5 Minutes with… JUICE Mobile

NeilSmileIn our 5 minutes with profiles, MEF members talk about their business, their aspirations for the future and the wider mobile industry. This week we meet Neil Sweeney, President & CEO of JUICE Mobile, and one of two recent additions to the MEF North America Board.

What does JUICE Mobile do?

JUICE Mobile is an award-winning mobile marketing and technology firm solely dedicated to growing and monetizing the mobile advertising market. The company earned recognition as Canada’s leading Adtech firm, winning Canada’s Most Promising Digital Media Company at the 2012 Digi Awards.

Nectar™ is an innovative platform that allows both publishers and advertisers to participate in a more efficient market where evaluation is based on a variety of factors – not price alone. Nectar™ uses a unique algorithm to allocate weight based on core marketing principles like reach, frequency, demography and duplication. Developed in-house by JUICE’s technology team, Nectar’s unique and proprietary technology is patented by JUICE Mobile

Nectar™ targets premium publishers and advertisers looking for an alternative to current mobile exchanges (DSP’s and SSP’s). JUICE Mobile works with the world’s largest media agencies, publishers and more than 300+ Fortune 500 brands. JUICE has more exclusive partnerships with Canadian premium publishers than any other company in the world.

When did JUICE Mobile launch and what growth have you seen?

Founded in 2010, JUICE Mobile is a privately held company that was conceived in response to the rapid growth and adoption of mobile devices. While other firms simply ‘add’ mobile to their online ad offerings, JUICE creates connected solutions that encompass the best in technology and brands. JUICE is completely independent which allows us to provide solutions that best serve our client’s needs. JUICE continues to see massive YOY growth and our footprint has grown significantly as we now represent several US brands.

What are your main goals?

JUICE Mobile’s main goal is to build an alternative business model in the mobile space and expand the model internationally.

Where do you see your company in three years’ time?

JUICE Mobile will be a dominant player in the mobile and connected device space providing an alternative to some of the mainstream players in the market like Google.

What aspect of mobile is most exciting to you right now?

Change is the exciting piece and how the pace of innovation in mobile is continuing to accelerate. The rate of consumer adoption in mobile is continuing to accelerate which is pulling a lot of companies, people and brands that have been reluctant to embrace mobile in the past into the space which is creating mass disruption and change.

Neil Sweeney speaks to MEFTV at this years MWC

What’s the most critical issue that will hit mobile within the next 12 months?

One of the prevalent issues in the space is a lack of the alternative model. Currently there are a lot of individuals embracing programmatic buying in the digital world – including mobile. However, that buying methodology doesn’t work for everyone in the space specifically, premium brands and premium publishers. Premium brands and publishers are forced to embrace this methodology with many of them acknowledging the fact that it won’t solve their problems long term. Simplistically, we are seeing an erosion of dollars against traditional media and seeing them replaced with media dollars across digital media but digital media is commoditizing incredibly fast which is going to lead to a massive P&L problem around the world for major publishing and premium companies. While many people believe this is irrelevant since the future is all about Facebook and Twitter, the reality is that every social platform in the world is relying on premium publishers for posting and linking. This is a critical issue that is not getting enough traction in the space but will.

Another critical issue is that the pace of innovation is moving so quickly that it potentially risks isolating its end user. This isn’t the consumer who will embrace any advance in technology but the brands and other companies that have been the end user in mobile in the past. If you are building technology so quickly that these companies can’t adapt you have the potential to create a chasm between the two.

Apart from your own, which mobile companies are the ones to watch in the year ahead?

We should watch the dominant platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter to see how their models can transition. Facebook is the biggest mobile publisher in the world by accident because their model was built specifically in an online world. The same for Google who are pervasive everywhere but historically a big part of their business has been on the serving of physical creative to predetermined spots and the future of mobile will be more immersive and focus on native advertising which will expose them for the first time to some risk. These are the more obvious ones.

Some of the other companies I’d watch are those participating in the wearable device world. We are continuing to move away from the handset as a communication tool to a remote which can activate the things around you. I would keep an eye on the companies or investments that are evolving those types of technologies.

Neil Sweeney is President & CEO of JUICE Mobile. You can follow him on Twitter here, and follow JUICE’s tweets here.

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