Björn Stansvik, CEO of MentorMate with Hugh Williams, Principal at Williams Global Marketing
I had the opportunity to hear Björn Stansvik, CEO of Minneapolis-based MentorMate, speak at a Harvard Club event on Jan 27. MentorMate is a leader in mobile software development, a company with ~400 employees that was purchased in 2014 by Taylor Corp. Björn is seemingly on all the ‘Hot 100’ lists such as the Minneapolis/St. Paul 40 under 40, The (Real) Power 50, MN Fast 50 and the Inc. 500 | 5000 nationally. Through Taylor Corporation, MentorMate has access to an amazing 275 of the Fortune 500 companies as prospective clients.
Björn gave a talk that summarized some key learnings from his annual mobile technology conference, MobCon, that as he put it “boils two days down into 30 minutes.” That is the kind of summarization that I like!
Björn said several things that struck me as parallels to what we are seeing in the larger world of marketing. Below are some of the interesting topics that Björn addressed along with my editorial on how it links to Marketing Strategy:
- Fragmentation of Media: Björn mentioned that the average consumer looks at a mobile device 150 to 200 times per day. That equates to 30 billion mobile moments in 24 hours. It struck me that if you’re attempting to deliver marketing messages in those “micro-moments” you’ve got to have an incredibly simple and immediately impactful message, no slow builds allowed.
- Limited Variety Seeking: Björn said the majority of consumers use five apps or fewer, usually a couple of the obvious ones like mail and calendar and then 2-3 more that are varied by person. That seems like very few apps to me but I’ve seen similar behavior in categories like salty snacks where consumers have their “portfolio” of go-to snacks. It typically takes a lot of marketing to get trial in that type of category, but the flip side is that consumer loyalty still exists. Once you’re into the consumer portfolio, you have an opportunity for huge “lifetime value” with a consumer.
- No Time to Wait: Björn mentioned that if a mobile screen doesn’t load in 3 seconds you lose 40% of consumers on average. If you ask for a password on mobile you lose 50%. The premium on consumer time and attention continues to go up in the virtual and real world as people multi-task through their busy days. Marketing used to be about stopping people to deliver a message. Now it’s about inserting ourselves onto the path consumers are already on and walking alongside them; showing them how we can help them move more quickly, easily, enjoyably and healthfully along their path.
- Soundtrack Matters: A fascinating stat from the talk was in relation to audio, that 60% of Pandora users say that music brings them closer to their culture than religion. Related, I recently saw a Pizza Hut commercial with “Welcome to My House” by Flo Rida as the soundtrack, which is currently at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. I’m sure it cost a small fortune to license that track but the resulting consumer affinity can be priceless. Good, resonant audio can take a marketing message from good to great.
- Simplification: Björn said that Apple’s best practice is for each app screen to only have 2-3 functions. If an app gets too complex then they quickly break it down into multiple apps. Similarly in marketing strategy the challenge is often to sacrifice – there are many things you want to say about your brand but the consumer is only going to give you a few seconds of attention. Typically you have time to say one or (maybe) two things. If you try to say more you will end up saying nothing.
In summary it was gratifying to hear Björn’s talk and see the parallels between his world of Mobile Technology and that of Marketing Strategy. In the end we are all studying human behavior and looking for those common themes that can help us deliver a better product and message.