This week we slide to a parallel world that has the reputation of being the world’s number 1 country for generating SMS traffic, and the 3rd largest English speaking country in Asia . Welcome to The Philippines, which- by all accounts should be my home country, but sadly- I’m definitely more American than Filipino, so I can’t make that claim. In this world, I’d be labeled a “coconut” – i.e. brown on the outside, but white on the inside.
The Philippines mobile + wireless technology has leapfrogged traditional copper line (POTS) services, with prepaid mobile broadband the number one way most people access the internet. Based on current growth statistics, it is predicted that by 2012 – this country, along with Vietnam and Indonesia will account for 70% of the South East Asia’s internet users.
This parallel world offers some unique scenarios where- Yahoo has beat Google for the number one search engine slot and a home-grown quick service restaurant chain (Jollibee) emerged victorious over McDonald’s as the country’s largest and dominant QSR.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in this parallel world, working with Jollibee Foods Corporation (the company often called “McDonald’s of Asia“) to engineer several digital initiatives that will be kicked off the coming months. Each project will build on the premise of an integrated “digital ecosystem” which includes a worldwide in-store digital signage network, digital merchandisers, outdoor screens for the drive-thru, mobile, online and in-store e-commerce experiences. The core emphasis of these initiatives is to leverage a massive data warehouse that will be used to correlate, analyze customer purchase behaviors, monitor on-line dialogs for brand insights, and determine how these activities relate to the marketing campaigns launched on each digital platform.