Interview with Greg Wester, CMO, Mobile Posse

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Greg Wester, CMO at Mobile Posse

“A better content experience would be one that greatly simplifies the process of finding and presenting content, rather than forcing the user to go search for it.”

Tell us about your role at Mobile Posse and the team/technology you handle.

I’m the CMO at Mobile Posse; in this role, my team’s primary focus area is Content Marketing, and, in particular, thought leadership and original research on how people use their mobile phones. There’s a ton of research on what apps are used, but none on the actual phone experience (e.g., how they unlock, look for and discover new content on their phones).

What are the core tenets of Firstly Mobile?

The core tenets of Firstly Mobile are:

  • Tomorrow’s winners will be those companies that best eliminate the friction in how we can discover and consume the content we love, and
  • Through Firstly Mobile’s frictionless device-centric content discovery solutions, telecom companies can become major media leaders.

Firstly, Mobile creates frictionless native device experiences on unlock, through a launcher, or with a swipe to the right to make it as convenient and simple as possible for subscribers to get to the content they love. By taking ownership of the device and affecting change that matches consumers’ mobile behaviors, carriers can improve their subscriber experience while cashing in on a very lucrative revenue stream. As major distributors of devices, carriers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture a large piece of a multi-billion dollar opportunity in the US.

What downhill battles does this new platform tackle for telcos?

“Uphill battles” entail battling entrenched leaders with a significant market share. Carriers face uphill battles in their current and strategic pursuits of being “full-stack” media companies (e.g. competing in customer data for ad targeting, ad tech for ad serving, broadcast video content, and non-video content). Native-device discovery, however, is a whole new market with no entrenched leader. The opportunity is there for the taking. It’s a downhill battle in that sense. And since they own the devices that are already in the hands of millions of subscribers, this truly is low-hanging fruit.

Tell us more about the content discovery experiences specifically targeting mobile customers.

More smartphone users have unlimited data plans and use their phone with no particular app in mind, since they no longer have to worry about the extra dollars and cents that accompany excess phone usage. The current smartphone UI/UX, however, hasn’t really evolved to support today’s more explorative use. Pick up your phone today, and it merely shows you the app you used last. Consumers are increasingly desirous of new content when they pick up their phones. A better content experience would be one that greatly simplifies the process of finding and presenting content, rather than forcing the user to go search for it.

How does Mobile Posse’s platform deal with customer attention spans?

Consumer use of mobiles on-the-go has led to “spurt” usage and shorter sessions. The median mobile session length is now a fleeting 27 seconds! The Firstly Mobile platform simplifies device usage by providing proactive snackable discovery — predicting when someone is receptive to content and then creating a timely, customized experience with short-form content that they can digest quickly. Contrast that with the default experience where someone has to search for an app, wait for its content to load, then scroll or swipe through it to find something they want. When there are only seconds to spare, this amount of friction creates a very inefficient experience.

What location data technology do you use or plan to use in the future to make content discovery more relevant?

Like all publishers, Firstly Mobile uses location. But instead of using location data to identify the “perfect” ad for someone, we’d rather use it to identify the perfect time to offer content discovery. For example, by knowing where a user is we can make smarter decisions on when they may be looking to use their phone for casual consumption of content — like when they’re just walking out of their office or when they’re in their living room watching TV.

What are the major challenges for mobile companies in ensuring friction-free experiences?

The biggest challenge that mobile companies face is that they don’t have the right data at their disposal to actually see that today’s experiences are actually broken. That’s why we invest a great deal of time and money authenticating new insights on the mobile journey, publishing thought leadership, and using those insights to innovate great products.

Thank you, Greg! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Greg is a 20+ year veteran of interactive marketing and advertising. He has held leadership roles in areas spanning the areas of business development, corporate strategy, campaign optimization, research, and advertising sales.

Prior to Mobile Posse, Greg was COO at VoodooVox where he lead advertising sales and all sales, marketing and PR operating functions.

Before VoodooVox, Greg was Founder and President of Soapbox Marketing, a consultancy that helped brands strategize, design, launch, and measure best-practice digital word-of-mouth campaigns. Greg was part of the Executive Leadership team at Organic Inc., as well as founder of the Internet Media consulting practice for The Yankee Group. At The Yankee Group, Greg specialized in advising Fortune 500 clients on interactive marketing and advertising. A one-time engineer, Greg started his career building and testing interactive services at GTE Research Labs.

Mobile posse Logo

Mobile Posse’s Firstly Mobile platform uses native-device content discovery to turn telecom companies into mobile media leaders. Firstly Mobile is a suite of services carriers and OEMs build into their smartphones to create engaging experiences — without users having to open…load…search…or wait for content. With billions of frictionless content experiences delivered each month, Firstly Mobile drives greater consumer engagement and boosts advertising revenues for carriers and OEMs – all while presenting a proven and brand-safe mobile media opportunity for advertisers. Mobile Posse, the pioneer of frictionless mobile media solutions, is based in Arlington, VA. The company’s posse of trailblazers is passionate about making the smartphone even smarter. Every day.

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The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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