Daniele Leone, CEO & Founder of Mobinext, tells us about App and Mobile Marketing.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Daniele Leone: Oh, thanks for asking! This is a very good question, maybe the one most important. I’m good, and also, my family feels good. By the way, it’s so hard to keep at home two kids of 10 (Gianluca) and seven (Davide) years old. They need to play outside, sports, friendships, be social in the old way. And to say the truth is not easy keeping at home also my wife!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Mobinext.
Daniele Leone: I am an engineer with a Ph.D. in ICT; I have been working on the internet since 1998. I started creating websites, and I grew up as the NET growed. I worked for several Web Agencies as a developer, web designer, and project manager. The turning point came with the arrival of the iPhone. I was very curious and started studying the programming language to create Apps. I immediately had some success in Italy; my Apps were often ranked in the Apple App Store. After these first successes, I decided to found Mobinext. The core business of Mobinext is App and Mobile Marketing. In a short time, we became the reference point in Italy for the main International Mobile Marketing Agencies. To promote an App in Italy, our name was always present. In addition to mobile marketing, to complete the offer, we have also become an App factory. From 2013, when Mobinext was founded, to 2015, we started with 1 employee to finish at 10 employees.
How does Mobinext innovate?
Daniele Leone: Innovation is inherent in our business model. We must always have new ideas in order to acquire new users to whom we can propose our customer’s marketing campaigns. Ours is not a technological innovation, even if we keep up with new technologies, but it is a conceptual innovation. Thinking about new Apps, new Web Projects, new user experiences, and everything that the mind of our creatives can create. We often look around to see what is good about the mobile ecosphere and then try to give our own vision.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Daniele Leone: This is the 2nd hard question. We lost about 60% of our turnover in 2020, and these first months of 2021 are not very good. Our losses are related to investor’s uncertainty in spending budgets. In addition, many of our customers are part of the categories that are unable to work, such as tourism, entertainment, clubs, events, etc. Customers who continue to invest do so in a reduced way, with a kind of fear of uncertainty.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Daniele Leone: Unfortunately. Having reduced earnings, I was forced to make drastic decisions for some employees. I am very sorry; I have always considered all employees as family members. When the general conditions are not good, and a glimmer of light is not seen for the moment, it was necessary to operate in this way. I am confident of a new recovery to restart with new enthusiasm.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Daniele Leone: The only CRM tool we have always used is human contact. A phone call, an email, a message, a coffee whenever possible. We strongly believe in personal relationships; our customers must feel our warmth, our expertise, and our experience. We try to transmit it one-to-one.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Daniele Leone: The Italian government has allocated some funds for the categories affected by the pandemic, such as hotels, b&bs, restaurants, bars, discos, night clubs, or those forced to close. For activities such as Mobinext, which does not provide access to the offices of external people, no financial aid is provided.
Your final thoughts?
Daniele Leone: I am a positive person. I try to find the light when it is dark. And even in this case, I am confident that everything can start again in the best possible way. I think that, once the pandemic is contained, we will have one more difficult year, but we do not lack ideas; indeed, we are already working on new web and mobile products, ready for when it all ends. We are ready to start again!
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