The Location-Powered Long-Game
Marketing technology success takes time … stability and sales are the rewards, says Verve's Tom Kenney
If you’re brand, a publisher, a stakeholder in any capacity in the location-powered mobile marketing industry, the very nature of the business — its only constant being ongoing change, evolution, and the drive for innovation — means not only progress but a certain sense of … uncertainty.
How can you build a sustainable strategy and deliver successful mobile campaigns with confidence when you’re relying on an industry that sometimes seems as if it doesn’t know whether it’s in the data, the media, or the platform game? Answer: success is about all three of these critical pieces coming together. And it’s keeping them together for the long-term that counts.
Playing in this league is hard. We get it. All the components, getting to an end-to-end solution and sticking with it long enough and with consistency, being a partner that brands and publishers can count on — we’re in one of the toughest businesses to tackle.
As with any growth-industry, the important thing to remember is that there are simply no short cuts. Success at location-powered marketing is about deep relationships, partnerships that expand and evolve over time — one-to-one connections fueled by the process of overcoming unexpected challenges and tapping into newfound opportunities. One campaign at a time, success is about vision and forging the road forward. And this takes perseverance.
Leaders in location-powered marketing love to dig-in. Leaders love the deep behind-the-scenes victories of inventing, solving, and delivering something new that benefits businesses both large and small. Leaders in location vie for clean, dynamic, authentic data and methodologies — sound metrics, robust audiences, contextually matched creative, modern measurement and reporting, plus first-party opportunities with a variety of premium partners.
Location-powered leaders who are in this for the long-haul know something else, too: data, in and of itself, isn’t a strategy; it’s really one piece of a larger tactical toolkit. In other words, capture or buy all the data you want … but if you’re not able to act on the resulting insights and connect with consumers through media, then all you own is a lot of data.
And the work doesn’t stop at connecting with consumers in relevant mobile-media moments. With the crucial pieces of both data and media in place, now comes the third essential element: the platform itself. Yes, content and context are king when it comes to consumers.
Yet, for location-powered leaders and their brand and publisher partners, the high king is the technology that we use to make all this data and media and expertise come together in a unified way. It’s this unification that drives real-world sales. It’s the platform. It’s the result of the engineering inventions that empower us to execute with accuracy, speed, and overall excellence as we create meaningful and responsive mobile moments for the consumer.
That’s the complete location game, in a nutshell. Ever-changing as it is. Find your long-game location-powered partner, stick with them, and together deliver great work.
We live in an extremely dynamic and complex high-tech, high-risk, high-reward environment. With more than 12 years of location-powered mobile ad-tech experiences, the only constant I have known is change (and, thankfully, fun and exciting growth). When we acknowledge and embrace the long game, we get to change the marketplace. Publishers win with consumers. Brands deepen relationships and grow sales. Technology advances and adapts.
All the flux in the world can’t overwhelm long-game players when it comes to meaningful outcomes like these.
*Tom Kenney is the president and CEO of Verve. Since founding Verve in 2005, he has focused on the power of location intelligence and mobile to provide advertisers with inventive solutions to amplify their mobile marketing strategies. Resulting from his pioneering efforts, Verve has become one of the most powerful mobile technology platforms in the marketing industry, driving foot traffic and sales for modern marketers in the US and abroad.
Prior to Verve, Tom spent five years with BlueRun Ventures, an early stage global venture capital fund, and the previous two years with Nokia Oy, overseeing investments in mobile internet technologies. Early in his career, he held various leadership roles in the telecommunications industry. Tom holds an MBA from the George Mason University and serves on the global board of directors of the Mobile Marketing Association.