Rumble Inc.’s Uyen Tieu on Mobile User Engagement

Uyen-220x298sdsd Uyen Tieu is the Revenue Strategist (Media, Digital, and Tech) for Rumble Inc., the mobile-first platform for publishers. Rumble powers content for publishers of news, sports and entertainment; across multiple platforms and devices. Rumble delivers the first end-to-end publisher solution bringing together a full user experience, advanced monetization and complete publisher control, in a single, easy-to-use platform. The Makegood recently spoke with Uyen about Rumble’s Mobile User Engagement Study for Publishers.

The Makegood: This was your first Mobile User Engagement Study for Publishers. What made you decide to conduct this study, and do you see it becoming an annual undertaking?

In the mobile economy – data is king. Knowing how your content is being consumed and what users are doing with your content helps inform both your content strategy and your monetization strategy. With Rumble, we at first wanted to provide our publishers with granular data to help inform them on how their app was performing, but as we aggregated the data, we saw interesting trends that we felt weren’t part of the mobile conversation. Most of the data out there on mobile usually has a high dose of game apps and productivity apps – but there wasn’t a focus on content apps. I know that when I was a strategy exec at Viacom, having a study like this where I could take action on the findings would have been immensely valuable.  And with Rumble, our clients will be companies like a Viacom and MTV, so it was a very easy decision to share this study with the industry.

Yes – We will likely produce an annual study to help inform publishers on user trends specific to them.

The Makegood: You unveiled the results at AD:TECH NY 2013 on November 6, what has been the initial response?

The response has been a range of – “Wow, this is so helpful” to “Ah, it makes so much sense.” I think that when it comes to publishers – there has been a dearth of data that can really help them craft their strategies, and sometimes in mobile, people get caught up with the next big new technology or social trend, and it’s hard to make sense of what really matters. So our finding that 76 percent of users prefer to share new articles with email and not social networks – provides publishers with an opportunity to do interesting things with email signatures to drive engagement. Email signatures isn’t a new technology, and it’s been sitting in plain view for publishers take advantage of.

The Makegood: How do you plan to use this data to create business opportunities?

We created Rumble to build the most powerful mobile technology to connect people together. Mobile is still a nascent industry – where publishers are chasing after consumers who have drastically changed their content consumption behavior. The reason why it’s been so hard for publishers to keep up with the user changes is that they don’t have enterprise level technology to effectively manage mobile. Part of this requires education for publishers to help them understand that their online technologies aren’t transferable to mobile, but the other part of the education is helping publishers focus on the users, and not the hype. In chasing users, this study doesn’t triangulate information or a focus group, but was conducted with native event tagging, and gives publishers real data. With native event tagging publishers can define an event like a button being pressed, an article being read or a zoom of a screen. This study was a very high level study, but was able to produce very helpful insights. With Rumble, publishers can use this exact same capability specific to their own mobile offering and strategy.

The Makegood: One interesting finding is that e-mail is still the preferred method of sharing news articles, with Twitter and Facebook about even. Do you see one of these two social media giants pulling ahead of the other? And if so, why?

I think it’s really about the brand identity of the two social media giants, so it’s not about one necessarily pulling in front of the other, but each defining their own corner of social media. Twitter’s brand is more about micro-broadcasting, and making things newsworthy and a movement.  Newsworthy could be Kim Kardashian’s musings or newsworthy could be the Arab Spring. In Twitter the currency is followers – how many people are listening to you and what you have to say – there is a journalistic streak to the Twitter brand.  Whereas Facebook, I think it’s personal sharing and making a connection with other people – the currency there is more about finding people with similar interests or common connections.  With Facebook it’s about a community and personalization.

The Makegood: What are some things unveiled by this study that surprised you? Some things that didn’t surprise you?

The email statistic at first surprised me – but as I thought about how I personally shared interesting news, it was so obvious. I think because I am in the media and tech world and with the highly publicized IPOs of Twitter and Facebook, I got caught up in the hype and thought that these two social networks had fundamentally change how people share information. The fact is that yes they have fundamentally changed certain things – but not everything. Social networks are about trying to speak to many people with minimal work; however, email is not about trying to get the biggest bang but rather people feeling specifically engaged in something and wanted to tell it to a specific person. And when you add all these specific instances, they rival the social networks. The issue has been that there isn’t a single platform for email or an aggregator study of behavior on all email platforms – and so it hasn’t been as obvious the power of these individual actions.

The finding that android users shared more did not surprise me.  Usually the people I know that refuse to use Apple have a philosophical allergy to how closed the OS system is because they can’t customize and control what goes in and out of their phones and tablets. Needless to say, if that’s their reasoning, this usually means that the Android users that I know tend to be more “gadget geeks.” And if anyone is sharing things, and are heavy users of the social networks space, they would be the people.

The Makegood: Thank you, Uyen