How Adenyo is democratizing mobile marketing while building predictive analytics to serve your customers what they want, where they want it – with CEO Tyler Nelson

UNTETHER.tv was the official broadcast partner for the recent Mobile Innovation Week and this is one of the sessions we had while on location in Toronto.

Tyler Nelson knows mobile marketing. He and his talented team at Adenyo are building a platform that will open up this art to everyone who is willing to make this a part of their business plan – and everyone should.

The other things that are evident about Tyler in this session are his deep passion for and knowledge of his industry and his desire to build a Canadian-based innovative behemoth in mobile marketing – and he’s just the guy that can assemble the team to do it.

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Rob Woodbridge: Sitting with Tyler Nelson who is the CEO of Adenyo, welcome, thank you for coming in.

Tyler Nelson: Well thanks.

Rob Woodbridge: Why don’t you give a little bit of a big picture of what Adenyo is?

Tyler Nelson: Yeah sure, Adenyo is a Canadian based headquarters here in Toronto.

Tyler Nelson: Canadian based but truly a global technology software technology business. We are a business that has developed a software to service platform that allows brands, agencies and publishers to target specific consumers based on demographic, sociographic profile in n number of different variables that we can bring or our customer bring to the table. They upload that kind of targeting information into our platform, they can then execute on one technology platform, from one vendor a complete end to end marketing campaign or strategy. Our gateways include messaging gateways, commerce gateways, mobile store-front tools that allow non-technical users to create, deploy and manage mobile store fronts, mobile landing pages, mobile websites. We have a very robust world class ad serving network serving, you know, in excess two and a half billion ad inserts a month into full client applications, web experiences, widgets, [indiscernible] [00:01:47] applications, etcetera. We also have a very robust predictive analytics platform [indiscernible] [00:01:53] the beginning of the marketing cycle is when your customers know where they are and then we can, you know, we can give you the wisdom out of that raw data to how you are going to target the right customers at the right time of day with the right offer in the right location using one platform, one vendor, one bill every month.

Rob Woodbridge: People must be asking for this because this service was typically spread across multiple vendors, as you said they are writing checks everywhere.

Tyler Nelson: Right, yeah.

Rob Woodbridge: And it’s hard to measure across all of those?

Tyler Nelson: It is. Well, you know, we as I tell our stakeholders and our investors all the time, we actually really saw for something pretty simple. [Chuckles] One vendor, one platform, one neck to choke…

Rob Woodbridge: [Chuckles] That’s perfect, or…

Tyler Nelson: …or one call to make. But, you know, today for our marketer whether you’re an agency, whether you’re the enterprise marketing department yourself, to knit together the technology and the tools and the partners you need to complete an end to end mobile marketing strategy, you know, requires four, five, six different vendors and God forbid that you’re trying to execute a strategy across dispersed geography, so India, Western Europe or wherever you might be in North America, simultaneously to get most efficient use of, you know, your marketing budget and timing. But we do that, we have brought all of those key elements of an end to end marketing platform and strategy under one roof, we’ve knit them together with very simplified easily to use set of tools that allow non-technical users, marketers…

Tyler Nelson: …to use the platform and to very quickly drive incredibly effective, very robust, highly targeted campaigns out into the mobile economy and to ultimately generate revenue, right? that’s what marketing does, it generates revenue.

Rob Woodbridge: And it’s measurable, right, which is the key.

Tyler Nelson: And we provide all the tools. And it’s measurable. One of the interesting, you know, things that we see in our business we’ll rapidly go invest, got a 150 people now around the world, key operations in Europe, about 45% of our revenue is actually out of the European market place now, the balance in North America. We are a company of software engineers, about 50% of our headcount are the brilliant, you know, rocket scientists and project managers and product planners, product strategy guys and girls that wake up everyday and build the platform to make sure it meets our customers needs and the markets needs. But one of the interesting things that we’ve seen just over the course of the last 12 or 15 months is there’s now this rapid onset of shift in ad spending from traditional online.

Rob Woodbridge: Online, is that traditional now?

Tyler Nelson: Digital online to mobile. I think the experimentation phase is now over in the market. They’ve seen I think marketers who were in early who have been learning, testing different types of strategies, campaigns, tools are now seeing the results. They were running just a very typical campaign; we at any given time were running between 250 to 300 active campaigns across our platform around the world.

Rob Woodbridge: That’s incredible.

Tyler Nelson: From all to tier one brands. Usually typically it will be the C brands. We are working, you know, one of the campaigns that’s running, now is with one of the worlds largest food and food service brands and companies that we all know well, and they typically in an online campaign to promote a new sandwich and drink, whatever, you know, that might be, we would see typical click-through rates or response rates to a material offer like a discount offer or a trial free sandwich offer, are online between .02% to .05%.

Tyler Nelson: The active campaign we are running now is 1.5% to 2% click-through rate.

Tyler Nelson: And really they now, they stand back from that and it’s no wonder that whoever owns that marketing budget says next year instead of the 2% I spent this year on mobile I am going to spend 5%, [overlapping conversation] [00:05:50] 6%, 8%, right? So we are seeing that shift on the ground in the media plans that are being, you know, put together now for fiscal 2011, the back half of the year, money is now shifting demonstrably into mobile.

Tyler Nelson: And you know we’re there, we’re there to service that growing marketplace and we think we are in a great spot.

Rob Woodbridge: With the rapid advance that mobile is going through, I mean, what was cool yesterday, or has worked, doesn’t work today.

Tyler Nelson: Right.

Rob Woodbridge: How does the mobile marketing world adapt to that kind of rapid change?

Tyler Nelson: Well, you know, actually marketing really hasn’t matured much, the science or the art of marketing, depending on who you talk to, you know, the fundamentals are always really the same, right. Who wants to buy your product? Where are they? And in mobile we can say, when are they.

Rob Woodbridge: Yeah, right, absolutely.

Tyler Nelson: Time of day, day of the week, physical location. We can map the propensity to accept an offer in real time so we can deliver the right offer at the right time and then to ultimately drive them to a transaction.

Tyler Nelson: So whether you advertise and you get a response to an advert or to an advertisement, whether you’re building brand through impressions, you know, whether you are communicating an offer to transact to good service and outreach; all those things are really the same.

Tyler Nelson: And from a marketers perspective what they really don’t care about, quite frankly, is how the technology works.

Rob Woodbridge: They shouldn’t, but you’re right.

Tyler Nelson: They want to see the, and they shouldn’t. And if you think of what they become accustomed to in Digital Online, well you know, to think about the order of complexity in our life. Okay well, two browsers, maybe three browsers, right? And one thing called this, you know, this laptop or this PC, with lots of bandwidth to it and a lot of [indiscernible] [00:07:41].

Rob Woodbridge: Yeah, no restrictions.

Tyler Nelson: No restrictions, you know, so you know, it was a pretty simple environment. Now you move into mobile and we all know the complexity of mobile, right? 400 – 500 mobile operator networks throughout the world, 4000, I think there is 4000 active commercially shipping devices.

Rob Woodbridge: Handsets.

Tyler Nelson: Handsets in my database that we have to serve in proxy content.

Rob Woodbridge: Multiple operating systems, input mechanisms, bandwidth, the whole nine yards.

Tyler Nelson: Multiple operating systems, complexity. So we have to take a bunch of really-really bright engineers to make all that work, so that you have a technology platform that abstracts that marketing person that non-technical user to allow them to do the things that they know how to do in every other marketing channel, whether it’s print, whether it’s television, whether it’s radio, whether it’s digital online, now whether it’s mobile; they really care about the same things.

Rob Woodbridge: Yes.

Tyler Nelson: Reach, who am I reaching, how often, what are the response rates…?

Rob Woodbridge: And close it [overlapping conversation] [00:08:38].

Tyler Nelson: …and what’s my brand experience and then closing to a transaction. And so you know, so I hear that noisy mobile solution often, well I got to tell you for our customers we are trying to simplify that, we are trying to actually bring, you know, this kind of rational calm approach, since often you can experiment, you can do all sorts of cool things above us on our technology platform, but let us worry about all the complexity, let us worry about the changing cool things you can, you know, you can do, we are going to make them possible.

Rob Woodbridge: And we’ll just add a button.

Tyler Nelson: That’s right.

Rob Woodbridge: We’ll just add a button and then you can do it.

Tyler Nelson: And when you think you want to try rich media you want to try, you know, pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll ad insertions in some great, you know, user generated content like this show, maybe right?

[Laughter]

Rob Woodbridge: Perfect.

Tyler Nelson: Perfect, there. You know we can make all that happen and it allows the marketer to have this palette of tools, choices to build and execute complete campaigns and strategies without dealing with five vendors.

Rob Woodbridge: So, simplicity is what I love.

Tyler Nelson: It is.

Rob Woodbridge: That’s what this is and marketing people love it as well.

Tyler Nelson: Yeah.

Rob Woodbridge: And my view on what’s happening in mobile marketing is that the legacy it’s going to leave is that this was really the first medium in marketing that could be really measured, really-really-really measured.

Tyler Nelson: Absolutely, yeah.

Rob Woodbridge: Is that the lasting legacy of mobile marketing?

Tyler Nelson: Is measurement, you know, I think its measurement, it’s also this most immediate instant, the opportunity for instant media gratification on both ends, right?

Rob Woodbridge: Yes.

Tyler Nelson: For me as the guy or girl pulling out my device saying, ‘I’m actually hungry right now’, it’s 11 o’clock I am in a different city I’ve never been in before and I want to reach out and understand the best restaurants, and then the offers, where’s the best place to eat and I don’t want to think and I don’t want to go and search for that, I actually just want that information there, available, even pushed to me.

Rob Woodbridge: Right.

Tyler Nelson: So that I want, I just and I click, I walk to that restaurant or I take that coupon and I walk in and I show the clerk at Tim Hortons, ‘yeah, I’ll try that new sandwich that you just launched’. [Laughter] And for the advertiser then it’s that immediate, ‘hey push’, in real time that campaign is launched into the effect, right? And in real time you are watching things…

Rob Woodbridge: Things happen.

Tyler Nelson: Watching things happen, you can watch [indiscernible] [00:11:05], you can watch, you know, time of day, day of week, by MSA, by city segment, by sale site, who is responding, you know that’s powerful.

Rob Woodbridge: And then you apply all of that to your predictive analytics.

Tyler Nelson: Absolutely.

Rob Woodbridge: And naturally where the magic really does happen.

Tyler Nelson: Well the magic is, magic of return on investment, in any medium, marketing medium is target. And what we have the opportunity to do in mobile is we have so much more information available, actually the science or the art I think is not asking you for that information.

Rob Woodbridge: Right.

Tyler Nelson: Because quite honestly you, there is a point of, because certainly there is a segment of the population that will never give you that information.

Rob Woodbridge: Right.

Tyler Nelson: And I personally would not give personal information, I think we have regulatory obligations within the environment and over time I thing more and more often you know subscribers, consumers, we call them subscribers in mobile, but just consumers that are sitting [overlapping conversation] [00:11:59] at the end of these, humans sitting at the end of these untethered [phonetic] [00:12:01] devices will say, ‘no I’m not giving anybody any information’, so therefore marketers need this notion of actually predicting.

Rob Woodbridge: Right.

Tyler Nelson: Predicting based on a whole bunch of extraneous variables that we have on our platform and we license 20 different third-party, you know, data sets, drivers DVM, driver vehicle information, census dating information, credit bureau information.

Rob Woodbridge: All that paints a picture.

Tyler Nelson: Mash it in together, paint a picture, paint a picture in real time that says somebody at the end of this device, which is really kind of, this abstract notion, I don’t know who you are, but I can predict with an incredibly high degree of accuracy your propensity to respond in any given way at any given time to any offer.

Rob Woodbridge: That’s powerful, creepy but powerful.

Tyler Nelson: Creepy but powerful, if you are a marketer, it’s…

Rob Woodbridge: It’s the gold, isn’t it?

Tyler Nelson: It’s gold.

Rob Woodbridge: Well, you know, I feel I could talk to you all day Tyler, though I don’t want to keep you any longer, I just, I do appreciate you giving us this insight.

Tyler Nelson: Great.

Rob Woodbridge: Because this is a time where companies, great companies are built.

Tyler Nelson: Yeah.

Rob Woodbridge: And this is the time where somebody is going to seize the opportunities in this brand new space and really exploit it and I wish you all the best.

Tyler Nelson: Oh thanks very much.

Rob Woodbridge: Thank you.

Tyler Nelson: Okay, thanks.

About Tyler Nelson
Tyler Nelson

Tyler leads Adenyo’s overall strategic direction, drawing on more than 20 years of experience building, scaling and globalizing successful technology companies, and has developed a deep understanding of the end-to-end mobile economy.

Prior to joining Adenyo, Tyler held the position of vice president, marketing and business development with QNX Software Systems, a leading provider of real-time embedded operating systems. During his tenure as vice president, business development and marketing at Bridgewater Systems, he led the strategy and team responsible for negotiating product contracts with mobile operators and OEMs around the world. He was also instrumental in positioning the company for a successful IPO in the fall of 2007.

As vice president, global business development with Research in Motion, Tyler was responsible for establishing and commercializing relationships with mobile operators, establishment of the firms’ ISV ecosystem, channel and strategic alliances, OEM sales and supporting intellectual property licensing. In 2008, he co-founded YOU i Labs, developers of 2D and 3D GUI engines for resource-constrained mobile devices, which recently has been named as one of Canadian Innovation Exchange’s Top 20 Innovative Companies of 2009.

Tyler is a passionate supporter of early-stage entrepreneurship and works with a number of founding CEOs in early-stage companies as they move toward commercialization.

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About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I’m Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I’ve spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I’ve helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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