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Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Bill Seibel, Founder and CEO of Mobiquity (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 28th 2012

Sramana Mitra: Let me make an observation based on the two examples you’ve given so far, and we can go into other examples. Just on the two that you’ve cited, these are two large companies. In the first case, they are actually transacting business on the mobile device, right, based on the application that you’ve developed for them? This is an application that is directly taking orders and there’s actual commerce going on. Correct?

Bill Seibel: Correct.

SM: And in the second case, it sounds like it’s a marketing application.

BS: Well, isn’t everything a marketing application? The intent of the application is to position Putnam as a premier provider of retirement funds, and that’s the marketing part of it. The other part of it is to offers incentives people to deposit more of their money, save more of their money for retirement. So, that’s the real business benefit for Putnam.

SM: Right, but if you think through how Putnam goes to market, this is not a company that works directly with consumers. They have to go through the fund managers and the wealth managers. When I’m buying mutual funds for my retirement account, I work with my private banking manager and she’s the one who’s actually making those transactions. The observation that I made about this being a marketing application was that it doesn’t automatically translate into transactions right away.

BS: Right. The transactions that it’s accessing are changing the retirement profile that you put onto your device, and that goes back and ties in to drive thousands and thousands of simulations on the back end that then generate the information you’re looking for. But, yes, I take your point. That’s a good distinction. I think what we’re finding is there isn’t just one category of business that’s driving it.

SM: That is what’s interesting about this conversation. You bring to our audience a perspective of what large corporations are doing with their mobile application strategies. I would like to do a few more of these examples and case studies, just to give our audience a good feel for what kinds of applications large companies are investing in.

BS: We see a lot of large companies interested in taking an iPad and being able to deploy to their sales forces. What we see a lot of companies doing is decide to get apps and buying a lot of iPads, but then they come back and wrestle with the question, What do we put on the iPads [besides] the standard apps one can download from iTunes?

SM: Could we do a case study of that specific style of application? Tell us about one of your clients that is doing that. Tell us about what kinds of applications you are helping them build to put on those iPads.

BS: This client was a company that had bought iPads for everyone, started to roll them out, wasn’t sure what should go on them. They wanted to make sure people were getting the most benefit out of it. They didn’t want to just use it as an unconnected device. We worked with them to think through what could really improve the productivity of the sales force and what should be built to be deployed on those devices. There was a sales meeting coming up where they wanted to alert the sales force to what was coming down the pike. They engaged with us to do what we call an ID action. An ID action is a definition of the functionality, a prioritization of the functionality, a definition of the business case. It’s a look at the architecture and at any security issues. It’s the definition of the proposal for going forward, but it’s also a visualization of what a day in the life of that device’s user would be like. The way that we’ve put that together is, you can see an example for WestJet on our website. There’s a video on there called Quora. What we did at the sales meeting was have them present to their sales force, these two visualizations, which are videos to help them get what the opportunity is and use that as a way to validate what direction to go with us. They showed that at the sales meeting.

I’m going to turn it over to Lori [Cohen, the vice president of marketing] because she drove the production of those videos. Would you fill in the blanks, Lori?

Lori: Sure.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Bill Seibel, Founder and CEO of Mobiquity
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