An entrepreneur’s initial instinct is to focus on the product, but it’s never too soon to start building thought leadership and market share for your brand.
Pierre Barbeau is co-founder and CEO of Moblico, a leading mobile personalization and engagement platform. Mobile applications have revolutionized the way we communicate, behave, and interact, and mobile personalization is one of the fastest-growing marketing mediums. Moblico’s unique solution can take users’ mobile apps to the next level through personalized experiences, further driving engagement, loyalty, and monetization. There are more than 25,000 brands on Moblico’s platform in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Africa.
Prior to Moblico, Pierre was general manager of visual communications at Sprint. He spearheaded the development and launch of Sprint Picture Mail and the first camera phone in the U.S. Prior to his role at Sprint, Pierre held a number of sales and marketing positions over the course of 10 years in the direct marketing industry.
A native of Quebec City, Canada, and a graduate of Bishop’s University, Pierre enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. When he’s not with his family or developing innovative technologies, he can be found golfing or saltwater fishing.
Where did the idea for Moblico come from?
In 2007, it became apparent that the role of the wireless carrier was going to change. Until then, wireless carriers controlled every facet of mobility. They subsidized phones and oversaw every aspect of the customer experience. At that time, a small fraction of the U.S. population had data-enabled devices.
But as software and hardware companies began innovating — the arrival of the iPhone is the most notable example — all the rules began to change. The marketplace “opened” to any business that wanted to actively participate in creating its own mobile strategy or develop mobile solutions.
But companies still faced a major challenge: a lack of the tools, resources, and know-how needed to exploit the powerful explosion of mobility. We formed Moblico to help companies accelerate the development and implementation of personalized mobile experiences in order to drive engagement, retention, and monetization.
What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?
Is there a typical day? Moblico is a fast-paced, fast-changing environment. We’re always ready to tackle whatever opportunities the day might bring, such as supporting a new client, making a new sales pitch, or reviewing a new platform design. To be the most productive, we stay focused on our goals and objectives.
How do you bring ideas to life?
With a good plan and a good team.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Personalization excites me because mobility is all about empowering the user.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I ask for input from others to help reach the best decisions. Entrepreneurship is a balance of taking risks and exercising prudence. You always reach better solutions if more facts and information go into the decision-making process. Then, there’s always your gut.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I have no regrets. If I knew then what I know now, I certainly could’ve been more productive and efficient, but I could never bypass the experiences that shaped me and shaped our company.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I’ve focused on sales and marketing to drive growth. An entrepreneur’s initial instinct is to focus on the product, but it’s never too soon to start building thought leadership and market share for your brand.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
We appreciate all SaaS platforms because our product is one. We value the immediacy and ease of use of services such as UberConference and WebEx that help us showcase our platform in front of prospective clients.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Mobile Mind Shift,” published by Forrester Research, does a nice job of making the case for changing consumer expectations, and it explains the need for businesses to deliver personalized mobile experiences.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
I had the opportunity to partner with Philippe Kahn at LightSurf Technologies to implement Sprint Picture Mail. It was a great experience to watch him interact with his first-class software development team and to hear his views on technology and business.
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Moblico on Twitter: @moblico
Pierre Barbeau on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/pbarbeau
Pierre Barbeau on Twitter: @pierrebarbeau