Episode #468: Why mobile is about owning the moment and not keeping users hostage by incentive – with Kiip co-founder Brian Wong

Episode #468

Owning the moment is not a new line of thinking. Marketers have been trying to own moments since marketing was invented. Think about Calgon owning your bath moment or Palmolive owning your dish washing moment (ok, I guess I’ve just aged myself). The concept has been around, you get the point. The thing is, now that mobile devices play such a huge role in our lives many times per day, moments are being had with the same frequency. These moments seem infinite and brands are trying to reach us at that moment and help us make a decision. Right now, they are doing it through useless banner ads or the more effective location-based/context-based offerings. They are doing it through SMS or notifications or interstitials or video facilitated by developers eager to turn audience into revenue. The developers do this through gamification strategies or in-app incentives – most even offer you the ability to buy the ads away (great for the advertiser!).

Clearly, this isn’t going so well. It’s hard to take a medium such as advertising and cram it onto a small screen that is meant for quick interactions and really create a valuable connection with a user. So most of us ignore the ads and get on with our day.

Brian Wong and his team at Kiip see owning the mobile minute as a great opportunity to surprise and delight the app user. To do this, they needed to never start thinking like the others – the ones cramming the banner ads into smaller and smaller screens. They needed to think like consumers – the thing we ALL are but seem to forget when we are in “marketing” or “selling” mode. At what point do you as a consumer want to be fed an ad that takes you out of the experience? Right. Zero times. What about an interaction – a moment – when you least expect it or when it makes sense (between levels in a game perhaps)? What if that moment offered something that was related to the app you were in (free bottled water while in your gym app)? Would that resonate? Would that moment be remembered if it was in context to what you were doing already?

This is where Kiip is destroying the mobile “norms” – something that I hope happens before the banner ad becomes the norm. This episode focuses on the simple notion that owning the relevant moment and delivering on it at the right time with the right thing is the holy grail of mobile advertising and marketing. Brian details how Kiip ended up re-inventing the already nascent mobile reward; how they help advertisers deepen relationships with their customers through mobile; how the psychology of advertising is changing because of mobile; how the oft-relied on psychographic and demographic segmentation is not as important because of mobile and a number of examples and insights he’s picked up along the way as he’s built this mobile advertising upstart.

Brian is a guy I’ve watched for 3 years as he’s built Kiip into a force in the mobile advertising and marketing world. He’s bright, energetic, thought provoking and poised for breakthrough growth. He’s also Canadian – eh?


Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip

1. Why attack the advertising world? 2:55
2. When should you follow your customers and when you shouldn’t 5:39
3. The evolution of Kiip – 3 insights from building this company 6:35
4. How Kiip builds relationships instead of advertises 11:20
5. The trap mobile app developers fall into 13:15
6. How are you perceived from the “establishment” 14:15
7. What does “Owning the moment” mean? 18:40
8. Example: The “cooking moment” with Campbells 20:00
9. Is the end of demographic and psychographic segmentation near? 24:55
10. The psychology of advertising today 26:25
11. Is there a limited number of customers you can sell moments to? 30:25
12. How do you use the data you are collecting? 34:45
13. How do you keep focused on the “now” versus “what’s next”? 40:00
14. How does Kiip defend its brand against competitors 44:00
15. How can people make money from the Kiip platform? 47:25
16. What is the audience size required to start making money? 49:00
17. What are the emerging trends being seen within Kiip 51:40
18. Are you satisfied with your growth so far? 54:45

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About Brian Wong
Brian Wong KiipBrian Wong is the co-founder and CEO of Kiip, which was named one of the world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in 2013 and has raised $15.4 million in funding. After skipping four K-12 grades, Brian received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia at age 18, and shortly after became one of the youngest people to ever receive venture capital funding. He has been named to Business Insider’s Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley, 30 Under 30 in Advertising and 18 Most Important People in Mobile Advertising; and Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2011 and 2012.

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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