Posts tagged 'CellStrat'

The Importance of Blogging for Startups

All companies should have a blog, to demonstrate their expertise in a particular subject matter and provide a vehicle for two-way communications and engagement with their customers.

This blog that you are reading now is an example of that.  I, as the Founding Partner of CellStrat, a consulting and start-up mentoring firm, am trying to come across as an expert in startups who has lived through the same battles you now find yourself fighting through.  Not to mention, for many of you, this is your first time ever hearing about CellStrat.  You may be asking, “why should I trust this firm to help me solve my startup-related problems?”.  Well, hopefully the quality of the content on this blog not only educates the readers on various topics, but it also instills trust to get prospective clients to actually pick up the phone and engage with me on their various needs.

Also, this blog gives my readers the chance to voice their agreement or disagreement with various points that I am making.  For example, when I wrote a guest post on Apple Pay on a famous social media site, two readers gave their contradictory and supporting views respectively.  Hence, further enhancing reader education on the topic, and creating a two-way dialog with my readers, so they too feel like they are participating in the discussion.

There are two other clear marketing advantages of writing a blog.  Firstly, search engines love rich content pages, and the more content you write, the more free search traffic you will drive into your website.  For example, this blog is about 7 years old, and is getting 10000+ visitors per month, largely coming from people searching for information related to the posted topics via Google and some through our regular followers.  That is a lot a traffic for a small consulting firm, which I didn’t have to spend one penny on, other than the 30 minutes or so that it takes me to write one post.

The second key marketing advantage is the virility of the content on social media sites like LinkedIn, face book and twitter.  And, since our connections and followers are largely business people related to startups/ technology or the digital media industry in which we have worked for the last 35 years combined, there are very high odds that: (i) the articles are not only interesting reading for them; but (ii) they will most likely forward or re-tweet the articles to their thousands of collective connections and followers of their own, all ripe new prospects for my own business.

So, for the reasons above, consider a blog a vital component of your website, search marketing and social marketing strategies.  And, don’t forget to ask for new followers, as I do in my last sentence below in all posts.

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December 11th, 2014

Launching the Start-up Hub

Starting a new business can be both exciting and frightening. There are many practical things to consider — location, size, employees, etc. And then there are the anxieties and concerns: “Will I make it?” “Am I in over my head?” “Where do I start?”

A simple info-graphic about A Day in the Life of A Start-up…will say it all…


A Day in the Life of a Start-up

To help answer these and many other such questions for start-ups, today CellStrat founders are launching “The CellStrat Hub.” It is the camaraderie of start-ups from all domains. You may read all about it here.

November 17th, 2014

Business Development Plan : Do’s And Don’ts

By – Prof. Nandini Vaidyanathan – Founder & Mentor @ Carma Venture Pvt Ltd. Date – 10th May, 2013

Prof. Nandini has worked for many MNC’s for almost 20 years, within many domains and fields, she’s Board of several companies, Mentor & Promoter of Startup(, India’s leading Strategist in management. She has even been a Teaching Entrepreneur in US, UK Premier Business School, Princeton, IIM-B, etc, etc, etc. If I still continue to introduce her, then I think I’ll just end up with her intro itself.

The webinar was awesome, never got so many meaningful and important things to learn just within 2 hours. Prof. Nandini was clear and sound, very straight to her points that were to be conveyed to the audience. So let’s get to her talks about Business Development Plan, I’ll narrate point wise:-

What is a Business Plan ?
“A Business Plan is nothing but your Wishlist that you want within specified period of time, anyhow. Make sure Entrepreneurship and Wishlist goes hand-in-hand.”

  1. If you are a new Entrepreneur, forget everything else and first approach to get Mentorship from a good Mentor, without which you may have very less chance to survive for long.
  2. Don’t ever write a plan just because you’re very eager or desperate to start a business or to attract an investor. Write a plan to capture an vision and fulfill your Wishlist.
  3. Don’t do copy-paste in your business plan, don’t come with a plan and say currently this is there in the market and we can do the same in an efficient way, never think of it. Your plan has a product, if someone sells this product to you then how much you’ll spend from your pocket? The more the price figure comes, the stronger your plan is…!
  4. Don’t make a business plan that has monopoly kind of business, research for the competitors and make a plan that defers from them. No one can win without competitors, if you don’t have competitors what you’ll compare & with whom you’ll compare, they’re the one who’ll point out your defects. Eg- Imagine everyone in the world with Mercedes Benz…!
  5. Don’t ask or refer your business plan to any of your friends, family members or relatives, they’ll support you because they wanna see you happy, they’ll speak what you want to hear. Eg. Hitler asked his Army Chief during war, “What’s our status?”. Chief:”We are going to win”. Ultimately Germany got defeated. Hitler:”Why you lied to me?”. Chief:”That’s the thing you always wanted to heat from us…!”
  6. Equity is Entrepreneur’s Blood, don’t plan to donate it at very early stage. Don’t let anyone rule over you, your team and your org. at an early stage. If you still need to raise funding at early stage, don’t look for Venture Capitalist, look Strategic investor. Never divide your Equity in 1:1, keep at least 51:49 ratio to make good future decisions in an easier way.
  7. Don’t consider that market is easy to cover with your awesome product, you are still a Starfish and Big Whales are already roaming there in the market. Have a point in your business plan that how your product will change, influence and grow the market. Get a Differentiator in your plan.
  8. Differentiator in plan can’t always be only in ideas, it can be in Execution too. Eg. Lays Vs. Bingo. Lays introduces itself in market flavours by flavours whereas Bingo introduced by 12 various flavours. They say every Bingo retailer in the market will have at least 12 packets…! Whatever Differentiator you have, it should be very unique and innovative.
  9. Market research is very important to get boom into the market. Eg. Kurkure researched that most of them want snacks while working on computers, so they introduced Kurkure in Cyber Cafe’s initially and boomed the market.
  10. Have your idea feasible, scalable and profitable. You should plan for innovation but not at that extent that it becomes hard to implement. It should be profitable, it you can’t take out profit from your idea, then just generate it. If one is not interested in generating the profit, then tell him to book his/her domain as .org instead of any other.
  11. During hiring process decide you want, a cat or a camel, because later you can’t expect them to change as per your expectation. Even if you get your cat, decide you want which specific cat- big, small, fat,etc. If you can groom your employee, you’re intelligent Entrepreneur, if you can’t (most of them) then deal with them.
  12. Discuss your plan with every employee, you know the plan very well because its your baby, but do your team know the plan? Does your team know what are your dreams and for what they are working? If you make your employees to work for the salary, they won’t deliver you your expectations, because they don’t know actually.
  13. Use simple English to communicate, simplify the high-tech and jargon words so that every one gets your idea thoroughly.
  14. Don’t chose Co-founders like tomatoes and potatoes. Every Co-founder should have complementary skill set. All should want same thing from the company. All should share same value.
  15. Best point to raise fund is when you don’t need it, that will make you stand above the VC’s. Raise funds only and as per your requirement, if you go for more than your requirement, you may lose control over your expenditure.

Elements Of Business Plan:-

  1. Have a snapshot summary; its easy to read index page than 1000 pages of a novel.
  2. Product and Customer must be focused.
  3. Hire a team that is die-hard, self-motivated and that can fly your ship.
  4. Market & Competitors. Your every competitor has a drawback, make it your strongest point.
  5. Good monetisation model excluding ads.
  6. Don’t have just one innovation, have a whole pipeline, a series of innovations.
  7. Budget planning for at least 3 years. Revenue and Expenses must have assumptions.
  8. Milestones- break your plan/wishlist into milestones.
  9. Monthly Profit & Loss Sheet should be there.
  10. Differentiate between Risks & Opportunities.
  11. Plan your Elevator Pitch. Say you are in elevator with Warren Buffet and you got just 30 secs to impress him so that he’ll give you a check in 30 secs, what you’ll say?
  12. Build Evangelical Team that will bring Evangelical Customers.
  13. Check where you stand . Give customer what he wants -> Colgate gave. Give customer more than he wants -> Google gave. Give customer which he never dreamed of -> Facebook gave.

So these were the great advices and suggestion by Prof. Nandini represented here in front of you. Hope you found it interesting and learned at least one point to follow your journey of Entrepreneurship…!

May 14th, 2013

Social Commerce, the future of commerce…

Social Media is coming of age now. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter stormed the world in the last few years with a ferocity few could foresee. Everything got “socialized”, right from relationships, data, content, sales and engagement. Companies and consumers alike have taken to Social Media as bees to honey. The implications to businesses, large and small, are truly astounding. Geography and country does not matter. All sorts of boundaries have been obliterated. Businesses must master the sales and marketing on these channels and tackle the phenomenal eyeball storm on these platforms. This is the New Media, which directly or indirectly effects all sales and engagement activity today.

This has been proved by Faceboook. On last Thursday (Sep. 27th., 2012), unveiled Gifts, the company’s major initiative into the world of social gift giving and e-commerce. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Users can choose, mail and pay for real-world, physical gifts — not the lame virtual ones Facebook offered a few years ago — to send to one another, all completely inside of Facebook. They’re tied to the significant event reminders that pop up on occasion — say, a friend’s anniversary, or a birthday. Or even better for Facebook, users can also just buy gifts for others for the heck of it.

It’s a major undertaking for Facebook, tackling an entire new segment of online commerce and adding a brand new revenue stream to its business. And to a degree, we’ve known it was coming for some time — after all, on the same day Facebook went public, it acquired Karma, the social gifting application upon which all of Gifts is based and built.

Perhaps more significant, however, is that now users aren’t limited to just the desktop to send and receive gifts; the entire Gifts program is accessible on mobile phones.

CellStrat’s next event on 07th Feb in New Delhi, the  India Digital Forum 2013 is unfolding at an exciting pace. It will be addressing this topic “Social Commerce” with many more examples. Some big names speakers are lined up to speak, we will announce these in the coming weeks. Social Selling and Social Media Analytics are complicated but exciting topics which marketers and brands are trying to comprehend, for the simple reason that the users and eyeballs are rapidly adopting these platforms, and processing the voluminous data these channels generate is causing jitters to even the bravest of tech and media brethren. Attend the India Digital Forum to derive world-class insights into Social Engagement and Social Data Analytics. Twitter hash tag for this event is #IDFIndia

October 4th, 2012

Indian e-commerce – nuances and challenges

Everybody and their grandma in India now knows that Indian e-commerce market is set to explode – it is expected to go from current 7 billion dollar (of which 6 billion is online travel alone) to 40 billion by 2015 – ie in 3-4 years.

In view of this, dozens of new ecommerce startups have launched in India and some of them are increasing market share at a breakneck speed. Some of these include Flipkart, Snapdeal,,,, and several others from large brands as well as startups.

But Indian ecommerce is not like that in the West – where online credit card payment and cheap shipping are the order of the day. India has presented these online commerce vendors with its own unique challenges – eg. :

  • COD : customers are reticent to use credit cards online. COD or Cash on Delivery is the preferred method for payment for most online sales.
  • Free Shipping : Indian online customers do not want to pay for shipping – as a result, Indian ecommerce vendors have to bite the bullet on shipping as well.
  • Categories for online shopping : Indian customers so far are mostly interested in online travel purchases – but when it comes to other products like toys, baby products, household items, books, music CDs and such, physical stores still take more than 99% of the customer pie. Of course, now electronics, books and apparel are some products gaining traction in online sales.
  • Where are the profits ? : Of course, it is well known that most India ecommerce startups are taking a loss on online sales – just to grow market share. One expects a market shakeout on this sooner or later and only the strongest (and well funded) ones will survive this fight to the top. We feel that the shakeout will begin to happen over the course of next year with several pulling the plug on their ventures or being bought out by other stronger ones.

Above list highlights some major challenges for the Indian ecommerce players. Enter Indian Jugaad – or Indian version of “make it work somehow“. New services like Gharpay and have been launched to tackle the COD cash collection challenges, as well as product delivery in some cases. These services are building networks of collection agents in various circles or cities and provide Cash on delivery collection services as well as product delivery for the major vendors like, Myntra and Flipkart. Within months of launch, these services have signed  up many leading online vendors as customers.

Well – one has to admit – when it comes to India, it is all about “Jugaad Karo“. In India, if there is a problem, there is always a “Jugaad solution” lurking somewhere – it is upto creative entrepreneurs to find such gaps and exploit them to make new ventures.

December 14th, 2011

The Indian Web and Mobile Markets by the numbers

(excerpted from GigaOm Pro article at

Katie Fehrenbacher with Gigaom is traveling with Geeks on a Plane in India. She writes following stats provided by Google CEO Rajan Anandan to the Geeks on a Plane group :

Rajan Anandan on Indian internet scene : “We’re probably in 1996 in the U.S. in terms of the Internet market in India.”

Here’s the stats from Anandan’s deck. India has:

  • 1.2 billion people
  • The 9th largest economy in the world, with $1.7 trillion GDP
  • 600 million people below the age of 25
  • 22 languages
  • 250 million in the consuming class — these are the folks that buy e-commerce
  • 900 million mobile accounts, with 600 million unique mobile subscribers (many people have more than one account)
  • 30 million PCs — it’ll be a mobile broadband world
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU) is $3
  • 100 million Internet users, and 120 million Internet users by the end of 2011
  • By 2015 there will be 300 million to 400 million Internet users
  • 37 percent of Internet users access the web from home, 27 percent from an Internet cafe, 22 percent from an office, 3 percent from school
  • There are 50 million mobile data subscribers
  • 5 million access Internet only on the phone
  • In 2010/2011 e-commerce emerged as a $7 billion market, with $6 billion of that going to online travel
  • By 2015 the e-commerce market is expected to be $40 billion
  • 67 percent of e-commerce customers by electronics and cell phones. 18 percent buy apparel.
  • 15 million 3G mobile subscribers
  • Broadband is 250 kbps to 500 kpbs fixed line
  • The use of smart phones will grow 52 percent CAGR
  • There are 37 million Facebook users
  • Google Plus use is bigger than Twitter use
  • 23 million unique users on YouTube India
  • There will be $1.3 trillion in online ad spend in 2011
  • The English Internet will not scale beyond 200 million, says Anandan
  • 159 million read Hindi newspapers and 31 million read English newspapers
  • There will be a massive tsunami toward vernacular content on the web, says Anandan
  • 70 percent of non-travel e-commerce is “cash on delivery” (no online payments, buyers pay cash when goods are delivered)
  • This cash on delivery market has a 30 percent return rate
  • Web 1.0 and 2.0 are happening at the same time in India, says Anandan.

Some Internet sites that have found success in India:

Thanks to Gigaom for the above post.

December 14th, 2011

Book Review : “India Inside : The Emerging Innovation Challenge to the West” by Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam

“India Inside : The Emerging Innovation Challenge to the West” is a new book authored by Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam, renowned professors at the elite London Business School. The book is published by Harvard Business Review Press and released in Nov 2011.

This book is about the “invisible” innovation which India today provides to a multitude of corporations and entities around the world. The book starts with questions like “Where are the Indian Googles, iPods and Viagras?” and “Can Indians innovate?”. Valid questions but which make slight of the fact that innovation is much more than consumer facing direct innovation. Indian ingenuity is enmeshed in so many products other multinationals make – likes of GE, Microsoft, IBM, AstraZeneca, Intel, Motorola and many others.

Globally Segmented Innovation :

As Western firms have outsourced large parts of the IT and research work to their Indian divisions and R&D labs, the skill profile of the Indian worker is increasing and firms are increasingly entrusting them with higher-end tasks. In this regard, the authors talk about the Skills Ladder concept – which says that when one creates an army of talent at the bottom of the product development pyramid, it is likely that innovation leaders emerge from this lot and remain in the geography where they are situated – as such, one can say that, thanks to Western outsourcing, a huge no of Indian engineers and innovators are being trained and are likely to boost the local innovation ecosystem via new entrepreneurial ventures or contributions to domestic economy.

In short, there is a talent shift to Asia from the Western hemisphere, which in turn will lead to accelerating growth and innovation in that part of the world.

Outsourced R&D :

For multinationals, Indian service providers like Wipro, Infosys, Tata and HCL are conducting outsourced R&D in labs all across India. Wipro pioneered the concept of outsourced R&D with it’s innovative Product Engineering Services division or PES starting way back in early 80s. Infosys products like Finacle and others like i-Flex have become global leaders in banking and finance. Outsourcing of R&D to India-based outfits creates talent pools in that part of the world and self-perpetuates further innovation and increased western investments.

Process Innovation – An Injection of Intelligence :

Indian call centers are often staffed with folks who are normally more qualified than a mundane call center job. This has caused the so called “injection of intelligence” into the mundane call center and BPO processes – processes which the Western world had written off as commoditized and boring. As a result, call center outsourcer 24/7 is injecting analytics-driven market intelligence into customer service calls and interactions – thereby increasing web / phone consumer loyalty and conversion rates. Higher qualified Indian talent is converting routine BPO processes into more strategic higher-value initiatives for western clients, thereby increasing ROI on outsourcing even more.

Management Innovation – The Global Delivery Model :

Infosys and other Indian IT firms have pioneered the global outsourcing and cost efficiencies which can be achieved in large projects. Saving costs and making the process faster, leaner and efficient is certainly innovation in it’s own right.

Visible Innovation – Frugal Engineering :

The emerging Asian middle class is known to demand and desire Western style products at cheaper cost. The Indian concept of “Jugaad” - or an ability to make do with less resources and still get things done, is now finding acceptance as a strategy in global Boardrooms. Tata Nano (and more recently Aakash tablet, I might add) are changing the debate of value vs cost. Developed markets are fascinated by Indian creations like Tata Nano and are studying such models closely to see how a quality mass market product can be developed at such a lower cost.

The authors also acknowledge the India’s innovation challenges eg slow bureaucracy, lack of infrastructure, lack of capital and population’s risk-averse nature. However, the Indian innovation train has started and few can turn the clock back now. As such, authors provide recommendations to both Indian and Western firms as to how to leverage or face the oncoming Indian innovation onslaught. We highly recommend this book to those who are interested in learning about the India’s growth and innovation story.

CellStrat Book Rating : **** (4 out of 5 stars)

December 1st, 2011

Benefits of Mobile Apps and solutions in Healthcare

Last week, I wrote about why buying tablets is good for health care institutions. There I had mentioned about hiring a team of app developers and making all apps and solutions easily usable and synced by IT department of these institutions. Today’s post is on what kinds of apps/ solutions can be developed for raising effectiveness in healthcare in these institutions.

Mobile healthcare applications are one of the hottest topics of conversation in healthcare these days. Benefits are enormous and centered on solving problems. Hospitals want to use mobile to reduce costs and improve the quality of care. Healthcare is a complex business and thus moves slowly. Ericsson is one company that is seen doing wonders and making good use of mobile communication in their health care devices division.

Since last two years, CellStrat itself has been getting queries from time to time from doctors who would like to provide tele-medicine facility to theirs patients, companies who would like to mobilize the blood sugar monitoring etc. Quite a few app development companies across India has been making small apps fir checking eyes, heart rates, blood pressure etc. to be able to tap this huge market where mobile usage holds a huge potential for all users as well as providers.

Some of the examples of how mobile communication and tools can be used are given below:

  • Wellness Programs – Increase efficiency of  preventative care by sending tips on weight loss and exercise.

  • Sending Health Alerts – Inform members about flu shot availability, mobile services such as blood drives and information on pandemics.
  • Reducing Costly Communication – Send welcome kits, plan updates, and explanations of benefits electronically in place of costly channels such as direct mail and call centers.

  • Allowing Access to Information – Give patients access to their information when and where it’s needed most.
  • Appointment Automation – Automate appointment reminders using highly engaged channels such as SMS & Push Notifications.
  • Rx Reminders –  Send refill reminders to at-risk patients such as the elderly and expectant mothers, as well as track ROI for coupon redemption.
  • Billing – Update patients on their account balances.
  • Facility Continuity – Request assistance from partner facilities, or assemble response teams.
  • Marketing – Use the mobile platform to drive consumers into your facility (i.e., text in to find our wait times).
  • Saving time for doctors in digitization of patient’s data and enabling it’s access anywhere as required basis over the air through mobiles and tablets.
  • Saving timing for nurses in acting to doctor’s instructions as soon as they are entered in the tablets apps etc…

August 25th, 2011

Apps and the Mobile Web: A Complementary Approach


a. Apps

An app is a piece of software that a consumer downloads onto their phone from a specific location or store created by either their cell carrier, the device manufacturer or third party app stores (such as GetJar). Simple apps exist for standard feature phones, but today’s mobile apps are typically associated with smartphones where their functionality is enhanced by richgraphics, animations, video and the ability to trigger phone functionality such as the GPS or the camera. Apps are specific to a phone platform and must be developed for them: iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian and Android are the current major platforms followed by all others in India as per CellStrat research.

Depending on what type of a company you are, there are three main types of apps that marketers can be concerned with:

Branded Apps: These apps are specifically developed to enhance some aspect of the company’s product and while not typically used to sell that product, they encourage use of it. Examples of this might be the Zippo Lighter App (the phone looks like a lighter), Coke’s Spin the Bottle (play the iconic game with a Coke bottle), the Weber’s On the Grill (get recipes and grillingadvice) or KRAFT’siFoodAssistant (menuplanning with grocery list functionality), or the BMW M Power Meter (measure the vehicle’s acceleration and Gforces.)

Mobile Media-Related Apps: These are often extensions of well-known media properties that have functionality unique to the apps. Top media related apps include CNN Mobile, NDTV app, TimesOf India App, The Weather Channel Mobile,  The Los Angeles Times etc. These apps sometimes have paid or metered versions, but are often ad supported and thus are free for downloading.

Mobile Shopping/ Commerce Related Apps: Retailers such as Macy’s, Amazon, Best Buy and Target are taking the lead with their customers and trying to establish a continuous on-phone presence on mobile devices through their apps, which offer m-commerce made easy if the consumer has their payment data stored with that provider. ShopSavvy is another very popular app (nearly 18 million apps downloaded as of April of 2011) that consumers use to scan a barcode and do comparison price shopping.

b. The Mobile Web

The mobile web is the Internet accessed through a mobile device. All smartphones and some feature phones have a browser built on to the interface and the browsers are specific to the device, but with some technical work and a mobile UI, a mobile optimized site will be viewable by all the major smartphones. Marketers typically need to be concerned with four forms of mobile web sites:

Branded Mobile Micro Sites or Landing Pages: These are created specifically to focus consumer attention on one aspect of a company’s message or brand, such as or are used as a “landing page” or simple payoff to the consumer to get more information from a larger marketing campaign. The marketers typically tag their company URL in broad scale ad campaigns, they can now actively promote their mobile web presence through their “m.URLs” or drive them through mobile ad campaigns that click directly to these landing pages.

Corporate Mobile Sites: Basic corporate sites featuring a mixture of static and dynamic content. May include secure, membership area or even be a pure B2B site. Examples include Hunter Douglas ( or AutoVantage(

Mobile-Media Web Sites: This could be a media-driven site optimized or created specifically for the mobile web (major media companies mentioned above as well as CBS, NBC, MTV among others) have mobile sites and generate millions of views per month through them.

Mobile Commerce Sites: For any retailer, the last three years have been a wake-up call to the fact that consumers want to connect with them through the mobile web. Any company  would be able to note that simply looking at their web log files and parsing out “user agents” (devices that access the web which showup as operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Android, IOS or Apple) can showed them just how much activity is coming directly from mobile devices – and what brands of mobile devices their customers tend to have.

Mobile web activity can often be driven by a consumer wanting to know a store location on the go or a phone number to check product availability and can often lead to a mobile commerce transaction.

In this category in particular, understanding customer need and determining optimal content strategy is essential as is the ability to tie into overall company promotional efforts. If your company is dropping millions of circulars or runninga national television campaign in a given week, chances are that specific content is what consumers may be looking for on the mobile web.

Many retailers with mobile sites have received higher order sizes and conversion rates with mobile optimized sites, as compared to non-optimized mobile sites. While to marketers, it may seem that a distinct choice between focusing on one mode or another should be made, the reality is that consumers have voted on this issue with their phones: consumers do both and marketers need to do parallel path development. 

August 16th, 2011

Mobile Web and Mobile Apps: Not an Either/or Proposition

More than 2 years back, I had written a small post on our old blog about how companies are in dilemma about whether to create an app or a wap site for their clients in India. I had advised them to create an app (due to bandwidth issues in India for the short term) but also to create a wapsite to serve their clients in India over long term.

Day before yesterday, after almost two years, I came across a report by the largest global Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) on the same topic. So, for next few days, every day, our readers will get some of both – excerpts from CellStrat’s latest Mobile Apps Innovation Research Report as well as the ‘s report. We would appreciate if our readers can also share their thoughts and views on our posts.

When the Apple iPhone was released in June of 2007, it ushered in an era of excitement towards all of the innovative thingsthat an “app” could do. The app, a simple piece of software downloaded onto a phone, took the device beyond talk, text and utilities like email, to higher levels of consumer engagement that came along with sophisticated graphics, video, mapping capabilities and social networking integration. For marketers, the app was an incredible attention-getting device: just having one was PR worthy, and it made mobile marketing tangible to CMOs and CEOs.

In CellStrat research, when we asked many top management people from various app development companies, marketers and users, the factors due to which they believed apps were more successful than mobile wap sites, we got following graph.

In contrast, phones had “browsers” capable of accessing the web, but due to painfully slow access speeds and a multiplicity of device formats, content appeared less than optimal. They accessed sites built for computer-based browsers, and content could appear unreadable or ajumbled mess that reflected poorly on a brand.

But in just four short years, the mobile smartphone world exploded and Apple became one of four major platforms that sold/enabled download of apps. As of June there are now billions of apps downloaded per year and over425,000 individual apps available in the Apple App store and 200,000 for Android devices. In parallel, access speeds to the mobile web increased (3G, the rough equivalent of broadband, is now the standard for smartphones and 4G is growing in adoption), and mobile web browsers themselves have gotten more sophisticated. Global mobile web traffic, according to sources like Morgan Stanley and Gartner is expected to exceed wired web traffic by 2013. Many companies have realized that having a mobile web optimized site (or landing page fora campaign or sub-brand) was no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity akin to registering the right URL at the end of the ‘90s.

Tomorrow, readers would get a post on how Mobile Apps & Mobile Web are complementary to each other.

(Source Excerpted from MMA’s report on Mobile Web and Mobile Apps & chart from CellStrat’s Mobile Apps Innovation Research Report)

August 12th, 2011

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