Idomoo sees sales soar as businesses turn to personal videos

TEL AVIV Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:28am EST

TEL AVIV Feb 12 (Reuters) - Banks, insurers, utilities and retailers are boosting customer loyalty by sending out personalised videos instead of a monthly bill or statement, using technology provided by Israel's Idomoo.

Idomoo's technology can take any video in any language and personalise it in seconds, so that it contains each customer's relevant information. The videos explain anything from a monthly electric bill to a quarterly pension fund statement and can also be used to welcome new clients or send birthday greetings.

"As a customer it makes you feel good that this bank, insurer or telecom provider is treating you as an individual," Idomoo's chief executive Eitan Fogel said in an interview. "We are going back to a more natural way of communication."

Customers include telecom companies Vodafone, France Telecom's Orange and Telia Sonera, banks Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas, insurer Generali, cable company Liberty Global and most of the major telecom operators in the United States as well as large retail networks.

Videos, which can greet a customer by name, are sent by email or text message with a link to a web page.

"By 2015 I believe most of the communication between organisations and customers will be done like this. Customers won't be willing to get any more boring impersonal communications," Fogel said.

Idomoo, which last month won a prize sponsored by U.S. retailer Target Corp, is also in talks with retailers to offer coupons or discounts to loyalty club members who receive their statements by video.

The company, which competes with U.S.-Israeli SundaySky, began selling its technology in 2012, when it had several million dollars in revenue. It expects this to grow by 300 percent to double-digit millions of dollars in 2013.

"In 2014 we see sales eight times that of today and in three years from now we expect to have sales of $100 million," Fogel said, adding the company will be profitable by the end of 2013.

Fogel said many service providers are trying to move their customers from paper statements to digital communication to cut costs and help the environment. Idomoo's video technology has helped more than double the registration rate for electronic billing services at its customers, he said.

Idomoo has begun partnering with WPP's Ogilvy & Mather in several countries and is in discussions with other ad agencies. The agencies would develop videos for their clients and use Idomoo's technology to personalise them.

"Because of our open technology we can work with any agency. We are not a threat to digital agencies," Fogel said.

The next phase will be personalised television commercials, though this will depend on deployment of TV over the Internet, or IPTV. It is already working with Portugal Telecom on personalised commercials for its IPTV service.