UNTETHER.tv is where the most innovative entrepreneurs, executives and experts offer their insights on how to navigate business in an ever-increasingly connected, beaconed and mobile world
Alex Austin started a photo book company that, by all accounts, was succeeding. They managed to get featured on both major app stores at the same time, were being downloaded 1000’s of times per day and were even processing tens of thousands of orders. Then, they weren’t featured and much of that went away. This led his team down a path that brought them to their current incarnation. They sold the photo book company, raised $18 million and now help app developers with contextual linking to help them grow their businesses without a reliance on any app store.
There is a word that keeps cropping up when it comes to mobile anything – density. It is such a great word unless there isn’t any. There are 3 axis for mobile these days: Context, location and density. Context is easy to start with: Is it morning, noon or night? Is it raining, sunny or snowing? Location is getting easier (and VERY slowly getting more accurate): Standing in a stadium, restaurant or train station? New York, New Jersey or Philadelphia? Density is a little more challenging. It looks for the answer of how many people are nearby or in a shop or are using an app in a specific region. The problem is that to make key mobile marketing decisions you need accuracy on all three. Hence, the three axis of mobile.
Today’s guest is Andrew Farah, founder of the aptly-named Density. They install in/out counters in the doors of small and medium-sized businesses to do one thing: Count people entering and leaving the business. Seems simple enough but the challenges and the impact of what they are doing are many and wide-ranging.
Greg Stuart, CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, joins us to talk about some ground-breaking research that his organization has been conducting with the likes of WalMart, Coca-Cola, AT&T and MasterCard. The study is called Cross Marketing Effectiveness (SMoX) and offers as close as possible the answer to every marketers top questions about investing in mobile: How much money should we spend and where should we spend it to be most effective. Greg is here to summarize the results and give us the answers we seek.
This episode takes a look at some of the mobile app trends he is seeing from around the world, dips into the disconnect between the old and new world of funding (and why legacy investment models don’t work in this new economy) and attacks a question on a lot of app developer’s minds: Are mobile gaming companies still good venture investments.
Gigataur is proving to be a force in the branded mobile gaming world having built the successful He-Man and X-Men games. They have now released the pinnacle of big branded games in Disney’s Star Wars Rebels for mobile. How did a boutique, Ottawa-based mobile gaming company secure the rights (and the absolute privilege) to build this game? What is the state of the mobile gaming world today? Can mobile game developers build console-equivalent experiences on the small screen?
Joining me to discuss the impact of the smart watch in depth is Brent Hieggelke, Chief Mobile Evangelist for Urban Airship. Brent has an incredible perception of how the wearable world will shake out as a result of the Applewatch and other wrist apparel. We dive into the new world of “unadvertising”, whether or not brands really “get” what is going on, how the notification is becoming the predominant relationship builder in mobile and the concept that the watch will become the remote control for our lives.
Kevin Hunter is the Chief Operating Officer of Gimbal and he joins us to talk about the beacon industry, the marketing shift it has started and the future of marketing and business as a result of beacons.
Here to talk about where the radio industry is heading is Patrick Reynolds, the former Chief Strategy Officer at Triton Digital (acquired by Vector Capital after the recording of this episode). This is Patrick’s fourth tour of duty on UNTETHER.tv and there is a reason for that. The insight and clarity he brings to us about what is happening to “new radio” and the influence that mobile is having on it is second to none.
This is a unique episode as is a good portion of the content. We do dive into the quarterly Location Score Index report that Thinknear releases identifying the accuracy of location-based ad inventory (SO important). We do pontificate on the relevance of search and the impact that relevance, context and location will have on the way we “find” things. We do look at trends that are affecting location based marketing. We do talk about the history of the company (Loren was on the acquiring side with Telenav when they bought Thinknear). Where it is unique is when we talk about the transition from advisor to President and GM and Loren’s first 120 days in the role.
When location based marketing emerged on the radar for marketers it changed the game. Bringing contextual, localized ads to a person within proximity to the business who’s ad they were staring at – and not the person 5 miles away – was revolutionary. This ushered in the world of mass one-to-one mobile marketing. Right in the middle of this revolution was Eli Portnoy. You may recognize him as the founder of Thinknear (and 4-time UNTETHER.tv guest) and he is back on the show, this time talking about his new start up, Sense360.
Sense360 takes contextual understanding to a new level, using all the sensors within the average smartphone to help create experiences that are situationally aware.
This episode can be broken into 3 parts: What Eli saw in the marketplace to decide to leave Thinknear and take on the task at hand with Sense360. The “myth of the download” that has led so many good companies astray. The concept of “good push” and how using sensors with location and context can make a good mobile experience a great mobile experience.
Eli was ahead of the industry when he dove into location-based advertising and now is ahead of the pack once again on using the sensors in our phones to help make marketing and advertising better – to turn it into a service for good. The examples Eli brings to light and deep knowledge that he shares in this episode gives us all a great insight into where this industry is going.
This is the story of where the idea came from; how they ended up in 500 Startups and how that impacted their thinking of the business; how they went from believing $100K could build an empire to wanting to build a $1 billion company out of Gymtrack and how they raised their $2.5 million seed round. This plus a bunch of meathead talk makes this one of my favourite episodes to date.
Has retail turned a corner in the last 2 years? Have retailers been able to really understand the many threats that they are facing and begin to address them the best they can? Is software really eating retail? Why are malls getting bigger and retailers spending more money in physical space? Do they stand a chance against their digital brethren? Is retail as we know it doomed?
To answer these questions – and many others – is author and retail futurist Doug Stephens (also known as the Retail Prophet). This conversation takes us around the retail world and covers emerging markets, emerging trends and emerging technology that will change the face of retail as we know it.