Growing Beyond Mobile Games, Kiip Wants to Own Your Daily Moments

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submit their e-mail address. That prompts an e-mail from Kiip that lets them enter a shipping address. Other rewards, such as Amazon MP3 credits, are instantly redeemable online.

For the developers and brands on its platform, Kiip translates the redemption rates into a number it calls “cost per lead.” The psychology of rewards is complicated. It’s hard to measure how an app user’s behavior toward a brand changes after he has redeemed a reward. That means Kiip’s cost per lead can’t be directly compared standard measures of advertising costs in the Web and mobile worlds, such as CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions). But Wong thinks brands will adjust over time to new ways of thinking about their marketing spending.

“We would definitely like to see a normalized, standardized, moments-driven” measure of marketing costs, Wong says. “Once we have some more education and the market gets to a bigger size, I think we can begin to define more of that language. Google was basically able to create the worlds of search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Facebook created social media marketing. To the extent that we can be the provider of serendipitous rewards in the marketer’s toolkit, we can begin to own that.”

After Kiip masters fitness, food, music, productivity, and sports, Wong has several other app genres in mind, including travel, personal finance, and education. “Mint would be perfect,” he says, referring to the home budgeting app. “Say you underspent on your budget goal this month. Here’s a reward. Brands can feel good, knowing they are not targeting someone who is blowing their credit-card limit.”

And Wong says Kiip will adapt to the changing nature of mobile computing. If wearable devices such as smart watches or Google Glass become omnipresent, for instance, it would provide triggers for more types of reward moments linked to users’ daily activities, such as entering a store or traveling to a new location. Wong says, however, that Kiip is sensitive to the danger of “moment spam”: the company already employs frequency-capping algorithms to keep app developers from numbing users with too many reward offers. There’s no hard limit, but Kiip said in a statement that “we work closely with our brand partners to marry the relevance of their brand with the timing of our moments.”

Whatever the platform, Wong says Kiip’s real expertise will always be finding the moments in device owners’ lives when a marketing message feels welcome, not intrusive or distracting.

“Brands will always have something they want to show you,” he says. “Unfortunately, the status quo is that they’ve been showing it without being sensitive to any of the emotions or situations you are in. By helping brands understand that, we are making the experience that much more valuable.”

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