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The Business of Texting, with Bonin Bough

In the latest episode of The Business of Platforms, we are joined by Bonin Bough, Founder and Chief Growth Officer of Bonin Ventures. Bonin is an investor, TV host, and author with over two decades of marketing experience under his belt. In conversation with Vivaldi Chief Creative Officer Tom Ajello, Bonin shares his frustrations with how slow industries are moving to catch up with their customers’ evolving footsteps. Bonin stresses the importance of staying ahead of shifting consumer behaviors and finding opportunities in the deltas created. Tune in to find out why messaging might be the browser of our world moving forward.

See below for highlights from their conversation:

Q: Take us on your journey into the texting revolution and tell us what’s next.

A: I’ve seen all these waves and I see how they begin, and they all begin with the same exact thing. The amount of human attention moves and when human attention moves ultimately marketers ultimately have to follow, and if you can be there before then there’s a delta. If I came into your office in the 1950s and said, “Hey I want you to use this thing called TV,” you’d say, “Get out of my office,” because this thing called radio is doing really well. But what happened was three bold brands P&G, Unilever and Kraft jumped in, because they saw that consumer consumption began to eclipse where investment was, and it’s in those deltas that you find opportunities.

Q: Brands have a really interesting opportunity of being the glue between micro-interactions such as texting. How should they take advantage of messaging in their day-to-day?

A: Today your text message is far from being advanced. I can’t say: “Show me what my conversational relationship is to another company.” We have an investment in a SuperPhone where I can actually read the health amount of a conversation. I can see how many times you texted me versus I texted you, I can see what pieces of conversation trigger high response, all this type of analysis, the ability to categorize my messages, are going to come in the same way that they exist today for email. That sophistication is going to give the consumer even more control. So if you haven’t figured out, or you aren’t focused on how to provide true value for the consumer, you don’t have a chance, and that’s what we’re telling brands.

Q: Where do you go for inspiration?

A: It’s definitely not within the four walls of an office building. The biggest inspiration is from all the people I get a chance to meet. Ideas are what’s generated with conversation, and that is the best inspiration.