Brands and mobile advertising agencies have a new ally in the form of Carnival, the one-time mobile development agency which morphed at the close of 2013 into a nifty new mobile marketing platform.
An untapped opportunity
Ahead of its switch of emphasis, it successfully raised $2.4 million in seed funding last year to smooth the transition. Headquartered in New York and with an additional office in New Zealand, Carnival began life in 2008 as a mobile app developer, which is hardly surprising given that its co-founders Guy Horrocks and Toby Cox had been literally steeped in mobile long before the mobile explosion. They were developing apps for the iPhone before there was an iTunes App Store.
But anyone with experience of media jobs in mobile advertising agencies will be aware that, in the wake of the burgeoning uptake of mobile devices, most brands have brought app development in-house, which set Horrocks and Cox onto thinking about what else Carnival could offer this flourishing corner of Adland.
And all that experience of app development for big brands led them to what they believe is an untapped opportunity in the mobile advertising world. Yes, brands are developing their own apps, but do they know how to maintain them and do they know how to get the best out of them? Using apps as pocket billboards isn’t the best way of retaining customer loyalty and engagement, Horrocks and Cox believe – once the one-month campaign closes, the app’s job is kind of finished. Users just don’t get followed up.
The Buddy Media of mobile?
Add to that the fact that while brands might have multiple apps, they also tend to be highly siloed. And this is where Carnival comes to the rescue: its platform lets brands or the mobile advertising agencies they use to aggregate all the brand’s users in one place. That permits wide-reaching analytics on the whole user base and lets multiple campaigns to be run with users being targeted through in-app messages, push notifications, interactive content like contests, sweepstakes and coupons and much else besides.
Users can not only be geo-targeted with the carnival platform, they can be targeted according to other metrics as well, including engagement, loyalty, device or software version.
That’s a pretty cool battery of tools. Is this the new Buddy Media for mobile?