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iMob Media winning with location-based marketing

Brendan Conway of iMobMedia says digital technology offers a new and innovative way for brands to engage with consumers through their mobiles.

Interviewer: John Daly
Interviewee: Brendan Conway
Background: Co-founder and commercial director of iMobMedia, providers of real time proximity mobile marketing.

Location-based marketing boosts sales, adding a new income stream and extra revenue — so says Brendan Conway of iMobMedia.

“iMobMedia uses geolo-cation technology to enable mobile network operators to connect with customers at the right time, in the right place with the right offer via SMS and MMS and delivers five times increase in redemption rates of branded offers,” says Mr Conway, iMobMedia’s co-founder and commercial director. iMobMedia’s geolocation technology opens up a new revenue stream for mobile network operators to leverage their assets to brands, agencies and retailers through location based marketing, location based advertising and direct marketing.

“Mobile marketing is becoming an increasingly important part of the overall marketing mix and the awards showcase the very best mobile strategies and the companies behind them,” he added.

Formed around the idea of enabling brands to talk to their customers when the customer is in the vicinity of the retailers high street stores, iMobMedia developed a platform that capitalised on industry trends in cloud, big data and digital advertising to develop a technology platform to support the founding vision.

“Our business is under-pinned by intelligent data insights that allows brands to target the right people, at the right time, in the right place. iMobMedia are a very strong advocate of new media and firmly believe that mobile, personalisation and ultimately data will transform the advertising sector.”

Predicting the future and making revenue now was the key challenge from the start, he said. “But there are clients looking to lead in this area, and this has helped us grow. Delivering a service that allows us stand out from the crowd has helped, and our challenge now is to scale our offering and revenues.”

For a store owner to know a customer is nearby and could be engaged presented a powerful offering, especially when bolstered by iMobMedia’s impressive redemption rates. Brendan and his co-founders, Richard Wheatley and Philip Comerford, all have extensive experience in the mobile telecoms field.

“Digital marketing is new area for most brands. Digital is a new and innovative way for brands to engage with consumers via their mobiles. We were making what was both a technology sell and a market insight sell to help clients make sense of a complex mobile landscape. As with most startups, the first contract is key. Where better to start with mobile marketing and advertising than with a mobile operator?” iMobMedia has worked on the Guinness Autumn rugby internationals campaign and is now looking forward to working on the Heineken Cup and the Six Nations championships.

“The availability of funding for us, like all start-ups, is a challenge in today’s business environment,” Brendan Conway says. “While our ambitions are big, they must be tempered with the availability of funding to accelerate our product roadmap. The venture capital and angel investors community have been hit by the recession, but we are ready and optimistic to open discussions towards investor growth funding.”

The introduction of non-executive directors James Wyse and ex-Eircell CEO Stephen Brewer to the board reflect the increased interest from VC and angel investors, he says.

“We are in mature investment discussions and are in a strong position for 2014 and beyond. Our message to the investment community is, get on board now.”

Research by Berg Insight shows that real-time location ads will make up 33% of all mobile marketing by 2017, worth €6.5bn, up from €526m in 2012. Ad formats like location-specific SMS, mobile search and coupons will come to represent around 5% of all digital advertising, or 1% of total global ad spend across all media, the report predicted.

“The initial phase of our product gave the brands reach and intelligent targeting by age, gender and phone type. Key to the next phase is the explosion in the usage of the smartphone. More intelligent targeting and rich media formats coupled with location will drive mobile marketing use and engagement. Linking social, local and mobile offers great opportunities and we aim to be part of that digital marketing revolution.”

This will put the technology directly in the user’s pocket via their handsets, to engage with mobile operators, brands and advertisers, he says. “What better time is there to talk to a consumer than when they’re in the right location, at the right time, and to target them with a personalised tailored offer,” he says.


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