#engage Mobile Influencers: Zedge’s Eric doormouse Peltier (Part One of Two)

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Each month, the #engage Mobile Influencers interview series profiles experts, thought leaders and rising stars in mobile, giving them an opportunity to share their personal experiences, preferences and predictions when it comes to mobile.

This month, we’ll be talking to Eric doormouse Peltier, a product marketer at Zedge. Eric will be speaking at this month’s edition of the #engage Mobile App Meetup NYC on June 16th, which you should definitely check out. To get the conversation started a little early, Eric has agreed to talk to us about his experiences working in mobile and to share some insight into this exciting, fast-moving space. Take a look!

Appboy: How did you get involved with mobile?

Eric: Running a new media department at a record label helped me transition from traditional marketing in the entertainment industry to becoming a technology product manager. Specifically, it was the SMS campaigns I was involved with that promoted artist ringtones – some of the WAP optimization work for artist and label assets helped me become interested in the mobile space.

Appboy: What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career in the industry?

Eric: Everything has the potential to change, and often quite rapidly, thus an active part of what I consider my day-to-day work is to try and learn something new, and not depend solely on previously acquired knowledge.

There’s always something new to learn or ways to refine my understanding across a broad range of touchpoints. It might be refining the perception of the customer desires and consumer behaviors, expanding an understanding of the competitive landscape and exploring emerging market opportunities, or educating myself about advancements in influential technology. Knowledge can come from pursuing continuing education coursework, networking at events like Meetups and conferences or from reading a variety of sources. Or, sometimes it comes from the research, analysis and reporting on the products and features I’m working with.

Appboy: How do you feel the mobile landscape will change in the next few years?

Eric: One thing I find myself most interested in is the ongoing notion of universal access stemming from constant connectivity. The notions of wired versus over-the-air and wifi versus cellular, desktop versus mobile and handheld versus wearable, home versus vehicle versus office, on device versus in the cloud, etc. will eventually fade to where the distinguishing factors of access points are irrelevant. We’re not where it feels seamless yet, but it will get there and the disruption for many single platform companies will continue.

Secondly, and related, the adoption of next generation of access points like wearables, advances in dash vehicle systems, etc. While they still feel like a novelty in some ways, there’s a lot of potential to challenge even many of the current progressive thoughts about the delivery and monetization methodologies for goods and services.

And with all of these changes from more of an anthropological twist is the definition of privacy. There’s a real social shift occurring about what privacy entails in the modern context and where the “line” will eventually be drawn between its new definition, and the personalization of goods and services that leverage non-private information. It’s a very interesting social experiment to both witness and be a part of.

Appboy: What would you say your biggest mobile marketing success has been, and how was it achieved?

Eric: While I’ve been involved in a great many personally satisfying and professionally successful projects to this point, I’d like to think the best is still yet to come.

Appboy: How does Zedge best engage its mobile users?

Eric: The golden egg for most products is providing the consumer with what they need in the least number of steps. From that strict definition, I think Zedge delivers the content personalization you want as a user effectively, but it’s a very straight line for engagement: find what you’re looking for and consume it. Expanding the engagement scenario and broadening the discovery process (while not undermining the value proposition of easy-to-consume personalized content) is the next evolution of our engagement tactics, and that’s where both marketing automation and UX optimization are beginning to play an increased role.

Appboy: What are some other companies who are using mobile marketing in a way you admire?

Eric: Uber’s pretty good at their product execution overall from a communication perspective. They don’t use notifications from the marketing perspective per se, but the way it’s integrated into the product experience is something to take inspiration from when thinking about marketing notifications. I like the moves Starbucks made with mobile payments and personalized promotions, but they’ve been a long time marketing innovator worth watching anyhow. In the mobile gaming world,  I think there’s some really creative thing beings done on both user acquisition and recall/retention, through both paid avenues and in content leveraging mobile and social. There’s too many different takes on it to single out just one or two. And, honestly, the best ones aren’t the ones that shock and awe you. They are the ones that seem so natural and intuitive to the experience they don’t stand out, but rather quietly supplement.

There’s more to come! Check out part two of the interview for additional insights from Eric.

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