m.Net Mobile Internet and Dr. Tim Cooper

Rounding out the final sessions for Wednesday, we started with Horden Wiltshire’s presentation on the changing face of Mobile Internet.

Horden, CEO of m.Net Corporation, a company which has helped the likes of Austero, BigPond, Fox Sports, 7 Yahoo!, Warner Music, and Pacific Magazines deliver cutting-edge marketing content to mobile handsets and devices, continued on from where Justin Milne left off yesterday in highlighting the massive opportunity for marketers and advertisers in the mobile space.

The way we consume media through our phones has changed significantly since speeds have increased, data charges have decreased and the devices themselves have become more sophisticated. Today’s savvy mobile users are much more interested in ways to interact with social groups and be more productive and less interested in the latest ringtone fad or gaming.

Through m.Net’s creation and delivery of personal, unobtrusive and interesting mobile marketing, Horden told a captive room that the next wave of mobile websites will be “premium mobile destinations” where users can interact with rich content and opt-in to relevant, local marketing and advertising. He predicts that in 5 years, most major brands will have a P.M.D. as well as a corporate website.

What I found interesting is that, according to Horden, the cost of producing a quality iPhone app compared to the cost of building a comprehensive P.M.D. is ‘about the same’, meaning companies will need to discuss and map out which path will suit their brand requirements best when outlining mobile marketing objectives.

Horden proved to be an engaging public speaker who knew his subject intimately and, like James Rickard earlier, I would encourage those of you interested in the leading edge world of mobile marketing and advertising to seek him out when he speaks in Adelaide next.

For the last session of the day, we were treated to a presentation by Coopers Managing Director, Dr. Tim Cooper.

Dr. Cooper gave detailed insight into the company’s history and explained how Coopers is not only committed to making great-tasting beer but how it is also committed to environmental sustainability and philanthropy through its Coopers Foundation. Since it’s inception, the Foundation has raised nearly $600k for various causes.

Coopers partners closely with kwp!, a relationship which has been built over many years. Dr. Cooper explained that it was from this long-standing relationship that both organisations were able to foster the ‘tongue-in-cheek’ approach to Coopers branding and advertising. ‘We don’t take ourselves to seriously and, because of our relationship, we don’t have to constantly explain and re-explain ourselves to our suppliers’, he comments when mentioning  the irreverent, sometimes cheeky ads.

The key aspects to the Coopers brand include being independent and family owned, producing a different product (cloudy and natural ales) and providing an opportunity to belong to the brand through tradition, loyalty and relevant engagement. Coopers are proud that their beers are different and they believe they taste better for it. With exports totalling just 3% of all the beer they produce, it’s obvious these brand messages are not lost on local drinkers.

I learned something today – did you know that the Coopers company did not invent the Dr. Tims brand?

The story goes that their packaging supplier, who produced their caps and cartons, could not produce the glass bottles, meaning the business went elsewhere. What they could make, however, were branded aluminium cans.

The packager created a can, complete with the Dr. Tim’s brand and packaging idea and gave 30,000 of them to Coopers to fill with ale and sell.

Reluctant at first because their particular bottle-fermenting process might be lost in a can, Coopers released the Dr. Tim’s product anyway with little to no fanfare. It is still being produced today and I personally think it tastes just fine.

Truly a remarkable story, not just for the obvious merits of relationship building but also for courageous risk-taking and opportunity-seizing by the packaging company. Why let business go elsewhere when you can offer your customer a compelling alternative?

Dr. Cooper was gracious with his time in answering a tonne of questions after the presentation, including how Coopers is tackling the lucrative international drinks market.

Well, that concludes a packed Wednesday at Marketing Week 2009. I’ll be back tomorrow with updates on more sessions as I attend them, so stay tuned.

Don’t forget, casual reader, that you can follow Marketing Week 2009 on Twitter: #marketingweek

Cheers,

Rob Frost

P.S. In the interests of full disclosure, I am currently interning at Via Media, Adelaide’s Digital Marketing specialists. Via Media is a major sponsor of Marketing Week 2009. The views and opinions expressed in this post may not be fully represented by Via Media.

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