I know we said we’re not generally talking much about Blyk anymore here on the site unless there’s news… well, here’s a little bit.
Eric Samson, formerly of advertising agency, Carat Belgium, has accepted the role of CEO of Blyk, Belgium.
Ever since Jonathan MacDonald quit Blyk to work for Ogilvy I’ve had to wonder about the continued success of the MNVO. I think they’ll continue to do ‘ok’ — the ROI for advertisers is still very impressive. The challenge with advertisers/media buyers, however, is that whilst they’re very keen on ROI, they like big numbers.
Rare is it that you’ll find an ad executive happy that he’s managed to talk to 10,000 people and there was a 28% response rate. The executive’s ego takes a big big dive when he’s forced to think, ‘shit… only 2,800 people?’
It’s a lot more ego-friendly when you’re dealing with unknown big numbers. Like television advertising. We all know the viewing figures are absolutely rubbish. But it’s nice to dream that you’re ad was seen by 6.8 million folk. Who might have been in the toilet, making a cup of coffee, switching over to another channel or simply ignoring your message. But you don’t quite know. And you can hire a media surveying agency who can be counted upon to stand in the street a lot interviewing folk and, since you’re paying a lot, deliver you a more-or-less decent answer for your client.
So numbers are a challenge for Blyk. I read recently that 400,000 students are set to descend upon Universities this year in the UK. 400,000. If that stat is anywhere near accurate… actually, let’s make our own stats to be sure. 325 universities in the UK reports UCAS. Assume that they’re taking in 1,000 students each?
325,000 students entering education this year. This year. Blyk UK is on, what, 200,000 sign-ups? (We don’t know the exact regular user figures as these, wisely, aren’t public knowledge).
If we do a ready-reckoner back-of-fag-packet calculation and assume that from this 325,000 figure, there are 200,000 16 year olds in the country, 200,000 17 year olds and so on.. Blyk are targeting 16-24 year olds so that’s 8 (or 9, depending on how you look at it) different age groups.
8 x 200,000 = 1.6 million students ‘in’ or just left education. They’re the easy ones. They’re the ones you can easily target with your university street-teams.
There must be, what, 2, 3 or 4 million 16-24s in the country?
200,000 sign-ups sends you a message that the Blyk concept is sort-of interesting. It’s got the attention of SOME.
But the rest? Well if they’re not signed-up now… Surely most folk are aware of the ‘free but not really’ ad-based mobile service?
How many of them are doing what our old BlykWatch correspondent, Ricky, was doing and just staying with a mainstream operator? Ricky was actually a Blyk ‘customer’ — he used their service, but only up until his paltry 43 minutes (“it’s what our research says our audience use”) and his 200-and-something text messages are used up. But his primary number? T-Mobile. Like the vast majority of the youth.
Blyk wasn’t attractive enough for Ricky to swap to them, to make them his primary service provider. How many other of the register Blyk users are doing the same? And how many have looked at the concept, smiled and continued to pay for their service?
Anyway back to Belgium. It’ll be interesting to see what Eric Samson, the new CEO, makes of Blyk Belgium.
Here’s a little bit more details about Eric:
Eric Samson will oversee Blyk’s official entry into the Belgian market, expected in the first half of 2009, and will be responsible for the overall strategic direction for Blyk in Belgium. In cooperation with Blyk’s Chief Operating Officer Leif FÃƒÂ¥gelstedt, Samson will also lead Blyk’s day-to-day operations.
Prior to joining Blyk, Eric Samson was Managing Director of leading media agency Carat Belgium. His responsibilities included management of the agency and its more than 50 employees as well as the strategic client counsel.
Commenting on Samson’s appointment, Blyk’s Co-founder and global CEO Pekka Ala-PietilÃƒÂ¤ said: “Eric Samson has almost 20 years of relevant experience. His know-how within advertising and new media is an important asset and added value for an innovative company like Blyk. We are very delighted to have Eric on board.”