We enable unparalleled branded content experiences on mobile 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 user experience.

Leverage our ZBi platform to provide engaging branded content experiences that are seamlessly integrated into your apps. Easily provide targeted content marketing to specific users based on their preferences while gathering user behavioral data that can be utilized for future cross channel marketing.

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CONTENT HUBS

Need creative Inspiration? Check out our ZBi content marketing platform features, formats, and award-winning experiences in action. Be inspired.

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Mobile Will Revive and Redefine Content Marketing

Brand publishing isn't in decline. It's in a golden age.

Some think that the brand-as-publisher trend has reached its peak, when in reality it's just getting started. A mere five years ago, Red Bull was an energy drink, not a global media company. Chipotle was hard at work wrapping burritos, not shooting award-winning video shorts. Social media was in its infancy, and branded content consisted of things like trade brochures gathering dust on a shelf.

Today, content marketing encompasses a huge array of media platforms, social tools and influencers. As part of this sea change, brands have increasingly become the creators of the new, bite-size content for the mobile-first generation.

Since the dawn of the digital age, brands have recognized that success depends on their ability to build rich relationships with consumers hungry for engaging content and personalized experience. Nearly three decades later, mobile and in turn, mobile marketing, has the capacity to do just that: engage the consumer personally in real time with targeted, relevant context. Still, running digitized content on mobile without thoughtfully taking into consideration the complexity of the mobile platform will not instantly catalyze consumer engagement.

Successful content marketing models must integrate and elevate the experience of the consumer while on a mobile device. Brands must present something valuable to get something valuable in return.

In 2014, U.S. adults spent 23 percent more time on mobile during an average day than in 2013, according to eMarketer. This surge in adoption leads to mobile cannibalizing time spent with just about every other device and screen, and the shift toward ubiquity has reinvigorated the value of mobile advertising for brands. But to date, the majority of marketing has, to paraphrase Apple founder Steve Jobs, pretty much sucked.

Indeed, the real challenge for mobile marketers is not only to provide something compelling to view, but also to engage and re-engage with established audiences—79 percent of whom have their smartphones with them a whopping 22 hours per day—and transforming these mobile consumers into dedicated brand loyalists via evocative brand content delivered to their closely held, and heavily relied upon, phone.

Take Ford Motor Company, for example. Ford's agency, Team Detroit, partnered with extreme sports stuntman and YouTube sensation Devin "Supertramp" Graham to co-create a series of compelling videos permitting Graham to do what he does best—capture adrenaline-fueled acts on camera like insane BASE (bridge, antenna, span, Earth) jumping off of structures and out of hot air balloons.

In teaming up with Graham to provide strategic, noninvasive product placements, Ford was able to create the #onetankadventure video series that tapped into Graham’s existing audience of nearly 2 million YouTube channel subscribers, making them a potential new audience—and customer base—for Ford. By publishing strategic content marketing on YouTube, Ford was able to offer its epic programming alongside other extreme sports and stunt-centric videos to provide a thrilling new viewing experience to a targeted audience on mobile.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, brands are 36 percent more confident about the ROI on content marketing in 2013 than they were in 2012. That’s because brands as publishers are breaking the traditional mold to appeal to new audiences via mobile they never thought reachable and have become active participants in the daily lives of consumers and no longer interruptive voices.

Red Bull gave its brand wings in the wildly successful feature film, The Art of Flight. In cities throughout the U.S., Chipotle took its brand to the stage, sponsoring the Cultivate Festival, mixing rock bands like the Neon Trees with guacamole and chips. Ford decided to take its brand BASE jumping.

All three are great examples of mobile-centric brand publishing. What will your brand's epic mobile publishing moment be? Catch the full story here on Adweek.

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Shake Up Your Mobile Strategy for 2015

With Americans now spending more time on mobile devices than on desktops or laptops, brands need a marketing strategy that embraces mobile. And yet, many brands are struggling to find a coherent mobile strategy. One mobile media company says that brands that don't "get mobile" must overhaul their marketing strategy in 2015 or risk becoming as obsolete as a flip phone. Companies can no longer create a responsive website and claim that they have a mobile strategy.

Smartphones and tablets are very personal devices. People carry them everywhere, unlike desktops or even laptops, so marketing needs to be tailored to how people use their devices. "Indiscriminant push notifications, irrelevant brand messages, and clumsy and complicated mobile interfaces do not impress consumers," says Marla Schimke, VP of marketing at Zumobi, a provider of integrated app content and advertising experiences on smartphones and connected devices. "Understand mobile content marketing is all about the consumer."

"Brands are beginning to understand that mobile content marketing strategy is not a sprint, but a marathon," Schimke says. And yet, the marathon is comprised of countless sprints, as brands can no longer rely on a catchy saying ("A diamond is forever.") or jingle ("Have a Coke and a Smile.") to be the tent pole of their marketing strategy, according to Schimke.

"The advent of mobile as a media platform has thrown a proverbial wrench into branding and marketing teams' creative processes, as they no longer have to think of that one catchy idea-they have to think of 1,000 catchy ideas," says Schimke. "Additionally, they have to think about where and how they will appear and ways to keep their consumers connected to their brand."

However, a complete overhaul of a company's marketing strategy may not be necessary if its business model and marketing initiatives are aligned, says Michael Blumenfeld, managing consultant for financial services at Maxymiser, a provider of cloud-based testing, personalization, and cross-channel optimization solutions. "The business model and goals dictate the outcome of the strategy," Blumenfeld says. A major marketing redo would only be necessary if a company doesn't have a mobile strategy yet or if its "current mobile strategy supports X and you're looking to support Y," Blumenfeld says.

According to a recent IBM survey, most enterprises understand that getting mobile right is a key part of their marketing strategy. "84% of CIOs rate mobile solutions as a critical investment to get closer to customers, while 94% of CMOs ranked mobile apps as crucial to their digital marketing plans," says Michael Gilfix, director of enterprise mobile product management at IBM.

"Based on the innovations in the mobile space over the past 10 months, I am going to say that days of mobile being an ‘afterthought' within a corporate strategy are coming to an end," Gilfix says. "Major corporations are rolling out new apps to enhance their customers' online experience."

Gilfix points out that apps such as QuickPay and Popmoney are making it easy to pay restaurant bills, for example, and Dominos' allows voice ordering. "More companies should be challenging themselves to emulate and improve upon innovations like these, turning mobile strategy into a competitive advantage for their business," he says.

Despite the progress, experts say that there's much work to be done if companies are to capitalize on mobile's promise. Take apps, for example. IBM says that 80% of apps (see graphic) are used only one time and then deleted. Gilfix says that Gartner, Inc.'s research shows that only 1 in 10,000 mobile apps "will be considered financial successes by their developers through 2018."

Creating a more engaging and personalized app experience could "represent significant opportunities in terms of loyalty and revenue," Gilfix says. "For example, 75% of mobile shoppers take action after receiving a location-based message. By designing for mobile from the ground up, organizations can provide targeted, cloud-based push notification technologies to maximize mobile customer engagement and drive a consistent brand experience through multiple channels."

Blumenfeld agrees that the mobile experience is not where it needs to be. "Many people continue to feel that responsive design websites are the end all, be all," he says. "That statement is only true when a corporation has an understanding of what their client is doing across devices."

He sees several challenges that prevent widespread adoption of mobile strategies, including:

• "Very few organizations have the foundation in place to capitalize on the power of mobile as part of a holistic business strategy, instead treating mobile as a siloed communications channel."

• Companies are finding that mobile security is a serious concern and can slow down and even prevent adoption of a mobile strategy.

• "Apps and devices must be integrated with core business processes, workflow, and back-end data and analytics in order to bring the power of mobile to the individual." Apps must be built "from the ground up" to solve complex problems for customers, he says.

2015 will be a challenging year as brands continue to react to consumers' rapid embrace of mobile. The experts interviewed for this article were full of predictions for mobile in 2015. Here are a few:

• Mobile will be embraced. "2015 will be the year that brands truly embrace the ‘mobile first' mindset," says Schimke. "Accompanying this trend, mobile content marketing spend will continue to increase as brands experience the value of engaging the opted-in consumer with relevant content marketing."

• There will be more sophisticated apps. "Developers will create more sophisticated apps that rely on analytics and cognitive computing capabilities to better engage users," says Gilfix. "Developers will be able to better access and store data generated by the apps and make better sense of that data to improve the user experience. Increased use of cognitive technologies like [IBM's] Watson will lead to the development of apps that ‘learn as they go' and use data to help shape entirely new markets."

• Mobile payments will catch on. "Mobile payments opportunities in developed markets will continue to rise, with merchants increasing use of technologies including geolocation and analytics to create greater value propositions for consumers-before and after the transaction-in order to increase consumer interaction and influence changes in purchase behavior and loyalty," Gilfix says.

• There will be beautiful storytelling. "As brands embrace marketing on a mobile device, great content creation and beautiful storytelling will become an integral part of brands' mobile marketing strategies," Schimke says.

• Video advertising's growth will continue, according to Schimke

• "Content will become as important as data in the marketing mix," says Schimke.

Read the full article by Robert Springer here on EContent.

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3 Creative Digital Ads Sure to Impress

Digital marketers have their work cut out for them when it comes to creating compelling, personalized ads that drive clicks – and conversions – on the various channels consumers frequent. Marketers are, however, up for the challenge. According to IAB’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report released in Oct. 2014, Internet ad spending climbed to a historic high of $23 billion for the first half of this year, marking an impressive 15 percent rise over 2013’s first-half ad revenues.

To ensure a return on their investment, brands must know which ads are currently catching the attention of today’s modern – and often distracted – online consumer. Here are such ads.

The CONTENT JOURNEY & Sauza Tequila

NBC is not alone when it comes to looking for innovative ways to drive brand engagement and loyalty. Targeting a female audience over the age of 21, Sauza Tequila enlisted the help of mobile media company Zumobi, Starcom MediaVest Group, Microsoft and Beam, Inc., to provide a fun new way for women with a proclivity for popular culture and social media to plan their next social gathering.

The result was the Sauza Party Planner, which takes tech-savvy party enthusiasts on a Sauza Tequila content journey. An in-app auto-expanding banner ad, which saw a 5 percent click-through rate, sets up the experience (see Image C). Once clicked, users are required to enter a birthdate (to pass the “age gate”) and are then taken to a branded, visually appealing quiz (or they can tab straight through to branded drink recipes) that gives them a tailored result set within a group of four categories (décor, food, drinks, music), plus one custom category. The types of questions users are asked in order to personalize their results range from, “What kind of cocktail or drink would you like to serve?” to “If I could describe my group of girlfriends in one word it would be:”.

Marla Schimke, VP of marketing at Zumobi, believes this type of experience – where people engage with a branded module on a content page that sets up the experience (e.g. “Plan Your Girls Night”) - serves as a best practices guide for brands wanting to utilize mobile to increase brand affinity and user engagement. What’s more, the content marketing experience’s 74 percent return rate serves as proof that consumers enjoyed the ad experience enough to re-engage with it. Zumobi’s “Content Hub” feature helped encourage users to return to the content, as it could be saved on their mobile home screen for continued use and social sharing.

Read the full article by Amberly Dressler with all 3 Creative Digital Ads Sure to Impress here on Website Magazine.