_At “Phantom Fiber Corporation”:http://www.phantomfiber.com/, Alexander S Bosika is responsible for corporate branding and marketing communications, partner relations and business development in addition to investor communications. He has an Honours Degree from York University in Economics and Business and studied at the London School of Economics._
_Jim Brown is responsible for managing the growth of “VoCoMo”:http://www.vocomo.ca/html/main.html, including strategy, service development and tactical execution. Prior to this Jim worked with Rogers AT&T Wireless, Bell Canada and Bell Mobility. He has an MSc from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Jim is also a graduate of the University of Toronto Continuing Education Strategic Leadership program._
*One Degree: What is Mobile Monday?*
Mobile Monday Toronto (“MoMo-TO”:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MoMo-TO/) is a group dedicated to cultivating and accelerating Toronto’s mobile and telecom sectors through leadership, technology, government relations, research, education, mentoring, investment, recruitment, networking and promotion. Through active collaboration, we aim to generate new ideas, concepts and business relationships with the end goal of developing a “strong mobile eco-system” for the Greater Toronto Area to further support mobile initiatives.
*One Degree: What inspired you to start a Toronto Chapter?*
Over the last 5 years, there has been a surge in mobile penetration and the use of mobile data. Both consumers and enterprises are beginning to shift their behaviour and model new business strategy around the mobile channel as mobile data usage increase. Through the New York chapter, we discovered that an association was extremely effective in allowing the mobile community to leverage its services, skill sets and talents. As a result, we both felt the need to start a Toronto Chapter for the Greater Toronto Area. Since the dot com era, there really hasn’t been a group focused entirely around the mobile channel and we strongly felt the mobile sector is a completely different channel in terms of technical implementation, strategy which required its own association to help business awareness for mobile strategies, solutions and services. If we can help grow the business of mobile services in the Great Toronto Area, this is positive because there is a fantastic market around the GTA with strong intellectual capital, financial markets and headquarters to THREE of Canada’s national mobile operators.
*One Degree: Who would you like to see get involved with MoMo-TO?*
We want to see mobile software companies, brands, marketing agencies, carriers, venture capitalists, students, developers, entrepreneurs, the financial community and media join MoMo-TO. Essentially, anyone that has a strong interest in this area and a desire to help grow the community is a welcomed member.
*One Degree: Do you see mobile marketing as an extension of Internet marketing or is it a different animal?*
Mobile marketing is similar to Internet marketing but it does have its differences. There are some constraints that make it different based on form-factor, delivery and implementation; however, the idea around permission, customized content or communication, privacy and timeliness are very similar to the Internet channel. But it is a definitely an important channel that widens reach/awareness and may even offer better traction or stickiness because there are stronger controls in place for North America.
*One Degree: How is the adoption of mobile marketing progressing in Canada? I hear a lot more about mobile campaigns these days but I’m not sure how we are doing compared to the US, Europe and Asia.*
Mobile marketing as a channel strategy is now being incorporated into brand campaigns as awareness for mobility (devices, applications, data usage, and streaming video) creep into the consumer mindset. We believe 2006 will be a turning point for more programs being promoted in the market which will create even more awareness and interest among business to offer more services, better applications, and improved data access plans to the end user. We have also noticed heavier data and application usage among the younger generation of mobile users as well as the simple fact that “prosumer devices” such RIM’s flagship Blackberry have now hit the mass consumer with better price points than ever before.
Mindshare is growing and 2006 appears to be the pivotal year where mobile usage trends upwards in North America as network carriers increase wireless network capacity through high-bandwidth networks such as GSM/EDGE.
It is also important to note that the Internet was wildly successful in North America due to bandwidth supply and competitive pricing behaviour when compared to the restrictive pricing models found in Europe and elsewhere (per minute usage rates) which changed with mobile devices in non-North American markets. Thus, the consumer behaviour in foreign markets jumped past the Internet phenomenon and is the real reason why we see many additional mobile services and initiatives targeted at the mobile end user in those regions. In North America, behaviour among consumers is still in its infancy compared to Europe and Asia. For example, services such as texting have been ingrained for a longer period of time there (Europe and Asia) which is the reason why success rates have been higher compared to Canada. However, the gap is closing as consumers begin to change their behaviour through awareness and usage.
Mobile Monday Toronto is currently in the process of launching its own website at “mobilemondaytoronto.com”:http://www.mobilemondaytoronto.com/blog.html.