Category Archives: Communication and Connection

Today’s Phones and Plans for Filipinos

Talk is Cheap and I mean that figuratively and literally.

Stay connected all-day  for just 5 pesos with Smart's Piso App
Stay connected all-day for just 5 pesos with Smart’s Piso App

Did you know you can surf the internet now for as low as 1 peso? That’s five hours of web surfing time that translates to PhP5.00 worth of online access per day! That’s what SMART Prepaid is offering and what about Globe Prepaid?  It too has its own special rate for its die-hard followers: PhP50 for one day unlimited internet surfing — even when you’re also on a Postpaid Plan! So why are you still talking on the phone when you can use Viber, WhatsApp, KakaoTalk, WeChat, and Line to do all the for free!

Here are fun things you can do on the web surfing in ‘casual mode’:
1. Check out friends’ status on Facebook
2. Find out the latest NBA or Showbiz news  on Twitter
3. Scan your email inbox for great offers
4. Watch the latest videos on Vimeo and YouTube
5. Take a selfie on your Instagram account

With unlimited access on the web, we haven’t mentioned that it’s a great tool to search for answers on assignments and homeworks you’re finishing while reading up on the latest news on Yahoo! and/or on Inquirer.net.

Quality Smartphones for less than USD172 is something more and more Filipinos are getting into
Quality Smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors (whatever that means!) for less than USD172 is something more and more Filipinos are getting into

Smartphones are more affordable than ever before. We have at least four small Android OS operated phone-players raking it big in the mobile scene with Cherry Mobile picking up huge swaths of the curious market and where Starmobile, O+, and myPhone are all but cashing in to the growing market yearning to be connected on the Internet.

Filipinos are more and more beginning to ask: Why stay offline and miss all the fun? Why pass up the latest buzz and trends on the Internet where people converge from different backgrounds; Where businesses continue to engage customers and build relationships with old and new followers like never before, and where news never gets old and gets re-tweeted, re-posted, and becomes insanely viral creating more memes and other graphic tales so to speak.

http://www.globe.com.ph/surf/plan/supersurf
http://www1.smart.com.ph/Prepaid/offers/data/2014/02/21/piso-app

Analysis: Filipinos, Facebook, and Fantasy

Are you an Android smartphone user? Do you use Instagram (or Vine?) but couldn’t use its video feature (What?! There is one?) because it’s not available? Don’t you wish you could use that 16-second video function on Instagram (by Facebook), MixBit (by YouTube), and Vine (by Twitter) and share it with your friends? Isn’t a waste that most functions of these apps Filipinos use are only made available on iOS or on an iPhone, iPad.  Android users have limited use on them and frankly they’re missing a lot of fans from The Philippines.
FC Instagram No Android 16secThe Selfiest Nation in the World is 30 Million Facebook-fan strong and Instagram should be taking advantage of this because Filipinos loves to express themselves on the Internet – but they’re not, so are YouTube’s founders (MixBit) and Twitter’s (Vine).
I feel that the growth is becoming faster than the supply. It is getting close to the point that Filipinos are always on the receiving end of each app rather than the origin. And it’s an anomaly that we’re called creative when we can’t develop apps that are naturally akin to the needs and wants of our countrymen.
Here’s what we’re missing and I want to paint a picture so our readers can be enlightened. Instagram was worth US$1Billion when Facebook bought it in 2013 and much of that success now is because of Filipinos using the app to take pictures but why stop Android users there and not provide the 16-sec video function? I mean if we can ‘copy’ an app like Flappy Bird and name it ‘Pugo’ with additional features then why can’t we come up with a photo + video app that runs on Android too? Here are more data to whet your appetite:

Where are the app developers when there are so many potential users?
Where are the app developers when there are so many potential users?
  • 30 Million Facebook Users in 2013 (Socialbakers.com)
  • 9 out of 10 Filipinos are potentially using Android (zdnet.com)
  • 4.22M Smartphones are used in Metropolitan Manila alone
    (Note: Socialbakers says that Philippines has this breakdown of users according to age: 18-24 yo – 38.7%; 25-34 yo – 27.1%; and 35-44 yo – 11.6% — This is how it was deduced: (a) 11.8 Million Filipinos in Metro Manila alone; (b) Conservatively, 75% are between the ages of 18 – 44 years old (or 8.85M); (c) Of this number, 90% have Mobile Phones. (or 7.965M); (d) Of this number, 53% own Smartphones (or 4.22M))

In conclusion
I don’t mean to rant but this country is not lacking in talent. It’s lacking in strength, courage, and sacrifice is what I perceive. With this data, it’s high time we act  and dream big because if we’re talking about consumers or market for the app we want to sell, we have a lot: at least 4 Million of them. Now, sacrifices are necessary but this will definitely reap dividends later if we will only pursue our dreams like there’s no tomorrow and stop whining about our government or contended with just playing Candy Crush, Angry Birds, etc. Why not be the one to invent games? Just look at the sample data we computed. It’s time to turn Fantasy into reality.

Footnotes
How many smartphones do we have in the philippines?
http://www.zdnet.com/the-philippines-continues-to-embrace-android-7000024072/
http://www.philstar.com/business-usual/2013/05/20/943965/phl-se-asias-fastest-growing-market-smartphones-study
http://www.techinasia.com/december-2013-chart-smartphone-usage-asia-desire-for-iphone-android/

MixBithttp://socialmediatoday.com/bradfriedman/1785811/youtube-releases-video-app-mixbit-more-competition-vine-and-instagram-video
https://mixbit.com/

How many smartphone users are there in the philippines?
http://www.rappler.com/business/32732-the-filipino-mobile-user-5-things-to-know

How many Filipinos are Facebook fans?
http://www.socialbakers.com

Credit:
Philippine Flag image – http://www.asianjournal.com
Group Picture – thenewmedia.com

Coming Soon: Wireless Electricity for Your Home

(Editor’s Note: After reading, please join our survey found at the end our post. We appreciate your insight on this new technology. We’ll keep you posted with news and updates regarding this invention. Join our Facebook Page after. Thanks!)

Wireless electricity will be coming to our shores in the very near future. That is if our government agencies will embrace this technology today.

The technology is called highly resonant wireless power transfer and the Inventors uses the same principle as to what we use today in our cooking, Induction Cooking. Induction uses magnets to create energy and in this invention, instead of releasing heat, it produces electricity because of a receiver that induces electricity that powers our every day gadgets and appliances.

a single power source that can charge all your lights, appliances, and even cars - wirelessly!
a single power source that can charge all your lights, appliances, and even cars – wirelessly!

The idea is to create a single source of electricity and eliminate any outlets in the house or any wirings that could trip you or harm your kids in the process of discovery. The transmitter emits magnetic waves so this is not harmful to human or to pets in the house. It’s actually going to be revolutionary because it will mean huge savings for people building new homes in the future.

Witricity, the founder of the technology, are busy studying how this could be used to power different appliances in the house that requires more wattage and how it could send varying charges needed to power cars or refrigerators. Dr. Katie Hall, CTO of Witricity, expects to complete their study by 2016.

Read here how it works.

Exciting developments as we will soon see a more clutter-free home that moms and geeks would love in the very near future.

Credits:
Demo Illustration – http://www.lockergnome.net

Groupon, Kris Aquino: Who’s Better at Bringing in Sales for Your Business?

“I’d Rather Pay Kris Aquino” blurted out a businessman after asking him who he thinks will give a better return to business (sales) when exposed to media channels. It’s not because he could pay Kris Aquino’s endorsement fees but the latter is not living up to the promise of better return on investments.

Deal Sites bring in business but which one brings in repeat sales?
Deal Sites bring in business but which one brings in repeat sales?

Groupon, Living Social, Ensogo, and so many other businesses like it, seems to be in trouble after many SMEs (and big businesses) are pulling out from its partnership because of failed promises to bring in more businesses to their establishments. The problem? High foot traffic — great! — but loss in capital and lower than expected repeat business.

Why is this happening?

First, according to a Washington Post article, companies who do business with deal sites usually fold up because of loss in capital. To get foot traffic and exposure, companies must slash their price by half (or almost half) AND the remaining tag price is split between the vendor (example: Groupon) and the client (example: ABC Beach Resort). So if the remaining hotel price accommodation is PhP2,500.00, which is already at 50%, Groupon will still get PhP1,250 from the vendor. Is that good? It is if you’re not paying salaries and overhead costs.

Second, because deal sites offer daily hotel deals or food deals, customers will tend to go for those deals rather than returning to establishments that used to offer affordable goods and services.

A good number of businesses fold up after bleeding heavily and could no longer recoup its losses.

No business is easy and deal sites promising exposure and traffic as a result of slashed cost is not the kind of help your trade needs. While lowered price points is good for foot traffic, the probability of repeat business through these deal sites seems bleaker when all it does is churn more cheaper deals from your competitors as they also try to jock for position and take customers away from your company.

This is where Kris Aquino and specialty bloggers come into play because their honest to goodness write ups influence potential shoppers and buyers who will buy and perhaps re-purchase goods from your establishments. The moral here is for businessmen to study what promotional channels are good for them and see how Digital Marketers can help them bring their business by doing inbound marketing that produces super fans out of your products/services.

Blink: My First Digital Marketing Seminar

“Sarap ng weekend!” I exclaimed and here’s why.

Since February last year I’ve endeavored on a journey that will compliment my learning in marketing. The college course that students used to know back then and perhaps today is very much different from the ones that will be used tomorrow. Actually, tomorrow is already here and the technology and concepts that will serve as vehicles for brands and businesses are continually being developed and studied by a steady, growing number of curious marketers in the industry – including me.

I’m currently studying Certified Digital Marketing Program through Internet Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) – Atieneo – E-Learning Edge. The Triumvirate team that have pioneered and developed learning modules locally for students who are eager to learn Digital Marketing. I’m about to finish my 13-subject program and hopefully graduate this coming August 2013 (or so I heard). The program affirmed what I already know about Social Media and allowed me to discover new, different, and cool applications that catch people’s attention.

Logic Solutions CEO Itamar Gero gives delegates case studies to better understand what Affiliate Marketing is all about
Logic Solutions CEO Itamar Gero gives delegates case studies to better understand what Affiliate Marketing is all about

And Digital Marketing in a Blink: Great Ideas Worth Executing or “Blink” organized by Fiera de Manila Philippines (FMI) was my first DM seminar I attended that tied up all the ‘learnings’ I gathered studying Digital Marketing. It was held at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. The term BLINK was taken from Malcolm Gladwell‘s book, “Blink: the Power of thinking, without thinking”. It encapsulates the main idea behind FMI’s Digital Marketing seminar where everything happens in a whim or a spur of a second, a “blink”. And that’s why these Blink seminars are very important to the continued study of Digital Marketing because ideas zoom pass so many times and in so many ways that it should be studied fast. The Organizers promised that Blink seminars will happen either three times a year or even four times a year depending on intangible factors that evolve Digital Marketing as we know it.

Norelyn (back) intently listens to Media Contacts Philippines CEO Ed Mapa (foreground) answering delegates' questions
Norelyn (back) intently listens to Media Contacts Philippines CEO Ed Mapa (foreground) answering delegates’ questions

I couldn’t hide my excitement from Norelyn Babiera who even promised more explosive Blink seminars in months to come. In those two days, I learned how to enhance and practice my ideation and how to develop my story that will capture the brand’s message, essentially converting consumers into believers and in turn become the ‘evangelists’ of the brand it just got served. I also learned what Affiliate Programs are how Retarget Marketing can help recover potential customers who may have left your website. To top it all off, I realized how important and still much relevant Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how inbound marketing is claiming more ground in getting more customers to Buy-In to the brand. Tof Salcedo, SEO expert, taught the concluding part of the two-day seminar. He and the rest of the subject matter experts armed delegates with tools who are ready to do crazy battles in executing creative campaigns to the benefit of the consumers looking for new things on the web.

Thank you Norelyn for inviting me and making this time one of the most memorable, dynamic, and most explosive experiences of my professional life as a marketer. This BLINK seminar will not go away for those of you who plan to attend it next time. The world of Digital Marketing is ever-evolving so if you’re looking to understand more how Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter revolutionized the way people connect then this seminar is for you. Just make sure you don’t blink your eyes because every second in BLINK will give you a ton of tools you can readily use to your advantage and be the effective Digital Marketer you can be that this country needs.

Facebook Graph Search and The Filipinos

For Filipinos will it be the battle royale or the battle - loyal?
For Filipinos will it be the battle royale or the battle – loyal?

For those of you who don’t know it yet, Facebook launched the much anticipated product they announced (which I personally didn’t hear until recently) that could give their investors something to smile about and increase their IPO value: the Facebook Graph Search

What search?

Facebook Graph Search.

It sounds like a search engine for your Mathematics or Science class but it’s really a search engine…just…with a bad name. Well, it’ll catch up soon considering you have to analyze what does Graph have to do with web searching right? It does if you know the inert of Web Searching.

Mark Zuckerberg showed promise with his new creation
Mark Zuckerberg showed promise with his new creation

Anyway, Mark Zuckerberg, Co-founder and CEO of Facebook promised that this is something BIG, so BIG some news media thinks it will give Google a run for its money but our question remains, “Will it?”

Filipinos rank number eight in the number of Facebook users all over the globe. We have more than thirty million users and the number is still growing, however, to a lot of its users Facebook is just a social network – a place where people hang out and not for web searching to help you with your assignments, projects, homeworks, business, and even reviews of the best this and the best that.

Filipinos usually email through Yahoo!, get together through Twitter or Facebook but when they search stuff, they ‘Google it!’ So to actually sell this search thing to Filipinos, it will be a huge undertaking for Facebook. Now, FB is boasting to have a trillion connection, hundred millions of photos, and a billion users but again to a Filipino…we don’t care that much unless it means providing information about Sales events or Discount Days or even increasing the number of friends who have the same interest that you are searching for, which I guess will be something good for this search engine.

So what is Facebook Graph Search good for? Well, Mr. Zuckerberg didn’t say much but as I made some research myself, it seems that – at first – Facebook is just good for searching what is – ALREADY EXISTING on Facebook. Meaning, it can search things that are exclusively Facebook content like photos, places, pictures, reviews, portraits…wait…did I just keep on saying images and pictures? Yes, it’s big on searching its database that contain pictures and lots of it! But make no mistake, Facebook has teamed up with Microsoft’s BING search (2009) and Bing teamed up with Yahoo! Search (rolled out expectedly in 2012), which means if the thing you’re looking for is not in Facebook, Graph Search will use Bing and Yahoo! (by extension) to provide you with alternative searches.

The young will decide FB's new product's fate
The young will decide FB’s new product’s fate

So will Facebook be the proverbial David that slays the gigantic Google Goliath in web searching domain? That is not yet sure because we found out several things to ask Facebook in light of all these advances they promised. Besides, Facebook’s database – per se – versus Google’s is like comparing a lake versus an ocean! Also, Graph Search hasn’t rolled out completely so one has to sign up just to get the announcement, which may be very soon.

So for now, Google will remain and increase its stock among Filipinos searching the web for various ‘stuff’ but they will wait to see if Facebook can convince them to change what they’re already used to. So will we soon hear people say, “Facebook it!” or will it still be, “Google it!” The latter still sounds more credible.