Last week we talked about the reunion of the German startup scene on the stages of the OMR Festival 2023. Of course, the OMR Festival is also full of international speakers – today we have a small selection. We have the CEOs of Hinge, Criteo and Contentsquare as well as the CCO of Headspace here. You don’t want to miss this.
The OMR Festival 2023 is coming up again on May 9 and 10 at the Hamburg Messe. We expect 70,000 visitors, over 800 speakers and more than 1,000 exhibitors and partners. You can expect a full program on our stages, in the Masterclasses, at the Guided Tours and side events. Click here for a list of all the highlight speakers—including Serena Williams. For a list of confirmed exhibitors, click here.
Wanna be at OMR23? Then get your ticket here?
Dating disruptor: Hinge Founder Justin McLeod
You’d be hard-pressed to find a hotter dating app stateside right now than Hinge. In mainland Europe and our home market of Germany, however, it’s still relatively obscure. That, however, could change soon as the fastest-growing dating app in the U.S., U.K. and Canada is set to expand to Europe and bring its “swipe-free” dating ecosystem to the Old World. The brains behind the app and the catalyst for its success is founder and CEO Justin McLeod. Back in October 2022, he paid a visit to OMR HQ to talk about Hinge. What’s so compelling about Hinge is how we got to here: it’s undergone three separate iterations and overcome some critical press to tap into an audience that is thirsty for a new approach to dating. With the official tagline of “Hinge, designed to be deleted,” it’s also fascinating from a business perspective.
Today, Hinge has generated some serious hype, especially as it strays from the two core functions that paved the way for dating apps to break through to the mainstream: swiping and quick hook-ups. Instead, McLeod and Hinge focus on serious dating. That’s why when new users sign up they answer a lengthy list of questions ranging from political views, family planning, alcohol and tobacco consumption, etc. The dating app then uses the information and, of course, pictures to create a profile page that resembles a personal blog. In this way, users can get to know each other better before the first date and find out exactly who is worth their time. And the product apparently works so well that Hinge has been able to focus primarily on branding since its German launch in May 2022. On the OMR stage, however, McLeod will talk in more detail about what the dating app market looks like right now and how Hinge plans to develop further as a major upstart in the future.
Tall order for Criteo CEO Megan Clarken
Criteo has arguably undergone one of the biggest transformations in digital marketing. For years, the French-founded company was known primarily for its retargeting technology. But with the pending death of third-party cookies, Criteo needed a new strategy. Enter CEO Megan Clarken, who has been in charge since 2019.
Today, Criteo focuses primarily on retail media, offering retail companies the technology to offer advertising inventories in their own stores, clients include German electronics giant MediaMarkt Saturn and Bestbuy. At OMR23, Clarken will discuss how Criteo has managed this reinvention of sorts, why the company sees itself as a commerce media player and where it sees a great deal of potential.
Jonathan Cherki shaking up the Customer Journey
Jonathan Cherki founded Contentsquare in Paris in 2012; today it’s based in NYC—and is valued at USD 5b. What makes Contentsquare so unique is its offering of analytics tools that allows companies to truly understand exactly how users behave on their websites. The product suite serves to eliminate negative experiences on pages and deliver a more robust user experience and customer journey. “While studying at business school in France, I became fascinated with the gap between the digital experiences brands thought they were offering, and what consumers were actually getting,” he told Techcrunch last summer.
“I believe knowledge is power, and my mission is to change the way companies work by creating a data-driven culture that is accessible to everyone.” He has already won over more than 1000 enterprise customers with the strategy. At the end of July 2022, Contentsquare raised USD600m at a valuation of USD 5.6b. In total, USD 1.4b has flowed into the company so far. We are curious to see what trends Cherki currently recognizes in terms of customer journey and UX, and what mistakes many companies are still making in this area today. While Cherki will make his first live speaking appearance at the Festival this May, he is no stranger to OMR as he appeared on the international OMR podcast last August.
Headspace’s content curator: Morgan Selzer
Headspace is the market leader among meditation and mental health apps—and a pioneer in the field in terms of content, as well. For that honor, the company has can thank Morgan Selzer. Since coming on board as Chief Content Officer in 2019, she’s been building a company-owned production company, Headspace Studios. Instead of just offering guided meditations voiced by founder Andy Puddicombe (who was at the OMR Festival in 2019), Headspace now also delivers music, sleepcasts, children’s content and special content around women’s health topics, among many other formats. (She provided in-depth analysis of her doings at Headspace in this episode of the international OMR Podcast).
It’s been in the realm of partnerships with artists and brands that have especially made waves. John Legend curates relaxation music for Headspace, soul singer Erykah Badu composes extra songs for the platform, while Star Wars characters like R2D2, Chewbacca and Yoda lead guided meditation and breathing exercises. She was also instrumental in landing a very big marketing coup for Headspace, as she oversaw the launch of the company’s first Netflix series. As a result, signups for the app, which already numbered in the millions, increased another 70 percent. If you are fascinated by content then you won’t want to miss Morgan Selzer’s keynote on the OMR stage.