Several days before the publication of the 2013 report “Mobile Internet, Content & Apps” by the Observatory of the Milan Polytechnic, we interviewed Andrea Campana, an expert in the mobile sector and Senior Vice President of Zodiak Active.
Zodiak Active is the digital division of the Zodiak Media Group, the European television production company controlled by the De Agostini Group.
Andrea Campana has been working in the mobile sector since 1999. He led the development of Neo Network, now part of Zodiak Active, in Brazil and the United States, and worked for five years at Dada S.p.A..
He also collaborated in the creation of GSMBOX, one of the first successful Italian online services.
Here are his tips for all those startups interested in the opportunities offered by the mobile sector.
1. Have a Dual Track
Contrary to what everyone is suggesting, that is, that you need to focus and concentrate on one thing at a time, I suggest you try several projects that might perhaps be less far-reaching in global terms. Concentrate on the B2B opportunities with very specific products that can give oxygen in terms of revenues.
2. Don’t focus on the apps alone
Today, Italians are using mobile phones primarily for searching and messaging, therefore for searching for information and communicating. These needs are not necessarily met by the applications.
3. Follow the developments in mobile payment
The mobile phone is a facilitator for physical or online purchasing, but we must understand to what extent the telephone is a tool for verifying the identity of the owner, or to what extent it will become the device used for purchasing, therefore via ad hoc technologies like the NFC.
4. Invest in mobile advertising
Advertising investment in the mobile sector is definitely obligatory in any communication plan. Particularly in a startup where the budget allotted to communication is typically very limited, it is good to invest in the most efficient means possible, such as the mobile phone or device.
5. Be clear about the goals you wish to achieve
It is essential that you plan what you wish to achieve. You need to set precise goals and continually monitor what you are doing.
6. Tell success stories
A good strategy for drawing new customers is to try to reach them not only through advertising but also by telling success stories and actively involving them.
7. Avoid taking shortcuts
The goal is not to simply increase the number of fans or receive clicks on a landing page, but managing to engage one’s users in a way that has value and continues over time.
8. Aim at having unique resources
Undoubtedly, my startup today will have an internal expert in HTML5, a significantly emerging model as opposed to application stores, while perhaps the development of an Android or iOS application could be external.
9. Monetize an app with advertising or the freemium model
There are three different monetization models for apps developed directly for users. The first model is entirely financed by advertising, which is very widespread, as well as the freemium model, that allows users to download the app free of charge. Later, in order to unlock more content, or remove advertising, the user is called upon to pay a sum which usually ranges from € 0.79 to € 2. The third model, the fully-paid premium model, is practically disappearing.
10. Invent new standards for mobile security
The mobile sector reflects the web in regard to security problems. This represents a huge business opportunity for those who decide to invest in finding solutions that become market standards in terms of traceability and security of micropayments.