Kiip Up #22 – Ohaiyo Gozaimasu! Kiip + Japan, and more (including the UK)

Hello Kiipers!

Konichiwa Kiipers!

As you can tell, we have some big news out of Japan – we just revealed Digital Garage as an investor in our recent $11 million round in July. They have helped launch Twitter and LinkedIn in Japan’s lucrative digital market, and this partnership will help us do the same with Kiip rewards. Be on the lookout – we plan to launch in 2013!

More overseas news in case you missed it: we landed Kiip’s first UK brand partner, YO! Sushi, a cool sushi chain where food is delivered via conveyor belt. Now Londoners can get a free sushi plate for their mobile milestones. Read about it on The Drum, who also says Kiip is turning online advertising on its head.

Our mobile rewards platform continues to receive validation from the developer and advertising community. SmarterApps, an Australian mobile game and app builder, gave Kiip an unsolicited glowing review, labeling us a “game changer” that could become a “major player” in the apps industry because of the evolution in revenue production for apps. And at Amazon’s Kindle extravaganza this week they introduced in-app offers, bringing real-world goods within apps and games. (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? 😉 I talked about how it is a huge validation for our market and what we’ve created in a Q&A with TechCrunch.

There was a lot about Kiip on the airwaves these past few months as well:

  • We were on The Street and CNBC .

  • Canadian Business told its readers to kiip their eyes on our mobile startup.

  • I also had an opportunity to author a guest post on Upstart Business Journal about three ways to turn youth into a business advantage.

  • I was also super honored to be selected as one of the “30 Most Creative People in Advertising Under 30” by Business Insider.

This past week I gave a keynote at Marketing’s Mobile Conference in Toronto about the need for humanization in mobile marketing in order to connect with consumers on an emotional level. My fellow co-founder Courtney Guertin also spoke at the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab about how going personal is the next big step in gamification.

Another update for those who have been seeing the Passbook adoption over the past few days. It looks like over 100 million devices are now Passbook enabled. As such, we’ve been working hard at Kiip to integrate passbook into our offerings.

Finally, be on the lookout for a big announcement in the coming weeks about some partners that will help take Kiip to another level in redemption and rewards.

Without further ado, here are our favorite links from the past few weeks:

  1. The U.S. is poised to lead global mobile ad spending in 2013, a figure more impressive when you consider Asia’s strong telecommunications mobile infrastructure. Advertisers worldwide are beginning to focus on mobile – spending shot up 150% on mobile ad display prices during the London Olympics. The uptick in smartphone use continues to propel the amount marketers spend in mobile advertising, so you can expect Kiip’s impressive résumé of brand partners to grow as more advertisers embrace the power
    of mobile.

  2. Pew research came out with some interesting stats about the proliferation and effectives of mobile devices: mobile internet usage will pass desktop internet usage in two years, over 1 billion of the world’s 4+ billion mobile devices are smartphones and 53% of Americans use a smartphone. Our favorite, however, was that mobile ads are four to five times more effective than online ads. And Kiip rewards are something like a bagillion times more effective 😉

  3. According to the Mobile Marketing Association, 7% of current ad budgets should be spent on mobile. Currently, only 1% of U.S. ad dollars are directed to mobile, despite the fact that we spend about 10% of our time on these devices. Kiip is primed to be on the forefront of this market that is set to explode.

  4. Digiday wondered if activity-based mobile ads will take off and asked three top agency executives for their opinions. They noted activity-based ad impressions highlight the opportunity afforded by the natural break, the importance of momentary engagement for consumers and the benefit of catching consumers in the mindset to interact. In short: yes. And we’re genuinely rewarding this activity.

  5. Harvard Business Review proclaimed traditional marketing dead in a recent blog post, but noted the new possibilities of peer influence-based, community-oriented marketing hold much greater promise for creating sustained growth through authentic customer relationships. We see this happening in mobile – traditional methods like banner ads are just not working, and only by re-designing and re-imagining the interface and interaction of mobile ads and engagement (rewards and reciprocity) will monetization occur.

  6. One of the few things the ’90s had going for it was click-through-rates, which were as high as 3% during the dot-com era. In late August, Facebook unveiled ads that run alongside searches called Sponsored Results and the company is reporting that some CTRs are exceeding 3%, which is 23 times higher than their regular marketplace ads. By comparison, today typical CTRs average 0.1%-0.3%. It’s only been a month so sustainability remains a big question, but it looks like Facebook is taking steps toward solving its monetization problem. At Kiip, we see CTR’s average between 8-10%. It’s quite amazing what the achievement moment has been able to uncover around hyper-engagement with brands.

  7. Retailers are jumping on the mobile bandwagon. Walgreen is launching a mobile rewards program and Walmart is testing a new mobile payment system that will allow shoppers to use their iPhone to scan their purchases while shopping rather than having them scanned at a checkout register. They want you to not only save money, but time as well.

  8. Amazon just launched its first social game, Living Classic, and unveiled its own game studio. It’s a move that capitalizes on Zynga’s current vulnerability, and also lets Amazon become a first-party publisher of games for its Kindle tablets.

  9. Ever wanted to be Indiana Jones? Geocaching, a cool new iPhone app by Groundspeak, lets you do just that. The app turns the world into a real-life treasure hunt by making use of a GPS device to find containers hidden outdoors. There’s over 1 million geocaches hidden around the world, which can be anything from a logbook to sign or a collection of knick-knacks to add to and take from. We’re big fans of its serendipitous platform, which mirrors the surprise and delight that Kiip rewards bring.

  10. The potential of advertising in the $3 billion (forecasted to reach $7.2 billion in 2016) video games market is massive, and Cory Oslin thinks Kiip is “the wild card…thinking outside the box when it comes to gaming and advertising.”

So much more to come this year. We’re super excited. Oh and p.s. this one is truly Kiip Up #22 – the last one was numbered wrong at #20.

Thanks for reading!

Brian Wong, CEO

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