“As CEO of the business I’m responsible for the go-to market strategy, the market finesse and the overall financial growth of the company; it’s part of my challenge as well as my joy…”
Ramsey Masri has been CEO of OtherLevels, the digital marketing messaging platform, for over a year now, using this time to critically understand the rise of mobile messaging and its utilization in the mobile-brand experience.
His challenge, or joy as he puts it, is now more about navigating OtherLevels through this market, positioning themselves so they can maximise their disruption in their sectors.
Their digital marketing messaging platform tracks user behaviour which the team can measure to help marketers react, in real time, to their campaign outcomes as part of an iterative process. This process can be incredibly powerful, especially for a community constantly seeking deeper insights, so Masri has be careful he doesn’t overstretch too soon.
“It’s about taking a small company into the right category at the right time – there is a temptation to go everywhere simultaneously, but don’t; become the gorilla of 1 or 2 markets.”
Masri isn’t new to this game: he has 15 years worth of senior sales and channel roles in the enterprise business sectors and understands that there are certain qualities that are going out of fashion when discussing scaling in the messaging world.
Value now lies in expertise, whereas scope requires large, early stage financial banking that still doesn’t guarantee deep knowledge of every category you work within.
Which Masri think’s is inadvisable in today’s digital world.
It has been important for both Masri and OtherLevels therefore to choose the right categories where their expertise can work best.
How do they do this? “…with a bit of science and a bit of luck.”
Of course, it’s slightly more nuanced than that, as Masri continues.
“We have a very sophisticated product that is deeply analytical and built as a leading digital marketing messaging platform tool; we always consider what the marketer needs today and tomorrow, and how we can bring that to bear.”
They quickly understood that there was a lack of concrete evidence in the marketing and analytical world that marketers could make decisions on. The standard model was of influence; when looking for cause and effect mechanisms, marketing teams would eliminate those influences they had no hand in, leaving those they may have promoted, thereby improving the accuracy of their decision making…but not its validity.
“This isn’t good enough anymore; marketers want specific, granular data to be able to make the most informed decisions.”
Marketing used to based around consumer or subscriber numbers for newly deployed apps, and downloads, under the umbrella term of acquisition.
Now brands have those eyeballs, the task of engaging and monetizing those users is what marketers want to know next, which is where OtherLevels steps in.
“The best way to engage users is to have superb dialogue with them and that can come about in a number of ways: for apps, our digital marketing messaging platform enables marketers to perform a messaging campaign which we can track and measure in real time.”
It’s a proactive outbound marketing strategy and the measurement tools means Masri and his team can quickly ascertain the success, or failure, of any individual elements, or the campaign itself.
“…we enable the marketer to measure and quantify the value, importance and impact of any given strategy.”
The interesting thing to note here is that these tools aren’t sector specific.
“We do sell strategic services as well, and what excites me is there a generic mechanism and philosophy in how you can engage a user.”
Of course, nomenclature and the lexicon of strategies can change between industries – you would name travel industry users as guests, not punters, for example – but the methods are similar, and therefore transferable.
“The transferable nature of these techniques is how we can scale and still keep the same workforce as the pitch remains the same regardless of who we’re talking to.”
It’s inevitable nowadays however that behind every digital marketing messaging platform campaign, behind every strategy, method and element, are bunches of data and data analytics; OtherLevels is no different.
It is data that has allowed OtherLevels and countless other startups, organisations, and, increasingly, established businesses, to act on evidence rather than trial and error.
That evidence promotes intelligent use of consumer insights that can be used to benefit all parties, and as consumers shift off desktops and onto mobiles and tablets, the shift of digital marketing becomes intuitive.
“We believe in our digital marketing messaging platform: we are a high data volume business and we have access to subscribers in real time, and because of their mobile end points we have the most current information about that end user.”
That instant accessibility and current, accurate information is how Masri and his team can leverage particular strategies so that they are orientated to location based messaging.
“…for a Manchester United game, let’s say, we know when it’s half time, and we know via the location of your device that you’re inside the stadium, so we can either send you bets on who’s most likely to score in the second half, or alerts to redeem coupons or drinks at half time. It’s about having an awareness on the ground as well as in our data.”
Masri also offers his thoughts on the industry as a whole, and how best to position yourself in a sea of change.
“The industry is evolving quarterly…the challenge for us all is understanding the entirety of the multi-channel approach – 6 or 7 different outlets now – that digital marketing messaging platform needs to embrace and tackle.”
Embrace is an interesting word choice; it simply isn’t enough any more to be aware of certain channels and toe-dip, the risks associated with falling behind on one key medium is growing exponentially, and becoming marooned an increasing problem.
“The rate of industry evolution is being driven by millennials. They’re embracing new things faster than any generation in the history of mankind, and their mental adroitness to pick up new tech and instantly assimilate it into everyday life is startling…”
There are certain industries that come to mind that may struggle with this modern swell of tech intelligence.
The consumer packaged industry relies upon consumers entering a store, walking the aisles and a making a choice based on visual cues. That doesn’t happen anymore, or at least, not in younger generations.
Brand awareness has become so prevalent that people enter a store knowing what they need and by whom – if they even a enter a store that is. Online ordering is quick, easy, and often cheaper as an alternative.
It isn’t even a an adoption led by one generation.
“The baby boomers: they’re financially in a good position and increasingly tech savvy, by and large as a group, and they spend money on premium items like merchandise, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare programs. The whole paradigm of consumer exposure and experience has become more digitally enhanced and tech has enabled that behavior, which is the opportunity for digital marketing messaging platforms.”
OtherLevels do focus on certain markets more than others, however.
One particular example is the gaming industry, which, despite seeing past opposition in the US, is starting to see governmental pressures eased somewhat as the market matures.
“The gaming industry are great user cases for our digital marketing messaging platform because they are mobile, spontaneous and users spend a lot of money; spontaneity is the key trigger point for what we achieve and the gaming industry combines that with its affluent nature and its sensitivity to current and topical information.”
As a whole, Masri and his team believe they have a competitive advantage based on their strategic services: they can write the campaigns, execute them and then optimize them for the marketers.
“…we are deeply embedded, very high touch, white glove services that become embedded within any given team; the customer iterations we measure keep us aware of current trends and innovative ideas and we cross pollinate those idea around our team and elsewhere.”
OtherLevels and Masri aren’t simply selling technology, they’re selling digital marketing messaging platform solutions for a new, savvy breed of marketers.