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.
Need creative Inspiration? Check out our ZBi content marketing platform features, formats, and award-winning campaigns in action. Be inspired.
As Chief Executive Officer, Ken Willner leads an experienced team in the development and growth of Zumobi’s mobile media business. Prior to Zumobi, Ken was Vice President of Advertising and Media at AT&T Wireless, where he developed a number of innovative marketing programs to stimulate consumer adoption of mobile content and applications
What are the secrets/keys to successful content branding today and to creating great content that is useful to a brand’s audience/customers?
The key to successful content branding is providing valuable information to people whenever and wherever they want it. On a daily basis, the consumer is bombarded with irrelevant marketing messages. In order for a brand to successfully engage with consumers, they must either create quality content or align themselves with content meaningful to the consumer. Additionally, branded content must be contextually relevant and easily accessed via whatever medium or method desired.
For example, on average a typical consumer spends at least 139 minutes a day on their mobile device. These connected individuals represent a tremendous number of daily touch points between brands and consumers. To effectively reach these consumers, marketers need to apply content marketing programs in ways that can be distributed across any device or screen in both long and short form.
Why is it important for content marketers to get this branded content out to wider audiences?
eMarketer predicts that mobile usage will grow 23 percent this year as time spent online and with traditional media declines. Last year, mobile time (excluding voice calls) lined up evenly with time spent on desktops and laptops. This year, they believe that mobile will pull significantly ahead. With this emphatic shift to mobile devices, it is imperative to seize the opportunity and provide relevant content consumers connect with; when and where they want it.
What strategies do you recommend for content marketers to get their branded content out? What strategies have proven effective and not so effective?
Marketers should leverage every communication channel available to them to expand their branded content exposure, including paid, earned and owned media. On the paid media side, the movement toward native advertising offers some unique opportunities to provide branded content more organic to a user’s consumption. Then on the owned media side, one of the areas that my company, Zumobi, has been pioneering is the enablement of content marketing programs inside a marketer’s own native mobile and tablet apps. Our ZBi platform provides a compelling opportunity for marketers to deliver personalized content to their customer based on their expressed intentions and preferences.
What are some of the distinctive/recent challenges digital publishers/electronic content providers face today when it comes to wider distribution of their branded content and maximizing their reach/message that perhaps weren’t challenges just a few years ago?
Capturing consumer attention in an increasingly competitive digital media landscape is definitely a challenge. Also, developing and optimizing content for distribution across multiple screens is a significant endeavor. The fragmentation created by the diversity of connected devices, screens and operating systems add major complexities to business today.
What are some don’ts marketers should avoid?
Don’t assume that one size fits all when it comes to content marketing. Different consumption modes require different formats, digital assets and feeds, as well as diverse technology to really be successful in today’s evolving digital media landscape.
What are some of the challenges/limitations/opportunities publishers and marketers need to keep in mind?
Most Fortune 500 companies from major auto manufactures, to banks and CPG brands have their own mobile applications. Frequently, we’ve noticed that these were launched quickly as utility apps, with functionalities to book a hotel room, check an account balance or print out a boarding pass. These features are functional of course, but they do not provide a mechanism for the brand to communicate, cross-sell or upsell to their customers. Adding a creative and compelling content hub to their app enables brands to keep their customers engaged on a whole new level, motivating them to keep coming back for more.
How should publishers/marketers be leveraging different platforms and media to increase their reach/audience? Any creative/innovative strategies they should consider?
Brands should consider deploying a content marketing platform for apps that easily leverages existing content from outlets like YouTube, Twitter (and even their print publications) to continually inject interesting new dynamic content into their app. What many brands may not know is that this can be done without the hassles of long-term development efforts, continual app store updates or even ongoing technical assistance from IT departments. Marketers that embrace a content marketing platform can easily update their apps automatically and streamline their process in real-time. In addition, brands benefit from the app data they gather because it can be utilized to inform associated marketing efforts.
Can you provide at least one example of a digital content provider/publisher that has been particularly successful in getting its branded content out to the masses?
For last year’s “Chevrolet Technology Series” campaign, Zumobi, in partnership with Motor Trend and Commonwealth, utilized our ZBi platform to translate a special print editorial collection to the mobile environment. This provided users a unique branded content experience across Motor Trend’s iOS and Android reader apps. Essentially, the ZBi platform provided a native-ad solution for Chevrolet. The campaign achieved phenomenal success, resulting in an unprecedented 37 percent engagement rate, which showcased the fact that more than one-third of people interacted with the native mobile advertisement. Additionally, we were named a GOLD winner of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) 9th Annual MIXX Awards in IAB’s Standard Mobile Rich Media Display category.
What other often overlooked factors/criteria should publishers/marketers be considering?
Publishers and marketers must always be cognizant of our changing times. Since the advent of apps about seven years ago, the world has undergone a momentous digital transformation that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s by all accounts speeding up. Stay fresh, stay relevant and remain successful.
Any other thoughts/comments?
Consumers want information, but they also want to be entertained. When done correctly, a brand’s app can provide “infotainment” to keep the customer intrigued and engaged. After eight years in the mobile space, I’m confident that mobile content marketing will drive real results for brands and exceed expectations.
View the full QA with Ken Willner, CEO of Zumobi, here on adotas.
Dump Your Desktop Approach For Integrated, Individualized Mobile Ads
Nearly a third of the world's population is equipped with smartphones, and saturation reaches more than two-thirds in major markets like Hong Kong, the UK, and the US. This creates a huge mobile advertising opportunity: Marketers can reach a sizable audience with hypertargeted messages, and all industry players — from agencies to publishers to ad tech vendors — stand to profit. But although mobile ad investment is growing and the market is ripe with vendors offering programmatic solutions, the reality of this market still lags behind the potential. This report will explain the opportunity and hurdles within the mobile advertising market today and what marketers, agencies, publishers, and advertising technology vendors have to do to help the industry reach its potential.
FORRESTER REPORT: Mobile Advertising: It's Time To Get Personal
April 16, 2014
By: Jennifer Wise with Melissa Parrish, Susan Bidel, Thomas Husson, Olivia French
To learn more access the full report here.
Zumobi, a Seattle-based mobile media and advertising technology company that supplies integrated app content to brands and publishers, launched Wednesday the Zumobi Brand Integration Platform for Marketers.
Zumobi operates premium mobile app network The Zumobi Network and has worked with publishing partners like Hearst Digital Media and MSN to monetize its mobile apps through its rich media platform and developer kits.
One of the traditional challenges app developers face is cracking the code on user retention and in-app engagement, but Zumobi CEO Ken Willner says this is where the company is focused on helping mobile marketers make headway. He spoke with AdExchanger.
AdExchanger: Can you bring us up to speed on Zumobi and what you do? KEN WILLNER: Zumobi has been in the mobile apps space close to eight years now and pre-iPhone. We are able to create very immersive content and brand experiences in mobile applications. The common phrasing now is “content marketing” or “native advertising,“ but essentially we’re creating content and advertising experiences that help [marketers] deliver through our platform inside of mobile applications.
What’s next? The next wrinkle or evolution of our platform is we’ve been asked over the last six to eight months by some of our brand clients about helping them enable these kinds of rich branded content experiences inside of their own apps. So the nuance here is that whereas before, we were providing a paid media opportunity, we’re now extending that to owned media and brands are using their own apps as a canvas to communicate with their customers using content and that’s the new extension of the platform.
What need does this address? Consumer-facing Fortune 500 companies like banks, airlines, hotels and pharma, [all] have their own mobile and tablet applications. They typically got those out to market quickly as utility apps, with functionality like “book a hotel room, check your account balance, print out your boarding pass.” They were always quite functional and still are, but haven’t provided a mechanism for those companies to talk to, cross-sell or upsell to their customers before – some of these CRM capabilities – and we want to enable that through this extension of our platform.
What are the components? The branded content module enables a brand to deliver RSS feeds or video or any kind of branded content to customers. The Partner Marketing module is quite important because most brands today have third-party marketing relationships such an airline and a credit card partner, or a destination hotel partner. This module is database-driven and enables these brands to enable their marketing partners to deliver offers to their user base in a very selective, targeted way and through cross-promotion. The third module is the mobile media module, which is an ad-serve product that can deliver a derivative of digital ad campaigns which might be running or even those same campaigns, inside of a brand’s own app to their own customer base. This can also include blogs or social content, but any form of content they want to deliver their own content.
Zumobi launched mobile video ad formats in the fall that brand clients Nissan and Corona have used. What’s the biggest issue with mobile video? The uptake on that unit has been pretty compelling. The thesis behind that was that mobile video in particular is pretty hot. Advertisers are quite interested in that format, but inventory is constrained. There’s a certain amount of video in mobile and on the Web in general and a lot of it is pre- or post-roll and what we wanted to do with that product was create video inventory where it didn't exist prior, so we could help publishers create an offering that brand advertisers could take advantage of, that was not a blocking interstitial. Interstitials tend to annoy users, particularly if you block all the content and it’s a midpoint between a blocking interstitial and a pre-roll so it auto plays video but in a way that can be closed out easily and does not take over a whole page. That way if a user is interested they can click through, go to a full landing page and get the whole video experience. We wanted to create a unit that didn't exist before that has all the good characteristics of delivering video for advertisers, but not the quality of taking over the content experience, which is a problem.
What’s the greatest challenge for brand advertisers with in-app messaging and content? There are a lot of form factors, devices, screens and operating systems. There is a complexity to the business in general. [One of the major problems I’ve seen is the] concepts that worked on desktop Web were immediately transported to mobile. I’m on the IAB Native Advertising committee, and I have to say that brand advertisers have woken up to the mobile opportunity and are realizing that there is a lot more that can be done on this smaller screen if you have the thought leadership and ambition to do it.
Can you talk about your customer base, impressions served and headcount? On the advertising side, I can say with confidence that 75% of (companies on the 100 Leading National Advertisers Index) have used Zumobi in one form or another. On the publisher side, we think about it in two ways. We have direct, first-party publishing relationships where we have direct relationships with the media companies where we produced the app ourselves, or we have our software development kit (SDK) inside of the app, and through our direct and extended network, we probably have a couple million premium uniques there and a couple hundred million impressions. And then we have third-party relationships where we can extend our ad units and advertising capabilities into any IAB/MRAID (Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions)-compliant app. Over the last four years, we have seen significant growth – certainly in the high double-digit percentages, but I can’t really disclose profitability and revenues. We are at 28 people now.
Read the full article here on Ad Exchanger to learn more.