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Exclusive Interview with Benny Arbel, the founder and Executive Director of myThings Article

What is the key to effective innovation in mobile?

Everyone is on mobile now but that doesn’t mean you can generalise. Each device has it’s own rhythm and cadence. We see now that mobile consumers are more demanding than ever and expect unprecedented consistency across devices. Innovations that provide this and personalise consumer interactions are the real differentiators in the market.The most important thing is to understand your audience. A technically flawless and innovative product that doesn’t fill a need or solve a problem will struggle to get anyone’s attention.

What’s the key to driving engagement with mobile advertising?

Consistency and quality throughout the entire customer journey, which has become a complex, multi-touchpoint affair – from first contact to first conversion through to subsequent sales. With app and web retargeting, we provide advertisers a way of driving engagement among their audiences in the lower stages of the conversion funnel, where performance is key. By re-engaging the right consumers through the use of high-quality creatives that are properly aligned to their brands, we encourage more lost and lapsed users back to their apps and drive conversions, increasing the lifetime value of these customers.

Conversely, what are the main mistakes advertisers should avoid when using mobile?

The most important thing is not to be overly intrusive or harmful to the user experience. This means ensuring you don’t serve people ads that are not relevant or bloated to the extent that they hinder app/web performance. If someone has to wait for ads to load before they can access the content they want, they’re much less likely to engage with us. Many of the technical innovations underpinning the services we provide at myThings are built on addressing these precise consumer pain points – ensuring that users are served personalised ads that are truly relevant, non-intrusive and light-weight. We firmly believe that when advertising is done right, it becomes an important and appreciated utility to consumers.

What’s the most exciting thing about mobile in 2015?

The growing prevalence of 4G and more accurate GPS is opening up mobile, and subsequently advertising, in some intriguing ways. Geo-fencing is particularly interesting especially for utilities providers, who now have the ability to offer users ‘hyper local’ services – whether that’s an Uber pickup from their current location or an open table at a restaurant around the corner. Location provides the context through which to provide consumers with more information about their immediate surroundings in a way that we’ve only begun to touch upon. Just look at what a service such as Google Now is already capable of. Beyond this, we’re also excited by the growing role that video has to play and the proliferation of wearables.

What do you expect future publishers’ mobile advertising models to look like?

App publishers tend to think about things primarily in terms of number of installs, measuring advertising campaigns by CPI. This has its uses, but can also be limiting, particularly when it comes to the lifetime value (LTV) of a user. Publishers are learning that not all installs are equal in terms of value, so we expect to see a shift – just as we did with desktop – towards metrics that emphasise cost-per-action and more strongly reflect LTVs.

What is the main advantage of attending Apps World [Europe/US/etc]?

Apps World events offer publishers and advertisers from the app ecosystem access across all verticals – an incredibly powerful tool when many of the smaller events are geared specifically towards one vertical, such as mCommerce or gaming. It also provides unique networking opportunities, which is why myThings is working with Apps World to host two special Ignite Mixers on each day of the London conference this month.

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