Customer personalisation company VMob quadruples revenue

  • News
  • June 15, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Customer personalisation company VMob quadruples revenue

The company was founded in Auckland and now has global offices in the US, Australia and Japan.

It offers an end-to-end mobile personalisation platform for retailers and other customer-fronting brands.

Its app technology integrates with the company’s smartphone app to create a personalised marketing campaign.

Customers get offers to their smartphone (for example, a free cheeseburger at McDonald’s) and in return, VMob gets data from them.

This includes their location, the weather where they are, their movement speed and nearby events.

It can also look at users’ social media profiles and gain an understanding of their interests to personalise offers.

This may have slightly creepy implications, but in the latest issue of NZ Retail magazine, CEO Scott Bradley said everything is done with the permission of the customer.

He says there would be a huge reputational risk to the likes of McDonald’s if it gained information about their customer base without permission.

Bradley says customers are happy to hand over data when they get something in return, like a free drink or burger.

How Vmob works for a business

VMob’s revenue grew to $2.9 million but it lost $4.4 million from 2014 to 2015.

It says it lost money because it is in the start-up phase of its operations and is investing for growth. It has been focused on growing its business overseas and harnessing big clients.

Its recurring revenue – which VMob says is a key metric for a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) business – grew to $3.2 million.

This increased 1707 percent in 2014.

The largest client to come on board to VMob during the financial year was McDonald’s Japan.

The company has 3500 restaurants and 20 million members in its customer database.

VMob targeted McDonald’s Japan’s customers through strategies like personalisation, location awareness, offers, newsfeeds, mobile loyalty and targeted push messaging.

It also gained Australian convenience store chain 7-Eleven as a client, which has 600 stores.

Other companies that have begun using VMob’s services are Anheuser Busch, a brewing company, and closer to home, Loyalty New Zealand.

VMob’s platform was intergrated with Loyalty New Zealand’s “Loyalty Cloud” platform. A Fly Buys app was also launched.

It also worked with Auckland’s Heart of City to produce a “Where Next” app that was showcased globally.

Sales in Auckland City rose 12 percent and customers returned to the app 72 percent of the time.

The company now has 16.4 mobile apps installed on the VMob platform that can be used in up to 7000s stores globally.

The key to VMob’s service is its ability to personalise offers based on the data it gathers from customers.

It offers customers rewards that are relevant to them, and nothing that isn’t.

Bradley said in the latest NZ Retail magazine that retailers are struggling to personalise offers.

“They publish these apps that are generically the same as each other,” Bradley said.

He says VMob is a way to personalise offers and increase loyalty; the way retailers have done for hundreds of years by remembering returning customers’ names.

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