Thursday, 5 March 2015

Why Mobile is no longer an option

This is the original english draft of my article in Adnews Brazil: 'Porque você deveria investir em mobile'

Why Mobile is no longer an option

The last 5 years have been the “year of mobile”.  And you might be skeptical towards trends
and guru’s predicting the next big thing, but when data speak, they speak loud and clear. Not
for you to ignore. Not if you own an business and want to be of any meaning in the next

With a smartphone penetration of up to 39% in 2014 and 40 million “multiscreen consumers”, the mobile reality of Brazil is very real. For the grand majority of these people, the mobile screen is also their first screen. They acces internet daily with it (72%) and 21% does so only through their mobile device. Just Imagine the millions of people that will never arrive at your desktop version. We have seen at the agency, and other data confirm, desktop visits drop this year. You don’t want to bet on a sinking ship.

Social Media addicts

Brazilians spent more time than anyone else IN THE WORLD online. We are  also hooked on
social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. With 71% of the cybernauts using
social networks, we do so much more than our neighbours.  These services are highly mobile
and growing fast. Try it yourself our ask your analytics guy: facebook traffic sliced per device
(desktop/mobile/tablet) and a year on year growth comparison. You will be a step closer to
understanding why mobile is a good run for your money.

Google Love

Google is going to great lenghts pushing mobile forward, all in the name of user friendliness
(or advertising inome? ). They do reward you if you follow the guidelines though, so might opt
to get along in your own interest.  A mobile friendly website is one of the few ranking factors
Google has openly promoted. From experience I know it does get you an advantage in organic
traffic. A “mobile friendly” site is now labeled accordingly  in the mobile search results. The
scary thing is, 2015 might be the year that Google actually starts ‘punishing’ non-mobile
friendly sites in the rankings. Again, then you would be on the wrong side of the equation.

Offline is also mobile

If up till now you thought all this only applies only to websites you are wrong. The beauty of
mobile is that it goes everywhere with us. That means in the shopping mall, at work or in the
bus. People are searching and active on social networks wherever they go. You can reach
these people at the right moment . Google Adwords already offers quite granular location
segmenting and of course integration with Google Maps. Facebook’s “Local Awareness ads,
which allows to target ads within a radius of your store, are expected to arrive this year in
Brazil. These are very exciting opportunities for store owners who want to attract more
people through their mobile phones.

An even more promising integration with the offline world is beacon technology. Beacon are
small devices that emit a bluetooth signal to nearby smartphones. If a person has your
apllication installed on their phone, you can send them personalized messages based on their
physical location, like for example somebody passing in front of your store could be notified of
a promotion going on inside the store.

So if you ask me, bet big on mobile in 2015!


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Sandboarding in Lima

Sandboarding in Lima

Though Lima boosts some incredible museums and beautiful parks in the Miraflores district, thrill seekers might prefer spending the day sandboarding in the desert hills surrounding the capital.

Typically sandboarding in Peru is practiced in the city of Ica, on the Huacachina Lagoon in particular, but that's 300km south of Lima and is too far for a day trip. Rafo Motta is the first one to offer sandboarding to tourists in Lima. He (or a taxi) picks you up in your hotel and after getting the (snow)board gear right, he drives you in his jeep to the hills behind Chilca, some 60 km out of the city.

The off-road ride is already a lot of fun and the landscape is beautiful, so that's already half won before you even start. If you don't know how to snowboard, Rafo will patiently teach you, if you do know...there's a jump! The 'secret' is to wax the board a lot and lean back like in powder snow.

The minimum you need should be around 4 hours but it's better to take the afternoon session and don't plan too much at night to have more boarding time.

In the 2-3 years since he started, he racked up some well deserved comments on Tripadvisor as well.

For Reservations and info about sandboarding in Lima, contact or check out the blog Sandboard Lima

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Google Adwords For Dummies @ HUB Curitiba

Curso Google Adwords Curitiba

 A little self promotion this time for a course I'm giving at Hub Curitiba about Google Adwords.
It will be a 2 hour interactive session on 22th of August, in Portuguese, for people who want to get started with the tool to promote their business, e-shop or app.

You pay as much as you can or whatever you think it's worth, so you have nothing to lose!


There's a lot of other exiting talks going on during the Festival HUB Escola so take a look on the site!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Truth is out there, Math Men

There's more Mad Men in us than we think, dear Math Men. Data might be overtaking the marketing space and out of nowhere data scientists, growth hackers and such pop-up, but let's not lose the essence here. Marketing is, and always has been, about people. Though the data might be giving priceless information, it's worthless without context.

I'm not saying this because I believe in brochures and cold calling, I am an analyst too, but meeting the people behind a business, feeling their products and understanding their motivations, often (heavily) influenced my interpretation of their data.

Segments don't exist, you know. We, marketeers, are inventing them to make our life's easier, but the reality is that we cannot capture this uniqueness in a KPI.

Let's life with that and go out there. Let's all be Don Drapers, let's all be Math Men.
You don't even have to choose.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Travel Impressions: Ilha do Mel

Ilha do Mel, or literally "The Honey Island", is a piece of paradise on the otherwise pretty ugly coastline of Parana (in Brazilian terms that is). It's located about 120 km from the capital, Curitiba, and therefore the perfect weekend getaway. Classified as "UNESCO Ecological Heritage" you won't find any motorised vehicle there, unless it's the boat that brings you there. Once upon a time you wouldn't even have electricity throughout the night.

Praia Grande - Ilha do Mel

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Werken in Brazilië, hoe gaat dat in zijn werk?


Bloed, zweet, 1000 stempels en stiekem een traantje heeft mij dit boekje gekost. Je kan het beschouwen als de 'green card' van Brazilië. Eindelijk mag ik werken in Brazilië. Evident is dat niet. Vandaar een kleine toelichting voor vrienden van de blog die hetzelfde zouden overwegen.

Werken in Brazilië

Friday, 17 January 2014

Vrienden voor het leven

Beste Vriend van de Blog,

Je herinnert het je misschien nog, die eerste post in 2008 aan jouw adres, met enthousiaste verhalen over mijn verblijf in Chennai. Gezien ik had getekend voor een job van 10u tot 18u en er slechts een computer beschikbaar was van 6u tot 14u, had ik het op een akkoordje gegooid, 10u tot 14u. Tijd zat om je te voorzien van sappige anekdotes en absurditeiten uit mijn rijkelijk onderhandelde vrije tijd.

Wel beste vriend, na jaren verwaarlozing. kruip ik nog eens in mijn pen. Niet alleen omdat openbaringen van 'nieuwe uitdagingen' en 'start-ups' een hoog hipster gehalte hebben, ook omdat er wel degelijk verandering op til is. Ik ben namelijk verhuisd naar Brazilië en dat levert, althans volgens mezelf, amusante posts op die kunnen concurreren met de vlaamse Buzzfeed Newsmonkey.

Verdenk me nu niet van een voorliefde voor BRIC landen. Het toeval waarin ik niet geloof wil enkel dat ik verliefd ben geworden op een meisje uit een BRIC land in een ander BRIC land. Ondoorgrondelijk zijn die wegen, beste vriend. Naar Rome leiden ze evenmin. Bovendien hebben 5 jaar Brussel en 3 jaar freelancen mij niet kunnen overtuigen van een rooskleurige ondernemerstoekomst in ons Belgenland. En dan vertrek je natuurlijk. Geen enkel intelligent persoon heeft mij dat trouwens afgeraden.

Vergeet nog even de halfnaakte samba danseressen op het strand. De vier winden hebben ons naar Curitiba geleid. Niet meteen een exotisch paradijs, maar wel de meest leefbare stad van Brazilië. De kleinst mogelijke aanpassing met Europa. Op voorhand gepland in de jaren '70 en veel subsidies gegeven aan internationale bedrijven, dat werpt vruchten af. "Arrogante en gesloten mensen" zeggen anderen over deze stad, "Antwerpen maar dan zonovergoten" denk ik. Alles is relatief.

Maar er zijn nog vaste waarden. Online marketing blijkt er hier ook één van te zijn. Twee welgemikte sollicitaties, 50% conversie en dan de lijdensweg naar een werkvisum. Ja, ga maar even wenen in de hoek als je denkt dat België ergens dichtbij "bureaucratisch" komt. Ik schrijf je nog 10 blogposts over de stempels die ik heb verzameld. Soit, ik wind me weer op.

Dit alles om te zeggen, beste vriend van de blog, dat we de draad weer kunnen oppikken om wat avonturen uit te wisselen. Laten we het een goed voornemen noemen. Curitiba is ook een gaststad van het aankomende WK. Ik zal jouw vriend ter plaatse zijn, afgesproken?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Movie tip: Fruitvale Station (2013)

Fruitvale Station is a movie produced by Forest Withaker, based on the true story of Oscar Grant and the fatal happenings on New Year's eve 2008/9 at Fruitvale station in Oakland, California.

I personally didn't know what happened there and found it a very moving, well-acted movie. Worth watching!

Moreover, I love the soundtrack!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

The Rise and Fall of the Ad Man

The Rise and Fall of the Ad Man is an interesting documentary from the BBC that puts the profession of marketeer in a historical perspective. Worth watching!

Travel Impressions of Curitiba

Central "Botanical Garden" Park

Ukrainian monument

Mosque in Curitiba

Praça do Japão

Praça do Gaucho, probably the first skatepark of Curitiba, since 1978
The Zoo might be a little far, but it's free!
The all-seeing eye of Niemeyer (Oscar Niemeyer Museum)

Haha, yeah Ray, the centre of Curitiba is funny
If the city is getting to you, go to Morretes (by train)

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Netshoes Click, The App that Recognizes Shoes

Netshoes,  online retailer of sports shoes and apparel in Brazil, launched today an app that recognizes shoes. When you take a picture of a shoe with the Netshoes Click app, it will search for the identical or similar shoes in the database. Of course with a handy link to immediately buy that great sneaker you just spotted on a hipster in your local coffee bar.

The app mainly recognizes the +5000 sneakers and sport shoes Netshoes sells and is meant to boost mobile sales from 5% to 10% of total revenue. Although Amazon previously had some go's at visual recognition apps, the company said it's a one of a kind in the current market.

I did a little test of the app and guess works!

The white All Star seemed like an easy one to me and the app did indeed easily spot it, with an exact match on n°1 and 3 very similar recommendations.

The DC also did well with a match on n°1, although I'm not sure why the other Gatsby 2 is on the last place instead of the second. As these shoes were out of stock, I was also not able to find them back when searching on their full website, which is a bit annoying.

The Nike Cortez is a doubtful case. The picture is taken while wearing the shoe which might make it more difficult to recognize, but they do have a female Nike Cortez on sale which is not featuring in the list. It did recommend grey nike shoes though,  so fair enough.

Fascinating technology, that will be refined "as more people use the service", their CTO said.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

A Magia de Escher

The exhibition "The Magic of Escher" is currently on display in the Oscar Niemayer museum in Curitiba, Brazil.

Besides 85 original works of the Dutch artist, it features some fun 'do it your self' mirror plays, a 3D movie and plenty of photo opportunities.

Worth a visit on a rainy day, entrance is R$ 6, until august 2013.

Friday, 7 June 2013

#streetart #curitiba

via Instagram

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Oiseau à la grise robe
dans l'enfers des villes
à mon regard tu te dérobes
tu es vraiment le plus agile

- Benoît Poelvoorde, in 'C'est Arrivé Près de Chez Vous'

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Django Unchained

Lang geleden dat ik nog zo enthousiast was over een film. De nieuwe van Tarantino, Django Unchained, is een pareltje dat je bijna 3 uur aan je stoel gekluisterd houd. Een Western, zoveel is zeker, maar ook grappig, brutaal en bloederig.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Major Lazer - Jah No Partial - shot at Pukkelpop

Major Lazer heeft wat Pukkelpop materiaal in zijn nieuwe clip gedraaid.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Helvetica - typeface of our times

Helvetica (2007) is a compelling documentary from Gary Huswit about the popular post-war typeface 'Helvetica' , designed to provide clear and neutral communication. It reached that goal so particularly well that it became a symbol of our times. Its widespread use on the other hand,  feeds the discussion about whether a typeface should have a personality on itself. A question well explored throughout the film.

An enteraining and witty documentary, not only for designers or type nerds.