The Mobilizer

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#SeeHerFORWARD featuring Harry Kargman

As seen on SEEHER

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When we launched Kargo in 2003, we weren’t necessarily going to concentrate on advertising technology. But the market led us there. We saw mobile was going to be the most important device in our lives, an extension of ourselves that would facilitate shopping, entertainment and education, and that it would become an absolute necessity as people navigated their day-to-day lives. And also, that it would be a portal to the diverse viewpoints and perspectives that are now essential to success in society and in the marketplace.

Mobile has become a cultural change agent of immense power. Looking forward, there are opportunities to think about mobile in an even more far-ranging way, as its importance has been accelerated in the past few months. It is a new challenge for marketers and entrepreneurs—figuring out the changes in behavior which become more permanent parts of their customers’ lives over the long term.

For example, we are seeing fundamental changes taking place in product discovery and research yielding insights into shopping activity. The quarantine has taken away so many ways that we find out about products because we’re not going out as much anymore—outdoor advertising, TV ads on grocery shelves, going to your friends’ house, brands on stadiums or movie theaters. It’s all on hold. So there is a shift in where discovery takes place, and that leads us back to mobile.

It is exciting to be part of that shift as we work with our partners to respond to these changes. For example, we have created an interactive circular, which replicates the experience of the paper coupon circular, one of the most enduring pieces of content to this day. We also create a fully-branded takeover on every slot on a page, with multiple formats and messaging in sequential order, so you can really tell a story about a new show, or washer and dryer, in a way that gets attention that previously would be lost because of the fragmentation of digital advertising. 

Responding to these fundamental shifts in the way consumer behavior is evolving is a strong motivator to get serious about diversity and inclusivity, as well. This new world requires a broad and deep set of experiences and views you can’t get from just one person or one group. Brands need to have every perspective represented if they want to be truly relevant to a diverse audience.

That’s why we’ve built a diverse workplace with a strong focus on elevating women’s voices and roles both within our company and across our industry. Note that 70-80 percent of household purchase decisions are led by women, so women should really be leading many more conversations in our industry.

In our workplace, we’ve created a women’s leadership program called the Women’s Council. It both supports our current female leaders and builds future women leaders through workplace alliances and professional development. 

And because most leaders start out as students, we’ve partnered with Women in Technology (just recently rebranded as Break Through Tech) in a “wintership” program that brings 15 women coding students to our offices for a three-week on-site internship with our Product and Engineering teams. I can tell you honestly, we learn as much from them as they do from us.

I’m excited to join the SeeHer community to further our efforts to support women leaders. The company I want to build and the products I’m talking about demand a wide and dynamic range of viewpoints to succeed. Without an approach of inclusivity, without people who are truly curious and thoughtful who contribute their life experience but try not to impose their perspectives on other groups, without a dynamic range of viewpoints, you cannot build a truly great organization, let alone find success in the marketplace. 

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