From traditional, to web, to mobile
This week there were two main events related to the Internet and the digital world. The Webrazzi Summit 2013 took place at the Swiss Otel in Istanbul on Wednesday, and the Kristal Elma, which is the Cannes of Turkish advertising, and which started on Wednesday to continue until Sept. 27.
Webrazzi is by nature an Internet event, and there were lots of entrepreneurs and investors alongside technology firms. The amount of time and resources devoted to the digital world at the Kristal Elma surprised me, because by nature it is a TV-dominated milieu. However, digital advertisers were at the forefront of the first day, as the Internet Advertising Bureau announced that the Internet advertising had risen by 30 percent compared to last year and reached 541.8 million Turkish Liras.
Therefore, the traditional advertising firms are really curious about the digital guys, the madmen of the digital area. It is my personal idea that in the future there won’t be any divide between digital and traditional agencies. Every brand has to think about digital while trying to find the big idea for advertising their products. The rise of mobile advertising will increase the speed with which the traditional will become digital.
Meanwhile, Webrazzi, which has always been a web event, is itself becoming more involved with mobile. For example, the badges were designed for a mobile application called Blippar. This is a virtual reality application that turns physical materials into virtual platforms. Many of the attenders were keen to talk about mobile too, which shows me that advertising will soon follow the investors, and what we call digital will soon refer mostly to mobile.
Other important notes from the summits would be the emphasis on the possibilities of fast growth in digital transactions. Markofoni Founder Sina Afra underlined that the total digital transactions of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) only made up 1/100th of the whole. He said this figure was 20 percent in Britain and 16 percent in USA.
These types of numbers might justify Aslanoba Capital’s huge investments in the Internet industry. They have single handedly invested about $36 million in 30 firms in 2013 alone. This is huge news for Turkey, which shows how shallow the investor ecosystem in Turkey is. The founder of Alsanoba Capital, Hasan Aslanoba, said that “each year many investors invest hundreds of millions of dollars in hotels and nobody even hears about them, but when I invested more than $30 million it was all over the news. This is not good.”
Aslanoba’s success is very critical, as if he is successful many other traditional business people will also invest in Internet startups.