How PinPay Became a Game Changer in Lebanon’s Digital Landscape

Mobile technologies have changed the business landscape forever. They made product information ubiquitous and have pushed marketing experiences even further. Driven by faster connectivity and better-designed online spaces, mobile devices empower customers by creating digital environments accessible around the clock. Customers can now stream a movie, receive breaking news alerts, and settle banking bills through their smartphones. Given this unprecedented shift in market dynamics, Lebanese consumers have no choice but to embrace mobile commerce. Back in 2011, the Lebanese m-commerce market witnessed the launch of its first mobile payment app, PinPay. Since then, the app has established itself as the leader of its industry and has even paved the way to other similar services. But, how did PinPay eventually come to revolutionize m-commerce in Lebanon in a time where the mobile market is suffering from bad quality of network coverage, data and Internet services?

Hurdles to Mobile Penetration

Lebanon experienced an impressive growth in terms of ICT development in 2012. Following the substantial investments made back then, the Ministry of Telecommunication’s policy had plans to transform the country into a regional digital hub. Four years later, the mobile market remains far from performing at full capacity.

The Internet connection is evidently slow. Internet speed in Lebanon ranks 125th globally with an average of 3.19 Mb/s. That’s attributable to the limitations of the infrastructure currently in use, which is mostly made of copper allowing for a maximum speed of only 8 Mb/s. While Lebanese Internet users wait patiently for the $55 million fiber optic network to be switched on, Lebanon’s Global Competitiveness suffers, with inadequate infrastructure being one of the top problematic factors for doing business.

According to a report by BlomInvest Bank, the cost of accessing the Internet and the speed of the Internet are hurdles to the e-commerce industry in Lebanon. Though the Telecommunication Ministry has planned to slash prices of DSL services and increase service speed in June 2014, some analysts note that the cost of accessing the Internet in Lebanon is four times higher than other countries abroad.

Moreover, some 300 villages in the outskirts of Keserwan, Batroun, Nabatiyeh, and Bekaa still lack access. Rural areas in particular have experienced constant cuts to telecommunications services due to poor infrastructure, harsh weather conditions and electricity cuts.

These factors combined, resulted in a poor mobile penetration in Lebanon. It recorded a rate of 93% as opposed to the neighboring countries’ record of 133% (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority 2014).

Against All Odds

Despite these obstacles, PinPay, a mobile payment and bill aggregation platform in Lebanon thrived. It was able to successfully position itself as the most convenient tool to purchase services and pay different types of bills through its mobile application. Just think of the growing numbers of dual-career couples, single parents and elderly households with various resource constraints. This convenience mitigates to some extent, the relatively high mobile data fees and other costs associated with Internet access. Who would want to disrupt their work, search for a parking space and stand in a checkout line with a long queue to pay a bill?

PinPay has partnered with Bank Audi and Bank Med (5 more in the pipeline), along with the telecom duopolists, transportation services, media companies, educational institutions, along with many other professional services. According to PinPay’s CEO, Mr. Omar Badr, the scope of services gives PinPay more exposure and helps it overcome the challenges posed by user awareness and acceptance of mobile payment. Last year in August, PinPay had a total of 55,000 users, 40,000 of them are regularly active.

From transportation to grocery shopping, PinPay is designed to provide customers with seamless m-commerce experience anytime and anywhere.

Given its leading market position, high growth potential and devoted following of clients, PinPay attracted investments from Middle East Venture Partners, Audi Bank and Bankmed. Most recently, Fransabank announced that it would invest $2.5 million in PinPay, and stop operating the Simba mobile payment application. Fransabank’s $2.5 million stake will increase PinPay’s capital to LBP 13 billion ($8.6 million).

Business News said that five additional banks would join PinPay’s payment service before the end of 2016, further establishing the brand as the leading mobile payment gateway in Lebanon and the region.

Lebanon’s Online Users

According to the Pew Research Center (2015), 92% of Internet users or smartphone owners in Lebanon access the Internet on a daily basis, constituting the highest percentage among countries worldwide.

Age, education and income are three factors contributing to m-commerce readiness in Lebanon. The same source revealed that 90% of Lebanese who access the Internet occasionally or own a smartphone have a high education while only 34% of those with less education do so. Additionally, 92% of occasional Internet surfers or smartphone owners have a high income as opposed to 41% of their lower income peers. Finally, 89% of young people, particularly those between 18 and 34 years of age access the Internet occasionally or have a smartphone, while only 50% of users older than 35 do so.

These findings ring true with other insights published by State of Payments, which revealed that 35% of Lebanese m-commerce adopters are between 18 and 35. Interestingly, two other age groups recorded high adoption rates. Users between 36 and 40 years, along with those older than 51 years recorded 25% each. Additionally, respondents with high income recorded the highest m-commerce adoption rate.

Kicking Off a Cashless Trend

PinPay has undoubtedly played a role in shaping Lebanon’s digital landscape. The room for growth is exponential. Although the infrastructure is still underdeveloped in many areas, mobile has become an integral part of transacting online for many Lebanese users.

Source by Abdul-Rahman Alieh

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H Marshall Gardiner – Hand-Colored Photographs

H. Marshall Gardiner (1884-1942) was born on September 18, 1884 into a photographic family led by his father, W.H. Gardiner. Apparently some sources list his first name as “Harry“, other sources list him as “Henry“. Born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada his family immigrated to the United States circa 1890. Once the family was settled W.H. Gardiner opened two photographic studios, one in Detroit, Michigan during the winter months and a second at Mackinac Island, Michigan during the more tourist-oriented summer months. Recognizing the potential of Florida’s rapidly growing tourist trade, around 1894-95 H. Marshall Gardiner moved with his family from Detroit to Daytona, Florida which proved much more accommodating to the family’s photographic business during the colder winter months.

H. Marshall Gardiner learned many of his photographic techniques from his father prior to going out on his own at a relatively early age. Whereas his father generally used wet collodian negatives, technology had advanced to where H. Marshall Gardiner was able to use gelatin dry plates in his earlier years. And in the later years he was able to utilize the less expensive and much more convenient roll film.

Another very important lesson Gardiner learned from his father was that one of the keys to operating a successful photographic business was to set up shop in a tourist resort. Early in his career Gardiner traveled to Bermuda. There he shot a series of beautiful Bermuda scenes that he hand-colored and sold to the Bermuda tourist trade. Sold there over a considerable period of time, these Bermuda scenes provided a nice revenue stream as the years went on. They proved so popular that we have even seen some with pre-printed (vs. hand-signed) signatures suggesting a significant-enough sales volume to justify the considerable expense of pre-printing mats.

Around 1910 he first traveled to the island of Nantucket, just off the coastline of Massachusetts’s Cape Cod. He was around 26 at the time and the year-round population of Nantucket was just over 2500, not nearly enough to sustain a photographic business for the entire year. On Nantucket Gardiner opened a joint Photography and Art Supplies Store. Working as Nantucket’s exclusive agent for Eastman Kodak, his business expanded to include the island’s only photo-finishing service. However, with such a small year-round population, even the addition of a Gift Shop to compliment the hand-painted photographs, general portrait & photographic services, and art supplies couldn’t sustain him on Nantucket year round.

So during the winter months he helped with the family’s photographic businesses in Daytona and Mackinac Island. And upon his father’s death in 1935, Gardiner took over the family business in Daytona on a full-time basis.

H. Marshall Gardiner was married twice. His first marriage was to a Nantucket “Macy” who was a descendant of one of the founding families of Nantucket. She died after eight years of marriage and he then married Bertha Coffin Chase, a descendant of another Nantucket founding family.

H. Marshall Gardiner’s hand-painted photographs are very similar to those by Wallace Nutting and the other leading New England photographers. That is, most are matted, usually on white mat board having a platemark indentation around the image, signed “H. Marshall Gardiner” lower right beneath the image, and titled lower left beneath the image. And most are framed in thinner frames, also in the style of Wallace Nutting.

From the perspective of a hand-colored photography collector H. Marshall Gardiner produced works in three primary locations…NantucketFlorida…and Bermuda. And the desirability of Gardiner’s work with collectors generally ranks in that order.

H. Marshall Gardiner’s Nantucket hand-painted photographs are undoubtedly his most desirable works. Money generally lives on Nantucket and both full-time and part-time residents, as well as visitors and tourists, love to collect Gardiner’s hand-painted Nantucket photographs. Scenes with buildings and people are often the most desirable. Seascapes and location-specific Exterior scenes are also highly collectible. His more generic Exterior scenes are probably the least collectible of his various Nantucket views. Although for a short period of time around 2000-2002 prices were topping $1,000 for the rarest Nantucket scenes in the best condition, the high-end market has softened somewhat and today the better Gardiner Nantucket scenes will more commonly bring in the $250-$500 range. Apparently the Gardiner Nantucket market on eBay was driven by only a small handful of collectors and, once they either acquired a desired title or dropped out of the market, top prices started to fall back into line. More common Nantucket titles and those in damaged condition can bring considerably less.

Gardiner’s Florida hand-painted photographs are becoming increasing collectible to both hand-painted photography collectors as well as general-line Florida collectors. Most of Gardiner’s Florida scenes are more generic (palms, coastlines, hanging moss, streams, sand, etc.). Location-specific pictures will generally bring stronger prices than will the more generic Florida scenes and you can typically expect Gardiner’s Florida hand-colored photos to bring in the $100-$250 range.

And his Bermuda scenes, although the least collectible of the three primary Gardiner categories, are still highly prized by collectors. However, since we have seen fewer “Bermuda” collectors than “Florida” or “Nantucket” collectors, prices for Bermuda scenes will generally run $75-$150 at our Auctions.

Gardiner’s postcards are also widely collected. Unlike his hand-painted photographs which can command a premium price today, his Nantucket postcards are much easier to locate and are much more affordable. And if you like the photography of H. Marshall Gardiner, you will be able to find considerably more views in postcards than in hand-colored photographs. Most of Gardiner’s postcards were produced by the Detroit Publishing Company using their “Phostint” patented printing process. Although some B&W postcards may be found, his most popular and numerous postcards are color. Generally H. Marshall Gardiner postcards will bring $2.50-$10.00 each although certain ones may bring somewhat higher prices.

H. Marshall Gardiner died on December 4, 1942 and is buried on his beloved Nantucket

RECOMMENDED READING: For further information on H. Marshall Gardiner we would refer you to a book by his daughter, Geraldine Gardiner Salisbury titled H. Marshall Gardiner’s Nantucket Postcards: 1910-1940.

Source by Michael Ivankovich

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Successful Film Marketing Strategies

“It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it”.

— Roger Ebert

Unlike any other art, Films have a much greater impact on human’s mental consciousness. It holds the capability to impose an emotional instability in human minds. This is why it is said that movie making is more about observing and imagining. Now in this century, Filmmaking is not just about the script, screenplay and all. It comprises of lot many other factors. In Fact, a successful film promotion is merely about the Film marketing strategies related to that.

So, what is film marketing?

Many of us believe that the success of a film is all about how well it run in theaters.Well, I would say, Film marketing is all about driving the desired audience unto the theaters. Sometimes called film junket or press junket, Film marketing consists of various elements such as press releases, advertising, interviews, media involvements and most prominently Social Medias nowadays.

It’s no longer about Television, Print, and Outdoor

This is more like an enlightenment for every filmmaker these days. Back then, an efficient Film marketing strategy was all about the television, prints and all. But now it has changed, because, in order to reach the audience you need to find them at first. Today, it’s all about the internet.You need to find more people, you better go online, as simple as that.

Film Marketing strategies went digital

Well, it’s not a big surprise factor that film industries have adopted Digital Marketing techniques as a part of well structured Film Marketing Strategies. In fact, movie studios are moving beyond the typical techniques such as teasers, trailers and lot more by conducting Google hangouts with the crew, live streaming music launches, contests and so on.And the most interesting fact is that the spend on Film marketing Digital strategies has risen enormously these years.

I believe there are three major stages in a successful film marketing strategy, introducing, interacting and involving. Digital Media has involvement in all these three stages, great involvement indeed.

Search engine optimization for an effective film marketing strategies

Search engine optimization as an overall term for all the works and efforts we are investing on to the promotion of any services/products are not negligible. Unlike any other Digital marketing campaigns, Film marketing deserves more conviction as well as perception, even in its promotional campaigns.There are so many factors involved in this ranging from keywords to social media.

How Social media influence the way movies are marketed?

As a part of Digital marketing strategy, Social media has become one of the ‘behind the change’ reason, as films can gain a huge amount of buzz through it. It means, there is no longer need to rely on official reviews and adverts to know about the latest releases. Here is a quick review of few film marketing strategies in relation to social media.

Leaked images- Even though this seems to be an outdated technique, it still works. This kind of techniques is used probably for the promotion of superhero movies. The theory behind this tactic is that the movie producers will generate some excitement, years before the release of their films through leaked images. As the images would not reveal much more about the movie and characters, yet will definitely create a huge amount of online publicity and chatter.

Visual micro content- This is more like an emotional way of marketing, I would say. A movie called ‘If I stay’ recently implement this film marketing idea very successfully. The initial step towards this kind of campaign is always targeting the right social media platforms. And then generating visual micro content suitable for the platform. Sharing the banners, posting the behind the scenes pictures are also effective.

Content marketing campaign- Content is always effective and it’s definite that it will bring some results to you. Once again it is more related to social media channels. Even if a film marketing strategy is all about the kind of film to which we are dealing with, content is always helpful. One can also try local news stations, discussion boards and more along with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and so.

Video marketing- Very familiar, much effective, this is how one could interpret the role of video marketing Film marketing strategies. No matter what, we are ready to take chances on some products that we have not seen or tested properly, this is why the trailers are significant. It gives an initial impression and it’s a proven success. And I recommend seeing your trailer video initially through your official website, which obviously allows the audience to make more interaction through your social media mediums.

Social competitions and quizzes- It will become a huge disaster if you believe that the introduction part is enough.The fact is that you will miss the entire party. Interaction is very significant especially when coming to Film marketing. It may not be the most innovative thing you can do to improve the engagement but it can very effective at times.

Persona marketing- Your film will certainly have some interesting character that the audience could connect with in one way or another.Lot many Film marketing campaigns have already played on the audience’s emotions for particular fictional characters by developing a persona around those characters on social media. A Perfect example for this is the Ted character in the Twitter. With almost 7 lakh followers, Ted began posting some funny comments which in fact brought some unexpected results.

Alternate reality games- A slightly more complicated and deep Film marketing strategy is Alternate reality games (ARGs). This develops a fictional world that the users in the real world may interact with by using online communities. ARGs is a wonderful way to get your movie audiences involved and thereby creating ‘brand loyalty.

Make use of memes and other UGC Forms- This is more like a mutual beneficial Film marketing strategy. Memes are offering a great marketing opportunity, in such a way that your audience will create some highly shareable content that conclusively benefits your Film promotional strategies. The benefit of using memes is that they are easily customizable as well as quick to produce. Yet another possible strategy is to use caption contests, fan art or any other effective user-generated content tactics.

Google AdWords for the more targeted outcome- Each day, millions and millions of movie related searches are made in Google. I would say, the quickest way to reach those people is always Google AdWords.Even if it is not much of a cost effective way, it definitely is an option for those who care about reaching more targeted audiences.

Final thoughts

How powerful the visual media is or How much impact it can impose on humanity? The answer to his question is always about how well it reach the people. And Film marketing or Movie promotion is the beacon that leads to this destination.


Team eetti

Source by Edward White

Top 10 Internet Marketing Tips for Beginners

In this article I’m going to give you 10 simple but effective internet marketing tips and also some useful resources to go along with these.

1. Make a YouTube channel

A YouTube channel is not only very easy to make but also easy to manage. According to most internet marketers, video is the future of traffic as it continues to grow at a rapid pace year after year. So if you are not into blogging yet, you may begin your internet marketing journey by opening a YouTube channel. Additionally, you can repurpose things to your blog from your YouTube channel when your blog is up and running.

2. Build social media presence

Facebook alone has over one billion active monthly users and other social media such as Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest have hundreds of millions of users as well. Social media allow you to connect with your target audience on a whole new level.

3. Create your personal blog/website

As an internet marketer, you should have a blog or website of your own. You need it because it gets you targeted traffic and allows you to build your brand. Above all, it helps people find you in search engines.

4. Keep track of your numbers

Setup Google Analytics for your blog. It will allow you to know which contents are doing well and which ones are doing poorly.

5. Email marketing

Setup email marketing campaign right before your site goes live. Start collecting emails right away. You can offer some freebies so that people are encouraged to sign up to your newsletter. There are a number of companies available on the web that offer both free and paid email marketing services to website owners. Some popular email marketing service providers are Aweber, Mailchimp, Convertkit, Constant Contact etc.

6. Start podcasting

A podcast show is just like your own little radio show. You can use various platforms to host and stream your podcast files. Sites like Apple iTunes, Libsyn, Podbean, SoundCloud etc. offer podcast hosting services. You can also use that offers podcast hosting for free (unlimited disk space and bandwidth).

7. Content redistribution

Learn how you can repurpose your existing contents and redistribute them on sites like LinkedIn Pulse, Ezine Articles, Hub Pages, Medium and other authority sites. Also post alternative versions of your YouTube videos to other streaming sites such as Dailymotion, Vimeo etc. Turn your videos into slideshow using MS PowerPoint and then share them on SlideShare.

8. Help people solve their problems

Create accounts on Quora and Yahoo Answers. Find out questions that are related to your niche. Try to answer questions and mention your website/brand name in your answers if relevant.

9. Advertise on Facebook and Google AdWords

In most cases, Facebook advertising is cheaper than Google AdWords. Facebook also provides more in-depth ad targeting options. So try to make the most out of Facebook ad by targeting user group more precisely and effectively.

10. Outsource some of your workload

Internet marketing job actually involves various types of tasks e.g. writing, video making, website and content management, reputation management, link building etc. You may hire freelancers from sites like Upwork, Freelancer or PeoplePerHour to do some of these tasks for you. It will help you grow and expand your business more quickly.

Source by Saidur Rahman