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Mobile Monday Manila: FREE Event for Mobile Industry and Enthusiasts

Dubbed as a “woman of events” by my friends because there is no single weekend or sometime on weekdays that I do not roam around the metro joining activities hoping to find people I can collaborate with, I   finally tagged the Mobile Monday Manila event as Done in my Events To-do list. 

I have been very curious to be part of this for sometime because I want to know how  local mobile industry is doing in terms of app creation, advertising, payment solutions and  the influential people in this space,  etc. Why? I wanna know how I can utilize the mobile space for business or advocacy purposes.

The moment I got inside, I hear people introducing to each other as app developers, web designers, programmers, marketers, founders / co-founders of a startup etc. I suddenly told myself “Jeeez, what am I doing here?” Then I reminded myself, “Rona, you are here to learn.” 

I could have been one of them had I followed the path of the degrees I graduated from college: 4-year Bachelor in Computer Science and 2-yr Diploma in Computer Studies. But I don’t have much inclination on programming codes so I said no this is not the world for me and took a different path. But serendipity has it, I keep on bumping to these kinds of people everywhere – online and in real life. As a matter of fact I plan to build a startup and open to a possibility of building a mobile app for it.

According to Mobile Monday Manila official website, they are an international community of mobile enthusiasts in 35 countries situated in Asia, Pacific, Europe, North & Latin America.  MobileMonday Manila is its 121st chapter. Now let’s go back to the word mobile itself. They say mobile is the next big thing. Why? Because almost everyone owns a smartphone now! During the Social Media Day Manila, it was mentioned that 25% of Youtube overall views is thru mobile phones. Let me share you a number of innovations of our local mobile industry right now through these 3 speakers and my two cents about it:

Iain Jamieson (Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam) talks about Visa's vision for mobile payments in the Philippines  using our smartphones connected to credit/debit card to send/receive payments. He said in a few months time they will roll a mobile payment method that will change how Filipinos do online payments using some chip or adding a card-like reader attached to a tablet or a phone technology.

A payment method through mobile is something that I really look forward to because I always go to banks to pay for my credit card bills, deposit / withdraw money and pay online through desktop computers.  If I can do these from the comforts of my mobile phone, this will save a lot, lot of my time.

Martin Cu (Head of Offline Marketing for ZALORA Philippines) talks about app marketing and based from their successful launch of ZALORA lifestyle app that achieved a top 2 ranking on day of launch. Zalora is an online fashion store.  This lifestyle app is free to download from the 2 main players: App Store from Apple and Google Play. But it is not the reason at all.  He said they did an extensive and carefully planned marketing in a span of six months by using social media, sms and other paid mediums.  The old old school way was not forgotten totally though by the team behind this. He mentioned about an instance when they partnered with an ice cream store at Hong Kong where those who can show that they downloaded the app from their smartphones will be given a free ice –cream or discount (whichever of the two). They discovered that the cost they paid for these freebies are far cheaper if they could have done doing a paid campaign online.

We now live in the world of apps. That’s why I am very, very eager of how mobile apps are done. Zalora is one of the online shops I always see appearing in my blog for their pay-per-click advertisements and I can totally relate with them as I also do search engine marketing. I think they spend a big chunk of money for their online advertising and the way it is presented, it is paying back well.

Ben Wintle (Founder of Duets) shares his knowledge about the app Duets. Duets is the first ever turn-based karaoke app for the iPhone that lets friends from across the globe belt out their favorite tunes to each other. Ben said that currently it is the top local music app.

With all those envious success stories of apps turning its developers’ millionaires and / or celebrities overnight, I was all-ears  while Ben is sharing of how the app is conceptualized. One of its investors is the founder of Skype so come to think of it, this app is big time! I was thinking, is the process of building apps can only be done by someone who has an IQ like that of Einstein or it should answer a super complicated – never – before – solved problem? Judging from these speakers’ gestures, apps do not necessarily have to do some superhero stuff nor be done by a nerd – looking one. Citing Ben’s app, it has a very simple function - to create bonding moments with friends and family online by singing together. 

As the event is coming to end, those who wish to pitch in front is given a chance. It is almost 9pm. I quickly said goodbye and exchanged Nice-meeting- yous to my seatmates whom I just met that event. I am coming from Makati and my work is in Boni so I rushed hurriedly to catch a bus to bring me before 10Pm.  Luckily the traffic is not bad. I arrived in time. So for those who are free every Mondays and curious about the Mobile Monday Manila, I invite you to check out them, they have free drinks and food so everything is cool.

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