Amsterdam MoMo, Doc Searls, VRM and Chetan Sharma

I was speaking last night at Mobile Monday, Amsterdam, rumoured to be the biggest MoMo in the world. Certainly 450 friendly and enthusiastic people turned out last to watch a bunch of people ranging from local Dutch companies (in Dutch) to the legendary Doc Searls, author, Chetan Sharma, Blyk’s Antii Ohrling and myself. The buzz reminds me (like I need reminding) that mobile is very happening indeed and it really will eclipse the PC-led web in the near term.

The only problem with that number of people is that I just can’t meet many of them in the time set aside for networking. If you attended last night and wanted to touch base or ask a question, I’m very sorry. Perhaps we can do it by email or Linked In, instead.

Chetan kindly sent me his new book a month ago and I haven’t blogged about it yet as I wanted to finish it first. “Mobile Advertising – Supercharge Your Brand In The Exploding Wireless Market” a very comprehensive view of the state of the market today (including the hard-to-research Far East), packed with insights from leading authorities and deep data from most major markets. It’s a must-read book if you’re in this space and I’ll be writing more in due course, when I’ve absorbed it all.

Antii gave his normal accomplished performance, updating us on Blyk’s current 140,000 UK members and 100 Brand advertisers, who apparently enjoy an average of 29% response. Blyk seem to be re-positioning themselves away from a “mobile marketing” play into the “UK’s fastest growing youth medium”, which makes a lot of sense, as it gets away from most advertisers’ desire for Reach as the first requirement in their campaigns and fits neatly into a youth portfolio buy.

Blyk are a company that are zagging while the rest of the world is zigging and this is usually how great change is accomplished. Let’s hope their success continues.

Finally, Doc Searls provided the climax of the show with his lecture on VRM or Vendor Relationship Management. This concept is no less than a re-invention of markets and media, if it can be made to work.

The concept is that consumers make their needs known to all possible vendors of a product or service – as well as the terms of service that they’re prepared to operate under. Note, not the vendor’s terms or EULA (End User License Agreement), but the consumer’s.

Ultimately, I believe that the balance of power in any channel of distribution evolves in favour of the consumer and that’s something we’re still finding out. I’ve written about this before, in a political context, but it’s the same principle as the one Doc is working on. Except he’s actually making it happen.

You can follow the VRM as it develops and find a lot more at the project wiki page here. It’s worth reading about as it’s certainly a key part of the future way we’ll be doing business and making purchases as consumers.

Finally, a big thank you to the MoMo crew for organising and making this happen. There’s plenty of ideas for me to steal and take back to MoMo’s in Germany!

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