective is to connect the value chain, to facilitate business development and provide competitive advantage to our membership. Over the course of our 3 events, MEF brought together 175 leading companies who are driving revenues in the $36bn mobile media industry. With our global footprint we were pleased to welcome companies from each of our operational markets; from Asia, LATAM, North America and EMEA. In particular the CEO Summit provided high levels of engagement and with four other operational chapters this is an event we believe can scale and deliver value at a local level, as well as globally. The inaugural MEF CEO Summit was a great first step and is a brand we intend to build over the years to come.

Three days in June defined the modern mobile media industry. MeM provided an insight into the business models, challenges and opportunities our industry currently faces. The Meffys celebrated the industry’s finest success stories, who have earned their position over the last 10 years of progress. And the CEO Summit pointed to an exciting and abundant future. MEF will continue to provide our membership and the industry with similar opportunities in the future – no matter how many hours are in the day.

07 July 2010

MEF & Qtel Launch Middle East Office as 2010 World Cup kicks off

(l-r): Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg (MEF EMEA Chairman), Dr Tidu Maini (QSTP Chairman) and Dr Nasser Marafih (CEO of the Qtel Group).

Qatar is bidding for the 2022 World Cup: each stadium will be fully air-conditioned to counter the searing 40+ degree heat of their summer months, and once the tournament is over the constructions will be dismantled and exported to Africa as part of their legacy commitment.

Such determination and ingenuity are qualities much in evidence as Qatar pursues its transformation into a knowledge-based economy. On 15 June, Qtel Group celebrated the co-founding of the MEF Middle East office as part of their Mobile Innovation Hub to be based at Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha. The hub will play a major role in developing new mobile applications, solutions in health and education, as well as creating a mobile innovation ecosystem in the MENA region.

At the launch, Dr Tidu Maini, QSTP Chairman, said: “MEF’s role will stimulate and concentrate activity and innovation in mobile media in the MENA region.”

Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO of the Qtel Group added: “Given the rapid growth in 3G networks and increased uptake in smartphones, local content represents the missing element to drive adoption of mobile data services.”

Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg, MEF EMEA Chairman commented: “Consider the difference in mobile content for the current World Cup compared to the rudimentary goal videos offered for the 2002 tournament. MEF’s presence and the mobile innovation hub in Doha will accelerate future growth through co-operation and collaboration.”

05 July 2010

MEF Summit at CommunicAsia

MEF in collaboration with CommunicAsia hosted a Mobile Value Added Service Summit on the first day of CommunicAsia in Singapore. Communicasia is the premier event in Asia Pacific with 40,000 attendees, 1.200 exhibitors from more than 50 countries. The MEF organised summit received extensive press coverage

Conference Chairman was Colin Miles, Vice Chair of MEF Asia. With a well attended summit and numerous press coverage on our MEF speakers the event was a great success.

On behalf of MEF Asia, we would like to thank the following speakers, panellists and moderators for their thought provoking presentations, valuable input and entertaining comments to ensure the success of the day
  • Amrish Kacker, Partner, Head APAC. Analysys Mason (Research Company).
  • Michael Breen, Director Market Development & Strategy, APAC, Amdocs Changing Worlds
  • Bryan Davies, Director of Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent
  • Stephane Palomba, Head of Sales, Asia Pacific, SpeedCast Ltd
  • Arvind Venkateswaran, Senior VP Bus. Develop. & GM, Geodesic
  • Russ Shaw, GM for Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and General Manager for Mobile, Skype
  • Chris Chandler, Head of Mobile Services, Microsoft
  • Julian Persaud, Southeast Asia Managing Director, Google
  • Victor R. Ocampo, Bus. Develop. Manager, Yahoo! Mobile - SEAsia
  • Oliver Graves, Asia Sales Director, Motricity
  • Christian Cadeo, Regional Business Development Director, AdMob
  • Steven Goh, CEO Mig33
  • Steve Akers, Director, Multimedia Production, ESPN STAR Sports
Moderator: Joerg Krahnert, Managing Director, Netbiscuits
Moderator: Oscar Veronese, COO, i-POP Networks

Press coverage links:

01 July 2010

Event: MIG Digital Media and Interactive Lunch

Mobile Interactive Group (MIG), a global integrated mobile and digital communications business recently hosted an event focused around insight, innovation and inspiration in the digital landscape at The OXO Tower central London.

Well respected industry thought leaders took to the stage at the MIG Digital Media and Interactive Lunch, including Gareth Jones, Editor of Marketing and Revolution Magazine, Tom Dunmore, Consulting Editor, Stuff Magazine and Gary Thompson, Director, Product Development, News International to share their thoughts on various topics covering ‘Why brands, need to take a joined up approach’, ‘Our gadgets and why we can’t live without them’ and ‘How to take a national institution like The Sun and News of the World into the digital world’ and more.

With over 70 brands from multiple sectors and 150 senior level marketeers in the room some interesting conversation was enjoy by all.

The top 10 insights captured on the day included...

  1. Smartphones – By 2011 more people will have a smartphone than a standard phone which means more consumption of rich media content on the move
  2. Mobile Internet – Is no longer a painful experience and acording to the IAB, in the UK we spend 23% of our online time connected via mobile
  3. Commerce - Online shopping sales from mobile will more than double by 2013
  4. Mobile Social Media – Massive uptake with 40% of 16 > 24 yr olds in the UK accessing social networking sites via mobile
  5. Advertising is Changing – The contract with the consumer has changed, they’re demanding engagement rather than prescriptive advertising
  6. Augmented Reality & Location Based Services – Their full potential is yet to be tapped
  7. Devices – Apple have really mastered product fetishism bringing stylish and user friendly products to market that people crave and desire
  8. iPad & Tablets – These products will create a tactile and intuitive experience for people of all ages and has massive potential
  9. User Experience – Irrespective of device the user has to be at the centre of the design process
  10. Strategy – Brands need to develop a mobile strategy now as its really taking centre stage as a primary engagement channel
To read all tweets on the event use our hashtag #MIGDIG

The event was run in association with MEF and sponsored by O2. To be involved in future MIG Digital Media and Interactive Lunches please contact Emma Potter, Head of Communications at MIG – emma@migcan.com

You can also follow us on Twitter - twitter.com/migcan