We enable unparalleled mobile brand and content experiences through the Zumobi Brand Integration (ZBi) platform. Our award winning solutions connect brands and consumers in innovative new ways that are highly immersive, yet organic to the mobile experience.
ZBi provides always-on marketing capabilities that drive unique connections with consumers. Our platform enables brands to dynamically publish content into their own apps and across the premium Zumobi Network of brand-safe apps with unlimited scale.
Zumobi, a Seattle-based mobile media and advertising technology company that supplies integrated app content to brands and publishers, launched Wednesday the Zumobi Brand Integration Platform for Marketers.
Zumobi operates premium mobile app network The Zumobi Network and has worked with publishing partners like Hearst Digital Media and MSN to monetize its mobile apps through its rich media platform and developer kits.
One of the traditional challenges app developers face is cracking the code on user retention and in-app engagement, but Zumobi CEO Ken Willner says this is where the company is focused on helping mobile marketers make headway. He spoke with AdExchanger.
AdExchanger: Can you bring us up to speed on Zumobi and what you do? KEN WILLNER: Zumobi has been in the mobile apps space close to eight years now and pre-iPhone. We are able to create very immersive content and brand experiences in mobile applications. The common phrasing now is “content marketing” or “native advertising,“ but essentially we’re creating content and advertising experiences that help [marketers] deliver through our platform inside of mobile applications.
What’s next? The next wrinkle or evolution of our platform is we’ve been asked over the last six to eight months by some of our brand clients about helping them enable these kinds of rich branded content experiences inside of their own apps. So the nuance here is that whereas before, we were providing a paid media opportunity, we’re now extending that to owned media and brands are using their own apps as a canvas to communicate with their customers using content and that’s the new extension of the platform.
What need does this address? Consumer-facing Fortune 500 companies like banks, airlines, hotels and pharma, [all] have their own mobile and tablet applications. They typically got those out to market quickly as utility apps, with functionality like “book a hotel room, check your account balance, print out your boarding pass.” They were always quite functional and still are, but haven’t provided a mechanism for those companies to talk to, cross-sell or upsell to their customers before – some of these CRM capabilities – and we want to enable that through this extension of our platform.
What are the components? The branded content module enables a brand to deliver RSS feeds or video or any kind of branded content to customers. The Partner Marketing module is quite important because most brands today have third-party marketing relationships such an airline and a credit card partner, or a destination hotel partner. This module is database-driven and enables these brands to enable their marketing partners to deliver offers to their user base in a very selective, targeted way and through cross-promotion. The third module is the mobile media module, which is an ad-serve product that can deliver a derivative of digital ad campaigns which might be running or even those same campaigns, inside of a brand’s own app to their own customer base. This can also include blogs or social content, but any form of content they want to deliver their own content.
Zumobi launched mobile video ad formats in the fall that brand clients Nissan and Corona have used. What’s the biggest issue with mobile video? The uptake on that unit has been pretty compelling. The thesis behind that was that mobile video in particular is pretty hot. Advertisers are quite interested in that format, but inventory is constrained. There’s a certain amount of video in mobile and on the Web in general and a lot of it is pre- or post-roll and what we wanted to do with that product was create video inventory where it didn't exist prior, so we could help publishers create an offering that brand advertisers could take advantage of, that was not a blocking interstitial. Interstitials tend to annoy users, particularly if you block all the content and it’s a midpoint between a blocking interstitial and a pre-roll so it auto plays video but in a way that can be closed out easily and does not take over a whole page. That way if a user is interested they can click through, go to a full landing page and get the whole video experience. We wanted to create a unit that didn't exist before that has all the good characteristics of delivering video for advertisers, but not the quality of taking over the content experience, which is a problem.
What’s the greatest challenge for brand advertisers with in-app messaging and content? There are a lot of form factors, devices, screens and operating systems. There is a complexity to the business in general. [One of the major problems I’ve seen is the] concepts that worked on desktop Web were immediately transported to mobile. I’m on the IAB Native Advertising committee, and I have to say that brand advertisers have woken up to the mobile opportunity and are realizing that there is a lot more that can be done on this smaller screen if you have the thought leadership and ambition to do it.
Can you talk about your customer base, impressions served and headcount? On the advertising side, I can say with confidence that 75% of (companies on the 100 Leading National Advertisers Index) have used Zumobi in one form or another. On the publisher side, we think about it in two ways. We have direct, first-party publishing relationships where we have direct relationships with the media companies where we produced the app ourselves, or we have our software development kit (SDK) inside of the app, and through our direct and extended network, we probably have a couple million premium uniques there and a couple hundred million impressions. And then we have third-party relationships where we can extend our ad units and advertising capabilities into any IAB/MRAID (Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions)-compliant app. Over the last four years, we have seen significant growth – certainly in the high double-digit percentages, but I can’t really disclose profitability and revenues. We are at 28 people now.
Read the full article here on Ad Exchanger to learn more.
First-of-Its-Kind Platform Enables Marketers to Easily Deliver Highly-Relevant Branded Content and Partner Promotions to Consumers Within Their Mobile Apps
Seattle, Washington – February 26, 2014 – Zumobi, a leading mobile media and technology company, today announced the unveiling of its Zumobi Brand Integration (ZBi) Platform for Marketers, allowing companies to integrate dynamic branded content into their mobile apps in real-time without the hassles associated with long-lead development efforts, continual app updates or cumbersome technical issues. ZBi helps brands transform their utility apps into targeted channels for branded content, partner marketing and customer communication.
eMarketer reported that 83% of company executives felt that the most important function of a mobile app was communication with customers. With the new ZBi platform, brands can take their marketing strategy to the next level by leveraging anonymous data on their customer’s app usage, behavior and preferences for improved marketing insight. Through this important new CRM channel, brands can deepen customer loyalty and increase user engagement while also establishing lucrative new in-app revenue streams through exclusive marketing partnerships.
The ZBi platform, based on Zumobi’s award winning technology, enables brands to connect with their consumers in ways that are highly engaging, yet organic to the app experience through a suite of in-app content modules:
• Branded Content Module – Provides targeted, brand-relevant content and messaging to specific users based on their preferences.
• Partner Marketing Module – Presents partner marketing offers and special promotions that are of interest to the app user.
• Mobile Media Module – Extends the brand’s mobile media campaigns into their native app – including embedded video and in-steam, dynamic ads.
• Targeted Push Notifications – Alerts app users with relevant branded messages based on their preferences.
“To be highly effective in today’s digital world, brands need to harness both content and data to drive meaningful and relevant conversations with their customers,” said Ken Willner, CEO of Zumobi. “Mobile apps are an increasingly important environment for customer interaction and our ZBi platform provides an excellent way for brands to enhance and strengthen their customer relationships.”
Learn more about our ZBi platform and ZBi For Marketers here.
Zumobi is a leading mobile media and technology company that partners with top brands and publishers to enable integrated app content and advertising experiences on smartphones and connected devices. With over 20 early patents filed on mobile UI and technology, Zumobi has been driving innovation in mobile media since 2006. To learn more, visit www.zumobi.com or follow Zumobi on Twitter @Zumobi.
Zumobi PR Contact:
Richard L. Tso Barokas PR for Zumobi Zumobi@barokas.com (206) 264-8220
2014 is the year of brand as publisher
In the United States today there are more than 327 million mobile devices being used on a daily basis. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, an astounding 91 percent of Americans currently own cellphones, and nearly two-thirds of consumers utilize their mobile devices to access the Internet.
The average consumer spends 127 minutes in mobile applications each day, responding to emails, browsing Facebook and searching for places nearby, according to Street Fight Insights. These are people who represent a tremendous number of daily touch points between brands and consumers. Brands and their agencies need to understand the potential of this trend and leverage the owned-media mobile assets they already have—literally at their fingertips.
Our world is definitely moving to the small screen; however, many brands have yet to fully recognize how this seismic shift is creating new and unparalleled ways for them to effectively communicate with their customers whenever and wherever they are.
Companies in industries like financial services, travel and retail can be incredibly sophisticated about leveraging their corporate communications channels—websites, blogs, social media—yet many are completely ignoring the obvious customer communication vehicle in mobile apps.
Part of the disconnect is that many corporate mobile apps are managed by IT teams as “utility” apps, which require forward planning, cross-team coordination and additional effort to get them updated on a continual basis. These apps are typically designed around task-oriented activities (check your balance, book a flight, make a reservation) but leave much to be desired in the way of branded content or ongoing customer communication. However, when properly managed, in-app content and messaging can provide compelling branding and communication connections for the app owner—in short, a unique and compelling owned-media opportunity.
To be effective in today’s digital world, marketers need to create occasions to instigate meaningful and relevant conversations with their customers. In recent years, the most common approach has been through targeted email campaigns, brand websites, blogs and social media outreach. Each of these approaches has had to not only grab the consumer’s attention, but also encourage them to take additional actions to get to the brand value and benefits.
Conversely, corporate brands with mobile apps already have a committed audience that has “opted in” (when they purposely downloaded and installed the app in the first place and then on each subsequent use). But capturing and holding consumer attention during multiple sessions can be a challenge.
For savvy marketers, success is based on positioning their apps so that they are a direct consumer connection. This new owned-media channel can be used to provide a more meaningful experience through interactive content, targeted promotional offers and relevant brand messaging.
If 2014 has to the be year of something, it really should be the year of brand as publisher. When a brand develops/publishes a website, it wants to facilitate opportunities to compel visitors to stick around for a while. The same thing holds true when creating native mobile apps, and companies should invest in content management platforms and Web services that enable a range of engaging brand experiences. This includes the support and partnerships needed to deliver these interactions dynamically and at scale. Brands should also have the ability to present partner marketing offers that represent potential new revenue streams.
When mobile apps first appeared, most large companies just wanted to get to market quickly, and many ended up offering apps with limited scope and functionality. Today, there’s a much deeper focus on developing corporate apps that provide ongoing points of contact and interaction so that consumers will consider them as their primary source of new and useful information and personalized content and data. This will also require brands to better understand the digital needs and behaviors of consumers. But like many things overlooked, the solution here is in the palm of their hands.
--Ken Willner, CEO of Zumobi
ABOUT ZUMOBI Zumobi is a leading mobile media and technology company that partners with top brands and publishers to provide integrated app content and advertising experiences on smartphones and connected devices. With early patents filed on mobile UI and technology, Zumobi has been pioneering mobile media innovation since 2006. To learn more, visit www.zumobi.com or follow Zumobi on Twitter @Zumobi.
Zumobi PR Contact:
Richard L. Tso
Barokas PR for Zumobi