29 April 2009

myMOBworld Mobi Mall Launched

The official launch of myMOBworld's own mobi mall (mymobworld.mobi) on 1 May 2009 marks an important milestone for the Mobile Marketing Winner$ team. Based on two years experience with possibly Africa's first mobile entertainment channel, myMOBmall was developed as an off deck, mobile internet based information, entertainment and shopping portal. It was built for access via mobile phones but subscribers can also log on from their computers.

"The mobi site is already live on http://mymobworld.mobi but this is a soft launch" explains Mobile Marketing Winner$ team leader Alexander Gregori. "We are aware that a project of this magnitude can bring with it many challenges, but you only know what doesn't work once you let your customer play around with it. Even the second generation i-Phone is much better than the first one, and we believe to have introduced a user friendly, comprehensive and easy to use mobi site that offers an exciting information-, entertainment- and shopping experience." 

The beta version of myMOBmall offers free registration and much of the available information and entertainment is free as well. myMOBworld focuses on African markets, although it is internationally accessible.

One of the main challenges for the development team was to create a payment solution that can work across borders, takes into account the currency fluctuations in many African countries and is accessible even to "unbankable" subscribers. Says Gregori: "Mobile payment solutions are the big talk of the town for Africa today, but we didn't want to become a bank and at the same time we were looking for a solution that can be easily implemented across borders and currencies. "

The Mobile Marketing Winner$ team came up with a solution that is as simple as it is ingenious, and it allows subscribers to purchase goods and services with their airtime as well as via direct deposits. myMOBworld's own virtual currency, the MOB$, can be bought just like airtime, but because myMOBworld does business internationally, the price for MOB$ adapts to the exchange rate of local currencies versus the US$.

Gregori warns that "we are still building our content offering", but myMOBworld already offers a variety of music, ringtones, fan pages, videos, exclusive event reports, wallpapers, movie previews, games, m-books, the King James bible, Thoughts- and Prayers of the Day and much more. Subscribers can even buy event tickets straight from their phone with a specially developed, easy to use and secure application that has event promoters already salivating.

One of the exciting features of myMOBworld is its reporting system, allowing marketers to track exactly who interacts with their products and services and, more importantly, what else subscribers are interested in. Gregori: "This leads to building Quality Leads TM, which are invaluably more powerful sales leads than a data base full of worthless cell phone numbers collected with sms campaigns. Internationally marketers are beginning to wake up to the unique opportunities that cell phones offer in starting a meaningful, one-on-one dialogue with existing and new customers, and we thought it important to position myMOBworld to serve this growing and important trend."

It is early days, much work still needs to be done and, just like an e-commerce site, myMOBworld will be constantly expanding its offering, but if international trends are anything to go by, this brand new addition to the exciting world of mobi sites is destined to be another mobile marketing winner.



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