Jon Jackson is the founder and CEO of Mobile Posse, the first company to commercially launch graphically-enhanced interactive mobile home screen programming in North America, offering a proactive mobile delivery channel well-suited to the needs of carriers, content providers, and brands. The Makegood recently spoke with Jon about Mobile Posse’s venture into home screen messaging for mobile devices.
The Makegood: What made you invent Mobile Posse’s home screen messaging capabilities?
I decided to start Mobile Posse as I saw a problem that needed fixing in the mobile space — that problem was awareness and adoption. Today’s mobile devices are approximately one billion times more capable than the devices from five years ago. Many of these capabilities aren’t commonly known. We set out to see if we could find a solution.
The Makegood: According to a study by Arbitron Mobile, your home screen messaging drives greater app usage than Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, YouTube, and Yahoo. How does it work and why is that?
Home screen messaging is kind of like the old 3M commercial, I am paraphrasing here: “We don’t make many of the products you buy, we make the products you buy better,” or in our case we make you both aware of those products and in some cases increase their functionality. At the end of the day, we are a rich-media messaging platform that delivers messages to home screen, lock screen and notification trays of mobile devices. Our platform can almost guarantee that your message will be seen, but that is only half the battle. The other half is the content of the message that’s delivered. It could be a message to a user migrating from a feature phone (AKA dumb phone) to a smart-phone. In that case, maybe we are educating the user on how to get the most out of their new device, kind of a tips and tricks. In other cases, maybe we are trying to promote a particular subscription product that a consumer might be interested in. It really runs the gambit.
The Makegood: What are the key findings of the study and what do these say about the change in the market?
The short version is the easier you make something to do, the more likely people are to do it. That’s not Earth shattering news, but what this study really highlights is there are ways to surface messages, content, etc. in a way that is helpful to the consumer and to content providers or operators. And when these ways of messaging are implemented, you can materially move the needle.
The Makegood: Leading media publishers partner with you to leverage the reach and engagement benefits of Mobile Posse’s home screen messaging and carrier distribution. How can they benefit from your services and how would a practical example look like?
Media publishers spend a lot of time and effort making quality content for the web and many of them have taken that next step of creating an application to engage consumers in a more immersive experience. The home screen is another mechanism by which to reach consumers on their mobile device. It has some attributes that make it quite compelling. It is proactive as opposed to reactive. In our case, we wait until the consumer isn’t busy doing something else and deliver a message. This means that the message gets high engagement as the user isn’t otherwise engaged, or irritated at being interrupted. I would give the example of weather. We have struck a partnership with a weather provider and by combining their accurate and timely information with our delivery mechanism we have created a very compelling product for consumers. We know where the consumer is, so we generate a message with the latest weather for the area they are in. It’s like chocolate and peanut butter.
The Makegood: What is most important when developing and distributing home screen messaging to drive consumer engagement?
The attributes that make an important message are ones that take into account context (where someone is located, what are they trying to accomplish), expressed interests (likes weather and sports), implied interests (seems to click on a lot of football articles) and demographics (24 years old, lives in Arlington VA).
The Makegood: Thanks, Jon.