31 Jul

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.

02 Jul

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.


31 May

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
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