About Mobile Summit Estonia
The story behind the biggest Mobile Business and Marketing event in the region.
There have been plenty of technical mobile events about mobile technology and development but the aspect our customers are more interested in and the aspects we work on daily in Rubik’s — the business and results behind any mobile initiative — have been much less talked about.
So we started off with wanting to organise a conference that is different from the ones there have been before. To be ‘innovative’ if you wish. But while planning to be innovative, we didn’t imagine how innovative the event really is going to be, many of the topics, we consider common and even crucial for any mobile product turned out to be quite rarely covered in Estonia. For example while we see the most crucial aspects of any mobile project in business strategy, market research, design & user experience, marketing and marketing analytics, optimisation & monetization — basically everything that is before and after the development, then on the contrary it is more common to think that development, only, IS a mobile application. With this conference we hope to challenge the belief.
One of those extremely valuable topics is mobile marketing — here in Rubik’s, one of our partners Mart Raus is working in the area but we wanted to make the practical workshop wider and were looking for someone to join him. For our surprise, it turned out to be very challenging — IT companies don’t really do that and when turning to Internet marketing specialists, we discovered that the experience in the field is extremely modest. If we had known how little we know about the area in Estonia, we would have started looking for an external speaker from the very beginning. Eventually we were glad to find Rode Luhaäär to the workshop who’s background is in the wider Internet marketing area, but who has experience in mobile as well. Together with Mart Raus, it is safe to say that these guys are the top specialists in the field in Estonia.
Marketing goes hand in hand with user experience design — your marketing budget might be a waste of money if you don’t put an effort to the customer experience — and it’s not just how it feels to your users, it’s really about if your users buy from you or they don’t. Undoubtedly the best specialists in the field are from Trinidad Consulting team and we’re honoured to host one of the partners Hegle Sarapuu.
Then we expanded the mobile marketing and sales topic with some specific startup stories — Alari Aho from Toggl and Vallo Visnapuu from Timbeter. Toggl is a time-tracking tool with a very wide scope and potential audience — basically everyone working behind the computer is their potential customer. They have successfully expanded worldwide and have lot of users in US — how did a small Estonian startup manage to do that? There certainly is a lot to learn from them.
Timbeter is a very different startup story — they’re selling a unique one of a kind tool (in a form of a mobile App) to logging workers to measure the pile of wood 10 times faster than they used to. Helping someone get their work done 10 times faster is a huge innovation but it hasn’t all been so easy for Timbeter. Vallo told me that what he hears a lot from his potential users is that mobile is just another fashion wave — it will go over as they always do. Selling such an innovation to a conservative target group is a huge effort. It’s obvious — mobile is here to stay and to change the way we live, but how can we convince our customers? We’ll hear more from the challenging yet inspiring Timbeter story.
As a cherry on top we will cover some “crazy” topics — things that we put on the table on our first brainstorming session while not being sure if anything could come out of those. Firstly — psychological aspects behind mobile technologies. And no, we’re not talking about the science in the sake of science — we’re talking about how to make science work for your business, hard evidenced business. From the very beginning we were quite certain — there is no one working in the field in Estonia so we started looking overseas and from contacting dozens of people we ended up with Jarkko Ylikoski who has a psychology background and who is working daily with combining technology with social science. Additionally he is a huge practitioner being the former Technology Marketing Director in Nokia where he helped to work out mobile devices that fit the exact needs of tens of millions of people.
Another interesting topic is about how to combine your mobile strategy with the existing business models. It is a common belief that mobile applications are a stand-alone technology that themselves need to bring in millions of revenue — just like famous Instagram, Tinder, Taxify or others. In reality — most of the mobile applications are an important extensions to the existing business models. They are important additions to the rest of the business and are strongly tied to the company’s infrastructure. I’m glad that Veiko Raime, the CEO of Mobi Lab, clicked with the idea and can share insights from their wide experience in the field.
And last but not least, quite out of coincidence, we got interest from Uber — the most talked about startup in the world. Uber is currently working on entering the Estonian market and we’re honoured to host them for the first time in Estonia. For me, Uber is all about innovation — they’re actively breaking the common rules of the commuting industry. Their innovation has upset many governments and large taxi corporations for bringing affordable “taxi” service to everyone. Similarly like free Internet has upset and is still doing so in many countries. The thing with freedom and strong democracy is that it doesn’t always cope with the old school governments and leaders. Like so many other startups are doing, Uber is another one of those world-changing startups to make the world more free and borderless. I’m happy we can host Alexander Lobov the International Launcher of Uber in Tallinn.
We’re ending the Mobile Summit Estonia with the Estonian Mobile Awards 2015 — we currently have 33 great mobile applications competing for the best mobile solutions awards of the year. Most of them will be available on the venue to check out without downloading them to your device but you can get an overview already now on our Estonian site — mobilestonia.com/awards. It is great to see that this year we have quite some mobile applications from the very young — high school and younger. Youth is the one to bring and demand innovation from us when we tend to get comfortable. Instead of fighting innovation, learn how to embrace it and use it for your business — come to the biggest mobile business and marketing event of the year Mobile Summit Estonia 2015!
by Erik Ehasoo, Mobile Business Strategist