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What do you do with Only 1% Regular Internet Users in The Philippines?

If you have been to the 4th PICS conference last Oct. 25, you would have realized that we only have 1.1 Million regular internet users which is only 1% penetration versus mobile phone of an estimate of 20 Million subscribers and accounts for 30% penetration. The AC Nielsen report on Online Consumer Trends in the Philippines (for the 2nd Half 2004) by Bing van Tooren, was very insightful and gives a realistic view of the potential of eCommerce and Internet in the Philippines. I would like to share some of my insights on the report and what would this mean for potential marketers:

1. One Million Pinoy Bloggers. Bloggers by definition belongs to this “regular internet user” category which is defined as person who goes online multiple times a week, and responsible for most online consumer activity and integrated internet into his lifestyle. So, the market potential for blogging in the Philippines is only 1.1 Million which in absolute terms ahead than Singapore and Malaysia. This increases by 7% on average on a year on year basis.

2. Mobile is the Sachet Version of the Internet. It is clear that the Internet serves the class A and B of society which only represents <10% of the population. Mobile arguably already penetrates the class C and urban D of society to get into 30% penetration of the population. We need to have more of the internet services available via mobile services in a cheaper and more concise form. The next frontier for Smart and Globe is how to increase the mobile penetration and make the service cheaper and available to low income consumers.

3. The Pinoy Internet Generation is the Online King. Babies born in the 1970’s are the pinoy internet generation who was first introduced to computers during their high-school at the latest, and integrated the internet in their lifestyle during their college years or their yuppie days. These are people who have their own monthly income and have the propensity to buy online due to their own buying power. It is very important to understand the needs and wants of this target consumers and meeting them would be your competitive edge.

4. The future is in the Youth or the Friendster Generation. 30% of regular internet users are less than 25 years old who although would have high household income, they would have a low individual buying power. The main concerns of these people for engaging in online shopping is the lack of credit cards and 1 out of 10 would have purchased online. Also, economic situation in the country would have an impact to these people and I would assume that these are the generations that get easily attracted by overseas opportunities.

5. Business Opportunities for Books/ Educational Softwares and Computer Hardware/ Gadget. Online credit card payment security for the Philippines sites needs to be addressed to give confidence and promote online shopping. It should offer convenience and cost competitive price for people buying over the internet. Educational Information and the means to get the information via PC/ Gadgets would continue to be the key business opportunities that can leverage the internet in the Philippines.

These are just some of my top line thoughts and let me know if you would have additional perspective on this topic.

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  • This is what I’ve been thinking about: What is Mobile 2.0 and how do we have a fast moving search when our local conversations are on the mobile network.

    Groups like the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center are looking into this.

    For #5 – just see Ka Edong’s posts on mobile and micropayments.

  • riche

    that’s right, make the internet accessible through cellphones…what’s being labeled as the ‘text capital of the world’ for? the good thing is mobile phone companies are starting to put up broadband capabilities through their cellsites, so there’s a potential of reaching places not reached before by dial-ups and regular broadband services. and in fact, broadband access is growing very fast in the philippines, as consumers found out that they are missing a lot with their regular dial-ups. mobile service providers are, after all, partners in propagating internet use here in our country.

  • What do you do with Only 1% Regular Internet Users in The Philippines?

    hmmm, bring the other 99% online..


    hmmm, this is tough.. but here it goes.. come up with a website that offers free advertising for their business, something that resembles like friendster, for bisnis only tho, where bisnis owners can register, insert, and edit their profile as well as photos, and where the whole database is searchable by keywords (i.e, bakery, where it will find all the nearest bakery in a specific location, example makati)

    now if i have a bisnis, and if i really do take my bisnis seriously, i know free advertising can do a little wonder (well, chismis thus)

    this is the start, eventually all bisnis that will get some heat from this free advertising will try to expand and explore more possibilities of “the source” which is the “internet” making them more frequent in the online community..

    now who would provide the free site and the domain (i.e, lugawansakanto.freedomain.ph)..?

  • That’s for the web content. How about the access? I think that’s where mobile comes in. Or the $100 laptop, if it’s for real. Or PC leasing from … PLDT!

  • Market positioning and public relations strategy session for businesses

    “One-day market positioning session” for business start-ups
    Mind Bullet Inc., a market positioning and public relations (PR) firm in the Philippines, introduces its “one day strategy session” aimed at helping predominantly start-up enterprises and companies position themselves properly in the market.

    At the launching of its website, http://www.mindbullet.org, Mind Bullet leverages market positioning as it applies to new business. President and CEO Eero Brillantes elaborates. ‘What we have done is to concentrate on key market positioning subject areas appropriate for start up businesses. With some preparatory time, a session would last a day with a measurable market positioning program as output. After the session, we present our strategic recommendations. After that, it all nurturing time spread over the period a program is being implemented. ”

    Brillantes emphasizes the need for proper positioning as necessary to roll out new business.

    “Now more than ever, market positioning is a major activity for any new business to succeed or even become dominant in a market. As a process, market positioning encompasses certain factors essential to roll out strategies and launches. Identifying real value, actually owning key words and phrases in the consumers mind, and establishing consumer relationships based on human interaction is what market positioning is all about”.

    Brillantes mentions that a lot of new businesses spend so much resources on capital outlay and tactical marketing campaigns only to be frustrated.

    “How many times have we seen owners of businesses spend on equipment, expertise, and marketing gimmicks which do not give real value. It just so happens others have spent on these also. The same equipment is bought. The same media-marketing mix are employed. Similar corporate philosophies and business models are cascaded throughout the organization. But if you look closely, a lot of spending go to expenditures which do not anymore provide the competitive edge needed to succeed. Many factors of competition are already at parity. Yet this type of mistake is common. ”

    For his part, Nestor Mijares, Accounts Director at Mind Bullet says that nothing beats owning real estate in the mind of consumers.

    “With so much information out there, and a galaxy of options for consumers, how do products and services stand out if these are new? Owning a word or phrase and relating this with what is offered is the most powerful outcome of any in market positioning strategy. Done properly, positioning makes a product, service, or individual stand out in the crowded market place and even at times dominate . Pushing the envelope further, proper positioning opens up new markets.”