By Hisham Isa, Vice President (Marketing)
Five billion. It’s a large number. Five followed by nine zeros.
5,000,000,000. Five billion is
* our sun’s supply of hydrogen, as measured in years.
* the number of text messages sent in Britain each month.
* the number of people worldwide without access to the internet.
It’s also the number of advertising pageviews delivered by BuzzCity since the start of the year.
Not bad for a company that only started selling ads towards the end of 2006. Since then, we’ve delivered 125 million clicks and worked on over 3000 advertising campaigns. Take a look at the graph and you can see the growth. In the fourth quarter of last year, the bars barely registered on the chart. In the third quarter of 2007, we served 2 billion ads. One-third of the pageviews were in sub-Saharan Africa. The next biggest region served was South Asia.
Advertisers have increasingly sophisticated demands. Agencies need the ability to optimise campaigns faster and better, so BuzzCity is constantly upgrading our systems and capabilities to meet their needs. Here are three ways we are helping businesses get a better return on every advertising dollar:
1. Device Targeting
Some advertisers only want to target users with a particular type of phone or operating system. Gaming companies, for example, may develop games that only work on Java-based systems. So it doesn't make sense for them to spend money on ads that appear on phones that don't support Java.
To support these needs, BuzzCity is launching a string of new targeting capabilities in December. These include more phone models, operating systems and telephone features. Our advertisers have already been able to specify ads for Nokia, Sony Ericcson, Motorola, Samsung and Sagem users. Now, add Blackberry and Palm/Handspring to the list.
In addition, they can specify operating systems and telephone features.
Operating Systems : MIDP1.0, MIDP2.0, Symbian v8 and below, Symbian v9, Windows Mobile (Pocket PC), Windows Mobile (Smartphone)
Phone Features: Flash Player (Flashlite), MP3, Full Music Player (MP3, AAC, WMA), Real Player, WCDMA (UMTS, 3G) and xHTML Browser.
2. Carrier Targeting
Sometimes advertisers partner with specific telecom carriers, so they only want their ads to reach those carriers' customers. Other times, carriers want to reach out to their own -- or their competitors' -- subscribers. In the new world of targeted advertising, this is possible. With a simple online form, advertisers can specify which group of cell-phone users should view their ads.
3. XML FeedsThese provide advertisers with up-to-date information about their campaigns, so they can make adjustments as needed to get the best return from every campaign.
The growth in mobile advertising that BuzzCity has experienced this year is part of a larger industry trend. Most people in the mobile space agree that ads -- not fees for downloading ringtones, wallpapers and other services -- will drive the mobile internet. Search and ad companies like Yahoo! and Google are working hard to secure footholds in the mobile space. This month, Yahoo! signed deals with nine Asian telecom carriers -- including Digi.com (Malaysia), PCCW (Hong Kong) and StarHub (Singapore) -- nearly doubling its mobile reach.
And market analysts are predicting mobile ad revenues will jump up to ten-fold over the next several years. eMarketer is forecasting a US$5 billion mobile ad spend in the US by 2011. ABI Research expects the global market to hit US$19 billion.
The key is relevant and interesting mobile content. As more and more content for the mobile internet rolls out, we'll see further jumps in mobile ads. And BuzzCity is ready.
IN OTHER NEWS
And the winner is . . .
* BuzzCity has been named a Red Herring Global 100 Finalist. Award winners will be announced on 3 December.
* BuzzCity has been named "Best Mobile Social Networking Service" at the 2007 GSMA Asia Mobile Awards!
* BuzzCity is now serving two more European countries: Denmark and The Netherlands.