Le crise (What the French call the Credit Crunch or Crisis)

22 02 2009

“Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.”

– Alexander Graham Bell

All this gloom and doom talk about recession has taken its’ time to filter to France.  Whilst in the UK, USA and other places have been pulling in their belt – banks going belly up and cap in hand to their respective governments, stores closing down, lay-offs and redundancy a weekly news item since late October 2008 – the pain was still not felt in la belle France.  I put this down to a reduced habit of buying on credit, over borrowing and spending.  People in France generally wait until they have the funds before buying, and thankfully the “I want it all, I want it now” behaviour is greatly reduced.  Plus the “retail therapy” habit is diluted as there are better ways to spend the weekend in France than just shopping.  As a result, the trickle and slowing down of the economy is only just hitting.  The slow down has first been felt in a place where it hurts most – in the stomach.  Restaurants in particular have felt the reduction in dining numbers and are fighting back.  The first “le crise”  menus have appeared in southern France: lunchtime menu, main course, dessert with coffee for an inflation beating price of only 6 euros – that should hopefully encourage the weary sandwich munching crowd to rush back.

The next step to help beleaguered restaurateurs and retailers – let’s hope the mobile marketers are listening – is the speedy roll-out of improved mobile advertising.  A great example was the experience I had today to try and find a restaurant for lunch.  My mobile phone was able to dial a “yellow page” style application to find suitable names and “Mappy” – A European LBS specialist – popped up great maps to offer location guidance but that was it.  Wouldn’t it have been great if I could have been given the option to open a video clip giving me a “virtual tour” of each restaurant, or receive a copy of the menu, perhaps read reviews, perhaps push me a coupon to get a meal discount, or get the restaurant to call me back to make a reservation.  You get the picture – these are the services consumers are seeking but sadly the market has not as yet delivered on those desired “killer apps” .

The mobile advertising sector will be worth $18.5 billion by 2010, largely because advertisers want to take advantage of the most exciting channel for delivering targeted messaging in the history of advertising, but also because operators want to supplement their traditional business with an additional revenue stream says Cathal O’Toole, Product Manager Jinny Software.

As operators fumble to figure out how to open and release this pot of gold, a potential solution is now being offered by an Irish company, Jinny Software.

Jinny is offering a fully-managed mobile marketing and advertising service with a revenue share commerical model so operators do not have to worry about the up-front CAPEX required to build and implement the solution.   By offering a wide range of mobile channels – SMS, USSD, MMS, WAP, HTTP – to the advertisers, Jinny can implement a campaign on any of these channels and then expand into others as the success of mobile advertising is proven.

Let’s hope this will drive improvement on mobile advertising in the near future.

As I grabble with this new application, I hope to add further content and features over the coming weeks.  I will immediately delete any spam or impolite messages.

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