News and Events

News and Events

Greg Wester of Mobile Posse on the Future of Home Screen Marketing

Original Article from The Makegood

Greg Wester is EVP, Sales of Mobile Posse, which provides software and services used to create and monetize best-in-class home and lock screen experiences combining mobile content, messaging and advertising. Mobile Posse is the first company to commercially launch graphically interactive home screen experiences in North America, and Gregory has been working there for almost 3 years. The Makegood recently spoke with Gregory about home scree marketing and why it is the last “beach front real estate,” of mobile advertising.

The Makegood: You just released your survey findings from, “The Ultimate Guide to the Next Big Wave in Mobile: The Home Screen.” Can you expand upon how this survey came together ad what steps it took to pull off?

It really came about through a set conversations involving Nielsen Research and Phoenix Marketing International…both leaders in their respective research domains. What became very clear was that that while the number of entrants with home screen “solutions” was soaring, no one – that’s right – no one, had pulled together or truly sought out to have industry-leading insights into this thing called the home screen and lock screen. It was that dearth that spawned the creation of this research report series. To do this report “right” we had to pull together passive meter data, online survey data and an assessment of current providers.

The Makegood: The report refers to the home screen as the last “beach front real estate” of mobile. What do you mean by that?

Sure, we use the real estate metaphor because it speaks to the raw undeveloped state of the 3″ by 5″ physical real estate of the mobile device. The battle for the mobile web was waged years ago. The battle over the app economy is being covered quite transparently in the media. But the battle of the home screen is really just starting. Think about it, how is it possible that with such “smart” phones, our home and lock screens remain, well… for the most part, dumb and static. This won’t be the case in five years. No way. You might convince me that Mobile Posse doesn’t have the best platform (note: I doubt it), but you can’t convince me that our home screens aren’t in for radical enhancements.

The Makegood: Your company delivers, “the highest mobile engagement rates in the industry [b]y respecting consumers, and serving relevant messages during ‘found time’ only.” Can you explain how you strike the balance between home screen ads that are invasive and those that are relevant and wanted?

The home screen is no different than anything else. Give the consumer great, convenient and easy-to-use digital content and there’s going to be a way to incorporate advertising. The trick is to put the consumer first. Honestly, traditional push notifications don’t put the consumer first. Either they interrupt you (that’s bad) or the notification from your wife, the missed text from your boss, and the reminder to buy milk all get weighted equally and get shoved into the same place (that’s bad, too). There’s insufficient value exchange to run advertising in those notifications. Give the user what they want, in exciting interactive formats, delivered when they’re doing nothing else, and not only will they tolerate it, but they’ll disproportionately engage with it as well.

The Makegood: What are some things that emerged in the survey that surprised you? And what didn’t surprise you?

Well, answering the second question first, it didn’t surprise me that consumers pick up their phones and look at their home screens so often. It was great to have that confirmed by so many sources, but we had seen some similar figures before. On the other hand, here are three things I was surprised about: 1) The number of companies that jumped into the home screen market this year. Recon Analytics did a timeline as part of the report, and the home screen literally exploded this year; 2) “Found Time” was so impactful – the research showed that people pick up their phones twice as often “just because” rather than to do a specific known task; 3) I expected to see home screen usage vary a lot more across different mobile segments… it did, but I was surprised that heavy gamers, heavy facebookers, etc. all had fairly similar home screen behaviors.

The Makegood: Now that this survey has been released, how do you plan to take over this “beach front real estate,” in the immediate future?

We’ve been quite fortunate with our success to date. We currently deliver more custom home screen messages than any provider in the space. Our goal is to continue that growth by customizing our Active Home Screen platform for more and more specific applications. We’re quite excited about marketplace reactions so far and hope to do some great development on some great beaches.

News and Events

Mobile Posse and Phoenix Marketing International Issue First Comprehensive Guide to the Mobile Home Screen at APPNATION

Original Article from Yahoo! Finance

MCLEAN, VA–(Marketwired – Dec 3, 2013) – Mobile Posse, the leading provider of mobile home and lock screen messaging experiences, today announced that they’ve released “The Ultimate Guide to the Next Big Wave in Mobile: The Home Screen,” in conjunction with Phoenix Marketing International at APPNATION V, and they will be presenting the findings at the conference on December 3, 2013 at 12:15 PT. The report includes research findings on why the home screen is valuable and the opportunity it affords wireless carriers, handset OEMs, app developers and advertisers.

Along with primary research from both Phoenix Marketing International and Mobile Posse, the report organizes existing and custom home screen-specific research from Nielsen, Arbitron Mobile, Lumi Mobile and others into one comprehensive report. Phoenix Marketing International utilized its well-established Consumer Convergence 360 online platform to survey 1,000 smartphone users about their mobile behavior, home screen usage and future desires. This will be the first in a series of three reports produced by Mobile Posse, which all focus on the mobile home screen opportunity.

The research is supported by the experience and insights Mobile Posse has accrued in powering home screen experiences for seven of the nation’s wireless carriers, two out of three of the big three, the largest retailers, the largest CPG brands and more. Mobile Posse is also the only home screen platform installed on nine OEMs, six O/Ss, and more than 400 device models. In fact, in conjunction with the release, Mobile Posse announced its Active Home Screen platform has now served over 40 billion home screen experiences.

“Brands and marketers are wisely realizing that their customers are spending more and more time on their mobile home screens,” said Jon Jackson, CEO of Mobile Posse. “In fact, Nielsen reports that 26 percent of time spent on mobile phones involves interacting with the OS’ home screen — making it the area of the device where users spend the most time overall. Leveraging the mobile home screen allows your brand to be front and center for user engagement and our report dictates just how valuable this real estate is.”

By using Mobile Posse’s Active Home Screen SDK, app publishers, carriers, OEMs and advertisers can build relationships with mobile users by engaging with them on their home screens in ways that are respectful and meaningful. The benefit for consumers is simplicity and convenience. With the Active Home Screen SDK, home screen app messaging and experiences can bring useful and beneficial information directly to the consumer, surfacing the things a given user cares about most based on demographics, expressed interest and derived interests.

“Various players in the mobile ecosystem are starting to recognize the value of home screen and capitalize on it,” noted John Schiela, president at Phoenix Marketing International. “The mobile home screen will be a critical battle. Carriers, OTT players and OEMs should all look closely at this and upcoming research to make sure they don’t lose out on this huge opportunity.”

Key conclusions from the work include:

  • The race for the home screen is accelerating. While in its early days, the cadence of key announcements is accelerating as more and more key players begin to make their moves.
  • “Fear of missing something” (FOMS) and “found time” are the key drivers to when and how consumers pick up and engage with their mobile phones, and these two factors strongly support the evolution of an “active” home screen.
  • The opportunity is huge for an active home screen. The most highly profitable customers — those spending the most time in mobile, those seeing the most ads, those spending the most on games — are even more interested in an active home screen solution.
  • New home screen solutions are showing great value, but must be done well to engage users.
    To download the report, please visit:


About Phoenix Marketing International:

Phoenix Marketing International is a premier global marketing services firm providing its clients with tailored, unique insight into their customers and markets via a wealth of existing proprietary data. Coupled with custom research products and the latest qualitative and quantitative techniques, Phoenix has extensive research experience across the Automotive, Financial Services, Healthcare, Converged Technology and Media, Restaurant, and Travel/Leisure sectors. From the strategic definition of consumer needs to effective marketing program implementation, PMI provides profit-driven market solutions and is committed to maximizing a client’s Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) by leveraging the ability to attract and retain new business through cost efficient data acquisition and statistical modeling techniques. Founded in 1999 by Chairman and CEO, Allen R. DeCotiis and Chief Research Officer Martha Rea, Phoenix Marketing International has established its global presence with offices in major locations such as New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Detroit, and London.

Media Contact

Brook Terran
Blast PR on behalf of Mobile Posse
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News and Events

New Phones to Retain Customers? Aren’t There Other Ways to Engender a Little Loyalty?

Original Article from Wireless Week

OK. I got your attention. I’m not going to suggest that handset subsidies go the way of the dodo. THey work. I will say that there are additional things – simple things, inexpensive things an operator could do to inspire loyalty. Giving away free smartphones just seems a bit excessive, given the other options.

Why bring this up now? MediaPost recently reported that wireless carriers are offering new handsets to mobile customers that want to upgrade devices more frequently – despite the fact that this is a relatively small audience segment. Upgrades are appealing, but there are more efficient or at least cost effective ways for mobile carriers to build better relationships with their customer base. For example, invest more in customer care and less on advertising – that would be a powerful step toward building lifetime customers. But the fact is, carriers do very little to build relationships today. The budget seems to go disproportionately to the top of funnel – and to free handsets – for both new and end-of-contract subscribers, rather than engaging current customers.

But this isn’t the only mistake that wireless carriers are making. Wireless carriers are delivering messaging on a customer’s bill and occasionally texting them with the expectation that these actions build relationships. These are transactional messages and customers tend to open them with the intent to pay a bill, not shop for a new service. In addition, many customers have auto payments, so they don’t even open these letters or emails. It is a waste of time for carriers to try to send a marketing message or build a relationship through these channels.

Wireless carriers are also not maximizing the potential of apps. App marketing offers mobile wireless carriers potential, but most carriers are taking these apps for granted. A big mistake that wireless carriers make is to assume that customers are using every aspect of their self-service app. Most consumers don’t use these apps for anything other than checking their balance and perhaps paying their bill. A small number might actually add a bundle of text messages to their plan. Wireless carriers need to leverage the data that they have to create relevant, helpful messages that will resonate with subscribers.

The entire buzz is around apps versus the mobile site, but what about something as ubiquitous as the home screen? This home screen economy offers carriers a great opportunity to build an intimate relationship with customers. Wireless carriers are in a unique position to be able to communicate with customers directly where they spend hours a day – on their phones. Carriers can use the home and lock screen as a medium to deliver relevant messages to customers. Think about it. A consumer uses their phone many times throughout the day and every time they pick up their phone they interact with the home screen. This real estate offers carriers a unique platform to deliver mobile content and messaging.

Wireless companies make huge investments on airwaves and this infrastructure offers a great marketing opportunity to help build loyalty among existing customers. The carriers can use the airwaves to deliver exclusive content to customers, which can help increase satisfaction and loyalty. The customer is always on their device. This is the perfect platform for the wireless carrier to build and nurture a good connection with these customers on an ongoing basis.

While the home screen offers wireless carriers an intimate and direct way to build connections with customers, it should be done with some savvy. The most important thing to remember is that the goal is to drive loyalty – not annoy customers. The truth is that some customers prefer a lot of communication from their carrier and others choose to limit their engagement. The key is having intrinsic measurements of those customer desires and enabling a platform that takes them into account.

The true key is delivering relevant content and data-driven stories, which will draw customers in. For instance, a customer that often makes international calls, yet hasn’t signed up for an international calling plan, will probably appreciate a home screen message explaining how much money they could save by signing up for the calling program. The message should make it easy for the customer to sign up for the service. Sending a relevant message, at a time when a customer has their phone top of mind, gives wireless carriers a unique and obvious way to connect with existing customers and help build relationships.

Using the home screen is also a great way for carriers to learn more about their subscribers and build a more robust data profile on customers. This, in turn, will help carriers deliver more relevant offers and messaging. Carriers don’t have user-level data beyond the mobile account holder. For example, if users have a family plan, the carrier will have only one contact. By offering content through the home screen carriers are given the opportunity to require individual users to opt in and share personal data, which can be harvested for insightful marketing.

For carriers it is more important to reduce the cost of customer care than it is to spend money on advertising. Using the home screen as a platform to communicate directly with customers not only helps build loyal relationships, it can also help carriers proactively reduce costs. The home screen offers carriers a chance to build an ongoing relationship day in and day out with customers, an ideal situation for creating lasting conversations. Offering a free handset is a nice perk, but it is just not as economical or effective for building customer relationships as home screen messaging can be.

News and Events

MMW Op-Ed: Extend Your Showroom with the Mobile Home Screen

Original Article from Mobile Marketing Watch

The following is a guest contributed post from Jon Jackson, CEO of Mobile Posse

When a customer leaves the wireless store with their new smartphone in hand, that’s where the customer/carrier conversation typically ends in most cases. Communication from that point on is usually limited to direct mail bills, emailed bills, and perhaps the occasional chat with customer service or support.

That shouldn’t be how it goes — carriers spend too many dollars and man-hours acquiring new customers to let their efforts not get the maximum benefit. By letting them walk out of the showroom door with a device and a plan – rarely, if ever, to be heard from again – is a misuse of much of that investment. (Let’s face it: the monthly bill is not the most effective vehicle for friendly communication.) Carriers are missing out on myriad opportunities to add onto plans, offer additional accessories like car chargers or headsets, and inform subscribers of other promotions – offers that would typically be made in a store setting.

Carriers have a tremendous opportunity to extend their showroom to the mobile device they’ve just sold, and more importantly, to build a one-to-one relationship with their new customer.

Many carriers attempt to facilitate this type of relationship via their self-service app, their website, and through the occasional text or email. These channels work to some extent, but there are some problems with these methods: first, most users only go to the self-service app to pay their bills or quickly add on travel or text packages. Subscriber trips to the website are similarly purpose-driven. They’re looking to pay or fix something, not to browse and purchase. Finally, the problem with texts and emails is that they’re often reactive rather than proactive, and often more about carrier news than customer needs.

The home screen and lock screen represent the best opportunity carriers have to reach consumers in a relevant, single-share-of-voice kind of way. The fact is, mobile users see their home screen/lock screen more often than anything else on their phone. It’s the place they check for notifications of missed calls, new email, and texts. For most users, it’s how they check the time and the weather. For many, it’s become a real-life management dashboard. And yet, so few wireless carriers take advantage of their opportunity to reach their subscribers via this frequently viewed screen.

Carriers have access to unprecedented amounts of subscriber and handset data that can very effectively be put to use on the home screen. For example, a practical use-case might include an upsell: if a subscriber has left their home area, carriers can surface a message for a money-saving travel package. The call to action on such a message can drive the user to either call customer service or visit their self-service app to quickly add a package. Another example would be a user, who frequently exceeds their SMS limits each month, might receive a home screen offer for a better-fitting texting package. Similarly, carriers can offer new batteries or even handset upgrades at competitive prices at opportune times during the customer lifecycle. Even messages as simpe as: “thank you for your business,” sent to a customer on their anniversary date go a long way. Messages like this not only benefit the carrier, they offer value to the subscriber and begin to build a relationship and help to reduce churn. All subscribers will be happy to save money, and will appreciate an offer that is so relevant to their current needs.

Ultimately, home screen messaging can help carriers drive incremental business in ways that require minimal human resources and scale easily. By placing the offer on the most-viewed handset screen, carriers can reach their subscribers with rich, relevant messages. Calls to action, as mentioned, can include click-to-call, but can also drive users to mobile websites and self-service apps to keep costs down and profits up. With relevant, timely, and helpful messages, the home screen will prove to be a profitable mobile extension to the showroom floor.

News and Events

Why the Home Screen Delivers More Than User-Installed Apps

Original Article from Myers Media Business Network

By Jon Jackson

Let’s consider for a moment, four unseemingly related data points from the mobile ecosystem:

  • A recent study by Nielsen mobile shows that we spend 26 percent of our time on mobile devices interacting with its home screen
  • Research done by Flurry shows that, unlike TV or Tablets, use of mobile is more constant throughout the day
  • Findings from Arbitron showed that Mobile Posse’s home screen application inspired more sessions per month (88.1) than even Facebook’s app (73.8) and Gmail’s (44.3)
  • The chief research officer of Time Inc., who labels use of mobile phones as “found time” recently was quoted as saying, “Smartphones, no matter how app-filled and multimedia they are, are still generally used outside the home and for very specific, pragmatic functions, usually in short bursts of time
    Are these really all that unrelated? I’d suggest that they aren’t. It’s likely that they’re all very closely linked.

Obviously, they’re all related to mobile handset usage, but beyond that, they’re related to how consumers use their mobile handsets. Per the Flurry stat, they are used throughout the day: unlike TV, there’s no specific “prime time” for mobile handsets. Even tablets are still relegated to leisure time for most consumers, but the mobile phone is all-purpose. It’s used heavily both throughout the workday and during the off-hours, even if the majority of that usage is away from home.

Much of that time on mobile handsets is spent on the home screen. That screen, which we all customize to feature our most-used apps and widgets, has essentially become mission control. If you’re anything like me, you use it to check the time, check the weather, look for critical news alerts or just to see if any messages have come in over the last five minutes. It’s no wonder we spend more time there than on any other app or screen on our handsets – 26 percent of all time on mobile, per the Nielsen stat above.

With all that time spent on the home screen, you’d think that marketers from all sides would recognize that this is a far better opportunity than the crowded app space. The average retention rate for a mobile app is 35 percent after 90 days – or, to look at that another way, app usage drops off by 65 percent after three months. So while companies are clamoring to build and market apps, it’s clear that building an app is no guarantee that consumers will download it much less use it habitually. Instinct tells me that with the amount invested in building and marketing apps, most marketers are banking on more than three months of usage.

The mobile home screen is the prime real estate. It’s the beachfront – desired, beloved, and uncrowded. This is where publishers need to be. It’s where consumers will want to see the latest sports scores, political news, and royal births. It’s also a place where consumers might appreciate highly relevant special offers and invitations – but only if they’re done respectfully. Consumers want to be empowered and delighted, but they never want to be annoyed. So if you’re ESPN, consumers will welcome reminders to stream tonight’s game, and be delighted by presale events to see their local teams; but they will be annoyed by reminders to watch teams they don’t follow. They may even be delighted by occasional offers from your advertisers, if they’re highly relevant and valuable.

The home screen can be your gateway to better consumer engagement. We cited that Arbitron stat at the beginning of this article that showed that the Mobile Posse home screen application inspired more sessions per month (88.1) than even Facebook’s app (73.8) and Gmail’s (44.3). We’re not trying to blow our own horn here of course, although we’re admittedly pretty stoked by these numbers. What we want to draw attention to is the fact that the home screen deserves your consideration. When the conversation around “app versus mobile site” begins for the millionth time, start considering the home screen as a better option.

As Founder and CEO, Jon Jackson provides the vision and leadership behind Mobile Posse’s mission to create a revolutionary and trusted mobile channel through the active idle screen. Jon envisioned a proactive mobile delivery channel equally well-suited to the needs of carriers, content providers, and brands. In response, Mobile Posse developed a turnkey mobile delivery platform which activates the phone’s idle screen to seamlessly deliver advertising and CRM messages– while ensuring a superior experience for end users. Advertisers use the platform to deliver full-color, interactive and timely mobile advertising messages to consumers. Carriers rely on the platform to keep their customers informed about wireless products and services, and to enhance the overall customer experience. Through industry-leading consumer engagement rates and proven technological leadership, Mobile Posse is defining the next generation of mobile marketing and mCRM. Jon brings more than 17 years of strategic, operational, and technical leadership experience to Mobile Posse from recognized companies ranging from a major Internet powerhouse to a television cartoon studio. Prior to forming Mobile Posse, Jon spent over 8 years in a variety of management and technical roles at AOL, as the company brought interactive advertising into existence. Jon was a key member of AOL Mobile, where he was charged with creating the mobile expression for leading AOL products. Jon was also a member of the management team of the AOL Greenhouse, the first Internet incubator. The AOL Greenhouse was instrumental in the launch of top Internet properties like; The Motley Fool, CBS SportsLine, Travelocity, and iVillage. Previously, Jon was the CTO of Frederator, producers of the Emmy-nominated “The Fairly OddParents” and “Chalkzone.” A recognized expert in interactive advertising and new product development, Jon has also provided management and technology consulting services to companies like HBO, Viacom, and PRIMEDIA. Jon holds a BA in English Composition from George Mason University.

News and Events

Reality Check: Mobile operators — Why are your competitors talking to your clients more than you are?

Original Article from RCR Wireless

By Jon Jackson, CEO, Mobile Posse

Dear mobile operator:

Why are you letting your competitors message your subscribers more than you message them yourself? With all the investment you’ve made to capture these customers – advertising, free smartphones, etc. – doesn’t it seem at all worthwhile to build on the promise of that relationship, even after they’ve signed up?

Today, your current subscribers are more likely to see an ad from you offering a free tablet to a new lead than they are to get a direct communication from you – apart from their bill, that is.

And of course, by the same token, they’re just as likely to see an ad from your competitor offering them a tablet or a free Galaxy S to switch.

What’s that? You’ve made them great offers via your self-service app? Oh. You realize they almost never open that, right? And when they do, they don’t just want to see how much their bill is.

Let’s face the facts, mobile operators: not staying in touch with your current customers is just plain old crazy. These folks have chosen you over all the competition. Make the choice to maintain and build that relationship and keep those customers happy. Happy customers stay with you, even after the contract expires. Happy customers even add services sometimes, if you make them the right offer at the right time. And one more truth to remember: happy customers are likely to be more valuable than those you’ve yet to acquire. It’s the old “bird in the hand” thing.

Do you want to invest in that potentially (more) profitable relationship with your current subscriber base? Yes? Good. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Communication is the basis of any good relationship – including customer relationships. Communicate about something other than how much they owe. If you only message your customer base about their bill is, they will love you about as much as they love their mortgage company. Start thinking instead about how you can make their lives better. What kind of content can you provide your customers with that will be relevant and helpful? Perhaps even something as simple as thanking them for their patronage can be helpful and loyalty inducing.

2. Leverage the home screen. That’s right, the home screen, not a native app. Your presence on the mobile home screen is much more visible. After all, the home screen is the first thing customers see and engage with when they turn on their phone. In contrast, mobile apps have an average retention rate of 35 percent at the 90-day mark. (And honestly, is your app accessed more than once monthly to check data usage or pay the bill?) The home screen is where users go to check the time, the weather, and to see if they have messages they’ve missed. It’s the launch pad for nearly every handset use case. Why wouldn’t you want your brand to be in the center of it?

3. Respect their time, space, and privacy. While the home screen is the “beach front real estate” of the mobile handset, it’s also a place that’s personal and safe for the consumer. It’s an area consumers like to customize with their favorite widgets and content items – like a clock, a weather widget, and maybe local or national news tickers – in addition to their most-used apps.

Don’t underestimate how greatly consumers value their private space here. Facebook took that for granted and look how spectacularly their “Home” app has failed as a result. The key here is respect. You can certainly have a presence on the home screen, but don’t take it over entirely. It’s smart to offer subscribers an assortment of quality content to enrich their home screen experience, but keep it consistent with the phones current operating system. Your customer has chosen their handset for a reason, and whether it’s iOS or Android, they’re expecting the experience that handset customarily delivers.

Also important – when messaging on the home screen, do it respectfully. Don’t cover content. Dont’ send messages while subscribers are on a call. You may not get as many messages to your base when using good manners, but your odds of successfully engaging them will be dramatically improved.

4. Know who your customers are, which services they use and which they need. These are your subscribers – you should make it your business to know everything about them. Every good marketer knows success lies in a customer-centric approach, right? By knowing your customers well, you’ll be able to anticipate their needs, and when you know what they need (versus what you want to sell them) your messaging comes across as helpful – not pushy.

As a personal case in point, when my carrier markets products or services me with suggestions, I nearly always jump on board. That’s because their suggestions, while profitable for them, generally save me money or provide me with better services.

Successfully apply these practices to the mobile home screen, and subscribers will view you as a great service provider. Advise them, proactively, that they need to add minutes or a roaming package to avoid hefty fees later on, that they’re due for a new battery, or even that there’s a sale on shiny cases at your store, and you will be on the fast track from “provider” to “partner.” Add value by creating great experiences and leverage the home screen as your home base for building better customer relationships, and you’ll worry less about attrition at the end of every contract.

And if you can make those valuable offers at times that are convenient for and respectful to your users, you won’t have to worry about them eyeing every free phone deal that comes their way. Commit to building the relationship with your subscriber base now – before your competition beats you to the punch.

As Founder and CEO, Jon Jackson provides the vision and leadership behind Mobile Posse’s mission to create a revolutionary and trusted mobile channel through the active idle screen. Jackson brings more than 17 years of strategicd, operational, and technical leadership experience to Mobile Posse from recognized companies ranging from a major Internet powerhouse to a television cartoon studio. Prior to forming Mobile Posse, Jackson spent over eight years in a variety of management and technical roles at AOL, as the company brought interactive advertising into existence. Previously, Jackson was the CTO of Frederator, producers of the Emmy-nominated “The Fairly OddParents” and “Chalkzone.” A recognized expert in interactive advertising and new product development, Jackson has also provided management and technology consulting services to companies like HBO, Viacom, and Primedia. Jackson holds a BA in English Composition from George Mason University.

News and Events

Mobile Posse’s Jon Jackson on the future of Mobile Marketing

Original Article from The Makegood

By Katharina Volkmer

Jon Jackson is the founder and CEO of Mobile Posse, the first company to commercially launch graphically-enhanced interactive mobile home screen programming in North America, offering a proactive mobile delivery channel well-suited to the needs of carriers, content providers, and brands. The Makegood recently spoke with Jon about Mobile Posse’s venture into home screen messaging for mobile devices.

The Makegood: What made you invent Mobile Posse’s home screen messaging capabilities?

I decided to start Mobile Posse as a I saw a problem that needed fixing in the mobile space — that problem was awareness and adoption. Today’s mobile devices are approximately one billion times more capable than the devices from five years ago. Many of these capabilities aren’t commonly known. We set out to see if we could find a solution.

The Makegood: According to a study by Arbitron Mobile, your home screen messaging drives greater app usage than Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, YouTube, and Yahoo. How does it work and why is that?

Home screen messaging is kind of like the old 3M commercial, I am paraphrasing here: “We don’t make many of the products you buy, we make the products you buy better,” or in our case we make you both aware of those products and in some cases increase their functionality. At the end of the day, we are a rich-media messaging platform that delivers messages to home screen, lock screen and notification trays of mobile devices. Our platform can almost guarantee that your message will be seen, but that is only half the battle. The other half is the content of the message that’s delivered. It could be a message to a user migrating from a feature phone (AKA dumb phone) to a smart-phone. In that case, maybe we are educating the user on how to get the most out of their new device, kind of like tips and tricks. In other cases, maybe we are trying to promote a particular subscription product that a consumer might be interested in. It really runs the gambit.

The Makegood: What are the key findings of the study and what do these say about the change in the market?

The short version is the easier you make something to do, the more likely people are to do it. That’s not Earth shattering news, but what this study really highlights is there are ways to surface messages, content, etc. in a way that is helpful to the consumer and to content providers or operators. And when these ways of messaging are implemented, you can materially move the needle.

The Makegood: Leading media publishers partner with you to leverage the reach and engagement benefits of Mobile Posse’s home screen messaging and carrier distribution. How can they benefit from your services and how would a practical example look like?

Media publishers spend a lot of time and effort making quality content for the web and many of them have taken that next step of creating an applicaiton to engage consumers in a more immersive experience. The home screen is another mechanism by which to reach consumers on their mobile device. It has some attributes that make it quite compelling. It is proactive as opposed to reactive. In our case, we wait until the consumer isn’t busy doing something else and deliver a message. This means that the message gets high engagement as the user isn’t otherwise engaged, or irritated at being interrupted. I would give the example of weather. We have struck a partnership with a weather provider and by combining their accurate and timely information with our delivery mechanism we have created a very compelling product for consumers. We know where the consumer is, so we gneerate a message with the latest weather for the area they are in. It’s like chocolate and peanut butter.

The Makegood: What is most important when developing and distributing home screen messaging to drive consumer engagement?

The attributes that make an important message are ones that take into account context (where someone is located, what they are trying to accomplish), expressed interests (likes weather and sports), implied interests (seems to click on a lot of football articles) and demographics (24 years old, lives in Arlington, VA).

The Makegood: Thanks, Jon.

News and Events

Beating Facebook Home: Four Tips for Carriers, Publishers and OEMs

Original Article from Wireless Week

Facebook Home has brought a great debate to the table. There’s no question that consumers spend more time with their mobile phones than any other device, plus new data from Nielsen Mobile Trends shows that the mobile homescreen is where consumers spend most (26%) of their time on mobile.

But with Facebook Home, the social media giant is attempting to take over the home screen. They’ve imposed on the mobile handset’s last sacred piece of “beach front property.” When a phone today is so much more than just a a phone, when it’s a watch, a weathervane, a GPS and a camera – that’s a pretty big imposition. It’s like taking that beachfront real estate and building a view-blocking 100-story office building.

In fact, the leading venture capitalist firm Bessemer Venture Partners recently valued this real estate at more than $1B per 1/4 inch. Losing that HUGE an opportunity should be hard to swallow for wireless carriers, mobile publishers and advertisers.

Early juries seem to concur that Facebook has stumbled in its effort to own the shoreline. But it is only a stumble. With a prize so great, you can count on Facebook and others coming back for a second swipe.

So carriers, publishers and OEMs must take the time NOW to dive in and stake a claim. As Facebook has so graciously demonstrated, a home screen take over is not for amateurs. Done right, it can be a useful and user-friendly utility for consumers. Done wrong, it’s an obtrusive hack of a once-familiar interface.

It’s time to get started, and here are some tips for doing it right:

Start Now – Let’s face it… Facebook and HTC are already ahead of you in the race to own this beachfront real estate. The longer you wait, the larger the erosion in our customer base.

Save our Shore – Any homescreen “takeover” has to be friendly, rather than hostile. This was Facebook’s biggest faux pas – the homescreen went from beachfront to jungle, and the terrain became completely unfamiliar and tough to traverse for handset owners. To be successful, you need to work with the mobile OS, not against it. The handset owner still needs to have control over their handset and user experience. It’s a delicate balance, and one that must be respected.

Great Content – Arguably, the most important element of a homescreen takeover app is the content. The best content will be user selected and dynamically updated. Obviously, media companies have the advantage here: If you’re ESPN, sports fans everywhere will clamor for “ESPN Home,” which will (ideally) allow users to select their favorite teams and players for their homescreen news feeds. Scores and stats would be updated in real-time. A ticker with the latest hockey or football news might stream across the bottom. Photos from the day in sports might dynamically update the home and lock screens.

Non-media companies – like carriers or OEMs – would be wise to choose to partner with media companies or quality publishers for fresh content. The key is to offer a variety of niche content so users can choose topics about which they’re passionate.

Relevant, Unobtrusive Ads – We mentioned it before, and it bears repeating: the customer comes first. When you’re invited to someone’s home (screen), good manners are appreciated. Hammering a consumer with messages on any channel is annoying; doing so on their homescreen is downright obnoxious. You have been invited into their quiet beachfront estate, and they have provided you a great deal of information about themselves and their device. Show these consumers that you’ve earned their respect and their trust by keeping messages timely, helpful and polite. You have enough data to be relevant and helpful – you know who they are, and what they like. The challenge for many will be putting the customer’s needs before their own.

And yet, this is the most important barrier between success and failure. The user simply has to come first. Just because we have the information and the real estate doesn’t mean we can run roughshod all over it. Perhaps standards are necessary to safeguard the customer experience, to ensure that messaging is respectful and permission-based. (Those standards should also address technology to address multiple operating systems and handset types, but that’s another story for another day.) At any rate, companies considering a takeover must consider the handset owner’s wants and needs ahead of their marketing goals. If the consumer is happy, marketing success is sure to follow.

Greg Wester is executive vice president of business development and general manager of research/data product for Mobile Posse.


News and Events

New Research Study Reveals Mobile Posse’s Home Screen Messaging Drives App Usage Greater Than Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, YouTube and Yahoo! Mail

Original Article from Market Wire

McLean, VA – Marketwired – May 31, 2013) – Mobile Posse, the industry leader in mobile home screen messaging, shared the results of a study conducted by Arbitron Mobile that took place over the course of several months. The results of the third-party study clearly show that Mobile Posse’s home screen messaging platform is #1 in the ability to drive consumer engagement with mobile apps. The study’s findings are particularly relevant as Facebook recently unveiled its first play in the home screen messaging arena. The study also quantifies the impact of home screen messaging for app developers, carriers and handset manufacturers.

Exhibit 1: Usage of Different Apps on Phones Where Mobile Posse’s App is Installed

Session and minutes of use metrics are averages across all phones, including any users having no usage in the month

Mobile Posse 88.1 95.3% 152.1
Facebook 73. 50.6% 215.4
Gmail 44.2 85.6% 39.6
Google Search 42.3 93.2% 16.8
Go SMS Pro 17.4 4.5% 20.3
Facebook Messenger 11.8 36.9% 16.1
Yahoo! Mail 10.6 12.5% 11.6
Chrome 7.8 12.7% 24.1
YouTube 7.6 67.6% 79.3
Instagram 7.4 16.8% 31.5