Archive for February 2012

11.8% Internet Penetration? Is This Really Enough?

In my last post, I discussed about Sri Lanka reaching double digit internet penetration for the first time in history. The moment I posted that blog, it occurred to me that, we are boasting about a 12% penetration in Sri Lanka, where as in countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Maldives, they have already surpassed 20% milestone.
In the second decade of 21st century, having an internet penetration of just 12% is not something that we can be proud of as a nation of just 20 million population spread across in a small island. First cellular phone company started operations in Sri Lanka, only in 1990, and first GSM network was launched just a couple of years later. Since then, Sri Lanka is now having over 17 million active mobile subscribers which is nearly a 90% penetration. Similarly, the first ISP operation started in Sri Lanka around 1995, and as of today we have about 4 fixed line ISP operators (1 ADSL, and 3 WIMAX) and 4 mobile broadband operators (HSPA – 3G+) . But, after nearly two decades from the inauguration of first ISP operation; we only managed to reach a mere 12% internet penetration. Why did the growth of internet usage suffered, while the mobile phone penetration thrived?
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

Sri Lanka Reaches Double Digits Internet Penetration Rate

Still it may be a minuscule 0.20% of total Asian internet population, but for a country with high impeding forces for innovation adaptation; a 47% year on year growth in total internet penetration is a significant achievement.
According to the latest statistics published by quoting ITU as the source, Sri Lanka stood at 24th rank in Asia’s internet penetration rates, with a 11.8% penetration into total population. This is the first time, the country’s internet penetration rate passed the 10% mark.

As of 31st December 2011, there were 2,503,194 total internet users in the island nation. This is a 47% YOY growth compared to previous year’s 1.7 million figure, which stood approximately around 8% of the population. However, a significant majority of around 85% of these internet users represent urban and suburban places, according to a sample survey we did recently for one of our clients.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

Social Listening: Your Customers Are Talking. Are You Listening?

With the number of Sri Lankans on Facebook passing one million recently, more and more Sri Lankan brands are now starting to realize that the ‘eyeballs’ of their consumers are no longer lies within the range that they could reach through prime time TV. Historically, the advertising budgets of brands always followed the eyeballs of their consumers; from press to radio, radio to TV, and TV to web. From the obsession of brands going online with web advertising (banner ads), where is the next destination to follow the eyeballs of your consumers?
Today, more than 60% of the world’s internet users have joined at least one social networking site like Facebook. 58% of Sri Lanka’s internet users are already having a Facebook account. 25% of search results on Google for world’s top 10 brands, links to user generated content. 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users.
It is estimated, consumers generate over 250 billion ‘influence impressions’ annually on social networks by sharing what they like, read or do. These are ‘social impressions’ which can change the behaviors of those others who exposed to them. When I say “change the behaviors”, it includes your consumers purchase behaviors as well. Wait a minute; isn’t that the job that your marketing department is suppose to do? Influencing the purchase behavior of your consumers? 
Monday, February 20, 2012
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

What Makes a Qualified Social Media Marketer?

During the latter part of 2011, I’ve involved in interviewing few people for our agency and for one of our clients, for vacancies in few social and digital media positions. One hard fact I realized in this exercise was, it’s not really easy to find at least a few ‘employable’ people for social media positions in Sri Lanka. In fact, we realized this gap of knowledge in Sri Lanka about a couple of years ago, and that was the driving factor behind my friend Suranga’s initiative in eBusiness Acadamy (EBA).

When interviewing social media professionals, I came up with two main barriers.

1) Most of the people who applied are having basic qualifications in IT related disciplines, and having no flair at marketing
2) Qualified people in marketing are disinterested in applying for social media positions , and largely were under the impression ‘social media is a job for the techie type’

A noticeable third observation was, the level of overconfidence of the handful few who were more qualified than the rest of the applicants.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

Social Media Success Stories from Sri Lanka?

Few weeks back, @Chamara posted a Facebook status asking for ‘Social Media Success Stories’ from Sri Lanka. My instantaneous response (which I posted as a comment) was ‘it depends’.

‘Success’ is a relative word, as it depends on how you define your desired outcomes. What brand ‘A’ expects to see as social media results may totally be different from what the brand ‘B’ defines as success. Without knowing what you want to achieve from your social media campaign, it is impossible to define whether your campaign had been successful or not.

Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka most social media marketing campaigns start off with no proper objective in mind. Let me guess how you started your social media efforts! A top executive in your company read something online about the ‘Facebook phoenomena’ and told his immediate subordinates (the middle managers), “Hey, Facebook is becoming really cool. Let’s do something there”.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

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