I was delighted to have the pleasure to interview Thomas Enraght-Moony the CEO of Lumata last week. For those of you that don’t know, Lumata has been born out of Buongiorno (B!). Lumata is a new mobile marketing consultancy for the B2B space created by Francisco Partners and Buongiorno.
With many companies touting greatness in the mobile marketing space, I was keen to chat with Thomas to find out how the new mobile marketing consultancy was shaping and what his thoughts were on mobile marketing trends. The results were actually surprising.
Bena: B! Was always focused on mobile content and consumers – I was surprised by the launch of Lumata can you tell me a little bit more about the way it was born?
Thomas: Last year, it became clear that there was a separation between our B2B and our B2C business. It made sense to form an exclusive company for the B2B space and hence in October last year, Lumata was born.
Bena: Why was the division from B2B and B2C necessary?
Thomas: Lumata was like a hidden gem in B! As B! realised the enormity of this gem, the purpose became to focus more on the B2B business and create a separate entity. This solidified the partnership with Franciso Partners (a 7 billion dollar private equity fund out of the Valley). In short, Francisco had a portfolio that was complimentary to Lumata and together Lumata has become a huge opportunity in the extremely fast growing B2B mobile marketing market.
Bena: Aren’t there a lot of players in the B2B space for mobile marketing?
Thomas: The industry is still fragmented and the B2B mobile marketing space is lacking a number one serious player.
Bena: That is interesting. Is Lumata the new number one player, then?
Thomas: Yes. The market is very fragmented with no clear winner so we are one of the leaders. We have 50 million in revenue, 450 employees and we have a presence in 18 countries globally.
Bena: Yikes, that a lot for a start up! So, its less of a start-up and more of a new vibrant entity. But changing the topic slightly – I heard you were travelling are you in India now?
Thomas: No. I have just arrived back in London. Since I joined Lumata in October, I made it my goal to go and visit every subsidiary globally. I have one country left, Russia. I will be heading out there shortly –but I have been travelling non stop to organise and structure the new business. It’s really rewarding and energising when a new company is born and every one globally has new energy and vigour.
Bena: How difficult is it to push a new brand into the market?
Thomas: Well we are a new name with an impressive client list. For example our work with Orange is renowned. We started with Orange Wednesdays in the UK and then Orange rolled out the same marketing promotion to eight different countries. Each country is unique and in France for example Orange Wednesday’s is on a different day altogether. But the success of the service speaks for itself. Operators and brands are interested in us because unlike many new players we have the relationships, the portfolio and the connections that have proven to reduce both loyalty and churn.
I think its called Recharge&Win. But I have some questions. The campaign focuses on giving credit and vouchers to users that topped up with EUR 10 and then consumer goods for those that topped up with EUR 25 or more. Now, Italy is a fiercely competitive market – but this kind of campaign just sounds expensive to me?
Thomas: Well, I can’t comment on the specifics of TIM. But what I can tell you that the heart of Lumata is value proposition. This is the value for the brand. If we provide a campaign and the incentive is winning a playstation or an electronic device – that is important to the operators brand perception.
Our aim is to enhance the value of the brand and execute a campaign successfully for TIM. We don’t just offer free promotions and wish for the best. We have started to use scientifically proven methods to gauge interest from consumers and keep them loyal and committed to one operator. With our experience in the B2C and B2B market we have our own science on mobile marketing and finding the most effective campaigns.
Moreover, what is vital to remember with the TIM promotion is that it was important to converge online and mobile consumers. That is a totally different pressure than only working on mobile. We had a customer with high demands and we thrived on the ability to create a successful campaign with a 25 million response rate. This means that we did something right and the campaign was an amazing success.
Bena: OK, so I get it. That is really interesting. Loyalty and reducing churn seem to be the backdrop ideal behind this and many of your mobile marketing campaigns.
Thomas: Yes. In Russia with MTS we also have a bonus programme and for us encouraging loyalty is vital to the success of any mobile marketing campaign. We have a very high standard and our successful campaigns show that.
Bena: So are operators your main targets as a consultancy?
Thomas: Operators and Brands. We also work for the HP and Nestle in France – we run a full scale mobile marketing programme there.
Bena: Do you have a preference between brands and operators.
Thomas: They are both important for us. Their needs are different but what I find is that creating loyalty via every campaign is a strong dual component in the marketing needs of clients.
Bena: That is interesting, I have heard before that click through or ROI or social media traffic is often important but you would say loyalty?
Thomas: You can’t take a casual approach to churn or loyalty. I have been in this business for over ten years at different operators, brands (online companies…) and there is one significant danger. The danger of churn and managing loyalty. This is vital now, tomorrow and in ten years. Many companies pay money upfront for their customers which means controlling churn and bolstering loyalty is critical to the mass market. I think that keeping customers loyal is the single biggest challenge in the market and critical to any financial planning of a successful business. Churn and churn management will never decrease but only increase in value over the next decade.
What we think?
What became increasingly clear in my chat to Thomas is that I personally forgot that churn management was essential in mobile marketing. In the initial stages, when mobile marketing launched the aim was to get click through to mobile. But now, with rich media services and innovative mobile campaigns the knowledge base changes. Instead of simply using mobile for increasing traffic; operators and brands are using mobile to save their core business. This means that they use mobile marketing to remain viable by reducing churn and increasing loyalty.
I didn’t mention it above, but I asked Thomas in passing about churn becoming redundant because penetration was so high with consumers having several devices. But when I asked the question – I realised it was a kneejerk question. At the end of the day a business is a business and a consumer is a consumer and not looking after them is wasteful.
Loyalty is the future of mobile marketing.