This post is made as a Malaysian citizen.
Two Malaysian tech startups, Advertlets.com & RedesignMalaysia.com declare war on bad broadband services, and provide marketing & advertising ammunition to competing ISPs.
Kuala Lumpur, 16 April 2007.
Advertlets.com, an online blog advertising network and RedesignMalaysia.com, a website which campaigns for broadband reform and improvement in Malaysia have launched the “Malaysia Deserves Better Broadband!” campaign.
To mark the launch of the campaign, an innovative advertising system has been created that allows local ISPs to target and advertise their services to verified users of competing broadband services – to more than 50,000 Malaysian Internet users a day.
The launch of the “Malaysia Deserves Better Broadband!” campaign is timely, as it is an avenue to drive the nation to get closer to achieving the target of 50% household broadband penetration by the year 2008, an aim of the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry and the Government through the MyICMS 886 Plan. Currently, the broadband penetration rate in Malaysia is only about 3-5% of the population.
The advertising system is distributed over hundreds of Malaysian blogs, under the Advertlets blog advertising network. Each computer accessing the internet has a unique IP (Internet Protocol) address, which can be used to identify the geographic location of visitors as well as determine what internet service provider they are using (Each ISP is allocated a certain range of IP adresses).
The system, which consists of an embedded advertising code on blogs and a sophisticated backend, then uses its database of IP addresses in Malaysia, and matches each IP to the appropriate Malaysian ISP (Internet Service Provider) to display relevant advertising. For example, if ISP X wanted to reach customers of ISP Y, they could choose to advertise with Advertlets, and the advertisements for ISP X would only be shown to those who are using ISP Y’s services.
Currently, the system can detect virtually every ISP in Malaysia : including TM Net, DiGi Internet Exchange, NasionCom, MaxisNet, Airzed, Time Telekom, NTT MSC / Arc Net, Jaring / MIMOS (MIX), CNX Solutions, EB Technologies, Bizsurf, and more. There are further plans to upgrade the system to be able to detect the location of potential viewers, to be able to target users of a certain ISP in Kajang or Kelana Jaya for example.
Josh Lim, director of Josh Lim Ventures, which is responsible for both Advertlets.com and RedesignMalaysia.com has this to say : “A lot of consumers are not aware that there are more services than just the incumbent broadband provider (TM Streamyx), due to the fact that the broadband market here is largely occupied by them alone. From the feedback we have received, a lot of people are dissatisfied with the speed and service quality of the Streamyx service, however, many feel that there is no where else to go. TM spends millions on marketing its Streamyx broadband service through online, TV, radio, outdoor advertising and print media. “
Mr Lim goes on to say: “However, through targeted blog advertising, even with a budget of a few thousand ringgit, the smaller ISPs can compete fairly in promoting their services to online users over hundreds of Malaysian blogs, and foster greater competition in the arena. That’s the beauty of targeted advertising – it reaches directly to the people that matter, and maximizes your marketing budget. “
He explains what is holding competition in the broadband area here back, and how it can be better for consumers and ISPs: “Smaller ISPs find it hard to compete with a company with millions of dollars to spend in advertising, and it is hard for them to sustain their business without gathering a sufficient number of new subscribers. Blogs are emerging as a formidable new media outlet for information, and we feel it is a great opportunity for us to help bloggers earn extra side income, as well as help ISPs to deliver better broadband to them. It is a win-win situation for all.”
He cited the recent competition in the prepaid mobile sector between Maxis Hotlink, Digi Prepaid and Celcom Xpax as a positive turn of events that has benefited consumers in terms of reduced prices and better services.
He says: “Malaysia cannot grow further as an IT hub without having better broadband services. We aim to spur competition in the broadband sector through providing this service, and start an ‘arms race’ that will benefit the consumers. We would love to see ISPs here compete to outdo each other in offering more coverage, better services and lower rates, as this is highly beneficial for consumers”.
Internet Service Providers who are interested in targeted blog advertising of their services in this manner are invited to check out www.advertlets.com for more information, or e-mail email@example.com . Alternatively, they may contact Josh Lim Ventures through telephone at: 03-78049282, or by mobile at 0123119141.
Launched symbolically on 31st August 2006, www.RedesignMalaysia.com is a private sector initiative that aims to improve the sorry state of broadband services here. It is the “ultimate initiative on broadband issues” in Malaysia, an independent project to educate consumers about the broadband situation in Malaysia. It features news on broadband related developments interactive coverage map detailing broadband options throughout the nation as well as a list of ISPs available in Malaysia. The website has been featured, and its founder, Josh Lim has been interviewed on The Breakfast Show on NTV7, as well as the cover story of NetValue 2.0 in The Edge.
www.Advertlets.com is an Asian blog advertising network that launched on March 9th, 2007. Launched first in Malaysia, it has already signed up hundreds of bloggers, and currently, there are 1.4 million impressions available for advertising. Advertlets provides something truly unique to online advertising, through the use of blog demographics for individual blogs (Gender, Age Range, Profession), as well as targeted advertising which can be used to only target Malaysian visitors.
About Josh Lim Ventures
Josh Lim Ventures is the founding company behind RedesignMalaysia, Advertlets and Josh Lim & Associates. Believing in an interactive design style with substance, intelligence and an edge, they create impressive, highly functional websites incorporating rich-media technologies, with an aim on providing useful services to Malaysian internet users.
Previously, they have worked on projects for Proton, Cineleisure Damansara, The Manhattan Fish Market, Pernod Ricard (Chivas Regal & Martell V.S.O.P), The Malaysian Energy Commision as well as the websites for Malaysian celebrities Daniel Tan, Ferhad & Joanna Bessey.
Its principal, Josh Lim, a designer by training, is influential in the field of interactive design and the local tech industry, having co-founded doxob.com, a community for web designers as well as having been featured in The Star, Cleo Magazine, The Edge Malaysia & Singapore, TV3, Astro Ria & 8TV in relation to his work. He is also an active public speaker on the subjects of design and entrepreneurship, and last did a college speaking tour in conjunction with Nescafe Kickstart and MYC Magazine.