Inbar Chap is deputy CEO of Israel-based PC, mobile and social advertising network, DMG Media Group. Chap led the company’s move into mobile marketing. Today the DMG runs mobile campaigns in 195 countries in 25 languages.
1. What is the one thing that gets you most excited about mobile Web, mobile services and/or mobile marketing?
What blows me away is the rapid pace with which technology and mobile solutions are evolving. Just three years ago, activity was just beginning in the mobile space, everything was new and only a few companies were doing exciting things with mobile – and you could name them all. Now there has been an explosion of devices, applications and technologies. Today hundreds of thousands companies across all industries – publishing, music, gaming, finance etc – can be found integrated onto a single mobile device. Mobile advertising is striving to keep pace with the innovation with the introduction of rich media, interactive ads and new tools for monitoring and optimizing.
2. What are your favorite (and least favorite) a) mobile Websites, b) mobile services c) mobile campaigns? What can the rest of us learn from these?
I have to wave my blue and white flag for Israel – in a relatively small country, it is amazing that it should produce so many advances in mobile technology and so many new startups – mobile companies just keep popping up and so many become successful and market leaders.
Of those, my favorite applications are ones that save time and have become such an essential part of my life that I can’t image how I would cope without them. These include:
• Pango parking services: It’s easy and covers any area in Israel – where you have to pay for parking. My smartphone tells the app my location and all I have to do is approve starting the virtual parking meter coverage, with one click – a real life saver, or money saver in this case. (Pango is expanding overseas to cities in the US, Germany, Poland and Greece).
• Waze: This provides navigation services and notification of speed traps, traffic Jams and road hazards in real time, fed by a huge and growing social network. It’s become second nature for me to open that app before starting on any journey to check the fastest route to take. (Waze is available in US, Italy, Spain, Israel and other countries on Android and iOS)
• Israeli Clalit Health Clinic App: I hate waiting in lines or closed places with lots of sick people, so for me this app – in all that concerns health services – is a must have. I get my medical test results by SMS notification. It includes a dictionary which explains in layman’s terms all the medical abbreviations, so you don’t then have to hunting on the Internet for meanings of abbreviations such as HTC, HTB and such.
3. Who is the new kid on the block – the mobile site/business to watch for the future?
In my opinion, the winner has to be Conduit. It’s a cloud-based solution provider and was recently named as one of the Business Insider’s Digital 100. As the market matures, the expectation is that all Websites will be mobile friendly. Conduit provides this capability instantly, without hefty development time or costs.
4. What (vertical) sector would you say is furthest ahead in mobile?
Rather than highlighting a particular vertical, I’d point out all those major brands that are investing mega money to invest in the mobile medium. Coca Cola, McDonalds, Doritos and plenty of other big brands are expending lots of time, money and brain power on engaging mobile consumers in innovative ways.
That said, we should also pay tribute to the gaming sector. These guys really succeed in engaging the user in ways that ensures constant satisfaction and entertainment and keeps us coming back for more any time we have a free minute to spare.
5. What’s the most exciting/inspirational country/part of the world for mobile Internet/mobile marketing? What can the rest of us learn from there?
It should be obvious from my previous responses that I am going to pick Israel. As stated in the NY Times best-selling book The Start-Up Nation Israel has more companies on the tech-oriented NASDAQ stock exchange than any country outside the US – more than all of Europe and India combined. The sheer amount of successful mobile companies and developers is phenomenal per GDP.
Other than Israel, I am totally in awe of what is happening in Asia. It really breaths technology and mobile; and lives by absolute technological advancements.
Q6. What technology or initiative is most likely to revolutionize mobile Web/marketing? What sites/brands use this to maximum effect?
As someone who hates to be weighed down by wallet cards and bulky bags, my dream is that my smartphone will replace the wallet and let me pay everywhere – restaurants, taxis, road tolls – just like what is already happening in Japan. Payments should be seamlessly integrated with our favorite applications and Websites without a need for external payment methods.
7. If you could wave your magic wand and change one thing in the industry, what would it be?
I’d like to see the same technological standardization that has already been established in the online space come to the mobile world. There would be no need to differentiate between smartphones and feature phones or IOS, Android and all other smartphone operating systems. In my ideal world there would be one standard for applications and marketing formats – it would make mobile advertising much easier and more scalable.
Nowadays a marketer is forced to invest broadly both resources and money on so many types of interfaces and screens – it’s an absurd situation that is influencing how fast the digital Web ecosystem moves to the mobile Web.
8. What’s the biggest mistake in mobile Web/marketing?
There is a misconception that mobile marketing is or should be similar to online marketing. It isn’t. Unlike the online environment, mobile presents an ecosystem which consists of a mix of device types and operators. It creates a greater challenge for mobile marketers. To optimize campaigns and achieve maximum ROI, direct-response advertisers need to focus on these diverse parameters, ensuring optimal campaign delivery through the addition of multi-parameter optimization layers.
In addition, mobile content has to be minimized or concentrated because the screen is much smaller, and designed for mobility. You can’t present content in a way that is uncomfortable for the user to access or read, and you can’t expect them to have to scroll right and left and up and down to find what they need.
The conversion process has to be suitable for mobile: short steps, easier processes and make payment as straight forward as possible, while letting them pay in the way they choose, via their mobile carrier bill, by mobile wallet or credit card.
9. What are the most useful resources – sites, must-read books, associations etc – for mobile marketers?
I was really appreciative of the Mobile Playbook that Google put together – it encompasses almost everything you should consider before going mobile and how to embrace this form of marketing in the most optimal way.
Q10. Which mobile-marketing guru would you like to do our five-minute interview next?
I would like to hear from the Waze team. They recognized a need for and created a great navigation app and driving companion, embedding within it the power of crowd-sourced wisdom. On top of this, they introduced the sort of accurate and appropriate location-based advertising that we expect to play a major part in mobile marketing.
Recent mobiThinking five-minute interviews:
• Lynne Gordon, Brandtone • James Connelly, Fetch • Kerstin Trikalitis, Out There Media; MMA • Scott Seaborn, XS2 • Jay Emmet, OpenMarket • Chris Bourke, Mobext • Dr KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity • Carsten Frien, Madvertise • Pam Horan, Online Publishers Association • Barney Loehnis, OgilvyOne, Asia Pacific • Tom Eslinger, Saatchi & Saatchi
• The 100 million club: top 10 mobile markets by number of mobile subscriptions
• The insiders’ guides to world’s greatest mobile markets • New in-depth country guides to: • Nigeria • Kenya •
• There are one billion smartphones in use in the world – that’s all folks
• Mobile Web overtakes PC Web in China
• Must-watch video on how mobile is transforming Africa
• Guide to mobile agencies • Latest agency profile: • The Hyperfactory •
• Guide to mobile industry awards • Check out the video case studies: • Smarties (MMA) • Cannes Lions •
• Guide to mobile ad networks 2012 • with 5 new ad networks •
• Mobile events 2012 • best conferences, great discounts and free tickets •
• The big compendium of global mobile stats