Yesterday I went to listen to the conference where MIP, Politecnico Business School, published the results of the research about Mobile Marketing and Services. The research was based on 200 case studies, involving all the major actors of the supply chain (advertising investors, media buyers, creative agencies, telecom operators’  and service providers) and also a survey focused on marketing directors of medium and big enterprises.

The good things are that mobile is being more pervasive and it’s starting to extend beyond the cell phone to netbooks and gaming consoles. And that over 70% of the Italian mobile users are of age between 25 and 55, so in their full spending power.’  The youngest group, 18 to 25, is just 11%; this seems to contradict the myth that mobile ads are only good to target youngers.’  I’ve also learned that location-based advertising is being held back because of privacy issues. In Italy the fact that Mario Rossi is *now* in Via Carlo Farini, Milano cannot be passed from the mobile operator to the advertiser.’  It seems that this is a grey legal area that lawyers are trying to sort out.

Strangely, Google was not present.’  I didn’t hear the word Google or Adwords connected to the mobile world. But according to the slides presented by Niumidia, 30% of the users that access TIM/Virgilio WAP portals do it to use the search.’  It seemed as if mobile web is a different thing from the desktop web. Are we so far away from having full web experience on mobile handsets that it’s too early to say goodbye to those depressing WAP portals?

I was surprised that for Dada (Vodafone) and Niumidia (TIM), mobile advertising is SMS, MMS/VMS and banners on WAP portals. They still have made no plans for mobile email. I found it strange because ‘smart phones’ are being sold in huge numbers (40M last quarter,’  27% increase since Q2) and when users get a new powerful phone they want to get their email on it.’ Am I missing something?

I’m done with class, no more crossing the city to attend lessons. The two years of this EMBA are coming to an end, finally 🙂 I still have little free time, though, because MIP Politecnico in the end is still an Italian school, with the exams happening months after classes have ended.’  I have to prepare a marketing plan for Marketing by the end of October and prepare a brief paper on innovation by early December. In between I have to play a business game, a (silly) simulation where a group of students has to impersonate a CEO and take business decisions based on the budget and the simulated market situation. It’s a silly game, IMHO, and the software runs only on Windows. I’d rather play Railroad Tycoon instead 🙂 If that’s not enough, I also have a project work to deliver.

And if that’s not enough, there are two pretty big projects I’m working on with Funambol. News will come out soon, the first will be next week.

I’m back from the ‘Doing business in China’ MBA classes at Shanghai Tongji University. The classes were very interesting and helped me get a better understanding of this huge country. Food was good and incredibly cheap, while the landscape in Shanghai is simply stunning with huge contradictions. The Chinese cell phone market seems very very promising (as any market there, I guess) with already 800 million users. I think we’ll have to translate relevant parts of the Funambol Forge to Mandarin soon 🙂

Of course I couldn’t resist taking the magnetic levitation train to the airport from Shanghai. Here is the video (the train goes only at 300km/h because it was too early. Later fares travel at 457Km/h).

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This is how I’m dressed when it rains… well, it pours, for days like it happened last week. I hope that now winter is over and we will get only light spring showers. I can stand those, without having to wear the full swim suit 🙂

PS The picture was taken by my colleague Andrea in the school’s corridor.

PPS the pic was taken on Monday, the day of the election of the new government. It was raining. We have a saying in Italian about rain and government. Coincidence? 🙂 (Very rough translation: It rains, government thief).