Reflections from Singapore

Posted by Brad, Chief Explosion Officer

Last week I presented at the Innovative Branding and Marketing for Higher Education Conference over in Singapore. (You can find my slides and a video of the presentation at

I knew that mobile technology in Asia was a big deal, but until you see it with your own eyes… wow.  If you think the teenagers you know are on their phone a lot, you haven’t seen anything yet.  I also saw several neat marketing techniques integrated into mobile technology; for example, one girl pulled out her cell phone at McDonalds and had a text message coupon that she used for a discount.  Cell Phone/Accessories stores were on nearly every street corner. I did not see much about the iPhone 3G, there were plenty of Nokia products though.

At the conference, I learned more about social media usage in other areas.  The ~80 attendees came from 41 institutions and 11 countries, primarily SE Asia, UK and Australia.  I learned that in Hong Kong, social media usage is high, but Universities simply cannot reach out to students because of students are very introverted.  In many countries, elders don’t listen to or respect the opinion of those younger than them, so it’s hard to bring up the potential of using new media and online technology to recruit students.  In the UK, iTunes U is working well, and the primary driver for traffic is using video rather than a traditional podcast.

It was great to get a global view of some of the advances and hinderances that schools are dealing with, and definitely filled me with new ideas and new ways to use several tools that are out there.

Without a doubt, I can’t wait to see how mobile technology in the US continues to advance. I think we’re in for some pretty cool stuff both in the marketing and personal interaction areas.

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