Verve CEO: We’re A One-Stop-Shop For Mobile Location Marketing

With its new self-serve ad program aimed at SMBs, Verve is evolving from its mobile ad network roots. A conversation with CEO Nada Stirratt and CMO Julie Bernard.

February 11, 2016 – GeoMarketing It’s 80 degrees in Carlsbad, where the executive team from Verve is meeting to chart the year’s path, following the full launch of its self-serve ad offering this week.

The New York company is working to be seen a more developed mobile programmatic player. CEO Nada Stirratt and CMO Julie Bernard spoke to GeoMarketing about the new client area for Verve and how all of it has reflected the updating of its identity since the last half of 2015.

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Verve Opens Self-Serve Location Targeting Platform Aimed At SMBs

As more local businesses adapt their traditional marketing programs for mobile, Verve is offering a broader use for its enterprise tools.

February 10, 2016 – GeoMarketing With roughly three-quarters of SMBs availing themselves of digital marketing services, mobile ad platform Verve is releasing a white label self-service ad program that promises local businesses the same geo-targeting capabilities that its enterprise and agency partners currently have.

Verve’s self-serve mobile ad platform lets SMBs select audience targeting segments that can be adjusted based on location and the creative assets and messaging, all of which is directed by a range of consumer data.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and spend $50B on local media each year,” said Nada Stirratt, Verve’s CEO, in a statement. “Through the power of our new platform, Verve is helping SMBs get the most of out of their precious marketing dollars, executing seamless location-based mobile marketing campaigns.”

While most local businesses have been shifting their spending to social media — primarily driven by Facebook’s increasingly aggressive marketing at the local level — SMBs have also been forced to take a closer look at programmatic tools in general. The bottom line, as Verve and its rivals in the mobile ad space have found is, is that local doesn’t equal unsophisticated.

However, SMBs do need to be convinced that their ad spending will result in clear performance goals, particularly when it comes to driving online, mobile consumers into their brick-and-mortar stores.

“We all know consumers spend an exorbitant amount of time on their devices. Businesses strive to reach them in these crucial moments when in proximity and buying intent is high. Our new platform lets SMBs everywhere scale their mobile initiatives and compete with even the biggest players for in-the-moment decisions,” noted Stirratt.

Verve Launches Mobile Location Platform for Local Businesses Across U.S.

Self-service solution developed for marketers to scale compelling mobile offering for small and medium-sized businesses

NEW YORK, NY – February 10, 2016 – Verve, the leader in location-based mobile marketing, today announced the launch of a new white label self-service platform. It empowers the largest local marketing solutions providers to deliver highly tailored mobile advertising campaigns via state-of-the-art audience targeting, location context, meaningful creative, and advanced analytics.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and spend $50B on local media each year,” said Nada Stirratt, Verve’s chief executive officer. “Through the power of our new platform, Verve is helping SMBs get the most out of their precious marketing dollars, executing seamless location-based mobile marketing campaigns.”

The powerful self-service offering solves one of the greatest marketing challenges facing small and medium-sized businesses today: stretching conservative budgets to invest in marketing strategies that capture the attention of desired consumers and yield the best results.  Verve’s solution makes it easy for local businesses to compete at scale, serving relevant content in the right mobile moments.

“We all know consumers spend an exorbitant amount of time on their devices.  Businesses strive to reach them in these crucial moments when in proximity and buying intent is high. Our new platform lets SMBs everywhere scale their mobile initiatives and compete with even the biggest players for in-the-moment decisions,” added Stirratt.

 

The Ultimate Mobile Opportunity: The Consumer In-App Mindset

February 3, 2016 – iMedia Connection As more global consumers adopt and integrate mobile apps into their daily lives, marketers are wise to understand how they orient and interact in this environment. “In-app” is the most powerful mobile marketing environment we have. This highly receptive state offers unique ways for brands to effectively and directly engage consumers. There are two avenues for the marketer: advertising to the receptive in-app consumer while they are engaged in that environment and/or developing a branded app to build loyalty.

Winning with in-app advertising

If we think about the consumer’s state of mind when in-app, it’s easy to imagine how well executed advertising can succeed there. All consumers “in” an app have essentially “opted in” to the environment. As a result, consumers are attuned to messaging and are receptive to it. Well-targeted, rich, useful, in-app advertising resonates in this environment because a connection can happen at the right time, appropriate place, and in a personalized way, handing control to the consumers themselves. Imaginative uses by a QSR brand of things like the smart phone’s accelerometer, allowing a consumer to mix and select various menu items by shaking their device, is one strong example we’ve seen in the market.

Location-based advertising has been another trigger for the growth of in-app advertising. U.S.-based location-targeted mobile ad revenues are expected to grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $18.2 billion in 2019, according to research from BIA Kelsey. Location-enabled programmatic mobile inventory has doubled in the last year. Today, more than 60 percent of all mobile ad requests include location data of some kind. 

As the available data and technology improves, more mobile ad marketers are using it to drive greater campaign relevance. Advertisers and ad networks now have the ability to collect and process volumes of consumer data to create more targeted and timely mobile marketing. The better the data, the more precise the targeting can be. When coupled with definitive place, or POI data, accurate location data allows marketers to develop powerful consumer audiences based on their prior mobile activity, behavioral frequency, and device information.

Data input needs to be verified for accuracy or the data led marketing will be wasted on the wrong people. The upfront vetting you do with your data solutions, providers, and partners on the methodology is essential. The most accurate form of location data is real-time, latitude and longitude coordinates pulled directly from a mobile device’s global positioning system (GPS). Leveraging precise location data, marketers can reach consumers within steps of a retailer, driving foot traffic from potential shoppers, or capture consumers’ intent on visiting competing retailers nearby. That’s where you want to be.

The branded app as marketing

According to a recent study from Forrester Research, consumers spend more than 85 percent of their time on smartphones using native apps. In fact, consumers don’t even consider many of these apps “native.” They consider them “functional” — tools to effectively interact with brands they depend on. However, the challenge is to keep the users engaged with these apps on an ongoing basis. It turns out “native” app users aren’t using the vast majority of the apps they have downloaded onto their phone. In fact, according to a recent Forrester study, 84 percent of their time is spent using just five apps. This dovetails with another recent study from Nielsen spotlighting that there is a ceiling for the number of apps that consumers will consistently use.

So, what can you do to ensure that you’re one of the lucky few, favorite branded apps that consumers deploy on a regular, if not daily, basis, able to take advantage of these consumers ravenous for information about, or utility delivered from, your brand? Establish immediate value and functionality to the end user.

Most of the apps that people use frequently are ones that deliver a specific function in an instant. So, how can your brand’s app do that? How will it make their lives instantly easier, becoming indispensable in the process?

The best in-app interfaces or executions are incredibly focused, taking advantage of the consumer state of being “all in” when they are there. A strong app is mobile-first with a streamlined design that provides a logical, easy flow and navigation. Essentially, it will deliver a laser-like focus on a primary task and eliminate bells and whistles that may distract. A lot of businesses make the mistake of pretending that their mobile website launchers are apps, but they’re not. Native apps offer marketers an environment that can be used to create distinctive, specific experiences for customers.

The app consumer is ready, willing and open to marketing. That’s a unique combination. But, for it to work, brands must respect and cater to this special permission. Whether you’re delivering the messaging and proposed engagement via ad placements inside the app or using the app itself as a marketing vehicle, everything you do must engage, service and delight — not annoy or burden — the audience. The elusive permission slip has been granted. Now it’s the brand’s responsibility to deliver a continuous, memorable journey.

Tom Kenney is president and CIO at Verve.

Pratiksha Patel Joins Verve as Chief People Officer

Newly created role expands c-suite; emphasizes deep commitment to people and culture

NEW YORK, NY – January 27, 2016 – Verve, the leader in location-based mobile advertising, today announced that Pratiksha Patel has joined its executive leadership team in the newly created role of chief people officer, effective immediately. Reporting to Verve’s chief executive officer, Nada Stirratt, Patel will lead the company’s people and culture initiatives, spanning talent development, recruiting and the embodiment of the company’s core values. 

“I’m extremely proud of everyone at Verve, as we delivered record-breaking performance in 2015; our people are the foundation of our success,” said Stirratt. “Pratiksha’s passion for cultivating strengths-based, growth-focused cultures aligns perfectly with our profound commitment to our people as the critical component of our broader corporate strategy. She will be instrumental in scaling this people focus as we expand globally.” 

Patel brings to Verve over sixteen years of leadership and people management experience. Most recently, as vice president of people at Centric Digital, Patel led the company’s human resources team. Previously, Patel held senior positions at Gilt, L’Oreal and McKinsey & Company, employing modern and energetic approaches to organization design, change management and talent and learning development. 

“I’ve spent my career training my eye to spot the potential in others and to facilitate rewarding paths to achieve it,” said Patel. “Verve has ambitious plans and I look forward to expanding on the tremendous momentum and creating the people and ethos we need for success in 2016 and beyond.”